The Magic of Dooros

an excerpt



Chapter One

Absorbed in playing his violin for the fae children before him, Turlough jumped a little at the impatient cough from the fae maiden who appeared at his side. He lowered his instrument. "I beg pardon. I didn't see you there."

"A word with you if I may? 'Tis about your brother." She pointed towards a bower some distance away. Turlough nodded and she headed away.

Setting his violin down, Turlough smiled apologetically at his young audience. "If you'll excuse me for a few minutes." The children he was playing for were all talented musicians. "Why not practice the piece I taught you yesterday while I'm gone?"

The sound of music grew quieter as he walked towards the bower and the waiting maiden. The nearer he got, the more a feeling of disquiet, cold and heavy, grew in his stomach. As much as he loved his younger brother, Oran was oft-times a spoiled young man who thought little of the consequences of his actions.

"What is it?" he asked as he entered the bower.

"My name is Cara," the maiden said. "I thought you should know that Oran has gone to Dooros Forest to meet with the fae beyond the river. He also took some of our berries with him. If the king finds out, there will be in great trouble."

A soft groan escaped Turlough's lips. Fae berries had powerful magic outside the fairy realm and it was forbidden to take them into the mortal world. As beautiful and magical as Dooros Forest was, it was also outside the fae borders. The forest bisected the kingdom and that of the kingdom beyond the river. Consequently it was a popular meeting place for fae from either side to gather.

Oran had several friends from beyond the river, but none of them were so foolish as to risk bringing berries themselves. Only his egotistic brother would dare defy a king. "Thank you." He nodded and gave a quick bow to Cara. "I'll go after him."

Cara rested her hand on his forearm. "Someone needs to speak to him. He takes these risks because your family is liked, respected, and well-placed at the royal court. Everyone knows you put things right for him. However, whispers have reached the king's ear that Oran thinks himself above even royal decrees. Should he trip, his fall will be great."

"I see." Turlough glanced down at the hand on his arm.

"I have been a friend to Oran, but it was with a hope that I may get to know you better. I am distancing myself from Oran for my own safety. However, I thought to be bold enough to see if you may be interested in me?" Cara looked hopefully, and kept her hand on Turlough's arm.

Turlough smiled sadly, and shook his head. He wasn't interested in female fae as anything other than friends, and he'd had but few dalliances with male fae. He knew he was a hopeless romantic, but he hoped to meet a true soul mate. He was young enough to wait a while before looking seriously to settle down.

So far the mating instinct had remained elusive. He appreciated an attractive male, and had kissed and touched, but nothing more.

The disappointment was too clear to see in Cara's eyes, and she removed her hand. "Do you consider me beneath you?" her tone suddenly sharp, and accusing.

"Not at all," Turlough said, keeping his voice soft. "I have no interest in anyone's status. I have friends in and out of the king's court. I'm just not interested in a girlfriend at this time."

A frown darkened Cara's face, and she walked stiffly away. Turlough shook his head as he watched her for a moment or two. Then he hurried to where his audience remained waiting for him. "I'm sorry. I have to leave. There is something I have to deal with. I'll be back later. Don't forget to practice."