JP: "Where's the fire, what's the hurry about" [ Dytha / R'bor ] (2/2)

Rogue Kakashi

OoC: Direct follow on to “JP "Slow down, you crazy child.. uh... woman" [ Dytha / R'bor ] (1/2)”

* Sometime later... *

It hadn't been as... ferocious as the Goldflight. But it hadn't been a million dragonlengths away either as she enticed him to let go of the self-control that he held in a vice-like grip. There would be new marks to overlay the ones that were still fading. But she hadn't protested. It was like uncorking a bottle behind which the pressure was threatening to burst free. Tangled against him, the sheen of perspiration clinging to them both, Dytha pushed hair from her eyes as she pushed her lips against his, the fading vestiges of aggression leading her to bite softly at him. "Faranth..." she sighed, "... You feel good when you do that to me..."

R’bor moaned happily next to her, kissing her in response.  He rolled himself and reached over her, making his way on top so he could look at her.  For a second he seemed to just peer into her eyes.  He smiled, “Does that mean I shou--uuu---uuuldfeckincat!”

The bronzerider jumped off of the bed and an orange blur bolted back under the couch.

At first all the movement and noise had frightened the Overlord of their space, but as soon as he got used to it and realized that there was no danger to himself, the feline began to wonder what the Big One was doing to the new Big One.  He decidedly liked the newer one, as it had given him that fish… They stopped as soon as the overlord had gotten close.  As expected, considering how fearsome he was.  Now the new Big One would be… HEY!  BIG ONE GET OFF SHE HAD FISH

The cat hissed, leapt on to the bed and bit R’bor on the butt. 

He escaped the Big One, leaving him to lick his wounds, whilst the Overlord retook his ordained position as house alpha on his favorite shelf, as he awaited more fishes.

She had had to laugh as the moment of chaos ensued and as the ginger streak vanished under the couch, she had gestured for R’bor to come back to the bed. “Come on, let me look at the damage. I’m sure he’s torn you limb from limb. Certainly thinks he’s the one in charge, doesn’t he?” 

R’bor glared at the cat from where he was, staying at the foot of the bed so Dytha could check out the bite, which really had barely pierced the skin.  It was mostly the indignity of having been bitten on the ass in such an intimate moment that bothered the bronzerider.  Maybe later he’d laugh about it, “Are you sure that he’s afraid?  He doesn’t look that way to me.”  

There were a few small pinpricks from claws but nothing too seriously. “You’ll live. I think you need to make sure you pay a trip to the Beastcrafters and make sure he has certain things removed. If I didn’t know better, I don’t think he liked you stealing attention away from him.” She squeezed the assaulted behind gently, a grin on her face as she pushed herself off the bed.

“I think you definitely need to wear him out with playing. Otherwise you’re going to be getting pounced everytime you move.” There was a chuckle as she wiggled back into her underthings, pulling her blouse back over her. “Now, how about we get dinner going and we find a few things to make a few basic toys until you can sort him out properly?”

Her squeeze caused a smile from the man.  She was right, dinner, a distraction is what he needed right now, though the idea of taking the little fiend to get his balls snipped did illicit a perverse sense of satisfaction in the man, as if though he’d lost the battle he would eventually win the war.  Vengeance would be sweet.

R’bor turned to watch her get dressed, appreciating the view., “I’m still the hands,” he answered.  “You know how well they can work.” Leaning into her, the rider touched her chin, lifting her face just enough to steal a kiss before he went in search of his pants.  

She couldn’t remember when she had had so many kisses. Especially ones tinged with the faintest sense of greed for her, that they wanted to devour her. They made her tingle. Shells, why hadn’t she found someone like R’bor turns ago? Maybe she wouldn’t have ended up in this mess with Ponth’s flights if she had.

Wrinkling her nose at him, she sashayed towards the kitchen space with a very definite wiggle. “Oh I definitely know how good your hands are. I’ve been thinking of all different ways you can use them as well.” Was it an innuendo? Probably. At least somewhere .

