Page 369: Joker And The Thief
Joker And The Thief
Summary: Darek finally notices Sela's brand. They talk. There might even be a kiss or two. Rock on.
Date: 25/July/2012
Related Logs: In The Business of Misery
Darek Sela 
Rock Cove, Terrick's Roost
To the west of the path leading down, the beach extends below a cliff face and takes a turn inland where the terrain above has collapsed down to be claimed by the pounding waters below. It has formed a small, almost private cove with jagged rocks in the water at the cliffs while the ocean has relaimed most of those from the beach. Due to the elevation of the cliffs, the top of the tower to the north is just barely visible despite the relatively short distance.
25 July, 289

The sun is dipping toward the horizon, but it still has a hand's-width to go, and Darek Boldt is cleaning up in the sea. His vest is wrapped around his fiddle and bow on the shore, while he splashes about in the shallows. Apparently, the man isn't a real swimmer, because he's staying no deeper than waist deep. The sun plays over the waves around him as he straightens up out of the water, shaking his hair back and sweeping his hand over his face to wipe it off.

After some conversation with Aylene, it has come to pass that Sela now actively seeks out the squire. She is often quite good at finding things, but finding people has always been a bit of a task. She had known where he had gone, so she followed after with the patience of a thief — and thieves can be incredibly patient. When she comes upon the cove, she hesitates a bit at the sight of the boy in the ocean waters. She chews a bit on her inner cheek, worrying at that soft bit of mouth. She breathes in deeply through her nose before she squares her shoulders and continues down to the cove.

Darek slogs out of the waves, bending down to scoop up his shirt from a rock jutting out of the sea. That causes his hair to fall across his face again, and he has to brush it free. And so he stops with his bare feet in the very top of the area washed with the waves as he spots the girl up the hill. He studies her for a moment, then looks down at his soaked pants. Shrugging a bit, he then squeezes water out of his shirt, "Miss Sela." He shakes out the shirt, then adds, "Have a nice chat?"

The little bastard in those oatmeal skirts and blue silk bandings halts just before the incoming surf. She finds herself at a bit of a loss for a moment, staring across the distance of rock and sand. Intaking a breath through her nose, she steadying lets it out her mouth as she starts toward him. She clasps her hands behind her back, rubbing at her wrist with one hand. "Dar — I mean, Squire." She chews a bit on her inner cheek again as she comes within a skip and a jump from the boy. "It was… good," she says tentatively. "I decided to come… and apologize."

Darek tosses the shirt over to almost spread out across a rock alongside his vest and fiddle, then puts his hands on his hips, "Oh yeah?" There's curiosity in his tone rather than challenge. "And you can call me Darek. Don't worry about the title," his cocky grin returns full-force, digging a dimple into each cheek, "it ain't much anyhow." Nodding over to the small woman, he inquires, "So what do you want to apologize for?"

"Then you should just call me Sela," she counters. "I never really liked 'Miss' or 'Mistress'." She continues to rub at her wrist behind her back, and her feet shuffle beneath the silk-lined hem of her skirts. "I was mad at you. I brushed off your compliment, and Aylene said I was being rather… unfriendly." She shrugs her shoulders a bit as she looks down at the surf as it threatens to lap up over her boots. When she glances back up at him, her brows are slightly arched above her brilliant blue eyes.

Darek smirks at the counter, "Ser Jac'd kill me." Shrugging his bare shoulders helplessly, he adds, "'Course, what he doesn't now, won't hurt him, eh Sela?" He takes a couple of steps around her, reaching his right hand out to touch her elbow and guide her a couple of steps away from the lapping waves, "Tide's coming in." He keeps going, settling down on a big boulder and sprawling back so that he can sun himself a little, "You did brush off my compliment. Why'd you do that?"

