Liberty of the air

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Libby - this is me

Ever since I found out that I was the air spirit I let the air lead me. It may have a lot to tell me, and show me and I knew deep down it was my duty to listen. It did tell me things about the world about how certain areas needed help. but mostly it led me home. I knew that the moment I saw the first marker, that my time here was over, time must have gone faster than I realized. I must have lost track of a hell of a lot of days. I might be coming out early, I might be late. But the truth was I didn’t mind. A warm bath or a cold I wasn’t going to be picky would be a luxury currently. A horn started going off, it was the loudest sound I had heard in weeks and it didn’t feel right in this world. I was tempted to turn and walk back into the forest with the birds where the world was peaceful. But instead I let my backpack fall to the floor and I let my wings out for the first time. I had never seen my wings. It was only now that the thought to even let them out had hit me. I had felt them stinging so knew I had them now. I had never flown, even though I had wished too. The fact was now the first horn had gone off, I could trust someone to collect my bag and I didn’t need to worry about it, I could now fly. My wings seemed to feel the air, it was a weird sensation. I couldn’t really take my own wings in, but I knew for certain what they were like. Without even seeing them. I knew they were light and would support me. That to me was all I needed to know about them. The most important thing to me about my wings right now, was that they would let me sore. I flapped them a few times, I felt the wind move around me and how I affected it. then I jumped into the sky, there was no run there was a simple jump and my wings caught the current. it dragged me back slightly for a few seconds then I caught the hang of it, I giggled as I took to the sky, I had wanted to fly my whole life, it was so freeing. I flew, I really flew!

I should slow down, I knew that the wind was rushing past me so fast that I knew I was traveling at speeds my mom would have a heart attack at. I wanted to enjoy the sky for a little while longer. So that’s what I did, I played, I chased a bird for a few seconds then I let him chase me.

‘don’t you think we’ve all been waiting for you long enough, hurry up, you can have fun later.’ A voice said in my head. I wanted to stick my tongue out even though I knew whoever sent that message wasn’t close enough to see me. It made me giggle more though, it was like all the weight was off my shoulders right now. I had done it, I had finished my self-discovery and the person I was, I would learn for the rest of my life. That’s when I saw the next checkpoint, I landed on the ground close to it, and looked up at the elf in the tree, I knew I had a huge grin on my face, I knew I possibly looked crazy, mud everywhere and I’m not even exaggerating, my clothes were stuck to me. I possibly looked feral. But rather than say that, he took his horn to his mouth and blew. I tucked my wings back into my body, it was uncomfortable and slightly stung as my back absorbed them. The elf smiled down at me when he had finished sounding his alarm, then with a huge smile on his own face he said.

“welcome home Liberty.” it was the first words I had heard spoken in weeks and they just felt so right. I grinned up at him and told him.

“thank you.” I meant it with all my heart. I walked through the trees and carried on walking my last stretch home. Home I was home. When I reached the last gater I couldn’t really believe my journey was over. No, it wasn’t over, It had just started. I took a deep breath and I walked through the last gate. Immy stood there waiting for me, a huge smile on her face as if she never doubted me. As if she had always known I was coming back. I had to smile at her, I was trying my hardest not to giggle, I had no clue what I was meant to do, except party now? no clean get clean! Immy looked me up and down and her grin simply got bigger, she wouldn’t see my marks yet. they were under all the dirt and mud. I had seen my reflection in a puddle only this morning, I possibly looked like the swamp monster had come to life. I think I was more a walking mud pile currently. it was dry and I admit chaffing.

“Did you go swimming in the mud Libs?” Immy asked me, she burst out laughing. she obviously couldn’t stay serious a moment longer. I laugh

“I couldn’t make the whole getting clean thing easy.” I laugh shrugging. She shook her head.

“I don’t think we will ever be able to get it all of you.” she laughs.

“I think you’re the muddiest I’ve ever seen.” One fairy said laughing. I had to giggle.

“Least it’s not all dry, just most of it.” I shrug, it cracks with every movement. I admit its a weird feeling.

“I need a picture of this. I know we have a rule, but Dest will want to see this.” Immy laughs. The elder fairy shrugged.

“as long as that’s alright with the princess, I do not see any issues in pictures.” She informs us. I pull a face, I’ve always hated people calling me princess.

“Its Libby no title ever,” I say smiling.

“I’m okay with pictures, I want to see what I look like.” I giggle to Immy. Immy pulls out a camera from her pocket and takes a few. hey, my wings were hidden, if anyone ever found these pictures they would simply wonder how I got so muddy.

“I swear you have blonde hair, not browny blacky grey.” Immy laughs. We all walked along to a cabin that I’ve seen a few times from the distance but never been in myself before. Outside was a green hosepipe attached to a tap. The two Fairys, Immy not included actually hosed me down. Immy took photos as I laughed and tried to help get myself at least slightly cleaner. When the eldest one said I was clean enough, they opened the door and I was ushered in, I was then shown to a modern shower room. We do have some modern stuff. Plumbing around here was one of them. I showered myself watching the water run down brown and still muddy. it took forever, for it to change color. the amount of mud I got in my eyes, not laughable. it stung. but soon I felt cleaner. When I came out of the shower, I was shown to another room. It had a bath in the middle of the room, that was run and smelled so inviting the bubble bath smelt fruity and I couldn’t think of anything better right then than laying in it and soaking. Immy came into the room with me, the other two fairies disappeared into a different room of the Cabin. Immy started to wash my hair. She was silent as she washed my hair, I wasn’t sure if I was meant to talk or just relax. I was exhausted and was tempted to fall asleep. Immy carried on washing my hair and rinsing it then putting more shampoo on my head, it smelt sweet like strawberries. it was definitely getting rid of the earthly mud smell that had clung to me for weeks. I wondered what she thought of my tattoos now she could see them. Immy ran her hand over my back, rubbing the shower gel onto me.

“what does it look like?” I ask her. I honestly didn’t know. Immy came in front of me, she was still smiling. even though it must be weird for her to bath me. No one had bathed me in years. well except Patrick but that didn’t count.

“Want to see?” Immy asked me, I nod my head nervous but I knew I would always wonder if I don’t look. She drys her hands on a towel, then pulls out her camera, she moves my hair then takes the picture from behind me. Once took she comes back around the bath and bends next to it, she opens the gallery and shows me the picture shes just taken. I look at it in awe, it truly is amazing. On my back was a dream catcher, with blue azure beads around it and the Celtic symbol for air in the middle. Then it had 3 multicolor feathers which the middle one then turned into butterflies and birds. There were more colors than I think I could have named right then.

“its so beautiful Libs,” Immy tells me, she’s smiling at me.

“just like you,” she tells me bopping my nose with a bit of the bubble’s on her finger as I don’t answer her just staring at the picture in amazement. I smile at her, I throw some of the bubbles at her, she laughs and throws them back.

“you smell better,” Immy assures me laughing, then she goes serious looking at me with worry, she takes hold of my feet. One foot with the butterflies and music notes, the other the dandelion that turned into birds.

“there beautiful.” She tells me, I didn’t need to hear that. I squeezed her hand. that still held my feet.

“are you okay?” I ask her worried.

She nodded at me. “I’m fine Libs. I just am in a bit of shock.” She admits to me. to be honest so am I. She looked at my wrist that showed what I was, well who I was.

“I just well. Its an honor to.” She starts.

