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Roommates Once More


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Shawn was exhausted. Not that he'd had a hard day or anything. In fact, as training goes this had been the lightest day since he started four years ago, doing nothing more than his morning cicuit. But after his promotion ceremony he had been whisked away to a party at the Siren's Call and stayed most of the night.


Now it was nearly midnight and he was stumbling his way through the Tower Guard barracks looking for his new room. Dene had given him directions of course so it didn't take long before he found himself standing outside the door. It would be nice to room with Dene again. It had been two months since she'd moved out of their old room following her own promotion and he'd not seen much of her since then.


Come to think of it Shawn wasn't sure if they'd even spoken at all since she'd started her new duties. He'd seen her around of course, but she was always busy, she even had a few mentees now. It would be nice to catch up and see what she'd been up to. More than that, it would be nice to just see her again and be near her.


He also wondered what the room looked like, would it be any bigger than the other? Taking a deep breath he walked in to find out.

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Deneira’s heart was pounding, and she started shaking any time she tried to stand up. She didnt know what had over come her, but since she had found out a few days earlier that Shawn was getting raised and he would be in her room, she was shaky and excited and nervous about everything. She had started cleaning her room, and was trying to make everything perfect. The room was a lot larger than before, and she had enjoyed it. There was two beds, both large enough for two people, and they were on connecting walls, at an angle. A fireplace stood opposite, and a door was at the foot of one of the beds. The other bed, there was a window above it, and a closet at the foot. Along the two bare walls, there was a desk and a dresser. She had spread her few items out and about the room carelessly, as she had immediately been thrown into training. Her father’s books were in a small pile on her desk, and her few clothes were hung up in the closet. Both of her weapons were on the weapon rack by the door, and at the dresser, only a necklace and her hairbrush and hairties occupied it. She never really had time to be a girl, which was something she regretted.


After getting off of watch, she had dashed back to her room. She washed quickly, and then got into her best clothes, or at least, the best on her. The pants were loose, but tight across her buttox, and about halfway down her leg. She wore only a short sleeved shirt on the top. Her feet were bare, and her hair was left untied and loose in curly waves down her back. It had been two months since she had seen Shawn and actually talked to him, and now, they were being reunited. It felt like it had been years since she had talked to him, but it had not even been half a year. But she was different now. She was completely different now. Yes, she still liked to laugh, and she enjoyed a male’s company every now and then, but she no longer slept around, and she enjoyed getting to know people before they went to bed. Perhaps that was what Shawn had meant those few months before, the first time he had turned her down for anything more than friendship. They hadnt talked of it since then, but she was willing to try again, and she hoped he would accept her.


She waited, the room illuminated by the many candles around the room and the fireplace that was bursting with light and heat. She sat there waiting, and he didnt come. She layed back on the bed, relaxing, waiting. Her eyes were shut when she heard the door open, and then close. Sitting up, she smiled when she saw it was him. “Shawn!†she exclaimed, jumping up off of the bed and running to him. She wrapped her arms around him and hugged tight. “I missed you...†she whispered into his ear and he hugged her tight. Light, and how much she had missed him. She thought about him all the time. Even when she was with other men, she kept comparing what they did to what he did. She even considered how they were in bed to how she thought he would be. She couldnt help it, and felt guilty for sleeping with someone. She felt him tighten his arms around her, and she smiled to herself, glad that he seemed to miss her too.


She pulled back and kissed him softly on the cheek, trying to keep back the tears. Becoming a tower guard had been one of the best and one of the worst things to ever happen to. She was finally being raised, and was finally allowed to do as she pleased. But she was being separated from him. They couldnt have a relationship while she was a rank above him, and she was too busy to ever hang out with him when he had time. It was like a piece of her was missing. He was one of her best friends, and at the same time, one of the only boys she had never slept with. They had come really close the first night he had been in the same room as her, but he had turned her down. They were having a chance again. Staring in his eyes, she couldnt help it as a single tear fell. “I missed you so much...†She smiled, and hugged closer to him again, glad he was back with her.

