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49 Days Until Marriage And the Uncertain End  (Part 1)

Estashia and Maverin had yet to grace the room with their presence that morning. Shortly after arriving back at home in Ovaria, Evester had done his debriefing and then promptly fallen asleep next to Kim and Uly. When he woke the next morning, the room had been filled with the majority of the EverDanger members. Their soft breaths had mixed in a harmony. As if accustomed to the sound, they had slept soundly. How they had survived so long without the company was beyond Evester, for it had been so necessary.

In the dining room, most everyone was seated. Kori, Karla, and Kony were talking in muted whispers to each other, comparing battle scars and stories. Evester had heard bits and pieces of Zeydar giving a quick over view of Kony’s classes. Evester had seen the videos, but he did not know much of how to compare Kony’s magic to others, especially now that he was learning in classes. The two were to go off to school later that day. Evester would have to take the time to speak with Kim and Uly and catch up on their plans.

Evester mixed his tea with his spoon when he felt Zeydar place his hand on Evester’s thigh. As if his entire body had been ignited, Evester glanced to Zeydar, who was nonchalantly talking with Endwin about Circle politics and a special meeting that Endwin was holding. Why did Zeydar touch him?

“So you’ll come then Evester?” Endwin asked.

“…” Evester blinked, unsure of what to say. Zeydar tapped his leg twice. Yes? Evester repeated the command, “Yes.”

“Good.” Endwin nodded.

When Zeydar looked back to Evester, Evester knew that Zeydar would explain everything else that happened, in greater detail, later. For now, Evester just had to trust him, and Evester was more than willing to do that.

“We have to get in for class.” Kony announced suddenly after looking at the time. He was already dressed in his uniform.

“We should skip.” Shawn suggested.

“No.” Zeydar stood. “Kony go get ready. Shawn prepare our transport. Phil?”

“I’m headed with you guys today.” Phil bounced up from his seat. 

“Alright.” Zeydar then looked to Evester. Evester knew then that, although he was not done with breakfast, he was to follow. “I will meet you all in the hallway after I get my Superior uniform.”

Kony nodded and with Shawn, they headed down the hall.

“I’ll be back,” Evester said as he followed Zeydar out of the room.

They headed towards Zeydar’s temporary room he shared with Kony. When they got there, Zeydar pulled out what looked to be his Superior coat and hood and then left the room. When they arrived at Evester’s room, Zeydar had the coat over his body, but had not fastened it. They walked in, without a word. Zeydar locked the door behind them.

Evester looked from the door to Zeydar, and then back to the door. “Don’t you have class?”

“I do.” Zeydar said standing before him. “Button it.”

Evester looked to the coat and the intricate buttons. With fumbling fingers he began to work the clasps and buttons that were more difficult to fasten than he had thought. Why had Zeydar brought them to Evester’s room? Why had he actively gotten Evester to follow him so far away if they were going to put clothes on?

“When I get back tonight, we can talk about everything that happened for me while you were gone. Kony, the Superiors, Graceon.” Zeydar said with both hands behind his back.

“And I’ll update you on what I did.” Evester focused on the buttons, trying and failing at getting them to work.

“Uly said you painted.”

“I did.”

“I would like to see.” Evester looked up from the buttons to Zeydar. Zeydar was looking at him with a focused stare, that bore into Evester and lit a fire inside. Zeydar’s breaths were light and delicate, his expression languid with a slight smirk. He was taunting Evester.

Evester licked his lips. “Why are you having me do this?”

“So that you know how difficult it is to take it off, later.” Zeydar leaned forward and whispered against Evester’s neck. In all of Evester’s years of flirtation and dating experiences, he had been the forward one. Zeydar being forward with him struck him both as strange and as alluring all at once. Was this the same person who had pushed him away at the idea of a kiss when they last met? Zeydar’s hand lifted Evester’s chin. Evester’s eyes went wide as Zeydar continued to speak, their noses brushing. “I was nervous with you before, but now I’m not.”

“You were never like this.” Evester’s hands held to the cloak, unsure what to do and what Zeydar was offering at that moment.

“I was walking a thin line of fear. I didn’t know I had a chance. I wasn’t sure you wanted me.

“And now?” Evester teased him, hands moving from cloak to hem of Zeydar’s pants. Zeydar grabbed his hand and then stepped back with a smirk.

“Now, I can be confident.” Zeydar wove his free hand over the buttons and they fastened immediately.

Magic. It figured that Mages would use magic for their clothes. Why else make it so difficult? 

As if the action were a dance, Zeydar pulled Evester back towards him, and then placed his free hand against the back of Evester’s neck. Evester kept his eyes on Zeydar’s eyes as their breaths mingled but their lips did not touch. Zeydar had always been confident, Evester knew that. He knew that Zeydar had the gaul to sneak out of Star Campus. He knew Zeydar was willing to fight back and talk back. Zeydar knew himself better than anyone and knew what he wanted and how to get it. Zeydar had adapted to the LowerLands faster than any of them, and had taken to their group despite not knowing any of them. Zeydar had trusted him, and he trusted Zeydar. Zeydar was. He existed in the way he chose, and that was why Evester was enthralled.

“I’ll be back later today.” Zeydar repeated. His hand traced from back of neck to clavicle to chest. “And then we’ll talk about everything.” He stopped at Evester’s heart. “Including the gold book and just what we want to do. Because I don’t go into a situation without knowing every. single. detail.”

Zeydar then pushed Evester’s chest lightly. Evester felt frustrated and humored at the same time. Zeydar was doing it on purpose to tease, but also to test the waters. 

“We will discuss it all before we take anything too far.” Evester agreed as he found himself free for the smallest of moments. They were not far, touching in many places, but it felt as if a chasm had opened between them. How Evester longed to cross it.

“Good.” Zeydar then placed his arms around Evester’s neck and kissed him, long, full, and more powerfully than he had the day before.  Zeydar’s kiss was filled with the same tender longing that Evester felt and little heat. “I’m going to work now.”

“Have a wonderful day.” Evester smiled at Zeydar as he walked out the door. The moment that the door shut, Evester collapsed down, head in his hands, groaning internally. When was the last time he read the gold book? He didn’t remember every detail. Zeydar would. He had to be prepared. Could he read the whole book in a day? He was going to have to try. 

No. He had to do it.

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