Second Pass Weyr - AU Canon Pern

Author Topic:  A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]  (Read 4936 times)

IC Date: 15-02-234 AL - mid afternoon or there abouts

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A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« on: 04 Aug 2013 at 06:22 AM »
It took her only a few hours to mend the tears in the dragonriders' shirt. What took a few days was working up the nerve to go and find V'riy. Arddra knew he had given her the option of just dropping off the shirt at his hut, a suggestion that filled her with more trepidation than running into him in the dinning hall or Weyr Hall. There at least it was mostly public and less chance he would snatch her up and drag her into his bed.

A few times she considered just asking one of the Weyrbrats, even her friend Casa, to give the shirt to the V'riy but Arddra didn't want to come across as a coward. She was uncomfortable around Dragonriders yes but only certain ones filled her with dread. Nor could she say V'riy made her feel threatened in any way, only her own paranoia caused her to imagine he was up to something. He still could be but he was kind towards her so far.

Finally making up her mind, Arddra decided she will go track down V'riy and return him his shirt. After that she wouldn't have to see him ever again. Then she thought about his dragon, that beautiful bronze, Morith. Thinking about the brief moment when she caressed him nearly brought a tear to her eyes. It would almost be worth it to involve herself with a dragonrider, just to steal private moments with his dragon.

No, she wouldn't do that, soon she will Impress her own dragon and feel her loneliness ease. Arddra knew she will never have children but at least when she Impressed a gold, the dragon will have all the children she could never. Yet would that be enough? Arddra was married three years before she was kidnapped, leaving her husband to most likely die alone because she failed to return.

Such unhappy thoughts running through her mind, tormenting her. The kicker was she could never be hundred percent sure her husband did die, and she cared for him enough to not want to betray him. Yet she already had...even if that particular dragonrider had taken her against her will.

Pushing these thoughts from her mind, Arddra decided she will give the shirt to V'riy, then she would know if he was still as kind as he was before. Morith was kind and his thoughts compassionate and warm. It called to the emptiness within her, wanting to be filled. Arddra simply didn't want to spend the rest of her life alone and she couldn't completely push away her fear she will never Impression a dragon and end up failing this expectation forced upon her by those who had her kidnapped.

It took her about an hour of her free time to figure out which hut among the hundreds belonged to V'riy. Then it took her a good half hour to get to it. Along the way she did see some dragonriders and quickly moved past, doing her best to be unnoticed without actually sneaking around and thus drawing even more attention to herself. Finally she was at the right hut or so she hoped. Arddra knew she could just shove the shirt in the handle of the door or place it anywhere it can be easily seen.

Instead she walked around back, seeing the large hollow Morith must use to sleep in. It was plain to see winds during the day had knocked leaves and branches into the hollow. Not a very comfortable looking bed for the mighty bronze and without any further thought, Arddra started clearing away the debris. As she only had her hands since she didn't see a rake handle, it took her nearly an hour to clean the hollow to her satisfaction.

Now she was hot and tired so she considered sitting in the shade for a rest before she decided what to do. When she noticed the rain barrow she used it to quench her thirst, cupping her hand to lap up the water with. Sitting down next to it, as it was shady, she relaxed. She knew she would hear any dragon landing in the hollow or the clearing. Or so she assumed.

Before she knew it, the heat of the day and her exertions caught up on her and she drifted off to sleep where she sat.

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Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #1 on: 05 Aug 2013 at 12:58 AM »
Morith pawed impatiently at the ground as he waited for V'riy to mount. They were at the lake, finishing a quick swim after the day's earlier exploring trip. V'riy and Morith, in search of more interesting places to investigate, had been flying over land a good deal south of Katila proper, and had found something unexpected.

They had spotted a bovine wandering alone in a clearing. Quickly descending upon the beast before any wherries could get to it, Morith had snapped the beast's neck, ending its life. The bronze had sated himself on a wherry earlier in the day and was not interested in eating anything more. Morith preferred to eat smaller meals and tended to hunt more frequently as a result. The pair had dropped off their prize at the kitchens, V'riy requesting only enough of the meat for a herd beast stew that he planned on preparing at his hut later in the day.

Finishing up their refreshing swim, V'riy quickly mounted his bronze partner, and gave the order to /between/ back to the communal kitchens. He hurried inside to pick up his package, thanking the drudge who handed him the bundled meat. He procured an empty basket and headed to the storage area, filling it with a small bag of flour, a small jar containing wrapped portions of butter, a large onion, several tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, a few ribs of celery, and portions of bay leaf for spicing. The rider knew he had everything else for the stew back at his hut.

Smiling in anticipation of the nice dinner he would be having, he left the kitchens, package and basket in hand. He had plenty of time for the stew to cook, it being only the middle of the afternoon. Placing his packaged meat in his shoulder bag, he climbed up Morith's foreleg, keeping a careful hold on the basket on his way up.

The pair emerged from between above their hut and Morith circled and banked left before slowly descending, carefully alighting on the ground of the clearing in front of the hut with a minimal amount of sound. Their hut was slightly larger than most, being that the bronze dragon needed a larger wallow, and that V'riy had built it with his father. There was a decent amount of space between it and the next building as it was on the outskirts of the hut settlement. V'riy enjoyed the location as it was less likely that he would have any unwanted company.

He entered his hut and put his package and basket on the table in the kitchen area. He started a fire in the fireplace and grabbed a large pot. V'riy was just about to go outside to fill it with water from the barrel outside when he heard an amused rumble from Morith.

The one who thinks I'm incredible is here. She's napping in the shade next to my wallow and it looks like she cleaned it of any debris. Should I wake her? Morith's voice was filled with warmth as he projected an image of Arddra with her back against the hut, fast asleep.

V'riy's eyebrows shot up in surprise at his dragon's announcement. Hmm. Let her sleep a little longer. She can have some of the stew I'm making, V'riy replied, grabbing his stew pot and heading to the water barrel. The barrel was on the side of his hut, so he quietly filled it and brought the pot inside, hanging it on the hook attached to the thick metal bar set up over the fireplace for cooking purposes.

