Chapter 20 - Tira
Playing up the whole miffed and slighted attitude, I consented to go have an "alone" talk with my elfie, grabbing his arm as I marched past him out the door, in case he had ideas of skipping out on said requested alone talk. I wouldn't put it past him, mind you, even if he is the one that requested it. These elfies are strange creatures with even stranger thought processes.
"No, no, not yet. We're not in the right spot yet." I interrupted. I wanted to hear what he had to say, but the setting, the moment, and my nerves had to be just right. I led him over to the cute little carved bench in the mini-flower garden. I had given Raina that bench…one of my best friends had carved it, and when I saw it, it was just screaming "Raina!" at me.
"Ok, sit. Talk. Therapy session has begun."
He sighed in what sounded like amused exasperation. "Alright, well, first things first I'm sorry. I should not have taken my anger and frustrations out on you in that manner."
"You know, when you say it like that, you make it sound like you should have done it in some other manner. That's not very reassuring."
"Tira, can we be serious?"
"I thought we were being serious. See, this is me being serious." I put on my poker face, which is a really good one. But I couldn't resist, and had to raise an eyebrow.
"No, this is you deflecting, which you're quite good at."
Pot, meet kettle. I snorted. "I'm good at deflecting? And you're what, completely honest 24-7?"
"I…well, no, but…"
"But nothing." I huffed, crossing my arms and leaning back against the tree the bench was situated in front of.
"Ok, look, I didn't bring you out here to fight some more. I…what do you know about elves?"
Now that question really had me raising an eyebrow in disbelief. "Care to rephrase that to a less open-ended question? Because what I know can fill a book. In fact, it did, which is how I know it. But that's neither here nor there."
Another sigh, and something tugged at me. "What do you know about elven couples?"
"They're monogamous, they're forever, eventually they may mutually separate and live apart though they are still married. That sort of stuff."
"And anything more personal?"
"Well, I know that elven parents share a bond with their children…"
I had no clue where these questions were leading, or why he felt the need to ask them in the first place. I was not wanting, needing, or expecting a science lesson.
He fidgeted, and I held back a smile at the sight. This was serious time. Finally he sort of turned to me, angling himself so he was facing me, but still sitting, and picked up my hand.
"Well, you know Dan and I have a bond, of sorts, with each other?"
"Well, an eleven couple also, like the bond between a parent and child or twins, develop a bond, where they can often sense feelings and the like."
"Ok, and how does this bond develop? Is it a time thing, or a sex thing?"
He blanched at the word sex, and I really wanted to laugh, but held it in. First time a guy I'd spoken with was afraid of that…but then, most Earth guys are horn dogs, and elves are…monogamous. They have one person, one love, and that's it, forever. I can't necessarily say that's a bad thing, either.
"No, it's…it is a soul thing."
"Alright. And what does this have to do with me, or an apology? Speaking of which, I didn't accept your badly phrased apology from before, so you need to do a better one that does not make it sound like you want to blame me."
Lots and lots of exasperation. It was written all over his face, and swirling all through me. We butt heads, a lot. Made me wonder why I adored him so, but I don't think there's a good reason ever for someone liking someone else. It's not pheromones, or things in common, it just is.
"Look, Tira, I…I love you. I want to have with you what my parents have with each other. I want…no, I am yours, forever, irrevocably. I…I just…say something."
"Wow. Alright." I was off my stride, as I hadn't seen that one coming. "Um. I sincerely hope that wasn't a marriage proposal, cause it was not at all as I imagined."
"That's all you have to say?"
"I didn't say that was all I had to say. You just laid the whammy of all whammies on me with that, you know. Even I, alas, am not infallible and can be surprised. Give me a minute."
He was…looking at me in such a childish, hopeful way, and it was a little weird, considering I was feeling things I didn't think I was really feeling, which was confusing.
"Alright. So, let me get this straight. Elves develop at any point in a relationship with their significant other a bond, much like the bond you and Dan have. And now you are saying you desire to work on making such a bond with me. You want, with me, what your parents have."
"Weird?" He repeated, looking a little crestfallen.
"Yes, weird. In a good way. I mean…this is sort of like marriage, but…not?"
"I suppose you could say that."
"It's like…a better way of…knowing, understanding, your partner?"
I thought about this for a second. Anticipation, hopefulness, confusion…where was this coming from? I gasped.
"Oh by all the somnambulistic bunnies in Mexico!"
"What?" He sounded genuinely confused, and I supposed my exclamation of surprise would do that to most anyone. Not many people refer to Mexican sleep-walking rabbits.
"I…you…we…I think…you're confused right now, hopeful…you…I don't know. This is…oh, pop-tarts."
"Pop-tarts?" He echoed. I had the boy good and confused, but that wasn't my main concern. No, these bizarre not-feelings were my concern.
"How…how does it work? I mean, how does one create a connection?"
"I…I'm not sure, really. It's not one of those explainable things."
"Because…wow. Like…wow." My phone buzzed and I dug it out, confused as to who would be calling, texting, emailing…
You should escape before it happens…it can only bring pain and misery to you.
Wow…Elladan had become Mister Downer…I snorted and began furiously typing back.
The only way you could know what we're talking about is if you're nearby, so either stop lurking and show yourself, or go away, or I'll tell Raina and Ro.
