The Loneliest Traid

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  • Published: 2 Apr 2017
  • Updated: 13 May 2017
  • Status: Complete
Love and death and war and Gods and blood and magic and dancing and rest and revenge and kings and fate.
Don't worry, within these three stories you'll know yourself,
And I will put you back together again.

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14. Deserting Twice Keeps You Still - Part 2

 “I love it here,” Gomez said when they were alone.

    “Hm?” Chene grunted, his eyes still closed.

    “I said that I love it here,” he sighed, pulling off his jacket, “I would love a home like this in the woods.  I’ve never liked traveling all that much,”

    “My feet don’t stay rooted.”

    “I can imagine.  ‘Soldiers find homes in moving stones, wars move like roaming lones, and at the end of the day, the sons stay away, and they stay still for once as resting bones.’”

    He thought for a minute, “That’s a quaint saying.”

    “It is, I first heard it in these very woods.  They don’t believe in wars around here,”

    “But their leader does?”

    Gomez shrugged, “The world is a strange place.”

    He mumbled something again and stretched his neck, moving it further into the cushions.  He still felt the sting of hail against his shoulders, and the fire seemed to only grow brighter and hotter as the sun retreated down the leaf-clad path.

    Gomez shifted, “Is it not sweltering in here?”

    “I think is’nice…”

    But just as Gomez opened his mouth again, the fire exploded, sparks and embers hitting the carpet, the fringes burning through to the floor below.  The flames whirled into the air of the living room, both men shielding their eyes from the unnatural white flames that danced between the two couches for a moment before settling on Gomez.

Chene dropped his hand, leaning up and grabbing for a knife before realising that although it seemed like a ghost, this was a fire, and there was little he could do as Gomez was engulfed by the roaring flames.

“You bratty little thing,” he squealed, “Get off me, off!”

    The fire died as quickly as it began, turning to little more than a dim glow.  Gomez caught his breath, patting down little flames on the blanket.

    On his shoulder, just bigger than a hare and as red as a poppy, sat a reptile the clicked and spat small flickering light from its hooked beak-like mouth.

    “A dragon?”

    “Little Noom,” he stroked under her chin, and the creature buckled its chest into Gomez’s touch, purring like a broken machine, “She was the one who sent for the carriage for us.”

    “A fire dragon?”

    Gomez looked at him, his eyes hooded, exhausted and creased from an evening laughing in the warmth of an open stove, “My baby, really.  Could you do me a favour, do you think?”

    “If you can control a dragon you can control me.  What is it?”

    “You’re jinn, would you be able to fix up the carpet?  And maybe a few burn holes in this duvet if it would be no trouble.”

    “Oh, sure.  Um, yes,” Chene clicked a few times, his hands tremoring as water began to shoot from under his nails.  It flooded the floor.  Gomez lifted Noom away from it and pulled his legs over the arm of the chair.

    Chene’s body nearly gave out when he stood, but he forced it to loosen as he walked to the opposite couch and took up the blanket, letting the water flow from the stitching to the hem.  Noom spat small fires at him for drenching her bed, and in exchange Chene flicked a drop onto the dragon’s head, a little puff of steam rising to the ceiling and the dragon running trails around Gomez shoulders, and up to the top of his head.

    Gomez threw his head back and laughed, but Chene went to swap their damp covers for his, just for good measure.

As he turned back, something caught his eye, causing him to lean forward again.  For a moment, Gomez seemed taken aback.

    “What is it?” he asked.

    Chene shook his head, “Nothing, I thought I saw something move.”

    Gomez, without hesitation, grabbed Chene’s wrist and brought their faces perhaps an inch too close.

    “What are you-”

    But then Chene saw it again, the slight movement on Gomez’s cheeks.

    “Aren’t they lovely?” he asked.

    The tattooed sparrows circled his freckles, the edge of the dozing sun reflecting off of the gold ink.  They migrated across his nose, over his eyebrows and back home.  The birds called to each other, and danced under his skin, following the patterns of wind that did not blow in their world.  When the sun finally went down, Chene could see in the dark of the moonlight that the sparrows had stilled in their rightful places.

    “Wow,” he breathed.

    “Do you like it?”

    “It’s amazing,” Chene ran his thumb along the bird's wings and forked tails, “I didn’t know that they did that.”

    “They all do, all elven soldiers have some marking that shift in the rising and setting sun.”

    “I never knew that.” Chene said, almost speechless.

    Gomez took his hand from his face and rested it against the armrest for a moment, his touch almost burning.

    “I know that I don’t know much about the magic-blooded,” he said, letting the dragon settle down on his lap once more and taking his hand back to run his fingers along the ridges in its spine.  He smiled down to it, then while holding all the care and the warmth in his eyes looked back up at Chene, “But I figure that the opposite is also true, and you know nothing about me.”

    And Chene figured that he was very right.

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