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Author Topic: All in a Day's Work  (Read 73006 times)

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Offline Shades of Gray

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #1150 on: June 13, 2009, 08:59:51 PM »
Camp wasn't difficult to break up. Keshayla did the bigger tasks while everyone was asleep; knowing that they were going to have to make quick time to get back when they wanted to. She was even ready to wake the lot if it was starting to get too late, knowing how important it was for everyone. Bags had been packed, breakfast ready... now she got to sit and indulge a little, watching the boys, grinning while she stripped the last of the fish off the bones, and smothered the fire. Kivan was pulling on his boots, brushing the sand off of his clean trousers and ran his fingers through his hair, before tethering it back. He snatched up his pack, and shouldered it, before scattering the pebble bed of stones he had made for last night's dinner with his foot.
"Are you sure you know what you're doing?"
"Not one bit. But it's okay, I'm like every landlord in the nation. I've Googled directions."
"Shit."

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #1151 on: June 13, 2009, 09:51:24 PM »
The boys were fairly chomping at the bit when they finally left the camp and started down the beach.  The day was a giant party for them.  No chores, games, great food and seeing people they didn't normally see except on holidays like today.  Markie, though excited as well, was a bit more subdued.  After all, she had a few more years on them, and the games didn't appeal to her as much any more.  Most years she stayed at the table helping their mother and father sell their goods.

"I never got a chance to find out," Markie mused quietly, sliding her hand back into Kivan's as they made their way down the beach while the boys tried to goad Keshayla into a race.  "Does Ciln do anything like this?  Festivals, I mean."

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Offline Shades of Gray

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #1152 on: June 14, 2009, 02:28:36 PM »
"Of course. Just lately, there hasn't been much... mood to celibrate. When the spring comes, though, that'll change. We have a new king, a proper one, and people are safe again. They'll give blessings to the dead, and celibrate the living by drinking and dancing until they hate themselves come morning." They had a few festivals a year, just as any large town did. Nothing as quaint as here, perhaps intimidating to Markie's standards. Kivan watched Keshayla grin, feigning to ignore the boys as they begged her to race, yawning, as if she were bored.
"Are you sure you know what you're doing?"
"Not one bit. But it's okay, I'm like every landlord in the nation. I've Googled directions."
"Shit."

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #1153 on: June 22, 2009, 10:30:54 PM »
They took to teasing her, calling names and throwing insults.  Nothing harsh or barbed, nothing meant to injure, but trying all the same to draw her into a race.  At last, they all blew raspberries, then turned as a one and started sprinting down the beach, quickly leaving the twins to fall behind.  They ran and laughed and shoved, kicking up sand like a little herd of rabbits bounding away.  Markie grinned, glancing from the boys to the wolf, and back again.  "They're doomed, aren't they?" she murmured to Kivan.  She remembered something Keshayla had said, back when they'd first met.  Had it been her first day of classes, or the alley?  Don't run, running is exciting, or something like that.

Just how long had it been?  It felt like a lifetime ago.  Gods...she had been so young and naive back then...  The world was still new and fresh and exciting.  There were days now when she felt old, like she had lived through and gone through more than was her fair share for this life.  Nothing that an innocent island girl could have ever dreamed to have been ready for.  And all of it had happened so fast.  Only a week or so, and now, a year later she still had trouble coming to terms with much of it.  Was it really only a year?  "What season is it there now?"  Hadn't it been spring then?  Or had it been turning to summer?  But she'd gotten pregnant quickly, and Michael was already three months old.  "Isn't it already spring?"  She forgot sometimes how long seasons were in the 'outside world.'  Pretonas and the other islands like it truly were in a world of their own.  Seasons didn't move the same way as they did across the oceans.  That was something else she was going to have to get used to...

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Offline Shades of Gray

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #1154 on: June 26, 2009, 11:32:23 AM »
Kivan could easily see the change. Nothing in the way she walked shifted; there was no tell with her footing that she was bracing herself, no changing in her breathing or hunch in the shoulders. The boys ran off; and her pupils split, elongating while green dulled to yellow, then glowed into amber, and they boys missed the change with their backs to her. She prefered it that way; she really didn't want to frighten them. One moment she was there; the next, that bone splitting crunch and crack, the sickening sounds of her body shifting off to the woods; Kivan hadn't even seen her slip the path. By the time they came parrallel to where Keshayla had been crouching; her pack and clothes were tossed into the air, caught by a startled Kivan, who was grinning wide at the wolf that was lumbering down that path after the boys, moving far too fast to kick up the dust.

