Chapter Fifteen

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Merry rested his head on Quinn's shoulder and traced the contours of his chest with a fingertip. The silvery moonlight streaming through the window illuminated the faint glittery sheen of perspiration on Quinn's creamy white skin. It shown with a slight mint green hue and reminded Merry of the phosphorescence he sometimes saw in the ocean waves at night when plankton was in bloom. Quinn slept, his soft breaths and strong heartbeat reminding Merry ever more that what existed between them was real. He still couldn't get over the fact that Quinn cared for him. He'd led nothing but a life of hell since his mom left three years ago and for Quinn to appear out of nowhere, and then for Quinn to like him, well, it was nothing short of a miracle.


What he sensed when Quinn loved him was troubling. Centuries ago, something bad had happened, and it had ripped Quinn's heart in two and left him bereft of his senses. So much so, Merry knew that Quinn wanted to die...and wanted to die when he was assigned to watch over teenagers just this past fall. Worse yet, the Queen had forbidden Quinn to love anyone ever again. Merry couldn't imagine it. He'd been alone and lonely for three years. To be alone and lonely for centuries was unimaginable. Man, Quinn's mom was a serious biatch.

Sadb suddenly appeared hovering over the muscled expanse of Quinn's chest, utterly silent, her face contorted in genuine concern.

Merry quickly pulled the sheet a little higher over them before whispering, "I-is everything okay?"

"A dream threaten 'im. Be nigh time to wake 'im afore it take hold."

"You know when he dreams?"

"Aye. I be he empath."

No matter how hard Merry had tried, he hadn't been able to find any worth in Sadb. As far as he could tell, she was nothing more than a huge PITA in a small body. If she could read Quinn's mind, it gave credence as to why Quinn kept her around. It made her worthy. Mostly. Then Merry started to worry what she knew about him. "W-what's he dreaming about?"

"All the evil."

"What's that mean?"

"Just what I say."

Merry rolled his eyes beneath the silvery moonlight. "What is all the evil?"

"Be a fierce time for we Prince."

"Yeah, I sensed that, but what happened?"

"Ye sense it?" Her whisper held surprise.

"Yeah. Something broke his heart and h-he...he wanted to die."

Her obsidian eyes became the largest Merry had ever seen them. "Ye be certain of it?"

"Seriously certain of it. He still feels like he wants to die sometimes."

Her brow knitted. "Me mind not sense this. I wonder why."

Merry wanted to say, probably because you live in "it's all about me" mode, but held his tongue. "Maybe he doesn't want you to know."

Her brow contorted in anger. "Be me job to know. We be in dire peril if he fade."

"Why?"

"We Queen wish to slay us and we prince protect us."

"Why does she want to slay you?"

"We be powerful and plentiful and she fear us."

Startling Merry nearly to death, Quinn suddenly roared and struck out sending Sadb to flight on the air.

"Wake 'im!" she shrieked at Merry.

Quinn now writhed, his muscles rippling and twitching beneath the surface of his skin, and Merry sensed he was about to change into his other form. He shook Quinn by the shoulders hard. "Quinn! Quinn, wake up!"

Claws sprouted from Quinn's fingers and Merry dodged a vicious blow to the head. In panic, he shouted louder. "Quinn! Wake up!"

Quinn shot off the bed with a deafening roar, turning back to them on the air as the rest of him transformed into the angry creature he called his ugly side.

"Run!" Sadb shrieked at Merry.

Run? He wasn't going to run. Quinn loved him. Quinn wouldn't hurt him. Merry marveled at Quinn's gigantic size as he crouched beneath the ceiling. He had this bizarre sort of scaly but velvety-looking, mottled, green skin, and weirdly bent limbs and... and... a tail with barbs along it. It whipped the air and Merry couldn't help it. He backed up on the bed until his back was against the wall. Quinn's eyes had turned a fiery red, and he had really pointy ears, and some seriously huge, canine-like teeth. But his face still looked like his Qui—well, okay, NOT. He was, um, yeah, okay. He was definitely ugly.

Quinn roared again.

"Run, Meriadoc!" Sadb shrieked again. "Afore he eat ye!"

Eat me? That didn't sound good and fear crept up Merry's spine. Quinn wouldn't eat him, would he? No way. Quinn wouldn't eat him. Would he? Merry gathered his flagging courage and shouted again, "Quinn! Wake up!"

Quinn roared again and it sounded to Merry like a roar in frustration rather than in anger. Sadb flew at Quinn's face shouting in Irish and he ignored her as he slowly began to advance on Merry.

Now terror filled Merry's veins and he shrank against the wall, wishing he could melt into it.

Quinn began to salivate as he leaned over Merry and Merry slid down onto the bed, reaching for the pillow to use as a shield. "Q-quinn, it's m-m-me, Merry! WAKE UP! P-please d-don't eat m-me!" he shouted.

Saliva drooled from Quinn's fang-ridden mouth, a long, sticky string coming to rest on Merry's cheek.

"Q-quinn, it's m-me, Merry," he whimpered.

Quinn licked his lips with a forked, black tongue and drooled again before licking Merry's cheek.

