“They must, or you wouldn’t be alive.” He gestures for me to sit. “Even though it was well after dark, you arrived at my estate when most humans who wander Faerie after dusk disappear forever.”
I want to argue that it was thanks to the Highwayman, but I hold my tongue.
Not sure I’m comfortable with benches appearing out of thin air, I sit slowly, expecting it to wink into nothing and send me crashing to the ground.
“Let’s test my theory,” Brahm says casually, crossing his arms as he stands in front of me. “Wish for something.”
“Something like what?”
He smiles. “Anything.”
For a moment, my thoughts flicker to the bandit. Immediately, I dismiss them, irritated with myself.
“A little more light would be nice,” I say.
Suddenly, the surrounding woods flicker to life as dozens of floating fairy lights illuminate the space. I let out a startled squeal, nearly darting under the bench.
“You spook very easily,” Brahm says, grinning for the first time since I’ve known him.
“It’s not natural,” I argue.
“Not the natural you’re familiar with,” he corrects.
“I’m not sure I can get used to it.”
“Does that mean you’re ready to return to Kellington?” he teases.
Shaking his head, he sits next to me. The bench isn’t large, and we’re very close. His shoulders brush against mine, but he doesn’t seem to mind.
Unable to help myself, I say with only a mild bite in my voice, “Do you find me less uncomfortable now?”
Brahm turns his head to look at me. “No.”
“Is it because I’m human?”
The edges of his eyes crinkle slightly. “No.”
“Because I’m difficult?”
“You are difficult,” he says. “But no.”
He thinks about it for a few seconds. “Because you remind me of someone, and I worry if you remain here, your fate could be the same as hers.”
“What happened to her?” I ask, suddenly not feeling so comfortable alone in the woods.
Brahm’s expression becomes pained, and he shakes his head. “I thought I knew, but now I’m not so sure.”
“Was she someone you cared about?”
“Family?” I ask.
“Not exactly, but she was something like that.”