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Xanadu Weyr – Meadow

A large, slightly rolling meadow is set high enough above the riverbank on both sides to avoid suffering from flooding, healthy ground cover and grass spreading out from either side of the dividing river. Scattered amongst the meadow are a variety of buildings, each with a narrow path leading up to it from a main, winding road. Some are set under a few trees, while others sit by themselves.

Stables and a smithy are settled on their own plots, while trees border the western edge of the meadow, and a faint outline of a fence can be seen to the north.


The evening has passed in a whirlwind of food and music and fluttering silk and fur. Matrin snuck back to check on Mishkia a time or two, but also spent some time mingling with the rest of the guests. Now he comes ambling back, watching her as he closes the distance and absently winding his way through the dancers without really sparing a glance for them. He carries a glass of white wine that is mostly gone, and drains it just before he arrives at the table where she sits. Liquid courage, or just freeing up his hands? I am sure you can guess which one he'd admit to, anyway. Setting the empty glass down on the teal-covered table, he offers Mishkia both a hand and a warm smile. "Enjoying yourself, m'lady?"

There's nothing like this back at Mire Hold. Nothing even close! miah's been watching the evening's revelries through wondering eyes, sampling the buffet, meeting new people - none of whom she'll recognize tomorrow without their masks, mind. She's kept mostly to her table with Keziah while the party swirled around her, enjoying the music if her face has been anything to judge by whenever Matrin did stop back by. The stars have wheeled on their course overhead, making the passage of the evening and when the signal comes she's taken off her mask with the rest, trying not to appear to lost by the raucous cries of recognition that go on all around her between some of the people. The harpers have begun to play again, something less boisterous, Ers'lan has come to claim her friend and she is watching, chin in hand while the breeze stirs coppery strands that have slipped from her upswept hair. Matrin's arrival draws laughing grey eyes from the swirl out on the dance floor and there's a nod, a smile. "It's quite something!"

Matrin shifts his weight enough to cast a glance over his shoulder at the collage of dancers behind him. "Mmm," he agrees lowly, turning back bright eyes. "Something indeed. And have you had a turn out on the dancefloor yourself yet?" Those sparkling eyes sweep over her outfit and down to her feet, checking to see if her shoes have been abandoned yet or not, and his smile lingers. Closing the distance, he tips his hip toward the table and leans his weight into it, affecting a lounging posture even while on his feet. "Either way, is there room on your dance card for one more?" When the words pass his lips he seems to realize the turn of phrase might not be familiar to her, and a sheepish tilt claims his mouth. "That is, would you give me the honor of a dance?"

"Keziah dragged me out there for some…" Here her eyes crinkle as they follow his down to where her bare toes are peeking out from under the hems of those peacock-feather hued pants. Indeed, the spiked shoes have been safely kicked under her chair. "…sort of line dance where we hooked arms and went all over the place." Back up to him she finishes, "It was really more like hopping than… what they're doing." Are they dancing, that twirly-sweepy stepping they're doing out there? That's the silent question lurking on her face as she glances back out there briefly. There's a moment of perplexity over the phrase dance card, then she's laughing softly, ruefully, "I've never learned how to do it." It's an admission made without embarrassment; a statement of fact.

Dark brows arch, bemused at her description of the group dance she took part in. "And I missed it," Matrin sighs ruefully, lifting a regretful palm to his chest for a beat. "I think I was sampling the meatballs and cheese platter at that point. I prefer the sort of dancing where you sweep a lady off your feet to the hopping around sort." He winks, but the words hold more mirth than true flirtation. Her peek past him and the confusion on her face brings out a soft chuckle and he nods. "Aye, that is what they are doing." Pushing upright he steps back and unfurls a hand toward the dancefloor in a sweeping gesture, even as he reaches his other hand to her, palm up. "Do you trust me? Just follow along and I promise not to notice if you step on my toes with your wee bare feet."

