Maefyl was still reeling from his own emotions and his return was met with waves of worry and relief that were nearly crippling. Gabriel jumped to his feet and Sanguine and Gory flew to him and snuggled against his neck.
“He hurt you.” Gabriel spoke sadly as he made his slow approach. “I should have gone with you.”
“He didn’t.” Maefyl caressed Gabriel’s face with his fingertips and smiled. “Stop worrying so much.”
“I feel your every pain, Maefyl.” Gabriel sighed.
“Sorry.” Maefyl leaned in and kissed him tenderly.
“Did you get your answers?” Sanguine sniffled. “Was it worth it?”
“Hardly.” Maefyl rubbed at Sanguine’s legs. “Only more questions as usual.”
“What now?” Gabriel wrapped his arms around Maefyl’s waist and pulled him close.
“Don’t hate me for this Gabriel.” Maefyl closed his eyes. “I pushed you for truth and no I have to deny you the same.”
“More family secrets?” Gabriel looked at him crossly. “The longer I know him the more I hate him.”
“I don’t blame you.” Maefyl forced a smile. “But please bear with me until I know what is actually going on.”
“I don’t like it.” Gabriel yanked on Maefyl’s hair and smiled. “I do however trust you. I expect you will at least inform me before you do anything stupid.”
“If he doesn’t; I will.” Sanguine nipped at Maefyl’s neck. “Can we talk now? In private?”
“I promised didn’t I?” Maefyl kissed Gabriel and slid out of his coat leaving it to lie on the floor. “We’ll be in my office.”
“I’ll be waiting at home.” Gabriel laughed as Gory muttered her complaints about Maefyl being a slob. He collected the coat from the floor and watched Maefyl leave with Sanguine before returning home.
“I’m sorry I’ve put this off so long.” Maefyl made himself comfortable on the couch and frowned when he saw Sanguine pouting on his knee. “I mean it Sany. I wasn’t trying to ignore you.”
“I know that.” Sanguine sniffled. “Have you read any of my thoughts?”
“Here and there I get a glimpse.” Maefyl admitted. Strangely fairies were naturally about as guarded as the Six. At first he could see nothing at all. As he grew stronger there were bits and pieces, but it had been hazy at best. It had been getting clearer but there was still only a flash here and there and Sanguine’s thoughts were always peaceful and loving when they made their quick dance through his head. “Why? You keeping secrets from me?”
“Sort of.” Sanguine flittered her wings nervously and sat there trying to decide if this was such a good idea. Such a secret could forever change their friendship. “It’s nothing bad.”
“Of everyone I know, you are the last soul alive I thought would ever hide something from me.” Maefyl searched his mind for clues. For some answer to her worries. “What has you bothered, Sany? Do you want to go home to Itami?”
“No, no, no!” Sany shook her head and wildly protested the idea. “I’m home wherever you are, Maefyl. I said you are stuck with me forever. I meant it.”
“Then what is it?” Maefyl picked her up and kissed her face before setting her back on his knee. The only secret she could have kept that would have broken his heart would have been wanting to leave. With that matter closed he was sure he could handle anything else. “Sany, you’ve been with me almost my whole life. As long as you aren’t planning to leave nothing you say is going to upset me. If I did something, tell me.”
“Do you miss being with a girl?” Sanguine looked away almost frightened to see his reaction.
“If this is about Shiroi just let it go.” Maefyl laid his head back on the cushions. “She isn’t your problem anymore.”
“It’s not.” Shiroi rubbed her nose and realized she was about to sound very silly. “I meant the sex part.”
“That isn’t your problem either.” Maefyl laughed. “I’m happy with Gabriel.”
“I know that you stubborn idiot.” Sanguine shouted at him as she flushed. “It was a serious question.”
“I thought you were glad to see her go.” Maefyl stroked Sanguine’s back with his finger. “What’s this about?”
“Do you miss fucking a girl or not?” Sanguine glared at him angrily.
