Chapter 45: Question

“You like Valois, don’t you?” Gunther asked.

“‘course I do. He’s great.” Mortimer dug through his pencil case; a blue furry thing with big googly eyes glued onto it. The eyes rolled wildly as Mort’s fingers delved in search of a 2B.

“So do I,” Gunther murmured, and his son gave a little snort.

“No you don’t. You luuuurve him!” He elbowed his dad, who gave him a rueful grin.

“Yeah, okay. I know, I know. I’m soooo embarrassing.”

“Yep!” Having found his pencil, Mort poked his tongue out at Gunther and started sketching.

“Actually,” Gunther began, hesitantly, “I’ve got something to ask you about Valois.”

Read the chapter here, then please return to this post if you have feedback.

11 responses

  1. *squeee*
    To many emotions, Valois who is always helping Gunther keep their relationship discreet, now crying with happiness that Gunther wants to marry him, publicly so the world can know. That not all their relationship is in the shadows and the veil. The perfection of Gunther pointing out he is on one knee not two. I believe I have mentioned my love for Valois being vulnerable, so their clinging to each other at the end, it’s beautiful.

    I love how Gunther is with Mortimer that they hug so openly and talk to each other. Not many teenagers happily hug their dads but Mortimer willingly and without prodding goes and snuggles his. Also Mortimer is adorable so there’s that.

    Marsha is awesome. Even more awesome than the teaser suggested. Go Marsha.

    Now for more happy squealing over this beautiful chapter. Well done!

    • Thank you so much :) I was so happy with how this chapter came out (especially after the emotionally-rough couple of weeks I’d had leading up to it).

      The answer was always, of course, going to be ‘yes’, but I wanted to emphasise Gunther’s worry and uncertainty to a level where the reader–even having seen my wedding venue preview pics–doubted whether Valois would say yes or not. Poor Gunther; he really had no idea, and his relief at the end was palpable.

      Mort, bless his heart. God, I love that kid. So hurt by his mother’s chilly treatment of him, he clings to his dad like a lifeline. He and Gunther are always going to be close, because Gunther tried to be there for him when Cornelia was not, and he’s desperately tried to make up for the year that Mort was in boarding school by being as loving a father as he knows how (and then some). The interactions between them are some of my favourite scenes to write.

      I sense a lot of Marsha-love out there XD She’s fab, isn’t she? Cool as a cucumber and pretty resourceful.

  2. Marsha is so perfectly discreet its unbelievable. I like her. I think you mentioned it on tumblr but will we be seeing her again or only this once? I also like undignified, vulnerable, and inelegance from both Valois and Gunther. They are too cute for the world when they are that way. And clinging. That clinging is the best.

    • She is. She’s wonderful. She’ll probably only appear this once (although I might squeeze in another appearance if Gunther sees her in the street and gives her a thumbs-up when she raises a “Well? Did he say yes?” eyebrow at him or something – lol!) Although hey, he might invite her to the wedding! ;)

      Oh, that little sniff Valois gave! It was one of those snot-n-tears sniffs; completely undignified and SO unlike his usual elegant self. That’s why it hit Gunther so hard. Valois all-but broke down. :’)

  3. It was a great chapter but my instinct tells me this is wrong. I still feel Valois is up to no good and Gunther has fallen in to deep. I really hope I am wrong. However it was again, a great chapter.

    • Thank you! Well, we all know Valois has done something terrible that he’s not admitting to, so things aren’t as rosy as Gunther thinks they are :-/

  4. Our poor Gunther was a wreck for most of this chapter, but it was all worth it when Valois agreed to marry him. I love that Mort is so supportive of whatever Gunther needs to be happy. Marsha was the perfect saleswoman to help Gunther through his insecurities and maintain his privacy. Love her!

    I’ve been accustomed to seeing Gunther vulnerable, but it’s pretty rare to see Valois like that. The photo of him with his hand over his mouth as he wept made my eyes tear up as well. Yes, Valois — Gunther loves you so much he wants the world to know! No more hiding. :D

    • This was probably my favourite chapter to write, for so many reasons. How much Mort loves his Dad, how awesome Marsha is, and most of all how moved Valois was when Gunther popped the question. He knows how important it is for Gunther to retain the respect of the townsfolk, so he was prepared to play the part of the discreet lover for as long as necessary. The fact that Gunther was first willing to do that magazine photoshoot (look out for that coming soon) and then to marry him in a public ceremony just knocked him for six, hence the tears. The Veil promise aside, it was the one thing that proved to him just how much Gunther loves him.

    • Awww, thank you! It’s one of my favourite chapters, too. The father-son love between Gunther and Mort, as well as poor Gunther’s uncertainty and sincerity. I get melty every time I see that screenshot of Valois weeping with happiness <3

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