A Road Rarely Taken.

A Road Rarely Taken.

Postby highawaywoman » Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:32 am

With every step that had taken her to the docks and riverfront, a mantra had repeated itself in her racing mind. It's not too late to turn back. Leave this matter lie in some drunken bout of forgetfulness. The mantra was easy enough to ignore, because the honest streak in Ailova was so wide - it quickly swatted such notions away. Life was short and brutal. Dreadfully so. If she walked away from this now, the regret of it would torture her later. Gloria was right, damn her eyes.

The riverfront teemed with activity. Dockworkers scurried about the long wooden strands that connected floating commerce with land-based. The horsewoman's stomach gave a roil of repulsion as she set her booted foot upon one of the network of docks that heaved with the activity being conducted. Ailova was a land-lover to the core of her meager heart and the rolling currents of river-water below her unsettled her more than the man she sought to find here.

The bandit had been here before. One other time she had visited him here, before they had made that fateful trip into the woods to retrieve their golden treasure. The trip where he had been ensnared by the Red Devil and she had been thrust into the middle of a most uncomfortable situation. Stop. Stop that line of thought. A fortifying breath was sucked in as she stepped further onto the docks and soon weaved her way to the last place she'd found him at while here. He would be running his crew, working with all the purpose and drive that first drew her to him in the beginning.
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Re: A Road Rarely Taken.

Postby Rance » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:46 pm

"The tow, you daft shit," I said, jabbing my finger through the air at the bald-headed lump of a man who'd accidentally lost his grasp on the rope.

It took four men at the very least to pull even the smallest vessel into the dock; fourfirm, able-bodied men at that. Few of mine knew how to work, communicate, and function as one, and most of them looked more like they'd been shaped out of dough than the rock of solid muscle. They set their heels, they tugged, they sputtered curses as the murky water lapped up over the edge of the dock and struck them in the face, but they still hadn't the collective inertia to fight against the ever-tugging roll of the water. This boat — a trader from who-the-Hells-knew-where — was no exception: the dockmen tugged, their skin glinting victoriously in the daylight, but its nose and curving bow still scraped to a halt along the dockside.

I threw my palms in the air. "Fucksake," I said, jamming the words into a single, exasperated burst of air. "Help them unload, if you think you won't bugger that up—"

—too. But when I saw Ailova, the ass-end sentence fell out of my mouth like a limp bit of fish.

I'd know that ridiculous hat anywhere, and that too-confident stride that bit a thumb at the world around her. Ailova Smith was not a lady by the standards of Myrken Wood, let alone Trae Kelsa, and she barely fit the standards of a woman at all. That she was on the docks proved that well enough on its own; skirts and gashes, as the dockers usually called them, often avoided this part of Myrkentown unless all it took were a few greasy coins to loosen the sashes and stockings. But she was all boots, buckles, trousers, and temerity, and most of these mongrels preferred their girls wanting for brains, teeth, or clothes. And sometimes a combination of the three.

When she approached, I raked my fingers through my drenched hair, trying to hide the scrapes and bruises that darkened one side of my face. "Good morning," I said. No fancy words, no explanation for the hasty retreat I'd made when we last met. She didn't deserve bullshit.

I'd never won anyone over with charm or intelligence. I imagined right now wasn't the best time to start trying.
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Re: A Road Rarely Taken.

Postby highawaywoman » Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:08 am

The highwaywoman caught sight of him before he did her - it was his voice that called out in frustration that secured his position. Fucksake. Ailova stilled in her spot on the heaving docks, catching sight of his bruised face before he had time to notice or make to cover the mottled appearance. What the feck happened to him? Had he picked a fight like she had? In the hopes that frustration could be worked out better with fists and weapons? A flicker of doubt crossed her thin face, but was soon replaced with an easy smile that flashed golden in the sunlight.

"Mornin'." Suddenly, Ailova very much wished she'd listened to that mantra in her head, before setting out on this likely foolish errand.

Elias looked as awkwardly to her as she in return looked to him. This would never do.

