If You Insist

Who: Priska, B’lian, Yedrith, Imahdth
Where: Southern Hold
What: Priska and B’lian attend Southern Hold’s Gather.

So engrossed has she been in getting the running of Honshu into a system that pleases her, and supporting Yedrith during her time on the Sands, that much news of the outside world, beyond what has come by way of communication with Fort, has passed Priska by. And so, when news of entertainment reaches her, she may have had no plans, but soon makes them, changing into a flowing pastel gown and weaving flowers up into the crown of her braided hair before she goes to knock on the door of the Weyrleader’s office, throwing herself over the threshold without asking. “There’s a Gather at Southern Hold!” she announces. “We’re going.”

B’lian looks freshly showered, his long hair slicked back behind his ears, and his face freshly shaved. He looks up at Priska as she announces herself and smiles as he sets a paper down on his desk. “How could a Weyrleader refuse his Weyrwoman?” he pushes back his chair and rises, glancing down at his simple black shirt and tan pants. “Do you need me to dress differently?” he asks her, looking up with a purely innocent expression. “I can’t say I remember the last time I attended a Gather…,” he tilts his head at her and offers her a smile. “You’ll have to dress me if this will not do. And I am afraid… I may not have anything more formal than what I wore to the Hatching.”

“I…” Priska freezes, simply staring at B’lian as her gaze goes a little distant. Abruptly, she shakes her head and tells him, “No. If we wander down that path, we’re going to get to undressing you and not very much beyond that, and never get anywhere. There’s only so much self-control I can exert.” She reaches for one of his hands to tug him after her and towards the door. “I’ve never attended a Gather as a dragonrider or a Weyrwoman, and not as an heiress, and I imagine this version has a lot more of me doing whatever I sharding well please.” Her eyes light up. “Like buying shiny things.”

“Shiny things must be purchased? I’d best make sure to pack all my extra marks to make sure you have all you please,” B’lian answers with a laugh as he tugged along. It does not take him long to pack his marks, grab his flight gear, and throw straps on Imahdth. Imahdth’s mind is a dry wind against Yedrith’s as he launches into the skies. << I am reminded that I enjoy listening to the music. We should settle ourselves as close to the ones that play those string instruments as possible. >> With an affection mental-nudge, Imahdth blinks Between and reappears over Southern’s Gather field with a bugle announcing their arrival once Yedrith appears beside him. << Now they will know we have come >> he tells her smugly as he angles towards the landing field.

“I don’t need you to buy me things,” is all Priska insists about that. “I’m not one of those spoiled women who thinks their partner has to spend all they have on them.” She presses a kiss to B’lian’s cheek and only grabs a jacket by way of flight gear, not spoiled, but quite vain enough to not want her dress and hair mussed, even going so far as to get Yedrith to go Between without there being too much actual flight involved. When she drops down to the ground, she stows her jacket on her queen’s straps and drops a kiss to Yedrith’s nose before turning to B’lian. “Shall we get a drink first?” Yedrith feigns irritation, dryly informing Imahdth, << There is something to be said for subtlety, you know, >> while crouching low enough to look up at him with good humour brightening the facets of her gaze. << Lead on, then. >>

B’lian raises a brow at Priska once he’s settled his own gear and straps and joins her side. He offers her his arm as he leads her from the landing area towards the center of the Gather. A few people acknowledge their knots and offer pleasantries of greetings, though they are not stopped as B’lian leads her through the various aisles of goods. He waits until they stop at a stall that she has an interest in before he informs her, “I rather like the idea of spoiling you, you realize,” he smiles conspiratorially at the journeyman who makes eye contact with him. Imahdth eases his way from the landing field and towards the edges of the Gather, where a few other local dragons lounge near enough to the dancing square to enjoy the music. He sits himself and stretches his wings wide with a yawn, a shiver-shake the following suit before he settles his wings against his side and looks at Yedrith with smugness about him. << We do not need to be subtle any longer, dear. Let us enjoy this. >>

Priska lifts her attention from the jewellery that has captured her focus, the pieces laid out on the stall a collection where various gems have been fashioned and set together to mimic delicate flowers, and looks B’lian up and down instead. “If you truly want to, I won’t argue, but I…” She glances towards the Journeyman, not unaware of their audience. “I love you no matter what; it isn’t dependent on you giving or doing things for me.” Her eyes narrow slightly when they fix on the Smith again, as though to dare him to repeat that to anyone. Yedrith settles down beside Imahdth, neatly curling her tail around herself and tucking her paws in. << I suppose I will allow it, >> she decides, sitting primly for a moment, only to then drape her neck across him and lean into him, employing him as a pillow.

