Story for the Day: Inpalo
Nidello and Arkastino, Ladrei's brothers and guardsmen, have always been in love.
Arkastino was still sleeping when Nidello entered their apartment, and was snoring so sonorously as to make Nidello’s laughing at him muted by his strident drones, his hissing snuffles, and his whistling exhales. Nidello closed the door quietly behind him, but he had some misgiving as to whether his mate should hear him regardless of his attempts to be as silent as was possible as he approached. He undressed, tossed his clothing on a far chair, and went to the divan where Arkastino lay sprawled out, his immense legs hanging off the sides, his mouth open, his arms cuddling a large cushion. Here was a prospect of equanimity, an attestation that regardless of how prominent or how feared they became in Lucentian society, Arkastino slept in the very same manner now as he did when he was ten. Nidello could not help but admire him: one so large and foreboding so sweet of face and so soft of heart. His fond inspection paused when he observed a small tributary of drool trickling from the corner of his mouth. Nidello stood with his hands on his hips, shook his head, and rolled his eyes. He reached for one of the cloths near the silver basin and gently applied it to Arkastino’s face.
“Always needing me to look after you,” he sighed, but it was a sigh of affection, not of reproach or lamentation. He wiped his mouth clean and paid him doting looks for a few minutes before he was violently grabbed and pulled into his mate’s crushing embrace. “Inpalo,” he said in a reproving tone, but Arkastino could not hear him; he was far too comfortable with his favourite nestling object tucked under his chin and against his chest.
Nidello’s scoffs, as he endeavoured to loosen his mate’s hold about himself, may have begun as disapproving, but once he had found comfort between the heavy and muscular arms, all his remonstrances to being treated as a sleeping aid dispersed. He was soon able to turn toward his mate, was able to close his mouth and assure himself of a tolerably dry and soundless slumber, and though Arkastino’s resonating purrs could not as yet be considered quiet, they were not as loud as they were when Nidello had first entered the room and therefore Nidello must be satisfied. He would not be drooled upon, though he was forever used in place of a cushion, and with a few more fidgets and adjustments, Nidello could consider himself snug. His mate’s arms were so large as to make a neat little pocket in his bent arm in which he could easily rest without needing a blanket. He hummed in delight once he was comfortable, kissed his mate on the cheek now that it was no longer slathered in drool, and nestled against the nape of his neck, consoled with the idea that they should be well during their visit to Thellis as long as they remained together.