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(Created page with "'''Summary:''' Our intrepid, sticky-fingered Eleanor spies a socialite party just begging to be burgled, but before she can even breech the threshold, she is confronted by the...")
 
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Eleanor dug vikings, can’t ya tell. She soaked up Hudson’s a moment longer before fixing her stare on the woman of the hour. E.L.’s words earned the woman a sparkling celadon-irised gaze, her lips still spread in that wide, dimpling grin; until Hudson’s mother mentioned ‘Alvina’. Curiosity urged her to angle her gaze toward the male, a flaxen brow rising high into that sunkissed forehead. “Sae 'at is 'er nam,” the spell blade mumbled, amusement glimmering in that sidelong stare, easily putting two and two together (especially as the name was mentioned not once, but twice). To the author, Eleanor turned her attention once more; “It was a pleasure tae meit ye, E.L.” Taking the book back, she tucked it between her cerulean waist-sash and the leather strip that held her flimsy clothes to her broad hips, and faced Hudson. Her voice low, she said to him, “Ah loch yer maw. She is a sharp tool.” The spell blade winked at him then turned her gaze around the room, taking in the many potential targets; but in the end, her attention returned to Hudson, grinning slyly. “Wee faith? Whit makes ye say 'at?”
 
Eleanor dug vikings, can’t ya tell. She soaked up Hudson’s a moment longer before fixing her stare on the woman of the hour. E.L.’s words earned the woman a sparkling celadon-irised gaze, her lips still spread in that wide, dimpling grin; until Hudson’s mother mentioned ‘Alvina’. Curiosity urged her to angle her gaze toward the male, a flaxen brow rising high into that sunkissed forehead. “Sae 'at is 'er nam,” the spell blade mumbled, amusement glimmering in that sidelong stare, easily putting two and two together (especially as the name was mentioned not once, but twice). To the author, Eleanor turned her attention once more; “It was a pleasure tae meit ye, E.L.” Taking the book back, she tucked it between her cerulean waist-sash and the leather strip that held her flimsy clothes to her broad hips, and faced Hudson. Her voice low, she said to him, “Ah loch yer maw. She is a sharp tool.” The spell blade winked at him then turned her gaze around the room, taking in the many potential targets; but in the end, her attention returned to Hudson, grinning slyly. “Wee faith? Whit makes ye say 'at?”
 +
 
Hudson cants his head in response to Eleanor's praise of his mother.  "She knows what she's about, that's for one thing," he says, guiding their path toward one of the food and drink booths.  "Wee faith," he imitates her accent, and looking shamelessly pleased with himself too, "because she felt the need to mention my girlfriend to you.  As if I'm sketchy.  Thanks mum."  With a snort, he fetches them both flutes of champagne.  "I made this," he informs Eleanor, his hand lifting his glass to hers in an impromptu toast.  "Cheers, to whatever mission you're on here, the details of which I won't ask you about, because you probably won't tell me."  He hides a smile behind his glass and throws his gaze around the room in a feigned nonchalance.  "I mean, unless you're really into centaur porn novels.  I suppose I don't know that much about you, there's always a chance."
 
Hudson cants his head in response to Eleanor's praise of his mother.  "She knows what she's about, that's for one thing," he says, guiding their path toward one of the food and drink booths.  "Wee faith," he imitates her accent, and looking shamelessly pleased with himself too, "because she felt the need to mention my girlfriend to you.  As if I'm sketchy.  Thanks mum."  With a snort, he fetches them both flutes of champagne.  "I made this," he informs Eleanor, his hand lifting his glass to hers in an impromptu toast.  "Cheers, to whatever mission you're on here, the details of which I won't ask you about, because you probably won't tell me."  He hides a smile behind his glass and throws his gaze around the room in a feigned nonchalance.  "I mean, unless you're really into centaur porn novels.  I suppose I don't know that much about you, there's always a chance."
  
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Hudson shoots Eleanor a cocked brow, his mouth quirking with quiet mirth at what he takes to be a reasonably sassy remark.  "Come on," he tells her, "you liked it.  Let a man pay a woman a compliment.  What, that's not allowed?  Jeez."  He drinks from his flute, though amusement seizes him rather abruptly, and he nearly sprays his sparkling wine on her person as a sort of human-geyser tribute to her comments.  He pounds his chest to get things back into order, or the semblance of it, and then eyeballs her.  "Warn me next time," he says, still clearing his windpipe as she goes about evaluating prospective marks.  At her question, he hums at the base of his throat.  "Turning it back on me?" he teases her with a direct smirk.  "I'm not formally here as an attendee, I just showed up to help mum do the wine last minute," he answers her, gesturing at his jeans and scruffy white shirt, to underscore this.  "This isn't really Alvina's scene, though.  She's super into inventing stuff.  Not so much the centaur porn, either.  I mean she really likes my mum, but eh I figured she probably wanted to sit this one out, chill with her cat and build stuff or whatever it is she does by herself."  He lifts a shoulder in a shrug, though after that an incorrigible smirk steals across his expression.  "Plus I like to go alone to these events.  A guy's got to support his mum, right?  Won't lie, back in the day I used to pick up a hot older lady or two at these sorts of things, though.  Yeah that's right.  You think I'm so domesticated.  Go ahead and put that in your pipe and smoke it."
 
Hudson shoots Eleanor a cocked brow, his mouth quirking with quiet mirth at what he takes to be a reasonably sassy remark.  "Come on," he tells her, "you liked it.  Let a man pay a woman a compliment.  What, that's not allowed?  Jeez."  He drinks from his flute, though amusement seizes him rather abruptly, and he nearly sprays his sparkling wine on her person as a sort of human-geyser tribute to her comments.  He pounds his chest to get things back into order, or the semblance of it, and then eyeballs her.  "Warn me next time," he says, still clearing his windpipe as she goes about evaluating prospective marks.  At her question, he hums at the base of his throat.  "Turning it back on me?" he teases her with a direct smirk.  "I'm not formally here as an attendee, I just showed up to help mum do the wine last minute," he answers her, gesturing at his jeans and scruffy white shirt, to underscore this.  "This isn't really Alvina's scene, though.  She's super into inventing stuff.  Not so much the centaur porn, either.  I mean she really likes my mum, but eh I figured she probably wanted to sit this one out, chill with her cat and build stuff or whatever it is she does by herself."  He lifts a shoulder in a shrug, though after that an incorrigible smirk steals across his expression.  "Plus I like to go alone to these events.  A guy's got to support his mum, right?  Won't lie, back in the day I used to pick up a hot older lady or two at these sorts of things, though.  Yeah that's right.  You think I'm so domesticated.  Go ahead and put that in your pipe and smoke it."
  
