Robbie sat down and put his arms around him. James leant into him. “This isn’t what I planned. We should have all day to just be together, talk if you needed to. Last night was...”
“Wonderful,” James said flatly.
“I don’t know. I really don’t know. After the first time it felt fantastic. And scary. Like nothing...” He covered his face with his hands. “All day I’ve been asking myself what kind of person am I? I loved it. All of it. In all these years, in the abstract, knowing that it was something part of me desired, that was what I hated about myself. But...”
“It felt right?” Robbie started to rub James’ back. “Safe? You weren’t really scared, were you? I’d never hurt you.”
“What if I wanted you to?” James looked at him with fierce eyes.
“I’d have to think about that,” Robbie replied honestly. “Tonight, I just need to sleep pet. I never slept all night.” He yawned again. “What... What do you think about Ngoti and Mercer? Oh forget it, I don’t want some big theological discussion on conversion.”
“I don’t think she loves Allah, just Muhammad Ngoti, and there’s a big difference.”
Robbie smiled. “Maybe, maybe not. I think love is good. I’m going to have a bath, have something to eat and then sleep, if that’s okay by you?”
“Yeah,” James said in a small voice. “It’s not like a Christian marriage, you know, a Muslim wedding, it’s a social contract not a holy vow. You know, like a registry office or...” he went on in the same small voice.
“James.” Robbie strode back across the carpet from the bathroom door and knelt in front of him.
“What are you doing?”
Robbie fumbled for his pocket, fingers trembling. “I brought this with me, for the weekend, I hadn’t planned... I mean, I had, but not like this and...” He switched to being just one knee and opened the jeweller’s box.
James stared at the ring.
“Will you say yes?”
“Yes to what?” James asked, a smile in his words.
“Will you... God it sounds so clunky. Will you enter into civil partnership with me? Oh hell, forget that. Will you marry me?”
James nodded silently.
“Was that a yes?”
“Yes,” James croaked out, voice hoarse with emotion.
“Good.” Robbie pulled the ring from the box and put in on James’ left hand’s ring finger.
James stared at the ring. “It fits.”
“I can get finger prints and DNA samples from suspects without them noticing, measuring your finger was easy.” Since James still seemed to sit there in front of him, frozen, Robbie prompted, “Now is the time you hold your hand to the light and watch the sparkle.”
James did as he was told, but as the diamonds glinted in the last rays of the sunset and the electric light, he smiled. “Wow.” He leant forward and kissed Robbie. “Thank you. I’ve been figuring out a way to ask you all day and you already had...” he was interrupted by Robbie kissing him again.
Robbie got up. “And now I’m really going to have that bath. Will you order us something to eat from room service, love?”