The Egg Trade

Characters Eresai, Lucrezia
Synopsis Trader Lucrezia and newly posted woodcrafter Eresai make a trade of words and other things.
Out-of-Character Date November 22, 2014

Igen Weyr - Living Caverns
Second only to the Hatching Sands in size -- although its walls are not so nearly circular -- the living cavern is filled with numerous rectangular tables, almost too many to count. The Weyrleaders have the table farthest from the kitchen and hearths at one end of the cavern. The hearths are kept as low-burning as possible during the day when folk come inside to escape the heat outside. They burn brighter at night to keep away the deserts chill. No matter hte level of flame, there is always a stew pot that hangs for nibblers at a good temperature. Favored drinks, particularly iced klah and juice, are kept on ice and interspersed at various food tables scattered about, along with baskets of rolls and fruit. There are, of course, scheduled mealtimes, and at certain points of the day the available fare slides into the menu for the nearest meal, be it breakfast, lunch, dinner, or late-night snackings, but the staff has long since acknowledged that people will sit to talk and nibble here at all hours. In the cooler parts of the evening in particular, the cavern hosts games of chess, checkers, dragonpoker, and others. Several degrees are knocked off thanks to the Technician Craft's cooling system.

Even during a lull such as the one that comes an hour or so after the usual breakfast spread is offered, the living caverns are hardly empty. The tables are good for things beyond eating so various weyrfolk are at their work, mending or tinkering or whatever else is on their day's 'to do' that is also conducive to sitting in the space. Eresai, evidently, came for breakfast late, but then switching time zones can have a certain impact on one's internal clock. He plate is half emptied, the fork arrested under the small pile of scrambled eggs remaining. His hazel gaze is locked on the low-burning hearths, expression pulled a little tight as if he's riddling out the answer to some puzzle or another.

And along comes a trader with apparently no sense of what time it ought to be, given the lurid hues of her dress and the faint melody wrought by her jewelry. Today is a day of bright red and shocking orange, with beads of those same colors woven into a small braid that hangs over one of Lucrezia's ears. She makes her way to the serving tables with supple fluidity, dancer's grace translated into a casual hip-swaying stride. What remains is picked over with an audible huff from the girl and her features knot themselves up a little with mild dismay. "I knew I should've come in earlier," she sighs. Her voice is lilting, sweet - and oddly accented, though her lack of a knot should do well to explain everything perfectly. "No eggs! Oh, for Rukbat's rays." Displeasure is swiftly shelved as she sorts out -something- suitable and thus does the quest for a table begin!

If Eresai was looking at the hearths for the flames, he's got a whole new kind of fire to watch. Hazel gaze is caught by the bright shades in the trader's raiment and it follows her to the serving tables. He's not so distant from them himself that he doesn't hear her frustration, "I-" He looks down at his plate. Is it awkward to offer a girl you've never met your half eaten eggs? "Do you want the rest of mine?" If it is, the earnestly raised brows and touch of blush in the teen's cheeks might help (or make worse) that awkwardness.

And, oh, what a short quest it turns out to be. Lucrezia's head tilts toward the unfamiliar voice and she, in turn, pivots on the ball of a foot to properly face the young man. If it -is- awkward to offer eggs, it's clearly -not- awkward to accept said eggs - at least in the trader-girl's world. "Oh! Are you sure? I don't want to take them if you're still eating!" Breathless, that, though she's readily crossing the distance between and, without preamble, claiming a seat next to the lad. "But! I can trade you this sweet roll for them, if you'd like?" Her head tips at a coquettish angle, allowing her to look up at (poor, poor!) Eresai.

Well, good! No one's awkward about the eggs then. That means Eresai's awkwardness must be attributed to something else. "No, no, it's fine," comes in a rush, with him nudging the whole plate with its small pile of eggs, browned tubers and onions and toast toward the blonde. "I can eat something—" else. "Your sweet roll." His smile pulls and has the effect of making him look somehow shyer than he did with just the darting eyes that can't seem to focus on the trader's face. "That- doesn't sound right. Sorry," is mumbled a moment later. To a teenage boy, of course it wouldn't. "I'm Eresai," he hurries to change the topic.

