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Latest revision as of 17:01, 10 January 2020

Summary: Part 1 of the getaway trip that Callum and Meri won at the Snowflake Soiree for the Best Dressed Couple contest!

Kelay Tavern, Kelay-Sage

The packet that Callum and Meri had been given regarding their prize had been a hell of a lot more than what the witch had expected. To think that the first and only time they’d entered into something like that, they’d get a three day vacation that Cal didn’t have to shell out gold for! It was like a dream come true. And after the hell the witch and the psion dealt with in Frostmaw on Halloween, they definitely needed some sort of relaxation time, without all the crazy shenanigans that goes on in their lives like witch hunters, batshit crazy ghosts, or even their own daughter. There was only one problem with this whole thing though… The instructions said to “bring only what’s needed” since everything else was being provided for. That… was a difficult task for Callum, also known as ‘He Who Loves His Looks Too Much’. He’d do his best to keep it at one suitcase--though Meri’s things would have to be in an entirely different one--and somehow managed to finish packing it with enough time to spare to sleep before they were to leave the next morning!

Meri :: Packing was not as hard for Meri as it was for Callum, were it not for his more fashionable tastes they probably would have never won this experience to begin with. Meri's plan of attack for packing is to follow the instructions. She is told to bring swimwear, something that she does not mind getting dirty, and something semi-formal. Callum is forced to help with that one, for Meri cannot compute. She understands formal, and not formal. What is semi-formal? Outside of that, packing is easy. She packs one outfit for the occasions she is instructed to pack for, plus one for every day they will be out and about. Despite being less concerned about her own appearances, even she struggles to make her suitcase closed. The fact that they manage to keep their luggage relatively light makes their travels to Kelay Tavern all the easier. It's still fairly early in the morning while they wait for their carriage, so Meri steps inside of tavern to snag them two cups of coffee for the road. By the time she returns, the carriage is already there and the driver has already helped Callum load their luggage. All that was left to do was for Meri and Callum to load themselves....and then off they go! To the first destination of their trip, a little winery. Thankfully it is closer to mid-day by the time they actually arrive at the winery, and with perfect timing. It is always nice to have a chance to stretch one's legs after spending a couple of hours in a carriage.

Callum was grateful that they handed off Fleur to Lanara a couple days early, though… he wondered if it was safe for a non-lycan to babysit -at all-. From what Meri had told him though, it sounded like the witch had a history with lycans, even though they were all lovers and not at all a very unpredictable toddler who was prone to shapeshifting whenever the hell she felt like it. But! Lanara offered. So. Cal was not going to worry! Because it hadn’t felt like Meri and him had had a day off from child-rearing duties in months. Okay, sure, there was a day here and there… but three?! Together?! Nope. But honestly, he was grateful because the whole packing thing took for-frakking-ever. Because Meri doesn’t know what semi-formal is! Sheesh, woman. Of course, things did get sorted out and now Cal has coffee because that she-devil of his is also simultaneously a goddess. Somehow. He did not hesitate to slurp down half of his coffee, promptly burn off like eighty-percent of his taste buds, and then had to conjure up a small ball of water to stick in his mouth to try to cool things off. “Maybe we should tell Lanara that three hours after sunrise is still too-early-o’clock-in-the-morning,” he said with a smirk after he managed to deal with his poor tongue. But--” He paused long enough to eye the winery once they’d stopped, “I will admit that those two know how to set up a getaway date. Maybe we should make an extra bottle of wine for them, considering they’ve taken Fleur off our hands.”

