07.18.3013: Rock Quarry
Summary: Demos queries Nithya, doesn't get the answer he was looking for.
Date: 18th July 2013
Related: None
Nithya Demos 

The Public House
Tucked into a corner of the commercial district, this dive bar has low ceilings clouded with smoke, a collection of round tables, square booths, and a bar with stools along one wall. It can do greasy pub food, and has a fine selection of beers, whiskeys, and scotches, but not much more than that. The bar stools are the swiveling type that are bolted to the ground so they cannot be used as clubs in the event of a brawl, and the chairs are flimsy things that make poor clubs in their own right. At the back is a shuffleboard table, two pool tables, and a couple of dartboards, often with a good deal of side betting going on.

Getting together to meet, talk, eat, drink … all arranged, they find themselves with the small pleasantries aside, food ordered, drinks on table. Leaning onto the table, towards Nithya, both to speak over the other din of noise as well as converse at a more familiar topic between them, Demos finally edges towards what had been on his mind. "I couldn't wait to see you again. I was curious about when we spoke with Sir Michael," he says, letting it hang there so she may recall the conversation or not, or decide to go a different route all together without him pondering some of those topics again even.

Nithya puts down her knife and fork momentarily, chewing for a bit longer than is absolutely, strictly-speaking necessary. "Yes, that was over in the bazaar, wasn't it? After the not-so-clever pickpocket got you?" She looks a bit suspiciously at the plate, then picks up her fork and in a smooth movement separates a small piece of meat-like substance from the rest, then continues eating. "What's got your curiosity up?" she wonders after washing down the latest bite with some "beer".

Grinning a little, "Yes, the incident with the pick-pocket," says Demos in recollection. He quickly takes a drink, alcoholic, and its sort of like reaching for liquid courage. "I don't mean to pry, in some small way, I enjoy a good mystery," he says, watching the small, sequestered portion of meat a second, then looking up to find her eyes. "You had mentioned needing to speak with another if a man had more then simple prurient thoughts about you. I think I do … have more than those thoughts … about you." He takes a breath, as if to say more, but decides to let that ride rhetorically, checking to see if she's following, or if he's broaching into the wrong territory by going down this path even. A nervous smile comes to his lips.

Nithya seems a bit taken aback at the question's suddenness and forthrightness. So she does what everybody in such a situation does. She stalls. She cuts off some more mystery meat. She chews. She drinks. She toys with her utensils.

"I'm not sure what you're asking precisely, Demos?" she says. "Are you asking who you'd have to talk to? Are you asking if it's OK to have more than simple prurient thoughts?" A sly smile flirts with her lips before she puts on her serious mask again. "Are you asking permission for something?"

His quick chuckle from Demos, but his face drops to serious, agreeing with something she said, but pondering how to say it. If only this were a rock, or he could make a geological, metaphircal reference. He can't his eyes search for hers a moment, stuck at the corners of her lips for a second. "Well, yes," he looks down, decide he owes her his full attention, and back up to her eyes, "I suppose, permission. Prurient pursuits aside, the princess bits, well, I would … like to treat you that way. I just didn't know if you meant you already were in a relationship." Another light chuckle, a shrug, he doesn't mean to pry but he doesn't want to offend either.

Ah, so the moment of truth has arrived. Nithya needs to sort out her OWN feelings and situation before she can answer this one. A complex set of emotions plays out some kind of team sport across her face. She fishes, apparently subconsciously, in her belt pouch for a little trinket, indistinctly seen between her fingers as she starts to worry at it, turning it around and around in her hand hypnotically. A couple of times her mouth opens as if to say something, then shuts. Until finally…

"I … think that I … well, sort of, am in a relationship," she finally confesses, by her body language it's more like she's confessing it to herself. "It wasn't really supposed to happen, you understand," she adds hastily. "He was supposed to be business. Pure business. But something … just happened along the way." She reaches blindly for her "beer", almost knocking it over (tremendous display of reflexes in catching it before it spills, mind!) before finishing it almost convulsively. "I mean, had I kept it at what it was supposed to have been from the start … I mean, I would have …" Is it actually possible for her to blush? It seems so. "… Well, said …"

That is left hanging as her voice trails off.

Nervous smile fades to a frown, Demos isn't good at hiding his feelings, nor does he try. Yet, he is a good listener all the same, where his heart had raced a moment before, it catches and drops, then a sigh refills his lungs with air. Then a warmer smile comes to the front, it is just as honest before. "Then, I shall secretly enjoy the blushes when the come, the smiles that are offered, and the banter just the same." The words are comfortably measured as he puts that all in order. "No more prying, sorry to have questioned … well glad, before I did something really stupid." He reaches for his fork as if he's going to take a bite, but he doesn't, he just holds it and prods a little. "Hopefully he is the man to all that woman, and secretly the prince to that princess."

"I have no doubt, Demos, that you have an inkling what I do," Nithya says, lowering her voice so it won't carry past the table in the buzz of the tavern. "Believe me when I tell you that I'm not in the habit of getting involved with … my business goals." The next sentence is spoken with particular vehemence. "I'm especially not prone to getting involved with our so-called 'betters'." She stews a moment there, darker emotions playing out. "But … Sir Kaedrin has treated me well both as a princess and as a woman. And somewhere along the lines I got such a tight hold on him that … I don't think I can free myself." Again her tone of voice is one of revelation … to herself. What she's saying appears to be news to her. "I really didn't mean to lead you on either, Demos." She attempts, and almost succeeds at, a grin. A pretty sickly one. "This comes as a bit of a surprise to me as well tonight."

