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Heir of Broken Fate: Chapter 49

My throat constricts while I try to suck air into my lungs as I stare at the tall imposing castle looming above us. I’ve been here before, yet under entirely different circumstances. Standing on the cobbled driveway of the queen’s castle, Knox lays his palm on my back, offering silent support as I calm my breathing. He’s assured me multiple times that although the queen may be old-fashioned, she is nothing like my father. No matter how many reassurances Knox whispered to me this morning, I still couldn’t tamp down my anxiety.

I take a step forward, each one making my heart beat faster.

Two guards step aside as they open the black wooden door, the hinges squeaking as they do. A castle servant greets us in the foyer, guiding us to the throne room.

The castle is vastly different since the last time I was here. Instead of live music, laughter, and dancing, we’re met with silence. The squeaking of our shoes the only sound to be heard.

The servant walks through a large archway, stopping at the threshold. “Your Majesty, Prince Holloway of Azalea and his companion have arrived,” the man says, bowing low before exiting the throne room.


My heart skips a beat at hearing Knox’s name.

My gaze roams the room. Settled on a tall golden throne, an older Fae, looking no more than fifty, sits poised as she stares at us, a warm smile on her lips. “You may enter,” her silky voice calls.

Knox’s shoulders square before he approaches, keeping pace beside me. He doesn’t bow as he reaches the end of the throne, merely dips his head in greeting. A king speaking with a queen.

“I suppose you know why we’re here,” he drawls, sliding his hands into his tailored pockets.

“Yes, unfortunately I do,” she says solemnly. “Did you catch the monster who cast it?”

“Emmalyn,” he says casually.

There’s not an ounce of shock in her expression. Not so much as a muscle twitch.

“I suppose you already knew that.” Knox continues.

The queen turns her head to me. “When your griffin dumped her carcass at my door, the black blood was explanation enough. I just wanted to hear it myself, to confirm it to be true.”

I gulp at that; I had no idea Aurora had so much sass in her. I say nothing, having no words for what Aurora did and why.

“I’m sorry you had to find out that way,” Knox adds.

“I have to admit, I’m ashamed I didn’t notice the signs earlier.” Her gaze slides back to me. “How did you do it?”

“Phoenix rising spell,” I reply, hiding my clammy hands behind my back.

Her warm eyes assess me. “How did you turn into Fae?”

Her voice is soft as she speaks, her eyes holding kindness, yet it’s not a question. It’s a demand, from a queen. Authority rings through her voice.

I tamp down on my knee-jerk reaction of shock. She truly does have spies everywhere.

My gut screams to lie, to withhold a part of the truth. I don’t have answers as to why I’m Fae, so technically my words are part-truth, part-lie. “When I crossed the border I found out I was Fae. I have a feeling I’ll turn back into a human when I leave.”

The queen accepts my response, dipping her head once.

“We need the guards to round up the remaining demonic beasts,” Knox chimes in.

“I’ll see to it. As a thank you for freeing us.”

Knox dips his head.

“Is there anything else I should be made aware of?” the queen asks.

Knox slides his hands into his pockets. “When will the court reinstatement commence?”

Her head pulls back as shock flits across her face. “In time, after the courts get their affairs in order.” The Queen of Air stands. Descending the dais, she bows her head as she stops before us. “Thank you for coming,” she says, giving us each a tight-lipped smile before exiting.

That’s the politest dismissal I’ve ever seen.

Knox places his hand on my lower back, guiding me as we walk out of the castle.

Outside, Fae line the streets, celebrating their freedom with drinks and cheers of joy. The skies are filled with Fae flying far and wide past Aloriah’s lands for the first time in nearly one hundred and fifty years.

“Why did you lie earlier?” Knox asks gently once we’ve stepped onto the streets.

I shrug. “I was nervous. I didn’t want to tell her I don’t have any answers as to why I’m Fae.” That’s another thing that I’ve lumped into the “tomorrow” section. If I start thinking about it and what it means, my head begins to pound.

Knox wraps his arm around my shoulder, bringing me closer as he kisses the top of my head. “How does a celebratory meal sound?”

I chuckle. “What’s the difference between our usual dinners and a celebratory one?”

Knox’s smirk turns feline. “More alcohol.”

I throw my head back on a laugh as we make our way back to Knox’s home.


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