The Next Day...

Dining Hall

Idoru glides in from the Gar Hold Entry Hall.

Cress is sitting at a table, with his face to the entrance. He's learned from experience that it's a bad idea to sit with his back to it. He looks up as Linora comes in and beams her a wide smile. "Hi, Lin," he says, his eyes seeking hers as they always do.

Linora is trying to adjust her eyes to the dimmer light of the dining hall when a flash of green sails past her, catching her eye. A broad smile comes to her face as she recognizes 'Doru... then she hears Cress's voice and her smile softens a bit as she catches his eye. "Hey." She walks over to the table and sits down across from him. "Whatcha doing?"

"Having lunch," Cress says, poking his fork in the meat on his plate, "it's wherry and buttered rolls... Want some?" His eyes suddenly dart to the sideboard where 'Doru has come in for a landing to snag a sweetroll. "'Doru! Could'ya at least take a meatroll instead?"

Linora puts up a hand to stifle a giggle as Idoru takes off with a sweetroll. She peeks at Cress with twinkling eyes. "Just like her humanpet." Then her eyes go to his plate and she suddenly remembers that, oh yeah, she was hungry. "Yeah, that sounds kinda good," she admits. She slips out of her chair and goes over to the sideboard to fill a mug with juice.

Cress smiles too, happy just to have her as company. "I finished my project," he says. He finished it /days/ ago, and he probably told her that too. "I just need to find Riina and turn it in to her..."

Linora fixes a wide grin on Cress as she walks back with her mug. "That's great." Sure, he told her before. She'd listen to it a hundred times more and never mind. She sets the mug on the table and goes off to fill a plate. "Want any more?" Called back over her shoulder.

Cress shakes his head. "Nah, thanks. I've had enough," he says, gets up taking his empty plate with him to the sidetable, and then fills a mug with redfruit juice, off all things. Sitting back down at the table he takes a sip and winces. "I'll have to get used to the taste, I guess, but it's too hot to drink klah."

Linora brings a full plate back to the table and sits down. "Too warm already? It's only spring." And digs in, one eye on Cress to see what he says.

Cress shrugs, "well, I don't think I've gotten used to the weather here yet," he says, sampling the juice again. "And I think I'm gonna need some sandals. These boot almost mudered my feet last summer," he says and stamps his feet to indicate that his boots were too hot to wear in the Istan summer.

Linora swallows, nodding thoughtfully... trying to remember the last time she had anything /but/ sandals on her feet. Then she grins, fixing glittering eyes on him. "I think I 'member telling you /last/ summer that ya need ta learn how ta dress for the weather here." Another bite.

Cress grins, and hangs his head, as if she hurt his feelings. Peeking up his eyes betray him as they are sparkling with inner mirth. "Maybe you could help get some prober clothes then?"

Linora looks up from her plate in time to see Cress hang his head, and for a moment her heart stops. But then she catches that look in his eye and closes her mouth with a grin. Fooled again. "Sure." She takes another bite.

"I don't have a lot of marks, though," Cress says and takes another sip of the juice. He might be able to get used to this taste after all. "So I'll prolly just get some leather and make the sandals myself."

Linora shrugs a bit, swallowing so she can talk. "Shouldn't be too hard," she muses. "Not much to 'em." A sip of juice, then she smiles. "I'd think heavy clothes'd cost more marks than light ones."

Cress nods in agreement, "probably," he says, and catches her eyes. "I might need some shorts too." Are they avoiding the issue, or is it just that anyone could walk in at any moment?

Caught by his gaze, Linora stops chewing. Swallows. A little smile tugs at the corners of her mouth. "Prolly." She seems to forget that she was eating for a long moment, remembering.... abruptly she looks down at her plate. What were they talking about?

Cress doesn't really know whether he wants to take up the subject of what happened the other day, but finally decides against it. Just let it happen, he says to himself. "D'you think sandals are expensive? I've never made any, so it might be a better idea to buy them.."

Linora looks back up again. Did it really happen? "I dunno," she says lightly, with a shrug, her eyes anywhere else. "My folks got mine for me; I've had 'em kind of a long time." Well, since before she came to the hall... how long's it been? Distracted again, thinking now that maybe she oughtta have something new, by now, she studies her mug.

Cress leans back in his chair, watching her, watching her mug. "What's wrong," he asks, hoping that it wasn't him. "I didn't do anything /wrong/ did I?" His face falls into those worried lines again, as his eyes tries to find hers.

Linora blinks and looks up with big eyes. What? "Wrong?" she echoes, her voice soft. She shakes her head. "Course not. I was just thinking, is all." She smiles, hopefully reassuringly, even though she's none too sure herself.

Thinking. Yeah, Cress was doing the same thing, and probably about the same thing too, although he doesn't say it outloud, /what/ exactly he's thinking about. "Want some more juice?" Exellent aversion tactics, right?

Linora nods, almost too eagerly. "Sure." She picks up her mug... it's not exactly empty. She quickly finishes the juice and pushes the mug across the table. "Thanks."

