It's a Love Story

Windswept Islands
// Pinnacles of rock rise from the Sea of Azov forming islands with sheer-sided cliffs, fortresses that are nearly impossible to access from the water. As if a giant hand has tossed enormous boulders into the ocean, this tumble of isolated land may be remote and uninhabited, but it is far from lifeless. Ringed by a narrow beach of pristine white sand that lies in the shadow of the sentinel cliffs, the tops are growth-choked and teeming with wildlife. Situated in the south ends of the vast inland sea, the lush rainforest of vibrant growth is temperate rather than tropical in nature with pine, birch and ferns predominant among the hardwood trees.
The only place to land appears to be a nearly bald tower of rock separated from the main island by a deep cleft in the rock through which you must descend to reach the place. Accessible only at extreme low tide, the part of the cleft between tower and island is awash with surf otherwise

Warning: Log contains mild Sexual content and lots of kissing. If that's not for you then LOOK AWAY!

From the outside Evi might seem rather dull, her life of delivering packages and mail, attending gathers, weddings, and funerals and assuring people get where they need to go. Day to day movings it would appear as if she spends most of her time at home, Lyu would have discovered over the last few sevendays that it's the farthest place from the truth. They've been several places that people rarely visit, eastern isle and ring islands. Enjoying the touring around Pern, Evi waited for him to show up for um- 'work'- today and then came out wearing her riding leathers, in bright teal, throwing him a jacket that was stolen from Ila'den turns ago that she's been lending to him. The jacket smells like it was on a lumberjack, excessively spicy and masculine despite having not been ON the man in over two turns, it's also huge in the shoulders and arms. There's probably a story behind how it came into her possession. Arriving from Between, bright paisley backpack separating her and Lyubomir but having placed his hands firmly around her waist, it's the perfect summer mid-day. However, it promises to get chilly later on. Neifeth is incredibly fast, her petite size lends itself to wild acrobatics and tight turns that make one grateful for straps. Reaching a hand back, Evi squeezes his thigh, allowing Nei to slowly circle the island for the sake of the view.

One day, that fish pond will be finished. That day is not today - nor will it be in a seven from now, but maybe in two sevens… Regardless, Lyu's happy so long as Evi is happy - and, maybe more importantly, that Nei is happy. Having already been fairly comfortable a-dragonback, she'll find that he's a bit easier about it than some weyrfolk. And all the opportunities to explore are taken with enthusiasm, the young man being thoroughly content to see what the rest of the world has to offer. He's yet to ask about the jacket, though - and he might not, in truth. A rider's business is their own and he's not the type to get too nosy about personal affairs. It fits decently enough, at least. Better than, say, if he were to try to wear hers. That would be awful. In the here and now, though, he's comfortably settled, a bit tense for Neifeth's flight shenaniganery, but much less so now than he was the first few times. His hands remain precisely where she put them and, when she reaches back, his thigh flexes a little under her palm in response. He chances a look out over the world from their current vantage point and a low whistle of awe escapes him.

Nei slowly circles the island, before diving down towards the beach. Evi leans forward, extending toes and tightening core muscles to maintain her seat during the acrobatic move, the hand on the thigh grips in and she squeaks with elation. Despite the speed of the dive, the landing is smooth, landing with minimal sand displaced. As they land, she tsks, rolling her eyes even if he can't see her face. "She was supposed to warn you, sorry." Neifeth snorts derisively, still dedicated to the idea that this home invader is about as welcome as a tunnelsnake in a latrine. Safely on the beach, she sighs and leans back to put her head on his chest, reticent to move from the spot on her dragon for the moment. "I don't really, hike but, Nei can take us up higher if you- um, want." Offering the option before making to unhook any straps, hand making tight circles into his muscle, fingers always in some sorta motion. He'd discover stillness is not her thing, she's busy.

He's canny. When Evi braces for the dive, Lyu instinctively braces with her; his movements mirror hers, his hands slipping further around her waist to hold fast. He's tight and tense throughout - but then it's over and he half-laughs, more relieved that he's alived than anything else. "It's okay," he reassures, his hold on her middle turning into as much of a hug as he can manage with the backpack in the way. Frankly, he's on Neifeth's side on all this; he's not sure why Evi likes him, either, but he'll take it. "It's up to you, really," he replies, glancing over, then around, to get a lay of the land, as it were. "I don't mind hiking so much, so-" he shrugs a little, while his thigh flexes and bounces under her hand. It's a playful thing, feeding into her always-moving-self. He's otherwise still, though, a fine contrast to her energy. "What are we here to do, anyway? Just exploring?"

