Surreal looked up sharply when the door to her tavern opened. Her regulars would know she didn't open at this hour, so it had to be someone new. Letting her gaze wander over the woman, she decided she liked the bravery of keeping a katana in the open. She also had to sigh when she saw the hopeful look on the woman's face. How could she refuse such a blatant craving for alcohol?
She looked away when she heard Nereis moving. He was packing all his belongings while giving a speech about how he needed to get going. How absolutely typical, argue with someone over one stupid little thing that doesn't affect him, and he just has to throw a shit fit. Anyone could see that the young man considered his welcome short lived. She was about to protest, then stopped herself. What would be the use? It was obvious the kid had problems with social interaction from how very much he nervously chuckled in the middle of conversations.
She waited until he was gone, then looked at Stacey who had gone suspiciously quiet. She gave the girl a conspiratorial wink.
"I can sure empty a room, huh?" she whispered. "It's okay though, because neither of us is that antisocial."
Surreal turned her black eyes to the newcomer. She gave a warm welcome smile and waved towards Nereis's empty seat.
"I'd never turn away a patron in need. Please, take a seat. What's your pleasure?" As she spoke, Surreal finished her beer and filled up a new glass for herself.
Alara noticed the interaction between the three current occupants and the manner in which the male was moving from the building. It was in her deduction that she found perhaps he was not feeling so inclined to stay any longer due to something that had been said or done. That was their business though and if there was one thing an Assassin knew, it was always to stay out of other people’s business, less it involved your hit, of course.
Alara’s emerald gaze fell first on the quiet girl in front of the counter as she noticed how the woman behind it winked at her and had heard her words. Paying attention was also another means of which a woman like herself had adapted to in order stay alive for so long in her line of work, she didn’t miss much, in short.
“Thank you.” She said politely in her soft, quiet tone as she now moved over to the seat offered her by the woman behind the counter.
When Alara moved, it was much like her entire body moved together. Not like a normal human would walk, more of one fluid movement as if there were no room for clumsiness at all. Perfect and smooth. She sat in the stool and then smiled up at the woman behind the counter. “And it’s still warm to boot.” She offered her an even brighter look, her face shining along with the smile now. “Oh a nice strong ale would be perfect.” She stated, looking at the beer that was poured into the others glass. “And thank you.” She added, now getting the feel that perhaps the place wasn’t actually open after all.
Her eyes fell on the girl sitting there, she seemed so young, but her eyes told a story of hard days, they betrayed her like the snow clouds betrayed the coming of a storm. She thought perhaps she might have recognized her, but wasn’t entirely certain. She hadn’t remembered much about the night before, too much ale and even the sharpest of minds lost its recollections. She nodded to the girl in welcome.
Odin walked hurriedly yet casually out of the back room of the bar and turned sharply towards Surreal behind the bar. He had obviously only just arrived and there had been no noise from an opening or closing door behind him. “Oh, my god Surreal, I’m so glad you’re here to save me.” He started enthusiastically with a smile on his face as he reached out to take a hug from the bartender. “The groundskeeper wouldn’t let me out of lawn duty.” He told her almost exasperated. “The sun is so bright and he said I was using my eyes as an excuse. I just had to get away from the, manor.” He finished as he hesitantly but fluently caught himself before giving anything solid away about the graveyard or connection as he noticed the two other women in the bar. He hadn’t expected anyone else to be there at that time of day, otherwise he would have obviously been more careful. Odin never did really believe in lying though, but he did well enough at masking the truth.
His eyes were truly a problem for him. It was the first and so far only side effect he was suffering from the use of his dark education; his eyes were extremely sensitive to bright lights, especially form the sun. He hadn’t done his lawn chores either. There was no way he was going to let the groundskeeper push him into that. He simply found the nearest substantial shade and made his hasty exit to the familiar bar.
“It’s not like you to leave the back door wide open.” Odin said, smoothly covering the lack of a creaking door with his all too sly entry. “Look at what you’ve brought in though.” He continued with a grin as he turned to the two other ladies at the bar and changed the subject, fluidly trying to avert the attention away from his unperceptive slips. He had just walked on three drinking women; a situation that met him far more fairly that mowing the lawn in the sun. Surreal was his master, for as much as that was worth with him, and one girl was obviously too young for him, but that still left him with one good looking woman to flirt with.
