Completed [Brega's House] A Strange Client

Baelin figures he doesn't need the most expert tutor. Just someone who'll give him their time.

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

[Brega's House] A Strange Client

Postby Baelin Holt on November 26th, 2019, 3:58 pm

Image
78, Fall 519 AV

This was a dumb idea. Normal people don’t try to do things like this.

Normal people already know how to read, idiot.

The walk from the Commons to the Reaches wasn’t too particularly difficult; just follow the Mudway up. It was the constant self-doubt and self-recrimination―gnawing at him the whole walk―that made it a good deal more difficult. He’d had a perfectly good schoolhouse to learn from when he was a boy, but did he? No. He went out and did dumb shyke by himself instead. Was climbing helpful in his day to day life now? Not even remotely. Would the ability to read and write be useful? Petching yeah it would.

Even if he could forgive himself for being an idiot kid, he’d had years in Syliras as an adult to fix his problem. Compared to Sunberth, Syliras had been a safe haven. Baelin had just been too blind to see it. Compared to the serenity of Black Rock, things in Syliras had seemed so much riskier. Again: idiot.

And now he was in Sunberth. Where there was no schoolhouse, no tutors that Baelin knew of, and just no good, obvious way to fix his problem. If he was a child, he imagined he could find something. But as a grown man, Baelin wasn’t about to just drop in to the orphanage and beg for a lesson. Even if they’d allow it, Baelin just couldn’t wrap his head around actually doing it. And the library they had here? Just the thought of going in it and hassling the librarian for a one on one was enough to make him want to strangle something. Just no.

However… while he might not know of a way to get an actual writing tutor, he did know of a way to pay for someone’s time. Which was why he was now walking up the northern fork of the Mudway, entering a part of Sunberth that he’d not bothered spending time in before. Because here, in the Reach, was Brega’s.

A full three-stories, it was one of the tallest buildings in Sunberth and hard to miss. As Baelin approached it, he couldn’t help but feel like he was walking into a trap. It looked as rundown as the rest of Sunberth, and he could practically feel thugs watching him as he walked. But, trap or no, he was going to do this. He’d spent a lifetime using every excuse under the sun to not do this, and so now no excuse would stop him. Shyke, someone could stand on the roof of the brothel and scream down It’s a trap! and Baelin would still walk in. This. Was. Happening.

He patted his waist, checking for the umpteenth time that the sheet of parchment and small bundle of charcoal sticks he’d purchased on the way here were still there. And they were. No excuses.

Pulling in a deep breath, Baelin pushed open the front door.

An explosion of red bombarded his senses. Tapestries draped the walls, gaudy couches were haphazardly arranged around the massive room, and people filled the space. Some were sprawled on the couches, wearing very little clothing. Several of them turned to the door to flashed him a smile. Others were scattered around the room, considerably more dressed and armed with blunt weapons.

“Welcome to Brega’s!” A young man sitting close to the entrance hailed him, his grin wide and welcoming. Baelin blinked at him, not quite processing the outfit the guy was wearing. “Can I help you with anything?” Were those…just tight pants with the ass cut out?

Nope. He couldn’t do this. Baelin turned on his heel and moved to walk right back out. And then froze on the spot when he heard a quick flurry of footsteps behind him, defensive instinct halting his exit as he braced for whatever was coming. But all that happened was a light touch on his elbow, and a gentle tug for him to turn back around. Stiff as a board, Baelin complied.

Her eyes and cheeks accentuated with kohl, full limps painted a soft shade to compliment her bronze skin, and short, black hair neatly brushed out… She was beautiful. “Hey, now,” she purred, stepping in close, “Don’t be shy. C’mon.” She gave his arm another little tug, almost playful, and smiled, “Let me show you a good time.”

Baelin let her pull him further into the room, not daring to speak, parchment and charcoal momentarily forgotten as she led him back towards a spiral staircase, Baelin could barely even form a coherent thought as he followed her. She too was barely dressed, but her exposed skin felt more like a welcome than anything unsettling. A short top that hung loose above her belly, held up by nothing more than thin straps; it showed off the curves of her back and the soft tone of her abdominals. Baelin found himself wondering if how many sit ups she could do, before pulling back from that line of thought.

Out of the corner of his eye, Baelin saw the guy that had greeted him roll his eyes, but Baelin paid him no mind. He and his exposed butt could stay right over there, where Baelin wouldn’t have to deal with it.

“You can call me Rose,” the woman said over her shoulder, still leading him in a more or less direct path to the staircase, “What kind of good time are you looking for?”

