==== Jan 7, 2014
==== Maryam, Erissa
==== Girl time at it's best - ambush hugs and juicy rumors included!

Who Maryam, Erissa
What Girl time at it's best - ambush hugs and juicy rumors included!
When It is the 23rd day of Autumn.
Where Cloth Corridor, Bazaar, Igen Weyr

maryamveiled01.jpg erissa7.jpg




It is afternoon
It is 4:56 PM where you are.
There are 0 turns, 3 months and 9 days until the 12th pass.
It is the twenty-first day of Autumn and 76 degrees. The day dawns bright and clear. Everything is coated in sand, but no clouds linger on the horizon.

Even the busiest of entrepreneurs can't put off promises to go shopping for forever- especially when one has opened up a shop in the Bazaar, giving the holder of that promise an easy place to find one. Such is the case of Maryam. Her relatively distant promise to accompany Erissa has now come to fruition, likely no doubt due to the bluerider popping her head into the Tea Room and sort of…insisting, in the bubbliest of manners. So. Here she is. Veiled, quiet, leading Erissa into the Bazaar's commercial heart, to a lane where hard walls have been hidden behind a fairy tale land of diaphanous drapes and shimmering color. Here is a place to make even the most stalwart of shoppers suffer heart flutters. Now and then, she glances over at the woman she's chaperoned here but conversation has been light on the ground- at least from her end. Eventually, however, she does put a remark out there and it's every bit as politely phrased as one might expect: "I trust you have been settling in well?"

Erissa nearly goes into full cardiac arrest when they enter the colorfully bedecked lane. The sheer variety of hue and texture have her white-blond head whipping from side to side till one might would think the woman would pass out from dizziness. But no such luck for Maryam. The bluerider's enthusiam is all hers to endure…er, enjoy. Stopping repeatedly as if on a string that someone keeps tugging she admires sample after sample until finally one causes her to suck in a breath and without looking she reaches out a hand to snatch the trader's sleeve and tug her closer. "Maryam!" she breathes, her other hand reaching out to brush a beautifully embroidered green cloth with reverent fingers. "Look!"

Nooo, not more touching. At least it's just a sleeve but after Maryam steps obligingly nearer to see what's caught Erissa's fancy, she also reaches with her other hand to disengage the woman's fingers. Gently. Of course. "It is lovely," she opines, "though sometimes I wonder why they make so much green fabric when everyone knows it is a poor luck color." Nevermind that she's commissioned fabric for her wedding dress in the shade. Shhh. That won't be mentioned; instead she seeks to divert Erissa by gesturing towards a bolt of icy blue satin, so sleek a shade and tight a weave it appears to be shot through with silver where the light catches it. "And satin, in a desert where it is sure to become stained with sweat…I wonder sometimes, at the minds of the crafters who come here to make their fortune. Or anyone not of the desert. Their expectations are so strange."

Erissa is so elated by the material that she doesn't even notice Maryam's subtle aversion to her touch. Once fingers are freed she simply uses them to reach out to the blue cloth that the robed woman points out and drape fingertips over the smooth texture. A little snort and tilted grin are loaded with mischief as she casts Maryam a sidelong look. "I like green. I guess that fits." That cryptic remark is left behind as she quickly moves on. "You're right on this blue not being very practical but it's so pretty I want to have some it just hanging around my weyr to admire, " she muses with a chuckle. "I like red too though. I've been told I look good in red." Turning sharply to her guide she strikes a pose, purposely arching her spine and bracing hands on slender hips. "What color would you suggest?"

Oh good, her little piece of xenophobia slid by without comment. Maryam returns the look she's given with a small smile, one that hardly touches the corners of her eyes. "Do you consider yourself unlucky, ma'am? It would make a pretty wall-hanging. Like a satin waterfall against the stone. The green as well." But here she's been charged with a more important answer, and thank goodness Erissa's question gives her a reason to look away- such posing naturally sends the modest creature's gaze fleeing to the nearby bolts of fabric. "You are fortunate in your coloring, that you can wear the brighter shades. This teal, perhaps, or this brighter pink…?"

