No Questions

Participants:

Bowen.jpg Lorayit.jpg

Date: Dec. 9, 2010
Location: The Bar, EW
Synopsis: Bo's back in town and he delivers the packages he asked for. He also comes bearing bad news.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Lorayit


These nights, the bar is the perfect place for some comfort when you don’t actively want to seek some comfort. Lorayit is here instead of the gardens where he should be at this time of night, claiming one of the tables by himself with him facing the counter so that he could idly watch the Bitran barkeep at work without interfering. It’s a busy night, but the farmers aren’t present at the card tables and those expecting the gardener to either share his table or move off to a single stool will find themselves sorely disappointed. With a few emptied mug in front of him, the blonde man was working on his current one while his unfocused gaze was settling on some point towards the back of the bar. His mood was unusually murky – though lately his mood has been this way whenever he was in the Weyr – and it looks like he’s not expecting anyone to be joining him tonite. He was even short with Jaya when she passed over another drink as she passed by his table. The gardener seems to be into one thing only this night – his mugs, and staying in his own head.

It’s been about a day and a half since Bowen’s gotten back to Eastern. He did try to find Lorayit that first night, since he was sure it was important he get these packages to Lo, and he wanted to warn Lo about those “friends” Ermina mentioned. However, not finding him that first night in the gardens or the bar, Bowen finally gave into his road-weary fatigue and sought the comfort of his own bed and his new wife within it. The next day was full of getting caught up on work and weyr business, at least as it applies to the tanners, and helping to get his sister settled in a little more and keep an eye on her. So, he makes another attempt at finding Lo at the gardens, and when not there, he seeks him out at Jaya’s bar, finally finding the gardener and giving him a little wave in greeting from the door before he makes his way over to Lo’s table, leather satchel slung over the tanner’s shoulder. “Hey, Lo,” he says in simple greeting with a relaxed smile, as if he just saw Lo yesterday, not two whole months ago.

Bhedri Dicori breezes into the bar right then, only pausing to scan the crowd for her sister before she heads toward the counter. Lorayit had known about Beddie’s arrival from the first day, finding the traderwoman amusing in the fact that she was mostly Jaya’s opposite in every way. He was partly considering an idea of sending Vaputero the softer twin instead, but he dismissed it on the grounds that the crimelord would know she wasn’t Jaya right off on sight – even if they were identical. He was still pondering this, the gardener watching Beddie wave delicate fingers in the air at an obviously irritated barkeep when Bowen’s familiar voice has his head snapping towards his direction. His blue gaze taking the tanner and his leather satchel in with a raise of his half-filled mug, “So, you finally made it back,” he drawls out in greeting, his gaze raking over the man as if he could find out what he wanted to know from looks alone. Meeting his gaze abruptly, he nods sharply in his less-than easy state to sit before he lifts a finger for a circling Hayli to approach his table. “The same for my friend here,” he tells her, nodding briefly towards Bowen before he finally takes a sip of his drink and watches the blond barmaid head off towards the counter. Once they were fully alone at the table, “I trust things went smoothly?” he asks, welcoming the man into conversation with him even though there’s a slight detectable uneasiness in his frame.

Bowen, his back to the rest of the bar at the moment, doesn’t seem to notice the recently arrived twin of the barkeep yet. He remains standing for the moment, “Ayup,” he answers Lo’s first, whether or not it is a statement and not a question, after a brief pause, and then he gives Hayli a polite smile and a tip of his hat, “Ma’am,” in greeting. With Lorayit apparently buying him a drink, Bowen takes it as invitation to join him at his table and finally does so, lowering himself into one of the neighboring seats and setting the satchel on the floor by his boot. “Not really,” Bowen answers his next question, but he’s grinning somewhat goofily, “Got m’self hitched.” And anyone who just happened by might attribute the fact that things didn’t go ‘smoothly’ for that reason alone, though in reality, the idiot was more talking about the wedding itself and their stay with his mother who gives over to hysterics on a frequent enough basis as being what didn’t really go smoothly. He’s just a poor communicator, this one. His blue eyes then lift and cast their gaze toward the bar, seeking the barmaid out to see how far along she was coming on that drink, and that’s when his gaze finds the two Dicoris. Bowen does a double-take and frowns slightly, more from confusion than anything else. He blinks, but says nothing.

