Finding The Lost And Found


Jaya.jpg Jhorn.jpg

Jhorn (NPC'd by Kaskan)

Date: Dec. 19, 2010
Location: The Bar, EW
Synopsis: Jaya meets Jhorn, Kaskan's charge. He comes by hoping the barkeep would help him find out what is going on with his guardian, and Jaya drops him some advice.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Jaya

Mid-morning finds a young man wondering the inner tunnels of Eastern Weyr, a time when the weyr is abuzz with residents going about their daily upkeep but quiet of dragonkind as wings are out on sweeps, drills, and other business. A Southern Boll knot adorns the shoulder of his fine clothes, marking him as an outsider, but a quick, jovial smile is flashed to all he passes, garnering many in return. His mission is simple enough, though he had to be discreet about asking for directions to Jaya's Bar since he obviously isn't old enough to be seeking the bar's wares. If he got the instructions right he should be just about there. Now all he has to do is find the barkeep.

Around this time of the day, one can certainly find Jaya within the confines of her bar working towards the evening. She’s at one of the back tables right now, standing over spread out sheets of hides while her barmaids Suli and Hayli busy themselves with preparing the bar for its usual time of opening. Shijan at his post by the entrance as usual, and seems to be in a more relaxed state compared to how he is at night. The barkeep is going over the lists for what’s to be shipped her bar’s way while she’ll be out of town, marking down a few notes here and there for her barmaids to take note of when those shipments arrive. The scarred faced woman seems to be all-business during the day with her face set and her demeanor serious, but the atmosphere in the bar is still an easy one regardless of that.

Jhorn approaches the bar's entrance hesitantly, especially once Shijan is sighted. Bracing himself he takes the last few steps and attempts to present the appearance of purpose. Shoulders leveled, chin held high, he tries for the best re-enactment of his esteemed grandfather, the Lord of Southern Boll. "G'day," he remarks with a nod to the older man as he moves to pass.

Shijan immediately notes the young stranger’s presence with only slight interest, but since he doesn’t see any threat in Jhorn he merely nods curtly to him in response and watches him as he passes. Jaya has yet to spot him but the other barmaids have since they’re closest to the entrance – the towering, pockmarked-faced one giving the young man a once-over coolly while the pretty petite blonde one is the only one that actually gives him a friendly smile and nod. Since the bar wasn’t officially open yet, those present figures Jhorn is here for merely business and so the barmaids both shoot looks towards the barkeep at the back table, silently alluding to her being the boss as they continue to bust the rest of the tables.

Flushed with success, Jhorn saunters into the bar with a sense of elation that makes the scene seem surreal. He's in a real bar! Granted, there are no patrons nor alcohol being served but still it's a good-as-gold bar. And not just any bar but the one where Kaskan got into a huge fight and nearly tore the place down! Black layers even darker than the guard who he idolizes toss to either side as he tries to see everything at once. Still projecting his regal image he gives the two women a confident nod, although Hayli's pretty smile draws his gaze for an extra few seconds. Reminding himself of his goal he turns toward the table they indicate and spots Jaya right away. Instantly his cheery disposition melts into one of apprehension. Approaching the barkeep he stops several paces short and clears his throat. "Excuse me, are you Jaya?"

There’s faint amusement as Shijan watches how Jhorn takes a look at the place, and the barmaids exchanged glances before one of them snorts and returns to their work. It was likely from Suli’s direction. Jaya’s still bent over the table as she busies herself marking off the sheets of hides she has spread out, but one can be sure that she’s already noted his presence as he approaches. Keeping her head down long after he clears his throat, “Depends on who’s asking,” comes her husky-toned answer laced with that slight Bitran accent. A sheet gets turned over and she doesn’t break her concentration as her writing stylus flies over the words written there. After a moment, she does give him a brief look-up, a once-over that’s brief but complete while continuing to write. “What can I do you for, shuga?” she asks then once the short appraisal is done.

Jhorn watches the barkeep closely, his dark-eyed gaze nearly a solid pool of black. Finally meeting the woman Kaskan has spoken of is noteworthy. His intense regard seems to measure her inch by inch with the romanticized, built-up image in his head. Remaining stiff as a steel rod during the awkward silence, he visibly wilts with relief when she finally addresses him and takes a step closer to the table. In nearly comical fashion he lowers his voice as if nefarious folk might be lingering nearby to hear, his tone bereft with serious intent. "I'm Jhorn, of Southern Boll Hold. I… I was hoping to talk to you about Kaskan".

