Part two of the Harvest Ball Story, my (cheating) Nano Project. Like the art? Buy some from Loreli.
The rest of the details–picking up the shirt and pants, having a laugh at, or with Del (Bricu wasn’t exactly sure which)–was as immaterial as the last of his cigarette. What mattered was that he was smartly dressed with someplace to go. He crushed the cigarette underneath his boot and smoothed out the front of his shirt before he knocked on the door to Threnn’s apartment. Nerves aside, he flashed the best grin he could muster.
Bricu picked through the bouquet while waiting for Mrs. Stone, the land lady, to open the front door. Threnn explained that Mr. and Mrs. Stone were fixtures in Old Town, even more beloved than the vaunted Pig and Whistle. When Mr. Stone passed away, she converted the top of her house into apartments. Mrs. Stone did this more for the company and comfort of others, rather than a source of income. The Stones had done quite well for themselves after the Sacking, but they never moved from their family home. Threnn and Annalea treated Mrs. Stone like she was their grandmother, and for good reason. She rented her apartment to the Al’Cair girls well below its going rate, had dinner waiting for them on certain nights and always invited them down for cookies or cake. Mrs. Stone even gave Bricu cookies, after he helped her move a new bed frame into her house.
Eventually, he found one rose whose petals were not yet completely open, and held it out for in front of him. By the time she had opened the door, Bricu had the rest of the bouquet behind his back.
“Bricu, don’t you look dapper!” Mrs. Stone said cordially. She took the flower he offered and said, “Oh dearie, how sweet of you! Roses are my favorite!”
“Mrs. Stone,” Bricu said. He bowed at the waist, as per current court fashion. “I’m just here ta escort the lovely Threnn Al’Cair ta the Longwell’s Harvest ball, an truth be told, I’m just tryin’ ta match her. Although, now I’m havin’ second thoughts…..”
Mrs. Stone’s face fell. “What do you mean?”
“Why, Mrs. Stone.” Bricu said with a grin, “Say the word an’ I’ll take yeh in me Threnny’s place.”
As quickly as her face had fallen, Mrs. Stone burst into laughter.
“Master Bittertongue that is quite enough. Now go on upstairs! Threnn and Annalea are waiting for you”
“Thank yeh Mrs. Stone. Cheers!”
Bricu bounded up the stairs for Threnn’s apartment like a boy half his age. When he reached her door he smoothed out his shirt and pants with his palms. He ran a hand through his hair, either to fix the part in his hair or to calm his nerves. Steady yer self yeh fuckin’ wanker. He though to himself. This isn’t your first lady friend nor is it yer first ball. He rapped on her door gently, chastising himself for still having nerves about her.
It was Annalea who answered the door. It was clear from her modest attire that she was not attending the Longwell’s ball. She was dressed in a plain robes of a Darnassian initiate, and her hair was braided down her back. She did her best to look serious and somber. Even dressed like an initiate, she failed miserably.
“Bricu.” Annie said. Her eyes darted to the bouquet he held in his hands.
“Annie.” He said with a nod.
“Were you being chased upstairs?”
“Strewth, was I that loud?”
“Blessed Elune, we thought the Watch was coming to kick the bloody door down!” She said.
“What were doin’ that yeh feared the Watch?”
“Oh, fear had nothing to do with it. You know Pomeroy has a bit of a crush on Threnny…”
“No, I didn’t.” Bricu said. He paused, momentarily taken aback by this news. “It’s a good thing yeh opened the door then.”
“Really, why is that?”
“Cause otherwise, I’d have ta knock the door in meself. So, who’d yeh piss off ta get prayer duty tanight?” Bricu asked.
“I haven’t pissed anyone off, but I am hoping to practice my Darnassian,” Anna said with a grin that screamed mischief. She moved out of the doorway and let Bricu into the apartment. As he walked in, she looked back at the flowers.
“If you give me just one flower,” she said with the same grin, “I’ll tell you which are her favorites.”
“Sorry Annie, I gave the spare ta Mrs. Stone.”
“So you can’t even give me one flower?”
Bricu looked over his bouquet. “I’ve got some baby’s breath fer yeh.” Bricu said.
“Information like this is extremely important, and here you go offering me a weed? I’m insulted.”
“Lillies. Threnny likes Stargazer Lilies.” Bricu said, “Theresa said they were out o’season, so she gave me a deal for this one.”
Annie’s grin fell slightly, letting Bricu know he was right on the mark. He bit back his customary gloat and smiled. Annalea, slightly crestfallen, asked, “Did you figure that out or did she tell you?”
