08.15.3013: Climbing the Kissing Tree
Summary: The full Legend of the Kissing Tree is told to Talynne as Balius takes her on an adventure to climb said tree.
Date: 08.15.2013
Related: Busy Morning at Mott's
Balius Talynne 

Forest of Arboren
Rich, thick with life, trees and other foliage, the deeper you go into the forest the darker it gets as the canopy fills in, cutting off the sunlight to the lower levels of the trees.

Afternoon in the lush forests of Arborenin, Bey will have taken Taly's hand and excitedly began to tell her various facts about trees and his childhood. They will wander for about an hour, the branches above slowly beginning to provide a canopy of ever darkening shade. The trees stretched as far as the eye could see. The barefoot Bey seems extra exuberant, if that's even really a thing. Something is just the slightest bit off. His eyes glint with excitement when he looks to Taly, but they flash something ever so briefly. Eventually, it will become obvious to even the most dense observer(and Taly certainly isn't in that category) that the stable hand is nervous. "You gonna keep up?" He'll flash his cheerful smirk, almost forgetting his destination as his green eyes measured Talynne.

Running along with Balius, Talynne seemed to have no shortage of her own excitement. As they moved along at his breakneck speed, she kept her feet from tripping over themselves, but barely. She ducked this way and that with him, laughing a couple of times, breathlessly, when he'd take them through one tangle of branches or another. Finally, when he spoke to her rather than just dragging her along, Talynne raised her brows and grinned. "Are you suggesting I'm not physically up to your standards, Balius Quellton?"

In a swift motion, he'll put one hand around Talynne's waist while she's still running and spin her into his embrace. He flawlessly transfers momentum and holds her close, his breathing rapid, his pulse racing. "Talynne Rovehn…" Well, he'd done the awesome romantic gesture and was at a loss for a line to follow it. Shrugging playfully, almost to himself, he'll move to give her a quick pretend kiss but instead moves quickly to her eat. "I find you entirely suitable." The mock posh voice he makes causes him to chuckle at himself as he begins to try for a pull away escape to keep running.

The sudden capture into Balius' arms had Talynne Whooping in surprise, but as she was spun around and then held, her eyes softened and she looked at him with utter adoration filling her gaze. As he came closer to kiss her, she very nearly gripped his shirt to the point of the fabric giving way, holding him closer. But then.. no kiss… and he spoke into her ear, making her laugh warmly, her cheeks glowing brightly with a blush and frustration mixed together. But then he pulled away and ran again, making her growl under her breath like a great cat before she began to chase him. "Very well… I'll follow you to this tree.. and then you'll be at my mercy."

The running will continue for around another ten minutes as the canopy thickens to the point where light disappears. His eyes quickly adapting, used to the thickening foliage. He'll purposefully slow down, attempting to set a set slow pace of walking, he'll reach for her hand gently. "Ready to hear the legend? …and then we'll talk?" His voice kinda raises nervously at the second question.

"Yes, I'm more than happy to hear the legend." Talynne purposefully didn't answer the second half of the question as she squeezed his hand. Walking through the now darkened woods, she stayed closer to him, her eyes darting about as if expecting something to leap out at her at any moment. None the less, she seemed calm, even if she wasn't positively glimmering with excitement over the current environment. To assure him, though, she flashed a warm smile up to him, and moved closer still, wrapping her free arm around his and keeping his hand firmly encased in her own. "Tell me the story.."

Not missing her avoidance, he'll try to hide his increased nervousness, adrenaline pumping through his veins. "Well, you should really stop being so tempting…leastwise you curse us both." He'll say in a mock spooky voice. "The tale begins with a couple, Garnem and Lily, who meet one chance night in the forest, during the Great Storm 1577.." He'll continue adding dramatic flair, his eyes scanning the dense forest around them, almost fully adjusted. His hand will squeeze Taly's as he talks.

"I suppose I could go rub my face into some dead leaves over there, get a little mud, perhaps some worm or other leftover from the living world all over it to become less alluring?" Talynne's tone was playful, and she obviously didn't mean it as she squeezed his hand back, still walking with him. "So there were two in the forest during a great storm? Why on earth were they out here instead of in shelter, it seems dangerous with all of these tall trees…" Talynne eyed the trees, looking them over and noting their height.. well, at least the height she could see.