Once Bowen is seated, Lorayit takes up his drink again as his gaze now lingers thoughtfully on the big man. “Yeah I heard,” he speaks on the wedding with some blitheness, leaning back more comfortably in his seat. Eyes intent upon Bowen now, he puts out what is probably considered blunt: “What in fuck’s name were you thinking?” He couldn’t help it, the blond gardener studying the man almost incredulously for the sudden decision made between the couple from him agreeing to whisk the healer away from those like the beast manager. Hayli comes by then with Bowen’s drink, giving the tanner a little warm smile before she tosses a wink Lo’s way and sets a filled mug before him as well. Once she moves off, “Jaya has a twin,” he picks up on the reaction Bowen gives towards the bar, not needing to see for himself who he was looking at as he takes a long drink. “Beddie Dicori.” Blue eyes then fall on the scarless twin as she has settled at the bar and seems quite animated in talking with one of the dragonriders there sitting beside her. Jaya seems to be involved in the conversation as well, though a tight expression has settled on her face. Eyes back on Bowen, “She’s only here briefly,” he tells him, taking another long drink and seeming to pass this information off with such non-chalance as to suggest that this was all common knowledge and not the information of a stalker. “How was everything else there?”

It’s Lorayit’s incredulous look and question that has Bowen frowning next, his attention pulled away from the bar and back onto Lo, and he eventually says in that husky manner, “Reckon it don’t matter none now whut th’ fuck I wuz thinkin’, does it?” He nods to Hayli in gratitude as she gives him his drink, but it’s clear his good mood has been soured and seeds of doubt planted. The information about Jaya’s twin isn’t reacted to, and he waits until Hayli leaves before speaks. “Hard ta say,” he drawls after swallowing his draught, “D’livered whut ya asked m’ ta d’liver…” he nudges the leather bag by his boot closer, up against Lo’s own boot, before continuing quietly into his mug, “An’ she sent back two packages there, an’ a message.” He pauses just long enough to take another sip, then says just as quietly, “She said ta tell ya that some friends of yers up north came ta see ya there at Southern. She said they were ‘scary’ fellows, not happy not ta find ya there, I reckon, but she didn’t tell ‘em where ya were.” Another pause as he works to remember, “Solak, if I recollect proper, wuz one of their names, an’ he talked the most, she said, said ya owed ‘em sumpthin an’ they’d be back if they didn’t find ya.” He looks at Lorayit then, and says, “I suggested she might wanna come back with us if she wuz ‘fraid of them comin’ back fer her ov’r ya, but she wouldn’t. Said she had people an’ could take care of ‘it’ if they did come back, but was real concerned fer yerself, seemed like. Nice gal, dat Ermina.” He leans back then, draining a good half of the mug, now. Whenever Lorayit does get to check those packages, be it here or in the privacy of his own quarters, he will find them in similar condition as to Ermina found the first package. The contents have been untouched and any seals that may have been on them unbreached. The exteriors of the packages themselves might have the odd scuff mark or two, but nothing beyond what normal bumps and scrapes packages like that might receive from an overland journey of two and a half sevens. Bowen was good and didn’t pry, in other words.

Lorayit regards Bowen for a long moment in silence at his response to the initial question given, a brow lifting only slightly before it drops and his lips press briefly together. When he drains the rest in his mug and sets it heavily down, it’s only then that he responds to that. “Guess not,” he drawls that out blithely, wanting to argue the point and very much figure out what the man was thinking, but choosing not to at this moment. He lapses into silence once more, listening and only shifting when the leather bag touches his boot. A thoughtful frown touches his usually easy features, the gardener reaching for the filled mug just brought by Hayli while Bowen talks. He makes absolutely no reaction to the news of men looking for him, though the man looks to have turned into stone. One would think after awhile that Lo was not listening with the little amount of movement he makes. Once the tanner finishes speaking, then Lorayit bends to retrieve the bag and sets it in his lap. “Solak?” he echoes the name given soberly, trying to make sure he had heard correctly. After a pause, “And Ermina…she looked alright to you?” he asks then, it being longer than a while since he had last seen the raven-haired woman.

Bowen takes a little extra pause before he answers, “Solak,” as if trying to make sure he’s remembering it all correctly. The last question has Bowen turning his attention back onto Lorayit instead of his mug, “Ayup, though, I ain’t knowed her b’fore none, ‘course.” To be able to compare. “But she seemed fine. She kept wantin’ ta reassure us dat she would be fine if’n dem fellers came back.” Bo is clearly not as sure as Ermina was. “Very nice woman, yer Ermina,” he stops short of calling her pretty. Not because she wasn’t pretty but because he’s a married man now and something about commenting on the looks of another man’s woman doesn’t sit easy with the tanner. “Ya thinkin’ ya need ta take a ride dragonback ta fetch ‘er outta danger, ya let me know. I’ll have yer back, an’ hers.” He drains the last of his drink, which is just a wee bit more than he could manage without taking a breath and it shows when he coughs a little and wipes his mouth on his sleeve. Setting his empty mug down he adds, “An’ if’n ya think ya might have northern trouble comin’ ta dis ‘ere Weyr on ‘count of yer brother, Lo, I’d be much obliged fer a heads up of dat, too. Might be sumpthin’ could be worked out.” There’s a little more pause as the tanner adds meaningfully, “Might be we can do sumpthin’ fer yer brother.” Then he stands, intending to leave the satchel with Lo. The tanner can probably make another one for himself in his sleep.