“What are you so mad about?” Maefyl hoped these questions were not something Gabriel had inspired, but Sanguine seemed far too upset to be doing this for someone else. “Not that it matters, but yea. Sometimes. I guess. I don’t know, Sany. I don’t think about it. I love Gabriel. I don’t care what he is.”
“I know you love each other. I know you’re happy and I’m not blind, you enjoy every second with him…” Sanguine fluttered up in front of him as the natural glow to her skin intensified. She could see him beginning to panic as she used a magic that had never been cast, a spell known only to a handful of her kind who had been cursed and blessed with it. Maefyl had covered his eyes as she drew on the power of her awoken heart and the light of it spilled around her. He only opened his eyes when he felt her on his lap again and she spoke. “I just thought you should know you have the option.”
“Sany?” Maefyl panicked at the sight of her. The tiny fairy that had been his companion for thousands of years now five feet tall and straddling his legs. He shifted across the room and backed into one of his shelves knocking things to the floor as she pouted at his reaction. He wasn’t sure what he was seeing but the second he heard Sanguine’s whimpers and saw her cry into her hands he no longer cared if she was five inches or five feet tall, he just rushed over to stop her tears. He leapt over the back of the couch and hugged her. “You just startled me. Don’t cry, Sany”
“Am I ugly this way?” Sanguine cried against his shoulder. “Do you hate me now?”
“Never.” Maefyl squeezed her gently and she wrapped her arms around him. “Might be a little awkward to carry you on my shoulder now.”
“It’s the first time that’s hard.” Sanguine sniffled and pinched his neck. “I can change when I want now, you big bully.”
“Good.” Maefyl laughed and rubbed his neck. “This is not a good size for pockets.”
“Don’t make fun of me.” Sanguine pushed back a bit to look at herself. Her deep reddish skin had taken a far subtler hue, were it not for her eyes and wings she could nearly pass for human. “Do I look strange?”
“No.” Maefyl lifted her chin with his knuckle and sat back against the corner of the couch. “You’re gorgeous. I had no idea you could do this.”
“Most fairies can’t.” Sanguine inched closer and took his hand. “Only the awoken can do this.”
“You lost me.” Maefyl smiled.
“Fairies that have fallen in love.” Sanguine whispered and looked at her hand in his. “We aren’t supposed to be able to. Most think it’s a myth. The awoken are special. When the race is in danger we’re supposed to renew it.”
“In love?” Maefyl squeezed her hand nervously. “With me?”
“Who else, dumbass?” Sanguine snapped but couldn’t look at him after her confession. She was terrified to see hatred on his face. “I know you only want Gabriel and I want the two of you to be happy always. I just thought maybe if you need a girl sometimes I could do it and not hurt Gabriel’s feelings.”
“I am just not allowed to have a simple life.” Maefyl rubbed her fingers with his thumb as he stood up. “Give me a hug, Sany.”
“Maefyl I’m so sorry.” Sanguine leapt up and hugged him tightly until she felt a familiar magic embrace her and she looked down at the dress that covered her. “What’s this for?”
“We need to talk to Gabriel and I’m not letting you walk around naked.” Maefyl took her hand and kissed it. Sanguine and Gabriel were the constants in his life. He couldn’t bear losing either, but this new complication could cause tension and he wasn’t going to start it off with secrets. “I just think we need to tackle this one together.”
The apartment was filled with the sound of Gabriel’s violin. A bittersweet melody reflecting the relief of his beloved returning and his sadness over more lies and deceit. Sanguine’s confession was not coming at the best time, but their lives seemed to leave very little room for good timing.
“Hey.” Maefyl stuck his head through the door as he hid Sanguine with it. Gabriel was standing at the side of the bed with his violin but had stopped playing to turn and greet him. “You might want to sit down. We have a bit of a…”
“Damn it, Maefyl.” Sanguine kicked his leg angrily. “Don’t you call me a problem.”
“Don’t kick me, Sany.” Maefyl laughed and opened the door to let her in. “Apparently this isn’t a problem.”
