Your grandmother Essie was a strange one. Still telling these fanciful tales to scare your siblings and cousins, or leaving out food for the rats every night. Your father never did anything to sway her into the current times, maybe because she was too aged to try but it still bothered you. Science was clearly the wave of the future, its was useful, efficient, and could be so much more magical than little tales simply because it was real. You could see it, touch it, taste it, science was tangible and as magical as it was explainable.
“he might crawl into your mouth and make his home in your belly, for that great eater will take all the good out of your supper, so no matter how much you eat after, you’ll never be satisfied, never, never, never-” Elizabeth started to sob at the story and you rolled your eyes. Your aunt quickly grabbed your cousin and pulling her away, the other kids dispersed feeling too uneasy to stick around. Grandma Essie looked positively distraught, her lip trembling to see the blanket empty of a captive audience. In your pampered youth you didn’t care to acknowledge that with any comfort.
“Why can’t you just barf him up?”
She flinched up to find you still by her side, sighing in exasperation. “Of course a little shit like you would-”
“Or just eat really gross things until-”
“He’s magical! He cares none for what you eat nor your pryin’ to get him out! He’ll be bound to your stomach as you’re bound to keep him in there!”
You nodded, “Good to know you can at least torment him by eating buckets of liver and onions. Uck.”
Grandma Essie ruffled, “Ooh! Someone should eat your liver and onions!”
“I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, I only have one and it’s bitter.”
As she huffed, a reluctant smile started to form on her, turning into a chuckle you were glad to see. Most didn’t like your sass but Grandma Essie always seemed to cherish it. Gathering herself she looked at you a long while, “Why don’t you want to believe in magic? The Otherworld would love your wit if you only believed.”
You scoffed, leaning back in your annoyingly huge pink and blue ruffled dress. “Who is there to show my wit to Grandma? You say you have a leprechaun friend, but you’ve never even seen him! How can you possibly know he exists and you’re not just mistaking coincidence with faith?”
“If I had no faith, if I didn’t leave out milk and bread, why would he come? Why would you help someone who refused to acknowledge you existed?”
“But why believe it at all, why believe magic when you haven’t seen it outside of your own imagining?”
“Why believe in your sciences when you’ve only seen it in books?”
“Because I can recreate it.” You pompously replied.
Turning up her nose she motioned to your lap. “Alright, do it now.”
You stiffened, looking about for an answer. “Well I-I need all the proper…stuffs.”
“Oh of course…like milk and bread?”
“No~! That’s different!”
Grandma Essie only laughed in your face making you fume and pout. You felt your over-sized hat that was more an umbrella get plucked from your head. “Oh y/n,” She brushed the fuzzy strays of your immaculately brushed and pinned hair. “Don’t let these things frustrate ya so. Whether it has magic or it doesn’t, try to just enjoy life will you? My little Ceanndána cailín.”
But you couldn’t. She soon passed from you and her death hit harder than you imagined. Her talks and tales of some other world tormented you and you were one night forced to admit it was because you enjoyed her magic and her stories, you missed them. You missed her.
That night in her memory, you left out a bowl of milk, a slice of ginger bread and a gold coin by the window. Sitting in your bed on the second floor up, you stared at the meal under the moonlight, imagining some mean looking red haired man to come and snatch it for god knew whatever reason compelled him to.
Because magic that’s why
You smiled at the thought, feeling your eyes heat as you felt your Grandmother laughing at your refusal to believe. For her, tonight, you believed, and you enjoyed the uplifting mysticism it brought about on you as you threw over the covers and cried yourself to sleep, wondering what it would have been like to take her to the science convention the next day.
When you woke up you were shocked to find both the bread and milk eaten, the coin missing. Quickly to calm yourself you reasoned your father did it, the only possible way to excuse it all missing from two stories up, though you didn’t tell a soul what you’d been up to that night.
It was very quickly forgotten as the convention went far more splendidly than you could have ever imagined. Do to your extravagant outfit your mother always dolled you in you were called up to help in a performance that caused your many ironed and oiled curls to float in the air. You talked with the young scientist afterwards who humored your enthusiasm for hours, him showing you all his inventions in progress.
That night you didn’t care to leave anything out, only for the convention to leave early the next morning when they were supposed to stay a week, making the mans proposal to meet with his teacher impossible.
It hadn’t occurred to you the strangeness until years later as the pattern continued, leaving out bread when you missed your grandmother, having a magnificent day only to be followed by a terrible one. Having turned into a recluse from a world that didn’t accept a woman having an interest in science nor one that ran around in simple men’s clothing, you had no issue with leaving to a large cabin in a vast field, secluded by woods to minimize the damage estimated by bad luck. If that was it could so be called.
You tested again and again, keeping detailed reports of your day, your well being be damned (though you really could have done without the bear attack on your cabin and the shot gun locking up) and somehow you actually produced the same results. In days you left the offerings, you found things once missing, kind people visited, your brain burst with inspiration and you wrote entire dissertations to experiment with once you were home. On days you didn’t, you lost things, suspect people visited, and your fingers couldn’t make a single line, at one point your work somehow caught flame nearly losing it and the cabin itself. You tried to reason it was all coincidence, you were making it up in your panic, but you couldn’t explain how the offerings kept disappearing.
Starting to search for that answer you placed a dummy under the blankets and laid in wait under the bed, watching your window and the food, seeing just what came to eat and drink because it certainly wasn’t your father states away. The first night you passed out long before you could see the dawn. The second you came so close to making it through the night. But tonight, you were ready.
Three young ladies had stopped in their travels and you offered them a place to stay and eat seeing as it was getting dark. They thought you were harmlessly strange and kept good conversation, but you could see the questions as their eyes roamed your messy cabin having been hit off and on with attacks of every kind. Now they slept, giving the illusion no one could possibly be paying attention to the bread and milk on the windowsill.
And then it happened, you heard no footsteps but a large hand came down and lifted the window, despite the fact you had purposely locked it. As the bowl of milk lifted you crawled out from the bed, quickly and quietly sneaking out until you caught him outside your window.
“Ah-ha!” You hoped out from the door, unarmed, in your knickers and a mans shirt, beaming arrogantly in triumphant.
The man had ragged but decent clothes, not so much homeless as it was rough around the edges. His fiery red hair tickled at his open collar and his dark eyes only stared wide-eyed at you, looking at your choice in pouncing attire before putting the empty bowl back to the window next to the bread. “Well this must be awkward for you.” of course his Irish accent was as heavy as your grandmothers had been.
You crossed your arms and drawled, “So you’re my grandma’s supposed leprechaun.”
He sucked on his teeth, turning to face you. “I am a leprechaun.”
“How do I know you’re not just a homeless man out in the woods for a free meal?”
He took a few steps to you, the thuds under his feet heavy now that he didn’t bother to hide it and you held back a gulp realizing just how tall he was. “If you believed that, I wouldn’t be here.”
You squinted at him, swaying because you couldn’t deny that point. “Than it would be no trouble to prove it.”
He rolled his eyes, lifting his hand and producing a single gold coin between his fingers. Turning his hand, you held out yours for him to place it in. “There, keep it for good luck hm?”
You examined it closely, finding it a bit odd the coin wasn’t marked in any currency you recognized. Yet you stopped him as he turned for the bread, “I’ve seen a magic show or two in my day, and those sleeves are awfully long.”
He smirked, at least amused by your stubbornness. Tossing up his sleeves he came back around and grabbed your hand, pulling the palm open and slapping his onto it. When he slid it back a mess of gold coins spilled out, slipping from your hand and thudding on the ground.
You gasped and ripped yourself back. The coins crashed around as you stumbling, holding your hand like it was now cursed and searching the porch scattered in gold coins. “How?! How did you do that!?” You started circling him looking for some answer, him tossing his hands in his pockets enjoying your little shatter of reality. “You can’t of done that! That’s impossible! How did you do it?!”
Coming back around you jumped him and started pilfering around in his jacket for anything.
“Ay-AY!” He harshly shoved you back, “Knock that off! Can ya not gather what you see with your own fucking eyes?!”
“But that makes no sense! You can’t pull things out of thin air!”
He snapped his wrist and out popped three gold coins between the tips of each finger, glinting in the porch light an inch from your face. “I can.”
They slipped from his hand but you didn’t bother to watch them, staring at the man before you, almost convinced a man he wasn’t. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some bread to eat.”
Keeping glued to your spot he picked up the morsel off the windowsill and started eating it in one huge bite, slapping the offered coin out of existence. You kept a good circles distance as he walked by you and off the porch into the moonlit grassy hill, making ready to disappear in the night.
“What…what happens if I stop leaving out bread and milk?”
Turning with his mouth still full, he winked at you, wordlessly revealing you knew the answer already.
You spent all of one night trying to ignore what happened at the cabin before waking up the next morning buzzed with ways of trying to figure it all out. The carriage ride home was annoyingly bumpy to write in your journal but you didn’t want a single thought to fade. Even the girls chattering to themselves, not having realized how wealthy their host had been, was only back ground noise compared to the onslaught of questions and hypothesis in your mind. The first thing to do of course would be to test if the coins you gathered were really pure gold, if you could find a means to discover the source on his uniform, where he was hiding the horde of it. But no matter how hard you tried to explain everything else about him, the offerings, the belief, the good days and bad days so off the spectrum of grey. What experiments could you conduct with any of that?
Magic was just science not explained yet. So if what you were seeing was beyond your comprehension, you’d have to simply start throwing things at the wall and see what sticks. Electricity and magnets were always fun to start with.
Returning to your family’s mansion you immediately locked yourself in your room to work. After a few days you deduced the gold to be just gold. That no light, no current, no solution said the coins were different from any other gold coin in the world. And it was frustrating. Mostly because it forced you to admit maybe the magic was entirely him.
And worse yet, you had to speak with him again.
Surprisingly you didn’t have to wait long this time until a body came from the dark, slamming on the wall just outside the kitchen window you were hiding in and loudly announced, “I know you’re in there.”
You peaked out the window the littlest bit with a suspicious eye. Giving him a once over, the candlelight maybe a little dull but you could see red dripping down from his face. His clothes were roughed up more than last time, his body deprived of any tension and the alcohol mixed with cigar smoke strong on the subtle wind. You glanced back in the kitchen, checking the fine iron fillings showing the field of a magnet under a sheet of paper. The twin dome wavelengths didn’t change under his presence. Tsking disappointed you came back to the window. “You look like you’ve seen better days.”
He only eyed you, probably sensing you were up to something. Sniffing hard and taking the offered chocolate babka, in one bite he made a vague disgusted noise, yet forced another. “This couldn’t be any richer, if all the kings of the world literally shat gold.”
Stealthily you took a smaller magnet from your pocket and lounged by the offerings, trying to get the magnet as close to him as possible without his knowledge. “A shame you have to eat it no matter what, don’t you?” He shoved in the last bite glaring hard at your smarmy grin. Though you did end up feeling a bit bad when he swallowed and coughed. Lifting the bowl of milk for him you were surprised to find him splattered in more blood and bruises when he stepped into the light. “Are you not going to bother hiding anymore when I want to see you? Isn’t that suppose to be apart of the ‘magic’?”
