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I'll Be Yours If You'll Be Mine by NelyafinweFeanorion

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The rich smell of coffee and the mouthwatering scent of baked goods hit him as Maedhros opened the door. The coffee shop was unique, Fingon had to admit. Artwork hung on all the walls and sculpture pieces were scattered between the tables. A girl was seated on a small riser near the counter, playing her guitar. The walls were painted an icy blue and the ceiling a much darker midnight shade with glittering stars embedded in it.

They ordered and then Maedhros steered them to a booth near the back. Fingon settled into the plush, sapphire blue banquette across from Maedhros, his hands wrapped around his steaming coffee mug.

They were silent for a few moments, soaking up the warmth.

"So your brothers work for you?" Fingon asked.

Maedhros leaned back, resting his head against the banquette behind him. "Just a few of them. I have six, you know."

"Six!" Fingon exclaimed.

"Six. Maglor and the twins are at the store part time. Maglor does a great job for me with the vinyl. He finds all kinds of albums at sales and he knows so much about the music. It's rare that a customer leaves the music section empty handed." Maedhros took a sip of his coffee. "I only have him on weekends though, due to school."

"And the twins?" Fingon asked.

Maedhros sighed. "They work for me mainly because my mother wants them out of the house for a few hours on weekends but they need supervision. They get into a fair amount of mischief on their own." He took another sip of coffee and then added "My brother Moryo is still in college at Cuiviénen—he's getting a degree in Accounting so he does the books for me."

Fingon did the quick math in his head. "And the other two?"

"Curvo's at Cuiviénen as well—studying Mechanical Engineering. Tyelko works as a Strength and Conditioning Coach for the hockey team—also at Cuveinen."

"So he's out of school then too," Fingon said, somewhat unnecessarily.

"Got his Athletic Training degree two years ago and then got certified for strength and conditioning. He played hockey at Cuiviénen so he had the contacts there," Maedhros said.

"My sister is in the Athletic Training program at Elmoth. She plays field hockey for them."

"Sounds like she and Tyelko would get along," Maedhros replied.

"Maybe we should get them together," Fingon said, with a laugh. "Aredhel usually scares her boyfriends off."

"Tyelko keeps falling for girls who are totally wrong for him—these quiet, ethereal types who look like the wind will knock them over or serious, artistic ones that totally confuse him."

Fingon laughed again. "Aredhel is the same. She finds these bookish types who have no idea about or interest in sports or these brooding ones who just exude doom and gloom."

"Sounds like we should get them together over winter break. Is she coming home then?" Maedhros asked.

"She'll actually be here next weekend," Fingon said, his pulse quickening a bit as he contemplated his next words. "She's got a field hockey match at Cuiviénen but she's staying with me." He swallowed and then just kept on talking. "You could come watch the match if you like, with your brother, and maybe we could get dinner after?" He had said it. He hadn't stumbled over the words and now it was out there between them.

"What day?" Maedhros asked, pulling his phone out of his pocket.

"Next Saturday. At two. Match should be over by four. She'll need to clean up, obviously, but we could head out to dinner after that." Fingon spoke casually but his pulse had not slowed down, if anything it was speeding up.

Maedhros looked up and met Fingon's eyes. "I'd like that. I'll text Tyelko to see if he's free. Maglor should be able to cover for me at the store or even Moryo."

"Great," Fingon was tapped out of words, now that he had succeeded in scheduling another meeting with Maedhros. It had been awhile since he had felt so exhilarated in someone's presence. It was nerve-wracking but in a good way.

"So, I've told you about my brothers and you've told me about your sister. It is just the two of you?" Maedhros leaned forward over his coffee.

"No, I've got two brothers. Turgon is a senior at Cuiviénen-Ethics and Public Policy. He was thinking of law school but that's on hold for now. I think he's hoping his internship next semester gets him a job." Fingon took a sip of coffee and continued. "Argon is a senior in high school. He's brilliant-wants to study medicine but hasn't decided where he's going to go for undergrad yet."

"Everyone in my family went to Cuiviénen," Maedhros said. "Even my parents."

