Since 1998 

Page 1  2  3  4  5      Main

Bets Won and Lost

Date: 04-03-09
Poster: Brogan Frasier
Post # 1

Chef for an Evening

Brogan had copied the one recipe so he could get all the ingredients. He would not use up Hazel's supply as he brought the bag of goods into the kitchen and set it off to one of the side tables. A note having been sent to Golden Dawn manor for Diane if she could come this night for he liked to see to all his bets. Clothing worn was of the norm, not the suits he wore at the casino but ones that it didn't matter how much flour or dough he got on himself. A full apron was set out as well a cap he noticed as he surveyed the kitchen. A swipe of his hand over is brow for it was warmer in here than the tavern itself or maybe a lot of nerves on edge causing it. Trying the apron on, it was snug across the chest and the hat fell down to almost his brows to stay on right.

It suited him, surprisingly. Diane made a point of entering the Thistle on soft-soled shoes that hid the sounds of her steps as they carried her back to the kitchen . Stopping in the doorway to watch him, she bit her lip against a chuckle, seeing the hat slide down low over his eyes. "I almost wish I could sketch or paint, Brogan, just to immortalize this scene forever. I think," she held up a thumb as an artist might in play, studying him, "I'd call it Raking in the Dough..."

Hazel was doing the cleaning up for the night with most of those staying having finished their meals, and not many likely to be coming in this late. She was going to stay out of it, as much as possible though she smiled when she heard Diane. Glancing over her shoulder, she greeted Diane with a cheery "good evening, Miss Cleary."

"More like Tromping in the Dough. At least I can get away with wearing this, here." Chuckle came as it couldn't be helped. He was outnumbered and out of his league in a kitchen. First he had to go dig out the recipe, couldn't find it at first and near panicked! It was tucked away in the box, luckily, half under the flour. He got out the flour, baking soda and salt. Finding a bowl was next before he proceeded to dump, somewhat measured according to the recipe, four and a half cups flour, two teaspoons baking soda then one teaspoons salt. A wooden spoon was used to pummel them together, whisking it around briskly as flour dust rose. Some coating his face in a light white sheen.

She smiled brightly back at Hazel, offering her a little bunch of snowdrops she'd found on her way into town. "For you, Miss Hazel. A breath of Spring." Grinning at her, Diane watched Brogan with interest. "Oh, I don't know... a man who isn't ashamed to know his way around a kitchen and wear a sensible apron is very attractive. Don't you think, Miss Hazel?" Silver-blue eyes were twinkling with teasing.

"Not to mention being practical about wearing a hat." She chuckled then smiled again as she accepted the flowers. "Oh, aren't they lovely? Let me find a vase." By then Candy had come back into the kitchen and the little dog wasn't too sure she liked intruders in HER kitchen. She growled a little until Hazel shushed her, and threatened to shut her out of the kitchen altogether.

He set the smaller bowl aside as he got out a bigger one. This one he added two cups of soften butter, one and a half cups of sugar, two teaspoons of vanilla extract, four eggs which he cracked from their shells. Then went about picking out any pieces that managed to fall in with the rest. Those he swiped on the apron, it was what it was for after all. So there were splotches. Next he chopped up a big chunk  of chocolate that he dumped into a two cup measuring cup.

"Oh, chocolate..." Diane had a weakness for the stuff and sighed happily seeing the sheer amount being chopped. "So far so good, wouldn't you say, Hazel?" She bent down, offering her fingers to Candy for sniffing, and if she met the little dog's standards, a good scratching.

"So far and he's not making much of a mess, which is a plus in my book." She went back to scrubbing up some pots. While Candy was a little protective, she was also a glutton for a good scritching and there really wasn't anyone she didn't like, except maybe one guard who she somehow managed to intimidate.

Now came the whipping part as he really got to beat the heck out of these ingredients, minus the chocolate yet. Hand was moving so fast it was a blur and at one point, little blobs flung out that he didn't even notice. One splattered on the top of Candy's head. Once it was creamy, and his arm aching, he added the dry ingredients to blend in then the chocolate chunks lastly. Now he was rolling it up into balls which he then juggled when he had three, making his way towards Diane as if he might possibly toss one her way.

"I'd prefer to eat them, Brogan, not play with them. And if you miss, I won't protect you from Hazel's wrath." Chuckling, she went to help him by buttering the cookie sheets after washing her hands. Dog hair was not an especially tasty addition to cookies.

She'd clean up Candy, and not say a word to Brogan, laughing as she turned to watch him juggle. "I think you better take her advice, sir, or you'll be facing the wrath of my dish towel." She could snap a mean one! And threatened Alex when no one was around. Gathering up the pots, she headed into the storage area to put them away.

Which had him take a quick turn away from Diane, never having let one go her way to catch but instead having them land on the cookie sheet, settling them down instead of a pat. He made enough to fill the sheet with a dozen and a half before opening up the oven to put them in, it had been warming to three hundred and seventy five degrees or there about. One little problem. He wasn't use to wearing the tall chef hat and the kettle warming under a flame, caught the top on fire as he bent down. Straightening with no idea as smoke was rising from the top of the hat with some flames as he was over to roll up more of the dough into balls.

"Ah... Brogan?" Wincing to see him overload the sheet and not donning mitts, Diane was distracted by the smoldering hat. "I think you might want to check your hat. It seems to be smoking."

Oh goodness. She was coming back out of the storage area and stopped to look at Brogan. Well, if something wasn't done right quite, she be dousing him with water and that would ruin the cookies!

He sniffed as some ashes fell down then with Diane's words and the look on Hazel's face, he grabbed off his hat and stomped it out on the stone floor. "I think I'll stay away from hats." He had mitts out to use when taking out the cookies. Which were being timed by a wind up timer for about ten minutes. He had the second cookie sheet about ready when it went off. He was over, grabbing the mitts to use in taking it out, setting it atop the stove off to a cooling rack. They smelled good, so he was hoping they had turned out correctly.

If the scent was any indication, they weren't going to get very long to cool, at least not one of them. Diane sniffed the air with pleasure, sharing a quick grin with Hazel. "The student bids fair to be a credit to the master, don't you think?"

"You're lucky you didn't lose any of that lovely hair." She chuckled then set to putting more dishes away. "Oh, I would say he's done a very good job on his own. So long as he followed the recipe, all should be well." She would let Diane decide how good he had done with that first bite.

He would end up with about eight dozen, larger size cookies when all was said and done. Putting them on a platter as they cooled enough then to butter the sheet to use again, continuing until he was done. Last one made was twice the size of the others. Probably about eight inches round.

"Now that... is a cookie." She continued to sniff around, more than eager to taste, but since she wasn't cooking, it wasn't for her to give permission.

She peered over at the cookies and chuckled. "It is indeed. You should enjoy each mouthful. There's milk in the pitcher there. And since it is late for me, my dears, I am going to bid you both good night. Though, if you need anything at all, I'm just down the hall. You can have the guards let you out if Alex has retired as well." Candy was ready to join Hazel, knowing she'd be let out first and likely would have a cat or two to bark at.

"That one is for you, the cookie of cookies." Grinning like one who just accomplished a big feat and it was for him. "Thank you for allowing me to use your kitchen, Hazel. I can clean up from here and pack a good many for Diane to take home and leave enough for you as well." He would take a dozen with him to share at the Casino or his brother that came home. The apron was next to come off and placed in a hamper to be washed. The hat was ruined and so that went into the garbage. "I'll replace the chef hat tomorrow." He was sure there was a place in the Commons where he could get one.

