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Author Topic: Once Upon a Rainy Eve {Juno}  (Read 200 times)

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Offline SilverDragonsBlood

Once Upon a Rainy Eve {Juno}
« on: October 16, 2017, 10:31:15 PM »
Rain was a welcome thing to a farmer. It usually meant the crops would do well that season, but this rain had been going on for almost three days. For a young man who enjoyed being outside in the sun, the weather seemed like it held a personal grudge.

Nevertheless, work had to be done before the night took over the evening.

Abri looked out the window at the grey sky. In the distance, the faint hue of a blue break seemed to appear, so perhaps there would finally be a break of the battering of rain. He shrugged on his father's coat and grabbed his shepherd's staff, and his black and white sheep dog looked at him. "I know you aren't coming," he said to the animal, who immediately flopped on the sofa.

The man stepped outside, nearly blind by the sheer force of the rain. It was foggy, too. Abri just hoped it would end soon, so he could get some real work done. He jogged into the stables to be greeted by several horses tossing their heads at him. Walking over to the last stall, he let Tik'ito out and quickly tacked him.

The farm was large with all kinds of animals on it, so Abri had a lot to get done. Luckily, only the cows had to be herded at the moment. They would be milked in a few hours, but he made a habit of counting the animals to make sure no one had stolen any of them. Galloping through the rain around the cows, Tik'ito slipped a few times. One time, he went down completely, landing on Abri's leg. The man winced, but he had gotten worse from his favorite horse.

It's alright, Tik'ito, Abri thought, placing his hand on the horse's neck when he remounted. Take it easy. Looking around, he couldn't see into the nearby woods, but he knew that it was frequented by travelers. "Someone could really get hurt in a storm like this," he said, bringing his attention back to his job.

Twenty-four cows. Perfect.

Abri brought Tik'ito back into the stables, quickly drying him off the best that he could. It wasn't a cold rain, but being wet wasn't the most comfortable feeling. Then, he made a run for it back to his house, opening and slamming the door closed. The dog didn't even look up, so Abri rolled his eyes. "I'm making some dinner," he said to the dog. "I'm cold, and you did nothing. Don't you dare think you're getting any of mine."

Offline Juno

Re: Once Upon a Rainy Eve {Juno}
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2017, 09:43:27 AM »
It wasn’t a trek she loved to make but there had always been good money in bringing sturdy forest horses to the plains of Connlaoth. Masika never liked that she went alone, but she didn’t need the old dragon to keep her horses together and she especially didn’t need her endangering herself for her benefit.

Of course the weather mocked her reluctance, bringing dark skies and heavy rains to slow her journey north. Generally her horses stayed calm, navigating unusual terrain was their way of life with Sophia but that day there was an odd, skittish energy about them. Even Iso seemed tense, the mare nickered nervously as the young woman urged them onward through the low visibility of fog that seemed to coat the land in all directions. Sticking to the path cutting across the ground seemed safe enough, though, her line of horses tethered together loosely to follow Iso’s lead as they picked their way through the woods.

Sophia was still as a statue upon her mare’s back, cloak plastered to her body and the layers of clothing she wore beneath soaked through. They would dry easily enough with some sunlight but for the moment a light shiver settled into her bones.

She didn’t see the washed out, weakened portion of earth along the path until they were upon it, jerking Iso’s reins to try to stop the mare. In a moment of apprehension the mare hopped over the dip in the ground instead, jerking the lead for the chestnut gelding behind her and causing him to slip and stumble his way into a fall against the ground that started to collapse beneath his weight.

The tension across the ropes and the anxious huffs of the horses behind her made it obvious enough what had happened before she could even turn and slip down off Iso’s back, fingers fumbling to untie him from both her saddle and the other horses to give him room to stand. Her mare spun quickly, nose lowered to the ground to nudge inquisitively at Finch’s soaked mane.

