Careful

Matthew peered around the corner of the doorway and bit his lip. Stepping into the room, he said, “Andy?”

Andrew whirled away from the window. His cheeks flushed with color when he saw who it was. “M-Mattie,” he breathed. He ducked his head and fussed at the hem of his robes, which were identical to the ones his brother wore.

Before he could say anything more, Matthew bounded forward and caught him in an embrace. “Are you all right?” he asked, not pulling away.

“Yeah,” Andrew said, closing his eyes. He sighed and set his head on Matthew’s shoulder. “What about you? Are you all right?”

Matthew pulled away and then smiled. “Emrys and I have an arrangement,” he said, nodding. He dropped his gaze and added, “So long as I remain within the boundaries he’s set forth for me, I’m allowed a certain amount of latitude.”

“Are – are you allowed to see me?” Andrew said, his brows furrowed. He bit his lip and glanced around. Then, looking back at his brother, he added, “Is that within your boundaries?”

“Technically… I’m supposed to ask permission,” Matthew said. He tilted his head and caught Andrew’s gaze. “I wanted to see you, though. I needed to make sure that – that Tristan wasn’t… hurting you.”

“I’m fine,” Andrew said. He hugged Matthew and said, “You should get back to your chambers. I – I don’t want you to get into trouble on my account, Mattie.”

Nodding, Matthew pulled away. He glanced at Andrew and said, “Take care of yourself, Andy.”

“You too.”

Matthew flashed a sunny smile at his brother; then he slipped away, heading back towards his own room. He had figured out how far he could push before Emrys felt the need to punish him. He just had to be careful not to cross that invisible line.