“I see the bond took,” Selsor said, holding Kaeck’s wrists and studying his jewels thoughtfully. He let go of the right wrist to tap the jewel of the left. “Now it will only take strengthening, which mostly comes from spending time together and working together. Given you are both under our tutelage, that should be easy enough.”

Kaeck nodded. “Yes, Master Selsor.”

Jenohn snorted from where he lounged on a sofa before the massive window in Selsor’s office. “I hate bond-strengthening season. They get even less sleep than usual.”

“What do you mean?” Bellamy asked, then winced when Jenohn gave him a Look. “That’s something I should have already known, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” Jenohn replied, eyes taking on a glint.

Bellamy heaved a long sigh. “Hit my front would you, my lord? My back is still completely blue and purple. What crucial bit did I miss in bonding class this time?”

Selsor rolled his eyes. “It’s a popularly held belief—never really proven, mind you, just a very convenient belief—that lovers form the strongest bond, and that sex is one way to help strengthen it.”

Kaeck coughed, then started laughing, and finally doubled over with it.

Bellamy stared at his lover as though he’d never seen him before—it wasn’t like Kaeck to laugh in such fashion. “What in the gods names…?”

“S-s-sorry,” Kaeck said, and wiped tears from his eyes. “It’s only just—can you imagine—if that was a homework assignment, how in the world would the professors grade it?”

Selsor groaned and looked at Kaeck in disgust, while nearby Jenohn started howling with laughter. “Why did I get stuck with someone who has your sense of humor, Jenohn?”

Jenohn shook his head, and managed to stop laughing long enough to reply, “Do not blame this one on anyone but yourself, Sel. You picked him.”

Selsor threw up his hands and stalked to his desk.

Bellamy threw an arm around his still-chuckling lover’s shoulders and grinned. “I had hoped not to have any homework to do, but—”

“But you’ll be too sore to even attempt it,” Jenohn cut in, grinning evilly. “For not paying attention in bonding class.”

“I don’t like you,” Bellamy groused, but let it go, because Kaeck’s arm slid around his waist and squeezed lightly, assuring him they’d find a way to do a bit of homework anyway.