Sowing Seeds

Participants:

Bowen.jpg Cheusia.jpg Ermina (NPC'd by Jaya)

Date: Nov. 15, 2010
Location: Southern Hold: Kitchens, Runner Pastures
Synopsis: As promised, Bowen and Che delivers Lorayit's package and instructions for seeds to a holder woman named Ermina. Then Ermina effectively puts her foot in her mouth on wedding plans, and after she leaves Bo and Che finally get down to the 'business' of a wedding. Later on, the woman opens the delivered package.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Jaya


Once the meals are settled for the first part of the day, the kitchens in the Hold are slowly winding down in preparation for the coming evening meal. Normally Ermina would be in the thick of the kitchen work by now, only choosing to take her breaks to the courtyard during times when there’s enough help for her to slip away. Today must be one of those days, but then, one of the kitchen workers may have caught a couple of the hold brats running in to tell the raven-haired, slim woman a few words before she announces that she was cutting her daytime short. She would have slipped out of the kitchens only long enough to go to her room, returning and seeming to be in anticipation for something (or someone) while she idly continued to help the workers with cleaning the counters down. Tan skin cover her sharp but youthful features along with her blue eyes and pink rose-colored lips as she ties her long hair back into a loose, single braid before setting washcloth to her part of the counter. Sweat bead her brow in this hot part of the day in the kitchens, but perhaps the woman was far too used to the heat back here since she seems to be paying it no mind.

Truth was, Bowen was eager to get away from his parents. Or more specifically, his henpecking shrew of mother. And he certainly was leaving the option to Cheusia to join him in the escape should she want to. Even the heat of the kitchens is preferable, in Bo's mind, to the constant nagging of his mother. The package is gingerly held in one thick hand, completely and entirely intact as it was when he left Eastern Weyr. If any wear and tear is shown at all, it would only be the natural wear and tear of a wrapped package that might rub up against something in luggage or travel bags over the course of a little over a two-week trek across country. Bowen left the thing alone, no tampering, and was even careful to keep it dry and as unbothered by other items in his luggage as possible just so there would be no mistaking it. Stepping into the area, he'd put himself out of the way first and foremost, and then look around for someone meeting the woman's description, as it was given to him by one of the hold brats.

Escaping Bowen's mother or listen to her nag? Not really a tough decision to make for the Healer. Nope, as soon as the option was given she hopped up and joined Bowen. So, there she is, walking slightly behind him and making much like a curious child: slow, mostly for the fact that's she's far too curious about her surroundings.

There isn’t many strangers entering the kitchens of Southern Hold, and so should one enter, most would take notice. Ermina is finishing up her station when one of the female kitchen workers nudge her hard in the shoulder to get her attention. The holdwoman shoots an irritated look her way until she realizes that the older woman’s pointing towards the entrance where Bowen (and Cheusia from the side) could be seen. “Got visitors,” the older lady announces verbally then before returning to her work, likely figuring out that they were the ones that Ermina was cutting her day short for. With the washrag slapping over one shoulder, the raven-haired woman winds her way through the workers towards the newcomers, her large blue eyes seeming to take them in curiously. Eyes go to Cheusia first before Bowen, then Ermina darts a glance about them before nodding upwards sharply. “Follow me,” is all she gives to them, her eyes boring into them before putting action to words and starts to lead them away from the kitchens and towards the outside.

As they walked, Bowen would have been sure to point out buildings or people that he knew, either presently or knew the history of as in the case of the buildings, and answer any questions Che might have had about Southern. But once he was in those kitchens and looking for Ermina, he would have gone quiet, perhaps just as curious and taking it all in as Che. When the raven-haired woman approaches them, and Bowen realizes that she fits the description he had been given, he tips his hat and his head bobs a little in polite greeting, only to nod again as Ermina indicates to follow her and take them elsewhere. Bowen maintains that stoic and indifferent expression, falling into step behind the kitchen worker as she leads them outside. He doesn't speak, doesn't ask her name to make sure she is the one he needs, not yet at least. Simply does as bidden with a glance to Cheusia. Perhaps interestingly, Bowen doesn't possessively reach for Cheusia's hand to yank her along. It could be an indication that he feels comfortable and unthreatened here, or something else entirely.

