When Ivan first replied with a question, Tabi looked up to the blonde man that sat before her. He joined her in a kneeling position and stared to her. It had finally come to her attention, that even now, she was taller than him. He had always seemed like a giant of a man, casting down as a silent shadow to protect her from whatever deadly situation that they had found themselves in. Or perhaps it had been the other way around. Countless times she had hidden behind him, sheltered herself from Nick and Clio. Even when she had stood up to Imraan, she had made herself small. Weak. Afraid.
And yet here they were now, and she was slightly taller than the man that she had kissed. Tabi was never small back at home. She knew that, she was loud, boisterous, full of energy. Where had it gone these past 6 days? What had happened to it? She almost laughed at what had happened to the talkative kid in History class, but found the ocean too peaceful a noise to overturn.
"When we kissed, you mean?"
Ivan was blushing before her. Tabi blinked, processing that thought. Ivan had never blushed before, at least as far as she could remember. Had he blushed? Back when he kissed her before? She couldn't remember. Even a day ago, there was nothing she could remember, nothing she could recall.
And yet, her lips parted open. Teeth poured through, beaming out into the night.
Ivan's arm had found itself around her shoulder and he moved in. Tabi had not expected where his head moved. He weaved under her chin and planted his lips upon the bare skin.
Tabi gasped. It was gentle, his lips against her skin, gently they found folds in her neck and rested against her. She looked down to him, his eyes luminent in the darkness. They were so confident, his blue eyes. There was something about them; a bravery that said more than a simple yes could ever tell her. Her body slumped, tension seeping out of her body. She took in air, and gently eased it out of her.
Tabi closed her eyes and merely took in all the feeling inside. The warmth of his lips and hands upon her body. The brushing of his fuzzy cheeks against her skin. The feeling of her body rising and falling with every breath. The smell of Ivan's body. The feeling of her lips only moments ago touching his. Her mind was so focused now on this moment, this realization. She did not wish to let it escape her. Not again.
A low rumble purred out betweene her feline grin. Never again...
When his lips parted ways, Tabi's eyes opened. She made a low wordless cry, but said nothing. Her body sagged back down, hands pressed down upon her legs.
She looked down at the grass, only for a moment. What was there to say? Had they really said all that they could now? It had felt like there was something left down upon the table. Something that she could do, now that all the answers were given.
Her gaze turned back to the blue. It was her turn to move toward him again. She had done too little. Ivan had been the loudest of them all.
Tabi weaved her arms under his own and pushed him into her. Her teeth returned in a wide smile, a smile reminscent of back home.
And she kissed him.
Tabi refused to break away so early now. This time, she knew and this time she would do it right. It was at first a single held kiss. But it soon broke out into smaller, quicker kisses. Ivan's had moved on for a lifetime, these rapid displays of affection was her own repayment.
Soon Ivan responded in kind and the two exchange series of small kisses. Each of them kept each other closer now, as close as they could possibly be. His arms had looped over her shoulders and now they connected at the crest of her back. Tabi's own arms weaved into a hug around his own.
It had become a blur, what either of them did. For Tabi, all that she could feel was this intense swelling from within her. This warmth that now enveloped her entire body. It was not sweltering, instead it merely soothed her into a state of quiet joy. A joy that the two of them were able to share alone, but together.
With sorrow, Tabi finally broke her lips away from him. She felt the force of sleep trying to reach out from within her, but was able to supress it. Her grin remained plastered upon her as she searched for fresh air. Gently, both she and Ivan started to slide back down to the earth, maintaining that warm, but gentle embrace.
Breathing returned to normal...
Sleep started to force Tabi's eyes shut. She had finally found the words to say. Words that needed to be said, before she dozed.
Tabi pushed herself towards him and gave him one final kiss on his forehead.
"I love you..."
Tabi's eyes shut once more. And she started to drift off into the night, carried away by the sound of the ocean waves.
Her sleep, went undesturbed. Her embrace, never weakened. Until the morning came...
((Tabi Gweneth continued in White Sparrows