Genre: Romance, m-preg, au
Disclaimer: I do not own Arashi, only these words.
Summary: Jun is given in an arranged marriage to Lord Sakurai Sho. Against the odds, love blossoms.
A/N: I never meant for this to happen but this has now turned into my first chaptered fic. I have no idea where this is going or where it will end but you are welcome to come along for the ride.
Previously: Ch 1, Ch 2, Ch 3, Ch 4, Ch 5, Ch 6
Jun? Whatever is the matter, my love?" Sho asked as he cautiously approached his husband, who was still sitting on the floor, trying to cover as much of his body as possible with the thin shirt. He reached out to touch Jun, only to have his hand shoved roughly away.
"Do not feel as if you have to force yourself to touch me," Jun said, anger flashing in his eyes.
"My kitten, I do not understand what you are saying. Why would I need to force myself to touch you? It has been too long already since I have felt your body beneath mine."
"Because I look like this!" Jun shrieked as he pulled the shirt away from his body, exposing himself to Sho's view once again.
Sho finally understood the reason for Jun's distress as he edged closer, but remained out of arms reach; he did not trust Jun to not inflict some sort of damage upon him if he strayed too close.
"You look exactly like my kitten from here. Perhaps even more so since your claws are out and you are hissing angrily at me."
Jun glared at him with narrowed eyes, trying to decipher whether his husband was making fun of him and his fears.
"Do not even think to pretend that you could possibly find me sexually attractive when I look like this," Jun snarled.
"How could I not? You are my dearest love, my own kitten, whom I love with every fibre of my being. My attraction to you, and my love, does not rely upon the merely superficial. I love you simply because you are you, and how you physically look will never cause that to change, no matter what."
Sho thought that he had found exactly the right words to placate his pregnant husband until he uttered the last phrase. Jun's dreamy look of love had changed once again to anger. Sho had never meant imply that Jun was any less physically alluring than before, so he hastily added, "In addition I find the curve of your belly to be quite arousing," accompanied by a nervous smile.
To Sho's great surprise Jun began to laugh, saying between giggles, "Am I that intimidating? The look of terror upon your face has quite restored my humour."
"Then may I approach you without fear of harm?" Sho asked tentatively, as he edged closer.
"Actually I think that I may require your assistance to help me rise up from this position upon the floor. I seem to be having a small problem righting myself," Jun said, as a blush spread over his cheeks, embarrassed to find himself to be much more unwieldy than he had been only the day before.
"Shall I carry you to the bed, my love?"
"No. Do not even think it. I have been in bed for a week and I long for a change of scenery," Jun replied, as he held out his hands for Sho to take.
"I see, but I can assure you that it is far too cold outside for what I plan to do to you," Sho said with a predatory look in his eyes.
The vision of Jun's naked body was arousing him already, even though they had only shared one chaste kiss.
From his position on the floor, Jun could see that his husband's member was already swelling; its outline clearly visible through his loose sleepwear as it lay heavily against Sho's thigh.
The sight was enough to restore Jun's confidence in his sexual appeal, and he decided to take full advantage of it.
Rather than allowing Sho to assist him to his feet Jun lay back, propping himself up on his elbows and gazing up towards his husband through his thick eyelashes, fully exposing his naked body to Sho's admiring gaze.
"I have told you before that you are a tease, my love," Sho said huskily.
"Would you wish me to be not so?" Jun asked, wetting his lower lip with his tongue.
"Oh, no, my kitten, I find the view to be most riveting," Sho replied, as he reached for the small bottle of oil that sat upon the table near Jun's bed.
"M-Masa," Nino moaned as the Healer hollowed his cheeks and increased the suction around his cock.
It was the most pleasant awakening possible. Masaki had burrowed under the blankets and taken Nino into his mouth, the younger man only waking when he was already hard.
It only took a few more bobs of Masaki's head before Nino was shuddering as he came. Masaki swallowed all of Nino's juices and licked his saliva coated lips with satisfaction before shimmying up the bed to greet his lover.
"Good morning, my dearest," Masaki said as he kissed the tip of Nino's nose, "I hope you slept well, and that you enjoyed your awakening?"