“I’m still me Ims and I feel strange enough with you bathing me,” I tell her truthfully. Immy holds up a towel,

“you’re clean enough just jump in the other shower. then Its elevensies and we can eat!” Immy tells me with a smile. there’s so much left unsaid but I know that we will address it when we are both ready. I nod and stand up, Immy wraps me in a towel, then escorts me through another door. not the same shower room. I climb in the shower and rinse myself off, I don’t spend long in there as Immy stands there holding a fresh towel open for me. So once all the bubbles are rinsed off I climb out again and she wraps me up. The towel was so fluffy and soft. She then took me through to another room.

The room was painted a light green, it was a comfy sort of room, pillows on the floor and a small table in the middle of the room. The two other Fairys were in there, they were kneeling by the table on their pillows. I went over and kneeled on my own. Immy kneeled next to me. I was then poured a cup of dandelion tea. there were a few slices of lemon cake, I took my slice and said my thank yous. we then all ate and drunk, a true fairy tea party. I had to force myself not to laugh. Once all the cake and tea was gone, Immy smiled at me.

“Libs,” she said with a smile.

“Yeah?” I ask her, not sure what to do or say.

“are you ready?” she asked me.

I was still in a towel, no I wasn’t ready.

‘no I’m naked.’ I send to her head. But no I wasn’t ready. There was one face I wanted to see out there. One face I knew wouldn’t be there. It kind of felt like I should have told Patrick. I had to be ready though. Everybody was waiting for me. Immy stood up and walked over to a solid oak closet in the corner of the room, I watched her pull out a dress. it was gorgeous! it was a white chiffon dress with cap sleeve and open back, it had a light blue ribbon just under my breasts. it was gorgeous. it went all the way to the floor, so would hide my feet marks. but that didn’t matter, because it felt the right dress.

“Destiny chose it for you,” Immy says with a huge smile.

“it’s beautiful,” I say meaning that.

She nodded and held it as if waiting for me, I walked over to her and she lifted it over my head. she helped me dress, as it fell to the floor it felt right. She tied the ribbon at the back. then I kneeled back on a pillow and she combed through my hair. It took a while and quite a few tugs, it wasn’t smooth sailing that’s for sure.

Once Immy was done she took a step back and looked at me.

“you are amazing Liberty. Today you truly look a princess.” Immy told me smiling at me.

“she looks like she should be walking down an aisle.” One of the full fairies said. I bite my lip not to laugh at that honest comment.

“but every bit a princess.” The other fall fairy said I had to smile at the grins they were all giving me.

“it’s time.” One of the older Fairys said when Immy had finished Immy hugged me tightly.

“remember today we celebrate you,” Immy says to me. I nod to her nervous.

“mind if I take another picture?” she asks me, I shake my head. she takes another one.

“you are so beautiful Libby,” Immy tells me.

“I will see you out there,” Immy tells me, she hugs me again quickly, I hug her tight. but then she leaves with the tow other fairies. I was alone in the room nervous as hell. I walked over to the mirror and looked at myself. My blue eyes stared back at me, my face hadn’t changed at all. I was still me,

“This is me,” I say to my reflection. that’s when the last horn goes off, to sound my arrival home. I walk out of the cabin and walk down the path. The last part of my journey.

The moment I walked through the last lot of trees, I felt every eye on me. I kept my head low, not sure what I should do. I had seen hundreds of awakening in my life, they never looked up until the right moment, but how did they. wait it was strange I knew I needed to look up. I slowly raised my head, not sure how I would feel to see someone other than Patrick. if they saying was correct and right now I should see the love of my life. But the moment I raised my head and looked the man in the eyes. I knew. I knew that the old saying the first person a fae laid her eyes on is the one they will love is true. I knew I was meant to be with Patrick. I knew he wasn’t totally freaking out. I knew that he was real. A smile went on my lips. I couldn’t help it. I found my smile get bigger as I took him in, he hadn’t changed at all these last few weeks. he even needed to shave. I walked though knowing I needed to get this over with. I sort my sister out. Destiny watched me a look of pure proudness on her face. I walked along the flower petaled path. that someone must have prepared for me. I walked along it till I got to the altar. My mum and dad stood there off to the side. Grandma Daysi stood there in all her glory. She was beautiful. She looked at me, she still looked a teenager. In fact, I think my grandma looks younger than me. she took me in when I got to her. I lowed myself to my knees in front of her. I knew everyone here had moved in to watch. It was hundreds of people. Thankfully not thousands. I kept my head down.

“Do you Princess Liberty Fae believe with all your heart you shall always try to do what is right for the earth?” my grandma asked me, there was no doubt in my mind I would do what’s right for the air and earth.

“I do,” I tell her. She smiles down at me. she then puts a crown on my head. It was surreal I had seen it happen with Destiny. But it felt so unreal. Grandma then pulled out a box from her dress, I hadn’t even realized had pockets. She hadn’t done that with Destiny. She opened the box and I looked at it, it was butterfly wings holding an Azure gem, she took it out the box and clipped it around my neck.

“Rise Princess Liberty the air spirit,” Grandma says, a huge smile on her face.

“May your life on earth be as beautiful as you are.” She said with a grin. I rose to my feet and walked off the altar. Someone pressed play and ‘Avril Lavigne’s here’s to never growing up’ started to play, I giggled, my fault for leaving Destiny in charge of my music. I walked over towards my parents first as was the tradition. Parents then siblings. I hugged my mom first. I hadn’t seen her in so long and I felt like everything had changed since we last spoke. they didn’t have phones I admit, I haven’t really been keeping them up to date like I should. mom hugged me tightly, my mom is beautiful. she looks to be in her 30s, she has ginger hair all the way down her back that stops just before her bottom. she has a lot of freckles, She is wearing a dark green dress that goes to the floor. she looks like an older version of Merida from Brave really, it was Destinys comment the first time we watched the movie together when I started college. ‘Doesn’t she remind you of a younger mother’ my response of ‘mom has an Irish accent not a Scottish.’ didn’t stop our giggles that night.

“I am so proud of you munch.” Mom whispers into my hair as she hugs me tight. I smile at her and look up at her.

“thank you, mommy,” I say from her arms when she lets me go, I look at my daddy next to her. he’s in his late 70s now. His blonde hair has been white longer than I’ve been alive. Mom lets me go and I hug my daddy tight.

“I am so proud of you Libby,” Daddy says to me.

“thank you, daddy,” I say. I then hug Destiny whos made her way to us and is trying to act patient. but we all know that if no one was watching, she would have pulled me out of daddy’s arms and attacked me with hugs by now. I hugged her tight and she held me tighter, I could feel her pressing me to make sure I was all in one piece.

“I am so proud of you.” Destiny whispers into my ear, not letting me go.

‘and you didn’t think I could do it.’ I tease her in her head, as I know shes possibly been panicked for the month and now she can finally relax. She lets go of me slightly and then sticks her tongue out of me. I then hug two more of my elder siblings, who were there waiting for me. I hugged four nephews and 2 nieces. I then saw my big brother Art, who was stood back from everyone with a smile on his face, as if he was going to see how long it took me to know he was there. I run and hugged him jumping into his arms. he spun me around and I laughed.

“God you’re old now,” he tells me when he puts me down. I haven’t seen him in 3 years! he came today!

“never as old as you.” I tease him back.

“no that’s true.” Art laughs. I watch him look over at Patrick.

“Aren’t you a bit young to have heard his music?” he questions me.

“aren’t you a bit too old to have?” I ask him.

“Yes, yes I am.” Art laughs.

“Are you sure?” he asks me, I see worry on his face. I wonder what he knows that I don’t.

“yes very,” I admit though because right now I’ve never felt surer on my relationship with Patrick.

“go on then, but don’t go off till after the feast.” Art tells me with a smile, I nod and try to hide my yawn.

