Nothing ImportantHe's smart. He's very smart, but when you first look at him you don't notice it. I didn't notice it the first time I saw him. Most people look at him and just see the features: somewhat haggard, shivery, and a bit underweight. A great many people only hear the stutter, but that's not what I focus on. I focus on his voice. It's low but light. It doesn't make your chest shake when he speaks, it's almost like his voice lightly skips by your ears. He can get quiet so easily. I've only seen him shout maybe once or twice, and that was under extreme duress.
I noticed something else too: he really wants to talk. He so wants to voice his opinion, to add to a conversation, but he doesn't. I watched while everyone was talking. At first you just see a quiet man, sitting still with his hands under the table, but I saw more. I noticed how his arms tens
An ApologyKing Noreat paced his room in the guest mansion. Everything he had been working for was crumbling in his hands, and he no idea how to fix it! He should have expected Zephyr to be protective of his only heir, but that girl, she knew all the right ways to get under Noreat's skin. If it were up to him, she would have been locked away in a dungeon far underground where not even the worms would hear her screams! But now was not the time to fantasize about getting rid of Princess Iridesia. Right now he had to focus on how to get his Zephyr back. Wait, did he just think of Zephyr as uniquely his? Never mind. Moving on, he did not work for a week straight to win the old King over just to lose him over something as trivial as that last argument.An Apology5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The only question was how was he going to win the old King over? He could go and apologize, assuming that Zephyr would have an audience with him, b
Don't Push MeUncomfortable, that was the only word for it. Noreat was so dreadfully uncomfortable he was about to go insane. No position on his bed would do, and he couldn't calm down for more than a few seconds in order to allow for some semblance of sleep. There was nothing wrong with this bed. It had been perfectly fine days ago! And yet he could not get comfortable on it no matter what. He tried lying on his back, but he kept staring at the ceiling, on his side he stared out the window, on his other side he glared at the door, and on his stomach he stared down his pillow as if it had done something despicable. He tried curling into a ball, but that didn't work, he tried lying flat, but then he felt odd. At one point he tried to hug a pillow into his chest, but it wasn't right. It was too soft, too squishy, and hardly warm. It wasn't what he needed. It wasn'tDon't Push Me5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
A Bowl of WaterBa-dup, ba-dup, ba-dup.A Bowl of Water5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
What time was it?
Ba-dup, ba-dup, ba-dup.
Nice rhythm. Almost like a drum, but softer.
Ba-dup, ba-dup, ba-dup.
It couldn't be morning, not yet. It still had to be night. He still wanted to sleep.
Ba-dup, ba-dup, ba-dup.
Almost a lullaby, this sound was lovely to listen to. But the lullaby wasn't lulling Noreat back to sleep, it was gently easing him to consciousness. The young King didn't want to get up yet. He was too comfortable. This bed was so nice and warm, he felt secure and tranquil here.
Ba-dup, ba-dup, ba-dup.
Noreat mumbled to himself. Just a few more minutes, pretty please lullaby?
Ba-dup, ba-dup, ba-dup.
Apparently a few more minutes were simply out of the question. Reluctantly, Noreat opened his eyes.
Ba-dup, ba-dup, ba-dup.
When was the last time he listened to someone's heartbeat? Had he eve
GiovanniNothing was the same, and that was the problem. Stability was something Cian liked, that was why he had come to the conclusion that the universe was all a pattern. Patterns made sense, and once Cian learned that pattern he could be comfortable. But now the pattern had shifted, it wasn't something Cian recognized, and that was causing tension.Giovanni4 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
In the last month or so Cian had grown so used to the man he had met that this change was straining their relationship. MercuGiovanni acted the same as his previous reincarnation, but not exactly. The little things were what separated Giovanni from Mercutio, and the fact that Cian could pinpoint those differences was something he would think about at a later time. Right now all he knew was that those little differences were starting to drive him up the wall.
Giovanni hummed. Constantly. Whenever he was awakewhich was all the time.