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As soon as he was in the door she yelled his name and jumped into his arms. Well, that answers that. He was nervous that she might have forgotten about him or that her feelings might have changed but he could see that he'd had nothing to worry about after all.


She whispered that she missed him and he found himself squeezing tighter to be sure she was real. Then she pulled back and kissed him. It was just a soft gentle peck on the cheek but it got his heart racing with desire for more. What was this power she had over him? Could it be love? Or was it just an overdeveloped infatuation?


He could see tears in her eyes as she whispered once more, "I missed you so much..." and hugged him again. He squeezed her tight and then pulled her gently away. He wiped the tears from her eyes and spoke for the first time since he got there, "I've missed you as well Dene. I had no idea when you left how little we'd see each other till now. I've missed you terribly."


Shawn took a moment then to look around the room, surprised at just how much bigger it was than their old place. He carefully placed his newly acquired red cloak on the hook by the door, right next to hers. Then, because he'd been away from them for so long--almost twelve hours--he went to check on his weapons. It was a nice gesture on her part to bring them here for him, along with his clothes and other belongings, and he trusted her more than anyone else, but Corin had emphasized repeatedly the importance of looking after your own weapons. He found his swords and bow on the rack next to her weapons, still in just as good condition as he'd left them. Next to the rack his two armbands full of throwing knives hung on pegs on the wall. He hung his ceremonial dagger next to them and turned back to his roommate.


He saw a look of concern when he turned back and hurried to reassure her. "Please don't be insulted Dene. It wasn't that I don't trust you, I do. I just had to check. You know how it is." He walked the few steps back to her and took her in his arms once more. Then he sat on the closest bed, pulled her into his lap and asked, "So, which bed is mine, this one or the other?"

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His arms tightened around her, and she almost gasped a sigh of relief. He had missed her too. She had been hoping that he still wanted to be with her, but she didnt know, since they hadnt talked. He pulled away slowly, and she felt his finger under her eye, whiping away first one, and then another tear. Their eyes held each other as his finger moved to the other eye, whiping away those now. He softly spoke, and her heart melted again. "I've missed you as well Dene. I had no idea when you left how little we'd see each other till now. I've missed you terribly."


He looked around, and Deneira crossed her arms over her chest while he looked around. He messed with a few things, and she watched. She knew what he was doing- it was only instinct to check his weapons. She did it too, every time she returned to her room. “You know how it is." She nodded her head, and he walked back to her, wrapping her up in his arms. He pulled her to the nearest bed and sat down, pulling her with him. She set her head on his shoulder, and wrapped her arms around his, enjoying the feeling in his arms. "So, which bed is mine, this one or the other?"


Oh, how she wanted to tell him the truth. Light, if only she could. But, he would probably be turned away, so she held back, and smiled softly as she looked up and into his eyes. “Well, usually, I just pass out on whatever bed I get to first, but it is up to you.†She had to bite her tongue to keep from telling him that she wanted to share the bed. She didnt need sex, as much as she longed for it with him, but she wanted to be wrapped up in his arms, and never leave them. She wanted to wake up in the morning, still feeling him there. She wanted to keep the feeling of him with her there forever.


But at the same time, she was scared. She wanted to run away and hide. The feelings she felt, and the want and need that were so new to her. She still wanted him sexually, but she wanted to know what he was thinking, she wanted to hear him talk, she wanted to know what his heart longed for, and she wanted to know how he felt about her. She wanted to be with him forever, and if they never had sex, she would be fine because she would be with him. Never before had she felt that. It was all so new, and so... scary.


Burying her face back into his shoulder, she softly whispered, “I trust you. Whatever you want to do, I am fine with. Ask of it, and it is yours.†Where had that last one come from? She would give him anything? That was basically what she had said. “As long as you are here, I am fine.†And where had that come from? She couldnt admit it to herself, but she knew. It was coming from her heart.

