Odette spent a night with another golden angel of a man. They met amid a dance, and returned to one another until ending a room together. In an odd twist, he vanished before Odette escaped to the lake.
“What happened?” Anna asked when Odette arrived with furrowed brow.
“That man, Olaf, he disappeared in the night. I don’t know where he’s gone.”
Anna sniffed. “Does it matter?”
“Maybe… he’s different.”
Anna tried to recall anything particular about the young man, but could think of nothing.
They both grew feathers and swam off, not discussing further as each slept during the day.
When the same young man followed Odette the next night, Anna did notice something. Not in the man, although he bore a resemblance to Siegfried, but in Odette. She focused on Olaf in a way Anna hadn’t seen in years.
“You’re in love,” Anna accused the next morning while Odette yawned. Their transformation was moments away, but Anna wanted to say this clearly.
“I am?” She dropped the hand covering her yawn and smiled. “Yes, I guess I am.”
“Well, it’s a terrible idea,” she snapped, running into the water. Her clothes were wet only a moment before they turned into feathers.
What life could Odette hope to have? If there was a way to be married in spite of this curse, wouldn’t Anna have done that and returned to Vlad? Odette could be so selfish, unthinking.
“Anna? Wait!” Odette called but the duck flew away whenever she came near. Not off the lake, just to the other end. She wasn’t leaving without Odette, but she didn’t want to talk right now.
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