Cheusia doesn't look directly to Ermina as she approaches, still adding details to her memory about Southern and the people Bowen knows. So when the raven-haired woman finally speaks, grey eyes drift briefly to her and then to Bowen with a questioning lift of her brow. But, she says nothing as Bowen grabs her hand and moves to follow along without protest.

In silence, Ermina walks out of the Hold proper and into the courtyard without bothering to see if they were either following or keeping pace with her. Her steps were brisk and sure-footed, as if she knew exactly where she was going and have been going to this destination for turns. She reaches the stables and turns a sharp left towards the gate leading out towards the runner pastures where a few of the runnerbeasts could be seen out grazing along with their handlers, and she briefly turns to gesture them along once she swings the gate open for them. Should they go through, she’ll take up her brisk pace again and heads toward the opposite end of the pastures, waving fondly to the stablehands that should notice them and tossing them a few offhanded greetings as she goes by. Once she reaches the end of the pasture at the gate where benches are laid out as if for observers, she settles onto one and looks over in anticipation for them to follow suit in silence.

Having been born and raised here, at least until the Tanner Hall, and being the son of a tanner and surrounded by tanners and beast crafters most of his life, Bowen likely recognizes some of the stablehands even from the distance, and so he gives them a polite wave, as well as they pass. Despite the rather suspicious means to meeting Ermina, Bowen seems quite at ease. He has his knife on him, but it is currently peace bound, and he doesn't look threatened nor does he look threatening, well, other than his sheer stocky build might do it naturally. As Ermina settles onto the bench, however, Bowen simply gestures to Cheusia to take the other side if she chooses, seeing it the gentlemanly thing to do. The tanner instead leans against the fence next to the bench, adopting a rather lounging pose with his elbows somewhat hooked over the top rung, one hand holding the rectangle package, "I reckon yer Ermina, ma'am? Nice ta make yer acquaintance," he offers politely, "Lo's said some mighty nice things 'boutchya."

Cheusia is again watching where they go, but less obviously as she does mostly have her head facing forward though grey eyes explore and occasionally checking over Ermina. The seat that Bowen offers her is taken and she crosses her legs easily while turning attention to the other woman and looking quietly between the pair before she seemingly loses interest and allows her gaze to wander elsewhere. Being that she really doesn't have a place in the conversation at the moment.

“Just Ermina, no ‘ma’am,” the raven-haired woman is quick to put in, leaning back more comfortably against the gate as her blue eyes regard Cheusia first, then Bowen and the package he holds. Her voice is soft and light, a clear contrast to the work-roughened hands and the weathered skin. She smiles a bit at the mention of the gardener, giving the tanner a little shrug that is borderline helpless. “Lo says some mighty nice things about every skirt he comes in contact with,” she remarks on that with just a smidge of dryness that perhaps not too easy to detect as she runs her hands over her skirt and kitchen apron. “But I appreciate the sentiment all the same. Whom am I talking to?” Blue eyes run from Bowen to Cheusia and back, then she nods towards the package he holds before tacking on, “That for me?”

Bowen had only just been waiting to confirm that she was, in fact, Ermina, and so it is a moment after she asks that he hands the package over to her with another look at Cheusia, and he is leaning back against the fence once more, "I'm Bowen, weyrtanner fer Eastern, but wuz born 'n raised here. Kayne is m'pa," he explains unnecessarily, just in case Ermina ever met the Journeyman tanner crafter herself. He nods to Cheusia then, "Journeywoman Cheusia of the Healercraft is ta yer side there. Reckon she puts up with me on 'ccount I ain't got nuthin' nice ta say 'bout any skirt but hers." The stoic man doesn't smile with his lips, but there is dry humor of his own in his blue eyes as he looks at the two women on the bench. He does, however, wink affectionately to the Healer. And then he is back to business, "We were a'comin' 'ere ta pay m'family a visit a spell, so Lo asked me ta pass dat package 'long ta ya, an' he said he wuz a'needin' some seeds from ya fer me ta bring back ta Eastern with me." It's all just a favor to a friend, see? Or so that's how Bowen is making it seem.

Cheusia allows her gaze to drift back, more towards when Bowen is given the introductions so that she can smile at the woman in response rather than seeming completely disconnected from everything. "Well met." Being that Bowen has introduced, she doesn't repeat it. A teasing smile is given in response to Bowen's teasing, "nah. More than that." But, she doesn't do flirting in front of many others. Then, she closes her mouth and allows the conversation to continue.

