|Summary:||Gerry Taken meets Ciarrah Eden in the town square and exchanges her hair pin for a pretty ribbon.|
|The town square of Terrick's Roost was once considered well-kept. The stone streets run right up to the building fronts around the edge and the locals have kept the spaces between free of grass and weeds that might otherwise sprung up between them, although dark streaks of stubborn soot have crawled in between the stones. There are several homes and shops located here which show the scars and cinders of the sacking of the town at Ironborn hands. The ruin of the town's Sept can also be seen from here with its ornate stone front rising above the surrounding structures just down the cobblestone road.|
|Wednesday, August 22, 289|
The mid-morning hour in the town square is a bit of hustle and bustle as people toting baskets and other items hurry about their routine. Amidst the activity, a young woman sits on a barrel alternating her attention between the people and the animals. At her feet is a little ball of black fur nipping playfully at the hem of her peasant style dress she wears trying to get her attention. She succeeds in ignoring the persistent pup only so long before bending over and ruffling the soft fur. "You better go find your family, little one." Merriment dancing in her eyes as she tries to shoo the tiny fluff away.
Gerry made his way through the townsquare without a hurry in the world, his movements a fluid prowl of lithe musculed grace, his back straight and arrogant, his cool eyes surveying his surroundings with no hint of real connection to the people around him. Merely calculating consideration, weighing them up for their relative worth. He'd a saddlebag thrown over his sinewy shoulder, filled with some of the most valuable knicknacks of his trader's business, the kind he didn't like stored with the rest of his goods.
It was halfways across the townsquare when he spotted her, his gaze splashing like ice water across her short figure. Considering. In midstride he transformed, turned on a darkly charismatic smile on his narrow-handsome features, and rummaging around in his pockets he produced a bit of string. "A string'll wha' ye need, te make the feckin' furrball love ye ferver," he called out, his voice rich and melodious, for all the coarseness of his langauge. "Jus' a penny."
The pup refuses to budge, continuing to nip at Ciarrah's dress, successfully eliciting a delighted giggle from the young woman. A shadow falls across her and she lifts her head, remnants of amusement in her eyes from the playfulness of the tiny scrap at her feet. "A string you say?" Soft spoken and friendly, she bobs her head, "Perhaps you're right!" Sifting through a large pocket on her dress, she draws out a handful of things. Sifting through the assortment of a pretty rock, a seashell, a bit of sand and a lovely hairpin she had found at the beach, she finds a single, shiny penny and presents it to him with pleasure. "I shall give it, with the pup, to the owner when he arrives." A smile lighting her features. "You come very well stocked, mister."
Gerry took her penny, rubbing it against the fabric of his coarse wooden trousers, then giving it a critical look in the gleam of daylight. It seemed to suit him, because he made it vanish soon enough, returned with a halfpenny chip that he offered alongside the ball of string.
"Now tha' be a nice lil bit o' spoil, thar, m'beauty," said Gerry as he looked at the lovely pairpin she'd tucked in with the rest of her things. "Give it a bit o' a scrub, an' a lick of colour, an' it'll make some pretty young thing right happy. Wouldje like a trade fer it? I'm thinkin' tha' soft an' fine hair o' yers would look far better with a bit o' ribbon than a pin needin' work on it, anyhow."
Casual as you please, Gerry's graceful artisan's fingers swept out to brush a bit of the girl's hair aside. "Jus' like this," he said with a pondering nod. As if he was doing it all for her favor, rather than to make a little coin off her good fortune. "With a color te make yer eyes sing. Have alla the girls envious o' ye, I'm sure. An' the boys wonderin' how they could've failed te notice yer eyes before. Didnje know the winners o' the song, got their pretty ribbons from me? Aye. Prettiest lasses o' the town be wearin' me wares, an' ye're jus' sweet enough te be part o' 'em. Don't right let -anybody- buy me good wares, ye see." And if he lied, he sure made it seem like he didnt.
Ciarrah reaches out with her free hand to accept the string and the chip with a bemused grin, absently tucking the chip in her pocket and unraveling the bit of string by shaking it out with one hand then offering it to the pup. Attack! The little black ball goes head over tail, tackling the string with gusto. "I think he is going to love it!"
Opening her hand again, the one closed over her few treasures from the beach early this morning, she selects the hairpin while dropping the rock and seashell into her pocket again, wiping the grains of sand from her hand onto her dress. "It needs work?" Indecision is apparent in those eyes he speaks about. But the idea of a pretty ribbon over a broken hairpin! Offering it with a shy smile, she bobs her head in agreement. "I will trade!" And indeed, she believes with all her heart she is getting the better part of the deal. So lucky was she to get to trade with him! "Are you sure you want a broken hairpin for the ribbon?" Fishing out the halfpenny chip, she offers that as well. "I don't want to take advantage!"
"Well," Gerry said, grudgingly and with some hesitation, as if he was struggling with a great weight on his shoulders. "I probably shouldn't, but lookin' atchu, so young'n pretty, it seemed te me a darn shame yer'd be without some'n in yer hair te match the captivain' gleam o' yer eyes. So aye, I'm sure." Though that didn't mean he wasn't taking back the halfpenny as well once she offered it to him, with a bit of sheepish concern going into relaxation as if she'd saved him from taking a loss.
They were his cheapest ribbons by far, though to the poverty tricken Roost they were still more than most of the womanfolk had had a chance to wear since after the reavers struck. A luxury in a hard time, just recently started to lift thanks to the Charlton accord. No embroderies, and certainly not silk or even fine linen. The dyes were well done, though, even if they hadn't been soaked long enough to attract the truly vibrant colours possible. He handed her one that did, infact, sort of match her eyes. "Would ye like me te bind it fer ye?" He asked, his hard eyes direct as they stared into hers. The only part of him that didn't quite manage to sell the helpful trader routine.
