Sharon’s notes: If you haven’t noticed, I like looking at different takes of popular literary tropes. I like a good broody-man-comes-out-of-nowhere-and-tells-the-woman-they-are-destined-for-each-other romance as much as anyone. But just once I’d like the sudden romantic lead to be an actual nice guy. And you know what they say, if you want something done, you have to do it yourself. Warning: A total lack of angst.
A gorgeous guy sat down across from me at the table, a look both pained and apologetic on his face. I set down my phone and took a sip from my coffee. The coffee shop was empty, even the barista had disappeared into the back, so why was he sitting here?
“Hi, my name is Lucian.” He offered a strained smile.
I raised an eyebrow. “Hi, Lucian. I’m El. Can I help you with something?”
“Um, yeah.” He bit his lip in hesitation before launching into a long explanation, almost without breathing. “Ok, so, I know you aren’t going to believe this but I’m a fairy prince and the other day in the park you released a rabbit from a trap and it was me and that saved my life so according to our traditions if someone saves the life of a royal they are owed a large boon and if there’s currently an unmarried member of the royal family who can, the boon is to marry them and I’m unmarried, and I watched you and know that you’re unmarried so that means we have to get married and I’m really sorry but I can’t get out of it so I guess what I’m asking is will you marry me?”
I blinked for a couple of long moments while Lucian tried to catch his breath. Finally, I carefully asked, “I’m sorry, what?”
“Ok, ok, let me try starting again. I’m a fairy and magic is real, let me show you so you know I’m not crazy.” He got to his feet and promptly turned into the same brown bunny I had indeed freed from a snare beside the park’s jogging trail. He twitched his nose at me twice before returning to human form and sitting back down. “Believe me?”
“Um, yeah. Ok.” I was a little stunned, but not in any way sceptical.
“Cool. So, did you catch the whole thing about the boon, or do I need to go over that again? I completely understand if I need to go over it again. I’m nervous and I tend to babble when I’m nervous.”
“I think you said I rescued the fairy prince, so now you have to marry me, right? Did I get that right?”
“Yes.” He nodded vigorously, smiling at my understanding. Lucian had a kind of happy puppy quality to him that I had to admit was kind of charming.
“Look, I don’t really like the idea of someone being forced to marry me, so I can just turn down the proposal. . .”
“Oh no, don’t do that! I know that it’s not normal for humans, but to be turned down would bring me great shame among my family and court. You seem like a very nice woman, El, and you are extremely pretty. I already like you, because you were kind enough to free me, and I promise that I’m a good catch. We would grow to love each other in no time. Please give me a chance to woo you before you give me an answer. A date! Let me take you on a date first, please?”
Stunned silence was the name of the game today. I shook off my confusion and seriously studied the handsome fairy prince in front of me who had just asked for my hand in marriage. I did not have particularly good taste in men. I had a bad habit of picking guys that seemed deep and fascinating, only to find out they were looser drama queens. Lucian was refreshingly happy. And a handsome fairy prince. Why the hell not?
“Ok, sure. Let’s go on a date.”
He grinned widely. He was possibly even more handsome when he smiled. This promised to be fun.