Mysterious Bargains


Jaya.jpg Merendezen.jpg

Date: August 9, 2010
Location: The Bar, Eastern Weyr
Synopsis: Jaya meets Zen, a mystery man. The two come to an understanding through an exchange of their darkest secrets.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Jaya

A cool stormy night means the bar is fully occupied - at least up until the late hours. Now, a few tables are still taken up by late night weyrfolks and dragonriders looking for a nightcap, and there's one table currently engaged in a silent game of cards. Suli, the bar's only barmaid, is behind the counter at work with mugs in hand while the bar's owner - scar-faced and all - has set up shop on the parton-side of the counter. That being, she has claimed one of the stools with a filled glass of something deep red in hand while the other is busy scribbling down something on a sheet of hide. It seems to be a calm, quiet evening at the bar this night - which seems just as fine to Jaya.

The knot of the candidate has been abandoned long before he made his trek to the bar, sometime just after taking a bath and returning briefly to the barracks. The blonde hair, green eyed man enters the bar, his expression locked carefully as he scans about the bar. He doesn't look like someone who should not be in a bar, doesn't look like someone who is breaking the rules. Merendezen is too comfortable with breaking the rules to fear it, and therefore he's pushing past the doorway without hesitation after the quick scan. Green eyes rest briefly on Jaya, searching her before Suli is taken into account and then he settles himself on one of the stools nearby. A polite nod is given to the barmaid, a charming smile working onto his lips. "Any whiskey?" Drink of choice, perhaps, or he's simply not feeling creative.

Suli takes note of the late straggler into the bar first, the towering older woman sending a grave nod his way in her form of greeting. Once he's settled at the bar, the question gets an answer from the bar owner rather than the barmaid: "We've got it if you've the marks to pay for it," is given in a low, husky alto drawl from Jaya, the dark-haired woman scratching something off of the hide while saying so before she glances his way with one of her rare smirks. The writing stylus now slipping over the ear on the side of her scar, she straightens from her work to send a nod his way. "What's your poison, shuga? Any whiskey will do or are you looking for something in particular?" There's a small study here from her over him as she raises a hand for the barmaid to come over.

Merendezen tilts his head to consider Jaya, "'course. You don't walk into a bar with nothing and expect a drink." He chuckles, "a fast way to get killed if you walk into the wrong bar… But those are normally far from the Weyrs." He turns full attention to the woman, green eyes searching her before returning the smirk with that same charming grin flashed upon his arrival. "Any whiskey will do. I'm not particularly picky when it comes to my drinks. Take what I can get." There's only a shift to produce a few marks, enough for one glass and a little more extra for a tip. "You're the owner, then?" He considers her again, this time taking in all details of the woman in this consideration.

"You'd be surprised," is given dryly from the bar owner over Merendezen's initial words, a brow lifting an falling on that note. It's the addendum on wrong bars that does cause Jaya to shoot a wary glance his way - quick and guarded - before she glosses over it with an easy smile. "Well, you have nothing to worry about -here-, darlin'," she drawls, uncurling herself from the stool so that she could make her way around the counter towards the bottles. Dark eyes go to an occupied Suli for moments, then she's behind the counter, facing Merendezen and his charming smile. She's even quicker to snatch up those placed marks, too. "Perhaps something….Bitran?" A question, but since he doesn't have any in particular to brands, she's already pulling up the one she chose. A mug gets set infront of him, too, and then she's pouring. "I be the one," she confirms his inquiry, her dark eyes flicking up to meet his briefly. Once the mug gets passed over, she adds, "I'm Jaya, shuga. Yourself?" Just as he's taking in her details, she is doing the same and is not hiding it.