Taking your bowl he downed it slowly simply to agitate you, not realizing it gave you ample time to run the magnet up the length of his body a few times. Coming back down, cheeks puffed out with milk, he looked at you suspiciously. The magnet already hidden you squinted at him thinking of what could have tugged on his person to give you away, annoyed he did looked at you shortly after passing his belt buckle. How ordinary and explainable. With a tilt he swallowed and dropped the bowl down. “I’ve other things to do than tiptoe around your stubborn ass.”
You sized him up once more, utterly fascinated with what stood before you because by all accounts he seemed like a regular filthy man, ironically, down on his luck.
“Would you like to…come get cleaned up? I’m sure I can find something that would fit-” He spit out some of the blood that pooled around his mouth before slapping his hand up on the sill and tossing a leg over, forcing you to get up out of his way while his giant form slipped in. “Suppose that’s a yes. Do try not to touch anything that” You got distracted by his busted and bloodied knuckles while grabbing the lit candle stand. “…anything.”
After sneaking a glance at your magnetic table, nothing shifting as he walked by, you snuck him to your room as quietly as possible. You left him briefly to get a bowl of water and a rag, pouring just a small amount of alcohol solution before coming back to find him getting blood all over your miniature model of a steam engine he gracelessly turned about at the fireplace’s light.
“Hey-HEY!” you set everything down, rushing over and gently taking your model back, “I said don’t touch anything!” you tried brushing off all the bloody fingerprints before shooing him to the fireplace. “Go be a hazard over there!”
Unceremoniously he sauntered over, pulled the nearest seat and slammed himself down by the blazing fire. Disappointed, you set down the dirtied model and went back to pick up everything. Turning to him you hadn’t expected to see him already shed of his jacket and shirt, his barrel chest roughed with scars and sweat, almost glistening by the light. You gathered yourself, or tried to, keeping your attention above his neck. Dabbing and squeezing the cloth you began wiping his face down, him not taking his eyes off you as you did, though you felt it was more in curiosity than any knowledge of making you uncomfortable.
“So, what do I call you?” He winced when the cloth came a touch too close to the wound of his busted nose you were uncovering swipe by swipe, coming back confused. “Well I can’t exactly go around calling you ‘Grandma’s leprechaun’ can I?”
He snickered at that, taking the rag from you to clean his face faster, roughly scraping the blood from his mouth. “Sweeney will do just fine.”
“…don’t you want to know my name?”
“I know your name. I know your favorite color, your favorite book, your favorite inventor, all those little things you and Essie talked about in the night.” he nodded to your outfit of again, a mans loose shirt and cotton trousers that cut off under the knees. “I know the real reason you wear men’s clothes has nothin’ to do with your time spent around chemicals and fires, but because your mother used to spend hours dolling you up and pulling your hair out to the point the sight of ruffles makes you sick to this day.”
You stepped back, crossing your arms at the disturbing layout of information your own parents didn’t bother to know.
“S’all right, looks rather good on you, doesn’t leave much to the imagination.” Sweeney clicked his cheek, shaking out the rag. “I think if you keep it up it could be a trend among the ladies. Now that’s the kind of change I’m all for-”
“H-how exactly do you know all that about me when we’ve suppose to have only just met? And if you dare say it’s magic-”
You threw yourself back and groaned to the high heavens, half regretting it as you remembered people were in the house with you. As you lectured you kept your shouting to a failed minimum, “That doesn’t make any sense! You can’t just know things because some person, left you some bread, and you just happened along! You know what this sounds like?! That you were a stalker praying on my confused grandmother!” He laughed, that big robust mocking laugh your grandmother used to do to embarrass you into your place. “There’s an explainable reason to all this and I will find it!”
The laugh drifted to a deep chuckle, relaxing back in the chair he made look like it belong to a child, the cut of his nose still looking fresh and red but at least it was no longer bleeding. Lazily Sweeney began cleaning his hands with the now crimson rag, watching you every step of the way, keeping you paranoid to leave his gaze. “It’s magic Ceanndána cailín.”
“That’s not an ans-!” Your anger sobered up quick, your heart beating in an ache you thought you long since buried. “What did you call me?”
The chair creaked loudly as he stood, making your blood rush with his looming and bare figure close enough to feel the heat. “Look, try to apply your logic and your sciences all day, drive yourself mad with it- I really don’t give a fuck. Whatever answer you come up with doesn’t change the fact,” he pressed a finger to your chest, your heart, the breath getting caught in your throat. “You believe.” Jabbing you a bit hard he backed away and spread his arms out dramatically, “Now save me the ear bleedin’, and just let the magic happen.”
You watched him closely as he didn’t ask for new clothes but tossed on his filthy jacket, balling up his bloodied shirt under his arm, making ready to disappear again. But as he reached the door you couldn’t help but ask, “My grandmother said she knew you her whole life… how long… how old are you?”
Sighing loudly Sweeney leaned against the door frame thinking. “I remember, you couldn’t have been more than five, and your father caught ya tryin’ to eat the bread set out for me. Feisty thing you were, you argued with him for an hour that you wanted to show Essie nothing bad would happen to her just because she didn’t leave out bread every night. I remember that night because I was freezing my knob off and you wouldn’t shut your tiny trap and just go the fuck to sleep.” You stiffened remembering that night too. It was one of your earliest, the start to trying to heal your grandma from her fear of luck and fairies. You took a hard look at him, trying to guess his age, especially what he would of had to been at that time, over twenty years ago. It would have to be some pretty dedicated stalking with no interest in meeting the person face to face. “Honestly, I never wanted to kick a child half as badly as that night I wanted to kick you.”
You huffed, frustrated with believing his story and nowhere further to answers, only more questions. “How charming of you.”
He gave a mock bow and left, leaving you thinking and thinking, until you realized, you had his blood.
While you had spent most of the night by a candle writing down all your plans to do with the model and the rag, you’d forgotten your father had planned to take some guests to the marketplace in the morning. You were dead tired, but it didn’t dull you so much to not notice strange things happening.
First strange thing of the day, your mother only rolled her eyes and said you could wear what you wanted to the market. Never once had she not spent at least an hour getting you ready for any public event. Second strange thing, it didn’t run as scandalous as it usually did. How it was suppose to go was men getting huffy over you wearing ‘their’ clothing no matter how dapper (and lets face it, you were very dapper) and women would huddle and gossip…but not today.
As you strolled behind your parents and their entourage they were trying to impress, simply enjoying the many things on display, people started to give you long glances or approach you, not to shun you but as if you were this sort of erotic mystery. It was as if overnight your unintentional stalemate between genders was an aphrodisiac lure to both. It was uncomfortable, mostly because catching anyone’s arousal was a once in a blue moon gig. The lavished attention was overwhelming to say the least.
In a panic for freedom of your anxious stumbling to flirt back, you spotted a small alleyway between a bar and a tavern to hide. In a large sigh you peeked out at the denizens of people, not knowing who would pop out and compliment your ‘bravery’ on choice of clothes to wear.
You startled when a familiar voice rejoiced behind you, “The noble lady has come to greet the masses! What a blessed day!” You couldn’t tell if this was suppose to be good or bad luck that you just happened upon Sweeney out of all the alleys in the city. He was much more cleaned up than the last time you saw him, relaxing against the brick wall with a lit cigar and two others, both very similar in being rough on the eyes and very Irish. With a smirk he pulled the cigar from his lips and waved off the others. Though you were now alone with him, you didn’t calm any to see he was exceptionally jovial, like he was in on a joke at your expense.
You sighed hard, stuffing your hands in your pockets and nervously glancing back. “Is there a method to this ‘luck’ madness? People have been acting really strange all day, and it doesn’t at all feel like good luck to me.”
Sweeney’s smile took a sharper edge, flicking the cigar. “It’s based on what ya want. What you were dreaming about after ya made the offering.”
“What I want?” You scoffed. “I don’t want people bothering me. I detest them as is, the last thing I would want-”
“You wanted someone to fuck last night.”
You snapped up straight, all sense knocked from your head and you stumbled and gasped your words, “No-ho! That’s-that’s not what happened-!”
He shrugged, “It’s nothing to be ashamed about.”
“O-okay so you’re saying, just because I-I was…” blame your proper upbringing but there was simply no way of finishing that sentence.
“Needin’ an itch scratched?” He teased.
“Wanting company. Just because I was feeling a bit lonely when I set out the offering, people are now what, high on affection for me?”
“Naw. They just notice the things they like about ya and forget the bad for an evenin’.”
“Well take it back!”
He cocked his head back, offended at the sheer amount of pleaing in your face, “There’s no ‘taking it back’!”
“But this wasn’t what I wanted! I don’t like strangers! I don’t like people!” Someone stopped at the alley way, looking unreasonably wounded by your words. “What do you want me to say?! Not you?! I don’t even know you-get out of here!” Sweeney snickered watching them duck and move along. “I just wanted someone to talk to! I-”
“Face it Archimedes, if you were hard up on a conversation people wouldn’t be humpin’ your leg all down the street. Just do yourself and everyone else a favor and get your hole knocked off.”
You gave this little panicked screech he chuckled at while chewing on the cigar. “I can’t! I can’t in good conscious do that! How is this not questionable means!?”
“Like I’ve drugged them or someth-”
“Who fucking cares!?” He snapped
He rolled his eyes, coming back to your curled up form debating the simplest way to get home without people propositioning you. “So what’s it gonna take?”
“I don’t know! Isn’t it your job to solve that?!” you bit defensively.
Sweeney breathed out a long weary huff, “You know your grandmother wasn’t nearly as hard to satisfy.” When you didn’t respond he found you raising a curious and concerning brow. “Not like that!”
You missed the way he gave you an long analyzing gaze, the clear inner debate in his head as he bounced the cigar around like he was writing in the air. Sweeney found his conclusion while you were turned around and he crushed the cigar tip into the brick wall, stuffing the large bud into his pocket for later. Licking his lips he motioned for you, “Come ‘ere.”
You didn’t have a reason to distrust him in an open environment, however, that may have been because you didn’t know him well. You took the step forward, innocently unaware until a hand clamped under your jaw and forced you on you tiptoes into a hard and sloppy kiss. The shock of it panicked you and you shoved yourself back, stumbling back to your feet gasping.
The tension held still until you blinked once, falling in a hard glare and slapped him hard enough to sting. Sweeney chuckled as you walked away all stiff and fuming, finding no trouble in pushing through the denizens of people after that.
Switching between two types of lenses, one of glass and one of quartz, you couldn’t see a difference in the fingerprints on your model, only feel like reality was a little warped when you looked through the quartz lens. It was strange, like when something is in front of your face but you’re looking past it.
You sat back, rubbing your mouth in thought, staring at the engine. You already wasted the rag, cutting it into dozens and dozens of tiny squares for the row of different solutions and chemicals, finding an interesting change in some but nothing you couldn’t recreate with your own blood.
