Ceylan had assumed Cheveyo was one of her 4,196 half siblings when she first saw him enter the Minor Court behind Samira. No one else usually got nearly so close to the Queen. If anyone had told Ceylan he was an unrelated, full-blooded human, she would have rebuked them for impertinence.
Samira had built the city of Lesslight in the core of Earth’s Moon for a purpose – to keep her queendom out of humanity’s reach, safe from a second Great Capturing. Ceylan could think of nothing she believed Samira would stop at to prevent a repeat of that disaster, so whenever the royal sentries reported human presence on the surface of Lesslight, Ceylan’s first prediction was always that it would herald either a full scale war on humanity or a mass exodus of the fire spirits to Venus. Fortunately the occurrences didn’t happen more than once every few centuries, and they had never breached the surface or been capable of entering the city.
Cheveyo had barely drawn Ceylan’s attention until Samira put him in front of her, introduced him, and said, “It has been decided he shall have a room in the palace, but as a human he is somewhat overawed by his new surroundings. I would like you to devote your full attention to his acclimation.”
Ceylan’s only response had been to stare in silence.
Samira, sensing the trepidation, had flashed her “chess” smile and said, “trust me.”
312 years later, Ceylan had still never found out what Samira had hoped to accomplish by granting Cheveyo access to Lesslight and arranging their marriage, but it had been one of the more pleasant plans to play along with, especially since one of the outcomes had been Aravis.