Dwynn could hardly wait for them to settle down. "That you feel something for me is hope beyond compare. I can certainly see why you could feel reluctant. You have your closest friend to consider and a serious quest to follow and I would not keep you from either.
"And then there is the resemblance to Crystal. Even though you are younger and I have gotten to know you a little by now, resemblance is not a basis for any serious affair. I feel as though I have moved beyond that, or am willing to, though. How can we truly know if this meant to be, unless we try and try with abandon? I will pursue this as far as you will allow me to.
"As for the moment. Yes, we are on a perilous quest that either one of us might not return from. We have this chance, *now,* to make our lives something more than they are. Now is the best time. It may be the only time we have left. If I die on this adventure I would like to know that I have lived."
"I would *hope* you're not pursuing me simply because of my looks," Linna replied with a smile. "Right now, I'm worried that we might be moving too fast-- we hardly know each other, really. But I would like to get to know you better." She laid her hand on his, watching the fire strike sparks from his eyes.
Dwynn looked at her hand on his. "A chance is all I ask." He beamed a bright smile at her face. "I though all the really smart women wanted to be coveted for their looks. I can see you will not make this easy.
"Moving too fast? I feel we are hardly moving at all. But as long as we are moving forward, I am well satisfied. Let me but spend time with you openly without restraint, and you will set the pace of my heart."
Taking her hand in his, feeling it, he added, "I have seen how you care for your friends old and new. I have seen you act through uncertainty and fear, coming out brightly shining. You hold much promise for one so young. The only question I have is, what could we become. Ask me anything. Or just watch me. You are deep enough to see through the act I put on to lighten my mood."
Linna nodded slowly. There was something in what he said...but she still wasn't entirely sure how much of what he felt was love of who she was, and how much was love for what--or, rather, who--she reminded him of. But there might be a way for her to figure that out...
She bent closer, letting their conversation drift into near-silence for the others. "Why don't you tell me about Crystal?" she asked.
Dwynn thinks back and starts to tell a story, "I wanted her from the moment I saw her. I was starting to make a reputation for myself. Doing all right. She was looking for work in a bar I used to go to. She wasn't having any luck, so I went up and talked to her.
"Crystal was a wonderfully sweet women and way to honest for her own good. Her parents had died and she was all alone trying to get by. Of course I offered her a place to stay hoping to make something off it and I guess I did. We just hit it off though, right from the start. She stayed at my place and started doing all these things about the house. It was nice having a woman's touch and we were both very inexperienced at the time." His voice attains a dreamy quality as he continues, "Sometimes I could sit and just watch her for hours. She had all these delicate little movements, just like you do. To make a long story short we fell in love and she never left. It was all great until...."
Dwynn chokes up, "I think I told you about the church before."
Linna nodded, sparing him the retelling. This lost love of his did seem quite different than her, and it seemed that he could see that difference. "She sounds like a wonderful person, Dwynn. That you see some of her in me is, I suppose, a compliment. But please keep in mind, these circumstances are unusual. That I've managed to keep my head so far is rather a surprise. Ceri's usually been the level-headed, practical one." She couldn't help but shoot a look over to Ceri, who was still working closely with Elwynn. At least their bond was no longer humming with the tension it had had for the past couple of days.
"I'm also still quite young, and I've lived a sheltered life up until now," she continued, turning back to Dwynn. "I'm not...yet...sure I want to commit myself to anyone so soon. Not that the thought doesn't have its appeal," she said with a grin. "Besides, right now, my main concern needs to be for Ceri. We've been through so much already...and I have the feeling that Abydos is not going to be the end of this. I need to know that Ceri's all right before I can focus so much on my future."
Dwynn shoots Linna a hurt look, "So right now I am too much of a distraction." With a heavy sigh he adds, "I suppose you leave me no choice but to let it be for now. If that is what you really want. I have already told you why I think this is right." Another silence and Dwynn moves away a fraction. "I'll try not to distract you too much, from now on."
'Oof--did he ever take that wrong,' Linna thought with a bit of frustration. What could she do to salvage things? On impulse, she leaned forward to close the gap between them and, with only a fraction of hesitation, kissed him softly.
Dwynn sits there in stunned confusion at the mixed signals he's getting, as she tells him not to expect anything and then kisses him in the sweetest way. But only for a moment before responding and gently eagerly kissing back. Talk is nothing, this is what there is to live for.
"Believe me," she said when the kiss ended, looking him square in the eyes. "You are more to me than a distraction. Possibly much more. I just don't want to make any promises right now that I might not be able to keep."
"All right, no promises." He smiles back at Linna and moves close to her, gently but passionately kissing her again and brushing her cheek with the back of his fingers. "You know I will do whatever I can for you and Ceridon, but I don't think holding back is any good. She doesn't seem to mind that much anymore. Or is that just an act?"
"No, it's no act," Linna replied. "I think…it's just that she's only now having to cope with the emotional changes that were made by her physical change. I don't think she realized until now how being a unicorn has changed the way she looks at things. Having to be with new people has kind of brought that to a head. Now that she's more aware of it, I think she'll be all right."
Dwynn looks up at the stars and nods slowly, "I can understand that." Again taking Linna's hand in his, he sighs softly, "I would love to talk with you here alone by the fire the second half of the night, but you need to rest." He brushes her lips with his, kissing her again with slow tenderness. "I hope there will be another quiet night we can talk. If not I'll have to sneak under your blanket after my guard is done some cold night." With that he winks and stands to help her up.
Linna smiled back, glad the darkness hid her blushes. She followed him back to where their bedrolls had been situated for the rest of the night. She could still feel his kiss on her lips, his hand on her face-- but Ceri was only the barest presence in her mind. ::Thanks for the privacy,:: she sent down their bond.
::Anytime,:: came the private reply. ::I hope you'll get *some* sleep, though.::
::I don't think that'll be a problem,:: Linna sent back as her mouth gaped in a yawn. As she settled into her bedroll, she wondered what her dreams would be like.
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