06.23.3013: Post-Adrenaline Seriousness
Summary: Letha and Drake chat after the concert.
Date: 24 June 2013
Related: Singing For Soldiers, Part 2
Drake Letha 

Public Stables, Phylon
These public stables host beasts of burden for both Nobles and Citizens. Horses are the most common, though there have been other creatures such as oxen kept in its stalls. The stable consists of a wide central corridor with stables branching off on either side. It is crafted from hewned stone and slat roofing. It is kept tidy with stablehands frequently sweeping up loose hay and keeping the stalls clean. Stalls can be rented hourly, daily, or even monthly. Horse and owner names are displayed on holographic plaques on each stall door should they be occupied. Biometric locks are used to keep the horses secure, and can only be accessed by a registered stablehand or the horse owner.
June 23, 3013

Drake knows adrenaline, especially the adrenaline that comes along with having thousands of people watching you perform, and he knows that it wears off relatively quickly. With that in mind, he cut out of the afterparty rather quickly, taking a gamble that Letha would be headed home to submit her story to Landing Life, rather than back through the Waygates now crowded with people returning to their homes around the System. A few minutes' running has him ahead of her path, and he starts to wander back, working to catch his breath. He's in the midst of scrubbing back his hair from his face when he spots her, and he ducks ahead, into the entrance of a stable. Leaning against the inside of the lintel, within the warm, rich scents of hay and horse, he catches his breath, then speaks up as she crosses the door, "Pretty girl like you looks like she could use a jacket on a cold, cold…" and then he's stymied, since it's a warm summer afternoon, but he fights on despite it, "sunny afternoon day."

Letha remembers stories from her father's performances, but he never really talked about the adrenaline. Christian Vallas was known for being cool, collected, and absolutely flawless in the spotlight. It was perhaps why his deterioration had been so tragic, and why he almost never stood before a crowd for any honor or performance. It surprises Letha to find that she is nothing like her father in that regard. She has started to tremble as she walks through the crowds that are marching through the streets of Phylon, and she seems honestly lost despite these streets being her home. She keeps to the fringes of the crowds, which means she walks along the various doors and archways into the businesses of this terrace, which also means she easily walks past the stables. It is not all that surprising when she jumps a little bit at Drake's voice, and she blinks at him in surprise. "How the hell did you get ahead of me?" She asks, honestly stunned. She steps up against the threshold of the stables, and out of the moving mass of people.

Drake laughs at the little jump, waiting for her to recover and then reaching out for her hand to pull her into the entrance to the stables, out of the flow of people through the streets, "I ran through the alleys, of course…" The words are accompanied by his easy grin, and he reaches up to pull the young woman's jacket from around his neck, shaking it out and offering it up for her to slip into, "You really can get cold when the adrenaline goes all running out. Freaked me out the first couple of times." His eyebrows lift lightly, "How do you feel, blondie?"

Letha still seems a bit dazed as she pulls on the coat, rolling her shoulders against the double lapels. "Hm?" She says at first to his question before she offers a bit of a distracted laugh. "Oh, I'm okay. Really." She shakes her head a bit, trying to loosen the haze. "It has been a long time since a Vallas appeared publically on that stage. I think my brain is still… processing that." She offers him a bit more of a sober smile. "I bet my father won't even understand what I'm saying when I tell him later tonight."

Drake settles the jacket around her shoulders, holding it up for her to slip her arms into and then rubbing lightly at her shoulders, "Yeah, you look like you're somewhere between a Red Eye haze and an Amp dose, cutie." Patting her shoulders lightly, he lets her turn around to face him as he leans back against the doorframe, "You don't think so, Letha?" Well, he's using her first name again, must be serious. "Wasn't ever really my pint of beer, but I heard a couple of his performances on the vid… you don't think he ever felt the rush?"

Letha suddenly laughs, clearing her head a bit more. "Oh god, no… I know what an AMP high feels like. This doesn't really compare." She offers him a wider smile as she relaxes a bit. She breathes in steadily through her nose before she steps further into the stables, drawing him with her. "And no, it isn't that… he's been getting worse and worse lately." She tries not to let the sadness slide into her voice, but it does all the same. "He spends most of his days… confused if not completely absent." She slides her hands into her pockets, kicking at a bit of hay on the ground as she does. "I think he felt the rush, but he's always been so… tempered."