Gingerly taking up the package, “You’re Zeime and Kayne’s boy?” Ermina asks, her blue eyes seeking Bowen’s own in her being taken aback at finding a fellow Southern at Eastern whose people she knew. “How charming! So you both are only passing through then?” and she passes a look to Cheusia then, including her in this question as she lays the package down in her lap. To Cheusia then, “A pleasure to meet one of the healer craft,” she says softly, nodding to her in a mark of being friendly. “Wanted to go healer myself, but circumstances…” she breaks off chuckling just a bit with a shrug before Bowen’s crack at skirts and Cheusia’s response to him show amusement on her tanned face. Laughing to herself at that, “Do you know Lo well, then?” she asks them both, regarding the tanner in particular since he was the one with the package. It seemed obvious to her that Bowen nor Cheusia was not on Lo’s (nor Vaputero’s) pay list, so she was finding it difficult to hide her curiosity of them from her face. Them coming likely being a message from the gardener? At Bowen’s last, however, when the seeds are mentioned, the raven-haired woman frowns a bit at him in slight confusion before blinking. “That’s all he wants?” is all she asks there, searching his face without giving much away on her own.

To Cheusia's declaration that there is more to it than that, Bowen does finally smile, a little. It is after one of his longer pauses that he speaks again, nodding a little to Ermina, "Ayup. Their eldest, Bowen," despite that he'd already given her his name. "More 'r less," that to the 'passing through' question, "Prolly be here a few days b'fore we gotta get back ta th' weyr." He leans a little more against the fence, crossing his boots at his ankles against the ground as if he is holding the fence up and not the other way around. "Dunno 'bout 'well'," this on how well he knows Lo, "but we share a bottle 'r two a'times, an' a card game with th' rest of th' farmers. They all come with Lo from Southern, too? They seem ta know him 'lot longer than m'self." It's a casually put question. To her last question, he turns an uncertain look onto Ermina, and it's clear he is scouring his memory to make sure he didn't forget anything else. "I think…he uh, said ta give ya that," he nods to the package, "an' make sure tar emmer th' seeds. Said they were 'mportant an' thought ya might not think ta ask if he needed 'em. That's all I recall, ma'am," slipping back into the polite address more out of habit than anything else. He looks to Cheusia again, a frown tugging at his lips. Maybe he should have asked her to write everything down while they were still at Eastern and when it was fresh in his memory. "Why? Expectin' him ta ask fer sumpthin' else? Mebbe if ya tell me it might jog sumpthin' in this terrible memory o'mine."

Cheusia nods to the question, smiling briefly before she nods. "A pleasure, never too late to help out in the infirmary, always needing hands and assistants." Her lips curl into a rather simple smile before she shakes her head to her knowing of Lo. Being that she doesn't know the name, either. She leans back, folding her hands upon her lap. Bowen's frown, however, goes unnoticed as she doesn't entirely remember anything else being mentioned.

“Other than the kitchens, I try to be available to those posted here at the Hold on my free times,” Ermina tells Cheusia, seeming to warm up to the woman. “You can imagine what little time I have. I usually have to take it by force, like now,” which is why she was there at the pastures with them. “Still, they don’t mind as long as I don’t vanish during the high peak times. They’ll likely not miss me now.” Pause. “Your parents are always nice to me,” she sends this to Bowen then, smoothing a hand over the package on her lap absently. “Heard your name a time or two, as well. Did you see Harson and Paerin already?” His response on Lorayit earns a non-committal nod, clearly putting this information away in her memory. “Dunno many of the farmers that left Southern,” she distances herself away from the group, affecting a slight shrug of indifference to the question. “Lo would know of the few. He used to be one of them. Why isn’t he farming in Eastern?” she asks then the seemingly innocent question in return. As to the matter of the seeds, Ermina’s looking from Bowen to Cheusia and back as she regards them both. Her eyes finally moving off to land on one of the grazing runners, “Did he say what kind of seeds he wanted?” she asks then, though there’s a faint glimmer of amusement now at Bowen’s relaying Lo’s words on her. “He thinks I’m absent-minded and I’m not,” she says in explanation, shaking her head. “I have forgotten things in the past, though, but it’s because I get so busy. How…is he doing, anyway?” she tentatively asks.