Lorayit nods to that confirmation of name, seeming distracted until Bowen answers on Ermina. “She’ll be fine, I imagine,” he says on her now, seeming reassured that the woman was going to be okay. “Woman’s got some pretty influential people at her back. Solak’s not after her, anyway.” Yeah, he was after him. Once the tanner finishes his drink, “You should have another,” he suggests, a finger already lifting towards one of the barmaids for them to order another round. “Shouldn’t we celebrate your wedding bliss?” A half-filled glass lift, some of his uneasiness falling away to that slight smile to his own toast. “Congrats are in order, regardless of what I think, and I don’t even have a suitable wedding day gift for you other than getting you properly liquored up. However,” and he sets the glass down to lift one finger, bending to pull open the satchel to pull out one of the packages and deftly opens one. Along with some items bearing no connection, there’s marks within and he fishes them all out and sets them firmly on the table between them. “For you and your wife,” he offers, giving up the marks from the package for Bowen to have as he shoves the rest of the package back in the bag. “From me. Congrats, really.” Haylie returns by then, and the gardener merely nods to her for another round before addressing Bowen’s latter properly. That gets some of the unease to return, “You don’t want to mess with Solak and his men,” he tells him soberly, regarding the other steadily now. “Looks like I’ve fucked up on something that needs correcting. A…debt, of a sort,” he words it in a way that it’s not technically a lie. After a lingering pause for this next, “Only thing those thugs understand are fists. You willing to fight them?” It’s asked in slight seriousness, his regard for the other pretty high now that Bowen had indeed, followed orders. Even so, he’s willing to admit, “I have some help coming from Southern as well. Perhaps, I will introduce them to you.” Yeah, and these won’t be pulling a shitty job in failing to steal a runner, too, so Lo was more confident in allowing Daye and Calec to meet with the tanner once they arrive.

“Don’t reckon ya really care much ‘bout m’weddin’ bliss, Lo, so I’ll just thank ya kindly fer th’ first drink an’ be on m’way,” Bowen says, saying it a few beats after Lorayit is digging through the satchel though, as slow as Bo is to react. So the tanner apparently doesn’t have much in the way of a comment for Ermina and her safety, or Lo’s assumption that she will be fine. He frowns as Lo takes out the marks, however, and eyes them like they might bite him, and then he looks at Lo, “I’ll take ‘em, but not as a weddin’ gift. I’ll use ‘em ta get more materials fer dem holdless boots we talked about.” It’s not said in an angry or bitter tone, or in trying to be insulting or anything, more politely reluctant and preferring the marks go to a more worthier cause, like holdless people. He’s not hurting on cash, despite how unrefined he may look most of the time, though he’d probably be more inclined to take it as a wedding gift if he thought Lo genuinely supported his decision and was happy for him. But the talk of Solak and his men has Bowen going still and staring at Lo. He’s slow to respond, but when he does, he is firm, “If they need fightin’, then I am. I always look out fer m’friends, Lo, an’ if this Solak an’ his buddies come huntin’ ya here, ya got me, and a few others I know I can call on, too.” Like Max, possibly, though Bowen’s not going to put that name out there for sure. “Probably yer farmer buddies on top of it all. This Solak, he ain’t gonna see it comin’, an’ I reckon he’ll think twice b’fore he comes a harrassin’ Eastern folk again any time soon.” Then he nods, “Look forward ta meetin’ yer Southern friends,” and if he is surprised Lo called for help from Southern, he doesn’t show it, which could be he isn’t as fooled by Lo’s innocent manner as Lo might think.