“Oh Finch,” Sophia muttered, kneeling on the ground to assess the damage, trying not to panic that he wasn’t standing yet. His right foreleg had gotten stuck in the deepest part of the narrow channel of collapsed earth and it broke her heart to see how he strained to pull it out, hooves slipping and shuffling as he tried to get his footing to stand again and again without progress.

“Shh, shh,” she tried to soothe, running her hands along his slick coat to try to calm him, wary of his pinned ears and the way he tossed his head for a few moments. With him still she carefully dug around his leg, scooping dirt away to give him more room. The moment he was able to pull free her heart leapt to see him standing once more, even though he seemed to favor the leg. Her brow furrowed with concern as she ran her hands lightly along his leg, wincing with Finch as he jerked at some particularly tender spots and she felt the pooling of blood in his coat from a few shallow cuts.

She muttered words of comfort, standing to stroke his neck as Iso dipped her head to observe and snort at the trickling blood. He would live, but they couldn’t keep going like he was and Sophia had no idea how close they might have been to a town they could get some rest at. Helplessness began to weigh on her as she continued to study the gelding’s injuries while the rain pelted her back, unaware that Iso had her head lifted high and ears turned forward as she stared out through the trees at something in the distance. With a sudden jolt she charged out into the fog and Sophia was in no position to stop her. “Iso!” she called in panic, worried that the mare who had been a constant companion for her through the years was suddenly in a hurry to be away from the herd. The rest of the horses perked up as they watched her run but stayed near their master, trained well enough to have no desire to flee if she did not give the command herself.

It wasn’t long until she was running back towards them, head tossing and an urgent whinny calling through the rain before she turned to run away again. Sophia muttered a curse under her breath and gingerly took up the soaked rope leads for the other six horses to follow after the mare. It made her nervous to pick through the unfamiliar trees with a limping horse but Finch seemed eager enough to follow and keep up with her even as she mumbled apologies to him.

Iso approached Abri’s farm at a thundering gallop, approaching the buildings without fear and circling the barn first as she caught the scent of unfamiliar horses. She whinnied again, both trying to signal her master to her position and calling for help. In her experience buildings and other farm animals meant people were near and people could help her human. She then approached the house, racing back and forth in front of the door hoping she could rally help for her herd by alerting them to her presence.

Sophia squinted through the rain, vaguely seeing the dark outlines of the buildings in the distance once they broke through the trees. She could hear Iso’s muted calls through the rain and hoped she was leading them somewhere safe. Maybe she’d found a town or some abandoned barn in the fields. What it was she couldn’t quite tell through the sheets of rain.

Offline SilverDragonsBlood

Re: Once Upon a Rainy Eve {Juno}
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2017, 10:51:57 AM »
With the fire burning hot and the pot over the flames, Abri thought he was setting up a pretty good meal! His dog inched closer every time the man turned away, but his ears suddenly perked up to a thundering noise outside.

"It's the storm, Shep," Abri said, scratching behind the dog's ears. "We've gone through a ton of these." The horses in the stable started whinnying and shaking the doors to their stalls. He was able to distinctly make out Tik'ito's neigh, as that horse was the most well behaved animal Abri had ever worked with. Unfortunately, he was also one of the strongest.

There was a sudden crash from the stables, and Abri leapt to his feet, ignoring the dinner he had started. He grabbed his long coat and staff, then ran outside with Shep right behind him. Last time there was a crash like that, the horses had gotten loose, which had taken an hour and a half to get them all relaxed again.

Shep ran outside, barking at the sudden appearance of another horse on their property. Tik'ito bolted out of the stable, bucking and rearing at what he believed was an intruder. The large horse was the clear leader of Abri's herd, towering over the incoming horse, so he took his role of protecting everyone very seriously!

"What the hell?" Abri said, just as confused at the unannounced horse on his farm. His confusion didn't go away when the horse just turned and ran off. Tik'ito stopped his performance, returning to his normal demeanor. Then, the horse came back!

