June 16, 2014

In Which Cherry Takes a Smile

February 15, 1186

"A butter-churn? Really?" Cherry leaned back, unsure of whether or not Nythran was joking. The man did have a sense of humor--even if it required some digging--but so far as she'd seen, exaggeration didn't play much of a part in it. Pulling stuff straight from his ass? Even less. "There is no way anyone at the training grounds ever went up against one of the dummies with a butter-churn."

"Believe me, it happened." She squinted for a better read of his eyes. He was amused, sure--but not in that deceitful, practical joker sort of way. She thought, at least. She hadn't known him all that long, so maybe... "He couldn't have been taking himself seriously, but he did a good job of hiding it. Had some skill with that thing, too; twirling it about, striking from a distance, even minding it during dodge rolls. He said that next time, he'd try an oar."


"All right, I made up the part about the oar. He actually left without a word." Much to the dismay of everyone else there, if this had in fact happened. "But the rest is all true, I swear it."


"Really." His smile widened. Whenever she saw that grin, she was reminded quite thoroughly of a crack in a rock--a cute crack in a cute rock, but a crack in a rock nonetheless. "You know, I like that we've been able to meet for these talks. Pity that we both work so much, though."

Whether he'd been kidding or not before, there was nothing less than honesty in his eyes now. How on earth did a color like that exist in nature? All the pigment in the world and she couldn't have made a paint so blue. "I've been enjoying your company too."

"Maybe if you have a break in your day, you could swing by the training grounds. There's always a chance I'll be unoccupied."

"Or that I'll get to see someone kicking the crap out of a dummy with a butter-churn." She'd meant to be sarcastic, but the more she thought about it, the more she wanted to see that. "It's a definite possibility."

"Great." That smile again. Was there something wrong with her if she wanted to take that smile home with her?

Then again, perhaps she could. "Would you be interested in sitting for a portrait?"

"One of your paintings?" No, just a doodle in the dust on my mantle. But she'd grant that the question may have caught him off-guard. "That's... huh. Not something I ever thought I'd be asked, to be honest. I'm not exactly handsome."

"Maybe not conventionally so, but I've made uglier people than you look beautiful--not that I think you're ugly." She reached across the table, giving him a reasonable chance to recoil but he never took it. So, she rested her hand on his. His face may have been rocky, but his skin was indisputably organic. "I just want to help the rest of the world see what I see."

Nythran chuckled, though he felt some need shift his gaze to some point over her shoulder. She didn't mind, though; that meant she caught a sight of a blush. "Then I hope what you see is mostly favorable."



Van said...

So I was exhausted all day until about an hour ago, and now I'm wide awake. It's 1:49 AM.

(Yes, I'm aware the I haven't adjusted my blog's timezone since moving back to Mountain Time, but Pacific Time makes me look more prompt.)

Penelope said...

*teehee* I remember in the early days, it took me forever to figure out how to adjust the time zone on DBL. For a while, I'm pretty sure that I was using some time zone where there is nothing more than the wide open ocean.

Heh, is Cherry going to need to spell it out for this dude? "Your pants! I want in!"

Van said...

Oh, Blogger, so hopelessly unintuitive. XD

She does seem to have developed a little crush on him, hasn't she? And he's had one on her for quite some time as well. At this point, I think both of them are trying to get used to the idea of a romantic relationship. Nythran hasn't been seriously involved with anyone since his wife died (though it's been long enough that rebounding isn't much of a risk any more). Cherry is her own woman and she lives in a time where marriage to the wrong guy could seriously limit her freedom. So, they both want to be absolutely sure before the relationship gets any more than friendly.

But I don't think it'll be too long before that point where if one of them brings it up, the other will be quite in agreement.