“You must be the famous Star I’ve heard so much about!” announced a rotund man that answered the door. He was a lightly-skinned human with dark hair. He had a finely cropped goatee that ended in a tight braid. He had a broad smile on his face that did not look natural.
“I wouldn’t say famous. . . “ I began. I was only 15 at the time.
“You must be Davan,” my mom said.
“Oh, and you must be Asha Alistar, the storied adventurer,” Davan called at her. He had a way of performing everything he said, like a circus ringleader.
“Yes, I’m Asha. Is Kianna around?” My mom asked.
“Yes, yes. Please, make yourselves at home. I’ll go fetch your new adventuring party,” Davan said to me. My new adventuring party? I thought I was getting dropped off with a wizard to learn how to control my Chosen One powers.
Davan led us into a modest dining room. There was a moderately-sized table with one large chair at the head and a variety of smaller mismatched chairs along the edges. My mom ushered me to one of the smaller chairs. I found myself sitting on a stool that had at one point been cushioned. It wasn’t exactly comfortable. My mom sat at the other end of the table, clearly trying to establish a power dynamic with our host.
“Let me do the talking, Star,” she said.
“I’m not even sure what we’re doing here anymore. What did he say about an adventuring party?” I asked.
“That’s what I’m talking about. If he is trying to put you on a team, this is my world. I trust that Kianna can help you, but I’ve never met this Davan person before. I want to make sure you’re taken care of,” she explained.
I still wasn’t really sure what we going on. I just awkwardly looked around the room. To say it was sparsely decorated would be an understatement. It didn’t really look like anyone lived here, at least not regularly. This seemed more like a meeting room.
It only took about five minutes for Davan to come striding back into the room with an elven woman dressed in all pink and a darker-skinned human man dressed mostly in leathers. He had an armored leather vest on and then I stopped looking at his clothes. His arms were exposed and they were incredibly toned. As I’d mentioned, I had just started puberty and let’s just say that these magical powers weren’t the only changes I had noticed. I had noticed that my eyes started to linger on certain men and women. Then my mind would start thinking about things I could do with them and I couldn’t think about anything else. It was really distracting, but I didn’t actually mind it.
Davan took a seat in the large chair at the head of the table and I noticed my mother sit up a little straighter. The two newcomers sat across from me. The man I had begun staring at sat across from me. Maybe this meeting wouldn’t be so boring afterall.
“Of course, you know Kianna,” Davan said, gesturing to the woman dressed in pink. “She is a very talented wizard and working on the practical part of her degree from Arcana University.”
“Hi Asha!” Kianna said, excitedly waving towards my mom. “It is great to finally meet you, Star! I’m excited to study. . . uh . . . help you.”
I nodded in her direction. My eyes began to drift back to the man.
“And this is Therin,” Davan said. “Therin is also finishing up a degree from Arcana University. He’s a prince or something from the northern Anglechel wilds. He doesn’t talk much about his family, but he is certainly handy with that sword of his.”
Since Davan was introducing Therin to us, I allowed myself to look at him. His face made me as excited as his arms. He skin was the color of the ocean during sunrise. It was like I could see the sun reflected off of his surface. He had high cheekbones and broad lips. His facial hair had just started to come into its own, but it wasn’t quite bushy yet. It gave his face a nice shape. He had long, dark hair. As dark as a raven’s feathers. He had two braids framing his forehead that wove around to the back of his head. I found myself wanting to run my hands through his hair.
“Surely, the boy can talk for himself. Son, what kinds of magic can you do?” Davan called in my direction. I quickly snapped my eyes away from Therin and back at Davan.
“Space, Charm and Illusion,” I listed.
“Yes, that should do quite nicely,” Davan said.
“But what sorts of things do you envision him using these powers for? What exactly?” my mom pointedly asked Davan.
Their heated conversation faded into the background and I tried to look down at my hands laying on the table. I could just catch Therin’s hands across the table from mine. His fingers looked calloused along his thumb and forefinger, the place he would hold his sword. His fingernails were finely trimmed and well-kept. A person’s personal hygiene says a lot about them. If they take the time to take care of themselves, it means they can appreciate the important things in life. My eyes were locked on the sword-worn callouses on his hands. I could perfectly picture them holding my face as I looked longingly into his eyes. As I had that thought, my eyes drifted up to see his eyes. He was looking in Davan’s direction, which gave me the opportunity to look at the color of his eyes, seering that deep brown color into my memory.
“What do you think, Star? Do you even want to do this?” My mom asked.
“Absolutely,” I said, answering my own thoughts about Therin more than her question.
“You absolutely think you can stay here with these strangers?” My mom repeated.
“What? What are you talking about?” I asked, quickly swinging my head in her direction.
“Star, can we step outside for a second,” my mom asked.
“Sure Mom, whatever you want,” I said.
She led me out the door and pulled me into a deep hug.
“You don’t have to stay here if you don’t want to. I can tell you are zoning out, like you’ve given up. This all feels weird,” she admitted to me.
“What do you mean? You said I needed to stay here with Kianna to learn to control my powers,” I said.
“I know you need to learn to control it, but you were barely even paying attention whenever we asked you anything. It was like you were in a different world. I feel bad leaving you in that condition,” she explained.
“Oh, that,” I said. She was onto me.
“What?” she inquired.
“I was staring at Therin. Remember how I said I started feeling weird things around some people. I started feeling weird things around Therin,” I admitted.
“Wait, you mean you have a crush?” She realized.
“Yeah, I couldn’t stop thinking about Therin and his pretty face and hair and hands. I kept thinking about touching his hair or him holding my face,” I explained.
My mom then gave one of the deepest laughs I’d ever heard from her.
“Star, that is totally normal. I guess you’re more like me than I realized. Star, you’re going to feel that way about a lot of people. But if you stay here, you’re going to have to work with Therin. Do you think you can do that?” She asked.
“I definitely wouldn’t mind spending more time with him,” I said.
“That’s not what I said. Do you think you can respect his space and work with him? Just like your powers, you’re going to have to learn to control these feelings too,” she said.
“Yeah, I can do that. So what was it Davan wanted me to do?” I asked.
“Star, I think you’re going to be o.k. He just wants you to play your music and be a distraction before jobs. Just think of him as your manager or agent or something. You probably won’t even notice what they’re doing and you’ll still get a cut of the job,” she explained.
“That doesn’t sound so hard,” I said.
“Yeah, and just listen to Kianna. She knows her stuff when it comes to magic and I think she can really help you,” she said.
“O.K. Mom, I’ll try. I’ll learn to control these powers,” I told her, more confidently than I felt.
“I love you honey. Just let Mommy negotiate a better deal for you before I leave,” my mom said.
“Sure thing, Mom. I’ll try to pay attention this time.
These stories serve as inspiration for the upcoming short story collection, Tyranny of the Fey. The collection will be released in Fall 2023. You can get a $1 preview now!