Summary: When I went on that hiking trip in Ireland, I didn't expect that I'd be spirited away to a land full of magic and aggressive, ridiculously attractive bat-men. But thanks to my bad luck, it did happen.

Sualkin: I'm glad you like this story so far!

Guest from Nov 10, 2020: Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter!

Miss Meep: Hehe, I'm happy you liked Azriel and Stella's PoVs :D Yeah, Amren's travel method will remain a mystery and I'll leave it up to you to imagine how she got to the House of Wind xD

peygoodwin: Thanks!

amrawo: Thank you! Here is the new chapter!

chalseali: Yeah, Rhys is Stella's real MVP. She'd be screwed if she didn't have him as a translator :D

Cassy-Kay: Thanks! I hope you'll like this new chapter too!

Katriella Rosewood: Thank you :D It'll be fun to see Stella and Azriel dance around each other and write their slowly changing relationship, hehe. Stella will need some time to learn the language even though the immersion in the fairy world will certainly help with learning it. She is indeed bilingual and can speak Italian and English fluently and has also learned some Mandarin at school.

Caroline: Thanks! I hope you'll enjoy this chapter as well!

lexibookfanfic: Thank you! I'm glad you're enjoying this story so far.

his-red-head: Thanks, glad you like it!

ChaoticMinds: It's cool that you're reading this story even though you haven't read the book series before! I hope that even people who haven't read this series will understand this story since Stella is completely clueless as well and will need lots of explanations :D I hope you'll enjoy this chapter as well!

A/N: Hiya! Look who's finally back with an update! Yay :D A big thank you to everyone who left a review! I hope I didn't forget anyone.

Chapter 4

For a few moments after waking up I was disoriented and thought that I was back home. But the comfortable bed I was lying on had silken sheets and not cotton sheets, and it didn't smell of the detergent I usually used.

There also was something attached to my back that tugged at my back muscles when I moved. The something on my back twitched when my memories of the past few days returned.

It hadn't been just a very long nightmare, had it?

Needing to verify the truth, I blinked open my eyes and shifted on my stomach, taking in the foreign room I vaguely remembered from last night. Yep, I was indeed in the faerie world. It definitely hadn't been just a crazy dream.

The House of Wind, as Rhysand had called this place, was carved into the rock of the mountain that flanked a side of the Fae city Velaris. The furniture in the room was made of rich wood while the curtains, carpets, bedlinen and pillows were kept in violet, blue and grey hues. I'd only seen the city at night, when Rhysand teleported us there, high above the ground and roofs of the houses, but even then it had looked beautiful with all the colourful lights on the ground and a sea of stars in the sky.

It'd been frightening to be suddenly so high up in the sky and I had instinctively held tighter onto the High Lord even though it made me feel really awkward. His hold on me had never loosened, though, and after some time my fear had turned into muted excitement. The feeling of the wind caressing my face and the wings had been oddly thrilling and reminded me of that time Hannah, Alice and I went parasailing.

The Illyrian that was called Azriel had accompanied us to the House of Wind while Cassian had flown down to the city for the healer. It seemed that the short flight and adrenaline rush had tired me out even more, because I fell asleep immediately after the Fae healer had used her magic on me, right in this room.

Sunlight streamed in from the windows and I could hear the singing of the wind outside as well as voices from a room nearby. The knowledge that there were other people – human or not – here was balm to my soul after spending the past few days in those snowy mountains on my own. I'd really thought I'd die there.

The room and the house belonged to Rhysand, the High Lord of the Night Court, so I guessed I was hearing his... entourage.

I still couldn't believe I was stranded in a world full of faeries. Or that I'd been desperate enough to trust a Fae Lord that ruled a Court that was – according to the stories I'd read – full of malicious faeries who brought harm to humans for their own entertainment.

It seemed that Rhysand had kept his word, however, and that I was safe here because I wasn't incarcerated in a dungeon or in shackles. No one had harmed me since the High Lord had found me; quite the contrary, I'd been well cared for and felt well rested.

