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The Hammer and Shield ~ Alora

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The Hammer and Shield ~ Alora

Post by Casúr Sciath on Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:48 am

The hustle and bustle of the market felt distant as the burly man attacked the latest work. There was the ringing of iron hitting steel, vibrations running up his arms as the orange glow was beaten into shape..

The ripples of passing boats and other stalls, with the shouting of their merchants, used to put him off. He used to think that owning a smithy on a ship was a ridiculous idea.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.. he mused, remembering his wife's nagging that he buy a ship at the floating market, and how he'd eventually given in.

Now he was quite used to it, the busy market's waterways and the ripples in the water doing the slightest shift. It was all about timing...

He stopped for a second, and wiped the sweat from his brow. His face was covered in coal and ash from the furnace, the stall was a fair bit more warm than the neighbours' boats.

"A floating blacksmiths, you silly bastard..."

He laughed to himself, and delivered an almighty final blow to the sword he was working on. The ripples ran out from under his boat, followed closely by the splash of someone falling into the waters.

The cursing that followed was most amusing indeed, and added a little bit of vigour to his steps as he ticked off the final order for the morning, and fell back into his chair with a sigh.

Lighting up his pipe, he saw a figure alight gently on the prow, with quite a grace.
Sucking back some smoke, and releasing it back slowly from his lungs, he said in his gravelly way..

"Hey, Alora, what can I do yer for?"
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Casúr Sciath

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Re: The Hammer and Shield ~ Alora

Post by Alora on Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:07 pm

It had been a long walk, but it had been worth it. Long by no one's standards but Alora's, since the blonde was too used to riding everywhere. Walking had never been her thing anyway. Not while her darling equines were around.

But today there was no need to take one of her horses out today. The market-place was not exactly the most horse-friendly of places.

A flock of butterflies rose up to dance for a moment, before being frozen by Alora's brain. You're here to see your friend, your just friend. Besides, he's taken.

What she felt for the blacksmith wasn't a crush - not really. He was simply a good friend who happened to have the most amazing eyes and be comfortable around horses. All traits that Alora liked. But she'd never call it a crush - simply a friendship for which she dressed up more than usual was all.

Coming onboard, a smile lit up her face as Casúr greeted her. "Hey, Casúr. Just thought I'd drop by and say hello. And to ask when you'd next be free to shoe the horses...?"

He had ash all over him, as usual. Just like everything else in his stall. In her baby-blue horseshoe-print dress and forget-me-not wreath, she felt slightly out of place. Much too girly for a place like this...

"Which reminds me: I have something for you," she added brightly, digging around in her knapsack for just a moment before emerging with a bright red apple which she tossed to the male. "Enjoy."
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Alora

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Re: The Hammer and Shield ~ Alora

Post by Casúr Sciath on Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:17 pm

Catching the apple in his left hand, he dragged in a large lungful of the tobacco, holding the pipe in his right. Letting the smoke out gently, he smiled at the spritely woman.

"Yer lookin' nice toodeh, 'Lora. And thankye' fer the fruit. I've finished up fer the day, want meh to head out now?"

He stood, tapping his pipe out into the furnace. Closing the doors, he looked up, filthy-faced, and grinned boyishly.
"Two minutes, 'Lora. I 'ave to dress bit mer fittin'ly to 'ead out in public - wife'd 'ave me'head."
He pulled off the smith's apron, turning to face away from the woman out of humble politeness.
The white shirt he replaced his smithing shirts with hug close to his chest. A loose neck-tie held the collar together. Rolling up his sleeves, he struck his arms out to the sides and said to Alora,
"Befittin' o' out ther public..?"
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Re: The Hammer and Shield ~ Alora

Post by Alora on Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:37 pm

A delicate pink came into the blonde's cheeks at the compliment. "Why thank you. And yes please, that would be wonderful."

As he turned away from her, the female instantly turned away herself. As she waited, she pulled another apple out of her bag, crunching into it. She was just about to ask Casúr a question when he finally turned around to face her again. "You're like a whole new person," she teased him with a giggle. "I can't even tell where the real Casúr's gone."
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Alora

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Re: The Hammer and Shield ~ Alora

Post by Casúr Sciath on Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:55 pm

He glowed at her teasing remark. "Well ma'am. I'd like ter think that ther soot ain't too off-puttin'." The thick black still clung to the happy-lines across his face.
He offered his arm out to the young lady, and lead her out of the stall, flipping the open/close sign. Leaping across to the gang-plank leading through to the other stalls and the outer ring of the market, he looked to the pretty blonde at his side.
"Now then, no ove'spendin' on the pre''ey stuff, yeh..? I kno' tha' the stuff is pre''ey, but it's overpriced before the winter sales." He frowned, looking at the girl from under the soot and bushy eyebrows.

He crunched on his apple, and his face lit up from the comical frown.

