That was the first thing that Kaeori became aware of as the fogginess of sleep began to clear from her mind. It was one of the most incredible things that she had ever felt; the kind of warmth that you just wanted to bury yourself in and stay there forever.

With a sigh, Kaeori edged ever closer to it's source. She plastered herself against it, molding her gentle curves around the warmth's unforgiving hardness. It was then that it began to move against her, momentarily dislodging her from her current position. But she was not deterred, immediately clutching it to her once more.

"Stay still." Kaeori mumbled sleepily as she buried her face against it once more.

Just as she was about to fall back to sleep someone replied. "I couldn't breath."

Kaeori's startled grey eyes immediately shot open...and it was to one of the most beautiful man that she had ever seen...Kale.

My Mate.

"You didn't forget about me...did you, puppy." It was obvious in his deep voice that he knew she had...and she, herself, had to admit that she had...for a second at least...

But that did not stop her from an indignant mumble. "Of course I didn't."

"No matter." Kale replied as he rolled over to sit on the side of the bed. "You'll get used to it."

You'll get used to it?

Kaeori immediately bristled at the indifference in his tone, silently rising from the bed in indignation. She clutched the sheet to her to shield her nakedness and headed for the changing screen across the room. She knew that there would no doubt be a change of cloths awaiting her there.

"You're angry." Kale stated as he arose to wash in the basin of water that was left out for their use during the night. Kaeori only ignored him, keeping her placid grey gaze focused on the changing screen. She knew that she should forget her anger and make use of the water left to them both but would rather go a day covered with yesterdays sweat then be around him at the moment... but when she arrived, Kaeori was pleasantly surprised...

The maids think of everything. Kaeori smiled to herself as she rounded the changing screen not only to discover a change of cloths but a wash basin for herself as well. The maids were, in her opinion, the most brilliant people under her care. They thought of everything that Kaeori could ever want but then went an extra step further to see to her with extra care for her comfort...like with the basins for example. They put one out for him and one out for her to wash in by herself.

It wasn't common for a couple to use separate washing basins in the morning...at least that's what she herself saw her parents do. That had been why she had instructed the maids to set out only one for her and Kale; thinking that they could use the simple sharing of their water as a bonding experience...that had obviously been a bust.

But, thankfully, the maids were far more brilliant than Kaeori was and thought of what she might want if her plan had failed; preparing for it where she had failed...

"Why are you so angry at me?" Kale asked softly, the gentle splashing of water accompanying his words. Kaeori knew that he could just use the bond and find out for himself and it surprised her that he didn't considering how easy it would have been for him to do so.

"It's as if you don't care-" Kaeori murmured before she could stop herself, a crimson flush creeping up from her chest to stain her cheeks. She didn't know why she had let that slip out the way that it did but...it was as if, once he asked, she could not keep it from him. It was a scary thing to contemplate...was this a permanent change...or was it just temporary because of how new the bond was between them?

Kaeori was so lost in though that she did not notice when Kale stepped behind the screen to watch her wash; did not notice the way his eyes burned with passion or the way his hands trembled as he fought not to reach out to touch her.

For that, Kale was thankful. It was foolish to allow a woman to have that much power over a man...and even more foolish to let her know about it. She could so easily use that weakness against him if she chose to do so, and if not her...his enemies were sure to take advantage of it.

"If I did not care, I would not say anything." Kale murmured, his rough voice even scratchier to his own ears. That would be all that he would allow himself to say. To say more would put them in jeopardy.

Kaeori jumped at the sound of his voice, swinging around to face him with a startled, "Oh!"

But Kale had found other things to catch his interest; mainly the water drops that ran in little rivulets down her smooth, tanned skin. It was as if they were all in a race to see which one could travel the farthest, and, before he could stop himself, Kale knelt down and licked a spare drop from her hip; swirling his tongue seductively over the mark he had left there the night before.

You have far more power over me than you know. Kale thought to himself as he stood once more, briefly meeting her molten grey eyes. He knew that he would willingly drown in those soft pools if he could...but there would be no chance of that as long as his brother lived. He could not afford to let his guard down.

"Get dressed." He murmured as he headed for the door. "There is much to be done."

With that said, Kale left her and it was as he was walking down the stairs to the great hall that he heard Kaeori's soft sigh of frustration. He felt for their bond to see that it was not sexual as one might have thought but her frustration at not being able to figure him out.

Kale's lips twitched as he fought the smile that threatened. She hated not knowing things...and she knew that he had a great deal of secrets to reveal. It was those secrets that would ruin everything...especially if she knew about them.

The less you know, the better, Little Puppy.