The adults had the house to themselves this night, which was a pleasant thing. Esther spent a quiet part of the evening on the couch, reading. She was sufficiently absorbed in her book that she was only vaguely aware of the extra quiet that meant she was the only one still out in the main part of the house.
At the end of the chapter she slipped a dried leaf into her book to mark her place. Then she uncurled herself and padded into the kitchen to check that someone had fed the cat. Some things one had to make sure were done.
* * *
She suspected that she wasn't alone in still being awake, and indeed, when she stepped into the bedroom, it was to find her husband sitting on the edge of the bed. Christopher had his head tipped back, his eyes most of the way closed. The Lion relaxed-submitting to Mose's biting kisses, to the orange-furred hand that was tightly gripping his short mane, showing against the white.
As ever, it was a joy to see them together.
At the small sound of the bedroom door creaking back into place, Mose looked up, catching Esther with his almost-cocky grin. Esther closed the distance and touched Mose lightly, affectionately, behind one ear. His hand loosened, and Christopher turned, his smile remaining dreamy, to kiss his wife.
Esther lingered in that before letting go to move around to her side of the bed. As usual, she and Mose had their "Lion of Love" in the middle, warm between them.
* * *
Esther found a snatch of song in her head as she drifted towards sleep. "Be loyal to the ones you love."