“Bolveku.” Gabriel stared unbelieving at the sight in his doorway. “Sanguine?”
“Sanguine!” Gory shouted at her sister in outrage. “We agreed not to do this!”
“I changed my mind.” Sanguine crossed her arms and pouted.
“You can’t just change your mind, you selfish twit!” Gory screamed. “They were finally happy. What have you done!?”
“Nothing.” Sanguine shouted. “I’m not stupid and I’m not selfish. I was trying to help.”
“Both of you stop.” Gabriel insisted quietly as he sat on the edge of the bed. “Calm down and explain. Help with what, Sanguine?”
“Don’t be mad, Gabriel.” Sanguine ran over and sat in front of him, squeezing his hands on his lap as her wings fluttered behind her and tears filled her eyes. “I just thought Maefyl would still want a girl sometimes. If it is me you don’t have to worry, right?”
“How is this even possible?” Gabriel rested a hand on her head as she sobbed on his knees.
“Because she loves Maefyl” Gory sat on Gabriel’s shoulder to explain. “She loves him more than anything in the world. It unlocked a light inside of her that she has kept hidden, should have continued to keep hidden.”
“Shut up, Gory.” Sanguine cried.
“Be nice, Sany.” Maefyl crouched beside her and rubbed her back and rested another hand atop Gabriel’s. “We’ll figure this out without being at each other’s throats. We finally got rid of the fighting in this house. I’m not welcoming it back.”
“Is she right?” Gabriel asked quietly.
“Doesn’t matter.” Maefyl smiled up at him. “All yours; remember.”
“Stop being impossible and answer the question.” Gabriel slid his fingers along Maefyl’s face into his hair. “Have I been depriving you of a part of yourself?”
“I’m not getting into this fight with you.” Maefyl laughed it off and patted Sanguine lightly on the back. “Sanguine, you are stunning. I’m flattered, and it would be a lie to say I’m not tempted. You know I love you, but I love Gabriel and I made him a promise that nothing was coming between us anymore.”
“I know.” Sanguine cried. “I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have done this. Please don’t make me go away.”
“I would never send you away.” Maefyl wished he could give her the answer she wanted. “I’ll always love you, but you’ll have to settle for hugs”
Sanguine knocked him backward as she leapt to take him up on the offer and Maefyl returned the gesture with the warmest hug he could muster. Unfortunately it was very short lived as Gabriel laid back on the bed in a solemn silence prompting an angry response from Gory.
“See the mess you’ve made?” Gory scolded her sister coldly. “I told you we should never do this.”
“We?” Maefyl laughed. “Seems I’m not the only one with an admirer.”
“Don’t belittle my love for him.” Gory pouted. “I’m just smart enough to know it’s impossible and in Sanguine’s case… pointless. It’s not as if you can fulfill any purpose.”
“Shut up!” Sanguine screamed. “I don’t care what we were meant to do. I just love Maefyl.”
Gabriel listened to them arguing and put the pieces together as he laid against the blankets. The years of devotion, friendship, love and companionship that had never faltered. Every joy and pain the two of them had shared, the best and worst of their lives, Sanguine and Gory were with them. Every step they took was followed by the soft flutter of wings that silently loved them and asked for nothing in return. When the arguing ceased and Maefyl was trying to soothe Sanguine through the last of her tears, Gabriel sat up and looked at each of them.
“Bring her to bed, Maefyl.” Gabriel broke his silence with his decision.
“I just got her to calm down.” Maefyl pouted and nervously watched Gabriel for something past his calm expression. “I don’t like where this is going. I’m not putting you through that again. And if you so much as think about touching Gory… I’ll kill you both.”
“He wouldn’t, you fool.” Gory protested the remark. “I’ve known longer than you have that Gabriel wants only you.”
“Do as I say.” Gabriel insisted as Maefyl shook his head defiantly. “Maefyl, it is clear you were meant to have a bride. This time it is on my terms. Gory, I can not apologize enough for what I can not give you; but if you wish, Maefyl will collar you as well.”
