A Ride To Remember

Participants:

Bowen.jpg Cheusia.jpg

Date: 10/13/10
Location: EW: Beast Cavern and the road outside the weyr
Synopsis: Bowen gives Cheusia another lesson in riding and the two make a stronger commitment to each other.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Bowen


Having cleared schedules beforehand, Bowen has brought Cheusia to the Beast Cavern after a late morning breakfast on this day, one of the few times the pair have had the same day off. Despite that it’s his day off, Bowen hasn’t dressed much more differently than he normally does, but he’s clean and smells it at least as it’s still before midday and he isn’t working around the curing tubs. At this point, Bowen seems more inclined to hold Cheusia’s hand when they are walking together as opposed to offering her his arm, though obviously he leaves the choice up to her as they make their way to and into the Beast Cavern and toward Strider’s stall. “If th’ weather remains nice an’ yer feelin’ up fer it, mebbe we can go fer a lil ride, as ya like,” he drawls slowly.

Cheusia is not dressed too formally, though her clothes do consist of pants and a shirt rather than an easy going dress. Though normally on her days off, she does go into work. Bowen's killing that work-a-holic side of her, at least. She's more than happy to walk hand in hand with him, giving it a gentle squeeze as they head into the Beast Cavern. "A little ride? Will I be by myself or will you be up there with me?"

The tanner opens the door to Strider’s stall, fixing his steady gelding with a little smile as the stocky runner stretches his neck a little as Bowen approaches. His free hand reaches into a pocket for a sugar cube, which is lip-gobbled up by the mostly rust-colored runner. The other hand, of course, is still holding Che’s as he leads her in with him. Bo turns his blue eyes onto her next, smiling softly, and then digs in his pocket for another sugar cube, though this one he offers over to Che with a little jerk of his head toward his runner. Strider, of course, doesn’t care who gives him the damn sugar as long as he gets it, and he at first lip-nibbles at Bo’s wrist before turning his big brown eyes on Cheusia. “Whichevar yer most comf’r’ble doin’,” he says to Che’s question, “we don’ even hafta go, really. Whutev’r ya want, Che. We got th’ whole day.” His thumb strokes her hand gently.

Cheusia follows along, slightly behind the tanner if only to keep herself from bumping into anything until they enter the stall. The sugar cube is given a look as he offers it to her before she chuckles softly and moves to take it before offering it out to the runner. "I'd like to try and ride… Since I'm still learning. Though it isn't like I'll ever get my own runner." She chuckles softly and leans over to press a gentle kiss to his cheek. "I like having the whole day with you."

Strider lip-nibbles the sugarcube up from Che’s outstretched hand, pressing his whiskery mouth and nose against her hand briefly before turning and lowering his head to the water bucket for a little drink. Bowen smiles a little more at the kiss on the cheek, returning it affectionately while his empty hand strokes Strider’s neck. “Y’say that now,” he teases lightly, “But th’ moment I quit workin’ an’ come loiterin’ ‘round yer ‘firmary all day …” he smirks, letting the rest go unsaid. Then he lifts her held hand up to press against Strider’s side, feeling alongside her hand with his, and quietly says, “Max offered us anuth’r mount fer lessons, if ya like. I can see ‘bout gettin’ sumpthin’ suitable fer a short trip out.” Meaning that way they both can ride and she can have her independence without Bo walking, and without him crowding her in the saddle either. He doesn’t wait for her to respond to the idea, however, thinking she’d like to think it over, and instead softly begins listing the different points of a runner, showing her with his hands and her hands, occasionally stepping around and helping her feel along different lines of Strider. Now, this isn’t a beast crafter talking, so a lot of the vocabulary of the anatomy of a runner is strictly the slang “common man” vernacular, but many of the points a Healer can likely find parallels to a human anatomy nevertheless. With each point, he explains why it’s important, like where the girdle wraps around the runner’s stomach and how to tell if a runner is straining or over-extending its legs and so forth. It’s an anatomy lesson, but an incomplete one since it really only deals with the important parts to know about when learning how to saddle and bridle the runner and eventually ride it. During this whole time, Strider remains sedate and unbothered, as if he’s used to getting this sort of thing every day, which he isn’t. He’s just that well-mannered a runner.

