Thank you for joining me for my Advent Calendar story. I’ve decided to do a short on Quain and Peter since they’re in my latest book Pursuing Peter. Questioning Quain is coming Decemberish. If you haven’t read Peter then I should tell you Quain is a psychic and has visions…see all cleared up!
If you leave a comment I’ll enter you to win a $10.00 Amazon GC! Winner will be chosen next Saturday!
Just in case you need it: Rainbow Advent Calendar Facebook Group
Icy flakes spun in circles outside the window. Winter had come in a rush of dingy gray clouds and dropping temperatures. Quain Ilves pressed his nose against the cool glass enjoying the coldness against his skin. The heater hummed a sad background melody to his thoughts.
Quain rubbed his arms. Maybe he should put on a warmer sweater. He had only worn the black one because Peter enjoyed the soft fabric when they cuddled. To bad Peter wasn’t home. He’d been missing since their fight.
It wasn’t even a big one.
A sigh tore through Quain as he reflected on their argument. It had started with Quain being resistant to going to the pack party, and ended with Peter accusing him of trying to distance them both from their pack family.
He traced a heart on the foggy windowpane. Maybe he should’ve mentioned his social anxiety, but he didn’t want Peter to think he was a wimp. Better to have Peter think he was part hermit than that he had issues with crowds. Growing up isolated had taken its toll on Quain emotionally and he’d rather anger Peter than have his sympathy. Something he regretted now.
“Come back to me,” he whispered against the windowpane.
He traced another heart on the steamy glass interlocking with the other one then, in an act of whimsy, wrote their initials inside. The first smile in two hours crossed his lips even as his own heart ached from his mate’s absence.
Peter wouldn’t hold a grudge, would he? Unfortunately they hadn’t been together long enough for him to know for certain. The scrape of a key in the door raised his hopes. Quain stood, but before he could take a step his world went black.
Impatience was the primary emotion rushing through him. He lacked his usual anticipation for a vision. Instead he longed for the ending so he could return to Peter and talk through his issues. Peter had never lost patience with him before and Quain had planned on making sure everything else was fine with his mate before airing his own problems.
Fog swirled in unfamiliar patterns. Quain tried to push through but nothing hurried the experience.
“What’s the rush, young seer?” a female voice asked.
Quain froze. He had half expected Zeus to make another appearance. Despite claiming to dislike mortals the god enjoyed stomping through Quain’s visions with startling regularity.
“My mate just got home. We had a fight and I’d like to talk to him.” It didn’t occur to him to lie to a complete stranger, nosy or not.
“You worry too much, honey,” the female said with warm familiarity.
“Sometimes.” Quain prided himself on knowing his own personality quirks.
“About your mate, more times than not.”
“Who are you?” The fog continued to hide the speaker. A burst of psychic wind swept away the fog and exposed the lady. A white gown swirled around her slim form. All of her was white. Even her skin held little color against her white locks.
“Consider me your fairy godmother,” she said with a wry smile.
“Are you a fairy?”
“Nope.” She giggled, an odd contrast to her previously serious expression.
“And you’re not my godmother,” Quain pursued carefully.
She shrugged. “Semantics.”
Quain waited but she didn’t say anything more. “What are you here for? Peter was coming home and I need to talk to him.”
“And tell him why you’re such a pill?”
“Yeah.” Quain shoved his hands in his pockets. “He needs to know why he has such a broken mate.”
“You aren’t broken, maybe a little chipped on the corners but nothing a bit of love can’t fix.” She pulled a sparkly wand out of the air and spun it around. Gold sparks flew around her.
“Huh.” Quain watched the light show not certain of what to do. Never before had a being entered his vision world waving a wand.
“I know pretty spectacular right?” Her lips formed a smug smile. “In order for your mate to understand you, maybe you should understand him.”
“How? He doesn’t like to talk about his childhood much.”
“There are reasons for that.”
“Is this where you show me my Christmas past?” Quain couldn’t help the sarcastic tone. Trust him to have a fairy godmother cliché.
She giggled. “Don’t be silly. Weren’t you there for your Christmases? I’m here to show you Peter’s.”
With a wave of her wand the scenery changed. Instead of a blank sea of white fog a room materialized. A little boy sat beside a Christmas tree dripping with decorations. Piles of presents covered the area around the trunk, pushing the branches up. The elegance and size of the room indicated they were inside a rich person’s mansion.
“Is this where he grew up?” Quain asked.
“Shh, watch. Isn’t he adorable?” She giggled madly.
A whiff of alcohol reached his nose. “Are you drunk?”
She waved her wand. “Don’t be ridiculous. One little interesting eggnog isn’t going to stop me from doing my job. And if you report me I’ll make all your visions female porn shows.”
Quain rubbed his queasy stomach. “That’s just evil.”
Before she could respond a female voice called Peter’s name.
“In here, Mom,” child Peter replied.
“Are you ready to open your presents?” His mother sat on a chair beside the tree.
Although Quain hadn’t ever met Peter’s father he could immediately see how much Peter resembled his mother. His cheekbones had definitely come from her side of the family along with his dazzling aquamarine eyes.
“Isn’t Dad coming?” Peter asked.
His mother played with the belt on her robe. “He’s not feeling up to it right now.” She didn’t meet Peter’s eyes when she spoke.
“He’s drunk again isn’t he?”
“No he just had a long night, And don’t talk about your father like that,” she scolded.