Nino never thought that he would enjoy living with Masaki quite so much. The older man was caring and kind and Nino knew that if he did not remain alert he could easily succumb to Masaki's charms and surrender his independence; something that he valued above all else.
"Masa, would you like me to do something most special for you in return?" Nino asked seductively, sliding his hand down to grip his lover's hard member through his sleepwear.
"What mischievous thoughts do you have running through that head of yours?" Masaki asked, his words ending in a groan as Nino tightened his grip.
"I..." Nino suddenly snatched his hand away as he leapt from the bed and made a desperate dash to the bathroom to empty his stomach.
Masaki sighed and shifted uncomfortably on the bed, trying unsuccessfully to will his erection to subside, so that he might fetch a dose of herbal tonic for his stricken lover. It was the only thing that lessened Nino's nausea. It was a concern for him that Nino's sickness was even more unrelenting than Jun's had been. Nino had never been a great eater, but now his appetite had faded away to almost nothing.
Masaki resolved to consult with Jun at the earliest opportunity. Perhaps he would know what foods would tempt Nino into eating again.
Jun's eyes closed in bliss as Sho nibbled on his lower lip whilst squeezing his buttocks between his strong hands.
Sho was seated upon the low stool that sat near the window with Jun facing him whilst straddling his lap. The legs of the stool were low enough for them both to be able to keep their feet on the floor, allowing Jun to be able to control the depth and speed of their movements as he carefully lowered himself onto Sho's cock.
Once he had taken Sho fully into his body, Jun stilled his movements, gradually adjusting to the sensation of his husband's thick length stretching him open. Sho had taken particular care in preparing him, knowing that his opening would be much tighter due to their recent lack of intimacy, but it was still quite uncomfortable for Jun.
Wrapping his arms around his husband's neck Jun pressed himself against Sho's chest, calming his breathing as he whispered in his ear, "I shall miss you and think of you every moment that you are away from me. We have never yet been parted since we were wed and I hope that this time shall pass quickly until we may once again be reunited."
"I shall return to you with all speed, my love,” Sho murmured in reply before claiming Jun’s lips once again in a slow and lingering kiss. “And you may rest assured that I shall leave the larger part of my heart here in your safekeeping until I may claim it back.”
“I love you so, my husband,” Jun sighed, as he began to move slowly on Sho’s lap, undulating his body and sending tremors of pleasure through them both.
“As I love you, my kitten,” Sho replied as he sucked lightly on the spot below Jun’s ear that he knew drove him wild.
There was no sense of urgency in their gentle movements. Sho stroked Jun’s back, easing the discomfort that he was feeling, whilst Jun clung tightly to him, lightly biting the side of his husband’s neck and moaning softly.
Gradually as the pace of Jun’s movements picked up, Sho took hold of his hips, helping him to move up and down on his cock and steadying him, fearful that he may lose his balance from his perch upon his lap.
Jun arched backwards in ecstasy when Sho bent down and took his nipple into his mouth, lightly suckling upon it until it stood proudly erect from his chest, before repeating it with its mate.
Sho stroked Jun’s belly lovingly before reaching to grip his member, stroking it firmly, in time with Jun’s sensual movements.
Jun began to gasp as Sho’s cock plunged ever deeper and faster into his body, as his husband moved his hands down to hold his buttocks once again, pressing them together to increase the friction upon his cock as it thrust into Jun’s tight passage.
“Please Sho, I am so close,” Jun cried he rose to the very head of Sho’s cock before plunging down hard, over and over again until he could hardly think anymore, consumed as he was by the rising heat in his body as his need to release neared.
“Please come, my love, so that I may fill you with my own seed,” Sho groaned, finding it hard to stave off his own orgasm. It had been such a long time since he had taken his husband and enjoyed the pleasures of his body.
“Please, please, I love you so…” Jun chanted, his body spasming as he came, hot spurts of cum filling the space between their bodies.
“My love,” Sho cried as he stilled his movements, pulling Jun hard down onto his lap as he filled him with heated splashes of his own fluids, his cock twitching as he found his release.
They stayed locked together, stroking each other’s hair and kissing gently until their breathing steadied somewhat and Sho’s softening member slipped out of Jun’s body.
