Therianthropy: After Burdened

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An Understanding: Shara

“Restful times hu?” I chuckled as I slipped my pants back on. “Now who lied again and told us that?” When he didn’t respond, I managed to turn around and look at him just as I slipped my straps over my shoulder. “Next time, you go hunting, I promise I’ll come.” I swore as I watched him continue eyeing me, and not because I was getting dressed. Before he could keep protesting I hadn’t eaten enough, I pressed, “come on, you know fresh kills are better. You can’t expect me to go from not eating, like we’ve been doing, to eating the whole thing all at once.”

He groused a bit more under his breath before ultimately letting it go, but surprising me by switching to, “so, still thinking Ben’s a spy from, what was it again?”

“Oh hush,” I scolded, lacing our rings together along with the rest of our fingers as I began pulling him back. “I can still tell he’s hiding something, but honestly I can respect that. He’s friendly, and I would have been lost in there for days if we hadn’t run into each other. Apparently he grew up here, so at least now I know why he knows this place so well.”

“So why did he have a map back?” Al demanded with an eye roll. “And what was he even doing away from here?”

“Didn’t get that far,” I shrugged him off, “but my best guess, he ran away here for a reason. I like him.”

“Because that’s what every guy wants to hear his wife say,” he muttered to himself.

“Oh hush,” I repeated, knowing he was only playing this up.

We walked back, happily swapping even the mundane details of what we’d been up to without the other. Not unusual, we received some odd looks as we passed, mostly for the fact that the two of us kept flipping between all three tongues that we knew. Half the time we didn’t realize we were doing it, but it made for some interesting looks from onlookers.

We finally made it to our room when that deep set look in his dark eyes finally asked what he really wanted to say this whole time. “It’s good to see you smiling again. You should hang out with Ben more often if this is the result.”

I at once felt my lips ebbing back instead to the expression I’d instead been carrying, a sort of neutral mode that tried not to show anything. It scared me for a moment, when had that become my default without my noticing?

In fairness, he’d been looking much the same way. This had been the first real conversation exchanged between us since we’d been here, both of us trying our hardest not to talk about one thing had lead us to not really talking. Really, I wasn’t even sure what there was to say, how to even bring up in conversation what I knew would weigh me down the rest of my life. Every passing breath where that was still true wasn’t exactly easier, but more familiar than the last, at least leaving me free to focus on other things.

Realizing he’d caught me lost in thought, he pulled me to one side, and gave me a quick kiss before leaning back with a smirk.

“And what was that for?” I demanded with a small smile.

“I love you,” he tried to play off his moment by putting on an old teasing voice that I’d missed hearing.

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