Ahnika.jpg Cheusia.jpg Kason.jpg Max.jpg

Date: 7/29/10
Location: EW - Lakeside
Synopsis: Cheusia, Kason, and Max all seem to be having a little bit of a picnic when Ahnika comes along and … interrupts. After realizing that this is some kind of lover's quarrel, Cheusia and Kason leave Max and Ahni, and the two finally come to some sort of understanding.
Rating: PG-13 - Some adult content and heavy petting
Logger: Max and Ahnika

Eastern Weyr: Lakeshore

At present, this large scoop in the ground - which only grows larger each day - looks a bit odd. There's a string of makeshift fencing around the edges to try and keep those without business there out of the way. However, small wooden poles and three lines of twine are more of a suggestion than a deterrent, and weyrbrats can often be seen playing in the sections not filled with digging workers. A small sign hung on the highest bit of twine states 'LAKE HOPELESS' in forcibly fancy script, yet there's not a drop of water to be seen anywhere in the scoop.

(Logger: Max)
The rain, thankfully, has not shown today, thus setting up at the lake was a better idea than finding themselves in a bar. A blanket has been set up by Che who has also brought the snacks to nibble on which leaves Max in charge of the booze. The Healer has her hair down, for once, but is still wearing the prim and proper clothing with well cleaned boots. And she is actually looking fairly relaxed as she lounges on the blanket.

Another set of boots on the ground probably blend in with those few still out and about. Two bottles of wine in hand, Max meanders over, not trying to muffle his approach, but should it work out as such, he’ll wait until he’s right up behind the lounging Che before putting forth with a grin, “Evenin’ darlin’.”

Cheusia is unaware until Max gives his greeting, tilting her head back and smiling easily. "Evening. And how is my favorite beastmaster?" She teases easily, gesturing for him to sit near by. "Haven't been breaking any hearts, have you? I hear those runners are quite hard to get rid of."

Hunkering down near Che’s head, Max lays a companionable kiss to her cheek in proper greeting as he sets the bottles down. Chuckling, “Favorite, eh? Because there’s a whole bunch of us here at the Weyr you know,” teasing. Settling down with knees drawn up and arms dangling over their tops, something Che says draws a light frown and sidelong glance, “Runners are easier to handle,” he states and then directs a similar question back to the healer, “Kissed anymore patients and rewarded with candy lately?”

Cheusia giggles softly at the kiss on her cheek, tilting her head slightly. "Mhm. Favorite. I can't say I like any of the other ones better… Then again, they didn't break their noses, either." She shifts once he sits, opening the basket to get out some of the snacks, producing a sweet for the man and offering it out towards him. "Oh? Are we having girl problems?" She questions before cheeks flush and she shakes her head. "I haven't kissed anyone since… I did examine someone's arm the other day in Landing…"

Chuckling, “And you’ll always be my favorite healer, darlin’.” Holding up both bottles for Cheusia to see, “Wasn’t sure if you liked white or red, so brought both.” Max leans toward her, mouth open for the candy considering how his hands are both full. Looking somewhat disconcerted he gives a short nod, “The one got pissed when I told her there was someone else, after…” ahem never mind, “and the other one basically told me to go hang my hat somewhere else,” or so he interprets Ahnika’s continued silence. A grin cracks through for the blush, “Not? Looking the way you do?” a deliberately appreciative look given to prove his point. He can’t help it, he has to tease further and affect disappointment on this other patient’s behalf, “Just his arm, eh? Did he have you wanting to tie him down?” assuming it to be male and waggling brows playfully.

Cheusia grins, "good." She looks to the bottles and nods, "wonderful. I brought glasses, too." Sweet goes into his open mouth before she produces the glasses from the basket and sets them up daintily. "Oh? Well, that's too bad…" She lifts a brow, "do you want me to secretly go plant some thoughts in the other's head? Y'know, get her to reconsider. Though, I will have to thoroughly check this girl out before I can let her near you." Of course, she's teasing as she gives him a smile. "Looking the way I do? There's something wrong with the way I look? Pff. I look fine." She tosses her hair, laughing a little before her grey eyes focus on the glasses. "Just his arm. I didn't have the urge to tie him down as much as I wanted to run away. I've never been embarrassed by anyone before… I think he was flirting with me. I didn't know what to say."

Sucking on the candy, Max sets to uncorking the bottle of white wine, laughter appearing for her comment, “So…she has to pass the Che Approval test first?” out comes the cork and the wine glasses are being filled halfway. Grinning still, “Only if I get to vet all your would be suitors, darlin’. Deal?” a hand lifts to curl a strand of her hair about a finger, warmth in his expression, “More’n fine. You’re beautiful, Che. Any man would be lucky to have you.” He’s hard pressed not to but he can’t hide his amusement at her confession, “Far as I can remember you’re supposed to run toward the flirting not away. Kind of defeats the purpose of the flirting in the first place.” Leaning back on one elbow, he takes up a glass and tips the healer’s way, “To lasting friendships and problematic interests.”