The halfblood sighed, shouldering his partner's much lighter pack, and nodded in answer to Markie. "Aye... they had doomed themselves." The boy's shrilled, startled screams sounded ahead, before bouts of laughter followed, and dissapeared as they seemed to redouble their efforts in chasing the wolf. Point proven, Kivan continued. "Spring... it'll be Spring when we get back, the rains will be warmer, the flowers and trees in bloom, the waters blue instead of gray, and before you know it; that heavy humidity of summer will drift back in, sucking every ounce of moisture into the air as it can."
"Are you sure you know what you're doing?"
"Not one bit. But it's okay, I'm like every landlord in the nation. I've Googled directions."
"Shit."

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #1155 on: June 26, 2009, 12:48:17 PM »
She smiled, watching her brothers play with Keshayla.  And she was jealous.  They were still young and innocent.  Laughter still came so easily to them.  "I think I'll miss that most," she mused to herself.  "Them.  Laughing.  Those fools are always laughing about something."  Her smile was almost melancholy.  "But I guess even Wendy had to leave the nursery eventually."  Besides, they were all growing up.  A bit of teasing mirth crept into her smile, and Markie slid her gaze up to Kivan.  "I'll at least be nice enough to not call you a cradle-robber."

The walk home went much faster than the trail through the forest.  The way out had meandered all over the place, and they had gone inland to hit the sinkhole.  The beach was, more or less, a straight shot home, and in seemingly no time at all the large patchwork house came into view.  No smoke rose from the chimney as it usually did, no laundry hung on the line.  Their parents had already gone into town.  The Drakenthorne children were eager to join them, and the boys rushed through a bath and changed into clean clothes, bright and festive garments with ribbons and bows and matching caps.  Any other day of the year the outfits would be snubbed, but for the New Year's, they were the only choice.  Markie cleaned up in her room, leaving the tub for Kivan or Keshayla's use, and when she emerged again, after the boys had already scampered off to the road into town, she too was decked out for a party. 

The first difference in attire was the fact that she wore a dress; something that neither Kivan nor Keshayla had ever seen her in.  It was a light, flowing material and fell to her knees, and the colors were as festive as her brothers'.  To complete the look she had woven matching ribbons and a few shiny baubles into her hair.  Around her wrists were a pair of bracelets with clinking charms and bells on them that tinkled lightly as she walked.  She almost seemed embarrassed for the mercenaries to see her so done up.  "Well?  Shall we?"

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #1156 on: July 05, 2009, 12:26:45 PM »
((Posted for Hawkeye while she's in Alaska.  The Guild has too many pictures for her poor internet drip to handle, lol.))

Keshayla and Kivan took certain considerations. They had fine suits and dresses and bobbles and other useless stuffs for gallas and parties, but such things weren't brought or wasted now. Keshayla wore her hair loose, unbraided for a chance. Her rich auburn locks were down to the near middle of her back and rich in its waves, seeming to accentuate the vivid green of her eyes. She wore a dusty-blue tunic made of silk, and dark grey breeches, with black boots and a wide band belt around her middle, and yet again there was no visible sign of weapons on her.... though there most likely was some blade hidden on her person somewhere. She had no ribbons or such things on her, though through sheer presintation she was dressed in respect to the islands celebrations.
 
Kivan had nearly matched; but that was changed on Keshayla's guidance, not wanting to give off any wrong impressions on those who would be seeing all of them. The halfblood wore black breeches, and his tunic was made of suede, rather than silk, and such a vibrant shade of deep purple he looked utterly regal in it. Black knee boots, a black belt, and a matching ribbon to pair with Markie's accents held back his long hair in a loose knot at the nap of his neck. The two exchanged glances smirking at Markie for their own separate reasons and nodded. "After you," Kivan spoke, while offering out his arm.

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #1157 on: July 05, 2009, 02:10:54 PM »
She blushed lightly at their smirks, but draped her arm around Kivan's and started up the road with them.  It was a couple miles back to town, but it was hardly a chore when you walk that distance often.  With everything so spread out, it was common to go several miles in a day.  The day was warming, but the road remained cool within the shade of the trees, and birds sang high above them while gulls cried out from the beach now and again.

