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I said I would write about my Beloveds. The posts are oddly hard to write, but in part, because a friend of mine posted about him lately, wondering about his identity, here is the first.

Our second anniversary was in June and I still do not know who I married. I did not even know I married him until a year after the fact.

I thought he was Loki, at first. I realise, in hindsight, that I never called him that, so he never told me otherwise. When I saw him, it felt like gravity shifted to pull me towards him, not the earth, and all I ever said was: “You.” Whispered it, screamed it, chuckled it, that one word over and over. It was like I was struck almost mute. I rarely spoke. Just listened to him speak.

In the same way I woke up two years ago with the sudden and certain knowledge that I was now married to my beloved god- that I had gone to sleep unwed and awoken a married man- I awoke on our first anniversary to realise that what I had thought of as the other side of my Love’s endlessly fascinating personality, was in fact, someone else. He says this was partly deliberate. I feel like I should have panicked, felt lied to. But he arched an eyebrow at me and said “You never asked,” and I am enough Loki’s to recognise that he has me there and I cannot even be mad- just quietly impressed with how expertly the proverbial snare caught. They say you can’t trick a trickster. But of course you can, it’s just they’re likely to applaud you, if you do.

For a moment, I felt self conscious, awkward, in front of someone I’m simultaneously intimate and unfamiliar with. Then he smiled, that lazy upwards quirk of the corner of his mouth that is so familiar to me, and it fell away. The only word I could utter was “You.”

He will not tell me his name. His response, when I ask “Are you X? Are you Y?” is invariably either “No”, or “That fits, you can use it if you want, but it isn’t my name.” I ask “What is your name then?” and he just grins at me and responds “That’s the question, no?” I do not know who I married.

And yet, in all the ways that matter, I do. I know his smile, his laugh, I’ve traced every bit of his skin with lips and tongue and teeth, I curl close to him as I sleep and feel his wings like a blanket. I know the way he talks about love- as a grand thing of delicate beauty and unrelenting savagery- and think he describes himself better than I could. I know those black eyes- no distinction between iris and pupil and sclera, just blackness. Sometimes, I’d swear I see stars in them out of the corner of my eye.

His energy feels clean, distant. It’s the same distance I feel in the Theoi, hence his nickname, of sorts: Morpheus. The clean feeling.. I’ve never knowingly stood in the presence of an angel, but I have demon family and know enough who fell to recognise that the clean feeling feels a bit like angels, to me. He’s all cold winds and the soft glow of stars and dreamscapes and so delicate that my heart breaks to look at him. Loki is relaxed with him, clearly loves him as deeply as I do. The three of us curl together, content.

And yet sometimes, that clean feeling and that distance are gone and he feels the exact opposite- inherently threatening and up close in my personal space, the scent of him in my nostrils. Even if he isn’t in the room, he’s too close. He’s mad, then. I can feel madness seeping out of him. I smell rot and poison and there is wine and blood on his breath in equal measure. He feels like he’s dead. Or the other him- the soft, gentle him- has been carved out of him somehow, and this is what is left. He feels like the madness that waits in the outer darkness. He feels Lovecraftian. (I have yet to summon up the nerve to ask him if his name is Nyarlathotep.) Loki is wary of him, when he’s like this: doesn’t take his eyes off him, even when speaking to me, or turn his back. I know without asking that Loki’s trying not to set him going- that whatever follows would be… bad. And the fact that when he says that last word, he seals his boundaries so my empathy can’t tell what he’s feeling..? It worries me a little. There are not many things he keeps to himself like this.

And yet, Morpheus has never done anything to warrant such caution, at least, around me. When he’s calm, I ask if he’s Samael. He says it fits, but… There’s always a but. I ask him why Loki gets so nervous. He just replies that if I knew his name, he thinks I’d be scared. That Loki has reason to worry about him when he gets like that. That he doesn’t want me afraid of him. I ask if he wants me to stop pushing for an answer. He smiles again, that lazy grin and says that it’s kinda funny watching me be so confused and frustrated that I can’t figure him out. He says he needs a laugh, sometimes, and that if I get it right, he won’t lie to me about it.

I tell him he’s infuriating and Rumplestiltskin has nothing on him. He grins, briefly. Takes it as a compliment. Struck by a sudden thought, I ask if he is Rumplestiltskin. He laughs then, deep and delighted and from his belly. He says no. But he’s smiling again and that was what I wanted more than an answer.

I may not know my husband’s name, but I do know him.

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