I'll keep an eye on her, then, the dragon promised, his voice softer, as if afraid he might wake up the girl. He quietly padded past her and settled in his wallow, placing his head on his forepaws. The bronze was touched that the girl had spent the time to clear out his sleeping spot.

V'riy prepared the vegetables for the stew and threw them into the pot. The meat followed shortly thereafter. Whatever he had said to Quenym about being no expert cook, the man did know how to make a good stew, courtesy of his time at Benden. He sat down at the table and folded his arms behind his head.

So the girl had returned to find him at the hut after all. He hadn't been home, so she could have just left the shirt and avoided seeing him. Maybe she hadn't felt right about entering his home without him there. With her decision to tidy up the wallow, it was obvious that meeting Morith had had a positive effect on the girl. V'riy was curious to find out how she would behave around him after their second meeting.

The bronzerider wondered what he had gotten himself into. It was bound to be difficult to earn her trust, but he was still determined to do so. V'riy wasn't usually fond of women, but this one seemed to have a strength of character that so many lacked.

The rider would have to come up with a reason for her to continue seeing him if he wanted her to be more comfortable around dragonriders, and to feel more comfortable with her life at Katila. But what could he possibly offer her that would keep her interest long enough? The man drummed his fingers on the table as he considered his options.

There wasn't much that he could really offer her beyond flights on his dragon, which she seemed reluctant to take. She was probably afraid to be in such close proximity to him, even if it meant being adragonback. She also didn't seem like the type who would enjoy trailblazing in the great outdoors, and even if she did, he doubted she would want to do something like that alone, with him.

Maybe some lessons then, on how to make riding straps and oiling and bathing a dragon properly. Morith sent his approval for the bathing part to his rider, and V'riy couldn't help but smile. The dragon would be more than willing to accommodate his rider in teaching the girl proper dragon care. Being around an adult dragon AND his rider, the dragon interjected, for an extended period should calm the girl down considerably.

Maybe she needs a protector, the dragon suggested softly.  Those gold weyrlings have the other bronze rider, Morith commented, bringing a snort from V'riy. R'nya. That one was getting a head start on softening up the young female goldriders and surely had ulterior motives. She has no dragon, you could not be accused of doing what he does, the dragon pointed out. V'riy privately disagreed - if she was a gold hopeful, which he wasn't sure she was, then he could probably be accused of being just like him. It really didn't matter to him, though. He knew his reasons for doing it. Let others say what they would.

The pleasant odor of the cooking stew wafting across the room brought V'riy out of his contemplations. He realized that it was getting rather late in the afternoon. It is probably better if you wake her, V'riy told the bronze, not wanting the woman to wake up disoriented in a strange place with her first sight being a man she didn't trust. It is pleasant to watch her sleep, the dragon commented as he pushed his snout gently against her side.

Wake up, dear one, the dragon called softly to Arddra, his voice like a gentle melody playing in her head. V'riy stood up and made his way outside, walking around the other end of the hut, so that he would appear beside the dragon and not behind her. He really was doing his best to be careful around the girl. He just hoped that it would not be all wasted effort.
« Last Edit: 18 Aug 2013 at 11:27 PM by V'riy »

Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #2 on: 05 Aug 2013 at 01:56 AM »
A breeze blew against Arddra as she slept, bringing the scent of dragon to her nostrils but her sleep was deep enough the scent only brought pleasant dreams. Faintly she also felt minute vibrations through the wall she was leaning against in her sleep.

In her dreams she saw herself riding a dragon, a golden beauty who climbed high and with no more effort than than walking. The sense of freedom was exhilarating and she laughed it all the joy she had in her youth. It was rare for her to dream of such pleasant things, most times she dreamed of darkness and pain and loneliness. At last dark dreams were the majority she remembered.

Morith's soft call in her mind mixed with the dream, and she replied I am awake, never have I been so happy! Even lost in her dream Arddra realized Morith's voice wasn't just her imagination, that and his gentle nudge on her side slowly drew her back. The dream Arddra and her golden dragon no longer climbed to catch the sun, instead she spiraled down, her dragon's hide lost it's golden hue and suddenly was bronze. The shock of riding a bronze dragon instead of a gold broke the dream and Arddra's eyes fluttered open to see the softly glowing eyes of Morith.

"Morith.." Arddra says softly, smiling, reaching out to touch him. Just before her hand touched his muzzle she hesitated then guessed he wouldn't mind. Her mind was still recalling the dream and it took a few moments for her to realize what having Morith here meant. It also brought her back to remembering where she was too.

"You're here!" She say and immediately felt panic as she realized V'rih must be near. She stood up and brushed herself off, looking around to see where the dragonrider was. Arddra then spotted him standing beside Morith. She bit her lip, feeling suddenly very self conscious.

"Hello," She says nervously then cleared her throat. She had no idea how long she slept but given the angle of the sun now, she was certain it was quite late in the afternoon, if not already dinner time. Arddra also realized she was hungry too. "I...I came to return your shirt and I must have fell asleep while resting before I headed back." Arddra quickly explained.

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Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #3 on: 05 Aug 2013 at 11:59 PM »
Morith's blue eyes regarded Arddra thoughtfully. The bronze was, for a split second, soaring high with her on the gorgeous golden beauty of her dreams. It was unfortunate, having to wake her from such a comforting dream, and as the gold morphed to bronze he watched her eyes flutter open with a pang of regret.

She dreams of gold, the bronze informed his rider softly, getting it over with. Better sooner than later. He should know, and Morith would not keep it from him, no matter that it might mean the end of this burgeoning friendship for the both of them.

V'riy, leaning against his dragon, regarded Arddra silently as she opened her eyes and touched his dragon's nose. It matters not, he responded to the bronze, surprising the both of them. This isn't about me, it's about helping her… adjust.

