Solo When the Pressure is On

Oresnya has to meet increased expectations

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The westernmost tip of Kalea, Wind Reach is home to an amazing group of people and their giant eagle mounts. [Lore]

When the Pressure is On

Postby Oresnya Cacao on June 1st, 2019, 2:53 am

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Spring the 34th, 519 AV


With her one good hand, Oresnya pulled her long silk strip off the chest top where she had thrown it in a bundle the night before and held it to her naked torso. She hadn’t bothered to light a lamp to see by. Her Symenestra eyes saw just as well in the dark, and light still made her throbbing headache worse. She had seen her nose in a mirror the other day. Whoever Leo had brought from the Infirmary knew their work well. Though it was swollen as Hai, there was no crookedness to it at all. The deep purple bruises on her ribs would have been visible in dim light even to those without her special eyes, but Oresnya didn’t need to see to tell they were there. Every breath in reminded her. That pain had waned over the past three days to where she could force deep breaths. It still wasn’t comfortable, but she was managing. The man had told her he couldn’t treat the cracked ribs, and Oresnya couldn’t tell about the hand as it was still wrapped firmly in the splint the Inarta man had made for her.

The one thing she could tell about the hand was that it was useless wrapped up the way it was. There was no way for her to grip anything, and the bandage just made it heavy. It was doing her no favors as she tried to hold the silk strip to her torso and make the first wrap around her waist. After a quarter bell of failing miserably, Oresnya swallowed her pride, bundled the silk into a ball in her good hand, and wandered over to the door to her apartment.

Opening the door, she found him where she always seemed to find him every morning. The Inarta man had been assigned to monitor the Symenestra’s movements and activities within the city. After several times asking him for his name and him refusing to give it each time, Oresnya had given him one of her own.

“Good morning,er silk Bob.”

His eyes brightened when he saw her, and Oresnya could see worry visibly melt away. “I was hoping you had died.”

It was their customary conversation each morning, but she could see today that he didn’t mean it. Somedays, she wasn’t so sure. The conversation usually went on in a rehearsed way for a little longer, but Oresnya cut it short this time. “I need help.”

A curious expression crossed his face, but he followed her gesture for him to step inside. Leaving the door open to give him some light to see by, she held out her silk top to him. “I need help. With clothes.”

Bob tried to hide it, but his eyes lit up when he realized she was wearing no top and lit up further when he realized the opportunities that lay in front of him.

When she still didn’t get a verbal response from him, Oresnya pushed the silk into his hands and repeated once more, “I need help.”

He had seen her in the top plenty of times, every day for over a season, and with a few instructions from her was able to replicate her way of putting it on, albeit slowly and less precisely. Bob took his time, though Oresnya was sure it was not for precision’s sake. It probably would have laid better had he been hurrying, but as it was, he was distracted. She knew he was stealing glances as he went, but her tired mind didn’t care. She was getting dressed and that was what mattered.

When he came to her ribs, he let the fabric fall slack and only pulled snugger after several firm demands of “Tighter!” from Oresnya. It took a moment for the annoyance to clear to realize he had been trying not to hurt her. Not to mention, the more he messed up and had to redo sections, the more peeks he got to take. Finally, though, her chest was covered, and Bob sped quickly through the rest. Reaching the end of the silk strip, Bob couldn’t manage a bow and, instead, inelegantly double-knotted the material to hold it all in place.

The end result was satisfactory enough though uncomfortable with the way the cloth gathered and bunched in places and pinched in others. Still, Oresnya wasn’t about to complain about it. She was grateful and did manage a “Thank you.”

With her dressed, the two ventured out into the stone hallways of Wind Reach. It was later in the day than when Oresnya usually rose for work, and so she found the hallways were less busy than usual. With the halls this clear, she quickly made her way to Felicity’s Fabrics but stopped before opening the door. She wasn’t sure what kind of reception she would receive. If the woman she had bit was there, she’d have nothing good to add. If she wasn’t there though, that could mean that Oresnya’s bite was worse than she had thought. She hadn’t drained her venom. The ache in her cheeks was evidence enough of that, but with as potent as it was, a little went a long way, especially trapped beneath the skin the way it had been. Waiting wouldn’t do her any good either though. The longer Oresnya waited to show her face, the more their rage toward her would build.

With a sigh, Oresnya pushed the door open and awaited the answer to how much they despised her.
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Oresnya Cacao
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When the Pressure is On

Postby Oresnya Cacao on July 2nd, 2019, 3:25 am

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As soon as Oresnya was through the door and the apprentices inside saw who it was, one of them exploded off her chair and started toward Oresnya with a whirlwind of Nari too fast for the widow to catch. She did understand through the tone and the few words she caught that it was a string of expletives, many of which she had been taught in her younger years to avoid completely. Before the woman could reach her though, Felicity had her shoved up against a wall by the front of her silk-wrap top.

