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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. 

Silver and Gold - 6. Chapter 6

Silver gets to know the cool kids clique

The scents of fresh herbs, hot bread and sizzling garlic wrapped around Silver like a comforting blanket as he chopped mushrooms in Feldspar’s kitchen, soothing his lingering nervousness.

He’d been making excuses for weeks for why he couldn’t come over to cook for Feldspar’s roommates. He knew Feldspar had noticed his hesitation to spend time with them and had been both patient and persistent in inviting him over. It wasn’t that he didn’t like Nephrite and Gneiss. It was just that every time he saw Gneiss he couldn’t help but remember the night they’d all slept together. His last words to Gneiss had been to beg for her to let him come, for fuck’s sake. It was all kinds of hot and embarrassing and confusing. He had no idea what to do with himself around her.

Still, he knew how important it was to Feldspar for him to pass the roommate test, and he had run out of plausible excuses. More than anything he wanted win Feldspar’s trust and make him happy. So he’d finally put on his big boy pants and agreed to come cook for them. Now, a few hours into working in Feldspar’s kitchen, the familiar rhythm of cooking had soothed away the worst of his nerves.

A pot of truffle cream sauce was simmering away on the stove, the rich scents of black truffles and thyme filling the air. Silver pulled baked asparagus and halloumi from the oven and slid the pan onto a stretch of empty counter space next to the rhubarb and strawberry tart they’d baked earlier. He nibbled gingerly on a piece of asparagus, sighing with contentment. It was the perfect blend of crisp and charred, pairing impeccably with the seasoned halloumi.

He leaned across the kitchen and held a bite out to Feldspar, whose hands were covered in flour as he cut and shaped fresh gnocchi. Feldspar groaned in appreciation and nodded in approval as he chewed the hot asparagus and cheese.

“So good,” he moaned as he chewed. Silver turned away to transfer the rest of the asparagus and halloumi onto a serving platter, but Feldspar grabbed his apron strings and pulled him backward.

“Come back here,” Feldspar said and Silver grinned at the smile he could hear in his voice. Feldspar wrapped his messy hands around him and kissed up his neck. Silver sighed and leaned into Feldspar, enjoying the flush of warmth his touch brought. He turned to face Feldspar and kissed him deeply. Feldspar’s hard body pressed into his and Silver wrapped his hands around the other faery’s neck, all thoughts of dinner momentarily wiped away. Suddenly, facing his awkwardness around Gneiss didn’t seem so daunting. He’d face a hundred awkward roommates if Feldspar would give him more of this. Silver drew away first to catch his breath, nipping Feldspar’s bottom lip as he went.

“Stop distracting me,” Feldspar said in exaggerated, aggrieved tone. “I still need to finish these.” Silver huffed out a short laugh and rolled his eyes. He peeked over Feldspar’s shoulder and scrutinized his adorably lumpy gnocchi.

“Press a little harder with the fork, like this,” he said as he demonstrated how to roll the little dumplings over the tines of the fork to get their shape right. Feldspar obediently followed his movements. The gnocchi he flipped into the bowl were getting progressively more uniform, to Silver’s satisfaction. He kissed Feldspar’s cheek, slapped his ass, and then turned back to dishing up the asparagus and stirring the truffle cream sauce.

The front door opened and Gneiss strode in, tossing her coat and knife belt on a hook. Silver drew in a quiet breath, consciously quelling the nervous twist in his chest. Of all Feldspar’s friends, her opinion mattered the most. She had been Feldspar’s friend and lover for years, and Silver was all too aware of how much sway she probably still held. Add that to their sexual history and her take-charge personality and she became a walking intimidation machine. Silver squared his shoulders. He was grown-ass adult and Feldspar wanted him there. He needed to ignore the churning in his stomach and get through the evening.

“Smells good,” she said as she grabbed a seat at the kitchen table. She popped a piece of the baked cheese in her mouth and groaned in appreciation. “Tastes even better than it smells. Silver, you shall live here from now on. I demand it.”

Silver shook his head. “You can thank Feldspar for most of the food tonight. I just supervised and coached a bit.” Feldspar grinned sheepishly and shrugged in response to Gneiss’ assessing look.

“Then you are a positive influence,” she said decisively.

“I should hope after months of practice I could put together a decent meal,” Feldspar cut in. Gneiss reached for another piece of halloumi and Feldspar batted her hand away. “Stop that or there won’t be any left for anyone else.”

Gneiss jerked her hand away, her eyes widening for a split second. Silver tensed all over again, unsure whether it was surprise or irritation on the small faery woman’s face. Gneiss had always been the dominant one when it came to her relationship with Feldspar, both inside and outside the bedroom. She didn’t seem like the type to take orders easily, especially from Feldspar. Silver had spent so much time watching Feldspar’s fragile confidence grow over that last few months. He wasn’t about to let anyone tear him down.

