The Players: Sarna, Lincoln, Kira (NPCed by Lincoln)
Marshal's Office -- Tier City: Valentine's World
The Marshal's office in Tier is located not terribly far from the commercial district, but far from being a centerpiece of the area. It is tucked among a few warehouses that are used for market storage and is rather non-descript, the only way to really identify it as any sort of official building is by asking the locals. The thick durasteel doors separate the interior and exterior, within which can be found what one might expect on a Rim planet. A pair of cells with appropriate restraints and security fields, a desk that is linked to a console for accessing news and report filing and a rather comfortable chair that looks like it may have seen better days. The ceilings are low due to a reinforcement layer found there and the walls are thick to the exterior turning the area into a pseudo bunker. A security door leads further into the offices, into an area that serves as the living space for the Marshal.
In the living area, a simple layout exists with three rooms none of which are large. The first leads into a living area where a sofa and chair exist for comfort sitting along with a vid screen. Cooking apparatus and storage is located in the corner. The next room is the sleeping area where a rather large bed and dressers that need straightening exist and the third serving as the personal area.
<O>ut leads to Ward Bazaar -- Tier City: Valentine's World.
After the trip back on the speeder bike, Sarna is glad for a chance to shower off the dust and takes advantage of the empty office, wandering around in a robe with her damp hair wrapped in a towel on top of her head. She pokes around in the kitchen for a snack and goes to sit at the desk while she eats, putting her bare feet up on the desk. It does seem a little too quiet, without even Vee-Four to keep her entertained, but she closes her eyes and smiles to herself, content to daydream about the past few days and wait for Lincoln to come back.
It is probably half an hour or so after Lincoln left before the door to the offices open and in walks Kira, the mother of the Lawman looking as stunning as ever for her age and carrying a bag of groceries. It is the knowledge that her son was back in town that prompted her to bring the food by, but as she enters she pauses spotting Sarna and looks the girl up and down. The look is nothing short of penetrating and measuring, a look that is weighing before the woman smiles slightly and turns to head towards the residence area and the kitchen to begin putting the food stuffs away. As she walks in that direction, her voice calls out in an almost song light tone, "Well don't stand there girl, get in here."
Muttering a curse under her breath, Sarna's eyes go wide and her cheeks turn red when Kira enters. Why hadn't she considered her appearance a possibility now that they were back in town? Her feet drop to the floor as she watches Lincoln's mother cross the office to his residence, and she attempts to return that appraising look with as much of her dignity intact as she can. "Hi! Uh, right," she replies, falling in behind her. Inside the kitchen, she starts putting away some of the groceries, glancing at Kira from over her shoulder. "I'm sorry for not being dressed. I should've expected company," she apologizes as politely as possible.
Kira snorts softly, already at work setting things around the kitchen. "Are you serious? Listen, you are on Valentine's world, the expectation when you walk into someone's home is that there is a chance someone may not be fully dressed." The explanation comes with a humored mirth to it as she then asks, "So then?"
Sarna can't help but chuckle, and she fights off a blush. "Of course. Silly me." She continues to help putting things away, but that distraction doesn't last long enough, and she sits down on a stool and braces herself for this conversation. "So!" she chuckles awkwardly and shrugs her shoulders. "I'm pretty fond of your son..."
Kira looks over at Sarna, pausing mid process of putting some canned food up to stare at her lifting an eyebrow, "Girl. Last time I saw you, you could barely make eye contact and your shoulders hunched. When I look at you now, you're looking me in the eye, you're standing taller and you have the glow. Do not tell me you're 'fond' of him. A blind Naga-Pup could see that. No No. What you have done is decided to lay claim."
Well, at least she's projecting confidence? Of course, this time there aren't a couple of other women here to make for more awkwardness, but Sarna doesn't point that out to Kira at this point, at least. "Oh, so you remember me?" she laughs and folds her hands, drumming her fingers on the countertop. "Laying claim sounds pretty serious. Is that some kind of... ritual here? He's explained some of the aspects, but I'm sure there are things he didn't cover."