"Oh! Oh, I just wanted the eggs," Lucrezia protests, eyes wide as the rest of the plate is offered up. She makes the transfer of eggs to her plate with his fork and even - helpfully! - eats the last bits of eggs left on the fork before putting it on his plate and sliiiding it back to him. The sweet roll is carefully placed where the eggs were, with a satisfied smile from the trader. "There. See? All better! And, you know, it's a -lovely- sweet roll." She positively -beams- at the exchange and leans over to sneak in a one-armed hug - assuming he doesn't balk or move away. And, if that succeeds, she'll also aim a chaste kiss for one of his cheeks. "Lucrezia," is positively purred into his ear by way of introduction, with a bubbly, "And, please. Don't apologize if you didn't do anything wrong, mm?"

Eresai doesn't protest the transfer. At least he seems to know when to keep his mouth shut. Once the sweet roll is in place, he pulls the plate back toward himself. "It looks delicious," he agrees. He's not looking at her when he says it, but that might be to save himself further coloring of his cheeks. The one-armed hug and cheek-kiss thusly takes him by surprise and he's wide-eyed when he looks at her. "I— guess they're very friendly in Igen?" Nevermind her lack of knot. He sounds uncertain as he looks at the blonde, brows dipping down a little as if she's the new puzzle to be sorted. "I'm new. I just got here. Not long ago." Sometime, his eyes go back to his plate and he picks up his fork, because it's safer that way.

"Good. They really know what they're doing in the kitchens here, you know?" And, just like that, Lucrezia's peeling away to tuck into her meal with wee bites interspersed with conversation as the situation allows. A sidelong look to Eresai is coupled with a tilted smile at his observation and she replies, "Oh, I don't know about -Igen-, but my trader family makes it a point to be friendly to everyone we meet, you know?" Her smile turns into a proper one a moment later as she adds, "The people here -are- lovely, though. They really are. I think you'll like it here, yeah-yeah?"

"Oh, traders," is said as if that helps to clarify. "I've met traders." Presumably once before in his life sometime. Eresai is, likewise, working on the meal that remains for him. "It's pretty hot here, but a different kind of hot than the hot I'm used to." The young man explains without really explaining. He doesn't look at her much, and what looks he does manage are mostly side-long. "Have you been here in Igen long?" It's a polite sort of inquiry, said as if he were asking perhaps about how she liked the eggs.

The eggs seem to suit just fine, given how quickly they're disappearing. Rezia tips her head in his direction again when he speaks, then she more properly turns to face him at his explanation. "Oh? What kind of traders were they? When did you meet them?" Nosy, nosy! Fortunately, she doesn't seem the sort to press too much, as she's quickly moving right along with a curious, "Where -are- you from, anyway? Did you choose to move here or…?" Another bite ends that trailed off thought and she hums a little at his question, bright eyes trained keenly on him in contrast to his awkward glances askance. "A little while, yeah-yeah. I have family here, you know? But- mostly, I'm off visiting with Holds and other Holds and things. I'm just here for a little while until Daddy Lu calls me back." Her nose wrinkles a bit at something or another, but she's quick to move on with a muted, "… You know, I don't -bite-. You can look at me. Or am I -really- that terrible of a person that you can't?"

"Um," Eresai doesn't have an immediate answer for this. "Clothes and things, I think. It was back some turns ago in Lemos, while I was at the Hall. I'm a woodcrafter. Apprentice. Senior. Senior apprentice." Did he say that already? He stares at his plate, at the browned tubers, and then starts to collect them on his fork as if this were his only mission in life. "I was posted here. It's my first. Posting, that is. I came with my journeywoman, she's-" He looks up as if perhaps Saresha will appear from nowhere to save him from himself. Now he looks at her, although he's still looking at her in a way that keeps his eyes a little squinted, like maybe the colors of her outfit are so bright he can't manage to give her a solid look. "You're not— I— you're really pretty." So it's hard to look at her, see? He looks back to the plate.

