Xanthee, Malosim


Mal takes Xan to the Crater Lake to do some stargazing for their second official date, though the heavenly bodies are all but ignored when the young couple takes their relationship to the next level.

Contains sexual innuendo and explicit sex, under collapsibles.


It is evening on the 4th day of the 10th month of the 12th Turn of the 12th Pass.


Igen Weyr - Crater Lake and Crafter's Complex

OOC Date 20 Dec 2017 05:00



“I do have a pretty damn comfortable bed.”


Crater Lake

Four centuries ago, a chunk of the very comet that drove some Oldtimers forward crashed to the desert near Igen Weyr, collapsing the original inner caverns and breaking through to a new spring that now feeds into Igen's underground aquifer. The result? Beauty from destruction - a long, crystalline lake of brilliant sapphire blue. Sharp sandstone rings the water in jagged peaks, where sparse desert shrubs cling to steep, sandy slopes and reflect darkly on the pristine, mirror-like surface. Out in the midst of the lake, a small island pierces the glassy plane, umber from azure in a near-perfect cone. A startling break in the stark desert and savannah surrounding the Weyr, the crater lake sits like a jewel in the rough - a picturesque, inviting respite from the rough, dry terrain beyond.

Sunset has fallen upon Igen Weyr, shrouding the Bazaar in a ruddy golden light that’s quite fitting for the season. Malosim comes striding through with the air of a man on a mission, though there’s an easy swing to his gait that betrays it as something he’s eager to get to. He’s dressed practically rather that to impress…save for making sure what he’s wearing is some of his more fitted garb. Black pants tucked into well-loved but maintained boots and a white button-down tunic with the sleeves rolled and the top four buttons undone are all clean and cut to flatter his frame, so it’s clear that he’s looking good for someone while also meaning to be out of doors.

He arrives at the resident terraces and sends Kaleka, one of his brown flits, in search of Xanthee to let her know he’s arrived. He also includes in his little note the fact that she might want to bring a sweater. Just in case.

A few minutes pass and then Xanthee appears from a small door, dressed for an evening out in a long woolen skirt of dark crimson, a long sleeved black tunic, and a dark green cloak with with attached hood that is laying down her back at the moment. Her hair is down, cascading over her shoulders in ebony waves. A little touch of kohl lines her eyes making them pop even more than usual. When she sees Malosim there, a smile beams in his direction and she picks up her pace to cross the space between them in a hurry.

“You are looking sharp Mal,” Xan giggles as she closes the distance with a little skip in her steps, a healthy flush to her cheeks and eyes shining as they look up at her date.

“And you,” Malosim counters, pushing out of his lean against the wall to hook his arm around Xanthee’s waist and pull her close, “are looking gorgeous as ever.” He punctuates his words with a brief but sweet kiss, then gives her a chagrined smirk. “Might get a little dusty on the way, but that won’t change the fact. Let’s go!” He’ll take her hand and lead her back through the Bazaar to the stables where his runner awaits - a sturdy bay gelding with (thankfully) patient mein who is contentedly chewing some hay. He’s saddled already, a satchel and some rolled blankets strapped to his tack. “This is Boulder,” he says with a fond pat to the runner’s neck before grinning at Xanthee, positioning himself to help her up into the saddle.. “Ready? Just a short trip.” Which is good, considering how inwardly impatient he now is to just be where they’re going with her already.

Xanthee takes the embrace and kisses in turn, smiling against his lips as she giggles again. “Dusty isn't a problem. I dressed for warmth,” she says as she is happily led through the Bazaar on their way to the stables. Looking over the grey runner appreciatively she turns back on Mal with a grin. “Just a short ride really? You still won't tell me where we're going?” But her genial smirk shows that she doesn't really care whether he wants to keep their destination a surprise. As he motions for her to mount, she gathers up her thick skirts and takes the saddle in one swift motion. “Do you want to come in front or behind?” she asks with another teasing laugh as she looks down at him as she rearranges her skirts so they are tucked out of the way but also cover everything that needs covering.

