Tree House
You find yourself in a carefully built treehouse high in the branchs of the Banyan Tree. It has three room, The largest taking up half of the house. It is kept in a simple wood pattern for now, waiting for the inhabitants to leave their mark as the years pass. A couple of boxes adorn the room, acting as chairs and tables. A window opens out on the lake just across the way. From here, you have a perfect view of all around. Great for spying or playing dragonrider! The more you sit here, the younger you feel, and the more you feel like doing something ... something you haven't done in a long time, play.
You see Pile of Blankets here.

Honey-blond tresses, sunstreaked with platinum highlights, fall heavily down her back to just below her hips. A few long wispy pieces refuse to be tamed, often falling into her face to be brushed impatiently behind her ears. She's more or less stopped growing, a mere fingerwidth above 5' tall, and though she'll probably never be overly curvy, she's lost the childlike look she once had. Her features are regular if not actually striking, except for her eyes: palest blue, nearly white, they shine in stark contrast to the smooth, even tan that seems never to leave her skin no matter what time of Turn it happens to be.
A lightweight cotton shirt, crisp and cool, is tucked neatly into a pair of tan trousers - sleeveless, with a softly scooping neckline, dyed a soft, robin's-egg blue. The trousers, amazingly, actually seem to have been made to fit her, tailored flatteringly to waist and hips, following the lines of her legs and hemmed neatly just below her knees. On her feet she wears a pair of knotted wherhide sandals. Her hair is drawn back in a heavy runnertail at the nape of her neck with a wide blue ribbon. Spray is curled lazily on Linora's shoulder, tail wrapped around her neck, apparently dozing as usual.
Red and silver intertwine in a single loop at her shoulder, the small red tail denoting her status as StarCraft Senior Apprentice.
Linora is 16 Turns old.

Standing at only 5'5 this young man's size is not impressive. His blond hair, which has resently been cut short at the back and the front, is the color of wheat, has bleached strands, and he has a light tan from the sun, even if he doesn't spend many hours outside. Narrow gray eyes are framed by light-colored lashes and brows, and his cheekbones are angular as is his chin. His muscles are hardened, from long hours of hard work, done in his previous life as a trader. A scar runs along the right side of his neck and his most obvious feature is a missing inch of his right little finger.
A shortsleeved lightgray tunic covers his upper body with a black drawstring looped through holes at the v-neck to close it up on chilly nights. Light cotton trousers, the color of an early morning sky cover his legs, and has been rolled up to just below the knee. On his feet sandals are secured with leather bands, tightened in metal buckles. Perched on Cress's shoulder is Dixie. Cress' Pack hangs heavily from Cress's shoulder. Perched on Cress's shoulder is Idoru. Perched on Cress's shoulder is Wintermute.
A knot of intertwined, double corded red and silver, looped once and left with a small tail, shows that he is a Senior Apprentice to the StarCraft.
Cress is 19 Turns, 4 months, and 14 days old.

Linora is stretched out on the floor with her fingers laced behind her neck, absently looking at the ceiling and listening to the quiet sounds of the lake. The first flickers of daylight are just peeking through the window, bathing the room in a soft half-light.

Cress crawls up, following the chittering 'Mute, wondering what exactly it is the brown want him to see. Then he sees Linora, and a smile spreads across his face, reaching his eyes that start to glitter.

Linora of course hears the chittering, and her eyes automatically seek the source. Spotting Cress, she quickly sits up, a bright smile lighting her face. "Hey," she says, her voice soft and her eyes fixed on his. "'Mute give me away?" Not that she'd been hiding...

Cress comes up to sit on the floor of the tree house, pulling his knees up, hugging them and resting his chin on them. Nodding, he glances over at the brown, then looks back at Lin. "He woke me up, y'know," he says, grinning. "Giving me images of you...." Apparently the lizard likes her just as much as /he/ does.

Linora's eyes widen, then she grins. "An' I thought he only woke you up when he was hungry." She glances over at 'Mute with a thoughtful expression, before looking back at Cress. "He's pretty smart, I guess." Like his 'pet, she's thinking. She just can't take her eyes off him.

