Realm of Kaeleer => Little Terreille => Roeselare Province => Topic started by: Charis on June 02, 2019, 12:26:54 PM

Title: buttons up
Post by: Charis on June 02, 2019, 12:26:54 PM

Charis looked up. Shop tidy, tall shelves full of pots, jars and various glass bottles. Vials lined up nicely in little holders. Fancy scroll work up the sides and along the fronts. Cabinets carved with various healing plants, leaves and blooms broad and detailed. She'd tipped Kite with a kiss when he'd finished them for her. And Isi had supplied the marks for their purchase.

Behind the counter, she was filling out her books. A tidy list to go with her tidy shop of things she would need to order. All of them mundane. Safe for curious eyes to peek at. Hand spreading across the page to hold the book open, Charis put her pen down and smiled at the man who entered. Soft healer probes checking for caste and Jewels.

"Welcome in, Prince." Her life was so full of big men lately! At least this one didn't wear Jewels dark enough to make her soul quake. Green was a good, steady Jewel, just dark enough to command respect rather than have to really earn it. But not so fretful as a Sapphire or Red. Nor as terrifying as anything darker than that.

Hair an elaborate braid around the secret of her antlers, Charis wore a full, pleated skirt, and fitted sweater, the beading on her corset just visible against the stretch of the fabric. Pen slipped in the crease of the pages, she closed her book and tilted her head at him sweetly. "What can I help you with?" She asked, eyes wide and smile friendly.

Title: Re: buttons up
Post by: Tobias Marasfield on June 02, 2019, 12:52:16 PM
Tobias had heard enough about Charis to be… interested. He didn’t know what to make of her, as a lot of it was couched in whispers and rumors, but he was used to dealing in the shadows. He wasn’t going to risk alienating a potential ally… unless said potential ally turned out to be someone who might get in his way — or the way of someone he backed. The Maras family had regained and retained its control, and he’d be damned if he let that slip.

He didn’t particularly like hurting witches, but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t do it. He was… equal opportunity, when it came to threats to his family. After all, he knew all too well that witches were more dangerous than males in the ways that counted in the underworld. They didn’t just need muscle.

They did need healers, and he was always on the lookout for those who might be able to offer services without question — because sometimes he got a little overly enthusiastic and needed wounds fixed sooner rather than later.

”Thank you, Lady,” Tobias greeted her with a warm smile. ”Well, first of all…” he stepped a bit deeper into the shop, ”I hope you’ll grace me with your name. I’m Tobias Marasfield.” He watched her carefully, arrogant enough to believe she’d have heard of him and vain enough to think it would make a difference. He didn’t want her scared of him, per se, but he hadn’t built up a reputation for nothing.
Title: Re: buttons up
Post by: Charis on June 02, 2019, 01:04:37 PM

Charis patted the cover of her log book, fingers teasing the grain of the leather. She liked her books bound in such a way, but she didn't like the texture for clothing. There was just something about leather that was both too slick and not slick enough.

"Charis, prince. Just Charis." She had thought about adopting a surname as was common in Little Terreille, but it was not among her people. And she was different enough that most never assumed she was a native. It gave her an air of mystery that appealed to many. "I keep meaning to put it on the door, but I haven't found an artist I like." She joked. There was advertisement, and there was just folly.

She pressed a nail into the log cover, wondering if she should come around the counter. He was big, but didn't seem threatening. Patiently waiting for a reaction, Charis thought, with the way he looked at her. Smile and eyes hinting. Big gruff man. She smiled back, wider. Maybe she should have known something. She would have to ask around. Runner might know.

"Does it pass muster?" She cooed, hands sliding over her log book until she was leaning on it, weight resting in her forearms. It brought them closer without her having to give up the barrier of her counter. Plus, she knew it made the neckline of her sweater loosen across her chest. "My name, I mean."

Title: Re: buttons up
Post by: Tobias Marasfield on June 02, 2019, 01:18:01 PM
”Charis,” Tobias repeated, testing the name on his tongue with a slow, easy smile. He chuckled. ”I’d recommend someone, but I think you’re a woman who isn’t easily satisfied.” Though he’d certainly like to try. His eyes were appreciative upon her, not a leer, but definitely letting her know he enjoyed what he saw.

