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Creative Misadventures (Mae)

Postby Caius Gawyne » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:27 pm

"No. That's not at all my point. Neither. Wait—" Caius laughed, letting his half-hearted objections die against his tongue in a cloud of breath, Mae's riposte of his innuendo more than enough to trip up his own words. He just grinned at her instead of offered additional kindling to that fire, mischievous and conceding to her for the win. He'd assumed no such thing, and had certainly not committed to anything of the sort. For now.

Once out of the door, the young Gawyne did his best not to hiss at the chill, the sting of Viden Saun weather still a slap in the face. His homeland in the northernmost reaches of Rynmere offered some competition, but still. He considered just how long the Eídisi could live, weighing the idea, and came to the conclusion that it was entirely too long and he wasn't interested. Warm fingers tugged at the left sleeve of his coat in a subconscious need to touch near the tattoo hidden underneath, his reminder of the whispers of his own end that often crept into his thoughts. Maebella was talking, though, and Caius blinked, returning his briefly wandering focus to her face.

She bumped his arm with her comment and he moved quickly to catch hers, smirking wryly at her while he tucked her hand just so to keep things proper in his chivalrous escorting, drawing them closer and falling easily into stride with the blue-skinned woman who more or less shared his height, "Peculiar? Me? How many Rynmere nobles do you know again, Mae?" His irises warmed to an amused green as he questioned her sources, a color shift she most likely had learned the meaning of by now, "I suppose I'm out of the ordinary, but I sarding well try to just not compare. The weights and measures of nobility might as well be counterfeit anyway, so unbalanced and biased. I'd rather not fit into any of their expectations if I can help it."

That said, he knew that he wasn't completely free from the trappings of nobility, from his birthright. Caius was aware he preferred to be spoiled, that he took for granted far too much of what occurred around him on a trial by trial basis. He was perhaps more in tune with what he possessed in common with his peers than what he didn't, but he chose to keep the lengthy comparison to himself.

"I appreciate that you still tolerate my presence. I really do." The northern noble offered in a quieter, more genuine tone, somewhat chagrined by her giggle more than anything else.

"I'm prying? Getting to know someone is sarding prying now?" Caius teased her, feigning defensiveness and mocking concern. He rolled his eyes and leaned a little, no longer proper in his closeness, not meeting her pupil-less gaze in favor of getting his bearings on the frozen streets by scanning ice-coated buildings and signs, "I don't want to judge you—I'm not close to enough of your kind to make such sweeping decisions. I'm more than content to just get to know you, Mae, and not bother comparing you to any other Eídisi. For example, while you're far easier on the eyes than Rylan, I'm certainly not going to tease either of you about it."

He was grinning wickedly, a compliment thinly veiled behind a joke,

"Is my curiosity rude? Look, you can ask all the questions you want of me—now, anyway." He felt her tense, watching her expression change, and admittedly wasn't sure of the right words to say. Their first meeting had been more awkward, certainly, but the young Gawyne felt much more comfortable navigating Maebella's personality than he once had, even if his own personality was often grating and better suited for the print room than the public in general, "But I don't have any interest in judging you based on conventions and sarding standards I don't myself enjoy complying to, either."

The Devil's Advocate wasn't entirely close to campus, but Caius knew his way through the frozen streets. Unconcerned that there was a young Eídisi woman on his arm, the northern noble was quite content to enjoy her company along the way, their wordplay only slightly awkward but made somewhat endearing by giggles and blushes. For him, anyway. He took them in stride, it seemed, on the surface, perhaps even brushing them off cooly because of their differences, having long since assumed that their races were enough of a divide to prevent mutual interest on her part, no matter how well she played along.

Was he at all curious? Of course, but he at least made an attempt to keep it hidden behind his usual sarcasm. Mostly.

"I'm sure I could think of more scandalous things to talk about, if you'd prefer?"

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Creative Misadventures (Mae)

Postby Maebella » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:13 pm

The Eídisi was oddly enjoying herself. It wasn't a claim that she could make very often but right now, she couldn't deny that she was pleased. Pleased with the company, pleased with the clever exchange of words that was going on between them and pleased with the particular set of circumstances that had led her to this situation. Maebella had allowed herself to be roped into a type of conversation that she'd never had with anyone, especially not a man. She had no idea how she'd become emboldened enough to actually tease Caius about sex, particularly as he gave her the impression of being a lot more worldly in that regard.

Given that he didn't have a smart response to her comment, she obviously wasn't failing in this game of... wits or was it flirting? The blue-skinned woman chewed her lip, wondering. Flirting didn't have to be reciprocated but surely, if she was flirting then it was only because he'd laid the groundwork! After all, he'd been the one who started this sexual teasing although perhaps she had it all wrong. Besides, he wasn't interested in her because why would he be?

When he took her arm, her heart adopted such a violent staccato rhythm that she felt as if it would explode or burst its way out through her chest. She had to resist the urge to lay a hand over the spot, trying not to allow the effect he'd had on her show although she was fairly sure that it was plainly visible in the dark blush that coloured her face once more. Still, she tried to keep it from her voice, attempting to hide it behind an amused and teasing tone.

