1865-05-03: Meeting In a Tavern
Meeting In a Tavern
Summary: After the conclusion of current Tournament events in Pacitta, Emilia slips out to try and have a few moments to herself and a touch of freedom to not be herself….the evening does not go quite as quietly and relaxing as she had hoped.
Date: 1865-05-03
Related: None
Emilia  Salim  

A small sigh escaped from Emilia as she sat at the table along the back side of the tavern. There was still a fair crowd now that the Tournament had passed and people had begun to scatter homewards again. But Pacitta was always a hub of activity, even a slow night likely saw a decent number of folks about. It suited her just fine, she'd simply wanted to get out, to be away from it all and just…be for a little while. Her fingers lightly stacked the cubes of cheese yet left from the simple meal she had ordered earlier. Content in some way to be overlooked by the others, dressed well enough but not so finely to give way her actual station. It was easier to blend in around Pacitta, to not be noticed. Perhaps she would linger longer then the extra days she'd thought to ask Raelyn and Jaren for. It wasn't taking use of the new freedom Jaren was permitting her to have, but truly where would she travel to? Even with this, she could not travel as freely or as far as he did. Another piece of cheese was stacked as her dark eyes simply wandered over the others out this eve, quietly watching the groups that come and go, the revelry they took to in various ways.

It had been a good week for him, it always was when the tournaments ran. Many of his clients had wished for his time, and the flux of people had given him many opportunities to pick up a few new clients. A smirk fell to his lips, it was ironic to think of so many noble ladies and wealthy merchants simply as clients. "Give me the usual," Salim rumbles to the barkeep as he reached the bar. Leaning on it as he waited for the drink. Checking over who was or wasn't about. With such a good take from the prior week he could afford to take the evening off. He'd earned the break to kick back for the night, maybe even do a good deed by giving some commonly girl a dance or two. The thought amused him, it was a bit of a kick to see just how thrilled they could get from that moment of attention. Least it was his choice and they certainly weren't demanding of him. He had to be careful though, no picking up locals. That was just asking for trouble. Ah-ha! There was a mousy thing over on the side. Pretty perhaps in her own way, but she was alone which spoke plenty to him. When Galen brought him the ale, Salim jerked his head in the direction of the dark haired girl,"What's the story on that one?"

Galen smirked,"Out to have a bit of fun yourself tonight eh?" Chuckling at the look Salim shot him,"I see, looking fer someone to play with a bit are ye then." He looked at the girl a moment before shrugging,"Ain't much ta say about that one, came in 'bout an hour back maybe. Ordered a bit of food, drink. Been fairly quiet rightly from what Melinda been saying, not much for conversation seems. "

"Sounds quite like someone who could use a touch of the right company then, wouldn't you say?" Salim giving a smug cock-sure smile to the barkeep before pushing off and making his way over to that table where Emilia sat by herself.

As with most who had come into the tavern, Emilia had given some attention to the man who was now walking in her direction. Observing their attire and taking guesses at what path of life they might have walked. Some were obvious, others she was torn between several choices. This one, she had not been sure of entirely. Perhaps with him walking past, there would be more to discover to help make a final decision. He did not seem to have the build for a Knight, perhaps some merchant as he worn clothing that was tailored finely. Or a lesser Lord even. She faintly mused over these thoughts as she turned a square of cheese in her fingers, that was until the shadow fell over her and stayed. He had not just walked passed, but had stopped at her table. Her dark eyes blinked before her head canted a little to the side. Considering a moment before she spoke slow and evenly,"May I help you?" His hands did not seem to bare the markings of labour, her thoughts of his path seemed plausible. And she supposed he was what most seemed to consider handsome. It was truthfully something she did not give much attention to. What was the point if she thought someone was handsome or not? It was not like any would ever have interest in her, nor would her brother ever seek a match for her. There was to much risk in that. She sighed a little. Ah wait, he was still there wasn't he, her gaze focusing back towards the man at her table.

Not quite the reaction Salim was going for, even if she looked to young for it, maybe she'd learned enough to be guarded. "I was wondering if you wouldn't mind a bit of company." Giving her one of his most charming smiles, one he'd been told made hearts flutter. Taking a moment to take her in as he awaited an answer. The clothes were simple, but he could see the fine tailoring to them. No simple commoner this one, a merchants daughter perhaps. Her hair had that healthy sheen to it, even when braided, no dirt appeared beneath her nails, there were all the signs she took care of herself, had the means to. And there was a keen edge to her eyes, not shy or mousy as his had first thought. And they were looking at him in study, almost as he had been doing to her. The prospect of information popped into his head, well enough off, she might have something worth gleaming, and he might yet have that fun. It would make for a win-win evening.

