Day 091: A Dual Purpose Hunt
Summary: Luther goes hunting with a Scout from Coesbur.
Date: 29 August 2016
Related: None directly.
Luther Taney 

Forest Paths, The Wilderness
The woods around New Coesbur
91 Days After Landing

Evening is verging into night, and work has stopped in New Coesbur, the evening meal already eaten by most. Of course, that means that food stores have to be replenished, and Luther finds himself at the edge of the new-made clearing, sitting on one of the stumps and tugging at his boots and the lower legs of his pants, making sure that they are secure and won't make extraneous noise. A pair of javelins rest against the stump beside him, and he has left his sword and armor behind, just taking along the javelins and a single hand-axe.

Taney is already in her darkened clothes, and ash and oil smear her face in rough stripes that run diagonal across her sharp, but still quite lovely features. Her dark hair is woven back into a fishbone braid that is draped heavily over one shoulder. She is checking her own self over, but she knows she is more than ready to venture out for this twilight hunt. She drops into a squat, grabbing up a handful of dirt to rub between her palms as she does. "Now, I know you warriors are big oafs, so you should consider it a great honor that I'm letting you hunt with me," she says, tone playful to match the slight grin that tugs at the corner of her mouth.

Luther snorts softly, "I'm sorry… which of us made it through the Reaper Tunnels and only almost got eaten?" A grin flashes broad across his features, and then he reaches out, aiming to swipe two fingers along one of the diagonal lines across her features and then spread the oiled ash across his own face, in a horizontal line from left to right across his eyes. "You can try to keep up, and watch my oh-so-pretty ass the whole way."

Taney gasps in playful alarm when he swipes some of her own ash from her features to spread onto his. Then she scowls, stepping forward as she grabs up her own javelins and adjusts her quiver and bow. "Yes, and I'm sure most of your fellows were very sad to hear that you didn't get eaten." She flashes him a wry grin, heading to the northwest to one of the recently discovered game trails. She casts him a glance over her shoulder. "Or you can watch mine… I think mine is more impressive than yours."

"They were. They're tired of being shown up." Humor ripples through Luther's words, and he ties back his dreadlocks, then pushes himself to his feet, collecting the javelins and hefting them lightly as if to get a feel for them once more. He tilts his head to look at said backside in the darkness, then shrugs slightly, "In this light, in those pants… it's pretty nice. But I know that mine is exceptional in all lights and all clothing — or none at all. Sorry, I can't give you anything more than an incomplete grade." His grin shines in the gathering darkness as he follows after the Scout.

Taney just dramatically rolls her eyes, but she seems very good-natured about being the audience to Luther's boastings. She does not look back over her shoulder at his jesting, though she does begin to more deliberately walk in a way that is definitely all about her physique — girl's gotta get attention somehow. It doesn't last long as she soon falls into a more scout stride. She is quiet for a few moments, speaking only in a hush once they are deeper in the mountainous woods. "I met your grandfather once," she says. "When I was very young. He came to Coesbur, and I was horsing around with the other children and ran into him. I was terrified that I upset him, but he just laughed."

Luther gives a little whistle as Taney tosses a sway into her stride, laughing easily. He too quiets as they make their way deeper into the semi-tamed wilds. "Komfo was a very… stable… person." There's a double meaning there, physically and socially, and Luther chuckles softly. "He loved the innocence of children. Always said that if more people thought like children, they wouldn't need politicians because people could just talk to each other."

The Scout looks over her shoulder again to Luther as he talks of his Komfo, and her smile redoubles. "I have always heard good things about your Komfo… many people respected him. I'm sure that he would be very proud of you." Her chin dips slightly, in silent honor of the deceased ambassador. Then she moves slowly around a small clearing that cuts through the game trail. She ducks low, peeking out into the clearing to see if there might be something worth hunting in the clearing. She looks up slightly from her crouch.

Luther steps up to Taney's right side at the verge of the clearing, hunkering down and watching in silence for several minutes. Finally, he notes quietly, "Maybe. I think he would have wanted more for me. A family, a future beyond a life in the barracks. But I try to do his memory proud." From joking to somber in one short waiting pause. "What do you see in New Coesbur, Taney?"

