Riddle and Red

OOC Note: This log takes place ICly approximately 6 months prior to on-cam life for Khavro and Tejra.
A Winter Gather, Southern Continent

Gathers in winter can carry a different mood than their summertime counterparts. There's less in the way of fresh foods (plenty from preserves or those same things for sale), but more excuse to be decked out in one's finest layers as there's no chance of overheating. This Winter's mid-morning is chilly but not frigid, just crisp enough that one's breath can be faintly seen and the cold makes the gather thus far a rather sleepy affair. Tejra's wrapped in a long woolen traveling cloak, well worn, but dyed a faint plum, that wholly obscures her figure and even hides her copper-red locks largely from sight under its broad hooded expanse. Her meandering path takes her through a line of stalls, some open and some yet to be. The young woman's most defining attribute in these circumstances is the gracefulness of her walk and the care she takes not to touch or brush another or anything around her. It is something of a dance without music to do so, and a small, private smile is the only giveaway that she takes some pleasure today, her countenance otherwise wholly serene.

It's not the woman in the faintly plum cloak that Khavro 'accidentally' runs into, but the man passing by in front of her. He is, however, looking at her as though distracted by her when it happens, so maybe she won't see the slip of his hand to untie the other man's small coin pouch from his belt, and then it's just gone as though magicked away. But by then he's apologizing profusely to the older man, a dazed harper who's still processing what just hit him, "Faranth, sir, forgive me! I wasn't watching where I was going, are you okay? Are you sure?" The harper, of course, reassures the curly-haired trader that he's quite alright, and Khavro isn't going to linger about long enough to be found out, so he continues on his way, down the row the way Tejra is coming.

Tejra's eyes betray nothing but total tranquility as she meets the curly-haired young man's gaze, though her eyes weren't always on his. It's a handful of dainty steps on her toes that bring her to the harper and a few words are quickly exchanged before she's stepping around him as though using his orbit to launch her little leap to move after the young man, a little teasing smile playing on her lips. Should he look her way, her expression is demure and coquettish, as though she might simply be following him to try her hand at flirting. She surely looks innocent enough for that to be the case. If she can, she'll close the distance until she's trailing just behind him, not being subtle about her following.

It wouldn't be very smart for Khavro to go paying more attention to his mark, so he just keeps moving, weaving through people and around a stall until he's out of sight. He doesn't even look back at the young woman when he says, "Can I help ya with something, love?" When he does look back, it's past her to make sure she's not being followed by anyone else, and he stops and roundabouts on his heel to end up facing her down. But even if he doesn't see anyone, his pale green eyes focus more directly on her with a hint of suspicion.

The utter control Tejra is able to command when it comes to her own body means that she doesn't do more than very slightly rock forward before she's unnervingly still in front of the young man. Her blue gaze travels his face and then briefly the length of him. Then in two quick steps and a pivot of her own, she's beside him and snaking her arm around his. It might, at first, be assumed to be a restraining hold, only her hand perches so daintily on his forearm that if only he'll crook his elbow, they can be as proper as the hoitiest toitiest of the Lords and their Ladies. "I'm given to understand, beloved, that you've recently had the good fortune to come into enough marks as to buy me a tasty or two. I'm passionately fond of a good meat pie, and it so happens there was a BakerCraft booth up the way with just the most delightful smelling things." She moves her cheek to lean it against his bicep and give a fluttery sigh before looking up at him through her lashes.

He doesn't seem surprised by the skill it takes for her to not only avoid running into him, but to also end up so neatly beside him. And it doesn't alleviate that glimmer of suspicion. Is she friend? Foe? He's apparently willing to not make assumptions. Or maybe he just doesn't differentiate between then too terribly much. "Forgive my saying so," he begins in a sorrynotsorry sort of way, "But you don't come off as the sort of woman to have such simple tastes." What's the catch?

