A few of the ending chapters (of Variance, obviously) before ForsakenPaths
The Lupen had little problem looking at the trades he held interest in. After all, everyone makes way for the Cyn Alliance leader, lest you get on his bad side. And... when he's the kind of man that wipes out whole Guilds and Societies in simple swoops, no one ever really wants that. There were some large, exotic beasts he took interest in. And, even a few of the slaves were up for auction, which was really his reason for being here. He took close look of them, bypassing any Lupenesses of the groups. He had amate, and he wasn't allowed another, nor did he want another. It took too much kindness, gentleness, and, to be quite frank, far too much work. This isn't to say he wouldn't be kind to whatever fae ended up in his mits, but he certainly wouldn't be as chivalrous, or restrained. He kept these things in mind upon his travels, though, soon found him-self watching what should be the exact opposite of what he needed. Certainly she was far too frail and naive for his demands. But, something struck its chord and he found him-self far too intrigued to simply walk away.
The fae was letting out an agitated sigh, running the back of her wrist across her forehead, looking beyond the mud to her 'father' as his voice called out among all the others, trying to get his goods looked at and bargained off./Why isn't he doing any of the hard work?/ The little Kanish jumped with a quiet sound of surprise when someone's voice was suddenly so distinct and near. Ba 'tel arched his brows as she stared a moment, too griped by fear to reply. He smiled then, realizing she wouldn't be speaking any time soon, and took the chain from her grasp. "It's really not that hard, if you don't let your own frustrations get in the way," he explained, crouching down to eye level with her. He didn't bother to look down to what he was doing until she finally did, in a jerked motion of apprehension, the Lupen making quick work of the tangelment. "See?" He quietly asked, tilting his head to just faintly look at her.
She wasn't sure how to react to the brut's kind manner toward her.... Wasn't he suppose to be ruthless and heartless? Why, then, was he here, belittling him-self in the mud, with a peasant none the less, helping her out? She barely had time to register that he had finished what she had spent hours on in mere moments, before he carefully took her jaw in grasp, tilting her face so she'd look at him again, asking her name after his vision studied hers a bit. 'Shay,' she quietly murmured, paw un-certainly pausing halfway on its reach toward his wrist.
Ba 'tel was a bit taken aback by her response, brows narrowing in something of a furrow as his ears lowered, head tilting.'Shae?' He thought, eyeing her a moment. The soft brown tones of her fur could fit the Gaelic bloodlines, and would also explain the gray of her fringe and eyes. Obviously, he thought, she doesn't understand the question. But, even that was beyond the point. Surely he was not looking at a brut here. But a fae: a cailin. Shaking his head, to rid him-self of his confusion, deciding that is was she who must be confused, he took it upon him-self to correct her, in what he was assuming to be her native tongue, "Nil, ta tu cailin nil tu shae." His voice somewhat concerned.
Sitting in tremble a moment, the fae attempted to figure out just what it was she did to deserve these narrowed brows and foreign words. With nothing else coming to mind, she did the only thing she could do (when she finally found her voice): reiterate what she had just said. "Shay, Shay is my name. S-h-a-y," she spelled it, quivering voice growing fainter and fainter as it slowly died off. The brut was too deep in inspecting her to reply. She shifted awkwardly to the grabs, strokes, and touches that knew no boundaries, truly wishing she could understand what he was muttering to him-self, or what the importance was of him holding her in an awkward arch to count down her ribs that stood out... or why he firmly held her jaw and held her gaze for quite a length, as though there was something there he didn't quite understand.
He smiled suddenly when he finished. "Shay," he repeated, "my apologies," he sighed, vision still lingering on her, "I thought you were speaking Gaelic," the obvious lack of this bloodline in her made him much more curious to her fur and eye colors, ears shifting slightly as he let his mind ponder on just what it was he knew was staring him right in the face, but too askew to actually put his finger on. Despite his bafflement over this fae, he restrained from question and simply remarked, "You must be cold, and starving," though only found he was to pause when he heard a new voice beside him, attention slowly turning up to its owner.
"I'm sorry for any bother shes caused you," that 'father' of her's squabbled as he jerked her up from the ground by her arm, causing a quiet sound of pain to arise from her throat, whiskers twitching briefly, "And I'm sorry for any story she may have pestered you with," he added, assuring him that she was very well cared for.
Ba 'tel eyed this new brut a moment as he slowly stood from his crouch, "She was no bother at all," he said. "Infact, it was I who bothered her," he trailed,"Interesting, to keep this slave off to the side, amongst all your other trades. She's worth quite the pretty penny," he informed thoughtfully.
"She's no slave," the man trailed quietly, eyeballing her in a glance, "She just has troubles keeping her-self clean, and her childish ways keep her from eating. She thinks it's effective means to... something or other," he remarked with an idly wavering paw.
"Hmmm... interesting, how foolish one may be," Ba 'tel glanced at his servant, who was quietly snickering in amusement to him-self, "How much do you want for her then?" He asked, leaning forward as he assured the man he could make it quite worth his while with shifting brows and persuading tone.
