From Rags to Riches (Elisabeth)

Seated on the shores of Lake Lovalus, Rharne serves as the home of the Lighting Knights, the Thunder Priestesses, and the Merchant's guild. This beautiful trade city is filled with a happy and contented people who rarely need an excuse to party.

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From Rags to Riches (Elisabeth)

Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:44 pm



Vhalar 18, 720

Ezner woke up this morning, his face still somewhat swollen, particularly around the lips and eyes, and he still had a throbbing headache after the fight he'd been in the other trial. The Order of Adunih clinic had done a good job, and Mrs. Dey footed the bill, still, Ezner was very much feeling as though he'd paid the price.

Still, he had an appointment today at Sarah's Silks. Mrs. Dey had made him the appointment before her and the family had left on vacation. What Ezner didn't know was that she sent a runner with a note to Elisabeth, asking for her to accompany Ezner at the shop for his appointment.

Ezner could tell he still had a few breaks until he needed to leave. He fixed up his bed, and then knelt down on the bare wooden boards. He pressed his hands against the floor, then lifted his body up into a planking position. He raised his head and looked forward at the box that was used to house the clothing he was allowed to use. Then he lowered himself down to the ground, slowly. His scarred back flexed as he did the first slow push up, and he began thinking about how he was going to continue this venture with the flashnip.

He had a name now. Peony "Dot" Heschrue. She was the woman who had been so chatty and full of song that night at the tavern with Mr. Dey. She had access to flashnip. But all he had was a name, he didn't know much else about her. She loved plants, and was somehow known by the Institute. He would just have to ask around. He didn't know any other way to find her. He mulled his options as he continued to do his push ups, over and over. He focused on his breathing, listening to his heartbeat. He lowered himself on the breath in, raised himself on the breath out. His back and arms were tiring, but now that Elisabeth had negotiated more food on his behalf, he had the energy to begin working out like this. And he would need to do so. He wouldn't waste the food given to him. He would get stronger.

When he was done, he washed himself in the servant's basin, then dressed. He ate a pear, some dried fish, and bread with butter. He even poured himself a glass of milk that had arrived this morning. He was truly loving meals now, especially breakfast. He always got up before the rest of the servants, to have this time alone, just for himself. It was quiet and peaceful.

After resting for a bit, he got up, and left the house. He followed the directions toward Sarah's Silks, not having ever been there. He was a bit slower finding it, having accidentally passed it since he couldn't read the sign. But after asking a nice woman working a fruit stall, she pointed it out to him. He walked back over and opened the door, stepping into the shop.







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Elisabeth Angelus
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Re: From Rags to Riches (Elisabeth)

Thu Jan 07, 2021 7:30 am

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Having received the note from Jazella, she smiled at the thought of spending more time with her friend. Especially when he was being given something like new clothing. She didn’t imagine he had much experience with such things and while she herself wasn’t much better, they would figure it out.

Elisabeth had already arrived and was waiting for him when he stepped through the door. Chatting with the woman that ran the store, she turned at the sound of the bell and gave Ezner a big smile. The smile, however, fell when she saw his face, rushing over to him with a look of concern. “Ezner, what happened? Are you alright?” Of course, there was a lot more than that to say than that, but she didn’t want to overwhelm him. Sighing inwardly, her heart hurt. The young woman knew very well what had happened, but she was powerless to stop the fights. It was the one thing she couldn’t do yet and Ezner was paying the price. At least the wounds seemed to be well tended to – as promised.

That didn’t stop the rage from coming though. Looking into his eyes, she marveled at how much two people could communicate without saying a word. He would know she was angry but as always, never at him. He would know she cared….

…and he would know she wasn’t going anywhere.

Nodding her head towards the counter, she guided him over to the waiting woman who seemed ready to assist the pair. “Hello, you two. Enzer, is it? Mrs. Dey had forwarded this lovely note along, saying that we are to help you with some purchases. She stated that you will have a list of the items you need? I’ve assumed some shirts and new trousers, so I have some sample pieces ready for you to look at. Your lovely friend here has already provided me with her favorite color, and I thought it would be fun to include some pieces in that color." Anticipating him asking her about the color, Elisabeth turned to him and quietly whispered the answer.

Blue


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Re: From Rags to Riches (Elisabeth)

Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:53 pm



Ezner's surprise at seeing Elisabeth was evident in his face. His mouth was slightly agape and he had paused in the doorway. And then his mouth slowly grew into a soft smile. He didn't know that Mrs. Dey had arranged this, nor did he even consider asking Elisabeth about it. He was just happy she was here. Then he saw the worry on her face, realising she was talking about his own battered visage. His smile faded back to his neutral soft frown.

