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Feldspar just wanted to be alone. His cheeks and jaw hurt from plastering a smile on his face around his friends. He supposed he should be proud that he’d been so “mature” about Mal choosing Daniella over him. Even now they were likely praising him for being a “good friend” and “so understanding” simply because he’d never let on how badly Mal had hurt him. They were oblivious. He was tired of it all the way down to his bones.

He had made small talk and joked with them for just long enough to not raise suspicions, and then slipped away. He needed to be alone, and he knew just the place. His feet found the traces of a narrow trail that ran in fits and starts up a mountain. It had become his preferred place to hide when he needed to be alone. Other faeries had apparently never discovered the the track, and he had to pay close attention lest he get lost. He lost himself in the meditative work of scrambling over boulders and skirting the treacherous mountain trail, enjoying the distraction from his bitter thoughts.

At the summit he sat on a boulder and gazed over the breath-taking view below. A small crater lake was nestled in the mountaintop, completely still in the bright spring day. The brilliant cerulean blue water sparkled in the sun, contrasting brilliantly with the bright green and white aspen trees that bordered the lake. The gentle shushing of aspen leaves in the breeze filled the crater, creating an abiding stillness that called to Feldspar.

Now that he was alone, the vice around his heart opened a fraction of an inch. Feldspar let out a shuddering breath. He had to let go of Mal. He knew this. He inhaled the crisp, high-altitude air of the mountaintop. He imagined the hot, dry air filling the massive hole in his heart with warmth and life. He let out another breath that was more of a sigh. Pain still constricted his heart. His roommate Nephrite would be disappointed in how perfunctory his mindfulness practice was. As far as he was concerned, you wouldn’t do breath exercises to heal a broken leg, and a broken heart was even worse.

He hiked down into the crater. When all else failed, changing one pain for another worked. He would work his body until it screamed, drowning out the painful thoughts that plagued him.

He stripped at the edge of the lake, leaving his clothes haphazardly on a rock. He dove into the lake from the rock, giving himself no time to brace for the ice-cold impact. The shock of the snowmelt lake jagged through his sun-warmed body like lightning. It was dark at the bottom of the lake, like the deep depths of Mal’s eyes. He squeezed his eyes shut and mentally berated himself. He didn’t want to think about Mal anymore.

Feldspar kicked back up to the surface and broke into a smooth freestyle stroke. He focused on counting his breaths and pushing his body at a grueling pace, trying to keep the thoughts out. Still, he got caught in a memory of body surfing some rapids with Mal years before. They’d laughed the entire time despite getting battered by the swiftly flowing river. That had been the first night Gneiss had invited Mal into their bed and the memory still thrilled him. Gneiss had ridden him hard that night. She had said there was no reason to go easy on his bruised body since he was obviously a glutton for pain. Mal had fed Feldspar his cock while Gneiss took her pleasure, and had come all over his face. He could still almost taste Mal’s smoky, evergreen scent.

Feldspar grunted as he forced himself to swim faster, to push the memories away. The last thing he muğla escort needed was to obsess again over how perfectly Mal had played to his submissive streak. The memories only made him ache more for what he’d lost. He needed to accept that he and Mal were friends. Mal loved Daniella and didn’t want any other lovers. He knew this. Still his stupid heart wouldn’t let go.

After twenty laps across the lake his lungs were burning and his limbs were trembling with fatigue. When he could swim no more Feldspar floated on his back, letting the sun soothe his sore muscles. He body hummed on the edge between painful exhaustion and endorphin-fueled bliss. His mind was finally empty and at peace. He floated there, staring at the sky, thinking about nothing at all. When his body felt capable of moving again he swam slowly back to shore.

When he got back to the bank he was surprised to find he wasn’t alone. Silver was sunning himself on a large, flat rock just off the shore. His short silver hair was tousled and wet. Water beaded over his slightly silver-tinged nude body.

Feldspar blanched, wondering when the other faery had appeared. He hadn’t seen or heard him, but judging from the water sliding down his body, he must have been swimming too. Feldspar’s heart did a strange hiccup. It was just his luck that the faery who happened to catch him here was…. Complicated. Silver had been the first of Gneiss’ parade of men she’d brought into their bed in hopes of shaking him out of his post-Mal depression.

