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A Thin Line (4)
He rolled over and opened his eyes sleepily.
“Tom.” Dunell's face was right over his when he looked up and she smiled at him. “Wake up, dear one.”
Tom sat up slowly and let Dunell drag him up. Dunell hugged him hard and kissed him lightly on the forehead.
“I'm sorry I wasn't here when you fell asleep. Dea was holding me in her enclosure.”
“I told you, I watched over him for you.”
“Yes, but still…”
Inna turned away with a sigh. “Yeah, he's your human…”
“Our queen. She wants to see you.”
Inna turned back sharply and stared at Dunell. “She wants to see him already. How can she trust him?”
“Because I do.”
Inna stared at her hard and Dunell shook at fist at her, rising off the floor. Mo cofel trunlean! Lean munu!--I trust him completely! He is mine!
“Ah!” Tom fell back. The force of Dunell's raised voice rattled around inside his mind and he clutched his head, whimpering silently. Dunell knelt and hugged him close to her, stroking his back comfortingly.
“Tom, my Tom. Forgive me. I didn't mean to startle you.”
“This is what Inna meant by speaking inside my mind?”
Na.--Yes. Dunell whispered and waited until Tom relaxed again before continuing. Tu mitau uzalru, bi rual aft ufairies spuk.--You must get used to it, because this is the way the fairies speak.
“Will…will you teach it to me?”
Dea wonz siktu. Kueth--Dea will teach you. Come.
Tom took her hand and stood with her. Her wings sparkled temptingly and he hesitantly reached out toward them. Tom gently stroked one with his finger and heard Dunell hum with pleasure inside his mind.
“Dunell…” Inna gestured impatiently into the forest.
“Yes, we must go.” Tom took his hand from her wing and held it out for her to take.
“Tom…” Dunell smiled at him slyly. He shifted, suddenly uncomfortable under her gaze. “Would you like to fly?” He smiled at her and nodded vehemently.
She stretched her arms quickly up toward the sky, growing until she was her original size. Then she held out both of her hands for Tom to take. He gripped them tightly and squealed in delight as she raised him off the ground and spun him around.
“Oh, you're heavier then I thought, little one.” She switched to cradling him in her arms, then sighed and set him down.
She let go of one of his hands and gestured quickly to Inna.
“Inna?” The two stared at each other for a moment, then Inna stepped hesitantly toward them.
“Inna.” Tom took her hand and smiled up at her. She rewarded him with a surprised, but pleased smiled of her own and squeezed his hand. The two fairies winked at him and told him to hold on tight, then they kicked off from the ground.
Kueth! Kueth!--Come! Come!
Nus kueth!--We come! Inna called ahead and urged Dunell to fly faster. They entered the enclosure in a rush and landed just before Dea's throne.
Dea. The two dropped Tom gently onto his feet, curtsied deeply and knelt. Tom heard Dunell's greeting and knelt quickly beside her.
“Uh…Dea.” He pressed his face into the ground, afraid to look up.
“Tom.” A hand gripped his shoulder gently and pulled him up. He looked into the fairy queen's eyes and stiffened. Her skin was pale and radiated warmth. Her current body was one of a middle aged woman. Her hair shone golden and was set with a crown made out of the white flowers that grew around her throne. Her eyes were an icy blue and her clothes were like the other fairies, made simply of plants, yet seemed to sparkle.
“I'm pleased to meet you.”
Tom nodded and bowed his head.
“Do you wish to stay here, with Dunell and me.”
He glanced at Dunell who gave him an encouraging smile and he nodded.
“You must promise to stay here forever.”
“I promise. I want to stay here…forever.”
Dea smiled. “Then here, take a petal from this flower.” She offered him a white blossom. He gently pulled off a single petal and, not knowing what else to do, he sniffed it deeply. It smelt wonderfully sweet. Dea and Dunell stared at him expectantly. He hesitated a second longer, then he placed the petal in his mouth and swallowed it whole.
Tulft, alu fint!--There, it is done!
A cry rang out from the gathered fairies.
Tom clutched his head for a moment, staggering under the pressure of so many voices in his mind. Dunell took his hand to steady him. The voices faded and he looked up.
Turu on thus al nuw, az wonz gret ang hahnus, ezu wills.--You are one of us now, and will be granted all that we have, except for wings.
“Wings?” He hadn't expected there to be any question of whether he'd be given wings, but he felt the lose of flight as a deep pang in his chest.
Ni, nus vurui forev altoun. Nuw, spuka mlu propa.--No, they can never be yours. Now, address me properly.
Dea. Mo…Mo ujuyus!--I…I'm overjoyed! Tom knelt again before her. The gathered fairies clapped and gently gave him praise. Dunell picked him up and hugged him hard.
Nuw vil, seleba!--Now go, celebrate!
Fiddl wenalmo!--Dance with me! Dunell shrank to her nine year old form and pulled him toward the center of the enclosure. Inna and Niven came up beside them, holding hands and beaming.
Dunell patiently lead him through the steps of a complicated fairy dance. Lital, lital.--Like this, like this, the other fairies kept trying to break them apart, but Dunell hissed at them and Tom nodded politely and tried to keep up.
Finally, Dunell and Inna grabbed his hands and toted him back to his bed. He vaguely noticed that most of the fairies followed them to the enclosure and watched curiously as Dunell sang him to sleep.