It's A StartThe shift from the bare, dark, silence of space to a bright, warm, forest world used to be jarring for Cian. Now it was as simple as breathing. The forests of Sesmia were soaked in humidity, making Cian's dark curls frizz out and sweat begin to coat his skin. It wasn't unenjoyable, but he knew planets with milder climates. He also knew planets with worse climates, but that wasn't important. Curiously, Mercutio didn't seem bothered by the muggy climate. The humidity made his straight hair a bit wavier, but he didn't look as uncomfortable as Cian knew he had to be. Mercutio still had that silly smile on his face, and he walked with a definite spring to his step. He shouldn't be walking that happily.It's A Start4 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"You shouldn't be barefoot," scoffed Cian, hating that he had to be here right now.
Mercutio sighed and gave Cian a sidelong glance. He had one eyebrow quirked up, his smile thin and wry.
What Were You Expecting?Maybe starting with the gryphon's bane today was a bad decision. Even after all this time, Zephyr never knew if it was wiser to drink the gryphon's bane first or to save it for last. No matter when he drank it, the drink always made him feel sick for a short while, and sometimes he couldn't keep down his scant rations after drinking it. So today (tonight?) he had made the executive decision to drink the gryphon's bane before touching anything else. Now the dethroned King found himself curled up in his corner, cursing under his breath as his stomach twisted and stubbornly tried not to digest the gryphon's bane. Gods above when would this be over? How much longer would Seriyaru need Geofek? Zephyr must be becoming less and less useful. He just wanted this all to stop. He would gladly welcome death with open arms if it meant he didn't have to live in Ulri'nocht and drink gryphon's bane everyWhat Were You Expecting?5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Stay Away From My FatherAnother grueling day was finally over. Advisors, emissaries, runners, messengers, and everything in between had bombarded Zephyr all day. The sun was setting and his head was splitting. When he had spied the bright yellow sun slipping towards the horizon he cleared out all of his royal helpers. The King dragged himself to his room, sank into his chair and leaned against a heavy oak desk. He pressed his thumbs into his temples and tried to push the throbbing ache in his head out.Stay Away From My Father5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"You are going to dig holes in your head," a familiar voice whispered in his ear.
Mayanna's slender, warm fingers took Zephyr's hands and gently coaxed them away from his head. He would hardly resist, and let his hands fall into his lap. Those gentle fingers made their way up the sides of his face and started to massage temples. Zephyr relaxed and leaned his head against her body behind him. She was always so gent
She Was LovelyDinner with guests was always a tricky affair to navigate. The guests were sat nearest to each other, to promote pleasant conversation, while friends and family were sat far from each other on opposite ends of the table. While Zephyr was perfectly aware of how these customs came into being, he didn't exactly like them. Zephyr was in a rare, uncomfortable, position within his own palace.She Was Lovely5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Sitting next to him tonight was the eccentrically unique young King of a place with a very long name. The word sounded like some Rakselou gibberish, something the shapeshifters would say to make it difficult for humans and ferals to understand what they were saying. Thankfully, King Noreat translated his own words and explained that he was from the "Mountainous Lands". Zephyr was unaware such a place existed. He was also unaware that men could look so much like women up until recently.
King Zephyr sighed under his bre
How The Universe WorksAt this point, not much surprised Cian. Every planet seemed to be the same; all the people were the same, and the way their histories played out in the grand scheme of time were all the same. Take this world in front of him right now. It was populated by a race of bird-humanoids that worshipped the weather. They were in their infant stages of knowledge, worshiping rather than understanding. They were split into tribes, some friendly with each other, some decidedly not. The people were doomed to fail and fall into war, some tribes would die, or perhaps the whole world would. If they didn't, life continued and perhaps there would be a renaissance or enlightenment. If they all died then he could come back in another thousand years and see the new life emerging, only to fall into the same trap its ancestors had.How The Universe Works4 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Lovely world, Sesmia is," said a voice behind him.