"I never said that you were peculiar in comparison to other Rynmere nobles. I don't know any others unless they've been very covert. I doubt they could hide though. I'm sure they'd be as full of themselves as you," she explained with a giggle, hating herself for the sound. "I don't know anything about nobility or expectations but I wouldn't change you," she added on a far more serious note. She lapsed into silence, swallowing the lump in her throat that formed at that admission. Mae really was ridiculously infatuated. Caius just made it too easy for her to be.

"I know, I know. I can't make any judgements about prying considering the way that I am but I was also only trying to get to know you when we first met and that was rude apparently so you'll have to... have to forgive me," she finished in a breathy voice as he allowed them to drift closer. Her lungs seemed to seize up, leaving her unable to do anything more than breathe the shallowest of breaths. The young man only made her situation worse with his compliment. Not only did he draw another bloom of heat from her cheeks but she was forced to turn her head away under the pretence of gazing around her while she tried to restore some normality to her respiration.

Suddenly, she wondered if he knew. His expression had been amused at every blush, his eyes had taken in the change in hue and put the evidence together, she was sure of it. She also felt certain that he was teasing her, making such comments for the sheer enjoyment of seeing the responses he wrought from her. Still, another part of her considered, hoped even, that he knew exactly what he was doing but that he was doing it out of interest rather than amusement. The hope was very small indeed. As such, when his next comment came, so loaded with suggestive potential, she was left briefly torn about what to do.

They'd already managed to cover a shocking distance since they'd left the Academy, far more than she would have thought possible in what felt like such a short period of time. Soon, they'd reach their destination and this intimacy would be broken as others were added to the mix. It meant that she had two choices: she could play it safe and exchange some simple chatter with him for the next few bits, or she could test him to see if he was playing with her or not. It was a tricky matter and she wasn't entirely sure how to approach it. So she attempted to treat the matter with all the nonchalance she could muster.

"More scandalous things, Lord Gawyne? I wasn't aware that we'd been discussing anything scandalous," she replied innocently. "Scandal implies shock. I don't think we've been discussing anything shocking but by all means, demonstrate these scandalous topics to me. I'm curious," she added in an off-hand way, white eyes glinting with an amusement that he probably couldn't register although there were still visible signs around her eyes and mouth of her mirth.

"Go on, Caius, scandalise me. Unless, it's the topic of sex that's supposed to do it, in which case, I believe I've managed to scandalise you if your earlier spluttering was anything to go by," she added with a giggle, unable to contain her humour any longer.
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Creative Misadventures (Mae)

Postby Caius Gawyne » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:03 pm

Caius grinned at her continued blushing, the hint of some other color on the blue skin of the Eídisi a curious phenomenon that admittedly caught his less than studious attention,

"You're just saying I'm peculiar as a person, then?" He laughed, not at all offended at her accusations of his conceit but obviously more aware of how he measured against other nobles back home in Rynmere. The mischievousness that had been in his grin faltered at her compliment and it was the young Gawyne's turn to look away, exhaling a cloud of wordless thought with a roll of his eyes as if making a face made such a kindness go away. It sarding well did not, "Well, I think I should say thank you."

There it was again, the wry tone, covering any hint of actual sincerity. It was easier to be aloof and play games than it was to reveal real feelings, unsure of how Maebella's people really worked, moreso now that she admitted to feeling like an outsider among her peers. He understood the sentiment, he did, and when she continued to bring up their first meeting, Caius waved his free hand dismissively,

"It doesn't sarding matter—I was no less rude. I'm still not." He shrugged his narrow shoulders, her hand still tucked against his arm. For a few bits, there was a lull in their conversation and the northern noble watched her think things through out of the corner of his eye, leading them along the icy streets toward their destination. Did the pair get a couple of second glances? He hardly cared, but found the notice they received at least once interesting if not deviously encouraging.

Maebella was taunting him now, however, calling him out on his scandalous comment. It would have been his turn to blush had his aquiline features not already been flushed red from the cold. He bit his bottom lip at her question, teeth holding back his coy admission for a few bits too many, the bright amusement in his now-green irises giving all of him away,

"Fek you. I've got nothing, Mae."

He laughed, chagrined, admitting that his words were just a bluff, that he'd been playing with her. Shaking his head, Caius looked away again, stepping them onto the street down which the Devil's Advocate could be found on. This street was busier, and at this break, it would only get more so as the afternoon faded into evening under the suns of Saun. Students would crawl away from their studies for entertainment, food, and distraction, much like the pair were, and shortly, the both of them would be joining a table of other people the young Gawyne had come to call acquaintances and friends while studying in Viden.