Ezner nodded, "I'm fine. I had to fight a few nights back, but the healers at the Order of Adunih clinic patched me up well. Still having dizzy spells though, but nothing too bad." His dark brown eyes found her typically soft blues, only to see an icy fury within them. He saw the raging blizzard within her, contained only by her concern of him. This fury was passionate and strong, and Ezner could only find himself wondering what it might look like if it were unleashed. But it wouldn't be. She held the tide, for him. She did so, to protect him. Because she cared for him. And his dark brown eyes became the softer, less intense among them. His own showed a deep appreciation, wrapped up in his concern and caring of her. If she let the rage out, what might become of her?

How could Ezner stop a storm before it was unleashed?

And then the moment passed. Elisabeth nodded toward the counter, and Ezner walked over, nervous in such a fancy place. It wasn't that it was simply high end and nice, but rather that it was entirely unfamiliar territory. All of his clothes had been used, worn, disgusting, and usually just thrown at his face after he'd been bought. There were more shirts on a single rack in here than he'd ever been allowed to wear in his entire life. The woman spoke to him like a freeperson, even though he thought it obvious that he was clearly a slave. Ezner's jaw tightened as he listened, his throat constricting. This wasn't how he was supposed to be treated. This wasn't right. His eyes burned as just the slightest gleam of a tear filled each of them.

"Blue."

And Ezner instantly relaxed again. The color of her eyes. The color of the storm. Ezner nodded, defaulting to his typical responses, "Yes, ma'am."

The woman smiled, filled with genuine desire to help him with this, "Well, we only keep a few premade pieces here on display. Most of what we make is custom, so we'll have to go in back to get your measurements. If you'd both follow me please." She led them into a back area, through some softly swinging doors, to a well lit area, with a small dais surrounded by mirrors. There was a couch nearby for those waiting and watching.

"I'll be taking your measurements now. Please try your best to relax, tightened muscles will make for poorly fitting clothing."

Ezner stepped up onto the dais, his back to Elisabeth, and the woman pulled out her tape, and started down at his ankles. She wrapped the tape around it, kept fussing and having to readjust it. Then she stood up, moving around to the front of Ezner so he could see her as she spoke. "Apologies Mr. Ezner. Your current wardrobe is so ill fitting and in such a state that it is impeding my ability to measure you properly. If it is okay with you, could you please remove them? I'll have them cleaned and sent back to Mrs. Dey, and we'll have you leaving here in something new."

Ezner nodded, "Yes, ma'am."

Ezner reached over his shoulder, grabbing the back of his tattered and stained shirt, pulling it up and off of his chest. His back to Elisabeth, she'd be able to see the many faded whipping scars, and the extremely large and fresh bruise that took up the majority of his left ribs. He handed the shirt to the woman, who set it gently on a table nearby. He then removed his hole-filled boots, the soles long since wore out, with no socks to accompany them. These were placed on the table as well. He then untied his breeches, sliding them down his legs and stepping out of them, no small clothes beneath them. The pile upon the table complete, Ezner stood there on the dais completely naked. The prominence of his malnourishment was particularly obvious around his midsection, with what little muscle his diet allowed being focused on his legs and arms.

The woman began her measurements again, as Ezner stood there staring at himself in the mirror. There was no shame or pride or humiliation or sexual deviancy in his eyes. Nothing to indicate any emotion at all was being expressed at his being naked in front of both a stranger and Elisabeth. Slaves were not allowed such emotional luxuries. He was usually naked when he was sold, deloused and forcibly bathed. He had no qualms about this, it was just something that was expected as a slave.

The woman was extremely thorough with her measurements, and once she had them completed, she fetched him an outfit of a soft blue shirt, a simple pair of small clothes, and some cotton breeches for while Ezner waited. She took his clothes but left his boots, for they didn't sell footware here. "If you'd like to take a seat, I can bring you all the pieces we have that will fit you, or you all can browse yourselves. Just let me know the styles and such that you like, and we'll have them made and shipped over." With that, she left them to their privacy. Ezner stepped off the dais and changed into the new clothes, turning toward Elisabeth now. He was still unsure of what to do next, "Which do you think we should do?"