"I can't say I am. Just as many people attempt to run before paying." Zen muses lightly, noting that wary glance for his statement and simply rolling his shoulders and returning the smile. "I'm not worried, dear. I can handle myself." Though he may just look like a pretty boy with all his clothes on. He settles easily into the stool, relaxing with green eyes watching Jaya as she moves behind the bar and snags the marks. Her offer is only met with a slight nod, seeing as she makes a move for it anyway. "Nice place to open a bar. Bet that your business is picking up, men with their aches coming in for a drink after a long day of work." The mug is taken and he eyes it before taking a single drink before answering. "Zen." Green eyes return to their previous task of examining the woman. "Well met, as they say here."

Jaya raps her fingers on the countertop at his initial words, letting amusement color her tone as she answers that with, "Oh that I won't allow. Not a one's gotten away from me yet." Her study of him lingers in any case, seeming to size him up at his coment of handling himself before she turns and reaches to take up her own glass. "Didn't exactly have much choice," she admits on the bar, letting her eyes roam over it and looking all the more pleased by it despite the dryness of her words. "The weyrwoman here is quite….convincing. Still, I can't really complain. Profit's profit, right? Well met, Zen," dark eyes return to his own, along with an accompanying nod. A long sip is taken from her glass, then she sets it back down. "So," she states, her eyes falling on the bump visible on his nose now. "What's -your- story? I imagine you must be one of the strays running around here that the Weyr has picked up?" Gaze transfers to his green eyes. "Looking for second chances?"

Merendezen chuckles, nodding his head. "Good. Good for you in being able to catch them all. Make them pay up or work for you once you catch them?" Another drink is taken and he lifts a brow at her words, considering. "I see." To her lack of choice before he laughs, "Weyrwomen seem to be that way. Convincing… I suppose they have to be with the sorts of politics about the Weyrs and Holds. But you're certainly right, profit is profit and the more you make, the better off you are." The mug is settled down onto the bar top and green eyes search her face. "My story? It's boring. I came because I was bored… Though, a new start was certainly considered. Not that I wasn't well off where I was before… I was bored and the adventure seemed exciting enough."

"Usually prefer to give them a hardy kick in the ass before I make them pay up," Jaya returns far too blithely for her to be serious. Right? The glass gets taken up again, the regard sent his way one of mild interest at his words on his life. Her gaze falling over his face, "Boring," she echoes the word with a slight Bitran accent, brows furrowing just a bit in her disbelief. "You would come all this way because you were…bored." Brows lift, and the bar owner shifts against the counter into a lean. "I see." It's seems to be her turn in considering words, though she's not looking all that convinced. "Now I'm all curious. Just where -is- this boring place you came from? So, you know, I can avoid it in the future."

Laughter follows her words easily, green eyes considering her once more. "I see. Well, I'll be sure to warn anyone who even considers it." He tips his head slightly before moving to take his mug again, taking another drink before he repeats. "Bored." Or, there's more to his story. There's an innocent smile that replaces the charming grin before Zen shrugs. "There was nothing for me up there. High Reaches, though, if you must know. It is not entirely boring there upon first visit… As long as you make it in the summer and avoid the snow. Though the cold always leads to other means of warming up."

Raising her glass as if in toast to initial words, "You do that," Jaya says with an incline of her head and a wink. Her study of him turns speculative then with that innocent smile plastered on his face. She'll match this innocent smile, too. "So you're a mystery man," she drawls, letting her amusement play in her alto voice. "Other than telling about the Reaches. Never been there." And that last finally gets a low rumbling chuckle from the bar owner, the dark-haired woman shaking her head as she brings the warm heady liquid to her lips. Savoring the taste for a moment longer, "Is that how you got your taste for whiskey, shuga?" she asks, sending a looks his way. "Or do you mean the more natural means of warming up?" Whatever 'natural' could mean, but with the way Jaya's sending that mischievious look, it's probably has nothing to do with sitting infront of a warm fire with a mug of klah.

