(514-03-24) In the Firelight
Summary: Kamron and Arian talk before a fire late at night on the way to Exeter.
Date: March 24, 514
Related: Rainy Imbolc, Garlands in the Rain, and Off on the Road to Exeter.
kamron arian 

The stars shine, and the air is crisp and cold. Though Spring is coming, it feels a long way off once the sun has set. The camp of Salisbury knights is quiet, but the fire still crackles with warmth and life despite the ever-deepening hour. They have chosen a spot off the road, though still within sight of the ruts and dirt. Arian sits on one of the makeshift seats in front of the blaze, warming her hands through mittens. She has not slept well the last couple nights of travel, perhaps due to a nervous excitement for what lies ahead. She breathes into her palms, drawing the warmth around her nose and lips before she stretches her hands back out to the fire once more.

Kamron does not trust camp stools. All too often, he sits in them far too casually and they collapse under him. So he steps up behind Arian, glancing around the camp to see that everyone else seems to be seeing to their own affairs, and then his mittened left hand drops lightly to her right shoulder, smiling down at the lady knight, "A little cold in the wilderness without the bonfires, Rhi?" His voice is quiet, his own breath frosting just a little in the night air.

The touch to her shoulder draws her head up and over, and Arian is all dimples as he smiles down at her. "Kam…" His name is almost whispered, laced in frost. She draws her hands back in toward her, pressing her warm mittens under her arms. She glances behind her and beyond him, and when she sees none but them, she scooches down her log to make room for him beside her. "It is a little cold… but the fires keep me warm." Her pale eyes almost smolder in the firelight. "Mostly warm."

Kamron settles down alongside her on the log. If he's crowded in a little closer than is precisely proper, well… it's not a large log. "Mostly." He laughs quietly at the glitter of his pale eyes, for all that his ears flush a little inside his furred hood. He definitely gets the suggestion. "Have you been to Cornwall before?" Change of subject, thy name is Kamron, "The Morning and Afternoon Battles?"

The Laverstock is quite satisfied by his reaction. Her shoulder settles into his and she returns to warming her hands before the blaze. At his subject change, she nods a bit soberly. "I was there… just before I knighted." Her gaze remains on the fire as she speaks. "That's where Rion died… my eldest brother." She finally settles her gaze back on him, arms now crossed along her knees.

Kamron starts to nod, and then pauses, grimacing slightly. Shifting away from her a little allows him to lifts his left hand to her shoulder, squeezing lightly through the layers. "I'm sorry. I didn't know." Nodding his head slowly, he settles back into his seat, keeping his mitten on her shoulder, "So you've been there too. I figured most any knight in Salisbury had been there, but I wanted to check." He pauses, chuckling a little wryly, "I guess I shouldn't have."

"No, no…" Arian rests her hand on his knee, squeezing lightly. "Rion would not want me to be morose, or mournful. He loved being a Knight… was the first of us to get knighted, and my father's favorite." She glances back at the fire, watching the way it dances in the early spring chill. "He would have made a good vassal knight… if something ever happened to Trystan before he could sow an heir, that was to be Rion's duty." She smiles toward him now, her dimples soft. "He would have liked you… the way big brothers like possible suitors."

The Christian knight glances down at her hand on his knee, tightening up his quad to twitch his leg under her mitt. "I suppose that's the problem with being an ideal knight." Kamron's hand tightens on her shoulder, then slides down her back for a moment before slipping back down to his own lap, "You tend to burn out brightly. And a possible suitor, Rhi?" His eyebrows rise slightly, and he chuckles, "I thought I had been talking about love, not marriage?"

"Oh, he burned bright… as a star." Arian's fondness of her eldest brother is certainly unquestionable. His sliding hand draws her closer against him, and she almost rests her head on his shoulder. Almost. His chuckling words, however, have her brows up and head tilted back. "Love?" Her smile redoubles, and her dimples are in full force. "I thought we were talking about affection, not love." Her jaw sets, resisting the laughter that threatens at the corners of her mouth and eyes. "And perhaps not marriage, but… do you not worry that an arranged marriage is a possible outcome to all this?" Perhaps not even arranged to each other, but she does not speak to that worry. Yet.

Kamron chuckles softly, "I must have surprised you at Imbolc. I mentioned it there in the rain." His brows lift in a minimalist shrug, "Perhaps I shouldn't have left it out there while you were so distracted by the fires and the bay laurel." Nudging her shoulder lightly, he offers her his trademark crooked grin, "I don't think it's the sort of thing that can be taken back, however." There was a real question there, one that is perhaps less important, but still out there, and he nods a little slowly, "I do worry. But while your strength and beauty may attract a rich lord with land, I think I am relatively safe, unless Earl Robert decides there's a rich widow who needs a husband, and then I think he has better options. Do you worry that someone might steal you away with a rich manor, Rhi?"

