The Nightmara-Calatini Treaty: Part 2

The Nightmara-Calatini Treaty: Part 2

from Queen Sarilee’s diary early Fall 613 AF

Adrian captured my mouth in a fierce kiss. “Sarilee, thank the Goddess! No one knew where you had vanished, and I was becoming concerned harm had befallen you.”

Suppressing a yawn, I gestured toward the inky nightmara. “Nightwind, queen of the nightmara, merely wished to discuss a pact between our people.”

Adrian straightened, his husbandly concern supplanted by his kingly mantle. “And Her Majesty thought she could accomplish that by kidnapping our wife?”

Nightwind snorted. :I did not kidnap her. I summoned her.:

Adrian narrowed his eyes. “And why did you not summon the king of Calatini?”

Nightwind’s scorn was apparent on her equine features. :Because nightmara do not have kings.:

I hurriedly added, “And since you proclaimed me co-ruler upon our marriage, I possessed the right to discuss matters with her.” My voice sharpened, “Or was your proclamation a lie?”

Nightwind nodded. :Indeed, that proclamation was one of the reasons I chose to approach your kingdom. ‘Twas first time I have heard of humans with a ruling queen like sensible creatures.:

Adrain raised his hands in surrender. “Sarilee, you know very well my proclamation was no lie. I was, however, quite concerned when my wife vanished during the night. For future negotiations, I would greatly appreciate it if you keep me informed at least.”

I inclined my head. “Certainly. And I believe ‘twould be best if we confined our negotiations to palace grounds. If you find them agreeable, Queen Nightwind, we can offer you room in our stables—or elsewhere on the grounds if you prefer.”

Nightwind replied, :Stables should be fine, depending upon their facilities.:

Adrian arched a brow. “Mother’s stables, yes?”

I nodded and accepted his arm.

As we strode across the palace grounds, Adrian explained, “Mother was horse mad. My father built these stables for her. They are much grander than most, but when she died, Father could not bear to use them.”

I added, “And since neither of us share the former queen’s passion, we continue to use the old stables because they are much closer to the palace, so they have remained empty these past ten years.”

Following us inside the stables, Nightwind eyed the plush furnishings. :These stables look suitable, except the latches must be modified so we can open them ourselves.:

Adrian nodded. “Of course. I shall have a servant alter them straightaway.”

Nightwind asked, :Would you mind if I summoned a few friends to join me? Nightmara are herd creatures, and I would be more comfortable with companions.:

“Please invite them. We have plenty of room.” I gave my fellow queen a glittering smile. “We shall allow you to get settled. We can resume our discussion tomorrow evening.”

My weary head resting on his shoulder, Adrian and I left the Queen’s stables.

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