Chapter Ten

Merry froze.

“Aye, ye hear me, Meriadoc McDaniel!” the little voice shouted.

He turned and looked around the yard. Nothing. A large moth flitted in his face again and he batted it away, annoyed.

“Ach! Ye banjax me wing! Ye cursed humans be ever so impertinent!”

He looked down to where the little voice emanated from. A large moth fluttered angrily in the grass, seemingly trapped in the tall blades and unable to take flight again. Its wings were a vivid, neon yellow and huge for a moth.

“Aye, human! I be spakin’ of ye!”

“What the hell,” Merry whispered.

The moth batted its wings angrily at him as it twisted and spun gracelessly in the green blades. “For Consort’s sake, throw us a lifeline and stop lettin’ death take me hand!”

Merry squatted and peered closely at the eerily beautiful moth, and jumped back with a start, landing on his ass when he realized it wasn’t a moth at all, but a small per—Okay, wait. The last couple of days had been weird. Seriously weird. Insanely weird. But this was just wrong in the extreme. And if his neighbors caught him talking to a moth in his backyard, well, they would think he was certifiable. Worse yet, they’d call his dad. That would be all kinds of bad. He rubbed his eyes, certain his imagination was OUT. OF. CONTROL. He would not talk to a six-inch moth person. Nope. Not happening. He quickly stood and headed toward the backdoor. “There is not a little hu—moth person yelling at me from my backyard. There is not a little moth person yelling at me from my backyard,” he repeated as he opened the backdoor.

“Meriadoc McDaniel, I come at the behest of the Prince of Flesh and Bone, Bearer of Hands of Fire and Water!”

“There is NOT a little moth person—”

"I have ye a message from Quinn!"

At the mention of Quinn’s name, he stopped in his tracks. He turned and walked back to the fluttering moth and squatted next to it as it flapped madly in the grass. “Y-you’re a Fairy?”

Large, shiny jet eyes to match a wild ebony mane looked up at him. She looked like a miniature, deranged Barbie doll with wings. Thin and frail, she wore nothing more than a filmy tunic faintly hued with yellow. Tiny, black-velvet antennae sprouted just above her large pointed ears and moved frenetically has she struggled to stand upright in the grass. “What else I be?” she demanded.

Good question.

“Quit ye tomfoolery and give me a hand already!”

Merry extended a hand and, with considerable effort, the small fairy climbed onto his palm, breathless and grumbling something about banjax as she straightened her wing. It looked a little crooked and slightly mangled, and he instantly felt remorse for having swatted at her. “S-sorry.”

“Aye, well, ye be jammy I can heal me self. Be a moment,” she sighed. With more effort, she stood and brushed dirt from her knees and elbows. With a curtsy, she offered, “Lady Sadb an Buí, in the service of we Prince of Fairy, He Majesty Quinn Malloy O’Cuinn, son of we Queen Muirgan of we High Court of Fairy, Queen of Flesh and Bone, Bearer of Hands of Fire and Water.”

Whoa. “Hi.”

“A human o’few words are ye? Odd, if I do say so meself.”

“You’re really a fairy?” Stupid question. What else could she be?

“I be demi-fae!” she announced indignantly, parking angry hands on her hips.


Her large black eyes became larger still, now way too big for her tiny face. “What ye mean to ask?”

Great. Talking to her was like talking to Quinn. Definitely empirical evidence of fairyness. “What is a demi-fae?”

“Oooooh, oh. That what ye mean to ask?”


“Oh, well, we be the essence o’Fairy. We carry all magicks of the Land.” She abruptly sat in his palm, bent his fingers, and leaned against them comfortably. “Ye see, long ago....”

Merry stared at her as she spoke of someone named Gaea, islands beneath the sea, deadly mists, and faraway lands. After five minutes, he couldn’t take it anymore. “You said you had a message from Quinn?”

She was immediately offended. “Ye must address me proper. And if ye add a bit of deference, ’twould right please me.”

He bit back the angry words that tried to fly from his lips. “Okaaay. What’s your name again?”

“Lady Sadb an Buí, in the service of we Prince of Fairy, He Majesty Quinn Malloy O’Cuinn, son of we Queen Muirgan of we High Court of Fairy, Queen of Flesh and Bone, Bearer of Hands of Fire and Water.”

“I have to say all that?”

“Why not?”

“How about Lady Sigh-eve-an-bwee?”

A tiny fingertip tapped her chin as she considered his address. “All be right. What be ye question?”

“What’s the message from Quinn? Is he okay?”

“That be two questions. Ye only ask for one question.”

Merry frowned, irked. “What’s the message from Quinn?”

“He wish me to tell ye....” She paused.

Merry waited. And waited. And waited. “Tell me what?

“I not rightly recall.”

Merry was incredulous. “You don’t remember?”

She glared at him. “I not be in the Land o’Fairy!”

“So what?”

“It make me mind weak and I cannot recall!”

Merry wanted to choke her. “Is Quinn okay? When he left here h-he was bleeding.”

“Aye, he be a right ruin.”

Merry wanted to scream. “Is. He. O. Kay?”

“Ye dare not raise ye voice to a Lady of we High Court!”

Ohmygod. Talking to this demi-fae made talking to Quinn seem like a walk in the park. “Okay, sorry. Sorry. Please tell me if Quinn is okay.”

“After a fashion.”

Merry rubbed his eyes with thumb and forefinger in frustration. “So, he’s not okay?”

“He be when he return to ye.”

