Here we are at another Wednesday and, after two weeks of shaking up and shaking down things are okay again and I'm enjoying writing. That's my biggest issue with my life at the moment. Between working, editing, looking after my son and new hamster, there isn't nearly enough time to write. So, how glad am I of the Wednesday Brief to make me put words on paper, so to speak. This week the prompt I chose was to use a peacock in my writing. I did consider having a peacock nipping at their toes or being sold on a market stall but then I found this
“Uzzy!” Pasha threw himself to the ground next to his stricken mate. Uzzy was completely unresponsive. He was breathing but only just and, when Pasha pressed his ear to his chest his heart was beating very slowly.
“Don’t just stand there,” Pasha cried to Gabri’el. “Help me. Help him.”
Gabri’el looked shocked. He stood, frozen, staring at Uzzy.
“Gabri’el, snap out of it. We have to help Uzzy. I’m scared. He might be dying.”
“He’s not dying,” Gabri’el said flatly.
“How do you know?”
“He’s not dying.” Gabri’el seemed to shake himself mentally and his eyes came to life. “Can you carry him?”
“Yes, of course. To the ends of the earth if I have to.”
“That won’t be necessary.”
Carefully, Pasha lifted Uzzy in his arms, terrified of his stillness. What had happened to him? Who was that man? Where had he taken him? What was he doing to him?”
Pasha was about to walk toward the doors when Gabriel said, “Not there. Bring him.”
Pasha followed Gabri’el down the steps, cradling Uzzy carefully, periodically looking into his beautiful face and praying he’d see some sign of life. He reached out constantly with his senses through the bond but there was nothing. It was as if it had never been.
Gabri’el led him across an empty square and along a short street to a rather grand house. “Hang on a minute.” Gabri’el slid aside a panel beside the door and pressed his hand against it. The door swung silently open. “This way.”
The house was large and cool, with high ceilings and spacious rooms. They climbed a rather ornate staircase to a grand bedroom. Pasha’s attention was drawn to an amazing tapestry of a peacock which hung over the bed. Without prompting, Pasha laid Uzzy on the bed. “He’s freezing cold.”
“Take off his clothes and get him into bed,” Gabriel said. “I’ll get some heated pads.”
Lovingly, Pasha stripped Uzzy and rubbed his body, trying to warm it. He might as well have banged his head against the wall.
“What’s the matter with him?” he asked when Gabri’el returned. “He’s so cold.”
Gabri’el shook his head and heaped velvet covered pillows around Uzzy. When Pasha touched one it was hot.
“I don’t know,” Gabri’el said. He sounded thoroughly miserable.
“Who the hell was that man?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t seen him before.”
Pasha tucked the covers around Uzzy then lay down beside him, gently stroking his face and hair. “Do you have any idea what he was talking about?”
Again, Gabri’el shook his head.
“What did he mean about us? About you being part of our bond?”
“I don’t know,” Gabriel said miserably. Suddenly he spun and punched the wall, so hard he made a hole.
“Fucking hell! I feel so fucking helpless and I can’t do a damn thing about it. I can’t help him.”
“Calm down. We’ll figure something out.”
“How? Neither of us have a clue who that man is or what he’s done to Uzzy. Where do we look for him? Where do we start?” Gabri’el’s voice was rising and he was clearly very angry.
“There’s no point getting mad, Gabri’el. We have to think this through. There must be somewhere you can search for that man. A library? A data base? You must have the internet, or something like it. What about the Council?”
“The Council’s gone,” Gabri’el snapped.
“Alright, what about those who took over?”
“I can’t help but think,” Pasha said thoughtfully, “that this is a ruse, a clever way of separating us. Together we’re a force to be reckoned with. Without Uzzy, I’m nothing.”
“You have me,” Gabri’el said, his tone quite different.
“Let’s get one thing clear. No matter what that man said I can’t and won’t accept you as my mate, at least not until Uzzy is here. I don’t feel anything for you?”
Gabri’el stared at him, then stared at Uzzy. “I won’t lie. I don’t feel anything for you either. There was something… a connection when we touched but it’s gone and frankly I don’t want to rekindle it. Uzzy….” Gabri’el shook his head. “It’s no secret how I feel about him, but he’s yours and I’ve accepted it, I’ve had to.”
Gabriel drifted to the side of the bed and gazed down at Uzzy. With that tender expression on his face he was even more beautiful. The archangel was flawless and in other circumstances he would have taken Pasha’s breath away.
Gabri’el’s lips trembled and he reached out to brush his fingers across Uzzy’s lips. “I can’t do this,” he said and abruptly turned away. “Take care of him.”
“Wait. Where are you going?”
“To look for answers.”
“What about me? What about him?”
“You’re safe here.”
“I can’t just sit here. I have to do something.”
“I have a private library, and I have access to the data base. I don’t think you’ll have too much trouble working out the password.”
“But—.” It was too late. Gabri’el had gone, leaving Pasha alone. Pasha continued to stroke Uzzy’s face, which got no warmer. Neither did any other part of him, despite the warm pillows.
“I… can’t just sit here, my love. I have to do something. I have to try. I’ll be right here, in the room. I’m not going anywhere. If you need me just…reach out.” Bending down, he kissed Uzzy on the lips. It made him shudder.
Pacing the room, Pasha located a computer console but was too restless to sit down and use it. Pausing in front of a window he gazed out into a street that was busier than any he’d yet seen. The window looked down onto a commercial area, with stalls and hawkers. People wandered around, examining the wares.
Maybe he’d go take a look sometime.
Suddenly it hit him. He could leave the house, but he needed Gabri’el’s handprint to get back in. There was no way he could leave Uzzy alone. He was effectively a prisoner.
So, we leave our boys in some trouble. Is Pasha right? Is the whole thing just an elabourate plot to separate Pasha and Uzzy to effectively render Pasha helpless? If so, is Gabriel involved? For once, I know the answers.
Why not go check out the other fabulous flashers in this week's flash fest.