Nashtra had already brought their bags into the hut, and in the dim light, they could see the mats that had already been laid out for the evening’s rest. There were two small pads laid on the ground beside the girls’ packs, and a larger one where Peter’s and Bayani’s packs had been placed. Peter was disappointed to see that there was nothing in the way of privacy in the hut.
“Communal living, eh?” Peter asked. He did not sound pleased. “I’ll step outside and give you girls a few minutes to change. Let me know when I can come back in.”
Peter went back to the entrance, taking Bayani’s arm on his way, and led him back outside. They sat together near the doorway, watching Nashtra and shaman walk down a village road as they spoke together. Peter felt Bayani’s fingers touch his, bringing his wandering mind back. They looked at each other.
“You’re still not happy,” Bayani noted in a quiet voice.
“I guess not,” Peter replied, his voice heavy. “I always thought I would be happy about being a place like this.”
“I thought you would be too,” Bayani said. He did not seem upset with Peter, nor at all judgemental. “You always liked the elf villages in your games and books.”
Peter shrugged. “I wonder if I ever really wanted to go to one, though.”
“I’m sure you did,” Bayani reassured him. “Just not under these circumstances. You were always cautious back on Earth. It makes sense that your cautious here, too. I mean, why would you all of a sudden change and become trusting, especially in a new place?”
“Sure,” Peter mumbled. “It’s just too bad I can’t enjoy it here.”
“I know,” Bayani said, his voice tender as he let his fingers slip in between Peter’s. “Don’t try to figure it all out tonight.”
“Figure what out?” Peter asked.
“You just look like you’re thinking really hard,” his boyfriend explained. “It’s been a long day. We should get some rest and see how it feel about the situation in the morning.”
Peter shrugged again.
Bayani moved closer to him and then wrapped his arm around his shoulders. “It’s safe here,” he told Peter. “It’s really say here.”