James had never dared cross his noble employer. Never mind that the man was a beast… literally, ever since the evil so-and-so put a spell on him… the Prince’s disposition had never been exactly pleasant even before the transformation.

The beast was in the garden, holding their guest in a death grip.

“How dare you steal my precious roses after accepting this castle’s hospitality?” he roared.

One advantage to being an invisible servant was that in order to seem… er… invisible, as servants should be, it didn’t take much effort. James crept up quietly, whispering in the Prince’s ear as the poor guest groveled for his life.

“My Lord, please listen to him. He has daughters, and is only thinking of them. He did not know the flowers were forbidden…”

The Prince hesitated, but then released the gasping man. “Go then. But your youngest daughter must come to me of her own free will…”

James rolled his eyes. Yet another advantage to being invisible.

The worst thing about being invisible was not seeing her. His Mary, the sweet young thing he’d been working up the nerve to talk to before they all became enchanted.

All those meaningful looks across the crowded room, the smiles they’d shared, all were gone in the blink of an eye.

Being enchanted was not all it was cracked up to be.

As the man scurried out of the garden, back to his home and daughters, and the beast slumped sadly back to the castle, James felt a tickle of breath at his ear.

“That was brave, what you did. Standing up to him like that.” It was Mary… and she was talking to him! To him! She noticed him after all… he’d thought she forgot he existed the moment all the servants became invisible. “James… I… I just want you to know… I’m proud of you.” The sweetest lips caressed his cheek, lingering longer than would be deemed proper if anyone could have seen them.

Perhaps their flirtation was not at an end after all…

This little story was written for two prompts. Well, one actual prompt, and another whim. The prompt was from Write on Edge Red Writing Hood “This week we’d like you to write a fiction or creative non-fiction piece about a time someone crossed a line, legally or ethically.” In only 450 words (my story is actually only 350, woot!) it’s very hard to go too in depth, but I like this little piece. The other inspiration was that I’d been toying with the idea of “Fairytale Collateral Damage” as in what happened to all those other people who got caught up in the enchantment while the main characters had their story. The first one was Sleeping Cutie. (Addendum… I wrote another Fairytale Collateral Damage called Snow Bright.)

Oh, and this one is dedicated to my parents, James and Mary. If I am ever to write a story giving characters those first names, it absolutely had to be something short, sweet, and innocent lol!

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