Raising an eyebrow at her questioningly. "You think rolling around in the forest is gonna make you less attractive?" Bey'll shake his head. "Anyways…the Great Storm had been raging for nigh on a month. Lightning on the regular, a near constant torrential downpour." He'll interlock their fingers and use his thumb to gently massage her hand. "You see, they lived on opposite ends of the woods, which were even more vast then."

"I see, so then they didn't fear the lightning and the rain any more because they'd grown used to it." Talynne nodded her head in understanding, rubbing his hand as well while they walked, looking happy as she flashed him a wide smile. "I love that you would still find me attractive with my face rubbed in much, that is quite a good quality." Her eyes moved to his lips for a moment, fixing there while she licked hers, then forcibly turned her head away, clearing her throat. "So then.. what happened?"

"Well, after torrential downpours for a month, the river levels began to rise. The young couple saw each other less and less, for fear of the constant danger of flash floods that sporadically happened all over the forest." He'll pause to note her apparent frustration at not kissing him. He likes that she misses his lips, because he obviously misses hers, his eyes focusing in the dark on her. " I find you attractive, period. Dirt, face paint…whatever ain't gonna change that." As typical Balius fashion, this is said matter-of-factly, as if it were obvious and universally known.

There was a slight blush as Talynne listens to him speak about her as if it made no difference what she could have covering her. "Thank you for that, Balius, you're a kinder soul than any other I know." Her smile was soft for him, sweet, as she reached up with the hand she'd been holding his arm with and softly brushed the back of her knuckles across his cheek. "Did they drown?"

It being his turn to blush now. "Taly, you know I just call 'em like I see 'em." He shrugs, but he's got a giddy smile. Nodding at her compliment but not agreeing with it per se, he'll continue. "After several weeks of not seeing each other, the legend goes, they left on the same night, just on instinct, to go see their true love.

Her fingers stayed at his cheek to feel the warmth bloom there, making her smile wider as he did so. But then, since he was continuing the story, she took them away softly and continued the walk, returning her hand to his arm. "Alright, so they had a natural pull to one another, despite the dangerous surroundings."

Enjoying her closeness as always, Bey found himself thinking he could do this for hours. Walk with Talynne, perhaps even talk with her about any and all subjects. Hopes and dreams, fears and failures. "As the legend goes, their hearts just knew the pain the other felt, even across the distance." He'll add a tiny amount of mocking drama, but not enough for it to be real mocking. "Anyways, Lily is making her way through the forest when she notices that the small hill she's on is surrounded by water." As he speaks, he's leaning in to Taly, as if needing to whisper the story as a secret.

Walking flush against him, there wasn't much room for leaning between the two of them. So Talynne arched her neck softly, baring the expanse of smooth, unscathed skin in order to make it so that she could listen to his whispered words. "Oh?"

"As the water rises, Lily moves to the top of the small hill. The rain continues to fall - sheets and sheets. As the water begins to touch her feet, Lily begins to make her way up the tree on the hill. It's very sturdy and strong. It's wide trunk provides a firm foundation for her to climb on." He's in his element, sharing another one of his passions. He

"As the water rises, Lily moves to the top of the small hill. The rain continues to fall - sheets and sheets. As the water begins to touch her feet, Lily begins to make her way up the tree on the hill. It's very sturdy and strong. It's wide trunk provides a firm foundation for her to climb on." He's in his element, sharing another one of his passions. He'd never actually gotten to tell the story before, always heard it secondhand.

Talynne's eyes affixed to Balius' face as he spoke, enraptured by the tale. There had been many a night where the only real warmth in a battlefield was the tales you heard from others, because a fire would have seen you dead. Her hand tightened on his arm slightly as she imagined the terror at having the water rise to your feet and drive you higher and higher above ground. "That sounds terrifying.."

