Silently, under the cover of darkness, he reaches for her hand. At first, it is nothing but a whisper of flesh against flesh as he traces the contours of the palm of her hand with his fingertips. Her breath catches in her throat, and she absently wonders if the sudden, loud thudding of her heart will wake their companions. Her thoughts are cut off, however, when his fingers slowly begin to stroke along her own. They continue a path up and down, slowly, leisurely, before he laces his fingers with hers and gently squeezes. When their hands join, she feels a jolt deep in her belly.

She remembers the way her heart had pounded when Jet held her tightly in his arms, remembers how her stomach had fluttered when Aang had pressed his lips against her own. This feeling, the feeling created merely by two hands joining, gives her more butterflies than anything she's ever done with any boy before.

Swallowing thickly, she moves her thumb in slow, lazy circles along his, and he scoots a tad closer to her so that their thighs are touching. Then, ever so awkwardly, he puts his other arm around her and draws her closer to him. "Is this okay?" he whispers, a slight tremor in his voice. Instead of answering, she lays her head against his shoulder, and she can feel the tension drain from his body. He rests his head on top of hers and hugs her close to him, and she feels as though she's obtained a slice of paradise.

They sit silently, never moving, never speaking, scarcely breathing, afraid to shatter the fragile bond that has just begun to form. At one point, she feels him turn his head, senses his lips come close to her temple before quickly pulling away without making contact. She is grateful that he stopped, grateful that he is being cautious. Yet a part of her wonders what it would feel like to kiss him, to have him clutch her to his chest and touch lips to lips, tongues to tongues. If the jolt she gets from holding his hand is any indication, a kiss will be utter bliss.

The day will come when they will both be ready to be more than two young would-be lovers cuddling under the cover of darkness, but that day is not today. For now, however, she is content to sit as they are, silent and sweet, her head on his shoulder and her hand in his, before the fire and under the moon.