Chapter Five

Merry was out of breath by the time he made it through the front doors of the school. He’d seen Rick outside, but Rick hadn’t seen him. Thank gawd. Determined to make it to class before Rick caught him, he made his way to his locker and unloaded his backpack at the speed of light.

“How be me Meriadoc on this fine morn?"

Merry jumped, his heart filled his throat, and he turned to Quinn. “Don’t do that!” His voice shook in the harsh whisper.

“I can’t ask how ye be?”

“No! I mean, yes, but don’t sneak up on me like that!”

“I did not. I merely appeared.”

“Exactly!” Merry took deep, even breaths willing his pounding heart back into his chest.

Quinn’s brow knitted in concern. “Ye be truly frightened.”

“Ah, yeah! Rick’s outside and I thought you were he, or him, or whatever. I thought he found me!” He took another deep, calming breath and closed his locker door. “I swear, Quinn, Rick’s gonna kill me one day.”

Quinn’s frown deepened. “Well, now. We can’t have that, can we? I see ye to class, then.” He put an arm around Merry and guided him away.

OMG! Quinn had his arm around him. In school. In the hall. In front of everybody! Merry looked around nervously and waited for the taunting to begin. When no one said a thing, he relaxed a little into the comfort of Quinn’s arm. He felt safe, cared for, and wished he could stay there all day. He was also dying to ask Quinn if he was gay but still couldn’t work up the courage.

“Ye not swear such a thing, Merry, lest ye make it true.”

He glanced up at Quinn as they wended their way through the throng of students. “What are you talking about?”

“Ye don’t swear Rick will kill ye lest ye wish it to be true.”

“Seriously?”

“Aye. Truly.”

“Is that, like, a fairy thing?”

Before Quinn could answer, Rick and his goons appeared in the hallway ahead of them. Merry stopped walking, fear filling every fiber of his being and causing his bones to turn jelly.

“Come on, now, Meriadoc. Ye be fine,” Quinn reassured.

Merry numbly put one rubbery foot before the other, and waited for an attack that never came. Rick and his jerk friends walked by without as much as a glance in their direction. “H-he didn’t see me,” he breathed, his voice a mere quaver on the air.

Quinn winked at him. He actually winked. What did that mean? They reached Merry’s classroom and stopped just outside the door.

“I see ye at lunch, little fella."

“Can, can we meet outside the cafeteria doors?”

“Why?”

“I-it’s safer. Rick might see me in the cafeteria. It’s like I’m a magnet for him.”

Quinn frowned. “Truly?”

“Yeah, it’s as if my electrons are screwed up or something. No matter where I am, he finds me.”

“It be a problem of polarization, then?” Quinn was grave.

Merry looked up at him, and realized Quinn was screwing with him. “You’re making fun of me.”

“Wouldn’t think of it,” he said with a smile.

Merry couldn’t help it. He laughed for the first time in as long as he could remember. “Stop,” he said shyly and looked away.

Quinn chuckled. “If that be ye wish, so be it. I’ll see ye outside the cafĂ© door.” With a peck to Merry’s cheek, Quinn was gone.

Merry flushed crimson, and his eyes darted the hallway as he waited for the eeews, disgusted looks, slurs, and maybe even a shriek to fill the air. Nothing happened. No one in the hall noticed him. At all. Rick hadn’t seen him either. It was as if Quinn had made him...invisible. Oh, no freakin’ way! He shot through the door into class.
~*~
Merry rounded the corner to the cafeteria and saw Quinn just outside the doors as promised. He was talking to a girl. One who was obviously crushing on himhard. She may as well have been drooling on him. When she stood on tiptoe and kissed his lips, Merry froze. His hopes weren’t dashed. No, of course not. His hopes were callously thrown to the ground, crushed under the weight of heartrending anguish, and ground into the earth under the heel of jealousy.

