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The Bowyer Shop

Date: 11-14-09
Poster: Fearghus Frasier
Post # 1

Late Night Shopping

Mirre came wandering out from the Thistle after a nice supper there and a chat with Hazel. A cloak worn about her shoulders as she had a fair good idea where Gus' shop was in the Commons. At least the wind had died down that made it cut through even the thickest of hides or she would need a few more layers and feel like an elephant making its rounds.

Segan was wandering the shops as there were a few out this evening that were doing some early shopping. It wouldn't be long before Yuletide was on their doorstep. Christmas to some but more what the season represented.

Gus was inside his shop, finishing a special order. He had been working in the back most of the day, stacking wood so it would dry properly. Once it grew dark, it also became colder. Several lanterns were lit, making the windows look bright.

She caught sight of his shop, making her way up on the sidewalk and to his porch. To make sure he was within she moved to the window to look in, lowering the hood of her cloak. The action allowed the length of dark hair to spill free down over her shoulders. No face piece worn anymore as it as not a custom here and was an annoyance anyway. When at the manor she would wear it as the others did when appropriate.

He was seated on a stool, in front of a work table, running a piece of cloth over the finished wood to bring it to a fine shine. Elven runes were carved into the bow, and the hand grip was wound with leather. He caught movement out of the corner of his eye and looked up, grinning when he saw Mirre. Laying down the bow, he stood from the stool and made his way to the door. "Mirre, come in. It's warm inside and you can have a look at what I have."

He caught sight of Mirre and where she was headed. After last evening's event he made a decision on something that had him heading there as well. It would take him a few for the distance.

She moved once she noticed him moving to the door and met him there by the time he had it opened. She could feel the warmth just beyond as it sent a chill through her body for the difference. She slipped in past him quickly as she kept the cloak wrapped around her good. Although she had been through a couple winters here she still never really got use to the cold. "It is nice and warm here." Which she remembered the pouch under her cloak with a special Hazel sandwich made within. All kinds of meats layered with lettuce and tomatoes, topped off with her special sauce. "I have something for you. You have not eaten." One hand dipping in to retrieve the wrapped up item to draw out and hold out to him.

Vanessa was out and about, having decided it was about that time to go out and see what was eye catching since she had a few gifts to buy. Not shopping tonight, well..window shopping. And dressed for the cold weather her hair worn back in a snood with a hat fixed to the top of her head to help keep some of the warmth in. Dark coat rather than a cloak and her favorite warm gloves. Some people seemed harder to shop for, but she was sure something would stand out for everyone on her list.

He was almost to the door when he caught sight of a familiar form. "Vanessa! Over here." Hand lifted up in a wave to draw her attention. Words frosted in the air as one could see their breath. It had cheeks to become healthy looking and eyes brighter.

He had to dust off his hands, but he accepted the sandwich with a grateful smile. "Thank you. I uh ... did forget to eat again. I have water boiling for tea though." He looked past her, through the glass of the door. "Looks like others are coming as well. Did you eat? Would you like part of this?" He headed for the kitchen to at least get a plate for the sandwich, and to retrieve the teapot. There was potcheen too of course.

Hearing her name, she looked from the window of her current attention and smiled, waving back to Segan. "Ave, Segan." Quickened steps toward where he was waiting for her. "How are you?" Pleasantly surprised to see him out this evening. Fair features blush colored from the walk in the cold, but she was enjoying it for once.

She had a forefinger wagging to tap against his chin after taking the sandwich. "You are going to need someone to take care of you." Stepping back as she looked around, "I would like some tea to warm me up and see that which you craft by hand." Catching the last as she called after him as he went into the kitchen. "I have eaten. Hazel says I am to make sure you eat it all." It was a big sandwich. Man size.

He took a few steps to meet her, arm sliding around her shoulders to draw her in with him back to the porch. "I am doing fine and yourself since last night?" Which had him chuckle as it wasn't that long ago he had seen her home. "I have a request, I think I said something about a meal or some bet at the turkey shoot but I'd like to substitute it for a bow and quiver of arrows. You are one of the few that brought home a turkey and I think you earned your own bow to use, to have. It is better to have one fitted to your hand and height."

