Rock Beaumont thought his life was settled as his coming-of-age party approached. Trolls come of age at 50 and even though his lifespan is shortened by being half-human, he didn't come of age any sooner. With luck, he will find his true mate at his party and finally have someone who will love and accept him, even though he is softer and smaller than other trolls.
Never in his life did he imagine his mate would be anything other than a troll. He couldn't have guessed how the sweet, blind werewolf he met at a club would upset his world.
My office in the human town was nice. I built it myself. Just like I built my house and several other houses in the neighborhood where I and the rest of the fae in my town lived. Usually, they were houses for trolls and other large fae. I was well-versed in the ways to build sturdy homes that met code and also fit the owners.
Sitting behind my desk, I was pouring over the ledgers for my construction and renovation company. I hated this part of the work, but I didn’t trust it to anyone else. Inputting all of the invoices, bills, and checks was easy. It was tedious, though.
My life was coming together and I was eager for my fast-approaching fiftieth birthday. I had been a man in human eyes for over thirty years, but I would finally be a man in the eyes of other trolls. All I needed was my perfect troll mate.
On Fridays, I did all of the accounting work. I would rather be on one of the worksites, though. It made me feel useful.
I always made sure that my crew and I had weekends off. We all worked hard during the week and having two days to relax was the least I could do. Especially during the warmer months when we had more business.
The phone on my desk rang and I answered it on speaker.
“Beaumont Construction and Renovation. This is Rock, how can I help you?” I asked.
“You’re not still planning to go to that freak show tonight, are you?” Forrest’s gruff voice came over the line.
“Forrest! You figured out how to use a phone. Your mother must be beside herself,” I replied.
“Fuck you, Rock. Don’t go to this thing tonight. It’s just going to be full of sightseers. That vampire is profiting on the gawkers who want to see us in our natural forms. They’re just going to stare and talk about how ugly you are. You should come with me and Elb. We’re going to the forest village to meet up with some troll chicks.”
“Oh, so you want me to go with you and listen to them talk about how ugly I am while they stare.” I laughed. “I’m guessing you think it’ll get them in the mood?”
“I’m being polite. I don’t want you there. You may be ugly as sin, but you've got that charm and soft skin. Even our good looks can’t compete with that half the time,” he said.
Forrest and Elbio were the most attractive male trolls in our region. Forrest was a northern mountain troll. Elbio was a northern cave troll. I was half human and half desert cave troll.
Cave trolls tend to be shorter than mountain trolls, but I was short even for a cave troll. Forrest had craggy, rough skin that looked like a cliff wall. Elbio had slightly smoother skin with stony knobs on it. Mine was a little rough, like sandstone, but also soft. Like a human.
“It’s a good thing you don’t want me there because I’m not going. If they ask why I didn’t come along, just tell them I heard they were pretty pathetic and weak. I don’t want to end up with females I could beat in a fight. Tell them you almost changed your mind after you heard that, but you decided to give them a chance. A female who wouldn’t be too hard to force into submission sounds like a fun change. Since you normally only fuck hardcore warrior trolls,” I told him.
“See? Smooth as fucking butter.”
I laughed. “Had to make up for my face somehow.”
He joined me in laughing for a while. In general, trolls were assholes. It didn’t mean we were jerks all the time or constantly making fun of each other. A lot of the time, it meant we were too selfish or self-involved to care about others. We were unforgiving when offended and we didn’t take offense to the same things as most fae.
Most of the time, being assholes was simply finding ways to entertain ourselves at the expense of someone else. Humans might call it bullying, but it was love to us. If we registered you as a person we were comfortable around, you would end up slightly tormented by us. We were deadly to those we hated, though, and protected weaker fae whenever we could.
They still didn’t like us much, but we didn’t really care if they liked us. They weren’t trolls. Their opinions didn’t really matter.
“You sure you’re not coming with us? We can make them submit and make them be nice to you like they were human girls or something.”
“No. I want to go out to this club and have a few drinks without my glamour. It’s my last weekend to do whatever I want.” I told him.
“You really think you’re finding your true mate on your birthday?” Forrest snorted. “Damn, Rock, I didn’t think you were that stupid.”
“Make sure you invite half-troll females, too. There’s a good chance one of them will be my mate.”
“Yeah, yeah. You can’t be this desperate. They’re gonna eat you alive.”
I closed my eyes and leaned back in my chair. The goddess wouldn’t fail me. I believed in her. She’d find a female who would love me, even though I was ugly as hell. She wouldn’t care that I was weaker than other trolls. Maybe she’d even let me win dominance fights from time to time.
“A man can dream. I’m hanging up. Don’t let ‘em break your dick off.” I said and hung up the phone.