Amidst your hard thinking, for an unexplained reason your eyes tugged to the many small windowed cabinets of chemicals and metals. A shock of terror ran through your bones and you cautiously stood up, tiptoeing to the one open shelf where clearly someone had been playing with your collection and left their freshly refilled cup next to a haphazardly opened bottle of shiny metal chunks called Sodium.
You gently pulled the cup and set it on your desk, and then came back to seal the bottle, closing the small door and lifting the simple lock. Disaster wasn’t a strong enough word for what almost happened. While everything in your room was painstakingly built to prevent mishaps like that, you couldn’t always count for the ignorant that would sneak into your room out of curiosity. The smallest drop of water and the metal would have ignited, exploding amidst the rest of the chemicals and metals. You sighed slowly in relief that it didn’t happen.
Taking back to your seat, you glanced through the quartz lens. At first you thought it had somehow smudged, looking like some blue liquid was warping the fingerprint. However when you brought the rag under the lens and above the model, the blue went away, only reappearing when you slowly pulled your hand away.
You slowly turned the model to another angle, finding every bloodied fingerprint shaded with a misty blue. Staring at one you noticed the mist wavered, shifted, like a veil of fog tied only to his blood. Sitting back with a laugh, you noticed the cup of water, how close it sat near the model, almost touching it. As an experiment, you pushed it away, across the giant desk and looked again, the blue gone and only a rusted fingerprint remaining. Pulling it back you looked at your model through the glass, finding it unchanged like your bare eyes.
You gave a triumphant and boisterous cry, charging out of the room and calling for the first servant you saw, “Jane! Jane come see this!” Your mother peeked around the corner and you waved for her too, “Mother come! You have to see what I’ve discovered!”
Charging back they came moments later and you were bouncing in excitement, you presented your microscope to them with a big smile, “Look through the lens and tell me what you see.”
You mother gave a long drawn out sigh, rolling her eyes as she came to your little toys. Before she even looked she glanced at the model and glared at it. “Is that blood?”
She grabbed the model and looked over it appalled, “Whose blood does this belong to?! Why are you looking at someone’s blood?!”
“Mother! That’s not what you should be concerned with!” You ripped it back and placed the model under the scope, adjusting till you found a print.
“Are they alright!?”
“Yes he’s fine now look-”
“He?! Which HE was in your room touching your things with bloodied fingers?!”
“Mother just look and tell me what you see!”
She huffed, bringing her face back to the lens. Your mother looked a decently long moment before shrugging and shaking her head. “I see bloody fingerprints.”
Taken back you brushed her out of the way, looking and see for yourself that they were in fact blue. “It’s… but you see it don’t you? Jane you look!”
The young serving girl stepped forward trying to hide her smile, watching you and your mother quietly bicker. Again you didn’t see much of a reaction where there should have at least been question. Jane backed away with an apologetic grin. “I see fingerprints.”
“But they’re blue.”
They didn’t react much outside of your mother giving an agitated, “Yes?”
“So you see it too, under the microscope they’re blue-”
“Yes and what does that-”
Before she could finish your threw your arms in the air shouting out a victory cry and falling to your knees. She scoffed at you, “You need help! Professional help you know that!” and stomped out of the room, Jane giggling behind her while you continued to scream and celebrate.
It was tangible, it could be duplicated, it was real, it was science.
You sat in the living rooms cushy chair deep in the night, sipping wine and smiling to yourself. The open window had its offerings and on the end table below it was a pile of gold coins, the clearest biggest quartz crystal you could buy, and a bowl of water. You watched closely behind the crystal with only a few fractures and clouds at it’s base, waiting for the coins to react to his presence, it they would at all. Something however told you they were more than gold, especially with the ancient tales focused on finding one or keeping it.
Slowly they began taking on a cooler shade and you smiled, watching the gold mist into blue, tendrils like a smoke reaching from the small pile.
“Whats all this?” Sweeney suddenly asked with his mouth full, lazily getting comfortable on the window sill.
“Oh? This?” You asked, all saucy. Standing up you rounded the table, “It’s a little thing called scientific evidence.”
You pulled the crystal between the gold pile and Sweeney. Like your mother and Jane he didn’t react much to normal things doing abnormal glowing. He sucked on his teeth and asked, “What’s that suppose to mean to me?”
Holding back a growl you go up in his face, “It means, I’ve uncovered a very real means of seeing what was previously an unseeable science. Your ‘magic’ is now a toy for me to experiment on and unravel the mysteries of the world.”
He was still aggravatingly unimpressed, eating away and stealing the water and drinking what helped make the coins glow. “I already told you magic was real-”
“No! It’s not magic! It’s real-”
“Well what the fuck does magic mean to you if it can’t possibly be real?”
“Real! Not, miracles and fairies and rules abandoned! It has a set system, a logical system that can be recreated and instructed-”
“But ya already knew magic had a system, your grandmother told you as much in her tales. Or have you forgotten that when you’re in the mood to be a cunt you put out the most expensive disgusting sweet bread you can get your hands on?”
You gasped, more offended at the curse word than anything, “It’s when I’m angry at you!”
“Yeah,” he shrugged. “When you’re a cunt. Fact remains, there’s always been a system for magic.”
Frustration left you silent and frantic for a retort to either statement. In the end you cried out, having to concede he was right. “I don’t like you! I don’t like you, I don’t like anything about you! You are the worse thing that has ever happened to me and to science!”
Sweeney chuckled like he’d won some bet with himself, “Aw the smart rich girl can’t outwit a leprechaun~.”
“Oh what even is a leprechaun anyway?! Some form of subhuman that was suppose to die out centuries ago?!”
“Come on love, you can’t say that like Irish discrimination isn’t rampant throughout America.”
The claim took you back but you managed a confused, “You’re… you’re right. Sorry about that.”
“And I was a man once.” he chimed. You stiffened, jaw clamped shut tight waiting for the magical twist to infuriate you. “And then I was a bird and then-” as he finished you were already taking great gulps of wine.
The voice of your mother calling you filtered through the door and before you could cover anything up or shove Sweeney away she came in. “Who are you yelling-”
One would assume it would have been easy for Sweeney to pull back and let your mother just think you were crazy, instead he nodded to her with a smile, “Ma’am.”
You forced a smile but was clearly glaring at him, turning back you motioned to him, “Hello mother this is a…friend, of mine. Don’t mind us-”
“Who the hell is this you’re bringing in the house!?” before you could snark off she snapped, “And don’t you dare say ‘he’s not technically in the house’!”
You held your hands up, bottle included to further damage your case, “He’s a friend from work-”
“I have set you up with numerous suitors-!”
“And he’s just as terrible as they were I promise!” you defended.
Before she spoke another word she gave Sweeney a hard look before asking, the tone and air about her suddenly shifting. “Are you Irish?”
“Born and raised in the mainland my Lady.”
Your mother seemed to be mulling something over before knocking you off your feet, “There’s a gala this Saturday, would you like to come?”
You gaped at her, “What!? Mother you can’t be-!”
“I would love to!” You nearly flung your wine bottle you spun so fast, Sweeney just smiling away.
“Do get cleaned up before then, I’m assuming my terrible child will help you find the right suit.” She gave you a warning look but you were still in shock. Before leaving she gave one last order, “And no more yelling! People are trying to sleep!”
The door slammed shut leaving you in a state of stiff bewilderment. Sweeney lifted from the window, slapping it in a small triumphant rhythm. “Looks like I’m gettin’ some fancy new clothes. I’ll get to parade around like those stick-up-the-arse ‘dandies’ and eat all their fancy foods while going ‘Mm yes want to hear a joke I heard about the upper middle class?’ Honestly, the fat cats these days, no propriety.” You turned and glared for the lack in explanation on the abrupt and unexplained change in your mother. “See you tomorrow then, and uh don’t worry,” he motioned to your house with a smirk, “I know the place.”
There was nothing more annoying to you than the mornings when servants and caterers began setting things up at four in the morning, waking you up and distracting you with chaos beyond the walls.
Or so you thought.
The week had been rough enough getting Sweeney to just make the appointments with the tailors and barber but here he was acting like a rotten teenager. Constantly disappearing in the big house. Turning his nose up at the choice in coloring and refusing the put on his suit. Flirting and distracting the staff while you tried endlessly to avoid your mother’s constant lectures on choice in company SHE invited and micromanaging your appearance, somehow donning more and more articles of clothing and changing dresses no less than five times.
The sun was finally going down yet that didn’t mean you were going to bed and that was the worse part, the fact the party was just now starting.
Some servants finally corralled Sweeney into your room in front of your mirror and got him to wear the long vibrant green and embroidered gold coat and vest. White pants and tall brown boots (because he refused to wear the simple white heels), all that was left was the white ascot you caught him fiddling with and getting frustrated.
You huffed and shooed the three ladies out, grabbing the silky cloth and properly fluffing it, drifting lower to straightening every edge of his suit. “Turn around.” you order without a spot of joy or even content.
“What ya gonna pat my ass down too?” You gave him one frustratedly unamused look and he scoffed into a smirk, turning around. You tugged and pulled a few wrinkles before grabbing your comb, getting up on your tiptoes to brush his hair. It had been cut short so it was easier to manage, in theory. It was such a thick mop, now that it was cut short it refused to stay down. You quickly gave up, tossing the comb only for him to run his hand through it as he turned, now a fiery mess you were refusing the compulsion to fix.
Sweeney tilted his head looking a bit concerned, the reality of it was him just mocking you. “Ya don’t look none too happy. Not one for parties?” you kept your look angry and dead, hands on your hips like you were waiting for an apology. “What? This isn’t my fault, this is all you sweetness.”
You tried rubbing away the massive migraine and burning exhaustion from your eyes. “I have been setting out bread and milk and gold every night since I met you. Every. Night. Explain to me how I, one: got roped into a gala. Two: with you. And Three: how everything I find frustrating combined in one room is suppose to be good luck?!”
Sweeney swayed a bit with that mischievous glint in his eye, thinking if he should hold back or not. Cocking his head he decided to admit. “You’ve been wantin’ a friend.”
Ah of course, one of those prayers he could hear but you didn’t think on in the least. “And I’m going to get that tonight? Out of this garbage parade called high society?”
He snickered at your polite way of saying shit fest. “What a better time to find a friend than surrounded by people and everythin’ ya both hate?” You let the words roll around before conceding with a impressed turn of your lip. “Besides, if you can find someone who doesn’t mind ya at your worse, they’re someone easy to hold onto.”
“So you’re saying I have to walk through hell, to find an angel?”
“Pretty much.” He nodded before striking a match and lighting a cigar you were too tired to stop.
“Alright.” You sighed, “Let’s get this over with and make a friend before I lose it and set everything on fire.”
The party was like every other party you’d ever been to. The music slow enough to put you to sleep. The food so finely placed you couldn’t tell which was decoration and which was food and yes apparently it mattered. The people were vexing and filled with double meanings and sneers for smiles. A great big waste of time when you’d have more fun sleeping into eternity.