"An' dis 'ere apple is proper nice. So don't go buyin' any more! You do a plenty good job..."

He leapt to the next boat. Turning back, he picked her up in his arms, and swung her to the new ship. It sold brightly coloured cloth, clothes, and hats. Picking a bright blue light cloth, and a wide brimmed, floppy hat, he continued in his conversation..,

"This 'ere, though, is proper class. Well worth yer mone."
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Casúr Sciath

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Re: The Hammer and Shield ~ Alora

Post by Alora on Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:35 pm

A chuckle left the blonde's lips at Casúr's words about over-spending. "Well, since you're here, I guess I'll have to try my best not to," she replied, the smile in her voice and eyes belying the fact that currently she wouldn't be able to afford said pretty things even after the winter sales.

Stop thinking about that. Forget about all that and just enjoy the lovely day with Casúr today. Nothing else matters...

A squeal and a happy giggle escaped as he picked her up and swung her onto the next ship. If this was how they'd be getting through this watery forest, she wasn't complaining. "It's pretty," she said of the hat, taking off her wreath and handing it to the male. Putting the hat on, she gave a laughing twirl before posing and looking back at Casúr. "What do you think? Does it suit me?"

Another grinning twirl and she shook her head. "It's lovely, but most impractical. It'd fall off the moment I tried a canter," the blonde lamented. It'd be perfect for a picnic though. If business manages to pick up, I might get it for the Summer...

Suddenly she spotted something even better than a fancy summer hat for herself. Skipping over to a hat rack, she selected a black bowlers hat and brought it over, placing it on her friend's head. "What do you reckon? Do you like it?" she asked, cocking her head to the side and appraising him. Handsome as usual.

Shut it, would you brain?
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Alora

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Re: The Hammer and Shield ~ Alora

Post by Casúr Sciath on Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:25 am

"Does 'eh suit yeh? Well, I'd be ashamed to admit it, but it'll suit yeh more than meself." the man grinned, lifting the brim of the hat enough to see the girl's face. He eyes scrunched up with his smile, and ye must look pro'er boyish wi' that look, Cas..
He frowned critically with her false smile though, concern crossing his features before being buried under a hard look.

"Is there some'it yeh need to be tellin' meh?"

He was quickly silenced by the arrival of a bowler hat.
Glancing in the mirror, he took it off quickly. Throwing it into the air, he allowed it to spin once or twice before ducking under it, and catching it on his head (much to the shopkeep's despair!). It landed wrong, covering the majority of his face. The smile sticking out from underneath was signal enough that he was pleased with the effort.

"Tell yeh what. I've just got a pay-out from a suit'a'plehte. I'll get 'em 'aats, but I want first pick outta the apples a'fore the winter hits strikes us cold."

Paying out the shopkeep a couple of gold coins from the bottom of his rucksack, he lifted the girl up in his arms and leapt to the next boat, then the next, where he stopped and put her down gently on a nearby planter. It was a large barge, a cafe, with gardens and tables arranged neatly.

"Do yeh need a drink, or we carryin' on?" he asked the girl from under the blue floppy hat.
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Casúr Sciath

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Re: The Hammer and Shield ~ Alora

Post by Alora on Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:22 pm

Alora giggled. "Well I'd hope so. I am eyeing up this hat for myself and I'd hate for you to steal it all for you," she teased with another laugh. "Although you might definitely start a new trend!"

Having plonked the hat on his head, she gave an approving nod. Watching his antics she couldn't help the giggles that erupted and she bounced on the spot, clapping. "Bravo, bravo! If the circus are ever in town - they should ask you to join." Coming up to him in front of the mirror, she put an arm on his shoulder and posed. "Yeah, definitely suits yeh. Yeh two're hat soul-mates." Her hand flew to her mouth as she realised what she'd said and she looked sheepish. "Look at that - not even an hour spent in your company and I'm already beginning to sound like you," she said, shaking her head in mock dismay. "Come evening I'll be sounding like your twin!"

She was about to protest at his purchase, but he was too quick. Well there goes that idea of buying it as a Yule present for him...
"Thank you for this, Casúr," she told him softly, her eyes warm. "That's super sweet of you."

Alora's musical laugh rang across the water as once again her friend picked her up and carried her onto the next ship. "Let's stop for a drink," she suggested. "It's such a beautiful place and the weather's just so wonderful. So let's just sit and talk for a while. It's been ages since I last got to steal you for a whole afternoon. Yep, consider yourself stolen," she stated with a laugh, sitting down at a table and grinning at him.

You laugh and smile too much around him...

Too much...?! Is there even such a thing as too much laughing and smiling?

He's not dumb - he'll figure it all out if you continue in this manner...

I'm just having fun with a friend, ok?! Geez, leave it alone...


