Somewhere in the seaside mansion:
“What did you think of Cole, Nate? Emrys asked.
“He’s a nice boy, but like me his path is going to be very hard until he can at least accept his alter personality,” Nate replied softly. “When you consider how he was introduced to his other side I think it’s going to take a direct order from my other half or a deadly threat to one of his friends for him to take charge and stop hiding.”
Nate’s eyes narrowed dangerously, black creeping in and his voice doubled eerily as he growled, “He had better not get Stephanus hurt or worse killed trying to figure himself out. Otherwise he will find out exactly why others fear me.”
“You seem rather protective of Stephanus.” Emrys said quietly, “But he’s more than frightened of you, he’s absolutely petrified. I had to tell him to breathe, and honestly thought he was going to faint on the spot, when Cole told you not to be jealous.”
Nate smiled slightly, the black taking over his eyes completely and his voice settled into a deeper register as he replied, “I am protective, he is one of my loveliest creations and I will not see him suffer for the whims of others. I gave him the power to defend himself and I’m pleased with him, he has done well and come far.” He hesitated than continued, “But you are right he is nearly petrified with fear in my presence.”
“Do you think there’s anything that can be done to help Stephanus be less frightened of you?” Emrys asked, noting that like in the club, Nate’s other side was not radiating the sinister cold that oftentimes came with him.
“Perhaps.” Was Nate’s short reply, although, he sounded thoughtful.
“I’ll think on it a bit.” Emrys announced softly, “I like him and he’s helped me in the past, I hate seeing him crippled with fear like that. Meantime, I’d like to check out that alcove we found the other day, would you like to come with me?”
Nate didn’t respond but he rose from his chair and looked expectantly at Emrys, who grinned and headed for the door. Since they were currently staying at Emrys’ place they simply had to walk out the door and down the stairs to reach the beach. They walked slowly down the beach content to be silent and enjoy the nice day. The alcove they were headed to was about a half mile from the house. They had found it several days earlier but hadn’t had time to explore it then. Reaching it, they went to the door they had discovered and found it was still they way they had left it. Opening said door they made their way down the short tunnel and back into the open. It was a decent sized alcove who’s arms extended out into the sea making it impossible to enter on foot other than through the doorway.
“This is a nice sized alcove but, I’m not sure you could get a boat in here. The coast line is very jagged and full of underwater sharp stone hazards additionally the currents don’t help. I’m not sure I’d want to swim in here either, I’m to wary of getting pulled out to sea by the currents.” Emrys stated looking around.
“I think the entrance is netted to prevent that, I keep seeing flashes of white and orange.” Nate replied his voice back to the lighter register. Emrys noted that the black had receded to the edges of his eyes. Telling him that Nate was here but that his other half was still watching.
Nate stood watching the nearly hypnotic waves against the beach while Emrys decided to go poking about like a curious cat. Nate was broken from his wave watching when Emrys gave an excited yelp saying, “Someone left blankets, cushions and pillows here!”
“Which means if you like them they are very, very nice and probably shouldn’t be outside.” Nate replied laughing as he walked over.
“I want to have a picnic here.” Emrys announced, “But we do need a proper fire pit.”
“Well someone spent a lot of time here and some serious money,” Nate stated having wandered off. “Come see what I’ve found, it appears to be a very nice bathroom.”
“A what!” Emrys exclaimed abandoning the pillows he’d been inspecting and hurrying over. “Very nice they had good taste.”
“Oh! a literal waterfall shower.” Nate yelped. Emrys turned and started laughing, Nate had gotten curious upon not seeing a shower head in the bathing area and pressed the one button in the vicinity turning on the shower and getting soaked, since he was standing under the ledge it poured off of.
“Very nice, all we really need is a nice fire pit, a few hot plates and this would be the perfect place to spend a day or two.” Emrys said. He grinned, “Stephanus would love this place…….Are you thinking what I am?”
“Probably,” Nate agreed. “Let’s double check and see if there are places that would work to set hot plates and since it appears that people may have spent the night I also want to see if there is a raised area to put bedding away from the sand.”
“Good idea and we should figure out the best place to put a fire pit as well.” Emrys said as they left the bathroom.
It didn’t take long for the two to discover that there was indeed a carved out rock that worked as a counter. They also found out that one of the rock walls wasn’t a wall at all when Emrys went to lean on it and fell through instead. It turned out to be a bedroom with a seriously oversized custom made to fit round bed made to fit the smaller hidden alcove.