“Mine forever,” Sho said, stroking Jun’s cheek as he gazed into his eyes.
“Yours,” Jun agreed, as he returned Sho’s gaze, his eyes shining with love.
“Good morning to you both,” Jun called cheerily as he popped his head around the open door leading into the kitchen of Masaki’s cottage.
Masaki was making tea whilst Nino sat slumped gloomily on a chair at the table.
Jun had received a message from the Healer the day before, requesting his assistance with Nino’s morning sickness and Jun was more than happy to try and find a way to encourage Nino to eat properly once again.
“Good morning, Jun. Would you like some tea? With lemon of course,” Masaki replied with a smile.
“That sounds most delicious. It will go well with the lemon tarts I brought with me,” Jun replied happily as he entered the kitchen, carrying a wicker basket with both hands. He placed it down upon the table and plopped himself down on the nearest chair with a relieved sigh. He had enjoyed the walk to the cottage, breathing in the crisp autumn air, but he was also happy to relieve himself of his burden; the basket had seemed to grow heavier with every step.
“Morning J-“ Nino’s words seemed to be caught up in his throat as he stared at Jun.
Masaki had also frozen in place with a most peculiar expression, the kettle dangling in one hand, teacup in the other.
“J-Jun,” Nino finally managed to stutter as he also stared at their visitor.
“Is there something amiss?” Jun asked with a puzzled look, “I am sorry if I have arrived at an inconvenient time. If so I will leave my basket of food and depart,” he added as he made to rise from his chair.
“No, it is nothing like that,” Masaki said as he hastened to prevent Jun from leaving. “It is just that you have…bloomed, since last we met.”
“Oh, I forgot that you have not seen me recently. Yesterday when I awoke, my belly had become quite round,” Jun said, as he ran his hand fondly over the small neat bump.
Nino was sitting and staring at Jun with wide eyes as if fascinated by a glimpse of his future.
“May I?” Masaki asked as he crouched in front of Jun and gestured towards his belly, “I would just like to reassure myself that all is well.”
"He is quite active this morning, so it may be hard to feel anything correctly," Jun said, squirming slightly as Masaki carefully felt his belly.
"It is just as I surmised earlier. I believe that your child will arrive when spring begins to show itself,” replied the Healer.
Nino hesitantly asked, "I fear that it is a terrible imposition upon you, but may I touch you as well?"
He was pressing his hand to his own flat belly as he looked at Jun with a yearning expression.
Jun nodded as Masaki moved away to allow Nino space.
"It is still too early for you to feel the baby move," warned Masaki.
"It feels wonderful," breathed Nino as he nervously stroked Jun's belly through the loose shirt.
Jun's stomach made a loud growling noise as it protested its lack of sustenance, making him blush and say, "All of this attention so early in the morning has obviously made my child hungry."
Nino looked quite ill at the thought of eating. He knew that he would probably not be able to keep it down for long anyway.
Jun eagerly commenced to unpack his basket. It was loaded with lemon tarts, fresh crusty bread, a wedge of cheese, a pot of lemon blossom honey and a box full of thin, crispy sesame crackers.
"Nino, please try the crackers. I made them myself. I think that they will be most beneficial to your upset stomach. They should help with the nausea. If not then a crust of bread should do the trick. It always helped when you pressed it upon me when I was at my lowest ebb," Jun said, holding out the crackers with an immeasurable amount of pride.
Nino grudgingly took a cracker and nibbled a tiny portion off the very edge. Once he had tasted it, his face changed to a small smile as he reached for the honey and took another bite after spreading a tiny smear over the surface of the cracker.
"Do not eat too fast, nor too much," Jun advised as Nino snatched up another cracker.
In response, Nino glared pointedly at Jun's hand which was currently reaching for a third lemon tart after he had already previously gulped down two others.
Jun blushed, but still took a large bite of the tart, "The baby requires me to eat it," he mumbled through a mouthful of crumbs.
Masaki was shown into Sho's study by one of the maids. He had received his friend's note earlier in the day requesting his attendance. Nino had accompanied him and was presently visiting Jun, who was resting upstairs after lunch.
"Sho, my dear friend," Masaki said as he unexpectedly pulled Sho into a tight hug.