Nodding his head at his listens, Demos decides to put the fork down, least the plate be broken in him not knowing what to do with it. "No, you didn't, you were yourself. Captivating in your own way I imagine. This surprise, its more me. I'm not the fun, flattery sort, more the honest kind I suppose." As if writting that off quickly, "I do have an inkling yes, it was actually what lead me to wanting to offer forgoing the prurient, in thought and otherwise, to offer you the other side of the coin. But this is better, yes, this is better," as if assuring himself, "Your choice of business and your greater knowledge of your life and those around you, perhaps there is other serivces we could discuss too. Not to turn this meeting to business at all actually, I'd rather feel jealous, be lead on at my own hand, but enjoy the soft glow of warmth at your realization of your feelings, its an intrigue in itself."

Nithya tries to follow along what Demos is saying. It's clear from her wrinkled forehad that this is not going well.

"Demos," she asks slowly, "just so we're not talking across purposes here … what, precisely, do you think it is I do for a living?" She awaits the response with a mixture of dread and fascination.

"If I had to guess, based on whom you indicated as a business partner turned significant other," says Demos, considering his ducks, which are probably not in a row, "It is somewhere between courtesan and perhaps informant. Based on that you knew the pick-pocket as well. I wouldn't dare say illicit activities might be involved at some level though. But, I was trying to suggest whatever it is you do, it wouldn't be my concern. It shouldn't be in the least, and I do not assume what you do involves dissolute indulgence, I hope that wasn't implied, simply a life less ordinary is where I was coming from." He better have a drink, he finishes his glass, collects his thoughts at the bottom, looking through the empty vessel, then setting it down.

Nithya giggles at that. A giggle of relief as well as of humour.

"You think I'm a courtesan? OK, that's a new one. I'm glad I could pull that off somehow, though." She smiles with genuine warmth and fondness at Demos. "You know, I should take you home just for that flattery, my dear friend." She looks down at herself and back up at Demos. "I'm in a catsuit, sweetness," she says, her smile now turning a bit feral. "It's black. I have a knife. In a black scabbard. I have a belt pouch. It's also black."

She pauses a moment to catch the bartender's eye, giving a few quick gestures that seems to translate into something the bartender understands. She turns her attention back to Demos. "Demos, friend, companion, fellow artist and artisan, I'm a courier. I deliver things for people for money. That's my main job. There are other aspects that arise from this main job that I use for a secondary source of income." She leans forward, suddenly serious. "I'm not a good girl, but I'm not anybody's whore either."

Shaking his head, Demos agrees, "I did not mean to even imply your work had any sexual connotations. I thought you simply enjoyed flirty fun, no overt inneundo to imply it was real." Still holding his glass down on the table, he rolls it along its edge. "See, told you I'm bad with this stuff. A courier, I'll go with that, with secondary income that involves catsuits, knifes, pouches, if not all together flattering, not regular attire. Let's forgo my faus pax, lack of flirty flattery, and simple intentions. I was only trying to say," he lets go the empty glass, picks at the edge of the table, "I was only trying to say, in my off way, that it sounded like you had a boyfriend, and despite the jest, that you enjoyed a man who treated you as a women. I was trying to say, … no … I'm blundering. Let's follow the courier route, would it be safe to assume you know how to make deliveries without being seen?"

"I know what you were trying to say, Demos," Nithya says gently. "And please believe me that my own response was news to me today. I'm flattered, though, and a bit sorry it played out this way." She cocks her head as she tries to inject a bit of levity into the conversation again. "We should have met three days earlier."

Her face goes to pure business after that. "I make discreet deliveries, yes. I take sealed packages only. I do not want to know the contents in the slightest. I need only know dimensions and weight. I pick them up at the appointed place and I deliver them to the appointed place. I protect the package to the best of my ability … don't expect me to be tackling a knight here, but riff-raff I can cope with … and above all I do not disclose my clients. To anybody. Prices will depend strongly on several factors including package bulk, package mass, distance delivered, time pressure and perceived risk factors." She pauses a moment, doing something she does rarely, looking a person in the eyes. "What do you want delivered?" Her eyes slide back off.

"Three days earlier," says Demos, finding something with a touch of humor, chuckling just lightly, "No, knowing your with someone you want to be with is good enough, three days earlier leaves a mind open to what ifs." He shakes his head, trying to put that behind him. "I'll be content to call you friend, in honesty, I like to think I'm a gentleman. As for deliveries, I don't have one in mind actually."

He'll meet her look, as if letting her take anything she would want of him, not averting his gaze, an open book. "I am under a contract to fortify the defenses of Detritus. Or at least check the city walls, to protect Haven's greatest energy source. I suspect that you may have an eye for weaknesses I might not perceive. I am curious if you could look over it for areas you could easily pass through, find a way around, or otherwise bypass. I can attest the structure, but there could be something I would miss."

"What's the time frame for this?" Nithya asks slowly, her eyes now raking over Demos calculatingly. "I mean," she smiles here. There's no humour in it. "I'm not a burglar, right? I'd have to spend some time doing research up-close and personal with that wall." Something in her demeanour is giving that cat toying with a mouse look. "I will be VERY disappointed, Demos," she adds thoughtfully, "if you're trying to use this gambit to trap me into some kind of … false confession." Again a pause. She's convincing herself of something. "I'll have to think on it, my friend. It's an interesting challenge. If the time is right, I may take you up on it. I assume I can contact you at the number on your card?"

"A trap, and a confession," grins Demos, geniune there, shaking his head, "It was a struggle to find courage to admit my feelings just now, I mean in an honest context, not just flattery because its fun. Which, I might find reason to do all the same, but, no, I'm not that devious, I'm just honest." A grin, perhaps amused as such that it could be flattering to think he might be laying such a trap. "I mean, compliments, you'll still get some, but this is serious. No rush, there is no expected attack pending on the wall, I just want to be thorough in what I've offered." Then he nods, "Think about it, you can reach me at the same number, its the only one I have."

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