When I got back to Ashmourne, I was still feeling high, like I was still on that rooftop in New York. My afternoon was lost in a blur of the East Village and shopping and learning a little bit about what I can and can’t do with this new ability I have. I’m still not sure what it means to be bound to a goddess, but I am just as sure that’s something that can only be revealed over time.
I raced across the village green, a funny name for something that is full of mist and roses, and into the castle, because I had to give the bracelet to Nathaniel, and I didn’t care who was there.
I didn’t even worry about the anachronistic shopping bag. As it turned out, a fae called Faith whom I’d met for only a few moments at the tavern a while back was there, having a conversation with Nathaniel about being introduced to Her Unseelie Majesty. At least I now know what her name is, but I will admit I wasn’t very welcoming– I was too excited, and still completely high from my adventure with Isabella.
Faith left quickly after I arrived. She seems very deferential, which I guess is a good quality to have in some places. I still don’t feel like I got a chance to learn very much about her. And I guess with all that’s happening I’m not really optimistic about getting to know people.
I must have looked like an idiot, babbling on and on about this gift I’d found for Nathaniel. Once Faith left (I hope not because there was an overexcited seelie in the drawing room!), I badgered him until he opened the bag and the box right there.
I think he liked it. He said he’d have to start wearing shirts that showed his arms more so he could show it off. He asked where I’d got it and I told him I’d been on an adventure with Isabella. I was just about to spill the whole thing when I noticed Galyanna sitting still as a tombstone at the bottom of the stairs.
I asked what was going on, and she said she was just waiting for business to conclude upstairs. Nathaniel clarified by explaining that Vedis was in with Lord Maric. I guess they still have some details to work out regarding their agreement. I wonder if Nathaniel will make any headway with Nemaine for the opposite possibility: participating in an angel-vs-demon battle in order to win some tenuous safety sounds like a recipe for annihilation to me, but it’s not my decision to make. And besides, I can come and go among realms as I please now (well, with a few restrictions).
But enough about wars and annihilation: the bracelet is made of leather, with two anchors holding the bits of leather together. They were so cheap! I think the artisan was from somewhere in South America, so I don’t know why he was making things with anchors, but I bought four of them: two for each of us in blue and black. Colour matching is important, you know. God, that sounded empty-headed, but I suppose I’m allowed. Or as I said to one of the fae ladies at the sithen this morning when she criticised my tunic: “I’m the fucking princess. I will wear whatever I want.” I’m still giggly from the whole experience, I can tell. I’ll sober up eventually. Or maybe I won’t: maybe I’ll just wander around in a giddy haze for the rest of my days, doing goddess-knows-what for Isabella and taking Nathaniel to tea at the Ritz on a whim.
Nathaniel and I took leave of the castle soon after he’d opened the gift. He made apologies to Galyanna, who shooed us out the door and said such moments were precious and we should take them while we could.
I won’t tell you how he thanked me for the bracelet when I told him how and where I’d got it. I’m the fucking princess, after all, and my affairs are solemn and private. Shyeah, right.