Children are told all sorts of things when they are little, wonderful stories of adventure and magic, stories of Princesses and princes, dragons and fairies, that all end in the exact same way, happily.
When they are young, they are naive and trusting, they believe every word of it, anything and everything you tell their young minds, why wouldn't they? They have no reason not to trust every word that comes out of your mouth, The stories are in books, they must be true, they know no better, unless of course, you tell them.
As they get older they often grow out of it, they learn that not everything is perfect, not everything always goes right, their minds close off to all the wonderful possibilities they were so certain of, because then, they think they know better, they're older and wiser. They stop dreaming about living in a grand castle, defeating viscous monsters, and finding their perfect prince or princess, but what if that's the problem, even if a fairy were to appear right in front their eyes, they still wouldn't believe in them. They'd get called crazy if they ever told anyone, they'd most likely put it down to an overactive imagination, something their small minds could comprehend, they close their minds off to everything wonderful and live in the strict world of reality.
Molly Lotte grew up not at all like that, you could say, she never grew up at all. Even just the thought that maybe those wonderful, magical things never existed was entirely preposterous to her, she never gave up those childish beliefs and she never would.
Even once she gave birth to her beautiful little daughter, she was sure she was right, completely sure of herself, she never stopped believing and Faye was brought up to be just the same.
Molly Lotte was sure that one day, her wonderful daughter would one day marry a handsome, charming prince and become a real life princess, she had no doubt about it.
Faye Lotte had an amazing childhood, full of so much love, fun, fairy tales and adventure.
She grew up in a small country side village in a sweet cozy cottage, surrounded by wild flowers and flower filled vines. The village was called, Elderberry, named after the many berries it possessed. Elderberry was in the middle of lands and lands of fields, stretching as far as the eye could see, fields filled with wild horses and daisies for them to munch on, and around those fields was a large dark wood.
Faye and her mother would often go searching for elves, fairies and all sorts of other magical creatures, through the trees and along the untouched paths. Ton rainy days they put on their wellies and their raincoats, paddle through the river and hunt for trolls under the bridge.
They would make house from old boxes, painting them pretty pastel colors, covered in glitter and all the smallest details, signposts, chimneys and all the furniture they could possible need, and place them in the garden for the fairies. They would put treats out for the elves an goblins and cheesy, smelly old socks under the bed at night to feed the toe nibbling monsters and a space duvet in the bottom of the wardrobe the monster inside would touch the clothes.
In the summer they would visit the old abandoned castle on the top of the hill, the one they could see in the distance from their lovely, joy filled home, and they would pretend to be queen and princess and rule the kingdom below. Even at such a young age Faye knew exactly how to act like a princess, she was always very polite, kind and loving, she would always say please and thank you, she would never complain or be rude, even when sometimes things weren't always easy and of course she would still occasionally get grumpy or frustrated, but she was always extremely grateful for what she had and what she had been given, even just the small things were greatly appreciated. Molly and Faye's father Joseph, would often get complimented on their very well behaved, sweet, pleasant daughter, she had been brought up very well indeed, she was practically perfect and even that never changed.
Molly and Joseph both worked in the small town, her as a seamstress and him as a horologist in two little shops, side by side. They're jobs never took up much time so they were both often home with Faye.
Molly was a very beautiful woman, she had golden straight blonde hair, down to the bottom of her rib cage, she was always very tall and skinny, with big brown gentle eyes and pale skin, she would always wear long flowing, lacey, frilly dresses, ones she would make herself, usually quite original, quite eccentric. She would normally stick with pale colors, blue and white were her often choices, but they were always filled with so much detail, whether that was sequins, built in petticoats or sewed on things, petals, ribbon or bows. She would wear lots with cardigans and accessories along with her creations, large headdresses, peal necklaces and fancy hats, she was always very fun to play dress up with, she was never afraid to stand out and to let her personality shine through her outfits.
Joseph wasn't nearly as experimental as his wife, he would stick with much more earthier tones. He would mostly wear brown, gray and beige, he would wear a plain long sleeved shirt each day, which was normally white, with a bow tie and a dark waist coat, when the weather was colder, a long blazer over the top with jeans and shiny dark shoes.
He had wavy light combed back light brown hair, bright green eyes and a short beard, only slightly hanging off of his face and a well groomed mustache, gently twisted up at the ends and small round glasses. He too was quite skinny, small and short.
Faye had always been very close to her mother and she would often spend more time with her than she did with her little school friends, which she always had plenty of.
Molly would read her little girl a fairy tale each night, depicting grand adventures, brave knights and endless love, stories of which they both would desperately believe every word.
She carried on doing that until Faye began secondary school, but still, Faye kept her love of reading and would read the fairy tales by herself sometimes when she was alone or having a partially bad day, they always comforted her and made everything better.
Even then, at the age of ten, just like her other the belief never faded and never went away, although she did learn to keep it to herself and not to flaunt it as much, although her friends loved her for it and who was she was because of it, others weren't nearly as supportive of her passion, the non believers took it upon themselves to take away her belief but of course they never never managed to, it was far too strong for that.
The older she got the less adventure's her and her mother would have together, it wasn't their idea, if only it could have another way. It was Faye's new school, Elderberry didn't have a secondary school, their weren't enough pupils to fill it, so Faye would have to catch the bus from town every morning and sit for almost an hours journey each day to get there. It never bothered her, although it was tiring at times, she loved living in the cottage, with all the wonderful memories her family had created there and the love that was filled with every corner.
She would go off everyday up the hill and over the bridge with her bright pink, Disney princess backpack, her glittery lunch box, dressed in her blue checkered school uniform to catch the bus.
Luckily her two very best friends Olivia and Harry would venture on that quest, by her side every day as well. On the bus in the morning they would often chat quietly to each other or sometimes listen to music or read music quietly to themselves, and in the evening they would do all their homework together, helping one another when needed so they could relax at home.
After the long days Faye would usually just want to stay in and not do an awful look, she'd watch a Disney film with her mum and dad, sometimes they would play games, do a puzzle, some knitting or something Molly and Faye loved was baking and cooking. She would do something with her parents as she really did like spending time with them, unlike most over teenagers.
Then On the weekends they would still do some of the old things, one of their favorite things was going for a long walk up the hill, to the ruined castle and have picnics up there in the field.
Things remained the same, practically perfect it wasn't until just before summer, Faye had just turned thirteen that April when something no one was expecting happened, Molly, sadly died from unknown causes, she had been ill for a while, keeping it as much of a secret as she could, until one day it all just seemed to become too much for her and she was lost to the clouds.
Naturally Faye's world was torn apart, destroyed, turned upside down and shattered, nothing nearly as bad as that had happened to her, before, her life was very amazing, better than anyone could ever wish, just a fairy tale.
It took her a very long time to recover, of course even now, at the age of eighteen she was still very much affected by it but she was getting on with her life. Things hadn't been the same since that terribly day, Faye become much less eccentric, she became quite withdrawn and shy, although she still had Olivia and Harry, she never shone as bright as she had before. She would spend more and more time in her head, with her imagination that is were everything was still just as perfect...But slowly, she went back to her old self, she pulled herself out of her head and carried on with her life, although it could never be as perfect as it was, she could still live her life as perfect as it could get while she waited for her story to change, her fairy tale life was returning to her.
