Open A Quick Trip Wtih A Pretty Lady

Shadekas and Shiress head to the market.

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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A Quick Trip Wtih A Pretty Lady

Postby Shade on May 30th, 2022, 5:25 pm

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86th of Spring, 522 A.V.



He materialized in front of her, not because he was a creature of magic, but because he was trying to be quiet and she was lost in thought. His blue eyes met hers a moment before he quietly spoke her name. “Shiress.” He said, offering her a grin. He looked around for Ian, not seeing him, and then held out a piece of parchment paper to her. It was obvious it wasn’t a Common Speaking day or he wouldn’t have said her name with such a guttural sound to it.

The paper contained a really crude drawing. It was to stick figures. One had long hair and was smaller than the one with short hair who was bigger. And it wasn’t actually just one drawing. It was a series of drawings. The two stick figures came together in the next image and were holding hands. Then, in the third small drawing, they were inside what looked like a dovecote. In the third drawing, they were back out of the dovecote and in what looked like a market full of stick figures shopping. The last and final drawing was of the smaller stick figure proudly marching through the market again, but this time the larger stick figure was overburdened with bags and boxes and parcels like some pack animal.

Then, further down the paper there was a picture of a wine bottle, a nice beef steak, and a fancy plate of assorted fruits… all crudely drawn in what looked a lot like Ian’s colored wax sticks.

When she finally looked up at Shade, he grinned wickedly and pointed at the paper. “Shade. Ian.” Then he pantomimed the drawing of some of the images, indicating that Ian had helped him get the artwork just perfect. Then Shade folded his arms across his chest and raised an eyebrow at her as if to say… “You game?”

They were standing in the common room of the Protea Inn, having just finished breakfast and were lounging around with some of the other guests. Shade didn’t know where Ian had gotten off too and wasn’t sure if Shiress – after her long trip – wanted to go shopping with him. But he had some things to look for and needed a few supplies. Plus, believe it or not, one of the things he was fond of was looking at bazaars and seeing what wares folks had to offer. One of his favorite duties back in Nyka had been market patrol. He loved hearing the merchants hawking their wares, and he’d often banter with them as they moved through the market on patrol. The Monks had good relations with the merchants and often kept up good ties. Those ties involved bribes on both ends and keeping the merchants safe while the Monks were around.

Shade grinned a moment, having figured Shiress had time to digest, and offered her his arm. “Shiress… come!” He said in Myrian, his open smile an invitation.

If she wanted to go, he’d wait for her to get ready – find a sitter for Ian if he wasn’t at one’s place already – and grab her things to go. Then he’d head towards the Dovecote and the one thing that held an appeal for him at the Outpost… the Open Sky Bazaar. There, they could shop if they liked, looking for something or anything to check off his list. His list, for Jewelcrafting items, was rather extensive. He wanted his studio to be as nice and precise as Lynk’s studio was. It would require some asking around, some bullying perhaps, and maybe some hand gestures to find the right vendors and buy what he needed.
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A Quick Trip Wtih A Pretty Lady

Postby Shiress on May 30th, 2022, 7:01 pm

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"Mommy?"

Ian's soft, concerned voice had Shiress lifting her sweat-dappled face to look over the table at her son. "Yes, baby?"

"Your tummy hurt again?" Ian asked.

Shiress nodded her head, swallowing hard.

Two bites of scrambled egg. Just two bites were all the doctor could manage before the scrambled eggs that looked more like scrambled brains -and tasted like them too- threatened to make an impromptu return.

"I can take Ian down to the beach," Lexi offered.

Shiress had invited Lexi to join her and Ian for breakfast to discuss the young girl being Shiress's nurse apprentice. Shiress trusted the girl, despite some untruths she had told, and Ian liked her well enough.

"A few of the kids are going down to the beach to play in the sand," Lexi added, "I can go and watch over Ian for a while, too."

Shiress loved the girl at that moment and readily nodded her head with a raspy "Thank you, Lexi."

Ian and Lexi had been gone for a few chimes when a Shade size shadow fell across the table. Shiress peered up at the man and couldn't help but return his grin, doing her best to figure out what language the poor monk awoke to this morning. The way he had said her name sounded vaguely familiar to her. She was sure she had heard it before.

