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With the full force of the Guilds at her back, Rilandra Vlas seized the Territory Throne of Dena Nehele. The common born Province Queen now owes allegiance to the Master of the Guilds for his assistance in both securing the throne and securing Darcia Glassade's continual safety. Trapped between the demands of the Guilds and the demands of the Aristos, Riley is struggling to rule, finding the palace more of a cage than she could have dreamed possible.
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Author Topic: Tied Up In Waiting On My Mind  (Read 409 times)

Description: Tag: Bats/Fall 193

Offline Ismenian Basarab

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Tied Up In Waiting On My Mind
« on: Feb 09, 19, 01:17:04 AM »
Locale: Bidea, Dena Nehele.

So let's just wait a while! The one I need is tied up right now. So let's not draw the line! 'Cause I can't make my mind up right now ... so let's just wait a while!



She spent quiet days, but fun ones, reading about Queen's Craft at Tantalus during the week, hiding once more in plain sight with the Lady Raluca Vaduva's assistance. While the Craft originally used to hide her Caste completely had been a particularly special arrangement and she had been taught to recharge the spells in her sojourn across Askavi, through the borderlands of Raej, and back finally to Dena Nehele. Lady Dulceață, as she was still calling herself on the rare instances someone gave pause enough at her little artful shows, had been willing sometime before the witchwave to let Raluca work with the near-failing Craft hiding her Caste and scent and rejuvenate it so that she didn't have to fear going outdoors again and to try to make money.

While she still had a good portion of her mother's inheritance leftover from leaving Askavi, it was by no means enough to really thrive. So she gambled, sang, and danced her pretty little pretend witch's heart out and forced Marks to bloom from almost nothing. One thing she'd gotten good at with her travels is making money in difficult circumstances. She still made use of Landen and Jewelless Blood that would never even so much as guess at her secrets toward making the most of what she planned to be a fortune. Oh yes. Lady Dulceață had grand, large ideas that she had begun to feel less afraid to let fly with the lovely Raluca, aka Legs, in her mind, on her side to help when she had time.

Small time gigs all over Bidea with as few actual strong Blood as possible is where she spent most of her time. The places where it took real talent and not faked up nonsense to hook people. If the bar had a piano, she'd play it with her elbows and backward to make them part with their truly hard-earned coins. It was work, just as much as scrubbing a floor to earn extra money, and she did that too, without the slightest complaint. It amused her deeply being a Queen and tending to such mundane tasks, but over the months before and since the Decimation, she'd learned that people in Bidea and everywhere else ached for someone to help them out. Someone to help replace windows and all manner of tasks, and so long as it wasn't her moon time, 'Lady Dulceață' was good for all of it.

Between these jobs, however, there was the class of wealthy Landens and even Jewelless Blood that she'd work the market in pickpocketing them. Anyone she saw mistreating a person deliberately and was well beneath her gentle Cut Yellow Birthright, she'd given them a gentle 'what-for' in the loss of some of their coin. Some might have said it wasn't right, and maybe it was mean, but the number of people that still, by the end of the ninth month and well into Fall taking advantage of those that had much less, well. She was blissfully pleased to deprive them of some of their goods. It was always tiny bits that a person wouldn't miss, as the last thing she wanted was to be harmed or accused of a 'crime.' While true, she could have sought out her Dena Nehelian family, she still wasn't sure about any of that.

There was nothing good said about Aristos before the witchwave, and nothing still good said afterward. So even if they might have been good, those Basarab-Muşatin folks, Wellers, Cutrovs, Mercers, and whoever else, her mother's blade sharp opinions made her stay away, even though she had begun to learn about exactly where her mother had come from. After that appearance to the lovely Cluj Opera House that she'd made for a tour, and for information that had gone wrong, she learned that her mother had been born to a Tihomir Weller, from a family known for its singular descents, and the Priestess Marija Basarab-Muşatin who had been a beautiful blonde like her mother.

