Breezehome was just too damn small.
At first, it had been quite comfy. When Sirius first was awarded the house by Jarl Balgruuf, it was just himself and Lydia, feeling a bit awkward at living together despite being complete strangers. But it wasn’t long before the pair had become good friends. Then Sirius brought home a shaggy grey dog named Meeko, and the people of Whiterun gossiped about the closeness of the Dragonborn and his Housecarl. A wedding was sure to follow, they were convinced. Sure enough, it did - but Sirius didn’t marry Lydia, he married a mercenary from Markarth named Vorstag.
The little house was lively now, the nosier citizens of the city wondering if there was some kind of bizarre love triangle going on in there despite Lydia’s firm assurance that she and her Thane were only friends, and despite the almost sickeningly-sweet way Sirius and Vorstag treated each other. Never ones to care about gossip, the two men took a trip to Windhelm and returned with an adopted daughter, Sofie, in tow. The imaginary love triangle was forgotten as Whiterun residents fell to discussing the child, wondering what had happened to her parents, why the Dragonborn had adopted her, and say, wasn’t it strange he didn’t go to Honorhall Orphanage? Sure, Grelod the Kind had been brutally murdered there but there were lots of children waiting for adoption and - you’re not suggesting the Dragonborn killed Grelod, are you? What? No! But it is strange, isn’t it?
Sirius was used to gossip and very good at ignoring it. One thing he couldn’t ignore was the way Breezehome seemed to be shrinking. Sofie came home with a baby bunny one day and begged to keep it, and her parents couldn’t say no to the look on her face. Cotton was constantly underfoot and the next thing Sirius knew, his daughter had brought home a fox kit with an injured leg and had been given permission to nurse it back to health, but the day Rafe was supposed to return to the wild never came. And Sirius had to admit the small fox looked very cute sleeping on Meeko’s back. The population of the four-room house was now up to seven, and Vorstag had mentioned a few times that a private bathhouse would be nice.
Secretly, Sirius longed for more room and some relief from the prying eyes and gossiping tongues of the Whiterun population. As he rode to Falkreath in response to a letter from Jarl Siddgeir, his mind wandered and he wondered where he could possibly relocate his family. Riften was out. Honeyside was smaller than Breezehome and besides, the city was filthy and rife with crime - he wasn’t bringing his little girl to a place like that. Markarth was out. Vlindrel Hall was a fine, spacious home, but high up and he worried about Sofie on the steps. The Forsworn were a concern as well. Solitude was out. Proudspire Manor was certainly palatial enough, but the people of the city were, if possible, even more nosy and gossipy than those in Whiterun. Some maliciously so. Windhelm was also out. Sofie had bad memories of the city, and Dragonborn or no, Ulfric wouldn’t have given Sirius as much as a used tissue, let alone a house, since he did not support the Stormcloaks. He didn’t support the Imperials either, but that didn’t seem to make a difference to Ulfric.
Unfortunately, Jarl Siddgeir’s note proved only to add to Sirius’ worries. He praised the Dragonborn for eliminating the bandits he had formerly dealt with, for getting rid of the werewolf that tore children apart, and for slaying the dragon that had dared land on the Jarl’s roof. His reward? A Housecarl. When Sirius didn’t even own a house in Falkreath. He sputtered and tried in vain to explain his situation, but Siddgeir waved him off. Besides, Sirius thought glumly, it was rude to his new Housecarl to refuse her service. And so, Rayya the Redguard moved into Breezehome, amid rumors that she was a.) Sirius’ mistress; b.) Vorstag’s mistress; c.) Lydia’s lover; or d.) all of the above.
One morning, Sirius awoke, tripped over Cotton getting out of bed, collided with Vorstag on his way to the dresser, tripped over Rafe in the hall, nearly knocked Rayya down the stairs, bumped into Lydia and made her drop the kettle into the fire, tripped over Meeko on the way to his chair, and upon sitting was met with Sofie’s bright eyes and “Are you okay, Papa? I heard you last night asking Daddy to ‘give it to’ you. Did he take something from you?” Vorstag spit tea clear across the room.
That decided it. It was bad enough his daughter was sleeping next to an alchemy table in a room only a little larger than a closet, but knowing she could hear everything that transpired in her parents’ bedroom was the final straw. In desperation, Sirius began asking around to see if anyone knew of a large house for sale.