Dismounting slowly, it's clear they're trapped among the cliffs and trees. They're suddenly minuscule compared to the surroundings, even Neifeth is dwarfed by the rocky outcroppings and sheer size of the island's towering presence. Staring up around them, Evi smiles, whimsical and bright with hand feathering up to find Lyu's face and fingers traipsing along lips to trace the cleft of his chin and the pout line of the jaw. "I don't really hike, but we're making an exception." Grimacing at the idea, "Nei has wanted to eat the wherries here, and I figured it'd be a good time for us to um- talk." Also, a cliff is a great place to 'lose' the Weyr handyman, should the talk go badly. Sliding down the dragon's side, she makes sure he's fully unhooked from the bright white straps covered in sparkling semi-precious gems. The straps are stunning and well made, a continuous project to keep them in pristine condition. One of the many things Evi does for the green out of sheer affection. "She will go hunting, and we will take a walk." There's a narrow, sidewinding path through the dense hardwood forest, suggesting others have done this before. Wrinkling her nose, eyes sparkling with mischief, it's unclear how serious this chat might be. She's hard to read, mercurial in every sense, and a ball of fun.

He grins a boyish kind of grin, lopsided and sweet, and presses into her touch; he can't help it, though. It just feels nice. Lyu shrugs the jacket off and leans in to encourage the contact all the more. Mention of having a talk is enough to send something skittering across his expression, but it's only uncertainty. Hiking? He's on board with it, clearly. And Neifeth feeding? That's fine. It makes sense. But the rest? "Okay, sure. What do you want to talk about?" Once unclipped, he makes his way down with relative ease, a combination of experience and athleticism making it that much easier. "The straps look really nice," he remarks, now that he's had a chance to properly look at them. He passes a hand over them, then looks back to Evi - before, inexorably, his attention is pulled to the only path he spies along the way. He offers an arm to the fickle fae femme and tilts his head pathwards, resigning himself to his fate - and, more importantly, choosing to go willingly.

Unwilling to let her straps be ruined, she makes sure Lyu is settled on the ground and unhooks them blushing at the compliment of her handiwork and at the way her eyes slide down his body as he dismounts. Ugh, when will the day come he doesn't fill her whole body with weird tingling, flushing feelings. Not now body, she needs to be serious. "Thank you, she demands a new pair every few months and has a set for everything. Gathers, summer, winter, spring, casual, and formal. This is her casual, winter, set, but she wanted the red for hunting." Not willing to argue with her dragon, because that never goes well and never ends. Neifeth is more than willing to whine, pout, and complain until she gets her way. Undoing the buckles and huffing a bit under the weight of the straps, there's a long stare up at the tree tops. "Nei, hang these.. on that branch." Speaking out loud for Lyubomir's sake, a kindness that not all riders extend. Making him feel like he's part of the conversation and preventing sudden movement from Neifeth. At least action prompted by the rider, not that she can in any way control her demon child. Or that she wants to, the surprise is part of the game. Assured that the straps are safe from harm, she flounces up the path and fast jogging, hopping, and flitting. Childlike in fluidity, giggling, and not answering his questions yet. Only once entirely surrounded by forest will she turn and go, "Tell me, about… your first kiss." Turning around, reaching a hand back as an offer to hold onto her if he pleases.

In truth, those feelings are mutual; fortunately, he's experienced enough to catch them before they skew his daily life into awkwardness. There is a time and place for such thinking and that's in private. Even here isn't quite private enough, not with Neifeth present and accounted for. Hopefully, Evi will forgive Lyu when he glances away briefly with a soft huff of breath as he centers himself. "That's a lot of leather," he remarks after a moment or two, studying the unstrapped straps and stepping back and away when the green rises to put them where Evi wants them. The audible warning is a kindness that he appreciates, even if he doesn't articulate it in the moment. He angles a smile up to the green - and, once the straps are hung and Evi's in motion, he's not far behind. He's more of a loping sort, not bouncy in the slightest; there's an efficiency to his stride, economical in movement. Earthbound in contrast to her flighty self. Her offered hand is taken in his, firmly held, but not too tight. "Ah-" is drawn out on a breath, his eyes rolling up briefly in thought. "Depends, I guess. My first kiss? I was maybe ten when one of the other girls ran up and kissed me on the cheek. Does that count?" She didn't specify, so that's what she gets. "I blushed for weeks." He might not have remembered, were it not for his mother using it as embarrassing story fodder for turns. "And you? Your first?"

