Alex feels disoriented. She doesn’t move, feeling cautious. Possibly ‘paranoia’ should be the word to describe how she is feeling right now. She feels Boon wake. She makes a slow movement, tilting her head slowly to her left where she can feel Boon. He’s looking at her, shifting closer to her and holds her hand. Domina, he says, just forming the words without a voice. She hears Teg get up, mumbling. She doesn’t feel any immediate danger so she decides to get up as well, still holding on to Boon’s hand. That’s when she notices that it was very windy.

‘Are you alright?’ Teg asks her, half shouting, as disoriented as she is.

‘I am. Are you?’ she asks him with concern.

‘Still in one piece, Domina,’ he assures her, grumbling something under his breath.

‘What the hell was in that drink?’ she says as she struggles to get up as well, still holding onto Boon’s hand as he helps her get up.

‘Ack! Qweutyej Keripuj!,’ Teg shouts, spitting on the ground, ‘Pardon my language, Domina. The King likes to give that to unsuspecting subjects…if you know what I mean…’ Teg stands up and dusts himself off.

‘Wait…what….did he…did he…kiss me? Or was I already asleep and was in a dream?’ Alex felt her lips, not knowing whether to feel disgusted or even, god forbid, feel good about it. She stops her train of thought when she realizes that she is still holding Boon’s hand. ‘Right, where are we Boon?’

‘I can’t be certain, Domina,’ he admits, looking around him, still as disoriented as she is.

‘We’re in the safe passage that I asked for.’ Teg informs them. ‘It won’t last very long though, Domina. You have to decide where to go.’

‘But…I don’t know where to go.’ She looks around her. It was dark, windy and all she sees are the stars in the sky. ‘I really don’t know how to do this, Teg. Even if I have the same soul as Stēlla, I am not exactly as knowledgeable.’

Teg sighs. ‘My sincere apologies, Domina. Sometimes, I forget that you are not Stēlla.’

‘It’s quite alright. It’s not your fault.’ She lets go of Boon’s hand slowly, dusting herself as well. ‘But will the King keep his word?’

Teg looks out at the darkness. ‘Yes he will but the question is how will we ever get to Tellūs when we are on the run from Terra?’

‘I can’t believe I let him trick me like that! Ughhh! But I just wanted you to be safe…and I felt so damn confident.’ She can’t believe she can be so stupid, agreeing to do impossible feats. ‘What kind of position did you have in the kingdom, Teg?’ Alex asks curious. ‘I’ve been wondering about it since the King told us about how he will restore you to your high position.’ Teg doesn’t reply to her question. ‘I was just curious, Teg. You don’t have to tell me about it,’ she adds quickly.

‘My mother is a part of the royalty. My father is a common dwarf. He saved her from a bear when she was outside the forest, looking for herbs for her mother’s ailments. To make a long story short, they fell in love. I don’t know how but I’m sure it was beautiful. Luckily, I inherited all her talents and her wings, of all things. I believe it’s the only reason why they let her raise me as a fairy. But I have my father’s rowdiness. I am still my father’s son. So you can imagine all the sorts of trouble I get into. And not to boast or anything, it’s not so bad since the Fair Folk ladies likes me a lot,’ he chuckles.‘My father’s gone, of course. And my mother passed away just recently. She misses him every day. It’s a rare gift, love is…’he trails off and cleared his throat.

‘Right, we need to get to Tellūs. Any suggestions, Boon?’

‘I wish I could help but my privileges to seeing Tellūs and Terra directly have been taken away from me when I was branded as a traitor,’ Alex can feel Boon’s shame flooding in her mind.

‘It’s alright,’ Alex puts a hand on Boon’s back.

‘Honestly, that would be a horrible idea. I don’t think Terra would even miss a beat in taking your life,’ Teg tells Boon. ‘We need to find another way.’ Teg starts to look frustrated.

‘How does this passage work anyway? Alex looks around; she couldn’t see too far because it was too dark. ‘I don’t think we can go very far without any light.’

‘You have to think of the place,’ Teg starts to explain. ‘Once you think of that place, it will directly port you there but mind you it has to be safe.’

‘I don’t think we’re going to be safe anywhere else.’ Alex feels she needs to be more honest with herself.

Suddenly, they found themselves in a dim lit room.

‘I hope that spell lock works, Teg.’ Alex says as she turns around and smiles when she sees her shocked parents. ‘Hi Mom, hi Dad – these are my friends.’