A Moment
By: Manna (Kitten Kisses)

Dedicated To: Sardonic Kender Smile, a fellow Kent/Lyndis writer who managed to inspire me.

Oh, the things that can happen in a moment...

He was frozen in place- one hand on her slim shoulder and the other at his side, clenched in a fist so tight that his knuckles were ghostly white. His heart had developed a rhythm all its own, and his pulse was erratic, skipping and throbbing so that he could feel it in his chest and thumbs and neck.

He wondered if she could feel it through the soft material of her clothes; could it pass from his hand and through her dress to rest against her skin? It both scared and pleased him to think that perhaps it could.

A part of him wanted to run, to flee before he became rooted to the spot in which he stood. But when his brown eyes locked onto her deep green ones, he knew that he didn't have a chance at escape- not from his heart.

"Kent, what is it?" She was speaking, but he was only half-listening, entranced and consumed with the way her lips moved. Could he get lost in them as easily as he could in her eyes, if he allowed himself that one small pleasure?

They were alone, so completely and utterly alone. The rational part of his mind- the part that told him when to eat and bathe and sleep- was telling him to take his hands off of her. She was too far above him…he did not deserve someone like her. Someone that was, to him, beautiful and amazing, kind, generous… He could go on and on about her in his mind, and he never could tire of seeing her face.

She blinked once, and it seemed to him as if her eyelids took forever in closing before opening again, though it did bring him back to reality, to her question.

"It… It is nothing, milady." His answer was simple, and he hoped that she would buy it. He ought to have known better.

She took a step closer to him, and he could feel his heartbeat quickening, pounding, throbbing in his ears. Don't come closer, he wanted to say.I can't resist you.

"Kent…" Her voice was soft, comforting, and it did his heart good to hear it. "If…something is troubling you, I will listen."

Of course you will, he thought. That is a part of who you are. But… I cannot tell you.

His silence left her a little confused, but she said nothing more. His brain was scrambling madly to find something to say, anything at all, so long as it didn't make his thoughts known.

"I am fine," he finally said, almost proud of his answer for being so serious and simple, though he was ashamed that it was a lie, and that it was not only his liege to whom he was lying, but the woman he loved.

She took half a step closer to him, and he forced himself to stand still. A Knight of Caelin would not back down for any reason- certainly not because he was nervous about a woman being close to him! His heart beat louder than the greatest waterfall, roaring through his senses, and it almost drowned out her words, spoken with concern that was so sincere in both her tone and her eyes that he nearly collapsed on the ground in front of her.

"Are you sure?" She blinked again, and he wanted to slap himself for not being able to turn his eyes from hers.

No, he wanted so desperately to say. No, I'm not all right. I find myself thinking of you far too often than is proper for a man of my standing… I would lay my life down for yours in an instant, knight or not… I want to…

What would she say if he told her he wanted to kiss her? His stomach knotted at the mere thought. She would most certainly scold him for it at the very least.

But she was so close to him, her eyebrows drawn together in a mix of confusion and concern, and her mouth parted just slightly. He could feel his heart drop as if it were a bird struck by an arrow, falling from the sky.

His hand was still on her shoulder, and he realized he was gripping the material of her dress rather forcefully in his state of nervousness. He tried to swallow, finding his tongue thick with anxiety and fear…and longing.

Her eyes were still on his, and he thought he could feel the smooth skin of her face against the hand that was at his side. He couldn't remember moving it, couldn't remember moving closer to her. His stomach ached with the fear and dread of being pushed away, but his heart fluttered a little with a spark of hope. She had not bolted, or yelled at him, or looked at him with disappointment in her eyes- things he could not bear to see.

They were so close to one another that he could smell her… not a particular scent, like a flower, or a strawberry, but something else. A beautiful day, the summer skies, the warmth of the sun on the grass…

His face moved closer to hers, and the hand that had been on her shoulder was now on the other side of her face, half on her cheek, and half on her neck. He could feel the delicate line of her jaw, but his eyes were still on hers.

I will never know if I do not try.

He repeated the phrase to himself in rapid succession in his mind, over and over until he was sure it had sunk into his being. His forehead was resting against hers, and he felt the softness of her bangs brush against the top of his nose. He was looking down at her because of his height, and he could smell the sunshine and everything that was her, Lady Lyndis... He didn't know what he saw in her eyes, but something was there. Anticipation, perhaps?

He was not very good with women… He had not learned how to kiss properly, or how to woo a woman so that she would see only him. His stomach lurched with his uncertainties.

But he was a Knight of Caelin, and before that, he was a man. He would not back down.

He tilted her head up and lowered his own, his eyes half-closed in nervousness and hope. He touched his own lips to hers lightly in a chaste kiss, intending to pull away. He did not know what to expect when he had done it, but in the instant that it happened, all his fears and hopes clashed together. He could have sworn his heart had stopped. He had done it- there would be no turning back for him.

As he started to pull back from the quick, soft kiss he had given her, he had half-expected a variety of things, from a slap to a sword severing him from shoulder-to-hip. But he hadn't expected her to put her arms around his neck before pulling him closer for another kiss that lingered for a moment, and for long after in his mind.

Author Notes:

That is the first piece of actual romance I've written in…a couple of years. Even the romances I've written in those couple of years have leaned more towards "implied romance with angst".

I'm greatly out of practice, but I still found it rather fun to write.

Feedback is beyond appreciated. When you take the time to tell the writer how you felt about their story, it only will help them grow to be a better writer. Thanks so much for reading!