They heard the festival before they were anywhere near in sight of it.  Music played, faintly at first, but growing louder as they came closer.  Upbeat tunes, with guitars and hand drums, and the occasional tambourine or voice.  Markie smiled, her steps falling into time with the music.  When the road straightened and showed them the town, Markie grinned, and glanced over to Keshayla.  "Oh, Keshayla, before I forget...  People will think you're single, so you'll get dragged out to dance.  A lot."  She grinned a bit wider.  "They don't ask so much as...swoop in.  Just...go with it, and try not to hurt anyone, okay?"  She chuckled gently to herself at the thought of it.  "We don't get visitors out here, so people tend to get excited."  And lest Kivan think that he was out of danger...  "You'll get asked too," she grinned up at Kivan. "Just not so much, since folk'll see you with me."

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #1158 on: August 04, 2009, 02:51:16 PM »
Keshayla and Kivan glanced at each other, before sharing identical grins. It wouldn't bother either of them, the two mercenaries would be more than happy to loosen up, let go, have fun and enjoy being the new faces without the usual threats they were faced with. And if Markie thought Keshayla would scowl at the threat of dancing, she was wrong. She clapped her hands together, rubbed, and cracked her knuckles. "I appologize in advance for breaking hearts or exhausting the men and women with dance. All good intentions, I assure you."
Kivan sighed, shaking his head. "Dangerous words, Keshayla, 'good intentions' leaving your mouth is something to be reconed with."
"I'll take that as a compliment."

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #1159 on: August 04, 2009, 05:54:51 PM »
The town had undergone a transformation.  Simple and drab when the two partners had passed through, it was now brightly festooned with ribbons and flags and cloth.  The streets were full of brightly dressed people, some having traveled from miles away for the festival in Ravensloft.  The boys were nowhere to be found, and would likely be lost to the thick of things until the evening feast, when they would rejoin the family to eat, and then once more be off with friends from neighboring villages.  Music played from all corners, those who owned instruments breaking into song and joining those already played.  Across town, a drum circle could be heard, as well as the whoops and calls of those who danced within.

Their first stop was at the stand that Markie's parents worked with a few other couples, selling various foods, among them Bonny's famous pies.  The older woman fussed at Markie for making her friends miss out on the morning's fun, and pulled out a pair of linen scarves with little bells sewn to the fringe, one for Kivan and Keshayla, and helped them to tie them about their waists while her husband bantered and bartered genially with a customer over prices.  Markie vanished for a short while to see Michael, who sat inside the house they had set up in front of with the other small children, and nursed him and sent him back to sleep before rejoining the others outside.  All three were sent off with a large slice of pie and an ear of spicy corn in each hand, and given orders to waft it under everyone's noses before they ate it all.

Their first mission finished, Markie smiled and led them on, towards where a row of games had been erected further down the street.  The young mage fairly glowed with her excitement, and she kept glancing at Kivan and Keshayla, to see if they shared her joy yet.

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #1160 on: August 04, 2009, 07:28:39 PM »
It was infectious. Kivan and Keshayla both couldn't fight the pullof good cheer, like an undertow they were dragged down and swept up in it's current, lost to it's own path. Ciln had carnivals, they had their parties in the streets, lit up by paper lanterns and magic globs at night, with the sounds of cheers, laughing and spirits to fill the night. It was much the same here, where all the hard working men and women were able to roll off any worries that were resting on their shoulders, all swept gone for the night.
 
They were pleased. While it was similar to Ciln, it certainly didn't take any of the edge and pleasure away, and quite contently, they allowed the scarves with bells to be wrapped around their waits, and Keshayla even broke out into a sort of hopping jig, which Kivan joined in with, twirling and twisting in unision, their feet moving quickly with little action taken to the torso, simply to content their ears with the sounds of the bells.
 
Of course it only got better with food; something Keshayla would never pass up, and she even managed to linger with the light meal long enough to tease the sense of others, before it was gone; before Kivan had even finished half of his. The glutton comment only made her laugh,and soon the two were moving quickly along with Markie, pointing to things for explainations, or compare their own traditions to those happening here.

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #1161 on: August 04, 2009, 07:50:31 PM »
She laughed with them, happy to answer their questions as they went along.  Various strong-man competitions, seeing who could lift the most, or throw the farthest, or hit the hardest and the like, all populated by barrel-chested men and youths trying to prove themselves.  Pig wrestling, which was a staple of many country fairs; an eager soul paid a farmer a few coins for a chance to catch a greased up pig.  If he caught it, it was his.  If not, the farmer kept the coin, and happily took the next sap's money.  For the kids, there was a piglet to chase, and plenty of laughs to go around.  Almost every game there, both Keshayla and Kivan would have had a distinct, and unfair advantage.  Whenever Markie played, she had to swear not to use her magic, all in the effort of keeping things fair.

