Who: Arlet, J’kson, Akanyth, Malynth
Where: Arlet and J’kson’s Cothold, Bitra Territory
What: Arlet and J’kson consider their circumstances.

J’kson has settled in well to his new line of work – and his gambling den (or hall, or hole, depending on who is discussing it) has finally begun to turn a sizable profit in the last few months. The once empty rooms that had vague intentions are claimed by the staff that has consistently shown they enjoy working for J’kson and his wife with a loyalty that is as fierce as the Court’s to their masters. Tonight J’kson is getting dressed to visit and take the early earnings but seems intent on lingering in front of their small mirror as he adjusts his coat and slicks his hair away from his face.

The den has done more than give Arlet purpose, for, upon gradually finding that those who work for his rider do not seem intent on betraying her, Akanyth has taken it upon himself to guard the hall of an evening and tends to linger even after Arlet has left, watching to ensure that no-one seeks to return and demand what they’ve lost from the staff who live there. He’s been there for hours, while the brownrider hasn’t, Arlet only now beginning to stir from what has, for her, been a rare lazy day of reading and quiet chores, such as mending Akanyth’s straps. Approaching the mirror, she props her head on her husband’s shoulder and wraps her arms around his middle, asking, “Do you want me to come with you?”

Playful as he is, Malynth has taken a far less serious role in his ‘help’ at the hall. He delights in venturing away from the main road and ‘surprising’ unsuspecting people who may have been seeking alternative methods to reaching the hall than the main road. Tonight he’s currently stalking far afield, having located a wagon full of people that have chosen to camp off the road. He’s yet to be discovered and seems content to listen to their conversations. << I cannot determine if this group will try and rob us or if they are speaking about 'robbing' in the sense of gambling wins >> he comments to Akanyth, toying with the shared voices and delivering an unfiltered conversation towards the brown. J’kson smiles at Arlet in the mirror as she hugs him from behind and turns to smooth her hair behind her ears and kiss her brow. “There’s no need for you to do so unless you’re of the mood to sit in the stink of others’ vices. It should be one of our quieter nights.”

<< Keep listening, >> Akanyth insists, unmoving from his spot against the building, tail curved around a corner. << If it is a large enough group, I would not be surprised if it is the former trying to take us for satisfied fools. >> Arlet doesn’t seem so concerned as he is, or perhaps it’s that she doesn’t take the prospect so personally, her focus more J’kson’s than drawn to her brown’s worries. “Their vices buy us nice things, so I should be glad they have them,” she murmurs, answering his kiss with the touch of her lips to his cheek. “What could I do to make you promise to hurry home?”

<< Oh I'll listen alright, >> Malynth’s enthusiasm for the task is a pop-fizzle of a little sparkler, the crackling of smoke hinting at a future explosion of fireworks should he actually find such a possibility to share. He settles in the darkness, prepared to listen throughout the course of the night. << What great fun we have, >> he announces before settling into silence to focus on the humans. “Seems like Malynth’s found some party a day’s ride away from here,” J’kson comments with a smile, “We may have some fun ahead of us tomorrow night.” He draws his arms about Arlet’s shoulders and draws her in for a hug. “You don’t have to promise me anything,” he tells her as he pulls back to claim a soft kiss. “I’ll come home to my wife as soon as duty allows.”

“Depending on their intentions, perhaps I’d better sharpen some knives…” Literally or metaphorically is something that Arlet doesn’t take the time to clarify. “Though, to be honest, I think I’d find it more entertaining to put on a nice dress and try charming them to distraction. Weapons tend to bring things to a halt all too quickly.” She drapes her arms around J’kson’s neck and declares, “No-one takes advantage of us,” as she looks up at him. “I do love you. And I’m glad we have no Weyr to look to. I wonder that more riders don’t simply leave; it seems we’re the minority, still.”

“I never went to the Weyr prepared to stay,” J’kson reflects, brushing his thumb against her cheek as he smiles at her. “I was there to gather intel for M’tan and was prepared not to Impress. That Malynth chose me was fate and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I believe we were driven from a Weyr by the simple fact… Malynth’s deformity created too much tension. No one who comes here disregards him for having only one wing. If he were to make his presence known to those travelers right now they would fear him for being a dragon, not a one-winged dragon.” He presses his forehead against Arlet’s. “Not being surrounded by greens he can’t chase helps too. I wish I could find a way for him to participate but it eludes me.” Speaking of flights, he kisses her and then looks at her questioning. “Has Akanyth found a place he enjoys visiting?”