"Thank you, Miss Hazel. Sweet dreams!" Turning to her, Diane was truly appreciative of Hazel's generosity in allowing her kitchen to be used. "And good night to you too, little one," meaning the dog.

Knowing that Brogan wouldn't hear of any protest against buying the hat, she just smiled. "Rest well when you find your own beds. And you're most welcome. I think you've been around enough for me to trust." She chased Candy out of the kitchen ahead of her closing the door.

The BIG cookie was cool at this point as he carefully took it up, partially held with a napkin as he was over to Diane, easing it towards her mouth so she could take a bite.

Only too delighted to sample the fruits of his labors, she leaned over and took a healthy bite of the cookie, enjoying the warm, crumbly texture as the flavor of butter, sugar and chocolate combined to make her nearly swoon with the mere pleasure of it. A compliment to the baker was forthcoming... when her mouth wasn't full of cookie!

He was watching her keenly and when she didn't spit it out, a slow grin rose as well a glint in moss green eyes. "You're my tester," which only had him grin more, certainly he felt they were done right by their scent but had to tease her.

Managing to finish chewing and swallowing, she had to raise a brow at him. "That's it? That's all I get?"

Which had him throw his head back laughing as he eased the rest of the cooking into her hand, taking it up with his to accomplish it. "You can take at least five dozen, we'll leave two dozen for Hazel and I'll take a dozen back with me to share with my brother and Charles. My only brother, David, arrive yesterday." Though he was only a half brother, that was a technicality.

"That's wonderful! You must be very happy." Breaking a piece off the large cookie, she offered it to him, watching his face intently. "I'll share mine with my brothers and sister... and of course, with my cousins."

"You have quite a few to share with," far more than he unless he was going to Falkirk. If his nephews and nieces find out he made cookies, they would be after him to make them some too. Roughen fingers slid around her wrist as he guided the cookie up to his lips. She might see the small gold flecks in green eyes this close for they were upon her eyes as he carefully took a bite, lips barely touching her fingers where held.

Her eyes held his while he guided her hand, silver-blue darkening for a moment to see the flecks in the green. "It's... an excuse to play with the twins and see Allan and Devon. They'll be impressed with your baking ability, Brogan." She was curious about his brother, but those questions would come in time.

Not a crumb dropped either as he released her hand to step back. He'd been enjoying the color of her eyes, the mingling of gray and blue to give a silver cast. "Long as word doesn't get around and I get besieged with requests to make cookies. I will leave that to the bakery or Hazel." Those who had it down to a fine art. "How are they doing and the twins?" Not a whole lot of news reached him at times for being busy at the casino more than not.

"They're well, though I haven't been over there in the past week or so, trying to get the new racers ready." She stepped back when he released her, a small smile forming for the question posed. "And your family? Keriann is due soon, isn't she?"

"Another month but I hear she wishes it to be over, getting anxious and big. Though she seems to be all baby. I'll have to introduce you to my brother. I hear Andre is back also." Spring brought about changes each year, usually good, like the earth awakening. "May I see you home?" It was getting late as he packed the five dozen cookies into the box he brought the ingredients in. The others he would cover for Hazel and the last dozen, packed into a smaller box he found to take them back in. All were covered up.

"I'll have to see about getting a gift for the baby, and for Keriann." Going to help him pack the cookies, she nodded at his offer. "If you wouldn't mind, please. It's getting late, and I'm sure we both have a busy day tomorrow." Hesitating for a moment, Diane looked up at him. "Thank you, by the way."

It was a payoff of a debt but he hadn't minded at all. In fact he had enjoyed his time. A smile swept, "you're welcome. I enjoyed it. Though hopefully next time I win the race." Bigger grin before he tucked the box under his arm and taking up the other in his free hand. "A surrey awaits," as he had that planned if she came, there was one at his disposal and would make good use of it tonight.

"You're certainly prepared." Not that she was complaining! Going to hold the door for him, she laughed quietly. "We'll see what next time brings, both in terms of race... and wagers." Diane had a sneaky feeling the rivalry was only going to escalate.

Which he only grinned at the mention of, the look in her eyes as well, as he dipped by her with the boxes. Angling his body so he didn't bump into her nor the door. Wouldn't do to have the cookies spill out all over the place or end up in many pieces. The ride back would be nice since the weather had improved, give them time to talk.


Date: 06-03-09
Poster: Lazare Carno
Post # 2

Dinner Bet Fulfilled

Lizabet sent off a note to Lazare in a delicate script on parchment with a touch of primrose scent. There was a bet owed and she had gained the use of both the kitchen and private dining area of the Thistle, if he could make it this day, mid afternoon, for a specially prepared dinner. She wore a deep dusty rose dress of cotton twill, light and perfect for a warm spring day. Hair was curled up back away from her face leaving only tendrils to frame it. A few wild flowers tucked within. A white fancy apron was worn over the dress as she would be serving. She even placed a candle on the table and a single red rosebud in a vase. He was going to have his meal with class. Better china, crystal wine glass with a bottle of Chablis yet to be opened. Lace trimmed cloth napkin and silverware set out precisely.

This may be a bet paid, but Lazare never took his meals for granted. He had cleaned up from the morning's training and dressed in a tailored off-white shirt and deep brown pants. He did, however, roll his sleeves up, prepared to make the most of this ... payment. He paused a moment outside the backdoor, touching the correspondence received to the side of his nose a final time and drew in the scent of it. He smiled and reached for the door, letting himself in. As he started down the hallway, the fragrant primrose lost the battle of aromas to the cooking taking place in the kitchen. Encouraged that Lizabet could perhaps cook, he continued on, wandering through the tavern until he found the room where she had set up for them. "Smells good." He smiled to her, pulling the hand he had tucked behind his back around to present the cluster of none other than pink primroses which he clutched in his palm. Spindly green stalks struggled beneath the heavy, soft-pink blooms causing the flowers to bob in greeting to the lady.

"Ah, there you are," smile sweeping that lit up warm brown eyes. She had a carnation, button size, as she was immediately fussing over him, slipping it in the buttonhole of his shirt before smoothing away the material while he surprised her with the primroses in the next moment. Eyes lit up going wider, "how thoughtful, Sir Lazare." Taking them carefully as she was around and over to the table to add them to the rosebud. "The rosebud was lonely now it has lots of company." Wink was quick as she moved to stand behind the slightly drawn out chair. "If you will be seated, I can begin your five course meal." The first course was already there, a dish of various fruits cut up into cubes and a cherry on top.

His gaze was downcast watching her add the flower to his shirt. As she spoke, he looked to the table, brows raising. He watched as she added the flower garden flowers to the hot house one. "Pedigree versus the masses." He chuckled, watching the large bunch overwhelm the lone beauty. He eyed the fruit and nodded, coming around the chair where she stood to take his seat. He shifted his gaze over to the other side of the table which was devoid of another place setting. "You aren't joining me?"

"Only if you invite me, I am at your disposal. Cook and Server of the meal but if you are looking for company.." giving him the moment to decide as she brought up the folded cloth to flick out then tuck inside the neck of his shirt. Wouldn't due to get any drippings on the nice tailored shirt he wore.