He smiled kindly at the girl as she stated the obvious. Unfortunately, she still felt nervous around him, and he watched as her expression changed to one of discomfort upon registering his presence. Briefly the thought crossed his mind that maybe he was some kind of masochist, to keep subjecting himself to it. Morith rumbled at him with amusement, butting his large head against his rider affectionately.

V'riy nodded briefly at her as she explained what had happened. "Really, it's fine," he reassured her, warmth filling his voice. "Morith tells me that you tended to his wallow as well. He's very appreciative.... we're very appreciative."

The bronzerider gestured at the sky, indicating the time. "It's about time for supper. Would you care for some stew?" He tilted his head to the side, awaiting her response.

Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #4 on: 06 Aug 2013 at 12:55 AM »
Arddra studied the dragonrider, noting he was relax and his posture didn't speak of belligerence or in any way threatening. So far V'riy had spoke gently towards her and showed only kindness. He wasn't the first dragonrider to be nice but that other one was quick to start flirting with her. At the time that was the last thing she was interested.

She wasn't that interested either...being forced once was traumatic and made it even more difficult to trust these Dragonriders. But that one was a blue rider, D'hys she learned his name was at some point since then and pointedly avoided him.

When V'riy told her Morith appreciated her cleaning his wallow Arddra looked up at the great bronze and smiled. "I was glad to do it, it felt good to do something kind for him..."

At V'riy's invite to stay for dinner her eyes shot to regard him. Her first response was to say no, that she had taken too much of his time and other excuses. She then remembered past conversations with fellow Candidates and weryfolk. Even the discussion with Bordtai and Nellaris about how dragonriders were criminals. She knew some were, in her mind anyway. But she was basing it on her own experiences and a few incidents which occurred while she was here. They certainly had disagreements and there was or maybe still is, a rebel faction who disagreed with current policies. At least the kidnapping of Northerners, like her, stopped not long after she was taken.

Arddra shifted her weight from one foot to the other as she tried to decide. On one hand she didn't want to offend V'riy but her nervousness and distrust of dragonriders in general warred with other issues inside. Finally her hunger made the decision for her as her stomach chose that time to growl.

Blushing at the sound, Arddra couldn't help but smile as well. "I...yes, I will like that very much. You are much...nicer than most dragonriders I have met."

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Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #5 on: 07 Aug 2013 at 12:14 AM »
Morith nudged V'riy with more strength this time, nearly sending the rider sprawling. She likes doing nice things for me, the bronze repeated, projecting images of Arddra doing various nice things for him.

Arddra scrubbing his hide with that large brush he adored. Arddra climbing all over him, rubbing oil in all the hard-to-reach places. Arddra sweeping his wallow clean. V'riy shoved at his dragon's head playfully, unable to suppress the boyish grin that formed from his dragon's private joke. The naked affection that a rider holds only for his dragon was easily viewed by the girl, and as he turned his head, V'riy kept most of that warmth in his voice when he addressed her.

"Be careful, he's liable to take advantage," the rider chuckled good-naturedly. "I'm glad you've decided that I'm nice," he said, smiling at her again in that big-brotherly sort of way. "Or at least nicer than most." An expression crossed his face too briefly for her to identify, and then the smile was back again.

"After you, my dear." V'riy motioned with his hands, indicating that she should go ahead of him. Morith watched the girl and his beloved rider as they rounded the side of the house, pleased with how things were developing. The bronze was pleased that V'riy was making headway with Arddra. One step at a time.

Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #6 on: 07 Aug 2013 at 12:45 AM »
The sudden playfulness of the dragon towards his rider was a joy to see and reminded Arddra of happier times in her life. To be that carefree and happy with somebody again would be nice. She was fast realizing Impressing a dragon really would be her only salvation from the horrors that haunted her since her kidnapping... no, to be honest with herself, her husband's worsening conditions and the knowledge she could lose him was just the first.

It was with great effort Arddra pushed away the rising sadness before it could overwhelm her. V'riy's cheerful naked affection and warmth for his dragon helped her maintain control of her emotions. This was the only reason why the pain was not so visible on her features when V'riy turned to address her with nearly the same warmth as he did to his dragon earlier.

"I don't mind doing things for would be good practice for me," Arddra said then realized she may be intruding on the private moments between rider and dragon. "That is to say, if you don't mind, I don't want to intrude."

Arddra exhaled slowly, finding herself warmed by his smiling and big brother air. In a way she was glad he suggested she go first as it gave her time to deal with the mix of uncertainty and other emotions rushing through her without worrying about V'riy seeing any expressions on her face.

Entering the hut, Arddra noticed it was quite clean and filled with the scent of cooking strew. Immediately her stomach growled as she inhaled the delicious scent deeply. If his cooking smelled this good Arddra knew it was likely to taste just as good as it smelled. It was also nice to see he knew how to cook for himself. perhaps all the Dragonriders had to learn, given it would be difficult to get food delivered fresh from the kitchens this far away. No, Arddra realized V'riy is probably more the exception than the rule as the dinning hall was packed with dragonriders as well as other weyrfolk during meal times.

She walked to the center of the room before she turned to face V'riy, feeling more nervious as now she was in his hut with no place to run. Swallowing she distracted herself by opening up her pouch and pulling out the mended shirt.

"I..I did my best to ensure the repairs aren't noticeable by trying to match the natural folds and flares of the sheeve." Arddra explaned, holding the garment out towards him. She wanted to give him back his shirt so she won't forget to do it, thus ensuring he didn't have that reason to seek her out should he prove not to be as nice as he acted.

A part of her, deep down, hoped he was as nice as he seemed. After over two years married to a very affectionate and sensual man, three years without letting herself be touched left a deep seated loneliness within her. The rape by a randy dragonrider who's dragon failed to catch a green didn't make it easy for her to risk any man to get close to her.

