Who

Cha'el, Ksenia

What

Cha'el finds Ksenia dealing with Pirates. Understandably, the Weyrleader is beyond angry. But hey, someone gets a pouch of marks!

Definitely R-rated.

When

It is midmorning of the twenty-eighth day of the sixth month of the fifth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

River Bank, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 01 Aug 2015 07:00

 

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"Your booth isn't enough? You have to sneak around trading with the likes of that?"


river_bank.jpg

River Bank

With the towering cliffs left behind, the forested growth slopes downward towards the river's edge. Not as forested as the main jungles, yet still temperate to allow for full-fledged greenery, the river's bank is a mixture of sandy mud. One of the lower points of the river, the bank allows for easy access for both people and small sea-going vessels. A rickety dock, woven of water-damaged stone and wood, sits on the water's edge, bearing the mark of time. The blue-green waters of the river are gentler here, lapping against the bank in gentle caress, whirling in small eddies around the stone columns of the small dock. The call of avians and wild firelizards echo through the trees, with the quiet sounds of moving water aiding in giving this spot a hint of comforting tranquility.

It is the twenty-eighth day of Winter and 50 degrees. Throughout the night, the cold winter rain continues to fall steadily.
You see River Ferry and Roma Caravan here.
Cha'el is here.
Obvious exits:
River Climb Water's Edge River TP Room


Is it morning? Or afternoon? It's that quasi-time when Rukbat sits almost directly in the apex of the sky, but it still feels like morning rather than afternoon. Ksenia has tromped and hiked her way down the pathways that lead to the river's edge. At least she doesn't have the twins? However, with Jo living up at the Hold now, the woman is footloose and fancy-free — and hell, she might even have a wicked little cackle as she jumps over a rock. She's got a satchel of various crafty things that she's made slung over her shoulder, as she finally comes to a stop beside a tree. It is here that a man steps from the shadows - a man who could be a pirate; he's certainly dressed as one, but there's something off about him. He is not like the others, not that Ksenia would know. A deal is struck and her bag of goods is handed over in lieu of a little bag of marks. The little mercenary's soul that lives within the trader-woman is doing cartwheels during this little transaction. Ksenia? Black market? Who'd'a'thought! The man turns to go, and his final look doesn't sit kindly on his handsome face. He is quick to melt into the jungles, leaving the woman counting her booty.

At this time of the day, morning, afternoon, whatever it is, one would expect the Weyrleader to be ensnared in duties. Except that, he'd been pulled from drills and alert to his weyrmate's absence when a nanny had come to inform him that Carella had starting coughing and Saenia was running a bit of a fever. The latest victims of the snotty plague currently sweeping through the children's caverns. His investigation had started in their weyr, then moved on to the Boardwalk until eventually unable to tear Sikorth away from eyeballing a foreign bronze, he'd sent Savvy off to investigate. The brown firelizard isn't the most reliable of trackers and so it is that Cha'el had come in on the tail end of Ksenia's little transaction. From where he's been watching from around the wide trunk of a tree, his voice sounds out crisp and unimpressed as he now steps into view. "Your booth isn't enough? You have to sneak around trading with the likes of that?"

Ksenia is kind of high on her little side-business here, but drops the bag of marks when she hears Cha'el's voice. A hissed, "Dammit," escapes before she turns around and gives Cha'el her biggest smile with her fluttery eyelashes. "What baba? I am here. By the river. Going to get naked." She sways towards her weyrmate, all soft curves and big smiles. The dress she wears is brightly colored in vibrant greens and sandy browns. Look! She even puts her hands behind her back, though she does look back to check on where that little baggie dropped! Her reddened espresso hair hangs in complete disarray, framing her face and helping her look along. It just doesn't help that tawny eyes hold that chiseled glint of mercenary's delight.

"Mmhm." Arms fold across his broad chest and Ksenia is given the eye. He's so not swayed by the sex kitten act. Okay, maybe he is a little. But he's not about to let her know. "By the river, where a pirate wrecked ship washed up, near the jungles where pirate activity has been found. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?" BOOM! Cha'el's voice thunders across the air sending a flock of avians scattering from their perches in a nearby tree.

