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After the Hunt

Writers: Avery, Heather
Date Posted: 30th January 2020

Characters: K'ran, Saidrene
Description: K'ran and Saidrene spend some time together after a hunt.
Location: Barrier Lake Weyrhold
Date: month 13, day 5 of Turn 9


The hunting parties had been a success. K'ran had received reports from
multiple parties that wild animals had been taken down and brought back
to the Weyr for processing. He'd sent people out in groups of four, so
they could easily herd animals and have safety in numbers, but could
always split up and not be alone if needed.

As promised, when K'ran had set up the parties, he'd made sure that he
and Saidrene were in the same one. Their partners had been Z'dhi and
Fadira. He looked over their successes. They'd taken down five wherries
from a wild flock of them, which they'd all taken back to the Weyr. Five
beasts was a good take for the Weyr, especially when other groups had
succeeded as well.

They'd taken them back to the Weyr and deposited them with the lower
caverns staff. Now K'ran thanked all of the party for working with him
today. Fadira nodded and mumbled, "Thank you, Weyrholder," before
heading off. Z'dhi was a little more enthusiastic in his thanking of
Saidrene and K'ran before he left.

Saidrene still stood next to him. K'ran cleared his throat. "Ashareth
did very well today, landing two of those kills."

A cocky grin twisted Saidrene's lips. "She did, didn't she?" It had been
fun to focus on something around the Weyrhold besides building.

"The pair of you are brilliant fliers. I was proud to have you in my
wing and I'm happy to have you here."

He paused, turned to look out at the sky. It was a candlemark will
sunset, most of the parties back, dinner being served in the Dining
Hall... he remembered his talk with K'lvin about getting to know her,
and said, "Do you want to go back out?"

Hearing that he was happy to have her at Barrier Lake caused a little
flutter in the pit of her stomach. She had worried when she transferred
there that he might resent it, thinking that she was following him when
he might have been glad to be away from her. "To hunt?" she asked, confused.

"I was thinking, actually, how do you feel about fishing? I know a nice
small lake now, one of those barely-explored new places we talked about
at dinner the other night. With the hunting and duties done, we could go
catch something and have a meal." His voice trailed off and he reached a
hand up to scratch at the back of his head, suddenly looking 10 Turns
younger and more nervous.

Time alone with K'ran in a secluded place? That was a no-brainer for
Saidrene. "Fishing it is. I've missed the fish that Dolphin Cove
prepared in the Dining Cavern." She wanted to say that she had missed
their little forays in the bedroom as well, but she had noted that
whenever she did anything remotely flirty, K'ran seemed to be completely
oblivious. She would wait and see where the evening was going before she
put herself out on that limb.

"You would? Oh...Excellent," he said, sounding almost surprised she said
yes. "Would you mind getting some drinks from the Dining Hall and
anything else you might want? While I go get fishing gear from my weyr.
Throw my name around if you have to," he added.

"Don't worry, I'll just use my feminine charm if necessary," she winked
at him as she spun on her heel and headed for the Dining Hall.

He reached a hand after her reflexively, eyes lingering, as he thought
about her 'feminine charm' and the last time he'd been exposed to it.
Then, shaking a head, he went to his weyr. He packed up the fishing gear
he'd mentioned, firestarting tools to cook it with, plus a thick padded
blanket to sit on. After a moment of thinking about the temperature and
considering how long they might stay out, he added two more blankets,
rolling them all up into traveling straps and carrying them out so he
could attach them to Rogueth.

"Apparently my methods work," Saidrene said smugly when she returned
with a basket that held a skin of wine and some baked pastries.

"Looks like you're well equipped," he said. "Are you and Ashareth
excited to see a new place?"

"Ashareth is excited to be going anywhere with Rogueth, and I am excited
to not be sitting alone in my weyr." The greenrider said honestly as she
secured the basket to her dragon's riding straps and then made an nimble
leap to the green's neckridge.

