Roses made of Sugar

Description: Tag Rois

Ephram O'Hannon

    Green to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Kayndred

    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    10 Posts    69 marks
Roses made of Sugar
« on: January 16, 2019, 09:08:39 PM »
It was still dark when Ephram woke up. He found his feet and dressed by rote, eyes half open, mind not quite free of the haunt of dreams. Brushed his teeth, combed his hair. Fumbled blearily over which socks to wear for several long, quiet minutes. One window opened to let the chilled air seep into the room, prickling him awake. It was only once he'd taken up his customary seat by that same window that he really began to wake up.

The day unfolded as lists: groceries for home, groceries for the shop; home chores, shop maintenance; two orders for his regulars, stocking the shop for the business hours.

Checking in with the girl, Rois, and her boy.

Yes. Sister-daughter, although Ephram couldn't recall her face. Family a memory knot he left alone, save for when he couldn't. Rois and her boy, Tadg. Blood of his. There was Daithi, too, in an out, a shadow that Ephram fed and humored but didn't want to get in the way of. Most of their family was content to leave him alone, but not that one. There were different types of broken, he'd learned, and his breaks and Daithi's were compatible most of the time. It helped, maybe, that he didn't ache for the boy that had been. Hard to do, when all his aching was for a boy long dead.

But Rois was present, living. Shadowed too, aching too, but differently. They made his skin prickle, instincts rising. A hum, just outside of hearing, a vibration in his teeth. He'd kept mostly away from pack for a reason, save his wayward nephew, and now the flickers of it in his mind were like phantom pains.

Best to cover them in flour, in dough and sugars and breads. He roused himself from his station by the window, blinking at the lightening sky. Lost again in his mind. Easy to do, when he felt as still as the sleeping world. The good thing about running his own business was he could open shop whenever he liked. Also meant he could leave it closed if he so wished. While a day away at the window.

Wood cool even through his socks, Ephram descended from his room to the shop. Stairs leading down into a supply closet, shelves of pots and trays and jars greeting him. Separate from the cold storage boxes and the walk in dry closet down the short hall. He turned instead into the kitchen, following the noises of his assistant. She'd taken advantage of his offer to practice before and after store hours, and he'd found her intermittently in the kitchen, glazing, frosting, building houses.

Child noises too, meaning Tadg was somewhere, likely close. What kind of interesting mess would he find? Children were awfully good at finding new ways to be messy. How strange to think, though, a grand-nephew. It'd been decades since there'd been a child in his vicinity longer than the duration of a sale.

He paused out of his arms reach of Rois, leaned against the counter, curious. Not wanting to disturb her from what looked like frosting something very small. Detail work was always something he hated to be interrupted during, and so he waited until she looked like she finished to say, "Good morning. When would you like to open shop today?"
@dergon

Róis

    Yellow to Summer-sky
  • hearth witch
  • Played By: dergon

    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    4 Posts    133 marks
Re: Roses made of Sugar
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2019, 06:32:04 AM »

Tadg had complained at being away so early. Whining all the way down the path they were slowly beating into the grass between their house and the shop. Rois had ignored him. Ears closed to the annoying sounds of tantrums and fits. She was a stone, a sleeping wolf, when he cried and carried on. Waiting for him to moderate himself before answer. He never managed it on the walk.

But he’d stopped pestering her in the shop. Giving a small bowl and a few cheap ingredients to play with. Curious enough to try it but not interest enough to really he taught. He created a mess near the back door while Rois worked. Dough more delicate than clay. Her attention consumed by the work of fitting edible walls together. She didn’t even notice him constantly peeking out the window, as if waiting for something. She would have known it was trouble he searched for. Always dashing off to make a menace of himself.

Lips pressed tight between her teeth, and eyebrows a fearsome scowl, Rois put the last lintel above a doorway. Icing bag delicately strangled and guided in her hands. Tip carefully swirled away so it did not glob at the end of her line. Rois almost smiled. Almost. A voice behind her making the hair on her neck stand up and her body whirl. Teeth flashing, Rois made a sound that was part whine, scream, and snarl. All of it startled, same as her hands which squeezed the icing bag and decorate Ephram very nicely with a swirl of green frosting.

”Mother Night!” Rois gasped while Tadg squealed with laugher, rolling in loose dough and sugar while holding his belly. Rois looked from him to Ephram, not sure where her attention should go. ”I’m sorry, prince O’Hannon.” She apologized in dismay. Both for the icing and for what was coming. It happened when he got too excited like this. The sound of his laugh changing as his body. ”I’m so sorry.” They said he was her uncle of some sort. Rois thought it a lie. One of those nice ones people told so you would feel at ease.