"I want'd 'o 'ave a word with ye. Preferr'bly, nae in the company o' yer men."

The men on his crew had noticed her now; her voice belying the gender that she neatly covered with breeches and boots. One dared to leer at her, but she simply ignored him and spat close to his feet as she came up to Elias.

"Wot 'appened 'o yer face?" There was no gesture of girlish sentiment, just a simple query as to what had bruised up his face so badly. But, what she really wished to ask, was, Why are you still here? He was better than this job, more capable of other more grand tasks. After their talk and the abortive ending, it confused her more when she'd learned from Blort he was indeed still in Myrken Wood. Why? He was rich now and with his skill set could set himself up nicely in a far more stable kingdom.
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Re: A Road Rarely Taken.

Postby Rance » Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:41 am

"Had a disagreement with somebody's fist," I told her, putting the statement on a hinge somewhere between truth and the lack thereof. "But looks like the same could be said for you."

She looked rough, like she'd had a miscommunication with a doorjamb — or a few too many nips off the flask. But that, I surmised, was Ailova; she had a habit of spitting at the feet of people who'd want nothing more than to show her where a woman's place actually was. And for a moment, I reverted to one of those old thoughts, one of those primitive pangs of defensiveness that inspired me to follow the map written by the slight abuses on her face, find who'd done it, and marry their teeth with the flat of a barstool—

The hell you think she is? Someone who needs that kind of coddling?

"Over here," I said, applying surcease to my thoughts and guiding her toward one of the unoccupied edges of the dock. Here, while I could still hear the curses and the shouts of the dockers, we were separated from them by precarious stacks of crates, orderly clusters of pottery and spice, and monstrous spools of rope that had swelled to the width of a child's wrist from the dampness in the air.

I snapped the neckerchief from around my throat and sopped the sweat from my brow.

"Could try," I told her quietly, "to offer you some explanation to the other night, but that'd be lying to you as much as to myself. So you've a right to say what's on your mind, Ailova. And I'm listening—"

I tugged my earlobe.

"I just hope I can offer you some response that doesn't make you want to knock me on my ass."
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Re: A Road Rarely Taken.

Postby highawaywoman » Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:08 am

Feckin' Nine Hells.

Booted feet slowly followed him behind the crates and the lengths of rope, which proved to make a sort of barrier between them and the bustling commerce that scurried about them. Daylight shone down on them both and bitterly the brigand wished for rain or darkness. Something to dispel the brightness from this day.

"Why'd ye do i'? Wos i' a lark? A jooke?" She removed her hat and long lengths of straw-colored hair came tumbling down over her shoulders. "I dinnae ken ye fer such. Still dinnae."

"Because when ye did tha'? I want'd ye 'oo. It wasnae the words ye said befer or aft'r. 'Twasnae the whiskey. I want'd i'."

A slender finger went to poke him gently in the chest, "But ye lef' and seem'd more upset a' offendin' me than I wos ev'r capable of bein' in tha' moment."

There were present dangers in her world. Very present and knocking at her door. But Elias? He was the blissful bit of purity that she'd looked for more often than she should.

"Ye are still 'ere. Keepin' up the pretense of doockwork'r, when we booth ken that ain't all ye be." She gestured to where his crew worked and cursed, most probably glad from the break of being watched by their boss.

Ailova swallowed, feeling nauseous at this particularly feminine display. She was talking too much. Far too much. Here on the docks, in the sunlight, her hat off and words clear - she was more bare to him than anyone else before.

"I dinnae wan' ye 'o leave."
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Re: A Road Rarely Taken.

Postby Rance » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:36 am

Her finger jabbed between two of my fieldshirt's mismatched buttons, knocking hollowly against my chest.

"You think I've a mind to leave?" I asked, drawing my head back in surprise. "Hell, Ailova, I might have been born in a gutter, but I sure as hell don't try to live like someone who was." A kiss; we'd kissed the other night, and it'd been a clumsy thing between two clumsy drunks. I tried to conceal my surprise at her admission of having wanted it, knowing it would have been easier for her to shed her own flesh before revealing that sliver of information. "A kiss," I told her, "is sacrosanct. Joke? Some trick? Do you take me for that kind of fouler?"