‘Even though all I want to do is sleep?’ I send to Art as a question in his head, deciding not to voice that aloud.

“yeah even then.” Art tells me.

“Have you dealt with Eban?” Art questions me, fuck no I’m too tired to sort things out with him. I don’t even know what I’m doing yet. I look over at Eban he was stood laughing with my dad about something, Destiny next to Dad glaring at him, but my Dad and Eban both unaware. Eban turned and looked at me then though as if he was fully aware I was watching him.

‘Talk when your not so shattered Air. we have a lot to sort out, but you’re not ready yet.’ Eban sends to my head. I nod to him, he’s fully aware of that.

‘thankyou.’ i send back to him though. Then I look over at Patrick, who was stood watching me. I have tried not to look at him whilst I dealt with my family, as I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with Patrick, I didn’t know how he would feel about all of this. He had a look on his face that I didn’t understand. normally he looks at me with love, or as if he’s confused as hell and can’t believe whats come out my mouth, or like he wants to laugh. very rarely he looks at me like he’s scared for me. but right now I couldn’t place his thoughts and that worries me. He is just stood there on the edge of all my people, with Lee and Abicus. I walk over trying not to move too slowly, but not rush. it’s hard as fuck not to run to him and hug him like I just did my big brother. Did he not want to be with me?

“You came?” I ask as a question when I reach him, not sure what else to say. then I curse how stupid that sounds. of course, he did or I wouldn’t be talking to him.

“I came to bring you a birthday present,” Patrick tells me, he is so rigid that I really don’t know how to react. I bite my bottom lip, knowing that loads of people are watching me.

“Patrick I’m not fully human,” I say out loud, for the first time. Patrick snorted.

“is that so?” he asks me. I saw a playful look in his eyes then and it feels me with relief.

“I’m half human half fairy,” I tell Patrick.

“Okay, I am Amaris.” He says giving me a look, its a challenge I know it is. he wants to know if I knew.

“I know I’ve known since our second meeting,” I tell him truthfully, making him see I didn’t know our first time.

“when?” he asks me, there’s so much in his face. he’s worried and hurt, hurt I lied to him.

“when you asked me If the term halfling meant anything to me” I admit to him.

“when you said hobbit.” He says giving me a look, that shows his hurt.

“actually it didn’t click into place until after I said that,” I admit to him. I saw the worry on his features.

“I really did try not to lie to you Pat,” I tell him and I mean that.

“Are you alright?” he asks me worried. What? He was worried about me. I nod, not sure what to say. he gives me a serious look like he doesn’t fully believe me.

“just really sleepy,” I admit to him.

“I also hate being the center of attention and all these eyes on me,” I admit to him. he nods as if he fully understands how I feel, and he needed me to tell him the truth.

“how long have you been here?” I ask worried, what may have happened to him whilst I’ve been away.

“An hour before you,” Patrick informs me.

“have you met my parents?” I ask worried as hell, not sure what to do for the best.

“not yet.” He says.

“would you like to?” I ask worriedly. or are we over Pat, because now I know the truth of how much I do want to be with you.

“Libby,” Patrick says my name like he’s torn. the look he gives me could break my heart if I let it. he’s torn. Does he not want to try to be together, now he knows I am not pure human? has it changed everything? or is it the fact I’ve lied about it for months.

“what the hell is going on?” he asks me. what?

“I can’t really explain,” I say truthfully because it feels the right thing to tell him. I can’t explain anything right now.

“why not?” he asks me worried.

“because I don’t understand it myself,” I admit to him.

“What do you know?” he asks me, his hands moving in a constant rhythm. he’s nervous.

“that I want to try, with no lies or secrets now,” I tell him truthfully. he looks at me I really can’t explain the look on his face.

“you want to try?” he asks me.

“don’t you?” I ask my heart getting itself ready to break, I can feel the pain in my chest tightening.

“I do.” He assures me, those words are the most precious words I’ve heard in weeks. months.

“but your people.” He starts looking around.

“believe that true love doesn’t matter the species. That free love and being with who you love is more important than pride,” I tell Patrick.

“It’s not my people that will have the problem with us, Pat. It’s yours,” I tell him truthfully, are you one of them? even though deep down I know he isn’t. part of me is so scared he’s going to walk away.

“To be honest Libs.” Pat starts, I’m so scared of what he’s going to say.

“I have a feeling it would be safer for you if you’re my human girlfriend,” he says truthfully. I bit my lip not sure what he’s saying.

“at least for a while sweetheart.” He says seriously. wait still his girlfriend. he takes a step closer to me and pushes a bit of my hair of my face and behind my ear and crown.

“you’re a princess?” he asks me. I nod

“The youngest in line for the throne with 12 people in front of me,” I tell him truthfully. there’s no risk there of me ever having to be a queen of my people, it’s why normal jobs were encouraged.

“I’m a king.” He informs me.

“I kind of thought you had the bodyguards because you were famous at first,” I admit to him truthfully. he weakly smiles at me. he strokes my face with his thumb, I don’t pull away from him.

“that’s why I don’t mind them,” he tells me.

“So your last name really isn’t Smith.” He says to me. I see his smile get a bit bigger, he is teasing me.

“Actually Smith really is my daddy’s last name,” I assure him.

“So where do we go from here little free spirit?” Patrick asks me.

“I have at least 2 years left of college.” I start worried. not sure if he will want to stick around for all my plans.

“Your 2 years in,” he says with a smile.

“still at least 2 to go. maybe 4” I point out.

“Alright.” He says thoughtfully. I knew he was fighting with something.

“we don’t have to try if you don’t want to,” I say, trying not to show my fear that he’s going to walk away.

“Libby I want to try, I’m just trying to work out how to do this for the best, with my people. Not yours.” Patrick tells me. what?

“I would suggest hiding it, but your famous, it will be picked up, even if you said Libby was a halfling the issues,” Lee says seriously.

“Patrick,” I say seriously, perhaps he needs to know.

You can admit what you know.’ Eban’s voice says in my head?

‘you sure?’ I ask him torn as hell.

‘the first change comes at Christmas.’ Eban says.

“Your people may not know anything about mine, but we keep an eye on yours,” I admit to Patrick.

“what baby?” Patrick asks me torn.

“Things are about to change in your world,” I say.

“Like what baby? war?” Patrick asks me worried, he has no doubt in his eyes that he trusts my words.

“I’m really not the right person to explain it to you. I didn’t really pay much attention when it was explained. As I didn’t think the knowledge had anything to do with me.” I say to Patrick.

“your princess though, she’s going to make a halfling a king this Christmas,” I admit.

“What,” Abicus says, Patrick looks at me like I am talking a foreign language.

“Baby that’s impossible, she can’t just do that without.” Patrick starts.

“she has all the royals she needs on the day to sign the paperwork, that paperwork and the one for her to marry the man she loves,” I say to Patrick.

“What she’s going to marry a human baby that’s to many laws shell break, it would never be legal for her,” Patrick tells me.

“No she is going to marry King Derek Galanis,” I tell him.

“that’s impossible, even though he’s a nice lad,” Patrick says.

“She changes your world to do it, Patrick,” I tell him.

“she changes everything so she can be with the man she loves. she does everything that feels right to her,” I tell him.

“she follows her heart,” I tell him truthfully, I want to be in his arms.

“But unfortunately baby Derek has no heirs.” Patrick starts.

“He does the halfling son of his uncle, an uncle who is still alive living as a human with his human wife,” I tell Patrick.

“Baby that’s impossible,” Patrick tells me.