"He seems to favor time with her," K'ran mentioned with a smile spared
for the green. His bronze spent time with greens far more often than he
spent time with women. Since arriving at the lake weyrhold, he'd been
spending a lot of time with the golds, as to be expected with any one of
them being the next possible Weyrwoman. But he'd spent time with greens
too, both ones he'd never met before, and ones he knew, like Ashareth.

He mounted Rogueth and they swept aloft. He summoned the image of their
destination, and had the bronze pass it on. When they came out of
/between/, Rogueth circled to a landing, showing off his flying skill
for Ashareth. The place they arrived at was a small valley in the
mountain range, one that looked like it could easily be overflown. It
had a grove of trees with needles and a rapid-flowing river running
through it down to the end where it slowed and broadened into a tiny
lake with a beach of rocky sand.

K'ran slipped off and unrolled the padded blanket first, spreading it
out by the shore to make it more comfortable.

"You were right," Saidrene said as she slipped down from Ashareth's neckridge. "It is beautiful here. How did you find it?" she asked as she brought the basket of wine and desserts over to the blanket.

"Once this location was chosen, I took a look at the close maps of the territory, and I looked for places where there were homesteads existing or planned, pre the Plagues. I was overflying an abandoned cothold nearby on a sweep, spotted this, and came to investigate."

It was an amazing find, she thought as she sat on the blanket. “Well, Lord Weyrholder, let’s see your fishing skills in action.”

"Hopefully I won't disappoint," he said, baiting a pole. "Care to fish as well, or would you rather start up a fire for cooking?"

-----

The sun had set by the time the fire was built and the fish that had been caught were laid out, having been gutted and prepared for cooking. Timor was rising and the stars were shining. It would be a clear evening.

"I'm glad you came along with me," he said.

"I'm glad you invited me," she said, nudging his shoulder with hers.

"I did remember that you said you wanted to go exploring with me, and it was nice to bring you as company. If it was still light out I'd invite you to see one of the abandoned holds nearby, there's a beautiful one in another ravine." He tilted his head up to look at the stars in the sky.

"Next time then," she said, glancing sideways at the bronzerider to study his profile in the firelight.

"Next time," he agreed. It wasn't that he was ignoring her, he was just caught up in what was around them.

"In another world, without Thread returning...if I hadn't Impressed Rogueth, I would have loved to build a cot out in a place like this, I think," he murmured. "Perhaps even with Impression, back when riders didn't _have_ to live at Weyrs and when we could courier our way across Pern."

Saidrene's lips twisted with amusement. "I'm just imagining Rogueth helping you plow." This was what made K'ran different from most bronzeriders, she thought, as she looked at the scenery around them. Most bronzeriders were consumed with the events taking place inside the Weyr, they could imagine being nowhere else, and they would certainly never give up the glam of their metallic lifemate to live simply out in the countryside.

"Maybe I'd become a carpenter and build everything myself from lumber and grow my garden. He could help carry lumber, dig furrows, dragon dung's a fertilizer..."

Rogueth gave a huff and swished his tail so it drew ripples in the water. }:Not as long as we can fly Thread,:{ he said.

"He doesn't like the idea," K'ran reported.

"Even though it is something you would like to do, Rogueth chose you because he knew that as a team you would be important to the cause of fighting Thread, he sees the other half of you. I guess that's why they say the dragon knows best." Saidrene, having been raised in a Weyr, could imagine no other life.

}:She is right,:{ the bronze said, smug at her praise.

"He always says he knows best, so he appreciates your faith in him," he said. He brought his eyes down from the sky to look at Saidrene as she spoke. The firelight glimmered off her dark hair and smooth skin. The feelings he'd had for her physically at Dolphin Cove that he'd been trying to suppress surged in him.

}:I know what you need. You should fly her.:{

**No, she's not...**

Rogueth then reached out to Ashareth. }:What is your rider thinking about mine? He wants yours but is hesitant.:{

**No!** K'ran thought, a shadowed expression of dismay flicking across his face.

Ashareth didn't even need to consult with her rider. }:Mine is always interested in being caught by yours.:{

Saidrene chuckled. "Uh oh, are the dragons matchmaking?"

"I don't know what they're saying to each other." He tried to catch her eyes in the light. "Are you hoping they are?"