Vorstag was standing in the doorway of Breezehome, a large bowl cradled in one arm, stirring batter absentmindedly. He stared, unseeing, over the heads of Sofie and her friends Mila and Lars as they played in front of the house. Sirius was missing, had been gone for three whole days. It was not unusual for his husband to be called away or to go wandering, but he usually he told Vorstag where he was going. He was so busy worrying he didn’t even notice he was stirring an empty bowl, having tilted it so far over that all the batter had dripped onto the ground. The children stared at him.
“Uh, Daddy, maybe you should go lay down…” Sofie began, then Vorstag dropped the bowl entirely as Sirius entered through the city gates, bedraggled but smiling, a sheaf of parchment clutched in his hand. He hugged Sofie and planted a sloppy kiss on Vorstag’s lips.
“Hello, my loves. It’s good to be home. Is it time to eat?”
“Not yet,” Vorstag said, looking down at the spilled batter, which Meeko was now licking off the cobblestones. “Where have you been?”
“Later, later.” The Dragonborn stuffed the parchment into a drawer and rumpled his daughter’s hair. “I think I’ll go take a bath.”
“I’ll come with you,” Vorstag said quickly, glancing over at Lydia, who nodded to him and took over the cooking duties. There was nothing Vorstag loathed more than Whiterun’s public bath, but he wasn’t about to let Sirius go alone. It wasn’t a bad place; in fact, it was rather pretty… The inside was similar to the Temple of Kynareth, a lovely painting of the Gildergreen taking up an entire wall, clear water trickling quietly into the pool. But the people stared. A lot. Sirius wasn’t shy about his body and ignored the looks he got, but Vorstag hated seeing the way the women (and some of the men) ogled his husband like a piece of meat. He also hated the mutterings he heard when they settled into the bath together, sitting close and washing each other’s backs.
“Why he married such a…” “look at the size of his …” “I’d really like to show him my…” “a waste, don’t you think…?”
But today the bathhouse was abandoned, and the two husbands were able to bathe and lounge at their ease, the warm water and the closeness of Sirius washing away the last of Vorstag’s worries. He snuggled close, Sirius’ arm around his shoulders. “Will you tell me now? Where you went?”
“I didn’t want to talk in front of Sofie until we decided,” Sirius answered, also happy to be reunited with his lover. “I went to everyone I could think of, looking for a bigger house for us. And I mean everyone, everywhere. I went to Ivarstead, Rorikstead, Riverwood, Dawnstar, Morthal, Solitude… anyplace I thought someone could direct me to a good house or even - and I was getting desperate at this point - land where I could build a house.”
Vorstag snickered. Sirius was good at smithing and whittling, but the idea of him building a house was just too ridiculous - he didn’t have the patience. “Did you have any luck?”
“Not until I finally dragged my arse back to Falkreath. I was having an ale in the tavern and grousing about my problems to old Lod the smith when someone overheard me and said the Jarl had a manor for sale. I went to see Siddgeir and he said it was true. I could’ve killed him. He sat there grinning at me saying he thought I wasn’t interested because I hadn’t asked about it when he sent Rayya to me, and I was ready to punch his lights out. He didn’t even mention a house last time I was there. I felt like an idiot, stammering that I didn’t need a second Housecarl because I didn’t have a fucking house, and he let me go on and then shame-walk out of there, and the whole time there’s this big-ass deserted manor right on the lake. For the love of Azura.”
“Rayya did mention he’s…. hard to get along with,” Vorstag said delicately. But the prospect of a new home - a manor, even! - was exciting. “Did you buy it?”
“Not yet. I wanted to take you to see it first. Given Siddgeir’s knack for over-exaggeration, it could be shit. I figured I’d come home, see what you thought, and we’d take a little trip. Y’know, fresh air, change of scenery, stretch our legs…”
“Have sex without being overheard?” Vorstag purred in Sirius’ ear.
“Oh, yeah, well, the thought had crossed my mind…”
“Sounds good to me…. and while we have the place to ourselves, why don’t we…” he whispered into Sirius’ ear, the Dragonborn’s smile widening.