“it was all foretold but you weren’t given the prophecy,” I admit to Patrick.

“only a bit of it,” I tell Patrick worried.

“but your people have it all?” he questions me. he’s not fighting me and calling my words stupid. he’s listening.

“The king Eugene.” I start

“he has it all?” Patrick questions me.

“he’s the one who foretold it,” I admit to Patrick.

“I really didn’t pay much attention when I was told the stories, Pat.” I say truthfully. “but I know that the next few years are important for your people.”

“I know your princess has earned my peoples loyalty when she was a small child and we do plan to try to reconnect. Once and only once she is on the throne, not Queen Jenifer,” I tell Patrick truthfully.

“Wait what do you mean baby?” Patrick asks me.

“whats shes trying to explain be it badly. Is that the queen has been very naughty her rule.” Eban Dean told Patrick having come over, I hadn’t even seen him approach.

“that it’s all going to come out these next few years, that you should have a new queen on the throne in the next 5 years and when that happens, Fairys will no longer hide from your people as they will feel safer.” Eban Dean said calmly, I knew he was trying to help me.

“Liberty is tired and possibly not explaining it as best as she can,” Eban says worriedly.

“but you only need to hide your relationship for a few years, because soon we will hopefully all reconnect like your prophecy says. the royal child will reconnect 2 worlds.” Eban says.

“we aren’t saying to worry you, because what happens is meant to,” Eban says to him.

“I will explain as best as I can but it shall take a while to,” Eban says he looks at me.

“you should go start your traditions for your birthday,” Eban tells me seriously. he’s sending me away, I think he knows things I don’t know. or maybe he understands how hurt I am, that Patrick hasn’t hugged me or held me. all that I really want right now. I look over at my mom and see that she is stood holding two sticks with a huge smile. As the birthday girl, it was my job to light the fire to cook luncheon.

“Will you be okay? Eban can explain better than I can,” I say to Patrick.

“go enjoy your birthday little free spirit,” Patrick says worry all over his handsome face.

“never has a nickname been so perfect. You understand what Libby is then?” Eban questions Patrick.

“The air spirit,” Patrick says but I’m not sure if he fully grasps what that means. because even I don’t and that’s who I am.

“I take it by everyone’s reactions to it and you that it is something special,” Patrick says seriously.

“Extremely,” Eban says.

“But surely even your people haven’t forgotten the stories of the elements,” Eban says seriously.

“the other Amaris we have in other homes still remember the stories.” Eban questions, Patrick isn’t our peoples first Amaris and I know he will never be our last. Love always finds a way, even in the darkest of times. it found ways. Patrick nodded looking at me like he was torn. It was a lot of pressure to put on him.

‘go light your fire.’ Eban said in my head. I nodded and walked away with 3 looks back at Patrick. He was watching Eban each time, he didn’t look up at me once, did he not want to try? was it too much for him to take in?

When I got over to my mom, she handed me the sticks and said the traditional birthday saying in my family, that I have heard every year since I was 5.

“light your fire for another year, respect the fire and the fire shall respect you.” It made more sense to me right now than it ever had before. I finally thought I understood what she was saying. Respect the elements and they will respect you back. I remembered how the air had led me home, I fully respected the air whilst I was in there and I would for the rest of my life. I went to fire pit and sat down, with the 3 sticks I started trying to make my first fire of my 21st year. Not the easiest thing to do. After what could have been forever, Destiny sat next to me.

‘Help.’ I send to her in her head, she laughs and simply informs me.

“I can’t you have to light it, its tradition.”

‘then no one’s eating today.’ I tell her still in her head, she laughs more. I look away from her towards Patrick. He is still with Eban, Lee, and Abicus. I can’t hear what they are saying, but I can see Eban is talking and Patrick, Lee, and Abicus are nodding. Occasionally one will say something then Eban will talk more.

“You’re really serious about him, aren’t you?” Destiny says I hear it in her voice she’s worried. I want to assure her everything will be okay. But I can’t promise her, because I know it won’t be an easy ride. I nod at her because I am serious. Dest takes a deep breath then says something I didn’t think I would hear from her so quickly.

“Then I respect your choice.” She tells me.

‘Are you going to give Eban a shot now?’ I ask her interested what the hell, is going on in my sister’s head.

“no, and are you going to talk out loud, so I don’t look crazy?” She questions me.

“sorry.” I laugh.

“Yes,” I say doing a small happy dance as my fire lights.

“finally.” Art mumbles walking past, I stick my tongue out at my brother so did Destiny, but my fire went out when a huge gust of wind surrounded us.

“Oh, come on, he does that to me every time, it wasn’t even funny the first few times, now it’s just mean.” I moan to Destiny. I knew Art was guilty, Mom always claimed he wasn’t but come on he walks past every time and my fire goes out, but years he doesn’t make it back it doesn’t go out. Strange that.

“He is evil we are never going to get luncheon.” Destiny moans.

“you’ll have to wait for afternoon tea then,” I tell her, trying not to laugh, we never eat this often at home, hell we sometimes make one bottle of, wait I have an idea!

“but we will starve in those 3 hours.” Destiny jokes.

“Do you think we would get away with a bottle of vodka as luncheon,” I ask Destiny, wondering if anyone’s done it before.

“It is your 21st birthday luncheon,” Destiny says thoughtfully. I smile at my sister knowing that it would make everyone here party more.

“I know and we class vodka as luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper some days at college.” I point out, hell it’s a Saturday special.

“The rule is you light the fire for your first meal as an adult for the family. You lit a fire. Then didn’t need the fire for the vodka luncheon.” Destiny points out.

I looked at my sister seriously deciding if I would get away with it.

‘you know what screw it I can always tell them it’s the appetizer if I don’t get away with it.’ I send to my sister’s head, she laughs.

‘Please, can you go get the vodka.’ I ask her in her head.

“you need to you’re meant to provide it not me.” Destiny laughs. That’s all the encouragement I actually need, I stand up dropping the sticks to the floor. I then walk over to the tent that houses all the drinks on site. I pull out enough shot glasses for everyone here. It takes me a while to work it out. When I do, I start filling them all up, one for all the adults here, then I realize I have to provide something for kids and those who can’t drink. I pour them all a shot of orange juice, that was the first juice I managed to find.

“Luncheons ready,” I yell laughing because I don’t know what to say to this.

Grandma came over first, she would either tell me no or bottoms up. Grandma looked at all the vodka shot glasses and juice glasses, she grabs a vodka one and says, “I don’t think you filled enough.” She laughs as she takes her shot. Yes, got away with it!

“of course, grandma.” I laugh refilling her shot glass. That’s all people take before they come over to grab their own shots from the trays.

“What about the kids?” Charity one of my big sisters asks me. full sister same as Destiny.

“juice,” I tell her pointing at the orange juice, she laughs shaking her head at me, but takes a few for her kids and herself. She can’t drink too much as breastfeeding currently. When most of the fairy’s and elves here had come grabbed their shots, Patrick, Lee, Abicus and Eban come over. Patrick gives me a serious look, that worries me. I still am so unsure what’s going on in his head.

“Vodka does not count as lunch, we have had this talk.” He whispers in my ear moving my hair off my face. I smile at him, trying to make things okay between us.

“it does when you can’t light a fire,” I tell Patrick with a smile.

“the rules you have to use things to hand, right?” Patrick cheeks with me. I nod, Patrick smiles at me a teasing smile. Two seconds later he held a flame on his little finger. I grab his hand being extra careful of his finger and kind of drag him to the firepit. I put his hand down and almost instantly the fire burst to life.

