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    Celian
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Ink and Flowers - 7. Emmett

A fine drizzle hung in the air like a thin veil. I looked outside and would have loved to go out too, running wild and free, but I couldn't at the moment. Instead, I sat at the counter while Tony inked a tattoo, researching for an ink for Travis' tattoo.

My phone was buzzing - it was doing so almost non-stop that early afternoon. I stood firm and ignored it, but then looked up when the door opened.

Finley entered, a basket of flowers under his arm, and pulled a very strange face.

"Are you all right?"

"I hate rain." he grumbled sullenly and scrunched up his nose, stroking a bare arm on whose fine hairs even finer droplets of water clung.

I laughed out. "You call that rain?" The look I got was incredibly sinister.

"It's water falling from the sky. It's commonly called rain." he enlightened me with underlying indignation, which gave him something of a wet cat.

Laughing again, I came around the counter and took the flower basket from him. "Whatever you say." I couldn't help but grin at him, and his sombre expression gave way to something that ranked somewhere between shy and ashamed.

"About Saturday..." he then began cautiously.

"Hmm?" I dimmed my grin down to a smile.

"Shall I bring anything?"

Surprised, I raised a brow. "You mean like a hospitality gift?" Among some folks, such a thing was part of basic politeness, but among humans, the custom was now widely considered old-fashioned.

"I don't know. Something." Finley's broad shoulders twitched suggestively.

My shrug, on the other hand, was more pronounced. "Jake's already happy you're even willing to talk to Noah. I'd say just bring an appetite for pizza. And a good mood." The last point was bold and Finley promptly slumped his shoulders.

"I'll try." His smile was rather forced and unmistakably sad. Then he nodded curtly. "See ya."

"See you later.", I echoed, unable to stop my own smile from slipping. Finley's sadness hit me every time, making my fingers twitch with the inner urge to touch him, to give him some peace through it and maybe get a genuine smile in return. But it wouldn't help much. My magic wasn't meant for soul pain.

I had already taken a breath for a sigh when a familiar figure pushed past Finley practically in the doorway and I almost choked from surprise.

"Hey, hey!"

"Dex... you're back!"

Dexter, Dom's little brother and just like him an alpha of his herd, cop at Vice and visually a sin himself, sauntered in, a crooked grin on his slim face.

Going hot and cold at the same time, my own grin had to look pretty silly. I wasn't quite sure how to react. We'd dated a few times but hadn't gotten beyond cuddling and kissing before he'd been away for weeks on an explosive case. Where did we stand now?

For Dex, that didn't seem to be the hardest of questions. Stopping directly in front of me, he stroked my cheek with his fingertips; the next time he blinked, his eyes didn't fully open. "Hey, Honey..." Before I could say anything, he kissed me gently.

There I had my answer. We picked up where we'd left off.

While I returned the kiss and wrapped my arms around Dex's neck, I remembered Finley's question about why Dom and I didn't get along well. This was more or less the solving of it. Since Dex and I had first met almost five years ago, he had expressed interest and Dom didn't like it at all.

For the moment, I didn't care in the least.

After that long soft kiss which left a fine tingle on my skin, I leaned back a little. "Your case is closed?"

Dex nodded, his smile and eyes looking exhausted. He'd never really told me what it was about, but it probably had to do with kidnapped prey-shifters. "The task force will be officially disbanded in the next few days, and then I'll be back on the job as normal."

"Sounds good," I said with a cautious smile. How soon was I allowed to ask for a date?

By all the gods, that mental question alone made me seem as desperate as many friends said I was. I'm not desperate. But after a few one-night stands, I've come to realise that, for one thing, my whole being isn't comfortable with it and, for another, it's not exactly satisfying, either sexually or on a deeper level. I like to flirt, openly, a lot, but I want- I need- more than sex.

Dex's hands squeezed my hips gently, his expression resigned. "This weekend, my family has already made demands, but the one after that... do you want to get cozy?" He sounded hopeful, and probably he really needed that break after the last few turbulent weeks, even if my magic didn't sense anything about him that needed healing.

"I like cozy.", I replied, rubbing my nose against his temple- I was taller than him, so it worked out that way- before whispering in his ear, "We could cook together... dessert included..." A first expectant tingle filled my stomach- and it had nothing to do with food.

A deep chuckle came from Dex in response. "Sounds like a good idea..." After a kiss on the corner of my mouth, however, he broke away from me. "Okay, Honey, we'll work out the details later. I have a few things to do before I can head out to the herd house."

I nodded. "Sure."

After a curt nod on his part, he left. Remaining was a faint smell of animal and the tingle in my belly.

 

~

 

"Don't you have a driving licence?"

Finley's question took me quite by surprise, so I blinked over at him, puzzled. "Yes I do, why?"

He didn't return the look, but continued to face the road. "Just curious. You have a car in your driveway, but you never seem to use it."

I still found the question strange. He had asked me if he should take me to Jake's, not the other way around. "We just don't need it that often. And I'm admittedly reluctant to drive myself."

He nodded thoughtfully. Presumably the question had simply been an attempt at conversation because we had been silent so far.

"Do you like to drive?", I returned the question, getting only a shrug at first.

"Within cities, not really," he finally said slowly. "But it's part of it. I used to be... responsible for that sort of thing. In a way."

"It was dumped on you."

"Yes and no." A quick glance at me, a half shrug.

I suppressed a sigh. Talking to Finley wasn't so easy sometimes.

 

In fact, we then fell silent again until we climbed the steps of the apartment building.

"What if Noah has a problem with me?"