Erissa watches Maryam closely, intrigued by the fact that she can see nothing of the woman but a pair of pretty blue eyes. Her brief foray into being Maryam had proved interesting but, if nothing else, she had decided she couldn't bear to be so encompassed all day long, every day. As the trader woman examines the various cloths Erissa follows her gaze eagerly awaiting her opinion. When it comes, however, the bluerider's slender shoulders hunch beneath the black riding jacket she nearly always wears. "Pink?!? Seriously?" And a bright pink, at that? A light-hearted laugh slips from full lips as she flips a hand in the air. "Ick. Teal, definitely."

"Pink is a lovely color and it would look good on you. But the teal…it goes well with everything. Here, see?" Maryam, the enigma, who served her time and learned her manners in a couture shop, knows all about complementary colors and drawing the eye. Not that Erissa makes it difficult, having the looks and attitude to pull so much off. But Maryam has taken the teal sisal, and a more diaphanous fabric, a whimsy of cream and gold lacework, and layered them together so the brighter shade shows through the softer. Her eyes slip back towards the bluerider's face, just as intent on scrying the expression found there as Erissa is in the reverse. "You did not answer my question. Do you feel yourself to be unlucky?"

Erissa watches with fascination as Maryam plies her skills to turn a nice piece of fabric into a stunning visual treat. "Oooooo," Erissa croons when shown the final result. "I love the way the colors go together!" Lifting a bit of it in her hand she slips a grin to the younger woman. "You really are good at this." Then something catches her eye and she turns slightly to slide her hand over a cloth the color of midnight velvet. Hiking her shoulders in a distracted shrug she answers the repeated question belatedly, "Just feels that way sometimes." Fingers spread over the black material and she waggles a ringed finger - a small onyx stone inset on an etched silver band. "Look, this one would match my ring nicely, wouldn't you say?"

"I trained under Gritta as a girl. Not just in etiquette, I served at her shop as well," Maryam explains, more a deflection of the compliment through explanation than proper acceptance of it. She replaces the folds of fabric on the bolts when the bluerider's attention shifts, with the air of one who'd really been expecting that. But Erissa's find is worth admiring and she steps there to run her fingers over the velvet's nap. "It is beautiful," she says quietly, without exaggeration, "both the fabric and your ring. Did you find that in Ista? The stone…I often see it in men's jewelry, but rarely on a woman."

Erissa tilts her head back and to the side while stretching her hand out, observing her ring against the vivid rich hue of the dark material. Maryam's compliment and observation widen her lips into an irrepressable smile, with which she gives the other woman a conspirital sidelong glance. Waggling the decorated finger, only one away from the espousal finger, she shares, "Cha'el gave it to me. He's such a romantic under all that gruff and buff. It has special significance so I bet he'd love seeing it with something in this cloth." And then, as seems to be turning into a pattern for this trip she concludes with, "What do you think?"

What does Maryam think? Maryam thinks she's a touch stunned. So much so that the young woman doesn't so much as twitch when Erissa explains where the ring has come from- but she does track its wagging with her eyes, her jaw relaxed and mouth slightly agape. Yes, the bluerider has succeeded in rendering the Bazaar merchant speechless. It's a poor precedent for one whose life is lived by trade. And when she does finally pull herself together, shaken from that revery and turning a wide-eyed look onto Erissa, it isn't to answer her question. It's to ask one of her own: "Cha'el gave that to you? Truly? He…he gave you a ring of significance?"

Clueless, Erissa sets a wide-eyed, eager expression on Maryam, awaiting the woman's knowledgeable and ever-positive response. Covered as the trader is in so much coth, her quiet shock is taken as thoughtful consideration, no body language available to hint otherwise. Even the widening of those blue eyes is merely taken as a sign of being impressed, which only sends Erissa into new heights of conspirital bonding. White-blond locks sway as she bobs her head, uneven layers framing a look of dreamy revery. "Yes, he did. Though in typical male fashion he gave it to me over lunch." She chuckles at that, rolling gray-limned eyes skyward. "He couldnt have thought of a more romantic time, like right after we'd made love or something, right?" More chuckling and a sly sideways grin that assumes the other woman would have had similiar experiences and hardily agree. Fingers spread as she turns the stone to catch the light. "It's a family heirloom."