Whores you don't kiss; whores only care about how much work you can do with your pelvis and your pockets. Marriages arranged by a father or a doting brother, with a daughter or sister sold off like any other bit of property? A kiss in those kinds of lives was a lie all on its own, a jester dancing in the fray, some poor, inarticulate mimicry, function disguised as affection—

"We kissed. We kissed," I muttered, imbibing the words with the same inflection as I heard in my head. "There; it's out in the air, and we can't avoid it, can't dance around it like it's something that didn't happen."

So why had I run from her right after?

"The last thing I wanted was for you to think you were going to be just another one of my conquests, Ailova."
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Re: A Road Rarely Taken.

Postby highawaywoman » Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:44 pm

The man dared to give voice to what had occurred. Her gaunt face flushed red-hot in the glare of sun. "A kiss, is sacrosanct. Joke? Some trick? Do you take me for that kind of fouler?" There it was. It laid between them heavy like one of those crates or massive lengths of rope that laid strewn about the docks. A flare of her infamous temper reared up inside, How dare he bring what occurred to words? Words that could not be unspoken. But. Silly woman. That kiss was why she was here on these docks.

But Elias didn't stop there. Unfortunately, the man was just as honest as she and gave voice to what had been troubling her the past few days.

"We kissed. We kissed. There; it's out in the air, and we can't avoid it, can't dance around it like it's something that didn't happen."

"Ye feckin' stupid man. I dinnae wan' 'o dance aboou' i'. I came 'ere 'o face this shite straight oon." Finally, the worrying over whether she seemed like a silly maiden had fled her mind. Instead, her proactive defensive nature kicked in with particularly harsh Ailova-type finesse.

"Ye bleedin' idiot. I want'd ye 'o kiss me aft'r oour noigh' woork. I wish'd 'o kiss away tha' worra when-" When yer misplaced bolt had smahed that noob's face.

"But I am nae the type 'o off'r such, am I?" Work-roughened hands gestured to her male garb - to the lanks of blonde hair that if washed and pomaded would have gleamed as healthy as her mashers.

Elias didn't shirk away from her words or her gestures. Instead, the man accepted her - and this was what truly made her seek him out on the docks. The very fact that despite all of her barbs, her brutish personality - the man never flinched from what she truly was.

But it was his last words that sent her to blanch in the bright light of day.

"I am nae man's conquest. Noo' yers - noor anyones. But, when I kiss a man back? Loike, I did with ye? I made that choice. I chose ye, ye sod." The hand that had just dared to reach up and poke his chest dropped back to her side.
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Re: A Road Rarely Taken.

Postby Selestia » Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:50 pm

Constables were not often for the Docks; many of them stuck out like a sore thumb. Like the foxy gold-haired Perilat. Perhaps not a sore thumb, but the man did stand about a bit, almost impeccable aside the dockworkers and longshoremen. But it is a job to do, to go and check every once a while; updated wanted posters with descriptions and sketches were always being circulated, and a good place to disappear, to hop upon a ship and vanish, was right here. Regulars, those with long-term employ, know the detective, even when he was trying to be circumspect, tucking the gold hair back in a braid and hiding it from view in his collar, making his hair look short beneath the wide-brimmed hat. An old hat, but not overly so, no older than the boots on his feet or the dusty grey jerkin; he was trying to not look so proper, as immaculate as he normally did. A poor attempt to blend in, and some of the saltier of the workers and sailors would take notice of this. Not much he could do at this point, but keep on and keep on.

“Baaadger,” he drawls out, voice almost sing-song as he comes around a corner, boots heavy on the dock planks as he peers through a grimy window, looking for a particular purveyor. “Badger? Badger.” His lips press together, teeth biting them before he slaps the glass. “Badger!” A snort, a yell and commotion inside greets the gruff bark before the Constable goes for the door. “I know you’re in there, y’sorry slob. Get out here and don’t make me come in there—it reeks of that swill you like to drink.”

