Trial of Magic (The Fairy Tale Enchantress #4) - K. M. Shea Page 0,1

flapping of her cloak skewed her balance a little.

She untwisted the black cloak from her skirts so it fell back into place, hooking at her shoulder, and turned around to face Pegasus.

He snorted at her and reared. His eerie trumpet was high pitched and more musical than a horse’s neigh, and blue fire engulfed his hooves as he declared his anger.

Angelique scowled and put her hands on her hips. “I can see you’re upset, but I don’t understand why!”

Pegasus tossed his head and snorted red sparks.

“Yes, Odette is supposed to come in a few weeks for a delivery, and I could see the elves then, but when I agreed to wait it was before the black mage attacked me!”

Pegasus trumpeted again and pranced a few steps south, toward Torrens, toward home.

Angelique rubbed her face. “I just want to wait around for a few days to see if I can find anyone. Why is that so offensive? Do you need to return to the skies?”

Pegasus pawed at the ground. The flames engulfing his hooves singed the grass but thankfully didn’t start a fire. He then turned his rear to Angelique so his body pointed in the direction of Torrens.

Angelique mulishly folded her arms across her chest. “I don’t care what you want. I’m not going home tonight!”

Pegasus whipped around faster than Angelique’s eyes could track.

Usually, she was particularly bad at sensing magic. But now, Angelique could feel the dark, ancient, magical presence she had felt only once before, when Pegasus had spoken to her.

She froze, dwarfed by the sheer immensity of the power he allowed himself to radiate. He seemed bigger, and the area around him seemed to grow darker.

As it surrounded her, Angelique had the dim feeling that Pegasus’ magic was as old as the foundations of the earth. She wasn’t certain, but she could feel it easing through her and into her bones.

She inhaled shakily, and that seemed to break the spell.

Pegasus planted his hindquarters and pivoted, then charged off down the dirt road, his hoofbeats creating deafening crashes as he left her behind, alone.

Angelique rubbed her face as he left and tried to fight off the sensation of being abandoned.

He’ll return once his anger subsides. He didn’t go back to the sky, so he’s still lurking nearby. The first human he sees will make him wrinkle his muzzle in displeasure, and then he’ll come back.

She was certain of this. Mostly.

Angelique sighed. Looks like I’ll have plenty of time to sit at the border of Alabaster Forest and hope the curse on the elves that keeps them secluded in their forest still lets them approach their border.

She trudged down the road, following it a little longer before making the turn-off for the magical white woods.

The king of the elves, Themerysaldi, was a close friend of Evariste. Angelique had tried contacting him shortly after Evariste had been taken by the Chosen—the long-lived league of black magic users who had tried to kidnap Angelique and had gotten Evariste instead when he stepped in front of a spell that had been aimed at her.

King Themerysaldi hadn’t answered Angelique’s call for help, even though she’d screamed herself hoarse at the Alabaster Forest’s borders, unable to venture into elven territory without Evariste—his status as an elf-friend giving him entrance without the elves’ permission.

Angelique now knew the elves’ absence was due to King Themerysaldi and his people having been cursed—such a surprise. Odette, one of the many new acquaintances Angelique had made that had at one time or another been cursed, had told her as much.

Even though it was weeks before she was supposed to meet Odette, who made occasional deliveries for the elves and was allowed in the woods during those scheduled times, Angelique couldn’t help but hope she’d be able to reach the elves now and not have to wait for so many nights to pass.

She didn’t know what else to do.

She was frustrated that the black mage had slipped through her fingers and worried that perhaps everyone was right about her magic after all. It had reacted so smoothly, and the power she felt when wielding it was intoxicating.

What she really wanted was to talk to Evariste.

She missed him so much—she’d been missing him for years. But now she’d give anything to see his warm smile and to hear his musical voice while she told him all the horrible things she’d been through the past few years.

But I can’t, because he’s captured, and I keep failing to find him, she stiffly reminded