"Yep, the Che Approval test. I must warn you, I am going to be incredibly strict." Che grins widely as she watches him open the bottle and fill the glasses. She leans in to snag the glass and nods, "that's fine with me, but I doubt I'd ever find a suitor, Max. I have a horrible mouth on me that tended to get me into trouble at the Hall." Brows furrow as he curls her hair around his finger, watching with a mild interest. "Thank you, Max. Even though I think you're full of it." Laughter picks up again and she shakes her head, "I couldn't think straight. Here's this Smith, likely posted under my… Father. Saying he's interested in what I'm reading even though it's healing things… Next thing I know, I'm examining his arm and he starts flirting and I don't know what to say. Look down… I'm still holding onto his arm. I managed to give him a name and told him to come visit before I ran out…" And that's the whole story before she lightly clinks her glass against his. "To long lasting friendships and problematic interests." And then, she takes a drink.

Kason has arrived.

Evening out at the lakeshore, (which is devoid of actual water) finds the beast manager and the healer lounging on a blanket drinking wine and chatting idly. Che’s comment has Max laughing once again, “Careful, she likes twisting the ears of those that don’t march to her drum.” Shaking his head in disagreement, “Naw, quite a pretty mouth in actual fact,” delivered with a wink and then continuing on to say, “Believe me darlin’, a man likes a woman that can stand up to him.” Totally relaxed in the healer’s company his elbow propped lounge becomes more pronounced as he sips at the wine while she talks. At the end of it all, “Sounds like you liked what he had to say. You want my advice? Give him a chance, Che. Of course, I’ll have to give him a thorough eyeballing first.” Tit for tat.

"I'm sure I can handle myself, dear Max." Che teases back, grinning in response before waving her free hand in response. "My mouth is a mouth, used for eating and talking and other such things. It's a normal mouth, not entirely a pretty one." She sips the wine again, lifting a single brow. "Really? Does your woman stand up for herself? I'm going to have to meet her." She shifts, folding her legs just so before looking to the other. "Give him a chance…? For…" She shakes her head, "I don't know… You can give him a look, though."

Kason arrives at the Weyr via the beast tunnel and comes out into the Bowl. Gawking for a moment at the sheer size of the place and the number of dragons flying around, or lounging on high ledges that still catch the sun. Collecting himself, he spies Cheusia by the lakeshore lounging on a blanket along with a young man he hasn't met yet. He walks towards them, and, not sure how formal he should be while in the Weyr, opts for the safer course. "Hello, Journeyman Cheusia. It's good to see you again!"

Oh, the comebacks he has to Che’s comments on a mouth and its uses, but to his credit Max bites his tongue, instead giving into a low and entirely wicked chuckle. The question draws a slightly grumpy look from the beast manager, “Well, she certainly has a mouth on her.” Take that as she will. Shrugging as more wine goes down his throat, “Give him a chance for the hell of it. Or are you going to stay stuck in that sterile infirmary of yours for the rest of your life.” Leaning forward to put an intent look onto the healer, “You’ve got to –live- life, Che, otherwise what’s the point to it all?” Just then Kason arrives, greeting Cheusia as he does. The beast manager’s eyes flicker up that way but offers no greeting of his own until such time as there are introductions.

Cheusia looks quite ready to say something else, but is freezing at the sound of the other's greeting and grey eyes instantly move towards the Journeyman and she closes her mouth promptly. "Hello Kason." She greets, though it's softer as she quickly turns her attention to the basket that's beside them and taking out a bit more food pieces, settling out the assortment on the blanket and promptly placing food in her mouth and chewing quietly. Max earns a look, brows drawn into a frown but no response comes for his statements, nope. She's eating and therefore she does not need to respond.

Kason looks at Cheusia, wondering whether her turning away is shyness or avoidance, and just who this fellow is who's lounging so casually and sipping wine with the journeywoman. At least he's not a rider, or at least isn't wearing the knots of one. Addressing him, Kason says "Hello, I'm Kason, I met Che at Landing. And you are?"

Dark eyes flit back and forth between the newly arrived Kason and the now suddenly quiet Cheusia. Deduction not that hard to come by, a slow but sure grin starts to peel out, “Max,” he states simply in return with no titles divulged just yet, “Pull up a piece of blanket. Che here has provided some lovely snacks and though we’re short on glasses,” he taps the unopened bottle of red with a boot tip, “You’re welcome to the bottle.” Because he has –got- to see how this plays out.

