The sound of their swords meeting filled the surrounding area as ZJ and Arhur were going at it again. As he did everyday when Zane finished his final class Arthur was waiting for a duel. This had been going on for months but Arthur refused to let ZJ teach him when he offered. Zane didn’t mind though, sword fighting was fun to him and it gave him a dinner companion every night. ZJ already knew Arthur didn’t live here and it fueled him when they fought. Arthur beating him meant he would go back to where he lived and Zane had become too attached to him for that.
This duel went on even longer than it had just yesterday, Arthur was getting better and better against him but to no avail. ZJ threw Arthur off balance and he hit the ground, giving ZJ the victory as he held his blade to his throat. Arthur frowned and laid back on the ground “damn it” he said with his hands covering his frustrated face. ZJ sheathed his sword and offered Arthur his hand “come on, lets have dinner. I’ve been marinating pork and it’s going to be pretty amazing. It’s a new recipe my mother figured out”
Arthur took it and allowed Zane to help him up. Zane wanted him around but hated seeing the defeated look on his face as they walked side by side. “Let me teach you Arthur”
“I can’t allow that. I need to beat you because I beat you, not because you told me how”
“why? Its not like I’m doing it for you.”
“I just have to beat you myself ZJ”
Zane nudged him. “Don’t be such a guy, even I had to learn how to use my sword. My father spent a lot of time helping me hone my skills and I’m better for it.”
“I’ll beat you on my own, I swear.”
Zane laughed. “Alright, if you insist, I’ll let you do it your way.”
Arthur went through their fight in his head like he always did, trying to find where he had gone wrong. He knew the stance Zane preferred, always knew what his first move would be, but after that, he had to rely on instinct to guide his hand. Zane was good at keeping him on his toes and he had even seen him force students onto the defensive, giving them no opening when he practiced with them. He really was getting better, but it was almost like Zane was reading his intentions before he even moved.
Arthur had been coming over so long it was barely like he was a guest in ZJ’s home. When they got there Arthur went straight to the kitchen with him to help where he was needed. They talked, laughed and best of all had small brushes against eachother. Currently Arthur was living for those small contacts. Though he was getting better Arthur felt he was still nowhere near earning the right to ask Zane to be his boyfriend. Even when that time came neither had ever talked about sexual orientation. ZJ could be straight for all he knew but he didn’t want to ask him if he liked men then have ZJ ask why. He wasn’t a liar and he would have to admit it he was asking because he wanted to be with him so badly.
He had tried to go about it by asking his mother about past relationships but that gained nothing. She had told him many people had asked him out but he always turned them down. She displayed no knowledge of if he liked men or women or maybe she just missed that’s what he was fishing for. It was funny to him in all his life he hadn’t met Zane until this trip. HIs cousins had been friends with Belle long before she and Zane Sr were even married and yet somehow he had never met this amazing, sexy, talented son of Belles.
“So, tell me what you’ve learned about me so far?” Zane asked as they sat down to eat.
“Well, you have a way with animals that I can only describe as magical, you’re incredibly compassionate, you make friends easy, oh you’re quick physically and mentally.” He took a bite of food.
“What do you mean?”
Zane chuckled. “Well, you watch me all day so what else? My dad says observing people is incredibly important, that you should be able to understand their intent before they even move. If you want to find my weakness you need to find it. So what else?”
Arthur stared at him for a moment. “I’m missing something important.”
“Mmhmm, something very important. You’ve talked to my mom.”
“Yeah, but she just talks about when you were a kid.”
“Are you saying one of your siblings knows?”
“I confide in one of them the most, but I can’t tell you which one.”
He was a little embarrassed his mother had told him about their conversation. She obviously knew what he was fishing for. “You have a lot of siblings” Zane Jrs smile didn’t falter “I do, you shouldn’t need them to know what you’re trying to figure out but I thought I’d give you a hint”
“and what am I trying to figure out?” his heart rate picked up a little as he asked. Zane’s smile just got bigger and he took a bite of food. “You like to drive me crazy don’t you Zane?”
“well I mean I don’t know what you’re trying to figure out. Not for sure but thought I’d help you out if you can’t simply ask me”
“I think you know” Zane chuckled again. Arthur loved how happy he always was. His mothers sunny disposition had definitely rubbed off on him. “I’m not going to assume. Epecially because my own thoughts might color what I assume so I’m just helping you. Anyway, I’m sure you remember tomorrow my school is closed. Want to join me at my sister Luella’s birthday party?” Arthur had been hoping for an invitation “yeah”
“My siblings will all be there” Arthur blushed, wishing Zane would just tell him if he knew.
