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Death Is My Reward

 
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Gren Blockman
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:42 pm    Post subject: Death Is My Reward Reply with quote

April 15, 2018



“. . . Should I keep my eyes closed?" Gren was walking up to the Cafeteria with Izira and Perrigan the next day, holding his hands over his face.

"Gren, you don't have to do that. Just walk inside, alright?" Perrigan explained. Gren lowered his hands as if disappointed.

Perrigan went up to the Cafeteria doors and looked back at the pair. "Are you ready?" When Gren and Izira nodded in the affirmative, he swung the door open.

Inside, the Rangers had hung red, amber, and yellow streamers up on the ceiling, and the same colored bouquets of flowers were placed on the tables. A large poster was hung up in the back that said "Congratulations Gren and Izira!" A similar buffet to the one Izira had served the Rangers was set up, including ham, chicken, roast beef, mashed potatoes, green beans, macaroni and cheese, and buttered rolls steamed in the back. The Rangers who were attending looked up when the door opened. "SURPRISE!"

Izira had not covered her eyes, but watched Gren with amusement. As he looked slightly disappointed, she hugged him and gave him a squeeze of her hand. Her smile blossomed at the group of rangers that had come out to celebrate with them, turning to see Gren's reaction.

Gren's face brightened, even though it wasn't technically a surprise since they told them in advance. Still he smiled broadly and shook the hands of those that came up to congratulate them. "Thanks, guys."

Haddon came up, chewing on a drumstick. "Enough with the congratulations, we all know why you're here, let's get to eating already!" Haddon and Perrigan ushered Gren and Izira up to the front of the buffet line.

She offered her thank yous to those they passed, having small conversations as she was able. Her light laughter filling the air from time to time before Haddon came over. "It looks like you already got started." Taking the lead at the table, what with ladies being first and Gren being chivalrous, she fixed herself up a small plate, helping Gren load up his own.

Yolene came up to Gren and Izira, wearing a frilly apron and holding a spatula. "I hope you enjoy everything! I took the lead on the decorations, and Crawford helped with the cooking!" Crawford came out of the kitchen, wearing a similar apron, and looked mortified at having to do so. "Save room for dessert!" Yolene gave Gren a little wink and skipped back into the kitchen.

Gren tried some of the ham, and put plenty of veggies on his plate, as well as two of the buttered rolls. He didn't object when Izira put a spoonful of the macaroni there as well. "Boy, everything looks great!"

Perrigan led them over to the main table, where he sat down across from Gren. Haddon, Moriana, Yolene and Crawford eventually joined them as the other Rangers were filing in to get their share of food.

"It is beautiful, Yolene. Thank you." Izira offered the woman a kiss to the cheek. "Looking handsome, Crawfordâ€, she said with a short nod to the apron. Her dress was a flowing soft fabric in black with white flowers. The dress was a wrap, tied at her waist. As she sat, the leg slipped out between the cloths before her hand fixed it back into place.

Between mouthfuls of green beans, Yolene spoke to Izira. "Izira! You just have to tell us the details! When did Gren propose? How did he propose? What did you say? Was it some place romantic?"

"It was someplace romantic, a cave up in the northern woods. There was a pool and waterfall." Izira rested a hand on Gren's back as she spoke. "It was where the map we found led." She looked to Gren, "He got down on one knee and told me all the things in his heart."

"Aw, Izira . . ." Gren turned slightly red, although he looked bashful, not upset. "I was . . . caught up in the moment."

Haddon intruded in the conversation. "You must have been wearing something hot to get Gren that riled up." Moriana punched Haddon's shoulder.

"Haddon, it's not polite to speak about someone's fiancee like that", Perrigan chided him.

Yolene piped up again. “So have you set a date? Where are you going to have the wedding? Have you picked out a dress yet?"

Gren gave Yolene an exasperated look. "I just asked her a few days ago! Give us a little time to get used to being engaged first!"

She chuckled softly, her hand moving from Gren's back to his leg and resting there affectionately. "I think, perhaps at the inn, so long as Gren agrees." She looked aside to him, "The rest is unknown as of yet. But like the engagement, will come in its time."

"The Inn would be just fine with me, Izira", Gren agreed.

"Don't forget to try the rolls, Crawford made those", Yolene interjected. Crawford looked abashed, but Gren tried one.

"They taste great, Crawford", Gren said. Crawford brightened and didn't look so miserable.

Yolene turned her attention to Izira again. "So where did you two meet? How did you meet? Was it love at first sight?"

"We met at the Great Helm, when I served there many years ago. It was only a passing meeting. Gren found me again years later." She smiled softly to Gren.

"She used to serve buffets there, just like this one. I thought she was beautiful, classy, and kind. I've never been very good with flirting so I missed my first chance. But as Izira said, I found her again. When I did, I knew I couldn't miss that second chance. Thankfully, it worked out." He returned Izira's smile.

"Oh, that's romantic." Yolene sighed and looked off into the distance.

"You know, it was my advice that helped Gren win Izira's heart", Haddon said with a mouthful of mashed potatoes. Moriana grabbed Haddon's ear and twisted it, causing Haddon to yelp.

"Do nothing I do. I suspect." She slyly smiled into her glass. Then she set it down, looking to Yolene and Crawford. "I was.... resistant. Gren fought his way into my heart, he was... very persistent and present. I am grateful he did not give up on me."

Yolene listened to Izira with that same distant look on her face, then she turned and looked at Crawford. "You see, he was persistent and present." Crawford rolled his eyes heavenward.

