I’ve told you about my first kiss and my ‘first love’. But really none of these mean anything in the greater picture of things. Dylan was nothing compared to the man I had a crush on freshman year of the Academy. Thanks to Dylan and my mother the feeling of rejection prohibited me from ever confronting my crush. That and the fact that he was actually friends with Dylan.
His eyes were deep blue framed in a set of luscious eyelashes brought out with the eyeliner he wore. His lips were a delicate rose color that had to be colored on – I suspected a lip liner. He always wore neatly pressed clothes. He starched and ironed his jeans. There was never a snag or tear or anything out of place on his attire. His hair was raven black and perfectly in place even after he’d run his fingers through it.
Unlike Dylan, he wasn’t overly athletic, he did the minimal workload for our PE classes – he never looked like he sweated. He was smart and quiet despite the fact that all his friends were loud. He also liked the same sex which was a plus in my favor but by that time I was not going to be rejected again.
I had the opportunity once upon a time to tell him how I felt, but I didn’t say anything. It was the night before the 2002 Ad Aetetam – our rite of passage in the Venatori. There was a party on the rooftop. While I wasn’t exactly invited to the party, it was my spot and they were there because of me or rather because I had started the tradition of jumping from the top of the building and letting our abilities catch us or glide us to the bottom.
So I wasn’t invited but no one was going to tell me I couldn’t be there. I just would get tons of looks and glances that told me otherwise. I didn’t care I was only there to jump. And jump I did. I was always the first over the edge and I was back up in time to watch a fight break out.
There was a lot of pushing and shoving and the fight neared the edge of the building. One shove pushed another kid over the edge. I didn’t think about who had gone over, I just reacted. It was an 8-second drop and the kid was trying to use air but floundering. I caught up to him and wrapped myself around him and used my ability to slow us both before we landed in a mass of mud at the bottom. I had to think quickly and earth and water were softer than just soft earth.
We landed in a heap and when I looked over to see who was sitting in a puddle of mud with me I just laughed. He thanked me. He helped me up out of the mud as he introduced himself. “Dorian Vega.”
I grinned at him as he pulled me up and I was impossibly close to his body. I could smell the sweet comforting scent of vanilla and cinnamon and I could barely speak. I managed to get out. “I know who you are.” I shook his hand in mine, “Nox Sétanta.” His hand was soft and I wanted to feel more of him, see more. Through his button down shirt, I could see the outline of a tattoo underneath all the fine clothes. I tried not to bit my bottom lip but I knew I had failed when he grinned back at me. It was hard to explain the concept of using magic to dry his clothes but that’s what I did. I couldn’t return Dorian to his perfect state as before but at least, he wasn’t dripping wet.
He thanked me again as his friends were exiting the door to the ground. They were loud and completely ignoring me. Dorian looked back with a shrug and went off with his friends. I could have said more, but I didn’t. I should have, but it takes me a little longer to find the courage to step to the edge and jump.