Whiskey Bond

Participants:

Bowen.jpg Lorayit.jpg

Date: Oct. 9, 2010
Location: Weyr Gardens, EW
Synopsis: Bo stops by the gardens with a bottle of whiskey for Lo. More is revealed between the two and it does much to solidify their budding friendship. All over a whiskey bottle.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Lorayit


It’s the late evening in the gardens, the pale moonlight shining down on the pale yellows and deep blues of ripe flowers reaching out to those that walk by. There’s no one in the Weyr gardens save for the gardener himself and tall, non-descript looking man dressed in the clothes of a smithcraftsman. Standing by the boulder, the two seem to be low in conversation under the moonlight with not a care for who sees them. Lorayit presses something into the man’s hand, hard to see since his hand covers it completely, while he plasters an easy smile on his face. He clasps the man in the back with his free hand, nodding a few times and giving him a little push as if to signal for him to be on his way. The man looks at him dubiously at best before he’s slow to amble off, the thing pressed into his big hand tightened into a fist with a few guttural, muttered words for the gardener before he starts to move off. To those passing, this would look like nothing more than two men exchanging in a late night conversation – especially given the fact that Lo’s face never changes or fluctuates in his casual and pleasant expression.

Such it is that the stocky tanner finds himself, whiskey bottle in hand, entering the gardens once again, nodding congenially to the smithcraftsman on his way and seeming to have missed the exchange between him and Lo entirely. He tips his hat up off his forehead a bit while looking around and with his blue eyes find the gardener, Bowen ambles over. Before arriving, he'll greet the fellow, "Evenin' Lo," and lift the bottle while closing the distance, "Seem I reckon I owe ya some good booze, an' I always make good on m'debts." A slight smile lifts the lips of this otherwise usually stoic man.

“Evening,” Lo sends this to Bowen, noting the big tanner’s approach even though his own gaze lingers on the departing smithcraftsman’s back. Liking Bowen from their last encounter, he awards the man with a far more genuine smile once his meets the other’s gaze. He opens his mouth to add something more until he spies the held-out bottle. Pausing, “You shouldn’t have, Bo!” he cries in much a way a woman would to a man delivering her bouquet of flowers, though in his sounds far more comical. Dropping the act, “I suppose you do have some good news for me,” he notes in his easy grace, hands spreading out from both sides of him briefly before he reaches eagerly for the bottle. Glancing at him again, “Either that, or you’re here to clock that over my head for ruining things for you.”

There is a soft rumble in Bowen's chest which is as much of a chuckle as most people get. One lucky lady has had the fortune of seeing and hearing more, but this quiet sort of chuckle is much more typical of the quiet man. He holds the bottle by the neck and offers it to Lo casually, no pomp and circumstance for this fellow, and states simply, "I do alright. T'aint no thang," on any allusions to the cost of this fine bottle of whiskey from Jaya's bar. The truth is, he just has a lot of money from the sale of his home and most of his belongings that couldn't be brought with him, not exactly strictly from any income as a tanner. "Ayup, that yellow flower ya suggested seemed t'be th' right one. Sh' even admitted ta it bein' her favorite color." He doesn't go into how she ran away from him and he had to be bold and take matters into his own hands, so to speak, but he doesn't really see that as anything of the fault of the flower as much as the fault of his big sorry-ass mouth. Finally, he nods a little, "Thank ya kindly, Lo." Simply felt. Simply put. Nothing gushing with this man.

Taking hold of the bottle, “I hold high regard for a man that keeps his promises,” Lorayit notes this oddly enough in all seriousness, the gardener giving the man a long look from the bottle. “Believe me, such a man is hard to find.” Holding the bottle up briefly in indication of it, “I thank you, Bo,” he gives in words, briefly nodding before bringing it close so that he can uncork it. “We were lucky that color was her favorite, eh? Did you tell her what it meant, or did you make it up?” Curious to the last, the man brings the bottle’s liquid to his lips for a long taste, and when he pulls away there’s an appreciate low whistle as he gives the non-descript bottle his regard. “I know this taste,” he tacks on at the flavor, the chuckle low and full of meaning before he turns a look on Bowen. “Got this from Jaya?” he asks then, as if he knew through flavor alone where it came from. Or, perhaps it was a certain flavor that the scarred Bitran only carried down in the south.

