Watered Down

-Ragodast, The Wastrel's Haunt, Late Evening, 3 DSTR-

Yawning as she filled a mug of Spiced Twister, a strong homemade ale that was recently introduced, Asealya tapped her foot to the catchy tune the violinist was playing. You couldn't expect much from a poor musician but this one was decent. The smell of burnt pork permeated The Wastrel's Haunt over the buzz of folk chatter while she made her way over to the table where her patron was seated, nervously fiddling with her hands. Asealya set the beverage down and accepted the payment of silvers along with a compliment from the woman who was scantily clad--even for Ragodast. Shortly after Asealya had left her be, she was finishing off her ale and went to wait beside the stair railing with a look of pride. Figures. There wasn't a single innocent soul left. At least not in Dalen. She wondered where the woman had gone wrong in life to subject herself to that. But that thought quickly slipped as it was none of her business or interest who worked what business here. She just served the people their dinner after all. If the tavern was the best opportunity she'd get, Asealya would stay for a century over if she could.

A messy apron was tied around her waist which was tightened by a worn red corset and a white blouse which flared out at the sleeves. Finding clothing took forever as she was very specific, for example, she rarely showed cleavage or any skin in public. Her tops had high, modest collars and only pants decorated her bottoms selection. With her hair up in a scraggly ponytail she wore leather riding boots and some dark pants because dresses were uncomfortable and restricting, sometimes too provocative. Something she'd lived by in both Verden and here. Oh Verden, Asealya reminisced silently.

Abbey, the other serving girl on duty, rang the bell sitting on one of the barrel shelves in a hurried fashion. Two men got into a brawl in the corner and the brilliant broad figure of Mohrjak filled the exit doorway at the chiming, swift to escort them out back with gripping force. He removed them to sort their differences elsewhere, taking position out back once again. An old man was asleep with his face in a plate of beans and carrots. Everyone but him had looked to the security guard as he was in and out like the wind. Asealya hated the looks they always gave him. Like he was some kind of monster.

She'd picked up empty dishes from an unoccupied table and marched away into the kitchen to wash with some spunk in her step until an unsettling voice droned. "Wench! We need your...services." Multiple snickers followed as Asealya set the dishes in the sink and peaked out of the hot kitchen with a furrowed brow.

The wooden door creaked under the sounds of the building ruckus as a tall man entered and looked around for a moment before Abbey had informed him to find a table and she'd be with him in a moment and made way to the voice. It was getting late and people finished their meals and rendezvous which led them to head out into the night.

One of the men, went by Pellenkoft, who was sadly very common in Wastrel's was, well, a wastrel. He was shorter than Asealya with a half shaven head and wide brimmed hat. Accused of many things including assault, abduction, and homicide, he was a familiar face to the guard and Ragodast. Had spent at least a decade out of his thirty some years locked away was what the gossip had said. And it said a lot.
He was standing beside his table which the goblins from earlier including their leader had joined him at. Bad plus even worse never equaled good. Especially when both parties hated Asealya for reasons she never understood.
Pellenkoft was speaking to Abbey with a few uncomfortable gestures clearly inappropriate for a girl of seventeen. He had extended a finger to stroke the young girl's cheek and proceeded to lock his arm around her waist a little too tight. A little too much for Asealya. Abbey carefully tried to pry his hand away to no avail.

"I'm sorry but we do not serve for free," Abbey had said quietly as Pellenkoft tucked a strand of bright blonde hair behind her ear which caused her brown eyes to shift downward. He leaned in to whisper.

"Not even for a lonely traveler like me?" his cocky voice pierced the tavern buzz. He didn't even take his hand away just let it trail to the back of her head in which he gripped a fistful of hair in his knuckles.

"I don't think I was asking permission, doll." The girl's eyes teared up as her head was jerked backward, but he was quickly torn away by a blow to the temple. Abbey backed away as Asealya struck the side of his head with a silver candlestick off of a table. He staggered to the side with a grunt before swinging his fist into her jaw which Asealya recovered from rather quickly. She grabbed him by the collar and pulled him face to face with her, he held his hands up as if to surrender.
"Not worth it," one of the larger grey goblins, the leader named Hezgaril, had piped quietly.

"Are we gonna have a problem here? A few coins and we can let this all go?" As he spoke a grin crossed the bastard's face while waving his hands tauntingly. Asealya's irises flared white, slamming her knee into his groin. The tavern had grown a bit quieter in spite of the action, eyes on them. If you listened close enough you could hear a low growl coming from the belly of the beast. Her beast.
The goblin scum followed quickly after Hezgaril who scurried out the door. Abbey had backed away and tried gathering herself once more, but hurried out to get Mohrjak in person. The beast was begging to vault out of the huntress' chest.

"This is not the place, Pellenkoft." Asealya grumbled to him with honest hatred, her fingers slowly and unintentionally shaping into sharp claws at her sides. "Nobody disrespects this tavern or the people. Piss off."

"Then where is the place you speak of? The Coliseum? Or you gonna bloody me up on this fine floor right now?" As security entered he straightened his back the grin bigger than ever. "You're fun. I'm hoping to see more of that later,'' the pig winked as he turned for the exit. Asealya launched herself forward but her friend had put a heavy hand to her chest to halt her. He looked down to her eyes with a spark of concern. Steam was nearly billowing out of her nose. She was getting the same looks Mohrjak did.

"Let me hurt him. Nobody would care."
"I would," Mohrjak spoke in a whisper.
"It's not on you." Her tone grew menacing but his large hand didn't budge.
"No, it's on you. You've changed once today and are being tempted to collapse. Zus aliak, ur odamus rudou. You're slipping-" he paused mid translation as if catching himself.
She let his words seep in like blood on the flowery sheets. His face, not entirely bull like, looked as if he was stuck between man and monster. Like he was trapped and was breaking through. The curiosity and mystery behind beasts fascinated Aysealya. He was like live art but she was quick not to objectify him as so. He gave her shoulder a rub.
The lower level of the tavern had emptied almost entirely as midnight grew upon them. The lady at the stairs had sauntered upstairs with a man after receiving a small payment.

Asealya took a breath and her eyes had settled down as one of the candles on a table burnt out in a wisp of smoke.

She'd remembered earlier before work. At Quinn's cottage with the body of the boy she'd so stupidly attacked. How she dragged the body outside while Quinn cleaned up, shifted, and devoured the corpse bit by bit. Mohrjak washed the blood from the grass with water so it would at least appear less questionable and buried the bones. He then parked a wheelbarrow over the burial site.
As she peered down she noticed a few small smudges of blood on her boots. Strange she hadn't noticed whilst getting ready.

"Go serve the patient customer." He nodded to the tall fellow who'd walked in earlier that she forgot in a fit of anger. Taking a few coins she'd received from tips out of her apron she tucked them into the minotaur's hand gently, "Give these to Abbey. Tell her to go home and rest. Poor thing's been here since this morning and now this." Her father was ill and she was working extremely late and hard to pay for medicines which would hopefully heal him but were difficult to come by. She had disappeared from the tavern after the ordeal.

She sighed and looked up as he turned to follow the walking piece of garbage.
Asealya began to approached the bright eyed, handsome man she hadn't recognized.

"Sorry for the...rude wait. What can I do for you today, sir? We're open all night." Asealya managed a welcoming smile.

< Prev : Blue's Clues Next > : A Stranger in the Garden