Further back from them there were Volkovs and Cutrovs in the mix of it all. While Lady Dulceață was happy after a few hours with quite a lot of coins, enough to donate some to people not so lucky as she had been, she walked about seven streets over to the open air market after making a drop at Tantalus so she wouldn't leave herself open to being a victim of another light-fingered part-timer like herself. No one worried much about a fashionably dressed, silver-haired and seemingly blue-eyed witch. She loved buying from the market, especially the smallest places of business that earned their payday by the day.

Buying a huge apple three times the size of her palm, a gigantic salad the size of her whole head in a bowl, a mini round of cheese, some thick brown bread that was still hot to the touch, and some slices of well-seasoned turkey had ended up being her makeshift lunch; Lady Dulceață found a spot in a half-abandoned building (or at least it looked that way to her) to watch the crowds ebb and flow. She'd climbed to the rooftop in agile form, tugging her big, floppy grey hat down over her eyes. Today, she was back to wearing another big grey square of a shirt with delicate and breathable laces over the heavy scarring over her back. It had been getting worse these days, the issues with the remainder from having her wings removed, but staying agile helped the pain. Lady Dulceață swung her silver heeled feet back and forth as if she still had those wings, almost lazily unworried about falling off the rooftop.

While contemplating the crowds and her next move, she ate the bread and the salad like a bunny, nibbling on the deep green leaves with the bread quite contentedly while sitting on a big square of a wool blanket that she kept with her at all times. The only real expensive item she had was a music sphere that she listened to this clever pianist while passing the time with lunch. So far, it wasn't safe for her to really do anything on stage for Tantalus, having that pesky little issue of being ... virginal. As a result, she didn't tend to go terribly far in a several block radius away. Wrinkling her nose, she didn't know still what to do about that, so like a lot of things that were just a great annoying bother, she shoved the thought away until it wasn't important anymore. Eventually, she'd need to deal with it, much like Raluca had said, and decide some things for herself. Life was good, wasn't it just? Holding up the apple, she debated how she wanted to cut into it. She admitted to herself that it would be better if making some friends had been possible.



Offline Tybalt Kem

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Re: Tied Up In Waiting On My Mind
« Reply #1 on: Feb 12, 19, 03:40:35 PM »
Bats enjoyed Bidea.  He loved the Belfry, and Tulzbruja, and Sevastopol, but there was something about the capitol that he enjoyed.  It was a big city, and had more energy, more people than other places in Dena Nehele.  The entire place was a warren of danger, but in Bidea it was magnified.  Bats had survived there, lived to see adulthood there, and thrived, ultimately becoming who and what he was.  He supposed if Phil ever stepped down, or was pushed off the seat, Bats might have to move to Bidea to be the Master of the Jacks, and that might not be a terrible thing.  There were already clubs here, a few changes, a few nudges, and he could have another Belfry right there in Bidea.

Tantalus offered its own temptations, ones he would not have to compete with.  He was not truly a fan of theater, at least not at this scale, but he had to admit that the shows were top notch and their offerings were varied enough to even pique the interest of a savage like him.  The scenery was always good in and around Tantalus, and maybe that was why his stroll had taken him in that direction.  There might well be aristo rubes to fleece, or even a game to get into in one of the clubs that were not too far from the theater itself.  He might even see a few Jacks, or others he was familiar with, and had not been able to see in some time.  It was a good time to make sure one’s friends were in one piece, all things considered.

Bats found a café, and chose to sit outside.  He put in an order, and pulled out a deck of cards.  He began to play a game of Solitaire with the Widow deck, and began to draw a curious look or two.  He smiled, and managed to lure an aristo Lady over.  He dazzles her with what he considered basic sleight of hand, requiring not even an ounce of Craft, which lured over her friend, and that was when the game began.  In the end, it only required three cards, and the Ladies only lost the price of a few hot drinks, and departed with the blush-worthy compliments of the Prince of Cats in their memories.  He had noticed something, or rather someone, and his curiosity had him cutting things short.  Bats left the patio, and went deeper into the café.  He could not use a sight shield, but he could keep himself silent, and he knew the city very well indeed.