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"I trust you. Whatever you want to do, I am fine with. Ask of it, and it is yours. As long as you are here, I am fine."


Shawn was touched by her vulnerability. Touched, and scared. She had changed much since their first night together. She was becoming the woman, nay the lady, that he knew she could be. It was humbling to think that it might have been because of him, because of the things he'd said to her. And yet, what else could change her so soon?


This vulnerability of hers scared him though. He wasn't worthy of this much of her trust. But there it was, her heart laid bare for him. So much of who she was was in his hands now. So much of what she could become. He had to be careful and tread lightly lest he crush her sprit.


"Anything I ask? Well, what if I ask you to join me on a date? A real date, with dinner and dancing and nice clothes. Would you accept such an offer?"

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He stopped at her words, looking at her for a moment. She still remembered their first night together, when he told her that he would not sleep with her because she was better than that. She could remember every word of it, and slowly, she was getting it. She would never be whole unless she loved instead of lusted. She was better than a touch and go, and she, in his eyes, deserved more. And if he wanted her still, she would let him have her. He was the only one that understood her.


"Anything I ask? Well, what if I ask you to join me on a date? A real date, with dinner and dancing and nice clothes. Would you accept such an offer?" A date? Like, a real one? She had never been on a real date. Well, yes, she had gone to dinner, but it always ended up in someone’s bed, and she had just worn regular clothes. A real date... she couldnt believe it.


Her head nodded, and she smiled at him. “A real date? You must promise to bathe first!†They both laughed, and when silence came to them again, his eyes held hers, a certain softness in them. “I would love to go on a date with you, but I fear I have nothing to wear.†He smiled at her, and she smiled back. This was almost a game of stones. They were both making moves, some dangerous, and some safe. It was hard to tell who would end up where, and whether or not they would win the game they were playing with eachother, the same goal in mind.

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She seemed surprised by his question, shocked really. Good. He enjoyed surprising people and as she nodded her head he knew it was a good surprise and one she surely enjoyed receiving. He considered inviting her to bathe with him when she mentioned it but remembered the rocky footing that had placed them on the last time and simply laughed along with her.

“I would love to go on a date with you, but I fear I have nothing to wear.†Oh. Shawn hadn't even thought of that. Here he was, asking her out on a date, even specifying fancy clothes, and he didn't even have any himself.


Aside from his formal blue team uniform, the rest of his clothes were all in rags. When he'd come to the Tower he'd had nothing. They had provided for him when it was neccessary but they'd given him no money. Now that he was a Tower Guard he would be receiving a monthly salary but at this moment all he had was the money he'd saved up doing odd jobs for the people of the Tower.


He did a quick count in his head of how much he'd accumulated so far, then tried to estimate how much it would cost to buy the things he himself would need. Comparing the two he couldn't keep a big grin from sliding across his face. He knew she'd be surprised, again, and from what he'd seen and heard all girls loved shopping.


"Tell you what then. How about I cover your shift for you tomorrow and you go spend the day shopping and enjoying yourself." he didn't mention the money as he didn't want to insult her. He would simply sneak it into her meny belt while she slept.

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He grinned at her, and she could tell he was deep in thought. Smiling, she tried to read his mind. He looked at her, almost laughing, and answered the unspoken question. "Tell you what then. How about I cover your shift for you tomorrow and you go spend the day shopping and enjoying yourself." Shopping? She hadnt done that in so long! And now, she was shopping to go out with him. She couldnt help the giggle that escaped.


“Really? Oh, Shawn, thank you so much!†She was grinning happily, and smiling, and she couldnt stop the quick peck that went to his lips. “I cant wait! A real date!†He laughed, half at her, half at himself. She just kept laughing, and wrapped her arms around his. She snuggled herself closer him, then burst again. “And shopping! I’m going shopping! Thank you!†He laughed at her, and she kissed him softly and sensually. His arms tightened around her, and she enjoyed it, the first real kiss they had shared since she had been raised.


