“Brandon!” Stella shrieked, the noise followed quickly by a massive crash as Brandon turned on his heel, losing his footing and the large number of bags fell from his arms as he toppled forwards. “Are you alright Sweetums?” She ran over, watching the floating car race past just a bit too close to the sidewalk edge for comfort.
“Why’d you yell like that Stel?” He was surprised to find his arms quickly filled by his girlfriend, her shoulders shaking slightly. “What’s wrong?”
“The car – I thought it was going to hop the curb.” Stella was definitely sniffling, even if he couldn’t see her face. She hated when her makeup ran, so she hid further into his chest, ignoring all the clothes strewn about around them on the ground.
“I’m fine Stella, I swear.” Brandon pulled her back just enough to get a good look at her, to make sure she believed him. He was right, her makeup was beginning to run even as she wiped at her eyes. “Come on Stel, it’s alright. I’m a specialist. The only casualties were your clothes and my pride.”
“I can replace the clothes. But Brandon-“ the glare she gave him was usually saved solely for the Trix and royals about to be turned on their head by the princess, “You aren’t allowed to die and leave me.”
He smiled, watching her expression soften. “I won’t Princess.”
“Good.” Brandon looked on confused as she removed her ring, the staff lengthening in her hand.
“Stella, my bike-“
“Home.” They vanished, leaving the many bags and clothes scattered about the sidewalk.
“You’re overreacting Stella, I’m perfectly alright.” Brandon tried to reason, as Stella strode around the room mumbling protection charms under her breath.
“No, you’re going to stay here.”
“What the- Stella, I’m a specialist! I’m not going to just sit in your room for the rest of my life!”
“But you’ll be safe!” That shut up the both of them, Stella not having planned to shout at her boyfriend, and Brandon quickly realizing the reasoning behind it.
“Nabu is okay Stel. We all made it through.” He approached, hands up in placation, before pulling her in for a hug. “I know it scared you, but we’re safe. You and I, we keep each other safe.”
Her anger deflated, and with it her, leaning heavily on Brandon. “I couldn’t keep you safe in the Under Realms and that crazy queen got her hands on you, and Layla barely was able to protect Nabu. What if the car had jumped the curb today? I couldn’t have done anything to help you, and you might not have seen it. Here, I can keep you safe.”
“We’re warriors Stella, that’s what we trained for. I’m not going to hide away here with you.”
“I wouldn’t hide here! I’d be out there, protecting everyone. I can’t leave the others defenseless.”
“So you’d leave me, like a Earth fairytale princess trapped alone in her tower, while you went out and fought?” At his raised eyebrow Stella realized how ridiculous it was sounding. “What if I wasn’t there and you didn’t come home?”
“Fine. But you’re going to be careful. And let me go first.”
“My way or you’re stuck here.”
“Alright Stel, alright. We’ll protect each other.”
“And you can go first.” Brandon kept the “over my dead body” to himself but by the way Stella was looking at him she knew exactly what he was thinking.
“Great. I’m going to grab our things.” Stella swept her staff, disappearing in the typical flash of bright light, only to return moments later with the clothes. “Here,” she thrust a small box at him, one she actually pulled from her purse and he didn’t remember them buying, but Stella was a master of purchasing on the sly. It wasn’t an anniversary, or his birthday, so he was surprised by the gift. “I’ll ask the others to help me spell it with a shield.”
It was a small necklace, the chain short and looking far too delicate to withstand his training regiment, but with the Winx spelling it, it would probably hold up. The metal was gleaming gold, a tiny sun stone burning in its setting. “When did you get this?” Stella had to help Brandon put it on, finding the necklace more of a choker than anything, but it didn’t impede his breathing. Riven would give him hell for the slightly feminine jewelry, but it was small enough that it could be hidden under his uniform if needed.
She glanced away, focusing on charming the clothes clean and putting them in the wardrobe. “A few weeks ago. It was going to be your anniversary gift next month – I didn’t want to risk losing it.”
“Nope. We’ll spell it before you leave, and you’re going to stay safe. I’ll need you by my side when I’m crowned queen.”
“Of course Princess.”