06.12.3013: One Hundred Dollars
Summary: The Khourni descend on the local gym for a spar…
Date: 12 June 2012
Related: None
Anabethe Jor Nitrim Johana Reena 

The Gym, Volkan, Imperius
There are plenty of advanced weight lifting machines in Haven. This gym doesn't have a single one. Instead there are racks and racks of dumbells and barbells, punching bags hanging from the ceiling, and two roped-in sparring rings. Small racks near the sparring rings hold protective gear so that sparring doesn't result in broken bones or concussions. One wall is formed entirely of a floor-to-ceiling mirror, one has the entrance from the commercial district, the third has entrances to changing rooms for men and women, and the fourth is a window overlooking the gray and red expanse of Volkan.
June 12, 3013

The sun is starting to set over Volkan, and while others are heading home from their work or heading out for a night shift at the factories, Anabethe is back in the gym. There was her morning routine, and then there were meetings with generals and strategists about the Hostiles, a tour of factories at work, and now she's come back to the gym to work out the frustrations from a day of listening to people talk instead of actually doing anything. She's working a bag at the moment, in shorts and a tank top, her knuckles wrapped and hair pulled back into a tail.

And as it turns out, you won't be alone. He'd done some searching over the Infosphere for possible places to go for getting back into something resembling fighting form. The grizzled stranger, his own hair secured behind his head in similar fashion (tied into a tail), has every intention of starting with the basics. So when he heard there was a location in Volkan that did things rather similarly to what he'd endured to the past fifteen years, it was almost a balm rather than foreign to come here and do things 'naturally'.

So here is Jor Aeldan, feeling if not looking out of place for once, in his own dressed down attire of sleeveless top and dark pants. His choice of exercise is a simple thing: legwork. "Tsa!" he breathes out, as a loud thunk impacts the punching bag he works with a will, his left and right ankles both wrapped securely. By the looks of it, he's not holding back in how fiercely he's slamming his otherwise bare feet into the hanging bag, every ounce of strength is going into those blows, for now.

Anabethe glances up from her own work at the sound of someone else working a bag with any sort of force, a curious look in her eye. She doesn't stop her own exercise, though, stepping in to slam a knee against the bag as she circles to get a better view of the other fighter. Here she doesn't hide the flashy tattoos that cross one arm, climb down her back, and continue down the other leg; it's enough to reveal who she is to anyone who keeps track of such things, but nothing else does.

Jor obviously doesn't know, nor does he seem to care. But he cares about what he's doing; he cares about that a great deal, as those slamming side kicks continue. It's an exercise that he learned very early on, what seems an eternity ago. It's certainly a lot harder now, thirty years later, but his legs haven't forgotten how to do this, it seems.

Twenty kicks per leg is what he goes through, before he ceases for a moment's pause, picking up water and towel he had brought with him to this place, taking a moment to look around. It's at that point he catches sight of the tattoos and the woman who owns them, eyes taking note of what you do while he tilts the container back and hydrates. No called out greetings or observations yet, just silent scrutiny.

Anabethe's technique is very, very good. The sort that comes from very skilled trainers and a lot of time spent in the gym. Lots of practice. Furthermore, she uses the space around her like she owns it; there's something in her posture and the way the other people in the gym step around her that makes it clear she's at the top of the heap as far as fighters go in the gym here. Once she's given the bag a good thump, she steps back to drag the back of one hand across her brow, stepping away to claim a bottle of water as well. She grins at Jor, tipping her chin. "You're new."

"I am." Two simple words, spoken in a deep bass. He's still tilting back that bottle of liquid, regarding you with as much intensity now as his leg made the company of that hanging bag still near him. There's a glance for the bag that you are working on, but no comment aside from a brief rolling of his neck. "How long? That you've been studying that art, I mean."

Anabethe shrugs one shoulder, taking a drink. "Since I was little," she answers. "Six, maybe. Eight. My knight always said you should be prepared for anything, and that included losing your weapon." She takes another drink, wiping her hand on a towel before stepping forward to offer it out in a friendly gesture. "Anabethe," she introduces herself. "And you?"