There were also a fair number of performers out in the street.  Jugglers, acrobats with painted faces, a man who breathed fire and a woman who could lift the bottom of her foot to the back of her head.  All local people showing off their talents for the amusement of others.  In time, they came to the latest strength test, a man challenging one and all to arm wrestle.  Of course, only a few brave men took the challenge, as the man they would face was build like a tree.  "You sir!" He called out to Kivan, a boastful swagger to his stance.  "A man in the company of two fine women must have some worth!  Prove to us here why they love you!"  There was a small chorus of laughter and whistles.  "Or shall I lift your burden and entertain them myself?"  A sultry wag of his brows at Keshayla brought more laughter, and he waited expectantly for Kivan's response.

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Offline Shades of Gray

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #1162 on: September 11, 2009, 09:54:04 PM »
Strong men compititions have always amused Keshayla. Humans and more strutting around, puffing out their chests, swaggering like some stag who had finished mounting all of his deer and seeded them all. She wanted to turn those cocky grins into looks of disbelief by winning; but then again, sometimes it was best not to flaunt your own skills and simply allow others to remain in blissful ignorance. She was grinning ear to ear, even as the man began to heckle Kivan, and with a wink in reply to the human, she laughed aloud and nudged her partner with her elbow. "Go on, dearest love," she jested. "Looks like our honor for walking at your side is now being questioned. Are you going to stand there and let this man belittle you so?"

The halfblood smirked; his own smile this time, no mirrored copy of Keshayla's cheshire grin. To Markie he shrugged, as if the choice was out of his hands. "How am I to argue when it's placed like that?" One wide, strong hand pushed the light sleeves of his tunic up until they bunched at his elbow, and with a toothy grin, he nodded to the challenger. "I'm afraid you lack the sufficient goods needed to properly entertain these two; but we'll play. Game on."
"Are you sure you know what you're doing?"
"Not one bit. But it's okay, I'm like every landlord in the nation. I've Googled directions."
"Shit."

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #1163 on: September 12, 2009, 01:07:34 AM »
The cries and whistles only intensified when Kivan took his seat at the small table.  With his slight build, no one honestly expected him to take the bait.  His opponent's forearm was easily as wide as Markie's leg, his biceps, which he proudly displayed, as big as a child's head when flexed.  A flurry of wagers erupted, and quickly an official from a neighboring village stepped in as bookie.  Markie counted out half her purse, on Kivan, of course, before she stepped up behind him and bent down to murmur in his ear.  "Try not to beat him too quickly.  These people are expecting a good show."  She paused, and then added more with a wicked grin.  "Play well, and we'll see what my winnings will buy me to wear for you later..."  She left him with a sultry drag of her nose against his ear, and then stood back with Keshayla.

Once all the bets were in and the muscle-bound man had finished showing off to the crowd, he took the seat opposite of Kivan.  Simple rules, common the world over.  First to touch the table lost.  Free hand was to be placed at the edge of the table, palm down.  'Bull', as Markie had termed him in her head, grinned at Kivan and placed his hands on the table.  "You're a brave man, friend, but it ain't the size of your brass we're testing here," he chuckled, and the crowd laughed with him.

His grip was strong, like a powerful vice by human standards.  Just the motion of lifting his hand to clasp Kivan's sent the muscles in his arm rippling, and several women giggled and chattered to the side, obviously appreciating his appearance.  Markie, however, simply smiled gently, and kept her eye on the bookie.  She intended to collect her winnings.

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Offline Shades of Gray

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #1164 on: September 26, 2009, 11:01:24 PM »
Kivan took his time, folding the sleeves of his tunic so they were crisp above his elbows; Keshayla aiding the half-blood by rolling the opposite arm. He had no need to wipe his palms on his pants; any speck of sweat seemed to avoid the man, although he did loosen two buttons on his shirt at the neck. With that easy swagger he made his way over to his seat and settled, Keshayla standing right beside him, making a show of rubbing his shoulders, pep-talking and such things that caused the pair to grin silly little grins, and wink in unison to one another. Markie placed the bet... and while Keshayla would have done the same, she thought it best not to take all of their money.

