To catch a thief

Participants:

Jaya.jpg Max.jpg

Date: 2010.07.22
Location: Beast Caverns
Synopsis: Jaya announces her arrival at the Weyr by snooping around when she thinks the beast manager is sleeping. She adds to the damage already done on his face.
Rating: Some language.
Logger: Max


It's nighttime, the runners snorting quietly in their stalls as those that work there finished for the night earlier. It must have been the perfect place to get lost in, perhaps, for here was a tall, dark-haired young woman - with a heavy-looking backpack over one shoulder and her hair messily done up into one knot. She walks slowly down the stalls, seeming to search for something or someone, and seems oblivious to any beyond her quiet surroundings.

Not everyone has knocked off the night but given that the one who hasn’t isn’t exactly in plain view, Jaya can be forgiven for having thought so. In the last stall, at the end of a row, is the beast manager. Boots up on desk, hands laced together over his stomach and hat tipped forward so as to cover most of his face, one might imagine he’s asleep.

Jaya comes into view of the beast manager, her eyes suddenly spotting him far too late. She wouldn't be able to slip back without being noticed, unless she was quiet enough…She pauses then, staring at him for a few moments as if gauging whether he was truly asleep or not. Seeming to be satisfied that he was, the dark woman turns from him and starts to move off back the way she came. Of course, to one that can notice the signs, it looks very much like she's casing the stables. The 'why' would probably be anyone's guess.

It’s pretty amazing just how much one can see from under the brim of a hat without being seen to do so. As such, Max remains deadstill while under Jaya’s inspection, the rise and fall of his chest any indication that the man is even alive. Once she’s gone from the doorway, boots drop quietly to the floor and he tips his hat back up again. He doesn’t go much further than leaning a shoulder up against the doorframe and keeping silent watch on the intruder as she moves about, curious to see what she has in mind.

Jaya continues she perusal of foreign territory, her steps a lot more bold now that she seems to think, essentially, she's in the clear. She walks with purpose towards the tack room halfway down the aisles, dropping the backpack once it starts to slip down her shoulder. Letting it hit the ground, the soft tap-tapping of her boots could probably be heard as she lets herself into the tack room. If rummaging can be heard over the shuffling of the runners, then there's definitely some rummaging within going on.

Dark brows creep upward when Jaya chooses the course that she does. Only once he’s sure she’s in the tack room and not coming out in a hurry, does the beast manager move. Keeping to the straw covered areas in order to muffle the sounds of his boots, he bends and takes up the backpack, and rather than go through it, sets it over his own shoulder. Another step and he’s framing the doorway, “You dropped something.” The words coming low with an edge that speaks to the woman having but one very short chance to explain herself.

Perhaps it was the step to the doorway before the words that alerted the barmaid. With her back to him as she looks in a box, her body visibly stiffens as the peace and quiet of the area is interrupted. Perhaps she detected the edge in his voice too. Straightening from the shock too smoothly, "Ah, you're awake," Jaya says it like it was a statement turning slowly to meet him. Eyes fall then on -her- backpack that he has, her gaze narrowing a bit at it before she seeks out his vaguely familiar face. After a moment of a tense silence that followed, she then says rather haughtily, "You can toss that over here, now." It's not a request, even, and there's sure isn't any apologies in her tone for snooping in his place.

At least she didn’t scream and send the entire place into a riot of hooves and startled runners. Max lets the comment about his wakeful state pass on by, simply setting a dead eyed stare onto the woman before him. If he recognizes her from before, he’s not letting on. Fingers lift and then close once again over the strap of the backpack on his shoulder, “I think not.” That to turning it back over to her. Taking a step into the room the beast manager makes as if to herd Jaya into a corner, “Someone sniffing about my stables at night, can’t be up to any good,” statement and another step closer, “So you’d better start talking fast or,” dark eyes lift and touch on a loop of rope hanging on a nearby peg, “you’ll find yourself trussed up like a fresh kill, faster than you can blink.”

With Max coming close, Jaya's not making a single move. Her jaw tightening at his words, and her eyes dropping to her backpack again briefly, "You wouldn't." Was that a challenge heard? She glances far too calmly at that indicated rope, allowing a cold smirk to settled lightly on her face. "I wasn't stealing," she decides to add then, lightly and far too easy. "I was…" hands spread wide to emcompass the whole cavern, "…sightseeing. You know. Fresh new girl seeing the Weyr for the first time and all." She's not talking fast either, each word seeming to weigh heavily - as if she was choosing her words on purpose.

