06.16.3013: ...and Fry Bread
Summary: Lorelei and Michael spend time together, talking about a lot of things.
Date: 16 June 2013
Related: Bruised Apples
Lorelei Michael 

The Grand Esplanade - Landing, Imperius
Although the Grand Esplanade is centered on a double lane for ground vehicles and carriages, the majority of the broad street is held for pedestrian use. Smooth pavement extends out around planters that keep vehicle traffic away from people on foot, exposing a broad expanse to the feet of passers by.

The Esplanade leads past scores of little hole-in-the-wall shops and kiosks selling everything from daggers to scarves to jewelry. Light posts are interspersed with the planters, casting a warm glow over the Esplanade at night, while electrostatic shields blur the skies but keep off any rain from above, leaving the Esplanade crowded day or night, rain or shine.

Towering over the Esplanade to the west is the shimmering steel spire of the Citadel, while the Gardens of Erkwin and the Landing Stadium lie to the east. Directly north is the magnificent Palace Towers, seat of House Sauveur.

16 June 3013
The Ways Station - Landing, Imperius
As the center of intercontinental and interplanetary travel, the Ways is perhaps the busiest region of Imperius Landing. No matter the hour, there is a constant hum of activity as people arrive in or depart from the largest city of Imperius. Loiters are best kept to the outside of the plaza to avoid getting swept up in the waves of foot and horse traffic that frequent the stone-covered ground. The broad circular plaza is broken by a ring of humped arches varying in size from ten to forty feet high. At any given time, about half of them glow with the light of an opened Way.

This plaza is also a crossroads for the four largest of the esplanades, guiding travelers in each of the four cardinal directions toward a variety of destinations. To the North is the militant black spire of the Citadel and grand Towers of Matthias which house the Royal Family and the Noble House embassies. Opposite, down the southern road, are the foundaries and the Smith's Tower. To the East is the Arcology of Arcadem, which houses both the grand libraries and the Imperium Cathedral. Lastly, to the West, is the poetically named Tower of Forgotten Nights which houses a variety of taverns and other sources of entertainment.

16 June 3013

Lorelei 's flustered, by a few things now. She's young enough, that managing those emotions is hard enough, much less when there's a few different things happening at once. "No. You think I'm this frail little girl who can't walk home by myself. I'm not." She'll let go of her strap with one hand to point at Michael, "I can guarantee I've been throw from a horse more times than you." Ok, she can't guarantee that, but she's trying to prove a point! She'll then take the pointed finger and jab in the direction that Taryn went, "He is going to go get himself killed, over some stupid self fulfilling dream, and is trying to divert attention by being a prat." …and she let him. She'll grimace and close her eyes when she realizes what Taryn did, hand going back to her satchel.

Michael allows his smile to fade, but not into frown. He is simply no longer smiling, his demeanor still gentle and kind but not over flowingly so. "My skills at riding horses are terrible…" he starts, "Lorelei, I don't imply that you cannot handle yourself. So far you've proven just how strong you are, and that is the reason I pursue time with you to the extent I am. If you truly were frail and in need of constant escort, I would not be so insistent on seeing you." he knows that most likely won't be taken entirely correctly, but for once he doesn't know what to say, and he's allowing that to show. Glancing in the direction Taryn went for a moment he looks back and sighs, "Taryn cares about you, he's pushing you to me because he wants you to have someone, at least this part I can explain correctly… Awakened dreams aren't always right, and I promise you, if I hear that Taryn needs someone I will find him and bring him back." his face doesn't give away the sorrow he's feeling. He is now certain, that by saying that, he's tied his own noose on any chance with her.

Lorelei flinches slightly, only now realizing how rude she was being to poor Michael, "Oh…I'm so sorry Michael. I shouldn't be yelling at you…" Her expression softens, "I didn't mean anything about your riding. I'm sure you're fine." What is it with Knights and squires not being able to ride horses? She'll force her hands to loosen on her bag, no need to hurt herself. Sighing softly, "Why he things match making of all things would help me, I don't understand." She'll look up, giving Michael a soft smile, "I would appreciate that. Or at least let me know if anything happens… I'd have no way of really knowing." A deep breath and a glance once more in the direction Taryn went, "I was just going back home to Arboren." With a bit of a forced, but brighter smile than before she'll offer her arm for him to walk her.

