Trading for a bed


Dubose.jpg Indira.jpg

Date: 2010.07.22
Location: Headwoman's Office
Synopsis: Dubose catches Indira in a rare moment of weakness when he delivers part of the Weyr's order and somehow ends up offering to make her a bed.
Rating: PG13 with some innunedo.
Logger: Indira

That time of day just after the lunch hour finds the Headwoman where one might expect her to be, in her office. While not closed, the door is only slightly ajar. Anyone daring to poke their heads in without invitation or announcement, will find the woman sitting hunched over her desk, head in hands. With a thick stack of documents to her left and smaller, sadder looking one to her right, it’s probably safe to assume she’s deep in thought over the sheet of paper that lies before her.

The sound of footsteps is very light, not the heavy tromp someone might assume would announce Dubose. There's no shuffling step for this big man. He is about to knock, hand lifted, but instead of announcing himself, he peeks through the crack in the open door. Peeping tom? Perhaps, or maybe just checking to be sure it's an alright time to barge in on the Headwoman without invitation.

It may be that she’s used to the sound of people up and down the passage, or else Indira’s just that engrossed in what she is reading. One of the hands cradling the side of her head moves and swipes across her nose, and then an eye, and then the woman stands, moving around her desk and in the direction of her private quarters, thus effectively taking her out of sight of any peeping toms.

There's a frown that settles over Dubose's lips when he watches the headwoman. The choice to stay and watch or just sneak away and leave her to her privacy comes and goes. He remains until she slips out of his line of sight. Then he's pushing the door open slowly, poking his head around the corner of the door to see where she's going. He's almost all the way into the room before he clears his throat to announce himself.

In the time it takes Dubose to move all the way into her office, Indira has already been into her private quarters and is busy locking the door behind her. As she turns, she finds the big trader suddenly there, and almost jumps right out of her skin, “For Faranth’s sake man! Give a girl some warning.” The shock evident in quick and shallow breathing coming off of the Headwoman. Reddened nose, eyes and cheeks, are probably not the image she’d wanted to ever present to this particular visitor.

There's a touch of appology in Dubose's tone, and in his expression as he startles the woman, "Your door was open." The pack he brought with him is shifted, uncomfortable now that he's come upon the strong headwoman in a moment of obvious weakness. Averting his eyes he fixes his attention to her desk, "This isn't a good time I see. I can just leave them and….get out of your hair."

Whatever had been in Indira’s hand, gets slipped into a pocket and then she’s waving off the apology with a little sniff, “Yes, it is.” This to her door having been open. Moving back toward her desk there’s a quick shake of head and polite smile, “Not at all. Please, take a seat.” Suddenly realizing what she might look like, the Headwoman tosses out a brittle laugh, “Don’t mind me. It’s the dust with all the digging going on. Gives me sneezing fits.” Mmmhmm.

Dubose's hand comes up to sweep across his braided scalp and he sneaks another look at the headwoman for her claim. "Dust huh?" He watches her and then shrugs, "I thought there might be something else going on." Giving her one last chance to send him on his way. Hesitating for the moment, he doesn't take the seat right away, content to rest a big hand on the back of it and watch Indira as though she might just talk about what's bothering her if he doesn't say anything more.

Not waiting for Dubose to sit, she seats herself in her chair behind the desk and leans back, arms draped over those of the chairs with hands dangling off the edges. “Something else going on?” repeating his words with a lift of brow, curious to know what he might think that could have been. The sheet of paper she was supposedly staring at earlier however, might be more revealing for the wet splodges it has dotted here and there over it.

"I'm not a dimglow." Dubose notes easily and with a small smile for the headwoman. His eyes rest of her and then drift to the note that he'd caught her reading over. Moving around the chair he settles into it and scoots it closer with a scrape of wood against stone. "If you want to talk…I'm open ears and…I might be able to offer advice."

With a wry edge of a smile, “No, I suppose you’re not.” Indira states and then passes a hand over her eyes in weary gesture. As it drops away, dark, red rimmed eyes settle on the big trader as he settles into the chair, “Do you have children, Dubose?” a strange question perhaps.

What follows is a length of silence, cold at first and then with a sigh the mood breaks. The big man offers a shake of his head at last before cracking a small smile, "I haven't been so lucky to have children. No." He folds his hands together, "Why do you ask?"

