We’d just been intimate – sexually intimate – for the first time, and while there’d been some pleasant pillow-talk before and some flirtatious talk during, after had me feeling a bit off-kilter.
“You don’t sleep,” I repeated. “I mean, I know people don’t always spend the night after sex, but skulking back to my mother’s quarters isn’t my idea of fun, ever, and especially after…”
“Have I done something to cause you discomfort?” Concern filled Basil’s voice, and when I turned onto my side to look at him, I saw that it was evident on his silvery features as well.
“No, not at all. It’s just… you don’t sleep, and I’ve never… I mean all my other experience was in summer camp dorms or at home, hoping a parent wouldn’t show up at an inopportune time. I don’t know the protocol for…this… especially with you. You don’t sleep.”
Basil reached out and brushed some of my hair out of my face. “It is true that I do not require sleep,” he said in a gentle tone. “But I am capable of sleep. However, I do not believe that is your real concern. You have ‘crashed’ here many times while I was working or writing.”
“Yeah, but none of those times ended up with us naked in your bed.” I pointed out. “It’s different.”
“It is,” he agreed. “And it is not.”
“Now you sound like me.”
“Zoe, dearest, if I ‘sound like you’ it is only because we are spending significant time together and your patterns are becoming integrated into my own. However, we are digressing from the issue at hand. If you are truly uncomfortable remaining here, I will not be offended if you return to your mother’s quarters. It will not be ‘skulking,’ however, as we have nothing to hide.”
Basil continued. “I would much prefer that you remain here, though.” His silver features softened into a vulnerable expression. “I have never had a sexual encounter last through the night. I’ve also never had a lover wake up in my bed. I find I want both.”
“Yes, with you.”
I relaxed back into the bed. “So… your programing prevents you from hogging the covers, right?”
“I am afraid we will have to discover that together.”
I couldn’t think of an adequate response, so I just curled against him. “I can live with that,” I said. “But if you decide to experiment with snoring, it’s grounds for a break-up.”
Basil didn’t answer me. Instead, he just ordered the computer to dim the lights for sleeping.