Arthur nervously finished his dinner then helped Zane clean up. He wanted to try and pry more information out of him, but he had a feeling it wouldn’t work. “What time should I meet up with you tomorrow?”
“Wait for me at the school at noon and we’ll walk from there.”
“Alright, see you tomorrow then.” Zane smiled and Arthur forced himself to leave before he wound up kissing him. He felt almost like Zane was teasing him. He was excited about seeing him tomorrow and nervous about asking his siblings for information without seeming to obvious. He contemplated which sibling Zane might confide in the most.
When he got to his cousin Iridessia’s home she could tell he lost again “You should seriously just ask him out Arthur. I will never understand men, you get caught up in such silly things”
“Zane is amazing and I’m just me.”
“You’re pretty amazing yourself and you know it. Where’s that cocky cousin I’ve always had”
“He’s met his match”
“Exactly, ask him out.”
“I just don’t feel like I can. He keeps handing me my ass in duels”
“Arthur, he teaches defense classes and is pretty damn amazing at it. I mean, you know who his father is. He learned from the best. You are self taught. It’s pretty respectable he’s the first person you haven’t been able to beat”
“still, I don’t feel like I can yet” She gave in and said “well I’m turning in early for the night okay?”
“Okay, I don’t think I can lay down just yet so I’m going to get a drink then go sit by the river” She started to walk away then paused “hey, did you get your invite to Luella’s party?”
“I think he waited until last minute on purpose. I think he enjoys teasing you”
“don’t I know it” She laughed then went on to bed. Just as he said he got a drink of water then went outside to relax by the river.
The next day Arthur waited nervously by the school. He kept checking his clothes to make sure they looked alright and messed with his hair to ensure is wasn’t too messy. He was sure he had at least eliminated at least three of his siblings from the list. Ambrose, though loved by his brother, liked to talk and the whole kingdom would have known about Zane’s orientation by now. Lakshmi and Luella were also out since they were so much younger, ZJ probably wouldn’t talk too seriously with them about things like that. That left Seth, Ryan, Gabriel, and Ediva. At least his job was a little easier.
“If you think too hard, your head might explode.” Zane’s voice startled him and he did his best not to look embarrassed at being startled.
“You’re too quiet Zane.”
“When my siblings and I were little, our dad would play hide and seek with us and teach us how to step quietly. I guess I never forgot the lesson.” Zane smiled and Arthur’s heart flipped. “Well come on then, we don’t want to be late.” He held up two wrapped packages. “Luella’s going to want these.”
“What are they?”
“I found some new material for her and had a pair of custom scissors made for her. They haver named engraved in them and everything.”
“All she talks about is that store she’s going to have. I’m excited for her. I hope it works out. Opening a shop can be hard and she’ll have quite a bit of competition in this town but dad of course will help her along for as long as she is trying. We’re all pretty lucky honestly. We can all have our dreams because we have such amazing parents who are also wealthy enough to help us get started in what we want. Probably would have taken me much longer to get my school really going if it weren’t for my mom and dad.”
“Yeah, all of you have become something” Zane smiled again, glancing over at Arthur. Zane nearly took his hand but decided against it. If Arthur was trying to figure out if he was interested in men that would give it away and if Arthur wouldn’t ask him directly he wouldn’t make it so easy for him. They arrived at ZJ’s parents house and were greeted by Ediva “hey guys! Glad to see you brought Arthur”
“I wouldn’t go anywhere without him, he still thinks he can beat me, it’s only fair I let him see me outside of class.”
Ediva laughed as she let them in. “Zane, you’re such a twerp sometimes.”
“At least I’m a cute twerp, it makes it much easier to tease people.”
Luella came running as soon as she saw her brother and he held her presents in one hand while he lifted her onto his hip and gave her a big hug. “What did you get me?”
“I can’t tell you, that would ruin the surprise.”
“You too? Gabriel said the same thing.” She crossed her amrs and pouted, making him laugh.
“You know you’re not actually upset, I can see you want to smile.” He gaver her an eskimo kiss and she giggled.
“I’m your older brother, I’m not supposed to be fair, I’m supposed to mess with you and chase guys away. Any boyfriends yet?”
“Good, keep it that way.”