Taney rests her forearms along her thighs, hands draped loosely between her squatted legs. Her eyes travel from the clearing to him, and she starts to smile. "Do you think that you cannot achieve that? A family, life beyond the barracks?" There is something just slightly eager in that question, though it may be due to the answer she gives to his question. "I see a chance to start anew… I was so focused on being a warrior for Oxfor that I never wondered about what else I could want… I want those things you think your Komfo would want for you… a family, a future beyond the barracks."

"I think I haven't yet." Luther shakes his head slightly, resting his javelins against his right shoulder as he studies the gathering darkness ahead of them. "And I think that I have to decide if that's important to me," he gestures nudges her elbow with his own, "like it is for you. I can see how a new start would be nice." He grunts thoughtfully, his eyebrows lifting before he notes, "Maybe that's why I'm here as well."

Taney's attention lingers on Luther for a long heartbeat, and she looks away to re-examine the clearing. Her mouth thins slightly, gesturing off-handedly. "I think the fact that you are wondering if it is important might mean it is important." She then cracks a small smile, glancing sidelong to him. "Well, and what sort new start do you want?" The question is offered as casually as she can muster. "I mean… you left a lot behind in Tondc, didn't you?"

Luther shrugs a little helplessly, "My parents still live there, sure, but we're not so far away that I never see my friends." He probably doesn't even get what the younger woman is even driving at. Instead, he rises to his feet, offering down a hand, "Come on, Taney, no lazing about on the job. This clearing's dead, and if it wasn't, we've scared off the game by now." The last is accompanied by a flash of a grin, "As for a new start, I don't know… living around people who saw you running around up to your neck in mud as a five-year-old sometimes have a hard time taking you seriously as an adult. Plus, there are always ghosts. Those who did not come back." He breaks the sober silence that follows with a grinning, "Plus, hundreds of pretty new women to flirt with." He might be exaggerating by a bit, given the number who are of the right age, have no houmon or niron, and have the inclination.

Taney takes the offered hand, hers warm but heavily calloused. She pulls herself up to her feet, but her hand doesn't linger with his as she steps forward, nodding along the trail. "I do not laze around," she belatedly protests. Then she focuses on the topic, offering a vague shrug. "Ghosts can be unkind… perhaps it is good that you came our way." She flashes him a quick smile before she shakes her head, laughing at his flirting suggestion. "Bah, not hundreds… a few dozen is enough competition for your attention." The Scout's smile broadens. "Though I hear you are already causing trouble. Warnings are circulating all over about Luther kom Trikru."

Luther leans back to haul Taney up, patting her shoulder as she turns along the trail, "Of course not. You're always pro-active and on-task. A model scout. Or a scout who should be a model for artists. One or the other." And then he scoffs at her correction, and looks mildly (and falsely) offended, "Warnings? Like, 'do not touch, the pleasure will be too much?' Because anything less is just false advertising." Still, he shakes his head and gestures down the game trail in the other direction before starting that way, his voice still a hush, "But seriously, I don't know if I should be offended or proud. What sort of warnings?"

His compliment warms her cheeks beneath her dark bronze skin, and Taney looks more than a little pleased. As they continue along, she is careful to keep track of where they are going so they can easily retrace their steps back. When he plays offended, she laughs again — low and quiet to not disturb the quiet nature around them. Her smile smolders at the edges, her dark eyes flickering over toward him with a slight tilt of her head. "Oh, that you will flirt with every woman near or far… and kiss them, too." She allows that to sit there, unexplained.

The smoldering smile, caught sidelong from the corner of Luther's eyes, causes him to chuckle even as he slips along the dirt track, "Only the best of the bunch. Besides, you can't know if you want to pursue something without giving it a try, now can you, Taney?"

Taney thinks on that, slowing in her steps until she stops just shy of a large cedar. She crosses her arms, squinting slightly at the Warrior. "Is that so?" The Scout offers a small quirk of a brow. "And the best?" Now it is her turn to look offended. "Am I not one of the best?"

The slowing of the Scout causes the Warrior to halt as well, grounding the butt of his javelins and leaning against them easily. There is something very knowing in Luther's smile, "Oh… you think you're one of the best? Well now, that sounds like something you'll have to prove, now doesn't it?"

