Jo is in high spirits today, thanks to the mustachio'd gent from yesterday lobbing a venerable fortune into her hand, along with a potentially bright future - and the whole marketplace knows it. "ROLL UP!" she shouts, eliciting the good-natured rolling of eyes from her comrades. "I got pears and tospits, peaches and larmas, juicy as ya like. Melons bigger'n a torvie's head. Come and get 'em!"
Liara Edring picks her way through the marketplace, glancing to either side and flanked by guards in place ostensibly for her well-being, but perhaps simply to keep her out of the kind of trouble a slave of her status is likely to get into. She points at Jo's stall in a muttered conversation with one of them before making her way through the crowds to the small stand. She smiles to the woman there, green eyes flickering towards the fruits and vegetables, "Tal, mistress. Do you have any cherries today?"
Jo tosses a tospit to a passing market trader, who catches it, takes a bite, and grins with juice dribbling down his chin. The man on the honey stall next door - Jimmy - has a glint of pride in his eye, almost paternalistic. Jo spots the slave just after she's called, and beckons her closer. "Yup! I got a crate full of 'em." Her gaze flicks down over the expensive material in which the slave is clad, to her sandaled feet, and back up. Above her veil, her eyes narrow in a brief smile. "Come and 'ave a look. Got some pears to get rid off cut price too, Nothin' wrong with 'em if you can poach 'em before tomorrow."
Liara Edring doesn't appear the least bit intimidated by the Free Woman before her, confident in the protection of the two guards behind her. She follows the fruit vendor into the stall, looking over the fruit carefully, "This is a lovely selection." After a moment's pause, and a muttered, "Ooh, pears?" she moves over to the crate, "My master has expressed a keen desire for cherries today."
Jo doesn't seem like she's trying to intimidate the slave - not in the same way a higher caste woman might. The priority of slave-knocking tends to drop down the list of priorities when you've had to shear off your hair to meet rent. "I know," she says with a nod about the quality of her selection. "You ain't gonna find fruit better anywhere. So 'appens I got a feller from /Ar/ what is wantin' wagons of tospits sent, 'e were so impressed. Yes 'e were." She nods when Liara mentions cherries again, reaches out under the table for a crate, pulling her linen dress tight against too-prominent ribs, and drags it toward her. The cherries inside are bright red, shiny and fat. "Pray tell, girl, who is it," she says, emphasising the 'h' she'd normally forego, and encouraged by the finery that adorns the apparent high slave to do so - "what owns ya?"
Liara Edring runs a hand over a nearby pear, picking it up to gently feel the fruit with a small smile. She shifts her attention to Jo with an expression of surprise, "All the way from Ar? Truly? Well, now that's a sight to see, mistress." Murmured to herself more than anyone else, "I wonder if it was that Banker from the previous eve..." She sets the pear down and moves to look at the cherries, her expression brightening, "Oh yes, these are perfect, mistress. I need at least a basketful." Jo's question gives her brief pause, but she answers it easily enough, "I am the property of the Ubar, mistress."
Jo: "Banker?!" asks Jo a little too loud, shooting up to her feet and facing Liara. her hand shoots out and she wraps her spindly, fruit-dyed fingers around the slave's forearm. "The feller had a mustache," she says, drawing facial twirls on her own upper lip with her finger. She glances behind Liara to where one of the guards has started advancing with a frown. Releasing Liara's arm, she takes a step back and holds up a hand to the guard, causing him to nod that she's done the right thing, and stop. Eyes back on Liara she asks: "Same feller? He's a banker? In Ar? Is he?" Her brows dance as she asks the question, and the half-expressions visible betray surprise, excitement and perhaps a little worry. While she waits for the answer, she grabs a cheapo little basket from under the table and starts to fill it with cherries by the handful. She's so busy mulling over the potential consequences of the information about Xamirus, she doesn't even register that Liara said she's the ubar's girl.
Liara Edring blinks, giving Jo a wide-eyed look of surprise and taking a small step back. It takes her a moment to realize what the fruit vendor is going on about, and only then does she relax, glancing over her shoulder to smile at the guard, letting him know she's just fine. She covers her mouth with one hand, stifling a giggle, "Yes, mistress. A very -grand- and noticeable mustache. His hair was also very well-kept, and he had a lovely girl on a leash. Xamirus, I believe, is his given name. He made a gift to my master that he's to deliver later." She taps a finger against her lip, "You know, he was very...eager to please for someone of Ar."
