The Spring Court

an excerpt



Chapter One

"Willie, we must hurry," Boyd Adamson said, hopping up and down frantically. "We have to tell the king what we've found."

Willie West was the calmer of the two scientists. They had just discovered something important, but Willie thought they shouldn't let the entire kingdom know until they had thought things out. But he did agree that they should let the king know what was occurring.

Boyd took off out of the lab.

Willie had no choice but to follow. The science building where they worked was empty. It was still very early in Sela and most of its inhabitants were still asleep. Of course, they could have used their magic to get them to the palace faster, but King Owen Bishop didn't like fae just popping in on him unannounced.

Sela did closely resemble Earth. There were farms and houses, mountains and bodies of water. Sela also had a sun and a moon. At night, the skies were filled with millions of brightly twinkling stars. Fireflies woke up and lit a traveler's way.

Willie and Boyd finally arrived at the mound. It was cloaked by magic to keep demons out. The mound automatically recognized those who were supposed to be there and would open and allow them to enter. They made it inside. Their bodies had shrunk to the size of a butterfly. their clothing magically did too. Since most of the mound was located beneath the earth it was impossible for them to retain their human forms. Willie didn't mind. He wasn't a human and he liked his wings. Being inside the mound was like being in another world.

The white-bricked palace appeared. Boyd and Willie flew to the entrance then landed on their feet at the doors. It opened once it recognized them. Had either of them been carrying weapons of any kind they would have been forcibly tossed out.

They passed a group of Floral Fairies on their way to work. The sun wasn't up yet, but it would be shortly. It was the Floral Fairies' job to dance and make the flowers and crops grow. They were singing merrily. The leader, Clover Green, had a rich bass voice. He had long blond hair and tri-colored green eyes. The youngest in the group, Lachlan Craig, was not only gifted with song, but he was also a talented dancer. The lad was an extremely handsome, green-eyed blond. He came from a very prestigious family. His father was Rory Craig, a good friend and council to the king. The Floral Fairies were King Owen's favorites because they were a very rare breed. All ten of them were male but were capable of becoming pregnant. They had both male and female genitals and could shift from one sex to the other depending on the mood. Lachlan was the last Floral Fairy born in the last one-hundred and twenty-one years. They all bowed to the scientists.

Willie and Boyd traveled deeper into the palace where the walls had been recently painted a warm pastel green. There were lots of doors that led to the private rooms of the reigning monarchs and their kids. Besides the currently king, three Grand Dukes and their families also resided inside the building. Each had his or her own suite for privacy. They hurried past them and other closed-door rooms. Most of the habitants were probably still asleep. There was still a lot of activity going on despite the early morning hours Willie discovered. Workers were cleaning and preparing the palace for its daily guests. He and Boyd wanted to talk to the king before all the tomfoolery began.

Willie and Boyd were stopped just outside the throne room. Two black clad soldiers guarded the doors.

"We have to see the king," Boyd said to them.

"He is with his councilors," one guard replied.

"This is important," Willie said. "It's a matter of life and death. Please announce us."

One guard left but returned shortly. "His majesty will see you."

He and Boyd entered.

The king looked up. Seated at a conference table, surrounding him were his three Grand Dukes, Emory Murray, Rory Craig and George Flowers. Each man, like the king, was dressed in dark purple and white. The king's outfit had a gold sash and a crown to set him apart from the other men. King Owen was a handsome fellow, with shoulder-length blond hair and blue eyes. He sported a well-maintained mustache and beard. Owen was a big guy, tall with a muscular build.

"Begging your pardon, your majesty, but Willie and I have something important to tell you."

"Come on in, fellows," King Owen said.

The two scientists bowed to the Grand Dukes.

"What do you have to tell me?"

"The mound is dying," Boyd blurted out before Willie could stop him.

All three dukes looked at him oddly. "What are you talking about?" Emory Murray asked. He served as the minister of defense.

"Allow us to demonstrate," Willie said. Charts magically appeared. "The population of the Seelie Kingdom is diminishing at an alarming rate because no babies have been born in quite a long time." A hundred years ago King Owen had put a ban on dating and mating because Seelie was at the time, overpopulated and the young were mating like bunnies, putting a strain on the mound. There was also a huge inbreeding problem. Fairies from the Winter Court were sleeping with fairies from the Spring Court, not giving a care if they were related or not. That was a dark time in Seelie, and Willie understood why the king he'd done what he done. But now the elderly were dying due to the natural order of things and there were no young to replace them.

Owen stood to look over the charts. "So, you think I should lift the ban?"

"That is entirely up to you, Your Majesty," Boyd said.

Owen went back to his seat. "What do you fellows think?"

"It might be nice to bounce a baby on my knee," George said. George was married to Tess and they had a son named Bryan. Bryan was still single and had not married before the ban.