That time, Abri had gotten his saddle and reins on his large stallion. He held the reins, having placed his staff on Tik'ito's saddle, and reached out towards the horse.

When he spoke, his voice was warm and calm, giving a comforting energy to animals and people alike. "Hey," he said, "it's okay. Shh, shh, shh." It took about a minute for the horse to settle. Something must've really set her off for her to act like that. As soon as he placed his hand on the mare's neck, Abri understood what she was trying to say.

I can help, he told her. He mounted Tik'ito and took hold of the reins and his staff. Two sharp whistles sent Iso galloping back towards her human with Shep at her heels. Abri chased after the horse atop his own, squinting to try to clear his vision.

It was less than a two minute ride. He saw a line of horses tethered together with a drenched young woman holding the lead. The front horse was limping, and Abri could vaguely see blood on its front leg. He dismounted quickly and approached the young woman. "My name's Abri," he said, shrugging off his coat. The thing was designed for working outside, so it was almost completely weatherproof. As soon as he removed the coat, his white shirt practically turned invisible from the rain, but he didn't care. He draped the coat around the girl's shoulders, despite her already being soaking wet. "Your horse told me you could use some help."

He brought her and the animals back to his farm, giving each of them blankets and stalls in the oversized stable. He would absolutely tend to the injured horse as soon as possible, but he knew well enough that they couldn't do anything without the proper materials. "You have my word I'm not a murderer," Abri said with a slight smile. "My house is dry and warm with some dinner, if you're hungry. Come on." He walked to his house and sighed when he opened the door, as Shep ran inside and shook his shaggy fur. "So, my house is dry and warm, as long as you don't mind the smell of burnt stew." He shrugged with a breathy chuckle. "I was never much of a cook. What happened to the horse? He was limping pretty badly."

Offline Juno

Re: Once Upon a Rainy Eve {Juno}
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2017, 12:29:25 PM »
Sophia tensed at the muffled noises in the distance, like some commotion was happening that she couldn’t quite see. Seeing Iso barreling towards them again through the rain and spotting a new horse following her startled her and she paused, murmuring softly to the horses to wait.

When the new horse’s rider dismounted she could only hope he might help them. She peered at him curiously, not quite understanding why he gave her his coat but thankful for the thicker layer to block some of the rain. “Sophia,” she responded quietly, misunderstanding his honesty to mean Iso had only alerted him instead of actually communicated with him.

She didn’t quite know how to describe it but his presence had her fretting over the rain and Finch slowly melting away, allowing them to be led to the shelter of his barn. Sophia was reluctant to leave her horses in a strange place, but it seemed like a solid shelter and the man she was intruding upon was kind enough to provide them with blankets for the night.

Wordlessly she untacked Iso and set her saddlebags and tack in front of the mare’s stall, whispering a promise to return to her soon. On her way out to follow Abri to his home she paused at Finch’s stall, worrying over his leg a bit but relieved to see that the bleeding had stopped. He seemed well enough to stand but still favored it, leaning his weight back on his hind legs quite a bit. Again, she whispered a short promise to return before hurrying back out to the rain for the short walk to Abri’s home. His promise seemed a little odd but she puffed out a short chuckle as she followed him. “Thank you, but I didn’t think you were.”

Stepping inside after the dog she immediately took off his borrowed coat and held it out expectantly, grimacing at the way water sluiced off it and the rest of her soaked clothing to start pooling on the floor. Looking up at him she frowned at the way his own clothes were soaked with rain. “I’m sorry if I made you burn it. There was a...hole or something in the road. Um, the path out in the woods. He fell and got his leg stuck in it but I don’t think he broke anything.”

Being enveloped by warm air at last had her skin rising in gooseflesh all over her body and she tried to bite back the chattering of her teeth as she brushed drenched hair behind her shoulders. “Abri you said? I’m sorry for the mess, I’ll clean it up but- Well, could I maybe borrow some dry clothes? My bags were soaked through, I’ll need to air things out when the rain stops.” After a moment’s pause to finally stop and breathe she frowned and shook her head, looking out a window at how the rain was still coming down, the dull sounds against the walls making it seem so quiet compared to the deafening roar outside.