Cheusia turns her attention to Kason and then finally smiles, a sheepish little smile before Max makes the offer for the other to join. "Yes. Ah… Join us. We've got a few sweets, too…" There's a gesture towards the basket before she quiets again, sipping at her wine once more. "Ah… We were just talking about… Landing, actually."

"Don't mind if I do," Kason says, seating himself on a corner of the blanket and picking up the bottle. "I'm not so used to flying dragonback and a sip or two of something usually helps." He opens the bottle and takes a swig. "Mmm, good stuff, this. Nothing but the best for those who protect us, eh?" Trying not to stare too obviously, he casually salutes the dragons overhead with the bottle, then takes another drink.

Max can’t help the open laughter when Cheusia’s offering Kason sweets but rather than say anything about it, he instead hides his mouth behind that convenient glass of his, eyes shining with further mirth. Once the new arrival has settled himself, the beast manager pushes himself up into a sitting position, setting an amused look over to him, “Helps if you don’t hold your breath when they go Between,” spoken as if he has first hand knowledge. Turning back to Cheusia he tries peering into the basket, “got any bubbly pies in there?” because that would likely earn her undying loyalty.

Cheusia watches Kason rather obviously as he settles down, "there are plenty of reactions to how one takes between. Commonly, a lot of people go through nausea or dizzy spells… Many find that it helps not to eat or drink before going between or riding." Though now she's sounding like a book, quietly taking another sip and then turning a scolding look onto Max as he laughs. "I can offer candy to people who don't come into the infirmary with broken noses." She turns the basket, setting down her glass briefly before producing a bubbly for the beastmaster and offering it out for him. "Like this one?"

Kason eyes the basket, but his eyes flick back to Cheusia's as she speaks. After her exchange with Max, Kason replies, "Truth to tell, I was too nervous to eat anything. This was only my fourth time on a dragon. Though I could do with a bubbly pie too, if you've one for me in there." He grins at Cheusia.

Max’s grin lacks any type of recalcitrance for the scolding coming from Cheusia, a hand going to his almost healed nose. “Worth it,” he comments and then she’s holding out his one open weakness, “You darlin’, are a healer of men!” a glance toward Kason that silently speaks ‘back me up here.’ Wine loses in favor of the bubbly pie, with him falling blessedly silent as he munches his way through it.

(Logger: Ahnika)

Coming straight from the baths, the redheaded teen did not find Max in the stables, and while at first Ahnika was determined, the fact that she did not immediately find him has her growing more distressed. For some reason she cannot fathom, running on instinct, she feels desperate now, needing to find him and find him soon. She is likely starting to look like she might need to go back to the baths by now. Barely dried off, Ahni had dressed in her nightshift and robe, then remembered where she had to go and put her tunic over her nightshift and her breeches on under it, and her ankle-boots are unlaced and sliding around her feet, causing her to stumble more than keep herself straight as she wanders around in the evening's relative darkness, seemingly lost . No doubt, she looks more than a little … awkward, let's say. Her damp hair is unbound and clinging to her back and shoulders. A satchel … the one Max had been looking for that morning, hangs off of one shoulder, and in her hands is a modified runner shoe and little note, though the latter may not be immediately seen. And so it is with an edge of desperation in her voice, she cries out for the beast manager, heralding her search for him, having been redirected to the lake by one of the stablehands. "Max! Max?!"

Kason chuckles. "That's what I told her back at Landing. More or less." Turning back to Cheusia, he goes on, "Anyway Master Jarvys needed to get some special tools back from the Weyrsmith, and I offered to come fetch them. I can't really stay long, but I'm glad I found you while I was here!"

Cheusia smiles at Kason, nodding. "It gets easier the more you do it." She offers, before peeking into the basket and taking out a second bubbly and offering it to the Smith. "Here you are." She chimes in a cheery tone before attention drifts to Max. "At least it was worth it." She teases, leaning in to examine his nose briefly. "You look like you're healing well, at least. I'm pleased." She sits back, looking to Kason and there's a slight face made. "Father sent you? Well, I'm glad… To have seen you, too. Ahh… Have a safe trip back, when you go…" And the shy fidget begins again until grey eyes are searching for the girl who calls out for Max.

The very fact that Max fits Kason with a grin from around his pie likely speaks to his laying no personal claim to Cheusia. A silent look between men? And then to the healer's inspection of his nose, going a little cross eyes as he warily watches those fingers that he'd quickly found out, were capable of inducing unimaginable pain, "So I'm going to keep my rugged good looks then?" teasing in kind. Bubbly pie half eaten, he lifts the wine glass to wash it down. That's about when Ahnika calls out. Head jerking in that direction, it takes a moment for him take in the disheveled looking candidate before eyes land on first the satchel slung over her shoulder and then runner shoe in her hand. All of which culminate in the poor man literally choking on the mouthful of wine he'd been about to swallow. Coughing and trying very hard not to do something like snort it out his nose, all he can do is lift a hand and beckon her over.

