tagRomanceHer Fairy-Tale Life

Her Fairy-Tale Life

byxelliebabex©

Authors Note: This story is for the Valentine's day contest, 2017. I hope you enjoy. Thank you to Paul, Missy, Craig and Margaret who all volunteered to proofread for me. It is a particularly long story so my appreciation of these people is great. If you make it to the end and enjoy this story please vote and comment. ~ellie

*

Chapter 1.

The rain was coming down hard, and Maggie knew that the roads connecting her small property to the outside world would be closed. Most of the low-lying areas had already experienced flash flooding in the wake of dismal weather caused by the remains of the cyclone, Zelda, which had hit the northern coastline last week. She had thought the storms were over because the last two days had been beautiful and the sun had finally begun to dry out the soggy ground.

A lightning strike lit up her darkened bedroom with an almighty thunderclap that shook the foundations of her old timber farm house. She went to the big bay window and stared out into the early morning light of the approaching dawn towards the two, huge greenhouses her father had the foresight to build. They were badly in need of repair, and she hoped that this latest turn of the weather wouldn't to any more damage to the structures. She only had to hold out another few weeks until Valentine 's Day and the profit she would make should get her through another year.

The sound of the heavy rain on the tin roof of her home seemed overlaid with a loud humming, and she peered out into the rain soaked pre-dawn light trying to follow the line of old poles that held the electrical wires that connected her to the outside world. The transformers didn't seem to spark or glow at all, and she could see the dim lights in greenhouses that meant everything was still working there. Another bolt of lightning lit up the sky. It was then that she saw it, just beyond the translucent panels of the greenhouse which had obscured her view somewhat.

A small plane flying low banked one-eighty degrees and looked like it was going to attempt to land on the old airstrip that had serviced the property before civilisation had encroached on the area to deem it semi-rural now. She watched only a second more to be sure of what she saw in the driving rain, before swearing loudly, "Fuck! No!"

"No, no, no, NO!" Maggie cried, and she raced through the house to the back door. Pulling on her boots and long oil slicked jacket, she grabbed a torch and jammed her Akubra on her head. Her eyes wide in panic, she ran, waving the torch, trying to warn the pilot that, although from the air it might look like a good place to land, it was in such a state of disrepair from lack of use over the last decade that any attempt to land there was suicide.

Rain streamed down her face, and she ran, waving the torch futilely as she watched the small plane come in for the landing. It was dark, even with the sun trying valiantly to break through the clouds. She stopped running to watch in abject horror as the plane bounced, jolted and shuddered as it attempted the landing. The landing gear buckled with the force of one particularly bad jolt, and eventually the small plane shuddered and dipped its nose, skidding along the ground and turning the plane directly into the path of one of her greenhouses.

She could see the pilot fighting with the controls, the engines cut and died, but it was all too late, and she watched all her hard work and any hope of making it through another year managing this property and business shattered as the wing of the plane sheared into the greenhouse. She screamed and ran forward again. She tried not to look at the damaged equipment and plants as she reached the now still plane and tried to work out the latch so she could get in there and make sure the pilot was okay.

Finally managing to open the door the wind took it from her hands and reefed it back on its hinges. Scrambling on board, Maggie found the plane's sole occupant, slumped in the restraining seatbelt, motionless. Using both hands, she pushed his body into a more upright position. His longish hair fell over his brow, obscuring his eyes, but she felt a distant sort of recognition as she took in the olive skin, square jaw and aquiline nose of the pilot. She removed his headset and softly brushed his hair back behind his ears, checking for any signs of an injury to his face or temples.

Slowly and gently she probed his head for any sign of injury and, satisfied, she checked his body for any sign of broken bones or misaligned joints, watching for any reaction that might be an indication that he had a serious injury. Lightning flashed and she shook herself free of her consideration of the man. It was quick decision time. Medical help was a couple of hours away in good weather, but with the road closures that were sure to be happening around her property that could be extended considerably. She had to get him out of the plane though, that was a given. She had no idea how much fuel he had or how much damage was done during the crash. Moving his large unconscious form, though, was going to be tricky. She considered her options.