"Oh, how -grand-!" Lucrezia claps cheerfully and flashes him a bright smile that might give her clothes a run for their money in terms of sheer brilliance. "That's wonderful! Oh, what do you make? What does she? Do you have a specialty?" She leans in and pushes her plate aside, with a little bit of seat-scooting to bring her closer to the clearly doomed Eresai. When he looks up, so does she, but it just leaves her features riddled with short-lived confusion. "Oh, I'm sure they'll keep you busy-busy here, too. Lots of things to do, yeah?" And, of course, her traderly mind is clearly clicking along on other things, though she doesn't delve into that mess. Yet. See, she's being distracted by squinty eyes and praise, which does plenty to derail her train of conversation. "Oh, you! Now you're just being silly," she laughs. She reaches out to try to catch his chin with her fingertips and gently tip his head so he's mostly facing her. "And sweet. But mostly silly." Her grin goes lopsided again. "Don't lose that, yeah? The sweet or the silly. There's not enough of either in this world."

So many words! They seem to overwhelm Eresai for a few moments because he takes his time to collect his thoughts before making answer. In the meantime, she's caught his chin and he is almost sort of looking at her, eyes flicking from her face and away and back and away. "Ornamental carpentry, both of us, but we're going to be helping with the remodeling project." Certainly, woodcrafters would be in demand for that. "I like to make puzzle boxes." Then, "W-what do you trade? Your family, I mean." It's easier to talk about her business than her prettiness, especially now that he's almost really looking at her.

It's good enough for her, though Rezia's fingers will linger just a little longer on the lad's jaw with practically featherlight contact. "Oh? A pity you don't do beads," she laments and settles back just a little. "Do you do anything like, oh! Like my bracelets? Or is it all big stuff?" The question-hammer continues to fall as she wonders, too, "… oh? What's that? Puzzle boxes, I mean. What do they do?" A bit of a gap is allowed, time taken for her to nibble on whatever remains of her plate. And, then, it's into her trade, which is: "Sewing things, mostly. With beads and jewelry and the like. All those fiddly little finishing bits, you know? And cloth and… oh, pretty much everything. I stick to that stuff, anyway. The rest of the family, well. They have their things, too. Food and firelizard eggs and… oh, everything."

"Oh, we do," Eresai answers, blinking. "Beads, I mean. The wood kind." The apprentice, once her touch has vanished, is looking back to his plate. "Big stuff, too, but we do all kinds of things." As for the puzzle box, the apprentice's hand slips down into one of his cargo pockets and produces a palm-sized cube with no apparent opening and sets it on the table quite deliberately before sliding it over to her. "The trick is to sort how to open it. It's really not— I mean, it's not very functional," for people who don't have anything to hide, like (presumably) him. "Did you sew your—" He lifts a hand to gesture, encompassing her outfit.

"Oh! Oh, that's lovely to know," Lucrezia purrs. "If you happen to have any, I'll be happy to work out a deal, yeah?" The trick of keeping him captive is thusly noted, though, this time, she makes no effort to rein him in, as it were. Instead, she watches with open curiosity while the box is produced, displayed and ultimately slid over to her. Cunning fingers work over the corners and other bits of it, experimenting with gentle pressure here or a sliding motion there. Her lips purse while she fiddles with it, though it ultimately yields, "I rather like it - even if you don't think it's very functional." His question yields a sudden burst of giggles and she shakes her head vehemently. "Oh, no! No, no, no. I've all the sewing skill of an untrained firelizard. No, this was made for me. I'm just good at dancing and selling things, see? I don't have any craft to speak of - not like you."

"Keep it." Even small as it is, it must've taken him time to perfect the fit of the pieces and the complex design. "Dancing and selling things sounds… useful," awkward and uncertain. Eresai opens his mouth to say more, but that's when his name is called by an attractive woman in her mid-thirties and a journeywoman's knot on the other side of the cavern. He looks flustered as he looks from his jouneywoman to the trader and says only, "Excuse me," before getting up, and "Was nice to meet you," pausing only long enough to snag up his sweet roll before hurrying in Saresha's direction.

"Oh! Oh -thank you-. This is lovely! I'll find something to pay you back for it. I swear." The little cube is drawn in and hugged to her chest - and it's the abruptness of Eresai's summoning that spares him yet another moment of awkwardness at Rezia's hand. She smiles at him and nods, offering up a cheerful, "Take care, yeah? And I'll see you when our paths cross again," along with a bright wiggle of fingers farewell. Only when he's gone does she finally stand and take her leave as well - though not before catching the elbow of a tall, taciturn brownrider and effortlessly pressing him into service as her conversational partner on her way out to the bowl.

Please use the site manager to activate the Forum, or ask your admin to help
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License