Eleanor chuckled at Hudson, giving her head a shake. “Ah see. Smart lassie,” the spell blade remarked. Although the mention of ‘building stuff’ intrigued her, she thought it best not to pose too many questions regarding Hudson’s girl - didn’t want to seem too interested in what the sitch’ was after all; part of her wanted to remain ignorant, too. It was safer that way. With the alchemist’s concluding statements, El chuckled again, her smile renewing itself. “Och, Ah see. ye jist hink yoo're quite a catch, dornt ye. makin' aw th' 'older women' dreich atween th' knees.” Clucking her tongue, she added playfully, “It is a guid hin' aam still yoong an' vibrant - Ah am safe frae yer wanderin' gaze.” Thereafter, she turned away coyly, setting the flute on a passing tray and quickly snatching up another. Within seconds, the contents of that flute were gone too, and only then did she return her celadon gaze toward Hudson. “'spikin ay pipes, …” Cue a wink, and the woman had started moseying back toward that side door, deftly picking a few pockets on the way.  
+
Eleanor chuckled at Hudson, giving her head a shake. “Ah see. Smart lassie,” the spell blade remarked. Although the mention of ‘building stuff’ intrigued her, she thought it best not to pose too many questions regarding Hudson’s girl - didn’t want to seem too interested in what the sitch’ was after all; part of her wanted to remain ignorant, too. It was safer that way. With the alchemist’s concluding statements, El chuckled again, her smile renewing itself. “Och, Ah see. Ye jist hink yoo're quite a catch, dornt ye. Makin' aw th' 'older women' dreich atween th' knees.” Clucking her tongue, she added playfully, “It is a guid hin' aam still yoong an' vibrant - Ah am safe frae yer wanderin' gaze.” Thereafter, she turned away coyly, setting the flute on a passing tray and quickly snatching up another. Within seconds, the contents of that flute were gone too, and only then did she return her celadon gaze toward Hudson. “'spikin ay pipes, …” Cue a wink, and the woman had started moseying back toward that side door, deftly picking a few pockets on the way.  
  
 
Hudson has a chuckle to mirror Eleanor's, and he casts his gaze over the room full of women here to hear his mother read.  "Who said anything about a catch?  I'm just a dude, I just told you that because... hell, I don't right know why I told you that.  I think because you gave me grief before, about being settled down.  I think I wanted to make the point that I used to be fun," he answers her, shaking his head at Eleanor as she helps herself to a second round.  He has no comment to her somewhat more personal remark.  Flirting's all fun and games, but he knows in his heart of hearts that he probably should turn it down a notch.  Well... starting tomorrow, he'll make a real effort!  He follows her lead, sneaking along behind her as they beat a hasty escape before E.L. can engage them in round two of conversation.  Eleanor has a sort of gait about her, a slipperiness in her hands, a "clumsy" habit of bumping into folks, that could lead a guy to draw a conclusion or two about why she's really here, but he keeps those thoughts to himself.  It's quiet after they exit via side door.  A real sea-change from the hubbub inside, where conversations circulate like warm fronts, heating the room.  Hudson fishes his tin out of his pocket and passes the ready-made joint to Eleanor, along with his matches.  "Do it up.  You uh, get what you needed?  I mean, sate your interest in my mum's fine literature?"
 
Hudson has a chuckle to mirror Eleanor's, and he casts his gaze over the room full of women here to hear his mother read.  "Who said anything about a catch?  I'm just a dude, I just told you that because... hell, I don't right know why I told you that.  I think because you gave me grief before, about being settled down.  I think I wanted to make the point that I used to be fun," he answers her, shaking his head at Eleanor as she helps herself to a second round.  He has no comment to her somewhat more personal remark.  Flirting's all fun and games, but he knows in his heart of hearts that he probably should turn it down a notch.  Well... starting tomorrow, he'll make a real effort!  He follows her lead, sneaking along behind her as they beat a hasty escape before E.L. can engage them in round two of conversation.  Eleanor has a sort of gait about her, a slipperiness in her hands, a "clumsy" habit of bumping into folks, that could lead a guy to draw a conclusion or two about why she's really here, but he keeps those thoughts to himself.  It's quiet after they exit via side door.  A real sea-change from the hubbub inside, where conversations circulate like warm fronts, heating the room.  Hudson fishes his tin out of his pocket and passes the ready-made joint to Eleanor, along with his matches.  "Do it up.  You uh, get what you needed?  I mean, sate your interest in my mum's fine literature?"
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Hudson slumps against the booth, exhaling.  It's the same generic exhalation that men also employ after a brisk romp.  Multi-purpose, signaling great satisfaction and general exhaustion.  "Word," he agrees with Eleanor, although he's eaten plenty in the last few days.  He's just of the frame of mind that he's never eaten anything as good as this chicken parm, this very second.  It happens.  He is vaguely conscious that the waitress has dropped the bill, and he leaves money for her, gruffly waving off any offers of assistance if Eleanor is inclined.  If she's not, that's cool too.  He just takes care of business, no words needed about it.  "I'm going to go pass out at my mum's house," he confides in Eleanor as they wait out the beginning stirrings of the digestive process.  He nudges her leg with his foot.  "Where you staying?"
 
Hudson slumps against the booth, exhaling.  It's the same generic exhalation that men also employ after a brisk romp.  Multi-purpose, signaling great satisfaction and general exhaustion.  "Word," he agrees with Eleanor, although he's eaten plenty in the last few days.  He's just of the frame of mind that he's never eaten anything as good as this chicken parm, this very second.  It happens.  He is vaguely conscious that the waitress has dropped the bill, and he leaves money for her, gruffly waving off any offers of assistance if Eleanor is inclined.  If she's not, that's cool too.  He just takes care of business, no words needed about it.  "I'm going to go pass out at my mum's house," he confides in Eleanor as they wait out the beginning stirrings of the digestive process.  He nudges her leg with his foot.  "Where you staying?"
ooc, Ooooooo haha, yea, I was writing a battle scene on the beach.  It was hard, and I was drunk ):  Last night a bit hazy lmao.
 
