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Are You Willing? (Part 2)

Writers: Avery, Eimi
Date Posted: 31st December 2017

Characters: Xeladrie, Kiomo
Description: Xeladrie reaches out to Kiomo for help with her plan.
Location: Elsewhere on Pern
Date: month 1, day 23 of Turn 9
Notes: Mentioned: Bryvin, K'dee
Notes: part 2 of 2

"Thank you for coming," she said.

"Of course I came," he said softly, wrapping his arms around her in a
long embrace. "Are you all right?"

"I'm very tired, though I'm told it's normal to be tired after labor
and fellis and everything," she said, "It's all so overwhelming
already. I've only seen her once. They're pushing me about the name."

"That's for Lord Bryvin to decide. Just remind them of that. Come,"
he said, gently relaxing his hold so he could guide her back to the
bed. "You shouldn't be up."

"You're right, that should shush them." She let him guide her back to
the bed and settled down onto it, into the warm hollow.

"Are you still willing to help me?"

He hitched his knee up onto the bed so he could keep a comforting arm
around her. "You are determined, then?"

“Yes,” Xeladrie said simply. She knew she wanted to send her baby to
the Weyr. It was the one thing in her life she was the most sure
about. “There's a sympathetic bronzerider who would take her to a

Well, this was certainly a mess. Now the Weyr was involved! "You've
already spoken to him?"

“Yes. He likes me, and he said he'd take her away and get her fostered
safely. But I don't know how to explain her just disappearing.”

"Oh shards, Xeladrie, please tell me you aren't sleeping with this
bronzerider." Was the child even Bryvin's? It was starting to make
his head spin! And he had to admit, he was a bit jealous of the man.
The Lady was a fine looking woman, even when she was pregnant.

“I've never slept with a man not my husband,” Xeladrie told Kiomo.
“He's just a nice young man who appreciates being told that his war
wounds from Threadfall don't make him bad looking.”

Kiomo snorted softly. She certainly knew how to stroke the male ego
to her favor! Poor fool. "This is dangerous territory, for everyone.
for you."

“I know. Lord Bryvin would be furious with me if he knew I stole away
his child. Even though I'm his wife, and he needed to marry me to gain
control of Sunstone, he could still make my life miserable. But it
would be worth it to save my daughter from growing up like me.”

She touched a hand to his arm, curling her fingers around his sleeve,
and leaned closer to him. “I know I can't trust him, or my father. But
I can trust you, can't I?”

"Of course, Xeladrie, you can trust me..." He had no problem with
being the keeper of her secrets, of her inner most thoughts. But to
assist her in betraying Lord Bryvin and basically to kidnap the
child... Wasn't that a bit far?

“If you don't help me come up with a way of covering this up,I don't
know what is going to happen to me. I've only gotten this far on luck.
But you're smart enough to come up with a plan, and have connections I
don't. Isn't there any story we can sell my husband and father?”

"I'm sure there are ways..." But why couldn't her pet bronzerider
help her figure them out? After all, he had barely spoken to this
woman in the short time he had been at Sunstone!

If Kiomo wouldn't help her cover up the baby's disappearance, who
would? Xeladrie leaned against him so her cheek rested on his
shoulder, even as she thought. Maybe he wasn't going to help her.
Maybe she'd horribly misjudged this. Maybe he was going to go back to
Sunstone and tell Bryvin what she was planning. Maybe all of this was
going to come tumbling down around her.

"Please, Kiomo. I'm scared and I don't know what to do. I trust you to
help me through this. You're the only person I can think of who's
smart and cunning enough to make this work out. Please..." Her voice
cracked on the last word. She'd intended to show him a hint of
vulnerability, but instead it wasn't an act, it was her real fright.

**Shards and shells...** The warmth of her body pressed up against
him, the tickle of her breath on his neck, the feel of her fingers
curling desperately into the cloth of his tunic, the emotion filled
strain in her voice... His heart beat a little faster as he turned
his head to look at her, but instead the movement brought his cheek to
rest against her forehead. Kiomo's throat suddenly felt unexpectedly
dry. "Well... maybe there's some way…"

Their faces were so close now that they were breathing the same air.
His skin against hers felt cool – perhaps she was so warm because of
lingering sick or perhaps it was the nerves running high. Xeladrie
moved her head a fraction so she could stare into his darker eyes with
her wide green ones. “Yes?” she asked, voice trembling.

Those eyes! Kiomo could feel the muscles in his lower stomach tighten
as looked into those round, trusting eyes. And this his gaze drifted
down to her soft parted lips. It would only take a lean and their
lips would touch... "Just... give me a few days. I will think of

Xeladrie exhaled in relief, a shuddering sigh escaping her lips.
“Thank you,” she whispered, the words cracking as they came out.

“I've got time. I know the Healers won't let me leave for awhile. But
please... send me a message if you can safely,” she added.

"Right." It took every ounce of strength he had to lean back and away
from her. He felt like he was walking on one of those high wires he
sometimes saw people traverse in Gather shows. One wrong step in
any direction could be his doom. "Just... don't do anything until
you've heard from me. And play up the being sick a bit longer to buy

She felt suddenly cooler as he moved away, and she shivered slightly
with the loss of their close contact.

“I can play being sick for quite some time. I don't really want to
have to leave this room anyway,” she said. It was truthful.

"Good then." He slowly pushed himself off the bed, feeling a little
lightheaded. "Send your flit to me in three days. I'll give you an
update then."

“Three days,” Xeladrie echoed. She made sure to catch his eye before
he left. “You're a lifesaver.”

He merely nodded as he slowly backed away from the bed and towards the
door. **Kiomo... What have you gotten yourself into?**

Last updated on the January 1st 2018

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