Kason takes the pie with a smile, but when it is halfway to his mouth, he suddenly processes what she said. "Master Jarvys is your *father*?" he says incredulously. "You… don't seem much like him," he finishes, trying to be tactful. Then he also hears the voice calling out for Max and looks that way, seeing the desperate-looking girl holding out… a runner shoe?

When she finally claps eyes on Max, Ahnika starts to rush forward, but her unlaced boots aren't cooperating and she trips herself up and goes down. But the girl isn't down for long! She staggers back to her feet, looking like she's been a little too long in her own cups as a result, and a little more carefully pushes forward, coming to a stop in front of Max and the other two, but not seeming to see them right off - or perhaps too enveloped with Max to care right now - and one very short of breath redhead manages to wag the runner shoe at Max, "Max," she starts, unable to keep that same sound of desperation out of her voice, "What's … what's your meaning here? With this? Is this … ?" Her grey eyes searching his face before finally seeming to sense the other two there and she blinks owlishly at them before stepping back, her balance waving in those stupid boots again, and her arms beat like wings a moment to regain it, which makes her pitch all bizarre as she says, "Oh, hello … excuse me. Um." Then, recognizing Cheusia, she dips her head politely to her, "Healer, ma'am." And the apparent picnic and her brows furrow in slight confusion. "I … " but she leaves it unfinished.

Cheusia grins, "you'll be fine. Still looking like yourself… At least your nose isn't off, still." She is about to continue until he he starts choking, about to assist him. Though she's temporarily distracted by Kason, "yes. He's my father. We… Actually met recently, we're a bit… Iffy. He didn't raise me." She looks to Ahnika as she arrives, examining her obviously as recognition hits, staring at the candidate. "And that's how you knocked yourself out on the table." Che decides thoughtfully, "you look like you've recovered well, at least." She turns a look to Max, "see? She's the Candidate I told you about…" And then she goes back to her examination of the candidate, looking between Max and Ahni before attention returns to Kason. Mouth opens, then close, and she has nothing further to say, it seems.

Head bowed, shoulders still shaking as coughs wrack his frame. Max finally looks up with not more than a few tears running down his face. So cool, calm and collected isn't he? Shooting a glance at Kason and Cheusia, a frown fits to his features as he wipes the tears away with the back of his hand. Voice gruff (from the coughing of course) the runner shoe is eyed again as if she might bean him with it, "Where'd you get that?" choosing not to answer her question at this particular time. Cheusia's comment to Ahnika earns a watery eyed 'Huh?' from the beast manager and then slots fall into place. Patting the blanket on the other side, he gestures toward Ahnika, "Sit before you whack your head again," sounding more like an order than an invitation. His attention goes momentarily to Kason while he waits for the candidate to do so, "What is it you do at Landing?" Or maybe Kason's already said as much but his head's not quite with it right now.

Ahnika is still holding that cryptic runner shoe in one hand and Indira’s note in the other, brandishing them at Max as if they were sword and shield of dire consequences. But then Cheusia comments about her and her previous tumble and the girl’s cheeks color, which may or may not be noticeable considering the hour. And then there comes Kason’s words, and her embarrassment descends to practically a crimson hue, mirrored in her eyes as she tries hard to stifle a scowl and tart reply. The slightly soggy looking redhead doesn’t seem to have words for Cheusia and Kason, as embarrassed for their comments as she is. And then Ahni makes matters worse when she draws herself up to her full height instead and glares, yes, glares, at Max. Either it is for his evading her query or his order to her. Didn’t Zen just tell her she should /talk/ to Max? Well? The teen snaps at Max stubbornly, uncaring of about the potential millions of weyr-etiquette violations she’s probably making here, “No!” She takes one awkward step forward toward him, her arm reaching for another good grip of his closest ear, “Now you listen to me, Beast Manager,” says the she-beast, “No games. No foolin’. We’re gonna talk and we’re gonna talk straight for a change. And you’re going to tell me the—“ the rest of what she had to say is cut off by a shriek as the fiery redhead missteps in her reach for Max’s ear to twist and ends up falling helplessly directly toward his lap. Well, she’s been in far worse places …

Cheusia watches Ahnika for a moment longer before looking to Max and nodding, finally. It's a quiet, understanding nod and if anyone else sees, she doesn't seem to care and expecting only Max to know the meaning. Then, she looks to Kason as he speaks to her. Her laugh is soft, cheeks flushing. "Yes… It is interesting." She admits, turning her gaze down to her hands for a moment. "Fixed Max's nose and…" Pause, she looks to Ahnika, still lost on a name. "She hit her head on a table, had a minor concussion and I had to keep her in the Infirmary for a few days… Not… Too terribly interesting, but… Interesting enough…" More shy fidgets, but then she's instantly drawn to Ahnika and Max's sitatuion with a mild look of amusement. There's a chuckle, "well, she certainly can stand up for herself even if she can't stand straight." This is to Max with a look of amusement and she waves a hand, more in farewell as she looks to Kason. "We should probably leave them alone." She pushes to her feet, offering a hand out towards the Smith with a cheerful smile.

