Author Topic: Just Her Luck :: Night time at Ashleigh\'s Cloth Shoppe  (Read 5745 times)

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Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Just Her Luck :: Night time at Ashleigh\'s Cloth Shoppe
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2006, 05:51:44 PM »
"I do - better, in fact! I have spare napkins and some clothes!" he exclaimed, very pleased all of a sudden that his mother had brought a surprising tenth child into the world just two years ago. And that he\'d looked after her recently.
 
He stepped first towards his wardrobe and extracted two blankets - one a small, knitted woollen one dyed in red that was just the right size for folding around a small child (though he did cringe internally at the thought she\'d use it immediately when the baby\'s clothes were wet or - worse- when he was naked. Gallagher knew full well what little boys were like once their organs were uncovered, and he didn\'t have another blanket to substitute for this one), and the other a larger, yellow-coloured one that Heath could wrap herself in, should she choose (again, hopefully not around wet clothes) - and two bathing towels. They matched the one hanging on the hook in the wall behind the bathtub; a small stool stood to its side holding a scrubbing brush and soap to complete the necessary toiletries. Upon turning to see what baby clothes he could claim, he noticed the young woman removing her cloak and dropped what he already held on the bed beside her son.
 
"Let me take that for you. I\'ll drape it over a chair in front of the other fire, should be quite dry by morning that way," he announced decisively, swiping the garment out of her hands and striding out to the main room to do exactly as he\'d described. He threw a few extra bits of wood on that fire, then returned to the bedroom with another chair. She would surely not wish to dry her more intimate clothing on a chair where he could see them. He positioned the chair between bed and fire, then threw some more bits of wood on that blaze as well, before walking back around the sleeping platform to attend to his original task.
 
"So... what did you think about that bath, then? Think he\'d appreciate it?" he asked jovially, nodding over his shoulder at the infant kicking his legs atop his bed. Bede closed the bureau drawer and straightened with four cloth napkins to cover the boy\'s naked bottom and every bit of baby clothing he had. Laying them on the mattress for the young mother\'s inspection, he rested his hands on his hips and added, "I have two pots of water boiling on these fires - thanks to my stablehands - and there\'ll be some in the tub, ready for the hot to be added. It wouldn\'t be any trouble."
 
He wanted to say that he\'d gladly use the bath after she was done, but didn\'t want to frighten her with the thought that he\'d force her out of the room for any length of time - after he\'d offered it to her unconditionally - just for a bath. As far as that went, he could wait until the morning, even if his odour was not currently at its most pleasant (thanks to a day of work preceding his time at the tavern). The thought of him being naked nearby might also spook her (though, having a child and living with brothers, she was surely certain of that fact of life by now). He held his tongue and watched what she was doing instead, waiting for her to indicate her wishes one way or the other.

DoesWeep

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Re: Just Her Luck :: Night time at Ashleigh\'s Cloth Shoppe
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2006, 12:39:12 AM »
By now Heath was more or less eager to close the door behind Gallagher and enjoy some amount of privacy. She really did want a warm bath, and moreover, she wanted to feed her baby. Since she carried no milk for the child in bottles, she was going to have to breast feed, and she wasn’t about to do this in the company of a strange male.

“I would like a bath drawn, sir, thank you,” she said rather quickly, her back still to the male. She was beginning to unbundled the babe who wielded his fists and feet in the air the moment they were free from bondage. Though he was yet a tiny infant, he was full of energy and rather strong.

Once the baby was undressed down to his small clothes, Heath began stripping some of the wet garments off of her own body. She was mindful of the man in the room, thus merely removed her boots, socks, and handkerchief for the time being. She roughly ran a pale hand through her semi-dry blond hair, its full length reaching down her back in wet chunks. She then stopped for a moment, her eyes on the baby and her hands on the bet. Without turning around, she spoke again.

“Thank you again, Mr. Gallagher.” Her shyness was never more evident than in these words. “We wont forget this.”

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Just Her Luck :: Night time at Ashleigh\'s Cloth Shoppe
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2006, 06:04:20 AM »
He smiled as he manoeuvred the fire iron to wrest the large pot of water carefully from the bedroom\'s fire. "Nay, \'tis nought to forget. I would do the same for anyone left alone on the streets," he assured her humbly.

He fell quiet as he concentrated on pouring all the bubbling water into the tub - which did, indeed, have a measure of cold water in it already to give it some volume. This was the responsibility of the most junior stablehand (a boy named Martin, at this moment), just as it had been his responsibility to tend the Stable Manager and Master once, before he worked his way up the ranks. Martin was not a particularly capable boy just yet - most fresh off the farms weren\'t very knowledgeable of complicated routines such as those necessary in this huge establishment - but what he lacked in skill, he compensated for in eagerness. Gallagher was never more glad to have his efficiency evident than this night and made a mental note to thank him for not forgetting (he had once, when he thought his boss coming home drunk wouldn\'t want a bath - he was soon set straight).