“Thank you for your help, I’m sorry if we scared you,” she added, feeling quite guilty for troubling a stranger with herself and a small herd of horses.

Offline SilverDragonsBlood

Re: Once Upon a Rainy Eve {Juno}
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2017, 04:45:25 PM »
"Don't worry about any of it," he said, hanging the dripping coat near the door. "I have mud tracked through this place on a daily basis. It's just a little water." He gave her a genuine smile and disappeared up a flight of wooden stairs. He was gone for barely two minutes, but he was able to locate a change of clothing for them both. Abri peeled the clothing off of himself and kicked off his shoes, which hit the floor like a wet towel. He slipped into a pair of slightly too itchy pants and an old shirt, then took his robe, a towel, and his mother's nightgown.

In a habit of sentimentality, he smelled the nightgown in hopes of savoring her scent. It wasn't there anymore.

He came back downstairs and shrugged slightly, jumping down past the last step. "I gather you have a decent amount of experience with horses, so I'm going to trust your diagnosis. If he didn't break his leg, which I'm sure is correct by the way he was still able to walk on it, it's a flesh injury. He won't bleed out, and the rain would've washed away any dirt. We can take a look in the morning. In the meantime..." Abri handed her the pile he was carrying. "You can get changed in my room. Up the stairs, and it's the first door. If you bring your clothes down, I'll hang them by the fire."

The man started into the kitchen to find something to eat, other than the blackened stew. It hadn't been Sophia or the horses that made the stew burn; Abri had just never been able to cook a decent meal to save his life. He filled a smaller pot with water and hung it over the fire, then cut up lemon slices and poured some honey into it to add some flavor. He took bread and a jar of raspberry jam into the room as well, then set up a few cushions near the fireplace. He had promised her dinner, so the least he could do was bread and jam with warmed lemon water.

Offline Juno

Re: Once Upon a Rainy Eve {Juno}
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2017, 05:04:46 PM »
His assurances had her unconsciously releasing some of the tension in her shoulders, but she jumped slightly when he disappeared up the stairs. Leaning forward she peered up after him, arching a brow and uncertain if he was intending to honor her request or if he was simply ignoring her.

With a small sigh she leaned back on her heels, wrapping her arms around herself loosely as if that might shield her from some of the chill. It did nothing for her really but soon enough Abri returned and she was relieved to see what he'd brought her.

Sophia nodded eagerly in agreement about the horse and reached to take the clothes with haste while being careful not to snatch them too eagerly from his hands. With a barely-spoken, "Thank you," she was heading up the stairs being careful not to run or slip on her wet boots.

In the quiet of his room she set her bundle aside and made quick work of getting out of her boots and then peeling off her clothes. Wrapping herself in the towel she dried off and wrung out what water she could from her hair. Just the air on her dry skin was a relief and already beginning to warm her up.

Unfolding the nightgown she held it out before her and looked at it skeptically. It looked a little worn, but she hadn't seen anyone besides Abri in the house and he hadn't mentioned anyone either. That only left her with a few assumptions to make, and none of them seemed very good.

Slipping it on she wrapped the robe around over it, shivering slightly for the pleasure of being warm again. Carefully gathering her clothes and the towel she draped them over one arm and took her boots in her free hand before casting a glance at the pile of wet clothes that were clearly his own on the floor.

Hoping he wouldn't mind the help she gathered up his clothes as well before padding downstairs again. The smell of lemon and honey was heavy in the air, much more pleasant than the slight char of burnt food.

"That smells nice." With an apprehensive smile and nod she stepped closer to the fireplace and set her boots down gently as she puzzled over how to hang all the clothes and his towel to dry without making a mess of everything. Even though he'd offered his help she was determined to try for herself.

