Friends in love under the open sky.

Misty wisps of clouds and a world of stars stretched above them. Ana rolled onto her side, studying Rhen as he stretched long on his back.

He was different here, away from the city and the busyness of daily life. The anxious energy had left him, and he seemed utterly still. It was a calmness that consumed, effecting everything around him. Even her. She had thought their meager friendship had been irreparable, but now she wasn’t so sure.

A tiny grip inside her, the tightening of her core when he glanced at her and lifted a brow, made her consider that they could be more. Maybe their incessant bickering was because they weren’t supposed to be friends at all, but something far more important. After all, the reason she pestered him so much about taking breaks from work was because she cared. Maybe the reason he teased her relentlessly about Jon was because he knew she deserved more – someone present.

“It’s rude to stare,” he murmurs quietly, but he turns his face towards her, pinning her with his gaze.

Ana turned away, rolling swiftly onto her back and twisting her fingers together in front of her stomach. “I was just thinking,” she muttered, though what she was thinking wasn’t something she cared to share at all. “The stars are brighter out here,” she rambled, trying to stifle the flutter in her belly. “There’s so many of them. I’ve never seen the sky like this.”

Rhen pushes onto his elbow, turning towards her, and he rests his cheek on his hand. “There’s starlight in your eyes.”

Ana dragged her gaze to him, the breath freezing in her chest.

His eyes searched hers, uncertain, but when she didn’t flinch away from his scrutiny, he rolled towards her, stretching an arm across her.

She suddenly couldn’t keep her hands to herself, and she wrapped her fingers through the hair at the back of his neck as he brought his face to hers. Their lips met without timidity, like they had done this a thousand times before, and she felt herself becoming alive beneath his touch as his large hand cupped her waist.

Everything about him felt so big all of the sudden. His hands, his shoulders, his leg as his knee came between her thighs, so he could settle himself over her. Or maybe she just felt small – fragile like the situation they had just thrust themselves into.

Her hands clawed at his back and shoulders greedily as his heavy weight eased on top of her, his forearms pressed into the blankets on either side of her head. She could feel herself shifting beneath him, her body quickly slipping out of her tightly reined control, and she wondered, would it always be like this now, or would it end when they went back to the city?

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