How in the world did they get that in here!” Nate exclaimed blinking.
“Beyond magick I really don’t care, but watching the sunrise from here would be splendid.” Emrys responded, crawling along the edges of the bed and poking at the walls looking for hidden niches. He found a couple of small ones meant likely to hold drinks,….or other things depending on ones intentions. These discoveries made they went to decide where to put a fire pit.
As it turned out they didn’t need to bother as there was one already in place. They had simply missed it earlier as the cover was partially buried under the sand. A quick bit of magick and they were able to pull the cover off without dumping all the sand into the pit itself. They replaced the cover after checking the pit but it appeared to be in working order and it was wood burning besides. They found no firewood but that was easily remedied later. Exploring done they headed back to the house after resealing the entryway.
“Now it’s just a matter of getting this place ready and getting Stephanus here,” Emrys said as they walked back home.
“It’ll be simple enough to send Stephanus an invitation and I’ll leave the food ideas to you.” Nate smiled, “My Finicky Cat is indefinitely better than me at that kind of thing.”
A Week Later: Nate & and Emrys
Nate picked up the r.s.v.p from Stephanus, even as dense as he could be at times to the energy around correspondence, he didn’t need his other side to pick up on the nervous energy that surrounded the response. It was positive of course, but the responder was extremely edgy. He sighed things would work themselves out in a few days, but it made him glad he’d waited until so close to send the invitation. Less time for his incubus to cause himself a nervous fit. He dropped the rest of the mail on the table and went to tell Emrys that they’d gotten a positive response. Emrys had grinned when he told him as well as telling him to stop worrying, things would work out fine.
~~~~~~~Stephanus & Anita~~~~~~
Anita could tell that something was bothering Stephanus greatly. Oh, he was his normal charming and sophisticated self but she could tell something was bothering him even if others couldn’t. She frowned slightly, concerned, and went back to her work determined to talk to him later and see if she could help.
For his part Stephanus was very worried even as he kept his outward composure, inside was a whole different story. He’d received an invitation from Nate and Emrys for a beach day that would likely turn into an overnight. They had assured him he’d only be gone for one night knowing he didn’t like to leave the club long, even if he knew Anita was perfectly capable of running said club for a few days.
It wasn’t so much Emrys that worried him but Nate, who was also Creator and Master. Had he done something wrong without knowing it? He didn’t think he had but still he couldn’t help but feel jumpy and nervous. He knew Anita would be asking questions later as he’d seen her watching him briefly earlier a small concerned frown on her face.
Later after things had settled down, he retreated to his office to get some work done and try to take his mind off of the upcoming weekend. It didn’t work very well and he ended up staring fitfully out the window glad he only had two days to go before this meeting. Anita found him like that, staring broodingly out the window. When she’d asked what was wrong he’d told her that nothing was wrong per say, except that the invitation she’d given him earlier was from Nate and Emrys.
Anita, wonderful lady that she was, understood the problem immediately and set about in her own way to try and reassure him that things would be fine in the end. Oddly enough it was her pointing out that the abrupt and close arrival of the invitation was likely a move on Nate’s part to try and avoid giving Stephanus to much time to worry himself sick, that calmed him down a bit.
He got through the next couple of days, but he still couldn’t help feeling apprehensive, as he finished packing his bag and headed out to the car. He opted to drive himself this time, having been told there would be parking space and wanting the distraction from his nerves. Pulling out of the garage he was still feeling highly nervous, but, was surprised to find that he was also a bit excited.
~~~~~~~Nate & Emrys: Nate has just fallen out of bed~~~~~~~
“You are wigglier than a worm on a hook this morning, what’s eating you?” Emrys asked sleepily sitting up.
Nate, who was still sitting on the floor from where he’d managed to roll out of bed, goggled at him in shock before bursting into laughter. “I’m not sure but I’m still trying to figure out how I ended up at the bottom of the bed.” he answered still snickering.
Now mostly awake Emrys realized that Nate had rolled off the foot of the bed and he blinked at him in bemusement. Getting out of bed he stretched and said, “I’m taking a quick shower before Stephanus gets here.” and disappeared into the bathroom. Nate smiled happily and, untangling himself from the quilt got dressed. He then finished packing a few odds and ends in his and Emrys’ overnight bags.
Emrys’ phone beeped just as he came out of the bathroom and he picked it up glancing at the display. “Stephanus’ eta is about 5 minutes,” He said setting it back down after sending a quick reply.
