Bleed for Me

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Chapter 17 - Calix

Raines’ hand is firm in mine. I’m standing. I’m breathing! Over the past few weeks the searing pain in my heart and body has faded.

“Ready?” His voice is like water, dribbling over rocks, soothing.

Together, we take in the small cottage before us. Atop a hill of lush, vibrant grass, under the pale sky; it’s small, but cozy. Wooden and round, with a thatched roof.

“It’s home,” the voice whispers out of me, unbidden.

“Home,” Raines repeats, squeezing my hand. “Home.” His soft smile melts me. Without thinking, I take his face in my hands and press our lips together. The warmth of his throat floods me. We part, noses close.

“I love you.” My wait tingles where his fingertips brushed me a heartbeat ago.

Raines’ soul is visible behind his eyes, born out before me. “Thank you, Calix.”

My knuckles find the chipped wood of the door. My door. Raines takes my other hand, then hesitates.

“Wait, will they….um.” He holds up our interlocked hands.

A spirited giggle bubbles out of me before I can help it. “Raines. My mothers are gay.” A flush creeps up his cheeks and my smile grows.

“I’d forgotten,” he smiles. I laugh, choke on it, laugh at myself. Mirth spreads between us until we’re both pink-faced.

The door swings open. I straighten, feeling the smile slide away. “Mom.”

The elven woman who opened the door frowns. She’s pretty in a weary sort of way, looking far more life-worn than I remember. I watch her as she squints a little, then her eyes widen to perfect circles. “C-Cal? Calix?”

“It’s Calix, mom.” We fall against each other.

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