  
 
Eleanor fished for some stolen coins when the waitress brought the bill, and Hudson’s insistence on paying earned him a curious arch of one flaxen brow; as she really didn’t like to part with money if she didn’t have to, she conceded that they not go Dutch with little resistance, leaning back again and returning those coins to their hidden pockets along her belt. With a sly grin, she replied to his question with, “Ah, weel thaur ur jist sae mony choices tonecht.” Her celadon-hued gaze glinted with half-sober amusement. “Ah cannae make up mah min'.” With a shrug, she tilted her head, eyeing Hudson across the table, before continuing on in that lilting burr of hers, “Sae lang as thaur is a roof ower mah heed, Ah pure cannae be tay fussy.” She leaned forward, elbows on the table, winked, and added, “An' thaur ur a lot ay roofs tae ned tonecht.”
 
Eleanor fished for some stolen coins when the waitress brought the bill, and Hudson’s insistence on paying earned him a curious arch of one flaxen brow; as she really didn’t like to part with money if she didn’t have to, she conceded that they not go Dutch with little resistance, leaning back again and returning those coins to their hidden pockets along her belt. With a sly grin, she replied to his question with, “Ah, weel thaur ur jist sae mony choices tonecht.” Her celadon-hued gaze glinted with half-sober amusement. “Ah cannae make up mah min'.” With a shrug, she tilted her head, eyeing Hudson across the table, before continuing on in that lilting burr of hers, “Sae lang as thaur is a roof ower mah heed, Ah pure cannae be tay fussy.” She leaned forward, elbows on the table, winked, and added, “An' thaur ur a lot ay roofs tae ned tonecht.”

Latest revision as of 05:54, 1 December 2019

Summary: Our intrepid, sticky-fingered Eleanor spies a socialite party just begging to be burgled, but before she can even breech the threshold, she is confronted by the guest of honor's son: none other than the vice-riddled Hudson. Comical and awkward situations seem to chase one another like a pair of dogs around a tree before the two manage to escape the rigors of high society for a breezy respite.


Cenril Library, Cenril

The Cenril library is humming with people. Specifically, it is humming with women. Mostly women between the ages of 30 and 70. They crowd around small tables with table cloths, sipping sparkling wine from flutes of champagne. An elegant, dark-haired woman with a near-lineless face sits in front of a longer table, signing autographs in fresh hardbound books and chatting with the women who come before her. Hudson is, apart from the men in tuxes who are passing hors d'oeuvres, one of the few men in the room. Looking a little scruffier than the wait staff in jeans and a white shirt, he weaves his way through the throngs of ladies, his elbow hitting a side door to let him outside for a quick breather and, if he's honest, little pick me up.

Eleanor loved shiny things. She especially loved shiny things that were not hers. With a book signing all the buzz on her grapevine network of ne’er-do-wells, the potential for pick-pocketing wealthy old women held an allure she could not readily deny. Dressed in her usual, half-revealing get-up, she leapt from rooftop to rooftop as if she belonged there, her boots only occasionally inspiring a sound as shingles shifted beneath her. Finally arriving at the building immediately next to the library, she lowered herself to her stomach, and peeked over the edge of the roof. Celadon-hued eyes swept the alley below left and ride, searching for the best way to descend while waiting for the side door to open and allow her a sneaky entrance. El was surprised to see Hudson emerge after a spell, having only seen the man in Rynvale on their prior rendezvouses. Her fingers curled tighter around the edge of the shingles nearest the gutter, and her breathing grew subtly shallow. What was it about that stupid boy. She huffed out a frustrated breath, unnerved by his unexpected appearance as she pushed up to a crouching position. Carefully, she scuttled around to where the library overshadowed the roof she was on, and pushing off the roof, she leapt down onto a stack of crates with only a slight grunt, the long sky-blue fabric of her tabard-like skirt fluttering around her ankles. A flush rose up her chest and settled into her cheeks as she demanded of her acquaintance from her vantage point, “Whit ur ye daein' haur, Hudson?”

Hudson is, this very moment, trying to roll himself a J, but Eleanor's sudden appearance - she leaps down like Batman, basically - nearly upsets the whole process. He gapes at her, and then finds that he's equally embarrassed that she's here. Dear lords, it's bad enough he's here, but now he's run into a woman he knows. After some opening remarks, laughter issues from inside. "This is my mum's reading! I have to be here, besides I helped cater the drinks," he hisses at her, turning a rather deep shade of scarlet as a feminine voice magically projects itself from inside. It takes the reading all of ten seconds to verge into decidedly saucy territory, and Hudson, unable to return his pallor to a normal shade, looks tactfully at the side door. "That's my mum. The uh, notorious author of Fifty Shades of Neigh. Which in case you haven't followed the plot is centaur erotica," he says, sounding a bit deflated. He finally manages to slant his gaze Eleanor's way. "I don't suppose you want me to get you an autograph?"

Eleanor paid the joint little mind - it was Hudson himself who snared her full attention, the words coming from his mouth inspiring an amused (and somehow slightly confused) chuckle. Her celadon gaze darted to and fro, nervously scoping out the side alley before jumping down from the stack of crates to stand before the alchemist. As she edged closer to the man, she sized him up, as if trying to determine the validity of his statements. “Sae ye ur sayin' 'at is yer maw in thaur? Readin' tae aw those kimmers an' gettin' their panties drooched in public?” The very thought was entertaining, but the flustered laughs coming inside encouraged a few more snickers from the spell blade. “Nae -- actually, och aye. Ah dae want an autograph.” Again, she laughed to herself, as if in on some hilarious joke at Hudson’s expense - in truth, she just needed a diversion. She needed to get inside the library if she was to fulfill a serious itch that needed scratching, and the knowledge that it was Hudson’s own mother who had drawn such a rich congregation got the wheels in her head turning. Turning her gaze more fully on Hudson, she slinked closer to him, one slow, calculated step at a time. Although considerably shorter than him, she held herself proud and tall, flaunting whatever curves she had as she then said, “If ye coods, in fact, gie me in thaur tae gie an autograph, Ah woods be forever grateful.” A part of her warned her not to mess with Hudson, and for a split second she re-considered, but another round of tittering laughter from inside cemented her plan: she needed a way inside, and Hudson was that way.