"Ain't surprisin'," Bowen says after a pause, "always seemed like j'st as soon as one meal wuz gettin' cleaned up aft'r, anuth'r one wuz in th' pot." His tone sympathetic to the hard work required in the kitchens, even if his expression doesn't change much. He nods a little, belatedly, after the statement of his parents being kind to her and the question about his siblings, so he could be acknowledging the first or answering the second. His attention remains politely on Ermina though, "Ah, th' way they wuz actin' 'round each oth'r at cards, it seemed as tho they all knew one 'nuther fer a good spell." Then he shrugs a little, "Dunno. Seems like he prefers farmin', but…" another shrug. Bowen either really doesn't know, or maybe Lo told him and the tanner just forgot. The question on the kind of seeds has Bo lifting a hand and rubbing his chin a bit, frowning somewhat for not thinking to ask, "Don't recall him sayin' any partic'lar seeds, j'st that ya would have 'em, th' pack o'seeds he needs fer th' garden. So, I figured ya would know which ones he was talkin' 'bout. M'sorry." There comes another long pause, either because Bo is truly wracking his brains to try and remember if Lo specified any kind of seeds or he is thinking about how to answer her last. "I reckon a woman can't get on long in th' kitchens if'n she's absent-minded, so seems ta me yer not," which is Bo's awkward way of trying to diffuse any potential insult given. "Lo's doin' well 'nough, I reckon. He seems ta miss ya. Talks 'bout ya when we get t'gether and drink." This is given earnestly. Other than some random encounter with some woman in her stables, Lo's not really talked about any other woman of a romantic interest other than Ermina. As far as Bo is concerned, Ermina is Lo's woman.

Cheusia nods, smiling. "I can imagine, being put between two places at once. But, it's always thrilling… All the work. Used to get torn between a lot of places as an Apprentice, but I always enjoyed it. Good that you do make free time, though." She quiets to listen curiously, her attention drifting down to her lap as she idly begins to examine the fabric. "Again, understandable… Forgetting little things in the rush of all the other things." She tilts her head slightly, giving Bowen a curious look and then smiling and considering the other woman.

“I hear the Weyr is worse with all those mouths to feed,” Ermina quips on the hard work of the kitchens here in the Hold musingly. “Know a few women that spent temporary time out at Southern Weyr. Didn’t complain of the Hold ever again after that.” Bowen’s observation on the farmers with Lo earns a shrug of her own, though a lopsided grin touches her lips as she says, “Lo has that effect on a person. You can just know him in one sevenday and he’ll make it seem as though you’ve known him your whole life,” is given fondly. “That’s how he is. You’re drawn to him. They likely feel the same way.” His answer on why Lorayit’s not farming earns a nod and nothing more, turning to the matter of seeds in silence. After a moment passes, “I see. Well, how long did you say you would be here? A few more days?” She straightens up, nodding to a decision made. “I’ll have the seeds for you wrapped up by the time you’re ready to head back,” she tells him, regarding him anew in a genial tone of voice. Gesturing with the package now, “I thank you for this,” she adds more warmly. To the last, on Lo’s welfare, Ermina studies Bowen’s eyes then lips as he answers on the gardener before a gentle smile touches her lips. “He misses me?” she echoes that softly, a blush threatening to creep to her cheeks at that. “How charming of him. I miss him, too.” She feels touched by hearing this anyway, it seems, and she turns toward Cheusia before asking, “Are you two…?” with looks between the two of them. “Will you make Master soon?” she asks specifically of Cheusia then, her interest peaked on this subject. “You like being at the Weyr? I’ve never been, but I’ve always been curious with all the things Lo would tell me.” Then, leaning forward a little, “Is it as…loose,” she drops her voice on this word, looking discretely at them both, “as he says it is?” Cuz holdwoman she is, but she’s heard those stories and rumors, too.