Meri :: Look. Semi-formal was complicated! Meri has been honest from the start that she fails at most aspects of being girlish. Or stylish. After coffee but before arriving at the winery, Meri would take full advantage of the crumpets and mimosas. Okay, maybe not full advantage. She's not stumbling out of the carriage by the time they arrived at the winery. "Honestly they deserve at least two bottles of wine...but maybe before we pick Fleur up we should stop somewhere to buy a bottle of wine?" Meri reaches for Cal's hand once they both exit the carriage. "It might be a good idea, just in case whatever wine we make ends up being horrible..." Of course the couple would know how good or bad their wine is before they even gifted it to the witch sisters. But Meri was not opposed to giving them a horrible brew, so long as they complimented it with something worthwhile. Exploring the winery is not something Meri is eager to rush through, as Cal has already mentally observed -- they don't get time away from Fleur often. "They really did go all out on planning this though. I thought we did pretty good without weekend getaways when we first started seeing each other, but I think they've really beat us in the whole date planning area." Meri does not dwell on that detail for long, it's not really surprising to her as neither of them are really the overly romantic sort. "How does one make wine, anyway? Red wine is made from red grapes? White from...the green? But even then there are like numerous different types of red wine and white wine..." Meri looks at Cal and makes a cross-eyed expression. If one of them had hopes of coming up with a relatively decently tasting bottle of wine, it would be Callum.

InVogue Vineyard, The Enchantment

Callum || “That might be a good idea,” Callum said with regards to the wine. “And I expect making wine is a bit like alchemy: you can mix and match ingredients all you want, but that doesn’t mean it’ll end up as what you intended.” He shrugged as a rather posh-looking dude, with an equally posh accent wandered up to the two, “You must be the contest winners! It’s soooo lovely to meet you.” Callum put on his best customer service face--Meri knew the one--and shook the man’s hand. “Yes! I’m Cal and this is Meri,” he said, giving a nod in Meri’s direction. The winery owner had done his research on this Cal and Meri--all he could find, however, was that they were made of money, both of them entrepreneurs. As per usual with this type of person, the only word that mattered was ‘money’. “Before you get to making your own wine, let’s get you two taste-testing to see what flavors you might want to mix. We’ve got a whole charcuterie board to go with it as well!” That’s fancy talk for a cheese and meat platter, Meri. Cal would tell her this, if she needed clarification when they were alone again. And if they hadn’t gotten that opportunity? Well, she’d find out soon enough as they were then ushered to an outdoor seating area in the vineyard just outside the building. There was a whole array of wines, from the bubbly champagnes to the darker, bitter reds, sitting on a chilled cart beside their table, allowing the two to pick and choose what they will, to get an idea of what to create. Cal’s stomach growled loudly--at least enough for Meri to hear anyway--as the meats and cheese were set on the table in front of them, as well as small plates to eat them over, and several small tester wine glasses. The bigger glasses would be saved for the ones that Cal and Meri -really- liked, and there was enough of both types of glasses so as not to mix wine types.

Meri didn't know what a charcuterie was, and she would definitely be finding out what this fancy cheese platter was first hand because they were not afforded a moment of privacy long enough for Meri to ask. That does not stop her from mispronouncing a the word a couple of times beneath her breath, the posh man thankfully cannot hear Meri. Her werewolf fiance probably can though. Their arrival to their table is quite revealing to Meri. She learns what a charcuterie board is. She also learns that for wine tasting, one apparently needs a lot of glasses. One glass to taste multiple wines is not good enough? The flavors mix? Well then. "Gosh." Meri says once they do have a moment to themselves finally. "This is the sort of thing fancy people do on their dates? Wine tasting? I don't know if this is a level of fancy I will ever really be able to rise to." It would not take long for Cal to learn that Meri was not going to be much help with this. One might think that being a werewolf would make her pro at this? She'd be able to taste all the flavors? Only the basic ones. IE: this wine is made from grapes. No, this might be more Cal's forte. Were they to ever open their own winery, Cal would be the mastermind behind the wine...Meri would just make the bottles pretty. As they go through their wine tasting options, it becomes quickly apparent that Meri has more appreciation for cheese than she does wine. She involuntarily wrinkles her nose at almost every white wine they are given. Bitter reds are also not a favorite. The nose scrunching is less intense for sweeter reds...but the only variety that Meri does not make a face over is the bubbly type. One thing that is happening is that Meri is getting sufficiently sloshed. These things happen when wine tasting. Sloshed enough that she does not wait for their server to leave before declaring to Cal, "Honestly though, whiskey is the best."