Hudson, if he had any prayer of returning to his normal skin color, has since lost it. His head falls back, and he chuckles awkwardly to stave off having to formulate some kind of verbal reply. "Yes," he manages, eventually, though. He tries to resume his cool and the rolling of the joint. As if that would help the situation. "My mum is a free spirit, what can I say," he comments with a straight-face, some of his embarrassment managing to recede, even though the content of what's being read by his mother has in no way shape or form gotten less racy. Eleanor glides up to him like a cat, then, and demands to be let inside so that she can do whatever sketchy thing it is that she needs to do. He knows that much by now. But man, he has a bit of a soft spot for pretty girls, even if he's not supposed to. He curses, and then makes a gesture with his joint-wielding hand and puts the rollup back in the metal Altoids-like container from his pocket. "Don't get busted," he tells her, his arm flattening against the exterior door to push it open, lighting a small path inside, into the crowded room.

It was too late to back out of her plan now, and although the woman felt bad about using Hudson to get into the library, she told herself that she would have to make it up to him later. When Hudson caved, her full lips curled into a roguish smile, and she drawled to him, tone both husky and coy, “Ah am nae sure whit ye ur talkin' abit.” Eleanor kept her celadon gaze fixed on the alchemist, her mischievous expression a mere facade against the uncertainty and guilt hidden behind solid rock walls, and her lips twitched. Using the situation - however awkward it may be - to her advantage, she reached out for one of Hudson’s hands with her own, her intention being to grab it and give it a tug, encouraging him to lead her through the throng of unsuspecting victims. “'main 'en, introduce me tae yer maw.”

Hudson's gaze drifts skyward, his expression taking a bit of a sheepish pallor to it. "Of course ya don't, lass," he answers her with a quirk of his mouth. A restrained smirk. Then, to his surprise, she grabs his hand and pulls him after her. He lets her hand drop once they're inside and through the thick of the crowd. It seeming generally unadvisable to pull up to his mum hand-in-hand with a strange woman. She was on rather good terms with his girl, and would have a great deal of curiosity about a female friend. It shows in her face, which up close is eerily youthful. She must have something done. She's a petite woman, slim, in an elegant sweater dress. The corners of her eyes turn up in a secret smile as they approach. "Hi sweetie, who's your little friend?" she demands, fresh off a conversation with some fans. "E.L., Hudson's mum," she introduces herself, pronouncing her name Elle. Her eyes are dancing as she looks Eleanor over. "Did you both stay for the reading?"

Eleanor did not object when Hudson withdrew his hand from hers once they were inside, but she did slide a celadon-irised gaze edgewise toward him as they sidled through the crowd to approach his mother. Once there, El was quick to see the resemblance even through the apparent illusion of youth, and her full lips spread in an easy smile. “His mammy? Ah woods hae taken ye tae be his sister if Ah did nae ken better,” the spell blade smoothly replied, her gaze shifting pointedly between Hudson and E.L. as if trying to see the age difference. “E.L., eh? Weel ye can caa me Eleanur.” Beat. “Ah am afraid Ah only caught th' tail-end ay it.” The pun inspired her lips to spread even broader, dimples winking in either sun-kissed cheek. Having surreptitiously taken someone else’s book (and other, small personal effects that were now hidden on El’s body) as they wended through the crowd of women, she held it out now for Hudson’s mother. “Dae ye min'? Ah woods loove tae hae an autograph.”

Hudson's father was clearly a giant and built like a viking, but otherwise in facial structure he and his mother resemble one another. E.L. is delighted by the favorable comparison to her son, and throws her head back and cackles, her laughs like a sparkler in the way they lighten the mood. "I like her, she's funny and has an adorable accent," she tells Hudson, ruffling a hand through his hair in the affectionate way of mothers everywhere. "You should introduce her to Alvina, they seem like they would be peas in a pod," she suggests in her lively way, her hand reaching to take the book from Eleanor. Flipping the book open to the blank first page, she writes in a sloping script: To Eleanor - dare to be wild! E.L. It is probably the stock phrase that she autographs with, though she has such an intimate mischief on her features when she hands the book back, you wouldn't guess it. E.L.: "cool mom" to the world. Hudson, for his part, grins in a bland way as this goes on. "We just bumped into each other here, actually," he says, in the carefully casual way of a man who's trying to throw a nosy parent off the scent. "Lucky!" quips E.L., kissing him on the cheek. "Tell Alvina I said hi. I miss her. Lovely meeting you, Eleanor!" are her parting words before she glides away. "Sly like a fox," comments Hudson once she's out of earshot. "She has so little faith in me, too."

Eleanor dug vikings, can’t ya tell. She soaked up Hudson’s a moment longer before fixing her stare on the woman of the hour. E.L.’s words earned the woman a sparkling celadon-irised gaze, her lips still spread in that wide, dimpling grin; until Hudson’s mother mentioned ‘Alvina’. Curiosity urged her to angle her gaze toward the male, a flaxen brow rising high into that sunkissed forehead. “Sae 'at is 'er nam,” the spell blade mumbled, amusement glimmering in that sidelong stare, easily putting two and two together (especially as the name was mentioned not once, but twice). To the author, Eleanor turned her attention once more; “It was a pleasure tae meit ye, E.L.” Taking the book back, she tucked it between her cerulean waist-sash and the leather strip that held her flimsy clothes to her broad hips, and faced Hudson. Her voice low, she said to him, “Ah loch yer maw. She is a sharp tool.” The spell blade winked at him then turned her gaze around the room, taking in the many potential targets; but in the end, her attention returned to Hudson, grinning slyly. “Wee faith? Whit makes ye say 'at?”

Hudson cants his head in response to Eleanor's praise of his mother. "She knows what she's about, that's for one thing," he says, guiding their path toward one of the food and drink booths. "Wee faith," he imitates her accent, and looking shamelessly pleased with himself too, "because she felt the need to mention my girlfriend to you. As if I'm sketchy. Thanks mum." With a snort, he fetches them both flutes of champagne. "I made this," he informs Eleanor, his hand lifting his glass to hers in an impromptu toast. "Cheers, to whatever mission you're on here, the details of which I won't ask you about, because you probably won't tell me." He hides a smile behind his glass and throws his gaze around the room in a feigned nonchalance. "I mean, unless you're really into centaur porn novels. I suppose I don't know that much about you, there's always a chance."

