“I’m just throwing it out there, but,” Auriana said, spinning on her heel before stopping to pose, forefingers and thumbs posed in a shutter frame pointed at Talia. “Island vacation.”
Talia lowered her spell book enough that she could look over the top. She could see Auriana’s glittering eyes through the square she’d made of her fingers. “An island vacation? In the middle of our hunt for the princess?”
“Yes!” Auriana said. She dropped her pose and tapped across the spell room, her sneakers squeaking loudly on the tile floor. She dropped into the chair next to Talia and tugged on her ponytail. “We’re not getting anywhere in our search right now, and you’re grumpier than usual every day that passes. I think we need a break before we both lose our minds!”
Talia went back to reading the pages of her book. “We can take a break after we find the princess and secure the safety of our kingdoms.”
Auriana pouted, tilted her head forward and knocking her ponytail over her shoulder. She reached over and poked the bags under Talia’s eyes. “I’m worried about everyone back home, too, you know.”
“I never said you weren’t,” Talia replied, steadily reading.
“Talia,” Auriana said, leaning over and throwing her arms around the other girl’s shoulders. She hugged her close and dropped her chin in the nook between Talia’s neck and shoulder blade. “You’re working yourself to death. I’m starting to be more worried about you than our families, and thats no good!”
“That’s hardly true,” Talia said. She flipped a page, her finger trembling slightly from the exhaustion she did her best to hide. “I’m only a little more tired than usual. It’s nothing I can’t handle.”
“Then you still need a break,” Auriana said. She squeezed Talia and hummed. “You’re looking down, and just because blue is your signature color doesn’t mean you need to be blue!”
Talia smiled a bit. “How long have you been waiting to use that line?”
“Since you said my sunshine orange outfit matched my personality.” Auriana giggled. “And it was even funnier with how deadpan and serious you said it.”
Talia shook her head, returning them both back to Auriana’s earlier worry. “I know you mean well, but we don’t have time for a vacation. We can’t afford it, not when the princess is still missing and everyone is counting on us.”
“Alright, but since you won’t take a vacation, you can still take a few minutes to relax and recuperate!” Auriana swung herself around and sat in Talia’s lap, shoving the book away in the same fluid motion. “Won’t even take fifteen minutes.”
“Liar,” Talia said. She straightened her book on the table behind Auriana, leaning in close and pressing her cheek against Auriana’s chest. “You’ll say ‘Just fifteen more minutes’ again as soon as the first set of time is up.”
“So I’m guilty of a tiny white lie,” Auriana said, settling her arms around Talia’s shoulders once again. She drew a circle on Talia’s back and squeezed her thighs. “You won’t be complaining, so I don’t think it hurts much. Think of it like hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock: you think you have to stop dreaming but you get another fifteen minutes to enjoy!”
Talia snorted in to her chest, the amused snicker vibrating her skin through her shirt. It tickled and Auriana bit her lip to stop the giggle. She didn’t want to miss a second of Talia’s. The other girl sighed into Auriana’s chest, relaxing her shoulders. “Your metaphor needs a little work.”
“Oh? Then what would you suggest?” Auriana said, giggling at the feather light touch against the inside of her thigh as Talia’s fingers got more into the mood. “Do tell me, oh well-read, one.”
“While dreams are nice,” Talia said, digging her thumb into Auriana’s thigh. She sat up a bit higher from the movement to give Talia’s hands more room. “If you’re going to use an alarm clock, you should probably mention something about waking a person up; getting them excited.”
“That—” Auriana squeaked when Talia kissed the top of her collarbone to distract from what the rest of her was doing. It seemed like those long fingers weren’t just for turning book pages at all (not that Auriana didn’t already know that, of course). “Is a good idea. You deserve a prize for being so smart.”
“Do I?” Talia asked.
“Yes,” Auriana replied. She placed her hands on the back of Talia’s neck and tilted her head up. “I think you do.
Auriana kissed Talia firmly, smiling into it as the other girl responded.
When their fifteen minute-snoozed into thirty minutes that were snoozed into a forty-five minute break that eventually transformed into two hours of bliss and an evening of sleepy, relaxed cuddling, Auriana considered it a personal victory.