“Thank you,†was all she said as they pulled away from eachother. They held eachother for a moment, their eyes holding together. She didnt know what the feeling was she felt at that moment, but sitting on his lap, in his arms, in his warmth and protection, she felt perfect, like nothing could ever go wrong.


They still had a problem, however. They hadnt decided who would sleep where, or anything. She was dressed for bed, but he was not. They also had two beds, neither chosen for either, but both were large enough to hold at least two people. He had asked her what bed was hers, but she had left it as an option to him on who slept where. “I’m rather tired... why don’t we get some sleep, cause you have guard duty tomorrow, and I have shopping to do... and I bet we will be tired out.†She smiled at him, hoping he wouldnt let her go.

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Was there anything better than bringing joy into someone else's life? Shawn didn't think so. Nor could he have guessed his offer would have been greeted with such exuberance. Nothing could make him happier than making her smile like that again. What were these emotions he felt for her? Was it love? Maybe. Whatever it was had a measure of control over him that was for sure. He knew now that any decision he made from this point on would be measured by its effect on her. He would do anything for her. He knew that now, even if he didn't know why.


It felt so good to hold her in his arms. It made him feel powerful. Important. It made him feel trusted, as if he was in complete control of her safety. It was a strange feeling given that he knew she was more than capable of defending herself. It meant that she chose to be protected by him. That made it even more special.

"I’m rather tired... why don’t we get some sleep, cause you have guard duty tomorrow, and I have shopping to do... and I bet we will be tired out."


Sleep did sound like a good idea. Only, she still hadn't told him which bed to use. She probably was used to having both for herself and not caring which she fell into. That meant it was up to him to decide. Except, he didn't want to. Not that he was incapable of making a choice, just that whichever one he chose would choose for her also, and then they'd have to let go. He didn't ever want to let go of her again.


He wanted her. He wanted to use the beds for me than just sleep. But, he had turned her down once before to prove to her that she was worth more than just sex, that she was more valuable than jsut an object of lust. He had to be sure she understood that before he'd sleep with her or it would ruin the progress she'd made. And she had made progress, he'd heard the rumors. She carried herself differently around men than she used to. She'd even said no to a few, something she'd reportedly never done before. Most of the rumors spoke of these things in disparaging tones but Shwan couldn't be more pleased with each one he heard.


Still, progress in the right direction didn't mean that she was there. He had to be sure or it would ruin her. She was worth the wait. "You're right, of course. Except, I don't want to let go of you. We've been apart so long I don't think I can stand to let go already." He pulled her down next to him on the bed and wrapped his arms around her. "Let's just sleep tonight," he whispered to her, "As much as we both might want to do more you are right that we need sleep."

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He paused as she mentioned sleep, and the look on his face suggested some inner turmoil. She really did want him to let her go, even if that meant no sleep that night. But, nothing lost, nothing gained, and she was risking not being in his arms just so that she had a chance to sleep in them. He glanced at each of the beds, then layed back, pulling her down beside him. Her body ached, and every place that his skin touched hers, and everywhere that his body pressed to hers begged for more touches and more caress. She hadnt been with anyone in so long, and she had been dreaming all the while of being with him. He needed her to, the way he held her, she could tell. She needed his kiss, and for a few moments, she thought that she might get everything she wanted.


"You're right, of course. Except, I don't want to let go of you. We've been apart so long I don't think I can stand to let go already." She would never leave him if he asked her to stay with him. Light, forget the shopping and guard watch, she would rather stay in bed with him forever. His arms wrapped tighter around her, and she could feel her heart racing. "Let's just sleep tonight," he whispered into her ear. The hair on the back of her neck tingled, and she pressed herself against him, needing him more than ever. "As much as we both might want to do more, you are right that we need sleep." Light, why did she have to be right?


"Of course. Just as long as you dont let go of me..." she whispered back, wrapping his arms tight over her. "Morning will be here far too soon, and I dont want this to end." She sighed happily as he pulled her closer, and her eyes shut in happiness. If this wasnt love, she didnt know what was.