After all, all fairy tales are perfect at the very beginning, before the journey truly starts, things sometimes have to turn bad before they get better, Cinderella was stuck with her evil step mother, before her prince rescued her, Rapunzel in her castle, sleeping beauty in her slumber and snow white in her coma, the happily ever after always comes at the very end, you just have to be patient at the beginning.
Faye had finished secondary school and had gotten herself a job at her most favorite place, the place that kept her company and cared for her during those first hard years, at the Elderberry library, it was just for the summer, so she could spend more time with her lonely father at the cottage, while she decided what would be her next step in life, although she really loved the job, her future wasn't entirely clear, after all, she had thought she would become a princess, maybe all she had to do was wait, stay put until her prince would come.
Faye was just as beautiful on the inside as on the outside, her love, her dreams and her passion, shined brightly in her eyes.
If birds one day started to sing in her presence, mice made her clothes and wildlife did her housework no one would have been surprised.
Molly would always say she looked as if every princess had been mixed together to make one, extremely perfect, wonderfully beautiful one, that she was the fairest of them all.
Faye had her mothers hair and her fathers eyes, all in all a very good mix. Her hair was long golden blonde, like a mermaid, down to her waist but wavy like her fathers, she would often clip two front strands back, like princess aurora and her big eyes were bright emerald green with the longest eyelashes. She had pale skin like Molly and her long legs too, her lips were very pale pink. She was the perfect weight, light enough for her prince to sweep her off her feet and heavy enough to be sure she wouldn't float away. Although she appeared to be very fragile and delicate, she was surprisingly strong and well suited for heavy lifting and hard work.
Every morning before work Faye would have to help out her dad, as he was getting older he couldn't do as much as he used to. She would feed their cats, Gus and Jaq, let out their chickens, then have to feed the neighbors horses as they were often away, it wasn't too bad and of course she never complained but the weaker her father got the more the list increased. By the time he was eventually bed bound she was practically running the house, as well as working in town and looking after him. It soon became clear to her that she would have to work in the library forever, as he could never cope without her.
By the end of summer it was then her whole life, she saw less of her friends, less of the world outside Elderberry and never had much time to relax, her fairy tale was fading. Although she was very capable of all that work, she became tired and unhappy with what her life had become. Faye became more and more desperate for her rescuer. He was the only way her life could improve, but without her mother's strong faith and unbreakable belief, it was getting harder for her to stay positive, she wanted to stick to her mothers plan the hopes and dreams she had for her, of course, she wanted to make her happy but the doubts were slowly taking over and each day it got worse.
It was the day of Faye's nineteenth birthday.
She spent that Saturday morning with her dad, up at the dining table as they sat to have some breakfast, just some jam on toast, nothing to fancy, Faye never liked to ask for much, she was completely unaware of the surprise that soon followed.
When Faye was younger, her mother used to make the biggest deal about her birthday. It would always be princess themed of course, they would always have a big pink bouncy castle in the garden, ribbon and glitter everywhere and everything pink and purple. All the girls would be in sparkly sequin gown and Harry was always a knight, he refused to be the prince, despite the girls insistence. They would have platefuls of girly cupcakes, sweets, candyfloss and candy apples and they would eat them until everyone went home feeling slightly sick.
Since Molly had left, it had always been just Harry and Olivia round for tea and cake, along with Joseph, he was usually Happy to join in, be had known Faye's friends since they were young so they'd happily spend the time with him. They would have a lovely time, they would chat and eat, then after play silly party games and have a sleepover, with a movie and popcorn, Faye always insisted that it was more than enough for her but it wasn't exactly the party every teenager dreams of.
To Faye it didn't really seem like her birthday, if Joseph hadn't had said happy birthday to her and made a lot of effort to pull himself up and out of bed by himself she would have thought he had forgotten.
“So, is there anything special you have planned for the day?” Joseph asks his daughter, in his deep croaky voice, trying to keep his smile under wraps, in order to not give anything away.
“Mmm, no, there isn't, I thought I'd just stay here with you, I'll take the day off if it's okay, I'll do all of the housework tomorrow, all my focus will be on you, that's how I want to spend my birthday” Faye smiles sweetly.
Although she said that and she meant it, there were other things she would have liked to do, just as much I'm sure.
“Come here” Joseph cries smiling, pulling his daughter into his arms and giving her a hug at the head of the for seat wooden table.
“I love you” he mutters into her ear before giving her a kiss.
“I love you too Daddy” Faye tells him softly.
“...I really wish your mother could be here today, to see just how even more beautiful you have become” he says, grasping her hand in his, with a brave smile.
“Me too” Faye mumbles, looking in straight in his watery eyes.
“She wouldn't want you here today you know” her father tells her, looking to the floor.
“I know, I know, she'd want me out in the woods, searching for my prince, hoping that we'd both be there at the perfect moment, ready to accidentally, bump into each other” Faye smirks. “...but I can't do that can I? I have to be here for you” she adds, although she was smiling, as she always does and once again she did mean it, it was probably because she was too much of a nice person to ever admit otherwise, even to herself.
“Why not?” Joseph asks casually.
“You know why” she frowns.
“...What if, I told you can leave me for the day? That you can do whatever you like, without having to worry?” he grins.
Faye glares at him through narrow eyes, flicking through the ways that was possible, in her head, most of which were very bad.
“How, how would it be possible?” she asks unsure.
Before her father could even answer the door bell rang.
“...That would be how” he laughs.
Faye gives him a funny look before answering the door.
There standing in the doorway was a plump woman, with short curly black hair, dressed in some jeans and a black blouse, with a red handbag in her hand, ready for work.
Faye takes one look at her and immediately turns back to her dad.
“Happy birthday sweetheart” he smirks as he watches her confused face. “This is Lara, she'll be looking after me today” he eventually explains.
She didn't know it yet but she had received the best present ever, from her father. Just for the day, as they didn't have an awful amount of money, he hired a career, Lara, a lovely middle aged woman to look after him, so Faye wouldn't have to. As he couldn't easily leave the house, Faye would have to spent the day without him, if he could choose, he would have wanted to be with her, but it wasn't an option at the time. Joseph wanted his daughter to have the perfect birthday, he couldn't bare to ruin her day so he was willing to sacrifice that for her.
Faye still unsure of what exactly was going on moves out the way, inviting the stranger in, she stands there for a moment as the unexpected situation sinks in before joining her father and Lara at the table where she had already seemed to make herself at home.
“Erm, can- can I get you a drink? Tea? coffee?” Faye asks tentatively as she sits across from the woman.
Before Lara has a chance to reply Joseph interrupts.
“No, you're not doing anything for anyone today, only yourself, now go upstairs and get dressed, go out and have some fun” he cries bluntly.
After a second of hesitation she does as he asked, although she wasn't completely comfortable with leaving him with a stranger the thought of being able to do anything she wanted for the first time in ages was exciting and fun.
Faye would always wear a lot of floral summer dresses or pinafores and sandals, pastel colors, blue, yellow and lilac were her favorites but she would wear more warmer colors in the winter along with loose neural, more plain knitted jumpers or cardigans on top, with some tights and boots. Unlike her mother her style was much less in your face but still pretty and girly, her favorite accessories were flower crowns, silver rings, her daily choices were a small crown ring and a silver key necklace and her red apple studded earrings. As the whether wasn't very nice, the sky was gray and clouded and it was very windy that day she went with, a pale blue dress, with long sleeved and buttons, it was styled like a shirt, coming down to just above her knees with some white tights underneath, a mustered yellow knitted, hooded cape shawl, along with the matching finger less gloves and a pair of bright yellow, waterproof doc martins on her feet, perfect for the wet weather.
