**The Admiral gave me a specific prompt this week. A summer fling that ten years later becomes more. I took a bit of a different twist with things this time and jumped into a little fantasy. And! To make it even better, the Admiral wrote to the same prompt, which was a blast. You can check it out here and see how we came up with such different stories. (The similar names are a conscious choice on my part) Enjoy!**
The air conditioning was rapidly cooling the sweat and cum—both mine and his—that covered my body, but I was too relaxed and sated to move more than my head. And I only did that so I could see my lover, stretched out beside me with a blissful look on his face. Spirian didn’t even open his eyes, but I loved just looking at him. He had the flawless, pale skin, long straight nose, and pointed ears all fae did. Unlike the rest of the elves, though, he kept his dark hair cut short instead of hanging at least halfway down his back. It was currently sticking up in odd directions, adding to his sated appearance.
“You are staring at me, James,” he said, still a little breathless and without opening his eyes.
I grinned widely, and a small laugh escaped. “Yep. I totally am.”
Spir turned his head, and then slowly opened his eyes. A lot of people thought brown eyes were boring or ugly, but not me, and especially not in regards to Spir. His eyes were warm, melted chocolate pools, and I could get lost staring into them.
That was it. Nothing more. I loved his bluntness. It was the thing that drew me to him in the first place. He didn’t play games and he didn’t beat around the bush. He didn’t see the need. Spir did what in his gut felt right, even if it was just a passing fancy or a temporary need. If he wanted to lie on the forest floor for the afternoon, he did it. And if he wanted to spend the better part of the summer months in my bed, no matter that he was supposed to be training, he did that too. And if he got up out of that bed to go sing to trees and not contact me for days on end, it was because it felt like the necessary thing to him. I respected that need, and appreciated that I knew exactly where I stood with him.
“Because you’re pretty and I like looking at you,” I answered, giving him the same honesty that he would have given me. He smiled, and I knew I pleased him.
He stood then, and after using a towel to wipe away the worst of the mess, pulled on his clothes. The long tunic and soft, woolen breaches were also a trademark of his race. Despite fully integrating into the human realm and no longer hiding in the shadows, the fae still held to a lot of their traditions. I kind of liked that, and wished I had something that concrete to ground me.
“I do not know when I will return.” Spir turned to me. He was fully dressed and a sad sort of smile graced his lips. I sat up fast, the languor from earlier dissipating abruptly. He’d never said those words to me. Always before it had been “I will return when I am able.” I knew instantly that our sweet summer affair was about to come to an end.
“You aren’t coming back, are you?” I felt the sadness like an acute pain in my chest. I’d known all along this wouldn’t last forever, and that helped to easy the hurt somewhat. Or at least, I conceded to myself, it would have hurt a whole lot worse if this had been a surprise. Or if Spirian hadn’t looked as miserable and upset as I felt.
He sat on the edge of the bed by my hip, and leaned forward to kiss me softly. “I would like to. But I do not see how it is possible. I’ve already lingered too long here. And the flora are calls my name.”
I nodded because I knew it, and I couldn’t make him chose between me and the plants. We weren’t that couple. There was a deep affection between us, a genuine like and an insane amount sexual chemistry, but it didn’t go deeper than that. We were both young, and both trying to find out feet in the world. I cared about him. I always would. But I didn’t love him. I could let him go with a kiss and well wishes.
So that’s what I did.
10 Years Later…
I never put too much thought into why, on the eve of my thirtieth birthday, I’d made the decision to quit my corporate job and sink my savings into a rural property with three huge greenhouses and acres of fruit trees. Five years later, I’d built it into a thriving business. I’d renovated the farmhouse that had come with the land, and made the second floor into my living space, while the offices took up the first floor. I had been able to hire managers and accounts and assistants to deal with the paperwork. I spent my days in the greenhouses and out in the fields. Growing and nurturing some of the best produce in the region. I loved it and I was happy. Even if the orchids were proving to be a bit more difficult than I’d originally thought.