Callum || “It’s the sort of things my parents and sister did. I’m all for fancy parties--when they don’t include someone or something trying to kill people or some other Lithrydel nonsense--but their parties were definitely too much for me. They were so snooty and two-faced. Loved everyone when they were around them and were vicious as hell behind closed doors,” Cal said, musing on his past. “It’s no wonder where I got my charming, speaking skills from though.” He smirked, knowing Meri would know that he meant those rogue abilities of his. “You were forced to learn to like people, even if you hated them. Couldn’t show an ounce of it. It’s kind of like…” There was a pause as he thought over a good comparison. “Working in some dead-end retail job.” As they tried various wines, he noted which ones Meri liked and which ones she hadn’t. The champagne had been the winner. Then she mentioned the whiskey… and Cal got an idea. “Stay here,” he said, already leaving the table and heading to where the carriage had been parked. Was he leaving her there? This was supposed to be a three-day vacation! He can’t just leave! Well, he wasn’t. There was a bit of loud arguing for a few minutes before he returned. Yes, I need one of my travel cases. Yes! The one that’s underneath everything else. It’s not my fault you packed small stuff underneath all the big ones. In a huff, Cal returned finally with a decent-sized case, set it on the table and opened it up. It was a lovely little box he’d gotten to carry a bottle of whiskey, two glasses, some bitters, and whatever else sort of mix-ins they might want for the drink if they weren’t feeling like drinking it straight. “There’s a drink my mom always wanted. It’s whiskey, champagne, and two different kinds of bitters.” He’d mix it all up for Meri and passed over a glass, letting her try it. “It’s called a Seelbach. Named after some huge, fancy hotel in Catal.”

Meri listens to Callum recount his life back home with his family. The moment that he spent talking about his past in depth like this were few and far between, and Meri could understand why. She appreciated these glimpses. "Well. It sounds like your parents and your sister very well would not have approved of me if you could bring me home to them." Meri smirks dryly. "But I think I would have been able to adjust to the world well enough..." In the sense that she manages to convincingly make people believe that she actually likes them, even when she really does not. She's not typically vicious behind closed doors. The instruction that she stay there was not minded, not at at first. Not until she could hear Cal arguing with someone from a distance. She could make out bits and pieces, but was not entirely sure what all the fuss was about. The blonde had half a mind to get up to go investigate what the situation was, but she did not have much of a need. By the time she was half way out of her chair, Cal was already coming back to the table. With whiskey? They actually let him bring whiskey into this place? Maybe that was what half the arguing was about. Meri smirks in approval at the thought that Cal was potentially bending the rules. The drink is mixed up and passed her way. While Meri has complete trust for Callum, the thought of mixing whiskey with champagne seems questionable to her. The offered glass is given a sniff before Meri finally braves a sip. And once she does, Meri admits, "Well, your mother clearly had good taste. This is not half bad." Especially when compared to the other wine.

Callum smirked at Meri, “And no… they really would not have approved of you. At least not until I told them you also rake in the gold. They “like” anyone with money, so. Though, if they were told that you’re an artist, they’re exactly the type to try to commission things from someone and try to get out of paying for it, or at the very least, get a steep discount.” Maybe he got more things from his parents in that regard than he thought. This was not a thing that Cal was going to dwell on though, as realizing that someone is like their parents in too many ways generally does not sit well with a person when those people are Cal’s parents. Meri’s approval of the mixed drink was given and Cal resisted the urge to fistpump the air. “I suppose if I ever felt like changing things up, career-wise, I could always be a bartender.” The owner of the vineyard reappeared soon after, clearing his throat with an ‘ahem’, his line of sight fixed on the whiskey. “We don’t allow that sort of drink here, sir.” His tone was like a fine wine with notes of exasperation and disappointment swirling about in that posh accent. “And now, if the two of you are ready, we’d like to begin with the wine-making. Did you decide on a type?”

