Old January 31, 2019, 02:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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She chewed on her bread as she watched Lucretia tend to the customer, his complaints about the food being shut down by the woman. She pondered the woman's claim to possibly knowing someone in Abestat. It just seemed all too convenient to her. Was the woman trying to scam her? Possibly, but, Ellie didn't really get that feeling. Not that she was the best judge of character. Though, so far, her choice of friends had been solid. At least in her opinion.

Lucretia returned and took the seat next to her, flashing her bare thigh, which, Ellie had to admit, was rather shapely. A mental groan as she realized that her time with Sliucha and Nelly might have turned her into a big of a...what was the word? Horn dog?

She washed down her mouthful of bread with some more ale. "Hm. Well, I know I'm going to Abestat. I can't say I wouldn't enjoy the company. Your company." She smiled a broken smile and ran her fingers through her short hair as Lucretia set a hand on her arm, and the gaze the older woman gave her making her think of the woman's other "talents," again.

"I will have to be honest, though. I'm not exactly laden with coin. That damnable ship ride cost me a fair bit of what I had. I need to buy a few travel supplies to get from here to Abestat, though, I have other...umm...talents, as well, that can help with procurring food along the way. That helps on supplies costs. " She thought a moment, chewing her lower lip. "Maybe we can work something out, though. I really hadn't expected to find much help in this, to be honest."
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Old January 31, 2019, 03:38 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Lucretia's eyes dropped when Ellie's gaze dropped to see just what the other woman was looking at. When Lucretia realized it was her--well, parts of her, she couldn't help but smirk a little. Ellie seemed the curious sorts, and there were only a few kinds of women that came in here. Those to chastise women like Lucretia, those looking for the women that 'stole' the hearts of their men, or those that were curious. Ellie was obviously the latter.


"Well, the feeling is mutual there." While Ellie might not appear to be the highlight of the party, so to speak, Lucretia was positive there was something within the woman that was just waiting to bud so to speak. In other words, Ellie could probably be a lot of fun and not so timid, reserved and proper with the right push.


Lucretia's lips pondered in thought about the woman's hardship with coins. Then, her eyes moved to the girl's in the pub, before Lucretia disregarded that. Ellie could make a bit of coin that way, but to suggest it a third time? That was pushing it. Besides, Luci didn't want to scare the poor girl away. "Can you cook any better than that back there?" Lucretia pointed to the door that was closed with the 'cook' behind it. "I could put in a good word with Horace on my reputation and you could earn some coin that way?" She shrugged, eyes back on Ellie.
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Old February 2, 2019, 08:29 PM   #18 (permalink)
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She nibbled another torn off piece of bread and considered Lucretia's offer for work. Could she cook? Well...yes. Was she a great cook? No. But, she had, a few years ago, worked as a serving girl and sometimes cook at a High Peak inn, not long after stumbling down from the mountains, her memory mostly gone. Still, she figured she couldn't be any worse than The Hornet's Nests current cook.

She took a drink of her ale, licked her lips to make sure she had got it all, and finally turned her head to Lucretia.

"I can cook. I have a little experience cooking at an inn. But, I can only give a week of work. You said you needed to travel to Abestat in a week, too, right?"

She looked thoughtfully at the door to the kitchen. From what she'd seen of the cook when he brought her bread, and the way Lucretia talked about him, Ellie wasn't sure things would go all that smoothly. Or, maybe the man needed a vacation?
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Old February 3, 2019, 04:06 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Luci began to wonder if cook was the way to go for Ellie. But she seemed against selling her skin and assets, so what other way would there be if the woman couldn't cook? Finally, the pixie haired woman spoke and Lucretia smiled. Only a week, which wasn't problematic for her, but might be for Horace and the cook. Unless....


"Let me take care of it." Luci winked at Ellie, then moved to clear a table of some dishes. On that table was some half eaten slop that the cook tried to pass off as 'food,' making Lucretia's stomach curl slightly from the sight and its smell. With a plate in each hand, the woman waited until she was near the kitchen, then rushed right in frantically.


"What is this? Raw fish?" Lucretia sputtered out, mortification upon her facial features as her back pressed to the door, allowing Ellie to hear the conversation. "Do you know who those men were?" She squeaked out, then shook her head slowly. "I hope those men don't get sick, they'll be back look'n for you, Bernard." Lucretia looked at him solemnly, eyes as wide as the cup's circumference. "Might be best you lay low for a while...I would hate to see--" She stopped and waited. Hopefully he would adhere to Lucretia's suggestion-if not? Well, Luci might just have to be a little more forceful or take it up with Horace.
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Old February 7, 2019, 07:10 PM   #20 (permalink)
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The cook looked up at Lucretia as she sputtered out some gibberish about raw fish and men. He grunted, deciding to ignore the woman's antics, and went back to peeling potatoes. Heavy eyes raised again when she mentioned those men coming back to look for him.

"Whut you mean, Luci? Someone complainin' 'bout my cookin' again? That ain't nuthin' new."