Your mother hounded you to follow her yet let Sweeney wander, and he didn’t wander far from the buffet and drinks. Surprisingly every time you glanced his direction a different group of people had him surrounded. Laughing and enjoying his crudely blunt way of speaking. Which was a bit odd to you. One time you forgot this new rule that no one wore white shoes after labor day and everyone avoided you the entire evening and whispered and laughed at you. But here Sweeney was having them hang on to every word where you knew he wasn’t playing any act. You could certainly hear him being his usual self. Honestly it worried you. These people were never so easy to keep on the good side.
To break the monotony of greeting people you wouldn’t care to remember, you snuck from your mother’s side and around to him, waiting for the new group to hold up their noses and leave.
“Well look who’s popular tonight. I honestly didn’t think you had it in you.”
Sweeney spun around, grabbing some fancy cheese that was on the decoration side of the buffet and tossed it in his mouth. “Naw it’s been fun. Have to admit I’ve kinda missed all the intrigue and plottin’ and sex no one confesses to but everyone knows about.”
Grabbing a free white wine you rounded to meet him, getting comfortable against the table. “Missed it? You’ve been to something like this before? Or was it in the Seelie Court with lily flutes and toadstool drums?”
He ate another piece, “I was a King once.”
“When you were a man? Before you were a bird?” He nodded, humming in agreement. The urge to keep teasing him dwindle the more you recognized a distant and genuine look about him, something aching to have been remembered. “What happened?”
Taking a great sigh he explained as vaguely as he could, like he’d told the story a thousand times and each time it reopened the wound. “I received a vision the night before a battle. I saw my death. I ran.”
You took the words in very carefully, examining each one closely in relation to what little you knew of him. “So, because you were afraid of death… you were cursed to live forever?” He nodded down to you. “It’s poetic at least.” A smile broke on him, both of you lightly snickering.
“Eh It’s magic, it’s always gotta have some poetic bullshit.”
You laughed. “Is that just one of those laws? The Earth revolves around the Sun, an object in motion stays in motion, and magic is a stickler for a half-assed attempt at irony?”
You got a good laugh out of him, infecting you to see his less somber mood return. He stopped and pointed at you, “Did you just curse?”
You snickered shaking your head, “No~ no I didn’t-”
“Ya did! You said ass, you said half-ass. You my stiff easily panicked jailer, said a curse word.”
“I’m tired!” You whined, “I can’t watch everything I say!”
“I’m more shocked it was even in your vocabulary and ya used it correctly in a sentence.”
You shrugged, “Well yes, if I’m going to curse I had better use it correctly. For example, how about you kiss my ass.” Sweeney laughed, loud enough to roll over the crowd, you laughing with him but trying to hide behind your drink.
Suddenly your mother called for you from the constantly trafficking crowd, pulling away any relief of tension and back into the meat grinder. The people again began to blur and your migraine was hanging on the edge only beaten back by your drink. A harsh bony tapping fell on your shoulder to pull you out of the fray of finding ways to slip away into bed for the night. It was Elizabeth and a few of her friends, girls who used to also be your friends growing up. You were genuinely happy to see them, it having been so long and embraced every one of them.
“Elizabeth! I haven’t seen you since your wedding! How have things been?”
“Oh,” she waved off, “you know how it is being a mother of two with a husband always at work-oh wait, you don’t! You haven’t gotten married yet I’m so sorry to make that assumption!”
It felt like such an awkward and forced shift, but you remained pleasant. “It’s no problem, I honestly don’t mind-”
One of the old friends, Isolde interrupted. “You’re not worried? They’re going to start considering you old in a few years and what will you do then?”
In just a few questions you found your jaw clamping shut and instilling a headache again. “Probably just…keep doing what I love-”
“Science?” Elizabeth held a mocking tone you were all too familiar with in almost everyone. “Come on isn’t it about time you gave up that man’s hobby? I mean what are you hoping to find there?”
Before you could grind out an answer a roll of laughter came from Sweeney’s direction and you could only see the top of his red hair above the crowd. You sighed into a smile, wishing you could be over there and forget all these invasive and shallow questions.
“Isn’t it so funny seeing them parading around, like monkeys in suits!” Hester giggled but your smile slowly fell.
“Oh the Irish fellow your mother brought, she always has the best sense of humor!” Elizabeth corrected, snickered with the other girls. “Watching someone so uneducated and ignorant trying to play civilized-”
Bristled, you turned to his defense. Hell, Sweeney was smarter than most of the people in here. “I’ll admit he’s a little uncouth but he’s no less intelligent than you or I-” They gave you this pitying look, making your stomach sick. You looked around the party, it suddenly filled with ghouls and snakes and a strange air of danger. You found your mother laughing with some men when you caught her eye. As you remained horrified her smile drifted, eyes dodging between you and Sweeney before forcing herself to ignore it and bring back her entertaining smile to her guests.
You swallowed thickly. The girls were talking but you couldn’t hear them. Handing them your drink you turned and weaved through the guests till you reached Sweeney, slipping your hand in his to get his attention. He nearly did a double take to see it and grew confused when he saw how nauseated you looked.
“We should leave.” You didn’t care what it looked like to the men and women he was talking to, placing your other hand on his forearm to further convince him you needed to leave and it wasn’t going to be without him.
Finishing his glass he slammed it down and grabbed the bottle straight from the hands of the waiter, motioning with it to his audience, “I’ll be prayin’ I never see a single one of you pretentious fucks again!”
They all had a good laugh, it making your stomach drop painfully as you walked him out of the atrium and up to your room. He didn’t say anything, but his hand clutched yours in the low light, tense in feeling your discomfort he had no explanation for.
When you entered your room, you let him close it before asking. “Did you know my mother only invited you to… use you as entertainment? So they could make fun of you?”
A slow huff escaped him, his face falling stressed and his fingers fidgeting before looking away and admitting, “Yes.”
It pained you to hear, somehow worse than if he hadn’t know. At least then it couldn’t have been prevented. Your hands came up to play with the curls draped over your shoulder and you walked across the room to your couch by the window, curling your legs up without any care for your dress as you mauled over what had happening tonight.
It took Sweeney a long moment of watching you before moving closer. As he did he shed off the coat and tossed it on the bed, loosening the ascot and dropping on the couch beside you, slapping the thick tie in your face. A sore chuckle escaped you, taking it a wrapping it around your hand.
“No need to get all in tatters on my account.”
When you gulped it hurt, your own throat ripping as you kept back the waves of disappointment and hopelessness. “I said you were my friend, and her instinct still was to humiliate you to stop the humiliation of our family. The humiliation I cause.”
Sweeney paused the open bottle of wine on his lips, “Ya can relax love, I really don’t give one shit about the whole thing. I’m just here for the food and clothes.” He snickered, “I don’t need prayin’ to know I’m never goin’ to see a single one of those bastards again.”
Your voice cracked as you spoke, your eyes starting to burn. “Imagine if you did care.”
Sweeney paused again to see the sheer amount of pain there, the dreamed up scenario of what would happen if he was wounded by the whole thing. He took a heavier drink to that. “Listen,” he croaked. “You’re mother was only tryin to protect ya. Ya know, distract everyone so maybe you could have a good time. I don’t think she thought about it on that level-”
“I don’t have friends.” you whispered. “Those girls I was talking to used to be. They used to play around with science and math with me, they had a lot of fun doing it too… I don’t know what changed. I don’t know why I’m so different. I sometimes wish I wasn’t but then I try to imagine it and… God, I really don’t give a shit about anything they have to say.” Sweeney chuckled and it helped loosen a small smile from you. No matter how much it hurt to admit, it felt better to get out. “I really don’t… I just, I don’t like having to humor them constantly. I don’t like this world where everything I do is wrong simply because of who I am…I don’t like them. I don’t like people.”
“Ya don’t like these people.” Tilting your head you were confused, but he was smiling softly at you. “Ya don’t like these people.” Sweeney suddenly stood up, offering you his hand. “Why don’t I take ya to some people you might like.” Heart still heavy and cautious, you eyed him suspiciously. He teased, taking a warning step back. “Come on~, you can’t say I don’t know the best places in town. I’ve had a few decades to visit literally all of them.”
With a stressful sigh you took his hand and he pulled you up.
He didn’t have to but Sweeney snuck you out of the mansion, stealing another lord’s carriage and letting the horses lead you two to town, taking turns sipping the wine as you hid under his coat.
“So what was your favorite era?”
Sweeney scoffed, “Any time before the Romans came.”
“Aw, you’re not a fan of good ol’ Jesus Christ?”
“Naw he’s a great guy I’m just not a fan of what they turned me into. I was a happy little bird, the cunts, and they just go and change the whole game?! I didn’t need that!”
By the time you two reached your destination you were already a pretty tipsy, Sweeney pulling you out before breaching the city lines and making you walk under his arm through the streets at night, so much more alive than you imagined. In a hard spin that nearly had you tripping over your feet you found yourself entering a tavern filled to the brim with people of every kind, dancing and singing, drinking and laughing with no care for you or him joining.
A group of ladies somehow convinced you to dance in the crowd, the room spinning from partner to partner. Men by the bar including Sweeney dared you to gulp down the most foul liquids you’d ever ingested only for the people around to cheer and pat your back for choking it down like a champ.
You drew a crowd as you showed them some physics tricks that ended up being good bar tricks that ended up being good betting tricks. Like having a glass bottle stick to the wall with nothing to hold it. Removing a dime from under a quarter in a shot glass with no hands. Bringing a fly back to life from drowning. Balancing two forks at the end of a matchstick at the edge of a glass. Nobody mocked you or questioned how you knew, chucking it up to magic and losing quite a bit of money.
However you explained at the end of each trick how to do it because that was your favorite part about science in general, that it could be shared and others could take it in, win their own bets and share it with even more. Most were held in awe and immediately wanted to try it themselves and once discovering they easily could, everyone was in an excited fit that made the room feel so bright and unreal to you. Never once had you’d drawn a crowd that wasn’t laden with suspicious interrogations and demeaning remarks.
Time was of little consequence in how much you were enjoying yourself. Somehow it was still dark yet the streets more empty as Sweeney started walking you home, singing a native song while you mumbled what little you remembered that your Grandmother taught you only to start giggling through the rest. “I-I want to thank you!”
“I want to thank you!” You covered your mouth to keep quiet a burp. He stopped and you were able to look up at him. By the lamps fire he looked so much more like him. His hair still a royal mess, the ascot gone, vest and shirt unbuttoned and coat uneven on his shoulders. As much as he hated it the green and gold brought out his vibrant red hair and the sun kissed tan of his skin, the warmer wood of his eyes showing through as he waited patiently and lazily for you to answer. “I didn’t say but you look good tonight.”
“Ya are very welcome, for me, lookin’ good tonight.” He took a swing of some drink while you giggled.
