Yuuri stirred, rolling his shoulders when something scratched against them. He felt the softness of Victor’s lips on his skin, then the same grating roughness. Shifting in discomfort, the sleep-dazed siren flipped over, gazing at his mate. Victor’s face was growing.
Startled, Yuuri shot back an inch, rubbing his eyes. He squinted but his vision did not correct itself. Victor’s face was definitely growing. Gingerly, he inched his fingers forward, touching his mate’s cheek. Usually smooth skin was coarse under his fingertips. He snapped his hand away, as if burned.
Blue eyes still closed, a low chuckle rumbled from Victor’s chest. “Confused?”
Yuuri nodded, needing a moment to realize that Victor could not see it. Carefully, he touched Victor’s chest, where his feather tattoo peeked out from beneath their covers. Quickly, he wrote his question before clutching his hand back against himself.
“I normally shave before you wake up,” Victor said, lashes fluttering up. He lifted his hand, rubbing at his own chin. “But since Chris broke my mirror, I wasn’t able to this morning. You might have to deal with a scruffy pirate until I get a new one.”
Squinting harder, Yuuri cautiously inched forward, examining Victor’s face. Little silver hairs had sprouted from his skin, along his chin and upper lip, traveling up his jawline. Yuuri regarded it with suspicion.
Victor slid in, arms winding around Yuuri’s waist to pull his siren closer. For once Yuuri resisted, tilting his head away when Victor dipped in to kiss at the hollow of his throat and up his neck, the sensation of making him squirm. The day-old growth tickled Yuuri’s ear, prickling at his nerves, and Yuuri shot out of bed.
Victor’s eyes widened in surprise. “What, no good morning kiss?”
“No!” Yuuri shouted in protest, already darting up the stairs to the deck. “Too prickly!"