Unusual Visit

Western Weyr - Lagoon Shore
A sandy beach running along the edge of the lagoon, between the sparkling waters and the bowl. Sometimes riders and dragons are seen playing in the water nearby or a dolphin can be seen cavorting. At other times seacraft can be seen coming in under the arch to dock. The lagoon is large enough to fill a quarter of the length of the bowl. A path winds out along a ledge out to the docks to the southwest, the lagoon to the west and the bowl to the east.

It's a fantastic beach day at Western. Warm, but not too hot, being the middle of spring. Zi'on has sent a note to Rhysa, again with a flower attached. She's probably got dozens of them now. This note says he'll be playing hooky this afternoon, laying out and swimming down at the lagoon. And that's where he is! The bronzer has just gotten out of the water, and is splayed out on a towel on his back. He's in naught but his swim trunks and a pair of sunglasses. Suldith is out in the water, swimming around and diving for fish and doing what dragons do. It's hard to tell if the bronzer is sleeping or awake, though the fact he's not dry or sunburn means he couldn't be asleep for too long.

If the Weyrleader's allowed to play hooky, there's surely no reason why a candidate can't hurry through chores, palm a few off, and sneak out early herself. Bikini-clad, with a sarong wrapped around her waist and her usual hat replaced by a familiar flower tucked behind one ear, Rhysanna makes her way across from the bowl with the languid contentedness of one who is actually getting to enjoy a perfect afternoon. She shades her eyes against the sun with one hand, gaze sliding out towards Suldith in the lagoon, and then back towards his rider on the beach; it's the latter she heads towards, of course, the sound of sandalled feet sloshing through dry sand likely audible over the play of the waves. "Such sacrifices you make," she teases. "Inspecting the beach for the good of all Western."

It's spring at Western, and today it's a nice warm day. But not hot. Perfect for the beach, and that's why Zi'on is playing hooky. And if anyone asks, he's down at the lagoon. And if anyone asks Suldith, they'll get a big picture of the lagoon. The bronzer is laid out on the beach now after a swim. After their little talk the other night, Zi'on is not sure if Rhysanna will even attempt to join him. He needs to get that girl a firelizard! He must not be asleep, because he doesn't flinch when Rhysanna addresses him. Which means he's seen her coming. "Tell me about it. I work so hard. To keep us all safe, of course." The shiner he'd been sporting is just about gone. There's still a little redness around that eye, which is more visible once he lifts his shades and sits up. "Hey Rhysa… You look great! I don't think I've seen you in a swimsuit before." He'll try not to ogle.

Rhysanna doesn't answer - directly - the comment as regards her appearance, though she's smiling, and there's a visible pinkness beneath the warm brown of her tan. "To keep us all safe," she agrees, instead, laughing as she does so - and as she sets down the woven bag she's carrying with her, to draw out her towel, so that she can spread it out alongside the bronzerider's. If she's feeling lingering awkwardness, left over from their last few encounters, it's not visibly apparent. "You've obviously co-opted me for very important official business. If anyone asks."

Spring is still better than winter, even if not that hot. 'Not hot' by Western standards is probably hot enough for a Xanadian, so it should be no surprise when one particular blueriding Weyrsecond comes wandering down. Before her arrival, Kiena had Ujinath bespeak the watch dragon on duty, then likely check in with Suldith in his usual blunt manner. An image of the lagoon is all he needs! While the blue picks a ledge on which to sprawl on, his rider wanders down. Kiena's shed her riding jacket at least, but she's not dressed for swiming and still wears a loose fitting tunic with the sleeves rolled to her elbows, pants and knee high riding boots. Her hair, usually a mess of auburn curls has been, more or less, tamed into a rough braid. It won't take her long to spot Zi'on and her path will veer towards him in steps that gradually slow. Her expression is neutral, if not a bit awkward though there is genuine curiosity when she notices Rhysanna there too. "Afternoon!" she greets simply. Save the formalities, if any, for later?

Zi'on nods affirmatively. "To keep us all safe. Yes. That is why I must be here." Zi'on is still feeling a bit of awkwardness. Does he get to give her a hello hug? Kiss? Nothing? She's at least sitting by him and came down to the lagoon, so that is a good sign. He doesn't press his luck, though. "Of course. You are much needed for official business. Like spreading sun tan oil on my back." Nod nod. Someone didn't exactly pass the message along to Zi'on apparently. Or he didn't think Kiena would actually come over to say hello. At least from the look on his face when she heads over to where he is. "Ah, Kiena… Hi. Come for a swim?" He looks to Rhysanna, then back to the bluerider. "This is Rhysanna… my girlfriend." He says this cautiously, like he's waiting for the words to make one of the ladies explode in rage. "Rhysa, this is Kiena. My… exweyrmate." At least one of them. The scary one, even if Kiena doesn't look the part.

