==== February 6th, 2014
==== Prymelia, T'ral
==== Prymelia's time at Southern is running out.

Who Prymelia, T'ral
What Prymelia's time at Southern is running out.
When (before the quarantine) There are 0 turns, 1 month and 2 days until the 12th pass.
Where Southern Weyr

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Prymelia's Wagon - INTERIOR
Beneath the beaten metal roof, the interior is a fairly accurate representation of the occupant herself - Welcoming and vibrant while leaning slightly toward the eclectic side of life. Cupboards accented in a deep burgundy line the left-hand side, reaching to waist height with a sturdy work counter painted emerald green topping them. Above, shelving fronted by sturdy leather straps, keeps a kettle, two pots and a frying pan securely in place. Along the right-hand side a knee-high storage unit doubles as a couch or extra sleeping bunk with a mattress and brightly embroidered scatter cushions softening angular lines. Beautifully fitted into the alcove at the back of the wagon, is a raised sleeping area framed by a pair of sapphire blue drapes. Linen is feminine with embroidered edging covered over by a quilt in a riot of jewel tones. A pair of plump pillows softens the headboard with what looks to be an old childhood toy nestled in their middle. A squat shaft of light filters in across the bed via a little window with a metal shutter worked into the paneling with a small shelf above it holding a variety of knick-knacks particular to feminine vanity.


It's late. Very, very late. Nocturnal jungle noises are a muted symphony within the colorful wagon. There are three occupants in the dimly lit wagon interior. One, a half-dressed man, sits on the narrow couch, one leg propped against the cabinet across from him, bare foot tapping idly as he leans into the light of a little glow lamp shuttered low. Another occupant, a tiny green firelizard curled in the man’s lap soaking up the knuckle-scritches she’s getting as the man sits reading, brow furrowed, a stack of letters and papers on his lap next to the flit. At his side on a little shelf, the dregs of a cup of tea. Were the third occupant the fortune-telling type, there would be things to learn. Across from the man, on the stove, a kettle sits. Next to the stove, laid out on a tray, an assortment of treats not brought on trips so the wagon’s owner could haul staples or, better, tradegoods. The man murmurs to the flit, “Eh, Meadow, what do you make of this?” he tips the paper towards the little green ‘lizard who chirrups at him muzzily. “I think you fail to appreciate the gravity of the situation, Meadow.” Fondness for the sweet little lizard masks the mixed anger and sadness in dark eyes. The man folds the letter and puts it atop the pile. Sighing he, rubs hands up and down his face, head falling back, to stare at the ceiling, hands riffling the stack of letters in his lap. Eyes trace the intricate designs on the ceiling as if there's an answer in the twining vining forms, "Prymelia…" It is a comfortably domestic scene, but what was he reading?

When out on the road, by herself, Prymelia falls into the trader habit of sleeping with one eye open, alert for any approaching sounds of danger. Thus it is, that she’d fallen into a deep sleep safe in the knowledge that not only T’ral but his tanky blue, are keeping watch. Now, rolling over and expecting to come up against the warmth of his body, the lack thereof, stirs her to wakefulness flecked by confusion. Had she just dreamed that he’d been there? Lashes flicker open and then the quiet murmur of his voice can be heard. With a warm smile catching to her lips, she stretches and rolls up into a sitting position, gaze instantly searching him out. However, a frown soon follows when she spies the little pile of personal correspondence he has stacked next to him. Indignant and with mouth pursed into a flat line, she hauls a crocheted blanket with her, wrapping it about her shoulders and dropping lightly to the floor from atop the high platform bed. “Those aren’t yours,” she tells him, reaching to take her letters back. No ‘Hey, loverboy’, or greeting him with a warm smile and a kiss. Just that.