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It was strange. Shawn moved around so much in his sleep he had feared that trying to share a bed with someone would be awkward. But he'd been willing to endure the discomfort in so that he didn't have to let go of her. Only he'd been so wrong. He'd never had a more peaceful night's sleep. Somehow holding Dene in his arms allowed him a more restful night than any he'd had on his own. Holding her in his arms just provided such comfort it was as though, for the first time in his life, he felt truly comfortable.


Now though it was morning and he had to let go so they could get ready for the day ahead of them. She seemed excited still over the prospect of spending the day shopping and Shawn reveled in the fact that he had brought such joy to her. As she got ready for the day he couldn'thelp but watch her. She had such a grace about her movements. Well, that and he enjoyed watching her walk around the room naked. That was why he was still sitting on the bed when she was ready to go to breakfast.


When she saw him sitting there she winked and said, "What, don't you want to be a tower guard today? Think you can stay a trainee?"


"Oh, right. Sorry, I was...um...distracted. You could be dangerous to be around when there's important things to do." He winked back at her and then got up and got dressed. He strapped the two packs of throwing knives around his biceps, secured his sword belt and then tugged on his boots. Then he put on his new red cloak and opened the door for her, "Shall we go to breakfast?"


When Shawn got his food from the mess hall he turned and walked toward the table he usually sat at with his teammates. As he turned past her Dene gave him a funny look and he realized his mistake. He wasn't a trainee anymore. Now, he was free to mingle with the other Tower Guards and sit with his new squad to eat. How very strange. For the past four years he'd been sitting at the same table with the same group of people. Now that he'd graduated things would change, even these little things like who he shared his meals with. Now he'd be sitting with those guards that he'd only watched from a distance before.


As the company they were both a part of were all on duty today they sat with them and Dene introduced him to those he hadn't met yet. They seemed like a good enough group and welcoming as he explained that even though he was officially given the day off he would be watching with them to give Dene the day off.


Soon enough breakfast was over and Tai Dai Din headed for their stations on the wall. As Dene left to head into the city Shawn joined them with a mix of pride and trepidation. What would this first day be like? Was he really ready for this?

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Dreamland… the place where fears, desires, and hopes come alive in our mind... Sometimes, what we dream of is forgotten as our eyes come alive to the real world, but on rare occasions, especially with our desires, those dreams can be remembered, so that through out the day, whether it be hard and long, or easy and short, we can hold onto those dreams and relive them over and over. It would be a long and hard day for Deneira, one in which she would have to follow her mind, and not her heart, and where waiting and hoping would be her constant companion.


Her eyes opened at the crack of dawn, and just like in her dream, a warm figure lay behind her, holding her close, his breath barely brushing the hair on the back of her neck. She smiled happily, relaxing again in his arms, her eyes closing again. Oh, how she longed to return to that dream, where everything was easy, both of them could express their true feelings, and both could escape the world of duty and honor. For just five minutes, she wanted him all to herself, where nothing else in the world mattered, and no one could stop them from what they wanted, including themselves. Her better judgment told her to move, but her will allowed her heart to win for a few more moments, enjoying the feeling of Shawn beside her.


Duty came into play, and she had to get up, and prepare for the day ahead. He watched her from the bed, smiling as she moved around. She tried to be as graceful as possible, especially when her clothes came off and a fresh set were pulled on. Her face burned, but she was almost glad… the wait that they had endured would make their first real encounter much better. Her heart pounded just thinking about it, and she knew that they would enjoy themselves.


Just about ready for breakfast, she turned to him, smiling, and winked. "What, don't you want to be a tower guard today? Think you can stay a trainee?" He laughed, of course, and her eyes danced as she heard his laugh. Light, just his smile made her heart skip a beat, and she knew that most of his smiles these days were all for her.


