“So,” she murmured, her head against his chest, his heartbeat pounding in her ear, “what next?”
“You’re asking me?” She could hear the way his chuckle rumbled and then caught. “Well. I think we could start with another kiss.”
“That sounds very nice.” She sat down on the floor and tugged on his arm, encouraging him to sit next to her. The carpet was soft here – two layers of throw rug criss-crossed. It made for uneven walking but kept the place warm.
Not what she should be worrying about at the moment, either. She looked at Amrit, considered the logistics, and squirmed until she was sitting in his lap, straddling him.
He pressed his hand against the small of her back, holding her close, and gave her a wry smile. “This, I admit, I never thought would happen. Not with you, maybe not ever again anywhere. Not that I’m complaining…!”
“Well, that’s a first,” Mieve teased. She saw his expression start to darken, his nose wrinkling, and ducked in to plant a kiss on his lips. “I’m glad you’re not complaining.”
“Me too.” He looked a little startled by that, enough that he repeated himself, a little more slowly. “Me, too. I’m glad I’m not — I’m glad I’ve got nothing to complain about.”
“There will still be work tomorrow,” she warned him — reminded herself, same thing, in the end.
“I’ve never minded the work. Keeps me busy. I mean, if you wanted to keep me busy some other way…” He grinned down at her.
“I imagine I could manage a little bit of that,” she allowed. “If you think that would hold your attention.”
What was she doing? Well, she suggested to herself, maybe she was kissing him. That sounded like a good idea, so she twisted in his lap and kissed him again.
He made a warm, throaty noise in the back of his throat that she found sent little shivers up and down her spine. His hand snaked inside her shirt and for a very brief moment, Mieve had a very pre-war sort of I am not dressed to be undressed sort of feeling.
Neither was he, and still a bit stinky from the exertion and the woods, she reminded herself. WHich gave her an idea. “You said you needed a bath… I could use one, too.”
“You can go first.” He sounded a little hurt. She suppose it sounded like she was trying to cut things off here. “I’ll get the water all heated up for you.”
“I was thinking… it’s quite a large tub. Bigger than you’d expect, in a cabin this size.” She forced herself to sound casual, even as worried as she was that he’d take that wrong, too.
“I can heat up a lot more than a tub… oh.” He looked at her face, and then looked again. “Oh, really?”
“Even for your gigantic height, yeah. Plenty of room for two.” Now she grinned at him, because his expression looked anything but reluctant.
“I’d like that.” His voice had gotten husky again. “If you would…?” He brushed his hand lightly against her cheek. It was a surprisingly tender gesture from him, and it made Mieve’s stomach flip-flop oddly.
“It’s not the sort of thing I’d offer if I didn’t want it.” She didn’t want to sound snappish and forced her voice level and friendly again. “So… shall we?”
“Yeah. Yeah, let’s do that.” He scooped her up in his arms and stood up all in one movement. Mieve clung to his neck.
“Amrit!” She did not squeal. Her dignity insisted that it wasn’t a squeal. “What are you doing?.”
“Going to the tub.” His grin was far too mischievous for her liking. It made her cling just a little bit more tightly to his neck. “I would’ve thought that much was obvious.”
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