Solo Letters of Love

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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Letters of Love

Postby Shakune on July 12th, 2015, 5:38 pm

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Letters of Love
55th Summer, 515AV, late afternoon.


"Havzi, we really ought to get that stain looked at."

Slave and owner turned in unison to stare up at the ceiling. As ever the ominous red mark that clung to the ceiling stared back at them, a droplet of mysterious gloop hanging threateningly low from the dark redness. In a blink, the globule dropped and splattered against the uneven wooden slacks of the floor, which themselves were turning pink with the continuous staining.

"Do we even have access to that floor?" The young girl replied, grimacing and turning her attention back to her current task of painting the single yellow of No Questions Couriers a muted purple.

Shakune considered this for a tick as she glared up at the ever-present red blob, "no, but I think the old butcher's next door does."

Said butchery had been empty for two or so years. Since opening up shop next door, Shakune had heard all sorts of rumours that attempted to explain the sudden closure of the once popular establishment. Her personal favourite (and the one she felt was most likely to be true) was that some influential thug -possibly Goldfinger - had had the previous owner killed for chopping up a particularly helpful slave and selling her for pig meat. Other rumours involved a secret passageway to the end of the world itself, and a prince in disguise. Somehow, these tales seemed a little far-fetched for Shakune.

"How does that look?"

The courier glanced up from her paperwork to Havzi, who was standing with her arms gesturing grandly to the wall behind her. Only half of the wall was now a blinding yellow, and Havzi had managed to paint over the worse of the stains and paint chips. "Much better. Well done, Havzi. You're quite the artist." The girl chuckled and turned her back to Shakune once again to restart painting.

A content silence spread over the room for the next bell, and when the front door to the store eventually creaked open, Havzi had finished painting one wall and had moved onto the next.

"Afternoon." Shakune said without looking up from her papers, her tone official yet welcoming. When her eyes finally slid up from the desk, she saw a copper-skinned woman standing before her, all willowy limbs and green eyes. A Benshira, she concluded immediately. Her mother had tried, and failed, to fill Shakune's mind with racist comments about the other Desert-dwelling breed. But the girl, having been born and raised far form Ekytol, had had little interest. "Can I help you?"

The woman nodded, gave Havzi a captious glance and said, "I have something I want delivered. Tonight, if possible."

She was nervous, incredibly so. The courier frowned minutely, trying her best to keep her expression neutral and devoid of curiosity. Something about this woman was familiar -- but what?

"Just a letter, is it?"

"No." A bony hand slipped into a pocket and the customer revealed something soft, silky even. A scarf? "I'd like this to be delivered, as well. And wrapped."

"No problem." Shakune stood from her seat, indicated her customer to step forward for her to take the letter and mystery object. "Wrapping is fifty silver. The delivery for both items will be three gold. Total is three fifty. Yes?" She glanced up to the woman and waited for a reply.

The response was hesitant, spiking Shakune's suspicions straight away. "Yes..." Her customer said slowly, giving another cautious glance to Havzi, who was still busy painting.

Shakune remained standing, one hand clasping the silky material and letter, the other resting upon her desk. "You're sure? I want payment upfront, in total." She added after a brief pause. Shady individuals, such as this woman, were not usually the sort one would trust with just making a later payment.

"Yes, that's fine." The woman cast a slightly dismissive hand towards Shakune, resulting in the courier frowning slightly. That brief act had implied the woman came from great riches, with endless money to spend on endless couriers. But her appearance - knotted hair, dirty clothes, a bruised upper lip - suggested otherwise.

Something was off, here. Shakune could sense it.
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Last edited by Shakune on July 12th, 2015, 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Letters of Love

Postby Shakune on July 12th, 2015, 6:12 pm

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Nevertheless, the courier continued on with business with no further question. Until now, she had had no nighttime deliveries planned, and had instead hoped to spend the evening drinking with friends. With a sigh, Shakune resigned to the fact that alcohol would simply have to wait. Sifting through her paperwork, she retrieved a clean sheet of parchment. After tipping her tatty quill in an inkpot, she glanced back to her customer. "Who's the recipient?"

Another delayed response. Several ticks passed before the stranger replied shakily, "Bretend Evergreen."

Shakune wrote the name down, trying to attach some meaning or familiarity to it in order to explain the woman's hesitance. It didn't arouse any memory or well-known face. "And where can I find Bretend?"

