The Letters From No One
"Frik!" the Queen's voice screeched through the halls of the underground palace.
Frik came scurrying into the room. "Yes, Madame?" Frik's voice trembled, eyes fixed on the floor.
"Is this your idea of a joke?" Queen Mab accused and thrust a handful of letters into his face.
Frik stared at her blankly, "What...?"
He took a letter and held it up to read.
amethyst eyes like stormy skies...
The letter was furiously snatched out of his hand before he could read more.
"If you didn't send these ridiculous letters to me, then who did?" Mab raged at him.
Frik stuttered for a moment and then said the first name he could think of, "Vortigern?"
Mab sneered in disgust and turned away. "Vortigern doesn't have the skill nor the brains to send me letters by magic."
Mab shot a final hard glare at Frik that sent him running from the room.
No, Frik wasn't the culprit. He wouldn't have the courage nor the gall to mock her like this.
So who else could it be? she wondered.
Her sister? Mab couldn't see what her sister stood to gain from such actions. So that only left...
"Merlin!" Mab exploded.
Merlin finished drawing the last letter and set his quill down, examining the gleaming black ink upon the page in front of him. He sighed with contentment, leaning back in his chair. His head leaned back into something soft. Nimue. She had been asleep in the bed behind him.
Her hand slid over his shoulder and he grasped it. He planted soft kisses on the back of her hand and over her wrist. Soft laughter floated on the breeze and he looked up...to find Mab staring down at him with a smirk. "What...ehgh!" Merlin lurched forward and almost fell out of his chair.
But Mab leaned over him, breathing on his ear, and snatched the letter from the table.
"No!" Merlin exclaimed. "Give it back. That's private!"
Mab sneered at him, keeping out of reach, and quickly read the letter.
She realised with a start of surprise that the letter was not to her. The wording was different and it was clearly addressed to Nimue.
"Why are you reading that?" Merlin stammered with embarrassment. His most personal thoughts about Nimue were composed there.
Mab flung the letter back at him with disdain. "I don't know what kind of game you're playing Merlin, but believe me, it won't work."
Merlin stared at her incomprehensibly. And Mab, fed up with his spectacular performance of innocence, vanished.
The letters continued to appear.
Every time Mab walked into her inner sanctum there was a small new pile next to the door. She growled in frustration and walked past the pile without touching it. She would find the one responsible and make them pay for their insolence. Personally, she still thought it was somehow Merlin's doing even though she wasn't able to prove it. Perhaps she was fooling herself over that one. She wanted to believe her son held some tenderness in his heart for her no matter how hidden it might be. Surely what filled those letters couldn't all be lies.
And maybe just maybe, though she'd never admit it, there was a tiny part of her that sort of enjoyed having a secret admirer. It was both irritating and charming.