Waving with a free hand towards the newly vacated chair, “Come now, sit! Sit,” Lorayit’s telling him, nodding towards the chair. “Have another drink. Hayli will be by with one shortly. Look,” and he leans forward, “admittedly I was shocked to hear what went down, but it’s you I’m concerned with, Bo. If she makes you happy enough to marry her, then who am I to say? And that’s a wedding gift,” he adds towards the marks given, gesturing with his chin towards them. “Use them how you see fit, friend.” He doesn’t seem surprised to hear Bowen’s response on his fighting the men coming, the gardener nodding a few times to that with a slight frown. “I would really appreciate that, Bo. Really. As to the farmers… “ There’s a slight pause to that, a slight hesitance before he adds, “I can count on a few of them at most, Bo. In the end they’ll do whatever they want.” Draining his glass then, Hayli comes by with the round of drinks and heads off before he speaks again. “I’m going to have to talk to Solak,” he announces this gravelly, the man not exactly looking forward to that. Yeah, he knows exactly why the men have been sent after him, and Lo’s delaying it wasn’t helping matters in his favor. With Besutol’s life hanging in the balance, the man had to suck it up and put his best charms on display. “Outside the Weyr. Perhaps the fields,” which is where one can usually find the gardener when he wasn’t frequenting the bar or his garden. Since Bowen agrees to meet with Daye and Calec, he reaches the new glass just deposited and raises it towards Bowen. “To new friends, and new paths forged,” he gives in toast before drinking. “Thank you, Bo, for going,” he notes then, nodding down towards his lap in indication of the packages. “I won’t forget this deed.”

Bowen hesitates, listening a good while before he does retake the vacated seat. He leaves the marks on the table for now, though, respectfully, not hurriedly snatching them up as a man might if he didn’t trust Lo not to renege on them. “She does make me happy, Lo, an’ when I proposed ta her, I meant it,” Bowen says, his hand wrapping around the fresh mug, “I admit, I figured she’d want sumpthin’ bigger an’ fancier as womenfolk often do, an’ so I was expectin’ it’d be longer b’fore th’ weddin’ day itself, but this is whut she wanted an’ I ain’t in a habit o’denyin’ my woman whut she wants if I can make it happen.” He brings the mug to his lips, but stalls on taking a sip before adding, “’Sides, dis way when we come back, I figured she’d have that ring on her finger an’ everyone’ll know she’s a claimed woman. Fewer runner-arses I gotta thump, now.” Now he takes that sip, a dry smirk turning his lips up faintly, and those lips are buried against the rim of the mug and going quiet again as Lo continues to speak. He nods a little to the farmers doing what they want, in the end, getting that and not really seeming too surprised or worried for that matter. Then another nod for where he will likely be meeting Solak and his goons, “Ya know where ta find me, if an’ when he comes.” With a little smile, but a genuine one, Bowen lifts his mug in the toast, “Hear, hear.” His gaze then drops to the satchel in Lo’s lap and the packages within and Bowen responds, looking at Lo in the eyes again, “Yer welcome. I reckon it wuz prolly th’ easiest part of th’ whole trip really.” Have you met Bo’s mother? Seriously, it’s a wonder the guy isn’t more messed than he is.

Once Bowen takes a seat, Lo’s frame starts to relax. Her himself does not reclaim those marks, having offered them so now they were no longer his. No one really knows the gardener’s financial situation, but with him giving the tanner a substantial amount on the table that would be considered eye-raising, it perhaps pose a lot more questions on the man himself. He’s silent as he hears Bo’s say, taking to lingering on the taste of his drink while doing so until the man finishes. Then, with a slow smile lingering on the tanned features of a man that’s been out in the sun a lot lately, “I do understand, big man,” he named him so with an incline of her blonde head. “Just wanted to know where your head was at. As for keeping the others away,” and there he pauses, leaning forward to set his glass down and chuckle a bit to himself. “Well. Ring or not, my friend, if a man’s wanting, a man will will ignore all else and reason to get it. It’s what a father used to tell me.” Leaning back then, “But really, if it makes you happy, then I do truly offer my congratulations. Excuse my temper these days,” he actually admits, well aware that he was acting out of sorts lately as he runs a hand against the back of his neck. “I’ve been off. Troubled. Perhaps, in better days, we can celebrate your wedding more properly.” He looks pleased nonetheless at hearing Bowen’s reply on being there for him when Solak comes after him, the gardener nodding to that before hesitating to tell him something else. “You, ah,” he begins to say, keeping his gambler’s mask in place, “might hear some things that seem confusing, or disturbing,” he seems to be warning, not sure what Solak would reveal when they meet. Meeting his gaze intently, “I need you to trust me, Bo,” he says this in all seriousness, running over in his mind how sensitive his position in the Weyr was. He knew Bowen was one of the ones that dealt with both Passan and Jinnet, so his reveal might have the opposite effect. Should he take the risk? He needed muscle, that much was the truth. How much could he reveal? “Just trust me, alright?” he says again, nodding firmly. “No questions asked.” And he raises his glass to that.