My leg and wings didn't hurt as badly as before since Madja had healed them with her pleasant, cooling magic and even the muscles in my body didn't feel as sore as they had been. I was just a little stiff from sleeping in the same position for who knew how long.

Gauze was wrapped around my injured leg and I could feel a splint pressing into it. The same had been done to the wing with broken bones and the one with the small hole in it.

Wings... I still had them. The horns, elongated canines and sharp nails were still there, too. This meant that my eyes probably still glowed as well.


How could I get rid of the unwanted additions and get my normal appearance back? Would I be able to find a way home?

Maybe Rhysand would know more – I'd have to ask him later. So far he'd been trustworthy.

Lying around on my belly and staying in bed wouldn't solve any of my problems or answer my questions, and I also couldn't ignore the call of nature any longer, so I decided to get out of bed.

The black, leathery wings tugged uncomfortably on the muscles in my back when I pushed myself into a sitting position. I shivered when the sensitive membranes slid over the silky covers, the experience once again being somewhat disturbing because I still couldn't comprehend that the wings were really attached to me.

It came to my notice that someone had taken off my clothes and boots and put me in a long grey nightgown. I vaguely recalled how Madja and two other female Fae that looked identical had cut me out of my clothes in order to treat me, so I guessed that they were the ones who had put this nightgown on me, too. At least I knew which strangers had changed my clothes, as uncomfortable as it was.

I let out a sigh of relief when I spotted my clothes and my backpack on a nearby chair. Even if they were of no more use to me, I'd hate to lose them since they were my only possessions in this world. Like my clothes the backpack looked as if it had been through hell.

I probably looked the same. I could also smell myself – the smell of sweat, blood, ash and fire, as well as burned fabric and medical herbs clung to me.

Even though someone seemed to have cleaned my face and limbs, I felt grimy. I scrunched up my nose in revulsion. I'd give anything for a bath.

The wooden floor felt pleasantly smooth underneath my bare feet when I tentatively stood on it, trying to keep the weight off of the recently injured leg. There were two doors attached to this room and since I'd passed through one to enter this room, the other one would hopefully lead to a bathroom.

I used the wall as a crutch as I walked towards it.

It turned out that I was right, it was indeed a bathroom. I curiously took in the first Fae-made bathroom I'd ever seen and was amazed.

My eyes immediately fixated on the most important thing in the room. The toilet was carved from stone and vaguely resembled a modern one apart from not being attached to the wall and having no flush, extra seat or lid. Right next to the toilet was a metallic pump, a sink, soap, a bucket, something that looked like a bidet and a laundry bin, as well as a shelf with towels but no toilet paper.

Faintly, I could hear the rushing of water as I approached the toilet and assumed that an underground river might serve as the flush. The sink and bidet had a lever at the side that opened and closed the drain.

Interesting. Very interesting.

I was ridiculously happy that the Fae had proper toilets, even more so after being forced to do my business in the wilderness for the past few days. I'd never take a toilet for granted ever again. Thanks to the design of the toilet and bidet, even the wings weren't a hindrance for once.

As I was drying my hands and nether region with one of the towels from the shelf before throwing it in the laundry bin, I wondered whether I could use the square bathtub in a corner of the room but was at a loss how to get warm water into it. Maybe I should ask someone for help...

Just when I'd left the bathroom, there was a knock on the other door.

"Yes?" I asked.

A female voice answered me in a foreign language. Right, I'd almost forgotten about the language barrier.

I limped forward with the wings lifted as best as I could and opened the door. A female High Fae with dark skin and friendly brown eyes waited for me on the other side.

Madja smiled at me in a motherly way, which made her wrinkles more pronounced. Despite this, she was unmistakably a Fae – she had that strange radiance to her skin and even pointed ears like Rhysand though she didn't have wings. Her presence unnerved me a little, but she'd been nothing but helpful and kind to me, had treated my wounds.

"Madja," I greeted her in a respectful but friendly tone and with a slight nod, unsure of the local customs.

