Calibration

Xanadu Weyr - Journeyman Jethaniel's Quarters

The stone of this cavern dwelling has been made comfortable, with rugs to cover the floor and hangings on the walls. Comfortable, but hardly stylish; the hangings seem to be a combination of faded remnants from the storerooms and apprenticework that wasn't up to standards. They still keep out the chill well enough, and apparently, that's what matters.
The room is lit from overhead with a soft glow - many small lights laid out in a pattern of the night sky. They're adjustable in brightness; from mere faint sparks for sleeping with, to a mid-morning shine suitable for many tasks.
Many tasks; but not all of them. There's also a pair of swivel lamps, mounted to a wooden workbench that juts out into the middle of the room. The lamps are adjustable to bring the light precisely where it's needed and cut down on annoying shadows.
There's not space on the bench - or in this room - for any major projects, but there's a never-ending series of minor ones, whether it's fixing the stars above when they burn out or else optimizing the small space heater tucked beneath his desk to keep his feet warm. One way or another, there always seems to be something there, its parts spread out across the scratched white plastic sheet of non-conductive surface. Not to mention the tools - a set of jeweler's magnifying lenses and tools for fine-work, scaling up through the wrenches and screwdrivers for medium work, tucked in a toolchest beside the workbench - or else in the worn canvas bag used for bringing the right tools for the job, to the job.
Sharing a chair with that workbench is a small desk. The desk is up against the wall, making an L shape with the workbench. Atop it is a computer terminal and a few books, along with a stack of notebooks that look well-thumbed… and a pile of paperwork that looks barely touched.
Tucked in the back corner, there's a bed. It's got plain white sheets (smudged with grease), and a navy blue blanket. It, too, is comfortable, and it never seems to be made.


Concept sketches have turned to circuit schematics, and with methodical work those schematics have been realized. Initial calibration has been conducted with metal rods and a multimeter held in rubber-gloved hands, the electrical contact perceptible only by the crackle and faint smell of ozone. Even so, Jethaniel has not conducted these tests without Darsce's presence in the room; he will make sketches and diagrams, do calculations of resistance and capacitance when she is absent, but nothing more than that. It slows his progress, for the work must wait for times when they are both willing, but the knowledge may - if not alleviate Darsce's concern - at least circumscribe the periods in which it is present. His other attempts to ease that concern have taken the form of explanations, descriptions of circuits and charge potentials and flows of energy. They have, given a lack of underlying knowledge of electrical engineering, likely not been entirely comprehensible, but it has at least been clear that Jethaniel understands what he is doing. The device is charged and ready, and with insulated hands he passes a metal testing rod near it, watching the needle to ensure there are no leaks. There are not; he sets the rod down, peels his gloves from his hands, and takes the device. He nudges the chair back from the workbench, and lifts his leg to set the heel against the edge of his seat, that he may push up trousers and down sock - he's not wearing shoes - and carefully place the device. His gaze is on it as he fastens the device, but once it is secured and before he does anything else, he looks up, eyes seeking Darsce.

Given the importance of the device in her sister's life, Darsce has freed as much time as possible for that observation time while Jethaniel works on it. She sits beside him when she's there, watching closely, listening to his explanations, asking questions. Though she likely understands little of the more complex electrical theory, his answers have probably ranged back to the basics of electricity: from positive and negative charges to current, voltage and resistance. Darsce can grasp those. She's still not happy about the anklet, but she wants it finished so Marel can move on with her life and perhaps so can Isyriath. The fact that it is Jethaniel working on it both troubles and relieves her. The man she only knows as gentle is creating a device to inflict pain. He will not, however, create something dangerous. His expertise reassures her he knows what he's doing, that is obvious. Even so, there have along the way, been many 'what if' questions. She's silent while he runs his final diagnostic and prepares to place it on his own ankle. The time has come. An uneasy foreboding coils in her stomach, but her iceblue eyes meet grey readily, she nods and holds her breath.