Sadly, the shock is such that Maryam isn't thinking clearly. There is no hearty agreement to be had, just the same solemn study, layered over what feels- to Maryam!- like a heart trying to come apart at the seams. Slowly, almost cautiously, she even lifts her hands to fold them one atop the other, over her chest. On the off-chance that racing heartbeat leads to an attempt at escape. And that loss of clear thought? It shows in the decidedly unveiled remark of, "But he said it was only…he said you were…but…" Oh, oh dear. She takes an unsteady breath and shakes her head at the other woman. "It makes no sense. What he told me. What you say."

Erissa might normally wonder at the woman's strange hand-to-heart gesture but the words that follow it snap her attention too wholly for anything other than pure elation to bloom. "He talked about me?" she asks with a delighted lift to her voice. Pale lashes flutter as she rolls her eyes again, practiclly bouncing on the balls of her feet. Picking up the black material she fans it out between spread hands and brings it to her chest to strike a pose. "Don't worry, dear. Men are often confused. Poor Cha'el, he's been through so much. It's ok though. I know him well enough to help even when he doesn't realize what he needs." Spinning about she wraps the cloth loosely around her frame, thoughts already leaping in another direction. "So do you think this would make a better shirt or gown?"

"He did, but…" Maryam finds herself cut off by delight. With Erissa dancing around and posing, it's difficult to find a moment to cut in- and she isn't certain she wants to, having only some of the facts. Though, she does have one small weapon in her arsenal, a thing she remembers as braincells slowly start to fire again. "I thought he was with someone else, that is all. Perhaps it is only gossip." There. That conversational jab was a little too satisfying to make, but rather than ponder why she hurries on to answer the question. "A gown might be best, something to wear in the evenings when it gets colder. A shirt would…a man might wear a shirt but in that material, he would die of the heat during the day."

The briefest of flickers shadow pale brow toward a frown at Maryam's comment, but then Erissa is brushing past it with her usual single-mindedness and unwinding herself from the cloth with another dismissive chuckle. "Gossip does tend to run wilder than a pack of frightened wherries around here." Then her question is answered and she is well and truly gone, carried away on the whims of imagination. "Oh yes! That's a good point! I'll set this aside as a definite possibility then!" Nearly vibrating with excitement she gingerly sets the material aside as neatly as can be, then turns a thoughtfullly eager look on her robed guide. Uh oh. "Maryam!" she blurts. "You should get something too! Come on, it's more fun if we both get something. What color do you like?"

It would be better if Maryam didn't answer the remark about gossip. Don't do it, don't do it… "Perhaps but I have found the gossip regarding relationships to be so very accurate here. For some reason. I have never understood it, myself. It was a greenrider, I believe. A young man," she says, affecting a disinterested tone of voice. All right, so she did it. Not her finest or most charitable moment. Erissa's enthusiastic follow-up idea is met with a slight wince- but by then she's all out of denials, still off her game. "Lighter colors," she admits, "though I have everything I could possibly need." Not that one would know it, under those bulky outer robes.

In typical rider fashion, Erissa only snorts lightly at mention of a greenrider, humor raising pale brows behind the fall of white-blond bangs. "Well that's no surprise. You know how greenrider's are." Of course any and all blame would be on the green's side, not the brownrider's. Then Maryam is acceding to her request and the bluerider turns an eager look to the wares on display. "A light color…..a light color…." is muttered under breath while she fans a rack of hanging sisals. "OOooooo, what about this one? It would make a pretty scarf or shawl." The cloth in question is a lovely creamy peach hue, stitched through with flecks of irridescent thread. Pulling it out she holds it up just beneath Maryam's face, gaze flicking between the woman's eyes and the material. "It's hard to tell with only seeing your eyes. Is your hair…. blond?" She guesses, having caught sight of a few wisps.