The touch to her elbow causes a little jump through her nerves, and Sela looks up and over at him with a slightly shy smile. She lets him guide her, and once he settles down, she does the same; her back is to him as she sits perpendicular to the lazing squire. Her skirts are drawn against her legs, trying to follow the instructions Briallyn gave her for proper skirt modesty. Fingers pluck at the linen, and she shrugs a bit. She glances over her shoulder, her gaze settling on him. "Were you really complimenting my eyes?" She asks instead of answering him.

Darek blinks at the question, "Huh?" And then he gets it, tucking his hands behind his head and nodding, "Yeah. You've got nice eyes. Big and blue." Well, at least he knows what color they are. He points down at the bands of blue on the dress, "Matches, yeah?" The squire glances over at his errant clothes, then looks back up, closing his eyes against the late sunlight, "Why? You think I'd lie just to try to charm a girl? Don't know why I'd do that. Music's plenty good for that."

Sela looks back out toward the ocean, and the breeze-tossed curls shield those blushing cheeks from sight. "I suppose they do," she comments on the match of the blue silk with her blue eyes. She plucks idly at the skirt again, giving her fingers a bit of distraction. "And you like charming girls," Sela half-murmurs as she rests her cheek against her shoulder, casting a quick glance toward him before she returns her sight back on the white-capped waves as they begin to sweep in. "Thank you," she offers earnestly. "For the compliment."

Darek shrugs his shoulders heavily, "You're welcome." He pushes up off the rock, moving over to pick up his shirt and test it for dryness. He grunts, shaking his head as he pulls it on over his head, "And yeah. I like charming girls. I like making them smile, and if they want to do more than that, like gimme a kiss." Or more, but he's not going to mention that right now, "Ain't any crime in that, is there?"

Those so-noted blue eyes follow the squire as he moves to fetch his shirt. Fingers gingerly tuck away a molasses-colored curl behind her ear as she offers him a shrug. "No, its not a crime," she resigns after a long moment of thought. "Unless you've kissed someone you ain't suppose to." She rests her elbow on her knee, palm curled around her cheek and jaw. She continues to pluck at the linen, though she soon becomes bored with this distraction. She restlessly sweeps back up onto her feet, and with several strides, she steps toward the rising tide. She pauses twice to toe her way out of her simple, well-worn boots, revealing pale and slightly calloused feet.

Darek nods, "Well yeah. Ain't no way I'm going to be chasing after noblewomen." He points up to the yellowing bruise on his left jawline, "Apparently, it makes people try to punch you if you even compliment them." He rolls his shoulders a bit, settling the mostly-dry shirt about him, and then gathers up his vest, pulling it on, and taking up his fiddle and bow, "'Course, no one tried to punch me for complimenting you. Guess noble bastards don't count. Lucky me."

"I just haven't told my father about it yet," Sela quips back as she starts to wade into the cool water. She gathers up her skirts as best she can, flashing those narrow ankles. She watches the waters and sands beneath her feet, the way they move around her feet. She offers him a small smirk. "But, I don't think you have anything to worry about." She glances over to him. "Besides, I can punch you if I think you deserve it." She offers him the ghost of a smile before she looks back down at her feet. There is a glint of something at her feet, and she drops into a squat to investigate.

Darek totally studies his fiddle. He's not eyeing her ankles at all. Really. "I bet you would, wouldn't you?" He's not about to complain about her getting her skirts wet, and so he merely brings fiddle to chin and starts to play the jaunty tune to a sea chanty about a men and his mermaid lover. Yes, it's dirty. Really, really dirty. Luckily, he's not singing, just playing. "What'd you find there, Sela?"

The familiar song brings a bit of a smile on her lips, and she even whispers some of the lyrics mostly to herself. Sela digs about through the sand a bit, and from the rising tide, she pulls out a coin. It is weathered and a bit discolored from its time in the salty sea. She balances it in her palm a bit, looking it over. "Its a copper Star," she announces as she wades back out from the waters toward the fiddling squire. She has gathered quite a bit of water at her hems, and her wet feet gather up sand. The coin is still weighed in her hand, though she bounces it lightly once she is close enough to the squire to meet his gaze. "See?" She says, angling her palm to show him.

