The Easy Ones

Title: The Easy Ones
Time Period: April 14, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: From gossip to favors, Jorn is witness when Luna always goes for…

With Algernon gone, Jorn is left to feed the charge; there is only one way up and down, so he does not feel terribly ill in allowing the polar bear pelt to remain curled like a bony dog on the chair in Luna's room while he ventures downstairs to find something to feed her with. Whether or not he gets some strange looks coming down from the attic, the northman is of a singular mind and does only what he needs to. It doesn't take him long, and soon enough he is treading back upstairs with a tea tray, with a simple breakfast put upon it. The last thing he needs is Luna tossing chunks all over the place- is it that kind of illness? Not taking any chances.

"If this isn't to your taste, don't fuss and eat as much as you can anyway." Jorn props open the door on an elbow, expression still somewhat bleary when he returns to her bedside, the wooden tray in his hands.

The bowl of oatmeal is nearly half done before Luna looks up from the bowl. Her mouth is still full and for such a small woman, she seems to have regained the appetite of a giant. After swallowing another spoon full of the gloppy substance, she gives the bear man a grateful smile and shrugs. "I like currants and cinnamon in my oatmeal, but this will do nicely. I'm famished, thank you." Then it's back to the bowl without delay. Before she looks up again, it is cleaned of every last rolled oat.

She might get sick later for eating so much in so little time, but for now she's laying back against her pillows warm and happy. "I thought for sure I would need at least three trays," she says, her tone much happier now than when Algernon was with them. Her blue eyes dart to the pelt curiously before back up to Jorn. "Is that what makes you a bear? Like my grandma's pelt would turn Ma into a selkie? Are you a descendant of bears?"

"It is better to eat less than you want, when you are sick. At least that is what my mother told me." And what he has practiced, generally. Jorn has seated himself back in the chair while she eats her fill, having watched with a vague interest in regards to her appetite.

"I am not." Jorn's answer is not as encompassing as Luna was probably hoping it would be. Being a conversational type of man was never in the cards; being alone in the room with her was probably not in the cards either, but here he is- and seemingly shy enough about it. "Not in the logical sense, like selkies…"

"Wartooth sounds like an ogre's name," she quips, not unkindly but simply as conversation. Luna's wide blue eyes make sport of a lingering look over Jorn's form, apparently judging him as one would a racehorse or a work of fine art. "You're quite large as well, are you descended from giants or ogres? Not meaning to be cruel but it would explain how someone as fearsomely enormous as yourself has come to be so tame as to play guardian to a wee girl."

The tea is poured, one cup in the delicate porcelain that was brought up, another glass in Algernon's left over liquor tumbler. She keeps the tumbler for herself, as befitting the hostess, while the prettier of the two is offered out to her guest. "I've been afraid of you since always," she says as she leans forward to pass it, "I don't quite know why though. My guess is because you are so imposing. I've never liked soldiers, as a rule, they're too beastly, but I've been making exceptions as of late."

His expression is flat, and thoughtful at best. It doesn't look as it Jorn is particularly interested in her line of questioning. He shifts and gets up to take the offered tea without a fuss of his own. Polite enough, as he offers a short nod of thanks, brows knitting as he looks down into the cup.

"Wartooth is a name that I gave myself when I was young." Choosing his words carefully is something he knows that he must do; Luna talks, for better or worse. "I have no lineage like that. Fishermen and loggers, mostly." Not horrible viking clan, it seems.

"Beastly." There's a joke in there somewhere, and the northman watches her more carefully. "Do you not remember meeting me, before I came here?" He has never had the chance- nor inclination- to ask.

Pale eyebrows furrow down into a more thoughtful expression, it takes nearly as long, if not longer for Luna to search her faded and unraveled memories as it did for Jorn to answer her simpler questions. "I've never met you before you came here," she answers, quite firm in tone.

A sip of hot tea is good for what ails the body and spirit. No sooner than the third or fourth mouthful passes down her throat does she put her glass down and begin straightening the blankets around her. "Would you care for one of these triangles of toast? I can't imagine that you had time to eat while you were downstairs." She takes the other while waiting for him to decide. "You must tell me everything you heard while you were downstairs, it's been weeks since I've heard all the gossip. Please…"

"Of course." If Luna does not want to follow that string, Jorn won't push it. She was quite outside of lucidity at the time, and it was a very long time ago. He sets himself down again on the edge of the chair.

"I'm fine, thank you." Even if he is hungry, he isn't about to take the sick girl's toast corners. "When I came down they all clammed up. I expect when I left the room, they were talking about you." That is something that women do, right? Especially at the Dovetail? The fiction- or truth?- sounds accurate inside of his head.