It wasn’t like he couldn’t go to the Star to get companionship, but it wasn’t the same as pursuing someone out in the wild, so to speak. And this woman did remind him of something wild, untamed, which only added to the appeal.

He strolled closer to her, leaning against the counter as he closed more of the distance between them. She was a bit of a flirt, which meant he would probably leave still wanting, but she knew how to get his attention. It would be fun to pursue her — especially if he could see if the rumors surrounding her were true.

She was going through the effort of giving him something especially pleasant to look at, and what sort of gentleman would he be if he didn’t appreciate it? His eyes drifted to the bit of cleavage he could see beneath the sweater, and he smiled slowly, warmly, at her. ”A beautiful name for a beautiful woman.” There was a reason some lines were classics. ”Unique.”
Title: Re: buttons up
Post by: Charis on June 02, 2019, 02:06:26 PM

”Ooh.” Charis blushed prettily, and on cue. ”I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of that.” She giggled. It wasn’t a high, girlish sound. Throatier than that. Charis hadn’t been a girl for a while. She knew what she wanted, and more importantly, she was keen to know what others wanted more. Eyes slow in the way she took him in. And he was doing the same. Smile stretching slow and knowing like.

What a nice, big gruff man.

Tobias joined Charis at the counter. Both of them leaning in until they took up all of it. Hardly room left for her register or displays. Book practically vanishing beneath them. She breathed carefully, keeping her heart rate from rising to panicked fast. She didn’t want to incite any sort of prey drive. Charis made sure he had plenty to look at. Or at least plenty of what she had for him to look at. Not buxom in her own right, Charis knew how to make the most of what she had.

”Thank you. I believe my father picked it.” Too far from home to ask, and Charis had no interest in going back to find out. Or at all, really. ”Much as I enjoy it, prince Marasfield, and would be flattered to think so, I doubt you came in here just to compliment me.” She fluttered her lashes on him, palms opening and turning up in offering. ”Unless you did?” It had been a long time since a man had tracked her down just to flirt.

They always wanted something other than sex. Healing. A brew. A way to keep their Jewels but lose their restrictions. Charis was capable of a lot of things to please anyone, man or woman. So it wasn’t often someone was interested in just Charis herself. She didn’t mind. That was how the world worked. She was usually in it for something extra too.

Title: Re: buttons up
Post by: Tobias Marasfield on June 02, 2019, 02:21:14 PM
”No?” Tobias arched a brow. ”Well, you shouldn’t settle. You deserve more than that.” A smile, almost boyish, lingered on his lips. The sound of the giggle pleased him, and he was invigorated by the game — because that was what this always came down to, that these were little more than games.

But he loved them.

Tobias was pleased no one else was in the shop, that he got the healer’s full attention. He didn’t want to have to share. It wasn’t like she was his, but she could be for just a little while.

He canted his head slightly, softening. She believed her father had picked it? Did that mean she didn’t know him well? He knew that all too well, the pain of loss far too early. It had shaped him, turned him into the man he’d become, though he knew he wouldn’t have turned out much differently if his parents had been the ones to raise him.

”Please, call me Tobias,” he invited her with another grin. ”No need to be so formal, is there, Charis?” Well, she might well decide there was a need to be formal, but he wasn’t one not to push his luck if he thought it might yield something. ”And…” He shrugged, leaning in a little more. He dropped his voice, as though they weren’t the only two in the shop, and murmured, ”I came in here just to meet you. Complimenting you was inevitable when I saw how charming and beautiful you are.”

Title: Re: buttons up
Post by: Charis on June 02, 2019, 07:24:43 PM

He was wicked. Winking, Charis continued the teasing. ”I never said I settled, prince.” Easily pleased as she was, Charis was always eager to be pleased. And do the pleasing, which was half the fun. Though perhaps her tastes were broader than they had been once before.

Around them the shop was quiet. Glistening glass baubles watching the pair. Brews and tinctures that did not judge or whisper about the nearness shared by strangers. This was no simple exchange between healer and patient. This was the linger glances of man and woman. A different sort of judging.

Charis shifted her weight into her elbows. Leaning back into her heels. It allowed her to look at him without so much strain on her neck. It drew the neckline of her sweater flush against her skin again, but her body weighed suggestively against the fabric, straining it. ”If that’s the way you prefer it, Tobias.” She agreed cheekily. First name basis made everyone more relaxed. Unless they were the sort that needed the formality to feel comfortable. Charis knew a few who did.

