Boys Will Be Boys [A'zael] Apr 25, 2019 23:45:52 GMT -5
Post by Zen on Apr 25, 2019 23:45:52 GMT -5
At The Spring Storms Hatching Feast
After being pulled away from Mollin by B'rax for a tedious first meeting and conversation with Lord Reageren and his family, A'zael breathed a sigh of relief when the Lord insisted upon going to speak with Karredy and B'rax went with them to see the Weyrwoman, leaving him to his own devices once more. First thing on the agenda was a nice glass of wine. Savoring the drink for a moment, he found himself in the company of another man, one he had never met before. He looked of a similar age with him, however. He could only hope he would be a less stressful conversation partner than Lord Reageren had been. “Enjoying the celebration?” he inquired, glancing over the man.
“Of course. It has been too long since Mavros had a hatching to celebrate,” the man gave an easy, genuine smile that instantly put A'zael at ease.
He laughed softly, “That's for sure.”
“And two queens in one clutch? I didn't know such a thing was possible. Your bronze must be bursting with pride, Weyrleader.”
A'zael cringed at the use of his title, “A'zael. Please.”
The man laughed, “A'zael then. Nice to finally meet you. I'm Degranik.”
Coughing on his wine in surprise, Degranik laughed again while A'zael attempted to regain his composure, “Ah… forgive me… I didn't-”
“Don't choke on your decorum there, A'zael,” the Holder teased, “Relax. I'm no Lord.”
“Ah… well, good thing I suppose. Though from what I've been told you may as well be,” A'zael replied cautiously.
“Oh? What have you been told?” There was a mischievous look on Degranik's face.
“Only that Jask's mines are one of the foremost producers of firestone. Mavros would not survive long without your tithes,” he admitted.
Degranik laughed again, “I am new to politics as well, A'zael, but you have given me far too much power with that admission.”
“What? Like you weren't already aware of the fact?” A'zael raised a brow at him, clearly unconcerned with the apparent political blunder he had committed.
“You think a simple Holder like me knows all the details of the tithes Mavros receives from various places, what you trade for? You give me far too much credit. As I said, I'm new to politics. And I'm afraid I don't particularly enjoy the game either. Not enough to try to keep track of all of that just to try to gain some sort of advantage over my Weyr.” Degranik took a moment to survey the other revelers, then cast a sly smirk A'zael's way, as if to say ‘or do I?’. A'zael snorted unhappily at that, which only caused more laughter from his companion, “I have been a supporter of Mavros since its founding, A'zael. So long as I am Holder of Jask, rest assured we will tithe generously.”
“I'm glad to hear it. Faranth knows we need it,” taking another drink of his wine, A'zael let his gaze wander over the crowd, catching briefly on Lord Reageren's two lovely daughter's where they conversed with Zenelle while their father spoke with Karredy. B'rax's warning to behave himself sounded again in his mind, an unwelcome reminder that the two of them were off limits if he didn't want to ruin Mavros's relationship with Charin. But it wasn't his fault if the younger of the two kept tossing hopeful looks his way.
“Which do you prefer?”
“Hm?” He glanced back at Degranik, distracted momentarily.
“Lord Reageren's daughters,” Degranik grinned, “Careful, A'zael. Don't let him catch you looking at them like that.”
He cast a wary look toward their father, but he was completely engrossed in his conversation with the Weyrwoman. He did catch B'rax looking at him, however. He turned his attention back to his companion, “Admiring beauty is an insult to a Lord?”
Degranik chuckled, “Be sure to use that line on him if he catches you. Flattery never hurt anyone.” He nodded toward the two young women, “You didn't answer my question.”
“Saelene seems interested,” he caught her glancing at him again and shot a smile back, to which she giggled and turned quickly away at being caught.
“Hm. I imagine she still has fantasies about being swept off her feet by heroic dragonmen. A little of your attention would make her night, I'd wager. But Relaena would be the more challenging sister. Or are you afraid of a challenge?”
“Are you making one?” A'zael raised an eyebrow at him, curious and grinning.
“Are you really willing to risk her father's displeasure?” Degranik seemed pleasantly surprised.
“That just adds to the challenge now, doesn't it?”
Degranik chuckled, “No matter. Relaena would never so much as offer you a chaste kiss on the cheek.”
“Do you know her so well?” A'zael smirked at the suggestion.
“Of course not. But I have met her in passing. She tends not to interact with men for long periods of time. She is polite but keeps her conversations short and generally finds an excuse to leave after no more than a single dance from what I've seen. She is far less fanciful than her sister, who enjoys male attention when she can get it,” he glanced at A'zael, who seemed surprised by his insight, “I am trying to elevate Jask. Winning Lord Reageren's approval is a big step toward earning the autonomy of a major Hold. I visit with him often.”
“Mm… does part of his approval gain you a wife?” A'zael raised an eyebrow, sure Degranik knew more of the girls than he was letting on.
The soft smile on the other man's lips was about all the answer he needed, “Perhaps.”
“Then do you really want me sweeping them off their feet? You're an odd man, Degranik.”
The Holder laughed again, “As I said, you'll have no luck with Relaena anyway. And she's likely the one her father would suggest to me if I can convince him to grant me his support. She’s of an age her father will want to see her wed soon.”
