Xena wasn't long in the garden, soon ambling back in and going straight to the stairs to begin the long climb to the second floor. Amaris paused in the kitchen, stroking her hand down Dev's back. "No pressure, okay?"
"No pressure," he said, a faint smile on his face. "It's just been awhile since ..." He trailed off, leaving the rest unsaid. Since what? Since he'd slept with a woman? Since he'd let anyone get close?
She held his gaze, smiling affectionately up at him as he fingers slid down his arm to tangle with his own. "Slow and steady," she said quietly. "There's no need to rush. And I think you're right. I think tonight ... tonight I just want to be near you. You, uh, you don't mind sharing a bed?"
He couldn't help but smirk, the temporary wave of uncertainty melting away at her touch. "There's not much point in my being here if we don't share a bed, is there?" he pointed out.
"Had to ask." She giggled softly, drawing him toward the stairs and up, flicking out the lights as they went. It was a long climb, two flights' worth, and halfway up the second flight, they caught up with Xena, who was making heavy work of getting up to the bedroom. The little dog had definitely got boxer legs - a pure bred pit bull would have been fine.
"You know, you did fib a little," he said, trying to keep a straight face, though his intention was only to tease. He didn't have any problem making his way up the two flights of stairs; after all, his profession demanded he stay fit.
"Oh? And what did I fib about?" she asked, looking over her shoulder at him as she bent to hoist Xena up the last few steps. "Something exciting, I hope?"
"Well, you said you didn't want to be alone, but you didn't mention Xena here," he said, unable to hide the smirk on his face now. Apparently, he wasn't holding the little fib against her.
Amaris laughed, straightening as they reached the appropriate landing. Just enough light came through the curtainless window at the far end of the hall to illuminate the doors, and she lead him toward the one furthest from the stairs. "I never actually said I would be alone if you went home," she pointed out playfully.
"Ah, but you led me to believe you would be alone," he countered, though it hardly mattered. He knew a canine companion wasn't quite the same thing as a human one, whether they were lycan or not.
"But it wasn't a fib," she insisted laughingly. "Misdirection. Omission, at worst."
Pushing open the door, she lead him into a bedroom that was probably smaller than he had been expecting, dominated by a stone-clad fireplace and wide bed. In the instant before she flicked the light on, there was the suggestion of shining constellations on the ceiling. Xena was already turning round and round in circles on the most luxurious doggie bed ever to have been created, wuffling happily up at them.
"A lie of omission is still a lie, or so they say," he pointed out, though he wasn't willing to push the subject, especially since he was only teasing her. "Cozy," he remarked as she led him into the room. It was small, yes, but that hardly mattered. A bed was all that was really needed, after all, and there was one for both the dog and them.
She stuck her tongue out at him cheerfully, rummaging in a drawer. "I knew I had one!" Straightening, she flourished a toothbrush still in its packaging toward him with a triumphant cast to her smile. "Bathroom's through that door, go do your stuff while I get the fire going."
"Oh, so I have bad breath now, do I?" he remarked, as he caught the toothbrush in his hands. He was only teasing her again, but he supposed it was better than moping or thinking too much.
"You gotta take care of your teeth, right, Xe?" The little dog gave a soft bark in answer to her name, flopping down onto her side with a deep sigh. Amaris dropped a fleecy blanket into the doggie bed with the canine, who proceeded to kick at it until it was just where she wanted it.
"I would look pretty funny without them," he remarked, flashing her a smile that showed his pearly whites as he started in the direction of the bathroom. He had no pajamas to change into, but even if he was at home, he didn't make a habit of wearing them, so that wasn't an issue - at least, not until morning when he'd want a fresh change of clothes.
At least he had his car with him - the walk of shame wouldn't be a long one. Amaris watched him go for a moment, smiling to herself as she settled down to light the fire in the hearth. "Do you think I'm being silly, Xe?" she asked the dog softly. "I like him. A lot. Not just because he saved my life."
Thankfully, he couldn't hear any of this, as he was too busy brushing his teeth and washing his face and trying to make himself look halfway presentable for bed which seemed kind of silly, but he didn't want offend her in any way. He even went so far as to smell his own breath and armpits. He didn't smell like a rose, but he didn't think he smelled too offensive. Should he take a shower? No, that would take too long, and he didn't want to abuse his welcome. Why was he even worrying about this? He never had before.
By the time he was done, the sounds from the bedroom had become ... interesting. Doggy grunts and cheerful growls, along with Amaris laughing and grunting with effort herself, suggested that something was being done with Xena. And sure enough, Amaris was cleaning her dog's teeth ... with Xena lying on her back, all four paws in the air, trying to eat the toothbrush.
Dev showed up in the doorway, his mouth dropping open to see her attempting to actually brush her dog's teeth.
"Uh, wouldn't it be easier to just give her a biscuit?" he asked, referring to what were officially sold as 'dental chews', but what most people thought of as biscuits.
"I do," she assured him through her laughter, scrubbing at Xena's teeth as the little dog snorted and grunted happily. "She enjoys this as well, though. I know, I know, I'm completely under her paw. She's adorable, that's my excuse."
"Well, if I knew you were so good at it, I might have let you brush mine." He smirked again, having fun teasing her. "By the way, I left my toothbrush in the bathroom for morning. I hope that's okay," he said, wondering just how long that toothbrush was going to remain there. He supposed it depended on how well this relationship thing went.
"Of course it is." She smiled up at him, removing the brush from Xena's mouth and giving the dog a belly scratch. "So it's my turn." She hesitated as she stood up. "Uh ... usually I sleep nude, so I'll just, uh ..." She gestured toward the chest of drawers, and produced a t-shirt that was clearly made for a man, and a pair of boxers. She threw one of each at Dev. "They're spares for when my brothers get overexcited and don't undress first," she explained with a shy smile, opening another draw to pull nightwear out for herself. "I'll just, uh ..." Gesturing toward the bathroom, she skipped that way, giggling to herself.