A slow, faint smirk accompanies Bowen’s response to Lorayit’s claim that there may be still some men who pursue his wife, ring or not, “I reckon so, but at least it’ll only be th’ stupid dimglows I hafta deal with, not th’ ones who genuinely didna know on ‘ccount there bein’ no ring.” Or so he reasons anyway. He’ll fight. He really doesn’t need much excuse to fight, anyway, but at least this way he won’t get in trouble with the Headwoman or the Weyrleaders quite as frequently with fewer heads to bust. But the smirk fades and he nods a little to the mention of being troubled, seeming to think it a reasonable explanation enough to forgive and forget. He takes another draught of his drink as he regards the gardener and his words, seeking Bowen to just blindly trust him, though if the tanner seems ready to do so or not, he says nothing for a long stretch of a moment. Instead, he takes yet another drink of his beverage, and then leans forward, his elbows on the table with his arms almost folded over one another, but hands both flat against the table. It’s a casual, non-threatening position, but one that enables Bo to speak more quietly than he does already and still be heard, this being a little closer to Lo as opposed to leaned back in his chair as he had been. “No, Lo,” he begins simply, “Yer gonna have m’fists if ya need ‘em, wheth’r I like th’ mess yer brother an’ yerself gotten yerselves inta or not, but I ain’t gonna promise not ta ask questions. Now, it’ll be upta yerself if’n ya wanna answ’r ‘em, but I ain’t gonna promise not ta ask. Yanno why? Cuz friends don’t shut each other out. Real friends look out fer ‘un ‘nuther an’ I can’t do that if I don’t know whut I should be lookin’ out fer. I like ya, Lo, an’ I care an’ I wanna help. If I didn’t give a rodent’s ass, I wouldna ask questions.” He takes another drink and adds, “I got yer back wheth’r ya answer ‘em or not, but I ain’t gonna promise not ta ask. Startin’ now with: just what th’ fuck did ya go an’ get yerself mixed up in? Whose on top of yer shitlist I gotta keep an eye out fer?” Despite the rather firm manner of his questioning, his volume remains soft, just carrying to Lo’s ears and no farther.

“If you ever want some companionship to knocking back some heads,” Lo lets him know with a meaningful look, the blonde man looking for a good fight to throw himself into these days, too. “You know where I’m at if I’m around.” Around the Weyr, that is. When Bowen leans forward to say his peace on not asking questions to his latter, the gardener is already close to finishing his drink. Setting it back down gently before leaning forward himself, “Didn’t expect that,” he actually admits aloud on the tanner’s words, a short chuckle to himself before adding then, “It isn’t easy being out in the lands, Bo,” he answers the first in some roundabout way, regarding the other steadily as he tries to figure out how best to answer those. Of course some, he wouldn’t be able to answer, but the tanner did have a point. The real question was, how much was Lorayit willing to reveal without getting his own ass on the line back in Bitra? “It was all over a fucking card game,” he notes, putting his hands together as his intoxicated mind tries to wrap around the logic of what he reveals. “Besutol’s a bit like you in wanting to answer questions with his fists – only, he did it with the wrong people this time. He didn’t want to give up the last of what we had in marks, so he started accusing the other of cheating, and that’s when it all went downhill from there.” Leaning back a little in the pause, “People we owe are renegade types,” he announces after the lingering pause, watching Bowen’s reaction. He leaves off which kind of renegades that he and his brother got caught up in, being that the lands was full of all sorts of trouble one could go looking for.

Smiling a bit, Bowen dips his head and pushes his hat back off his head with an index finger, “Thanks, Lo,” to the offer of busting heads with him. But the quiet tanner slips back into that quiet manner as Lo begins to speak, and even throughout the lengthy pauses, Bowen doesn’t interject, not really minding them anyway, and perfectly willing to let Lorayit take his time – after all, if he didn’t, that’d make Slow-Bo quite the hypocrite, wouldn’t it? He takes a couple easy draughts from his mug as Lo speaks and even allows another lingering pause a moment or two after his last, though there is no judgment in his blue eyes as he continues to regard, Lo. Finally he speaks, “Dat shadow cain’t be an easy ‘un ta live with,” offering soberly, and then turning his gaze to his own hands. It could be a thoughtful look, or it could be he is given a harsh reminder of how he should be careful what fights he does pick. “Whut’s our plan ta get on even ground with ‘em?” Our plan? In for a mark, in for a pound? Or so it would seem. “Reckon all dem boots ya want me ta make gots sumpthin’ ta do ‘bout it.” The tanner might not be as daft as he lets on. “Whut’re ya gonna be smugglin’? Mebbe need me I should double-up on th’ wherhide insoles?” His expression says nothing about taking this toe-dip into a life of crime casually; no, in fact, he’s all too sober, but the expression is one of determination, too, determination to getting his friend and his friend’s brother out of this mess. “Or are ya workin’ some other angle ta spring ‘im? Besutol, I mean.” Now he lapses quiet again, sipping the last of his drink just to make it last a little longer before he has to summon Hayli again, preferring he and Lo maintain their privacy a little longer.