“I think we can manage that, you naughty boy…”
Sunlight sparkled on Lake Ilinalta, a delicate breeze whispering through the pines. Sirius and Vorstag took deep breaths of the refreshing scent as they strolled hand-in-hand along the southern shore. People whispered that Ilinalta was cursed, but it was hard to believe when one gazed upon its beauty. Both men felt refreshed from their trip, energized and happy. They could have ridden or taken a carriage, but walking gave them a chance to go at their own pace, admiring the scenery and being alone together in a way they hadn’t in a long time. Granted, walking briskly would have brought them to Falkreath in less than a day, but they had been in no hurry and had stopped over in Riverwood to visit a few friends. Night had been spent camping in the woods, making love under the stars (and Vorstag was limping a little today, but didn’t care) and falling asleep in each other’s arms with the aurora borealis blazing overhead.
“The directions Siddgeir’s steward gave me say to turn here,” Sirius said, consulting his parchment. A stone cairn marked the head of a barely-discernible path leading away from the lake into the woods. Sirius had been advised to bring a machete, and it proved useful as they slowly made their way up the path, cutting away the shrubs and thorns that blocked their way in places. Vorstag’s heartbeat quickened. They were heading uphill, and as the trees thinned out he could see a roof off to his left. A very large roof, it seemed. After removing a difficult and determined patch of nettles, the two men stepped into a clearing, and the house loomed above them.
The clearing wasn’t exactly clear - the grass needed cutting - but they barely noticed as they gazed up at the manor. It was old - built sixty years ago according to the records Siddgeir had given Sirius - and needed some attention, but was obviously very sturdy and securely built. Elegant rain-spouts carved in the shape of dragons’ heads topped the roof, and the front door was fashioned with a lovely pattern of leaves and vines. But as beautiful as these details were, it was the size that had the men gaping. From the outside, Lakeview Manor appeared to be capable of holding a family of twenty or so.
“Wow,” Vorstag said weakly, gazing up at the behemoth. “I-is that a tower?”
“Yes,” Sirius said, unrolling the floor plans. The parchment indicated a large tower on the northern side of the house, looking out over the water. He squeezed Vorstag’s hand and reached into his coin purse for the key. “Ready to go inside?”
Vorstag nodded, and Sirius opened the door. They stepped into an entrance hall that was easily the size of Breezehome’s main room. Tall, slim windows made of colored glass cast rainbows across the stone floor. Two extremely dusty display cases stood at each side of the hall, containing nothing but a few dust bunnies and flanked by empty weapon racks. Eager to explore, Sirius and Vorstag put down their packs and weapons before continuing. Sirius pushed open a set of doors at the opposite end of the hall to reveal a great room bigger than their whole house. A gigantic fireplace, dirty but in good condition, was the centerpiece of the room. Two staircases rose on either side and closed doors hid yet more rooms from sight.
“Wow,” Vorstag said weakly. “It’s pretty big.”
“It’s great,” Sirius grinned, hugging Vorstag. “Let’s see what else we have here…..”
The western doors led to a plain, empty room, quite large, that would be good for a bedroom. On the eastern side sprawled a big kitchen, complete with fireplace, oven, and a haphazard group of chairs stacked on top of a long, dusty dining table that obviously belonged in the great hall. Vorstag studied it appreciatively, taking stock of the fine carving that had gone into the set.
But there was more. Two archways on either side of the great hall’s fireplace led to yet another large room that could serve as a study. A door at the end revealed the tower’s lower floor, jammed with old furniture that was mostly broken. Venturing upstairs, Sirius and Vorstag found a spacious hall and two bedrooms. A smaller back hall held the door that opened up to the tower’s second floor. A ladder was built into the wall here, and they climbed up and out a trapdoor to find themselves on top of the tower.
“Gods,” was all Vorstag could say, as they looked out over the tops of the trees. It was an awesome view, proving the manor’s name accurate as the two husbands gazed out at the glistening lake, stretching out as far as they could see. It was an excellent vantage point, as well, offering an unobstructed view of the land around the manor in all directions. For a long time they simply sat and drank in the sunshine and scenery. Sirius was on the verge of dozing off when Vorstag asked, “There’s a cellar on these plans too, shall we look?”
The study contained a trapdoor leading to the cellar, but Sirius lit torches and insisted on going first. “There might be skeevers.”
Vorstag was ready to protest that a skeever or two didn’t bother him, when his husband dropped out of sight with a scream.
“Sirius!” Vorstag gasped, and was on the verge of following his husband down the hole, but a sharp cry stopped him.