While Lyu covers more ground, Evi springs from side to side, bounding upwards and making what could be a major uptaking look like a fun game. Boing, boing, prancing in a zig-zag way while maintaining contact as if she were dragging him upward with her through the trees. Avians chirp down at them, unafraid as people rarely visit the island; it's colder and darker down on the ground, and the needles crunch beneath their feet and echo through the ginormous trunks. After a moving nearly a mile straight up, Evi stops and turns with a gleeful exhale. "That's, so cute, aww… Imagine tiny you. Mine was um, at 16. Nei was proddy, and I was in the Wherry fighting with Katailea about," Momentarily silent, unsure if she wishes to continue the story. "About, never having kissed anyone. I did it to um, well. I was proddy, it's not the same." Pulling the callused palm towards her, she interlocks fingers and slides through exceptionally slowly in a gentle caress. Raising the opposite hand, the pads of feathery fingers ripple down the bones of his knuckles, faintly allowing contact, an abundance of caution, how air must greet the tops of the giants that surround them, hardly touching. "Tell me," Both eyes searching for his, as she plays with his knuckles, "About ambition." It's open-ended, entirely fae, and asking for /more/ without saying as much "Yours." Offering a little assistance, "I wish to hear about… your dreams." It's such a childish, innocent request from the fairest and gentlest evolution that she projects. Chooses to be, as he may have discovered. The person he sees before him now, shy and soft, is a choice she's made. Above them, Neifeth circles the island, visible only as a shadow that passes as she hunts for prey worth her effort.

He's agile enough, in his way, and while he's not light of foot, he's capable in terms of keeping up. Lyubomir keeps his grip, boots crunching on needles while they continue to make their strange way into the dark, cool depths. He laughs, low and throaty, with a slight shake of his head. "I guess it was. I think she's- yeah, she Impressed at Igen, I think. Turns later, I mean." No bittersweet pang there, at least; just an interesting thought that rises and fades, of a friendship that's evolved - and moved on, as they do. She stops and he stops by equal necessity, his hand deftly trapped and turned and handled as she sees fit. He marvels at it, mostly; he's a surprisingly pliable soul when the very real risk of abandonment lurks in the subconscious. "Ah," is a breath and acknowledgement, shading to silence when she explains. "Not ideal," he supposes, sympathy in his eyes. "I was seventeen for my first real kiss, but it-" he shrugs. "It wasn't anything so dramatic. I'm sorry." Goosebumps follow where she touches, a thin shiver skittering pleasantly down his spine. His free hand reaches, but only to rest at her waist in a chaste hold, thumb working just below her ribs. His gaze is easily caught and held, slow-blinking and fixed on her. The start of the question prompts a parting of lips, only for the rest to come and his mouth closes again with a soft, thoughtful sound in the back of his throat. "It's funny," he says after a long moment. "I think I don't have as many as most. Or maybe not lofty ones." His smile is faint but crooked. "I like working. But I think- I think most of all, I just want the same things as most people. To have a good family. To be loved. To enjoy life. I was a Candidate a few times, but-" obviously it hasn't panned out and he shrugs "-I don't think that's a thing to be ambitious for, you know?" He wets his lips, fingers wiggling against hers. "What are your dreams? Your ambitions? What do you want most, Evi?"

Cocking her head to one side, she slides forward into his hand, gently arcing in to create pressure as her abdominal muscles tighten, and her pulse quickens. Strong in all the places where a person is weak, she's a limb tied to a strong tree that bends and bows without breaking or changing. At moments as she puts herself together, it's easy to see the classic holder's daughter, hair braided and looped together, long skirts and long sleeves, concealed strength beneath an armor of cloth and propriety. In other ways, she's Neifeth's child, free and wild, unpredictable, and elemental. Tracing each emerging bump with traces of amusement playing on pink, bitten lips, the permanent scars from anxiety indented on her face. Locking murky brown-green eyes with his, she's emotionally pressing forward in the way dragonriders can, and she's not hiding it, nudging a bit but then leaning back and staring upwards to process the words. "I want children." A rush of color, face turning red and suddenly she's dodging downward, crumpling forward before leaning back again, holding his hand tighter as she proclaims loudly to the sky "I want, children, and… to be, appreciated. I want to know that um, who I am, is what someone else wishes to have. I want to see every nook of the ENTIRE planet. I want my own wing, one day." Breathlessly she finally can stare back to him, "Nei, she needs goals, she's ambitious, and that won't change. She enjoys challenge and change. I'm searching for um- someone to, maybe." Releasing his hand, she doesn't finish the sentence, pressing away and dashing upward with a giggle. "COME on." She yells, even if she didn't warn him she was about to do this.