She held up a tray with a bowl of some kind of broth and a glass of water. My mouth watered at the smell and my stomach growled like a dying whale as I let her in. The healer set the tray down on the small table next to the bed and gestured to it, clearly wanting me to eat and drink.

I thanked her with a smile before I sat down on the bed and began to eat while she left the room. It was the best broth I'd ever had. Even the water had a pleasant taste.

Well, it was probably free of microplastics and any other chemicals, unlike the water on earth. The air itself here smelled much cleaner too.

Madja returned shortly after I'd finished my meal. She brought two wooden crutches as well as something made from a violet fabric and with silver embroidery. She gave me the crutches after showing me nonverbally how to use them.

Then she waved me into the bathroom, holding up the things in her arms. Perhaps it was a change of clothes for me?

Using the crutches, I followed her into the bathroom, where the air suddenly began to smell of metal. In the blink of an eye the bathtub was filled with steaming water. I gaped at the casual display of magic right in front of me.

That's what it was. Magic. There was no other explanation for what had just happened.

If Madja had noticed my astonishment, she didn't show it and just put some liquids from bottles mixed with flowers into the water before stirring it. It made the water smell like jasmine and some other herbs or flowers I couldn't recognize.

Madja gestured at the back of her dress before pointing at my nightgown and depositing the clothes on a small table. I wasn't sure what she wanted at first, but then I discovered the two rows of buttons at the back of my dress, right underneath the base of the wings, that held the fabric together.

Clever. I could easily take off the nightgown after opening them.

The healer then made me sit on a stool I hadn't noticed – had it been there before? – until then and gestured to the gauze on the wing with the arrow wound. She appeared to wait for my permission to touch it, so I gave her a nod and she removed the gauze. Much to my surprise the hole had already healed up, though the skin was noticeably thinner there and looked more tender.

Madja seemed pleased with the healing process and used her healing magic once again on that area. It felt less tender afterwards and the throbbing pain that had been growing stronger since I began moving around lessened.

Magic was mind-boggling. I was freaked but tried not to show it. Despite seeing it several times, a part of me still couldn't believe that magic was real.

When I pointed at the broken wing and leg in question, the healer shook her head. She used her magic on them, too, but didn't remove the splints. Did this mean that even magic couldn't heal broken bones instantaneously?

Once Madja was done with that, she pointed at the splints and then at the water while shaking her head, which probably meant that I shouldn't get them wet. Madja brought me a washcloth and towels from a nearby shelf as well as a small vase that resembled a Roman amphora and held up a bottle before pointing at my hair.

She gave me one more smile before she left and closed the bathroom door behind her. I was beyond relieved that I didn't have to strip in front of the Fae and that she didn't insist on helping me. It was embarrassing enough that she had seen me almost completely naked last night. She'd removed my bra too by cutting the straps since I wouldn't have been able to take it off on my own because of the wings.

Even though I wanted nothing more than to sink into the bathtub, I knew that I couldn't because of the gauze and splint on my leg, so I took off the nightgown and underwear and used the washcloth to clean myself and the wings with the water from the bathtub.

The warm water from the vase was used to wet my hair and rinse it after applying the pleasantly smelling liquid from the bottle Madja had shown me. The horns were a bother since I couldn't put my hair in a towel because of them, but I told myself that there were worse things.

At least my hair was clean again and I wasn't lost in the wild anymore.

The violet bundle the healer had brought me turned out to be a beautiful, ankle-length dress with a light, floaty skirt that wouldn't bother me while walking and a form-fitting bodice with a v-neck. It had the same slits and buttons as the nightgown at the back and long, tight-fitting sleeves.

There even was underwear included in the bundle as well as a pair of slippers in the same dark colour and design as the dress. The small silver stars that were embroidered on the bodice and sleeves were probably a common design in the Night Court – most of the colours, fabrics and designs here were reminiscent of the night sky too – but it was rather ironic, or should I say fitting, in my case.

