SEVERAL HOURS LATER (flashback continued)
DESMOND’S POV, CONTINUED
Normally, I did not partake in sex with men as excitedly as I did relations with women, though I had experienced sex with a variety of beings. Hell! I’d even bedded vampires, though the recovery time required after my last encounter, which had involved three voracious vampire women, had been substantial!
But worth it!
However, I will admit that the male fairy had caused great excitement within me, both when we shared one of the human women and, later, when he fucked me after the humans had gotten tired and left.
The fairy was beautiful, his golden hair shimmering as much as his skin. I could tell, once I was close enough to him, that he was only part Fae—just as I was only part Dae. Maybe it was that we recognized that we were both straddling two worlds that made us seem so compatible as we were straddling each other.
Indeed, there was something in his soulful eyes that called out to me—that made me know with certainty that he would always be important to me.
Oh—it was not love at first sight or anything.
At least not romantic love.
In truth, I had begun to doubt that I would ever experience love in that vein. The men in my family were notorious for being restless when it came to “love,” though we did our duty for our people. Indeed, Nargal had been away from the human realm for quite a while because he and his wife had been trying to produce a child in the Dae world where our women were most likely to get pregnant.
I, on the other hand, was not expected to marry because—due to a childhood accident—I could not father children. I still was not certain how I felt about that fact, for a part of me wished very deeply to be a father.
“What are you thinking?” the fairy asked as we both put on our pants. I could hear Nargal in the kitchen, likely already enjoying the fruits of my earlier labor.
Looking at the fairy, I found myself wanting to be completely open with him. “I am thinking about the fact that I cannot father children. I am thinking that—because of it—I will not be required by my people to marry.”
The fairy frowned a little, though the expression did not hinder his beauty in the least. “You would like to be a father?” he asked.
I nodded. “Yes.”
“You could still be a husband,” he commented. “Even if a Dae woman might not choose you because you cannot father a child, a human woman would never need know. Or you could have a male companion,” he said with a slight smile.
“Volunteering?” I smirked.
He chuckled. “Sorry. But I, too, wish to be a father. And—despite how much pleasure I had with you—I prefer the companionship of women on most days.”
I laughed in return. “I would describe myself in the same way. And—for the record—it is the marriage part that I am glad to be free from, even though I would trade that freedom for fatherhood. But not having to be a husband is a consolation.”
Fintan smiled, his face lighting up seemingly from within. “I would, I think, greatly enjoy spending my life with a single companion—as a husband—but only if I loved the woman.”
My eyebrow rose. “Love is rarely a factor when it comes to the marriages of Supernaturals.”
Fintan’s smile disappeared. “I know. And, for that, I lament. My father wishes me to take a mate for the betterment of our clan,” he added as we joined Nargal in the kitchen. “Knowing him, I will have no choice in the woman.”
My brother, never the consummate host” grunted and gestured toward the fire. I rolled my eyes and found two bowls. After washing them, I filled one for the fairy and then one for myself, ignoring the fact that Nargal was holding out his bowl hoping that I would refill his as well.
When I settled at the table without doing so, Nargal grunted again and punched me in the arm on his way to complete the task himself.
“Half-brothers,” he mumbled, emphasizing the “half,” as he took his seat.
“Nice to see you too,” I responded with a half-smirk and half-sneer.
Nargal rolled his eyes but then smiled as if trying to charm a snake as he looked at the fairy.
“I see you and my half-brother are getting along,” he said knowingly. Of course, he would know. After the humans left, he realized that the fairy and I were “busy,” and—though Supernaturals were not modest—we knew when we were “not needed” in a sexual situation. Plus, my brother and I didn’t share partners—at least not at the same time. Despite our promise not to kill each other for Ezzy’s sake, Nargal and I just weren’t that close.
“We are getting along!” the fairy smiled as he turned to look at me. “However, he and I have not yet been introduced properly. I am Fintan Brigant, though my friends call me Finn.”
As I shook his hand—an odd gesture since he’d already fucked me—the name Brigant clicked in my mind. “You are related to Niall?” I asked.
“Yes. I am his son,” Finn confirmed.
My eyes widened. “I did not know that Niall had part-human children!”
Finn’s eyes rolled. “I have an uncle, Breandan, who does not appreciate half-breeds. My father is waiting for the right time to integrate me and my twin brother into the Fae-world at large.”
“My brother is dealing with something similar,” Nargal said with more thoughtfulness than I was used to from him, even as he chewed a piece of potato from the stew.
“I hope that things will eventually right themselves for you,” Finn said comfortingly.
“I hope the same for you,” I returned just as sincerely.