Kira chuckles softly, a rich sound and shakes her head, "No, nothing ritualistic. I was just saying you have the look about you of no longer being a girl, but being a woman. One who has found what she wants and wants more of it, am I right?" The last part is given with a twinkle eyed smile. As Kira finishes she turns the stove on and puts on a pot of water. "But, you ae definitely not of our culture and I'm glad that boy is telling you some things, but the truth is he is a man. Men don't understand things the way women do. So, why don't you and I have ourselves a nice tea, sit, and I can explain to you what it is to be a woman and you can ask questions, hmm?"
Sarna cups her hands over her mouth just for a moment to compose herself, blinking quickly. "Well, you're not wrong," she says. "You might be onto something." Trying to act nonchalant, she unwraps the towel from her head as they wait for the water to boil, running her fingers through her damp hair, and she can't help but wonder if this woman can somehow tell she's a motherless child. That thought brings a somewhat somber and serious expression to her youthful features, but she tries to distract herself by recalling what she can of what Lincoln has already told her, as if this might be a pop quiz.
While getting the tea prepared, and even a light snack, Kira speaks fluidly in a way that matches her movements around the kitchen. "Had you been born on Valentine's," she begins softly, "You would have been raised from birth to know how to deal with men you see. We're all taught early on. A lot of off worlders have this belief that our people are somehow gifted but many times it is in how we carry ourselves. Around here, you stick out like a thumb as an offworlder and honestly I do not want my son to be with someone like that. So, we're going to teach you how to be proper, yes?" She smiles then turning to face Sarna and putting both her hands on the counter to languidly stand there. "So what questions might you have young one?"
It occurs to Sarna that perhaps Lincoln likes her because she is different, instead of in spite of it, but it doesn't seem like the time to argue the point. Besides, she could probably use some advice on how to seem less like a blundering child at the very least. "Questions? Well, I'm not sure, really. I know you've been expecting your son to... well, give up his bachelor ways," she chuckles. "I don't know if I'm inclined to share him, I admit!"
Kira ponders the statement for a few moments then shakes her head, "Honestly many women here would not keep him. Oh make no mistake, most would happily take him to bed but they would not bring him into a family circle. See, he is half human, half Nahrahm which I'm sure you know. What most don't know is that there is a very high rate of inability of those who have children with other species to be able to then have children again." She pauses and frowns, "In other words Lincoln is not desired for a family circle because the circle won't expand with him." Kira's shoulders lift in a shrug, "That does not mean traditions should not be followed and there are certainly some in our society that do not form circles. But that does not change some realities, does it."
The woman pauses and tilts her head at Sarna, managing a slow small smile, "Would you have taken him to your bed if he looked like a dried out turnip? Then how can you hold fault at others who cast eyes in the same way?"
There's a look of surprise on Sarna's face and her brows draw together as she comprehends what Kira is telling her. "Oh... I did not know that," she says very slowly, glancing away. She's a bit too stunned to come up with more than that for a moment and it feels like her stomach just took a drop from some obscene height. "How sad for him," she says at last, knowing how important such things are on his world, but not caring as far as she herself is concerned in the least. She blows out a breath and manages to look back at Kira for that last question, and she responds with a small chuckle. "I don't fault anyone for looking at anyone. And I might be glad he's not a dried out turnip, but that's not the only thing that has drawn me to him."
Kira was in the process of pouring tea and she stops, almost as if slapped at what Sarna says and swallows, "It ..." Swallowing, she sets the tea kettle down and turns to look at Sarna with a very serious expression, "You have been intimate in body, that much is clear... but it went no further, did it?" She asks hesitantly almost as if concerned.
Sarna starts to reach for the cup of tea but then withdraws her hand at the expression on Kira's face. She clasps them in her lap tightly and tries to hold onto that sense of confidence she was apparently projecting before. Instead she can feel herself shrinking under that serious gaze, and she swallows hard. "I'm not sure exactly what that means," she says guiltily. What time was he going to be back? Should she just run for it?
Kira looks hesitantly at Sarna and then slowly hands the cup of tea over and takes a deep breath. The words she speaks in many other cultures may be awkward to hear a mother say about their own son, but on Valentine's it is just normal decorum, "When you had sex with him, was it for the pleasures of your body or was there something deeper?" Kira lifts an eyebrow at Sarna and pours herself a cup as well taking a sip before going on. "At your age, both of you, it should be about the body. You're too young to be worried about intimacy of the mind, much less intimacy of the soul. Body girl, body."