As a brow lifts to meet that challenge a smile curves his mouth upward but doesn’t reach the beast manager’s eyes, leaving it a dangerous looking thing that silently states that he most definitely, would. “Sightseeing,” Max latches onto that word in particular, rolling it about his mouth as if tasting it. “Really.” Flatly spoken. He’s not buying that. “Mmhmm,” another step or two closer until he’s all but looming over her, “because that’s what barmaids from some dive in Telgar do, head straight for the stables to do a little sightseeing.” Ooooh yes, he remembers who she is and where he’s seen her before.

Now that Max is all up in her personal space, Jaya has to lift her head slightly and boldly to meet his gaze. Her jaw squared at the -nerve- of someone questioning her reasons, "Don't judge me," Jaya levels at him coolly for his jibe on sightseeing. "You have your methods. I have mine." It's only then that she takes a deliberate step back, backing into the counter that had the box she was just perusing. Quickly, she's flicking glances to the side and behind him at the door, seeming to gauge what it would take to get by him. Her shoulders tense just a bit as she casually places a hand upon her hip, knocking her boot against the counter as she shifts away from him and creates just an inch more of space. "Oh yeah." His recognition of her sparks something in her, dark eyes narrowing now on his own as a pale version of recognition touches her face. "Oh yeah. I remember you. You're that -rude- one." She doesn't elaborate, seeming to expect him to know what she means.

With Jaya backing up, the beast manager stays where he is for the time being, eyes taking in the set of her jaw, the hand to hip and…that counter she’s got at her back. The box he ignores for it contains little else but spare bridle bits and D-rings, shiny though they may be. Max allows silence to spread out, fixing his rather attractive intruder with a dark unreadable look. Eventually, the hand at his shoulder moves and the backpack gets set down just behind him. She’ll almost literally have to go through him if she wants it. That done, he closes that tiny bit of distance she’d created for herself and lunging forward makes a grab for the former barmaid. If he gets it right, she’ll suddenly found herself set upon the counter with him planting a hand on either side of her. “Very rude!” he confirms as if indicating ill intention of the worst kind about to unfold.

Perhaps Jaya should have seen something like this coming, but then, perhaps not. She seems more interested in getting out of a potentially dangerous situation than anything, because next thing /she/ knows, she's on the counter. The /counter/. With Max right up in her face and personal space again. So, naturally - or at least it seems for her - Jaya 's hand involunatrily balls up into a fist and goes sailing to connect with his nose. Her anger flares up quickly - too quickly, maybe, for if that hit connects, then the taciturn barmaid is jumping down from the counter and knocking him aside with her hips. He's lucky she hasn't verbally exploded. Yet.

Jaya’s fist finds its mark and lands square in the middle of his face. “Fuck!” Max snaps out on impact, a hand immediately lifting to cup over his mashed nose. Just great! First a split lip, and now a broken nose. Anyone want to take a shot at one of his eyes too? The boys back at the Reaches would howl with laughter for their drinking buddy being beaten up by women. Thumb and forefinger pinching nostrils together to try and stem the eruption of blood, his free hand snaps out, trying to grab the woman around the waist to prevent her from leaving. Growling out as he does, “You crazy bitch! I just wanted you in a place where you couldn’t wriggle and disappear before I was able to…” head tipping back slightly and sniffing deeply to try ease the flow of blood, “find out what the fuck you were doing snooping about in my stables!”

Trying to knock Max out of the way, and hearing his expletive from the punch, Jaya was inches from reaching to grab her backpack to leave when he grabs her by the waist. She's caught, her hands failing to grab the backpack. Still, once he has her, she's trying to wrench herself free. "You think after all the drunkards that put their hands on me, that I would let that slide??" she finally verbally snaps, swinging around to try and pin a hard look at his face. She eyes the bloody nose with open triumph, and, well…gloating. "I was sightseeing! What the fuck else?" It's her story, and she's sticking to it. Then, rather imperiously, "Now unhand me, stableman!"