That was not what she had expected to hear, he wasn't drunk, not even by half. There was a slight frown that briefly touched her lips as Emilia considered just what was happening here, his intent. Her dark eyes giving him closer study, his hands were not touched by hard work, his clothes were quite fine. And he was…surely he could not be one of….those. She wasn't dressed well enough to be a mark for one of them. No, he had to be a merchant for she found no markings for House to mark him a Lord, nor were there signs of sword work left upon his hands. Or least if he was a Lord, he wasn't wishing to be marked, any more than she had been this night. Taking care to again speak slow and evenly,"I would not mind, if that is your wish." It took effort to sparse the words as they should come out, but she knew to not, the peculiarities to her speech would mark her quicker then anything else could. Even if he'd not heard it before, to hear it again….he would know.

Maybe after such a heavy week of work, Salim was off his game, because that was certainly not an expected reaction. It was not exactly a no, he did have a thought to just walk away but there was something in how she was looking at him, the way she talked that had him curious. Certain there was a story to be found or some piece of information. It was time to turn up that charm and see just what the game was here. "It is my wish. I had hoped to find some pretty woman to enjoy a drink a a meal with, I come in and here you are without company. A thing that was a tragedy to behold, no one as lovely as you should be made to dine alone. " His hazel eyes dropped to the cheese that was being stacked,"A bit late it appears to share a meal, but at least a drink." He was already flagging down Melinda to get another drink brought, before she could protest. "I'm Salim, and by what name has such a heavenly flower as yourself been gifted with?" He made sure to give another of his charming smiles as he finished the question.

By the One, he was laying it on thick. It'd only been the drunker ones who'd taken it this kind of level. Emilia might have noted to ask him about it later, well if she cared to talk with him on such a level. She had been about to give a mild protest about a drink, it'd be unwatered wine and….there he was already flagging down that barmaid. Emilia took a small breathe and simply gave a smile. She was working on making them not look quite…so wooden, more natural. "You are welcome to order some food if you wish," yet making sure to keep her words slow and even so they could string together as people expected to hear them. Ah, there, she had an opening. Her name. It was time to throw him off. "People call me Slug." Pausing just a beat in her already slow speech before adding,"Because I am slow." Keeping her gaze on him to study what reaction that would bring. Surely that would send him on his way. Whatever his game was, she was not wanting to play it. She had wanted an evening away to avoid dealing with people and questions, not for this. Since when did any guy pay her attention when they didn't have to?

Salim about choked on the swig of mead he'd taken when she answered him. Slug? She was certainly toying with him now. Yes, she was, he could see that glimmer of mirth and intellect in the girl's eyes. She'd done that on purpose. "Don't think I've heard that one before, Slug eh? Unique for a unique flower." He gave a look to Melinda when the wench got to their table,"Your finest red for the lady here, and bring me a plate of those fine minced pies of Merv's." The serving wench threw Salim a smile,"Sure thang, hon," and she was off to get the order. Allowing Salim to turn his attention back to 'Slug', "What brings you to Pacitta? I am certain I would remember seeing you around." He'd get something out of this one, soon enough. He was sure of it.

There was a touch of amusement that came to Emilia's eyes as she watched him nearly choke, she had caught him off guard. He must be used to being fawned over, so smug and sure of himself. So what had been his intentions when he came over here? Toy with her to amuse himself and inflate his ego? This Salim seemed everything of those cads her sister had warned her about once. Just offering a smile and a polite,"Thank you," when he ordered the wine. Her fingers gave the square of cheese another turn before adding it to the stack. They did work easier than grapes, not quite as challenging or as much character to them. "The tournament drew me in as it did for so many others. " Looking back to him as she adds,"I have been here before, though it is a city of many people."

Manners, that spoke to education and some form of structured upbringing, a merchant's daughter for certain. There was nothing about her that even hinted at nobility, and certainly if she were a noble, Salim would have taken note of her before. He made sure to keep tabs on prospective clients after all. "Then I have been remiss in having been so blind in not seeing such a beautiful flower before. The tournaments do bring many into Pacitta. How did you find the events? " A winning smile given to Melinda when the food and drinks were brought before giving 'Slug' another charming smile. "Did you perhaps have a Knight you were cheering on?" By the one, he'd get something out of this one at some point, even if it was just her family name. But she certainly was not making it easy on him.

When the wine was brought, Emilia did dip her head to the server. Her fingers lightly toying with the goblet as she watched this Salim take to his food and yet work at making small talk with her. He had proper manners enough, polished. And for the love it all, the endless attempts at charm. Truly, what in the name of the One did he want with her? The sigh that wished to come was covered up as she took a small sip of the wine. So much for an evening away and just being lost from the world. "They were a touch more interesting this time around, it was intriguing to see the Queen's Defender competing once again. It seemed to upset a few of those who were exchanging coin upon the tournament, I hear he was not expected to enter." A small turn of her hand with the chunk of cheese in it,"I had a brother competing, I cheered for him. He did fairly well. " Pausing before she did politely add,"And how did you find the week… Salim?" Drawing a sip of wine, a larger one then she perhaps should have. But this whole thing was becoming a touch trying. Dealing with this stranger, the efforts to keep her speech sufficiently slowed to string the words together just right. Her eyes shifting from to the doorway, some check to the movement of people and shadows to consider a path of escape.