The faerie bra was somewhere in between a racer bra and tank top and closed low at the back with buttons. It left enough room for the wings at the sides while providing the needed support in the front thanks to the soft leather and cotton it was made of. The underwear was very similar to normal panties though there was more fabric attached to it than I was used to.

The dress itself was light and made of a soft, silky fabric and very comfortable. The splint might have become a problem if I'd worn pants, so I didn't mind the dress – it was more practical in this instance. It made me feel horribly overdressed, though, since I only wore dresses like this on special occasions, but perhaps this was considered everyday wear by faeries.

The pair of slippers that was part of the outfit was as soft as butter and fit almost perfectly, like the other garments, which made me wonder who had such a good eye for measurements. Had Madja or the silent twin Fae taken my measurements and shoe size while helping me undress?

I returned to the guest room, searching for a brush, and found one as well as a silver comb on a vanity. For a moment I studied the silver comb that had a beautiful flower motif expertly worked into the upper part – silver was one of my favourite metals to work with. I hoped I was allowed to use the comb and the other items in this room.

The mirror that hung above the vanity wasn't as clear as a modern mirror but came really close to it. It was certainly clear enough to show me my reflection.

Cleaned up and in this gorgeous dress I looked like one of the Fae women that lived here even though none of the ones I'd encountered so far had wings or horns. I grimaced and closed my eyes. I felt as if I was wearing a costume and didn't feel like myself.

What if I could never have my normal appearance back?

No, no more thinking about what-ifs. That never led anywhere.

I took a few measured, deep breaths and began to comb my hair, trying to concentrate on what had stayed the same and not on what had changed since that would only stress me out.

My hair was still somewhat damp but maybe I could dry it by sitting in front of the lit fireplace. Before I did that, however, I noticed a small, wooden box on the vanity and couldn't resist opening it.

It contained short twigs with split ends. What were...?

Oh! I recognized the rough shape. Could it be that they were used for brushing teeth?

Was it okay to try one out? My teeth really needed a brush.

I took one of the twigs and sniffed at it after turning it around. It smelled similar to peppermint.

Well, I'd apologise later if I did something rude...

The twig had a pleasant, minty taste and was almost as good as a toothbrush. Once I was satisfied with the results, I threw it in the wooden bin underneath the vanity. One more thing to add to the growing list of my Fae observations – they cared about dental hygiene.

I took my backpack and sat down on the upholstered footstool or backless sofa, whatever it was, in front of the fireplace with my back turned to the fire. Weirdly enough I could kind of sense it, almost like the blue flames, but nowhere near as strongly.

The warmth at my back felt pleasant and calming, even more so on the sensitive wings that I let hang down. I went through my backpack and pulled out my jewellery and phone that had miraculously survived this trip though the display was cracked.

For a moment I just anxiously stared at it, not wanting to know whether it'd still turn on. It'd symbolise that another connection to my home was lost.

Then my curiosity won once again. I held my breath after pressing the button at the side and waited.

The display... turned on.

I couldn't believe it. What was this phone made of?

I definitely wouldn't complain, though.

There was only 17 percent of battery left and there were some dead pixels on the touchscreen but my phone worked! Not that it was of any use to me, since my messages couldn't be sent and I couldn't contact anyone with it in this world. Nonetheless it was a small comfort.

I looked through my pictures while I waited for my wavy hair to dry, staring longingly at the photos of my family and friends. When the battery went down to 14 percent, I decided that my hair was dry enough and turned my phone off.

It was time to find out more about my situation.

I put my phone back into the backpack since the dress didn't have any pockets and I couldn't carry it while handling the crutches. Then I put on my three pairs of earrings and my rings but when I saw the necklace with the small, star-shaped sapphire pendant, I paused and stared at it in mild horror.

The sapphire had a crack ever since the accident a few years ago but now it was completely cracked and had even lost its colour. I had no idea what was going on and why it looked like that.

I put it on anyway because it made me feel more like myself and left the room. I'd had it for as long as I could remember.