Casting a quick glance including a reassuring smile over my shoulder, I replied, "We'll get him calmed down." I would get him calmed down. Dealing with ordinary humans wasn't that hard. It would put my inner magic in a new light for the others, but I would have to live with that- still, I hoped it didn't come to that.

"Jake said it was the first time Noah would be out at all," Finley continued, a little worried.

"That's true," I nodded, "but Noah's not the type to go out much. He wasn't before either."

To this Finley gave a noncommittal grumble and half a landing up the stairs we were there.

The door was just ajar and laughter flooded the hallway as I opened it. "Hey..."

Someone bawled in reply.

Jake's flat was quite small and rather oddly cut, because as soon as you entered, you stood between the bathroom door to the right and the kitchenette to the left. Noah was standing in the latter, sipping a glass of water.

I nodded at him, he nodded back- we hadn't met often so far.

"Emmy!" Mike exclaimed in a way that made him sound like he was tipsy.

"Mikey!", I called back in an exaggeratedly sweet way- knowing full well that he hated that nickname as much as I hated Emmy.

In the next instant, Finley slid in front of me in a startlingly swift movement and intercepted Mike, who came shooting around the only out-of-sight corner.

"Yo, man..." it came from Mike in equal measure of surprise and uncertainty while I stared perplexedly at Finley's backside.

Then Ben and Mo started laughing.

"Sorry," Finley mumbled meekly, "reflexes."

Now Jake and Mike were chuckling too and I at least wrestled a smile from myself as Finley turned to me, a little embarrassed. By no means did he look like it, and he didn't normally move like this, but he was fast. And probably pretty strong.

A little belatedly, fine goosebumps crept along my body. Fast, strong, dangerous.

"The reserve commission would be proud," Noah now let himself be heard. "How long have you been out?"

I looked over at him, but his face gave nothing away, his right hand resting on the kitchen counter as if seeking support.

"Two years." Finley replied, tilting his head oddly. And then, with a typically slow movement, he saluted, which seemed almost comical. "I thank you and all the SEALs for your support."

Noah returned the salute. "Noah Westmoore, unfortunately no longer at your service."

"Finley Flint, MORRTIMER reservist."

"A MORRTIMER..." Ben breathed, impressed, and I gulped.

Magical Operations and Rapid Responses Teams. The true elite of the magical world.

Noah raised a brow, playing it cool. "What unit?"

Immediately a shadow fell over Finley's face. "My unit is dead." With that, a silence descended on the small flat which almost seemed magic-induced in its intensity.

But there it was again, the urgent compassion within me. The desire to do something to alleviate this deep grief. I knew I couldn't, and instead wrapped my arms around myself- which drew Finley's gaze away from Noah and towards me.

"Maybe," Jake started then, clearing his throat, "maybe we shouldn't discuss something like this on an empty stomach...?"

"Are you sure you won't throw up the poor pizza afterwards?" Noah asked back pragmatically and I shuddered.

"I wasn't planning on discussing any details with civilians," Finley commented quietly, but his gaze slid back to Noah.

The ex-SEAL nodded, his lips twisting into what could have been a grim smile.

Mo grunted. "I'm with Jake on that. Pizza first, then the rest."

Mike and Ben both shrugged, I nodded at Jake.

So Jake proceeded to write down our requests on a piece of paper, while Finley and I actually took off our jackets and shoes only now.

Noah seemed surprisingly relaxed to me, but that was certainly misleading, because a strange feeling was spreading through me. It wasn't just Noah, though, because although Finley actually managed something like a grin while talking to Ben, his posture was tense. Whatever he was, would my magic be enough to calm him down when things got tough?

Copyright © 2024 Celian; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Chapter Comments

Wow, Emmett has a boyfriend- fuck buddy, Dex,  who just returned from a long work assignment. Emmett wants more. Right now he does not seeing it happen.

Finley and Emmett arrived at Jakes for pizza and to meet his brother, Noah. It is rough going to far. Emmett wants to calm other and worries he might not be strong enough. It seems Emmett has the ability to calm others.

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27 minutes ago, akascrubber said:

Wow, Emmett has a boyfriend- fuck buddy, Dex,  who just returned from a long work assignment. Emmett wants more. Right now he does not seeing it happen.

Finley and Emmett arrived at Jakes for pizza and to meet his brother, Noah. It is rough going to far. Emmett wants to calm other and worries he might not be strong enough. It seems Emmett has the ability to calm others.

Emmett and Dex were dating, before Dex got called away. But yes, Emmett would like to deepen the dating into a real relationship.

Emmett has healing abilities, which he uses for the healing potions they give with the tattoos in the parlor, and a calming ability :)

Thank you!

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Well, Emmett seems to be more than a little tied up with Dex, and that would clearly explain why Dom is a little cold.  That said, this caught be off guard, not in a bad way, just a surprise.  

Finley has the reflexes and they have stayed sharp.  I do hope that he and Noah are able to maybe help each other, but not sure I am going to hold my breath for it to happen.

I think we are going to need to stock up on tissues for the next chapter or two.  

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4 hours ago, centexhairysub said:

Well, Emmett seems to be more than a little tied up with Dex, and that would clearly explain why Dom is a little cold.  That said, this caught be off guard, not in a bad way, just a surprise.  

Finley has the reflexes and they have stayed sharp.  I do hope that he and Noah are able to maybe help each other, but not sure I am going to hold my breath for it to happen.

I think we are going to need to stock up on tissues for the next chapter or two.  

You're again absolutely right :)

Although I do hope next to a tear I can get a smile out of you from the next chapter.

Thank you!

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