Ember, Jedrek


Ember's walking the beach, Jedrek's running it; they meet at converse


It is evening of the fourth day of the seventh month of the seventh turn of the 12th pass. It is the sixty-fourth day of Winter and 37 degrees. The winter rain is in a lull, but it's cold.


Beach, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 30 Mar 2016 07:00


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"Ember…a name to warm up the night."



An eerie mirror, the glass-quiet Sea of Azov: the clear waters stretch along the dark-pebbled shores, and along this narrow beach. Here the faintest lap of waves belies the calm beyond; here the rocks have been ground down into finest, softest sand - those observant would mark upon the similarity between it and the sands of the hatching grounds. The soft sand soaks up summer sunlight as a sponge; painfully hot during the warmer months, it is only truly pleasant at wintertime. Rocks rise to east and west, lichen-limned and green against the abyssal darkness of stone.

The clouds hang thick and heavy, low and saturated with the promise of rain but thus far, the beach lies in the respite of winter storms. Ember walks the line where water meets sand, hungrily saturating the grains with the calm touch of the Azov sea. In her hand, a lantern swings on a creaky hinge, sending light and shadows dancing with each gust of wind that promises the touch of a storm. Dark hair is inky in the darkness, and dances in haphazard fashion around her face. Leather boots, dark pants, leather jacket and seafoam green blouse complete a picture of a now-time woman who scorns the demand for skirts. Other than the layered chains around her neck, she walks unburdened but for the creak, creak of her rusty lantern.

Rain or shine, hot or cold, Jedrek finishes his shift in the Kitten with either a run or a workout in the sparring room; this night, it's a run on the beach near the water, bare feet slap, slap, slapping against saturated sand and occasionally splashing into the swirl of water itself as it climbs the shore. Despite winter temperatures, he's wearing nothing but a pair of shorts and the sweat of exertion, arms pumping and chest rising with the rhythmic ease of a long-distance runner's pace. If he sees the bobbing lantern light, he pays it no attention; rather, as he nears the Weyr's environs he slows and eventually stops, deep breathing as he turns to stare out over the water, hands on hips as he surveys the storm-angry sea for a moment before bending to toss some of the salty liquid over his head and shoulders, finishing by using one large hand to flick excess from short hair as he straightens.

The minute the bare-chested man comes into view - creak, creak - Ember's eyebrows shoot up, the startlingly large blue eyes widening even more in surprise when the man comes into view in near-freezing weather with all that skin exposed to the elements. Pivoting on her toes, the young woman's voice is almost cheery when she calls out, "You're ballsy, stranger, to risk freezing to death running half-naked down the beach." Shadows dance across her features, collecting in her eye sockets, and accentuating the porcelain-fair skin. "And to risk the water!" Mirth dances in her tone, but she's careful not to get too close to a strange man on the beach. One never knows with a murderer about!

That hand runs through sweat and saltwater-damp hair again as Jedrek turns to regard the girl with the lamp, gaze running over her from head to toe as he rubs idly at an annoying rivulet of water that's trailing down from his shoulder and across his chest before it can find a further path down a flat stomach and beneath sweat-dampened shorts. White teeth gleam in the dark as he smiles. "Seems pretty balmy to me." is his mild reply, "and I've been in colder places." Gaze runs over Ember again, a slower perusal this time. "And some could say you're pretty…ballsy..yourself, wandering about in the dark as you are with a murderer loose and all." A brow cocks inquiringly, though he makes no move toward her; perhaps he senses her caution.

"The Hold is colder," Ember's touch-of-Master-Sea-Hold accent continues to thread with mirth, but she lifts a thin dark brow at his obvious perusal. "This is true, but it's still almost freezing." To emphasize, she wiggles her fingerless gloved hand at him. The lantern creak-creak sways in the gust of wind that is the harbinger of a storm to come. For now, it is just the whip of the wind, containing the bite of near-freezing temperature. It puts a flush to pale cheeks, but Ember is not rushing back to the weyr, immediately. "I'm not without my teeth," she comments, shifting the lantern from one hand to the other, so she can use the newly-freed fingers to gather her hair up, and hold it over her shoulder in a make-shift runner tail.

