“Why?” Cae whispered back.
“I don’t know.”
“Why have you been avoiding sleeping for the past two days?” Caelan asked, though he had his suspicions.
“For the past fortnight, every time I’ve slept I’ve had nightmares. I don’t remember them for long, usually, but last night’s...” Zeke trailed. He was silent for so long that Caelan thought he wasn’t going to continue.
“Tell me,” he encouraged softly.
Zeke took in a sharp breath, looking down at him. “You left me,” he whispered.
“What?” Caelan said, sitting up straight. He held Zeke’s face in between his hands. “I wouldn’t Zeke, you know I wouldn’t.”
“When I woke up and you were getting dressed, I just thought... I didn’t know what to think. I just needed to hold you, to make sure.”
“Zechariah Wade, I’ve always wanted to grow old with you. I plan to follow that through. Leaving you doesn’t work well with it, does it?” he asked.
Caelan looked at him, the small smile on Zeke’s lips relaxing him.
“Does it?” Caelan asked again when he didn’t get a response.
“No,” Zeke admitted.
“There we go then. Now, no silly nonsense like that ever again, okay?”
“Okay,” Zeke acquiesced.
“Good.” Caelan relaxed in his arms, letting his head fall against his shoulder.
“Gods, I love you, Cae.”
“I love you too,” Caelan said quietly, pressing his lips to Zeke’s.
“I’m never going to get tired of hearing you say that,” he breathed before kissing him back. “What was I saying, earlier? In Swahili.”
Caelan did his best to replicate the pronunciation, though guessed that he’d failed by the grin on Zeke’s face.
“Did I say it wrong?” Caelan asked.
“Only a little bit, if I’m guessing what you meant correctly. It means ‘My love, make them stop’. And you did.”
“Hardly,” he whispered, letting his forehead fall against Zeke’s.
“Yes you did. You made the voices stop. They were screaming at me, and then you were there to save me.”
“Always. I’ll always be there to save you.”
Zeke kissed Caelan slowly, touching his cheek almost reverently. Caelan kissed him back immediately, wrapping his arms around his neck, letting his fingers drag through the pale mint strands of Zeke’s hair. That had been part of what had originally attracted him to Zeke; the unnatural colour of his hair.
Soon things were getting more passionate and Caelan was pulling on Zeke’s hair as the kiss deepened. Zeke moaned and—
The door was suddenly thrown open and Caelan pulled away, turning his head quickly.
At least three of the other Brothers were standing in the doorway.
“Oh, uh, um,” Liam started, his eyes flying around the room. Elijah and Mark were doing the same.
In the Brotherhood, nakedness wasn’t a problem because they were all male (and Caelan thanked every god he knew that he had trousers on at least and that he was in Zeke’s lap) but discovering two of your Brothers making out on the floor of their bathroom was enough to make anyone uncomfortable.
“Zeke, we need you,” Elijah said, the first of them to meet his eyes.