I followed the voices and took in my surroundings as I hobbled through long, stony hallways and past more doors, my suspense growing with each step. I slowly crept closer to the room the voices originated from, keeping the wings tucked to my back as best as I could even though it was exhausting as heck, and recognized Rhysand as well as Cassian and Azriel's voices. There were also two more female voices but none of them belonged to Madja.

Since I couldn't understand a word, it was impossible to guess what they were talking about but it sounded like a casual conversation between friends judging from the tone and changing speakers. After taking a deep breath and steeling my nerves, I knocked on the door that had been left ajar.

My pulse quickened when the conversation came to a halt and Rhysand said my name in an inviting tone. I pushed open the door and entered the room before I could back down.

Like I'd guessed, the Commander of Rhysand's armies and his Spymaster were here, seated at a large wooden table. Unlike the last time I'd met him, Cassian didn't have his sword with him as he greeted me with a smile, but Azriel still had that dagger on his belt and was once again staring at me in that same intense way as before as soon as he laid eyes on me.

The two unknown voices I'd heard belonged to two female Fae. One of them was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen, with long golden hair, sun-kissed skin and pointy ears like Rhysand. Her lips were painted red and matched the colour of the dress she was wearing.

The other woman had chin-length black hair, similar tan skin as the blonde, and a pretty face. She was smaller than the other Fae woman but actually the most intimidating Fae in the room, not only because she had silver eyes that swirled like smoke.

Like before, I was somehow able to sense the power of the Fae in the room, but hers felt oppressive, even if you compared it to the High Lord's. A raging fire seemed to burn inside her.

No, she was fire, or rather than fire, she felt more like a small sun. It was hard to explain, but her power felt unlike the other Faes', it was overwhelming and utterly terrifying.

As if she could read my thoughts, which was unfortunately a possibility, the Fae with the black hair smirked and said something to Rhysand. The blonde Fae woman said something to her in a tone that sounded as if she was scolding her, Cassian joining in, but it only earned them a huff from the terrifying Fae woman.

I didn't even realise that I'd stopped in the middle of the room or that blue flames were flickering over my body until familiar, invisible claws stroked my mind, as if asking for permission to enter it, and I flinched in response – I couldn't completely hide my reaction.

My eyes flicked to Rhysand since I knew that had to be him, but I had a hard time concentrating on him because every instinct I had told me to focus on the largest threat in the room. However, Rhysand needed to read my mind since it was the only way we could communicate, so I forced myself to to turn to him and gave him a reluctant nod, gripping the crutches a little tighter.

Stella, how are you this morning?, he asked me in my mind.

Much better than when you found me. Madja has taken very good care of me and I was able to recover and refresh myself in the room you have provided for me. Thank you for that and the new clothes. Perhaps you could also tell Madja that I'm grateful for her care?, I replied a little stiffly but honestly.

I'm glad to hear that and I will. Won't you join us, Stella? We were just speaking about you and your situation. Rhysand gestured at the empty chairs. I promise that no one in this room intends to hurt you.

Since I didn't want to be rude or be seen as a scaredy-cat, not more than I already was, and I actually believed him because he'd taken care of me so far and it wouldn't make sense to hurt me again, I accepted his offer with a nod. I didn't know whether it was because of that conclusion or if Rhysand was once again controlling my magic through me, but the flames went out.

There was an empty seat next to Azriel, the blonde Fae, and at the head of the table. Next to the Fae in the red dress sat the frightening one with the swirly eyes, so I contemplated my options for a moment and decided to take the chair next to the Spymaster.

Sure, his staring and his expressionless face unnerved me – though I swore I could see surprise flash in his eyes when I sat down next to him and he greeted me with a polite nod – and he was physically intimidating, but for some reason I didn't fear him as much as the petite Fae woman even though I'd seen him kill that other bat-man.

How bizarre that I'd rather sit next to him than anywhere close to her.

I could have sat at the head of the table as well, but that would have looked kind of awkward, showed the entire room how frightened I was – even more than the fire did – and it also might be seen as an insult. I didn't want to lose Rhysand's goodwill because in the stories it never ended well if you insulted a fairy.

