Chosen by Fate, Rejected by the Alpha - Chapter 470
The first thing that I wanted to do the day after my birthday ball was talk to Athair mòr. I needed to tell him about the conversation I had with Aunt Glory the night before. I needed to know if he heard anything about what had been happening, or if he thought this might be the start of that incident that we had been warned about.
Following breakfast, I asked him to come up to the tower and talk with me. He now had his own place within the castle and was not just a guest. He could come and go here anytime that he pleased since this was his second home. The towers on either side of mine were for the Grand Nobels, of which he was one. That means that he had his own home inside the tower. I think that idea made him happy, especially since all of my family aside from Carter had moved into the castle, though he and Emmalee did have a place for when they came here for visits. The good thing about everyone living in the castle meant that they could all see each other whenever they wanted, Athair mòr included..
When Athair mòr joined me in the tower I was with Reagan and Rika in the nursery. They were playing and having a little bit of educational fun. They quite enjoyed learning while playing and especially loved it when we read to them. It also made me excited to get the daycare going because on top of just watching the kids, the staff will be helping them learn various things as well. I guess Grandfather's overly instructive life rubbed off on me, because now I feel that children need to have a fun, yet stimulating, environment.
"Good morning, Trinity my dear." Athair mòr smiled when he came into the nursery and gave me a quick hug. "I am delighted to see you again, I do quite enjoy spending time with my family." He was indeed always smiling when he was with any of us.
"We love having you around as well, Athair mòr." I hugged him back when he wrapped his arms around me.
After the greeting, he went to sit in the chair across from me. From that vantage point, we could see both of the twins and watch them as they played.
"Athair mòr, there was something that I wanted to talk to you about." I broached the subject almost immediately after he sat across from me.
"I suspected as much. You had seemed rather tense when you asked for me to meet with you today. What is it that is bothering you, Gariníon?"
"Well," I paused and looked into his unique eyes for a moment before I continued, "I spoke with Aunt Glory last night."
"Ahh, that is what this is about." He nodded like he already knew.
"Did you speak with her as well?" I wondered.
"Not yet. I was planning to do that today. However, Reece spoke with me last night before we had the chance to dance." That was news to me. But I guess my husband truly is efficient as well.
"That actually makes sense. He was supposed to be doing 'work' while I danced with everyone last night. It makes sense that he would put that as the top priority for his work to be done. What do you think it means? What could have happened that was enough to keep the fae Queen from leaving the compound?"
"In truth, Gariníon, it could have been almost anything. As you know, no group of people is ever truly at peace. It may seem that way on the surface, but there is always something stirring underneath. Take the most recent conflict with the vampires for instance. You have not heard of a vampire war for centuries, well I haven't." He chuckled because I was not old enough to have heard something for centuries. "Yet, there is enough strife and unrest that a battle nearly broke out over something as simple as territory. You see, it doesn't matter how calm and peaceful a group of people may seem; there are always going to be small strifes that cause problems. And those small strifes could grow into something monstrous if they are not kept under control."
"You think this might be something minor?" I asked him, still wary of the conversation that I had with Glory last night.
"I believe so. There are often small incidents that happen that most people don't know about." He grinned, but I noticed that it didn't quite reach his eyes.
"Athair mòr, please do not lie to me." I gave him a stern look. "I can see that you are attempting to, and that is not very nice at all."
"Gariníon, I do not mean to be distrustful, that I promise. I simply am trying to be hopeful that the incident is a minor one." He hung his head as if in shame from being found out.
"I understand that, but please do not try to lessen the magnitude of all of this. You know that I was asked by Danu herself to help protect you and Aunt Glory. She cannot step in on your behalf so she has asked me to do that. Don't hide things from me if it means that I will be going into something unprepared."
I saw the look of shock fill his eyes. He knew about the request from Danu of course, but I don't know if he thought I was taking it as seriously as I am. I would follow through with my promise to Danu and I would see to it that none of my family is harmed. As long as they deserved to be saved that was. I would not protect them if they were committing some sort of heinous acts against their people.
"I am sorry, Gariníon. I was being foolish for not telling you everything right away." This time I could tell that he was regretting what he had been doing. "I will tell you everything now. Please, forgive me."
