So Strange, How You Meet People...

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Talramis Faelstion

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Talramis Faelstion slowly paced into the restaurant, he had been out looking for work all day, and needed a break. Besides, these kinds of places were the best to run into people, and he could very well meet his future employer. Being a butler was hard without work, but a breeze with work.

He cleared his throat, "Uh- Umm I'll take some Beef Stew and a slice of some bread.", Talramis quietly told the man at the desk. "That'll be 14 Gold Coins please", said the man. Tal frowned at the price, because he was almost broke. But he pulled out the coin necessary, and took a seat in the back. He hoped that his attire would be inviting to possible work... In fact, this new person that walked in looked especially promising.

((OOC, I'm not familiar with the common currency, so I substituted with this.))
Linus Reed walked into the restaurant and punched a man in the face.

Now, this sort of event, as casually as it had been executed, wasn't exactly an every day development; a gasp arose here and a startled yelp retorted from somewhere in the back, and it could be imagined that conversation had stopped entirely. His half-gloved fist still stretched in the action position, Linus inspected the interior of the restaurant with a wild snarl. This expression slowly began do devolve into one of inquiry, as though the surrounding inhabitants were imposing upon HIS life.

"All due subtlety. As ever."

Lloyd Reed snuck in behind his broader shouldered brother, his far more sharper eyes fixated on the fellow who had been laid out upon the floor. Withdrawing a weathered parchment from his belt, he knelt beside the man in question, to squint thoughtfully first at the paper, and then at the man's face. Linus snorted magnificently, not even bothering to wipe the blood from his solid knuckles and instead crossed thick arms over his broad chest.

"Well? Tell me I got the right one this time."

With an impish smile, Lloyd nodded but once, reaching out to gingerly turn the man's now-ruined face this way and then that.

"From what -I- can tell. And that's a bit of a stretch." And here the blond man turned to regard his brother with a baleful stare that would have been far more imposing were it not for his easy smile. "You really need to stop reorganizing the faces of these guys. Its hell trying to cash in the bounty."

With a grunt, Linus snatched away the parchment and inspected it himself, looking first at the paper, then the twitching figure on the floor, then the paper again. "...Hmmph. Guy was uglier before I came along. Did him a favor."

"Well perhaps you shouldn't be so generous," Lloyd commented while adjusting the nape of his overcoat, only now starting to glance up and look about the restaurant.

"Aah. Sorry about that ladies and gentlemen. Just a bit of good business. Back to your eatery. Have you tried the stew? I heard the Beef is to -die- for."

The bigger Reed murmured something about being big winded as he leaned down to gather up the successfully knocked out bounty and drape him over a shoulder the way one would an old rug, before exiting the establishment. Lloyd smiled a final time, before politely arighting the gentleman's chair, gazing longingly at the remainder of the man's sandwich, and ultimately deciding to pick the higher road and simply leave as well.
Talramis had to act fast; this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. But would he follow these men, in hopes that there employer could give him work, or would he sit, and go back to his meal. Times were tough, and this was a very important decision. Of course, their employer might not need a butler, and Tal could end up dead.

Talramis quickly threw on his hood, as it was raining outside, and chased after the two men. This wasn't a usual thing for him, so what he said next was quite odd.

"I can- I mean, I can work for you! Uhm, I mean your master, *Oh, not master* EMPLOYER!! Or, whoever. I mean, I'm a butler and I'll work for you!"

Immediately after he had said this, he wished he hadn't, oh what a fool. Now he would surely get beaten, these men were rough. Talramis blankly stared at the men nervously, awaiting their response.
Natalie had been enjoying her meal quietly, after weeks on the run it was excellent to have a good hot meal again. She had just finished when the two men burst in and struck another man in the face, she listened to their conversation and froze. They were bounty hunters, she started to panic she had to get out of here before they saw her.

She hadn't seen these men before so maybe they were new, but they'd still have her wanted poster. She had an extremely large bounty on her head, and most bounty hunters would walk over their own mother to bring her in. Thankfully most didn't realize who she was at first because she didn't look anything like a criminal, she was tall, beautfiul and thin and she had blonde hair and blue eyes.