"Much colder." Jedrek agrees. "I'd at least have to put on a shirt, were I to go to the hold." Muted amusement lingers in his tones and his gaze, though his smile fades to a faintly curved line. Head tilts from side to side as he works the kinks out, and he turns back to the sea, from whence that gust of breeze came; if he feels the cold he doesn't show it, though the sweat and salt are drying on his skin rapidly. He searches the dark beyond the waves, though doesn't seem to find anything and returns his regard to the girl. "Teeth and a lantern. You're truly prepared." He shrugs his shoulders then, finally moves toward the Weyr. "I'll leave you to it, then, whatever your business be. Mine is for a hot bath and warm food and fire." Because that's what comes after a long, hard run on a frigid beach.

Creak-creak; Ember's lantern swings as she watches the man with a sort of curiosity settled in her open expression. "Aye," large blue eyes watch the man's movements, and she takes a step forward, holding up a hand. "What's your name?" The girl who works everywhere is the curious sort, which is probably why she's a permanent temp, never staying in one job. "I have no business. Just wandering down the beach." Maybe it is, maybe it isn't the truth, but it's what she says with a tiny little smile, like telling a little enigmatic story. "My name's Ember." Simple, but true. Very little fanfare to this.

Progress toward the Weyr is halted by that raised hand, Jedrek glancing down at it for a second before engulfing it in his larger one. "Ember…a name to warm up the night." He murmurs. "Jedrek. I'm a bartender at the Kitten." Faint smile appears as he clasps the hand briefly, then allows it to drop; she would expect his skin to be cold, wearing as little as he is, but it's not - it's warm, that brief handshake, almost hot; perhaps he's got an internal furnace fully stoked. "If you're just wandering, perhaps you'd wander that way." He indicates the Weyr "After that run, I've worked up an appetite." Eyes gleam in the dark, and white teeth flash briefly as the slight smile widens. "You can keep me company….if you've no business to keep you here." Because maybe he believes her, maybe he doesn't. "Unless you'd rather your solitary trek on the beach."

"Ah! That is why you look familiar. I've had a stint or two in the 'Kitten." Ember wrinkles her nose; drunks aren't her favorite people to be around. "Thankfully only like two." And with that, she clasps his hand with surprising strength. "I'll follow you back to the weyr, but not to the baths," she responds, a touch archly as laughter escapes in a soft rush. "I was heading back that way, truthfully." Because she's not a runner and the beach is cold and wherever she was coming from, where she was going to was not in the scary dark places.

"Pity. Bathing's always more fun with friends. But, company on the walk back would be welcome." Mild amusement limn the words, though he doesn't seem to disappointed. "Perhaps you'll change your mind about the bath, you get to know me better." Or perhaps he's just pulling her leg. He regards her again, when she mentions doing a stint or two in the Kitten. "I seem to recall ….extra help a time or two? In the kitchens, maybe." He's got some vague memory of the girl. He starts to head toward the Weyr, long legs eating up the beach. "What do you normally do, then?"

"Already bathed," Ember sing-songs, dancing out of that little topic with ease, "Don't need another one." Because no way is Ember taking a bath with a strange man, but the smile she sports is genuine - as if the world is her oyster and nothing in it could ever not go her way. She has, thus far, lived a charmed life. "I've run drinks and food, yes." Nimbly, she steps over a fallen log, the wild swing of her lantern adding the creak-creak into the night air. "I do everything and nothing. You could say that I am a permanent temp, and go where the jobs are. If a regular is sick, I'm using the one filling in."

"I can bathe alone just as well." Jedrek does it all the time, actually. "You do eat and drink though….like sharing those as well, if you're inclined." Skirting the piece of driftwood, he flicks a sidewise glance toward the girl. "Interesting life you've chosen. You just do this at the Weyr, or do you travel like a trader?" he wonders, scratching at an itch on one bare shoulder, where the salt of sweat and sea have dried and tightened the skin. He continues the pace he's set, which is not slow but not a run either, letting Ember trail or keep up as she pleases. "

Ember shifts the lantern back to the other hand, releasing her hair, and laughs lightly, "Yes. I do eat." Tipping her head up to the cloud-laden night sky as if to draw inspiration, "Just the weyr and hold," she add, with a shrug of her slender shoulder, "Filling in jobs. I don't trade. That's for… well… traders." Briefly, her free hand touches her necklaces, but it's more habit than anything important. "I just don't want to get stuck in a rut, so I change it up. Maybe someday I'll find some lofty goal to chug away at, but for now, each day is different and that's what I need." She easily keeps up, despite her shorter legs. "You like being in the bar?"

