Here we go, another update, this time to the prompt: Tiptoe through the tulips. I hope you enjoy!
Take Flight Part 10
“I needed you there too.” Birch felt those years of loneliness keenly.
Sayer closed his eyes and then opened them. The strength of his emotions echoed through their bond. “I will never be able to say I’m sorry enough, but you’ll never have to be alone again. Birch …” Sayer gave him a pleading look.
Birch held out his hand. Sayer towed him through to water and onto his lap. “This isn’t just because of the sparkly rock around my neck is it?” Birch asked.
“That’s just the amulet that housed the magic that let us complete our souls. It doesn’t force anything on either of us. What you feel, what I feel,” Sayer’s voice dropped to a whisper, “we’re real.”
Love wasn’t something Birch was familiar with, but Sayer was his. He’d always wanted him, and now he had him. He wasn’t going to wait any longer.
“I want to go back to bed.” Birch wasn’t sure if the was anything there now that the sprites were gone but… yeah, no. Their first time wasn’t happening in front of an audience. “With you.” He rubbed his rigid cock against Sayer’s stomach. He didn’t want him to think he wanted a nap.
Sayer stood up. Water sheeted down his body. He was perfect, every sculpted inch of him. Tendrils of his pale hair curled around his shoulders and chest. He tugged Birch to the edge of the pool. They didn’t stop for their clothes or anything else.
“My lord, I was just coming to—”
“What the fuck?” Birch darted behind Sayer.
“Get out, Croll!” roared Sayer.
“I’m sorry, but there is a Darkling loose in the city. We need you.”
Sayer shoved his hair back. “Damn it. Go. I’ll be out in a minute.”
Birch stayed hidden behind Sayer until the door closed. “Who was that?”
“Croll. My best friend and sort of … personal assistant. I’m sorry, I didn’t want to go but there’s a darkling. The guards cannot deal with that without me.”
“What’s a darkling?” Birch watched Sayer rush over to a wardrobe. He began to get dressed. Great. Just exchange souls with a guy, find out he’s a king, get promised that he’d never be alone again … and off Sayer was going to go.
A green shirt landed on his head. “Hurry, Birch, get dressed. A darkling is a fae that has succumbed to the wild forces. The magic has been growing unstable for years. My father refused to believe it and it cost me the lives of both my parents.”
“What can you do?” Birch pulled the shirt on. It landed about mid-thigh. He pulled on the pair of pants Sayer thrust at him next.
“My magic is stronger than any. As the king, I can bind the power of a fae, at least long enough for the guard to control them. I need you to stay behind me at all times, do you understand? If something happens, go with Croll. He’ll protect you.”
Sayer even had soft boots for him. Birch looked like a reject from the Renfair, but at least he had more than a towel now. The fae that invaded Sayer’s room was waiting out in the hall.
“Thank you for waiting, Croll. Lead on, man.” Sayer clapped Croll on the shoulder, walking beside him and discussing the creature that Sayer would need to control. Like the dandy could protect a gnat. The guy looked like a peacock, all froofy and shiny clothing with his hair flowing in a silky fall of lavender strands. He was wearing make-up for Christ’s sake.
Birch wondered if invoking Christ in the land of the fae was some sort of blasphemy. He shrugged. Oh well.
“Think you’re ready for this, human?” Croll asked mockingly.
“Pretty sure I have personal protection from the strongest of them all, so I’m sure I’ll be fine. Don’t worry, if it comes time to run, I’ll make sure and watch for your sparkly ass racing off so I know which way not to go.” Birch seldom took such an instant dislike to anyone, but Croll annoyed the shit out of him without even opening his mouth.
Tension gathered in Sayer. Birch could feel it and see the taut line of his shoulders hunching up. Birch tried to glimpse around the castle, since that’s what it looked like Sayer lived in, as they walked. He got glimpses of small things but not enough to make an accurate mental map. He’d try again later.
Just beyond the black gates was a field of tulips as far as the eye could see. It was beautiful, temperate, and very noisy. At the edge of the field a crowd was trying to hold the darkling. It broke free and the field of tulips they were walking through turned into red sucking mouths trying to bite and tear at him. An irrational desire to hum, Tiptoe Through the Tulips hit him. Bear freaked and ran to Sayer who was chanting.
A shiver ran down Birch’s back when his wings burst out. Sayer’s wings brushed against his face when thy flared out behind Sayer.
“He’s strong.” The creature was tall and thin. His hands had incredibly long fingers that wove patterns in the air. “Don’t look,” Sayer warned him.
The darkling crowed in triumph when a guard began to bleed from a nasty bite from a flower. The flowers began to grow.
“I don’t … have enough power.”
People were going to get hurt. Sayer was scared and Birch could feel it. His voice cracked. “Use me.”
Sayer turned his head. “What?”
“Too much energy, remember? You used to take it as a kid. Do it again.”
Croll shrugged. “It’s worth a shot.”
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