He made it into a bathroom stall before he fell apart, leaned his forehead against the cool metal of the door, and let the tears fall. He should have known not to hope. Even if Quinn were to be gay, Quinn wouldn’t want someone like pathetic, weak, spineless, nerdy, plain Merry the Fairy. He was a care package in the extreme with seriously heavy baggage, and offered nothing of value to anyone. He was a total waste of space. Why had he been so stupid as to hope Quinn might actually like him?

“Merry,” Quinn’s deep voice sounded on the other side of the door.

Great. Just freakin’ great. How’d Quinn know where he was?

“Open the door, Merry.”

He quickly dried his face with the hem of his shirt.

“Open the door, Meriadoc.”

“How’d you know where I was?”

“I always know where ye be.”

Merry jumped and turned to find Quinn standing right behind him. “Don’t do that!” He turned away quickly. He didn’t want Quinn to know he’d been crying, utterly feeble excuse for a human specimen that he was.

Quinn brushed a wisp of Merry’s brown hair from his temple with a gentle fingertip. “Tell me what upset ye so? Ye be in one piece, so I know Rick didn’t find ye.”

“Nothing.” Merry reached for the toilet paper to blow his nose and it tore beneath his fingers. He grabbed at it and only succeeded in knocking the whole roll to the floor. Great.

“Come now. Tell ye Quinn what be the matter.”

“Nothing.” He bent and picked up the roll and gathered tissue in a hand. The roll flipped from his grasp and landed in the toilet bowl, immediately swelling in the water, sure to become a monstrous marshmallow within seconds. The blob now loomed large in the water. Crap. Even the toilet paper mocked him.

He dared to blow his nose with the toilet paper in his hand and hoped it didn’t do something totally weird. Like catch fire. And fricassee his eyebrows right off his face. Worse yet, fry his measly five whiskers. That would be a tragedy he couldn’t overcome. Man, he hated his life. No one had a life like this but him. It was as if he lived in his own personal hell. A toilet paper hell at the moment. Like, who fights with toilet paper? Was he doomed not only to be a victim of life, but of toilet paper as well? When toilet paper could best you, that said it all, didn’t it?

Quinn cupped Merry’s chin with a gentle hand and Merry closed his eyes, refusing to look at him.

“Open ye eyes, Merry.”

“No,” he whispered with what little strength he had left. The T.P. feud had taken the last of his reserves.

“Aye, open ‘em for ye Quinn.”

Against Merry’s will, his eyes slowly opened to Quinn’s emerald gaze. WTH?

“Ahhhh,” Quinn said with a soft, deep laugh. “Ye be green with envy.”

Merry pulled away quickly, his shoulder connecting with the metal wall of the stall with a dull thud.

“Why ye be jealous?”

“I'm not.”

Quinn gave him a dubious look. “Aye, ye be.” He looked deep into Merry’s eyes again then began to laugh. “That? Ye be jealous of a kiss? From a lass, no less?” Quinn laughed harder, the sound of it echoing off the tile walls of the bathroom.

Merry flushed crimson. Great. Quinn could read minds, too? That meant Quinn knew he had a crush on him the size of the continental U.S. The air in the small stall was suddenly hot and he needed to go. NOW! He tried to open the door and it wouldn’t budge. He fought with it until he realized Quinn was holding it closed. “Let me out!”

Quinn’s laughter died away and he shook his head slowly. “Ye be jealous of a kiss from a lass,” he repeated, his voice now full of wonder.

Merry fought the door again. “No. Let go of the door!”

“Aye, ye be.”

“Am not. Let me out!”

“Aye. Ye cannot hide these things from ye Quinn.”

Merry gave up on the door and kicked it. “Is kissing, like, some kind of fairy thing? Because you go around kissing everybody!”

“I do not!” Quinn feigned indignation through a smile.

“Is it a fairy thing?” Merry demanded.

“Is it a human thing?” Quinn countered.

“Yeah, when you like someone!”

“Well, then, ye have ye answer, don’t ye?”

Merry stilled, his heart twisting in agony. “So, you like her?” His question was but a breath on the air.