She lived alone here, running the nursery herself, so there was no one to call for help. Her neighbours on one side had sold out to the encroaching housing estates, and her neighbour on the other side was a man she referred to as the Vulture, so not him. If she waited long enough the neighbours hired hands might arrive, and she could flag one of them down, but as the thunder rolled again, shaking the plane, she knew she couldn't wait.

"Time to wake up, sleeping beauty, don't make me kiss you!" she said loudly, shaking the man's shoulders with gentle force. Keeping her eyes on his face, she knew she wasn't overstating the facts. His face was handsome. His mouth seemed to curl into a half smile, even in his unconscious state, with full lips that she found so very tempting. For one crazy moment, she thought about the waking sleeping beauty with a kiss scenario, but she didn't. Not just because she didn't kiss strange men who crash landed on her property, even if they looked like Greek gods, she didn't because his eyes began to flicker open and he mumbled an unintelligible slurring string of words.

She blushed, and her heart pounded in her chest as she lifted her gaze from his mouth to the most startling blue eyes which, for that brief moment, seemed so clear then lost focus and appeared to glaze over.

"No! Stay awake. Are you okay? Do you hurt anywhere? We have to get you out of here!" she said desperately, shaking him gently again. She watched as he attempted to nod and winced. "Your head hurts a little, huh?"

"A lot," the two words seemed to take an enormous amount of effort.

"Well, you can talk, that's a start, let's see what else you can get to work," she said as cheerily as she could. "I hate to rush you, but this storm doesn't seem to be going anywhere, and we need to get you out of here."

He attempted another nod and groaned, his hands fumbled at the restraining seat belt, so she helped him. Her knuckles grazed over the hard muscles of his abdomen and, pulling them away, she found herself blushing and fumbling more as they fell lower across his denim clad groin. Finally freeing the belt, she pulled her hands away as if scalded and moved as if to lead the way from the tiny cockpit. He moved to follow her, and even stooped over she could tell he was taller than she had imagined and she worried about getting him back to the house.

"Yeah," he grunted and followed her unsteadily from the plane. At the door, he looked out at the scene and grumbled in a slurred voice, "Gonna get wet."

"You won't melt, come on," she said in a no-nonsense tone. Kaeden stumbled from the plane to the soggy ground. "Your legs aren't going to hold you, are they?" she said more to herself than him. "Here, let me help you." Maggie was what her step-mother disparagingly referred to as a strapping girl, which was one of the kinder things she had said about Maggie's tall, sturdy frame. At this point, though, she was glad to be tall and strong as she wedged her shoulder beneath the man's armpit and into his side, taking some of his weight as they walked towards her home.

"I'm okay," he muttered, but Maggie could see he wasn't and curled her arm around his back to steady him as they walked. He stumbled, and she wrapped both arms tightly around him, bracing her legs to balance them. "Sorry," he slurred. "The grounds moving around a bit."

With her arms wrapped tightly around his Greek God like body, and feeling the heat of his hard body along with the strong, steady heartbeat in her ear as it pressed against his chest, she had to admit the earth moved a bit for her too. He seemed to regain his equilibrium again and took some of the weight back from her as they shuffled ever closer to the back door of her home.

Eventually, they staggered through the kitchen and, because she couldn't take the weight of him any longer, she forced him to sit in the beat up old leather chair that had once been her father's favourite. She stared at him hard, trying to work out why she felt a sense of familiarity about the stranger, when he spoke.

"Kaeden," he sounded pained from the noise of his own voice. "Kaeden McConnell."

"Shit! Of course, I should have recognised you!" she said in alarm, "I'll call for help, don't go to sleep on me." She turned to walk away and grabbed her phone from the bench. It had been stupid not to take it out to the crashed plane, but she hadn't been thinking straight at the time. Now she had Kaeden McConnell in her home, and she panicked. "Shit! If anything happens to him, they'll sue me. The media will vilify me. I'll be the girl who killed the son of one of the richest men in Australia!'

"You are?" he asked still slurring his words.

"Maggie," she murmured, shining her torch into his eyes and practically blinding him in an attempt to check his pupils.

"Arg, stop that!" he batted at her hand without any strength.

"Don't go to sleep," she warned again as she dialled and waited on the super busy emergency services number to answer her call instead of playing this incessant and annoying music. "Do you remember what happened? Do you know where you are?'

