Thursday, August 30, 2012

They've been sitting outside on the porch for awhile, enjoying the stars, the occasional cool breeze... and quiet companionship. Marc takes a deep breath and Rowan raises an eyebrow.

"So... what's the verdict? Can I see you again?"

Rowan is grateful for the darkness, for her face is suddenly hot and she's certain she's blushing as red as her hair. Stop that! she tells herself furiously. You're not a teenager!

"I'm just a plain blunt man, Mam'zelle Rowan... a soldier. You are a healer and a priestess. I am aware of the gap between us...."

...which Rowan, suddenly insecure as any teenager, interprets as age gap... but Marc is still talking.

"You are a diamond, Mam'zelle... I am nothing but common gravel."

Rowan is quiet, so quiet that the warrior wonders if she'd even been listening. Time passes and Rowan remains silent. Marc gets to his feet, certain that silence is to be his only answer.

"Marc... do you know much about diamonds?"

The question seems irrelevant, but he fields it neatly enough. "Not really."

Rowan wears a rueful kind of smile. "Neither do I... but I'm told that it takes an expert to recognize a raw diamond. Before they're cut and polished, they look like ordinary rocks." She looks up then, her eyes meeting his head-on. "They look like common gravel." She drops her eyes then and her voice is quiet. "I have a theory about people... I think we all have a few chips of diamond in us, buried in pounds and pounds of mud and gravel. As in nature, it takes a lot of searching to find them, and it takes skill to recognize them for what they are."

Marc stands motionless, head cocked a little to the side, absorbing this. Finally he speaks. "What does that mean exactly?"

Rowan seems to flow to her feet. "It means I'd love to do this again." Marc finds her somehow next to him and he draws her close, folding her in his arms. The kiss that follows is hungry yet tender and they take their time, reluctant to let this interlude come to a close; and so it happens that they both are a little short of breath - perhaps a little weak in the knees, too - when the kiss finally ends.

"Wow," Rowan says in a shaky voice. "Now I really want to do this again."

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