“Perfect, in that case why don’t we meet him at the garage.” Nate replied, “I finished packing our bags while you were in the shower. We can leave as soon as you are dressed.”
“Sounds good to me.” Emrys replied as he disappeared into the closet.
Stephanus saw that both Emrys and Nate were waiting for him as he drove up and parked the car. They both waved as he did and he could tell that both were full of energy and in good moods. They walked over after he’d parked, but didn’t crowd him the way a lot of people tended to do.
“Once you grab your bag we’re going to head straight off to our beach.” Nate said sounding excited. Stephanus looked over at him and startled taking a step back when he realized that the eyes looking back at him were pure black. He looked away feeling ashamed at his reaction. A hand landed on his arm and he looked back and found Nate watching him with a small playing on his mouth. Nate just looked at him for a moment before saying, “I’m not upset with you Stephanus.” Nate’s smile widened and he continued, “Now grab your bag and let’s get going, it’s time to hit the beach.”
Soon all three of them were walking down the beach. No one was speaking at the moment but it was a mostly comfortable silence, the rush and shush of the ocean was calming and the day was turning out to be a beautiful one. Suddenly, Nate, who had been eyeing the water, handed Emrys his bag and bounded off into the surf. The other two kept walking as Nate ran a head of them a short ways before suddenly stopping and watching the deeper water in front of him briefly with a look of concentration before pouncing on something.
Black eyes appeared to sparkle as Nate trotted back to them a grin on his face to show them what he’d found. It was a round shell but it was odd, looking as though someone had taken a straight shell and twisted it before coiling it into a circle. Far more rare was the fact that based on the opening the shell twisted to the left instead of the right like most shells. Then there was the colour which was an incredible shade of blue with what looked like an almost mother of pearl sheen. Overall the shell was incredible it was no wonder Nate had grabbed it up when he saw it.
Once they reached the alcove they showed Stephanus to the bathroom area which had a set of very nice lockers that they could store their clothes in while they were there. It turned out that Emrys was right and Stephanus was thrilled with the place and while Stephanus was poking about Nate spoke softly to Emrys asking him to keep the incubus occupied for a bit as he wanted to turn the shell into a necklace for Stephanus. At Emrys’ questioning look Nate responded that he’d noticed that Stephanus seemed to have really liked it.
They parted ways with Emrys wandering off to find their friend and Nate actually leaving the alcove, but only so that he could work a bit of his magick without alarming Stephanus. His incubus wouldn’t react badly to Nate’s own human magicks but for this he needed to tap into the UO’s power and knowledge as conjuring what UO wanted Nate’s magick couldn’t yet handle. It didn’t take him long as he’d been thinking about since he’d seen the way Stephanus’ eyes had lit up upon seeing the shell.
He hurried back to find Emrys and Stephanus pulling the cover off of the fire pit. He went and put the shell necklace in his locker for now and then joined the two and helped build the logs for a fire later. That done he jumped up and said, “It’s plenty warm and I want to try the water it’s much calmer now than it was the last time we were down here and I want to take advantage.”
“I’m in.” Emrys said with a grin. He turned to Stephanus saying, “You going swimming with us?”
“I never learned how.” Stephanus replied sounding distressed.
“No problems.” Nate replied we can teach you to swim if you want and I also want to build sandcastles.”
“Sandcastles?” Stephanus asked bewildered.
“Yep, they are part of the essential beach experience.” Nate replied, “But we need to change into swim trunks first.”
Nate bounded off immediately after that sentence before either of the other two could respond. After blinking at each other they followed the over exuberant well…..devil. He was already changed and headed back past the other two, pausing only to say that he’d get the sandcastle stuff he’d brought down here the other day.
When the two emerged from changing they found Nate had brought out an assortment of pails and small shovels. Emrys grinned excitedly and grabbing Stephanus’ pretty much hauled him over to Nate who smiled at them. Nate looked over both of them and grinned, pleased when he found that his Emrys was comfortable enough in this setting to not wear a shirt with his black board shorts. He looked over to see what Stephanus was wearing and did a double take saying, “Those board shorts are nearly the same colour as that shell I found!”
Both males blinked and Emrys laughed when he realized that Nate was right. With a grin Emrys quickly joined Nate in filling several pails with tightly packed damp sand. They both pulled Stephanus to join them and proceeded to show him the fun and essential art of sandcastles. Stephanus it turned out learned quickly and had a wonderful imagination once he got over his reservations about the activity.