Biting her lip she started looking around, noting everything in her immediate surroundings. Glancing back at V'riy she did her best to give him an appreciative smile. "You have a nice place."

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Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #7 on: 07 Aug 2013 at 10:05 PM »
Moving past Arddra, V'riy gestured toward the long wooden bench against the outer wall of what served as his living room. "Thank you," he responded. "I've tried to make it more.. homey, but I suppose I live a spartan lifestyle. Many dragonriders do. The paintings do have a calming effect, though," he said to her, indicating the oil painting on the far wall, depicting a bronze dragon and his rider searing Thread from the skies, the dragon's eyes whirling red. He tilted his head toward the adjacent wall, where another oil painting hung, this one showing a landscape that looked suspiciously like a dragonback view of Benden Weyr, if you knew what Benden looked like. The paintings, while beautiful to look at, were not highly detailed, suggesting that the artist was still learning his or her trade. "Gifts from an old friend."

"Make yourself at home, please," he insisted as he popped into the kitchenette to check the progress of the stew. "Hmmm.. nearly there. Just a few more minutes," he commented, giving the pot a few stirs.

Noticing that she had not sat down and was holding out his shirt for inspection, V'riy leaned against the frame of the doorway. He listened attentively as she explained what she had done to fix the mangled arm. He wished that he could ruffle her hair and tell her to relax, that she was safe with him, and take all that nervousness out of her. However, the rider knew it was best to maintain the distance between them. He would take her seriously, pay attention, and smile his brotherly smile instead. He continuously reminded himself to be careful. She was like a newly hatched dragonet; only warmth and affection would do. And no sudden movements.

Striding across the room, he accepted the shirt from Arddra. Since she had done such a good job repairing the damage, it took him a moment locate the stitching. He tested the newly joined fabric by pulling gently at the seam, and murmured appreciatively. "This will last me for quite some time. You've done a great job with this, Arddra," he told her, letting his appreciation for her efforts show in his grateful smile and approving tone.

Turning, with a "be right back," the rider disappeared behind a closed door. He returned after only a moment's time after stowing the shirt away and went past her again into the kitchen. "Aha!" came through the doorway, and V'riy shuffled about the smaller room, setting out bowls, spoons, and mugs on a square polished wooden table. The pot came off the hanger and onto a raised stone platform that functioned as a small counter. He rummaged in a large wooden cabinet with double doors, producing a ladle.

Snatching up the bowls, he filled first one, then the other before setting them both back on the table. The pleasant aroma of the thickened stew filled the small hut as steam rose from the bowls. V'riy quickly covered the pot with its matching lid and placed the ladle on top of it.

"I managed not to spill," he chucked at himself. "Please, do relax and have a seat. The stew is prepared in the style of Fort Hold, although I've left out the things that tend to repeat on me… garlic being one of them. Being the son of a Jr. Headwoman means you have to know your way around the kitchen," he said matter-of-factly as he pulled the closest seat out for her, waiting patiently.

Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #8 on: 08 Aug 2013 at 12:22 AM »
She looked over the paintings finding them quite good. Far better than she could ever do. It was nice to look at the paintings while V'riy was checking dinner. Arddra wondered where his friend was who did these paintings. Was he up north still? Did he think V'riy was long dead or assume he was alive?

When he returned and accepted the repaired shirt, she gave a slight smile as he praised her for the quality of the repair. "Thank you V'riy."

Then he was gone again to put the shirt away followed by another trip to the kitchen. Arddra started to feel like she should be doing something, setting the table or offering to serve him the stew. She was starting to walk towards the kitchenette when she saw he had already set the table and was ladling stew into the first bowl.

His explanation about why he knew how to cook and serve did make sense. Stepping forward she took a seat, the smell of the stew winning over her hesitation.

"It has been a really long time since anybody had served me dinner," Arddra admitted. In truth she had been but a child when she was last served a meal. By the time her cycle started she was helping her mother with the cooking and cleaning. After that she took care of her husband, Fosorcim. Then she realized the style of stew he made. How did he know? There was no way he would have known he would be here, so there was no way he could have anticipated being here.

Without another word she turned her attention to the stew and picked up the spoon and dipped into the thick stew. Blowing on it to cool it, she sampled it. Garlic was definitely missing as he had said which was a shame for she did enjoy garlic. Besides that it was very close to the stew she served to Fosorcim and was served to her by her mother. She gave a soft sigh.

"It is very good," Arddra said, deciding not to mention it would be better with the items he skipped. "It has been some time since I had Fort Hold stew not since I was brought here to be exact."

She took another mouthful and chewed silently. The meat was nicely tender and flavorful. Reaching over she selected a roll and tore it open with her hands, letting the crumbs fall into the stew. Taking a piece she dipped it into the stew, the best way to eat Fort Hold Stew as far as she was concerned. As she ate she took small glance at V'riy, wanting to trust him. For the first time she realized she wanted to be able to trust this dragonrider. He was kind and to be perfectly honest he was also quite handsome. And here he was serving her stew made in the style of her home. Arddra wanted to go home, even if it was just a short visit. As much as she missed home she also wanted to Impress a dragon. Fosorcim was likely long dead and her heart convinced of this fact. But she wasn't 100% sure and till she was Arddra knew she could never truly accept her life here now and focus on the future.

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Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #9 on: 08 Aug 2013 at 01:08 AM »
V'riy raised an eyebrow at Arddra, a bit surprised at her comment. No one had served her dinner in a long time? "Happy to be of service, then," he smiled, giving her a quick wink. He wondered what her life had been like before being Searched. Sometimes, he forgot just how much tougher life was in some ways for women outside the Weyr.

His father had brought him up to treat women kindly, even though Z'ley had privately been of the opinion that most of the female population was a waste. V'riy remembered it had been a matter of pride for Z'ley to take care of his woman now and then and the habit had rubbed off on his son. Combined with a deeply ingrained sense of justice, V'riy just couldn't imagine having someone wait on him constantly without reciprocating once in awhile. It would feel too much like taking advantage of another person.

