May 27, 2014

In Which Orrick Is Hit by a Thunderstorm

September 17, 1185

Prior to this term, if anyone had ever told Orrick he'd one day have a personal beef with both the King of Dovia and the Baron of Rexus, he would have chalked it up to either delusion or a lazy, unfunny prank. But now that Tivalia was at the university, that delusional, lazy, unfunny person would have been dead right.

Not that Orrick had anything against Tivalia. Indeed, he thought she was a very nice girl, even if she was a little head-in-the-cloudsy for his personal taste. But she was betrothed to Koradril, and despite the match not being their idea, the two were quite infatuated with one another. In both of their fathers' eyes, this was a blessing--but one that came with a heightened need for a chaperone at any afternoon out and evening in. At first, Hanna and Sev had been happy to just make every date a double date, but one offhand mention of this in a letter and the almighty fathers disapproved. Another couple, after all, could easily sneak off on their own, leaving Koradril and Tivalia scandalously alone.

And more often than not, it seemed that of the populations of Aries and Taurus Houses, Orrick was the only available babysitter. Tonight was no exception. Senwick, often out about spreading some hi-jinx or another, had headed back to the shire proper in attempt to woo old Seoth's daughter. Landus had an important exam to study for and Arelle had to finish reading a book. Arlia had plans with some of her... special friends, while her newly-named betrothed, Lorrick, was already halfway to the bottom of the bottle trying not to wonder about those friends. Farilon and Palgrin had a project due in one of their shared electives, and as for Tiada... well, Orrick didn't really know, but when he and Sev and Koradril had arrived at Taurus House, she hadn't been here.

And she still wasn't. That meant he was stuck here. "Koradril, don't you have a paper due tomorrow?"

It was a weak attempt and he knew it. But why couldn't Koradril and Tivalia just adapt a 'What they don't know won't hurt them' mentality like so many others on campus? And worse, why couldn't he bend just enough from his inherent rule-keeping tendencies to suggest it? He feared that come October, things would get even worse when Farilon's betrothed started at the university. Her father was a friend of Orrick's Uncle Rifden, and apparently he was among the strictest of fathers when it came to courtship rules.

"He finished it. He brought it over earlier so Arelle could do a grammar check." Tivalia sidled up a little closer to Koradril--not that Orrick had thought that possible--and rested her head on his shoulder. "She's finished with it, by the way. You can get it from her before you go."

"Great."

Not so much. Hmm. Maybe Sev had something better to be doing. Sev and Hanna weren't the problem, but if Sev had to leave, then Orrick had no qualms about leaving Hanna to supervise the prince and his lady on her own. Pity that he was too much of an innate stickler to just point out that any concerned parents were a kingdom away.

"Oh, God, you roped in poor Orrick. Don't you sticklers realize that any concerned parents are a kingdom away?"

Smirking, Hanna turned her head and nodded to the newcomer. "Tiada, Sev and I haven't had a date in weeks, so if you're so concerned about Orrick's free time, no one's stopping you from relieving him."

"Ugh, no. I still say that what they don't know won't hurt them. Not my fault that the rest of you saps keep going along with this."

"Hey, I still maintain that a double date should be adequate supervision." Sev subverted his own point as he and Hanna nuzzled noses, suddenly unaware of anyone else's presence. Orrick didn't get it. He could get desire, sure... but to the point where it overpowered restraint and tact? Who did this in front of other people? A double date ought to have just been four people talking.

"Not when you two are the double date! The rest of us could be having an orgy here and you'd just be staring at Hanna with puppy eyes." Tiada had a weird talent for saying exactly what Orrick was thinking. Given how they barely knew each other, this was as baffling as Sev and Hanna's need for public displays of affection. "Come on, Orrick. Let's leave the lovebirds to their oh-so-chaste-and-wholesome nest."

On cue, Orrick twitched--and Koradril cringed. "But our parents--"

"Aren't here. As long as nobody has a baby in nine months, you're fine." Tiada's bony, freckly fingers took Orrick by the arm and yanked him upright. He wouldn't have guessed her strength just by looking at her. "Orrick. Library. You're going to help me with some stuff for my psychology elective."