“Stay there! I’m fine!”
Heart pounding, Vorstag knelt beside the trapdoor and peered into the hole. His husband was sitting on a damp stone floor, rubbing his butt. His torch had rolled away but stayed lit, and there was no sign of any creatures down there. “What happened?”
“Damn ladder’s rotted to shit,” Sirius answered, standing up. He fumbled for the torch and held it close to the trapdoor. “See? When I put my weight on it the whole thing collapsed. Hold on, there’s some old crates I can stack up.” For a few moments there was nothing but the sound of Sirius’ grunts and crates being dragged on stone. Then he called up. “Okay, hon, you should be safe… just take it easy.”
Gingerly, Vorstag handed Sirius his torch and then climbed down carefully. The crates seemed to be sturdier and supported him without protest, and he looked around at the stone walls of the cellar. Sirius tucked the torches into brackets on the wall, casting warm light over the scene.
“Oh, look,” Vorstag said softly. An altar to the Divines, sadly neglected, stood along the eastern wall. He ran his hands over the statuettes, vowing to clean them as soon as possible, forgetting for the moment the house wasn’t even theirs. The statuettes were old and slightly different from the ones Vorstag was used to, but in good shape despite their age and neglect. He rubbed his sleeve over the sapphire in Kynareth’s statuette and was pleased to see it gleam.
Sirius smiled to see his husband caring for the altar, then continued to look around. An alcove opposite the altar would be a good place to put his shrine to Azura. More empty weapon racks lined the south wall, and the northern wall was all wine storage, one or two lonely bottles still stored in the cubbies. A single arch broke the neat ranks of the racks, and Sirius peered through. He laughed, drawing his husband’s attention. “Vorstag, look!”
The other room contained a forge - unlit and disused - but a real, full-sized forge. And not only that, but a smelter, grindstone, workbench, and tanning rack as well. It would be perfect for Sirius, who loved playing with metal and ores to see what he could make. (Vorstag’s first anniversary present had been an expertly sculpted and extremely detailed dildo made of moonstone - he had nearly hit Sirius with it, but it was quite beautiful and, well, fun to use.) “This is wonderful, my love.” He leaned against his husband. “It’s like this house was made for us.”
“Maybe it was,” Sirius said softly, smiling. “Shall we take it?”
“It’ll need a lot of work before we move in,” Vorstag said slowly, tallying up the pros and cons in his head. “Mostly cleaning, but we should check the roof for leaks and fix the ladder you just broke… the land needs clearing….” But it was a beautiful home, there was no doubt, and had so much room….! Sofie wouldn’t have to sleep in the alchemy room, Lydia and Rayya could get up in the morning without hitting their heads on the roof… and he had seen the solid, thick walls and doors. He was sure he and Sirius could be as noisy as they wanted and not be overheard. “I like the kitchen…” he continued, thinking of how difficult it was to cook in Breezehome, where he had only a simple fire and pets constantly underfoot.
“There’s plenty of room outside, too, we could build a bathhouse,” Sirius offered, and Vorstag nodded. He continued to gaze at the altar, thinking furiously. He had seen the papers. The price was reasonable and granted them the ability to clear and build on the land. The only nearby building was another abandoned house ( a shack, really), on the opposite road, that had served as a kind of gatehouse for the manor’s original owner. The forest was beautiful and peaceful, close enough to Falkreath to go for supplies easily but far enough away that the day-to-day business of the city would not bother them.
“We can sleep on it,” Sirius said, not wanting to rush his lover into a decision. “We can spend the night here, see how you like it.”
“Can we?” There was excitement in Vorstag’s voice and Sirius smiled, loving his husband’s enthusiasm.
“Sure. Let’s see if we can get things cleaned up a bit.”
A few rags and a bucket found in the kitchen were utilized and scrubbing began. Sirius cleaned out the great hall’s fireplace and got a good fire going with the broken furniture from the tower, while Vorstag washed the floor and knocked all the cobwebs from the corners. It took a long time, and by nightfall they were exhausted. The great hall looked presentable, though, and they spread their blankets before the fire and enjoyed a supper of bread, cheese, and jam.
