The water of the lake was chilly as I hesitantly skimmed it with my toe, pulling it back hastily with a high-pitched squeal. Rough laughter erupted from the throat of my older brother, Eddie, who stood waist deep in the murky depths.
His copper wings hung limply at his back, coated in a fine sheen of water droplets, soaked brown hair splayed carelessly across his forehead, his golden chest glittering like a thousand diamonds as the rumbling laughter sprung forth like a pouncing lion, contrasting with his liquid silver eyes.
"Come on Rosie tis not that bad." He chuckled wading towards me. He was in his human form, even though he willed his wing to remain, and therefore it was easier for him to push himself through the mud at a faster pace then that of one in Fae form. Though father disapproved of us changing, Eddie more constantly, we both valued our human forms above that of our Fae therefore whenever the opportunity appeared we grabbed it with both hands.
"Not that bad? It's freezing!" I grumbled under my breath, settling down on the bank, the water just beyond my reach. The mud from the embankment had stained the hem of the plain ankle length white shift I wore; clinging to it like a babe clings to its mother. Running my fingers across the ground, I smirked as my fingers brushed over a thick and healthy leafy green stem, white rose like flowers already graced its length at irregular intervals. I trailed the stem with my finger till it was at my desired length before digging my extended nail into its flesh, slicing it from its self.
The cut was smooth and clean, I observed, gently plucking it from the moss it had rested on. Perfect. Reaching up I began to twirl and twist it through my hair, under and over, around and through, carefully maneuvering it into place before arching the end around a particular section, that was fatefully always falling in front of my chocolate gaze.
Glancing back out at the lake, a smile took it's place upon my lips once more as I spotted the tendrils of water devising an intricate design, curl their way over my brother's muscled chest. The water around him took on a brown tinge, shining and glittering as the vibrant patch of colour spread weaving its way under the lilies that floated on the murky water, drawing all of the green leaves close connecting each of them with the emerald algae. The water started to rise, forming a well-known plot, as it rose beginning from the brown coloured water, well it was no longer water but long shimmering brown hair coating a gentle head upon which rested a band of lilies. Next came a body cloaked in a jade dress of leaves and algae, flowing as if it were a glimmering stream. Once the changing was complete two pale arms shot out securing themselves tightly around Eddie's chest and in return Eddie's arms wrapped around her waist.
Tinkling laughter filled the air as Eddie lifted her from the water, in anticipation of drawing her close and swiftly spinning the both of them in graceful circles. Her head dipped into the crook of his neck as his wings flapped eagerly lifting them from the lakes watery embrace. I shamelessly stared at their entwined forms as they began to dance across the moonlight surface of the lake. If there were any image that truly depicted the illustration of beauty, it would be this.
Eventually their mortal bodies tired and they were forced to give up the passion of the dance for a moments break, gliding over to where I still perched of the moss-covered bank. The glow of love encircled them as they came to a halt.
"My what beauty you have gained, Jill." I laughed as the young girl blushed.
"And what looks you have forever possessed increase each day." She replied shyly.
"There is no need to flatter me, though I give thanks for your praise." Jill blushed again, a deeper rosier colour.
"Come now dearies. I am hurt you seem to have forgotten my charming looks." Eddie cried placing a hand over his heart.
"Jill has sung your praises enough, I think. Now Jill what gossip do you have for me today?" I said eagerly, grabbing her delicate to pull her down beside me.
"When the rain came last it whispered many secrets to me. The likes of which only a few I can share but still there are some quiet interesting ones at that. Mason has returned to the north and is currently residing in Mia's stream, Illraylia, her father can only hope that they will become mates." I smiled; Mason and Mia were both good friends of ours and have always been crazy about each other.
"Finally, I hope he shows her a good time." Eddie smirked. Jill smacked him playfully on the arm giggling as he took on a hurt expression.
"Come on love birds, one minute is all I ask. So what else do you know?" Jill's face became grave and her voice took on a darker tone.
"A hunter has been spotted on the edge of the cities limits." Her voice was quiet and scared.
"That's not possible! How would they have gotten this far unnoticed?"
"There are rumors that someone inside court is helping her."
"Lady Tasha Ozera." I glanced up at Eddie knowing he would see my panic. Lady Tasha Ozera was well known throughout the Forests of the Fae but by no means for good reasons. Once before she had made in into the forest but no nearly so far as at present time, even still she had slaughtered a family, almost ending one of the strongest royal bloodlines, as they had been traveling to the capitol from their human estate, only their daughter, my best friend, Lissa Dragomir, survived and was now the last of her line.
"If she has been spotted shouldn't my father be gathering men to fight!" I shouted outraged.
"Rose, you know our father has other problems to deal with. A hunter is the least of his worries right now, no matter how personal it may feel to you." Eddie countered solemnly.
"There's more…" Jill trailed off quietly.
"A human army has crossed our borders, their path leads close to the capitol. They are being lead by the arrogant fool of a prince, Dimitri Belikov."