Magic and Mayhem Part I

Magic and Mayhem Part II

The council was well under way when Mariana ambled in following Uriel. Nothing of note was to be discussed today, so she wondered why her father had insisted she attend. It was her custom to hold court at his side, but she had other matters today. Her preparations for Amara’s birthday surprise weren’t yet finished and Uriel had rudely interrupted her plans.

“Mariana, we thank you for your presence. I wanted your opinion regarding Amara’s present,” he said when she approached the dais. Her curtsey was correct to the point of rudeness. Of late she had been distant and deflective. He hoped seeking her out would warm her to him, but her feelings had yet to thaw. Since her mother’s departure he felt her feelings towards him change and not for the better.

“Father, I’m sure your choice is best,” she replied looking at him yet through him. Lately she’d been oddly deferential. Uriel had pointed it out and he had to agree. With Amara turning thirteen, he realized he had little time left. This was the birthday when they all his girls turned on him. At first he wondered if it was the change from child to woman that made them aloof from their father, but now he wasn’t so sure. At the heart of it, he feared his eldest was to blame and he meant to correct it before it was too late for Amara.

“Well, I’ve decided to take Amara away on a progress of the kingdom. She has such an adventurous spirit I feel the trip will be a welcome delight. What say you to that?” asked the king. Searching her face he found no reaction, but her cool manner reminded him of her mother, the queen. He awaited the argument that would ensue.

“I wonder that you never offered any of my sisters the same opportunity, but I would ask that you waited until tomorrow so I might give her my gift before you leave. She might have use of it on her journey,” she said with the same cool restraint. Only a momentary widening of the eyes alerted Uriel to her displeasure. The king, on the other hand, was grateful for her quiet submissiveness.

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