Ciarrah has no reason to mistrust anyone, it has simply never occurred to her to do so. Her eyes almost plead with him when he seems to be a bit indecisive. When he decides to go on with the trade, she parts with the chip and hairpin with great happiness. "I hope the hairpin will be easy for you to repair," there's concern there, though the happiness almost drowns it out. "If not, I will gladly trade back if you should need."
The material of the ribbon mattered little to her, instead she was more concerned with something pretty! Something feminine! Never, in her eyes, had she owned anything as lovely as the bit of ribbon he extracts from his belongings. Clapping her hands once together in pleasure she gives her assent. "If you would, please?" Absolute delight in the idea of wearing something so fine, she turns so that he may do so. "Thank you, thank you!"
The ball of fluff is still busily playing with his bit of string, seeming to be as pleased by his own acquisition as the young woman is with hers!
"Very well, then," Gerry said companionably. Not a hint of smugness for the somewhat dodgy manner of which he'd acquired the lovely pin, though perhaps only because it was such a small bit of business anyway. Then again, wealth was built on a mountain of small transactions, and the best traders knew and lived by that mantra. "Gots meself a wee one, I do, who likes te wear pretty ribbons herself. Makin' me do this fer her since she was a runt o' six."
That much could have been true for the ease of which the sleek sellsword gathered up Cierrah's soft hair, while the rest of him shifted around her and to her back. His flesh was rough and calloused on his long fingers, warm, too, and dripped onto her skin in light splashes of warmth across her neck and shoulders as he worked.
With efficient precision he'd done her up a lovely little bow.
"You've a daughter?" The idea made Ciarrah look even more kindly upon him so that when he moves to her back and gathers her long tresses in his hands, she is quite comfortable even with the brushing of his fingers on her neck and shoulders. "Is she young?" He'd mentioned six, she wasn't certain if that was recent or long ago. Sighing happily, she observes in her soft voice, "I imagine she wears the most beautiful ribbons and hair pins. She's very lucky." When he finishes the bow, she turns her head and looks up at him, enchanted with her ribbon and his story of his daughter. "Does it look pretty?"
"Aye, I've a daughter," he confirmed as he stepped away from her, his appraisal blunt and critical while he judged the impression her new bit of fancy made. "An' tha' looks right fine on ye, me pretty." Though with a pretty face and long luxurient hair, it was probably her doing the simple ribbon a favor as much as the other way around. He flashed her a smile, white teeth gleaming within his darkly beard, and a devil's own charisma laid thick over it all. By age he couldn't be more than thirty, so his daughter was unlikely to be very old. "She's a skinny lil minx, still," he said as if that confirmed her age. "An' sometimes, I suppose'n. Mostly te show off me wares. But now I've gots meself a second window o' showin' in ye, don't I? Anyone asks, ye be sure te tell 'em tha' Gerry Taken be havin' a fine collection o' goods, an' proper prices. Ye'll do tha' fer me, wontchu?" He leaned in and gave her chin a fond little tuck. As if they were already best of friends.
Ciarrah reaches up and gently touches the fabric of the bow, imagining what it could possibly look like with her hair. "It has to be the most beautiful ribbon I've seen." Facing him again, her smile is almost as bright as the one he flashes her and possibly more sincere. "Hopefully I will meet her someday, I always come to the square and the market. I like watching the people buying and selling their wares. I'd like to see the beautiful things she wears!" Rising, the hem of her dress saved by the string, she spins in a happy circle. "I will tell anyone and everyone where I got it! It is perfect, Mister Taken." Realizing she had not given her own name. "I am Ciarrah Eden," offering a polite curtsy as she gives her name despite both being smallfolk, her smile even brighter with the familiar gesture of friends.
"Yer like te see her sometime, then, keepin' a looksie on me wares when she can be feckin' bothered, so assen her poor pa can have himself a break." He chuckled quietly as he straightened back up. He wasn't a particularly tall man, mind, all sinewy muscle bound hard and tight as steel wire about his smallish frame, but he'd still had to bend a little for her sake. He ran his fingers through his hair, a seemingly subconcious gesture, while he looked her over in her glee.
"Hah, Ger be 'nuff er me, lass. I ain't too stuck on it." Gradually his attentions slid off her, followed the stream of people and judging that it was likely time he set up shop. "But pleasure te meet ye. Yer a kind an' dutiful one, I can tell. Beautiful as summer rain, too. Iffen I weren't still mournin' the wee one's poor departed ma, I'd declare myself swoonin' fer ye presence. Assen it be, I'll jus' say thank ye fer the trade."
"I am sure I will meet her sometime and I hope to see you again when I have something else to trade!" Ciarrah never loses her smile, while he runs his fingers through his hair or even when he begins looking elsewhere. A new friend she has met and she's quite pleased about it. "It was wonderful meeting you too!" Blushing when he compliments her on her appearance and even more so when he teases about swooning for her presence. Melodic laughter follows that declaration. "I think I make no one swoon for me." The laughter still lightening the words so they would be taken in the way they were intended. Lighthearted.
The wink he sent her was a bit on the sly side when she coloured up for his compliments, his mouth quirked in a bent little smile. The kind that both acted as a lodestone to people, and generally suggested they might just be best off walking away. "I'm fairly sure ye can melt a heart, darlin'. Jus' need a bit o' practice at it. A good day te ye, now." With that, he tipped an imaginary hat, before heading off towards the markedplace and work.