He’s been working on and off on this project for a few months though it might be closer to a year if I really stop to think about it. Almost. At first it was just the four of us from the ‘old’ group though that’s hardly a term to use. I’d only known Eoghan for about five years and Yael hadn’t known him at all, Alexis was new to the two of us but it was just the four of us together. Then, when the twins and their sister entered our lives, he sketched them into the painting too. After that it was Armin and now Cyrille.

There’s a little bit of colour on everyone, as if he wants to make sure we all have our spot on there. The only one who actually doesn’t have any colour though is still sketched in is Zora. I know, in her own way, she’s part of this little group-almost-family of ours but she walked out, she went off and she doesn’t give us any news so it’s hard to want to picture her in with the rest of us, I suppose that’s why he hasn’t really coloured her in at all yet.

I don’t ask him about his methods when he paints or does art in any of its shape or forms. For the past couple of weeks he hasn’t really touched the painting, he’s mostly been busy sculpting little figurines. I know which one is me and I can tell which one is Eoghan and Alexis. The twins look too much alike without any colour to them to be able to tell which is why. I don’t know if he’ll add in our markings or if he’ll leave us looking as human as we are to everyone around us.

It’s rare for those marking, as they are, the be out and about, visible, even when it’s just us. I don’t even know if he has one himself. I have my tail though it’s been hidden for years at this point, I don’t think Eoghan ever told me what his was but he did tell me that all those born with gifts, those like us, having something that tells them apart from the mortal ones. It’s not always something big and overly visible but it’s there.

He even made sure to keep the figurines to a proper height. It’s strange to look at them that way. There is Alexis, tall and towering, Eoghan just a little shorter. There’s Cyrille, Armin and the twins. Yael seems to fall between Cyrille and Armin and I’m just a bare hint shorter than Armin himself. The twins are the shortest at this point but they’re still young, I think they might still have plenty of room for growing up. Though it’s just as likely they’ll stay as slight as they are now.

I knock on the door to his studio, a tray carefully balanced. It’s almost lunch time and I know he hasn’t stepped out for anything to eat yet. I’m aware I’m usually not supposed to be bothering him when he’s in there but the door is ajar and I know that’s the go-ahead I need. If his door has been completely shut I would have let him be.

There’s a slight shuffle and a ‘come in’ out of him, a mumbled note really and I carefully push the door open, just in case some fluffy four-legged ankle-wandering butt has decided to sleep behind it. Yael is sitting in front of the painting. It’s so long, that canvas, that it sits with two easels, one on either end of it. I move to set the tray down on a clear spot near his working desk. He turns to me, a brush between his teeth and I chuckle softly. That explain the mumbling.

He smiles through the brush and I snicker. He blinks, goes cross-eyed looking down at what I’m staring at and he blushes as he realizes that he is clinging to that brush with his teeth and he takes it from his mouth. “I honestly forgot that was there.”

“Well that just means you’re absolutely focused on what you’re doing now and that’s all.” I chuckle and kiss his cheek. I motion to the tray, some juice, sandwiches and a few pieces of lokum, some home made Turkish Delights, just sitting there, waiting for him. He smiles, his eyes bright and I wipe a bit of paint from his nose. “Just don’t forget to eat. I’ll close the door the way it was, just slightly ajar, that good enough?”

He nods and turns his attention back to the painting. It is coming along nicely, beautifully really. The colours are bright and clear. I know he has a smaller version of this one where we all seem to be wearing older clothes, as if from another life, another era more than likely. It’s just sketched so I can’t make out many of the details.

I leave him be, pulling the door almost shut, leaving it just barely ajar. Wide enough for a cat or two to sneak in should they feel like it. I don’t mind leaving him to work this way, it’s his passion, it’s what keeps him going and it’s the reason why we met at all so I’m grateful for that. I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.

I walk away, pondering my options. I could head into my weaving room, I do have another particular piece I’ve been working on and off on, it’s mostly several layers to go with one piece and I tend to manage one layer every now and then, mostly when I feel like it. I could just sit in the living room, reading a book with the hearth lit and warm, that might just be the better option at this time. I don’t feel like weaving.

When he comes out of his studio, he’s covered in little specks of paint. Nothing as bad as that one time he let me play with the paint by number—which I completely ruined—but still, it’s an interesting look for him. The eventual supper is in the oven and still has some time to cook so I have no worries about leaving it be while we head for the bathroom.

I know well enough that he could wash himself up just fine on his own but it’s so much better to have someone to wash your back, to make sure you do get all of the paint out of your hair and off your skin. At least, that’s how I see it!

He laughs as I unbutton his shirt, it’s as messy as the rest of him and it will go in the wash after we’re done. Once he’s bared to my eyes and mine only, he moves to the shower to get the water going and at a temperature we both are comfortable with. While he’s doing that, I slip out of my own clothes. I gather everything into a pile to make it easier to just drop it into the washer once we’re done.

I slip into the shower as he’s running a brush out of his hair to at least try to get the dry flecks of paint out of it. Once he’s done with that, he follows me, moving to stand under the main water flow. I change the shower effect, letting us have the waterfall kind and he breathes a sweet, pleased sigh. I know this is his favourite shower-type.

As he wets his hair and the rest of himself, I reach for the soap. I really have in mind to just help him wash up. Anything else that might happen is a bonus but that’s not why I join him in the shower almost every morning or every afternoon when we decide it’s about time to wash up. We just appreciate the ability to share this time under the heat of the water, it’s a bonding sort of thing.


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