Lilah wasn’t sure when to stop running. But her lungs ached. Even with a faerie’s heightened endurance, she couldn’t run forever.
Jag’s sinister laugh, the way he wielded the enchanted blade, haunted her. Had it been hours since she’d fled, or did it merely feel that way?
Lilah steeled herself. Deep within her, a magic she’d long kept hidden began to stir. Snowfire, the fae woman who’d mentored her in magical ways, assured her that she likely wouldn’t need that magic. “But if you do,” Snowfire had whispered, adjusting the pale blue crystal that hung about her neck. “It will awaken. You have an ancient, hidden magic, Princess. Never forget that.”
Snowfire was long gone from Lilah’s life, awarded a prestigious teaching position at the Academy of Magicks by Lilah’s late father.
Can I do such a thing? she wondered. More than eight years had past since her last magic lesson. Now, she drank tea with diplomats and helped plan lavish balls. Magical training for a princess was a formality. Only the basics need be learned. Mastery was not necessary—even frowned upon. Still…
From above the small ravine where she crouched, tucked under tangled tree roots and dangling vines amid the musty smell of the earth, came the crunch of autumn leaves beneath leather boots.
She tilted her head back. Above the midnight canopy of trees, stars twinkled. A faerie princess is blessed by stardust upon her birth, the legend went.
“Lilah, dear princess,” Jag called out, his voice full of faux reassurance. “It’s the only way. Your magic is too much for one person, especially one so dainty as you. Imagine what a warrior could do with that magic.”
His words irked her. Her whole life, shunted aside, belittled and underestimated.
I am stardust and all things wild, she reminded herself. I am magic and starfire. The icy light and the fiery heart.
Her skin sang. Magic lit up her skin, a silvery-blue glow flickering around her. She leapt up.
“You want it, Jag?” she howled, her voice mad, ready for battle. “Come try to take it.”
He staggered back. “My princess,” he gasped. “I don’t know what came over me.”
But his apology rang hollow. She gave him the magic he’d asked for, a hidden magic awoken now by his betrayal, in a time of need.