Let The Games Begin

Title: Let The Games Begin
Time Period: February 2, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Some men are a delightful challenge.

The early evening is not the most boisterous of times at the tavern in the inn, as many patrons are still making their way from work or are stopping home fo supper first before a night's drinking. It's the residents or single folk who occupy most of the tables now, most keeping to themselves but a few pockets of people commiserating over their work day or the chilly weather or the latest dragon running off with a goat.

Beisdean sits at a table with a cup of tea rather than a pint of something harder today, and a book before him as usual. Being indoors, there's no need for coat or hat or scarf or gloves; instead he wears a plaid flannel shirt in soft blue, green and gray — no knit sweater today, and the crackling fire nearby makes it unnecessary for added warmth.

Mariah's one of those single folk who tend to drop by the inn for a bite, at least when she's out in the town. And judging by the fact that she's carrying a parcel or two with her, she's been spending some time in the market today. And although she's not technically working, she is dressed provocatively, as she tends to be in public. Especially when she sheds her coat.

A quick scan of the area is more than enough to spot Beisdean there, and while it makes her pause for a moment, a sly smile comes to her face before she strides over in his direction. But she stops just a step or two behind him, parcels held against a cocked out hip as she notes, "I do hope you're in the mood to offer a lady a seat." Nevermind that there are plenty empty tables around.

Blue eyes peer up and a brow arches before he leans back in his chair. One long leg stretches out to nudge the chair across from him out for her.

"But of course, m'lady," he says playfully, putting a black silk ribbon to hold his place in the book before closing it.

"How are you today, Mariah?" he asks, sincerely enough before lifting his teacup for a sip as he watches her for her reply.

"Ah, so generous of you," Mariah says, but she ends up just setting her packages and coat in the chair. As for herself, she slides up onto the table next to his tea and crosses one leg over the other. Given how her skirts are gathered up on the one side, it's a move that exposes a good bit of leg.

"Me? Oh fantastic. Just was picking up some bits and bobs around the market, thought I'd stop in for something… warm. Imagine my delight, finding you here." She smirks a little there before she adds, "Yourself?"

Both brows raise, and he looks at the leg, from thigh to toe and back up, making a show of his appraisal before raising his eyes to her face. "If you're not going to sit in a chair, there's more enjoyable places to sit," he says playfully, then reaches to push his tea away lest she burn herself.

"Lucky Bob, by the way."

The tea is lifted and another sip taken. "See anything you like?" He nods to the men on the other side of the tavern. "Lovely bit of clerk," is said around a smirk as he nods to a particular shopkeeper.

"Oh, but I so like the view from here," Mariah says with a wider, more playful smile. Her hands rest on the edge of the table, fingers curled around the underside as she answers him in a low whisper.

"Oh, you have no idea." Lucky Bob, indeed.

Her gaze moves to the rest of the room then, glancing over that shopkeeper before she makes a tsk and looks back to Beisdean. "Haven't you got poet, or something like that?" She straightens up there, expression looking a bit more amused, "Of course, I try not to solidify any plans this early. Unless something extremely good comes along."

Beisdean taps his book. "Yeats," in regards to the poet. He leans back to tip his head against the wall behind him, so that he can look up at her more easily. "I see. And what do you consider 'extremely good?' I'm afraid I probably don't qualify. I can only promise to be extremely bad, and also because I am extremely poor."

He reaches for the teacup again, letting his fingers graze her knee before they curl around ceramic.

"I don't mind bad, for certain definitions of, anyway," Mariah says, as if she were imparting some scandalous secret. When his fingers brush against skin, she lets out just the slightest sigh before her expression turns more sly. None of it comes as genuinely as it did under the influence, but the simple fact that they both know the moves is what makes it a game.

"The poor bit does put a damper on things, doesn't it. I would settle for Yeats, but I understand he's gone back to dust long ago. Alas, what a cruel world it is, aye?"

The man chuckles, lifting his tea to blow upon it. "So it seems. Were you going to have a cup or meal, or just perch on there like the lark you are?"