Finn nodded and reached out to squeeze my hand. The meal continued in mostly comfortable silence with spurts of conversation thrown in here and there, often about Niall’s business in the human realm, since Niall had recently hired me to manage his interests in France.
After the meal, we all enjoyed some mead, and it was determined that Finn would travel to Wales with Nargal and me. Then, Finn decided that he would return to Paris with me after our visit with Ezzy was completed. He wished to see the city for the first time. Plus, he knew that his “vacation” would need to end sooner rather than later. And—if he came to Paris with me—he could check on his father’s holdings in France.
THREE DAYS LATER (FLASHBACK CONTINUED)
NEAR RHAEDR GWY, WALES
I’d met Nargal in one of the higher-end brothels in London. It had been pleasant to find Supernatural company—especially of the variety that did not have fangs.
Oh—I’d had pleasant interactions with vampires before, but covering my scent took much effort, and letting my guards drop around even my fanged allies would have been a death sentence for me.
Happily, the Dae had not been in a serious conflict with the Fae since well before my birth. And Nargal was fun to be around. He was witty and sarcastic. And his appetite for spirits and sex matched my own!
Yes—the demon was pleasant company. I suppose one could say that I was on a holiday of sorts—at least, a vacation from my family. My father was too political for my tastes—too concerned with trying to figure out with whom I should marry and breed. My brother, Dermot, and I had also recently quarreled. I could not understand how he could be sympathetic to our uncle’s beliefs since he and I were both half-breeds! But—then again—Dermot and I had always been quite different. Indeed, it was difficult to conceive that he and I were twins!
Spending time with Nargal was a mindless respite from my responsibilities in many ways.
But meeting and spending time with his brother, Desmond, was the opposite of mindless, though I welcomed that time, nonetheless.
I could quickly tell that Nargal and Desmond—though brothers—were not the best of friends.
My first clue had been Nargal’s glare when Desmond had joined us for our impromptu orgy with the three humans. I’d not minded the half-Dae’s appearance. Indeed, I’d welcomed a fresh partner. On the other hand, Nargal had quickly “finished” with the humans and left the room.
Another clue to Nargal’s ambivalence for Desmond had been the fact that he called him “half-brother,” instead of “Desmond,” emphasizing the “half” every time he said it.
There were also many other small insults here and there.
During our three days of travel, Desmond had seemingly allowed these comments to float right over his back, clearly trying to ignore confrontations with his older sibling. Soon, I found myself working as a bridge-maker between the two brothers, who were much more complementary than they seemed to want to recognize.
Nargal’s personality was larger than life! Desmond was more soft-spoken, but he was clearly the more intellectual of the two in certain ways.
Seemingly, when not “on holiday,” Nargal’s brain-power was spent on military strategy. Desmond’s intellectual pursuits were much more broad. He’d chosen the law as his profession, but he could speak intelligently about literature, music, and art as well. He also had a firm handle on mathematics and the new sciences that were developing.
As I watched the two brothers practice at sword-play, I could imagine the wonder they would be if they ever actually worked together.
On the surface, it seemed as if Nargal did not care for his brother because Desmond was a half-breed, but that did not make sense to me since Nargal had not blinked twice when he realized that I was a half-breed.
What was clear to me was that Desmond very much wanted to have a good relationship with Nargal. Though he wouldn’t have admitted it, he obviously respected and looked up to his older brother in some ways.
What was less clear to me was why Nargal did not seem to want a relationship with his brother. Indeed, the older sibling seemed to tolerate the younger just for their sister’s sake. But—then again—there were all kinds of reasons why siblings might not get along.
Part of me wondered if Nargal resented the fact that his father had bred with a woman other than his mother, but Nargal himself seemed ready, willing, and able to flood all the women in London with his seed, despite the fact that his wife was pregnant with their first child in the Dae realm. Indeed, Nargal himself had told me that he felt that marriage was merely a politically-motivated institution.
In fact, he’d chided me when I’d told him that I hoped I could care for—even love—whatever wife I was to have.
As I continued to watch the two brothers sparring in the Welsh countryside, I was prepared to step in if needed. Nargal was the better swordsman—clearly. But, then, as full-blooded Dae, he would have been. He clearly enjoyed toying with Desmond—trying to rile him. Meanwhile, Desmond maintained his control—especially in regards to his emotions. He was methodical in every movement. He obviously knew he was the lesser in skill and speed; he worked to offset his deficiencies by moving with a proficiency that seemed to be very well-practiced.
Desmond was also clearly very strong, and his well-placed blows were enough to disturb the full-demon’s balance at times.
