The grass swayed peacefully shinning silver in the moonlight that flooded the field. The night was cool, dark falling, a deep, velvet blue swept over the empty sky. No specks of light shine through the thick blanket yet.
The two boys waked side by side, slowly making their way across the grassy space; they traveled close to each other, but not in sync.
Hoth secretly looked up at Paece from behind his hair, his lashes brushing his bangs in the process. Paece was slightly taller than he was, with mor experienced eyes that could better hide emotions than he himself was capable of; although, they both knew Hoth could read Paece like a familiar book. His protector caught his eye by chance, and avoided his gaze. He was not embarrassed, he just know what he was feeling, and his couldn’t honk of anything decent today to create conversation.
It hadn’t always been like this. When they had first met, talking to each other was easy, and thoughtless; Peace had never thought about it before. When he passed the age of 8 he realized that he was being inappropriately formal with the youthful keeper. He had t adjust to a much more fancy, complicated tongue and address Hoth by his title. It was a bit strange a first, and sounded strange, but eventually it became his default way of speaking. Shortly after Hoth’s mothers’ death, Paece remembered that the mourning boy started to ask if he would speak to him with formalities forgotten. Confused, he obeyed his orders in the moment, but would forget the next time they spoke. Eventually, it was routine for Paece to call out, then for Hoth to correct him and Paece to apologize, re address him, and carry on. The elders and other members of the society frowned when they heard us conversing so familiarly, but Hoth was rebellious, and they were all he could rebel against.
He vividly remembered the day when he began to consider that he might have had feelings for Hoth further than they expressed. Joshua was in the kitchen cooking some fruity dessert with syrup, and was teasing Olivia about how he had seen her talking with a boy the other day. He remembered Olivia blushing and shouting at Joshua, embarrassed, and muttering to herself as she violently pounded a chicken breast.
‘Man, it sucks that you can never have a girlfriend.’ Joshua had said to him;
And honestly, Paece had never thought about ever having a relationship before this moment.
‘But I have friends…’
‘Yeah, but having a love is different…like knowing that the person you want to hold wants to rest in your arms. It just sounds nice.’
He and Hoth had come a long at from that day. They had gotten part the awkward nature of their relationship, and focused on sharing moments with each other. As they trekked through the field together, Paece thought that his was one of them.
He came to a stop and shifted his weight.
“This is a nice spot.” he spoke softly. Hoth nodded in agreement and they lowered onto the ground and sat in silence. Paece looked over at his keeper whose hair shone in the light that hung high in the sky. Laying back he sighed.
“If I knew any constellations I would point them out.”
“That’s way to cheesy… I can’t imagine too doing that” Hoth replied, almost in a playfully.
It was silent for a moment as the two layer next to each other looking up at the world.
The keeper rolled onto his side, burying his face into his protector.
“I don’t want to go back…” He whispered hoarsely, barely loud enough to be heard by the boy holding him.
Peace lifted his hand to the others head and stoking his hair, spoke painfully.
“Neither do I.”
“Here, they don’t kill you… Do you think I could change it back in the Jupiter?” Paece smiled; Hoth was always had a spark of optimism and hope, no matter how dim the situation.
“I would like to believe we could try.” Paece hesitated before he continued, but decided to go out on a limb.
“Here… I can hold you… We can be alone. We can be together. Do you think I would want to return?” Hoth frowned into Paece’s warm jacket that covered his chest. Who wouldn’t want to leave this place? It’s like paradise compare to where they had come from; and that place was their home. A place they were forced to keep their secret well, and hide away. Not be themselves or face fatal consequences.
” I can’t abandon my people, and you cannot leave me; We are trapped…” ‘But at least we are trapped together’ Hoth thought, but failed to speak it. He readjusted his grip on the protectors jacket, gripping it tighter.
“You know that I love you. I will follow you wherever your dreams take you.”
“I am allowed no such luxury.” Hoth whispered. “You know more than anyone else that I cannot dream. Even if I did dream, or long to have them, It’s only painful to imagine something I will never be able to grasp.”
“I think…..I don’t think that’s the reality.” The Protector brought his hand up to rest on Hoth’s head, who was nestled into his chest, seeking earth, and comfort. Hoth always did that kind of thing when he was sad; bury his face into something, whether it be his hands or a blanket or my neck.”I had dreams that I thought I could never achieve, but I did.”