Eleanor snickered in response to Hudson, that brow still high in her forehead. “Weel, aiblins ye shoods gonnae-no tellin' burds they ur bonnie 'en,” she teased; not that she actually had minded his previous compliment. “It micht gie fowk th' wrang idea.” Again, she winked to him, and took up her own flute of champagne. “Ye gart thes? Mebbe Ah shoods abstain efter aw. Fa knows whit is in it.” Per usual, she pretended not to notice the jibe about her ‘mission’, and contrary to her comment, she quickly downed the contents of her glass, almost spitting it back out at Hudson’s lattermost comments. “Buck nae, Ah prefer mah books tae be foo ay picters an' consensual a scuttle, thenk ye huir uv a much.” The spell blade shook her head, that dimpling grin everpresent. “Cuddie rape will ne'er dae it fur me.” She paused, and looked slyly around to make sure E.L. was not within hearing range. “But if 'at is whit yoo're intae ... tae each his ain.” As people passed by, moving through their own lives and conversations, Eleanor gave them each a once-over in turn, as if sizing them up and looking for weaknesses. After a moment, she turned those celadon eyes back toward the alchemist. Returning to their prevous topic, the spell blade asked curiously, “Sic' a fancy gala, hoo come thes Alvina isnae oan yer arm haur?”

Hudson shoots Eleanor a cocked brow, his mouth quirking with quiet mirth at what he takes to be a reasonably sassy remark. "Come on," he tells her, "you liked it. Let a man pay a woman a compliment. What, that's not allowed? Jeez." He drinks from his flute, though amusement seizes him rather abruptly, and he nearly sprays his sparkling wine on her person as a sort of human-geyser tribute to her comments. He pounds his chest to get things back into order, or the semblance of it, and then eyeballs her. "Warn me next time," he says, still clearing his windpipe as she goes about evaluating prospective marks. At her question, he hums at the base of his throat. "Turning it back on me?" he teases her with a direct smirk. "I'm not formally here as an attendee, I just showed up to help mum do the wine last minute," he answers her, gesturing at his jeans and scruffy white shirt, to underscore this. "This isn't really Alvina's scene, though. She's super into inventing stuff. Not so much the centaur porn, either. I mean she really likes my mum, but eh I figured she probably wanted to sit this one out, chill with her cat and build stuff or whatever it is she does by herself." He lifts a shoulder in a shrug, though after that an incorrigible smirk steals across his expression. "Plus I like to go alone to these events. A guy's got to support his mum, right? Won't lie, back in the day I used to pick up a hot older lady or two at these sorts of things, though. Yeah that's right. You think I'm so domesticated. Go ahead and put that in your pipe and smoke it."

Eleanor chuckled at Hudson, giving her head a shake. “Ah see. Smart lassie,” the spell blade remarked. Although the mention of ‘building stuff’ intrigued her, she thought it best not to pose too many questions regarding Hudson’s girl - didn’t want to seem too interested in what the sitch’ was after all; part of her wanted to remain ignorant, too. It was safer that way. With the alchemist’s concluding statements, El chuckled again, her smile renewing itself. “Och, Ah see. Ye jist hink yoo're quite a catch, dornt ye. Makin' aw th' 'older women' dreich atween th' knees.” Clucking her tongue, she added playfully, “It is a guid hin' aam still yoong an' vibrant - Ah am safe frae yer wanderin' gaze.” Thereafter, she turned away coyly, setting the flute on a passing tray and quickly snatching up another. Within seconds, the contents of that flute were gone too, and only then did she return her celadon gaze toward Hudson. “'spikin ay pipes, …” Cue a wink, and the woman had started moseying back toward that side door, deftly picking a few pockets on the way.

Hudson has a chuckle to mirror Eleanor's, and he casts his gaze over the room full of women here to hear his mother read. "Who said anything about a catch? I'm just a dude, I just told you that because... hell, I don't right know why I told you that. I think because you gave me grief before, about being settled down. I think I wanted to make the point that I used to be fun," he answers her, shaking his head at Eleanor as she helps herself to a second round. He has no comment to her somewhat more personal remark. Flirting's all fun and games, but he knows in his heart of hearts that he probably should turn it down a notch. Well... starting tomorrow, he'll make a real effort! He follows her lead, sneaking along behind her as they beat a hasty escape before E.L. can engage them in round two of conversation. Eleanor has a sort of gait about her, a slipperiness in her hands, a "clumsy" habit of bumping into folks, that could lead a guy to draw a conclusion or two about why she's really here, but he keeps those thoughts to himself. It's quiet after they exit via side door. A real sea-change from the hubbub inside, where conversations circulate like warm fronts, heating the room. Hudson fishes his tin out of his pocket and passes the ready-made joint to Eleanor, along with his matches. "Do it up. You uh, get what you needed? I mean, sate your interest in my mum's fine literature?"

Eleanor did not bother to answer Hudson until they were safely outside once more. Leaning up against the outer facade of the library, she took the proffered herb, but was inclined to light it without use of the matches - a snap of her finger and thumb, and a small blue flame danced between her digits; the turquoise in her iron diadem glimmered briefly, as if catching the light the flame produced. Puffing on it a few times as she caught the end in the self-produced ‘lighter’, she then passed the joint back to Hudson, her lips curling in a coy half-grin as she waved her hand, dismissing the light. “Och, och aye, Ah got everythin' Ah need,” she replied enigmatically, hooking her thumbs into her belt. Recalling the book itself, she pulled it from said belt, flipping it open to casually browse a few passages, her celadon irises sliding curiously back toward Hudson in time. The champagne had started to bring a warm fuzziness to her cheeks, a faint flush settling there, and soon enough the medicinal plant would work its magic too. She seldom partook of either, but she seemed to have a penchant to consume both in the alchemist’s presence. “Ur ye a writer tay, amang aw those other talents ay yoors?”