Meri gives a slight shrug when Cal explains that his parents would probably have tried to swindle Meri out of a painting. The blonde does not have a chance to assure Cal that she would have probably been easily convinced to paint for free. Why? She thinks their son is cuuute. And why can't she explain this? Well the owner of the vineyard appears and informs Callum that they don't allow that sort of drink her. Meri usually manages to be a civilized individual in public, but she has been drinking today. A lot. And since she does not drink like a fish like she used to? Werewolf or not, she is more easily influenced by the effects of alcohol. Cal can probably tell that his woman is on the intoxicated side by the slight slur to her voice. "Well, you would probably make more gold if you actually did allow this sort of drink here." The fact that whiskey tastes better than wine is right there on the tip of her tongue, but she manages to keep that sentence in her mouth. Meri turns her gaze away from the owner and back to Callum, trying to contain her mild irritation for the owner. "I guess they're ready to rush our date along and get us to make wine. Are we ready? Do we know what sort of wine we want to make? I think I will leave it to the future bartender to decide what we make...Especially since I like whiskey better anyway." Some side-eye is shot toward the owner that Meri has labeled as 'snooty'.

Callum tried so hard not to laugh as Meri put the owner in his place. He tried. He really did. But, he failed. He was gonna do his best to keep the peace, but that snooty dude cut in before Cal could. “Miss, we serve -wine- here. This is a -vineyard-. If you’d rather drink grain-based alcohol like a peasant then--” Now it was time for Callum to interject. “I would not go any farther than that.” It was a warning. A very subtle warning. This dude wasn’t in the know that he was dealing with two bitey wolfpeople right now, so Cal wasn’t exactly going to spill that bit of info. They really didn’t need some sort of lawsuit on their hands or to go through what Alvina had. “We choose champagne.” Snotty McSnootface let out a ‘hmph’, a ‘fine’, and led them inside the building without much else said. The two lycans would continue their day snacking on cheese and making that champagne, and also remembered to buy an extra bottle to take with them to the Yule party. It was also more of that sparkling wine, but it wasn’t the stuff -they’d- made. You know, in case they screwed -something- up. “I was taking mental notes that entire time. We should run that pompous ass out of town,” Cal said as they were leaving, already in the carriage. “The temptation to punch him was there of course, but I’d rather just take his money.” Cal clearly went a different route than the rest of the Catalians when it came to ruining someone’s life. The carriage went on and stopped briefly in the Enchantment’s marketplace. “Hm. Do we want anything from here? The instructions say that we could buy souvenirs to ‘woo’ each other with,” he said, smirking. “Am I not wooing you enough, Meri?”

Marketplace, The Enchantment

Meri :: It would probably work out for the owner's benefit that Callum interrupted his train of thought, for the owner was speaking fighting words he probably did not want to speak. Even when Meri was not a werewolf, she was still the sort of person who had no issue throwing punches when the time came. They manage to avoid further drama with the owner, and the rest of their time in the winery passes by without incident. There is more drinking and more snacking while they make their bottle of bubbly. As much of an experience as the winery was, Meri is excited to leave it, if only because the owner is pompous and called her peasant. "So much more sensible than me sometimes. I was thinking that we should come back and just burn the place down...." They could probably manage both though. Burn it down, while robbing him? Maybe these years of knowing KhittiBrand are really wearing off on Meri. Somewhere in the carriage there is the itinerary, but Meri is much to drunk to locate it right now so their stop at the market was a surprise for her. She thought it was time to go back to the hotel and enjoy a nap! As Meri wanders around the little market, looking at the wares for anything that might catch her eye, she sasses Callum every so playfully. "You're not. You don't woo me at all. You never buy me anything nice." Not. True. "We hardly spend any time together." Also. Not. True. "And what does a girl have to do to actually get some flowers from her fellow?" Gee. Cal only designed a flower for her once. Judging by the smirk on Meri's face, she's far from serious. At some point she plants a drunk smooch on Callum's cheek. "No, you're great." A beat. "Do you see anything you want here?" Meri doesn't, that much is obvious...and also unsurprising. She's not much of a shopper.

