Limerence

Eldestra's moon hangs like a thin curve above thick clouds buffeting the edge of the darkening horizon. The city is preparing to sleep as lights start to wink out gently in the houses beyond the pier. A ship lays docked at the far end of one pier. The only ship there is, swaying with subtle creaks as the wind picks up slight waves on the water's surface. Lighted lanterns hang at strategic points on the ship, leaving glowing circles on the lake's surface and some parts of the pier.

The chances of any excitement happening was almost none in these docks. But the watch still has to be kept, and it just happens to be him this evening. The sailor tries to make himself comfortable with a padded cushion on his elevated seat. It's going to be a long eight hours until he is relieved.

Standing just before the docks entrance, a smaller framed Elohai woman seems to be waiting for something or someone. Her left hand rests at her hip while her narrowed eyes adjust to the disappearance of daylight. Taking in the single ship docked, annoyance passes across her face as she finally steps onto the wooden planks, her booted feet announcing her presence as she approaches.

Down below deck, a rather frustrated blonde fellow pulls himself up from a messy bunk, his equally unkempt hair and attire suggests a couple of days of shutting himself away in the cabin. He needs fresh air or at least look out at the water to clear his head of trying to figure out the riddles his grandmother had set him and the path she steered him towards.

Aranvar pads up the stairs and pulls open the door to the deck, his heavy boots creaking the planks as he steps out in to the night, a usual glance cast about cautiously at the expanse of the ship and he sees the First Mate at the usual place. He does not call out and walks in paced motions towards the other man, his hands shoved into the pockets of his pants for suddenly the night seems chilly.

The docks were quiet at this time, with a few workers hurrying to their supper at the local taverns. One of the travelers did not fit in, the watchman noted — moving seawards rather landwards. Quite a slim figure, a boy perhaps. His attention was momentarily distracted by the emergence of the captain to the deck. The man seemed agitated, but then, that was his usual condition these few days.

The sound of her own footsteps mingling with the soft rush of swaying water and creaking boat planks lulls Kaiyri into a kind of daydream until she finds herself at the end of the pier. Blinking back her thoughts and focusing on the ship before her, the expanse of it filling her view entirely as she searches for any sounds or movements other than herself.

'Excuse me. She calls out firmly, assuming that someone had to be on board. If Nikolas was indeed on this ship and she was forced to search him out for a woman, she was going to murder him.

If it isn't another runaway brat, I'll eat my hat, thought the watchman. Still, he turned his crossbow at the figure. It's Eldestra, but the habits of many other journeys, many other ports die hard. "What d'you want, boy?" he called out.

"Wait, what." Yanking back a few messy locks out of his eyes, the tanned fellow quickens his steps as he hears his First Mate call outwards down to the pier. "There's someone there?"

A hand moves to a dagger by his hip. Well, not like a small knife can do anything if there's a tough assailant below. Aranvar frowns, slighting a glance over the ship's rail, trying to catch a glimpse of whoever might be there.

Kaiyri's brows draw together as a man draws upon her and with a roll of her eyes she lazily puts her hands outward to show shes harmless. For now. He did just call her a boy after all.

"I assure you I am no boy, and I'm looking for my companion. He was meant to check in much earlier." Her movements cause the long plait resting over her shoulder to fall against her back. Hopefully the gender viewing confused sailor didn't mistake that for a snake as well. "He was supposed to finding us passage out of here."

"Name of your companion?" asked the watchman.

"That's a girl." The tanned fellow's hand still stays on the dagger at his hip, and shuffles his stance a little forward to see if he could catch a closer glance at her. He shakes his head, rolling up his eyes just barely at his First Mate. Can't blame the poor sod - so many days at sea, even the squawking of dolphins can be mistaken for a wife's nagging.

"Did she just say she wanted passage or she's getting someone to pay for passage?" Whatever the girl did shout up at them was half lost in the wind that has oddly picked up across the lake and he reaches out a hand to push the nocked crossbow his First Mate is holding, downwards.

"Nikolas d'Estelle," Kaiyri responds calmly to the one who clearly heard her. Her silvered gaze flicks over to the other man as he lowers his watchmans weapon for him. In that movement, she lowers her hands and places them on her hips, waiting for a response to her search. "Do you mind? If he is not here, then I must continue looking." She was clearly itching to be out of this place.

"He's n-" the watchman was about finish with "not here", then a thought struck him. "A dark haired human with a brawny chest?" He paused, then — "If you're looking for that one, he's not here."

Seemingly persuaded that the woman below deck is someone he does not need to be wary of (Not that Ashkera has ever sent a couple of stupid assassins on him), Aranvar's hand leaves the hilt of his dagger.

He places both hands on the ship's rail and stares downwards, looking for a face to put to the voice - for a fleeting moment, it is familiar. But she is not standing under the glowing circles cast by the ship's lanterns, and the shadows make it difficult for him to ascertain any of her features. He flicks a look over at the pregnant pause his First Mate gave the girl before a proper answer is given.

