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White Diamonds

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"What do we have here?" Marak questioned as he reached to pull back the covers. Kate was already in bed, reading a book she'd poached from his collection. She'd chosen it more to pass the time than due to actual interest, though she'd become interested after the first chapters.

Kate smiled. "You've kept me waiting, so I've found adequate replacement entertainment."

"Should I leave you to your book, then?"

"Absolutely not," Kate replied. She reached and grabbed for the slim pink ribbon she'd been using as a bookmark, tucking it between pages and setting the book aside as Marak crawled in beside her.

"The proper choice." Marak leaned to kiss her and Kate waited, trying to judge if this was a goodnight kiss or a kiss suggesting they'd be awake for a bit longer. The soft touch of Marak's hand down along her neck and shoulder firmly suggested the latter, much to Kate's pleasure. She had, of course, considered properly asking, but she didn't think she was quite that bold. Yet.

She reached up to brush back Marak's coarse hair - an often futile effort - while careful not to catch her diamond bracelet in it. Normally, she took her jewelry off at night so it neither snagged nor left strange impressions in her cheek when she shifted during sleep. But the diamonds, already sparkling in the dim light of the room...

Marak didn't comment on the bracelet, much to Kate's surprise. Already she had chosen her retorts and now Marak was challenging her by not challenging her! If he also hadn't been kissing his way down her neck, she might have let herself feel a little more indignant about the situation.

This was always different from what she'd imagined from gossip and bawdy talk from the neighborhood boys before coming to Hallow Hill. Kate enjoyed Marak's attention and he seemed to enjoy that. Her father had emphasized companionship-- The physical aspects beyond kissing hadn't quite been part of her education.

More than once she'd considered just doing her best to order him naked for her own educational purposes and general inspection, but between the teasing she knew she'd incur and the bustle their lives had taken on left her without opportunity and inclination. Marak was certainly often very busy, which made Kate think about the devotion he'd made to his own strange form of courting. That left her warm inside - so much time devoted to just her, even though she knew it was for the kingdom, too.

She ran her hands over his uneven shoulders and down to the hem of his nightshirt. Marak always re-dressed quickly, which Kate knew was from necessity and habit. And she'd seen naked boys in her youth, but she also knew those fuzzy memories were not terribly comparable to her husband.

"Eager, are you, little elf?" Marak questioned softly.

"You're the one who kept me waiting," Kate reminded him as he pushed up her nightdress high enough to make her shiver. The covers could go - really, she was ready for whatever she might see.

"Then I'm a fool," Marak replied, following with a longer, deeper kiss that swallowed Kate's retort and turned it into a soft moan. She could feel him as she shifted against his body as he pulled her nightdress off between kisses.

"Too warm," she tried as she pushed at the covers. "And you're too dressed."

Naked, save for the King's Wife Charm and her sparkling bracelet, Kate knew he wouldn't question the latter...

Marak's chuckle suggested her game was up, but Kate didn't care as she looked him over, wiry and firm and straining under dark fabric. Her bracelet shone as she reached--

And she dearly hoped the entire incident wouldn't be recorded in the King's Wife Chronicles come morning.