WC: 909
Last edited by Baelin Holt on November 26th, 2019, 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Baelin Holt
Blacksmith
 
Posts: 341
Words: 360792
Joined roleplay: July 25th, 2014, 12:36 am
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Race: Mixed blood
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[Brega's House] A Strange Client

Postby Baelin Holt on November 26th, 2019, 5:17 pm

Baelin shook his head, struggling to articulate his likely unusual request. Rose pursed her lips and cooed, “Aww, you shy, baby?”

Nope, still couldn’t do this. Baelin stopped following. Rose went one more pace before she realized she couldn’t pull him any further. She immediately stepped back into his space and purred, “That’s okay. Come on up with me and we’ll chat once we’re in a room?” Baelin hesitated, and she wrapped her arm around his and pressed close, “Whatever it is, we can talk then?”

Well this was going to be embarrassing. Sighing quietly through his nose, Baelin nodded. Rose smiled and resumed her trek to the staircase, still holding his arm. He ducked his head as they went up the spiral, and was unsurprised to see the second floor housed plenty of rooms. As well as more armed thugs. Rose nodded to one of them as they passed, some silent exchange happening between prostitute and enforcer, and added a little wave. While Baelin might not know exactly what that exchange meant, he could only assume it was something along the lines of, If I scream, petch him up.

Rose pulled Baelin into one of the rooms and shut the door behind him. She pushed him a bit farther into the room―perhaps figuring that if she got more distance between him and the door, he’d be less likely to bolt―and asked, “So what’s got you so nervous?”

Moment of truth. Baelin pulled out the sheet of parchment and bundle of charcoal sticks, expression carefully blank. Rose quirked an eyebrow at the art supplies. “That’s all? Oh honey, I don’t mind modelling for you.”

Baelin grimaced and shook his head. The polished veneer of Rose’s seduction cracked for a moment; she frowned and glanced between the apparent drawing supplies and Baelin. “Well then what do you want?”

Pulling in a deep breath, Baelin figured he should just go for it. Thumb rubbing the corner of the prepared hide, he hazarded, “How would you write out hammer?”

“I’m sorry?” He had to give credit to the prostitute for her professionalism, because her look of befuddlement was surprisingly muted.

“How to write it…” Baelin awkwardly held up the parchment, as if that explained everything, “I don’t…” He shook his head and found himself suddenly looking anywhere that wasn’t her, gaze skittering across anything else of interest in the room. Yep, he wasn’t able to do this. He was absolutely, utterly unable to meet her eye as he embarrassed himself. But oh look, there was a small table next to the bed. And red sheets that looked irredeemably stained―probably best not to get on that. And some carefully folded over cloths resting nearby. Anything and everything else that he could look at, he did. Everything but Rose.

She was quiet for a tick. Then―carefully―as if tasting each word, she asked, “Are you telling me…that you came to a whorehouse for…a writing lesson?” Baelin winced, but nodded. With a small, disbelieving noise, she continued, “You do know I have sex for a living, right? I’m not a tutor.” Another tight nod, and this time she laughed. “Well shyke, alright then. You’re still gonna get charged by the chime, you know? Regardless of whether or not you…” she made a vague gesture towards his writing supplies, and finished, “learn anything or not.”

Baelin nodded again, but this time it was with the immense relief that she’d agreed. Gods, he hadn’t known how stressed he’d been about this until she’d said alright. Like a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders.

Figuring it’d probably be best to steer clear of the bed, Baelin dropped down to a crouch on the floor. Rose watched him curiously as he laid out the parchment and opened the bundle of charcoal sticks next to it. Plucking one stick out, he held it up for her to take.

Rose huffed in quiet amusement and took the stick. Coming over to sit next to him, she tugged the sheet over towards her and started scribbling on it. “You said ‘hammer,’ right?” Baelin recognized the letters she laid out, but couldn’t for the life of him piece them together. She finished writing, then circled back to the start of the word and tapped the first letter. “H,” she started, then continued along each letter, tapping as she went, “a-m-m-e-r. Hammer.”

Baelin tugged the sheet back from her, and tried to copy exactly what she’d done. He recognized the letters, at least. A line with a curve attached to it for h, a circle with a tail for a, two squiggles, a loop, and a hook: h-a-m-m-e-r. He repeated it underneath, then again and again, rewriting it in the hopes that it’d stick. “There you go,” Rose said, bright and with barely contained amusement, “That’s it. What next?”

With a wince, Baelin resolved himself to go through all the words he wanted, not just the ones that wouldn’t trigger sibilance. Pulling in a breath, he exhaled, “Blacksssmith.”

The curious look she shot at him told him clearly enough that she’d heard that. But―definitely a good professional in terms of not pointing out what people were insecure about―she took it in stride and scribbled b-l-a-c-k-s-m-i-t-h on one edge of the parchment. She sounded it out slowly as she wrote, “Blah…kuh…smiiii…th.”