"Maybe I should be more persistent and present with Mori, Haw Haw Haw!" Haddon replied, while Moriana aimed her fork at Haddon threateningly.

Izira lifted a brow at Crawford. Her attention moved away with Haddon's words. Izira shook her head and gave Moriana a sympathetic look. Returning her attention to Gren, "It took the fear of losing him to make me realize how much of my heart he had." She lifted his hand to kiss the back of it adding with a warm smile, "All of it."

"I'd never been so sure of anything in my life. I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, and thankfully, that dream came trueâ€, Gren added.

"You two do make a lovely couple", Perrigan remarked.

"Psssh, I tell you what, I'm never getting married. It's the bachelor life for me." Moriana gave Haddon a sideways look.

Yolene said, "Oh, I can't wait to get married. I'm going to wear a long white dress with a veil, and it will be held outdoors, and a hundred white doves will be released into the air when the minister says "You may now kiss the bride"!" Yolene gave another sigh.

"Where are you going to find a hundred white doves?" Crawford wondered aloud.

"I'll make it happen, don't you worry." Yolene leveled a gaze at Crawford that made him gulp.

Leaning in and kissing the edge of Gren's jaw following his response. She turned her smile to the Headmaster of the Rangers, "Thank you Perrigan." Haddon got a passing glance, Izira keeping her smile and tongue in check to his words, but commenting on Yolene's wish for doves for her dream wedding, "I know people."

Yolene looked at Crawford while pointing at Izira. "Told you I could make it happen." Crawford looked at his plate and stuffed a roll in his mouth. Yolene suddenly popped up as if she remembered something. "Oh! I hope you saved room like I said! Crawford, help me get the cake!" Yolene drug Crawford back into the kitchen, and a few moments later, they wheeled a large cake with white frosting on it out to the table. There were words in red and amber icing written on it that said "Congratulations on your engagement, Gren & Izira". "Izira gets the first piece!" Yolene cut a corner piece of the cake off and set it on a plate, handing it to Izira, before passing out pieces to everyone else at the table.

Izira might have been enjoying adding to Crawford's troubles. She had plenty of room for the cake, bowing her head in thanks at the piece offered. She stole a bit of icing off of it and offered it to Gren, "What do you think about doves?" A tease in her tone.

Gren ate the icing off Izira's finger and winked. "I think that many doves flying overhead might be a problem for the people on the ground. We might need to pass out umbrellas."

"They could be released at a distance."Izira offered a way to make it work, though that was not something she had in mind for herself.

Haddon laughed, "Listen to Gren! Making a poop joke! Haw haw! I think I'm finally rubbing off on him!"

Everyone at the table began to eat their cake. "So Gren, I hear you have a Baron challenge coming upâ€, Yolene said.

"Yes, that's right, I should win a grant for finishing in third place in the DoS Madness Tournament."

Yolene giggled, "What are you going to do with a Barony in the City?"

Gren shrugged, "I don't know, but I'm sure I'll think of something."

"I suspect the Barony would gain a few more trees and recycling receptacles." Izira grinned. "Who are you thinking about challenging?"

"Aludariel Sun'vael, current Baroness of Battlefield Park. All I really know about her is that she's Kruger Allen's girlfriend. I’m picking that district because it is the closest to my area of the forest. I'm sure I can do my part to educate the citizens on proper recycling techniques."

"How long has she held the title?" Izira asked.

"About seven months, and nobody has challenged her for it yet. I've never held a Barony so I'm kind of interested to see what that's likeâ€, Gren replied.

"If you want to be a Baron so bad, you should challenge for someplace fun like New Haven or Seaside. Battlefield Park has got to be the most boring part of the city", Haddon said.

"If this is going to be my first time, I think boring would suit me just fine", Gren disagreed.

"Boredom is easily chased away." Izira brushed her fingers through Gren's hair. She smiled to Yolene and Crawford, "A great meal, you two make quite the pair."

Yolene answered as Gren leaned into Izira's head massage. "Thank you, Izira! I'm glad you liked everything." Crawford merely nodded to Izira.

"Yes, everything was great", Gren backed up Izira. "I hope everyone in the Guild can make it to our wedding, whenever we decide to have it."

"Something for us to talk about on the way homeâ€, Izira added.

"Eh, uh, yeah." Gren looked a little worried like he didn't expect that line of conversation so soon, but hey, he's the one that asked to get married. Gren leaned back in his chair after his large meal. "Man, I'm stuffed."

Perrigan now turned to Gren. "Speaking of where you found the ring, that didn't happen to be Brallin's territory, was it?"

Gren gulped and nodded, "Yeah, it was."

"Did you happen to see any of his Rangers?"

"Yeah, we saw a few of them in an abandoned village."

"You need to be careful if you go out there again. Brallin and I aren't exactly on the best of terms."

"I'll be careful, Headmaster, nothing happened."

Izira bit her tongue, knowing that Gren meant that nothing happened with the other rangers and her making a comment about other things would not be helpful. "We were simply a couple on a stroll."

“Yeah, just a stroll, heh heh." Gren laughed nervously and tugged at his collar.

Haddon opened his mouth to make a comment and Moriana grabbed his ear again.

"The territory there is quite lovely." Izira thought back to the bridge. Looking back to Perrigan, between him and Gren, "I thought I might revisit the area again. Do you think that would be problematic?"

"Maybe", said Perrigan, thoughtfully.

