The wagon where Carlton was staying was a bit of a step down from the large fluffy bed at Uncle Trey’s but we managed. More than managed, actually. I found myself lost in him.
After we finished I lounged happily, while Carlton made soft circles with his thumb against my arms.
“I missed you,” he said, “gods, Dorin was dull.” I smiled coyly at him.
“Does your intended not please you?” I teased, he groaned.
“She’s very beautiful,” he admitted, “but I think even after we’re married if I attempted what we just did, she’ll explode from scandal. Very prim.” I nodded, but he was smiling. He kissed me again and pulled me into a straddle. “Lotte says we’ll move on in a few days, but I want as much of you as I can get in that time.”
“Carlton,” I whimpered, as his hands slid to my thighs and then in between, “I really have to go, though.” He laughed.
“Come on, Athena,” he said, “I’ve been starved,” he nibbled gently on my neck.
“It isn’t like Dovetail,” I explained and tried to pull away, “they’ll actually miss me if I don’t get back.” But he held me, tighter. “Carlton, I’m serious,” he laughed.
“Darling, so am I,” he grunted. I pushed him back, a burst of strength, which lit up the cart. “What in the hell?” He mumbled.
“Don’t,” I said as he came closer. I didn’t know what the light was, but I was grateful for it. I pulled my underdress over my head and grabbed my dress and stumbled out.
“Athena, I’m sorry, I thought we were playing,” Carlton said. I turned and glared at him. And then my eyes grew wide, Aaron was standing behind him.
“I was worried,” Aaron said simply, “You don’t know the area,” my eyes filled with tears. He would hate me now, I’m sure of it. “Is something wrong, Sir?” Carlton looked at him.
“None of your business,” he said gruffly. Aaron smirked.
“No?” He said, “Lady Athena is my guest, this is my land, I’d say it’s at least partially my business,” Carlton’s eyes grew wide. “But you’re quite right, we don’t want to make a scene. I doubt Mistress Dufrey would appreciate her cousin’s distress, or me asking her to move along earlier than planned.”
“I’m sorry, Lady Athena,” Carlton said shortly and stalked off. Aaron looked at me and I swallowed.
“I know what you must be thinking,” I said, “but he didn’t, I wanted to,” I swallowed, “he’s an old friend.”
“If you say so,” he shrugged casually, “besides, it isn’t as though I’m not aware you can take of yourself.” He slid his jacket off and put it around my shoulders. I smiled at the gesture and we began walking. It was silent and the sun had started to come up. “Are you alright?” I nodded and he kissed my forehead.
“Yes,” I whispered, “you must hate me.” He shook his head. “Or think that I’m,” I sighed.
“I don’t judge you,” he said, “gods Athena, how could you think that?” I stared at him. “You seemed upset, is all. I’m not exactly a white knight, but when someone you care about is running from a large man half dressed, there’s a certain instinct.” I laughed and wiped my eyes.
“It’s silly,” I said, “I went to see him, we were together, kind of, in Dovetail. I didn’t want to,” I sighed, “you were talking about our lives changing.” I looked at him. “I don’t want,” I swallowed, “I want to let you in Aaron, I’m just, I think there’s something wrong with me.” I buried my face in his chest.
“There is nothing wrong with you,” he said softly. “You have every right to be careful with me. I should have been more careful with you.” I whimpered. “I’m serious, no matter what happens between us, we can’t just part ways. We have to work together, see each other almost every day,” he slid his hand through my hair, “but I couldn’t help myself.” I smiled at him.
“That was always perfectly obvious,” I said. He smiled and kissed me gently.
“I’m falling so very in love with you,” he said.
“Me too,” I said softly, I rested my head on his shoulder and then he leaned his head against mine.
The sun came up.