Sexy Six Anniversary Short – The Last Day Of A Year by Andrew Gordon

May 29, 2013

Farrell jerked suddenly, splashing water in the process. He opened his eyes, certain he heard someone call him.

“Farrell?” This time he recognized Miceral’s voice.

“I’m just finishing taking a bath.”

“More like sleeping in the tub from where I stand.”

He twisted his body and saw Miceral smirking at him from the doorway. “How long have you been standing there?”

“Long enough to tell you fell a sleep.” Miceral retrieved the towel and held it out for his partner. “Rough day?”

Standing, Farrell felt his partner’s eyes on him. A year together and he still felt scrawny and unattractive. Not that Miceral ever said or did anything to suggest he felt that way. “Yes.”

Rubbing the soft cloth through his hair first, Farrell dried off and wrapped the towel around his waist. Leaning against the wall, Miceral continue to watch him wearing the same silly smile.

“Why’d you cover up so fast? I was enjoying the view.”

“Sure you were. Scrawny, pale and scarred—haven’t we been through this before—is not a view worth staring at.” He tried to inject as much humor as he could into his words. “Be honest, when it’s dark and we’re together, don’t you imagine something better? I mean something bigger, stronger, more like you?”

“Never.” Miceral leaned closer, kissing the side of Farrell’s neck. “I always see you and you know what that does to me.”

The kiss and Miceral’s word sent a wave of energy coursing through his body that focused on one area. Why did he even have these thoughts anymore? “If I didn’t know how much you loved me, I’d accuse you of lying.”

“Good.” He kissed Farrell again.

Before the tingle faded, Farrell felt a hand at his waist and the towel ripped away. “Hey!”

“Just getting a last look before we eat.” Miceral tossed the towel back and made for the door. “Get dressed, I had dinner sent up.”

“Dinner?” When did Miceral start ordering food sent up?

Poking his head back into the room, Miceral said, “Yes, dinner. You know, that meal we eat at the end of the day.”

Miceral disappeared and Farrell shook his head. Tying the towel around his waist, he cast a quick spell to keep it there. Using his fingers as a comb, he smoothed his unruly mane as best he could and left the chamber.

Free of the scent of soap, his nostrils detected a rich, slightly spicy aroma coming from their room. When he started to salivate, he swallowed and quick stepped into their room.

A deep bowl with mashed potatoes on top, rested in the center of the small table. He could smell the roast lamb he knew lay hidden inside. Plates, utensils, napkins and cups surrounded the tan ceramic dish, as if waiting for his arrival. Scanning the room for Miceral, Farrell almost called out when his partner emerged from Farrell’s closet. He held up a tunic and britches for Farrell’s approval.

Farrell nodded and held out his hand for the tunic. “How in Nendor did you arrange all this without me knowing? And why?”

After yanking the shirt over his head, Farrell peeled off his towel. Holding it out, it disappeared with a small flash when he let it drop.

“It wasn’t meant to be a surprise, at least not all set out like this. But you were asleep when I got home, so I had the staff fix the table.” Miceral pulled a chair back once Farrell finished putting on his pants. “As for why? Today marks one full year of knowing the most handsomest, wonderful, amazing—and dare I forget—mightiest wizard in all the world.”

Farrell rolled his eyes, but kept smiling. “Right, that’s why we’re celebrating tomorrow, remember?”

Scooping the bowl from the table, Miceral spooned a large portion of food onto Farrell’s plate. “Correct, but since we have plans for the day, I couldn’t do anything special for you tomorrow. I decided to celebrate the end of our first year today and the beginning of our new one tomorrow.”

Miceral broke a hunk of bread from the loaf and held it out across the table. “I know how much you like farmer’s pie, so I asked the cooks to make this for us.”

His grin threatened to make it impossible for Farrell to eat. “This is really sweet of you. Amazingly wonderful in fact.”

“Dig in, don’t let it get cold.”

Farrell speared a piece of lamb and a green bean before using the fork to scoop up some potatoes. One bite and he knew Miceral had done more than just ask the kitchen for food. “Who made this? It’s incredible.”

“Noticed the difference did you?” Winking, Miceral took a bite. “One of the cooks from Northhelm used to make this for me as a kid. I asked her to do it for me tonight as a favor.”

Rather than answer, Farrell shoveled more food into his mouth. The last time he remembered anyone making farmer’s pie this good, his mother ruled Yar-del and they’d had dinner in the palace together. The twinge of loss stayed with him, but Miceral’s presence dulled the pain a bit.

“So tell me.” Miceral’s voice cut his morose daydream short. “Why the bad day?”

“Do you want to kill the night’s festivities already?” Farrell laughed, but he knew telling Miceral wouldn’t ruin his mood. “Let’s just say Jursten is a dead man—and he knows it.”

“What’d he do?”

“Not what he did, what he didn’t do.” He took another bite and washed it down with half his water. “My bi-weekly attendance at the morning complaint session was this morning.”

Miceral nodded. “I know. I helped you get dressed.”