Arian furrows her brow, turning her thoughts backwards as she recalls that sudden, surprising evening during Imbolc. Then she starts to smile, and her entire expression softens. "You're right… Love." She pinks softly. "I hadn't thought that was part of your confession." Her hand slides from his knee, reaching for the hand in his lap so she can maintain that spark of connection. When he speaks to their possible futures, she worries a bit at her lower lip. "There are not many Ladies in my house, but I'm certain that my status as a household knight will spare me… for a while, at least. Most Lords do not fancy having a Knight for a wife." She smile falters a bit. "But, a Lady would certainly like herself a fine Knight."

Kamron turns his mittened paw palm up beneath her hand, then glances away a moment, and pulls his mitten a little loose around his hand, giving her room to slip her hand into his mitten along with his own. It's a lot better connection than mitten-to-mitten. "I think you're underestimating yourself again." Assuming her hand reaches inside the mitten, his fingers curl between hers, "Even a Lady who is already a Knight herself?"

When her hand slides within his mitten, Arian releases a deep and comfortable breath. She sinks against him, shoulder pressed to shoulder. Her gaze drops just a moment as she lavishes in the wonderful skin-to-skin. When she looks up next, she is all smiles. "Perhaps… though I don't know if I want to be in hot competition with my husband." Her nose wrinkles up fondly before she leans in to press what looks to be quite a chaste kiss to his cheek.

Kamron shifts in his seat, chuckling… just a little tightly, "I've never really considered having a wife. It's not like I can afford to support one anyway." His thumb strokes over the side of her hand, a slow, steady meter. He must be getting used to the flirtatiousness of the Pagan knight, as he tilts his head a little to accept the kiss on his cheek. Only then does he let out a little breath, the motion of his thumb within the mitten stopping, "And even if I could, there's the issue of religion. Marriage is a covenant with God first and foremost."

"I know you haven't considered it… every Lady I have spoken to who have experienced your charms bemoan it." Arian's smile sharpens just a moment, but then she sighs and deflates a bit. She rests her forehead against his cheek, nuzzling against him as the fires start to dwindle a bit. "I know," she whispers. She leans away from him now, drawing her hand away from his slightly — but not fully. She then smiles without the wistful edges — it is a smile of a realist, which is quite an uncommon smile for those pale lips. "Perhaps we should not discuss this…"

This time, the knight's chuckle is… warm, "You're right, I was playing the game to avoid marriage. And enjoying every minute of it." Oddly enough, that is all in the past tense. Kamron tilts his head against hers, then straightens up abruptly at the crackle of feet in the darkness outside of the firelight. "You would rather keep drawing me on with your wiles, Rhi? I'm honestly not sure which is the safer course." A grin dances around the corners of his lips, "At least for me."

Arian checked her lustful of 16, she rolled 19.
Arian checked her chaste of 4, she rolled 19.

"Was playing?" Her question tapers off abruptly when he sits up, and she looks beyond the fire with a slight furrow of her brows. Then she smiles lopsidedly once the moment has passed. "I think it was just an animal, Kam… the others are still sleeping, I'm certain." Then she laughs softly. Her hand slides back into place with his, squeezing between his fingers. "My wiles are all I have, methinks. Besides… I'm hoping that if I feed the fire enough, you won't be able to resist me." The fire plays in her eyes, only doubling her smoldering look.

Kamron glances down to the balled-up knot that is both of their hands within his mitten, shrugging a little helplessly at the first question. He probably didn't even notice the past tense. Tilting his head back slightly to get enough distance to catch those blazingly-clear eyes, he licks his lips, swallowing briefly and shifting on the log. When he responds, his voice is more than a little tight, "Who says I can now? Not that I'm particularly want to."

Arian's expression has softened — warmed, in fact. She notes each little shift, the tightness in his voice, the flash of his tongue across his lips. She tilts her head ever so slightly, sending a bit of loose forelock across her smooth brow. Her gaze shifts around them and behind them, as if taking count of thier camp mates, and then she returns her focus to the Dinton knight in her grasp. "Kiss me," the Laverstock Knight murmurs, as if to test him.

Kamron watches her doing her little search, taking the opportunity of her turn back to him to raise his free hand and brush that forelock back behind her ear with mittened fingers. Her request causes another of those warm chuckles to build in his chest. "Oh?" The question is purred as he leans forward, just short of her lips, "That's all you want?" One of the tents rustles, and a squire, three-quarters asleep, stumbles out, just as Kam is leaning in to close that minute gap. Kam's eyes shoot open, his right hand still at her temple, his hood close about her features. The squire stumbles around the side of the tent, evidently answering a call of nature.

"That's all I want… for starts," Arian murmurs as he leans in just short of her lips. Her eyes have started to close, but then the squire emerges. Her eyes close, but it is more out of frustrated acceptance more than anything else. She exhales softly, and her smile returns — soft and light. "I hate squires…" Then she leans in, but presses a soft kiss to the corner of his mouth. She squeezes lightly at his hand at her cheek, but it is a passing gesture before Arian resumes a far more ladylike pose beside the Knight.

