SPG: December, Part 4/4

CeceliaIsaac_StPaulGrimoire

St. Paul Grimoire is an urban fantasy serial that updates weekly. Each month will cover a self-contained story told over four parts.
It will not be overly edited, and character arcs and plotlines could be adjusted with your feedback! Let me know what you think!

Dakotah’s mouth opened with fury but Val leaned forward quickly.

“This mediation is between you and your tribe daughter,” she snapped. “It’s against the law to try to bribe or threaten a mediator. Release Pete and Phin.”

“And Faunet,” Florelle squeaked from behind Obie’s arm.

The tribe mum sneered. “You’re not a Guardian, girl.”

“Release them or this mediation is void,” Dakotah snapped, “and we’ll have to move on to next steps.”

A memory flashed through his mind, of hearing similar words at a mediation with a lawyer, his mom, and some school officials.

The mum’s sneer remained for a challenging moment. But then she snapped her fingers. Though nothing changed in the room, she said, “it’s done. Though there’s still the matter of one wet cat.”

Val giggled. She stopped in surprise when she noticed Dakotah looking expectantly at her. “Oh,” she said. “Um, we can apologize about the cat.”

Dakotah turned to the mum. “We’re sorry.”

The mum inclined her head. “And we for besieging you.”

Dakotah’s lip quirked but he didn’t say anything.

“Sprites love order and propriety,” Val explained to Dakotah in a low voice, though the whole room could hear them. “They usually are a big part of the Seelie Court.”

“What’s a Seelie Court?” asked Dakotah. Then he waved a dismissive hand. “Never mind. Now what?”

“Both sides state their grievances,” Val answered.

Dakotah looked at Florelle and Obie. The couple had been cowering on their sofa, arms wrapped around each other.

He looked back to the mum. “You can start.”

“My name is Entreera. I am the mum of my tribe. As such, I decide who my sprites may wed, so that marriage alliances may better the tribe. Florelle married without approval. I want her to revoke and return.”

Dakotah started to ask if this was even possible, but Florelle interrupted. “The mum just advises. I’m perfectly within my right to choose another!”

“Is that true?” Dakotah asked Val.

“Sprites sign a contract of allegiance to the mum. So she’s an adviser, but I think we’d have to see Florelle’s contract…Right?” Val asked Florelle.

Florelle nodded but didn’t look any more confident than she had before, leaving Val to wonder if the contract would in fact prove Florelle and Obie could not be together.

“The contract?” Dakotah asked the room.

The mum reached a hand up and the five pages of a contract made of tree bark flashed into her hand with a blaze of green light. She handed it to Dakotah. As he and Val leaned over the document, the squiggles on the tree bark started to rearrange until they settled into English.

At least, some form of English. Legalese. He and Val divided the pages up and began to read slowly.

“Article IV,” Obie dared to say.

Val shuffled and found the section. “Got it,” she said.

Dakotah looked. “Hm,” he said. “There’s nothing here that says you can control her marriage.”

Obie and Florelle sat up excitedly.

“But,” he went on, finger on his own page of bark, “I found something, too. This says Florelle’s skills are valuable to the tribe.” He looked to Entreera for confirmation.

The mum nodded. “Cat hair styling is a significant income for our tribe.”

Dakotah determinedly kept from looking at Val, or he’d laugh for sure.

“This work clause says you will work for the tribe for a specific number of years,” he went on, this time speaking to Florelle. “If you marry Obie that’s fine, but you can’t leave the tribe. Your work contract isn’t up.”

Florelle was frowning. “But I don’t want to leave the tribe.”

“You don’t ?” asked Entreera. “But Obie is tribeless. I thought you meant to forsake us as well.”

“Perfect,” Val rushed to say. “Then Obie joins your tribe now and everything’s settled.”

Dakotah held his breath. Had Val spoken too soon?

“That should be acceptable,” Enteera acquiesced.

Dakotah kept a professional face on but Val ran to Florelle and cheered.

“I wish we still had a Seelie Court,” Entreera said to Dakotah. “Too much human involvement in fey affairs. But you have helped us, and so I thank you.”

“Half-bow,” instructed Val, suddenly behind him. “Sprites don’t shake hands.”

He obeyed.

~*~

“Thank you,” Dakotah said when the sprites had gone but he and Val had not yet left the room.

She shrugged. “I guess I could help you out. Just, like, sometimes.”

“Perfect,” said Dakotah. “Because a vampire arrived last night.”

Her mouth dropped open.

“I’ll get you the grimoire right away,” he said with a laugh.

 

My novel TURQUOISEBLOOD is coming soon! Learn about it here!

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