It didn’t matter either way. She’d shown her throat to Moira and was pack now. It made them all family. But it didn’t make any of them less dangerous. Especially when Tadg finished his shifting and ran between their legs making an awful racket. Nearly knocking Rois into Ephram as she tried to wipe the icing from his shirt without touching him. He didn’t seem to invite touching. ”Maybe tomorrow?” Rois begged, almost laughing as Tadg’s mixing supplies were raced through in a clatter of metal bowls and measuring cups.

Ephram O'Hannon

    Green to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Kayndred

    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    10 Posts    69 marks
Re: Roses made of Sugar
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2019, 01:02:37 AM »
The icing hit his shirt, a surprising weight. At least it didn't seep through and make the inside sticky. Almost as surprising as the noise Rois made, putting the hair on his arms and nape on end. He smothered a response in his throat, unsure how animal it would be and not wanting to risk it.

"Ephram, please," he murmured absently, looking down at the green. They were working on titles. Not yet laundry day, but a good soak would keep it from turning too messy in the interim. His eyes went back up to Tadg, watching him through the shift. He realized with a jolt he'd been staring and looked away, wiping his face blank just in time to be jostled. One hand went out to the counter, not wanting to knock into Rois and spread the mess further. A finger under her wrist to guide her hand away. "It's fine. The kitchen is a place for messes, lady." Maybe they could both use practice with names.

A rag from a rung below counter top wiped the frosting away, and he vanished it to his cabinet for later. both the shirt and the cloth to soak, then, and maybe early laundry if Tadg and Rois needed anything cleaned. He smiled a little at the humor in her words, head tilting to follow the noise behind them. He'd been honest, the kitchen was a place for messes. Darkness knew he'd made more than enough in the years he'd been stumbling through learning to bake, and frequently made them still. "If you'd like. There's no harm in feeding family first." When he'd been young they'd almost eaten their mother out of the house, Ephram doubly so after he'd gotten his Birthright. Which reminded him. "Are you hungry?"

Róis

    Yellow to Summer-sky
  • hearth witch
  • Played By: dergon

    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    4 Posts    133 marks
Re: Roses made of Sugar
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2019, 09:28:31 AM »

”Ephram.” Rois repeated, voice strained as the kitchen went from almost peaceful to chaotic. The calm of the morning shattered twice over. Tadg’s whining she was used to. The rest she was not. She would not be using the kitchen so early again. Not if she couldn’t remember it was still his house, his place, and he was likely to show up whether she was paying attention or not.

Hand diverted, Rois wiped at nothing. Almost relieved not to have to test boundaries so early in the morning, but still disturbed by the icing on his shirt. ”I don’t think is the sort of mess your kitchen was expecting.” Tadg did laps around it, tongue flapping. He crowded their legs and leapt at his mother’s hand until she brought the towel she was holding smartly across his muzzle.

Meanwhile, Ephram saw to his own shirt. Hand finding a towel without a glancing and wiping the worst of the mess away. Rois eyed the lingering green on his shirt, sure she could get the stain out of the fabric. She would wash it for him later, after he’d changed. Smoothing her face with her hands, Rois cooled her cheeks and massaged her temples. ”No,” She started between her hands before dropping them.

”You can’t make marks in a closed shop. I’ll get to cleaning things.” Tadg was eating his raw dough off the floor. Swallowing a hissing shriek, Rois chased him out the back door with her towel. Flapping it after him as she flung the door open with craft. ”You better come back clean!” She shouted after his yelping tail. Dough footprints following him into the bushes. Rois huffed and turned a baleful, but apologetic eye on Ephram.

”I am. And you’re just up, so you must be.” She looked at her little cookie house, still stable and untouched despite all the commotion. It made her smile. ”If you start, I’ll clean, and then finish.” Shield wrapped around her baking, Rois put it away on a high shelf and began cleaning up the mess Tadg had left circling the kitchen.

”I’m sorry for all the noise first thing. There is coffee hot in the pot still, if you like.” Rois drank hers dark and bitter. Dipping day old desserts into it until there was a ring of soggy sugar at the bottom when she was done.

Ephram O'Hannon

    Green to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Kayndred

    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    10 Posts    69 marks
Re: Roses made of Sugar
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2019, 11:07:23 PM »
A chuckle huffed out of him, head turning to follow Tadg's noise. "Perhaps not paws, but it's not the most mess its seen." Likely wouldn't be, either. Sometimes, even with his training and control, his power reacted interestingly with baking. He'd had his own fair share of flour explosions, or mousse turning rock hard, or burning.

Tadg scampered by, jumping, and Ephram wondered if he should offer some kind of training for the boy, or least present Rois with avenues of assistance if she so desired. Maybe find out where some of the pack sent their children for school. People who weren't more wolf than man or so willing to smother their caste instincts that they sometimes made people nervous.

