Xanadu Weyr - Deep Forest
The wooded areas closer to Xanadu Weyr represent a compromise between man and mother nature, but to the north and west, no such arrangements have been made. The deep woods between the Weyr and the mountains are less traveled, the wider paths fit for man and beast less present. The noises of mankind are barely audible here, brief ghosts on the wind, and the quiet thrum of forest life presses in on all sides. The snapping of a twig, a bird's cry, the low cadence of insects; all of these things seem louder. Closer. The deeper one moves into the trees, the more it becomes obvious that one passes through nature only at her allowance.
The cover of trees is more severe in this area of the wood and only occasional shafts of sunlight lance down through the canopy, the sky visible in brief patches. A rough path has been blazed back towards the Weyr. It does not appear to be a heavily frequented path, but the few who have chosen to pass through this area appear to use it more than other avenues available. Only the very foolish or the very experienced would ever wander far from the path.

NOTE: Some hints of mature themes near the end of the log.

Early summer and most of the forest has come out of its seasonal hibernation. The canopy of leaves block most of the afternoon sun, keeping the already cool air even colder here. Out here, in the deeper woods where only the bravest wander off the paths, there are the usual sounds of the wilds. Calls of animals, firelizards and the buzz of insects. The sound of the wind rustling through the trees. The sound… of arrows thunking dully into the trunk of a tree? Okay, so that isn't so normal. Kiena stands in a small grove, bow in hand and a full quiver strapped to her back. She faces a large, gnarled and half-dead tree and proceeds to draw another arrow. Draw, breath, hold. Release. The arrow hits its target, joining the other arrows jutting out at random.

Mur'dah has made his way into the forest, seeking his weyrmate. "Kiena?" he calls from the pathway. He suspects she's out here but he's not sure, and Kalsuoth is sleeping so he can't check.

Kiena looks up sharply when she hears Mur'dah's voice in the distance and her grip on her arrow slips as her hands suddenly betray her and begin to tremble. Swearing under her breath, she relaxes her stance, head bowed as she struggles to regain control. Her jaw sets, she inhales deep and lifts the bow again, her hands steadied. She aims, exhales slowly and fires again. Thunk! "Over here!" she calls out and he'll be able to find the little game trail easily enough once he's on it.

Mur'dah does indeed find the trail, following her voice and stepping into the clearing. "Hey, beautiful," he says, smile warm. "Getting in some target practice?" That might be a dumb question, but it's a start.

Kiena lowers her bow when she hears him approaching and when he speaks. Her back is still turned to him, but there is a ghost of a smile on her lips for his choice of opening greetings. "I needed an outlet. I'm sure the tree won't mind." she drawls, as she reaches up to pull another arrow from the quiver. She will look over her shoulder then to him and he will see the fading evidence of tears in the faint redness of her eyes. No tears now, but there's an… odd look to her. Funny he just called her beautiful. She looks like a wreck! "Off shift?" she asks softly.

Mur'dah frowns when he sees her face, taking a few steps closer and then stopping, well clear of bow range. "Yeah, thought I'd come see what you were up to…" He trails off. "Rough day at work?" he hazards gently.

Kiena would never turn the bow on him. Her mouth quirks up into another faint smile, "Sorry. I should have left a note…" she begins to explain, only to have her expression fall. Apparently his haphazard guess struck a nerve? Or a fresh wound. Her expression tightens and before she looks away he will see the hurt in her eyes. Looking down, she tries to slip the arrow into the notch of her bow but her hands won't obey and they fumble. With a heavy sigh, her shoulders drop and she just shakes her head. "Yeah. Yeah, you could say that." she mutters shakily. Quieter, in a voice that sounds flat and numb, she adds: "I'm not Weyrsecond anymore." Evidence is on her shoulder — there is no knot.

Mur'dah knows she wouldn't, but he doesn't want to crowd her when she shoots. Her behavior though…he walks closer. Then he's shocked. "What? Why not? What happened?" He moves closer still, reaching up to put a hand gently against her back. "Kiena?" he coaxes softly. Talk to him.