The rustle of sheets from the bed draws T'ral out of his ceilingward study. His propped foot drops to the floor with a wooden thunk as Prymelia alights. On his lap, Meadow makes quiet drowsy grumbles. Not too long before T'ral had wakened in the darkness. Loose, exhausted, at ease. Prymelia's warmth and the slow rise and fall of her breath close. Savored. But, as it has for several moons, a persistent sense of unease returns, hovering over his shoulder like a blade. Out of sight. Looming. It was back. He'd sighed and spent no small amount of time with eyes closed, listening to Prymelia breathe, the sounds of the jungle outside, the little sounds of the wagon, Meadow's tiny snoring, trying to go back to sleep. No deal. He'd risen, careful not to wake Prymelia, and set about putting on tea, complete with the satchel-born treats he'd gotten from Beauregard. Kettle heating away, open so it didn't shrill, T'ral had been poking around for cups when he'd discovered the stack of letters. Letters, as it turned out, from her family. Prymelia is fixing him with a look and T'ral blinks impassively under that gaze handing up the stack of correspondence without comment. "No," they weren't. Atop the pile is a new letter. Unopened. Shifting Meadow to a cushion before he stands, T'ral levers up, arm going around Prymelia to balance and swap space with her as he moves around to the stove. Dark eyes, worried, search Prymelia's face, a sympathetic press of lips, shared concern, "Tea?" He gives her a squeeze with that balancing arm and turns to put the water on.

With the letters handed over, Prymelia holds them to her chest and sets T’ral with a long look, gaze dropping away when he switches places with her and fits her with that combination of sentiments. “You read them.” She accuses quietly, the new correspondence either not noticed or simply set aside from thought for the time being. “Yes.” Quiet reply to the offer of tea given as she scoops Meadow up - who had been quite happy being petted by the handsome bluerider thank-you-very-much – and curls up on the sofa with long legs tucked to one side. “Why?” Did he read her letters but she’s not quite awake enough yet to be stringing more than a couple of words together at a time.

Stove lit, T'ral peers into the kettle, tilting it, "I did," he says into the kettle, verifying that there's water enough. He flips the lid closed and turns around to lean against a not-stove part of the cabinetry. Hands laced across his belly, T'ral cocks his head as he considers Prymelia, his eyes following her long, afghan-shrouded lines. "Would you believe I thought I'd find the contract?" The corner of his mouth quirks into a grin, "There are some additions I'd like to make." He sighs, grin faltering, eyes dropping. But that wasn't what she'd asked. Why. He looks up, dark eyes finding Prymelia's hazel. Many reasons. He picks the most relevant, "Looking for the contract, I saw bits. Some of the phrases, ah," he gestures, an unlacing and re-lacing of fingers, "Leapt off the page. I was curious." He drops his gaze again, head lowering, "I should have asked you. I'm sorry."

Idly petting meadow, nimble fingers stroking back and forth between verdant head knobs, Prymelia’s attention falls to his bared feet rather than the simplicity of the domestic chore T’ral sets himself to. Briefly hazel eyes flicker upward. “It's under my mattress,” she states of the contract though her features are carefully guarded and giving little away as to whether she believes him or not. “Some of the phrases…” A pause before there’s a resigned nod of head. “So now you know. About the letters. About… the trouble I’m in.” His apology waved off. Attention falls back to the small stack held now in her lap, the unopened letter finally gaining notice. “You brought this?” The one in question lifted in the air before being dropped down again.

T'ral's eyes flick to the mattress, Ah. A lop-sided flash of teeth, "Is it? May I?" A hand unfolds from his belly and lifts towards the bed, because that's what's most important just now. He's drawn back to solemnity at her tone of voice, the tense lines of her. He scans the wagon speculatively, the couch isn't really big enough for quiet sprawling -T'ral's eyes unfocus briefly and he clears his throat- he looks towards the bed, lips pursed, Too much commotion to move there. Floor. "Come 'ere." He settles onto his knees, sitting back on his heels, a hand outstretched, fingertips resting on Prymelia's knee. He wanted to fold her up and tell her everything would be okay. "I've known that trouble for a while." That Prymelia was to be promised to someone of her father's choosing. Fingers move, stroking, jouncing along the bumpy afghan. "But not how they try to dominate you." His mouth hardens, eyes flashing. T'ral raises up from his heels, arms braced on either side of Prymelia, his eyes more on a level with hers. Jaw muscles bunch, "Your contract with my father was always only a play for time. To figure out what to do. Let's figure it out." The implication, 'Together.'