"About me?! What have I done to— Oh never mind them…" A bite is taken from the toast and as Luna stews from that bit of news, she studies the outline of the frame that once held her mirror. One of the gentlemen that guarded her was kind enough to clean up the shards.

Once she swallows though, she purses her lips and raises her chin in a rather uppity manner. "Well, I don't believe it myself. Aislinn Rowntree is an angel among mortals in Dornie, but before she came to Dornie there was talk. Did you know that Florentine said that Edmund was her customer? I would assume that this was long before she became a fat old sow… but anyway… she said that he had peculiar tastes."

"Less about you, more about why you are stuck here." Jorn clarifies before she is able to fume for too long. His expression turns dour. If he could circumvent the ensuing events, he might. Instead, he drinks his tea. "I would not be surprised to know that he came here before his marriage."

"As for his tastes…" A shift in his seat cues his awkwardness, if it were not already clear. "I could not say I know of anything to do with that."

Shaking her head, Luna holds up her free hand. Another bite of the toast is taken and swallowed. Now that there is only two bites left, she looks at it with a measure of disdain and places it back on her plate. "Toast isn't as good without currant jam or marmalade," she complains softly before pushing the rest away. "Now then… Oh yes, I was telling you about Florentine…" One of Jorn's ladies.

"It was over a deck of cards one day, we were playing cribbage— This was when I was brand new to the house, mind— she said that I'd missed the best parts of the business." There's a liberal roll of her eyes at this point but still when she's finished the tiny display of drama, she grins widely. "I thought she was talking about Edgar Ross, you know, because he is something else to look at." She pauses there to place her hands on her hips, as though put out. "She wasn't. She was talking about Edmund Rowntree and how before Miss Aislinn came along she was his favorite. Apparently he used to tie her up like one of his horses." There's another pause there before the prostitute catches Jorn's eye. "Do you think he liked her because she's so fat then? I suppose bent over, she'd look like one'a them mares he's got."

Talking about Edmund was one thing, but then she brings up the second Ed. From there he pointedly sinks his attention into his tea- but to his mild surprise, it is already gone, and he hasn't the heart to disturb her for more. Catching his eye is harder than anticipated, because Jorn skillfully avoids looking at her face for more than a second- she does catch one, out of sheer aptitude, and it is glazed. Displaying such a power over the berserker is not difficult if he did not initiate the train of thought.

"She is not fat. Full-figured." Is all that he has to say on the matter. Imagining Florentine tied up as described is sufficiently distracting.

"Are you mad?" Reaching for the pot, she holds it out to Jorn, expecting him to pass his cup under the spout. He did look down to his cup, he must want more. Wanting more tea equates to wanting more in the whore's book. A wish she is more than happy to provide. "Enough about her though, I hate her with a passion. There isn't a man alive that could awake a fire in me that burns as brightly as my hatred for Florentine."

Tea poured for him, she refills her own and picks up the glass again. "I thought perhaps Mister Fogg could, at one time. You wouldn't believe how wonderful he is, so unassuming but those hands are like magic. I couldn't imagine why his wife left him. He says it's his fault but… I don't know. Do you think he was picturing her when his eyes were closed with me?"

Of course he takes another cup. Not about to let her dump tea all over her floor. Wonderfulness perspective aside-

"I did not know that he was married, much less divorced. I suppose now that I think about it, it seems plausible." Jorn finally warms just enough to give her something besides short responses. "If he loved her, perhaps." This comes out in a somewhat distant breath, and he leans back to sink into the chair, knees just a little higher than the cushion.

"I couldn't assume anything."

"Well of course you can't assume," Luna agrees, touching her lips to the same place Algernon had been taking his sips from hours earlier. "But he always has that ring, sometimes when we were together I wanted to crawl from the bed as he was sleeping and hide it. Is it possible to be jealous of a thing like that or do you think I was jealous of his wife?"

She waves her free hand and picks up the other piece of toast. This time she avoids the crust and goes straight for the softer inside. "I wonder what happened to his hat… He always has that ruddy thing on and now it's so shabby. Oh! I know!! I'm going to get him a new one. He's just not my Algernon without a nice hat. Not that he isn't attractive, he is, he's just not the same."

"Envy is a many-headed thing." Jorn lets his mouth sink at the corners, and he watches her now without meeting her face. "It is the principle of having it, less than the possession itself." Same for anyone with a favorite anything. "Sentimental is a strong word though. I think it has been with him a long time for him to be so loyal towards it."

"You can find him a new one, but do not be sad if he is not as fond of it." A warning. A friendly warning.

"Well… You're right," she concedes with a sigh. The bit of toast has grown soft from the butter pread on it while it was hot and it's discarded to the plate as well. Shoulders slumped, she knots her hand into the lace coverlet and pulls it more over her abdomen. "I suppose it wouldn't be a good thing anyway, after all, Duncan is the current favorite. I shouldn't be thinking of ways to please Algernon, should I?"