Sarna may not have had a flesh-and-blood mother present to raise her, but she is certain that if she had, this would not have been the advice given to her about such a matter. And once again, she's being deemed too young to be feeling what she's feeling. She presses her lips together and looks down into her teacup, a lock of damp hair falling over her eyes. "That's not the way it is in my culture," she says quietly. "But I will be more cautious." He had warned her about that, and considering Kira's reaction, she wonders if he is secretly just as outraged at her.
Kira sighs softly and goes to sit down across from Sarna, settling in and taking a breath, "Our people found out in a pretty hard way that when one gets so attached to another and it blinds them, that sometimes bad things can occur. Jealousy that is unneeded, anger, betrayals. It is not always the case of course, but it was often enough. Especially for us, we found that for us to survive we needed to share and to share was to set aside personal desires." She bites her lip and ponders, "It is difficult to explain this to someone not from here so let me try a different way."
"Imagine two people who are so deeply in love with a man. How do you settle it? You can fight over it, or you can let the other have it. For us however, that wasn't really an option. For every male there was, about three females needed to lie with him in order to make sure we had enough children to continue on. If we fought we'd end up killing ourselves off and if we simply allowed an individual pairing... we would become exctinct as well. So some of our ancestors said the only way to proceed was for none to fall so deeply that they became possessive with thought and intent."
Sarna frowns as she lifts her chin to look at Kira in the eye. Her own mind is working, not finding what the other woman is saying all that dissimilar from the old views of the Jedi Order, when they'd been forbidden from forming attachments. The previous generation had done away with those notions, but the risk still existed. "I understand what you're saying," she says honestly. "There's something you should know about me, too. I was raised with a certain philosophy, and spiritual connections, while aren't common, are... possible. But my Order is also very concerned with teaching discipline of the mind, and that includes controlling emotions like jealousy and anger. I know I'm young, but I know the dangers you're talking about."
Listening, Kira's expression grows more and more relaxed and she smiles warmly at Sarna then, the relief evident. "That is so wonderful to hear. So so wonderful. It is not forbidden you see but it is something we as well are wary over." She sips her tea and then bluntly asks, "So do you desire him further?" The question is asked and before waiting for a response Kira goes on, "If you do, you will need to consider taking on the oath." Standing up, Kira sets her glass down and reaches up to her shirt, removing it fully in a smooth motion to set it down on the table and turning her back. There across her mid back is a flowing script of some kind, not truly legible but ancient looking. "It is our old language, it roughly means that 'This Body desire the Body of Araglan'." She pauses, "No, that was not Lincoln's father, he was the second I shared body with. We mark ourselves with this oath so that those we share with know that we desire them not just once, but always."
Relieved and surprised that this seems to reassure Kira, Sarna chuckles and returns the Nahrahm's smile. She sighs deeply and picks up her tea just in time for Kira's next question to take her offguard. Holding the cup in midair, she arches one brow as the woman removes her shirt to show her the tattoo on her bare back. Coughing, Sarna takes a quick sip, then slides off the stool so she can approach for a better look. "It's quite lovely. Araglan, huh? So do you have a tattoo for every man you've conquered?" she teases, but it's a valid question. "I don't know how he would feel about me taking any kind of Oath. Does he get one too?" She starts to giggle, finally embarrassed at where this conversation is going.
"Oh no, you take one only," Kira responds softly with a soft chuckle herself indicating the script, "If I took one for each then there would be no skin left." She sighs softly and smiles over at Sarna, "This is a way to remind both of those times. The men generally don't get one, although they will if asked." Kira pauses and looks at Sarna then puts her shirt back on and holds her hand out to the girl, "I will take you now to get one if you desire..." She pauses and bites her lip; an expression that Sarna herself holds sometimes, "It is a message to your lover that you welcome him to your body, anytime it is visible it is that message. There is no need to be coy or subtle, you can simply reveal it."
Sarna hesitates for just a second but then takes Kira's hand, smiling back at her and still chuckling at the thought of her being covered in tattoos. It was impossible not to be charmed by her when she talks so freely and warmly. It reminds her of what she can sense just below Lincoln's more cool and collected exterior. "If you're sure this is the appropriate thing," she agrees cautiously. "I don't want him to come back and think my some of my screws have come loose."
