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partakers of our honey talk

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“I know you said I would miss pizza and showers, but I think the trade-off has been worth it,” Diana mused. She kept her voice low, so only Matthew could hear her. It was too early in the day to come up with another explanation of a foreign word she’d used.

“Because we’re not being pursued by a dozen murderous creatures? Or because you are the first time-walking historian, one who can finally put to rest the question of who wrote Will’s plays?” Matthew said. There is was, that lightness in his tone, a certain comfort he had with himself, with the world in 1590 that she’d realized she’d never seen at Oxford or Sept-Tours. He squinted against the sun in a way that could have reminded her of watching him at his laptop but didn’t.

“Well, those are perks. But not what I was thinking of.”

“No? What is it then?”

“It’s you,” she said.

“It’s me?”

“You are yourself here, as Matthew Roydon. Or, you enjoy being Matthew Roydon more,” she said, feeling she was expressing herself clumsily but still getting at the heart of it. Matthew looked quizzical, curious—with an ease that had rarely accompanied those expressions in the 21st century.

“What makes you say that?”

“I can see it,” she said.

“With your third eye?” he asked.

“I don’t need that for this. I can see it in the way you walk, the set of your shoulders,” she said, stepping closer. Her netted hair was a weight at the back of her neck, a counterbalance for the hand she stroked lightly against his unshaven jaw and then down his jacket. “This beard makes you look like a desperado, a scoundrel…and then every one of your buttons is polished, the mark of a dandy. And don’t think I haven’t noticed how you wear your collar open, so louche.”

“You’re very observant, mon coeur,” Matthew said, sounding like a warmblood, like the man he had once been before he had been made a creature.

“Kit notices too,” she said, letting the warning come into her voice. She was his wife and she was a witch; she would not let him forget the risk of a frustrated daemon. Especially not one as remarkable as Kit. She had a sympathy for the daemon Matthew could not have, the two lovers of Matthew Roydon. She knew what it felt like to want Matthew’s gaze, his hands on her skin, to hear the sounds he made when he was undone and she knew a little of what it felt like for those wishes not to be granted.

“You needn’t worry about Kit,” Matthew said. She’d learned it was easier in the past to tell when he was wrong, but not how to make him see.