Darek lets the song trail away as Sela comes back, "Fucking hells… that's just about your lucky day, now isn't it?" He sits up a bit on his rock to look at the find, "Too bad it's not a penny, of course." That crooked smirk returns full force, and he brushes some hair back from his face with the back of his right hand, only to have it fall forward again almost immediately, "Then you'd have a wish. Guess you get to decide if it's better to have eight times the coin, or a wish."

Sela closes her hand around the coin. "I would rather have the wish," she admits with a tilt of her head. "Couldn't I have eight wishes for one copper Star?" She inquires with a tilt of her head. "Or perhaps…" She suddenly flicks her wrist, splaying open her palm to reveal the Star as missing. She offers him the smallest smile as she flashes her other hand in front of the hand that once had the Star. She steps forward now, leaning down to the squire. "Hold still," she instructs him as she reaches out, her fingertips brush through his righteous curls. With a flick of her fingers, she magics a plain old copper penny between her fingertips. She offers it out to him.

Darek studies the coin, "Don't think it works that way, Sela." He blinks when the star disappears, "Hah! That soppy-ass courier did say you were a magician." Hrm, he probably shouldn't have called poor Nathaniel that. When he's bid to hold still, he does, despite the touch to his hair. His eyes flicker down to her hands, and a bit of a frown starts to appear on his lips, but then she makes the penny appear, "Well, it appears that you might get your wish after all…" The words quiet as he leans forward, ever so slightly, the squire bringing his face, and lips, close to her face, and lips. It's definitely a suggestive, move, but he doesn't appear to be the only going to close the last little distance.

Sela laughs softly at the name the squire has given Nathaniel, though she colors an initial shade of red. "I suppose… that… I am," she says cautiously, though a small smile quirks on her lips. She continues to hold the penny out for him, but it becomes a lost thought as the squire starts to lean forward. Her heart catches in her chest, and she bites softly at her inner cheek. With a steadying breath, she starts to lean forward as if to finish off that last little bit of distance. She tiptoes forward a few steps, even as her lashes start to flutter shut.

Darek sets down bow and fiddle as Sela closes that last little bit of distance, his own eyes closing as their lips finally touch once more. A smile twists his lips beneath hers, and his hands come up to find hers, touching her hands first, and then trying to grasp her wrists. A long moment later, he leans back to get a bit more separation, "… thief." The word isn't exactly an accusation, just an acknowledgement that he's eventually figured it out.

Sela sinks into the kiss. Her lips also curve into a smile, though she is gasps ever so softly against his own mouth as he grasps her wrists. There isn't a lot of fear there, but just surprised. When he leans back, and then says the word, the warmth in the moment hastily drains away. "What?" She says in a hushed voice. "I'm…" She cannot seem to bring herself to deny it, though she does suddenly wish she could hide her hands and thus the little brand. "I didn't do… anything," she weakly defends herself, sharply aware that his fiddle string is still in the hidden pocket of her skirts.

Darek brings up her right hand, displaying the copper penny — and the branded 'T' on the web of her hand. "There's a story there. Bet it's one that you don't wanna talk about though." He taps the brand lightly with his thumb, "Just don't steal anything from me, yeah?" There's a pause, and he adds, "Uh, and my knight." And he releases her wrists then, although he keeps his hands on the outsides of her hands.

Sela has averted her eyes from his, refusing to meet his gaze. She glances briefly over at the familiar brand, and then the penny. "No, I don't," she murmurs. "Not yet." There is a slight quiver at her lower lip, and she is biting solidly at her inner cheek. "I won't. I won't steal anything from you." Again, at least. She glances down again, her gaze catching the soft and continual touch of his hands. She glances back up at him with those bright blue eyes. "Don't… tell anyone. Maybe they'll figure it out, maybe they'll notice… but… please, Darek," she whispers between them.