Feldspar turned back to the stove to pour his prepared gnocchi into a pot of boiling water, apparently unconcerned with Gneiss’ reaction. Gneiss caught Silver’s eye behind Feldspar’s back. Silver gave her a hard, warning look. He didn’t care who she thought she was to Feldspar. If she did anything to hurt him Silver was prepared to step in. Gneiss held his gaze with an inscrutable expression and then turned to Feldspar.

“Are you saying I eat too much, Fel?” she asked. Her eyes crinkled in an expression just shy of an actual smile. Feldspar didn’t bother to turn around, snorting dismissively. Silver glanced between them and relaxed fractionally.

Nephrite slipped down the ladder that led to the bedrooms above, her feet a bare whisper as she hit the floor. She glided over and joined Gneiss at the table. “It smells lovely in here, Feldspar,” she said, her voice lilting gently. Silver removed the truffle cream sauce from the heat and set it aside. He’d already finished plating up the other courses, including a charcuterie plate for pre-dinner snacking. He placed it in front of the two women, who fell upon it with delight.

Silver turned back to watch Feldspar as he finished off the gnocchi. He was utterly absorbed in his task as he carefully strained off the water and poured the gnocchi into a serving bowl. He tested the sauce and automatically reached for the bowl of salt. Just before adding a pinch his eyes flicked over to Silver for confirmation. Silver nodded encouragingly. Feldspar knew what the sauce needed with or without his help. Feldspar added the salt and tasted the sauce again. He offered the spoon to Silver. Silver closed his mouth around the spoon, wishing he could kiss the sauce from Feldspar’s lips instead.

“It’s perfect,” he pronounced. Feldspar beamed with pride and poured the sauce over the steaming gnocchi.

Nephrite and Gneiss set the table, which barely had room for all four place settings along with all the dishes Feldspar and Silver had made. Just as they were about to eat the front door opened again. The Lord and Lady burst through, the human woman laughing and batting away the faery lord’s tickling hands as she raced through the doorway.

“Mal, stop!” she shrieked with laughter. The four faeries in the tree looked up in surprise. “Hey guys — oh! We didn’t realize you had company. Are we having dinner? It smells amazing in here,” she called across the room. Her voice was breathless with stifled laughter as Mal continued to pursue her with questing fingers. “Quit it,” she laughed, turning back to him. He captured her with a triumphant “ha!” and pulled her flush against him. Silver suddenly felt like an intruder as Mal leaned down and kissed Daniella, long and lingering.

He backed a step into the kitchen where Feldspar stood frozen. His eyes were fixed on the couple as he held the steaming hot dish of gnocchi. Silver didn’t say anything. He just moved to stand next to Feldspar. Feldspar turned to him, his eyes wide in an unreadable expression as he stared at the couple wrapped around each other. Silver wanted to touch Feldspar, to let him know he was still there. He wanted to kiss Feldspar’s cheek and the spot on his neck that made him lose track of reality. He wanted to throw the dish of hot gnocchi at the oblivious couple and scream at them to have some fucking tact. Instead he caught Feldspar’s eye and lifted an eyebrow at him. He had faith that he would understand what he was asking: let me know what you want to do. I’m with you all the way.

Feldspar shrugged and gave him a half smile that seemed to say, well this is awkward, but also kind of funny. Silver smiled back. It was kind of awkward and funny. If Feldspar’s reaction was any indication, he just might be okay. He took the bowl of gnocchi from Feldspar, using it as an excuse to brush the tips of his fingers against Feldspar’s. Feldspar met his eyes again and his smile solidified. Silver mouthed “fuck ‘em,” with wicked glint in his eye. Feldspar snorted as he choked back laughter, tension draining away from his shoulders.

When Mal and Daniella had settled down, they joined the other four faeries. Mal noted the table crammed full of a veritable feast as well as only four place settings. Without so much as a flourish he tapped the table with two fingers. It instantly grew to fit additional place settings.

“I suppose if we arrive uninvited the least we can do is provide the wine. What shall we drink?” he said, looking to Silver.

Silver considered the meal. “Zinfandel? Any red wine would do fine,” he managed. He had assumed the Lord didn’t know who he was and hadn’t expected him to speak to him, much less to ask for his opinion. Mal stuck his hand through an invisible hole in the air and pulled several bottles of wine out. Silver took them and started pouring glasses for the others.

