Winter Bound Bird

Her skin was like glass to him; Cold and strong, but something that he knew was also fragile, in itself. She was as delicate as a snow flake, but she could easily whip herself up into a storm at any minute. She wasn't cold nor cruel now, though. Not to him. Never to him. For him, she was a beautiful and she was love and was... fake.

She was false. He knew when he began to feel heat that the person before her was just an illusion. He opened his eyes for his true love. His Summer Queen, Aislinn. She was radiant, she was exotic, and she was slipping away from him. Her being here was coming less often and she called him to her side less often, as well. Still, he was in love with her.

I live in Summer, but I dream in Winter. Soon, though, his Summer would be over. His sun would set and he'd be trapped in almost springs and endless fall. Winter would only be a dream to him. A dream he had no intention to try and make real.

"Did I wake you?" Aislinn asked.

"Does it matter?"

It did to her, he guessed, but she didn't say so. She smiled at him and he wondered what passion she turned down to live this fleeting visit to him. What Summer love she had begun to indulge in with her King. The thoughts made him sick, made him jealous, made him furious, but they also made him unbelievable sad. Because while being rejected by Ash hurt him in horrible ways, it hurt more that she had already begun to share another's bed and hadn't even told him. It wasn't as if no one else knew and it wasn't as if he was blind.

"Seth, we need to talk."

Maybe she wasn't blind either.

The next day he found himself in the park. Without his tie to Ash he didn't really have a reason to be involved in the world of feary. He had no place in the Summer Court and, despite his best friend being a feary, he couldn't (wouldn't) look for a place in the court of nightmares. Yet here he was among the Summer fey and a few others, lost.

There was music and dancing, but there was never a scarecity of those things where the Summer Court was involved. Luckily for him neither Summer monarch was here at the moment. He truly could think of no other place to go. So far in that there's nothing left out.Aislinn had been the only substanial thing in his life. He could imagine leaving the world of feary now. So many had found their end here, why couldn't he. He could let himself go in a blur of the Summer passion that Ash had become so found of.

Close to Ash, he thought. Then that was the only thought. He snatched at the glamour repelent charm around his neck and tossed it to the ground. He approached a cluster of Summer Girls, giving a smile that meant he wanted to have unbridled fun. "Dance?" He asked.

There wasn't much made clear to him after that.

"You're a fool."

That was the first thing that Seth heard. It was from Niall. The Dark King had obviously discovered him at some point and brought him back to his train.

"What were you thinking?" He went on.

"Nothing." Seth replied. "I didn't want to think anything. That was the point."

"Look, Seth. I'm sure the news about Ash was hard on you, but this isn't the way to deal with it."

"Oh yeah? Then what is?" Seth countered. "I barely even had a fighting chance. I don't have anything outside of Feary."

"So you're going to just give yourself over to the whims of fey?" Niall was yelling now. He was frustrated with his friend beyond belief. It was like knowing someone would commit suicide at any moment but being unable to find away to talk them out of it. "I'm sure you can find some better way to cope. Some better girl."

The image of his Snow Queen rose to his mind. Beautiful, if broken. Never down for long. Footprints could be left in the snow, but they could also be covered up again, filled out with the falling of more snow. The image lasted only a few seconds, though. That was only a dream. A dream that, he reminded himself, would never be real.

Seth shook his head. "There's only one girl for me." He insisted.

Niall felt the short flash of relief, however, and was staring curiously at his friend. "Take it from someone who knows," Niall said. "There is always another girl."

Seth didn't argue anymore, but he didn't concede, either.

He'd taken to finding quite spots away from Summer territory. Sulking, thinking, day-dreaming, anything passive to get his mind off of Ash. He'd done his best to win Aislinn and failed. That was fact. It was pointless for him drown himself in feary whims. If he was really so desperate to forget himself, there were mortal ways to do so.

He still didn't want to do anything, though. Maybe it was dramatic and maybe he should just get over it, but he had a right to feel the way he did. He as betrayed before he was dumped and he loved Aislinn too much to blame her. What good would it do, anyhow? Mortals aren't a threat to fearies.

"You're taking this hard." The voice was cool whisper to his sunburned heart. The Snow Queen of his dreams. She had iced a few trees near her and a small snow drift was at her feet. It was more impressive than in his dreams, the show of her power. She smiled at him, just a turning of her lips, very small. "Those who love Summer seem to always leave...wounded."