Kira guides Sarna out the door, almost giddy. The impression that she wishes perhaps she had had a daughter begins to be evident. She doesn't lead Sarna to some place nearby, instead she takes her to the speeder car she drove and climbs in, motioning for Sarna to do the same before starting a drive that will take them out of the city. Being the good mother she is, she leaves a note for Lincoln while doing this. "So tell me about yourself," Kira's 'question' comes out more of a statement.
Kira's excitement is infectious, and Sarna wants to protest her current state of deshabille. Instead she's able to grab her bag while Kira leaves her son a note, and she slings it over her shoulder as Kira leads her outside. Once they're out on the road, she manages to change into more appropriate clothes, and is glad she doesn't really have to be embarrassed around this particular woman. She watches the countryside rolling by through the windshield and smiles over at Kira at the question. "Well," she starts uncertainly. "I'm not from Cresh, originally, but Valentine's World is the first planet I ever visited. I grew up on a ship with my aunt and uncle."
"You poor thing," Kira comments towards Sarna, shaking her head. "Your aunt and uncle you say? I'm going to assume that it wasn't a normal upbringing even there, was it?" Of course this woman's definition of normal is a toss up. The speeder heads out over the land, outside of town, eventually deviating towards a forested type area. There is an odd feeling about the place, not unpleasant but certainly present with energy.
"Yes, it was us and a small crew," Sarna replies. "And you're right, I don't think there was anything normal about it by anyone's measure." She smiles crookedly and leans back in the passenger seat, crossing her arms over her chest and resting her feet on top of her bag as she watches the changing terrain and the forest looming ahead. This is another place she has yet to explore, and something about the forest makes her alert without understanding why. "But I think I turned out okay, considering," she adds with self-conscious shrug.
"I suspect you are quite okay, although it's probably best if you aren't all the way there. My son has often had an inkling towards mysteries and the like, I think that's why he does the whole law enforcement investigation sort of thing," Kira replies calmly as she parks the speeder and gets out. Waiting for Sarna to join her, she begins to guidde down a path deeper into the forest. "This place is very old to our people, it is where the elders first met to decide how to end the wars. A group of sages lived here that had done so in harmony with one another so we sought them out," The explanation comes as they step and the further they delve the deeper the emanations of energy can be felt. "What are your plans then, if you have any? Now that you have found the first world to set feet on?"
She doesn't talk about how she was brought up and groomed to be a quintessential Jedi, to represent everything that was best about the Order here in an all new place that had never heard of her kind before. It's a mantle she carries with a certain heaviness, but she also knows her own importance and place within the Force and isn't afraid of the path ahead of her, whatever that may be. She follows Kira down the forest path, slipping her hands into her jacket pockets and looking up into the canopy where the sunlight sparkles against the leaves. As she listens to her, Sarna reaches out curiously with her senses, exploring the welling of energy that seems to permeate here. "I seem to have a few options," she tells her. "The Enclave is interested in training me." Her voice sounds uncertain on that front and she glances at the older woman. "I'm not sure yet what path I will follow."
"That is alright you know. It is not that important to have one's life mapped out, because if you do too much planning you'll always be upset when it changes," Kira says motherly like as the trail ends after a good mile or so and opens into an area of the forest where there is more space and several small houses. It is a busy area, people coming and going. Excusing herself from Sarna for a moment, she speaks to one of the older looking ladies and then motions for Sarna, "The Elder has said they have time to see to you now." Kira beams with excitement, "A first marking, or first oath, is always an exciting thing." She gestures around, "What they do is they carefully remove some branches from this sacred forest and they use them to create the ink which you are marked with."
Something she'd heard before, in another motherly voice, comes to mind when Kira gives her own advice. "The future is always in motion," she agrees with a heavy sigh. Even though she had no idea about this ritual or the Elders or any of this before today, the excitement in the air at their arrival is infectious, and she chews on her lip as she follows Kira into the clearing, surprised at how many people are here. As she's summoned along, she bobs her head enthusiastically and quickens her pace after Kira. "A sacred forest?" she asks, her curiosity piqued as she feels the ripples in the Force strengthening. "I hope mine is as pretty as yours! It looks like you got it marked yesterday," Sarna compliments. "How many do you have?"