He smiled up to her, catching her hand as she withdrew from tucking the napkin in his shirt, even as he pulled it free to drape it over his knee. "No meal is complete without proper company, Liz-bet. And you did offer a complete meal, did you not?" He released his gentle hold so she could continue but not before he offered her a twitch of a wink.

He got that twitch of a wink right back as well a curling smile. "Aye, and a ccomplete meal you shall have. If you give me a moment, I will be right back." She disappeared into the kitchen in her quick efficient way. The clatter of dishes heard before the wheels of a cart being pushed into the room was next. The dinners were under domed plates. This way she could still serve yet enjoy the meal with him. She had made enough, giving him the larger portion as hers would only be about half. First order was to set out another place setting to his right. The cart positioned to her right in easy reach. The second course was a salad, Italian dressing with just the right amount of a zing. Before taking her seat she was around to the one side of Lazare, a step behind his right shoulder as she brought the dish around and down. Her cheek almost touching his with the action. He might note this close she wore the primrose scent. Green leafy lettuce, all the tips, sliced up ripe tomatoes, black olives and red onion thin pieces. A couple cucumber slices and all sprinkled in a finely grated cheese. With his salad plate set, she easily slipped into her seat adding the fruit and salad plate to hers. "Bon appetite," taking her cloth napkin to spread out over her lap.

So far so good, but nothing as yet attested to the woman's skill at cooking. Not that that was an issue as far as the bet went, but Lazare was interested to find out. His hand smoothed over the napkin on his leg and he scooted closer to the table to begin to eat. He kept his eyes on the lady opposite him as he brought the fork up. "Did we agree to a monthly race, Liz-bet? I could get use to this." And he ate. Yes, that assumed he would be winning every time.

She had just put a cube of fruit in her mouth, making her lips purse as she would normally answer the question. Her spoon wavered with the mmmm, sounding much like yes. They had spoken on going to the races again that she might win next time. Swallowing the bit as she finally spoke up, "indeed. I should get a chance to find out how good a cook you are." It was known that Lazare love a good meal but could he cook one too? Once their salad and fruit were done, she would collect the dishes to set on a lower shelf of the cart next to her. The appetizer came out in smaller dishes with a dome of the same size. These were lifted off as the steam from the stuffed mushroom would be picked up. A delicate pate of seafood and bread crumbs filled the button shells of the sauteed mushroom tips.

The man sat back, pulling his napkin around to touch at his mouth as the next course was served. "You need not win a bet for that, Liz-bet." No man should demand more than he could provide himself. Lazare was no different. However, her comment caused him to chuckle because her winning was to be trained, but to have another meal with her would be far more enjoyable from his point of view. A flourish of hand tucked that square of fabric from view again so that he could sample the stuffed 'shroom. "Although anything I may prepare would pale miserably compared even to what you have presented so far, much less what remains in store."

There was the training to be used in betting as well now a meal cooked by him. She was planning on winning the next two in the least. "If I keep losing I might beg a coup so that I don't get too discouraged." He might well note the spark in dark eyes with the last. "Perhaps I shall get to witness that firsthand." She had a feeling the man could be very creative if inspired. She took her time eating the delicacy before the plates were collected and the main meal would be placed. The domed plates set before she lifted his. Watching his eyes as it was drawn away. Land and Sea theme. Land was of tender sirloin tips delicately roasted in a blend of herbs and spices. Its own juices its gravy in a deeper brown. Succulent lobster sat to the other half of the plate over a lettuce leaf. It was popped up from its shell with a wedge of lemon and a small container of melted butter. A side dish of baby carrots in a light caramel glaze and scoop of mash potato with a pool of beef gravy made from the other juices from the steak. A sprig or two of parsley for decoration.

Each time she rose from the table, he sat back, and leaned around to watch her. He didn't like she that she kept having to leave him, but she was soon back again with more delicious fare. When the dome lifted from this course, his eyes actually closed as he inhaled, then he enjoyed the sight as well, his smile growing. "If you desire it, Liz, I will make it so!" What she now set before him...he would be her servant for life!

"Well then," seating herself once more as the dome was set aside to the second shelf of the cart, hers to follow, "we shall see how these next few races go. We missed the last one," as if chiding him, although she had been there helping her brother with the horses. Regardless the fact she had cooked the meal, she leaned slightly in, hand in a sweeping motion to bring the aroma up more fully to be taken in. She could pick out the various herbs and spices and the scent given off telling her they were the right blend. Her fork taken up as she sat back and would proceed to enjoy her meal. Delicate eater as each morsel was brought up and enjoyed as if a separate meal.

"I apologize for my slight, Liz. I fear I'm not always the best for being available for extra-curricular functions." He nudged his fork prongs against a carrot, then eased the tines beneath it to scoop it up, casting a look her way. "I will do my best to make it up to you."

"Aye, I was only teasing you. It will be when we can for you are an important man." There was no sarcasm in that but a touch of admiration she rarely showed towards another. Even she had duties now that came first but she would grasp any moment to have fun that she could. "The meal," dipping glance from him to his plate and back, "it is to your liking?" She would never admit to worrying over the time in making it, nor the time in choosing what to have for such a man of taste.

"Goodness!" He forced down the swallow to remedy his slight. "Forgive me. It is delicious, Lizabet." Yes, he even said her name right that time with the seriousness of his concern. "I can not even begin to imagine a better wager won." He set his fork aside and wiped at his mouth. "I lost myself in the taste of it and the excellent company and failed to even express my appreciation to the cook! I sit rightly reprimanded but dually appreciative. Both for the gentle reminder and the excellent meal."

She sat back, the cloth napkin used to dab the corners of her mouth before lowered. She had enjoyed the lobster portion even more. One had to be careful not to overcook or it became mushy. The meat firm and tender cooked just right. Dark eyes held an inner light, a satisfied one, not of the meal but of his words. "That makes the time well spent to see you enjoy the meal cooked by my hand. I can hope the fifth course will be just as pleasing," taking the moment to bring out some plates and then another dome covered plate, one wider and lower. Beneath was a lemon meringue pie. Something sweet and light to compliment the meal and not steal from it.

He sat forward, looking at her from across their meals. "I sincerely doubt that you would have let me down, Miss. Considering it is in payment for a bet." But pleased he was all the same that she had put so much into this meal...
for him. When the pie arrived he practically sighed. Something light. Perfect!

She was pleased for the pie probably took even more time to make, especially to get the meringue with golden brown tips just right and not separate from the delicate pastry crust. She cut him a slice to slip on a plate and set off to the side, taking the main plate now that his meal was done. Repeating the same for hers. "Sometimes," measuring out her words just so, "seeing to a bet lost is as good as winning one." Quick wink before a fork full of lemon pie was sampled. Just the right sweet yet tangy had her closing her eyes as lips slightly pursed as it was fully enjoyed.

Too bad Lazare missed the pursing of lips, he may have enjoyed that view. His eyes were closed at that same time, unfortunately, appreciating his own bite at the same time. Once his tastebuds were satisfied, he swallowed and looked her way. "Sometimes is right. It all depends on who you are betting with." He slid his fork into the soft pie middle again, bringing up another bite and anticipating the same delicious tang and sweet sensation. He was not disappointed. He truthfully couldn't say had he made the same bet with, for example, Dana, that he would be delighting in the fare as much!

"I like having you as my betting partner." Though if they continued she would need new creative bets to keep it from getting mundane. "I have on my list of things to do, heading up to the king's field tomorrow morn to watch you work off this very meal." Scooping in another bite of the pie as lips pursed while a smile showed in her eyes.