She always wondered what they were like when they loosened up.

Charis offered Tobias his ear. The prince was close enough she could feel his breath tickling her skin and stirring her hair. Voice dropping to a whisper as he flirted heavily. Charis grinned. She really wished she knew more about him! She was certain she should. ”You, sir, are a flirt!” Not a pinch of upset in the accusation. Charis playfully slapped at his forearm as if she would shoo him away if she dared, testing him. What was his temper?

”And why would you come all the way here to meet little ole me?” She questioned sweetly, neck still mostly exposed. If there was temper under his play she knew how to submit. ”You’re fit to give a girl a big ego, Tobias.”

Title: Re: buttons up
Post by: Tobias Marasfield on June 02, 2019, 08:38:55 PM
”Good,” Tobias replied lazily, taking his time to inspect her again — emboldened by the fact that she seemed very much open to his advances. This would be easier if she was interested in him. He’d be more likely to find the answers he sought. It was always easier to coax secrets from the lips of someone who was fond of him, after all.

He watched her shift, his interest sharp and without waning. If anything, it only rose as she continued to respond to him, to tempt him. He knew she could go cool on him at any moment, that her interest might well be feigned, but it didn’t matter. This was the sort of thing he enjoyed, whether it went anywhere or not. Granted, he knew which way he preferred it to go…

”Only if you’re comfortable with it, Charis,” he said with a wink. He wanted to reach over and brush at her hair, but he didn’t want to be too forward. Maybe in a few… minutes, if things continued to go well. Or maybe…

He grinned when her hand brushed his forearm, but he drew in a breath in a mock exhalation of shock. He touched the spot on his arm she’d “slapped,” giving her his best rendition of wounded puppy eyes. ”Ow!” he protested, bottom lip pushed out like he really was pouting. His temper wasn’t easily stirred, which was likely a good thing — because the charming, sweet Prince turned into something deadly and cold when he was angered. But this? This was play, and he could handle a few playful swats. She might get a few playful swats on her bottom later though, depending on how she played her cards…

He reached out to trail his fingers along her throat, feeling the smooth skin beneath them. ”If you’re done slapping me around,” he said with another playful pout, ”maybe I’ll answer you.”
Title: Re: buttons up
Post by: Charis on June 08, 2019, 07:52:24 AM

"Nature of the job," Charis informed him with a wink bank. "Very little makes me uncomfortable." She did not know how other healers managed, but there was a disconnect when she faced ugliness. Wounds. Infection. The ugly truth behind some injuries. It emboldened her in life. Sure she could face anything, even sly prince's who liked to flirt and look down her blouse.

Just as she'd invited him to do. Other things in life had enabled her as well. Taught her that limits weren't always hard walls, and that sometimes there was pleasure just over the cusp of pain. Perhaps it was a false sense of security, or an arrogance for her ability, but Charis thought she could manage a Green Jeweled prince after handling an Ebon-grey warlord prince.

"Ooooh." She cooed in sympathy, hand covering his over his hurt. "Poor big man, all banged up." Charis knew he wasn't hurt at all, and just playing it up. Lip sticking out at her like a big baby. She smiled and let a little craft play over his arm anyway. Just a tickle of something cool to tease his senses. Eyes only leaving his for a moment when he reached for her. Stomach and heart fluttering as he trailed fingers over her neck.

Instinctively, she knew it would be easy for him to wrap his hand around her throat and strangle the life right out of her body. Physically, at least. She knew too, that she did not know him well enough to know if it would easy easy for him temperamentally, too. And he had come here for a reason. "I'm all done, honey." Lips parting, Charis tried to turn her fear into arousal, even though she knew men were capable of hurting women they loved and fucked regularly.

But a little foreplay might slow him down if he meant to hurt her.

"Tell me all about it and I'll make sure your hurts are all patched up." Whatever she had to do survive.