"Forgive my saying so," the redhead mimics his cadence with a little hitch in her smile, "but you don't come off as the sort of man to offer a woman something richer." Tejra's smile and expression are as winsome and sweet as a redberry plucked from the vine in the height of the season. "I could up my bid, if you wish, but seeing as how your mark would only have supplied me a meat pie for my meal and maybe a cup of juice if he was feeling generous, I didn't suppose I ought to tax you for your clever fingers by asking for more." See, she's just looking out for herself here. "I would accept your company for the meal as icing on the cake," the graceful girl adds. "I don't meet many interesting men." Doesn't she? She could be innocent or minx with the way she walks, talks and looks.

He snorts, amused, and crooks his elbow in apparent acceptance of her proposition. "Fair enough," allows Khavro as he leads them on, though perhaps not directly intending on heading to the bakers' stall. "What man could say no to a woman who calls him interesting, hmm?" He's not above flattery, but at least he can point out that he knows it for what it is. "I won't have my hard-earned marks wasted on juice, though. Don't tell me you're one of those people who can't stomach a decent drink." Decent meaning alcohol, presumably.

There's a laugh as light as the tinkling of bells and Tejra is hugging Khavro's arm closer, hiding her face against it briefly, her hood falling back to make plain the lovely arrangement of copper-red braids twining the top of her head, leaving little wisps to curl around her face. "I'm not often offered a decent drink, or an indecent one, for that matter." The young woman flicks a look up through her lashes at the curly-haired young man, her voice going deeper and huskier when she says 'indecent one.' "I'll take what I'm given and be grateful, good sir." She flashes him a flirtatious smile now. She doesn't seem concerned about their route so long as she has hold of his arm (which seems to be hers now, appropriated all right and proper). "What name would you care to give to me? Or shall I just make one up?" She seems serenely unconcerned which way he decides to go with that one.

There's a glance toward her as her hood falls back, taking in what he can of her features before he's looking ahead again. "You're one to keep my eye on, aren't you," he muses with a quirk of a grin. "I can't say I'm not fascinated by what you'll come up with, so I'll keep my name to myself for now."

"Two eyes as often as you can spare them. I prefer to have a person's undivided attention." Of course she does. "Let's see. I read a play once that had a down on his luck young man who turned to a life of crime to see his belly filled only to be caught and imprisoned." She cocks her head to consider him. "But perhaps that doesn't describe you in the least. So if not a name, tell me something about you. Maybe three somethings. Two truths and a lie you wish were true and I'll come up with a name from that." Tejra casts him a game smile, slipping her arm down his so that the fingers of her hand can play against the soft skin of his wrist and down in lazy spirals and snakes of nails across the upper part of his palm.

He does laugh, but he doesn't indulge her with his full attention just now. They're walking, after all, and Khavro only likes running into people when he chooses to do so. "I'd like to think my luck is holding up well," is all he says about her description of the play, and how it does or does not relate to him. "My parents are lord holders. That's very distracting." Her fingertips on his palm. "And I'm suspicious of your intentions." Do those three things count?

Tejra's fingers continue their attempt to entice his attention. "I might agree, since you've the good fortune to be spotted by me and not someone else." Her modesty knows no bounds! None. That's why she'll also bat her lashes prettily at him before flashing him a playful grin. Briefly, her fingers drum a pattern on his palm before resuming their exploration, down farther into his hand and the inside of his fingers. Does he have calluses? What will she find to explain him in his clever hands? "Maybe I'm just bored and looking for an afternoon's adventure." Her eyes glance down to their hands and then she looks up at him with a smile playing across her lips. "Why not step over there," a nod to a narrow alley created by the backs of two lines of stalls that are largely not open yet, "and kiss me."

Khavro has calluses, but not to the extent a man might who works with his hands in less clever ways. If his long, lean frame has anything to say about it, manual labor is not his primary work of choice. "You want to have fun, but you don't want to have to think about it again, is that it? I'm not sure how I feel about being the mark." As he says it, however, he does draw them into the alley between the tented stalls, and he's stepping in close to her with a hand settling on her waist inside of her cloak.