There's a faint hint of amusement in this hard-eyed man's features as he watches you wipe the hand before offering it. His calloused fingers grip it firmly, making it clear from the start those digits have plenty of strength to them, as if the rest of his tanned, powerful frame didn't imply such from the start. "It's a wise lesson, though some would argue the age is too young," he replies, the soft volume of his voice perhaps at odds with his expression of seeming anger. "Jor," he replies, when he takes that hand.

"Never too young to learn. Besides, the Hostiles weren't going to show up any later just because of when I was born." Anabethe's grip is firm as well, her smile easy. "Turns out they were showing up early after all. Nice to meet you, Jor." She and Jor are standing by the punching bags, both looking like they've been working out. It's Anabethe's second round at the gym today. She came first at dawn, and now that the sun is setting, she's in to work off the tension of a day spent sitting and listening to people rather than doing anything active. "Interested in sparring sometime? Always tricky finding a partner."

Wearing dark sunglasses and his black coat that has become a fixture in his personal appearances, Nitrim Khournas slips through the door. Waiting all day in the Blackspyre for the Khournas knights to return being far too much for the man to handle, he's taken to the streets and following rumors that his sister headed that very direction. He makes his way down a row of weight machines with a slithering, hissing creature wrapped around his upper arm and its head looming over his shoulder. Daliah, his favorite pet and Cobalt Strangler snake, licks at the air to taste the sights and sounds. As he approaches, he casts a dark smile towards his sister, perhaps her wording made him nearly laugh. "Dear sister, if you keep spending all of the time at the gym, you're going to end up built like this man, and then you'll have a lot of trouble finding a partner."

Opening his mouth to answer, Jor's reply is forestalled by the arrival of another. There's a distinct lift of his brow for the snake that rides on the person of Nitrim Khournas, a glance to Anabethe also upon 'dear sister', but Jor does not comment. If no one has taken issue with the apparent pet, he's not inclined to be the first. No need, yet.

"I can't promise a good fight," Jor says, returning to Anabethe and delivering what was on his mind in the first place. "I'm very out of practice. The answer to your offer is up to whether you'd want me to be skilled or not, and that will take time."

Finally cleared to return home after her own departure and ailment suffered at the hands of the Hostiles. Dressed not as a knight, but as a lady this time, her dress is the red and black of the Ibrahm House colors. Hearing voices assoon as she steps inside, her head turns in the direction and spots Beth speaking with an unknown and Nitrim. With a wide grin, she approaches, her wound definitely not slowing her down. Upon approach, she nods to Beth, then Nitrim followed by a curious look to the stranger. "My Lady, My Lord. It's so good to be back."

"Har, had," Anabethe drawls to Nitrim, smirking over at her brother. "I'm not the one who has to worry about finding that sort of partner, thanks. Of course, from what I hear in the halls, it sounds like you don't need to worry about finding one either. Lucky Dad didn't come to check on you. Hey, Ana," she nods to the other woman. "Bit overdressed for the gym. Good to see you out of bed, though." She winks, then turns her attention back to Jor. "Going to have a hard time getting back into shape without someone to spar with, aren't you?"

In answer to Anabethe's comment about getting back in shape, Jor tilts back the bottle, and then spreads his arms, looking down at himself. Physically, he's /hardly/ out of shape. Fighting… "It's why I haven't said no," he replies with his mouth quirking faintly, that stone-carved expression molding slightly into mirth, while his eyes hardly seem to blink. "And as long as you aren't going to be coy with talk of hitting a woman."

To Anabethe's jab about his midnight habits and sounds coming from his room, one of Nitrim's eyebrow curls out above his sunglasses and he quietly chews at his lip. He shrugs one shoulder, as if to say well…you know. "Father never checks on me. It's as simple as that." He replies rather simply, keeping his poker-face quiet as he turns his gaze from Anabethe to Jor, sizing the man up. His teeth bare again. "When she's not fighting, you'd better hit her like she's a man, or she'll hit you like you're a woman."

He turns his shoulders towards Johana and flashes her a toothy grin, briefly, before reaching to brush Daliah beneath her chin. He makes a pair of chittering sounds to the animal before looking over the rims of his glasses to the Ibrahm heir. "Lady Johana…" He tries to sound inviting. "…I'd gone all of the way to the Ring to find my cousins, yourself, and your brother and suddenly you're all arriving here. It's good to see you're well. Was killing the Hostile everything you hoped it would be?"