The bronzerider looked slightly embarrassed when she complimented his cooking. "Thank you. I'm glad you're enjoying it. So you're from Fort Hold? A happy coincidence that I made this stew today, then. I know how to make most of the major Hold fare." He shrugged nonchalantly and changed topics.

"Arddra… now that you've been here awhile, how do you feel about living at Katila?"

Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #10 on: 08 Aug 2013 at 01:59 AM »
It was only when he seemed surprised at her comment about being served did Arddra realize he must never been married. Why else would he find it strange a woman her age had not been served in awhile. The way Arddra was brought up she was taught to take care of her future husband in all domestic ways. Prepare his food, serve him, tend to his other needs, keep the house clean and the like.

She exhaled and gave a slight smile at his wink realizing after being here for three years she should have known better to assume dragonriders ever had a normal relationship like what she was raised to have. Arddra knew the Weyr rotated around the senior queen dragon and the dragonrider who's dragon caught her during her last mating flight. It also meant it may not always be the same dragon, so marriage was just not practical.

It all seemed rather strange to her and highly immoral but three years of lessons and seeing how things were done, Arddra was used to it. It didn't mean she wanted to sleep with every dragonrider around and still felt it criminal for any dragonrider to just rape a woman because his dragon was randy.

Once again she had to push away such thoughts to avoid spoiling the conversation she was having with V'riy. He wasn't being driven by dragonlust as far as she could tell. He was being kind and it appeared, he knew about Fort cooking.

"Yes I was born and lived in Fort Hold. My father was a beastcrafter there. They were good people and I am sure they are missing me and wondering what happened." Why did she have to add that? Arddra bit her lip slightly, not sure how V'riy would react to that information. But why should he react anyway, given he knew she was one of the Stolen, she was certain of it. Arddra expected all who were kidnapped would be missing their family.

His next question caused her to stiffen. It may seem like a simple questions but there was so many conflicting emotions involved in being here. Putting her spoon down she leaned back in the chair to look at him. He may be a dragonrider but his kindness, at the very least, deserved honesty from her. She didn't like lying needlessly anyway.

"I am adapting to life here...and I want to do what is expected of me, at least as far as Impressing a Gold dragon. I am starting to feel comfortable here, the other Candidates have been good and many are now dragonriders..Weyrlings I suppose they are called now. What I am more worried about is what happens to me should I grow too old to stand at Hatchings. Or will I be brought back home then?"

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Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #11 on: 08 Aug 2013 at 09:20 PM »
V'riy was silent for a few moments as he carefully considered how best to respond. He made a show of stirring his stew as he gathered his thoughts, and took another sip of the hearty stew. After a time, he placed his spoon to the side of the bowl and clasped his hands together on the table. What he really wanted to do was hold her hand to show his sincerity but he didn't want her to draw the wrong conclusions about his motivations for having her stay for dinner.

When he finally answered her, his voice was soft and full of gentleness. "I'm sure they do miss you, Arddra, and wonder where you are." His hazel-brown eyes had locked with hers, and his expression was full of compassion. He held her gaze for a moment longer before lowering his eyes to the table. Briefly, he considered telling her his position on the kidnapping incident, thinking that it might provide her some small comfort, but he ruled against it. Their friendship was too new for him to share any particularly sensitive information.

Raising his eyes to hers, he put the big-brotherly smile back on again. "If you don't Impress, you may stay at the Weyr. There are other duties that you could fulfill beyond being partnered to a dragon. But you may also go home if you wish… " V'riy's voice trailed off, wondering when the ridiculous ban at flying North would be lifted so that dragonriders could rejoin the rest of the world and the people they were sworn to protect.

"You want to Impress a Gold? Hmm. Is that because you want to do what's expected of you now, or because it's what you want?" V'riy paused, waiting expectantly for her answer, and tilted his head, eyeing her with curiosity. Of course he knew that she wanted a Gold for herself; Morith had told him all about her dream. What he really wanted was for her to admit it. That would be progress.

Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #12 on: 08 Aug 2013 at 10:25 PM »
The compassion in his eyes nearly brought tears to hers. Kindness in others was something which drew her and it was hard to resist just accepting V'riy at face value. Too soon, she didn't want to risk trusting him too much at first only to be betrayed later. To be honest with herself, Arddra just couldn't handle it.

"It would be nice to go back home if I don't Impress. I know there are things I could do here but in truth I was a wife first, not some lowly kitchen worker." So distracted by the thought of failing to Impress and the choice to go home if she became too old to stand Arddra didn't realize she revealed more than she would have wanted to.

"I was brought here to stand for a gold dragon...even though I haven't done so yet I understand that is what is expected of me now. I have seen many female Candidates Impress not just Golds but greens and blues...I don't think I want to Impress a fighting dragon. I don't think I have the right spirit for it. My friend Casa would do well on one but me...I wish to have a Gold. She will have large clutches," Arddra sighed yet smiled wistfully as she remembered her dream. Yes, she definitely wanted to Impress a gold, to see her rise to mate and despite being trapped by the dragon's mating drive and she would likely end up bed with somebody she may not want to ever share her bed with, at least she will know out of the mutual mating, one of them will produce many children.

Looking up into V'riy's eyes she smiled warmly. "I want to Impress a gold. I have no doubt of it now." Arddra confirmed to make it clear.

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Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #13 on: 08 Aug 2013 at 11:16 PM »
A wife? V'riy barely managed to hide his surprise at Arddra's revelation regarding her past at Fort Hold. She had been married? He frowned slightly, not wanting to pressure her into saying more. She was taken from a husband and most likely a child or three.

V'riy couldn't begin to imagine how painful that would be for a woman. His dear friend Ce'lie had shared her own worries about the children she had left behind on the Northern continent during the plague. While both women had had no choice in the matter, one had been forced from their family for the good of their dragon. The other had been taken, and that made a big difference in V'riy's mind.

