Thanks, But No Thanks

Fort Weyr - Gemstone Tavern

The dim lighting by the flicker of candles lining the walls is enough to offer a view of a room decorated in such a way as to be tastefully appealing. Each piece of furniture and decoration is chosen to accent another piece, and so on and so forth, matching and tying the whole room together in a theme that's separate, and yet at the same time unified. Tables line one wall, dimly lit by candles hanging in sconces all along. The bar along the far right wall is made of richly toned mahogany, tooled by a master and polished to shine with the soft glow of wood at its finest.

Candles strategically placed add to the atmosphere, accenting, punctuating. Towards the back is an open fireplace, constantly burning with a bright light, warming the tavern on cold nights and serving as a gathering place for patrons' story-tellings. Across the room, lush pillows and soft-covered floors promote relaxation at ease. Just before the pillows is a long stage, so full of its own vigor and memory - nicks here, marks there, scuffs from footware and other things - that it's possible to imagine the shows put on for the patrons without necessarily seeing the performances.

The seasons are in the cusp of change, that stretch of time that finds Fort at it's prime. Not too cold, not too hot and plenty to do and see! As expected, the Weyr is in a flurry of activity that sees most busy long into the late afternoon and evening hours. With the sun having just set and the cloak of night overtaking the skies, for some, the real fun may just be starting! Keruthien is visiting again, striding into the all familiar tavern on long-legged gait. His movements are relaxed and carefree, as is much of his posture to go along with his devil-may-care attitude. Upon reaching the bar, he'll lean forwards, cheshire grin well in place and keen eyed gaze focused on the bartender alone. From the way they roll their eyes, they're used to his banter and, let's face it, shameless flirting. Eventually, his drink is served, marks are exchanged, and he collects his glass with a wink and a suggestive smirk. Fluidly, he turns and maneuvers among the crowded tables and around other patrons until at last, he finds a table that suits his tastes. He settles into a chair, setting his drink aside in order to unfasten his jacket and slouch comfortably; wood grates across stone as his boots roughly push the chair just-so, his boot heels hooking into the supports as a makeshift foot-rest. Thusly settled, he'll push back the messy locks of his auburn hair with one hand, looking as smug as smug can be despite being alone. Ahh, but who says he isn't hunting for… something? Content to people watch, he will eventually procure a deck of cards from some pocket on his person, idly shuffling them with obvious familiar skill between long fingers.

It probably seems like any other day at the Gemstone Tavern, it’s usual crowd shuffling in and out as it usually does. There’s that tubby guy trying to chat up every pretty girl he can find, the lush who somehow manages to get herself one more drink despite being cut off by the bartender, the minors cajoling together over way too many ales, and…but wait…what’s this? Enter a youthful figure through the door, wearing riding leather so deep green they’re almost black, his hazel-green eyes scanning the good folks before spotting the manager and that’s when his handsome face breaks out into a grin that could level a small cot hold. Seriously, that was unfair. Making his way over, the two claps forearms in greeting before launching into a discussion considering something around the bar, maybe the stools or something, but shortly thereafter they’re done and part ways, both seeming pleased with the interaction. The greenrider, for that is what that knot on his shoulders thus indicates, pauses though on his way back out to check out the end of the bar counter with a discerning eye and then casts his eyes about here and there but not at the people. No, he seemed a lot more interested in the wooden accents and moulding. His expression contemplative, pearly white teeth catching on the fullness of his lower lip, he nods a few times and starts to head back the way he came. Except, he’s not paying attention to where he’s going. He nearly walks into the tubby guy, barely sidestepping him with soft apology, and ends up backing up into Keruthien’s table via his hind end. It scoots an inch or two, scraping across the floor, “Sorry…” he says to distractedly over his shoulder before his attention returns to Tubs, “Sorry again…” Tubs snorts and goes back to hitting on a lady way out of his league, leaving the greenrider to place a hand over his heart and breathe a sigh of relief.