She had been framed by her Ex, he wanted her to marry him and when she refused he framed her for grand larceny and set the bounty hunters after her. She didn't know when they first got together that he was the boss of an underground crime syndicate, when she found out what kind of man he really was she left him and that's when the trouble started.

She waited until the left the building and snuck out after them, she was about to walk off away from them when a man came running out of the restaurant after the hunters. She froze as their attention was drawn to him because now she was in their sights, she tried to look casual. If she ran then they'd now something was up, so she tried to look like she was just interested in the crazy butler.
Linus and Lloyd both swiveled about and gawked at this hooded man with the exact same blank stare.

The sleeker of them, Lloyd, opened his mouth to speak, but then shut it without a word, his blond eyebrow lofting quizzically. Linus simply grunted, snorting out a plume of chilly mist in the cool rainy air. His muscular figure didn't seem to be at all inhibited by the grown man slung over his shoulder, and the withering stare he gradually fixed on the man before him and his brother indicated that he could probably handle lugging along a second body.

"You're... a butler," Lloyd repeated, a thoughtful hand passing over his well-shaven chin. "Who... will work for us."

"We don't -need- no master," Linus interjected with a huff. The broad man squinted with irritation, glancing at his brother before scowling deeper. "You're actually considering this aren't you. You're actually- know what? You deal with this. I'll get us paid!"

With a dismissive wave of his hand, the Reed brothers parted, Linus to trudge through town on his way to the authorities and Lloyd closer to this cloaked individual. Fortunately for Talramis, Lloyd didn't seem particularly interested in beating him up, or if he was considering it, the idea didn't show in his demeanor.

"Okay Butler. What's the catch?" Standing within arm's reach, he spoke calmly and cooly. The supposed butler would do well to notice that while Linus wore his thick blade on a sheath against his back, Lloyd carried his thinner, slightly curved weapon by its sheath. He didn't care to tie the weapon to his hip, and now used pointed at the hooded fellow with the hilt, the weapon little more than a simple extension of his hand.

"Why should you want to come with -us-, and why should -we- need..."

Lloyd stopped talking a moment, his sharp cerulean eyes drifting beyond the man in question. There was a girl a bit further back, eying them both. This wasn't a novel production, but there was something exceptional about this lady. It was beyond her good looks. She seemed... well... out of place. With a twitch of his nose, the swordsman shifted his eyes cooly back on the man to whom he was speaking, his easy smile working itself across his lips.

"I get it now. You want to impress your lady friend over there by having it out with a big bad bounty hunter. Hm. Alright hotshot. I'm feeling generous. Want me to tell her we're old friends?"
Old... Friends? At first Talramis had to think about what he was talking about, he looked back, and it became clear.

"Uhm... Actually, I have no idea who that is, but, Y- You know, I was thinking more in the way that I could be a butler of yours, all I require would be a place to stay, for... I kind of have no home..."

Talramis looked back over his shoulder, eyeing the girl. She seemed strange, just staring at them, but then again, HE probably looked strange.

"I mean, I could, do pretty much anything, I could send messages, um... cook meals, carry things."

He scraped his mind desperately for reminders of tasks he could carry out. So far this wasn't going out as smoothly as Tal had planned. He had specifically been practicing his *Pickup Lines* of a sort, to persuade people to take him on. At least he didn't seem too threatening.
Lloyd Reed was not quite convinced. This was apparent by his expression, the look he was steadily casting the peculiar gentleman before him one splendid mix of amusement and danger. Fortunately for the quote unquote butler, amusement and danger were synonyms to the Reed brothers. One arm coyly folding over the other, the long sheath hanging loosely from expert fingertips, sky blue eyes smiled good-naturedly upon Talramis.

"Sounds like you've got poor luck, friend. One would wonder how you've managed to lose clientele, with your... direct manner."

Lloyd briefly followed the man's gaze to that odd girl over yonder, casting her a second cool appraisal, before resuming his monologue.