"Well, you can take a look at what's on the wall. That's just a sampling of course. I have the ones ready for sale in the different cases. None of those are locked." He nearly groaned at the thought of eating every bit of the sandwich but didn't. A few moments later, he returned with a tray with a teapot, mugs, honey and cream and of course the sandwich. There were also some freshly made pastries from the bakery. See, he did eat some.

Pulled in close, and happily so, she moved into his side with a smile up to him. "I am well since last night." She looked at him curiously at his request and change in winnings for their bet. She wasn't sure how often she would use a bow since she had so little skill for it. One night and five arrows hardly counted as any skill at all. Smile brightened some. "Only if you continue to teach me to use it?"

She tsk'ed under her tongue when she saw the sweets. "You will get worm holes," she still mixed up some of the sayings, "if you only eat such sweets." Teasing him as she looked over the one he had been crafting. "I think an Elven bow like this would be good for Anhur and the Turkish war one would be good for Yusuf." Which had her wondering how her older brother was doing with Autumn.

"That is the idea, I think you have promise and even if it is only for target practice. You might teach some of your birds to retrieve the arrows for you." Ushering her in to the warmth of the shop which surely Gus would hear them coming before they actually got inside. He would make sure the door was securely closed behind them. "You can pick out the one you like.."

Ushered in, she nodded. "Perhaps." She was flattered that he thought she had promise and wouldn't argue it though she figured it was more his skill in guiding her and luck with the shot. The warmth was welcome with a deep breath and smile when she spotted Mirre. "Ave, Mirre." Then back to Segan. "I don't know enough about them to pick something out."

"Let me get one that might suit Anhur. Evening Segan, Vanessa. Help yourself to tea or potcheen and a sweet. The sandwich is for me though, on Hazel's orders." Moving to the cabinet he brought out a bow very similar to the one he had been working on, though it was a bit longer to suit Anhur's height. Elven designs had been carved into the wood and the tips had a touch of gold paint. He laid it on the counter, then retrieved one of the Turkish bows for
her to see as well.

"Evening Gus, looks like a good night for business.." smile spreading with even a dimple to etch one cheek. He was impressed as he opened up his cloak but didn't take it off. Time to wander and check out the various bows as it may suit as a gift for one or more of his brothers.

"Anhur sees an elusive Elf princess," not knowing what else to call the woman she heard much about but never met. "She lives in the forests and favors my brother. A morning star, but in her language." She was over to check out the one he chose. She knew next to nothing about bows and arrows but she liked the designs carved into it. A finger drawn down them left it tingling. "There is magic in these bows?" Then to the couple. "Fair of eve Segan and Vanessa."

She waved to Gus. "Ave, Gus." With a smile before looking off towards the various bows on display. Gloves pulled from her hands and tucked into a pocket then warm hands were held to her cheeks to warm them up.

He glanced at Segan and Vanessa before nodding slowly. "The bowmaker who taught me said there is life in the wood. So, I ... use that life to give life to the bows." He chuckled. "It's hard to explain." He poured the tea into one of the mugs since it had steeped enough then looked at Vanessa. "Did I ask you if you'd like some tea?" Then he turned a sheepish grin to Mirre. "You might want to fix it how you like it." Rather than let him pick up something hot.  As far as the Elf woman, well, that was her brother's business!

"Trees are alive, there is energy there and I think that works out well. Though a concept most would not think about until mentioned." He was impressed as he might even buy one for himself at some point to replace his older one. Though there was something about a tried and true weapon that was not quite ready to be retired.

"There is life in many things, and there is life of long ago captured in stones." Meaning the fossils as she smiled to herself. "This bow will be perfect for my brother Anhur and this other of more the warrior will be perfect for my brother Yusuf."

"I would love some. Thank you." Smile brightened some to the offer of tea. She listened to the conversation between Segan and Gus, nodding agreement. "Anything that breathes and grows has life." Or so she believed. Over towards where Gus was so he wouldn't have to walk the tea to her, she smiled to Mirre.

Another mug was filled for Vanessa though again, he suggested that she fix it as she liked. It wasn't a good idea for him to handle hot liquids around Mirre. They usually ended up on his own person. "Is there something I can help either of you with?" He had caught some of their conversation but not much.

Especially if she got too close. She figured it was the blue lotus that had the affect on Gus. It did on many males but not all. Her brothers were immune to it. She took a moment to fix her tea with a little bit of honey and returned the smile. "These come with the sack with pointed sticks, arrows?" He was going to need to instruct her in his shop language.