Callum || Ocean-blue eyes had settled on Meri, moving on from the list of things to do today, a smirk accompanying the look Cal was giving her as she went on to say all the things he failed to do as a significant other. “Maybe I should go ask Brand for tips then, on how to be a better fiance.” Brand’s tips would likely be to be completely oblivious to anything and everything Meri said, constantly protest his innocence, and have lots of sexy times. Probably mostly just the last thing. Cal thought about all of this, then shook his head, “Okay maybe not. I have no idea what sort of interaction Brand and I might have together and I’m honestly not sure I’d want to know.” They’d look around the marketplace and while the Catalian hadn’t found anything for himself, he did spy something else. “We need this.” ‘It’ just so happened to be a large stuffed unicorn. “It’s so fluffy! Fleur would die if she saw it.” Okay, not really -die-, but she’d certainly freak out. Money is exchanged for the way-too-big stuffed animal and no sooner did they turn around did someone from the Woodland Couturier showed up, shoved expensive looking paper in their face, told them to keep it until the end of their getaway and then wandered off in a huff. Ugh. Rich people. Seriously. The oversized unicorn was then stuffed into the carriage, opposite Cal and Meri, as well as the groceries that a young lady just so happened to add in there too, and then they were off to where they were staying. Finally. You -might- actually get your nap, Meri! Cal would not oppose to this before they made dinner together.

Meri has a good chuckle when Cal considers some male bonding time with Brand, and is not at all surprised when the Catalian is quick to change his mind on that line of thinking. "Yeah, I don't know if I would go to Brand. I like him just fine now, but I really did not think highly of the guy when I first met him." Which...seems to be the case with Meri and most of the Catalians, Cal being the exception. She might have stolen his precious book when she first met him, but he has always been her favorite. Cal locating the oversized stuffed unicorn for Fleur earns a smirk, "She will love that. Maybe a bit too much." The blonde was imagining their child tearing the oversized unicorn up during a more wolfish moment....these things happen when puppers love their toys too much. "Hopefully she learns the meaning of 'be gentle' pretty quickly." The nap back at their room was much needed, Meri had to sleep off some of that wine. By the time she woke up, she was slightly more on the sober side, definitely more refreshed, and ready for some cooking. The blonde knew her place in the kitchen...and that place was to do whatever her more knowledgeable half told her to do when it came to cooking. Get that pot? Sure thing. Grab this? Season that? Whatever Cal needed, Meri'd oblige. Her cooking skills may have improved since she's had Fleur, but Cal will likely always be the more savvy one in this area. "I hope that Fleur is not giving Lanara and Talyara too much trouble. This is the first time that we've really left her alone with someone else for days on end..." A thought that is slightly unnerving to Meri, given how many times they have been attacked by witch hunters.

Enchantment Bed And Breakfast, The Enchantment

Callum || Thankfully, they knew now where to get the aforementioned fluffy toy, on the off chance that their daughter used it as a chew toy. Because bitey pupper child. “I’m sure they’re fine. Lanara had mentioned taking her up to Frostmaw, so I’m assuming that Krice guy is there too. Isn’t he the one that saved the two of them in the first place? Despite not knowing the guy, the sisters seem to trust him enough, so I’m sure it’ll be fine.” He’d had the same sort of thought as Meri had, of course. “Though when it comes to our child acting as much of a she-devil as her mother… -that- I’m concerned about. Should’ve given them a muzzle along with the rest of her stuff in case she decided to go wolf,” he said with a smirk. Callum eyed the recipes they were given with the stuff and picked out a decent one, “Chicken and dumplings, sound good? It can cook while we’re making dessert.” If she wasn’t keen on that, then he’d hand over the rest of the recipes for him to sort through and decide on. And after that? They’d get to work. Regardless of what was chosen, dinner would be made, eaten, and dessert followed. It’d take a few hours, but it was well worth the wait! There’s also probably a bit of smooching in there too. Maybe a little more alcohol. Not so much that Meri’d get fighty drunk again though.