"I don't intend on working out tonight, I cannot until I fully heal, so I just thought I would stop by and observe, take a few of those pointers you offered before, if you happened to be around." Johana feels the Daliah and reaches out to stroke the pet, eyes moving to Nitrim. "While we were out with the Hostiles, you were in your bedroom making sure the women kept well entertained? How industrious of you." The amusement in her eyes is unmistakable. "Aww, you went all the way to the Ring to give us a welcome back? Sorry I missed that." Her brow inches up a little further when she looks back to Beth. "I can honestly say I'm happy to be out of bed too.." Though at the words her gaze skitters back to Nitrim.

Anabethe grins to Jor. "Ask around a bit, you'll find out if that's something you need to worry about." (It isn't.) "Truth is, I need more sparring partners. At least for a bit of hand to hand. Everyone's good with a weapon, but I need a little more challenge if I'm going to continue to improve. And if you think Da doesn't check on you," she adds to Nitrim, arching a brow, "You're mistaken. That man checks on everything. Mikhail thinks he's some sort of uber-Awakened who can read your thoughts no matter what. Maybe that's his deep dark secret," she smirks. "He steers clear of you because he's afraid you'll find out." She takes another drink, then shakes her head to Johana. "Was talking to people today about the War. Lots of speculation still."

There's a small hint of a smile on Jor Aeldan's face as the conversation continues, though it's mostly drowned out by… water. He's still gulping back what remains in the bottle he's carrying, keeping his voice out of the talk through that simple action. "If you're so determined to give and earn bruises, shall we begin?" The question, naturally, is posed to Anabethe.

With that question hovering in the air, his eyes shift over to the other Lady and Lord present, focusing on the snake-wielding man with the sunglasses, and finishing off the water he's carrying in one final drag. "Was she pretty?"

"What, and you rule out the possibility that I wasn't collecting citizens and experimenting on them?" Nitrim says with a jesting air of macabre humor to them as he slips a dark, rolled cigarette between his lips. Yes. In a health club. Sensing the incoming smoke, the snake slowly curls to dangle off of his shoulder, clinging softly as Nitrim dips the tip of the cigarette into a flame produced by his own fingertip. His fingers flex and the flame extinguishes, eyes unclouding from milky white to normal in Johana's direction. "Next time I'll be sure to buy my way onto the guest list."

Cigarette lit, he brushes his many-ringed fingertips through his lightly damp hair from the sweltering Volkan heat and blows a stream of smoke toward the ceiling. "If Mikhail were trying to read me, I'd know. He'd be better off installing bugs and praying for signs from those Gods I keep hearing about, Sister. If he can't see you, he's blind as a bat. Don't tell him I let you know that, of course, it'd spoil his meddling." His elbow bends, holding the cigarette aloft as he gives Jor another good, weighted look. Pretty? His lips part into a silent laugh. "She was the devil."

"Experimenting on them? Oh I'm very sure you were, Lord Nitrim." The words are spoken tongue-in-cheek in response to his jesting air. "Oh not a chance, Nitrim, I much prefer the thought of you safely ensconced in your bed and keeping those left behind all safe and sound." With a lift of her brows and a semi-challenging look, she muses quietly. "Civilians aren't a challenge at all, are they? Don't they all want to sleep with nobles?" Tossing her head, she turns her attention back to Beth. "I look forward to the both of you sparring. I'd place my bets on you, of course. No offense intended," the last said to Jor before she's glancing back at Nitrim with a contemplative look. "Would you like to make a friendly wager on their fight?"

"Sure, sounds good." Anabethe steps out to one of the rings, ducking under the ropes and checking the wrapping on her hands. "That was another one of today's goals," she adds to Nitrim, sighing, as she shifts her weight from foot to foot. "Mikhail's old enough to foster or squire out now, and Da's all over me about it. Don't want him on the front lines, though, and finding a knight who won't be out there is a bitch right now."