"Indeed it was." Why was it that every touch and gesture caused a reaction from him? His underlying fears were now becoming more concrete, as his mind was turning over other matters than the story. "You see, the fact that the tree was so tall seemed to be her only hope. So she did the logical thing and climbed. Branch to branch, one at time, as the waters continued to rise, a strong current carrying most other objects in its path." As he is talking, they'll begin walking up a hill.

"It makes sense, wanting to get higher up to keep from drowning, but she must have been so afraid that he was out there, possibly drowning himself." Talynne's concern laced her words, making it obvious her face was turned to a frown, her brows furrowed. She moved up the hill with him steadily, only interjecting quickly so that he could continue.

"And frightened she was, climbing all the way to the top of the tree, which took her hours to do, even with the fear of the waters rising beneath her. Tears begin to stream down her face, though they are masked by the endless falling of the rain. Her tree was the tallest around, and she was quickly running out of room…" He'll pause for dramatic effect before continuing. "But lest we forget why she left in the first place, when she finally loses all hope and her tears become matched by vocal cries, she feels a pair of hands wrap around trunk of the tree and grabbed hers."

"Oh he was there…" Talynne sighed in relief, as if she knew the sense of finding her long, lost lover's hands there to hold her to the tree. "That's wonderful.."

Nodding in agreement of her reaction, "Of course, Garnem was there. Their hearts had guided them. He moves his way around the trunk and kisses Lily, fearing that it may very well be the last thing he does. And, in that moment, she's okay with that too…" They are nearing the top of their hill, though the canopy blocks any decent view of what's at the top.

Sighing happily, Talynne fully agreed with the concept. "I can see how that would be for the best, having someone at least kiss your lips that final time before you die. I've been almost dead a time or two.. and having the kiss of the man I love before I closed my eyes forever would have been a thing I wished for, right there at the very top of the list."

Listening intently to Taly's reminiscing, a smile of contentment spreads on his face. "Well, the reason the Kissing Tree is legendary isn't because their hearts led them to each and it isn't because they both climbed the tree. It is because that the moment they kissed, the rain stopped. You see…true lovers will wait until they reach the top, even if they don't see the other initially. And their kiss may bring great things to all people, but…kiss before the top and your love is a greedy one and won't last."

"Hmm, so then we've already ruined it?" Talynne asked him curiously, looking at him with her brows raised, if he could see it. "I suppose it could be more liberally idealized and they actually had sex when they were at the top of the tree, and it's the sex we needed to wait for until we climbed.. at least that would be us waiting. But.. if it was the kiss we were meant to wait for, we've broken that long ago." Talynne grinned to him. "Not that I would ever complain, not once, ever.."

Chuckling at Taly's 'interpretation' of the legend, he'll smile at her, especially when she said she'd never complain. "I feel confident the couple kissed before that, but the tree is a challenge you face alone, trusting your love will meet you at the top." He would keep rambling but his mind had wanderings so far divergent from his words…probably due to the images of Talynne on top of the tree in his mind now. As they continue to walk, they clear through a wall of low hanging branches and leaves to reveal a red-wooded trunk, massive in size and it is taller than the surrounding trees by a wide margin. "And there it is."

Talynne's jaw dropped at the huge tree, and her head tilted so that she could look up…uup. "Wow.. that is.. insanely tall. How on earth?" She moved forward then, letting go of his hand and stepping up to the tree, laying her hand directly against the bark and gently touching it, smirking. "You know, I used to think that all trees felt the same way as they do on the plains, and they really don't. They're all so unique.. every type so different." She sighed softly, shaking her head. "So then.. shall we climb her?"

He nods distractedly, even though there is quite a bit to be said about the individual differences of each tree. Taking a deep breath and giving a nervous smile. "I do believe someone mentioned a talk? That might be important before death defying climbing in record time?" He'll smile more broadly, trying to bridge the serious topic with a touch of Quellton humor.

Talynne stilled slightly, turning to look at him, leaning her back against the tree and taking a deep breath. "It has to do with what your brother asked me, at the Tap house." Talynne said it softly, as if terrified of what it meant or what it didn't mean.. or both, or neither. It was hard to place a young lady's fears when she didn't speak them aloud.

