78 Days Until Relaxation And the Uncertain End (Part 3)
Zeydar was about to hang up when he noticed that Evester was starring. He had not left the call and Zeydar had a feeling Evester wanted him to stay. Evester had been evasive towards him the entire call and now, when no one could see, Evester refused to break eye contact? Zeydar’s body felt hot and his mind flipped. His heart started to race, but he forced himself to calm it. They’d had time apart but that did not mean that anything between them had changed. Zeydar was not sure that Evester’s longing was the same as his own. “Yes?”
“I’m just looking at you.” Evester slipped into his charismatic smile and Zeydar almost broke.
Zeydar knew his face was flushed as he closed his eyes to breathe out a bit. The gold book’s rules were in his mind. He had not had the time to fully process what he had read with all the other tasks he had to do. Endwin had given it to him, and now every time that Zeydar thought of Evester all he could think of was do I want to be an Igilistal? As if the question was on the table. As if Evester had anything other than a crush. As if Zeydar wanted to to be more. They could not have that. Not now. They could not discuss it. Not now. Zeydar somehow managed to get out words. “You’re a flirt.”
“I miss you.” Evester ‘s words were little above a whisper. He starred at Zeydar with such intensity that Zeydar felt that he had broken completely. He wanted to reach out and kiss Evester who was half a world away.
No. He had to keep control. He had to put the boundaries up so that he was able to maintain a sense of normalcy. Wanting and and wishing for someone he could not be near would distract him. Evester would be at his side in time and then they’d be able to discuss. Then they’d be able to address what it was between them that was ever present. “We haven’t been friends for a full year yet. You don’t get to miss me.”
They had only known each other for the better part of the year. Even though Zeydar knew all of Evester’s history in EverDanger and his family. Even though Zeydar had clung to Evester for help and support. Even though Evester’s voice and heart were what Zeydar used to focus now. Even if Zeydar was certain that his emotions were more complex than a former high and his own mental trauma. Zeydar, could not let them get any closer. Not yet.
Evester did not have the same inhibitions. “You know what I mean.”
Zeydar was floored by Evester’s straight forward comment. Furious, Zeydar snapped back words that he did not fully believe. “I know that we exploited each other and that we will probably continue to do that, and it’s not healthy.”
Evester laughed as if it were a joke. “If I cared about you bruising my wrist. I probably would have said something then.”
“Evester.” Zeydar could not have him making light of it. And in a moment, Zeydar wondered if he were wrong. Was Evester still stuck? Had he not fully analyzed himself? Or worse. Was Evester’s interest only an infatuation and Evester had come to terms with that. Were they going to meet, fuck, and then move on with their lives? Was that not, in a way, easier? Would that not solve so many complexities? To hell with the gold book. It didn’t matter. Evester didn’t.
“Zeydar. I like you.” Evester said the words and Zeydar’s mind short circuited. He sat starring at Evester for a moment. Endwin’s words regarding liking and loving, came back. The fact that Evester was taught to always be free and not shackle himself. The idea that Evester was never supposed to say the words because… Evester was serious. Evester had thought it through.
“I am not going to feed your love for danger.” Zeydar did not recognize the shaking in his voice. His mind was racing.
“Why can’t you? It’s always going to be a part of you. Magic is dangerous no matter whaat you try to say, and even if you were a typical Class One that would never change. Just because you have Tower leveling abilities, doesn’t mean Magic is any less dangerous.” Evester deflected with Zeydar, letting Zeydar take the moment to process what was said. Evester knew that he had read the gold book. He knew that Zeydar knew what it meant to be an Igilistal. Evester had said the words precisely because he knew that Zeydar knew and wanted Zeydar to make the choice. He was giving the choice for the future to Zeydar. Zeydar was not trapped by the family. He had not been trained for it. He had not been indoctrinated to it.