After eating, they snuggled together on the blankets, the low fire flickering over them. Vorstag felt pleasantly sleepy, listening to the crackle of the wood and Sirius’ breathing. A light wind had come up outside and he listened to it rustle the trees. It was so quiet here, nothing like Whiterun, where noises and voices could be heard all night, and when the patrons across the street at the Drunken Huntsman got going it was almost impossible to get any rest. But Lakeview Manor was silent except for the occasional sound of an owl hooting or a gentle creak as the old house settled. Sirius was asleep already, breathing warmly on Vorstag’s neck. They may have been laying on a stone floor in an abandoned house, but Vorstag felt like he was home.
Weeks passed in a flurry of activity. Sirius and his family were busy from sunup to sundown making Lakeview Manor habitable again. Jarl Siddgeir had been pleased to finalize the purchase, secretly delighted in gaining the Dragonborn for his Hold. Though Sirius didn’t know it, the Jarls of Skyrim had all placed large bets on whose hold the hero would settle down in permanently.
The small path in the woods was worn back into a road in no time, the new inhabitants of Falkreath traveling back and forth every day. The adults scrubbed, hammered, polished, painted, landscaped; Sofie ran herself ragged going back and forth to the lake for clean water, Meeko bounding at her heels. The grass around the manor was trimmed, separate gardens for vegetables and alchemy ingredients planted. Sirius hired the best contractor in Skyrim to build a replica of a Dwemer bathhouse, with Calcelmo from Markarth providing all the design and detail reference. Crews dug up massive amounts of earth to lay real, salvaged Dwemer pipes from the lake to the bathhouse. It was an enormous feat, and people from all over Skyrim came to gawk at the construction. In the midst of all this activity the manor’s restoration was completed, and a caravan formed to start bringing the family’s belongings from Whiterun.
Vorstag was dizzy with activity and anticipation; there was so much to do he hardly knew where to start each morning. He longed to see more of the construction of the bathhouse, fascinated as he was with Dwemeri construction. He caught only glimpses as he kept busy, his heart soaring when salvaged Dwemer artifacts were brought in for decoration. But he was far from unhappy. The work made his spirit soar, as he put together a home with the ones he loved. He delighted in every shipment from Whiterun, feeling as if he was greeting old friends when the furniture and belongings were brought inside. The alchemy table was put in the lower floor of the tower, Sirius’ extensive collection of reagents, ingredients, and potions carefully organized on shelves. The top floor of the tower became a library of sorts, with bookcases reaching from ceiling to floor and jammed with the books that didn’t fit in the study. He and Sirius took the upstairs right-hand bedroom, Lydia and Rayya the left, and Sofie had the big room downstairs on the western side. The kitchen came to life, cupboards full of food and pottery joined by hanging racks of vegetables and herbs.
Sirius left one morning to return to Whiterun for his most valuable belongings, a task he would entrust to no one else. He kissed Vorstag sweetly. “I’ll be home before dark, my love.”
Home. It sounded wonderful. Vorstag returned the kiss, watching fondly as his husband got into the carriage and drove off.
It wasn’t a long drive back to Whiterun, and Sirius whistled as he loaded the carriage with sacks and boxes filled with enchanted weapons, expensive potions, priceless jewels, Daedric artifacts, and even a couple of Elder Scrolls. It was late afternoon when he headed back to Falkreath, after giving Breezehome a final once-over for anything left behind before locking it up securely. He was keeping the small house, a useful place to stay when he had business in the city.
Singing softly to himself, Sirius drove along the edge of the lake. His horse, Svenja, had a spring in her step, eager to get home. They were nearly there when a wild shout rent the silence, and a group of bandits ran out into the road. Svenja reared, whinnying in fear. Sirius managed to hold her, standing to meet the bandits.
“Hand over the goods!” the leader said loudly. He and his gang had been watching the bustle for days, noting the route the carriages took and surveying the shipments. They weren’t interested in furniture or household goods, waiting for what finally came - this last carriage, laden with riches. The bandits had hoped it wouldn’t have been the Dragonborn driving, but he was alone, at least.
“Mephala’s tits,” Sirius spat. “I was looking forward to getting home early.” He swung down from the carriage, sweeping back his cloak to draw his sword, Gehenna. “Are we doing this one-on-one, or ten-on-one?”
“You won’t know what hit you, fetcher,” the bandit leader sneered, and the ruffians plowed forward, battle cries ringing through the trees.