There is definite appreciation in Mal’s eyes for how easily Xanthee mounts up. He can’t help but laugh at her last as he sets a foot in the stirrup. “Oh,” he answers, swinging up into place with almost equal ease, “definitely behind.” Because this way, he can take the reins and have her in his arms at the same time. “I only just really decided where we were going this morning,” he confesses as he taps his heels against Boulder’s sides and steers him toward the Weyr road. “I said I knew the perfect spot…but then it occurred to me I knew a few, so. Couldn’t decide. But this one will make looking at the stars even better because of how still it’s supposed to be tonight. Like…a giant mirror.” He gives a little shrug as he glances down at her, smiling somewhat lopsidedly. “At least, that’s how I expect it’ll work.” Still not naming the place exactly, but perhaps giving her enough of a clue to work from that she’ll guess.

Leaning back into the warmth of his chest, Xanthee sighs happily as his arms come around her and he takes the reins. “Well I don't care where we go. I see you brought blankets and maybe food, so as far as I’m concerned you could take me all the way to Fort and I wouldn't complain. Just spending time with you makes it totally worth it.” She sighs again, one hand holding the pommel, but the other one trails down and comes to rest on his knee, as if she needed it for stability, just sitting there innocently. Her heartbeat quickens subtly when their touch again sends an electric sensation up from her fingers and towards her chest. She bites her lower lip apprehensively since she can't see his reaction from here, so she concentrates on the clues he gave her and tries to figure it out. It only takes a few moments for her to come to a possible conclusion, although she keeps it to herself, still liking the idea of being surprised.

Mal laughs at that, a purely and contentedly happy roll of sound as he gives Boulder another tap to have the sturdy runner pick up the pace a little more. “Shells, it’s probably freezing up at Fort already,” he scoffs, “but if we were going…I’d make sure you stayed warm.” His heart trips over itself a bit as well when he feels Xanthee’s hand on his knee, the sensation of electricity arcing subtly along his nerves to unwittingly echo hers. He dips his head to nuzzle gently at the back of her jaw in response. “And I’ll keep you warm here, too, obviously,” he murmurs against her ear before touching a kiss to where he’d been nuzzling and then forcing himself to straighten and pay attention to where they’re going again. It’s a good thing Boulder is such a steady mount.

On down the road they go, and eventually he turns them down a well-used path across the plateau toward the ragged-edged vista of the Crater Lake. Another little trail takes them down one of the few gradual slopes toward the water’s edge. By the time he brings them to a halt, there’s only a sliver of Rukbat peering over western horizon, and that all but disappears once he dismounts, standing beside Xanthee with his hands offered to help her in dismounting. “See?” he says with a little grin. “Giant mirror.” And one of the quietest, most beautiful spots he’s come across so near the Weyr thus far.

“I’m sure you could keep me warm anywhere,” Xanthee says with a smile that brightens with his nuzzles and kisses, closing her eyes and just enjoying the closeness of him. As they turn onto a well worn path, her suspicion as to their destination is confirmed and she takes in the glossy view of Crater Lake with an appreciative glance as the last of Rukbat sinks below the horizon. “I see that, it's going to be amazing once the stars are out.” Also very quiet and, with no one else in the immediate vicinity, private as well. Arranging her skirts to keep the dismount from giving a free show, she slides down into Mal’s waiting hands and presses herself close for a deep, long kiss, her hands slipping around his back.

When Xan finally pulls away from him just a bit, she cocks her head to one side and looks up at him. “That was for picking the perfect spot. It's so beautiful here.” Looking over at the blankets and pack tied to the runner, she ponders out loud, “So where should we set up?” She asks as she starts to pull away from him reluctantly, but the idea of curling up on those blankets with him is quite appealing.

Malosim lets himself sink into that kiss with a contented sigh that casts all other cares aside, brawny arms wrapping snugly around Xanthee in turn. The silence and mildness of the falling evening settles around them, the peace of their surroundings allowing him to focus all his senses upon her alone and compelling him to let his reins loose just a little, a hand sliding downward to spread wide over her lower back, pressing her slightly closer against him. His awareness of the shape of her tucked along him so, the taste and scent of her, sends a surge of heat through his blood straight to his head, his thoughts ricocheting to all sorts of different places with her so vividly that his heart is pounding when their lips part. His inner hold tightens on those reins again, and he draws a slow, deep breath to gather himself. Faranth, it’s getting harder to keep himself in check…but it only makes his resolve stronger. He will not mess this up!