She ran downstairs with a big grin on her face, with a few house rules for her dad as she passed.
“If you're in pain, don't feel too much of a burden to say” she lists “ And do as Lara says without complaining”
“Yeah, yeah” Joseph groans like a child.
“Don't worry, we'll be just fine, you just have a nice birthday, I'll take very good care of him” Lara assures her.
“Yes, we'll be just fine” Joseph winks as he rests his hand on Lara's shoulder.
“...and no flirting” Faye yells as she leave the cottage.
Faye hadn't had a day completely to herself in a while, so she wasn't at all sure what she would do, it had been so long she couldn't even reeber what she used to do. There was so much choice all of sudden, choice that she was no longer used to.
She stepped out of the gate outside and just stood there, clueless while she waited for an idea to find her.
The houses in Elderberry were all very spread out, there house was right at the edge of village so the only options in front of her where fields and woods, places she wasn't at all interesting in spending her alone time in.
The concrete town was a good five minute walk up the hill and across the river, all that was there were all of the countryside shops, in which she saw every day when she was at work at the library.
There was only one bus that came a day, every couple of hours, she had missed the most recent and the next one would arrive at lunch time and get back in the early afternoon. Lunch time was not nearly soon enough, it was only ten o'clock when Faye left the house so she was in for a fairly long wait.
She had no choice but to hang around in the small village town for at least a couple of hours, before the bus would come.
She went into the mini grocery shop, not necessarily to buy anything, mostly just to pass time, as usual she got held up quite a few time by some of the shoppers, everyone knew each other in Elderberry, it seemed, everyone was either a parent or grandparent of someone Faye went to school with. Even with most of her old friends being at various universities out of town or on gap years in exotic locations all over the word she still knew exactly what they were up too. She always got the feeling everyone felt sorry for her as she was stuck there with them, instead of having an adventure, out in the world, as everyone knew she had always dreamed of, they all seemed to think that if she couldn't go, she would like to hear about their child's life instead, almost as if she could experience it all through them. That wasn't at all the case, it would just upset here, a reminder of how ordinary her life had become.
At least the conversations helped pass some time. After that she spent around ten minutes in the charity shop, flicking through clothes she had seen a thousand times before, the things in there never seemed to change, they had all been there for years. Then the remainder of the time she waited in the cafe with a hot chocolate as she watched the sky grow darker and darker before the bus eventually arrived.
She did try and ring her friends to see if they would be interested in joining her but not one answered, Faye hesitated to ring them in the first place, they always seemed to be so busy, she didn't really want to bother them
All and all, even with the lovely surprise the day wasn't the best, Faye couldn't help but think she would have just preferred an uneventful day at home with her dad, she soon shook it off though, he had arranged it all specially for her, she didn't want to seem ungrateful so she carried on happily.
Faye took to bus to Wallace, the large town where she had attended school just last year. There was a newly built shopping center there, so she decided she would spend the money she had been saving, and buy herself something nice.
She had seen quite a few things she would have liked to buy but she just didn't have the money for all of it and she couldn't choice. Just as she was leaving the shop, something caught her eyes, something completely crazy and inappropriate. It was a dress in a shop window, not just a usual everyday dress, she would normally wear, but a fancy evening gown, it was at the very top of her price budget, she had no reason to wear it but it just called out to her, so loudly that she couldn't possibly ignore, louder than the rational thoughts, louder than her whole will power, she had to buy it. It was everything her mother would have loved, fancy, sparkly, silver and lilac, fit for a princess.
She went into the shop, shy and invisible, afraid of the questions she might get asked, questions she had no reasonable answers too.
She ruffled through the rack where they hand, looking for her size, keeping a look out over her shoulder. She grabbed the dress and made a run for it to the changing rooms, avoiding eye contact with all of the shop assistants.
To make things worse, the dress looked perfect on as well, the light chiffon material very gently hit the floor and the brush train back delicately ran away from her feet, into a the bottom of a waterfall, leaving a generous amount of material trailing behind her. The fitted beaded silver waist was tight around her, so it showed off her figure, yet she could still breathe easily, the sleeveless arm holes allowed her perfect movement of her arms and the v-neck came down just low enough for her to feel comfortable.
Faye tested all the small things out vigorously, desperately trying to find fault, so she could actually manage to leave the shop without it, but she couldn't, there was nothing at all wrong with it and she hated that.
She stood there for a good few minutes staring at it, practically drooling over how stunning it was before a knock at the door broke her gaze.
“Are you okay miss?” a woman's voice asked through the door.
“Yes, yes, I'm fine thank you” Faye mumbled nervously.
“It's just, you rushed in there awfully quickly, we were worried you might have mistaken it for a toilet cubical you see” the woman muttered, trying her best to stay professorial, there was a slight wobble in her voice.
All of a sudden Faye's previous worries vanished, they were nothing compared to the embarrassment of everyone thinking she she had used the changing room as a bathroom.
“No, don't worry, see, no erm, yeah” Faye stuttered after she swung the door wide open for the woman to see.
The short, curly red head's face had turned the color of her hair, it seemed she was just as embarrassed as Faye.
The woman took a quick look in the changing room and relief filled her face, she looked back to Faye smiling shyly.
“Oh, good, you just wanted to try on the dress, we were afraid, well, that's great” she laughed.
“Yeah, sorry for the misunderstanding” Faye mutters through a suppressed giggle.
“It's okay” the woman smirks. “You look lovely by the way, really stunning, the perfect choice for you” she says sweetly.
“Thank you, it's my favorite color” Faye tells her with the old worries beginning to return.
“Well, if I don't need any help, I'll leave you too it” she says, slightly picking up on Faye's discomfort. “Can I just ask you, what was the running for? Were you just, that excited to try it on?” the assistant asks just before leaving.
“...Something like that” Faye snickers before crawling back into the cubical and pulling the dress off. She was half way through the buying process by then and no one had asked her where she was going on what the dress was for, the questions she had servery over thought and got herself into a panic about people asking. She still had no answer, she still had no idea why she so desperately felt the need to buy it and she still wasn't completely comfortable on the poise but the amount of happiness it had already given her in that short amount of time was priceless and completely worth it.
Faye picked the busiest queue to line in, hoping to eliminate the chances of passing chatter and eventually she climbed back onto the bus with expensive looking shopping bag and was on her way home.
When she got back she assumed that, she had been long enough for her dad to be happy with, a few hours was more than enough time for a bit of fun, but the front door to the cottage was locked, it was never usually locked as her dad rarely left, there was no need to.
Luckily she had her key in her shoulder bag and was able to let herself in, she walked straight into the room where she had left them, the large kitchen diner and very much to her surprise, Joseph and Lara were no where in sight. She began to worry slightly, searching all the three bedrooms upstairs, the bathroom, the living room and even her mothers old work room downstairs, they weren't inside. Faye had no idea where they could have gone but in a strange way, things began to make just a bit more sense. None of her friends had spoken to her all day, not even Olivia and Harry, her grandmother Lilly or grandfather Phillip hadn't stopped by as they usually would and her father wanted her away for the day, almost as if they were all in on it, she couldn't help but suspect a surprise party.