No you won't. You wouldn't want to hurt Raina, and I can't…Ro doesn't want to see me.
Apparently he had given up on convincing me of the doom that had befallen his brother and me, because he didn't answer.
"Who was that?"
"Oh, just a friend." I waved it off. Snickerdoodles, why did Dan have to be right? I couldn't bring myself to tell Ro or Raina about the lurking idiot because I didn't want to hurt them.
"Anyway, you were about to say something about…bonds?"
"Yeah, like…can't you feel it?"
He smiled, his entire face lighting up. "You're not…angry…then?"
"Noooo…should I be?"
"Well, no, but…" he shrugged. "I mean, with you I'm never quite certain what might set you off. You're…volatile. A volcano ready to blow."
"I know. Isn't it great?"
"And, you know, I'm sorry. Really, sincerely. My problems…are my problems, and I should not lay them on you."
"Yes, yes, that'll do." I grinned. "But, you know, one of the many facets of a relationship is being there, understanding and helping and soothing and just being. So, in a sense, your problems are my problems."
"If that is true, then your problems are mine." He tried to trick me.
"Yes, but since I'm the Mary Poppins in this relationship, there are no problems to lay on your shoulders."
Liar. I am such a liar.
"Yes, practically perfect in every way."
"Yeah, keep telling yourself that."
"Pssh, whatever. You just don't want to admit it."
"There's nothing to admit. Although, you are practically perfect…for me. You and I, Tira, are made for one another."
"As hokey as that sounds, I love it. Keep buttering me up boy and I may actually marry you yet."
"Oh relax. What is it about the male species that gets all stupid over the word marriage?"
"That was a rhetorical question."
"Anyway, problems. What is your problem today? The doctor is in."
"Come, come. Spill, my lovely."
"Alright…well, my problem today is lack of understanding on the reason or reasons you have such a dislike for your properly given name."
"Yes, well, that's more of my non-problem than your problem-problem. You had wonderful parents, I didn't. Enough said. Next problem."
He gave me an irritated look. "Okay…I have a problem with your non-problem."
"Well, since it's a non-problem, there's no problem to have a problem over, so thus there is no problem, and time's up! I'm hungry, I think. Let's go find some food. Besides, I totally want to eavesdrop on whatever conversation your brother and my sister are having."
"Yeah, conveniently forgot about him, didn't you. Ha, just wait til I tell him that. You're in for it now, lovey."
"Estel couldn't take me if I was in a body cast."
"Ha, we'll see about that."
I jumped to my feet, lost my balance and fell into his arms. Ah, how perfect. Like, chick-flick movie perfect. He shook his head with that cute little smile on his face and then leaned down to give me a kiss. I like kisses.
Setting me back on my feet he took my hand in his and decided to lead the way, possibly to keep me from falling over again. Ha! Head over heels…in love. Or just hungry. Or even both. Although, if he thought this romantic, slow amble towards the house was happening, he was delusional.
I wanted to run. So I did. Dragging him along behind me.
"Tira…" He shook his head when we finally stopped at the door step.
"What? I said I was hungry. Never get between a girl and her food. At least, never get between this girl and her food. Not that I want you getting between any other girl, food or no food. That's going too far."
"Ah, ok. So, what's really the deal? Dinner was not that long ago."
"And what, is there a rule that says a girl can't want a snack between meals? I thought so. Come along."
I know he had to be shaking his head, or some other exasperated manoeuvre. But come on, why did he want to dig into my past so much? It was totally different when I did it, I was trying to help Raina and Dan, but to do that I had to learn why Ro and Dan were at odds, thus needing to dig into his past. It made perfect sense when one thought about it.
We entered the house together and I made a beeline for the kitchen. I had to eat or drink something now, if only to keep him off my back. Scanning the refrigerator's contents I found where I had hidden it the chocolate Hershey's bar. Perfect. Chocolate fixes almost everything emotional, just like duck tape fixes things physical. It's all good.
Grabbing the bar I opened it and wandered into the living room. Raina and Estel were in there chatting, but I noticed Raina had her hand on her phone and my heart wrenched. I wanted to tell her, I did, but I didn't want to hurt her, and telling her would hurt her. Catch-22. I hate them.
"Hey y'all, how's it?"
"Fine, and you?" Estel gave me a huge grin.
"Quite well, thanks. Where'd the elf go?"
"Bathroom." Raina filled in.
"Ah, I see."
"And how did your conversation go?"
"Very nicely, thanks. I learned more than I really needed to know about bonds. Anywho, what are we doing now?"
"Just hanging out."
I nodded at that. I could do that. I noticed her hand tighten around her phone as it vibrated. Hmm. And what doomsday message was he preaching at her now?
She sighed and typed something, then set the phone aside. Hmm.
"So, I say we have a big ol' story night. I'm certain, absolutely certain, there's plenty of stories we have yet to hear, as well as some I wouldn't mind hearing again. You can start." I whirled on Elrohir, who thought he was going to sneak up on me.
"Ah, I don't…well, there was that huge snowstorm when Aragorn was just a little kid. It was wonderfully amusing…"
"Oh, yes. I remember that." Estel's eyes lit up. It was very cute, and father actually came out and played with us."
"Well then, by all means, tell!" I got all comfy in a chair and looked expectantly between the brothers.