People watching has it’s benefits! Keruthien’s marked similar faces, including poor Tubs there and that lush. There’s a few regulars he’s familiar with too, though none seem to captivate his attention as they would on another evening. He’s content to be patient, idly shuffling that deck back and forth with only the briefest pause to free one hand so that he may indulge in some of his drink. M’ti was noted upon his entrance, his gaze lingering with interest first on the knot and the taste of green dyed leathers but the moment the younger man enters conversation, his focus wavers. What great fortune fate has dealt him, however, when M’ti all but falls into his lap — okay, so it’s against his table but close enough! Keruthien adjusts himself smoothly, as the table sliding disrupts his current foothold. Simultaneously, he’ll set the deck down and brace both hand and arm against the tabletop to keep further mishap at bay. “Don’t mention it!” he tosses back, bemused and while M’ti remains distracted and sighs in relief, Keruthien is making quite the look over assessment. Mhm, yes, he’ll do! Leaning slightly to the side, he’ll prop his elbow against the armrest of his chair, his chin into his hand and tilt his head just enough to hopefully be caught by the greenrider’s peripheral. The moment he’s acknowledged, even with the barest of glances? A roguish grin, to match the mischievous edge to his bright blue eyes. “Though, what would you do, if I was upset over you disrupting my table?” Literally. Despite his efforts, laughter is creeping into his voice. “You play cards?”

To be perfectly honest? M’ti hadn’t noticed Keruthien at all, not when he walked in and not even when he’d bumped into his table and apologized, so distracted by the eyeballing and frowning Tubs who could wipe the floor with the five foot eight and slender greenrider probably without breaking a sweat. Well, that is, if he wasn’t already looking and smelling pretty ripe. Still, M’ti was trying to be polite all around, making sure that once Tubs had dismissed him for mission impossible, that the first thing he did afterwards was to turn and level that smile on the poor guy, “Again, really…very sorry…” he repeats, despite being told not to mention it. He had the reputation of Fort and his craft to uphold after all! Woodcraft apprentice, Fort weyr, greenrider. Really, those knots were so very telling. Haast wing, depicted by the patch on his jacket’s shoulders, so a full rider. But, young and perhaps a little wide eyed and innocent? Having no idea that Keruthien had been checking him out ( that there was quite the shapely ass even for a boy), that grin the stranger gives M’ti catches him off guard and his expression falls a moment before a light dusting of rose takes hold of his pale cheeks, “Uh,” Yep, sure enough, that color deepens, “What?” He’d totally missed that first question, hazel eyes meeting those bright blue, “No, I mean…not really? I’ve never played….” Well, someone’s easily flustered.

The rest of the tavern could cease to exist and probably does, in Keruthien’s case! He’s got his crosshairs focused on M’ti and so far, the young greenrider has delivered! Not just in looks, but his reactions too. How delightful! It’s right up Keruthien’s alley, as he senses an easy target for some harmless fun! He’ll straighten up and lean back, feigning being aghast at the news before dissolving into a throaty chuckle. “Really? That’s a shame!” he muses, pretending not to notice how flustered M’ti became. He’ll glance away, brows knitting thoughtfully before his lips curve into a lopsided smirk. “Wanna learn how?” he proposes, his eyes lifting to meet M’ti’s with all the suggestiveness and charm in the world along with it. Yet he keeps his posture relaxed, half slouched again in his chair as the deck is gathered up again and filtered back and forth lazily between his hands. Tick-tock goes the offer, kid! One should probably be wary about him and yet there’s a charm to that relaxed, easy going, mask he wears. Did he pick up further on M’ti’s position and Craft? Maybe, but those details matter little to Keruthien, who has no visible mark or telling insignia to mark him; what keeps him from being lumped into holdless or other unsavoury unknotted ranks is simple. He’s well dressed and clearly has some income, given his drink is not cheap. Then, brazen as he pleases (because yes, he would so desire the world), he’ll chime in with a chuckled. “Please say yes? Seriously, I was worried about my night here would end fruitlessly and yet… here you are.”

