==== January 8th, 2014
==== Prymelia, T'ral
==== …but a niche ain't one. Prymelia has secured her presence in Southern for a little longer. T'ral presses for information and reveals some himself.

Who Prymelia, T'ral
What …but a niche ain't one. Prymelia has secured her presence in Southern for a little longer. T'ral presses for information and reveals some himself.
When There are 0 turns, 3 months and 15 days until the 12th pass.
Where Southern Weyr

Prym%201.png t-ral_baths.jpg


The steamy fog of the baths could be an entirely different world, transitioning from the well-lit brilliance of the inner caverns: a different world entirely, one wrought in dreams and humid fog. Steam lifts from hot waters, obscuring those who bathe within, drenching any who dare enter. Well-maintained, well-stocked, the baths offer pre-netted portions of soapsand in various scents, fluffy towels in orderly rows, and five separate spring-fed pools, all of differing temperature: from scorching hot to soothing chill.

Springtime in Southern. The punishing heat and humidity of Southern has yet to settle in earnest. The sky is clear, birds call, a stiff sea breeze blows in off the Azov. It is a bright, beautiful sunny afternoon which finds most of the weyr out-of-doors, except those indoors by some necessity. ENTER: One dragging-ass Serval wingrider and Dragonhealer trainee. It was a messy, if short, day at the infirmary and the reason for T'ral's presence in the baths outside his usual time is splashed across his clothes, arms and face. Can redwort stain hair? T'ral might become a redhead. Two similarly stained firelizards perch on his shoulders and the young man pets the distressed bronze under its tiny jaw. He extracts the two lizards from their perches and disrobes in a cubby. A lifetime of propriety worn down by weyr mores and raw pragmatism, the young man, carrying only a long-handled brush and netted bag of sand, schleps to one of the hotter baths and trips down the steps, hissing at the heat, before slogging to the far side and settling in to soak with a long sigh.

Already lathered, scrubbed and rinsed, there's a certain trader lounging in the pool just alongside the one T'ral approaches. At the sound of footsteps, Prymelia, hidden by the steam, cracks an eyelid and catches a breath-snatching EYEFUL of one bare-arsed bluerider. Well hullo, there, flyboy! Waiting until he's sunk into the warm embrace of the water, her voice floats out husky from having hovered on the brink of sleep. "It's a wonder you don't get accosted wandering around looking like that."

Had T'ral fallen asleep? That sounded just like Prymelia's voice. With a start the T'ral is on his feet, splashing noisly, "Prymelia!" He shakes his head to clear the water and peers through the steam, registering her for only the briefest moment before closing his eyes, head-bowed. Safe. She's safe. He swipes a hand up over his face and hair. Safe. He looks up, taking her in, the glint in amber eyes, the coy tilt of her head, that husky lilt. Just how much tattered propriety was clinging nobly to this young man? He clears his throat, "When did you get back?" He re-settles himself where he can see her better across the divide between the pools. Some propriety at least. If you're quiet, you can hear the teeeny tiny threads of that propriety singing under strain.

Yummy bluerider on his feet, splashing about showing off all that wet glistening skin and muscle - Niiiiice!! Hazel eyes lid, that coy smile turning to a faint smirk. "You better get back in your pool, bluerider. You wouldn't want to cause a stir amongst the laundry girls when gossip spreads about the trader that jumped the Headman's son in the bathing caverns do you?" Is there a slight edge to Prymelia's lazy drawl? "A few hours ago," she answers succinctly to his question.

"Have you spoken to my father?" T'ral is not one to beat around the bush. His mouth flattens into a hard line, eyes going flinty. He had seen neither hide nor hair of the Headman since… well, since right here when he'd been tapped into Serval. He half-swims to snag the brush and sand and sets to work getting rid of, or at least lessening, the stains splashed across hands, arms and one side of his face.

Eyes still closed because if she looks directly at those soulful navy blue eyes, her resolve will waiver. "I have made my report, yes." Comes Prymelia's tight reply. "He appears… satisfied." There's so much she wants to know. What's T'ral been doing? Why is he covered in redwort? Has he been tapped yet? But…You might spend less time with T'ral, then.