"Just the one," Kira explains as she leads Sarna to one of the small houses / huts and steps within. As she does, and elder woman smiles at them both and dips her head politely, "Lady Kira tells me that you are not of our people, but seek to have the Marking of the Body with another?" She asks it to Sarna, apparently to garner confirmation. "You must know, few outsiders do this, it is a sacred thing. Most would ask for simple markings of standard color, but a true Mark of the Body must be done with the Eleiss Plant, for it is strong in life."
Sarna's vision adjusts quickly to the light in the small house and she glances around curiously, the tingling at the edge of her perceptions demanding her attention. She greets the elder with a small bow and then smiles, her large eyes wide and glittering. "I understand," she says breathlessly. "This Eleiss Plant. I think that's what I'm sensing, isn't it? It's strong with the Force here." That must be what she means, and the significance of this becomes somehow even more profound. "I hope it's acceptable for me to receive it. I don't want to be disrespectful of your customs. I admire your people greatly."
The elder woman glances at Kira then back to Sarna, nodding her head slowly, "Yes, the life energy is strong in the plant. It is what creates the bond..." She trails off some looking at Sarna, tilting her head to look in the girl's eyes then nods, "If you are one who knows the life energy then this could either be most pleasurable or most disastrous for you, depending upon how strongly you believe the Mark of Body is given correctly..." She gestures to the table within, "If you still desire... lay down, close your eyes and begin to think of every component of the one that you wish to join your body to."
That warning makes Sarna pause, and she glances over at Kira worriedly before she makes her way to the table at the Elder's direction and sits down on the edge of it. "Wait, what does that mean? Given correctly?" she asks, trying to sound more curious than concerned, but her sincerity about wanting to understand and respect what's about to happen is obvious. Most of all, she worries inwardly, what if this is something she should've discussed first with Lincoln, anyway? Maybe he would prefer she stay out of their customs?
The Elder pauses then begins to explain, "The Mark of the Body has no effect on the one that is marked. As far as you are concerned, it would be but a tattoo or marking. But whom you think over, it imbues them into the markings so that when they see it, they feel called to it, to the one that it is attached to." The Elder then glances at Kira, as if surprised she didn't explain it fully and Kira shrugs a bit. The Elder then goes on, "If you lightly think of your lover, then they will be barely impacted by the markings. The stronger and deeper you think upon them the more they will feel the call of it. For us, it is a way to remember important people in our lives. The more significant they are, the more we dwell on them, the more powerful the markings are as they call." She hesitates, "But it is a responsibility too. If you think upon your lover, so strongly and deeply as to forge a strong marking which they cannot resist, then you should not deny the time they will seek. I have seen women who will beg to have themselves marked, commit it deeply to their skin and then when the man they so sought and desired comes for them, they brush him aside. It can have devastating effects on the man, making them question their worth." The Elder smiles then, "So it falls on you, young one. In your mind, picture and hold the image of your man. If it is just an image of him then when he sees the mark, he will see your image as well. If you capture in your mind the depths of desire, then when he sees it, that is what he will experience."
This is turning out to be much more serious than simply a tattoo marking a rite of passage of some sort. Sarna is both fascinated and horrified at the prospect of what she's suggesting, uncertain about whether she should have the right to make such a decision for another person, no matter how much she might care for him and want him. She blinks her big eyes first at the Elder, and then at Kira, gripping the edge of the table nervously.
Then the girl blows out a soft breath and closes her eyes, filling her lungs deeply and resting her hands lightly on her knees. It was the only source of guidance she had most of the time, but over the years, as her training has progressed, she's grown to trust her instincts and finding her way through the Force when uncertain of her path.
Whatever she sees, it brings a slow smile to her face, and she finds herself nodding her head in understanding. At last she rests back on the table, her eyes still closed in concentration. "I'm ready," she says with conviction this time.
The Elder gestures towards the table for Sarna to lay down after instructing her to remove whatever clothes around where she desires the marking to be made. As the process begins, there is soft chanting and speaking in some ancient tongue, the smell of rich herbs fills the room as the ink is prepared, throughout the process, Sarna is reminded of the importance to lock into her mind what she wants, the reaction she would desire upon seeing the markings. Then, it begins with pokes of a sharp needle to embed the plant into her skin at a depth. The entire process takes nearly an hour, the soft chanting and reminders taking place throughout. At one point throughout, Kira steps forward to gently rub Sarna's back reassuringly. Then, it is done and a Jedi girl gets her first mad tat.