It didn’t take him long to reach the rooftop with the curious bird perched at the edge of the roof, quietly nibbling on her food.  Bats had gotten up there in utter silence, with the judicious use of Craft, and the help of the stairs inside, until he had to go back outside and risk the brick and mortar on the outside.  He smiled when he saw the back of the woman that had caught his eye from below, and clasped his hands behind his back as he let down his Aural Shield and asked, ”Just a little people watching, Lady?”  Despite his efforts, the Prince's clothes were clean and in perfect order, as was his hair and neatly trimmed goatee.  His smile was bright and warm, and his voice was rich, possibly even suited to singing or whispering anything but friendly greetings.

Offline Ismenian Basarab

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Re: Tied Up In Waiting On My Mind
« Reply #2 on: Feb 12, 19, 08:17:55 PM »
There were several people to observe, as it turned out for the hidden Queen's spot of choice. She continued swinging her feet as while listening to the music sphere, fingers occasionally moving as though there was a piano underhand. There were those that simply walked through and spoke to other people they knew, people that sat down to eat or only drink, some did both. Others still sat down to people watch below, entirely oblivious to being watched from her perch almost to a man. She drank in the presence of the Blood and the few Landen that passed through this area while inhaling the salad, turkey, and cheese bit by tiny bit, which, despite the manner of her eating, it actually didn't take what appeared to be a Yellow Jewelled witch to devour. The Lady Dulceață, or Table Queen by Raluca due to her penchant for hiding, seemed very much content at her perch, counting the people as they came and went.

While she had never been to the Belfry, she'd definitely had heard of the place as somewhere she probably shouldn't go for a variety of reasons, and so far she'd not done so. As such, the man with the cards that appeared didn't at all seem familiar to her, even if she did perk up in seeing the warm bronze of his skin. Her head tilted to the side, and she couldn't decide if she felt anxious or not, as the last males she'd seen that looked anything like him was nothing short of an absolute asshole. She had a word for how she felt about that now, being in Askavi, and the young woman bristled then before looking back toward the man with the cards. Several of the people seemed interested in what he was doing to the cards with his hands; Dulceață could almost track it with her eyes before she felt dizzy. The pretend witch shook her head and blinked, and once she did the man and the people were gone.

Leaning way over the edge, she frowned, trying to see where they had gone to. After a few moments, Dulceață was convinced they'd all just dispersed while she sighed in small annoyance. Only bearing a Cut Yellow, she didn't at all hear the man coming up behind her, and just continued on with her music. She had a general sense that if she had, she'd have booked it and run if she'd seen him first up close. It was one thing to watch, but another to actually have to engage with someone. The letting down of the Aural shield with her sharp hearing was what she'd noticed first and froze, indeed, much like a bird of prey that was still too young to entirely protect itself. The sound of the man's voice nearly had her out of her skin, and she jumped slightly, squishing the huge apple completely into mush with a burst of Yellow Craft.

"Well, shit," the apparent witch said with real feeling. "I was going to eat that." She stared between the male and her apple-soaked hand. Her blue-and-golden speckled eyes narrowed when she looked at him and with her clean hand, she straightened her hat and snapped a quick cleansing spell upon herself and the hand. "Who the heck are you?" Her eyes scraped him from head to toe, then she shrugged, relieved not to feel any attachment to this man that just appeared, even though she admitted to herself that she was the one that had been indeed, people watching.

"But ... yes," she remarked in dryly amused tones. She was very young, that much was clear, and not possible to hide. "It's easier to get social activity this way and not actually have to pretend I want to speak to most people." She tapped the musical globe and the very soft piano music came to a halt, and it occurred to her the sound of that might have attracted the man due to the direction it was coming from. Surely it wasn't her, was it? She blinked at him with a puzzled expression, because until Raluca, no one had actually been interested in her, generally speaking.