He's not had many dealings with holdfolk, though; any notions he might hold are from stories and the occasional Gather where everyone kind of looks the same in their collective finery. He couldn't be confused for anything more than he is - though, perhaps, different flavors of it: a crafter, perhaps, or cotholder, but always, always a man of the earth that works best with his hands. Of imagination, he has some - but it's woefully limited. And that might well be why he's drawn to such a capricious creature, flighty and wild and unpredictable. His hand explores her side and lower back, teasing at the muscle playing there. "Children," is echoed, but not with the note of despair that some might. It's a warm utterance, drawn out. He laughs, low and soft, at her cry to the heavens, to the reddening of her cheeks, while his fingers tighten just a little against hers. Faint noises follow, acknowledgement given without the shape of words. He listens - and truly so. And, just as quickly, he's released and she's wheeling off and he takes just a moment to catch up with what had happened. "You are appreciated," he calls back once his feet get in motion again. "The rest- that will come." He has complete confidence in her, ill-advised though it may be.

Climbing higher and higher, she's not all that fast as much as she's a teal streak of hide and flopping braids. The sound of her clapping her hands as she squeals with the joy of the activity can easily be heard over the ocean crashing nearby. "Have you ever seen anything like this place?" Words as much breath and awe as sound, the simplest of creatures when it comes to being delighted. The world seems to please Evi, exhilarated by simplicity, and appreciating her life with a finer lense then many. Nothing is accidental or missed, she finds joy and holds onto it. Neifeth makes a kill, the cry of a wherry snapped from the treetops and engulfed fully before it can make another sound. She's not exactly fast, and she's a bit short, so it's expected that he will catch up with her eventually. "I have, um. A story, and it's not nice, or pretty, or good. You need to hear it, though." Suddenly quiet in body, slowing to a walk and tensing while searching the sky, searching for a way to explain herself, to let this man in. "I appreciate you, saying you appreciate me. It needn't even be true." Recognizing when kindness might eclipse honesty, even as her eyes peer at him lovingly, and she continues to walk the narrowing trail through the thick fern.

Persistence and endurance are in his favor; Lyubomir might not be fast, but he will catch up, in time. His gaze angles away from her from time to time, taking in the sights of this place, this strange place, with a kind of awe that his face is ill-suited to express. "Not ever," is his honest answer; it's a new place, a wild one, and a different kind of wild than the home he's always known. His pace slows a little as hers does, but he catches up all the same, reaching with an arm to try to hook around her waist. Neifeth's hunting draws a slight tilt of his head, the sounds familiar; it's a good sign, perhaps. "Okay," he says after her words have fully sunk in. "Okay." Concern briefly creases his brow. "I wouldn't lie to you Evi. Not ever." Vehement. Truthful. Fierce in some ways. "I appreciate you. And whatever you want to tell me- you need to tell me… I'm here." He looks to her with a mirrored affection, loving - but in the way of one that's still trying to figure that emotion out.

Expression is Evi's domain, never short on the ability to express herself at it'd be easy to conceive that she is an open book. From the outside, she reads quickly enough, perky and bouncy with no indication of what might actually be happening in her mind. Allowing him to pull her towards him, she leans in and stills, resting a cheek on his chest and closing her eyes before straightening and continuing to move, wrapping an arm around his mid-back, teeth going to the lip. Shrinking, falling, retreating into her own mind for a handful of breaths. "I do not really see the rest of my family anymore. Um- well, you see, I uh." Babbling out the words and staring at the overgrown path that's guiding them towards some unknown destination. "I um, well." Struggling with this portion of the talk, "My father's ma, My nana and my aunt, and her weyrmate. Several hundred cousins. That's who I have now, and Nei. We're a family because of a lot of things. They happened, and I know stuff happens, and I know you can't fix or change the past. I understand that people can stop loving one another. That, at any moment, someone can leave." Turning and stopping, eyes suddenly full. "Before we go, any further, it's important you know who I am. Where I'm going. If that fits who um, well, you are." All awkward and innocent, it's clear she's as new to this as he is and trying to sort it out. Reaching up, she tangles a lock of hair in her hand, twirling it and sighing. "If this is only fun. So be it, we um, can have fun. If you might want to try. Then tell me." Not new to heartbreak or pain this declaration as meandering as it was might well be the point of the trip. Also, she's his ride, which might influence that a touch.