“I really need some beer.” He said to Surreal with a pleading smile and a pair of puppy dog eyes as he leaned one arm casually against the bar. “I like your sword.” He said to the woman with a katana across the bar from him. “Mind if I check it out?” he asked with a coy grin as he turned slightly to put his own wakizashi strapped to his right leg into her view as he never ceased to lean on the counter.
She saw him before she heard him, something not usual and most disturbing, though as he drew closer, she could smell the distinct odor of shadow on him and she instantly came to a conclusion, though it wasn’t anything to her she would play with his intent to have come in some back door left open if that was the way he wished her to think. After all, who was she to think less of him for wishing to hide anything, from anyone? She listened as well to his babble about something to do with lawn work and the sun as well his eyes. She took note that he complained about these things to the bartender and likely owner of the bar. Her eyes never turned toward him though until he spoke to her directly.
The woman turned her gaze towards him, her eyes being the only thing that moved, the remaining of her staying a still as if it were frozen in one position. She seemed to size him up for a moment. “Show me yours and I shall show you mine?” She questioned as her head finally followed her green orbs to fully look upon this new member of the scene. She then raised a brow to await his response as she drew her Katana from its resting place inside its protective black, leather sheath. Then with very quick and agile fingers, tossed the weapon slightly in the air and allowed the hilt to balance, still spinning for a moment on her fingertip, before stopping it by grasping the blade between two fingers and laid it gently down on the bar.
The blade was a sight of beauty, perfectly crafted and balanced to perfection. The edge was smoothly sharpened and at first glance even an untrained eye could tell the cool metal would slice through anything that happened to get in its way. A piece meant to be used and definitely not just an ornament at a lady’s side.
Alara didn’t say anything else, she just waited for him to respond as well, awaited her ale from the woman behind the bar she now knew as Surreal
Odin was a little startled at the woman’s proficiency with her sword. She was far more graceful with it than he had expected, though he didn’t show it. He smiled when she put her sword down on the bar as his eyes worked over the shining sharp blade. “Sounds fair.” He concluded with a grin and a nod in the woman’s direction.
With that, Odin drew his own sword from the black sheath strapped to his black pants and swung it smoothly around as it made it’s way to the counter next to the katana. It wasn’t that he was showing off; that would have been useless and in fact a complete failure since the woman was clearly his vast superior with the sword, flare was just his style, as pointless as it was.
His sword too was very sharp and incredibly well crafted. It was the sword his father had commissioned for him to ensure that his son possessed a quality weapon. Of course, Odin’s wakizashi was also adorned very well with a gorgeous hilt bearing an ancient family crest and engravings on the blade in an ancient dialect that were to personalize the sword specifically for him. His father had to ensure after all, that Odin’s sword looked proper in the hands of such a highly classed man. Stature meant everything to the VanRhyne family, except of course to Odin. He did love his sword though, which had cost his father something more along the lines of a pretty coin sac than a pretty penny. It was quite a fine craft.
Surreal felt a tingle start at the base of her spine. It shimmied up her back and streaked down her arms until even her fingers were pleasantly buzzing. She hid her smile before Odin appeared and began to speak. She could only imagine what mischief the cheeky necromancer was up to now. When he opened his arms for a hug she squeezed as hard as her feeble frame would allow. His speech, however, had her eyes narrowing with every passing moment. He got distracted, which was fine, because it gave her a chance to pour the ale and lager. After she was done, she set them down in front of their respected owners, then turned to her necromancer.
"Excuse us a moment," she tossed over her shoulder at the ladies. Odin was still holding his precious sword, but she wasn't concerned for her safety when it came to this particular necromancer. Surreal grabbed Odin's handsome face between her bony hands and glared at him. He was four years older than her, but had the energy and spunk of a teenager. Usually, it made Surreal grin, but sometimes...
"You know as well as I do that your eye condition can be solved with a single pair of sunglasses. Last time I checked, Odin, you have plenty of those. Since, however, you have decided to come here for a little bit of daytime relaxation, I will excuse you of your gardening obligations until the sun sets. At that time you will return to the manor, mow the lawn, and then you will practice all of your exercises all night long. I am sure you don't mind missing one Friday's worth of parties, right, dear?"