Especially not a man that had the look of someone that could pick his way across Bidea and back six times and get a fortune for his trouble. Immediately she touched her neckline, terrified he'd noticed her real Caste, which Raluca had hidden for her. She relaxed upon the realization (she hoped) the man, like most, would have been hard-pressed to break through Black Widow Craft flavoured with Priestess and Healer. It occurred to her as well that the reaction to finding a random Queen on the streets of Dena Nehele might have been different too, had he noticed. Okay, okay be cool. Still safe, woo. Good good, she thought to herself, having no idea who had just come across her at all.



Offline Tybalt Kem

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Re: Tied Up In Waiting On My Mind
« Reply #3 on: Feb 26, 19, 09:57:27 AM »
Bats could see by the way the woman was leaning out that she was looking for something or someone.  He liked to believe that it was him, after all, he had been the most interesting person or thing down there for a little while now.  When he revealed himself, and she was startled, he smiled just a little, before he realized that she destroyed her meal.  Bats gave a dramatic bow, and conjured another apple, tossing it to the Lady after he used a bit of Craft to clean her hand.  ”Tybalt, the Prince of Cats...but most just call me Bats.”  He gestured, ”I noticed you way up here, and decided I would come to say ‘Hello’, and pay a visit close up.”

She was just a little bit more than a child, and of mixed blood at that.  She was not a common sight in Dena Nehele, though considered who he was, she was not an impossibility.  ”That’s no fun.  How will you give anyone a chance to know you, if you don’t get down there and known them.”  His eyes cut to the musical globe, and he smiled again, the expression as rakish as it was mischievous.  ”Please, let the music play.”  The Lady looked puzzled, and that only underscored her youth for him.  Bats was, after all, far older than he looked.  ”And, who might you be?  Up here with music and an apple and no desire to participate.”

Bats tilted his head slightly, ”You don’t look like you’re just out here runnin’ the streets.”  He conjured a folding chair, opened, and had a seat, stretching his legs out in front of him.  The man was very put together.  HIs outfit worked for his build and his coloration, and despite what must have been a climb to get to the rooftop, he looked like he walked out of his wardrobe after seeing a stylist.  Bats raised empty hands, ”Look, I’m with the Jacks.  I’m not up here lookin’ to cause you any trouble, I’m just the curious type, and its not every day you catch a pretty young ‘spy’ out for a rooftop stroll.”

Offline Ismenian Basarab

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Re: Tied Up In Waiting On My Mind
« Reply #4 on: Feb 28, 19, 04:11:51 PM »
Her smile, which had ebbed away a little, widened suddenly. Even if Prince Tybalt had not been trying to win her over, he had with his manners. First, he cleaned her hand after she had done so, and managed to get a better clean than she had with Darker Jewels. That alone had honestly been enough to make Dulceață happy, but the replacing of her huge apple with one equal to what she'd had made the hidden Queen gasp softly, her bright blue and golden eyes dancing lightly in her sharp-featured face. "Bats," she repeated. "But Prince Tybalt is an incredibly a lovely name and has so much adventure in the very tones of it. Yet, I can appreciate the excellence in 'Bats'. Hello back to you, Prince." She turned the music back on, allowing it to rest as quiet and pleasant background fair in addition to the sounds of the people coming and going.

Cheeks burning with a soft blush, the entertainer-Queen shook her head. "I enjoy people, but at a distance, you see," she explained while slicing into the apple with a light flow of Yellow Craft. It wasn't exactly true. For years, she'd been aching for a touch of any kind, and very few were kind of enough to oblige her. By now, she'd practically become used to shoving off the desire when it whispered against her skin. She floated a little section of the apple to her lips and ate it carefully, with a combination of movements that were both dainty and simply ravenous.

She swung her feet back and forth while her eyes fluttered closed in appreciation. "Thank you," she said afterward, suddenly aware of the tension that his helping her had caused, the action had caused her Queenly instincts to rise and return the offering. It was the one thing that no Craft to hide her Caste could suppress, the ache to serve, lead, rule and give, and lately, she had done neither. "Share with me, please? There is more than enough for two."

