Reserving Her Opinionatten: Kassia/S'yrell


Kassia made the arrangements to make sure that the new bronzer could be available for the lunch. Whether he showed up remained to be seen, though she suspected from his behavior the day before that he would. She gathered a pinic and left Brogan behind again in favor a guard who was none too happy to be on distant-watch duty again and she returned to the same spot as the day before to meet with S'yrell.


He'd barely unpacked.  Not that it mattered.  He hadn't even brought that much, and they'd stuck him in a small weyr that was probably not going to fit his things.  Shards, he missed his weyr back at the Reaches.  A place for a fire that kept the stone warm to the touch, with a thick rug in front to keep the cold from his bones as he relaxed in front.  A sitting area, a small kitchen, a bedroom and an office for his duties as w2.  He went from all of that this hovel.  

At least Vastolth had been pleased with the realization that sun-filled ledges didn't matter as much here with the entire Weyr being warm and sunny in general.  Because Saere could temper himself, but keeping the dragon happy was a full-time job.  

((You learned how to fish yet?)) he asked the bronze, who was off exploring while his rider did menial tasks he didn't understand.  

{{Soon. I will get a green or blue to show me...  Foreth needs her gifts.}}

((Glad to see you're making friends.))

He'd finally found the bag with the wine he'd promised to Sar, so a half candelmark before the time, he set off to his lunch date.  He'd left early because his weyr was on the other side of the Bowl from where they'd met, and he invariably knew he'd take one wrong turn.  It wouldn't take him long to learn his way around, but until he did, he'd leave extra time so he could be punctual.  Nothing worse than being late, he'd always been taught.  It was true when he was a jockey, and it was true as a rider.

He arrived at the spot, finding that strange, dangerous, guarded, and yet gorgeous woman he'd met the day before.  

"Well met, Sar.  You look lovely.   I brought you this," he said, producing one of two bottles of wine he'd brought with him, "as promised."  He held it out to her, careful to keep his distance, not wanting to have the bottle smashed.


"Ah, thanks. I brought the food and blanket," Kassia said from where she was already sitting on the ground. She gestured to both. "You can have a seat and join me. Thank you for the wine. How have you found the Weyr so far? Finding your way around?"


He noted the way she spoke, the tones implying he needed her permission to join him.  Then again, he'd prefer her permission to her knife.  It wasn't like he didn't have his own, tucked away, but he'd not felt the need to use it for protection since Impressing.  It wasn't that there hadn't been dangers, but not any that required him to use a knife.  To cut leathers, sure.  People, not so much.  He'd brushed aside the notion that she was merely a lowly everyday green or blue rider.  She was something else, but he hadn't settled on what.  Not after learning about green wingleaders.  

"It's much warmer than the Reaches.  But Vastolth likes the sun, and if he is happy, well, I'll figure the rest out."  It wasn't far from the truth to be sure.  Vastolth unhappy was miserable, as Saere had learned during weyrlinghood.  And Vastolth and he were the same, both wanting their goals.    "The Weyr is different..."   Also the truth.  "But I've only ever known the Reaches."


"The Weyr is definitely different," Kassia said as she began to pass out food for each of them. "Though I never knew any other Weyr as a rider. I came here shortly after it opened and Impressed here. You're from High Reaches then? I imagine you'll need to get used to the heat, but it can be worth it."


He'd pulled the second bottle he'd brought with him, the two best in his personal collection.  He'd begun opening it while she started on the food.  He traded her a cup for a the meal.  

"I grew up in the Hold, not the Weyr.  I was good with runners and I could stay on anything that moved.  There's a story there for later," he said.  "So when I was old enough, I begun an apprenticeship and became one of the top jockeys in the circuit.  My Lord Holder was just about to start taking me to some of the races father away when I was Searched.  Then Vastolth hatched, and none of that mattered anymore.  You know how that goes," he said, wondering when she was going to volunteer her dragon's information.  "I still rode when I could, but a runner doesn't compare to flying, no matter how fast you go.  And Vastolth tried to eat the first one I rode after I Impressed him."

{{I didn't understand why you were on food.  I thought you were picking out a good one for me.  Wasn't even very plump}}  The memory was there because Saere remembered it, the dragon simply staying true to his reaction.  