“When’s he coming back?”

“On the morrow.”

Relief flooded Merry. “What happened to him? It was like some monster attacked him or something.”

Her jet eyes turned sad. “Aye.”

“What was it?”

“Not be what. Be who.”

Merry’s frustration ratcheted another notch. “Okay, who?”

“Queen Mother.”

Merry was shocked. “Why?”

“We Mother lose she temperament.”

Merry tucked his chin in disbelief. “Why?”

“Prince Quinn delay in he response to she call.”

Questions bounced off the walls of Merry’s mind and he couldn’t decide what to ask first. “Quinn is a prince? A real prince?”

“Ye be daft? Why ye ask such a thing?”

“Okay, okay. So, Quinn’s mom got mad because she called and he didn’t answer fast enough?”

“Aye, he delay a fair bit, then he dare to stop time, and she lose she temperament.” She was thoughtful for another long moment, fingertip tapping chin. “He ne’er defy we Queen afore. Makes ye wonder what he be doin’ be so important as to defy she, don’t it? Ye know what he be doin’ when she call?”

Ah, yeah, he knew, but he sure as hell wasn’t going to say. “He was with me.”

“Aye, but he would not ignore we Queen’s call lest it be a matter of utmost urgency. What he be doin’?”

Yeah, it had been urgent, all right. Merry quickly changed the subject. “Is there any more to the message besides he’ll be okay by the time he gets back in the morning?”

“I not recall.”

Merry rubbed his eyes again, aggravated beyond reason by the nonsensical conversation. “Can you take a message back to him?”

Her brow knitted. “Me Prince not say so.”

“Will you do it?”

Her eyes narrowed on him, an evil little grin forming on her face to reveal sharp, pointy teeth. “Do ye mean to ask a favor of me?” she asked excitedly.

“It’s not a favor. It’s a request. Will you please take a message back to him?”

“Shite! Ye not fall for me trixie!”

In the blink of an eye, she stood and stomped her foot hard on his palm. It startled him and he dropped her. She took flight and zoomed at his face, her large black eyes frightening as they came at him. He couldn’t help it. He batted at her.

“Ach! Why ye aim to harm me?”

“I don’t! Just don’t fly at my face like that!”

She stilled, and floated gently on the air in front of him, her eyes large and round as she ogled him closely. “Ye spake true.”

“Yeah, I do. Will you please take a message back to Quinn for me, Lady Sadb an Buí?”

“Why ye not address we Prince by he title?”

Merry fought not to raise his voice again. “He’s never asked me to. Will you take a message back to him or not?”

She thought for another long moment. “He not say so.”

Merry was close to losing it with this little creature. “You can’t do something unless he tells you to?”

“Aye. What say we ask ‘im?”

“What do you mean, ask him? We have to ask him if you can take a message back to him?”


“How?” She flew at his face again and he fought not to bat at her. Then he felt her tiny hand touch his cheek and he took a step back. “W-what are you doing?”

“Ye wish to ask ‘im, do ye not?”

“Doesn’t sound like I have a choice.”

“Then I need touch ye.”


“So ye may spake to ‘im through me.”

“How does that work?”

“Ye try me patience! How ye think it work? It be Fairy magick!”

That explained everything. Not. “Wait. Just, just give me a sec.” He wasn’t afraid of her, exactly, but there was something very menacing about her, and he definitely didn’t want to see those black eyes and sharp teeth coming at him again. He breathed deeply and gathered his calm. “Okay.”

Her tiny hand touched his cheek, and she yelped and flew away.

“What’s wrong?”

She darted back, her eyes wide with disbelief, a hand covering her gaping mouth. “Ye be Fairy Kissed!”

Oh. My. God! The stupid Fairy Kiss again! “Yeah, so?”

“Be forbidden to Fairy Kiss a human!”

Merry didn’t know what to say to that. He didn’t want Quinn to be in more trouble than he already was. He just needed to talk to him. “Can I talk to Quinn? Please?”

She flew in erratic circles, leaving brightly colored trails to arc the air as she ranted in a language Merry guessed to be Irish.

This went on for no less than ten minutes. He finally called her name. “Lady Sadb an Buí!”

She halted her rant and flew at him, her frightening black orbs and sharp teeth monstrous as they came at him. Her wings buzzed a wickedly high pitch as she whizzed past, narrowly missing his cheek, and he fought not to step back.

“All be right! I use ye other cheek!”

Finally! “Okay. Ready?” He closed his eyes and her tiny hand touched his other cheek.

His mind swirled and dizziness threatened to overwhelm him right before a sterling calm filled him. He found himself seeing another world, as if he looked through someone else’s eyes.

“Aye, Meriadoc,” Sadb whispered. “Ye see me Prince’s chamber through me eyes.”

Only the sound of Merry’s name from Sadb kept his mind grounded in reality. His eyes drank in the vast, finely furnished cavern as the scent of freshly cut grass and spring rains imbued his senses. Ornate gold sconces littered the jagged stone walls and filled the enormous space with soft, golden candlelight. Handcrafted rugs depicting unicorns, three headed dogs, and fire-breathing dragons graced a highly polished, crystalline floor that looked to be made of crushed diamonds.

Tearing his eyes from the spellbinding room, he looked for Quinn. He lay on a bed of flowers, his bleeding back a stark contrast to the soft pastels of the flora. One beautiful, glassy green wing wafted slowly above him, while the other lay in bloody tatters at his side. A colorful cloud moved and swayed above him and Merry realized it was a flurry of demi-fae tending his wounds.

