top of page




The brilliant colors of autumn had begun to bleed through the tall trees around the cozy forest estate. The vast garden that was once bursting with rich shades of green had been trimmed and cleaned of the withering brown vines and dying plants. The last bounty of vegetables and fruits of the season were collected and placed in wooden bushels to later be divided. The greenhouse was already packed and organized with the more essential plants to ensure their safety during the coming  winter months.


Two large oak trees that were nestled on the property were the resting place of a fiery-haired man. He was laid on his back, slowly swaying in the cloth hammock. A soft rumble could be heard from his chest as he slept the afternoon away. His arm had slumped over the edge of the hammock, his fingers barely grazing along the blades of grass beneath him. All was well with peaceful sounds of the birds and forest critters still enjoying the now dwindling temperate days. 




Upon his name being called, the loud clap of a heavy book was enough to stir the slumbering man awake. In his daze, he rubbed his eyes and yawned while grumbling a few curse words under his breath. Blinking rapidly a few times, his vision was set immediately on Tion. Rolling onto his side, Hadwyn propped his body up slightly on his elbow. Yawning loudly again, he heard Tion scoff at him. A cheeky grin crept on Hadwyn’s lips as he brushed away his messy bangs from his face.


“This is one barbaric habit of yours I fear I will never be able to break - sleeping outside. You have a perfectly soft bed inside your rustic estate - AH!”


With swift movement, Hadwyn snatched Tion by the waist and pulled him to rest on top of his chest. The book had dropped heavily to the ground, much to Tion’s liking. When he tried to reach for it, he was suddenly pulled by Hadwyn again. Rolling onto his back, Hadwyn held his grip on Tion to adjust the smaller statured man to rest comfortably on top of him. Tion squirmed, expressing his frustration with a grunt as he tried to wiggle himself away with no success - Hadwyn’s grip was much too strong. Defeated, Tion accepted his fate and relaxed. The two shifted a few more times until they both were comfortable. 


Tion blinked, his cheek squished against Hadwyn’s firm pectoral as he looked down to his book, then over the garden. His pointed ear twitched when he began to listen to Hadwyn’s steady heartbeat in his chest. The various sounds of the forest soon filled in the silence between them as they gently swayed in the hammock. Tion looked over the garden again, noticing that all the planters and trellis were bare. It didn’t require too much thought to know that Hadwyn was napping after a long morning of work - to which explains Hadwyn leaving the bed before dawn’s rising. 


“You can hire someone to do this…commoner work for you, you know?” Tion spoke quietly to himself. He lifts his head to look up at Hadwyn. Much to his surprise Tion wasn’t met with a sleeping face, but rather the sapphire blue eyes that were fixated on him. Sucking his teeth, Tion mumbles and pushes himself up to sit up enough to look down at him. Hadwyn’s hand never left Tion’s waist, holding him securely in the hammock. Tion huffs, wanting to sit up completely. Straddling Hadwyn’s torso, Tion then took the moment to inspect. 


Hadwyn’s broad chest rose steadily with his soft breathing. The man laid still as Tion picked at the plain linen shirt, plucking off the few bits of foliage and seeds from the material. Shaking his head lightly, Tion then looked at the bright red hair pooled beneath Hadwyn. There were little bits of debris all through his hair from the garden work. Tion expressed his annoyance of Hadwyn’s dirtied hair by huffing through his nostrils. Weaving his delicate fingers onto Hadwyn’s scalp, Tion slowly pulled at the soft locks to comb out the hair. The motion was repeated, a relaxing grooming session nearly put Hadwyn to sleep until he squeaked.


“Ow!” Hadwyn did not jerk as he did not want to risk toppling the two over onto the ground. Tion froze in place when he heard Hadwyn. Glancing at his hand that held a generous amount of red hair, he noticed what caused the sudden discomfort. 


Tion’s eyes widened slightly. His fingers had hit the top of an intricate braid in that strand of Hadwyn’s hair. Gently removing his fingers, Tion then grasped the thick braid. Inspecting it carefully, Tion followed the length of the strand and noticed that it had grown out from what was the original spot of the braid. Raising a thin brow, Tion knew immediately what he was holding. Looking down at Hadwyn, he tilted his head to show his curiosity. 


“You…didn’t undo this braid?” Tion rubbed the braid carefully between his thumb and forefinger. 


“Why should I?” Hadwyn shrugged his shoulders slightly. His eyes went to the braid that Tion held in his hand. Tion’s gaze softened when he look back down at the braid. A small smile tugged at his lips.


“This braid is almost three years old then? You’re so sentimental. But I suppose I cannot blame you for keeping such fine work. You’ve taken very good care of it seems.” Tion flashed another look at Hadwyn.


“That braid is part of a memory that I will hold dear in my heart - in this life and the next.” Hadwyn reached up to move the braid from Tion’s grasp. He then delicately wrapped the braid around Tion’s bare ring finger. 


“I didn’t want to get it dirty coming out here.” Tion couldn’t help but smile as he spoke softly, looking at the braid now serving as a ring. He closed his fist to keep the braid tucked safely around his finger. Shifting his body, Tion laid back down on Hadwyn’s chest. A quiet yawn escapes from the smaller man as he begins to relax once more. 


“Sleepy?” Hadwyn chuckles as he wraps both of his arms around Tion to hold him securely. 


“Hard not to be when you’re like this.” Tion yawns again, cursing as he feels his eyelids grow heavy. It wasn’t long until he fell asleep in Hadwyn’s embrace.


Hadwyn chuckles softly as he caresses Tion’s back. However, the sound of a particular chicken at the side of the hammock threatened to disturb the tender moment. Enkidu, proud and brilliant blue as ever, was pecking Tion’s book. Hadwyn tried to shoo Enkidu away as quietly as he could with a brush of his hand, but the bird was defiant. The stubborn chicken persisted, pecking the book until she grew bored. 


Flapping her wings, she jumped up onto the hammock and settled herself by the two. Hadwyn clicked his tongue, but he could not do much without disturbing Tion. Enkidu forced herself under Hadwyn’s arm, wanting to be held as well. Mumbling quietly, Hadwyn held both Tion and Enkidu in his protective grasp. Settling once more, Hadwyn watched the two slip into the realm of dreams with a smile on his face. 


All was well in the world - at least until Tion would awaken to find his book littered with peck marks. 

bottom of page