He's solid enough; a fine anchor to hold to if one feels like they're floating too far away. A tether, but willingly so. He dips his head when she presses close, stealing just the briefest kiss to the top of her head. It's a small thing, but meaningful, like all those other small touches taken when she flits within reach. He remains there, arm around her and her arm around him, moving as she moves and listening as she speaks. Reassurance is a caress of fingers at her side and a soft sound of encouragement here and there, though he's silent throughout, not wanting to interrupt the fractured telling of a tale. It takes some piecing together, patching in the gaps where they exist - but he's good at that. He very nearly doesn't feel her stopping until it's almost too late and, by then, she's already turned and looking and he's stopped and looking back with concern contrasted to her wide eyes. Talk of family of love of leaving, all of that doesn't bear the weight of importance that this, her final declaration, seems to. His hands seek her cheeks, to cradle her face with a gentle touch to contrast the calluses. He bends, forehead to forehead pressed. "Evi." Low and sweet. "I don't do 'only fun' well. If I did, I'd have a much easier time at the Weyr." But he hasn't, he doesn't and he shrugs it off; it's not quite the lifestyle he's keen on. "I want to try - but only if you want to try, too. With me. I know you're a rider. I know there are things out of your control. But-" his smile emerges in that boyish way it tends to, stripping years from his still-youthful face "-tell me what you want. Who you are. What you need. And if you think I can be that- then we can try."

And as much as she is the air she is the water, crashing into his anchor and gripping tightly onto his shoulder to find purchase, to find the shore. Pushing her forehead into his eyes open and partially filling with tears from a cacophony of buried places beneath her sea that she uncovered momentarily. Allowing more pressure to be exerted forward, rolling her head from one side to the other, nose wiggling back and forth to brush against his. "You see, a long time ago. I was a girl who swore, she wanted one man. A single person, in her home, in her bed, in her life." Glancing upward and then lasering her gaze back on him, eyes narrowing with the irony of the whole situation. "That all sounds absurd, right? To still desire, a single partner?" The smile takes her breath away, stealing it and leaving her breathing quicker than intended, hand gripping tighter into shoulder and lips reaching out. Arms thrown around his neck, she moves to toss herself in his arms and entrap his lips in hers, claiming him and trusting him with herself physically. "I am, Evangeline formerly of half-moon bay, and currently of Xanadu Weyr, I've lived through an earthquake and avoided two marriages. I am the rider of green Nei, and as of this moment. I am yours for as long as you wish that to be." A grand proposal whispered through biting kisses, body entangling with his and feet wrapped around waist. "I um, expect dates." Because she can't leave that detail out.

Earth and rock and probably with a heart of fire beneath all of it, though it's hard to tell in these moments, when the wind and water have yet to fully sink into the cracks to split him wide open. "Shh," is a breath, his head lifting to press a kiss to her forehead at the first sign of those tears. It's a brief thing, fleeting; she speaks and he, as always, listens and is enthralled. But there is a shake of his head in negation - it's not absurd at all for a woman to want only one man, any more than it would be for a man to want one woman. And he echoes the gesture with soft words, "It's not absurd. Not at all." Barely breathed and likely lost in the moment when she throws herself at him. He catches and holds, arms folded firmly around her middle and mouth melding to hers without hesitation. He's rooted, solid; utterly secure in his stance, despite the strangeness and wildness around them. The kiss lingers as long as she allows, breaking when she speaks, and he adjusts his hold on her when legs wrap 'round his waist. "Evi, Evi, Evi." Breathy and soft and somehow vehement. "I can't take you places like this, but we can do things. Go places. Eat new foods. Maybe I'll cook for you," which might not be as terrible as it likely sounds. Kisses follow, sweet on his end to contrast the bite. "I am Lyubomir," seems like a fitting interjection, "of Xanadu, always. And I'll be yours for so long as you'll have me."

While he might have buried his heart, Evi's is harder to see, visible beneath the waters of her person but deeper down then it initially appears. You have to fully submerge yourself in who she is and take a risk to get near it, but it's a treasure, a rare find that rivals any gem. The weaver girl is unique, luminescent, and bright similar to Neifeth's mind but visible for all who look to see. Gleaming down at him, she's fierce and alive, eyes sparkling with wonder and mischief while all his words sink in, and her teeth dig into his flesh in small nibbles, pinching and releasing the tissue around his neck and collar bone. Fiercely she wraps her arms around his neck, hands joining behind his head, fingers digging into scalp and wriggling her fingers to feel him, controlling his head and lifting it to press his lips harder towards her face. Releasing him with feet, she slides down and leans in, teeth tightening to pull lips down with her. "Lyubomir, of Xanadu. We're going to um, well, try a little thing. " Continuing up the path, wrapped around him in a fashion that makes walking slow, but the island is small, and they're sure to be nearing the summit. "Whatever you choose will be perfect. The places um, I can provide those."