Cheusia laughs as the runner takes the cube from her hand, slowly dropping it and considering the tanner again. "Mm. Well, I know how to keep you occupied." She promises, though that still won't change the fact that she might get somewhat distracted. "Oh, alright… Well, if you want to ride, too. I don't mind you riding with me, I don't feel like I'll topple over when you're with me." She admits, but it really could be taken in more way than one. She quiets to listen to the lesson about the runners with interest, even with the common man terms. She nods along, listening carefully and memorizing what has been said.

Some men might actually blush to her comment about keeping him occupied, and others might get a cocky grin and make some witty or even crude comeback. Bowen, however, simply gives the woman a knowing smile, letting his blue eyes lock with her gaze should she look at him, some unspoken promise within their azure depths. But the expression fades and he nods to her other statement on riding with him on Strider, and showing no relief nor excitement nor objection to it. Strider turns his head curiously a moment here and there, and occasionally flicks his ears in the direction of a sound, but ultimately he remains where he is while Bowen sets to the next business of teaching her how to saddle the runner. Retrieving his tack from the temporary tack room, considering that the official one is being used right now for other matters, Bowen lets the heavy saddle remain straddling the nearest short stall wall while he puts the blanket on and talks about how far down the back it should be, and why and so forth. He’s as slow and patient at teaching as he is at everything else, occasionally pausing to ask if she has any questions about anything he’s said so far. And then comes the saddle, which he hefts, himself, over onto Strider’s back, talking of all the various points to it as if it had an anatomy all its own, and then explaining how to cinch it all up, watching for the runner’s stomach as some do use the trick of sticking their gut out and holding their breath so as the saddle can’t be cinched as tight as it should be, which inevitably leads to the saddles (and riders) sliding off the back - though Strider, himself, has never pulled such a move. Then the various equipment one should always carry while on a ride, no matter how brief it means to be – a bedroll and a waterskin and basic dried rations, basic first aid kit, and a tinderbox for making a campfire. He ties on the saddle bags, showing her how, and finally shows her how to bridle Strider, how to avoid getting bit by a more unruly mount while pressing the bit of the bridle to its mouth. When that is all said and done and he has covered all the fundamentals, Bowen reaches for her hand to draw her back in against him, smiling softly down into her face, “Got all dat? There’ll be a Harper Exam lat’r.” Knowing just how much it all was to take in, really, but his smile suggests there’s no pressure to be perfect at it on the first day.

Cheusia meets his gaze and smiles at that look in his eyes, saying nothing more to the statement and just letting the silence linger between them until he begins to teach her how to saddle the runner. She moves closer to watch and to better understand what he is showing her. Luckily, she's a quick learner and isn't too lost after the explanation. When he reaches for her and draws her in, she settles against him and smiles. "Got it. I might forget a few things, later. What do I get if I pass?"

Bowen smirks faintly, murmuring, “I’d say ya get m’undyin’ respect, but ya got dat already so it ain’t so much a reeward.” He lifts a hand to the side of her face gently while the other arm wraps more firmly around her waist to hold her there against him, and in that same husky voice, he asks, “Whut wouldja like fer passin’?” And then to punctuate the question, he lifts that hand from her face briefly to tip his hat up off his forehead a little and out of the way before returning that hand to her cheek and bending over her face with his, leaning in for a tender kiss against her lips, gentle, but somewhat brief compared to his other kisses, but only so as to give her a chance to answer his question.