She giggled again and he set her down to greet the rest of his family. Arthur truly enjoyed being at the party. Zane’s family was incredibly fun and always made him feel welcome when he came around. He also really liked their newest family member Leilani. They still weren’t married but she was just as much a part of that family as if she and Ryan were. She was starting to show quite a bit even though it was early on in the pregnancy but she was probably going to get pretty huge carrying twins.
She and Ryan looked so happy together and so did the other couples in the room. He hoped he would be able to beat Zane sword fighting soon. To his major dissapointment he didn’t get a chance to be alone with any of the siblings he was hoping to talk to. Though with a group that big chances hadn’t really been that great. It didn’t matter though. It didn’t matter if he liked men until Arthur finally won.
“Why do you look so down?” Zane asked as they were walking through town.
“I didn’t get to ask any questions. How am I supposed to find out how to beat you?”
“You’ll get there, just be patient.”
Zane chuckled. “Such a childish reaction.” He patted Arthur’s head.
“Stop teasing.” He batted Zane’s hand away and bumped him with his shoulder. “Besides, you look way younger than me, I’m surprised you haven’t been mistaken for teenager.”
“That’s probably why no one’s asked me out. They’d feel guilty for dating someone who looks like a kid.” He shrugged. “Gabriel and Ambrose are coming by the school tomorrow to talk about their professions, you should come and listen. Maybe you’ll actually get to talk to them.”
“Okay, around what time?’
“My first class, in the meantime I’d be willing to give you another duel before I take a nap. I really need to catch up on some rest”
“Where we always, I’ll race you there” Zane took off and Arthur quickly followed. Arthur thought it was funny that Zane felt like nobody really asked him out. According to his mom when he asked her many people had he had just turned them down. Maybe he felt that way because he had already rejected most everybody who wanted to be with him and there wasn’t many new people coming here. ZJ came to a perfect stop, never seeming to have a bit of trouble no matter how fast he went. Zane took one of the swords he kept in his classroom and Arthur just used the one he constantly kept at his side. “I forgot to mention, if you lose to me again today you have to let me give you a ride to one of my favorite places this evening. After a couple hour nap I’ll feel better. and can spend some time with you before I go to sleep for the night.”
“You’re going to go dragon on me?”
“I guess that’s acceptable” They began and as always it ended with Zane being victorious. “Looks like you’re meeting me in a few hours”
“I’ll find you, go where you please until then” Zane sheathed his sword and walked away, feeling Arthur watch him go yet again. Evening came and Zane found Arthur playing around with some children he hadn’t seen before. “who are these little ones?” ZJ asked with a smile Arthur chuckled “One I can beat you in sword fighting I think I might actually let you teach me how to approach that quietly”
“I’ll teach you anything.” Arthyr motioned to each child and gave a name then said “This is just one of the ways I fill time when I’m not with you.”
“Well, you ready to go? I did win this after all”
“I am” Zane shifted into a dragon and motioned his head to tell Arthur to climb on. Arthur told the kids bye then did as Zane had requested. Arthur had never ridden a dragon before so was surpirsed at the force in which ZJ took them into the sky.
Zane couldn’t help but have a little fun with him and did a couple of barrel rolls that had Arthur gripping tightly to him. He huffed out a laugh and slowed down as he neared his destination. He dropped down on the cliff next to the large waterfall and let Arthur slip off his back before shifting back. “That wasn’t nice.” Arthur said then looked over the edge of the cliff. The end of the waterfall vanished in the mist. “Wow.”
“This is only half of it. I like jumping off of here and seeing how fast I can shift before I touch the water.”
“That sounds dangerous.”
“I’ve had a lot of practice.” He pointed at the woods. “There’s more that way, something really special.”
Arthur followed close, taking this time to admire Zane as they moved through the woods. He had to admit he was utterly helpless when it came to him. He would do anything Zane asked. They came out into a small clearing and Zane let out a sharp whistle. “What are you doing?”
“Just watch, don’t spoil the surprise.”
Arthur stayed silent, waiting. His eyes widened when the big black stag came walking out of the forest, large antlers sitting a top its head. He looked regal, like he was king of the land. A smaller female came out after him and then twin fawns still spotted. “Whoa.”
“I know, aren’t they amazing.” Zane approached the male and held out his hand and Arthur was surprised when the animal pushed its head into Zane’s palm. “That’s a good boy.”
“You and animals. I have never seen animals take to someone like they do you.”