“No I mean it! Tonight I was going to go to bed absolutely miserable and feeling, just, terrible for what happened-”
A finger crushed on your lips and a loud wavering, “SSHHHH.” cut the air. “That is, the past, that’s…whatever it’s-it’s fuck all now! No one cares anymore!” He paused with another long swing. “And you, are the most stubborn, most-god you are so stubborn, pain in my ass, beautiful-you look beautiful tonight did I tell ya that?”
“You look beautiful tonight!” You retorted with a big smile.
“No, you look beautiful tonig-you look beautiful every night!”
“Aw~! That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said about…anything! Ever! Thank you!” Sweeney only nodded blankly like this was all very common knowledge. Abruptly he patted your shoulder.
“Let’s get you home before it’s too late.”
Nearly falling without his support you asked, “You mean the bread?” he nodded. “Eating all my food at the gala didn’t count?!” he shrugged. “…what, are you not allowed to tell me or something?” He shrugged harder. “You just want to mooch more of my food, admit it!” He nodded again laughing into his drink when you sloppily shoved him away only for his arm to come back and use you as a crutch again.
You eventually did make it home, the sky a lovely shade of pale blue by the time you set out the bread, trying to hand it to him while he wordlessly tried to convey you had to set it down which you didn’t understand because he was right there. Eventually you got the message, the rule, both of you stopping and smiling at one another as the early birds chirped and the wind blew a warm air. “Thank you for tonight. It was really a different world and I won’t ever forget it.”
“Aye, maybe we’ll do it again sometime.” He winked and you dipped your head with a smile, not so sure if you should make a habit out of partying that hard. But as you looked back up and he was gone, it felt far too soon.
Standing at the counter of the Shop of Exotic Spectacles, the assistant gave you an odd look as you wouldn’t stop tapping your fingers rapidly on the wood. You hadn’t slept right in days, yet you were filled with paranoid energy, glancing over your shoulder every minute and avoiding as many people as you could. Just knowing how the most vaguest of impulses could affect people after an offering, what the hell could being unable to push away a tormentingly demanding thought do for an entire week?
It was his fault, his comfort that ruined you. Allowed you to see Sweeney as more that just a science experiment. After the night of the Gala he wasn’t just a leprechaun from your grandmother’s fairy tales to prove real in everyone else’s eyes, but someone with a rude sense of humor that helped little rich girls escape their rich little prisons. Not because luck bade him too, but because he wanted to.
He said you’d been wanting a friend and here you were tossing the blankets off at night and glancing at the window in caution as your fingers dipped past your loose breeches over the first one you’d made in years.
After a rough sigh the optician came from the back with a pair of small glasses you ordered a week ago. Simple black rims, perfect circles only a little bigger than a quarter, and entirely made of quartz.
Quickly you thanked him and put them on, expecting to simply pull away and leave as quickly as you could. But you put them on, the hunched old man before you had a light coming from him, a golden glow like rays of sunshine through tree branches. You didn’t even have water near you, and as far as you knew nothing else that could lift the veil to the Otherworld, but the old man was smiling, “I hope it grants you just the knowledge you’re looking for…”
The dawning you were staring and speaking with a mythical creature this whole time had you struck dumb and unbelievably stiff. “Y-yes, thank you? Thank you I-…bye now.”
He chuckled, a mischievous sounding tune. “Goodbye.”
The outside didn’t fair you any better, people filtering all through the crowd were glowing or shifted into something else, some more beautiful and some nightmarish. You knew there was another world unseen to the common eye, but it baffled you just how interlaced the two were. Magic was everywhere and in so many.
Amidst your mind boggled walking you stumbled on the Greenhill Tavern, the one you went to the night of the Gala. Peeking in you found almost everyone you passed revealed as a creature of mythos. A man looking an awful lot like every painting of Jesus you’d ever seen, complete with rays of light coming from behind his head and loose ragged clothes, walked by you with a polite nod.
The voice of Sweeney called your attention and as soon as you turned you gulped hard. The blue mist was casually steaming from him but his skin and hair and clothes were a deep mucky green underneath, his eyes entirely black save for the glittering gold of his pupils.
As soon as he saw you in his tavern, his brow knitted in confusion, even more so by your new glasses and mystified gaze. Pushing himself up, you instinctively stepped back. It gave him pause but he walked to meet you nonetheless. You couldn’t help your hand to come up and wave around in the blue mist surrounding him as he stood before you. Your fingers drifted to touch his ashen face, staring deep into his eyes looking like distant candles in the night, but he gently pushed your hand back down.
“Whats all this?” He tore the glasses from your face just as you noticed something a bit odd about your own hand. You had to blink a few times to see everything normal again, looking around in shock at such an average scene. Coming back to him he motioned with the glasses, having realized what you’d done. “Really?”
You blinked again before ripping them back, ignoring the flutter in your stomach to be standing so close after so long of hiding from him. “It seemed like the obvious direction.” You put your hand under the spectacles, finding a strange shimmer off your skin. “Now I can offer them to anyone and they can see literally everything with their own eyes.”
Sweeney was silent above you, you twisting your hand around until you realized, gold was inlaid with your pours. “What the hel-?”
“Why don’t we go outside hm?” He didn’t give the time to let you ponder on it before shoving you out the back door into the alley, you grumbling and hounding him for his odd temperament. As soon as you were outside he grabbed the glasses again and let them drop on the ground, crushing them under his heel.
“What are you doing!?” You shoved him away but the damage was already done. “What is wrong with you!? Why would you do that!?” Sweeney at least looked distraught, looking around everywhere but you. Picking up the remnants of the rim you held it out to him, “Well?! I deserve an explanation for this!”
He stepped up close, whispering harshly, “It didn’t occur to ya that might be a bit fuckin’ dangerous!?”
You snapped back, bringing the twisted rim to your chest in weak defence. “Dangerous? How-”
“Not everythin’ in the world grants wishes and-and sings sweet songs for you in your sleep to feel a little better about your loved ones dyin’! There are things in this world, dark things that don’t need that kind of power!”
The words turned in your head this way and that, nothing fitting quite right. After a heartbeat you admitted, “I don’t understand.”
Sweeney took a deep breath, glancing about like someone might be stalking. “There’s a certain bargain on belief. People believe in me, give me offerings and I give them,” He rolled his eyes correcting you as an exception, “Try to give them what they want so long as they keep playin’ by the rules.”
For a moment he was taken out of the conversation, looking off and sighing dispassionately. “That’s just what I’ve been turned into and what I’ll always be as long as people believe that of me.” He stepped closer, close enough to feel his breath as he spoke even lower and it made something low in your stomach drop. “Now imagine somethin’ evil, just, balls to the wall madder than a wet fuckin’ hen makin’ itself known, asking for blood to appease it, the people not knowin’ the sacrifices are just makin’ it stronger as it destroys the world the way it was always imagined to do…”
It was a cold picture he painted in you, one you were quick to try and disprove. “So I should forget this whole pursuit out of fear of what could happen? I mean, isn’t it more dangerous if we don’t believe? If we can’t ever see it coming?”
Sweeney sagged in a type of pity you never saw in someone before, the pity of stopping you from achieving what you dreamed. “Belief is the strongest thing there is for creatures like me. You get everyone believing in everything all at once…” he looked off, into the past, into memories long since gone by. “Just trust me, nothing good ever comes from that. There was one Christmas just, fuckin’ gnomes, everywhere.”
You couldn’t stop yourself from snickering, turning your broken glasses under the clouded sky before looking back up at him with a teasing brow. “Could have just said that. You didn’t have to break my brand new glasses.”
He looked away, trying to toss off his embarrassment. “Yeah, well, look me in the eyes and tell me you’re not goin’ home to immediately scheme up some other way of seein’ the Otherworld.”
You sighed, looking back at the glasses because you couldn’t say you wouldn’t. Before you could find any words to reassure him your determination wasn’t in spite, he coughed loudly, a certain confident swagger in him now.
“Ya know ya…you don’t need to hide.” You cocked your head in confusion. “I know you’re…embarrassed.” The little glance down your body said everything, you stiffening up and looking around for a means of escape. The paranoid panic flushed under your skin wondering if he knew specifically the face of your wanton desires. Honestly you’d rather not know. “But ya don’t need to hide from me.”
“Oh well,” you started, voice far higher than it was suppose to be. “Thank you. I’ll remember that, I guess.”
Sweeney was clearly trying not to laugh watching your quiet freak out. “I mean it though.” He stepped a bit closer and you tried to be brave by not stepping back. “Why don’t I come by tonight with somethin’ good to drink and you can catch me up on whose eyebrows and mustaches you’ve burned off this week.”
The laugh felt good, a bought of tension releasing swaying your need for space. In a sigh you decided maybe you were being ridiculous, it wasn’t like he really cared, surely you weren’t the first in the history of mankind with lecherous thoughts. “Alright. That might be fun. You have to be careful though, my father is returning from Maryland soon and my mother is all wrapped up in herself the damn mice in the walls wake her up.”
“Good and uh, don’t go back to whoever gave you those glasses.”
“He was glowing like the sun, it was beati-”
“Yeah yeah and the Devil was an angel once so don’t go spoutin’ off to me that ‘how light equals purity’ shit.”
Dinner was an entirely pathetic affair. All through your mother’s desperate babbling attempts to make up for her betrayal without so much as an apology, you battled with something so damn simple yet impossible to decide, whether to changing your clothes or not. This was suppose to be a normal meeting, you could wear your usual pajamas, right? But now it suddenly seemed too inappropriate, too close to walking as naked as you felt in front of him.
This really was all his fault. The slow drag on your person the first night you met. Coming to your offering roughed up and bloodied, not caring for common decency like going to another room to change. The kiss in the alley; once a thing you looked with animosity from a man that was clearly trying to piss you off, now was crystal in the carelessly strong grip under your chin, the wetness that cooled on your lips as you stomped off in the crowd, licking away without thought before wiping it away.
Again a familiar heat and coil that had been tormenting you the past week came and you threw your head back on the seat, sighing annoyed with yourself. There were things you ignored at the time that taunted you even at dinner while your mother’s words faded into noise. The taste of smoke and herbs and subtle bitter rum, the smell of sweat thick as you cleaned blood from his warm face, the heat that radiated from him when he didn’t care for your personal space.
Eventually when the servants all turned in, you decided your normal pajamas of a man’s shirt and trousers was good enough. It was what you always wore before, so it shouldn’t matter now. Pacing slowly alone in your room, glancing occasionally to the door and barley reading a book on mythologies, the reasoning didn’t calm your nerves any, but the beat up quartz glasses catching your eye was a good distraction.
There was still a decent chunk intact, and you still hadn’t forgotten how your skin glittered. He wouldn’t want you to but you grabbed it, walking to your tall mirror. Clipping out the piece you held it up, not seeing a difference at first, until you flipped it to discover your hair. Not any normal color, but the purest of gold threads you’d ever seen sparkling off the firelight. Bit by bit you lifting the crystal higher, shuddered when you came to your eyes. Like a solid sheet of yellow metal, no pupil to be seen.