Those what ifs have - along with the rest of Darsce's questions - been answered by Jethaniel with patient analysis refined during his time teaching apprentice classes and overseeing workshops where theory is being put to practice. His theory regarding this anklet - refined via schematics - has been put into practice, and now he is ready to put it to the test. He keeps his gaze on Darsce even after she nods. "I will begin at the lowest setting." His tone is quiet, factual. There's none of the sense of eager anticipation she's heard in his voice when discussing light diffusion or heating systems, but he nevertheless continues his progress. His eyes lower to the anklet as he adjusts it to the level specified, casts a critical gaze over it a final time. It has passed all tests on the lab bench. It is operating within expected parameters. Jethaniel disengages the safety and his muscles tense in anticipation of a different sort as he flicks the switch. The device… performs as expected. There is the sound of a zap, though Jethaniel does not make any noise. He twitches; a curl of his toes, a wince across his face as his jaw sets with the effort of not making that noise, but he succeeds in a lack of further response to the successful test. He… does not look up at Darsce. "…followed by a moderate." His voice is still steady, though it requires increased effort to be so as his fingers adjust and reset the device for the increased level. The controls are simple, and so it's only a moment after his words that he triggers the device again. The sound of electricity is unchanged. It is, this time, accompanied by a pained inhalation of breath to accompany Jethaniel's wince.

Darsce nods again to Jethaniel's explanation, schooling her face to hide her unease, but she cannot hide the rigid tense of anticipation that grips her frame. There's a sad tilt to her mouth for the necessity that robs technical creation of the wonder and joy she's seen in the man heretofore, but no comment to it. She wants to do nothing to distract him. She flinches at the sound of the zap, eyes flicking over his face and set jaw. Her breath is let out afterwards only to be sucked sharply back in with the second zap and his following reaction. Her eyes remain on his face. "Did it… hurt badly?" It's…probably supposed to but she asks anyway.

Jethaniel lets his breath out slowly, straightening fingers from their involuntary curl. He hears Darsce's question. He heard the changes of her breathing as well, but that expression of her unhappiness goes unremarked. He's silent for a moment to the question, taking in and letting out another breath before he lifts his head and brings his gaze to Darsce once more. One answer for her is there in the lines of his face; another is in the definition of the device as proposed. But Darsce has asked, and so these answers do not suffice. "It is… significantly so." His gaze, once he has lifted it, is steady; his voice is somewhat less so. As he has not yet taking the device to its full effect, his testing is incomplete, but Jethaniel, having lifted his gaze and uncurled his fingers, does not immediately return to the testing process.

Darsce observes Jethaniel, taking in his tension, the curled fingers and his pain-etched face. Significantly so, he's said and she lets the breath out that she'd been holding while her eyes drop to the device. There are still more settings - how many? And yet he's… like this at moderate. Iceblue lift to grey while one of her hands reaches for his. It's only then that she notices her nails have been digging into her palms. "Tell me what you feel when it…" She fumbles for the correct word, "…charges?" And then, "Do you think…moderate enough to stop Isyriath?"

Experiential pain does not tend to follow a steady curve. There are, however, two settings on the device that Jethaniel has not yet tested. His hand turns to meet Darsce's, fingers curling up around her hand. "It is an electrical discharge," he says. That portion of the answer is easy, a mild clarification for a misused word, something he's used to from both his time as an instructor and as Steward for a non-technical Weyrwoman. "The device holds a charge." The discharge is… Jethaniel's lips twitch, a wry smile that is, despite the upward curve, not a significant change in valence to his expression. "It is brief." His face confirms the truth of that; the lingering signs of pain are minor. "The sensation is… sharp. It is imprecisely localized." It is painful. Will it be enough? Jethaniel frowns. "I do not know." He trails a fingertip against her hand, the frown lingering. "There is little prior research." He looks down, not to the device but to their hands as they touch, and continues. "Nor do I understand dragons. Marel's agitation… is not sufficient." Evidence so indicates. "If the device proves insufficient, she is unlikely to have an opportunity for further responses." She'll be swept away by Isyriath's emotions and desires, but… "She will not harm herself." This, Jethaniel would consider sufficient were it not for the qualification he must add. "…during that flight."

Darsce's fingers meeting Jethaniel's seeking to twine with his, press gently to convey her concern, the wish that he wouldn't continue bitten back, but he'll see it on her face. "Discharge then," she amends dutifully; she's genuinely trying to learn - at least insofar as what's going to be affecting her sister. Her expression does not change in response to Jethaniel's humorless smile but remains somberly focused on the situation at hand - and that is not to say - their hands; her eyes remain on his face while he's glancing down at them. She nods to brief; there's a twitch of relief for that, though she frowns about Isyriath. "He can't help it," she murmurs. If they're swept away by flightlust, how much more for the dragons! Iceblue eyes narrow thoughtfully at the qualifier, and to she asks, "You'll install those timed panic locks also? As a secondary level of protection for her?" Whatever will reassure Marel and allow her some peace of mind!