It’s only when Jhorn introduces himself that the barkeep straightens up from her work and gives him a far more thorough study. Rubbing at the scar on the side of her face as she watches him approach her table, “So you’re Jhorn,” Jaya drawls out, well aware of his study of her and isn’t ashamed to return like kind. Once her dark gaze meets his, “I was starting to think you were some made-up friend of his that he was keeping up in his head.” She snorts a little at that, slight amused, and then she bends a bit to quickly jot down the last of what she was writing before the she lets go of the writing stylus. Nodding sharply towards the counter where they could have a little bit more privacy, “Grab a stool and we can talk,” she suggests, putting action to words herself as she turns with a slight sway of skirts and heads toward the very counter she notes. Over her shoulder, “I trust things are well?” or not, she’s thinking, since the young holder has suddenly made himself known to her.

Jhorn appears immediately relieved as Jaya seems to recognize him - by name at least. Worry is subdued by the return of a bright smile, cherubic in its naivety. "Guilty as charged!" he quips to verify her identification of him. Standing a bit straighter he gives his chin a jerk reminiscent of Kaskan's habitual gesture, only on Jhorn it sways chin-length strands of equal length away from his face.

At her invitation he visibly perks, confidently striding after her to the bar. His gaze is still wide-eyed observant, especially trailing the swing of her skirts as she leads the way. Hopping onto a stool he spreads his palms flat on the bar and smoothes them to either side, grin spreading from ear to ear. At her question he seems to deflate, reminded that quickly of the concern that drove him to find her. "You don't know then?" he says, sounding forlorn. Sighing, he tilts his chin to angle his gaze slightly upward in thoughtful regard. "Things are most definitely not well. I was hoping you might know why." His tone is crisp with an educated southern accent, a truer sound than the one Kaskan attempts to fake.

Since Kaskan had warned Jaya about the brightness that is Jhorn, the chirpy response seems expected. She gives him a crooked grin, settling herself behind the counter to face the young holder before leaning forward and setting her elbows there before her. Perching herself on the stool she has that grin turns into a slight at his watch of her before his words hit her. “Oh I know,” she answers on the guard, moving to prop her chin on the palm of her hand. “He hasn’t told you?” Which would put the barkeep in a dilemma, considering. Should she tell him or not? Or rather, was it even her place to? After a lingering pause, “What have you been noticing of him?” she chooses to ask to buy herself some time, watching Jhorn’s face for any body language she can pick up on.

Jhorn bites his tongue as Jaya settles across the bar. Only a few turns into his teens he is completely susceptible to the lure of a pretty smile. Clearing his throat he sits up straighter, trying to roll manly maturity and concern into one. His relief is short-lived when she admits she does know something of the situation, a sharp twinge of jealousy rising for secrets he hasn't managed to wheedle out of his tight-lipped guardian. Drawing in a long breath he pulls his arms in close and lets his fingers hang off the edge of the bar. "For one, he's gone. I didn't see him at all yesterday and only got a note from him last night. Now I haven't seen him this morning either. He's been… distant recently but this is outright bizarre for him." He pauses then, inky gaze dropping briefly with an endearing show of chagrin. "Granted I tried to give him the slip a few times but only because he's always on me all the time." Concern thickening he leans forward slightly, adult mask slipping to reveal the youth beneath, "I can tell something is seriously wrong but he won't talk to me. Is it something I did?"

Jaya’s eyes narrow at hearing that the guard was gone, the Bitran searching the other’s gaze as he continues to speak. It’s only after he asks that she breaks her silence, straightening up from her lean and looking from him towards the bottles all lined up behind her. “Not your fault, shuga,” she tries to reassure him when she looks back, shaking her head. “Kas … he’s just going through some things right now. Things dealing with his past coming back to haunt him.” Oh yeah, she’s pretty much said those words about herself. Which there’s concern in her tone at hearing that Kaskan has gone missing, “He probably needs some time to get his feet back under him,” she says then as she moves to grab the closest washrag from under the counter. “He’s not exactly one that likes to talk about himself.” Yeah, she would know, too. This probably said to let the young holder know that it isn’t just him out of the loop, though in this case she’s just happen to know little bit more about the guard and his troubles than Jhorn does. The barkeep sets the rag to the counter then, rubbing in circles, her gaze on that rather than him for awhile as she composes herself.

