House of Manlove Fourth of July Flash Fiction
Pop over to Inlinks to catch all the links to all the stories! I went literal with the concept of Summer Madness, by the way, instead of writing a summer fling. But when witches are involved, it’s all madness. 🙂
Glyn turned from wiping up the countertop and nearly jumped out of his skin. “Gram!” After silence for half a year, he’d been sure he’d been cast off. But here she was, and it lifted a weight from his heart he hadn’t entirely acknowledged.
“Hello, Glynnie.” She stood in the doorway of his and Levi’s new kitchen, like a beam of sunshine transplanted indoors. “You moved.”
He smiled and hung the cloth over the handle on the oven door. ‘“I did.” Edges lined up just so, the middle row of checks exactly in the center of the handle. The more structured his environment, the less his craziness tried to break free of the bonds he placed on it. As the pattern of the cloth aligned, Glyn’s witchblood settled back into his new normal—slightly agitated and precariously balanced between sanity and witchiness.
“It seems rather…plain. Do you need money?”
“I’m fine, Gram. We only finished building a couple of weeks ago. I’m still decorating.”
“You may call on the coven at need. For anything.”
The tone of her voice raised his hackles. “I’m telling the truth.” He spun to face her, only to be brought up short by the look on her face.
She lifted his chin with one hand, examining his face, his expression. A faint tingle raced over his skin as she read his energy. “You didn’t do it.”
“I would have. I was going to.” Glyn looked away. He’d been willing to trade his free will for Levi.
She frowned, her eyes darkening from spring leaf to summer moss. “What changed your mind?”
“I didn’t.” An unaccustomed flush rose in his cheeks.
“Then what happened?”
“Levi poured it out.” Glyn had been willing, but Levi hadn’t.
Her eyes widened. “He did? So he does love you.”
“Of course he does. He wouldn’t put up with my shit if he didn’t.” She still hadn’t explained why she’d come in person.“Gram, you could have seen this just looking back. Why did you come here to ask me?”
“Oh, Glynnie. I love you. Of all my grandchildren, you’re my favorite.” She glanced away, and a rare glimmer of discomfort flickered across her face. “I should have come earlier, but I didn’t want to see you like that. No witch should live in such a fashion, bound in faerie chaine.” Her gaze met his again. “Even to someone who loves them.”
“He wouldn’t have hurt me.”
She stroked his cheek again. “You were always such a trusting child.”
Glyn rolled his eyes, an old habit he thought he’d given up years ago. “Gram.”
Her eyes danced, and she smiled at him with a witch’s smile, wild as the north wind and careless as the south. “Well, that doesn’t matter anymore. I think we should celebrate.”
Shit. “No, it’s okay—” But it was already too late. Her blood called to him, and his gleefully slipped its bonds, rising to join its voice to hers.
* * * *
Levi closed the truck door and reached in the back to grab the picnic basket he’d picked up for cheap on the way home. He’d started swinging by yard sales whenever he saw one—it helped with the limited decorating budget. Glyn never said a word, but the man had lived in a Central Park condo. Levi knew in his bones what a come-down their current situation was. New house or not.
As he got closer to the front door, he heard the rapid beat of a drum. Not rock music, which wasn’t Glyn’s style anyway, but something more exotic. Maybe African? Had the stubborn witch finally given in and spent money on something that wasn’t absolutely essential? The thought brought a smile to Levi’s lips as he walked through the door.
His excited greeting died half-formed at the kitchen door. The first thing he saw was Glyn, stark naked and laughing hard enough tears streamed down his cheeks. The walls were covered in something that looked like hieroglyphics, the same color as the paint splashed so decoratively over Glyn’s body.
The next thing he noticed was a willowy blonde, sitting on the floor with her back against the refrigerator, a set of bongos cradled within the nest of her crossed legs. She reminded him of Glyn, something in the graceful lines of her body and the way she moved as she tapped the surface of the drums.
A chair danced by, smacking his ankle sharply as it pirouetted in front of him, before galloping across the room to dart underneath the table. A table which stomped ponderously around the edges of the room like a near-sighted elephant with gout.
“Levi!” Glyn whooped in delight and spun over to him. His eyes practically glowed, and an eerie not-quite-human aura surrounded him. “My grandmother is here! Come dance.” He laughed madly and led Levi into the center of the room, singing off-key in some language that wasn’t English or Spanish.
“What’s going on?”
“We’re celebrating!” He hooked his arms around Levi’s neck and practically swung off him. “Somebody’s overdressed.” He let go of Levi and attacked the buttons of his workshirt.
Levi fended him off and looked at the woman. “And you are?”
“I just told you—that’s Gram.” Glyn struggled against Levi’s grip. “Oh, are we playing?” He laughed, and now that he was listening for it, Levi could hear something else in his voice. Magic, maybe? He’d heard Glyn go witchy before in a bad way, but he’d never heard him happy and drunk on power. His lover was normally locked down so tight.
Levi thought he could grow to like this side of Glyn.
“So this is the man my grandson loves.” The blonde—how could she be Glyn’s grandmother?—threw her arms around the two of them and made all three sway in time to the bongos, which played themselves on the floor at their feet.
She smelled like Glyn, a wildness like the call of the forest at full moon. He wasn’t particularly interested in women, but even so, his body reacted to her.
“He looks good in clothes, Glyn. What does he look like out of them?” she said.
Levi jumped back as she started tugging at the waistband of his jeans. “Glyn!” he protested.
Glyn laughed and kissed him. “Gram, mine!” Glyn pushed her hands away, only to replace them with his own.
She reached again for Levi’s clothing, giggling as she did. Glyn shoved Levi behind him and grappled playfully with her. Her laugh was joyful and happy and felt like a warm summer night with pack all around. It was like Glyn, a hundred times over.
But he’d be damned if he was going to let her undress him.
Glyn appeared to have the same idea. He shoved gently at the blonde and chivvied her toward the door. “Goodbye, Gram. You’ve seen him. Now it’s time to leave.”
“Such a greedy child.”
“Blood tells. Bye, Gram.”
Her laugh floated down the hall, the door slammed, and they were alone.
Glyn came back into the kitchen. “Celebrate,” he said and jumped on Levi.
Levi kissed him. “Celebrate. And tomorrow we can clean the paint off the walls.”