Balius will immediately move to lean next to her on the tree. "That's right." He'll pause and look off into the vast expanse of trees, the rises and dips. The scene was breathtaking as ever, but he felt like he couldn't appreciate the view or much of anything else. Struggling for words, Bey wonders why it was so easy for Taly earlier to suggest the talk. Countless words surface and materialize, but he's afraid of misstepping now. His hard stare at the trees will melt as he turns to look at Talynne, his green eyes searching, nervous, hopeful. He'll reach to take her hand.

"Is it what you want?" Talynne looked up at him, her eyes staring into his, her tone open, honest. "I.. I won't lie, Balius, it would rip my heart in two to lose you, but I… I know that being a companion to a Noble isn't the most amazing prospect in life for most. If you were choosing to become a knight I couldn't even do so, not officially at least. I.." She closed her mouth for a moment and shook her head. "You don't have to be my Companion to be with me.. but you could become my official companion if you so chose. I would.." She cleared her throat softly and canted her head to the side, taking in the closest tree with incredible scrutiny. "I'd be honored if you were, no woman would ever be luckier." She blushed violently, then cleared her throat.

Struggling to reign in his immediate flash of a smile and excitement, a very strong part of Balius is quite afraid. "Taly…" Green looking into Hazel, full of the passion that he has worn so clearly on his sleeve this whole time. Trying to find his logic…it was somewhere, he was sure. He leans back further against the trunk. "If I were a knight, then this discussion wouldn't be about me being your companion, would it?" He leans his head back, taking a deep breath in. Finally having organized his feelings into thoughts, he'll take her hands. "Taly, I'm already yours. It's not a question of titles…" Except that it partially was, he shakes his head at the wording. "What I'm trying to say is that our…adventure, our passion, perhaps we might even soon call it love, is ours. And only ours." He'll emphasize the last part.

"I understand that, Balius, I do." Talynne nodded her head and smiled to him softly, her eyes gentle as she stared at him long and hard. "There are other issues at stake here, which is why I bring up the concept of Companion. If you aren't ready to talk about that being official, we won't. We'll wait until you are ready, if you ever are." She smiled to him, her lips curved just a little, but not fully. "And you're right, it's not something I need to share with others by making it official. It can stay between us." Her hands clenched his and she offered him a nod, before turning away from him and looking up at the tree. "Should we climb?"

Why he ever tried for subtlety and vagueness is beyond him. It never worked. Not with Demos, nor with Loree, and not with Talynne. A quick reach back for her hands, his eyes will be brimming with passion, alight. "Taly, I will be your Companion." He smiles, nearly forgetting to not kiss her. "I want the whole world round to know that we're together. That I'm yours and you're mine." The words are stumbling out, vague abstracts be damned. He takes another deep breath, seriousness imposed on the excitement. "And I'll stay your Companion…until your wedding day." There. Straightforward. Direct. He seemed satisfied, even though he expected it to be received negatively. He'll release a huge sigh, tension released as he leans his forehead against hers.

At first when he spoke, Talynne's eyes lit brightly and she opened her mouth with a happy laugh, her smile brimming and threatening to damn near overflow her mouth. Her hands were on his face before she could even think of anything else, cupping his cheeks as he spoke, the motion somewhat odd since her hands were intertwined with his own. But then he said the last and she stilled, eyes focusing on his face only for a moment, then she looked over at the ground, gears obviously turning in her mind as she bit into her bottom lip. She didn't move away from him, didn't take her forehead back so they weren't touching, but she wouldn't look at him. "I see." She swallowed, the lump in her throat nearly something she couldn't breathe over. Likely, she was staring at the ground to avoid showing him the sheen of what had been happy, then.. perhaps shocked.. tears. "Hmm.. give me a minute.." Her lip indented harshly while she bit into it again and slowly pulled back from him, her breath catching and revealing her reaction, though she didn't do anything feminine like dashing her tears away, instead she just slowly extricated herself from his hold and backed away a bit.