Badger was an older, portly man, all belly with sticks for limbs, his nose long and pointed over a peppered, heavy mustache, watery eyes tiny, squinting. The man looked like a…well, badger. He squints, blinking up at the lawman in the daylight from the door to the musty room. “What,” he squeaks, then clears his throat, making his voice falsely deeper. “What do you want?”

Perilat sighs, leaning against the wall near the door as he slides the parchment out from the jerkin, holding it up for the retired dockworker to see. “Keeping an eye out for this fellow. Y’seen him? There’s a little reward in store for whomever turns him in…” Incentive. Never forget the incentive. The old man guffaws, squinting to peer closer at the picture, and shakes his head. “Naw, ain’t seen ‘im. Y’want t’keep an eye oot?”

“That’s usually how it works,” the lawman replies dryly, tucking the sketch away. “Remember—reward’s not good if he’s on a boat and gone before we bring him in, Badger.” A slap of the weathered wood, and the Constable nods before pushing away, leaving the old man to his daytime napping. Old sod, but he was in the know—if anyone could find him…

Turning the corner, his footsteps slowed, still pushing the paper to its proper location against his breast as he sees. One eyebrow upturns slowly as he squints against the bright light, keeping his steps slow—and quieter. Surely…not. But oh-ho, the lawman would recognize that ridiculous, fancy hat anywhere. “Day’s lookin’ up,” he says to himself, feeling the corners of his mouth turning upward. If he has to spend time at the docks, at least the it would be in better company than hungover has-beens like Badger. He keeps his walk slow, ambling like, beyond the dock workers that gave him a scrutinous look—he did not belong there, did not look like either a worker or sailor. Not even one of the “management” types that mucked about and ran things. Too…unsalty. The man she was speaking to, he did not recognize off the bat—another dockman, sailor…he was not sure. He did not have the salty air of a longshoreman, but…neither did Perilat. It made the lawman’s curiousity pique slightly, especially when the horsewoman poked his chest and let her hand drop. Interesting.

He would not sneak up on them. That was rude—and sometimes dangerous. Do not sneak up on the folk you did not know…and definitely not on the folk you did know that carried weapons. Ailova was just that sort. So his footsteps are loud on the dock, the hardened heels of his boots making heavy thuds as he nears, turning up the tip of his hat with a flair, the grin spreading across a somewhat tanned face. “I know you’re a good hand with horses, but I don’t think kelpies and seahorses are going to fare well on land.”
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Re: A Road Rarely Taken.

Postby Rance » Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:56 am

Ye bleedin' idiot. I want'd ye 'o kiss me aft'r oour noigh' woork. I wish'd 'o kiss away tha' worra when—

When my finger slipped, and I'd sent a man to his death.

I kept trying to forget; I'd killed men before, enough that I could have counted them on two hands. In Thessilane. In Derry. Even one on the docks at Fisherman's Bay in Ricathair. I remembered each one of them, and whether or not it was because I'd felt justified or I'd legitimately hated the men didn't matter — none of them left marks and scars the way that one had, that fat old noble with his bulbous nose and his wheedling, whimpering voice, his begging, the flicker of apology in his eyes when I accidentally fired—

Accidentally fired, like some green little stool-rider carrying a crossbow for the very first time.

Focus, I told myself. Focus on the here and now, because she wanted it too; she waited, and you waited too, Elias.

"I'm glad you didn't kiss me then," I told her quietly. "It would have been like getting a kiss from my Ma," and there was a modicum of forced humor in my voice, trying to break through the sticky webbing of the foul memory. "Something I would've thought you'd given me just to soothe me, just to give me comfort. No matter why you wanted to, I would have thought it to be bullshit, blinded as I was by my own mistake. It wasn't the right time. The other night, though?" I held her gaze and didn't break away. She chose me, she chose me, and I couldn't figure out why.