After building several sandcastles that weren’t quite possible without some magick they decided to pause for lunch. Emrys was certainly true to himself in terms of food quality but he’d also decided to keep it simple. Nate whooped in excitement when he opened the picnic basket and found it full of his Grandma Bess’ homemade ham and cheese sandwiches along with homemade chips, lemonade and chocolate chip and sugar cookies. One look at Stephanus had Emrys explaining about Grandma Bess and her cooking while Nate pulled items from the basket and set them on the low table which they sat around on heavy cushions.
After they had eaten their fill and were lazing about a bit before swimming, Nate asked Emrys what he’d brought for dinner and if it would need awhile to cook. Emrys replied that they’d really only need to start a fire about an hour before they wanted to eat so that it could burn down a bit as he’d brought many cubed things meant to go on a toasting fork.
“He’s just told us everything and nothing at all.” Stephanus said shyly making it obvious that he wasn’t to certain how Nate would take the comment. For his part Nate grinned at him and started laughing before telling Emrys, “Steph’s got you there Em.”
Emrys blinked and exclaimed, “Just don’t call me Emy!”
“You don’t mind the nick name do you Stephanus?” Nate asked.
“No, it’s just other than Emrys no one has every really shortened my name.” Stephanus replied.
“Well now you have me too.” Nate replied smiling, his black eyes blinking against the sun. He glanced around, “I’m done laying still, into the water I go.” That said Nate got up and headed for the water. It didn’t take long before the other two joined him. They ended up splashing around the shallower water before heading in deeper. Emrys took off saying he wanted to get a better look at the white net thinking that it might supply the power for this place. He grinned but nodded when Nate told him to be careful, before taking off revealing that he was very good swimmer.
Nate turned back to Stephanus and took him to slightly deeper water before showing him a basic dog paddle and once he was reasonably comfortable moving through the water with out having his feet on the ground, Nate showed him how to do a basic Front Crawl. Having seen other swimmers Stephanus asked why Nate picked the style he had.
Nate replied that it was a easy to learn and very forgiving to someone just learning. Stephanus as it turned out was a quick study and got the basics down quickly, but he sill had trouble catching his breathe without getting a mouthful of water. Nate assured him that it would just take time and practice and that it’d be easier to avoid the problem of breathing in water in an actual swimming pool especially if he was the only swimmer at the time. “I’m a decent swimmer and I still catch mouthfuls of water now and again.” Nate grinned, “It never tastes any better either.”
Nate stayed nearby as Stephanus swam about some more and eventually Emrys joined them. An accidental flip of water on Stephanus’ part devolved the swimming session into a water war that left them all laughing as they headed for the beach. Realizing it was later than they thought and the fire would need o be started soon they headed for the showers.
Stephanus made a beeline for the shower once in the bathroom causing both Nate and Emrys to grin. “Stephanus is going to need to kiss both of us at some point this evening,” Nate whispered to Emrys, “Are you comfortable with that?”
“I’m fine with it.” Emrys replied softly, “We aren’t intending to do anything overly stressful the rest of the day. But I wonder how Stephanus is going to take that?”
“He should be fine as long as I’m okay with it. No sex tonight though, he‘d not be at all comfortable with that yet due to my presence.” Nate replied. “Now let’s go make sure our friend hasn’t drowned himself in the shower.”
They headed for the shower and found Stephanus humming softly as he stood under the waterfall. He startled a bit and tensed when they entered having been lost in his thoughts when they entered. He relaxed fairly quickly though when they both remained playful and their touches light.
Once Nate and Emrys finished washing they left the shower and changed into comfortable beach pants and light long sleeve shirts. With the sun going down it was going to get cooler especially since there was a light wind coming off the water.
Upon leaving said bathroom Nate went and grabbed some rather nice folding beach chairs while Emrys and Stephanus finished setting up the fire pit. Nate returned with the chairs just as they got the fire lit, it crackled cheerfully as the flames leaped into the air. They talked for about a half hour about the school, the club and just random local news when Nate realized that the fire had burned down much quicker than expected. A quick wink from Emrys made him smirk and say, “I’m going to fetch the many cubed things since the fire seems to have burned down already.”
This resulted in Stephanus and Emrys laughing as he hurried off. He came back with the basket from earlier having placed the containers in it. The other two came over and helped him place everything on the low table from earlier. Nate was once again delighted to find that Emrys had brought the fixings for Pudgy pies and promptly wanted to know how Emrys even knew what they were. He replied that he’d been traveling and when the nice but remote cabin the small group had been staying in, had lost power due to a bad storm their guide had showed them all how to make what he’d called Hobo pies in the open fireplace. Emrys shrugged and said he’d been hooked since the only limit to these things was your imagination and taste buds.