While I sat down, desperately clinging to my poker face as I placed the crouches against the table, I noticed that the chairs had rather unusual backs that were perfect for someone with wings. I imitated the way Azriel and Cassian sat on the chairs.

However, there was a problem with that – my muscles were already quivering with the effort to keep the wings tucked up, but I couldn't just stretch them out because then they'd touch Azriel's.

Shit, maybe I should've just sat at the head of the table and risked insulting faerie royalty. I really didn't think this through.

This is my Second-in-Command, Amren, Rhys introduced the intimidating Fae to me, and next to her sits Morrigan, my cousin.

I reluctantly turned to Amren first and inclined my head as I placed a hand over my heart to introduce myself. "Stella."

I repeated my actions with Morrigan. She gave me a warm smile and said something to me that included my name, probably greeting me or saying that it was nice to meet me, so I gave her a nod, feeling too tense to smile.

Since I wasn't very good at small talk nor interested in it, I decided to get to the point and turned to the High Lord. While I'm beyond thankful for your hospitality and that you saved my life, I'd like to go home. My family has to be worried sick. I don't have much to repay you... I touched my necklace and rings, but if there is something I can offer you in return for your help...

There is no need for that, Stella. You don't owe me anything, Rhysand replied but eyed my jewellery with interest. That necklace... Is the stone supposed to be cracked?

I looked down at it as I held it between my fingers. No, the sapphire had just a small crack when I arrived in this world. I don't know why it looks like this now.

May I see it for a moment?

I was reluctant to part with my necklace since it was important to me, but maybe he knew what was wrong with it and despite what he said, I did owe him. So I opened the clasp and put my necklace on the table, pushing it in Rhysand's direction.

The others looked at it too until Rhysand picked it up. Especially Amren seemed intrigued as she said something to the High Lord. He replied something to her and then asked me for permission to give it to her.

Not sure where this was going, I gave him a hesitant nod and he placed the necklace in the scary Fae woman's hand. After a short inspection, something she said led to a discussion that made everyone at the table glance at me once in a while.

Were they discussing the design of the necklace? Did they know why the sapphire had lost its colour and was cracked?

I was a jeweller so I knew that the heat from the fire couldn't have done this – natural sapphires were purposely heated at high temperatures for hours or weeks at a time to enhance their appearance, so if anything, it should have become more blue in colour.

Stella, there are traces of a spell on this necklace, specifically the stone. Amren isn't perfectly certain but she thinks that a dragon enchanted it. She said that dragons were masters at enchanting jewellery and other items. Do you remember where you got this necklace?, Rhysand wanted to know.

Dragons...? Why were there suddenly dragons involved?

Even if they existed, there was no way a dragon had made my necklace, because... My grandmother made it for me when I was little.

Rhysand lifted a brow. Your grandmother is a jeweller?

I nodded uncertainly. I'm one too – I learned most of what I know from her. But there was never any magic involved!, I added quickly.

Hmm... Rhysand gave me a contemplative look as he relayed the information to his entourage.

It earned me another interested look from Amren who finally let go of my necklace, holding it out to me across the table. I almost didn't want to take it since I was suddenly reminded of my pointy nails, but then I noticed that her painted pointy nails were even longer than mine.

I held out my hand and she dropped the necklace into it. After taking it back, I immediately put it on again.

There are jewellers in this city that might know more about the spell that was embedded in your necklace. If you are alright with it, we could ask them to take a look at it, Rhysand suggested.

Would that really answer any of my questions? My grandmother was as human as I was, or as I had been, so how could she possibly put a spell on the necklace? And what kind of spell had it supposedly been?

Rhysand and Amren had to be wrong.

The High Lord wore a sympathetic expression as he read my thoughts. As far as all of us can tell, you're a full-blooded Fae, Stella, a firedrake to be precise. That's why you have wings and horns and why you're capable of creating and manipulating fire.

