The Family Stone (Chapter 11)

A different kind of darkness, more potent, swallowed the area behind Alex. Alex is running as fast as her legs can take her. She cannot feel anymore of the pain she was experiencing earlier. Perhaps the adrenaline that is surging through her body is helping her move. She cannot hear or feel anyone or anything following her but it doesn’t mean she can stop running. She sees a large gate ahead and she somehow manages to run even faster. She takes out her book to look up the word to open the gate. Just as she finds the word, she falls into a hole on the ground. It happened so quickly that if you blinked, you would have missed it and not see the hole she fell into.
She falls through a deep hole, screaming as she passes each level. She panics as she sees the ground. Suddenly, she starts to levitate. Alex felt relieved for a moment. She looks around her cautiously, darting looks at the dark corners around her.
‘Domina,’ Teg appears out of nowhere. ‘I apologize for the..er, unexpected guests.’
Alex didn’t realize that she was crying until she heard herself sobbing. ‘You have no idea how happy I am to see you Teg. I thought they were going to find us. I thought they were going to take Boon away. I thought I was going to die….my parents! My God, Teg, they told me about my parents and my friends. We have to go back for them.’ Alex is in hysterics. Teg keeps his flying distance so she will not accidently tear off his wings. He hates the fact that only she can see her wings. He knows this but she won’t say it. He saw her giggling about it one time. He got his mother’s wings. He can’t choose what he was born with. ‘Teg please….’
 ‘Domina, I have to do this…and I am sorry,’ Alex stops and she felt Teg’s shoeprint slap across her cheek.
‘Ow, what the flying eff???….’ Alex yelps as she holds her sore cheek. ‘Oh god, I’m sorry Teg. I was hysterical. I panicked.’ Alex is ashamed of her outburst but it did not stop her from worrying.
‘Domina, pardon me for doing that.’ Teg bows to her. ‘You hair was catching fire, and I don’t think I know how your magia works just yet.’
‘My hair???’ Alex smells something burning and she quickly grabbed a lump of her hair. It was burnt alright, but it was going back to its original state. There are too many things she did not know. No manual, just patience and baby steps. Remember baby steps, she assures herself as she watches her hair injected back with life.
‘Domina. I am feeling better now.’ Boon interrupts. ‘Please command me.’
 ‘Uhh. Teg, Boon says he’s okay now – how do I?’ Just as she thought of asking Boon to come out of the stone, he stood right next to her, which gave her a fright.’
‘Can you NOT do that?!’
‘Apologies Domina!’ Boon bows to her.
Teg flies in front of her face, distracting her. ‘Domina. Your parents are safe and so are your friends.’
‘How can you be sure of this??’
‘While you both were recovering, I went to investigate your parents’ flat. Your aunt Hera helped them choose that flat. That building is spell locked. What it basically means is that nothing magical will find them. Even your parents are spell locked.’
‘Who did that for them? Why wasn’t I included?’ Her voice traces a bit of hurt.
‘I cannot be certain but what I know is that only someone very powerful can cast a spell lock.’ Teg confesses.
‘What about my friends?’
‘They have a minor spell on them, making them seem like ordinary farm animals to magical things and creatures. I am quite surprised by all of this too.’
‘Well, I think knowing that is enough for me.’ Alex looks up at where they fell. She can hear the same thud she heard before.
‘We have to get out of here,’ Boon tells them. Alex sees Boon was looking up as well. She can feel that he’s feeling better and she feels relieved. Boon looks at her, surprised, which caught Alex off guard.
‘What?’ she asks him, defensive.
‘Nothing Domina,’ he says, looking down on the ground. ‘It’s best that we go, Teg.’
‘I have the safest place to go,’ he tells them as he pulls out the doorknob from his bag. He stabs the doorknob onto the wall and turns the knob twice to the left, once to the right and he pulls. A large gate forms onto the wall and the door opens before them. Just as they go through the door, he adds, ‘And also the most dangerous.’
The light of the end of the tunnel – Alex never really likes that phrase. She feels that it implies possible death. She’s surprised she’s even thinking about such things. She wonders if any of Boon’s attitude and outlook rubs off on her if they are bound together. She looks at Boon and he’s pretending not to notice her. Just as she is about to say something, Alex notice they are out of the passageway. Alex gasps.
She has never seen anything so magnificently beautiful.
They found themselves in between two hills and a lake runs through it. Alex felt so much peace. The ambience is completely different. She can hear music, soft and sweet which went together with the cool breeze. As they get closer to the lake, a head appears surfacing the lake.
Alex stared at the figure in silent. She’s never seen anything so beautiful.
‘Halt…it is not May- day…You have to understand that it is best not to walk our paths for it is dangerous for a mortal. What brings you to Tylwyth Teg?’ she sounds like she is singing, Alex thought. She can listen to her sing all day.
‘I am coming home, Haf. I am with Boon the Libra and his Domina, Alexandria – her ancestor is Stēlla.
‘Perhaps you should not have come home, Teg,’ she says sadly. Your head is up for bounty once again and you won’t be as fortunate.’
‘I will take my chances, Hef. You must not dare forget what Domina Stēlla did for our people.’
‘It never left my mind,’ Hef opens another door on a rocky wall to their left. ‘Domina Alexandria, your ancestor and you seem to have been made in the same mould by the Gods. No wonder your Libra is so devoted,’ she teases and sinks slowly back into the water.
Alex can’t believe a fairy just teased her and she has a blushing Boon on her side. Don’t think, don’t think, she tells herself.
‘Don’t think what, Domina?’ Boon says confused.
‘Nothing, nothing – let’s go,’ she points to the rocky door.
They had to pass another passage but a shorter one. As they came out of the passage, a group of warriors had them surrounded. They instinctively put up their hands.
‘We come in peace, my people. I bring you…’
‘Yes, I already know, Teg,’ a voice booms from behind the warriors.
A tall man with a blackened face and long luscious curly hair walks in between the warriors. Teg bows down and Boon respectfully bowed his head. Alex remained still, just watching what was happening. She thought even the warriors were so good-looking. Why is this not possible in her world, she thought.
‘Domina,’ the warrior takes her hand and brought it to his lips. ‘You are not Domina Stēlla but even you are able to tug on my heart strings, which is rare, especially with that beautiful hair of yours. You radiate beauty.’ Alex was at loss for words. No one talks like that anymore.
‘Allow me to introduce myself; Gwyn Ap Nudd, king of the Tylwyth Teg and ruler of the Otherworld, Annwn,’ he bows deeply. ‘Welcome to my Kingdom.’

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