The Kanish looked up from the mud and toward the Lupen for his words, then to her 'Father' who was actually thinking about it! Surely he may act so kindly here, but he had to be a much different sort of man else where! The rumors couldn't all be false! Quivering in dread of anticipation, she covered her maw too slowly to hide the sound it released as her'father' agreed to these words.
The servant watched the fae who was all too stunned and worried to realize he was introducing him-self, and trying to explain a few key things to her. Only then did she snap back to reality when Ba 'tel set his paw on her shoulder in careful grasp, coaxing her along with them as he assured her things would be better from here on, voice trailing away from the things that would be expected of her.
Ba 'tel was fairly certain the little rabbit hadn't heard a word he'd spoken, due to the sudden jump and sound she made to see his beast of a mount. "He's well trained, I assure you," he murmured a bit roughly into her ear, not liking to be un-heard in his speaking, though had found some comfort that she had taken cover against his side, and under his arm, in her spook. A voice in the back of his mind, however, made sure to remind him that this didn't mean she trusted him, it was merely an instinctual action. "I'll get up first," he began, knowing he wasn't going to get her up there alone, if even for a moment, "And will pull you up with me then." When she refused to remove her face from his side, or arms from their cling around him, he promised nothing would happen, prying her off. He found this was in vain, as she simply chose to cling to his arm then, "Or, I'll just take us both up in one swift motion," he restrained from grimacing his words as he did just that, surprised he didn't brake his arm in the process of sitting her in front of him.
After a few moments struggle to brake her grasp of his arm, Ba 'tel let out an already weary sigh and situated him-self, letting his left arm hook out around her to hold onto the horn of his saddle, and right paw take grasp on the reins, heels lightly tapping at his mount's side to get him moving along, in slow manner, not wanting to spook the fae further. Shay sat in a tremor of horror to have nothing to hold on to on this moving monster she was pretty sure was less then tame, despite what Ba 'tel had to say! However, finally noticing the arm around her to hold the horn, she let her arms cling around it, neck craning to burrow her face into the groove of his arm and chest to hide how high up from the ground they were. While Ba 'tel may have managed to restrain any reaction to her grabbing his arm, he failed to keep the ever faint and soft notion of a smile that spread his maw to her burrow. However, after feeling his servants gaze, and catching his smirk in a glance, he sat up a bit straighter, returning his face to its usual stone emotioned manner as he watched the area ahead, smoothly transitioning his mount from a slow walk to a swift canter, doing his best to keep the Kanish calm.
The Lupen figured he had done a pretty good job, keeping the rabbit calm in their travels, due to the fact that she was in slumber by the time they got to his stalls. Coming to a halt, his ears gave a flick as he took the area in. Affirming to him-self that there was no threat, he carefully shifted, holding the rabbit in support as he slipped down, and then pulled her fully into his grasp, 'Un-tack and return to Quarters,' his voice lowly instructed the servant, as not to wake the fae, 'Make sure you train what you find there, not play with it,' he quietly growled, despite being fairly sure he didn't have to make that remark to this serf.
He had given a nod and watched the Lupen off before slowly turning to face both the mounts. Standing a moment in thought provoked dazed, he decided to care for the easier 'beast' first, his mount. However, he soon found even this to be a hard task as Ba 'tel's mount made sure to make it as difficult as possible: letting out roars of sounds and jerked against his chains with snapping jowls at the much smaller, much more passive, mount. Askel let out a cry of pain when his foot was inevitably smashed by the fearful horse, paws tightening a grasp on its reins as he let out a pained breath and apprehensively looked down to see what was, or was not, left of his poor foot. Seeing that it was all there, and that it appeared to be un-damaged, he glared at Ba 'tel's mount and guided his own further away, where he smoothly finished the task of un-tacking, patting his horse's snout in caring manner before returning to the hellion known as Litis.
Standing far enough away to glower at the Dargen he was pretty sure had asmirk across it's scaly mouth, the brut let his shoulders slouch, only for a moment!, and already let a defeated sigh from his maw as he slowly stepped forward, trying to stand as straight and dominate as he could. However, as always, he found the beast seem to understand the hierarchy of things, and that if Askel was a salve to Ba 'tel, then surely he was a slave to him as well! Litis wasn't slow to lash the Riken's back with his tail and seethe out a hiss that was accompanied with some spats of sizzling tar. Takel had been too busy buckling over in pain for the tar to hit him, much to his own luck, he didn't need even more scars from this pesky mount. Growling in grimace, whence he had regained him-self, Askel had restrained from even lifting a paw in reprimand of the Dargen. He soon found him-self very thankful for this, hearing Ba 'tel's voice sharply shatter the tense silence in threat to the beast that made a low sound of submission as he shank toward the ground, Lupen standing boldly over him. Askel made a brief face to Ba 'tel's words: "You really shouldn't let such simple minded heathens beat you about," but was grateful the Lupen stuck around while he finished taking care of the mount. Perhaps he thought too much of that act, looking toward the Lupen with smile, as he shut the mount's stall, only to find the action was completely ignored.
