An Invitation

Xanadu Weyr - Rustic Treetop Cafe(#8082RJ)
Perched on the cliff overlooking Xanadu's beach is a gnarled and massive skybroom tree. The bark and outer layers are sturdy enough to support the thriving, brushy top, but the interior, which is hollow, contains a spiral staircase that leads to a cafe built on a high platform amongst the branches. With a panoramic view of lake, sky, Weyr and the mountains beyond, the treetop eatery offers both sheltered seating just inside the trunk and tables on the wide deck that encircles the old tree.

The cafe's decor is comfortable and rustic, but closer inspection shows the smallest embellishments to be artfully combined into one detailed masterpiece. The wood of the doors, floor and walls of the trunk have been stained a dark mahogany that lends the space a sense of intimacy. Tables in various sizes have been carved to mimic driftwood, the chairs and benches padded with oiled sailcloth cushions to provide weather-proof comfort. Each table has an aged brass lantern filled with shells and agates gathered from Xanadu's shores, the sparkling natural mosaics holding tapered candles upright in their embrace. Lamps hang from the ceiling on silver poles, the thick frosted glass carved into intricate pastel shells or swirling white-capped waves. At night the colored glass softens the glowlight to enhance the ambience.

During the day, the retractable doors allow leaf-spattered sunlight to fill both the outer deck and the smaller interior with green and gold light, as well as allowing pleasant breezes to cool the interior. On clear nights, farviewers perch on the elaborately carved railing are free for use to enhance the gorgeous view of the stars over the Caspian Lake, the Sea of Azov beyond and the rock formations of the Weyr.

Its evening and the sun is setting, adding to the atmosphere of this place. Garait is seated alone at a table near one of the windows overlooking the Caspian Lake. He's dressed a little more coolorfully today with a light blue shirt, khaki pants and leather boots. On the table sits a small vase with a few flowers in it and a tray of some bubbly pies, sweet bread, some cheeses to taste and a few fruits and vegetables to snack on in case his guest hasn't eaten. He glances at the door and then back out the window.

It isn't often Zahleizjah gets invites to hang out with.. well, anyone really, so when the message was delivered right after the day's duties, Zahl rushed home to get ready. Craft clothes were changed to a more comfortable and summer-like getup, a cream colored short sleeved shirt with scooped neckline and an A-line pencil skirt dyed a dark hunter green. Her long, raven tinted locks fall straight, as usual, bouncing with each step. She arrives at the meeting spot, approaching the well picked table Garait sits at with a smile and a "Hi.. I got your message.. everything ok?"

Smiling when he hears a familiar voice, Garait stands up and pulls a chair out for the Starcraft Apprentice, moving towards his own chair only after she sits down. "Everything's fine, I assure you. I didn't mean to make you worry. I just wanted to chat a little and show you the nice view from here. Did you want some fruits? cheese? Bubblies or sweet bread?" His hand gestures towards the tray, and if the flowers are noticed they are arranged nicely and are soft colors, giving off a light fragrance. "You look nice tonight. Have you been settling in okay?"

Zahleizjah bows her head gently, mostly to hide the pink of roses blooming on her cheeks, as Garait stands and offers her a seat. Those honeyed eyes scan over the spread at the table and then out towards said view. "Oh good.. and umm.. thank you Garait. This place is definitely beautiful and so are the snacks and flowers. We've definitely got the best seat in the house." That blushing continues, but can't be hidden as she settles in to her seat. Hands are folded neatly in her lap, as are ankles crossed below, proper as can be for Zah.. she probably doesn't get it, and is just naively flattered by the invitation to begin with. "Why thank you.. Fruits and cheese sounds like a good start.. then maybe you'll share that bubbly with me?" The girl goes about helping herself to the offer before continuing "I'm not used to the weather here, so my father had some new clothing delivered for me.." this is kind of strange to her, that whole father taking care of his child thing is a foreign concept for the girl who spent the last ten turns thinking she was an orphan. " I'm definitely loving Xanadu so far.. I still get lost some times and there's so many neat places around here.. how have you been?"

