Y’lanna joined in with Haug. She didn’t drink as enthusiastically as her companion, but she did drink and pick at the plate enough to continue along this pleasant route.
“I’ve travelled a long way, over the Lyr Sea, stopped in the Grand Navigators for a bit before arriving in Sesus and taking this last leg of the journey by train.” She smiled briefly and placed her hand on his thigh. “As for the adventure, well, it’s a long and rather dull story. Suffice it to say that an item of importance to my family has gone missing, and I am meeting up with some people to look for it. What about you? What adventure are you on? What brings you on this train?”
There had been truth and lies mixed up together in the story that she told. It was true enough that she had been over the Sea of Lyr, into the Grand Navigators for a day or so, and then off towards Sesus. However, she failed to say just how far she had come, that she in fact was not from this reality at all. She also failed to note that she was in the company of one Ruili Windwolf Ereonis, Lord High Admiral and Earl of the Grand Navigators. Who knew what complications that piece of information might bring up, as well as hindering her attempts at finding information. Finally, she did not mention that she was to be meeting up with the other two sons of Ereon and whoever might be with them.
However, she had kept the basis of truth in what she said, merely leaving out or smoothing over details that might reveal the truth of her apparent interest in Haug Handslayer.
It probably didn’t matter anyway — not after her hand landed on his log-sized leg. All the while she was talking, he was advancing another plot. For every sip of ale she took, he downed half a tankard. It seemed to have little effect on him. Every nibble of lettuce or whatever that she took, he followed by raising a morsel of cheese or pickle with his massive fingertips to her full, dark lips. By the time she started with questions, his heavily muscled arm was around her and a hand that almost could have encircled her thigh was sliding up from her knee.
“Adventure?” He shrugged. “The usual thing, chasing some screw’s son who put a twist in my boss’s balls. All in a day’s work. But here, love, if you’re looking for an item that’s gone a-wandering in Raurugia, then you’ve already found the man you need. Born and raised in these mountains was I, and no one knows their roads and folk better than Haug Handslayer.” He followed his bragging up by stealing an experimental kiss on the crenelated ridges of Y’lanna’s head, and he didn’t seem discouraged by that alien detail at all.
She allowed him to kiss her. “I’ll have to remember that. Maybe after you’ve finished with your work, we can find each other again, but for now I have to retire. It’s a big day and if I am to remain beautiful as you see me now, I need my beauty sleep. Tomorrow, let’s continue on from where we’ve started.”
She smiled gently at him as she removed her hand from his thigh. She put on a slight demeanor of tiredness and started to withdraw from Haug and her seat in the Galley car.
For a moment, his firm grip around her shoulders and strong touch on other parts seemed likely to stop her. The gang enforcer looked down at her with a subtle hint of suspicion, but in the end, the pressure lifted off her.
“Aye, you remember that, m’dear,” he said, and as she slipped out from under his arm, he caught her hand and raised it surprisingly gently to his lips, holding onto her fingers an extra moment. “And remember that Handslayer won’t wait long for what he desires. It’s been a long time since a lass led me a chase. Sleep well, pretty one, and plan your game well, for you’ve a player in me. Good night to you, till tomorrow.”
Perhaps the single most ironic thing about this whole affair was that it was soft and genteel Y’lanna versus the bruiser of a man Haug. Perhaps he did have physical strength over her, but she still had some tricks up her sleeve.
Now was the time to retreat and plan her next assault and she already had an idea.
“Till tomorrow, Haug,” she said before leaving through the door towards the sleeper section and Ruili.
A joint Muravyets/Bazalonia post