His body hits the futon hard. He is still panting and glistening with sweat. But he was happy. Happy and spent.
Still trying to regulate his breathing to a normal level, he lifts his forearm off his eyes, where it had been resting until then, to rake his hand through his mob of hair.
Glancing to his side, he sees her resting with her back to him.
There are still beads of sweat on her back and her neck is still a bit flushed, he notices with a self-satisfied smirk. Her head is pillowed on his other arm but her body is angled away from his leaving at least 30 centimetres between them.
He has come to learn that she prefers to cool down this way after sex, even tho she would not protest, if he would cling himself to her right after. But why bother her. Admittedly, he had felt a bit affronted the first few times by her blunt dismissal. First he had thought she regretted having slept with him, but she would always turn around as soon as she had cooled down enough and present him with the biggest smile and snuggle back into his side.
While observing her resting form with the blanket laying losely up to her hips, he realised just how much he was attuned to her likes and dislikes. That should actually make him want to flee the scene immediately. But somehow it did not.
A few days ago he overheard someone talking about the fight or flight reaction to a stressful situation. Four out of five times Mugen would clearly choose fight. The other time would be flight when it came to dodging the bill after eating or after sex with a stranger, who got too clingy afterwards.
So why is he not feeling the need to leave but rather wait for her to finally turn around and award him with the smile and her big brown eyes gazing up at him?
He already suspected the reason why, but would rather not dwell on it. He might even have articulated it a few times during sex.
Nevertheless, one cannot be held accountable for the things one says during sex. He strongly supported that view and had made sure she knew it too before they had even started sleeping together.
Right now he is done waiting for her to finally face him. He wants to feel the afterglow of their previous activities. The heat radiating off her and seeping into him. He wants to feel her soft skin against his own and smell her sweet scent, which became only more intoxicating after sex.
And Mugen takes what he wants. So he rolls onto his side to bring his free arm around her middle and press himself against her back.
Mid movement he hears her.
Four words that should trigger his flight instinct more than anything and make him run as fast and far as he could.
"I love you too!"
Instead of running tho, he simply just falters in his movement for a split second.
She has never said that to him before.
Not even during sex. While he had most likely chanted his part over and over at some point or the other.
Initially he just wanted to lightly embrace her and have his body touching hers.
Now he could not stop himself. He pulled her towards him; strengthened his grip on her as if to engulf her whole body with all of his. He buries his face in her neck and breathes her in deeply.
He does not need to say anything.
He knows that she knows. Otherwise he would not still be here with her.
He also realises that there is another option than only fight or flight.
It is to stay.