Chapter Two

Lyra stared at Pantalaimon curiously for a few seconds, before quickly asking him to repeat what he said. She couldn't have heard what she thought she did... Pan didn't say that! He'd never say that! It must have been her head playing tricks on her...

"I Love you Lyra." Pan stated again, however this time much clearer, and without a hint of a stutter, or a glimpse of embarrassment. "I love you more than I could ever love anyone else..."

Pan, still in his pine marten form, gently licked Lyra's cheek, and nuzzled against her lovingly. However, Lyra was still confused, she gently stopped Pan and looked into his eyes, where she finally realized exactly what he meant. Pan loved her, not as a friend, like she did with Billy... He wanted to be there for her, not as her daemon, but as a lover, one she could be one with, one she could trust entirely.

Pan mistook Lyra's silence as rejection, and as such he sniffled gently, his feelings obviously hurt.

"Just... Can we just forget I ever said anything... I'm sorry..." he sobbed gently into her ear. However Lyra simply rubbed the top of his head and held him closer to her torso. She then planted a simple, innocent kiss on his nose, before wiping the tears from his eyes with her sleeve.

"Hush... It's going to be okay Pan..." Lyra whispered lovingly to him, cradling him in her arms as he sobbed. "I...I don't know what to say...

Pantalaimon simply stared into Lyra's eyes, tears glistening around her now red and puffy eye lids. "Just say you love me... I know you do..." he whispered knowingly. Lyra shuddered, and held Pan tighter, almost as if she was afraid he'd fly away if she let go. The two of the lay together for what felt like hours, but in fact it was literally only minutes of awkward silence.

"Please talk to me Lyra, I need to know..." Pan started talking, but simply trailed off, embarrassment clearly noticeable in his voice. Lyra knew she wouldn't be going back to sleep anytime soon, which in a way was good... It was a Sunday after all, she wouldn't be woken until noon at least. Lyra was in a desperate struggle with her brain and her heart. Right now her heart was screaming for her to kiss Pantalaimon, and not just innocently as she had earlier. And yet her brain was telling her to reject these feelings, to cast them aside... But Lyra could never just cast aside her feelings for Pan, instead she decided to give in to what her heart was telling her.

Lyra gently grasped the back of Pan's head, and kissed him on the lips clumsily and yet passionately. She watched wide eyed as Pan tensed and then relaxed into her kiss, his form changing wildly from a Pine Marten into a cute wolf, all without pulling away from the kiss. Lyra couldn't remember ever pulling away from Pan, all she knew is that eventually she somehow managed to fall asleep, Pan still kissing her until her mind finally went blank.

Eventually though, Lyra came crashing back to earth. Her bed sheets were thrown from her body, and light flooded her room.

"Lyra Belacqua! Come on! It's almost noon! The master wishes to introduce you to someone before lunch starts!" a voice shouted, however Lyra didn't attempt to seek out who was in her room, she already knew... Instead she kept her eyes tightly shut, until she heard a deep sigh, and the sound of her door closing.

Lyra finally opened her eyes, and notice that Pan was still asleep, which was strange for a daemon. However, she smiled lovingly at his peaceful form, and kissed the top of his head gently.

Pan stirred, and then opened his eyes confused, it was weird for him to awaken at a different moment to Lyra, usually both of them did everything together... including sleeping. Lyra flinched as a sharp knock came at her door, the master's voice immediately flared through the key hole.

"Lyra, hurry up now, or you'll miss your chance to meet a very important person!"

Lyra grumbled lazily, and gently scooped Pantalaimon from the bed, and placed him on her bedside cabinet.

She then hurried over to her wardrobe and scooped out a thick lilac dress, complete with a warm cotton hood. As the put the wintery gown on, she caught Pantalaimon staring at her, however as she turned to look at him, he glanced the opposite direction, as if avoiding her gaze.

"Hey Pan, what you looking at, do I have somethin' on my face?" Lyra asked curiously, and began rubbing her face, attempting to remove whatever muck or dirt that may have been there. However Pan just smiled and morphed into a majestic bird and fluttered onto a now fully dressed Lyra's shoulder.

Lyra tilted her head and gently nuzzled against Pan, who giggled in response. "You know..." began Lyra cautiously, "I've been thinking about everything we both did last night." Pan suddenly grew shy, and changed into a mouse, and attempted to scurry down into Lyra's pocket, however Lyra gently picked him up by the tail and held him in her hand.