"Mine too. Aredhel is the first to go away to school," Fingon replied.

"I'm just hoping the twins get in," Maedhros said, shaking his head. "They aren't exactly the most studious."

"They usually count the legacy factor, though. You've had enough family go there so I'm sure they will take them."

"It helps that my dad is on the Board. At least I hope it helps," Maedhros looked down at his coffee again.

"I think . . . " Fingon started. "I think my dad knows your dad."

"Really? How?"

"He's a partner at Mithrim and Hithlum. I think they worked on a case for your dad," Fingon said.

Maedhros face went very still and Fingon noticed his hands were white-knuckled as they tightly gripped his coffee mug.

"For my grandfather's wrongful death suit," Maedhros said, his voice very even and very low.

Fingon felt like an idiot for bringing it up. "I'm sorry. I never should have brought it up. It was a stupid thing to say. I'm so sorry."

"No, it's fine. Everyone knows the story and we're grateful to the firm for handling it so well," He paused and looked up at Fingon. "It was just a rough time for us."

"I'm sorry," Fingon repeated, berating himself for mentioning it. Couldn't he have found anything else to talk about?

Maedhros reached across the table and put his hand over Fingon's. "Don't worry about it. It's in the past and you didn't mean anything by it. I know that."

Fingon's hand tingled where Maedhros' skin touched his own. He looked down at Maedhros' hand as it lay over his. Hardly breathing and surprised at himself for doing it, he slowly lifted his fingers off the table and intertwined them with Maedhros' coffee-warmed ones, giving his hand a quick squeeze.

Maedhros leaned further forward and a slow smile came across his face as he gently squeezed Fingon's hand back. Neither one pulled away and they stayed that way for a minute, blue eyes meeting silver-gray ones.

Maedhros broke the silence but not the handhold. "Do you want to go for a walk around the square?" He tilted his head as he spoke.

"I'm fine here, I think," Fingon said, squeezing Maedhros' hand again.

"There's also a lovely park by the river. It's quite peaceful there," Maedhros said, his thumb rubbing lightly over Fingon's.

Fingon tilted his head in an unconscious imitation of Maedhros. The town square was definitely not as intriguing as sitting in the coffee shop holding Maedhros' hand, but the river walk was a different story.

"I like that idea better. I haven't been to the river walk for years."

"Then let's go," Maedhros said. "We won't have too many of these nice fall days left, now that it's November."

Fingon shivered. He hated the cold winters, ever since he had fallen into the lake years ago while ice-skating with his family. His father had pulled him out and his mother had wrapped herself around him for warmth but he had never forgotten the frigid blue world below the ice as he had plunged in, when the ice had unexpectedly cracked under his feet.

He had clawed at the edge of the ice, unable to get a grip, shards breaking under his frantic fingers. His heavy winter clothes had dragged at him, preventing him from being able to keep his head fully above the water. It had been such a relief to feel his father's strong hands gripping him and pulling him out but he would never forget the chill as he lay sodden and heaving on the ice.

The hospital had warmed him and declared him unharmed, not even frostbitten, but it had been a long time before he could look at the frozen lake or think of the pleasant side of winter. He hadn't skated since then.

All this ran through his mind and he almost forgot he was sitting at a table in a warm coffee shop. He shivered again and pulled his attention back to Maedhros, who was looking at him with a concerned expression.

"Are you all right? I think you drifted away from me for a moment there. Is it too cold?" Maedhros asked, the concern apparent in his voice. "We can stay here, where it's warm."

Fingon smiled at him, banishing the thoughts of the ice as he looked at Maedhros. "No, it's fine. I'd like to see the river and the park. You just got me thinking about winter. It's not my favorite season."

"Understood. I feel the same way. But really, it's fine if you'd rather stay here. It's your day off—I don't want to make it miserable for you." Maedhros had a crease on his forehead that Fingon wanted to reach out and smooth away.

"Seriously, I want to go. " He pulled his hand reluctantly from Maedhros' to stand and put his jacket on. "Show me this park of yours."




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