August 10, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
Gianci, Enrie found, was a bit hesitant about the actual idea of things. His hand hovered hear the small of her back and the other hand near her shoulder, as if he would like to touch her but was remembering, perhaps, the way she had reacted when someone else had touched her.
She scooted backwards into the hand against her back with a smile, and then tilted her head upwards. Even sitting, he had a few inches on her. She watched his expression as he realized he was going to have to move closer. He tilted his head down, leaving the final distance to her to close.
Enrie hummed quietly, pleased. She splayed out her fingers against the back of Gianci’s neck, felt him tense in response and forced herself still. Was that a sign she should stop?
She caught her breath but didn’t move her fingers yet. The last time she’d kissed someone, it had been another Diplomat’s daughter, in the back of a grand hall on the west coast, hiding from all of their parents. She hadn’t seen the girl since. This… she’d be seeing Gianci every day for the rest of their school careers.
He set his hand on her shoulder just as carefully as she’d put hers on his neck, and raised an eyebrow at her. “This is a strange broom closet,” he offered.
It was enough to make her chuckle, which was enough to get her to relax fractionally. “Yeah. I’ve been told all the buildings have them. It makes a nice place for…” she leaned in and kissed him before she lost her nerve.
“It’s nice,” he agreed, after a moment. He licked his lips, and this time he kissed her. Up close, she realized his eyes had flecks, like silver or aether dancing around. She closed her eyes and kissed him again.
It was quite a few minutes before she caught her breath. “It’s very nice.”
“The view?” He smiled, one eyebrow crooked upwards.
“That, too.” She smiled back. “The kissing is pretty nice, though. I’m glad…” She gestured vaguely. “Well, I guess I’m glad Taikie shoved us in here. Although I wish we could have managed it without the shoving.”
“Well, there was that offer to go to the races…” He held up his hands in surrender before she could speak. “And I think, well, maybe… if I’m going to get you to agree to future trips out to places like that, well, I ought to help you with your current project? Then you’ll have plenty of time for the beach and the races and maybe the grand ball at the end of the season?”
Enrie leaned back to take in his whole expression, which appeared earnest, if a little amused.
“Are you,” she asked slowly, “offering to trade me help with something someone might call treason for a couple evenings together?”
“Well, if I was, it would probably be worth it, but… not really. I’m just offering to help you with something that might be dangerous — possibly treasonous — so that you have free time for evenings out on the town.”
“Oh, well, then.” She found she was grinning. “I suppose that’s okay, then.”