Some of the tension had gone at least and she felt the wave of alertness that perked through her. At least she would get a good night’s sleep tonight. There was a slow, contented smile on her face as she pulled the trays back out that they had been preparing and the covered ingredients were brought back out. “If I stay away from the sharp things and the hot things, you can amaze me with your incredibly deft fingers.”

Once he’d pulled his pants up, he followed after the woman, resisting the desire to pinch her, grinning every time she said something about it.  “So now you’re bribing me with a prize?”  R’bor asked playfully, recalling the cat and the fish earlier.  “I think it’s working!”

He stepped behind her, pressing himself a little bit as he touched her side, intentionally brushing past, enjoying the momentarily closeness while he passed to turn the oven back on to medium.  “Let’s see... “ he looked over the ingredients that she had uncovered.  “So, the breading for the fish was done… salad done.  What’s up next, Master Dytha?”

Every touch was reciprocated, pressing against him just as much as he did her and it teetered dangerously close to Dytha just giving up on food altogether. So it was with supreme effort that she made herself concentrate, albeit with the help of a new glass of wine. “So toss that veg in oil and those spices like we said and get them into the oven. They’ll easily need a half-candlemark before the fish goes in. Whilst they’re cooking, you’re going to shred the salad leaves up and mix them with that small bottle of dressing oil.” She had perched again on the stool, this time keeping hands out of the way.

Out on the ledge, Ponth was reflecting her Rider, grabbing hold of Vukoth’s jaw and mouthing it gently. The small green had found a novel way to get close to the bronze, pushing at him to lie on his side as she slithered close, pressing her belly to his own as her tail wrapped about his as she wriggled under his forearms. It was comical, like a weyrling green attempting to charm a much older, maturer bronze. But Ponth was determined and she was enjoying the shivers of sensation that Hers had felt. Of course it would make her insistence that the bronze could fly her all the worse. After all, Vukoth’s was much bigger than Hers and that hadn’t stopped them!

Vukoth let Ponth do as she pleased; half dozing, half reciprocating the attention.  He’d felt their riders go to bed and amidst the sexual feeling he was receiving, the bronze dragon contemplated the closeness of the green against him.  He enjoyed it; her warmth and playful personality being so refreshing compared to other greens and golds he’d dealt with.  It was a shame she was so small… Who said he couldn’t if he wanted to?  He was sure there was a way.  Just as Ponth herself had noted, R’bor and Dytha had a similar size disparity and it seemed to work just fine for them… so why shouldn’t Vukoth fly Ponth?

{{ My little beauty, }} the bronze purred to the green, softly passing his clawed hand carefully down the length of her beautiful, green hide.

Within a few moments the vegetables were in the oven and R’bor was chopping up the leafy greens, recalling the first day they’d started to clean out Dytha’s weyr.  “Is this some of the same stuff from the last time?” he asked her, his eyes flicking up towards her.

Ignoring the smug satisfaction of Ponth, who was positively vibrating under Vukoth’s paws, emitting a low and warbling trill that was probably about as close as a dragon came to purring, Dytha watched R’bor as he worked. His attention to detail was obvious, the man being noticeably fastidious. She had grinned as he asked his question. “But of course! I remembered how much you liked my greens. So I figured I should let you have some for yourself.” As she spoke, she leaned over and stole a few leaves for herself, eyes twinkling as she munched away. “But for some reason I’m so terribly hungry that I can’t promise I won’t eat them all. It’s like I’ve just had some huge amount of exercise. Can’t fathom it.” 

She didn’t realise that there was probably as much self-satisfied smugness coming from her as there was her green. The self-indulgence of the very recently and very pleasingly satisfied. “Have you got any baking parchment? I grabbed a few sheets from mine if not - they’re in the basket. Set them on a tray and get the fish. You’re going to bread it in a minute.” Shells, why was it so hard to keep her hands to herself?! She wanted to grab him all over again, pull him to her. So she sat on her hands. Quite literally.