"The storm was worse than predicted, so I brought my plane down on the closest airstrip I could find out here. I guess that bad excuse for a strip is yours?" Kaeden answered with an accusation.

"There is no airstrip anymore. I tried to wave you off. It's been out of use and in disrepair for over a decade since my Dad passed away. Even before that it was hardly used anymore!" she defended herself sticking out her chin and straightening her posture. "Just don't go to sleep until I let someone know what's happened and that you're here!" She said threateningly and waved the torch in front of his face.

Kaeden turned his head as she disappeared from his sight and groaned. He reached up to touch the hairline above his forehead, feeling the large swelling and cursing as his fingers gambolled over the sensitive spot. His eyes felt heavy, and he closed them just to rest them for a few minutes. He opened them again with a start as she threw a towel at him.

"You're soaked, and even though that crash didn't kill you I don't want to be the girl who let you die of pneumonia," she instructed. "Dry off. I'll get you a robe to change into." She was walking back through to the bathroom when the emergency operator came on the line. Without naming the man involved she explained the situation and the very real possibility of a severe concussion. The roads were cut with no possibility of an ambulance, and the few rescue helicopters available were out saving people swept away in flood waters. They would get a medivac to her location as soon as possible. The fact that he was lucid and conscious boded well until he could be evacuated by a medical team.

Maggie grabbed the robe and went out to where she had left him. "The roads are closed, you'll have to wait for a helicopter to come and airlift you out," she said coming back to where he sat, now shirtless and fumbling with his belt.

"Fine," he mumbled and attempted to stand but winced and sat back down almost immediately.

"Wait, I'll help you," she offered after seeing him struggle. She knelt near his legs and reached forward to grasp the waistband of his jeans. "Lift!" she ordered in a tone made sharp by her discomfort at touching one of the most handsome men she had ever met. He lifted his ass from the seat, and she worked the denim made tight by the soaking it had received, down his legs.

"While you're down there," he gave a half smile and almost inaudible chuckle.

"Good grief. You're concussed after a plane crash and you're flirting with me!" Maggie shook her head disapprovingly, even though her heart beat rapidly, and she flushed at the thought that he would even think to flirt with a girl like her. "You really must have knocked your head badly."

Kaeden groaned as she helped him on with the robe and settled back into the chair. All he wanted to do was sleep just for a few minutes. He couldn't remember the last time he slept.

"Don't go to sleep," she warned picking up the torch again to flash it into his startling blue eyes.

"No! I'm okay. My name is Kaeden McConnell. It's the fifteenth of January, 2017. The Prime Minister is Malcolm Turnbull. I crashed my plane in the back yard of a terrorist called Maggie who is hell bent on torturing me until my rescuers arrive," he said rapidly and winced as if the effort hurt his head.

"I'm hardly a terrorist!" she huffed at him.

"No, but you're soaking wet too, go and change before they accuse me of killing you instead of the other way around," he murmured softly, this time sounding as tired as he felt. "Do you always save strange men in your pyjamas?"

"Sometimes I wear a super cape as well, but I was in a rush this morning!" she snapped back, embarrassed by her clothing now that he had pointed it out. "Here," she held out her phone to him. "Call whoever you need to and let them know you're alive, they can probably come and get you faster than emergency services right now," she said. "When the rain eases a bit I'll go and get whatever you need from the plane. Talk to someone, anyone, just stay awake while I have a quick shower."

Maggie was glad of an excuse to escape the raw masculinity of the man in her living room. It wasn't that she hadn't been around men before, even good looking men, but Kaeden McConnell was something else entirely. She tried to rationalise what she felt by telling herself that it was just that if was the effort of helping him that caused her heart to race and her mouth to go dry. It was his startling blue eyes and the way that he looked at her that held her enthral, however. Maggie knew she shouldn't get swept up in his charm and smooth demeanour. He was, after all, the youngest son of Brian McConnell, wealthy mining magnate and topping the richest men in the country list for as many years as she could remember.

She purposely hadn't told the emergency services the name of the man who had crashed his plane into her greenhouse because she didn't want the notoriety that always seemed to follow the man. He was the playboy of the family. He was always in the papers or magazines at some club with supermodels and actresses. She knew he must have some spurious executive position within the family company, but his career was not his claim to fame, and she didn't want to get caught up in some scandal surrounding his playboy lifestyle.