And M’ti? Absolutely fucking clueless to anything other than to the fact that Keruthien was beautiful, downright charming, and seemingly only interested in him. However, the man’s laughter sobers him up a bit, and he’s suddenly reminded of the last three times that he’d gotten carried away and sucked in by stunning good looks and overall friendliness just to be burned. However, that didn’t mean that M’ti was going to just shut this— whatever it was— down, at least not right away. Somehow he manages to keep the suspicion that was tickling at the back of his subconscious at bay and off his face, following that glance away, but when Keruthien looks back he’s see nothing but the greenrider’s nicest smiles, a thing that is unwavering in the face of all that suggestiveness and smolder, “Mhmm, tempting…” he admits aloud, palms planted on the table he’d bumped and the whole reason that they were probably talking in the first place. There was something about Keruthien that Matty couldn’t put his finger on and it was something that he wasn’t sure he liked, looking him over in such a way that suggests so many things and contemplations, there is more than enough there to suggest mutual interest, “…but no thank you.” Wait, what? Really, it was all that brazen that’d done it and although Cherith could start to glow for the first time, anytime, the greenrider is shoving himself up to standing to tug down his jacket, “Good luck though, with the fruitfulness….” Whoever you are. With that he turns and head back outside without even so much as a glance back.

Woah, hey now! Way to turn the tables there, M’ti! For a moment, Keruthien is left to just openly stare and even gape a little as the greenrider shoots him down. Say what, indeed! So stunned is he by the play around that the greenrider’s already by the door before his thoughts unscramble and he realizes he’s not DONE yet, with this one! Oh no. Normally, he’d laugh it off, shrug his shoulders and move on to the next potential prime target. Not tonight! He’ll smoothly knock back his drink, pocket those cards of his (with a beloved pat to wherever he stashed them) and then he’s in FULL pursuit. As he aims to pick up the trail, he’ll fasten most of his jacket but his mind isn’t wholly on the cooler early autumn air. Once outside, Keruthien pauses just long enough to grasp his bearings, as well as scan the area. If M’ti is in sight? It’s a deadlock, beeline right for the poor greenrider. Even if he has to jog to clear the distance! Keruthien’s got height and lean build in favour, probably some endurance to throw into the mix too. Should M’ti run, well… maybe all that PT training in weyrlinghood will be put to the test! Even if Keruthien’s not entirely sure he’s up for a chase across the Weyr but he’s also not wanting to miss out on that delightful possibility. He loves the odds of any gamble and so the ball is in M’ti’s court! “Hey, wait!” he’ll call out, eventually, to even those odds. “Wait up!”

M’ti wasn’t walking particularly fast, either of the mind that Keruthien wasn’t going to bother following him, or he was making it easy for him to catch up. It appears to be the former, as the gambler calls out, and by instinct the greenrider pauses in his path towards the pretty green that awaits if just to blink one time and look utterly perplexed. Why was this guy following him? Call it pure morbid curiosity as the cause for him to remain standing there in the chilly autumn air, waiting for Keruthien to get with reasonable conversational distance, “What?” he asks, apparently not the type to beat around the bush, but not so invested that he’s patting himself down to try and think of something he may have dropped or forgotten. Instead, he waits, with ashen brows raised. Cherith, had rose to her paws and unfurled in anticipation of departure, but now she peers over at the human in pursuit of what was hers for all intents and purposes as far as she was concerned. There’s a soft chuff as her head turns towards M’ti and he tries so hard not to laugh because this time his lifemate’s constant desire for test subjects finally has him quietly murmuring back, “Maybe,” instead of his usual no and absolute aghast that at nearly two turns later she was still making demands of that sort.

Keruthien gives a relieved half-chuckle, half sigh when M’ti stops in his tracks. He’ll play up being winded, when he really isn’t, going as far as to lean over just enough to place his hands on his thighs. Just long enough to take a breath or two and then he’s straightening, that crooked, charming grin of his back in full swing. “You didn’t stick around for me to offer anything else! Like a drink, or, y’know… Was the card thing too much?” he ventures, rambling a touch but in an easygoing manner and not a hint of nervousness. Clearly, personal space isn’t on his mind or even remotely close to his vocabulary, as he’ll unconsciously drift rather close to the greenrider. That sudden near laughter from him has Keruthien curious all over again, a slight tilt of his head allowing him to catch the movement from the corner of his eye. There’s no twitch of surprise or balking, so it’s obvious that he is either familiar with dragons or weyrbred enough not to act out of sorts when seeing one. Instead, he’ll glance from Cherith to him and, bemused, ask: “She yours? … or is it you’re hers?”