She smiled at him and patted his cheek with more fondness than she wished to show. Embarrassed by the telling gesture, she turned to her own drink and sipped a little from it. Had she been too harsh on Odin? The man had an absolute talent for necromancy, but he had a fine laziness about him. He always explained to her that it wasn't about hating work, it was about loving to party more.
Alara thanked Surreal for her ale and laid a few coins on the counter for the drink and then looked down at the sword Odin had brought forth for her to inspect. “It was a fine piece of work, looking well balanced with intricate designs and all, unlike hers, which was simply black handled, nothing really personal about it other than it had been hers for many years.
The Wakizashi was a slightly shorter sword than what her Katana was, but still, quite a deadly weapon, especially for one who knew how to use it and she figured that Odin knew how it was to be used, he seemed to handle it well enough when he presented it to her. She did however reach out and take the sword in her hands and gave it a small swoosh and as she did with her own, twirled it on one finger before stopping it with two, catching his blade between the digits and gave him a pleased smile.
“You keep it well maintained, that is good.” She commented in an offhand manner, her attention to the detailed work on the sword though it seemed non existent, was anything but, her emerald orbs swept over them, capturing the way the strokes had been put into the making of the design and thought perhaps she might have even known the name of the artisan who would have done such intricate work, though said nothing. After she had played with his sword though, she returned it to the bar, laying it softly next to her own. “It is a great weapon.” She remarked. “You should be honored to carry it.” She finished as she reached for and then took a long swig from her tankard of ale. “So, are you drinking with us then Odin?’ She asked, holding her tankard up to him and giving Surreal a slight smile before turning an eye on Surreal again.
The girl behind the counter, though pale and seemingly feeble, was not all she was put out to be, there was more to her than Alara had first thought, maybe it too, was the scent of shadows that seemed to drift from the woman as they did from Odin.
Odin blinked a few times firmly as Surreal responded with her responsible directions. It hadn't been what he hoped for. She was letting him out of the work for the daytime, which was great, but he had to wonder if it was worth losing out on the best clubbing of the week. He took the pat on the cheek in silence with his jaw half way to the floor. "Friday night?" he repeated back to his master in near shock at her expectations.
While still gazing aimlessly at Surreal, Odin reached out with one hand and took up the drinking woman's katana. "I do what I can." he said coyly, turning to lean on the counter and face the women across it. "She means to say I can drink this afternoon." he finished with a wink and a smile to Alara, and a sideways nod in Surreal's direction.
He wasn't quite sure yet what he was going to do later that night. Obviously, he wasn't getting out of lawn duty all together this time, so he would have to do that as Surreal had said. Practicing his studies all night long would be the curious part, since he definately didn't want to miss friday night entirely. what was the point of learning a power if the study would control him instead of the other way around? he would have to think of an entertaining compromise that would suffice for proctice as well.
"I promise i will practice all night Surreal." he said hesitantly, still pondering how he would handle the deal. as always, Odin would surely keep his promise. he wasnt one to ever lie; he shouldn't have to, besides, it would contradict his ego. "And I'll mow the lawn later, but my sunglasses only do so much. it's REALLY bright out today." as he emphasized the brightness of the afternoon sun, Odin put one arm around his master's waist and held the sword in his other hand out towards the sky in gest. "I get beer right?" he asked, but really assumed as he leaned his head over to gently touch Surreal's for a second before lifting it off again. as he spoke, Odin swooshed the katana in a number of calculated movements, safely away from any of the three ladies in the bar.
"It's great." Odin said simply about the woman's katana. She hadn't seemed to look at the details of his wakazashi but she obviously had. she was also obviously quite savvy, because it took some understanding of the precisions of a sword to admire his like she seemed to beyond the obvious 'wow, it's gorgeous' reactions that most casual weopon enthusiasts gave. "Good balance." he added off handed as he lightly placed the katana back on the counter next to his.
Stacey didn`t study the woman too long. She had seen her the night before in a place she didn`t wish to be seen, so she was greatly glad she was nothing today as she was last night. She watched the new man appear, also bothered at first that she hadn`t heard his approach. When the dark scent touched her nose, thought, she had to hide the fact that she recognized it at all.