“And I’m sure I looked splendid with my face so red it nearly burst.” He chuckled remembering that Horgon looked almost the same. “Normally the sessions are boring, painful or annoying, but today topped all three. A merchant of from Respital complained that merchants from Endor were stealing business from their market and demanded reparations.”

“Stealing?”

The fork in his mouth, Farrell tried to speak, then stopped to swallow. “Exactly. As if being at war with Meglar wasn’t dire enough, they’re worried about merchant wars.”

“Farrell, trade is their livelihood. It is that important to them.”

“Agreed.” He drained his cup; then refilled it. “But their complaint was that the existent of Endor’s market hurt their business.”

Miceral chewed his bread and shook his head.

“To make matters worse, Respital’s fat, lazy, worthless, pile of pig turds of a king, Covis, agreed with his subjects and demanded Jursten repay his merchants.”

“How is that Jursten’s fault?”

“He should have declared war on Respital and cut off Covis’s fat head. Instead, he agreed with his merchants, declared impasse and sent the matter to me to decide.”

“That’s what he’s supposed to do, isn’t he?”

“Yes, but he’s also required to attend. Then again, his absence was meant as a sign of how utterly stupid he found the whole affair.”

“Sounds like you agreed with Jursten.”

“Of course I did.” He felt the anger rising inside him as he recalled the morning’s events. Taking a deep breath, he held it until some of his ire faded. “His failure to appear gave Covis the opening to argue Endor conceded the claim by not coming to argue in their defense. When that idiot made that statement, I lost my temper. I mean really lost it. I told him if he ever set foot in my council chamber again, I’d find the nearest clutch of Chamdon and deposit him the in middle with the command to rip him to pieces.”

“Wow, bet that went over well.”

“The crowd cheered my decision, until Horgon silenced them with a stare. Then your father lit into that fat dung heap. I thought Covis was going to cry.

“To cool me off, your father sent me to weapons.”

“How’d that go?”

“Worse.” Farrell tried not to laugh. He’d have to make things up to Master Baylec later.

“Worse? How?”

“I guess I was distracted still. After one too many stinging blows, I created an invisible, body-hugging, shield around myself. For a while, Baylec didn’t catch on, but when he did, he became irate. After lecturing me for a time, he called Master Thomas over to help yell at me. Being in the wonderful mood I was in, I told them both off.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah, wow. I mean, I understand the concept of training, but I don’t see any point in letting him hurt me.”

Miceral shook his head. “The pain is supposed to motivate you to work harder to avoid future hits.”

His mouth full, Farrell had to chew before he could answer. “I think I understand the purpose of training, but it was clear I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for the pain to make a difference.”

“Maybe you should have called off the session.”

“That’s what Baylec said. Now that I’ve cooled off, I somewhat agree, but at the time I was mad. I told him that as weapons master it was his responsibility to assess if I was well enough to train. That means mentally and physically. And that he should never again try to beat me into condition.”

“What did he say to that?”

“At first he and Thomas seethed, so I added that not only am I the prince of Haven, I’m also the one who has to fight Meglar. Hurting or maiming me is detrimental to both responsibilities.”

“Also a good point.”

“They seemed to think so too and then we all calmed down. Baylec apologized, I did too and then he and Thomas told me to leave their practice field until I was feeling better.”

“Told you, did they?”

“That part hasn’t changed and I don’t want it to. If I’m going to require they make an assessment of my fitness, I need to listen to them.”

“Why do I get the sense that isn’t it?”

“Because it’s not.” Farrell sighed. Just retelling the day made him tired again. “Next I tried riding with Nerti, but as soon as we set foot on Gharaha, I sensed something was wrong. One of the defensive spells was bleeding through.”

“What does that mean?”

“Breaking it down to its simplest terms, the spell had been laid improperly by Wesfazial. We designed all the spells to meld together so they have to be cast properly. Before I used the concealment spell, I was supposed check it. I guess I’ve been so preoccupied with Kel’s book this past month, I forgot. The two spells were slightly out of sync and the underlying spell was no longer hidden.”

He waited for Miceral to nod before he continued. “When I tried to ‘repair’ the problem, I almost started a cascade reaction that threatened to wipe out months or even years of work. Fortunately I stopped the break down before it got started, but I still need to go back and fix everything. That will take days of effort.

“After that Nerti told me to go take a bath and relax.”

Exhaling, he locked eyes with Miceral. Why did any of that matter right now? Staring at his partner, Farrell saw the concern in Miceral’s gaze. After the effort Miceral went through to make tonight special, Farrell couldn’t–wouldn’t–let his mood drag them down. Dipping a finger into the gravy and potatoes, he licked the tip. He made a pop when he removed it and smiled when the twinkle returned to Miceral’s eye.

“This.” He gestured toward the table, hoping not to sound too sappy. “Is exactly what I needed tonight. I feel much better already.”

Miceral wiggled his eyebrows and smiled. “Dinner was just the start. Wait until you see what’s next.”

He let Miceral pull him from his chair. “I like the sound of that.”

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Read more about Miceral and Ferrell in The Last Grand Master.

One Response to “Sexy Six Anniversary Short – The Last Day Of A Year by Andrew Gordon”

  1. BG Thomas says:

    Very nice

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