Her giggling pulled his attention back to the blue-skinned woman's face, though, Caius' sarcasm softening at her teasing, "I think I'm past the point of being able to scandalize you with anything that I say. It would have to come down to something I do at this point, given that you seem to keep up verbally and intellectually just fine, but—" He paused purposefully, aware that the next logical words from his mischievous mouth would have been physically, but he didn't say them. Instead, he watched her face for a moment, curiously anticipating her reaction, before he chuckled and arched an eyebrow with what could only be called an air of challenge,

"—Anyway, it appears we've arrived, Mae." The young Gawyne cleared his throat with a hint of shyness or even reluctance, slipping his arm from hers to hold the door for her again, this time meeting her gaze warmly as he did so. The heat from the tavern rushed out and the cold air took its place as they entered. For a moment, the warmth stung his face and made his ears ring, so different was the shift in temperature. There was a modest coat room of sorts in the dingy, sticky tavern's entrance, and Caius readily began to free himself from layers of warmth, far too hot-blooded to stand an evening drinking in his coat. If the Eídisi began to do the same, he'd reveal more of his strangely out of character etiquette knowledge, offering to assist her with her coat.

At a table near the back of the small, cramped space which clearly looked as though it could use a renovation sat Rylan, two other humans (one male, one female), and a third Eídisi who was also female. They had drinks on the table and a few other chairs had been pulled up around the rickety circle. It was Rylan who flashed them a smile and rose his blue-skinned hand to wave, apparently far more relaxed outside of the campus setting, for clearly he couldn't have arrived that much sooner than the noble and his guest.

Caius' warm hand came to rest with a casual thoughtlessness on Mae's lower back and his other returned the wave, leaning to speak quietly, to almost whisper in the woman's ear, "It's really only Mateo you've got to look out for. He's a touchy drunk. Everyone else is sarding good people. I promise."

He winked then, inviting her to join them all at the table together with a gentle nudge. The other male human, a pale, dark-haired young man with hazel eyes who must have been Mateo smiled at the pair as they approached and kicked out a chair, nodding toward Maebella before he grinned in Caius' direction,

"You never bring a guest, Ser Gawyne."

"That's not true. I brought Esine once." Caius' laughter was calculated but wicked, and the grin that split his face told of why he'd once invited her and yet also of who she was sitting with now. The human woman whose hair was auburn and worn up in a fashionable braid, refused to look at the northern noble for his comment, but she laughed with everyone else at the table none the less. Clearly, whatever had passed between the three of them was water under the bridge now, but he couldn't help but make his point one more time. Offering Maebella the chair, Caius introduced his friends in turn as he made sure she was comfortably sat at the table,

"So you did, you clever bastard." Mateo grinned back, the tone of his voice almost possessive before he reached for his mug of almost lukewarm ale, "Come on, introduce us. Get comfortable. We're a sorry-arsed lot, mind you—"

"Oh yes, and you're the sorriest." Grinned the other female Eídisi, her smile warm at their guest. She let Caius speak, the northern noble indicating everyone with a pair of ink-stained fingers for pointing,

"Rylan, Mateo, Esine, and Danya. This is Maebella. Cheers." With that, he sat next to his Eídisi guest and also next to Rylan, the pale Gawyne in the middle. While he caught the attention of the rather swarthy, busty server, she seemed neither concerned nor in a hurry, so he settled into his seat and had no idea what to do with himself, suddenly uncomfortable under the curious glances of his usual companions.

"I'd love to say everything, or even something, is particularly good here," Rylan apologized, smiling at Mae from over the rim of his own mug, "But it's more or less just mediocre. The point here is to just endure something alcoholic and not disgusting while enjoying the company."

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Creative Misadventures (Mae)

Postby Maebella » Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:34 pm

Teasing was a safe means of interaction. There was nothing serious to it, it was purely light-hearted and meant for entertainment, perhaps a bit of flirtation. If she had simply managed to stick with that, things would have been fine. Of course, she couldn't keep her more serious thoughts to herself and she'd let that little tidbit of information slip, hadn't she? Considering how little they knew of one another, such an admission could only mean one thing and if she'd worried before that he might have an inkling of how she regarded him, well, she needn't anymore; Maebella hadn't exactly left him with much room for doubt.

She realised her mistake as soon as he glanced away, despite his careful acceptance of the compliment in words. The truth was that he couldn't look her in the eye at that moment and it made the girl desire to give herself a thorough thrashing for her unthinking disclosure. There was no way to reverse the conversation without potentially making the matter worse so she remained reluctantly silent about it, acting as if those words hadn't dropped oh so carelessly from her lips.

Thankfully, there was more to their conversation, topics that didn't delve into the emotions that should have remained locked securely away in her breast. Some of the previous light-heartedness returned as the nobleman admitted that he too had been rude during their initial encounter, effectively placing them on a level and cancelling any debts relating to common courtesy that she might have felt the need to repay. However, the matter was a trivial one, not particularly pertinent although it did allow for a slight clearing of the air between them. Really, as impropriety went, it didn't come close to the line that the pair of them were currently following rather precariously.