The toaster forks were completely ignored in favor of making various dinner and desert pies in several shapes. They had great fun with this, each finding favorite combinations of things especially when it came to the desert pies. Emrys it turned out liked rhubarb and strawberry pies for desert, while Nate couldn’t decide between peach and apple cinnamon, and Stephanus decided he liked the lingonberry and aged cheddar combination. Once they’d eaten their fill it took a bit before any of them bothered to get up and put things away. While that was happening Nate slipped away to grab the shell before coming back and helping with the last of the clean up.
They all settled on a soft but heavy oversized beach blanket and Stephanus found himself between Nate who was gazing into the fire and Emrys who was leaning on Stephanus’ shoulder appearing to be half asleep. Stephanus shifted as his instincts started to kick in a bit. While he had enjoyed the pies he was still hungry in a way that they couldn’t touch.
Nate stirred suddenly and looked over at him before crawling the short distance and sitting next to him. With a smile he reached over and poked Emrys’ nose whose eyes popped open and glared at Nate a moment before sitting up and stretching. He glanced at Stephanus and after a grin at Nate leaned over and gave the very startled incubus a quick kiss. Stephanus stiffened and jerked back in reaction only to find Nate pressed against his back hands coming to rest on Stephanus’ hips. “Tis alright, I want to see you kiss him,” Nate’s voice was deeper, rougher, sultry with a bright tinge of anticipation. Stephanus nearly froze the last time he’d heard this particular timber from the UO was when he’d essentially freed him.
Before he could react in anyway Emrys was leaning into him and kissing the UO over his shoulder. Stephanus started to tremble a bit as he tried to resist inhaling the energies that were pouring off the two kissing males. The two broke their kiss briefly before diving back in and it was than that Stephanus experienced a gentle pressure on his mind, that left him feeling reassured enough to allow himself to absorb some of the energy swirling around the three of them. This caused the presence to give off a pleased feeling allowing Stephanus to mostly relax and this time when Emrys leaned in to kiss him Stephanus responded positively and took the offer for what it was.
After a long day of food and fun this left both him and Emrys feeling sleepy and content. They both would have been happy to curl up and sleep where they were but the Unnamed Ones’ voice pulled them both back when he called softly to Stephanus.
Realizing what he wanted Emrys’ eyes popped open and he sat up straight and smiled at him as Stephanus turned to see what was wanted. The UO didn’t say anything but simply held out the blue shell, now on a necklace, to his incubus with a gentle smile, black eyes warm. Stephanus gasped when he realized what was being offered to him. He reached out a hand only to hesitate, Creator’s head tilted to the side and he made a quick gesture indicating that Stephanus should turn away from him. Stephanus did so obviously fearing that he’d angered him, but Creator simply put the necklace on him after brushing his hair aside.
In front of him Emrys caught his breath when he saw the shell again. Somehow his Devil had managed to guild the edges of the shell in a near transparent material that held the shell firmly to the necklace but at the same time left the shell to appear perfectly free. What the necklace itself was made of he wasn’t sure but it was a pale grey with the same sheen as the shell and set it off perfectly. He could also see that it was wearable at several lengths from a choker to one of those long necklaces.
Right now though the shell rested at Stephanus’ collar bones. And he heard his devil whisper, “I expect nothing for this but that you enjoy it.” Stephanus gave him a shy smile over his shoulder and was rewarded with a kiss to his forehead. Nate looked over at Emrys who was watching avidly but was obviously sleepy and said softly, “Bedtime, both of you are exhausted.”
That said he stood up, followed quickly by Stephanus who wobbled a bit before regaining his balance. Black eyes were still soft as he picked up Emrys, who really was tired and hadn’t moved when the other two had. Creator smiled so gently at the soft sound Emrys made when he was picked up that Stephanus found he couldn’t really be afraid of him at the moment. He followed easily to the bedroom alcove and curled up contentedly with Emrys who was out like a light.
The curtain was left drawn aside as the Other left them there and went to put out the fire. Done with the fire, black eyes stared up at the rising moon and completely missed the glowing blue eyes that half opened to watch him a moment before closing. Emrys was right, today had gone well and tomorrow was a new dawn. One perhaps, that they could watch together as the sun was reborn to the sky once again in a tale that was, perhaps, as old as time.
This was my first RR gift exchange. I hope you enjoyed the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.