Title: Re: buttons up
Post by: Tobias Marasfield on June 08, 2019, 12:31:35 PM
His job was much the same, but he didn’t feel the need to flaunt it. Tobias still assumed she knew about him already, and it was no fun having to explain his own reputation if she didn’t. There was no sense in coming off that cocky, even if… well, even if he was. ”I bet you have seen a lot,” he said, though his smile was satisfied rather than sympathetic. He could appreciate having seen things that others might shy away from.

He could appreciate causing them, too. It would be useful to have a talented, unflappable healer on the payroll for the more unfortunate cases. Sometimes they did need to be broken down so they could be healed and broken again. How strong was her stomach? What would her price be?

”So you like to make hurts so you can soothe them away?” he asked with a grin as the touch of her craft flitted across his skin. ”Are you going to kiss it better, too?” Maybe he was being a little heavy-handed, but she was so good at flirting and playing coy. She knew just what to say, what to do, to catch and keep his interest, and he liked that.

He could feel something shift in her, and he drew his hand back a little. His eyes searched her expression, and his expression softened. He touched her cheek instead, just a whisper along skin, before he pulled back. ”I’m not gonna hurt you, beautiful Charis,” he murmured. ”I’d never dream of taking anything you didn’t offer. If that’s a few slaps…” His grin turned wicked. ”I think I can handle it.” He shrugged slightly, adding absently, ”I really did come here to talk, but you keep distracting me.”
Title: Re: buttons up
Post by: Charis on June 09, 2019, 08:08:20 AM

"Healers duty." So easy to explain everything away with those words. It extended to her other work as well. Other territories knew the healing help opium offered. And Charis knew just how much being able to relax and give up control meant to those with Jewels too dark to be touched by common drink. Experienced missed out on unless they wanted to destroy their liver trying to out pace their Jewels.

She was just helping. People wound too tight were dangerous!

"If that's what you need, then that's what I offer. Healers duty." Charis' mouth hitched higher on one side, thumb caressing the tendons along the back of his hand. "But no, I do my not to inflict any sort of hurt if it can be helped." Sometimes a bone had to be broken again to be set properly. And sometimes you had to hurt others to save yourself.

Charis just hoped it never came to that for herself.

Worried that now might test that. But Tobias softened, fingers moving from the delicate column of her throat to her cheek. A slightly less intimate and vastly less intimidating touch. She turned into the touch before he withdrew it. "I was hoping you wouldn't." She'd endure pain when she had to, but that was usually a different sort of game that didn't threaten her life. Just her perceptions.

"I'm sorry Tobias." Charis flattened her hands on the counter and fixed her position. "I'll stand very still and listen." She promised, eyes on his face, and attention fixated all on him. She was curious to know why he'd come. Certain it wasn't for the flirting, though that was nice too. Big, soft man.

Title: Re: buttons up
Post by: Tobias Marasfield on June 09, 2019, 11:09:42 AM
”And it’s so good we have healers like you who do your duty,” Tobias said solemnly, though he offered a wink, too. ”Talented, too, from what I’ve heard.” Rumors were always fun to chase, and he really had no idea if she was talented — but he would certainly enjoy hanging out long enough to find out.

”Sometimes it can’t be helped, though,” he said thoughtfully, watching her expression carefully as he spoke. What would she think of that? ”I think healers understand that more than anyone.” And people in his line of work, but that went without saying!

He flashed her another grin, though he was still a little perturbed that she’d worry around him. Never mind that he usually liked intimidating people — well, they couldn’t win, could they? Not people like this, at least.

Now he had to get to business, which he wasn’t in the mood to do. But he’d learned enough of her to know he was interested in learning more, and if he was able to through mutual interests of theirs… ”My family takes protecting people very seriously,” he said, tilting his head slightly. ”Sometimes…” He sighed, shaking his head. ”Sometimes it can get a little ugly, when others mess with them. It’d be great to have a healer we can trust on hand.” He offered her an innocent, boyish smile. ”Especially a healer who can do the things you can.”
Title: Re: buttons up
Post by: Charis on June 11, 2019, 05:32:20 PM

"I try not to boast." But she did smile, lips lifting upward, big eyes hidden by fluttering lashes. Charis worked hard at her craft, both the obvious and less so. It was a matter of pride for her to do well, and she reaped many benefits for her labors. Big, gruff Tobias was beginning to seem like another of those rewards.