Mal was the first to sit, taking the head of the table. Daniella sat close to him on his right. Silver hung back as a wave of uncertainty hit him. Gneiss slid into the seat on Mal’s left, relieving him from contemplating having to sit so close to the Lord of the Wood. Nephrite took the seat next to her, leaving only the places at the foot of the table and next to Daniella. Feldspar appeared next to Silver and took his hand. Silver squeezed it and let Feldspar guide him to the place next to Daniella.

The faeries dug in with gusto, passing the giant mixed salad and fresh bread around as Mal took charge of serving the hot dishes. Silver sat frozen as the others filled their plates. He’d never dined at the same table as the Lord and Lady. He had no idea what the protocol was. Feldspar gave him no cues. He was piling his plate high and accepting compliments on the food from the others as they served themselves. It dawned on Silver that maybe the Lord and Lady really were just “Mal and Daniella” at this table.

“So,” Daniella said, turning to him. “What may I call you?” Silver turned to her, surprised that she was making an effort at conversation with him.

“Oh, um, Silver is fine.”

Daniella glanced at Feldspar and then back to him. “Isn’t that like… kind of intimate?”

He laughed. He knew he was considered weird among the faeries, most of whom only let those closest to them use their names. “You mean aren’t I a total slut for letting people use my name when they don’t even know me?”

Daniella snorted out a surprised laugh. “Your words, not mine.”

“I’m just yanking your chain. I spend so much time with humans that it doesn’t bother me, especially not from a human.” He glanced surreptitiously at Feldspar, who didn’t seem to be listening in. It was ironic, really. Humans absolutely would have thought Feldspar was a total slut for the number and variety of lovers he’d had, while faeries didn’t bat an eye at his sexual history. Silver, on the other hand, was kind of… risqué for how many people freely used his name.

Feldspar still wasn’t using his name, and he hadn’t used Feldspar’s either. He had promised Feldspar they didn’t need to move too fast, and he’d meant it. He hoped Feldspar wanted to get to that point as much as he did. He swallowed a lump in his throat and glanced at Feldspar again. The last thing he wanted was for Feldspar to take his attempt at taking their relationship slow for a lack of interest.

Daniella opened her mouth to respond, but before she could speak her eyes went half-lidded and a deep blush bloomed over her cheeks. Silver watched, confused for a moment. Then he noticed the feline look of amusement on the Lord’s face. Daniella closed her eyes and shivered. The Lord leaned slightly forward, drinking in the look of dazed arousal on her face. Whatever he was doing to her under the table, it was clearly very good.

Silver cleared his throat and made a show of ignoring her while eating. When she had collected herself he caught her giving her lover a venomous look. Mal lifted an eyebrow sternly, daring her to protest more. She glared at him until his face softened and kissed her forehead affectionately. She gave herself a little shake and checked her clothing, as if needing to ensure she was put back together.

“I’m so sorry,” she said to Silver, her cheeks glowing. Silver couldn’t help but find her embarrassment amusing. Humans could be so very delicate about sex. “My boyfriend thinks he’s being funny but really he’s just kind of a dick sometimes.”

Silver choked on his wine, caught between a guffaw and a gasp at her audacity. He shifted uneasily away from her, not wanting to be collateral damage if magic started flying around. Silver darted a glance to the Lord. He was watching them intently, that look of amusement still on his face. It reminded Silver uncomfortably of a lion sizing up its dinner.

“What an interesting way with words you have, Daniella,” he purred. Silver’s eyes flicked to Daniella, eyes wide at the way she played with him. “Was it not my ‘dick’ you screamed you love earlier today?”

Daniella blushed and smiled. “Yes, my Lord.”

Silver didn’t miss the way the Lord’s vibrant green eyes darkened and narrowed in pleasure. His title sounded deviant in her mouth. The way she ducked to look at him through her lashes made it clear she knew what she was doing. These two… they were relentlessly in love and very public about it. Silver glanced at Feldspar and was relieved to find him absorbed in a conversation with Nephrite.

He cleared his throat awkwardly and shifted his gaze back to his plate. Gneiss glanced over and frowned, instantly understanding what was happening. “Mal, stop playing this instant,” she snapped. Silver’s head jerked up, wide-eyed. He watched her for a beat too long, stunned that she had just reprimanded the Lord on his behalf.

The Lord blinked and looked to Gneiss, amused and annoyed at the same time. “Is this not a fine night for playing games, Gneiss? I assure you that Dani deserves it.”

Gneiss ignored the edge in his voice. “Later,” she said sharply. There was no mistaking the finality in that single word. She tilted her head meaningfully in Silver’s direction, and to his shock the Lord winced with chagrin. He nodded once to Gneiss and deliberately turned away from his lover, leaving her to continue her conversation with Silver. Silver stared at Gneiss, amazed. He would have expected her to take pleasure from Mal’s exhibitionism. Instead she apparently worried that he was uncomfortable enough to stick her neck out for him.