Merendezen lifts his glass in return, "I certainly will. Or I'll goad someone into doing it because I'd love to see you kick someone in the ass." There's a teasing little smile that replaces that innocent one before he chuckles into the mug, taking another drink. "I am, I'm afraid. And I'm certain you're a mystery in yourself, dear Jaya. I don't believe I would get any answers out of you, either. 'Reaches is fine 'nough." The mug goes down and he laughs, "I've had a taste for whiskey as long as I can remember, dear. I meant the more 'natural' way of warming up." Brows lift and he matches that mischievous look of hers. "Nothin' like the natural."

The laughter is a little more genuine this time. "I charge extra for good ass-kickings," Jaya seems to warn Merendezen with a straight face, though the initial laughter probably ruins it. "I already got one thinking I'm going to drink him under the table and have my way with him in a wrestling match." The mystery man before her and his words of truth do bring a new considering glance his way now, along with an appreciative nod. "Very good," she drawls, nodding a few times as if impressed. "A man that doesn't pry. Consider me intrigued." Glass in hand, the scarred-faced woman leans forward languidly with a drop in her husky voice. "One-time offer, darlin'," she says, the smirk suggestive in its deliverance. "You tell me something….interesting. I tell you something interesting. Whaddya say?" Her eyes drop to that mug going down as well, but they come up quick enough at his last on natural ways. Seeming pleased with his answer, or amused by his boldness, the bar owner merely raises her own glass in a toast to him, "I'll drink to that." She does just that.

Merendezen grins as the bar owner laughs, seemingly pleased by the sound. "Well, damn… Shouldn't have given away my plan. I'll slip you a few marks after." Amusement lingers in his tone before brows lift, "only a strange man would be pleased with that scenario. If he's drunk enough he won't remember you having your way with him and that'd be a damn shame." He tsks the other man, for shame. For shame. "Not my place to pry, darling." He muses, taking a long drink before he considers the woman once more, green eyes searching again. He considers her offer, leaning in to hear it and then chuckling. "Interesting… Hm. A risky deal here, I could tell you my darkest secret and you could tell me that you secretly love the feel of wildcat pelts in your bed. You'll have to match mine or I get my marks back in the worth of the drink. You can keep the tip." He's not afraid to be bold, it seems as he lifts his glass for the toast. "Aye." He agrees, following suite and taking the drink.

"Ah now, I'm a girl that likes to be paid upfront," Jaya muses, seeming at ease to let the banter linger. "And I agree. A damn shame, but…" she pauses, straightening to tip the glass upwards in draining it down her throat, "…I ain't exactly the type of woman for the faint of heart, either. Perhaps he's better off drunk." Brown eyes searching green searching brown in offers given then, the bar owner bending briefly to collect up the decanter from which she could refill her own glass. "Something tells me you like a little risk," she says on that, eyes sliding from the tipped decanter to Merendezen's briefly. "It doesn't have to be your darkest secret, although I -could- use the feel of those wildcat pelts in my bed." Pausing, letting the wine fill close to the rim, she sets the decanter away and returns to her lean with both hands craddling the glass before her. Her turn to consider his terms, eyes lift to the ceiling in a show of thinking about it as she bites the bottom of her lip. "Hmmm. If I'm to lose a whiskey worth of marks here, it better be good, dear Zen," she drawls, eyes falling on him again. "Deal." Brow lifts. "You first."

"Ah. I see. Well, I'll slip you the marks before I send the poor fool in." Because he is certainly a poor fool if Zen can talk him into trying to steal a drink without paying. "Ahh. Feisty woman, huh? Or, perhaps that should be wild… Perhaps he is. Or, maybe he will take a liking to it?" He chuckles softly and finishes off the drink. "Sadly, you're correct in that. Was raised to take any risk and haven't broken out of that habit." He considers, green eyes drifting away from the woman as if searching elsewhere for his interesting tidbit. "I'll see about a pelt…" Is offered more softly before he turns green eyes back to her, considering. He opens his mouth to say something, but the deal is made and he simply inclines his head. "Of course. Now is not the time to be a gentleman." He chuckles before falling into silence, considering once more before in a softer tone. "I've stolen many valuables from the Lord High Reaches."