Although tempted to slip off the couch and curl into T’ral’s arms, Prymelia remains where she is on the couch, the wrap of the afghan almost symbolic of the way she wraps into herself. “I have dishonored my family,” she tells him quietly, gaze dropped to fingers that pluck at a tasseled edge of the afghan. “Disappointed them with my defiance.” About to add more, she’s stalled from doing so when he frames her with his arms. A sad smile slips to her mouth and the trader slips her fingers over those bunching jaw muscles. “You’re a very sweet man but there is nothing to do be done. I either return or… I’m cast out and never allowed further contact.” That having been said a soft sigh is exhaled and Prymelia takes up the letter T’ral had brought with him. Breaking the seal she begins to read but doesn’t get more than a few lines in before she’s gone pale beneath her Southern tan.

T'ral lifts away from the couch, tense, still on his knees, arms fall to his sides as he considers Prymelia. The wheels are almost visibly turning behind dark blue eyes. Dishonored. His eyes light. Disappointed. His eyes go hard, hot, flicking to the pages in her lap -they'd fall to ash if looks could immolate- and back up, "They don't deserve you." I do. He blinks, Er… Southern does. Eyes narrowing, "Yeah, Prymelia, it would be a damn shame to never be allowed contact with that." T'ral grates, eyes dropping to the letters. She sighs and takes up the letter. She's giving up. She can't give up. He watches, simmering, as she reads. Over his shoulder the kettle's little shrill hoots become a keen as the water begins to boil. Then Prymelia goes pale and alarm rattles through the young bluerider. "What."

“They’re my family, T’ral. They’re…” all she has, Prymelia almost adds until she’s caught by those deep blue eyes. This man. T’ral. She has him. But she can’t keep him. It’s one or the other. Family or him. But in that moment, when the words jump off the page and the kettle whines piercingly for attention, all else fades into the background. Time. She’d thought she might still have it. “My father. And my oldest brother. They’re on a ship. They’re coming here. For me.” Stilted sentences as once again her attention drops to the page to note the date. “They’ll be about two sevens out by now.” Whispered as moisture swiftly begins to gather in her eyes.

"They're coming. Here." Time. They're out of it. Those gears are turning. Steam from the kettle flies in a plume. A burgeoning understanding of what the people Prymelia came from were like and what depths they'd sink to in order to control (contain? dominate?) Prymelia fills T'ral with a sick dread. He tips the edge of the page, where the date was located, staring at it then eyes snapping home to Prymelia's, "Why would they tell you when they're coming?" The implication: they could be here already. An ambush. He gathers himself, standing in smooth motion and moving the kettle off the heat.

With nerves stretched taut, the shrilling of the kettle grates right through Prymelia so that she’s about to leap to her feet and deal with it, when T’ral does. A laugh, hollow and brittle at the edges greets his question. “Because,” she says, waving the letter in the air, “I’m to ‘get my affairs in order’,” the air quotes evident in her tone, “and prepare my wagon and contracts to be handed over to my brother.”

"Oh." T'ral's back is to Prymelia. He reaches up to brace fists against the ceiling, one leg back, head hanging forward, thudding solidly into the cabinets. Think. He rolls his head to the side so that he can see her in his periphery, "Do you still want tea?" Dark eyes falling on the tray he'd set out. "Or any of that." He gestures with a frustrated flip of his hand, breaking the brace against the ceiling and slumping to the side, other arm dropping to prop his forehead -and hide his eyes- in the crook of his elbow. Muffled, "You're a Trader, Prymelia. What are the angles?"

