Stealing A Ride Gustav Braiden Prina

Stealing a Ride

Characters: Gustav (Braiden), Prina
NPCs : Anna, Old Woman (Prina)

January 10 2005

At night, the City of Irae

Prina downs the rest of her drink before pulling her cloak around her and heading out into the cold. As darkness falls she makes her way towards the inn, seeking a place to stay again for the night. Her mind set on not returning to the convent and nuns prodding again.

With the cold night's sleep the alley allowed him, Gustav was refreshed but in a good deal of pain. Lying on the damp ground with one's leg perched on a crate did not make for a happy spine.

Prina tosses a few coins and signs the register before meandering up the stairs, her mind still spinning with the tales of the day. She unlocks and enters the room she slept in upon her arrival to the city. Sitting down on the bed she notices the room still too warm and ponders opening the window again. She feels the twinge of pain in her neck as she pulls off her scarf, exposing the two marks on her neck. Finding it too warm for a nightshirt, she slips into the bedding, pulling the sheet close.

Noting that it was indeed still night, Gustav sighed and rolled over, pulling a burlap sack over his shoulder as a makeshift blanket. He did not even know why he bothered trying to sleep at night. His upcoming expedition would require searching and moving almost exclusively at night. Damned bloodsuckers.

Not used to the heat of the south Prina sleeps in fitful dreams of nuns, Gustav and the thought of insects. She wakes in a sweat and curls up with the covers around her for a few moments before she realizes how silly she is being. She rises and opens the window, holding the sheet close to her she gazes out at the flickering lights of the city and the lands far to the north.

"People still believe that vampires are just fairy tales…" he shook his head and sat up fully, giving up on sleeping for the time being. He could get a head start if he got himself ready now.

'Feeling the cool air as it wafts over her pale skin she returns to bed, finally slipping into a deep slumber

Looking into the night sky, Gustav rises and exits the alley in search of food and provisions the forest might provide.

Prina continues to sleep restfully through the night despite the sounds of the inn below.
When dawn finally broke, Gustav was sleeping propped against a tree in the courtyard of a local noble. It was lucky for him that the guards knew him well and allowed him the respite. Now, the job would begin and he could get paid.

Prina awoke in the morning and dressed enough to slip down the hall to bathe. Her dark red hair mashed against the side of her head, she felt like a monster. She quickly slipped into the warm water, feeling it wash over her body, soothing her from the restless night.

Gustav stood before the noble lord with an expression born from years of reporting to so-called superiors. The only thing superior about this twit was his ego. This pompous ass was the type that would complain the minute they set foot outside of his estate [Braiden].

Prina gathered her things and left word at the Inn that she would be out for a couple days but wished to reserve the room for her return. She headed out the door into the sunlight, feeling the pain of the morning light as it touched her fair skin.

He sat through the speech of the lord, thoroughly convinced that the rich man just liked to hear himself speak. It would be hours yet before they even got on the road at this rate. Oh well. At least he wouldn't go hungry for a bit. [Braiden]

Making her way through the town she found herself to one of the older homes in the city. Pausing at the door she waited for the servants to admit her. Finally, she was greeted and brought to a sitting room to await the lady of the home. [Prina]

Looking around the room, Gustav saw the bored eyes of many servants and pitied them. Sure, they had a roof over their heads but they were miserable. [Braiden]

Prina rose, as was custom to do when an elder entered the room. She kept her eyes low as she watched the black hem of the woman's dress move in an uneven fashion as she approached. The elder woman spoke harshly, demanding her to lift her face to meet hers.

After what seemed like hours, they were dismissed to begin preparations. At least this pompous ass would be giving them provisions for the job and Gustav knew just what he needed to get. [Braiden]

The elderly woman spoke in a gruff voice, "What brings you to my home child?". Prina, taken aback by the woman's harsness stammered for a moment before replying, "My mother sent ….". Her words were cut off by the woman's gasp… [Prina]

The elderly woman took Prina by the arm, directing her to sit in the light by the window while she examined the marks on her neck. [Prina]

Prina blushed deeply as she had forgotten to cover them as she had been doing the last few days.