"Aww. Your respect means a lot to me." Che promises, lifting her hand to gingerly rest upon his while the other rests on his arm. "Hmm. I have no idea what I'd like.. Maybe.. Something sweet." Again, more meaning than one. She brushes her lips gingerly against his before giving his arm a gentle squeeze.

There’s a sobering look in his eyes a moment with what she says at first, and he murmurs softly, “Y’ll always havit, Che.” Bowen takes a deep breath and slowly exhales, smiling once again, “Sumpthin’ sweet,” thinking of how often she tells him he is, himself, sweet, when around her. “Reckon that can be arranged,” he leans over her again, and with his arm at her waist he goes so far as to dip her as he kisses her this time, longer and more deeply than before. One hand slides back a little into her hair, or what he can of it depending on how it is fashioned at the time.

Cheusia smiles, "thanks, Bo. I respect you a lot, too." Which may be why she doesn't blurt out the first thing that comes to her mind occasionally. "Wonderful." She looks ready to say something more, but when he leans in she's more than happy to return to silence so that he may kiss her. Her arms slip around his neck to ground herself as his hands slip into her hair. Her hair is styled in a loose bun that could slip free if worked in the right way, which is very easy to do.

Smiling still against her lips as he kisses her through that dip, Bowen actually does his best not to mess up her bun too much, but the opened-mouth kiss gets a little carried away before he remembers himself and straightens them both back up proper-like. Reluctantly pulling his mouth away from hers, Bowen offers a soft rumble of a chuckle in his chest as he clumsily tries to right her bun, muttering apologetically, “Sorry,” and then finally giving up and letting go once she’s more settled on her feet so she can fix her hair for herself. “So, ah,” he looks at Strider who now looks back, blinking once, all saddled and bridled and everything, “Whuchya wanna do next? Go fer a ride?” On a runner, he means, though the tanner doesn’t specify.

Cheusia keeps her arms tightly around him, losing herself easily in the kiss before he pulls away. Grey eyes blink as if she just remembered where she was and she laughs softly. "S'okay." She promises, "I liked it." Though she doesn't fix her bun, leaving it the way his fingers set it. "Oh… Right. Ride… Right… We can go for one." She's a little frazzled, still getting used to the tanner's tendency to pull away suddenly.

Smiling a little more as he looks from Strider back to her and her hair and the slight frazzling, he takes off his hat and puts it on top of her head. “Or, I could make ya unsaddle and unbridle Strider ‘ere an’ do it all o’er ‘gain,” but by the smile turning to a smirk, it seems Bowen is unwilling to do so. Then more quietly he asks, “Ya still wantin’ not ta be treated any diff’rent than one of th’ boys, Che?” His blue eyes slowly travel from her face down to her toes and back up to her face again, not even trying to hide it.

Cheusia blinks as he settles his hat upon her head, "am I official?" She teases before making a face. "I don't think I could move the saddle by myself." This is admitted with some reluctance before she considers his question. "Mmm. I'd prefer you treating me like a woman…" Though any other man can get lost.

At the question, Bowen goes still for a long moment, his smile fading a little, though not with a look of displeasure specifically. Something just sort of struck him about the question and for a moment, his heart stopped with it. Blinking several times, he finally stirs himself out of the dumbstruck look and smiles at her once more, saying in that same soft, husky voice to her lifting the saddle, “S’okay. I got it. N’fact, any heavy liftin’ ya need doin’, call on me. An’ I promise I ain’t gonna call ya ma’am, lest ya ask me ta do so.” He smiles a little more and lifts a hand to lower the front brim of his hat down over her forehead and eyes, and it probably doesn’t smell the greatest considering his head sweats in it. “Yer one real special woman, though, Che,” he muses softly, “If anyone deserves th’ ma’am, it’s yerself.”