"Masaki, this is most inappropriate," Sho complained, even as he allowed Masaki to almost squeeze the air from his lungs.
"Tomorrow is your last day before you leave. I know that you will wish to spend all of your remaining time with your husband so I must say my proper farewell to you now."
"You always did fuss over to me too much," Sho said, as he pulled away and poured them both some wine.
"Just because we have found our ultimate and lifelong happiness with others, does not mean that I no longer care for you as a friend," Masaki replied, as he took the glass from Sho's hand.
"Thank you, Masaki. That means a great deal to me. You were a great comfort to me during a very lonely time and you will forever remain my greatest friend," Sho replied as they took their seats near to the fire. A persistent drizzle had been falling all day, leading to Sho forbidding Jun to venture outdoors.
"I am sure that you already know what I am intending to ask of you. I know that you are occupied with your own love and your own unborn child, but I hope that you can find a space in your life to watch over Jun whilst I am absent. The prospect of leaving my kitten alone almost breaks my heart, but I will be able to leave with a much lighter spirit if I know that he is being well cared for."
"Nino has already resolved to return to his old room for the duration of your absence, which I believe will cheer Jun greatly. Your husband seems to be enjoying caring for Nino whilst he is suffering from the early symptoms of his pregnancy, and fear not; I shall also ensure that I spend time with your husband every day that you are away.”
“Jun could ask for no better companion than Nino. I do not wish to appear cruel, but perhaps Nino’s discomfort will provide a most useful distraction for my husband. I would not like to think of him wasting his days pining for me whilst I am gone.”
“I do not think that Nino will permit Jun to do any such thing. Nino does not believe in pining,” Masaki replied with a wry smile.
“Your relationship would appear to be going well though? You seem to have successfully tamed his fiercer side since he has been with child,” Sho said as he stood to place another piece of wood on the fire.
“Do not believe that. He is still a dervish of teeth and claws if I am in the wrong.”
“You will marry before the child arrives?”
“If I had my way, we would have been wed when first we met, but Nino has refused me every time that I ask. It appears that he does not wish to surrender his independence. The child has made him more amenable, but he now refuses to even contemplate such a thing until your safe return,” Masaki replied, unable to contain a deep sigh.
“I am sorry to be the latest impediment to your marriage,” Sho said, unable to contain his smile, “I shall hurry my duties along so that you may be wed with all possible haste. You are most welcome to stay in one of our guest rooms with Nino whilst I am gone. There is no need for you to be separated whilst Nino is in such a delicate state.”
“I have suggested that to him already, under Jun’s request, but Nino refused me. He thinks that I will distract him from his duties. It seems as if you will not be the only one of us who will miss the comfort of our lovers’ warm body for the next few weeks.”
Sho stood and proffered the wine bottle to his friend, “More wine?”
“I should not, but I will,” Masaki replied as he held out his glass, “We shall not have the chance to do this for many weeks, so we should make the most of the time that we have now. Please allow me to offer a toast to your safe return and a successful campaign.”
“Thank you, my dear friend. I in return wish you success in your own campaign to win Nino’s hand,” Sho replied, clinking their glasses together.
“I shall advance to the battlefront immediately,” Masaki replied, “Whilst you and Jun enjoy each other’s company tomorrow, I shall relish the opportunity to spend the equivalent amount of time with Nino and see if I can finally wring a commitment out of him.”
“My kitten, what would you like to do today?” Sho asked, as he kissed his still very sleepy looking husband, “I am entirely at your disposal.”
“Mmmmm ‘sleep,” Jun replied squeezing his eyes tightly shut and attempting to pretend that he was not yet awake. He knew that it was stupid and childish, but Jun had the random thought that if he was still asleep then he would be best able to delay facing the fact that it was his last day with his husband before Sho’s departure tomorrow at first light.
“I know that you are not asleep, my love, else you would not react to this,” Sho said as he pounced upon Jun and began to mercilessly tickle him.
Jun squeaked and tried to wriggle out of his husband’s grasp, but Sho was too strong and enjoying the sight of Jun’s discomfiture too much to allow his escape.
Only when Jun clutched his sides and wheezed, “I cannot breathe,” did Sho pull back with a look of concern.