Was he making her nervous now? Shoot.

"I open when I like," he reminded her, moving forward to start pulling trays for the orders set for the regulars. "It's no trouble to wait a day," he tried for humor, smiling genuinely at their antics as she shouted after her boy. He'd come back dirtier for sure, but that was what mops were for.

At her question Ephram frowned. Was he hungry? He didn't always eat breakfast in the morning, depending on how distracted he became. "I can eat." He decided. "And we can split the cleaning, yes? No need to take all the work away from me." It'd be different, nice, to have someone to eat with. And maybe they could lure Tadg back in with food, although they might end up pulling Daithi in, too, if he were around. He wondered what it would look like to an outsider, two wolves and two Blood eating breakfast in the back of a bakery. He chuckled a little more at the idea. Four wolves in a bakery, really. Sounds like the start of a joke. The food storage beckoned. "What would you like?"

Róis

    Yellow to Summer-sky
  • hearth witch
  • Played By: dergon

    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    4 Posts    133 marks
Re: Roses made of Sugar
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2019, 07:26:57 AM »

His laughter made Rois smirk. ”I guess dogs in the kitchen is unsanitary.” She could see fine, soft hairs glinting on the floor if she looked hard enough. Rois had just the craft for that. No patron of Ephram’s bakery would find Tadg fur in their pastries. She could do that, at least, since they were not making a very good impression with Tadg’s antics and her own skittishness.

She didn’t like the idea of keeping the shop closed. Her joke a sudden reality. But Rois didn’t argue either. Meekly accepting Ephram’s choice. ”Very well, prince-Ephram.” As he liked then, it was his shop. Which Rois set to cleaning once she had shooed her son out the door. She had boundary alarms laid, so she would know if he went past the markers she’d set too. Rois tried to give him freedom to grow, but she had to keep him safe too, and she was already at a disadvantage in both caste and Jewels.

”I draw the line at you cleaning up after my boy.” She had too much pride for that. Nearly too late anyway. Rois knew just the right dampness for a towel, ringing one out in a bucket she filled from the sink and wiping up big swathes of mess from the floor. She was an efficient cleaner, and a happy one. The chore like a balm. She glanced up at him and smiled. ”I didn’t agree to do all the cooking.” She reminded him. Thought it best to leave the kitchen mostly to Ephram since it was his territory and not her own. She had a house for her and Tadg to be fierce over.

”Bacon, if you have it? We can make up some biscuits.” Rois piled dishes into the sink and began running hot water over them. Hip pressed to the counter she pulled a gleaming jar topped with checkered cloth from her cabinet. ”I bought this in the market the other day. The lady called it apple butter. We can give it a try?” Good on toast, the woman had said, but Rois liked biscuits better than toast.

Placing the jar on the counter, Rois poured soap into the sink and stuck her hands in, scrubbing. ”Apples didn’t grow where I was born. I’m curious to try it.” She’d had an apple once or twice. Half withered things from far away. Good but not exciting. However, Rois was a firm believer that butter made everything better.

Ephram O'Hannon

    Green to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Kayndred

    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    10 Posts    69 marks
Re: Roses made of Sugar
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2019, 02:50:29 AM »
Wouldn't be first time he had a wolf in the kitchen, either, but he wouldn't keep Rois from disciplining her son, or setting boundaries. He wondered what it'd be like for her when Daithi finally appeared, and weather or not it'd be as a man or wolf. Hopefully rain wouldn't be involved, he didn't need Daithi-feet all over his tiles.

He knew it'd be strange to address her constantly with her name, and it would weigh oddly on his tongue to be so informal. "We can open later, I think. It's a good day to take our time." Then, he thought, she might not feel so bad about it. In general as long as he was open for the lunch rush it wasn't a day wasted. Delivery orders would keep him busy either way.

It wasn't easy to hold back and leave her to clean, the necessity of leaving her to what she'd claimed. He smiled back, "You didn't, you're right." And he wouldn't want to make her feel obligated to cook for him. It wasn't something that he'd ask of her as part of her working with him.

As she cleaned up Tadg's hair he made his way to the storage boxes. The cold box opened with a sigh, bacon floating up toward his fingers, eggs following. "Biscuits are lovely. Eggs too, I think." he replied, calling the biscuits out of the dry storage with a flicker of Craft. Emerging, he eyed the jar in her hand, curious. "I haven't had it before. I'm intrigued." And it could foster a good relationship with the local business if they partnered on deserts. Rois had a good eye.