Sex had never been a topic that had bothered Maebella, but that had more to do with the fact that it wasn't a matter that she'd ever had need to discuss. It had always just been something that had been shoved to the back of her mind, hardly worthy of her consideration when she had plenty to occupy her given the struggle to form friendly, platonic relationships, never mind more intimate ones. Given her general loneliness, it hadn't been at the top of her list of priorities to think about anything deeper. It wasn't that it had never occurred to her, or that she was completely unfeeling. On the contrary, she was well acquainted with the fact that she possessed a sexuality, but it hadn't occurred to her that said sexuality could involve another person. At least, she hadn't thought about it until now.

Caius was making her think about it, especially given that his mind seemed so keen to settle on the more carnal side of life. It was clear that she could quite quickly end up out of her depth, which was why she'd come up with the clever counter that she had. Her words had been a goad, yes, but they'd also been a form of avoidance. By saying them, she'd freed herself from having to reveal knowledge that she did not in truth possess. It had been the right call but also an entertaining one given his initial silence, the way he bit his lip making her heart quicken and her breath catch. Of course, when he laughed, it was infectious and she could breathe again. However, it didn't dispel the growing tension within her, his next words sending her hurtling back down the path of being unable to catch her breath.

His implications seemed all too clear to the girl, innocent as she'd thought she was, and it sent her into a state of inner turmoil. If he was speaking this way then was he interested in her? Could her attraction be reciprocated? Or was it that he was attracted to the exotic possibility that would come from being with her? That was bad enough to sort through but Maebella was also left wondering what she wanted. If she gave him some sign that she was truly interested then what would he expect from her? Would he attempt to court her a little first or would he instead drag her home with him tonight for the simple pleasure of having something different? If it was the latter, she didn't know how she felt, didn't know if she would be willing for such a thing to occur but then she'd never been interested in a man this way before. It might be wise to take the opportunity while it seemed somewhat favourable to her.

The Eídisi was left chewing her lip, wide eyes flicking to him and away again and again as she considered the situation. By the time he announced their arrival, she hadn't come to a conclusion but had succeeded in developing a queasy feeling of unease and anticipation in her belly. He released her to hold the door open and she felt disappointed by the loss of contact, favouring him with a shy but grateful smile at his gentlemanly action as she moved past him, her expression quickly growing pensive. Deep in thought, she was slow to remove her coat and thus, when she went to do so, he was there, once again the picture of noble aid. If she could have mustered it, she would have blushed anew but the shift of temperature had thankfully affected her colouring, albeit it only temporarily, but it was more than sufficient to hide her feelings.

Better late than never, she supposed.

Glancing uncertainly around the establishment, she spotted Rylan when he waved but was startled, turning her attention to Caius when he laid a hand low against her back. He leaned closer to murmur something that was utterly lost by the young woman as she felt his breath tickle her ear, sending a shiver through her that had nothing to do with the temperature.

Suddenly, she suffered at the height of self-consciousness, certain that others were watching them and drawing inferences from their proximity, especially the nobleman's friends. If Rylan had eyed her curiously before, she was sure that he'd now see her in a very particular light.

Caius nudged her forward, sending her towards what felt like her doom, her legs seeming to lose all solidity as she moved, amazed that she didn't collapse altogether as she expected them to give out at any moment. She practically dropped into the nearest seat, a fleeting nervous smile crossing her lips as she gazed around at the table's other occupants, wanting to bat the nobleman away because it felt as if he was making too much of a fuss over her. She didn't need this, didn't need to be some curious object of their attention or the focus of any probing questions.

The talk about Esine who it turned out was at the table only made her feel worse. Of course she'd guessed that the scholar was one who'd experienced things but it was an unkind proof to have this woman placed before her, apparently another female that he had once shown interest in. Perhaps there had been something more between them before Esine had moved to a new partner but it was all speculation, wild uncomfortable speculation. Truth be told, Maebella wanted to sink beneath the table and cower there until it was all over.

Her hands settled in her lap, locked so tightly together that her knuckles paled noticeably although the only one likely to see them was Caius if he was paying enough attention, especially as they seemed somewhat at odds with the faintly smiling countenance that she displayed.

"All right so if none of it is good, I suppose I should ask... what's the least awful?" she asked with a nervous laugh, her tongue slightly looser than normal so that she went further. "I haven't actually had alcohol before so I can't say that I'll be able to judge in any case."

She briefly unclasped her hands from their death grip so she could push hair back with her shaky fingers, surprising herself by reaching sideways once her hand was back under the table, squeezing the noble's knee briefly, the only way she could think of to signal that she needed some sort of assistance. Her touch was fleeting, hard and desperate rather than anything approaching a sensual gesture.

"So how do you all know each other?" she questioned hesitantly, already dreading receiving a similar question in return about how she knew the young man beside her.
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Postby Caius Gawyne » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:51 pm

"Least awful? Well, that's a challenge." Mateo chuckled, appearing to consider the question, but it was the other female Eídisi, Danya, who spoke up,

"It's not, actually. I think you'll find the mead to be decent." She offered, if only because the drink was sweetened with honey and the fermentation process perhaps flavorful enough so as not to be as off-putting as stale ale or warm beer. The stronger liquors were clearly not suited for a beginner, and so logically the Eídisi woman calculated her helpfulness based on her intellectual prowess, "That is, of course, just my suggestion."