“Come on, just come slowly” Arthur slowly approached, happy when the stag let him touch his back “wow, thank you” semi thanking both Zane and the stag. “We should do stuff like this more often” Zane said and Arthur couldn’t help but wear a huge smile “we should” he said outloud then continued in his head “and hopefully we will when I’m worthy to ask you out” Eventually the deer left, leaving them alone in the dark. Zane asked “How good is your night vision?”
“Horrible to be honest” Zane took his hand “Don’t want you getting hurt. Who will I duel with then?” Zane lead Arthur into the clearing then shifted again to take them home. Arthur wasn’t ready to part yet when they got back to town but he did with a smile. That was amazing and he couldn’t wait for Zane to invite him out to something like that again. The next day Arthur hung around an actual class of ZJ’s to talk to Gabriel. Gabriel, it absolutely had to be him. When they were done talking Arthur walked out when he did “Hey Gabriel, can we talk?”
“Sure, about Zane?” Arthur blushed and Gabriel chuckled “our father has trained us all to be observant and I doubt I’d need any training to see you have a crush on my brother” Arthur frantically looked around to make sure ZJ wasn’t near them. Gabriel laughed boisterously “come on, I’ll talk to you about him” Gabriel took Arthur to his home “so whats going on with you and him? Be honest with me. I wont rat you out. It’s why Zane talks to me”
“Well, when I first started fighting with him every day it was because I had met my first challenge but as time went on I…well we were having dinner together every night and hanging out from time to time….what I’m saying is I’ve fallen in love with your brother and I feel like I’m not worthy of asking him out until I can beat him in a duel…I don’t know…he’s just so amazing but then I don’t even know if he likes guys. I just need to know, will me asking him out freak him out….”
Gabriel laughed and slapped his back. “Man I don’t remember dating being this hard. I take it he’s been messing with you?”
“That’s our Zane, he likes to tease. He’s kind of wily, not like we all aren’t, it’s our dad’s fault.”
“So, any advice?”
“Zane is one hundred percent…” he paused for suspense, “gay.”
Arthur shoved him. “Jerk.”
“I’m the oldest, it comes with the territory.”
“Any you know weaknesses I can use during a duel, something that’ll throw him off.”
Gabriel tipped his head side to side. “Well there are a couple of things. My little brother acts all cool and like nothing gets to him, but he’s a sap for outright affection. You ever seen him blush?” Arthur shook his head. “Well believe it or not he’s easy to embarrass if you know his secrets.” He leaned in a little closer and dropped his voice to a whisper. “The first is his neck.”
“Yeah, he like crumples up like a cat when you scruff it. He just loses all control of his limbs. His body does this funny little spasm.”
“Dead serious. He gets so embarrased afterwards, it’s his best kept secret.”
“Kisses, he had someone kiss him once while he was out with me and dad, this girl that really liked him. He hadn’t been reciprocating her affection so she just kissed him. All of these people stopped and were just staring at him. Both dad and I started laughing and he just took off running ahead of us.”
“Thank you so much”
‘You’re a good guy, you’ll make him happy if he dates you”
“do you think he will?”
“Don’t be a moron. You think he invites people over to his home that he has no interest in. Over these past months he has given you most of his free time. I don’t think you realize all the stuff my brother does. I’m pretty positive you’ve occupied every second of his free time”
“He does more than teaching” Gabriel smiled “Wouldn’t hurt you to ask my brother things. I’m telling you though, he’s never given anybody outside the family the attention he’s giving you. Especially not the amount of time he’s been giving you” Arthur blushed and Gabriel laughed. Arthur shot up. He was a little rilled by Gabriels teasing him but he was deeply grateful “thank you”
“You just make my brother happy. I’ll kick your ass if you hurt him, thats a promise. You’ll be his first boyfriend you know”
“You heard me”
Gabriel excused himself, saying he wanted to get back to Tawny. Arthur just stood there staring into space. He couldn’t believe he was ZJ’s first boyfriend. “Hello, mister daydream, you alright?” Zane asked and Arthur snapped out of his thoughts.
“I only called your name a hundred times.”
“Sure you did.”
“Are you going to watch me for the rest of the day?”
He ran his fingers through his hair. “Of course, it’s my favorite part of the day.”
“Then pay attention or you might miss something important.”
