On their way to Orus to investigate the extent of her inheritance from Seraphi, Caine's thoughts turn inward as he sits beside her in her quarters. Why does he keep fooling himself that she'll keep him around. He can make himself believe it when it's just the two of them on her home planet. But she's so far above him and he can only play the role of protector. When will she want someone else who can be her equal?
Her concerned face comes into view as she kneels before him . "Hey."
Eyes coming back into focus on her beautiful face, he returns her greeting, "Hey, Your Majesty."
"What're you thinking about? You look... well, I think it's sad. But you're so hard to read sometimes, unless you have that shy smile."
"Doesn't matter." He shrugs off the dark thoughts.
"I can respect your right to your own thoughts. But don't ever tell me that they don't matter. Your thoughts matter to ME." Putting a hand on his cheek that he leans into, she continues, "You always start to sulk like this when we leave Earth. What's going on in that handsome head of yours?" To hopefully lighten the mood and help him open up she adds with a mischievous tap on his nose, "You're not thinking of biting me are you?"
His trademark chin dip and smile return, "I decline to answer that last question." But the brooding returns to his features, "I was thinking about how our positions in the relationship are turned around by society's standards. Someday Your Majesty will want someone who can stand as an equal beside her."
"It's hard for you, isn't it?"
"I didn't grow up with these rules about splices and entitleds. All I think about is how lucky I am to have you." She kisses his forehead to emphasize her point.
When his fear isn't allayed, she purses her lips and opts to sit in his lap. "Let me tell you a story about a tersie royal couple." Playing with his beard and collar alternately, she shares, "There was a young lady in line for the English throne. Her name was Victoria. She was alone. Everyone wanted to use her in the struggle for power.
But out of nowhere, this gentleman named Albert was tossed into her path. The man who sent him was a king of another country, and wanted to use Albert to control Victoria. Albert decided instead to be her only friend and confidant. He was her best support and encouraged her to navigate the politics to gain the crown. He believed in her, even loved her. But he couldn't tell her so. It wasn't his place. She had to be the one to choose him.
It was hard for him to watch as others courted her and almost even swayed her attention their way. But Albert did his best to protect her from those who would use her. The Queen's eyes were sharp and she saw Albert for who he truly was - the one for her. She chose him and they came to be the ideal for fairy-tale romances. They had an excellent marriage and a ton of kids. Granted it took them a bit to figure out a balance between them. But she depended on him and loved him as long as he lived."
Tracing a heart on his chest she explains, "You, Caine, are my Albert."
Impulsively he grabs her hand with both of his and tenderly places his lips on her knuckles, then pulls her into a deep kiss.
When she can come up for air, she smiles. "That wasn't even a corny come on line."
"I might want to bite you, just a little," he waggles his eyebrows before nibbling on her neck.