Jor will be right along to that ring, just as soon as he finishes excusing himself to go collect the towel - he has a feeling he'll need it - and to get a refill on what he's been chugging back. He doesn't make Anabethe wait for a great deal of time, either, and soon enough, brawny male meets tattooed female, round one. Likely the only round, but who's counting?

It should be said that Nitrim's answer did seem to amuse Jor quite a deal, his lips twitching suspiciously before he pleads a moment to be all set and ready for the inevitable fist fight. "A man who beds with the devil should expect the fires of hell," he replies with his own brand of drawl, a very wry one.

A soft snort of smoke from Nitrim's nostrils comes in response to Johana's teasing, accentuated by a duck-lipped smirk towards her. He crosses in front of her to lean against a large white-painted abdominal-something-or-other, well within view of the sparring mats. His jacket pulls open as he balances an elbow on the handgrip and plants one of his booted feet on the bench. "Well…when I'm not playing pre-recorded sounds to startle the help, Sister, I'm keeping one eye open for your boy. He's a good lad. Well liked, even. Perhaps it's better that I do stay behind for his sake."

The muscles in Nitrim's neck pull, much like the coiled muscle beneath Daliah's scales, on his way to glance back over to Johana. Leaving the cigarette in his lip, he fishes for a hundred dollar bill in his pocket, which he holds between two fingers for her to see. "I'll temp the fires of my sister and bet against her." His eyes tilt to Jor. "The fires of hell aren't so bad, friend, once you get used to them."

Taking another step towards Nitrim, Johana reaches in the bodice of her dress and extracts a bill identical to his. "I just love a good wager." Leaning a hip against another of the machines, she settles in to watch the spar, her demeanor holding interest despite the smirk that gently curves her lips. For now the pets are completely forgotten and she is set to cheer on Beth.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Anabethe=Brawn+Unarmed Vs Jor=Brawn+Unarmed
< Anabethe: Good Success Jor: Good Success
< Net Result: Anabethe wins - Marginal Victory

"Nitrim likes 'em hot," Anabethe grins in regards to her brother. And where her parents might say it with weariness, there's almost a note of pride in her voice. No disappointment for his hell-raising here. "That's why he bets against me. Appetite for trouble." She's a little cautious at first, shifting her weight from foot to foot and watching the way her opponent moves, taking his measure. When she moves, though, it's snake fast, one hand snapping out toward his side.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Jor=Unarmed Vs Anabethe=Unarmed
< Jor: Good Success Anabethe: Good Success
< Net Result: Jor wins - Marginal Victory

Anabethe is fast, and he's still largely unpolished, but there is an advantage to prison life: watching your back just in case. That skill comes into effect here, but not fast enough for him to avoid the blow entirely. But just like that, his own attack comes, retorting to Anabethe's rapid offensive by aiming for the shoulders. Not to dislocate her, of course, but the more damage she takes there, the more the bruising will work against her over time. This is a spar, or more decisive methods would have been employed, and so choosing paths of lesser injury are the only options here. He remembers that much.

Eyes hidden behind dark glasses, it's impossible to tell whether or not Nitrim took interest in the way Johana pulled her money from her bodice, but the twitch of his brow is a hint. He bares his canine teeth in a playful sneer to her. "So do I." As Johana takes her perch, the serpent on Nitrim's shoulder takes interest, raising her head towards Johana and flicking its tongue towards her for a taste. Slowly, methodically, as snakes do, she starts to lean out towards her, inching its way closer to Johana's shoulder. "Daliah's curious…" Nitrim sidelongs, letting his pet investigate, though warning Johana of the impending creature's visit.

Then, as expected, Nitrim turns his head in the direction of the ring and tilts his chin upwards, observing the fight. There's no doubt that he's fostered a certain fondness for his sister, perhaps in that she's more accepting of him than some of his other siblings. He wouldn't be here otherwise. "Hot? Well…no one cares to remember the dreams about mediocre shit. I'd rather not have mediocre memories, either. Those are things that can't be taken away from me."