“Have you lost your fucking mind, Gabriel?” Maefyl glared at him. “I’m not making slaves of them.”
“It’s not an offer.” Gabriel calmly issued his order and knew from his own pain that Maefyl could feel his insistence. “You will do this. The decision to bed either of them is yours, but it will never be done without my consent. You belong to me; there will never again be a part of your life that I am not a part of. I am not forcing this to be cruel to any of you. You have desires I haven’t fulfilled. Despite your protests you want this. I’m choosing brides, allowing you love that I know will never come between us. Leaving you free of guilt and allowing you to indulge your every thirst. I am doing this because I love you. And in light of more recent events, I think I am being more than adequately reasonable and patient about this.”
“This is the single most fucked up conversation we have ever had.” Maefyl screamed at him. “They aren’t fucking toys.”
“I am well aware of that.” Gabriel continued with unerring calm. “They have been with us through every misery and triumph. They have been more loyal and loving than we could have ever asked. Our closest companions and dearest friends. I was already sharing you with Sanguine before either of us had the nerve to confess our love to you.”
“Gabriel, I love you.” Maefyl took a deep breath and tried to think things through. “ I think you just need to take some time to process this. I know you’ve been worried about what is going on in my head, there has been a lingering guilt between us regarding Shiroi, and with Lucy constantly playing games…”
“This is your fault.” Gory shouted and light filled the room and she unleashed the strength of the awoken and took a larger form to lunge at Sanguine. She tackled her sister to the floor screaming. “They were happy! Rid of that bitch and now you take her place in making them miserable again!”
“Don’t compare me to that awful slut!” Sanguine screamed as they fought and clawed at each other.
“This is fucking perfect.” Maefyl grabbed each of them by the back of the neck and pulled them apart. “Quit it. Sany is nothing like Shiroi. If this is anyone’s fault. It’s mine.”
“This will not hurt us.” Gabriel shifted in front of Maefyl and took his face in his hands. “Don’t fight me on this decision.”
“I don’t need to act on my every damn urge.” Maefyl defended himself as he let the calmer fairies go and wrapped his arms around Gabriel. “You don’t need to cater to them either. Don’t drag them into this. I only need you.”
“You’ve never been able to lie to me.” Gabriel teased and pushed Maefyl against the closest wall. “But I want this for you. I want your urges fulfilled. I want to own the moments you choose to fulfill them.”
“That’s sick.” Maefyl would have protested further but his will to fight was quelled by a blood filled kiss that seemed to make the world disappear.
“I’m sorry.” Sanguine took Gory’s hand and squeezed it apologetically. “I could have ruined everything.”
“We just need to change back and pretend this never happened.” Gory suggested as they watched a violently passionate kiss. “Neither of us is ready for that.”
“I am.” Sanguine clutched the edge of the little dress Maefyl had given her. Even if only once she wanted him, but she had risked his happiness in trying to get that chance and she hated herself for it. I want this too much. When the thought filled her head she returned to her tiny self and caught the dress by one of its straps; carrying it with her as she left a trail of her tears behind on the carpet. “Goodbye, Maefyl.”
“NO!” Maefyl pulled away from Gabriel to stop her but she was gone. He rushed into the next room and grabbed his coat with every intention of leaving immediately but Gabriel caught his arm before he could shift away. “I need to go after her.”
“We go together.” Gabriel pulled him close. “And we bring her home.”
“Your plan is to wander Itami shouting?” Gory sighed.
“Yes.” Maefyl listened to the winds for guidance, but Itami protected it’s own and nothing here would betray a fairy. “How many of you are there? Awoken, I mean?”
“Four that I know of.” Gory answered quietly. “I shouldn’t be sharing this.”
“Four.” Maefyl took Gabriel’s wrist and pulled him further along as he called out again to Sanguine. “And I’m responsible for breaking two of your hearts.”
“Three actually.” Gory pointed out coldly. “Demise is one of us.”
