Perfume and Paper

Western Weyr - West Market Square
The western end of the marketplace is lined in the same terra-cotta brick walks that the rest of the market contains, though instead of an open plaza it is small streets that make their way in a grid-like pattern through clear patches where small pools of varying shapes are stocked with all manners of brightly colored tropical fish and plants. Benches are places at these locations for shoppers and tourists to sit and rest, perhaps to enjoy the wares they've purchased or a bowl of freshly shaved fruit ice that a small cart vendor offers. The stores here are all of the permenant variety, and unlike the chaos of the ever-changing bazaar, quaint stone and wood buildings and study stalls with bright murals are set up year-round to provide resident vendors a place to come daily and sell their goods.


It's early on a mild spring day when Kayse makes her way to the marketplace, determined to lighten her purse by several quarter-marks. The young woodcrafter has chosen warmer clothing for the outing, a dark blue long-sleeved blouse and full black skirt keeping her limbs cozy against the coolness of the light breeze. Her hair is pulled back and tied with a thong, leaving only her bangs and some loose wisps to dance in said breeze. At first the crafter hurries, but it doesn't take long before the sheer quantity of stalls has her steps slowing as, eyes wide, she stares about her at the plethora of items on display.

Luckily for the young woodcrafter, there's a young trader out to lighten the purses of passerby by a few quartermarks. How lucky is she? He's set up a small, temporary stall for the moment, full of knicknacks. There's candies from the bakercraft, jewelry from the smiths, little bits of art for home decoration, and dozens of other little odds and ends. Rezin himself stands in front of the stall, barking out his sales pitch in the tradition of the hawkers of old. "Come one and all! There's something for everyone at Rezin's stall of delights! Oddities and home goods from every corner of Pern." Spotting the girl around his age, he grins ear to ear and reaches out to beckon Kayse forward. "You there, lovely young lady! Would you be so kind as to help me demonstrate some of my goods?"

Kayse at first doesn't hear the trader's cries, mixed in among all the other sound: haggling, the calls of other merchants, and the ever-present cries of firelizards sporting in the morning air. As she draws nearer, however, his voice stands out and so she is lucky enough to be looking toward his stall when the trader beckons. Her eyes cannot widen any further, no matter how surprised she is by the invitation, but she doesn't hesitate a moment in approaching. "What did you have in mind?" she asks of him, cheeks pink with nervousness as she examines his wares curiously.

Rezin beams ear to ear when Kayse does in fact approach his stall. "Come one come all! Witness a display of a new product each and every one of you is sure to need!" He reaches behind his stall as his crowd assembles, retrieving a vial of clear liquid and a small cloth. "I have here, in my hand, a product every lady is soon going to want, and every gentleman will want to give as a turnday present. A simple application of this exotic elixir makes any woman irresistible. My lovely volunteer…" He looks back to Kayse, grinning. "What's your name?"

Kayse cranes her head to see what he is reaching for, curiosity outweighing nervousness and smoothing the blush from her cheeks. As the vial is brought forth she leans closer. "Ah, I'm Kayse," she replies before asking, "Perfume?" Intrigued, she draws up the sleeve on her right arm to bare her wrist, offering it out to him. "This better not give me a rash," she says softly, though the curiosity in her expression far outweighs any potential threat.

"Kayse!" Rezin repeats louder for the crowd. "My lovely and clearly quite perceptive volunteer has it right. This is a new perfume blend from the artisan crafters of Half Circle Sea Hold, using rare herbs which grow only in that hold's vicinity. A formula thousands of turns in the making! Turns an ordinary woman into an irresistible goddess, and turns the men who catch a whiff into helpless putty! Only available here at Rezin's stall of wonders!" Rezin opens up the vial, dabbing a small amount onto the cloth as he smiles reassuringly over at Kayse. "No rash, I promise." He speaks, in a quieter tone. "Could you hold out your wrists?"

Kayse smiles as he continues to compliment her, then shakes her head slightly when she hears the sales pitch. "That's quite the claim," calls a man from the crowd, swaggering to the front. "No smell is going to lead me about!" Kayse glances from man to youth, folding back her left sleeve as well and, after tucking her purse under her belt for safety, holds both arms out, wrist up. "Good luck," she says softly, nose twitching as she waits to catch her first sniff of the highly-touted scent.