Svenja swished her tail and looked over at her master, who was wiping blood off his sword on a swatch of cloth torn from a dead bandit’s cloak. The battle was over in ten minutes, each bandit falling before Sirius’ quick sword and mighty Thu’um. Sighing, he sheathed Gehenna and approached Svenja, stroking her nose.
“Sorry, pretty one. This might take awhile.” He pulled a small bundle wrapped in paper from his pocket, cinnamon apple slices Vorstag had packed for him as a snack. He popped one in his mouth and spread the bundle on the road for Svenja to snack on. He took off his cloak and draped it over the carriage seat before beginning the tiring cleaning process. One by one, he frisked each bandit for anything of use - lockpicks, gold - then dragged each corpse off the road. It was slow work, and the sun was dipping below the mountains by the time Sirius straightened up. He shook his head at the heap of ruffians before going to the edge of the lake to wash his hands and attempt to get the blood off his armor. It was chilly as he straightened up, and he pulled on his cloak.
“Okay, pretty one. Let’s go home.” Sirius swung up into the carriage seat and tapped Svenja’s shoulders with the reins, and she started forward obediently. The carriage rumbled down the road towards Lakeview Manor, and at the head of the path a lantern was flickering. It was Lydia, wrapped in a blue cloak, waiting for him.
“My Thane! We were starting to get worried.” She smiled up at Sirius, who moved over and let her climb up. “Nothing went wrong, did it?”
“Nah,” Sirius said, as the carriage headed up the hill towards the warmly lit manor. “Just a few bandits, nothing I couldn’t handle.”
“By Shor! I knew Rayya or I should have come with you…”
Sirius patted her hand reassuringly. “It’s fine, Lydia, Svenja and I are unhurt and nothing was stolen. Just remind me to send a message to the Falkreath Guard to dispose of the bodies in the morning.”
Lydia shook her head in disbelief. “You are truly something, my Thane.”
Vorstag greeted them as they pulled to a stop in front of the manor. He hugged Sirius tightly, and frowned at the spatter of blood across his chest. “My love, what-”
“I’ll tell you later.” Sirius kissed him as Rayya and Sofie emerged from the house, likewise relieved that Sirius was home safe. They began taking things inside, Sirius carefully placing items in safe places. Enchanted weapons now hung in the weapon racks, the priceless potions glimmered from the highest shelf in the alchemy lab, and Dwemer artifacts glowed on top of bookcases and tables. The Daedric artifacts Sirius owned resided in a locked chest, save Azura’s Star, which Sirius placed reverently at the foot of the Daedra’s shrine in the cellar. The treasures the family had missed fitted well into their new spaces and made Lakeview Manor a complete home.
After unloading, Sirius tended to Svenja, unhitching her and leading her into the stable. He brushed, fed, and watered her before giving her an extra apple as a treat and putting on her blanket. “Goodnight, pretty one.” He emerged out into the night, stopping to gaze at his home. Lights twinkled merrily in the windows, casting bands of brightness across the yard, and smoke drifted lazily from the chimneys. Stars sparkled overhead and a breeze rustled through the pines, bringing the scent of the lake to him. For the first time in a long time he felt utterly at peace.
The door opened and Vorstag was there, wiping his hands on a towel. “Are you coming in, love? It’s time to eat.”
Shaking himself out of his reverie, Sirius crossed the yard and pulled his husband into his arms. “I love you,” he murmured, resting his forehead against Vorstag’s.
“I love you too.” Vorstag’s voice was soft, filled with love. For a moment they stood in the doorway, embracing. The night was peaceful, the only sound the whisper of the wind in the pines and the soft hooting of an owl in the distance. Sirius could have stayed like this forever, but his stomach was growling. Vorstag laughed and pulled him inside. Sirius removed his armor and left it in the entrance hall to clean later, smoothing out his clothes and stepping into the great room. The table was set and the delicious smell of roast chicken perfumed the air. Meeko, Rafe, and Cotton were eating out of dishes by the hearth. Sofie, Lydia, and Rayya were already seated, beaming at Sirius and Vorstag as they took their seats.
“Azura and the Divines bless us all,” Sirius said a simple grace. His family tucked in, but for the moment he only watched them, smiling. When Vorstag gave him a questioning glance, he reached out and held his hand. “I’m just enjoying our time together,” he murmured.
It felt good to be home.