Salim took to the food as he studied 'Slug' and tried to gleam something about her through the answers and how she held herself. She seemed to take so much care in giving little away, could it be she was…Surely not. She seemed to young for that sort. But then he'd heard that some of those families did start training young. More questions seemed to be the only thing that he seemed to be getting, and still not one hint of an answer or identifying comment. "His participation did seem to cause some added excitement. It was something to see such skill at work again. Most tournaments seem more the young Knights. They lack the elegance found in the more seasoned knight. " He watched her eyes as they moved off, he was losing her. He had to do something if he had any hope to salvage this. Salim had to admit, he was no longer certain what 'this' was anymore, it was supposed to be a spot of fun after a long week and he'd found something far different. "Though I have found the week to be lacking something." Who was this girl? And what was she?

It wasn't crowded, so it'd not be easy…But there were still enough people, enough shadows to manage an escape if he could get otherwise distracted, Emilia was certain of it. Her eyes tracking the options as she simply nodded to the rather expected answer, everyone thought the appearance of Jaren to the tournament was an added bit of excitement, even if for varying reasons. Some wanted to see him do as he had done, others had wished to see him fall. But his last comment had Emilia looking back to him, and inspite of herself, asking,"Oh? What have you found lacking in the week? It sounded like you enjoyed the tournament events."

Yes, it had worked! She was looking back at him now and Salim had one chance yet. He leaned in a touch as he smiled that charming smile of his,"Oh, I did enjoy the events. But I never got a chance to dance with a beautiful woman. And with a heavenly flower right here before me, maybe that might no longer lack, if she is willing to indulge me. " He brought up his hand to offer,"Might I have a dance?" It was a small lie, there had been plenty of dances. But it was an easy lie for him to manage. It was all part of his work. And this one was proving to be a bit of a challenge. When had this gone from being a lark to a challenge he could not simply let go? He should have walked away by now. But there was something about her and so his hand lingered out in the air awaiting her response.

She should have seen it coming, should have known better, but she'd walked right into it, figuratively speaking. He was persistent, she had to give him that, but why was beyond her. "It does seem I would be remiss if I said no and came to be my fault that your week of enjoyment continued to lack the one thing to make it complete. One dance, then I must be on my way." Her hand eventually finding way to his, and settling in a light and proper fashion as she stood in agreeing to the request. Dark eyes drifting a moment to consider escape routes again, before being escorted to the small dance floor the tavern had to make use of with the various bards that entertained in the evenings. Emilia's movements coming with that ethereal grace that had come to be common and natural to her.

He couldn't help but smile, something was going right, finally! She had accepted. And Salim was not about to let her get away now, stepping to whisk her to the dance floor as soon as he'd felt her hand within his own. And by the One, how she moved. He would not have expected this, a touch of grace, but not the unearthly lightness and elegance that this woman seemed to have. There was a certain presence to her. She said she'd been to Pacitta before, how was it possible he'd missed such a creature before now? Maybe she was of the lower classes after all, surely that was the only way he had overlooked her. Certainly. He pulled her in as the melody shifted to something smooth and easy, the bard seeming to know just what Salim wanted. His hand firm, no he wasn't going to let her escape. Subtly shifting his hand to allow his fingers that slight caress upon her side he'd discovered drove a number quite to distraction. He was going to find something out about this girl, even if it was only that she was not fully impervious to him.

Emilia shot a glance towards the bard as the music shifted, why couldn't he have stuck with that lively number? A breathe almost escaping as a sigh, she couldn't back out now. Or more correctly, his hand was already upon her side and there was no escaping from the dance. Seeking to find the steps within the music, following his guidance and no more, not adding the usual flourishes required for balls and noble functions. He held her to close, for a noble, but he didn't know that…This wasn't a noble function. And by the Light, what in the One's name was his hand doing and why could she not ignore it, why was her stomach fluttering like a butterfly had gotten trapped within? The plans for escape becoming secondary thoughts as her dark eyes focused upon the man she danced with, studying him anew and trying to figure out why he persisted and why he was doing this. What did he want of her?

The way she looked at him now, that shift under his hand. Ah-ha! She wasn't fully immune! It was a small victory, but Salim would take it. The way she followed his every lead and movement in the dance without hesitation, he knew she had more skill then he was seeing. She was still holding back on him. Just who was this creature? "You do dance rather well, perhaps you wouldn't mind giving me a few lessons somewhere more private?" He gave that charming and inviting smile to her. Salim leaned jut that smidgen as he awaited her answer, his hazel eyes capturing her eyes in a gaze. He knew the subtleties needed to keep her off balance, and he could see that he had made an impact. It was time to take advantage of it, and perhaps, just perhaps he would finally learn something. And maybe even have his spot of fun after all.

