"What is he doing here," Michael said between his clenched teeth. "I can't stay if he is here." He turned around and was about to disappear when Elaina grabbed him around the wrist.
"Wait," she said in annoyance. "Why can't you stay? I've missed you." She grabbed his hand and dragged him over to the table to sit down. She glared at Breadan when he began to sputter in protest. "He's staying and so are you."
"I wouldn't leave you with him Princess," he replied while keeping eye contact with Michael. "His family is still not trusted. It's my duty to protect you. I am still deciding on whether to tell his father of these little visits."
Michael leaned back in his chair and shrugged.
"He is actually the one that told me to continue these visits," he flicked something off the table and it hit Breaden in the face. He smirked as Breadan tried to flick it back but failed. "So, how have you been Elaina?"
Elaina had been admiring the way the black t-shirt he wore clung to his chest and blushed. "I've been fine," she said breathlessly. "I've been practicing controlling my glamor."
"Well, that's good," he said. "It seems that whenever your emotions are overwhelming, you lose your glamor."
Breadan cocked his head as he heard someone pulling into the driveway. "I suppose that would be your mother?" They watched as a white minivan pulled into the driveway and came to a stop. Her mother's hair resembled a birds nest and her eyes looked glazed over with fear. Her pulse sped up as she stood up and watched her mother walk up the porch steps.
"Mom," she said. "Are you okay?"
"You have to leave Elaina," she said. Her voice was trembling as much as her hands. "It's not safe for you here." She looked at both the men sitting at the table. "You're going to protect her aren't you?" Her skin was paling as they both nodded. She grabbed her mom's hands and gasped at how cold they were.
"We need to get her inside Breadan," she grabbed her mother around the waist and began to walk towards the screen door. "Michael fetch me something to get her warmed up."
He nodded and opened the door for them to enter. "What do you think happened to her," she asked later as they watched her mother sleep on her bed. Her hair was a frizzy mess and her eyes had dark circles beneath them. "I've never seen her this way before. She's never gotten sick and her job has never put stress on her." She dropped her head into her hand and took a deep breath. "What if someone attacked her because of me? It's all my fault." She began to sob and Michael stood awkwardly beside her, letting her lean on him for support.
Breadan cleared his throat and walked over and grabbed Elaina by the shoulders. "You didn't do this Princess," he whispered in her ear softly. "Please, don't cry." He tightened the embrace and buried his head in her shoulder." I can't bear the sight of you in pain."
"Elaina," Michael said from behind them. "I must leave you regrettably."
She looked up startled at his sudden departure.
"Oh," she said quietly. "I'm sorry to have burdened you with all this." She stood up and walked over to him giving him a quick hug.
"Thank you, for helping me with this. When will you be back?"
Michael looked torn between something and he sighed. "I'll ask my father," he said. He looked down into her hazel eyes and leaned forward. Elaina heard Breadan protest as he laid a kiss on her cheek. "Be safe," he whispered in her ear. Then he disappeared into a cloud of smoke and she was left with Breadan.
"We should go downstairs," she said quietly and made her way out of the room and down into the living room.
"He shouldn't be allowed to touch you," she heard Breadan whisper behind her. She sighed and turned around gasping as Breadan gripped her chin firmly. His eyes were kindling flames and her heartbeat sped up. "These lips," he said as he traced them with a finger. "They should be mine alone." He leaned forward and kissed her gently stoking the flames in her heart. "Mine, and mine alone." He whispered as he paused between each kiss. She sighed and let herself drown in his kiss. Her skin prickled with heat and suddenly her hands were inching up his chest and twining around his neck.
He stiffened and she paused. "Did I do something wrong," she asked in confusion and embarrassment.
He shook his head and let her go hesitantly. "Your parents would be furious if they knew what I was doing," he said more to himself than to her.
She crossed her arms over her chest and took a step back. "They aren't here though. How would they find out?"
He locked gazes with her and drew her towards him. "You're like a drug that I've had too much of," he said as he traced her collarbone with his index finger. "You're in my dreams and I can't stop thinking of you when you're not near me." His fingers trailed lower and she held her breath. "You're so beautiful," he whispered as he leaned in to kiss her again.
"Breadan," she said in a husky voice.
"Elaina," a voice said from upstairs. "Are you down there?" The sound of footsteps coming down the stairs had them stepping away from each other.
Elaina berated herself for forgetting her mother and walked over to the staircase. "You should be laying down mom," she said as she grabbed her mom's hand and led her to the couch.
Her mother smiled and laid a hand on Elainas cheek. "Elaina, you're too kind. I used to always wonder if I raised you wrongly. If I had been the mother you deserved." She paused as her voice wavered. "I know that I didn't see... I know that I put you through a lot of things in your childhood that I shouldn't have."
Elaina shook her mom gently. "You didn't know that I was what I am mom," she said as softly as she could. She could see that her mother was near the edge of breaking down and didn't want to tip her over the edge. "Why do I feel like you're saying goodbye?"
Her mother's eyes spilled over with tears and her shoulders shook. "I saw him," she said in a hoarse voice. "He was banging on my window. Trying to kidnap me, so he could use me." She tightened her grip and Elaina cringed. "You aren't safe here anymore Elaina. I can't protect you like your real family can."