“Ugh, he’s incorrigible,” Daniella said to Silver with a little laugh. If he hadn’t known how much it hurt Feldspar to see them carrying on, Silver would have thought they were kind of cute. Kinky and a bit showy, but cute. They clearly loved each other to pieces, which made it somehow both better and worse. He wondered how much of their apparent obliviousness was because they genuinely had no idea they bothered Feldspar.

“So anyway,” she said. “It’s so nice to finally meet you. Fel talks about you all the time. He says you spend a lot of time outside the Wood?”

Silver didn’t miss the hopeful tone of her question. “Yeah, I actually just got back from Europe. I spend like half the year traveling. Don’t get me wrong, I love it here too, but I’ve got itchy feet.”

“That’s so cool. Where were you in Europe?”

Silver tilted his head up as he retraced his steps. “Paris, Italy, Hungary, Portugal, Turkey, Czech Republic, and Croatia. I wasn’t planning to go for so long but, uh, I guess you can tell I got a little carried away. It’s good to be home too though.”

“Wow, what an adventure! Do you always go to Europe when you travel?”

“Oh, no, definitely not. I go wherever I feel like eating. I was feeling fancy, and my bro works at Le Cordon Bleu, so that’s why I ended up in Paris. And then he hooked me up with some of his restaurant buddies in those other cities, and then I just kept going from contact to contact. I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but every chef I met had at least one restaurant or friend in another city that was a must-see. So…. I just went until I ran out of steam.”

Daniella laughed. “I can’t say I’ve ever had that happen to me. Somehow I’ve never picked up travel buddies that just happen to be Michelin-starred European chefs. But I think I know what you mean, in the most low-rent way possible. It’s like when you pop open those Pringles and think, ‘I’m just gonna have one,’ and before you know it you’ve eaten the whole can.”

Silver laughed. “Totally. Once you pop, you can’t stop. But like, with third-class train tickets and crashing on random couches. Believe me, it wasn’t that glamorous.”

Daniella’s face broke into a gigantic smile. “Oh my god, you know things! You know the Pringles jingle!”

He laughed and shrugged. “Well, yeah. I spend like half the year with humans.”

“I thought your friends in Europe were more faeries! These people don’t know anything.” She gestured at the faeries around the table, earning a smirk from Mal at her remark.

“Okay, okay. Let me get some hot takes. Games of Thrones?”

“Season eight,” Silver replied, miming vomiting while rolling his eyes. Daniella grinned and continued.

“Drag Race?”

“Not my thing, but I hear it’s good. I’m always down for a good drag show but I usually go in person.”

“What does MCU mean to you?”

“Is that those superhero movies? I don’t have time for all that.”

Daniella was vibrating with happy energy. “Agreed! Ain’t nobody got time for like thirty interconnected movies. This is perfect! Finally someone I can talk to about normal stuff.”

Silver chuckled, though inside he also had to feel a bit bad for her. She’d left her whole world behind for love. She didn’t seem to regret it, but it had to be lonely. “Any time you want to talk about normal stuff, I’m your guy. I’m just real normal, normal dude,” he said, enjoying the chuckle he got in return.

Daniella beamed and glanced at Mal. He seemed to sense her look and turned to her, an eyebrow lifted. “Did you know Silver knows people all over? He’d be the perfect guide for Europe if I take a research trip there,” she asked. “You’ll drop me off sometime, right?”

Mal frowned. “You wish me to transport you to another country to gallivant about with Feldspar’s lover?” Silver warmed at the suggestive description of him. They hadn’t actually…. done that yet. Not that Feldspar’s friends needed to know that. He could just imagine their confusion at the idea of dating without having sex. Faeries didn’t really do that.

“Unless you think your transportation magic is too weak to get me wherever I want to go,” Daniella said. Mal’s eyes darkened and his smile grew sharp.

“By all means, love,” he said, kissing her temple. “I’m happy to transport you wherever you want to go. I did promise you that I would always bring you to the human realm whenever you want, did I not?” Daniella pecked Mal’s cheek and turned back to Silver. Just as she was about to say something Mal cut in, “As long as you do not take her for six months.” He gave Silver a hard look and the message was clear. Daniella was his, and Silver would be a dead man if anything happened to her on his watch.

Daniella rolled her eyes and smacked his shoulder. “Mal! Don’t be like that,” she scolded. “I lived on my own and traveled just fine way before you ever knew me.”