Cheusia is giving him a little look of confusion for the smile fading and her nose wrinkles just a bit. She doesn't press, however, when he speaks again. It takes a moment for her smile to return and she nods, "I'll let you know if I have any heavy lifting for you to take care of." She promises. Though there's a soft sound of protest that follows shortly after as he lowers the brim over her eyes. Though she doesn't lift it herself, figuring he may want a slight bit of privacy. "Thanks, Bo… I'm flattered you hold me in such a high regard."

“I do,” Bowen says earnestly after a little pause, well, little for Bo. It’s at this point, when she doesn’t lift the hat back out of her eyes that he takes it off her head himself, a mild look of concern in his eyes and then it is gone, a smirk in its place, and then more softly he repeats, “I do. Sometimes, I ain’t even sure whut t’make of it, ‘r whut I think of it all.” He puts his hat back on his head and looks away, making a pretense of double-checking Strider’s tack so she’d not see his eyes. “Sometimes, I ain’t sure I’m doin’ right by ya,” he says more softly, before turning back to her and offering her his hand, while taking Strider by the reins and meaning, it seems, to lead them both out, unless she stops him or objects in some way.

"It means a lot to me." Che replies softly, giving him an easy smile once he lifts the hat off her head. "I…" Though the rest? It goes unfinished as she looks rather sheepish but makes no protest when he turns away. It saves her from doing it herself and saving her from explaining that look that crosses her face shortly afterwards. Though it is quickly hidden when he turns back. "You're doing right." His hand is taken and she is led along, content with that fact despite that one may have found her kicking and screaming awhile ago.

Bowen keeps walking, and any time that the aisle gets more narrow for a pile of feedsacks or a crate or barrel or something of the sort, he’ll tug her a little closer into him and in front of, which he sees as being more courteous than making her walk behind him. Although, some cultures take that differently. He looks at her a long moment after her comment that he’s doing right, and gives her a soft, but reassuring smile, perhaps wanting to allay any fears that he’s having second thoughts. Bo may worry that he does something well or right or perfectly, but he is dedicated if nothing else. He may completely fumble along, but he’ll see something through once he’s set his mind to it. It’s at the entrance to the tunnel that leads to the beast caves that he leads them out a step or two and then offers to help her up into the saddle. “Thank you,” he says finally, and then something gives way in his chest and he allows, “I just …” his voice trails off, rethinking the words and saying, “… feel like … I got a second chance. Mebbe thing’s’ll be diff’rent …” pause, “if I don’t fuck it up this time.” Then most importantly he adds, “Yer th’ first woman I come ‘cross who I wanna try it all ag’in with, Che.”

Cheusia moves along easily, shifting when things get narrow but quickly falling back to his side when there's room. She lingers in silence, perhaps in fear but that smile comes and she returns it and she sighs a sigh of relief. His assistance up onto the saddle is taken without protest, having grown used to him assisting so much and not even protesting as she would. "You're welcome." Though she may be clueless why he is thanking her. Silence continues, more to consider his words as they come and it takes her even longer to reply. The man might be rubbing off on her at this point. "You won't fuck it up…" And then, grey eyes consider him as trying to read in deeper. "All of it…?"

Once she is up in the saddle, Bowen takes a moment to situate the reins up over Strider’s head and loosely hook them over the cantle as she speaks. He takes a little breath, smiling a little hopeful smile as she tells him, with the same vulgar language he used, that he won’t mess up. It’s her question that gives him pause and he looks up at her, tilting his hat back a little. His expression is one of confusion and then curious and then a frown as the connection is made and he struggles to speak a moment before swearing softly to himself and lifting his hat off to run a hand through his hair. Setting the hat back down on his head, he looks up at her once more, his expression serious but not angry or alarmed. Finally, he returns his attention to the stirrups, putting his foot in the one and swinging up into the saddle behind her, settling in close as his arms come around her sides and his hands grasp the reins lightly. With a little squeeze of his legs and a softly click of his tongue, Strider starts moving again and it’s only at this point that Bo murmurs into her ear from behind, “Havin’ a woman again,” in explanation. A pause and then dropping to a whisper he leans a little more closer to her ear, his breath breezing past it as he speaks, “If … ya think ya might like a feller like me t’have ya, that is … Che.”