“Regardless of my love for you, I want you to have nice things. And it makes me feel good to buy them for you,” B’lian answers as he lowers his head to whisper in her ear, “And now is when you ask for the most expensive thing, I say no, and we watch the Journeyman start lowering prices to hold our interest.” He kisses her cheek and pulls back to offer the Smith a smile. “She’ll have her pick, sir. I won’t deny her anything… within my price range, of course.” Imahdth accepts Yedrith’s reclining against him and thrums a croon in his voice. His delight is clear when the Harpers’ begin to play a jaunty tune that brings dancers to the floor.

For her part, Priska dutifully turns her attention back to the jewellery on display and spends some time looking through the different pieces, until she settles on a series of six slender hair pins, each one topped with a flower in a different colour. “These would most likely go the best with the rest of my wardrobe,” she declares. “And they’re not too over-stated that I couldn’t wear them every day, if I wanted to.” She picks up one of the pins and slowly twirls it between thumb and forefinger, then hands it to B’lian. “If you insist, I’d like these, please.”

“As you wish,” B’lian answers as he passes the piece towards the Smith. “What price, sir?” He takes it and then announces the price. Whatever game B’lian might’ve intended initially he decides against as he hands over the required marks. He smiles at Priska as the Smith places the pins in a velvet bag and passes it towards her. “Is there anything else you’d enjoy?” B’lian queries before he lifts his gaze and looks down the lane towards another stall. “Looks like the Weavers’ are here with some new dresses on display…”

Priska’s jaw drops, though, lucky for her, it’s B’lian she favours with that stare and the beginnings of a flash of stunned temper, and not the Journeyman who bears witness to the whole thing. She reaches out to accept the bag in a rather robotic manner, now glaring at her Weyrleader. “Thank you,” she tells the Smith, just a little tightly, right as she steps to throw her weight against B’lian and herd him on from the stall, looping an arm with his to drag him once she outpaces him half a step. “You lied!” she accuses, once they’re out of earshot. “That’s not fair! That’s not allowed! You can’t do that! You tricked me!” That she kisses him the moment she stops hurling words at him is probably something of a mixed message.

B’lian does not quite know what to make of Priska’s fit of temper and it shows in his surprised expression as he’s hauled off and peppered with her accusations. Before he has chance to explain his ploy, he finds himself getting kissed and then he steps back to place his hands on top of her shoulders to stop her from further outrage or kissing. “I told you I was determined to spoil you. Now, let us continue what I want to do. Let’s get you a new dress.” He steers her towards the Weavers’ stall.

It must be something in the way B’lian phrases it that makes Priska compliant, though she lays a hand against his arm for a moment to stop him just before they reach the stall, firstly so that she can take the pins from the bag and slot each of them neatly into her hair, then to look between him and the Weavers’ stall a time or two. “Okay, but the deal is that you choose it. You choose something that you’d want to see me in.” She smiles just a little. “Maybe enough to see me out of it too. That way, we can both enjoy it.”

B’lian laughs at Priska’s teasing and takes a moment to kiss her before he continues on towards the stall. He does purchase a dress, one that will highlight her body well, and in colors that suit her. He has it packaged with an additional few garments he sneaks in when Priska is busy browsing the selection – things to surprise her with at home, to enjoy when they’re alone. The rest of the Gather he continues to spend his marks freely, ordering them a good meal, good wine, and plenty of other trinkets and items that seem to catch Priska’s interest. When Honshu’s Weyrleaders leave near the end of the night, plenty of rumors are already circulating about how well the Weyrleader treats his Weyrwoman and more than a few bets are placed on when the pair will have their first child.

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