Hoth looked up at me, a questioning look on his face, his eyebrows bent into slight confusion. I avoided his eyes, and instead focused on a piece of grass that had grown strangely…amazing the way it bent…fascinating.
“I have you.”
I could feel my cheeks heat up with embarrassment as to how blunt I was; I kept my attention on the strand of grass. I couldn’t bear to look at him…
“Please don’t ever leave me…” Startled at the uneven voice muffled by my jacket, I looked down at Hoth.
“I don’t want to die.” He sniffed and curled deeper into me. “Please don’t…leave…me…h-ere…alone…”
‘He’s crying’, I realized. Mentally smacking myself in the face, I tangled my hands in his hair and hugged his body tightly, cursing at my late reaction.
“I would never leave you Hoth!” It hurt me that he was thinking about something so stupid. Had he been troubled about my loyalty to him? Had I made these thoughts arise in his head? Dammit! How could I have been so stupid, worrying him and not noticing! As the keeper tried to stifle his tears, I repeated myself, just to reassure him.
“I won’t ever leave you, nothing can keep me from you.”
“What if they find out?…They kill both of us.” Hoth whispered.
“They wouldn’t get the chance.”
I felt Hoth turn his head again, the warmth from his body now a radiator for me. I breathed in his scent, along with the crisp night air; it was nice.
“If we are banished, it is a curse, but it is a blessing to be banished with you.” He paused. ” I think that might be my dream; I want to be with you. I don’t want to have to care what other people think about me, or you, or us…”
“I don’t think there is anything more in this word I could want more than you and your happiness.”
“I care about you too…I…I-”
“I know.” I cut him off suddenly, when the thought occurred to me that-
I loved him.
I loved him so, so much, and I wanted nothing more than to be with him.
Of course, I had known this before, but I had never really deeply thought about it. I just knew that it wasn’t only my duty to protect the keeper, but it was my wish to protect him, and above all, to love him. The only problem was that no matter how passionately I felt about Hoth, the outcome of our relationship only brought bad things. The obvious sins of a protector and keeper having a romantic relationship (with each other no less), loving someone of the same gender were bad enough. The whole fact that it had gone on as long as it had, only made things worse. The ultimate punishment was execution, or torture before an execution. The most effective torture for similar situations involving forbidden romantic relations, have appeared to be one person watching as the other is inflicted with pain, or violated, whether it be sexual, emotional, or psychological; they are all truly horrid. There is also banishment, but it is rare, and considered a true miracle to those who have ‘sinned’.
I once heard the was a keeper long ago who fell in love with one of the messengers who occasionally stopped at the palace with letters regarding the conflict that was on the brink of war. When it did turn into more than an argument, he frequented the palace more, and he noticed the young girl watching him. He would smile warmly, and she would blush but smile shyly in return. They never once spoke to each other, but her mother noticed their gazing at each other, and immediately exiled the poor messenger, no older than the age of 17.
I suddenly became very nervous…
What if someone somehow did find out? What then? If they didn’t tell, what would they do? Worse, if they did tell a higher up, how much time would we have?
Worst case scenario, someone finds out. I fail to get Hoth and myself out alive, and we are captured. I have to watch as they do horrible things to him, and hear his screams echo in my ears. I either watch him die, and am killed, or vise versa.
If we are blessed with some almighty power, and are incredibly lucky, no one catch on. However, if someone has suspicions, and notifies a council member, I would have to flee the country with Hoth.
I tried to tell myself that it wasn’t a lie, I tried to believe that we could be happy; I really did.
But I knew just as well as Hoth did, that we couldn’t keep our secret under wraps for much longer.
And when it was finally unwrapped, whether it was slowly uncovered or painfully ripped apart; things were not going to be pretty.
And then, it dawned on me. Suddenly, but it wasn’t a surprise.
The time I had with Hoth…would be over soon, and I couldn’t do anything about it. Funny, Hoth was the keeper of time, you’d think he would have some soft of power to control lifespans. If we traveled back in time, could we live forever? I wouldn’t really want to live forever, but I don’t want to die. Maybe, if I died with Hoth, if I could hold him…it would be okay.
I stroked his hair gingerly once more, and huddled just a little closer to him.
“I’ll never let you go.”