Rhysanna's laugh answers the comment about sun tan oil; the smile she follows it up with certainly seems to suggest that it's a task she's not unwilling to engage with. Which is another positive sign, right? Still, Kiena arrives before she can actually answer, and it's obvious that the name means something to her, even before introductions are properly made: it's a subtle shift in her expression, and in the line of her shoulders, but it's there. "Hello," she says, politely neutral, turning her face up so that she can look at the bluerider directly from her crouched position upon the sand. "It's nice to meet you, Kiena."

"Not here for a swim," Kiena drawls in a tone that implies it all: does it look like she's swim-ready? She smirks, but beyond that there's nothing snarkily said from the bluerider. "Just… was off duty and had spare time. Figured I'd drop by." Now that's even more strange, isn't it? Whether or not it's known, Kiena rarely comes by just to socialize. A favour needed, perhaps? Probably. Then it is on to introductions and… there is no explosion. A touch of tension, a bit of stiffening but only because Rhysanna is unknown to her and unsure of how the other girl will act to such an introduction. Awkward? You bet it is. Yet Kiena is civil and some of that tension ebbs as she dips her head politely while making eye contact. Cautious, wary. Those are better words to describe Kiena than angry. "And you too, Rhysanna." Glancing between Zi'on and the young Candidate, she can't help but chuckle dryly. "My bad if my timing is awful… I'm uh… not interrupting anything am I?"

That is another positive sign! Not that Zi'on is savvy enough to pick up on these things. He might notice that Rhysa doesn't give him a look when he suggests it. And the oil is sticking out of his bag where his clothes are, just a few feet away. Zi'on has certainly mentioned Kiena his ex before. Rhysa's met every other girl on Pern he's slept with, why not one of the ones he was mostly faithful to? Zi'on scoots over toward the candidate, so that Kiena has enough room to sit on his towel. Also so he can place a hand on Rhysanna's back in a slightly more than friendly manner. "No?" He asks the bluerider, blinking. She could be hiding a swim suit under her clothes! Or plan to change. Who knows? "Ah… is everything okay? How are the girls doing?" Zi'on makes it pretty obvious the bluerider doesn't generally come for social calls. "No… I don't think so. Rhysanna is a candidate, so our activities are… limited. As you might recall." He chuckles a bit.

Glancing from one rider to the other, Rhysanna seems to be studying them both, though she's certainly still smiling. She settles down, cross-legged, upon the towel, not visibly reacting to that hand on her back— though she does blush, vividly, as Zi'on answers that question. Hastily, and with a smile that falls a little short of 'wholly genuine': "We're just talking. Really, I just got here. Please - join us." Beat. "Of course, if you two need to talk about something serious… I can go take a swim. I mean, if I'm in the way. It's fine."

Kiena hesitates when Zi'on makes room on the towel and Rhysanna also offers for her to join. She'll join, in the end, but her seat will be (stubbornly) in the sand. Without so much as uttering a word, she's made it clear she does not wish to be seated close to Zi'on — at least not side to side. Rhysanna's blushing has Kiena focusing on her for a moment, mouth twisting into a bemused and crooked half-smile and a quirked brow. Just talking? "… uh huh. Everything's fine. Just been busy." Story of her life. "And the girls are fine too, though half of why I'm here. And… no, Rhysanna you don't have to go." She'll pause long enough to smile reassuringly. See? No angry bluerider. "I don't bite… despite what some may say." There's a darted look to Zi'on. Right? Blinking, she scoffs at him and then her tone does delve into more sarcastic levels. "Oh, I recall. Haven't learned not to dip into that pool, hmm? Or did you wait too late again?" Another awkward pause. "Not that… I'm saying it's bad or whatever…" Smooth.