“Yes!” I say giving a little happy dance, Patrick laughs at me, but I like to think it was with me. but that’s when the hugest gust of wind blew through and it distinguished my fire, I am not even kidding I think Art made a small storm to do it. I look up at Art who is currently sat in a tree, his 2nd shot in his hand, he is whistling like he isn’t guilty of anything, but it makes him look guilty as sin. I would blow him out the tree it wasn’t that far a fall, he would even have a soft landing and it would give me an excuse to try my new powers. I wave my hand slightly, forgetting that I may be more powerful than I realize. The gust was huge, my brother went flying from the tree and flew miles before he pulled his wings out to slow himself. I had not only blown Art miles, but I had blown all the leaves except one of the tree and over half the leaves of the tree next to it. I had meant to do a little gust. Did I really do that? My eyes wide I take in the damage I had caused.

“Okay then. Prehab’s it is best we don’t try to blow our brother away.” Mom laughs, as if what I’ve done was completely normal, hell it might be for them, but I wasn’t used to magic really. Even though I have grown up with it all around me and been taught it is as natural as breathing. I had never done any myself, well not including my telepathy. I still look at the tree. I then look at Art as he comes into land.

“I’m so sorry Art. I really didn’t mean to, are you okay?” I ask him so worried.

“best flight I’ve had against wind ever Libs. Beat the time I flew into that twister.” He informs me laughing. He pulls me into his arms.

“It was so fun Libby, I would love to do it again.” He tells me and messes up my hair a bit as if he knows right then that I’m scared of what I just did.

“I’m fine Libby okay, it was fun.” Art tells me looking at me like he needs me to understand him, I nod but deep down I’m scared of what I just did.

“that was only a rumor wasn’t it Art? You told me you are sensible enough not to fly into a twister.” Mom says firmly.

“yes, I said I was sensible enough not to.” Art says being careful how he responds because he’s a full fae my big brother can’t lie. He can just twist.

“Arthur did you fly into a twister?” mom demands from him.

“Didn’t you just see Libby threw me, mom, she’s got so much.” Art starts but mom interrupts him, she looks like she’s going to flip. It takes a lot to get mom cross, dangerous things are her limit though.

“Arthur.” Mom starts firmly, oh almost full name, he’s going to get it.

“mom has Libby introduced you to her friend yet?” Art asks mom.

“Arthur,” Mom says so firmly.

“Oh, let it go, Briar, you did worse growing up,” Grandma says, Mom went to say something but had to bite her lip. Oh, that sounds good. Grandma shrugs and smiles at mom and says.

“see.” It makes us all giggle, except mom.

“Libby introduce your new friend to your parents and myself. Art stop being mean to your little sister and blowing out her fire.” Grandma says.

“Libby relight the fire. Vodka luncheon, then rum afternoon tea sounds brilliant. But I do want a cooked dinner at least.” Grandma says, hey I had no plans for a rum afternoon tea, but it sounds great.

“What about Libby’s blatant not being in control of her powers yet.” Art points out.

“Liberty you need to practice your new magic. But not today. Today get drunk dance sing and celebrate and then maybe you should sleep!” Grandma says with a grin at me. I nod not sure what to say, maybe I will have more control when I’m not so tired? Maybe I need to think more before I react.

“she threw me.” Art mumbles but he smiles at me, so I know he’s teasing me.

“I’m fine Libby.” Art says squeezing my shoulder again.

“now maybe you’ll learn not to blow out other people’s fires.” Charity says teasingly to Art.

“can you relight the fire for me?” I ask Patrick worried. Patrick takes hold of my hand and leads me back to the fire pit. He then holds a small flame on his finger but makes sure that its nowhere near my skin.

“I can relight any fire you want me to Libby,” Patrick whispers into my ear, that’s when I know we are going to eventually be okay.

“what do I introduce you to my parents as?” I ask Patrick worriedly as a whisper.

“Are you my girlfriend?” Patrick questions me.

“I want to be if you still.” I start so worriedly. He smiles at me and then pulls mine and his hand back as the fire comes to life.

“little free spirit do you want to be my girlfriend?” he asks me interrupting what was possibly going to be me blubbering. I just nod, looking at him scared he won’t want me, that he really won’t want to try us.

“then introduce me as your boyfriend,” Patrick tells me.

“Because I am not going anywhere, Libby. Understand?” he asks me he strokes along my arm and the spark between us warms me up.

“I might not be a fae little free spirit, but I do know something about the air. Definitely not as much as you do, being the air spirit. But” he starts still stroking my arm.

“you can help me not blow every leaf of a tree and someone miles when all you wanted was to blow him onto the ground?” I ask hopefully.

“Exactly,” Pat tells me,

“I would love that. When do you have to?” I start, why did I have to bring that up, why won’t he pull me into his arms and hold me?

“3 days here at most for me, before Sandy will send a search party. If she hasn’t already.” Patrick mumbles.

“you can leave whenever.” I start worried, I don’t want to tell him to leave me, but I think he needs to know he could just walk away.

“I can but that doesn’t mean I want to leave you here,” Patrick tells me.

“I am not leaving you again Liberty.” He tells me. I nod not sure what that’s going to mean for both of us, but the relief those words give me. He’s staying. He wants to be together.

“Okay, so your mom is the red-haired that looks 34 ish?” Patrick asks me, I nod to him.

“your dad is the man with the white hair?” he asks me, again I just nod.

“it will be an honor to meet your parents.” He assures me. he takes hold of my hand, he threads his fingers in mine. He leads me more than me him, to my parents. When we reach them, they are stood together with Grandma.

“Queen Daysi.” I start worried, how to do this. I’ve never had to introduce my parents to a guy before!

“grandma or Daysi.” Grandma moans I think she feels the same about the queen part as I do being called a princess.

“grandma mom dad.” I start not sure how they are actually going to react.

“I would like you to meet Patrick,” I say

“the rock star?” Grandma asks interested, not how I thought she was going to react at all.

“yes,” Patrick admits.

“I like your song.” Grandma starts, I stare at her in disbelief as she simply just starts to talk to Patrick about his music, like it’s the most normal thing in the world, to have him here. Patrick starts smiling and gets very involved in a conversation with her about his songs and how his recent concerts have been.

“So you two are a couple?” Dad asks almost casually after a long time. I nodded not sure what else to say or do.

“Okay as long as your happy,” Mom says with a smile to me. so much relief at her words fill me, even though I knew they wouldn’t get in the way of me being happy. I was glad they were so quick to except.

“So, I have a few questions for you Patrick,” Daddy says his voice sounding slightly firm.

“yes, sir?” Patrick asked worriedly.

“Will I ever get to see one of my kids get married,” Dad asks. OMFG, that was the last thing I thought would come out my dads’ mouth, why when they live to embarrass me I don’t know!

“omg dad embarrass all of us why don’t you.” Charity says from where she is sat close enough to hear. Her 4-month-old breastfeeding when dad asked.

“Least he’s actually wearing clothes today,” Bass says I was trying not to die of embarrassment and knew I was blushing.

“Hey, I’m not getting any younger kids,” Dad says.

“I would like to see at least one of you 7 kids marry before I die.” He says Charity Bass and I exchange looks. Dad technically doesn’t have 7 children anymore. Base, Charity, Destiny and I, were daddy’s only kids still alive. Melody, Alchemy, and Cherish were all gone. Did daddy forget that? Or was that because to him he will always have the 7 of us.

“It won’t be easy with your world at all,” Daysi says to Patrick, but she gives my dad a sad look.

“I am aware,” Patrick admits to Daysi, I don’t think he’s any the wiser what my dad was talking about. I never told him 3 of my siblings were gone.