Caius settled into his chair, which was rickety like the rest of the somewhat derelict tavern, and he found himself caught off-guard by the sudden, uninvited and tight squeeze of his knee by his previously blushing and subtly flirtatious guest. At least, he'd assumed she had been flirting on the walk here, and he'd certainly been alright with it. Maybe he'd misinterpreted, but her hand grabbing him somewhat needfully caught his attention anyway, even if he tried to play it down under the gaze of those that didn't at all know her. While his facial expression in front of his handful of friends gave away nothing, smirking instead at Danya's suggestion, he was swift to respond without as much subterfuge as perhaps he should have, snatching at retreating fingers with a far too-warm hand and returning Maebella's palm to his knee, holding it there for a moment with the slyest of bright green sideways glances before he cleared his throat, other hand tracing divots in their dingy tabletop.

He wasn't about to explain that his gesture was intended to be more grounding than flirtatious, though the idea of misinterpretation didn't quite bother him as much as it could have. As much as he considered the people at the table his friends after a few seasons in Viden, he truly wasn't the most social of creatures. Too much conversation, too many expectations, and he was left exhausted, flustered. He found her gesture as much a comfort as a cry for help, and so he was desperate to keep it. His smile was lopsided as he began to answer,

"Well, the truth is we mostly all know each other by accident—"

"Except for myself." Rylan interrupted enthusiastically, definitely more comfortable now that he was off campus. If he noticed what momentary easily mistaken form of affection had settled comfortably next to him between two hands, he didn't let on, "Caius and I are classmates, as you already know."

"And friends because most of you sardfaces don't appreciate the arts like Rylan does." The young Gawyne added, laughing callously. He relaxed then, leaning back a little in his chair despite it's instability, though he was reluctant to allow Mae escape from his tenuous hold on her person unless she truly wished it, surprisingly comfortable with such a blatant statement without ever bothering to say anything with words, "Esine and Danya are both Religion students, though our focuses are very different. A few of our lectures have overlapped."

"Quite different." Danya added cooly, her air of superiority the most palpable of the small group at the table. Concise and matter-of-fact, the other female Eídisi had the uncomfortable air of a researcher more than simply a student of Religion, but she kept a further explanation to herself, refusing to flesh out her studies for Maebella.

"Well, none of us can help that you're an ignorant Rynlist." Esine snickered, her eyes shifting into a lavender hue that gave away her Biqaj heritage about as much as the hint of Rakahi to her pronunciation of words, the way she swallowed her r's and softened her h's. She was baiting the Rynmere noble with a tone of voice that revealed her familiarity without bitterness. She just knew him too well, even if she wasn't entirely attempting to cut at him in front of his guest—a female guest at that.

It was Mateo's turn to laugh before Caius could respond to her accusation, the dark-haired young man shaking his head and reaching to toss an arm over the back of the chair the auburn-haired, dark-skinned woman was sitting in. He rolled his eyes and added himself to the conversation,

"Caius and I are both from Rynmere, though I'm just a lowly merchant's son and a geography scholar. Next season, I'm off to Scalvoris to assist in working on an expansion of the Viden Academy there. Rumors say it's quite untamed." He grinned eagerly, reaching for his mug of ale with his free hand and holding it up in Maebella's direction, "The Lord Gawyne and I met in the library, of course. The nosey bastard needed one of my books—"

"To repair, yes." The northern noble smiled back, glancing again for the server who finally was headed in their direction, "But we got to talking about fekking Ryn-politics and other skitch until finally he surrendered his book. Mateo's cartography skills are impressive, actually—"

"You'll have to write us about Scalvoris. I've read there's a fracture there." Rylan added, curious, leaning back as the young server appeared, finally looking between Caius and Maebella with an unfiltered curiosity, his friend having not brought up the other Eídisi in such significant conversation before. He still said nothing, aware that it wasn't his place to call out his friend in front of everyone, aware that he had no right to embarrass their guest in front of strangers.

"Sure, I can do that, though I won't be going anywhere near any such madness if I can help it. So, Maebella is it—how do you know Caius?" Mateo was quick with the question where Esine hadn’t bothered to ask that of the northern noble, her hazel eyes falling instead on the blue-skinned woman next to him, her eagerness to listen between the words of whatever answer she gave not entirely absent from the expression on her face, "From class or—"

"What can I get you two?" The young woman, possibly another student, dressed for the warm interior of the tavern instead of the freezing cold outside, spoke above their conversation, interrupting them without any concern at all by looking first to Mae and then to Caius, who hesitated for a moment before replying. Truth be told, the Devil's Advocate wasn't his favorite place to drink, but in a city like Viden, one had to do the best with what limitations they were given. He didn't want to actually get sarding wasted. Warm fingers curled briefly tighter around the blue-skinned hand he held before he let go, folding his two hands together on the tabletop with a clearing of his throat before he made his request, the faint smile on his aquiline features wistful, distracted,

"Ale for me, please. And yourself, Mae?"