Jhorn frowns, dark eyes troubled as his lips settle into a thin line. He watches Jaya wipe at the counter for a few moments obviously deep in thought, then his unsettling gaze rivets back on hers as he tries to read her expression and manner as best his limited experience can muster. "Like what sort of things?" he asks. Folding his arms he leans on the edge of the bar, tilting his head toward her in his best pose of encouragement. His boyish features are set in a serious cast, trying unsuccessfully to imagine from his silver-limned lifestyle what sort of things would cause such a severe reaction and hoping she won't consider him too young for whatever it is.

Pausing in her wiping down the counter to look pointedly at him for his question, and meeting that encouraging look, “The sort of things neither you nor I can do anything about,” Jaya answers that with a small bit of dryness before she resumes her cleaning. Eyes drop away from Jhorn then as she considers her next words – after all, she was still undecided as to how much the young man should know. It really wasn’t her place, but, then again … With a heavy sigh, the barkeep drops the washrag on the counter, straightens up and folds her arms across her chest. Fixing Jhorn with an even enough gaze that is intense in nature, “Do you know anything about his life before he, you know, met you?” she decides to ask him, watching him for any telltale body language signs.

Jhorn blows a soft, frustrated huff. "You never know. I have all sorts of resources," the boy can't help but assert. As Jaya looks away he grows a little more confidant, leaning slightly forward as he pushes, "I can't even try if I don't know what's wrong."

As the barkeep returns her straight-forward gaze to his he automatically backs up, sitting upright to hide the reaction. Try as he might not to fidget, his eyes drop to the countertop and darting glances to either side betray his unease. "Yes!" he states, sounding more sure than he appears. Certainty grows as he continues though, his tone taking on a romanticized flair, "He's told me some stories. He's traveled a lot and met all kinds of interesting people. Do you know he once saw the Lord of Bitra knocked off the back end of his runner and saved him from breaking his neck in the fall?!"

Truly it was more like Kaskan thought the Bitran Lord /was/ an ass and would've /liked/ to break his neck, but such wouldn't be appropriate to tell a Blooded scion who may very well meet the man in question some day. Jhorn is beaming again and watching for Jaya to display the appropriate amount of impressed amazement as only a fellow admirer would appreciate.

“I don’t,” Jaya is easy to agree there with Jhorn, “so convince me.” In other words, she doesn’t believe him one bit. She does seem to note his shyness in the way that he looks away from her whenever she looks at him, and such demeanor seems to lightly amuse her. It’s held in check, though, in light of the serious topic being discussed. At his enthusiasm for knowing something of the guard’s past, “He knocked Lord Bitra off his runner?” Yeah. She’s not hiding the sardonic tint from her voice at that. “Why would he do something like that? Wait, wait,” and a hand is held up, the woman shaking her head. “Not important. Anyone can knock that sod off his runner. What has he told you of Crom?” Now she’s getting specific, her gaze taking the holder in with slight intensity. Still, her manner is brisk during this time of day, the barkeep so used to speaking in such a way with those that stop by with her crate shipments. “Has he mentioned what he used to be before he turned guard? His family? His life?”

"I said he /saw/ the Lord fall and /saved/ him, not that he knocked him off!" Jhorn quickly clarifies, aghast at any disparaging confusion accorded his story. The boy's dark regard falls suspiciously on the barkeep not only for her doubt but that she knows the infamous Lord well enough to call him a sod.

A slight flinch is there, when Jaya turns the intensity back on, but Jhorn does an admirable job of holding his own. "Crom?" he echoes, head tilting with narrow-eyed curiosity. "Is that where he's from?" A twinge of eagerness enters his frame, muscles tensing. While he managed to eventually wheedle some aspects of Kaskan's history out of him, others the guard pointedly refused to give. Hoping to encourage more of such enlightenment, Jhorn nods brightly at what he can provide. "He has three younger sisters and an older brother," he says, a little grin appearing at the memory of when the guard had shared that bit of empathetic sibling remorse. The two had mutually decided that little sisters are a universal pain.

Humor sallows a bit as Jhorn grows more thoughtful, adding, "He never said.. exactly… but I think he used to work with growing things. I'd catch him sometimes looking at unusual plants or flowers and he knew an awful lot about'em to suggest which ones I should give to…." He stops abruptly, skin flushing with a soft ember glow. Dropping his gaze he bites his lip. "I mean, it was just unexpected seeing how he's normally so… tough." Inside and out.