Chills ran up Cian's spine and he jerked
How Dare YouNoreat didn't think much of Zephyr sending him away earlier this night. The gryphon King obviously had his own business to attend to. The young man could spend one night by himself. Even if he had a hard time falling asleep, and even if he was unusually cold he was fine. Zephyr was still under his spell, he didn't have to worry. Who said he was worrying? No one was worrying, not him. Noreat had never pursued a fellow royal before, there were bound to be off nights and days.How Dare You5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
And yet, something was bothering Noreat. He couldn't fall asleep tonight. There was an unsettling niggling sensation in his stomach that kept him from getting to sleep. Why was it so hard for him to fall asleep tonight? He must have ate something odd. Maybe it was the foreign spices used in the Georn food. Yes, that was it, the spices weren't mixing well with him. &
Everything Is FineThe next morning neither King wanted to wake up. Both lay tangled in their lover's embrace, Noreat's face buried in Zephyr's chest while the side of the older man's face was pressed against his pillow. They both were aware that the sun was up, and both were starting the wake, but neither wanted to move. Noreat's servants had probably been packing all of yesterday well into the night and the guest mansion would be empty soon. Advisors, soldiers, and servants were probably making preparations for a royal send off that neither King wanted to attend.Everything Is Fine5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Noreat opened his eyes first. He hated today already, and it was just barely morning. Even though the young King knew that he couldn't bargain for one more day he sincerely wanted to try. Yesterday he had been completely safe with no assassination attempts and yet he knew that Zephyr say that they were only lucky. Maybe Entity wasn't safe anymore but Noreat
Summer's Day FestivalDamien saw Iridesia walking up the white stone path to the guest mansion. He hadn't particularly been waiting for her, but he was happy to see the Princess anyways. She had the capacity to be quite gentle and kind. Though her voice felt as if it were dipped in venom when King Noreat was brought up. She was not fond of the young King, and Damien wasn't sure as to why. The King had been on his best behavior on this trip so far, so she had nothing to be so upset about. Perhaps she would tell him, perhaps she wouldn't, either way she was a few feet away from him now and he should greet her.Summer's Day Festival5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Good morning Princess," the magician bowed slightly.
Iridesia had a sweet smile on her full lips today. Instead of a dark red gown or her feathered cape she had a flowing yellow dress with green trim and a white sash across her hips. It was a very pretty dress. Her blond hair had been pulled back into thr
Men Like YouTwo months had passed since Noreat left and Zephyr was slowly starting to go mad with want for his young lover. While the Kings had been exchanging letters for the last two months, that only equated to four letters for each man. No matter how many times Zephyr reread them he still felt so far away from Noreat But thankfully Zephyr would not have to wait much longer to see Noreat. He had good news for his love: Aishal was now Geofek's, and the war was effectively over. Yman hadn't tried to defend the territory and left it to Geofeka rather generous offer from the Queen of Yman.Men Like You5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It was long past dinner at this point, and Zephyr was sitting in his rooms in his night-garments working on a letter for Noreat. He rather liked writing at night. It was calmer with the moons up and easier for him to think with a glass of wine in hand and the fire crackling beside him. At this hour no one would dar
Give Him A ReasonThe next morning came far too soon for Zephyr. He could have sworn that he had just shut his eyes when sunlight's spindly yellow fingers crept into his bedroom and bothered him into consciousness. Groaning defiantly, he turned onto his side in an attempt to hide from the intruding light. Noreat made a grumbling noise and curled up in Zephyr's chest. The two had been tangled in each other's embrace all night. Zephyr couldn't imagine a more comfortable position to sleep in.Give Him A Reason5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Unfortunately, no matter how comfortable and warm he was, his mind was awake, which meant his body would have to follow soon. While he didn't want to get up yet, some niggling thought kept bothering him. Something important was supposed to happen today, but he wasn't quite sure what. It wasn't his nor Iridesia's birthday, Summer's Day had already passed what was bothering him? He tried to shut his mind off to allow
All I Can Ask"It speaks?!" The King shouted, backpedalling away from Jack.All I Can Ask5 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Incessantly," Damien sighed, rubbing his temples. "Frankly, I'm surprised he managed to stay quiet for so long while you and Iridesia were speaking."