While she remains curled still as a statue, Prymelia’s heart is going a mile a minute – panic, frustration and at the very edges, quiet acceptance. Meadow, unhappy for the lack of pettings emits a pitiful creel but finds herself ignored. With a slightly huffy ruffle of wings, she climbs out of the trader’s lap flits the short distance to settle on T’ral’s shoulder. Maybe he’ll pay her attention. “Meadow!” The scolding is half-hearted at best as Prymelia drops her legs and stands to retrieve the attention seeking creature. “Short of marrying a trader from Southern, and that only after a lengthy rigmarole of discussions. None. I’ve worked them all, T’ral. All I can do now is hope to find favor with my father when he arrives so that I don’t find myself confined to camp.” There’s a pause in which she slinks in under his arm, pressing her body between the cabinet and his. “I want tea, I want those,” the thoughtfully provided treats, “I want you. And I want to put it all aside and pretend for tonight that we’re the only two people in the world.” Husky tone soft and pleading - Come play ostrich with me.

T'ral twitches when the delicate little claws and the feather-weight of the tiny flit settle on his shoulder. He rolls his head to the side to see those little swirling eyes - indignant and pleading at the same time. T'ral whispers to Meadow, "'Short of marrying a trader from Southern,'" there's something there. He can feel the shape of an idea forming, but it's … indistinct. Meadow tips her own head, with an interrogative chirr. So expressive, that little face. He chuckles quietly and tips his head forward to bump her tiny nose with his. "Confined to camp? I rather think my father would have something to say about that." He turns into her slinking under his arm and wraps her up tight, a kiss to the crown of Prymelia's head, "Something like," he grins into her hair and does his best Renalde impression, "'This is a breach of a legally negotiated contract.'" T'ral clears his throat and shifts at that husky purr. He shakes his head, mussing Prymelia's hair. "We're out of time to be the only two people. Good news for you, I can multitask." He spins around so that Prymelia is against the cabinets now and he pours water into the cup he'd set aside for her, working around armful of lovely Trader is awkward, but T'ral is practiced at working through distractions. He hums to himself, pretending normal happy domesticity. "Hmmm hmm hmmmmmm. So. They'd be open to another offer. A better one than this… widower. What's his story? What are we up against?" Tea is steeping. He scoots down the cabinet slightly, shuffling Prymelia along with him. Treats. The humming becomes speculative now, "Hmmmmm? Ah, you're gonna need to pick. I didn't know what you wanted so I got… well… everything. That would travel well ::between::."

“Confined to camp, as in the clan’s camp back in Igen.” For to her it’s a foregone conclusion that her ass is going to be hauled back North. But then there are distractions. Arms wind about T’ral’s waist and she bows her head, resting her forehead against his chest, the afghan slipped from a shoulder. “And my father would counter that my brother would fulfill the remainder of the contract. Ergo, no breach.” Lifting her head there is the very faintest glimmer of a forced smile when he speaks of being able to multi-task and goes on to demonstrate. Prymelia of course will do her best to push that envelope, fingertips fluttering here and there across bared chest. “Sweetener,” she reminds for her tea and then twists about to eye the treats lined up. “One of each?” Either she’s HUNGRY or she’s one of those comfort eater sorts. As for her supposed intended, there’s an expressive roll of eyes and a wrinkled of lightly freckled nose. “He’s old and he smells funny and has hair growing out of his ears. I’d sooner slit my wrists with a spoon than get anywhere near close enough to produce a son for him. But, he’s the wagonmaster of a well respected caravan out of Benden that trades mainly in booze.”

"Igen." T'ral's brows go up and crash down. That won't do. He grins, "Let's see how long he can keep you there with a dragonrider at your call." His face falls, sobering. "When I'm not fighting." He growls, "Why couldn't this have happened in autumn?" He nods sadly, brow furrowed, "Yeah. I rather think my father would like the idea of your brother out in the dangerous wilds better than you out here." He wrinkles his nose, "Is it awful if I agree?" He peers down at Prymelia, "I rather like the idea of it being him getting pawed by grungy old cotholders instead of you." Or mauled by felines. Attacked by wildmen. Mugged. Stabbed. Sick. Killed. The grin vanishes slowly at the parade of images. He smiles weakly and drops a kiss on her lips, saying, voice a bit hoarse, "Sweetener." One of each. Easy enough. T'ral snorts, "If he's old enough, you could probably kill him with what you're, ah, capable of." Who's heart is pounding now? And whose ears are red? T'ral's. He coughs, "Problem solved. All right. Where do you want it?" His ears go redder and he grins, "Tea. The tea! Where do you want the tea?" Pronouns.