Given the way that M’ti eyes Keruthien, it might be that he doesn’t buy the play acting, but is polite enough— at least for now— to let him get away with it. While that crooked and charming grin does see to the return of color to the greenrider’s cheeks, the greenrider was notably and considerably more on guard this time than he was when he’d been taken by surprise by all that smug self-assuredness and instantaneous interest in him as if nothing else in the world existed, “I don’t drink…” And he doesn’t, but that’s really only because he’s never tried it. As for that y’know? “No, I don’t know…” he replies easily enough and it was backed by every part of him emblazoned in pure and utter honesty, as he has no idea what in particular Keruthien might be suggesting with that. When it came to the offer to teach him cards being ‘too much’, he shrugs, “Not really…but…” That overeagerness kinda threw him for a loop, not used to being looked at or treated in that way, and so he was not equipped enough to know how to handle it. M’ti might be weyrbred, but he was holdraised, and mysteriously an unmistakable apprehension there. Wandering in his own thoughts, when M’ti returns to reality, Keruthien is close. Too close in fact, and a breath catches on parted lips as he flushes darkly and takes a measured step back to reclaim his personal space, “Uhhhh, k-kinda both?” he falters and stammers a bit, once again distracted, but now for an entirely different reason. Cherith chuffs again and if dragons could roll their eyes, she'd be doing it right now. Rumbling low and soft, whatever’s bespoke to him makes the greenrider blush the color of a redfruit as his shoulders tense and he hisses firm but soft over his shoulder, “Absolutely not!” As if to guarantee this affirmation, M’ti unconsciously takes another step back.

See? M’ti is sealing his doom by flushing like that. Keruthien’s going to be like a moth to a flame at this rate, though his actions are really more like Big Friendly Dog than actually threatening. Even the way he quasi circles the greenrider, like a predator would, there’s no malice or aggressiveness in his mannerism. It’s friendly, playful and yes, there’s a heck of a lot of confusing magnetism going on, along with Faranth knows what kind of hormones and proximity flareups! Yet for every step that M’ti takes to evade and every one that Keruthien makes, he has yet to actually touch the greenrider! So they’re caught, it seems, in some strange unknown dance, with Keruthien all the more lured by the not-quite rejection from the younger man. He’s taking it as part of the ‘game’ of playing hard to get, completely oblivious that the signals may be rooted in something else. “You… don’t drink?” Wait, what? That staggers him a moment, as he visibly looks puzzled as he looks down at M’ti. “… then why were you in a tavern?” On to the not-quite an answer and Keruthien’s chuckling under his breath, grin now almost smug with amusement. “But what? What do you like, then? Tell me, I’m all ears and so curious!” Emphasis, to lay down sincerity in his blunt honesty, though it could be misunderstood as light sarcasm too as he doesn’t seem to have a serious bone in his body. He’s eyeing M’ti like a prized item, when he’s distracted again when M’ti hisses over his shoulder. “Hmm?” he blinks once, twice and then his brows furrow lightly, despite the lingering smirk. “Absolutely not?” Aww, does he look a little deflated? Maybe. Even if he’s not quite sure what the greenrider was getting at.

