Second Time Around | Tag: Shai/Inez

Not the large stone caverns that Weyr people are used to, these are buildings built on the top of the cliff, sometimes referred to as the Weyr Cliff. These buildings are all the same size, with multiple apartments for dragonriders to live in in each building. Because of space constraints, dragons sleep in large pavilions built around the dragonrider apartments.
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Linnea
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Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:48 am

@Shaihulud

A meeting in private.

Inez had made the suggestion when they had last spoke.

“I wish to invite you to dinner at my quarters,” Rhianwen had told her, because Inez was right. When they had first reunited, there had been too much ground to cover, too much time spent apart and growth to turn them into new people, though not completely divorced from the old and the memories they were still tangled up in. Then there had been Inez's children to think about. They had lost father, family and hold. And there had been the Lady Enide and her physical and mental recovery. And the attack on Inez's life and the lives of her siblings. There had been Ambrosius and Bowith. There had been so much happening that it had never seemed a good time to discuss again, even if they both seemed to acknowledge and accept where they were going once more.

And then things had stabilized and there were no more excuses. So when Inez made the suggestion, Rhianwen stepped forward to do her part, as well. Inez had made it clear she had hoped to restart what they had once had upon her return to New Atricis. Rhianwen had been the one who had been cautious, had wanted to relearn who they were together and decide if lovers was something she wanted to return to. As if there had ever been any other choice when it came to Inez.

Inez had waited more than long enough, so Rhianwen wanted to do her part in recognizing that.

The table was set for two, the two placings at the head of the table and the seat directly to the right, so they could see each other well yet still sit next to each other. This wasn't a business dinner or even a dinner between only friends, so the chairs might sit a bit closer to each other than the might have normally to provide a more intimate atmosphere than her open plan living area might normally afford. It was why Rhianwen had made sure to dress well, washing and changing into a nicer dress than usual after her daily duties. There was little Rhianwen could do with regards to the meal. It was no different from what was being served at the dining hall. Rhianwen, after all, was not the Weyrwoman, with her own kitchen. Besides, Rhianwen may know how to prepare a menu and manage kitchen staff and purchase appropriate quality supplies, but it was not as if she had ever cooked regularly. She did, at least, manage to put together a few courses from the spread available to her, with the first currently plated and the next few settled on a runner nearby.

You've gone over your list six times in the last ten minutes. You'll be fine.

Rhianwen was nitpicking, she knew: focusing on unimportant details to avoid confronting her nerves. They were misplaced, she was sure. Inez had given Rhianwen no reason to believe her intentions had changed any. And Rhianwen did not fear severe backlash from the Weyr for finding a partner in another woman. It was true, she might sever what final connections she had with her parents, but Rhianwen believed her eldest brother and his wife would still view her as family, if simply one far more suited to the Weyr she had ended up at rather than the Hold she had been born into. So that was something she had long since resolved her heart toward.

And yet, as Astarin trilled at the door and Lennoth reached out, warning Rhianwen of coming company, she took a deep breath in before slowly letting it out, letting the part of her that was settled and decided come to the forefront. She knew how this would go and she was glad of it.
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Shaihulud
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Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:04 pm

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With over a Turn passed since her return to New Atricis, her recent promotion to Wingsecond, and her proven loyalty to her injured relationship with Rhianwen, the brownrider had done everything Rhianwen asked of her. She had set root, and proven herself as a source of stability, even when it often felt as though her world had crashed around her with the loss of Bowith and her sister. Yet steadfast did Inez remain, and rather than run, she worked with her community and her family to keep going within Atricis. During her struggles to rediscover her footing, Inez often enjoyed long talks with Rhianwen, often revisiting their past together during those innocent turns before either of them ever Impressed. Eventually, the conversation would return to the discussion of where they had gone wrong... and eventually Inez began to ask how they could mend those wounds so that they could make their life together right again. Though initially patient, after so much loss and difficulty, Inez realised life was too short to pine about the past and ache over former mistakes made when there was so much still to live for. She needed an answer from Rhianwen, to know once and for all whether her old love was willing to give her another chance, or if Rhianwen wanted to forge a life without Inez as part of it.

The ultimatum made, Rhianwen invited Inez over for dinner.

Where Rhianwen fret, Inez did not, for she knew what she wanted with the goldrider and was willing to face the consequences of their love with one another. Their holder lives long behind them, and after so much loss, Inez no longer feared rejection from her family. The family who mattered now resided within the weyr, her sisters, her children, her mother, and even Ambrosius. They were her family, and no matter whom Inez loved, they would never stop loving her.