A laugh sprung free of her, and she smiled with very even, white teeth and a smile that was a little too sharp for a native Dena Nehelian. Men typically made Dulceață want to run but the rakish and mischevious look of him drew her in. "Funny enough, running the streets is exactly what I've been doing for the most part. I sing, dance, and play piano at some of the bars around Bidea that offer entertainment. Pays for everything. A Jack? How interesting a find for both of us." He was practically more stylish than she was, which could only come with experience, but he had familiar hardiness to his face that spoke to her of being a survivor of something despite the charm that caused the air to not want to go in or out of her lungs the right way.

Mother Night. What's wrong with me? Please don't notice, please don't notice, I will fall down and die right here I swear.

The flash of conversation with the Lady Raluca about a Virgin Night supposing to be romantic in its way rippled through her mind and suddenly she understood a little more about what the Rose Black Widow had meant. She filed away the manner of ease in Bats' smile as a preference despite being terrified. I want someone that makes me feel good, pretty, and wanted in a friendly way, first, yes. She licked her lips and dragged on the lower one with her teeth. "I ... are you ... mmmm, Bats. Are you Eyrien, by chance, partially? I've not met many that look the way you do in the time I have spent in Dena Nehele. There's a number of places that I'm called Lady Dulceață."

She took a little longer deciding whether she wanted to give him her actual name or not, but eventually, the hidden Queen decided to as lying to a Jack would never help her, as she suspected he'd find her out one way or another. "My name, however, would be Ismenian." He was certainly older than he was, and wiser, but despite the likelihood of having little to no interest in a girl of her age, she wanted badly for him to stay, at least a for a little while. She thought him likely Eyrien because he was handsome, and seemed a thousand years out of her league. If she was very lucky, she could learn something handy from this Jack, who had, the longer she watched him, something of a sense of a commanding air.



Offline Tybalt Kem

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Re: Tied Up In Waiting On My Mind
« Reply #5 on: Mar 12, 19, 10:03:55 AM »
Bats bowed floridly, with all the grace and style of a born performer.  The Blood Opal Prince smiled brightly at the young woman, ”Lovely Lady, I have many names and titles and epithets, and it would please me to hear any one of them from you.”  He conjured one cup, then another, and left one hovering near the lady.  It had spiced wine in it, still warm, and in his experience, it went well with an apple, or apple pie.  ”Prince Tybalt always struck me as terribly official.”  He shrugged, ”And Bats is a very old name I’ve carried with me since I was a child, an old friend gave it to me.”  He even paused a moment, set his cup down in midair, and rolled up a sleeve to display his bat tattoo, and then the other sleeve, to show her the tiger.  ”Cats and Bats.  We go together.”

He took up his cup again, ”There’s no harm in people watching.  You can learn a lot even at a distance, if you know what to look for.”  Bats stood up, and moved to the edge, before sitting again, so he could share her view.  He kicked his feet beside her with a chuckle.  He watched her enjoy her first slice of apple, and smiled.  ”You’re very welcome, Lady.”  He tilted his head slightly, ”Watch that fellow right there, with the cabbage cart.”  He turned to her at her bright laughter, and tried to figure out what he had just sensed from the witch beside him.  ”Anything for a lady.”  He replied, holding out a hand for a slice of the apple.

Bats’ eyebrows rose slightly as she described what she had been doing for herself.  ”I happen to run a little place that has a piano, but it is a bit outside of your usual rooftops.  Maybe I can lure you in as a featured player.”  He pointed, the cabbage man was arguing with someone inside of the cafe, as though the cabbages were meant for the place.  ”He will storm out, bump into one or two customers, and wheel away the cart.”  Sure enough, the man did just that, bumping into two people in a huff, and rolling the cart away.  ”He’s roughly two purses richer, if the poor fools kept money on their person, if not—he might have a bit of jewelry to pawn.”  He turned back to the Lady, ”That is a lovely name, Dulceata.” Bats chuckled, ”Not your real name, by that careful phrasing, but lovely all the same.”