Peter picked up a present with little interest and began tearing at the wrapping paper. Before Quain saw what he uncovered the scene changed back to the fog.
“See,” she announced.
“See what? We left before we saw what he got.”
She batted his complaint away with her hand. “What he got was a lot of presents with an absentee father who gambled away their savings and an enabling mother. One more lonely Christmas in a childhood of them.”
“Which is why he wants to spend it with the pack,” Quain realized. “Damn, I guess I really do have to go to the party.”
“You don’t have to. You do have free will and all, but I bet he’d appreciate it.”
“Okay, let me wake up and I’ll talk to Peter.”
“Sorry I’ve got to do the entire spiel, it’s part of my Christmas bonus.”
Quain rolled his eyes. “You are the most unhelpful fairy godmother I’ve ever met.”
She twirled her sparkly wand. “Got an entire closet full of us do you?”
A growl rolled up his throat. Surely it wouldn’t be bad karma to strangle the annoying entity.
“Keep your pants on dear.” She flashed him a wicked smile. “Or don’t. How about I give you a quick sneak peak of your future, no seer skills required. I’ll let you handle the present as long as you lie if anyone asks.”
“Deal.” He agreed without hesitation. The odds of anyone coming to him for a fairy godmother employee review were slim. Of course he would’ve said the same thing about one actually appearing before now.
The scene changed, morphing from fog to living room, seamlessly.
“Wait, this is our apartment.”
“Nice to see you can recognize your living space,” she praised.
“How far into the future is this?”
“Hmm.” More wand twirls, as she thought over her answer. “A few years or so.”
Before Quain could interrogate her more Peter walked into the living room. Quain’s mouth dropped open. It wasn’t the sexy suit Peter wore with casual grace, but the baby in Peter’s arms that caught Quain’s attention.
“Where did he come from?” Quain asked.
“Well, when a man and a woman, or a woman and a sperm get together…”
“Shush!” Quain waved her quiet before she continued to ramble and fill his head with worrisome images.
A second Quain rushed into the room and took the child from Peter. “Are you ready? We’ve got to leave soon if we want to drop Elias off at the pack childcare for the night.”
“Elias?” Quain eagerly waited to hear more about this boy. Who would trust him with a baby?
“He’s all ready and I have his bag by the door.”
“Great.” Quain kissed Elias’s head. The little boy tugged at Quain’s tie then mouthed it a bit.
“Don’t eat the tie pin,” Peter warned.
“Like he’s going to listen to you. You know he’s a tiepin connoisseur. Why else would he always steal Anthony’s most expensive ones?”
“I’m going to owe him a new car at this rate.” Peter scowled.
Quain laughed. “It’s worth it.” He lifted the child up to dangle him back and forth. “Isn’t it Elias?”
“He’s adorable. Is he ours?” Quain asked his fairy godmother.
“Yes. You two make wonderful parents. Elias is the first of three.”
“Thank you,” Elias said sincerely.
“For what?” She twirled in place on one shoe like a little kid.
“For giving me hope. I never thought I’d get a family.”
“Then you need to stop being a gloomy Gus and tell your magnificent mate about your problems. You really are lucky to have him you know.”
“Good. Now go and give him a kiss for me!” She waved her wand.
Quain jerked back to reality to find Peter cradling him close, a worried expression marred his mate’s face.
“I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have left you alone,” Peter mumbled. “I wasn’t thinking.”
“Hey, it’s all right.” Quinn cupped Peter’s face in his hands and kissed him with all the passion he had inside. When he let go Peter still had his eyes closed for a few seconds before they fluttered open.
“What caused that? When I left I thought you were mad at me.”
“I was more angry at myself. Let’s sit on the couch and talk.” Quain stood then pulled Peter up after him. “I have some things to tell you about my childhood.”
“Is this going to make me want to hunt down your parents?”
“No. But it explains why I’m reluctant to go to the party.” He flashed back to Peter’s lonely Christmas. “I think we should go to the party, but maybe not stay the entire time.”
Peter’s tense shoulders relaxed. “I can agree to that.”
Quain spent the next thirty minutes explaining his parents smothering followed by years of isolation. The entire time he kept thinking of the beautiful baby and the others to follow.
Peter’s sideways hug pulled him from his memory. “Next time just talk to me. I’ll always want to know if something bothers you.”
“I will. I promise.” He cleared his throat. “By the way, what are your thoughts on having a family? Not anytime soon, just in general.” Quain almost forgot to breathe while he waited for an answer.
Peter smiled. “I’ve always wanted kids.”
“Yeah, I used to dream of having two or three and a beautiful husband to raise them with. At least I got part of it right.”
“Yes, you did.” Quain smiled. He wouldn’t tell Peter about his fairy godmother, who wasn’t a fairy or a godmother. After all the poor man was still getting used to Quain’s visions. Telling him about imaginary people bringing him their future might stretch the bounds of reality too far, even for his accepting mate.
Quain patted Peter’s leg. “Let’s go get dressed and you can introduce me to the people I haven’t met.”
“Sounds good. We even have some fae in our pack,” Peter said.
“Really? Any females?”
Peter paused mid step. “No, why?”
“Never mind.” Quain kissed Peter’s cheek then ran down the hall to the sound of Peter’s laughter.
The past might have been lonely for them both but now they had each other. Quain planned to make this the best Christmas yet for his beloved starting with the party. Tomorrow he would show Peter the extra tools he’d purchased for his garage.