Too Much of a Good Thing Pt. 3
Author: Keilos & Ysani
Keilos leaned back against his makeshift pillow and popped another slice of apple into his mouth. He'd been roused from his bed by Silvermoon's alarm bells(and what the Nether was he doing in the bed anyway – he'd gone to sleep on the couch!) and had pelted out of the chapter house, shrugging his armor on, his training driving him, even half-asleep, to defend the city.
Once he'd gotten to the Midsummer fire, one thing had led to another, and he'd lost himself in the steady stream of combat resulting from the Alliance's attempts to steal the Sin'dorei's flame. It wasn't until much later, when Ysani called for him over the stone, that he dragged himself from the battle-trance he'd fallen into and realized that not only was it late afternoon, but he also hadn't had the first thing to eat that day.
She'd met him on his way back to the chapter house, aggravation and concern warring on the visible half of her face as she looked at him. Without a word, she'd taken his weapon and shield from him and carried them back for him. When the red-haired paladin had suggested that he go back to bed, he hadn't quite been able to restrain himself from snarling at her. Almost as quickly, he shook himself and apologized. “No,” he said. “I promised you a picnic, and I intend to keep that promise. Let me wash up and get the fruit prepared, and we can go.”
Now, sprawled under a Silvermoon tree with a belly full of food, more than a little good wine inside him, and his cloak rolled up to rest his head on, Keilos was watching Ysani eat skethyl berries with obvious enjoyment, wondering how to bring up the subject with her of his feelings.
“Keilos..?" She paused to pop another berry into her mouth. "Not that I mind, but do you realize you've been watching me like a hawk since we sat down? Why so tense?” Ysani cocked an eyebrow at the other Blood Knight as she licked the tart juice from her fingers. That, however, caused Kei to look away very quickly.
“Sorry. Just...have things on my mind.” And you doing that with that berry juice has just added a lot of other things to the list, damn it all.
Reading the gesture, she snatched her fingers away from her mouth with a red-faced 'oh'.
Keilos chuckled. He saw Ysani's blush out of the corner of his eye and shook his head. "It's not just that. Just...you. Me. Us. Stuff."
Kei shifted up on his elbows to catch the girl's eye. For a long moment, he hesitated, gathering up his courage. At the last moment before he spoke, he glanced away, chickening out. "Sure...us and stuff." Casting a desperate gaze across the picnic blanket, his eyes fell on the remains of their meal. "You did a good job with getting things ready - I hardly had to do anything. There just may be hope for you in the kitchen yet."
"Call me crazy, but I don't think my picnic basket is what's got you all worked up. I'd like to hear more about this mysterious 'stuff'." Ysani gathered up the stack of dishes and piled them in the basket, then sprawled out next to him on the blanket, hands under her head.
"Nothing important. Just - how different my life has been since you. I still feel like I don't deserve it." Kei kept his eyes fixed on the leaves on the branches over his head. "Like I don't deserve any of it."
She rolled over onto her side and studied him solemnly, one arm folded under her cheek. "What have you ever done not to deserve it? You're good to me. You make me happy, Kei. Why shouldn't you be happy too?"
"Every awful thing that Vranesh ever said about me - the things that Blood Knight in the Eye said. They're all quite true. Changed or not, they're still true. Makes me feel like I don't deserve to lo-live the life I currently am. Content, almost...happy." Keilos shrugged. "Probably sounds stupid, I know."
"You realize that's like me saying I'm worthless because I screwed up everything I ever tried until I joined the order, don't you? I don't care about what you used to do. I care about what you do now." She tucked her hair behind her ear and leaned forward to kiss his cheek. It was a gentle and mercifully brief kiss, and she sighed as she pulled back.
Keilos closed his eyes, sighed, and did his best to remain absolutely still. "Do me a favor? The next time I get the bright idea that you need a medic to check you out for any reason...smack me." A second gusty sigh, and he opened his eyes to focus on the leaves again. Just tell her. Come on...how difficult can it really be? And what's the worst that could happen?
Strictly speaking, the absolute worst that could happen is that Ysani could decide that she wants to end the relationship immediately because, although the sex is amazing, she doesn't want to be tied down with those emotions to one person. So naturally, I'm more than a bit nervous about this. Not to mention it's not the sort of thing I've ever discussed with anyone before at all.
A thin worry-line creased her brow. "You did it because you care about me, right? I'd never ask you to stop caring... I don't know what I'd do if you did." One slim hand reached over the narrow space between him, seeking his.
Keilos barked a laugh, harsh with nervousness. "Care about you? Light, Ysani...I think it goes rather further than that." He wanted to sit up, curl up, get away - do something to protect himself, because Light, he felt dangerously vulnerable - but he couldn't make himself let go of her hand. Rebelliously, his fingers twined themselves further into hers, keeping him where he was. Her hand was as pale as her grave little face and she stared at him, wearing an expression of growing disbelief.
"You... you're afraid. What's the matter?"
Keilos turned her hand over in his, running fingers over the calluses on her thumb and the heel of her palm. Idly, he thought that perhaps he should spend more time sketching them - they fascinated him, so much strength in those small, slender fingers - before forcibly dragging his mind back to the current situation. "You'd think some things would be easy to say, especially when they're true. Never works out that way, though."
"You can tell me anything, Kei." She shivered, her eyes half-closing as he ran his fingers over her hand. "Please don't stop doing that."
The Blood Knight's voice grew softer as his fingers caressed her hand. "I can't say it. I've been trying...can't do it. Not in words, anyway. I try, and they scatter like sand."
Her shoulder lifted in a gentle shrug, eyes drooping shut. "You can tell me later, if it's not important for me to know right this minute. I just want you to be okay." Ysani carefully extended the arm supporting her head and curled her fingers into the golden hair at the nape of his neck, brushing lightly against his ear in the process.
For a moment or two, Keilos forgot how to breathe. He shivered, feeling the last of his self-control begin to slip. When he remembered to inhale, he relaxed his grip on Ysani's hand as he attempted to pull himself back together. He brushed his thumb down the heel of the girl's hand and across the vein in her wrist and said, "It's something important. At least I think it's important. Dorri would probably say it doesn't matter."
"I don't care about what Dorri would say." Her lips brushed his ear. Hadn't there been a buffer between them? The thin strip of blanket was no longer visible there, one or both of them having closed the gap while they talked. Her breath was warm on his skin as she whispered to him between intermittent soft kisses below his ear. "Not even a little."
It took about five more seconds for Kei's self-control to disintegrate completely. As he turned his head to met Ysani's lips with his own, his last coherent thought was that there was by far too much cloth between her skin and his, and he really should do something about that situation - right now.