“Quinn,” he breathed.

Quinn turned his head toward the sound of Merry’s voice. “Sadb?”

"Aye, 'tis me, Sire." Sadb spoke quickly, defensively. “Merry wish me return a message to ye, but ye not give ye say-so to do so. So, he wish ye say-so for me to do so on ye say-so. So, I use me mind’s eye to ask ye say-so. Ye say so?” She abruptly fell mute.

Quinn groaned as he rolled partially onto one side. “Must ye be so bloody literal, Sadb?”

“If ye say so, Sire.”

“Aye, aye! Ye have me say-so! Do as Merry wish! But ye not permit the lad to see within we mound! Ye risk he human sight for all time if ye do!”

“Too late,” Merry said softly.

Chapter Nine                                                Table of Contents                                                 Chapter Eleven 
©2012-2017 Cody Kennedy. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter Nine

How dare you defy me!” Queen Muirgan shrieked.

Quinn found himself shackled to the jagged obsidian wall of the Chamber of Pain. He refused to cry out as she drew a claw down his back producing yet another spate of blood from him.

"Blessed be, Muirgan, Queen of Flesh and Bone, Bearer of the Hands of Fire and Water. It could not be helped, me beloved Queen," he choked out.

She jerked his head back by a handful of hair until his long neck became an exposed line of flesh, his pulse beating against his skin like the wings of a trapped hummingbird.

"How do you do that," she sneered.

"What ye mean to ask, me Queen?" He fought to keep his voice calm, to hide the fear she instilled in him, for she would feed off it to fuel her rage.

"Pay due respect when I cause you pain."

"I live to serve ye, me Queen."

She released her hold on his hair and pushed his head away. The abrupt movement caused his front to connect with the sharp protrusions of the obsidian wall. They sliced into his skin, and rendered his chest and stomach a red ruin to match his back.

"You never fail to say whatever I wish to hear and you manage to fill it with enough truth that you aren't forsworn by the Host. I absolutely hate that about you!"

He winced and rested his forehead against the jagged wall. He'd worked so hard to be worthy of her love and approval and, despite his efforts and centuries at Court, he'd never won her over. Or developed skin thick enough to tolerate her criticism. He could bear her physical torture, but her verbal and emotional abuse shredded and scarred his very essence. With his neck no longer hyperextended, his voice was a little steadier. "Forgive me, me Queen. I beg ye, tell me what I have done to displease ye this time."

She stalked around him, the many layers of her gown slithering across the floor. "How dare you ignore me when I call!"

"It could not be helped, me Queen. Ye ask me to watch over the lad. I be doin' that when ye call."

She wrenched his head back again causing his spine to bow, and he knew she could snap his neck with just a little more pressure. It wouldn't kill him, but he didn't want to spend the rest of his life paralyzed from the neck down. He'd seen what his queen did with useless fae. She kept them as nothing more than toys to torture, storing them in a great silver vault only to pull them out when the mood struck her. He would allow himself to fade before he became a victim of her sadism any more than he already was.

"You were to do nothing more than protect him! Now, you have not only exposed us, but you have enchanted him! An act so forbidden that, but for me, you would spend the next millennium in the Darkling Court!" Her shriek pierced his ears as her claws pierced one of his wings and drew down on the delicate veil, leaving it in tatters.

This time he did cry out as blood ran. "I did not, me Queen! I swear it!"

She canted her head and leered at him, a buzzard eyeing its carrion before plucking the orbs of its dead eyes out and swallowing them whole. "You wouldn't swear such a thing, lest it were true." Her voice was now a smooth, low contralto.

"Ye know I cannot lie, me beloved Queen," he panted through the pain.

Her fist tightened in his hair. "Tell me," she shrieked, and shook his head with such force he thought his neck would snap.

Quinn didn't want to tell her. Not for fear of what she would do to him, but for fear of what she would do to Merry.

She pulled back and down, bowing his neck and back to a point where he was nearly folded in half. "Tell me," she growled.

"The enchantment be his," he choked out.

She righted him, the whiplash velocity of the movement sending daggers of pain dancing through his essence, and he thought he might pass out.

She jerked his head so he came face to face with her, her fiery red eyes gone dead as a winter sky with disbelief. Without glamour to give her beauty, she was hideous in her natural state, and she didn't wear surprise well. "Are you trying to tell me he bears a showing of magick?" she hissed.

"Aye," Quinn breathed in defeat.

A small laugh escaped her, the high-pitched titter leaving a sickening dread in Quinn's veins.

"And you have been enchanted by him? A half human, no less?"

Quinn closed his eyes and swallowed hard. "Aye, me Queen."

She abruptly released him and danced around the chamber, her cackle long and loud.

The manacles that held him prisoner fell away, and he dropped to the floor, landing hard on his hands and knees as pain seared every fiber of his being. He thought to get to his feet, and then thought better of it. To rise without her permission would only earn him more punishment. He kept his head bowed, his long red hair a convenient curtain to hide his pained expression.

"You have always been so bloody weak!" Without warning, her slippered foot connected with the side of his head with such force that he went sprawling. "Get up!" she shrieked.

He willed himself to stand. He slowly got to his feet as he fought pain and the fiery sting of his shredded wing. He dared not meet her eyes. His bare foot slipped in the blood that had pooled on the floor and he caught himself against the wall, tearing a jagged wound in the palm of his hand.