"I took my cloak off so they would think we were just two lovers on an afternoon stroll. I think we'll be alright." Gren answered, hopefully.

"Alright. I haven't had words with Brallin in years. Honestly, I'd prefer to keep it that way."

Izira gave a short nod of understanding, taking it into consideration. "What happened the last time you had words with this Brallin?"

Perrigan set his jaw. "Some of Rangers got in a bar brawl with his. Blood was spilled when one of his Rangers pulled a knife. It wasn't pretty. Neither was our discussion. That type of thing has been going on for years between our two groups."

Her lashes fluttered at the mention of such violence between the two ranger sects. Her hand slipped into Gren's to hold it. Gren was not a violent man, Izira knew well what her reaction would be if one of Brallin's men tried anything with her around. "I understand well why you would want to avoid any other unpleasantries."

Gren squeezed Izira's hand in return. "I haven't had a personal run-in with them. But hopefully that won't happen."

And then speak of the devil.
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Gren Blockman
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grace suddenly burst through the door, and gave Perrigan a quick salute. "Headmaster! Headmaster Brallin is here to see you, I tried to get you first, but . . . . "

Striding through the door and past Grace was a large man with a ragged red beard that could be seen jutting out from beneath a green hooded cloak. Slowly the man pulled his hood back to show a pockmarked face with a cold, hazel eyed stare. That stare landed on Perrigan, and the man known as Brallin crossed his arms. "Headmaster Perrigan."

Perrigan set his jaw again and stood up from his place at the table. "Headmaster Brallin. What is the reason for this interruption?"

"This can't wait, Perrigan. Your Rangers have been intruding in my territory on Double Rock Ridge."

"I can assure you my Rangers know to stay away from that area . . .â€

"Then how do you explain the broken bones my men suffered just this morning?"

"I have no idea what you are talking about, but I will look into the matter immediately."

Then Brallin noticed Gren and narrowed his eyes at him. "You", he pointed a finger, "I saw you personally. Two days ago in Persetti Village."

Izira took a drink of her water as the men exchanged words. A brow lifted when he pointed at Gren. "If you saw him, then I take it you saw me as well then Sir." Izira stood up, allowing the man to take her in. "I am no ranger, I own an inn." With a short smile she said,†Is it your intention then to tell a citizen that I cannot walk in certain territories because of my companion?" Tilting her head, "I was not aware rangers had taken to discouraging others from enjoying nature."

Brallin's cold stare landed on Izira. "I have no problem with enjoying nature, woman, I have a problem with other Guilds sending their Rangers to encroach on my territory. How do I know that one of Perrigan's Rangers didn't just bring his 'companion' along with him for a convenient excuse? This argument is not between me and you, it is between me and a fellow Headmaster." Brallin leveled his index finger at Perrigan. "This is my final warning. If I catch any more of your men where they don't belong, there will be more than bones broken. You've own me a debt of blood for years and this time . . . I intend to collect." Brallin swept the Cafeteria with one final glare, then replacing his green hood he marched from the building, slamming the door behind him.

Izira was tempted to scorch the man but remained looking at him with unimpressed amber-brown eyes. She didn't move as he left, watching the door. She glanced back at the table, "Pleasant sort." She said with a thin smile.

Grace rolled her eyes and scampered out behind Brallin to make sure he left the Compound. Perrigan, too, stared at Brallin's back as he left the Cafeteria, then he grunted a bit in displeasure. "I'm sorry you had to see that, Izira, especially today of all days."

"No need to apologize Perrigan. It is information to have, if nothing else. And now I have a face to put to the name." She moved back to stand behind Gren and put a hand on his shoulder. "I apologize that our trip into the territory added to your trouble with the man."

Perrigan waved it off with a hand. "It was bound to happen sooner or later. I'm more concerned with what supposedly happened on Double Rock Ridge. Crawford, do me a favor and go check at the guardhouse to see if anyone knows what happened." Crawford nodded and quickly hurried from the Cafeteria. Perrigan then focused his gaze on Gren. "So I take it you found Izira's ring at Persetti then?"

Gren gulped and nodded. "I didn't have my cloak on, I hoped he would have just seen us as two tourists."

Perrigan chuckled, "Well, it almost worked. Maybe you should stay away from that cave until things cool down, hmm?"

"From the sounds of the exchange, I would not wager on it cooling down within a lifetime." Izira looked down to Gren, "Perchance I should return there on my own to hinder them from making unwarranted accusations?"

"No, I don't think that would be a good idea. Brallin's seen your face, they probably will think we've sent you as a spy. It's alright, we'll think of something if the need arises. I've been in and out of his territory during tense times beforeâ€, Gren replied.

"Hopefully that won't be necessary", Perrigan added. "We haven't had a Ranger War in years and I'd like to keep it that way."

"I cannot begin to think why one would even need to spy on them." She shook her head, tucking a length of hair behind her ear. "Brutish foolishness."

"Logic and Brallin don't necessarily go together. He's a very untrusting, combative person. We just need to be cautious for a while." The door opened again, and Crawford walked in with two young men in their twenties with grey cloaks. One was being held up by the other and covering his eye.

"Headmaster, we are here to report on the incident at Double Rock Ridge."

"Go on, Rendrick", said Perrigan.

