The breakfast was amazing, the audience not as much. Finn shoveled another forkful of mystery eggs into his mouth in the most polite way possible. He just wanted to hide back into his room and not deal with everyone staring at him. Per the queen’s orders, Finn had come to breakfast with his wings out. A special chair allowed him to sit without setting them at a bad angle.
“Try some of this.” Amon placed some blue-green sausages onto his plate.
“I don’t think that’s edible,” Finn argued.
“It’s from a special cow that only breeds here,” Amon said. “Try it.”
Finn poked at the meat with his fork. It didn’t come alive and snap off a tine so he cut off a tiny bit and ate it. Flavor exploded across his tongue. He swallowed the bit before turning wondering eyes onto Amon. “That’s really good.”
“Have some more.” Amon placed three more sausages on his plate and Finn couldn’t find it in himself to complain. Criss scowled at them across the table. Cian had vanished when they entered the dining room. Amon said he’d gone to join some of his soldier friends.
For a brief moment Finn had longed for Axel with a painful longing. The vampire would’ve offered insight and witty repartee if he found himself in a room of a hundred fae. Finn didn’t know what to do.
He picked up the juice as the woman two seats down toppled off the chair she had been sitting in and began convulsing on the floor.
“No one touch anything,” Finn shouted. He raced over and dropped to his knees. Once again something rippled beneath his skin. Instinct had him pressing his fingers against the shaking woman’s neck. Unbidden, foreign words spilled from his lips in a lyric litany. Silver lights glowed from Finn’s fingertips as he spoke and something pulled from him and sank into the woman now lying still beneath his fingers. Sweat beaded on his brow and pooled at the base of his spine as his body warmed from his effort.
“Finn, pull back. She’s fine now.” A large hand pressed against his sweaty back, yanking Finn back from his trance. He snapped into awareness and yanked his hands away from the stranger
“Thank you,” she whispered.
Finn cleared his throat. “You’re welcome.”
Amon helped Finn to stand.
He wavered on his feet, his knees bending without permission.
“Hey, I’ve got you.” Amon pulled out a chair and let Finn collapse into it.
“What happened?” Finn asked, his throat dry and voice cracking.
“Here.” Amon handed over a glass of water.
Before Amon could explain anything a woman rushed into the hall with complicated braids in her dark hair and wearing a sunshine yellow dress. “Dani!” she shouted, falling to her knees beside the other woman.
“Silence!” The queen stood, her magic poured over the room, pressing a calm into all the bystanders. “I want no one to touch anything else on the table. If Dani was poisoned we want it investigated. Amon get your men and start an investigation.”
Amon bowed. “Yes, your majesty.”
The queen fixed Finn with a cold stare. “I know you hoped to infiltrate my kingdom, but while you are here we will take advantage of your expertise. You will assist Amon in determining what is going on and put and end to whomever is attacking my people. The kingdom is pleased that you saved one of our own and will allow you a boon of your choosing. Pick well and alert me to what you have decided.”
Finn bowed but didn’t speak. Sometimes it was better not to say anything especially with royalty. No one spoke again until the queen left. “You should probably get her to a healer,” Finn said to the woman still kneeling beside Dani.
“Yes, yes I should.” She brushed away tears from her cheeks. “Thank you for saving her.”
“You’re welcome.” Finn offered an awkward smile and didn’t bother hiding his relief when Amon led him down the table to take samples of everything. Something she ate had been tampered with and they would have to discover what. Finn’s nerves settled. This he understood. Plain old detective work eased the anxiety rushing through him. If he figured out the killer maybe he could regain some of his old life again.