Hollywood wasn’t good for much of anything, but Michael had to give it some credit. Over the years it had proven quite useful. History and legend had done much to confuse the world about the power of witches, but Hollywood had done even more. According to the movies and TV, witches were either ugly old hags or pretty young girls who wore a lot of black. No one knew the truth.
But they would, soon.
He glanced upward. It was mid-afternoon, but the sky was tinged an odd, sickly color. The sound of flapping wings filled the air and dark, winged creatures surged and drifted on the currents. In their midst, the solid bulk of Michael’s lover, Fermin, filled the air. It seemed to defy gravity and the laws of physics Michael had spent the better part of his life studying. That was how they’d met—Michael and Fermin—and while it hadn’t been love at first sight by any means, it was a solid thirty odd year relationship. And now Michael was terrified of what his research had uncovered.
Michael had delayed as long as possible, trying to stretch out the time as much as possible, but he was pretty sure his research team had a spy in its midst. The thought saddened him and he’d spent too many nice searching his memories for clues, but he still wasn’t sure who it was. It didn’t matter, in the end. His relationship with Fermin and the safety of every gay man was at risk. Because of what Michael had discovered.
Not that Fermin blamed him—despite his gruff exterior he was a softy inside—but Michael had enough guilt for the both of them. He’d never dreamed that the gene associated with homosexuality also controlled the portion of the brain that involved flying. It turned out the only witches out there were gay men. Well, that wasn’t entirely true, lesbians had their own magic, but it didn’t involve flying. But Michael’s interests—personal or professional—had never included women.
Above him, Fermin whirled and soared with the birds, enjoying some final moments of freedom.
Flying wasn’t magic. Hell, witch was probably an entirely inaccurate word for the men who flew, but it was what most of them identified as. Michael’s discovery of the genetic component—and subsequent ties to homosexuality—left them vulnerable. Left his lover vulnerable. Any day now he’d have to turn over the final pieces of his research to the government and who knew what would happen after that for the witches. Internment camps? Torture disguised as research? Military conscription? A shudder worked its way up Michael’s spine.
He was so lost in his thoughts that Fermin’s arms wrapping around him startled him.
“Hey, it’s just me.” The low rumble of Fermin’s voice and the solid bulk of his body was reassuring. Michael sagged back and closed his eyes.
“I’m so sorry.”
“I told you, no more apologies. You had no idea until it was too late. And you had nothing but good intentions when you began your research.”
He swallowed past the lump in his throat. “I’m afraid for you. For us. For all of us.” He wasn’t a witch himself. Witches were gay men, but not necessarily the other way around. The gene hadn’t expressed itself in him. But as the lover and long-term partner of one, he belonged to the community. The thought of how they’d view his betrayal sickened him.
“We still have options. Plans are being put into place. You gave us enough warning that we might still come out of this okay.” Michael didn’t see how, but Fermin had always been more optimistic. “Trust me,” Fermin coaxed.
Michael turned and buried his head in the crook of Fermin’s neck. “I trust you,” he whispered.
Fermin’s strong, solid arms wrapped around him and the feeling of peace that Fermin had always brought washed over him. He didn’t need to fly, not when he had Fermin to anchor him.
Whatever the coming weeks and months brought them, he’d have Fermin.
Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics! Helena has a wonder dark fic this week.
I look forward to seeing you next Monday!