He's patient; it's the one trait that he can cling to when all others fail. He's also strong, which helps considerably here, able to hold her aloft for so long as she'll tolerate being in his embrace. Throaty sounds of contentedness follow at the ravaging of her teeth at his skin and bone; he's trusting of her, leaving his throat bared and willing to trust that she'll not abruptly turn cannibal and remove it. His hold on her tightens when her arms fling around his neck, more rumbling following at the feel of fingers in his hair and against his scalp. His embrace is fearless, through it all, pulling her as close to him as he can and, in turn, ensuring he's as close to her as she could want. Another kiss, bright and scintillating in its own way, follows and he's easily guided as she slides down and threatens to take his mouth with her. The kiss releases at the end, as it must, for words to be shared, but his hands and arms remain on and around her, keeping her tight. "Aye, we will. We'll try it and see." And if nothing comes of it, then so be it; but there's no trace of such doubt in his tone. "Dinner at Ierne, sometime? Or- ah. Camping in the jungles?"

The path gets tighter and tighter as they go up, trees and rock make it impossible to traverse anything but single file. When she can't stand next to him, she slides in front, reaching hands back so they can be held onto even if it messes with her balance. Even the risk of being off-kilter does not deter the fae creature, the need for physical contact overwhelming her natural self-protective instincts. "Um, ok, new game!" He will soon find that she poses most things she does or wants as a game, forever free and fun, though only in private. Bouncing from rock to rock along the path, they get to the crest of the peak, and rocks obscure the view, skirting around the massive skybroom trees they are suddenly met with the open ocean. Sky meets the sea, and the two meld together and stretches out into infinity, the sound of the sea crashing beneath them against the cragged rocks, trees at their back. Sea breeze brings a gentle chill, the earth around them aromatic, the pine mixing with the humidity, and the slight salt of the sea. "Shhh." Gently requesting silence, eyes closed, and arms held out like a cross, surrendering to nature all around them and sinking back to lean part of her weight against his torso, hands gripping onto his. "We'll work it out, surprise me." Exhaling slowly with eyes tightly closed, "Tell me, about your family." A simple request, the word family said with reverence. The idea of belonging, of the safety net a good family can invoke.

It's okay, of course; even if she falters, both his grip and footing are secure enough to ensure that she'll remain on the narrow path up, up, and up. The fickle fae one could probably ask for no finer anchor to keep her from drifting into the ether. As she declares a new game, though, Lyu chuckles and nods; the gesture might be unseen, but she'll feel it, perhaps. Sense it. And there it is, the apex is reached, and his grip on her loosens just a little to lend her the freedom to explore as she will. But when she only stretches her arms out and takes his with them by virtue of linked fingers, he utters a soft laugh, rolling and deep. He's not silent precisely, but perhaps she'll forgive that lapse of shared mirth. "Family, eh?" He grins a little and looks skyward, though for what and why doesn't matter, perhaps. "My parents are good. I have an older brother and an older sister. I suppose we're close enough, as family goes," he reasons, brow knitting for a moment. "My brother rides blue, though I'm not sure if you'd know him. Y'eirn and Zmeith. They're- ah. They're interesting together."

The laughter meets her chest, body sensing it before ears detect sound. Joy radiates through her body, she's an ebullient squirming creature, wiggling from head to toe in appreciation and exaltation. Twisting around to look up at him, smirking and settling down towards the ground, folding backward intent on taking his hand with her whether he wants to go or not. "I packed food." Unhooking the straps on the bag that was moved to one shoulder upon landing, it's placed down on the ground. Watching the ocean move, swaying back and forth with the sound of the breeze. Distractable in every sense of the word, she finally settles back to staring at his chin, eyes admiring the curvature of face and body standing before her. "I have eleven younger brothers and sisters. three by marriage, the rest are half-siblings." With a casual shrug and shake of the head, "I've not met them, but I'll keep an ear out." Momentarily her eyes glaze over and then back with a nose wrinkle. Taking out a fuzzy pink notebook, she writes the names down using a pencil that should have been discarded long ago. "Do you have a favorite food?" Pulling out a sealed container with sandwiches, fruit, and cookies, "Do you… ever get scared?" She's coy, maintaining as neutral of facial expression as she can while the wiggle of boot tops reveal a level of entrancement with the line of questioning.

He's not about to resist - though he's an earthen thing, he's oft-times like clay. Flexible. Pliable. It just takes the right hands to shape him so. Lyu is, thus, pulled down with her, settling himself on the ground with a glance to the world around him; keen and curious, though his thoughts remain hidden for the duration. He snaps out of his reverie in due course, though, one eyebrow hiking skyward at the numbers. It settles some at the explanation, but only just. He doesn't dig into the details, though, offering only a slight nod to acknowledge before he blows out a soft breath. "They're around a fair bit," as far as he knows, anyway. He glances when she pulls out that notebook, his grin manifesting to crack his stoic expression all over again. He resists the urge to touch it and settles, instead, on running his fingrs over the top of her head in a gentle caress. "Nah, I like most food," he says after a moment. "No favorites, really. I like trying new things when I can." He eyes the containers with interest and bounces the question back, "How about you? Any favorites?" The question doesn't distract from her second, either; he'll answer that in time with, "Sure. Sometimes. I think everyone gets scared, though, even when they say they don't. Don't you?"