He was used to being looked at, for good or for ill, and this would not be his last time.  Bats found the Lady’s scrutiny interesting, even flattering.  She continued to speak, and even revealed her real name.  ”Ismenian is even lovelier.  It suits you.  And yes, that’s the joke.  My buddy thought I had to be part Eyrien, who knows how much of a part, and we used to call them bat-wings, or bats, bat people—and now I am Bats, and have been for a long time.”  Bats grinned brightly, ”Native born and raised, and a unique example of a little Eyrien charm.”  He turned to her now with curiosity, ”Your name sounds a bit Eyrien, and your looks are not too terribly different from mine, beautiful and golden.  How long have you been in Dena Nehele?”

Offline Ismenian Basarab

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Re: Tied Up In Waiting On My Mind
« Reply #6 on: Sep 27, 19, 02:03:54 PM »
He had figured her out with all-together too much ease, which was startling and immediately made Ismenian want to slip off the edge of the roof and run. Her hand tightened around the apple as she tried to sort out her different reactions to one of the first people she had allowed herself to speak to in quite some time. And, a male at that. She was supposed to be avoiding those, she thought rather darkly. It wasn't however, Bats or Tybalt's fault that she'd had an awful run of it back home in Askavi. Her blue and golden eyes closed and she turned away for a moment, having to force the smile to remain upon her face. "... It is." She dragged in a breath, folding away layers of pain that had absolutely nothing to do with the man in front of her.

Don't panic, don't panic. It's just a rooftop chatter.

"I mean, I am from Askavi, born and raised there." When next she looked at Bats, her gaze was clear and steady, as if she'd made a decision not to allow her past trauma hook her in. "My father was ... is  ... Eyrien. I know I was born to my mother as the result of a permissive Rut. She never spoke of him with anything except for fondness. She was a trained Healer and from here, but also ran away. I came here because ... I thought it might be nicer than the way part-bloods are treated in Askavi. Especially ones like me that can't ... fly anymore." Having caught herself and managed to calm instead of out and out fleeing - Ismenian bravely handed over to Bats the best apple slice she had. She couldn't help herself. She'd tried to take the second or even the third best, but that PESKY Queen Caste interfered and her hands practically moved of their own volition.

Watching him, she felt that tug of something that she needed to hurry to do. It was always like that, she knew whenever she got in too close a proximity to a male. "Take this one," she said softly. Ismenian then swung her attention to the man with the cabbage. She watched, utterly enthralled. A warm laugh eased from her, hinting at some musical ability and marking that at least in some fashion, she was telling the truth. "Clever." She tilted her head and watched it very closely. "I would have taken the jewellery, not the purses. Thirty seconds more and I'd take some of the funds out of the purses, but just enough so it would buy me about thirty minutes to get to the other side of the market," she remarked, but in doing so her voice gained a sharpened cadence.

"I do not like to steal from people, but I take from the ones that won't miss it. The ones that make me feel ill to touch them--" she bit down on an apple slice almost savagely. "There are too many of those. Best to pawn it on the other side of town, or find a fence that doesn't much care where he gets his or her wares from. There are at least four of those that I can recall that are ... marginally safe. The other two both underpay and ..." she shrugged. The last time one had thought to keep her instead of taking the items she needed money for. She didn't need that kind of stupid drama.

At the question of how long she'd been in Dene Nehele, she thought about it, but briefly. "Not long. Months. Long enough to be found where I'd rather be invisible. But I can play the piano with my elbows and my nose as well if it suits you. If I make them laugh, they forget me." While explaining, she continued to hand Bats' apple slices almost as quickly as she ate them herself until there was one left. She could only hope he didn't mind. She studied his face, and in fact, it did remind her a little of some of the men she'd grown up around but less ... "You do look as though there were an Eyrien parent or grandparent in your past if it matters to you ... if you're still hungry, you should eat this one too." Once again, her Queenly tendencies had hijacked her intentions, and she had no idea what to do about it. She smiled, however, at the joke of how his name had come to be.