Emory Murray agreed. He was married to Anne and they had a son named Adair. He was also single and needed a proper mate.

"What about you, Rory? Would you fancy some grandchildren?" Rory had been quite the ladies' man before marrying Anne's twin sister, Anise. She and Rory were the parents of three sons, Shamus, Shane and Lachlan.

"It might be nice. I mean, if that's what you wish."

"Of course, you must set some rules before you make the announcement," Boyd said. "One of the biggest is that there will be no dating between the two kingdoms."

"Yes, that's why I had to put the ban on in the first place."

"What about the Floral Fairies?" George asked.

"What about them?" the king asked.

"Are you going to allow them to date too?"

"Only those of royal blood can date one of my fancies," Owen said.

"You mean only a prince or a princess," Emory said.

"Yes," Owen replied. "So, the sensible thing for me to do is lift the ban. If not, my bloodline will die with Evan."

Evan was Owen's only son. Though he had married before the ban, he and his wife Faith had only managed to have two daughters.

"Maybe it's time for him to take a second wife," Emory suggested.

Owen chuckled weakly. "Maybe."

"There's still your two youngest nephews, Beau and Camden," Rory said.

Willie tried not to smile. The last time he checked, both of them played for the other team.

Owen coughed and cleared his throat. Boyd had forgotten that the king could read minds. "They still do. Okay, I will lift the ban to include the Floral Fairies since everyone should have a chance to find love and father children." He sighed. "Even my godson, Lachlan."

"Thank you, Your Majesty," Rory said.

"It seemed like only yesterday I bounced Lachlan on my knee. It's hard to believe a hundred years have passed." Owen paused. "Send for the royal messengers. We have to summon everyone home."

****

"Demon at twelve o'clock," Camden Bishop shouted to Michael, the leader of the Lord's Elite Warriors.

Michael raised his fiery weapon and made short work of the black-haired demon who was trying to score major brownie points with Satan for hurting the Archangel. Fortunately, Michael's weapon was bigger than the demon's, and he sent him falling toward Hell. Like angels, demons were hard to kill.

Crime was on a rampage in the real world and most of it was caused by the sudden emergence of demons from Hell. Since Satan had put a bounty on the head of a cupid angel named Jaelyn Embers, the Archangels were kept very busy protecting the human world.

The warriors were in Paris, France. At the moment none of them could be seen by the naked eye, but the sky was ablaze in a light show to rival the one at the Eiffel Tower. A demon headed toward Camden. Camden took him out easily with his magical sword. The fighting went on for several hours until they chased the demons off. The warriors headed back to the Neutral Zone...the place between Heaven and Earth where the angels and the fairies visited after a hard day's work. They ended up at The Cloud where the older angels liked to hang out. The young angels partied at Club Heaven. They magically changed out of their warrior outfits back into something comfortable. The Archangels-Michael, Gabriel and Raphael-donned their white robes. Camden and most of the guys in his platoon settled for human attire. A waiter appeared and Michael ordered ambrosia for everyone.

Ambrosia was the only thing angels could drink. It had a tropical taste like coconut, cherries and pineapple. Camden liked the taste of it too. It was served cold, over ice. Ambrosia was a delightful treat and just what he needed after fighting a bunch of monsters.

Camden was just chilling and talking to his best friend, Adair Murray, when a male fairy with bright red hair and green eyes appeared. Camden checked him out. "Hi Ryes, what are you doing here?"

"Your uncle sent me with a message," the gorgeous fairy said after he bowed respectfully.

Adair sat up straight in his chair. "Is something wrong? My father isn't ill, is he?"

The fairy checked Adair out. "Not that I know of. No."

Camden and Ryes had dated once or maybe twice many years ago. If memory served him right the other fairy was quite decent in the sack. Camden wondered why he hadn't continued dating him. Oh, now he remembered. His uncle put an end to it. "What's the message?"

"Come home," Ryes answered.

"Why?" Camden asked.

"He's about to make some big announcement and he wants all you mound deserters to come home to hear it."

The nickname didn't insult Camden.

"What's so important?" Adair asked.

Ryes shrugged. "I think I'm going to find out when you guys come home. He's sent for Beau too."

Beau was Camden's older brother. Last thing he'd heard Beau was working as a doctor in the North Pole. "I just can't leave. I'm here doing the Lord's work."

"The Lord can give you a couple of days off," Michael said to Camden. "When was the last time you guys went back to the mound?"

Adair shrugged. "Never."

"That's too long," Michael said. Michael closed his eyes. He only did when he communicated with the Lord. He opened them again. "The Lord said you have served him well. Now go home for a short visit."

Adair, Camden and Ryes shrunk down to their normal size and left the Neutral Zone.