"True. But it makes it no less unpleasant." Shoulders shifting beneath her sweater, Charis' smile grew smaller, without disappearing completely. "You might be right." Much as it went against the grain. Much as she worried he was about to use something similar on her.

Thankfully he gentled, touch traveling to less threatening places. Charis settled, and placed all her attention back onto Tobias. Focused on finding out just what it was that had brought him in here. Her attentiveness rewarded as he slowly dolled out the reason for his visit.

"Oh?" Was that where she had heard of him? Charis lifted a hand and then dropped it. No need to chew her nails like a nervous apprentice. She'd dealt with bigger and scarier. They just didn't usually talk about family. Grinning back at him, Charis tipped her head to the side. "I don't know that I do anything special." She was just a healer, like any other.

But this was a business proposition. An important one, if there was a family backing it. One that was obviously used to using violence to get its way. "Are there terms? Exclusions?" She wouldn't forfeit any of her current arrangements to accommodate something new. From people she was unsure of.

Title: Re: buttons up
Post by: Tobias Marasfield on June 11, 2019, 06:38:42 PM
Tobias let out a laugh. ”Sometimes it’s good to boast,” he told her. Didn’t he know that from experience? He liked when things traveled via rumor — that there was some bit of plausible deniability — but that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to be cocky when it came down to it.

He’d chased away that smile again when he’d pushed her a little, which was unfortunate. He’d have to be a little less heavy-handed with her unless he really wanted to scare her off — and he didn’t.

From here on out, though, it was business, and if that scared her away, there wasn’t much he could do about it. It would be a pity, but there was always the Star if it came down to it. He’d need something to relieve his tension before he returned home, at any rate. He was having too much fun, and maybe the predatory part of him was enjoying this a little too much…

He smirked at her, but he didn’t correct her aloud. Of course she did things special. She offered special brews, and there were soft whispers that she might even indulge in a trade that would benefit him. He could always use opium addictions against people who got in his way, too.

”Of course,” he replied, shrugging. ”Terms, that is. Discretion, the ability to respond to requests for help pretty quickly… Nothing that would take you away from your shop too much. But the pay’s good.”
Title: Re: buttons up
Post by: Charis on June 15, 2019, 11:01:19 AM

"Maybe for men." Charis laughed. "A lady has to be more subtle." She teased him, eyes bright, lips curving into a soft smirk. Too many were put off by boldness in women. Charis had to be careful. A balance and reputation to maintain. Living two lives with secrets in both.

Both more and less comfortable with business talk. Charis stood up a little straighter, hips leaning into the edge of the counter, rather than her body draping over it. Business was different than pleasure, though sometimes they spilled over into each other. But she had a measure of professionalism.

Especially with new agents she still wasn't sure of.

"I see. That all sounds simple enough." Something nearly any healer could have offered them. Charis wondered why she had been chosen, then, an idea of why apparent but not a certainty. "Almost too simple. Sure you're not hiding something?" Voice sweet, despite the bluntness of her question. Shoulders rolling back and down to enhance her breasts and keep him sweet too.

He seemed to like them, little as they were.

Title: Re: buttons up
Post by: Tobias Marasfield on June 15, 2019, 05:05:59 PM
”Ladies don’t have to be subtle around me,” Tobias said, flashing another wide grin. ”I’d rather see who you really are than some shadow of it.” And that was true enough. He liked women in general, and that meant seeing the different types and appreciating them for who and what they were. He understood not everyone liked it, but… Well, he wasn’t everyone.

His cousin Marissa was a talented healer, but even she couldn’t be everywhere at once — and she couldn’t offer the brews and drugs Charis supposedly could. If the rumors were true, she could get her hands on things that would be beyond them… and that were sometimes needed.

”I hear you have a few specialties that might be welcome,” he said, his eyes quickly darting to her chest then back up at her eyes. ”I mean, maybe it’s just rumor, but…” He shrugged, leaning in a little more as he smiled at her. ”I never say no to more gorgeous, capable women helping my family out.”
Title: Re: buttons up
Post by: Charis on June 17, 2019, 07:39:42 PM

”You’re one of a kind, honey.” Charis never would have suspected such softness under his big gruff exterior. Unless it was just a line. Sometimes it was and the man might not even realize. Turned off once the truth really came out. Girl not charming enough when she wasn’t playing at it. Life was complicated like that.