Rhysa is probably enjoying this. Someone else to dig into the bronzer. Zi'on looks a little surprised at all the blushing just from what he thought was a benign gesture. He gives Rhysa a reassuring smile. "I invited you out here, Rhysa, I want you here. I'm not going to make you leave." Zi'on apparently has grown the cooties. Or Kiena thinks she's going to get sucked into some sort of bronzer vortex of which there is no escape if she sits too close to him. "Mm. Thinking of sending them back to Western?" He eyes Kiena. "You do so bite. And I will dip into any pool I want." He says indignantly. "What do you mean, wait too long?" Maybe he sort of did. "Rhysa and I are just dating." He wraps his arm around Rhysa to give her a squeeze. "That's all." What he means by that maybe Kiena can guess.

It's hard to tell what Rhysa really thinks, right at this moment, though she seems content enough to lean in to Zi'on's squeeze, and to turn her head for a moment so as to give him a fleeting smile. "I just don't want to get in the way," she murmurs, clearly in answer to both of them. Equally cleary, she's leaving the other topics alone, except for the way she's glancing, even now, from one to the other and then back again.

"Permanently? No." Kiena's tone is dry, her expression back to neutral. Guarded. "But for a bit? Yes. A visit. A sevenday or two, while the worst of winter rolls through Xanadu." Summer getaway for the twins! Lucky girls. Rolling her eyes a bit, her next smile is a touch toothy to Zi'on, but all in good fun. "I only bite those who deserve it." she drawls, only to grimace and then exhale. "Yeah, I get it. No need to get defensive." Kiena gives him a funny look. Maybe she missed that? Chuckling low in her throat, she adds in a near dead pan voice. "Not like I'm gonna steal her away or nothing or turn her against you, if that's what you're afraid of." Realizing she's speaking of Rhysanna when she's right there, Kiena flushes a bit and coughs, her eyes turning to the young candidate in an apologetic manner. "Nah, you're not in the way, though I am sorry if this is all rather boring. So… hope you don't mind me askin' but I'm curious. From Western? Or were you Searched from elsewhere?" Innocent enough questions, right?

Zi'on smiles back to Rhysanna. "You're not. I'm just… dumping all my baggage in your lap a lot earlier than I would like." He pats her leg with his free hand. "You want some tanning oil? May as well relax a little bit while we're out here." Rhysa's dark skin though probably meant she didn't often need sunscreen. "Alright." He says to Kiena. "Send them over whenever. They can have a little vacation with dad. And they're old enough to say whether or not they want to go back to Xanadu." Zi'on grins a bit. Yes, he's ruffling Kiena's feathers. "Well, good. There are plenty of other girls around here you can steal if you want." He's far more nervous about the second half, though. "Maybe I ought to go for a swim, and let you girls talk about me in peace." Not that him being there was likely to stop either of them from voicing their opinions.

"I've come to expect that," answers Rhysa, and though her tone is wry, she's not showing any signs of renewed anger. Which is good! She must have seen the tanning oil already, because as the bronzerider mentions it, she gets to her knees so that she can lean forward and retrieve it. A good idea, apparently. "It might do him some good," she says, in answer to Kiena. "If someone did try and steal me away. I have frightfully little baggage. But yes, I'm from Western. I've lived here all my life. And no," this, back to Zi'on, "you can't leave. Stay put."

If ruffled feathers is what Zi'on was going for, he go it. Kiena's posture stiffens and her eyes narrow slightly for his grinned comment concerning the girls. "Yes, they are old enough but we also have an agreement." she says tensely. "Which has worked fine. The girls are happy and they wish to come visit." she stresses. Shaking her head, she just gives him a look. "Why d'you think we'd be talking about nothing but you? There's a lot more than that to discuss." Sheesh! Rhysanna's comment has her laughing softly. "I'll keep that in mind then? Next time I'm coming through and have the time for a fly-by kidnapping." Grinning faintly, her mood rapidly sobers as they move on in topics. "Ahh, have you?" Kiena studies Rhysanna a little closer then, as though trying to place a face to any of those in her memory. Have they ever crossed paths before? "Crafter?" she queries, trying to narrow it down.

Zi'on chuckles, but he also gives Rhysa a sad look. Sorry, Rhysa. The bronzer doesn't even pretend not to ogle Rhysa as she gets to her knees to grab the oil. He holds out his hand for the oil. Or was she going to oil him? He feigns hurt at Rhysanna. "What! No one better steal you from me." Pout. "Why… do you want to be stolen?" He continues to pout at her. "Okay…" He says about staying put. And then he doesn't move. "So… you ladies going to take turns oiling me up?" He grins. Okay, once a bronzer always a bronzer. Zi'on chuckles at Kiena. "Relax, Kiena. I'm not going to take the girls from you. I was just kidding." He feigns ignorance then. "What else is there worthwhile to talk about, other than me?" Just what Zi'on would need, for Kiena and Rhysanna to know each other from when they were kids.