Seemingly intent on continuing to ignore the demands for an explanation, Max catches that look from Cheusia a sheepish twist of mouth, her reply. Next his attention fits to Kason instead, interest for the man's line of work high, "Working with the Starsmiths, eh? That must be pretty interesting work. Keep meaning to take a ride down to Landing but haven't yet had reason to. Maybe I'll swing down that way and you can show me what you …" words cut off as Ahnika stumbles yet again and winds up in his lap, knocking the glass of wine out of his hands in the process. Speechless for a moment or two, he recovers quickly enough to settle her more comfortably and casually wrap an arm about her waist while one of his hands captures that ear twisting one of hers to prevent her carrying through with the threat, "First time I've had a woman literally fall for me. A man could get used to it. Now sit still!" And just like that he's switching topics as if nothing had happened and this weren't all quite an abrupt assault on his psyche, a low chuckle going out to Cheusia for her comment, "Aye," agreement and then, "Didn't know candidates were allowed to hit the sauce so hard though." Which will likely earn him mouthful later on from the redhead. And then the healer is standing and making her farewells and he looks a little tongue tied, "Uh yeah, later. Nice to have met you, Kason."

Kason watches the distraught redhead's tumble, and winces in sympathy; he, too, once went through a seriously clumsy stage. He looks back at Cheusia and says, "Yes, it sort of does look like these two don't need an audience.” He takes Cheusia's proffered hand, trying not to look too eager, and gets up to walk off with her.

Cheusia nods her agreement to Kason, holding his hand and smiling rather cheerfully. And she'll walk off, but not before looking over her shoulder and calling out. "Max, you better let me know how it goes or I'm not sneaking you any sweets later!" And then, both Journey-people are off.

Having momentarily lost the runner shoe onto the blanket next to Max as she tumbles into his lap, Ahnika’s hand is quite easily captured by his, and she is breathless and stunned into silence, allowing the other two to make their getaway while Ahnika is still getting her wits about her from him putting his arm around her waist. That does not prevent her from fixing him with another hard look as he mocks her and in front of others no less! Hmmph! She shifts a little in his lap, trying not to enjoy it too much, and with her semi-free hand (holding only the note from Indira) she brushes some of her loose damp hair from her face, trying to regain some meager bit of dignity at least as she continues to glare at the man she’s fallen for, literally and otherwise, and then she looks away, trying to pull away from the grasp he has on her waist and other hand, “Let go,” she says, but it’s too quiet and fraught with her own objections to being let go by him at all.

"No," Max states just as quietly, keeping his hold on her as he watches the two journeyman disappear off into the distance, hand in hand. A small smile playing on his mouth for that and then back to the matter of the redhead in his lap. First things first, and this he truly needs to know as eyes search out and find the runner shoe the lift to seek hers out, "Where'd you get that, Ahni?" spoken low as he battles his own fight or flight instincts.

When he refuses, Ahni stops wriggling in his lap and sighs, surrendering at least that much. There is still some tension in her neck and shoulders, but the rest of her body seems to relax against him. She scowls a little, irritated inwardly at her own relief to the surrender, but his question seems to confuse her and the scowl is replaced with a creased brow as she looks up into his face, “What? You don’t know?” She chews on that a moment, and then hands him the note in his mother’s hand writing. “Your mother … I thought she … so, she didn’t get it from you?” She frowns and pushes a little more away from him. “I’m sorry. I thought you made that runner shoe … I’ll just … “ go? Go where? She’s opened this door now. It needs closure of some kind. Her voice trails off and then she looks at him and explains, “I spoke with your mother yesterday, mentioned I had left the satchel with you by accident … that I was … afraid to get it back … on my own … and then this morning when I woke up, it was there, at the end of my cot.”