Memories of the last time he’d seen Silver flashed through his mind like confetti in a hurricane. He sucked in a breath as his stomach spasmed. The memory of that night was usually something he shoved deep, deep down inside where he wouldn’t have to think about it.

That was the night they’d all toasted to Daniella and Mal’s love. He’d been proud of himself for fooling everyone into believing he was happy for them. He’d even made a toast welcoming Daniella into their little family. Then he’d drunk himself into a stupor.

Gneiss had gone off and found Silver and the three of them had fucked. Stars, how they’d fucked. The memory was patchy, just images of plowing into Silver’s tight heat, sucking Silver’s hard dick, kissing him, his tongue twining with Feldspar’s. It had been incredible. Gneiss had been her usual dominant self, but it had been completely different from when they had threesomes with Mal, who was also strongly dominant. Silver went both ways and had a sweet streak a mile wide. A blush crept up Feldspar’s chest.

Then came the memories he wished he could forget. He’d said some things because he’d been drunk and stupid, which had resulted in Daniella leaving Mal and the Wood for half a year. The only reason Mal had forgiven him was that Daniella had come back to him eventually.

Now Feldspar was left with the confusing maelstrom of unresolved regret, anger, fear and lust from that night. His encounter with Silver — what he could remember of it through the haze of drink — had been mind-blowing. He couldn’t help but be drawn to the other faery, who he hadn’t seen since that night. But the rest of his memories from that night made him want to curl into a ball and hide.

Silver was lying on his back staring up at the sky with his hands folded under his head. Feldspar saw with surprise that the underside of Silver’s left forearm was covered in tattoos. He didn’t remember those, though he hadn’t been entirely cognizant the last time he’d seen Silver. Tattoos muğla escort bayan were undeniably a human thing. He tore his eyes away, gliding them over Silver’s smooth chest and stomach. The way his knees were bent up, Feldspar couldn’t help tracing the v of his legs down to his uncovered package. He stared for longer than he should have. Silver’s skin practically glowed in the sun with a cold radiance. Feldspar licked his lips, envisioning them wrapped around the other faery’s plump dick. He could almost taste it and feel Silver’s hips hitch as he eased the foreskin back with swirls of his tongue. Or maybe he’d plow him from behind.

Feldspar shook himself. He’d been standing in the shallows, staring at the other faery for a horrifyingly long time. There was no way Silver hadn’t noticed him staring.

He cleared his throat. “Afternoon,” he said, his voice unnaturally bright. “It’s been some time.”

The other faery lifted his head and propped himself up on his elbows. “Hey man, long time no see. I didn’t know anyone else knew about this spot,” he said.

Feldspar shifted on his feet. He felt off balance in the beautiful faery’s presence. “I started coming here several months ago.”

“Ah. I was in Europe,” Silver said. “This is my favorite spot when I need to get away.”

Silver put his head back down. Conversation apparently over. Feldspar laid down next to his clothes on a flat rock a few yards from Silver. He tried to close his eyes and relax but he was hyperaware of the naked faery nearby.

Eventually he gave up. “So you’ve been in Europe?” Feldspar didn’t know anyone who had gone to Europe from the Wood. The faeries of the Wood stayed in the Wood. They’d been cloistered for years upon years. Mal himself almost never left.

“Yeah, I was overdue and I needed to get outta town for a while. I owed my buddy in France a visit. He teaches at Le Cordon Bleu, and he hooked me up with some of his colleagues in Tuscany and Budapest, and they introduced me to their colleagues in Lisbon, Istanbul, Prague, and Zagreb.”

“How long were you there?” Feldspar’s curiosity rose as he parsed the other faery’s human-tinged dialect. He hadn’t heard of any of those places, but something kindled in him as he tried to imagine what those foreign cities would be like. He didn’t know anyone who had traveled so extensively.

It reminded him of the time he had found an enormous sunken cave so deep he couldn’t see the bottom. He’d thrown a pebble in and it had taken five entire seconds to plunk into the watery depths at the bottom of the black hole. The mystery of it had filled him with hunger and excitement. Thinking about the sum of everything Silver must know about the world gave him the same feeling.

