Prompt Short Story: Young Love (Interviews with a Sorcerer #4)

Falling in love…so we’re hitting the deep question today, then? Alright.

It can be hard for a supernatural to love. Maybe you fall for a mundane, and either can’t tell them or have to break the rules. Maybe you fall for another supernatural, but their own kind has to come first. Maybe you fall for another of your own kind – that often works best, but for a sorcerer? Not so much. We’re about 80% ego on a good day – it’s just more than can fit into one relationship!

Why the ego? We spend our early years being molded into vessels of power, and the only way to be one of those is to never falter in your self-belief. You waver, things fail, and a failed spell is never pretty. So we have to be completely and utterly sure of ourselves just to learn magic. 

As we learn, our ego grows. Bigger, better, more powerful spells. We can’t learn them without being completely and utterly sure of our power.

There’s 3 ways in which a sorcerer can cast more powerful magic than their actual power levels should allow: adrenaline, necessity, and ego. And only ego is ongoing rather than situational.

So it behooves us in every way to know, hair to toenails, that we are better.

That makes any romantic relationship almost impossible to navigate, never mind all the other issues. If your partner isn’t content forever making their talents smaller than yours, and stroking your ego – it won’t work.

And, not that it stops us trying, but I’ve certainly learned to keep well away from two sorcerers in love.

But, of course, you want a story. It’s difficult for someone as old as me, as detached as me, to truly recall the emotions of long ago love, but I’ll try.

So off we go, back to young me.

My teens were spent never looking up from my studies. Proving myself to everyone – me, teachers, other sorcerers, other students. It wasn’t until my early twenties that I had the bandwidth to even consider friendship, much less anything else.

After I was awarded the honour of calling myself a sorcerer – earlier than many who had studied from a much younger age – I decided to take a year off. I moved to the Secret City, where sorcerers live apart from this world.

Oh, the beauty of that place. It was more than I had ever dreamed. Magical flowers and trees cast light when the glowing sunorb was darkened for the night, and this was my favourite time to explore. I would leave my lodging room to wind my way beneath the floating buildings to a random area, create airsteps, and climb out above the city. Then I’d sit, dangling my legs over the edge, looking down at the city spread below. I might read there, or draw, or practice minor spells, or just watch the lights and people moving below.

One of these evenings, I chanced across a bar, where some of those I had studied alongside were drinking. They were clearly already drunk, and greeted me as an equal – a thing I had often silently longed for.

I studied them for a moment, and saw that none in the group were those who had treated me badly for any of my differences – some, in fact, had some of the same or other differences of their own.

So I joined them, and before the night was over, found myself drunk, happy, and stumbling back to the lodgings of a certain one of them.

I will change all names in this story. The tale is my own, and need not injure them.

This person I will call Deino. They were a smiling, dusky-coloured, blue-eyed, beautiful, person with no gender. And they had quickly begun flirting with me, telling me they had wanted to during our time studying, but saw I had no space for that at the time.

And now there I was, following them home. Stopping at every corner, every darkened alley, to kiss and grope over our clothes.

I was a virgin to all such things, but Deino taught me that night, at first gently and then – on my request – more roughly. We remained abed the next day and night, learning and tasting every inch of each other.

Deino told me after our first night together that they also had another lover, a man I will call Prex. He told me they had begun at school, and came together again regularly, between which times they were each free to pursue others.

I was drunk on sex and lust, and I told them that was fine. Secretly I wanted to show Deino that I was who they would want to stay with, but I realised that saying so would end what had so soon begun.

The next six months of my life were spent in obsession. I would spend every second I could with him, and sulk whenever Prex came around to take him from me.

Deino would return each time, after a week or so, and entice me out of my funk with gifts, sweet words, and the touches they had learned gave me the most pleasure. I would be taken out to the best shows, the best restaurants, the best bars, and then taken home to their bed.

I thought I would tear in two every time they left. It became such that even my time with them gave me pain, from the knowledge that Prex would return and take them from me again.

I thought I loved Deino, and I suppose I did. But this love was toxic, covered in desperate loneliness as they danced towards me and then away, over and over, making me doubt even my own sanity at times.

Eventually the day came when I couldn’t keep it in any longer. I exploded at them one night, when he told me Prex was once again coming to visit.

I cycled through rage, tears, begging, every emotion hurting more than the last.

And Deino? They let me. Until I was spent and collapsed into sobs, begging them to simply take me, and only me, the one who stayed, over the man who came and left them time and again.

Then Deino took my hands and looked deeply into my eyes, “Avay‚Ķ” he said gently. “I do love you. But I met him first. He is where my heart lands. His leaving hurts me, and you have been there to comfort me, but I can’t abandon him. Perhaps in years to come I’ll regret this, but I must keep on the path I’ve chosen. If you’ve come to the end of this, for you, then I must let you go. But it will be with love, and sadness.”

He kissed me, and we made love one last time. Then I left him. I went to my lodging room, packed my things, and was gone from the Secret City by morning.

I wandered the world, sometimes finding folk to help, sometimes finding folk to fuck, always moving on. Wondering if Deino would ever contact me, ask me to come back.

Eventually I became my own person again. I have loved, since, but I have never allowed anyone that power to hurt me.

Deino, I last heard, was eventually left behind by Prex. By then, my heart had long moved on and the news created nothing, none of the desperate love, lust, and hope of so long ago. They never contacted me themselves, but the last I heard – which was some decades ago – they had found themselves a healthy triad to be a part of. That’s for the best. I don’t think they’re cut out for monogamy – and they were always honest with me about that. The problems there were my own. I thought what they had to offer was enough, and it wasn’t, but I didn’t know that until I was already in too deep, and had to ride it through.

Some people are simply not made for the kind of love that lasts, that makes you vulnerable, that fills an empty part of you. I accepted many years ago that I was one of these people. I love with walls, and time limits, and I make this clear. If the other person wants or needs more, I simply leave before it begins.

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Writing prompt:

Team Cuddles Writing Prompt #1: She held my hands and looked deeply into my eyes, “I love you. But I met him first.”

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