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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 - 9. Emmett

My head was buzzing. Noah's spiteful radiation, Finley's painful narration... My whole being felt terrible. And on top of that, I was confused.

Finley could unblinkingly say "some of us don't need a weapon" and thus rev up my senses of danger to the max, and in the next moment trigger a deep instinct of comfort in me when he spoke with a sad face of being rewarded for his cowardice with a medal as well.

He was dangerous, I knew that, objectively. But, for example, right now, in the car on the way home, I felt incredibly safe with him. He was dangerous, but not to me.

At least I hoped so.

At a red light, a soft sigh came from him. "They'll never let Noah anywhere near a gun again," he muttered, and I wasn't sure if he was trying to start a conversation with that or if he wasn't saying it more to himself.

"He seemed a little... out of sorts," I replied anyway, and Finley nodded thoughtfully.

"He's got a long way to go."

"And you?" Probably my question was a little provocative, but I felt I had to ask it.

Finley didn't answer until after a pause, and when he spoke, his voice was a little deeper, almost a little raspy. "I know I'm running away. That I don't talk to my assigned therapist often enough. That I'm neglecting myself." He took a breath, but then didn't speak further.

"Insight is the first step to improvement," I muttered, eliciting a dry snort from him. I wanted him to feel better, to smile. Wanted to see his charisma when he believed in himself.

His tongue twitched over his lips, open as always. At moments like now, it seemed like a nervous gesture.

"Do you think St. Beatrice could be different?", I then wanted to know. "A new beginning?"

His face became expressionless, then hard. Then he shrugged, but it seemed more like he was merely avoiding words.

And then we were silent until he dropped me off at home.

 

~

 

Tony noticed my thoughtfulness, and although he had expressed some curiosity in advance about how the meeting would go, he didn't ask any questions.

As for me, I shied away from asking Jake about Noah.

However, the matter nagged at me and I decided on Monday to tell Tony about it after work. In my mind, I was already trying to put my impressions into words when Tony brought a customer to the front for her follow-up conversation and I, in turn, went to the back to clean up there for the next customer.

I heard the voices without registering individual words, heard the little bell above the door ring- and a second time shortly thereafter. Suspecting the customer might have forgotten something, I let my eyes wander, but that's when Tony said:

"Evening, Finley. What's up?"

"Hey, Tony..." Finley's quiet reply barely reached me. "Can I ask you something?"

"Sure, always out with it." Tony sounded a little surprised.

"Well, I... would need some advice." And Finley sounded rather insecure.

"Regarding what?"

"Um, well... let's say- hypothetically- that I'm a stone troll, and I'm having some issues as far as my abilities are concerned, so..."

This was very obviously completely made up out of thin air, and with an effort I stifled a derisive snort.

"Who do you turn to in moments like this?", Finley finished his hesitant question and actually seemed to catch Tony off guard with it, because he first gave a thoughtful hiss.

"Well. Depends, I'd say. When it comes to my abilities in a professional sense, I consult the elders in the coven first. A matter of experience and respect," Tony then said.

"It's more of a, um, very personal problem.", Finley mumbled meekly and so quietly that I had to strain my ears to understand him. Would he talk to Tony, too, I wondered, if he knew I was listening?

"For personal, private problems related to what you are, your family should be your first point of contact," Tony replied, surprising me with his warm, almost compassionate tone. "And if you don't get along with your father-"

"No."

"-and your mother might not be the best choice" -a clearing of the throat emphasized the meaning behind the words- "then an uncle. Or do you have older brothers?"

"Well, of brothers there is no shortage..." This time Finley's answer was mostly a sigh.

Then there was a long moment of silence in the counter area and I barely dared to breathe.

"Emmett and I could both write books about what it's like to basically have no one to talk to. Whether it's because of abilities or private attitudes. But if it's ostensibly about what you are..."

"I guess I'll call one of my brothers. Thanks Tony." Now Finley sounded as if a sudden realization had hit him.

"Anytime."

Shortly thereafter, the bell rang again and the door fell shut. A moment later Tony leaned into the doorway and looked at me thoughtfully.

"I don't think we need to discuss the fact that this man is most definitely not a stone troll, not even half, but then what is he?"

I offered a shrug. "Something that doesn't need a weapon to fight."

Tony pressed his lips together for a moment. "I was thinking of a shapeshifter. A bear, maybe, that lacks animal form."

I swallowed my first protest- namely that Finley lacked the typical animal scent- at Tony's second sentence. Still, I shook my head. "I don't think they'd let someone like that join the MORRTIMERs; they'd put him in some elite unit of the regular human army."

"Do you have a better suggestion?"

