Note: Cover art was drawn by FairyKam in relation to chapter 12 of this story. Thank you so much! :)
Each chapter will be a different one-shot (with possibly occasional exceptions that may take more than one chapter to get through). Happy readings, I hope you enjoy! This first chapter starts off immediately after the end of book 5.
Disclaimer: This will serve for all chapters in this story. Brandon Mull owns Fablehaven. Since my name is definitely not Brandon Mull, that means I don't own the series and am just a fan with some ideas.
Chapter 1: Embarrassment
Kendra was flushed, distracted and quite obviously floating on Cloud Nine as she walked through the forest back to her grandparents' house after seeing Bracken off at the shrine to the Fairy Queen. She felt lighter than air and energized enough to run across a thousand football fields in tiny circles. To say that she was elated would be a gross underestimate of how she really felt – joyful, amazed, giddy with excitement… Words didn't really do her justice at the moment.
The fairies stared at her as she passed by, some gaping, some gawking, others giggling behind their hands. Kendra didn't even notice them due to her deep daydreaming state; one fairy with short, spiky blond hair and an intricate lacy-looking short yellow dress with white trim fell victim to Kendra's blissful ignorance and was knocked off of the flower she had been sitting on as Kendra quickly strolled – or was it skipped? – by in her daze.
"Uh… whoa. Are you okay?" a voice interrupted Kendra's thought processes. Seth. Surprisingly, she had apparently made it all the way to the yard without realizing it before her brother had seemingly appeared out of nowhere.
Kendra snapped out of it. Partly, at least. "I'm great!" she said, probably a little more emphatically than necessary.
Seth's eyebrow raised. "Obviously. What happened to you? You weren't even like this after we saved the world." His tone of voice was cautiously curious, as though he wasn't sure he really wanted to know what was going on with his sister.
A little more pink flowed to her cheeks. "I… Nothing. It's nothing," she managed to reply, completely unconvincingly. Seth couldn't help it; his curiosity had officially been piqued.
"Then what's with the goofy grin on your face? It's like you're having three of the best Christmases ever, and all at the same time!"
"Don't worry about it." She grasped at any ideas that entered her head to come up with a reasonable excuse. "I'm just happy that everything has worked out! The world is safe, Mom and Dad are here, the garden is beautiful and the sun is shining!" She started walking toward the house quickly in hopes of getting rid of him. A few more steps brought her to the back door; as soon as she walked through the door however, Seth ran up and all but shouted, "What, did Bracken finally kiss you or something?"
Kendra froze, her face a deep red now. Who better to witness this exchange than her Grandma Sorenson, Grandpa Larsen… and Dad, who were all sitting at the kitchen table?
Once Seth entered the house after Kendra and saw everyone staring at them, he clapped a hand over his mouth. Sure, he liked to tease his sister as much as any younger brother would, but he didn't mean to embarrass her in front of the rest of the family. Well… at least not yet, anyway. He didn't know enough details, although he had an idea that he might have hit the nail directly on the head, judging by the fact Kendra's face resembled a tomato in color and she wasn't making eye contact with anyone.
The three adults stared at Seth and Kendra for a moment as a silence fell over the kitchen. Grandma Sorenson coughed and moved her coffee cup to the sink, and then Grandpa Larsen stood and said, "I think I heard my wife calling me just now." He walked out of the room after smiling and winking at Kendra, whose face miraculously turned an even darker shade of red. Seth saw Dad's expression, recognized one of those "special" talks coming on, then immediately turned around and high-tailed it back out into the yard before he could even potentially be called back to participate in that.
After what had to have been one of the most awkward conversations with her father that she'd ever had, Kendra had walked straight to the attic and the room she shared with Seth. Due to his sudden escape to the yard twenty minutes earlier, the room was thankfully empty. She ran to her bed and dove face-first into her pillow, smiling like a crazy person with no conscience. Despite what Dad had said, she was embarrassingly happy and she intended to stay that way for a little while longer. At least long enough for her to relive the events – that event – of the day about a hundred more times.
'He kissed me,' she thought over and over again, barely able to keep herself from bursting into what she used to call "ridiculously girly giggles." After telling her that he had every intention to visit often and basically see where things went with their relationship, he told her she was beautiful and then… he kissed her. Sort of. It was a quick peck on the cheek close to the corner of her mouth, but to Kendra it was the perfect first kiss. He picked her up immediately following, spun her around with a glorious smile on his face, embraced her tightly and let her go.
"I'll see you again soon," he promised, grinning from ear to ear and sounding as energized as she suddenly felt. "Nothing could keep me away for long."
All Kendra could manage to do at that moment was stare at him with a matching smile painted across her face; her heart, along with her arms and legs, felt like it was melting. She wouldn't have been surprised if she found she had turned into a puddle of goo in front of him.
He seemed even happier by her speechless reaction. "Kendra," he said, taking her by the hand, "I need to go. But I mean every word I've said." He started to walk away from her, then suddenly turned on the spot and placed another kiss on the back of the hand of hers that he still held. With one last smile, he let go and he ran for the Fairy Queen's shrine.
Kendra walked off of the gazebo and all but collapsed onto the lawn, her brain buzzing with excitement. After an undetermined amount of time while she stared at the white, fluffy clouds in the brilliantly blue sky, she finally stood back up and headed for the house feeling lighter than air.
Yeah, even Dad's awful "boy talk" couldn't ruin her day.