With a lean back, he drummed his fingers over his stomach, as if there was a bulge of well fed male there. "Betting partner, Liz, or bedding partner?" He chuckled, twitching off another wink to her. "And I have no doubt that tomorrow morn, when the Black Griffon decides it is time for me to take my licks...I'll miss this meal and only desire yet another when I'm beat."

She leaned to rub her hand over that well fed belly swell, not that there really was one but it all went along with their teasing, "there, there, all better now. You'll have to win another bet for to be fed again." Like the poor thing would not be fed otherwise or even ever again. Her laughter bubbled up flowing to fill the room with his next comment. "Shall we start with Betting partners for the other can be quite fattening." Giving him a wink right back with the tease than offended by the remark. "I do look forward to seeing you practice. I've heard a lot through the talk of other ladies that have gotten to witness the sight." Obviously something worth seeing. If one was a full blooded woman!

He laughed himself, first with the stroke of her hand and her words, then with her clarification of whether bet or bed would be their partnering. "I eat dirt with as much gusto, that is what you will witness." He continued to chuckle, making a final pass of napkin over his mouth before tucking it beneath the edge of his plate. "Thank you, Liz-bet. It has been some time since a meal has proved so enjoyable."

She had truly enjoyed herself, the time well spent in preparation and participation. Pleased he had asked her to join him which provided the bantering. "Thank you for enjoying it, that is the best praise for the cook. Perhaps you will join me for a walk in the garden aside the Thistle?" Which there was a door from the small dining room to that very place. She was told that the kitchen maid would see to gathering the dishes away so she had not worried on it. The apron long having been discarded when she took up his offer in joining him in the meal.

He stood in an instant, the backs of his legs clearing the chair from his way. "Now that would be the absolute to this meal, Miss. Please." He offered his arm to her.

"Lizabet," instead of Miss as she stood. Taking a step away as her hand came to rest upon his forearm. "Or I will need to be calling you Sir."

"I care not what you call me...Liz-bet" Yes, he still called her what he would. "As long as you call me." A smile for her and they walked outside.

Date: 07-19-09
Poster: Lizabet McKnight
Post # 3

Picnic At the Lake - Bet Made

Hazel allowed Lizabet to make up a picnic basket for Lazare. After all, she should do the cooking being she had lost the bet. She was teasingly grumbling about not winning so far and needed to win. Hazel was trying not to laugh but reassured her the odds were in her favor, that she should win the next hometown race that they entered. It had Lizabet beaming a smile her way as she finished up the baked chicken with a crispy herb blended crumb crust. Slices of cheese and rolls. A few small baked potatoes that were stuffed, the baked insides scooped out to add cheese and ham then filled up again in a way they could be eaten like a roll. Some potato and egg salad, plates, forks, knives, napkins and cherry cobbler secured away in a covered container. The tablecloth spread to sit on packed in last. "At least I have lost to a man with a good appetite." And for his sake, that she could cook! Ice tea and some punch in containers were added in down the one side before all was closed over. "He should be arriving soon," as she lugged the heavy basket out into the tavern area to set on a table. She would see if he'd do the carrying! Attired in a spring dress of white with splashes of melon and yellow, it contrasted against her naturally bronze skin and picked up the gold flecks in brown eyes. She had a shift underneath of white with some lacing to accommodate as a swimming outfit for the day promised to be a hot one.

He was actually waiting in the common room, coming to his feet when she stepped from the kitchen with her load. "Ah, come prepared to feed an army." He laughed, hurrying over to her to take the weighty basket. "Which is good, for I have an armies' appetite." He gave the basket a lift and lower as if weighing the contents. "Feels delicious." Smelled good too. He'd been anticipating the eating of whatever was creating that aroma since the arriving into the Thistle and getting a whiff of it.

Lashes fanned dark eyes that slipped up his way as he was over. Pleasant surprise and feeling a little contrite that maybe she'd been late, though here, what was the hour? Sliding a glance to the mantel where the Traugott clock hung, five minutes beforehand, she was not late, he was early. The thought turned a winsome grin up his way. "You have brought your usual appetite?" Why she cooked for an army! "Shall we walk the distance or take a carriage if the basket will be too heavy to carry a mile or two?"

Lazare shook his head to begin his response. "At times, the struggle makes the outcome all the more enjoyable. I don't mind walking if you would not mind walking with me." The basket was full, but manageable.

"I don't mind at all," the prospect pleasing as she slipped her hand about his arm, opposite of the one he carried the basket. Oh yes, she would walk proudly at his side, greeting all with big smiles, curling her hand just a little more to give a certain impression and let the tongues waggle! She was being devilish and relishing in it. Certainly the kingsman got looks and some to wonder who the woman was on his arm. Her name would now get around.

He wasn't adverse to enjoying the gossip of having such a lovely lady at his side, carrying a large picnic basket on his arm. In fact, he made it a point to speak briefly in passing with a few of the women shopping along the street, to introduce Lizabet to them, to mention with no reserve whatsoever that she had prepared a picnic that they would be enjoying at the lake. And grinning the entire time, a look resting on Lizabet when he could.

She was soaking it up and without a bit of coyness, open as was her nature. Greeting each introduced in a very friendly way and totally enjoying whose arm she was on. Certainly there were quite a few envious looks which only had her finger curl more about his arm then loosen up as they passed onto the next. Most of the envious looks came from the single women but there was a married one or two that had that gleam in her eyes upon Lazare with even their husband standing there clueless. Those she gave a little nudge with her elbow against his side, like it was his fault, which it wasn't, which she knew but darn if she wouldn't tease. Soon they were turning from the commons out onto the road that would take them a distance to the one leading down to the lake. "Do you need help in carrying the basket." Slight twinge of guilt she had left it to him. "I can carry it back," which of course it would be a lot lighter then. Her step lively as his side of one that spoke of being happy to be alive.

Don't think for a minute he didn't notice the passing glances of men when Lizabeth walked along. Rather amused with the whole day, this only made it all the more enjoyable. "You made it, I'll carry it." He answered with a smile. "And I carried it here, I'll carry it back." He didn't mind at all carrying the basket to and from, especially with the company that came with it. The day was a warm one, but the area around the lake seemed to cool the feverish air ever so slightly. Lazare set the basket upon a bench.

It was sweltering hot, "oh if only a breeze off the lake could continue." Mussed as she picked out a spot on the sandy beach. "I think this spot should do, fairly flat," as she fussed with a keen eye in measuring then to Lazare to flip open the basket lid enough to pull out the checkered cloth. That would give him more of a whiff of the food inside as she set to flipping out the cloth onto the ground that he could then set the basket down in anchoring it. "I hear they have canoes here and rowboats," taking a swift glance up along the coast as she straighten. There they were but a few yards up tuned over up from the edge of the water.

Ask and ye' shall receive. Even as he looked over to where the canoes and small boats were stored, a welcomed breeze rippled over the water, catching a light mist with it. Relief from the heat ghosted over them. "Care to eat first then, M'Lady, or take a boat out?" He set the basket down to hold the blanket in place against any continued puffs of breeze and looked out over the water.