"Oh, right. Sorry, I was...um...distracted. You could be dangerous to be around when there's important things to do." Her cheeks burned from his compliment, and she laughed along with him. He finally got up and got ready for the day. Facing the mirror, she tied back her hair, her eyes watching him in the reflection. Her breathing became heavier, and she had to swallow a few times to keep her throat from getting dry. He even opened the door, and she smiled up at him as he smiled to her. "Shall we go to breakfast?"


He was one of the few that she had to look up into his eyes, and they burned brightly, just for her. “What a perfect gentleman I have!†She smiled, and together, they went to breakfast. She was also ready for a day of shopping. Light, what was she to buy? She had waited for this day to come for so long, especially with him. What was his favorite color? What did he like most about her? What kind of dress did he want her to wear? Should her hair be up or down? What about cosmetics… should she try some of those? She didn’t have any jewelry… yes, she had a lot of money, but only because she had brought every cent with her from the farm, especially after selling it. She was wealthy, but had never really thought about the money. Perhaps she should use that. She had never had anything fancy before, and now was perhaps a good time to use that money.


They separated after breakfast, and she waved goodbye to him. Light, she wished he was coming with her… then again, she could surprise him with what she got. Heading into town, she made a stop at the bank. Upon entering the door, she was scooped up by the head owner. “Why, Miss l’Spada, how have you been? I didn’t think you were stopping by today.†Smiling, she bowed to the man. She came once every six months to check on everything, so no wonder he was off guard. “Aye, well, I came to take some money out… I am finally putting some of my money to use.†The man nodded, and led her to the office. “Of course. We always appreciate your business.†After getting her money, Deneira went onto the street, ready for some shopping. She noticed, though, that more was in her belt purse than should be. Funny… she didn’t remember all of it… perhaps she had simply lost count of her coins, but it was still odd. The idea of Shawn putting some in never entered her mind.


The dress shop was her first stop, and she was immediately taken care of. After a few hours of pinning, standing still, and bargaining, Deneira made a good buy of a low cut, full skirted, blue dress, complete with blue slippers. She hoped that Shawn liked blue, but they had been on the blue team together, and led it together, so perhaps he did like the color. She even had to admit to herself… it did set off her eyes. The package was carefully wrapped, and she went to the jeweler. Immediately walking in, her eye caught on a beautiful sapphire, offset by a small diamond on either side. It was on a silver chain, and she quickly made the purchase, along with a few sapphire-set hairpins.


Smiling to herself, she set about getting a small lunch, and quickly ate a sandwich. Now, what to do about her hair and makeup? She saw a small feminine product shop, and entered, completely lost. Where did those things go? Liquids, powders, brushes, ribbons, laces… light, it was all so confusing. She asked for help, rather embarrassed, and was immediately helped. While she didn’t know if she needed it all, she bought it, knowing that on this night, she would spare no expense to look perfect for Shawn. Everything she needed for her hair and cosmetics were in her possession, and she had an idea on what each thing was for and how to use it. She was ready.

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After a short meeting with their captain, a grizzled man named Vasya Paranov, Shawn and the rest of Tai Dai Din made their way to the wall to take their turn standing guard. Shawn was expectedly nervous but he fed that into the Spring as Rosheen had taught him and used it to his advantage. It was his job to stand on a corner of the wall that afforded a fair view in multiple directions.


As the hours slipped away Shawn came to quickly understand why so many of the Guards complained of having to serve on these posts. Nothing happened. It would be so easy to slip away to dreamland and he struggled not to. He started looking for ways to occupy his mind. First he went through all of the forms in his head, repeatedly. After awhile though that no longer sufficed. And so he turned his attention to those things in his life that had led him to this point.


He still had no idea who his real family was or even where they were from, and this troubled him as it seemed everyone else had such close ties to their families. Even those that hated their family at least had one to hate, but not him. All he had from his family was a name, Ellasser. In all his travels though he still had not discovered anything more about them than that. Not where they came from, not even why they were killed. He repeated again the same vow he'd made nearly everyday since he'd lost them. A vow to find the truth and avenge their deaths. Somehow.