She watched the exchange of weapons, itching to try them herself, but she was, after all, not supposed to be found out. If she was, that would mean grave danger for her family and their buisiness. Her leg twitched slightly; that was were she kept one of her longer and better swords. All of her knives were crafted perfectly, of course no one else knew that.
Surreal paid no mind to the weapon display occurring in her bar. She had the sword she made, it was the only one she loved, and she would never care about another sword for as long as she lived. When Odin hugged her around the waist she hid her grin. The man tested her temper so often she often wondered if she should just stop pretending she had any control over his life. Sure, he promised to do his studies, and he would, but Surreal could already just imagine how he would do them.
A horrible thought made her suddenly dizzy. What if he threw a party in the graveyard? He would probably do his exercises and call them a show. He'd make all those people believe that he was just a good host when he was really a necromancer trying to have a fun night and study. Once he got drunk enough, he might even do something horrible by accident. Surreal glared at Odin as if he had suggested all this.
"No parties in the mansion," she ground out, grabbing his already poured ale and holding it beneath his nose. Surreal might be physically feeble, but she was quite menacing when she wanted to be. "I don't care what you do, or how you manage to do your exercises and party. I'm sure you will find a way to do it, but God help me, don't throw a party in the manor." She chugged her fresh drink, hoping the beer would bolster her fluttering stomach.
"I adore you, Odin, like the brother I never had. You know that. Which is why its okay for me to tell you that if you throw a party I will put you on gardening duty every single day for the rest of your life. No sunglasses. At noon." She kissed his cheek, then poured herself two more beers. She nursed them while staring at nothing and thinking about the horrors of older brothers.
Alara watched the entire exchange between the two behind the counter and inclined her head simply at Odin when he announced that her sword was great and with good balance. She listened to Surreal and couldn’t help but allow her lips to turn up at the corners at the way she seemed to talk to Odin as if he were a child. She as well took note of the small girl fidgeting over in the other stool and wondered what she was doing in a place like this when certainly, she’d be much more comfortable out at the beach with the other teens her own age but made no comment as wouldn’t want to offend the girl, Alara was anything but rude wasn’t one of her strong points, not all together gone from her mannerisms, but not anywhere near a strong point.
The assassin took her sword almost lovingly from the top of the bar and slid it back into its resting place at her side and looked back up at Odin then, that same slim smile etched across the woman’s lips just before holding her own drink up to him and taking a long swallow from its content.
She sighed then, settling in a bit and laid her drink on the counter before her. “I must say that this does taste very good, a hot day goes best with a cold drink I think.” She then stated to no one in general, her green orbs still however fixed on Odin. There was definitely something more to this cocky male than he let on, she lifted the ale once more to her lips and took yet another swallow and thought more on what Surreal had told him about a party, it had been a long time since she’d thrown one of those herself and began to think on it seriously, though not this weekend, she would have to make up for her decision of lost work tomorrow, she really hated not working, but at the same time, she honestly was just not focused enough in her mind just yet to do the job to her higher standards.
Odin grabbed the mug of beer from Surreal as she drank her own and took his first sip. He had to stop for a moment to think as he leaned back onto the bar counter and faced the two other women again. He hadn't though of a party in the graveyard, though her idea was worth considering. as strict and responsible as Surreal was, she sometimes seamed to have a more devious mind than she tried to let on. A party in the graveyard could be a lot of fun. It could be an eerier version of a bush party, but a lot more annoying to the other necromancers. That was worth considering, except it may be more trouble for Odin than it was worth. The whole thing seemed like a recipe for disaster though, which he wasn't entirely against except this could have him in deeper trouble than garden duty in the sun. An event like that would draw a lot of attention.
"No parties at the manor." Odin repeated to Surreal in accepting responce. "I hadn't thought of it, but clearly you have." he added with a wink as he quickly glanced over his shoulder at his master for a moment before returning to the two other women in the bar and taking a long draw from his beer.
"A good cold drink is always a good thing." Odin said to the darkly dressed woman with the katana. "Even at night." he added with a coy grin before taking another sip of beer.
"Lucky for me, Surreal loves me and keeps me in good supply." He said, and then reached out with one arm to put it loosely around his master's waist again, though he continued to lean on the counter. "I love you too." he added with a smile tossed her way.