“Ha!” cried Jun as he leapt on Sho in return, knocking him onto his back on the mattress. Taking the advantage he sat on Sho’s hips, firmly anchoring him in place, his eyes darkening as he bent down, taking one of his husband’s nipples into his mouth, scraping his teeth lightly over the surface. His actions made Sho whine deep in the back of his throat and return Jun’s growing look of lust.
“Kazu, I have your breakfast here,” Masaki said softly as he attempted to wake his lover. He had learnt over the past few days to be wary when he did so. Sometimes Nino was warm and loving and sometimes he was irrationally angry, frustrated that his body was betraying him and making him weak when he needed to be at his strongest.
“Don’t want,” Nino growled as he tried to pull the covers over his head.
“You must eat, or else you shall be sick later,” Masaki said as he put the tray down beside the bed. “I have more of Jun’s crackers for you and I have spread them with the honey you enjoyed the other morning.”
“Hate honey,” Nino replied childishly with a glare that would scare off most people.
“In that case, I shall fix it for you immediately,” said Masaki. He picked up the first cracker, licking off as much of the honey as possible before handing the slightly soggy biscuit over to his lover.
“Have you lost your senses?” shrieked Nino as he backed away from Masaki’s offering.
“No, my dear, I am merely responding with alacrity to your every request, else I ignite your rage. I would very much like to retain the capacity to father more children in the future,” Masaki replied with a completely straight face.
Nino burst out laughing. “Will you still be so attentive once we are wed?” he asked he took one of the un-licked crackers from the plate.
“Does this mean that you are finally consenting to becoming my husband?”
“Only if you agree to keep your tongue off my breakfast in future. I can think of much more interesting ways for you to utilize it,” Nino replied with a suggestive smile.
Masaki felt his cock twitch with interest at the thought, but he was determined to receive a proper answer from Nino with regards to their wedding, “When, my dearest? Arrangements must be made. I would wish for us to be wed before our child is born.”
“Fear not, as soon as Sho returns, you may lead me to the altar. I only hope that making preparations for the celebration may keep Jun occupied and lessen his pangs of separation.”
Masaki pouted at Nino’s words, “Does this mean that you are only marrying me to provide distraction for Jun?” he asked in a wounded voice, teasing his lover.
“Of course not. I am marrying you because I love you and I wish the world to know that I am yours,” Nino replied indignantly. “But does this mean that you only wish to marry me for the sake of our child?” Nino’s words ended with a hiccupping sob.
Masaki’s head was spinning as he tried to follow Nino’s fluctuating moods. It felt as if he was adrift at sea in a tiny boat in the middle of a gale.
“Oh, Kazu, do not cry. I was only teasing, my dear. I love you wholeheartedly and unreservedly and cannot wait until the day we are wed,” Masaki said as he snatched Nino up into his arms and attempted to soothe his lover’s angry tears, “May we begin the day again?” he asked.
“What do you mean?” Nino sniffled.
“I could give you one of my special awakening presents,” Masaki replied, “You did compliment me on the dexterity of my tongue a short while ago.”
With a loud bark of laughter Nino pushed Masaki down his body, “I shall be the judge of that. If you fail to meet my standards, our marriage may be on the line and thus you will just have to repeat your actions until I deem your technique to be satisfactory.”
Jun slid silently out of bed, leaving Sho asleep with the covers half wrapped around his naked body.
After their vigorous bout of lovemaking, Jun knew that he should be just as tired as his husband, but he was so anxious about Sho’s imminent departure, he found it hard to relax.
A servant had tapped on the door earlier to enquire as to whether they would be down to lunch and he had requested that trays of food be provided in his own bedchamber next door instead. Jun made sure that the connecting door was securely closed between the two rooms, before drifting back across Sho’s room.
Whilst in his own room he had picked up a pot of moisturizing lotion that Masaki had given him along with firm instructions that he must massage it into the taut skin of his belly every day. Masaki warned him that as the baby grew, his skin would be stretched thin and if he did not take care, he could end up with marks that would permanently remain.
Sho pried his eyes open, blinking at the bright light that was flooding through the windows. He had not meant to fall asleep, eager as he was to properly enjoy every last minute with his beloved.