"Now, what would you like? My treat, since you got me this pretty hat..." she asked, sitting down. "Tea and scones, mayhaps? Or would you prefer something a little bit stronger?"
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Alora

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Re: The Hammer and Shield ~ Alora

Post by Casúr Sciath on Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:25 am

"You, sounding like meh? I think not! You're far to posh fer that."
He pulled a face at her, sticking his tongue out and scrunching up his eyes. The grizzled man looked much younger, if only for a second.

--

Pulling himself up to sit next to the girl, he wrapped his arm around her and spoke quietly - in a co-conspirator fashion.
"Now, I know yer in a little strife." he said, his voice low but kind, "Are yeh sure about yer payin? I can get this."

He withdrew, waving the arm at a nearby waiter, who promptly came over.
"Tea fer the missus, and a tray'eh scones too. I'll have a coffeeh, if'n yeh do it. If not, Whiskeh, please. And where in the shade can we sit, I've been workin' all day and want a little privacy with my friend."

Holding a large hand out to the girl, he began following the waiter, until they were place in a shady corner of the barge - a table under a tree, right by the clear water.

Cor, she's friendly today. It's good to get a smile like that from a friend...
He stamped out glowing feelings in his chest.
Now, now, Cas. Keep it together.
He glanced at the ring on his finger.


Making sure that no-one could see, he shoved his hand in his pocket, and wriggled it off.
Just fer the afternoon...
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Casúr Sciath

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Re: The Hammer and Shield ~ Alora

Post by Alora on Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:35 pm

Alora blinked in surprise at his words but a moment later gave a smile. "It's ok, don't worry about me. I'm fine. And yes, I'm sure about getting this. After all, I have to do something, since you bought your own Yule present. I was planning on buying you that hat for Yule," she said with a joking pout. "Ah, just as well really. Iridessa would probably send me poisoned apples in return," she added with a wry laugh.

Sitting down at their table, the blonde looked out at the clear water for a moment, thoughts drifting away until they were miles away from here. As the afternoon tea arrived before them, Alora gave a start and turned back to her friend, blinking. "I'm so sorry. The fairies took me away for a moment there. Did you say something?" she asked, sincerely apologetic. It wasn't something she enjoyed, but she was away with the fairies a lot lately what with sleepless nights spent worrying about the future of her stables. It was a tough winter for her and her equine family. It was much nicer to be able to dream and pretend that everything was going to be ok. She just wished the daydreams didn't start while she was in good company.

She frowned slightly at herself, before picking up her cup of tea. "Should we toast? To friendship and health and other interesting stuff like that?" she suggested with a smile, noticing as she said the words that Casúr's wedding band had vanished. Did he have it on before? Not really sure... She briefly wondered about mentioning it, but ultimately decided against it. Instead she simply grinned at him, raising her cup just as the scones arrived. "Shall we? To health and friendship and fun! And lots and lots of it!"
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Alora

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Re: The Hammer and Shield ~ Alora

Post by Casúr Sciath on Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:38 am

"Bugger ol' Iri, she has nothin teh be frown'in about." the gruff man laughed, bemused. "Af-ter-all, know'in 'er, she'll be gettin' the presents and I'll be payin' the bills!" He cheersed with the woman.

The coffee and tea soon arrived, and as he cupped the drink in his weathered hands, he leant forward in a co-conspirator fashion, whispering,
"Now, don't yeh speak a word of this to none. If yeh do, I'll deny it all. But, I'm fair certain tha' Iri's been sleepin' around. Probably tha' Kiara gal, knowin' their past. I do'n mind as such, I luv the woman to bits, BUT... It's still noh pleasant, yeh know?"
He looked down, a simple frown covering his face.

"I dunno wh'a teh do, it's all a bit much for meh. I'm faa' too simple for all this drama."

Looking up for a second, he looked Alora dead in the eye, smile, and said very quietly and gently.
"After all, I'm no' the cleverest bloke in teh world. All I do is try keep pe'ple 'appeh. Suppose I ain't managed with 'er?"
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Casúr Sciath

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Re: The Hammer and Shield ~ Alora

Post by Alora on Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:45 am

"Oh Casúr," she said softly, reaching out to touch his hand. The blonde wasn't the least bit surprised to hear that the most likely culprit was Kiara, but she'd (naively but honestly) expected that Iridessa would have been more loyal. After all, she was so protective over him whenever Alora was around; why put on that show if you were going to cheat? To her it simply didn't make any sense.

She took his large rough hand in the two of hers, squeezing it. "You are wonderful. Don't forget that. If she can't see that and runs to someone else, well it's her fault for not seeing how special you are," she told him softly, her blue eyes gazing into his beautiful brown orbs. Those sad beautiful eyes... One of the first things that had made her fall for him, way back then; they were happier back then. She brought her hand up to his cheek for a moment, giving his rough cheek a stroke.