Bowen nods a bit in agreement with Cheusia's comments and then meets her curious look with a flat one in return. If he is getting some kind of telepathic message from the Healer through that look, the poor tanner is missing the mailbox by a mile if his expression is any indication. After a little longer pause, Bowen states, "I reckon that's so, though Eastern ain't at its full force o'riders yet." Not some big secret there, well, at least it's probably not among the other weyrs, he reasons. "Mebbe we'll talk ya inta comin' back with us, an' joinin' Eastern, eh?" He smiles a rueful smile faintly at that, which for Bo is more like a rueful grin. "I'm sure Lo would love it," Well, he's not really sure, but it would be the natural thing to do, wouldn't it? With one hand he pushes his hat a little bit more off his forehead and nods, "A few more days, I reckon," with another glance for Cheusia, perhaps to see if she indicates in her expression that she'd rather leave sooner, considering how much of a nag his mother is being. "Aw-right," he says to having the seeds ready, nodding a little, "No need ta thank me. Lo's been a good friend ta me, an' since we were comin' anyhow I figured it t'wern't nuthin'." He merely quirks a little smile at her reaction to hearing Lo misses her, and then clears his throat and straightens abruptly from the fence, "We ain't married." Pause. "Yet." Is his explanation, but he does give Cheusia a warm, possessive look. If he hasn't officially proposed yet, it'd be clear to anyone in the near vicinity that he certainly intends to, which if Ermina was around Southern at all when all that mess about Darla, his previous wife who is now dead, went down, it'd probably be worth passing along to the Hold gossips that Zeime and Kayne's eldest is looking to get hitched again soon. No doubt, more than a few will be wondering if Che's life has an expiration date, too, considering the rumors around his wife's death. He lapses quiet again to let Che answer anything about her profession and promotions, and about whether she liked it at the weyr, but since the latter question is put to them both, the usually quiet tanner simply shrugs in answer. Yeah, big help he is.

Cheusia shakes her head at the question, "we're not." Though Bowen does repeat the same with the yet added and she simply smiles wider. "Oh, no. Probably not for awhile yet… I was only promoted four Turns ago, and I've still got a lot of studying to do…" She trails off, rather thoughtful before nodding. "I like the Weyrs, and I was glad I got posted over at Eastern." Pause, "well… It's… Looser than the Holds, certainly. But, I got used to it rather quickly the short time I was a Candidate."

At the thought of her moving to Eastern, all easiness drains from Ermina’s face. She looks uncomfortable for a moment, stealing a look at the couple before she quickly shakes her head at the thought of going there. The blush leaving her face, “The Weyr isn’t no place for a holdbred woman like myself, sir,” she states that formally – odd considering that in the beginning, she had seemed to insist the man didn’t call her ‘ma’am’. “I belong here. What business would I have in Eastern?” As if one needed business to move to Eastern? “And Lo…well,” she bites her bottom lip, “…I don’t think he would want me there. Rightfully so if it’s all they say it is.” Blue eyes widen then when Bowen admits to wanting to marry Cheusia, her shocked gaze turning on the healer then with a tentative smile. “Really?” she asks, looking from one to the other and trying to drill up all the rumors she has heard on the tanner when he used to live there. “Charming! Will the wedding be here? How you found a dress yet? I happen to know a dashing lady who can sew a lady Holder into such a dress as to be envied! Shacheri’s her name. Just give me the word and I’ll send word to her to seek you out!” Apparently, Ermina loves weddings, for already she looks ready to gush. Looking to Cheusia, “Congrats, really!” she sends her way, looking close to hugging the healer in her excitement. Answering Che’s answer on her making Master, “Really? I suppose it would take a long time. Never met one that’s gone Master yet. Must be something you’re seeking, yes?” When Che mentions she used to be a candidate, her interest in such notions rises. It’s with slight awe that she says, “You sound like you’ve gotten so much experience there, miss. If life for me went a different way, perhaps I would have gone to the Weyrs, too, you know?” Life clearly didn’t go her way, but Ermina wasn’t one to dwell on the negative. Glancing at Bowen then and clearly becoming fond of the both of them, “I will have what you need to take back to Lo when you’re ready to go,” she says genially. “Look for me in the kitchens, and…I might have something else I’ll need delivered back there, too, if you don’t mind?”

