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Billy Goats Gruff

OK first off, this isn't my fav story of mine, but all of my Ryes/ Sapphy stories are soft and stuff... 

Posted for acostilow 'cause I promised her some nice troll stories.  

My boyfriend, Ryes, doesn’t believe in magic.  I would guess that in a normal relationship this wouldn’t be a problem but in ours I think it could be.  I love Ryes, but I have to keep a secret from him.  You see, I’m a troll.  I know what you’re thinking ‘you are too pretty to be a troll’ I get that all the time.  People think of trolls as big ugly pieces of rock that live under bridges, in truth it’s just a job description.  We are just protective spirits, mostly of things that have to do with transportation.  So yeah, some of us live under bridges, my brother lives under a bridge.   My thing is the subway.  

Ryes thinks we met at school.  We didn’t, we met on the train.  I meet everyone on a train.  It was after we started talking during his commutes that I started taking classes, there was something about Ryes that really drew me to him.  Just to see Ryes with his brother – well you can’t not love him after seeing him with William, and that’s the thing, Ryes has been taking care of a Seer for all this time and yet he can’t bring himself believe in magic.  

But I love him.  And I’m pretty sure he loves me.  Will says Ryes loves me.  Ryes says he loves me.  And I think I love him, but I can’t help but think that if I really loved Ryes I would not be keeping such an important secret from him.  I wouldn’t be happy if he was hiding something like this from me.  Mind you, he wouldn’t; he’s not like that, he can’t hide anything.   It doesn’t matter what he wants, his soul shines through; you always just know you are looking at a kind gentle man.   I think that’s why people buy the books he binds; why local writers clamber to have works published by his Dancing Coyote imprint.    The thing is that he is unaware of how he affects the world.  

It’s February and for the past few weeks when it hasn’t been snowing we’ve had a cold rain.  And, of course, it feels like the days are only four hours long.  Ryes has been miserable, not that you can really tell; he still gets everything done.  He just isn’t doing it with the normal vim he usually has, even if his family and I are the only ones who notice.   I think I’ve seen him sleeping more than I’ve seen him awake for the past week.  

Ryes lives and works in Southside, and tonight he is leading a class on scrapbooking at the Southside Arts Center.  The Southside isn’t really the artist area that Fenford is, but the Center is at the very edge of Southside, almost in the Financial District and it is acceptable for suburban housewives come in to the City to take classes at the Arts Center.  Teaching classes fills in the gaps in Ryes’ income.  The Arts Center is close to a subway stop, and my apartment is on the first floor of the building that overlooks the entrance of that stop; or I should say the entrance to my home is in that building.  My place is closer to the Center then Ryes is but he’s never been to my home.  I’ve never let him in.  I don’t think he would be able to ignore that I am not all I appear to be if he came into my home.  After all the door to my apartment leads to – well it leads to what people used to call a Summer Country.  I live in Fairy.  It makes it easier to know exactly what is going on with all the rails.  In the real world I have to concentrate on the rails to know what is happening – I have to concentrate to the point where I can’t do anything else; at home I can see the whole system and still do other things.  I meet Ryes at the Arts Center, he looks completely exhausted, I just want to make him feel better, after all he makes me feel almost human, he connects me to this world.  

“You all right?” I ask, moving to help him clean up after the class.

“Just tired,” he says with a week smile, “I can get that,” he says taking some loose papers from my hands.  I watch as he takes everything to the open closet.

“I was just wondering,” I start but get nervous and stop.

“Yes?”

“Well would you like to come to my place? It’s just around the corner and you look like you might not make it home,” Ryes stops, his back to me, I wonder quickly if I’ve said the wrong thing.

“How long have we been going together?”

“About nine months.”

“And you’ve never asked me to your house.  Not once.”

“I know. My apartment is – odd,” well it would be to a normal person, “and it is over the subway…”

“So you think I’m too tired to get home,” he turns back to me, a smile playing at the corner of his mouth, “but you want me to come to your apartment over the subway.”

“Yes.”

“Well then,” his smile lights up his face, “I would be happy to come to your place.”

Like I said, it’s a short walk to my building, I live right where the Southside borders the Financial District.  I chose the building because it is over a subway hub; three subway lines come together right under my living room floor, or would if my living room floor was in the real world.  It’s convenient for my work; after all if Baucus had a home in the real world it would be in a vineyard.  I’m bracing myself to give him an explanation of why the door of my apartment leads to a field as we walk up the stairs to the front of the building, and then down again to my basement apartment.  I open the door and step back so Ryes can enter.

“Very nice,” he says looking around, “Warm,” he closes his eyes and tips his face to the sun.  

“You don’t think it’s er- strange?”

“That you live in a field in the center of a city?  Should I think that’s strange?”

“Well…”

“Of course I think it’s strange,” he says with a chuckle, “But I have a brother that says he sees the future every time he has a seizure and makes a good living panting people’s auras, my sister talks to animals.  She’s never said it out loud but I know she does, just like Father.  And don’t even get me started on Gawain – I know I’ve seen him save lives that shouldn’t be able to be saved.  I assume you are going to explain why your apartment is an underground field.”

“I suppose,” I’m shocked, I really didn’t expect the evening to go this way, in my surprise I just blurt out, “I’m a troll.”

Now he laughs outright, “ A troll?  You can’t be!  Even if trolls existed, you’re not-”

“Ugly?” I finish for him, pulling away.

“I was going to say ‘made of stone’ you put the word ‘ugly’ in my mouth,” he says stepping up to me and taking my chin in his hand, “I don’t even know what a troll is, if you could tell me.”

“Trolls protect things.  Things that humans built.”

“Teg says her garden is protected by Fairies,” Teg is Ryes sister, William’s twin.  

“Yeah, Fairies and Gnomes in gardens; Elves, Nymphs and Dryads in wild places; Trolls, Trows and the like, we take care of man made things.”
He’s smiling a sad little smile and, I know this is the end of the relationship, “William says you protect me.  You protect the Dancing Coyote.”

“No.  Although I’m surprised you don’t need protection, using a name like that, but maybe they take into account that you didn’t know the werewolves existed.”

“So I’ll just think of you as some fort of Fair Folk,” he’s ignoring the werewolf thing, he always does.  But then again many residents of Bathrory ignore the werewolves.  He steps very close to me, and whispers, “because you are just too beautiful to be called a Troll.”
I think he wants to kiss me but I have to know first, “You still love me?”

“Even though you live in a field? Yes I do,” he kisses me then, oh so gently, “You brought me here to rest, you should show me to your bower.”

“Bower,” I giggle; I can’t help it, it must be from relief.

“Well I assume that if your living room is a field then your bedroom would be a bower,” he smiles as I take his hand and lead him to my bed.

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
acostilow
May. 5th, 2006 12:21 am (UTC)
Hee. Cool! Thank you! *hugs*
bodgei
May. 5th, 2006 12:28 am (UTC)
for some reason someone wanted to publish this... OK it was a club e-zene... but still. It was a background peice. LOL
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )