The carriage bumped along the rough road as it hurried along. In the sky above them, the beginning sign of a storm was rapidly brewing and the elderly driver wanted to get the carriage, the horses and the passengers inside to safety in case the road became washed out.
The storm in the sky however was not the only one that was on the horizon, inside the carriage another storm that was ready to burst between the two passengers.
"Is something wrong?" Leo asked his companion and master Elliot Nightray. Even though Leo had his face hidden by a book that he was currently reading, he could feel that Elliot was glaring at him.
"You said 'yes'," Elliot gloomily declared.
"Yes to what?" Leo asked, not understanding what Elliot was getting at. Usually he had no problem in understanding his master, even when others had so much difficultly, but there were times, like right then, that Elliot confused even him.
"Yes to that... thing."
"Thing?" Elliot was apparently determined to talk in riddles since Leo still had no clue at what he was talking about. "Could you narrow it down a little?"
"That boy," Elliot grumbled, trying not to sulk but failing.
"Oh," was all that Leo said finally putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. If they hadn't been sitting across from each other Leo would have whacked him, but Elliot was sitting a bit too far away for that and Leo didn't feel like moving. "You're still going on about that?"
Everything had started a week earlier. It had been time for an annual week long break from school and Elliot had been reluctant to return to the family home. There didn't seem to be any point. His parents would have been busy, if they were even there; his eldest brother, Gilbert, was likeable but an airhead who had an allergy to spending time at home; which left his second brother, Vincent, who was without a double, creepy, and whom Elliot didn't necessarily like.
A fun week, it would not have been, so Elliot and Leo decided to travel to one of the Nightray orphanages. It seemed like the perfect solution, Elliot was able to do work to help the Nightray family and Leo enjoyed playing with the children who lived there.
And in the beginning things had been fine, Elliot was usually busy each day making sure the orphanage was running properly and had all the financial needs necessary to stay in operation and Leo was often assisting him but they also had plenty of downtime where Leo was able to play with the children and even Elliot joined him from time to time, reading volumes of 'Holy Knight' to the younger kids who were unable to read.
Trouble didn't start arising until around the third day when a young, six-year-old boy had grown attached to Leo. It had started innocently enough; he was a new arrival who didn't know all the children. He was scared, alone and had taken an instant liking to Leo, shyly asking if he could sleep in Leo to keep away any scary dreams. Leo had agreed, he couldn't turn away such an innocent face, he was like a big brother to the children and part of those duties was to scare away any nightmares.
As the days grew on, the boy had become more and more attached to Leo, wanting to be around him the entire time, even when Leo was suppose to be helping Elliot. Elliot didn't necessarily mind, after all they would be leaving soon and things would be back to normal. The child could have his temporary fun.
It all came to a head on the last day. Leo and Elliot were preparing to leave; their luggage had already been packed and loaded, they had said their 'good-byes' to the children who were gathered around, waiting to see them go. All they had to do was physically climb into the carriage when the little boy had cried out – "I'm gonna marry you one day! You'll be my wife!".
"Okay," Leo had responded with a smile, while the other kids had laughed and Elliot looked like he wanted to strangle someone. "I'll wait for you to grow up!"
And that was why Elliot was in his current foul mood.
"You shouldn't have told him that! You're mine!"
"I was only humouring him," Leo calmly replied as he continued to read his book. "The other kids were laughing, so I made him feel good. Besides he'll forget all about it by the next time we visit. He'll grow up to find someone he loves and not idolize."
"You're still mine! You should refuse all offers no matter who they come from!"
"I don't ever remember hearing a confession from you," Leo said as he finally lowered the book and looked at Elliot who, with those words, was looking very uncomfortable. "Perhaps if I did, you'd have something to be angry about, but until then you don't have the right to be jealous of a six-year-old."
That shut Elliot up because what Leo said was true. Ever since they first met, Elliot knew that he never wanted Leo to leave his side. In time, as they grew older, those feelings had developed into love; only Elliot had always neglected to tell Leo his feelings. He didn't want Leo to become weird; to want to leave. So instead he held onto his love in silence, but he didn't know how much longer he could last. The older they got, the more aware Elliot became of wanting Leo all to himself.
Turning his head, Elliot looked out the small window to watch as rain drops began to fall. The storm had started and it was quickly getting worse. "And what if I did?" he finally asked.
"That's not the proper way to confess to a person," Leo replied as he turned his attention back to his book, waiting and wondering what Elliot would do next.
As Elliot opened his mouth, a crack of thunder was heard from outside which caused the carriage to lurch as the horses tried to bolt in fear. Fortunately the skilled driver was quick to bring them back under control.
"We should stop until the storm passes," Elliot said, forgetting about their conversation. The weather was quickly making it too dangerous to travel and it was better to save talking until later.
"We should be at a village soon," Leo replied, knowing that there were many villages along the road.
The two remained quiet as the storm raged on, becoming worse with each passing minute. Finally, the carriage began to slow as they entered a town and it wasn't long after that when Elliot and Leo found themselves checking into the local inn. They had made the decision to stay the night, since the storm didn't seem to be easing and it was possible that the rain damaged the road further down. It was simply safer to try in the morning when hopefully there would be better conditions.
"I'm sorry, but you'll have to share a room," the aging inn keeper said as he handed Elliot a key. "Lots of travellers in tonight trying to escape the rain."
"That's fine," Elliot replied. Both he and Leo had gotten soaked going from the carriage to the inn and he wanted them in a nice, dry room before either of them got sick.
They found the room easily enough; the inn wasn't very big and therefore difficult to get lost. Unlike some of his spoiled peers, Elliot wasn't bothered by the room's average condition. It was clean and dry, which were the only important things. There was however only one bed.
"I'll sleep on the floor or in a chair," Leo said after they had changed into dry clothes; their earlier conversation still lingering on his mind.
"Don't be stupid," Elliot replied as he settled in the bed. Despite it still being fairly early, Elliot wanted to leave at dawn since their carriage driver had assured them that his bones told him it would be bright and sunny the next day. That meant it was time to get some sleep. "We've shared a bed plenty of times before."
Turning out the lights, Leo soon joined him. They laid together in the dark, not speaking but knowing that the other was still awake. Finally Elliot's voice broke through the darkness.
"So what would you say if I did confess?" he asked, getting back to their conversation from the carriage. Rolling to his side, he could barely make out Leo in the dim lighting.
"Ask me properly and I'll tell you."
Elliot was grateful for the darkness; it easily masked his embarrassment. But he wasn't a coward and he finally decided that Leo was important enough to take the risk. "I like you."
Leo didn't reply and for a brief moment Elliot wondered if he had just screwed up their entire friendship. Then, despite the bad light, Elliot saw Leo move closer to him and a minute later he felt Leo's lips against his own.
"You're much cuter than a six-year-old," he said when they broke apart.
"Don't call me cute," Elliot replied before moving in for another kiss.