The King's Mate: Caesura
Proofed by Lisa.
AN: As promised, the epilogue. Read previous chapter first. The last part of The King's Mate is up. It can be found going to my profile, as always. The title is: The King's Mate: If You Want To Be Loved, Love. Thank you for reading and commenting.
Landyn stepped out of the elevator, crossed the bright blue carpet of the hallway, and walked to the only door on the floor, already searching for the keys in his coat pockets.
"Why do they always have to live on the upper floor?" he asked irritated.
Simon looked at his partner curiously. "Maybe it's a royalty thing and it's not as if you ever had to use the stairways, there always was an elevator. So what?"
"Don't let Noël hear you think of him as royalty if you want to live." Landyn grumbled, deliberately avoiding answering the question.
"Yeah, well he is, that comes with being the King's mate." Simon shrugged behind Landyn who finally managed to open the door.
"The damned thing's still jammed." He unconsciously rubbed at the shoulder he had just used to wrangle the door open as he entered the condo.
They stood still in the entrance for a moment, listening. A running shower could be heard in the distance.
"He's in the bathroom. I could make us coffee while we're waiting." Landyn headed in the direction of the kitchen area.
"He'll probably want chamomile tea with honey when he comes out." Simon called after him, making his way over to the couch. He sat down in front of the large wall-to-wall picture window, raked his hands through his shoulder length, now ginger red hair; before he let his head fall on the back rest. He and Landyn had changed their outer appearances so many times he sometimes thought he couldn't remember his natural hair color anymore. Landyn then always recommended looking down at his carpet, because even if it didn't match the drapesat the moment; it was still his natural blond.
There would come better times, where they didn't need to look different every so many years to not raise any suspicion about Noël's and Kris' eternally young bodyguards. Simon scoffed. Eternally young... At the moment he felt every single year of his long life, even if nobody else could see it. With any luck though, these times would be over soon.
He felt anxious about Noël's future plans now that his beloved partner of almost fifty years was dead. He so dreaded the upcoming conversation with his little brother as the man could still be as irrational as ever sometimes, just as he'd been when he was eighteen.
He looked up when Landyn came over, carrying a tray with three steaming mugs, sugar, a glass with honey and a small plate with cookies. He still had to get accustomed to his lover's new crew cut. He missed the man's long, blue-black mane.
"He'll be exhausted; the last weeks were straining for him." Landyn placed the tray on the coffee table and grabbed one of the mugs before he settled down on one of the loveseats.
"You're already finding excuses for him and he hasn't even started telling us what he wants to do now." Simon grinned. He knew his man, even after fifty years he still tried to protect his charge from everything, even himself and find perfect rational reasons for Noël's irrational behavior.
Both men stirred the hot liquid in their respective mugs, each thinking their own thoughts until a door was shut in the distance and the padding of bare feet could be heard on the hardwood floor.
Conjointly they took in deep calming breaths.
"Hey." Noël came over to the living room area, took the mug with the chamomile tea in his hands, and spooned some honey into it. He sat down at the other end of the couch, lifted his legs up and folded them underneath him, his hands around the warm mug. He smiled uneasily at Simon. "Thanks for the tea."
Simon gestured to Landyn. "He made it."
Landyn tipped at his imaginary hat. "Just following orders."
Noël shook his head at the antics of his friends while he carefully sipped at the hot tea. Because of the wig he had to wear for the past few years, his own hair was cut extremely short, so much so, that his scalp was visible. Therefore it was no wonder that without the fake white hair his eyes seemed huger than normal and his high cheekbones appeared even more sculptured than before. He was too thin; he almost drowned in Kris' old yellow school hoodie. Even with dark circles underneath his eyes, the pale skin and the boney feet coming out from under the black sweats, he looked still so young, almost like he did when he was eighteen. Beautiful and so fragile. Seeing him like this the two men were shocked.
Blowing into his mug Noël closed his eyes, almost as if he were counting to three, before he finally faced his friends. He was well aware of how he looked and inwardly braced himself against what he knew would come.
Simon gave him a once over and than stated casually, "You look like shit."
"Simon!" Landyn put his mug on the coffee table with a clang.
"What? I know you were thinking the same. If you want something getting done, sugarcoating isn't the way, not with little brother here." He put his own mug down and held his mate's gaze, challenging him to contradict him.
Noël looked from Simon to Landyn and then sighed. "He's right. I own a mirror you know." He tucked at a loose thread of his hoodie before he visibly pulled himself together.
"Okay, knowing me much too well," he suddenly grinned lopsidedly, "you're probably anxious what I decided. So without further ado, here it comes: I want to vanish. This life is over, Noël is dead; he died with Kristof."
Landyn inhaled sharply. "I beg your pardon!?" and was almost shouted down by Simon, "Explain!"
Shocked at the vehement reactions of his friends Noël hurried to elaborate. "I already talked to Brian, as you probably know; the go-to-guy in this area when the Seraei need a new ID, which happens frequently to you guys since you're all practically immortal. My new name will be Nicolas Kellan."
"With us." Simon groused.
"Which frequently happens with us. You're one of us now. Remember?" Simon reminded him, annoyed.