"Listen, baba," Cha'el's sudden BOOM of a voice that scatters avians is enough to send Ksenia's back straight up. "I am making our family marks!" She whirls and stomps back over to where her baggie has landed and scoops it up. Rounding, she stalks him shaking her little baggie, going, "This will help the girls. And us! Just because they might be a little," little? "dangerous, doesn't mean that I cannot fleece them for what they have, yes! Look, look at how much they want to pay for easy things. Little things?!" Oh, oh, she totally flings that mark baggie at Cha'el. "Besides, I was careful!" HOW?!

Chiseled features tighten and eyes narrow, flashing with blue fire when she waggles that pouch of marks at him. Ksenia flings it, he plucks it out of the air and closes a fist about it. Cha'el advances two steps a strange kind of tension setting his jaw and limning his brawny frame. "Are you saying I can't provide for my family? So that you feel the need to employ black market trading with a PIRATE!!" He's totally labeling the bastard he'd seen slinking off as one whether correctly so or not. "And tell me how you were careful?" Another step is advanced and now there's barely a sliver of air between them. "My orders were clear. No one goes off on their own. Buddy system, Ksenia!! As well as the presence of at least one guard. What makes you think that doesn't apply to you, hmm?" Anger borne of worry for how badly her little side deal could have gone, pulses off of him in waves.

"I did not say that, baba!" Ksenia snaps back, "But it does not hurt if I bring home extra marks! More means, Chadarel, is good!" She steps right up in his face, even going so far as to close that distance and press her chest to his, her eyes spitting fire. "It is a trader's soul to capitalize on the economy and environment around her. A pirate is a man who needs something and if you have that something, it is lucrative! Why cannot you see this, boyo?!" Oh, she's about to do it. She lifts her judgmental finger and POKES him in the chest, "I brought my weapon! I have that fat bastard of a fire lizard in that tree over there," Butterball cheeps around a mouthful of meatroll, "and this is not the first time I have met with them! The first time, I was really careful, but I can't bring a fucking buddy to a shady, underhanded deal!" Hey, to Ksenia, that sounds downright genius.

"A pirate," Cha'el growls back, "is a man that will think nothing of taking a woman against her will to satisfy 'his needs'." The air quotes snap onto the air between. "What I see-" There's a low rumble of warning when she pokes at him. He doesn't finish what he was about to say, instead, he snaps a hand out, wraps it about her upper arm in a tight grip just this side of being bruising and holds her in place. "So you admit it!! Shady and underhanded. ARE YOU INSANE!?" Aaaand he's yelling again. Any pirates hiding in the jungles are probably being rather entertained just now.

Ksenia winces at his talk of taking her against her will, and rather than FACE that, she glosses over it, ignores it. And listen. It's good for everyone that Scrappy probably isn't in the jungle. Cha'el is tall and big and beefy. All that muscle would be delicious! (Not to mention he's quite pleasing to the eye… literal, eye candy? Too soon?) Ksenia winces when he snaps his hand out and grabs a hold of her arm. Just this side of bruising doesn't mean it doesn't hurt, but that doesn't stop her from getting all up in his face. "How else," does he note the mom-tone she's employing? Like she's talking to her little girls rather than to a grown man who leads a weyr? "How else," she repeats, lest he wasn't paying attention, "do you deal with pirates?! They don't exactly waltz up to the boardwalk wanting to buy shit, WEYRLEADER." Using his title, now. "What do you see, baba?" Ksenia presses closer, but it's not with sex in mind, but with a real desire to overpower Cha'el. It's been a while since she's pushed against his dominance, and maybe she's gotten cocky. Certainly she is going to push to see how he responds. "A successful trader bringing marks home for her family, too? I want to be a valued member of this family! An equal member of this family!"

Frustration for her lack of understanding for the potentially dangerous situation she's put herself in boils over. "You don't deal with them!" Cha'el hisses. "You stay the fuck away from them!! You report them. YOU FUCKING CALL ME! YOU DON'T TRADE WITH THEM!" She presses in, and he pushes back. A solid wall of alpha male assuming his ability to provide is being brought into question. "I see my weyrmate safely at her booth on the Boardwalk, earning a bit extra to buy herself and our daughters pretty things. Marks do not make you equal. This," their relationship, "isn't based on marks. We each have our roles to play. You take care of our home and daughters and I…" bring home the bacon. The sentence is left unfinished and Cha'el turns to the side and takes a step toward the path that will lead them back to the safety of the Weyr, using his grip to attempt to pull Ksenia along with him.