Bob stepped forward, ready to come to Oresnya’s aid with words, but Felicity cut him off, pointing out the door. “Leave.”

For whatever reason, maybe it was having seen Oresnya’s breasts less than a bell ago, Bob was more loyal than he needed to be. He tried to interject. “Felicity, it wasn’t her fault. She-”

A single glare from Felicity silenced him instantaneously. There was true vehemence there. She was having none of his interruptions and would make him pay for any further ones. Her face said as much. “Do you really want to find out how miserable I can make your life, Chiet?”

Bob shook his head.

Felicity nodded. “Good. Leave.”

Oresnya’s eyes hadn’t left Felicity’s face since the whole ordeal had started. Those farther away couldn’t see it, but from her vantage point, Oresnya could. What was there wasn’t hate or anger. It was exhaustion, exhaustion mixed with a little something else that Oresnya couldn’t identify. Despite the lack of rage, when Bob was gone, Felicity didn’t let Oresnya go. Instead, she pulled Oresnya away from the wall, then shoved her back against it to emphasize some sort of displeasure.

Her voice turned icy, icier than it had been with Bob, and Oresnya began to truly fear her superior. “Why did you come back here, Widow? You cost me a good apprentice. Who knows when she’ll be able to get back to work, if she’ll ever be able to work as a seamstress again?”

“She’s still alive. Good.” Oresnya was too tired, tired from starvation and tired from injuries, to even try to use her Nari. Still, she was relieved the damage had not been worse to the other seamstress, and showing that compassion certainly couldn’t hurt. “I didn’t want to hurt her.”

“But you did,” Felicity hissed. “Why? You cost me a good apprentice.”

She cost you two good workers. I didn’t ask to be dragged to the Fighting Pits on my way here. I didn’t ask her to invent some grudge against me. I did ask her to stop the fight, did tell her I didn’t want it. But she insisted, and I did what I had to. And now I’m here, even as crippled as she made me. I’ll do what work I can.”

Felicity looked away, muttering some old Nari curse under her breath, and Oresnya could tell she hadn’t made things any better with her explanation as true as it might have been. When Felicity looked back at her, Oresnya could see the exhaustion more evidently now. They must have been working twice as hard with two of their seamstresses gone.

Turning back to see her apprentices gawking, Felicity snapped a quick order. “What are you all watching? We already didn’t have the time to waste before the Widow screwed us. Get back to work. I’ll handle her.”

Dragging Oresnya bodily over to her secluded work corner, Felicity pushed her down into her chair. The shop owner switched to Common and massaged her temples in frustration. “Why did you come back, Widow?”

The question didn’t carry the derision Oresnya had been expecting, and her confusion showed.

Felicity rolled her eyes. “I can barely protect you here. It would have been better if you had stayed home a while longer. Or just went to find work elsewhere.”

This was not what Oresnya had been expecting from Felicity. Reaching its height, Oresnya’s confusion forced a question out. “Protect me?”

Felicity sighed. “Yes, Widow, protect you. Don’t make me repeat myself and question your intelligence. You’re a decent worker. I’d hate to lose you.”

The comment felt like the biggest compliment in the world to Oresnya in that moment, and her face showed her gratitude. “Thank you.”

Felicity rolled her eyes again. “I said decent, not good. Don’t let it go to your head. I just need all the help I can get.”

“Which is why I came. I’m here to pull my own weight.” Oresnya held up her splinted hand and shrugged. “Well, as much of it as I can.”

Felicity nodded, then looked Oresnya over. “You look like warmed-over shit.”

“Thanks.”

“Stand up.” Pulling her underling to her feet, Felicity spun Oresnya away from her and started to undo the knot in her. “You look disheveled. This is what happens when you let a man dress you.”

“Is it that obvious?”

Felicity nodded as she unwrapped Oresnya, then began the process from the beginning. “Don’t think I’m doing this for your benefit. I’m doing it for mine. I need my Chiet the same as any business owner does.”

It was Felicity’s mention of the possibility that made Oresnya know the Avora cared for her, at least in some small way. When she was finished rewrapping Oresnya and securing the top in its typical bow, Felicity left, then returned with a pair of pants that was nearly finished. There was something wrong with them though, and Oresnya pointed it out. “These are much too nice to belong to a Dek.”

Felicity nodded and met Oresnya’s eyes. “Yes, they are. But I’m short-handed. These belong to an Avora. Don’t petch this up.”
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Oresnya Cacao
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