The Boy Amongst the Feathers (part 4)

“I want to go home.”

“Okay. You’re not a prisoner, you know; you are allowed to leave.”

“I know.” The Owl cleared his throat. He stared unblinking into the Wolf’s green gold eyes. “Will you come with me?”

The Wolf blinked, marked the page and closed the book. “Of course.”

The Owl’s home was spacious yet cozy, filled with treasures and CDs and vinyls and movie paraphernalia.

“Do you want a cup of tea or something?”

“Please.” On a small table next to the sofa was a framed picture of the Owl with his arm around a young man with blond hair. “Have you got biscuits?”

“So what happened?”

“He didn’t love me. I gave him everything and he let me. He didn’t bother to tell me not to plan my life with him.”

The Wolf stroked the Owl’s arm. “He’s an idiot.”

“I know. I just… no one’s ever fulfilled me on so many levels before.”

The Wolf made a sound. A breath or a snort. “Love is blind, you’ll see.”

The Wolf and the Owl spent their time between both houses, talking into the early hours or reading to each other or listening to music or watching movies or building dens out of blankets and chairs or staring at the stars with steaming mugs of hot chocolate. The Owl went back to work teaching music and his arm continued to heal. The nights he spent alone the Owl wore one of the Wolf’s t-shirt’s, “I sleep better in your scent.”

One night the Wolf let himself into the Owl’s house after knocking a few times to no answer. The now-familiar scent of nag champa incense wrapped around him like a favourite jumper.

From above came a thud and a crash. The Wolf leapt up the stairs, covering half of them in a single bound. As he came up into the living room he barely had time to duck, narrowly avoiding a red glass lantern to the head.

“Shit.” The Owl jumped to his feet. “Are you okay?” He wiped at the tears on his cheeks and delicately picked his way through the carnage that was the living room floor.

“I’m fine.” He took the Owl into his arms, assessing the destruction at their feet. The coffee table was upturned, there were bits of broken glass and reddish brown feathers all over the carpet, DVDs and CDs and books and records were strewn across the room, a lamp was on its side and a plant had been divorced from its pot.

The picture of the Owl and the blond boy was face up on the sofa along with the Owl’s phone and an open notepad.

“Do you feel any better?” The Wolf asked, stroking the back of the other boy’s head.

“A little. Mostly I feel stupid.”

The Wolf held him tighter. “Don’t. You’re not.” He kissed the Owl softly on his temple and moved away. “Stick the kettle on and I’ll start tidying.”


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