There were some things in this world one learned not to comment on. Things that would only invite deeper conversations if verbally approached, things that would require offering or receiving counselling, neither of which being something I was fond of.
Staying silent was a greater tool than many recognised it to be.
I never found any issue in remaining quiet for situations that didn’t directly affect me, but in this particular case, I found exceedingly difficult not to comment on the piece of jewellery adorning Malcolm’s usually naked neck.
There was nothing strange about the silver chain other than it was for more modest than the items Malcolm preferred to pretty his body with when the interest rose. He’d always found his way to rich jewels and precious gems that would compliment his deep skintone and pull already drawn eyes deeper.
A thin silver rope chain did not scream Malcolm, not even in the slightest. But beyond that and the fact that it rested a little higher on his neck than any chain should, there was no reason for me to be so aware of the decoration.
And yet I couldn’t draw my eyes from it.
“Would you like something to drink?” Kalem offers as he moves around the kitchen, oblivious to my mind’s newest distractions while he rushed to serve our friends.
“Water’s fine young one,” The elf comments kindly, his smile making Kalem beam brightly as he took a glass from one of the cupboards. Without having to be told, Kalem pops over to get Malcolm a blood bag which he shakes a little before he sets it before him.
“Thanks, K,” Malcolm replies making Kalem beam happily before he rejoins me at my side, offering me a blood bag I hadn’t even realised he’d snatched for me.
“Thank you, love,” I say pressing a kiss to Kalem’s warming cheek before I take the cold pouch from his fingers.
Kalem all but swoons from all the attention and praises for doing well and I can’t help but chuckle as I pop open the cap and take a sip, decidedly choosing to leave the issue of Malcolm’s apparent collar alone for now.
Sometimes silence really was the best option.
“How have things been for you?” The elf asks, being sure to keep his eyes kind even as he refocused all of his attention on Kalem, “any changes since you’ve returned home?”
“Nuh-uh,” Kalem answers as he snuggles into my side, pressing a kiss to the free skin of my arm, “I’m being really good and I’m super happy since Master’s home.”
Aias smiles back at Kalem before he looks at me with golden eyes narrowed to slits while he ran an absent mind over Malcolm’s arm, silently questioning if the words were true. I give him a discreet nod, allowing him to relax once more before he looks back to a beaming Kalem.
“Do you think we can talk more about our situations today?” He asks with that calming tone he reserved for Kalem, it wasn’t annoying but the fact that it came from the pretentious elf annoyed me.
Before Kalem can answer, I cut in with an enquiry of my own which I’d been withholding for long enough, “before we do that, I’d like to have a conversation with you.”
Malcolm’s slurping on his blood bag turns loud while Kalem tenses in my hold, both their eyes growing wide with surprise as they look between the elf and I. It was no secret that we didn’t favour one another’s company.
I harboured no hatred for the living stick nor any other particularly strong emotion. It was more so a constant annoyance that came with the territory of being around a being so proud and confident in everything he graced with a glance.
The elf in question studies me with a neutral expression, his thin fingers still lazily stroking Malcolm before they stop near his wrist and he nods slowly, “very well.”
Without another word, I part from Kalem with a brief kiss to the temple and make my way to my office without bothering to check if the elf was following me. Seeing the way he carried himself, I was one hundred per cent sure that the simple act of following would piss him off and I’d be lying if I said that didn’t make my lips curve into a smile.
At my office door, I open the door and leave it open for the elf while I took my seat behind the familiar oak. I don’t wait long before the elf walks in, closing the door calmly behind him before he laid himself down in one of the free chairs like a king taking to a throne.
“You seem bothered,” Aias states like a known fact no one could ever hope to deny, “is it because of Malcolm’s collar or Kalem’s lineage?”
Direct, I liked direct. Sugarcoated platitudes never did anything other than agitating me.
“Neither,” I reply honest as I sink back into the welcoming leather, “it’s because of you.”
The elf doesn’t falter, he barely even blinks while he continued to watch me as if I were nothing more than a bug he’d found beneath his shoe. But then he smiled, just a little, too small to be anything other than calculated.
“And what is it about me that bothers you?” Aias asks calmly, genuine curiosity riding his tongue.