Hudson lifts an eyebrow in quiet appreciation of Eleanor's digital-lighter maneuver. "Show off," he tells her, with an appreciative grin. He enjoys a pull from the joint before he replies. "I know the alchemical name of fire too, you know, I just... get lazy sometimes," he tells her, a chuckle breaking up the tail end of his boast. He flips the joint back to Eleanor, who seems to be engrossed in reading his mum's latest. As it happens. He averts his gaze from the pages. He has only a high-level understanding of his mum's books, for obvious reasons. "Nah," he tells the spellblade, in response to her question. He looks her way long enough to snag the joint back, assuming she's not opted to suddenly keep it to herself to better enhance her romance novel consumption. "I'm not mysterious like some, eh?" Obvious dig. "What you see is what you get. Grade A sportsman. C+ alchemist." He lifts his chin at her, indicating that it's to be her turn. "I don't get you, what you do, though. Clearly you got some skills. What's up with the thieving?"

Eleanor edged a celadon-irised gaze toward her companion once more, his words inspiring a chuckle and a crooked grin. With a snap, the book was closed and returned to its spot at her hip. Preferring to stay ‘mysterious’ as he inferred, she arched a flaxen brow at him. “Wa? Diz it bortha ye?” she countered, her tone playfully challenging. To her, it wasn’t thieving so much as … relocating things people didn’t need, and giving them to those less fortunate. A sort of Robin Hood complex going on, if you will. Even if he told her that yes, it bothered him that she stole, it was unlikely she was going to stop anytime soon. After all, he was just a man who happened to have witnessed her illegal activities on more than one occasion; it wasn’t like they were bffs or anything.

Hudson simpers at the question, a snort serving as a fairly conclusive but high-level reply. He elaborates unnecessarily. "Nope," he tells her, flicking off the building tail of ash that's accumulated on their shared joint. "I helped steal a boat once, so not one to talk," he tells her, passing her the joint so she can finish it. "Good came out of it," he clarifies, meeting her gaze lest she think he's more swashbuckling than he really is, "We built a siren to alert everybody of mermaids on the Cenril shore. It doesn't work all the time but when it works I think it helps. Saves lives and all that." He falls briefly silent, thinking of Lorca, who met his sudden demise at a house party hosted by Hudson and his roommate. He tries not to think of the guy most days; it had been the worst thing he'd ever seen in his otherwise relatively low key life. But under the influence he's feeling chatty. "Anyway, I'm sure you've got Reasons capital R," he finishes his statement. "You could make a 'clean' living I think, and yet you don't."

Eleanor let out a low whistle, edging her gaze sidelong toward her companion. “Och och aye, ye ur a rebel, alrecht. A whole boat?” Her gaze glistened, a mixture of alchemical and horticulture concoctions buzzing around in her mind. Pressing her full tiers together to further suppress the following snicker that bubbled up in her. The woman had once helped a warlord steal a whole armada, but now was not the time for boasts. When their eyes met, her lips twitched, a smile vying for control; but the smile faded quickly, the tone of their conversation changing into a morbid, introspective silence. Hudson seemed a million miles away for a second, and El took the chance to study his face as if committing each contour to memory. She was also, and perhaps more importantly, searching his features for the micro expressions that were a person’s Tell. What was he thinking of in those moments? Taking the joint back from Hudson, her stare lingered on his face as she leaned back up against the library wall, a slow inhale of plant matter and the faint sizzle accompanying it punctuating the quiet. When he spoke again, she arced a brow, but her smile did not return save a wry alignment of those full lips. “Whit diz it matter hoo Ah earn mah way?” she countered cynically, handing the j back. “Th' goal is th' same: survife.”

In terms of Tells, Hudson's forehead creases with a line, his brows pulling together to mark him as deep in thought. The expression melts away though as he rejoins the conversation, which Eleanor sends sailing back in his direction, like a hockey puck. The question hurtles through the air, with good momentum. Huds grins, taking the joint and savoring the last puff he can get out of it. He's about to burn his fingers after that. He rakes it over with the heel of his shoe. "It doesn't matter. I'm just making conversation," he tells Eleanor after this dramatic pause. He directs the stream of smoke into the sky above them, watching it dissipate at length in the cool air. "It's so random with you sometimes," he tells her. And then, quite suddenly, his mouth curls into a smile, and he begins to laugh. It cannot be denied. At first, he had started to laugh because he wanted to tell her that he only bumps into her when he's experiencing miraculous alchemical success, but the drug had wrest his autonomy from him, and now he's laughing because he can't not laugh. Trying not to laugh only results in him laughing. In fact it's funny that he can't not laugh. He covers his mouth with both hands, embarrassed, and realizes he's laughing at his embarrassment. Behold the stoned feedback loop.

Eleanor may be many things, but a mind-reader was not one of them. Finding herself more or less unable to get a proper read on Hudson, she pushed away from the wall of the library, leveling a curious gaze his way. She thought that it did matter - after all, he’s brought her line of work on several occasions throughout their conversation - but if he chose not to further that topic, then she certainly wasn’t about to push the matter. The spell blade started to ask what was so random, when her companion burst into laughter, earning himself a strange look from the tattooed woman. His laughter was infectious (or maybe she was just as affected by the herbs and alcohol as he was), and soon enough she was chortling too. Her limbs were heavy, and her lids even moreso as she sauntered partway into the alley before whirling around to face the alchemist. Intent on chasing after the train of though she’d had seconds before, she extended an arm, loosely pointing toward him. “Whit is sae--” Eleanor had to stop, withdrawing that same arm to smother her laughter behind a hand lest they draw too much attention to themselves. “Gods damn it!” The spell blade edged her gaze slyly toward Hudson. With a husky chuckle, she managed to say, “Ah forgot whit Ah was gonnae say.”

Hudson is likewise trying to tamp down on this no good very bad case of the giggles. His body is shaking he's laughing so hard. He does make some progress, for a few seconds. He holds it all in, looking bug-eyed, his face twitching with effort to maintain a poker face. But then Eleanor speaks. And despite these best efforts, a snort-laugh erupts through his nasal passages. They must cackle some more, it would seem. Eventually Hudson is out of breath, and, sagging against a wall, manages to steady himself to only a moderately amused but not hysterical state. "I forget too," he tells her, leaning down to exhale, regaining his bearings. "I am like crazy stoned right now," he says eventually, after a silence - unclear how long - has passed. "This was a more eventful evening than anticipated. Thanks."