Silver tilted his head for a moment, calculating. “Six months, I think. I hear I missed some stuff.”

Feldspar didn’t know what to say to that. He had no idea whether Silver was referring to the rumors that he and Mal had had a falling out, Mal and Daniella’s interest in opening the Wood to relations with humans, or any number of other developments. He didn’t want to talk about any of it. His heart curled in on itself protectively and he rubbed his chest, futilely hoping to ease the pain. He felt raw and exposed in front of the other faery.

Silver didn’t push him. They lay there in silence for a few minutes as Feldspar gathered himself. “What was it like?”


“What was Europe like? I haven’t left the Wood for quite some time.”

“Oh, escort muğla for sure. It’s different. Some faeries live in the cities, and there are some faery territories too. The cities are great. There’s so much history and so much life all mixed up together. They’re beautiful, and there’s so much to see. I spent a few months in Paris since my buddy let me audit classes at Le Cordon Bleu. Then I spent a few months all over the continent with friends or friends of friends in the restaurant scene. It was amazing. So many flavors and techniques you never see here. There was this one village I went to that’s been there for hundreds of years, and all they do there is make pasta. It was incredible. I know it sounds stupid. A noodle is a noodle, right? But their pasta was so good. I spend hours just thinking about it sometimes, the flavor and the perfect snap of the raw noodles, the way they paired with different sauces. It was so good.” He sighed and lapsed into silence for a few moments. “Anyway, I kept moving around and everyone I met would tell me I had to go see their friend in another city. Before I knew it it’d been six months.”

“Wow,” Feldspar breathed out quietly. There was something magnetic about the passionate way Silver was talking, even though Feldspar didn’t understand half of what he was talking about. “What’s lay corden blue?”

Silver huffed out a bark of laughter. Feldspar blushed and looked at the other faery, embarrassed at his ignorance of the world compared to him. “Relax, bro,” Silver said between laughs. “It’s not you. It just weird that there’s something I know that you don’t.”

Feldspar stared at him, baffled. “Why should that be the case?”

“Oh come on, you’re the Lord’s Sword. You’re his righthand man.”

Now it was Feldspar’s turn to laugh. The Lord’s Sword. More like the Lord’s sheath when he needed somewhere to stick his sword. At one time he had been called the Lord’s Sword, but that had been all but forgotten during the long years of peace in the Wood. He was as strong and skilled a fighter as he’d ever been, but the name felt wrong now.

“I may be his sword arm, but I am not his right hand.” More of a cast-off fuck-toy, he couldn’t help but add to himself. He had meant for his words to sound careless and pithy, but sadness had creeped into his tone. He looked away from Silver, hoping to hide his feelings.

“Hey man, don’t sell yourself short,” Silver said. Feldspar looked over at him, curious why he sounded so vehement. Silver’s cheeks were lightly flushed but his expression gave nothing away.

“Anyway,” Silver continued. “Le Cordon Bleu is an elite cooking school. There are always new techniques and new flavor combinations the top chefs are experimenting with, so I try to keep my finger on the pulse when I travel.”

“There are cooking schools?” Feldspar asked. Silver lifted an eyebrow at him and he closed his mouth immediately, hoping he hadn’t offended him. “I’ve never cooked anything, and I’ve never been to school. You must be quite good.” Feldspar knew he didn’t have much of a reputation as a thinker. His only real skills were fighting. And sex. He was pretty accomplished in that, but it didn’t count, especially now. Mal had jilted him and his relationship with Gneiss had settled into platonic friendship again.

Feldspar chewed his lip. It had been a long time since he’d had an interest in trying something new, and just as long a time since he’d made a new friend. He suspected that many faeries would find it hilarious that the Lord’s Sword wanted cooking lessons from a faery who spent half his time consorting with humans. Still, the longer he looked at Silver the less he cared what anyone else would think. “Maybe,” he started hesitantly, “You could… teach me? Sometime?”

A grin lit up Silver’s face. “Yeah, dude. That’d be cool.”

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