The chanting of the Elders and the pleasant smell of the herbs relax Sarna while she waits for the process to be complete, all the while floating on a soft dream of her own making as the women encourage her to focus on her desires, visions mingling of both their recent discovery of each other, and the gentle way he'd guided her without judgment or awkwardness, and fantasies she's been perhaps too shy to explore fully before. It should seem strange, but the prick of the needle on her shoulder blade releases endorphins that make her feel even giddier than she already is. When it's over at last, she sits up and tries to look back over her shoulder. "Do you like it?" she asks Kira.
Perhaps not strange, the others are smiling as the process finishes, a knowing look exchanged between the women. Kira is standing there and she is holding a mirror so that Sarna can see the marking across her shoulder blade, the curving of it perfect and the coloring matching her skin tone almost mystically. One of the Elders speaks quietly, "Child... even were it not of the sacred plant, the look upon you... are you certain you are not one of us?" She asks it genuinely. Even the way she says child is not in the sense that Sarna is too young, merely younger. Kira reaches out and takes Sarna's hand gently, speaking quietly, "No woman on Valentine's will view you as anything less than adult now." Words are exchanged quietly between Kira and the Elders, a few questions asked which Kira seems to be reassuring of them then she is preparing to lead Sarna back to the speeder and back to the city.
"The Elders are very much into the mysticism of things; for most of us it is simply a pleasant reminder. However, they did ask me if..." She trails and glances at Sarna, "I think they truly believe what they do has some element of magik to it. But they said they could feel the strength of your bond as they were inking you. And it brought them joy."
Sarna is thoughtful on the drive back to Tier City. She folds her arms on the side of the speeder and leans out slightly so the wind catches her hair. She had caught the deference to her by the Elders, and assumed it was simply common. But it was more, and though Kira is glib about it, she takes a moment to revel in what she refers to as the mysticism of the ritual. "I know," she says softly. "I could feel the connection through the Force. It brought me joy, too." Hoping she's done the right thing, Sarna glances back at Kira and smiles broadly. "Thank you."
It's early evening and the shadows are long where the sunlight shines through the windows of the bedroom in the Marshal's Office. It's the most private space to be found, and Sarna is there alone. Or so it would seem. She's seated on the floor with her legs crossed, listening intently, head tipped up to gaze at a shimmering blue image projected from the device in front of her. The figure in the hologram is cloaked and her face is shadowed by a cowl, but the timbre of her voice is melodious and reminiscent of Sarna's own accent. "My dear child, you have been raised a Jedi. I can't imagine how different it must be for you than it was for me. You are wise to question yourself -- and because of that, I don't believe it is in you to use your power unwisely."
Sarna inhales a shaky breath and nods her head, somewhat relieved by this encouragement, but there is still worry in her eyes. "I'm glad you think that. If I am, though, it's because of you!"
Lincoln had returned home at the lunch hour, well after, to find that Sarna was gone and a note left from his mother. It was probably best no one was about as he mutters some of the big swears. Not that his mother had taken Sarna out, but that he hadn't warned Sarna about the possibility. Regardless, there was nothing he could do about it so he ate a lunch alone and set back out afterwards to do some patrols and check in on people. Inevitably it led to a few disputes needing to be settled which led to a couple more and what had been meant to be a short day turned a bit longer. However, with early evening settling he made his way back to the offices and entered quietly, uncertain of what he may be coming in upon. His initial expectation was one of either boisterous mother, weeping Sarna, or some combination therein. But instead he finds it quiet initially until he heard the sounds of the hologram; not knowing what it was. An unfamiliar voice does put him on guard however and he finds himself standing in the doorway, observing for a few moments.
Apparently the hologram is not a recording, since the figure reacts to Lincoln's entry and gives a nod of greeting to him. Sarna is startled and looks back, both excited and caught off guard by his appearance. She smiles breathlessly and starts to stand up, but as she does so, she presses the button on the holoprojector and the image flickers instantly away. "Hi!" she says. "I made it back. Your mother is so sweet and lovely. I think she might like me! We had a wonderful day together, and --" She realizes she's babbling and cuts herself off. "Welcome home."
