I sat down and pumped out an entire chapter again, mostly because, I’ll admit that I have little sense of self-preservation as a creator. I’m trying to work on that, seeing as nothing gets done if I’m burnt out, but I’ll admit that it sometimes still gets the best of me. Besides, the more I write Gia and Oliver, the more time I want to spend writing them. They seem like good kids. And I learned today that Oliver likes little kids, so that makes me like him more.
I gesture for Oliver to hop up on the counter while I find the antiseptic and the cotton pads to pour it on. He winces as I dab at the gash along his collar bone, but holds still enough. Thankfully it’s not as serious as all the dried blood made it look. Nor is the one on his cheek. I clean and put a few band-aids on his smaller cuts to keep myself from feeling useless.
“Please try to forget what Lyra said about you,” Oliver says as I gingerly place a bandage along his wrist. “Not a word of it was true. I know it’s cliche, but you really are beautiful the way you are.”
I scoff and Oliver rolls his eyes.
“Fine. We won’t talk about how you’re beautiful, but even you can’t deny that you’re brave. You’re smart. You’ve never once backed down from Faerie, which not many humans who wind up there can say. You’ve got moxie, Georgina Johnson, and you’re a great friend.”
That makes me laugh. “Moxie? Really? How has anyone ever believed you’re a twenty-first century teenager?”
Oliver blushes and studies the floral painting on the wall. “Oh, shut up. I’m trying to tell you that you’re incredible. Even if you weren’t beautiful, that wouldn’t change.”
“Well…thanks. You’re not too bad yourself.”
A whispered little, “Whoa,” at the door distracts us both.
Ethan peaks through the door at us with eyes like plates and a tiny purple floating figure only as big as my pinkie. It’s even smaller than I thought sprites would be.
“My friends said the faerie prince was here,” Ethan says, stepping into the bathroom. “Is that you, Oliver? Are you really a prince?”
Oliver beams down at my brother as he hops down off the counter. “I most certainly am.”
“Wow.” Ethan points at Oliver’s binder. “What’s that?”
“It’s sort of like a bullet proof vest, only for magic. Being a faerie prince is very dangerous work, you see.”
I step out of the way so I can just watch this precious moment unfold. Ethan knowing the truth doesn’t count, seeing as he’s had sprites for friends for a while now.
Somehow, Ethan’s eyes manage to get even wider. “Is that why you’re so beat up? Do you want to talk to my dad? He’s a doctor.”
Before I can panic, Oliver bends down to Ethan’s eye level and says, “We can’t tell your dad. Your sister and I were on a secret mission tonight.”
“Why’d she go?”
“She’s one of my knights now.”
Ethan frowns like we’ve cheated him out of a treat.
“Do you want to be a knight too, Ethan?”
He nod with his bottom lip out.
“Okay, well, all you have to do to become a knight is to pinkie promise to keep my royal secrets, including that I came to your house looking all beat up tonight.” Oliver holds up his little finger for Ethan to take. “Deal?”
Ethan hooks pinkies with Oliver with more force than necessary and exclaims, “Deal.”
Oliver makes a circle with their hooked hands and says, “I hereby dub thee Sir Ethan of Fieldbrook Street, guard against all things dark and fae.”
Ethan looks at their hands with wonder written all over his face. “Wow, cool.”
“You know what all good knights do, Ethan?”
“Go straight to bed when it’s passed their bedtime.”
With the fear of his “good knight” status in jeopardy, Ethan waves goodnight and bounds back up the stairs.
I laugh as I walk Oliver back to the door. “Thank you for doing that.”
“Of course. I love kids. And Ethan will no doubt make a great knight.” Oliver glances back towards the staircase, smirks, then take my right hand and kisses the back, sending a jolt up my arm. “Until Monday morning, Lady Knight.”
I hear a giggle on the stairs. I guess Ethan’s not as concerned with his good knight status after all.
“Until Monday, my prince,” I reply, trying not to roll my eyes.
With a nod that’s no doubt supposed to look regal, Oliver slips out the front door. With him gone, I whirl and see the top of Ethan’s afro as he bolts back up the stairs, thinking he’s slick.
With an exhausted sigh, I pack up the first aid kit, shut off the guest bathroom light, and make my way upstairs. As I change into my pajamas, my phone buzzes. It’s a message from Oliver.
Sorry. Was the kiss too much?
A little, I reply. But I’m starting to think ‘too much’ is the default with faeries.
Oliver replies as I snuggle into bed.
LOL. Too right you are.