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Creative Misadventures (Mae)

Postby Maebella » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:59 pm

The young woman really didn't know what to make of the young people before her. It was clear that they were comfortable with one another and that she was the odd one out. Even the Eídisi woman appeared to have a fair idea how to navigate this situation, clearly possessing greater experience with alcohol than the rather naive Maebella. Still, if the woman - Danya? - suggested mead then she was happy to accept the recommendation. After all, it wasn't as if she knew how to make an assessment herself and she didn't need to have really awful alcohol when she could be having something reasonably palatable. It made logical sense to listen to her.

When she went to pull her hand back into her lap, Caius snatched it, making her jolt in surprise, her face beginning to warm as his hot hand pulled her own back to his knee. Her fingers twitched a little in his grasp, her eyes flicking to him uncertainly. She didn't make an effort to move it, the contact offering a certain degree of thrill for her in the same way it had when he rested his hand on her back. This time, she was the one resting her hand somewhere but it was at his behest, not her own. Mae didn't fully now why it was happening or what it was supposed to mean but there was something terribly exciting about it. Here they were, touching one another beneath the table while the nobleman's friends looked on, seemingly none the wiser. It set her heart fluttering, the beat nervous and feeling almost irregular to her.

The girl simply fixed her gaze on the table except for quick, fleeting glances to the others in the group. She listened to the young Gawyne but couldn't bring herself to look his way. She was surprised by how calm he was, apparently unaffected by the touch shared between them. It was quite innocent, she had to admit but she found it hard to believe that it could affect her so drastically while it did nothing to him. It made her wonder yet again whether her feelings were reciprocated or if he was just having a bit of fun with her, almost teasing. After all, he must have realised how easy it would be to play with her because she was vulnerable and easy to manipulate in this way. It left her feeling a little frightened, worried that her emotions had opened her up to this sort of uncertainty. Still, when he leaned back, she let him keep her hand although it remained rather limp.

When the topic of religion came up, there was some laughter, apparently at Caius' expense although she didn't know why. 'Rynlist' sounded like it was related to or derived from Rynmere, the noble's home kingdom, so it was probably a local, narrowly focused religion. She had no idea what it involved though and she didn't enjoy having such a gap in her knowledge. "Excuse my ignorance but what exactly is a Rynlist? I assume it's a religion specific to Rynmere but what do they - or you, Caius - worship?" she asked softly, finding herself looking to Danya for the answer because she seemed to be the most level-headed of the group. The rest just seemed giddy and changeable, happy to talk over one another and allow their thoughts to wander easily. After all, the conversation seemed to be carrying on, twisting and altering under its own unstoppable momentum.

The dreaded question came about how they knew each other and as her insides roiled at the prospect of answering it. Before she could panic too much though, a server appeared to discover what they wanted to order and Caius released her hand. She brought it hastily back to her lap, clasping her warmed fingers around her cooler ones. The matter of ordering allowed her to pause for a moment as if in thought although there was really no decision to make on the matter; she would follow Danya's suggestion. Instead, she took the time to wonder how she'd answer Mateo's question although she couldn't imagine lying so it was simply a matter of how she'd present the truth.

"I'll have mead please," she informed the woman with a smile as she fleeting met her gaze. Shifting in her seat as she turned back to her companions, she pushed her hair back and gave a soft laugh. "Well, I met him in the Prime Atheneum. I actually scolded him rather severely for making too much noise and then realised that I was being a little bit... harsh, perhaps," she explained, shrugging slightly. "I'm not attending the Academy although I hope to do so soon, next arc perhaps," Mae admitted, moving one hand to rest on the table while the other moved to test out a theory. She couldn't help wondering if the noble was just very good at presenting a facade. The Eídisi allowed her hand to return to his knee but this time, she merely allowed her fingertips to make contact, her touch light as she traced random patterns over it, only allowing them to stray a little way up to his thigh while she regarded the others at the table.

Mae tried to keep her demeanour calm but in reality, she felt almost too frightened to breathe, unable to predict how the young man would react. "I suppose the real question is how do I - or any of you for that matter - put up with him and his sarding weird ways?" she asked, throwing in the swear by way of teasing him as she laughed softly at her own attempt at humour.
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Postby Caius Gawyne » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:31 pm

"Oh. Here we go." Esine smirked when Maebella asked about Rynlism. Mateo laughed and tilted his head toward his noble friend, hand rubbing his chin in anticipation.

The young Gawyne smiled, "Yes, it's very specific to Rynmere. The Kingdom was founded by seven heroes, the names of whom are now the surnames of our seven noble houses—for example, Warren Gawyne, the Half God, as he's known in epithet, was the founder of my House. These Seven are worshipped as heroes, paid the respect their due as champions of mortality, in true deference as accessible, thoughtful men and women instead of the distant, warring Immortals who choose only to use those who die across Idalos as pawns in a story they won't let anyone read the pages of." Caius shrugged at the end, as if he wasn't convinced either was correct, as if he truly believed there was a middle ground he'd yet to discover.