"You know who she's looking for?" He questions, drawing his voice to a low hush only between him and the other man.

"This morning ruckus," murmured the First Mate to the captain. Raising his voice again, he calls out to the one below. "Get you off, then."

The sailor's pause was not lost on the woman, her eyes glinting angrily in the evening dim. His blatant dismissal of her begins to fuel her temper but she was clearly at a disadvantage. She had a single knife at her hip and he's likely strike her before she could get to him. With an angry thinning of her mouth, she ignores him, and begins to address the other.

"Perhaps we can have a calm… " Her mouth snaps shut as she looks at Aranvar more fully, having only briefly glanced at him before. She stares at him for a long moment, awkwardly long. "I know you." She finally remarks shortly, almost unheard. "I almost died because of you."

The girl's short accusation does not take Aranvar by surprise although he steps back from the rail just a step to keep himself in check or just to give himself a little more space in case he needs to escape from a thrown dagger finding its mark. Giving just a cursory look at his First Mate's face, the tanned fellow moves back to the ship's rail again after gathering his wits and breath to reply to the girl upon the pier.

"Move into the light." He gestures with one hand, while the other now sweeps to rest on his own dagger. "So I can see who you are." The voice is familiar any way but it's not one of these nights he can trust his memory or his sense.

Kaiyri does as he says and lithely sidesteps into a beam of light pouring onto the pier from a flickering lantern, her dark red tresses now clearly evident. Lifting her face toward him, her lips quirk humorously as she regards him. "You /still/ owe me a present, by the way." Her hands still rest at her hip, where her weapon usually resides, as if suggesting what his gift can be. [Kaiyri]

"Kaiy… -" The tanned fellow blinks and identifies and then catches himself, remembering rather what she said years ago about calling her full name. "Miss Kai?" He stretches his frame just barely over the rail to get a close look, the red hair and that face quite evidently familiar, and he is just about to ask lamely about her well-being before that quick request is tossed back up to him about the forgotten present.

The tanned fellow lets out a sigh and turns to his First Mate, gesturing for him to relax, "Keep the bow. She's a friend of mine." He leans a little to his side, keeping the girl in sight and addresses the First Mate again, in extremely low tones. "You do /know/ something about her companion, don't you?"

The First Mate shrugs. This captain was a magnet for woman trouble. Old hag trouble, crazy bride trouble. Now this. "Just some troublemaker I saw who fell into the sea this morning," he replied. No use saying he was the one who shoved the man into the sea. That would just complicate things, the way the situation looks.

"/Fell/ into the sea, huh?" Aranvar's eyebrow notches up just barely as he eyes his First Mate, not exactly mulling over the easy reply though however not questioning further.

"Just put that crossbow away." His hand rises to rub the back of it against his forehead in vexation, almost reading probably what's going on in the First Mate's mind of the current situation.

Aranvar turns towards the pier, one hand on the rail and now the other one gestures towards the bow of his ship - where a rolled up ladder is hooked. "Go there, Yaeger here to help you get up here."

He taps one finger on his First Mate's shoulder, and signals him towards the ladder and to the girl. "I owe her. So - we just … well, never mind." The tanned fellow rolls his eyes again. Bah, why is he even explaining to someone who does not understand what he's going through!

The First Mate shrugs and puts his crossbow down. He goes to the rigging, unhooks the ropes and sets down the gangplank. "Alright," he says curtly.

Kaiyri nods in agreement as he finally recognizes her but grows visibly uncomfortable when he finally offers for her to come aboard. Instead of stepping toward the gangplank, she takes a step back.

"No offense, but the last time I saw you, it was being drugged unconscious and then dragged out of a bar after nearly being killed." As badly as she wanted out of this city, she wasn't sure this was the wisest option.

"I have enough problems of my own." She remarks, all signs of anger or humor disappearing to sudden aversion.

Aranvar takes stock of the girl's reply as she pauses mid-step and retracts herself, rejecting the offer to come on board the ship. The tanned fellow have not slept for days and somewhat lack of rest is creeping upon him. Now he goes to the top of the gangplank, and squats right there, staring at Kaiyri with sharp irritation in his storm-grey eyes. "You can see right here, Miss Kai, there's no other ship apart from mine."

He draws in another breath, a little unwilling to come on harsh with the girl and rises up to his full height. "If you want passage, this is the only ship that will be here for months to come."

A shrug is tossed from shoulder to shoulder as now he moves to pull at the rope that ties the gangplank to the ship. "It's just myself, and Yaeger and my own crew on this ship. And if you're worried about those assassins from five years ago, the man who sent them, is dead." He tells her now, firmly, not even flinching about the lie he has just uttered. After all, she does not need to know.

Kaiyri hears Aranvar's words, and her gaze flicks to the other man aboard with him. Clearly at war with herself, she fights the urge to throw herself into another potentially terrible situation. Stepping back again, she puts her palms up in apology for denying him twice now.

"Thank you for your offer. I still have things to attend here before I can leave." Disappointed, she continues backward until she turns on her booted heel and departs before she can change her mind and just run away.

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