Daniella began grilling him about the places he’d traveled. She was voracious for information on everything from the climate and geography to the history and his personal contacts among faery folk and humans alike. He found himself liking the woman, despite everything. She was nerdy and unpretentious, just as easily flitting from travel plans to trashy TV to her latest research into how the faeries managed the Wood’s delicate ecosystem. It turned out that she had also been hoping to make contacts with European faeries to learn more of how they’d managed relations with human leaders. Though she was short on details, he got the feeling she was trying to convince Mal to make contact with the American government. Talking to her was so easy that all the love triangle awkwardness he had braced for melted away, and he found himself enjoying making a new friend.

Midway through dinner Silver looked over and found Feldspar still deep in conversation with Nephrite. He laughed softly, and Silver’s breath caught at the joy lighting up the other man’s face. He was so beautiful when he was happy, like he had a well of golden sunshine inside him bursting to get out. Silver slid his hand into Feldspar’s under the table, intertwining their fingers. Feldspar glanced at him, his face incandescent with happiness. Silver’s smile reflected that joy. Feldspar leaned over and pecked Silver’s cheek and turned back to his conversation, leaving Silver feeling lovestruck because he’d just kissed him in front of his friends like it was nothing.

Silver turned back toward Daniella to continue their conversation. He started to pull his hand back and Feldspar squeezed his hand, refusing to relinquish it. Daniella’s expression was soft, her eyes warm.

“I’m so glad,” she said quietly, her voice filled with feeling. She didn’t finish her thought, but Silver knew what she meant. It struck him how deeply Feldspar was loved in this place and by these people. He might not always have felt that love and his friends weren’t the best at expressing themselves. But as Silver looked around the table it was so evident that Feldspar’s friends adored him and wanted him to be happy. Even Daniella. Maybe especially Daniella.

At the end of the night Daniella insisted on staying to wash up. As soon as she was elbow-deep in dishes Mal magically snapped everything clean, laughing at the look of irritation and gratitude on his lover’s face. She scolded him — what for wasn’t totally clear — and the others looked on in amusement at their playful power struggle. Even Feldspar seemed relaxed as he leaned lightly into Silver’s shoulder. Mal and Daniella left shortly afterward, Mal’s handsyness getting progressively more deliberate and obvious as they made their goodbyes.

With the kitchen and dining table clean, Gneiss and Nephrite started making motions toward heading to bed. Silver suddenly felt awkward without an excuse to stay. “Well, I guess I should be going,” he said, voice falsely bright. Feldspar helped him gather his kitchen tools, carefully checking to make sure nothing was left behind.

He wished Feldspar would invite him to stay instead. Feldspar kept finding reasons to touch him: a hand against his side to guide him, a brush against his backside as he passed, a love tap on his stomach to punctuate a joke. He wanted more. He could be patient, take things at Feldspar’s pace. At the pace, he reminded himself, that would also protect his own heart.

It had been a perfect night, as good an introduction to Feldspar’s chosen family as he could have hoped for. He lingered in the doorframe as Feldspar drew him in for a kiss, completely uncaring that Gneiss and Nephrite were still chatting in the living room. Feldspar’s tongue caressed his softly and Silver leaned deeper into him. He longed to pull Feldspar into him, to grind against him and hold every hard inch of his body close. Feldspar pulled away breathing heavily for moment, and then kissed him again, unable to resist the magnetic pull of Silver’s soft lips.

Eventually Silver pulled himself away, afraid he’d end up with a mess in his pants if he didn’t stop. They kissed softly once, twice, and then parted reluctantly. Silver opened his mouth, unsure what he wanted to say. He wanted Feldspar badly, and he wanted Feldspar to be ready for the next move just as badly. He had no idea how to put his maelstrom of desires and fears into words. So instead of saying anything, he kissed Feldspar lightly one last time, and turned to go home, letting the afterglow of Feldspar’s kiss soothe the ache of want in his heart.

Comments and reactions keep me motivated, so thanks for reading and letting me know what you think!

Copyright © 2021 imogene_arant; 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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Meeting the friend group, cooking for them, and Silver becoming friends with Daniella seems like a significant step forward. The idea of using ones real name as being intimate is interesting, especially with Silver understanding waiting to do so with Feldspar is important. I love the enticing dance Feldspar and Silver have going on right now. Taking it slow is building trust and a bond. PS: the Pringle’s reference made me smile. 

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I was totally prepared to hate Daniella, but instead I ended up liking her :P Silver and Feldspar are growing as a couple.  It was nice to see how well Silver was accepted and see him relax and become more comfortable around Feldspar's friends.  And now I want Pringles.  :P  And more of this story :gikkle:  

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