After those thoughts, she managed to calm herself down a bit, tone down the worry, but nearly enough to sit still, she was far too excited for that. She had no idea when the party would start or even enough certainty to fully expect it but it was all that was on her mind.
She sat down for a while to try and keep herself occupied, something else to focus on but after not an hour her mind once again began to wander.
She decided to go out again, to get some air and a different view, she wandered up the thin track road, for a little walk beside the woods.
Faye found herself half way up the road, hanging over one of the paddock gates, with one of the neighbors horses she'd look after, Alistair, a large black and white horse. She sat there for a while stoking him and having a little chat. She was quite happy there, being there with him in the fresh air, picturess exterior was calming and helped focus her mind on what was in front of her, and not what was in her head.
All of sudden Faye was pulled out of the moment by the sun hitting her back, it was her first sighting of it that day, it managed to break through one of the heavy gray clouds. As she turned to it she noticed something quite beautiful, off up the hill, in the distance where the broken castle stood, the field seemed to glow, the sun had favored it, it immediately caught her interest, it filled her with a very out the blue desire, the desire to climb the hill and meet the sunshine.
It wasn't at all a nice day for a picnic, even with the magical burst of light, and it wouldn't have been very fun by herself anyway but the draw to the higher field was too intense and bizarre to ignore.
Faye hadn't been up there since her mother had died, so she was actually quite looking forward to greet all of the old, precious memories they had shared there years before.
Before she knew it she was standing smack dab center in the golden field, in front the castle that looked as if it had been through a golden hour filter.
She wasn't quite sure what she would do now she was there, but the absence of people was nice, even with storm around the air was very settled, with the rains soon arrival the cool air was very fresh. Faye sat down where she stood, facing the castle and just leaned back on her hands, borrowed in the grass and took a moment just, to be in the silence with the nostalgic memories swarming her head.
It was nice to be fully alone like that, not the, isolating, distant, type of alone you can feel when you're still surrounded by people, but the aloneness you feel in those certain moments of peace and tranquility.
She sat there like that for a while, watching slightly transparent, hazy versions of her and her mother, memories from her childhood. They were running, skipping, playing and giggling around her, right in front of her, like a home movie, with a delicate smile on her face and tears in her eyes as she found herself entirely lost within them, those special memories.
It wasn't until the feeling of soft rain began to fall upon Faye's skin that was when she pulled herself out of the trance and was back to her time, alone in the field.
Faye jumped to her feet, held her palms upwards and looked up at the sky, it was darker than ever, practically black, the color it is at night, except instead of stars there were just patches of white light shining through.
If she didn't want to drown in it she would have to get home quickly, she was lucky that it wasn't already raining, it sure looked like it should have been.
As the situation sunk in and her instincts return to her, the instincts to find shelter, she immediately pulled her eyes away and pulled them back down to the field she needed to escape.
As she did that, something new caught her eye, for just a second, one very fast second, she wasn't alone, along with her in that very field was a silhouette.
Faye shrugged it off, putting it down to one very last revisited memory for the road, but on her way home, as the thunder and lightning started, she couldn't help but continue to feel the strange presence. Someone, or something, was following her.
Faye's luck continued, she manged to get herself safely inside, with just a few spots of rain in her hair, before the heavens fully opened.
The rain was so loud the echo filled the whole cottage, along with the booming thunder, with lighting lighting the shaded room. It was the worse storm Faye had ever seen, or heard, it was much more intense and frighting than usual, almost on an earth ending level, there was going to be some damage in the morning for sure.
Joseph and Lara still weren't home and it was getting quite late, Faye ended up finding a comfy spot in the corner and burrowing under a blanket in the darkness, desperately hoping it would pass. She never really liked thunder, nothing had changed there, but usually her dad was there with her, her thunder buddy and the time she needed him most, when the thunder was at it's most violent, he wasn't there, which made things so much worse.
She didn't have to wait long for things to improve, just five minutes later there was a knock on the door, she wasn't sure who it could be, but at least she wouldn't be alone anymore.
Faye stood up from her safe place, with the blanket still covering her, with just her face peaking up so she could see.
She swung the door open hopefully, strangers rarely turned up there in good weather, let alone in the middle of a violent storm, so she understandably assumed it would be someone she knew, if not her dad, it would be one of her friends or family, either way, someone that could comfort her.
There, standing at the door was neither, a completely soaking wet, stranger.
A young man, fairly muscly, with long dripping blonde hair, tied up in a half ponytail, resting on his shoulders, warm brown eyes and a kind looking, pinkish face. He was dressed quite strangely, in a light flowing, long sleeved, baggy dark tie up green shirt, with no buttons or collar, just some black detailing around the neck and sleeves, a pattern of vines and thorns, some loose black cotton trousers, a navy blue cloak, again with some detail around the edges and some black ankle leather boots.
Faye wasn't at all sure how to react, her alone with a strange man at her door was a cause for concern, but on the over hand, he was soaking wet and shivering too, it seemed she didn't really have a choice, she couldn't leave him, she would feel far to guilty if she did, she was too kindhearted for that.
So despite her worry, before he had even said a word she had made her finale decision.
“Can I help you?” she mutters hesitantly.
“Where- where am I?” the man asks, his eyes full of uncertainty and slight fear. His words were very well pronounced and clear, he didn't mumble or slur, he stood up straight and held his head high, he came across very well educated and brought up.
“...Elderberry, you're in Elderberry” she tells him in concern.
“Elderberry?” he repeats.
“Yeah, are- are you okay?” Faye leans in closer to him.
“Yes, yes, I just, I must get home” the man explained, trying to seem confident and sure of himself which he really was not, he looked completely out of place.
“Well, do you near by? Do you have a car? You can't walk in this weather” Faye attempted to help but in the state he was in he wasn't the easiest to talk to, maybe he was always like that.
“I- I can't seem to remember, I was there, and then I wasn't” he paused to think.
Just as Faye entered her thoughts a loud clap of thunder rumbled through the sky.
She immediately took a hold of the stranger, pulling him through the door, into the house as she ran from the noise.
The room was very cold with the stone white stone walls and gray stone floor. There were a few large Persian rugs dotted about but without the large fire place to the right lit the room was never very warm, not even when the oven was on in the kitchen which took up most of the room, on the left in front of the stairs.
Faye was too busy saving herself to even be aware of her actions, she just slammed the door closed and continued as before, but everything seemed to have taken the young man by surprised.
Faye curled back down in her corner, crawled back under her blanket without even another thought she just sat there muttering to herself, forgetting about the stranger who was now in her house.
For a second the man just stood there, unsure of what to do until he found himself on his beside her.
“It is alright, just a bit of thunder, it will not hurt you” he tentatively whispers, as he slowly reached his hand out to comfort her.
Before he even touched her she throw the blanket up, away from her face with embarrassment and slight shock as the realization set back in.
“I'm sorry” she mutters shyly.
“There is nothing to be sorry about, I once had a horse who did not like thunder, I am sure many people are” he tells her blankly as he fell to his bottom in front of her.
Faye stared at him for a moment until she realize she was no longer scared, the thunder was still rattling outside but she was taking no notice of it, whatever he had done had worked, it had taken her mind off of what was going on outside, given her something else to think about and that was really all she needed.
“You really aren't from him are you?” Faye smirks.
“I am not really sure” the man frowns.
“What's your name? Do you remember that?” she asks curiously after a second.
“Of- of course I do, it, it is...Elian” he smiled as it seemed the memory had come back to him.