"Sir, Sorrel and I were doing our patrols on the eastern edge of our territory. We heard cries of distress coming from on top of Double Rock Ridge, so we climbed up to investigate. Brallin's Rangers were waiting for us. They said we invaded their territory and we had to pay. They . . . . they beat us pretty bad, Sir. We were lucky to make it without any major injuriesâ€, Rendrick reported.

The other Ranger who must have been Sorrel spoke, "It looked like a setup, Sir. There wasn't anyone up there other than Brallin's folk." Sorrel was sporting several large bruises and a cut, bleeding lip.

Izira nearly muttered something again at the report the two rangers made but she bit her tongue. Literally. It was ranger matters, best left to rangers. Surely, having dealt with them for this long Perrigan was better versed in how to deal with it. The air was warm around her, however. Izira disliked bullies.

"Yolene, take Rendrick and Sorrel to the House of Healing. The other Rangers and I will clean up here", Perrigan said, then turned back to the two. "Rest and Heal. I'll check in on you later."

"Yes, Sir." Yolene removed her apron and escorted the two wounded Rangers out the door.

Perrigan leaned back in his chair and rubbed his chin. "What is Brallin's game? Why start a fight with us now? This is more than just mere guild rivalry."

"Have you heard any news coming out of his territory?" Gren asked.

Perrigan shook his head, "Nothing more than rumors. But a little information wouldn't hurt." Perrigan snapped his fingers. "Bernard. He hasn't seen Bernard's face. I'll send him to ask a few questions. Discreetly of course. Haddon, go let Bernard know what I need him to do."

"Whatever you say, Headmaster", Haddon said, and left the Cafeteria to deliver Perrigan's message.

"I think the party is over." She gave a slow exhale, "Would you accept assistance on cleaning up?"

"Not at your own engagement party. We'll handle everything. Gren, why don't you take Izira home? I need to make plans once we are done here." Gren nodded. "Yes, Headmaster. Thanks for the party. Sorry about all this."

Izira softly nodded. It was hard for her to not start stacking up the dirty plates, but she resisted. "Thank you for the party. I hope this ugly business does not hinder you returning the inn for too long." Izira offered good-byes to those that remained, small nods or a light touch, depending on how she knew them. Perrigan was afforded a light hug.

Perrigan returned Izira's hug and offered her a smile. Moriana waved goodbye, then set about cleaning off the tables with some of the other Rangers in attendance.

Gren gave his goodbyes as well, then ushered Izira out the door. "Hoo boy, let's just hope Perrigan can handle this and everything blows over soon."

"Indeed." Izira stayed close to Gren, thinking of the marks upon the other two rangers. "I fear I have a poor understanding of the rangers... I did not know you could... war with one another."

"Well, that is very rare. Normally, like Perrigan said, it's more rivalry type stuff. 'My Guild's better than your Guild', so it's just bar brawling or petty squabbling. We all realize how unproductive a war would be, the Rangers are stretched thin enough as it is. But that doesn't mean a War can't, or hasn't happened. Usually it’s when things have been pushed to the breaking point for whatever reason." Gren walked with Izira to the gate, and led her out of the Compound and up the forest road.

"I hope Perrigan is able to resolve the issue soon." She ran her hand down his arm to wrap her fingers with his. "We have better things to plan for."

He entwined his fingers with hers and squeezed. "Yes, we have our whole life ahead of us. And speaking of planning for things, there's the Baron challenge coming up."

"I was thinking more toward... how long you wanted our engagement to be." She softly grinned at Gren, "But I can wait until after the challenge. I assume we are not going to need to be married before it."

Gren laughed. "No, I don't think that is a requirement. But sure, after the Challenge is decided, I'm all yours for planning out the wedding. Did you have anything specific in mind, other than having it at the Inn?"

"A couple other things, but they can wait. We need a date first." She leaned over and kissed his cheek. "There is also a honeymoon to think of..."

"Ooohoohoo, the honeymoon! I wouldn't even know where to start with that! Someplace romantic to spend a week or two at?"

"What would you consider romantic?"

"Well . . . . somewhere secluded, private, but also someplace where we could have fun, like dinner and dancing . . . "

"Sounds like the inn." She chuckled softly.

"No offense to the Inn, but we'll be there for the rest of our life. I'd like to go someplace that's . . . different. Someplace where you and me can enjoy each other's company without anything . . . or anyone we know around."

"We could go to a beach." That would be very different from their day to day surroundings, "Sand, water.... swimsuits. Or no swimsuits, depending."

"Hmm . . .†Gren turned a bit red thinking about the possible implications. "That would depend upon how . . . private the beach is. But that would sound nice. A private seaside beach house, near someplace where we could go for a nice meal. I think that might be nice."

She smiled more, seeing his reaction. "Then I put you in charge of finding the perfect private spot for us..."

"Eh . . . uh . . . okay, I'll do it." A bit flustered at being put on the spot, but he liked the idea, so he agreed.

"And be rewarded handsomely for your efforts." Her smile was suggestive.

Gren pursed his lips thoughtfully and suddenly realized the benefits of taking responsibility for that particular task. "Well then, I'll have to do a good job. I see how important a honeymoon is for a new bride."

"Mm... I am looking forward to being your bride, my ranger."

"I'm looking forward to our honeymoon, my innkeeper."

With a soft chuckle, "I am happy to give you a preview when we get back to the inn... help to forget the ugly business with those other rangers."

"It's only natural, I mean there's a lot of planning that goes into a wedding. And maybe we could practice for the honeymoon . . ." Gren tried to look upwards and innocent but he failed miserably.