"Thank you." She accepted the tea just the way it was. It was warm. That's what mattered. "Apparently we are here to purchase a bow, but Segan will have to give more detail than that. I'm not familiar with them."

"Something suited for Vanessa's hand and height. Light enough it wont be a burden but strong as well." He would have some of the tea for its warmth taking it without the need of sweetening.

Which had him grinning. "The sacks are called quivers. I have an agreement with the MacKay brothers to make those for me.  The pointed sticks are call arrows and come with your purchase for the first hundred." He'd pick out ones suitable for the bows for her brothers. "There's potcheen if you want to add it to the tea. Let's see." He turned to look at the cases thoughtfully, then moved to one of the cases. The bow he picked was again in the Elven style only smaller. The carvings were a mix of Elven runes and vines. "Some of the bows I make are given a stronger magic but I usually keep them a bit longer to do the right workings." He handed it to Vanessa after stringing it. "Have you drawn a bow before?"

"Quivers, do they vibrate, shake?" Which she half imitated by quick steps in dance. Something that came natural for her, speaking with not only her hands but her body. She could quiver her hips as arms rose snaking in and out in a smooth dancing fashion. It was brief and took her closer to him. Eyes locked and held. Ceasing as he went to help Vanessa and she to look over the bows. "One hundred of these arrows?" That had her impressed. That was many to her.

He also lifted a Horse bow from placement to bring over as well. It seemed short enough to accommodate her height. "Try both of these, hold them like I showed you last evening."

Well, he went over after that dance, which left him a little befuddled.  Clearing his throat when she stopped and if he looked a bit flustered, there was a good reason!

She watched Gus select the bow and when offered, she took it from him with a sheepish grin. "Five times. Exactly." Which had her laughing softly as she looked over the bow and the markings. Then looked at the one that Segan brought over. "Is there a difference between them?" Curious since they looked different. Since she had the Elven one in hand already, she held it as Segan had shown her the night before. Still felt very awkward to her. She tried it though then offered him the Elven one and took the other to try as well.

He switched bows when she was ready. "More in what feels comfortable to you. The shape is different even amongst those of the same kind. Length, how easy they are to pull or harder for one stronger. It is much like buying a musical instrument."

That made her miss her harp. She'd have to have it moved to the cottage eventually. After trying the bow she looked it over the same way she looked the other. "This one feels as though it fits in my hand better." She liked the it was ... softer to hold. Rounder maybe?

"The horse bow has a heavier draw for good reason. Needs to be steadier." He leaned against the worktable while they talked then remembering the sandwich retrieved and took a bite. Eyes closed for a moment as he tasted it and his  expression would let everyone know it was delicious.

She seemed to relax as he got back to eating the food Hazel sent for him. Otherwise she would have to draw on very rusty skills to entice him to eat. "I will take these two, can they be wrapped and sent to the manor in my name? Though mark one with an A so I know which is which." Once delivered there they would be put in her room and await her return which still would be a few days from today.

"Then the horse bow for Vanessa, although I will be paying for it." He was the one to be billed. "Would you like anything carved into it, Vanessa? Words or a design like rising flames?"

"Hmm.." She thought on that for a moment, still looking at the bow. "Not that I can think of. I think I like it in its simple design." Smile to Segan, then to Gus.

"Aye, I'll have a lad deliver them first thing in the morning." Being it was late, he wouldn't send a boy out now. Besides, they had been sent home to bed. "They'll be in boxes too." Smiling at her a moment, he turned to Vanessa. "You'll get arrows and a quiver as well. If you both would like to look them over and see if there's any special one you want. I'd also suggest for you, Vanessa, a glove or bracers. It will save your fingers and wrist."

"That will be good." Very pleased with her purchase in the initial coins granted to her. Though if she kept this up she would run out of coins. "Would you teach me how to bet on the horses, Gus?" She was pretty sure he did being the racetracks were run by his family.

And Mirre had him turning her away again. At this rate, he was going to get dizzy. "Aye, I can show you how to bet, Mirre. If I can do it, anyone can."

