Taken By the Sidhe

Chapter 4

Though he was but six years old, Owen would never forget the night his sister Gwynydd went missing, or what happened the following day. His mother, Morgan, had gone out to find her, and learned that she had been consorting with a Sidhe.

Upon hearing this, Owen's father, Garth, sent him out to gather firewood. But Owen stayed near the door long enough to hear Garth's angry cries. He called Morgan a witch and Gwynydd a whore, and sent both of them away.

The last words Garth ever spoke to his own wife and daughter were, "Let the Sidhe take both of you wretches! I'll not have your rotten kind within my home!"

Though Garth had often made favorable comparisons to the Sidhe before, as people often did, he now mentioned them only in insults--as cruel as the Sidhe, as cowardly as a Sidhe. Aunt Etain offered to help keep house, but Garth sent her away, simply for being named after a legendary Sidhe.

And so after that, Garth and Owen lived alone.

Aurea and Gwynydd, weeping, walked back to Sidhe Hill. Garth had been even angrier than they had expected, and had sent them on their way without even giving them time to pack anything. They had not even had the chance to bid little Owen good-bye.

Aurea made an unusual sweeping motion with her arms, and the way into Sidhe Hill opened. Their old life was over.

Gwynydd was quiet as her mother led her to Anoron's home. She knew that Aurea blamed her for their banishment from their village. And although the prospect of staying with Anoron was thrilling, she had never known any other home. She was beginning to wonder if she had made the right choice.

After an hour's walk, Anoron announced that they had arrived. The building in front of them looked too small and thin to be a real castle--like a painted picture instead of the real thing. Aurea assured her it was much larger on the inside. A wistful smile appeared on her face as she remembered her childhood home.

Anoron was overjoyed to have his sister and lover stay in his home. Out of respect for her feelings, he gave Aurea a suite that was as far from his own as was practical. But Gwynydd's chamber was right next door to Anoron's. As a woman of eighteen, she was allowed to choose her consort and expected to sleep near him, so that he could call on her at will.

"Now," he said, hands on Gwynydd's shoulders. "You should bathe and dress for dinner, so that when I present you to my household, you look as beautiful to them as you do to me." He gently pushed her through the door of her room, then called for a servant.

Anoron's lady-in-waiting undressed Gwynydd, which made her a little uncomfortable. The manner in which the servant scrubbed her body made her even more uncomfortable. She had never desired a woman before, but Mireth made her feel a yearning for new experiences.

As Mireth was drying Gwynydd off, Anoron entered the room. "Ah, there is my beautiful love." He kissed Gwynydd, making her shiver. "Much as I would love to ravish you again, we must prepare you for dinner." Anoron turned to Mireth. "The blue gown, I think. And silver jewelry, to complement that lovely dark hair of hers."

Chapter 5