"Not in front of the men," Zephyr murmured as Noreat kissed him again.
The younger king frowned as Zephyr pulled away. Curse the man's annoying height. In some cases it was quite fun, in others it was maddening. Of course Noreat could pull him back down, but Zephyr was strong again. He could resist with ease.
"And why not in front of them?" Noreat waved a hand dismissively at the knights who kept watching.
"Right now is not the right time."
"Oh? And what is the right time?" Frowned the younger king.
The older man sighed lightly while side eyeing the army that Noreat had given him. Zephyr adjusted quickly to being General of Dwal's army, and the men adjusted quickly to having to listen to a foreigner's direction. It also helped that at any time Zephyr could either: (a) knock them to the ground with a gale of wind or (b), the far more interesting choice, he could create a vacuum around them and starve them of air for any length of time. Usually he didn't kill the men, but one or two soldiers had been lost when they tried to attack the new General. The army fell quickly into line after that.
"I need their respect," his bonded attempted to explain.
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe they already respect and fear you, love."
"Right now, yes," nodded Zephyr.
"So why is now any different?" Frowned Noreat.
"Well right now we're kissing in front of them and—"
"And that makes a difference somehow?"
"It does. They won't see me as a General, they'll see me as soft," the older King frowned, the lines on his face always becoming more pronounced when he frowned. "I love you, you know that. But there are times and places for such displays of affection."
Noreat frowned right back and folded his arms over his chest indignantly. He was fairly certain the threat of death outweighed the fact that Zephyr had a soft side and could expose it. Though the man seemed a bit adamant about this, and Zephyr took on the serious expression he used mostly for his men and those who annoyed him. Noreat was never fond of the expression when it was used on him.
"…Have it your way, then," the young King whispered and then left.
Later that day Zephyr went to find his bonded. He had spent most of the daylight outside with the knights. By now he was tired but far from exhausted. After searching Noreat's usual haunts around the palace he finally found the man in their room. Zephyr smiled as he slid into the room and pulled off his jacket.
"There you are," the older man greeted warmly.
Noreat murmured a soft hello, his eyes in a book of some sort. That wasn't too unusual as Noreat usually was quieter when reading. It was likely one of those poetry books he had commissioned. However, whenever Zephyr came in Noreat tended to stop reading to greet him. Perhaps he was in the middle of a particular poem. Noreat was not the type of man to leave a poem half-finished. So as his bonded read Zephyr pulled off his boots and stretched. A couple new bruises from today but nothing deadly serious. Damien wanted to have Zephyr healed before retiring before dinner, but Zephyr would hear none of it. He was used to bruises and minor injuries at this point. He might have even liked them.
After a few minutes Zephyr turned over onto his side. Noreat was still reading, or at least he looked like he was. Odd, Noreat generally didn't keep this quiet after a long day of the two being separated. The older man sat up and went over to Noreat. He reached out to brush the young king's hand but Noreat immediately jerked it away and tucked it under his slender chin.
That was right, they had argued earlier. The conversation seemed so petty that Zephyr had completely forgotten about it. It had been a bad habit of his, forgetting arguments and then walking in not remembering he had upset someone. Usually it didn't matter, Zephyr was the king in Geofek and king's consort here in Dwal, and it likely wouldn't be an issue if it were anyone but Noreat. However, the fight had been between the two highest ranked members of this royal court and Zephyr was not the highest in the room. The older man sighed and rolled his shoulders.
"I'm sorry," usually just that phrase worked on Mayanna or Iridesia.
Noreat frowned and continued to read. Apparently he was going to be more difficult than his daughter and deceased wife. Zephyr wasn't exactly…good…at this. It wasn't as though royalty were taught in the art of apologizing. That was a skill they hardly needed, and in Zephyr's career as King he had apologized to only family on sparing occasions.
"Noreat…" Zephyr almost complained.
His bonded huffed. All right, that didn't work. Realistically it would have never worked. Whining and complaining only got him so far even when Zephyr was a child. And that particular habit of Zephyr's had been stamped out quickly. His father had never enjoyed that particular tone of voice.
"Right now is not the right time," Noreat recited from earlier.
Vortex, the man could be a right spiteful thing couldn't he. Zephyr pinched the bridge of his nose and slouched just a little.
"Noreat you cannot still—"
He was. And now Zephyr needed to figure out the right way to soothe his lover's sore pride.