Coquettishly, "That… wasn't you down at the end of the line, that black and teal-sparkled maniac?" The look awarded Matrin is all sympathy. "Here I was giggling to think you so nimble when in reality you were mired in the meatballs. What a let-down." Mishkia's laughing right back, but when he offers her his hand it bubbles to a halt. Flickering her glance from hand to face, it's hard to stop the impish reply that springs to mind, "After you followed me on that mattress? How can I say no?" She lifts her hand, places it in his and rises, "I don't have a clue what I'm supposed to be doing, but here's the perfect opportunity for you to get even." Her mouth curves with a small grin, while her eyes are sparkling merriment, but behind them peeps the assurance that she knows she'll be fine with him. So yes, she does.

Matrin feigns regret, tsking and shaking his head. "Alas, I can not claim the dubious distinction of teal-sparkled maniac, much as I would like to." He arches a brow at the mattress comments, but curls his hand around hers and helps her gallantly to her feet. "Oh lass, if you think a turn on a Xanadu dance floor even holds a candle to mattress surfing in the swamp, you are sorely mistaken. We can count this as a down payment if you like." His eyes are just as full as stars as the night sky above them, and amusement adds to their sparkle. "Just keep a bit of tension in your arms so if I pull or push I guide you, instead of just collapsing your elbow." He gives her hand a demonstrative little forward push. "Other than that, let me lead and don't think too hard." And with that he is guiding her out to the floor with a warm hand almost possessive at the tuck of her waist.

"You drive a hard bargain, Sir, but I think you have yourself a- a dance." At least Mishkia hopes he'll think it's one by the time they are finished! She follows as he steers her out onto to the floor, for the moment oblivious to the figures swirling around them as they walk so closely. She gives him a side-glance hopeful the color stealing into her cheeks isn't as obvious as it feels and says, "I'll try not to trip you this time." The quip falls awkwardly, at least to her own ears, the comment perhaps indicative that she's recalling the tumble they've already taken once. When they reach the spot they're supposed to be, she's at a loss, totally out of her element, but determined to have fun anyway. The look she gives him is one of mingled appeal and dry self-amusement as she lifts her other hand and just hovers it, unsure where that is supposed to go.

"A dance," Matrin repeats more firmly and with all the confidence she seems to be lacking. He is both too busy finding an empty spot on the floor for them to claim as their own, and too much a gentleman to comment on any kiss of rose to her cheeks or awkward placement of words. "Yes well, don't try to clothesline me either, if you wouldn't mind." His tease is a gentle one and he grins down at her, turning to take his place in front of her. "Relax, this is fun." Seriously, it is. Matrin is nothing if not smooth, sweeping her hovering hand into his and laying it on his shoulder before clasping her other one and settling his grasp back on her waist. A series of nods, with his eyes on hers, marks the beat for her. A parting of lips like he might say "And one," marks his first step. If she's at all following, or even just giving him the slight tension he requested, she will have no choice but to step into him as he steps back, and that is just the first of several simple steps he guides her through, hoping to show her the pattern by example.

"Clothesline-" There's a startled flicker of a glace at him from where it's followed her hand as he's placing on his shoulder. "I take it that would be a bad thing." And she gives him a fleeting uncertain smile before following her other hand down to his waist as he places it there. He begins to count so she lifts her head almost reluctantly and meets his eyes steadily enough, but the wild that she's lived in is in them; not fear exactly but something elusive, tenuous that is replaced as she concentrates in following his steps. She doesn't anticipate and thus is easily guided so that she picks it up without too much difficulty, under his hand she does relax but it's without the conscious effort to do so, for she has discovered something! Her eyes are wide with wonder, "We have become the music."

Matrin clears his throat, but she asked so he can't help but answer. "If you stick your arm out and it knocks the other person off their feet. Similar to what would happen if you walked into a clothesline." He arches a brow. Y'know, sort of like she tried to knock his block off at the hold. But it's said with indulgence and not a speck of irritation, so hopefully it won't throw off those first few fledgling steps. He is a good leader, covering any tiny hesitations and guiding without jerking on her arms. Her wide eyed wonder deepens his smile and he nods. "I've always loved it, and since I don't play I get to enjoy the music this way." He steps away to guide her into an under arm turn, then draws her back in, closer this time so his hand can slide around to her lower back. "Do you like it?"