Rezin takes the now-damp cloth and dabs a tiny bit of the perfume onto each of Kayse's wrist, then reaches out to apply a little bit on her neck, below each ear. He chuckles before calling out to the crowd. "Smell before you judge! Wait and see how this… admittedly already very beautiful young girl transforms into an intoxicating creature of dream or fantasy!" Clearly, this is one trader who doesn't shy away from hyperbole. The perfume itself smells quite nice, a subtle yet pleasant aroma with a distinctly floral scent. Rezin returns the cap to his vial and grins. "Well Kayse, how do you like it?"

Kayse startles when Rezin applies the perfume to her neck as well, jumping under the unexpected touch, but she does not pull away. Once he has finished she waits a moment, letting the moisture sink in and warm up before sniffing delicately at her wrist. "Mmm, it's lovely!" she says, voice rich with her delight at the pleasant floral scent. The unbeliever pushes his way over, leaning in close to sniff at her wrist himself, though he is not so crass as to grab her. The man's expression is guarded as he straightens, scowling at the trader, not looking at the girl. "It's alright," he admits grudgingly, "but I still don't think it'll make me any woman's slave! Especially not some chit of a girl!" Kayse's back straightens and she ‘hmph’s at the dismissive tone of the man.

Rezin looks up at the heckler with a very amused smile on his lips. "Well, I suppose there are some for whom no scent is delightful enough to sway them. But I remain quite confident, sir, that any woman would love to have this as a gift." His attention returns to Kayse, an amused little glint in his eye. "I, for one, find myself scarcely able to resist the vision of loveliness who was so gracious to volunteer for this demonstration. Thank you, Kayse." He holds out the remainder of the vial to her. "Here, for being so kind as to participate."

The man mutters something under his breath, the words 'overconfident' and 'sharding traders' audible as he stomps off to continue his shopping. Kayse, blushing under Rezin's words of praise, uses the man's departure as an excuse to look away. Sleeves are pulled back down, though she stops short of actually covering her wrists, and without thinking about it she sniffs at her right wrist again. "You're welcome, ah, you /are/ Rezin, right? It's not your father's stall or anything?" she asks, glancing from the trader to his goods. "Oh, I couldn't just take it! I'm sure it's quite expensive, given how lovely it smells." Her fingers disagree with her words, twitching hungrily toward the offered vial.

Rezin seems sufficiently used to the heckler's sort to let the criticism roll of his back. There's enough interested buyers lining up that he doesn't have to worry about one lost sale. "I most certainly am Rezin, thank you kindly. And it's the least I can do to thank you. Besides…" His voice easily rolls back into sales pitch mode. "It's not as expensive as one would think! Just a half mark a vial. Or, for those who'd like a supply to last them for daily use until the next time I visit your fair weyr, five vials for two marks! It's a deal that can't be beat!" Even as he starts taking money and handing out vials of the perfume, he keeps chatting with Kayse. "I insist. If you really feel bad about taking it, repay me by letting me buy you a drink during my break?" He asks, vial held out.

Kayse hesitantly accepts the vial, pulling her purse out to tuck it in among the bits of wooden currency stored within. "That /is/ a good price," she says as she secures the purse again, absently patting the vial and once again sniffing at her wrist. She catches herself this time, blushing as she puts her arms behind her back to prevent further investigation of the scent. "How does letting you spend more money on me make me feel better about the gift?" she asks, shifting to the side to ensure she is not blocking any potential customers.

Rezin laughs briefly between making sales to customers. "My dear Kayse, having the pleasure of your company during my break is more than compensation enough." Clearly, he doesn't have a problem with laying it on thick. The line is dealt with, each customer given their perfume. He then looks back to the Woodcrafter. "Well, what do you say?"

Kayse blushes briefly at yet another compliment from the young man, then glances toward the horizon, gauging the time. "I don't have to be back for another hour, but I do have a little shopping I have to get done." She chews on her lip for a moment, thinking over the conflict. "How about instead of buying me a drink you escort me around the market? Or is that too much like work?" she offers, returning her gaze to the trader and canting a brow in inquiry.

Rezin seems to revel in the blushing reactions he gets from the woodcrafter. After making certain nobody else is waiting to buy, he puts up a 'back soon' sign from behind the stall, displaying it prominently. He then steps over to Kayse and offers his arm, grinning. "I'd be happy to do that. Is there anything in particular you're looking for? I know this market like the back of my hand."