At any other time that wriggling could have become the cause of a path best not traveled at this point in time. However being as how the evening has gone from drinks with a friend and idle conversation to … Ahnika in his lap and the issue of the runner shoe, Max is simply glad for feeling her start to relax against him. Initially perplexed when somehow his mother is drawn into its appearance, he takes the note from the redhead with his free hand and scans it, a frown of his own drawing deep. "No, she didn't," which as it turns out, she must have, "I thought someone had stolen it during the night," adding with a rueful twist of mouth in recollection of the bollocksing he'd given all and sundry as a result thereof, "In fact, during my conversation with Zen I was fairly convinced it was that sharding bronzerider." Which one, he won't name. With her now suddenly wanting to leave, his grip on hers firms and he tries to turn her head toward him, "I did make it…" pausing as awkwardness wars with what his intent had been in doing so. Finally, "For you," and here's where he'll throw caution to the winds and attempt to capture her mouth with his briefly before pulling away and stating quietly, "This wasn't exactly how I'd planned to give it to you though." Leaning forward the object of contention is taken up and handed to her, "You may now throw it at my head." Drawing on humour to cover his vulnerability in waiting for her reaction to what he'd just said.

Perhaps thankfully oblivious to the consequences of wiggling in laps, “Oh,” is all Ahnika says as he states Indira didn’t get it from him … willingly. For a moment her eyebrows are drawn together a bit, trying to riddle that through. Ahnika can be a little too direct-minded for politics, which transcends down even to the least dramatic as the scheming of a mother absconding with something during the night either to make her son happy or her protégé or perhaps both? And as she considers this, Ahni sinks in against him a little more, her forehead nestled a little against his neck, and her long damp hair, well, probably everywhere - and a very different Ahni is presented - but at least it’s starting to dry more out in the night air. Her unclasped hand now relieved of its burden of the note, it fidgets a little with one of the various different bits of clothing she is wearing. And then she is frowning as he mentions that bronzerider, and she comes to the wrong conclusion, but doesn’t get the chance to say anything yet as his grip tightens on her a little more – and she shouldn’t like that but somehow does – and he admits to making it for her and she goes still, her breath catching in her throat a heartbeat before he claims her lips with his. Her eyelids flutter closed and she sinks even more in against him and his lips, her body relaxing, including the tension in her shoulders and neck. But the kiss is brief and she and her lips are left feeling bereft when he ends it. She takes the runner shoe in her free hand, but lets it rest in her lap, studying a moment, and asking softly, “You were planning on giving it to me yourself?” before blinking a little at it as something he said before he kissed her finally sinks in again, and she voices, “Wait. Bronzerider? You mean E’ro? Who told you? I didn’t think anyone saw us.” She mentally tries to backtrack and think of who she may have told of how E’ro tossed her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.

With Ahnika going all soft and warm in his arms, not to mention that wash of damp hair everywhere, and the smell of her, its all Max could do to break that kiss. But break it he did. Sending the hesitant edge of smile to her, he nods slightly looking every bit his nineteen turns rather than the hardened man of the world image he usually sends out to all in general. "Figured I'd give it to you and ask you come to riding with me, but then you didn't pitch up for stable duties so I thought …" that she was avoiding him. Shifting a leg into a more comfortable position, the hand that had moved to that abundance of hair and was starting to steal fingers into it, stills and falls away with him wrapping himself back away behind a mask of slightly hard edges. Silence as his jaw works and he stares hard out over the empty lake. His frame going taut against her, "You were with that son of a bitch?" hard pressed to stop jealousy rearing its ugly head for what he assumes she meant by her comment.

As Max speaks, the look Ahnika gives him and his lips – that hesitant smile – is one of a bit of hunger, and her grey eyes seeming to plead, ‘do that again’ but eventually her breath comes back to her and she exhales a long, wistful sigh. “I … don’t know how to ride,” she admits, a thoughtful frown tugging at her lips, and she adds, “And they wouldn’t likely let me out anyhow.” And then she feels the tension in his frame and blinks away thoughts of riding with him … on runners, that is. She opens her mouth to ask him what was wrong, but is forestalled by his own voiced question. And after a moment she seems to come to a certain conclusion. She doesn’t try to move his face to look at her, but she does twist a little in his lap to try and put her face in front of that gaze for the lake. She starts to say something and then thinks better of it and says instead, “Not the way I think you think.” She sighs again, her voice softening, “Max, look at me. E’ro Searched me. He … was a bit rough with me,” which to her mind sounds better than manhandling, “but I was being stubborn,” someone mark the calendar. Ahni is admitting her stubbornness. “But you’ve no cause for alarm … he did not bed me,” her thoughts go back to Rocio’s words and she manages not to say ‘not for lack of trying’ or worse ‘yet’. Ahni can be obtuse at times, but not all the time.