Bowen smiles a little more as Cheusia smiles wider for the 'yet' added. Oh yeah, there's something going on with these two. But the smile fades a little as Cheusia finishes, for whatever reason. His attention returns to Ermina and his expression remains neutral and stoic for the most part, though there is an apology expressed in his blue eyes for whatever discomfort he may have given her that goes unverbalized. Her excitement over the impending wedding when he hasn't even officially asked Cheusia has the tanner somewhat flustered and at a lack of words. So, he only gets out, "Ahh. Eh." And then he is silent once more, looking pitifully at Che for help on this one. He pushes off from the fence to bend and get a rock from the soil, turning it over in his fingers, fidgeting, and shifting and flustered as the conversation continues. Dresses? Um. He finally nods a little to her last, "Ayup. I can stop in the afternoon b'fore we head back then, Ermina." His attention is still on the rock in his hand, however, more than a little taken aback at the turn in the conversation.

Cheusia blinks at Ermina, "oh… What dress?" Someone is a little oblivious when it comes to weddings, it seems. "Thank you. I'm looking forward to it." Though, the excitement for it really does have the poor Healer confused. "It takes awhile, but, yes.. I'm seeking to become a Master. Eventually…" She trails off there, clearly not too much help for the tanner. "Oh. Yes. I've managed to experience a lot of things, but I've really been set on being a Healer."

With Ermina being the only one here excited about a wedding that no one’s proposed for yet, she’s looking a little confused from one flustered face to the other. “A wedding dress, of course!” she says to Cheusia, meeting her gaze with a wide one of her own. “Surely you’ve both talked about this at least…no?” Clearly they haven’t, and by the look on Bowen’s face, she’s getting it. “Ah,” she adds in her embarrassment, blinking a few times before fitting an apologetic look onto her face. “Apologies,” she gives then, her excitement getting the best of her as she appears sober now. “I didn’t mean to…well, um, I enjoy putting boots in my mouth when I’m not helping out the Hold healers,” she seems to joke, to recover the awkward moment, before she look up in time to catch one of the stablehands waving to get her attention and then points behind him towards the stable proper where she could see a kitchen worker there waving for her as well. Getting to her feet then with the package, “It would be a pleasure to talk with you both again before you leave here,” she says with a smile for them both, signaling her end of the meeting. “Don’t leave without seeing me about the seeds and that other thing, okay? I should get back to the kitchens, I’m afraid.”

"Nah," Bowen says to her apology, clearing his throat, smiling a little even in his discomfort, "We j'st got ta th' part where we agree ta do it, an' ain't talked much 'bout th' plannin' an' I ain't talked ta her pa yet an' all," not that he really needs to, or thought much about doing so. It just sort of came out. "Much obliged fer yer advice on who ta talk to fer all that," he waves a hand vaguely to represent 'wedding stuff'. Then he nods again, tipping his hat to her as it appears she needs to take her leave, "Pleasure ta meetchya, Ermina." Pause, "Ayup, ya can count on us comin' by fer them seeds an' whatever else ya need us ta take back with us. Take care, now," another wave is given to the stablehand who waved to Ermina, just him being friendly. But he gives Cheusia an awkward look and then the bench, apparently thinking maybe after Ermina leaves, he might join Che on the bench and they can talk about this planning stuff.

Cheusia blinks and laughs softly, "I don't really know too much about weddings.. I figured it'd just… Be something quiet and… Sweet." Pause, "or something." Really, she had her nose in medical texts rather than dreaming of some wedding. Not to mention her step-father always said she would be worth nothing in a marriage. Silence returns to the Healer as she quietly considers, nodding once in farewell as her thoughts are far away now.

“Quiet and sweet is good,” Ermina seems to agree with that, nodding a few times even though she still appears embarrassed. Clutching the package to her middle, “I’ve been to a couple of small weddings up north, and so I’m always thinking about that kind of stuff.” Holdbred, she is. To Bowen, “But, anyway. Was a pleasure to meet you both, really. Lo must really see something in you, Bowen, to trust you with this,” and she briefly raises the package from her middle. Stepping away from the bench now, “Let’s do dinner in the hall sometime?” she offers, starting to head off with a little wave to them both since it looks like the worker is waiting. “See you around, Bowen, Cheusia.” Then the raven-haired woman turns in a flutter of skirts and apron and is heading off briskly out of the runner pasture with the kitchen worker in tow.

… after Ermina departs …

Nodding in return to Ermina’s invitation to have dinner in the hall and it was nice meeting her in kind, Bowen simply watches the kitchen help head off. There’s a long moment of quiet from him before he moves, tossing the rock outside the fence and moving finally to sit on the bench, only the man straddles it with his legs, facing Cheusia, and quietly murmuring, “I fucked it all up, ain’t I?” He tries to reach for her, wanting to pull her in against his chest if she allows.

