Eventually Dele was able to hold Eric’s magic for days on end - he’d tell Eric how he could feel it thrumming around his body, settling in his chest.
“Right here,” he’d say, placing Eric’s palm flush against his sternum, “it feels like a pool of liquid, sitting still until I want to use it.”
And then he’d show Eric how he’d pull it from the pool, make it flow around his body until it sparked out his fingertips so he could light the candles he’d started to place around the house.
Eric thought about his own magic. “Mine isn’t a pool in my chest, it’s just there under the skin.”
“Maybe you’ve just not thought about it like I have,” Dele sniffed, looking out the window. Eric thought that was probably right.
“Look, it’s gonna be a waxing gibbous moon tonight, so we gotta light that candle,” Dele said, turning back to face the lounge and pointing at a tall, beeswax yellow candle that he had put on the coffee table.
“You’re a waxing gibbous,” Eric muttered as he lowered himself onto the settee, stretching out his legs.
Dele rolled his eyes and flopped on top of Eric, resting his chin on Eric’s shoulder. Eric grunted at the sudden weight, but didn’t push him off.
“What's with all the candles anyway?”
“Dunno really. I made up that thing about waxing gibbous. Just wanted to make you laugh.”
Eric huffed a laugh against Dele’s head.
“But I did read candles are good for magic. It settles the energy. Thought it’d be cool so I ordered some online. Gotta keep things witchy,” he mumbled into Eric’s neck.
“We keep things witchy enough,” Eric retorted, immediately magicking all of Dele’s clothes off him.
“Hey!” Dele cried in mock annoyance, making no effort to cover himself up.
“It’s pretty cool though,” Dele carried on after a few minutes of gentle silence. “All the magic stuff out there. You should talk to more people, I’m learning loads.”
Eric ran his hand up the length of Dele’s back, settling it at the base of his neck. “Why are you so interested?”
“Why are you not?” Dele asked. “It’s mint! There is so much cool stuff out there! Did you know that if you place a china plate on the front step when the east wind is blowing, the plate becomes a portal!”
Eric hid his smile in Dele’s hair. “That doesn’t sound real,” he said.
“Nah it is! I mean you gotta have the portal connected otherwise it’s pointless. Danny and I are gonna try it, he wants me to send him some more of that iced coffee from Poppins.”
Dele chattered away happily, telling Eric about the couple he’d seen in the park who he thought were magic by the way a rosy warmth radiated between them. “Like I could see it Diet, it was like, real. Like I could see their love or summit.
“Maybe people can see ours, if they know how to look,” Dele mused, pushing his nose into Eric’s throat.
And Eric felt it right there, in his sternum. Maybe his magic, maybe his love. Maybe his everything.