“I'm Faye” she told him as she pulls herself up, off of the floor, she then left him there as she leaves the room for a minute.
She returned to find him on his feet, she turned on the kettle on her way past before handing him a towel and taking a seat at the table.
Elian shortly followed and sits down beside her all wrapped up.
“So, what do you remember?” Faye asks very seriously.
“I remember my name, I know I am eighteen years old and I remember a wall, a large wall. Then, something until about ten minutes ago, there was a burst of light, then a field that a never seen before and...you, is that normal? Should I remember more than that?” he started to panic.
“What about your parents? Your family? Don't you remember them? At all” she asks with narrow, sorrowful eyes.
Elian shakes his head.
“...No, no that's not normal at all” Faye frowns.
They sit there for a moment in silence.
“Elian? I'm sorry, I just...I have no idea what to do” she mutters, worrying for him, she really didn't know, she was in an impossible situation. “...i guess you- you could stay here tonight, I can't let you go outside, not in this weather, then we can take the bus and go to the hospital tomorrow, maybe, they'll know what to do”
“No” Elian cries. “You do not have to take care of me, once the storm stops I will be fine, I will just go, I will be okay by myself, do not worry” he tells her bluntly, unwilling to except the help.
“It's okay really, it's no burden, please, I want to help, please?” Faye tells him blankly. Just the past minutes had been the most interesting thing that had happened to her in a while, she was actually seeming like she could enjoy it, if the situation wasn't so concerning.
“Wait here, I'll get you some dry clothes and you can have a shower and warm up” she tells him as she briefly touches his icy skin.
“A shower?” Elian mutters to himself, not seeming too impressed as he watches her leave the room.
Faye ran up to her dads room and grabbed some of the clothes he had never touched, some black track suit bottoms and a brand new light gray jumper before running back down the stairs.
Even though Joseph rarely left the house he always liked to get dressed and look his best, the track suit bottoms were bought for him when he started to get ill and since the very first time he saw them had refused to even go near them.
Elian hadn't even moved a muscle in the five minutes he was left.
“Well come on then” Faye cries the second her eyes found him, she gestures her head and he follows.
They traipsed up the stairs, Faye points him to the bathroom.
“There's towels in there, put your wet clothes outside the door when you're ready, I'll sort them out”
Elian stood there in the hall awkwardly for a second, holding his new clothes, he didn't seem at all comfortable in the way he looked at Faye, the situation they had both found themselves in was as a bit odd so it was understandable, they had met just minutes ago and he was about to be naked in Faye's house and wearing her fathers clothes.
Even so Faye couldn't help but get the feeling he wasn't all that used to being around people, a bit of a recluse maybe, although he seemed to quite happily talk to her, he was quite shy and his mannerisms seemed fairly strange, a bit stiff or forced, there was something refreshing about it though, endearing.
He wasn't as confident or bold as you would expect at first sight, he was innocent and sweet, almost in a childish way, an shy, awkward teenager maybe.
Faye found herself eventually staring into his eyes as her thoughts took her away.
She watched Elian creek the bathroom door open and slide in before she actually pulled her eyes away fro him, she stood there for just a second before she realized what she was doing and shook it off.
Faye went in her shabby chic bedroom for a minute while she waited for Elian's clothes to appear in the hallway.
She sat down on the floor beside her bed as she muttered to herself about what had just happened.
“What was that?”
“He probably thinks I'm such a freak”
“Urgh, why do I even care?”
“I don't...I don't care”
“He's not even that cute, I mean...” she yells at herself before dropping her face into her pulled up knees.
Faye's room was very sweet and girly, with cute pastel colors, frills and flowers. She had a large double white cast iron framed bed covered white lacey bed sheets, bundles of pillows, fluffy, glittery, flowery, pinks, yellows, and lilacs and a pretty ivy green throw on top. Her walls were covered in a vintage floral pale yellow wallpaper, with hints of lilac in the leaves. All of the rest of the furniture, her wardrobe, dresser, mirrors and even the chest at the end of her bed were shabby white and vintage. There were many sweet details that made the room a very lovely place, the dark wood round tables either side of the bed, which were covered in lacy table cloths and vases of fresh flowers, there were vintage photo frames all around which seemed to be a theme, around the room, on every surface and on the walls, some with dried flowers inside and some with old childhood pictures, all together the room felt very warm and sweet.
After a moment Faye heard the bathroom door open and then very quickly close, she pulled herself up and very quickly rushed upside the room again, back to the same strange mindset as before, she couldn't control herself, she found herself so very quickly, inexplicably drawn to him, in a way she had never been before, to anyone else.
There was something so strange between the pair, whether Elian felt it too was still unclear but there was definitely something, a familiarity, a rare sense of intimacy between the strangers, as if they had known each other all of their lives, when in actually fact it had been just minutes, it was already seeming as if it would become something potentially magical.
Faye goes downstairs, leaving Elian to warm up, Faye lights up the fire in the fireplace before hanging his clothes on the rack in front.
As she hadn't eaten since breakfast Faye also heats up some of last nights soup on the fire too.
Just as the room begins to smell of sweet tomato and basil the sound of footprints fill the silent house, it was Elian coming down the stairs.
He comes up behind Faye, making her jump up away from the fire, just as she had leaned in to take a sip of hot soup off her large wooden spoon, to test the temperature.
She jumped back holding her arm, screaming out.
“What- what Is it?” Elian panics, reaching his hands out to her hesitantly.
“The soup, it burned me” she cries in pain.
“What do I do? Tell me what to do” he said sounding worse than her.
“Water, I need to put in under cold water” Faye tells him, her arm getting redder by the second.
Elian's eyes searched the room for a sink, he rest his hand in the middle of her back and rushed her quickly across the room.
The water immediately starts to help and Faye's face relaxed slightly as her pain is relieved, Elian's on the other hand, was still just as tense and worried as before.
His eyes lock onto her arm under the falling water with full concentration, he was so focused on getting her better, he didn't even realized it had worked.
Faye looks away from her arm as the pain fades and up to his tense face, she didn't say anything for a second, she just watched him, the look in his eyes was comforting to her, she could see his soul, his caring nature was so clear to her and it was beautiful. In that moment she knew she had nothing to fear from him, he was not capable of causing any pain, not intentionally.
It was after she smiled at him sweetly through her thoughts that she was fully back in the room, and It was only then as she slowly pulled her eyes away, that she noticed how close she was to him, his arm was tightly wrapped around her shoulder and her head was practically pressed up to his very buff bare chest.
Faye stared at him for another minute, slightly frozen before she clears her throat and gently pulls away.
“How are you? It that, better?” Elian asks in worry.
“Yeah, thank you, It's better” she smirks hesitantly.
He slowly let go of her shoulder and her arm as she pulled it away from the water.
Faye takes a cloth from the side, put it under the water and held it on her arm.
“Are you sure you are okay” Elian asks one more time, still not completely convinced.
Faye laughs as she turned the tap off.
“Yes, it was only a little burn, stop worrying” she smirks.
“Alright” he trusts her.
They stand there in the comfortable silence for a moment, smiling to each other, until Elian's chest draws Faye in, her eyes flicker down.
“Why, was something wrong with the jumper I gave you?” Faye shutters, awkwardly.
Elian paused for a moment while he processed the question.
“Oh, no” he smirks. “...It was just a bit itchy” he told her as he scratches his chest.