When the spar begins, Johana's attention is effectively captured, though she does allow her gaze to flicker over Nitrim with the barest indication of curiosity before drifting over his covered eyes, down his chest and to his…snake as she does indeed to take interest. Standing straighter, she approaches the serpent and offers her hand, letting her explore at will if she wants to coil along her arm and transfer to the Ibrahm. "Hot?" She too echoes Beth and her smile widens almost in a predatory manner. "I think the desire for heat isn't restricted solely to the more masculine of the sexes."

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Anabethe=Unarmed Vs Jor=unarmed
< Anabethe: Great Success Jor: Good Success
< Net Result: Anabethe wins - Solid Victory

Anabethe dances back at the hit from Jor, but not quite fast enough to avoid his fist. She gives her shoulder a roll, smile flashing, then starts to circle, watching for a better opening. "If this is out of practice," she notes, "You just might be a good partner once you're back in shape." Of course, she follows up her statement by dropping low, sweeping a foot across Jor's calves.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Jor=Unarmed-2 Vs Anabethe=Unarmed
< Jor: Good Success Anabethe: Success
< Net Result: Jor wins - Marginal Victory

And here is where Jor Aeldan shows some signs of atrophy. He can't quite stop Beth in her attempts to send him sprawling to the floor. It's a solid blow to the legs, of that there is no doubt, but even though he careens to the floor, he's not inactive and allowing her to follow up with a clincher or worse. He kicks out, somewhat wildly it should be noted, but the move is as much to attack as it is to keep Beth from finishing him off right now, all so he can reclaim his feet in a somewhat smooth motion, ungraceful in its way due to lack of maintaining the skill. His body seems to remember some things, however. That's good.

"Well, far better that we're venemous, sultry, black-toothed badasses than some bloody coquettish, quivering tree huggers, right? Born in ash and dying with knives in our hands. I'll never be so bound by regret to be a ghost in the afterlife." Nitrim tilts his head towards Johana as he watches the fight, speaking towards Anabethe and Jor, but his response is doubtlessly intended for her. Daliah continues to investigate, eventually slithering onto Johana's shoulder until its tongue flickers over her throat and it begins to curl around her arm. It's scales are smooth and almost plastic-like, like a child's toy ball.

"Oh come on, man! Punch her in the fucking face!" Nitrim calls out to Jor, a smile on his lips. He ashes his cigarette onto the floor and tsks, shaking his head. "Oh look at me, voting for the underdog again…"

"Tree huggers." Immediately the Arboren come to mind and Johana grimaces. Apparently the opinion is shared with Nitrim. "Ash. I agree, the acrid smell of the volcano is as much a part of life as the bludgeons and blades in our hands." Her attention is also on the fight, impressed by the moves of the Khourni. The feel of the snake slithering along her body is new, but not entirely unwelcome, even when the tongue flicks over her neck. The only outward reaction she shows are the chill bumps that appear over the skin of her arms and chest. "It.. almost tickles." Almost. To distract herself, she looks back at Nitrim. "How long have you had her?"

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Anabethe=unarmed Vs Jor=unarmed
< Anabethe: Good Success Jor: Success
< Net Result: Anabethe wins - Marginal Victory

"Family, right?" Anabethe rolls her eyes at Nitrim's shout, though she's still grinning. Her grin falters briefly when Jor's kick grazes her ankle, but she pushes through the pain enough to land a fist at his kidneys as he stands before dancing back again. She's not breathing hard yet, and doesn't seem to be slowed down by the light hits.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Jor=Unarmed-2 Vs Anabethe=Unarmed
< Jor: Success Anabethe: Good Success
< Net Result: Anabethe wins - Marginal Victory

Yes, that will be a sharp reminder through the rest of the day, that blow to his side. A grunt erupts from Jor's lips, but he's not quite ready to call it quits, far from it. His attempted counterattack - yes, Nitrim, to the face - only causes him to emit another grunt. It almost doesn't bear mentioning that he even tried to assault Anabethe right back after she struck him in the side.

"This is why I don't take advice from the spectators," he calls out to Nitrim, though the jury might still be deliberating on whether his voice is sour or still in a better nature. With his glower, either could be the case.

