James and I continued talking for quite some time as I drove us around. His worries kept appearing each time magic re-entered the conversation. I was far more impressed than I was concerned. If anyone could be trusted with extraordinary abilities, James could. He’d probably argue that I was just being affected by his enchantment, but I could think of far too many examples of James’ good nature and fair judgement for some enchantment to be the only reason. He was incredible.
James looked down in surprise as his phone started ringing. Considering his phone was generally muted, I could see why.
“Hello?” he asked, answering the call.
I could see the worry on his face as he listened. Something bad had happened.
“Oh no. Jarod and I are on our way. I honestly forgot about her. What happened?” he asked.
Her? Ah. The fairy was the most likely candidate. He wasn’t accustomed to her presence yet and left her out back earlier. I started heading home, assuming that was where the trouble was happening. James seemed to be listening intently. What happened?
“I’m terribly sorry. I truly did forget about her. Who would have thought that she’d still be out there after so many hours? I’ll hurry back there as soon as we arrive.” he assured the caller.
“What’s going on?” I inquired, having been accelerating for most of the caller’s monologue. If there was a situation the twins and Alma couldn’t handle, something seriously bad was happening.
“See you soon.” stated James before ending the call. Then he turned to me and said, “Apparently, the little fairy tried blasting her way into the house, got in a disagreement with Alma, and attacked her.”
I eased off the gas a little as I nodded. “Don’t forget to get the other side of the story before you start chastising someone.” I cautioned.
“I have a feeling that no amount of chastisement would faze the fairy.” he suggested.
“You’re still going to try. Besides, Alma has a tendency to be a bit forceful with people.” I reminded him, trying not to be too critical of her. “Do you really believe she didn’t provoke the attack?”
James frowned. “I’ll do my best to appease everyone.” he assured me.
I laughed and then said, “Don’t get me wrong. They both might need chewed out a bit. I was just thinking that this isn’t a time to leap to a conclusion, not with your volatile girlfriend involved.”
James sighed loudly. Staring at me, he replied “Jarod, we’re not dating. I don’t know that we will ever date, though I do like her company. We’re just… friends? I’m not even sure. She’s complicated.”
I laughed some more. James was obviously head over heels for her. I had no doubt that the two would end up dating. I wished I knew if that’d be a good thing, but I let the matter drop. There was nothing I could do at the moment, and James did have something to worry about at the moment if the fairy actually did attack Alma. Most people couldn’t survive being hit by a powerful laser, so he’d need to come up with safety measures against the fey in that scenario.
James hopped out of the car the moment we arrived in the driveway.
“Good luck!” I called, not wanting to follow. There was nothing I could do if the fairy or Alma was angry. However, I could come up with contingencies for various outcomes and consult with James should he ask. I had a feeling things wouldn’t get that far.
I fought my temper, unwilling to harm this creature even by accident. James wouldn’t forgive me if I did, and I’d never forgive myself. As dangerous as the fey was, she might be the last of her kind. I hadn’t sensed any others quite like her when I was in the forest.
I sensed James jogging toward me just after the car arrived. His slow, human motions seemed to take an eternity to bring him here.
“Alma?” he called, looking around as if to find me in the mist.
He was unreasonably handsome, and I moved to him, taking his arm. That fairy should at least come to realize that James was with me. He looked down at me, concern clearly visible on his face, at least until the fairy flew up to him and hugged his nose with her entire body.
“James, letting her do that really isn’t appropriate, especially considering there isn’t a stitch on her.” I informed him.
“Huh? She’s… well… I hadn’t even thought of that of all things. None of the fey seem to feel a need for clothes. What of the fighting? Why is there fog everywhere?” he demanded.
“The fog makes destroying things with lasers much more difficult at any range. That was Mila’s doing, not mine in any case.” I explained, wishing again that he was better educated. We needed to rectify his ignorance. “Imagine what your mother would say if she were to find out that you let naked girls cling to you simply because they’re of a different species.”
He laughed, telling me “I’m sure mother would simply be in shock that there was a fairy hugging me.”
I let go of him, not feeling comfortable holding onto him in my current mood. Why was he being so dense? I decided to alter my approach slightly.
“Oh? And what about the taller one who is difficult to detect?” I inquired, wishing the fey would accept names. If nothing else, we could label them. No, they deserved better than to have our ways force upon them. Fey couldn’t be domesticated in any case.
He seemed to be considering my words, but he was taking quite some time to do it.
“Well?” I asked. Seeing that he had no reply, I stated “I thought as much. No, I’m not suggesting that we introduce your parents to these creatures, but I do feel you should be a little more sensitive to proper decorum around them. Having met Emma as well as her grandmother, I’m sure you can see that these creatures don’t always have innocent intentions.”
A smile played at his lips as he said, “Aren’t you descended from one as well?”
I crossed my arms as I told him “If anything, that proves my point about their intentions. If you don’t respond soon, that one might grow violent again.”
I could see the change in his expression as he listened to the fey. What did he tell her that made her so exuberant? Probably nothing of importance. James had that effect on people, and the fey weren’t above his gifts. Neither was I.
After some time, he said, “As far as I can tell, she just missed me. I don’t see what is so improper about her intentions.”
“James, you’re… you’re…” I started, having the earlier images the fairy had shown me still playing in the back of my mind. She was far from an innocent creature. “You’re being hoodwinked!” I exclaimed. “You have no idea of what she was thinking about just moments ago, and I am not going to repeat it.”
I spun around to leave. “When you finally come to your senses, will you please at least attempt to reason with her about staying in the forest for the sake of your employee.” I insisted, too upset to safely remain here. “Goodnight!”
I hurried to my domain to calm myself down. I was not going to lower myself to discuss that creature’s suggestive thoughts with him. Couldn’t he understand that she desired him as a man, not merely as a friend? She might well be able to change her size. Though there was obviously some record of interactions between my family and the fey, we hardly had a detailed catalogue of the means such creature possessed to take a lover. Besides, what made him believe fey even understood the difference between friendliness and something more? They weren’t like us!
I unclenched my fist and sighed. There was work to be done, and I couldn’t do anything more to alter James’ views at the moment. If the fairy grew too enthusiastic, he would grow uncomfortable and reprimand her. Despite how terribly slow he could be to analyze a situation at times, he was of excellent character. James wouldn’t fall victim to the whims of a fey.