The northern noble respected and gave his own form of spiritual gratitude to the Seven, he did, but he also knew that they were far surpassed in power by the Immortals, some of whom actually did seem to care about mortality, "I don't call myself a Rynlist. Not in the purest sense. I'm no sarding monk, that's for sure."

Mateo chuckled, but his grin was taunting, his gaze wandering briefly to where the young Gawyne's hand was, tongue traveling over his teeth with a smug expression that revealed his friend would hear more of his unspoken thoughts later, "There's a reason I left Rynmere, Keys—"

"—To see the world, was it?" Caius' expression was wicked, but his tone bordered on the annoyed. Their friendship wasn't in question so much as it was obvious their philosophies aligned differently, which was perhaps part of why the two of them actually enjoyed each others' company—the northern noble liked a challenge and the merchant's son needed the intellectual anchor. The pair of them laughed, then, as if they shared a running joke, and Mateo leaned away from Esine to rest his elbows on the table as if waiting for when Maebella answered his question.

The server interrupted them briefly, and once everyone ordered, those gathered at the table settled back again, the young Gawyne tossing an arm over the wobbly back of his chair and crossing his feet at the ankles, free hand digging ink-stained fingernails into the individual divots in the wooden surface of their slightly sticky table,

"I think all of us have found ourselves in the Prime Atheneum with Caius at one point, considering if he's not there studying, he's working." Danya finally spoke up, the corners of her narrow mouth finally turned up in the faintest hit of a smile, "He is a noisy beast." Her pupil-less gaze turned toward the other female Eídisi and her warmer expression remained, "What would you like to be studying?"

"Not Religion I hope—am I right?" Rylan inserted himself into the conversation, though if he was attempting to be humorous, it was clearly not his strength. He smirked instead, looking awkwardly down into his drink, "Nevermind."

At least Esine chuckled, rolling her eyes at the blue-skinned young man before taking another swig of her drink.

As Mae returned her hand to Caius' person, he blinked, a slower exhale escaping his lips at the brush of fingertips over his thigh. His pulse rang in his ears a little louder, a little faster, and his sideways glance at the Eídisi woman was made with irises warming in color from blue toward a curiously amber hue. But his expression wasn't accusatory, clearly attempting to keep his curiosity contained, but not displeased by any means.

What did he think of her?

Was he genuinely interested or just playing games?

She understood feeling out of place, feeling different, and her words had caught his attention in a similar fashion to her blushing at their clever wordplay. They didn't specifically spend time together often over the past few seasons but had seen each other frequently enough for the northern noble to at least find himself more than merely curious. What, exactly, he was interested in from Maebella was still not entirely something he could form into coherent sentences in his mind, but Viden had its moments of loneliness for the young Gawyne far from home and the kind of acceptance he missed wasn't one he'd found in entirety from his generally decent circle of friends. They were all, in his opinion, worthy people to spend time with, good people, and yet, it wasn't such an unwelcome feeling to realize Maebella was not only attractive, but also no less curious than himself.

He smiled a fleeting, furtive expression that was meant for Mae alone, before her question split his face in a bigger grin and he shook his head, laughing.

"Weird?" Rylan piped up first, warily eying his friend, as the server leaned between him and Mae to deposit their drinks on the table, disappearing again as mysteriously as she'd appeared, "He's really not that strange. Culturally speaking, Rynmere's nobility isn't so dissonant from Viden's—"

"He's rude and annoying, that's what. Cultured or not." Danya's tone was much warmer. She was clearly amused, "But at least that makes him entertaining, watching him trip over his tongue."

"Meh." Esine hissed an indecisive noise thick with her accent, leaning forward to lean against Mateo as if her motion to give the young man some physical affection would somehow assuage the words that came out of her grinning, taunting mouth, "He's kinda cute. It makes up for all his fekking weird. Don't you agree?"

Caius rolled his eyes, somewhat uncomfortable with being roasted with so much attention, too warm fingers of his free hand moving to stop Mae's wanderings by tangling them together, a furtive sideways glance in her direction not one of disapproval so much as something else he chose not to define. He did not bother to move her hand lower, admittedly, nor did he feel it at all pertinent to verbally define the blatantly more than friendly phenomena between them that he was giving wordless permission to happen,

"That's enough, now. You're all a bunch of sarding arses today for my guest. Making a fool of me." He laughed, moving his arm to reach for his drink and hiss after a too long swig, "I'm not that weird, Mae. You just haven't hung out with the right crowd. That's all."

He grinned wickedly, "This probably isn't it, but they're not so bad."

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Creative Misadventures (Mae)

Postby Maebella » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:45 pm

At Esine's comment and Mateo's laugh, Maebella found herself blushing, bowing her head slightly as she wondered if she'd put her foot in it. It was entirely possible that she'd just made things awkward but she could never resist bridging a gap in her knowledge. Unfortunately, she had a tendency to cause problems when she allowed her tongue free reign. The young woman smiled shyly, self-conscious as she waited for Caius to explain himself. As she listened, her head tilted to one side, a thoughtful frown on her face.

