The grass was still soft, but damp as the temperature had dropped slightly. Quatre had turned away from the river, an arm curved around his neck as the boy
leaned against him. Trowa knew it was getting late, the sun had been down for quite a while, but he'd been loath to move. The blonde boy was hanging on
him, and he brushed his palm against Quatre's back, reminding himself that they weren't dressed for a cold night. Besides, Catherine was bound to be
worried and as much as he would have liked to stay still, he knew better. Quatre shivered and looked up when he trailed finger over the back of the boy's
"We should go," Trowa murmured.
"I know," Quatre sighed. He turned his face back against Trowa's chest for a moment then glanced over his shoulder, watching the dark water. "But I like it
here. Just us, nothing else matters." It was so quiet, and he listened to the sound of the water moving. They hadn't spoken in so long that he'd had plenty of
time to think and simply enjoy the solitude. He wasn't alone, but he felt as if Trowa were a part of him he'd been missing, rather than another person. It didn't
make sense, but he knew what he felt. "Trowa, before we go back, can you tell me what sex is?"
His body tensed at the abrupt question, and Trowa's arms loosened as Quatre moved to sit beside him. Bright eyes watched him expectantly and he knew the
boy was willing to pay attention to what he would say. He felt as if he were about to give a lesson and his cheeks grew hot at the thought. This was one more
thing he hadn't counted on, and he would much rather have preferred to wait until the act. He knew the motions, but they sounded so crude there was no way
he could repeat them to Quatre. Sweet language was not his strong point; he couldn't think of any words pretty enough to explain without scaring the boy.
A silent minute passed before Quatre's face fell and he dropped his eyes. "The reason I asked was because Catherine said we were married. My father was
married. I overheard him once, he said a marriage is...hell...if the sex is bad." Trowa was staring at him and he flushed, looking away again. He didn't like
repeating anything he'd heard unless he knew it was true. "But my mother once said that marriage was a communion of souls; two joined as one. I never
thought about it, and she stopped saying things like that years ago, but...I was just wondering which is right. Or if they both are."
Staring down at the boy, Trowa's mouth went dry. Quatre's words were sweet and romantic at the same time as they were true. He'd heard the first himself
before, and that was one of the main reasons mates were not final until the matings were consummated. "Sex," Trowa said softly, his cheeks growing warm, "is
like a communion. It's the consummation, an act that joins mates together. After that, they are mates in fact as well as claim." Pale blue-green eyes were
gazing up at him, and he brushed Quatre's bangs out of his face. "There's no rush," he said quickly.
It was obvious to him that Trowa was trying to explain, but Quatre's forehead creased as he frowned. "But what *is* it? What do mates do?"
"Mates..." Trowa frowned, cursing himself for not being better prepared for the conversation. "Well, they kiss," a dark blush marred his cheeks, "and
they...touch each other. Make each other feel good."
Quatre blinked for a moment, one slender eyebrow raised in doubt, then he frowned. "It doesn't sound like much." A small sigh escaped his lips and he
glanced away for a moment before blinking and turning his gaze back to Trowa. "How do mates know what feels good? Are there certain ways that mates
touch each other?"
It was a golden opportunity to exploit the boy's innocent willingness, but Trowa knew he would never do such a thing. Quatre trusted him. "It's instinct," he
said slowly, "you go by what you like. You'll know when the time comes. I touch you so it feels good for me, it's the same idea."
"I do like the way you hold me," Quatre said softly. His earlier apprehensions seemed needless now and he was curious, almost eager to try. He liked the
thought of making Trowa feel good. It would be his way of repaying the boy at least in part for how wonderful he'd been toward him. His promise to be a good
mate had been sincere and he was intrigued by the idea of their being married. "When can we do that?"
Trowa's eyes widened at the boy's eager expression and he had to wet his lips as his mouth suddenly went dry. "Tonight." He blurted the word before he
could stop himself, but Quatre nodded. Taking the boy's hand, he pulled him to his feet, unwilling to give him a chance to change his mind. It would be
rushing things, but all of his other plans had already been thrown away. And he could always stop if Quatre *did* change his mind later. No matter what, he
was sure he'd be able to wait for the boy to be ready.
* * *
His sister was psychic, that was the only explanation Trowa could come up with. He'd been surprised to find the small house empty, dinner laid out with a small
flower on the table. She always left a daisy when she slept at her friend's house. It was a bit embarrassing to think that she'd known, but it was also
convenient. Not that the walls were so thin she would hear them if she were home, but he wouldn't have to hide his plans during the meal. As it was, Quatre
ate quickly, barely consuming anything. He reminded himself to feed the boy more often, but the thought didn't last long. They ate in silence, clearing the
table together as he showed the blonde boy the small kitchen area. Then they retired to the bedroom and Trowa nearly flinched at the small click as he
pushed the door shut behind them.
He'd had plenty of offers since completing puberty, but this was the first time Trowa wondered if he should have taken one of them up. Experience would have
come in handy right now. Quatre was standing near the bed, pale blue-green eyes watching him expectantly, and he'd never felt so foolish. People were
open about their preferences, but not about the actual act. He planned to be the dominant in their mating. Did that mean he had to explain everything?
Having Quatre as his mate was something he'd thought about, imagined, but he hadn't counted on the boy's questions. It was natural to want to know what he
was about to do. Explaining would completely ruin his confidence, though, not to mention how embarrassed he was. Trowa didn't get embarrassed often, but
his face felt hotter and it didn't have much to do with lust. The blonde boy simply waited, a small smile curving his lips.
"Trowa?" Green eyes dropped away from him and Quatre frowned when the tall boy sat on the bed and removed his shoes. Trowa had seemed eager
enough before they'd come back to the house, but he seemed to be having second thoughts now. Quatre sat beside him, mimicking his movements. "What's
Turning sharply, Trowa grimaced. "I've never done this." The boy blinked at him and that small smile actually widened.
"Oh. But you know how, right?" His friend blushed. Quatre couldn't remember ever seeing Trowa blush, but it was reassuring somehow, nice to know he
wasn't the only one unsure of himself. "I thought you were hesitating because of me. We don't have to do anything if you don't want to."
His mouth opened for a second before Trowa let out a small laugh, his cheeks cooling a bit. All his worries about rushing the boy and Quatre was offering to
let him wait until he was ready. It was too much. "I adore you," he said, shaking his head. The boy beamed at the compliment and he leaned toward him, his
eyes glinting when Quatre met his lips halfway. Hands curled in his shirt and he moved his arms around the boy's slender back, eyes closed as he kissed
* * *