Jo: "YES!" she says, nodding emphatically. "Yes, Xamirus that was 'is name. 'E told me. Mannix. What gift was it?" she asks, and then shakes her head like that's a question to be dismissed. "Who was 'e wantin' to please, girl, do ya know?" The basket's half full, the crate a quarter empty, and she starts being more careful about picking fruit now, her fingers plucking quickly at the ripest little cherries with practiced ease. The ones full of little nicks and bruises will probably end up being her dinner. "I wonder if that's who he be buyin' a mountain o' tospits for. Who did ya say owns ya?"
Liara Edring tilts her head to one side, watching Jo with a fascinated expression. The other woman's movements are so quick, her mind darting here and there. Liara can't help but give her a good look, though it's hard to really -tell- anything with the clothing she's wearing, but she certainly has a bright personality. Shame about the hair. Her eyes unfocus for a moment as she briefly gets lost in thought, and she blinks a few times, pausing to try to remember the question. A small frown mars her features as she finds a loose thread in her sash, "Oh....a set of musical dwarves, mistress. Though they have not been delivered yet." She nods slightly, then smiles, "Oh, he was wishing to please my master, the Ubar."
Nile Laskaris wanders down to the market to check out the stock of produce. He rounds the corner to see two of the female type speaking. He didn't immediately recognize either of them but that really didn't mean anything since he rarely ever paid attention to a woman's face. "Excuse me," he interrupted rudely, unconcerned with whatever they might have been speaking about. "I came to check for fresh melons and you two seem to be blocking. Mind if I have a look?"
Jo: It's a good thing the basket is only a few horts off the ground, for as soon as Liara says 'Ubar' for the second time, Jo drops it. She looks up at Liara, and though she's veiled it's easy to tell that behind the veil, her mouth is agape. She's saved by the arrival of the man, who pulls her back to the ground. "O'course, Sir!" she says, addressing him chipper as you like. "'Ere let me get outta your way. I got some lovely melons today. Fatter than a torvie's head," she says. Obviously a turn of phrase she's fond of. "And some delicious juicy pears ripe enough for poachin'. Goes lovely with some honey from my friend Jimmy," she says, with a nod to the stall next door, where Jimmy's standing, rearranging his jars. She grabs the basket and the crate of cherries, pulls both a tug to the side, along with herself, and nods for Liara to move out of the way as well. "And what's yer name?" she asks, turning her attention back to Liara, in whom she is suddenly FAR more interested than if she were just another random high slave.
Liara Edring mouths the words "fatter than a torvie's head" with a small grin, taking a step back to get out of the way of the man, casting an admiring glance up and down his bare chest. Nice. She flashes a charming smile in his direction, "Of course, master. My apologies." Her eyes drift back to Jo reluctantly - there's a MAN to stare at, for gosh sakes! But she's careful to be polite to even the poorest of Free Women, "My master calls me Liara, mistress."
Nile Laskaris steps closer to the produce, giving a curt nod to the free who was obviously the vendor. He made a mental note to come into the market more often, slightly embarrassed by his lack of knowledge of who she was but usually he didn't bother with these tasks, as his sister usually handled those duties. "Shaped like a torvie's head too.." he mumbled half to himself as he began poking at the fruit. "Liara... he repeated when he overheard the slave's name. "It suits you. Your master has good taste," he said, glancing back to gawk at her for a moment before turning back to the merchant. "Names Nile, and I think I'll hold off on a purchase of melons but I'll take a few larmas instead." His attention shifted to the woman's short hair but he didn't comment.
Jo: And if there's one thing Jo is, it's the poorest of free women. Her sheared hair says it loud enough, and the collarbones that press distinctly up at the fabric of her dress stress the point. "HAH!" she laughs when she overhears Nile's quip. "Hah, so it is. Mayhap we oughta name 'im sir, 'ey?" The corners of her eyes crinkle over the top of her veil, betraying the smile beneath. Still plucking cherries from the crate and dropping them into the basket, she nods. "Give me just a minute, Nile, Sir, let me finish this order for the ubar," she says, because if ever there was a woman who knows how to push a selling point, it's her. "And I'll be right with ya." A few moments pass and she's on her feet, holding the basket out to Liara. "You'll need to bring me basket back, girl," she says of the tattered wicker thing. "I ain't got another one. But tell yer owner I can do a delivery every hand if 'e wants it. Best and freshest produce, o'course. Delivered right to 'is door. Now that's two copper tarns for all o' them. And I'll toss in a couple o' pears for good measure," she says - doing it as she talks -"'ow is that?"
Liara Edring takes the basket from Jo with a grin, daring to wink over at Nile with a murmur, "Thank you for the compliment, master. I'll be sure to let my master know you approve." She looks down at the basket and motions to one of the guards to pay Jo, "More than fair." She gasps after a moment, "Oh dear, I almost forgot...do you have any red fruit larma? And..." She bites her lip as if worried, "Ta grapes?"