As she readied herself, Theria, Amuderudalya, and Evora sat in in her living room, the three of them enjoying a glass of wine. As Inez changed from one dress to another, they told her yea or nay, sending her to and fro from the bedroom until they all arrived on something they could all agree on. A lace blouse with her indigo skirt. With her hair pinned up with a bit of help from Amuderudalya, Inez realised she was finally fit enough for Rhianwen's company, and departed from her home. As for her sisters, she allowed for them to remain at her home in her absence, to at least finish the bottle of wine she had given them.

"I trust you to lock up my home when you're finished."

"Of course, now go have fun," Evora shooed her off as Amuderdalya and Theria smirked in amusement.

With a bottle of her own tucked under her arm, Inez did as her sister's commanded of her, and soon found herself approaching the home of Rhianwen with Gwen at her shoulder. She swore she heard a sound reverberate from beyond the door up to the moment she knocked on it, but she could not be certain... at least until Gwen trilled back in turn.

It was Astarin she had heard.

She knocked, and now she waited, trying to figure out what to say when Rhianwen invited her in. Naturally, she would procure the wine bottle as an offering for their evening together.
Linnea
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Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:45 am

There was a knock at the door and Rhianwen's heart jumped.

If she has you this anxious, shall I send her away? Lennoth asked, bemused.

You will do no such thing, Rhianwen groused before opening the door and finding immediate reason to smile at the sight of Inez.

Blue had always been the best color on Inez. Rhianwen loved how it made her eyes pop, loved the way the darker blues contrasted with her lighter skin in the winter time and the lighter blues did the same with her tanned skin in summer. At least, to Rhianwen, it had always been a temptation, an invitation to touch and study and seek.

After tonight she should be free to do so once more, but, for now, she leaned out to greet Inez with a kiss to the cheek. “I'm glad you came,” she said as she withdrew to let the other woman in. Astarin greeted Gwen once more, inviting the amethyst to join her in lounging on the sofa.

“I can take that off your hands,” Rhianwen said in reference to the bottle of wine Inez held. Her own skirts of madder red flowed with her as she led them past the entrance and deeper into her apartment. The smell of dinner lay full on the air and the sounds of he weyr joined them through windows left open to the cool evening breeze. Rhianwen paused before she let her manners take them through the entire night without ever getting to the point. Inez had always been one she could speak her mind to. “I know it isn't much,” she admitted, turning fully to the other woman, “but you were right. You've waited long enough. I wanted to do something to recognize that. To make this conversation more than a question and answer.” She gave a wry smile. “I know, in the end, that's all it really is, but you've always been so much more to me, as well.”
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Shaihulud
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Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:50 pm

She kissed her cheek.

Startled by the gesture, Inez was left to watch Rhianwen as she acted without question, and took the bottle from her. Some would call it confidence, but the brownrider knew Rhianwen well enough to see it for what it was: anxiousness. To busy one's self was the best way to mask one's preoccupations. But the goldrider still made the effort, one that was not missed by Inez as Rhianwen led her into her home.

Though she did her best not to admire too much, Inez could not help the way her eyes trailed after the goldrider. The scarlet skirt that wrapped around her hips and flowed with grace in every step, it beckoned Inez to follow. With no other path available, lest she retreat, Inez took a tentative step forward, and then another, following after the red fabrics that rounded the corner into the the main apartment. Even as the food tantalised her, Inez seemed scarcely phased by it, not when eyes could not help but admire Rhianwen as she flitted about to find a place for the wine. As she did so, blue eyes traced the familiar form, noting the ways Rhianwen had changed... and remarkably remained unchanged. Even passed the cords that hung from her, Rhianwen was very much the young woman Inez knew all those turns ago.

Briefly did her cheek recall the feel of Rhianwen's kiss, but before Inez could dwell on it for long, Rhianwen broke the silence.

“I know it isn't much, but you were right. You've waited long enough. I wanted to do something to recognize that. To make this conversation more than a question and answer. I know, in the end, that's all it really is, but you've always been so much more to me, as well.”

They had not even broken bread yet, but instead stood by the table. Use to the subtleties of the hold, even after her time in the Weyr, Inez had not anticipated such forwardness on Rhianwen's behalf, and while caught off guard a second time, she could not entirely describe the experience as unpleasant. Her forthcoming demeanour could actually be considered refreshing in Inez's opinion, though she knew not how to act in response.

Did she dare to hope? After the last turn, Inez begged for this moment, but the events of the last few months stirred doubt within the woman that any good could still happen in the world. Yet here Rhianwen stood, offering her the very thing the brownrider prayed for: a chance.