Michael doesn't change his expression at first, he accepts her arm with his own, and starts to walk toward the Ways. "He wants to see you happily in love with someone, and someone happily in love with you. He might see something we can't, and that might be the reason behind it. I don't know." his soft smile begins to tug at his lips as he looks down to Lorelei, "I would have to guess, that he's looking out for you in his own way. It might be that he hopes, with a companion or lover in your life, you'll feel protected and be protected." he really doesn't want to say this next part, but he does, "To me, that shows just how much he cares about you, and shows just how strong he really is."

Lorelei rolls her eyes lightly, "I'm only 18. I wish everyone would stop trying to marry me off." Sighing, she'll let her arm rest more comfortably on Michael's. "To allow something, even a Dream, to dictate your life so certainly…that show lack of faith in one's self. Whatever happens to him, it will be because he's decided it will, not because of the Dream." She knows that's not completely true, but Taryn seems to be going the exact opposite, like he has no say at all! Her eyes travel from a passing cart back to Michael, and she'll tilt her head, looking up at him. "I'm too angry to go home. I'll just end up getting into trouble with my house… would you like to get snack of something?" Her cheeks are starting to calm down and her eyes have lost that angry edge to them.

"I would like that, I could always use someone to remind me to eat, and it seems you fill that role today." he smiles playfully at her now, "Eighteen huh?" he chuckles, "I could be called a cradle robber…" he shakes his head, clearly his thoughts wandered off over a line he set in his own head. "Well, I'm not really that much older than you."

Lorelei honestly smiles, looking at the closest food venders to see what they have, or if anything would be alright for her to eat, anyway. She'll tilt her head, her smile turning a bit quizzical, "How old did you think I was?" She'll laugh softly, not mocking, just finding it funny, "How old are you?" Something catches her eyes and she'll turn to look at a cart, "Oh! meal or desert?"

Michael smiles at Lorelei, "I'm guessing, that asking was merely formality. Desert sounds nice, I haven't eaten anything sweet in ages." he glances at her for a moment, "To be honest, I wasn't sure how old you were… I kind of hoped you were just a couple years younger at most, but six isn't so many."

Lorelei grins up to Michael, desert was the right answer! She'll stop at a fry bread stand, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. She'll laugh, her mood much better now that she's not dwelling on whatever drama Taryn's in. "Oh look! They have cinnamon spice!" She'll open up her satchel and pause as he gives her the number. Why is everyone so much older than her? Pulling out money, she'll look to Michael, "What do you want on yours?" She's offering to buy one for him, unsure about his finances at the moment. She will soften the insult(if it is) with a warm hopeful smile.

Michael returns her grin with a playful kind smile. "Cinnamon sounds wonderful, thank you." he noted her offer, and knew she wasn't attempting to insult him. Actually, he's flat broke now, so he couldn't take the offer from her anyways. Why is rent so expensive in the Crescent? He might need to take a night job… not looking forward to that. "You're not entirely comfortable with my being older… are you?" his question is earnest.

Lorelei gives the vendor her beaming smile, and when she's handed the two fry breads, both have a touch more cinnamon than normal. Handing one to Michael, "It's not…I don't mind any age differences, it's just everyone seems to be older than me. And there for acts as if they know more." She'll shrug, not too upset. She has Fry Bread! she'll giggle softly as she tears off a piece, it's messy, but good! her smile drops some and her voice sombers, "I think everyone my age is off becoming soldiers." she'll flick her head, trying to get that lock from earlier out of her eyes.

Michael laughs softly and reaches a hand over to gently brush the lock of hair back behind her ear. "Well, I certainly know a lot, but I would never assume I know more." he smiles, and takes a small bite of his fry bread, getting cinnamon powder all over his lips and on the tip of his nose even. He gets a look in his eye, and smiles, "It's ready! Want to come and see?" he seems excited about something.