"They really sort of do look like bat wings," she said with a delighted laugh. "We need Craft to fly. I only ever had the chance to do it a handful of times, and once for real before mine were removed. As a result, I can climb almost anything." "I am ... still surprised you noticed me up here. People that look like me don't talk to me. They laugh. Sneer. This is very odd."

She took a deep breath and marvelled. "You have a piano? Your own? As in, no one can take it from you, ever? They must be thousands of marks, where it feels like a tender cloud under the fingertips. I only have several hundred and ... Lady V is nice and letting me stay at Tantalus, but I don't have a home to put one in. I don't even know how to get one. The special books I study have nothing to do with--"

Ismenian suddenly was aware she was saying entirely too much and all but froze again. She didn't want to run away suddenly, however, as she had the feeling that far too many had on the first judgement of Bats, and had never considered Tybalt, or whoever he was underneath all of the performance. Instead of speaking further, she just watched him with a gentle contemplation (read: Queenly) and then finally turned to watch the crowd. She'd learned many a hard lesson half a lifetime ago of giving people space while still being present. It was as if a switch had flipped Ismenian from nineteen to some untold number of years further of wisdom. She had, however, grown up around those that had been in the world anywhere from a few hundred years to tens of centuries. Her short-lived mother had been a single exception.



Offline Tybalt Kem

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Re: Tied Up In Waiting On My Mind
« Reply #7 on: Oct 04, 19, 12:56:11 PM »
One of the things that struck him, again, but the young Lady before him was how very young she seemed.  Bats had made a career of reading people, of learning their mannerisms, and their physical tics.  People often thought their outer barriers were proof agains someone gaining access to their surface thoughts, and for the most part that was true, but basic human nature could give them away just as easily, if the observer had the eyes to see it.  Bats had eyes to see it.  He was also Darker than the subject of his attention, and that had its own advantages without him even trying very hard.  There was absolutely something more happening here, he could pick up on that much, but Dena Nehele was built on secrets and sometimes it was just better not to know.

But, Bats certainly liked to know.

When he opened his psychic senses to  Lady Dulceață, they confirmed what his eyes had already informed him of.  There was fear here, not so great that she froze or fled, but he felt that it was a close thing.  He returned her smile when she seemed to make herself do so, trying to grant her a mesure of reassurance that he was, at the end of the day, harmless.  That was not true, of course, but she didn’t need to know that.  ”Directly from Askavi, now that is something of a surprise.  Dena Nehele is home to all sorts.  There are some purists, but I’ve done alright.”  Now Bats looked at her sympathetically, ”Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.  What happened?  Unless, that is too personal.  I am sorry, it’s hard not to be curious about such a lovely Lady.”  Bats smiled when she offered him an apple slice, and he reached out to take it, his fingertips brushing along her wrist as he did so.  Once again, he knew there was something there, and wondered again if he should press, or if he would have to.

Their brief touch gave him more than he expected, despite himself.  There was Craft there, concealing something.  Concealing her?  Now, the question was how badly did Bats want to know.  If it was lasting Craft, that alone made some suggestions about the source, and did he want to run afoul of that right now.  Maybe not right now, but later?  He would have to wait and see.  He ate the apple slice, and observed the Layd watching the thief he had pointed out.  He grinned as she told him what her adjustments would be, and tilted his head slightly.  ”You might be right.  Which do you think these people will miss more?  Jewelry from their wrists, or the weight in their purses.  It’s kind of a toss up, don’t you think?”

Bats chuckled, ”I didn’t assume that you did, Lady.  No one really likes thieving.  It’s not really a career choice.  It happens most often out of necessity.”  He smiled, ”I know a talented young man, an acrobat worthy of any amount of entertainments, and his circus put him on the path of the cat burglar.  He’s terribly good at it, but he never chose it, not really.”  He tilted his head slightly, ”What is it that makes you feel ill, exactly?  Sensitive to their natures, are you?”  Bats’ eyebrows rose, ”I really think you should come and see me some time at the Belfry.  I wouldn’t give you a bad deal, and while it’s tootin’ my own horn, we’re probably safer than the underpayin’ fellas you’re already dealing with.”  He leaned towards her, ”For a young Lady that’s only been here a few months, you’ve made all the right connections it seems.”  Bats met her eyes, ”I would never laugh at you, Lady.”  He accepted the offered apple slices, and each time, he touched her skin, and each time he felt that bit of Craft.