Cress get out of his chair and walks slowly over to the sidetable where he refills both mugs with redfruit juice, and brings them back to the table, then sits in the chair next to Linora. "You know, I thought it was very nice the other day," he whispers, and puts a hand on hers.

Linora freezes at his touch, turning her head slowly to look up at him. Juice? What juice? "Me, too," she whispers, lost in his eyes again.

Cress leans over, taking advantage of the moment, and gives her a kiss on the lips. Oh, sure, it was dangerous, anyone could walk in, but it was /so/ inviting.

Linora's eyes flutter closed as she loses herself in his kiss, forgetting everything else around her.

Cress draws back, and opens his eyes slowly as a smile forms on his lips. Right now, he's got nothing to say, but just sits there, taking in the image of Lin, who seems to be enveloped in a glow.

Barely breathing, Linora looks back at him, wondering what happens next. Her mind is racing, and the rushing in her ears sounds accusing... or is that her imagination?

Cress reaches out and brushes a stray hair away from her face. He's completely lost for words, so he just smiles at her hoping that she'll say /something, anything/.

Linora closes her eyes at Cress's light touch on her face, taking a deep breath and then letting it out slowly before she dares to speak. "What are we gonna do?" she whispers. And slowly opens her eyes to look up at him, part trusting, part fearful, pleading.

Cress sighs, "become jmen really fast," he says attempting a joke. Doesn't seem to be the time, so he takes her hand a squeezes it. "I dunno, I mean, I guess we'll have to wait." As if /that's/ a solution. Shaking his head he gives her hand another squeeze, hopelessness almost creeping into his eyes.

Linora manages a halfsmile, wondering how quickly she could possibly learn enough to be promoted, and sure it will never be quickly enough to suit her. Her eyes searching his, she lifts her free hand to touch his cheek, lightly running her fingers into his hair and down the side of his neck to rest on his shoulder. Thinking how /very/ hard it will be to wait. And leans in to kiss him again. Just this once.

Cress feels a surge come over him as her lips touches his, and he closes his eyes. He lets his hand find the back of her head and he keeps it there, just for a little while, before he lets go and sits there, his eyes still closed and breathing hard as if he'd come up for air after a long dive. Wow! Feelings he's never know before runs through him and he slowly opens his eyes to look at her again. Was there any girl on Pern as beautiful as this one?

Linora swallows hard; she hadn't been prepared for the way that kiss made her feel... kinda tingly, and... she finds herself lost in his eyes again, her own breath coming quick and shallow, and her heart racing.

Cress suddenly takes a deep breath, reaches out to take his mug, and takes a big swig of juice. "Well, you know, I don't think they mind if we just kiss..." he says, trying to make it okay, for himself as much as for her.

Linora looks down at her hands, fidgeting a bit in her lap. "Maybe," she says, turning hopeful eyes up to him.

Cress holds his mug in both hands and peers at her over the top of it. He just can't keep his eyes off of her. Thank Faranth, that his project is finished and he doesn't have to think of that at the moment. Of course he /should/ be out looking for Riina, to turn it in.

Linora tilts her head a bit, looking at Cress looking at her. After a long moment of that, she reaches for her juice, feeling her way across the table until her fingers find the mug, somehow managing to sip without her eyes ever leaving his. Then slowly lowers the mug to her lap. Hoping he's right.

"Otherwise, we'll just have to run away together," he says teasing her, of course. There's no way he could run away from here, or the Craft. They'd just have to wait...

Linora blinks and almost looks afraid for a moment, until she catches the look in his eyes. A little flush creeps up her cheeks as she realizes how close she came to almost considering it, and she swallows hard. "I can wait if you can," she whispers, hardly daring to ask him to wait for her.

She's definately worth waiting for, Cress thinks and sends her a look that says so. No problem, no problem at all.

The flush deepens slightly as Linora catches that look, no words needing to be said. "I guess I better go," she says, not because she wants to, but because she isn't sure what she'll do if she stays, and she doesn't dare... She sets her mug on the table, but can't seem to move right away.

Go? Cress can't quite fit that into the situation. Why would she leave now? Then it dawns on him, that maybe they've been spending a bit too much time together lately, and not enough time on their studies. He nods slowly and whispers, "yeah..."

Linora nods too, trying not to think of how much she wants to kiss him again, fiercely telling herself she's got a specialty to decide on, and a mentor to choose, and a /lot/ of research to do if she expects to be considered for promotion anytime soon, finally closing her eyes against the voices in her head.

Cress seat straight up in his chair, waiting for her to /leave/ already, and not drag this moment out into infinity. Deep inside he wants her to stay, of course, but... Things just don't work that way, 'specially when you were still apprentices.

Linora sighs and gets to her feet. "I guess I'll see ya," she says quietly. Yeah, that's the right thing to say. Safe. She gives him a little smile and turns to go. Stuff to do, yeah.

Cress looks up at her as she gathers her things to leave. He gets halfway out of his chair, but sits back down as she already halfway out the door before he can even say goodbye. "I'll see ya," he says meekly.

Linora pauses just inside the door to look back at Cress, torn for just a moment more before she forces herself to open the door and let herself out, without another word.