Faye just laughs before her eyes very quickly return to where she was trying so hard not to look.
“I am so sorry, walking around like this, it is very inappropriate, I shall just ignore the itchiness” Elian noticed her detracted mind, bowing his head shyly he began to turn away, towards the stairs.
Embarrassed Faye rushed to him, taking his fore arm in her hand, letting go of the clothes.
“Wait, It's okay, I'll find you something else” she laughs nervously.
Elian immediately stopped and he nodded his head, avoiding eyes contact.
“Thank you” he mutters.
“It's okay” Faye smirks. “Your- your own clothes should be dry soon so you don't have to wear my dads clothes for very long” she tells him, smiling until her face turned blank.
Something caught her attention. On Elian's chest, right up the top by his shoulder on the right was a small tattoo, it was quite small, smaller than the palm of his hand, all in black, it was four not very detailed crowns in almost a circle, surround by a round border, which looked to be made up of twigs and thorns.
Faye eyes narrowed as the ink reflected into her eyes, she slowly leaned in and reached out her fingers to touch it.
Elian stood still as he watched her.
“Where- where did you get this?” Faye mutters softly.
Just as her fingers were about to touch his skin he panicked and jumped back, all of a sudden he was very skittish and nervous.
Faye looked at him with glittering curious eyes.
“Are you okay?” her eyes narrow as her concern with his strange actions began to surface.
“Yes, it, it is just, sorry, I- I don't really know...” Elian voice wobbles, Faye could see him trying to hide, he pulls his crossed arms up to his chest in discomfort, he was clearly feeling vulnerable.
“You- you don't know how you got it do you?” she questions him.
He shakes his head.
“It's okay, I get it, it must be really scary huh?” Faye pities him. “...Come, I'll get you a new top, then we can have something to eat, yeah?” her voice becomes very gentle and calming as she worries for the distress she had caused. She slowly approaches him, tentatively took hold of his arm and directs him to the stairs.
She pulls him into her dads room and towards the wardrobe.
“What do you want to wear?” Faye asks him as her eyes search the rail of clothes. “I want you to be comfortable but I don't think dad has anything quite like you were wearing before” she smirks to herself.
“I- I do not mind” Elian mutters from behind her, over her shoulder, still with his arms crossed, feeling rather exposed standing there half naked in just the tracksuit bottoms.
“So, if you don't remember anything about yourself, you don't remember where you live so you have no clothes? The clothes you were wearing, they're the only part of yourself you have, the only things from your past, everything else is new, do- do you know what your next step will be?” Faye asks as she pulls out a long sleeved dark green plaid shirt from the wardrobe and places it on the bed. She stood there for a second as she waits for him to answer.
“What, what if it would be better not to remember the past? What if losing it was the best thing that has ever happened to me? Because, so far, the new things, they have been quite good and then the next step is to just keep on walking forward and never to look back again?” Elian's voice seems deeper as he asks, he was looking to the floor with a strange look in his eyes, almost as if they had clouded over, the light was hidden behind whatever it was he saw in that moment.
“Also, I am sure I can find some new clothes and a place to live” he grins as he pulls away from the clouds and brought the sun back.
Faye smirks before she gets serious again.
“...But if you never remember you could miss out on something wonderful, isn't it worth the risk?” she watches him attentively with wide eyes, with once again, glittering curiosity, pure fascination.
Elian ignores the question. “You do not like my clothes do you? You should be happy they are gone with what used to be my past” he laughs.
“It's not that I don't like them, I've just never seen anything like them before” Faye smirked. “Maybe I can help you pick out a new wardrobe” she grins as she crossed the room over to the chest of drawers and began to ruffle through them vigorously.
“...But that is a good thing is it not? Not being like others, being, different” Elian follows her.
“Mmm, yeah, but I think you're already different enough without dressing like Robin hood” Faye giggles to herself as she continues searching through the drawers.
“Robin hood?” he mutters to himself with narrow eyes, not looking at all impressed.
“Aha” Faye shouts out unexpectedly, holding up a brown pair of skinny jeans, she jumps up off of her knees.
“I found them” she cries as she came close to bumping straight into Elian as she wasn't aware he was quite so close up to her.
She gasps as she was about to headbutt him, her eyes came up to his collar bones but she couldn't help but look down, she stood there for a second before pulling her eyes up to his
“Sorry” she mutters with a nervous laugh as they both take a step back.
Elian didn't seem to bothered about her closeness, he just smirks sweetly almost as if it was a compliment, that she couldn't seem to take her eyes off of him.
He takes the trousers from her hands and holds them up in front of his face with a blank expression.
“Are you sure they will fit?” he frowns.
“What? Yeah, they're too small for dad, he used to wear them all the time and he was so upset, when I accidentally shrunk them in the dryer” Faye snickers not picking up on his expression.
Elian's face remained the same, unsure.
“They're suppose to be tight” Faye cries as she snatches them from him, she lays them on the bed, along with the shirt and gave him a sweet smile, before leaving him to get dressed.
She goes downstairs to sort out the soup and the tea she had forgotten about, she filled up two bowls and placed them on the table but before Elian was finished upstairs she was interrupted.
Her dad and Lara had finally gotten back, and they still had no idea there was a stranger in the house, alone with Joseph's daughter.
Faye had never introduced her father with any of her old boyfriends before, they never match up to his and her mothers expectations so she never bothered, although Elian wasn't her boyfriend, he wasn't her friend either, so he was definitely going to be hard to explain.
“Oh, have you made dinner?” Joseph jokes as he rolls through the door in his wheelchair.
Faye jumps like a cat in the headlights, practically diving in front of the second bowl she had laid out for Elian.
“Are you hungry then?” she asks, trying her best to hide her panicked face.
Lara helped Joseph up and he slowly made his way to Faye.
He places both of his hands on both of his very stiff daughters shoulders looking her straight in the eyes and she tried her best to look away.
“Did you have a nice day darling?” he asks smiling.
Faye nodded her head with a very bad fake grin just before footsteps begin to echo down the stairs.
Elian appears in his new outfit, his green shirt and brown jeans that fit perfectly, he looked handsome, if only his timing could have been better.
All eyes turned to the newcomer in the room, but very quickly turned back to Faye.
They weren't angry eyes, more curious, but that would possibly change after they would hear the story.
Joseph's eyes flicker between his daughter and the stranger in the silence.
“...Dad, this...” Faye began to explain with a slightly shaky voice but Elian interrupts.
He rushes forward with a strange new found sense of confidence that was completely non existent before, his shy, timid nature seemed to have been lost in the past along with his memories.
“Hello sir, you must be Faye's father, it's very nice to meet you, I am Elian, Faye's friend” he smiles charmingly as he shook Joseph's hand.
“Oh, hello, I'm Joseph, what a very polite young man you are” he grins happily, seeming genuinely happy to meet him, he gave Faye a quick look, a slight nod as if to approve before his eyes found their way back to Elian's pretty face.
It would be fine as long as he didn't find out that he and his daughter were perfect strangers and even then, Faye wasn't sure that he would even care about that anymore, he already seemed to love the man, he was probably already planning their wedding.
“So, are you ready Faye?” Joseph pulls his eyes away from his future son in law.
“For what?” she asks blankly.
“W have to go out, remember I told you?” he mutters.
Faye froze for a moment as she entered her thoughts.