“Oooh, so you’re a staving little thief then, hm?”  R’bor joked, enjoying her satisfied smugness.  And why shouldn’t he?  He was the one that had satisfied her.  He surprised himself with that thought--there were times, especially when comparing himself to other bronzeriders, that he’d often wondered why Vukoth had chosen him.  There was some arrogance in himself, he realized, and maybe that wasn’t a bad thing.  It made him confident.  “I don’t have any baking parchment, maybe I should steal it from you, since you’re stealing my greens.”

He came close to her and as he put one hand in the basket she’d brought with her, he leaned and kissed her lips briefly.  “Keep stealing things,” he whispered to her, “And I’ll show you what I do to little thieves~...”  He gave her thigh a quick pinch and fled before she could avenge herself, “Time to bread it then?”

“Well with an offer like that, I think I should steal everything.” It was nothing short of a lascivious purr, a tone that surprised Dytha’s thoughts to hear it coming from her. She didn’t purr! Or flirt! But then she also didn’t fall into bed with man-mountains and let them destroy her. But something about the way he looked at her, like he could devour her on the spot. It filled her with a deep heat of confidence. One that she didn’t know but felt almost drunk from. Was this what Mendl had meant when they had gone to the beach? 

The kiss was too brief and she pouted when he moved away before she could pull him back for more, wriggling as he pinched her. Faranth on a golden wherry, what had he done to her? Her eyes were deliberately fixed on him as she reached over and took a little more of the salad greens. “Yes, time to bread.” Think about fish. Think about dinner. Do not think about just wearing a shirt and underthings and how easy it would be to… no. Food. Shells, she was going to start swimming in the coldest part of the lake every day if this was how it was going to be. “So there’s a couple of eggs. Break them and whisk them together. You want to either dip the fish into them and then into the crumbs. Or brush it on if you have a pastry brush.” Which she did but hadn’t thought to bring it. “If you’ve got a flat dish, that’s a good place to do it with some of the breadcrumbs on a plate.” 

Food. Instructions. Cookery lesson. She could do this.

“When you’re done, set it into the coolbox so your little furball doesn’t steal it off the counter and then we’re going to start making a few homemade toys so he has something to play with that doesn’t involve drawing blood.”

“I’m pretty sure that he thinks that blood is half the fun,” the rider replied but complied with her instructions, almost as she was giving them.  He pulled the eggs out of the basket and cracked them into a bowl and quickly whisked them together.  Within moments he was pouring the breadcrumbs onto a plate and flipping the egg-soaked fish over the crumbs.  “Look at him,”  R’bor said, motioning to the cat with his head, which was watching what he was doing from his shelf, licking his chops.  “He thinks this is his.  Not today, fiend.  Does this look about right?”

She had followed the direction of his view and spotted the little beast. Again she let out the sharp hiss between her teeth. A verbal warning of “don’t even try it”. “If” there is any left over at the end of eating, then he could have the scraps. Same for if you cook anything and you pull off any skin. They’d already done it for me to save time but if you cook anything like that and there’s scraps, put them to one side and he can have them. But after  you are done with your own food. If you give it to him whilst you’re cooking, he’ll start to be a bother when you’re preparing anything. And same with scraps. Don’t do it straight away after eating - because then he learns to bother you when you eat. Just pop it down randomly.”

Dytha inspected the breaded fish, giving a nod with an expression of “not bad”. “Admit it, you already know how to cook, you just wanted to get me here so you could take advantage of me.” He was a fast learner, she appreciated that. She could have patience for days but she was so tired she wasn’t sure she would hold it together for repeating herself multiple times. “So your next task involves finding an old shirt if you’ve got one. Something you don’t mind tearing up… and I need a little more of your wine. Because that’s bloody good stuff.”

