Changeling’s Choice by Rachael Ashdown

changeling75x99Vote at the end of this episode!

In the previous episode…Soren attempted to escape, but was easily noticed by Aksel. On his way back to camp, he finds himself cornered by three fair elven ladies. As the readers suggested, Aksel will greet the newcomers as old friends.

Episode 17

“Well well, what a surprise to see you three here.”

Soren and the elves looked around to see Aksel had suddenly appeared behind them, a small smile on his face and a glint in his eyes.

“Aksel!” the three cried in joy, forgetting Soren and rushing towards the water spirit, clutching at him with their thin pale fingers and planting kisses on his cheeks. He indulged them in their attentions with good humor, allowing them to greet him in such an intimate fashion without comment. When they finished, he spoke again.

“My dear ladies, what has brought you three into my swamp on this night? Surely such fair creatures as yourselves would be better off dancing with your kin under the moonlight.”

“Whispers have reached our ears of trouble along the borders,” the first one said, batting her long eyelashes flirtatiously. “I can only assume this handsome boy here is the cause. Is he with you?”

“Indeed,” Aksel said with a bow of his head. “I am taking him and his lady to the King.”

“She is NOT my lady,” Soren interjected with a scowl, but was ignored.

“How chivalrous to aid the young couple!” the second elf said, taking Aksel’s arm once more and leaning her fair head against his shoulder.

“What business do you have in this realm, young man?” the third elf asked, gliding towards Soren. “It is rare that any human would attempt to enter this place, and you have gotten much farther than most.”

“I must speak with the King and Queen of the Trolls,” Soren said, trying to maintain his composure as the elf drew closer, her fingers gently reaching out to caress his cheek. The last beautiful fairy creature that had been so seductive had tried to eat him. He was more than a bit worried about this one.

“What for?” she asked softly, continuing her ministrations.

“I think I am a Changeling Child.”

The elf maid immediately withdrew her hand, her fair features contorting into a frown. Aksel and the other two elves snapped their heads towards him as he said this.

“A Changeling?” the elf before him said slowly. “What makes you so certain that you would risk coming here?”

“I do not belong at home. I do not fit in. I hate it there. I read about the Changelings and I am certain that I am actually a Troll child. It is the only explanation.”

“There are many explanations,” Aksel said warily. “The King and Queen may not be so welcoming when you share this belief with them. Changelings are not spoken of in this realm.”

“Surely they will see the truth when they meet me. I must be a Changeling.”

“Aksel, you are not welcome in the Court as it is, perhaps it is best you do not take him further. You need no further conflicts with the Trolls.”

Aksel stared at Soren for a while, his face unreadable. Soren shifted uncomfortably, waiting for the spirit’s judgment. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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