“What is it that you’re not sharing?” I ask pointedly, “I know there’s a lot, but I’m only concerned with the fraction of it that will affect Kalem and Malcolm.”
Aias’ smile doesn’t shift at the mention of Malcolm’s name like I’d hope, in fact, nothing in his outwards appearance altered but the look in his fierce golden eyes which studied me just a little closer. They bore into my own without cover, calculating and searching for issues I couldn’t be bothered to hide behind feeble borders. I let the elf analyse me, picking me apart with his gaze while I took in the pieces of him which seemed to burn a little brighter than I knew them to be.
His celestial white hair seemed just a little darker in tint than it had the first time I’d seen him standing on that stage, unshamed and snarling at any who dared to stare for too long. His features seem just a little sharper than I knew them to be and though he still resembled a twig in figure, he did look just a little stronger than usual.
“It’s hard to maintain a second form for so long in a foreign realm,” The elf says suddenly, drawing my eyes up to his amused ones, “slowly, my natural form is creeping to the surface.”
The elf didn’t make that sound like a bad thing, but rather a good one - a dangerous one.
“That’s nice,” I reply with a sigh, “but that doesn’t answer the question I asked you.”
Aias’ smile turns a little more honest, actual amusement dripping from his gaze and to his lips as they stretched further apart to glimpse me with his sharper teeth, “you do realise I’m not obliged to give you any information, yes?” He questions with a raised brow, “what I chose for you to know is up to me and only me.”
“Yes, yes you’re powerful,” I say with building frustration, “you’re an elf etcetera, etcetera, now answer the question.”
This time Aias laughs before he folds his right leg over his left, bobbing it gently while he ran a finger down the side of his cheek, “My name is Aiasthln Kethlana, first prince to Ythene’s throne and protector of her realm. Please do not speak my birthname for you will butcher it. ” Aias breathes out while the space around his skin begins to shimmer and shift in a way my mind couldn’t comprehend, “There is nothing you need to know beyond that title and the weight it holds, should you ever face another of my kind.” Even as Aias spoke carelessly, the atmosphere around him continued to morph into one that fit his changing presence. The air whistles as it swept through the halls and into the room as if answering Aias’ silent call, all whilst he continued to speak calmly as if oblivious to the way his body grew in the chair, “If you succeed in taking control of your species and help me teach Kalem to hide what he is, then there will be nothing for you to worry about from my kind. I will ensure Kalem is safe ‘on my end’ and he will be safe.”
When the air settles again, Aias sat with the same expression but from a different body. His familiar twig frame was replaced by another that was outlined by the type of muscles that took decades to hone. His pointed ears were longer now, slicing up through his curled grey hair that rested at his shoulders, completely replacing the long, straight white mop that had trailed behind him for months.
“I feel like that should be enough information to sate you for the moment,” Aias says, raising a single brow as if seeking confirmation on this specific account.
Blinking once, I scratch at my cheek as I look him over, barely managing to bite back a comment I knew would probably make him far more pleased than he already was. But in this form, I could see what Malcolm was so fond of in the elf.
“You’re to be a king?” I question and he nods once, “and you’re in this realm... playing slave or Master with Malcolm.”
“That’s an issue which does not concern you,”
“Are you sure about that?” I ask with slightly more bite to my tone that I’d intended, “you’ve said in the past that your realm is one for elves alone, and now you’re telling me that you’re a prince of that very realm. I’d predicted you leaving him, but I also predicted you returning to him. Was I right to believe that?”
The elf watches me for a long few minutes, annoyance passing through his gaze more often than not before he released another tired sigh and circled his finger lazily, “I plan to deal with it, once again, an issue that does not concern you.”
“How long do you think we have before they come seeking us out?” Aias asks, cutting me off in one calculated response that makes my jaw tick, “use your time more wisely.”
Strangle. I’d love to strangle him.
With a strained sigh of my own that I purposefully draw out in a childish mocking of his own, I try another route of interest, “you named yourself protector of your realm,” he nods in agreement, “if Kalem is a danger to you and the realm you’re supposed to protect, why are you trying to hide him?”