Kayse places her hand lightly on the offered arm, prudently ignoring the amusement her blushes provides. "I need a bound journal, a book of graph-lined paper, and writing sticks in at least two colors," she replies with a dramatic sigh. "My current instructor is very strict on taking notes, and I have nowhere near enough paper on hand with how much he talks," she adds. "So, have you been here long?"

"Instructor? You're an Apprentice to a Craft, then?" Rezin asks, curious, leading the girl into the market as his eyes scan her for signs of a knot that might give a hint to her affiliation. "I think I know a stall where you can pick up those. A fellow who caters to students…" Once they're a good distance away from his stall, his chuckles and drops his voice a bit. "Sorry if I embarrassed you back there. I'm usually not such a blatant flirt, but it's good for business. Thanks for being a good sport about it."

Kayse's knot marks her a woodcrafter, which is verified by her response. "Apprenticed to the Woodcraft for three Turns now," she agrees cheerfully, not noticing the lack of reply to her query. "You do? Wonderful. This is my first visit to the market, and I'm sure I'd be hopelessly lost in no time without a guide." His softer words cause her to miss a step, though, and she blushes bright red as she straightens herself out. "Oh! Uhm, no, it's alright," she says, glancing away from the trader again. "It's always nice to be complimented, even if it's just for the sake of a sale."

Rezin chuckles a bit. "I've lived going from market to market all my life, and it still takes me a little while to get used to the layout every time I set up shop in a new one. But I think I'm getting the hang of this one now." He explains as he leads the way, smiling with a touch of amusement at the blushing girl. "Well, please don't think I was insincere. You are a lovely young woman, quite deserving of compliments for a pitch or not."

Kayse continues with the looking away, at least as long as is practical; she has to look where she is going eventually. "That must be interesting, visiting so many places but never staying anywhere for very long. Are you an independent trader, or is there a whole family tucked away in here, waiting to charm unsuspecting young women into walking the market with them, playing to their egos?" she asks innocently.

"Actually…" Now it's Rezin's turn to be bashful, chuckling a little nervously. "… My whole family has been traders, for generations. I used to help my parents with their caravan. But this stall is actually the first time I struck out on my own. I saved up, bought a portion of the inventory, and started my own business. It's quite… freeing, actually. Ah, here we are!" He finds the stall he was speaking of, run by a much older gentleman. "Hello there! Riddan, right? I'd like a bound journal, a book of graph-lined paper, and writing sticks in at least two colors. Thank you."

Kayse glances at her escort when he chuckles, enjoying this reversal of emotions. "So how are you planning on getting from place to place if you aren't part of the caravan?" she asks. "Or was that talk of being gone part of the sales pitch as well?" As they arrive at Rezin's destination she looks around, taking in the array of supplies before she realizes that Rezin has placed her order. "I'll be paying for those, sir," she adds, stepping forward. "The graph paper may be bound or loose sheaf, whichever you have available."

"I bought up a wagon along with the inventory." Rezin explains in response to the questioning. "Once I've made all the profit and stocked up on all the inventory I can here, I'll find a group headed for wherever I'm likely to find a market for whatever I have on hand, then tag along. But that should be a few months from now, at least." Rezin, finding his confidence again, gives the girl a little playful grin. "You sure? I'd be happy to get them for you… if, perhaps, I could enjoy your company again sometime."

"Are you planning on spending some time on the island, then?" Kayse asks, turning back to the trader while the stall keeper fills the order. "Or specifically at the Weyr? There are quite a few holds here, after all. I'm from Half Moon Bay, myself," she adds before nodding. "I'm sure. Besides, it's really my teacher who is paying for them. He /is/ responsible for keeping me in the appropriate supplies." She hesitates, then smiles to the trader as she says, "I'd feel better about visiting with you again if it was for fun, rather than out of any sense of obligation."

"Actually, the headwoman was kind enough to let me rent a room in the dormitories for the duration of my stay. I'm planning to be here through the remainder of the season, at least. Barring perhaps a few short trips to retrieve specialty orders." Rezin explains with a grin. "Half Moon Bay is lovely, I've visited there a couple times myself." He leans against the stall while the proprietor retrieves the order. "Very well then, for fun. No obligation. What do you say?"

