Guessing Games

Xanadu Weyr - Shore of Lake Caspian
The cliffs that run along the shore come and go, various weyrs nestled along the tops of them or dug into the walls, but eventually they recede enough to expose a beach. The white sand echoes the rise and fall of the cliffs with a multitude of sandy dunes, endlessly creating tiny valleys that are constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of dragons. The dunes smooth out as the gentle slope approaches the edge of the deep blue water. The sand darkens, and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect.
The beach narrows to the southwest, leaving a path barely wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to a smaller, more sheltered cove. The sands are the same white, the waters the same blue, but they're calmer and more tranquil, more protected from the winds that ruffle Lake Caspian and the currents that tug beneath the surface.
Rough, wide stairs lead up to the meadow above and the road that runs along the top of the cliffs, passing through the fields and heading for the river mouth that can be just barely seen from here. The largest of the staircases up the cliff is located near the docks that jut out onto the peaceful blue waters.


Date: Day 17 of Month 5 of Turn 2725
Season: Autumn

Soft sand rolls into dunes where grasses poke through in obstinate desire of life: they sway in the gentle breezes of a lazy afternoon filled with the warmth of Rukbat's gentle kiss. Standing in the soft sands looking out over the Caspian Lake, Khetsiyah loses thoughts to the moment, nimble fingers tucking strands of dark hair behind her ear where the wind attempts to snatch them away. Despite having lived her entire life here, she's never tired of the view nor of the fact that they reside upon a lake — the waters calmer than what a sea would be. Her shoes hang from two fingers of her other hand, the straps unbuckled and flapping like red leather fingers every time she swings her arm in time to the wind. At her feet lies a blanket and the remains of a picnic, where naught but crumbs lay. Overhead, an avian cries out in distant call, echoed by others.

For a guy from the land of cornfields, Xanadu has a certain tropical paradise whimsy. (It doesn't matter that Hexik's cornfields were immediately adjacent to Black Rock Hold: it's not like he spent a WHOLE bunch of time when he was a kid on the water.) The healer walks shirtless, shoeless, and entirely without service down the beachway. His dark eyes skirt up the water to land on Khetsiyah, who is abruptly nearby, and his lazy smile and lift of hand in greeting says it all. Perhaps if his lazy smile was a little less immediately darkly-curling it would be more pastoral, but hey: this is Hexik.

Movement always catches the eye as does the awareness of another, and so by the time Hexik has lifted his hand, Khetsiyah's attention is there to catch it. Her smile is tilted and charming, the skin crinkling around dark green eyes when her own hand lifts. "Beautiful day," her words are very nearly snatched out by the whimsy of the winds. "Had a similar idea, I see," she says, less of a call out and more conversational as he approaches the place she's made her own. She holds out a slender hand, callouses on the ends of her fingertips speaking of time working the glass. "Khetsiyah, and I feel like you might be new, but." Waving the sandal-laden hand, her laugh falls lightly around them, "I've been known to miss some important things here and there."

Boyish, Hexik's smile amps into a smirk. "Khetsiyah," he rolls the name over his tongue, teasing the syllables of her name out. "Apparently you aren't the only one. Since I'm just now having the pleasure of making your acquaintence." The standard individual would shake her hand, but Hexik lifts it with the bridge of his hand under her fingers, until he can make an entirely self-ironic bow over it, brushing his lips casually over her knuckles like he does this shit EVERY DAY. His dark eyes dance upward at her from his bend as he returns to full height (not that it's very consequential), framed by a dark feathering of eyes. "They call me Hex."

Khetsiyah's brows skyrocket upward at the combination of words and actions, and the fact that she's not immune to the rascal's charm he evokes — her cheeks darken a touch — when she answers, it with a steadiness at odds with her years. "You've got a silver tongue, Hex." A cord of amusement threads through the sound of her rich voice, "And a name to go with that silver tongue. It is an unusual one, that." She allows her hand to linger before withdrawing it, and whilst his height may not be consequential, neither is hers. Flat footed, there's inches to spare between them. "I was born here," she admits, tipping her head to the side, "But the weyr sees change all the time. Impossible to keep track." Her eyes fall to his bare chest — bare shoulder — and then rise back to his. "Let me guess. You are a…" a slender finger taps her full lower lip, "… musician. Harper. Guitar?"

