He froze in place a moment, a look of shock on his face at her question. "Whores? No. Why would I want a whore?" he said, his fingers clumsily grappling with the lacing of her undergown. "I cannot get this damnable thing untied!"
She laughed, delighted by his shocked expression, rising up onto her toes to kiss him as a reward for that reply. His frustration with her clothing, however, simply brought a fresh laugh from her lips, even as her fingers deftly relieved him of every last stitch he wore.
Now that he was as naked as the day he was born, he could no longer hide his body's desire for her, frowning in frustration where her dress was concerned, even as she laughed. "I will start the bath," he said, turning to do just that.
As he turned away, it was too tempting to stroke her fingers down over the smooth muscles of his back and backside, ending with a gentle pat to his rear end. "And you just gave up," she teased softly. "What a warrior." Giggling to herself, she turned away herself, her hands swiftly loosening the laces at her back.
He glanced over his shoulder at her as she patted his rear, a smirk on his face. "A true warrior knows when not to fight," he told her. He got the water running, while she finished changing out of her clothes, peeking over his shoulder again to watch her.
She was not ashamed of her bare form, nor shy when it was uncovered, pausing just long enough to unpin her hair from the ornate coil it was up in before turning back toward the bath. "Tsk, tsk, spying on an unclothed woman. Whatever shall I do with you?"
"I am not spying. You are my wife, and as such, it is my prerogative to admire you as much as I desire," he pointed out, knowing she might balk at that. She was not like other women, but it was that fiery spirit that had first drawn him to her.
"Your right, is it?" she asked, brows raised as she laid her hands on her hips. Her whole posture was a challenge, but where it had once been a dare, now it was an invitation.
"My prerogative," he corrected, unable to keep the smirk from his face. The fact that the word meant almost the same thing was a minor detail, in his opinion. "Would you not say the same for me?" he asked, turning around to mirror her pose, both of them looking ridiculous.
She took her time in looking at him, possibly for the first time, letting her eyes skim downward over his long limbs and exposed desire. Her lips twitched toward a smirk before she looked back at him. "If I have any rights at all, I would rather they were to touch than simply to look."
"Of course, you have rights," he told her with a huff of breath. "You are my wife, are you not?" It seemed as far as he was concerned, she had just as much right to look and touch as he did. It was only fair, after all.
"You are remarkably easy to tease, commander," she told him, letting her hands drop to her sides with a crinkly eyed smile, slipping by to check the water.
"Is that a bad thing, wife?" he asked, following her with his eyes as she moved past. He was sorely tempted to grab hold of her and have his way with her, but the bath was almost ready, and he thought he might as well kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.
"Not for me." She looked at him over her shoulder, the rare burnished gold of her hair falling across her back as she smiled. "You are displaying a surprising amount of restraint for a man who almost declared war on my clothing."
"Would you rather I force myself on you?" he asked, though he wasn't sure just how much forcing he'd have to do. "Isn't the bloody bath ready yet?" he grumbled, purposely changing the subject.
Sasha laughed again, truly delighted with him and all his reactions to her now that she was no longer afraid of what they might mean. She stepped down into the warm water, turning to him with one outstretched hand. "Won't you join me, sevgili?"
"I would like nothing better," he replied, taking her hand, the edge in his voice softening at her request. He was not very graceful as he stepped into the bath, water sloshing around them. A sly smile crept onto his face, just as he slid an arm around her waist and pulled her down into the bath with him.
She gasped softly as he drew her close against him, the press of his skin to hers still a sweet shock despite her longing for it. Her own hands smoothed up and over his arms, onto his shoulders, her eyes looking into his. "Welcome home."
He smiled as he met her gaze, his hands moving languidly over her hips. She had already welcomed him home once, but he had far more than words in mind. "Show me," he told her, dark eyes bright with amusement.
She raised a brow, echoing his amusement in her own gaze. "I wonder, though, have you earned such a demonstration?" she asked playfully. "You come to me filthy and expect me to show you everything?"
"And here I thought you missed me," he said, feigning a pout. He was having just as much fun teasing her as she was teasing him, but the teasing could only go on so long before one or both of them grew tired of it.
"You were the one who missed me first," she pointed out, her reserves of patience renewed now she had seen every inch and knew he had returned to her whole and unharmed. She began to turn away, reaching for the soap.
He spread his arms and leaned back against the bath to relax, as she reached for the soap, assuming she was going to bathe him, as she had alluded to earlier. "I do not deny that I missed you," he said, pausing a moment before adding, "I dreamed of you every night."
"I dread to think what I was doing in your dreams," she said with a low laugh, moving to begin lathering the soap over his skin, taking her time to gently rub away the worked in dirt of the road from his flesh. "Not nightmares, I hope."
He arched a brow at her remark. "Not nightmares, no. What would make you say that?" he asked, curiously. He couldn't remember having any nightmares, where she was concerned. His dreams of her had sometimes been all that had kept him going through the long nights and ever longer days.