Kayse nods as Rezin clarifies his plans. "It sounds like you've put a lot of thought into this. Well, I hope your plans work out and it is a profitable start for you!" she offers cheerfully. "I'm glad you liked my home. I'm looking forward to heading back there when I make it to journeyman. I have a ways to go, though," she says, tone rueful. To his question she grants a smile and another nod. "For fun," she agrees.

"Well, thank you kindly. So far, I'm greatly enjoying striking out on my own. Nothing like having independence, you know." Rezin answers with a bright smile. "I can understand why you'd want to go back. It's a lovely place." Her agreement earns an even wider smile. "Superb! What do you like to do for fun, then?"

"It is," Kayse agrees, though whether to the statement on independence or the loveliness of her home is unclear. Maybe both? "I have been so busy with lessons and studying and learning my way around, when I do have a free moment I'm usually trying to stay in shape. So mostly I swim or go for a short run," she admits. "I'm not sure what all there is to do for fun around here. Perhaps we can figure that out together?"

"Well, you certainly seem to have had some success with keeping in shape, if you don't mind me saying so." Rezin returns to complimenting, laughing a touch nervously. "And, well, swimming is something I quite enough when I'm at places warm enough for it. I've heard some wonderful things about the beautiful lagoon of Western Weyr. Perhaps that'd make a nice spot for a… ah, date? Swimming, a bonfire, maybe a little food and wine?" He suggests with just a bit of nerves creeping in.

Kayse's expression wars between pleasure, surprise, and consternation - she clearly was not expecting the invitation to take on that aspect. "Ah, thank you," she temporizes, thoughts churning to find a proper response. "The lagoon certainly is warm enough right now for a good swim. I wouldn't object to meeting you there, though wine after a swim probably isn't wise; I've been told you should never drink after strenuous physical activity, because it hits you harder."

Rezin smiles brighter at the acceptance, a bit of nerves drifting away. "Ah, yes, we can save the wine for later in the evening. Or skip it altogether if you're not fond of it." He laughs nervously. "Honestly, I picked up a case from the Vintners, I was hoping a skin of good stuff might impress you. That's rather silly, isn't it?" He asks with a bit of more laughter. "But yes, this sounds like a good time. Maybe tonight, if you're free? A bit before sunset?"

"I'm always willing to try something new, but my tastes in wine are rather simple," Kayse admits, shrugging an apology. "I appreciate the intent, though. Ah, tonight?" She shakes her head, expression apologetic. "I have lessons and studying for most of the day, I'm afraid. I'll be fairly boring company this evening, and I won't have the energy for a swim. Perhaps tomorrow, or later in the week?"

The trader's nerves flare up again as he chuckles and rubs at the back of his head. "Oh, of course. Tomorrow would be fine. I'll bring something more on the simple side." Evidently, he has a somewhat more difficult time being charming one on one with a girl his age than addressing a crowd of prospective customers.

Kayse doesn't seem to find Rezin's manner off-putting; in fact, his nervous gestures draw another soft smile from her. "Tomorrow it is, then, and whatever you bring I'll make a serious effort to enjoy," she pledges. "If we're lucky, there won't even be very many weyrfolk and riders making use of the lagoon in the evening." She glances toward the stall, checking to see if the order is ready.

Rezin looks somewhat reassured by that soft smile, his own taking on a somewhat more relieved quality while the woodcrafter's order is delivered to her from the stall's owner. "Thank you." He offers to the proprietor before offering Kayse his arm again. "Sounds perfect. I can't wait."

Kayse remits payment to the owner when the order comes forth and gives him her thanks as well. It takes her only a moment to pull a cloth bag from her skirt pocket and unfold it, stowing the items within and slinging it over one shoulder. She places her hand on Rezin's arm again as they depart the stall, glancing once more toward the horizon. "I'm afraid I'll have to hurry now to get back," she says. "Thank you for the company, and the perfume."

"Oh, thank you as well, for the company and the participation in my little demonstration." Rezin says with a little grin. "I'll look forward to seeing you tomorrow. At the lagoon before sunset. Enjoy your lessons until then."

Kayse offers a last soft smile to the trader as they reach the main path through the market. "At the lagoon before sunset," she echoes in agreement before reclaiming her arm and walking off, pacing quickly back toward the Weyr proper.

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