Though it was tempting. She did it for Markie.

Granted the man was larger than the half-blood. His arm was the same as Kivan's two combined, and while his long muscles held strong definition, they didn't give birth every time he flexed. Elbows were squarely set on the table, their hands clasped together, and a moment was taken to simply shuffle and twist their grip around until both were ready and gave the nod. The bookie gave the go, and it was over in an instant.

Or at least, that's what everyone expected. The 'bull' of a man had been ready to smash the back of Kivan's hand against the table; muscles flexing and turning to stone, but all he got in that instant was half an inch. People cheered and gasped in slight surprise; though not as surprised as the challenger. His eyes were wide, face beginning to turn red as blood rushed to his cheeks. Of course, Kivan could have gradually pushed the palm back with ease, but Markie was right, he couldn't make this easy. Where was the fun and gloating rights?
So Kivan gave that inch, than an inch more, and there was a look of hope hovering somewhere in the back of the man
"Are you sure you know what you're doing?"
"Not one bit. But it's okay, I'm like every landlord in the nation. I've Googled directions."
"Shit."

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Offline Shae Dravenmore

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #1165 on: September 27, 2009, 12:32:28 AM »
The crowd was still cheering in utterly shocked delight as the bookie counted out the last of Markie's winnings, though he looked entirely too sore about it.  But fair was fair.  She had been the only one to wager on Kivan, and so her small bet returned a hefty reward.  Certain that she hadn't been cheated, she returned to Kivan, her purse secured at her waist, looking entirely too pleased with herself.

Bull was furious.  Having spent all day winning, he had now lost in front of everyone to a man half his size.  But, as much as he may have liked to have gone on the attack, he held his ground, mostly for the supporters which stood at his elbows to assure his civility.  Markie just smiled at him from Kivan's side.  "You're right.  He does have some worth to him to deserve two ladies on his arms.  Perhaps one day you'll figure it out."

The crowd cheered for Kivan again as he rose, and more than a couple women tried to find out just how much muscle was underneath that shirt, but Markie deftly steered him away from the booth and through the crowd to the next entertainment.

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Offline Shades of Gray

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #1166 on: September 30, 2009, 07:31:33 PM »
There would have been smug gestures; bumping each other with the elbow, wiggling of their eyebrows... but really, it hadn't been fair, and too damn easy. But, Keshayla, one never to miss an opportunity, showerd her good sense of sportsmanship, and walked right up to the Bull. "Maybe next time I'm in town you could show me how many times you could bench me on your lap." She winked, rolling onto the tips of her toes, and reached up to pull his head down. The bull was rewarded a kiss that was suggestive and alluring before she waltzed away without anymore banter. To Kivan she patted him on the back; while Markie got a quick swat on the butt.
"Are you sure you know what you're doing?"
"Not one bit. But it's okay, I'm like every landlord in the nation. I've Googled directions."
"Shit."

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Re: All in a Day's Work
« Reply #1167 on: September 30, 2009, 08:40:47 PM »
Further down the road, more music was playing as musicians claimed a corner and began to play together, and townsfolk danced in a wide circle in the center of the street, brightly colored skirts and ribbons flying out with spinning bodies, bells and tinkling metal chiming as a playful undertone to the lively music.  And just as Markie had warned, the young single men were keen to dance with the new ladies to their circle.  However, it was Markie who was scooped up first, having had no more warning than a joyous, "Fair lady!" before she was swept up in a pair of arms and she went twirling around the circle.  A moment later, Keshayla was similarly caught, her partner slowing his steps just enough to be sure that she caught on with the cadence, before picking the pace up once more and began twirling her about.

It was a lively dance, with no steps more complicated than bounding hops in time to the music.  Several times both women were spun out, only to be caught up by another man who greeted them with a smile (and a teasing waggle of brows a few times).  Dancers left the circle as they became breathless, or leaped back into the flow of bodies when their energy returned.  Markie was nearly breathless with laughter from her current partner, who made up nonsense lyrics to the music as they danced, and sang it out loud for her.

Kivan didn't spend too long alone, either.  Shortly after Markie and Keshayla were taken out to dance, a young woman sidled up to Kivan and draped her arm around his, unaware of the many weapons no doubt on his person.  "Hi there stranger," she smiled up at him with a bat of her lashes.  "Care to take a spin?"  She nodded briefly out to the dancing, but the suggestive lift of her brows and the closeness of her body betrayed a more subtle suggestion.

 

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