Aeramin couldn’t stop smiling as he walked home from the lounge. He had just met with Kestrae, and she had managed to speak with Sanimir, presumably the night before he got drunk. She hadn’t been there that night, and couldn’t shed any light onto why he had so much to drink. The news, for Aeramin, was fairly good, he thought. She said he was a little hesitant. He wasn’t used to doing what wasn’t expected of him. However, he had admitted his interest in Aeramin.
He stopped smiling as he reached the door. What was he going to say? Kestrae had warned him that, while interested, Sanimir was struggling with what he was supposed to do, opposed to what he wanted to do. She had also told him that his parents had started looking for a wife for him. It was obvious what he was supposed to do then. Aeramin knew it was up to him to convince Sanimir that it was okay to do something other than what was expected. He opened the door.
Sanimir was awake. Aeramin wasn’t sure he would be. He had been hungover and had slept most of the day. It was late now.
“Are you feeling better?” Aeramin asked as he closed the door. He wasn’t about to try talking to Sanimir about anything else if he was still sick.
Sanimir looked up from the book he was reading and nodded, “Yes.” He looked like he was about to say something else but then looked back at his book.
Aeramin sat down on the couch next to Sanimir. He sat a bit further away than he wanted to. “Is something wrong? You must have had a lot to drink last night to be hung over so badly today. You didn’t come home for lunch either.”
“I was in the library for lunch.”
“I checked the discussion room on my way back to my job. You weren’t there.”
“I was in a private reading room. I wanted to be alone for a bit.” Sanimir looked up from his book, “Aeramin, Vallindra told me they’re looking for someone for me. I mean, to marry. I don’t think I want to.”
“Then say no.”
“I’m going to. It’s just stressful because I think they’ll be mad. Especially my mother. They would all be mad if they knew everything.”
Aeramin raised a brow. Sanimir looked away. Aeramin took a deep breath. “Sanimir,” He scooted a little closer. “I think you should do what makes you happy, and before I look like a hypocrite, I need to tell you something. I like you as more than just a friend.” He blurted it out before he chickened out on saying it at all. He watched Sanimir, biting his lip as he waited for a response.
Sanimir continued looking away as he thought about it for a moment. “I like you like that too, but it’s complicated. I think if my family found out, they would drag me back to Silvermoon.”
“I wouldn’t let them.” Aeramin stated. Sanimir looked up as he continued, “I would find a way to stop them from forcing you to go anywhere. I want you to be with me.”
“I don’t know.”
Aeramin blinked. Was he being too forward? He took another deep breath, “I want you to be happy, Sanimir. What will make you happy?”
“Staying here.” Sanimir just barely managed to say before starting to cry.
Aeramin put his arms around Sanimir. He quietly said, “We’re here now. Why are you crying?”
“Scared of what?”
“Scared of my parents disappointment. It’s not what I’m expected to do.”
Aeramin kissed away a tear on Sanimir’s cheek. “They might come around in time, but there is no need for them to know right away.”
“Vallindra will tell them if she finds out.”
“If she finds out. She doesn’t need to right away either.” Aeramin caressed Sanimir’s ear lightly. He felt Sanimir’s arms go around him.
“But if everyone else knows, she’ll find out.”
Aeramin frowned slightly, “Not everyone has to know. Those who do, we can ask to keep quiet about it.”
Sanimir nodded. His head now rested on Aeramin’s shoulder.
Aeramin caressed Sanimir’s ears once more. “It’ll be okay, Sanimir. Everything will be okay.”