"I thought I told you to forget about it... I'm sorry, can we please just leave it alone?" he asked embarrassingly. However Lyra continued to stare at Pan, a smug look now plaguing her face.

"Oh? So you want to forget this...?" Lyra gently pulled Pan forward, and kissed him gently on his head, and smiled as he shuddered in her hand. "I think not... We'll talk about this again later anyway... We should go on down now, unless we want to get into trouble!"

Lyra smiled as she noticed, upon passing the landing windows, that it had snowed sometime during the night, coating the entire grounds of Jordan College in a think blanket of pure white flakes. Lyra started to head toward the nearest door when the Master turned his head around a door, and smiled as he spotted her.

"Lyra!" he said, attempting to gain her attention. He waited until she turned to look at him before continuing. "I have someone waiting, someone who's very anxious to meet you.. it's of the utter most importance."

Lyra glanced through the glass door and then back at the Master in annoyance, and then grumbled, before walking towards him and following him through the hallway.

"Now.. I must warn you that the man you are about to meet is a little eccentric, but his heart is in the right place." The Master whispered to Lyra as she followed behind him. "However, while he is here at Jordan he shall be treated with the same respect as any of our guests."

Lyra simply nodded, and smiled when they eventually came to a stop. Robert's voice was clearly audible already, even though the door was closed. It was obvious he was talking to his daemon.

"I'll leave you here with both of them, as I have an important conference to plan... you know where my office is if you need me." he smiled gently at both Lyra and Pan, and then walked away, taking a left and disappearing out of sight.

Lyra stood at the door for a second, and then gently knocked on the door three times, and stood still, waiting for a response.

"Who is it?" asked a voice from inside.

"It's us... Lyra and Pan." shouted Lyra, and within seconds of the worlds leaving her lips, she found herself face to face with the same man from the night before, however now he looked much fresher, as if he'd had a good nights sleep.

"Good to see you Miss Belacqua.. please come in.." he said calmly, leading her into the small but cozy office. The room itself was grand, reds and golds glistening from every direction. "Please take a seat."

Langdon guided Lyra and Pan over to a beautiful golden chair, cushioned with a luxurious shade of red. Lyra gently sat down, and stared across to Langdon, who was now sat opposite her, with Isis at his side, her head poking out from under the desk.

Langdon has a stern, yet friendly look on his face, and he kept a constant smile on his lips. He looked down to his daemon and then back to Lyra before speaking.

"Lyra, I need you to promise you won't tell anyone about what you heard last night." Langdon said cautiously. "If any of the others here find out about it, my career and life will be in tatters."

Lyra stared at Langdon, attempting to see if he was being serious... However, it was clear already that Langdon was deadly serious.

"I don't understand though... are you two...?" Lyra cut herself off, and looked at Isis and then again at Langdon, who sighed deeply.

"Me and Isis love each other very much Lyra, more so than you probably underst-" Lyra cut him off, her glare harsh enough to make the bravest of people stop in their tracks.

"I understand more than you think..." Lyra replied harsly, holding the still mouse-like Pantalaimon to her chest. "I Love Pan just as much as you love Isis..."

Langdon looked dumbfounded, as did his daemon. Langdon rose from his chair, and walked around his desk and knelt down before Lyra.

"Are you saying that you feel the same way about Pan as I do my daemon?" Langdon asked, his voice serious and almost like a whisper. Lyra only nodded to his question, and stayed quiet, which was very unusual for the normally wild spirited girl.

Isis hadn't moved or spoken once while Lyra had been in the room, but right now she seemed to be deep in thought.

Langdon however, seemed to be anxious, and gently clasped Lyra's face in his hands.

"I'm only going to say this once Lyra..." he began, his voice stuttering slightly. "You need to keep your love to yourself, if you don't you'll be condemned, you'll be hated, criticized, and disrespected, all for your love... Just as I will be if you tell anyone."

Lyra thought about what Langdon was saying, and finally nodded her head again.

"Now... why don't you go on out and play in the snow, I'm sure that's what you wanted to do anyway... I'll speak to you another time..."

Lyra gently scooped the freezing cold snow flakes into her hand and compressed the snow together until it made a soft ball. She laughed and threw it gently at Pan, who until now had been running around in the snow as a small polar bear.

However, once their laughs had died down, Lyra picked Pan up and looked into his eyes deeply. And then without a single thought, Lyra kissed him, not innocently, but a real kiss, one which had her passion and feelings poured into it. It went on for what felt like minutes, but in reality was only seconds.

"I Love you Pan."