Only, their's weren't the only deaths he had to avenge now. Uzziel and Alexis had been hung as darkfriends by a Whitecloak that had come to power too quickly for his own good. Ely, mad with power and driven by lust had then flogged Shawn for trying to interfere. Shawn had been left to die but he'd promised himself and the memory of his foster-parents that one day he would avenge them.


It was for these two reasons that He'd begun the path to honing himself into a living weapon. But then, he could have done that almost anywhere. No, the real reason he was here was because he believed in protecting something higher than himself. The Aes Sedai of the Tower were preparing for the Final Battle and it was his job to make sure they survived any attack up till then. Well, his job and others like him.


And that thought brought him full circle to the Tower Guard that occupied his thoughts almost constantly these days, Deneira, his roommate. What was it about her that held him so strongly? Was it love? Could it be? He'd known her for some time now but they'd only really known each other for a few months. Could he feel that strongly about her already? Well, tonight's date should certainly help him to figure it out.


He was actually going on a date. That was hard to belive. There'd been few girls his age in the village he'd grown up in and most of them had been so shy. Besides, he'd left there at only fifteen, when he himself was too shy to talk to any girl that was even moderatly attractive. The year he'd spent with the Tuathan had helped to break him of his shyness, as well as four years training with and under so many women in the yards. And yet, he'd never felt for any of them what he felt for Dene.


Suddenly Shawn heard footsteps soming up the stairs from behind him. Buried deep in his thoughts he'd lost track of time. He was being relieved. After greeting his fellow and exchanging pleasantries Shawn rushed back to his room to prepare for his date.

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Heading back to her room, Deneira was so excited. She couldn’t believe what was going to happen that night. Light, she felt like she could fly. Getting back to her room, she set all of her packages on her bed, then set about a bath. Shawn came into the room, and she ran up to him, kissing him softly as his arms opened up to her. He held her close, and she rested her head on his shoulder for a moment. “How was your first day?†she asked. He smiled, and told her that it was fine. She laughed again, then took his hand, leading him into the room more. “I have so much to show you, but I fear, my good friend, that you need to gather your things and go somewhere else until I am ready.†He smiled, and she smiled back, kissing him once again, this time receiving a very happy reply. He held her close to him for a moment, and she almost didn’t want to go. Light, this date would be perfect! He finally let go of her, and then gathered up his things. “I will talk to you soon,†she whispered, and watched him leave the room. Locking the door behind him, she set about getting ready.


Setting out all of her things across her bed, she smiled to herself, then set about the bath. Relaxing in the bath, she set about scrubbing every inch of her body and washed her hair till it shined. She thoroughly enjoyed it, then dried her body off with a nice towel. Her hair she put up in the towel, then looked at the clothing she had before her. Pulling on her undergarments, she soon stood in a shift, and let down her hair. Rubbing out the rest of the dampness in it, she pulled the dress on, and smiled at herself in the mirror. Somehow, she got all of the buttons correct and pulled the laces together to make it fit well. Her bosom appeared more obvious, and she smiled.


The necklace and her ring she slipped on, then turned to the cosmetics. Now what was she supposed to do again? She powdered her face lightly, then grabbed the red stuff. What was it again... rouge? She applied it on her cheeks lightly, then picked up the sparkly stuff. It was another powder, but for her eyes. She applied it lightly, afraid to put too much, then turned to look at the weird bottle with the brush. Her eye lashes... she was supposed to put it on her eyelashes. Trying, she poked her eye once, and got a little on her cheek, but she rubbed the mess out and finally got it right. The last bit was sort of like lipstick, yet it was shiny. It was almost an oil, but firmer than a liquid. It was clear, and she spread it on her lips, then looked at herself in the mirror. Wow... she hardly even knew it was herself in the mirror. She just hoped that Shawn liked it, because it was a whole lot of bother to go through if he didn’t like it.