A wry smirk comes from Bo as he nods a little to Lo's initial statements, "Lotta people been sayin' so lately." His expression suggests he's not really sure why as such a matter is simple in his mind. It's a canine eat canine world and a man can't make it alone, the way Bo sees it. Then the smirk transcends a little into a soft smile and he nods, "We was," lucky that is. Then he shakes his head, "She didn't ask. I didn't off'r," on the meaning of the flower. His hands free, he loosely settles them at his hips, before casually glancing once at the gardens, more for polite interest in how they were fairing in the summer weather than anything else, and then he nods, "Ayup. Jaya. Y'see much o'her bar then? I only been there once before m'self, but didn't stay long. Just went ta pick a fight."

“Something to keep in mind, then,” Lo notes to his first, nodding once before taking another drink of the whiskey. “I like to surround men such as yourself around me. Offer good deals. Make profits on the side…” he’s not going to elaborate, perhaps assuming the other to reach their own conclusions as he sets the bottle back over to the boulder for safe keeping. He remains silent through hearing that the meaning of the flower given was not given in itself, perhaps pleased either way by it’s result so there was no point in bringing it up. It’s when Bowen looks to his precious garden that he offers, “Looking for more to give to the lovely lady? If she’s the more practical sort, I’ve been growing cooking herbs over just beyond there-“ and he points ahead of them towards the end of the garden “-that she might prefer.” But then there’s the talk of Jaya – his target. He affects mere light interest on his face about the barkeep – as if she were a mere sort to him anyway – lips pressed together briefly before answering him. “Go there often for the cards. Jaya’s a fascinating sort to me. I happen to have met her family before while staying up Bitra way,” he supplies, sending a look the tanner’s way. “Her father’s quite the man. You know the sort…traders. You think this is good?” and he gestures sharply towards the bottle in question before laughing. “Aww, no! Tasted that one before from that area. Not a Dicori brand, but I imagine, with the bad blood between father and daughter…” and there’s a slow shake of his head. After a lengthy pause, “Pickin’ a fight in a Dicori bar. You’re lucky your head’s still in one piece,” he notes, laughter in his voice at the tease.

There's a short nod to the comment about keeping men like Bo around oneself; it's not one of conceit so much as Bo thinks of the comment more along the lines of what he was thinking earlier: it's good to have people you can rely on around, and scratching each other's backs on occasion is part and parcel of the networking. As Lo makes more suggestions of flowers or herbs for gifts, Bowen does look off to where Lo indicates, but shakes his head and says, "Reckon mebbe somethin' right like that might be in ord'r soon, but not j'st yet. Thank ya kindly." If Bowen notices anything odd about how Lo presses his lips together over talk of Jaya or any other expression in the shadow of the evening, the tanner doesn't give any indication of it, but he seems clearly interested in what Lo has to say about the bar owner and her family. His blue eyes slide from Lo's face briefly to the whiskey bottle when the other man gestures to it, and then back to Lo. There's a slow, pleased smile at the mention of picking a fight in Jaya's bar, but he doesn't gloat beyond that. Instead, he casually takes his hat off to brush some of his labor-sweat-damped hair back from his face before putting his hat back on and comment softly, "Bad blood, eh? Reckon that's a hard thing t'live with." Suggesting that Bo wouldn't know personally.

Lo finds himself more and more pleased with the tanner, though it was also obvious that he man was perhaps too honorable to perhaps win him to his side. A finger idly brushes across the bottom of his lip, nodding again at the decline for any more flowers and then he adds in, “What, I wonder, made you leave Southern?” he asks so suddenly, perhaps recalling their previous conversation as he regards the other studiously. “The way you talked last time-“ or the way he declined the offer to go down there, his words was really saying “-seemed to me like you were in some kind of hurry to not be back.” To the last on bad blood, the gardener gives him a knowing look before nodding. “It’s too much for some,” he agrees easily, letting his blue eyes fall on something else other than the tanner. “I have a brother, you know. Besutol. Haven’t seen him in turns.” One would think, him bringing this up, there’s a relation of some sort between this and the topic of bad blood.

