Her Unseelie Majesty warned against the addictive nature of fae blood. Or maybe she meant high fae blood, since I have had supposedly fae blood before from Borris, and didn’t seem to get addicted to that. I do find myself getting addicted to a very sweet fae-in-training by the name of Gwyn. Lord knows, I’ve had women enough in my time, but most of those times were straightforward assignations for mutual pleasure or commercial transactions. Lovers, as I wrote only recently, have been fewer, but not so few as to make me inexperienced. And yet, now, with this tiny slip of a girl, I find myself feeling a young and clumsy as I was that first time that Alexandra and I realised that we were more than distant cousins. Perhaps that is a reflection of her innocence and inexperience, so I try not to show it. That is why I am so cautious, even as the desire that exists between us continues to grow. I do not know how things are done in her time, but I am willing to let her decide the pace, difficult though it is sometimes, especially when we are together in the waterfall cave.
I found her there, dabbling her feet in the water and joked about her being a faerie in a faerie grotto. She told me it was her “happy place”, which seemed fair enough, so I told her that since she was in it, it must be a happy place. Yes, I know, Mr Smooth Talker. I joined her in dabbling my feet in the water and we cuddled for a while. She liked it when I was running my fingers up and down her back. In fact, she told me I could stop doing that at the heat death of the universe. That made me laugh. I had read of this concept – something to do with the science of thermodynamics and everything drifting to some low temperature. I complained that I doubted my fingers would last that long, but it was nice to be complimented.
She told me she had met another changeling by the name of Tegan, from Africa, apparently, and, more excitingly for Gwyn, from the same era. It seemed that this Tegan was active in trying to save the rhinoceros, which is an endangered species in her time. I can well believe it, given how many rich idiots there were in my day whose idea of fun was travelling to exotic places to kill the local wildlife. Among this Tegan’s skills is the ability to shoot fish with a bow and arrow. I was quite impressed with that, given how hard it is to aim at things in water, what with the light bending and such like.
Conversation was somewhat erratic, being a little wrapped up in each other; until Gwyn pointed out that we were liable to be interrupted. We tried to decide what we should do. I felt my task for the Queen was done, since Rachel had blurted out the identity of the arsonist to one and all. Gwyn suggested we get a drink and then fathom out the fate of the universe. Well, the latter was easy, since we had already decided that was heat death, so that left getting a drink.
Down at the main cavern, we found Aoibheann with a handsome African woman, who turned out to be the aforementioned Tegan, apparently engaged in making new clothing for Aoibheann. The sight of Aoibheann in trousers was enough to stop me in my tracks, though I had to admit, she did look rather fetching in them. I am not sure what the conversation was about, but when we came in, it did seem to be about destroying mountains. I ascertained that this was not the trees at it again, which much relieved my mind. Rather, it was about the exploitation of minerals by miners. I introduced myself to Tegan in my usual gentlemanly manner and complimented her on her skills. There was something odd about her – her mannerisms, the way she spoke; they were almost identical to that Ravnos, Nadya, in a way that was quite disturbing. I might have suspected trickery, but the skin and hair looked natural and she gave no indication of knowing me. Besides, she appeared to breathe, which talent I had not noticed in Nadya.
Mead was dispensed. Aoibheann, clearly not used to her new apparel, looked like she had a lot on her mind, possibly as a result of her conversation with Nadya and took her mead off into the caverns. Tegan told us about working on a wildlife preserve in Africa, preventing poachers from killing rhinos and such like. Eventually, she departed, looking for a bed in the village where the castle used to be and Gwyn and I took a walk, blessedly free from interruptions, sluagh, ravens and such like. That in itself, these days, is an event worth recording.