That hand reaches to set the cup back down, the back of hand once more brushing against her knee, a little more lingering this time. He looks up through a lock of hair that's fallen from where the rest has been brushed back in a slight and modest pompadour of sorts. "I could pen a few lines myself, like I mentioned," he teases. "I'm more of a reader than a writer, but I fancy myself a bit of a wordsmith."

"I haven't decided yet. How many of the others are looking this way? I may have to linger a while longer if I've caught some attention." She's not looking herself. Because, of course, one surefire way to get male attention is to give your attention to someone else. It's something she's been noticing lately.

As his touch lingers, Mariah's smile turns crooked and she shifts, ever so subtly, toward his hand a little more. "Oh yes, I do recall there was some promise of an ode." Promise, she says. "So I suppose we'll just have to see how good a smithy you are. I should warn you, men have written me poetry in the past. Some of it has been really quite good."

His eyes half close as he looks the other way — of course, Mariah has some admirers glancing her way, appreciative of the free show of leg or amused at the two flirting rather overtly. "A couple, but I think they're looking at me," he teases.

As far as the poetry goes, he chuckles, reaching up to push that lock of hair back out of his eyes. "Oh, I don't worry that I won't be up to snuff, Larkie. In any aspect."

That comment makes her laugh, and she sits up to fold her arms in mocking offense. "You don't have the curves," she says with an amused smirk.

"We'll see," she maintains to his proclaimed self confidence, and she slides off the table there, although she doesn't go far just yet. "I really must parade myself about the place a little more, but after I get a drink, I don't suppose I could beg the favor of a ride in the general direction of home?" It is a long walk, after all, and in the snow. However she got out here, she has apparently been left to find her own way back. Or is opting to.

"If that's how you want to spend your favors owed," Beisdean says, with a shrug and shake of his head. "You parade, I'll go get us a couple of pints. Iago would be pleased to have the pleasure of such company, I'm sure."

He rises and gives a small mock bow. "Though if you parade properly, you might find you won't need a ride home 'til morning, I wager."

"Well, truth be told, I was hoping to appeal to your generous nature and hoard the favors for later," Mariah says with a wry grin. She looks back over at the other customers around, scanning them for a moment before she looks back at Beisdean. "It's my general policy to make them come to me."

With a bit of a wink, she lets him get drinks while she goes to flirt overtly with a group of men off to the other side of the tavern. Although this brand of flirting is based less on wit and more on strategic touching and teasing poses. By the way the attention shifts, she's pretty good at her job.

"Oh, is it," Beisdean says teasingly, perhaps remembering her in his room last time. He returns with the pints of amber fluid to his table, sitting and propping his feet up on the spare chair, mindful of the packages and coats there.

There's room on the bench next to him, when she returns, unless she plans to sit on the table again.

He watches her, taking a gulp of the drink, then opening the book to read again until she returns.

There's no comment there; Mariah will just let him take that deviation from the norm as he will. Maybe she's feeling in the mood to feed that ego a bit.

It's a bit of a wait before she comes back to the table, but when she gets there, she slides onto the bench next to him, picking up her glass as she does. She lets out a sigh before she takes a healthy drink. "You know, I think there may be one or two over there that were looking at you. If you're lonely tonight," she says, teasingly.

His laugh is warm, and while he glances back over his shoulder with some consideration, he turns back toward her. "I think the one on the left, aye, but he's not my type," Beisdean murmurs with a confessional tone and grin playing at the corner of his mouth. "Which would you have, if you had your way, Larkie?" he asks, eyes narrowing as he reaches to pull something through her hair, then holding out to her a pine needle. "Do you girls make wishes or something on those, like eyelashes?"

His laugh makes her smile and Mariah glances back over as he does. She even waves a little in their direction. "Oh, he's not so bad. Might think about giving him a chance." Which may be her own philosophy, or close enough anyway. At his question, though, she considers a little before looking back at Beisdean, "Oh, none of them. If it was my way." By the way her smile softens, she might be thinking of someone specific.

She's just not sharing who.

As his fingers pull that needle out of her hair, Mariah chuckles warmly and takes another drink before she answers. And she answers by leaning over a bit to blow a soft breath against that needle. And his fingers, coincidently. Whether or not they do usually, they do now.

