wakes up the first thing he sees is the bright sunshine – that and Thomas’ face
hovering just inside his view.
morning, sleepyhead.” There is laughter rippling through Thomas’ voice – he has
always found it terribly amusing that James tends to sleep a lot whenever he is
back from his journeys. James yawns.
“How late is
it?” he mumbles, sleep still clouding his voice.
“Not as late
as you might think,” Thomas grins. “But definitely too late for you to do
anything productive this morning.”
saying that because you want to keep me tied to the bed,” James protests.
Despite his words, however, he doesn’t move, just enjoys the feeling of clean
linen on his skin and Thomas’ presence so close, with their legs still
“Maybe I am.”
A twinkle of mischief lights up in Thomas’ eyes now. He turns around and grabs
something from the table next to him before dropping it on James’ stomach. “But
for now, this should be enough to keep you here.”
book?” James laughs, but his movements are careful and gentle as he fingers the
little book bound in red leather that Thomas has given him. It’s beautiful;
everything that comes from Thomas’ hands is, to him.
What did you expect? Actual affection?” Thomas evades James’ elbow with a grin
and bends down to plant a kiss on his forehead. “I’m sure you’re going to love this
“A friend of
mine translated it into English for me a few years ago and I had it bound. You could
say it’s the rarest item I own.”
“And you are
giving it to me?” James can feel awe entering this voice.
Who else would I rather like to have my most precious possession?” Thomas
kisses him again and this time his lips linger. James smiles into the kiss and
for a while, the Histories lies forgotten
on the sheets.
the book when he looks through the ruins of Miranda’s house. The Meditations he has kept safe somewhere
else, the words on its first page far too valuable for him to ever let it out
of his sight for long, especially now that Miranda and, with her, the last safe
haven he had on Nassau are gone.
Most of the
place has been ransacked and demolished, but a little chest with books has
survived and Flint’s fingers travel over the worn red leather that encase the
pages of the Histories. If he closes
his eyes he thinks he can still smell Thomas when he brings it up to his face –
that scent, once so common and surrounding him from every angle, has now become
something so rare that he treasures every moment he finds it. Maybe it isn’t
even Thomas’ scent at all, but a phantom that his mind cooked up.
Maybe he has
already forgotten the real one.
shudders when his brain shouts his greatest fears so casually. He wants to
forget but also wants to remember - wants to forget the bad and remember the
good, but they are so hopelessly intertwined that sometimes he wonders if it
weren’t better if he could wipe his memory completely.
little book to his chest and then carefully tucking it into his pockets he
decides, however, that sometimes the pain from those memories can be a good
thing – after all, it tells him that he is still alive.
remember when the last time was that he’s had a time so peaceful and silent to
himself. Of course, his current lodgings
are far from comfortable – hostage or prisoner, the cell he is in remains the
same although they haven’t bound him – but it all pales besides the quiet that
is finally his.
have used this time to think, others to sleep, but he uses it to let his mind
wander, back to other times and further beyond. He knows he can trust Silver to
carry out their plan, so now, for the first time, everyone’s fate is in hands
other than his own. The sudden freedom leaves a strange taste on his tongue. He
is so tired.
pockets, he finds the Histories
hidden away in one of them and the echo of a smile dashes across his lips. He has
to remember how to smile - it has been so long. He can still cite some of those
sentences in his sleep, but their meaning is not important. What is important
is the memory of Thomas’ voice they carry, of his fingers travelling up and
down his back as he reads his favourite passages from it to James, of the faint
tickling of his hair on Flint’s skin and softness in his gaze as he looks at
For the first
time in a long while Flint allows himself to be carried away by them. Silver’s
voice echoes in his head, about a place that unruly family members were
spirited away to, but he doesn’t hope. He has gone too far for hope. But there
is peace inside him now, a peace soft and brittle but gentle too, and it
soothes his soul until he loses himself in the book in his lap.