"I find myself enamored. That face, and compliments, too?" Hexik's body language almost sways toward the girl, as if he's pulled by a gravitational force all of his own, but he reorients his feet, shifting a hand to adjust the play of his shorts over his hips. It's entirely not framed to call mild attention to the sharp V cut over his hipbones — surely not. His dark eyebrows lift and a laugh startles out of him: it doesn't quite match the sexgod act, a little geeky, a little too much teeth, but it somehow fits the whole gestalt of his easy delight. "The girl named Khetsiyah is calling my name unusual." His grin opens up again, displaying teeth as charmed as they are charming, and he lifts a hand to roll as if to indicate for her to keep going. "Me? A gitar player? Heaven's be. Let's hear another guess from those lips," says the silver-tongue himself.

The breeze stirs Khetsiyah's loose skirt around her ankles, the pattern rippling like water. The thin-sleeved dark top exposes the curve of one brown shoulder where the cardigant of loose cream-colored weave cardigan slipped down. "There he is," her attention stays focused on the older boy, her smile twitching when he breaks the sex god act with the slightly geeky laugh. "The real person behind all this," her shoes dance once more as she uses that hand to indicate all of him. "You've a point, but you can't use my name as an action. But I could hex Hex." As the silver tongued devil re-emerges, she laughs. Carefree, whimsical, delighted: "No? Then I say, do you work with dolphins? Dolphineer? The water lies straight ahead and I swear I saw a fin splash."

"Is it so unbelievable to think that a person could have more than one side, rather than the thought of wearing masks?" Hex's question is drawled out with his Southern accent clear — no defying those damn cornfields, no matter how sophisticated a Benden or Fort accent would make his melodious voice — "But could you hex Hex? I've yet to see it happen." He has fucking dimples. Why does he have fucking dimples? Life is so unfair. "Dolphins." He leans forward. "Don't believe all their stories, I heard this one story from this one girl back home? She swore a dolphin chased her down like he wanted a little bit more than a nice little swim." He pulls back, his ultra-expressive face screwing into a 'what can you say' skepticism for the topic of shipfish.

"Perhaps the stories are true, then." Khetsiyah picks up that thread with ease, "That dolphins are a'cursed men, doomed to swim the ocean until the blood moon returns where they are transformed into men who woo the ladies." Is that what the stories say? It's a nice fairytale. Unable to help the dimples — dimples — and the way they darken the color in her cheeks, she shrugs so casually, flipping her head in such a way that long, glossy black strands of hair fall back over her shoulder. "People have many sides, but that doesn't mean they don't have masks," a side glance gives him her profile whilst she watches him from the fringe of dark, thick lashes. "Hmnnn. It has a nice ring though, wouldn't you say? Hex Hex. Now, so if you're not a dolphineer, then I would next guess… beastcraft." Almost coy is the look she gives as now she definitely has fun with the strange little game they play.

"Oh? Is that what the stories say?" Hexik's laugh comes again, just as geeky as it was a minute before, unfettered, unchained, and infectious in the way that the best laughs are. "These hands? A beastcrafter's hands?" He shows them palm up for her. He has callused hands in the way of someone who does a certain labor, but they are smooth, capable, long-fingered — dextrous. Clever fingers. Gitar player was an admirable first guess. "The rope would burn me in the first thirty seconds I went to… loop something. Lasso something? Is that what they call it?" His self-depreciative quirked grin is as boyish as the rest of him.

Khetsiyah stands on the cusp of burgeoning womanhood, yet therein lies the innocence of childhood captured in the openness to her expression. The guilelessness to which she approaches life, exhibited when she laughs — to cover up her awkwardness at his continued flirtation — and admits, "Okay, I truthfully know little of the beastcraft. I could imagine you, ah, riding a runner through a field, though." Involuntarily, her face dips, eyes feasting on all the flesh before her spine straightens. "Then, all that's left with such hands…" Her voice trails off into a soft sigh the wind snatches away, leaving behind a mysterious little smile settling upon full lips. "… is to guess at Healer. Trauma. Triage. Something that requires a lot of patchwork work." Dark brows lift, the woman-to-be echoing in the stance, a promise of formidability.

In truth, Hexik has no clue of Khetsiyah's age, or he'd probably tone it down. Maybe. Yeah, probably. For sure. There's something about her saying riding a runner that maybe twigs him, because he tilts his head like he's suddenly hearing distant thunder. "Come here. Give me your hand again." gdi distant thunder isn't enough for him? DOES AN ANGEL HAVE TO BREAK DOWN OUT OF THE HEAVENS HEX? WHAT THE FUCK …. but seriously his hand is out, gesturing, gimme-gimme.

A trusting soul at this point in her life, Khetsiyah steps forward, closer, and stretches out a slender arm to lay her hand over his. The flesh is warm where they meet, moisture collecting between the vessels of warm-blooded creatures such as they are. Dark eyes remain steady on his, the lazy afternoon light casting shadows across her features, whilst also highlighting one iris, exposing the green. "Mmnn?" The whispered query is warm, low, and thoughtful. Her breathing is slower, and her attention is like that of an auld soul with childlike expectations. She waits, with almost comical baited breath to see what this stranger would do.