Cheusia blinks and looks to him as he pulls her in close, her head shakes as she leans in to wrap her arms around him. "Nah. I love you, you can't mess anything up." She sighs softly and closes her eyes. "I don't want a dress or anything… Was just thinking about how I never gave getting married a thought. Ever."

Bowen presses his lips against her hair as she leans in and wraps her arms around him, feeling better already. He lets out a breath he hadn’t realized he had been holding. “I love you, too,” he rumbles softly, thinking how much he feels he can mess so much up, and how she feels he can’t mess anything up, and how much that makes him love her all the more. He lapses quiet again, thoughtfully and considering things for a long moment. Finally he swallows hard and says, “If ya don’t wanna … we ain’t gotta, I reckon.” There are other ways for a man to make his ‘mark’ on a woman. That won’t stop all men from trying to take Che away from him, he reasons, but it will at least cut down on the quantity, weeding out those men who wouldn’t dare mess with another man’s woman, let alone when that other man is someone of Bo’s build. Preoccupied with such thoughts, he returns to his quiet musing, sliding his thick arms around her and simply holding her there on the bench as his gaze settles on some distant point on the horizon past and over her head.

Cheusia smiles at the return of the sentiment, relaxing visibly. Though she's silent for a moment before she looks up to him. "I want to." She promises, "I want to… I just.. I'm happy you want to marry me when I to rid of the notions a long time ago because I wasn't good in a marriage. Because I wasn't worth anything in a marriage.

As she looks up at him, Bo takes his gaze from the horizon to look down into her eyes, and for a moment the only movement is a couple of blinks, and then very quietly and very slowly, he reaches up with both hands to cup her face, if permitted, and leans in, murmuring, “Who toldja dat? Yer muther’s new feller? I’ll go beat th’ piss outta ‘im.” There’s a pause and he’ll stroke her cheeks with his thumbs if he can, then says, “Che, there ain’t no one more worth marryin’ on this here whole shardin’ planet than yerself, an’ part of why I wanna do so is ta keep some other feller from mistakin’ly thinkin’ ya ain’t already taken,” which is probably a stupid thing to say, but Bowen did promise to be honest, and it’s not the only reason, just part of it. “Yer beautiful an’ smart an’ ya don’t nag,” much, “an’ ya got th’ best laugh an’ sense o humor I ev’r seen in a woman, an’ ya don’t mind dat I smell or can’t talk purdy.” The last is said in a whisper as he leans in to kiss her softly, deeply, tenderly, and for a very long moment unless she pulls away from him.

Cheusia blinks as he cups her cheeks, making a little face. "Uh-huh.. Before I went to the Hall…" Grey eyes close and she sighs softly, content. "Thank you… For wanting to keep me to yourself, too." That makes her smile more. Grey eyes open briefly to watch him and then her lips find his, tender and soft as her arms move to slip around his neck and to hold him close.

The last thing Bowen would have expected a woman to want is to be possessed so much, and so it is with a little breath of relief when she says what she says, that Bowen relaxes a little more into the kiss, opening his mouth against her lips and sliding his hands back into her hair, “Fer’ev’r, Che,” he murmurs against her lips, “I wanna keep ya all t’m’self, fer’ev’r. Marry me. Please.” He asks, kissing her a little more desperately.

Cheusia tightens her arms just a little, more to pull herself closer to the man. Her lips tease gently against his and she nods slightly. "Forever. I'll marry you… As soon as you want."

Instead of quelling his kisses, Che’s words only seem to turn Bowen’s kisses more urgent. Breathless between devouring of her, he asks, “Ya meant it when ya said quiet and sweet? Simple? Ya don’t want no big fancy weddin’? I’ll get ya whutev’r ya want. Wherever ya want. However ya want. J’st name it.” He takes her bottom lip in gently between his teeth and lets go, gasping, “I love you so much,” and carefully moving his hands from her hair to her back and gripping her more tightly.

Scandal in the pastures. Well, if anyone is really watching the pair. As always, she is quite happy to submit into the kisses and return in equal. "Mm. Yeah… Simple. Nothing big and fancy. Just… Whoever needs to be there. WE can do it here, before we leave…" She trails off as her bottom lip is taken between his teeth, shivering. "I love you. So very much." And with that, she'll press her lips more firmly into his.