"Oooooo, that's perfect." Closing her eyes as she undid a couple buttons at the top of her dress, modest sight but it felt good on her neck and top of her chest to catch that bit of a breeze. Only a moment for fingers to linger there before she was animated again. "I think it best we eat first while that which should be warm is and the fact I was warned of the raccoons coming in droves to pilfer all from an abandoned basket of food." Settling down in a flounce of skirt, the breeze had picked up enough to give a glimpse of a shapely leg beneath before a hand smooth the material down. She set to opening up the basket and getting out the plates, then the covered dishes to pass. "I am famished." She had skipped breakfast just so she had an appetite befitting his, though probably half in comparison. At least it was more than picking at her food like a bird would.

"Can't have that now, can we? I don't mind sharing, but not with the local wildlife." He settled himself, stretching out his legs to the side so not to interfere with her preparations. And what was that? A cobbler of some sort to top the meal? He could get used to winning these races, very used to it.

One of these times she was going to win. She already decided to bribe the horse if such were possible. Sweet smile his way as she handed him a loaded up plate. Not too loaded that he couldn't go for seconds, even thirds if he wished and not an ounce of fat on the man. She wondered what his secret was for certainly fat was a woman's fear when it came to food. "How have you been since the races?" Being this was the first she'd seen him since that second faithful time in losing but hell if she didn't mind for it got her to share time in his company. Company she enjoyed and the reason legit neither had to worry on it or more, in spite of all her earlier teasing, make him feel like he was pressured in any way. That would not do at all, nor for her.

It would be difficult to make Lazare feel pressured in any way. Even his comrades-in-arms often found his lack of concern frustrating. He accepted the plate with a smile and a nod, and took his first bite while she spoke. How had he been? "I've been busy, as I'm sure you have. But the lack of time to think only brought this day all the sooner. Which pleased me all the more." Another bite of potato. "These are delicious."

"Aye, that I have, been busy that is. Learning more of a vet's skills so I can be more of an assistant to my brother. Eventually I might consider owing a race horse." A thought that she'd been entertaining for a while. Her smile brightened upon the compliment as she was eating a drumstick. Took a dabbing of the napkin for the chicken juice that wanted to run down her chin and crumbs wishing to stick to it. "I'm pleased you enjoy them, something I came up one time when I was experimenting as a young girl learning to cook."

"A race horse?" His head dipped and he looked over to her with a grin from that position. "I trust someone else will be riding it for the gold." Another bite of potato, and a closed mouth grin while he chewed.

"Oh, yes, in the races there are jockeys hired to race them. All equally good and trained well by Falkirk Downs. I think I know who to talk to, maybe a trade. I'll check all their horses for one I heard they were thinking of selling." Liking the idea as it emerged and tucked away for later in seeing to. She moved on to the potato for he made it seem even better in the way it was enjoyed. Some punch was poured, made of potcheen and blackberry flavoring.

"Yes." He laughed, for he knew she wouldn't be the one on horseback while the races were run. He was teasing her for her inability as yet to win against him. He noticed that she was in a serious mind set at present, thinking through the process of gaining that horse, so he allowed his smile to linger following his laugh and just ate. He definitely was enjoying those potatoes. And the chicken. And the punch. Lazare had never been a big blackberry in liquid form fan. Blackberry brandy. Blackberry wine. Blackberry whiskey. This, however, had a pleasant flavor that went well with the meal. "Did you happen to come up with any other special treats while experimenting as a youth in the kitchen?" If these potatoes were what came of her experimentation, she should always be in the kitchen, trying her hand.

"All kinds of goodies and some disasters that even the dogs wouldn't eat." Giving him a sassy wink as she had finished up her portion of the meal. The cherry cobble she would hold off until later. The idea of a race horse was very appealing to her that her thoughts had not let go of it just yet. No, she was devising a way, a plan, to set into motion that would have her achieving that end. She would go see Rory McDonough. She was up from her seat to step away, peeling the outer dress away leaving the white lacy shift on beneath. Distracted while sure quick movements had the few constraints from her hair to free completely. Long enough it reached her lower back as she started for the water. "I think a swim or even wading is far too inviting at this point." And she could wash her hands more completely.

"Excuse me, Ms. Liz-bet, but dogs lick their own backsides. They cannot be given credibility as a connoisseurs." He took another bite of the third helping of potatoes, dark brows arching as she stood and prepared to go for a swim. With her back to him, an appreciative gaze dipped down over her, and the smile that he always had in place when in her company spread some more. He set his plate aside, rolling to his feet. He stripped off his shirt, then pulled off boots and socks. He hadn't come prepared for a swim, his mind had been on the meal that Lizabet could prepare. So he left his pants on, leaving the remainder of his clothing there by the blanket. A swipe of hand pushed his hair from his face and he came up alongside the lady. "While in your company, lovely lady, there are many far too inviting prospects." He started forward into the water.

"Are there now?" Straightening from the bend to sweep water over her hands and a flick of fingers to follow letting droplets splatter on that nice chest of his. "Enough to find you at the next race so I can finally beat you and win that spar session?" Feeling frisky as it was far too tempting otherwise she was around back pedaling as she lifted a foot too sweep water up at him the while. Half dancing that way as laughter already started especially after one particularly good sweep that brought a stream of water near up to his chin, if not to his chin. That had her moving quicker away although still backwards. Soon she would spin around and run.

"Mmmm." He nodded in response to her question, grinning with her antics so that his cheeks ached. He blinked as the water splashed his way, but that didn't phase him enough that he didn't stop stalking her, moving slowly toward her quicker, backstepping retreat. "I have to travel to Luneberg, Lizbet, but I will do what I can to be there ... and win for myself yet another meal." Still to her, still smiling, still prepared for her to flee and him to pursue.

The baiting, the stalking, that which would come about soon and swiftly had her heart pounding in her chest and feeling very much alive. "I hope you can make it," Dipping with a view far too quickly gone as she brought up a sweep of hand full of water his way. That was right before the delighted squeal, one of which probably had not left her lungs since a child, before she turned and ran, diving into the water soon as it was deep enough.

His attention lowered as she bent forward, then lifted to her smiling features. The toss of water his way had him laughing and he growled out a threat that held little intimidation but more so amusement for her playful nature. He leaned and smacked his hands to the water, causing the wind to rise and catch up the splash, sending the spray her way. But she was already attempting to run, and running in the water was a difficult thing, especially the deeper it got. He controlled the contact, waiting until she was diving beneath the surface before the full weight of it rained down on her. Long, purposeful strides sliced through the water and he dove beneath the surface after her.

The lake was aptly name, crystal part being the waters were clear and one could see beneath. It had gotten deep but he might hear another squeal escape in bubbles when in her turning she caught sight of him approaching underwater as well. Here she had planned to grab a foot to pull. The loss of air and Lazare so close she had to surface to get more, gulped in, knowing well he had the advantage which sent her heart pounding again. The best she could do would be to grab the air and go back under, face him off there. She wasn't sure she could be quick enough.

She surfaced for air and he came up from beneath her, hands sliding up the silky smooth lengths of her legs to catch her at the thighs, and he pushed her upward. She may not be quick enough to go back under the water before he reached her, and he wouldn't toss her in the air, but once he released his hold on her and surfaced next to her, she could do as she wished. Even as he broke the water to the air above, he swept a hand over his forehead and smoothed his hair out of his face, smiling to where Lizabet would be.