“When I take my vows to serve my realm and all its many beings, I intend to protect every single one of them, including Kalem,” Aias answers without any hints of his past amusement or annoyance, “what he is maybe something of an issue, but I am choosing to believe in the boy I know. Kalem is kind and loving, he will do well here in your protection and my realm will continue to prosper while the two maintain distance.”
I consider his words for a long moment, trying to foresee the potential issues this could cause in the years to come. The world Kalem had seen to date was a very small sheltered one and I had every intention of showing him the world and all its treasures, along with any other realms I could. But it was entirely possible that Kalem may long for more one day, long for the chance to see his home for himself.
“I’ve promised Kalem a visit to our realm and I have every intention to keep that promise,” Aias voices, offering an answer to my mental queries, “our realm is very big, with many different home planets, universes and colonies. It won’t be an issue to have Kalem there once he learns to control all of his abilities.”
“Why does that sound like he has more?” I groan tiredly.
Aias laughs, “nothing more than the average elf and nothing for you to grow hairs over, I plan to help him through all things pertaining to that part of him.”
Nodding I release a breath as I run a hand through my hair, feeling far more settled with Aias’ intentions than I ever had, even with all the new details he’d allowed himself to share with me. I’d worried about the secrets he kept and still did, but things seemed far more concrete than my mind’s best guesses.
“A Nyphilim has to potential to do good just as they do the potential to wreak havoc,” Aias says after another quiet moment passes between the two of us, “If we take care of him, I firmly believe that Kalem can do quite a lot of good in this world you’re creating for him.”
“With the vampires?”
“When I met Kalem, he was not a person, he was a shell mirroring the actions beaten into him,” Aias says upon a deep snarl, “He couldn’t even feel what he was with how they’d pushed him into the skin of a perfect slave. But now, with you, he’s found who he really is and he is finding out more to him than he knew existed. The Kalem he is finding can be a real asset to your plans if you let him.”
Aias stands in one fluid movement, his true form shedding from him like an invisible skin to be replaced with his human sheath, “there’s something about Kalem that pulls the best parts out of all those he comes into contact with. He may not be able to share his gifts for good with Ythene’s realm, but perhaps... perhaps he can in this one.”
With that, Aias leaves without another word, moving with just as much confidence and surety as he did when he’d first followed in after me. I watch him go and barely manage a few breathes before Kalem appears in my lap.
The first few times Kalem had used his power in this way, I’d barely managed to hold back an instinctive punch while I released some sound or another that made Kalem roll over with laughter. I’d half come to expect Kalem to appear on or near me now as he got better and better at his popping.
Taking my face in his hands, Kalem studies me very carefully before he pouts a little and asks, “are you okay Master?”
“I’m fine love,” I assure him with a smile but his little frown doesn’t fade.
“Aias had his big smile on so I thought maybe he said something mean,” Kalem explains and his pure worry makes me laugh a little as I pulled him closer to me.
“He didn’t do anything I can’t handle so don’t worry yourself,” I tell him before patting his thighs gently, “are you happy Kalem?”
Kalem doesn’t even hesitate to answer, his eyes growing wide as he looks at me with an expression that looked to be asking me if I was stupid, “of course I’m happy Master! I have you and Aias and his Malcolm, and even Mr. W.” I chuckle at that last bit and so does Kalem, “Every day is a happy day because I get to clean, read with you and hang out with Aias whenever I want. But it’s a happy day always because we’re together and you love me.”
“Then how could I not be happy Master,” Kalem says as he drops his shoulders, “how could I not be happy with my Lincoln.”
Unable to hold myself back, I press a kiss to Kalem’s lips, my smile wide enough to tear at my cheeks while I kissed his lips and then cheeks, loving the way Kalem soaked in my love with pleased, joyous sounds accompanied by littered giggles that made my chest ache.
This was happiness.
(A/N - trying a new divider, what do you guys think of it? ^, also I wrote the following scene while listening to Shy by 1975)
“Alright, that’s enough of that,” Malcolm says suddenly, shutting the book in his hands with enough force to make it echo through the library, “we’ve spent hours talking about Kalem and plans for the new clan and my brain is fried.”