Look at the face, lady. The face! It’s all broken up, save for those two almost black-as-coal eyes glaring down at the struggling woman. “Quit it!” giving Jaya a shake. But it’s no use and the blood won’t stop anyway. Letting go of his nose, Max tries to turn her so that her back is against his chest (where hopefully she can’t do anymore damage) and clamp both arms around the former barmaid. “Sightseeing my ass! You slippery fingered, little wench!” Deciding that thievery must have been her reason for being down there. And no, he’s not going to let go. At least not until she’s calmed down. “Will you at least tell me what you’re doing here,” expanding should she misunderstand, “as in here, on the southern continent, at the Weyr?” Could he have been anymore specific?

Well, Max succeeds in getting Jaya right where he wants her, the shake effectively causing both of her hands to lift in mockery of a surrender if the expression on her face is /any/ indication otherwise. "Keep callin' me names, shuga, and I'm going to have to start making this personal," she states back at him with such a cold calm. Pausing, her shoulders stiffening against the proximity of him, Max's question gets no answer other than a colder, "I live here." So simple.

Hands lifting in surrender appears to be enough reason for Max to consider letting Jaya go. Either that or he’s just not up to being the cause of yet another woman’s worst nightmare. Both hands lift as his arms unwrap from the dark haired woman and he backs away a pace or two and, kicks the door closed. Nope, she ain’t going nowhere just yet. “Live here?” sniffing again and wiping the back of his hand across his nose (not pretty). Lifting his shirt to dab at his nose, suspicion colors his tone, “Since when exactly?”

With the door shutting and the way blocked, Jaya was effectively trapped. She tries to shoulder him once he releases her, backing up against the counter with a her gaze going every which way. At the further questioning, "Since this morning," she answers just a few degrees colder, enunciating each word as her dark eyes drop towards the reveal of skin when he lifts his shirt. She's even hesitating to add further now, eyes flicking to the backpack still within Max's reach and the closed door beyond. She seems to have ignored the fact that the young man was bleeding profusely now from a blow delivered by her. Forging on, however with a roll of eyes, "I got offered to open a bar here, okay?" she adds bluntly, a touch of guardedness to her tone. She gives up escaping for the moment in favor of making him uncomfortable by staring at his bloody nose.

The edge of the shirt he lifted to try and staunch the flow of blood from his nose, now soaked through, Max’s eyes roam about the tack room in search of something else to use. Finding nothing other than oily rags used for polishing saddles, he takes the next best route and takes his shirt off completely, balls it up and holds that to his broken beak. Which effectively covers most of his face, leaving just a pair of dark eyes to wander over the barmaid before him. Catching her attention falling to the backpack, the beast manager shifts and hooks the toe of a boot around one of the straps to keep possession of it. Coming muffled from behind his shirt, “From barmaid to tavern owner,” fingers of his free hand snap together, “Just like that. Impressive darlin’, reeeal impressive.” Sounding more sardonic than impressed. Nudging her backpack with his boot, “You wouldn’t happen to have any numbweed in there would you? Gonna need to set this back again before it swells too much and its gonna hurt like a bitch.” Leaning toward pragmatism for the time being.

"As if -you- know -me-, 'darlin'," Jaya brazenly mocks him, her eyes staying on him as he takes off his shirt. She's a bold enough sort to study him at this moment when most in this situation would have looked away. "I'll tell you what, though. -I'm- impressed." She seems almost reluctant to look away from Max to look around the tack room. Her gaze returning to his eyes now, "Didn't see you as the type to run -this-. Who's skirt you're chasin' in this place?" Cuz /clearly/, he couldn't have gotten it any other way, right? Eyes drop at the nudge on her precious backpack, narrowing at the way he seems to be lording over it. Numbweed? "You mistake me for friendly," the ex-barmaid returns drolly with a little smile. "'Sides, all the blood makes your face look better." Uh-huh. She's coming to verbal jabs now.

From behind the shirt dark brows hike upward in amusement for both Jaya’s words and the open study of his bared upper torso. A wonderful throbbing has now begun to set in around the area of his broken nose, only visible indication being the crease it draws between his brows. Reaching forward with the free hand, Max tries to snag the dark haired young woman by the arm and draw her in closer to him, risking further physical damage upon his person, “Been told I’m good with my hands.” That to how he got his job at the Weyr. If he’s been successful in getting a hold of the former barmaid, he’ll now frog march her toward the door, moving the shirt aside from his nose just long enough to quip, “You gonna kiss it all better then?”