"What of your safety though," she exclaimed. "Who will protect you when I'm gone. You can barely swat a fly."
Breadan, who had stood quietly away from them so far came into the conversation calmly. "Your family would ensure your mother's safety Princess," he said smoothly.
"Do you see now? You must come with me. You're not safe here and being here is putting your mother at risk. Is that really what you want?"
Elaina shook her head and her eyes filled with tears. "I can't leave you mom," she said, her throat raw. "How could I leave you?"
Her mother wiped the tears from her eyes and smiled. "We'll see each other again sometime baby," she said. "I promise." She held her pinky out for Elaina and she wrapped her own around it.
"Pinky promise," she whispered. She embraced her mother and began to cry again.
Her mother rubbed her back reassuringly and then leant back. "You need to go," she said. "Take care of her for me?" She said to Breadan as he came over and grabbed Elaina around the shoulders.
He smiled at her and nodded. "It's my job to protect her," he replied. "They're people that are still here to protect you. I'll make sure to have one follow you throughout the day, to ensure your safety."
She nodded and stood up also, she looked at Elaina and fresh tears shone in her eyes. "Take care of yourself baby, and don't forget about me."
Elaina bit her lip so hard that it began to bleed. "I won't," she said in a choked voice. Tears trailed down her flushed cheeks and Breadan turned around and whispered something in a different language. A large bright circle appeared on her cream colored living room wall. "This will take us to where we need to go," he said as he took her hand in his. He squeezed it in reassurance and led her towards it. "I will send word to you once we are safely there." He said to her mother. She nodded and stared at Elaina as she disappeared into the bright portal. He hesitated before entering, turning around towards her mother. "How many days did he say you had," he asked her.
She paled and clutched her hands at her sides. "A couple," she replied. "Elaina... She can't know that I'm," she broke off and bit her lip. "She can't know that I'm dying."
Breadan approached her and laid a hand on her shoulder. He hissed in pain as his hand was burned. "I'm sorry, the poison is too strong," he clutched his hand in a fist."I can't lie to her if she asks me directly. It's against my nature."
She nodded and gazed through the portal. "Just keep her safe," she whispered. "She's all I had in this world. I won't see her grow old and I won't see her children." She paused as he handed her a tiny mirror. "This will let you see her while she sleeps," he said. "It's a sleep watcher."
She clutched it to her chest and fresh tears fell down her cheeks. "Thank you," she said as she watched him walk into the portal. "Thank you for keeping her safe." She closed her eyes as the portal closed and sunk to her knees. Crying at the loss of her only daughter.
Elaina enters a strange new world. I put a picture in so you can better imagine how the pixies look. They are very tiny.
It was quite in the portal and everywhere she looked was pitch black. "Breadan," she said. "Where are you?" When she didn't get a response, she hesitantly took a step forward. A path blazed through the void and she smiled in triumph. "Well, that wasn't so hard," she said as she took a step forward.
"Don't," he said. She jolted backwards and he grabbed her hand. "This is your first time through the fae paths. It's dangerous to travel alone." He looked around into the void and he clicked his fingers together. "This is the way," he said as he dragged her into the darkness of the void.
There steps echoed as if they were walking in an empty room and Elaina watched as a door seemed to materialize in front of them. It shimmered in and out of view and for a second Elaina thought, she was hallucinating. "Is that a door," she asked. He stopped and grabbed the door knob opening it. Sunlight poured through the door and Elaina gasped at the beautiful sights before her.
"Welcome home Rhyannon," he whispered in her ear as she turned in a circle to take in the sights. Little pixies flew up and began to fly around her whispering, "the princess has returned". They were every color of the rainbow and had beautiful wings. The wildlife around her was strange and familiar all at once and Elaina felt as if she had been here before. A doe came out from behind a tree and nuzzled her shoulder until she turned around and stroked its neck. "You're so beautiful," she whispered. It raised its head as Breadan came over and laid a hand on its head.
"Off you go Na-il," he spoke to the deer. "Tell her parents that we have arrived."
Elaina watched as it bowed and then turned around and took off through the forest. "How can it understand you," she asked as she let him guide her through the thick forest.
He smiled as a pixie dropped flowers into Elainas hair. "All the animals here can understand us," he said. "They speak to us mentally but only if they choose."
A sudden noise came from behind them and Breadan stopped and turned around. "Ceci, is that you?" He stood with his hands on his hips as he stared up into a tree. "Don't be shy. Come here." He opened his arms and a minute later a smaller version of a monkey fell into his arms. "I knew it was you," he said as he stroked its violet fur. Its fur shimmered and Elaina reached out to pet it. It tensed and hissed at her. Elaina frowned and let her hand fall to her side.
"I suppose not all the animals will like me," she said in disappointment. "Should we keep going?"
He smiled and let Ceci jump back into the tree. She watched as it perched on the edge of a branch and hissed at her. "She really doesn't like me," she commented as he led her down a small path. The breeze made the trees leaves fall to the ground and the scent of peaches tickled her nose.