"Yes, I remember, that's why I am in this special fucked up situation. You remember?" He closed his eyes again, this time clearly reigning in his famous temper.
"Si...," Landyn put his hand on his lover's arm soothingly.
"Whatever." Simon crossed his arms in front of his chest.
"I also talked with Isao of the Hamada clan. He invited me to visit them some time ago. I accepted their invitation this morning and at ten tonight I will be on a plane to Japan."
Landyn nodded. "What's with the King? I'm not sure how long you can be away from him before he feels the effects."
"I talked with him also. Diarmad said he will be visiting Japan in three months anyway. He'll stay for a few days with me at the Hamada's guest house and thinks that'll be enough for at least another three months. He even said he could probably cope for a while longer, if I needed the time."
"Okay, what happens with the condo, the office, your clients, all your things?"
"Carl from CY Agency will take over of our clients. He is a nice guy and I think they'll be in good hands. He handles his business the same way Kris and I did. As far as the other points you mentioned are concerned..." He played with the small piece of paper from the teabag. "I know I'm asking a lot, but I would be very thankful if you would take care of the rest. I packed one cardboard box with things I want to keep and the bag pack I'll take to Japan. The rest you can give away, or sell it and donate the money, I don't care. If you are asked about me, please say no comment. There will be rumors, outrageous rumors even, but eventually it will all die down and I'll be forgotten." Noël looked at both of his friends pleadingly.
Simon gave a short nod. "Consider it done." Then he raised an eyebrow. "When will you come back?"
"Honestly? I haven't decided yet. I don't know if you are aware, a few months ago I got a surprise visit from Lionel. He came against Diarmad's expressed request, but Keith had asked him to tell me the story anyway, and a fantastic story it was. Obviously Diarmad was poisoned by Keith, who, in turn, was mentally controlled by people who wanted to overtake Diarmad. He was given a drug with his food, which broke down his mental shields and made him sensitive to outer influences. This way Diarmad could be coerced into breaking up with me, with the intention of weakening him further. He became more and more instable and paranoid, a fact that I had actually already noticed back then. Everything culminated in the assassination attempt on him, where he should have been killed by this Misa person and her mate. This obviously was also a scheme though, she was only a pawn. After she successfully killed him she should then herself be removed by the people who were really behind the whole spiel. This way they would be seen as saviors and not as regicide, as others had dirtied their hands for them. They didn't expect I'd be there as fast as I was and that I was even willing to help Diarmad by giving him my blood and fighting by his side. At first I didn't believe him, but Lionel had proof." Noël practically jumped from the couch, pacing angrily between the kitchen and the living room area.
"At first I didn't give the whole thing much thought, Kris had just gotten ill when Lionel told me and I had other things on my mind. On the one hand I'm relieved that all the nasty things Diarmad said and did weren't his fault. Typically for him though, that he beats himself up for not being stronger, for not seeing the deceit, for not being perfect, the idiot. On the other hand I am grateful he never told me and with that jeopardizing my relationship with Kris. Fuck!"
He stopped, looked out of the window, before he turned back to his friends. "And then again I'm so pissed at him for not telling me, for playing the noble hero, who generously stood aside. He never gave me a chance to decide for myself."
"Did you talk about this with him?" Landyn asked carefully.
"No, I didn't want Lionel getting into trouble."
"And now nothing. He didn't tell me and so I don't know anything about it. It doesn't matter anyway, 'cause I'll be gone soon anyhow." He turned to stare out of the window suddenly feeling angry and distressed.
Watching Noël's retreating form of as he passed the security gate Landyn asked Simon, "Do you think he'll come back?"
"I am sure he will come back. Kris knew him better than anybody else, and he said Noël still loves the King, he just unconsciously pushed him away, because he was hurt so much, and also out of loyalty to Kris." He took Landyn's hand in a seldom show of affection in public and tugged him in the direction of the exit.
"How do you know?"
"I talked with Kris two days before he died. He told me how thankful he was that Noël gifted him with a part of his life. He said he knew Noël would never love him as much as Kris loved Noël, that in times he felt very egotistical because he kept him away from Diarmad. I think this weighed heavily on his mind, but I managed to free him from his concerns, at least a little. Seeing how fast the King and Noël got together, I often thought it maybe was too fast. They didn't have enough time to build a basis of trust, so when the shit hit the fan; their relationship couldn't endure the strain. I sometimes ask myself if it wasn't wrong that we only blamed the King for not believing in his mate, Noël never really questioned the reason for Diarmad's irrational behavior either."
Landyn stopped abruptly, forcing Simon to let go of his hand. "What? Now you want to blame everything on Noël? Oh no, I won't−"
"I don't blame anybody. All I'm saying is that maybe they weren't ready when fate hit them. Seeing how the King wanted to ensure Noël's happiness by standing aside and how pissed Noël was that nobody told him the truth, there might be still a chance for them."
"I don't know..."
"Don't forget there still are people out there, who want to murder our King and usurp control. It might be better, if we had a functioning relationship between our King and his mate."
The last part of The King's Mate is up. It can be found going to my profile, as always. The title is: The King's Mate: If You Want To Be Loved, Love.
Thank you for reading and reviewing.