Lorelei smiles thankful at the help with her lock. And then she'll giggle at his new powdered look, "Oh! This won't hurt your armor, will it?" If sugared cinnamon hurts their armor, the Hostiles may be in for an easier fight than they all hoped for. She'll tilt her head, blinking her eyes in confusion, "What's ready?"

Michael chuckles, "No not really, this suit at least won't be damaged by some powder. The more advanced suits like aggressor and super heavy would be though. Something I've kept secret from Sir Johana, its in the Ways waiting for me. Want to see?" he asks again, obviously wanting to show off whatever he's excited about.

Lorelei blinks. That doesn't seem right, more advanced armor would be bothered? How do they fight in any kind of terrain? She'll raise an eyebrow, and smile at Michael, "What is it?" She'll move to start walking towards the ways.

the Ways—

Michael walks through the area up to the gate that leads to the Crescent. Stopping in front of an orderly looking man in a uniform with a shipping company logo on it. "Young Master Athyros?" is the man's question to Michael, and Michael nods to the man. "Good, thumb print here please." he man hands Michael a small pad and Michael places his thumb on the indicated spot.

The tall container is made of metal, and looks to be securely locked. Michael types into a number pad on the side, and the locks release their airtight seal. The man from the shipping company nods once and leaves, as the panel on the container slides back to reveal a suit.

Here stands an impressive show of metals and composites shaped into plates that move with such unison they seem to flow like a second skin. A bold deep black, with rich scarlet red accents, this defender armor is obviously of House Ibrahm and has on the left shoulder the crossed hammers insignia.
Starting at the head, the helmet has two flat panels meeting at an angle as the face plate, this flows into over lapping metal plates that make their way down to shoulders.
The shoulders are rounded, with fins covering the gourget from the pauldrons. Following down to the arms, the plates are still overlapped so that there are no gaps or breaks in the metal. The gauntlets are tightly woven metal threads with small composite plates that give long fingers the freedom they need.
Going back to the neck, it is covered in a gorget that is just under a solid breastplate and attached backplate. Both front and back consist of the same overlapped plates, and are designed to resemble the muscles of a man's body accentuating them with the thickness of the armor. Under the upper torso plating is a full wrap around fauld. The jambons attach to the fauld with tassets, again leaving no gaps, and stretch down to connect with his greaves that also serve as sabatons.

Lorelei watches with a small smile on her face, whatever this is Michael sure is excited! But when the container is opened though, Loree's smile drops. Her eyes roam over the armor, and she'll take a deep breath. It's a thing of beauty, she knows, but …it's also representing something horrible to come. She'll not say anything, just let Michael fret over it. Trying to not look too upset by it.

Michael beams brightly at the armor for a long moment, then sighs and taps into the keypad on the side of the container. The panel slides shut and locks in place, an automated drone begins to whirr softly as it blinks to life. Michael does a few simple keystrokes and the container lays flat on the drone's bed. It lifts off the ground and moves through the Way gate disappearing instantly. He turns to Lorelei, "I have always loved armor, and have dreamed of having my own suit one day. That was Sir Corbin's suit… she left it to me as a gift for becoming knighted. My mother has held onto for a long time now, and felt I should have it since I just got squired again. She and my father paid to have it recolored and fixed up, Sir Johana will be so impressed." his smile is soft, though his eyes burn with pride and joy. He takes a bite of his fry bread, more cinnamon cascading onto his face. "This is amazing Lorelei! I haven't had a desert since… well since I was your age actually. Man that makes me sound old… and I'm not old." he grins at her.

Lorelei forces a smile, she doesn't want to upset him. "It's beautiful." She'll blink a few times at his admittance of whatever happened in the past, but won't question. He'll say in his own time. Instead she'll grin, "and that is why age bothers me. Why would you wait 6 years to eat fry bread?" she'll giggle softly, not sure him arguing about not being old is helping his case.

Michael smiles and rubs the back of his neck, "I couldn't afford to splurge… and Sir Corbin used to buy me something sweet as a reward if I did something incredibly tough, or something I loathed." Turning to look at the area, "Do you still have all day? I was thinking we might walk around the Gardens, if you'd like to." She's spending time with him, and he's going to take what he can get.