Cress shrugs, "guess not... First time he's actually woken me to take me to you." Even if it wasn't the first time the lizard had taken him to her. What was the lizard thinking anyway? If he was thinking anything at all... "I don't mind though." Beam, smile, grin. The features of his face says it all.

Linora smiles widely. "Good," she says softly, glad that Cress wants to be around her again, because she missed him. "I'm really glad t'see ya." She flops back again, still looking at him. "I'm kinda takin' the day off from studying and stuff." A grin lights her face as she looks around the treehouse. "Thought this was a good place t'do it." Since hardly anyone ever comes around here. She looks back at him, her eyes adding that his company is much appreciated.

Cress nods, chin still on his knees, glancing around at the same time. "I didn't know it was here, y'know. Never noticed it." His eyes return to Lin, and he smiles even broader than before. "Seems like a very nice place this..."

"It is." Still flat on her back, Linora grins over at him. "So ya wanna take a day off with me?" Her eyes are twinkling. Nobody'll miss them... much, right?

Cress would've dropped his jaw if it hadn't been resting on his knees. Instead his smile changes from a broad friendly one, to a more teasing one. "Sure, why not. Haven't seen Riina 'round lately anyway." So how would she know if he took a day off?

Linora catches the teasing expression and a light flush spreads up her cheeks, barely visible under her tan in the soft early light... but her face is still lit with a wide smile. "An' it's my turnday besides," she informs him, letting him know that she at least has a good reason for wanting the day off. And who better to spend it with?

Cress raises his eyebrow in a sursprised expression. "I didn't know that! Congratulation." And he didn't even have a present for her. So insted he gets onto his knees, then crawls over beside her, and bends down to give her a kiss.

Linora couldn't think of a better present if she tried. She slips one arm around his neck, her fingers sliding into his hair, and relaxes into the kiss, her eyes closing.

Cress moves in closer, putting an elbow on either side of her body, lips still locked on hers. Yes, this certainly did feel good, didn't it? He pulls back, just a little to take a look on her face and in her eyes.

Linora's eyes are huge, fixed on his, and her breathing is quick and shallow, as she becomes aware of how very close he is to her... and how much she likes the way that feels. Close is good. Very close must be very good.

As his elbows, start to hurt a bit, Cress slumps to the side, still holding her close, and still looking her in the eye. "You shoulda told me, and I would've gotten you a present." He leans his head on his arm, which is curled up underneath it. Just looking into her eyes was making him feel really good.

Linora shifts a bit to face him more, smiling slightly. "I can't think of anything I really need," she says, a little shyly. Right now, she has everything she could possibly want. One hand comes up to stroke the side of his face, her eyes locked on his.

Cress moves one hand down to her hip, a slight smile on his face, as she strokes his face. He'd never felt this way before, as he's never known a girl like Lin before. In fact, he'd never /been/ this close to a girl before. Physically or mentally.

Linora trembles slightly at his touch, slipping her fingers into his hair and drawing closer to kiss him. She's never been here either, never felt this way about anybody. Her senses are almost overwhelmed with the feel of him next to her, the smell of him, the taste of his lips. How could it be wrong to be right here?

Cress moves his hand to her lower back, under her shirt, his lips still locked on hers, and his eyes closed. Just the feel of her soft skin and her lips, made him shiver as if he was cold.

Alexander walks in from the Banyan Tree.

Linora sits up abruptly at the sound of someone entering the treehouse, brushing off her clothes and looking generally confused and nervous. Oh... "Um... hey, Alex," she says, trying to sound casual... edging away from Cress slightly. "What's up?" Yeah, ask /him/.

Alexander looks at the pile of blankets, then up at Linora and Cress. "Cress and Linora, sittin' in a tree.." he observes to himself. "So. How are you doing?" Amazingly, Alexander's fly is closed and his shorts are up this time.

Cress follows Linora's movements having not really heard anything, but suddenly sees, and hears Alex. Swallowing hard, he glances back at Lin, then returns his gaze to Alex, looking just a little mad.

"Shut up, Alex." Linora suggests, getting to her feet and brushing off her clothes some more. "Don't you have herdbeasts to tip or something?" Anything? Shells, nobody /ever/ comes here. Except now. Whine.

