"I'm really hungry," Teshin said apologetically.
Leithan chuckled. "With everything you threw up last night? I'm shocked."
Then, Leithan turned back to watch the sun rising over the clouds, and the couple outlined in its light.
"Spirits' sakes!" Teshin abruptly said, startling Leithan again.
"What is it?"
Teshin had wide eyes, and an expression of pleasure on his face, actually. He stared at the package in his hands, and the treats inside of it, in turn.
Leithan grinned as he understood what was going on here.
"Oh right. You've never had chocolate before. Good, right? They're from Sentinel Island. It's the closest of the other Rengleam colonies. We get lots of fun stuff from them. But chocolate is the best."
"Good," Teshin said, his voice awed, "doesn't even begin to describe it."
Leithan stole a coffee bean and popped it in his mouth, then turned back to watch the show. Teshin kept eating, but he shifted closer to Leithan and watched with him.
The sun soon emerged, the sky brightening all around it like a halo. In harmony with the paler sky, the wind around them slowly became warmer. It was ridiculously charming.
Even so, Leithan found that the sunset last night had been more spectacular. The stars, too.
"Thanks for bringing me here," he told Teshin, with more sincerity than words could express.
In an imitation of the couple that sat to the other side of the caldera, Teshin shifted closer and draped his arm around Leithan's shoulders. The gesture didn't have the same casualness as yesterday, when Tesh had done this before they climbed the final incline to the summit.
It was more hesitant now; questioning.
Leithan let it happen, enjoyed the moment, while knowing it would have to end soon. Melancholy stirred in him, tugging at his mood.
When the Yoxai couple kissed, Leithan joked before he could stop himself, "You going to kiss me too?"
"Do you want me to?" Teshin's reply was serious, and broke Leithan's heart for reasons he couldn't fully make sense of right now.
Leithan shook his head, and turned so he could pull Teshin close, hugging him rather than kissing him, which was probably what he needed the most. Tesh hugged back tight, proving him right.
In his ear, Leithan said, "You got some stuff to figure out, ani."
When they pulled away, Teshin had a smile quirking the corner of his mouth.
"So it's ani now, is it?" he asked.
Leithan felt a blush creeping up his cheekbones.
"It felt . . . right."
"What's a Rengleam endearment?" Teshin asked, angling his head with his characteristic curiosity.
But Leithan shook his head firmly, and looked back at the sunrise.
"Oh, no. I'm not giving you material to make fun of me."
Teshin sat cross-legged, hands in his lap. "At least tell me what ani is?"
Leithan looked at him, and laughed at the pleading look in his eyes.
"Fine. It's like, I don't know. Sweetheart. Or some shit."
It wasn't, really.
You just couldn't translate those words. But he knew Teshin would have trouble with the word, with his accent, and it would be adorable to hear him try to pronounce it.
YOU ARE READING
Son of No CityFantasy
Two factions. One island. Because of his mixed blood, Leithan Blackfeather doesn't truly belong to either side. When tensions rise between the two communities and war seems imminent, Leithan is caught in the middle. But he finds an unexpected ally...