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The Act of Leading

by Kimberly Blaire

Eve agreed to have Bryant show her around the city and the gardens. She was excited at the prospect of spending the whole day alone with Bryant. She had waited for this moment hoping to talk to him as a person and not as a guard. Bryant had a mischievous smile on his face when she agreed to go on the tour.

Eve ran upstairs to her room to change for the day outdoors. She had hardly stepped out since arriving, and since she loved nature, it was a welcome change. Eve immediately pulled out the piece of clothing, which Adena had given her and had called jeans, and threw them on the bed. Eve then pulled out a white oxford shirt and bright pink sweater. She walked to the dresser and took a pair of socks, which matched her sweater, out. She then remembered needing walking shoes and hurried back to the closet and found a pair of tennis shoes which Adena had given her.

As Eve was undressing and dressing, she pondered on what Bryant could have in store for her this afternoon. As she was pulling the Belt of Excho, someone knocked on her door. When she opened the door, Bryant was leaning against the frame of the door holding a jacket out to her.

He had changed out of his formal uniform into a pair of jeans like she had on. He also had on an oxford, except his was purple. Over his shirt he wore a gray sweater. Eve took all of these details in with an apreciative glance, as he had done at the same time. He was watching her intently as she slipped on the jacket he was holding for her.

They walked silently until they reached the center of town. He then began the orientation on the various sites of historical significance. The tour of the city was uneventful considering all that they were doing was looking at buildings that had been built long before either of them had been born. Eve was starting to get cold when Bryant suggested they stop for something warm to drink.

He found a small table in the corner of the cafe, a cozy place for two. Eve, for some reason, felt very comfortable sitting there beside Bryant. He seemed to just sit there and stare at her without saying a word. She was begining to get embarassed, and it was showing as her face began to turn a light pink. He suddenly looked away, as if he just been brought back to earth. They didn't say much as they drank their tea.

After they left the cafe they walked on toward the gardens. The sun was shining now, but did not give any warmth to the day. Upon entering the garden, Eve had to catch her breath. The beauty of the garden was so overwhelming, she couldn't believe her eyes. There were so many flowers in bloom even though it was quite cold. Eve had never in her life seen so many plants alive in the cold period. She looked at Bryant with a look of childish delight on her face.

Bryant chose this moment to bend towards her and kiss her. Eve was so stunned by the motion that she didn't react at all; she just stood there. She didn't move at all, she just stood there. Bryant leaned over and kissed her once again, taking advantage of her immobility. She surprised him this time by kissing in return. As the moment lengthened, Eve brought her arms to his shoulders and moved closer. Bryant didn't know that this was the first time that she was able to act upon her own judgement in these circumstances.

The moment ended abruptly as Eve realized what she was doing. She was doing what her mother had always instructed her not to. The act of leading on a man she hardly knew was something that was not permissable. She felt ashamed that she had kissed him back without knowing what his intentions towards her were. She turned away and began walking through the garden trying to hold back the tears that were forming in her eyes.

Bryant caught up with her and turned her to face him. He had not realized until the moment she had broke away how inexperienced she was in dealing with men. He had assumed that she was knowledgable on this subject since she had a royal background. He lifted her chin so that he could look into her eyes. The tears began to flow at that moment, and she began sobbing. He pulled her close and tried to calm her. When the tears had subsided, he apologized. He explained that he had never meant to upset her. She forced a smile and said that she was sorry that she caused a scene and that there was no possible way he could have known.

The two walked back to the palace, arm-in-arm, silently. Bryant brought her up to her room and left her there to be by herself. Eve went to the sink and washed her face to erase any traces that she had been crying. She then changed into a long formal and prepared for the evening meal. The formal she had chosen for the evening was one of her favorites from home. The dress was a simple strapless gown with a full skirt and was the color of her eyes, sky blue. She swept her hair up into a loose bun.

Eve opened the door to find Bryant waiting there to escort her to dinner. Bryant had changed back into his uniform and was very handsome in Eve's eyes. They smiled in a knowing and understanding union. They were growing closer as each moment passed. As Bryant put his arm around Eve's waist he felt the Belt, concealed beneath her gown.

They entered the dining room to find Adena and Toltec already there. Adena noticed that both Eve and Bryant had pleased smiles on their faces.

 © 1985, 

K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, A. Mann, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft

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