Unsure of what to do, he'll suddenly feel very cold at her release. He hated seeing her like this, looking on her with a knowing sadness that had been slowly growing within him. But he wasn't about to let this be decided by awkward moments of silence. After giving her a few seconds that felt to Bey like an eternity, he'll whisper. "Don't you feel it? This is real Taly. Here and now. Us…" His arms are awkwardly hanging by his sides, feeling incredibly empty, and they reflect his indecisiveness on how to best comfort her…the way she had pulled away…He chose to leave his words at that, leaving his body language very clear, that he wanted to hold her.

"I know that, Balius." Her voice was like a hiss, and she stared at him, eyes wide, shimmering, two small trails of tears dripping down her cheeks and onto the curves of her breasts, soaking into the silken fabric of her shirt. "I already know this. I haven't wanted to be with a man and just.. /be/ with a man, you know? I have been with men, in the heat of a moment, after a battle. When I needed to fill some sort of life flowing within my veins besides the lives that laid down onto the ground for my sword.. or my arrows.." Talynne's voice cracked. "You've just told me that we're right and we are, it's real, and it is. I agree. But you've also just told me that if my mother marries me off to some stranger you're going to abandon me and leave to some horrible, loveless marriage because you won't stay if I'm forced into matrimony." She was shaking. "Do you realize.. what that means? You're telling me that the one time I would truly need the man I loved to be with me, the man who shared my bed, my body, my life… to be there? You would leave me?"

His eyes are wet, though nothing falls from them. Struggling to find his words, because he hated that he had caused her this pain. How to make her understand… "I wouldn't leave you, I would always be there…as long as you wanted me to be. I offer my whole self, body - mind - soul." Succumbing to his need to be there for her, he'll try to wrap her firmly in his arms, face nuzzling her hair. "I'm not foolish. I'm not asking you to give up your family or your title, there are nobles who never marry…" At least he's heard of them, ones who stay with their Companions. "And if you get married, I'll be your trusted friend, one with whom you can share your life, your medic, your riding partner. I'd be with you at all times, but we would no longer have a bed to share."

"But why? Why would you decide at that point that we can't be together? If I were to marry, I simply would tell my Husband to be that I have a companion and will be keeping him. There's entirely the chance that it will make it so he isn't willing to become betrothed to me, it could even keep me unmarried." Talynne shook her head, taking a deep breath, and attempting to get herself under control. Taly didn't fight the fact that he pulled her into his arms, and she didn't even stop him from holding her close, but her hands fisted into his shirt and she turned her face away from him, dampness seeping through his shoulder as she spilled tears on him. "I don't understand. Why would it have to change? If you loved me by then, and we were still happy, my getting married wouldn't be the matter of us changing, it would be a matter of them changing to accept us.. or my not getting married. How is that…" She stopped speaking for a moment, sucking in a shuddered breath. "Why would you.. it's not my choice, you realize?" Talynne pressed her face back, lifting her head so she could look into his eyes. "I'm a Rovehn… not one of the lesser families, and while my sister has the joy of being the Heir, and I do not, my Mother still holds the right to marry me to some other family for political gain. But it's not about love, it's not about my desires. It would be about my family. And I wouldn't be choosing to take another man into bed, but would have to, in order to procreate."

His arms will attempt to be anchors of support in the moment. As she speaks, Bey will try to just pull her close to feel him, to somehow channel his feelings, where his words have obviously failed. His mind will break the deep moment with a thought of ways to interrupt betrothals. The more he learns of nobles, the more ridiculous the whole system seemed. Tears slipping out of his eyes as she looks up at him. "Taly, I am asking you to continue on this path with me. To take the chance that you won't be a pawn in a political game of chess, that we can make our own happiness together. I've never seen a Companion be what you are describing. They are treated as lessers and hidden from sight at social functions. It's not just simple…" He'll take a breath. "You'd have…you do have…a part of me forever in your grasp. When I'm not with you, it's like I've lost my sense of direction, or forgotten how to breath…I don't want to be the person you hide in the corner at parties…" His tears have started to flow, confusion at the whole situation. He's holding her tight, wanting to never let her go now. He's got no flipping words. He's certain there's something he's supposed to say but doesn't know. He deflates all the tension and frustration in him. "All I know is, Taly, I'm pretty sure you're stuck with me as long as you want me." He'll half-smile. His only path to love seemed love it would require a life of silent suffering, for which he was well acquainted. He just wished she could understand that.