Rhysanna misses Zi'on's sad look, but she seems thoroughly entertained by the pouting, answering it with a brilliant smile, and the bottle of oil presented with a flourish. "You'll just have to do your very best to remind me why I don't want to be stolen," she teases, her tone affectionate. In doing so, she blithely - well, perhaps the word is 'determinedly' - bypasses the shark-filled waters that clearly exist between the two riders. "Just plain resident, I'm afraid," she tells Kiena. "It's possible we've met, but if so, I don't remember. It's only in the past couple of months that I've really moved out of the circle of people I grew up with. Mother was— is— a little protective."

Kiena smirks and bites her tongue at the joke about oiling. The words 'be civil' likely on repeat in her head. "I'll leave that to Rhysanna's capable hands," she drawls with a dismissive wave of her hand. No oil for her or oiling of anyone for that matter. Zi'on's reassurances DO have her relaxing… a bit. She's still skeptical and that much shows in the lingering look she gives the Western Weyrleader. She'll let it slide, however and her focus returns to Rhysanna. "Nothing wrong with resident." Kiena admits with a crooked smile, only to nod her head. "Ah… that may explain why I might not have seen you or… at least not to the point of greeting." Lots of people in a Weyr! "I wasn't always in Western myself, prior to being Searched." Another explanation! So Zi'on can rest easy?

Rhysa is a bit of a sadist! Which probably works since Zi'on is something of a masochist. He takes the oil. "Yes yes. I will do as you command, my beautiful flower." Zi'on scoots around behind Rhysa, and moves her hair off over one shoulder. The bronzer dribbles a bit of the oil onto his hands, then smoothes it over Rhysa's shoulders and back. There are some shark-infested waters between the two riders. Their whole relationship was rather shark-infested. It helped keep things exciting? "Have you told your mother about us? I think I asked you this before." Zi'on doesn't argue any more about where the girls are stationed, so it is likely he plans to hold up his end of the bargain. "You were living at Western before you were searched. Well, not much before, I suppose." Zi'on busies himself oiling up Rhysa. "Have any time these days for your craft?"

It may say something about Rhysanna that she seems terribly pleased, even to the point of being nearly doe-eyed, with Zi'on's pet name. Then again… she's only eighteen. It's probably terribly romantic. She lifts one hand to help secure her hair out of the way, and turns her attention back towards Kiena. "And now you're at… Xanadu?" she prompts, who seems to be doing her very best to try and keep the conversation going in a friendly and positive kind of way. It's over her shoulder, and with a little bit of a frown that has all that quiet confidence disappearing into uncertainty that she adds to the bronzerider, "She knows. She's… pleased." Something about the way she says it could raise alarm bells; the flush doesn't help, either. She's either understating heavily, or tentatively lying.

Kiena tries not to pull a face at Zi'on's pet name to Rhysanna, more out of respect for the young girl than for the bronzerider. Romantic to her, perhaps but for the bluerider that sort of sweet talk never went over well. "I wasn't living in Western for that long, I don't think? Didn't feel that long, anyways." Kiena murmurs and then nods her head with a slight shrug of her shoulders. "Not as much time for Smithing as I once did but I find some here and there. Won't be seeing Journeyman anytime soon… if ever. Not while I hold the rank I have." Maybe in her retirement? Or if she's sacked from the position of Weyrsecond. "Yes, I'm at Xanadu now." Kiena answers Rhysanna politely, her smile reserved but genuine in a way. She's doing a good job of ignoring that there is any oiling going on. As for Rhysanna's mother and what may be hidden under that response, Kiena can only assume but does not pry. That is not her business and more for Zi'on to determine if it is understatement or a lie. On the matter of business though, Kiena's seems to be at an end and she is pushing to her feet, brushing the sand from her pants. "I best be going. I'll be needed back home soon and Ujinath is getting restless." Which is true, the blue has left his temporary ledge and is now pacing the length of the bowl closest to the lagoon path.