If Lincoln noticed babbling he simply smiles it off and returns the warmth with an expression, "I'm glad you made it back. You know, everyone loves my mother, which is crazy since y'all never had her sternly telling you to clean up your room." It's the life long thing many times, other people only see the adult side of the parent. "Everything go alright? Wonderful day? That sounds... promising?"
If Lincoln noticed babbling he simply smiles it off and returns the warmth with an expression, "I'm glad you made it back. You know, everyone loves my mother, which is crazy since y'all never had her sternly telling you to clean up your room." It's the life long thing many times, other people only see the adult side of the parent. "Everything go alright? Wonderful day? That sounds... promising?" His eyes however have drifted to the holocomm and he isn't going to speak of it but there is a curiousity to his gaze while looking at it.
She catches his gaze and has a sudden desire to tell him so many things she doesn't even know where to start. Instead she chuckles at his comment about his mother, but it strengthens an ache in her chest she was already feeling. "You're probably wondering," she says with a shrug, picking up the holoprojector and looking down at it in her hand. "It wasn't my aunt and uncle who trained me to be a Jedi. I was given this instead. My uncle was able to create a neural imprint from my mother. She was a Jedi Master. So in a way, I've had her with me." She keeps her gaze averted and turns the device over in her hands before tucking it away. "Being around your mother has made me realize how much more I really did miss out on."
A soft look of sympathy touches his eyes, not pity but understanding, and he nods. "If you need a few more minutes..." he trails off then tilts his head towards the kitchen, "I can assume my mother brought by some groceries, so I can make up some dinner ... promise it won't be that terrible and I'll definitely try not to burn any of it." He's a little quiet about things, trying to be respectful but it is new territory for him to be wading into.
"No, no," Sarna says quickly and reaches for his hand so she can tug him closer. "Don't go yet. I have to tell you that your mother took me to... meet the Elders today." She has no idea if that is enough information for him to infer what they were up to, so despite her misgivings she goes on, "She was very excited that they give me this tattoo. It seemed like that was the appropriate thing to do, and the Elders treated me like I was one of them. It was very..." She hesitates as she searches for the right word and taps her lip. "Fulfilling..."
Listening, Lincoln smiles some and nods his head, "I see. Yeah, the Mark of Body?" He asks to her with that same grin, "You know, there's some that say they're magikal, that they inflame men and the like." The skepticism is clear regarding that but he does seem happy in his eyes. "I'm joyed though that you found that welcoming, that sense of fitting in. The Elders out in some of the areas of Valentine... I have always suspected they're in tune to something a lot of folks aren't, maybe like you?" He offers before squeezing her hand in turn, "That does sound like a wonderful day though, and culturally it's a big step. It's sort of a rite of passage," he pauses and chuckles, "Just don't expect me to go wild eyed and the like. I've had so many men I've thrown in the cell claim it was only because of a Mark of Body. They should know even the legends tell that the men can resist the call of it if they truly want to." He rolls his eyes some, "Hokey religions and traditions, eh?"
Sarna is visibly relieved by his reaction and her posture relaxes somewhat. "I... definitely felt something of the Force there," she confesses. "I don't know if the legends are true. According to them the power they have can vary, so who knows? Maybe it's all just a placebo effect or wishful thinking?" Letting go of his hand, she turns and tugs back the collar of her tunic so she can expose the mark on her shoulder, hissing between her teeth as it's still red and tender to the touch. "Do you like it? I think it's beautiful," she whispers.
There is silence in response, Lincoln's head is tilted looking at the markings along her shoulder line and after a moment he whispers the words in the ancient language. His tone is odd, a mix of reverent and day dreaming before his fingers lift to brush over the red skin in a touch so gentle a breeze might be jealous. Stepping forward again, his fingers continuing to trace, an instinctive urge unlike anything he has encountered washes over him and quickly he brings his lips to Sarna's neck kissing her there. Not the gentle touch used in the cabin those days, but a hungrier, almost demanding kiss, followed by another, then another.
When he's quiet at first, Sarna looks over her shoulder to see the odd look on his face that matches his voice when he reads the words she can't understand. She starts to ask him to translate, but then his lips are on the back of her neck, and she closes her eyes, tipping her head forward as a shiver goes down her spine. "Does that mean you like it?" she asks, giggling a little, but any skepticism she may have had over whether the ritual's power is real is quickly and utterly forgotten.