Shiress took the paper from Shade, one eyebrow slowly creeping upward as she studied the drawings. She definitely sensed her Son's hand in helping Shade sketch out his idea. A moment later, when Shiress glanced up at the monk, he proved her suspicion, and her smile widened. It warmed Shiress's heart that Shade and Ian were seemingly getting along together. If she didn't know better, Shiress might think the monk was actually coming to care a great deal for the little toddler.

Shiress nodded her head, then stuck up a finger, indicating for Shade to wait for a chime. She pulled an invisible comb through her hair to show him she wanted to ready herself, then stuck up the finger again, nodding, then stood and made her way to her room.

She brushed her hair, pulled the long locks up into a simple ponytail, and slid on a pair of short pants that Shiress had made even shorter by cutting the legs nearly off. Instead of her go-to light blue shirt, Shiress dared to strap on a flowery bikini top instead, smiling when the familiar embarrassment at such a dare was nowhere to be found.

Grabbing a piece of paper, Shiress used Ian's colored sticks, obviously the same ones Shade and Ian had used and scribbled her own message, grabbed her backpack, and left the room.

The smile Shade gave her added to the gentleman's arm he offered was nearly enough to melt her heart on the spot. Propping her hand into the crook of the monk's elbow, she handed him her message.

The first was a drawing of a little boy and a bigger girl, a lopsided sandcastle, and what Shiress hoped to be a decent enough looking wave. Ian was with a sitter at the beach, playing in the sand.

The next was drawn bag, and out beside the bag, Shiress had drawn a pair of scissors, a bandage and tape, and a small bottle with a cork in it. Medical supplies.

The last one made even Shiress suppress a chuckle. It was a man and woman drawn holding hands, much like the one Shade had drawn, but the doctor had added hearts to the woman's eyes and little hearts around the dinner table and bottle of wine. Are you taking me on a date?

When Shade glanced up at her, Shiress really did chuckle and pulled on his arm.

"Come on, let's get to shopping," she said, despite knowing he wouldn't understand but figured he'd get the gist.
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A Quick Trip Wtih A Pretty Lady

Postby Shade on June 1st, 2022, 2:01 am

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Well, she didn’t immediately say fifteen things to indicate it was a bad idea. That was a start, at least, thought Shade as he waited for the woman to get ready. She was probably going to put on her blue shirt. She loved that shirt. He could hear her moving around, so she wasn’t dragging her feet. That was good. That meant she probably wanted to go.

He was pleasantly surprised when she came out wearing a bikini top and a pair of very short very sexy cut-off pants. Shade raised an eyebrow and grinned. He would have hazed her a little about leaving her light blue shirt behind had they a language in Common, but today he was speaking Myrian. So instead, he just let out a low appreciative whistle and grinned out her name. “Shiress.”

When she linked her arm through his, he didn’t mind it one bit. He took a moment to study the picture and thought he understood… Ian was with Lexi at the beach building sandcastles. He gave Shiress a distinctive nod, and noted her other little sketch looked like a set of medical supplies. Shade held up her drawing pointed at Lexi and Ian and nodded. He pointed at the medical supplies and nodded. He even pointed at the couple holding hands and nodded. Then, at the table with the woman having hearts in her eyes and hearts around the dinner table…. he frowned and said ‘No.’ Then he gestured at the picture again, tapped the hearts and date symbolism then touched his mouth. He did that twice, as if to indicate when they could talk… communicate. He made a talking motion with his hands, gesturing to her and then to him. Then he gestured back at her picture of the date.

He gave her a long intense look. Then he carefully set the paper down, patted it in place, and reached out and took her hand. He liked her arm tucked into his elbow and he had a pouch full of coin. Shade was going to try and show Shiress a good time, even if it killed him. He might. Things between them weren’t prone to going the right way nor where they prone to turning out without each of them yelling at each other. But he wanted to change that. He wanted to get to know her more because the woman he thought she was turned out to not be the person she actually was. She was strong, proud, determined and he suspected she was a survivor. He didn’t know what she’d been through, but he’d seen enough of the torture with her ghost and its interaction. The woman was mostly starved, and physically abused, and there wasn’t anything any of them could do about it currently.

But maybe a night out would help…. or at least a day trip to The Outpost.