Zi'on often forgets that poor Rhysa is only eighteen. There's a much bigger difference between him and her than say, him and Kiena. Zi'on smiles at Rhysa's reaction to his pet name. Well, that certainly worked better than he anticipated. No, that sort of talk only infuriated Kiena. He had to be much more clever to compliment her. The bronzer tilts his head to Rhysanna. He's not sure what to make of that reaction, but he doesn't press her about it. He'll ask again later, when she might be more willing to talk. "Ah." Is all he says, letting the subject drop. The bronzer continues with the oiling, getting her arms, all the way down to the fingers. The bronzer frowns to Kiena. "Sorry to hear that. About journeyman and all. Guess that's the path we've chosen, though." Zi'on watches as Kiena gets up. "Alright, Kiena. You'll bring the girls next time?" Zi'on misses them, obviously.

It's likely that if Rhysa actually thinks about it, she'll be embarrassed by the whole being-oiled-in-present-company thing… but she's clearly not doing so, now. Though she's also obviously enjoying it. She turns her attention back towards Kiena more squarely as she stands. "It was nice to meet you," she offers, quickly and politely. And genuinely, it seems, though her smile is reserved. It may be that she's still thinking about whatever the issue with her mother is. Or she's just awkward. Who knows.

"And you too," Kiena replies to Rhysanna with another dip of her head as she begins to take a few small steps backwards. "Best of luck, if we don't cross paths again until those eggs Hatch." Her gaze flicks to Zi'on then and she smirks at first, only to have it slip away to a more neutral expression. "I will. I'll give some forewarning before we arrive." Of course he would miss them, just as much as she would. Which is why she had it arranged that they'd split the visitations. "Enjoy the rest of your afternoon!" Kiena says in farewell just as she turns to walk away and meet Ujinath by the side of the bowl. Time to go home!

Zi'on waves to Kiena as she heads off. There's an awkward pause there as he waits for her to get out of hearing range before he strikes back up the conversation with Rhysa. "Well… that didn't go horribly. I guess. Kiena is on a short fuse. Though I admit I like to press her buttons." He chuckles. The bronzer moves to oil up her back, then wraps his arms around her middle and rests his chin on her shoulder. "So… your mom really doesn't mind that we're dating? Maybe I should send her a note or some flowers or something. You know, help sweeten the pot a little. What do you think?" The bronzer is just trying to gauge reaction here. If Rhysa didn't want to go into details.

Rhysanna watches after Kiena, silent and unmoving, shifting herself only when Zi'on speaks again. She turns, expression showing amusement, and says, teasingly, "I couldn't tell. That… wasn't as bad as I feared, based on what you'd said. So. Good." She nestles back into him as he wraps his arms around her, letting out a little sigh of contentment, albeit one with a note of— frustration?— to it. "I don't think Mother could be more thrilled if she tried," she explains, exhaling. "That's the problem. She spent turns warning me off bronzeriders and… I don't know. But you're the Weyrleader. She has a… thing. Well, no. It's just that she has expectations of me. Lofty ideas about my future."

Zi'on chuckles a bit. "Well, we didn't get into a fight. So that was a pretty good day for us two. Kiena and I, I mean." Zi'on does look a bit relieved. The bronzer cuddles in with Rhysa. He's enjoying being close, even if it is a little frustrating their relationship could never go to that next physical level. "Oh? So wait… she's -too- excited about us being together? Heh…" The bronzer chuckles a bit. "Maybe I will send her those flowers. Anyways, I'm sure I don't have to tell you this, but make sure you do whatever it is that you want. She may not always know what's best for you. Though I feel like I'm preaching to the choir here. So maybe I ought to just be quiet." He gives her a squeeze. "I am the weyrleader. And a bronzer. Those things only make the relationship harder, though."

"Well," says Rhysanna. "I'm glad? It would've been awkward, if you'd been fighting, and I was just… sitting right here." She leans her head back, letting out another little sigh: it's likely he's not the only one enjoying being close… or wishing it could be closer, still. "Mmm," she murmurs. "I don't know. It's not like I said yes to you because of her or anything. About this, or about being a candidate, even. Even though I knew both would make her happy. But it's difficult, in other things. I hate doing things I know will disappoint her. It's…" She stops, pressing her hand atop of his, around her middle. "It's just Mother. I learn to live with it. You may want to tread carefully, though; if you're too nice to her, she'll start wanting to control your life, too."