“It is a pleasure to meet you, Patrick.” Dad says with a smile,

“you to sir.” Patrick says, Patrick holds out his hand slightly, but dad ignores it, that’s not the custom he’s used to now.

“My names Harry,” Dad says he leans forward and kisses Patrick’s forehead. Patrick looks at me like what the hell.

“this is my wife Briar,” Dad says introducing mom, mom leans forward and kisses Patrick’s head herself.

“Or mom and dad.” Charity says from her spot on the floor. Patrick though smiles, he must realize the kisses were our normal greeting or something as he said.

“Its great to meet you both.”

“how old are you young man?” Mom asks.

“194” Patrick admits.

“young aren’t you,” Mom says giving me a firm look.

“I know I am perhaps a bit older than you planned for your daughter to date.” Patrick starts, possibly seeing something there that isn’t an issue.

“Charity how old is your boyfriend?” Mom asks my sister.

“1823.” Charity says.

“Bass how old is your girlfriend?” Mom asks.

“42,” Bass says shrugging.

“Arthur how old are you?” mom calls out loudly.

“2017.” Art yells over. He’s so old.

“Liberty was born 12 days after my 1996 in 1996.” Art pipes up, still going on about that! I roll my eyes and say to Pat.

“he loves telling that story,” I tell Pat.

“Age doesn’t matter in this family,” Daysi says seriously.

“he acts the youngest.” Daysi points at my brother when she says it. I giggle at that at least.

“welcome Patrick sorry about the lacking luncheon. I hope the rum tea doesn’t disappoint.” Grandma tells him with a smile, giving Patrick her own kiss on the head.

“You will keep the knowledge of us as a people a secret until we are ready, won’t you?” Grandma questions Pat.

“of course,” Patrick tells her.

“you’re just worried how you’re going to do your relationship with your people.” Mom questions.

“I am sorry, it isn’t an insult to Liberty. I am proud to call her my girlfriend.” Patrick assures my parents.

“you’re just thinking how you can keep her safe,” Mom says with a smile as if she fully understands this.

“your daughter is the air spirit. It is best no one realizes that don’t you think?” Patrick questions my parents and Grandma, I see worry and protectiveness over his features. He wants to keep me safe?

“I agree.” Mom assures him.

“your people aren’t ready for that knowledge,” Mom tells him

“Liberty isn’t the safest out there in the world,” Mom admits.

“yet your children do not have protection,” Patrick says as if this has been confusing him.

“unlike your species, we do not need them. our people wouldn’t hurt each other. The girls are more likely to end up in someone’s bed than hurt.” Mom says, thanks a lot for that mom!

“thanks for making us all sound.” Charity started mumbling exactly how I felt with that statement from our mother.

“So your people do not fight at all?” Patrick asks, looking from my mom to grandma to me.

“No dear we just don’t talk to the other person if they upset us,” Grandma tells him, that’s an understatement.

Mom gives me a look as I start trying to stop my chuckle. But I can tell she wants to laugh too.

“Grandmas the best at that,” Bass says from the floor. That makes me actually laugh, especially at the look Grandma gives him and how she puts her hands on her hips.

“Bass.” Grandma starts but she’s laughing now.

“So even your royalty runs around.” Patrick questions.

“hell, I travel the world and explore, never felt like I’ve needed protection. Occasionally I want company but never anyone to protect me.” Grandma tells him, which isn’t the full truth, we did once have to be very careful.

“Your people are strange to us because of this. You’re weirder than humans.” Mom tells Patrick.

“you have the ability to protect yourselves, yet you have people train daily to protect you. But why do you need the protection? Humans aren’t a threat to you, we aren’t threats to you.” Grandma says.

“your people are the threats to others, not them to you,” Grandma says seriously.

“it’s just the way its always been isn’t it,” Grandma says giving Patrick a look I don’t understand.

“you’ve never questioned,” Grandma says,

“That’s the difference, we let our children ask the questions, we let them explore and learn things they wish to,” Grandma tells him.

“We let them make there own choices and think for themselves, even if they aren’t what we would choose for them. we have to let them spread there own wings.” Grandma tells him.

“Liberty Destiny Imogen and Aimee all decided they wanted a human higher education. They are the first generation to decide this from our California home.” Grandma admits, mostly because most Fae don’t want to bother with classrooms.

“in fact, they are the first generation to decide it in all our homes in America,” Daysi admits.

“They all do different majors as they were interested and wanted to explore.”

“Destiny chose that she wanted to major in something to do with technology as apparently, we are getting to behind on the times,” Mom says proudly of Destiny.

“Aimee chose human medication as she believes that our people could do with some of that knowledge and hopefully be able to pass on some of our own knowledge to the humans in the future. Your own species has one of the best hospitals in the world. But you do not share your knowledge.” Daysi says I know she’s just trying to explain things, but when she puts it like that. Its almost like they know it’s a done deal.

“Imogen chose to study Biology as she believes humans are hurting our world and she wants to help them find ways to protect it,” Grandma informs Patrick.

“You believe we should?” Patrick asks interested, I realize he’s still thinking over what Grandma said about Aimee.

“I am not going to say that your people do it wrong. We are as different as the earth is to the air.” Grandma tells Patrick.

“We know a lot of changes are coming up for your people. It may not be the best time to discuss them before they happen. But the fact is the earth spirit, air spirit, and water spirit have all been reborn. They are all finally willing to return to earth.” Grandma says.

Patrick looks at me like he’s torn as hell.

“Why hasn’t the fire?” is what he asks though.

I listen to the wind, actually wanting to know.

“Fires not ready,” I tell him realizing what I say is the truth.

“She’s been hurt a lot and she may not survive the change at the moment,” I admit truthfully. There is so many ways this could all go. It could all go very right or very wrong. Patrick looked at me seriously, I saw his features soften then worry.

“It’s painful?” he asks me so worried, he squeezes my hand as if he needs me to know he’s there.

“Libby’s isn’t that bad but she’s mentally and physically exhausted,” Grandma admits for me. Patrick takes me in and he must see it too as he simply nods to her.

“She’ll be even more exhausted after 2 days of dancing and drinking.” Charity mumbles from the floor.

“Your only jealous you can’t drink,” Destiny says coming over, obviously seeing us all talking and wanting to be a part of that. She hands me a shot of vodka and holds her own out to me.

“bottoms up.” She tells me, I do I down the shot quickly.

“Daddy.” Charity starts sweetly way to sweetly. She’s up to something.

“Yes?” dad asks confused.

“when did Libby become old enough to drink?” Charity asks.

“today,” Dad said like it was no Biggy. No drinking underage was the one rule our dad kind of set for us and was strict on, I had also been breaking it for two years.

“Daddy how come Libby can drink it like it’s no problem when even Aimee is pulling a face.” Charity asks daddy sweetly. I look at daddy as sweetly as I can and say.

“Daddy Charity is picking on me again.” It normally works, I’m the baby.

Dad gave us both a look he mastered before I was even born. “I am going to get out these clothes there uncomfortable. Charity don’t pick on your sister. Liberty don’t pick on your sister. Briar sort out your kids.” Dad says, and he walks off shaking his head like he can’t believe his life.

Mom gives me a firm look that makes me squirm when daddy’s gone. I’m in trouble.

“Liberty have you been drinking?” Mom asks me her voice so firm. It’s so weird the feeling, to tell the truth, hits me hard.

“Yes, mommy most weekends for the last two years,” I admit, fuck I could have just said yes couldn’t I!