“I’ve got plenty left,” he answered after putting the fish into the coolbox while they changed activities for the moment.  He enjoyed being complimented by her, “I can neither confirm nor deny any skill with cooking without legal counsel…” he joked as he returned to her.  “What I *am* good at is following instructions… especially when I have such a good teacher.”

He was currently shirtless or he would’ve just given that one up, but since he had to go find one he decided he might as well find the oldest one he could get ahold of.  He found one that he’d had since he was a candidate; there were some holes in it that he’d gotten from climbing around where he shouldn’t have, which is why he’d stopped wearing it.  Sometimes he used it when he was cleaning the rest.  

“Does this one work?” he asked, tossing it over to Dytha.  He came up behind the healer and placed both hands on her shoulders and began to knead the area.

As he busied himself, she had hopped off the stool to quickly check the vegetables and satisfied they hadn’t burst into flame, had retaken her perch and poured herself another generous glass of wine to sip from. She could feel the heady coils of merriment it caused and it helped to relax her. She had no intention of getting stone cold drunk but she did like the way that a little wine just took the edge off. 

The shirt that was thrown her way was caught deftly and Dytha looked it over. “Ah hah! This will be ideal and we can…. Oohhhhhh.” Her words tailed off into a deep groan as she felt his hands kneading at her shoulders, her head lolling forward like it was on a string. The muscles in her neck and back in general were tight and hard from overwork. She had already set aside a small pouch of coin to take to the Black Wagons at the next Gather to have them work out all the stress. But in the mean time…

“Shells…” she groaned, “... that’s good…”

“Yeah?”  He asked, leaning down to playfully speak directly into her ear, “You say that everytime I touch you, Dytha.”  His tone was playful and he didn’t take long before he decided to straighten up, continuing with his work on her shoulders.  “What’s next?”

There was definitely a growl. Because it was good. Good in a way that made her realise that she had been starved for touch in a way she hadn’t fathomed, had convinced herself she didn’t need to fall into the trap of Riders who shared furs with all and sundry. Shells, this all circled back round to Ponth again. Maybe she should consider talking to someone. Maybe.

As his hands moved, the groans were deep, guttural in a different way to those of earlier. These spoke of a different kind of relief as she felt the muscles give way. “Away with you..” she moaned, throwing the shirt back at him. “... before I make you relax every muscle I have. Start tearing that into strips. About an inch wide and a foot long…” She needed more wine. The faint scents of cooking food were beginning to fill the air as well, a niggling reminder that there were still things to do. Not people.

R’bor bit his lip and did his best not to laugh at her reaction--relax every muscle she had?  The bronzerider couldn’t help but be drawn to the idea.  He caught the shirt and stepped away from her, reaching for a knife to start slicing at the shirt, as per her instructions.  “What next, Master Dytha?”  He was more than engrossed in this.. And in her, and he’d already half forgotten the vegetables in the oven.  “I might have some string for strap mending.  I could get some more later, if you want to use that.”

“Start tying a few together. You want them to have a knot at one end but leave tassels free. If you’ve got string, use that too. You want to just make an assortment of dangly strips. Shells, even tying a strip to a wooden spoon and use it to trail across the ground.” Hopping down from the stool, wine glass in hand, she checked the vegetables again. Looked like his oven ran a little hot. They may be done sooner rather than later.

Sauntering over to his couch, her bare feet slapping the ground, she dropped onto it after grabbing a couple of strips and began deftly tying them together in a long, thick twist that she wrapped around on itself until it made a small ball. “The best thing about feline toys is that you can be as complex or as simple as you like. So long as it has bits that trail around or can be flicked about, you’ll keep him happy.”

As Dytha made her way to the couch the cat became alert and swiped at her a few times from his position on the shelf directly above the couch, but unlike R’bor, Dytha was much shorter and easily avoided the cat’s ferocious attack.  R’bor raised a brow as he returned with the strings and, ducking low to avoid the feline, he sat on the couch next to her.  Without thinking about it, he greeted her by putting a hand on her thigh and squeezing, “Simple things, these cats,” he observed after her explanation, resisting his urge to crawl on top of her and pull her clothes off.  He wasn’t even sure what was happening to him.  He’d never been this hungry for another person before.  What was it supposed to mean?  He’d had to put some serious thought into it later..  “I figure it’s better for him to chase that than me.”

