The next day was one of those slow crawling types. Not in a bad way. It just seemed to stick in places. I woke up and climbed out of bed and Cayn didn't even pause in his sleepy tossing, but when I got out of the shower, he was slumping against the door and wearing a mournful puppy face.
For some reason, I cared when he saw me naked. It wasn't exactly embarrassment, more a sort of thrill that sent extra blood to my cheeks. The fact that he could occasionally treat it like a casual thing actually made that feeling a lot strongerCayn didn't know how to act casual.
He rubbed one eye with the heel of his hand and gazed blearily at me with the other. I rubbed off most of the water still clinging stubbornly to me and wrapped the towel around my waist, just in case Cayn woke up a little and got distracted in an unfavourable way. "You don't have to get up yet," I said softly, getting my arm around his waist and opening the door that lead to the bedroom. "It's still early."
"Had to find you
" He reached across me to clasp my arm. "You left
"Just to shower, Oie." I bit my lip, then sat on him the bed, with some difficulty in getting him to let go. "I promise, I'll be right here if you need me." He still looked really upset. God, if I ever saw that scrawny little ponce again, I'd break his arm.
Cayn nodded bleakly and hugged his knees. I sighed and walked over to the closet, keeping an eye on him while trying to look like that wasn't what I was doing. It was easier if I attempted a sexier-than-usual walk. He seemed to like it, so I kept it up until I reached the closet. Laundry had been done, and I had my pick of things to wear.
Experience had given me a dress sense, which I didn't often use, but I had a feeling it might be appreciated now. Not that Cayn ever cared about clothes other than the question of whether or not he was wearing pants, but he did get the intrinsic effect of whatever I put together for myself. Especially when it came to my pants.
With that in mind, I took out the blue shirt that was missing buttons and set it aside. After I'd dropped the towel and started pulling on my boxers, I realized Cayn was watching me intently. I couldn't tell how awake he was without turning around, but he was definitely quieter than sleepiness or gloominess allowed. I moved my head slowly, hands still on the waistband of the boxers.
His face was priceless. His eyes were wide, as if trying to take in everything he could possibly see, and his mouth drooped a little without actually opening. Something told me he was holding in an embarrassing amount of drool. I grinned and covered my chest with one arm, reveling in the shyness that only ever came from being ogled by Cayn.
I reached for my shirt, but he knocked me off my confident path by sleeking up off the bed and intercepting my hand. He swallowed a few times, then actually kissed my fingers, getting his other arm around my waist and then pulled me up against him.
This was just a little different from our usual mornings.
Mostly it was the focus and
intent on his face. It was the same look he'd gotten every time he'd screwed up enough courage to do something before
On my birthday when he'd almost kissed me, and then when he actually had, and made everything perfect. It was my turn to swallow a nervous lump. Was he
He had started kissing up my arm, moving quickly past my hand and almost to my shoulder now. Although he might not have realized how silly it looked, he had a little grin on his face. He looked a little anxious, though. I had to pull him up to face me.
I knew I was smiling at him, but I wasn't
I wasn't ready yet. It made me feel like a jerk, but I couldn't do... that yet. I wanted to, definitely, but we'd both had a big kick in the face yesterday and the timing seemed
not right. "Cayn, Ican we wait?" It killed me to say it, and it was worse to see the look on his face.
"You don't want
?" He didn't seem to have the will to finish the sentence.
My chest tightened so that I couldn't breathe. "I do! Of course I do, but
I'mI'm not ready." It was the truth, so why did it sound like an awful stupid line? I could feel myself crumbling like bad cookie dough. "Please, I really want to. But I want it to be
I don't want it to go
Cayn looked stricken for a few more seconds, but then he seemed to process what I'd said along a different path, and actually smiled. He looked relieved. "That would never ever ever happen, Van
Besides, even if it's not perfect, we can
" He gulped and then wet his lips. "We can always do it again. And again, and again, and again
" He trailed off, kissing my neck and stroking my back.
It was difficult to argue with that. Especially since I'd just relaxed almost to the point of falling on the floor. I leaned into him and started participating.
I couldn't stop smiling. Cayn really had meant every single repetition of 'again'. We'd made it to the couch, though, which was almost out and into the world. Sufficient. It was a good thing I kept a blanket draped over the back of the couch, otherwise we would have been cold.
Well, Cayn wouldn't have. In spite of the very eager activity we'd been engaging in for a pleasantly long time, he was already growing his shyness back. I didn't mind though, because he was also tracing his fingers over my spine and nuzzling my collar bone.
"Aren't you tired?" I asked, panting a little. I had a feeling that I was going to be very very sore when my body caught up to me, but that didn't matter yet. The now mattered. I could have flown.
Cayn moved back to grin at me and shake his head. Then he reached up to caress my cheek with curved fingers, looking into my eyes with a searching intensity that almost scared me. Except, it was him doing it. So I just clasped his wrist and held back a nervous tremor.
"I love you," he whispered. His hand was shaking, but he didn't look away.
I felt my own grip tighten along with my throat. "I love you too." I'd done it for so long, I'd gotten good at it, but saying it opened up an enormous world I'd never considered. And he'd said it first. A few months ago, I hadn't thoughtany of this. I yanked him into an enthusiastic kiss, which he returned in spades.