It did not take long to locate a snare with a rabbit in it, but when she returned to the blanket, Eloran was asleep. She stared at him for a moment, then approached him. She laid the rabbit to the side, sat next to him, and placed her hand on his knee. He woke almost instantly.
“Hello. Were you asleep?”
“Yes. I don’t usually fall asleep so easily.”
“These woods are safe; you are protected, Prince Eloran.”
Eloran reached out and slipped his arm around her waist. He stared into her eyes for a moment before finding the lavender and placing it in her hair at her ear. He wound her hair around the twig to keep it there. She closed her eyes as the scent came to her nostrils.
“The Finarans believe that if one places a twig of lavender in another’s hair, it means that person wishes to kiss the other.”
His breath hitched in surprise. “And what does the person do if they desire the kisses?”
She opened her eyes. “They allow the lavender to be placed in their hair.”
Heart beating fast, Eloran leaned in and kissed Anan. Her lips were soft against his. Her tongue slipped from between her lips and caressed his. The kiss grew with intensity and they clutched at each other hungrily. Anan pulled away to catch her breath.
“Though the woods are safe, there are wild animals that hunt at night. We should return to my home, where we can be safe and warm.”
He pulled her close for a moment. “May I sleep in your bed tonight, Anan?”
She smiled confidently. “Yes.”
“Will you be with me this time?”
Anan kissed him softly. “Yes.”
Eloran kissed her for a moment, then let her go and stood. They packed up the basket and headed back to her home. Anan insisted on cooking the rabbit, and started a stew. Once it was on the fire, she turned to the Prince and smiled.
“The stew will be ready when we’re hungry.”
He nodded and held his arms out to her. She went to him and kissed him. He picked her up and carried her to the bed. They undressed each other slowly, caressing and kissing. They took their time; neither wanted to rush things. There was no need, as they had two days together.
Once they were undressed, they found themselves under the blankets, with Eloran on top. After kissing her passionately, he paused, staring down at her.
She reached out and caressed his cheek. “What is it?”
“I…feel a bit nervous.”
She frowned gently. “Nervous? I somehow doubt I’m your first.”
He gave an embarrassed laugh. “No, you are not my first.”
“And you are not my first, Eloran. There is no need to be nervous.”
“Yet…” he stared down at her, “here we are.”
She had a soft smile on her face. He was beginning to see the differences in her smiles. He wanted the time to learn all her smiles. Eloran inhaled softly as he understood the nervousness.
“I don’t care that I’m not your first. I want to be your last.”
She licked her lips nervously. “And do you want me as your last?”
They stared at each other for a moment, almost afraid of their declaration. Finally, Eloran leaned down and kissed Anan passionately. She slipped her arms around his neck and moaned as he slipped inside her.