The Riken gave out a weary sigh, resting in lean with his forehead against the stalls for a few moments before he finally trailed back to his Quarters, awkwardly rubbing his still stinging back. He silently slipped inside, heaving out a sigh as he leaned his shoulders against the door and let his gaze wander the comfort of his own space, even if that Kanish was currently invading it. After a moment, he let his vision search for her, and wasn't surprised as to where he found her: snuggled in his bed. Ba 'tel hadn't seemed to be so swift in his leave, having laid her down comfortably and pulled the blanket up over her at that, and he could see where the Lupen had sat in watch for a bit of time, her side still softly rising and falling in sign of slumber. He lightly pushed forward from his lean and walked toward her, leaning over her a few moments, before he made a small face. Perhaps he shouldn't have been surprised she wasn't cleaned before getting set in his bed. He let it go though, walking to the other side of the bed and laid to rest there, not daring to even think of what he could do, alone with this fae.
Morning came fairly early for the servant, given it was one of his days off. The sound that had disturbed him was quiet, but something about it was threatening. Finally lifting his head to see what it was, he found the rabbit struggling with the locked door. 'What are you doing?' His voice rasped groggily as he sat up, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. She whipped around and stared at him with lowered ears and narrowed brows, maw turned in a frown, "Well?" He asked, after a moment to clear his throat, staring at the stiff and silent fae. He restrained from rolling his eyes, "You've really landed a pretty good deal here," he pointed out, "While Ba'tel can truly be a tormentor, he is also very just. Simply do what you're told, and you'll be much more then fine. Trust me, even look around the Quarters here for proof," he trailed, addressing apaw in gesture about the room, "You'll be anything but poorly received, so long as you do what he asks." After some further silence, but noting a bit of her unease lifting, he stood up, straightening some of his fur. "Well, before anything, we really need to get you cleaned up," he said, eying the now dry mud clung to her fur, "You had better stay here, while I fetch the water, trust me, licking your fur isn't going to help that. Not to Ba'tel's standards. Feel free to snoop about if it pleases you, just return anything you move to its place," he vaguely growled the end of his words as he left from the room, leaving the rabbit in lonely silence.
She stood awhile, in wonder of how long it'd be before he was back, whiskers twitching in series of thoughts. However, deciding she had absolutely no idea where she was, or where she'd be going, she awkwardly ventured a few steps into the room. Gaze wandering uncertainly about the place, which was still dimly lit by the candle Ba 'tel had set when he'd laid her down, she started to wonder the time, though wasn't un-familiar to waking in the dark hours of the morning on a regular basis. To the sudden paw taking her shoulder in firm grip, the fae made a quiet squeak and spun around, the fur along her neck bristling in spook. Her stagger back from the man was shortly lived as he carefully took her wrist and kept her near, "Woah, calm down now, dear," he murmured gently, pulling her lightly into him, so that he may comfortably set his arm around her as he walked toward the window to draw back its draping, explaining that he was quite pleased to see her up and about,"I find my-self quire lonesome in my wake during these hours. It will be nice to have some worthy company," he said, vision shifting from her, out over the still dark world. Her ears shifted and gaze apprehensively followed his, though she found the darkness made it impossible for her to see anything. That made her pretty sure that she wasn't commonly awake quite this early, but was pretty sure she could be come accustom to being such.
His words with were soon interrupted, not that Shay would complain, when that familiar voice was inquiring why the door was open. He interrupted his grumble about how the rabbit had still better be here when he looked up to see the two, and smiled with a bow of the head toward the Lupen."Morning, Sire," he greeted as he passed by. Ba 'tel silently watched him a few moments, vision lingering the water as he poured it into the bath, listening to the servant point out what he was doing, both gazes turning toward the still filthy fae, who awkwardly shifted to being under them, attention veering off else where.
"You should simply take her to the bath, Takel," Ba 'tel instructed, despite his suggesting tone, "It will be much easier then having to relay all this," he reminded, wavering a paw briefly, "Besides, while you are the one in charge of training her, today is your day off. Don't put too much labor into it." He trailed, adding in reminder of her being nothing more then a slave quite like him-self. There was certainly some content that came to the servant to these words, not sure why he felt some better care should be taken of this Kanish, attention eying her a moment before turning up to the Lupen with smile and bowed nod."Good," the owner murmured and straightened his manner out a bit as he took a few steps, "I have some business to take care of else where for a few days, and nights. I expect you to have her well and ready upon my return," his voice slowly growing colder toward its end, stopping briefly in the archway to look back toward Takel in wait of his reply.
The servant had briefly thought to ask just when his return would be, but certainly knew better than to do that, "Of course, sir," he reported in understanding with a deep bow this time, left forearm pressing in the fold of the motion, right lightly out to the side, not raising until the Lupen was gone. The brut turned toward the fae then, silent a moment, "It should be a fairly easy going time, but, please, keep in mind everything I tell you. This is one of those things he may be atormentor on," he trailed uncertainly, ears flickering back in faint sleek. Though, he smiled lightly when she rigidly, but truthfully, gave a short nod in response.