"I heard it makes perfect." Watching his failed innocent look, her eyes roamed over him as she lightly bit her lower lip. "I would... hate for our honeymoon to be a failure due to lack of preparation."

"Then I think it's our duty to make this the most perfect wedding ever. We could start right now . . . your place or mine?"

"So not right now...†She chuckled up at him.

"Practice, remember? We have to imagine my treehouse is a romantic beach house."

"Lead the way."

And he did.
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Gren Blockman
Mother Natures Son
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beltane Full Moon Market
April 29, 2018



". . . Follow the moonstone path and pass under the yew arbor. Why do they have to make everything sound so mysterious?" Walking arm in arm with Izira, Gren was dressed in his usual grey Ranger's cloak, with a brown shirt and pants underneath. He was wearing a backpack in case he had to lug home plenty of goodies from shopping at the Full Moon Market.

Izira's arm was in Gren's and her other hand rested on his. She laughed lightly. "I think that is the fun of Beltane, my ranger, mystery." She wore a simple grey sheath dress under her light maroon cloak. Her black heels did not seem to mind the forest path.

"Well, it doesn't look dangerous . . . " Gren gave a few cautionary peers into the forest as they continued into the market. "So what shop do you want to look at first?"

"Crown of Good Fortune, I think we are not nearly as festive as we could be."

Gren noticed Sapphire run out of the Crown of Good Fortune booth, then he nodded at Izira. "Seems like a popular place. Alright, let's take a look." As Gren and Izira walked into the booth, it seemed the proprietress was already in the Beltane spirit, as she laid a crown of pink flowers on Gren's head. Gren swiveled his eyes upwards to stare at it. "Uh . . . wait, no I'm just browsing . . . oh, um . . . well, that just happened."

Another light laugh from Izira as a crown of blue and lavender flowers were placed upon her own head. Izira paid the woman for both, taking Gren's cheek in her hand and kissing him. "I like the new look." She said, teasing.

"Oh, well if you like it . . . " Gren suddenly smiled a big smile at the kiss and forgot about the pink flowers on his head. "Hey, they have giant turkey legs! I want a giant turkey leg! Where do you find the giant turkeys at?"

Sapphire headed for a turkey leg, taking a detour to eye the pen behind the booth where he kept the turkeys you could kill (or have him kill) if you wanted.

Izira looked to where the shop owner pointed, "Many thanks." Dipping her head, she moved with Gren toward Turkey or Die. The woman offered a friendly smile to those she saw, Sapphire among them. Even a crow got a smile as she spoke softly to her companion. "You must have worked up an appetite."

Ambling away from the pen, she approached the counter as Izira and Gren were just walking up. "Hey Mr. Gren! Lady Blockman." She smiled at them both. It was always tricky remembering who was together in this time and her time.

He recognized Sapphire and gave her a wave, the others he nodded to as Izira did. "I'm suddenly hungry enough to give one a try." He smiled again to Sapphire as they approached the counter. "Hey, Sapphire, how is your mother?" Then he nodded to Ol' Two Hands, and with a finger point, ordered. "I'll have one of the Giant Turkey Legs, please. Easy on the gravy."

"Oh.. ah... Izira.. Nyte." She kindly corrected, a glance to Gren, the subject of... names.. would be a thing to tackle.

"She's okay! Think she was a bit tired after partying last--" she blushed at Izira's correction and then tried to laugh it off. "Oh man! I'm sorry. Usually I'm better about this stuff. You two.." she gestured between them, "in my time.. just different." The blush hadn't faded, but she was grinning at least. "Nice to meet you, Ms. Nyte. I'm Sapphire Ravenlock D'Artanian."

Gren smiled sweetly to Izira, then mouthed "Lady Blockman" to Sapphire with a secret wink. He then took the turkey leg being handed to him with both hands and lifted it like a barbell. "Ahhhhh . . . . " With a noisy chomp he took a large bite of the meat. "Mmmm . . . yummy."

"Didn't realize you ate meat, Mr. Gren. I'll take one please," she requested of Two Hands, struggling to hold both the turkey leg he gave her and the tankard of beer.

"A pleasure to meet you Sapphire." Izira dipped her head, she looked to Gren, "Perhaps you would be Mr Nyte?"

"Well, I prefer vegetables, but I need plenty of protein to perform my duties as a Ranger as well." Then he stopped chewing and gawked at Izira over the suggestion of him being Mister Nyte. "What's wrong with the Blockman name? It's a good, solid, working class name!"

She looked between the couple as she nom'd on the turkey leg, stepping a little to the side to avoid any other customers.

"Among other things..." Izira said to the need of protein, the edge of her smile twitched upwards. Her brow lifted, "Are you implying there is a fault to my surname?" She would let Gren falter over a response, looking to Sapphire, "Is there a stall with wine?"

Gren swallowed his bite of turkey leg and the hint of redness in his cheeks showed the comment flustered him. "I never said fault . . . but it is kind of . . . " Here he mouths the word "spooky".

Sapphire smirked before, "Huh? Oh yeah um.. I think I saw one that way." She gestured with her tankard of ale. "My mom has a booth set up too for faerie stuff. Think you can buy a glass or a bottle or more tonight. Beyond the Veil. That way." This time she gestured with the turkey leg.

"It is my mother's maiden name." She gave a look over her shoulder to Gren as she took Sapphire's directions to Jewel's shop. She thought she would look for a fire wine. "I will returnâ€, she said to Sapphire and Gren.

