(contains mentions of death/suicide & alchohol and mild references to mature themes)
Out of all the people they had ever stayed with, there had been only four that had kept them longer than a day.
The first person Eivind had ever stayed more than one night with was a tall young man with skin so pale it was nearly blue and colorless hair that fluttered around his face like a fairy field in the moonlight. He had asked Eivind to keep him company for the night, saying he was cold sleeping alone.
Oh, his hands had shaken with cold when they had grasped them that night, but they had also shaken with pleasure. The pale strands of his hair that had fallen in his face had seemed to glow in the dim room.
The next morning, when Eivind’s hands touched his as they were about to say goodbye, the pale blue veins running across the boy’s fingers made them stay for just a little longer. The pale boy’s lips thanked him for the rest of the day. But after that, when rumors started to fly, they knew they couldn’t linger any more.
And they had stuck to it, after that. One night, and no more. One night was all they ever needed, anyway — until the boy who painted pictures with his words, every syllable that came from his mouth a perfectly colored sound. His love was rough, but oh, it was worth it.
The boy didn’t even have to ask Eivind to stay. They had already made up their mind from the moment their mouths touched, the tangerine color rubbing off onto Eivind’s lips.
Three nights was how long they had stayed with this boy, three nights of pain and pleasure. But when the boy began to fade away, leaving Eivind on their own, they knew it was time to move on.
It was so long after that before Eivind dared to stay another night. But one drunk night led to another, egged on by sharp, compelling words, and it was nearly a week before they realized the mistake they’d made.
The lover had tried to get them to stay, weaving desperate flatteries. When that didn’t work, they turned to insults, hurling bitter words at Eivind. Their educated intellect bought out words that Eivind couldn’t even begin to guess the meaning of.
But that made it easier for Eivind to leave. They walked out of the room while the lover was still launching harsh words at their back, their stride steadier than most drunk people could be.
They had thought they had finally found someone they could trust the night they slept with the boy with the golden-bronze skin, whose touch was rough yet gentle and whose voice could calm a tempest. To Eivind, he was a savior. He spoke calming words as they lay together, healing all of their wounds in the bed bathed by moonlight.
It was nearly a month that they stayed together, hidden away in the basement of an empty building. They shared everything they had with each other: drinks and kisses, stories and scars — and finally Eivind had felt safe.
It was nearly perfect, but like most perfect things, it ended painfully. The boy had come home one day completely changed. He yelled at Eivind, screaming at them to leave his place, this wasn’t theirs, why were they here? Even his smooth voice was gone, replaced with a hoarseness that both saddened and frightened them.
Eivind fled, waiting at the edge of town in hopes that he would be back to his own self again the next day. But the next day, when they looked into the dark room in which they had made peace with themselves and their lover, all that greeted them was the boy’s dead body.
The only thing that allowed Eivind turn around and leave without looking back was the hint of a smile on the corpse, a peaceful yet mournful hint of his fate.