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Re: From Rags to Riches (Elisabeth)

Thu Jan 07, 2021 3:10 pm

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There were a lot of things Elisabeth was prepared for. Naked people? Not on that list. She let her eyes take in his form as his shirt was lifted but no further. Even if she had intended to remain present, she couldn’t. The very sight of the scars and bruises on his body made her almost wretch. No amount of preparation could have primed her for what she witnessed. Turning away, she had to remind herself to breathe in and breathe out. Slowly…surely…just breathe.

Before Ezner, Elisabeth hadn’t understood fury or rage for she hadn’t had anything in her life that would have triggered it. For all intents and purposes, her childhood had been happy, and the young woman had been safely cocooned away at the Academy. Upon reflection in later arcs, she would remember the moment in the clothing store as the one that had sealed her fate regarding Ezner. It was one thing to have him tell her the awful things that had happened to him…but to see them for herself? Raising her hand to her mouth, she suppressed a deep sob, not wanting the others to hear her. The adrenaline in her body, she could feel it, trying to obliterate what discipline she had.

But how could she fight forces such as those the pair faced? Elisabeth had done what she could for him, and their situation was playing out. The clothes were part of the deal. She had to focus on what she could do instead of what she couldn’t. That was the only way to make it through and she had to do it for him.

Taking a deep breath, she brought herself back to the pair. Thankfully, Ezner had gotten mostly dressed and was looking for her input into the decisions. Giving him a smile, one that for anyone else would have seemed forced but came naturally where he was concerned, she considered what the woman had said. “Well, I’m not truly knowledgeable about these types of things but I tend to think that making things as simple as possible when you are feeling a bit on the back foot usually is wise. She’s giving you a choice – either let them choose things for you or you can choose yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable choosing yourself, they are happy to do it for you.”

Before she could say much else, the woman breezed back in and turned to the raven-haired young woman. “Elisabeth, I hate to ask but we are in something of a pickle. A young woman was supposed to be here today for the final fitting of her ball gown for the Mummer’s Ball later this season, but she’s sent word that she can’t make it and will be leaving Rharne until the event. We need to check measurements and plans for final alterations. You seem to be the same size as she – would you mind terribly stepping in for her?” Glancing at Ezner, the worry within her rose. For some reason, she didn’t want to be separated from him. Trying to sort through those feelings was a challenge but it was obvious to her the cause – the scars. If she were there, there would be no more. He had suffered enough. If she weren’t there, someone could do anything they liked.

But they weren’t just anyplace. She knew he was in good hands. Nothing would happen to him here in the shop. She could relax for a beat or two. Breathing through the anxiety, she nodded to the woman. “Of course. Happy to help.” Looking at him, she gave him a quick smile. “Be right back…”

The woman led her to a nearby room. In the corner of the room was one of the most beautiful dresses the young woman had ever seen. Hued in the deepest blue imaginable, Elisabeth let her eyes gaze on the masterpiece, fully taking in the craftsmanship that had gone into the work of art. She was left with instructions to put the gown on and return to the room Ezner was in.

Working her way into the piece was a challenge. Never having worn anything like it before, she marveled at its weight on her lithe body. Probably just the sheer mass of material that went into making it, she thought to herself. But she soon figured out she had a problem – she didn’t know how to secure the dress on her form. Reaching back to the zipper, Elisabeth couldn’t quite get it to budge. Considering her options quickly, she called out to the seamstress. “Ma’am? I’m having some issues with the zipper.”

The response was immediate. “Nothing to fret about. Just come back to the other room and we will get you all sorted out, dear.” Okay then. Clasping the dress to her front, she moved beyond the curtain and back down the hallway to the room with the dais. Inside, she found things much as she had left them – smiling at both as she entered the room.

Being ushered up onto the dais, the woman had her turn around and face the mirrors so she could address the issue with the back. As she turned, her entire bareback was exposed, not that it revealed much. The woman brushed Elisabeth's long dark locks aside so she could see what she was doing regarding solving the dilemma. For her part, all she had to do was stand there. Looking over her shoulder at Ezner, a smile was given.

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Re: From Rags to Riches (Elisabeth)

Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:43 pm



He saw her smile and it drew a soft one out of him. But still, there was something off in the details of her face. Her skin seemed a bit paler than normal. Her eyes... her eyes had that storming blizzard within them again, held back, of course, but he could see it there. He wondered what was causing it? Had he missed something? His confusion, as everything else he ever felt, was obvious upon his face now.

