Sunlight was not very welcome in my room on certain days. I had gotten into a habit of taping cardboard over it, and then forgetting to take it down. Cayn usually remembered to get rid of it, but he didn't always choose the best times to remember. I squinted up at the morning and wished ill things upon it.
It had been a week or two since that night in the field, and Cayn had spent most of it with me, which wasn't really much of stretch from how things had been before. Aside from some guy I'd never met, he didn't really have any other friends he was more than 40% comfortable with. Emily counted, a little, but he'd never really let her get past 55%. They were a little annoyed with me, but Lyra understood, and Roman never complained.
I reached up to pat Cayn's arm, burrowing a little deeper into the mess of blankets. He gnmrffed and pulled me closer against him. We still hadn't
taken the biggest leap, but I didn't mind. It was scarier than I'd anticipated, even with Cayn as the one involved. Every time he did something braver than just kissing me, I had to remind myself that no one was forcing him to be with me.
And to be honest, I was pretty sure he didn't mind either. In his special way. That is to say, sometimes I made him cool down and he'd get this frustrated look that was simultaneously relieved. He wasn't ready either. I didn't know which one of us would be ready first, but I hoped it would be him. It would certainly help me feel better about the whole thing.
Still, we did
we did get pretty damn intimate. I blushed just thinking about itor maybe because he was kissing my neck. He usually woke up before me, and then he'd get straight to waking me up. I grinned and squeezed his wrist. "Good morning, Oie
mnum." He wrapped himself around me like a koala bear. "G'mornin'
I turned my head to try to look at him. Sometimes I suspected he held me like this on the mornings he'd drooled on his pillow and didn't want me to know. I didn't care if he drooled on anything, I just loved the fact that one of the pillows was his. "I have to go brush my teeth, come on." I patted his arm.
The muscles jumped slightly. "Mmmnnaaah. You don't need it."
"Yes, I do! Goof."
"No really, I swear you sleep with a mint in your mouth." He let go enough to turn me around and caught me in an unexpected kiss. I never minded his breath in the morning, I was still too infatuated to notice it much, but
He moved back, combing his fingers through my hair. "See?"
I chuckled, shaking my head. "You're so ridiculous
"And smelly. Bleh. You don't need it, but I have to brush my teeth before my breath leaps out of my mouth and murders me." He grinned and kissed my nose, then started getting out of bed. It took a little longer because I caught him from behind and caressed his shoulderblades with my cheek. He was so soft.
Morning had really started though, so I let him go and followed him to the bathroom. It might have been nice to have two sinks, but we took turns spitting, so it worked out with just the one. Even though Cayn always pretended he was going to spit on me. I grabbed a towel off the rack and flicked it at him. "Vacate, you silly man. I've gotta shower."
Ever since he'd started staying over, he'd made a habit of leaving me to shower alone, and I did the same for him. Not once had he said, "
Can I j-join you?"
I blinked. "You what?"
"It's okay, you don't want tonever mind." He backed into the door, rattling it in its frame.
"Wait." I took his hand and pulled him away from the door. "I didn't say no."
The look on his face would have had me if I hadn't already decided.
Lunchtime. I was out of groceries, so there was nothing to cook, and I wasn't in a big fat hurry to suggest going out. We didn't go out very often anymore, although that was largely due to the fact that Cayn kept us busy in the apartment.
Shaking the pinkness off my face, I closed the cabinet door and walked over to hop on the counter and shout down the hallway. "We're out of food."
"Oops," he called back. For a guy who didn't care much about his clothes, Cayn certainly took a long time to dry his hair and get dressed. I wondered if he was okay.
"D'you mind waiting while I run out and get something?"
He rushed out of the bedroom holding up his jeans with one hand and a shirt in the other. His belt was hanging from the loops on one side of his jeans, the metal bits clanking despondently. "Why? Can't I go with you?"
That made me grin. "Of course you can."