Ah, there is an idea.
The king's consort rounded the chair Noreat was in and leaned over him. His bonded continued to scowl and glared at the book of poetry. Zephyr was fairly certain that the poetry was much more difficult to read when he was upset and angry. Sighing lightly, Zephyr knelt down in front of Noreat.
"Give me a chance, Noreat."
"Respect is more important," the man parroted again.
It likely wouldn't help if Zephyr mentioned how alike to his daughter Noreat was acting. He was, but that would likely earn him a smack to the cheek or worse. The older man sighed and folded his arms over Noreat's knees. His bonded twitched and now turned his icy blue glare down on Zephyr. Definitely a lot like Iridesia when she's upset.
"Outside it is," Zephyr tried to explain.
Noreat huffed and glared back at his book. The poetry had no idea what it did to make the king so angry, and it was trying very hard to make him happy, but the words were falling a bit short. Noreat had a glare that could terrify the words off a page.
The king's consort thought for a moment and then sighed. Apparently there was no winning for him. He already let Noreat slide flowers into his hair, a style Zephyr had only worn when Iridesia was little and on particular occasions that called for it. No kisses in front of the men was likely something he would have to fold on. He numbly wondered if there would ever be something Zephyr could get his way on, but he hadn't encountered that situation yet. Perhaps in Dwal the odds were ever in Noreat's favor.
"I'm sorry Noreat," Zephyr apologized sincerely this time. "It's not so much an issue."
Noreat continued not to speak to Zephyr. The silent treatment was a maddening thing, and while Zephyr could tolerate it from his daughter having to tolerate it from his bonded was a different monster. The older man's mouth twisted.
"Allow me to make it up to you."
"And how would you—"
In his own typical fashion, Zephyr pushed Noreat's book away and kissed his bonded. Noreat tried so hard not to kiss back, he even tensed for a moment, but after that passing second he had to reciprocate. The young king sighed dramatically but wrapped a hand around Zephyr's jaw. Noreat was clinically unable to stay mad at Zephyr long. When they pulled their lips away Noreat managed a small frown that wrinkled his nose.
"I hate it when you do that," the king mumbled.
Zephyr slid his hands up Noreat's legs and kissed him again. His bonded made a soft sound, it was a mix of angry and resigned, and he had to kiss back again. Zephyr's callused fingers slid under Noreat's white and purple tunic, finding the hem of his pants and tugging them. Noreat wrapped both hands around Zephyr's shoulders. Slender fingers wrapped around Zephyr's long braid.
"I expect a good apology," Noreat smirked.
The older man had to grin back, his teeth scraped against Noreat's lips. Zephyr's hands continued to pull down Noreat's pants.
"I think I can do that."
"Are you sure? I'm still very cross with you," a sentence that didn't fit Noreat's thin smile.
Pressing up against Noreat, Zephyr nipped down the side of Noreat's neck. His bonded panted lightly and wrapped his hand around Zephyr's braid. A second later Noreat jerked Zephyr's head back by his braid, making the older man growl. Zephyr grinned and pricked his nails into Noreat's thighs.
"Have I ever disappointed you in the past?" Zephyr wondered.
Noreat giggled in that excited way he always did. One hand pushed down Zephyr's shirt to show off more of the man's silver carpeted chest.
"Not to date…" the way Noreat's icy eyes devoured his body sent shivers down Zephyr's spine.
Zephyr cocked an eyebrow and smiled thinly. "Then trust me."
It was fair enough to say that Zephyr made up for his egregious error yesterday. The next day Noreat was feeling much better. He and Zephyr ate breakfast as they always did, and Noreat walked his consort/general to the barracks where their army was. The knights were milling about, either sparring or donning some armor. Noreat lightly pat the small of Zephyr's back.
"I shall see you later," Noreat smiled.
His bonded smiled and was about to walk away, but something made him stop short. The older man looked as though he was thinking, and as Noreat was going to ask him what caused him to pause Zephyr turned around and kissed him. The young king sighed and wrapped his hands around Zephyr's strong jaw.
At the first giggle from one of the guards a strong gale kicked up and threw him into the wall of the barracks. It was safe to say that Zephyr didn't lose any of his hard-earned respect.
Though Sfo couldn't stop cackling as the knight went running to a healer.