"I DO WHAT I WANT, DRAGONRIDER!" Ksenia yells in his face while he starts dragging her along. But it takes a moment or two before his words REALLY sink in and what he's relegated her to in his nowtime male's viewpoint. "DID YOU JUST TELL ME TO STAY HOME AND MY BOOTH IS NOTHING?! JUST SOMETHING TO BUY OUR DAUGHTERS TRINKETS?! DID YOU JUST BELITTLE ALL THE WORK I DO?!" Oh, he's light a fire under her now, and regardless of his hand clamped around her arm, Ksenia's fighting him hard now. A kick to the calf? Whups! A hand slap against his shoulder, arm and back? Oh yeah. "I love you, Chadarel, but I do not understand you! I do not understand why you can't understand why I want to be worth more than just something for you to fuck when you come home!" Ksenia might be… letting words fly without thought, especially since they all come tumbling out while trying to beat futilely against his strength. She should know by now that pirates=bad. Really. Why is this concept so hard?! Answer: Because she's Ksenia and doesn't think.

A good few of those kicks and slaps find their target. One of the latter catches the side of Cha'el's jaw with stinging impact. A snarl breaks free but he keeps on dragging his spitfire weyrmate along with him, fighting her every inch of the way. As a result, progress is slow but dogged. Until she spits at him what she does. Cha'el jerks to a halt and snatches her in against him, fury emblazoned across his face. For a good while he says nothing and merely glares down at her with his jaw grinding tightly and then suddenly, he shoves her away from himself and takes a step backward. She's hit a sore spot. A very sore spot for while he is a Nowtimer male born and bred, he prides himself in being progressive in his way of thinking and treating women, especially his weyrmate. "I would die for you, Ksenia. But if that is how you think I view you, how you think I value you, then you don't know me at all." Cha'el turns on his heel and stalks off a few paces looking very much like he might just leave her there at the mercy of whatever skulks in the jungles.

It is one of those moments when you realize that you said more than you should have in the heat of anger, and being thrust away from Cha'el is like a douse of cold water in Ksenia's face. When he storms off, Ksenia debates turning in the opposite direction - for all of sixty seconds, but she's not about to let him get away. Scrambling a little for her footing, the woman starts off after Cha'el. "I KNOW you would! I KNOW what I mean to you but when you say things like that, that's how it makes me FEEL. Like I have a place in this family and that place is doing dumb things that … that don't equal what YOU do! Go play with your booth, Ksenia! Go watch the kids, Ksenia! Go make the dinner, Ksenia! But, baba, what about wanting to be — to do… the same things as you? You RISK YOUR LIFE for our SAFETY. Why can't I also… do such important things?! Why must I 'play' with my booth? You say my booth is only meant to buy our children pretty things … is that all it is to you? Just… something to keep your non-dragonrider weyrmate busy? WHILE YOU TRANSFER BEAUTIFUL FEMALES INTO THE WEYR?!" Ksenia saw Sashlyn. With the GREEN dragon. And Ianthe. (Although, separate reasons).

Cha'el was fully intent on stalking off before saying something he might regret. Not that he hasn't done so already. However, when Ksenia's words hit his back he cuts to a stop and slowly turns back to face her. "Important? Important!?" A few steps are taken back toward her, eyes blazing with frustration. "I couldn't do any of this without you!" A hand lifts and rakes through his hair. "You give me and our family what no one else can. You hold it together. You provide warmth and love and somewhere to come home to. You remind me what it is I'm fighting for. What matters. What counts. When I die." When, not if. "You're the one those little girls are going to-." Abruptly he breaks off and then fits Ksenia with a heavy frown for her last barb. "What the fuck has that got to do with anything?"