It's clear to see that Max swallows some or other comment in light of her not knowing how to ride, then again perhaps some of it comes through in his tone. "You don't need to know, baby," he states, eyes shining with the unspoken humour, "I'll show you how, if you trust me to." But more seriously, shoulders roll against her, with certainty, "They'll let you out," or he'll just figure out a way to spirit her away from the Weyr for a few hours. Dark eyes shift stubbornly off somewhere else when Ahnika puts herself in front of his stare and then reluctantly slide back onto her to meet those grey eyes, jaw still somewhat tense as she explains. Exhaling breath he hadn't known he'd been holding he nods along with the wry smile that precedes words just as sardonic in their intonation for the bronzerider not having had his way with her, "Well, that's one at least." Once he's allowed that particular topic to be set aside, both arms wrap about the redhead, drawing her in close against him unless she wriggles free, "So…" some of that earlier unstated amusement returning, "that a yes, to riding with me? Oh the joys of double entendres.

Ahnika frowns a little at the swallowed and not-so-swallowed humor, narrowing her eyes at him, “Are you mocking me?” She tries to pull her hand free from his, just so she can fold her arms over across her chest, though she makes no move to actually leave the warmth and comfort of his lap, so she can’t be all that mad. She eyes her own lap and the runner shoe therein, listening to his coaxing words and an offer … an offer to teach her. As he seems sure that they will release her for this trip, and he is weyrbred, she doesn’t question it, figuring he will know how to go about getting permission for that sort of thing. And so it is that Ahni is just starting to feel somewhat mollified with the teaching offer, asking with a little lift of her head, “And to hunt felines, too? And anything else I might want to learn?” Oh the heaviness of that last one. She actually chokes out a little bit of laughter and then clamps a hand over her mouth to his comment about E’ro, amusement remaining in her gaze as he draws her back in against him, this time with both arms. His question seems to speak to her … reminding her that she seems to be the one being beseeched here. Believing she is in control now, and relishing in it, in answer she fingers the hard, cool metal in her lap, tracing over the carved and stamped lettering before saying, “Tell me about this … “ the teenager demands vaguely, “ … and I will.”

If she's wanting her hand freed, Max is happy to let it go, but not the wrap of arm he has about her as his grin draws crooked and he shakes his head in solemnity for mocking her, "Never." And then laughter low and entirely wicked spills out as he answers to teaching her whatever it is she wants to know, "Anything, baby. Just say the word." Tell her what those words mean…that draws a light frown from a man loathe to talk about his feelings. Instead, he'll show her. Shifting his weight, while still maintaining that grip on Ahnika, he rolls to one side and lays her down beside him on the blanket, dark eyes seeking hers out intently before a hand tangles up in her hair and he lowers his head to kiss her. Everything he wants of her, with her, and hopes for, translating into that hungry yearning that labors breathing and has the man drowning in the sweet taste of her mouth.

Well … that is she was in control. There is a little flutter that comes from deep within the teen and dances up through her heart as he turns and places her down beside him on the blanket. Ahnika inhales a little just before his lips come down on hers. Her lips respond to his more quickly now than with the past kisses he’s stolen from her, though there remains that hint of timidity from inexperience that will just have to be whittled away in time … with lots of practice and coaching. She’s sport for it, apparently, too. The runner shoe, slides out of her lap, landing quietly on the blanket, and her hands slide up his chest to his shoulders and wrap around his neck as she yields to him, resistance and tension fading as the kiss continues with every passing second, and all but a low hedge wall of that once tall fortress before separates him from her heart as the stone guard towers come crumbling down. A throaty whimper of pleasure seems to be the only trumpet of his nearly conquering her entirely. As for the teaching lessons … they’ve been driven from her thought completely for the time being.

I want you like this, I want you to want me, I want you to believe in me, I want you to help me … I need you. All that and more as that kiss heats up, though remains tender with just the last few edges of doubt remaining. Her hands sliding up over his chest and lacing behind his neck, coupled with that whimper drawn from Ahnika is doing all kinds of things to him. The least of which has Max reluctantly breaking away to laugh softly as he looks down at her, dark eyes riddled with the intensity of just exactly where this was going if he hadn't, "Like a match to a flame, baby." With that he inhales slowly, fighting back the waves of desire for this fey creature beneath him. Suddenly he becomes aware of what she's actually wearing, a hand plucking at the tunic top and then more throaty laughter, "Is this a new fashion statement or is that you were hoping more clothes would mean less danger, hmm?" Yes, he's teasing her.