V'riy listened intently to Arddra as she explained her feelings about standing for a gold dragon. He was surprised and pleased to find that she was opening up to him and knew that it meant she would be mentally healthier for it. He wondered if the girl realized how much she was telling him now that she felt more comfortable.

The bronzerider was extremely pleased to hear the girl admit with confidence that she wanted to Impress a gold. And that smile! Her whole face lit up when she smiled. It would certainly improve her chances of Impressing at the next Hatching if she was in a better state of mind and more at peace with her life at Katila.

He smiled back at her, happy to see her in good spirits in his company. Definitely a step in the right direction. There was one thing that nagged at him, though. "I'm glad, as long as it's what you want for yourself," he said kindly. "One thing I haven't heard before from a gold candidate is that their dragon will have large clutches. Usually there isn't too much thought into that until long after Impression," he explained. "What is it about large clutches that you like so much?" He wondered if she was the type that would want to mother all the riders in the Weyr, and if so, if he would find it annoying or endearing.

Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #14 on: 09 Aug 2013 at 12:32 AM »
Arddra ate another bite of stew, enjoying the rich meaty flavor. It really needed the garlic but V'riy had expressed a dislike for it, implying he didn't like smelling like garlic afterwards. Arddra didn't mind the smell of garlic herself, finding it was a good purifying scent.

"I have come to understand what it is like to Impress a dragon and I have always found it easier to relate to animals and dragons, once I got over their intimidating size and the very incorrect tales I heard about them being vicious and liking to eat girls who displeased their parents..." here she smiled slightly at the memory of the silly stories she heard as a kid, stories that never did seem to fit the Harper's teaching ballads. "Meeting Morith the other day reminded me how peaceful being bonded to a dragon must be, knowing that no matter how horrible life seems to be, he or she would always be there, without judgement."

Arddra used the excuse of eating another mouthful to think how she could answer his question. She knew why she hoped her Gold had large clutches but did she want to reveal to him she was incapable of having children? Will he see her as useless if he knew?

Like all women at Katilia she knew about the new requirement, that all women must have at least one child to help populate the weyr. She didn't like the idea but it was far more logical than taking people from the North, from their homes and families. Forcing them to have children before they made a stand...wasn't much better but at last there was more of a choice. It had hurt to admit she couldn't have children so she wouldn't be forced into any couplings to get her pregnant.

"So many were lost...big clutches will help repopulate the dragons," Arddra admitted. It was only half of her reasons but it was still true. "I stood for several clutches and I think somebody mentioned queens should have bigger clutches."

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Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #15 on: 15 Aug 2013 at 10:29 PM »
The bronzerider sat patiently across from Arddra, steadily working on the stew that sat in his bowl. It really had come out just the way he intended. He hoped she didn't miss the garlic too much. He did actually like the addition of garlic to the stew, but it gave him terrible heartburn. So much so that Morith had warned him to remove it from his diet, or else. Morith, like any faithful dragon, could not stand to have his rider in pain, if it could be avoided, for any reason.

V'riy nodded as the girl explained her reasons for wanting to Impress. They all seemed like healthy reasons and he approved. Whatever her personal views about dragonriders at Katila, a dragon partnered with her would be healthy and well-cared for. She had demonstrated a genuine affection for dragonkind and he found that encouraging.

"Well, it is true that larger clutches will help increase the dragon population here, but that does bring on the other side of the equation, the need for suitable candidates." V'riy visibly winced at this admission but knew that very large clutches laid at the frequency that they were at Katila would soon bring other problems, problems he wished to avoid at all costs. "I wouldn't want a repeat of … " there was no skirting around the issue, "the kidnappings."

The bronzerider looked into her eyes, his expression intense as he spoke the last bit. He wanted to make sure that he addressed this directly, now that he had had the opportunity to bring it up. "Just so you know, Arddra… not everyone here feels the same about Weyr policies. I won't go into it further than that, but… I can tell you that the number opposed is higher than you might think. And I will request that you keep it to yourself."

He looked down at his bowl and, noticing that he had emptied it, rose and approached the pot to refill it. The bowls were on the small side to save storage space in the hut and were about half the size of a decent bowl of stew. He turned to the girl and raised his eyebrows questioningly. "Would you like more?"
« Last Edit: 15 Aug 2013 at 10:31 PM by V'riy »

Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #16 on: 15 Aug 2013 at 11:33 PM »
Arddra noticed his wince as he brought up the kidnappings. His reaction to the idea of the kidnappings being used again to find candidates was obvious something V'riy didn't agree with and that thought made her feel appreciative. Hearing his confession moments later that not all within the Weyr and she was certain he meant the older dragonriders, not just those among the stolen who have Impressed since.

"It is...comforting to know there are those who didn't agree with Weyr policies in the past," Arddra said softly, looking up into V'riy's eyes. It didn't require her to ask him where his views lay for Arddra to assume he was against kidnapping Candidates from the north. She did understand why they needed Candidates but stealing them wasn't the traditional way, from what she had learned since her time here. "I won't say anything to anybody, V'riy, you can count on me."

Learning this 'secret' removed the last of her uncertainty about V'riy's motives. For the first time she felt she could trust him not to demand or take anything from her she wasn't willing to give to him, sexual or otherwise. If she had not been sitting and V'riy rising to refill his bowl, she may have hugged him then. As it is she graced him with a warm smile.

"I will like some more, thank you," Arddra answered his inquiry. "It is very good."

"It was very difficult adjusting to life here, still is in some ways. I certainly find it difficult to trust any dragonrider, especially the older ones. I feel I can trust you, V'riy and not because you fed me such a tasty meal."

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Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #17 on: 17 Aug 2013 at 07:43 PM »
V'riy smiled warmly at Arddra as she promised to keep the knowledge to herself. This was not the brotherly smile he had brandished so often earlier - this was the friendly smile he saved for those he trusted. A smile closer to the one he had given Morith earlier. "Good, I believe you will," he responded warmly. The smile on the girl's face confirmed that they were finally on good terms.