Darek laughs a little lightly, reaching up to squeeze her forearms gently and then step back, "Hey. So long as you're not picking on the helpless or the poor, it ain't none of my concern." Settling back down onto the rock, he picks up his fiddle again, plucking idly at the strings, "That's what a knight's supposed to protect, after all." He nods down at her hand, "It ain't like it's hidden though. That's sorta the point of a brand, yeah? Some time when you've got half a bottle of wine in ya, you'll have to tell me what it felt like to get branded." His bow is picked up as well, and the tip dropped down to brush her nose with some of the frayed strands of horsehair, "Just so I know how hard to avoid it. Now though, I'm gonna go have a drink, a meal, and find a nice warm spot to play."

Sela chews a bit at her inner cheek, but she resigns to a small nod. She immediately latches her hands behind her back, as if to hide them even as he obviously points it out. "Well… I never had a reason to hide it before. Everyone at the Fingers knew… what I done." She shrugs her shoulders a bit, though doesn't confirm a time for her confession — wine or not. She looks up at the carress of the bow to her freckled nose, and she lifts those bright eyes to him. "Oh, yes. You should go… do those things." And she immediately finds herself wishing she hadn't said that incredibly stupid thing. Yes, eating and drinking and playing. Add kissing girls, and that's probably the four things that Darek does best. She offers him a her best recovery smile. "I have a dinner obligation." She steps toward him, and presses a small kiss to his cheek even as her hand slides along his hip briefly.

And hitting things. She forgot hitting things from that list. But Darek's on his best behavior, so that's off the table. "Thought it was what you hadn't done?" He teases, then tsks softly at her smiling words, "Yeah? Eating dinner with that soppy boy?" Shifting both fiddle and bow into his left hand, he presses both hands to his chest in overly dramatic fashion, pushing his light tenor up nearly to falsetto, "Oh dear dratty dread! The fair maiden has dropped her hankie. I shall pick it up for her and make some clumsy-ass," okay, now his tone is getting back down to its normal range, "claim of honor and excellence. Or some shit." Still, he receives the kiss on the cheek with good grace, turning to move around the other side of his boulder seat and start up the same general path as her, back toward The Roost.

Sela smirks as she starts along the path back toward the Roost. "No, not with Nathaniel," she says with a slight chortle. Her hands slide into the hidden pocket of her skirts, and her fingers twist up around the bit of fiddle string that now feels like a guilty treasure. "With a boy from the Tower kitchens. His name is Rawn. We met when I was visiting today." She keeps the conversation light and offhanded. "I think Nathaniel likes Aylene anyway, and I think she likes him." She starts to distractedly play with a dark curl as they walk.

Darek nods solemnly, "Ol' Flour-Hands." Now, by his own admission, he's never been to the Tower, so he's probably never met the boy. Still, the nickname is given with great disdain. "Watch out for his fingers. Don't want to get flour prints on that nice dress of yours." As she shifts topics over to Nathaniel and Aylene, he snorts hard, "'Course she does. He's just like some stupid-ass hero out of one of those stories. You know that ain't how the world works. World works 'cause people make it work by doin' what they're good at." And with that, he puts bow to fiddle, sending a skirling reel dancing among the cliffs and footpaths that lead back to The Roost.

At the rather disdainful nickname, Sela glances over to him. "Maybe I want flour prints all over my dress. He has very strong hands." There is a small pause as she tilts her chin, studying his profile; she smirks again and up lifts one solitary brow. "You could always ask me to join you for dinner," she says, perhaps a bit pointedly. Then as if to make a point that she does have a dinner to get to and she might already be a little late, she starts to walk a bit faster toward the path that will lead her up to the Green and off to the Tower.

Darek heard her well enough, but he pauses in the dancing song just long enough to cup one hand to his ear and make a questioning face, and then he's back to playing, hopping and bouncing up the pathway with all indication of good cheer.