Sudden, indeed, and the tanner finishes settling his hat back on his head and looks quietly at Lo, not tense at all, but definitely giving the other man his full and undivided attention with that sudden question. "Reckon I was j'st lookin' fer a new home ta hang m'hat. Southern held too many memories fer me I'd j'st as soon let fade," Bowen says honestly, "Lost m'wife a lil more than a turn back, but I still got kinfolk there that I reckon I'll go visit a' times." His posture remains relaxed as he hooks his thumbs in his pockets as he talks, "No, me not leavin' ain't got nuthin' ta do with Southern as much as it does how long it takes t'ride there. I ain't of a mind t'leave Eastern j'st yet when it'll take sumpthin of a month t'get there an' back again on runner." Having made that little over two-week trip one way not but a month ago himself, he's not eager to do that again so soon. "It j'st ain't a good time fer a trip like that right now." He nods a bit to the comment about it being too much for some, and then goes still and attentive once more at the talk of Besutol. Bo's not one to pry too much, and he's far from mindhealer material, uncomfortable with his own emotions as it is, but he does feel like he owes the man something for the sharing and simply states, "Bridges can be rebuilt, j'st takes desire, time, effort, and resources, like everythin' else."

“Lived in Southern for awhile, myself,” Lo admits, settling his hands on his hips as he looks about them. “Stayed out in the fields, so that might be why you and I never met out there.” That and he was always about doing some odd job for Vaputero, too. At the mention of his wife, Lo’s face falls. He frowns, the expression genuine as he lets his silence be his answer at first. “Sorry about your wife,” he gives, sighing heavily as he steps close enough to stand by the man’s side. “It’s hard to recover from that. Can’t say I’ve been there, but…” he shakes his head, letting the silence answer for him. To the last, Bowen gets a sharp look that lingers on his face. His own turning oddly guarded for a brief moment, “Bes and I got into a lot of trouble,” he explains to Bo’s answer, turning his eyes to the sky. “He and I are still paying for the last of it.” After a lengthier pause, “Not sure he’s still alive anymore,” he admits in a lowered voice, the gardener turning away to reach for the bottle. “But that’s the price we pay for troubles caused, right? Reckon I won’t be seeing him anymore,” and he raises the bottle in Bo’s direction grimly before taking an honored drink. Once that’s done, he wipes the grim look from his face and sends the man a tentative grin. “But anyway. I understand about Southern,” he continues to say, addressing the former easily. “I personally prefer to stay her, myself. Women are much more my style here,” and the tanner gets a knowing look to that as he tries to wipe his brother from his mind.

There's a nod to the statement of Lo working in the Southern fields and that likely being why Bo's never met him before. To the condolences, Bo merely inclines his head a little, and says softly, earnestly, "Thank ya fer sayin'," but seeming not to mind the ensuing silence. Not finding it awkward in the least, or wanting to fill it. The sharp look from Lo has Bowen blinking once, and then rocking slightly on his heels in an attempt to be disarming, casual, not pressing. Not too often he says something to set a man to that look and it seems to show, in as much as Bo shows any kind of mild surprise at all. "Mighty big shame 'bout yer brother," Bo says gently, sincerely, "Real sorry, Lo." There's a little pause and in that time Lo talks about preferring Eastern for its women, and Bowen follows that with a small, knowing smile, before sobering once more and offering, "Ya let me know if there's anythin' I can do fer yer troubles, now, hear? I ain't rollin' in th' marks 'r nuthin'," Bo says, apparently chalking it up to gambling debts as the likely problem, "an' I ain't got no dragon t'fly off t'Southern convenient-like, but if it's sumpthin' in m'power t'do, I'll do m'best t'help ya. Yeah?"

