I mean, I'm still keeping most of mine, hah. Some of them require a little more work than you'd think.
But, inspite of my strange and busy life, I thought I'd bring you another part of the Talent saga which is going to require at least one more part, if not two. But here's part four: Requital
Prompt: “Dying is easy. Coming back is where things get tricky."
Perspective: First Person
Genres: Supernatural, Secrets, Drama
Length: 1038 words
-Part four of five?
-Peculiarly Old-World manners
Author Notes: It's odd that this literally has all the same warnings as part one. I intended this to be a two parter, but it's going to take at least four. We'll see how my boys decide to behave.
Part four will find us all back with Jeremy (Jeremiah), so it should be interesting? You'll find out where the clue is meant to lead, and you'll see a little more interaction with the boys...
The Talent series begins in "Endowment" and is followed by "Crystalline" and then "Cipher". It's best to start at the beginning so things make sense, right? And if it's been a while since you read the story, it's always good to refresh!
The coffee shop was racus for this time of afternoon, yet the overwhelming noise of the people around me was welcome. It was far better to nurse a cup of tea here than to nurse one in the tomb-quiet of my home. I never thought that silence would drive me to the brink of insanity, yet I feared some days that it might.
And I knew it wasn't the silence; it was loneliness instead, but the silence exacerbated the whole situation. So I sat in a coffee shop named "Speak Friend" and waded through my troubled thoughts as I waited on him. The only him in my life.
Tolly had taken lovers, and I did not resent that. I had taken lovers, too –men that knew they would never hold my heart, though I ached for the touch of another being. Through all I'd seen, all the people I'd met, no one encroached on the space in my heart that had been carved out for the boy-man who'd been my lover in my youth.
I took a drink of my tea, wincing at the sharp bitterness. Damned if everyone in the colonies had forgotten how to make a proper cup of tea. They thought all you needed was a tea bag and some hot water. They forgot to take time to respect the tea and the drinker. As for me, well, I had nothing but time.
Time was my enemy, it seemed. The only thing that kept me hanging on to this life was Tolly. Well, Ambrose since that was what he called himself today. I liked the names he chose for himself, for his new lives, but he would always be Tolly to me, just like I would likely always be Jeremiah to him.
Even if he chose to spend the rest of our endless lives as friends, I would always have my memories of him, and I would always be beside him. The way I had chased after him had never been about our love. Wait, no, that was a lie. It had never been entirely about the love we shared as boys on the cusp of manhood. It was about that silence-irritated loneliness. It was about knowing I wasn't alone and needing to share that knowledge. It was about companionship, too –the way it always was between us. We had first come together a children excluded from much of our village life because we were strange. Our relationship had been a soul-deep friendship first, and oh how I had missed it and ached for it during my lonely lifetimes.
My phone rang from my pocket, crying out something about sin-kissed lips and wickedness. Swiping my finger across the screen, I answered the call, hoping it was the one I'd been waiting for.
"...Hello?" I asked gingerly.
"What in the hell am I supposed to get from your cryptic clues? God above, Jer, it's been over a century since we used this code. The entire landscape of the country has changed!"
I laughed aloud. The landscape of the country might have changed, but he never would. "You're supposed to take it literally. There's a coffee shop across the street called "Speak Friend" after a very old book. I'm nursing a rather lousy cup of tea, so come save me from it."
He growled. "You delight in your ruses and codes. Why in the hell couldn't you just say 'meet me for coffee'?"
"...After you ran away from me, I wasn't sure you'd even be willing to. The code was an out for us both. If you couldn't figure it out –didn't want to figure it out– well, then we could both lie to ourselves as needed." I shrugged. "So come save me from some frankly gross tea, and we'll talk about it."
A soft sound slipped out of his throat, one familiar to me and so sweet to hear. There were few times in our time together that he had ever made that sound, but I learned what it meant very well. Sometimes it was the closest he ever came to the words 'I'm sorry' and that was alright, because I knew him so damn well that I knew that, as well.
"...Jer..." he breathed out softly, pleadingly. "I... You're right. Thank you, for thinking of me and remembering the way I am."
I huffed out a breath, almost afraid to break our moment together with words.
"Why don't you just come up to my room, Jer? It's bound to be more private than a coffee shop."
"If I come up to your room, Bartholomew, you would find out that things have changed about me –starting with how aggressive I can be," I growled out, my voice low and raspy at the mere thought of him and myself in a room with a large bed. Lust can only be so well controlled, and my desire for this man had been burning in the back of my throat and under my skin for centuries.
He cleared his throat. "Right, then. Coffee shop it is."
I could hear him slipping into shoes, the slight shuffling noise comforting. I tried to focus on that and take deep, cleansing breaths like they had taught in yoga class. Being out of control was not a good way to meet a past lover –especially not in a public place.
"Hey, Jer?" He asked, his voice light.
"Thank you, for letting me know I'm not alone."
I'll get working on the next section while my brain is still on that wave-length, okay? And for once, one of my Samplings might need a mature content filter (not the next one, haha, but there may be one after that).
Enjoy my insanity, loves. I certainly do!