When he could focus properly he was struck by the sight of his husband standing naked in front of the full length looking glass that rested in the corner of the room.
The mirror was supported by a heavy mahogany frame and could be adjusted to various angles. Jun was taking full advantage of this as he stood completely naked before it, his body twisting and turning as he smoothed lotion over his body.
The sensual sight of Jun slowly caressing his belly as he massaged the moisturiser into his soft skin caused Sho’s member to stiffen as he lay back and observed, imprinting the image into his mind.
Jun was not oblivious to his husband’s apparent interest, making sure that he displayed his body to its best advantage as he bent to rub the lotion over his legs as he watched Sho’s reflection behind him in the mirror.
Sho slicked his swelling cock with oil, stroking it slowly as he savoured the sight of Jun’s muscles working as he stretched and turned.
Try as he might, Jun could not reach the skin on his back, so he turned to Sho, holding out the jar and asking, “Please?”
“My pleasure,” Sho replied in a deep voice, as he stood and walked over behind Jun, taking the jar and coating his hands with the lotion.
As Sho worked the lotion into Jun’s back, Jun made almost a purring sound as he leant backwards into Sho’s touch as his muscles loosened.
“My kitten is always so responsive to my touches,” Sho said as he pulled Jun back against his chest and reached around to stroke his nipples with his lotion slicked fingers.
Jun caught his bottom lip between his teeth as Sho reached down began to stroke his stiffening cock with one hand whilst holding him steady with the other.
Sho’s erection was pressing into the gap between Jun’s buttocks as he pressed a series of nibbling kisses and licks down the side of Jun’s slender neck.
Slicking his fingers with yet more lotion, Sho pressed them questioningly against Jun’s entrance, pleased to discover that he was still almost sufficiently stretched after their recent lovemaking. It was only the work of a minute before Jun was whining and pressing back against Sho’s fingers as he worked them inside his body.
The sight of Jun’s obvious need, reflecting back at him, spurred Sho on. He could not wait long enough to return to the bed. Instead he bent Jun forward slightly to grasp the frame of the mirror as he thrust into him in one go, supporting his trembling body by wrapping his arm around Jun’s waist.
Jun cried out at the burning stretch and closed his eyes momentarily as he caught his breath, before wriggling his hips and begging Sho to move.
Sho responded with a growl, catching Jun’s hair into his fingers and pulling his head back to expose more of his neck to his teeth, as he sucked Jun’s collarbone, wanting to mark the younger man as his for the entire world to see.
Sho had just began to thrust hard and fast into Jun, sweat pouring off their bodies as Jun cried out loudly in pleasure, when there was a noise from Jun’s bedroom. It was the servants bringing in the prepared luncheon trays that Jun had requested earlier that morning.
Jun pressed his lips together trying desperately to muffle the filthy sounds that were issuing from his mouth, not wishing the servants to overhear as Sho continued to rut up against him. He met Sho’s eyes in the looking glass as he tried to make his husband pause until the servant’s work was done and they were gone.
Instead of stilling his movements, Jun’s gesture actually caused Sho to speed up the ferocity of his thrusts. He clamped his hand over Jun’s mouth to muffle his moans as he snapped his hips, forcing his cock into Jun’s body much deeper and with even greater force. The only concession he made was to not touch Jun’s straining cock until they heard the door close and footsteps receding down the corridor. Sho wanted to hear the beautiful noises that Jun inevitably made when he came.
Jun’s whole body was vibrating as he held tightly onto the frame of the mirror. It was the only thing holding him up as Sho moved one arm across his chest, pulling him more upright, whilst the other began to pump his cock with long, firm strokes.
“You are so beautiful like this,” Sho said in Jun’s ear, his voice husky from his exertions, “So very beautiful. Do you enjoy it as my cock fills you over and over again? Would you like to come now, my kitten?”
“S-Sho, p-please, yes,” Jun begged, surprised by how aroused he was by the vision of Sho taking him, as he watched their reflections in the glass.
“I love you so much, my kitten,” Sho cried as he bit down on Jun’s shoulder as he tweaked a nipple; his hand tightening on Jun’s cock as he pumped it at a frantic pace.
“As I, you,” Jun gasped before he came with a loud scream, not caring anymore if anyone heard his cry.