Always the mother, Evi lays out a blue paisley blanket, setting the food out for both of them in an organized fashion, two plates pulled out that has a purple vine design. Fancier than you'd usually fly around with, each plate gets a roasted wherry and bacon sandwich, a mix of berries, red and yellow tropical fruits are spooned onto each dish. Several vegetables are put out, along with a creamy herb dip to embellish them should they wish to. Meticulous, the presentation takes her a mere moment and is something one learns from practice, a side of how she was raised visible in mannerism alone. Busy with her task, she nearly misses the grin but spots it as his steady hand runs over the braided surface of her head, stopping to enjoy the contact and reach a hand forward, finger faintly along jawline. Distracted, from the questions, by his presence. "Mmm, mashed tubers, gravy. Any soup. Nana makes candy, that's the /very/ best." Twirling a piece of fruit on her plate, eyes unfocused again. "I used to be, afraid of… being pointless. Now I'm, Nei provided purpose. I owe her /everything/." The devotion to one's dragon is deep, she speaks with conviction and heart, every word pressing forward to signify how serious she is. Locking eyes, she looks near years again but now with a smile. "It's startling how suddenly your life can change, NeiNei changed my life. All of it."

He watches all of it with interest, though he keeps his hands to himself (well, mostly), rather than risk getting in the middle of her careful unpacking and arranging. He does stroke fingers over the braid, though, his fingers stalling only when she touches his jaw. Lyu leans into the touch with a contented sigh, momentarily half-lidded before he remembers himself. Clarity returns when she answers the questions, a soft sound escaping him at the mention of candy. Perhaps a thought lurks there, though it passes quickly, filtered away to be kept. It's the rest that draws his focus best, affection rising and understanding - in as much as he can understand - being offered. His hand slips from her hair to curve over her jaw, thumb stroking at her cheek. It serves, too, to hold her steady while his gaze seeks and holds hers, as if all-too-aware of just how important this is. How heavy it is. "She is as lucky to have you as you are to have her," he replies after a long moment, his smile slow but warm. "Both of you with purpose and practically nothing to fear."

Holding his jaw in her hand, her thumb runs along the contours of Lyu's lips, Evi gently opening his mouth to run the pad of her thumb along the smooth inner lip. Leaning into the callused digits, she surrenders, and every muscle relaxes and give in to being with him. Time passes, or it doesn't. Frozen with the sound of waves crashing, avians singing, and her breathing. Gazing deeply into his eyes, the depth of emotion fills her entirely, and she says, "That's what you must know. I could love you, we could… be happy. But Nei, she's beyond any description of love or devotion. I am her, and she is me." Sliding around the prepared meal, she moves to sit in his lap and place her head in the crook between neck and shoulder. "That's what dragonriding means, it means I love her far more than my own life. It's what I imagine motherhood would feel like." Allowing the weight of the statement to stand, she's struggling to adequately describe it all. "It's, before Nei I had problems, I was scared. The entire world could be burning down around us, everything on fire, and if I was with Nei, I know I would be alright. It's intense. The mere idea of losing her, I know I'd die." Expressing what dragonriders have demonstrated since the first impression, the life bond of love and devotion. "We are a package, Lyu. I know she can be hard to handle, but she comes.. with me."

His mouth is readily parted, lips fully hers to explore. It's more of that sense of being shaped, molded by these very moments, and he is at ease within it. Lyu is silent throughout, filled with the sounds of the world that's so close and, yet, so terribly far away at the same time. All of Pern could come crashing down around them but, for now, in this moment, all that matters is her touch. Thus, when she scoots closer, he adjusts slightly, making it easier for her to claim his lap. His arms fold around her easily, his head tilting to rest his cheek on her head while she nestles in the most tender of places. His hands caress her arm and side in soothing motions, while he listens and listens raptly. Eventually, though, one hand lifts a little, just enough to stroke the side of her face ever-so-tenderly. "Evi." Softly uttered, but with a weight to it that's impossible to deny. "Evi," is repeated and a kiss is pressed to the top of her head. "I am Weyrbred, through and through. I might not understand the bond between rider and dragon, not like that, but I know how it is. I know, because I've seen my brother and his blue. I know because I've seen that moment on the sands, so many times. It's something that, maybe, I'll experience one day," his grin tilts, "or maybe not. But I hope to." A soft exhalation follows. "There is no rider without the dragon; no dragon without the rider. I wouldn't expect anything else with you and her."