Still, she mused, as those vibrant blue eyes reappeared in her mind along with the crooked smile, it was nice to be flirted with, even from a known player. She allowed herself a small fantasy as she washed the soap from her body and enjoyed the warm water.

*****

Kaeden's head pounded, and he didn't feel like having his brother yell at him for being reckless and irresponsible again. It had been stupid to call, but if anyone could get a chopper in here to fly him out it was his brother, Wade. The problem was that he didn't know where he was exactly.

"Look, she's in the shower, call this number back in fifteen and she'll answer it, it's her friggin phone!" Kaeden snapped. "No, I didn't have sex with her, that's not why she's showering! It's bucketing down and flooding here, she practically carried me out of that plane on her own, and she was soaked!" his anger was rising. "Look, just call back in ten minutes and you can ask her all your dumbass questions and get me out of here, okay?" He sagged back into the chair. "No, I haven't forgotten our deal. I was on my way to sort it out when I crashed. Can we talk about this later? My head feels like it's going to explode, and, no, I haven't been drinking!" He hung up then and tossed the phone to the small coffee table nearby before finally closing his eyes.

When her phone rang a minute later, it wasn't the shrill noise that most phones made but rather the soft melodic chords of a harp that lulled him rather than woke him. He found it easy to ignore and settled into sleep. He didn't hear her return or her conversation with his brother. He felt her gentle hand touch his shoulder tentatively after all those things had occurred.

"Kaeden, wake up, please wake up!" she pleaded in a concerned voice, obviously worried about his head injury. She watched him carefully during her heated conversation with Wade McConnell, who seemed more interested in protecting the family from another scandal than his brother's health. She'd told him that she hadn't even mentioned the name to emergency services, leaving her contact details instead and claiming not to know who the pilot was. She had said that he was groggy from the crash, despite seeming relatively unharmed, Wade had calmed somewhat at that, but had remained suspicious of her motives and the circumstance surrounding the crash.

Kaeden was beautiful, and with his eyes closed she once again imagined what it would be like to kiss those lips that parted gently with the deep breathing of sleep. His pulse was steady, his skin was warm but not clammy, and logic told her he would be fine, but the egg on his head and her inability to rouse him told her otherwise. She moved closer and shook his shoulder this time. "Kaeden, wake up, you have to wake up!" Maggie pleaded with the comatose man.

"I'm awake," he whispered. "I was just waiting for the sleeping beauty wake up kiss you promised me on the plane," he grinned in a funny crooked way.

"You shit!" she exclaimed. "I thought you'd lapsed into a coma or something worse!"

"I'm sorry," he said sheepishly, seeing the anxiety written into her features.

"You're brother is sending someone to get you and take you to the hospital. What do you need from your plane?" She asked.

"Nothing that I can't live without, don't go back out into the storm," he advised.

"The rain's eased and it seems to be moving away fairly quickly. Just stay awake, they'll be here soon, okay?" Maggie said, searching Kaeden's eyes to make sure he understood her. His eyes were so blue she found it hard to pull herself away from them, she realised he was looking back at her curiously, so she stood and quickly left the room. The fact that the robe he wore was undone and bared his chest and the flat stomach, was so distracting to her she had to get away from him. She didn't kid herself. She knew a man like that wouldn't flirt with every girl he met. He probably couldn't help himself, even when they looked like her. Tall and sturdy, was about the nicest thing her stepmother had ever said about her looks, and she was right.

Maggie slipped on her boots and stepped out of the back door and turned east to appreciate the muted golden colour of the sun fighting with the clouds for space. Where once the skyline had held only trees of the neighbour's orchard, it now held the roof lines of the newest of the housing estates to be constructed in the area. Drawing in a deep breath, she strode purposely toward the crashed plane, trying to ignore the damage it had done to one of her greenhouses. The soaked ground beneath her feet squelched as she walked and she felt her heart sink as she saw the extent of the damage that she just couldn't ignore as she had planned. She would have plenty of time to do something about it once her unwanted house guest was gone, so she looked away and climbed into the plane to retrieve his belongings.

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byxelliebabex© 108 comments/ 121666 views/ 434 favorites

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