"Well, sounds like you can do anything. So do we. See if you can keep up, and we'll provide lodging and a percentage of our income. If we like you, you might just live long enough to see some profit."

For the first time since he'd come into town, Lloyd's eyes took the sharp edged lethality of a seasoned killer. They lost the laughter that made him so much more personable than Linus, and quickly gained the frost that made him so much more dangerous. The change was instant; one heartbeat he was simply gazing amiably at the bold, nervous fellow, the next he had placed him with a freezing leer.

"And you'd best not be lying. The last fellow to try and take Linus for a fool wound up missing. The body of a half-mutilated woman turned up some time later, dumped in the street."

The threat wasn't at all necessary, but all is fair in love and business. Lloyd smiled again, the edge melting warmly from his eyes.

"Well, come along. Name's Lloyd, by the by. And you are...?"

That girl. The more he thought of it, the more his gut told him she was of significance...

But the daydream of having a personal butler was too entertaining to bother worrying about anything else.
As terrifying this was for Talramis, he was overjoyed. A place to stay, wonderful! There was definitely a tangible difference in the man's appearance, it once, he had seemed more... approachable? But now he almost looked like his counterpart; and that girl, she still seemed a bit off, but no matter, Tal was getting caught up in his thoughts. After all, the man had asked him a question.

"Well, come along. Name's Lloyd, by the by. And you are...?"

"U-Um Talramis Faelstion." He quickly added "Sir" to the end. "Where to?"
Natalie was relieved that one of the large bounty hunters stalked off, and that the remaining one's attention was no longer focused on her. She tried not to react when the hunters eyes gazed at her, she was used to the attention of men but he seemed different. She waited until his attention was back on the crazy guy who offered his services as a butler, what bounty hunter needed a butler?

She was nervous about walking right past them, but she had no other option. She started walking slowly past them, looking the other way and trying to seem casual.
"To Linus, of course. And don't let him put you off. He's the body of a man but the heart of a boy. He's a -warrior-."

Tucking one hand into a pocket and toting the meter-long sheath about as one would a cane, Lloyd twisted about to stalk off down the road, casting a final intelligent glance at the odd woman down the road. Meh. He'd remember when he wasn't thinking so hard on it. Always turned out that way.

Presumably with Talramis in tow, the older Reed strolled with the utmost carelessness through the unassuming streets of Origin. It was nearing dusk, and despite their latest excursion to the restaurant, he found himself getting hungry. So it was no surprise that he should find Linus negotiating with a meat merchant, the massive man towering menacingly over the portly snack vendor. Retreating from the cart with no less than an armful of crackers, cheeses, and of course the finest snubbed sausage in all the land, Linus came strolling over to his brother with an expression of rapt delight. It faltered a moment upon seeing that strange hooded bloke in step, but the warrior paid him little to no mind. If he was good enough for Lloyd, he was good enough for anyone.

"Should be good for now. Just gotta catch that last chick and we're golden," Linus stated confidently, a smear of mustard drawing half a mustache above his lip. His sharp blue eyes narrowed slightly when Lloyd snorted back a chuckle at him, as he chewed a bit of cheese and murmured 'wat'.

"Nothin'. Looking good, bro. About time we headed back to the inn. Master Faelstion here would probably like to see what exactly he's in for."
"Yes of course sir", Talramis said, and followed off behind his masters. He was trying to hide his limp as well as he could, and thought he was doing a pretty good job of it. This was turning out to be quite the day, now if he could just not screw this up...
Natalie sighed in relief when the bounty hunter and the "butler" took off down the road, she waited a while and then set off as well in the opposite direction. She wandered the market and brought a backpack to fill with food, clothes, and anything else she'd need to survive on the road including a long handled dagger. She strapped the dagger in its sheath to her hip, and slipped her shirt over it making it invisible.

When she finished she made her way to the only inn in town, it was small but was clean and comfortable. She knew that she should leave this town tonight with those bounty hunters hanging around, but she was tired and traveling at night was dangerous. The roads out of this town lead into the forest, and it was filled with bandits and other dangerous creatures.