"Thank you for these, I'm getting warmer now. I saw you left your things up there so I brought them, too, so they could dry," she explained while gently draping a few things in front of the fire.

Gulping back against the awkward feeling and lump in her throat over what she was assuming about the nightgown she breathed a short sigh before offering a sympathetic smile. "I'm sorry about your wife," she murmured gently, uncertain how fresh his assumed "wound" might be and not even thinking the clothes might have been from a young man's mother.

Offline SilverDragonsBlood

Re: Once Upon a Rainy Eve {Juno}
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2017, 07:43:49 PM »
At the sound of light footsteps, Abri glanced over his shoulder from his place near the fire. A slightly crooked grin crossed his lips like an involuntary reflex at the sight of Sophia in the oversized robe. She walked over to the fireplace with her clothing. Despite his offer to help, Abri saw the subtle look of determination on her face as she hung the clothes near the fire. He kept his mouth shut, giving the water a small stir.

The smile he was sporting quickly shifted to embarrassment when he saw that she had also brought his wet clothes. In his thought of making sure she was warm and dry, he forgot that he left his clothes in a wet mound upstairs. His cheeks flushed, but thankfully it was hidden by the bright flicker of the fire and general darkness of the rest of the room.

"I, uh..." he smirked nervously. "Thanks for hanging my clothes. I get kind of scattered sometimes."

Abri leaned forward, taking a long whiff of the sweet and sour water, another grin creeping up. Sophia looked like she was a little uncomfortable, so the man let her speak in her own time.

When she did though, her words confused him. I'm sorry about your wife? He thought, mulling over her words. My wife? I don't-

An ear-to-ear smile was plastered on Abri's face, and he laughed quietly. "Thank you, but I was never married," he said. "Hang on." He stood up and grabbed two mugs from the kitchen. Abri sat back down on a cushion and put some of the lemon water in either mug, setting one down in front of himself and the other near Sophia.

"If you're talking about the nightgown, it was my mother's," he said. "My apologies for laughing, it was rude. I probably should've told you where the nightgown came from." He sipped at the water, wincing slightly at the burn it gave his tongue. "Uh, I would let that cool off a bit." He looked at her, his eyes lingering just a bit too long.

Combing his fingers through his damp hair, Abri took a breath. "So, what were you doing out in the rain with the herd? I don't mean to offend, but it doesn't seem like the smartest way to travel. Where are you off to?"

Offline Juno

Re: Once Upon a Rainy Eve {Juno}
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2017, 07:06:09 AM »
His laughter was confusing. He didn’t seem upset at all and was actually smiling and- “Oh,” she mumbled, eyes widening for her mistake. Sophia watched as he left for the kitchen but snapped her attention back to hanging the clothes so they could dry, trying to ignore the creeping blush of embarrassment making it’s way across her neck and cheeks. She was thankful for the dim light, the glow of the fire probably meant it wasn’t even visible.

She glanced down at the mug he’d left for her but finished with the clothes before taking it in her hands and moving to sit down on the other cushion. For a moment she just held onto it, allowing its warmth to seep into her skin as she listened, flinching slightly at his obvious hint of pain from the hot liquid.

Still, the nightgown was from a lost loved-one. Or at least she assumed he thought fondly of his mother, he hadn’t seemed upset mentioning her. “I see. Well thank you all the same,” she said with a grateful smile, lifting the mug to her lips but blowing on the water a bit before taking a small sip. It didn’t quite burn but it was still a little too hot as he’d said.

His questions had her nodding in agreement. Her choices about the rain hadn’t been smart exactly, but it certainly hadn’t been the first time she’d traveled in the rain and wouldn’t be the last. “There’s a horse sale I go to just about every year near the capital. I sell, I buy. Sometimes trade. Just part of how I make a living, your countrymen pay well for trained horses,” she explained with a small shrug. “Rain normally isn’t a problem, we mostly live on the road anyway but this storm seems different. My horses usually aren’t so nervous but they were today, I shouldn’t have pushed them. It’s not for a few more weeks anyway.”