The bronzerider was elated that he had accomplished his goal with Arddra. It was a small success with the Stolen, but it was worth every ounce of effort to achieve it and to maintain it. He genuinely liked the girl and looked forward to what their new friendship would bring in the days ahead.

So, you like her, the dragon commented. I thought you would. She has a kind heart, and a strength of will unlike many of the others. An exception? his bronze questioned curiously.

I think so, V'riy replied but didn't expand on his words. For the time being, Morith accepted the answer. He could pry more infromation out of V'riy when they were alone.

More relaxed now that the tension in the room had receded due to their new understanding, V'riy gently took the bowl from its place in front of Arddra and turned to fill it with more of the stew, which was still steaming from the pot. This particular pot was made to retain heat and it did its job admirably. He placed the lid back on the pot and turned back to the girl, serving her first, placing the bowl in front of her just as gently. He then took his own bowl and reclaimed his seat.

"I'm glad you like it. Sometimes I regret the absence of the garlic, but Morith would have my head," he sighed regretfully. His bronze gave a soft bugle from outside to add weight to his rider's remark. The dragon was impressed with V'riy's ability to reach out to the Stolen candidate.

"So how can I repay you for your expert repair of that mangled shirt?"

Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #18 on: 17 Aug 2013 at 09:09 PM »
Hearing V'riy believed she would keep what he said to her secret pleased her, as was the warm smile. This time the smile wasn't as brotherly but she found it was very similar to the smile she saw him give Morith earlier. A friendly smile and maybe some fondness to? Interestingly Arddra realized she liked the thought.

A part of her felt she should be the one getting them both refills but before she could offer to serve he was already taking her bowl and heading to the kitchen. Arddra let herself relax. He wasn't her husband to wait on anyway nor her aging parents but a new friend. She was also in his home, a host tended the needs of his guest, if he had no wife to see to it. Do dragonriders follow that same principal? Arddra didn't' think so, what she learned in the many lessons she had during her Candidacy she knew the Weyr did things differently. Dragonriders didn't marry nor really form exclusive relationships, some do have regular weyrmates but when dragons could fly different dragons in a mating flight, flightlust couplings weren't counted as cheating. Not a pleasing thought given she was drawn into such a coupling against her will. Pushing that encounter out of her mind, Arddra looked up as V'riy returned, bowls refilled. She smiled warmly at him.

"Does Morith not like the smell of garlic?" Arddra asked, looking towards the window when she heard the bronze bugle. She hoped her dragon didn't end up with the same dislike. Arddra did enjoy garlic.

Her eyes snapped back to V'riy when he asked her how he can repay her for mending his shirt. Arddra blinked slowly, not sure how to respond to that so she ate a mouthful of stew to give her more time to get her thoughts in order.

"You invited me to eat a fine stew you made yourself and trusted me with your own feelings towards the decisions made by some here, I think that is more than enough payment for mending your shirt. More importantly, I feel..I feel I can trust you and think of you as a friend instead of...somebody I would rather avoid if possible."

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Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #19 on: 17 Aug 2013 at 10:23 PM »
V'riy chuckled at Arddra's question regarding Morith and garlic and leaned back in his chair. "I expect Morith would handle garlic just fine, smelling or eating. He's quite the robust bronze, if I do say so myself," the rider grinned unabashedly.

"He can't stand feeling through our link that I'm uncomfortable from the heartburn, and has no patience for me bellyaching about it. After a few times, he just told me to stop the garlic or shut up about it since I was doing it to myself," V'riy's soft laughter was coupled with another soft bugle from Morith, then a low rumbling of laughter from the dragon echoing his rider's amusement.

"We've worked out an agreement. I don't eat it, and he doesn't reprimand me for eating it," V'riy snickered softly and rolled his eyes.

At Arddra's insistence that his debt was already repaid, he waved his hand in the air dismissively. "Nonsense, you just happened around at the right time and I was being polite. Of course we're friends after you fixed my poor shirt. I'm talking about something that requires effort on my part, such as… hmm. Teaching you to properly bathe and oil a dragon, perhaps… on the actual dragon. Or teaching you to make riding straps and how to put them on a dragon, perhaps. Something that would be useful to you, as your repair was for me."

Morith pushed his nose again the glass window and bugled his agreement. Turning his head, his eye glowed a pleasant, deep blue as he looked upon the two inhabitants of the hut. He projected an image hopefully at Arddra of them at the lake, basking in the sun with a picnic laid out, followed by the three of them in the water with his hide covered in suds. Outside he pawed at the ground and waited expectantly for her answer.

Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #20 on: 17 Aug 2013 at 11:57 PM »
"Oh, it gives you heartburn, have you tried drinking milk afterwards?" Arddra asks, knowing milk often helps with heartburn or some causes of indigestion. It was the only thing she could think of. Arddra could see why Morith wouldn't want to feel that discomfort through his rider every time V'riy ate garlic. She was glad very little disagreed with her food wise. "It is a wise agreement I think."

She chuckled as V'riy explained how he and Morith decided on an agreement about the garlic. Having the dragon rumbling in the background too, she felt good. The only thing that would make her feel complete is having a dragon of her own.

Arddra was about to protest the need of something to repay such a simple task when V'riy's mention of teaching her how to care for a dragon. As far as she was concerned any chance to be close to a dragon and care for him was not to be refused. She had been told the basics of it as a candidate but listening to the theory was nothing like doing it hands on. Then Morith's image of a picnic with her, V'riy and himself popped into her mind. Immediately she blushed for it was such a pleasing scene and awoke a longing in her that it really hit her harder than expected.

The last part of the scene was rather funny but also a bit embarrassing so her blush didn't fade at all. Looking down she let her hair hide her face while she tried to compose herself. As uncomfortable as she felt in her embarrassment Arddra knew she would accept V'riy's offer and there waws a warmth deep in the pit of her stomach at the idea of spending more time with V'riy.