"Why would I hide you? That's horrible." Talynne frowned sharply and shook her head, holding him tighter still when he cried, her own tears flowing more freely as if his pain caused her to hurt further. "Why could you ever imagine yourself as something I'd shove to the side? I can't even… no. I would die inside if you were treated like that. You don't have to be, and you won't be. You'll be treated as you should be, and if you were a Noble you'd have been able to just be the one to marry me instead, and this wouldn't be an issue. But you aren't. If I were a citizen, this wouldn't be an issue and we could simply marry and no one else could choose to take us away. But I'm not. How is it that this is so twisted that we might have to deal with that?" She laughed mirthlessly, then buried her face into his neck and took a deep, inhaled sob of a breath. "I will keep you with me for as long as I see the light of your feelings for me in your eyes. If that ever dies for you, I would let you go because I cannot abide your suffering. I'll keep you with me for as long as you'll have me and as long as you'll care for me, anything else would be a cruelty. And all I want to give you is me."

Weighing the options, Balius will just lean his head on her. "I'm here, Taly…just don't be surprised if I get all jealous, alright?" Bey will be part supporting, part leaning now. Yielding to his heart, to his need for her. "You got my life in your hands…" The statement will trail off, a deafening whisper in the afternoon sun. Attempting to rationalize, his brain will accept the theory of the matter. A litany of new questions, of unknown crevasses that would need bridges. Not sure of what to do, he'll wait for her to say something. Tears no longer flowing on his face as he takes a hand to gently wipe the tears from her eyes.

Looking at him, Talynne nodded softly and gave him a watery, slow smile. "You.. you know I would make it nearly impossible for me to be someone's wife. I fully intend to make myself the most unmatchable noble in the universe." Lifting her chin, she almost forced her lips to his, but then she gave a little gasp and pressed her mouth against his palm instead. The sound she made was between a laugh and a sob, her eyes blinking as she tried to laugh at herself and overcome the emotional welling that had been the last hour. Her eyes finally returned to meet his, and she pulled her mouth away from his hand. "Balius Quellton.. does this mean you're my.. Companion?" Her smile suddenly grew wider. Far too wide… and her arms were around his neck a moment later as he was, rather roughly, burdened with the weight of a Talynne hanging around his neck, burying her face into the hollow where his neck met his shoulder. She clung to him, and a moment later her legs wrapped around his waist and she was hugging him with her entire body. Of course.. whether or not he fell over.. she stayed holding him.

"I'm your Companion, and you, Lady Sir Talynne Rovehn, are just plain ol' mine." He'll say with a breathless confidence and relief. "And you know it'd make me even luckier if you didn't, but I will always be the luckiest guy in the world." He's smiling, as the last tears dry from his eyes. A moment of pondering will consume him, he had one last request, an oath by which to seal their pact. "Taly I -" And then her legs were around him and he fell right on forward, his arms still wrapped around her as they fell awkwardly on the soft grassy bed. His knees semi-bent, Bey will give a slight "oomph" as they hit the ground. "And apparently you also get my dignity." He says teasingly, romantic thoughts forgotten, laughing breaking the tense emotions of the previous minutes. Seriousness forgotten, her Companion would take his brief moment of advantage to look deeply into her eyes…and sneak his fingers to under her arms in an attempt to see if Talynne was ticklish.

"Of course I get your dignity, you get my honor." Talynne laughed brightly as she ended up laying under him, looking up at his face. "I'm glad we got out of the sticks part.. or I'd be skewered." Then she felt him poking at her ribs and under her arms and she shrieked, curling into a fetal position and rolling away from him, foiled in her escape by the fact that her legs were on either side of his hips. "No… no… ACK!" She exclaimed brightly as she writhed and tried desperately to move away from him. While she'd stopped crying, her shirt hadn't quite dried yet, and neither had his, but the flush on her cheeks was now from the scintillation of the tickles as opposed to the frustration and possible pain of losing him.

He'll relinquish quickly. "That's useful to know…" He'll grin at her with a wink, slowly easing off her and offering a hand up. "Shall we climb, my Taly?" He's sincere and more adoring in his stare than anything else.