I’d had the small greenhouse built behind the house. After I converted greenhouse 3 for houseplants, and the response to including them in the inventory was overwhelmingly positive, I decided to try my hand at orchids. While the phalaenopsis were doing fine, I couldn’t get anything else to continue growing. The plants themselves were still living, and had healthy beautiful green leaves. But not a single plant would put out a new flower spike. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. I’d consulted with experts, had dozens of people in, and no one seemed to think there should be a problem. I was doing everything right, and yet the plants wouldn’t flower.
I was ready to give up. Have a huge sale, or hell, give the plants away, and admit defeat. I loved orchids, and I thought they were exceptionally beautiful plants. But if I couldn’t get them to grow, there was no point in keeping them. The loss of profit aside, the plants deserved better. With a sigh and resigned to my fate, I exited the greenhouse and ran directly into another person.
It was weird how the smell of him, long forgotten but still so familiar, was the first thing to register in my brain. It only took seconds after that for my eyes to catch up and recognize that beautiful elfin face. He hadn’t changed at all in ten years. But of course he wouldn’t have. Elves didn’t, really. Not when they lived for several centuries.
“Spirian,” I breathed out his name, surprised and delighted all at once. I hadn’t given him more than a passing thought in years, but it was still good to see him.
“You used to shorten my name. It was a privilege only you were allowed.” His mouth quirked the smallest amount, like he felt like he should smile but didn’t actually feel like it. I opened my mouth to respond even though I didn’t know what to say, but Spirian cut me off with a shake of his head. He gestured behind me. “What is going on in there?”
I shook my head with a smile. Drawn to growing things. He always was. “Orchids,” I said softly. “They don’t seem to like me very much. Healthy plants that won’t flower.” I gave a helpless shrug.
He kept staring at the greenhouse for a long moment, before he finally turned those deep, dark, warm eyes to me. “Would you like me to sing to them, James?”
I swallowed hard. That voice saying my name was enough to be my undoing. I cleared my throat. “If you have the time, that would be awesome.”
Spir finally smiled, and he took my hand, leading me inside. He left me by the door as he wandered around the small space, lifting a hand every now and then to touch. Eventually, he drew a deep breath and began to sing.
I’d always loved listening to ancient fae, though I didn’t understand the words. There was a cadence to it, an ebb and flow, that never failed to affect me deep inside. I unconsciously swayed to the song as Spir’s voice rose and swelled with each verse. When the song ended, I had to take a deep breath.
“That was beautiful,” I whispered. Spir turned and graced me with a smile. He spent another minute or two fussing with one of the dendrobiums before padded softly across the floor and stopping directly in front of me.
“Thank you,” Spir smiled and leaned a little closer. “They are happy here, your plants. They were just confused. They will produce beautiful flowers for you now.”
“I appreciate that. Thank you.” My voice was soft and I meant it, but I couldn’t stop staring at the man I never imagined I’d see again. “Not that I’m complaining, but why are you here, Spirian?”
He cocked his head to the side and studied me like he didn’t understand the question. “Though I said I didn’t know when I’d be able to return, that did imply I would come back at some point in the future.”
I shook my head and laughed. I’d forgotten how matter-of-fact he could be. “That was ten years ago. I’d sort of assumed the statute of limitations had run out on that particular promise.”
It took him a minute to understand the reference. He shook his head, “It has not.”
“Okay,” I said slowly. “But why, exactly, are you here?”
He let out an exasperated sigh, and I almost laughed at how familiar it sounded. “Previously, neither one of us were in a mindset to fully engage in a relationship despite how compatible we were.”
I nodded. “Yeah, I agree.”
Spir took a step closer. “And now we are. You have built us a place where we could both be very happy. I could help you grow such beautiful things. That is all I require in this life, to sing to the flora and to have you close by.” Suddenly his cheeks went red, and he could no longer look me in the eye. “If you’ll have me, that is.”
Ten years ago we might have been young and unprepared. But I knew I was ready to settle down. If Spirian was even half the man he used to be, we’d be just fine.
I nodded even as I closed the distance between us. “Yes, Spir. I’ll have you.”