Arthur smiled as he watched ZJ with his students. He couldn’t wait to fight him again and hopefully win this time. His plan was to get close to Zane. If he got close enough he could kiss him and throw him off his game. Arthur would claim the victory and hopefully get a yes when he asked ZJ to be his boyfriend. Finally the time came, another chance to be worthy of asking Zane Jr out. “You ready?” Zane asked and Arthur took a deep breath in and out before getting into stance “ready” Their swords started clanging again. Zane noticed right away Arthur was far more confident than he had been. Obviously Gabriel had shared a couple things with him. He talked to Gabe about so much though there was no telling what tips he gave Arthur.
It took a bit but Arthur finally managed it. Zane was just close enough to kiss. Zanes eyes widened, his heart skipped a beat and he lost all concentration. Arthur smiled, pulling Zane into him from behind and holding his sword to his throat. Arthur whispered triumphantly into Zanes ear “I won” the way he whispered it gave Zane goosebumps. Though it didn’t help his situation that Arthur was holding him.
“L…let go.” Arthur started laughing at the look on his face. He was so shocked and embarrassed, it was actually pretty cute.
“Are you blushing?”
“No.” He struggled away and spun around, his hand covering his mouth. “You kissed me.”
“I know.” He glanced around and noticed some of his students had hung around to watch their bout.
“I’m going to kill Gabriel, it had to be kissing didn’t it.”
Arthur moved closer and grabbed his wrist so he couldn’t run off. “Zane, I’m relaly happy right now so don’t go attacking your brother.” He pulled Zane into him. “You’re always so confident, what happened?” He teased.
“You better not tell anyone.” He shot his students a look that said breathe a word of this and I’ll kill you. The last thing he needed was some other person trying to kiss him in hopes of winning a sparring match.
“Zane.” He gently tugged him closer. “I need to ask you something.”
“Can we at least go to my place. They’re still staring.
“mhm” Arthur looked far too pleased with himself. The whole thing had Zane blushing profusely. They walked to his home and went inside. Arthur pulled ZJ into him again “A..a…arthur” Arthur chuckled again “Listen, I need to ask you something”
“You…you have to hold me to ask” ZJ’s heart was in overdrive and he was glad Arthur wasn’t a creature who could sense that. “Will you be my boyfriend?” Zane wasn’t sure he heard right, it was everything he hoped but he had so much trouble thinking when he was shown this much affection. “Boyfriend? You don’t live here”
“I have no ties but friendships and family back where I’m from and I can always visit. I’d like to move in wth you but if thats rushing things I can stay at my cousins until you’re ready for that step. MOre importantly I need to know if you’ll be with me. I’ve fallen so madly in love with you ZJ. I just haven’t felt good enough to ask you…I had to beat you in a match first”
“Sss so thats why it bothered you so much you couldn’t win?”
“Yeah” Zj’s face heated up even more. “I’m glad you want that and will stay…I want to be your boyfriend”
“Can I stay here or do I need to continue staying at my cousins” Arthur let one of his hands start caressing the back of ZJ’s neck. Goosebumps covered his body and he felt weak “My damn brother” he said breathlessly.
“I really love you Zane.”
“St…stop.” He looked away and Arthur leaned in closer, brushing Zane’s ear with his lips. “Arthur, come on.”
“You teased me so much, shouldn’t I get payback.”
“You’re just mad because you’re losing.” He nibbled at his neck and gave a pleased smile when Zane let out a little moan.
“I’m really going to kill Gabriel.”
Arthur chuckled, overflowing with happiness. Zane still hadn’t answered him about him living there or not but he wouldn’t push it right now. Arthur teased Zane a little longer then laid off. ZJ was a virgin and he wanted to take his time. He’d slowly go further and further and hopefully, eventually, ZJ would be ready to go all the way with him. Until it was time for Zj’s weekly dinner with his parents they only left Zane’s house so Zane could teach hisclasses. The two were consumed with eachother. Arthur had never been happier with anybody and Zj was discovering how wonderful a relationship could be for the first time.
When they went to his parents they were hand in hand when Leilani opened the door. Her mouth formed a large smile “well, come in you two” They did and ZJ shyly announced Arthur was his boyfriend. He wasn’t scared by any means, ZJ knew his parents and siblings loved him and this was the same as brinigng home a girl in their eyes. Belle got up, hugging her son then holding his face in her hands “You finally have a mate. Now all my adult babies but Ambrose and Seth have someone to love. I’m so happy for you ZJ” She kissed his cheek then hugged Arthur “so, thats why you were asking so much about my sons love life” Arthur chuckled “Yeah…I was worried that he might be straight”
Zane came over, intimidating Arthur ever so slightly. He patted Arthurs shoulder looking serious “ZJ’s my youngest boy. Things happen to people who hurt my family” Belle shoved Zane “cut that out”
“He’s just messing with you Arthur” she quickly said. “who says I’m messing with him?”
