Higher Love

Magic Hollow 
#1
@Loretta


ETA 10 minutes
Giddy

 It was a grievous surprise, but he'd learned from years of experience to grab at fleeting moments of control. Riding on that thin high of knowledge beyond her grasp, Gideon had the courtesy to give that small source of power up once the cat was out of the bag. Dominance was better in doses, a slow-dripped syrup so the sweet didn't make the stomach sour.

 His two-toned station wagon was stuffed to the gills, chugging and whining all the way. But his worldly possessions were left behind in the parking lot as he raced up to the residence that could now be made a home. He giggled, pressing his forehead to the door he knew to be hers. He could feel her on the other side, awash with nervousness, the sound of a vacuum drowning out his knock. "Etta, my darling, it's clean enough. Open this awful door right this instant."
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#2
 She was not, by any stretch (as far as she was concerned), a dirty person. Still, when you spent all day and sometimes evening cleaning the temporary homes of others, it was hard to want to immediately come home and clean your own. And yes, she did love a surprise - enjoyed gifts as much as the next being, but some presents required preparation before their proper unboxing.

And no she would not greet him with scorn, but goddamn it, you didn't spring up like a poorly timed jack in the box.

 She shook a kink from the cord of the vacuum, frowned as she thought about a wet spot on the bathroom ceiling above the tub she hadn't gone down to the front to report just yet. She had meant to do the dishes tonight, but ... her eyes went violet and at once she turned towards the door, didn't stop vacuuming immediately.

 And no she didn't want to manipulate him, but if one had a tool they could implement to make sure all was well, why wouldn't they? If the love itself was organic, where was the harm in peeling back the curtain on personal feeling and sneaking a peek from time to time?

Exactly.

 And yes, perhaps sometimes she tilted the scales in her favor - lessened frustrations, softened stress, encouraged a feeling of warmth and comfort. But it was never a nasty business, and it wasn't like she had been doing it for the past few weeks, far away as he had been - so there, hmph. Her own mix of excitement laced with nerves, she smoothed her hands over the skirt of her dress as she turned off the vacuum. Smoothed out the part of her hair and cleared her throat before she slid the chain and turned the lock, presentable and normal once more by the time she opened the door.

"Welcome home!"
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#3
 Presentation mattered, but that didn't make it a consistent priority. Loretta stood like a gem in an eggshell-washed wall of stone. The apartment was drab despite her attempts to brighten it, every bit an escape route. But this was the means and they were the end.

 He took her into his arms, seizing her lips in a desperate kiss, so starved of her affection that every bit of contact felt like a four-course meal. "You look stunning." Making up for the house, which was at least very very clean. "God, I've missed you. Tell me everything. I want every waking moment from the time we parted to now, dreams too."
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#4
 It was a lot, it had hardly ever once not been a lot, but that didn't mean it wasn't comfortable. A weighted blanket, a tight and constricting hug, she pecked him on the cheek a couple more times for added measure before she shut the door behind him and motioned towards the couch. "I'm afraid there isn't much to tell that I haven't already mentioned. Vampires and Were's - oh my." Not that that wasn't good and exciting on it's own.

"I want to hear everything first - did you see who bought the house? Did I miss anything horrifically interesting?"
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#5
 Their joy was reciprocal, an energetic feed that went round in a loving, affectionate loop. Trying to coax her onto his lap, he linked his fingers around her waist, shameless in his fussing as he pressed a kiss to the side of her neck.

 "A pair of house flippers. They're going to ruin it, but it was a endurable loss when I thought of being free to come join you." He wanted to hear more about her interactions with the preternatural citizens of Mountainside, but he supposed that could all wait. He had something to show her, after all.

 "There is one new development I left out of our nightly chats." He said, punctuating the sentence with a cluster of delicate kisses along the crest of her shoulder. "Do you want to know what it is?"
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#6
 She thought about the creek of the floor when you first walked into the front door, how the banister of the stairs was chipped from when they'd moved in their bed. All the little things that were inarguably blemishes to the average consumer but felt like character traits as far as she was concerned. All of it washed away behind a coat of agreeable gray and some nice new faux-wood flooring.

 But that was a loss to mourn another time, honing in and focusing on the idea that he was withholding something or another. She stayed in his lap all the same, watched him lean in and soothe any perceived deceit as she sniffed. "Of course I want to know."
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#7
 For years Loretta preened in subtle and silent superiority. He’d argue that they’d always been qualitative equals, but quantitatively, Gideon fell short.

 Until now.

 And of course she wanted to know, Loretta being the one to stick her finger in the honey jar, swiping for a taste despite the bees that might sting. Covering her hand with his, he turned them so her palm was facing up.

 With a pastel flare of his irises, he nestled a marble in the fleshy crook of her hand. He concentrated, jaw tight as he worked to let her feel the weight, to finesse that reflective sheen so common with the smoothed, circular bead of glass. "Surprise."
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#8
 She allowed him to move her, frowned as she watched the shift in his eyes and braced herself for some sharp plummet of emotion. Glancing from her hand to his face in rapid succession, accustomed to the way his jaw worked when he focused acutely on something. A quick glance back made her tense and squirm a bit in his lap as she was quite suddenly aware of the marble in her hand.

 It had the proper weight and shine, rolled as she bent her wrist back and looked so incredibly standard that she found herself puzzled about what precisely he was showing her. A new power, clearly - but what did it mean? "You can ... summon things?" Perhaps he was limited as to size or nature, maybe they could only be round. It came with more questions than answers and the dull but blossoming sense of prickly dread at the idea that the playing field between them had been leveled flat.
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#9
 Summoning in itself would be impressive, but Gideon bolstered his pride by thinking his power even better. He didn’t fetch things, he created them, manifesting reality, however fictitious.

 Blinking, he let his shoulders slump forward, a dull ache blooming in the center of his temple. The marble disappeared.

 "Illusion. It’s weak right now, admittedly, but isn’t it impressive, Etta darling? Now I don’t feel quite so behind. We can be equals." A sweet, innocent question with a challenge underneath.
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#10
 He could ... trick people. She felt the corners of her lips twist as she tried to find some sort of balance between a natural frown and a smile that would be too forced and obviously fake. It was a juggling act, finding something that wasn't a scowl as she reached out and gingerly pushed back his hair so that she could press a kiss to his forehead.

"Equals. Of course. Wonderful, lovely."
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