Bridgette Dexter was getting really, really tired of waking up sneezing in the morning.
It was inexplicable, too, because she'd locked the windows tight for the last week, something that was very annoying to have to do in the summer's heat, and thus far, hadn't made a lick of difference anyway- she'd continued to wake up in a fit of sneezing, with flowers artfully sewn into her hair.
Honestly, Bridgette was ready to lose it if it happened one more goddamned time...
She latched her window, as she had the past seven nights, checked the edges of the window frame for any sign of a breeze, and grabbed an ice cube, clenching it in her fist. She was going to find out what fucker thought it was funny to put flowers in her hair, and if it was Allegra again, she was going to get a bloody nose to make up for Bri's stuffy one.
The moonlight shined through the gap in the curtains, the silvery light landing on Bridgette's hand. She smiled softly, as the light seemed to dance across the room. It really was beautiful out in the countryside at night, even if in daylight, she despised everything about the small town her parents had seen fit to ship her off to after...
Well, that didn't matter right now.
She let her fingers dance across the bedspread with the moonlight, closing her eyes. God she missed her piano... She could almost hear the music as she tapped her fingers lightly in time... but for some reason, it wasn't piano music she could almost hear, but someone singing softly, a gentle lilting voice in a language she couldn't recognize, a voice that was almost familiar... like she'd heard it in a dream...
She had heard it in a dream.
Her eyes snapped open as a young man with golden curls sang softly, dancing just above her fingertips, arms full of blossoms. Above her fingertips, held there by two delicate violet wings, all five-and-a-half inches (more or less) of him.
"What the fuck?" she demanded.
His wings disappeared at her words, as he crashed down, landing on her hand, scattering petals everywhere. "You were supposed to be asleep!"
"I'm not entirely sure I'm not..." she sat up, cupping the boy in her hands. "What are you doing here?"
He hesitated, glancing around, and closing his eyes tightly. "...Shit."
"C'mon, wings, wings..." the boy muttered. Bridgette tilted her head, completely confused at this point.
"Are you the one who's been putting flowers in my hair?" she asked. "Because it's been driving me insane. I'm allergic to pollen, you know? And it's not exactly fun to wake up with my nose all stuffed up and my throat all scratchy. If you could, like, stop doing that, you know I'd really appreciate it?" she tilted her head, ponytails- thankfully- clear of petals for once.
The boy glanced away, scowling. "And here I thought that human maidens were supposed to be gentle and faire..." he muttered, letting the roses in his hand fall to the ground. "Hey. Can you smile or something?"
She blinked. "Okay, yeah, you're really pushing it. Do you have any idea how rude it is to tell a girl to smile?" she glared at the extremely bratty boy who had been giving her allergies for the past week.
"I need to concentrate on... on something to make wings, alright?" he snapped. "For whatever reason, your smile works best. Now will you just do it so I can leave and pretend this whole experience never happened!"
She stared at the boy for a long moment, and then shook her head. "ALLIE!" she screamed. "I CAUGHT SOME KIND OF FAIRY THING, CHECK THIS OUT!"
"THAT'S WHY WE'RE HERE, BRI!" the voice from across the hall screamed back. "IT'S NOT A REAL FAIRY THING, GO BACK TO SLEEP!"
"Shut up!" the boy put his hands to her lips. "No, but actually, shut up, if my mother and father find out I'm here I'll be dead!"
Bridgette raised an eyebrow. "Right."
"I'm serious!" the boy snapped. "And I'm not a 'fairy thing,' I'm Félix. Félix Malheur, fae prince. I'll pay you if you want, just smile already."
"Pay me?" Bridgette felt her eyes widen as fury hit her cold.
"Yes, yes, you humans have a strange fascination with gold, right? Even though gold doesn't actually do much, it's a very weak metal and there are much lovelier materials, but whatever. I'll give you gold if you smile. Deal?"
Holy shit. Bridgette stared down at the boy, debating whether or not to re-envision an old song from her childhood... something about smushing up a bumble bee? Whatever.
She lifted him up to her face, and startled at the sight of his eyes. Not human, nope, wow... human eyes didn't come in that shade, she was pretty sure, speaking of pretty, now that she saw him up close, damn.
"Félix, offering a human money to do something like smile is very, very rude," she said coldly. "It's not something polite people do."
"Don't you humans have a thing where you get paid to smile while someone captures your likeness? I've seen the glossy papers, I'm not an idiot."
Bridgette hesitated. "Okay, fair point. But those people are trying to sell something. It's different."
"How so?" Félix frowned. "Don't they get paid to smile?"
"Then why is my suggestion of payment so offensive to you?"
Bridgette thought about it for a moment, and then shrugged. "Fine. Okay, but don't give me gold for shit's sake, the Warden will ask where I got it. And don't get flowers either!"
"The woman who runs the house," Bridgette closed her eyes. "Not a real warden."
"Alright... deal," the boy leaned in, and...
Well. That was... something.
"What the hell?" Bridgette gasped, touching her lips. "That was- you just-!"
"I sealed our deal," he frowned. "Now smile."
She stared at him for a moment, before shaking her head. If some crazy fairy boy wanted to kiss her and give her presents...
A slow smile made its way over her lips. Félix seemed to focus on it, and the pair of violet wings shot out from behind him. In a moment, he was gone.
And in the morning light, Bridgette might have thought it was a dream if not for the tiny silver ring left on her windowsill, on top of the letter.