Admina's Argument

kickass heroine

Who in their right mind wants to be Queen? Frustrated by an old enemy and distracted by border rumblings, Aliah really doesn't have time to deal with a disobedient daughter.

Tried of being told what she can and can't do, Princess Mina rails against the constraints of her position. Why can't her mother understand that all she wants to do is join the guards and travel the land?

As Queen Aliah weaves family tales, of princesses and witches, boys who disappear and humans who can fly, will her daughter realize the importance of these stories and rise to the challenge? And will she do it in time to face the new threat to their home?

Admina's Argument is created by Vivienne Lee Fraser, an eGlobal Creative Publishing signed author.

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Chapter 1: Why Me I
PART ONE: DESTINY The door slammed. 'This is the final straw.' Dominic stopped writing and raised his head to find out why his wife was causing such a commotion. Aliah flopped into the seat in front of his desk in a most unladylike way, which appeared more so because the wide skirts of her formal, blue court dress did not quite fit into the narrow-armed chair. The stiff fabric rustled as she attempted to make herself more comfortable. 'I assume you mean the straw that broke the cart wheel, and from the look on your face, I'm going to guess you're referring to our beloved daughter and potential heir to the throne of Aria?' Flicking her head to the side as if she were sending a plait back over her shoulder, the crown on her head wobbling precariously amid the elaborate curls holding it in place, Aliah huffed. The gesture was a sure sign of his wife's agitation, and it was all he could do to bite back a smile. 'That girl is in real trouble this time,' Aliah said. "And that approach will go down well with Admina," Dominic thought but didn't say. Used to standing between a headstrong wife and an equally stubborn daughter, his verbal response was more measured. 'Rather than going and making Mina's life more of a misery than she believes it already is, maybe we could discuss her most recent transgression and think of a way through this - together.' His wife glared at him, her blue eyes stormy and full of anger. She drew herself to her feet and leaned forwards as if about to make some cutting remark. She paused before sighing deeply. Sitting down, she placed her hands in her lap and raised her eyes to meet his. 'Mina didn't turn up to her first class this morning. When another student went to fetch her, they found her room at Wizard Isle empty. A search of the isle and the castle turned up neither our daughter, nor her belongings.' Aliah looked expectantly at him, and Dominic made sure he hid his smile. Years working as a spy before becoming joint ruler of Aria taught him the value of not showing his reactions. Aliah partially rose, placed her hands on the desk, and locked eyes with him. 'You're pleased about this, aren't you? You're happy, because you told me sending her to study with the wizards on the isle would not go well if she didn't agree to it beforehand. Now that you've been proven right, a part of you is celebrating.' Wondering what small tic or change of facial expression gave him away, Dominic grinned. Mina was less likely to do something when ordered - on principle. However, what amused him was what his wife called "independent thinking" when it came to her own actions, Aliah labelled as "disobedience" when it came to their daughter's antics. 'Aliah, please sit down.' She didn't move a muscle. 'All right, I do find this amusing, but that doesn't mean I don't want to sort it out. We both agreed that Mina attending the first classes aimed to licence magic users without their having to join the wizards was important, not only because it would allow her to have more options for the future, but because it would also demonstrate to the country that women with magical abilities have an alternative to becoming hedge witches and using their gifts illegally.' Aliah sank back into the seat behind her, almost as though his words had taken some of the wind out of her sails. She fiddled with a strand of hair that worked its way loose, twisting it around her finger. Letting it go, she straightened up and placed her hands demurely in her lap. 'I know you; there's more you want to say. Go ahead, you may as well get it all out now.' His wife was the very picture of a child waiting to be admonished, and Dominic had to use all his self-control not to say the first thing that popped into his head - "Goodness, Aliah, could you be any more reluctant to discuss this?" Instead, he said, 'The only thing we disagreed on was whether or not Mina would appreciate the benefits of attending classes. Your approach of ordering her to go has not worked; perhaps now it is time to try my way and persuade her to agree to return.' Aliah opened her mouth as if to say something, then closed it again. She tugged at her hair, a sure sign she was thinking things through, or plotting something. He hoped it was the former, but when she smiled, Dominic's stomach sunk - definitely the latter. 'Perhaps you're right, Dominic. I failed. Maybe it's time for the master to deal with this thorny problem. I'm sure you'll handle it much better than me.' 'Flattery won't always get you what you want, Aliah, and in this instance, it definitely won't work.' A smile played at the corners of her mouth, and Dominic realised she baited him into a reaction. She was getting quite good at this; he would make a diplomat of her yet. 'Of course I can talk to Mina, and she might return to the isle and resume classes, but that will only solve one problem. It won't sort out the issues between you and your daughter. If we are to train her to be our heir, you will need to be able to discuss many, often quite sensitive, things with her. You'll also both have to learn to listen to each other.' 'Humph.' The almost smile disappeared. 'If you don't make the effort now, she may never accept the Heir's Ring and the responsibilities that go with it. Then all we did to fight for female children to be treated the same as their male counterparts will have been for nothing.' He waited for her to respond. He understood how hard she fought to be more than merely someone's potential wife when she was a princess, and this was the one thing that might actually encourage her to shift her position slightly. 'Aliah?' 'All right, I'll deal with her.' Aliah crossed her arms. 'I'm just not sure how to go about it.' 'Manage her as if she were one of your dukes, one you wanted to do something they wouldn't normally agree to. You always find a way to win them around to your way of thinking.' 'I charm them,' Aliah answered, face deadpan. Dominic snorted. When Aliah's eyes twinkled with amusement, he relaxed; he had won the battle. Chewing on her lip for a minute, she nodded and said quietly as if to herself, 'Yes, that might work. Now if I could only find her.' 'You know exactly where she's hiding. She's where she always is when she doesn't want to face the consequences of her actions.' Aliah stared at him blankly, then grinned. 'Of course. I'll go speak with her now.' 'Um, are you sure?' Dominic asked, a laugh tinging his words as he imagined his wife climbing an apple tree in her current attire. Looking down at her dress, Aliah chuckled. 'Well, perhaps I might change first.'

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