Outside, Ellie glanced around the mostly empty room, then popped another chunk of bread in her mouth and listened to the drama unfolding behind the closed door. Lucretia was quite the actress. For a moment, Ellie wondered if it was worth the trouble. After all, she'd only be working for a week. But, the extra money would make things easier, and afterward...well, the cook could always come back.
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Old February 12, 2019, 10:32 AM   #21 (permalink)
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So, this was going to be a little more difficult than Luci anticipated; but when should anything ever be easy? After all, she only worked her tail off for a chance to become the madame of this place, and that had been thwarted by a 'management oversight.' In simple man's terms, Horace dipped in the replacement's honey jar too often and like most men got confused on what was actually best for his place. Well, no matter on that. Luci wasn't going to be here forever-even if it did seem that way. Something better would eventually come around and when it did...


"Well, how about I tell Horace I've been seeing you taking some coppers out his pottery jar there on the counter that his oldest made the year his wife died?" Lucretia looked him square in the eyes, then let her gaze wander over to the chipped piece of pottery. "I heard that shade was her favorite color. Why the girl picked it." Lucretia shrugged her shoulders, then returned her line of sight to him. "And you can deny it, but it would be my word over yours-a guy who has only been here a few months that cooks nothing better than slop, or the one that brings regulars in this place." She fished a piece of copper out from somewhere in her bustline and offered it to him. "Just need'n you to be gone about a week. I'll make up a story for Horace and no one is any wiser about your thievery habits and maybe the customers will enjoy their meals here." the copper was put in front of his face awaiting him to take it.
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Old February 12, 2019, 11:56 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Bernard dropped the potato and the knife he'd been peeling it with and stared in surprise at Lucretia. "Hey, wait now, Luci! I ain't done no kinda thing!" His eyes flicked back and forth nervously between Lucretia and the jar, hinting that he had, indeed, done that kinda thing.

When she produced a copper, and after he'd stopped staring at her bust for a few moments, his demeanor changed. "Oh! Well, why dinnit you just say that in the first place? Weren't no need in tryin' to go tellin' on me! " He snatched the coin from her fingers, gave her chest one last longing look, and disappeared out the back.

All the while, Ellie sat at the bar, gnawing on bread, drinking her ale, and happy that the queasiness of her belly had gone away.
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Old February 13, 2019, 08:57 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Lucretia could only roll her eyes as Bernard tried to deny her accusations. But copper made him change his tune. A final look was cast her way, before she snorted and waved him off with both her hands. Once Bernard was out of sight and out of mind, Lucretia made her way back over to Ellie.


"So how about that?" She winked at the pixie haired woman before helping herself to a small piece of bread. "The kitchen's all yours for a week. Starting...now." Luci moved away from Ellie when a familiar face entered the tavern. Her elbow grazed that of 'Red,' before her dark eyes fell on the male who bypassed those at the bar and made his way for the woman Lucretia had just meandered by before she took made her way upstairs to get ready for another night of work.
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Old February 15, 2019, 08:15 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Ellie downed the last of her ale and grinned at the older woman before standing up and headed toward the kitchen. As Lucretia was preparing herself for an evening of work, Ellie took stock of the kitchen. Well, there were plenty of potatoes. And...well. There was pretty much just potatoes.

She sighed and went to work. Well, she couldn't be any worse than Bernard, right?

**********

A little more than a week later found Ellie and Lucretia on the road, heading north toward Abestat. Hopefully, the man that Lucretia had mentioned would be of some help, but, Ellie wasn't going to hold her breath. It seemed like a longshot to her that she'd find someone who actually knew the location of a naiad spring.

At least she had a traveling companion, though. And, a rather pleasant one at that. She gave the woman a smile before turning her attention back to the road ahead of them, adjusting her backpack on her shoulders and humming a tune as they walked.
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Old Yesterday, 07:34 PM   #25 (permalink)
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The roads leading in and out of Aelyria Prime were crowded as the pair left the gates with just as many carts and horses coming in as going out. Travelers coming to the capitol city to make a name for themselves, seeking out fame and fortune, mingled with merchant trains, laden with wares. The ladies would be jostled within the huddled masses that were all traveling through the narrowed gates, no matter which direction they were headed.

The further the ladies traveled from the Empire's crown jewel, the fewer and farther between came the fellow travelers. One by one, journeymen peeled off, moving ahead or falling behind, some turning along different paths to other parts of the Empire, until by mid afternoon, the girls were alone on the roads. The evenly spaced paving stones gave way to dirt and gravel and the only way they knew they were heading along the well-worn path was the lack of vegetation down the lane they walked.

The weather was pleasant for their travels, but even pleasant summer days still brought the suns' light bearing down on Telath by mid afternoon. The companions would find sweat glistening on their brows and in all of their crevices that ladies typically didn't speak of. Birds sang in the bushes to the left and right of them and occasionally, they would catch sight of rabbits or coyotes scuttling across the road.

It wasn't until the gals were perhaps starting to consider sleeping arrangements for the night that they would once again sense signs of travelers on their path. Twilight was just a candlemark away when first they heard it. The deep jangling of hundreds of bells, kettles, pots and pans, bouncing against one another with every rock and stone in the road. The drumming of horse's hooves played countermelody, deep and rumbling. On the horizon, they could make out great, colorful land boats being pulled behind pairs of black and white horses that stood larger than any horse they had ever seen before. As the caravan of brightly colored vardos approached, the ladies would hear singing and stringed instruments beneath the clanging of the cookware.
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