"So... it's a form of ancestor veneration," she stated softly, wary about asking things in front of the others. It was hardly wise to constantly exhibit her own ignorance, especially among those who clearly knew much about the topic. Better to ask the Ryn noble at another point in time when they were alone rather than while she was surrounded by strangers. It was also an issue that she felt would have to be navigated with care, something she certainly didn't want to have an audience for. Instead, she lapsed into silence, allowing herself to listen to the banter between the others, wondering how the young man had managed to gather such a group around him. Although they differed, they seemed to get along well together and the Eídisi girl was left feeling terribly out of place.

When her companion released his hold on her hand and took up a casual position beside her, she was left feeling adrift. The scholar wondered why she'd come, why she'd allowed her infatuation to lead her here. Even though Mae had enjoyed herself on the way here, gained pleasure from their witty ripostes and flirting, but now that that was past, there was no reason for her to be here. They were all comfortable with one another while she was the one sore spot in the whole scenario. They had all drank before, none of them were wary about the matter or ill at ease at this interaction, while the blue-skinned girl had anxiety gnawing away in her gut.

The young woman was immensely grateful when Danya offered her friendly words. She eyed the other woman of her race, meeting her gaze with a soft smile as their white eyes met. She could see the amusement in the clouded orbs, although it wasn't at her expense; the two Eídisi understood each other and it was the first real connection that she'd felt with any of Caius' friends. This was someone she could speak to, someone who she could get on with.

"A noisy beast indeed," she murmured in amused agreement, the corners of her lips twitching upwards although she remained nervous. Before she could speak further, explain what she intended to study, the other Eídisi interrupted, the warmth in her expression cooling almost instantly as she glanced at Rylan. A tightening of her lips showed her displeasure, the quick narrowing of her eyes speaking volumes before the man shrugged it off. It felt like he'd been making a jibe about her lack of knowledge of Rynlism and she didn't appreciate it, not in the slightest. "Literature actually," she replied coolly, noting the curiosity that came into Danya's demeanour in the slight cock of her head. The young woman anticipated that she was going to be interrogated. Thankfully, her question and the arrival of the server delayed the inevitable, and at least she had a connection with Caius again. Plus, she'd caught that sly, sidelong grin and she had to admit that she was pleased, although she was sure he must be able to feel the excited pulse in her wrist where it rested against his thigh.

The youth received her mead a little dubiously, sniffing it cautiously and feeling the fumes irritate the inside of her nose; she wrinkled it, moving the mug hesitantly to her lips. She listened to the others speaking, batting opinions back and forth about the nobleman sat beside her. The young woman let her hand squeeze his thigh, a soft, teasing gesture as her gaze flicked to him, the twitch of her lips almost wicked before she tilted the glass back, tasting it just as Esine dropped her taunting comment. Mae almost choked on the alcohol, the liquid splattering back into the mug as she coughed, face flushing from the exertion. There was no way that she was going to make any sort of reply to that one. Instead, she took another sip, tasting the alcohol this time, allowing it to roll around on her tongue, coating her taste buds liberally. Mae pulled a face.

The hot hand that caught and entwined with hers almost set her spluttering again, her eyes darting down to the point of contact. Warmth ebbed from his skin into hers and spread through her body, setting a fire glowing within her so that she had to pour almost half the mug's content into her mouth to smother the grin that was sure to be far too wide. She had to keep her gaze resolutely downcast, afraid that if she caught anyone's eye that she'd allow her true feelings to burst out.

The mead wasn't too bad after all, not after the first sip and it tasted better with every sip after that. Every little mouthful bringing the glass closer to being empty but at least it gave her something to do. When she couldn't make conversation, she needed something to distract her and what was more, she needed something to stop her paying too much attention to the Ryn noble and so one mug turned into another and then another, even though the environment around her began to move a little around her, even when she tried to sit perfectly still. The room seemed to grow warmer, her body feeling like it had an overstocked furnace that made her feel a little sticky. As a result, she was happier to keep her hands on the table, keen to try to absorb from its comparatively cooler surface. Her thought processes grew more sluggish until the girl was left frowning in concentration as she tried to recollect them. Still, in spite of her efforts, her attention was drifting and when the server next came around, she refused to drink anything more, beginning to feel a little worse for wear. Everything would be fine if she just took a few deep breaths.

In truth, the young woman could have been in the midst of a brawl and she probably wouldn't have noticed it, so self-absorbed due to her drinking that she'd more or less forgotten that they were there. It was only when she decided to go that she perked up a little, remembering to nod to her companions as she stood, feeling that her head suddenly had a great attraction to the floor as it tried to send her toppling downwards. Fingers gripped the edge of the table to steady herself as she rose, a thin smile on her lips as she waved off concerns for her condition. She really wasn't that drunk. She could still count all of her appendages and think somewhat coherently. She was Eídisi and her mind was made of sturdy stuff; it wouldn't allow her body to go beyond her control.

"I'll be fine once I get some air," she informed them, giving a lazy wave in goodnight as she headed for the cloakroom.
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Creative Misadventures (Mae)

Postby Niv » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:24 pm

I'm gonna claim this so it doesn't get forgotten.
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