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Chapter Sixteen

"Bill I would like to have a party when they all come." He was fine with my idea and let me take charge. I cut boughs and decorated, filling the place with pine, berries, and candles. Bill, the magician, summoned a cook from the village and soon the cupboards were laden with foods of every kind. Lots of sweets for Gammy. I was a little nervous because Amar was coming. Even though he wasn't bringing his girlfriend this time, I knew to see him and being around him again was going to be awkward. I still loved him, just differently.

"Belinda" Bill said, "time to open the message from the High King." I looked at him and despite myself felt very nervous. I glanced up and standing before me was the High King! I was speechless. I tried to ask respectfully where he had come from but the words stuck in my throat. Then I saw Bill's clothes on the floor. "You mean?" and I finally understood. "Yes, Belinda" he nodded. "I have been disguised as many things." Still bewildered I stammered. "But in Paris? You were in the car with Amar and I was talking to you?"

"I am the High King, my dear. I know a bit of magic, love." Suddenly self-conscious, I knelt before him. My cheeks flamed with the familiarity with which I had spoken to and the casualness I had shown this man, even allowing him to wait on me.

Ashamed I cried. "Oh Your Majesty, I am so sorry!" At this, the High King roared, "You were much less concerned when you were a little fae. No matter Belinda. This is a conference of the Highest Council. I want you to sit in your Father's chair." I blushed, "But sir, I can't…" He quickly cut me off. "You can and you will. I know you and I trust you. Now go get ready, this is the time I have waited for, stop being foolish."

I have always loved getting dressed up. I have the most beautiful dress that I had been saving for a special occasion. It was all glitter and color. I had tried it on many times and each time I had believed I looked like a beautiful princess. But this time as I stood before my mirror instead of the dress making me feel like a princess, it made me feel silly and frivolous, as if I were a young fae playing dress-up.

I stripped down and changed into the simplest of gowns. No glitter. Soft ivory and pearls, simple lines. Hair up. Simplicity makes the most powerful statement. Gammy and Mr. Blienkins, Professor Metzger, Delilah, Conner, Jacob and Milika, Herman and Lily, and Amar were all staying with them. We rode to the hall rented by the High King for the evening.

I was given the honor of announcing the High King. I gazed over all the beings in the room. Eyes locked with adoration and connection, one after another. Some I hadn't seen since I was tiny. Beautiful creatures. A beautiful high voice began singing the chants of the Faeries. It was Jacob, his voice matching his presence. Angelic tones bounced through the attendees. He now drew crowds with his gift that sang out his story. Blessed babe, I glanced and saw Connor filled with parental pride and flushed as he looked at me. Milikah ran up to me and threw hIS arms around me. He was still a big baby, and I couldn't get enough of snuggling, kissing and hugging him. I hugged Jacob tightly and then went to embrace the others in the room.

Lastly, I went to Amar, who with his usual grace complimented me. "I'll always love and treasure you, Amar, you were my first love" I told him feeling some regret. "Belinda, it is for the best. You are right. I love you as well. Now let's be the best dancers on the floor." So we opened with a dance.

Laughing and shining I walked to the front of the room. "Hello lovelies, I am so happy to see all of you. I want to spend hours finding out what you all have learned and accomplished, but we are here tonight for another purpose. It has been 900 years since our clan disbanded. There is much to share but," as Jacob's high voice began to sing, I turned and whispered loudly "let us greet none other than our High King with the love and reverence he deserves!" Jacob sang, I made a deep curtsy and the High King in his full regal dress entered and started down the stairs.

There was a deep silence and then many of the fae began to sob. The elves applauded wildly jumping up and down. The tree and water spirits wept with joy and the Wind spirits danced in beautifully colored swirls. There was light, joy and such rejoicing. Gammy walked behind the High King resplendent in emerald green velvet. Mr. Bleinkins shone with pride as he accompanied his bride of centuries.

From the alcoves I heard a guitar and another voice, strong and gentle, singing of reunion, joy and perseverance. "Krien" I cried and ran up and hugged him. "I want you to meet everyone! You already know Delilah and Gammy, Belinda, Mr. Blienkins, too. Please come meet Amar, Conner, Milika and Jacob." I was so happy introducing him to everyone.

The festivities continued for hours. There was joy and sadness. Some had not made it, some were dead but there was much happiness at discovering old friends and family who were alive.

We danced, sang, hugged and wept. Krien walked past me saying "why are you avoiding Jacob's father? I could feel myself blushing and denying it. "How would you know, you are busy with every pretty faery and elf in sight." I teased. Krien laughed. "You can dish it out Belinda, but you still can't take it!" He grinned at me and blowing an annoying kiss he disappeared into the jubilant crowd.

As if on cue, Krien began to play my favorite song. As my eyes filled with tears, I went to Jacob and Milika and asked them to dance. The three of us took over the entire dance floor as Krien sang of Dakah, her beauty, her love, and her courage.

There was silence as we finished. The King spoke. "My Beloved ones, we will have schooling all next week about our next steps. Let us end this evening and silently retreat into the night in memory of those who can no longer join us. There isn't one I don't miss."

A parade of creatures of all sizes and colors walked in silence through the snow under a starry night. There was a hush, it was as though the last 900 years had never passed. Quietly we went to our beds.

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