"What else does the boy show?"

"Naught more as of yet, me Queen."

She put a clawed fingertip to his chin and lifted his face so he had no choice but to meet her eyes. "You speak true, my weakling."

He wasn't weak. In fact, he was far more powerful than she. If only she knew his lifelong desire for her love and approval was all that kept him from slaying her. "I do, me Queen."

She released his chin, her sharp claw slicing his skin as it left him and leaving warm blood to trickle down his throat and pool in the hollow of his neck. "All the more reason to protect him. Stay with him all hours of the sun and moon from now on."

Being away from the mound denied him the eidos of Fairy, and the very essence that kept him alive. She'd sent him away so often over the past century, it was all he could do to last enough hours in the day to protect Merry without beginning to fade. "Ye know I cannot, me Queen." 

"You will!" she shrieked.

Her water magick filled the air and he began to drown, as if water was truly filling his lungs. "Great Mother, I beg ye. Please do not punish me for something ye have done to me!"

Her magick ebbed, a wicked wave withdrawing from a battered shore, and he gasped and gulped air as fast as he could.

"Ah, yes, sometimes I forget myself," she said through a cackle.

Quinn tried to stand erect, but didn't have the strength.

"Very well. I return your ability to heal yourself."

"Thank ye, me Queen, but ye know I still cannot be far from Fairy for more than a few hour."

"Ifreann na fola!" she swore. "How in the name of Goddess and Consort did I bear such a worthless fae?"

He winced again. She couldn't even bear to call him her son. "If I may be so bold, me beloved Queen?"


"Return the lad's mother to 'im."

She advanced on him now, rage large in her fiery red eyes. "How dare you question me!" She slapped him hard.

His face ignited in pain and he willed himself not to strike back. "Ye stripped she of every magick she possess and she be weak as a new born bantling. She be harmless, me Queen."

"This is why you will never be king! She betrayed us!"

"She did not, me Queen. She fell in love."

"With a human!"

Quinn couldn't respond without running the risk of imprisonment in the Chamber of Pain for centuries. "Very well, me Queen. I stay with the lad and return only once daily."

"Listen, and listen well, my weakling fae. If anything happens to that boy, I will consign you to the Fountain of Terror until you fade!"

"I take ye meanin', me beloved Queen."

Her cloak spilled around her like black water as she turned and went to the antiquated wooden door and opened it. "Clean him up and see that he is gone by dawn!" she ordered.

A flurry of demi-fae entered the chamber and swarmed Quinn, lifting him into the air, and carrying him from the chamber.


Merry touched fingertips to the blood that stained his blanket. A split-second before Quinn had vanished, he thought he saw wings. Clear as glass with a hint of green to match Quinn's eyes, they were beautiful and looked utterly frail as blood had splashed them and dripped from their tips. He'd called for Quinn, his desperate pleas loud in his mind, but received no response. Adrenaline had flooded his body and left him feeling wired and weak at the same time. He didn't know what had happened, but whatever it was, it left Quinn severely wounded.

Bewildered and wholly afraid for Quinn, he rose from the bed. There was no way to explain the blood to his dad so he had to wash the blanket. His hands shook like newborn leaves as he stripped it back and was disheartened to find that blood had seeped through to the sheets. He stripped those too, only to find that it had seeped into the mattress cover. He stripped that too and was relieved to find that it hadn't seeped into the mattress. His dad would be furious if saw it and, no matter the excuse he invented, his dad would know he was lying.

He carried the linen to their stackable washer and dryer in the closet and threw the mattress cover and sheets in first. They took less time to dry and would be done by the time the blanket was washed. He added soap and made sure he hit the right buttons and started the machine.

He then went to the kitchen and looked out at the backyard. The mist was gone and the sun shined bright in the sky. Until now, he hadn't noticed the plethora of flowers in bloom. Their backyard had become nothing short of a riot of color. Except for one tree stump near the edge of the yard still shrouded in mist.

Interesting. "Send me a sign. A thought. A smoke signal. Anything to let me know you're okay," he whispered to the window.

He had no idea how long he stood there, but the next thing he knew the washer buzzed at him letting him know its duty was complete. He went to the machine and transferred the load to the dryer then loaded the blanket and soap, and set the machines to task again.

He returned to the window. He didn't know what he hoped to see, but wanted—no, needed—to know Quinn was okay. Nothing appeared. No sign came to him. Not so much as a whisper in his mind.

Over the course of the next two hours he finished the laundry as he watched the sun set, and then remade his bed. It was then that he noticed Quinn's T-shirt on the floor. He picked it up and sat on the edge of the bed. Bringing it to his face, he breathed Quinn's scent in. It was unique, like nothing he'd ever smelled before, a rich aroma of new buds and spring grass, and something he thought to be lemon. Who knew a guy could smell like flowers and still be cool? He breathed in deeply one more time before folding the shirt neatly and placing it beneath his pillow.

He thought about eating, but food didn't interest him. He thought about homework, but that didn't interest him either. He needed to know what had happened. He needed to know that Quinn was okay. He decided to put on a hoodie and head to the backyard to wait for Quinn.


"Go to him, Sadb. Tell him I be all right," Quinn urged.

The tiny demi-fae flitted around, rinsing and dressing his wounds with salve. "But he be human, Sire."

Quinn rolled onto his side with a stifled groan. "He won't hurt ye, lass. Now, go on with ye."

Her buzzing wings slowed and she put angry hands on her hips as she hovered over his head. "It be forbidden for demi-fae to speak to a human!"