"Psychology elective?" Granted, he didn't know Tiada all that well, but he never would have guessed her to have the slightest interest in psychology.

"That's your major isn't it?" She didn't slow her pace as she spoke. Orrick caught up and followed her toward the library, past the point of caring exactly how he escaped the love-fest. "I don't get it at all. Believe me, I need you more than they do."

One glance over his shoulder proved her right. "All right."

She got to the door and stepped inside, holding it open behind her. He hurried on through and let her shut the door after. "So, your books are in here, or--?"

"I can't believe you bought that." She grabbed him by the arm again and pulled him away from the door, not letting up until they were only a few inches apart. "No offense, but there's not enough money in the world to make me take a psychology course."

She'd said 'no offense', but as it turned out, she didn't leave him quite enough time to be offended.

It wasn't Orrick's first kiss, but based on the others, he wasn't quite sure that this was a kiss. Usually they started shyly, leaving a long moment's pause in case one party backed out, slowly drifting closer and closer together until finally, the lips touched, like soft rain. Tiada hit him like a freak thunderstorm. Her mouth was open and dynamic and his teeth bowed to the force of her tongue. His knees buckled. He didn't think his knees had ever buckled in his life, but they were buckling now.

What the...?

It was a thoughtless, blurry minute before she finally let go. "Interesting."

"Um... yes, you're telling me." Whatever it was, 'interesting' wasn't the worst word to describe it. Not that it answered any questions. "So... why...?"

"Just kind of wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Just, you know, without all the cuddling and crap."

Huh. "I would have guessed you'd done that before."

"Never. Felt like it was about damn time, though." She flipped some of her wild curls over her shoulder and beamed at him. He wanted nothing more than to freeze time and count the freckles on her face. He'd met this girl, sure... but he didn't think he'd quite seen her before. "Sorry if you were averse, though."

"Not averse. Just... surprised, I guess." To put it mildly.

"All right. Glad to hear that." Her dropped her arms to her side and rocked back and forth on the balls of her feet. The awkward, almost lazy movement was oddly mesmerizing. "So... how about another go?"

NEXT CHAPTER:

6 comments:

Van said...

I have no idea what QDU's motto is, but it probably has something to do with hormones.

Jennifer said...

Haha, it was like a bunch young teenagers getting it on while their parents were out, lol!

I wondered where this thunderstorm was going to come from too and then boom, it came from a girl! Very cute. :)

Penelope said...

Orrick must have been super lonely. That Tiada girl is plllaaaiiinnnn. Heh, not that I can be sure that she was all that attracted to him either to begin with. His merit was in his availability.

In other matchmaking news, Dinuriel Sim has taken up residence in a cozy house in Meridian, launched a successful career in tutoring and still not found the man of her dreams. The men that she is attracted to tend to be married, apart from his lordship's second son who is very handsome indeed. They met at the bath house and were instant friends. Then a brawny young soldier walked by and the earl's son did swoon with great relish. So the search continues.

Van said...

Jennifer: Indeed, most of these kids are making the most of no longer living with their parents! XD Though in Sev's case and definitely in Hanna's, I'm sure visits with the opposite sex would have been at least tolerated. Orrick and Tiada probably could have lucked out too.

I do like these too together. They seem like they could be one of those "so unromantic that it's totally romantic" couples.

Pen: Plain people have sex drives too. XD Plus Orrick himself isn't much of a looker. But yeah, this did at least start due to mutual availability, though it could become something more.

Ah, the life of a Self-Sim. XD

Ekho said...

That kiss reminded me of the scene in 'All About Steve' when it is their first (and only) date and she jumps him as soon as they are alone >.<
Curious if this is going to be long lasting or just a fling, either way I hope the kids enjoy themselves ;P

Van said...

Haven't seen it, so I can't agree or disagree. XD

This could be just a fling. It could also become something more. I don't know if either of them will ever be a major character, so it might be convenient for me to let them have their happily ever after together.