“It’s not,” Lorayit agrees on shadows, the man lingering on his drink without drinking this time. As to there being a plan, the man clears his throat and leans forward again with both hands coming together before him. “I know Solak’s kind,” he notes, nodding a few times. “He and his men are hunters. They’re usually taking on those marked, but I’m not marked,” as far as he knows, anyway. “Anyway, they also take on the odd job here and there, and I suppose this must be one of them. They’re going to be looking to take me back up north,” he lets Bowen know, eyes hard on the man. “We can’t let that happen. I go up north, I’m finished.” He lets that sink in for a moment, leaning back in his chair with a significant look pinned on the tanner before he lets off and starts looking for Hayli. In the silence, when Bowen mentions the boots, and smuggling, he shoots a long narrowed-eye look his way. Perhaps such a question was unexpected from the big man, and the gardener perhaps takes longer than he should in answering him. “No smuggling involved,” he decides to say, though one can be sure to hear the unspoken ‘this time’ hanging in the air. “Those boots have a home on holdless feet I’m looking to take care of.” One can believe he has an ulterior motive to this act of kindness, too. “We need to give Solak and his friends a new, northern target,” he tells him then, his blue eyes lighting on Hayli with a nod once he finds her. “A target far more worthier than me. Those men, they only understand marks, see. Now I don’t have that kind of information,” he tells him, shaking his head, “but I know someone down in Landing who does.” Sounds like it’s another trip, the gardener looking pointedly towards the man for a few moments to let that sink in as well before tacking on, “I know you’re just married, so I wouldn’t ask this of you outright. I’m willing to go myself, but…” he lets a shrug fall as Hayli approaches, “…well, this man’s a bit of a weasel,” he finishes dryly. “He won’t give up the names on that list easily.” He pauses then once Hayli is there, the man gesturing for another round between him and his friend. Makes one wonder what kind of trouble could a mere gardener practically be in.

Bowen continues to listen, quietly, sipping his mug until the last few bits are gone, all while Lo continues on with his thoughts. Bowen then takes in Lo’s narrowed-eyed look, grunting quietly, his shoulders slightly moving with the effort, one corner of his mouth quirks up slightly, then raises on hand up at the wrist in mild show of defense and reassurance, “I ain’t as dumb as I look, Lo. Ya dun told me b’fore some of th’ trouble ya bruth’r wuz in. Then suddenly I get asked fer a large ord’r o boots. A feller’s bound ta think dat’s curious. So, aw-right, ain’t ‘bout smugglin’…” This time. The notion of giving Solak and his goons a different target has Bowen’s gaze moving to the surface of the table a moment, considering the plan. If he is skeptical it will work, it doesn’t show. More than likely that’s because the weyrtanner doesn’t have enough experience with the criminal underworld to know whether it will or not. Bowen then looks back at Lo and nods a little, “Landin’s only a day away by runnerback, if ridden hard. Ya need me ta go with ya as yer muscle or go by m’self?” He lapses quiet as Lo does then, glancing up to Hayli with a distracted hint of a smile as she gathers up their empty mugs and goes to get fresh ones. He returns his attention to Lo, “F’rgive me fer askin’, Lo, but I’m new at alla dis…ain’t dis j’st gonna delay th’ inevitable? Ya plannin’ on feedin’ northern targets tad is guy Solak fer th’ rest o yer days? Can we j’st…” he pauses as Hayli returns with their drinks, and when she leaves again, says, “I dunno, go aft’r th’ fella whuts got ya on his shitlist ta begin with?” Country-boy logic talking there. If there’s a canine hounding you, you can’t run forever. You turn and fight and if you get it, great, and if you don’t and it gets you, well, at least you’re not running anymore.