"This sod wouldn't have kissed you if he hadn't meant—"

I thought he was one of my men at first, the way his boots struck a cadence against the docks, but that he'd the mind to interrupt was what pulled my eyes away from her. I thought I might recognize his face, maybe given him enough of a look to force him back to his post, but as I looked over Ailova's shoulder, I realized I'd never met the fellow striding up to us. At first I confused him for some salesman — maybe a spicer, maybe a milliner — trying to drum up interest in his wares among the workers, until I understood he was talking to her. To Ailova.

"Afternoon," I said, throwing my voice in such a way that I hoped it informed him that the conversation had been a private one.

I smiled. I don't think it was convincing.

"Something we can help you with?"
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Re: A Road Rarely Taken.

Postby highawaywoman » Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:15 am

Elias' voice dropped several octaves as he replied to her. Ailova finally relaxed, a bit of that tension leaving her ramrod straight shoulders as he answered her honestly, directly. This time he didn't run - he didn't turn away from whatever had driven them both to that fateful kiss shared over a bottle.

"I'm verra glad I dinnae kiss ye then 'oo. I' wouldnae 'ave meant a farthing in comparison 'o wot was."

A smile splashed across her face, as he lightened the tone of their conversation with his explanation and reasonings. Reasonable. Elias was a reasonable man and a true gentleman, despite having no trappings of nobility to cloudy those qualities. Nobles were hardly gentlemanly, most of them followed a strict code - that of money and the best way to obtain power and to enforce it.

"This sod wouldn't have kissed you if he hadn't meant—"

Elias' face changed drastically, stiffening and his eyes narrowed suddenly. But before Ailova could think to ask herself why - or even ask him to finish that very crucial statement? Perilat. The handsome constable broke through her reverie. It took a moment for her to withdraw emotionally, tucking away those vulnerable bits of woman back inside her frockcoat - and under her hat. The wide-brimmed head-covering was smashed back to her head and she turned her gold-toothed grin to the detective.

“I know you’re a good hand with horses, but I don’t think kelpies and seahorses are going to fare well on land.”

Kelpies. An unwelcome memory of that shared nightmare flashed through her memories. The one where she'd been a teenager and about to commit her first theft. In life that theft had been a success, but in that nightmare it had dragged her to a watery grave. Death literally begetting death.

"Nae much o' a lov'r o' wat'r creatures, meself, Constable." Light-colored eyes shifted from Constable to former partner, finding herself in a most unusual three part conversation. Had she ever told Elias about the foppish detective? She couldn't remember - especially now with thoughts of that kiss and wishing to return to it clouding her mind and usually snappy judgement.

"Elias, this be Constable Perilat. A detective aboou' these parts." A detective. An odd sort of friend for a highwaywoman to have. Honestly? The more she and Perilat became friends? The more she wondered how big a mistake it would be - if'n she decided to take up banditry for another job.

Booted feet made to take a step back from Elias, a way to sever the conversation and the emotion that'd risen in her breast. She couldnae let Perilat see her tender regard for former partner.
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Re: A Road Rarely Taken.

Postby Selestia » Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:55 pm

“Oh, just out and about on this nice and shiny day,” he says with a casual ease—the man is not stupid. He would have caught onto the tone, the less-than-subtle hint that he was intruding on a personal affair. But what made him so good at his job sometimes was the sheer ease in which he could ignore things like that, try to smooth them over…or play ignorant if that was necessary. “Doing some rounds. I drew the short straw when the courier brought in some new wanted sketches.” His hand comes up, finger flicking back and forth to indicate the waters, and the ships upon them. “So easy to sign onto a ship and just disappear, so we like to take a look around the docks. Let the fixtures know we’re looking.” Fixtures—the old codgers, the ones that were there now and had been there for forever and would be there when most of the dockers and longshoremen and sailors were in their watery graves.