T’ral might summon a false grin but Prymelia’s not smiling. Far from it. “The single women of our clan may not associate with dragonriders. You, love,” the endearment slipping off her tongue without thought, “are the biggest taboo there is as far as my father is concerned.” Now there’s a smile but it’s a sad little thing at best though it does linger when he states his preference of her brother being the one to face the dangers of the Southern wilds. “I’d like to see a grungy old cotholder try to paw my brother.” And for a brief moment, genuine amusement flares in hazel eyes but that kiss is bittersweet reminder of what she stands to lose - Her freedom to choose – and so she summons a snort for T’ral’s tease. “How about you get all naked and cuddly with the wrinkly old prune. I guarantee he won’t be expect that.” Smirk. But then…where do you want it? Brows pop up and despite the gravity of the conversation at hand, a laugh wriggles free. “Wherever you want to put it.” Cue the ‘Oh so innocent’ bat of lashes.

Still twitching from Prymelia's attempts to ticklishly distract him, T'ral wraps Prymelia up again. "I can't blame him, Prymelia. 'You, love.' Just an endearment? He peers over her shoulder to look at the tea. Still steeping, "It's not like dragonriders have anything to offer the clan. The Weyr might. But…" T'ral didn't speak for the Weyr. He didn't even really speak for himself. "Beyond what we offer to everyone." A thin, winged line against total annihilation. They should be throwing Prymelia at him. DAMMIT. Er. They should be allowing a grown, intelligent woman to make her own decisions. "Why would your father set up such a match when he knows how stubbor-" his eyes widen, "Er… independent you are and that the risk of losing you as a," he winces apologetically, "a commodity is very real?" Does he want her to leave? Vexsome and embarrassing daughter of the Flynn clan. Sullied by ‘association’ with dragonriders. Ears flaming at the unintended exchange of entendre, he sighs in mock resignation, "On the bed," as if it were the pronouncement of a sentence. T'ral hip checks Prymelia towards the bed to get her moving. Innocent schminnocent. As if he hadn't been right very here earlier when… T'ral coughs. Shifting. "I'll just be a moment."

“No,” Prymelia replies more vehemently than T’ral might expect. “That’s where you and he are both wrong! Dragonriders can be very, very valuable to us as traders. But he’s so bloody porcine-headed, he refuses to admit I’m right!” Frustration and the passion of her convictions paint lighter flecks to hazel eyes. A sharp sigh and toss of head drops that subject and she shifts to the next. “Because he knows how important family is to me. That’s what my father does. He takes calculated risks. Like the one I took coming here.” On the bed. At any other time that would most definitely have earned him a saucy comment, instead Prymelia simply complies, a frown etched between her brows. Arranging herself cross-legged, the afghan drawn closer about her, she fits him with a questioning look for his last.

"During an interval, yes. We could accomplish great things." Traders and dragonriders. He shakes his head, "The Pass is here." He stills, eyes unfocusing momentarily. "We're busy." For the forseeable future. There might be something there, but he hasn't given the idea much thought. Yet. New project to percolate on: 'Trader/dragonrider' alliance pros and cons… go! "Explain why this family who could… could write those," hateful letters, "is important." T'ral's eyes are hard. The letters ranged from standard motherly guilt trips (not that he would know about those) to filial plays for concern over parental health to stony paternal demands, and underneath it all a cold-calculation designed to demean, manipulate and ultimately control Prymelia. He waves a hand. "No. Look. Don't. Sorry. That they’re important to you is enough. There's got to be something we can do." Always with the 'we.' Peekaboo with the afghan is not helping with logical and rational thought. T'ral intently busies himself with the tea. He spins to snag his empty cup, Meadow squawps, startled, flattening herself to the bluerider's shoulder, tail wound tight around his neck. "Sorry there," he murmurs, petting the little green's head with a crooked finger. Treats. Ready. Tea. Ready. Tray. Ready.

