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“All better?” Maggie asked as she gazed into his eyes.
“Almost,” he whispered.
Liam pulled her in closer. The fire in her eyes stole his breath away. Her full sweet lips glistened. Their faces drew nearer. As their lips met his body tingled all
over. For the briefest moment the world stopped, his heart bursting from the soul capturing kiss. He never wanted the moment to end.
Maggie pulled back, her face still only a few inches from his own. The rich earthy scent of the forest drifted from her hair, skin and attire. A deep sigh passed her lips. Her lightly freckled cheeks flushing a rosy color.
“Come back with me, I’ll make us something to eat and maybe we can have a picnic?” He ventured. He needed to return to his own property but didn’t want to leave her here. A naturalist or not, it could be dangerous for her in the woods.
“A picnic, oh I haven’t been on one of those since I was little.”
“Really, well come on then. I’ll fix up a nice basket, some decent wine and a blanket, we can go wherever you want to eat. There’s a nice stream not far from my house.”
“I don’t know…”
“We will have a great time. I can show you my place, I just bought it.”
“I’m not sure,”
“Come on, I won’t bite.” He told her as he took both her hands in his own. His left one grabbed the leaf covered in mud she still held. She giggled at him as he shook the mud off his palm.
As Liam set about tossing dirt onto the remaining embers of last night’s fire, several fairies ventured to where she tidied up her lean-to. They all had forlorn expressions on their faces. She could tell they were not happy with her going on a picnic without them. Vern spoke first, “You can’t leave Maggie, we’re not allowed without the elder’s permission.”
“I’m allowed to go eat,” She whispered.
“But you’ll be breaking the Fae laws.” Vern gasped. Her blonde curls bounced about her face as she made a dramatic gesture by shooting her arms up into the air.
“I’m not a Fae, I’m human.”
“Bad things happen outside the forest. Maggie please don’t go.” Vern stated, her overly bright emerald eyes glistened with tears.
“Listen I’ll come back, I swear it. Cross my heart and hope to die.” She went through the motion of her promise, running her finger over her breast in an X.
“You will never come back,” Fen grumbled, “You’ll forget about all of us.”
He stomped back and forth in front of her along the main support of her makeshift home. His little arms crossed over his chest and his wings were folded up together. His red hair and freckled face now a richer shade in the early evening light.
“I’ll be back, you know I will. It’s just a little picnic.”
“There that should be good, can’t see it starting a forest fire now,” Liam spoke up from behind her. “Are you ready?”
“Yes, I think so.”
“We better head out before it gets too dark.”
“I don’t know the way.” She told him.
“Well allow me,” he gestured for her to take his hand and she did.
A boyish smile danced on his handsome face. The sun filtering in from the overhead canopy made his golden hair glitter like fairy dust. With a quick peek over her shoulder, she smiled at Fen. He still appeared upset. She would bring him back some of their lunch as a treat, she thought that would cheer him up.
They walked through the woods, the air was abuzz with the small voices of the Fae. Some called out to her not to leave, some warned her she would never be able to return and others were crying. Her chest grew heavy with every step away from her forest home. Soon they were in an area she didn’t know, it was close to the borderlands of the Fae. Her heart raced more and more. Fear began to grow in her that maybe her friends were right.
Maggie watched as Liam strode to the edge of the fairylands. He peered back over his shoulder with an outstretched hand. He tilted his head to one side, a questioning expression on his face.
“I’m afraid,” she whispered.
“There is nothing to be afraid of.”
“I can’t go out there.”
“Yes you can, I’ll show you.”
Fen tugged frantically on her reed skirt, he fluttered up and pulled her hair. Several more fairies flew out from the shrubs, all fluttering around her. Their tiny voices pleading for her to stay.
“Please Maggie, don’t go.” Fen implored as he fluttered onto her shoulder.
“My house is only a few hundred feet this way,” Liam said. She glanced from one to the other, her heart torn. Fen was her best friend, yet Liam she wanted to be her Prince. If she stayed, she may never see him again.
She watched as he stepped into the small clearing just at the forest edge.
“Maggie, no, don’t, it will never be the same if you leave,” Fen whispered from her shoulder.
“But I want to, please don’t be mad at me Fen.”
“I won’t let you go,” he told her and tried to pull on her hair more.
Liam waited, staring back into the fallow woods. Maggie stood there, large tears dropped from her eyes. Butterflies fluttered all about her. He smiled at her and beckoned, “Come on, we are almost there, my camper is just down the hill.”
A car roared by drawing his attention away as she stepped from the tree line. The large billow of dust it sent up drifted along the road. He hoped there wouldn’t be to much traffic while they had their lunch. He returned his gaze to his sweet Maggie as a heavy breeze began to blow. A flurry of leaves swirled around her, with each step the foliage spun around her more and more.
He blinked wildly while his mouth flopped open. The reed skirt and flower petal top she’d worn was now a long, aged white smock over a grey petticoat. Her long loose flowing red hair, now hung down the side of her head in long braided pigtails. She stared up at him with her huge green eyes as a purple and orange butterfly fell from her shoulder to the ground motionless.
“Hi, my names Maggie, Maggie Meadows,” the young child said.