"Maybe," Tejra allows, giving nothing away in her tone, but she has a breathless laugh when she steps swiftly like she is his partner in the dance that will take them to something resembling privacy, however temporary. "I don't see as how you're giving me much motivation to be more illuminating about my character and intentions than you're choosing to be." Her blue eyes are bright with curiosity and mischief as she tilts her chin up to him. Her hip lifts slightly to rock her waist more into his palm in some unspoken challenge. It brushes her low-slung belt against his hand. The fabric he finds beneath the faded plum wool isn't a lady's satin or anything near so fine, but the material has no obvious holes and is drawn so close to her skin as to reveal the shape of her. Under his hand, her body is curiously soft, but firm as though whatever fat her body had is merely the lightest dressing for the wealth of lean muscle beneath. He may not work with his body, but she does, and not the sort of work conducted on her back, either.

There's a shift in his hand when her hip rocks against it, like he reflexively wants to feel more of her and then Khavro realizes it. "You're an interesting woman, I'll give you that." His head dips lower, like he wants to kiss her - or call her bluff? - but stops short. "I'm not looking for extra services right now." She might not conduct work on her back, but maybe she can forgive him for not knowing that.

He can stop short, but she'll pop up onto her tiptoes and close the gap, pressing lips that have done this before against his in a softly insisting kiss. "No charge," Tejra whispers against those lips a moment later and then tries again to see if he'll partake of a kiss at least, her hands seeking to curl around his neck and into his curly locks if he reciprocates the movement of her lips at all.

He doesn't respond to her lips against his immediately. He really must not have expected her to close the distance. But since she's there and willing and not going to charge him, Khavro's lips shift, almost tentatively, against hers and his other hand touches her other hip without much thought on his part. He's not a bad kisser, and it's clearly not his first, but there's still something awkward there. It clashes with the otherwise natural grace that his, uh… hobby necessitates.

She lingers a moment, two, maybe three to teach him a little more that will bring "not bad" closer to downright phenomenal. Okay, it couldn't be achieved in one session even if Tej were a qualified instructor and she's not quite. When she breaks the kiss, it's with a little wistful sigh, "So my fingers were distracting, but not that distracting." Question answered, she moves to twine her fingers through those on one of his hands and gives a tug, "Alright then, Riddle, please buy me my lunch, I'm hungry." When she looks up at him now there is a hint of the flirtation from before, a figurative nod to the double meaning of hunger without looking like she's going to pursue it further. If she has anything to say about it, she'll be moving them back toward the aisle they were working their way up. "I've never sold kisses," she offers up as one piece of information about her. "Never been that desperate for marks and I was too young when I would have traded them for things other than marks."

When her lips move away from his, Khavro is still for a beat then he's rocking just a touch back. "It's not personal, your fingers are great," before said fingers are tugging him along to buy her the food she was promised. "That makes one of us," is a little more wry, following her lead before he's drawing up beside her to be more of a proper escort. "So, Riddle, is it? I don't hate it."

"It will serve," the redhead doesn't stop but moves smoothly into a position with her arm once more around his, her fingers resting once more on his sleeve. "I thought about 'Teaser,' because it suits your hair better, and brain teasers and riddles are nearly one in the same, but some might get the wrong idea about you." Just because Tejra's done kissing him doesn't mean she won't still cast him that flirty look from under her lashes, "Some might think you-" she drops her voice in a dramatic sotto voce, "-sold your kisses to loose lasses looking for a lark." Yes, she just alliterated. She even did it on purpose.

"Not quite the same ring to it," Khavro agrees of the other option. "Clever, though." And it makes him laugh, regardless of how genuinely he says it. "That would be a shame if I cared what anyone thought of me very much now, wouldn't it." Which he presumably does not. "Still, I'm not sure my reputation could hold up to hanging around with the likes of a harper for long." No one but a harper would do that on purpose.

"I don't think you need fear a long acquaintance with me," Tej replies, unperturbed by his assumption and offering no denial. "After all, you're not interested in knowing me and since I know only that you're not interested in kissing me, I won't be pursuing you as long as I get my lunch. But surely there's something we'd both enjoy talking about to entertain us until it's time to say farewell. Tell me a story, Riddle." It's a request, given the tone, but one that comes with the encouragement of a bright smile. "One I wouldn't have read in some boring book." Evidently she's not the bookish sort of Harper that so many of them are.