For a moment I was completely taken aback.

No, that can't be right! You've seen my memories – I was a perfectly normal human before I arrived here in this world, I protested vehemently and shook my head, incapable of accepting his words.

It is unlikely that a portal between two worlds changed what you are. Now that I've seen your necklace, I'm even more certain about that. I think your necklace has something to do with your... transformation and why you thought you were a normal human before arriving in this world. If you want to find out the truth about your current state, I believe that finding out more about the necklace and the spell that was attached to it is essential, Rhysand advised me.

I... I'm not sure what to think. I was overwhelmed to say the least.

You don't have to decide anything right now. Take all the time you need to think my offer over.

Take all the time I need... Did that mean that Rhysand wanted me to stay here?

I wanted to go home, though.

I'm not forcing you to stay here, Stella. However, I think it would be wise if you at least stayed long enough for your wounds to heal and learn to control your powers.

Damn logic.

No matter how much I wanted to go home, I had to admit that his suggestions made sense. If I returned home and went to the hospital looking like this, there was no telling how people would react to me.

Maybe the police or military would capture me and take me to a secret underground lab and perform unethical tests and experiments on me to find out what I was...Then there was also the issue of accidentally setting things or people on fire.

Yeah, those were some sombre prospects.

Is there a way to regain my former appearance? I asked Rhysand, who seemed to have listened in on my thoughts since he'd furrowed his brows in concern when I thought about being taken captive by the military.

That'll depend on you – I don't know what you're capable of. If you learned how to control your magic, you might be able to do something like this as well.

The air suddenly smelt of metal and then Rhysand looked less radiant and more like a human being. He even had round ears.

Apparently, his cousin and Cassian thought something was funny about that since they both said something in a joking tone to him and he replied in a similar manner.

Two other things happened at once then; I realised that Rhysand didn't have any wings today and one of my wings made contact with Azriel's since my muscles had reached their limit and I couldn't keep the wings folded on my back anymore. I hadn't even noticed that I was lowering them.

I shivered as the sensitive membrane made contact with the Spymaster's wing and a strange, almost electric sensation washed over me. He seemed to shiver too and was completely stock-still for a second before he pushed his chair further away from me and sprung to his feet.

He gave me a piercing glance and I stared back with a pounding heart, not sure how to interpret his look or his actions. Had I insulted him by touching his wing?

I quickly apologised since that felt like the right thing to do in this situation.

Of course, he didn't understand what I was saying.

However, we'd drawn the attention to us. Amren lifted a brow as she watched Azriel and me while Mor just stared at us in confusion. She probably hadn't noticed what I'd unintentionally done. Cassian seemed mildly entertained for some reason.

Rhysand, who was looking like his shiny, pointy-eared self again, said something to Azriel who replied something and then sat down again but with his chair further away from mine, so my lowered wing wouldn't touch his anymore.

I've relayed your apology to Azriel who also wants to apologise for startling you. He knows that you didn't touch his wing on purpose, so you don't need to worry about what just happened. An Illyrian's wings are incredibly sensitive and are our pride and joy. From a very young age we're taught to protect them at all costs and we only ever let our lovers or people we trust with our lives touch them, Rhysand explained.

This also explained why the High Lord hadn't touched my wings when he carried me. Oh... I'll keep that in mind. I really am sorry, I repeated awkwardly, slowly calming down again.

It's fine. No harm done, he assured me and changed the topic. So, have you decided whether you want to stay and learn how to control your magic or do you need more time to think about it?

With a heavy heart I told him my decision. I'll stay until my injuries have healed and I've learned not to burn people or things by accident if that's truly alright with you. It was the most logical choice.

Of course, Rhysand said with a smile.

Thank you.

It looked like the Night Court would be my temporary home for a while longer.

A/N: I have the feeling I went a little overboard with the descriptions in this chapter, but I love imagining the details of places, clothes etc. and I'm not gonna apologise for that, lol.

Leave me a review if you enjoyed this chapter (and the story so far) 😊 Thanks for reading!