From Secrets of Tarneth, an epic fantasy that needs LOTS of revising!! My first story ever.
King Toth led Lady Hewel back to his wife’s company and after leaving them with a few hastily promised words made a direct path for the royal bath chamber. He checked the halls before using his key to enter and then relocked the door behind him.
In the space near the pool Toren sat unhappily on the pools edge, soaking wet, trying not to look in the direction of the splashing in the opposite corner. A pile of grey clothing lay discarded in a heap nearby. Toren scrambled to his feet at his father’s approach. “Father, I think a few explanations would be in order now, don’t you agree?”
Toth watched the slim body swimming to and fro in the depths of the cold pool, a look of amusement on his face. “She is a handful, isn’t she?” he chuckled.
“So serious, are we, my son?” Toth removed his shoes and socks and pushed up his trouser legs to dangle his feet in the water, his eyes laughing as he continued to gaze in Wyn’s direction. He motioned for Toren to join him.
The Prince made a point of sitting with his back to the pool. “You said I had to watch her until you arrived. You’ve arrived; she’s now your responsibility. You watch her.”
“Was it that difficult a task?”
“Father!” Toren glared. “When you told me to bring her to the baths I thought she was going to wash her face or something, but she took one look at the pool and the next thing I knew she had stripped off her clothes and dove in. If that wasn’t bad enough she proceeded to lay motionless on the bottom for so long I thought she’d hit her head when she dove in so I jumped in to save her.” He rubbed his chin where the king now noticed a bruise was rising. “I didn’t think a girl could hit that hard but she can pack a lot of force in that fist of hers.” The prince glanced involuntarily at Wyn as an exceptionally large splash reached to their side of the pool.
Toth slowly nodded. “She’s a river elf.” Toren gasped. “I know there have been rumours that they totally died out, or even tales that they never existed except in children’s tales. But they are real and that,” he pointed toward Wyn, “is a not very obedient example. She’s actually only half river elf, the other half is Fae.”
Toth turned to look his son in the eyes. “What I tell you know is not knowledge to share with others. I received a message from the King of the River people just over six months ago. It seems that he was having a little trouble with a daughter and he wanted to know if she could come and foster here for a while. We were going to accept when another message arrived notifying us that the girl had decided to run away.” Toth smiled. “She’s obviously very good at surviving on the land because until she fell into Bec and Lukos’ company there had been no sign of her at all. It takes some skill to stay hidden from river folk.”
“Yes, lad, that unlikely creature is a princess.”
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