"Two years." Nitrim replies, smirking with confidence as he turns his head just a little more to Johana. His eyes can be seen from the corner of his glasses, watching Daliah's behavior as she plays over Johana's throat. "Daliah's rather gentle. You wouldn't believe it come feeding time, but there's just enough insecurity in the girl that she hesitates just a little bit when trying to smell the sweat on a new body." His eyes cloud over just a little, and then quickly revert back to normal. "She thinks you smell just a little like burnt leaves. She's remembering her days in the wild."

Daliah finally transfers from Nitrim to Johana, slowly coiling its tail around Johana's arm as it continues to fleck its tongue up towards the hair at the back of her neck. "I rescued her from locals that were throwing rocks at her. I could sympathize."

Nitrim turns his head back to the ring and scowls. "Oh come now, Sister, you and I both know that when I'm betting against you, you're not family. Yesss you're pretty and Yesss you're dangerous, as you should be, but I've got to replace that pillow you threw off the balcony, remember? And you, man-in-the-ring? Dirty fight if you have to because Johana'll goad me about this for weeks."

"Damn straight I will," Johana immediately agrees, her lips curving up ever so slightly, tipping her head just marginally to the side so that when the snake coils around her arm and continues flicking her tongue over her hair, she can still watch the spar. Only after she replays what he says does she fully turn her attention back to Nitrim. "You know what she's saying? You can read her mind?" Two questions flung out one after the other is quickly followed by a third. "Can she read yours?" Scary thought. Sympathetic at the plight of the serpent, she reaches up and delicately trails a finger over the body of Daliah. "Throwing rocks at you?" A scowl forms, but it's brief before she lowers her hand once again. "Show him no mercy, Beth."

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Anabethe=unarmed Vs Jor=unarmed
< Anabethe: Great Success Jor: Success
< Net Result: Anabethe wins - Solid Victory

Anabethe and Jor have claimed one of the rings, and are in the process of sparring while Nitrim and Johana shout advice and encouragement from the sidelines. The spar, it seems, is coming to a close, though. So far Anabethe has been using fists, boxing her way through things with a few kicks to help her through. Now, though, that she's had a chance to take Jor's measure, she steps in quickly, reaching out to take his arm and twist in such a way to send him back to the mat with a loud thump. "Got it, Ana," she calls cheerfully back to the other woman.

Reena steps in, wearing a gown rather than sparring gear, and carrying a potted orchid. She is smiling. And humming. And looks happy. This may not be a good sign. She moves over to where Johana sits and holds up the plant towards Anabethe. "For you!" she declares. She's always had a downright viridian green thumb.

Yep, a takedown throw will do it. There is indeed a loud thud when Jor hits the mat, and surely someone will understand when the bulky man doesn't elect to get to his feet right just yet. He's too busy catching his breath from the wind being knocked out of him by that one, cringing. It takes him a bit to regain his breath, and he'll slowly, eventually manage to get back to his feet, after making it clear that yes, the Young Lady of Khournas has proven the victor. To her, Jor's head will incline.

"I'll try for better next time." There might be something of a grin that flashes across his lips, but it's quickly gone as he gently probes his side where he took multiple blows. From there, he'll take his leave, grabbing his gear to do what's needful with respect to getting cleaned up and gone.

"Oh, no, no one would outright throw rocks at me, Milords justice and all. It's a…vague concept. Pay no mind, but yes, I know what she's thinking when I focus on it. I can sense her emotions and surface thoughts, and I can feel it growing closer. One day I'll be able to slip into her skin and experience life from her perspective and speak with her. Though for now, we're emotional comrades of a sort." He slips his cigarette between his lips for a drag, winking to her from behind his dark glasses. "We're similar creatures, Daliah and I, a misunderstood, slithering species."

His lips part and a tuft of smoke sucks in from his cigarette, held deep within his lungs. Lips pursing, he blows it out to the side. "Reena, beware, I'm starting to consider this gentleman in the ring is a ringer and I'm about to lose money to some sick, sibling trick of a setu—Fuck" He laughs, arm bent at the elbow to swivel the one-hundred dollar bill to Johana. "Spend it on something that makes you feel pretty, war heroine, and welcome back home."