"Oh."

When she didn't reply, Shakune laid down her quill with a tired sigh. "I have to know where to deliver your goods, don't I?"

"Yes. Yes, of course." The woman touched a nervous hand to her forehead before continuing, "The Gated Community."

"The Community?" She couldn't help the comment slipping out. Shakune had recently moved into the exclusive area and though she was far from knowing everyone, the name Bretend had never even been mentioned. Now her curiosity was too much for Shakune to ignore. "Does he live here?"

"I thought this was No Questions Couriers."

The explosion of spite and anger caught Shakune by surprise. Even Havzi turned around to gape at the woman's back before remembering herself and continuing to paint. After an awkward chime, the woman smoothed down her shitty clothes and coughed delicately. "I'm sorry. It's just very important that this letter is delivered tonight."

"Yeah? Well it's important that I know who and where I'm deliverin' it to." She didn't even try to conceal her annoyance now. Retrieving the quill, Shakune made a note of the recipient's location before turning the paper around to face her customer. "Sign here, please. Bretend will be required to sign this as well as proof of delivery, should you need it."

The woman nodded solemnly and signed the document, a collection of shapes and curls that Shakune assumed to be in her native tongue. "I will deliver this tonight, soon after nightfall."

Another nod, no thank you or smile. After making the payment in silence, the woman turned to leave, walking slowly and narrowly a dropped globule from the ominous blob. It was perhaps the only time Shakune was disappointed to see a customer not being dripped on.

When the door closed, Shakune let out a great sigh. "She was a pain in the arse." She said with a grumble, twisting her back to ease out the knots and aches from her spine.

Havzi was silent for a tick, her lips pursed in thought, paintbrush held inanimately in mid-air. "I think I recognised her. But I don't know where from."

Shakune shrugged. "She looks like a hundred other women in this city."

"I suppose." From the girl's tone, Shakune knew that the statement had not satiated Havzi’s curiosity. "But at least this job is on the way home."

"Yes, that's true." Shakune nodded. She hadn't considered this, and the fact that her next job was near her home meant that her evening drinks would not be too delayed. "Still time for a piss up afterwards."

Well, that brightened her mood.

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Letters of Love

Postby Shakune on July 12th, 2015, 8:29 pm

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Four bells later


"It's a bit early even for you to go out on the piss, ain't it?"

It was the usual greeting Shakune received from the guards that stood at the Gated Community's west entrance: some witty comment about her alcohol intake. She swiped their laughter away like an annoying fly. "Hilarious as ever, boys. I'm still on business, actually. Lookin' for someone called Bretend."

The two burly guards shared a look before one of them - Shakune could never remember his name - burst out in laughter, spraying the courier in a shower of spittle. She wiped a drop of wetness off her cheek, grimacing as she did.

"Gods, I told ya' she were that kinda girl, Ralph." His companion spluttered between poorly concealed guffaws.

Ralph, however, seemed utterly incapable of even forming the most basics of sentences. Shakune folded her arms and glowered at them both at turn. "What is it? Who is he?"

"Oh, don't act guy, Miss Black eyes," the guard said, his voice taking on a frustrating sing-song lilt that made Shakune want to kick his bollocks, "we know you know who 'e is."

After rolling the very eyes that had earned her affectionate the nickname, Shakune pointed a stern finger at the two guards. "Stop pissin' about. Tell me."

Finally, Ralph managed to splutter out a few crucial words: "Scarlet Sanctum." He gestured with a jolting head-nod in the direction of the infamous brothel.

With an aggravated sigh, Shakune turned on her heel and marched towards the Sanctum. Though she now had a specific location in which to find the enigmatic Bretend, the plot had thickened. So he was a whore. Hardly a rare find in Sunberth, but he must be an incredibly expensive lay to be hired at the Scarlett Sanctum. She wouldn't have expected a ragged woman like the one who had visited her store earlier to be able to afford such expensive company.

As always, a hum of low, sultry music greeted Shakune when she entered the brothel. The throng of heavy bass, the shimmer of a symbol, low candlelight. The entire interior of the brothel oozed sexual appeal and arousal. She moved slowly - to do otherwise would break some unwritten lore of the Sanctum that time bid time moved slowly. Nobody was rushing here; they were too busy delving deeply into pleasure.

"Hi, you."