But they were interrupted, and Elisabeth left to help with a dress. Left alone with the woman, she spoke to him, "Have you decided?"

Ezner looked up at her, the confusion gone for the moment, but just his neutral, serious look fell upon her. "Yes, ma'am. Please bring me the clothes you think best suit me." The woman nodded, "Of course, Mr. Enzer." As she turned to leave, Ezner said something that surprised him as the words left his lips. "Ezner."

The woman paused, turning. "Excuse me?"

Looking up at her, "My name is Ezner. My mother gave me that name. It means Water-That-Cannot-Be-Held in her native tongue. It is the only thing she was ever able to give me."

The woman, obviously embarrassed, nodded in apology, "I'm sorry, Mr. Ezner. I'll be right back with your clothes."

It wasn't long until the woman returned, with some simple cut shirts of linen, cotton, and wool, with trousers that both matched and were meant to be paired in other ways. There were a handful of blue shirts as well two pairs of blue trousers, one lighter, one darker. Ezner didn't bother to try them on, the woman had told him they would fit, and he believed her. He began folding them neatly and forming a small pile on the table, when Elisabeth returned. He turned to look at her, surprised to see a breeze of sapphire walk past him to the dais. He watched her step upon the platform, his eyes unable to be pulled away, his mind unable to think.

And when Elisabeth looked back at him, her cerulean eyes lustered by the sapphirric gown, the smile she gave him drew out one of his own. A smile she'd not yet seen of his, for it was not a smile he'd ever created in his life. It was bigger than any previous grin he'd given, his lips slightly agape in awe, his eyes widened a bit in wonder. Ezner would always know this as the first moment in his life he'd witness beauty. He felt his throat and chest tighten, the shirt in his hands dropping unfolded upon the pile he was building. Ezner didn't know if that moment lasted for a single beat of his heart or for an eternity, but it finally passed as the woman zipped up the dress and moved so as to block Ezner's view of Elisabeth.

And with the spell broken, Ezner was looking around the room, trying to regain his bearings. He'd never been so stunned before, and he was still in a bit of a daze afterwards. He went back to trying to fold the remaining clothes, but somehow his hands weren't quite working right, and his eyes kept glancing up at Elisabeth as the seamstress tutted about her. It took him six tries to get the same shirt folded passably as well as the others. Once the pile was done, Ezner realised the seamstress was standing before him. The normally so observant man was surprised to find her there, started a bit as he looked up, not noticing that she'd spoken. She repeated herself, "If you'd like, I'll have a courier take you both to one of the finest cobblers around, when you both are done, of course. Shall I have these delivered to your home, Mr. Ezner?"

Ezner stammered a bit, "Y-yes, ma'am. That would be great."

The woman nodded, taking the pile of clothes, "I'll leave you two be for a bit while I take care of this." Normally the woman would've asked for the dress back immediately, but she'd seen the reaction it had caused in both the man and the woman. She'd let them enjoy the moment for a bit longer. And with that, she left the room.

And Ezner's eyes moved back up toward Elisabeth, but his lips held no words, he could only look on in awe.


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Re: From Rags to Riches (Elisabeth)

Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:49 am

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The smile Ezner gave her was far different than any she had ever seen. Elisabeth knew his smiles and that one was different. She would never be able to tell someone what made it unique, if pressed, but it made her feel…good. Every smile that she got from him was a gift, so she thanked the stars that something made him happy enough to manifest it.

The dress fit like a glove. Having something like it custom-made was a luxury she could never afford but she couldn’t deny that it made her feel beautiful. Elisabeth had never cared much about her looks. Washing her face and rubbing orange and lavender oils through her hair was the extent of her concern on the matter. She knew others that were obsessed with it and that just wasn’t her.

Once the seamstress was done, she stepped away and took care of Ezner’s needs for a few moments. In those moments, Elisabeth stood in front of the mirror, in awe of the beautiful masterpiece she was wearing. The young woman wasn’t one for fancy things and didn’t feel the need to waste money on such, but she did have a deep appreciation for beautiful things. To be wearing a work of art? Priceless.

And she was going to enjoy it.

Once the woman left, she indulged in one moment of pure fantastical whimsy. Lifting her arms, she turned her body and began twirling in the dress. The silken material of the skirt caught the waves of soft air, billowing out around her. A melodious, soft laugh rose from the young woman as she spun, long raven locks floating in the air. It was a different laugh – as if she let the weight of the world go for a single moment in time, to enjoy one simple act of indulgence. It was something she would have done as a child most likely, not the young woman before him, and Elisabeth didn’t care what anyone thought.