Let him and Che set the gossips tongues wagging all the more as far as Bowen is concerned. Plus, the more folks see them like this, the less likely he has to worry about some other hunter poaching. He rumbles approvingly in his chest, leaning in for more tastes of her lips, losing himself quickly to the passion of this make-out session in one of the pastures (Mmm. Manure. Such a turn-on) – you know he is taken by this woman, hook, line and sinker. “Whutev’r ya want,” he murmurs distractedly again against her lips, absently sealing himself to a fate of marriage by, essentially, elopement before they even return to Eastern. Right now, he’s not complaining though, and more than likely later, he won’t be either. As long as he has Che in his arms like this, nothing else matters.

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Later on in the day….

Once she leaves Bowen and Cheusia at the pastures, Ermina takes the package to her room quickly. She examines the outside of it first for tampering like she was taught, and having found none of the tall-tale signs she pulls a knife from underneath her pillow and starts to rip it open. She spreads the contents on the bed: a few marks, a smooth black stone and a simple bracelet with pale yellow stones on them.

To the simple outsider, such content would seem to have little to no relation with each other. It would seem odd for such things to be in a wrapped package together at all - considering the lengths the carrier took to get it to its destination. To Ermina, however, each thing represented a message to her that likely only she would be able to pick up on, thanks to a clever Lorayit.

For the most part, the bracelet was the easiest to translate. Ermina picks it up and turns it over in her work-ridden hands, examining the stones set in the thin, leathery chain before a pert smile barely touches her lips. It was a gift to her from Lo, but the pale yellow stones intact with no flaw marks meant that things were going well with the Dicori target. He knew that the pale yellow color was something of a favorite for Jaya - being that she wears a necklace of the same hue along with the backpack he's seen with her whenever she was out in the fields. The kitchen woman was pleased that things there were going well, considering - she knew all about the predicament Lorayit was under with his brother hanging in the balance back in Bitra. Fond of the former Southern farmer, she wishes she could help out in any way there but her hands were effectively tied. She was the sister of brothers that worked for the rival crimelord up Igen's way, after all, so going up against Vaputero would likely get them all killed. She adored Lorayit, and likely will for as long as she lived, but she didn't think she could make such a risky move for the sake of love.

Ermina takes her knife and starts to pry the yellow stones loose from the bracelet. They may fetch a good profit by a man she knows that likes to pass through the Hold often looking for trinkets. She sets the stones aside then and reaches out to next pick up the black stone. At this one, she frowns, knowing that it meant that Lo had ran into trouble at the Weyr after all and needed back-up. The objects came with no note attached, so her concern for his safety was rising a pitch at finding the object here. Running a hand over the smooth stone surface, she mentally runs through a list of the those left in the Hold to send his way. Jinnet and Passan had left with Lorayit and hadn't come back. Officially, all that left under Vaputero's thumb was Daye and her brother, Calec. Those two have been antsy to get out of the Hold these days, so perhaps sending them over to the Weyr would be a welcome to both parties. Just as well with her. The raven-haired woman didn't particularly care for the cold woman and would be more than happy to send her off.

She looks toward the marks that were also in the package, knowing full well they were part of her payment for the task and extra to help get Daye and Calec ready for the trip via runner for Eastern Weyr. Ermina was reaching for the marks when a rap of fingers at her door startles her into straightening up just as the door opens and a brown-haired woman's head peeks through.

"Ermina?" She calls, eyes lighting on the kitchen maid first before she looks over the contents spread out on her bed. Since it looked of no import to her, "You're needed back in the kitchens, but before that Madela was wondering if you would come by the nursery and help there a little?"

"Give me a moment, Raide," Ermina tries to dismiss her by calling out, her hands working fast in collecting up the package's contents. All of it gets stuffed into her secure pockets, fastening them up so that the children wouldn't go digging on her person like they have done once. Then the Southern woman was up off the bed and crossing the tiny room to follow Raide out to resume her duties for the day. In her head she was already making plans to seek out both Calec and Daye tonite after the kitchens close, and then catch them up on the events of the day on her encounter with Bowen and Cheusia. At most, she'll ask what needs to be done about them, but it will highly likely be to let them pass since the two didn't pose them and their causes any threat for now.



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