Changeling’s Choice by Rachael Ashdown

changeling75x99Vote at the end of this episode!

In the previous episode, Soren and Linnea were tasked with finding an “heirloom” for the dwarves, taken by a woman that lives not far away. With little choice if they want to enter the realm of Faerie, they depart to find the orb. As the readers suggested, they will find trouble at the thief’s home, as she will charm them into forgetting their mission.

Episode 8

“This is stupid.”

“Quiet!” Soren hissed, tightening his hand into a fist out of frustration. They were outside the cottage, trying to see if anyone was home before breaking in to steal back the dwarvish treasure. He sincerely hoped no one was inside, because with Linnea along, stealth was out of the question.

“My, my, what are you two charming children doing out in the woods all alone?”

Linnea screeched and fell over again. Soren whirled around quickly. His mouth fell open as he gazed at the newcomer. The dwarves mentioned a woman, but Soren had pictured an ugly hag, grizzled and wrinkled with age. Instead, he was looking at a tall, fair woman, her black hair falling down to her waist in waves. Her tight satin gown left little to the imagination, revealing perhaps a little too much of her figure. Not that Soren minded.

“I am sorry ma’am, we did not mean to spy on you, if that is your house over there,” Soren babbled quickly, pointing behind him, eyes still fixed on the brunette smiling gently at him, making his face flush uncomfortably.

“It is indeed, young sir. Would you care to come in for a bit? Some tea perhaps? You both look weary.”

“I would love some tea,” Soren said quickly, not giving Linnea a chance to reply as she stood up from the dirt pile she had landed in, pulling various leaves from her hair.

“Oh, that is wonderful. I so rarely have guests out here,” the woman said with a dazzling white smile. “Come, both of you. I am a wonderful cook, and you two look thin. I insist you stay for the evening.”

“That is very kind, ma’am, but-“ Linnea began before Soren cut her off.

“That sounds heavenly, my lady,” Soren said with a bow of his head. The woman glided out of the trees, with far less difficulty than either of them as they fought with the low shrubs and thorn bushes that surrounded the neat gardens of the woman’s house.

“Do forgive me for my rudeness and the messy state of my house,” the woman said as she ushered them inside, closing the door firmly behind them. “As I rarely entertain guests, I do not feel obligated to clean up as often as I should. Oh yes, names. I am Dania. Who might you both be?”

“I am Soren,” Soren said immediately, taking the chair their hostess offered. “And this is my servant, Linnea.” The grunt Linnea gave indicated she did not think much of being considered a servant, even though she was.

“I am so very grateful that you are here,” Dania said with a wickedly bright smile. “It gets lonely out here. I do hope I will not bore you.”

“Certainly not,” Linnea said, smiling at the hostess. “I for one love the forest and envy your beautiful home. Did you build it?”

“Oh yes, I did. And I am glad you are enjoying yourselves,” Dania said with the same smirk. “I do hope that means you will stay for a long time.”

Soren and Linnea are awestruck but the beautiful woman that supposedly stole the dwarves’ heirlooms. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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