Gustav made his way to the rear of the grounds and gathered the supplies he thought would be valuable. Almost everything he grabbed was warm or designed to create warmth. It was going to be damned cold where they were going. [Braiden]

"Furs, extra tents, we'll get firewood on the way…" he rattled off his list as he tapped each and every package before him. Once he had checked them for the third time, he headed to the stables to see to the horses. [Braiden]

Prina explained about the insect, but the elderly woman was not buying that story. "Child", she spoke so harshly. "If your mother were to know you came to harm in my city she would have both our heads."

"There are things at work in this city that are beyond this world." She continued, "And they have their sights set on you." [Prina]

Prina sighed deeply, so tired of all these tales. "You are sounding like Gustav." She said flatly.

Gustav stared at the white steed before him and sighed. The lord's mount was a fine animal indeed. It seemed the lord did have good taste in something. The other horses were fair, but this beast was a beauty. Perfect for a trip into snow. [Braiden]

Fallen petals of purple bougainvillaea swirl in random patches across the courtyard.

The elderly woman sat down across from Prina, taking her young hand in hers. "Look at me child". The woman's attempt at being kind sounded more like the warnings of the elderly gypsies from her camp. [Prina]

Prina smiled politely as she raised her gaze to meet that of the woman for a moment seeing kindness before she blushed and lowered her eyes in respect.

Prina spoke softly, "I keep hearing of these things. I didn't mean to even trouble you with them. I only came here to see the city, to be on my own." She sighed deeply again.

"You! You're not being paid to bother my horse!" yelled the lord from behind. Gustav merely turned and gave the proper look of contrition before moving on to check the other mounts. [Braiden]

The elderly woman rang for a servant to bring them tea and sandwiches. As she waited for the items to arrive she leaned back into her chair and began to weave a story of a man she once loved. One that she claimed had fallen to the dark curse. [Prina]

He worked quietly, not daring to disturb the lod, lest her earn another two hour lecture from the gangly blonde man. If he managed to avoid that, they could be on the road as early as noon. [Braiden]

Prina listened in a mesmerized daze to the woman's words. As the elderly woman wiped a tear from her eyes Prina knew for the first time that there may be something to these tales.

The two sat in silence as they drank the tea and ate the sandwiches. Prina started to speak a couple of times only to see the raised hand of an elder indicating silence was to be maintained. [Prina]

Finally, the food finished and the last of the tea sipped the woman smiled to her, indicating she may speak. [Prina]

Prina says 'The man, Gustav. I owe him an apology and I do not even know where to find him.'

"Alright you lazy vagabonds! Hurry it up!" Gustav groaned from his mount as the lord yelled at them from atop his. They had been ready for an hour now just waiting for him. [Braiden]

"My goodness" the elderly woman spoke with a more relaxed tone than when Prina entered. "I shall send for your things and you may stay in your mothers old apartments here. There are three rooms, it will afford you privacy." [Prina]

Prina smiled and nodded, her mind racing with the thoughts of the last few days. "I do not know how I can repay you for your kindness."

Prina placed her hand on her lap, feeling the bulge of the ring, within. She took out a rolled up handkerchief and opened it, giving the ring to the woman. "Forgive me, I forgot to give you this from my mother."

Entourage in tow, the lord led them through the gates of the estate and onto the road. Unfortunately, it was the wrong road and Gustav had the miserable duty of pointing that out. This, of course led to a rather loud blame session. The blame, of course, falling entirely on Gustav. [Braiden]

Prina slept that night more peaceful than she had since she came to town. She awoke in the morning when a servant entered and drew back the curtains. After morning tea and dressing she made her way downstairs for breakfast.

The elderly woman sat at the table speaking to a manservant. They became silent as she entered. The manservant was instantly excused. [Prina]

Breakfast was quiet, save for idle chitchat. As the desert pudding was served the elderly woman announced there would be a change in plans and she was to be escorted to the north, back to her home. [Prina]

Though they got started at noon the day before, they had only made it about two hours outside of the city before the lord demanded they make camp. When Gustav saw him sneaking back to town that night, the servants laughingly informed him that the lord had a special someone in town. Namely a lady of the evening that would likely take the estate from the young lord through her prices. [Braiden]

Prina protested to no avail. She had no more freedom than she ever had. She was escorted, along with a maidservant named Anna that evening as the sun set to a camp a couple hours outside of town.

