It was a long time later when I got up. It was almost dark! I flew down the stairs. I needed to check in at work! I needed to make something to eat! I needed to feed the girls…What to do first! Argh!
I stopped at the bottom of the stairs because I smelled wondrous food. The girls were all head deep in their bowls on the porch, and my stag man was talking on the phone. “Is that my boss?” I whispered and he nodded, passing it over.
“Sorry I didn’t check in earlier, but I had to go see my mother, she’s in the hospital.”
“I’ve heard.” My boss responded. “I am sorry. You’ve been having a tough time. You have a couple of weeks vacation time, would you like to use it?” I thought about it, then shook my head even though she couldn’t see it over the phone. “I’ve known you too long. I didn‘t think so.” She laughed. “Your new friend sounds like a helluva catch. Enjoy yourself.” I KNEW I was blushing and I hoped he couldn’t hear the conversation. We hung up and I looked around. He had set the table with the plastic silverware and plates.
“Know I cooking our trust not you. Out take good is.” He must’ve come across my stash of menus. There was some pizza, and Chinese, and a salad, and a meatball sub with provolone, just the way I liked it. I kissed his cheek unthinkingly.
“Your money used I.” I shrugged. That was okay; I had plenty in the bank and I was happy that he had. If it had been my ex I know I would’ve hit the ceiling, but my deer man had been thinking of me. And he had told me about it even if it had been after the fact. And when had I started thinking of him as “mine?”
He must’ve just closed his eyes and picked things on the Chinese Menu, but he did alright. The Mongolian Beef was hot as Hell and as he bit into a pepper because I didn’t warn him in time, his eyes filled with tears and he gulped down some water and I handed him a piece of bread. My Brahma would eat those claw over talon if I let her. She liked spicy food. My Leghorn had a sweet beak.
“Things fire are.” He commented once he was able. The Sweet and Sour Chicken was excellent and the Feta and Spinach pizza with White Sauce was good too, even if it was salty as the Dead Sea. We split the sub and salad and would still have enough left over for another meal. I stuffed the remaining food into the fridge.
Once we were done, I put some scraps down for the girls, and did the dishes. We sat outside on the front steps watching the sky darken towards night and the stars appear. He had his arm around me and I just nestled into his side. This is what a couple SHOULD be like…I thought. My ex had never touched me unless he wanted something and that was usually sex. Yuck. A couple of families walked by with their dogs and kids. One of the dogs was a Deerhound and I figured there might be an issue, but the animal must’ve gotten a clue that this particular deer might be a bit different, and yanked his owners quickly away. One of the oldsters came across to say hi and ask about my girls. I went inside and brought out a half dozen eggs for him. “I was a friend of Jim too.” I obviously heard the last of the conversation. “She’s a sweet girl. And loves her chickens. What happened to you? There was a cop car here this morning.”
This was one of the good older neighbours. I gave him the short story. “If you need me to go to bat for ya, I can. I was a cop way before any of these kids were around. You’ve never caused any trouble and I know you’ve stopped some before it got started.” I thanked him, handed him the eggs and he started back up the street.
“Friends many have here you.” My deer man stated. That was true. I had made more friends since I had moved to my house than I had all the other years I had been on the planet. Living in an apartment in the city wasn’t really conducive to meeting people anyways, and the folks I worked with, most of them were older and had families already. There was no way I was going to meet people at my mother’s church: I had been only a couple of times and the men, though married, had looked at me like I was the all you can eat buffet. No thanks.
I really liked his People that I had met so far, well the good ones anyways. I wasn’t sure about the Crow woman…
I changed my clothes and got ready for bed. He had washed up a bit and brushed his teeth with an extra toothbrush I had found in a cabinet. I changed his bandage too. He seemed to be healing well and quickly. I looked him over again. He really wasn’t hard on the eyes. I don’t know if I would ever have approached him, because I would have considered him so far out of my league that I wasn’t even in the same ball park…Hell, I KNEW I wouldn’t ever have. I sighed.
He tucked the sheet around his lower half again. I got in and snuggled up right against his chest. This was something special and I was going to treasure it for as long as it lasted. The thought made me sad. Once he was all healed up he’d be going back to the Park. I could still see him whenever I wanted, but it was really nice to have a non-insistent bed mate who was considerate of my needs, not even trying to force sex on me…I was pretty sure that if it was someone else, I’d be fighting them off.
I dawned on me as I was falling asleep that when we were at the hospital he was dressed in a button down, short sleeved Oxford shirt with Khakis, but when we were at the house, he had been wearing a t shirt and denim cutoffs. Maybe that was part of the Glamour. Hmmm…That prolly meant I’d been wandering around with a naked guy the whole day. Oh man. And I hadn’t even peeked!
Doing my research I understood the different powers of the Fair Folk, well some of them anyways. Glamour was a biggie. They could look like almost anything they wanted. Or make an illusion to make something NOT appear as it was. Shapeshifting, like Pookas or WaterHorses or Selkies, could be a part of the Glamour. But my deer man’s Shapeshifting seemed like it was just a part of him, a physical thing. The last thing that I found was that if one of the Fae looked you right in the eye, they could have a power over you, like what he had done to my mother, and also to me to make me sleep.
I was right too, about the Fair Folk and going into their world/time/space. As long as you didn’t eat or drink you could be rescued. The Fair Folk could take people for servants, or nursemaids, or for their skills, or for breeding stock. Yuck. There were also half-Fae that could travel between both worlds without a problem. But for full humans, once you partied it up there you were screwed.
Iron and steel still seemed like a huge no-no. Allegedly bells and cats, Holey Stones, running water(ala Vampyres) St Johns wort, Ash and Rowan berries would keep you from having to deal with all of that, along with Bread and the trappings of Christendom, like hymns, holy water and wearing a cross. Not gonna happen.