Jethaniel's fingers press back to Darsce's. He sees her concern, her dislike for what he is doing - though her touch provides some measure of reassurance, despite her displeasure. On the matter of the dragon, he nods. "I am aware." There's no argument in his tone - he doesn't blame the dragon. "I am simply unaware of precisely what parameters will permit him to redirect his attention." Jethaniel presumes Isyriath does not intend to distress Marel, but he is aware of the difficulty he himself has in maintaining focus and rationality during flights. He can extrapolate from that what it may be like for a dragon or dragonrider, though he is not certain of his accuracy. Of those locks, "I can do so." The decision will be left to Marel, but Jethaniel is inclined favorably toward additional safety measures, even ones that do not provide a complete solution. He lifts his eyes from their hands, looking again to Darsce, but he has no words to reassure her. His own mind is troubled, not peaceful, even though… "The device is working as designed."

If Darsce's displeased with anyone regarding this, it isn't Jethaniel. Her hand squeezes his once more seeking to convey it's more the situation than any certain person. She nods about the door locks, another breath of relief exhaled. None of them know, short of another knife stab, just what it will take to redirect Isyriath and so she nods to the anklet. "You're going to test those last two levels now?" She already knows the answer; Jethaniel is thorough. So he will and she is already steeling herself for that, though she doesn't let go of his hand. Should she? She does not know and so retains it.

Jethaniel is thorough. Jethaniel, given a situation he dislikes, nevertheless proceeds conscientiously to achieve the goal he considers optimal - which does not necessarily mean he likes that goal, merely that he considers it the best optimization of state achievable under the constraints of the situation. As such, "Yes." Jethaniel is going to test the last two levels. Despite his agreement with that statement, he does not immediately move to alter the settings and trigger the device. The expectation of pain has an aversive effect; this is, in fact, a design element of the device. For a moment, Jethaniel stays where he is, his eyes on Darsce's, and then he takes a deep breath, lowers his gaze, and proceeds. His fingers squeeze at hers as the other hand reaches to adjust the level on the device. Should he let go of her hand? In theory, yes. While he has proven the safety of the device on paper and at the lower settings, it is not entirely inconceivable that it could behave in an unexpected manner. If it does so, it is desirable to limit the consequence to himself. However… Jethaniel is, under the circumstances, willing to put sufficient trust in his facts and figures such that he does not withdraw his hand. "I will test the high setting," he says, his tone appearing calm because he has removed expression from it. The same is true of his face as he prepares himself… and then triggers the device. Jethaniel's preparation is insufficient, though he could have predicted that. The nature of the device is that it is, by design, shocking. The discharge is an arc of electricity from the interior contact to his skin, hence the audible zap as it crosses the air. The imprecise localization of the sensation is due to nature of it; there are two aspects to the sensation, brief as it is. The electricity itself stimulates muscle contractions and a response in the nerves. This pain is sharp, intense, and momentary. Some portion of the electrical energy is transformed into heat, both at the surface and deeper in the tissue. This may result in a burn which, while relatively mild, is deceptive in size due to not being limited to the surface. The rate at which Jethaniel is applying these shocks is likely to increase the effect of heat; however, this rate is also a plausible one for the projected use case, and as such, it is advantageous for the accuracy of his test. His fingers tense involuntarily against Darsce's, ungentle in their reaction to the pain, and his eyes close as he makes a half-voiced sound of incoherent protest. The clench of his fingers eases a moment later, and he takes a breath which is, despite the slight unsteadiness of it, is intended to steady him. His eyes remain shut, though - given the lines around them - this is insufficient to conceal the pain.

