That night, Arthur was in my dreams.
We were lying on our fronts opposite each other near the lock. He was continuing the story he'd begun in the real world, which I found quite strange since I was dreaming of something I'd never heard before.
"The younger brother was in her bad books but the older brother was enchanting to her, appearing in her dreams as romantic scenes he concocted for her played out, and she would wake up in blissful contentment the next morning, longing to see him again and unsure whether she would, which always made him more attractive."
Arthur leant forwards and murmured in my ear, "I would love to be that older brother," before he surprised me by kissing me. Gentle music played in the background but I was too immersed in Arthur to notice it or the cool breeze which ruffled my hair slightly. Arthur's kiss was pure delight as I felt my heart opening up to send and receive love. I occasionally opened my eyes to see his gazing back at me, fixed in their magical, rainbow-coloured state and capturing my heart after its surrender.
It was like being in a fairytale, a world where dreams come true, and it certainly felt real: real enough that I wondered why I wasn't in the clothes I'd been wearing during it when I awoke.
I jumped out of bed the following morning, feeling brilliantly happy. I wanted to see Arthur again, which was very irrational because I'd only dreamt he'd kissed me, and so I showered and got dressed as fast as I could, shoved my breakfast down my throat and bounced out the house, barely remembering to tell my parents where I was going.
I arrived at the place I'd met him yesterday but unfortunately, he wasn't there. That made me feel sad. I wandered around disconsolately under the tunnel of trees and to the lock where last night's dream had occurred. I sat where I'd lain in my dream, hoping to relive it, and dozed off.
I awoke to find rainbow-coloured irises above me.
"Wow," I sighed. I remained lying down while Arthur sat beside me and toyed with my hair as if we were closer than friends ... as if we were going out.
"Pleasant dream last night?" he asked.
"How did you know?"
"I don't know. I have an uncanny way of guessing the truth. The way you sighed at me was a big clue: you didn't find me so enchanting yesterday."
"Enchanting... That was in the part of the story you continued."
"I wonder if it was actually the part of the story you were going to tell me. That would be amazing since I've never really dreamt of the future before."
"Well, the next part of the story goes like this (do tell me if it sounds familiar): The younger brother was in the girl's bad books..."
"Yes," I interrupted. "That's what you told me in the dream."
"Brilliant. Onto the next part, then."
"Oh, wait. Can I tell you what else happened in the dream?"
"You kissed me," I murmured and closed my eyes, smiling, as the memory played itself.
To my surprise, Arthur leant down and kissed me physically.
I opened my eyes, startled, but closed them again and wrapped my arms around him as familiar feelings of delight coursed through me.
I broke away and murmured, "That was like déjà vu..."
Arthur shook his head. "No, it still is like déjà vu. I'm not finished."
He leant down and kissed me again. He pulled me up so I was in a sitting position and wrapped his arms around my waist so I felt like I was separated from the rest of the world and alone with him in a magical bubble. Magical... that's what he was.
When we stopped, I rather stupidly asked, "Does this mean I'm your girlfriend?"
Arthur chuckled, but was careful that it was quiet and short. "If you'd like to be. Would you?"
"It wouldn't break some law about humans and magical, captivating people falling in love?" I asked romantically.
"If it did, that law would be a crime in itself."
"I wouldn't like to be your girlfriend," I said; "I'd absolutely love to."
"You're so cute," Arthur murmured before kissing me again.
He broke away and continued the story, pausing now and again to kiss me. "The girl ... was rendered lovestruck by the older brother ... and all but forgot the younger brother's love for her... And everything seemed so simple to her... because she realised ... she didn't need anything other than the older one. Each moment ... she spent with her love, ... she was elated. Each night, ... the beauty of the memories ... would mean she cried herself to sleep. Wow." Arthur's voice turned very quiet. "She was in love."
"I'm in love," I said, as Arthur finally stopped kissing me. I gazed dreamily at him. "I feel like the girl from the story."
Arthur smiled. "That's wonderful, because the girl in the story has such a wonderful life."
I yawned. "I'm tired," I murmured.
"Close your eyes."
"Nah, last time I fell asleep, I woke up and you were gone."
"You know you'll see me again."
"I don't want to wait."
"Just go to sleep, princess," Arthur said gently. His voice was so lovely, rising and falling slightly like a wave in a calm ocean, that it was compelling.
I lay down, closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep.
I woke up to find Arthur had gone. In my hand, though, was a wonderful pendant. There was a silver heart on it saying ‘AM + HT'. How had he known my surname began with a T? And how had he known we would end up a couple? I put the pendant on and thought to myself, ‘Actually, I don't want the answers to those questions. His mysteriousness makes him beguiling.'
I walked home, sighing a lot, feeling wonderful. Just like the girl in the story, I cried myself to sleep that night.