It’s quite possible that Jaya deliberately misinterpreted what Jhorn said on Lord Bitra – being that her regard for holder types has always been sketchy at best. Still, she meets that regard head-on when she answers the correction with a rather wry “My mistake.” As to Crom, if the young man has to ask, then it was as good an answer to her suspicions than she was anticipating. “That’s where he’s from,” she confirms that easily, watching him with continued intensity. Now the siblings bit was news to her, so at this a brow of interest is lifted. “He ever mentioned if he was close to his family or not?” she asks then in this opening exchange of information between the two. The recent run-in with Rio revealed to her that Kaskan used to be a gardener, so there was no reaction to that one, however. Her regard falls on what’s not finished as opposed to what is. “Which ones you should give to…?” she seems to encourage him to finish that, amusement lightly lacing her tone with a twitch of brows as she takes in that flush to his face. She just couldn’t help making holdfolks uncomfortable. To the last though, some of that amusement fades to something more sober, and since it’s coming from experience, “We all got our shadows, Jhorn,” she lets him know, leaning against the counter now with an incline of her head. “Even the toughest of us can fall by our pasts. Doesn’t make us any weaker. Just …” and there’s a helpless shrug, matching what she feels on the matter more than words.

Jhorn ducks his chin to the side, shoulder-length hair slipping forward to help hide his expression and heated blush. "There was this girl," he starts, then finishes quickly. "It worked. She really liked the ones I sent." Jumping on the opening for another topic he continues with a shrug, "He was pretty closed about his family but from what little he did say it seemed like they were close - even his sisters. I… I kinda think he missed them." Her last comment draws a lengthy look. Philosophy is not what he wants to hear. "Is he gonna be ok? There must be something we can do." Yes, he's including her in on his scheming now.

That heated blush gets that crooked smirk to rise more from the barkeep, but she keeps the brunt of it in check as she drawls out, “Good to know Kas was good at his job, then,” in some amusement. Jaya’s reaction doesn’t change which alludes to her not being surprised to hear that Kaskan’s family was close, whatever comments she has on them she keeps tightlipped about. It’s the last that garners her attention – “I think in time, he will be,” she answers that one first, regarding Jhorn intently once more. The pause lingers on that then, as if she was hesitating to say more before she lets out a slight sigh and adds, perhaps to his last that included her, “It’s about love, shuga.” Facing him more, “He’s heartbroken. The girl he thought … he thought he lost her, and now she’s back and things are … complicated.” She searches his eyes to see if he understands this particular realm, gauging his reaction to that.

Jhorn is with her till the end, intently following her words with his own feelings an open book across his face. Agreement, yes. Then not so reassured. In the end he scrunches up his features and looks to the barkeep as if she's lost her mind. Forgetting his stiff pose he leans forward again, one hand slightly extending in open gesture. "Heartbroken? You have got to be mistaken. Kas never falls in love. He likes the ladies well enough, don't get me wro…." He stops abruptly, suddenly remembering who he's talking to, and his slowly receding blush reheats. "I mean, not that he…. he's pretty particular. Er, that is. Not that he told me… oh shards, forget it!"

Oh yes, a brow lifts waaaaay up. “Kas talks to you about me?” Forget about the fact that Kaskan is, you know, heartbroken. Or wait – “Is that what he tells you? That he had never, ever fallen in love?” Jaya directs then, frowning at something said. “Well, he’s lying. You see how fucked up he is, right? I’ve seen men get that way either over a woman, a runner, or a real close friend. The woman always is first choice, however. What has he told you of me?” Back to that, because Jhorn’s all blushing again and that’s bound to mean something embarrassing worthy, right?

"Well sure," Jhorn shrugs one slender shoulder, trying to look as non-chalant as possible. "That's why I came looking for you. I thought you might know what's wrong with him lately." His look narrows slightly as he looks to her anew, scrutinizing. "Unless you have something to do with it." Her assessment of men in general garners a raised brow of his own, both in fact. "He wouldn't lie to me." Conviction flickers in the twitch of his jaw. "At least… not outright."

“What does he say about me?” Jaya asks again, putting on the barkeep pressure as she leans forward on the counter towards him. Keeping her tone level through that, especially through his narrowed eyes and the words of denial, “I have nothing to do with this,” she notes in her drawl, brows twitching upwards. “I’m not the girl he’s lost so long ago. He might not lie to you,” she tacks on without pause, leaning away some, “but he hasn’t told you much of the truth either. He hasn’t told me all that much, as well, but I know the matter of this,” and she sends Jhorn a look, “and I’m telling you that your guard is heartbroken.”