"YOU'RE NOT GOING TO DIE," now Ksenia is shrieking like a loon, latching onto this 'when' and not 'if'. Her voice is high and squeaky and terrified. She storms at him, blind to this - this definite that he utters, and slaps at his chest. "You're not going to die! Take that back you rutting brownrider! You're not going to die! You can't! You blackguard… you can't die! THREAD TAKE YOU, IF YOU DIE I WILL REACH INTO BETWEEN, BRING YOUR ROTTING CORPSE BACK TO LIFE AND THEN MAKE SURE TO HAUNT YOU WITH A LIMP DICK FOR THE REST OF YOUR FARANTH GIVEN DAYS!" Listen, Cha'el, this is a sore point okay? Ksenia isn't going to be answering any questions about fuckable, beautiful ladies until this fear is resolved. Except, "I see them! I am not blind! The new 'women' you're trading old stodgy bronze riders for!" All in a banshee's shriek.

From the day he'd met that disastrous fall over Keroon, Cha'el had accepted his death was likely to be inevitable. Now, in the face of Ksenia's distress, he stands a solid rock beneath the slap of her hands. At first immobile, he kicks to life and makes a grab for her wrists, wrapping large hands about fragile bones and tendons. But rather than deliver empty platitudes, he attempts to drag her toward reason, however dark it might be. "Listen to me! I am a dragonrider. A leader of men and women. You knew this. We fight, we die. Thread has no conscience. BUT," she'll be given a little shake, blue eyes flashing with the conviction of his words, "while we're alive, we LIVE!! I LIVE!" From that growled brew of words his voice raises several octaves. "I LIVE FOR YOU! FOR THE GIRLS! But if you get yourself killed…" Boot on the other foot now, Cha'el is hit with a concrete pause. He swallows hard. The other subject is grasped for as being less fraught with the fears they both share. "I needed new blood. Sikorth chose them for their greens." Poor choice of words there.

Ksenia is caught - let's be real, Cha'el has weight, experience, and strength on his side. Tawny eyes glare hotly at him when he lays forth his words, tears falling from the corners of her eyes. "You can risk your life," she throws back at him, "And I… I get left behind." When Cha'el dies, but her eyes narrow for she doesn't falter for long. "I will do what I can to contribute to our family, Chad." That, right there, is grit and determination. This is not the end! However, that last statement has her eyes widening, showing the whites around her irises. It's instinct and not a good one. One knee comes up to crush into his nuts before she's trying to jerk herself free, spin around and run. Because the way he says how Sikorth wants their greens - Ksenia falls into all of the wrong assumptions.

"The choice stopped being mine the day Sikorth found me on the sands," Cha'el states with less vehemence attached, chilled by the cold reality of life as a dragonrider during a Pass. "Don't you get it yet? You give us," he and their children, "what I can't. Your importance is beyond val-." PAIN!! White hot it explodes in his groin and the brownrider drops to his knees with a grunt. Ksenia will get to run as far and hard as she wants to for right now, he's incapacitated in the most insulting of ways. "Fuck." Its little more than a breath of air squeezed out of lungs gone into shock with the rest of his body. So much so that his brain is unable to parse this betrayal of an agreement made between them a long time ago. A betrayal that once he recovers, is likely to carry with it heavy consequences.

Ksenia runs blindly, her frustration and anger finally coalescing into a fear of worthlessness — it is a product of her society, of her worth as weighed by the Roma, and by a fear that seems to be more of a reality than not. And also because she realizes that she's gone and kneed Cha'el in the balls when she promised she wouldn't. So she runs as fast as she can, but unfortunately, a damned rock catches her foot and she tumbles to her hands and knees.

It takes him a good few moments before he's able to gather his wits about him and that only thanks to Sikorth who douses him with a soothing lash of icy cold that his brain sends to his abused anatomy. As a result, he's up and on his feet a little quicker than a dragonless man might be. But now, he's not just angry, he's furious. Close to blind rage, furious. Long legs make for long strides and its not long before he comes upon his fallen weyrmate. But rather than show compassion for her tumble, he lunges at her with a snarl and snatches her up with an arm around her waist. With her back against his chest he hauls her over to the nearest fallen log. Shoving his ass down onto, wincing as twig and berries complain heavily, he'll fight and wrestle with her to get her over his knee. All in complete silence save for heavy breaths constructed of pain and ire.

