Briar never wanted to become the fairy queen but that decision was not hers to make. She was chosen for the role. Here is a deleted scene depicting one of the reasons Briar struggled with this new change in her life. She was meant to protect, not to be protected.
The rays of the sun warmed her skin, welcoming her to the first day of her new life. She stretched and groaned; the soft bedding would have to be changed. Everything in her new room was too soft. In her home, the place that she would likely never step foot in again, she had a bed so firm she could have been sleeping on the floor.
Briar took a deep breath as she sat on the edge of the bed and gazed out the large windows. Just outside the door, she could hear them, her eager guards. She shook her head and looked down at the mark on the center of her chest. The golden branding was left behind by the Solaris when it entered her body. She was the new Fairy Queen.
This was a moment that should have been celebrated, but how could she celebrate when her predecessor had just been murdered in cold blood? The weight of the loss kept her planted on the bed. She never wanted to be queen; she wasn’t groomed for it. From the day of her birth, Briar was meant to be a warrior, and she did that. She worked her ass off to make sure that her family and her queen were protected. Now she was the one everyone would be trying to keep safe, especially with a murderous warlock on the loose.
The soft tap on the door forced her to deal with the present and escape her thoughts of things she couldn’t change.
“Come in,” she called out.
“The court awaits you, its time to get dressed,” Mysti, her former second in command and now Commander of the fairy guard entered the room.
“Mysti,” Briar stood and frowned when her friend bowed to her. “Thank you for coming.”
“Of course, I wanted to be the first one to see you on your first day as Queen.”
“I appreciate it.” Briar walked to the window overlooking her home. “I’m not ready for this.”
“You have to be.” Mysti joined her, standing close enough for their shoulders to touch. “You were chosen. I know this isn’t the life you wanted, being pampered and waited on, making decisions for all fairy people, but honestly,” she turned to face her new queen, “there isn’t anyone else I can think of that’s better for the job.”
“You think so?”
“Okay, I admit. You aren’t the most graceful being.” She laughed and nudged Briar who chuckled as well. “But, you’re the best one we have. You are kind, brave, and fair. You will be a great queen. And I’ll be here right by your side. As I always have been.”
“Mysti,” Briar turned to the commander and looked into the large green eyes of the woman who knew her better than anyone else. “Things between us,”
“I know. They have to change.” She took a step back. “I wrestled with the concept all night, and I can’t say that I’m over it, but you are the queen and as forward thinking as our people can be…”
“In time, we will make it work.” Briar lifted her hand to her cheek and smiled as Mysti leaned into her touch.
“Don’t make any promises to me now.” Mysti grabbed Briar’s wrist and lowered her hand. “You can only promise me one thing.”
“Promise me that you won’t give up. Promise me that you will fight for what is right, for our people as well as the rest of the world.” She paused. “And promise me you won’t hate me if I’m different after this moment.”
“I have to protect my heart. I hope you understand.”
“Of course,” Briar stepped back from Mysti. “I respect your decision, Commander.”
“Thank you.” Mysti turned to leave.
“Mysti,” Briar called after her.
As the door closed behind Mysti, Briar’s heart was heavy. Her life was no longer hers. She was the Queen and her people came first. By the time the small girl carrying the crown jewels entered the room, Briar had cleaned her face of the tears, straightened her hair, and removed the overly fluffed bedding.