“Thank you,” he whispers, his fingers running through the hairs on Aaron’s chest. His muscled, gorgeous, chest made all the more beautiful for it being Aaron’s.
Aaron’s hand runs absentmindedly through Robert’s hair, gentle and soft and so loving Robert just sinks into it. Their relationship has always just been something Robert sinks into; after a long day, or a hard day, or any day, they fall back to each other, touching and kissing and talking with an ease that sometimes scares him.
“Today,” he says, his head lifting to meet Aaron’s gaze.
Their legs are entangled, their naked bodies pressed against one another, still warm and slightly sweaty. They are relaxed in a way only really felt after intense release, and it’s almost the facet of their relationship Robert loves the most. Almost.
“I can’t remember the last time I had such an amazing birthday,” Robert says and the corners of Aaron’s mouth lift in a small smile.
“You’re just saying that because of all the s-”
“No, I’m not,” Robert interrupts. His hand goes to Aaron’s cheek, thumb caressing the skin there, before bends down and presses a sweet kiss to Aaron’s lips.
“I love you Aaron,” he says, their lips inches apart. Their foreheads touch and it’s grounding, his mind overflowing. He has been in love before, but never as all-encompassing as it is with Aaron; heart bursting, toe-curling, ‘I can’t stop smiling’ love, and it’s moments like these where Robert doesn’t know how to contain it.
Aaron pulls him back down, letting him rest his head on Aaron’s chest again as he continues running his hand through his hair.
“I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you,” Aaron says quietly. “I wanted to show you how much I love you.”
Robert’s heart swells, and he wraps his arms around Aaron’s middle, squeezing, holding him close. The nights he spent alone, on a sofa, sleepless, fitful, awful run through his mind and he holds on tighter to the most important thing in his world.
“You have,” Robert whispers, pressing his lips to Aaron’s skin. “You’ve given me something I never thought I’d have; you’ve given me a home, a place I feel loved and protected and wanted.”
“Likewise,” Aaron says.
Robert keeps his right arm around Aaron’s waist, his other arm curled up beneath his body. His breathing slows, his mind peaceful, tired after a day of being so relentlessly happy.
“Good night, Mr Dingle,” Aaron says as he presses a kiss to Robert’s temple.
“G’night, Mr Sugden,” Robert manages through his exhaustion. Sleep takes him soon after, wrapped in the peaceful arms of his husband.