Caught, Ksenia isn't silent! She fights with snarling sounds, at first thinking he's going to haul her over his shoulder and take her back to the weyr. Only when he sits his ass down does Ksenia realize what he's doing. A promise that he'd given to her so many turns ago now that she'd forgotten. "Stop! STOPPIT CHA'EL! YOU CAN'T DO THIS. YOU ARE THE ONE…" Thrashing, she uses her nails and feet and heels and even teeth to try and stop him from getting her over his knee. Of course, he is stronger and Ksenia has all the spit and fire of a feline, but she's no match for her weyrmate. She does not plead with him, because she is made of sterner stuff than that.

Cha'el takes each and every one of those hits in relative silence with a grunt here and a hiss there when sharp teeth pinch through the fabric of his trousers. That's gonna leave a mark!! She thrashes, he firms his grip with a growled 'Fuck' snatching free when the heel of her boot catches him on the shin. Rather than dissuade him, it only deepens his purpose of action. With her head finally grappled under an arm where he runs the risk of her biting into his side and a leg locked over hers to hold her in place, he grabs a hold of her skirts and shoves them up to her waist. "You made a vow." Anger hisses out. SMACK! A sharp crack of open palm is delivered to the rounded curve of her ass. "I told you what I would do if you broke it!!" Another stinging slap is delivered and then a third. And then, just as quickly as he'd captured her, Ksenia is released. Cha'el gathers his feet to stand, his expression hardened with flickers of regret scratched across the surface for having had his hand forced to this particular action.

Wordless, mindless rage. The first smack to her ass surely gets her teeth sinking into his side until it's over before it's begun and Ksenia is released. She tumbles away from him on hands and knees for a short ways before she jerks herself onto her feet, stumbling a few steps. Her hands tremble, but the spanking has done what he meant to do: it's tempered her reactions and left her eyeing Cha'el with something not often seen in her expression. Caution. "Sikorth wants their greens." Wounded. The words are given beneath the bruises the spanking has left on her emotion. She gathers the tatters of her pride around her, and the wide, tawny eyes are not unlike those very same eyes from that fateful day in his weyr in Igen. In brittle silence, Ksenia turns and walks carefully towards the water's edge. Her ass is on fire and she really needs to DOUSE it.

He's not exactly happy with how this has all played out either. A man, reared to protect the fairer sex is going to struggle with his conscience, vow or no vow. In thick silence, his palm stinging though probably not nearly in the same manner her poor ass is feeling it, Cha'el stands with head down eyeing her from beneath the ledge of his brows. Much like a bull ready to storm a red flag. But then, somewhere through the mists of anger and a sense of betrayal, he lines her action up with what she now says. Lightbulb moment. All the air goes out of him and shoulders slump. "Fuck." Attention skates off to one side. "FUCK!" Its cuts back to Ksenia, anger rekindled. "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?" His roar once again shatters the serenity of the riverbank. "You kneed me in the nuts because you thought I'd allowed Sikorth to line up tail!?" She heads for the water and he's hot on her ass. No pun intended. "He fucking chose them for their fighting skills!! He doesn't CHASE GREEN!!" Well. Not usually. The bastard brown has been known to be tempted by the rare green here and there.

Cha'el hot on her ass doesn't do ANYTHING for Ksenia's wounded pride nor the desire to be ALONE after such a humiliating moment. "That's not what you said." In contrast, the woman is QUIET, and trying to hustle into the water. She makes it in time to hiss a sigh of relief when her ass's ass-fire is hit with the cool river water. If this were a cartoon, there would totally be a hiss of steam from her red-fire rear, but alas, this is real life and Ksenia is stuck in a moment that hasn't gotten any less humiliating from Cha'el's indignation. But honestly? Ksenia has other things on her mind, namely, is the water now laps up to her waist. She laces her fingers together and gives Cha'el a side-ways glance from beneath the fringe of dark lashes

"I said, he chose them for the greens." Cha'el reiterates, turning away from Ksenia slightly as she cools her ass so that he can adjust his crotch that is itself, still on fire. "You didn't give me a chance to explain you just…" There's a wince and then a clink as he unbuckles his belt so that he can shove a hand down there to soothe the boys. Maybe he should follow her example and dunk his lower half in the river too. Humiliating indeed. Silence stretches out between them as each nurses their wounded pride. A rough sigh exhales and eyes of ocean blue lift to meet bruised tawny. "Look. Sikorth is all about the wings and strengthening them. Even his own offspring once they're hatched are watched over. Not because he cares about them like a doting father but because from the time they're shelled he's planning and looking for weaknesses and flaws and matching them to potential wings."

