Too much, too damned much! That’s what I kept saying over and over in my head. I hadn’t expected him to kiss me, hadn’t expected myself to feel this much.
That kiss had cracked my heart open. I had sworn as a young man never to let anyone in. Losing my parents, my freedoms, all when the Lambert stone called me, had broken me in pieces. I wasn’t one to be without family. Yet, when the stone called, that’s what’d happened. I’d lost everyone.
Now, I lived the life of a soldier, someone who felt nothing, except the need to protect those under my care; and now, of course, a king who was too weak to defend himself. Or at least had been. I felt great pride in the accomplishments and progress he’d made. Those feelings of pride were stuffed in a very coach-based box. Not a place where love was allowed to pour out.
A elf’s heart isn’t like a human's, we don’t open up to different partners, flipping in and out of the beds of lovers. Well, okay, that wasn’t true. Elves were very free with our sex lives, but once an elf loved, it never stopped.
My heart became his in that one moment. It was the worst thing that could’ve happened. Now, I was supposed to be his soldier, but I was compromised. General... Bay, I reminded myself, getting used to using her real name, she had alluded to sex, not love.
I summoned the portal and stepped through, sealing myself off from the rest of the camp as General Olcarlamon had requested, and stepped into their tent.
I could tell they were having relations, so I created a forcefield around myself, to give them privacy until they were ready to speak.
I laughed internally despite the seriousness of why I’d come. They knew I was here, but neither was in a hurry. I’d always admired my kind in their commitment to what they were doing at the moment. Their love making was more important than anything I had to say, and they both knew if it were dire, I’d interrupt them.
It was over half an hour later that they appeared before me. I bowed my respect and then sighed when General Bay asked what was wrong.
“I can’t be your soldier; I’ve made a grave mistake.”
Both Generals looked at one another then back at me. “What’s happened? General Olcarlmamon asked.
“I… I’m sorry sir, I’ve fallen in love with the king.”
It took several moments before General Bay laughed out loud. “This distresses you?” she asked.
I looked up shocked. “Of course, how can I be objective when I’m in love with him? I… I let it go too far, my heart, it snapped. I… I can’t… I’ll not be able to do this.”
Olcarlamon came over and in a very uncharacteristic way sat next to me putting his hand on my leg. “Listen young Clack, we as elves don’t get to choose who takes our hearts. I’ll admit, this is going to make your mission more difficult, and could provide you with more than a little stress when he takes his throne, but you’ve been trained by the best…” he said, and waited for me to catch on that he meant himself.
I nodded, “yes sir, but…”
“No buts, I love my first general. The woman who stands between me and the rest of the world. She’s my mate, although not my wife,” he said and gave a very pointed look at General Bay.
She just shook her head, “What the good General is trying to tell you Clack, is you can love him and still serve him. We’ve honed the skills to know when it’s work and when it’s just us. You will learn this too, you’ll have to, because once your heart is given, no matter what distance you take, it will always belong to him.”
I nodded, knowing the legend of Elvin love. Also, having experienced it, I now knew how intense my connection to him was.
General Bay smiled, “What did King Repratian say?” she asked.
I shook my head, “nothing, I left… I left after it happened. I… I needed to warn you.”
“Shit!” both Generals said at the same time.
“What?” I asked alarmed again.
General Bay shook her head. “Son, if your heart opened to his, he felt that, and if you left him, that’s an ultimate rejection. He must be miserable right now. Go back, go back this instant and find him. Tell him what happened, why you left.”
I nodded, suddenly feeling like a teenage human who acted like a fool. “Okay, okay, but you think I’ll still be able to protect him?”
General Bay was pulling me up from the cot and toward the portal, “You’ll be fine, now go find that boy before it’s too late.”
She literally pushed me through the portal, and I felt it close behind me. I had to pause a moment to let my energy levels replenish themselves. If I’d thought, I could’ve used a strand of hair or even a toenail clipping for this spell, but I had been in too big of a hurry. Of course, this confirmed how stupid I was getting around this whole love thing.
As soon as my head stopped spinning, I walked toward the tent. I could hear him although I could tell he was trying to be quiet. I slipped into his room and onto his cot.
“That really scared me,” I admitted but he didn’t move. Not that I could blame him, now I realized just how much I must’ve hurt him.
“I… the elves love so hard, and it can happen without warning, I wasn’t prepared for that to happen to me King… um, Milo. I’m sorry I left like that, but I needed to talk to the Generals, to make sure I could still protect you.”
“What are you saying? You’re in love with me? That’s preposterous Clack, we just kissed a little.”
I nodded, when he turned toward me. “But, it happened nonetheless, I’m sorry it did, for you. I can promise that I won’t let you down though. I will be able to keep my emotions in check, ensure you are taken care of, no matter how I feel about you.”
He stared at me and leaned up to wipe away a tear I hadn’t even known had slipped out of my eyes. I like you so much Clack, but, I don’t know about love, I haven’t even dated anyone before. Can we not just take it slow, see what happens? I, I am really struggling with this whole elf thing, not to mention the king thing on top of that. I just need a friend, someone who can just let me be, you know?”
I thought about it, and nodded even though part of me knew it would all be moot soon. He hadn’t had the same reaction I had, that was clear. Maybe that was how it was with kings, maybe I just wasn’t meant to be his mate. I wasn’t sure, but what I was sure of is I was not his and only his.
Well, unless we as a couple found a third or fourth, that could happen I suppose, and in that moment, I almost hoped it would. Living a life without love was one thing, living it with an unrequited love was something wholly different.
I kissed his forehead and smiled down at him, my heart melting at his beautiful face. “I’m sorry I caused you to be sad. Please forgive me.”
Milo smiled, “forgiven, but can I kiss you again, And… and can you hold me? I felt really alone when you left.”
I leaned down, and kissed his sweet mouth then crawled in behind him and pulled him close to my body. The words I love you floated on the air around us, but I kept them from being said. I had no idea what the future held, but it seemed like it might be best if I did as he asked and let things progress slowly, as they should.
Join us next week for more adventures from Milo and Clack.