Shade escorted Shiress to the Dovecote, through it, and out into the Fountain Courtyard. From there they toured around. He bought them meat kabobs and made her take a bite or two before he pretended to ignore the fact she fed the rest of her portion to a half dozen stray cats that were lurking hopefully at a minstrel that was busking on the corner. They took their time, strolling through at least two of the parks before they made it to the Bazaar. He wasn’t sure where medical supplies were, but he knew he needed a new backpack and wanted to get something pretty for Shiress. He steered her into a booth that held bags of all kinds and glanced over the backpacks before selecting a brand new black leather backpack that had nothing to actually offer except it had a big wide mouth on its top and the belly was full-bodied enough that its owner could put a pretty large object into its cargo area. Shade was thinking about fruit and he figured that wide mouth was big enough for a bunch of bananas or something similar when he was out hopefully hunting or gathering.

He laid the backpack on the merchant's counter with a slight frown… the thing actually buzzed in his hand a moment as if it were alive. It was then that he noticed a little honeybee charm hanging on its latch as if put there for good luck. Shade touched it briefly, felt the buzz of power, and wondered if that was why the backpack felt so odd.

Shade said nothing though, thinking the price of the backpack was already fairly high for it being so plain.

But he wanted better for Shiress. He glanced around and saw the loveliest selection of ladies' belt pouches. They were leather inlaid with flowering vines that were highlighted with a beautiful metallic wax that made them glisten like gemstones. The vines were all waxed with a green sheen and the flowers were blue and purple. The center of each flower had a gemstone. Shade recognized them as semi-precious sapphires and amethyst. They weren’t expensive stones, but they made the belt pouch lovely. As he turned the piece over in his hands, he discovered the lid portion had a lovely hummingbird on it. That clenched it for him. He laid the belt pouch on the counter and blinked as the vendor quoted him twenty gold for it while his own plain backpack was merely one. He sighed, handed the coins over to the vendor, and slipped the belt pouch around Shiress’ waist as soon as he was done dealing with the vendor.

The man went to rearrange his stock to cover the holes the missing items had left in his display.

Shade shouldered his backpack, feeling the strange almost magical buzz again, then glanced at Shiress’ pouch. He swore he heard metal chime against metal. With the belt pouch firmly around her waist and tight, he unlatched the lid and looked inside. He immediately closed it and glanced towards the merchant. The man wasn’t paying them any attention. Then he slowly opened the lid again and whistled low in his throat, getting Shiress’ attention. There were six charms laying on the bottom of the pouch. Shade recognized them immediately and grinned up at Shiress. There was a brain shaped charm, one that had a triangle with an eye inside of it, another shaped like a candle, a heart-shaped charm, a wine-bottle charm, and finally a bent-armed cross in the form of a charm. He touched her charm bracelet, then indicated the inside of the pouch and grinned. He waited until she saw what he was seeing, and then firmly closed and latched the pouch shut, stepping back to admire how it looked on her.

“Shiress.” He said, with appreciation in his voice as he stepped back. They both had new bags now… He wondered since she used to work at the Redynn, if she knew where to go to get the best medical supplies. Then he made a gesture as if to say ‘after you’ indicating she should lead on. He hoped she understood they were now out to pick up a few things on her list… and maybe he’d sneak a few more bites of food into her mouth while they were at it.

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A Quick Trip Wtih A Pretty Lady

Postby Shiress on June 19th, 2022, 5:00 am

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Shiress couldn't help the burst of laughter that escaped her mouth at Shade's cute frown, even more adorable intense look, and the undeniable negative about this outing being a date. When the man touched his lips, then gestured between the two of them, Shiress thought she understood and shrugged, smiled, and nodded.

The truth was, she didn't know what she thought of a relationship, not that that was what Shade had meant. That they would talk about a relationship later when the language barrier wasn't such a pain. Shiress had been madly in love with Elias, and that love had been placed on hold, so to speak. There had been no ending to her affection for the soldier, just a slow ebbing to...well, Shiress didn't know how she felt about Elias. It wasn't nothing. She couldn't look at the son he had given her and not feel anything for the man, but it wasn't love anymore, either. More like the middle chapters ripped from a book. You have the story's beginning and the ending, but the middle is just...not there—a mystery. And you feel grief for what may have been.