Kiena slips the arrow back into the quiver, but her hand remains on her lowered bow. She can only shake her head to his prompts and her features twist, caught somewhere between hurt and anger but she won't let herself cry. No more crying. She does, however, turn towards him when he places his hand gently against her back. "Ka'el and I had a disagreement the other day and I reported to him in his office this morning as we agreed and… we disagreed some more and I — I gave him my knot back. I didn't have to, he didn't demand it of me. I chose to… but I didn't want too…" It's not much of an explanation but it's all Kiena can coherently work out for now. Her mind is still numbed and overloaded from an influx of snarled, tangled emotions.

Mur'dah tries to slip both of his arms around her when she faces him, his brows furrowed. "If you didn't want to, then why did you?" he asks gently, trying to draw her into an embrace. "Talk to me, little bird. Tell me what happened. What did you fight about?"

"Because I had no choice," Kiena replies cryptically again and she will not protest when he slips both arms around her. Her arms will slowly lift to wrap around him too, loosely and a touch awkward by the bow she still holds. She rests her head against his shoulder and her eyes close and she pulls at her lower lip to keep herself from losing control. "Stupid things. Things that shouldn't have mattered but apparently I lack control on my emotions. I got frustrated with him Mur'dah and things escalated. I said some stupid things, but I am still baffled by it all. And then he says his trust in me has been shaken… I just… I wouldn't back down to him anymore and next thing I know, he's telling me he wants me to do this and that and if I can't, then to leave my knot. So I left my knot and it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do…" She goes quiet, resting tense against his body and in arms before she whispers gruffly. "I thought I was a good Weyrsecond. I gave everything I had to it, through bad and good and now it's like… none of it mattered…"

Mur'dah holds her, frowning against her hair as he kisses it gently. "You should be able to get frustrated, especially behind closed doors…I don't know how his trust of you could have been shaken. You were a /great/ Weyrsecond, Kiena. You shouldn't doubt that at all. You were /great/. Xanadu was lucky to have you. Lucky. It's a loss to them, that you're no longer there." He kisses her hair again softly. "It mattered…" he whispers. "To everyone you helped while you were Weyrsecond, it mattered."

Kiena grimaces, "He never seemed to mind my temper before or… or who I am. I know I have faults! And I tried, I did, to be better about them ever since I first took that knot from him." she murmurs and while some of his words bring comfort and allow some of the tension in her features and posture to lessen, she is still troubled. Grieving. "I wasn't good enough in the end. I wish I had known. I wonder if I ever would have been good enough…" She sighs but his words start to sink in. Very slowly but she is at least shaken out of the worse of her numbness. "Thank you, Mur'dah. Even if you're… slightly biased when it comes to me," She means that as a light jab, a little joke to take the edge off all the sadness, even if it falls flat.

Mur'dah sighs. "He's changed, Kiena. I don't know what to tell you." A hand gently rubs against her back, up and down. "I think you were good enough. More than good enough. And yes, I am biased, but I'm allowed to be," he says with a crooked grin, trying to get her to look at him.

Kiena snorts, "I may have thrown something along those lines at his face during our disagreement." she admits with a grim smirk. He knows how she is when she is in a temper. It's no wonder words were slung and Faranth only knows three quarters of them she didn't mean. Her brows knit, her grief over losing Weyrsecond momentarily dimmed just enough for her to peer up at him. "Does weyrmating give you this right for bias?" she asks dryly but her amusement wavers. So does she, she seems to sag then before catching herself. "Can we sit… for a bit? I had a rough night of sleep… and then all this… I'm feeling it I think…"

Mur'dah supports her and he nods, trying to take her bow to gently set it aside before he leads her over to a fallen log to sit down. "You look exhausted," he says softly. "I'm not sure if it's weyrmating so much as knowing you, and being your friend? Of course I'm going to think the best of you."

Kiena will allow him to take her bow, focused more on leaning against him for support as he leads her to that fallen log. She sits close to him and with an exhale that sounds almost relieved, she closes her eyes. "I am exhausted. Drained, even. My head… feels foggy. Numb. This feels like it's a dream. I'm going to wake up any moment…" Her head shakes sadly. No, she's not deluded. SHe knows this is reality. Reaching for his hand, she laces her fingers through his and squeezes. "I think the best of you too, Mur'dah." she whispers.

Mur'dah slips one arm around her shoulders, his other hand grasping hers. "Thank you," he says, kissing her temple lightly. "Can you rest? Should we go back to the weyr and sleep? Or you can go and I'll gather up your arrows and things?" he offers softly.