"More than wounded." He replied. "Betrayed. Made a fool of. Desperate. At least, I am."

"I haven't come out any better." Donia confided. "Summer romances, as one would think, are never long lasting. Just continuous burst of passion-dreams." She walked toward him, quelling her power as she did so. She frozen the ground directly under her feet, caused a slight chill to the air. After all the heat that had been consuming him, the change in the air was refreshing.

Only a dream. He reminded himself. He offered her a returning smile, small and weak, but still a small.

"Is it such a coincidence, Seth, that you've been moving closer and closer to my domain?" She smile now was between knowing and teasing. He wasn't sure that either was real, though.

"Was it a coincidence that no Winter fey have bothered me?" He countered in the same voice.

Donia had been something of a friend to him, but the exchange seemed a little more familiar than he was used to from her. He wasn't sure what had prompted her visit to him, but he was grateful for it all the same. He'd had enough of Summer. Her Wintry presence was something that he desperately wanted to grasp at.

"What is it that has you drawn to this place every day?" She asked, looking around. "What peace do you find here?"

"The absence of Summer for one." Seth answered. "No one usually bothers me here."

"Perhaps they do and you are too distracted to notice."

"I like being distracted nowadays."

There was silence. The Winter Queen was in some silent contemplation. She began to allow a light snow fall and Seth closed his eyes to enjoy it. He took deep, full breaths of the cold air, feeling a soothing sort of pain in his chest. When he opened his eyes, she was glancing at him curiously.

"How can you enjoy this cold?" She probed softly. "This winter that has been claiming your world, that claimed so many mortal lives. This cold that nearly claimed your own life."

"That was under a different influence." He said. "As many lives as winter claims, Summer claims in hearts. Everyone picks their poison, I've changed mine."

She stepped closer to him. "Haven't you tired of this world, Seth? Haven't you learned the mistakes of mortals dealing with fey?"

"There are just as many mistakes with mortals dealing with other mortals. Same chances, different deceptions, similar fates." Seth turned to look in her eyes. They were looking solely at him, deeply, but he couldn't tell what they wanted. All he could really see was the beauty and quiet of the first snow fall. "I've gotten sort of use to dealing with the fey. I wouldn't know what to do if I went back with mortals."

Another step closer, bringing her just before him. He could feel how cold she was. Winter was just about to close in on him. He could feel it. "You talk as if you want to be ensnarled." It was whispered on an icy breath. It sent a chill and a shiver through him. He knew, felt, that he would become frozen from the inside. That he would swallow the icy air and it would leave a frost over his heart.

That didn't at all matter to him. The dream that he had tried not to pull into reality seemed to be coming for him, regardless. "I do. I want to be ensnared."

And she caught him by the lips, and icy kiss. It wasn't at all cold, though. It was as warm as any kiss he'd ever felt. Cool and delicious. He could feel the temperature drop around him, inside him. This, he knew with certainly, would kill him. The Winter Queen's affection would freeze him to the core and he wanted to be frozen.

Donia pulled away. He could see the light of much passion and temptation in her eyes. Frost kissed and snow buried and shivering and still. Still until he could no longer move for the icy casing of her love. And it would be love. He could see that in her eyes as well. A true, pure smile formed on both their lips. This was something they both greatly wanted. Something that they had both dreamed of.

It was for those reasons that they both stepped away from one another, the sincere and loving smile still one their faces. Because their love would kill them both -first Seth and then Donia- and they both knew that love hurt more than any physical pain. Because they knew what happened when a mortal loved fey and knew that it never truly worked out. Because they knew that reality disappointed a fantasy. Because they knew that a love untouched would give them more hope than any that they had experienced already.

"A caged bird." Donia said after a long pause of silence. "Do you think that it desires to be free? Or does it simply desire to move to a different cage?"

"Once a bird has been caged, I think the only desire it knows is to sing. To claim attention through song. It doesn't care about the cage."

Her smile became one of mocking, slightly teasing. "Are you a caged bird, Seth?"

"No, I'm not." He smiled back at her. He walked past her slowly, hesitating in his leave.

She whispered, just loud enough to be heard. "Seth Morgan, I set you free."

There was an icy chill at his neck. He shivered, but it was only half from cold. He walked on, normal paced. He waited until he was a respectful distance from her to pull out his phone. He only had to dial one number.


"Hey, Niall. I need a favor."

"What is it?"

"I want to get out. I want to get out of the world of feary."