“Sorry about that.”
Amane leaned on the bathtub, and Mahiru was on the other side. Amane apologized, and she pursed her lips, looking completely unbemused.
Amane cautiously washed her back thereafter, and she probably found it unbearable, for she slipped away while he was doing so. She would not say anything while he washed her hair.
And even after they were done, she remained silent while they soaked in the water. It seemed Amane overdid it.
Mahiru escaped from Amane, cupped her knees, and sat on the other side of the bath tub. There were a few little rubber duckies floating on the bath, which she probably brought along.
She clearly expressed that she was in a really bad mood, and Amane scratched his cheek.
“Sorry for overdoing it.”
“…You were not being kind to me.”
“Your reactions were too adorable, so I accidentally patted you too much. I’m really sorry.”
“And you played with my ear.”
“That’s because you’re cute…no, saying that I played with your ears sound so wrong.”
“You bit on my ear. Please reflect on your actions.”
“I’m doing so.”
Mahiru kept shivering as he washed her back, capitalizing on her weakness that was her back. Amane was really sorry about it, but he could not resist once he saw her look up at him with teary eyes.
“…I do not want such a mischievous person.”
“Sorry. Erm, I’ll be very gentle next time, so please don’t be angry, will ya?”
Amane made up his mind that he would tell Mahiru he would dote on her, and though Mahiru looked somewhat unwilling, she cautiously leaned onto him.
Her eyes wavered for a while, as though wondering where they should go. She seemed to have made up her mind however, and sat between his legs.
She then leaned her back onto his chest, and pursed her lips. Amane smiled once he saw this.
“Please use me as a chair, princess.”
“Certainly…Amane-kun no baka.”
Mahiru said, still a little peeved, and then she seemed to be deflated as she leaned onto him.
“…It is unfair that I am being teased by you. I want to do something to you.”
“This is what I am wondering. You do not have any real weakness, Amane-kun.”
“Unlike you, who’s weak everywhere.”
“It-it is not that ridiculous. It is only because I am touched by you, Amane-kun.”
Amane unwittingly smiled once he heard such complimentary words.
She hasn’t realized that her words are so cute.
The only way to show one’s weaknesses would be trust and love. Her telling him that it was because of him made him ever so relieved.
“…It feels like you are having it easy. How despicable.”
“It’s really not.”
“Really? You seem to be coping well.”
Mahiru turned around, put her face on Amane’s chest, and he gently smiled.
He might be able to look calm, and could dismiss the flushed face as him being in hot water, but the heartbeat could not be disguised.
The heartbeat that was much faster than usual had her blinking, and she lifted her head.
“So I say…I’m not handling this well.”
He was bathing with the first and only girlfriend he had, and there was no way he had no thoughts about it. He wanted to touch, and even pry apart the coverage.
He did not do so as he did not want to hurt her, for the sake of their future, and immediate action might not be appropriate.
That might be the reason as to why Itsuki called him a coward. Amane however wanted to be overly cautious, given his personality, and take it step by step. It was to be expected of him.
“…I thought you would be used to it.”
“What used? I want to touch, do this and that, I’m just enduring.”
“D-do this and that.”
Mahiru’s face immediately turned red, and one had to wonder what she was thinking. Amane showed a wry smile, was about to pat her head, and found her staring at him.
She sat down once again, leaned her back onto Amane’s, pulled his elbow from the edge of the bathtub, and wrapped it around her.
The unexpected embrace posture had him stiffened, and she turned around, showing a meek yet impish smile.
“…This little bit is fine.”
“…Is it not enough?”
“More than enough…I’ll start then.”
Once he got her permission, Amane took the initiative to embrace her.
His arms and body felt her slender figure, and he let out a little breath.
He put his chin near the whorl of her hair, “Please do no put all your weight onto me.” and Mahiru said with a little smile.
I know, Amane quietly noted, and gently patted her little shoulder. She then let out a little breath, feeling ticklish.
“…It is warm.”
“Your clutches feel so peaceful.”
“Your heart isn’t racing?”
“It is a given.”
“Is your heart racing now?”
“Yes, it always has been.”
It would be bad to keep touching. Amane already knew that Mahiru’s heart was beating wildly. The moment he thought she was being aggressive, she would shrivel in embarrassment…and her heart would palpitate whenever she showed such a side.
Mahiru earnestly admitted her current situation, and Amane smiled, leaned forward slightly, and clung on.
She did not evade, and merely shivered in slight embarrassment.
“…Will you heart race faster if I do this?”
“I-it will, but…”
“…At this point, I wish for you to hug me more.”
Mahiru’s face was flushed red as she said these words. Her head was lowered, and she seemed really flustered.
The request was too adorable that for a moment, Amane felt his blood boiling. He gently wrapped his hand onto his lover’s belly, to fulfill her adorable wish, and embraced her further.
He knew why she was shivering, but it was to be expected.
“…Is this fine?”
“Can I let go now?”
“N-no need…I wish to be in your arms, Amane-kun.”
Once she said these adorable words, she gently touched the arms wrapped around her stomach.
“Erm…actually, I do not dislike it when you touch me, Amane-kun. I like it, in fact. But, I too…do not want to be overly enthusiastic in doing so…is it not contradicting?”
Amane had a vague idea of what Mahiru wanted to say.
She probably would have accepted it if Amane wanted to do anything. However, she did not actively desire to bond, and merely wanted to feel the warmth and touch.
Amane too had his own desires, but that desire was thoroughly satisfied with such mere contact.
He was unexpectedly satisfied to be able to spend such peaceful days with the one he loved.
“…Look, I’m not really actively looking to do something. This will be enough.”
“…Yeah, but I want a kiss.”
They were in a fine mood, but a kiss should be fine since they were already in such a dire state.
Mahiru tensed up for some strange reason the moment she heard the word kiss though.
“…Erm, can we not, do it now?”
“You don’t want to?”
“N-not exactly…but, I-I think I will pass out from heatstroke if I kiss you here, Amane-kun.”
Have you not been kissing me for a longer time recently? Once he heard Mahiru mutter, Is that that case? Amane recalled the past moments, and sank into deep thought. At this moment, Mahiru slapped his shoulder.
“…A-anyway, once we are done bathing.”
“Understood. I’ll dote on you all day along, okay?”
“It seems like you are trying to melt me instead of doting.”
Ah busted. Amane chuckled at Mahiru’s somewhat rigid retort, and his arms were slapped at by a peeved looking Mahiru.
However, she seemed to be pouting rather than fuming, and he embraced her once again, ensuring that she would not notice him laughing at her.