"Oh and we all haven't been introduced." Odin stated calmly with his soft smile across his lips as he looked across at the two women sitting at the bar. "My name is Odin of course and you both seem to know Surreal. I haven't caught your names though." He took another short sip of beer and pulled his arm from Surreal's waist to reach over the table in greetings to either of the two ladies who would take it first, and would leave it for the next one should she take it too.
“Because I haven’t thrown it your way.” Was the first thought that came to mind in Alaras’ head and she smiled at the thought, though of course she wouldn’t have said that, it would have been intentionally rude and would have opened a line of conversation she just didn’t feel like dealing with right at this point. Besides, it was all too easy of a line to throw about.
“Odin.” She then stated silently, though not too silent, anyone would have head her roll his name out over her tongue. She took his hand in her own and rising her emerald orbs to meet his, once again, her head not following, she grinned. “Alara, pleasure.” She stated and then let his hand go slowly as her head moved up to meet the gaze her jewel like orbs had started. “And yes, I know the name of Surreal, but no, we haven’t as if yet been properly introduced, though I am certain now that we each know the others name, we can manage from there.” She turned her emerald orbs on the girl behind the counter and smiled slightly before returning her attention to Odin once more.
“You seem to have a conflict within yourself Odin.” She grinned at him then, not wanting to get between the two of them, but not being able to pass the opportunity up to further his desire to party on this Friday as he obviously did every night, and even more so this night. As well, by his mannerisms she could ascertain as to his desire to flirt. Yes indeed, there was no mistaking the fact that he was perhaps one of the largest flirts she’d had the pleasure or displeasure to meet, depending upon what kind of flirt he would turn out to be. She of course wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to flirt either, so long as it wasn’t going to get out of hand as she tended to get a bit aggressive the more she drank.
"Haha...yeah, clearly thought of it," Surreal muttered under her breath. Odin was busy being Odin, giving her casually loving gestures while flirting outrageously with whatever women were around. She sometimes imagined him like a clown at the zoo that thought he was losing the kids attention, so he started blowing up more balloon animals than he needed to and covered himself from head to foot with pie. It made her wonder, not for the first time, if he realized his own worth.
He had removed the easy hand from around her waist, so she reached a hand up to play with his raven hair. She felt bad that he was always so touchy feely with her and she rarely reciprocated the gesture. Sure, she always welcomed his grasp or played with his hair for a few seconds, but it wasn't the same as the constant attention the rascal gave to her.
"You should grow it out," she murmured, loving the feel of hair between her fingers. She curled a single strand around her fingers and turned to Alara. Her gaze, when it met the woman's, was far less assessing than any she'd been given. It wasn't that she didn't feel curious about the woman, it was just that Surreal always felt that what people said mattered more than how tough they looked. And it wasn't like a mage, thief, or assassin would ever be so open about what they were that someone could just pick it off their clothing.
"As for Odin, he's not conflicted so much as affectionate. I assure you there's no conflict." She winked at the other woman. Sure, Odin was certainly handsome enough, but Surreal knew how womanizing he was. She had no illusions that his respect for her would continue to exist if she hopped willingly into his bed. It made it easier for her to casually pet his hair without worrying that he was getting the wrong idea.
Odin tossed a smile over to Surreal when her fingers reached his hair. It did feel rather nice. “I’ll think about it.” He replied casually to her suggestion. He honestly would think on it; as usual, Odin wasn’t lying or faking his words.
“Of course there’s no conflict.” He said with another coy grin as he looked between Surreal and Alara. “I always know what I want. It’s just a matter of how I’m going to get it.” Odin was always confident in any endeavor; most people said he was cocky, but he always argued that his ambitions were very rarely above him, if ever at all. Where most men would have tried to mask their intent, Odin plainly stated it.
Odin’s affection for Surreal even, was not faked or contrived. It was as genuine as anything else he ever said or did. He had paid enough attention to the woman to notice her beauty beneath what most people saw as a sickly look. Her skin though very pale, was also soft and fair. Odin would definitely never take the master necromancer for granted, but never tried to push his limits either. He more so took for granted that she wasn’t going to fall for him, almost like a boy who shies away from a girl who’s out of his league.
“I’m pleased to meat you too Alara.” He said with a great grin as she shook his hand, then he offered his hand to the other girl at the counter, wondering if she mightn’t be too shy to introduce herself.