“I’m fine with not using curse words around the sprites,” Jace replied, resignation in his voice along with something Kitlivri suspected was disappointment. “In my village, they weren’t used often either.”
“I apologize for commenting on your language, I sought to keep you from unintentionally rubbing any sprite the wrong way. I know it’s important to you to make a good impression. As I mentioned, you’re free to use whatever words you want when we’re alone. I’m unbothered by cursing.”
“Do you curse?” Jace asked.
“I don’t. Tiri lived here before I arrived, and everyone had already committed themselves to stop cursing around him. The extended clan agreed to do the same whenever Tiri visits. I hope I’m not giving you a poor impression of Tiri; he’s assured us many times that we no longer need to adhere to that rule.” Ducblanc-mate Tiridythas D’Vaire was a sprite and an adored member of Kitlivri’s family.
“No, I’m not bothered,” Jace said, swinging one booted foot to the floor. “Like I mentioned, harpies aren’t big on curse words either.”
“Still, I feel as if I’ve upset you.”
Jace smiled. “I’m not upset at you. I was thinking about how a younger me yearned to be free of rules…to do whatever I wanted and to please myself alone. I doubt such a world exists. In every walk of life, we must be mindful of hurting others if we don’t want to be considered a jerk. I guess I was a jerk because I didn’t want to consider the feelings of others.”
“In this suite, I think we should both be ourselves, even if we do occasionally fall into the category of being a jerk.”
With a laugh, Jace stood and walked up to Kitlivri. “You’re the last person I’d want to be a jerk to.”
“Good, I’d prefer for you not think of me in the jerk category either,” Kitlivri remarked. Giving in to instinct, Kitlivri rubbed Jace’s arms and bent to kiss him softly. “Are you ready to go?”
“Maybe one more kiss first?” Jace asked.
“A request I am happy to oblige.”
When their mouths met, Jace darted his tongue out and Kitlivri shifted slightly to taste the harpy better. Jace grasped his tunic as Kitlivri tugged Jace closer. With each embrace, Kitlivri’s yearning to explore his newfound sexuality increased, and he was convinced it had everything to do with how enticing Jace was. Aware that his brain was calculating the distance to the bed, Kitlivri regretfully pulled away after one last brush of their lips.
“I think kissing is my favorite thing ever,” Jace whispered.
“Wait until we do more than kiss,” Kitlivri responded without thinking.
His gaze widened, and his cheeks went a little pink, but Jace grinned. “I think about it. I think about it a lot.”
“We need to go to dinner now before I forget a world exists beyond your bed.”
Jace’s bright laughter filled the room. “Consider your invitation to join me in it an open one.”
“You’re a dangerous man.”
With a smile, Jace grabbed Kitlivri’s hand and led him to the door of their suite. “I like the idea of being dangerous. But not nearly as much as I enjoy the thought of being yours. Now, take me to meet your people.”
“I promise you that if my brothers and Tiri aren’t ready to go immediately, we’re coming back in here and the sprites will have to wait for another opportunity to meet their newest Warrior Chieftain.”
“If I thought for one minute that you were serious, I wouldn’t let you out of here,” Jace said as they strolled into the hallway.
“It’s nice to know we’re learning a little about each other. Your friendship is important to me.”
“Yours is important to me too, and you’re in luck, the sprites are already in the foyer,” Jace teased as they ventured down the stairs to where Kitlivri’s brothers and Tiri were waiting for them.
“I won’t forget about your invitation.”
“I intend to make sure you don’t.”
Thrilled with the banter between himself and Jace, Kitlivri doubted his mood could get any better. He had a wonderful evening with his people ahead of him.