Jedrek seems amused by her attempts to juggle both lantern and hair; he doesn't suggest carrying the former so she can deal with the latter, though. "So, easily bored, then." He notes. "Well, suppose one way to go through life, doing a bit of everything. If you don't have a passion, that is. Though you'd think with that attitude, trading would be a good way to go. You'd get to see Pern, at least. There's a trader about right now…Ellen's her name. She's looking to add to her caravan." As for her query, he shrugs strong bare shoulders again, gaze shifting away from her in order to watch the placement of his feet. "It's a job. Keeps me in marks, food, and a roof over my head." Seems he's got simple needs. "Piece of tail now and again." Mouth lifts in a lazy grin at that last. "Wouldn't call it my passion, bartending." But then, he doesn't seem to be a man driven by such emotions and, for all his friendliness, there's a hint of aloofness to him. "There's enough variety in customers to keep me out of the 'rut,' as you say." He adds. "Though the Kitten's one of the more tame bars I've ever worked."

Ember wouldn't give up her lantern even if he offered, so it's a fair trade to just avoid the awkwardness all the way around. The creaking sway of her lantern marks her progress as the light flickers in the light. "Ehhhh," she shrugs, shooting a look at Jedrek, "I'm less interested in seeing the world than I am in having a stable bed and comfortable place to sleep. I've zero interest in holing up in a wagon on the road. No thanks." A finger is brought up to tap her lower lip, slogging through the sand - walking on a beach is harder than it looks - and adds, "I didn't know anyone ate tail. I imagine is very gamey." Does she get the saying he uses? Perhaps, her expression gives little away but the solemn expression. "Mmmnnn. Probably because it's smack in the middle of the weyr. I've heard the Dockside Tavern gets pretty rowdy."

"Dockside Tavern is tame compared to some of the other places I've worked." Jedrek says idly, though with another of those amused glances for her misinterpretation, deliberate or not. "And perhaps I should have said a willing lass rather than tail." But he doesn't seem to be leering at her own pretty 'tail,' as it were, keeping his gaze fixed on his own path through the driftwood and sand. "The gaminess varies, regardless. I tend to prefer sweet and spicy fare, myself. Bold flavors rather than bland." And he could be talking about food and drink here; but likely he's not. "I'm with you on the wagon, however. I was offered a chance to join, but the comfort of a warm bed and plenty of food one doesn't have to cook oneself is always pleasant."

"I like a clean life," Ember's response could almost be prim, though she seems amused at his cataloguing of 'women' or 'tail'. After a moment - and another side-eye for his commentary on the tameness of another tavern - she adds with a shake of her head. "I can't imagine being on the road without," irony settles here in the hunch of her shoulders as the weyr's clearing looms, "a baths." Given how the conversation started. "Besides, a trader doesn't get to work in a library or serve fancy dishes in a fancy restaurant and then nip those fancy foods right off the plates those fancy people didn't entirely finish."

For some reason, Jedrek has a little trouble resolving a 'clean life' with eating leftovers off the plates of strangers; he can't decide whether or not to be appalled or amused, so he looks a little bit of both. "I guess I can see that.." is all he says, however. "So trading's out." Brilliant deduction, that! "And lucky that you're able to do so many different things. You weyrbred, or a transplant? And if the latter, where d'you hale from originally?" Idle queries all; his attention is more on the now much closer Weyr than the girl at his side; now that he's completely cooled down he's feeling a bit of nip from the cold and quickens his pace.

"Here and there," Ember turns her face away, casting her features in shadow, for she's not going to give more than that to a stranger. Especially not a stranger that's all but running towards the weyr. As Jedrek's attention wanes, Ember takes the opportunity to break off with a quick, "Enjoy your night, Jedrek, I see someone I need to catch." And quicker than a darting shadow, the girl is headed towards a dark-haired man who lurks in the shadows. Whatever her business with him is, he grabs her by the arm and leads her away with nothing but a squeak of protest.

A brow rises, either at the girl's reticence of her suddenly racing off. He pauses to watch her catch up the dark-haired gentleman, a frown appearing as she's led away. But then he shrugs again; not his business, right? And returns to his quick-paced search of warm food, drink, and bath in whatever order they come.

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