Algernon stayed the night, not Duncan.

Then again, Jorn did too.

This thought just seems to occur to the prostitute and she puckers her lips lightly in thought. Her eyes sweep the warrior's form again and a sly smile creeps over her face. "And what of you, Mister Wartooth? You stayed to take care of me, neither Algernon nor Duncan did that. How should I think of you? Tell me about when you think you met me. I can't imagine how you could mistake anyone for me, I'm the prettiest girl in Dornie, sick or not, there's no one that looks like me."

Jorn refrains from commenting on the fineries of how to be a whore. He knows nothing of it.

"Considering that you said you were Luna Owens, I doubt I could be mistaken." His smile is wary, but if she wishes it, he can go down this road. It could be a sore spot, and the man wanders the path carefully from here. "You can think what you want to think about me. I am not out to change minds. How much have you been told about my ending up here?" So Jorn knows properly where to start, that is. No use telling her something she knows, and if her information is wrong, now is his opportunity to repair it.

"According to gossip, you were found drowned in a river with twenty arrows stuck in your back and an axe in your head. It took Aislinn a full week to repair all of the damage and even then she wasn't quite sure if you'd live." The way Luna is looking at Jorn now, it's apparent that she's trying to find the scar from the axe to the head. "I was told that the angels themselves breathed life back into you, but if it was Miss Aislinn, I'd say the gossip is right. She is an angel, the angel of Dornie." Which is likely what her new title will be in whispers and behind closed doors.

Luna picks at the shoulder of her gown, it's the same one that Duncan dressed her in two nights ago. Her favorite, but at the moment she feels a bit dirty in it. Slowly, she peels it down her arm and touches her chin to her bare skin. "Can you pass me a fresh night shirt from my wardrobe? I feel a bit gamey after breakfast and wish to change." Its seems that, right now, Luna isn't shy about having the warrior see her skin.

"She is quite an angel." This has been the only subject thusfar that Jorn is not only in total agreement on- but he also says it with a conviction, and with fondness. "It was not as epic as you might think." He lifts up to his feet after putting down his tea, reaction to bidding almost second nature. Skin is fine with him- it is just what people try to do with it that gets frowned upon. "I brought some of my warband to England, and we were coming up the coast. They did not like the direction I was taking things, and so I had a mutiny on my hands. Suffice to say, one man is not powerful enough to beat scores, bear or no."

When he finds a nightshirt, Jorn takes it from the bar and presents it dutifully.

"As for breathing life into me, perhaps she did. Edgar Ross was the one to find me washed up on the loch- his entourage. Before all of this is when I met you. My scouts saw you with Fergus, is his name? It was in the oak grove to the southeast. You were gamboling about in the grass."

The new shirt on the bed, Luna twists at the waist to hide most of her form from view and pulls the old one off. It's tossed carelessly to the foot of the bed before she plucks up the new one and then freezes. A chill runs through her, visibly. As a result the new shirt is held over her chest for a time as she stares at the guardian.

"Fergus and I could have been married once…" she says in a hoarse whisper. There's a slight upturn to the inner edges of her eyebrows and the corners of her lips downturn with worry. "I had a dream that he ran away and left me in danger. I got angry with him and he broke all ties with me long ago."

"Ah, well." Jorn's back is to her, to allow her to change. She's still got her dignity, whatever that means for Luna. He peers out the window for the moment. "He did. Run away. You screamed because I grabbed you to talk. He woke up, saw me, and ran." And that is the jist of it. Jorn holds his hands behind his back, clearly waiting for some sort of mention that she is finished.

"He did not seem a very good boy to me at the time. Good riddance."

"Not good or handsome, but Fergus comes from a family that has enough wealth that I could have lived in comfort." Where regret should be seeping into her voice, there is none. Apparently compared to the life Luna could have had with the ginger boy, she would chose the Dovetail. "I've done much better for myself, I have Duncan Rowntree in my bed and giving me whatever I wish."

Carefully placing the tray on the other side of the bed, she pushes the covers off herself and swings her feet slowly to the floor. Finally, she tries to stand. It's been more than a week since she's tried to do it herself. When the blonde takes a few steps, they're jerky and quick from sore muscles. Frequently she stops to lean or rest against another piece of furniture in the room.

"I should prepare the room for when Algernon returns, he likes things in a particular way. I need more scotch and a clean glass." This is only the first of her instructions. "Plain tobacco… A basin of hot water and a few clean cloths. He can bathe when he wakes but I can wash him before he lays down."

Stretching her shoulders and neck, she begins piling together all of the things on her list. At least the ones within reach. Scotch, glass, tobacco. The easy ones.