Silence is one thing Lorayit can understand, himself maybe a bit more chatty than Bowen but still not as much as one would be. He nods to the man’s acknowledgment of his condolences on his wife, then is silent for a bit about his brother. It’s clear that this was a topic he hardly even brings up among those he considers friends, so it’s an oddity that such a topic should slip from his lips this night, with a man he’s only met the once. It’s a thought that disturbs the gardener, though he does answer the tanner with a brief, “It’s alright, big man,” and he’ll even go so far as to reach his hand out to pat Bowen a few times on the shoulder before dropping it. Moving onto easier topics with a clearing of his throat, “I appreciate such an offer, Bo,” he states, sending the man a companionable grin. “Perhaps…if I can figure out a way…” he stops not sure how much he could reveal on the matter properly without such things pointing to the fact that Lo himself was not an honorable man. For some reason, the gardener wanted the tanner to continue to like him, and that would be hard to do if he realized Lo’s true nature. So, he stops what he was about to say and nods to the man again. “Good man,” he says instead, pleased with the offer. “You and I will be good friends. I shall offer the same. Anything you need at all,” he adds, his look turning pointed, “you just let me know. Despite this-“ and he gestures with a wave towards the flowers “-that I do, I have my connections. Have a lot of friends.” He silences to let the other mull over that, turning to reach for the whiskey again before he finally takes his seat upon the boulder.

Bowen doesn't mind the pat to the shoulder, seeming to feel at his ease around Lo, despite the very few odd bits he's found with him today. Every man, Bo reasons, has his quirks, himself included. To the states of figuring out a way and the stop thereafter, Bowen simply nods, seeming to understand without anything else needing to be stated. He remains quiet as Lo continues to speak, talking about being a man of connections and when he finishes, Bowen remains quiet for a few heartbeats before he finally murmurs thoughtfully, "Thank ya, Lo, I'll keep it in mind," with a sort of sobriety that makes one think he's already got something specific in mind, just might want bit more time to chew on it before saying anything directly. Then he turns back to the flowers for a pause and comments, complimenting genuinely, "Purdy amazin' whut ya got here by itself though, Lo. Purdy amazin'." Suggesting perhaps that in Bo's estimation, a man doesn't have to have more than the simple work he does to provide means for himself and his family. That's something to be proud of in its own right. He turns back to the other man and adds, "So, when ya reckon ya might be down Jaya's way fer a game of cards next? Perhaps I'll join th' pot if it ain't too crowded."

“My father would groan at his farming son for raising flowers,” Lo admits to Bowen’s compliment on the garden, and there’s a note of pride in his voice as he sweeping a long glance over his work. “I’m a farmer by trade, but seeing as how the grass hasn’t started growing over my feet just yet, well, I’m hoping in time I’ll be back doing what I’m meant to do.” He continues to survey the patches of multi-colored flowers and herbs, perhaps trying to see them in another man’s eyes like the tanner’s before the next words gets his attention. Nodding a few times in the pause, “Got some things at night to deal with, but in the next few days I should be down there.” He didn’t stay away from Jaya’s bar all that often these days – not after the scare Jaya had given him with her a breath’s second from fleeing Eastern. Not on his watch. Blue eyes seeking Bowen’s out quickly, “It’s just a couple of the farmers here,” he explains to the table being crowded, waving a brief hand to it. “Pushovers, if you ask me, but they’re quite good conversation. One of them’s been working hard to foist his oldest daughter on me for sevendays now, for example.” He gives Bowen a knowing look on that, the snort bare as he shakes his head and looks away. “I don’t look that type that any poor girl should be marrying, do I?” he asks then, brushing a hand over his own worn clothes with an easy smirk. “I mean, shards! Tying me to a girl was one of the main reasons why I left the Reaches with my brother! I must have one of those faces.” One of those friendly faces, which the gardener openly puts to good use, apparently.

The comment about Lo's father earns the other man a wry, knowing smile and a little nod, "I reckon so. This here weyr's not t'full population size. More folks come t'stay, more food they'll be needin', and more farmers ta tend th' plots." His gaze goes back the flowers and Bowen doesn't comment on any night activities; with any luck, he'll be having a few of those himself, though he perhaps assumes wrongly in Lo's case. Who knows? Then there comes a nod and Bo comments, "Few of th' beast crafters an' tanners recommended it, but I ain't been by fer cards yet." Just to pick a fight and measure boots. "I'll see about tryin' ta get down there in a few nights time, then." The soft rumble of a chuckle comes again at the comment on marriage and he shakes his head, nudging over a loose stone with his boot toe, "There's trouble in that, if ya ain't careful," though his tone sounds amused, so it could be he's calling arranged marriages trouble specifically, or marriages in general.