Dark brows hitch upward at her first, and he chuckles. “Wow. If that’s what I get for a little thing like that, I’m just gonna keep doing my best,” he declares with a grin, and loosens his arms so that she can slip out of his hold and he can untie the gear from Boulder’s saddle. “Just here should work,” he says, gesturing to a stretch of mostly even sand close at hand. He goes about stamping down some of the bumpier spots before unfurling the first of two knit woolen blankets. In the meantime, Boulder ambles his way to the water a short distance away and slakes his thirst, leaving his charges to their own devices.

The other blanket is kept in reserve, set down with the satchel before he reclaims Xanthee’s hand and guides her to it. “So,” he says, folding himself down to sit and leaving both his lap and his side open for her to choose from, “I brought bread, cheese, dried fruit, and a little wine, plus some water. Just to pick at as we like. Otherwise…it’s you and me and the stars.” And Boulder, but he’s quite adept at being his namesake, standing unobtrusively by the water’s edge a short distance away, silent and mostly unmoving except for the occasional switch of his tail.

Still a little breathless from the kiss, Xanthee watches Mal as he lays out the blanket and the pack. When he comes back and catches her hand to lead her towards it she goes willingly. As he sits himself down, she ponders where she will sit, her gaze trailing to his lap and how inviting it looks. Decided, she settles down there and curls up into his chest. “That sounds perfect, but I’m suddenly not very hungry. I could do with some wine though,” she says as she stares out at the lake, watching in its reflection the first few stars that are slowly coming out now that full dark has fallen.

Suddenly aware of their closeness and the lack of anyone else in the vicinity, Xan can feel her pulse quicken slightly as she turns her head to look at him, her eyes adjusted enough to see his features clearly. She just studies him for a moment before clearing her throat and dropping her gaze. “So any more trouble since the last time we talked? Did you end up talking to your Master after all?”. Strange conversation topic on this most romantic evening but it seems as if the realization that they are truly alone right now has Xan flustered.

Of course, Malosim is quite pleased that Xanthee chooses his lap, shifting to make them as comfortable as possible and curling an arm around her as she cuddles up to his chest. He braces on his other hand, giving a quiet chuckle when she voices a preference for drink over food and snagging the satchel to drag over beside them. The wineskin he pulls out is small, perhaps enough for two glasses for each of them. Popping the stopper, he pauses a moment when he catches her studying him, tilting his head slightly when her eyes drop and she gives that little clearing of her throat.

“No more trouble so far,” he says, offering her the skin, “though…I have seen the guy who confronted me here and there around the Bazaar. Name’s Cavil. I’m still not sure who exactly he’s got ties to, but it must be someone there if he’s hanging around. And yeah, I did talk to my Master. We’re still trying to figure out what exactly to do about it.” He lifts his hand to stroke at her hair, his lips curving into a small, warm smile. “Thanks for asking.” Perhaps it is a strange topic to start the evening off with…but he really doesn’t mind.

“Oh well, that’s good then," Xanthee says quietly as she takes the skin from Mal and takes a little swig from it, to fortify her, no doubt. Taking a few moments just to acclimate herself to being so close to him, she takes another sip before passing it back. Her emerald eyes dart around and she pipes up quietly, “So, seems we’re all alone here.” She states the obvious as she places her hand on his chest, just over his heart, and feels it beat under her palm. “It’s strange, there’s always been people around before, and now there isn’t.” Her trepidation over their situation seems to have brought out some uncharacteristic shyness in her and she tries to laugh it off. “I don’t know why I’m focusing on that, but we’re well and truly alone here, now,” she repeats again, unsure of herself and confused as to why it should matter. She tries to shake the thought from her head and tries to think of something else to say but falls up short.