Kamron checked his lustful at 7, he rolled 2.

Kam's eyes flicker after the squire, waiting until the young man is around the corner of the tent, and then when she aims for the corner of his mouth, he twists so that he catches her right in the center of the mouth, his fingers tightening at the side of her face to keep his target in place. It's not a long, lingering kiss, but it makes up for its lack in duration with a fiery intensity. It lasts a moment, two, and then he straightens up, drawing in a breath and giving her a little wink as he turns back to the fire, the fingers of his left hand still laced with her fingers within his mitten. One beat, two, and then the squire comes stumbling back, rubbing at his eyes as he bumbles his way back toward the front of the tent. "I don't know, they're not so bad."

Or, Arian was about to resume her far more ladylike pose… but Kamron has altered her kiss target, and she is sinking fully into that brief, but blistering intensity of his lips. She releases a soft murmur of delight. Her fingers curl tighter around his, almost daring him to slip away from her. Then she is sinking back, ducking her head. It takes her several heartbeats to recenter herself, and to not act on a far more instinctive urge. Then she laughs huskily at his words. "I'm supposed to have one selected for me when I get home. Father is on the case…"

Kamron settles into his easy seat on the log, shifting again to adjust his tunic and robe with his free hand. "That was certainly more than pleasant." His fingertip brushes down her palm within the mitten, and then he looks up and away, something a little self-satisfied to the man in the wake of the kiss, "Oh, you don't plan to pick your own? I have to admit, I was leery of picking up a squire myself. I wasn't certain I was ready for it, but letting someone else do the dirty work is quite nice. It allows far more time for more entertaining duties."

"Oh no," Arian laughs brightly, stifling it after a moment to maintain a respectful volume to their sleeping companions. "I'm sure I could have chosen one, but Father sees it as an opportunity to make some allies. So, he's choosing for me, and I'm alright with that. I will have other opportunities to choose my own squire." Sometimes being a Lady Knight is not easy, it seems. Choices are not always… options. Her fingers return each passing caress, lavishing in the feel of his hand with hers. "And it was," she finally replies, smiling shyly at her lap. "You really should stop that, Sir Kamron… you'll cause a lady to go against her softer nature."

Kamron raises a wool-blurred finger to his lips as she laughs, although his own amusement is not much quieter. "So you think it will be good to have someone else hanging on our every word, looking to learn how to be a knight?" His hand squeezes at hers, "You have a softer nature, Rhi?" Nudging his shoulder against hers, he straightens up fully in his seat, "We should, however, probably get some sleep, no matter how charming the company. We've another long day of riding again tomorrow." His voice drops slightly again, "And trying to hide glances and… memories of moments like that."

"I don't know." Arian chuckles softly, shaking her head. "I didn't hang on every word of my knight… but I am a stubborn, willful girl." Her smile softens as he nudges against her, and suggests they sleep. She offers a small nod. She brushes her fingers against his once more before withdrawing from his mitten. She starts to stand, brushing her hands across her cloak to dash away the dirt and bark clinging to the thick wool. She gazes down at him, features half-shadowed by the fading firelight. "Will you dream of me, Sir Kamron? Only if you promise you will, will I let you go to sleep."

"That's because you're a stubborn, willful woman." Just one word different from hers, but it's an important one. Kamron twists his lips a little in disappointment as she withdraws her hand from his mitten, "Of course I will, Rhi. You think I would have any choice?" He straightens up his mitten, drawing his cloak around him a little tighter, and then adds, "Do you still think the hidden romance is romantic?"

Rhi catches that very important word, and she pinks lightly — though that blush only deepens when he confirms his fated dreams. Her mittened fingers touch his cheek softly, brushing under his jaw and chin. Her thumb graces his lower lip lightly. "They say that when two lovers dream of one another, they share dreams." His question draws her smile a bit thin, but then she nods gently. "I would rather have a hidden romance with you than none, Kam." Her fingers fall away from his chin and lip, and she starts to step away with her cloak falling heavily around her.

Yeah, that gets Kam blushing again. His face heats under the influence of her fingers, and he reaches for her retreating hand, looking to capture it and kiss the back. And then he's rising as well, "As would I you. Sleep well, Lady Arian." Once more, he winks briefly, and then turns back to the tent where Newt is snoring like a saw in a particularly dense log.

Arian watches him depart. For a moment, her heart gives a strange little ache. Then she exhales, shakes her head, and turns to her own tent nestled over with the other ladies. She casts a glance up at the starry sky, where the moon hangs in its maiden state — a new crescent. She closes her eyes for a moment, sending up a soft prayer, and then she turns to collapse into her tent and find solace in her dreams.

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