Just as easily as R’bor had settled beside her, Dytha draped her legs across his lap, hands still weaving the ends of the ball together with small knots that she tucked into each other. She was so short that she had been oblivious to the swipes aimed at her head but she held the ball up, making a squeaking noise with her lips until she caught the cat’s eye and promptly flicked the ball across the room - watching to see if he’d chase it.

“They don’t want for much, not really, just need a bit more care when they’re kittens because they need a few rules setting down. And maybe he’ll stop trying to murder you in your sleep.” The last was said with a laugh, mirth twinkling darkly in her eyes.

The cat was immediately off after the ball, chasing after it until the both disappeared under R’bor’s bed.  She had made the toy with relative ease, and he had a good idea of how to make the next.  Already he was giving thoughts on how to improve the design, adding strings or something so he could pull the ball back without losing it under the bed, for example.

“Good thing I have you to teach me,” he said, his hands drifting over her legs, caressing and squeezing her.  He had not had a drop of wine, nor was he possessed by flight lust--maybe she’d see that and start realizing that what R’bor felt towards her was sincere attraction.  “I was worried I’d have to get some sort of rodent for him to chase around the weyr.  You saved me from being killed by my cat… how will I ever repay you?”

“I mean if you let him free roam, don’t be surprised to find disembowelled crawlers on your pillows in the mornings. Apparently they think we can’t hunt or something.” The touch of his hand on her legs made goose pimples jump out on the smooth skin, scrubbed with the exfoliating stones that also removed the hair. Using one of the fabric strips she flicked him playfully, the end pinging off his chest.

“I’m cooking you dinner. I’m teaching you how to survive your wicked feline. You better come up with something incredibly worthwhile, sir Bronzrider. Otherwise I’ll just feel used and abused.” 

Why was it so easy to tease him like this? Just so easy to let the banter roll out in easy jibes where there was no spite or even suspicion. It was just…. easy. 

“What would I ever do without you?  I’d be starving and hiding under my furs if it wasn’t for you~...”  He leaned, his lips reaching her neck and softly kissing her skin.  He started a little trail that ended just as he reached her shoulder.  HIs hand had slowly started to drift up the inside of her thigh, “I wish I knew what you’d done to me,” he half whispered into her ear, “To make me unable to keep my hands off of you... to keep me thinking of you.”

“It’s true, you’d have wasted away to nothing, all those muscles of yours faded to nothing.” The laughter he elicited was thick and mischievous, trailing into a light groan as his lips touched her flesh. “Mmm… I dosed your wine when  you weren’t looking… and clearly you did something to mine… half the time I keep thinking about those wonderful muscles underneath my fingers…” Said hands were walking their way up his waist, their strips of fabric forgotten about as he leaned over her. For Faranth’s sake, had someone dosed her with Flight? Had he?! Ponth couldn’t be proddy, not at all… but he was intoxicating. Why?!

“I forgot to drink my wine,” he replied, biting her cheek softly.  His hand reached the space between her thighs and began to touch her, applying pressure to where he knew she was sensitive, in the way he’d learned she liked it--taking over as if she belonged to him, though they both knew that if for whatever reason she said no he would back off.  He bit her bottom lip and pulled on it before going in for the kiss, a passionate example of how much he wanted her now and always.

Her response was hot, fervent as her tongue flickered against his lips, a hand gripping behind his neck to pull her to him. In response to his probing, delving fingers, there was a deep, almost pain-filled groan as she parted her legs for him all too willingly. Pulling from his lips as though gasping for air, Dytha shuddered into him. “How do you do this to me….” It was a gasped groan of words before her lips pressed back hard against his own. 