Sophia chewed at her lip thoughtfully for a moment before bowing her head to take another sip of water. It had cooled enough to drink comfortably. “Thank you for this, it’s good.” She lifted her eyes to study him for a moment over the rim of her mug.

“So...what is this place? It was hard to see with the rain. Do you, um, live by yourself, then?” It was clear enough it wasn’t the house of a noble, she would have expected servants bustling about if it were instead of her host helping her. But nearly anyone could have a house and a barn, she just hadn’t been able to see his fields clearly in the darkness.

Offline SilverDragonsBlood

Re: Once Upon a Rainy Eve {Juno}
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2017, 06:46:00 PM »
"Of course I don't live alone!" He said, waving his hand lazily toward the black and white dog at home on the couch. "And I have plenty of friends that aren't allowed in the house. Plus Tik'ito, the horse you met before."

Most people wouldn't count living with a dog and other animals as not living alone, but Abri absolutely loved it. Animals had no drama, so it was a peaceful existence.

He chuckled lightly, glancing outside at the rain. "I know the horse sale you're talking about. I actually go every year to see what I can pick out. Surprised I haven't seen you."

She definitely knows the horse market, he thought.

"Um, about three years ago, I got a beautiful mare. Completely black with a white sock on her left hind leg. That was actually the only year I didn't go for myself. I had a friend go for me. That'd be interesting if she were one of yours."

Abri bit his lip softly, unconsciously mimicking her action.

"This farm belonged to my parents. Good people. Been here since I can remember. I own most of the surrounding land, including where your horse tripped. I'm still learning that area, so I'll have to put up a warning. Extended my land just last year, so I decided to leave the pathway open for travel."

He took a short breath, glancing around the little farmhouse. It was a humble place, probably due for an upgrade, but he was sentimental. He didn't want anything to change.

"I make enough to spruce this place up a bit, maybe even get a small staff, but I like doing things myself. You can't get to know your animals simply by owning them." He smirked. "You seem like the kind of person who would understand that."

Offline Juno

Re: Once Upon a Rainy Eve {Juno}
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2017, 07:29:54 PM »
Sophia smiled at him, biting back a chuckle for his explanation but entirely understanding what it was like to have animals for companions. She thought on his explanation, uncertain if the mare he described might have been her own but knowing she'd kept quite a few black mares in her time. "Perhaps when the storm's passed I can take a look at her, she might be one of mine."

It was a bit odd to her that he went through the trouble of farming alone, it had seemed like a lot of work to her growing up. She nodded at him with an understanding smile, feeling the same about working with her own animals. "I kind of grew up on a farm, I know what that's like- Kind of why I do what I do. I'm sorry I intruded on your lands, though, but thank you for taking us in. If it isn't too much for you to keep us on I'll pay you well for the favor once we can get out of your hair and move along," she offered sincerely, hoping to soften the burden of unexpected visitors.

Offline SilverDragonsBlood

Re: Once Upon a Rainy Eve {Juno}
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2017, 08:05:49 PM »
Abri smiled, lifting both of his brows slightly. "No need," he said. The idea that she would pay him to stay there didn't even occur to him. It was a reasonable and polite thing for her to say, but he had no intent of taking anything from her. "My doors are always open to travelers. A beautiful lady with a few horses are even more welcome."

Hearing that she grew up on a farm didn't surprise him in the least. She came across as a very down-to-earth person. Plus, you don't get into her field of work without some kind of background in animal husbandry. Usually, that background turned out to be farming.

"What got you into this?" He asked, running his fingers through his hair. "I mean... Well, you said you grew up on a farm, but what got you into horse sale instead of farming? I couldn't leave my life, even to do what you do."