She didn't mean to interrupt him from Vanessa as a blush stole to her cheeks, "forgive me MamSieheb Vanessa," giving a forward bow of her head in duly reprimanding herself. "You are very skilled at many things, Gus."

"What quiver you like, Vanessa?" each having the clutch of arrows that went with them. Then he would pay Gus what it all cost.

She smiled to Mirre and shook her head. "No need." She had no idea what MamSieheb meant but smiled all the same. "Actually..." She looked to Gus. "Could I get some feathers carved into it?" She looked to Segan then, and then to the quivers thoughtfully. Something simple and basic would work well enough for her. She found one that was about the same shade as the bow. "I like that one."

"I'm skilled at some things. Betting on the horses is a matter of luck." He chuckled. "When would you like to learn to use a bow yourself, Mirre?" He had one in mind for her that he had set back, and while he talked, he wrote up the bill for Segan. "The arrowheads are iron, best for beginners as they don't cost as much to replace and they hold up well. I have Damascene steel if you've a need, Segan. " Turning back to Mirre, he grinned. "I'll teach you for free. First lesson whenever you want, and then we'll work around your schedule since you have to travel." He was also pulling out the archery glove and bracer for Vanessa to look at. After so many years, he could tell by look at the size she'd need.

"Before the snow falls if possible? Or there is the hall?" Glancing between him and Segan as being the two men amongst them that would know. "More when it is a good time for you to help me with one." Although she might have to wait until she won more money on the races. See how confident she was!  She might be in for a rude awakening but then she might well do with beginner's luck.

He hefted up the quiver with arrows to bring over to the desk where the bows laid too. "This one and feathers, I like that idea. How many would you need carved? A string of them down the front curve?'

She looked confused for a moment. "Oh..I don't want the arrows carved. I meant the bow." Yes, she was confused. Her attention then went to the bracer and glove. She wasn't much worried about her hand. Not like she didn't have her fair share of calluses, but she'd take both if advised.

"I would like the first lesson soon. Tomorrow if we can." Being she got the major part of her gift giving done. Though at this point she would need to figure out something special to get for Gus. That would not be an easy task.

That's what he meant, the feathers carved into the curve of the bow. So now he was confused. "You can carve feathers into the bow? Would it take long that I would need to pick it up in a day or two?"

She looked at Segan and blinked before smiling some. "Oh no, not tonight. It's far to late." She didn't want Gus sitting up at all hours for something like that.

The glove was more to help the string slide smoothly from her fingers and the bracer to keep the bow from stinging her forearm. He chuckled as he listened to the two. "I would say a full day so, day after tomorrow? Being I'll be giving Mirre her lesson." At least the first one.   Feathers were easy. Now Celtic knots were another matter!

He was over to run the back of a forefinger down along her cheek. "That is why I said about a couple days..." eyes intense to lock onto hers as a teasing smile started to appear. Then to Gus as the touch fell away, "that would be perfect, we will be here at what time is most convenient?"

She brought out her coins as she would pay for the bows now after purchasing them. "You will tell me how many of these?" She had them all with her, not that such was a very smart idea but something maybe she needed to be told.

"To be safe, let's say anytime after the fourth hour after noon. I'll want to be sure the carving is smooth to the touch." He blinked then looked at Mirre. "Yes, I'll show you the cost, but Mirre, you shouldn't carry all that with you. A thief wouldn't hesitate to try to steal it even with the guards that walk about." And he didn't recall seeing one of her guards now that he thought about it.

Subtle tilt of her head towards the touch with a smile. "Alright." The bracer and glove were looked over once more with a nod. "They are very nice." And both she'd be able to wear easily enough.

Being she was staying at the Thistle, she dismissed her guard to go back to the manor and come back when she was ready to go back. Although she might find him back at the Thistle again if Anhur or Yusuf found out. She had made it sound like she was staying at the Thistle, which she was but led him to believe she was not leaving it to go to other places. The guard was all muscles and no brains.  "Then I shall hide them from thieves." Waiting for him to take the coins needed for the bows.

"Would you like me to pay you now or when we pick it up?" It would seem that Gus was going to have his hands full with Mirre.

He nodded before leaning over and counting out the coins. Of course, he discounted the bows for her, same as he had for Segan. "You can pay when you pick it up."  The remaining coins were slid over to Mirre and he handed the paper to Segan.