“C‘hoar Bihan? Think you too much. Sleep now.” I wasn’t going to turn and look into his eyes. But I scrunched even closer and he wrapped his arms tighter around me.
There was plenty of time to ask all the questions I might have in the morning, and it was good to have someone to sleep with. My ex usually made me leave after he had gotten his rocks off and I’d head off to the couch after a very hot shower.
I felt myself relax as he stroked along my ribs and kissed the back of my head. I had another dream of the Fairie Court. This time my ex shot me!! I woke up with a pounding heart and jumped out of bed. I felt around for the bullet wound, but I hadn’t been hurt outside of the dream.
“C‘hoar? Okay are you?” I shivered with a sob and turned into his arms. “Dream bad did have you?” He whispered words in my ear and kissed my lips for the first time. Tender and gentle seemed to be the only words to describe his kiss.
“Better now.” I murmured against his lips. He chuckled and gave me another quick kiss.
Waking up was soo much better when there was someone next to you. I rubbed his ear and touched the closest antler before heading downstairs to start getting ready for the day. I had been noticing that his hair had been sort of changing colour and went online to see if that was normal…well for deer anyway. They went from a reddish-brown in the spring/summer to a taupe in the fall to a grayish-blue in the winter months. He’d lose his gorgeous antlers in the winter too. Bummer. And then there was the Rut: when all the male deer tried to see who’d get all the female deer. That went on from October to November. I wondered if he would go look for some does too, like the rest of the bucks. Did I really want to know though? Prolly not a good idea to ask.
We had to go to a doctor to have the stitches taken out. It had been a week since they had been put in and even with his shape shifting they hadn’t pulled apart. The doctor was really nice about letting us just walk in. I paid the co-pay and we were out in just a few minutes. I took a before and after picture for the court date which was coming up in a couple of days.
Of course, now that THAT was getting close my mother had decided that she needed to blow up my phones with calls. After the first few, I didn’t even bother picking up. She had wanted to know if I was still fucking that foreign pig and why didn’t I settle for my ex…Well that was what I had done, settled for second or third or hundredth best. As for having sex, that hadn’t happened and I was fine with that…We were friends, not friends with benefits. My girls seemed to adore him and he liked being with them too.
The court date went as expected. I was no good, I was a whore, I was stalking HIM, etc. Of course, my mother didn’t help matters. She was acting as if it were a revival meeting rather than a somber proceeding, yelling out AMEN when my ex was making his points. I wondered how she got out and how she had gotten to the courthouse.
The cops got on the stand and gave their accounts. The ER folks brought along their 8X10 glossies. My stomach did a flip and I was glad that I had been on the other side of him as they had dug around in his arm.
I told my part of it, leaving out PePe’s shape shifting, naturally. I said that another walker had told me that my friend was being held at gunpoint on the dock and that he might need help. I also got to tell about the stalking and harassment that he had been doing, including all the phone calls, following me into the dressing room of the store, and having the gun. I also brought my copy of the divorce decree and the pictures of the damage he had done to my car.
My deer man said that he had just been walking along the path when this man came up and told him to stay away from his wife. He had only seen him one other time and that was because he had been scaring his friend, meaning me, and had told him to leave me alone.
My ex said that it was all a misunderstanding, that he loved me (all of my Park friends almost died laughing on that one) and wanted me back.
The cops played the 911 recording to refute that lie. Both my mother and my ex said that it was my deer man’s fault and that I had been cheating on my ex with him. Which was absolute bullshit because I hadn’t even KNOWN about the Park People until after Mr Jim had died which was AFTER I had left him and filed for divorce.
My ex would be going away for a year or so when all was said and done. Thank God! He might get some time off for good behaviour, but I wouldn’t have to see his pasty round Saxon face for quite a while. Gods, that was racist of me.
My mother broke into hysterics, wailing like a beansidhe. It hadn’t helped that she had worn all black with a hat and veil, like she was in mourning. Cy made fun of her, changing her clothes into a humungous picture hat that would’ve blocked Shaq’s view of the proceedings and a Civil War looking dress complete with hoopskirt.
The men had dressed business casual with my stag man wearing three piece suit and a silk tie too. Jamaica had a Burberry suit on. The Crow woman wore a black power suit.
My Park friends clustered around congratulating us. The charges against the pair of us had been dropped too since we had done nothing wrong. My deer man had been trying to keep me from harm and that was part of the Good Samaritan rule. Tripping over and getting sprayed by a skunk had just been bad luck. PePe had snickered at that.
We had a celebration with my friends, my boss, some coworkers, the cops, and a couple of the neighbours that had been Mr. Jim’s friends. We had a BBQ. My deer man was very good with the open fire and that was great. I would never have dared, being afraid that I would burn down the whole place. There was music and singing and lotsa food.
The bash had gone on for a while and folks started leaving quite late. I had had a great time. I cleaned up so that critters wouldn’t help themselves, tossing the paper plates and putting the plastic cutlery into the recycling bin. I put the food away into the fridge, but there wasn’t that much left because I had made up doggie bags for the invitees. But that was okay.
I was tired from all the emotional ups and downs. I was yawning and practically tripping over my own feet when I gave up. Anything else would have to wait for the morning or at least when I got up. My stag man carried me up the stairs and put me on the bed. “Sleep just, C‘hoar Bihan.” I didn’t need much prompting. I rolled over and was out.
I woke alone. WTF? I looked out the window and he was supervising the rest of the clean up. I choked my heart back down to where it belonged. PePe, Tham, and the Woodpecker boys were helping. My girls were clucking around their feet. It was an interesting scene of domesticity.