Ksenia hugs her arms around her torso, shoulders hunched. Folding in on herself, she listens to Cha'el's words, never mind the hitching sniff that slips out from between her lips. She bites down hard on her inner cheek to keep herself in check. Getting spanked was like getting thrown in icy cold water, Ksenia is naturally taking stock of her position in life, in this moment, and with Cha'el. "Cha'el," her voice is quiet, strained, still looking at him from the corner of her eye, "I just don't want my work to be an after thought." While apparently all the gorgeous ladies flood the weyr. Much like the water that swirls around her, buoying up her skirts, Ksenia looks lost. Uncertain. Quieter: "It's important to me."

That frown continues to linger as does Cha'el's gaze that roams over his unhappy weyrmate stood in the water. Regret is evident in the set of his features. She may have started it but he should possibly not have ended it in the manner that he had. Buckling his belt again and regardless that he's wearing boots and formal attire due to the meeting he'd been called out of, he hobble-wades into the water. "I'm sorry." Quietly spoken as he reaches for her, intent on pulling Ksenia into his arms unless she evades him. "I…" That frown deepens. "I'm proud of you, Ksenia. Proud of how you take care of us and still find time to run a business. I just…" His own worries and concerns for the future thus far unvoiced, float closer to the surface but he shoves them back down again. "I just need to know you're safe, aye? Jo's not here any more and I can't spare any guards right now." Not with those available being sent out with search parties and sweepriders.

Ksenia shoots Cha'el a look when he hobbles into the water, but she doesn't evade him when he pulls her into his arms. She might be a bit stiff, but she does press her face into his chest. Her silence is held while he says what he does, and then it's her turn. "I'm sorry," she offers quietly, but sincerely. She didn't really mean - okay she did, but if she'd been thinking clearly she would not have kneed him in the balls - to do what she did. "There's so much tension lately," she whispers, throat squeezing tight, "I am safe." This last is insisted, stubborn in the heat of the moment. Then: "Maybe I could be safer." Concession, here. Quieter still, "Can't you ask for ugly dragonriders?"

With her in his arms, Cha'el drops his chin to rest on the top of her head. No nuzzling. No cheap platitudes. Just two people wounded and regretful trying to find their feet again after bruising one another emotionally more than anything else. There is a tightening of his arms about her in acknowledgment of her apology but when she mentions the tension that's been present of late, he stiffens slightly. "I'm sorry, baby. Sikorth has been…" How to put it without giving his concerns away on the matter. "Combative lately. And then there's the shit with the pirates and…" Words trail to be followed by a chuff of sound that catches in his throat. "Ugly, eh?" He pulls away with a carefully amused look in place. "So they can scare Thread away with their looks?" He's totally not copping to having noticed how attractive the recent transfers are.

"Why? Why has Sikorth been competitive…?" Ksenia's question is given before Cha'el pulls back and gives her that carefully amused look. "Yeah, ugly." Her eyes narrow, and the possessiveness that curls through her is manifested when she finally shifts to put her hand on his chest, her fingertips digging into the cloth of his shirt. "Ugly ones," she insists. "I know you've noticed, boyo." Her fingers tap against his chest. "If you are going to be trading dragon riders, demand that they be homely. At least." And yet there's still the question he needs to answer.

There's a certain guarded air that twines about Southern's Weyrleader for that question put to him and shifting so that an arm remains slung about Ksenia's shoulders, he'll try to lead her out of the water. "Dhiammarath's time is starting to draw close." He offers in quiet reply. "Sikorth's getting edgy. Trying to…strategize his position. He's uh…" Bright white teeth scrape across his lower lip. "Grown rather fond of her." Who knew the bastard brown was capable of such a thing? But it helps to have his dragon to use as a focal point rather than air his own more personal concerns. As for homely women and that poke to his chest there's a short snort and attempt at a joke. "And ruin the reputation of having the prettiest Weyr on Pern? My riders would never forgive me."