"Satisfied." T'ral growls. T'ral bristles recalling his father's wandering intimations. And the letter that followed, so revealing and so frustrating. He blinks, staring at the swirling surface of the water, suds and undissolved sand bobbing on little waves raised by his scrubbing. "He and I spoke. Here. A seven or so ago." He looks up, a dry note of accusation that is for Prymelia, "You may recall that I wrote you." He submerges and stands, sluicing the remants of suds and water from chest and arms with the blade of his hands. Renalde is at the heart of this mess, but he wouldn't remain so for long. "Tell me what is going on."

Eyes STILL closed, Prymelia's jaw tightens. "I wrote you back but burned the note. You don't really want to know my opinion on that." That, being his father. Never a good idea to diss someone's parental unit. An eyelid cracks at the sound of water spilling and… pheweee!! HOT! Focus on 'spend less time with T'ral'! What's going on is your father has a snowball for a heart and is a dick! What she says, "He's given me a contract for the three cotholders I was able to entice into trading with the Weyr."

"Ah," is all T'ral says to Prymelia's tight answer about burning the note. Their individual responses to Renalde's meddling were in perfect alignment. But it was rather all the other unanswered missives that vexed him. Had she burned responses to his other notes as well? All of this is quite aside and apart from the problem: Renalde and his meddling. Though Renalde, however vexsome, is really a tertiary problem. Melian, Prymelia's father, also vexsome, but -still- just a secondary problem. Their lives, so divergent, so dangerous, that was the real challenge. It was a bitter pill for T'ral to swallow that it was Renalde who'd pointed this out. Focus. "You have a contract. Good." A contract gives us time. The tertiary problem lets them sidestep the secondary problem. So… time to tackle the primary problem. T'ral leans on the narrow path that separates the pools, arms spread, eyes hot. He growls, "I know what he told you." T'ral shifts, weight moving from one foot to another, his jaw muscles bunch. "Look at me." T'ral pauses, heart thudding. He grates, "Open your eyes and look at me."

With her head resting atop a folded towel and shapely bum planted on a ledge below the waterline, Prymelia is as comfortable as can be. No really. The tight demand delivered in a voice she's not heard T'ral use much beyond the time he'd given her a dressing down, causes an inappropriate thrill to ripple through the trader - So sexy when he gets all 'in command' and stuff. She really should try to piss him off more. Slowly, lids lift and hazel eyes drift over to where the bluerider braces his hands to the rockface between the pools. Staring intently at him, her chin lifts in a slight show of challenge. "What?" Flat.

"I love you, Prymelia," he growls. This is not the time, the place, the manner nor the circumstances under which T'ral had expected to deliver that proclamation. But there it is. He pushes off the edge of the bathing pool, standing again. Those eyes of hers. They made him… sink. Fall. Fly. "I can't offer you but half a soul, the dregs of my days and a belly full of fear." A beat, "But it's all yours." I'm yours. What's left of me. A sad smile plays across his mouth recalling the past moon and the pit in his gut when days turned into sevens without hearing from her. "Perhaps we're well-matched at that." He backs away a couple uncertain steps, eyes roving left and right, this really wasn't the place for such declarations. What was he thinking? He wasn't thinking. Again. This wouldn't make things better. The contrary. Stupid. Not the place. And no time for it. Ever. Renalde was right. Damn him. The man was right.

BLINK!! Beneath the tan deepened by a month out on the road, Prymelia pales. While her heart sings with joy, a profound sense of belonging welling up in her, everything she'd been trying so hard to avoid just became real and has slapped her with a reality check. Long she sits there, jerked upright with the water lapping along the tops of her shoulders, staring at T'ral. Several times lips part and then close again. One half of her wants to scramble out of the pool and into his to fling her arms about his neck and hold on tight while the other would prefer she scramble out the pool and put as much distance as possible between herself and the temptation the bluerider provides. And so she latches on to his last. "Well-matched… how?" The young woman presses, eyes widened by a lick of panic while her voice is edged with the tremble of exultation. He loves her!

Dark eyes lock back on Prymelia's lighter. "What?" Had he said that last bit out loud? Shit. He blinks, a hand raking through his hair which casts it in its customary sticking up every direction 'style.' "Uh… a poor…" he blinks again and looks away, that wild cast to his eyes. It's not even a joke. This isn't funny in the slightest. "Just… just forget it." A vexed chirr from the cubbyholes draws his attention. Meisan is posturing indignantly. Yes, Meisan, your dingy sails are very important right now.

