Chapter Two: part three

“Hello, mother.”

Queen Camilla turned and smiled to her son. With her long white hair and green eyes, she looked almost nothing like her child. She held out her arms and embraced him. “I was so worried about you.”

“I’m sorry.” He let go and sat beside her on the bench. He found his mother in the gardens, in her favorite spot, by the violets. “It was foolish.”

She tilted her head and looked at her son as if for the first time. “What changed? The last time you did this, you spoke harshly of your father for not allowing you your desires.”

He shrugged and tried not to smile. Camilla saw it though, and smiled warmly.

“Who is she?”

Prince Eloran gave an almost embarrassed laugh. “Is it that obvious?”

She placed a hand on his cheek. “It is to me, but then, you always had a hard time hiding your smile with me. What is her name?”

“Anan.”

“How did you meet?”

“She helped me to Gateway when my horse threw a shoe. She took me to her home, fed me and allowed me to spend the night. She gave me some tea and I had the most amazing dream.”

Camilla tried not to look too surprised, as she wondered how much her son knew about the woman. Anan was not an uncommon name, but the Queen knew who held the Guardian of the Gate position. Camilla also knew a bit about the Finaran dreaming tea.

Camilla’s mother was an elf, and had passed down some information to her daughter. No one knew Camilla was half elf. Other than her ears looking slightly pointed, she had no obvious physical elven features, and none of their abilities.

The Queen knew how to find certain plants and how to use those plants to help others. She had not had the dreaming tea in quite some time though, as the plant did not grow on the castle grounds, and she didn’t want to ask for it. There were some in the Royal Family that did not like the Finarans or their abilities.

“What was your dream, son?”

He sighed happily and looked towards the flowers. “Anan and I were sitting on a blanket, by a river, talking and eating. I placed a flower in her hair.”

“What type of flower?”

He frowned, then shook his head. “It was purple, but lighter than your violets. I think we have the plant in the garden.”

Camilla stood and held her hand out to her son. “Walk with me. Show me.”

Eloran took his mother’s hand, and stood. “Is this important?”

“I’m curious. My only child seems taken by this woman and I would like to understand more.”

Mother and son walked quietly into the gardens, lost in thought. Eloran did not know Camilla was part Finaran, and neither did King Falk. They knew she understood plants, it was one of the reason Falk married her, but they did not know her lineage. Lora, King Falk’s last wife, taught her child, Laurence, to fear the Finarans. For her own safety, Camilla kept her lineage quiet. Now she wanted to tell Eloran, but felt it was not the right time.

Eloran thought mostly of Anan and when he might see her again. He wanted it to be soon. He liked her. He sighed and looked about the garden, letting his eyes fall on random flowers, trying to see the one from his dream.

He didn’t know the names of most of the flowers, but the colors, vibrant reds, greens, blues and yellows, subdued purple and orange, didn’t reveal the right flower from his dream. They walked slowly, but eventually, they came to the end of the gardens. Eloran sighed.

“I didn’t see it.”

Camilla faced her son and smiled. “It’s all right. I had a pleasant walk. Did you?”

He gave his mother a warm smile. “Yes, I did. Let’s get back to the castle. It’s probably dinner time.”

Camilla smiled and they walked back to the castle arm in arm.

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