Safe in his arms, cold cheek pressing into the delicate space where the chest meets collarbone she unwinds and relinquishes the careful control she maintains even through her antics. Everything stops, body calming and molding to his, melting entirely until she can feel his chest rise beneath hers, and detect the vital beats of his heart. Burying into him, she runs a gentle finger over the tip of his ear and pecks a kiss right beneath his earlobe. Her name from his mouth brings a flush of pleasure, body reacting before her mind can and causing a wriggle of unoppressive joy. "Yes?" Responding in kind, cupping his hand on her face, interlocking fingers if he will allow it. Unsure of how she feels about him standing, especially with how new this is, she is quiet. "It's spectacular if you want to stand, you should." Encouraging, though, without her usual gusto. "I- if I admit, I'm not sure I'd want to share you so soon. Is that, am I being too forward?" Innocently raising both shoulders, "I want you, as mine, even if it's unfair, you have to share me with Nei." Pressing up to suck on his neck, exhale and inhale his scent, "Who said anything had to be fair."

His presence is a naturally grounding one in so many ways; the steady pulse-beat of his heart, his measured respiration, the rhythmic stroke of hands all conspire to lend a sense of calm. Lyu tips his head a little into her touch, a smile rising at the feel of her lips just there, near his ear. A huffed little laugh escapes him for the sensation and he briefly hugs her a little tighter before relaxing his hold back to where it was moments ago. Her wriggling is a delight unto itself, worthy of another soft sound of contentedness, more rumble than actual sound. His hand is easily caught, fingers twining without a thought; his thumb slides over her cheek, tender and thoughtful. His smile, unconscious and warm, falters a little at her tone and he nuzzles at her some, kisses pressed to the top of her head. "I've always stood," he explains, voice dropped to a soft rumble of a thing. "Shh. I don't know if it's too forward to say it. I don't think it is," his mouth pulls a bit to a side. "And it's not like there are eggs out now. We'll have some time to figure this out first." He rocks just a little, stilling again when her mouth finds his neck; he smells as he always does, masculine, faintly of sweat from their hike, with that spicy undertone of some kind of cologne, lightly applied. "We'll have some time. And maybe I'll change my mind." It's possible, posed as such, but without promises attached; he's not able to make that promise.

Each kiss brings goosebumps, body pressing into his with soft humming mmms of contentment. Occasionally she nips a bit, teeth finding flesh and locking on with enough pressure to create marks that might last the day. The tightened hold gets a wag of her shoulders, controlling his fingers she splays them out and twists, forcing him to mirror her like a puppet. The lightest of happy whines escapes, a sigh without breath through closed lips as his hand finds her face and chills run down her body. "You'll stand, because… if you could impress anything male. " A bright blush at the thought as her breath catches with the simple idea, waggling her head with eyes up in a 'Faranth have mercy' pose at the idea. "I could never deny you a Nei, though you'd better hope you don't get one of her. I'm not sure you could handle it." Turning her body and opening up her knees so she can sit on his legs, sit face to neck, chest to chest, all the while, she refuses to not hold her hand. "I mean, you handle me but, I'm the nicer of us." A devilish giggle, head on his shoulder and food forgot for the moment. Sweet and floral, Evi smells new, spring has come and blossomed directly from her hair, the aroma is pleasing on the tongue and occasionally of aged vanilla or oak. Natural and free. The way any good wood nymph would smell if those existed. "How do I like you so much, when you're barely mine at all?" Playing with that idea, the idea of having something that could surly up and leave her anytime now. Revealing her vulnerability.

All of that shifting and squirming is taken in stride, his hands hers to control; if she's a puppet-master, then he's a well-constructed marionette, easily handled as she sees fit. It's a fascinating experience to see just what she does, even if he doesn't grasp the why. "I mean- maybe," but he knows enough to know that dragons have their whims. Lyubomir strokes at her again, happy to just be here, in the moment, bodies touching in whichever way her whims strike her. "Perhaps, perhaps not- who knows what might want me, if they want me at all." He has a few turns left before his chances are gone, after all; but there are only so many clutches and he's not the type to go beyond the bounds of Xanadu. He chuckles softly and, once she's settled on his lap, he bends his knees some to provide a back rest of sorts to her. His head rests against hers and he basks in her scent, blissfully complicated against his simplistic own. "I think-" he starts, then stops, a thoughtful rumble filling his chest. "I think we like things the most when we're afraid to lose them." Fingers wiggle against hers, but it's a sweet gesture. Tender.

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