Alexander flops himself down on the pile of blankets, hogging them all for himself. "Dun worry, I didn't see *nothin'*," Alex sayd casually, snuggling with the clean blankets. "Amazing this place hasn't been eaten by Thread yet."

Cress gets up too, just staring, well almost /glaring/ at Alex. Not saying anything he glances back at Lin, and his eyes soften at the look of her.

Alexander yawns and trails the cucoon of blankets over to a corner of the table, leaving the glaring couple in the cold. "Uh... huh. So what are you two doing?"

Linora gives Cress a little halfsmile, chewing her lip slightly, before looking back at Alexander. Not that she doesn't like the kid, but... "Um. Yeah. Amazing." Or something. "What difference does it make?" she asks him. Whatever it was, they're sure not doing it anymore.

Cress isn't about to tell anyone what they'd been doing. 'Specially not a kid! Crossing his arms in front of him, his body language clearly says that, they'd been interrupted. Quesiton is, does this kid know how to read body language?

Alexander leans against Linora's shoulder. Awww. " 'Kay," he says, not bothering to investigate further. He reaches a hand into the blanket cucoon to pull out a bottle of fruit juice. "Want some?" he asks placatingly. "I'd have brought some cider, but thereotically I can't drink. Which is good in the long run. Neither can you." Vegetable roll is brought out of the cucoon as well. Looks like he's striking camp.

"No thanks." Linora looks at Alexander's little picnic, then glances quickly over at Cress, mute apology in her eyes. But it's not her fault! Back to Alex. Um. Why is it she has no idea what to say to a 12-turn-old? Guilty conscience? Nah...

Cress shakes his head, not really wanting to talk to this kid. Right now all he wanted to do was leave, and looking at Lin, it seemed that was what she had in mind too. Either that, or get Alex to leave..

Alexander takes a deep swig out of his bottle of juice, and hands it to Linora invitingly. "Yeah. It's pretty good. Nothing like Gar cider, but it'll have to do. A vintner made this juice for me.. I heard around the grapevine that she's been dating though. Bend a tail if her Master finds out.."

Linora tries to ignore the implication of Alexander's statement. "Hm, yeah... that'd be terrible." She eyes him significantly before continuing in a casual tone. "I never had cider... that the juice you got at the gather?" She doesn't take it, though.

Cider? Who's worried about cider right now? Not Cress, that's for sure, and besides he doesn't like cider. He'd much rather have ale, or even spirit. "Lin?" Hoping that his voice well tell her that maybe it's time to leave.

Alexander shrugs and chews on his veggie roll. "Uh huh. Yeah, that's my juice. What do you think they do with dating appies anyhow?" he asks casually. "Thumb screws? The rack? Gibbet?"

Linora surprises herself - and probably everyone else - with a fit of giggles. "Where do you pick that stuff up?" she asks Alex, trying to get her breath. "Really, you got /way/ too much time on your hands." She ruffles his hair - aw, and he'd brushed it so nice! - and heads for the exit. "Gibbet. Ha!"

Cress blinks, surprised, and stares at Lin, wondering what had just happened. "Lin?" He repeats, shuffling his feet slightly, and glancing quickly at Alex, then back at Linora.

"The Grapevine," he repeats staunchly and attempts to fingercomb his hair back in place. He shuffles after Linora slowly in his toga of blankets. "Ey! What's a gibbet, by the way? Is it some type chicken?" (Alexander.)

Linora has started down the ladder already; now she stops top of the ladder with her elbows on the floor of the treehouse and her chin in her hands, looking back at Alex in his blanket-toga and Cress, who's apparently confused. "I dunno," she says to Alex. "I thought /you/ knew." She grins. "Just sounded funny. Gibbet. Ha." She drops down the tree to the ground.

Cress follows closely behind Lin, shaking his head, not finding that word funny at all. Not finding the situation funny, or pleasant. Giving Alex one last glare, he crawls down the ladder after Lin.

Alexander waves tearfully to Cress and Linora and blows his nose on one of the blankets. "Aw... my little girl.. all grown up.."