August 8, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
Enrie stood took a step backwards up the stairs and smiled at Gianci. “Well, if we’re going to be in close quarters with each other — as it seems we are — maybe we could go for something a little more scenic?”
He took a step up after her. “What did you have in mind? And, ah,” he smirked playfully, “do you have time, what with saving the world?”
“I think I’m going to make a little time — and, also, I don’t know if Taikie locked the door.” She took another step backwards.
“We could try it and find out,” Gianci offered, but he stepped up the stairs after her.
“We could.” She stepped backwards slowly. “But there’s more interesting things to look at.”
“In this closet?” He looked her up and down with a warm smile. “I think I’m looking at the best thing to see.”
“Well,” she grinned and looked at him, from the simple embroidery on the ankles of his pants — such a Calenyena pattern; how had she missed that? — all the way up to his well-fitted vest and his startling, pale eyes. “I’d have to argue against your point. I think I have the most interesting view right now.”
“Oh, really? And here I thought you weren’t interested in my blonde hair.”
“Oh, your hair is blonde? I hadn’t made it that far up.” Enrie grinned unrepentantly. “You’re… you’re really good-looking.”
“And you are still rather beautiful, yourself.” He took a step closer to her. “I’m sure you knew that already.”
Enrie ducked her head and smiled. “It’s been said before, but it’s still really nice to hear,” she admitted. “And this isn’t… well, if it’s not because you’re blonde, it’s not because my name starts with a vowel, either, is it?”
“It is, in part, because you’re earning your vowel so intently,” he admitted, with a wink. “But no, I’m not title-chasing and I’m not one of those people who has a list of the letters, either.”
“A list of…” Enrie laughed. “Like a checklist? I should tell Riensin about that — but only when Taikie isn’t listening.”
“You don’t have a list either, do you?” He held his hand near her hip, close enough that she could lean into the touch if she wanted. “Either hair colors or letters?”
“No.” She smirked up at him and, very deliberately, leaned her hip into his hand. “No lists.” She slipped away from his hand and took two steps up the stairs.
“We do.” He followed her up. They were nearly to the cupola now. “So. What’s next on your list?”
“Next?” She scooted up into the cupola. “Next, we see that Kekdela isn’t here —” She wasn’t sure what she would have done if Kekla had been in the cupola, but it probably would have gotten awkward. “And then you sit next to me and look at the nice view, perhaps.”
“Or perhaps,” he offered, “I could kiss you?” He sat down carefully next to her, ducking in the constrained space.
Enrie smiled. “Or perhaps I could kiss you,” she countered. She was pretty sure she could, at least.