Kiena smiles softly at his kiss and then her eyes open, looking across the grove to where she knows the pathway lies back to the forests and to where his - no, their! - weyr is. "I can take my bow. Sitting here helped a bit. I'll be alright," she whispers and slowly pushes back to her feet. Her bow is gathered, but she'll look at him and then to the tree where her arrows are still imbedded in the trunk.

Mur'dah pushes to his feet when she does, and when she looks to the trunk he smiles, kissing her forehead. "Go on, get a head start. I'll gather your arrows," he promises quietly.

Kiena smiles again and at first she doesn't move away, watching him instead. "Thank you, Mur'dah." she murmurs and then turns to walk slowly back to their weyr. Far more slowly than she normally would. Her feet are dragging and her mind is wandering and distracted. It even takes her several tries to unlock the door before she gets inside and she kicks off her boots before sinking down onto the couch. That is where he will find her, in the one corner, feet stretched out in front o fher and her back deeply slouched into the cushions. Her hand props up her chin and she just… stares at the opposite wall.

Xanadu Weyr - Nature Gone Wild Weyrbarn
The victim of one of the major storms to pass through the Weyr this past turn or so, this weyrbarn stands amidst the majestic trees of the forest like a testament to rebuilding and carrying on. Though it used to be little more than a shack, with a lot of hard work and effort, this structure has been returned to its former magnificence. Broad boarded dark wood walls rise two stories to a slate roof, a stone chimney rising up along the right wall crafted from smooth river stones. Windows with shutters often stand open, glass panes also propped up to invite breezes, or closed and latched to keep out the weather.
A smaller human sized door is nestled within the larger dragon sized one, and walking in you are treated to the vastness of space. Much of it given to Kalsuoth's couch on the left side of the building, the worn stone comfortable and perfectly sized for the brown. The human part has been built up from nothing, with fresh wooden floors laid and new furniture brought in. The walls are left to their natural wood, though many of the cabinets have a fresh coat of blue paint, and fabric accents also hold hints of blue and green to soften all that brown from the natural wood. A sitting area on the right side is reached up a few steps, nestled near to the fireplace. Beyond, the open floorplan boasts a kitchen and a laundry room, as well as a spacious bathroom with a wide, deep tub. A spiral staircase leads to the top floor, where there are two bedrooms - only one currently in use - and an office.
Just the kind of fixer-upper Thea would recommend for her son, if indeed she had anything to do with assigning the dwelling. It builds character, right?

Mur'dah follows after her not long behind, setting her quiver of arrows to one side. "Can I get you anything, little bird?" he asks, looking at her with concern. "A soothing tea, maybe? Something to help you relax and let you sleep?"

Did Kiena even see to the safe storage of her bow? Her brows knit when she sees him with her quiver of arrows and she realizes she cannot remember. His question distracts her though and she lifts her head. "Tea? Yes, maybe some tea will help. I am not very hungry," No surprise there. Again, her gaze slides away, only to refocus on him. "And you? I need you."

Mur'dah nods. "I'm here," he reassures her, moving about in the kitchen. Putting a kettle on, pulling out tea, finding a few light snacks. He'll bring them over to her and sit, offering to gather her into his arms while they wait for the tea kettle to boil. "Right here, beloved."

Kiena's eyes will follow him as he moves into the kitchen and she shifts on the couch, as if suddenly guilty for just slouching there. She only sits up though, before she's leaning back again, her moment of energy and drive zapped. She'll go willingly into his arms, tucking her legs under herself as she curls up against him. "Beloved?" she murmurs and exhausted as she may be, emotionally drained as she is, she still finds a small glimmer of humour to tease him with. "That's a new one."

Mur'dah shrugs, kissing her hair with a little smile and a light blush. "I thought it worked?" Does it not? Now he's doubting himself as he pulls her gently against his side.

Kiena blinks when he seems unsure and slightly she curses herself. No, no… don't let her screw this up too! "Of course it works! I was just teasing you. I like the names you call me!" she reassures him, pressing a hand against his chest as she tilts her head up to look at him and smile softly. "Just wish I could come up with something to call you in return, other than… love or beloved. Unless — heh, you'd like that?"