"Ye be part of me guard, Sadb. Ye be in me service. Be nothing to forgive. Simply let 'im know I be all right and I see 'im on the morrow."

She pursed her lips and tapped her foot angrily in the air. "Naught more?"

He tried to offer her a reassuring smile, but his pain was too great. "Naught more."

"Ye swear it?"

"I swear it, me Lady."

She smiled then, pleased by the formal address, and Quinn knew he'd won her over.


It was midnight and Merry had twice fallen asleep where he sat. He sighed as he grudgingly surrendered to the notion that Quinn wouldn't return tonight. He stood and stretched, and a large moth flew at his face. He waved it away, knocking it gently aside as he turned to go to the house.

"Meriadoc McDaniel, do ye not have a beagán beag of respect for we demi-fae?" a tiny voice shouted.

Chapter Eight                                                 Table of Contents                                                   Chapter Ten
©2012-2017 Cody Kennedy. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter Eight

They reached Merry's house and Quinn followed Merry up the steps of the porch to the front door. Merry dug the house key from his pocket and shyly glanced up at Quinn, nervous. He'd never had anyone over before and certainly not a boyfriend. Or a non-boyfriend, as the case may be. "Um, if-if you can't be my boyfriend, then what are we?"

"We be friends."

"I know, but we like each—"

Quinn silenced him with a chaste kiss. "Say naught aloud, me Merry," he whispered against his lips.

"'Kay," Merry breathed, a bit dazed. Man, Quinn's kisses did something to him. It was as if even his mind could tingle. "Do you want to, um, come in?"

Quinn smiled, his brilliant green eyes filling with mischief. "What ye think?"

Merry giggled and his cheeks heated. He wasn't used to laughing, let alone giggling like a girl, and it embarrassed the crap out of him.

Quinn chuckled softly. "I like to hear ye laugh."

Merry giggled again. "It's not a laugh," he said lamely. It took him three tries to insert the key in the lock. How freakin' typical. He finally managed to open the door and stepped inside, tripping over the doorsill in the process.

Quinn caught him with a firm grip on his arm before he face-planted into the worn carpeting. "Ye be a right muppet, ye be."

Merry withdrew his arm from Quinn's grasp and set his backpack on the coffee table. "Which one?"

"They be more than one?"

"Ah, yeah, quite a few, actually."

Quinn went to the front curtains and opened them with a flourish. Dust filled the air as afternoon sunlight filled the room. He waved it away. "Be a century since ye let sunshine in?"

Merry sneezed twice. "It's been a while."

"Mbeannaí dhuit." Quinn moved to the second window, did the same, and dust billowed in the air again. "Ye need sunshine in ye life, Merry. Open 'em every day."

Merry rubbed his eyes. "Yeah, okay. What's many-gich mean?"

"Bless ye. C'mon."

Quinn walked down the short hallway, and Merry idly wondered why Quinn seemed to be was so confident in where he was headed.

Merry entered his room as Quinn opened the curtains above his bed. He sneezed again, reached for a tissue, and knocked the box off his milk-crate desk. He bent to pick it up, smacked his head on the corner of a crate, and couldn't prevent the soft "ow" that escaped him.

"Ye be as clumsy as a drunken gnome," Quinn said as he picked up the tissue box and set it on the offending milk crate.

Merry sighed. What could he say? It was painfully obvious he was uncoordinated in the extreme. He sat on the edge of the bed, blew his nose, then threw the tissue at the trashcan in the corner of his room. Of course, he missed. He hadn't expected to hit it.

Quinn picked it up, put it in the trashcan, then plopped down on the bed beside him. "Ye room always be neat as a pin?"

Merry nodded, suddenly nervous again. He was sitting on his bed. With...Quinn.

Quinn chuckled softly as he drew Merry into his arms and fell backward on the bed bringing Merry with him.

Merry ended on top of Quinn and his traitorous dick didn't fail to react. He couldn't roll off Quinn fast enough and, in doing so, his elbow connected with Quinn's chin, a shoe tangled in the blanket, and he fell off the bed. He hit the floor with a dull thud, bruising his sore side even more, and mentally shook his head in disgust. He was more of a liability to himself than Rick was.

Quinn laughed outright as he turned onto his side and peered over the side of the bed at Merry. "Ye be fierce in ye awkwardness, mo chroi."

Merry's cheeks may as well have gone up in flames. He had no idea what to say or do, and he was scared to death the blanket would turn into another toilet paper situation. With his luck, the blanket would come alive and try to eat him, and Quinn would have to rescue him from that too. He kicked at it angrily, trying to dislodge his foot, and Quinn reached down to help him. Mistake. Merry's foot connected with the side of Quinn's face.


Quinn burst into laughter. "Blessed be, Merry! Be still!"

Mortified, Merry froze. "S-s-sorry."

Quinn only laughed harder as he dislodged Merry's foot, pulled his tennis shoes off, and set them by the bed. He sat up, pulled his own shoes off, and set them next to Merry's. "C'mere." Quinn lifted Merry as if he weighed nothing, and brought him back onto the bed. He settled Merry beside him, with Merry's head resting comfortably on his shoulder.

Merry's dick had deflated during the blanket fiasco, but it made a quick and embarrassing recovery. He tried to turn onto his back and almost fell off the bed again. Quinn caught him in time to keep him from falling, but his lower half still did a slow slide off the bed until he hit the floor again.