“...The doctors appointment?” she asks unsure before her eyes perk up as she fully remembered “Oh, I completely forgot” she cried as she grabbed her small shoulder bag from the dining table in a rush, she was so focused on getting out the door that she forgot about everything else.
“We better start walking now or we'll be really late, For god sake, of course the day Doctor Wren is in his office has to be the day I forgot” she muttered to herself erratically as she ran out the door, leaving Joseph, Lara and Elian inside.
Elian watched the other two through narrow eyes, they were just calmly standing there with suppressed smiles on their faces.
Before he had a chance to question it he finds himself being dragged out the door by Joseph.
“Sorry you weren't invited, I didn't know you existed but it's okay, there's room for you” he tells Elian on the way out.
As Joseph and Lara leave the house with a very confused Elian, they find Faye once again frozen, this time in the middle of the path, staring at the black car in the driveway.
“It's okay, we're not going to be late, as long as Lara's okay with us borrowing her car” she laughs to herself.
“It's okay, I'll drive” Lara cries, with the keys in her hands she passed Faye and climbed into her car.
“Are you okay getting in dad? I'll put your chair in the boot” she asks still slightly in a rush.
Joseph climbs in the back while Faye sorts it out, she then gets in the front with Lara, as she sat down and relaxed a bit her brain makes a full recovery.
“Oh no, Elian, what about Elian?” she cries.
“Hey, relax, I'm here” he smirks as he leans over the back or her seat, tapping her on the shoulder.
As Joseph watched on he didn't seem overprotective or uncomfortable about it, he looked genuinely pleased, he smiled on with sparkling eyes before turning away towards the window as the car pulled out.
“Oh, good” she exhaled. “Wait, why, why are you coming to the doctors with us? That's so weird” Faye smirks.
So far it had worked out quite well, Elian couldn't have been left at the cottage on his own and he had somehow been invited along on the trip to the doctors as far as Faye was concerned, she didn't have to make up some sort of excuse, or make up a unlikely reason he couldn't go home, a home that didn't exist she wasn't sure if telling her father about his lost memory was suck a good idea, she didn't want him to see her new friend as burden, to make him feel as if he had no choice but to let Elian stay with them, he had to feel as if it was his choice but. Faye had to tell him at some point and hope for the best, she just had to find the right time.
“I was...invited” Elian tells her tentatively as he glances at Joseph, who was sitting next to him.
Faye didn't think much of it, she was just thankful things had worked out, she wasn't at all suspicious and she didn't at all have any idea anything else might have been going on, not until minutes later when they parked up in the small, usually lifeless town.
The first thing she noticed was the location, Lara had parks in the large car park in the middle of Elderberry instead of the space right in front of the doctors, still, she didn't really question it, Lara didn't leave in Elderberry, it was likely that she just didn't know she could park right outside. It was the second thing she noticed that really opened her mind, the town was full, there were cars everywhere, something was clearly going on.
Lara and Joseph quickly leave the car, the wheelchair was already out before Faye even thought about getting out.
She turned back to Elian who was still sitting there, waiting for her in the back, she didn't say anything, she just stared for a moment while her eyes flickered through the pages of thoughts that laid safely inside her head.
If something was in fact going on he was clearly just as clueless as her by his blank expression.
All of a sudden a smile crept it's way onto her face and she rushed out the car.
Elian followed her lead, he watched her as her eyes searched the town.
“Err, what are you doing?” he leans towards her and mutters.
“I know what's going on” Faye whispers back, secretly as she grins.
“What are you talking about?” his big clueless eyes widen as he whispers whimsically.
Faye tiptoed to look over his shoulder to check on her dad and his carer, who were still sorting out the wheelchair, she takes Elian's arm and pulls him to the side.
“I think it's a surprise party” she whispers.
“A surprise party? For who?” he asked unaware of the fact it was Faye's birthday.
“Me” Faye laughs.
“Oh, wait, what? It is your birthday?” he cries with a large smile.
Faye nodded as she smirks.
“Happy birthday” he yells.
“Shhh” Faye quickly covers his mouth with her hand, getting awkwardly close for yet another time, her concentration flickered to her dad as she carefully listened to see if he had heard.
Once she was convinced she turned back to Elian, centimeters away from his face, he just smiles charmingly before she takes a step back.
“Have you noticed you spend a lot of time right up close to my face?” Elian asks her casually with an expressionless face.
Faye goes slightly pink.
“Sorry” she mutters with a quiet little smirk.
“It is alright, I think I am getting used to it” he tells her.
“Well, don't” Faye cries shyly as she looked away from him.
“It is a good thing, I like it, you're friendly and I quite like how comfortable you are around me” he smiles to himself.
“Do you think in your past people weren't friendly then? I mean, that might be why you're not used to it, maybe you are a police officer of something, a strict authority figure, that would explain it” Faye brainstormed.
Elian just laughs.
“...Yeah, maybe, something like that” he snickers.
Faye finally manages to pull her eyes from the ground and back onto him.
“You know, you look really good in those clothes” she tells him sweetly just as her dad and Lara catch up to them.
The new friends only have time for a shared smile before they are rushed away, Joseph placed each of his hands in the middle of their backs and pushed them along as Lara pushed his chair for him.
“We're going to be late for the appointment” he cries.
Faye and Elian glanced at each other as their feet drag along the ground.
They stopped in front of the town hall, Joseph and Lara with large grins on their faces.
“Why are we stopping here?” Faye asks very unconvincingly.
“Just go in” her dad cries as he grabbed Elian's arm so Faye would go in first.
Faye glanced back at him before placing both hands on the door handle and pushing it open with a wide sparkling eyes.
Just as she entered the dark room, just as she expected the light flicked on and everyone jumped out.
Faye tries her best to look surprised but she was such a terrible actress, luckily the pure delight of seeing all her family and friends and all the amazing decorations that must have taken all day to set up was enough.
The decorations were all princess themed just like her parties as a child, everything was pink and purple, the balloons, streamers and banners. Everything else was much more grown up, all the tableware was all very fancy all laid out on one very long table in the middle of the hall, which was covered in a beautiful lace table cloth, although in was really only a small gathering, no more than fifteen people were invited. There wasn't any regular party food that would imagine, it was more like afternoon tea, pink cupcakes, scones, biscuits and of course tea served in very girly teacups.
There was quiet music on in the background, up beat enough to dance to if anyone wanted to but not too overbearing and the room was filled with candles for a very sweet, calming atmosphere, there was a few spot lights hanging over the table though so the food was visible.
Faye very quickly became absorbed into the awaiting crowd, attacked by hugs and kisses leaving Elian to the side, she looked back to him a few times in between but it was hard when everyone demanded her attention.
He was sick, he had lost his memory recently, he should have been in a hospital that's where he should have been, not at a birthday party, especially the party of someone he didn't even really know, although he didn't seem necessarily uncomfortable, no more than he did at the cottage or more than usual as far as Faye could tell, he was out of place and unless he could reconjure up whatever it was that he had pulled from the depths before when he had the short conversation with Joseph, that rare confidence clearly worked.
The initial mass of love soon faded and Faye could relax as everyone settled down at the table and she could properly check on Elian, It was then that she realized that her worry for him was misplaced.
On the left end of the table seemed to be more family, the right was more distance friends and in the middle was Faye's closet friends, Elian was right in the middle and Faye was just off, the separator between her best friends and family, across from her father and between her grandmother Lily and grandfather Phillip with Harry and Olivia on the other side.
