Most of yesterday was spent introducing Deyanira to magic, though Alma hadn’t seemed too thrilled by my plan. After Deyanira saw my little fairy friend by accident, I didn’t feel there was too much choice. Yes, Alma probably could have taken away the memory, but she’d just end up finding out again if Brandon continued to date her… or whatever they were doing. I wasn’t even sure.
I was certain today was going to be interesting. We had an absurd number of decorations to put around the house while Emma was out with her mom this morning, and I needed to hurry the moment she left, since Alma and I were going to have a Valentine’s Day date.
To start the day, I was waiting outside Alma’s door. She was probably finishing up some work. When she finally opened the door, I gave her a single red rose and admired how the color matched her gown. She was dressed in a beautiful, rose-red dress with touches of black lace around it.
“Thank you, James. This is lovely.” she told me as she accepted with a smile. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
I was shocked for a moment as she casually tossed the rose behind her, but a stream of spells brought water around its stem and placed it in a vase that flew out from a distant room. I was more happily surprised when she pulled me down to her and kissed me.
We proceeded into the kitchen where the smell of breakfast added to my happiness. Marco was preparing heart-shaped pancakes that smelled of chocolate as the main course today. Some of the others were already joining us before we took our seats.
“Happy Valentine’s Day!” exclaimed Kayla as she skipped over to us, holding up cards.
“Thank you, Kayla. Did you make these?” I asked as I examined the cards. They appeared to be drawn in colored pencil, but the art was fantastic. The chocolate at the bottom looked expensive. Smelled expensive too.
“Aaliyah helped me!” she exclaimed as she nodded.
Well, that explained the art and candy. I wondered what Kayla actually did. “They’re wonderful.” I assured her, though she was already turning to hand a card to Marco.
“Good morning.” stated Jemal as he slumped into his seat. He looked tired.
“Late night?” I asked.
He nodded and said, “Yeah. I’m still going through courses. I never thought I’d study so much for a job.”
“I’m sure we can get you out there more quickly if you want.” I offered.
He helped up his hands as he said, “No-no. Thank you, but I’m actually liking it. I know how to build most of a house from scratch now. This is pretty cool.”
I smiled and said, “Some of us do a fair amount of that type of work. The wages vary greatly, but you’ll hopefully always be entertained by the diversity of work here.”
He looked like he was about to say more, but stopped as Deyanira joined us, still wearing the baggy sweats and big t-shirt in which she probably slept.
“That smells amazing.” she stated.
“Here’s one for you!” exclaimed Kayla, handing her a card.
“Wow. Thank you! This is pretty amazing.” insisted Deyanira as she examined it. “I’ll try the chocolate later.”
Kayla grinned and then ran to Jarod and the twins as they entered the room.
I was somewhat surprised to see the Ai and Mai graciously accept the cards with smiles. Maybe Alma had talked to them at some point about being nice to children? I almost laughed as I pictured Jarod trying to have that conversation with them.
My little fairy friend flew in and stole the first bite of my pancake off my fork.
Deyanira’s eyes grew wide, and she asked “Does she eat here often?”
“Yay! The fairy!” exclaimed Kayla.
I didn’t bother answering. My little friend was showing Deyanira a number of breakfasts she ate here, each of them seeming enormous from her perspective. Kayla had apparently made a card for my little friend as well.
The little fairy stared at it intently for a moment before diving at the chocolate. She tried biting the wrapping at first, so I tried picturing how to open it. She seemed to love the chocolate once she got to it, hugging it with her whole body as she ate.
“One day, I will a get her to use her plate.” proclaimed Marco, glancing at the dollhouse in the corner near me. “Then I will a make the most amazing fairy food.”
“I have no doubts.” I assured him, though I secretly doubted he’d successfully domesticate her.
“I should go change.” muttered Deyanira, apparently realizing that she was the only one at the table not dressed.
“Change!?” asked Emma, entering the room. “You’re perfectly adorable as you are!”
“Happy birthday!” I exclaimed at the same time as several of the others.
“Thank you!” she replied
“It’s your birthday?” asked Deyanira.
“Yep! So kisses for everyone!” insisted Emma just before kissing Deyanira’s cheek.
Deyanira blushed, but Emma was already moving on to Jemal. He looked like he wanted to argue, but Emma was too fast, ducking around his hand as she kissed his forehead. He didn’t seem to really mind, smiling as she walked toward me.
“Pucker up, man-slave!” exclaimed Emma.
“Don’t you dare.” stated Alma.
Emma grinned impishly, wrapping her arm around my neck. Then she kissed the top of my head.
“Kayla! Kisses!” exclaimed Emma.
Kayla stood tall, holding her cheek up expectantly. Then she gave Emma a card.
“It’s adorable! I’ll keep it forever!” exclaimed Emma as she hugged the girl.
“You’re welcome!” replied Kayla.
Emma then moved to Alma, kneeling, taking her hand, and kissing it. “Were I to try for your cheeks, I’d surely hit your lips.” she teased.
Alma rolled her eyes.
“Good morning. Am I missing something?” asked Cosette as she entered.
“You’re next!” exclaimed Emma. “My birthday is a global kissing day!”
“Careful, I’m said to have a very deep kiss.” teased Cosette, her fangs elongating as she smiled.
Swearing and pointing, Deyanira stood and stepped back.
“Sorry. I guess we didn’t inform you that I’m a vampire yet.” apologized Cosette.
“Vampires are real!?” exclaimed Deyanira.
“And so cute too!” insisted Emma as she kissed Cosette.
“That wasn’t my cheek.” stated Cosette, looking amused.
Emma shrugged and said, “I miss at times.”
As Emma moved toward Mai, she was stopped by our little fairy friend flying up to her and kissing her cheek.
“Thank you!” exclaimed Emma, watching as the fairy moved on to kissing everyone else. “Looks like she understands the day!”
“You’re a terrible influence.” stated Alma.
“Should I give everyone kisses too?” asked Kayla.
“Yes!” exclaimed Emma.
At the same time, Jemal exclaimed “No!”
“But Jemal…” complained Kayla.
“Get it over with.” stated Mai, moving her hair out of the way.
Emma gladly obliged her. Then she happily kissed Jarod’s cheek.
“Ah! Not my neck!” complained Ai a moment later.
“Sorry. Cosette inspired me.” replied Emma, grinning widely.
“Sounds extra lively today. What’s for breakfast?” asked Brandon, walking into the room and looking around.
“You are!” exclaimed Emma as she jumped at him.
He dodged, looking confused.
“Fine. Hand then.” stated Emma as she took his hand and kissed it, giggling afterward at Brandon’s confusion.
“Wait. Were you going to kiss me? Like kiss me kiss me?” asked Brandon, sounding disappointed.
“Easy there.” stated Deyanira, glaring up at him.
“What? I was just asking!” insisted Brandon.
“Where’s Portentia hiding?” questioned Emma.
“I’m walking towards you with her at the moment.” replied Mila.
Emma grinned and asked “Which door?”
Mila appeared on a mirror and pointed, winking as she vanished again.
When Portentia was about to enter the room, Emma jumped her, wrapping her arms around her and kissing her.
“What was that for?” asked Portentia, looking surprised.
“My birthday! Kisses for everyone!” exclaimed Emma.
Portentia nodded and said, “I see.”
Yes, this certainly was going to be an interesting day.