At that direct questioning, Jhorn can't maintain eye contact. Sitting upright he braces his arms straight out against the counter and sighs heavily. "He's going to kill me for telling you. Do you really want my death on your conscience?" A touch of the puppy-dog look ensues as he darts an uncertain look at her only to veer away again at the sternness of her pose. Ok, so maybe she wouldn't mind. "You just seem to come up in conversation often. Either something you've said, or done, or just that he was here." One hand flips in a general arc encompassing the bar. One hand rises to scratch at his collarbone, his expression deeply thoughtful. "I can tell. Something's different. He doesn't seem to like many people, you know. And it's not the same as when he talks about our runners." To his mind that seems like a perfectly plausible comparison. Her reassertion has him frowning and shaking his head slightly. "I don't get it. If it was so long ago why's he so upset now?"

Once Jhorn breaks eye contact with her, “He won’t kill you for telling me,” Jaya lets him know with a playful roll of her shoulders. “I wouldn’t tell him. Anyone. Try me.” His next though raises a brow from her, her chin lifting up as she responds with, “That’s the worst of it? Please, shuga. I’ve had men say much worse about me. But what’s so different, hmm? Perhaps your runners aren’t his passion. You said he liked plants, right?” Leaning back then at his last, lips briefly pressing together before she reaches out and tries to claim Jhorn by the chin. If succeeding, she’ll gently direct him to look her in the face, and then, “He’s upset now because he’s found her. It’s like … losing a bag of marks you thought you had on you all this time.” Yeah okay. Jaya’s relationship experience is next to nil, so she’s relying on what she does know. “You get all upset because you thought someone had pick pocketed you, and they did! But then, turns later, you find the bag and look inside and see that … its contents aren’t the same as they were turn ago. It’s changed. You found what you lost, but …”

Jhorn starts at her touch, seeing it coming but not believing she would really do it until she does. No one does that to him. The surprise flutters dark lashes a few times even as his eyes widen, irises liquid black pools. Embarrassment adds to the flame of his skin until he's sure she can feel it through her fingertips. He could easily pull away from her but doesn't, instead watching her as if mezmorized. His look blatantly observes her scars along with the rest of her features without flinching in the least, a disturbed but thoughtful cast eventually setting his own expression. "Are adults always this sappy?" he demands. "Cracked shells! I thought this kind of crap ended once you grow up." Snorting lightly he adds, "I can't repeat exactly what he said, not in front of a lady… even if you are the lady." His gaze flickers downward to where the counter hides the lower half of her body and the flush travels down his neck.

Well, perhaps no one shall touch one of Blooded nobility, but Jaya’s never been one to follow such customs. It’s possible she might not even know of such customs considering her background. With it comes open amusement at the flustered look of Jhorn, her chin lifting when she notes his study of her scar on the side of her face. At his question, “Do you have a better reaction to finding a lost love, then?” she puts a question to it, brow lifting as she still holds onto his chin. His last, however, suddenly drops her hand away from his chin, and she straightens up. “Your sort wouldn’t see me as one,” she notes a bit dryly to that, watching where his gaze goes and the flush that becomes more prominent on his face. Meeting his gaze, “I’m not one.” Grabbing the washrag and stepping back to toss it into one of the counter cubbies on her side, “How old are you, anyway?” she asks, eyes flicking over him in open appraisal. If he’s not going to crack about Kaskan, then the barkeep will indeed put the squeeze on Jhorn himself.

Confusion. Suspicion. Embarrassment. Jhorn isn't sure what to feel and it all shows plain on his youthful face. He has a suspicion there was a misunderstanding there, but having so little experience with women he isn't quite sure what he said to cause it. He hasn't a reply to her question of love, so merely works his jaw and forces himself not to rub at the ghosted feel of her fingers.

"My sort??" he murmurs, flumoxed by that phrasing. Then, seconds later, "Of course you are!" She certainly isn't a man. An appreciative gleam rises unbidden and, to him at least, unsurprising. He expected no less of someone Kaskan had described as beautiful. And despite his Blooded upbringing he is still too young and too romantic to think of any female as anything less than a chivalrous 'lady'. So while he can't quite bring himself to speak of what Kaskan called his favorite feature, the boy also can't quite stop himself from glancing at her derriere either. For all of Kaskan's attempts to open the boy's eyes to the darker aspects of life he simply can't fathom it, instead chalking up his guardian's comments to enviable high adventure and worldy-wise suave.

Tall for his age, Jhorn has yet to fill out in form but the promise of a wiry, lean physique is there. Long of limb and confidently statured he presents a promising figure, as yet unspoiled by life's grimmer quirks. Pulling every finger-width of his spine straight he sets slender shoulders and answers firmly and with no little pride, "I'm nearly fifteen turns."