I thought of how ponderous Finley's normal movements seemed and how quickly he had suddenly moved on Saturday. Thought of the conflicting sensations he evoked in me. Of his strange reaction when I had inquired whether he would stay in town. In fact, a thought had occurred to me during a jog yesterday. "Half Fey maybe-"

"Didn't you accuse me I should be able to detect Fey magic?", Tony interrupted me directly, in a sour tone, and I grinned wryly.

"True." Then, however, my grin immediately went out again. "But maybe one half is Fey and the other half isn't one hundred percent human. Maybe there's a good dash of orc in the mix."

"Now you're getting adventurous." Tony rolled his eyes.

"And there's a Fey castle north of St. Beatrice which belongs to a Fey prince of the Moon Court who was removed from the line of succession for his adventures, among other things," I objected.

"The implied family relationships..." Tony let the sentence linger open-ended, then shrugged. "Adventurous, nonetheless."

"They're not all perfectly bred mixed bloods like we are," I scoffed bitterly, and Tony sighed deeply. I flicked a green spark of magic in his direction, which he caught, formed into a flower, and then let fade away.

Again he sighed deeply. "Would you rather be a half-fey quarter-orc?"

After all I'd been through so far, the question wasn't hard to answer. "Often enough: yes."

Now there was a certain sadness settling over Tony's face, aging him by years. He nodded mutely and turned away.

I was powerful- in my own way- and thus precious, but equally vulnerable. Tony's wife had been like me, and it had cost her her life at a young age. One of the reasons Tony was looking out for me now. One of the reasons I didn't use my magic, even though I could have made good money with it.

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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Seraph28

Posted (edited)

I swear to God... you are going to make me insane.. hihi. The day you just tell us what these two are directly will be when my mind rests😂🤣.

Thanks for the update as usual... waiting anxiously for the next offering. 

Edited by Seraph28
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1 hour ago, Seraph28 said:

I swear to God... you are going to make me insane.. hihi. The day you just tell us what these two are directly will be when my mind rests😂🤣.

Thanks for the update as usual... waiting anxiously for the next offering. 

Weeeeeell... as reader you know already what Finley is ;)

I was able to update so fast because I have/had some chapters pre-written. But when the storage is empty, you'll have to wait a bit longer, I'm afraid.

Thank you!

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Finley's time with Emmett may have provoked him into wanting some more insights on his unsettled condition. Talking to Tony with Emmett overhearing, Finley now will talk to one of his brothers for advce. Emmett and Tony discussed who and what Finley is and decided he maybe a mxture of Fey and Orc and other parts. Emmett still wants to calm and better relate with Finley. I hope they will find things to do together and be able to better know each other..

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Well, we keep getting hints of what Emmett is fully but then they disappear like whiffs of fog in the sunlight.

Noah is bitter, but only he can take that next step.  Yes, keep offering the help, but he has to decide to take it.

Finley wasn't a coward; he was smart enough to know that something was wrong and tried to analyze it without rushing in.  And he was right.

Maybe a little primer on Finley's family, sounds like some complicated relationships there.  

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2 minutes ago, centexhairysub said:

Well, we keep getting hints of what Emmett is fully but then they disappear like whiffs of fog in the sunlight.

Noah is bitter, but only he can take that next step.  Yes, keep offering the help, but he has to decide to take it.

Finley wasn't a coward; he was smart enough to know that something was wrong and tried to analyze it without rushing in.  And he was right.

Maybe a little primer on Finley's family, sounds like some complicated relationships there.  

And it will stay at hints, till Finley is to learn the "truth" :P

Noah and Finley show different ways of coping with their trauma, which are also very different. Finley's "wounds" are scabbed over, while Noah is still wearing a band aid. Maybe he takes it off soon, maybe not. Plus, those two have different personalities and goals. Noah was a SEAL with all his heart, Finley was forced into service by his parents and family expectations.

We will hear more about Finley's family and dragons next chapter :) and yes, it's complicated.

Thank you!

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Well this has been a wonderful roller-coaster of a woven tale. I'm definitely wondering how long before the deer and the dragon confront each other. I'll try to keep my nails in tact while waiting for the next chapter. Going back and forth between the points of view is seriously well done. They way you have it going I feel like I'm one step ahead of the characters, but two steps behind at the same time. I totally gotta keep up with this story now that I found it ❤️❤️❤️

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7 minutes ago, RainbowPhoenixWI said:

Well this has been a wonderful roller-coaster of a woven tale. I'm definitely wondering how long before the deer and the dragon confront each other. I'll try to keep my nails in tact while waiting for the next chapter. Going back and forth between the points of view is seriously well done. They way you have it going I feel like I'm one step ahead of the characters, but two steps behind at the same time. I totally gotta keep up with this story now that I found it ❤️❤️❤️

Thank you so much ❤️ 😘 

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