Jaya bares teeth in a smile that looks far too predatory. "Looks like you're also the man of deals tonite, shuga," she seems in agreement, looking all for causing ruckus at another person's poor expense. There's low laughter at being feisty, the only answer the bar owner giving on that particular topic is a lopsided smile full of trouble. "You'd have my undying loyalty," she drawls, hearing the soft comment on the pelt as she lets her eyes roam over him. And then, the deal. Leaning towards him, the dark-haired woman regards Merendezen's eyes closely as he speaks. She doesn't respond immediately after the tidbit of his life is given, her intense gaze searching his face with no smile tracing the curves of her lips. Finally, after enough time has passed, brows lift and a low whistle emits from the bar owner. "You don't say," she drawls, lingering on each word as if tasting them. "My, my. They -do- take in anyone here, don't they?" If there's mockery here, it's very low, veiled by the fact that this news only serves to intrigue her more about this man. But then, it's her turn, and her gaze drops from his face. "Well. Guess I have to top that, don't I?" There's a pause, her dark eyes regarding the glass of wine she holds as if the answer is right there before she satisfies her end of the bargain in a equally softer tone: "I'm a marked woman, shuga. Someone's looking to kill me."

Merendezen simply resumes his charming grin for that predatory smile, "I do enjoy a good deal or two. Bargains… I'll send the poor fool in sometime." With no warning of what is to come. Her smiles are continually met with his own to match them, "undying loyalty. Tempting… I'll have to contact some of my partners." Business partners or some sort. Green eyes don't waver under her scrutiny, because it is certainly the truth. "Sad, but true." He laughs and considers her, "no one knows that little tidbit but you, sweetheart. And I certainly don't intend on telling them any time soon." Green eyes continue to search her face again, leaning forward to close the distance between them so that only he may hear the piece of information passed on from the woman. The information is considered and then, he gives a nod. "Happens… Did you piss him off? Break his heart?" Then, he assesses silently for a moment but then remains in silence.

"I'm a good ally to have on your side, Zen." It's given with all seriousness despite the early banter, but Jaya doesn't fully let off the lopsided smirk that lingers. "Loyalty and all." If she's serious, perhaps time will tell, but one probably would never know from the bar owner. At his telling her that she is the only recipient of such information, she inclines her head and responds, "It never leaves this counter. I expect the same." Eyes seeks his own then pointedly in the pause before continuing. "Hearts have nothing to do with this," she answers with a flick of her fingers in dismissal of it. "It would seem you and I, Zen, have much in common when it comes to our secrets. Only, the man I pissed off is nowhere near as civillized as a Lord Holder. As you say, happens." Practical in words to such a situation, Jaya is.

"I can full well imagine that, Jaya." Zen retorts, grin lingering before he nods. "I'll see what I can do." Green eyes flicker to the empty mug, a hand lifting to trace along the rim. "I won't tell a soul." His word is given and he moves to meet her eyes, giving a firm nod. "Never know. A man could be so smitten with a woman that he seeks her death so that no others may have her. But, I've heard crazier things." Her words are considered and again are met with a nod. "A shady man who is involved in those shadier things… Who has more people available at the snap of a finger than a Lord Holder would and who has men who were likely raised or trained, in some form, to protect him." His jaw works then, green eyes finding the counter though there is some assumption in there mixed with speculation and/or experience. "A dangerous man to steal from. A Lord Holder is child's play in comparison."

Getting Merendezen's assent to many things, all of this causes Jaya to finally lean back from the counter with a satisfied little smirk. "I could see that if I ever fucked him," she continues on, addressing the crazier things heard with just a bit of dryness. And there's her cockiness coming to the fore as well. Then, the talk of shadier men draws brows together, some of that earlier guardedness seeming to rise up before it stops midway. "You talk as if you would know of such a man," she drawls, not confirming nor denying the description given. Chin lifting, "I'm starting to think it a shame we didn't meet turns ago, shuga. If you're as good enough to lift from a Lord Holder." Bits and hints shown of her past is quietly given, and the bar owner is starting in on her glass of wine.

