Darkness had settled over the Narnian camp hours ago, but this troubled the revelers not a whit; quite the contrary, in fact: sunset had merely signaled that it was time to light the fires and commence the festivities full-force – and from that point on, there was such joy and laughter and swirls of activity that Peter was having trouble keeping up with it all. The English schoolboy in him wondered at the ease with which his companions could set aside their woes, but the king recognized their happiness for what it was: relief. After so many years of fear and oppression, their salvation had come at last – in the form of a spoiled young prince with a heart of gold.
He would be a good king.
And, yet, he rather wished... Well, that was neither here nor there, now was it? This strangeness that had developed between them since the night their twin foolishness had nearly revived the White Witch was something best ignored. Nothing good could come of it.
Numbly, Peter glanced furtively across the campfire the royals had all retired to for a moment's rest, fingers fisting tightly at the sight of Caspian and Susan's friendly smiles, their natural communion: this was the fairy tale romance everyone was dreaming of. It would be a good match, he thought, an acceptable match.
Then, Caspian's head turned, eyes dark and beguiling in the flickering shadows, and Peter lost all sense of reason. Lips curling in playful challenge, Caspian rose to his feet, adverting his attention back to Susan only to excuse himself with a humble bow. He then pointedly made his way toward the edge of camp, meaning clear. Peter followed soon after – although he knew the danger.
Almost immediately upon entering the seclusion of the forest, Peter found himself quite firmly pinned against a tree, the gentle warmth of the sinuous body pressed against him in stark contrast to the rough bark at his back. He could feel the prince's breath against his cheek – close enough to kiss.
“There must be a thousand reasons why we shouldn't do this,” he insisted quietly – but made no move to escape.
“Maybe so,” Caspian breathed into his ear, “but I can think of one perfect reason why we should.”
“Oh? And what's that?”
“I love you.”
Later, Peter would be hard-pressed to say who kissed who – but he never regretted it.