Do you smuggle?” Lorayit turns the topic of smuggling onto the tanner, the blonde fairly curious about his ethics. And then, pausing as he considers Bowen’s logic on the account of finding Solak a new target, “Finding him a more substantial one will buy me enough time until I can somehow…remove him off my case, for good,” he explains his method of motivations carefully, eyes intent upon the tanner. “However I can. All I need to give him is one.” Leaning a little away with his drink now as he thinks on going after the main one – which Lo thinks is probably Vaputero – “There’s some folks that are considered…difficult to go after,” he explains, frowning slightly. “The one that sent those, I’m sure, he’s going to take a bit more finesse,” and Lo just wasn’t ready to take on Vaputero just yet. He wasn’t even sure if he wanted to, though all he wants to do right now is break his brother free from the man’s clutches. Nodding, “We start small first,” he tells Bowen, his tone turning dead serious. “Pick off the weak ones and work our way up.” They’re still talking about his ‘troubles’, right? Sniffing, “Solak is small, in the scheme of things. Anyway, all of that is neither here nor there,” he dismisses such a topic, returning back to the one of Landing with a wave of his free hand. “I don’t want to take you away from your wife,” he says then after taking a long drink from his mug. “The trip would be a short one. I could use the muscle, yes.” He gives the tanner long regard, blue eyes boring into his as he adds, “If this…type of thing would make you uncomfortable,” he tacks on carefully with understanding in his voice as he alludes to the possibility of having to do things like break an arm or other limbs to get what he needs, “you wouldn’t disappoint me in declining, Bo. This sort of thing might get you in trouble with me.” Actually, it could very well cause a storm if things went south, the gardener knowing full well that the man holding such information has ties to a certain crimelord up north. That, and Lorayit was really considering the big man a friend – something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place with the kind of work he does.

Bowen’s shoulders move slightly with one of his brief, quiet grunts of mirth. “So far,” he drawls slowly, “my smugglin’ days seem ta be j’st with garden seeds.” He winks a little to punctuate his answer, and then sobers, “I ain’t above doin’ whut needs doin’ fer a buddy who needs help, especially if it also helps those who ain’t got much to their names, like holdless folks,” he brings his mug closer to his lips, but stalls on the sip to say, “but I j’st figure fer both our sakes we should try an’ make sure there ain’t no other, better way first.” He takes that sip now and lapses quiet a long moment, letting Lo speak some more, and nodding a little here and there. Finally, after a long enough pause in the conversation, “My wife’s father is a Mastercrafter.” Down at Landing, in fact. “Getting’ in trouble would be very bad, I reckon. There any way we can j’st swipe th’ list o’ names from dis fella without him knowin?” He’s not backing out, just considering all options first. He takes another sip. “Might be we could get a name some other way without dirtyin’ our hands,” and he’s thoughtfully considering his mug before taking another draught and looking at Lo.

Bowen’s initial answer on smuggling is taken in open amusement from the gardener, the blonde not helping the short laughter bubbling up before he takes a lingering drink. Eyes never leaving the tanner’s from that wink, “Nothing wrong with bringing in some good seeds from a good Hold,” Lorayit says to that, neither confirming nor denying whether or not they were a smuggled product. After drinking and setting down the glass to the more sober words, “Sometimes there is no better way of doing something,” he lets the other know, his own tone sober. “Perhaps I can look into it,” he seems to give as an option, or for reassurance, on him taking a look at the situation again. He’s even willing to consider a way to swipe the list from the man, so he says with an acknowledging nod, “Perhaps we can out a track out on him and see how often he leaves his place unattended?” But then, it might beg one to wonder what would a gardener be doing with a tracker. It’s said so non-chalantly, however, that one could also miss the significance of such a suggestion. Still, he doesn’t look to have a reaction to the thought of not getting their hands dirty – after all, his was far dirtier already, and probably with more to come. Therefore, he does feel compelled to add, “Those looking to extract a debt or more from me have their hands dirty by far. I don’t expect them to play fair, Bo.” He lets that sink in, then with a dismissive sort of shrug to the topic, “Well, one day at a time, right?” he tells the tanner, planting an easier smile on his face despite the fact that he was far from feeling like smiling. “We will deal with the weasel down in Landing soon enough. In fact,” he adds this matter-of-factly, his devious mind working overtime under intoxication, “I think I know a way to get what we want without causing a scene down there. Perhaps something a bit more…sophisticated?” He won’t let Bowen in on what he’s thinking though, perhaps it needing a bit more of sober thinking in the morning. For now though, he abrupt changes the subject. “So your wife’s father is a Mastercrafter?” he asks in a prompt for more information, letting his hand linger about the glass as he appears to be a little more easy with the tanner now.

Bowen lifts his drink a bit in little toast to Lo’s first words, but nods quietly in sober acknowledgment of the fact that there are times when you can’t get around busting a head or two. “If it’s j’st a trackin’ job,” says the hunter and survivalist, “an’ not anythin’ they’d get in trouble fer,” like busting heads, “I might know a few folks down at Landin’ who already make th’ place their home an’ can prolly do it better than anyone from here.” Or so Bo thinks. He doesn’t really know Lo’s associates or their skillsets well, of course. He nods again to the thought that those who want Lo aren’t going to be playing fair, and takes a sip of his drink. “S’phist’cated?” Bo asks with a very slight, wry grin, “Well, I reckon dat leaves me out.” Lo won’t explain and Bo won’t pry, this time, but he can still use self-deprecating humor. “Mm-hmm,” Bowen nods to the last question, his expression sobering a little, “Ayup, Jarvys is his name. Down at Landin’ too, actually. Smith, I think.” He polishes off the last of this drink, too. Then asks, “When’s the next time yerself an’ th’ fellers,” presumably he means the other farmers here, “Are gonna get t’geth’r fer more card-playin’?”