It can't be argued, Erissa has seized on a pretty bolt of cloth, one that might well have caught Maryam's eye on its own if she weren't slightly distracted. "He is a very nice greenrider," she murmurs first though, "but perhaps. One supposes it could just be gossip." That said, she drifts over to have a better look at the fabric- and finds herself, almost against her will, nodding in gentle approval. "It is lovely. That sheen…" Oh, her hair? Her hand lifts to the hood that covers the stuff. "It is yellowish, yes. Blonde. Not so clean a blonde as yours, though."

One can suppose this is what girlfriends do. Are Maryam and Erissa girlfriends? The former would say no- but she has reasons not to utter that word, either. She does stiffen, tension visible even under all of those layers. But, after a single hard look at the bluerider- a look that gives credence to the rumors she has ice in her veins- she reaches up to draw back some of the fabric that keeps her hair hidden. Though it's been secured back in a braid as thick as a man's wrist, she hooks a finger under it and draws enough forward that the shade can be seen in the sunlight filtering down through the awnings. "It is no great mystery," she says, "you see? Only blonde. When I was a child it was closer to your color. The sun made it paler." But then the veils; even now she's tugging cloth forward again to hide that little glimpse of unveiled Maryam.

Erissa's never had a girlfriend, so wouldn't know if this is what girlfriends do or not. She's enjoying herself immensely, however, and according to the Book of Erissa that's all that matters. Utterly delighted when Maryam agrees to her request she unconsciously holds her breath as the thick braid is slid free. Before she can even comment, though, it's disappearing again and a little moue of disappointment purses her lips. "It's such a lovely shade! Too bad you keep it covered up all the time. It must really get hot under all that wrapping." And there goes that lack of internal filter again. "But, no matter. This peach is defintiely a good match for you. And it's light too." The material is bobbed in the air between them. Curiosity is on a rampage now. Tilting her head she asks, "Do you always wear those blue robes? It's all I've seen you in - and don't get me wrong it matches your eyes beautifully - but this would make a stunning set of robes too!"

"Sometimes," Maryam says to the issue of hotness. Even then, she's unwilling to complain! And, tempting as the fabric might be- the shade is growing on her the more Erissa waves it around, letting it catch the light- she still ends up shaking her head to the suggestion she make it up into a robe. "I wear my family's colors," she explains, "and rarely have need of anything fancier. There was the Gather but…" She pauses for a beat. Bittersweet memory alert: her eyes unfocus just a touch, her attention goes distant. Then it's back to the present, summoning composure enough for a smile at the bluerider. "Are you going to get the teal, and the cream and gold? Or the dark velvet? Or…all?"

"Ohhhhhh," Erissa drawls, full lips forming an 'o' of understanding. "Family colors. Got it. That makes sense." Carefully folding the peach material she pats it with her hand. "Too bad though. This would've looked so pretty on you." Crooking a sidelong look she checks one more time, "Don't you ever wear other colors?" The question put back to her causes pale brows to furrow with indecision, one hand propping on a hip while she looks back toward the other cloths. "I just have to get a dress in the black, of course," she starts, "But the other two are so nice too. What would I get made of them?" It may or may not seem odd that she doesn't hesitate over getting all three, but then again Maryam is probably used to seeing marks flow from all sorts of hands in the busy bazaar.

Indeed, if Erissa hasn't shown willingness to get all three, Maryam might have nudged her! That's the Bazaar for you, everyone scratching everyone else's back. "It is lovely," she agrees with a small smile, "but perhaps another time. I have the fabric for my wedding dress already, and if I need more after that it will be for Eliseu to buy it for me." Her hands wander back to the original bolt of teal, working its weave between thumb and forefinger. "What about a sun dress? Then you will have both your evening gown, and something brighter and lighter to wear during the day? You could have them fashion the netting into a headscarf but since it is so sheer it would be more for fashion's sake?"