“Bah,” A’zael let his opinion of marriage be known in that singular unimpressed noise.
“So, have I scared you off?” Degranik raised a brow at him, “I wouldn’t blame you. I have no doubt you’d fail if you took up the challenge.”
“Hardly,” A’zael shot back, grinning again, “It will be rewarding enough just to prove you wrong.”
“That arrogance will be your downfall, A’zael,” Degranik warned, plainly amused, “Though I will have fun watching you fail.”
“You have no idea what I’m capable of,” A’zael warned back cryptically, then laughed, “After tonight, you’ll never underestimate me again.”
“Mm, we’ll see,” Degranik took a drink of his wine with a smirk.
As the night wore on, A’zael took every opportunity to spend time with Relaena, though he had to be careful not to overdo it and draw her Lord father’s attention. Degranik was there between time spent with her, fueling his desire to wipe that smug look off his face the longer it went on. Relaena, for her part, was polite and pleasant, accepting his offer to dance several times, but not even once did it seem like anything he was doing was at all affecting her, and he started to realize that Relaena would never be swayed in the course of a single night. She was far more gold than green, and the chase of her would be an endurance run.
As another dance with her came to an end, B’rax was suddenly at his side, excusing the two of them from her company to lead him away, “A’zael, just what did I tell you?”
“About what, B’rax? You have told me an awful lot of things,” A’zael replied with some amusement.
B’rax was far less amused, “Are you drunk or is this foolishness natural for you?”
“Well that seems uncalled for,” A’zael muttered, his gaze over B’rax’s shoulder, tracking Relaena through the crowd and paying little attention to the man.
“A’zael!” the sharp tone drew his attention back, “Leave her be. You are lucky her father has yet to notice your pursuit of her, but he will not remain distracted all night.”
“I’m only trying to get to know her, like you said I should!” A’zael replied in an innocent tone with a grin that did not match.
“You're trying to get to know her a little too well, A’zael,” B’rax growled, “I have worked hard to keep up good relations with Charin and I’ll not have you ruin it with this nonsense. Did I not explain it to you well enough? We depend on them. Do you want the Weyr to suffer for your games?”
His grin fell away and he glanced off, not quite able to meet the older man’s eyes. Games. B’rax sure was making him feel like a ‘brat in the creche. He blew out his breath, annoyed at having to admit defeat, but figuring it was probably a good time to do so. He held up his hands in surrender, “Alright, alright… I’ll leave her alone.”
B’rax’s gaze narrowed, “And the other girl, as well.”
A’zael waved his hand, “She wasn’t even part of it.”
“... Part of what?”
A’zael sucked in a sharp breath. Maybe he was a little tipsy. He hadn’t meant to say that outloud. “Uh… too much wine, you’re probably right. Leaving them both alone, starting… now,” and he turned and slipped away through the crowd, leaving B’rax frowning and staring dubiously after him.
As he was considering the merits of another glass of wine, Degranik found him again, laughing, “Well that looked like a thorough scolding.”
He sighed, “Indeed….” And then he grimaced at having to admit defeat, “You win. Even if B’rax hadn’t warned me off, it’s clear Relaena isn’t a girl that can be won in the span of a single night.”
Degranik chuckled, “I did warn you.”
A’zael decided to go ahead and enjoy another glass, muttering to himself, “Girl’s sealed up tighter than any Hold during Fall.”
The Holder laughed at that, patting the Weyrleader on the shoulder in sympathy, “You did give it a valiant effort, I’ll give you that.”
“Hm,” A’zael agreed shortly, “I could win her if I had the time to put into it. Fortunately for you, I don’t, and I doubt her father would take kindly to it.” He found the girl across the room again, considering her a moment longer, “Which is really too bad, because she is quite the challenge.”
“Hah, sure,” Degranik replied skeptically, “I think you give yourself too much credit.”
“You give me too little,” A’zael shot back, “Perhaps I’ll sweep her out from under you just to prove it to you.”
“Mm, good luck with that. And she isn’t under me yet,” Degranik laughed.
“Pff. No. She wouldn’t be,” A’zael turned his attention to the Holder then, forgetting the girl for now, lest B’rax catch him looking and decide to berate him again, “You really want to take such a prude to wife?”
A smile quirked at Degranik’s lips, “Who’s to say she’s such a prude after she’s wed?”
“Fair enough,” A’zael drank from his glass and considered the myriad other ladies in the room instead. No more reason to waste his time on one girl he couldn’t have when there were so many he could, “Well, if you’ve had enough amusement at my expense, Degranik… I’d like to find some more agreeable company than Relaena.”
Degranik chuckled, “By all means. I’m sure you’ll want to lick your wounds… or find someone else to lick them for you?”
A’zael couldn’t help but laugh at that, despite the jab, “You know I wasn’t expecting to like you very much, but you’ve surprised me. Relaena isn’t anymore available to you than she is to me. I’d be happy to introduce you to a few ladies who might be a little more interested.”
Degranik feigned offense, “Do you think I need your help, A’zael?”
He laughed again, “I’m only trying to be a good host.”
“Hm, well, in that case… lead the way.”