She took a deep breath and sighed in pleasure. "It smells wonderful here," she said as she ran a hand over a curious pink bush. "What is this," she asked as she picked out what looked like a ripe cherry. She was about to pop it in her mouth when Breadan smacked it from her hand.
"Princess," he said furious at her. "Don't touch things. This world is deceiving." He grabbed her hand again and this time held her closer to him.
She rubbed her tender hand and pouted. "You didn't have to smack my hand," she said sulkily.
When he didn't respond, she sneaked-a-peek at him and saw that his face was set in grim lines. "I'm sorry Breadan." She said guilty. "I won't touch anything anymore..."
They paused as they came upon a large hedge that created a huge barrier left and right. "We're here," he stated and stuck his hand into the hedge.
Elaina looked at the hedge and frowned in confusion. "Where are we," she asked as she watched the hedge split and reveal a vine covered door.
Breaden paused as he reached for the handle. Roses were beginning to cover the door and he plucked one and put it in her hair. "We won't see much of each other for a while," he said quietly." Just know it's not my choice whether I see you or not."
Elainas heart sank at the thought of him disappearing and her being left alone with strangers. She gripped his hand in hers and tears filled her eyes. "You can't leave me here alone," she plead. "I don't want you to leave."
His chest expanded and he let out a deep breath. "I'll see what I can do," he said to her quietly and pushed a strand of her hair behind her ear. "Did you know your glamor faded as we walked through the portal?"
Elaina thought back to the itchy feeling she felt and nodded. "It would explain why I felt odd as we passed through it," she said. "Do I look acceptable?" She asked suddenly nervous that her parents would look down on her. She was wearing a simple white t-shirt with a peace symbol and a pair of old jeans. She flushed at how underdressed she would be.
Breadan smirked. "You'd look beautiful to me dressed in a box," he whispered. She blushed and he tapped a finger on shoulder. Her clothes changed into a long flowing white gown, a vine crown appeared in her hair. "This crown will do until they give you your real one." Tear drop crystal earrings hung from her ears and a white diamond chocker laid gently on her throat. The dress clung to her in all the right places and it displayed an ample amount of bossom.
She reached into her hair and let it fall out of its braid. It cascaded down her shoulders and back and Breadan's eyes shone with appreciation. "This is much better," he said turning suddenly. "Let's go before I do something, I'll regret later."
Elaina flushed at his bold words and followed him through the vine doors and into a garden. The hedge reached well over their eyesight and Elaina itched to see what was beyond it. They walked through the maze without hassle and finally broke free. Elaina froze at the view in front of her. "That's my house," she asked in amazement.
Breadan smirked at the expression on her face. "No, that's you're kingdom," he replied. "Close your mouth sweetheart."
Elaina flushed and tried not to look like a 10-year-old that was told they were going to Disney world. "It's so big Breadan," she said in awe.
The castle reached high into the clouds at an impossible height. It was made of stone and glass and it was brilliantly dazzling in the sunlight. Statues of nude woman lined the garden and also of some strange creatures. They were made of glass and polished so that it blinded her to look at them. He led her towards the castle and suddenly even the beauty couldn't distract her from her nerves.
"What if they don't like me," she said anxiously. "I've changed..."
Breadan paused and looked down into her pale face. "They'll love you, no matter what Princess," he said reassuringly. "Trust me."
Elaina's heart rate rose and her hands began to shake. "I don't know if I can do this," she said. She took a step backwards and trembled. Her wings were itching to come out and she resisted the urge to let them. She didn't want to tear the pretty dress up.
"Relax," he said as he brought her in for a kiss. "Everything will be ok. I'll be there with you."
She sighed and let her body cease its trembling. Her wings tore free and she gasped in surprise. "I was trying so hard to not let that happen," she said in disappointment.
He grabbed her hand and led her towards a door. "We needed to come through the back, so no one would give us any trouble," he said. "We don't want your return to be known yet."
"Why not," she asked.
"Just obvious reasons," he replied as he nudged open the door. "This is the kitchen."
The sound of people yelling in a strange language assaulted her ears and she looked at Breadan. "What language is that," she asked curiously. "It sounds familiar."
"You probably heard it when you were a child," he replied. "We used to play in here a lot as children."
Suddenly, the noise stopped and several people gasped. "Princess," they all began to chant and Elaina flushed.
"I thought no one was to see us," she said embarrassed at all the attention.
"They won't tell anyone," he said as they pushed past the strange women with too large eyes and different colored hair.
They all began to bow as she passed and she gave them hesitant smiles. "I guess, I'll have to get used to his huh," she whispered to Breadan as they passed into a different room.
"This is just the beginning of what you'll be getting used to Princess," he said to her. "Just know that I'll be here for you as much as I can."
She paused and he looked down at her in puzzlement. "Promise me," she demanded.
He smiled. "Is this you trying to be assertive," he replied. "I think, I'll grow to like it."
She pinched him and he jumped. "I'm serious," she said.
He smirked and held out a pinky finger. "Promise," he said wrapping his finger around hers. "Now are you ready?"
She stood up straight and steeled her shoulders. "Yes," she said. "I'm ready."