Quinn broke into a full-bellied laugh. "Goddess preserve us. Why layin' on ye bed be such an impossible task for ye?"

Merry was defensive and beyond embarrassed. "It's n-n-not." He tried to stand, his socks slipped on the polished wood floor, and he landed on his ass with a soft grunt.

Quinn got off the bed and stood over him, shaking his head. "Hold ye whist, Merry," he said through another laugh. "Be still. Don't move a finger." He bent, lifted Merry, and set him gently on the bed. "Ye think ye can manage to lie back without breakin' somethin' or I need help ye with that, too?"

In spite of his utter humiliation, Merry let out a small laugh. "No, I'm good," he said as he lay back against the pillow with his hands tucked safely to his chest.

Quinn nodded his approval. "Now, put ye arms and hands at ye sides."

Merry complied.

"Now, we be makin' a bit o'progress. Hear now, no matter what happen, ye not move a muscle. Ye take me meanin'?"

Did his dick count? Merry nodded.

Quinn pulled his T-shirt over his head and let it fall to the floor.

Ohmygod! Quinn was half naked! Merry's breath sped, and his heart began to dance in his throat.

With a wary look at Merry, Quinn climbed onto the bed and carefully lay over Merry. His long red hair cascaded around them and cocooned them in warmth and sweet smell. Quinn smelled of flowers, and cinnamon, and his own brand of musk. When their bodies met, Merry began to squirm, certain one final indignity of epic proportions would take him and he'd die right there on the spot.

"Whist, Merry," Quinn said softly, and right before he took Merry's lips in a blistering kiss.

As with the first time Quinn had kissed him, Merry's head spun. His embarrassment died away as he melted into Quinn's magical tastes and textures. He no longer felt humiliated, afraid, or worthless. He felt cared for, and wanted, and even special, for the first time in his life. He belonged in Quinn's arms and Quinn belonged in his, and... Oh, no, oh, no, oh, no! Crap!

Too late.

Against his will, Merry succumbed to one long, shiny moment of bliss.

Quinn laughed softly into another kiss. "Whist, Merry, be still."

Be still? He just made a big freakin' mess! There was no be still about it!

Quinn looked down at him, his emerald eyes bright with silent laughter. "Why ye think ye dick be public enemy number one and ye must use all manner of force to contain it?"

Somehow, Merry found his voice and dragged it out kicking and screaming. "Ohmygod, I can't believe you just said that!"

Quinn chuckled. "Well, ye do. I be fearful what ye do to it with a sword."

Merry gaped at him and Quinn silenced him with another glorious kiss before he could reply. Only the need to breathe forced them apart, and Merry was left breathless and dazed once again.

"Ye be all right?"

He was better than all right. And the mess no longer seemed to bother him. Then realization set in. "You're doing it."


"You're making it so I don't feel bad."

"Am not."

"Are to."

Quinn rolled to lie next to Merry, his head propped on an arm. A small sadness seemed to take a little glimmer out of his eyes. "Nay, Merry, not be me. Ye begin to grow a wee bit. Ye be so preoccupied with feeling worthless for so long, some of ye maturin' be left behind. Ye confidence not grow as it should."

Merry knew he was preoccupied with feeling worthless. Who wouldn't be with a life like his? He just hadn't ever considered that it would mess up his development. Though, being stunted in yet another way didn't surprise him. 'Stunted' may as well be his middle name.

Quinn traced the side of his face with a fingertip and his cheek tingled beneath Quinn's touch.

"Whist, Merry, stop ye self-criticism."

Merry reached for Quinn's hand and held it against his chest. "What's wisht mean?"

"Hush, calm ye self, be still."

Merry rolled onto his side to face Quinn and looked into his beautiful eyes. He had so many questions. Questions that he couldn't ask for fear the Queen would hear him. He knew he and Quinn were more than friends, but what, exactly, did that make them? Friends with benefits?

Quinn laughed softly and shook his head.

"You can read my mind," Merry whispered.

"Every twice in a while."

Merry mustered his inner strength and thought his question hard. Are we boyfriends?

Quinn winced. "Ye needn't shout, Merry."

Merry half-laughed. "Sorry."

Quinn kissed the tip of his nose. "Ye may think of me as ye wish, mo chroi."



A boyfriend! He had his first, honest to goodness boyfriend!

Quinn winced again. "Ah, Merry, don't shout."

It was Merry's turn to laugh. "Sorry. That thought was, ah, meant to be just for me."

Quinn smiled warmly. "If ye wish it, so be it."

Quinn's face suddenly took on a surprised and pained look, and he sat up quickly, his face held in his hands.


Quinn struggled to speak and Merry sat up quickly. "Quinn, what's the matter? Are you okay?" Stupid question, it was obvious he wasn't okay. Merry reached to put a hand on his shoulder to comfort him but hesitated when he saw the muscles in his back flex and twitch. "Quinn? Are you gonna—" How did he ask this politely? "—are you gonna change?"

Quinn's entire body abruptly stiffened, his back arching away from Merry as if he were in pain.

Panic quickly built in Merry's veins. "Quinn, what's happening? What is it?"

Quinn stifled a cry as his body tensed and arched again.

"Quinn! What's wrong!"

"I must—"

Quinn's answer was cut off with another jerk of his torso. A gruesome welt streaked his back, and blood began to run.

Hysteria filled Merry at the speed of light. "Quinn! What's happening?"

Another welt appeared, and another, and yet another, and Quinn's back swiftly became a red ruin.