“During a Pass is when you’re most valuable to us,” Prymelia counters and then abruptly switches topics and fixes T’ral with a narrowed look. “Because they are my family. They are a part of me and I of them. My father rules with an iron fist but he has no choice. With absolute authority, comes the burden of heavy personal responsibility for everyone under his banner. We might fight and perhaps my place in the clan isn’t ideal but we would kill for each other.” The fire of that last blazes a hard truth in hazel eyes that he might not want to put under closer inspection. With her chin lifted and jaw set, she watches him in silence.

T'ral looks skeptical, "Prymelia… during a Pass is when we're most valuable to everyone." His eyes narrow, "You want to talk about a burden of responsibility - there's your burden." At her passionate defense, he draws up, eyes on Prymelia - her flashing eyes, that heat. …so beautiful. Envy. "Damnit, Prymelia, you're just parroting the words they fed you in those letters." Reading. Digesting. Internalizing. "You 'might' fight. Your place isn't 'ideal.'" He shakes his head, "You wanna know why your clan survived so long? Wifely duty. And men who enforce it. So. Get back there and start cranking out prune babies." He regrets the words as soon as they're gone. She's at a crossroads, a painful one, and he's just kicking her. This wasn't how he wanted to spend their time. But… it was true. And then something strikes him, a kick in the gut. Air and color leech away. "You always knew you'd be leaving."

“T’ral, our lineage goes back hundreds of turns because my people stuck together, because we know how to…” Several times lips part to point out where T’ral has completely misunderstood what she’d been trying to convey, but each time they snap close, her counters bitten off before ever finding air. Instead frustration and yes, even anger broil beneath the surface, pressing Prymelia’s mouth into a flat line and drawing her gaze to an intricately embroidered scatter cushion that had fallen to the floor during the passionate reunion of earlier. Only at his last does her attention flicker back the bluerider’s way, fingers shifting minutely about the cup of tea cradled in her hands on the afghan drawn around her. “I knew it was a possibility.” Comes the quiet statement. “But I had hoped I could work toward a different outcome.”

T'ral notes that anger, the lips pressed flat, the turn of her eyes. "What? You got something to say? Say it." He bends to snag the pillow that Prymelia's eyes are fixed on, tossing it to the couch. "You'd hoped to work toward a different outcome? By not telling me what was happening?"

With the object of her stare removed and that snappish comment from T’ral, there’s a quick jerk of head and a blink. “I am trader. You are a dragonrider. In the eyes of many,” including her father, “we are oil and water. What would have been the point in telling you, hmm? I knew my time might be limited and so I chose not to spoil it by casting a pall over…this…us…” a hand fans back and forth in air the between them, “by blabbing on about it. It is what it is, but,” and there Prymelia sets him with an intent look, “while I may lose this battle, that doesn’t mean I’m by any means prepared to roll over and accept my fate.”

"'Spoil it by casting a pall.'" He shakes his head, "No. You're scared. Of me. Of us. Of what's behind you," generations of women settling down, "Of what's ahead of you," settling down. He laughs, "Scared of everything except genuine mortal peril." He gestures broadly at the jungle beyond the cozy walls of the wagon. He shakes his head, looking down, "I've seen that panicky look when I get too close." He kicks at the counter, "At least I understand it now." Dark eyes flick up and back down, "I'll help you fight however you want. The hiding has to stop." He looks up again, "Now." Hiding from what? Which thing?

As T’ral accurately pegs what is truly at the root of it all, so cracks begin to open. Cracks that rip and tear and threaten to destroy the careful façade Prymelia has built around herself over the turns. Scared. Terrified of becoming yet another in a long line of Flynn women with no more worth than a prize herdbeast and about as much of a future. Hazel eyes well and then overflow in two thin trickles of moisture down her cheeks. “Why?” Why would he help her fight or why does he insist that she lay herself bare and stop hiding? His to decide.

