Chapter 7 (Quetzocoatyl [pronounced Lee])

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Quetzocoatyl lay still, exhausted. Charlie sighed contentedly from underneath and Quetzocoatyl rolled off him and nuzzled his ear. Charlie slung his arm over him and they lay there, slowly drifting into a contented slumber.

A breeze rolled through the open window and with it came sharp claws on Quetzocoatyl’s chest, waking him. His eyes flew open to find Millie’s nose almost against his as she sniffed at his face. She delivered him a sharp nip to the end of his nose before clambering off and curling up against Charlie.

“Ow!” He yelped in shock, bolting upright and glaring at the ferret who stared back smugly. Charlie’s eyes opened slowly, “Huh?” he sat up and the thin blanket pooled at his waist, effectively covering the ferret. His eyes widened as he looked at Quetzocoatyl’s face. “You’re bleeding,” He gasped.

“Damn,” Quetzocoatyl swiped the back of his hand across his face and it came away smeared with blood. Charlie stared at the blood on the back of Quetzocoatyl’s hand, “What happened?”

“Your ferret bit me.”

“Huh? Millie? Where is she?” He looked around and Millie’s head popped up cheerfully from beside him. Quetzocoatyl aimed a sour look at her. The tip of his nose stung. Charlie frowned at Millie. “She’s never bitten anyone before.”

“That you know of,” Quetzocoatyl muttered and Charlie turned to him with an eyebrow quirked. His eyes lit on Quetzocoatyl’s nose and softened. “Do you need any antiseptic cream or anything?”

“Nah,” He shook his head, “I should probably go back to my room anyway.”

Charlie turned to look at the clock and Quetzocoatyl’s eyes followed his. It was five o’clock. “Well, okay then. I’ll see you around...?”

Charlie’s last words hung in the air, questioning. Quetzocoatyl hesitated and then smiled.

“Yeah, it was nice, uh… meeting you.” His grin was mischievous and Charlie laughed.

He sat up, making Millie leap behind Charlie, and pulled his jeans on. He didn’t bother with his shirt, merely crumpling it in his fist as he walked out the door. There were a few other students lounging against the wall in the hallway. Their conversation stopped and he felt their eyes on him and he walked back to his own room. He didn’t care; he’d been with enough of them to know that they wouldn’t bother him.

He hesitated in front of his door, taking a deep breath before swinging it open. Much to his surprise, the room was empty.

He tossed his shirt onto his bed and stood shirtless in the middle of the room, unsure of what to do next. Flopping himself backwards onto his bed, he stared despondently, sideways, through the window as a pair of scruffy birds chased  each other around the snow-covered trees outside. His mind began to drift and his eyes slowly closed.

The door opened, waking Quetzocoatyl. It was dark outside and a sliver of light shone through the door briefly before it was blocked. He sat up, squinting as he made out the figure shuffling in through the doorway.

“Eric?” he mumbled running his hand groggily through his hair.

Eric hesitated, his hand resting on the door handle. “I thought you’d be asleep.”

His voice was soft and Quetzocoatyl had to strain to hear what he’d said.

“Uh, I was,” He glanced at the alarm clock next to his bed, registering with surprise that it was just after midnight, “Why are you back so late?”

There was moment of hesitation before Eric said, “I was with a friend.”

Quetzocoatyl got to his feet and stepped towards his friend, concerned. He sounded completely unlike himself and as he drew near, Quetzocoatyl could smell bourbon. “Hey, are you alright?” He asked, reaching his hand out only to have it swatted away.

“Right as rain, as good as two rabbits. I’m fine.” He glared at Quetzocoatyl, stumbling over to his bed. On the way, he stumbled and tripped over his own feet, landing heavily on his side. Quetzocoatyl rushed to his side to see if he was all right.

“No,” Eric snapped, “Leave me alone, I don’t want your help.” Quetzocoatyl hesitated, his hand outstretched. His heart wrenched.

“I said leave me alone!” Eric shouted, hitting Quetzocoatyl’s hand away. He stood up and stepped away from Eric, tears pricking his eyes. He stood by the door, a lump in his throat threatening to strangle him.

“Fine,” His voice was hoarse as he stepped out and walked to Charlie’s room.

He knocked softly on the door and was greeted by a mumbled “come in.”

He stepped in and Charlie sat up, rubbing his eyes groggily. “Do you mind if I spend the night here?”

Charlie peered at him, smiling when he recognized who it was. “Of course you can stay.”

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