Tobias seemed quite pleased with himself. And with her. Eyes traveling down and up again. Business talk only taking the keen edge off rather than destroying his appreciate completely. Charis thought it was cute. So was his hinting. As she’d suspected, it was more than just her skills as a healer that had caught this family’s attention.

Probably not a good thing.

”You’re very naughty.” Charis purred at him, hand crossing the counter to touch his arm. ”And a flirt.” But he was sweet. Smiling, Charis folded her arms beneath her breasts and shrugged. ”I’m happy to help. Any way I can.” Business was always good for business. If it got messy, she’d beg Isidore or Runner to set her up somewhere else.

Title: Re: buttons up
Post by: Tobias Marasfield on June 18, 2019, 05:53:15 PM
”So I’ve been told,” Tobias said, smirking. Oh, he’d been told he was one of a kind before — though usually not in a positive way. He wasn’t sure if she was saying it positively or not, but he didn’t much care. ”You’re not so bad yourself.” He flashed a boyish grin at her. She was better than not so bad, but he had to tease.

He chuckled at her words. ”Are you complaining?” he asked, tilting his head. He shifted closer to her when she touched his arm, taking it as an invitation.

”Yeah?” His smile grew brighter. ”Well, we’d be happy to have you with us. Is there anything you think you can offer that no one else can?” he asked innocently, already knowing the answer to the question. He wasn’t sure she’d admit it, especially to someone she didn’t know, but he had to try. He put a finger to his lips. ”I won’t tell.”
Title: Re: buttons up
Post by: Charis on June 22, 2019, 07:10:57 PM

Charis laughed. Not the affected giggle she often used on men, but an actual laugh. "Why thank you." She managed to say, breathless from mirth. He really was something else. One of a kind for certain. He came a little closer, leaning into her touch. And her teasing.

"I'm not." Lips still twitching in amusement, she gave his arm a squeeze and a pat. Then withdrew back into herself. It wasn't right to go tumbling into bed with new business partners. Especially before they'd proven the good sort. At least that's what she told herself.

Tobias was interested in pushing his luck, however. Just not up Charis' skirts. He wanted what so many did. The sort of thing you had to ask carefully about. Even more carefully than sex. Charis tapped her chin. "Why don't we see where things take us. No need to give away all our secrets at first meeting." She winked.

Title: Re: buttons up
Post by: Tobias Marasfield on June 22, 2019, 07:56:33 PM
”You have such a beautiful laugh,” Tobias told Charis. ”But that isn’t surprising.” There was no shortage of things to compliment the Healer on, which made this even more fun. He wasn’t having to scramble for words like he sometimes did. Maybe he was laying it on a little thick, but it amused him.

”I should hope not,” he said, though he frowned when she pulled away. ”I’m sorry. Did I say something wrong?” Had he been too forward? Had he offended her somehow? He mentally retraced his steps, but he couldn’t figure out where he’d gone wrong. A pity. He’d been enjoying where this might end up.

He chuckled though, even though he wasn’t exactly pleased with her answer. He didn’t blame her for not wanting to give away her secrets, but what was he going to have to do to earn that trust? If he really wanted her to be useful sooner rather than later, he had to hurry this along just a bit. ”Are you sure? I can keep a secret.”
Title: Re: buttons up
Post by: Charis on June 22, 2019, 09:43:54 PM

Charis smiled at his compliment. Chin tucked and lashes lowered. ”Thank you.” She told him primly, cheeks pink, as if they had not shared more lewd banter than a simple compliment. The simplicity of it was the reason it was so nice.

”No, honey, you say everything right.” Charis told him, tapping the tip of his nose. That was the kicker, wasn’t it? It made him dangerous in a way that had nothing to do with violence or Jewels. Just with good old charm. And charm had always been her weakness. Along with money.

”Can you?” She came around the counter, gesturing to the door. ”You seem the sort who is good at it. Or at keeping your own, anyhow.” Hand on the knob, Charis twisted to face him. Shoulders holding the door shut behind her. Between them she offered her hand, palm up to be filled with a small vial full of opalescent liquid.

”Just a drop, mkay?” Winking again, Charis stretched up to slip a kiss to his cheek before opening the door. ”Don’t be a stranger, honey.”