Mur'dah smiles, kissing her lightly. "Okay good. Just tell me if I ever think up something you don't like, okay? Love works for me. So does beloved." His hand caresses her back and then the kettle whistles, so he detangles himself and goes to make her a cup of tea.

"You know I'd tell you," Kiena murmurs, kissing him back before her brows lift. "Really? You don't find them mushy?" He's a guy after all! Maybe she was wrong to assume. Shifting forwards when he moves to detangle himself to get to the kettle, her thoughts are quick to turn dark again with nothing there to distract her. Again, she stares off somewhere distractedly while Mur'dah makes some tea, her brows knit and the tension back in her expression and posture.

Mur'dah shrugs. "They are. But in private? I don't mind at all." In public he might wrinkle his nose a bit. He returns with her tea steeping and gives it to her before he sits again, arm sliding around her shoulders. "What's on your mind?"

Kiena would never be that mushy with him in public, not unless she was seeking to tease him mercilessly. "I'll keep that in mind then, love." she murmurs softly and there is a ghost of a smile on her lips. That actually didn't sound so bad! Reaching up, she wraps her fingers around the hot mug and leans into his side. "Too much. I keep replaying the scenes over in my head. Over and over and over…" Good thing those mugs are sturdy, as she's giving hers the death grip now. "Mur'dah…" she exhales sadly. "… what am I going to do? I feel like such a failure… I failed, somehow. Ka'el, myself, you, the Weyr… Worst of all the Weyr."

Mur'dah shakes his head, his arm tightening around her shoulders. "Kiena," he says, soft but firm, "you did not fail. /He/ failed. He failed to see your potential, failed to see how much he needed you. Failed to pull his head out of his ass enough to recognize that disagreements and hot tempers aren't detrimental when they're controlled. This is not your fault. You've been an amazing Weyrsecond. The weyr is in your debt."

Kiena smiles but there is still sadness tinging it as she rests with herself tucked up against him and her hands still gripping that tea mug as though it'll float away if she lets it go. Gently blowing on the surface, she'll take a sip and then shake her head, her mouth twisting again as she struggles with herself. "I think he's aware of my potential. Some of the things he said… I am so confused. I don't even fully understand how it came to this." She snorts softly, "Perhaps but he could have a point too. I'm quick tempered. I know that and I tried to change and temper it. I tried so hard and I don't know what got into me, why I challenged him. It wasn't him who took my knot. I gave it of my free will. I had the option to just keep my knot and storm out…" So does she regret it? It's hard to say and Kiena's expression is one of conflict between regret and guilt, grief and hurt. Another sip of her tea and she scoffs, "Pretty stupid to be this heartbroken over a lump of braided cord, huh…"

Mur'dah shakes his head again as he listens to her talk. "But you've been quick tempered this whole time, and you've never gone off on someone in the course of your duties. You didn't do anything this time except challenge /him/. It sounds like he couldn't handle that…" He is quiet a moment. "So why did you give it to him, then?"

Kiena can only shrug her shoulders helplessly, "Or he's grown tired of it. I don't know, Mur'dah. I said some things in the heat of the disagreement and maybe that just pushed him too far. But rather than wait until I calmed down, we just kept at it and… now it's too late." She sips her tea and sighs. She does not answer him for a few seconds and when she looks up at him, her expression is mixed and conflicted. "Because I felt he was being disrespectful towards me, that's why." In her head, at least. "I told him we had weyrmated too, you know? He congratulated me but it was just his… indifference that grated against me I guess. I know you and Ka'el don't see eye to eye but I thought — I thought at least as friends he'd be a little more interested. Maybe I was wrong…"

Mur'dah snorts softly. "He doesn't like me, Kiena. Still. I'm sorry he wasn't at least happy for /you/, since you two are friends." Something he's never contested.

"I know that and I never let it come between us before. Ka'el and I, I mean. You and I understand and we don't let it affect us," Kiena murmurs, her brows knitting together again. She sighs, "Maybe he was and I was too blind to see it. Again, my failure to control my temper. I lost control and now… Damn it, it shouldn't be the end of the world!" she exclaims suddenly, some of that fire that fuels her temper now bubbling to the surface. Brief and then she slumps against him again and she chuckles dryly, sadly. "But it is. That stupid knot meant so much to me and I went and lost it because I just couldn't bite my tongue and bow my head like a good girl and just leave it be…" Her voice begins to waver midway through that sentence and she's quick to press the back of her hand to her eyes.

