by Edward Cupps and Dustin Evermore
Fianna had taken the three day break since she had last seen Celeste and used them to their fullest
advantage, mainly for studies. She had even held a Gathering for the Tribe, doing some work on making
their dwellings more permanent, speaking with them, reading fortunes and resolving the normal disputes
that usually come up between people who are living together.
Fianna had even taken a couple hours out of one of the evenings to see Berengiere, the one
ultimately responsible for enabling Fianna to conquer her fears about intimacy and open up for Celeste.
There was an unexpected side effect. Much to Fianna's surprise, Strong Bow had been been given a role
in it and quickly learned what heights of carnal pleasure might be had by being Fianna's human servant
and bodyguard. So too, did Fianna learn what might be gained by allowing him such intimate contact from
time to time.
The experience showed her that she could control her fear and enjoy the feelings it created. Beren
had shown her what it could mean for herself, but Fianna knew that it could also be used for manipulation.
In spite of this, she chose to move cautiously and decided further such "tutoring" by Beren would not be
necessary. Those wild couple hours showed her what could be, yet she saw value in slowing things down
with Celeste a little more. She worked out what she would say for a long minutes before she approached
Once more, Fianna found Celeste working in her lab, alone. She entered silently and was nearly at
Celeste's side before she noticed.
"Oh! Hiya Fianna!", she said suddenly. After the initial surprise, Celeste relaxed and smiled broadly,
"Miss you, love."
Fianna, smiling to see her friend again, gave her a warm hug. "I already was missing our time together,
Celeste. Are you free to do some shopping while it's still early tonight?"
"I was wondering when you would bring that up. I have a few things to finish up here, including a
surprise for Van Faulk" Fianna was a about to speak up when Celeste placed her finger on Fianna's lip,
silencing her inquiry. "Don't ask, it's a surprise that Roma wants to grant him in exchange for shipping
ED-209 to me." Celeste playfully shooed Fianna out of the lab and shortly thereafter the two met in the
Fianna was excited to go, but she still had something to ask. "You know you are beautiful to me and
my closest friend." She pushed back from the hug just a little, so she could hold her friend's shoulders.
"Knowing you enjoy me being here so much really makes me feel good. Makes me feel optimistic about you,
my future, everything." She nibbled her lip. She always did look more attractive when she worried like that
and Celeste wondered if she knew it. "Um, this is going to sound so selfish, I'm almost embarrassed to ask.
But I want to relish this feeling. That means I want to take things just a little bit slower. This is new to me.
Do you understand?"
"Slower?," Celeste looked quizzical and slightly disappointed, as if she'd heard this before. "What do
Fianna rushed a little to explain. "I still want you to be just as close to me. I still want to do the
things we've done. But I just want it to be between you and I. Just for us. Is that okay?"
"Oh, that's okay." Celeste returned, perking up a bit, "I mean, it will be next to impossible to hide
our relationship from our sisters and brothers; not to mention your cohort, but as far as the rest of the
kindred, they don't need to know. We'll take it easy in public, tone it down if you like. I guess I'm an
exhibitionist. I want to share with the world my love and emotions. But, I much rather share them with
you in private, if you wish. Just for us."
Fianna smiled happily. "Good! Thanks for understanding." Fianna took Celeste by the hand. "Have
some ideas on where we can shop? I've sent Strong Bow with a little money on an errand to find some
things on his own. Bodyguard stuff. I told him I wanted him to find whatever this age regards as armor
and some new clothes. He said something about an army surplus, and will go home afterwards." Fianna was
already hinting she was looking forward to a private evening later.
Celeste smiles, "Well, we'll get you set up this evening with what you need. Then, later we'll dress you!"
With that, she slides across the hood to the driver's side of her car. The doors pop open. "And if you'er
nice...." With that Celeste trails off and both her and Fianna get in the car and speed off into the city.
"First we hit the International Center, then there are several stores featuring raver and techno jewelry,
clothing and other gear. We can check out the goth stuff if you want and some generic stuff, but generally
it comes down to leather, spandex and color. We're dead, but we don't have to be morbid..."