It felt like you’d been touched by King Midas, your body drenched in glitter and your insides smelted with rich stone. You didn’t know how to feel about this, about everything you’d seen. You were human through and through, yet your appearance in the Otherworld would say otherwise. How many others had been the same that you walked by? What did this mean you were?
The crystal lost its weight as it lifted from your hands, you swallowing hard to see your normal self again. “Why…why do I look like that?”
Sweeney set the crystal down gently on the dresser, not moving from being so close behind you. “There was once a time being royal meant somethin’. That you had the blood of Gods in you, that ya spoke with them, had their favor. To be royalty was to be of the most devote.”
The urge to turn around and look at him came and made you weak knowing he was so close. Instead you tilted your head to the side, eyeing the small lens. “I’m one of your most devoted? So…I’ve been changed?”
“More like, sainted. Blessed, exalted, whatever.” He murmured, brushing your hair off your shoulder. The chill that came with the exposure had you swallowing, glancing to the window now open. Two stories up and not a sound made. You asked him how once, there were just certain questions he’d never answer just to frustrate you.
The heat of lips, the scratch of a beard came down on your exposed neck, ushering a relieved sigh from you and you felt like praying. For what you didn’t know but the small gesture melted away an entire weeks worth of yearning and suspicion. The second kiss was all the more sultry, feeling the damp subtle suck tingle down your spine. Hesitantly you turned to face him.
“You don’t have to do this.” you whispered, not meaning to beg with your eyes how dearly you wanted him to. He smirked down at you, both his hands running your hair from your face and shoulders, cradling you steady as he leaned down.
“No, I don’t.” Your mouth was slack from the heady breathing your were struck in, but when he kissed you he didn’t take advantage like you were dreaming, your teeth scraping on his bottom lip as he pulled back, lazy to open his eyes. “I could just let you suffer.” The kiss Sweeney gave was again quick and chaste, taunting. “Another week.” another far too brief. “And another.”
You couldn’t take the teasing anymore, rolling your tongue up his lip before he hungrily took it in, moaning as your hands ran through his scalp and kept him on your needy mouth.
Instead of satiating you, your aching body pulled forward into him, every twist of tongues sending a wave of pleasure through your bones down to your toes. A hand pulling his collar to the side so you could run it through his warm and villous chest. You went to pull on your own collar, to pull off the suddenly itchy and irritatingly flowy shirt when you felt the hint of a smile as he pulled back, the smack of lips twitching your ears to hear more. Looking into his mischievous eyes you couldn’t tell if he was really going to just leave you a needy mess, ushering a very bratty whine, “You’d really be so cruel to me?”
His deep laugh made your stomach coil in a way that had you biting your lip. “Me cruel?” Sweeney laced a finger into the ties of your breeches, tugging you flush against him. “I wasn’t the one filling our heads with dirty dreams was I? Besides, ya look good with one tit out.”
Heat filled your cheeks and you had to look away, hiding your bashful smile behind a hand while the other fixed your shirt. The tug came on your ties again, loosening them, your breath catching as you felt his fingers, calloused and warm, so different from yours dip in low until you gasped and rocked your hips for more attention.
“Do ya have any idea what it’s like to have a very normal day, have your midnight snack right before bed only to have every breath you take consumed with lust until morning? To close my eyes and all I can see is myself with you?” He shook his head with a laugh, “And all the ways ya want me.” His fingers dipped in to take your already swimming arousal, pulling it forward to stroke you dizzy. You were shaking, wrapping your fingers on his collar to tug him closer and keep yourself standing. All the little sounds falling from your lips entertaining him endlessly.
Pulling into your whimpering lips Sweeney halted just as you rose to your tiptoes, pulling just out of your highest reach, “Though I’ve been around for a good thousand years or two, I bet I have more practice in patients than you.”
All at once your sex went cold, the warmth of his body gone, and you thrown back so hard by the shift and his disappearance you had whiplash. “Wha-what? What?!”
You spun around to see him tossing a leg over your window sill, your knees wobbling hard enough you had to grip the dresser to not fall. Sweeney sent a kiss your way before jumping down, the curtains silently bellowing in the gentle breeze and the room utterly silent save for the ringing in your ears.
“That’s not fair! That’s-!” You growled in frustration, running your hand down your tight and throbbing belly, the wetness between your trembling thighs chilling and taunting you as your trousers were sagged and open. You pulled them up and tied them, no way possible to feel any more embarrassed. “What an asshole.”
Blankets tossed on the floor, clothes tugged and bunched every which way, you growled loud as the morning sun started breaching the horizon. You hadn’t slept in the least, even after attempting to soothe what Sweeney started your body was smoldering, heart beating so hard into every vein you barely closed your eyes. What you saw behind them only licked the flames higher.
Your door suddenly swung open, freaking you out into quickly fixing your attire as your mother charged straight for your closet, not so much as glancing to you, thankfully. “If he hasn’t hit too many stops your father should be here in four hours. Which should be plenty of time to convince you to wear something nice and put on a smile.”
Crawling to sit politely on the edge of your bed, you rolled your eyes. “Mother, seriously?”
A dress was flung in your face, heavy enough to tip you. “Yes, seriously. You promised to wear dresses on special occasions!”
“Father’s returning, that’s hardly a special-”
“It is to me.” She stated. As much as you still hadn’t forgiven her, you did know she always missed your father when he went anywhere without her for long stretches, his return as celebrated as a king to remind him he would always have a family waiting for him who loved him dearly. You could never tell if it was a genuine joy to have him home or just a means to keep him from cheating, something many around her were prone to do.
Shaking out the fat blue and white dress you huffed. “Alright, I’m getting ready.”
You managed to find something green and gold, thinner and easier to put on on your own, but when it came to your hair you struggled. A certain strand was being ornery and not staying under the pin. Having woke up frustrated, you were about ready to scream when it popped loose again.
A long whistle came from the door and your used the mirror to see Sweeney leaning against your door with a wicked grin, until a yawn broke from him and he rubbed his eyes. “What are you doing here?” you growled, trying for the fortieth time to pin down the ironed strand.
Your mother appeared beside him, looking a tad sheepish but keeping a healthy distance from him. He shed it off, walking towards you instead. “I invited him.”
You shifted on your hip, looking to her vindictively in the reflection. “Oh? I figured we’d be celebrating fathers return with a party later.”
Her eyes dodging both annoyed and guilty, folding her finger together and speaking very plainly. “There isn’t a party. I just thought your father might want to meet your new…friend.”
The way she hesitated to say friend, said it like he wasn’t really a friend and just some rebellious phase, you opened your mouth to snark off some more when Sweeney took the pin and whispered to your ear, “She’s tryin’.”
“She never apologized to either of us.” You snapped.
Above the whispering your mother gave a great roll of her eyes and announced. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry for inviting him to a party, I didn’t think it would be that big of an issue! Everyone was having fun, I don’t see why you got so upset!”
The sheer amount of willful ignorance and flippant disregard for the fact feelings were hurt only riled you up more, your mother crossing her arms defensively before Sweeney casually pointed out. “Life’s too short for you to hold grudges.”
You did a double take, your anger now on him but it only made his smile grow. For you to hold grudges, because he had an eternity to torment you, leave you hungry every night, a writhing mess on the bed and walk away until a day came you would throw yourself down at his feet for release. The torment from last night was still fresh in your mind and the reminder didn’t cool your temper but ignite your lust in a coil of your stomach all over again. “For you to say that to me, this early in the day-”
“I think a nice big lunch would help cool off tempers and make peace! Especially for your father.” Your mother urged like she was trying to be subtle about the push.
You ground your teeth before caving. “Yes I suppose lunch would be splendid.”
“Splendid!” Your mother clapped, spinning out fast from the tension of your glare.
You growled, leaving Sweeney to chuckle as he slipped the pin in with ease, the curl tucked away nicely. “Ya shouldn’t be so hard on her.”
“Why are you always on her side?!” You spun and poked him in the chest with suspicion. “You know something, don’t you?”
He took your hand in his, turning it about until he could kiss your knuckles making your yellow ascot feel a touch too itchy and your anger dwindle into something else entirely. “She’s a very confused woman, I can tell ya that much. Now let’s get me somethin’ other than bread and milk, eh?”
Defeated, you lead him out to stand next to your mother at the front of the house, your father’s carriage coming in on the bright sunlight and vibrant green trees like a dream, your mother teaming as she waited impatiently for the wagon to stop in front of her stairs. As always your mother leapt into his arms, not letting go for minutes as he embraced her just as tightly and you waited for your turn. Sweeney stayed behind, relaxing on the porch as you walked up, greeting your father’s return with a big smile, you three forgetting about world around as the driver started pulling trunks and trunks out of the back.
The chattering didn’t cease, your father seeming to miss Sweeney on the way in and failing to greet him. You sighed worried he’d thought Sweeney was just another servant and stayed behind to lead him into the dining room for lunch.
It wasn’t until a good ten minutes of bragging about some youth aspiring to join the senate that he turned to you and noticed Sweeney sitting beside. “Oh I’m sorry I…” His eyes squinted the longer he looked at Sweeney. “I-I’m sorry…have we met before? I could swear…”
Sweeney chuckled. “Maybe you’ve seen me around. I’ve been in town a long while sir.”
“Ah yes, perhaps. Well, how long have you two been… together?”
Your eyes grew wide and your skin burning in embarrassment, “Oh no-no! We’re just friends! Friends from work!” you waved with a smile.
“That’s right, friends.” Sweeney drawled.
You tried not to startle when the touch of fingers slid under the table’s curtain and down in your thigh, squeezing and pulling the skin rubbed sensitive from last nights attempts to cool off. The breath you took in was stiff, trying to hide the trembling that started in your thighs.
“So you’re a scientist as well?” your father asked, forcing his interest.
Sweeney halted, his eyes looking down at you in panic while you looked back equally bereft of an answer.
“H-he is!” You chimed, looking back, “Of… theoretical physics.” Sweeney gave you a disbelieving look as clearly he’d never heard the practice before and couldn’t lie his way through it. “Very abstract stuff.” You nodded to him, making him mimic it and then began explaining the specifics of such a path. Meanwhile Sweeney remained silent and nodding as his hand became comfortable in groping at you, laying flat over your sex and pressing for an entrance he wouldn’t find but stroking vaguely your already inflamed and pulsing clit.
Fortunately the long winded explanation bored your parents like it always did and soon got back to speaking of things more to their interest like how successful your two siblings far away were, not bothering to notice how you weren’t eating but drinking a lot of water. Your toes pressed into the floor in hopes to keep them from curling, his demanding fingers having you so high you couldn’t hear a single word until his hot breath ghosted your ear, whispering, “Interesting dreams ya had last night.”
You huffed, feeling your legs want to rub together, begging to feel his finger devoid of layers of cloth in the way, to feel them crystal clear and between the wet slick of your lips. “Oh? Did I dream last night?” you hushed breathless. “I don’t remember sleeping at all.”