Shiress sighed and couldn't help but lean into the muscular monk a little as they walked. She may not be relationship ready yet, but that didn't mean that Shiress didn't ache for affection, even the tiniest sliver, like the feel of her arm wrapped around his. Even though she knew Shade really didn't like her much and the man's tolerance for her was at naught, he still managed to make her feel safe. Shiress wondered if the monk could somehow sense that security and, if he could, did it make him want to run away faster or root his feet in place. Shiress sighed, deciding just to be content the man was allowing her to touch him.

The Outpost was as busy as ever, with men, women, and children of all races walking to and from shops, meandering around tables, snapping out folded garments to better access the fit. The place smelled amazing, too, and Shiress's stomach gave a loud growl. Thankfully, Shade had been thinking along the same lines and bought them kabobs to snack on, a new style of preparing a meaty snack for Shiress. However, she didn't scrutinize her kabob too closely and refrained from glancing too closely at Shade's.

Each bite was a force of will, but whether it was Shade's will or Shiress's was a toss-up. She did manage several healthy bites, though, by squeezing her eyes closed and holding her breath. Thankfully, the monk got distracted with purchasing a backpack just as Shiress noticed a mother cat and her kittens huddled against a nearby wall. As Shade bartered for his purchase, Shiress mosied over to the strays and knelt down, giving each furry new friend their time to be thoroughly petted and scratched. And if she tore off the rest of the meat from the kabob for each little kitten, well, then, she couldn't be blamed. They were hungry strays, after all.

When the kittens were taking turns to bat a large water bug around in the dirt playfully, their bellies contently full, Shiress gave the mama cat one last ear scratch before returning to Shade. The man had gotten himself a brand new leather backpack, and when he stepped close to her, Shiress had lost herself in the smell of new leather -she had always loved that smell- that it wasn't until he moved back that she realized he had tied something around her waist.

Shiress's mouth fell open, and her eyes widened when she glanced down at the beautifully embroidered leather belt pouch. Having never owned anything quite so lovely, let alone it being offered as a gift, Shiress didn't know what to say.

"Shade...I..." Shiress was seriously at a loss for words, and gods, he had bought this just for her. The thoughtfulness alone was enough that she had to fight from throwing her arms around the man. She settled on giving him a genuinely grateful smile, then lifted the belt pouch enough to inspect the little hummingbird on the flap and the vines and tiny jewels set into each of the flowers. Shade suddenly leaned in to open the pouch, then closed it and glanced over his shoulder. Shiress followed his line of sight, frowning. Then, the monk's subtle whistle had Shiress looking within the depths of the purse, too. She suddenly understood and happily returned Shade's knowing grin. Its bottom was full of silver charms, and the merchant had no clue what he had just sold.

Shiress let the lid fall closed and lifted her eyes in time to see Shade step back to admire his spot-on purchase. She cocked a hip and posed playfully while he looked on until he made a gesture for her to lead the way with what looked an awful lot like an eye roll at her playfulness. Shiress chuckled and started walking.

As she walked, Shiress carefully hung each charm on her bracelet, feeling a strange sensation with each one she pulled from the purse. Oddly, she knew what each charm did and how to activate that power with her first touch.

The wine charm had her lips quirking into a smirk. Grabbing Shade by the arm, Shiress diverted from their path and led them to The Water Garden instead. This had been a place the doctor had frequented when she worked at the Reddyn. It was quiet and peaceful, with little traffic, and she had fallen in love with the place. Descending the steps, she spotted a stone bench close to the largest pool, led the way over to it, and sat, pulling Shade down beside her.

Shiress pulled her pack over a shoulder, pulled out the waterskin, unstoppered it, and tipped it over, letting it drain. Then Shiress closed her eyes, running a fingertip over the wine charm, as she thought of Old Man Hand in Zeltiva, but more specifically, the robust liquor the old widower made. Shiress never knew exactly what it was called, but she knew that it was a dark liquid that tasted of strawberries and licorice and went down smoothly and tingled on your tongue.

Opening her eyes, she glanced at the skin and smiled at the dark liquid sloshing inside. Handing it over to Shade, she nodded and smiled, hoping the man liked it as much as everyone in Zeltiva seemed to.

Word count - 1,119
Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars

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Shiress
Every path has a few puddles
 
Posts: 961
Words: 872579
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Location: Syliras
Race: Human
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