The Scout scowls good-naturedly at his knowing smile, and she advances several steps so she can purposefully get very, very close, only to veer off with a teasing flick of her smile over her shoulder. "Perhaps I want you to prove to me that you are worthy of my attention," she offers in a low voice that plays well with the feline smile on her lips. She turns fully to step around the cedar, almost disappearing from view.

Luther's smile grows as Taney closes with him, but it does not — perhaps surprisingly — fade or falter when she slips past. Instead, laughter builds in his chest, warm and low, "I think you know that well enough." Now, apparently, another hunt is underway than one for fodder for the kitchens, even if one member is playing catch and release. When she heads around the tree, Luther follows her over his shoulder, then shrugs as she steps entirely around, turning in place and then going to follow her, "Did you find something worth chasing back there, Taney?" By his tone, he might be talking about bunnies and deer and the like. But probably not.

When Luther turns around the tree after her, he is met with a woman that is grasping onto his shirt front and pulling him close to her with the dedication of a true hunter. Being a good eight inches shorter than him, she is on the balls of her feet to press a kiss to his lips in what — she desperately hopes — will be only the start of a chase. Her fingers tighten just a moment in his shirt fabric before she releases him, stepping back to fall onto the heels of her feet.

The kiss is met with surprise first, the javelins falling away into the brush as Luther's hands come up to her shoulders. And then there's a heartbeat of hesitancy before a little chuckle starts to bubble up from his chest, a warm, devil-may-care sort of thing, and his hands curl around her shoulders rather than merely holding them, and his lips respond to hers. When she drops back down onto her heels, his grin spreads, is smothered, and he deadpans somberly, "Hrm. Your application for inclusion on the list of the best is under consideration." Even he can only manage a deadpan so long, and his lips begin to quirk into a grin again by the end of the statement.

Taney is not at all nervous when he hesitates, but she feels joyfully triumphant when he responds in kind. The curl of his hands at her shoulders cause her own hands to slide casually at his hips. Her eyes lift to meet his, and his deadpan has her laughing brightly. "Mm," she begins, grinning all the way, "I will have to outdo my competitors then." This time, the Scout is far softer with her press of lips to his, offering him something that is deeper, fuller, and more expressive in her own interests. It lingers a good three seconds longer than the first, and then she is turning aside, beginning to move around him as her hands slip away.

"You will." Once more, there is that uncharacteristic hesitation to Luther's response to her kiss, especially when the emotion behind it comes flowing through the connection. The depth of the kiss wins over his hesitation, however, and his hands come down to her ribs, tightening and lifting to draw the lithe Scout off her feet so that he doesn't have to bend over so far to kiss her. When she starts to draw back, however, he straightens up the rest of the way and lowers her back to her feet so that she can move around him. "That's a pretty good start, though. A real good start."

The Trikru woman is surprised when he has her off her feet, and her heart catches a moment in her throat as it inspires a deeper excitement within her. The moment doesn't last, though, and she is back on her feet. She does not continue her departure from him, but instead stares up into his equally dark eyes. Hers carry an unspoken question — or three. Then she offers a small smile, biting slightly at the inside of her cheek as she does. "Glad you approve…" Her voice is that low, silky quality again. Then she laughs, and releases him fully as she starts to step away. "Now, come on… stop lazing around." Her mouth twitches as she uses those same words against him that he not so long ago used against her.

Danger Luther kom Trikru, Danger! Those questioning eyes are trouble, and perhaps Luther knows it. But there's also a certain amount of frustration involved in his other… well… it's not really a relationship, and something relatively straight-forward is quite appealing. "Well, you have to approve of someone who puts themselves out there and gets behind an effort like that." As she moves to step away, he reaches out with his left hand, aiming a light swat at the Scouts backside, and then steps over to collect his spears once more from where he let them drop.

Taney jumps a bit at the swat to her backside, and she turns to watch him with a bright laugh. The Scout looks quite pleased, and she begins to fall into stride with him once more into the depths of the forest. She seems more relaxed and content as they move along. "That wasn't even all that much of an effort," she teases. Undoubtedly they will not get back to New Coesbur for some time, and it is anyone's guess how many kisses interrupt the hunt.

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