That was a surprise as when she went to dip back under, she was rising instead. hands falling beneath the water to secure a hold against his shoulders. Until they were moving up and she down to come face to face with this intriguing man. "I am surprised you have managed to stay single this long." Not what she'd been expecting to say but of course it would end up in a teasing, "beware one might come and sweep you away," like they would swoop down out of the air and bore him away. She didn't splash him again but soaked in his smile there for her to enjoy. Had her smiling as well and not much thought on what she teased him with.



Date: 07-19-09
Poster: Lizabet McKnight
Post # 4

Where his other hand rested to her waist, he managed to tread water until they could both stand on a ledge of rock under the water. The level of water lapped at his chest, her shoulders, spreading her hair out around her as if she were a mermaid. It was on these floating strands that his eyes rested as he began to speak. "It is easy enough to remain single, Dear Lady, until the woman who is destined to be yours makes herself known." He chuckled low, sweeping his notice along the wet-heavy lengths of her hair up to her eyes. "And you are a fine one to talk, M'Lady. Considering your talents on a horse, in the kitchen, in the water..." And that was just what he knew of besides her ability to make him relax and laugh with just a word or a look.
"Make herself known?" That was a new angle that had eyes a golden brown with the tip of her head to the side. She felt comfortable this close to him she discovered and had no inkling to wiggle away out of that proximity. In fact, she became bold enough to let her hand rise, fingers tracing along his forehead to tuck strands of hair back much like he had earlier, except slower. She had noticed. She noticed a lot around him. Leaving them to trace down along his temple, cheek then jaw. "How does she do this?" Obviously clueless as to such games some called them, not necessarily with a negative connotation. There was a sort of ritual, a way about it that the other got to know if the opposite was interested, then to what degree, sort of thing. Mind half idly going over the notions drawn by his words but at the same time soaking in his features with the tracing of her fingers. He was a good looking man. Has a great smile doesn't he, Lizabet?

"Dang if I know." He laughed, never taking his gaze from her eyes even though her gaze had moved to trace her fingers over his face. "I had nothing to base it on before." But she was doing a fine job of allowing him to appreciate what about her might be a significant part of it. He didn't share that though. He lowered to sink his shoulders under the water, the heat of the day could have steamed up from his skin when the coolness touched. A dip of chin in the water before he stood again. "Do you not have a mental list of what you desire in a man, Lizbet? I thought this was something every woman had prepared by the time they reached their teen years." He spread his arms out to his sides, moving them back and forth beside him, the water pressing against his lower arms as he moved them.

If he kept moving she'd not be able to continue the exploration of her fingers over his face as ears were becoming the next target, so her legs wrapped around his waist which would keep her buoyant at his height in the water. He was taller than she so there was that disadvantage. Hopefully he didn't mind her anchoring herself in this practical way all considering the circumstances and surrounding element. "Oh, I vaguely remember a more mental list. Girl's idealistic fancy, tall, handsome, strong and totally devoted to only you that he saw no other." Which had her laugh, "not a good ideal to cling to for the reality on either gender. I saw such on some of my friends, everything on their list for the perfect man, shattered by one that met very few if any and they were head over heels, the man could do no wrong. I think that is just as bad so I've thrown out any ideas," not adding she had just pretty much stayed away from it all though not adverse to men, just didn't, well, she wasn't sure what to call what she did or more accurately, didn't do. "I decided that if it should be, I would just let it be." Happen on its own but certainly she could enjoy a man without necessarily further expectations. Fingers had found his ears, as elbows rested against the line of his shoulders. Tips traced along the shells only to curl in following the ridges forming their shape as she talked. An idle distracted thing but was just as aware of the motion.

His arms...stopped, and came around to wrap around her back. The water would support her, but with her legs wrapped around him, what else could he do? She spoke, and his eyes rested on her lips, and without even realizing his fingers tightened on the soaked fabric of her lower back. Lazare, for all his jovial ways, was a man of great discipline. That which he had learned before Karl's service, had stayed with him even while his comrades frolicked with the opposite sex. Lizabet was making it difficult for this man of discipline to remain distanced from his needs, the needs of a man who had long been denied. One hand strayed along her waist, sliding down the dip and roundness of her hip to stroke over the outside of her thigh where her legs curled around him. "Strong? Tall? Handsome? And committing himself to one woman, you? I hear nothing wrong in your young dreams. Such a man could exist, and you deserve nothing less, Lizbet, but you may find you are worthy of much more as well."

"I suppose nothing is impossible though highly challenged in ever being so. Would I deserve such a man? There is another question to be challenged as well. Of course I would like to think that I would and would probably do all I could to please him, though thread on the tails of me coat," coming from a song she heard," I would slug him one too." Even the gleam in her dark eyes turned wicked to match the curl of her lips. "What would you want in a woman, a man as yourself?" She knew he was disciplined so in a way it was challenged but in the same token, she felt he would meet that challenge and if he didn't, she would also not begrudge him being a man, having some small flaw or was it more allowing something that would be natural? One could trip over the intricate weaving of these thoughts. Through it all, no matter how he responded, she liked the man and if he had happen to feel the same about her, certainly there were worse things. That thought had laughter leap to her eyes for a split second, though there too, if he did not, she was still enjoying him this very moment and moments before in their betting and racing each other.

His smile, ever present, remained so even now. "I envy the man who wins your heart, Lizabet, and pity the man who ever manages to engage your need to ..." and he chuckled "...slug him." Once he reached her knee, the back of two of his fingers traced back up to her hip. "As for me, you should know, she would have to be able to satisfy my ever present hunger." He paused, a slight cant of head as he looked to the woman so intimately connected to him right now. He didn't explain which hunger, just that he had one. One corner of his lips twitched as he continued. "She'd be lovely, though I've not ever been one that put much merit on her appearance." So he spoke on her actions, her ...being ... not her looks. "I haven't thought of it much, really. I have devoted my life to von Rundstedt. There has not been much room for other...devotions." When his hand stopped its motion, he released that touch, returning to her knee where his fingers curled gently to ease her leg down, then switched, his right hand to her back, his left moving her leg from around his waist. He still held her around her back though, pressed close in the water, his hand flattened to the sway where back met backside. What was it about the water that turned a man's thoughts to sex? Wet, slick skin. Smooth, flowing movements. The contrast of heat and cool. Buoyant bodies. Lack of clothing. "Yes, I envy the man." He whispered, as if his thoughts slipped free of their own will without his even knowing. He blinked away the spell of his wandering mental distraction. He cleared his throat, forcing himself to pull his attention from her lips to her eyes. "As I recall, Lizbet, there is a baked delight awaiting us on shore. And I have never been a man to turn down a bit of sweetness."

"Are you saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Something more than skin deep?" Tsking her tongue but in a delighted way he was not superficial, of which she would have been disappointed had she found him to be. And surprised. "A man's hunger is duplicity in itself, growling one way or another, perhaps more in one over the other," not distinguishing which growling was for which but letting him conclude for himself. She certainly was aware of his touch and doing her best to ignore it, well not really ignore but not respond like she wanted to, did in her mind, ravished his lips with hers for the proximity yet, they did not. That was due to respect he might not wish it so. She leaned her head back, eyes closing as she let the deep throated purr rise up and fade off in that moment of sheer pleasure she gave into. She could allow that much. "Devotion," came out a little huskier. A moment's pause as she tired to recapture her thoughts, "is a noble quality few possess. Though it is not limited? Karl and Vincent, have more than one devotion without having either lacking? Trevor at one time." So it was more a choice. She respected his choice as the ease of her legs was noted and easily accomplished with her help. "As I envy any who have your devotion." Head tipping back as eyes opened and a devilish spark still there. "I do believe there is a cherry cobbler awaiting us." To at least appease one of his hungers. Something to round off the meal, not too sweet as fruit would have it more a natural one. Laughing as they both came to the same conclusion, holding him one last moment to commit to memory for later then away, pushing off with a smile shot over her shoulder before she was heading into shore and would see to those slices of cobbler. A walk maybe he'd remember for the slick down cloth against skin, yet covered, leaving enough for the imagination to feed upon.