The expression in Darsce's eyes is one of apprehension, though not fear because she trusts in his abilities. Her unease is for the immediate - seeing Jethaniel suffer. In this case, expertise is not over-rated and she is very relieved he practices it. This must be done for Marel and…perhaps for Thea, though she doesn't know how the Weyrwoman feels about the situation. In her opinion, the less traumatic route would be for Marel to transfer to another Weyr and not put all of them through this. But her opinions have already been stated and to the person making the final decision - Marel herself. She doesn't like the one made; she does, however, now support it. And to that end, she gives Jethaniel one short nod and steels herself, keeping her eyes on him. The zap is disconcerting; it jangles the emotions as well as the nerves. Perhaps this is a good thing in regards to Marel's plan. The device is discharged, her hand is gripped. The only sensation she feels is the pain inflicted by the pressure from muscle and bone. She anticipated this and thus, does not cry out, but that might also be partly due to the fact that she cannot breathe until those fingers relax. She waits a few beats, her gaze remains upon Jethaniel while he catches his breath, then she draws one of her own and says lowly but firmly, "I want to try it, Jethaniel. Just once and at the maximum setting, please."

The maximum setting. The one Jethaniel has not yet tried, the next and heretofore final phase in his testing process. His eyes open, look for Darsce. In a moment, he'll state that final test, and conduct it, but she speaks, and the moment is delayed. Jethaniel… stops moving. He sits, at first not even breathing, then with a slow exhalation. His gaze is on Darsce, the expression in his eyes now akin to pain but not precisely so. It is not his pain, though he feels it; a projected future pain, that can cause internal injuries even more deceptive than electrical burns. "Are you certain?" he finally asks, though his tone is less a question and more a plea for negation. He does not want her to try it. "It is painful." That is, quite simply, both the purpose of the device and the reason why he does not want it used on Darsce.

Darsce tries, oh how she tries not to wince at the expression in Jethaniel's grey eyes. "I have to, Jethaniel. I have to know what she'll be enduring." She doesn't re-state that she thinks it's her fault, this whole mess. Because it's irrelevant to the conversation and even if she didn't feel to blame, she'd want to know firsthand that her younger sister can take it. It's an inaccurate appraisal; Marel likely has a stronger pain tolerance than does Darsce. Nevertheless, "After you've tested the last setting." Unless with the testing something goes awry. Then she'll be flinging the door open and yelling at the top of her lungs for a medic.

Darsce is certain, as Marel was certain concerning the necessity of this device. The requirement is not a technical one; there is no need according to his schematics and plans for either the existence of this device nor its use on Darsce, and yet… "Very well." The words are barely voiced. Jethaniel lowers his head, lifts Darsce's hand to meet it so that he can touch his lips to the back. After doing so, he releases her hand. If he must permit her to test the device, he can at least avoid causing her further pain in the form of excessive pressure, for he's aware of how tightly his fingers pressed. He does not look up at Darsce as he adjusts the device to its highest setting, nor as he triggers it. This time, there is no hesitation; after all, he deserves it. The device does not go awry. It works as designed, and inflicts pain accompanied by the sound of a zap. Jethaniel does not cry out, despite the increased level. Not this time; the tension with which he holds himself is sufficient to retaining control some measure of control over his reaction, and his pain tolerance is enough that he is silent until, after, when the pain of the shock has faded and leaves only the ache of layered burn behind, he exhales a ragged-edged breath. Only then, and slowly, does he lift his gaze to Darsce once more.

Darsce's requirement isn't logical. She'd readily admit that if asked. She's familiar enough with that dispirited acquiescence and what it means that as his lips touch her hand, she murmurs an apology. "I'm sorry." And she is, and though her intention remains firm, it brings no satisfaction to her. Jethaniel? Deserve the strongest shock? Why? Darsce's eyes darken as Jethaniel turns the setting to its highest level and triggers it without pause, almost as if… as if he's punishing himself. Having braced herself, once more, she does not wince at his controlled tension. She does not breathe either, but the ragged one he takes cuts her and when he lifts his gaze her eyes are glazed with unshed tears. Silently she kicks off one of her sandals, lifts her foot to his lap and then waits; she wants to be sure it is on correctly. She won't make him trip the switch; she'll trigger it if he'll show her how. And she's not brave enough to go through all of the levels.