Anabethe helps Jor up, looking rather pleased with the spar. "Good fight," she nods to the man. "Be glad to do it again." Only then does she look back to her siblings, bemused. "Reena, if that's a bribe to stop me from making your courting games difficult, you've chosen poorly," she smirks, ducking under the ropes and hopping down from the ring. "Can you believe Nitrim actually bet against me? I think he was hoping Johana'd win just so he could see her in something pretty."

Johana gives Beth a thumbs up that is probably not noticed due to the sparring. "You certainly do!" The delight in her voice is apparent. The snake exploring the bare arms and neck of the Ibrahm heir seems to take no notice of the orchid thrust at the lady. On the contrary, Ana notices it perfectly well, reaching out her hands and accepting the gift. "To what do I owe such a lovely gift?" Amusement lights her eyes, a hint of suspected knowing there in her blue eyes. "I hope that smile means you've made up with him.." A beat. "Or made out with him?" Yes, she definitely suspects the latter. And then some. "Congratulations? And thank you…" And in a brief mock aside. "And you're welcome."

Pausing there, she looks at the mats and whistles, "Well done Beth!" Pleased she had won for more than the bet she had placed. Chancing a look back at Nitrim, she catches the wink and arches a single brow, her lips quirking in a half smile. "So, you've got a muse, almost, in the snake. Something you can understand and understand you in a way no one else can. I envy that almost, that sort of bond." The curse word brings a chuckleand she accepts the bill with her free hand, tucking his and hers back into the bodice of her dress. "Perhaps you'd like to accompany me on the shopping trip, Nitrim." Inclining her head in thanks.

Reena laughs and reaches back to ruffle Nitrim's hair. "Betting against Beth? Really? I see why /I/ was the one off at the Academ all this time." She holds out a hand in greeting to Dahlia for her to smell. "Nonsense, sister-dear. It's a thank you for your wise intervention." She grins at that, secretively.

"I assure you, dear Anabethe, it would be harder to find her in something that she wasn't pretty in." Nitrim replies, quick-on-the-draw to his sister's goading comment to Reena. Beneath the tip-lipped grab on his cigarette he grins like a shark. He knows that was a good response. He leans into Reena's ruffle as Daliah stretches out from Johana's shoulder to her, tongue flicking over her fingertips. "Well, we all can't be Academ trained, Reena. I can lift rocks with my mind."

Straightening his jacket and ashing his cigarette again to the floor of the once nice, clean Gymnasium, Nitrim extends his arm over Johana's shoulder, and obediently Daliah starts to retreat back to his arm. "I'd like that. Just send me a message when you would like to go, and we'll meet for it, and yes, it's quite the experience. There are ways to share the perceptions from Daliah. Of course, I wouldn't dare suggest that to the Lady Heir of Ibrahm. That would be dangerous." He looks to Reena. His wink is subtle. He's an asshole.

"He can lift rocks with his mind, but he can't catch a pillow before it goes flying off the balcony," Anabethe winks, making no protest when Johana claims the flower. She starts to unwrap her hands, turning a knowing look on Reena. "Glad we're past the stomping sand castles stage, at least," she says with a small smile. "Now, if you all will excuse me, I should hit the showers. Enjoy the win, Ana," she grins to the other woman. "And you…" She wages a finger playfully at Nitrim. "You just wait."

Reena returns her brother's wink with a sly grin. Ah, the two troublemakers of their House. "Oh that would be terribly dangerous, Sir Johana," she confirms. "I see Dahlia is as lovely as ever. You've been treating her well, Nitrim?" When Beth departs she rises and stretches, winking at Ana. "I never kiss and tell." Plus a kiss on the cheek is not really worth telling. Then she departs, humming a tune.

Johana looks between the sisters with a curious look, though doesn't further ask about how things had gone with Thalo. Instead she leans in when Nitrim takes Daliah back, almost missing the weight of the snake on her shoulder and arm. "I'll send a message then, at the earliest opportunity." Free from the snake, purloining an orchid and a hundred bucks richer, the Ibrahm Heir tosses her hair over her shoulder. "What a pity, Nitrim.. A shame really." Offering him a confident and almost cocky grin, she moves towards the exit but not before bidding the others farewell. "Good evening, all of you. It was a pleasure." The last words has her gaze flicking over Nitrim once more before she departs.

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