"Don't worry, he's learned since then."  He might be an ass, but he still loved his dragon, and that showed on his face with the memory.  "But I've never lived anywhere outside of that small part of Pern.  Traveled all over, of course, but never lived.  If we were there, we'd be curled up on a thick fur in front of the fire in my weyr, eating stews that warm your bones and spiced wine."  He left out the part where he'd prefer the fur was all she was wearing.  

"What was it like growing up here, Sar?  Dangerous, I'm guessing..." he nodded towards the knife, but kept his hands curled around his wine cup and food.  


"It's dangerous here. It was dangerous at Fort before that." Kassia shrugged and took a sip of wine. "I'm used to danger. Really, I prefer it here to Fort by far even with all the disasters. Even with earthquakes. Thread tornadoes. Floods." Maybe not the ones where Foreth and herself were attacked. A few others, too, came to mind.


He sipped his wine.  "You never mentioned Fort before.  You were there?" he asked.  He noted the various dangers she listed, and that none of them required a knife.  Interesting.  She was choosing what to tell him.  Did she think him incapable of reading between the lines?  

{{She probably thinks you can't read, even the lines.}}

He didn't show any sign of his bronze's statement.  Once she'd finished her answer, he looked at her, holding the wine bottle out to refill her glass.  "So tell me about this Arolosian food you're feeding me.  Although I'd prefer you actually feed me..." he smiled at her.  


"I was at the Hold and spent part of my Candidacy at the Weyr," she said with a shrug. "But I consider my home here. I can't imagine living away from the heat and the ocean, even if I hate fish. There is plenty of sun for me when I ride, whether my dragon or runners, or for when I paint or sketch. What's not to like?"

She started unwrapping a few things. She'd brought a few nice things, but nothing as nice as she normally might. "Some cheese and they were just putting out fresh bread. These are some of the left over good meats from yesterday. I even snagged two small bubbly pies."


"A woman of many talents.  Sar, you continue to surprise me.  You paint and sketch as well?  Will you show me, next time we have lunch?"  He brushed a strand of his hair out of his dark eyes, giving her a roguish smile.  Who in this Weyr had so much time on their hands?  But that was contrasted by some of her words, "like managed to snag to pies".... someone of higher rank wouldn't have had to snag anything.  

A flicker of disappointment came across his face.  Nothing so far seemed strange or exotic, rather all relatively mundane foods.  All things he'd had at Gathers, or at High Reaches.  Still he took them without complaint.  He sipped his wine and at his food.  Content for a moment.  She was being rather short in her answers... Time to let his own silence draw her out a bit.  


"Let's just say I've had various times over the turns where I've had a lot of times on my hands." She shrugged. "Tell me, what was your favorite thing of Fort? And what are you looking forward to out here?"


She looked out to the water where Foreth was back in her favorite spot. She'd just shooed a blue away who should have known better, but who had probably thought he could get away unnoticed due to his size.


S'ryll sipped his wine and ate some of the cheese as she spoke. He watched her face intently. Her eyes still enchanted him, their pale color a novelty. He didn't follow her gaze as she glanced away towards the dragons. He watched her face, both only admiring her and watching her for tells of her identity. 

"My favorite thing about the Reaches?" He seemed genuinely surprised by the question.  Well certainly his nicer weyr and luxuries. His position. But it was more than that... He paused, taking his time. 

"I liked the harshness, the austerity. You had to be tough there, and the Reaches would grind down the weakness in you. Whether as a holdbrat, a Crafter, or a Rider, mistakes could be deadly. You had to be better as a result. And being better, it kept you and those around you alive another day.  The order of things kept us alive. Don't get me wrong, the sun is nice here, but I miss my furs" and the women in them he said to himself. "I miss the luxuries I had at the Weyr for sure. But this tropical climate feels like a holiday by comparison." 

It was the honest truth. Oh there were things he left out, like that he'd been good in his role there, that he missed that feeling, that he missed the power of his role... 

"As to here, I'm not sure. It's still sinking in that this is now my home. I still feel like I'll be going back to the Reaches soon.  But I suppose it's all the same when you strip it down. Wake up, fly Fall, care for Vastolth, repeat.". It was never that simple, and they both knew it. 

"What should I look forward to, dear Sar? Runner rides with you and long walks on the beaches?" His tone was teasing as he sipped the wine again. 