Tahlia found herself with nothing to do, and nowhere to be. She'd heard rumors about some market that only appeared at Beltane. Restless, she found herself heading down the path, and stepping into something out of ages past, in the middle of the forest. Feeling a little underdressed in jeans and heeled hiking boots, with a light sweater in a green that matched her eyes, she took a moment to look around.

Gren pursed his lips to make a defense of his comment about the Nyte name when Izira said she would return. "Uh . . . okay." He gazed after her worriedly, before turning back to Sapphire and taking a bite out of his turkey leg. "What did I do?" Then he saw Tahlia entering the Market so he gave her a wave and a smile.

"I think you probably should have said you'd be honored to take her last name," Sapphire said awkwardly around a mouthful of turkey. She washed it down with ale before offering, "Hey, we should get our faces painted to go with the crowns."

Gren got a confused look on his face over the first comment, but shrugged at the second one. "Why don't you go ahead and I'll watch."

"Okay!" Sapphire strolled over to 'You Look Glamourous Darling!' and took a seat on one of the chairs. "Nothing garish or childish, okay?"

Izira passed by the Lyceum, her steps slowing as she regarded the books. She had recently cleaned out her library and had room for new books. She was tempted to linger, but she continued on for the 'Beyond the Veil' shop. With a nod and greeting to the proprietor, Izira asked a few questions about the wares. After haggling and discussion, she came away with a small amber hued bottle, a few oils, and a couple of packets of herbs. Her hands were too full to give books any attention at the time and she returned to Gren. "I have goods for your pack."

Tahlia caught sight of Gren, and waved back, heading over in that direction with a smile. She thought she recognized the blue-haired woman who stepped away, realizing after a moment who she had to be, before widening her smile to include Izira. "Gren, Izira...fancy meeting you two here."

Chewing on his turkey leg, he watched in amusement as Sapphire began to get her face painted. "That looks real nice, ha ha . . . You'd never catch me doing something like . . . Hey wait!" One of Jennie's painters snuck up behind him and started painting a red heart on his cheek. "Not me, Her! Her!" He pointed at Sapphire, then dabbed at his cheek. "Aw, heck." Just then Izira walked up, he smiled nervously. "Oh yeah, the pack, heh." He slung it off his shoulder and offered it out to her. Gren couldn't cover the pink flower crown on his head or the red heart on his cheek, because he had a turkey leg in one hand and his pack in the other, so he just gave Tahlia a red faced smile. "Heh, we were just out and about enjoying Beltane together."

Sapphire snickered as Gren got painted as well. "Should have gone with a tree!" She was getting a curving, flowing, swirl of flowers and lines on the side of her face. Her blue eyes landed on Tahlia when she wandered up, but she did not greet her. She just watched the other three and carefully nibbled her turkey leg while her painting was finished.

"Good evening Tahlia." Smiling to the woman, Izira added the items to the pack but left the small amber hued bottle out. Opening it and taking a small sip of the drink from the bottle. She wore a blue and lavender crown of flowers, but her face was unpainted for the time.

"Thank you!" Sapphire chimed to the woman who had painted her face, handing her money over and hopping up from her seat. Her blue hair was held back enough by her crown so the face paint was visible still. "You know, I was thinking. As good as this turkey leg is those animals didn't look too happy in that pen back there. Someone should probably do something about it."

Gren blinked at Sapphire. "Well what do you want me to do about it? He's making a legal sale of legal livestock. My hands are tied!"

Sapphire dug the toe of her sneaker--wearing them even with her dress because that's how she rolled--into the dirt. "Weeeeellll," she strung out the word. "You could help me set them free? Imagine how happy they'd be running around.. wild, like they were meant to be."

"Gren, that heart is ... absolutely you." Laughing, Tahlia looked around the glen, and then turned back with a shrug. "Maybe I should see if one of these shops has something more appropriate to wear? Or...get my face painted? Izira, what do you think?" She wasn't about to pay Sapphire any mind. It worked well enough with the girls mother.

"I was considering getting my face painted as well, I would be happy to sit with you."

"Look, I don't want to cause a scene here. I'm with Izira. In public. At Beltane. You get me? You know how long it took me to be able to get her to come here with me?"

The idea of setting the turkeys free bounced right out of Sapphire's head (for the moment) as her brow furrowed. "Why did it take you so long?"

Gren covered the heart on his cheek with a hand and smiled sheepishly at Tahlia, before he looked back at Sapphire. "Because she's been busy running her Inn. This is a special occasion for us, alright?"

Izira lifted her brow at Gren.

"Hey," Sapphire held her turkey leg up in a disarming gesture.. well, attempted disarming gesture cause it was big enough to be a weapon, "I was just asking. Thought maybe she didn't like to leave the house or something."

"That's neither here nor there. All I'm saying is we're out on a date, and I'd like to avoid trouble. Like Ol' Two Hands getting his ol' two hands on me for freeing his turkeys? Understand?" Gren asked.

"Yeah yeah. You don't want to show her an exciting time, I got it. Gotta keep it very vanilla. It's cool."

"Good, you get it." Then Gren turned around to see what Izira was doing, and how her face painting was coming along.

Tahlia turned a brilliant smile to Izira, trying very hard not to laugh at the back and forth between Gren and Sapphire. "That sounds like a great idea...why don't we do that, if Gren doesn't mind me borrowing you during date night, and leave the turkey saviors to their planning?"

