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The Sway is Put Into Play

Writers: Estelle, Miriah, Suzee, Yvonne
Date Posted: 8th October 2020

Characters: Ninaine, L'keri, T'lat, J'lor, H'run
Description: Ninaine shocks the Dining Cavern
Location: Dragonsfall Weyr
Date: month 2, day 21 of Turn 10
Notes: Mentioned: N'call


"I can't believe I'm doing this." Ninaine stopped just around the
corner to the entrance of the dining cavern, her heart pounding as she
looked at T'lat. "I don't think I can. Everyone's going to look at
me." She rubbed her hands down the green dress, feeling as though it
almost wasn't there, it was so form-fitting. It displayed an expanse
of bosom that she'd never allowed and the slit up side went nearly to
her upper thigh. Her hair was down, falling to her shoulders, and the
high heeled shoes that T'lat had insisted upon were strapped to her
feet. There was even a faint hint of color on her lashes and her
emotions flushed her cheeks. "Maybe we can do this tomorrow. What do
you think?"

T'lat snorted and put his arm through hers pulling her into the room
and strutting his way in. "I think you're an egg fowl," he whispered
half way across letting her go and continuing to an empty table on the
other side.

Ninaine uttered a small squeak as T'lat hurried her into the room, but
that turned to a soft sputter of indignation at the whisper. Her chin
lifted, back straightened, and she inhaled in defiance. Out of the
corner of her eye she saw people looking her way, but refusing to back
down after all the work she'd put onto this, she tossed her hair from
her shoulders. Determined even with the flush of embarrassment staining
her cheeks, she began to slowly walk to the table that T'lat had chosen.

One foot in front of the other, she didn't stumble. She felt eyes on
her now, and her chin lifted a little higher as her walk became a sway
and her arms loosened, losing tension. She'd show him that she wasn't
some egg fowl!

The ripple that went through the Dining Cavern was subtle, but not
unnoticed. A pause in conversation, a swivel of the head-- all clues that
something interesting was happening. H'run tracked its progress from his
seat near the centre of the room. **Well, well!** he thought as the
object of interest herself appeared. Greenrider Ninaine, who usually
looked indistinguishable from a sack of flour, had done herself up like
she was off to a Hatching feast. Her green dress was sleek as water and
flattered each and every delectable curve. **What on Pern is she up to?**

Nearby, L'keri turned in his chair and his eyes widened, a slow grin
emerging on his face as he watched the woman in green pass with
undisguised interest. She looked familiar, as if he'd seen her before
somewhere, but...he was sure he would have remembered the tempting sway
of her hips! He nudged the rider next to him. "Who's T'lat's friend?"

J'lor put down his drink with a smile. "That, my friend, is Ninaine
and I'll bet that is some of T'lat's best work." Privately he
applauded her entrance and lifted his glass to T'lat who grinned back
at him. He smiled and nodded at Ninaine when she finally took her
seat. They both were turned out quite well tonight.

"Ninaine?" L'keri leaned forward unconsciously as the two greenriders
took their places, feasting his eyes on the enticing low cut of her
gown. "Where has T'lat been hiding her all this time?" He winked at the
bluerider. "You think they want company?"

"Sure looks like it to me," J'lor smiled and picked up his glass.

She could feel the eyes on her and it made her skin prickle. As she
poured a glass of wine and settled beside T'lat, Ninaine spoke softly.
"People are looking at me." She sipped her wine and straightened her
back; she was almost afraid to look over her shoulder. Surely they
were laughing at her. Instead, she glanced at T'lat and took in his
grin. She arched her brows. He looked rather pleased with himself.

If he was pleased with himself, then surely no one was laughing at
her. Taking a breath, she looked over her shoulder at met the gaze of
several men. One she'd met in passing. H'run, she thought his name
was. Maybe? One she really didn't know that was sitting beside J'lor.
She managed a quick smile, a blush coloring her cheeks before she
turned back around. No one was laughing, but they were definitely
looking. Speaking softly, she leaned towards T'lat. "Now what? Just sit

"Yes," he smiled and tilted his head at one of the blueriders looking
their way. "Keep half a smile on your face. Now is the time to look
available not scare them away. The ones who are interested with come
to talk. Just be pleasant and encouraging. If you like one of them.

