“Dion!” I collapsed beside him, gasping for air and sweating up a storm. After I finally caught my breath, I rolled off the bed, wrapping a sheet around me before walking to the window that looked out over the Bay.
“I thought you were going to stay quiet this time, PheePhee. We do not want the manager knocking on our door for excessive noise, do we?” Dion teased. I tossed a throw pillow at him, laughing softly. A week had already gone by since the grand opening gala of Nymphaeum. I couldn’t comprehend how so much time had passed. “You know, no one can see you all the way up here. You don’t need to be so modest.” My lover tugged at the sheet playfully, and I just scowled at his playful teasing.
“No, maybe not, Nisos, but I feel more comfortable with something on.” I chuckled slightly. This past week I’d hardly worn a thing, spending most of my time lounging in bed with Dionysos as we enjoyed each other’s company. Sometimes I wondered if this was real or just moments of dreams while trapped in the foam..
I sighed. Dionysos stood up, wrapping his arms around me and kissing my neck. “What is troubling you, PheePhee?” He always knew. I wasn’t sure whether it was due to the bond or his natural attunement with others’ feelings and emotions, but he always knew when I was troubled.
I turned around in his arms and stared up at him. “It hasn’t been that long since I returned from the foam, yet so much has happened. I need to find a way to slow down.”
A flash of hurt crossed Dion’s face before he hid it and smiled down at me. “I understand. I have often needed to step away from the world and people.”
I placed my hand upon his cheek and kissed him gently. “I’m not stepping away from you, Nisos.” His genuine smile returned, and I licked his lips teasingly. “You have been my only constant, which, given your nature, is amazing. But I know, eventually, you’re going to need to go on a journey. You’ve already stayed in one place for a while. I understand that, and I’ll still be here.” Dion kissed me quickly, and I melted some more. I loved this man. I really did. “It’s everything else that’s weighing on me. All the newcomers to the GC, Atlantis, work…everything.”
“Seeing Poseidon again did not help either, I am sure. I felt your pain when you set eyes on him, but I also knew that coming to your rescue would exacerbate things.” Ever the wise one, Dion was.
I nodded, burying my face in his chest. “For the few minutes I saw him when I first returned, the old tension and desire were all there. But it was so brief, so fleeting. I didn’t have the opportunity to discuss what had gone on or what was going to happen. To find out he hadn’t come back, even after I disappeared. Finding out that my home was left without its king, willingly, when I was unable to return. To find out I didn’t matter enough to him for him even to realize I was missing, that cuts deep.” I took a breath, trying not to look at him, but that was impossible. “I’m sorry to place all this on you after we’ve had such an amazing week. I need some time to swim, to gather my thoughts, to revisit my home, and spend some time there.”
“PheePhee, I understand that more than you know, the need to run, to travel, to see the wild, to be the wild again. You missed so much while you were away. You need to take the time to see it all again, to truly appreciate this world you are walking in again.”
I ran my hands up Dion’s back and pulled him tighter to me. “I do not want to lose you, though.” I felt him shudder under my hands and smiled up at my lover. “Do you think when we go our separate ways physically, that emotionally you’ll still be mine?”
“Aww, PheePhee, that almost sounds like you want me to be your Valentine.” Dion moved his hands across my back and around the back of my neck, shocking me.
“What’s a Valentine?” I asked in all seriousness. I hadn’t been topside a full year yet, and there was still so much to learn.
Dion caught my lips with his and pulled me back over to the bed. “I will show you what a Valentine is,” he mumbled, rolling us over so he was staring down at me. “Don’t worry about me, PheePhee. You have me for a long time yet. Even when we are worlds apart, we will still be together in other ways.” He tapped my forehead, then his. “We will always be connected. For better or for worse.” He kissed my shoulder blade, but with his beard, it felt more like a tickle. I giggled with pleasure like I was mad. “No, no, you are not allowed to be the mad one in this relationship. That title belongs to me.”
I laughed even harder as Dion began grazing his beard all over, kissing everywhere his lips could reach. “Stop it! It tickles too much!” I sputtered between fits of laughter. I could feel the ocean reacting to my emotions and was surprised the resort was still in one piece after the week we’d had.
Tonight was New Year’s Eve. It was an event I’d completely blanked on because it was my first one, but Dion had remembered. He’d set the TV to the channel we would watch ahead of time. I didn’t know much about it, other than the calendar’s official turning, but I’d researched various traditions and how they marked the event.
Dion and I stayed in, even though a party was planned for the staff who lived nearby. I was partied out, and this way, I didn’t have to get dressed or leave the bed. I was perfectly content to spend the next day or so wrapped up in Dion’s presence, completely forgetting about the outside world and our responsibilities. “So,” Dion’s voice purred in my ear, “which position do you want to try next?”
I blushed furiously as Dion kissed me. The rest of the day faded away to the sounds of our lovemaking, broken only by the background chatter of the TV. We celebrated not only the new year but also our efforts to meld into one.
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