"You've no idea how long I have waited to hear you say that," Inez confessed with a sad smile. Had Inez not played the part of a fool all those turns ago, perhaps all the pain she knew now might never have occurred. She had spoken her apologies on a multitude of occasions since her return, pointing out the fact she had played the part of a spoiled child when Rhianwen needed her most. And then Inez left her. It was on that day, when she departed from Rhianwen, that Inez instantly regretted her choices. It was on that day that she first longed for her lover's forgiveness.

She dared a step forward. "I-" I never stopped loving you... she wanted to confess to Rhianwen the feelings that had claimed her heart since they were children. Why did she falter? Words were normally her forte, and yet here she stumbled with them. The hesitation revealed itself in the noteworthy pause, the single "I" than hung alone, an island in a vast sea of silence. It was a rare moment indeed for Lady Inez of Benden Hold to be caught without words. Her natural cleverness eluded her, leaving the brownrider at a loss. "My apologies, though I do believe you have successfully disarmed me of my wit and my words this evening. I did not anticipate you to be so forthcoming."

And that red dress! The hue was becoming of the goldrider, brightening the faint gold tones of her hair, enriching the bronze of her brown eyes, and complimenting the natural flush of her plump cheeks. It was unfair, this display of beauty and perfection before her, for it took everything in Inez not to reach out to Rhianwen and touch her, to hold her as she once had. They were young then, only vaguely aware of the precious moments between them. Now, Inez cherished that which she had taken for granted in her youth.
Linnea
Posts: 351
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Age: 30

Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:20 am

She had meant for the kiss to be platonic, a greeting. It would not be the first time she had greeted someone, or even Inez, with such. But maybe it was her anxiety or her anticipation or the way Inez smelled.

She lingered.

At least Inez did not seem to mind.

Or maybe she was simply too surprised by the fact that Rhianwen didn't give her a moment after answering the door.

Rhianwen had always been the type to busy herself, especially when anxious. She had always been anxious a lot. There had always been so much to live up to, so many expectations she hadn't been able to meet as easily as it had been expected for her to. And so she had learned to bury her shortcomings in everything else: her greeting, the wine...words.

Maybe the words were too much.

Rhianwen's gaze dropped to the wine, which she set on the table for lack of a better place for it as she waited for Inez's response. When it came, it bloomed hope in her chest. Until Inez faltered.

"My apologies, though I do believe you have successfully disarmed me of my wit and my words this evening. I did not anticipate you to be so forthcoming."

Rhianwen paused. Inez's behavior did not make it sound like a censure, but even still her mind berated her. I was too forward...

How was that too forward? Lennoth argued, I heard everything in your head, after all. And you didn't say any of that.

Hush! she grumbled at the gold, feeling flustered enough as things were.

“I guess I've picked up some bad habits living at the Weyr,” she laughed at herself, trying to brush the awkwardness away. While she generally did well with her interactions with the leaders of other Weyrs and Holds and Halls, there lay a large difference between matters of the purse and matters of the heart and it had been turns since Rhianwen had dealt this seriously with the latter. Even her interactions with Dirce, a simple attraction, had been faltering, at best.

“But I can't regret it,” Rhianwen continued, holding onto her pride. “You've been clear enough with me and it is my turn to be the same with you. I don't want to be circumspect in any part of my life any more. Especially here.”

She eyed Inez where she stood, in her white blouse and indigo skirt, with her pale skin, bright eyes and dark hair. So much about her looked the same and yet looking at her, with her short hair and the way she held herself, with the way the years had matured her features from adolescent beauty into the amazing, alluring woman she now was...

Rhianwen held her hand out in invitation rather than continue what she had been saying, not wanting to overwhelm Inez.

“Please have a seat,” she said with a warm smile. “There's plenty of time tonight. And dinner will get cold.” Her smile turned sly as she added, "You may find your words between this course and the next."
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Shaihulud
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Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:11 pm

“I guess I've picked up some bad habits living at the Weyr. But I can't regret it. You've been clear enough with me and it is my turn to be the same with you. I don't want to be circumspect in any part of my life any more. Especially here.”

No, not bad habits, necessary ones. Over the turns, Inez realised that while accustomed to more subtle forms of communication, the sort meant to undermine and ridicule her foes, directness was far more favourable, especially in circumstances such as these within the weyr. Rhianwen and Inez no longer had to fear the scrutiny of their noble peers by speaking in euphemisms that concealed their intent, to speak of flowers as a code for sexuality, beg for retirement when she longed for intimacy, and to mention the preciousness of friendship when she expressed her love.

Rhianwen was right. Circumspect was no longer required, especially in places as safe and understanding as Atricis.

“Please have a seat."

Inez gave a nod of her head and accepted the invitation to settle down, though part of her felt a touch of reluctance, if only because she suddenly felt the desire to return the courtesy. Yet she refrained.