As if on cue, one of the blueriders in question claimed a seat across
the table from Ninane. H'run gave her a large smile that
not-so-coincidentally managed to include T'lat. "My goodness, Ninaine.
You look especially well this evening. Dare I ask what the occasion

T'lat twinkled back at the neatly dressed H'run then gave Ninaine a
subtle poke with his elbow as if to say 'see?'

Ninaine looked up as H'run sat and kept the smile on her face even as
she felt the nudge at her side. The compliment brought a flush to her
face as she looked down, then up through her lashes. "Thank you,
H'run, isn't it? I just...uh...I just decided I wanted to dress nice
this evening."

It was then that the Harpers in the dining hall began to play music
and she blinked, turning her gaze to T'lat. Had he arranged dancing
music or had the Harper's simply decided to play?

T'lat sat back with a satisfied smile as H'run waited for Ninaine's
answer. He just smiled at her and winked.

"A person should always dress for what they want in life," H'run said
smoothly. He wondered if she would answer if he asked what prompted
the change, then decided that she probably wouldn't-- not when she'd
been so prickly at their last meeting. But music had a way of
loosening the shyest of tongues. He held out a hand. "Perhaps we don't
know each other that well, and perhaps you are waiting for someone
else... but in the mean time, could I interest you in a turn around
the Dining Cavern?"

"I'm uh...I'm not waiting for anyone." She glanced at T'lat,
hesitated, then took a deep breath and accepted his hand. She hadn't
really danced in over a turn and surely it wouldn't hurt to do
something she actually liked to do. She rose, cheeks pink. "Thank you,
I think I'd like to dance." Could she dance in these shoes though?
They were higher than she was used to. Surely it wouldn't be too
difficult; other women did it. She felt her heart beat a little
faster, found she enjoyed the feeling, and then offered H'run a wider,
more open smile that reached her eyes. This was exciting!

L'keri had just got to his feet when, to his chagrin, he saw his
wingmate slide into place opposite the desirable young greenrider. He
groaned and turned to J'lor as the pair headed for the dance floor. "We
were too slow."

A slow grin spread across his face. "Speak for yourself brownrider,"
he quipped. "I saw _two_ greenriders at that table." He set down his
own drink and crossed the room to slid in next to T'lat. "Nice work
tonight," he murmured.

"Thanks," T'lat smiled at J'lor. "She's one of my favorite people," he

"I'm not supposed to have favorites," J'lor smirked for the watchers.

"But you love me... right?" T'lat asked.

"Of course. What's not to love?" J'lor scooted closer and put his arm
about the younger greenrider.

As she was turned, Ninaine saw J'lor scoot over to sit by T'lat and
her brows rose. She didn't know that they were close. A niggle of
jealousy crept in. T'lat was her friend but J'lor...well, he was a
friend too. And he'd won her last flight. She buried it quickly as
well as the fervent hope that they wouldn't...together. That would
just be weird, sharing that with T'lat. But that wasn't something she
was supposed to think about, especially not with a handsome man right
in front of her. And he was nice too. She faced H'run and smiled up at
him. "I promise I won't step on your feet."

"I wasn't the least bit concerned," H'run said grandly as he drew her
into his arms. "I am light enough on my feet for two, should the
occasion call for it. But I now confess that I am even more pleased to
be dancing with you." He could feel the attention in the dining cavern
directed at Ninane, and now, by extension, himself, and H'run was in
his element. "It's always such a pleasure to find someone who can
_actually_ dance."

Now glowing with appreciation and delight, Ninaine offered a wide,
honest smile. Some of her trepidation melted away and she moved far
more smoothly in H'run's arms. This hadn't been a bad idea at all! And
maybe, just maybe, she should do it more often...

Last updated on the October 13th 2020

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All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are © Anne McCaffrey 1967, 2013, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author. The Dragonriders of Pern© is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.