Lunaria: The Sunless Isle (Chapter 8, page 1 of 18)

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Chapter 8

A cloaked woman paused at the doorway for a few seconds before entering. Ashlyn had seen enough visitors already that evening that the woman hardly seemed worthy of further attention. That is, until she recognized the arrival to be the very Stelana she had encountered twice before.

Stelana spoke with a young boy close by - the one with the strange eyes that had been introduced to Ashlyn as Domic - then hurried over to where Ashlyn and her guardian priest were seated. Ashlyn's muscles tightened involuntarily, her body tensing as she wondered what the woman could want.

"Fayne," she said urgently, "may I speak with you in private?"

The priest Fayne glanced at Ashlyn, who sat wondering if she was about to be abandoned again.

"She is a safe audience," he offered, his gaze meeting the woman's.

"She associates with rogues," Stelana countered.

"Your mother is rather fond of rogues, as I recall," he replied, earning a scowl in response. "Look, sweetheart, she has nowhere else to go, no-one else to turn to. I want to show her that some people can be reliable and trusted upon, as she must see that others will give out their trust as well. Vhessa would not wish us to deny our help to anyone, much less an innocent such as this."

Ashlyn did not have the opportunity to protest the 'innocent' title.

Stelana sighed audibly, as if his declaration did not surprise her in the least.

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