Orlenth woke up the next morning extremely warm and feeling more than a bit disgusting. He smiled though, when he felt the arm around him and decided he didn't want to get up to bathe just yet after all.

Rysem mumbled something in his sleep and tugged Orlenth closer, who couldn't resist laughing.

His husband shifted behind him and yawned. "What's so funny?"

"Nothing," Orlenth answered. "I'm just happy."


Orlenth's smile softened and he rolled over to face Rysem. "Yeah. Finally."

"It took us an exceptionally long time to consummate our marriage, didn't it?"

Orlenth, despite the fact that they were alone in the room together, turned red. "I—"

Rysem sighed and clamped a hand over Orlenth's mouth. "For the last time, Orlenth, it does not bother me that you haven't been with anyone before. Why would it?"

"Because I don't know what I'm doing?"

Rysem sighed. "We need to learn how to talk to each other."

"I thought we were getting better," Orlenth replied. "I mean, we talked about that instead of letting it worry me."

"It doesn't seem to be working."

"It is," Orlenth replied, shifting closer to Rysem and resting his head on Rysem's collarbone. "It is."

"Then you need to be willing to believe me."

"Yeah, I guess. And it helps that I'm not so scared to tell you things now…" Orlenth sighed and leaned against his pillow. He grinned. "You'll love me anyway, right?"

Rysem rolled his eyes. "We should get cleaned up and get dressed," he said. "We have things to do today."

"Like what?"

"Because there's work to be done." The fingers in Orlenth's hair trailed down to the back of his neck. "And I think perhaps there are some people you'd like to inform of this development."

"I'm sure they can figure it out for themselves," Orlenth replied. "Especially when my things are moved to your room."

"Who says you're moving to my room?"

Orlenth gave him an exasperated look before climbing out of bed. "Are you going to come bathe with me or not?"