She gave him a look and he pulled Belle into a hug. “Don’t do that, it’s not fair.”
“Then be nice, he’s a good boy.”
“I will, I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Arthur wanted to laugh, but refrained, thinking that would be pushing it. Everyone knew Zane was a pushover where Belle was concerned. “Does that mean you’ll be staying permanently?” Leilani asked.
“He’s living with me.” ZJ said with a blush and Arthur gave him a tight hug. “Stop, everyone’s looking.”
“So, let me love you my shy little dragon.”
“I…I’ll show you little.” He mumbled under his breath. He got a grin from Arthur which made his heart do a flip. He tried pushing him away, but he was surprisingly strong.
“Why don’t you two stay and eat.” Belle said with a laugh. “Arthur why don’t you help me and give ZJ a break before he blushes himself to death.”
“Alright.” He kissed ZJ’s cheek then let him go to help Belle.
In the kitchen Belle said “Don’t you worry about my husband, just worry about loving my son”
“I really do Mrs Koopmann. He’s amazing.”
“He’s never brought anybody to our weekly dinners you know”
“really?” It made him feel really special to hear that from her “Never, I’m not even sure he’s been on a date before”
“I’ll be honest with you, I’ve dated quite a bit. I wouldn’t call myself a whore but I can’t pretend I’m like your son” She giggled “Thank you for being honest but nothing in your past matters to me. Just what you do with him does but he’s been so happy with you around. I was not looking forward to you leaving here’ Arthur and Belle talked until dinner was ready and they joined the family again. ZJ’s siblings were teasing him, loving embarrassing their brother. Zane Sr halted everyone for an announcement when Gabriel and Tawny tried to go home “I want us all to go on a vacation again. Everybody think of places to suggest and we’ll talk about it at next weeks dinner. This family has been getting bigger and nothings more important than family. We all need to take time to really be together, more than just weekly dinner”
“I promise we’ll think about places to go dad” Gabriel said so Zane Sr let him leave. After they were gone Zane Sr looked at Ryan and Leilani “You’re pregnant Leilani, as Ryan may have told you family vacations aren’t optional but pregnancy is an exception to the rule. If you don’t feel up to coming we understand but we’d like you and Ryan to come along. You’re part of our expanding family”
“I’m tougher than I look Zane. We’re going” Zane Sr smiled “good” Arthur felt like chuckling again. Only the two youngest girls in this house were children but when Zane spoke he had their full attention and what he said went. He was probably the only father around that could say to their adult children something was mandatory. Though, mandatory things like going on vacation with your family is probably one of the biggest things that kept this big family so close to one another.
Over dinner they discussed vacation ideas. ZJ wanted to go somewhere new with animals he had never seen before. Arthur agreed with him, loving how happy he looked when he talked about it. He looked so innocent when he talked about animals, his eyes lit up and he had the biggest smile on his face. The conversation lead to everyone telling stories about ZJ on some onf their trips which had him tossing a biscuit at Ambrose when he started discussing the time ZJ had lost his swim trunks.
Amrose caught it and laughed. “You should have seen him, he had this look on his face, the oh crap what do I do face. He was halfway out of the water and didn’t know if he should go back or run. Gabriel threw a towel at him.”
“I’ll kill you Ambrose.” ZJ said.
Ambrose leaned across the table and tussled his hair. “I love you too baby brother.”
ZJ and Arthur stayed late that night. He kept wanting to hear more and more about ZJ’s life but eventually they were both too tired and left his parents home. Arthur swept ZJ off his feet once outside, causing another blush. Arthur chuckled happily “you’re tired”
“so are you”
“yeah but I waited quite a bit to be able to do things like this and embarrassing you is so much fun” Arthur took ZJ home, laid him in bed then joined him for the night. He pulled Zane close as always, making ZJ smile while simultaneously getting almost fever warm. “I love you” he whispered. “You’re smiling again…you’re so mean” Arthur laughed “I’m so happy” He kissed ZJ’s head “goodnight baby”
“Night Arthur” Zane got comfortable in his arms and they were soon in a deep, restful sleep.
~ The End