If only the greenrider knew how much his blushing was attractive to Keruthien, but even then he wouldn’t be able to stop it any more than he could breathing or thinking. It was all automatic and as young as he was, which also meant everything he was feeling was written all over his face. However, even if this stranger was approaching him in such a friendly manner, M’ti was plenty enough prey animal to deep down understand that he was at real risk here. Hence, there are steps taken backwards, distance which Keruthien recovers just as quickly and before he knows it, his back is flush against the smooth and well-cared for hide of his lifemate. Well, fuck. Or, at least, that was Matty’s expression for all of a second. Cherith herself settles down, as if in preparation of being there much longer than she’d anticipated, her next rumble making her rider’s face hot. Hazel eyes cut to her swiftly, a gentle but sharp glare, and then they’re back onto Keruthien just as quick. Neither she nor his persistent pursuer were helping him shake hormonal spikes that were starting to have some rather embarrassing physical effects both north and south of the border. You know, sometimes, being male really did suck. “N-No…” he answers quickly of drinking, taking advantage of the fact that the predatory young man before him seemed quite taken aback by this omission of his and makes a valid attempt at side-stepping should he advance further. Hey, if he couldn’t go backwards to escape, perhaps vectors might work. “Apprentices aren’t allowed, neither are candidates…” There are other things that these two states equally didn’t permit, but the greenrider doesn’t fill in that particular blank, instead moving on as to the why of his visit to the Tavern, “I’m a woodcrafter…” Actually, a damned fine gifted one, but M’ti wasn’t the sort to toot his own horn, preferring to let his work speak for itself. “The manager is interested in updating some of the interior, and I was asked to meet with him and get the details on the specifics…” It’s the underbreath chuckling that brings the faintest downturn to Matty’s lips mid-sidestep, all that smug self-assurance really getting under his skin for some reason, a reason he was unwilling to entertain or admit to himself. That he was an easy target for whatever nonsense Keruthien had in mind. His smirk suggested much, but rather than being direct as to why he’d chased after him, he seemed to be toying with greenrider and was very insistent on invading his personal space. Sure, it might be obvious to just about anyone other than the man’s intended target, but M’ti was downright refusing to acknowledge— at least other than physically— anything. And so, after a dubious eyeballing in return for being looked at like that, “Why?” he sighs over Keruthien’s proclaimed and rather intense curiosity, sounding both exasperated as he did resigned, “You don’t even know my name and I have no idea who you are either…” As for the hissing and Keruthien’s implied disappointment over the yet to be clarified? Well, M’ti just blinks once and flushes deeply red, quickly looking away again as he purses his lips together and says, nothing. Nope. He’s not going there. Nope. Nope. Nope. Three strikes and he was out. He wasn’t even going to shed any light on his lifemate’s blunt assessment of what he should be doing instead of avoiding the topic altogether. Man, his life would be so much easier if he was good at reading people, but Thien wasn’t being absolutely clear and M’ti wasn’t going to risk being hurt again by misreading things. If he didn’t hope, didn’t wonder what ifs or maybes, then he was safe. Right?

"Well, maybe now's the time to try!" Keruthien suggests with a fox-like grin. What could possibly go wrong with sharing drinks with a man like him? Everything, M'ti. Everything can go wrong! He's cornered the greenrider but he makes no further advances when he's pressed against Cherith's side; for all his risk taking and devil-may-care attitude, he's not going to push buttons and cross lines when a rider's dragon is right there! Not that she seems to mind and appears to be on HIS side of things, but still. "I get it though," he relents, just a smidge, for M'ti's sake. His nose wrinkles. "I did the Candidacy thing too but it didn't stick." His shoulders lift in what appears to be a dismissive shrug of his shoulders and then he's back to his roguish self without skipping a beat. "Woodcrafter, huh? Smithcrafter, here!" Clearly not an Apprentice, however! Or is he lying? He has no knot, so he'd have to be taken at his word. Again, he's thrown for a loop when M'ti sighs and throws out the 'why' card. "Why not?" he says with a light scoff, as if the answer is obvious. By this point, M'ti has likely earned some respite and managed to edge away a little sideways (yay, vectors and distractions!) but it won't be long before Keruthien's tailing him again if it looks like he's making too much of an escape. "You're cute," Yep. He just said it, carefree and with no shame for what it might do, but no hint of joking behind it! "And looked like you'd be fun. That's not a crime, is it?" His grin broadens, hope rekindled when M'ti goes and steps into yet another 'trap'. Ah-hah! "Keruthien!" Pleased as punch and beaming, he'll hold out his hand for the greenrider to take.

