"My apologies for the meager surroundings, Milady."
Lydia started, falling backwards as the Seneschal's laughed, his voice full of its usual ironic amusement. So he had found his way to power without her. Ignoring his outstretched hand, Lydia scrambled to her feet. "I don't even rate a visit from Aeon himself?"
"Ah, no. I thought you and I needed a private moment."
Something in the tone of his voice and the way he studied her, made Lydia pause. Had he allied himself with Aeon? And if he was not under his orders, what did the Seneschal want with her? She knew better than to ask him directly.
"Shall we stroll?" he asked.
Lydia nodded and took his offered arm. As they walked, the gray featureless expanse traveled with them, leaving them in a small oval patch of clear air.
"An interesting place you have here," she said, matching his light tone. It was neither of Faerie, nor somewhere in the Mortal world. She could sense no touch of glamour around her, except for the intricate magic that kept the Seneschal's face obscured. It was as if he had found a way to wrap that same magic around them both.
"He can't see us, can he?"
The Seneschal stopped and gave her a short bow. "Welcome to my sanctuary. It exists in the Between; a particular blind spot of my own creation that no one, not even Aeon, can find."
"I could have used a place like this."
"That is true. But we were not allies then."
Lydia looked at him sideways. "Are we allies now?"
She nodded. "Good. I would rather there only be honesty between us, Seneschal."
He offered her his arm again and they continued walking. "Faerie might have prospered under your rule. It is a shame you abandoned your birthright."
In another time or place, Lydia might have argued with him, but she was past her anger and her self-pity. There was only the truth left. "I did what I thought best. There was too much I didn't understand."
"Had you sought me out for council, I would have advised you."
Lydia snorted. "Being honest doesn't suddenly make me stupid."