The tongue felt like sandpaper against Merry's cheek and it left a sharp sting in its wake. "Quinn, p-please d-don't eat me," he begged.

Quinn licked the side of Merry's head and Merry was so scared he could hardly speak. "Quinn," he whimpered. "You l-love me. P-please d-don't eat your wee d-dote."

Something resembling recognition flickered in Quinn's eyes and he abruptly straightened and issued a deafening roar. To Merry, it sounded like an anguished plea for help.

Sadb floated in the air between them speaking in rapid but soft Irish syllables in an effort to calm Quinn.

He roared in anguish again.

"Sadb, I-I th-think he needs help!" Merry shouted.

"Aye, he do," Sadb said sadly. "Touch 'im, Merry!"

"T-touch him h-how?"

"Give 'im ye hand. Let 'im feel ye love."

Quinn roared again and this time it tore at Merry's heart. Quinn was fighting some invisible something that wouldn't release him.

"S-something's wrong. S-something is m-making him—"

"Aye, 'tis the horror of all the evil. We Queen hold 'im fast with it."

Merry tried to make sense of her words as he sifted through what he had sensed from Quinn. "He feels guilty?"

"Aye, fiercely so."

"And his mom uses it to make him...like this?"

"Aye. She taunt him and fuel he rage, then feed off him like a starvin' beast. He anger give she power."

Merry was incredulous and fury infused every fiber of his being. "She's using him, his guilt, to give her power?"

"Aye."

That was just plain bullshit. "How do we stop it?"

"Touch 'im. He need ye love to regain he mind."

Merry set the pillow aside and scooted to the edge of the bed. He took a deep, shaky breath and slowly reached out to Quinn with a trembling hand. "Quinn, let me help you. Give me your hand." Surprised by the calm in his voice, Merry fought like hell to steady his hand in the air. "Let me help you. Give me your hand," he repeated softly.

Quinn looked at it and licked his lips again before issuing another anguished roar.

Merry jumped up and grabbed Quinn's clawed hand and thought with all his might, You love me! I'm your wee dote and I love you! Come back to me, Quinn. I need you!

As if someone had flipped a switch, Quinn transformed back to his natural form and collapsed into Merry's arms. Soft sobs escaped into Merry's curls as Merry struggled to bear Quinn's weight and guide him to the bed.

They collapsed on the bed and Merry curled around Quinn and pulled him close, his arm tight around Quinn's waist. Stunned, relieved, and furious all at the same time, he sought to comfort Quinn. "It's okay. You're okay now," he said softly as he stroked Quinn's thick, red-auburn hair.

Quinn wept softly for an indiscernible time and issued one final shuddering sigh before falling into a deep sleep.

"I won't let her do this to you again," Merry vowed softly. He didn't know how he would do it, but he would find a way. Quinn's mom would not feed off his guilt any more.

~*~

Merry woke to bright sunlight filtering through the window and Quinn's soft kisses on his face. "Hi," he greeted sleepily.

Quinn smiled down at him. "How be me wee dote?"

Merry smiled and rubbed sleep from his eyes with the heels of his hands. "Fine. What time is it?"

"Nigh ten in the morn."

Panic filled Merry and he sat up quickly. "We're late for school."

"Don't be daft," Quinn said as he pulled Merry to him and kissed him softly. "Do ye not track ye days of the week? Be a Saturday for ye."

Oh. He settled into Quinn's arms. "Guess I forgot. Are you okay?"

Quinn smiled, his eyes warm and bright. "Need ye ask?"

Ah, well, after a night like last night, yeah. But all Merry could sense from Quinn was utter happiness and adoration. "Where's Sadb?"

Quinn pointed to Merry's milk-crate desk. Sadb slept, snoring softly, nothing but a sheet of paper for a blanket and a pink eraser for a pillow. He turned back to Quinn. "Are you sure you're okay?"

"Ye needn't ask, Merry. Be the best I sleep in a century."

Quinn kissed Merry in earnest and Merry's concern faded as he melted into the kiss. The space between them heated within seconds and Merry couldn't help the soft groan that escaped him as he moved to lie over Quinn and deepened the kiss. He moved slowly and Quinn met each of his movements with a strong, answering motion.

Sadb suddenly snorted and her high-pitched voice sliced into their moment like an icy blade. "Be no time for that," she said with obvious disapproval.

They froze and groaned in tandem. Merry buried his face in the hollow between Quinn's neck and shoulder and worked to calm his breath and racing heart. "Please tell me you can make her go away," he whispered.

"Sadb, ye be done preparin' for we rade?" Quinn asked, his frustration more than a little apparent in his tone.

"Aye, Sire. We be waitin' on ye since nigh midnight."

Quinn issued a long sigh in defeat. "We cannot hold we rade up, Merry."

Merry slumped against Quinn, their bodies not the least bit deterred by Sadb's interruption. Then Merry heard his dad's leaden footsteps as he trudged toward Merry's bedroom door. "Oh, my God, you have to hide!"

The first chapter of Fairy was originally published in
Harmony Ink’s May 2013 newsletter.
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Chapter Fourteen                                       Table of Contents                                             Chapter Sixteen

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