He moved at a slower pace to the shore, watching as she emerged with the fabric of her covering forming to the shapely figure of her. He shook his head, reining in any thoughts or desires that her nearness, her words, the vision of her now fired up in him. He knew that his comrades had not lost any of their devotion to duty when they answered the call of their hearts. Still, Lazare hadn't, in the past, experienced that shared devotion of duty to country and to a woman. Not to such a point that they blended, this love, and one only strengthened the other. He shook his arms as he stepped from the water, shaking the lingering drops away. All she had said in the water remained with him, even as he began to enjoy his cobbler. His gaze resting on her, his smile in his eyes when it couldn't be on his lips. He could get quite used to this wagering. Better still, he could get quite used to being in this woman's company...whether food was involved or not.

Tempted and still remained the curiosity. What would it be like to have his lips upon hers, to explore them? Such thoughts had a tracing glance to dip to those very lips enjoying the cobbler. It reminded her of a line from Romeo and Juliet which she couldn't help muttering low, "oh to be a cherry upon your cobbler." Which after saying it near had her in stitches, trying hard not to laugh as she bit into her cobbler. Whether he heard or not would depend on his hearing which was probably acute being of wind, being of air, being of that which sound traveled upon.

Both brows arched, he swallowed, then he started to chuckle. "Woman." He began, laughter lacing that one word as he struggled to speak past his amusement. "I swear you make my day so much the better." And he laughed wholeheartedly now. "Cherry upon your cobbler." He repeated through his laughter, shaking his head and wagging a finger at her, fully enjoying the fact she could be comfortable enough in his company to even say it to begin with.

She couldn't hold it back either, at least after swallowing, "correction, upon your cobbler," pointing at him to make sure he had it correct. That was something she might reflect upon some time, that she was comfortable in his company and still attracted to him as well. She lounged out on the cloth-blanket of their picnic area so that the shift would dry before she was to put back on the dress and far too soon need to head back. It would come to such but in the meantime enjoying the time. Watching him with a drifting glance that would encompass his features, his lips, down to the cut of his shoulders, the hair on his chest, she was normal blooded though kept discreet enough. Wandering eye, wandering thoughts that she'd rein in and behave herself. This time. She could never guarantee when she would not. "I am going to win the next race we bet on and race." She was determined to be on the receiving end, though giving had been extremely pleasant for receiving as well. It was the notion of the other more than anything else.

"Ah, so you've said the last two times." He laughed softly now, finishing up his cobbler. "I rather like winning." For more than one reason.

"Yes, it seems that you do. So it is time to see how you are when losing." Almost sticking out her tongue fully his way but instead only the tip peeked out before she finished off her cobbler.

"Oh, it is dreadful to be sure, I'm not used to losing." Which was not true! When one went up against Karl, or Peter, or Vincent ... one might as well be prepared to lose! "But more than the possibility of losing, Lizbet, I look forward to the chance." He brushed any crumbs from his lap and leaned to his palm to begin helping her pack. He had one regret when it came to claiming his winnings from Lizbet and that was...their time had to end.

Which had her perk right up, interest piqued. "So I will get to witness this unusual, unique state of Lazare being." Teasing as such came so easily between them. Which had her tone then go serious, "as do I enjoy all the time in your company thus far." Was there a possibility that could change? Eyes held that kind of glint and didn't her chin just lift a fraction that such too would be challenged not to change. Or she might slug him one? She had packed up what was left with his help, her shift dry and time to wiggled into her dress as she stood up. "Will you get the few buttons in the back?" Lifting away the length of her hair to the side to accommodate. "Another saying of parting being such sweet sorrow but then I think, I will see you again soon. At the race to wager, win or lose, though I would like trying on winning for a change.." giving a wink as she was eyeing him over her shoulder. Smile naturally curled there. "We can walk the longer way back.." there was such a route than direct. There was something about this kind of procrastination that was enticing.

He stood and with the ease of someone who had perhaps buttoned a lady's dress in the past, he slipped the buttons through the holes. When he spoke, he had leaned in from behind her, his words nearer her neck than her ear. "As if you weren't trying before?" Again his soft laughter, and he fought back the need to press his lips to the area he had just spoken near. He straightened away, finishing up the buttoning, then stepped away from her to collect the basket again. "The longer the better in my humble opinion." He smiled, nodding to her to lead the way, even if he may know just as well as she.

The warmth of his breath gave those delicious chills up then down her spine. Since it was near the top, it was more down than up. Had her toes digging into the earth beneath as if grounding her. "I need to try harder, obviously," though her voice had that smooth throaty tone to it for the proximity and his breath. For a few moments there was no teasing tart response as he stepped back and her arm to lower letting her hair back down over her shoulder. He might notice the flame in her eyes that had never been there before as she turned. She wasn't sure she could trust her voice as it came more in a thicker whisper. "I should have you around to do that more often," a compliment, certainly. Coming up alongside as she pointed to the path that went down along the shoreline, certainly there would be some pretty sights of the more uninhabited areas along the shoreline of the lake. Coves would be passed with sand upon their shore but seemed untouched for few knew about them. One could see their bottoms even up from a distance for how crystal clear and not all that deep in places. Wooded area would offer them some relief from the direct heat of the sun, alive with colorful birds and woodland creatures they would randomly happen upon. A most pleasant walk, talk and company shared.



Date: 07-26-10
Poster: Rhett Shawnesey
Post # 5

Backwards Bet

The days had been sweltering, dog days of summer was murmured under the tongues of most. Especially those having to be out in the heat. Rhett's days and nights were getting flipped for it would be almost impossible for him to work over the forge fires and not collapse during the afternoon hours. So he took to sleeping most of the day and working through the night with the order of swords he was fulfilling. Something that would be continual. He sat on a bench under a front window of the Thistle tavern where the light from within silhouetted him. Poet's shirt was left partially open tucked into black pants and low cut boots. Hair was curling in a spiked sort of way, its usual way actually. A finely crafted sword laid over his lap that he was polishing. It wasn't sharpened as of yet, wouldn't be until it was purchased.

A deal was a deal, and Karina was not one to back out of a bet. She had made the wager in the hopes of seeing Rhett looking a bit silly, but well, the tables had turned and her horse hadn't been in the mood to win that day. And so she decided to embrace the ridiculousness and fulfill her bet with a bang. Up the path came the petite lass looking like a motley version of the ragamuffin who'd first arrived in the lands. Every single piece of clothing she wore was mismatched and, yes, backwards. A skirt which buttoned up the back was worn buttons-front, slightly sideways on her narrow hips for the odd fit. Her shirt was tied up the back and over this, a vest across her chest which flapped open behind her shoulders. She'd dug up her old newsboy-style cap, the brim pulled down over the back of her head. The kicker? She even wore her boots backwards. Yes, she shuffled along awkwardly with the toes pointed backwards behind her, and had to wave off the jeerings of the gang of kids who trailed her, pointing and laughing. Her arms swung widely to keep her balance as she stomped along in her backwards boots, and she was out of breath by the time she got to the porch. But she looked up to give Rhett a grin. "Good thing you're here or else I'd have to do this all over again tomorrow night." Her arms spread wide in a gesture to her ensemble. "Well? Does this do it, are we even now?"