Craft called the breakfast makings to the stove he chose to stand before, and Craft lit the burners. Tilting his head, Ephram tried to imagine a place without apples, tried to remember where they weren't common. "We get apples regularly at the shop," he replied cracking an egg into a bowl from a cupboard above. "You can take the ones that don't end up in the confections, if you'd like. Better they go to someone who'll appreciate them." Sometimes the apple dishes didn't sell as much as he'd like, either for being too in season and contending with shops closer to his patrons houses or because whatever Ephram felt like cooking wasn't what people felt like eating. "Is there anything else you'd like to try?" He asked over his shoulder, whisking eggs.

Róis

    Yellow to Summer-sky
  • hearth witch
  • Played By: dergon

    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    4 Posts    133 marks
Re: Roses made of Sugar
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2019, 09:24:22 AM »

”Lets hope everyone else is having a morning of it as well.” Her smile took some of the wickedness from her words. Cast over her shoulder at him. A late start was better than none at all, and they would all be better settled with a proper meal. She worried Ephram didn’t eat enough, and had began to compare Tadg’s needs to the warlord prince’s.

They settled into an easy rhythm. Rois cleaned and Ephram prepared breakfast, adding eggs to the order while calling biscuits from the storage. Things came together well enough. Gleaming wolf hairs vanishing, dough and globs of half melted sugar wiped clean from the floor. She started on the dishes next, apple butter laid out in friendly offering on the counter before she began her scrubbing.

”So am I. It’s not like jam, in consistency.” She had spent longer than a person should watching the stuff shift in the jar, examining the way it moved and how the light filtered through it. But she had yet to taste it, buying it on a whim. She filled the counter with soapy dishes before draining the sink and beginning the process of rinsing them, stacked neatly on the draining boars as she went.

”Don’t you eat them yourself?” It sounded too much like charity, which Rois had accepted plenty of over the years in order to provide for son and keep them safe. Apples did not quite fit into either category. They would not starve without them. She tried to tell herself it was merely kindness, but she still had some measure of pride left, and it was prickled for a moment into rejection. ”Oh, I don’t know.” None she could think of, or had names for.

She laid out plates and utensils, watching him cook with an efficiency and mannerism all his own. Rois did her best not to help, or offer any. Careful not to crowd him either, though she did worry about his shirt from time to time. ”It wasn’t all deprivation and lack of apples. It just wasn’t a land given to fruit growing.” Plenty of game, however. Rois had hunted herds of caribou with her packs. Great, moving masses that trampled and gored.

”Do you have a favorite?” She asked him softly, eyes seeing silver bodies moving together through snow before turning to him in curiosity. ”Blackberries are mine, I think.” They had a bite beneath their sweetness.

Ephram O'Hannon

    Green to Sapphire
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Kayndred

    Dea al Mon Kaeleer
    10 Posts    69 marks
Re: Roses made of Sugar
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2019, 10:25:26 PM »
It was easy to fall into a rhythm with Rois, moving around each other. He liked that they didn't have to speak much, either, which was something he found difficult to take with other people. It was just easier to stay mellowed and focused when it was quiet. Easier to get caught in the repetition of his activities and leave all the little aches behind.

Cooking, as calming as he found it, was also a balancing act in Craft, in trying not to burn, boil, or liquefy something that wasn't supposed to be burned, boiled, or liquefied. It meant a lot of frowning at his food, if what he'd been told was true, which made him keenly aware of his face, which made him actively trying not to look like the eggs had personally offended him. Darkness, he hoped he didn't look like a loon.

At least it also meant he wasn't so lost in putting breakfast together that he could maintain a conversation without inconsiderate pauses. "On occasion," he said, calling cups for juice. "Sometimes I use them too much, and end up eating excess for weeks. They'll be all the rage for a bit, and then we'll be left with all sorts of extras. If you'd like to try your hand with them or take them home, now'd be the time." The onset of winter always meant a spike in spiced wine and apple dishes, and then it'd peter out, leaving Ephram, historically, sick of apple anything by midwinter.

Not a land given to fruit growing - he filed that away with all the other pieces of Rois he wasn't sure if he could ask about. People handled their shadows differently, after all. He didn't want to make her feel unwelcome with prodding tender places, especially since he hadn't appreciated it when people had tried. Nothing worse than being a hypocrite and hunting down hurts in others.

Serving plates in hand with a touch of Craft to keep the heat and cups floating at his shoulders, he turned and blinked because - he hadn't actually called the juice, had he? Gracious. "Oranges," he said, standing between the counter and the table and debating his next actions, feeling the fool. "and peaches. Would you be so kind?" He didn't want to risk pulling the whole coldbox if he tried to open it and then draw the juice out, and Rois seemed like the type who liked to help but maybe thought he was defensive of his kitchen or that she'd be in the way. And while Ephram couldn't claim he wasn't protective of his space, he definitely didn't mind her in it. That was a worry he could address, at least.
 

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