Volume 11: Part 4- Vierdestad: Thursday, October 27th, 1:21 A.M.

Thursday, October 27th, 1:21 A.M.
Afterglow.  Wow.
As I was making my way back to The Redford, I ran into Rinoa and Grace.  They were out having lunch after a full day of shopping.  I didn't notice Grace was there at first, Rinoa just looked to luminous, beaming, and just simply beautiful.
I sat down with Rinoa and Grace and the three of us talked about things.  I'm confident in saying we talked about things.  Can't say which things we talked about because I don't remember.  You can blame Rinoa for that, although blame might be too strong of a word.
After a while of the three of us talking, Ushtar showed up, gave his fiancé a peck, and joined in on the conversation.  What I remember about that part of the conversation is very sparse.  The one big thing I remember is that Ushtar is obsessed with trains.  Ushtar was carrying around a new train model he had bought, his sixteenth different model of train as he frequently boasted.  Ushtar also was proud to show off a new program for his Hipster Phone.  The program, Train Tracker, detailed all of the rail lines that ran through Vierdestad, both past and present.  Weird.
We continued talking about Ushtar's obsession untill the topic changed to Grace's obsession, clothes.  Grace just went into great detail about the different fabrics, cuts, sizes, alterations, combinations, complimentary outfits, and on, and on, and on.  Honestly, the only part I listened to at all was the part where Grace talked about Rinoa's ensemble.  Rinoa was dressed in a black pencil skirt with matching black suede stiletto heels.  Her top was a dark green polyester blend, a shade of green dark enough to compliment the skirt while accenting the flickers of green in Rinoa's eyes.  Listening to Grace talk about Rinoa's outfit allowed me to look at Rinoa and marvel at her beauty.  This is something I would do again later on in the evening.
The discussion also turned toward my clothing.  Specifically Ushtar asked why I wasn't in uniform.  My intent was to tell Ushtar that I wasn't going to be in the military and that Rinoa and I wouldn't be staying in Vierdestad that much longer.  Before I could, Grace reached underneath the table and produced a bag, which she handed to me.  Apparently, while Grace and Rinoa were shopping for themselves they also got some things for me.  I peeked inside the bag and the clothes in there did look interesting.  I've yet to try them on.  Maybe in the morning.
Rinoa proposed that I go get showered and changed before dinner.  She and Grace had already made plans to eat at Lovalot without telling either Ushtar or I.  Ushtar had a problem with this because he had planned on getting drunk with his subordinates.  I didn't have a problem with this because it gave me a reason to walk with Rinoa.  Also, I like food.
Rinoa and I walked side by side, making occasional comments about various things, on our way back to The Redford.  Once we got to the hotel, we took the elevator up to our room.  Standing alone with Rinoa and seeing her in the reflection of the elevator walls made me say what I had thought of saying since I saw Rinoa in her outfit.
"You look wonderful tonight."  When I said that, I saw Rinoa's reaction.  To see that she liked what I had said was priceless.
"Thank you,” Rinoa replied sheepishly.
"I mean, you look wonderful always, but that skirt with that top and those heels, I can't take my eyes off you.  I mean, wow."
I watched what happened next on the reflective walls of the elevator, which gave this experience a kind of surreal quality.  Rinoa, standing beside me in this rickety tin box we were floating upward in, put her hands on my shoulder to support herself, and kissed me on the cheek.  Rinoa kissed me.  I saw this happen then I turned toward Rinoa.  I looked at her.  I looked at her eyes.  Her chocolate brown eyes with flickers of green spread throughout.  I looked at Rinoa and dove in.
I kissed Rinoa and Rinoa kissed me.  A flood of endorphins rushed over my body as my lips met hers.  No part of this felt awkward or weird.  Rinoa and I engaged in a full embrace felt completely good.  This is the kind of moment I did not want to end.  I wanted to stay locked in this embrace, locked in this perfect moment with this perfect woman, untill time stopped.  When the elevator reached the floor we were going to, the doors opened.  Rinoa and I broke our kiss to look at the open door.  So, in a way, the moment ended.  However, in another way, the moment did not end.
We looked at the door for a while.  Just as the doors started to close, Rinoa walked through them.  Rinoa walked down the hall toward the hotel room we share, and I followed her.  Once we got to the door to our room, Rinoa turned around and looked at me.  She looked at me.  She looked in my eyes in the same way I had looked at hers.  Rinoa looked at me and smiled and I smiled back.  Rinoa opened the door and entered the room.  I entered the room and closed the door behind me.
We didn't end up making it to dinner with Ushtar and Grace.  I didn't end up showering or trying on the clothes Rinoa got for me.  Rinoa and I didn't go back downstairs or even leave our hotel room.  We made love.  We did.  I'm not going to journal in detail about what we did, but we did.  Rinoa and I had sex.
I'm looking at Rinoa laying next to me as I make this entry.  She's sleeping simply and peacefully at rest.  She looks so serene right now.  So heavenly.  So beautiful.  I feel so lucky to have her in my life.  I feel so blessed that she is here, that I have this relationship with her.  I love Rinoa.  I love Rinoa completely and absolutely.
For that reason, I have to protect her.  For that reason, I have to protect the woman I love.  I'm getting her out of this city.  I'm getting her out of Dolore, even if that means I cannot.  Rinoa must be safe.  Safe from the people that mean her, and all of us opfers, but most especially her, dire harm.
Goodnight my ebony queen.
Hato Shurtleff

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