Eleanor shook her head at Hudson, still only-just managing to temper more giggles. “Ye ur terrible,” the tattooed spell blade teased her companion. She shuffled toward him a half-step when he leaned against the wall, but she stopped herself before any further steps were taken; as he attempted to regain his composure, her celadon gaze shifted away from him, her cheeks still flushed as she shook her head again. When he spoke again, she returned her attention to him, sidelong as usual. “Likewise.” The reply was to just about everything he had said, her lips parting in a broad grin. El had made out quite well after putting her hands in Hudson’s mother’s patron’s pockets. She giggled again, tossing about those flaxen braids before lifting both hands and smoothing them over her hair, brushing the many plaits and wavy tendrils away from her face. Her pale green eyes searched for Hudson again as she spoke. “Sae, whaur can a lassie gie some scran in Cenril?”


A Restaurant, Cenril

Hudson's stomach growls in response to Eleanor's question. It nearly starts up his laughter again, like the chain on an old push lawnmower, but he manages to keep things under control. "Come on," he tells her, jerking his head as he leads her out the alley. The streets are still fairly busy at this time. It's Cenril, after all, so there's a bit of stop and go in terms of dealing with slow pedestrian 'traffic.' I.e., couples who stroll hand in hand and block half the walkway, old people, carts that are mysteriously stopped for no reason. In any event, Hudson manages to lead them without incident to the local tavern, and he waves Eleanor in first. The waitress seems to know him - evidently he's showed up on more than one occasion seeking to drunkenly consume a chicken parm - and so after a moderate amount of banter, and an introduction to Eleanor, she leads them to a booth, where they are seated. Huds, creature of habit, immediately declares, whilst looking at the menu upside-down: "I want chicken parm."

Eleanor, though she would not say it, enjoyed the view from behind Hudson as he led her to the local tavern. As they encountered various obstacles - well, opportunities as El saw them - she took full advantage of each run-on; an accidental bump here, a sly hand there, each punctuated by a winsome grin from the spell blade and the expected apology. Soon they were at their destination, the waitress given a quick once-over; the fact that the other woman clearly recognized Hudson earned him a quick arch of one brow, but she said nothing about it (for now). At her companion’s order, Eleanor made a face and snatched the menu from Huds. “Whit in th' heel is chookie parm?” she demanded, scanning the menu, “In fact ... whit is most ay thes mince?” Incredulous with the food presented, she rolled her eyes, then said to the waitress as she returned the menu. “Ah want a steak. As close tae still makin' stooshie as possible. An' a baked tattie an' some cebbiesproods.” Ignorant of any ‘what the hell?’ looks she got from the waitress at the order, she turned her attention back to Hudson. “Some ay th' scran haur is huir uv a strange,” Eleanor said to him, shaking her head in disbelief.

Hudson, having already decided for himself, drums his fingers on the table in boyish anticipation. "It's..." he leaves a little suspense in his explanation, "...food you didn't know you needed. Like a breaded chicken cutlet with cheese on it, made into a sandwich. Listen, it may not sound like much, but it is everything. All things. The world." Despite this greatly illuminating and possibly exaggerated/stoned explanation, he watches as Eleanor continues to express confusion over the menu. Her struggle of course ends with a decisive order for steak. He nods approvingly along with her. He's not sure he understood all of what she's ordered, but... if it goes with a steak, he'll accept it under the ancillary-to-steak rule of foods. "I'll let you try some of my chicken parm," he informs her, sliding around in his booth to get comfortable. "Still not used to being here, huh?" he asks her, reaching for his water glass. He eyes a suspicious smudge near the lip but decides he's too stoned to care. "What was it like, where you're from?"

Eleanor smirked at Hudson’s explanation, settling comfortably in her seat and drawing her left boot up, tucking it under her right thigh, her left hand curling around her left ankle. Her other arm, she draped across the table, fingertips toying with her own glass of water. “Ah see.” Although, perhaps, she didn’t. With Hudson’s offer came a broader smirk, her celadon gaze trying again to figure him out; but while people were generally more honest when stoned, the woman had been lying to everyone for so long, it just wasn’t something that came naturally from her lips. “It is different,” the spell blade replied vaguely, rolling her shoulders in a slight, dismissive shrug as she dropped her gaze from him, studying her glass as if it was much more interesting than the current topic. Her smirk shifted wry, and she looked back up toward Hudson. “Nae chookie parm,” El clarified, “an' th' herb isnae as guid.”

Hudson is plain as day right now. Giddy as all hell for some munchies and chatty like a mofo. To put it colloquially. Eleanor, though, isn't biting on any of the line he puts out. She continues to be enigmatic. Classic Eleanor. "It is different," he parrots, and in response she clarifies with another enigmatic statement or two, but these are at least funny, and he roars briefly with laughter. Huds reveals, laughing, that his herb is actually alchemically enhanced, so perhaps she should hold her judgment in abeyance. (Leave it to him to try hard at his profession where it counts...) Their shared amusement is interrupted by the arrival of their food. The waitress is on to them, can tell they're completely baked and gives them a few knowing looks before she turns her heel and goes. Huds, for his part, turns his plate for Eleanor to inspect this legendary chicken parm. "You see?" he asks her, as if simply observing it was enough to convey all that needed to be conveyed to her taste buds. He perhaps realizes this fault in logic a beat later, for he tries to hold the sandwich across the table for her to have a bite. "Try it, try it, try it," he urges her.

Eleanor believed every word; at least one of them was honest. She eyed him, red-rimmed celadons leveled toward whatever-color-Hudson had, giggling into a palm. “Och, och aye, 'at makes perfect sense,” the woman mumbled, biting her lower lip as she diverted her gaze. The food arrived, effectively ensnaring her attention and giving herself something else to focus on rather than trying to figure out the color of her companion’s eyes. El may be faded, but her hunger was not, and she fixed her gaze on the plates, almost salivating in response. Although she had taken up knife and fork to dive into her loaded plate of food, Hudson’s insistence earned him a smirk. “Alrecht, okay, Ah will try it,” she conceded with faux-resignation, setting the utensils down in favor of taking Huds’ food. The spell blade took a large bite, her straight, even teeth making a clean cut in the bread. As she handed the sandwich back, wiping away some crumbs that had escaped with the back of her wrist, she considered the different flavors carefully, but in the end, she probably would have eaten the chicken still alive at that point. So, of course, she moaned deep in her throat, her lashes fluttering, and she very nearly reached across and snatched the sandwich back. She had her own food to tend to, however, and breathing out an embarrassed breath, she directed a coy stare at her companion. “It's guid,” Eleanor quickly explained before any judgment over her reaction was delivered.