Jun’s cum splattered onto the mirror, dirtying the face of it, as Sho continued to thrust into him. The sight of his husband’s release dripping down its surface was enough to tip Sho over the edge also. With one last hard thrust he came inside Jun, copious amounts of his cum filling him even though he had already orgasmed such a short time ago.
After carefully withdrawing, Sho turned his trembling husband around to face him, claiming his mouth, as he lifted him and carried him over to the bed, gently dropping him down onto the mattress.
Sho went to move away to find the necessary materials to clean the sticky matter off Jun’s body, but Jun grabbed his hand, tightly weaving their fingers together.
Tugging Sho’s hand, Jun pulled him down to sit upon the mattress beside him, whispering sleepily, “Stay.”
In response, Sho lay down and curled around Jun’s body, holding him tightly, until they both fell asleep.
Jun hardly slept that night, waking repeatedly to check that Sho was still beside him, stretching out his hand to feel the solid, warm body beside him, whilst trying not to wake his husband. Jun knew that Sho needed all the sleep he could possibly obtain and that it would not be fair to keep him awake with his restlessness.
The baby seemed to be picking up on his nerves and was constantly swirling in his belly, making it even harder for Jun to sleep. He tried lying back, stroking his bump, trying to will the baby to sleep, but that had failed. In the end, he had sat up and watched over his husband whilst he slept.
Masaki and Nino stood a discreet distance behind Jun as he and Sho said their final goodbyes, not wishing to intrude upon a private moment between the couple.
If people were expecting Jun to break down at that moment they were wrong. He calmly kissed his husband one final time, before standing and waving goodbye until Sho and his men had ridden from view. They had said all that was needed to be said to one another earlier in the privacy of their chambers.
“Jun, is all well with you? Would you like us to keep you company?” Masaki asked.
“I could teach you that card trick that you admired so much last week,” Nino offered.
“No. I thank you for your kind offers, but I am feeling quite fatigued. I did not sleep well last night, and after such an early start, all I wish to do is to return to bed for a few hours. I hope that you will grant me leave to do so?” Jun replied. He was already walking back towards the house, holding himself stiffly erect, one hand clasped loosely to his belly, as if seeking reassurance from the tiny life within.
Nino half raised his hand as if to stop Jun from leaving, but Masaki gripped his hand, holding it tightly within his own as they helplessly watched Jun walk away.
Jun managed to rein in his emotions until he reached the privacy of his private quarters. His eyes were burning and he suddenly felt as if he could sleep for days.
Eschewing his own bedchamber, he walked through to his husband’s room instead. Not even bothering to remove his clothing Jun lay down upon the bed and took Sho’s pillow into his arms, remembering the feeling of Sho’s arms around him as they said their goodbyes.
“Take good care of yourself whilst I am away and remember that Nino and Masaki are still here to support you,” Sho said as he tenderly cupped Jun’s cheek. “And I am sure that our little one will keep your spirits up,” he added as he stroked Jun’s belly lovingly.
“He is a great source of comfort for me,” Jun agreed, placing his hand over that of his husband's.
“He? Are you so sure that we are having a boy?”
“Most definitely,” Jun said, “I have decided that it is so.”
“In that case, who would ever dare to disagree?”
Sho knelt down before Jun and kissed his belly, “My son, please be good whilst I am away. I promise that I shall return before your arrival, my sweetling.”
“Do you make that promise to your husband also?” Jun asked with a gentle smile.
“Of course, my kitten. Nothing will prevent me returning to you, this I solemnly promise,” Sho replied as he embraced Jun one last time, holding him close and kissing his pouting lips one last time.
The memory of their parting finally broke the fragile protective shell that Jun had built around himself, not wanting to make it any harder for his husband to go forth to do his duty than it already was.
With a sob, Jun buried his face into Sho’s pillow, breathing in the familiar scent of his husband, using it to muffle his sobs. Eventually he had no more tears to cry and he fell into an exhausted sleep.
Outside the room, Nino sat with his back against the door, tears silently running down his cheeks, fists balled in frustration as they rested upon his knees as he listened to Jun’s heartrending sobs and knew that there was nothing to do to ease his pain.