Raising my eyes from my own notes, I look up at Malcolm both hating and loving him for distracting us from the tedious work that came with preparing for the day-to-day runnings of a clan. Work that I hadn’t prepared myself for in the slightest, there were yards and yards of little details to be considered like just how much power former Plythens would be granted and demands we’d be taking to the Supernatural Board. Not to mention the extensive conversations Malcolm and I had to conduct while discussing which bases of Diablos we’d target next.
Over the months, I’d hit five and Malcolm two of his own volition, yet there were still no signs of the second who was maintaining his unusual silence.
It worried me.
“What would you rather do Pisen?” Aias asks lazily, his attention leaving Kalem who sat before him, cutting short the discussion they’d been sharing about elf history.
“We need to let off some steam,” Malcolm says while jumping to his feet, “we have never once done anything fun together, ever! I say it’s about damn time we had a good time, if not for us, for Kalem. I bet the kid’s dying to do something other than cleaning.”
“I like cleaning,” Kalem pipes in with a smile.
“Okay, well I want you to do something other than cleaning,” Malcolm corrects.
“I second that motion,” I say with a raised hand which makes Kalem stare at me with a gaze of betrayal.
“Linc’s on board, that’s got to be a sign,” Malcolm continues with childish excitement that had us all smiling in turn, “let’s do something crazy!”
I look across to Kalem who was shaking just a little in his spot, his grin though nervous rested almost as big as Malcolm’s who kept looking between him and Aias for their confirmation. Before kalem could consider asking my permission, I give him a nod which makes him nod in turn to Malcolm.
“Yes! The angel’s one board!” Malcolm cheers victoriously before he sinks down on his knees next to Aias, his hands clasped in front of him while he looked at the elf who couldn’t hold back his grin if he tried, “what do you say Aias? Want to do something crazy with me?”
Aias’ eye never leaves Malcolm as he studies him before he nods and runs a finger down Malcolm’s face, “something crazy with you,” Aias repeats slowly before running his fingers over Malcolm’s collar/chain, “sounds like something I’d enjoy!”
Malcolm kisses Aias quickly before he stands and fist pumps the air, “that is what I’m talking about!”
“So what are we going to do?” Kalem asks, stuck in an audible limbo of nerves and excitement.
“I have no clue,” Malcolm admits but his smile doesn’t falter for a moment, “I say we get in one of Linc’s best cars and we see where the night takes us.”
“This sounds dangerously close to one of Wequie’s beloved adventures,” I say suspiciously before looking around for the little rat himself.
“As much as I’d love to have Wequie with us, I think that’d be too extreme for Kalem’s first adventure,” Malcolm says sadly while I find myself releasing a breath of relief.
“So this is an adventure is it?” Aias questions with a gleam in his eyes that suggested a different meaning to the word in his realm.
“Why not?” Malcolm replies as he pulls Kalem to his feet before he can protest before doing the same for Aias, “we can do anything and end up anywhere, nothing is off-limits.”
“Nothing?” Kalem asks.
“Nothing,” Malcolm replies with a grin. He keeps that wonderous grin on his lips as he makes his way over to me, taunting me in his approach until he was right before me and pulling me up to stand to my feet like the rest of the gang, “if we don’t let ourselves let loose every now and again, we’re going to kill ourselves before some dickhead tries to do it himself. So I say, let’s get out there and enjoy our eternal lives.”
With a few shared glances, Malcolm’s contagious elation finally slips its way through our veins until we’re all left buzzing with almost as thrill as he tried to keep within himself.
For once, I surrender myself to the moment and all that was to come with it.
“Let’s do something fucking crazy,”
The Unfortunate Foursome - that’s their name and that’s what I’m calling this little gang
Thoughts on the little Aias and Linc conversation??? Thoughts of Aias being a prince, I mean most of you already knew that part? Thoughts on Malcolm being collared? Thoughts on the adventure to come? Let me know what you’re thinking!!
I thought that maybe I should write their adventure into this chapter but that seemed like too much and you guys know I like cliffhangers lol.
Vote up and comment if you enjoyed this chapter, it was really fun writing it.
Emitt wears lingerie for Beckett is the last Patreon extra for the month and my next update, I’m already halfway through that so that should come soon.
Until next time,