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Waking Early

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“I can’t steal you away all for myself. They’ll come looking for us around breakfast time.”

Charles makes an uncertain sound and you can feel him shifting slightly against you, recalculating what time it is without a watch. It makes you wish you hadn’t said it -- pressed up against him is more comfortable than it has any right to be.

He clears his throat, in that funny way of his. It’s too grown-up, it doesn’t suit him. “Shouldn’t I be going back to my room, then?”

“Put your robe on. There were sudden complications due to my shattered foot-bone and you’ve been up tending me all night, look how tired you are.”

“Sebastian,” he says, a little warningly.

“They won’t take it very seriously. Being caught in somebody else’s room is hardly being caught in flagrante. No one will suspect us.” It’s only meant to tease him, but he shifts more, away from you.

You feel drunk still, chastely drunk; on proximity to a good friend and the warmth of his body, on how you’ve tumbled. It wouldn’t be the first time you’ve fallen asleep together, but without the benefit of a pastoral backdrop -- on the grass in the sun, your head resting against his side, is fully different from indoors and in bed and in the dark, half-undressed. He undressed you, you think, you’ve no memory of doing that.