Merendezen nods, "probably better off that you didn't." He decides, considering the situation. Green eyes flicker back to her, smirking for the cockiness and noting that look with her brows furrowing. "I know of such a man." He repeats, lips pressing into that thin line again, eyes drifting away and slowly returning to their unreadable nature. "It is quite the shame… Though I admit I was far better as a child than a young man. A child could make his way through practically anything. A man cannot pass another man as quickly as he could pass a woman… No offense. Neglected Ladies tend to…" He waves his hand, dismissive of the subject before he considers her again.

Of his knowing a such a man, there's a heavy silence. Fingers tap idly on the counter while Jaya ponders her next words. "I hope, for our sakes, that your man isn't the same as mine," she says the careful words guardedly, eyes falling briefly on his empty mug. "He would have had a use for such….talents, such as your own." It's obvious she wants to ask, to name-drop, but the bar owner is remaining tight-lipped for now. To the last, that brings the slow smile back in place. It's a smile, once again, full of trouble. "No offense taken," she says easily with a little roll of her shoulders. "Though I will say…ever steal from me, darlin', and you'll be wishin' to be back in boring ol' High Reaches by the time I'm through with you." The bravado never abates, and despite the warning (or threat as it is), her amusement with his words still lingers.

Merendezen shakes his head, "likely not." He offers, the empty mug is slid closer to her as she looks to it. "I fought for such a man." He finally states, "to live. Before I made it on my own. If the man you knew was the same man as mine, I would likely not be here." A breath is taken and he slowly rolls his shoulders, relieving himself of the tense feeling. "Good. Would hate to offend you." He chuckles, shaking his head. "I would never steal from someone I intend on getting the loyalties from. And, I already respect you far too much to pilfer anything I'd find of value from you." An amused grin is given in her direction with a slight incline of his head for a promise.

"I see." Explanations given seems to have the tensions rolling away from Jaya's shoulders. "Then I know a different man, for because of him, I can never go back home." Shared enough, she takes up the empty and sets it to the back counter. When she turns back to him, the guards that sprung up before have gone away to something neutral in the scarred woman. Both hands laying flat on the countertop, she permits herself a little smile at talk of loyalties and offenses. "Good," says she, equally to the point. "I think we understand each other." Wryly, "Perhaps this is a start of a beautiful friendship," she adds, the smile widening. His respect pleases her, it shows, and the bar owner straightens to pass a look at the few remaining patrons at the tables behind him. "If ever you're looking to make those acquirements of yours….disappear, or need a safe place for them…" dark eyes slide back to meet his own then. "Come by after hours. We'll talk." That's all she's giving for now, however, for then she finds the barmaid looking their way and she makes a show of collecting up her wine glass once more.

"I see…" He considers her words but says nothing on the man, still assessing the situation. Zen smiles in return, "we understand one another. Perfectly. Our friendship shall be a bountiful and beneficial one, I am certain." A glance is cast around to those remaining before turning to her and listening to her offer with his grin growing devious more than charming. "Thank you. I'll be sure to stop by then…" The wink he gives her is knowing before a salute is tossed in her direction, lazy but still respectful before he makes is way out of the bar with a lazy stride.

"I would hope," Jaya returns as she steps away from the counter. The smile full of bravado and trouble only deepens at that devious grin and wink, and she inclines her head slowly at his agreement. "Please do. Perhaps I won't let you pay, next time." Perhaps. It hangs in the air. Then she's joined by a curious Suli and Merendezen is moving away from the counter. She merely lifts her chin sharply in a farewell before she's addressing her barmaid, her face wiped clean of their banters and secrets into something more cool and stoic.

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