Beisdean chuckles, and reaches up to touch her cheek, then tucks that same strand of hair behind her ear. "It's a cold night. Are you sure you want a ride all the way to the Dovetail when you could stay warm for the night, Larkie? Take a night off work."

He leans back to pick up his glass again, taking a long drink keeping his eyes off her face. "A little holiday, if you will. Everyone has to take a day off now and then, aye?" His eyes flicker to the group of men, and he seems to wink at one of them — of course, if Mariah were to turn around to look again, no one would be watching them at that moment.

"Alas, if I take the night off, who's going to pay for all that," she says with a gesture toward her packages. "Plus, the cold drives people in. I'd be remiss in my duties if I wasn't there to serve, ey?"

Mariah doesn't turns to look, although the wink around her gets a playful narrowing of the eyes. "Of course, if you're otherwise occupied, I can always walk…" she says, starting to stand from the bench, although she isn't going anywhere in a hurry. "…or just borrow Iago. He wouldn't mind, you think?" She adds the latter with a teasing grin.
Hush has connected.
Hush has left.

"Oh, sure, ride my horse," Beisdean says unabashedly with a laugh and another gulp of his ale.

Setting down the half empty glass, he leans back again. "Well, I wouldn't want to keep you from your duty, but I'll take you home, sure. Iago can be a bit of a temperamental beast and you know, I'm not sure you'd be able to handle him, lass. I'll let you handle the reins, though, and we'll see how you do."

He nods to the glass. "Drink up, unless you're worried it'll keep you here and losing wages."

"Well, sure. He's got great hair, perfect teeth…" Mariah teases gently, but as he goes on, she leans a hip against the table and smirks down at him. "Oh, there isn't a beast alive I can't handle."

She eyes him a bit longer, but seems to take that last comment as something of a challenge, since she picks up her glass again for another drink. "It would take far more than this to addle me that much."

Beisdean sighs and shakes his head with a tsk. "Pity. I don't really like 'em drunk and sloppy, anyway," he says, lifting his glass to finish it, then gesturing to the door that will lead to the stables as he rises.

"My coat and hat are upstairs. Care to accompany me up to my room to gather them?" he asks, any innocence in the request clearly belied by the sparkle in his eyes and the arch of one rogueish brow.

"All evidence to the contrary," Mariah says, her tone wry as she sets down her glass. "Although, for the record, I am never sloppy. Drunk or not." A girl's got to take pride in her job performance, after all.

She glances away for a moment, as if that would hide the grin at his mischievousness, which it only does a little. But when she looks back to him, she's got a mere crooked smile on instead. "It's the least I could do, considering."

He raises the other brow, rogue to surprised in a second's time, and offers his arm to lead her up the stairs and to the little room he keeps, taking the key from his pocket to unlock it. Once it's swung open, she's swung in as well with a low laugh and a bend of his head toward her lips, to steal a kiss…

… and likely press his luck, as he moves hands to her hips to move her toward the bed.

Mariah seems fairly trusting, as she leaves her things down in the common room as she takes his arm to accompany him upstairs. Perhaps as testament to her plans to return shortly.

There is a laugh as he swings her inside, only cutting short as her lips get suddenly occupied. Stolen may be the story she'll stick to, but there is a moment or two where she returns the kiss. However, her hand comes to his chest to gentle press him back as she pulls back, still smiling as she reminds, "We're here for a coat and a hat and I go by neither of those names."

Beisdean hangs his head as if ashamed, letting go of her and putting up his hands in a gesture of surrender before turning to grab the two garments from the rack in the corner. Donning them, he raises his brows as a grin overtakes the mock innocent look on his face.

"What if I wear you?" he quips, but he moves to the door to open it once more, a flourished gesture for her to exit. "C'mon. Your steed awaits."

"I make a better accessory than garment," Mariah says, her steps taking her— somewhat reluctantly— toward the door. But when he opens it, she moves through, pausing at his latter words.

"If only," she says in a suggestive whisper, tugging a bit on his coat before she turns toward the stairs.