Jaya’s well aware the young holder’s flailing in his emotions before her, and she knows that keeping her presence close to him will only make him more so. She’s a girl that likes to cause reactions, after all, and from any man. “Your sort,” she repeats, shifting weight against the counter as she sets her dark gaze upon him. “Holdbred.” Pause. “I mean to say, I am no civilized lady,” she now chooses to correct herself with that slight smile. “I fight. I fuck. I drink like a man. I didn’t live wearing frilly dresses and blushing behind white woven gloves on delicate hands.” The barkeep is known to be crass, and as such she wasn’t about to censor her tongue for no Blooded holder. He was in her realm, after all. Turning fully towards him with that smile of mischief, “I’m the one Holder men want to have, but are afraid to leave alone in their quarters in the case I choose to leave them with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” she notes wryly with a wink. “I’m the gypsy, shuga.” If she notes his study of her ass, she’s not letting on yet, and his reveal of his age draws a low husky chuckle from the barkeep before saying, “Very young, Jhorn. Young enough not to understand the pain your guard is in.”

Jhorn can't get any redder. The only response left is spontaneous internal combustion. By the looks of the sheltered young man he nearly accomplishes exactly that. Jaya's blunt responses singe every bit of proper etiquette he has come to expect as well as send his teenage hormones into over-drive. Swallowing hard he can't seem to look away from the lock he has on her eyes, perhaps not trusting himself to do so. His posture is ram-rod straight and echoed in nether regions, his ability to move from the stool hindered even if he had wanted to do so. To his credit, he pulls himself together with the onset of stung pride; leaping on her last comment to rally some sort of defense.

"You don't fool me, Jaya. Kaskan told me you were tough but there's a softer side you hide." Lips compress as he finishes, assuming he's probably just hand-delivered his ass to the fire. If it weren't for the pre-conceived notions he had of the barkeep, romanticized as usual from Kaskan's sparse comments, he'd already be a puddle of goo on the floor for the barmaids to mop up. "That's why I thought you'd help me. I can't stand not doing anything, not knowing…"

His gaze finally drifts as his tone grows bitter with frustration. The not knowing seems to have been resolved, in part at least. Then his head snaps back to her again, his focus intense. "Who is it? Who's this lost love? Maybe if I talk to her… " Eagerness is taking hold fast as he plots the perfect mediation.

Jhorn gets redder, and Jaya gives him a look for his verbal response given by his guard. Eyes narrow slightly at him for his words on her having a softer side, especially his initial ones on not fooling him. Dark eyes flicking over him, “I think Kas well knows what my ‘soft’ sides are,” she drawls, not hiding the suggestion in her voice before letting off and adding briskly, “Perhaps he sees what I want him to see.” She turns from him then, eyes lighting on a watching Suli with a flick of brows in her amusement before her gaze settles back on Jhorn. “You truly think you can help them?” she asks now, skepticism apparent in her dark features. “What could you tell her? What could you tell him? And more importantly,” at least to her, “what shall I tell you?”

Jhorn inclines back slightly at her insinuation, swallowing hard. He is /not/ going to let his imagination fill in those blanks. At her questioning doubt he recovers somewhat, chin lifting and arms crossing over his puffed chest. "Yes I do!" he asserts with confidence. "I… I'll… I'll think of something good." Twisting his torso he leans one shoulder toward her, reasoning, "The more you tell me the more I'll have to work with." The bright-eyed look he extends the barkeep is loaded with boyish appeal, dark brows encouragingly raised.

Brows lifting ever so slightly at his reaction to her first, “Perhaps I should award such confidences, then,” Jaya decides, regarding that bright-eyed look with now faint amusement. Arms coming to a fold across her chest, “Her name’s Rio,” she finally gives the young holder, eyes intent upon him. “She’s a weyrling here – one of the new weyrwomen. She is his lost love, and they were both from Crom.” Shrugging slightly, “The rest, I’m not sure of,” she tells him with a single nod. “It seems Rio was to belong to another, while she was in love with your guard. This other she belonged to clearly had far more … stature, than Kas,” and she looks significantly at Jhorn, emphasizing on his own. “Of course in such matters, things never end up well. Turns later, you have Kas as a guard and Rio has gotten herself saddled with a queen dragon.”

Like a glowbasket fully opened, Jhorn lights up at Jaya's release of information. At last! This is exactly what he wanted. Rio's name is echoed on his lips, determination setting his pose. The more Jaya tells him, however, the more his expression hardens with the effort of remaining positive. Like a man who expected to catch a fish and found himself with a whale on the end of his string, Jhorn blinks with the barrage of daunting information. Weyrwoman? Shards! In trying to mesh this news with what he already knows, his mind automatically colors things in his guardian's favor. He is silent for a few moments when she finishes then he speaks, his voice grim, "So she led him on then. Letting him love her when she was promised to another. Grrrr….." His voice lowers into a rumble, the fingers of one hand drumming against the countertop. "No wonder he's so sour on women now."