Hex isn't going to do any black magic, unless you can consider the casual tangle of his fingers in Khetsiyah's such; it's all the better for him to adjust the lay of her forearm until he can dig the thumb of his entangling hand into the soft meat of webby flesh between thumb and forefinger. His other hand comes up, with strong, fluid movement digging a feels-good funnel upward from the tender inside of her wrist upward. It's a very practiced massage, hand and arm, that finishes with a stretch of her fingers and a smirk that is 100% devilish and eyes that are a little too dark despite the pristine condition of Khetisyah's hands, a surefire mark of her youth. Hex isn't so old. "A winner deserves a reward. I am a Healer, but I leave trauma for people who enjoy the sight of blood a bit more than myself."

Forgive her, Hex, when she cannot speak initially. The feeling of the light massage collects in the base of her throat where the hollow is created with every deep breath, yielding a glassiness to Khetsiyah's eyes while the physical pleasure is enjoyed with obvious hedonism. "Wow," words tangle with breath, forming a wobbly sound that is every bit unlike the steady surety of her previous behavior. "That… is what you do?" As the shock of it — for she's never been touched in such a way before — wears off, Khetsi's smile settles into a wider, more genuine smile. Almost a grin, even. "Well met, Healer Hex, who hasn't yet gotten hexxed." The humor in the statement draws a sparkle to dark eyes. "Now, your turn." Perhaps she's forgotten that her hand still rests in his. "What am I?"

In this, Hex could be forgiven to be his normal flirt, his over-the-top personality, the man who showed up in a chiffon skirt in the middle of a trade gather. But… he's not, not tinging his smile with that charged sexual smolder that follows him around like the promise of lightning. No, his smile here is — almost pure, insomuch as Hex could ever be pure, a delight that goes beyond shared physical pleasure. "I like making people feel good," he says, quietly, in response. "It's my job." Amongst other things that he doesn't like to talk about, like his standard rounds in the infirmary. (which blow, let's JUST BE CLEAR). "You," he sweeps her with his thoughtful eye. "You work with your hands," because he just felt her little formative glasscrafter calluses himself, "A scribe? A Harper scribe." If she had the clear burns of a glasscrafter he'd be easier to pluck her out of the crowd, TO BE FAIR.

Khetsiyah lets her eyes linger on his far longer than she would have had she more wisdom, but she doesn't. Yet. Finally, she retracts her hand, almost nervous and yet decidedly not. "You do a very good job of making people feel good," the warmth in her voice is akin to that of warmed milk: comfort, hearth, and home all combined together. As the moment seeps into the next, she tips her head to the side once more and allows her eyes to shift upward, to look at the sky whilst her face stays facing his. Impish. Humorous. "Me? A scribe? I would not know how to be one. My handwriting is deplorable at best." She is strangely protective of her hands, going to great lengths to prevent their damage — the long finers with their perfect manacured ends are one of her few weaknesses to vanity. "Try again. Think," her voice lowers, "hotter."

She'll learn. Hopefully Hex won't be the first dashing of her pretty heart on the shores of heartbreak. His smile curves upwards, almost-whimsical in response to Khetsiyah's warm compliment. "Hmmm," he says, narrowing his eyes as her considers her. "Smithcrafting seems too… ah. Hotter." He has one crooked canine. Not enough to be specifically jarring — just off enough to make him seem real, along with the high line of his hairline and his amazing smattering of freckles. "A glasscrafter, our Khetsiyah?" He links his hands behind his back and leans forward, grinning.

Khetsiyah might not have the wiles yet, but she has an innate sense of what being a woman might yet be. And so she leans forward to meet his, her lips moving barely. Just enough to allow a whisper free - so easily caught by the wind too, but she's not so cruel as to leaving completely hanging. "Let's put a pin in this," her laughter is infectious, "and add a 'dot dot dot' until next time." Graceful and quick as a cat, she scoops up her blanket and little picnic basket that once held her lunch. "Call it insurance, so that we may meet again." As to what she might be, she dances like a wild thing around him, wind catching the dark strands of hair to pull across her face. And then, why then the little minx dances her way away. Into the fading sunlight of a glorious autumn afternoon.

Hexik is given to extraordinary restraint when that dark little minx runs amuck around him, sitting back on his heels and laughing. "Until next time," he calls after her, his smirk returning, before the Healer shakes his head and turns back to his ambling down the beach. Who knows what next he'll uncover?


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