"I don't fear much." Personal detail? Simple arrogance? Maybe a little of both. "And I'm not not interested in kissing you," he'll allow. As for stories, Khavro considers as they walk, "Okay, I've got one. There was a man. He loved his family, but he had to leave. He made some bad friends and now his family hates him. The end." There's only a pause before he critiques, "It's not my best work, I'll admit, but it gets straight to the heart, don't you think?"

"Gripping. I was on the edge of my seat," Tej's tone implies otherwise, but she does seem gratified to have been told a story. "Your lips may say so now but back there they said something different." It has to be said. Then she's moving on though. "My turn for a story, is it?" She doesn't wait, but offers: "There was a girl. Her father died. Her mother remarried. Her mother died. Her step-father sent her off. She was left to her uncle who had money but not time and paid a craft to take her. She grew up. The end." She flashes a false smile to her escort. Evidently, he'll get tit for tat even in style of storytelling.

There's a laugh at her review, then a quick, "It's complicated," about his lips. And Khavro seems more than content to listen to her story. "A little predictable, but still moving," he offers her his constructive criticism that she didn't ask for after a moment of thought. "Did you just want the meatpie, then?" he asks, gesturing to the bakers' table up ahead.

"And juice," Tejra amends, but waves her free hand to allow, "Or whatever. But I can't go back smelling of booze or I'll be in trouble again today. I'm racking up misdeeds at this Gather and I'd rather not add more. Inconvenient timing to be in real trouble." That free hand of hers flutters again gracefully as if to say it would all be fine any other time. "Add to it that he's bound to be in a bad mood when he finds his coins gone and is left hungry himself… Well." It's just not a good day to be bad, alas. She doesn't inquire after the kissing not does she press for more details now that she's gotten her one story. She does ask, "So what will you call me if you ever tell the story of today, Riddle?"

He might make a face at the request for juice, but he won't force her to drink something she doesn't want to get caught drinking. "If he didn't want to lose his coins, he should have been paying more attention to them," says Khavro, granted amused to learn of her relation to his mark. "You must not like him very well," is mused. And then he has to go and admit his complete lack of originality, "Red, obviously."

"He's an ass," is Tejra's simple, blunt assessment. The apprentice has no qualms in saying so at all. "If I'm good, I'll be rid of him soon. He can tantrum near someone else." The redhead rolls her eyes for this ad much as for Khavro's originality. It might be boredom that prompts her to ask, "Why is kissing complicated?" It doesn't sound like she's overly attached to getting an answer, especially with the way her eyes are inspecting the wares at the Bakers' stall a short distance away.

"Are you walking the tables soon?" is genuine curiosity, hopeful for her sake, but more for getting away from a man she clearly doesn't like than a potential promotion itself. "I don't know. It just is. Personal, I guess." And she's already learned that Khavro's got some hangups about getting too personal, so maybe it's just more of the same.

"Do I look old enough to?" Tejra wants to know, not furnishing Khavro with more than a pretty look. She might look old enough to, if only just. She may still be a bit young. It's hard to say with her pretty face and her tall height to distract from an honest assessment. Then she grips his arm, hard, her hands surprisingly strong. "Ohhhhh," she moans, eyes closing and rising on her tiptoes. "I can smell them now." The wind must have changed or they got close enough to the stall because the mouthwatering scent of meat pie is, indeed, wafting their way.

Khavro makes a slight face at that question. "You could be 15 or 50 and I'm not sure I could tell you one way or another," he admits, even if the age range is a bit of an exaggeration. He glances at her, then the stall, when her grip tightens and she makes that sound, then his gaze is scanning further. Finally he's got enough for her to buy what she wants, a little bit more even, and he presses it into her hand for her to take. "I should probably be on my way." She's close to the mark and the man might catch on if he manages to see them together. "I hope you enjoy your cut, Red."

There's laughter to follow him. "May your luck hold out, Riddle," Tejra is kind enough to get that in while he's still close enough so as to not necessitate raising her voice. She doesn't seem to have any complaints about being left with enough to buy her meal, and there's no "thanks" even if she noticed the excess. Her eyes are practically for one thing only now: meat pies. Mmmmm. Meat.

Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License