Her hair was all that was left to do. It was already turning into curls and waves, and she played with it for a few moments before grabbing a couple of hair pins and lifting the front pieces and placing them back. She then took the decorative pins and placed them in her hair. Smiling to herself, her heart fluttered, and she went to the door, unlocking it. Sitting down at her desk, she stared at her hand, twisting the ring around it. She had gotten the ring ages before, just because it was pretty and cheep. It was on her right ring finger, and she glanced at her marriage finger. Things were so confusing with Shawn.


She was always so confused. She cared about him so much, and would do anything to make him happy. At the same time, he fulfilled her in all he did. The strange part was, they had never slept together intimately, and when she had offered it to him before, he had denied her three times. Well, tonight was the night. She was going to offer herself to him again, so that he could own her body along with her mind. He most certainly owned her mind. All she ever thought of was him. It was odd that he would keep hold of her thoughts, but he had. Never before, not like this, had a man so controlled her thoughts. He probably had no idea, too.


But her heart... her heart and soul was the hard part. She cared about him, more than anything else. But did she love him? That was a hard thing to answer. What was love, really? She had no idea, and she wasn’t afraid to admit it. Yes, she certainly did like him, but love... she just didn’t know. She was almost afraid to love him, but was also afraid of if she did not. But how did he feel about her? No matter, she would worry about that another night. Tonight was just about them being together, and being happy. She just had to wait for him to come for her.

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Shawn couldn't help but laugh, Dene seemed so happy. He forewent gathering any clothes as he planned to buy some new duds in town, but he did unseal the false bottom of the chest at the foot of his bed. Inside was a second money purse with the rest of his money inside. He only kept a few coins on him for emergencies but he'd certainly need more than that for what he had planned tonight.


As he slipped past her out the door he snuck a quick peck on her cheek, just so she wouldn't forget how he felt. Then he was off to town. Dene thought this was a spur of the moment date invite last night but Shawn had been planning it for weeks now. Shawn went to the tailor's, and the cobbler's to pick up his new suit and boots. The boots were actually ready over a week ago and Shawn had been coming by each day to work them out and fit them to his feet before he started using them.


A quick stop by the restaurant to confirm their table for tonight and then he made his way to the bathhouse, by coincedence the same one they'd gone to together so many months ago. He had some time to kill so he luxuriated in the water, taking his time to truly enjoy himself. His nerves were so frayed he needed the time in the pool to relax lest he lose control of himself tonight and give too much away of his emotions too soon.


Since Dene had first introduced him to the bathhouse he had come on a semi-regular basis. As such he had come to leave a bag with his personal effects at the front desk. Included in that bag, along with soap and other bathing supplies, was a razor Uzziel had made for him. Since the first day he they'd found him washed up by their house on the southern shore of Amadicia his head had been shaved to the skin just like his father's and brothers'.


For a few years Uzziel had kept it shaved for him but on his tenth birthday he presented Shawn with a special razor he'd made for him. The razor slid onto his finger like a ring and had a guard to protect his skin. The special tool allowed him to shave his head simply by gliding his finger over his scalp under the water. The whole process filled him with memories of his family, memories he had yet to sort through.


He used a hand mirror to shave and trim his goatee, and was overcome by memories he certainly did understand. Memories of Uzziel and Alexis, his foster parents. The day they were killed he started growing it. It had always seemed to add such a commanding presence on Uzziel.


Soon enough he was as groomed as he could be. He dried off and dressed in the new clothes he'd gotten from the tailor. The dark black pants fit snugly, but were of a flexible fabric that allowed plenty of movement. The shirt was a bold blue color to match his eyes, and it was made of the same fabric, clinging to his muscles to accentuate the work he'd put into his body over the past four years. The shirt had short sleeves and he wore a silver sleeveless vest over it, tapered to further enhance his chest and slim waist.


He tugged on his new boots, studied himself in the mirror and returned to the Yards. He didn't go straight to the room though. Instead, he went to the Ogier grove and collected an assortment of wildflowers. Then he went to the room and knocked, anxious to begin their date but struggling not to show it.

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