Garait does his best to not let the girl know that he notices the blushing, but there is a hint of a smile on his face. "I don't mind sharing a bubbly at all. Please go ahead, get what you want since it's an assortment of cheeses and fruit. You do look nice in that outfit, and I'm sure the Weavers an make more. "I've been doing okay, how about yourself?? Xanadu is nice and i can see how people can get lost." He does seem genuinely interested in how she is and nods as he listens to her.

Zahleizjah nibbles on fruit and cheese, mostly separately but a few bites are taken together. "This is delicious.. great choices.." she prefers the creamier and slightly stronger cheeses, the sharp ones, and then the contrast of crisp and tart fruits. As for her attire she looks down with a bit of a shrug and a nod "Having nice things is.. weird.. nice but weird.." she's used to oversized hand-me-down's and the less fine things in life. "Oh y'know.. just duties and umm.. finding my place. A'dmar opened up an empty room in his Weyr for me.. I've never lived somewhere I didn't share sleeping facilities. The quietness is so quiet."

Nodding as he listens to her, Garait nods in undersstanding. He's taking a few bites of fruit and cheese as well, but seems to be taking note of which ones are the girl's favorites. "I guess I'm lucky in that I don't have any siblings," that he's aware of anyway. "A'dmar does seem nice and does seem to care about the Weyr a lot, so I'm not suprised he's treating you well." He grins a little then and says jokingly, "Well, if you ever get yourself a firelizard, it won't be tthat quiet anymore."

Zahleizjah has no idea that Garait is noticing anything about her or her preferences, happily snacking away and smiling as she explains "Oh no.. no siblings.. I mean well not really. I just always lived in public dorms n'such.. before I knew I had any family y'know?" She's sure he doesn't know, but she makes it seem like it's no big deal that so much of her life was spent in the squalor opposite of how she's starting to live these days. Always frugal and never wasteful, the girl munches neatly and washes it down with a sip of juice. "A'dmar is more of a father than I ever coulda dreamed.. I feel lucky to have found him and all of these wonderful people at Xanadu.. like you Garait. Thanks again for inviting me here.. as for the 'lizards. I've got two.. trouble all day but they sure like to cuddle at night.." she's said too much and is blushing again.

A hint of a blush touches Garait's cheek as she mentions his name, but he tries to hide it by taking a sip of his juice. "I do know a bit about the dorms since I'm staying in the Apprentice Dorms now, even though my mom has her own Weyr here since she's a greenrider here. My mom would love for me to stay there, but…." Who wants to see their mom during a mating flight indiscretion? "I am glad I invited you Zah. I wanted to get to know you better and talk…." Now he's blushing a little more as well and can't hide it.

Zahl knows all about how them icky greenriders can be, all that pent up lasciviousness and flight business, the Starcrafter would want nothing to do with that and fortunately the bronzers are usually drawn out of their Weyr for these events.. again something the girl hasn't even thought about dealing with when the situation arises. "Oh.. of course.. and I understand.." she says with a little chuckle, brushing it off and moving on quickly to the next bit before she says something awkward or prying. Another sip from her mug and a nod "Likewise… I figure I'll probably be around these parts for some time and umm.. it'd be nice t'not feel like a stranger in m'own home anymore.. I never really felt settled at Western so this was really a much needed change."

Garait smiles as he listens to her talk, "I'm glad that you understand. I'm glad that you'll be here for a while, it will give us a chance to talk more." A blush then as he sips his juice and then he notices the tray is about empty then, "Would you, um, care to, um, join me here again sometime?" His blush deepens a little, but he is in one of his favorite spots, but he seems a little nervous. Could it be a date? Or just talking as friends?

Zahleizjah realizes when she looks out towards the horizon that time's flown by much quicker than she realized, and well the next question makes her a little squeamish, just in case it could be him asking for a date. "I umm.. yeah.. talking is good." She looks from the black haired gent to her plate before clearing her throat a little "I'd definitely join you here again.. sometime, Garait.." she doesn't mean to be so uncanny "Soon even.. but umm.. I gotta go for now. Duty call y'know.. thanks again.." she pushes to a stand "See you soon.." the half of bubbly as promised is tough to walk away from, but fight of flight is an uncontrollable response.

Sighing as he watches the Starcrafter go, Garait is left to wonder if he did something wrong, or pushed too much, or any number of things. His appetite gone now, the bubbly is left then and he moves to leave, lost in his own thoughts.

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