There’s a brief flicker of a frown for the cold silence that spills off of Dubose, with Indira watching closely as he then does an about face. With a heavy sigh, the head of tousled blonde hair shakes, “It doesn’t matter.” And then as if she hadn’t just said that, the words start tumbling out, “He was always a handful. But cheerful and sweet at the same time, you know?” as if somehow the big trader would, “But after his fath…” the words trail and she switches tracks, “Since he left for Tillek, I don’t know he’s just…he won’t…” aaand the real reason for those swollen eyes starts up again, as tears start to slide down the woman’s face. Testament to the turmoil of a mother’s heart. Embarrassed she quickly stands and makes for her private quarters once again, saying as she goes, “I’m sorry. I don’t think I can do this right now. You’ll have to come back again tomorrow.”

Baffled. Completely baffled. That's Dubose's blinking after Indira who unloads that on him and then just as quick turns to leave. He stands when she does, "Children grow up, he's not a baby to be coddled anymore. Maybe you need to start seeing him as a man instead." Only having a bit of this problem he can only toss out what bit of advice his own life lessons have given him. It's not that he's trying to get in her way, he's just a big guy getting her her path to her bedroom. right?"

A strangled sound of frustration comes from Indira as she whirls to face Dubose, “Of course they grow up. Its what they do. But Max…he’s…” shoulders drop from the proud line normally held, shaking her head slowly once again, “Something happened down there. I know it did. And he won’t talk to me about it.” The tears coming in more abundance, “He’s not the same. So angry, and…” she doesn’t know what else. But now the big trader is standing between her and her dignity. That being escape to her sanctuary. Any other time, he would have had an irate woman on his hands. Now all he has is a pathetic weeping bundle batting uselessly at this chest to make him move out of her way.

It's hard to be a near-stranger to a weeping woman. Particularly when she's batting at you. "You could try to talk with him." The traider suggests it, trying to stop her flying hands with one of his. This opens himself up even more most likely, but Dubose can't just let her run off in a fountain of tears. "Maybe something did happen to him, but you can't do anything about it. He'll have to come to terms with things…..better to let some things go…." A small sigh then, quiet under his breath.

Completely out of her comfort zone, it’s not too hard for Dubose to catch one of those hands. The contact however is enough to jar Indira out of the weeping fit and stare watery eyed up at the trader. The colour creeping up onto her cheeks having nothing to do with the tears but more for the matter of having just opened up to a perfect stranger. Pulling herself free so that she can use both hands to wipe at her eyes, she mutters, “Shit, I’m sorry Dubose,” a toss of hair back over shoulders starting to set back into that perfectly straight line once again and then she’s lifting her chin, “You’re quite right, some things should be left alone.” Hands smooth down the sides of her low-cut blouse, tugging at the hems and setting imaginary disarray back to rights again. A small grimace appears and then she’s back to the safe zone of business, “You said you have some of my order for me?” dark eyes drifting down to where his pack lies.

There's still that brace for the storm that Dubose expects will still strike. He holds his hand up, palms towards her as she struggles free of his hold and slowly eases to one side to allow her to get to her room if she still wants to. "You have nothing to be sorry for. I'm the one who asked you what happened." Awkward now, that almost-hug that hangs in the air only for a moment or two and not followed through with. Heading back to the chair he picks up the pack that was set aside during the water-works. "Just some of the higher-priced items I didn't trust not to 'walk off' somehow."

Another time, Indira might have used the situation as a means to getting what she wants, but given that the man before her has already shut her down once, she’s not about to go there right now. Sliding passed him away from her room and back toward her desk, she attempts a wan smile, the Headwoman setting a wry look over to Dubose, “Bet you won’t do that again.” Using self-effacing humour as a means of trying to erase what had just happened. When he heads toward his pack, she nods, hands lifting the long silver chain she wears about her neck thus revealing the key hanging off of it that had been hidden in her cleavage. Turning toward her desk the woman bends and sets the key to a lock in the one of the drawers, noting as she does, “Do you always make personal deliveries?”

Who knows what would have happened if Indira would have tried that tactic on him. As she settles down, he gives a small chuckle, "I've been through worse. A few tears aren't going to melt me." Pretending as though nothing had just happened, he passes the package over. Yes, he does watch the key come out of her shirt but the look is more curious that appreciative. "Doesn't seem like a very safe place for your key." Is the quiet remark as he stands there. To her question he answers, "I am not above hand delivering things. Besides, you might have found other goods that you want."