Zeydar might give up. He might grow out of love, and fall out with Evester. Zeydar was not beholden to them, not yet. However after the contracts would he be? He was not sure. There were too many intricacies for the contract and the Igilistals that Zeydar had not fully comprehended yet. The idea frightened him. He was bound to the Superiors. Zeydar was only beginning to get his freedom from them. He had broke free of the Dreams. His entire life he was under the control of something or someone. He wasn’t sure that he wanted that. He wasn’t sure he could live like that forever. Magic was meant to be free and Zeydar…
Zeydar looked at Evester who was still smiling at him. Evester was not meant to be contained. He was meant to be free too. He was not supposed to be beholden to the Igilistals. He was a family member but told never to break his own freedom. Evester knew the rules. He knew what he was risking. “Are you asking me to strive for freedom with you?”
“Sometimes a little danger is needed.” Evester answered, his smile turning a bit sad. He was asking for Zeydar to be with him, but for the two of them to disregard the Igilistal’s rules. Maybe not one day, maybe not ever, but for the two of them to operate that the rules did not exist at all and to let their hearts take them where they wanted to go. “I like you, Evester.”
Evester was silent for a moment. This time it was his turn to process. When he blinked and took a deep breath, Zeydar was not sure what to expect. “I know.”
“Then why are you asking to confirm it?” Zeydar asked him.
“Because— The gold book.” Evester answered.
Zeydar nodded. He glanced about and then shook his head. “We are getting off the planet Evester. We will focus on what the relationship means after that.”
“Yeah, and there will be nothing to come from it until we are safe, but I do care. And I wanted you to know.” Evester had been strategic about it, so that Zeydar would have time to process, to think, to analyze. He knew that Zeydar needed that.
“Your family is safe.” Zeydar whispered, lightly touching the screen.
“I wasn’t worried.”
“Heia’s family is safe.”
“Also not worried.”
“The Superiors hate me.”
“I’m doing okay. It’s going to take years for me to be okay and it’ll be a constant struggle, you know that.” Zeydar choked on his words, hoping that Evester would not disappear. Fearing that he would never return. After saying the words, Zeydar wanted to be by Evester’s side more than he had before.
“But I’m okay Evester. I’m okay.” I focus on you. He didn’t say the words but just by meeting Evester’s eyes, Zeydar knew the message went across. Evester rose his hand to the screen, as if he placed his hand there as Zeydar had. They sat in silence for a long moment. Evester smiled to him in a way that made his heart melt.
“I need to go now.” Evester told him. Keep focusing. Neither said another word as Zeydar signed off first, and backed away from the screen, hand in the palm of his hands. He breathed out trying to contain the emotions. Elation and sorrow danced in a demented waltz about his heart. What had he signed himself away to? What had just happened? The longing was beginning to roar in his heart, along with the heat of desire. Evester understood him and saw him and wanted him. How long had he wanted that for? Childhood crushes, mixed with longstanding sexual tension, butterflies dyed by lust.
“He said it then?” Europa stood at the door, startling Zeydar from the confession. He turned around to see her standing there with Endwin. The two were there? How long had they been there? The two were glancing to each other but saying nothing. Europa opened the door. “I never thought I’d see the day.”
Why weren’t they saying anything? Zeydar knew they knew it wasn’t a crush. That it wasn’t an infatuation. Evester had been serious and he knew the consequences of that being serious. Zeydar had tried to push off the date for when that mattered to the Igilistals, but they had heard. No amount of, trying to address it in the future mattered. Estashia would know within the hour. Zeydar needed to process and understand the gold book as soon as possible.
“He likes you, Zeydar. Congratulations.” Endwin approached.
“Should I be concerned?” What was going to happen now that they knew and Zeydar did not have the time to prepare?
“When Igilistals pick partners, they pick for life. We don’t get second chances.” Europa called back as she walked off. Zeydar had known that, but as Zeydar looked to Endwin, he realized that they did not read Evester the same way that Zeydar did. They believed Evester had shackled himself to the family, when in fact Evester had told Zeydar because he believed Zeydar synonymous to freedom.
Zeydar left his chair and headed off, feeling his sensations sparking. He was not going to relapse but containing it was impossible. The happiness had mixed with the fear to create a sort of adrenaline and desire. Zeydar had to get it out. Once in Evester’s bedroom, Zeydar locked the door.