A female of astounding beauty sauntered over to Shakune, all liquid curves and shimmery make up. Had she not been working, the courier would have allowed herself to buy this woman's company, no matter what cost.
The cruel reality though, was that she had to tear her eyes away from the whore's lithe body, only to be dazed by her crystalline eyes. She gestured dumbly to her satchel bag, opened her mouth, and closed it again.

"Aw, you shy?" A perfect manicured hand reached out to brush a strand of Shakune's dark hair from her face. The warmth of the almost-touch radiated on her skin like sunburn.

"Letter." The word blurted out of Shakune's mouth uncontrollably. Compared to this ethereal beauty before her, the word felt ugly, disfigured. "For Bretend."

The whore gave a coy smile that implied she knew exactly where Shakune's mind really was. Her full lips curved into a delicious pout and she scanned the room with her perfect, wide eyes. "He's here somewhere. You wait at the bar, sweets and I'll find him." She moved away with a foreign magical grace, her feet barely touching the thickly carpeted floor.
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Letters of Love

Postby Shakune on July 13th, 2015, 7:44 am

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Shakune was shocked to see a woman of almost equal beauty to the previous specimen standing behind the bar. But this individual was dark skinned, dark haired, dark eyes, like a jungle cat. She greeted the courier with a wide smile and the offer of a shot of rum. As the warm liquid ran down Shakune's gullet, she surveyed the rest of the low talking crowd in the brothel.

It was easy to spot the employees of the Sanctum. They were all beautiful, even the men, who were all clean-shaven and incredibly well toned. She could have sat at the bar all night, drinking in the beauty surrounding her as well as the fine rum. But after only five chimes, another beautiful young creature sat on the barstool beside the courier.

"You must be Shakune." He said in a clipped accent. When she turned to face him, she was unsurprised to see another stunning specimen of supposed humanity. Pale skin, dark hair. The leather thong that protected his manhood left practically nothing to the imagination. She wondered whether the male whores felt jealous of the women, with all their glamorous dresses and fancy make up. Bretend smiled politely to Shakune and laid his hands upon the bar. "You have a letter for me?"

She nodded, slipping the envelope and wrapped parcel out of her bag and onto the bartop. "There you go. Can you sign something for me, please?" Her black eyes fell to her satchel again and Shakune began to search through it for the piece of parchment previously signed by the sender. Victoriously, she slapped the sheet of paper onto the bar next to where the package still stood.

The letter, however, had been picked up by Bretend, who was now staring down at the messy cursive scribbled on the front of the envelope. His lips pursed in thought, his brow furrowed so his beautiful face became wrinkled. The whore was stroking the envelope gently, as if it were the most precious thing he had ever possessed. When he spoke, he did so without even looking up at Shakune. "How was she?" The sadness in voice caught the courier by surprise. She had not expected such a gloriously attractive man to be capable of negative emotion.

When you're that pretty, what is there to be sad about?

"Did she look... well?"

"Oh. Urm-" She wanted to say 'no, she looked like a pissed off half-drowned rat'. But from the intense regret in his voice, Shakune expected this harsh truth to push the whore over the edge and into a full-on break down. She thought of the woman's messy hair, the slight bruise on her bottom lip. "Fine. I've not met her before. So..."

He nodded slowly, pouted his lips even more and curled and uncurled the top corner of the envelope around his finger. "Compared to the general populace of this city... How did she compare?"

Shakune's silence was all he needed to know.

Another sad nod, and then the whore tore open the envelope. Shakune hovered awkwardly by his side. She disliked watching her customers read the messages she bought them. If they were happy, they would sometimes tip her. But the vast majority of letters sent through No Questions were no of this jolly sort. In those instances, her customers expected her to be of some comfort (not true), or to be at fault for the message itself (certainly not true).

But the whore gave no indication whether the message he had received was good or bad. His eyes continued to scan through the words; his lips remained pursed in thought. Or was it sadness? Shakune's couldn't tell anymore.

And then he finished reading the letter, and slid the package onto his lap. Again Bretend didn't open it straight away, but instead circled a fingertip delicately over the parchment that was wrapped around the silky scarf. His pensive mood had not been lifted by the contents of the letter, but if anything had been weighted down even more.

"This scarf," he said quietly over the din of soft talk and music in the background, "is either pink or blue. To indicate whether my child is a girl or boy."