"A poor what, T'ral?" Its Prymelia's turn to growl low taking that to mean she was a poor version of something or another. Just forget it. Not. Bloody. Likely. Standing, she stalks toward the stairs of the bathing pool she'd been relaxing in and slopping water all over the place as it streams off of her willowy figure, she heads straight for the one T'ral is in. Splash, splash, splash. She descends the stairs and marches right up to him, hands to hips and eyes ablaze. "No. I will not just forget it! You don't get to put something like that out there and then not back it up with… with… " With what she has no idea. "Besides," there amber flecked eyes sadden despite the sardonic tone she adopts. "I don't think Daddy Dearest would be very happy about your declaration to a lowly trader whose primary purpose is whoring herself for the benefit of the Weyr." Blunt. Crude. But instead of dealing with the sting of Renalde's words to her before she'd left the Weyr, Prymelia had buried them were they'd begun to fester.

All the Prymelias were lovely Prymelias. Naked splashy angry Prymelia… T'ral's breath whuffs out of his nose and through clenched teeth. Plink. Plink… Plink! The valiant threads of propriety sing until they pop. Plink! How many could be left? He falls back a step, keeping a wary distance. "Joke! A poor joke. We're not well-matched." See. HAHAHAHA. So funny. "What my father thinks about us is of little interest to me. Except that he's holding it over you." He stills, "But he's given you a contract. What are the terms?" Like, say, staying away from his son.

Hahaha. No. Not funny. Expressed in the narrowing of eyes and the tightening of Prymelia's fingers into the soft skin of her hips. "Yes, so your father intimated," she flashes flatly back on their apparently not being a good match. As for the contract she's been given, she lets out a short laugh. A hollow, flat sound in direct contrast to the rich bubbles of mirth T'ral is probably more familiar with. "That depends on whether you read between the lines or not." She doesn't stalk after him this time but remains where she is, the fingers of one hand drumming against the sharp bone of a hip. "I keep bringing in and maintaining trade from the cotholds with the Weyr and your father makes it so that I'm allowed to stay." A pause and then stiffly added. "And I put my focus on doing that rather than… you." The last word strangling free of her throat in a quiet whisper. Having said that, damp mahogany locks slide about her shoulders with a frustrated shake of head and then Prymelia turns and heads back to her own pool with stiff back and shoulders.

"Prymelia. Listen closely," T'ral's eyes narrow, and his hand flips between the two of them, "What you think matters. What I think matters." He waves dismissively off at the other annoying things that (in fact, really, REALLY) matter, "Everything else comes after that." You dig? T'ral is struck with amusement at Prymelia's strangled whisper. Then she's turning away. Plink! He laughs, with real humor, lunging forward, sluggish in the water to grab Prymelia's elbow and spin her around, "Prymelia, that's a terrible bargain!"

"No you listen…ERK!" Prymelia's grabbed and spun about before she can finish her little redhead tirade. For a couple of moments she stares up at him, vulnerable, wistful, needing to be needed in the way he's vocalized needing her and then guards slip back into place and lips fold about a frown. "Not if I want to stay here, it isn't." She states slapping the water with her free hand. "You don't get it, T'ral. Without the Weyr, without your father's… approval…" that sticks in her craw to admit, "I get sent back home. And if that happens. This? You and me? It's done. Over. That's all she wrote. So what? We're supposed to sneak around behind your father's back like we're naughty children in danger of being sent to their rooms without dinner?" Also. Why. WHY. Does he have to be standing there in front of her all naked and dripping wet and sexy!? It's not fair. Not fair at all to dangle the carrot in front of the runner's nose and tell it may not have even a nibble.

"I would like to read your copy of the contract." Right? Because legal rectitude is of primary concern at the moment. You have one here in the Baths of course. The cold pool is for realestate, the mid-temperature pool is for mediation, the hot pool for tithe-agreements. If T'ral had spectacles to take out, he would. Goofus. "Over." He snorts. Not by a long shot. "There won't be any sneaking. My father and I are overdue for a talk." Or maybe he'd sic Nika on the man. "He wrote me a letter. You should probably read it…" T'ral pauses. Blinks around, looking from under brows that twitch up independently, first one way, then another. He looks down at himself, at Prymelia… whooo. "This is really not a conversation for the Baths."