“Have you been eating 7 meals a day?” She questions me, oh no I really am going to be in trouble.

“I’ve been keeping a food chart for Rion for a while, he makes sure I eat at least 3 good meals a day,” I tell her, she seems to weigh my words.

“He has been happy with what you’ve written?” she questions me.

“not every day,” I admit to her, she gives me a firm look that says she’s disappointed in me rather than cross and then says.

“You can muck out the stables for 2 weeks.” Hey as mom punishment goes, that was easy. She must be being nice to me because it’s my birthday.

“Destiny,” Mom says firmly, oh not just me in trouble.

“how has Liberty been getting the drink?” she questions, I know she already knows Destiny has been buying it for me or the other girls.

“I gave her my ID at the beginning of her first year of college,” Destiny admits.

“You shall also be mucking out the horse stables. As you both are two of a kind.” Mom says, but only for 2 weeks. So really not a bad punishment.

“but mom.” Destiny starts.

“Do you want to be a tree?” Mom asked her firmly. It would only be for a few hours but that wasn’t the point, the stiffness stuck for months.

“No mommy,” Destiny says.

“Now go dance,” Mom tells us firmly.

“Charity you can still dance you just can’t drink I will watch Montana,” Mom says to Charity.

“the three of you off now go dance please,” Mom says firmly, she takes Montana from my sister and walks off with her on her hip. I look at Patrick and just shrug. I know my parents are weird.

“No matter how old a child gets a parent is always still that,” Patrick informs me like he fully understood my mom telling us off.

“Grandma still tells mom off,” I admit to Patrick. He smiles but a sad look crosses his face again. Oh, is he thinking about Iris? I don’t know if I should ask right now.

Charity runs and grabs her boyfriends’ arm and drags him on the dancefloor, he goes laughing. Destiny runs and hugs Immy.

“Do you want to dance?” I ask Patrick worried, he won’t want to with all these people watching.

“how do you all dance?” he asks me looking at the dance floor that pretty much everyone’s doing their own things on.

“A lot of ways,” I admit, I take his hand and lead him over to the dance floor when we get there, he pulls me into his arms gently and puts his hands on my hips, I wrap my arms around his neck and we just rock to the music.

“You don’t lie to your parents?” he questions me as I put my head on his chest and almost drift off listening to his heartbeat.

“A Fae can’t lie, they can only twist,” I admit to him. He seemed to be thinking.

“Can you lie baby?” he asks me.

“Not anymore.” I admit,

“not from today, I can only twist.” I admit snuggling deep into his chest, he wraps his arms around me tighter.

“So, you could lie to me before today?” he asks me.

“I tried not to, I was raised not to lie. But I didn’t know how to tell you. Whenever I went to we were interrupted.” I admit.

“All the times you told me we needed to talk?” he questions me.

“yeah and a few more times than that,” I admit.

“Perhaps you weren’t meant to tell me, baby, perhaps I was meant to find out like this.” He says seriously as if he’s seriously thinking this through.

“I think that too. You came with no clue why there’s a saying.” I start worried.

“Baby,” Patrick says, he gently kisses my head. I look up at him.

“I was told the saying when I arrived.” He admits.

“Oh,” I say with a sleepy smile.

“I was also raised that just because what you say is the truth, doesn’t mean the other person wants to hear it. Sometimes it’s best to keep things to yourself. There’s saying things that have to be true, but there’s also saying things no one wants to know or hear.” I admit to Patrick. He nods as if he fully understands what I mean then.

“Now little free spirit we have an awful lot to talk about.” He tells me firmly, I know that.

“but right now, isn’t the time.” He tells me seriously.

“but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to talk about it all.” He says. I nod.

“I know Pat,” I assure him. He then kisses me, it’s our first kiss in weeks and it was like fireworks were going off, if it was any later, I would say someone had set hundreds of early. Patrick smiled down at me when we broke apart, I blinked at him word stuck, he literally had taken my breath away. He simply swayed me through another dance, not talking. But it was a comfortable silence, I put my head back on his chest and listened to his heart, feeling safe and loved. I could fall asleep on my feet in his arms.

When one of my nieces came over and said “up.” I lifted her up having to pull away from Patrick, but he smiled watching me. He took me in with the child and a strange look crossed his face, I didn’t know what he was thinking but I wished right then I did. I got pulled away by my sister and friends to dance.

After I had just finished yet another dance with Immy I looked over at Patrick, wondering if he was up for another dance yet. but he was back talking with Lee both looking worried, Eban was with them and so was my dad I realized. They all were looking at something in Lees’ hand, Abicus was stood watching me approach from next to Patrick, he was the only one not looking at the phone I realized. I knew whatever was on the cell was worrying them all.

“Is everything okay?” I ask worried, Dad looks serious which is so rare.

“Fine sweetheart why don’t you go dance,” Dad tells me, but he’s still looking at the cell and not me. I roll my eyes at that, do they really think that will work? Eban looked at me seriously.

‘it’s nothing worrying we just have a slight issue but don’t worry about it. It’s your birthday go have fun.’ Eban sends to my head, yeah not going to work. Birthday or not.

‘what kind of issue?’ I send as a question to Eban as I’m not going anywhere.

‘Patrick may have to leave his manager sounds a right bitch. she tried to track Leeroy’s here phone, but he had an alert come up. Now they are trying to discuss where the closest place around here that he can say he’s been, and the GPS is wrong.’ Eban tells me in my head.

‘why we are down as a working farm, why doesn’t he just admit he came to give me the present he brought me and spent my birthday with me?’ I question in Eban’s head, wondering why they must make it hard for themselves, it’s only fishy if they make it fishy.

“Liberty may have a point,” Eban said out loud. No one else but him had heard my point.

“Why not the truth, you came to give her a birthday present she lives on a working farm and you spent her birthday with her,” Eban says quickly realizing they are all looking at him like what. As far as they are aware, I haven’t spoken a word. Daddy knows but he’s hardly going to say, they are talking in their heads.

“the truth so she can’t get suspicious, it’s only suspicious if you make it,” I tell them all, wondering how they don’t see that.

“Yes, that is actually really true,” Patrick says but he looks worried.

“She’s never going to except me being around at all is she?” I ask Patrick.

“No, I don’t think she is,” Patrick says worried, he looks at me like he’s trying to work things out.

“I should get going little free spirit,” Patrick tells me worried, does he want to go? Part of me thought, oh it doesn’t matter what I thought, I just hoped we would be able to spend my birthday night together.

“Do you want to?” I ask trying not to show how much his words are going to mean to me.

“of course, not baby, I just don’t want her coming here,” Patrick says truthfully.

“then surely only the cell phones need to get going,” I say.

“Make a phone call telling her you’re writing songs for a few days and need a bit of peace that you Lee and Abicus are fine and shall meet her at the next concert,” I tell him shrugging.

“Alright don’t lie, tell the truth. You’re visiting me for my birthday and you’ll be there on time.” I say shrugging.

“telling the truth is always for the best,” I tell Patrick.

“then maybe I shouldn’t add the writing the songs bit,” Patrick said smiling at me, his blue eyes were amazing light today, his brown slightly too long hair hung like he was a bad boy, it did make me smile, just taking him in smiling.

“can’t you hear the music around us?” I asked him. Patrick took a deep breath and looked at me serious as if he was thinking about everything.

“so, tell the truth, but leave out the fairy part,” Lee said after a while of silence, that I could tell everyone was thinking in.

“Yeah, we are down as a farm, most people in the town close by think we are a cult. I suppose in a way we are.” Dad says.

“how long has this place existed,” Abicus asks interestedly.