"Shutup leech," snapped the giant puma.
"Leech?" The bald woman who apparently could "feel" that Damien was dead echoed. "Why such a harsh nickname?"
"Because that is what he is," Jack grinned, showing off his rows of sharp white teeth.
"I was under the impression that you were dead," the redhead with glasses murmured.
"I am dead," Damien bristled. "It's complicated and not pertinent to this conversation."
"Where is Iridesia going? I command you tell me, dead man!" Snapped the King.
Oh, Damien was being commanded now? It had been a long time since someone tried to command him. The last person who issued an order to him had their chest torn open. Those were good
Big and HungryThis moment was perfect; there was no way Noreat was going to let it slip past him. The King was locked in that hazy plain between awake and asleep, just barely aware of the world around him and yet aware enough to know he was no longer dreaming. Usually, this moment was annoying for him, but right now it was everything he could ever want. Noreat could feel Zephyr with him at this very second. The older man's big warm arms were locked around his back, Noreat's face was pressed into his lovers chest. He could even hear Zephyr's heartbeat drumming in his ears. Noreat didn't move, didn't twitch, and didn't even dare to breathe too deeply. This was a rare moment for him. He usually couldn't remember Zephyr in his entirety like this. Most of the time all he was able to recall would be the heartbeat, the tough textured skin, the feeling of Zephyr's breath against his neck. Great GodBig and Hungry5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
DefensibleThe corner is defensible. Two strong walls, one touches his shoulder, the other supports his back. He can watch the room from this corner. He can see the door when it opens, and see the light as it pours into the room. It shows him the same walls he's grown used to these last months. Dark brown and orange earth, a lantern hanging from the ceiling (it is usually unlit) and the black iron bars of his cell that keep him cut off from the world. He is the only one in this part of the prison. This is the last cell, tucked into a corner, deep in the mountains. The air is stale and tastes like dirt. It used to sting his lungs, but after however long it had been (time gets funny in a cell, as he noted) he now is quite used to the musty air. He can see the door when it closes, and watch the room return to darkness. The room always got markedly colder when that door was closed.Defensible5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I Don't Know AnythingI don't know how it happens, but I find myself standing barefoot in the hall. I don't like walking around barefoot, probably because I am so used to wearing shoes and because the floors are terribly cold in my palace. I'm alone and cold in the hall. The hall is dark, as if someone put out the lights. Of course, that makes no sense. The lights hanging from the ceiling are made with the magic; they cannot simply go out like a candle someone must take the spell off for the light to die out. This unfamiliar darkness doesn't bother me, because I walk down the hall anyways. Just as I am starting to feel incredibly uncomfortable and as the hallway becomes blacker than the dead of a moonless night, suddenly light and warmth floods through the hallway.I Don't Know Anything5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I'm not in a hallway anymore. I feel the distinct slippery tickle of warm rubbery grass against the soles of my feet. I am not really sure if I can
Small MiraclesIt was funny how dinner with Noreat had transformed from an affair that Zephyr wanted to rush through because he was uncomfortable around Noreat to an affair that he wanted to rush through so he could have Noreat to himself, in his arms, all night, in just the span of two weeks. The older King was rather thankful for the old seating arrangement traditions, since it kept his paramour close to him while his daughter sat on the other side of the room and seethed. Iridesia had elected to force Zephyr to endure her silent treatment and the girl had not talked to him for the last day or so. The old man was no stranger to his daughter's silent punishment at this point. Once, when she was particularly upset with him for something too trivial for him to remember, she didn't speak to him for almost four days. While it was vexing and it nearly tore Mayanna apart, Zephyr had markedly less headaches those four days.Small Miracles5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
But now was not the time to
Leap Without Looking"So," Mercutio said with a smile too wide for his face, "since you are staying with me, where shall we visit first?"Leap Without Looking4 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Something in Cian made him wonder why he just agreed to spend more time with this man. Mercutio, at best, was an unknown party. Cian knew him as another Eternal, one who had possibly more than one name, and a personality that was more complicated than it appeared. But he looked so terrified of being alone again. The expression of sheer panic and terror that Mercutio couldn't have controlled had been enough to change Cian's mind. Since when had he been so easily swayed? That incident with Chara had been a fluke. He wasn't a man who changed his mind like that. And yet
Cian sighed, "You said you had been traveling around this galaxy," he murmured. "Where did you still want to visit?"