Once he was done counting the coins, taking what he needed, she took the small purse and promptly stuffed them down the bodice of her outfit. "I should be back to the Thistle to get some rest," knowing it was getting late.

Vanessa stood at Segan's side quietly, listening to the exchange. If she'd known how many coins went to filling this debt, she'd have certainly objected to it. "It was nice to see you again, Mirre."

"It is good to see you again Vanessa. Perhaps one of days soon we can go to the shop that sells perfumes and silks."

"Sounds like a wonderful idea. We should plan for that some time soon."

"I'll walk you back. And I'll finish the sandwich when I get back." He wasn't about to let her walk back to the Thistle alone.

Ah, he didn't watch where she put those coins! No! He looked away rather quickly and tried not to laugh. Vanessa might pinch him for the look on his face. "I think we should get going, it was good seeing you both and thank you for the time."

He was chuckling though his ears might be a touch red. Mirre was suddenly a touch larger on top. "Good night Segan, Vanessa. Thank you for your business."

"It was nice to see you again, Gus." She smiled to Segan with a nod. "Did you walk all the way here?" Gloves retrieved from her pocket to pull on before the cold could reach her fingers. She wouldn't pinch him. Just grin to him.

As they got ready to depart, he was to the door to hold it open. "Aye, a nice night for a walk and now I can see you home if you do not mind?" Though there was a spark in blue eyes with the last as well the hint of a smile waiting to come fully.

Or more like three bumps instead of two. Like that wouldn't give it away to the thieves if her cloak were open. That was made secure around her. "I would like you to walk me back. Hazel probably still has some of her apple pie you can bring back a slice."

"I would not mind at all." She stepped out and aside from the door, out of the way of the others to wait for Segan.

He grabbed his cloak and pulled it on then grinned. "Well, that's a good enticement though so is walking with you." He teased then waited for her to follow Vanessa out. Once outside, he'd just pull the door shut. He wouldn't be gone long.

Which he held until they were all out and he then to close it behind him. If Gus wanted it lock, he would need to see to that. He caught up with Vanessa as his hand captured hers, fingers lacing even if she had gloves on. This was something new.

She laced her fingers with his own and smiled to him, stepping in closer to his side. "Were you window shopping as well?"

"I like walking with you," came with a smile and something else in those dark eyes. Fleeting perhaps for it was all new to her and she didn't want to have any hopes. Not those kinds. So friends was the notion she held to. She was out with the others and soon walking by his side.

He only locked it when he'd be away for any amount of time. The woman across the way tended to be noisy and if she heard anything, she was looking out her window. In fact, he waved at her before offering his arm to Mirre. "I like walking with you too."

"Yes, I have a few to buy things for and I am honestly at a loss to what might please some of them." Though the ladies would probably be easily pleased even if he worried on what would be best. Ideas would come to him.

First she looked at his offered arm strangely but remembered seeing the others and so wove her hand around in a locking position.

A nod was given. "Ah...I understand quite well. I am at a loss what to get the few I have to buy for as well. I keep hoping something will stand out or speak to me."

"I may make a list.." there was always that in a pinch and sort of brain storm that way,  writing different ideas until one sounded right. He drew her hand in a way to bring her closer and share his warmth. Stride not as long to have it comfortable for her.

He'd guide her hand if need be and chuckled. "You're a quick learner, Mirre." Giving her a wink. It wasn't far to the Thistle so they could make it a leisurely walk, unless she was cold.

"I haven't many to buy for. My fathers and two brothers. And a few of the friends I have made here." The closer friends for sure. "What would you like? Give me some ideas?" Looking up to him hopefully as she was drawn in to share the warmth.

"I will have to think on that but anything you gave me would be treasured." He wasn't being much of a help but then it was late and his brain was already thinking on sleep.

"That's not much help, Segan Quinn." Teasing him, knowing he was tired. She was. And the cold made her pillows call all the more to her.

"Something we can discuss on a rainy day." There was that rainy day that was going to keep them quite active if they could remember all they were to do on such a day. She got that quick wink, that certain smile then a drawing closer with a brisker step. It was getting colder.

The brisker step was matched with a quiet laugh. "I'm not so sure we'll get a rainy day any time soon as cold as it is becoming. But I think I am looking forward to the snow finally." Mentally preparations and all.



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