Zi'on chuckles. "If you weren't here there probably would have been a fight. There usually is. A lot of time it's over the girls. I didn't get to be with a lot of my kids when they were real little, but since we were weyrmated I was with the twins. So I'm pretty attached to them. When she took them to Xanadu it was hard for me, even if they are fostered." He sighs as well, though his is a contented, happy sigh. "I know you didn't. It's always hard to disappoint your parents. Trust me. I mean, sure I'm weyrleader now. And they get to brag on about me. But I wasn't always like this. I got left on the sands twice. And Faranth knows they'll be disappointed when I finally do lose my cushy job. Though for me it's mostly my father. Ma is not that manipulative." He chuckles. "Maybe if I distract her she'll leave you alone a little, though?"

Rhysanna lets out a little exhale, the kind that isn't a contented sigh; it's rather more wistful. "That must be difficult," she murmurs. "Being so far from them. And of course you can visit, but when you're busy… I'm sorry." She lets that hang in the air between them for a few moments before considering the rest of what he's said. "You could try," she agrees, sounding more pleased with this idea. "I suppose her words would naturally have less… impact on you. Perhaps she'll just be overawed. Will you miss your job, when you do end up losing it to someone else?" She's turning her head as she says that, just slightly, in attempt to better see his expression.

There's a bit of a shrug from the bronzer. "They're only a short hop between away. But it was easier before. I could just pop around and pick them up, take them to dinner, or play with them for half an hour between other things. Not so much anymore. So I don't see them that often, but it is good that Kiena's taken such an interest in them. She was not very interested when they were first born. Plus I got other kids that need my attention and all…" He chuckles. "Well, I can't say I'll have a ton of time for her to manipulate me. But I can write her a note and send her some flowers. Tell her to stop by my office to chat if she wants." The bronzer nods a bit. "I will miss my job, I'm sure of it. I've been weyrleader for so long. Longer than I was a plain rider now, I think. Though it can be stressful." He looks back at her with a smile. "Are you going to miss my job, if I become a regular rider? No more fancy presents and the like. Actually probably still fancy presents. My salary is pretty subsidized now. I don't even collect most of it from the weyr. My side projects make a good amount of marks."

A nod answers Zi'on's explanation regarding his children, though Rhysa doesn't seem to have much else to add to it. She's smiling again as he continues, and says, teasingly, "You and your flowers and notes. Not that I'm complaining, mind. It's very sweet. Mmm. I can imagine - that it's stressful, I mean." It's a quick transition from teasing to thoughtful, though she's not gone so far as to sound wholly and intensely serious. "And that it would be a strange thing, going back to being a normal rider." She exhales, turning her gaze off towards the horizon as she adds, "As long as you're happy, I don't think I'll mind if you're Weyrleader or chief pot scrubber… though I suppose that last is less likely. You won't mind if I Impress, right? Or if I Impress one color dragon rather than another. Or if I don't?"

Zi'on smiles to her. He traces down her arms with his fingers, then laces them with hers. "Little outings like this… they help a lot to reduce my stress. I try to be romantic. I'm glad you appreciate it. I can write you little love notes if you'd like. And if they won't just embarrass you. Sometimes it's fun for me to do that, while I'm bored in meetings or between filling out paperwork. Or while I'm egg sitting, which I'll be doing soon enough." Zi'on chuckles. "Well, hopefully I don't fall -that- out of favor. I've never been good at scrubbing pots." He follows her gaze out at the horizon for a moment, then looks at her. "I won't mind if you impress, or if you don't. I'd like for you to impress because I think you'd make a good rider, and it seems to be what you want. Even if it will put stress on our relationship. But if you don't.. no harm done. You can always try again later. Color doesn't matter to me." He smiles to her. "It will matter more for you. What color would you like?"

Rhysanna's fingers, in answer, curl over against Zi'on's hand. "They'll almost certainly make me blush," she tells him. "But I don't mind that. Not at all. None of my previous boyfriends ever did anything like that, and it's… nice." 'Nice' is such an inoffensive word, but she doesn't seem to mean it in the bland way. "I… think it's what I want. I don't even really know, but… it feels like it would give me some direction, and maybe that would be nice. No, I mean, it would be nice. That sounds awful, reasoning wise. I do want to Impress. But I don't know about color. Green, maybe? Maybe. I suppose it doesn't matter, though, does it? It's not as though I get to choose. They do that." She sounds almost relieved, for that: this is out of her hands. She's good. "And I'll get too chances, won't I? Shadhavarth's clutch, and Miraneith's. If I don't Impress the first time. I could end up with one of Suldith's offspring." Which seems to please her.