"I must go, Merry." Quinn's choked words ended in a cry of pain right before he disappeared.

Chapter Seven                                                Table of Contents                                                  Chapter Nine
©2012-2017 Cody Kennedy. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter Seven

Quinn clamped a hand over Merry's mouth before he could utter a word, and Merry started in his seat. Not that he could actually say anything because he was stunned speechless and unable to form a single complete thought. Quinn more than liked him. Him. Shy, spineless, awkward, plain, nerdy, pathetic Merry the Fairy. Him! The thought was overwhelming and Merry felt all squishy inside. It was if his guts had turned to jelly. Now he understood what people meant when they said don't get all mushy on me. He was in seriously mushy condition.

"Say naught aloud, Merry, lest me Queen hear ye."

Quinn's seriousness and intense emerald gaze scared Merry a little, but he nodded his assent and Quinn slowly removed his hand. "I-I won't say anything."

Quinn nodded. "Nary a word on the air."

He nodded again. "This Queen, she can, like, she can hear what I say?"

"Aye, she can."

Quinn was dead serious, and it scared him some more. "Okay. Um, can I ask some questions?"

Quinn's brow knitted then smoothed. "To answer ye first question, I be carin' for ye since I begin me assignment. I find ye that first day under a tree late at night in the park. Ye be bleedin' bad. I see it meself, I did."

Merry tried to remember when he'd last been in the park at night. Sometimes he went there in the middle of the night if he’d had a particularly bad day with Rick; and then sometimes if things got rough when his dad was drunk. The painful memory of that night drifted back to him. That had been a particularly bad day. And night. Rick slammed his head into a toilet bowl and his forehead split open. Luckily, some jock entered the bathroom in time to stop Rick from slamming his head into the toilet bowl again. The principal had been furious, as if, somehow, it had been Merry's fault that his head met a toilet bowl and split open. Then it was totally freakin’ embarrassing when the school called an ambulance to take him to the hospital. All he'd needed was ten stitches and an x-ray. His dad came home drunk again and went ballistic about the hospital bill. Merry quickly explained that the school had taken care of it because it happened on school property, but it hadn’t done any good. His dad had hit him hard enough to break open the stitches. Blood had streamed down his face as he ran from the house. He didn't really remember a whole lot after that, except that the blood felt warm on his face in the cool autumn air as he ran.

It seemed as if it had happened light years ago when, in fact, it had happened on the first day of school only two months ago. He always shoved away memories that were too painful to process. Some things could happen yesterday, but if they were too hard to think about, too painful, he locked them away in the library of his mind. He'd learned long ago to compartmentalize things, to carefully sift through the thoughts and memories that were painful and not. Things that were painful went into this box or that box, and were placed on a shelf in his mind. Things that he couldn't figure out went into another box. And things that he never wanted to remember, well, he didn't store those at all. He threw those away. If they came back and tried to haunt the library in his mind, he didn’t care. He kept them out by sheer force of will. He had to, or he wouldn’t be able to function like anything even remotely close to a human being.

"Aye, ye recall. Rick be an arse, and ye da' not be better.”

Merry absently rubbed at the scar on his forehead. "That was the first day of school." Surprisingly, his voice was steady. “How come I didn’t see you?”

“Ye did, ye simply not recall.”

No. If he’d seen Quinn, he would have remembered him.

Quinn smiled. “Who do ye think got ye back to the hospital to mend ye stitches?”

It was Merry’s turn to frown. He remembered someone walking him to the hospital, though he couldn’t remember being there or getting home after that.

"Aye, me Merry, ye recall. Be time we go to class. I release time now."

Merry hadn't remembered that the first bell had clanged overhead only moments ago. He stood and his side rudely reminded him that Rick had kicked him in the ribs. He breathed through the pain, picked up their lunch trays, and carried them to the trashcan. He dumped the trash, and Quinn took the trays from him and stacked them atop a nearby cart.

Quinn put an arm around him. "Come, me Merry. We get ye to class."

Merry couldn’t help but to look up at Quinn in wonder as they walked. He had so many questions. Questions like why no one mocked them as they walked down the hall, for starters. Should he put an arm around Quinn's waist? He wanted to, but, as usual, he didn’t have the courage. Most important of all, did this mean that Quinn was—he could hardly think the words, let alone say them aloud—his boyfriend?

“Quinn?” he whispered.


“Are we invisible right now?”


“Then why isn’t everyone freaking out because you have your arm around me?”

“I do not wish it.”

“So, you can wish people not to be jerks?”

“Lest they essence be ill set from the start. Take Rick, by way of me example. ‘Is cruelty be like a fuel for ‘im, and I cannot change ‘is thinking.”

They entered the locker room to find Rick standing in front of Merry’s locker, insane with rage and snorting like a bull ready to stampede. His ugly grey ears stood at attention, and a long, thick tail whipped the air behind him.

Merry stopped dead in his tracks as every alarm bell went off in his head. He shifted on his feet, fighting to stifle the flight response that had become a permanent fixture in him over the past three years.

Quinn one-arm hugged Merry before letting his arm slip from Merry's shoulders. He moved down the aisle toward Rick, his tall, lithe frame graceful with each step. Merry wanted to reach for him, to stop him from going any closer, to tell him it wasn’t safe.