The touch of Jethaniel's lips is soft, the untwining of his fingers slow. There is sufficient time for that apology, but it does not change the requirement, and so it does not lift his bowed head. Jethaniel does not ask further questions, because Darsce has already provided him with a reason. It is not a logical one, but it is one he understands. It is… part of… the reason he is testing this on himself. He experiences it now, because when it is being employed, he will not be giving Marel's situation the slightest thought; his attention will be occupied with Darsce and the pleasure of her company. That is why he should test it; to know the parameters of the device prior to usage. He deserves to test it because… he made it. Jethaniel has created an implement of pain. He is aware of this fact; the device is his idea, the work of his hands. Who else is there to blame? The pain is an insufficient penance, but he nevertheless deserves it. The fact remains that he has done this. Seeing Darsce's pain… will also be insufficient, but perhaps he deserves that as well. Already, when his gaze lifts, he sees the shine in her eyes that keeps his shoulders tensed. She kicks off her sandal, and he removes the device from around his ankle. There's a patch where the skin shows pink, but that's the only visible indication of what he's done to himself, soon hidden as he draws sock up and lets trouser down. He reaches his hand to Darsce's ankle, rests fingers there briefly before slowly, unwillingly, bringing the device to it. Jethaniel sets the device in place, fastens it securely. The adjustment takes a moment, as slack is taken out of straps, but it's there before he has come to terms with that fact. Admittedly, the necessary time for that may in fact be infinite. It is in place. He looks up to her, swallows. "When you wish," and how he wishes she did not, "it is here." His hand indicates the switch, demonstrates the appropriate gesture in the air above before lifting and seeking her own hand to take it gently. His eyes stay on her face. He does not want her to do this, but he will let her, and he will not look away.

The reason is indeed, not logical. It will not help Marel; it will help Darsce. There won't be the buildup of worry, for she knows her sister's grit and determination and she will know firsthand (or is that ankle? Ha.) the effects of the device. It will, in a sense be closure for her. She keeps her gaze to Jethaniel's bowed head as their fingers slip apart and with a sigh of regret, leans forward to press her lips to his forehead. "It is my choice." Perhaps she should have waited, asked Marel to allow her to try it, but the thought, only now coming to mind, is dismissed immediately. She won't seek to deceive Jethaniel by going behind his back in this. In time perhaps they will all come to understand that, much as a healer uses a scalpel to heal, the anklet will also. And that if it helps Marel to be free from the anxiety that haunts her, this device will be considered…a good thing. Her eyes drop to watch Jethaniel remove the anklet from his leg, linger on the pink spot and she draws a breath to ask- then stops herself. Better, perhaps, that she doesn't know just yet how that feels, but she will later want to see to that burn. Silently she watches the device transferred and secured, silently she lifts iceblue eyes to grey and nods to his explanation. She does not evade his hand from taking hers, but she does lift her ankle from his lap (a deliberate precaution) and rests her toes on the edge of Jethaniel's workbench. One manicured fingernail hovers over the switch, then with a quick motion, because otherwise she'd never have the fortitude to go through with this, she triggers the device. The zap and her cry are almost simultaneous. Equally so is the jerk of her leg that sends her chair reeling backwards. Wherever she's flailed to, likely on her back on the floor unless Jethaniel's reflexes are fast enough to have caught her, both of Darsce's hands have clenched and it's her turn to draw a ragged breath. The stream of curses are gasped out on her exhaled breath, "Damn! Ow-ow-ow-damn it!" Then her free hand claws ineffectually at her ankle while she bursts into tears, not all of them from raw nerves and heated skin. Nevertheless, Darsce‚Äôs pain tolerance is… sadly lacking.

"It is." Darsce's choice, and Jethaniel will not take that from her. The fact that he wants to do so is another reason for his (insufficient) penance. Jethaniel blames himself for both his desire, not acted on, to stop Darsce, and his action in creating the device, despite the noble desire behind it. It is not logical. Perhaps time and longitudinal observation of the effects will result in a more positive perspective, but for the moment… the burn, hidden under the wool of his sock, is the least of Jethaniel's concerns. Darsce… he holds her hand. He watches. She triggers the device, and among the near-simultaneous actions are Jethaniel's wince, the unhappy whine from somewhere deep in his throat, and his attempt to catch her. He does not succeed in stopping her fall - a failure of reflexes to a scenario made more challenging by how one of his hands is held in the clench of hers, the crush of tensed fingers and the press of nails against his skin - but he descends with her, perhaps easing her fall or else simply stumbling to the floor beside, half-crouched as his anxious eyes dart over her face, his own breathing quickened. "I am sorry," he murmurs, and the tone of it is almost a whimper due to its insufficiency. Given his knowledge of the device - and that, having discharged, it will not do so again until it is once more triggered - his concern is for Darsce, and he does not look from her face until her attempt to remove the device draws his attention to his ankle. His attention, and his free hand, stretching down and reaching to tug fastenings and straps, loosening them so that he may pull the device free. He does not see her begin to cry. He hears it, and he winces once again, his jaw setting. He speaks no further words; this is necessary, so that his eyes may remain sufficiently open and unblurred to complete the task of taking the device from Darsce's ankle. Then? He'll set it on the chair and lower himself fully to beside her.