Zi'on grins. "A little blushing never hurt anyone." The bronzer is plotting! He'll make sure to write her little love notes then, from time to time. "Your previous boyfriends, hm? I feel like you've seen all my skeletons now, what about yours?" Zi'on seems okay with 'nice'. He's a man, she doesn't have to use fancy words or that to try to impress him. He's not going to read into it. Nice meant nice. "It will certainly give you direction. Really I guess color only matters for flights. Unless you end up on gold, that's a whole different story. Much more likely to end up with another woman in your bed on a male dragon." He chuckles and nods. "They do. So no sense in worrying about it. You will get two chances. If you need it. You could certainly end up with one of Suldith's. I really hope a gold comes out of Suldith's clutch. He's only sired one his whole life. And it was Liora's." Not exactly a great track record there. The gold was basically sterile.

"I don't know if they count as skeletons - there's only two of them," answers Rhysanna, who seems sanguine enough in mentioning them. "Kalvren and I dated for nearly two years, and then he accepted search for High Reaches, and that was the end of that. It wasn't really serious, though Mother would've liked it to be, I think. Aldiar was only for a few months, and it just… didn't work out. See? No skeletons." She makes faces twice for the rest of what he says: once at the idea of her Impressing gold, though that's rather more a troubled look than simply distasteful, and the other for women in her bed. "He needs to redeem himself, then, definitely. I wish him the best of luck with it. And you."

Zi'on listens to Rhysa describe her past relationships. Zi'on's dated more people in the last turn that in Rhysanna's eighteen. What a manwhore he is! "Two turns… that's a while. I, uh… imagine then when we do get a chance to… you know, that I won't be the first for you?" He didn't expect that to be the case, with Rhysa having grown up in the weyr, but he is curious. The bronzer just chuckles at her face scrunching. "I guess we'll see what happens. You might be a closet bisexual. Never know." He chuckles a bit. "Thanks. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. My father's bronze sired plenty of golds over the turns. That's like the last thing he's been holding over me." The bronzer gently nuzzles in against Rhysa's neck, leaving a trail of possibly tickly kisses along it, with the beard and all.

Short answer: "No." And she's amused by it - by the question itself, and by it actually needing to be asked. She would probably have more to say about the rest of what he's said, too, but then he starts nuzzling, and Rhysa's neck arches, and she exhales, and as she does so, her eyes flutter closed. It's distracting… but very obviously in a good way. "Mmm," she says, instead.

She would be amused by that. Of course now they both know where the bronzer's mind is. In the gutter. Which it probably normally is. Zi'on's eyes close as well, and one of his hands comes free to support her head. Nuzzling moves to kissing, and kissing moves to suckling in spots, all along her neck down to her shoulder. He's careful not to leave any lasting marks though. "Mm…" He agrees, after a moment pulling his lips away again. Yes. This is how all their dates are going to go. At least Zi'on seems to be behaving for now. "I should probably head back, beautiful flower girl. Though I would prefer to spend all day and all night out here with you, wrapped up in your arms like this." He says softly, whispering into her ear.

Rhysanna would expect nothing less than for his mind to be exactly there, surely. And, granted, her brain's probably in a pretty similar place… especially given what he's presently doing to her neck and shoulder. Her breathing's a little heavy by the time he lets up on that to whisper, and her sigh is plainly one of regret, but it's resigned regret. "I don't know if my self-control is up to too much more of that, anyway," she tells him, turning her head so that she can meet his gaze. "Even if yours is. Thank you— it's been a lovely afternoon."

Zi'on would gladly have Rhysa right here on the beach. But alas, such things are not to be while she is still a candidate. He will muddle through! The anticipation is exciting in its own way, at least for the bronzer. Of course, that might be his masochistic streak showing its head. He locks gazes with her when she turns her head. He smiles. "Mine isn't either. Thank you, for coming out to keep me company." The bronzer scoots around a bit, then draws Rhysa up close to himself. He leans in to kiss her. It's actually fairly gentle, and rather loving, compared to what was going on a few minutes ago. Then the bronzer reluctantly leaves her embrace to gather up his things, though he does have a smile plastered to his features.

If anything, that kiss probably makes it worse. But she's smiling when he draws away, and sighing— yes, it's very teenager-in-love-or-lust. "Any time," she promises, even if those words are coming just a little belatedly. And hey, the awkwardness is gone!

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