For the record Hudson has brown eyes, currently sparking with mischief as he basically forces Eleanor to eat chicken parm. Thank the gods gluten free is not a thing in Hollow, anyway his writer doesn't really understand it so doubtful on that account Huds would either. Her reaction validates his basic understanding that it is the best drunk-stoned food he's encountered in his life. "Hell yes it is," he agrees, bringing the sandwich back to his plate and commencing to utterly destroy it. Ah, to be reunited with food. There's no talking; it is as if a religious event is occurring. He eats even the side of cole slaw. It doesn't even happen slowly. He's like an animal in a pen that's been fed. The waitress comes by to refill their waters and even she is amazed by the progress that's been made. Sandwich status: decimated. He nurses his water, watching Eleanor eat, in close to ritualistic observance of what's taken place here. Eventually he breaks the silence, like a man coming up for air. "Food good?" he asks her with a sheepish grin--as if this were really in debate!

Eleanor’s gut had refined its ability to break down just about any foods, something her gluten-free writer envied; even certain poisons and were decreased in potency as a result of many years of forcing herself to adapt. The determination with which she disciplined herself in that regard was completely gone from the current setting; she inhaled her food in much the same way Hudson did, ripping the slab of meat apart with such fervor that somewhere nearby a cow lowed in distress. When El wasn’t staring down at her plate of food or making adorable food-noises that were so unlike her character (cue a giddy half-grin every once in awhile as she realized she was making those noises in the first place), she was gazing across the table at Hudson. Large pieces of meat were torn asunder and shoved into her mouth without much in the way of pomp, and when he spoke, she nodded enthusiastically. “Buck och aye, it is,” the spell blade concurred around a mouthful of baked potato. Reaching for her own glass of water, she down half its contents, effectively washing down anything still in her mouth; as was her habit, she used the back of her hand to wipe away a droplet of water. She then levelled another gaze across to her companion, setting her knife and fork down only when most of the food on her plate was gone, and she leaned back into her seat, sighing contentedly. “Best scran Ah hae hud in ages.” To be completely truthful, it was the first food she’d had in a couple days; ah, the life of a thief.

Hudson slumps against the booth, exhaling. It's the same generic exhalation that men also employ after a brisk romp. Multi-purpose, signaling great satisfaction and general exhaustion. "Word," he agrees with Eleanor, although he's eaten plenty in the last few days. He's just of the frame of mind that he's never eaten anything as good as this chicken parm, this very second. It happens. He is vaguely conscious that the waitress has dropped the bill, and he leaves money for her, gruffly waving off any offers of assistance if Eleanor is inclined. If she's not, that's cool too. He just takes care of business, no words needed about it. "I'm going to go pass out at my mum's house," he confides in Eleanor as they wait out the beginning stirrings of the digestive process. He nudges her leg with his foot. "Where you staying?"

Eleanor fished for some stolen coins when the waitress brought the bill, and Hudson’s insistence on paying earned him a curious arch of one flaxen brow; as she really didn’t like to part with money if she didn’t have to, she conceded that they not go Dutch with little resistance, leaning back again and returning those coins to their hidden pockets along her belt. With a sly grin, she replied to his question with, “Ah, weel thaur ur jist sae mony choices tonecht.” Her celadon-hued gaze glinted with half-sober amusement. “Ah cannae make up mah min'.” With a shrug, she tilted her head, eyeing Hudson across the table, before continuing on in that lilting burr of hers, “Sae lang as thaur is a roof ower mah heed, Ah pure cannae be tay fussy.” She leaned forward, elbows on the table, winked, and added, “An' thaur ur a lot ay roofs tae ned tonecht.”

Hudson is used to footing the bill and literally has thought nothing of it. #RichMummysBoy He shifts his coinpurse back into his pocket, grunting as she evades him on yet another basic question. Eleanor being Eleanor, again. Well, he'd literally just asked to make conversation! ...Actually, why did he need to know where she was staying? He doesn't. Maybe it was a little awkward, he realizes, suddenly rifling through his personal inventory of every time he's asked a woman where she was staying. His research yields the conclusion that it's really only relevant for booty call purposes, and he's sort of appalled at himself for having lapsed into some sort of dude autopilot and fired off that question. "Actually, I don't mean to pry, you know what, I just realized that's kind of a personal question to ask a woman," he tells her, on the heels of that unsettling realization. He winces. "Sorry. No intention to be sketchy, just saying whatever I guess." He jerks his head to the door of the establishment, sliding out of the booth and rising to a stand to wait for her. "Anyway, on that awkward night, shall we call it a night?"

Eleanor eyed Hudson with due curiosity, his words inspiring an amused, husky chuckle as she stood from her side of the booth; she lifted her chin, looking down toward him with sparkling celadon twins. At all his self-conscious stammering, her full lips formed a wide smile that spread well into both dimples. She pushed her lips together in an effort to temper the charmed grin. “Ye gab tay much, Hudson,” she replied, adjusting her loose, paneled skirt. With that being said, she began to sashay toward the door.

Hudson scratches at his head, feeling the prickle of paranoia that sometimes hits when you've smoked a bit. "Aye," he agrees, mimicking her accent for admission. He offers her a sheepish grin and shrugs a shoulder. He follows her to the door and holds it open for them to exit into the cool outside. There a quasi awkward goodbye transpires. "Good seeing you!" he tells Eleanor, waiting a beat in case she wanted to initiate a hug. It's not a thing he feels like he can do. In any event, hug or no, he turns to split back to his mum's and the comforts of his childhood bedroom.

The alchemist’s aping tone earned him an unreadable gaze, unwavering a moment before slowly, she arched a brow at him. Eleanor breathed a snort of amusement, shaking her head as they stepped outside. It was not awkward for El, as she was rather comfortable in her skin and their general standing with one another, although she did spare a curious glance toward Hudson when he seemed to linger indecisively. “See ye aroond, Huds--,” the blonde parted with, whirling around on the heel of her boot and heading west, likely to snooze in some abandoned attic on the edge of town.