After that, we got out pretty quick. I behaved myself and helped Cayn get dressed instead of the opposite, only pausing to kiss him once or twice and deliver a little pinch when he wasn't expecting it. It felt like
like I had everything I could ever want.
He rocked on the balls of his feet while I locked the door. The key still stuck in the lock most of the time, but the air wasn't quite so wet has it had been, so it wasn't as bad. I pocketed my keys and smiled up at him.
I didn't try to hold his hand. I had once, and
it hadn't ended well. He'd let me keep it until we'd gotten to the lobby, and then he'd snatched his hand away. I still didn't know why, and I had no idea how to ask. It was easier just to let him work it out in his own time.
At least he was smiling, not acting too awkward. We ambled down the not-indoor stairs and chatted about where to go for lunch, not really deciding anything. "It's been a while since we last went to McKay's
Cayn shook his head. "No, let's
let's go somewhere else."
"Like where?" It wasn't as if there were a lot of restaurants we were both willing to go toalthough there were a couple we both refused to eat at. Fast food was not a bylaw in either of our lives.
He shrugged and looked at just about anything but me. "What about that French place you like?"
"They're only open for dinner." I didn't want to ruin the moment we'd been having, but he was starting to make me nervous. "We could just get some groceries and"
"No, no, we should
we should go." He wrung his hands and looked around. There weren't very many people walking around, but he wouldn't look at them either. The urge to break into a run in his direction started muddying up my thoughts. "Somewhere. M-mmckay's sounds okay."
I wrinkled my nose at him, but didn't get a reaction. "You're sure."
"Yeah. Yeah, I think. I'm sure."
I didn't believe him, but he didn't seem like he would argue and let me win, so I shrugged and walked a bit faster before he could change his mind.
The giant asparagus had just come into view when I heard Cayn let out a strangled gasp. I looked in the direction he was staring and saw a scrawny guy about Cayn's age with absolutely none of his charm or good looks. Still, he had a well-meaning slant to his entire being. He was also waving to Cayn.
"Who's that?" I asked, trying not to notice that Cayn had moved significantly further away from me.
He tried to put away his horrified expression, and mostly managed. "Er, Al. My-m-my friend."
"A friend who makes you look like you want to kill yourself?"
Al reached us before I could get an answer to that. He gave me a curious look, then turned to Cayn. "Hey, it's been a while. Who's your friend?"
I decided to save him the urghing and umming, and held out my hand. "Van."
"Cool. I'm Al." He shook my handweak-ass grip, what the hell was this guy living as? A hot dog? "So seriously Cayn, what's been going on? I haven't seen you in weeks!"
Cayn did the urghing and umming. I left him to it and watched. Then, at length, he said, "H-hanging out with Van."
"No way!" Al held a weak little lily hand to his forehead and sighed. "I thought you were going after that chick you were wetting yourself over."
My eyes narrowed automatically. "You what."
Cayn spluttered. Al laughed. "Maybe it's not that big a deal, but a few weeks ago, this guy was going on and on about this classy lady who'd thrown herself at him. Couldn't stop talking about her."
Everything below my face was shutting down and locking in place. "Is that so?"
"Come on, man, you were talking about
wait." Al put a hand to his chin and gave me a very rude searching look. I wanted to kick his ass through his head. "You know, that girl shared a lot of traits in common with you
I almost screamed at him. I wanted to scream at Cayn. A GIRL?! A fucking girl?!?! "Fascinating."
"No really. Oh, hell, is she your sister?"
God, there was nothing for it. I didn't even bother looking at Cayn. "Yes. Be more polite when you talk about her."
To his credit, Al did blush and look very embarrassed and contrite, but I still didn't like him. "I'm sorry man, I shouldn't have
Sorry." He scraped his hair back with a pansy hand. "Wh-what's her name?"
I nearly gave my name again, but I didn't think I'd be able to do it and not break down right there. I jerked my head and thumb towards Cayn. "Ask him." Then I left. Not running, just walking rather quickly.