Testing the water after one pot, he found it to be tepid and doubted it would do for Heath, especially as it would be necessary for her to get warm quickly. Although he\'d contemplated briefly not pouring the other (larger) pot in, one swish with his fingers decided him against that. Too hot was better than neither here nor there. As swiftly as his burden allowed, he went out to the main room, retrieved the biggest pot of water and added it too.

"There\'s soap here on the stool beside and I gave you drying towels there on the bed, I\'ll leave you to it," he then said cheerfully, distracted by the revelation of the child and knowing that this was the moment he should ask for the water after her, if he really wanted it, but she looked so busy... After standing and wriggling briefly on the spot (switching the pot from hand to hand twice), he decided it couldn\'t hurt to make the offer and have her refuse - she seemed confident enough to have spoken more already; if he phrased it right, she would feel no qualms about telling him her true feelings, surely? "I-if you think you\'d like to sit a spell in the other room afterwards, in front of the bigger fire - before retiring - I\'d... use the water and then empty it for you?" he mumured as casually as he could.

DoesWeep

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Re: Just Her Luck :: Night time at Ashleigh\'s Cloth Shoppe
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2006, 07:45:36 AM »
Heath actually turned to face her host as he filled the bath. The question he posed was met with downcast eyes and hands wrung together in front of her. Though the prospect did at first add colour to her cheeks, she was able to reason that she wasn’t going to be in the room with the potentially naked man, and that the room really wasn’t hers, so she shouldn’t worry about leaving him alone in there. Besides, she was in no position to disagree with anything he said at this time. By now her debt to him was beyond anything she could repay materially.

Thus she replied to a quick nod and moved closer to the fire where she would be placing her wet clothes. She was desperate to be out of her thin sopping hide and into the wonderfully warm water across the room. But her desires were shadowed still by doubt and worry. She couldn’t stop thinking about her little apartment and those who dwelled within. If something was the matter, she needed to find out. She was afraid, oh yes, she wouldn’t go back there in the dark now, but she could not let the anxiety sit on her mind for too long. She would go back, she decided, as early as she could in the morning. It would be best to leave Mr. Gallagher as soon as she was rested, perhaps even before he woke up. Yes, that would do. She would be nothing but a bad dream, and then someday she would pay him back.

Her baby crying out for his mother’s attention caused Heath walk over to the bed and few cold fingers on her child’s cheek. Shhh, her gaze seemed to say, everything will be alright.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Just Her Luck :: Night time at Ashleigh\'s Cloth Shoppe
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2006, 05:02:40 PM »
"My thanks; enjoy your bath, then," he smiled warmly at her and exited as the boy began to wail. He closed the door behind himself and set about organising his own bed. He hadn\'t bothered getting his pants from beneath his pillow - since he\'d be going back into the bedrrom to bathe, there was no point - but he did regret not gathering some fresh linen and blankets on his way out. He would also need a pillow (normally he would use two but he thought his guest would need at least three to sleep on and to hedge the babe with).

Ah well, she\'ll be out soon enough and it will take you no time at all to get yourself a bed ready.  Have some patience, man.

To amuse himself for the time being, he went into the spare room and shuffled things about, dragging his favourite wooden-framed stretcher bed out into the light. He set it up in front of the fire - he\'d spent many a night by a sick horse\'s side on this folding bed - and then looked about for something else to do. Seeing nothing that needed his attention, he walked to the kitchen and tore off a bit of bread to gnaw on. His stomach alerted him to the fact that it was empty of anything substantial (that wasn\'t liquid), so he set about building up a fire in the stove.

While it took, he went downstairs to relieve himself, realising that the drink was beginning to take its toll and that he\'d need to acquire another chamber pot for the night, lest he be up and down stairs constantly. He found another in the spare room and placed it beneath his stretcher, washing his hands in the wash tub (that also had a bucket of water in it, thanks to Martin) on the kitchen bench before he pulled a frying pan off its hook on the wall. The stove fire was crackling merrily by now, so he set the metal pan down on the flat top and lifted the curtain attached to the counter. He still had some strips of pig meat in his meatbox - he got a fresh delivery of meat daily but tended not to eat it all, sharing it instead with some of the hands or the cats that hung around to catch the mice and rats in the hay in the basement - so he extracted all that was left.

With a pleased grin, he placed the meat into the warming pan and broke two eggs in as well. He had plans for at least three more eggs - to offer some to his houseguest - but the pan simply wasn\'t big enough to hold everything at once. Besides, he estimated that he\'d wasted enough time in the preparation that Heath would exit the bedroom any moment - just in time to sit down to a plate of meat and eggs - and he could cook his eggs when he\'d bathed. He had no idea if the young mother had eaten this night or not, but he was of the opinion that a little extra in the stomach of a nursing woman could never go astray (and he would be able to finish it all off if she was adamant in refusing a late-night meal).