“Fantastic.” Maefyl shifted them to another part of the garden he enjoyed hoping that she was hiding somewhere familiar. “Sany, please come talk to me! I want you to come home.”
“I could just go and look for her.” Gory offered.
“No.” Maefyl wiped his face. “I won’t force her to come back to me. If she does… Gabriel.”
“Bring her home, Maefyl.” Gabriel smiled. “As your bride.”
“Sany!” Maefyl called for her again. “Don’t make me embarrass myself.”
“You are already doing that.” Nikumu roared over the trees from his den. “You are also disturbing my nap.”
“I’ll go explain.” Gabriel went off to clear things up with the dragons and Gory accompanied him leaving Maefyl to continue his search alone.
“Sanguine, please.” Maefyl wasn’t sure he could explain it. He had accepted losing Shiroi so easily, but the thought of not having Sanguine with him was a knife in his heart. He felt twisted and lost. Gabriel was his life, but she was a part of that life, a part of that love. Without her they were incomplete. “I love you, Sany. You promised me forever.”
“Will you do what Gabriel told you to?” Sanguine was sitting on a rock nearby snuggling a fold of the black dress she had taken with her.
“I just want you to come home.” Maefyl shifted to her and dropped to his knees. “If it takes a collar to prove I want you to stay with me then I will call you bride and do so proudly.”
“Hold this up for me.” Sanguine grinned and pulled at the dress.
“You two are going to drive me crazy.” Maefyl held up the dress with his fingers under the thin straps as Sanguine flew up through it and changed. He laughed as she stretched her arms up through it and trapped her wings inside. “Nice. Didn’t think that out, did you?”
“Help.” Sanguine turned and he ran a finger down her back leaving an open zipper and letting her free her wings before he zipped her back into the dress properly. She spun around and hugged him tightly. “You are already crazy, Maefyl.”
“Obviously.” Maefyl nervously kissed her cheek. “Don’t ever leave me, Sany.”
“I would have come back.” Sanguine noticed the sky filling with her curious sisters. “You’re lost without me. I think I should have changed at home.”
“Attracting a bit of attention?” Gory laughed as she returned with Gabriel. “They are calling you Princess Sanguine. How is that fair? I’m older.”
“Gabriel?” Maefyl looked to him for some idea of how to handle things. There had been enough heartache between them and there was certainly more trouble on the horizon, he didn’t want tension growing at home. “Do we have two princesses?”
“If she will have you.” Gabriel smiled.
“I know I am second best for you.” Maefyl created an identical dress for Gory as she fluttered beside Sanguine. When she filled it just as radiantly he reached behind her and pulled up the zipper. He leaned close to whisper his comfort when he felt her shaking. “This just let’s us stay together. All of us. You can stay with him like you always do. I’m just a warm body when you want to close your eyes and pretend.”
“Thank you.” Gory kissed his cheek as she hugged him. “You should know you are more than that to me. Gabriel may have opened my heart, but you will always have a place in it.”
“When you are all through soaking up praises…” Gabriel laughed quietly at the spectacle. All of Itami had called Maefyl friend and Guardian, even savior. Now the fairies were calling him hope. The Guardian of Itami held the hearts of the first Awoken. Those with the potential to renew the race and save their future. Nikumu, Fukushu and thousands of nearby creatures roared and sang praise and approval. Gabriel didn’t want their legend ruined by a less then pleasant bit of ceremony. “We should continue this privately.”
“I agree.” Maefyl rubbed each of their cheeks gently. “You’ve seen how this works. I wouldn’t want to ruin their fairytale.”
“I should kick you for that.” Sanguine grinned and jumped into Maefyl’s arms. “Take us home.”
“Princess…” Maefyl offered his hand to Gory. “Let’s leave your sisters to spread the gossip.”
“This news will travel quickly.” Gabriel sighed and held Maefyl’s shoulders as they began to make the shift back to Osore. “We are never going to get any rest.”
Now available on Amazon >> Tsuriai VII : The Council of Lords << FINALLY!!!