The man couldn’t help but smile when he heard her, but before he could come up with any clever response her lips were on his again and he was suddenly much too preoccupied for things like “words.”  Without interrupting the kiss or moving his hand, R’bor positioned himself between her legs as he pulled on his own pants with his free hand, becoming instantly naked due to his lack of any other item of clothing.

** Closes Curtains **

** Opens Curtains **

As passion simmered down and other senses began to remember that there was more to their operation than drowning in intoxicating pleasure, Dytha’s nose began to twitch, realising that there was a scent in the air that wasn’t meant to be there. And she wasn’t talking about the scent of sex. Closing her eyes, she groaned but there was still a laugh beneath it.

“Those vegetables are totally ruined. Luckily for you we still have fish and if you have any fresh bread, I can still make us something of a feast.”

“The vegetables?”  R’bor frowned, having completely forgotten about them in the throes of passion.  He sniffed at the air, the burning smell having permeated through the entire weyr.  “Feck!  Oh… well, can’t say I regret getting… distracted…”  He smirked, leaning over to give Dytha a quick kiss on the lips before getting up and heading over to the little oven. 

He pulled it out after protecting himself with a mit, revealing blackened pieces of tubers and whatever other vegetables Dytha had had him cut up.  “Err, yeah, I think I do have some bread actually.  You’re in luck, I brought up a loaf yesterday.  It should still be fresh.”

As he got up, she stretched, stifling a groan at the pulls and aches. There was going to be a very long bath when she got home. And more than a dab of numbweed. She didn’t hurry to find clothes, lounging lazily on the couch as she watched him go. As she smell of burned vegetables came out into the open, she groaned again. “Shells, next time I’m bringing a timer. That or we learn to restrain ourselves.” Although the smile curling her lips suggested that that was the last thing she wanted them to do.

“Let them cool on the side and then toss them. Grab the fish and get it in. It won’t need more than a quarter candlemark. Then you’re going to cut some bread and be very generous with the butter. Serve that with the fish and some of the salad greens and we’ve still got a reasonable meal. And no you don’t need to put any clothes on.” Now there was something dark and wicked in her eyes, something entirely content to lie naked on his couch and watch him prepare food. Also naked.

“If you want me to control myself then stop being so damn cute,” R’bor answered as he set the pan to one side, and let it cool as she’d instructed.  He carefully placed the fish he’d breaded before onto a new pan and slipped it into the oven.  At her last instruction he looked back at her, a sly grin on his face.  “Enjoying the view?”

It took him a moment but he found the bread and the butter and got to work, a proud grin on his lips as he kept looking back at her.  They had just had sex, but he felt that he could go at it again.  After so many turns holding himself back it felt good to be someone who accepted him so completely, made him feel safe and comfortable, which in turn was what made him capable of reciprocating the feeling towards her.

With a very smug smirk, Dytha pulled herself up on the couch, settling easily into a seating position. The couch was surprisingly comfortable. Even if it possibly needed burning now. It was a very alien feeling to be so entirely comfortable with sitting naked in another person’s weyr. Just as crazy as wild sex and then sitting comfortably naked in said person’s weyr. And yet she felt she could stay like that forever. Although she couldn’t guarantee that they’d ever see the light of day again.

“Very much. It’s a very enjoyable view.” There was a lascivious wiggle of her eyebrows, a flicker of amusement in her eyes and the constant pulling of a barely contained smile at her lips. Even now she noticed the glances. Constant. Like he expected her to vanish if he turned his back for too long. “Do I need to be less distracting for you so you don’t burn what’s left of our dinner?” As she spoke there was a very deliberate upper body jiggle on her part. She couldn’t stop herself. Something in her wanted to tease and tease some more. But only here. Only with him. 