"We're not planning anything chick who works for the bastard." She interjected good-naturedly. "Have a nice time on your date Mr. and Ms. Nyte." Sapphire grinned at them before heading down one of the rows of booth, on the lookout for someone who was more likely to help her free some turkeys just for the hell of it.

"Thanks, have a good time, Sapphire." Gren outwardly breathed a sigh of relief. "Geez. No you go right ahead, Tahlia. I'll wait." He crossed his arms and watched as Tahlia and Izira got painted as well.

"Wow. It's so rare to hear the polite version of my title..." Tahlia sighed, and rolled her eyes as Sapphire walked away.

Izira hadn't yet moved on to the face painting portion of the evening, watching Sapphire and Gren going back and forth. "Perhaps Gren can join us and get something on the other cheek. Nothing spooky though." The last part for Gren as Tahlia had missed that bit. She smiled, offering her hand to the other woman and moving over to take a seat at the face painting stall. Looking over the designs, she smiled and picked a fire flower that would frame her amber-brown eyes. A smile and bow of her head to Sapphire, "Safe travels."

Gren looked upward and grimaced at the 'spooky' comment. "Well, it is." That said to himself mostly.

Tahlia took the offered hand, and smirked over at Gren as they headed to the booth. It only took her a moment to decide: Black and purple diamonds, a set of four at the corner of each eye. She didn't expect anyone to get the symbolism, here.

"I take it the two of you are not friends?" Izira asked to Tahlia of her and Sapphire.

Gren peeked over at the next booth . . . Wegman's mushrooms. He blinked and thought about going over there for a few, but then became afraid they were that kind of mushrooms. He gulped and stayed put.

"Us? No. I work for her least favorite person, and, of course, her mother thinks I'm the worst kind of tramp." Tahlia shrugged, careful not to disturb the artist."

Izira smiled into the mirror at the finished result, a white flower blooming from the outer corner of each eye - red and orange glittered, bringing out her elemental nature and highlighting her cheekbones. "Lovely." She offered payment for herself and Tahlia. "What is the best kind of tramp?"

"Oh! Thank you." Tahlia had been reaching for her wallet just as Izira beat her to it. Glancing into the mirror, her appreciation was cut short with a sharp burst of laughter. "I have...no idea. I mean, I guess I am, if you assume the worst kind are those poor girls forced to work in the streets and alleys..." The diamonds looked perfect, and she grinned up at the artist. "Thank you."

Gren tried to ignore the "tramp" talk and approached Izira when she was finished. "That looks wonderful."

Standing, Izira chuckled at Tahlia's comment about her being the best kind of tramp. She lifted a singular shoulder at the later part, "Some do not get the life they expected to have... or the one they deserve." A look to Gren and it might have been a bit pointed, but the meaning was deep in the past. "Thank you Gren." She kissed his cheek lightly.

"Is there another booth you'd like to visit?" Gren glanced around to see if there was anything else good to eat in their proximity.

Following along, Tahlia nodded slowly, braiding her hair quickly to keep it out of the facepaint. "That's true. For better or worse." A quick grin to both, and she took a step back. "Enjoy date night, and Izira, thank you for the face paint. We'll have to get a drink, or dinner sometime."

"I will look forward to such, Tahlia. Enjoy your evening." A smile to the woman, Izira looked back to Gren, she considered the book stall but kept it to herself. "Perhaps we can walk around as see what we see? I know you have your patrol in the morning, I do not want to linger too late."

"Sure, I'd love to do that!" Gren said in response to Tahlia's offer. Gren put his arm around Izira's waist. "Sure, we can walk around some more. Hey, 'Outside the Shell'. I'd like to get some nuts, that seems innocent enough . . ."

"Was there something that did not?" Izira drained the small bottle, moving from Gren's arm to put it into the pack he carried. The air close to her became warm, the amber in her eyes glowing a touch.

Ebon roamed the Devil's Dell carrying a tray loaded with small paper bags, each filled with roasted nuts of some variety or other. There were almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios... and all seasoned. There were hot & spicy nuts, sugared nuts, salted nuts, barbecued nuts, ranch nuts, and more. To be honest, Ebon was having a fine time just watching folk struggling not to snicker whenever he offered them a bag of nuts.

"Yeah, the 'mushrooms' over there . . . " Gren made air quotes with his fingers when he said mushrooms. He led Izira up to Ebon and smiled. "Hello there! I would like some roasted pecans please!"

"Would you care for any particular flavor? Or just unseasoned?"

"Unseasoned would be fine. Pepper kind of messes with my stomach sometimes." He makes a face and puts a hand on his stomach.

Looking toward the mushrooms curiously, Izira then offered a smile to Ebon.

"Understood." Ebon handed Gren a bag of roasted pecans. "Enjoy!"

Gren took the bag of nuts with a smile. "Thanks! Izira, do you want something?" Then he looked at Ebon. "How much do I owe you by the way?"

A soft shake of her head, "No, but thank you."

He moved on through the crowd. "Nuts! Come get a bag of nuts! Sweet, salty, hot & spicy!"

Gren blinked as Ebon walked away from him and shrugged. "I guess they're free." Then he looked at his turkey leg in one hand, and his bag of nuts in the other. He fumbled with the bag and got it open and dumped some into his mouth. "Mmm, Tasty. Didn't they have a tarot place around here?"

"Yes." Izira looked around, finding the Tarot Card Reading booth. She tipped her head in that direction, "There it is. Are you interested in finding out your future?"