Mal sips at the wine in turn, making a small sound of approval for the taste before setting it aside. Then he’s watching Xanthee carefully, noting her seeming trepidation and checking himself to see if he might accidentally be doing something to set it off. “Yeah,” he murmurs, tilting his head to find her eyes as he covers her hand with his own upon his chest. Then he gives a quick little grin. “And it’s makin’ you shy, and it’s adorable,” he informs her, his other arm around her giving a playful little squeeze. “But,” he adds, his tone gentling as his thumb skims her knuckles, “if you get uncomfortable, Xan, just tell me, and we can head back. I just want you to enjoy yourself. And for us to just…keep getting comfortable together.” And if that ends up meaning not being this alone just yet, he’s all for it.

“No!” Xanthee exclaims adamantly, suddenly snapping out of it. “I want to be alone with you, I want to be free to do whatever we want to do, here and now without judgement from anyone.” She seems to relax at that outburst and giggles at herself as her body relaxes into his. “Don’t mind me, I’m just being silly. The truth is, you’ve been the absolute portrait of a gentleman, and I really appreciate that.” She lifts her hand to his cheek and looks him in the eyes. “No,” she corrects herself, “I love that about you. I love every moment we spend together. I would be happy to remain here in your arms for the rest of my days,” she says in her whimsical tone she affects every now and then. “But I don’t think I can be good for much longer. Every time we touch, I feel like I am on fire. I just need…” She trails off and pulls him close for a kiss in which she lets her full desire for him come through, hot and passionate, with a deep hunger to taste every part of him.

The resolve with which Xanthee declares this is what she wants has Malosim’s brows hiking, and he can’t help but laugh in the wake of it, feeling himself relax as well. The whimsical turn of her tone has him smiling lopsidedly as he listens, caught in her gaze and content to remain there. Her next admission, however, promptly has his heart picking up speed again. The heat that had gone to his head in their earlier kiss returns with a much quicker glowing to life.

The fire contained in the one they share now is enough to spark his own into an eager blaze, a low, quiet moan vibrating in his throat by reflex. His arm tightens around her, his other hand sinking into her hair as he catches a quick breath and renews the melding of their lips, and there is very little that’s gentlemanly about the way makes a searching, tasting time of it.

He’s nearly breathless when they part, eyes turned ebony with desire in the ever-waning light. “Xan,” he says, his tone reduced to a husky rumble with his own need, “I… It’s been getting harder to keep being good, that’s for sure. And I’ve imagined what it’d be like to go further with you a lot lately…” He gives his head a little shake as though trying to clear it, drawing a slow, deep breath as he seeks her eyes again. “I’ve known for a while now that if we ever made it that far, I’d want to make it as special as I possibly could. Just tell me when you’re ready, and I’m there with you.”

“Mal,” Xan starts as she moves her hand from his cheek to back into his hair, combing her fingers through it gently as she searches his face. “You don't have to do anything to make it special, it will already be special because it's you.” She makes sure he is looking at her, green eyes searching his as she pauses, hesitant, obviously desperate to say something, but at the last minute she chickens out and merely pulls them together for another kiss, this one more sensual than desperate. Her chest presses firmly against his, she squirms slightly in his lap as she sighs heavily against his lips before pulling them back just enough to speak.

“I’m falling in love with you, Mal, and love should be expressed, and that doesn't make us bad. So I think we should stop all this talk about 'being good.' Because I know good, and what there is between you and me, well there's no way that's bad," she says evenly but with passionate conviction. “I don't want you to hold back, and be sure I will let you know if things aren't right. I know how to speak my mind.” Another giggle is punctuated by a kiss to the tip of his nose, a favourite spot for her it seems.

Malosim returns Xanthee’s searching gaze intently, the sifting of her fingers in his hair causing his eyelids to flutter with an almost drowsy weight. He could say the same back to her, and the realization that they’re both caught hook, line, and sinker by one another has him giving a soft chuckle as he waits for her to say more. But when she does, it’s with her lips again, and the press of her body, and he knows all at once that he’s going to drown in the best way possible.

What she says next, however, makes his breath hitch…but not because it’s something he doesn’t want to hear. He thinks he could also say that back to her, in fact, but he wants to warn her to take care, previous experiences of his own warning against declaring something so important so quickly. Yet he doesn’t want to make things quite so heavy right this moment; they’re heavy enough, but it’s at least honest weight shared between them. He can’t help but give another little laugh when her lips touch his nose. “Yeah, I know you do,” he says, stealing one more kiss and venturing a light nip to her lower lip in its wake before looking into her eyes again.