What? Wait! Erissa's curiosity radar immediately pings on the words wedding dress. Even as Maryam goes on to make a suggestion which, if not thoroughly distracted Erissa would have loved, the bluerider turns fully to the trader and leans forward to envelope the unsuspecting woman in a full frontal hug before she even sees it coming. A quick moment of pressure, thankfully, and the bluerider lets her go, leaning back to give the younger woman a wide smile. "You're getting married? Congratulations, Maryam? When's the big day? But oh - your wedding dress?? What color is it? Is it finished? Tell me it isn't blue!" A quick laugh. "Who's the lucky guy?"

More touching. Why is Maryam subjecting herself to this? It is a mystery! But persevere she does, even through the ambush hugs. Of course, she sort of just…stands still until Erissa lets her go, so it's not unlike hugging a fencepost- underneath all of those soft layers, she's revealed to be rail-thin and rather bony. Wide smile earns a smaller version, almost wan in its expression. "I am, yes. In six months time, to the son of my father's best friend. The dress is not finished but…it is green. Green and gold. Not even a thread of blue to be seen, have no fear." Then, surely to distract Erissa, she turns to the merchant who's been watching all of this (with noticeable bemusement). "Three yards of the teal, one of the cream and gold, for the lady. That should be enough for a dress and scarf. And…six of the velvet, yes?"

Erissa laughs, nodding in approval of the green. "Good, good!" she chimes. Then Maryam is ordering and the bluerider tosses both hands in the air to either side when she's consulted. "Sounds good to me," she admits with a shrug. "I don't know the first thing about creating clothes. I just like to wear'em." And if her weyr is any evidence thereof, to decorate with them as well. The diversionary tactic is only partially successful, however, as she goes on to ask as soon as Maryam pauses, "So your father's best friend's son, huh? You must've known him a long time. Is he handsome?" Really, the girl has no clue as to bazaar culture ettiquette whatsoever.

"Have them delivered to the Flight," Maryam adds for the merchant's benefit, an order accepted without question. So it might be a little while yet before Erissa is actually able to wear whatever is made of this fabric. But…at least she can watch now as it's measured, cut and wrapped? "Eliseu, yes." Her voice has dropped into a softer range as this topic stubbornly returns. The oblivious might well chalk it up to actual fondness for the man, ha. "We were betrothed at ten. He is…some might consider him handsome? He is tall. Very…elegant." And wealthy, so far as such things go for individuals in the Bazaar. But she doesn't mention that.

Oh right. The wait. As always Erissa bites back impatience, always wanting the lovely new possessions now rather than later. It's a rare splurge, however, and knowing what fine results are likely to come she happily diverts her attention back to the topic of Maryam's fiance. "Handsome, tall, and elegant? Wow, sounds like you've got yourself a real winner there." Watching the merchant gather up the various materials out of the corner of her eye she adds, "Betrothed at ten? Wow. Must've been love at first sight, eh? That's pretty young to know what you want."

That earns the bluerider a rather blank look. Yet again, Maryam is rendered briefly speechless as she tries to reconcile Erissa's worldview with her own. And can she really be about to speak up in defense of this system? Faranth help her. "It is not a love match. Our fathers were brothers in spirit and felt our families should be joined, their caravans to our name and influence. It is the benefit of all, bringing the two together." The bundles of fabric are secured and set out of sight, which is Maryam's signal to turn towards Erissa. "I should be returning to the Tea Room, my nieces are still learning how to keep things running smoothly. But it was…a pleasure, Erissa. To see you again."

Erissa sucks at reconciling. Things simply are as she sees them, and if they aren't, well she sees them that way anyway. Scrunching her nose slightly in thought she crosses her arms loosely in a casual pose while they wait. "Not a love match? But surely you love him or you wouldn't be marrying him, right?" Because anything else just doesn't make sense, after all. But then the fabric is secured and Maryam is bidding her farewell and suddenly Erissa finds herself saddened that the excursion is over. "It was a pleasure," she agrees, amused by the proper turn of phrase. "Thank you for your assistance and your company, Maryam." It doesn't last more than that, however, before her own nature filters back in and, unaware that she shouldn't, she gives the robed woman yet another quick hug before releasing her to escape.

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