Baelin tried to imitate her on his own side of the sheet, sounding out clumps of letters as he wrote, and only getting momentarily stuck on his ‘s.’ Rose gave him a hum of approval, then leaned back as he went ahead and copied it over again and again.

As soon as he pulled back, she leaned in and laid a hand over his earlier work on ‘hammer.’ “Quick,” she said, sounding like she might actually be enjoying herself, “Try ‘hammer’ again.”

WC: 969
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Baelin Holt
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Posts: 341
Words: 360792
Joined roleplay: July 25th, 2014, 12:36 am
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Race: Mixed blood
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[Brega's House] A Strange Client

Postby Baelin Holt on November 26th, 2019, 9:36 pm

Fine, he could play this game. Baelin went back to write it out, but paused. Shyke, how did it start again? He literally just did this less than a chime ago. Petch it. Baelin gave a guess: b-a-m-m… He paused for a tick, forgetting what that next letter was. It was the same sound as in smith right? He glanced at blacksmith, still uncovered, and went ahead and finished writing: i-r.

Cheeks dimpling and lips sucked back in an attempt to hold back a grin that just refused to be suppressed, Rose was obviously enjoying herself now. “So close!” she said, and pulled back her hand to reveal her earlier spelling. Baelin grimaced; off on two letters. Shyke, he was bad at this.

“Now ‘blacksmith!’” She dropped down quickly to cover up all the work on the page, holding both her forearms over the smudged charcoal and grinning up at him.

Baelin only barely suppressed a groan. Because gods petch it all, he’d already forgotten. Pulling in a long breath, he went for it: h-a-k-s-m-m-e-t-h.

If it hadn’t been at his expense, Rose’s expression would be priceless. “I mean,” she started, then needed a tick to maintain her composure and keep herself from laughing, “If you were really drunk, then that might work?” She pulled back from the sheet, exposing just how off he’d been.

Baelin dropped his charcoal stick and leaned back. He just wasn’t going to be able to get this, was he? Pulling in a deep breath, he stared up at the ceiling and tried not to think too hard on how much of an idiot he must be.

Rose shifted next to him, but Baelin didn’t bother to look down. Not until he felt a hand on his thigh, gently tracing up. That got his attention. He looked back down at her, eyebrows high and questioning. She smiled―slow and inviting―and purred, “Maybe something to take your mind off it?”

As tempting as that offer was, he really did have a reason for coming here. He glanced back at the charcoal-smeared hide and grimaced. She followed his gaze, and her inviting smile turned into something a bit more sly. “Tell you what,” she said, dragging the parchment back towards herself, “How about I give you some words to practice on, you can take them and practice them to your heart’s delight, and then you come back here…” She scooted closer, laid her hand on his shoulder, and leaned in to whisper in his ear, “And I reward all that hard work.”

A shiver ran down Baelin’s spine, and he wanted nothing more in that moment than take whatever she was offering. Was she trying to get herself a repeat customer? Because that was a great way to get a repeat customer.

“And maybe,” she purred, sliding down, “I can give you a little taste of what you’ll be missing.”

Baelin stopped her as her hand slid across his thigh, his own coarse fingers lightly gripping her slim ones. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to. She was gorgeous, and it’d been a long time. But it’d been a long time for a reason. Ever since Mala told him… He’d been having trouble, okay? Ever since Mala told him that her firstborn “had his eyes.” He’d developed even more of a massive, deep rooted fear that he might make another like him, which proved to be a pretty big petching problem whenever he tried to get some action. He just couldn’t… he wouldn’t… He struggled to perform. It was embarrasing.

Rose had stilled, watching him attentively. Likely trying to figure out what brand of “messed up” Baelin was. And was he needlessly psyching himself up? Yeah, Baelin was pretty sure he was. She was a professional. Out of everyone, he probably had the least to worry about with her. Maybe this time, he could…

Nope. No reason to risk it. He didn’t need that kind of humiliation. Not when there were alternatives that he was pretty sure she’d like. Still lightly holding her one hand with his charcoal-stained fingers, he dragged his clean fingers across her thigh. He paused when he reached the edge of her loose shorts, an eyebrow cocked in question.

Rose smiled and leaned back. “Well alright then.” She eased her thighs a little wider and purred, “Let’s see what you got.”

Expenses :
From location: 5 SM / 10 chimes for Prime Stock
Cost: 2 GM for 40 chimes

From price list:
Parchment (sheet): 2 SM
Charcoal (10 sticks): 5 CM

Total: 2 GM, 2 SM, 5 CM
WC: 727
User avatar
Baelin Holt
Blacksmith
 
Posts: 341
Words: 360792
Joined roleplay: July 25th, 2014, 12:36 am
Location: Sunberth
Race: Mixed blood
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Plotnotes
Medals: 3
Featured Character (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1)


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