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Funeral: Naked, Dead People, Etc.
First: Funeral
Previous: Funeral: Mutual Interest

Senga looked at Erramun’s face for a moment before moving the washcloth closer to his throat. “You have lived a long time. You showed up to my Great-Aunt’s funeral and didn’t think she was really dead either. You’re Named Death Comes Silently and there is blackmail on you that is bad enough that you are willing to Belong to me for six years rather than risk it — although perhaps you just didn’t want to be the reason my family killed me.”

He cleared his throat uncomfortably and nodded. “Both. Mirabella knew I could handle anything for six years. She knows I’ve handled anything for six years. So she wanted to keep you safe. I mean, that’s my guess. And if she wanted you safe enough to blackmail you into it, she thought there was going to be a threat to you that her clauses and rules weren’t going to protect you from.”

“That’s a lot of really … control-freak concern from someone who murdered my family.”

“That’s Mirabella for you. Then again.” He put his hands cautiously on her hips. “Maybe she just thought I needed six years of bond service to give me perspective and you were handy and were, uh, white sheep enough to not …” he cleared his throat. “Well, not risk me killing you in your sleep.”

It wasn’t a threat. He actually looked guilty about it. Senga stood up on her toes and kissed his cheek. “Thank you. So… let’s not talk about dead people while we’re naked together, at least not tonight, okay”

He snorted and looked away. “That sounds like a good rule. Unless we’re naked while trying to kill people.”

“I’ve done that. Would not recommend. Too many places to get rug burn, and, let me tell you, that can really, really sting.”

“I can imagine.” He cupped her ass with both hands. “Must make it hard to sit down.”

“I did a lot of standing work,” she admitted. “So… am I clean?”

“Let me see.” He looked her up and down, his gaze suddenly warm. “Yes. You pass inspection. Do I… mistress?”

There was a rumble in his voice that sent shivers down Senga’s spine. “Mmm, yes, yes you do. Let’s get into the bedroom before - well, before.”

“As you wish.” She couldn’t quite tell if he was teasing her, but from the visible signs, he had some interest in similar things to her. “You are quite something, Senga Monmartin.”

She took his hand and led him to her bedroom, trailing towels and not caring who saw them on the way.


He was not a cuddler, she learned quickly, until he was fast asleep. In his dreams, he pulled her close to him, and she could tell when he woke because he froze, his hand splayed across her chest. She could feel his pulse in his fingertips and the way that he was processing everything that had happened.

When he spoke, he was trying to make his voice all business. “Are we moving today?”

“That’s the idea, yeah.” If he wanted to pretend that he hadn’t made lovely noises under - and over - her, that was his business. She’d play along for the moment. “You said you checked the place out?” She let her hand land on his chest and trail downwards.

“I -” He cleared his throat. “I gave it a look-over. It’s not in bad shape and there aren’t any obvious traps or dangers. There’s a lot of space.”

“At one point, my family filled that space. That’s the rumor, at least, the legend. It was never Great-Aunt Mirabella’s - it was my mother’s family, mostly, and parts of my father’s, because, well…” She trailed off.

“Because fae families tend to have intertwining family trees.” His voice rumbled. “But the family…?”

“Nobody’s quite sure. Well, I’m not sure, and it’s been a long time since there was anyone I could ask. It might be in Great-Aunt Mirabella’s notes somewhere, but I don’t - oh. She left me some things, didn’t she?”

“I don’t think I count as ‘some things’,” he muttered. She was pretty sure he was joking, but it was hard to tell.

“Well, you might know,” she allowed, “but I was thinking about the book of names. And the envelopes she left you. Those are yours, of course-”

“That’s not how it works.” His voice was a little harsh. “You know that. I agreed to be yours, that means that everything I am and everything I have is yours as long as you have me.”

She put a finger on his nose, not wanting to put it by his lips and risk getting bitten. “And yet you gave some of your things to a friend to hold on to. No, I know.” She didn’t move her finger yet and he didn’t retort yet. It was something like a start. “If I choose to give you the privacy of your own things, your own space, then it’s yours.”

“As long as you choose to keep giving it to me.” He shut his mouth, as if uncertain he should have said that.

“Yes.” Senga moved her finger off of his nose and looked at him. “As long as I choose to keep giving you that privacy. I’m a straightforward sort of person-”

“You’re a professional honeypot who takes bullets without flinching.”

“Nothing indirect about that except the part where I pretend to be interested in… okay. You have a point. I will not argue with you distrusting me.”

“I would thank you, but I don’t think that even the ties of being your Bond Servant could change that. I don’t, uh. I don’t trust. Your Great-Aunt… well, that was an interesting matter, and one I’d rather not talk about, but she had a certain… way, with people.”

“And I don’t have that way. That’s why I’m the white sheep. Well, one of the reasons. Anyway. She looks at him. “We were talking about my family. Do you know anything about them?”

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