Chapter 6

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Levy stared up at me wide eyed. "You mean... This is my birthday present?" she whispered. I nodded. She squealed and hugged me tight. For someone so tiny she was strong.

I laughed and ruffled her hair. "Where to first?" She grinned up at me."I want to see your shop!"I raised an eyebrow but grinned. I took her hand and led her across town.

She stared in wonder at all the people as they got ready for the Festival of Puppets held once a year. There were already stalls lining the streets and colored banners hanging from unlit street lamps.

She stopped at almost every stall ad shop window but I didn't mind. It was her day after all. She stayed longer at one store window and was staring intently.

In the window was a short pale purple sleeveless dress. It pulled up to the left and bunched at the hip. In the split of fabric was a white under layer that sparkled lightly. I smiled and pulled her into the store.

I went up to a clerk. "Can you help her? Anything that looks good." I also pointed to the purple dress in the window. The woman smiled and nodded, pulling Levy into a dressing room. She came back and pulled several dresses before returning to the dressing room.

I sat and waited patiently. After a long wait Levy came out with the purple dress in hand. She was also now wearing a soft blue dress the flowed just below her knees. It had off the shoulder sleeves and had a small dip in the neckline. It was trimmed in light gold, almost white. She also had a white headband in her hair.

I could help but stare.

"Does it look bad?" she asked. She twiddled her thumbs. Something she did when she was nervous. I cleared my throat."It looks great. Are those the only two you want?" She nodded,then she stopped. " I don't have any money." I pulled out my wallet and before she could protest I hand the cash to the woman.

She gave Levy a bag for her other dress and we left. "You didn't have to do that." she said as we walked. "I wanted to." she smiled at that.

We finally made it to my shop, which I had closed. I opened the door for her to go inside and I followed behind her. She looked in wonder at all the dolls. "Did you make all these?" I nodded.

She smiled,"They all have good things to say about you." I raised an eyebrow. "Eh?" She looked up at me."I can hear them. They may not be animated, but they do have thoughts. Memories." she looked up." They tell me how you've taken such wonderful care of them." I felt my face heat up.

She giggled and walked around the shop. A small meow stopped her. A black cat hopped up on to the counter beside her."He's so cute!"she picked him up an he started to purr.

"That's Lily. Lucy has been feeding him while we are at the castle." As if on cue the door open and Neal bolted in followed by Lucy.

"Uncle Gajeel!" I caught the boy as he jumped at me. "Hey Gajeel, hey Levy! What are you guys doing out today?" Lucy asked. "Celebrating Levys birthday." I said as I wrestled with a squirmy toddler.

"Today's your birthday Levy?! Why didn't you tell me!" levy giggled. "I didn't even know what a birthday was until Gajeel told me."

"My birthday is tomorrow!" Neal cried. "Can I have my present now Uncle Gajeel?" I rolled my eyes before retrieving his present. I set him on the work table as he unwrapped it.

It was a small wooden dragon doll painted in bright red. It was roaring at the wide eyed boy "This is awesome! Thank you Uncle Gajeel!" He hugged me and I chuckled.

The women smiled at us as I put him down. "You two go have fun. I will feed Lily and be off too." we nodded an headed out, saying our goodbyes.

"That dragon says he has been waiting to see that boy. He is very excited." I grinned.

We walked through town, stopping at stands here and there. I took her hand and pulled her into a store. "Before I forget, you said you wanted a book too right?" She nodded, wide eyed as she stared at all the books. Magnolia only had the one book store but it was fairly large.

She wandered through the aisles as I watched her. I couldn't help but smile at how happy she looked. This was the least I could do for her.

She came to me with three books in her hands." Anything else?" she shook her head, a goofy grin plastered on her face. We paid for the books and headed out. I took her hand again as we walked through the now crowded streets.

We walked through the park and stopped under a large tree. We had walked all day and the sun was now beginning to set. We watched as the sun lit up the buildings.

She laid her head on my shoulder and sighed contently."Thank you Gajeel. This is the best day ever." She smiled and closed her eyes.

As I looked down at her peaceful face I realized something. Natsu had said it but it didn't really hit me until now. I was falling for this doll.

No. This girl. And I wasn't falling, I had already fallen hard.

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