The corners of his eyes crinkle upward when he quirks a smile, putting crows’ lines around those hazel eyes and a few lines around his mouth, pushing his age up a wee bit, though he was charming enough that few rarely noticed that he was not a young whipper-snapper; he just tended to act the part. Always pretending, always acting. Would the real Perilat please stand up?

“Yes, yes,” he says amiably. “Just a Constable.” The lawman doffs his worn hat toward this stranger—Elias. Or was Perilat the stranger? Elias looks far more comfortable on the docks than he does. Or Ailova. And that piqued his curiosity more than anything else, that the earthy horsewoman was about the water side. “I am actually working this time, though,” he says with a slight bow toward Ailova; normally when they run into each other, it was while he was off duty and getting drinks at the Dagger.

“Every once awhile we get a courier from surrounding areas with sketches of dangerous individuals. Like to check the docks when they come in. So easy to hop a ship and disappear, aye?” There is nothing, not a thing, in his demeanor that says a thing is wrong or that he has found who is being looked for. “Th’old fellers down here like to stay on the good side of the law for…less than obscure reasons.” Informants, or criminals who could be brought in for other things—old crimes--if they did not feel like cooperating.

There was a quick look, a dart of eyes from one face to the other, lips pressing just slightly together, the bare indication that he felt something was amiss, but nothing he wished to share with the class. “Suppose I could show the sketch to you,” he drawls, tugging the small parchment from the breast of his worn jerkin, unfolding it to hold it out to this unknown but named man. “Since you work down here and all.”
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Re: A Road Rarely Taken.

Postby Rance » Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:56 pm

Elias, this be Constable Perilat. A detective aboou' these parts.

She said it so easily, so nonchalantly, that I didn't have time to steel myself for reaction. I flinched — grimaced, even — and leveled a stare of bulging-eyed question upon the brigand that was as full of surprise and fire and curiosity and what-the-fuck as any I'd ever given. I half-considered jabbing my eyeballs back into their sockets with the knot of my thumb just to keep them from oozing out of my skull. But I was a reasonable man, as were my shiners, so they stayed put.

"Constable," I greeted with a ringing excitement that all but echoed off my smiling teeth. "Chuffed. Really. I'm Elias."

Ailova wasn't a fool; there had to be some reason she was friends with this too-fine dandy. I didn't take him for stupid — far from it; you don't just stumble into a living as a member of the Constabulary — but I couldn't help wanting to tighten my knuckles and plant a few marks on his jaw. He was actually working this time, which made me wonder what he'd been doing to get to know her when he'd been off-duty, or what it was he expected of her, or what exactly he aspired their friendship to become, because all men were men; all men were fucking men, and hips were easier to steal a glance at in trousers, weren't they, than when they were bottled up in skirts and undercoats and—

You think she'd actually twist herself up over him, Elias?

He flashed some sketch at me. I pinched it between my fingers and snapped it from him. "Don't look familiar," I said, all in truth. "Regardless of what you think, Just-a-Constable Perilat, we run a tight ship along the dockyard, if you'll forgive the metaphor." Or was it a pun? "Idea that it's so easy to sign onto a crew and vanish into the blue beyond is a child's fantasy. Names, reputations, and deeds travel as fast as cargo over the water. Shit on someone's boots here in Myrkentown, they smell it in Aldford by dusk tomorrow. Day after that, they'll know in Culcombe, and a week later, you're a wanted man in Quagside with nowhere to run.

"News is volatile on the water. Catches fire as quick as parchment," I told him, taking a final glance at the paper. "Men I work with here are good folk. A few of them have some history with the bottle or the shadows of bad decisions dragging at their heels, but they abide the law for the most part. Little mouths need lots of food, and you can't fill plates from gaol."

I folded the sheet. I offered it back to him.

"And given her riotous engagements in the recent past," I said, "I'm sure Sera Smith knows just how little a body can accomplish in a cell."
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Re: A Road Rarely Taken.

