“So why are we out here?” Rook asked, sliding easily from his horse and leading it to drink at the small pool of water.

He smiled as a rough hand slid over his eyes, leaning back against the seeming wall that was his lover, breathing in the desert scent of him that not even hard travel and heat could overpower. “I wanted a break,” Noor murmured, and nipped at his throat. “If I stayed where people could find me in a matter of seconds, I was doomed never to get one.”

Rook laughed, letting his head fall to the side, gladly granting Noor better access to his skin. “General Noor demanding a break?” he teased. “Surely the only breaks you endure are those you must take to sleep.”

Noor bit him sharply. “Be nice, my clever heathen, or I shall not share the food and drink I brought, but make you earn it.”

The slight growl to the words made Rook shiver, and he was suddenly and painfully reminded that it had been too long since they’d had any time to themselves. Making me earn them sounds like fun,” he said, breath catching as he spoke the words himself, “but I dread someone appearing to drag you back to work.”

“As do I,” Noor said, and spun him around to kiss him deeply, making Rook moan, because he’d had nothing but brief, hard kisses given in haste for longer than he liked to think. “Which is why I told them that if they bother me, I will kill them.” He grinned and kissed Rook again, then said against his mouth, “It is also why I brought a small tent.”

“Mmm,” Rook murmured. “A clever strategy.”

Noor grinned. “You are having a positive influence upon my strategizing abilities, heathen.”

“And your savage ways are rubbing off quite nicely,” Rook said, focused on the way Noor moved as he began to set up the aforementioned tent, anticipating all they could do now they were alone.