Cheusia looks down at him quietly, watching his expression with a steady one of her own. Though, she clearly isn't expecting an answer any time soon as she allows her gaze to drift away as she situates her hands in a spot where she will keep herself steady if he means to continue to hold the reins. It is a relief when he joins her on the saddle, coming to relax and slightly lean back against him. His words are considered and then her hands shift to settle upon his legs, giving them a gentle squeeze like she had once more. "You can have me, Bo. I…" But that rest doesn't follow, she merely tilts her head back a slight bit more.

Something else crumbles in his chest, and Bowen takes a deep, shuddering breath with her words. He closes his eyes, knowing Strider knows the path to the entrance of the weyr proper by now, and lets him plod along for the most part, unguided. With his lips slow close to her ear and neck, he can’t help himself as she tilts her head back a little, but to tip his head forward and down and lay sweet, light kisses along her neck. “Che,” he states in a hoarse whisper, “I’ll try an’ be th’ man ya need me t’be an’ try t’ make ya want fer nuthin’ … just please … if there comes a day when I ain’t makin’ ya happy no more … please be up front ‘bout it with me. Leave if ya hafta, ta find someone else whut makes ya happy, but just … don’t take on ‘nuther man behind m’back … please. Don’t rightly think I could take that ag’in. Dunno whut craziness I might go off an’ do.” Like, oh, kill someone with his bare hands, he’s thinking.

Cheusia shivers at the feel of his lips against her neck, breathing out a soft sigh. "Bo…" She starts before he begins to speak and quickly cutting off the statement to listen. His words warn a single nod. "There won't be anyone else. No man…" Or woman, but really, that's unspoken. It is probably a good thing that she can't turn around to throw her arms around the man. There's only a soft whisper of, "I'm falling for you…"

“Sweet Faranth,” Bowen breathes with her words, letting the reins go to one hand and the other arm wraps more firmly around her waist to squeeze her in pleasure and joy and also protectively and possessively. The tanner reopens his eyes a moment to make sure Strider hasn’t failed him, which he hasn’t, and as the runner clop-clops softly past the two guards standing at the entrance of the weyr itself, Bowen remains quiet, barely resisting the urge to stop the damn runner, dismount, and take her more firmly and boldly in his arms right there and then for her words to him. But the man didn’t get to where he was today by being bold and rash and so he simply nods at the guards in passing, kneeing Strider into a slightly faster canter for a few meters and then letting him slow down to an easier pace once more. Awkwardly, and gruffly, perhaps the only way Bo can really be when it comes to women, he murmurs close to her ear once more, “Me too.” Pause, “Fallin’.” Yeah, that’s romantic. Why don’t you just say ‘ditto’?. But the poor big guy means it, even if he’s not good with words or expressing it. He leans in again, loosely keeping his eyes on the open road now, but covering her neck in more kisses, sliding his hand gently around her stomach where he holds her.

His reaction earns more relief from the woman who might have been expecting him to drop her ass off the runner for such a statement. But no, Che is pulled in even more closely and held against him. It is fairly obvious that the weight of her worries are now all gone as she completely relaxes and is, once again, content to let him take her wherever he pleases while she does not watch where they go. His words bring a smile despite the fact that it is likely as unromantic as it can get. Though if Che wanted proper romance, she likely would have been with someone else at this point. Another sigh slips from her lips as he continues to cover her neck in kisses, her head tilting to the side to expose more of her skin. "Bo…"

There is nothing outward to show how her relaxing in against him makes him feel bigger and stronger and more important somehow, but Bowen does. He doesn’t smile; his lips are too occupied with those light kisses, now turning more and more open-mouthed against her delectable little neck. His eyes are sometimes closed and sometimes eyeing the road. If there are highwaymen about, the couple are likely to be in some dire trouble. His heart thumps hard in his chest, pressed against her back now, and his one free hand what had been holding her waist, risks to slip up into that loose, slightly mussed bun and pull her hair the rest of the way free. “Mm?” comes his distracted response to his name as he lowers his hand back to her waist.