"I...I will like that," Arddra looked up into V'riy's eyes, still feeling heat in her cheeks. "I really would really like to learn how to care for a dragon, and spending more time with you and Morith too."

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Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #21 on: 18 Aug 2013 at 01:39 AM »
"Milk? Well, I suppose I could, except that milk doesn't really go well with my usual fare," V'riy said in a contemplative tone. "Well, no matter," he said nonchalantly, "our arrangement works for us and I don't miss the garlic that much."

What are you telling her? the rider demanded of his dragon as he saw the color rising in her cheeks.

Morith, upon hearing his rider's insistent tone, projected the same images to V'riy, who began laughing gently while shaking his head. A picnic before bath time bubbles? Well, he guessed that he had better make it happen. He would never let Morith's honor come into question.

"Well, I'll be happy to show you what I know and Morith is more than happy to be practiced on, as I'm sure you know by now," V'riy said with amusement. "I'm not sure what you're schedule is like, but mine is flexible unless I have wing practice."

Noticing that his plate and hers had been empty for some time, V'riy collected them along with the silverware and put them aside in the kitchenette. He grabbed two ceramic mugs and filled them with cool, fresh water.

Returning to the table and Arddra, he glanced out the window and noticed that the sun had already set and the hour was becoming late. He took a sip of his mug, enjoying the feel of the cool water washing away the taste of stew. Tilting his head toward the window, he inquired, "Would you like me to take you home? I can walk you, or if you feel comfortable, fly you home on Morith. He'd be more than willing to oblige you," the man offered as he handed her the second mug of cold, fresh water to finish off her meal. He wasn't about to let her walk by herself at night. There were far too many riders with nothing but sex on their mind wandering around.
« Last Edit: 18 Aug 2013 at 01:42 AM by V'riy »

Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #22 on: 18 Aug 2013 at 02:05 AM »
"He is a good sized bronze, plenty of him for me to practice on," Arddra agreed. "I am glad he is as willing to let me practice on him as you are to teach me. I will be glad to know the skills when I Impress a dragon of my own. She will get the best care for the practice."

"With no eggs on the sands I have more free time than I would otherwise. I help with chores and doing repairs on clothing where I can. I don't think it will be difficult to find a good time for us to meet so you can teach me how to properly clean and oil a dragon."

When V'riy gathered the dishes, Arddra stood up about to offer to gather the dishes and wash them but V'riy was already in the small kitchenette filling mugs with water. She bit her lip then decided to wait by the table. She watched as V'riy drank some water and stared out the window, it gave her time to study him overall. He didn't have the burly look of some riders and his triangular face with blunt chin balanced well with his longish nose and wide spaced eyes. He was handsome, she definitely wouldn't argue about that.

Looking down into her mug just seconds before he asked her if she would like him to take her home, Arddra didn't answer right away. Instead she took a drink of water, contemplating his office. She could see it was starting to get dark and walking back to the candidate barracks would be risky. It was a bit of a walk through the paths winding between the dragonrider huts and there was the chance somebody make take interest in her.

"I..I would like a chance to fly on Morith but not tonight," Arddra didn't want to remember how she was taken from her home, it was getting dark like it was now when she had ran out of her home to get the Master Healer down at the Healercrafthall. "It will be nice to have company walking back though, but I would hate to keep you up later than you want..just to walk me back to the candidate barracks."

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Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #23 on: 18 Aug 2013 at 02:54 PM »
At Arddra's mention of his dragon's size, V'riy smiled and nodded agreeably. While Morith wasn't the largest bronze at Katila, he was definitely a good size. The bronze was strong and healthy and very active. While he liked to relax, Morith wasn't one to sun himself on the beach for hours on end. He'd rather be in the air or in the water, or sneak-hunting on the ground.

As she conveyed the flexibility of her current schedule, V'riy listened patiently. He was aware, of course, that there were no clutches not he sands at the moment, and that it would mean her schedule would be more free. The bronze rider's real reason for discussing schedules was so that she would be in control of meeting times. He didn't want her to feel forced into anything, considering her past history.

When the girl voiced her reluctance to fly on Morith, V'riy was not surprised. He had thought it would be too soon, but by asking her it would be clear that the offer was there, should she choose to take him up on it. "It's no trouble at all, I'll be glad to walk you back," he assured her. The man simply smiled and moved to the front door.

The big-brotherly smile was back again. He didn't want her to feel awkward about his accompanying her home. He would have let her walk herself, but he'd be damned if he gave some randy rider the opportunity to put a dent in the progress they had made today. Opening it and gesturing for her to precede him. "After you, Arddra," he said with a grand gesture and a wink.

Re: A Kindness Repaid [V'riy]
« Reply #24 on: 18 Aug 2013 at 04:37 PM »
Arddra smiled when V'riy was fine with walking her back. She knew he wouldn't have offered if he really didn't want to but it was nice to have him make it clear. In truth she felt the walk would give them more time to just get to know each other. She trusted him enough now not to assume he was only being nice to trick her into bed. She just didn't' think she was ready for feeling him pressed against her body as would be required on dragonback. Riding a dragon she would definitely enjoy that she was certain but she didn't have the nerve to ask if she could ride Morith alone. Arddra didn't know how Morith would react to such a suggestion, or V'riy for that matter.

As she headed for the door but before she stepped out of the hut, in that moment she was right before V'riy, Arddra paused and looked at him. Before she thought better of it she raised her hand and placed her palm flat against his chest. It was the first time she touched a man in such a gesture in a very long time.

"Thank you for everything V'riy,  for being a dragonrider I can call friend and making me see that not all dragonriders are like the ones who attacked me." Blushing slightly for she was very much aware of how close he was to her, Arddra proceeded through the door and waited for him to follow her out.


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7 Years 3 Month and 18 Days

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