She swept his feet first, but hopefully she will keep those to herself this time! Mishkia does laugh though, at the explanation of clotheslining and if he's feeling the brush of her toes half-trodding on his shoes it's because she's momentarily side-tracked. "Remind me to have Gabit show you the trap he built just inside my cottage door this afternoon." She's not perfect in those steps but he's got a firm hand, though lightly placed and she manages - until he turns her and extends his arm. This must be where she's supposed to worry about clotheslining and for a beat she flounders, almost turning the wrong direction. There's a bit of a surprised grin as she spins slowly and is drawn back, feels his arm around her back. Does she like it? Breathless, and not quite daring to look up at him, so that her eyes fall somewhere near his jawline, "Yes."

Laughter is the highest goal here, so when the melodic notes come bubbling up out of Mishkia, Matrin looks as pleased as can be, even if it is at his own expense. If he feels those little toes through the stiff leather of his dress shoes he doesn't let on a bit, keeping it simple while she refocuses. When she hesitates on the turn he just lifts her arm higher and guides her through - unless she wants to twist her arm off she'll go where she's supposed to. He spends a few steps with her close before ducking his head and trying to catch her eye to reply, "Me too. Thank you for letting me drag you out here." His teeth catch his lip, half thought and half mischief, then he leads her through a slightly more complex version of the steps, ready to help her through any stumble.

Mishkia's lashes lift when that jaw dips, not to would be awkward and thus she meets his eyes, answering him with naught but a slow smile. She can't help but laugh lowly, "I'd hardly call this a drag. If it is, you may drag me anytime you'd like. Because the mattress, THAT was a drag." Okay yes, she's literally-minded. She can talk and dance at the same time - and on the first lesson, too! Go her. But those complexities he's trying next? She has to shut up and concentrate, losing all of her grace as her legs step awry and she's doing more laughing and leaning than standing on her own two feet for a few beats there.

The crooked line of Matrin's mouth changes and there's a darker sort of impishness that flashes through his eyes as some remark comes to mind. He apparently thinks better of it though and he just shakes his head and instead assures her, "I will get dragged around through a swamp by your side any day, my dear." When she laughs, so does he - it's infectious. But he's not laughing at her inexpertise so much as enjoying her pleasure, and when she leans the most he just drops her hand and puts both of his around her waist, sweeping her up off her feet as he turns them both around. "Sorry," he says, half breathless as he sets her back down. "Too much there. But I had to see if you were just pulling my leg about not knowing how to dance. You're a natural."

Mishkia could probably guess- no maybe she couldn't. She doesn't try, merely starts to make some comment that dies on her lips with the squeak that comes out instead as she's lifted and twirled around unexpectedly. It's a move that has her arms clinging tighter where they're curled about him, loosening as her feet find the floor again. If her cheeks are flushed, it's from the exertion, right? Right. She shakes her head, laughing up at him, "I think I have a great teacher, but thank you for the compliment." She doesn't seem to mind at all that the other people around them saw her mess up, has simply forgotten they are there.

Well then that makes too of them with high color and less ability to get adequate oxygen into their lungs. Matrin makes sure she is good and settled before relinquishing her waist with one hand and using it to reclaim her fingers instead. A slow sway from side to side gives her time to get her bearings and her breath, and the fact that it lets him curl her hand in between them, drawing it toward his chest is simply happy coincidence. "Well then, we'll have to do it again sometime," he murmurs. But then he catches an incoming pair of unobservant teens practically galloping across the floor at them, and the softness in his smile slips away as he warns her with, "Oops, watch out," and turns her, leading her in a few sideways steps out of their way as the song draws to a close.

Mishkia is… supposed to catch her breath with him holding her hand like that? She's none too steady in the knees, hopefully he can't feel the vibrations moving up her arms. She's masking it, or trying to anyway. "I'd like that-" she starts to say and then they're moving again so the teens can rush past. Into the eddy of air left in their wake, she simply murmurs, "Ain't nothin like that to dancin' back home." Totally forgetting her carefully cultivated attempts at speaking and completely unaware she slipped. When they do leave the floor, she collects her composure finally able to converse with some grace and wit for the rest of the time they spend, whether it is sipping wine and listening to the music or nibbling some more of the delicious treats served at the buffet. Whichever the case, it's not long before the sheer numbers of people and noise get to her and she mentions the need to escape it. If he so offers, she walks with him barefoot, one hand lightly on his arm, the other dangling those spike heels over the forest path to her cottage door where she bids him good eve.


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