Say It, Then
The sweat dried on Anders' forehead and he caught his breath, Mahariel close to his chest, her bare form held tightly in his arms. Her cheek rested in the hollow of his collar bone, his sunset-blond hair free of its confines and tickling the bridge of his nose. Mahariel reached up and pushed the tangles away from his flushed face.
His long, deep exhalations were content, eyes barely able to stay open, lips resting again the elf's forehead in a perpetual kiss.
"Can I say it now?" he whispered playfully.
"Do you have to?" Mahariel sighed, but her tone was kind.
"If I do?"
"Say it, then."
"I love you."
She smiled and he could feel it against his shoulder. It was all he needed; she didn't have to say it. Mahariel wasn't the type, he sensed. Maybe she had been, once, but now all he needed was to know she accepted his words. She didn't have to offer her own.
"They probably think I've killed you by now," she said softly.
"Unless, you know... Well, what I mean to say is... These doors aren't that thick."
"Oh, Maker," she laughed, nuzzling the crook of his neck.
He had never felt so good.