"There are a number of mountain and garden worlds that I was looking at but h
NothingIt didn't take more than what felt like a few sparing seconds for Cian to move from Sesmia to Taltreau. One second he was in the forest, the next he was in the living room of Mercutio's home. Cian took in a deep breath of cool, crisp air and steeled himself. This would be a tough conversation to have. It would be tough with a stranger, and even worse with the man who was his only and closest friend. Still, Cian went down one of the hallways to Mercutio's room. The man was likely still asleep.Nothing3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Moving quietly down the hall, Cian came to the door that marked Mercutio's room. Unlike the rest of the Eternal's house, this one wasn't too decorated. The door was simple, white, almost devoid of anything interesting. Cian only recognized it because when he toured Mercutio's home he asked what the door when to, and the brunette shrugged as he stated his room lay beyond it. At first Cian t
A Bit AwkwardThe two spent a day just in Mercutio's home. Cian hadn't known from waking up in the guest room that the house was enourmous. Mercutio had landed himself on a piece of prime real estate on the coast. Cian couldn't even begin to imagine the unnecessary expense of the house, nor did he want to. Though he did think that it was somewhat nostalgic and cute that Mercutio had a home. It was something special that Cian hadn't seen another of their kind do.A Bit Awkward4 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
And there was more to Mercutio's home than the location and absurd size. The house was huge because the Eternal had eclectic, unique, and somewhat questionable collection of artifacts he had picked up from the worlds he visited. Mercutio seemed to keep a number of items in this house on Taltreau. Anything from ancient looking scripture, in languages some Cian knew and some he didn't, old tapestries made from cloth or leaves or roots, to even s
You Came Here For MoreSesmia greeted Cian fondly by instantly cocooning him in a blanket of humidity and powerful heat. Cian shouldn't have been surprised; after all, he had been here just a few weeks/months earlier when the rainy season began. Rainy seasons in tropical rainforests brought endless heat and humidity, he knew that. The problem was that Taltreau had been a mostly mountain and river worldvery little humidity. Taltreau's climate ranged from cool and pleasant to blisteringly cold. Sesmia ranged from warm and sweaty to unbearably hot and humid. The sudden transition threw Cian for a few seconds, and he had to wait to adjust to the completely different climate before heading down a trail he barely knew.You Came Here For More4 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Thankfully the memories of romping through this forest were still fresh in Cian's mind. Eternals had impressively expansive memory, therefore it was easy for Cian to remember the hidden path in the muddy grass and bro
Stupidly Excited"Where are we going now?" Cian asked as he and Mercutio stepped out into space.Stupidly Excited3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
His friend shrugged slightly, brushing a hand through his chestnut colored hair. Mercutio seemed rather smiley, but uncharacteristically quiet since their hysteria over the fish bubbles. Neither was going to mention the one they had in tow with them. It was a larger bubble, with a spiky blue fish and school of purple fish swimming around it. The fish were unfazed by their change in location and simply swam. Neither was sure what they were going to do with their bubble of fish, but they were going to keep it and that was that.
"I've not made a decision yet," Mercutio admitted. "Was there somewhere specific you wanted to go?"
"Of course not."
"Don't start," Cian frowned as he pointed an accusing finger at Mercutio. "I just crossed the universe for you. The least you could do is give me some credit."
Mercutio couldn't help but smirk at h