Re: Dinner: Athelstan and Ragnar
"But they didn't keep you from following your dreams." From having more sons, from marrying a woman that could him those sons, from returning to England, to Kattegat and back again. It did, however, drive them together whenever they were close enough -- on the same land mass, for example. Or hemisphere.
"Jerusalem? He hasn't been my God in a long time, Ragnar." Even now he could recognize that he was a lapsed Catholic. A Catholic man, yes, but lapsed now. Too many things had challenged those beliefs, but not even time could change the faith he felt growing up. He both was and waasn't, and that was something he'd had to deal with. "I'd like to go there too, And Rome--" it was the seat of his religious self. "I want to see how it has changed. Did you know I went once? When I was very young, I went on a pilgrimage there. I want to see how it's changed."
All of that was easier to consider than how Ragnar's feelings had not changed. If he consented, Athelstan knew he would be in bed with Ragnar, but -- Ragnar would want him to enjoy himself, and he wasn't sure that was possible. He smiled, a little sad, and reached down to squeeze Ragnar's knee. "I know you want that." But did he? Just as Ragnar had said that he wanted Athelstan to enjoy it, just as he knew that, he knew that the next person who he would join in bed would be Ragnar. If it wasn't the man he was having dinner with, it would never be anyone else.
But enjoying it? "I haven't, before," he admitted quietly to his old friend. "I have tried but -- I do not know how you enjoy it so much."