"Oh yes. I don't care about being the prettiest weyr," Ksenia counters, the possession thick in her voice, but maybe she's seeing a little bit of the error of her ways. "Fine. Just." Yeah, no. She has no good way to get out of this because it is true that she doesn't like this little exchange program of Cha'el's. "Dhiammarath…" At first, Ksenia is easily lead back towards shore, until this moment when she's faced with a very real remind of what a flight means. "I… see." Does she? She tries, but the sound of her unhappiness is woven through her voice.

Not many do like the exchange program Cha'el has set up and most likely question his reasons behind trading bronze and brownriders for chromatics. "You don't like that hot bluerider that came in from Benden yesterday?" The one that were this Earth, would probably be a Calvin Klein underwear model with intense dark eyes and body that women are already salivating over. A short-lived grin is supplied with the tease. A tease that in a very male way is meant to soothe tensions and offer a hand of conciliation. When Ksenia baulks halfway back to shore, he pauses and fixes her with a long look. "I know, love." Quiet. Understanding. But can he really understand what she goes through where flights are involved? Probably not. But he tries. "I was going to tell you this evening." And then this all happened.

“Well now that you mention it… he is pretty hot with those abs…” Ksenia licks her lips and maybe it’s a ploy to see how jealous Cha’el gets or maybe she just tries to let his olive branch reach its mark. It does bring forth a shaky smile to her lips, and maybe something more thoughtful for some of the hot chromatics that have come into the weyr. In a very real moment, Ksenia lets out a soft sound and admits, in a moment of weakness, “I don’t want this to happen now.” She hangs her head and once again folds her arms around her body, self-comforting even with the heavy weight of his arm. The thought of the senior queen flying again sends a pit of vipers to clench about her stomach with a cold chill of anxiety. “I’m not ready for this again.” The spine of steel is bent this afternoon, beneath Southern’s steel grey skies.

Is that jealousy or something else that sparks in Cha'el's eyes upon Ksenia's agreement. Something to do with his appreciating a good looking male as much as a female. Whichever it is, with the olive branch accepted and his nuts settling down to a dull ache rather than sharp jabs of indignation, he guides her back to the bank. Once again she's pulled into the shelter of his arms even if hers folded about herself do create a barrier between them. Now when he drops his head, he does nuzzle his nose into the side of her neck, inhaling the wild scent so uniquely Ksenia's. "I wish I could stop it." Very real sentiment weights his response, his belly churning with his own associated anxieties. "But you," Cha'el's head lifts and his arms unwind from about her to cup her face between roughened palms, "are the only one I choose." Despite how his dragon might sometimes choose for him. "We've been through worse, love." Quiet reminder is delivered while dark ghosts shiver behind his eyes. "We'll get through this too, aye?"

Ksenia stumbles when Cha'el seems to hold an expression of appreciation for the very same male, and her face quickly turns away to mask the hurt that sweeps away the momentary attempt to not be the only one stuck with a splinter of jealousy. A sharp cut when words backfire and she's left with yet another prick in unsteady ground. She closes her eyes when he draws her into his arms, his words bring a caught breath that's held when Cha'el cups his hands around her face and reminds her that she is the one he chooses. She nods her head and even manages a shaky smile. “Yeah, we have.” Biting her cheek, her addition is quiet, a soft sigh of resignation. “We'll get through this too.” Hopefully sooner rather than later. A shiver courses up her spine, a dark thread of premonition darkening tawny eyes, but she pushes it down so that the tawny eyes he stares into are clear.

Confident in her commitment to him, Cha'el is not one easily given to jealousy. At least not that he's ever exhibited. That smile of hers, however small and tentative, is accepted for what it is - Hope in a difficult situation. "Hey, we got this, baby." If only he felt as sure about that as he makes himself sound. Ksenia won't be given much gap to answer for he dips his head and claims a kiss from her. Slow, tender, fill with apology and licks of regret.

Whatever lingering disappointment may have been for that failed attempt at drawing Cha'el out is gone when his lips claim hers. Ksenia's arms unfold to tangle fingers in the fabric of his shirt, the heat of that kiss sweeping her away on a different kind ocean filled with a different kind of passion. Tender it might start, but Ksenia claims the fire she knows is there, a desperate grab for something that might be swept away in the coming sevendays.