Quinn stood directly in front of Rick, no more than an arm’s length away. His anger hummed softly up Merry’s spine, as if they were suddenly magically connected, and he knew only extraordinary self-control kept Quinn from tearing Rick apart. The muscles in his back flexed and twitched beneath his white T-shirt and told Merry he was fighting hard to keep from losing his temper and changing into his other form.

“What the hell are you?” Rick growled.

“Ye needn’t be concerned with what I be. Ye need be concerned with what ye be.”

“Undo it,” Rick growled through clenched teeth.

Quinn shook his head slowly. “Nay, Rick Adams. Jammy ye be that be the only thing I done to ye. Ye deserve far, far worse, cur that ye be.”

“Undo it! Now! Or I’ll kill you!”

Quinn’s hand was suddenly up in front of Rick’s face, his fingers spread wide. It slowly morphed into the clawed hand of the beast he’d become in the cafeteria. “Reel yer neck in, Rick Adams. Ye not be makin’ anyone dead.”

He flexed claws at Rick and, for the first time ever, Merry saw fear flicker in Rick’s eyes.

“Now go on. Hump off afore I pan ye out again. And keep ye a fair distance from Merry, lest ye be pushin’ up daisies afore ye time.”

Quinn turned to head back to Merry and Rick made the mistake of grabbing his shoulder and pulling the other hand back in preparation for a punch.

Quinn’s clawed hand shot out and met with Rick’s chunky chest. He flew twenty feet backward down the aisle, his back hitting the wall with enough force to crack the tiles around him.

Quinn advanced on him, his anger large on the air, and Merry was now very afraid Quinn would do something irreversible. He ran down the aisle after Quinn and reached him just as he grabbed the front of Rick’s shirt.

“Quinn, wait! Don’t!”

Pog mo thoin! Ye dare lay a hand on Merry or me again and ye get a right bollixing from me. Ye be warned for the last time, Rick Adams.” Quinn shoved a dazed Rick against the wall one last time before turning back to Merry and guiding him back down the aisle.

“Get ye clothes on, Merry.”

Merry could still feel Quinn’s anger humming up his spine as he opened his locker door and began to undress. Quinn undressed quickly, and Merry’s body wasted no time in reacting. He quickly turned his back to Quinn, and willed his unruly dick down. Think of something, anything else. “Pog-ma-ho-en? Is that like a spell or something?”

“It mean kiss me arse. The boy be nothin’ more than a bleedin’ spleen with a face like a back of a bus and he need to stop he tomfoolery afore he get hurt.”

Merry slipped his gym tennis shoes on. “Um, okay.”

Everyone around them acted as if they hadn’t seen or heard a thing as they finished dressing and headed out of the locker room.

Quinn slammed his locker door and Merry jumped. “Sorry, Merry. Didn’t mean to frighten ye. C’mon, now.” Quinn held a hand out to him.

Merry looked at the hand that had only moments ago been the clawed hand of a monster. “Y-you want me to hold your hand?”

Quinn wagged his hand. “C’mon.”

It looked normal, and Merry didn’t see any fur, or scales, or claws, or boils, or warts, or anything else his imagination could think of. He took it tentatively. Quinn wrapped his soft, warm hand around Merry's, and led him from the locker room.


Quinn had asked Merry to wait for him at his locker after school. He shifted nervously from foot to foot, worried Rick or one of his goons would show up and kick the crap out of him. Some guy who Merry didn’t know walked by, shoved his shoulder, and left a loud “faggot” to ring on the air in his wake. Merry turned into his locker and tried to make himself small. Which wasn’t hard. He was small. And scrawny.

“I be on me way, Meriadoc,” came a whisper in his mind. He nearly jumped out of his skin. How did Quinn do stuff like that?

Relief flooded him when Quinn rounded the corner and headed straight for him. With a girl in tow. The same girl who kissed his lips. Great.

“Merry, this be Emily. Emily, this be Merry.”

Her face became a contorted mask of disgust. “Him? That’s who you have to walk home?”

She said it with such overt revulsion that Merry cringed, and tried to melt into the lockers behind him.

“Don’t have to, lass. I choose to,” Quinn said easily.

She turned her harsh glare back to Quinn. “But he’s gay!

“Aye, he be.”

Understanding filled her eyes and she gaped at him. “Ohmygod! You’re a fairy!”

“Aye, I be.”

“I kissed you!” she huffed.

“Aye, lass, ye did.”

“And you didn’t say anything!” she puffed.

“I did not.”

She slapped him, spun on a heel, and walked away.

“Whoa.” Merry watched her walk away then turned back to Quinn. “Are you all right?”

Quinn rubbed his cheek. “Aye. Seems she be a little short on she threshold.”


“Poor in she tolerance.”

Merry rolled is eyes. Who wasn’t when it came to anything Merry the Fairy?

“Ye be ready to go?”

“Yeah. Have you seen Rick?” Merry asked as they headed to the front doors of the school.

“Nay. Why ye ask?”

Merry did his usual front of the school recon through the window next to the door. “I like to know where he is before I leave school.”

“No matter where he be.” Quinn opened the door for him.

“Yeah, it does.” Merry stepped outside with trepidation and turned back just as Quinn put an arm around him. 

Quinn pulled him in and kissed the side of his head. “I keep watch for ye, me wee dote.”


Quinn shrugged. “Object of me fondness.”

Merry couldn’t help it. He grinned from ear to ear as he walked home feeling cared for and unafraid for the first time in more than three years.

Chapter Six                                                   Table of Contents                                                  Chapter Eight
©2012-2017 Cody Kennedy. All Rights Reserved.