“A wee bit o’both. I saw her eyin’ some a few weeks back, so I asked ‘er bout ‘em.”
“That’s clever of you.” Annie said.
“I know. ”
“Threnn has a weakness for clever, but she does not approve of cocky..”
“Annie, lass, that ain’t cocky. That’s confident. Confident an’ clever, that’s she’s with me.” Bricu said.
Annalea grinned again. “That’s not the only reason why she’s with you. I’ll go get her, she was having a hell of a time with her hair…”
“You’re not flirting with my paladin, are you?” Threnn shouted from the back room. “You said you had your eyes on that priest…”
Annie rolled her eyes, then shouted back, “He’s not my type. He’s too clever by half.”
Bricu didn’t answer Threnn either. Instead, he tried to look down the hallway, towards the sound of her voice. When he finally saw her, he held his breath for just a moment. She was wearing a deceptively simple blue and white checker patterned homespun dress. The neckline was a tad more revealing than she would normally wear on one of their outings.
“Threnny” Bricu finally said, “yer brilliant.”
“I helped get her ready…” Annie said, but Bricu had already started to move past her. “Her hair…”
“You’re looking quite handsome tonight.” Threnn said
“I also helped with her make-up” Annie said.
“Och, its nothin’ that Delion didn’t fret o’er fer hours on end.” Bricu said.
“Well he did a fine job. It’s perfect for tonight’s party.” Threnn turned her attention to the flowers, “More flowers, for me?”
“Aye. Well, all but one. I did give Mrs. Stone a rose.”
“You didn’t give me any flowers.” Annie quipped.
“Anna.” Threnn said, handing Annalea the bouquet, “Why don’t you be a dear and put these in some water.”
“Sister-mine, are you trying to get rid of me?”
“Yes. And I’m doing it nicely. Now put those flowers in some water, unless you want to watch me thank my gallant paladin for being so thoughtful.”
Annalea grabbed the flowers from Threnn–pausing to take a brilliant, long stemmed yellow rose for herself–and stormed off down the hallway.
“You could have at least included me in the conversation!” She shouted back at her sister.
“Sorry Annie!” Bricu shouted back. “Yer black hearted villain’ o’a sister seduced the manners straight outta me.”
Threnn took a few steps towards Bricu, eyes cast downward. “Do you really think I’m a black hearted villan?” She asked.
“That depends, love, on how yer plannin’ on thankin’ me fer those flowers.”
In response, Threnn closed the distance to Bricu, standing close enough that Bricu could smell the perfume she had in her hair. Threnn, smiling like her sister, draped her arms around his shoulders. He wrapped his arms around her waist. Bricu leaned slightly, just close enough to whisper.
“This is typically where the villain does somethin’ ta distract our noble hero.”
“Oh, I know what the villain would do, and I could even tell you what this particular villian wants to do.” Threnn whispered back. She nibbled at his ear and kissed down his cheek till she reached his lips. Bricu started to kiss her back, but Threnn pulled her arms off of his shoulders and pushed him away.
“Now that’s black-hearted villainy right there, love.” He said.
“Of course it is. And its all part of my plan. You wouldnt’ to ruin my plans this early, would you?” She asked, grinning wildly.
“That depends.” Bricu said. Threnn was standing at the door, waiting for Bricu to compose himself. He took Threnn’s cloak off its hook and draped it over her shoulders.
“Depends on what?” Threnn asked.
“Depends on how devious yer plans are gonna get.”
Threnn continued walk down the hallway, chuckling all the while. When Bricu caught up with her, just outside the door, she was facing the door way, still smiling.
“Love,” Threnn said, “my plans involve throwing our hapless hero to the villain’s favorite henchmen. You aren’t not afraid of the Bells, are you?”
“I’ve only heard stories on how clever they are. I’m not afraid o’clever blokes.”
“Then my plan is going fantastically.” Threnn said.
“Touche love, Touche. So are yeh gonna tell me ’bout ‘em on the carriage ride then?”
“Only if we have time love,” Threnn said with a wink, “Only if we have time.”
“More o’yer devious plan?”
“You’ll have to escort me to the carriage to find out.” Threnn replied.
Threnn held her arm out for Bricu. He bowed low, in the southron style and said, “Miss Al’Cair, would yeh do me the honor o’hurryin’ t’the carriage? Seems we have a lot ta accomplish in a painfully short time.”
“Master Bittertongue, it would be my pleasure.”
The two paladins walked through the streets of Stormwind, arm in arm, all the while smiling at Threnn’s devious plans.