Postby highawaywoman » Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:59 am

Feck me mam's goat sideways. Elias shot her the most appalled look - one that varied from shock to utter disbelief. The blonde brigand tensed, her innards turning into a nest of writhing snakes - all wanting to flee at the same moment. His tone rang in her ears, she'd known him long enough to recognize that too bright, too congenial tone. He was furious. As he had every right to be. Damn, damn, damn.

Jaded green eyes shifted from Elias to Perilat and suddenly Ailova wished nothing more than to be aboard one of those ships - or even stuffed into one of those crates that had protected she and Elias from the speculative stares of his crew. The two were entirely different men. One was steadfastly on the right side of the law and the other? Well, he had strayed, but he too was decent. And here they both were giving her curious (or shocked as in Elias' case) looks as they surveyed each other. Heavens save me from the loikes of men. Her! Old and Homely.

Elias spoke and spoke at length about the docks - the trade and what drove the people who worked them so dilligently. Now it was Ailova's turn to cringe as brown eyes shifted to her and former partner said, "And given her riotous engagements in the recent past. I'm sure Sera Smith knows just how little a body can accomplish in a cell."

"Aye, well. As pleasant as this 'as all been? I'd best feck ooff fer the tavern noow. Go 'o the livery, see 'o the stoock." It was her go-to excuse to flee any unpleasant or unwelcome situation. There was no way she could muster up a way to tell anything more to Elias - not here and now - nor to explain Perilat. Hells, how was she gonna explain Perilat?

A fleeting bow was given to both men, her wide-brimmed hat doffed to each of them.

"I bid ye booth a foine day!"

And with that - Ailova Smith beat booted feet the bloody feck out of there. Under her breath she cursed, wishing nothing more than to punch the face of each one of the leering dockworkers that turned their heads as she passed.
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Re: A Road Rarely Taken.

Postby Selestia » Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:52 am

Well, wasn’t this just the most pleasant party? One eyebrow lifts slightly at the aghast look that the man—Elias—gives to the horsewoman, but he does not comment on it. Perilat was an observer, a watcher of behavior. It was what made him able to find the weakest link in a group of troublemakers and start chiseling that soft spot. The look and Ailova’s discomfort…the eyebrow comes down as his eyes narrow down slightly in thought as he looks again at Elias. This was, indeed, a moment of two men sizing each other up almost, and while the lawman would try hard to simply regard him as a Constable would regard a citizen…he was having a hard time not thinking on other terms as well.

Like what this bloke meant to Ailova.

He takes the sketch back, listening through the lecture—for what else would that be but a lecture on something that surely the Constable did not know?—with all the pleasantness of someone who was listening to dialogue about sunny weather. A patient, amiable gentleman with a flirtatious tendency. That was the reputation of the Constable, and he would not let it fail him now.

The sketch was tucked neatly back in the jerkin with a nod. “Just doing my job,” he says with a flash of teeth. “This sketch came down from Foggybottom, and we tend to check every angle. Seafolk are good folk,” he agrees, “but everyone has a price. We like to pass it around just in case someone tries to come buying.” He rubs the bridge of his nose; between the horsewoman’s head-butt and his own gelding’s head-butt, it was rightfully tender, but still straight. Would a crooked nose make him look less a dandy? Probably not. Probably make him look a little rakish—the last thing the world needed. “She does alright when she has to be put some place she doesn’t want to be.” He may have done his job and put her in that little cell, but he hadn’t been heartless about it, sneaking the little flask in for her. It had earned him at least one brownie point, if not two.

Speaking of places she doesn’t want to be…Perilat could almost hear the desperation in her voice to get away from an awkward situation, and quickly doffed his own wide-brimmed hat at her when she beat her hasty retreat. “Fine day to you, too,” he says, watching her go with a speculative look…then shakes his head abruptly and looks back to—Elias. Right. His hand comes up to pat the breast of his jerkin where the sketch was, a habit of someone who was sizing up, deciding how to proceed but needed a moment to think upon it. Finally, he nods and doffs his hat to the man. “I appreciate your time,” he says amicably, and turns on booted heel to walk away, but makes sure it is not in the same direction Ailova went.
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Selestia
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