Offline Juno

Re: Once Upon a Rainy Eve {Juno}
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2017, 11:28:51 AM »
Her offer being declined so quickly was surprising, but she was in no shape to push the issue just yet. A slight blush colored her cheeks for the generous hospitality he offered instead, nodding in tired acceptance. “That's very kind, thank you,” she murmured, thankful that the darkness and shadows from the fire might hide it well enough.

Sophia smiled fondly in memory when he'd asked about her past, though. “Well… I enjoyed working with horses growing up more than any of the other animals and I was always good with them for some reason. They tend to trust me easily, I guess,” she shrugged.

“I left to work as a trainer for a few different farms, mostly in Serendipity. I realized that I wanted to keep doing it so I just took up what I do now, travel around to buy and sell and train them in the time between.

“I stop to actually work with them here and there, but they never seem to mind being on the move. I like working with the young ones, mostly. They're cheaper and green as anything but I like to think I give them purpose and a good foundation. By the time I'm done with them they could be a travel horse, work a farm, or be a soldier’s mount.” She shrugged, sighing softly with a smile after her long-winded explanation and running a hand idly through her wet hair in a gesture that unconsciously mimicked his own.

Letting silence settle between them for a moment she tilted her head to watch the fire as she sipped at her warm drink. “I’d probably still make a good living if I stayed in one place to work, but I do like the variety. It’s tough to haggle with people who know you too well, you know?” Sophia chuckled, briefly grinning over her cup before holding it out to him hesitantly and eyeing the bread he’d brought over. “Could I trouble you for some more water? And maybe a piece of bread if you can spare it?"

Offline SilverDragonsBlood

Re: Once Upon a Rainy Eve {Juno}
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2017, 10:35:57 AM »
"Of course," he said. Abri gestured to the food for her to help herself, while he took the cup from her. As he poured the water into it, he glanced at her with a smirk. "A travel horse, work a farm, or be a soldier's mount. Have to say, that's impressive. I've never met someone with that range of training ability."

Though Abri had the ability to train horses in that wide of a range, he had never come across anyone else. And even at that, he was cheating slightly with his ability to communicate with the animals.

He smirked, shaking his head as he handed the cup back to Sophia. "I'd love to travel like that, but I'm too much of a homebody. Plus, I don't have anyone to run this place when I'm gone. I hear what you mean when it comes to haggling, though." Abri reclined a bit, resisting his left arm on his bent knee. "I'm terrible at haggling to begin with, so I can't really make much of a case." He smiled with a breathy chuckle, letting another small silence settle.

"Aside from horses," he started, "tell me a bit about yourself?"

Offline Juno

Re: Once Upon a Rainy Eve {Juno}
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2017, 10:50:38 PM »
She smiled in thanks, taking a bit of the bread and spreading jam on it. Munching quietly she bowed her head briefly in thanks for his praise. Trading the way that she did rarely brought recognition for her work beyond coin, but she understood a horse person when she saw one in Abri. "They're just well-rounded more than anything," she explained gently, accepting the cup back and just letting it warm her hands for a few moments.

His question surprised her, not really expecting a stranger that was already showing her such kindness to want to bother himself with getting to know her at all. "There isn't much to tell, honest," she said, knowing it was a lie but she really had no way of explaining her constant dragon companion to a Connlaothian. She didn't want to risk being thrown out when she really couldn't afford to have Finch out in bad weather anymore.

" life kind of is horses," she offered with a self-deprecating chuckle. "I'm good with mending leather and tack, that sort of thing. Anything that helps me with them I practice on my own, keeps things cheap that way. Aside from that... A nice drink and good company on occasion is all I really need to get by. I normally have a friend who travels with me, but she couldn't make this trip."

She nervously fussed with the hem of the borrowed robe, desperate to get attention off of herself. "What about you? I mean I see you're a very generous person and not the best cook," she teased lightheartedly, hoping he wouldn't take offense since he'd already spoken poorly of his abilities.