Drake lets himself be drawn out of the doorway, moving over to find a bench to settle down on, and patting one leg with a grinned invitation, "Well, I 'spect it's different, bein' all in charge of everyone and having to make sure they're all doin' everything right. I mean, I've seen you playin' cello, and you don't look like you're worryin' 'bout anything but yourself and the music. Real beautiful to watch, that. But a conductor… man…" He shrugs, letting out a breath, then offering up another smile as he changes the topic back, "So how's it different from AMP? I mean, I haven't tried it in… man, years."

"Yeah, but I've only ever really played the cello in front of, well, you," Letha confesses as she takes another step forward before she offers him a bit of a smile. She settles down onto his knee, though there is a certain distance about her as she's thinking about things, thoughts whirling around in her head. "Oh… well… AMP is artificial compared to it. It is like… calorie-free lemonade compared to real lemonade." She offers him a crack of a smile. "If that makes any sense."

Drake settles a hand at her back when she sits down, but doesn't push any more contact than that, "And it almost got you laid, too. That cello of yours must be a powerful thing." Letting the joke go by, he considers the comparison, chuckling softly, "Do I look like the kinda guy who spends extra money for calorie-free lemonade, blondie?" Shifting his hand at her back to goose at her side, he notes, "You certainly don't need to either." Sobering a bit, he continues, "But I guess I get what you mean. Like the diet soda of adrenaline…"

Now, she genuinely laughs. "Yes. Almost. But, almosts don't count." Even if it was her fault that she didn't get laid in wake of that cello performance. When he gooses her, she jumps appropriately and offers him a small swat of her hand. She shakes her head a bit as she straightens up a bit, pulling at her shoulders and spine in hopes of drawing away the tension through her body that has replaced the loose high from just a little while ago. "Drake, I wanna talk to you about something serious… okay?"

Drake grins at the laughing rejoinder, nodding to accept it. His hand settles back to her sacrum as she straightens up, and he tilts his head curiously to one side, "Yeah? Whatcha thinkin' about, Letha?" The query is quiet, perhaps a bit of tension entering his own frame after the easy teasing and flirting of a moment ago.

Letha twists her lips a bit. "Trish… you know, from the Corsairs?" She picks at the dark fabric of her breeches idly. "She's offered to help me work on maybe producing an album, or maybe getting a few public gigs. Maybe doing some cello performances, or even working on a side project with her." It is easy then to see a bit of anxiety in her eyes. "But, I don't know… I don't think I can keep my job at Landing Life, and do this. I mean, it is a conflict of interest… isn't it?"

Drake blows out a little breath, a bit of a relieved laugh touching his lips. "Hey, if Trish Cross wants to help you work on music, I don't think you can say no, can you, blondie?" The words that follow cause him to nod his head slowly, frowning in thought, actually seeming to give the question(s) rather deep consideration, "I think that yeah, that might be a bit of a conflict of interest. I mean, I guess you've gotta figure out which one's more important to you, Letha. Is your passion writing, or is it music?" If he was being flippant, he would probably have added 'or is it me,' but he's being good.

Letha breathes out a slow and deflating exhale at his words. She brushes her fingers through her golden curls, careful to keep them neat and while worrying at them. "I don't know," she murmurs a bit. "It would… it would be nice to see if the Vallas name doesn't die with my father, but I like working at Landing Life…" She shakes her head a bit, leaning against him now, pressing her head against his. "And the money is good. If I flop, I could lose… everything I have."

Drake curls his fingers at her back to encourage that lean against him, still thinking for a long moment. The mention of the Vallas name causes him to tense a bit before he parses the meaning, and his other hand comes up to pat her knee lightly, "Well hell, blondie, I ain't no Cole Ventralis, but the money's liable to be comin' in pretty good on Patience is Genius after the show. I really am happy to float you if you're lookin' to try your hand at music. I'd be a real shitty musician if I let someone as good as you starve 'cause people were too stupid to see what she had goin' for her." He shrugs his shoulders a bit sheepishly, "And, uh, I'd be a real shitty person you're dating too if I didn't do that."