"Eh . . . uh . . . " Suddenly Gren got a look on his face like he remembered something from his past, something not exactly pleasant. "You know what, let's skip that. Can we head back? I think I've had enough fun for one night."

"Me too." Izira gave a soft smile, there might have been the subtle hint of sadness. She slipped her fingers into his and kissed him. Speaking softly, "I love you, Gren." Then she stepped back to the path to head home. "Shall we?"

"I love you too, Izira." Pleased at the feel of her hand in his and the touch of her lips on his face, Gren beamed a smile with no sadness. "Let's go." Finding himself standing in front of the 'Outside the Shell' booth, he perked up. "Oh! One second . . . here's for the pecans!" He dropped off a handful of silver nobles for the nuts from before, then he walked with Izira down the path and back towards his home.
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Gren Blockman
Mother Natures Son
Adult Wyrm
Adult Wyrm


Joined: 15 Oct 2007
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Can Be Found: The forest, the woods, the trees
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Walking back from the Market, Gren was still eating what was left of his pecans he had gotten from Ebon. "I wonder what was supposed to be so funny about pecans?"

Izira walked behind Gren, silent for a second, lost in her own thoughts. Her lashes fluttered, registering the question but forgetting the reference. "Hm?"

"Pecans?" He held up the bag that Ebon had given him. "Hey, what's wrong? You've looked a little sad ever since we left the Market."

She gave a slight shake of her head to the offered nuts. She missed the chance to turn the offering into some playful innuendo. "I... chose to take my mother's name, Gren. After her death... after.... what happened to her."

Gren blinked for a moment, then lowered the bag of snacks. "No, Izira, I know that. You've told me before. Is this because of what I said about your name?"

"Yes... spooky as you might think it is... it is my name. It is who I have been for so long. I am... not sure I wish to shed it like a skin I am done wearing."

"First of all, if I really had that much of a problem with your name, do you think I would have dated you for four and a half years, or got engaged to you? Second of all, I know how you feel more than you think I do. Blockman is the only thing I can remember from who I was before. So do you think I want to shed that name and become Mister Nyte? Lastly, your name sounds like Night. Night is spooky. It's just a silly pun, like when Tara calls me Blockhead."

She chewed her lower lips, "Would you... want to share?"

"How about we make a compromise a lot of couples are making nowadays. How about "Nyte-Blockman"?"

"You are okay with me coming first?" She looked sideways to him with a soft smile.

Gren blinked. "Wait, you want me to take the Nyte name?"

"And I take Blockman." She quirked the side of her smile amused. "Why not? We are partners."

"We are partners. Well, there's nothing that says either of us have to change our names. You can be Nyte and I can be Blockman."

She softly laughed, "I take it you prefer to stay Blockman?" She shrugged a shoulder. "Time enough to think on it."

"If you're that attached to Nyte, then I'm that attached to Blockman. Yes, there is time to think about it." He paused for a few moments. "You know . . . Sapphire said you were Lady Blockman in her world. Apparently your alternate version doesn't have a problem with it." He glanced at her to see her reaction.

"Perhaps my alternate version has a living mother and father and was raised by them."

"If that alternate world has Harris and Jewell as a couple, then I guess all kinds of things could be going on there." He sighed. "Look, we've been together as boyfriend and girlfriend for four and a half years. We took things slow, so we could get used to each other. Being engaged is like the same thing. This just kind of happened a few days ago, but there's no rules saying we have to get married right away. Just like with the name thing, we might have to ease into things slowly. Let's just get used to the idea that we're both engaged, and the rest will flow from there. Alright?"

"I can agree to that", she said with a soft nod and light smile. "Perhaps in that alternate world, you were married to Tara before me."

"Oh, don't even say that! Can you imagine the complexes their poor children must have? Oh man, I just thought of something. If Harris' alternate children can invade RhyDin, then what about . . . ?" Here he pointed to himself with a pale look on his face.

"The alternate you?" She looked him over and got a wicked hint in her grin. "Hmm."

"You know . . . cheating on me with alternate versions of myself is still considered cheating."

"Even if you are there too?"

"I have enough problems getting naked myself without seeing multiple versions of naked me's. Geez, how did we get off on this subject anyway?"

"You brought up the idea of another you."

"Yeah, but I didn't say I wanted to be with multiple versions of you. That sounds . . . exhausting."

She softly chuckled, "Good. I have no interest in sharing you."

"Well, I'm glad we've got all the 'alternate versions of ourselves' ground rules laid out. See? This engagement phase of our relationship is coming along nicely."

Her laughter bubbled out, a smile breaking wider. Izira leaned into him, tilting her lips up for a kiss.

Gren shared the laugh, glad the tension had been eased. He leaned forward and placed a firm, loving kiss on her lips. "I'm sorry I called your name spooky."

"You can make it up to me..."

"You know, I feel I might have to . . . right after I finish my giant turkey leg." He pulled the large piece of meat out from his backpack and took a gargantuan bite. "This might take a while . . . " He said, muffled, although he was already starting to smile big.

She picked a bit of meat off the leg and ate it. "Eat up, you will need the energy My Ranger."

As they approached his treehouse, he held his turkey leg up in the air, "Suddenly I feel like one of my alternate personalities, Super-Gren!" He tucked the leg away and swept Izira up in his arms. "Come, my love, it is time to enjoy the rewards of a long day of Super-Gren-heroics!" Opening his door, he strode inside, shutting the door behind them.
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