“The house was built in 1710 and a lot of different families have lived here since. Not really using the house.” Dad admits to them, giving more information on my home.

“it needs a lot of work, it is falling down. the school rooms and shop are basically the only usable part of it, even then a lot of the rooms have been cornered off for the kid’s safety.” Dad admits.

“Libby here plans to take over the school part in a few years don’t you sweetheart,” Dad says.

“Yep, well more I plan to sort out the mess that our education is,” I admit, realizing I can actually explain to Patrick why I decided I wanted to be a teacher.

“what do you mean?” Eban laughs, he was joking, he understood exactly what I meant about our education being a mess.

“First of all, how come every other species has a school. We don’t. we aren’t even expected to go, classes, unless we want to.” I say.

“Everything we are taught gets taught to us by our parents unless we want to learn then we are left to our own devices or we get the option of the school in the town. It’s kind of.”

“hard they all look at us and treat us like we are crazy,” Bass said coming over. I know he instantly knew what we were talking about. He’s heard my rant about schools before.

“All the kids here did choose to go to the school. My own kids currently attend. Yes, here we get taught all about nature and the world. But there we learn things we need in the human world.” Bass explains.

“like math, reading, writing,” I explain to Patrick.

“yes, we have boarding schools. Is that what you think?” Patrick starts looking thoughtful.

“The elves and Fae are just the only ones without the school in place, well except the ones that go mainstream human schools,” I explain to Patrick.

“Where most are bullied so badly for being different that they then decide they don’t want to go,” Bass says truthfully.

“Name a few in the mainstream,” Patrick asks me interested.

“some fae some elves the werewolves stick to human school but have their own weekend classes,” I explain.

“The ones with boarding schools?” Patrick asked me I could tell he was super interested, how he was trying to work things out in his head.

“The Amaris, the mer, the witches/Wizards, the cat shifters which you never want to mix with the werewolves,” I say. Patrick Lee and Abicus all give each other weird looks. As if they couldn’t believe what they were hearing.

“How many others are there?” Patrick asks.

“A lot,” Dad admits.

“There are so many old-world species out there,” Dad admits.

“And just as many have gone extinct over time,” Eban informs them.

“your human how long did it take for you to except,” Patrick asks my dad very interested.

“um well.” Daddy starts looking like he wants someone to call him away.

“Daddy was a hippie. He was on a lot of drugs when he met mommy” I say with a grin.

“was he still is,” Eban says, Dad glares at Eban, dads not on much anymore, but he’s still a hippy. It always did make us laugh when dad wouldn’t let us drink whilst he had the hugest drink out of everyone.

“I accepted it the moment I met Briar,” Dad tells Patrick calmly and I know truthfully.

“I knew I would except anything to stay with her, that and I didn’t want to be an accountant like my parents wanted,” Dad admits.

“Libs come eat its rum tea time.” Destiny calls from where she’s stood near the drink tent.

“go enjoy your birthday sweetheart,” Dad tells me pointing away. I look at Patrick shrug my shoulder and run to join my sister. When I look back, he’s still talking to the others. He either stays or he doesn’t. the fact I don’t want him to leave me doesn’t matter, he will do what he must do.

‘now you kind of understand how I feel about your sister.’ Eban sent to my head.

‘Does she make your spirit feel like its dancing?’ I ask him in his head.

‘yes, but only when I can get her to give me the time of day.’ Eban sends to me. oh.

‘She’s just not ready to settle down.’ I send to him, hoping he will take a bit of reassurance in that.

‘I know and I give her time and will do for as long as it takes. Even if it takes 100s of years. I will be waiting for when she is ready.’ Eban sends to me, he sounds so calm about it. I wonder if Destiny would understand how much she affects him.

Destiny had poured me a shot, I took it and laughed with her, then I let her pull me back onto the dance floor and danced more with my sister.





I had that whole cooked dinner, grandma asked for. I choose Mixed mushroom hotpot as my birthday meal. it was lovely and filling. Then supper we all had vegan smores cooked on the open fire that had been getting bigger all evening as it often did, people just keep adding to it. It was when I was cooking my second smore that Patrick who had been talking with Eban and my Dad and occasionally my grandma practically all night came over. He smiled down at me, then he sat next to me. the fire in front of us walming us from the chilly summer evening air. Patrick reached his thumb to my face and wiped a bit of smore off the corner of my mouth.

“All sorted?” I asked worried, not sure if everything he needed to do was done. but I was more ready to go to bed and worry about it all tomorrow.

“Mostly.” He admits to me.

“What are you talking about?” I ask interested, but a yawn slips out my mouth. I can't control how tired I am. I hear Aimee laugh the other side of the fire and look at her, shes still dancing with an elf and he's obviously said something she finds funny.

“I am having the world explained to me,” Patrick admits to me.

“is it going to take all night?” I ask

I have a feeling it's going to take longer than that little free spirit.” Patrick tells me, he pulls out one of the marshmallows from my packet and puts it on a stick then sticks it in the fire.

“do you have time to sit with me?” I question, I'm not sulking, but if he hasn't got time, I might sneak away in a minute and go bed, like the birthday faes often do on there 21st. to be honest, it was only because Patrick was here I hadn't gone to bed already.

That was when the first firework lit up the sky. I look up watching it and have to smile, it was just a giant party, my birthday was just an excuse. but the fireworks lighting the sky were magical. Patrick takes hold of my hand and squeezes. I snuggle into the crook of his arm, feeling warm safe and loved. He leans in and kisses me.

“The truth brought us time.” He admits to me when he breaks away from my mouth.

“I will be back at college.” I start worried.

“I know and I plan to be a regular at your college.” He assures me moving my hair, he looks at me, I see so much worry on his face.

“I don’t know how to do this for the best Libs.” He admits

"I might make a lot of mistakes." he starts.

“don’t stress about it and just see how things fall,” I tell him.

“your father and grandma said the same,” Patrick admits to me. I squeeze pats hand then I eat my smore, I don't know if that right now is the only thing keeping me awake. that and how romantic this is currently. sat by an open fire cooking marshmallows in the man I love arms, with fireworks going off above us. When the fireworks were over people started making moves to make their beds for the night. I could finally escape with no issues.

“where does everyone sleep?” Patrick asked me.

I pointed at areas of families who had put up hammocks. Families who had made tents. little kids in trees in hammocks. I point at a few log cabins in the distance.

“Where are we to sleep?” Patrick asks me. I stand up and hold down my hand to him, he takes it without hesitation, I then start walking away from the clearing into the trees.

“where are we going?” Patrick asks me after a while of us walking in silence. I carried on walking him. When we got to it I looked at Pat worried. He took in the hammock just hung between two trees. it was nothing special, but right now it looked the most inviting thing in the world to me.

“I have never even been in one before,” Patrick admits to me.

“There is a cabin,” I tell him truthfully. He looked at me I saw him weighing up his choices.

“But it's not private,” I admit

“Here is?” he asks me.

I nod “its why I walked you so far from the party.” I admit to him.

“we could also hear someone approach before.” I start but I'm blushing, maybe he didn't want to. I am so tired I might not even have the energy for much.

“before they see us?” Patrick asks me. I nod nervously. he takes a few steps closer to me, still holding my hand he pulls me into his arms. I melt into his embrace as he kisses me, he was a lot gentler with my outfit as he strips me than he normally is. as if he knows clothes around here are rather rare and not changed that often. Once I was naked and so was he smiled at me taking me all in.

"the floors safer." i admit nervous as hell.

"but the hamock will be a fun adventure." he says, i kiss him and he lifts me onto the hamock.

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