“Nay.”

Merry dared to look up at him now. “Then why’d you kiss her?”

“I did not.”

“I saw it!”

“Uh, uh, uh. You saw the lass kiss me.”

“You let it happen!” Merry sounded petulant again. What was it about Quinn that made him so damn emotional? He wanted to kick the door again.

“Aye, I did. I can only interfere with fate when doin’ me job.”

“So, it’s your job to let girls”worse yetpeople kiss you?”

“Don’t be daft.”

Merry stifled a growl. “What’s daft mean?”

“Silly. The important thing be, I did not kiss the lass. She not be Fairy Kissed.”

OMG, back to the stupid Fairy Kiss! This needed to stop, or he really would go nuts. He took a deep breath and lowered his now-tremulous voice. “Quinn?”

“Aye?”

“Why is a Fairy Kiss different from a regular kiss?” Back to Stupid-sounding Questions 101.

“Be special.”

“What’s that mean?”

“Just what I said. It be special.”

Merry gritted his teeth. “What. Kind. Of. Special?” he asked as evenly as he could.

Quinn cupped Merry’s chin again and Merry dared to meet his eyes this time. “Ye know in ye heart of hearts what I mean to say, Meriadoc.”

Merry prepared to fire back then stilled at the look in Quinn’s eyes. Did Quinn like him? In that way? Fragile tendrils of hope brushed his heart again. Oh, man...could it be true?

“Aye, little fella, now ye understand.”

“You like me?”

“I tell ye, I did.”

“You said fond. Fond can mean a lot of things. What kind of fond?” Merry was bordering on belligerent again. This sort of behavior was a definite first for him.

Quinn laughed softly. “Aye, ye have fight in ye.”

“Answer the question, please.”

Now Quinn did frown, all humor lost. Merry waited, pensive, terrified he’d pushed it too far.

Then Quinn kissed Merry in earnest.

Merry started at first then eased, all but dissolving into the warmth of Quinn’s arms. He had never been kissed, much less kissed like this. He had never been held like this. No one had ever cared for him like this. A profound sense of belonging pushed away the ancient loneliness and hurt that had lain like an ugly wet blanket over his pathetic existence. Quinn’s lips were soft, a sweet velvet against Merry’s, and Merry couldn’t help but to open to him. Their tongues danced a slow, tender waltz, and Merry didn’t want the kiss to end. Ever. He wanted to freeze time, to stay in Quinn’s arms, and kiss him forever.

The kiss left Merry dazed and breathless, his head reeling, and Quinn’s eyes held him rapt, his gaze intense. “Ye have ye answer now, me Meriadoc?”

Merry couldn’t speak. Nary a word left his kiss-swollen lips. He could only nod.
Chapter Four                                                 Table of Contents                                                Chapter Six
©2012-2017 Cody Kennedy. All Rights Reserved.

8 comments:

  1. I'm really loving this story!!!! I really can't wait for the next chapter. :)

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    1. LOL. I'm glad you're enjoying it, Jase! My pleasure to bring it to you. :D

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  2. I want Quinn's power to understand a person's emotion by looking in the eyes - Awesome!!
    It would make life a lot easier! So glad that Merry understands how Quinn feels about him :)
    Chapter 6, chapter 6, chapter 6. . ..bring it!
    KerryP

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    1. It's great to see you here again, Kerry. Wouldn't we all want that power? It would be awesome in the extreme! :D

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  3. Awww. I have Quinn love and I want to hug Merry :)

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    1. Isn't Quinn just the coolest, Kazza K? And, yeah, Merry needs a lot of hugs. It's great to see you here again! Thanks for dropping by!

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  4. After reading the first 5 chapters (which were fabulous) I was thrilled to read this. Merry really needed the closeness the kiss with Quinn afforded him. It's a beautiful thing to witness Merry's felling of being cared for.

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    1. Thank you, Sandy! This was one of my favorite chapters to write. Thanks for commenting and I'm glad you're enjoying the story!

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