“You speak truth, Bo,” Lorayit agrees on the Weyr needing more farmers later, the smile a lazy one. “I have no problem waiting, either! Really starting to get the hang of this gardening business. But if they saw me now…” there’s a low chuckle to finish that sentence, probably alluding to his Reachian farming family far up north. He’s easy on the topic of the bar, turning towards the tanner with a friendly nod in agreement. “Good place to play and win the good pots,” he notes, pointing to himself having been there often enough to do so. “Good place to get away from the woman for a few hours. Trust me, friend, you may not want to get away from her right now, but one day you’ll be looking for the distraction.” He passes Bowen a pointed look at that, full of meaning since he’s not going to elaborate on his words there. And since it’s on the cusp of the marriage talk, “It’s trouble I don’t want,” he agrees with an open snort. “Already had one woman try to lock me down up north. Even threatened to sell off all my bottles of exotic brandy – and you don’t mess with a man’s brandy!” Or any booze of a man, really. Shaking his head, “Ran out of that Hold faster than the coming of Thread, I tell you! Heh! Never again.”

Bowen can understand the sentiment, so another nod comes with a soft smile and this time he's the one offering a pat on the shoulder for Lo over being a gardener compared to the farming work he's done in the past. But the quiet tanner stays quiet, only letting his hand fall back to his side, assuming it connected in the first place and nodding once more about winning good pots at Jaya's. "Buddy o'mine avoids th' place, truth be told. I'm thinkin' there's some bad blood there, but I reckon if I ain't goin' ta pick any more fights, I should b' safe." But he sobers significantly at the comment of wanting to get away from the woman and Jaya's being a good place to do so. He doesn't comment, but it's clear something about that struck a cord and then his face breaks once more on the marriage talk, smiling slightly in camaraderie, chuckling softly at the mention of another woman trying to sell off his brandy, "Well, there's just a line I reckon a woman shouldn't cross," he says in agreement.

Lorayit is easy with the pat to his shoulder, finding himself thoroughly enjoying the tanner’s company even though by logic, he shouldn’t. All joking and friendliness aside, the gardener was trouble with a capital ‘T’, and Lo knew it. At hearing about Bo’s buddy and any possible bad blood, “There’s always bad blood with a place ran by a Bitran,” he says the words as if this something quite common from where he comes from, the wink one full of mischief. “Even worse when that Bitran just happens to be a Dicori. I imagine you’ll do fine though, Bo,” and perhaps this statement was meant to smooth over the expression that breaks on Bowen’s face at the mention of getting away as well, Lo’s tone taking on a cultivated soothing tone that is definitely not one a gardener should have. “Please, find me there, though. I could use the company among the other farmers, and I’ll buy you a few drinks, eh?” Even to the last, there’s open laughter since the man shares in his sentiment about women and a man’s booze. “Besutol would say if you give them reign to do so, they’ll cross it,” he notes, mentioning his brother again without thought. How odd to him that Bowen seems to remind him so much of Besutol right now! “I’m of a more easy approach though, but it’s nice to be out of the north for a good while. Ever been up north way?” The question suddenly occurred to him, regarding Bowen now with interest. The man was certainly big enough to be a fighter, not to mention a guard.

"Dem Bitran's … they sho' got themselves a reputation, ain't they?" Bowen says companionably to Lo's first, and then adds, "Tho' this be th' first time I ever had a run in with a Dicori," pause, "that I'm awares of." Then his face breaks into a smoother smile, with a few crinkles of merriment at the corners of his eyes, "Will do, Lo. Will do," at finding the man there for drinks and company. He chuckles softly at further comments on the man's brother, who he does not know, but seems easy enough to understand from Lo's commentary and laughter and joins in. His chuckling subsides with a nod as Lo talks of being out of the north, and Bo responds to the question without any trepidation - though his usual slow to answer lengthy pauses continues - "Only th' once, when I went t'pprentice up in th' Tanner Hall." Of course, Bowen doesn't wear a crafter's knot, now, but it's nothing he seems particularly ashamed about, or at least he doesn't seem disinclined to talk about it as he might other things.