If he thought that his time at Arolos would be a...picnic, he was in for a harsh reality, but Kassia didn't tell him that. He'd never believe her. Too many people came and saw the initial overlay of Arolos and thought them soft, weak even because of their permissiveness. But Arolosians were survivors and there was always another crisis on the horizon. They hadn't had a problem in a while, but it was only a matter of time. She ate a piece of cheese as she contemplated, enjoying the time of peace while she could.

"Perhaps Arolos will live up similarly to what you've...enjoyed at High Reaches," she said, finding his enjoyment of that harshness a bit odd. "The sun is here to stay and the feeling of a vacation will wear off, I'm afraid, but perhaps you will work your way up and get those luxuries again. Arolos offers its own options. We have our own wines. And the whers and flits and runners, as mentioned. There is the beach, for walking, yes." She glanced at him and smiled, though whether it was a promise or not remained to be seen. "If you want to see the runners, I could take you. That's close enough. And there are bathing pools that are much nicer than at High Reaches if you haven't found them yet."


OOC: I liken it to people who live in cold climates, like Sweden or Alaska, and enjoy it.  I don't understand it, but they do exist.  

IC: S'ryll returned her smile, restraining himself.  At the Reaches, a smile like that would have been an invitation for him to touch her, maybe kiss her, depending on the rank of the person across from him.  But he knew better than that with her.  After yesterday, anyways.  The Weyr felt like vacation, the women felt like war.  

"I'll work my way back up," he said, in his usual manner, sounding a bit like Vastolth did when he made desires into facts.  He raised an eyebrow slightly, a smug grin creeping onto his face.  "Vastolth and I are very good at what we do..."  He finished his wine and the last of the food she'd passed him.  "You left out the dangerous women, Sar.  I believe that's the first time I've ever had a knife even threatened to be drawn on me without maybe me asking for it," his tone was teasing, to take any sting out of the words.  "And despite that, or perhaps because of it, I would love for you to show me the runners.  And the whers.  And the bathing pools, that I haven't found yet."


She took a nibble of cheese and shrugged. "Some women won't mind, but I wouldn't try touching their knives if they're wearing one like mine. (OOC: not sure if I had mentioned that it's a special one it looks like - the silk dagger egg part way down) I paid a lot for it and don't want it messed with."

She smiled and took another bite of cheese. "I can show you some runners today, if you'd like. There are some pretty ones out there."


S'ryll decided better than to convince her it wasn't her dagger on her hips she was interested but rather the hips themselves.  He had a greater instinct for self preservation than that, and didn't want to see the dagger buried in his hip all the same.  But as she mentioned that she paid a lot for it, he looked at the hilt, admiring its beauty...from where he was.  She paid a lot for it.  And was a Rider.  That still didn't equal gold.  She could be some Lord Holder's daughter, some spoiled child before Impressing.  

At her invitation, he stood up, holding out his hand to her.  "I would be honored."

{{Pulling out the gallantry today for sure!}}

((Better that than a knife pulled on me.))  He felt Vastolth's agreement.

"One of the fastest mounts I ever rode was uglier than a wherry's backside, but man could he move.  Pretty ponies are for pleasure riders... I prefer good form."


Kassia hesitated before she quickly ate her bubblie and then brushed off her hands and took his. She could almost feel her guard shake his head in his watching position, but she ignored it. She still did as she liked and this was low risk.

"Fancy a walk? It's this direction."


S'ryll held her hand for just a moment longer than necessary, his thumb lingering just a moment too long on the top of her knuckles.  But it could just as easily have been imagination.  And then he'd let go, reaching down to snag both bottles of wine, the unopened one for her, and the one they'd started.  Then he nodded he was ready.

"You mentioned Arolos has its own wine...." he let it trail off, not quite a question.  


"There are some varities in the area, but we're more known for our animals. I'm more partial to the northern wines, myself." She shrugged and took a sip of the wine he'd brought. "Like this, for example. You have good taste."


He followed her direction, content to stroll beside her.  He smiled at her compliment.  "Thank you."  He motioned to the unopened bottle he carried.  "This is the same vintage, and I promised you a bottle, not one that we drink at lunch.  This one is for you, although I hope you decide when you're ready to drink it, that you'd like me to drink it with you."