"I… I don't have one." Prymelia replies kicking herself for not having gotten one from the Headman. "I'll pick it up in the morning when I hand in my re-supply requisition." And then she frowns. "I read through it before I signed it." Just in case he was wondering. "It's pretty straight-forward." As to the rest, she goes quiet, staring at a point in the water somewhere between them which might suggest she's staring at something else. Which she isn't. At least not right then. "A letter?" Her gaze flicks upward to T'ral's face and then down again a soft snort uttered. "And where and when should such a conversation be conducted, hmm? I have a wagon to empty and take in to the smiths for maintenance, a mountain of laundry to do and I'd like one of the beastherders to check over Soot. He's favoring his right leg."

T'ral nods, brow furrowed, looking into the distance over Prymelia's shoulder. His focus racks back to … a rack. PLINK! T'ral clears his throat, eyes snapping up to Prymelia's face, blinking rapidly. He gestures at the stains along his jaw into his hair, on hands and arms, "I need to get cleaned up. You go get crackin' and I'll catch up." He swallows and touches her jaw with fingertips. Plink. PlinkplinkPLINK. "I'm glad you're home."

Prymelia is confused. CONFUSED!! Where was the yelling and the chiding she'd expected from him for having been gone so long with little but a terse note to let him know she was okay. Instead, he tells her he loves her and then, that he's glad she's home. Blinking rapidly to dispel the swell of emotion that threatens to show itself, Prymelia turns her head into that light. "I missed you too." Quiet the confession and quick the press of lips to fingertips before they're withdrawn. And then she's turning and leaving the pool, gathering up her clothing left on a nearby bench and disappearing behind a screen to dress.

T'ral slogs back to the brush and sand to get back to the business of looking less piebald. His head is down, back turned, as he begins scrubbing again at the stains on his hands and arms, the bristles whicker quietly. "Prymelia," there's a long pause and the whickering stops. He turns his head to where he can see Prymelia in his periphery. Jaw muscles bunch. Under a furrowed brow, eyes flash anger, heartache, "Don't disappear like that again." He closes his eyes hard and swallows. He turns his head back down and the whickering resumes.

Peasant style blouse pulled over her head and layered skirt wrapped neatly about slim hips, Prymelia's hands pause in their task of knotting the ties that hold it in place at the call of her name. Slipping her feet into sandals she steps out from behind the screen, the multitude of straps dangling in a slump about her ankles. Tired and hungry, the bathing caverns having been her first stop after the Headman, a snappish reply begins to form on her lips. But one look at T'ral's face and it dies. For several long moments she remains where she is and then quickly pads over to where he is, the sandals slapping at the underside of her feet and straps dragging across the rock. Crouching at the edge of the pool, deep red tresses spilling over a shoulder, she fits an intent look to her bluerider. Her bluerider. "I'm sorry, T'ral. I was angry and hurt and…" explanations melt away. "I'm sorry." She tells him again quietly and pushes up to her feet, moving over to a bench to quickly buckle the straps into place.

T'ral looks up at Prymelia's approach. Safely ensconced in her complicated clothes, T'ral finally really looks at Prymelia. Strappy shoes flapping along under swirling skirts and the flowing top snugged by a laced bodice. There are nicks and bruises aplenty and feet and arms. Deep, coppery hair, dark with water. Green-gold eyes, tired. More tanned, where the sun touched her skin and pale where it AHEM hadn't. He looks closely at her feet, had she missed having her workboots? Hopefully not. To her apology he makes no other answer than a solemn nod. If he'd had guards, they'd be in place. So much to hear. To tell. To say. It would keep. He works a very coarse sand onto his arms, scrubbing hard. Prymelia's stomach growls loud enough for T'ral to hear. He snorts and grins, "You'd be eating already if those shoes weren't so… strappy." His own stomach growls despite the fact that he ate less than two candlemarks earlier. He glowers down at his belly, "Don't step on my punchlines." He looks up as she walks out in time to catch her tossing a stuck out tongue over her shoulder, then giving a little twitch of her hip that sets skirts swaying and T'ral's heart tripping. T'ral grins, relaxing. Lines of worry ease, stomach unwinds. She's home. And safe. And staying. They had time. A little time.

Continued in: Home Again Home Again

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