“That is not how it happened,” Jaya is quick to counter in displeasure, immediately taking up for her confidant even though she doesn’t really know the solid story behind them. Shaking her head at Jhorn’s made conclusions, “Rio loved him - loves him, Jhorn. I know it. She is as broken up about this as he is! The cards … the cards fell wrong for them, is all.” She was certain that’s what it was, that neither party had swindled the other in this particular situation. Dark eyes studying the holder now, “Is that what he told you? That he was sour on women because of her?” Taking a longer pause now, “What are you going to do?” she just can’t help but to ask, her curiosity laid bare in her regard of him.

Dark brows narrow over Jhorn's unfocused gaze, thoughts streaming behind jet black irises. The flush has faded from his skin, leaving behind the more even tan tone of southern's blazing sun. Shoulder-length layers of straight ebony hair frame his youthful face, where hints of adulthood's stronger features are just beginning to form. Fingers pause at Jaya's comment, his regard switching to her. "You think so?" as to Rio's feelings. "Hmm…" His expression doesn't reveal whether her revelation changes his take on things but he's definitely thinking hard.

Absently shaking his head to her question he says, "No, he didn't tell me it was because of /her/ but considering how he feels I figured it must be." He's quiet a moment longer, lips pursing and jaw working. He raises one hand to grip the upper part of his opposite arm, picking at the material of his elegant shirt. Then he looks to Jaya and openly searches her face. Having expected the usual adult censure or condensation, he's won over by her honest curiosity. "It depends. I'm going to talk to her first. If she isn't jerking him around then… maybe I can fix it. But if she is…" He stops, his expression hardening.

Suddenly his eyes widen and he leans forward, both arms reaching out to catch hers if he can. His tone takes on an earnest warmth, eyes fixed on hers. "Jaya, would you come with me? Please? You know her, right? You can help. Pleeeeese?"

When Jhorn openly searches her face, Jaya doesn’t look away. She doesn’t speak, either, choosing to lapse into a very observant quiet as she lets the young holder have his say. If he speaks ill of Rio again, the scarred woman has a slew of words to spill in her defense, he can be sure. It’s only when he reveals what he’s going to do that she breaks her silence. “Jerking him around?” Eyes narrow at that one, the barkeep not looking pleased. “How about you talk to your guard about not running out on her when he doesn’t like what he hears!” she drops, this still being a bone she has yet to pick with him on. “Who’s doing the ‘jerking around’ here?” With a snort and a shake of her head, “Look, I-“ and stops with Jhorn suddenly grabbing her arms and causing her to break her train of thought. Looking at him with slight confusion at the change in behavior, “I, uh …” she starts at the request, beginning to shake her head before stopping. “Look, uh, I’ve talked to her, alright?” she tells him then, frowning. “I talked to her yesterday. After he’s ran out on her again, there was nothing even I could say in his defense, shuga. Looks to me like he’s screwed it up.” Leaning forward and fixing him with a leveled eye, “Looks to me like it’s not her that needs a talking to,” she adds then, giving a firm nod to that. Leaning away, “Haven’t been able to corner him since I talked to Rio. Guess he’s been avoiding everyone.” In other words, not just Jhorn.

Jhorn flinches and slowly sits up straight again, features clouded with confusion and dismay. "I'm sure he had a good reason," he asserts with propped-up confidence. "Fine. I'll talk to her myself. She must've said something…" Huffing, he jerks his chin to one side. Fingers curl into his palms as frustration flows again through his thoughts. "I don't get it. If she still loves him then why is he upset?" He should be relieved by her last comment knowing he hasn't been singled out but instead worry deepens, his hopes that Jaya was more involved dashed. But, then again, at least she did fill in a lot of blanks for him. Looking to Jaya sidelong he wrinkles his nose and asks in a lowered tone, "Do you think he still loves her or is he just angry?"