Meri was actually fairly comfortable with Krice being around Fleur, "I have known Krice for years. If he is with them, then he'll do whatever he can to keep them and Fleur safe." Meri tries her best to look innocent when Cal accuses her of being a she-devil, but the fact of the matter is her devil horns make her halo sit funny, so Meri is quick to give up the innocent look. "Yeah, well. If I wasn't a she-devil, then you would be bored. What's that say about you, hm?" Meri smirks. There would be no objection to chicken and dumplings for dinner. Dinner was started, and while dinner is cooking dessert is made. A few hours was a long time in Meri's book! Cal would have to keep her from snacking while they cook....and what is she snacking on? The uncooked desert. Meri wants to make a simple desert. Brownies. They are having brownies. Somehow, Meri manages to not eat all the brownie batter. They are able to get it in the oven for baking, and both dinner and desert are enjoyed. Along with a few more smooches, yes indeed. Just when it seems like things would be quieting down for the night, that the two could cuddle up and enjoy the luxuries of their hotel room...? There is a knock on the door. Who could it possibly be? Two hunky men who have been paid to give the couple a massage. We'll call them Hanz and Franz.

Callum was definitely fine with eating that brownie batter too--they didn’t have a child also wanting to lick the spoon and all that jazz, so there was more for them! They literally wolf down their food because… werewolves and were trying to get comfy! But they were so rudely interrupted! By people! At the door! Cal opened said door, attempted to say ‘hi’, but unfortunately for him, the word ‘hot’ came out instead. “I mean--hi. Yes. Hi. You’re here to…?” Cal tried to keep his composure but… Oh no. They’re here for the massage. To get all touchy feely. Uhhh, Meri. You may have to take over. Cal’s brain has broken. Otherwise, he’ll be a stuttering mess, accompanied with some awkward laughing here and there. There wasn’t very many people in Lithrydel that Cal found attractive. Obviously, number one was Meri. Number two? Captain Hotpants, aka Brand. That was purely superficial though. It was the whole “opposites attract” thing. Except this was one-sided (no matter what Khitti’s fanfic stories say). And, in Cal’s opinion, he’d likely have a better time talking to a sack of potatoes than speaking to Brand. As for anyone else on the list? Well, there really wasn’t any. There were occasionally people in passing, but these two dudes were not ‘in passing’. Hopefully, this whole thing doesn’t awaken some sort of kink in Cal, considering one dude’s gonna have his hands all over Cal while the other’s touchin’ up on Meri. Thankfully, for anyone that actually read this, it probably won’t.

Meri was going to have to take over? Granted Meri is far more comfortable with the touching thing than Cal was, she has never received a massage from a stranger. There was something unsettling about putting herself in that sort of vulnerable position with someone she did not know. "Uhh..." Meri looks toward Callum in a questioning sort of way, as if trying to decide if they are really going to participate in this portion of the date. They could just tell them to shove off, no? After some hesitation, Meri agrees to be lead to the spa and drags Callum along with her. They are instructed to bring swimwear. She's about as comfortable with this whole thing as Cal is. Hanz and Franz lead them to a private room, Cal and Meri are given the instruction to change into said swimwear and then to lay down on the massage table beneath the towel, then they are given the privacy to do so. After several long minutes, Hanz and Franz return. They put their hands allllllllllllll over both Callum and Meri, as usually happens during the massage. Once said massage is finished, Hanz and Franz make it clear why Cal and Meri were supposed to wear their swimwear. They are directed to a heart-shaped hot tub that is out on the balcony, a balcony with a lovely view. This is how the couple is meant to finish off their night, soaking in the hot tub. They'd be allowed to linger in it as long as they saw fit -- no rushing allowed in the spa. The snooty winery owner should take notes. Surely after all this, both Cal and Meri would be feeling nice and relaxed.