Jaya is grabbed, but the woman is quick to try to thrust her elbow straight into Max's chest in a blocking move. Her face now close to his if the move succeeds, "Been told I'm good with mine's, too," she gives in a low, cool voice in indication of hands. And she lets him march her to the door as well, but she's not letting the move be an easy for his sake. At his own quip, a frown starts on her face as she regards the blood stained face of the beast manager. Head tilting only slightly, as if she was actually giving this one some thought, she leans in close to his - oh-so close, her lips seeming to twitch once as if from trying to keep a straight face. But then, once her lips are a mere breath away from his, she changes direction towards his ear and states in that icy and clipped tone of hers reminiscent of Telgar, "My backpack, or I'm punchin' you again. Darlin'."

A grunt for the elbow that catches him in the chest and a crooked grin for Jaya’s comeback on having matching hands of talent, “You’re gonna have to show me sometime. But first you’re gonna…” Words are cut off as the woman’s mouth drifts closer and closer to his, Max’s eyes taking on heavy look for what he surmises her intentions to be. For the barest of heartbeats, his eyes slide closed for her breath against his neck as she moves to whisper in his ear. The words delivered however, snap them back open and have him attempting to shove her up against the still closed door as he snarls, “Don’t play with me, darlin’. I ain’t in –no- mood for it!” The truth to that held in tightly corded muscles across shoulders and chest. Taking a deep steadying breath, he’ll try to keep her there until she understands what it is he wants from her, “We’re gonna go to my office where I have numbweed. Then you’re gonna help me get cleaned up, and fix what you broke.”

For the barests of moments, Jaya was looking rather pleased with herself until Max shoves her against the closed door. She throws her head back as laughter spills free from the dark-haired young woman at his rough warning - loud and mocking in its nature. She doesn't move, though, letting her laughter play long before it dies. "Is -this- how you get girls?" she taunts back, shaking her head at the look on his face. "All this for little ole' me. Barely a day here and already I feel spoiled." Blowing a shallow kiss, "You can't manhandle a manhandler, shuga," she says a bit more evenly now that he had her attention. "I've knocked down worse than you." Tone dropping flatter now, "Do yourself a favor and let me go, and I'll let this encounter slide. Come up with some better manners," and this last is emphasized with a raise of one eyebrow, "and I'll be gracious enough to fix what I've broken." Beat. "But don't test my patience."

Max’s patience is starting to wear exceedingly thin, the tighter grip on her bearing evidence to that. For long moments he stares Jaya down and then suddenly tossing the shirt aside swallows that teasing kiss blown his way by crushing her mouth under his, heedless of the mess of his face. Only once he’s kissed her good and proper, will he step away, bending to pick up her backpack and toss it over to her, anger rippling about his frame as he yanks the door open, “Take it, and get out!” the growl colder than the ice atop the Reaches mountain range.

The rough kiss catches the ex-barmaid completely off-guard, her body stiffening dangerously before the tension melts away. Jaya does return the kiss for a few seconds, her own more curious than rough before she freezes and stiffens her lips against him. Some of Max's blood gets onto her face while it happens, though it's likely she wouldn't have noticed at the moment. Once Max breaks the kiss and rips the door open - her coveted backpack thrown at her in the process - she catches it up deftly and stares in tip-lipped shock at him. She's panting a little from the ordeal, letting the silence after his demand lengthen. Once the shock fades, leaving behind a steel mask on the young woman that studies him in an oddly thoughtful manner at this new development, what's demanded next is probably unexpected. "Your name."

At least this woman didn’t try and punch him…oh wait, she got that out of the way right at the beginning. Had it happened to someone else, Max might have found it all highly amusing. Being as how it was him, he is about as strung out and pissed off as a feline that’s had its tail trodden on. Sneering as much as his broken face will allow for, the beast manager bends to scoop up his shirt and brushing past Jaya in the doorway, he halts dipping his head until it seems he may just kiss her again before moving his mouth to whisper low in her ear, “Lomaxin.” Tit for tat. And then he’s gone striding back up the aisle and toward his office where seconds later, the door can be heard to be slammed shut.

When Max passes her through the door and leans close, Jaya's chin lifts slightly with her hard look - as if she was daring him to steal a kiss from her again. With his name given, he's gone, the young woman not even following him with her gaze. It's only when she hears the door slam that she moves, letting a derisive snort free in the direction he's gone before she herself heads for the exit. It's probably -not- a good thing that she has his name now.



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