“I’d love to hear it,” Jaya notes on Kaskan having a good reason, giving the other a shrug of her shoulders. As to his question though, that gives her a bit of pause before she looks towards her barmaids and answers, “He can’t be first in her life anymore,” in a matter-of-fact tone. “She’s a weyrwoman now, Jhorn. Her dragon comes first,” and now she looks to him pointedly. “And it’s because he loves her, that he’s angry, shuga,” she answers the last with an incline of her head, showing patience in her words. “This is not easy. I have a feeling there’s miscommunications going on, and it didn’t help matters when he walked out on her, Jhorn.” This is said in utmost seriousness now, the barkeep regarding him steadily. “I don’t know if you can do anything about this, Jhorn. You might make things worse. If you really want to help?” and she pauses significantly, eyes going towards someone at the entrance and nodding before she returns to Jhorn. “Give him a good knock on the head and tell him to deal with his shit,” is her final advice, and she’s not cleaning it up with pretty flowers. “Take it from me, shuga. Keep on running and you’ll find that you haven’t gotten anywhere. Nothing’s solved until he faces her.”

Jhorn gives his head another shake, confusion plain when it comes to all this deep mushy stuff. "Well this is awful!" he forcefully concludes. "I can see why he avoids it." Her final advice leaves him bereft of a suitable response for several moments. He really is in over his head but his optimistic demeanor doesn't want to let go of hope just yet. "I suppose starting with him would be better," he reluctantly admits. "I thought since I couldn't find him that finding her would be easier but not if she's a weyrwoman! Shards, her dragon'll probably read my mind a stone's throw away and flame me where I stand!"

With a twitch of lips, “I don’t make the rules and feelings, shuga,” Jaya tells him, noting the confusion with faint amusement. “Being a holder yourself, you’ll see soon enough I’d wager.” She’s more certain it will, in fact. A man in dusty coal colors arrives at the counter then, offering Jaya a written up sheet of hide and she takes that moment to look it over before Jhorn speaks again. “He knows you, shuga,” she notes while not looking at him, eyes running over the sheet she reads briefly. “Wager it best to get through to him first. He might listen to you more than anyone.” She looks up at him then, sending him a brief smile before she takes the writing stylus offered her from the waiting man and scribbles down something quickly. As she hands both things back, “Leave them out in the hall,” is all she tells him, in which the man nods and shuffles off, and the barkeep turns back towards Jhorn. His last gets laughter from her, the woman shaking her head as she says, “Hardly, Jhorn. If dragons were doing as you say, there’d be a lot less people at this here Weyr.”

Jhorn barely gives the deliverer a glance, saving his scowls for the countertop and racks of bottles on the shelves behind it. He does wait quietly while she does her business and listens to her suggestions. Her reference to his own experience only earns a grunt of denial. He'll avoid love with a 10-span pole if this is the results.

The barkeep's laughter helps to restore some of his good humor, though he'll not dismiss the possibility as easily as she. He's heard the stories non-weyrfolk tell since he was a child, awe of the great beasts of Pern instilled bone deep. Unfortunately with the unknown comes an element of distrust as well. "I've been to Fort Weyr," he tells her proudly, adding an irrepressible smirk, "And there /are/ a lot less people here."

Jaya smirks at that grunt of denial. “Wait and see,” she reiterates simply to it, nodding a few times and letting that matter rest. Jhorn’s last earns blithe, “Compared to Fort, sure.” Eyes going towards the entrance again as she hears the faint sounds of crates being stacked, “Now if you’ll excuse me,” she says, sending him a faintly regretful demeanor as she moves around the counter now and appears on his side, “but I should get back to my business. Got crates out there that need moving, and I’m sure a well-rounded young holder like you have plenty to fill your day than to hang around an improper bar and its improper barkeeper.” That’s all said with that slightly crooked smirk, sauntering around him as she returns to her table where her lists are.

Jhorn hops off the stool immediately, at once the chivalrous young man again. "Of course!" he says with a nod and slight bend at the waist as she rounds the bar and approaches. Her self-described quip earns one of his charming boyish grins. He wouldn't have said so but he can't deny it either. "Thank you, Jaya. You're not quite the type of lady I'm used to being around but I think you're one just the same," he offers with unsubtle honesty. By way of compliments it isn't too bad considering the source. Still beaming proudly he saunters off, steps only quickening once he's in the hallway. He may be late for his next class but it was worth it!

The bow gets further amusement from Jaya but she keeps most of it in check. Yeah, it’s not everyday she gets one so proper to even speak to her like an equal, considering her background. His last comments on her being a lady gets a wry flick of fingers. “You flatter, Jhorn,” she drawls, sending him a light wink. “I think you’ve been too much in your guard’s presence!” She’s back at her table then, grabbing to closest lists before she adds, “A pleasure to finally meet you, Jhorn. Don’t be a stranger.” If he dares, that is. But then, the bar’s a less-daunting place during the day than it is at night.

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