“You’re upset, I understand.” his hot breath trailed around your neck, both of you glancing to make sure no attention was caught. “Though I’m curious, do ya really desire bein’ down on your knees so? I can certainly arrange that.”
Gulping hard on the roll of your tingling spine, edging you closer to him till your leg was practically in his lap you admitted in a sigh. “I want to kiss you.”
At that moment a loud shattering hit everyone’s ears from behind the door. It drew the attention of everyone save for Sweeney, who watched you with a smirk. A servant slammed through the door, “My lord, lady, I’m so very sorry but you’ll want to… assess this.”
On those words and such a commotion both your mother and father rushed out of the room leaving the door to slowly swing close.
Smiling up at him you teased, “Goodness, what a coincidence.”
“What a coincidence indeed.” He snickered before taking your lips, a desperation in how urgent he pressed that he never lead on all morning.
There was something so soothing about bring your hands to his neck and cradling him, about running them down his chest breathing heavier with every roll of your tongue against his. You smiled feeling him bunch up your dress, fisting it in piles till he found the silky heat of your bare thigh. You moaned under his rough touch, it not hesitating to slide up and press between your slit.
The kiss broke for you to shudder, your harsh breath edging into a whimper you were forced to keep back as he slid easy along your swimming clit. As his fingers glided faster one slipped low until it entered you, the stretch, no matter how thin, easing your heat and spreading your legs wider. Sweeney chuckling softly as your hips lifted to take more and your back arched toward him, begging him to satiate you further.
“Would it be too much to ask you to take me right now?”
“Right now, right here?” he tsked, taunting in his words, “I don’t know if ‘assessin’ the damage of a broken chandelier would really be long enough for the things I want to do to you.”
The words tugged a hard coil in you that ushered a whimper, a deep rumble coming from him as your walls tightly pulled his finger. Your hand fell in his lap, not having to search long for the solid length pressing hard on the fabric of his trousers. Biting your lip you gripped him from the base and slowly drug your hand down, feeling the impressive size of him to take to bed tonight if he refused to give you anything else.
The sound of talking grew louder and louder signifying you two couldn’t keep playing if you wanted to hang onto the image of ‘friends’. “I’m not done with you.” You whined.
He slowly lifted from your proximity and your slick warmth, beaming at your words. “Oh love, you’ll be sayin’ that a lot this week, I promise ya.”
When your parents came in you were glaring up at him like you had a bad taste in your mouth, while he ate potato salad, pointing at it to your mother, “This is fantastic!”
Sitting in your murky brass tub deep in the night, you couldn’t stop looking at your reflection through your great crystal quartz pillar. You fluffed and twisted your soaked hair, shuddered every time you looked into your solid gold eyes, feeling even more unnerved by discovering the back of your throat glowing like you’d swallowed the sun.
It was fascinating, you were a moving statue of gold, this blessed appearance given as a servant to a God of Luck. It made you want to go back to the optometrist you got the glasses from, to go out in the world and categorize all the creatures and all the exalted states for each God as a side effect of worship. It was a world untouched, a science unexamined; you got goosebumps thinking of traveling the world writing books and theories and testing those theories.
In the reflection of the crystal you found the tiniest glimmer above you, a small light of gold watching. You smiled, leaning back as Sweeney descended behind you, his chest pressed to the rim so he could rest his head on your damp shoulder. Motioning with the heavy crystal to the figure in the water you asked, your face close enough to his to feel the scratch of his beard on your jaw. “Do I look this way to you? All painted in gold?”
A bump of silent laughter bounced him as he turned ever slightly to face you. “Naw. I mean, I see a shiftin’ sometimes. But no, it doesn’t look like I’m kissing and rubbing up on a gold statue.” you both snickered, you drifting back to looking at the crystal.
Chewing your cheek, watching a shadowy figure press a kiss behind the ear of a golden woman, you admitted a worry, “It can’t be this easy. Admittedly this isn’t a combination I ever would have guessed on my own but surely there should be…steps or further preparations. I don’t know. To see so clearly with so little…”
The crystal lifted from your hands and a playful bite fell on your neck for not paying proper attention. You giggled into a moan as kisses fell to cover up the slight stinging that you could feel pulsing down your core, not caring for the loud thud of the crystal being dropped a small height.
“Didn’t come to talk then? Come to torment me instead, the cruel god you are?”
He stood, getting your excited attention when his coat dropped to the floor beside your tub. Looking up Sweeney was backing away, pulling his shirt up from his breeches. “I keep telling ya, I’m not the one who’s cruel.”
The white shirt floated to the floor as he disappeared from the room into your bedroom, you jumping out so fast you nearly slipped when you landed and hopped to the door. You stayed partially behind it, chewing on your nail as you watched him sit down on the edge of your bed, running his hands up his open clothed thighs to leaning back, broad chest and thick arms presented for you. With a smirk and a small gesture, he silently called you over.
Biting your lip you practically skipped to him, not caring for the water still drenching you as you hopped up straddling his lap, Sweeney’s big hands grabbing under your ribs to steady you above him. It was a heartbeat of smiles before your ran your hands through his wild hair in a devouring kiss, pushing him back into the bed, your hips wantonly grinding into him.
Warming you as they held you, his hands came around, squishing your breasts in his palms before bringing his mouth to them both, sucking one nipple and then the next then back again, you throwing your head back to feel him quickly hardening underneath you and you ground down harder.
Glancing down you lost all your breath just watching him, never mind the swirl of his tongue echoing down your stomach, feeling his exploring hands roam down the sides of your body, cupping and pulling your backside till his fingers trailed your slick lips, making you buck and stutter more into his demanding shaft.
“You do this with all your worshipers?” You teased, lightly dragging your nails up with shoulders.
He hummed a laugh before unlatching himself with a pop, “I could say only the pretty ones but truth is,” Sucking in your nipple again he spun it between his tongue and teeth, grunting as it started up your hips on his standing cock again. The gravel in his voice was harder when he broke, “Most don’t care to look for me.” His warm eyes searched about your face before admitting, “Most don’t dream of me. Well, if they do, it’s nothin’ half as pretty as what you dream up.”
“Hm,” You ran your hands down his rigid chest and stomach, curling your fingers under the rim of his trousers, “You know, if more people knew about you I’d have some serious competition.” You gave him one last wet and loose kiss, ushering a smirk from Sweeney before you slid off the edge to the carpeted floor, tugging over the peak of his shaft, him lifting his hips just slightly to help you bring them down to his knees.
Teasingly you lifted high enough for your chest to cradle his heated prick, kissing at his taut stomach. His chest rose and fell faster as he watched you descend, felt each kiss lower grow wetter and linger longer. As soon as your lips flutter amidst his curls to his base, licking up the length of him to taking in his heated and reddened tip he sighed loud, politely brushing the damp hair from your face and over your shoulder.
You watched him as you slid the shaft back, rolling your tongue and pressing him to the roof of your mouth, Sweeney shuddering and jolting with every pulsing hard press. The scene and small cry that escaped from him had you mewling as you teasingly pumping and bobbed like you were trying to usher him in deeper. But given his size there was only so deep you could go and had to make up for it with both hands.
“You’re makin’ a damn good case to start showin’ my face more often.” You gave a humming chuckle that melted into a moan seeing him toss himself back and raise his hips, his warm hand resting on your head to feel you work.
You couldn’t resist feeling up his stomach, flexing and relaxing as he resisted thrusting deeper. Your hands stroked down his glistening and hard skin, down to his strong thighs enclosing you and shifting for release of tension on occasion. Bringing your hands back up to his cock you sucked and kissed down the length of him, teasing the loose skin below, tongue sucking in and spinning around the nodes inside while you pumped his cock fast.
Sweeney nearly sat up entirely, watching you, his hand caressing your cheek and neck, holding your shoulder as you licked your way back up, his cock scorching on your tongue as you took him back in, stroking him faster and sucking harder to hear the smallest of whimpers and cries leave him before he whispered “Fuck.” with his hand clutching your hair tight, his upper body trying to ease the rocking his hips wanted to do.
Pulling him from your mouth you leaned up enough to take his lips, pumping him harder and sucking in every deep rumble that escaped him until a spray of hot liquid sprinkled on your chest and he shuddered into your fast hands.
The kisses lingered until he caught his shaking breath, leaning away to fall back on his elbows and sigh loudly, “Damn good case.”
With a giggle you grabbed the dress you wore earlier, using the inside to wipe yourself down before crawling up him, kissing at his neck, his pulse racing under your lips. Sweeney wrapped his arms around you, spinning you into the bed, returning the same kisses in the same spot, your spine already coiling for a release that would no doubt come quickly yet stay for so much longer with just the thought of having finally had him.
His lips were slow to descend you, taking his time finding all the right spots, behind your ear and along your collar, nipping and licking along each breast, nuzzling a taunting place just under your belly, before he finally, feeling like the cold relieving sprinkle of rain on a hot summer day, did he bring his mouth to your soaking core.
You felt the slow drag between your parted legs, ending on a quick flick that jolted your body. He did it again, slower, making you squirm for him to reach the needy bit. Fingers began playing with your slick lips, pulling them apart and sliding the wet arousal all about them as the tip of his tongue tormented your clit.
A cry came a tad louder than you wanted, your body curling as you covered your mouth. As soon as Sweeney had your eyes did you watch him envelop and suck you in, burying himself between the folds and moaning in satisfaction as you couldn’t hold back anymore of your whimpering. You struggled to keep you legs wide, them desperate to cradle him tight for the pleasure that was overwhelming every sense.
In turn with lapping tightly at your clit did his fingers prod and dip your entrance, finding their way deeper, pulling back and then delving even deeper with every roll of your hips.
You started begging, “Please! Please, please,” Your body curling and legs twitching at every quick flick of his tongue, you sure you felt cum already slipping from you in a trail of liquid heat down your seam and into the sheets. Sweeney pumped the two digits in faster, licked harder, and your cries got more and more away from you, higher in their pleading.
The sucking turned to licking, which turned to simply nuzzling between your lips before mumbling, “Oh wait, oh that’s right, how could I of…” You jumped up on your elbows as soon as some sense came to you, glaring at him as he slinked away from the bed and your open shivering legs, sauntering away as he picked up his shirt off the floor and slipped it on, your walls clenching in unsatisfied agony
“Oh no,” You growled. “No-no no! Don’t you do this to me!”
“Ya see there was this thing I forgot, terrible me-” Sweeney hissed picking up his coat out of the bathroom.
“Don’t you dare!” You jumped up the bed standing on your knees, at the very least giving him pause to look you down. “You can’t leave! Not after I just-”
“-after ya just,” He closed his eyes and bit his lip with a satisfied hum, “Oh yes and it, was, lovely.”
You gasped at him, “You son of a bitch!”
“Language.” He mocked but was unable to keep back his smile. “I’d ask for you to get me snack but ya did already leave out an offering.” He shrugged looking off before countering, “Unless ya wanna-”
“How often have you had women make attempts on your life? Because right now I’m imagining often.”