“That’s because you usually don’t find a Dicori this far south,” Lo is easy to answer on Bowen having not ran into one before, which might beg to wonder why one was running a bar down south now. “They’re pretty territorial. Reputations, right.” Since the other agrees to cards and drinks one night, that pleases the gardener and he shows it in his smile. When Bowen answers about the north, “Ah, right. Tanner Hall,” he nods a few times to that, learning a bit more about the man in that short statement. “Must have been nice to apprentice up there, right? Was wondering if maybe I was better off in the Harper Hall, back in the day.” Not that he would have given up farming, but the thought was always there. Turning to him again, “One day, though. You should come up Bitra’s way,” he notes, planting his hands on his hips. “Best card tables there. Miss the runner races.” There was always the chance to recruit the big tanner, too – even though by now, Lo wasn’t too sure he would want to deal him to Vaputero. The gardener had his own men he kept to himself – those loyal to him alone and not to some Bitran renegade that grabs more than he could handle.

Bowen nods a bit as he listens, seeming to think the information about Bitrans and Dicoris making sense. "It was alright, I reckon," on the Tanner Hall, and then adds, "M'pa's a tanner an' he taught me most everythin' they were teachin' in 'pprenticeships there, but it got me off the cont'nent fer a spell an' see a diff'rent space o'th' w'rld." Pause, "An' met m'wife." There's a brief moment where he licks his lips, perhaps an indication that he wants to say more, or perhaps an indication that he'd really like a drink over memories of his wife, but whatever it is, it's gone a moment later and the man simply nods with another soft smile, "Reckon it'd be nice ta visit some. Runner races … I've heard can be int'restin'."

“And he’s over in Southern, right? Your pa?” Lo asks then, seeming to take a survey of the tanner with easy grace. “Sounds a lot like my father. Taught Besu and me everything about farming up until we left. Good place, the Reaches, but it really doesn’t beat getting to see the rest of the continent.” If it was up to him, he would be back to that in a second, his wistful tone evident when he speaks the words. But then, Lo was nothing short of being a dreamer. “You met her up there, eh?” he notes when Bowen mentions his wife, his tone a soothing one again as he gives the other the floor there. Not that he’s expecting an answer, so the gardener only allows the silence to linger before he crosses over to his bottle and he offers it to the man. “Should at least get one lick of this for the road,” he adds in his explanation of it, willing to share the whiskey since they were sharing stories. “And they are, the races. Nothing else like them. Been wanting to get ahold of a runner to race, myself, but…” Lo had to be very careful here, due to the events of Renegade, so the man is careful to sound non-chalant about it as he shrugs helplessly.

"Ayup," Bowen says easily, in that same soft manner, "He an' th'rest o'me kin. Ma, an' a younger brother and sister. Still o'er there," so he's got ties and there's no reason for him not to eventually go back to Southern for a visit, when the timing is right. As Lo talks of the Reaches, Bowen nods and listens at length, eventually saying, "Sounds like I should get a spell in t'visit th' Reaches one day, too," companionably. To the question, Bo simply nods again, "Ayup, was where I met 'er." There's a bit of a pause and then he takes the offered bottle, downing a nice swig before slowly hissing out the burn and then saying, "She was one a' dem scullery drudges there. Blonde haired and blue-eyed and purddier than anythin' I e'er did see then." There comes another exhale and Bo leans to give the bottle back, "Thank ya," for the drink, and he continues softly, "Got 'er pregnant, an' took 'er hand," in marriage that is, "an' th' rest … is history, as dey say." Another pause and then a small smile for the tanner shakes his head a little, "Guess ya could call me a coward, but, I think I'd prefer t'watch." The man can admire swiftness, but is obviously one who prefers the slow and steady path for himself. "An' bet," on the races. If he thinks there's any connection between Lo wanting a horse and Renegade's attempted theft, he doesn't indicate it. If anything, given what Max said about Jaya, he's more intrigued over Lo knowing Jaya's family, but has decided to chew on that for a bit and maybe speak to Jaya or Max about it before questioning Lo further, because, in earnest, he's beginning to like the gardener a lot and this isn't a paranoid and prejudicial witch hunt, not for Bo anyway. "Speakin' of bets," Bo eyes that whiskey once more, "I best get on t'my lady friend as I think she's gonna be gettin' off duty soon, b'fore ya talk me inta' 'nuther wager on wheth'r or not I can get a kiss." Or more. He smirks dryly, nodding companionably to Lo before saying, "Nice talkin' with ya 'gain, Lo. I'll be catchin' ya up at Jaya's b'fore long, I reckon."