Nile Laskaris took the time to look around while the two finished up a purchase. "Take your time, I'm in no hurry, and besides, I may end up changing my mind several more times." His voice was mild, showing his disinterest in the fruit. If he wasn't so stubborn, he'd just admit he was more bored than anything. He picked up three perfectly ripe larmas and set them aside, turning now to shrug at the slave. "I'm not sure your master needs my approval, but you're welcome to share the compliment," he said dryly, half smirking as his eyes scanned her features.
Jo holds her hand out palm-flat to receive the coins from the guard, and pops them right into her pocket. A nod signals that she hears Liara's question, while a hand lifted palm-out signals her to wait for an answer while Jo deals with Nile. "There's plenty 'ere. I could do ya a selection for a few bits if you're undecided, Sir. Give ya a little sample o' everythin' so you'll know what takes yer fancy next time." She talks over the obvious flirtation between the pair, and for all intents and purposes appears not to have noticed it. Liara's answer comes next: "I got red larmas 'round the back, yeah. I ain't got to unpackin' 'em yet is all. Ta grapes though. Well - I got 'em. They's down by me 'ouse. But you don't wanna be goin' down that area dressed like what you are, guards or no. And I ain't strong enough to carry the barrel up by meself. I can give ya a sack to wear?" she asks. And it's of course the ideal situation in which a bored man could be a good samaritan and offer to carry a barrel!
Liara Edring lifts her shoulders in a small shrug to Nile as she places the basket over one arm, "He likes to know his ornaments are doing him justice, master." She reaches up to tuck a strand of dark red hair behind her ear, giving Jo a closer look, her brow furrowed, "Where is your house? I..." She glances over her shoulder and motions to one of the guards, "If it's something heavy to be carried, I am certain my master's guard will be happy to carry it." She manages to not make a face at the very idea of wearing a sack. The horror of such an idea. A sack!
Nile Laskaris absently picked at the apples he selected as he listened to the pair. He picked up the apples and began to juggle them slowly as he fidgeted. "Nonsense.. guards aren't slaves, they're here to protect you, not keep you from chipping a fingernail. Perhaps two trips if it's too heavy?" he smirked, openly being a dick, adding "I'm sure the basket can hold quite a bit." Still juggling the larmas, he glanced back to Jo "What do I owe you for just these three?"
Jo: The area Jo lives in isn't on the city guard's patrol - and that suits the city guards and the peasantry alike. Jo eyes the guards skeptically. The insignias they were designating them guards of the ubar's house are almost magically protective up here in the city main, but down in the slums they're like magnets to an impoverished mob with a grudge. "Uh," she hesitates, her brows showing her skepticism as she slips around the stall and bags a half doze red larma. "Well... I live down in the..." she points toward the slums. "And it can be a bit... unpleasant," she says. "Perhaps I'll get Jimmy to help me after I close up later. Or bring 'em over tomorrow. 'Ow many grapes do ya need?" She looks back to Nile, to the larmas in his hands, and smiles at the juggling. "Just a copper tarsk bit," she says. "And I'll give ya another one free if ya got any tricks ya can do with 'em."
Liara Edring stiffens slightly at Nile's words, shooting a reproachful look in his direction. Break a nail? More like break her back. She rocks back on her heels with a small sigh, but only says in a mild tone, "Of course they are not slaves, master. I only repeat the instructions I am given." She shifts the basket on her arm folding her arms across her chest as she returns her attention to Jo, her expression becoming a worried frown. She worries her lower lip with her teeth for a moment, then shakes her head, "I'm sorry, mistress, but neither I nor my guards are allowed in that section of the city." She appears disappointed until Jo makes the suggestion about Jimmy, which causes her expression to brighten, "Oh! That would be perfect. Just a basketful, really, is all my master was wishing for. I can ask him about your delivery service if you like, mistress."
Nile Laskaris nearly groaned audibly when he heard where the woman lived. He should have figured as much based on her appearance, he knew she wasn't exactly well off. He stopped the juggling, catching all three larmas in one hand and raised a brow toward Liara. "I suppose I've got nothing better to do so if you need a better escort, I'll see to it you make it back alive." The offer was extended but he wasn't exactly happy to be offering himself up to go into that area on a slave errand. "Lucky it's for the Ubars household.." he mumbled under his breath before tossing an apple at Jo, hoping she would catch. "Bag these and I'll stop back to pick them up." he said, already readying the second larma for launch.