Lorelei smiles, glad to be able to give him the treat then, "Fry bread is one of my favorites, although I do like pasties too." She'll laugh, "I eat enough fruits and veggies, I think eating sweets is ok." she'll glance up to the sun, as if she's gauging the time, "I don't have too much time. I need to be back in time to do Eil-Lady Eilara's hair." She'll blush lightly at her almost slip. She'll look up to Michael, "I do want to be friends with you, please don't take my hesitance as anything but nerves. I am in a strange and new situation for myself."

Michael smiles down to Lorelei, "Rice. That is the main thing I've eaten for six years… actually practically the only thing I've eaten." he rubs the back of his neck idly, and then finishes the fry bread, this time without real estate available on his face, the cinnamon sifts down onto his chest plate. "I understand, and I meant it when I said I would ask Sir Johana to write those requests if that's what it takes." he smiles softly, "I'm also in a bit of strange situation, more internal than external honestly, but still strange." he seems like he wants to tell her more, but he either choked or he doesn't want to darken the mood.

Lorelei makes a small face, "Well, rice is good, but you need more than that." she'll reach up and absently brush the powder off his armor. No need to get it all yucky. "I don't…you don't need to do that. I can have friends. Nothing in the handmaiden book that says otherwise." She'll tilt her head, almost a bit relieved that he's admitting that he's in a bind too. "It'll all work itself out, I'm sure. These things do, right?"

Michael chuckles gently and brushes off his face with his hand, "I hope so. Only, for me, if I make any move in the direction I'm drawn… Lord Barton will turn my internal organs into jam and my bones into finer powder than this cinnamon." and a soft sigh escapes. He makes his way to shaded bench nearby and offers the first seat to Lorelei. "Sit a while before you have to leave?"

Lorelei doesn't know all of what Michael's speaking of, but she can guess, "Ah…that would be…messy." She'll follow him and gently sit down, smoothing out her skit and setting her bag next to her. The rest of her fry bread in on a napkin in her lap. "Does the lady know?"

Michael takes his own seat next to her, his shoulder lightly brushing hers. "I'm sure she's guessed by now, I've known her only a day longer than I've known you… but she's just so." he cuts off, knowing he shouldn't praise another woman in front of one he's currently with. "Anyways, I wouldn't be allowed any of that with her unless I was ennobled by the King after becoming a knight… " he pauses, "Most squires form a bond with their knight, a close friendship, but it doesn't go beyond that. I'm different, even platonic I still see my relationship with my knight as that, a relationship. I learn them, and I grow to care for and about them…" he again seems like he wants to say more but doesn't. He turns to consider Lorelei, "What about this… courtier of yours? You seem put off by it…" he's sincere in his questioning, gentle and caring.

Lorelei nods, sympathetically. She really does empathize. She'll softly murmur, "At least you have a chance for that…" and looks down to the cooling treat on her lap, "He's…in a much higher station than me. I want to get married and have children at some point, and that couldn't happen, not with him." she'll force a smile, looking up to Michael, "I don't think I could handle being a Companion."

A glittering chorus of Way gate flashes sparks the arrival and departure of people, carriages, packages, and many other various things. Michael looks over at Lorelei, "So, you do really like him then… but you don't want to be with him because of station." sighing, "Somehow… the thought of Companions bothers me too. I've been called a romantic, but it just seems… wrong to me. Married but sleeping with another? I couldn't handle being that other, and I couldn't handle being the married person in that situation either."

"I…don't know. His statin is greater enough, that it clouds everything."Loree smiles, "He is nice. And is everything I should want, but…" She'll nod as he speaks of Companions. "I don't want to set myself up for pain later, just because I feel something today." She'll sigh herself, picking at the fry bread, but not eating it, "It's fine if everyone is ok with it, I just don't think I'd be ok with it."

Michael nods slightly, and smiles softly as he changes the subject for her. "You mentioned wanting children… how many? What gender? Have you picked names already?" his soft smile playful but kind.