Lo nods, knowing that it was good to know that Bowen had family over in Southern. “You should certainly give the Reaches a try sometime,” he actually voices, and he quiets when the big man actually speaks about his wife. Perhaps the gardener can tell that this, like the subject of his brother, was touchy for Bowen, so he watches the tanner when he talks about her with veiled interest. Taking the bottle back when offered, “At least you have a child from this,” he answers gently, understanding laced in his tone about the man’s wife. “She sounds real special. No man should be without his wife, but…” there’s a sigh, shaking his head at it before taking a long drink from the bottle. Still, the blonde man passes Bowen a look of open understanding, perhaps in realizing there is a confidence shared between the two. “I’m no racer,” he admits, moving on to address his favorite activity eagerly. “I wish! I just bet, but I hear the real profit’s in owning the winning runner, my man. That’s where I want to be someday. With enough marks under my belt, Bitra won’t be seeing the last of me, you can bet on that!” The nod if firm, his smile one full of ambition. Considering that he keeps himself appearing easy all this time, the ambition in his eyes is one that might look misplaced. When Bowen announces his departure the way he does, the gardener laughs softly and hugs the bottle to his chest with one hand while the other will clasp Bowen on the shoulder should it connect. “Plenty of time for more wagers, Bo,” he notes to that, nodding a few times. “Never you fear! I appreciate the talk, too, and the whiskey. You’re welcome in my circle anytime.” Which could mean the garden, or his circle of friends, but the man doesn’t say more on it. “You have yourself a good night, my friend,” he adds knowingly, the twinkle in his blue eyes present as he bides him leave to his lady.

There is another nod to the mention of Reaches as a destination point and then Bowen quiets once more before pointing out, "Th' baby didn't make it," to Lo's comment on his having a child. But Bo's had a lot longer time to deal with the miscarriage than he has to deal with his wife's death and as such, he speaks of it reverently, but not quite with the same tension and pain in his eyes. Then he nods somberly, murmuring, "She was," despite all the pain and bruising, the man just can't bring himself to think ill of her. More the other way around, really, thinking whatever wrong she did him, he either deserved it or pushed her to be that way out of frustration with him. Then he takes a breath and tries on a small, rueful smile, and a look that says, 'what's done is done'. Another rumble of a chuckle and he nods to comments on racing, "I'll b'sure t'let ya be th' one t'book mine fer me. Sounds like ya know more 'bout whut makes fer a winnin' runner than I do, Friend." Then another chuckle that subsides into a congenial look as Lo clasps him on the shoulder and Bo tries to return it on Lo's opposite shoulder good-naturedly, "Same back atchya, Lo." On either appreciating the talk, being welcome, or having a good night - though more than likely he meant all three. Then relaxing his grasp should it have made it, Bo steps away and gives a little wave in farewell, and heads off quietly into the darkening night.

At hearing that the baby didn’t make it, that Bowen had lost both wife and child, Lorayit gives into a heavy sigh along with the heavy word, “Unfortunate.” His head slightly bowed, he says no more on the matter to give the man his silence. It was one thing he could understand himself, especially with him not knowing whether his brother is dead or not. It’s only when Bowen smiles, he lifts his head does too with veiled concern. “Aye, I’ll keep you in mind when it get to those races,” he agrees easily to this, moving to this topic without question. “Not sure when I’ll be making the run up north, but you’ll be one of the first to know when I do.” If it was up to him, he’d be gone now. Once Bowen clasps his own shoulder, Lo squeezes his hold briefly with a nod that’s good-naturedly and easy to do. With Bowen, he could be genuine, and for now that felt better than all the travels in the world. A man could go stir-crazy putting on a show constantly. He releases his grip then, steps away with the bottle raised briefly in the tanner’s direction for the wave, and remains himself in his garden with companionable silence lingering in their wake. It’s only when Bowen’s bulk vanishes that the gardener turns away, eyes seeking out the sky and its stars with a heavy sigh full of regrets and memories past.



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