“Akanyth will chase any green, anywhere,” Arlet replies, unable to conceal a hint of irritation at her lifemate’s less than discerning taste. “As much as he doesn’t seem particularly attracted to golds, my only fear is him catching another one, one day. Even if he were to, I’m never returning to a Weyr in any official capacity. There are no grounds to force the sire of a clutch to remain.” Resting her head against J’kson’s shoulders, she settles her palms in the small of his back. “…I can’t work out how Malynth could chase either,” she admits, softly and regretfully. “Anything I can think of doesn’t involve him actually catching. Even if you went with me when I have to let Akanyth go to a Weyr, it would be us and not him. I hate that I can’t figure it out.”

“He does not have the same pull to chase as Akanyth. For that, I am thankful. If he wanted it and could not have it due to his deformity…,” J’kson shakes his head and lets the conversation still as the thought of his lifemate’s difference settles around them both. “He has too much fun playing a spy,” he adds with a chuckle. “As he’s proving tonight.” He makes no move to encourage Arlet from his arms. “We could ask other dragonriders to join us. A few have already started to frequent the Hall. It’s not as if gambling is a holder and crafter exclusive pasttime,” he laughs fuller at that. “I believe one of Ista’s bluerider’s keeps coming back with the hope of ‘winning’ his losses back. Foolish fellow, though Addie says he tips her well when she serves him drinks.”

Arlet arches a brow, her gaze shading suspecting until J’kson’s meaning becomes clear and she tries to smother a ripple of low laughter against his shoulder. “I thought that you were suggesting that we should ask other dragonriders into our bed,” she confesses, elbowing him in the ribs just for good measure. “I was trying to work out how //that// might help Malynth…” Another nudge. “Riders tend to have less expendable income unless they’ve crafts and businesses of their own. It might be worth targeting a Gather for promotion on the quiet.”

J’kson looks immediately uncomfortable at Arlet’s line of thought, color rising to his cheeks. “I’m not that sort of man,” he feels the need to say, “to think that way. You are all I want to see in my bed.” He rubs at his ribs following ARlet’s elbow and smiles briefly at her. “Do you know of any Gathers that we should set up a… booth at?” he wonders, looking to her with consideration. “It’s not a bad idea. Shouldn’t be near Bitra though. We’ve got a good relationship with Lord Bitra now, but if we take too large of a sum he may start to protest our location.”

“It did seem like quite the drastic suggestion, I must say,” Arlet drawls, settling her arms back around her husband. “I never would’ve married you if I thought that you or I wanted anything different. A marriage is a marriage. You tell me that I //could// sleep with others when Akanyth chases, but I never would; you’re my husband.” She props her head on J’kson’s shoulder and tilts her head just enough that she need only murmur in his ear. “We could try Southern Gathers. I think it’s unlikely that Bitra would worry about maintaining a presence there, given their events tend not to be by families as old or prestigious as in the North.”

“I had not considered going South,” J’kson replies as he wraps his arms once more around Arlet in answer to her nearness. His smile brushes against her cheek as he hugs her to him. “This is why we are so successful. We have each other and we each bring something to the ‘table’, so to speak,” he drawls and then sneaks a kiss in. “You’re making this impossible tonight,” he declares, kissing her once more with a bit more heat behind the gesture. “All I can think about is going South, gathering intel, drawing more customers… and laying on a beach with you when the days’ work is complete.” He glances towards the door and sighs, moving to step away from her. “I should really go and check on things here. Do you want to come?” he asks once more, “If you don’t, I may find reason to hurry back quickly to ensure you are properly looked after…,” he trails off, teasing in tone and gaze.

“Really, I think it’s you who’s making this impossible. You will linger and pay me attention, and if you can’t tear yourself away from me in efficient time, I don’t see how that’s my poor fault at all.” Arlet manages most of her words deadpan, but then she can’t help but smirk and reaches to hook her fingers in the front of J’kson’s shirt to tug him to her and demand a final kiss before she lets him go. “I’ll stay here,” she declares through an obviously theatrical sigh. “All on my own. Forlorn and lonely. And abandoned. All alone in our bed.” She tugs her own shirt off over her head and goes to dramatically slump down on said bed. “Hurry home!”

“If you think I’m going to leave now…,” J’kson growls out as he follows after her on the bed. He shucks his own shirt off as he stalks his way up the bed to cover her body with his own. He takes his hand to gently turn her face to his so he can claim a kiss. That kiss escalates as he fits his body against hers and balances himself over her. Soon enough he’s unbuttoning her pants and pulling them down so he might find other places to kiss and tease. It’s nearly an hour later that he finally leaves their home to head into the Hall. Those that know him best exchange knowing smiles and nudges as J’kson settles himself at the bar to watch the activity of the Hall with a content smile. “Did you have a good day, J’kson?” Amara teases as she passes him his usual cup of klah. J’kson winks at the barkeep and shoos her away when she begins to laugh. “It’s always a good day when I’m in the company of my wife!” he calls after her laughing form before he returns to the night’s activities.

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