“I’m fallin’ for you too, Xan. I can feel it. And I know there’s nothing bad about what’s between us. I haven’t felt anything this good…ever.” And since she doesn’t want him to hold back, he doesn’t, his lips melding hotly to hers as he shifts them, leaning her back into his arm to lay her gently back onto the blanket. He stretches out, staying mostly on his side for the moment but letting half his well-toned frame press along hers as his hand quests down her side to her hip, his kisses trailing off the corner of her mouth to her neck. There is a definite hunger to what he does, but he’s exploring at the same time, attentive to her reception of what he does. Presently, he slows a bit, lingering at the juncture of her jaw and neck. “Do you want to stay here,” he asks at a soft rumble, “or head back to my place?” He lifts his head a bit, giving a roguish smirk. “I do have a pretty damn comfortable bed.”

Giggling as her lip is nibbled but not resisting, Xanthee’s brow creases a little bit as she watches him take in what she had just said. She wishes she could know what was going through his head, but when he replies that he feels the same, nothing else matters and the smile she gives seems to radiate even in the darkness. She is about to say something else, but when then there is more kissing, and now with the laying down. Well she’ll say one thing about Mal, he grabs an opportunity when he sees it. Letting herself go completely, she gladly lays down and then feels his frame pressed against her and she can’t help a soft moan escaping her lips. When his hand trails down to her hip, she shivers in response, her whole body humming against his.

When his kisses start their trip down towards her neck, she lets her eyes flutter closed, as she turns her head to better allow him access. Hmmmmmm. She makes all kinds of happy little noises in the back of her throat at his ministrations. “You probably think I’m a moony eyed child, bringing the L word up on our second date. But I never say something I don’t mean, and I really meant that.” Her voice is breathy, with just a hint of purr in there as well, as her back arches ever so slightly to push them even closer together.

When he pauses, she gives a little whimper of disappointment, but then his proposition is considered. With a smirk, she reaches up and lets her fingers play in his hair again, since she noticed how much he seemed to like that. “But I thought we were going to look at the stars,” she says with mock innocence as she flutters her eyelashes at him before breaking out in a laugh. “How can I say no when you tempt me with a damn comfortable bed?”

Given the fact that he’s otherwise occupied when Xanthee first speaks, Mal only gives a subtle shake of his head, unwilling to break the contact of his lips to her skin. He’ll have more to say to it, certainly…but not just now. He gives a knowing little smile at the disappointed noise she makes, the glittering of his eyes promising to make up for it soon. He sighs when her fingers slide into his hair again, then chuckles softly. “We’ll always have the stars,” he whispers, kissing her gently before pressing upward to start to his feet. “Though technically we’ll always have the bed, too, but…” Taking her hands on the way up, he easily pullsher with him until they’re both on their feet again, his arms wrapped fully around her once more. “…This time, it’s where I’d most like to be with you.”

He’ll spend a few more long moments holding her there, however, before moving to repack what he’d brought for them. “I don’t think you’re a moony-eyed child, Xan,” he says once they’re mounted up and on their way back. “And I believe you when you say you mean it. But there’s something I’d like you to know. Just…a memory that got brought up, hearing you say that.”

“I suppose that is true. But you went to so much trouble with the food, and blankets and coming all the way out here,” Xanthee replies and hen finds herself being pulled to her feet suddenly, giving a little yelp as he manages that feat with seemingly no trouble at all. “But I was just getting comfortable!” A playful pout graces her lips until he wastes no time to pull her close. “Well this is comfy too.” She grins and wraps her arms around him in turn for a long embrace. When he pulls away to start packing things up, she takes it upon herself to fold up the blankets and bring them over to him.

Finally on their way back, he actually remarks on the comment she made earlier. Listening to him, she starts to feel dread creep upon her as he mentions a memory. “What is it? What happened?” she asks, trying not to let the worry creep up into her voice, but she only half succeeds. In an attempt to reassure him, she places her hand once more on his knee and gives it a gentle squeeze of encouragement.