That suggestion was very enthusiastic, but the expression on Matty’s face decidedly isn’t, his brows shooting upwards as he blinks several times over before those hazel eyes squint somewhat suspiciously. Yeeeeeah, that might have been a little too over eager for his tastes, and he had no reason to trust a single thing that came out of that smirking smug mouth. Prey animal he may be, he wasn’t a turkey about to drown by staring up into the rain. When Keruthien relents? That catches M’ti off guard again, perhaps having anticipated to be pressed and pressed and pressed until— well— something happens, and he’s notably reeling as that doesn’t happen. In reaction, his brows then furrow and he’s staring at Keruthien like he was in a language he didn’t understand, but as he goes on to explain why he gets it the greenrider’s expression softens just enough to be visible, “It didn’t stick for me the first time either…” But obviously it did the second time, considering he was all pushed up against the evidence, mayhaps the smallest hint of understanding and sympathy for Keruthien for a moment despite that shrug. As for whether or not he was actually speaking to a Smithcrafter? M’ti just nods, but he does glance towards that vacant shoulder fleetingly, blinking once when Keruthien scoffs and counters his question with another. Given the look on his face, the greenrider didn’t have an answer as to ‘why not’ even as he scoot, scoot, scoots along his lifemate’s side, staring rather baffled at this strange, strange man, if only to suddenly stop and turn all the shades of pink into red as Keruthien proclaims of Matty’s cuteness. “What?” Oh, he’d heard him alright, it just hadn’t processed somewhere between his ears and brain, and once again he looks thoroughly perplexed as if the very idea that Keruthien had presented was beyond his comprehension. That was weird, right? However, M’ti snorts softly when he’s told he looks fun, shrugging pensively as he’s asked if it was a crime, “No, but…” That’s as far he gets, because Keruthien name drops and before he can stop himself, “M’ti…” The green rumbles, and after twitching once, “…and this is Cherith…” That extended hand is given a moment or two of appraisal before the rider tentatively extends his hand to grasp Keruthien’s.

Oh, if M'ti only knew that the reason Keruthien failed on the Sands was his own doing and the result of bad decisions, equally terrible luck and a Candidacy-ending injury. He's just never bothered Standing again, whether due to lack of priority or because the opportunity hasn't come knocking! His thoughts aren't on the past, however, and very much on the present and the current evening entertainment (aka, they're current standoff). "I said," he repeats, cocky grin in place. "You're cute." Cuter now with all that flustered pink and red going on! It just fuels Keruthien's teasing and blatant flirting. Was that a protest? He missed it, in favor of the change in tactics and offering of greetings and names. M'ti's hand will be grasped immediately in a firm grip, Keruthien grinning almost ear to ear. "Well met, M'ti! Cherith." She'll get a dip of his head, as it tilts to the side just enough for him to glance her way. His free hand? Lifts to wiggle fingers in a playful 'hello!' gesture but his ultimate goal? Is not to charm the green (but watch him try). Oh no, M'ti put his hand right into his trap… literally. "Now that that's been cleared up!" With a low chuckle, Keruthien tugs on their joined hands and fully intends to try and throw the greenrider off balance. Don't worry though! He isn't going in for the FULL kill quite yet. If M'ti doesn't counter or catch himself, he'll end up tugged right up against Keruthien's side, while he'll aim to sling his arm around the smaller and younger man's shoulders. Leaning in, Keruthien's tone will be muffled amusement and smug smirk. "This isn't so bad, huh? So what'd you say we find something to do, mhm? What do you do for fun at night?" It's so obviously a double entendre! So obvious and yet Keruthien doesn't care and is looking eager for whatever answer the greenrider gives.