She didn't get to finish her meal at the restaurant, so she sat in the inn's bar and ordered a meal. She glanced around at the other patrons, mostly men getting drunk or warming themselves by the fire. She sipped her drink while she waited for her meal to arrive, and slid her backpack to the floor.
Linus lurched swaggeringly through the doorway, the business end of a smoked pepperoni hanging attractively from his mouth. Lloyd sauntered in behind him, whistling a jaunty tune for his own amusement. The inn was composed standard for the time; most transactions were handled by whomever happened to be bartending, with a massive counter engulfing one wall, and various tables and chairs set about the remainder of the broad first floor. Doubledoors behind the counter lead to the kitchen and stocking rooms, and a stairwell tucked neatly against the distant wall lead to upstairs accommodations.

Thus, to reach the rooms, one had to wander through the main eatery. So it was for the second time that day that Lloyd caught an eyeful of that girl, whom he decided to name Natalie in his head. She looked like a Natalie. She was sipping nonchalantly at a drink, probably awaiting a meal, with her backpack on the floor. Shame. That meant she was probably going to take off before it got dark enough to start requesting night-time company.

And judging by the outline of a dagger's long handle 'neath her shirt, Lloyd reckoned that might have been a good thing.

Linus incidentally bumped some individual's chair in passing, and the person had whipped around with an oath bubbling up in his throat before realizing who exactly it was and proceeded to duck and nod and apologize as though -he- had been in the wrong. Linus too dipped his head in apology; the Mad Dog was a ferocious fighter, but he was not some mannerless cur.

And here, Lloyd swivelled about to address the third member of his party.

"Master Faelstion, Linus and I have some business to jaw on about. Could you see to it we have meals when we come back down? And a table by the windows would be plesent. We can discuss your compensation over your choice of din. How's that sound?"

Rhetorical question; the White Wolf Lloyd was already following his brother's broad shouldered wake and up the stairway.
"Yes, my lord."

Talramis quickly paced over to the counter and asked the man for 3 meals of Herring, and a loaf of bread. Lloyd and his brother definitely looked as if they could eat anything, and Lloyd looked like he could eat any amount of anything.

"I just hope they like fish...", mumbled Tal.

He scanned the inn, there was only one available table located near a window, but that disgustingly had gruel smeared on top of it. This would never do; Wait, what was he saying, he was a butler, and it was his job to fix this kind of thing up.

"Um, we'll be at the table by the window." Tal told the man. He quickly whipped out a cleaning rag, and wiped off most of it, then as fast as possible, ran over, and cleaned the rag in a water bucket. He repeated this process and it looked good as new. This could work out nicely. Talramis eagerly stood by the table, waiting to pull out the chairs for his new masters.
Natalie turned to look as new people entered the inn, she swore under her breath as she recognized the bounty hunters and their new butler. She was getting really annoyed, was she ever going to be able to finish a meal!? She decided that they must be brothers, as there was a definite resemblance between them. She felt the younger? one's eyes on her, and she felt like he was looking through her.

She watched them go upstairs and their butler hurry to clean a table, that with her luck was right next to her's. She frowned and thought about leaving, but she stubbornly decided she was going to stay and finish her meal. Besides the rest of her stuff was in her room upstairs, and she was to tired to travel tonight.

She thanked the waiter appreciatively as her meal was delivered, and started eating. She wondered if they'd recognize her from earlier but decided she didn't care if they did, if they recognized her from her wanted poster then she'd simply bolt. She decided that their table being right next to hers was good and bad, bad points she was close and in plain view. Good points she could overhear their conversation, and information was important.
The Reeds weren't long in their deliberation; Linus boredly recounted what he'd been told by the towns' shabby guardsmen while Lloyd fixed up a third mattress for their amusing if not diluted guest. He was suspicious of the man, as was Linus, but he was about as non-threatening as a kitten, and just as polite.

They returned down the stairway some time later, chatting idly to one another about absolutely nothing at all, as is the habit of brothers.