Put mostly back together again, Indira straightens with a small pouch of marks in hand, “She must have been high maintenance,” she quips, jumping to her own conclusions on his response to tears and melting. Holding the payment out to him, she receives the package with her free hand and sets it down to begin opening it and check through the contents. The key having been dropped back into place once she’d locked the drawer, nestles once again within its cocoon of soft warmth. A dark blonde brow lifts, “You want to try come and get it?” It’s not a come on (well maybe it is) but more of a challenge for what he says about its safe keeping. “The personal touch. I like that,” no, not a come on either as she’s well aware of the wreck she must look like. Curiosity is drawn for what Dubose says at the end, “Other goods such as?”

"Aren't they all?" Dubose asks with a smirk at the headwoman, afterall, wasn't she just in tears? He crosses his arms over his chest and grins at her challenge, "Later maybe. I'm pretty sure that if I wanted it, I could get it." Bold he is, but there's too much playfulness in the statement to really make her think he's serious. Right? He continues to watch her though, maybe plotting just how to get the key from her with a growing smile. "Well, those poisons I spoke with you about, for your 'snake problems. And wanted to see if you needed numbweed and redwart. I may have to send for more depending on how much you want."

Touche, reads into the lightly amused look Indira sends him. At the challenge, fingers lift and touch to the chain where it disappears into the ‘V’ of her blouse, a smirk forming, “I’m a lot faster than I look, trader.” Was that a teasing jest at the age difference? Moving on, hands work to lay the paper wrappings aside, satisfaction for the quality of items delivered in the headwoman’s expression as she checks them off a list taken up from her desk top. “Oh,” looking a little disappointed when Dubose speaks of numbweed, redwort and poisons.

"I don't question your speed…" Dubose remarks as he settles deeper into the chair. He gives her an amused look and even a partial roll of his eyes when she draws his attention back to her cleavage. As her disappointment becomes apparent he asks, "Were you hoping I had something else to offer? Maybe I should know what you want …."

The roll of eyes draws little outward reaction from the woman. Indira re-wrapping the package and setting it to one side, finally takes up her own seating, leaning back in the chair and setting a look of lazy amusement, Dubose’s way, “Maybe you should show me what you got.” The lift of brow adding what could be misconstrued as seductive enticement. That is until it falls away with a shrug of shoulders, “Just a few for my private quarters. I left everything behind and now find myself in the uncommon position of having to start all over again. I prefer to deal with traders rather than the craft halls when it comes to items of a personal nature.”

There's an amusing beat where Dubose flounders with just what Indira is suggesting. there's the scantily veiled seduction and on top of that the 'private quarters' remark. His eyes jerk towards her rooms and then back to her, "I…am not sure what it is you're wanting for your private quarters." Better to play dumb here and not put his foot in his mouth again and insult her as he did earlier.

For once, there had actually been no hidden meaning to her words, but Indira’s quick to catch on to how Dubose must have construed them. Laughter swimming in her eyes is almost enough to banish the post-weepy look she’d been wearing. “Well of course you’re not, darling. You’d have to be a mind reader to know that without being told.” Pushing to her feet, the headwoman once again, crosses the room and moves toward her private quarters, unlocks the door and then stands aside, “Perhaps it’ll be easier if I show you.” Well aware of this is all likely to be taken but thoroughly enjoying toying with the poor man’s mind.

Luckily for Indira, Dubose is not faint of heart. His lips hitch in a bit of a smirk as he pushes up to his feet and gives her a long look. "I guess you can't do much to me in there that you couldn't do out here." The door to the office being closed and all that. He strolls right up alongside her and even puts a hand to her lower back to escort her into her own room, as though he might be having other ideas about her intentions. Two can play at the toying game.

