Given to an enemy king to seal a treaty, Sereen of Havacia is known as The Winter Princess. Can she ever find a summer of the heart?
“Enter, Princess, and be welcome.” Her escort vanished and Sereen was utterly alone with only the seer and the flicker of flame.
“I am honored.” She was familiar with the Mothers, who also served in Armatica, obedient to the authority in each country and sublimely indifferent to all of them. It was not that their tentacles did not thread through each locus of power, only that they did not flaunt it, so secretive that one could only speculate on their influence. Sereen wondered how close Vanus was to them, yet he had not seemed eager to admit their company. Her father had never trifled with them, either, saying it was unhealthy to do so.
“I bring greetings from the King,” Sereen said, dutifully making Vanus’s case—assuming he had any. “And charity for your works.” Deftly, she unwrapped the ties from around her waist, laying his purse carefully at the bare feet of Mother Jalena. Heavily shrouded elsewhere, still the seer observed the custom of keeping her feet bare to feel vibrations of the earth, said to be a powerful conveyor of prescience for those able to discern it. Sereen had toyed with such practices as most young girls did, enough to know that she had no gifts, only the ability to feel them in others.
“We are grateful.” Mother spoke through her veil. Sereen could barely see the outline of her lips moving and could not see her face at all. It was said that the Flame Mothers were scarred by fire ritual, but since their faces were never seen, it remained a mystery. Certainly her speech was not impaired and the hand with which she took Sereen’s offering was not marred, nor did it appear crone-like. She was a puzzle.
“And what do you seek of me?” Sereen sat down in front of her, legs folded, a dutiful supplicant.
“Only what most brides seek, I suppose,” she answered. “Whatever future you see for me in my marriage.”
Unexpectedly, Mother Jalena chuckled—a rich sound, not so ancient.
“You have no future with Vanus,” she said, “but I need no prescience to know that.”
About the author:
Fantasy poetry driven by myths and legends has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I was published in poetry before catching the romance writing bug. I bring that background to my writing along with a lifelong addiction to horses, an 18 year career in various areas of psychiatric social services and many trips to Ireland, where I nurture my muse. My published works range from contemporary fantasy romance to fantasy historical, futuristic, science fiction and historical romance. Currently, I live in rural Pennsylvania with a “motley crew” of rescue animals. You can see my books HERE. and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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