R’bor laughed, “Not at all, I think you should come here and distract me a little more,” he said, inviting her over.  He couldn’t help his body’s natural reaction to seeing her shake herself that way.  She was too dangerous, he decided, though he enjoyed that a lot about her.  He finished the bread and set it aside and then turned towards her, stretching his arms upwards, giving her a full view of his body as he stretched and flexed his core muscles in front of her.  “I’m going to have to start stretching more often, you make me work harder than any work out I’ve ever done.  And that’s a good thing~”

“If I come over there then we will never get fed tonight and we’ll both die of starvation!” There was a laugh in her voice but it didn’t stop her viewing him appraisingly, her eyes roving shamelessly over him as he flexed and posed. It took a supreme amount of willpower not to do… well, whatever it was her brain was telling her not to do. Something that likely didn’t involve getting any food whatsoever. “Maybe I need to come and try to cook you dinner more often so you can have a more intensive workout.” She knew he was into his fitness, had been since the day she’d met him, shells, how many turns ago now? Four? It had to be at least that.

“I can be extremely motivational, you know, I’ll jump about and cheer you on. Maybe wiggle provocatively at you in order to give you some inspiration. Stand just out of reach so you have to work extra hard.” 

R’bor laughed, “I have to say, I don't think I’ve ever heard better ideas to get me working out even harder,” he played along, and close the space between them a little more.  He was close enough that if he reached out he’d be able to touch her, but decided not to, enjoying being able to see her bounce about so playfully.  “Maybe I should think about how I should motivate you to come and cook for me.  Maybe I should bring out some oil… let you put it on me.  I’m sure that those healer hands of yours can show me a trick or two~...” 

The smell of the fish baking in the oven was starting to fill the room, bringing R’bor’s cat back out of its hiding place.  After it saw R’bor and Dytha going at it again, it’s decided that this time it was better to remain safe.  It found the smell intoxicating, and soon it was on top of the counter, liking the plate that the fish had rested on before being passed over onto the backing sheet.

It was Dytha’s inner Healer and need for clean surfaces that didn’t cope with felines on counters. Especially not felines on counters licking plates. A brow flicked into an arch as she spotted the creature. “And you’re going to practice your feline keeping training,” she said, pointing a finger at the feline. “That is a habit you need to get on top of unless you want to think about where your food has been. Remember that noise I made? Use that with a couple of claps in his direction. And if he gets stubborn, a bit of water won’t harm. And when he’s gone, I would recommend wiping down the surface. Not that I’m anal about clean counter tops.”

It wasn’t until he saw her gaze go to the cat that he realized that it had decided to jump up on the counter.  The rider turned to look and frowned, “You may not be, but *I* am.” 

Making his way over, R”bor clapped it large hands twice--loudly.  The first made the feline jump and the second made him hiss at R’bor, who hissed right back at it, just as Dytha had done earlier, followed by a series of louder, faster claps.  Confused and scared, the cat jumped from the counter to the sofa Dytha was on and up onto the shelves it had claimed for its own.  “Shardin’ cat,” he murmured as he took a cloth and started wiping down the surface.  He placed the licked plate in the sink.  “How long do you think it’ll take the fish?  Should I Put the bread in already?”

Dytha nodded approvingly as he followed through. “Don’t be afraid to draw absolute lines in the sand. There are ways to deter without being cruel about it. Just make sure you do the same every time so there’s no confusion. Don’t let him get away with it one day and then not the next. Like Mimsi, she is absolutely not allowed on the cupboards over my klah stove. Yes, I have the benefit of the emotional link but even so, if she goes near it, I make a noise deterrence to startle her away. I don’t want her afraid but I want her to remember that an unpleasant noise happened when she got too close.”

Getting to her feet, she sauntered over, swiping the cloth as she pulled the oven open. The scent of the cooking fish was rich and she waved him over. “See how the crumbs have baked golden? You want to get that golden colour but the oven temperature is important so get to know your oven. Does it run hot, is it a bit cooler, does it have a hot spot?” Straightening she flicked the cloth at R’bor, flicking him smartly on the behind. “Grab a plate and I’ll show you how to check it’s done.”