Mal knew he’d be taking a risk by bringing up anything from his past experiences, but he doesn’t want to leave Xanthee wondering what’s going on in his head, either. Guiding Boulder with one hand on the reins, he curls his arm around her in answer to the hint of worry he hears. “Ahhh, it’s just…it might sound kinda silly,” he starts, but gives a little sigh and goes forward with it. “Ever since I was old enough to understand what it was between my parents, I remember thinking I wanted to be with someone that way. Even when they fight, they always come back around to loving. It never leaves ‘em. And growing up, I’d imagine what it’d be like to fall for someone that way, always being there when one or the other needs something…never being able to get them out of my head…”

He gives another quiet sigh, nuzzling at the back of her jaw again. “Guess I grew up a romantic, in a way. A few Turns ago, I thought I’d gotten what I hoped for. But saying I loved her scared her away, got me called a ‘naive kid’…and I thought it must’ve been true. That I’d made a mess of it, and I guess I sort of had, since I didn’t try to look below the surface too hard. So I got…careful. Scared of letting myself even get close to saying ‘the L word’ to someone again. But I’ve learned a lot in a few Turns. And hearing you say you’re falling in love with me…let me admit I’m feeling it again, too…but it’s real this time. Mutual. And like you said, it ought to be expressed.”

He gives a subtle shrug, studying her profile. “That’s all it was,” he murmurs. “If you wanna know more…I don’t think I can be anything less than an open book with you, Xan.” All she need do is ask him.

Listening intently to what Mal is saying about his parents, Xanthee feels her eyes start to prickle then brighten as tears form, held back from spilling over her lids by pure will on Xan’s part. When he gets to the part where he was rejected the first time he's declared his love, she can’t hold back anymore. With a quiet sniff, a sole tear rolls over her cheek and down to her chin. Clearing her throat, she manages to speak with only a light cracking of her voice. “Wow Mal, you continue to surprise me. To hear you speak so about the love you witnessed by your parents, and then wanting that for yourself. You’ve really touched me. I already told you that my mom died when I was really young, and I don’t even know who my dad is, or was. Well, I never had that example, but have yearned for the same thing almost my entire life. Someone permanent, who I can rely on. Knowing that I’ll never have to be alone again.” Her voice catches in her throat, causing a chain reaction that spills the remaining tears being held back.

When she finally finds her voice again, Xan sniffles a bit before continuing. “And I’m sorry she, whoever she is, hurt you so bad to make you question something so deep as that in yourself.” Another pause as she reaches up and wipes at her face with her cloak. Finally composed she adds softly, rubbing her hand over his knee reassuringly, “Thank you for sharing that with me. It means so much.”

Malosim doesn’t catch that Xanthee is actually tearing up until her voice catches, prompting him to tighten his arm even more around her. He can’t tell if her tears are for not having her parents around or just from the magnitude of yearning for that same things he’s talked about, but it doesn’t matter, really. “You deserve that,” he murmurs against her ear before pressing his lips to her temple. “Everyone does. But if there’s a chance I could be that for you…I want it.”

He nods a silent ‘you’re welcome’ where his head rests against hers to her last, his lips curving in a rueful smile. “Sometimes the hurt is worth the lesson you gain from it. It helped me learn that love is something you have to be careful with, and it’s willing to deal with the good and the bad…and sometimes it happens all at once, or over time. Sometimes it doesn’t have to make sense and still makes perfect sense all at once.” He can’t help but laugh a little at that, lifting his head and giving it a little shake as he guides them out onto the upward slope of the Weyr road proper. “Guess there’s nothing else like it, really.”

“How do you keep saying things that make me fall for you even harder?” Xanthee says with a contented sigh as his lips touch her temple, her eyes fluttering closed in reflex as her body relaxes back against his chest. “And I totally know what you mean about hurt being worth the lesson.” she scoffs but resists the urge of indulging those old wounds at this moment. Nothing is going to ruin the rest of this date for her. Her eyes trail to her hand resting on his knee, and with a mischievous bite of her lower lip, trails her fingers teasingly up his thigh a little way and then back down to his knee. Turning her head to whisper to him, “Almost there.” in a sultry voice before giving his thigh a hard squeeze just above his knee.