Letha offers a warm and almost secret laugh to the young musician. She tosses her hair a bit, lifting her eyes to meet his with a warm smile. "You offering to be my sugar daddy, Drake?" She quirks a brow curiously before she reaches to touch his cheek, and then moves them onward to brush her fingers through his wonderful hair. "You know… if you and HIIK could move into the Vallas manor. Pay some rent. Then you wouldn't have to feel like you were floating me." She purses her lips a bit, offering a small smile. "Just an idea."

Drake rolls his shoulders a little uncomfortably at the words 'sugar daddy,' "Hell, I always thought I'd get some sugar momma…" He laughs, turning into the touch at his cheek and then letting his head be tugged backwards a bit by the pull of fingers through his thick hair, "But hell, I find someone this pretty, this willin' to do all sorts of freaky-fun things, and this fun to just hang around, I might be willin' to play sugar daddy for a bit. But rentin' out parts of the manor might be best… then it's all on the up and up. Might even be able to have our own rehearsal space then." Narrowing his eyes playfully, he flashes a dimpled grin, "You know that means you can't break up with me any time soon if you're gonna make me sell my place and move in with you, right?"

Letha softens a bit as she notices that uncomfortable roll of his shoulders, and she offers him a small smile. "I like you too much to just break up with you for leaving your dirty underwear around the floor of my house." She smirks soldly at him now before she presses her lips softly against his. "Ask them what they think. If they like the idea, I can start to clean up the house and see how I would divide it up so everyone is comfortable. And has their own bathroom." She does sound pretty serious about that, including this next sentence. "And we can negotiate terms and such. On the up and up."

Drake wrinkles his nose, "Ugh… contracts." He laughs softly, however, shrugging a good deal more normally, "And you know you don't have to worry about me leavin' my undies around, Vallas." He reaches up to scritch at his scalp, then feed his fingers through the thick locks of his hair, "I gotta talk to them about a few other things anyhow. Like H.A.G." Shaking that thought off, he arches up his eyebrows, "So. You think you wanna play? Be a badass onstage instead of writin' all eloquently and shit about the people in the spotlight?"

Letha shrugs her shoulders, though the gesture looks very honest without evading or dismissing. "I don't know… It isn't something I can just… decide, right here and now, what I'm going to do. I should talk to my editor, see what he thinks." She purses her lips thoughtfully before she brushes her nose softly against his cheek, settling her forehead against his temple. "I'll sleep on it."

Drake's hand drops back to her knee as he nods, tipping his head against hers so that his brown hair falls about their faces, meeting and mingling with her blond locks. He nods his acceptance, waiting a long moment, then flashes a grin inside the curtain of their hair, leaning his head forward to nip lightly at the cartiledge rimming her ear, "I guess that means you'll actually want to sleep tonight." As if they haven't been constantly moving and rocking out except for a couple of four-hour breaks that only half-involved sleep.

There is something incredibly comfortable about that little world they sequester themselves to under the fall of his hair. She breathes in sharply at the nip to her ear, and then she starts to laugh with a touch of heat. "Eh, I'll get to sleep eventually," she says huskily as she dips her head a bit to press a kiss onto his lips, drawing him into the fire of her tired, but by no means diminished, desire.

Drake laughs warmly at the response, the laughter smothered up by that kiss. One hand slips up the bottom of their little curtain of hair, brushing fingertips across her jaw and then cupping the side of her face as he turns his head into the kiss, opening his mouth to part her lips so that he can flirt his tongue across them, and then straightening up slightly, "I think maybe just this once, we should head home before we get any clothes off… I got a feelin' that I'm gonna want to fuckin' collapse after we're done fucking…" the last word isn't used out of crudeness, but rather with a bit of a smirk to echo his earlier unintnetional oath.

Letha laughs warmly against his lips, brushing her nose across his. "Just this once," she repeats before she starts to slide out of his lap. Her fingers gather up his own, drawing him up off the bench with a gentle tug. "Come on. You haven't crawled into my bed in days…"

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