Gasping a breath after the tickle attack, Talynne flashed him a wide grin and accepted his hand, slowly moving to stand onto her feet. Wiping off the back of her pants and her shirt to rid them of forest debris, she looked back up at the tree and allowed her head to fall back so she could see the whole thing. "Yes.. let's climb." Then she moved to the tree to start doing just that.

As Talynne climbs deftly and quickly up the red wide trunk, a laughing Balius will rush around to the opposite side and start his own progress. He'll stay behind even as he struggles to catch her. He can still here her movements though, and he's certain his experience at tree climbing must give him some edge. Focus on the physical task reinvigorates his body and clears his mind. He's focused on one goal.

Glancing back behind her shoulder at Balius, Talynne noted he was getting closer and she couldn't help the competitive nature that surged through her. As a knight she had always had that need to push herself, and as a climber of trees apparently it was no different. Upwards she surged, putting even more distance between the two of them, but giving him a grand view of her backside if he were to check on her progress.

Still on the opposite side of the trunk and having lost a considerable amount of distance, Bey considers purposefully delaying making it to the top for all of about .2 seconds. He swings monkey-like from one branch in a leap and gives a "Woo!" that gets quickly absorbed by the air around him. Being about 20 ft off the ground, he smirked at the tiny ground below as he surged upward.

Noting the sound that Balius made, Talynne looked around for him, attempting to see what he was doing.. and then she lost her foothold and began descending down the tree. Luckily, she was able to spot a branch and reached out to grab hold of it. But the fall had her shaken, and she was now looking up slightly at Balius, flushed, and breathing heavy.

Hearing the crunch of branches from above, Balius will start to shimmy around the wide trunk, concerned that Talynne might have, well…fallen to her doom. His feet slip and he just barely catches himself as he holds to the tree, trying to calm the huge surge of adrenaline.

Once she'd managed to calm herself down enough to keep climbing, Talynne started back up the tree. It seemed to come natural to her now, handholds coming one after another, pulling her body up higher and higher even as the stretches between branches to hold onto became that much more extended. When she saw Balius coming to check on her, she flashed him a smile to reassure him, but kept going.

Relieved to see that she's okay, Bey will get a goofy grin on his face and raise his right hand to wave at her. That hand, unfortunately, was also the one holding the tree. He falls a couple of feet before his arm grabs a branch below…and his hand slips as he lands hard, thrusting himself into the tree trunk.

Talynne stopped moving higher when she saw him fall, and quickly scaled downwards, moving towards him with a mixture of reckless concern and well placed hands and feet. When she got to him, she pulled him closer to her, propping him against the trunk where he'd landed. Her breath was coming fast, and she was obviously concerned, squeezing his shoulder from behind, watching his face. "You alright?"

Wincing in pain as Taly comes to him, he's now embarrassed. I'm fine, gotta keep going!" His smile is forced and he's obviously in (dignified) pain, even though he's trying to hide it. He's catching his breath.

Smiling at him, Talynne nodded. "Alright, gorgeous. Then lets get to the top because not being able to kiss you today has been even worse torture than being stabbed through the side and recovering from thirteen broken ribs." She looked over his face, assessing him, but then moved on. If nothing else, she'd always let another person suffer in a dignified way, it was her nature. Of course, as she started to move back up the tree, she started to slip.. and laughed at herself as she gripped the branch she nearly fell from, legs dangling until she found another foothold. "Maybe.. I should take it easy too.."

Having caught his breath, Balius will look at her, a mix of his serious look melded with a smirk. "We never give up, ya hear me?" At his words he makes decent progress in large footholds up the trunk, but the initial effort leaves him winded again.

Talynne managed to keep moving after making sure she didn't kill herself. She climbed, up and up, reaching for the top. "You better believe we don't give up.. I'll be damned if this doesn't end in a kiss on top of a tree." She grumbled, surging forward.

Giving a laugh separated by deep breaths, Balius will continue his ascent. The top now in sight. He's grinning, certain of victory.