Low laughter for the words that come from Dubose, believing him to be falling for her little ruse. The hand he puts to her lower back however is like a jolt of electricity and almost has Indira giving it away with a sharp intake of breath. Clearing her throat, she steps inside and sweeps a hand about to indicate what her the needs are that she had been speaking about. The space doesn’t hold very much, but what it does, speaks to its inhabitants sense of style. A double sized mattress has been set under a natural ledge in the rock upon which are set candles of various sizes and scents. Bedding is simple; two plump pillows placed side by side and the usual sheets one would expect. It is the wide scarf shaded in peacock hues of iridescent greens and shimmering blues that catches the eye, serving as a make-shift throw until such time as something deemed more fitting is acquired. Other than that, it is sparsely furnished. “See what I mean? It needs a –lot- of work still. I had the most beautiful four poster bed back north, but it was a little big to carry in a saddle roll,” making light of the treasured possessions she’d had to leave behind. Turning dark eyes up to the trader, “I know it’s not really your speciality, but…is there anything in here you could help with? Or someone you might know that could?” So very many double edged phrases in there, it could be akin to navigating a minefield.

Dubose's smile is a feline-like thing, toying around his mouth as he keeps the woman in the corner of his gaze, head tipped just slightly while pretending to be looking over the room with mild interest. "Huh." Something about the idea of having the woman showing him her bed does give him a bit of a chuckle. "Wood working isn't really my specialty. Perhaps you need to find a good woodsmith who's really good with his hands? I'm better at growing things." He eases up closer to her again as he moves into the room. "I can ask a couple of my lads though, they might be able to make you up something…fitting." Oh yes, the idea of making her bed brings a big, sly smile to his lips.

Due to having decided for herself that Dubose is either gay, or just not interested, despite how she might wish it otherwise, Indira misses those first telling clues, moving about her room, picking up and re-arranging the candles and bending to fuss with the throw as she does so. Kneeling on the mattress she turns her head over her shoulder to look back up at him, “Woodsmiths are expensive,” she points out as she stands to her feet once again and, finds the big trader in close proximity. Dark eyes fix to him, flicker across his mouth and that sly smile and then back up to those disturbing eyes of his, “I…uhhh…” losing her train of thought for a moment there, and then recovering her equilibrium once again, “if you wouldn’t mind, it would be most appreciated.”

Most of the amusement is fixed on the headwoman's back, so she doesn't get to see the laughter brimming in his eyes. The expression is quickly masked when she turns back to him, standing up. A hand moves to her shoulder, the smile kind, and just a little impish now, "You think that I'm cheap? Tsk….well, how much do you want to spend on this bed of yours? You just want the frame or…?" Breaking eye contact with her he looks at the bed, "Something better in the way of a matress too? You don't want something you can wear out too easily I'm sure."

The touch to her back had been one thing, the hand on her shoulder? Something else entirely. No need to be a rocket scientist to figure out what must be going through Indira’s mind right then – why do all the good ones have to be gay or taken? And why is it this great big mountain of a man has the ability to have her reacting like a teenaged girl? All that aside, Indira fits a perfectly polite smile into place, even adding a small horrified expression for Dubose having assumed she thought him cheap, “Well no, but…” word stallage, cue the frown, try again, “That depends. What are you going to take me for if I want you to take care of it all?” Again with unintentional two edged word play. Just as well he broke eye contact and looks away for the expression that fits into place on the headwoman’s face is nothing if not an open display of all the ways she could comment on the wearing out of mattresses. With a quick clearing of throat, “Best make it something that will last.”

Dubose is not likely to know that the headwoman thinks he's gay, or he might be acting it up a little more just for giggles. Lucky for her, he lets his hand slip away from her, chuckling low at her, "Oh, I'll take care of -all- of it for you." Assurances that seem to have much less to do about the bed than the headwoma herself, even though he's not looking at her now, just at the bed. Suddenly he dusts his hands, "Alright, I should go and see about plans." A nod to the lovely woman, like a light being switched, the flirting is gone. "This has been…fun. I'll find you tomorrow and we can talk about this more. Sound good?"

Dubose’s words and tone of voice have Indira turning the beginnings of a startled look up to him, as if perhaps, just maybe, she’d been mistaken about him? That is until he suddenly switches tack and goes all businesslike on her. At first all he gets is muted nod, until she finds her voice to add, “Tomorrow sounds perfect. Bring some sketches if you can.” With that she’ll walk him out of her private quarters, and to the door of her office, closing it firmly behind him once the trader is gone. Anyone passing by in the passageway afterward, might hear the dull thud of something being thrown against it and an oddly strangled sound of frustration coming from the headwoman.

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