Her chest heaves against his, slowly learning as he leads their dance of their lips, devouring his mouth with a little more conviction and confidence with every passing moment until he withdraws with that soft laugh. It’s a good thing. A really good thing that he breaks off that kiss because Ahni was seriously starting to lose her resolve with his hand in her hair like that and his kisses speaking more earnestly than he’s probably ever said to her in common words. She works to catch her breath now, staring up at him with the stars as his backdrop, and settling down into the blanket as she drinks him in with her grey eyes. One hand, the closer, remains on his shoulder while the other falls back gently over her midsection. She scowls, but it is one tinged with playful humor this time, and she turns her face away, “I was in the bath, you know, when I found your shoe there,” she curls up a little, looking for it and patting down first her stomach and then the blanket beside her until her hand lands on it and closes around it with gentle caress. “I was headed to bed … figured I shouldn’t come out here in my nightshift is all. It’d be unseemly. I knew you wouldn’t hurt me… “ a pause and her expression sobers some, her eyes drifting to the nearby picnic basket and she lets go of the runner shoe to finger the weaving of the basket, not looking at him. “Not like that anyway.”

Still grinning at her, a finger lifts to trace the scowl lines along her forehead, "I know I can be runner's arse at times, but that wouldn't fit me," the shoe. Although, if the shoe fits, where it? Max's other hand still tangled in her hair, slowly releases the urgent grip it at had had and slides through the silky tresses as he goes quiet a moment before stating low, "Never intentionally, Ahni." Seeming pretty sure at some point that he's likely to. Mention of the nightshift she's wearing beneath her other clothing has his hand falling away from her forehead to run a light open palmed touch down her flank and then stilling as with a soft curse he rolls away from her and onto his back, staring up at the night sky. Hopefully that movement hasn’t made what she's done to him, too obvious. Turning his head towards hers, "You should get back," to the safety of the barracks, although this time it's said with a rueful smile and a look that bespeaks the reasons why, "But before you go, you haven't answered my question. Will you go riding with me?"

Despite her somber thoughts, his teasing about being a runner’s arse does bring out a smirk from her, and then the smirk fades as he tells her he’d never hurt her intentionally. And then Ahni watches him roll away from her, taking his warmth and affection with him. Regardless of his good intentions, the teen doesn’t like it, but she’s smart enough to perhaps understand why, considering how close she came to losing control, herself. “I don’t want to,” she admits at long last, and then manages to realize the potential confusion with that statement, so clarifies, “I don’t want to leave just yet.” There is another pause and she nods, sitting up drawing her knees up to her chest to rest her arms and chin on, not looking at him and instead looking out at the would-be lake. “Yes,” she says much more softly, “I’ll go riding with you.” But the naked expression of pleasure, hope, and expectation the woman had a moment ago is swallowed up by a pensive one, instead. She’s starting to withdraw emotionally again, but at least she has agreed to go riding with him. “What do I need to bring to be prepared?”

Max stays where he is initially, lying on his back watching as Ahnika sits up and stares out over the lake. An unseen look of high frustration on his face, until he reaches fingers toward the trailing ends of her hair, and tries to temper that by injecting gentleness into his tone. "I don't want you to go either, Ahni, but if you stay…" now he draws up into a seated position, his head ducking to try and seek out her eyes for what he has to say next, "But you do things to me that…" not finishing that sentence he ends up clearing his throat and saying instead, "well, its just better if…if you go back, baby." He's not stupid, he knows she's upset with him, but neither is he prepared to break his own vow. And so, celibacy it is. A new and unusual concept for the beast manager no doubt who'll likely be finding himself a cold stream to go soak in. Pushing forward and shifting to be directly in front of her, he takes her chin gently in his hands drawing her mouth closer to lay one last kiss to her lips before murmuring, "Just your beautiful self." As to what she needs to bring with her to go riding with him. With that he'll push up to his feet, offer a last lingering look over the bewitching candidate and be the one to do the sensible thing, by leaving.

Ahnika may be upset with him, but the two can’t seem to talk together straight enough or long enough to clear the air. And so it is entirely possible he thinks she is upset with him for different reasons than she really is. She remains still as he speaks, but her gaze is now cast down to the ground in front of her feet. Then he is sitting up and ducking his head to try and meet her gaze, so she meets him partway, lifting her eyes some as he puts his face in front of her. She moves her arms as he leans in and brings her chin up to him to kiss her, and her hands reach for his arms lightly. The redhead then watches him stand and there comes a dull throb from within her chest. In silence she watches him walk away from her, leaving her, and the clingy, lovesick teen’s heart flinches as the dull throb turns into a sharp stab of bitterness, and her dry eyes close and she lowers her forehead back to her arms across her knees and works to control her breathing and stay the panic attack that threatens to undo her. She remains there on that blanket for another good few minutes before the practical side of her slaps her around some and gets her moving again, stiff now, and somber. Dutifully, she collects the blanket and the rest of the picnic items, her satchel, the runner shoe, and unable to find Indira’s note (probably still with Max), she heads back into the weyr proper, and the weyrlinghood barracks.

Closing Credits Theme Music: Taylor Swift "Love Story"

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