"Kiena…" Mur'dah says gently, "stop. Please stop beating yourself up over this. This is not your fault. If he still wanted you, he wouldn't have even given you the /option/. He would have worked it out. This as /his/ doing, not yours."

Kiena does stop, lowering her hand and holding her mug of tea between them and she will peer up at him again, apologetic. "It's his right to remove me from Weyrsecond if he feels I am no longer fit, Mur'dah. As much as that angry, temperamental side of me agrees and strongly, for pointing the blame on him…" She grimaces and shifts against him so she can rest her head on his shoulder, her tea now lowered to rest in her lap. "What I am going to do…?" she whispers again.

Mur'dah holds her against him. "Well he made a mistake," he says quietly. "Like so many other mistakes he's made." He kisses her hair gently. "You'll spend more time with your girls," he murmurs. "Time with me, time in the forges, Smithing again. Join Comet. We'll travel."

Kiena rests against him and with another long exhaled breath she begins to relax in his arms and against his body. She'll finish her tea and then pass the mug to him to set aside. "I guess I am back to a Smithcraft rider, huh? I would be able to see the girls more. Time with you is another bonus. And… join Comet?" Her head tilts up and she gives him a funny look and once more, her humour and sarcasm win out over her black and depressed mood. "Did you just recruit me? If I'm to Smith again, I have to be Asteroid. Not that the two don't overlap half the time…" she drawls and there is another smile to follow. "We'll travel." she agrees and then smirks. "Once this whole sickness thing blows over."

Mur'dah chuckles softly, grin crooked. "Right. Asteroid, I forgot." How quickly he forgets some things! "Or," he says quietly, "you go ask Ka'el for your knot back."

"It's alright. I'll forgive you this once!" Kiena drawls and with a hand against his chest she will lean up to kiss him gently, her smile a little more firmly in place. She blinks and frowns heavily, still sitting up and looking down at him now. "… I don't know if I could do that." she says quietly. Not yet, not this soon.

Mur'dah kisses her back, a hand against the back of her head. "Then it's time to move on," he says softly. "But you did /not/ fail."

Kiena chuckles dryly and settles against him comfortably again. "That's easier said than done, you know…" she mutters and exhales. Her eyes drift closed for a moment. "I just feel utterly wiped out now. Drained. Worse than I usually do…"

Mur'dah nods. "You're stressed, it's a big change. I think you need a good night's sleep, and you'll feel better in the morning."

Kiena hugs herself close to him, her head resting under his chin now and one arm draped around him. "And I've never dealt with change well…" she murmurs softly. Sleep? She grimaces, "Would if I could. I'm exhausted but my brain just won't shut off. I feel… almost to the point of lethargy." Is she falling ill? It comes to her mind and she almost voices it, "Mur'dah…" She begins, only to discard that idea. No, she can't be sick. She was no where /near/ any of the infected areas and there are no confirmed ill in Xanadu.

Mur'dah isn't even considering that. When she says his name he smiles at her, dipping his head to kiss her. "I can give you something that'll make you sleepy?"

Kiena kisses him back and she blinks, brows furrowing. Something to make her sleep? Her look turns shrewd as she ducks her head down and peers at him. "Something that'll make me sleepy? Do we have to get up from the couch for it?" Hint, hint? Maybe she'd nudge him too, but she's feeling tired again. "You'd think with how tired I feel, I'd be out like a light. Shards, I've not felt like this since…" Another thought hits her and such a startling one that she sits up a bit and never finishes her sentence. Brows knit and her eyes take on a distant and thoughtful look, almost disbelieving. Nah, can't be!

Mur'dah tilts his head curiously, but he's too intent on tugging her into his lap, between his legs. "Oh yes," he whispers, hand sliding over the front of her body while he nuzzles her neck. Converstaion? Naaaah. He's got OTHER things on his mind.

Kiena is tugged into his lap, half aware of it. Her mind is racing again, trying to swiftly do some mental calculations. Then he's touching her, his hands to the front of her body and she shivers. Counting, what? "Mur'dah…" she murmurs, half playful and half request that he give her a moment. How long has it… Ooh, now he's nuzzling her and her thoughts scatter as she lifts her chin up. Hands go to his shoulders, pressing firm as she leans in to kiss him again, drawing it out.