Cheusia's sighs grow into softer moans as the kisses become more open-mouthed and she squirms just a little in his hold. Any thoughts are gone, completely distracted by his mouth so any impending thoughts of possible doom are not lingering there. Her freed hair is met with a soft giggle but she shakes her head. "Just saying your name…"

She might be able to feel his mouth curve into a soft smile against her neck for her response, and then Bowen gives one last little kiss to her neck before lifting his head a little to press a kiss into her hair just behind her ear. “I like hearin’ ya say it,” he murmurs huskily. His arm around her waist squeezes her tightly against him, but briefly, and then it relaxes and he continues on down the road a little more before finding a suitable spot to turn Strider down into the treeline where some boulders covered in summer moss and ivy has allowed for some break in the tree-spread to create a little private grassy hollow with a little rise of rocks and boulders on one side. The late morning/early afternoon sun shining through the crowns of the trees cast a speckled pattern of shade over the area and for a time there is only the sound of Strider, Bowen’s breathing, and nature around them. Then Bo’s soft voice rumbles across the near silence, offering, “Wouldja care t’sit an’ rest here a spell?” Though there is little doubt that the man truly doesn’t mean resting, considering he’s having a hard time keeping his hands and lips off her.

Cheusia smiles faintly and slowly straightens after the last kiss behind her ear, though grey eyes remain closed and her head remains slightly tilted back. Her breathing slowly becomes controlled, keeping it from being too audible and listening to the sounds that surround them but mainly Bowen's breathing. When he speaks, however, she nods quickly. "Yes. Please?" Grey eyes open and she considers their surroundings, despite having already agreed to stopping.

Bowen doesn’t answer her verbally. Instead he draws Strider up to a stop when they enter the center of the little grassy patch. With a little affectionate kiss to her cheek, he swings his leg around and dismounts, and then reaches up to her waist, meaning to help her down from the gelding. Finally, he looks up at her, his blue eyes smiling with warmth and not a little bit of desire for her, and then with a little longer look at their surroundings, he looks back up at her, “We can … head back … whenever ya want, Che.” Perhaps fearing this little piece of nature is not suitable enough for her in some respect.

Cheusia smiles to the kiss on her cheek, and seemingly pleased by the area. When he reaches up, she shifts one leg over and her hands move to settle upon his shoulders. "I like it here." This is said firmly and she makes to do an odd sort of dismount if he doesn't take it upon himself to lift her. Of course, this may mean her full body weight suddenly crashing into him, but she's not that heavy to begin with.

Oh Bowen’s right there, to be sure, helping her down gently to her own two feet, allowing her some freedom and independence, to her preference. Strider is left to roam the little area untethered, which speaks to Bo’s trust in the animal, who nibbles lightly on some of the grass as much as the bridle and bit allow. The stocky tanner, instead, leads himself and Che over to the little mound of moss-covered boulders, not quite flat enough to sit or lie down on, but he leans against it and seeks to draw her more into his arms for a slower, more possessive kiss than he’s claimed before, “My Che,” he murmurs against her lips, then lifts a hand to the back of her head, parting his lips to deepen the kiss more.

Cheusia considers Strider for a brief moment as he remains free, but it is only brief as the tanner leads them to the boulders and leans against it. Her arms don't wrap around him however her hands slide up to rest upon his shoulders and grip firmly there. Her lips press gingerly against his, easily possessed by his and she lets out a soft sound of agreement to his murmured statement before fingers curl on his shoulders to pull him closer and to press more firmly into the deepening kiss.


Closing Credits Theme Music: Darius Rucker - "History In The Making"


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