He snickered, slipping on his coat and yanking it straight by the collar, relaxing at the edge of the windowsill. His gaze held a hint of sympathy as he wiped off his mouth and beard, running his hand down his coat chest. Sweeney motioned for you to come closer and you did, trying not to look like you were pouting as you stopped in front of him. His hands came up to hold your hips and he looked you up and down, you holding his hands as they softly roamed. Shaking his head as his eyes became more lust filled, he licked his lips to tease the idea he was going to come back in. The barely warm breeze with the thought gave you goosebumps as you waited. “Well?”
“Nothin’. Just wanted to see ya get all perky.” He motioned to your nipples, getting another you son of a bitch giggling out of you, Sweeney having to wrestled you from shoving him off the edge. As you two found your faces inches apart he leaned up into a laughing kiss that reluctantly stilled you in hopes of it never ending.
“Sweet dreams until tomorrow. Ceanndána, spéirbhean.”
Walking around the plantation, your father wouldn’t stop talking about an Erik he met in D.C. He talked of the boys aspirations down to his favorite lunch. Unfortunately for him your head was so far in the clouds from the last week. Sweeney would only come around long enough to taunt you and kiss and touch but every time you tried to take him further into your bed, he’d chuckle at your desperate sultry words and disappear. You wanted him to stay forever if that’s what it took, but clearly your wishes didn’t work all that well if they directly involved him. As your father went on, you simply nodded and agreed until he asked, “So what do you think?”
You slowed your steps in thought, “About Erik?” He hummed, “Well… he seems nice, very smart-”
“I thought you would think so, and you know, he equally likes a smart girl-”
You stopped entirely and sighed loudly. “Father-”
“Now just hear me out-!”
“Why?!” You snapped, facing him, “To hear about another man who would rather run for the hills than talk to a woman who keeps explosive chemicals in her room?!” Your father raised a brow and you stuttered to correct yourself, “Okay, that-that wasn’t a good-But it’s the principal of the thing! Do I really need to hear anybody, tell me yet again, what I do is ‘lovely honey but maybe you should find a more tame hobby, like knitting!’”
“…Mmaybe you should find a more tame hobby-” You snapped back and glared at him, crossing your arms in defense. “I’m just saying it would be easier to find a man if you did! We’ve had to suffer the clothes enough as it is-”
“You said you supported my happiness!” you yelled to release the tightness in your chest.
“I do! But aren’t you lonely!?”
“Don’t pretend this has anything to do with my loneliness! You’re ashamed of me!”
“Look at yourself!” He may have been yelling as well but there was a pain and pity in his eyes. “Your brother is in the Caribbean supporting himself with his own plantation, your sister is in France with a beautiful big family and here you are on the better half of your twenties with no children and no house of your own! Aren’t you ashamed of that?!”
The urge to scream and rage burned through you but as tears bit your eyes your words bottled in your throat. Looking away you mumbled, “You could send me to school-”
“I told you that’s a ridiculous notion. You’d be the only woman there.”
You tried to keep your voice steady. “You don’t know that.”
“I do.” He said as definitively as the last dozen times he said it. Yet you always held your doubts; you had met scientist’s repulsed by you, but you’d also met others eager to receive the change in perspective. And you clung to those doubts with every fiber of your being. “You don’t like what we provide for you-”
“That’s not it-”
“-don’t want to make the effort of holding this house up with respect and dignity, you… you can leave.”
The gentle breeze felt exceptionally cold even under the blazing sun, the sounds it brushed crystal clear as you looked to his unsure yet determined face. “What?!”
He could barely look at you, every muscle in him tight till his leather gloves whined. “I want you to leave. Not-not for long, at least a month for you to learn some respect for what we provide for you.”
“I do respect it but you keep trying to take it all away! You and mother keep saying you support who I am but at every turn tell me I should try being someone else!” Your pleading seemed to only harden him, “You can’t throw me out! No one would take me in!”
Lifting his chin at you he huffed. “Than you’ll just have to survive on your own. Unless you want to become serious about contributing to this family, you’ll see what it’s like without us. Why we put in so much effort to mingle and appease the rest of community.”
You stepped forward, “Father please-” And he stepped back, looking away to not crumble at your teary eyes.
“We’ve spoiled your whims long enough. It’s time for you to wake up to reality and become a proper lady. Like the trials of Jesus your pain will cleanse you into purity.” The saying took you back in confusion, despite the dire situation.
“Where did you hear that from, it doesn’t make any sense. Jesus was already pure before-”
“Stop correcting me! You haven’t set foot in a church in years! Which is another thing I might add that-”
“I’m just saying if this is someone else’s idiotic plan who’s never even met me-!”
“You get one bag of luggage and you are out of this house for a month! That is final!”
Instead of taking him seriously you shook your head watching him stomp off, wiping away the dampness at the rim of your eyes. It wasn’t the first time he made a similar threat, but he’d never followed through, the tears always worked in the end.
There was a certain smell that came with you. This mix of feminine fragrance from the perfumes the servants bathed your bed sheets in and the minerals and metals you constantly had your hands in. Sweeney could still smell it sometimes the mornings after he’d leave your room, and the night you’d given him far more than an offering it clung fantastically and haunted him with wonderful memories all through the next day. Forcing your non-existent patience with only the smallest of affections had to be his newest favorite pastime.
The same wish came from you every night, and it was a lovely song every time he heard it. Begging for him to show himself, to come back to you, to show you all the things only he would know. Maybe he was cruel but there was something so satisfying in watching you struggle with something you couldn’t bully your way into having.
Though Sweeney didn’t expect chance to find it’s way around him not giving you what you wanted. That should have been his choice after all.
Even through the cigar smoke and freshly spilled rum that was surrounding him and the dozens of patrons, he caught that scent he’d been missing. Spinning around, abruptly halting his conversation, all his attention fell on the door. Opened wide the wind brushing behind you, in tears and your casual clothes.
Oh he wanted to laugh. He knew he shouldn’t but he wanted to. Finishing his drink he slid through everyone until your eyes landed on him and you charged into his arms crying.
“I didn’t know where else to go!” You sniffled. “My parents kicked me out of the house!” The smile wrestled him, breaking almost as soon as you looked up. You smacked his chest making a snicker escape, “Why are you smiling!? This is the worse thing that could ever happen to me!”
Sweeney started hushing you, taking your quickly escalating weeping into his chest. “Let’s get ya somewhere private eh?” You muffled something and he leaned back freeing you. “What was that?”
Hiccuping, you sloppily rubbed at your face, “Someone stole my things!” Again he was about to burst into laughter. “Why is this so funny to you!?”
“Come on, come on, I have a room upstairs.” Pulling you under his arm he lead you through everyone, remaining relatively unseen as he found the cramped hall and the creaky stairs to the second floor. “It won’t be all bad. Ya loved comin’ down here the night of the party, remember that? That was fun, right?”
Sniffling you nodded, wiping down your face again and not really paying attention to anything you passed by, “Yeah, it was pretty fun.”
“So it’ll be like that but all month, it’s an adventure.”
It started you up again, a fresh bout of tears streaming down, “But my parents kicked me out of the house! They’ve never done anything like that before!” You pointed to your face. “The tears are always a winner!”
Halting you in front of his door, Sweeney opened it and you still didn’t seem to notice your surroundings, still facing forward as you huffed. “This is going to be good for ya, you’ll see. Sometimes the good luck starts with a little bad to get things rollin’.
“I have no money! I have no home! I have no clothes- oh god I have no clothes!”
“If you’re stayin’ with me, ya won’t even need’em.”
You sniffled and looked to him. “Staying with you?”
“Yeah, stayin’ with me. Like ya wanted… kinda.” he gripped your shoulders and spun you around to shove you in his room, closing the door behind him while you gathered yourself.
You sighed, looking around and holding yourself in the dark. The tavern had yet to update all the rooms into electricity and he preferred it that way, lighting a lantern by his bedside for you to see just a little. Not that there was much to see. The room was small, the large bed making it smaller. A single dusty window to the outside and a desk piled in plates and bottles underneath, clothes and coins strewn about the floor.
“What I wanted?”
The caution was clear in you, but he imagine it had to do with the sudden spin your world had taken on. It eased him to watch you relax a little as his hands ran on your shoulders, down your arms to embrace you and breathe you in. How he always craved that scent in it’s full. Something so oddly nostalgic about it that he couldn’t place. “Ya wanted me to return to you, but because I wouldn’t, you’ve returned to me.”
First you scoffed, but then, finally, you laughed. “Seriously?” He nodded, and you wiped away the quickly drying tears. “Luck really made my parents look like a couple of jerks.”
Slowly Sweeney tilted you to look at him, “You’re not too upset by that? If it wasn’t for knowin’ me your parents wouldn’t have kicked you out of the house ya know.”
Taking a slow breath you stared into the fire dancing in glass, thinking. “Maybe they wouldn’t have…” You nudged him, “but honestly you don’t always seem to be in full control of this.” He was a bit taken back, but didn’t confirm or deny it, not wanting to see your reaction if he did.
You gave a glance around before whispering. “Your place is a mess.”
Pulling from his wonder, he smiled, nuzzling into your neck and making you squirm, “You are welcome to clean it anytime.”
“It’s your room!” You chuckled.
“Like ya ever cleaned yours yourself.”
You gave a hum of agreement, still holding him tightly as you took everything in, clearly trying to convince yourself to be comfortable. Breathing in that scent one more time he sighed through his nose against your neck, very casually kissing at the soft skin, the muscles so stiff underneath from your tension. The more his lips lazily nipped and teased around the area, the quicker you melted, a small moan escaping as your shoulders dipped in relaxation.
When his hands began to roam your chest and stomach, getting grabby, you sucked in a sharp breath and whined, “Please, I’m such a mess. I’ve been crying for the past hour!”
“And you’re still so beautiful.” He nipped at your ear, snickering with you.
“You’re just saying that so you can get my clothes off!”
Kissing along your jaw and squeezing you with a hand full of boob and an ass pressed against his eager crouch he hummed, “Is it working?”
You gave a pleasured hum, pressing into his standing lap harder. His hand moved into the collar of your shirt, feeling your chest as bare as it could be and gave a rough squeeze, your hand covering his on the outside with a satisfied sigh. “…let me clean up first so I don’t feel so ridiculous.”
Sweeney withdrew from you, “Bathrooms down the hall.” smacking your ass as you made for the door and making you laugh. When you were gone he glanced at the lamp, flickering as it was and for a moment he was far away, in a castle, with a woman as stubborn as they came and always grinding away at herbs and stones. The smell of flowers and minerals clinging to her clothes, clinging to his when he left in the morning to the bed of a true Queen.
When you came back he hadn’t moved, almost shocked to find himself there at all. Swaying shyly, you brushed around your hair, parts of it damp where you tried to tame it. Finally catching himself, Sweeney motioned for you to come closer, finding his playfulness behind the wall of something long forgotten and mournful.