Neither of them are being completely logical, are they? Jethaniel has slowed her descent enough that the tumble does not hurt Darsce, not really. Through her curses she hears the apology, or perhaps knew one was likely regardless and her answer to him between deep breaths and the futile attempt to hold back the coming storm of tears is, "Not your fault, mine." The weeks of watching the device built, the anticipation of the testing and the witnessing of his pain have built up sufficient emotional stress that the culmination of zap and acute sharp zing have set it loose; thus the weeping. She spares no further attention for her ankle while he tends to removal of the device but when he is beside her once more, she curls into him, presses her face to his shoulder and makes her own incoherent apologies.

The underlying state of a human being is irrational. Jethaniel has logic. He uses logic. He convinces himself, and others, with logic. He is, being human, not innately logical, particularly not when it comes to the attribution of fault. It was Darsce's choice. It was her hand on the trigger. Jethaniel is still sorry. Her statement of attribution makes it clear she does not blame him; his own forgiveness of himself is more difficult to achieve. He made the device. Once he has removed it from Darsce… he holds her close, shaking his head in diffuse negation to her apologies - or perhaps the necessity thereof. His hand presses to her, fingers moving in slow caresses of affection and calm even as his own eyes stare out over her head until the growing impossibility of vision through their dampness makes him press them firmly shut. He can, at least, keep his breathing mostly steady as he holds her. He does so.

In Darsce's mind her apologies are necessary; she knowingly put her own need above his. She didn't do it lightly, but she did do it and understands it came at cost to him. Her arms hold him tight until both tears and apologies give way to calm. Then she murmurs these assurances to Jethaniel: that she loves him and trusts his expertise, that she believes things will be, if not perfect, alright for her sister. She'll thank him for making sure Marel will be safe, tell him again that she loves him before falling silent and holding him, both seeking and giving comfort for as long as he will permit.

Jethaniel listens to those assurances, his arms around Darsce. He does not argue with them. Will he believe them? Perhaps. But he listens, and when she falls silent, he lowers his head to kiss softly at the top of her head. "I love you." That assurance is the only one he gives, but his arms remain around Darsce, holding her close against him. It is a while before he speaks again. "…will you come to bed with me?" The floor is not the most comfortable place, but Jethaniel would like to continue to hold her.

Will he believe that Darsce believes them? Because she would not say them if she didn't mean them. The press of lips to her hair, draws her head to lift, leaving the soggy spot on his shirt behind. Sorrow and hope are both mingled in her iceblue when she raises wet eyes to his grey ones. She nods, almost shyly, to his question but brushes a kiss to his cheek to hide it. He rarely asks of her; the feeling evoked by the humble request is almost indefinably sweet. She is willing. Moreover, she wishes to continue being held by him.

That, Jethaniel will believe. He trusts Darsce. He has no argument for her, but her words will take time for him to process. For now, he has at least heard them. His eyes are shadowed, but they meet hers, and the touch of her lips to his cheek draws what is almost a smile, though it is kept down by the weight of heavy feelings. They are not, however, so heavy as to keep him on the floor, though he rises slowly, pausing on one knee to give his hands to Darsce and help her do the same. Along the way, he'll catch one of her hands for another kiss, then follow her to his feet. The worklights on his desk are turned off, the stars overhead turned to a medium glow. His bed awaits them.

The weight of heavy feelings is understandable. Darsce has a few of her own. But she's not letting them put up a wall between herself and Jethaniel. Solace is to be sought with him and no other. She's grateful for the help up; the pain is gone from the discharged zap but she's somehow twinged the muscle in her leg-jerk. She… really ought to start keeping some of her shifts here just in case. Oh well? While he's turning off those desk lamps, and adjusted the stars, her other sandal is kicked off and her sundress is shed; it's far too restrictive to be comfortable. Once in that bed, she'll twine gently with Jethaniel, positioning her head to be close to his on the pillow and whisper, "I love you." Unless he wishes to talk, she'll remain in companionable silence, in his arms, in his bed, at his request but by her choice.


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