Again, I imagined what might happen if the two were to fight together.
I sat up a little straighter and readied my “light” when Nargal sliced Desmond’s shirt.
As if sensing that I might intervene, Desmond shook his head slightly, though he did not take his eyes off of his “foe.”
“That is one for you, Nargal,” the part-Dae said to his brother. “Your move was a thing of beauty.”
I’d already learned that compliments were the right strategy with Nargal.
“Perhaps I will show you another move,” Nargal said, though his countenance had become less “deadly.”
“I always enjoy learning from you,” Desmond returned evenly.
As the brothers continued their swordplay, I couldn’t help but to admire them both. I was much fonder of womanly curves, and—though a tighter passage—an ass was not generally as pleasing to me as a woman’s sex. But I had to admit that I was attracted to both brothers.
I had met their rotund father, and I could see that both of them would eventually develop a similar body shape. But—for now—both were stocky and muscular. From what I could tell, Nargal was about three hundred years older than his brother, but they appeared to be almost the same age because Desmond’s human blood made him age a bit faster than his full-demon brother. Indeed, if anything, Desmond looked to be a bit older by human standards, resembling a twenty-five-year-old. Nargal seemed closer to a human in his earlier twenties.
Before Desmond had entered the picture, Nargal and I had shared partners, but Nargal had showed no interest in fucking me, and I showed no interest in fucking him. It was clear that we were the “givers” rather than the “receivers” when other males were involved, for neither of us had any compunction about fucking other males in the name of variety. On the contrary, Desmond seemed to be open to being the “giver” or the “receiver” when it came to men, though—like me—he preferred women.
As a matter of fact, after a couple of nights together, Desmond and I had already cooled our physical relations. Indeed, I was beginning to feel an almost brotherly-type of affection for both Nargal and Desmond, though it was with Desmond that I felt I had the most in common.
To his credit, Nargal simply accepted Desmond and my burgeoning friendship as if it made a clear kind of sense to him. It was things like this that made me feel as if Nargal did, in fact, care for his brother very much.
Even if he did not show it—or even admit it to himself.
It was as this thought passed through my mind that both brothers fell to their knees as one. Their wide eyes displayed grief.
And then panic.
“She is gone!” Nargal yelled out, even as Desmond began to weep.
Nargal soon joined him as the brothers embraced, both clearly needing to hold onto something in that moment.
I raced over to them, but—despite my pleas for information—neither brother could speak for several minutes as they clung to each other. It was finally Desmond who stopped weeping first.
He looked up at me, his eyes so full of sorrow that I almost began to weep as well. “Your people,” he stammered, “when they die—they are able to present themselves to their kin to say goodbye on their way to the Summerlands—correct?”
“Yes,” I said, my heart dropping. “You have lost someone?”
“Ezzy,” gasped Nargal.
Desmond nodded. “The very sister we were going to see was—just a few minutes ago—executed as a witch,” he said as if in shock.
“Burned!” Nargal yelled out before beating his fists into the earth.
Desmond nodded again—his face moving from engrieved brother to stone-cold killer in a flash. “A zealot was responsible. Ezzy showed us her own death. There were fifteen other women burned. Ezzy let us see what had happened and then asked us to avenge her and her sisters.”
“We will kill them all!” Nargal yelled, again beating the earth.
“Yes,” Desmond said calmly, even as he placed his hand only his brother’s forearm. “We will.”
By this time, I had sunk to my own knees. I could not imagine the grief that would be caused over losing a sibling. As much as I disagreed with Dermot’s views, I loved him to my core.
“I will use all my talents and skills as Sky Fae to aid you as you avenge the death of your kin,” I vowed formally to the brothers, bowing my head.
“And thereby you will become our kin,” Desmond and Nargal answered as one.
A/N: Hello all. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse of the past. It was fun exploring the relationship between Nargal and Desmond and how it evolved to a different level because of their shared grief over their sister’s death and Fintan’s influence. I wanted to dig into WHY Desmond felt such allegiance to Fintan that he would give up his blood and telepathy. Next up: If Desmond wants Nargal’s help during the upcoming night, he’s got some explaining to do; plus, Desmond has arranged for two additional vampires to arrive and help Eric and Sookie. I wonder who they are . . . .
As always, many thanks to Seph and Kleannhouse!
If you are wondering why there’s no banner for Fintan, it’s because I forgot that I needed one and never asked Seph for it. OOPS! In my defense, it’s hard for me to keep track of my own head sometimes! Anyway, you have to imagine the actors who play Nargal and Desmond as much younger in the flashback. Anyway, I’m including a pic of my Finn so you can see him. Sorry for my oversight.