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“Ed.” Rian’s voice was low and husky, tinged just right so that it lit a new fire in Edward’s belly. He opened his eyes lazily, still drowsy and quite sated. The room was dark, light drifting in through the curtains from the street lamps outside. They had not bothered to turn on the lights, stumbling to the bed entirely by feel. It would be a minefield of shed clothes and kicked-off shoes between here and the door to the hallway, but Edward could not find it in himself to care.

Rian had been gone for almost a whole week, gone with his brother back to his family to celebrate the holiday early. Anthony was on duty over Yule; he had volunteered for it in part to excuse Rian from the festivities early as well. Edward had encouraged Rian to go home and even stay the whole holiday week and come back after the new year. Even last year at this time Edward would have been a sullen, despondent mess at that thought of spending the Yule holiday alone but now, he knew Rian loved him and even without Rian by his side he knew he was not truly alone. Rian himself had other plans, though.

It made Edward happy to know that Rian was happy. He knew that Rian’s adopted family still did not approve of his relationship with Edward, or his or Anthony’s jobs - but they had still welcomed Rian back and that was what was important. His family still loved him, and still welcomed him home. However it did not mean that Edward didn’t feel the bite of loneliness coming home to a cold, empty apartment on the days that he was gone.

And then, Rian was back, climbing off the train and practically jumping into Edward’s arms on the train platform, public be damned. Anthony laughed at how Edward tried to fend Rian off, to the point where they dropped his brother off at the military dormitories. Once the apartment door closed securely behind them, then and only then he welcomed Rian back very enthusiastically. Edward groaned a little, his face pressed into the pillow. He was worn out from many different things but lack of sex was definitely not one of them. Rian’s fingers on his back were warm and comforting. “Missed you,” he murmured, his breath ghosting across Edward’s shoulder before he placed a tender kiss there.

Rian was scruffy. His face was rough against Edward’s back. He had been on a train all day and it showed - and Edward really could not care less. He liked the reminders that Rian, too, was a man. He had worried himself sick about taking advantage of an underage soldier but Rian was just a very late bloomer. Edward could relate. Rian rested his head on Edward’s back and sighed out a breath, just laying draped over his naked back.

“I still don’t know what I’m going to get you for Yule,” Rian said, tracing designs onto Edward’s back with his finger idly. “You’re a horrible person to shop for.”

“You don’t have to buy me anything,” Edward said, cocking his head and concentrating. Was Rian tracing a transmutation circle? It felt like it. “I never got that, I mean, I get buying presents for, like, Thomas and Sarah, but why exchange gifts as adults? I don’t need shit. Al’n’I never used to.”

He yelped a little as Rian pinched him. “Because I love you, you dumbass, and that means I want to get you something special.”

Edward huffed in annoyance and started to get up. Rian slid off of him as Edward got onto his knees, sitting up and scratching his hand through his hair. It was tangled badly, he would need to brush it. “You want to get me something special? Figure out a way to get Neuhaus to stop breathing down my ass all the time, that would help so much.”

Rian rolled over onto his back, one hand thrown across his stomach. He was completely naked, stretched out on the bed like that and it made Edward swallow hard. “Hngh,” Rian grunted. “I can’t think of a way to remove him that doesn’t involve assassination or a cement truck or something.”

“I could work with a cement truck.”

“I’m sorry, colonel, but I’m not going to be a contract killer for you.”

Edward snorted, the sarcasm layered heavily in his voice. “Oh, darn.

“Seriously, Ed. I need ideas.”

“I,” Edward said, leaning over Rian. He deliberately put his hands on either side of Rian’s head on the mattress. “Have everything I want right here, Rian Martin.”

Rian blew out a breath in annoyance, looking exasperated. But then that expression shifted to amused, as Edward leaned down and kissed him, slowly and tenderly. “I don’t need anything else but for you to be safe and happy,” he said softly. “That is the perfect present for me.”

Promises to Keep: Prompt 6 - "Presents"