Finally, the twirling had to come to an end. Slowing, her eyes found him again, brilliant smile upon crimson lips, almost breathless. “That was so much fun! I don’t remember ever doing that when I was small…” Stepping slowly off the dais, she walked towards him, looking him up and down. “Better. Much better. And yet, you are still the same man inside. Don’t ever forget that.” She placed her hand on his chest for emphasis, giving him a gentle smile.

One moment’s peace. That’s what she wanted for him. A moment for him to forget the horrors he lived with. But Elisabeth worried. The more freedom he had, did it become that much more difficult to pretend he was content with being a slave? What damage did that do to him, flip-flopping back and forth?

The seamstress found her way back into the room, finalizing everything when Elisabeth’s voice rose, sapphire gaze still fixed on him, smiling but not bothering to turn and look at the woman as she spoke. “Ma’am? I’m not sure if it’s on the list, but he needs a good cold-weather coat as well. Gloves and scarf to match. Is this possible? It would be greatly appreciated.” Ezner would likely remember their meeting where she had brought him a coat so that he wouldn’t freeze, and she remembered it now.

If she had the power to effect change for him, she would wield it.

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Re: From Rags to Riches (Elisabeth)

Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:19 am



Watching Elisabeth twirl the dress, Ezner's open-mouthed gape twisted into an open smile, and then he laughed. To many, it might be no more than a chuckle or a chortle. But it was Ezner's first laugh in as far as he could remember. Seeing Elisabeth twirl and have fun, for the first time, Ezner saw her, the person she was when no one else was with her, himself included. This was Elisabeth in her purest form, and that sparked a flame of joy within Ezner. He knew that this trial was a special one, and she was a special person.

And in his chuckling, in his admiration of her, for a brief while, Ezner forgot he was a slave. He forgot about his pains, his hardships, he forgot it all. In that moment, there was just the twisting of blues and whites and black locks, the laughter of two people, and that tightness in his throat, the beating of his heart that had increased just a bit. In this moment watching her, Ezner was happy. When she finished, face flush from laughter and exertion, she found him again, and the moment passed. He was still happy, but they were back to who they were for each other.

And when she placed her hand on his chest, an instinctive worry took over. Not a worry for safety, a fear of pain, no. It was the carnal worry that this beautiful woman might feel his rapidly beating heart. But he did not deny her the touch, nor did he end it earlier than she intended to give it. For her touch calmed him, brought him peace. Smiling still, "I won't," was given in response to her. He covered her hand with his own, giving it a squeeze against his chest.

Then the seamstress returned.

And Elisabeth kept her eyes on him as she spoke to the woman. That gaze... those eyes... his heart began to race again, even with her hand there on his chest. The seamstress smiled, she could see that which neither Ezner nor Elisabeth were realising, and she smiled broadly, knowingly. "Of course. Next door to Mr. Wick's, he's the cobbler I'm recommending, there's also a furrier. She's his wife, and she will happily help Mr. Ezner here. And yourself, too, if so desired." She gave them a moment longer, "If it's not a bother, Miss Elisabeth, I'll need the dress back. I need to make the adjustments before my husband comes and decides to surprise me with flowers. Poor guy buys them from my sister and thinks she won't tell me." To some, it may have seemed like a self brag, but what she was doing was giving a veiled piece of advice to Ezner. This wasn't her first rodeo when it came to newly emerging feelings in people who were friends.

"The courier boy is out front whenever you're ready. His name is Timmy, and he will take you to Mr. and Mrs. Wicks'."



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Re: From Rags to Riches (Elisabeth)

Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:53 am

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Elisabeth had heard the laugh. She hadn’t said anything because she didn’t want Ezner to feel self-conscious about taking a selfish moment for himself. There was nothing wrong with doing that and she felt honored to have been witness to its joyful sound. She truly hoped that she could offer him more opportunities to laugh and smile because when he did, it was beautiful.

As her hand slipped against his chest, she didn’t notice his racing heartbeat. What Elisabeth did notice, however, was the way he held onto her hand and squeezed it against him. It was something minor that most people might have missed, but she had enough experience with him now that she was aware that slaves weren’t allowed to do anything that would be considered self-indulgent and that act certainly was. He had captured her hand because he wanted to…and she had allowed it.

