Will the knight find the spy who is an elemental of the air?
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Excerpt from The Sword and the Sylph:
Portia watched from the shadows of the great hall in her invisible form. She’d have much to report back to Countess Odillia now. If she were to make it back up the mountain in time to warn them of the attack, she had to leave right away.
She watched Sir Braden as he walked right past her, slowing down slightly. If she wasn’t mistaken, she saw him sniffing the air and glancing from the corners of his eyes in her direction. Then he disappeared down the hall and was followed by Lord Solomon, the captain of the guard, and Lady Christabel as well.
Portia studied the lady of the castle as the woman glided past her down the corridor. She couldn’t stop thinking of the way Sir Braden had dropped to his knee and kissed the lady’s hand. He was so gallant and chivalrous! Portia would have welcomed the kind gesture. Instead, this woman all but shunned him. Lady Christabel didn’t deserve the likes of Sir Braden. She didn’t deserve anyone for that matter.
Hurrying out to the courtyard, Portia slipped silently through the gate, heading to where she’d left her horse tied to a tree and hidden in the forest. When she was sure no one was looking, she materialized and put her foot in the stirrup to climb atop her steed. A strong arm on her shoulder and a low voice from behind her made her stop in mid-motion.
“I thought I’d find you here. Now tell me, Portia-Maer, just what is it you think you’re doing?”
She turned around to look directly into the blue eyes of Sir Braden. This time, his eyes were not dancing with excitement. Now they were clouded over and disappointment shadowed them as well.
“I demand you release me at once,” she retorted.
“I cannot do that, my little fae one. As a matter of fact, I’m going to have to take you back to Lord Solomon.”
“How do you know I’m of fae blood?” she asked suspiciously. “And why would you do such a thing as to take me to a man who would not think twice of hanging me at the crossroads to die as an example to others?”
“Oh, so it seems someone has overheard our private conversation. And you have just confirmed my suspicions that you are, indeed, the spy that’s been giving information to the Earl of Calila.”
“The earl is my father,” she told him. “I would do anything at all to help him, even if it meant my death.”
“Your father?” His fingers loosened their grip on her shoulder and he slowly brought his hand back to his waist. “Do you mean to tell me that you live at Calila Castle? Is it your family that is fighting Lord Solomon and his men?”
“’Tis not that way, not really. Now tell me, how did you know I was here if you could not see me?”
“Your scent of lilacs gives you away every time, sweetheart. And I’d venture to guess that one of your fae powers is turning invisible, is it not?”
“You’ve already seen proof of that, so why do you need to ask?”
“What else can you do? And are you called a dryad like your friend Rae-Nyst? She can command the vines and trees to do her bidding. Can you do that as well?” He looked around cautiously, his hand on his sword, as if he thought the vines of the forest were about to attack him.
“I am not a dryad, you simpleton! I am a sylph. A dryad is an elemental of the earth. I am an elemental of the air and sky.”
“I see. A sylph. Interesting title I must say.” He put his hand on his chin in thought and swept his eyes over her from head to toe. She suddenly felt very insecure and lowered her gaze to the ground under his wanton perusal.