”Anyone not noticing you is blind or stupid or both, Lady.  You’re gorgeous, I can only imagine that the addition of wings would make you more unforgettable still.”  Bats shook his head, ”I don’t see many that look like me, so I make it a point to chat when I can.  I’ve not run into many full Eyriens, but that may be about to change—political alliances are in the air and all.”  Bats nodded seriously, ”I’ve a whole club, called The Belfry something of an inside joke, but its a wonderful place.  Ask around, you’ll hear about it.  It’s legitimate, and we do, indeed, have a piano, and we enjoy having live entertainment from time to time.”  At the mention of Tantalus, Bats knew who Lady V was likely.  He’d been to that theater, and had even enjoyed his time there, which was an interesting bit of information to have when he could sense Craft laid on this young woman.  ”It’s a safe place to work, and if you’re very good at the piano, you’d be making your own way—no thefts, no anything else but a performance.  You should visit me there.”


Offline Ismenian Basarab

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Re: Tied Up In Waiting On My Mind
« Reply #8 on: Oct 18, 19, 04:01:43 AM »
Mother Night.

She'd finally noticed the warmed spiced wine next to her in a match to Bats own cup and lifted it. It was sweet and perfect, easing all the waves of stress she'd been feeling. The 'witch's' eyes closed and she drank half the wine almost too fast. As such, the blended drink hit her just a little harder than it normally might have if she'd taken her time. He kept returning her smiles and it dragged her smile out of hiding a little more. Ismenian could feel the heat in her face. "Yes. Directly from Askavi."

The hiding Table Queen tried to shake herself out of it, but the Prince kept brushing her wrist with his fingertips, at which she felt warm all over. She struggled to shove down how much she ached to be touched. The hint of Craft felt like a complicated blend of Castes with a vast amount of skill repaired with still another skill set. Whatever it was hiding, the scent of 'witch' seemed shallow whenever the Prince touched Ismenian. "It is a toss-up, and absolutely depends on the preference and person. Some will miss the weight on their wrists, while others the gold. You are precisely correct." Her pulse thumped along faster as Bats' quick fingers brushed her wrist again. She didn't know why he kept touching her, yet as much as he wanted to know whatever it was he was looking for, Ismenian didn't want the older Prince to leave.

"What happened? To my wings? They weren't formed right when I was born, but my mother mended much of the damage so that I could fly. There's is ... nothing, nothing in the world like it. To soar above everything to see for miles, Prince." She stared at him, enraptured with the image her words had brought forth as well as painfully wistful. "The Belfry?" She could hardly focus on anything with her pulse drowning out everything. "I wouldn't wish to be a nuisance, and the Belfry is ... well people say it is fairly dangerous." Every brush of her wrist dragged like warmth down her spine leaving Ismenian speechless and tempted. It never occurred to Ismenian that the Prince and Jack had been looking for Craft rather than teasing her.

"Ask around," she repeated. "Very well." Once more she nodded. "I will ask around about the Belfry and then ... decide. But it wouldn't be right for you simply to accept my skills at the piano based on my word alone."

The young witch's very slender frame leaned toward the Prince every time he touched her.  With one more apple slice left, she lifted it and offered it. "No thefts. So you pay well. Well enough not to take so many risks." She blinked, unwilling to drag her gaze away from the Blood Opal Prince.

"I left because ... because ... Askavi is complicated. You've already dragged more out of a complete stranger than should even be possible." Ismenian smiled brilliantly. "There's no way you're just a Jack, and you're for sure older than I am. I am usually a little more clever than this. Though you did say Bats and Cats go together. What does that mean?"



 

 

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