Jo nods that she'll deliver a basket of grapes, and nods again at the promise to tell the ubar about her delivery service. "Do," she says. "Make sure of it. It would be nothin' less than a tragic, terrible shame were 'e to continue--" Nile speaks, and Jo's shoulders do a happy little rise-and-fall. Problem solved. "What a lovely gent you are," she says to him, and winks to Liara. Her eyes go wide when he tosses the apple to her. Her hand comes up too slow, the apple hits her square in the middle of her chest, and she catches it with a clumsy slap of her hand against her chest. Immediately her brows drop with a flicker of annoyance - as though someone decides to throw something at her all the time. A coin, a fruit, a bag. Nobody can just /pass/ anything any more. The betrayal of emotion passes quickly nonetheless, and she readies to catch the other two from him. Once they're bagged, she pulls a burlap sack-come-dress from behind a crate and throws it at Liara. "Ere you can't go lookin' like that. You can change behind Jimmy's store over there and leave your stuff with 'im," she says, thumbing over her shoulder to Jimmy. She figures if the ubar covers his slave up to send her out he maybe doesn't want other men looking at her flesh. "OI JIMMY!" she shouts then, far louder than she needs to. The honey maker jumps and looks over to her, sighing like it's completely normal behaviour for her. "I gotta go and fetch some stock from me 'ouse. Watch me stall will ya?" The man nods and confirms with a "Alright Jojo," and she steps down onto the road to wait for Liara. "Lovely day," she says to Nile, making awkward smalltalk.
Liara Edring blinks, staring at the two Free with wide eyes. She takes a small step back, biting her lip and stammering, "But...but I can't. I-I'm sorry, master, mistress, but I'm not -allowed- to go there. My master forbids it." She seems agitated, twisting her fingers around the handle of the basket. She hasn't moved an inch. The more alert of the two guards, who appears to be around Nile's age, give or take a few, gives Liara a questioning look, then frowns as he addresses Nile, "The Ubar'd 'ave our hides if we let her go into that section, escort or no."
Nile Laskaris pretended to not notice the larma bouncing off her chest, but he was polite enough to wait for her to ready herself before he tossed over the other two. He threw her a sideways grin and nodded, "It is," The slave spoke up and the guard confirmed her words, causing Nile to wrinkle his nose. "Sounds like a dilema. You may just want to wait until tomorrow for a delivery." He didn't really care either way but at least he was in a decent mood tonight and hadn't been drinking. He glanced back to Jo, "I'll leave that to you two to decide. I offered to be an escort but if she can't go, she can't go." he said with a shrug.
Jo: "Oh for the love o'. Fine," says Jo, with an exaggerated roll of her eyes. "Stay 'ere then. See, this is what 'appens when men get to prettyin' up their animals wi' baubles and trinkets." The insult is as hollow as they come - it smacks of being regurgitated from somewhere in the depths of Jo's mind, and there's just a hint of jealousy in her tone. Not the usual jealousy of the slave girl's beauty and sensuality, but envy that a mere slave wears bangles each of which would pay a half year's rent for Jo - and has more influence in her little finger than Jo will have in her lifetime. Annoyance still clipping her voice, she turns to Nile. Obviously, her personality is rather bigger than her runty, emaciated appearance would suggest. "But if you're prepared to haul the barrel still, I'll give your apples to ya free."
Liara Edring glances between the two Free persons, Jo's insult rolling off her like water off a vulo's back - it's not hard to understand the sentiment, and it's not like she hasn't run into jealous Free Women before. Her lips twitch for a moment - perhaps she even -agrees- with the peasant woman. She lowers her eyes, turning with her basket, pausing to address Jo, "Mistress, thank you for your help. I'll be sure to mention your delivery offer. If you can bring the grapes by in the morning, I'll be sure to tell my master of the very extreme hardship you went through to get him the best Ta grapes in all of Turia." Her eyes flicker to Nile and she lowers her head slightly, "Fortune favor you, master." She turns to walk back the way she came, basket over her arm this time.
Nile Laskaris bit his cheek at Jo's snarky comment. One he himself had held back, but it wasn't to spare her feelings, but more of it being of little importance to him how any man treated his slave, whether good or bad. He watched the slave go and shook his head, "Of course I'll carry it. I don't mind helping another free. Which way is your place again?" he asked, glancing toward the direction she indicated earlier.
Jo calms when Liara mentions the ubar again, and nods. "Right you are," she says. "And give 'im my regards." She turns to Nile and twitches her head toward the slums. "Just over 'ere," she says. "It ain't far," and she heads for the slums at a quick pace, leaving Jimmy guarding her stall.