Mur'dah smiles, and when their kiss breaks he turns her so her back is to him and he has full range of her body. His hands continue to roam, caressing, teasing her over her clothes, nuzzling and nibbling against her neck.

Kiena gives a startled but soft yelp when he turns her but she leans back against him. How can she resist? His roaming caresses continue to serve to distract her, chasing troublesome thoughts away with pleasure and comfort. "Mur'dah…" What was she thinking about before. How tired she was. She's not feeling so tired now! It concerned her (..shards and shells his hands feel good… is she over sensitive from exhaustion? who cares… not her…nope…). Why? Because the last time she felt like this was… Kiena twitches and the spell is broken enough that her mind clicks. "… Mur'dah, wait. Please, I think…" Wait, no. Should she tell him, now? She shivers again at his nuzzling and nibbling, groaning softly under her breath. Damn, distracted! Startled again, she blurts it out in a moment of concern she cannot contain. "… I'm pregnant." How's that for a mood killer?

Mur'dah slows down when she protests, and then stops all together, though he's confused as to /why/. "Wh-" he begins to ask, only to have her blurt it out. Blink. He laughs. "What? That's impossible, heh heh. Naaaah. You're just tired, that's all…" He he he?

Kiena shifts and turns so that her side now leans against his chest. Far easier to stare at him with her incredulous stare and a quirked brow that way. She's not laughing, she's serious! He'll also get a little push to his chest and shoulder by one hand, half playful and half a gesture of 'hey, I mean it!'. "Impossible? Hardly. We're quite…" She snorts there, letting the rest fall to a bemused and crooked smirk. Yeah, she doesn't have to remind him, does she? "Tiredness is part of it. Ain't normal, this tiredness… Unless I'm catching that illness?" How is that any better?

Mur'dah blinks a few times and then frowns, shaking his head firmly. "Kiena, I don't think it's either of those things. I think you're just stressed and tired." She's not pregnant. Nope. Lalalala!

Kiena scowls at him for a moment, stubborn for a half second longer before the doubt begins to settle in. Maybe she is wrong? She gives him another nudge though for his continued aversion to the idea. "Maybe you're right…" she relents slowly, looking down at her still very flat midriff. "… but what if I am?" she asks him again, giving him a sidelong look. What if?

Mur'dah slides his hand up and down his back, smiling at her. "What if you're what? Sick? Well…healers." Ahem. "Pregnant? I…" He clears his throat. "Do you want to be?"

Kiena leans into his touch and she can't help but give a little smile back in return. Short lived, but there before she rolls her eyes and gives him another look. Really? Even she wouldn't risk not going to the Healers and she dislikes them. Her expression clears when he seems to hesitate on his next answer and his question surprises her. "I — I don't know? I mean, we've discussed this before. Y'know, the whole… possibility it could happen without us planning it." Surprise! "… do you want me to be?" That seems to be the biggest concern she has.

Mur'dah shrugs, his hand caressing her gently. "Doesn't seem like it's something I can have an opinion on," he says truthfully. "If you are, and you want to be, then I'm happy. If you don't…then I'll support you in that, too."

Kiena blinks and then scoffs softly and despite being tired and drained, she will move against him until she is straddling his hips and turned to be face to face to him. "Mur'dah… you've as much an opinion on this as I do," she tells him firmly, trying to meet his gaze. "Half, if not all of my decision will be weighed by your feelings in this." Geez, no pressure there? "I don't want you miserable or feeling trapped or… whatever… y'know?"

Mur'dah rests his hands on her thighs when she straddles him, leaning back in the couch to look up at her. "I wouldn't be miserable or trapped, Kiena. You're the one that has to do all the work in a pregnancy."

Kiena is both pleased and a touch frustrated by his answer, as far as her expression shows him and she reaches forwards to gently rest her hands against his chest again. "It's not a matter of what 'work' I have to do! What I need to know is if you'd be happy being a father. If you're even wanting that…"

Mur'dah reaches up to cover her hand against his. "I…yes. I'd be happy to be a father." He's young. Shards is he young.

Kiena knows that he is younger and perhaps that is where her concern lies. That it'll be too much for him and so she presses him for his thoughts and his feelings on the whole what-if situation. With her free hand, she will gently cup his cheek, looking down at him. "Truthfully? You can tell me otherwise, y'know…" She hope he wouldn't lie on something like this!