“I would hope that we wouldn’t need them to, you know I am always open to your attention, Wingleader,” she said his former title in a way she knew he would remember.

He shivered, feeling his body stiffening as he remembered the last time he'd heard his old title said like that. Their dragons knew she wanted him. She knew she had wanted him for some time. He knew he wanted her. In the light of the stars and the firelight, kilometers away from the weyrhold and all it held, they felt like just two people and their dragons with no obligations for the moment...no responsibilities... all the reasons he denied himself before didn't seem to matter right now.

"What is it you want right now, Saidrene?" he murmured, leaning over towards her.

Saidrene, who had been leaning in to meet him, pressed her lips to his in answer.

That was the cue he needed. Both hands came up, one gently stroking the hairs at the nape of Saidrene's neck, the other brushing against her cheek as he deepened the kiss and slipped his tongue against her lips. Thoughts of cooking or anything but her fell away.

The greenrider almost could not believe that it was happening. She had felt for a while that K'ran would never be interested in her like this again, because of their age difference, because of duty and rank. Saidrene surrendered herself to him, lips parting as her fingers wound themselves in the front of his shirt.

He pulled her closer, the hand against her cheek dropping to tug her till she was in his lap. When they topped for breath, he tugged at the laces of her top. "How would you have me?" he murmured in her ear, flicking the tip of his tongue against it.

A chill raced down her spine. "Just like this," she said as she turned in his lap, straddling his waist snugly between her thighs as her shirt was pulled over her head and cast aside. Her fingers made quick work of the bronzerider's shirt buttons, recalling exactly the way he had felt the last time his skin was beneath her hands.

He shuddered as they were both bared to the night air, then bit down on her skin where shoulder met neck, licking it in apology after a moment. His hands roamed her body, he rocked his hips and the hard length between them up and into her, seeking friction. "Saidrene," he groaned.

Saidrene rode his hips down, creating delicious friction between them as they moved, her head tossed to the side, her face a mask of pleasure as he kissed her neck. Her fingers traced their way down his torso before pulling at the button of his pants.

Soon enough, their clothes were stripped completely bare, "Let me be on the bottom and protect you from the ground," he encouraged, knowing the padded blanket was a shield but the ground was still stony.

"Such a gentleman," Saidrene said with a cheeky grin, more than happy to accommodate the Weyrholder's wish.

-----

It was much later by the time they were done, Timor bright overhead and the stars having changed position in their progressive dance. The fire had cooled to a low burn. Sweat cooled off his skin as he stroked his hand down Saidrene's back.

"I'm glad you came fishing with me. Even if we never truly got to a meal," he added, amusement in his tone.

Saidrene pushed herself onto her elbows with a smile. "That's okay, I've always preferred dessert over the meal anyway."

"I hope you're satisfied." His hand moved up to play with her dark hair as it changed where it fell. "Even if you've lost out on a meal and some sleep."

"I'm more than satisfied. Especially if this becomes more than a once-in-a-while occurrence." Saidrene knew that might be pushing it, but it was true. She found a sense of safety and belonging with K'ran that she never felt elsewhere.

"Is that what you want?" he asked her, hand stilling slightly. He hadn't expected this from her, had assumed that Saidrene just went for flings.

"Yes, it's what I've always wanted. I just didn't want to seem... clingy? Or make you feel pressured." It sounded pathetic but she would take whatever K'ran was willing to give her. That's exactly how it had been with J'ackt too, always on his terms, a problem had yet to realize about herself.

He shifted how he was laying so he was on his side, fewer rocks digging into his back. "Do you want to keep talking about this here? Or somewhere more comfortable?"

On the one hand, this was a peaceful place under the stars, far away from the weyrhold and any pressures. On the other hand, they were outside on the ground. He figured if this was going to be a long talk he'd leave it up to her.

“I have a comfy bed where this could be discussed,” she said with her incorrigible smile.

“I think that’s a marvelous idea.”

Last updated on the February 1st 2020


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All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are © Anne McCaffrey 1967, 2013, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author. The Dragonriders of Pern© is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.