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Not So Bad After All

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Cabanela stared into the darkness and it was strange. There was none of the restlessness that normally accompanied the wait for sleep to rear its ugly head, nor was there the urge to forget the whole thing and go do something else for a while. Jowd and Alma were asleep on either side of him. It wasn’t their old standard arrangement, but they’d seemed to understand his wordless desire to feel them both close. The darkness was warm and comfortable. He really was… home.

Alma stirred beside him, pressing closer. Her voice was low and sounded half-asleep. “Are you still awake?”

“I didn’t wake you, did I, baby?”

“Mm, I don’t know.” Her hand caressed his cheek. “Is something wrong?”

He leaned into her touch. “Not at aaall,” he practically hummed and lifted an arm.

Alma planted a kiss to the corner of his mouth and snuggled into his inviting arm. “Then you should try to sleep,” she said warmly.

Cabanela ran gentle fingers through her hair, relishing the soft feel and closeness of it all. “And miss thiiis?”

“You might try,” Jowd rumbled.

“None of us are going anywhere,” Alma added.

The mattress creaked as Jowd turned over to his side and cast an arm over Cabanela effectively pinning him under the secure weight. His beard tickled his neck and he shivered a bit at the following kiss.

“Can’t say you’re makin’ it any easier,” Cabanela managed.

There was a long pause while he waited for whatever remark Jowd might return and tried to guess at how rude it might be. He finally got his reply in a soft snore. He bit back a laugh that would only run the risk of waking them again. A masterful stroke or a dirty cheating one; either way he had no retort. All he could do was sink deeper into the pillows. His fingers still entwined in Alma’s hair and Jowd had found his other hand.

Cabanela succumbed to sleep, but on later reflection as the sun shone bright, if sleeping meant waking up to more kisses maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing after all.