Something to Believe in: Council Courtship
When I sat down to write Council Courtship, I didn’t conceive a story that would be so focused on convictions. In fact, I was set to write a story that would highlight the differences between the fairy world I had developed and the human world as we all know it. It was only when I started to enumerate those differences did the plot show itself to me.
Because the world that Tristan and Quinn come from is reminiscent of earthly places in recent history, it was easy for me to see how restless the young people would be. Some of this groundwork had been laid in Fairyproof – Monique fled the fairyworld (The Realm) to avoid an arranged marriage.
Freedom to choose her own mate is one of the things Quinn is longing for too, but for her it goes deeper than that.
These is also a caste system (of sorts) on the realm. Each family – or house – has a standing in society, and Tristan has learned just how far the mighty can fall. The same set of laws that are holding him down now also provide him the opportunity to make changes.
Like a true hero, he wants change not only for himself, but for all that would be denied freedoms by the Council.
Of course, in a romance this hero and heroine will see something in each other. That romance will bind them, in pursuit of their goal. For these two, they hunger for more than the goal of political freedoms. What they desire is for someone to believe in them –
When Tristan Ipsly becomes eligible to fill a vacated Council seat, he thinks his chances are non-existent. Especially since he is the sole member to a house the fell to the revolution and his contender Edwin Vettore is an elder from a house that adheres to Canon teachings.
If fairykind has a chance at survival, it will come on Tristan’s wings of change. Or so Quinn Vettore believes. But voicing her support for Tristan will anger her grandfather, and he’s the one man who can stand in the way of a courtship between Quinn and Tristan.
Will Edwin successfully keep both Quinn and the position out Tristan’s grasp, or will the Council yield to change?
From his chosen perch high on the steps to Council Hall, Tristan took another bite of the round, red fruit he’d purchased earlier in the day and then wiped away the sweet juice that escaped down his chin.
Though there was more traffic milling around the square and marketplace than he’d seen in many cycles of the moon, it felt empty compared to a few short seasons ago.
Fairykind was on the brink of extinction, and he knew that issue alone was the most important one on everyone’s mind.
He had answers. Real solutions. If only they’d give him a chance.
As he scanned the crowd, his gaze zeroed in on Quinn as she entered the square side by side with Edwin.
Tristan took another bite of the primson, hoping to satisfy the hunger no food could sate. He tried to tear his stare from her, but his lust would not be denied. He found himself looking at her again.
If Tristan believed Edwin would allow him Quinn’s company at the festivities, he was a fool. Nor would Edwin ever let a near outcast bind with a Vettore. Clean and pure bloodlines: that was what most elders still longed for.
Funny how it was the message behind Eero’s revolution and the sin for which his house had been punished.
Midway across the square, Edwin turned to Quinn and appeared to say his goodbyes before separating and continuing toward the hall. He climbed the steps but breezed by Tristan without even acknowledging him.
Turning back, Tristan hoped for one lingering look at Quinn. Her gaze was fixated on the hall behind him. After a moment, her focus zeroed in on him and she approached.
His palms began to sweat and he rubbed them against the light fabric of his pants. She couldn’t be seeking him out. Yet she stopped in front of him, blocking the warmth of the sun and casting a shadow.
“Tristan Ipsly, I should be angry at you.”
“What did I do now?” The sharp, defensive tone was habitual, so many included him in his family’s crimes. Still, it was more than what this situation called for and he regretted it.
She laughed as she sat down next to him, nudging his knee with hers. “You didn’t buy that primson in my family’s shop. It’s the only food we don’t grow.”
Her laughter tickled his ear and the tightness in his shoulders eased. “You caught me!”
He bit the last bit of flesh from the pit and then held it up and twisted it in his fingers. “I only bought it for the seed. I can’t figure out why I haven’t been able to successfully grow one.”
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