Talynne managed to pull herself up to the top, climbing up, gaining herself a solid footing, staring at the world around them, blinking, realizing she'd just climbed to the top of the kissing tree. "We did it.. BEY!" She looked at him, watching to see him climb up the rest of the way.

Confidently reaching the top, which has been flattened after obvious years of use, Bey will almost be back to normal breathing as he bumps into before he sees Taly. "Well lookie there." He's a little light headed. Is it the altitude? The climbing? Both? He sturdies himself before looking to her, a wide grin on his face. "We did it." He says, quite proud of the moment.

Shifting over to the side a little, Talynne made sure to leave plenty of room for Balius to get onto the top of the tree with her. Once he was there, her arms moved to loop around his hips and she pulled him closer slowly, letting him get his breath. "That was amazing.. We made it."

Willingly being pulled, his brain focusing again on her. His heartbeat pounding a little slower. One hand he raises to move her hair out of her face, the hand staying to caress her cheek. "A climb for the record books." He'll say quietly. He bites his lower lip, feeling a returning need and the built up tension from before. He'll move to give her one light kiss and then he'll pull back just a few inches, his eyes measuring her with a smile.

The gentle kiss was returned, almost a celebration, if one was forced to whisper their cheers. Talynne smiled to Balius sweetly, canting her head to the side, looking over his face with total adoration. "I'll say, I've never climbed this far in my life." her tone implied more than a simple climb, but she didn't elaborate. "All that for one little touch? You don't want to go for a longer kiss?"

Having expected a burst of action from Talynne, Bey is surprised by the gentleness of the moment. His hand still caressing her cheek, he's weighing a question in his mind, his eyes alight with gleeful curiosity. "It is quite the view from up here." His eyes never leaving her face. He'll hold the question, not wanting to spoil the moment. He'll rub his nose gently against hers, speaking softly. "I'm yours." He'll press his lips to hers sweetly and slowly deepen it, his body radiating heat in response to the touch.

The kiss started softly, to be sure, but Talynne accepted the slow building only so long before she made a sound between a growl and a sigh and she was kissing him harder, deeper. Breaking away from a breath she nodded to him, heartbeat thrumming a mile a minute. "I'm yours." The statement was clearly given to him, and she laughed, almost giggling. "Yours."

Balius will be absolutely beaming at her. Breathless himself, his mind wandering. There's a flash of hesitation, a shake of his head. Stupid words. Giving up, he leans in for a passionate kiss, mouth opening to hers.

The kiss was nothing short of entirely involved on Talynne's part, and she gave her mouth to him openly, willingly, her fingers curling into the fabric of his pants at his hips as he was pulled closer to her even still. When they were forced to take a break, some time later, Talynne leaned back from him and stared into his beautiful green eyes. "What is it?" She licked her lips, both of them swollen and reddened from the more vigorous kissing.

His right arm moving around her, he'll raise the other hand and softly trace her lips with his fingers. His eyes will stare at hers with a passionate determination. "I want these lips to mine. Only mine." It's whispered with a quality indicating it's meant to be rhetorical. It is not angsty nor does Balius seem to expect any response. His desire made known, his left hand will move to her hair. All the while his eyes are looking her over with admiration.

"I don't want anyone else to have them either." Talynne watched his face, her entire self focused on him while he touched her, while he spoke. "I don't know how to tell you how much it thrills me that you feel the same way." She chuckled finally, kissing his fingertips. "It's why… when your brother asked if you were my companion all I could do was think how badly I wanted that. How I wanted that to be all there was, so that we could be together. You, me. Nothing else matters there, it can be us."

He'll nod at her statement and smiled as she kissed his fingertips. Chuckling at the divergent interests of Chiron and Talynne. "Us." His grin is wide as his right hand moves down her back. He's aware of two things at this moment:the raging desire his pants clearly show and the limited space around them.

Talynne watched his face, her own smile growing larger and larger still. "Us…. Together." There was something almost girlish about the way she said it, like she might be completely enthralled and reverting to the idealism of a younger person.. a much younger person. "I don't think it's safe enough up here for what I'd planned to do to you after we got this sorted out.."

With that, they climbed down, and ended up making their way back to the Tap house for a lunch before the rest of the day hit.

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