Gah! Why did his hand keep doing that, and that look. By the One! What was it he wanted from her? Surely, not that. There were easier targets for that sort of thing. It was going to be hard to escape after just the one dance, Emilia was seeing that rather clearly now. Especially with how he held her, he was seeking something and wasn't going to just give up. His question had her thoughts scrambling for a moment, it was proof he was after something. But it also could give her that needed opening to escape. A bit of a smile came to her lips as Emilia returned his gaze, a bit of spark there now. She had a path out now. "I am not that skilled a dancer. But if you think there are moves you can learn from me, I can certainly afford a few moments to give a lesson. It is the least I could do to repay you for the drink bought." It was getting tiring having to slow down her speech and string all the words together right. But not for much longer. "Did you have some place in mind, Salim?"

He could see the moment of indecision. For a moment Salim worried that he was going to get a rejection. It had been a risky play, but he had to take the chance. Her response caused him smile to deepen. She was not impervious after all, and that spark to her gaze! She was warming up to him. "I do think there are a few moves I could learn from you. And yes, I do have a place in mind. " He pulled her closer within the last moments of the dance. He still had the rooms he'd arranged for use during the tournament. They weren't far. And truth be told, he did not want to let this puzzle go before he had discovered some piece of it. "Just give me a moment to square up for our drinks and meal. And we can head out, Slug." His tone taking on a sultry edge as he spoke. Even if that piece was just her name. It made him cringe inwardly to say 'Slug' in such a way. But it was all he had. For now.

The smile stayed in place and it took some effort not to tense when he pulled her closer. And more effort not to laugh when he used her 'name' with that voice. Though something seemed to clink in that moment, he really..was…one of those he had to be. Or something of that nature. That was the only answer that Emilia's mind could find to explain any of it. "Of course, I shall meet you by the door then?" Leaving the question hang there as the last notes of the song played out.

"Yes, I'll be just a minute." Salim giving that smile. He'd have her alone soon and be able to truly pull out all the stops. She can become a challenge. And that was not something he was used to. His hand gave an added caress along her side before leading her off that dance floor. Letting her go as he proceeded to the bar to settled up his tab.

Emilia gave a small hint of a nod at that. Why did he have to keep doing that things with his hand!?!? "I'll be waiting." Inwardly she cringed at the turn of a lie. She hated speaking such things. But she had to get out of here and not let him suspect otherwise. The smile was kept for him. Though the moment he had turned towards the bar, it slide away as Emilia made her way towards the door. Her smooth steps taking to the slight shadows. Pausing only briefly by the door, a glance to make sure he was not looking. Before she continued on through it and into the night. Taking quickly to the shadows, with a hint of quickening to her steps once she was a bit away. No, she would not be staying longer. Not now, she would travel back with her sister when she left the city. Emilia dared not risk staying on now.

Salim turned to watch 'Slug' as she moved towards the door. The way the young woman moved, it was something else. Her name, and to truly see her dance, for he'd not seen that within the dance earlier. Simple goals for this night. A few coins were slide onto the bar,"Fine meal as always, but time for my evening to continue else where." That cock-sure grin coming around as Galen came to collect the money.

"Don't be so sure of that, my friend. " The bar keep looking more than a touch amused. "I think your prey might have gone and slipped out on ya."

Salim stiffened a little, that smile being wiped away as his head spun to look at the door. And then around the room in search of the dark haired girl, 'Slug'. His eyes widened to find her gone. She'd… "Damit!" His hand hit the bar. She'd out smarted him! For a second he did think to try and run after her, but she'd had a head start on him. Even he knew there were plenty of places for her to have ducked out of sight by now. Tossing another coin to the bar,"Give me another, Galen. Looks like I'll be here for awhile longer. But you see her in here again, you send word to me, will you?" He doubted that would lead to much. But he had to learn something about her, it was a question that needed an answer now.

Galen chuckled in watching Salim's frantic look around. "Don't think I've ever seen ya stymied like that. Must be a first." Sliding the last coin back towards Salim,"Considering this one on the house. Best to sooth that bruised ego I see you sporting. Though from that question and look, ya haven't given up just yet on that one. If I see her about again, I'll see about sending word on ta ya at the Academy."

"Thanks, you're a good man. And yes, the Academy is the best place." Salim settled at the bar to nurse the ale as he considered. He'd have to watch the markets a bit closer now. Least he knew she was not a regular, but still came with some frequency, even if just the tournaments. It was small, but something to work with. It was going to take some time, most likely. But he could be patient.

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