Males of other species rarely had sex with female trolls. The few who had barely escaped with their lives. Females of other species almost never willingly slept with trolls. It was dangerous for them to become pregnant with troll babies.
All of the half-trolls in our village and neighborhood were mothered by troll women who slipped up and became pregnant. The ones who were fathered by male trolls were usually taken by the royals in their area and given to other species to raise. Even mothers with half-troll children wouldn’t accept them. Like I said, selfish.
They usually said something like, “I have to deal with my own hideous mistake. I’m not dealing with someone else’s.”
My mother was no exception. She teased me constantly about my height and weakness. I secretly heard her saying it was because she could sense I was a true troll inside my squishy shell.
It made me harder inside than I was outside. I didn’t take it as personally as a softer child would have. It was something I saw my friends’ mothers do to them as well.
She never mocked my looks otherwise. I didn’t learn until I was in school that I was actually ugly. Even my friends and their mothers never said anything until I knew it. That was how I knew they cared. I was hideous and they all treated me as if I were the same as all the other troll children.
It took a few more hours to get my accounting work done. My guys came in to clock out and I made small talk with them. I didn’t only hire trolls. I hired all sorts of other creatures, but two of the rogue werewolves I hired had turned in their notice. They wanted to move closer to their queen.
I wasn’t mad, but it was the middle of our busiest time. That was why they told me they would be leaving at the end of October. They were all reliable workers and they treated me with respect. It would give me time to find replacements and make sure they had all the training they’d need.
Everyone was talking about their plans for the weekend. My crew was how I found out about the fae night at an all-species, all-ages club called The Neutral. I used to go there about thirty years ago when I was in my early twenties. It had always been a neutral ground for every species.
The fact that it was owned by a vampire made it that much more tempting for the young fae. Depending on the species, some fae were actually more appetizing to vampires. Younger fae had always enjoyed tempting fate.
“You gonna be there, boss?” Tripp, a dark elf, asked.
Dark elves were great for underground work. They fit into small spaces, didn’t get claustrophobic, and could move more easily in crawlspaces because of the ways their joints could bend. I had a couple on the crew.
“I was planning on going out and having a few drinks, maybe watching all of you make fools of yourselves with other species.” I chuckled.
“There’ll probably be other trolls there. Maybe it won’t be so bad for you.” He replied. “You might even find a girl troll who catches your eye.”
I shook my head. The trolls I hired were friendly with me at work because it benefited them. Outside of work, they treated me like all the other trolls did.
That didn’t bother me. Outside of work, it was their life, and being my employees didn’t mean they had to be my friends. I had my own friends. People who liked me despite how I lacked as a troll.
“Maybe. I’m just going out to drink, though. I’m not looking for anything else.” I told him. “Next weekend is my coming of age. I prefer to look forward to that.”
“Ah, I thought maybe a last one-nighter before you attached the old boulder to your back,” he chuckled.
“I get it. I’d rather have my true mate than a one-night stand. Though, I wouldn’t be opposed if someone is interested,” I replied with a wink.
Tripp laughed and patted my arm. “See you there, Boss. I’ll buy you a drink.”
I nodded and saw him and the rest of the guys off. There was a little filing to do, then I’d head out to dinner and get to the club when they opened. Then I could find a good table where I could see everything.
People-watching had become a hobby. I enjoyed it on the weekends when I wasn’t with my friends or out with women. I was a little relieved that part of my life would be over soon. Not that I didn’t enjoy sex, but once my true mate and I were together and knew our places, maybe it could be different from the violent, hard fucking I did with other troll women.
Maybe she’d let me be on top. Goddess, I sounded like a wimp when I thought of things like that. No one, other than a troll, would look at me and say ‘that man has never dominated a woman in his life’.
It was tough listening to my guys talk about their sex lives and knowing they would pity me if they knew about mine. Maybe my mate was half-human. I’d never been turned off by the combination. Maybe she was weaker and smaller.
I smiled at my musings. I’d just be lucky if she accepted me. I didn’t care what she was, as long as she wanted me as much as I wanted her.
At the end of the day, I packed up my things and locked the building. Getting into my truck, I breathed a sigh of relief. Next week, we were going to close early on Friday and everyone would get the following week off work. All paid, of course.
The guys might not be invited to my birthday celebration, but they were welcome to have the week off while I celebrated and, hopefully, connected with my mate. I’d be pulling overtime all week to ensure we got everyone notified and everything wrapped up enough that taking a week off wouldn’t negatively affect business.
For now, we had enough work that losing a couple wouldn’t hurt business. My mate would be impressed by my business and I would support her in anything she wanted to do. That was my goal and my pledge. If she would be mine, I would give her the whole world.