Elian had become the new center of attention with the girls that surrounded him, they were all flirty with him and far too interested.
Harry and Olivia were happily chatting to Faye as they ate, helping to fill the hall with the sound of chatter along with everyone else, but Faye couldn't help but let her concentration sway to Elian and his new friends. She wasn't quite sure why that was just then but she did know that it slightly bothered her and she couldn't top watching.
Elian didn't seem too bothered by the attention, although his mannerisms told a different story he was smiling along with then, even if it was some what awkwardly.
Of course he couldn't answer a lot of the questions he was getting asked it didn't seem to stop the complements coming it.
“Faye? Faye?” Olivia cries as she waved her hand in front of her friends face, trying to get her attention.
“Huh?” Faye mumbles as she pulls her eyes away and towards Olivia.
“Where you even listening to us?” Harry asks with narrow eyes as he tried to read Faye's face.
“Yeah, of course” she mutters as her eyes returned to the familiar path.
“No you're not” Olivia yells.
Joseph watched on before examining the situation, he leaned slightly across the table to follow his daughters eye line.
“She's jealous” he tells the teenagers as he smirked smugly to himself.
“Jealous? Faye doesn't get jealous” Olivia cries, her surety fading each second her eyes explored Faye's face.
“She does when people are flirting with her boyfriend...clearly” Joseph laughs.
“A boyfriend,” Harry cries in surprise.
“Faye has a boyfriend?” grandmother Lily interrupted with a large grin, the complete opposite expression to Granddad Phillip who had acquired a very displeased frown.
“She hasn't, there's no way she wouldn't told me” Olivia laughs nervously.
“...She does, here's over there, look, his names Elian” Joseph adds.
“He's not my boyfriend” Faye finally decides to contribute to the theory.
“I only just met him today” she tells them, only half thinking, she was too busy still starring to realize what she had done at first.
“What?” Joseph cries.
It was only then that Faye resurfaced, her eyes widened and stuck like that, she jumped up from her seat and rushed over to Elian.
Compared to what she had done, the harmless flirting was nothing, things were either going to get really bad or nothing at all would happen, it was the uncertainty that was what was scaring her.
Faye rushed in, took Elian's hand and pulled him away from the table.
“Excuse me ladies” he cries as he left the table.
He gains his balance and straightens himself out.
“Are- are we, going to dance?” he asks as he looked down at Faye's hand in his.
She immediately lets go.
“What? No, no, I think, I might have just messed things up” Faye tells him anxiously as she watched her dad speeding towards them.
“What do you mean?” Elian asks completely unaware.
“Well, I may be about to get into trouble” she mutters to him.
Elian's eyes narrowed as he turned in Faye's direction, he took one look at Joseph, still not understanding what was going on he sweetly took Faye's hand in his for support.
Even with her potentially terrible next minutes he gave her something to smile about.
“Faye” Joseph cried when he had caught up, loud enough for her to understand he was in a serious mood but not to enough to disturb or concern anyone else.
“What- what did you mean? You only met Elian today” he asks concerned.
Faye glanced at her new friend.
“He turned up to the house, he needed help dad, he was drenched from the storm” she told her father hesitantly, bracing herself for a talk.
“You- you helped him?” Joseph's eyes twitch as he attempts to understand.
“It was my fault sir, I should never have knocked on your door, I gave her no choice, I understand it is not smart to let a stranger inside” Elian tries to help.
“You gave her no choice? You forced yourself into our home?” Joseph asked shocked and slightly scared for his daughter.
“No, dad, he didn't, I let him in, I did, he didn't say a word” Faye tells his clearly.
“I- I just meant that your daughter, she is a very kind girl and already what I have learned from her, leaving me outside was never an option, despite my decline” Elian adds.
Joseph immediately relaxes.
“I suppose not” he managed to smile at Faye. “...but then what happened when you were inside, for strangers you seem close” he adds with cheeky suspicion as he noticed their hands.
“Well, nothing” Faye tells his honestly as she let go of his hand from embarrassment.
“Okay” Joseph believed her and he seemed very happy to leave it at that.
After all he did believe in fairy tales and isn't that always how fairy tales work? Strong bonds always seem to grow straight away, which often very quickly lead to a same day marriage. If he believed that was possible why wouldn't he believe what he saw right in front of his eyes.
“But dad, there's something else you need to know, about Elian” Faye calls out to him before he went back to his seat.
He turns back quickly with ready wide eyes.
“The reason I didn't just said Elian away after the storm died down...” Faye began to tell him.
“Love at first sight?” Joseph cries grinning.
Faye and Elian just laugh.
“He's- he's not well” Faye says seriously glancing at Elian.
“What's wrong?” Joseph asks more seriously as well.
“It is not that I am sick, I just, I cannot seem to remember much” he added.
Joseph was just getting more confused.
“He's lost his memory, he turned up at the door like that, he doesn't even know where he's from dad, where he lives, even who his parents are, we can't just leave him on the road, he needs a doctor, we need to take him to a hospital, we need to help” Faye tells him sternly.
She wasn't holding back anymore, she wasn't hiding, she was concerned for the stranger, invested even, she hadn't known him for long but for her she didn't need to, she cared from the moment she heard his problem and it wasn't just an obsessive need for perfection. What Elian had said was true, she was too kind to leave him but now, now it was something else, something more than kindness, something that couldn't really be explained.
Luckily Joseph shared her nature, but it wasn't just that, he was still more weary than her, more realistic and less naive, he knew it wasn't necessary a good idea, that things could go wrong but he could see past that, he could see the same thing in Faye's eyes, the unsuriety she was only just aware of, something explainable in her eyes that just oozed the feeling that everything would work out, that special something Elian seemed to bring out in her. Faith?
“...We'll take him tomorrow” Joseph very quickly decided and jumped on board. He turns to Elian. “ Elian, you don't have to stay out on the road, you can stay with us until the problem is resolved, don't worry about it okay? I know what I'm doing” Joseph tells him with compete certainty before he gave his daughter a sweet smile and walked away.
Faye was delighted by the outcome and couldn't quite believe it after all her worrying.
“Thank you so much sir” Elian calls out to him before turning back to Faye with a grin.
It all seemed to have past by him, maybe he was used to getting his own way, maybe he was just one of those annoying types of people that everything always comes so easily to. It was good that he was like that though, it helped things sink in for Faye so she could enjoy the rest of her party without needed a reality check.
“Come on” she takes his hand again, this time in a much less frantic way.
“Where are we going now?” Elian smirks.
“...I want you to dance with me” she grins as she pulls him along.
Even if it was true that he was used to getting his own way, he didn't seem to be too bothered with Faye bossing him about either, maybe it was something different for him.
The two danced for a while, in their own little world, they seemed so good together, Faye's eyes seemed to shine brighter in his presence.
After, they both take a seat back at the table, together, this time, away from the flirty girls, that, Faye had made sure of.
Elian soon faded slightly in the background, as a stranger often does whilst amongest a group of old friends, he somehow seemed happier being there, having the attention drawn away from himself and of course being with Faye once again.
As the night drew to a end and Faye's birthday was no more, Lara dropped the small family, along with their new temporary addition back home where they prepared themselves for the next day and what would bring.
Faye and Elian's unusual little adventure had only just started.
The prince and princess had only just met and they had a whole story book ahead of them, it was just like in the fairy tales.