Something said gets Lorayit’s interest. Leaning forward suddenly, “You know some people that could track him down there?” he asks, his interest evident. With his group of associates slowly dwindling, he could use more that didn’t have any ties to him. Bo’s words on sophisticated has him laughing, and if he was close he would have clapped the man on the back. Instead he raises his glass and says, “Not quite, big man. The sophistication I’m talking about doesn’t have anything to do civilized.” Not if thugs like Solak have anything to do with it. He drains his glass then and sets it down, listening on his answer on Jarvys and nodding once as he puts that name to memory. “Might be a time when I can meet him one day,” he notes this idly, looking into his empty glass but this time not flagging down a barmaid for more. It’s clear he’s had more than enough this night. Bowen’s question on card-playing with the farmers gets a knowing chuckle as he leans forward enough to grab out enough marks from a pocket to cover both his and the tanner’s drinks. “Very soon,” he answers wryly, dropping the marks, one by one, on to the table. “It’s around that time Ganic needs to buy that wife of his another ‘keep me around’ gift, so they’ll be looking for me to be generous soon.” Once all the marks are set down and his drink finished, the gardener sweeps a glance over the table before meeting Bowen’s eyes and adding, “I’ll be in the Weyr for a good while, so come look for me in the garden, or here,” he offers, heaving himself slowly out of the chair. “Glad to see you back, big man.” He holds the bag where his packages are in up in indication of Bowen’s being back, his intoxicated smile grateful. “I won’t forget this, my friend.”

“Ayup,” Bowen says, “Got some hunters whut sell me pelts who go between here an’ Landin’ a lot, an’ a few oth’r fellas I j’st know who live there now. I reckon it’d d’pend on who ‘tis we need eyes on? Got a name or a d’scription I should pass ‘long?” He turns his mug around in his hands a bit, smiling a little with Lo’s comment, “Ya tryin’ ta say I ain’t civilized? I’m hurt, Lo.” When he’s clearly not. He does nod, however, seeming to understand Lo’s direction with things, “I reckon might be th’ thing ta do.” To his comment on Jarvys, Bo shakes his head a little, “Careful whutchya wish fer. I don’t think he thinks highly of us non-crafter folk. Bit stuffy if’n ya know whut I mean.” Still Bo doesn’t seem broken up about it. “Gen’rous fella though,” Bo adds, to be fair. “Gave Che a real nice pretty bauble fer a weddin’ gift. Prolly cost more marks than I make in a season.” And that thought makes Bo frown a moment, realizing he probably will never be able to treat his wife as richly as she deserves. But it’s gone quick enough with talk of another card game. “Aw-right. Count me in,” this said as he finally gathers up the marks Lo had set out for him at the beginning of their conversation. He grins then and nods, “I’ll see ya ‘round then. Come find me if ya need me, ya hear?” that with some emphasis over the notion that Solak may come around and Bowen ready and willing to have Lo’s back if that happens. “Glad ta be back, Lo,” and he stands up, too, smiling and giving a farewell nod to Lo while he politely tips his hat to Hayli and Jaya and her twin and even Suli if she is around.

Lo listens on the type of contacts that Bowen has, the only nodding at the end of it. Leaning a little forward then, he slips out a small scrap of hide and lays it on the table. He then bends with a writing stylus in hand and scribbles something on the hide before he straightens up and slides the hide over towards the tanner. Name: Enker – the hide says. “Small and scrawny,” he gives on description. “Good with his hands. Shouldn’t be too hard to find him since he’s been holed up there for the last few turns.” His smile turns crooked on that bit about not being civilized, only pausing to add, “Civilized isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.” Just as well this comment was made, for he gives Bowen a look on the words concerning Jarvys. “Don’t need that many to think highly of me,” he says to that, the corner of his mouth lifting with a slight sardonic twist. “Though types do tend to be generous though…when it suits them.” Leaning down briefly to pat the table, “Look forward to seeing you and the boys again,” he states on the card game, indicating the farmers and he steps away from the table. “I’ll keep you posted,” on everything else. Then, swaying just a little, the gardener nods his fond farewell to the tanner before he passes a look towards the counter and heads out of the bar.



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