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Laurant could see Sarandal walking across the expanse of the exchange. He just seemed to be going about his business as any other person in the square, doing nothing anymore interesting than simply taking in the sights and the sounds of people conducting the business of bartering for goods or depositing their take for the day into the bank. It didn’t get really any more mundane than that.


Watching him pass by, it occurred to her for a moment that she should let him do just that. Pass on by, without engaging him in conversation or contact in any form, even as much as she wanted to. But as much as she knew better, she continued to internally debate whether or not to speak to him. Inwardly she cringed, feeling like some sort of idiotic twit, who could think of nothing better to do with her life than to ponder “does he like me, or doesn’t he?”. How utterly and completely pathetic. Especially when she knew that even if she wanted him, she couldn’t keep him anyways. Life did not have happy endings.


Yet, the pathetic, and the moronic, seemed happier than most. They believed in these sorts of things, and they were happier for it, at least until reality set in. Ignorance must truly be bliss, Laurant thought to herself.


Watching Sarandal as he passed the midway point of the street, Laurant could see him preparing to turn down another that would lead him away from her. She really could just let him, and this opportunity, pass her by. She didn’t really need to talk to him, or to feel that happiness that talking to him brought her. She could just let him…pass on by. But…


Laurant finally made a decision, setting herself into motion and cantering across the Exchange towards Sarandal. Fortune favors the bold, she declared to herself.


“Greetings,” Laurant said to Sarandal with what she hoped was one of her more dazzling smiles, raising her hand to wave him down. With her luck, she probably had something in her teeth, and now wouldn’t that be embarrassing? He looked over at her, blinking away his surprise at first, as though he’d just woken up out of some sort of daydream. And then, he looked behind her, and it suddenly occurred to Laurant, that all this while that she debated on speaking with him, that she had been in the middle of a conversation with some new friends that she had just made, and what must they think of her now?


“Ah, hello there.” He looked at her, and she wondered if he was now debating on her sanity, or perhaps he was reading her mind somehow at this very moment, and was pondering on whether or not he could flee far enough before the crazy, obsessed, and lovesick woman ran him down.


Laurant couldn‘t help but smile in an attempt to cover up the panic the panic that was boiling up inside of her over what she had just done. “Care to take a walk?” she blurted out, thinking of nothing else better to say.


And to her surprise, he agreed.




Laurant stood at the edge of one of the rivers that flowed through the Eversong Forest, Sarandal just a few feet behind her. She looked out to the water, then back at him, tilting her head to the side, flashing a brief smile, one that was designed by some sort of long ago ancestor to enthrall a man. At least, that‘s what she had seen the effect be on a man when her elder sister Lilithaine employed it. Laurant only hoped it could work as intended.


“Let’s go for a swim.” was all she said, and dove into the water. A few moments later, she heard a splash behind her, paired with a trail of reddish hair, just a few shades darker than her own.


Well, well. Maybe she didn’t misuse the smile after all. Swimming over to Sarandal, she surprised herself as she gave into the impulse bubbling up within herself, and pressed her hands down ontop of his head, dunking him under the skin of the water. Surfacing with a laugh, Sarandal merely sent a wave of water her way, splashing her face, joining in the simple laughter that had rolled out of her.


Covering her face with her hands, Laurant brushed long wet strands of hair out of her face. She felt light, but oh so large, and growing by the minute, with little small tendrils of herself reaching out, touching every bit of the world around her, wrapping around every object within miles. Breathing in deeply, she could nearly taste what she was feeling, and the excitement of it all. It was more than just contentment, or happiness, or … unlike anything that she had ever felt before.


She knew that this scene had been played before. The boy and the girl going for a swim, playing in the water, and how it ended with a kiss beneath the surface where no one could see them. It was a very old story, but a sweet one. Girls sighed over the romanticism of it, and wished that it would one day happen to them.


And sure enough, moments later Sarandal dragged Laurant beneath the surface of the river, and there he kissed her. Brief, light, but very sweet. There was just a touch of holding, a few moments of gripping one another’s clothing to extend the kiss. But, it was everything she had read it would be.


It wasn’t the best day of her life, but, it was a good one.


The best part was that it could have been like any other.


And as he continued to tread water, to keep herself from sinking any further, she could believe almost believe she was someone else.

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