Comments Thread: http://forums2.battleon.com/f/tm.asp?m=14108504
The Bittersweet Taste of Love
A dead silence hung in the air, almost thick enough as to be tangible. The tavern's former occupants had long since left the building, scattered by bar fights or an inkling of common sense that found its way through their alcohol-clouded minds. The tavern now sat bare, save for a rather bored bartender and two curious customers.
A once merry hearth fire cracked on occasion, its yellow flames slowly dwindling down to red-orange embers. The two remaining bar patrons sat by themselves, both isolated in their own thoughts and agendas. Neither seemed to mind or notice the dwindling light.
"Get me 'nother ale!" one of them barked. As the bartender hurried to satisfy his request, the man stole another glance at the tavern's sole female occupant. Her figure, though lean and well balanced, was riddled with spunk and mystery behind her beautiful black dress. Within the dull tavern light, her crisp, blue eyes shined like a diamond within unclear water, her skin a silky tan that brought out the beauty of her hair and eyes.
That woman, Kitsune, leaned over and onto the bar, placing her elbow gracefully on its surface. Her hand delicately waved auburn hair from in front of her intense, blue eyes. "Barkeep," she called smoothly. "Something lite, sour, and on the rocks, please." She smiled and idly spun her hair around her index finger as the barkeep set the man's drink in front of him to prepare hers. "Thank you," she said with a smile as the barkeep delivered her drink.
A black-gloved hand, without a word of thanks, reached forward to grab the mug of ale offered to him. A quick tug on his black hood revealed an all-too inhuman face that drank down the ale. Black-tipped, triangular ears flattened themselves against his skull as he drank, then perked up, on the alert for any strange noise.
"Gonna be a long night," he muttered to himself upon wiping his mouth with a black sleeve. The bartender showed no surprise at his patron's surprisingly vulpine countenance; he had openly broadcasted it earlier and scared off the few persevering drunkards determined to work the barkeep to the wee hours of the morning. The man himself, however, seemed hell-bent on the same goal as the drunkards he scared off.
Gonna be an interesting night, Kitsune added mentally as she took a tiny sip of her drink. Her crimson lips flared against the light as the glass left her face. She crafted another smile while her free hand placed her loose hair behind her dainty ears. Though most would probably see through her bold act, none would ever assume that she was thief—and a good one at that.
The fox-man, Rychaeth Leithyr, snuck yet another glance at the woman across the bar. She swung her beautiful eyes back at Rychaeth, contemplating whether or not to have a little fun. Her love of games had her swinging her finger against the top of her drink in a playful manner. Rychaeth himself grinned slyly as he thought out his own actions. It's not like he hasn't done anything like this before.
He silently checked over his equipment, making sure everything was in place, as he got up and headed closer. He took some pains to appear intoxicated, at least to some degree, to minimize his chance of failure. Underestimation was on his side. Or so he thought.
" 'Ey there, sugah," he said with a lazy grin. "Ya dun look like th' sort ta be hangin' 'round 'ere." Kitsune turned her body only a slight fifty degrees before staring and smiling at the man. She drew a light chuckle.
"You shouldn't worry about me. I can handle myself quite nicely."
"Ya never know when somethin' might 'appen." Rychaeth leaned closer to Kitsune and gestured outwards towards the bar with his hand. His gloved fingers made a graceful arc through empty space and halted, still gesturing out into the distance. "There jes' might be some magic in th' air."
Kitsune placed her right gloved hand on the side of his face. "Awww, you're worried about me?" Like a cat with a play toy, she slid it off slowly. "It's good to worry about others, but trust me: I can be pretty sly…and deadly..." She had already placed out a pawn; she now awaited Rychaeth's reaction.
Rychaeth responded with his own pawn—nothing major, placing his hand lightly on Kitsy's shoulder. "I'd shudder ta think at how deadly ye can be." He leaned closer still, close enough so that she could see his face beneath his hood. Kitsune simply watched as the man-fox leaned in closer, revealing his real face. She raised her right eyebrow in interest. He simply grinned back at her. "But tell me, can ye outfox a fox?"
She smiled softly, showing the fact she found a slight humor in this. "A fox is only as witty as its curiosity will allow, my friend."
Rychaeth chortled, still grinning. His eyes shone with a mischievous glint. "An' pray tell me: how curious is this fox? Is she curious 'nough ta learn somethin'?"
Kitsune leaned in closer to Ry—far enough to not be in contact, but close enough to whisper softly in his ear. "This fox is witty enough to know not to be curious."
"Not even a little?" Rychaeth chuckled again, shaking his head slowly. "How will this fox learn of th' world, then? How will this fox learn to be sly?" He looked straight into her eyes, grinning. "Ta be sly is ta learn, my dear vixen. Wit ain't much but knowledge, and little foxes gotta be curious 'bout traps ta learn ta avoid 'em, no?" He waited, his nerves at the ready. His queen was out, now. The game depended on her next move.
"That's deep, my friend, but it doesn't have me trying to climb back in. Ya know?" She grinned, mockingly, as she continued to play her cards mischievously.
Rychaeth grinned in kind. He moved back slightly, looking at Kitsune out of the corner of his eye. "Would ya suggest better bait or a better trap?" he asked, chuckling.
"Oh, don't worry. When it comes to teaching an old fox new tricks... I think I've got them all up my sleeves." She watched Rychaeth cautiously. Underneath her sleeves, she wore wristbands lined with two-inch throwing knives.
Rychaeth raised an eyebrow. "Oh, do ya now?" He grinned and sat down at the barstool next to hers, leaning back against the bar. He feigned curiosity; she had absolutely no idea what she was up against. He readied a dagger, quite literally up his sleeve.
"I am a very vafrous fox you know?"
"An' I respond in kind." His eerily vulpine grinning didn't help matters at all.
Kitsune smiled as she pulled her foot up to adjust her high heels, but actually readied her own dagger. "You're alright, my friend, but what's the name of this curious fox? By all means, do tell."
Rychaeth glanced off into the distance, feigning thought to his response. He got up and walked right back up to her. "Rychaeth Leithyr, at your service," he said, grinning and leaning against the bar again. "An' ya jes' might find that I 'ave a few tricks up m' own sleeve."
Kitsune leaned in a little closer, her breath hot and fragrant with the aroma of green apples. Her features became brighter under the hanging bar light as she stood up. "My, my. Aren't we the sly fox tonight?" She headed out of the bar and left behind a handful of cash at the table—enough to pay for Ry's drinks and her own. "The name's Kitsune and that's all you need to know." She stood at the opened doorframe of the tavern, almost fully shrouded by the outside fog, before she walked out and disappeared into the silent night.
Rychaeth called out after Kitsune's retreating figure—but not too loudly. "Nice meetin' ya. Can we say same place, same time, t'morrow?" He grinned. "I'll pay th' tab, next time. I insist." Still grinning, he got up and made sure his equipment was in order. The dagger remained concealed up his sleeve.
The bartender, relieved that he could finally get a good night's rest, started towards the money. But Rychaeth swiped it as he walked towards the door. He paused at the doorframe, chuckling, as if to taunt the befuddled barkeep. "I'll be payin' with yer money," he added under his breath. "Details, details details."
Still laughing softly to himself, he exited the bar, leaving a startled and confused bartender bereft of his hard-earned cash.
< Message edited by Versilaryan -- 7/5/2008 15:38:45 >