It’s picture flash fiction time again, and I love this image. Not that it makes writing a piece easier, but it’s just a cool photo. I’m wondering how many ladies will have this end…poorly, lol. Because yeah, he looks as if he could just jump right off.
For me, after looking at this, I decided to continue a previous one…after all, those boys were from Atlantis and this kind of screams that sort of story to me. If you’d like to read the first bit, you can go to Atlantis part one… other wise, just jump right in.
He’d failed. Again.
Declan O’Toole stood at the edge of the rickety dock, watching Zeke—fuck, his best friend and true soul—amble out towards the end. Despite the beautiful image his lover made—the dark blue of his hoodie making his wiry silhouette stand out in harsh relief against the pale tones of the endless horizon—Declan couldn’t fully appreciate the scene. Not when he felt the pain in Zeke’s heart as the man stopped at the edge, staring at the endless expanse of water. God how long had it been since they’d truly felt at peace? Since they’d woken to more than another day filled with searching…but never finding.
“Stop. This isn’t your fault, Dec. We both know that.”
Declan shook the thoughts from his head as he looked up at Zeke, the man’s voice seemingly hanging in the heavy air around them. Their gazes clashed as his lover glanced over his shoulder, the blue in his eyes so damn brilliant, it stole Declan’s breath. God, the man was stunning.
Guardian. Zeke wasn’t just a man or an heir to Atlantis, but the damn guardian of the entire realm. A fact Declan had managed to shove aside until they’d unearthed the lost tomes and sparked their first real chance at ever returning home.
Zeke sighed, turning back toward the water. “I’m no different than I was yesterday, or last week. Hell, last year. Nothing’s changed.” He tapped his head. “Still the same guy.”
“Right. The same guy.” Declan walked out onto the dock, his heart kicking up at the familiar sound of the water lapping at the old wood. God, he missed feeling part of the sea.
He stopped beside Zeke, nudging his shoulder. “Except for the part where we found the maps and finally have a real possibility of returning to Atlantis. Of you breaking the protection barrier the previous guardian erected in order to prevent the entire kingdom from falling prey to Xander and his army of demons. All of which won’t happen unless I can decipher the bloody notations on those godforsaken scrolls and actually find the portal back.”
A hint of a smile tugged at Zeke’s lips. “As I recall, you’ve found more than a few portals.”
Declan slapped Zeke’s shoulder. “Shut up.”
The smile flourished, accentuating the slight dimples in Zeke’s cheeks. “Hey, who knew that most of the portals simply lead to another location within the human world. I was as surprised as you were.”
“You’re a fucking terrible liar, you know that?”
“You knew.” Declan held up his hand. “But I appreciate the element of surprise you injected into your voice when we walked out of that last one to find ourselves beside the very spot we’d entered. That was a nice touch.”
Zeke’s grin faded. “Yeah, well, you’re not the only one who should be able to decipher those markings on the maps. What good is being the next guardian if I can’t even read my native tongue.”
“I mean it, Dec.” Zeke took a few heavy steps away before spinning, raking his hands through his hair and spiking it up in every direction. “Let’s say for a moment that we find this elusive portal and actually reach Atlantis. Then what? I can barely string a couple of phrases together let alone counter a spell a master warlock concocted over a century ago.” He clenched his jaw, glancing back at the water. “I’m no guardian. I’m nothing more than a damn joke.”
Declan closed the distance. He smoothed his palms along Zeke’s ribs, stopping with them pressed against the other man’s chest. Zeke’s heart thrummed beneath Declan’s fingers, the increased rhythm activating his protective instincts. He tugged the man against him, resting his forehead on Zeke’s, drinking in the spicy scent clinging to Zeke’s skin, wanting nothing more than to heal the wounds he sensed in his lover’s soul.
Zeke closed his eyes, his breath mixing with Declan’s as Zeke’s heart rate finally slowed. His chest pressed into Declan’s with each ragged inhalation. Declan held firm, waiting until Zeke pushed against his hold before easing back. His lover shook his head, leaning in for a fleeting kiss before slowly backing away.
Declan sighed, shoving his hands in his pockets to resist the urge to shake some sense into Zeke.
“You? Resort to violence?” Zeke winked at him. “So unbecoming a future spiritual leader.”
“Stop reading my damn mind, you jerk.” Declan scrubbed his hand down his face. “And who said anything about me becoming a spiritual leader? You’re the one with the predetermined destiny, remember?”
“So that mark on your shoulder…”
Declan huffed out his next breath. “Is just that. A mark.”
“Or…it’s the ancient symbol all healers are born with. One that will flourish if we ever return to Atlantis.”
“When we return. And it’s just a mark. You, on the other hand.” He cocked his head to the side when Zeke rolled his eyes. “Dude. Seriously. Cut yourself some slack. Part of that damn ritual was us losing the majority of our memories. It’s taken us this long just to piece together who we are and why we aren’t like all those human mulling around us. You can’t expect yourself to simply pick up where you left off. We’d just started our schooling when Xander attacked the kingdom and your predecessor sacrificed his energy to seal Atlantis away.”
“By sacrifice you mean he banished us…here. Without a clue of who we were or what we needed to do.”
“He was trying to save our world. But he knew you’d never be able to break the spell if you were trapped inside. Hell of a choice to make, if you ask me.”
“Then why erase our memories?” Zeke kicked at the damn wood beneath his feet. “Why risk that we wouldn’t ever find our way back?”
“Like I know. Shit, Zeke, I’m as much in the dark as you are.” He tapped his head. “Damn thing got all Matrixed along with yours. Christ, at least you were able to break that spell in the cabin and get the books. All I’ve done is lead us on one missed adventure after another. It’s just a damn doorway. You’d think I’d be able to find it.”
Zeke’s expression softened and he eased over, taking Declan’s hand in his. “If it were easy to find, anyone would waltz on through. It’s hidden, and hidden well for a reason.”
“Yeah, to keep losers out. Which I’m feeling very much of right now.” He shoved Zeke when the man leaned into him. “I don’t want your damn pity. I want to be able to read those fucking notations and just unearth the damn portal.”
Zeke held up his hands as if the motion would soothe Declan. “How ’bout this? We’ll go for swim, get some food. Maybe release that tension turning you into a freaking drama queen, then sit down and figure this out. For real.”
“Like I’m the only drama queen, and you’ve turned down my last few advances. Started to think you’d become some born-again virgin.”
“Just distracted. And tired. But, I realize shutting you out was the worst thing I could have done. We both think better when we’re…sated.”
“God, you make it sound as if you’re going to pity fuck me.”
Zeke laughed. “Fuck you, yes. But I believe the term you’re searching for is love. Because I do. Love you.” He cracked a smile. “Unless, of course, that mark turns into some god-awful tattoo once we get back to Atlantis. Might have to dump you if that happens.”
“We’ve already bound, jackass. So you’re stuck with me.”
Zeke smiled. “I like that sound of that.” He reached for the neck of his hoodie, yanking it off then tossing it on the dock. “First one in gets to choose how this night ends, so…I’d get stripping if I were you.”
“And you’re cheating, as usual.” Declan kicked off his shoes. He already knew how the night was going to end. He just hoped it isn’t their last.
That’s it for me. Please check out the other lovely ladies and see what they dreamt up.