Mal actually flushes a bit at Xanthee’s first, thinking for a moment that he might be the one sounding moony-eyed now. But if they both are, then things must be just as they ought to be, right? He doesn’t pry about her own experiences, expecting that she’ll share them whenever she feels ready to. His lips quirk into an appreciative smirk as he follows the trailing of her fingers along his thigh out of the corner of his eye, the slide of her fingertips over fabric sending an electric frisson along his spine and straight to his center. Then she gives that squeeze and elicits a soft grunt. “Not fast enough, though,” he says in what may as well be a half-growl that rumbles through his chest, and he taps Boulder’s sides to get him to pick up the pace.

Once they’re back at the stables, it’s a simple enough matter to relieve the runner of their blankets and satchel, followed by the saddle, which Mal hangs neatly before leading Boulder back into his stall and giving him fresh water and grain. Then he’s taking Xanthee’s hand and leading her to the Craft Complex, following a familiar route upward until they arrive outside his door. He’s quick to unlock it and guide her inside, hanging the satchel on a wall hook just to the left of the door and dropping his blanket onto a chair pulled out from a small table as he knocks the door shut with his heel.

His living space is cozy, the walls of a ruddy stone that gives it a warm feeling, especially with the light of the single glow basket reflecting softly from them. There’s a table to one side strewn with the tools of his trade and a few projects in progress, a small desk, a full-sized bed that does indeed look quite comfortable, a washbasin, a clothes press and a cabinet. It’s simply appointed, but as he says when he looks to her with a tilted little smile, “It’s home.” And all he needs.

When her actions elicit that half-growl from Malosim, Xanthee chuckles under her breath and moves both hands to the pommel when he urges Boulder into a faster pace. The arrival and unpacking all pass without notice as she feels the anticipation building inside her to get them somewhere private. Letting him lead her to his room, she has to keep herself from skipping all the way to the Crafter’s area. The room is given the once over more out of curiosity than anything else. “It’s nice. I like it. Cozy,” she says with a smile. “But look, a bed!” she exclaims teasingly as she grabs up his hands in hers and leads him to the aforementioned bed.

When they reach it, she gently pushes him down to sit on the edge so that she can wrap her arms around his neck, all ten fingers teasing through his hair, successfully mussing it in the process. Leaning down, she presses her lips against his, hard and deep, little pleasure noises starting to form in the back of her throat and causing her lips to vibrate against his.

“Ugh, I can’t even imagine the places sand could go.” Xanthee says with a tired giggle that turns into a not-quite stifled yawn. As he catches her lips with his, she sighs happily against them, eyes fluttering closed as she takes the opportunity given by him rolling onto his side to nuzzle in closer to his chest, an enthusiastic, “Mmhmm,” in response him expressing his desire to do this again. She’s having a hard time keeping her eyes open now, her body heavy from exertions. When he asks that single word question, a sleepy smile plays on her lips. “Wild runners could not drag me away,” she says as she reaches up to stroke his cheek one more time, eyes searching his before she says with all sincerity, “This is a really comfortable bed.” Giggling, she grabs some blankets that were pushed down to the foot of the bed and pulls them up over them. She turns, so that her back is to him, effectively becoming the little spoon as she scoots back up against him, laying her head on his arm and taking his other hand to wraps his arm around her, fingers twining together. It won’t take much and Xanthee’s breath will slow to a sleeping rhythm, safe in his arms with their new connection.

Even though Malosim was reasonably certain Xanthee wouldn’t want to go anywhere, he couldn’t help but ask, the caution that still lingers in certain corners of his mind not giving up its hold so easily as he’d like. But with her answer, any lingering concerns are washed away, and a deep contentment settles over him, warmly reflected in his smile. Her comment about the bed earns a soft chuckle. “Told you,” he murmurs as she pulls up the blankets, his body curling to fit snugly against hers as she tucks herself back against him. His fingers rest easily in their interlock with hers, his arm draping heavily over her…and all feels right in the world, the peace surrounding them something he wants to keep close for all his days. “Stay whenever you want,” he whispers as he hears her breathing slow, and touches his lips to her shoulder before resting his own head, falling effortlessly into slumber with her in his arms. His last thought is that if this could be all his world…he’d spend his days a happy man indeed, come what may.

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