"I forgive you, Athair mòr. I only ask that you be as honest with me as I am with you."
"Yes, of course."
We smiled at each other for a moment before we were interrupted by the twins coming over for some attention. We played with them for a few moments before they grew bored and wanted to go off of their own once again.
"I will tell you the truth now, Gariníon, if that is alright with you."
"Yes, I would like that."
"Just before summer there was an incident with Curtis, the Queen's consort, however, I imagine that you already know that since you were a central part of that incident."
"Are you referring to him being in the Queen's private chambers when I called to speak to her?"
"Yes, that and his rudeness to you. That was before Glory and I knew that you were related to us. Curtis was punished for two different crimes that night."
"Crimes?" I was shocked to hear that word.
"Yes. The first of which was entering the Queen's private chambers without permission. That alone was enough to get him stripped of his consort title and punished for a long time. However, the second crime was improper handling of a royal. Glory knew that you most likely wouldn't retaliate because of Curtis's stupidity, however, there is still the fact that he could have done that to someone else and caused a war between our people."
"I honestly hadn't thought about it that much. I know that he was rude to me, however, he simply didn't remember who I was."
"That is no excuse." Athair mòr's words sent ice running through my veins. "The problem is: what if you did take it personally and declared war against the Fae? We have magic on our side, yes, but so do you. And your people outnumber us one hundred to one. There is nothing we could do if you intended to do battle with us. We could fight you, but chances are we would lose in the end. A lot of our numbers and yours having been decimated in the process. It would be true devastation to all of our people, and you would then be free to rule our people as well as yours. You would have every group of supernatural under your thumb then since you also have influence over the Vampire King. You, Trinity, are someone that should be feared by her enemies, not mistaken for someone or something else by a careless consort."
I truly had never thought about the true magnitude of what had happened that day back in May. I didn't take it to heart too much. Yes it annoyed me, and I was a little upset with the way he treated me, but he turned around quickly. Now that I think about it though, it was a major political error on Curtis's part. And then there is the fact that he was snooping in Glory's private chambers. What in the world was he doing there? Could he and his cohorts be behind this whole incident? I guess it's possible, but I don't know just yet.
"Do you see it now?" Athair mòr looked at me with his eyes filled with things that I just didn't understand just yet. I guess I needed to learn more about being a Queen before I understood all of this interpersonal court stuff.
"I think I do." I nodded at him. "So how exactly was Curtis punished?" I wanted to know what a Queen did to someone that almost started a war and spied on her.
"There are different magical punishments that we use depending on the crime. They will not just be imprisoned, they will usually receive some 'other' form of punishment."
"Other forms of punishment?" I asked him. "Are you referring to torture?" I was appalled at the idea.
"You have to remember, Trinity, that we are immortal. Simply imprisoning someone isn't enough. That doesn't significantly bother them. They can deal with that and be no different when it is done. A Fae can even put themselves into a status sleep and spend that time in their natural form. They will simply go to sleep and wake up when their imprisonment is over. We need to make sure that they receive the full effects of being punished. The only way to do that is different types of punishment or death."
I had seen Glory kill someone for speaking of starting war. And I had even killed someone who had tried to poison me. Yeah, I knew full well that death was a punishment for crimes. However, I didn't think that they tortured people.
"Perhaps I will ask about the different types of torture you use later, but for now I do not think that I want to know."
"That is understandable." He nodded as if he understood what I was talking about.
"I will not push this subject any more for the time being, however, I do want you to talk to Aunt Glory and find out what happened. I need to be kept informed."
"Yes, Queen Trinity." He was speaking as if I was giving him an official order for the council. "I will be in touch with Glory today, and I will report the findings as soon as I have something."
"I don't want you to think that I am giving you orders. You may be Valerian of the council, but you are also my Athair mòr. I want this to be something that we work on together. I don't want to see something bad happen to you or Aunt Glory."
I saw a smile spread across his face and a look of love enter his eyes.
"I know, Gariníon, I know. We are family, and I should have been thinking along those lines from the beginning. Just consider it the failings of an old man's mind." I laughed at that.
"You don't look old at all, you know that."
"Looks can always be deceiving." He grinned at me.
That was the end of our conversation. He left after that, and I stayed with the babies.