"Perhaps you can explain the musical to me better then," he teased, still not completely understanding it. Elves didn't really do horror, after all.
She laughed. "I doubt either of us will ever fully understand Rocky Horror," she assured him. "But it's entertaining, and that's what really matters, isn't it?"
"I suppose so," he said, neither agreeing or disagreeing. She enjoyed being part of the theater, and that was all that really mattered, and it seemed he was going to join her again sometime soon. "Are you sure you don't mind me accepting Mataya's offer?" he asked her again. He didn't want her to think he was trying to interfere in her own career.
"Of course I don't mind," she said enthusiastically. "I want you to do what feels right to you, what you will enjoy doing. And I truly loved playing Marsinah to your Caliph in Kismet, a'mael. How often can a woman say she has sung one of the most romantic duets ever written with the man she loves?"
"We don't have to be on stage to sing to each other, melamin," he reminded her, a gentle rub of his thumb against the back of her hand and a soft smile on his face. He didn't break into song just yet, but there was always later.
She giggled, swallowing the last of her meal and setting the plate aside. "I know," she mused. "But it was a lot of fun to do it on stage. No acting required."
"Do you think they noticed?" he asked, eyes bright with amusement. It hardly mattered if the audience had noticed the sincerity in their singing and acting or not. They had received standing ovations every night, either way.
It had been a wonderful experience, nevertheless. "They seemed to enjoy it," Carina said with sweet mischief. "And we made Mataya cry every night, which is a definite success in my book."
By now, most people knew Carina and Aran were married. Even regular theater-goers probably knew by now, as they hadn't kept it secret. "Perhaps we'll be able to sing to each other again," he said, leaning close enough to brush his nose against hers.
"We can but hope," she giggled, tilting her head just enough to kiss the end of his nose. "It will be a relief to go back to performing in normal shoes, though. Those heels are terrifying."
"I hear there was a time when they were in fashion," he said, smiling in amusement as she kissed his nose. He knew time was running out, and she'd have to leave for the theater soon, but he wasn't ready to let her go just yet. "We'll have to make use of your break to work on another child," he teased.
"They still for some people," she laughed, though the sound faded into a shy giggle at his teasing. "Now that sounds like a wonderful use of our time," she agreed, nuzzling him for a moment.
He smiled, nuzzling close and touching another kiss to her lips. "And you're going to be late," he teased her, brushing yet another kiss to her lips and giving her a hint of what awaited her later.
"Not that late," she grinned, more than happy to linger in that kiss for a while longer. She had about half an hour before she'd have to run to get there on time, after all.
"I will always love you, Carina," he whispered against her lips, his fingers tracing the soft curve of her cheek. It didn't really need saying, and yet, he could never say it enough. He loved her more than life itself; more than all the stars in the night sky.
She kissed him once more, breathing him in with absolute comfort and security. She had never thought she would ever meet anyone who matched her so well as Aran did. He was a blessing she would never stop thanking her stars for. As she drew back, a quiet burble made itself known through the monitor. "And that's my cue to leave, before she makes me feel guilty for it."
He had a feeling Carina would always feel a little guilty for leaving them behind while she spent a few hours with the theater. But he would join her there soon enough, and with plenty of people willing to help, they wouldn't have to worry that little Aluviel wasn't well cared for in their absence.
"Don't worry. I'll take good care of her," he promised, though he didn't need to. It was no secret that he adored their daughter and wasn't afraid of spoiling her a little.
"I know you will." Rising from her seat with another smile, Carina bent to kiss her husband once more before gathering her coat and bag. "I'll text you once I'm at the theater," she told him, as she did every evening when she was performing. "And I'll call you when I'm leaving."
Aran nodded, moving to his feet to walk her to the door. Alu could wait a few more minutes anyway. "Be careful and ..." He paused, before hesitantly adding, "Break a leg." It always seemed like a strange thing to say, but was supposed to convey good luck.
She laughed, knowing how odd he found that wish. "Thank you, a'mael." Squeezing his hand, she pulled open the door. "Have fun without me!"
He waved a hand, lingering at the door to watch her as far as his elven eyes could see, frowning a little now that she was gone, but secure in the knowledge she'd be home safe again in a few hours. "See you soon, a'mael," he whispered as she sauntered down the street with a confident stride.
Behind him, Aluviel's complaints at being still in her cot were getting more strident, demanding that someone come to get her out and have fun with her until bedtime. There were worse ways to spend an evening, after all.
When at last, he could no longer see Carina, he closed the door and made his way up the stairs to collect their daughter. For a few hours, it would just be father and daughter, and though Aran missed Carina, he couldn't help but savor this special time he had alone with his daughter, building bonds between them that he hoped would last a lifetime.
Besides, what daughter wasn't the apple of her father's eye? Aluviel would never doubt it.