Lorelei shrugs, "I don't know. I've never really…" And then she'll sigh, admitting, "At least 2 girls. I always wanted a sister." She'll then giggle softly, looking over to Michael, "Not for a long time though. I want to do things first. Go place. Experience things."

Michael smiles at Lorelei, "Almost matches, I want one of each boy and a girl. Roan and Mathys if I have my way with their names." He nods, "I may be twenty-four but I'm not experienced, nor financially settled, enough for marriage or children. So many things I have yet to do…" a slight hesitation, possibly at admitting this, "Including having a first kiss." this time, it's his turn to pinken slightly.

Lorelei smiles, "Those are good names." She'll take a deep breath , looking down again at the now cold fry bread. Her eyes widen slightly and she'll look up to his admittance, "Oh…well." Her cheeks pinken as well, "I suppose a fancy knight would be a good first one." Trying to not have him be too embarrassed, "But make sure whoever Lord Barton is isn't near!"

Michael turns a little pinker, "I.. um.. well, I don't know that'll ever happen… " he swallows, "My real hope is that my first kiss is with someone I care about." he glances up at the sun, "Shall I walk with you back to Arboren?"

Lorelei nods, not wanting to make him any more uncomfortable, "It will. just let it happen. Don't worry on it." She'll look to the sun as well, "There really is no need. I don't think the Hostiles will be waiting to ambush me as I come through the Ways. I'm really not that important, no matter what Taryn says." She's smiling though, all her anger from earlier gone.

Michael smiles softly, "It isn't about protecting you from Hostiles, though I would if it did occur. Its because I've enjoyed spending time with you, Lorelei, and I'd like to continue to until I overstay my welcome." he smiles at Lorelei, gentle and kind.

Lorelei smiles softly, and will nod, "If you would like, and you have nothing else to do. I do need to be getting back though." She'll move to stand.

Michael stands after she does, smiling and offering his arm. "If I did have something, I would make it wait until after I'd spent time with you." his eyes belie the truth, and he's being sincere, if she looks at his eyes she'll know he does really like her now.

Standing and pulling her satchel over a shoulder, "That's silly." But Loree seems happy for the company now and will take his arm. She'll throw the remainder of the flat bread in a trash can as they go by.

Michael takes on a playful hurt expression, "What is silly?" the trip though the gate seems to have caused his hair to fluff slightly and he reaches up to settle it down.

Lorelei just shakes her head, laughing softly at him. she'll reach into her bag, pulling out two nice big apples, "I had bought these earlier, but then Taryn left before I could make him take them. He doesn't eat well either. " She'll narrow her eyes at Michael in a playful way, "Here. Take them for later, so I know you're eating something other than rice."

Michael grins at Lorelei, "Thank you." he says with both a playful glint in his eyes, and a happy smile on his lips. "I do have some of that cheese left still, so I can slice these up with it and enjoy." he pauses, "I might need to take on a night job… I'm not sure how squiring after graduation works. I had a small allowance from Sir Corbin, but I lived at home so my expenses were zero. I saved every bill to buy this armor when I turned sixteen." he cuts off, not wanted to go on a long drawn out tangent just now. "Well, I did really enjoy my time with you and if you'd like to again, I'd be happy for it." if she looks at his eyes, she'll note the hint of scheming going on.

Lorelei 's not one to assume anyone is scheming. So, clearly he's just happy about his new armor. "Good. That's much better than just rice." She'll tilt her head slightly, "Yes, I don't know when I'll have another free day, but maybe we can share some poems?" See? She warms up to the idea!

Michael smiles brightly at Lorelei, "I would like that a lot… I'll ask Sir Johana to write a request to Lady Eilara, asking if I might spend time with you here. That way, in a sense, I'll be given Guest-stay for a time." he smiles softly. "Take care Lorelei… oh! Is there some nickname you'd prefer to go by? I never had one, so I'm open to one if you come up with it."

Lorelei blushes slightly at the mention of talking to Eilara. There's no getting him out of the idea though, he's brought it up too many times. She'll shrug, "Nicknames, like so many things, need to come naturally. I do not have one I prefer over another. " She'll smile up at him, "I will see you later, Michael."

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