Mur'dah tilts his head into her hand and smiles gently, turning to kiss her palm. "Truthfully, Kiena. If you are pregnant…let's see it through."

Kiena's smile is small but genuine when he turns his head to kiss the palm of her hand and she will flex it in a way to encourage him to more of it. "You're sure about this? Really sure?" she asks softly again, her eyes watching him carefully and closely.

Mur'dah smiles warmly at her, leaning in to kiss her lips softly. "I don't think you /are/, but if you are…I'm fine with it. I'm sure, yes, little bird."

Kiena gives him a funny look and despite the seriousness of the conversation, she chuckles. "Why don't you think I am?" she has to ask before returning his kiss. Her amusement still lingers, despite the serious look she gives him. At least her smile doesn't fade this time?

Mur'dah shrugs, "I don't know, I just don't think you are." And he's basing that on…absolutely nothing as he brushes her hair away from her face and smiles lovingly at her.

Kiena laughs quietly this time, "Aren't I supposed to be the stubborn one? You are such a typical guy!" she teases him and for a moment she forgets her sense of grief and loss, the regret and guilt and lingering anger over her loss of Weyrsecond and the odd lethargy and exhaustion that seems to be hanging over her. "We'll find out soon enough…" But she sounds pretty certain as she tilts her head towards his fingers and smiles softly (but lovingly!) back at him.

Mur'dah laughs, leaning in to kiss her lips. "Soon enough." But he doesn't beliiiieve it. "Now, would you like to sleep?" he teases, nuzzling against her neck playfully.

Kiena kisses back and perhaps she still senses his doubt as she leans back a bit, still straddling his lap as she smirks down at him. "So…" she drawls, sounding a little more like herself. Her carefree, mischievous and playful self that she keeps so jealously guarded. "… wanna bet on it? I say I am and you say I am not. Stakes…?" Is she… betting on her own pregnancy? Of course she is. It wouldn't be Kiena if she didn't find some way to make light of the situation. She gives him a sidelong look but closes her eyes when he nuzzles against her neck and she chuckles low in her throat. "I may need some convincing?"

Mur'dah arches his brows and laughs. "Fine, let's bet on it. If you aren't pregnant, I buy you a huge quantity of your preferred booze. And if you are…" He gestures to her to name her stakes. His hands slide up to her waist and down to her thighs again, smiling. "How would you like to be convinced?" he murmurs, gently nibbling her neck.

Kiena's mouth curves into a slow grin that grows further when he laughs AND agrees to her offer of a bet. She laughs, "Booze? For me if you win? Nice. I'll want the best ale!" she drawls and then rocks back a bit, sitting heavier in his lap and against his legs as she pretends to think long and hard. "Hmm. Y'know? Not sure what I could wager you. Home cooked meals? I'd say travel to wherever you'd like to go but that'd have to be limited to where we could fly straight until it is safe for me to Between…" she muses and then she chuckles, exhaling softly as he begins to nibble at her neck. "How do you think?" she all but purrs in a low whisper.

Be careful what you wish for? Not that Kiena regrets what Mur'dah decides to 'surprise' her with. It serves to keep her distracted and to chase away, just for that moment, all her fear and anger, the guilt and regret, the anxiety of what she faces next. She can lose herself to Mur'dah, to the private moment they share and find an escape. Later, when her eyes open to the dim-lit bedroom, she'll know then that she had dozed off. Another form of escape in sleeping but even now Kiena's thoughts won't leave her be to peace for long. Carefully, she will sit up, untangling her limbs from the covers and aware of Mur'dah's sleeping form next to her. Gently, cautiously as not to wake him, she will slip off the bed and finding his tunic, will tug it on over her head. On quiet feet she walks over to the window, leaning against the wall. Not the most comfortable to be standing, but she is distantly aware of any discomfort. Kiena's eyes look out that window and she mulls over her thoughts, her memories. Over and over and over again, unaware of the passage of time until the sky outside begins to lighten with the very first subtle hints of dawn. Only then does she stir herself and with a low, quiet sigh she straightens and returns to the bed, hoping (in vain) to catch a little more sleep before she has to report in for her duties as a Smithcrafter and Wingrider.

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