"You deserve someone who'll love you for who you are, not someone who tries to change you," she added, swallowing the small lump in her throat that had formed and giving him a small smile. "Look for the boy with the broken smile, Ask him if he wants to stay awhile," she sung, remembering a song she'd heard when she was younger. She dropped her hand, nibbled on her lip and turned back to her tea. Someone like me. The girl that's sitting right in front of you and thinks you're perfect just the way you are...

Taking a drink of her tea, she put the cup back down and, lacing her fingertips together, rested her chin on top. "So...what are you going to do? Will you stay?" she asked, not even really wanting to hear his answer. Oh Gods, why does this have to be so complicated?! Why, why did I have to go and fall for the most amazing but a definitely taken guy?! Oh Casúr, why must you be so wonderfully perfect?! So wonderfully perfect yet so very much taken...
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Re: The Hammer and Shield ~ Alora

Post by Casúr Sciath on Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:50 am

"'Course I'll'a stay, fer now." he grumbled to the blonde in front of him.
Odd, how much she seems to care.. his mind whispered, and she is beautiful in this light...
He started up, and gulped a mouthful of his bitter coffee. The aftertaste was similar to the smoke in the forge. Harsh, but beautiful in it's own way.
"After all, this is what you do teh yerself fer the people you care about - yeh put yerself into harm's way till it is about to crumble you to ashes and embers, 'stead of the flames and stren'th yeh were afore it all." He grimaced. Even to himself, it sounded stupid. Funny what love can make you do... his mind uttered, sarcastically. He waved the thought away, tucked it into the drawer in the back of his mind where all niggling thoughts reside. Deal 'ter tha'un later....

He looked at the girl infront of him. She was turned a little away, looking out over the water, as he raised his chin and planted it firmly on the palm of his hand. For some reason, it felt rather heavy. She sat there, forlorn, tea forgotten in her hands, which were going red from the heat of it. Her hair shone in the sun, his face was a mask of melancholy.

Reaching out over the table, he took the teacup from her, and gently placed it on the table. "Dun you burn yerself on my be'half, 'Lora." he whispered, holding her hands as he put the closes vase of cold water into them, letting them cool slowly from the burn. "You daft lass.., are yeh alright?"
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Re: The Hammer and Shield ~ Alora

Post by Alora on Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:13 am

Alora caught the sigh that had threatened to spill from her lips just in time. Of course he'd stay. What a stupid question to even ask. Sweet loyal Casúr - willing to put himself through even more hurt, just because he cared.

Why does he still care? Alora wondered, looking back at the blacksmith for a brief moment. If she's cheated, if she's prepared to hurt her loved one in such a way, how could Casúr still want anything to do with her? Alora wasn't sure. "You'd forgive your first love anything" - she'd heard one of her riders telling her woeful love triangle story to her gelding as she groomed him, and now the quote flashed up in the blonde's mind. Maybe that was it - Iridessa was his first love and so he was willing to forgive the female no matter what she did. How long had the couple been together? Alora had never thought to even ask.

"Seems silly, doesn't it?" she asked, studying him. "Love is supposed to make you feel like you're soaring amongst the clouds. It's supposed to leave a permanent goofy grin on your lips because you're always so happy. Love isn't supposed to leave you empty and burned. Love isn't supposed to hurt..." The words were soft and quiet, belying a a calm that the blonde certainly did not feel.

Alora turned away, worried that her eyes would betray everything that she felt towards him. As if you're one to talk about love not hurting, her mind scorned. Look how well your own love life is going...!

Her thoughts were interrupted as suddenly but remarkably gently the blacksmith plucked her teacup from her hands. His words made her look down at her hands, red and angry from the heat they'd had to endure. Alora hadn't even registered the heat; she'd been much too far in her own world of thoughts.

"I'm fine, don't worry." She shot him a small reassuring smile, holding onto the cold vase like he was wanting her to. "I honestly didn't feel a thing, stop fussing," she reprimanded him with a chuckle. She had to admit though - it was nice to be fussed over. By someone other than her parents or the Draíochta sisters. "Casúr, I'm fine," she reassured him again, a kind smile warming her features. She put the vase down and reached out to give his hand a squeeze. "They don't need to be kissed better, promise."

The words were out of her mouth before she could stop them. Craaap, her mind wailed as she dropped his hand and busied herself trying to decide on which scone to take from the plate in front of them. "I mean, you can if you really want to, but the rumour mill might go a bit haywire with this supposed development if you did," she joked brightly as she bit into her scone, trying to cover her embarrassment over her slip of the tongue.

She didn't want him finding out how she felt towards him; that would just make things awkward between them. Besides, she highly doubted that he felt anything towards her than just friendship, but that didn't mean she wanted him to prove her hypothesis by turning her down. She'd already said way too much, anyway.
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