“There's plenty of time tonight. And dinner will get cold.” Inez caught that look in Rhianwen's eyes that also lit her lovely lips into a clever smile. "You may find your words between this course and the next."

Inez had already found them, albeit with a touch of delay, but she had them nonetheless. She would have spoken the things on her heart, but she delayed, if only because now was not the time for them. After a meal with those key subtleties passed between them, the coy pass of words and glances, Inez might find the timing a bit more appropriate once they finished their meal and downed a glass of wine. Rather than answer with words, she gave the goldrider a linger smile, one that whispered the words that fluttered in her thoughts for all they remained unspoken.

Eyes scanned the table before she smiled back at Rhianwen. "It looks lovely. Thank you for having me, Rhianwen." She gave pause, if only to tease the goldrider and let anticipation float in the air between them. It was a wonderful feeling, one long missed by the Inez after all these turns, yet it also felt new to her as well. In their youth, as she recalled, it seemed as though they both were discovering one another, venturing into the dark unknown together, hand in hand. Now, they ventured into that same unknown from opposing ends, both hoping to find one another in the centre of the darkness.

"I must admit-" Inez began as she moved to uncork the wine for them both "- I think I actually quite enjoy this new facet of... directness." The bottle popped with the cork removed, but rather than set the opener and cork aside, she brought it to her nose to enjoy the bouquet. Stormed eyes regarded Rhianwen, the sea stirring more from the winds of excitement. Then she dared to take that first step into the unknown. She offered the blushing stained end of the cork, an askance for Rhianwen to lean in and savour the scent of their wine. "What do you think?"
Linnea
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Age: 30

Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:01 am

Rhianwen was very glad of her choice to set the table as close as she had. Once Inez had taken her seat, Rhianwen took hers. “Your presence is always a pleasure,” she said in reply as Inez thanked her for the invitation. It filled in the silence, the pregnant pause that hung in the air. It made Rhianwen want to speak, to spill all the words pressing at her mind and tongue and lips, but if she began that now, she did not trust they would ever make it to dinner. So, for now, it was flirtation.

It was fun. It was a new way of going at an old relationship—a rekindling of an old flame with a new flint.

As Inez uncorked the wine, Rhianwen settled her skirts around her, wondering over how she would be able to press her foot against Inez's if she reached out far enough. She wouldn't, not in this situation. But the knowledge that she could made her wish she was that type of person. Inez had called her forward, and Rhianwen had said she did not wish to be circumspect, but such a move was still too much for their relationship as it currently stood.

They needed a rekindling and a gentle touch, not the explosion of bad firestone and water.

Inez held the cork out to Rhianwen and, rather than take it, herself, to inspect, she leaned in, keeping eye contact with Inez through her lashes and breathed in the cork's aroma.

“What do you think?”

“Enticing,” she replied before sitting back up and finally allowing her gaze to break. She turned to the meal before them. “It will pair well with the food.”

Inez had said she liked Rhianwen's directness, after all.

In the back of her mind, Lennoth huffed. You and I have very different understandings of what directness is.
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Shaihulud
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Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:02 pm

Though the cork hung between them, only Rhianwen dominated her view. Those haunting eyes, the way they fastened upon Inez alone, it was enough to make the brownrider's heart flutter with the rapidity of a gossamer's wings.

“Enticing."

Very, Inez thought back. Even after all these turns apart, and no matter the change both women experienced at the hands of life, they recognised true meaning behind every gesture and every word. It was a language they spoken between them for turns, one nearly as native to them as the one they spoke since their infancy.

As Rhianwen sat back up, Inez's eyes chased after her. Alas, those brown eyes were lost, but Rhianwen's remark was a promising one to be sure. "It will pair well with the food.”

A broad grin escaped Inez. "I concur," she replied in equal measure as she finally seated herself. Hands fanned out the dress so that it properly draped over her legs rather than bunch up uncomfortably beneath her. It also allowed her for feet to wander if she so desired. At the moment, they remained properly placed beneath her knees, supporting the noble posture of a modest lady. However, she wondered if Rhianwen might respond if she too acted with some weight of directness. "To be fair, I suspected you might prepare something that would match this vintage. You've always had a taste for it, if I'm not mistaken."

Her toe twitched within her shoe, the want to slip forward, wandering mindfully out of its enclosure of the chair. Not yet, it is far too soon. And yet had they not spoken about being more open? More forward?

It's been too long, Iorveth, since I last did this.

But you have done it before, her dragon encouraged.

Yes, yes she had, Inez thought. Reaching for the bottle she open, she poured both of them a glass. Both of the goblets filled, she took one of the two before her, and offered it to Rhianwen.
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