“Hm?  Oh!  Yes!”  A sheepish grin grew on the man’s lips, as he pretended to be distracted by the young woman bending over to open the oven, though he had absorbed the information she presented him with.  Luckily the man was a quick learner..  He got to it, grabbing a plate from a cupboard right above the stove.  “How did you learn to cook so well?”

He earned himself a playful wiggle for his ogling, sashaying past him with an exaggerated sway as she gestured for him to get the fish out. “My mother insisted that I needed to be able to cook well to make up for my… well, my less than attractive aspects. She meant it well, she just wanted me to ensure that I had talents that would draw attention away from you know, my feet.” Dytha’s matter of fact tone showed she wasn’t offended by the notion, it had just been what it was, a Hold family considering the best way that their daughter might make herself appealing to a prospective husband. “Turned out I really enjoyed cooking… you need to use a knife and fork to gently pull at some of the fish. If it comes away in big flakes, it’s done. And I really need it to be done because I am starving. And not just for you. I need real food.”

“What, so I’m not real food now?” he asked, faking an exaggerated posh tone before bursting out laughing.  “Well, I for one, am very pleased that you did enjoy cooking, enough to get good at it.  This fish smells amazing,” he said, grabbing a fork and a knife and doing as Dytha had described, pulling a rather large flake away--it looked done, at least.  He decided to make no mention at her feet--he knew that even though she hid it well it was a big factor in her life.  It honestly didn’t bother the bronzerider, past the initial surprise at seeing how bad they could get the first time, and even then it wasn’t something he’d really balked at, instead feeling sympathy and curiosity.  R’bor liked her; he liked her wit and her charm, her surprising array of skills that were proving surprisingly helpful to him, as well as her feminine body in all it’s glory.  “Good news, Dytha, I think we get to live another day… food is ready!”

She had stood back slightly, busying herself with getting plates and setting the buttered bread and salad on them, keeping half an eye as he checked the fish. She had spotted it was cooked almost immediately having prepared an almost identical meal many times before. “Looks damned good to me,” she said, leaning treacherously close with a plate in either hand. “Dish it up before I snatch it off you and eat it all myself.” She waggled her eyebrows at him, a smirk curling her lips. “And as much as I enjoy devouring you, I need something a bit more food orientated. Although I’m sure I can make room for a third R’bor sized portion.” She felt shameless bantering like this, but it was just so easy to do.

R’bor gave her a smirk, “Lucky for me you’re small enough that I could eat you all day and just keep wanting more of Dytha and her yummy thighs~”

Honestly he had no idea how he was supposed to dish it up so he did the best he could, cutting it in half and placing one half on each plate.  He made sure to grab a fresh bottle of wine, one he’d been saving, a Benden White, because he’d heard it was fancy, and set it on the counter between the two of them.  “I think we can eat here… or we could go back to the couch and the coffee table?”  he smirked.  “I’m helpless, I think.  They don’t teach you much about dinner dates with pretty dragonhealers on a boat.”

“Oh so it’s a dinner date now, is it?” It was easier… and probably safer to eat at the counter, propped up on stools. R’bor’s effort at preparing the fish had been complimented - after all, for a first try it had been damned good. There was wine and laughter and more than a little teasing of the other. And more than one stealthy hand grabbing a mischievous squeeze. But their impromptu meal, although somewhat derailed from its original plan, still did the trick. There was even enough scraps left over to be put down for R’bor’s feline beast before they retired to the couch and Dytha had draped herself easily about him.

There had been more touches, more kisses and probably more things that would make toes curl. But there had been a giddy intensity beneath it each as fascinated by the other as themselves, baffled by the manner in which, behind those closed doors, they had taken off the masks that they normally kept rigidly in place for the rest of the world. Eventually, albeit much, much later than planned, Dytha had dragged herself away, but with promises that they were sure that another dinner could be arranged. And next time, they weren’t going to let it burn.