With a noisy collision Linus deposited himself in a chair that had somehow been pulled out, murmuring a relatively ungruff thanks to the 'butler', his poison green eyes flitting over the man dis-trustingly. Lloyd gracefully occupied the opposite chair, leaving Talramis' seat at his own side. It was agreed without words that the peculiar fellow was Lloyd's responsibility; Linus had agreed within himself not to mock his older brother when this inevitably came back to chew on his ass.

"Tourney's not for another couple of weeks. And 'sides, I don't need no practice," broad-shouldered Linus uttered in his thick voice, slicking back his chestnut hair with a broad palm.

Lloyd leaned against the table, recoiling briefly upon finding that it had been scrubbed far cleaner than any other table and pondering over that briefly before resuming his forward poise. "Talent is a rusted knife, brother mine. It must be wielded with great force before it cuts anything."

Linus scoffed again, for the first time addressing Talramis. "Can you believe him? Rusted knife... Come on. My blade is always ready to cut, and no amount of morning trotting's gonna make it any sharper."

The elder brother shook his head with a sigh, taking exception to the slight jab. He had begun jogging every morning by dawn's light to work up more endurance for the upcoming Tournament, and sullenly regretted bothering to try and get Linus to join him.

"You're a massive idiot, Linus," he scolded with a taut grin, dismissing further contest by sweeping his eyes over the inn's inhabitants. Full house tonight.

...and there was that girl again! Natalie, he had named her in his heart. Something more than coincidence was at work here, he was certain of it. Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you, after all. Even Linus caught the glance and turned around to peer conspicuously at the girl, squinting thoughtfully at her as was his manner.

"...massive idiot. Don't stare."

With a grunt, Linus whipped back around, a jibe forming in his throat. It died out shortly, however, as a waiter presented him with a dish of baked herring, his favorite dish.
Natalie finished her meal as she listened to the brothers conversation, she found the mention of a tournament interesting but not much was said on the topic. She noticed out of the corner of her eye both of the brothers staring at her, she decided they didn't know who she was and they were just staring for another reason.

Perhaps it was because she was sitting alone and it looked like she was listening in on them, deciding remaining so silent was suspicious she turned to face them. She smiled winningly at them "hi there, i saw you guys earlier at the restaurant." She said looking at Lloyd and Talramis, "weird running into you again huh?" She shrugged still smiling. "Anyway I'm Natalie."
Talramis felt very pleased that Linus gobbled down his food, but that may have just been hunger speaking. Anyway, he hasn't even taken the time to address the girl, Natalie. Right when she introduced herself, Tal could have sworn that Lloyd's eyes had widened. No matter though, for it was only a temporary look.

"Yes, fancy seeing you here Ma'am." Said Talramis with a bow, "Small town huh?"
Lloyd's eyes did in fact widen fractionally, his lips curving over an inaudible 'knewit' as he nibbled almost daintily at his meal. By all accounts, he was as ravenous as the perpetually consuming black void that was his younger brother (who had by now taken to mopping up the saucy remains of his meal with what parts of his loaf he -hadn't- devoured completely), but he approached such things in life the same way he approached swordplay: above all else, finesse.

Their butler, which was a concept unto itself that would certainly require adjusting, had taken to chatting up the pretty girl, 'Natalie' Lloyd reminded himself smugly. The brothers introduced themselves quietly, uttering their first names in one single syllable before resuming their meals. Linus remembered something quite suddenly and leaned over the table to murmur almost conspiratorially with his elder brother, who chortled softly and shook his head before responding.

Talramis seemed to have things under control. Clean table by the window, favorite meals ready to go, running interference with yon ladies. He was one hell of a butler.
Natalie nodded "yes its quite a small town, not much goes on here." She ought to know, she'd been happily staying here for weeks until Linus and Lloyd showed up. She decided that Lloyd must be the elder brother, based solely on his table manners. She smiled at them and waited until the brothers finished eating before she spoke, "so hows business?" She turned her head to look at Tal, "and i didn't catch your name sir."