Cha'el is so easily swept along, flames of desire quickening his blood despite the complaint likely to weigh in soon from his abused groin. He comes up for air, body pressed in tightly against Ksenia's, to murmur huskily, "I love you." Tawny eyes are searched, his own reflecting a storm of emotion. "You ready to head back? The girls are coming down with something but Loranna has them in hand for now and said she'll have the children's healer take a look at them." Which buys them a short span of needed couple time.

“I love you, too,” Ksenia whispers, because she does love him and it's framed in every aspect of her features and in the heated way her body responds to him. “Yeah, I'm ready to go back,” the wet cling of her dress moulds to her legs, clinging to the dip between her thighs and tangling up against the backs of her legs. “I just need to get my mark pouch.” That was good marks earned! However, his last makes her frown, a mother's worry kindling behind tawny eyes. “They're getting sick?” Worry and dread because one sick child is bad enough, but two sick children? Catastrophe! “You think we have some time…?”

Her mark pouch, that Cha'el had caught when she'd flung it at him and pocketed. "You mean this one?" From out of his pocket he pulls it and holds it out to her. "I am proud of you, Ksenia. You could sell ice to Renalde." High praise indeed. Having stepped back, he holds out a hand to for her to take. "Time enough for a hot bath at least. We don't need you catching a cold too, aye? Besides, you need to get your fine ass back to work in the morning. I hear there's a ship that'll be making port filled with sailors likely wanting their fortunes read." Warmth joins fondness. "And I need more socks. Savvy stole another pair of mine yesterday." See? He does value what she brings to their family table.

Slowly, Ksenia takes the mark pouch, her eyes searching his blue ones when he tells her that he's proud of her. A little smile twitches the corner of her lips as she takes his hand. “Aye, baba, because the ice I sell would be different. Better. Than what he has.” A weak attempt at a joke, but still the effort is there all the same. “Is there? I will have fill drag out my fortune teller's dress,” Ksenia murmurs, her mind churning on the ship full of sailors that could possibly be driving business to her booth on the boardwalk. “Psh, you let that firelizard steal everything. He's not careful, he'll end up in my cook pot.” That's said loud enough for the other fat little firelizard lurking in the tree to hear. Butterball squeaks and goes between. It is likely a code word to send the creature home. “I could use a bath.” Beat. “A long bath.” Is that a hint?

"Mmmm. Hot ice," Cha'e supplies on how different hers would be, his hand closing about hers and squeezing. As they start on the trek back to the Weyr, him treading carefully, he tosses her an entirely lascivious grin. "That's one of my favorites." He says of her fortune telling garb. As for the thieving firelizard, he snorts. "And I'm supposed to do what to stop him? He grabs 'em and disappears." Somewhere Between, there is a collection of extra large socks floating around without mates for Savvy only ever takes one out of each pair. A chuckle rumbles free when Butterball beats a hasty exit. "A long hot bath." He's totally taking that as code for something. "Maybe with some pudding thrown in?" Ever the hopeful one he is.

Ksenia ducks her head, giving Cha'el a sly little smile. Oh she knows it's one of his favorites, and perhaps why she likes to drag it out for it shows a wealth of belly and the glittering, gold strand that encircles her waist. “You need to teach him better,” she nudges Cha'el in the side, knowing this is a futile endeavor. She swing their joined hands as they walk, letting the brownrider laying his hope out there for pudding. “I don't know. You have to work for that, boyo.” So prim and proper is the lift of her chin, a tease living in the tawny gold of her eyes. “A hot bath… I feel like my shoulders could use a massage.”

"Tell you what, you teach him and in return, I'll build you another planter." What? He lives with a trader, offering deals is as much a part of their lives as Thread is. As for working for pudding, Cha'el slings a sideways look her way. He's quiet for a while thereafter, bracing his feet and helping her up a steep section of the bank. Once they're at the top and on their way again, the Weyr ghosted in the distance through a haze of mist, he speaks. "Its gonna be okay, love. Its gonna be okay." And just maybe, he's trying to reassure himself as much as her. Quiet conversation is exchanged along the way, safer topics held to as each offers the other threads to hold onto and wrap about themselves, individually and as a couple. It'll be at least a couple of hours after their return before either council chamber or nursery caverns see either of them.

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