The tides were changing…

Listening to the instructions regarding their next stop and the dress, Elisabeth nodding and went to put her own clothes back on. The dress was handed back over to the seamstress and soon enough, she was looking like herself again. She was sad to leave the beautiful masterpiece behind, but its place was somewhere else. It had been a wonderful moment, but reality beckoned, and they had places to be.

Meeting back up with Ezner again, she gently slipped her arm into his, smiling gently. “On to our next adventure, shall we?”

The clothing shop had been a wonderful refuge for the pair, allowing a sweet, shared moment that they could remember as the truths of life bore down on them. Sometimes one needed to remember the rainbows to get through the storms. Ezner had experienced more than his share of storms but hopefully, that too would eventually pass.

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Re: From Rags to Riches (Elisabeth)

Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:44 am



Ezner listened to the instructions the woman gave, heard the bit about the flowers but didn't think much of it. He waited patiently, his racing heart calming as Elisabeth was off changing back into her old clothes. He took several deep breaths, taking the time to recoup and recover. Once he had, Elisabeth was back at his side, and he was standing to join her, smiling. He hadn't even noticed it, but he'd been smiling the entire time since he first saw her in that dress, and while it was a softer smile now, it wasn't any less genuine.

Her arm found his, and he leaned just a bit closer than he ever had before in this same position. He hadn't realised that this was their first adventure. Ezner didn't even really know what an adventure actually was. But he'd apparently just done his first one, and with Elisabeth, and that made him happy. He didn't say anything in response to her, but he did grin a bit wider and squeezed her hand, slipping his fingers through hers, just as she had done to him before.

Outside the shop was a small boy, missing his front teeth, his blonde hair tucked into a cap. "Hello! I'm taking you to Mr. Wicksss. I'm Timmy! Follow me pleasssse!"

Ezner instinctively began to pull Elisabeth forward. It was subtle, a small motion, but he was still taking the lead it seemed, to follow after Timmy. He took it slow, enjoying the walk, and actually taking the time to look around, something he never had bothered to do before. After having seen Elisabeth in that dress, his eyes were much more curious now it seemed, seeking out more beautiful things. And it was a few streets over, but eventually Timmy delivered them to their destination. Ezner thanked the young boy, not knowing about the cultural expectation of tipping such couriers. Ezner paused, looking up at the sign over the store, then he looked at the two stores on either side of it, realising he didn't know which was Mrs. Wick's furrier.

He leaned in close to Elisabeth, whispering in her ear, "What do the signs say?"


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Re: From Rags to Riches (Elisabeth)

Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:37 pm

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Arc 720, 18 Vhalar

Elisabeth didn’t know why Ezner was smiling so much but it made her heart happy to see. As she rejoined him, she felt his fingers against hers, squeezing his hand back. The young woman was thrilled to see him in new clothes and hopefully, that would lead to him being less self-conscious about being seen with her and worrying. He never said so, but she knew by the way he acted that he was concerned.

Meeting up with their young guide, she couldn’t help but laugh a bit as Ezner pulled her forward, lightly tugging on her hand. She didn’t laugh often but he was already familiar with the musical quality her laughs possessed. It felt good seeing him so eager for experiences. Thinking on it a bit, he probably was starved for those, living the same horrible things trial in and trial out. Lightly teasing him, she spoke as he pulled her hand again, smiling so he would know to take it as such. “Hmmm…I’m just sure what to do with his happy, enthusiastic Ezner. If you recall, the gentleman I first met in the Earth Marketplace was very stoic.” Grinning just a bit, she squeezed his hand gently and continued. “I think I like both Ezner’s.”

As they arrived at the destination, Elisabeth gave Timmy a few coins and he was on his way. When Ezner whispered, she looked up and read the signs. Until that moment, she had forgotten that he didn’t know how to read. That situation would have to be remedied but she would have to research the proper way to teach him. For the moment though, there were a few things she could do. Pointing out the “F” on the sign for Mrs. Wick’s shop, she described it to him. “See the letter that looks like a stick standing straight up with two sticks jutting straight out from it? That is the letter ‘F’…and it’s the first letter is ‘furrier’." Pronouncing the ‘f’ sound for him by itself, she tried to link it to other words.” It’s also the first letter in ‘food’, ‘fight’, ‘fork’. Does that make sense?”

Standing with him, explaining how letters worked, calmed her for some reason. Perhaps it was because teaching knowledge was something she was good at, and something she could control. There was so much of their current situation that was beyond such that it felt right to try and harness power where she could and better his understanding of the world around them.

word count: 449
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