M’ti had his own past with candidacy and the disappointments that had come not only at his first time on the hatching sands, but in the months that followed. Since, there was plenty more to be embarrassed and had been devastated by, with only some small light revealed at the end of a very dark tunnel. He’d taken a few steps and missteps on his way towards it, but he was still quite apprehensive about breaking out into a full out run. It might appear as if M’ti still didn’t get it as Keruthien repeats that he thought he was cute, given that he continues to stare, but his face was quickly vermilion and so it’s safe to say that the message had in fact gotten through. Off kilter, flabbergasted, and completely at a loss, the greenrider doesn’t seem to know what to do or say next as if there’d been an overall system crash and he was trying to reboot. What was even happening right now? Never in his life had someone behaved like this towards him and M’ti loses quickly the ground he had recovered, finding himself silent in a firm handclasp with someone who was downright relentless. Cherith? She peeks over with one azure and whirling facet, rumbling, which has her rider mumbling something back that’s too low to be overheard but whatever it was has the green snorting and looking begrudging as she looks away, “She says hi…” No she didn’t, but what she had said was totally not appropriate for whatever it was that was going on right then. Keruthien can try and charm her, but the probability of success was abysmal even in the very best of situations. Not that M’ti is paying that much mind, not when his hand was being used to pull him up against the man he’d only just met and introduced to, so surprised by the action he doesn’t have any time to resist or put a stop to that nonsense, ending up exactly where Keruthien wanted him and with an arm slung over his shoulders to boot. For a second there, the greenrider is stiff and unsure of his next move, hazel eyes darting to the smithcrafter— if that was indeed what he was— brows furrowed and skin hot and red, “I…” Head spinning, physically reacting to Keruthien in the most embarrassing of ways, “…wood…” comes out with a whoosh of air, practically gasping before clarifying, “I sit by the hearth and I practice carving wood…” All. Night. Long. Yeah, cause that’s ‘fun’ right? Seems what Keruthien may have been referring to has gone straight up and over his head or he was purposefully avoiding the topic. “I uh…I should go home now. I have to be up early…” Lame excuse? Truth? It’s hard to tell as Matty’s gaze darts to Cherith, the dragon once more rising in preparation of departure apparently and the greenrider was starting to pull away. “It…it was nice meeting you though…” Was it? Was it though?!

Keruthien isn't so full of himself that he doesn't pick up on how stiff M'ti is under his arm but that isn't want deters him in the end. For a very close second, the greenrider runs the risk of being drawn in further with that blundered comment! Brows lift, eyes widen and his expression takes on a heavily amused, incredulous look for that little twist on words — so not intended, but the young Smithcrafter is running with it! Be still his beating heart! "That so, huh?" Oh, M'ti. Poor, sweet, M'ti. He walked right into this one. Wicked grin in place, Keruthien doesn't hold back on one last parting shot. "Maybe we'll compare our… work, then, next time? I'd love to see your carving skills." It takes every ounce of his strength to keep a moderately straight face and low tone, his resolve crumbling a bit at the end and further still for the lame excuses given him. Disappointed but not an outright bastard, Keruthien will free M'ti from his hold and step back. Hands lift, tilting in a 'no harm meant' gesture as he backs up a step or two. "Alright, alright! I get the hint, though the offer stands if you change your mind." Oh, but that last bit? Brightens his mood, beaming smile back in place. "Yeah, same!" IT WAS FOR HIM! Oof, there's no getting rid of Keruthien so easily and while he's somewhat disgruntled over the failure to snare him this time, something has sparked. He can't and won't put his finger on it, but he's already hoping they cross paths again! Lifting one hand up in a lazy salute, he'll continue to back away but with obvious reluctance. "I'll be around Fort for awhile longer. Don't be a stranger, eh? I'll be at the forges, if not the bars." A wink and then another more laid back wave. Ta!

M’ti honest to Faranth had no clue what he or Keruthien for that matter, was doing. Dragonriders were supposed to be easy going and whatever and whatnot and he couldn’t even get his own head on straight, fighting between what he wanted, what he knew, and what he’d already experienced and none of any of this was making a lick of sense to him. Cherith may be silent outwardly, but she was definitely suggesting that her rider research, gather data, and then form a hypothesis! For SCIENCE, in her opinion, was the true mystery revealer. M’ti, on the other hand, was a little distracted from her sage advice with Keruthien looking so very amused. The former was just blond enough for him to not make the connection that the smithcrafter leaps upon to covet and claim for his very own with greedy zeal and eagerness, the wicked smile that comes afterwards bringing a rush of something quite unfamiliar throughout the greenrider that was strange and really a sizable part of him wanted to run away, “Maybe…” he murmurs soft of comparing works, and another round of innuendo goes right up and over his head. Does M’ti looks downright relieved that Keruthien releases him? Yes, yes he does, and he wastes no time scampering off towards his lifemate and climbing right up her side. It was like watching a captured rabbit suddenly freed to return to the forest, “Okay…” is all he says about the open offer, sparing a glance the smith’s way just in time to catch that beaming smile, a thing that makes his skin darken and distractedly nod. With that, Cherith starts to move off, and then she takes to the sky, letting Keruthien’s last statements to the greenrider lingering a bit in his wake. FLEEEEEEE!

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