Gustav chewed lazily on a long stalk of grass as he sat, leaning against the trunk of an old elm next to the road. Clouds passed slowly overhead in the rapidly darkening sky. Apparently they were waiting for someone else now. "Rough job." [Braiden]

As the group made their way from the town Prina grew weary. Her stamina not what it once was, that combined with the sense of longing for her own dreams added to her state. She clung to the horn of the horse as they neared the camp. [Prina]

Anna, the middle aged servant, smiled gently to her and stayed close as she tried to make her feel at ease. Prina gazed at her between steps on the horse, nothing that she was extremely lovely for her advanced age. [Prina]

Seeing the riders approach, Gustav got to his feet with a groan and dusted off his trousers. "Looks like they're here." The other servants rose as well to meet their new charges. Gustav was obviously the only soldier in the lot as well as the largest of the men. He towered over the rest. [Braiden]

Anna got down from her horse and moved to Prina's side, trying to help her from the large beast. Prina smiled weakly as she let go of the saddle horn, her knuckles white. "I used to ride for hours, I am sure I just need rest." [Prina]

Seeing the girl, Gustav just laughed and shook his head, "Well lookie here. Fancy meeting you here, Lass." [Braiden]

Prina smiled warmly as she regained her walking legs and steadied herself with Anna's help. "It is good to see you. I had hoped we would meet again, though I didn't think it would be so soon."

"Certainly seems strange." He smiled and led the way to a large tent, "Here's your tent. We'll leave tomorrow morning after the dimwit gets back." [Braiden]

Prina leaned against the pole of the tent and smiled, thanking Gustav for the assistance. "Dimwit?" she asked with a curious smile. Anna followed along carrying one of the bags sent along with Prina as they talked.

Chuckling, he winked at her, "You'll see when you meet him. Sleep well, ladies. If you need anything, just yell. I'll be your guard tonight." [Braiden]

Prina touched Gustav's arm softly as she smiled up at him. "Thank you, and.." She said reluctantly. "I fear you were right."

He gave her a soft smile and nodded, "I get that alot, I'm afraid." [Braiden]

Prina sighed as she entered the tent, Anna in tow. She glanced back to see Anna gazing through the curtains at Gustav as she drew it closed. Anna turned towards the interior of the tent to meet Prina's gaze, her face flush.

Prina stiffled a giggle and lowered herself to the bedding layed out for her to rest upon.

Gustav settled himself onto the ground before the tend and pulled a knee to his chest. Wrapping his arms around it, he used his knee as a pillow and slept with one eye open as all good soldiers knew to do. [Braiden]

Anna quickly began to talk about the trip out and what a lovely day it had been for a ride. It was plain to see that she had not been outside the city before and looked on this as a lifetime adventure. [Prina]

She helped Prina dress for bed and carefully braided her hair before doing her own and settling into the bedsheets to sleep. [Prina]

As dawn broke, so did the camp. The lord had stumbled into camp late that night, quite drunk and with a light purse. At least, with the silly grin on his face, the servants and guards wouldn't be bothered by his arrogance. [Braiden]

Prina slept restfully through the night, finding she was sleeping more than usual she awoke when she heard people talking outside the tent. She rose and woke Anna and they quickly began packing up their things as Prina dressed.

Gustav was up and about, already tending to the horses. This was his favorite job when being assigned guard duty. The horses were always appreciative and rarely talked back. It was refreshing. [Braiden]

Stepped out of the tent, Prina lifted her hand to shield her eyes from the morning sun as she watched the servants moving about the camp. She went to the side of the fire seeking coffee or tea. [Prina]

Anna continued to pack up their things before helping the other servants. [Prina]

Gustav fed the last cube of sugar to the lord's horse and smiled, petting the bridge of his nose, "You are quite an amazing animal. Were you mine, you'd have a better name than snowball, I assure you." [Braiden]

Prina sipped the coffee as she watched the camp all but packed up. She smiled to herself, a bit of her still missing her wagon camp home. She pondered how slow they were compared to the gypsies of her homeland yet said nothing.

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