He heard some of the local lads jeering as his head went up in near jerking a look that way. Something. Blue eyes caught the bit of light to become brighter then squinted for the waning light on the figure approaching. A blink as he stood and luckily the sword was not sharp that clattered to the porch boards. He couldn't help it, he laughed. Long, deep and heartily as he stepped over the sword to rush over, sweeping her up into his arms and hopefully those boots fell off her feet for not fitting well at all this way. "I find this quite fetching," or was it that he could so easily have her up into the strength of his arms like a rag doll. Certainly she looked the part. "Although I have never asked that you harm yourself and those boots could harm your feet wearing them that way." If they had not fallen off they would be off with the help of a hand. One that would tickle the bottom of her foot too.

She did not expect THAT, and let out a yelp, but of course she couldn't run with her shoes like that and she was swept up as easily as a doll in his arms. She also started laughing as she was swung around, and yes her boots went flying off her feet in two different directions, hitting the dirt with a tumble. "Fetching?" She chortled disbelievingly, "I look like a three year old allowed to dress herself - ack!" That squeaked as he tickled her foot. She kicked towards him in retribution but not enough to actually hurt him. Much. "Hey, the bargain was everything backwards, do you think me one to go back on my word?" She pretended to look offended as her face tilted to look up at him, but her eyes were a-dancing.

She was squirming in his arms which he only held onto her tighter so she didn't fall. Once the struggling stop, mostly after he stopped tickling her foot, he set her down. Although he didn't quite let her go but drew her up flush against him. Chin dipped as eyes captured hers to hold, "fetching," and he leaned in all bold like to steal a kiss or more, to make his point. It was quick, "I would never think that you would go back on your word. You confused the lads," though it was a short trip for some of them, "not knowing if you were coming or going." Which had the sweep of a smile to follow.

Her bare toes nearly dangled above the dusty road as he held her, so tight and close against him. Enough to take her breath away. She was helpless to do anything but return the kiss, even leaning in a bit more to press it that much closer, though when their faces broke away her glance moved this way and that. He won her attention back with that smart comment and she let out another laugh. "That could come in handy. Somebody tell the King's armies, there's a new way to fool their enemies." She was joking of course, and flashed a grin. "I worked up a thirst walkin' here," not to mention some blisters! "Come in with me for a drink?"

"I will have to tell that one to Rick," knowing the McAndrews man would find it amusing too for he was into tactical warfare. Arm tucked down at an angle across her back to curve his hand around her waist as he moved along. The steps gained and then the porch, leaving the boots behind. "Ah, are those boots your good ones?" If so, he would go gather them up for her.

"Nah," she slipped her arm around Rhett's waist in turn as she walked barefoot up to the porch. "The backwards trick would only work if they were extra-big on me, so I found those in a rubbage heap. Leave 'em there for the lads," and indeed behind her the gang of kids was already converging on the boots like sharks on a fresh kill. Though likely the shoes would be far too large for any of them. They'd find a use for the leather nonetheless... Karina always had. A glance over her shoulder had her watching them for just a moment, a strange bittersweet smile on her lips before they stepped into the tavern. "Hiya, Alex, could I have a cup of ale please?" She stole a glance to Rhett and added, "and a shot of potcheen." It seemed a good night for a bit of mischief. Especially since anyone inside would likely be gaping at her bizarre attire.

There was one sidetracking as he slipped from her side a moment. The sword was gathered up for it was not something to be left for anyone to take. Except, in these lands, the lads may take the discarded boots but they would not take a sword that was not theirs for that would be stealing and there was no need to steal. Rhett noticed them play tug of war over the boots as they headed off and not one had both to start. A chuckle escaped under his breath before he was back at Karina's side heading in, "evening Alex. I think I'll have a cold ale." Instead of the potcheen for he'd found himself a thirst of late. Probably the heat.

Costumes were one thing, but in this heat each extra layer was a burden. So at the door she tugged off her cap and pulled off her vest as well, tossing them both over the coat rack. The floppy sleeves of her shirt were also rolled up to the elbow, one by one. It wasn't too crowded tonight so she headed for an empty table, hopefully with Rhett tagging along. "So shouldn't you be starting work right about now?" She teased him. "You've become a night owl and I can hear the other owls hooting."

"Well, I need to change that around some so I can at least go swimming with my lass." Pressed smile was in place after calling her his lass. "Need any help with the rest of your outfit?" Being she was shedding already. Hand slipped so that he could tug at the tail of her shirt as they moved to the table. Of course it brought it tighter about her bustline, accenting it this way. There was the pressed smile again as he let go of the tug to drag out a chair, one for her first, then one for him. He didn't sit in his but was over to collect their drinks as they were set out. He got an extra shot to have along with hers. Once over he set the tray with the fare on the table.

She had to smother a grin with a smirk when he called her that. Poking him on the chest with her index finger. "That's right, you will. Or else I'm gonna have to tell Vanessa that I'll be doing all my work by moonlight." Somehow she thought that wouldn't fly (pun intended). She double-stepped a bit when he tugged on the back of her shirt, glancing back to swat at his hands and give him a playfully suspicious look. "Bet you could help with the rest of my outfit," she muttered this and there was a suggestive glint in her eye. Sitting down, she paused to lean back over her chair and call out, "Alex, could you ask Hazel for a big bowl of stew too, and some bread? Thanks." She could a always eat and the smell of Hazel's cooking only encouraged her appetite.

"Well, we could go swimming by moonlight and if there is none about so late at night. Or.. go to one of the coves to skinny dip." Which had him pausing as he got caught up in the scenario. The feel of water against skin o'natural then add her with him in that scene under the same conditions. He cleared his throat and promptly kicked back the shot first as if he needed it. "I think we should leave Vanessa out of this.." were they talking about the same thing? No, but she might catch on. That suggestive glint in her eyes only promoted the line of thought his mind had taken. "Make that two," realizing he hadn't eaten for many hours which he refused to count. Sheepish smile would say it all that Karina might recognize. All work, no play and not even eating properly.

The room was really quite warm, or was it just the heat that had risen to her cheeks? His words did elicit a certain rushing of the blood. She let out a snicker, "What Vanessa don't know, won't hurt her." Van was her closest friend but Karina was the sort to keep secrets close to her. Watching him take his shot, she grinned, sipping on her own ale for now. It was blessedly cold. "Mm, well, there's plenty of hours left til I have to be at work... and your swords can wait." She watched him, wondering if he'd agree to this impromptu field trip to the coves."Stew for breakfast?" she teased him again when he added his order.

"Aye, stew for breakfast, lunch and dinner will have me fit as a fiddle." Adjusting his seat to angle her way so he faced her more, blue eyes locked. "I can play hookie for a break I do need and I can't think of anyone better to take it with, once we get in our nourishment." Being their order was already being delivered by the sassy Maggie who had that smirk about her. One that lent him thinking she was amused by the two .. lovers. Once done eating they would head out to continue a night of fun.



Page 1  2  3  4  5      Main

Hit Counter