Shakune's eyes widened in surprise. What an unexpected turn of events! The posh whore and the drowned rat were lovers? How would two individuals so different even meet, let alone become romantically involved. "Oh. That's nice."

Bretend threw her a sad smile. Judging from the way he simply rejected to allow Shakune to leave, she guessed that this story was one he had not shared with another person before. And no wonder. If someone like him were known to be sleeping with a rat like the woman Shakune had met earlier, he would probably lose his job. There was no telling what disease she had.
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Letters of Love

Postby Shakune on July 15th, 2015, 7:23 pm

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Never one for subtleties, Shakune slid her document Bretend still needed to sign closer to the whore. Again he completely ignored it. In fact, Shakune was beginning to consider that the paper might only be visible to her, and nobody else.

"Before I open this," He said quietly, briefly glancing to Shakune and then staring down at the parcel again, "will you take a letter back to her?"

Although she managed to stop herself from groaning or rolling her eyes (was she ever going to get a drink tonight?), when Shakune said, "Tonight? Now?" the resentment and complete lack of enthusiasm in her voice was obvious.

"Please." The whore winced, fully empathising with the courier over the pain of a full night's work. "I wouldn't usually ask so urgently, but--" he gestured briefly to the sexual luxury around them both, "I won't be finished here until in the morning. And neither will Shiea. She and I... work in the same field, as it were." He threw the courier a hangdog look, as if she was in the moral position to judge the pair for the nature of their work.

And perhaps she was. Shakune's own mother had been a whore, initially working in Zeltiva's classier establishment. But eventually Kinsha's drug habit had gotten the better of her, ruined her, according to some. She had started fucking men in her own home, taking payment in the form of copper coins and handfuls of pills. Shakune's earlier childhood memories were filled with the sounds of men grunting and saying things like yeah, you like that, don't you, you piece of filth whore.

So it was not an easy thing for the courier to throw herself into this romance of whores. She was a messenger of many things, but love and romance were one of the rarer things she couriered. With a haughty sigh and a twitch of her jaw, she eventually nodded. "Sure. But it'll cost you. It's late in the night, it's a sudden delivery..." She set the whore with a stern look, trying to gage how much this desperate man would pay to get his message to his lover. He'd no doubt earn a decent wage... "I want ten gold."

He dismissed the price with an elegant blink of his beautiful eyes. "Ridiculous. You know it. Three."

"Eight. It's late."

"Not that late, darling."

It was an unexpected fight from the whore. And frankly, Shakune admired him for it. Evidently, he wasn't just a pretty face or a toned body. Another sigh. "Five, then."

"A deal." He extended his hand and delicately held Shakune's, briefly uniting them in an age-old contractual binding. "If you wait here, I'll come back in five chimes with the letter." He slid off the barstool and stepped away, but turned suddenly back to Shakune. "I appreciate this more than you could know." The earnestness of his words silenced the courier.

He returned within the promised five chimes, armed with a folded piece of parchment and Shakune's five coins. She accepted both eagerly, sliding payment and parchment into her satchel before moving on with business. "I need you sign this twice, please. One to confirm you received the letter and package, and the other to state that you made a delivery." The whore nodded solemnly, scribbled down an elegant-looking signature and then gave Shakune a weary, wet-eyed smile.

"Thank you, Shakune. I hope you have no trouble delivering my message."

He turned quickly away and hurried back, disappearing amongst the thick of half-naked bodies and glitter. Shakune looked down at her paper, brow furrowed. She had planned to ask Bretend where his lover could be found, but it appeared he had already filled in this information:

The Muted Maiden.

Shakune sighed. It would be a long night indeed.
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Letters of Love

Postby Pulren Marsh on December 12th, 2015, 4:03 am

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A Grade is Coming
Your Wave
The collateral damage of whoring. Another excellent story by our ebon eyed courier.

 
Shakune
XP
  • Negotiation 2
  • Planning 1
  • Investigation 1
  • Socialization 1
  • Acting 1
  • Intelligence 1
Lores
  • Rumors of the Butchery
  • Bretend Evergreen: Harlot at the Scarlet Sanctum
  • The Stock of the Sanctum
Miscellaneous
    Added eight gold, fifty silver for two deliveries, including wrapping. Please deduct the wrapping material and paper from your business stock.



Your Grader,


Pulren Marsh
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Your favorite Uncle
 
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