Tears. T'ral is there in a flash. One moment standing, the next, sprung lightly up onto platform, crouched, a hand on Prymelia's knee, another on her face, fingertips stroking her cheek. "Why?" His brow furrows, "What else can I do? It's you." He smiles sadly, "Sometimes…" he snorts, mind touching the quiet thrum of the dragon outside, "Sometimes family finds you."

While Prymelia doesn’t shrink away from T’ral, she doesn’t immediately curl up in his arms either. Instead, she remains as she is, tears slipping silently down her cheeks attention dropped to the fringing of the afghan drawn about her that she’s fiddling with. At the gentle touch to her cheek, glossy hazel eyes lift. “I don’t want to become my mother. Or my aunt, or my sister or my grandmother or… or…” Sometimes family finds you. Bad move, bluerider. Baaad move. For with a sob, Prymelia tips forward and flings her arms about his neck, all the confusion and hurt and worry spilling in soft sobs and a wet trickle of tears down the side of his neck.

How was this a bad move? T'ral wants to be someone Prymelia trusts. With anything. Even falling apart. Especially falling apart. He is a little taken aback when Prymelia flings herself at him. He opens his mouth, "…?" It takes a moment for him to shift gears and then his arms go around Prymelia gathering her up, holding her close, "Was it-" something I said, "Are you-" okay? "Can I-" do anything? Great work, T'ral. He leans over, slipping out of his crouch and pulling them both, and the afghan, onto pillows. A strongly protective urge wells up in his chest as Prymelia weeps into the crook of his neck. That powerful protectiveness at first obliterates rational thought with a feral territoriality. MINE. BUZZ OFF. And then, slowly, rational thought returns… MINE. I'm gonna be the one to make her miserable, so BUZZ OFF. Well. Okay… so, rational thought takes some time to return. But it does. After a fashion. T'ral nuzzles Prymelia's hair, eyes narrowing as he pulls her tighter to his chest, thinking. Thinking. Thinking. They stay that way for some time until Prymelia's sobbing eases. T'ral murmurs into Prymelia's hair. "What did you say earlier? 'Short of marrying a Southern Trader'…?" T'ral's stomach growls and his eyebrows shoot up, "'scuse me a second, let me get that tea." He extracts himself from Prymelia's arms and slips off of the platform, re-tucking the afghan around her before turning to test the temperature of the tea. He winces, "Tepid. Do you want me to put on some more?"

Born of frustration and a loss of which way to turn next, caught in T’ral’s soothing embrace the storm of tears doesn’t last long. At its end, with eyes red-rimmed and puffy and swiping at her cheeks the edge of the afghan, Prymelia watches in silence as he extricates himself and checks on the tea. There’s a water smile and quick shake of head. Tepid tea will be fine. “The only way my father may consider allowing me to stay in Southern would be if I were to marry a Southern trader from a caravan who would have something to offer my clan that my father might want.” She expands on what she’d touched one earlier. “But that would defeat the object of having left Igen in the first place.”

"Here you go." T'ral gives the tray to Prymelia while he clambers up folding himself next to her. He peers at the cups, blinking, "Ah… this one's yours. I think." He takes a sip, "Nope. Mine," he nudges the other cup at Prymelia. In this tiny moment, a gust of heart wrenching nostalgia for a life he's never known (and can never have) swamps him, enough that he pants out a small, startled breath. And then it hits him. An idea. An idea ridiculous enough that bears considering. T'ral stills. That's it. That's it. "That's it!" He puts a hand on Prymelia's knee. A calculated risk. "Prymelia, do you know the 'Ballad of Curaghan'?" He squints, "Ah, what's the…" he shakes his head, putting down his cup and taking Prymelia's hand, "Ah… Traders call it 'The Gray Man' or 'Mists of Keroon.'"

Silently taking the tray from him and then swapping cups when they end up with the wrong ones. Blink. “The Gray Man? Of course I do, but its just a fanciful tale told to children at bedtime I don’t see how that…” And slowly it starts to dawn on her. “But… you’re a dragonrider. My father would never…” A crafty light ignites her gaze. “However, the son of…” So many thoughts started and left dangling in the air.

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