Freyrík had long ago come to realize the gods rarely intervened in the lives of men, no matter what prayers or sacrifices were made. Yet only recently had he come to see their indifference as a blessing, for when the gods' great shadow fell upon you, it might well blot out the sun.
Which was how he found himself in the darkness now, tucked down in the canopy bed of his traveling tent with the man—the elf—he loved. The elf he'd sworn to see safely home. The elf he was now escorting to the one place more treacherous than even the darker forests: the High Court of Aegea.
"No," Ayden said, and none too gently, at that. "How many times do I have to say it? I'll not run away without you."
Freyrík rolled over to face him, glad for once of the elfglow in the dark tent, wondering if Ayden could see him back in a light that was not—according to the elf—really there. "You know I can't leave."
"Then neither can I. Go to sleep."
Before Freyrík could try a new tack, Ayden rolled away. For a moment he thought the elf angry, but then Ayden pressed his bare back to Freyrík's chest and tugged Freyrík's arm over his waist. He held to it with both hands as if he suspected Freyrík might take to pacing. Which, admittedly, was tempting.
"I can hear your thoughts roiling," Ayden grumbled. "Sleep."
As if he could with the dangers of the morrow looming so. "Not until you've heard me out."
Ayden sighed but then pressed up tighter against him, his arse grinding against Freyrík's groin. "Fine. Speak." Another wiggle that would have ended all conversation were Freyrík not so anxious. "But know my thoughts are not on your words."
Freyrík clenched his fist, his forearm flexing beneath Ayden's grip. 'Twas all he could do not to push the elf away and shake some sense into him.
He startled when Ayden's hand snaked between them, probing. "Perhaps your thoughts aren't, either?"
And gods befanged, but those questing fingers raised evidence to support Ayden's theory. A moment's trying to coax more from him, then another. Freyrík grunted and pulled Ayden's hand away before he lost the will to stop him.
Ayden hmph'd and did not try again.