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Misdirect this! [attn. James]


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The clattering of teeth was audible even though Rosheen didn’t come close enough to actually make out the face of the Guard on duty as she walked past him. The way he had wrapped his face in cloth had something to do with that as well though. Rosheen herself felt rather chilly as well, but she blamed that to the fact that she’d just spent several hours overseeing the work that was done to keep the docks free of ice. She didn’t really understand why the Tower insisted that Tower Guard should oversee that, but she wasn’t one to question their authority either. Well, at least not until they overstepped it too badly.


But all that was behind her now, and all she really wanted was to wrap herself in a couple of blankets, and sit by the fire, perhaps with some warm spiced wine to warm up her insides a bit. Despite the icy weather there were still people training outside. Nowhere near the usual number though, but since this was the second week of cold weather, people were starting to get a little used to it. That, and the trainers started kicking their trainees out, tired of their bad behaviour. And of course, the longer the kids were inside, the worse it got. Rosheen knew all about that. She had told her own trainees to get some serious training done before heading over to the docks, just to make sure they’d feel too sleepy to head into the city and cause trouble during the evening.


She was just stretching herself, preparing to head into the barracks when she hear a familiar voice call her. She turned just in time to see three balls fly her way. With some effort she managed to catch three of them. “Now?†she half whined, looking at Aran’s determined grin. He had agreed on teaching her how to juggle, because it would help her with her use of both hand in combat. That had progressed of course, into juggling while walking on a tightrope, and now Aran had decided that it was time for the final stage of the training. Juggling while walking on a tightrope, while having someone around to break your concentration. Looking every bit the rejected puppy, Rosheen followed Aran to the tightrope.

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Aran laughed when he saw Rosheen's face, more work on the dock. Personally he didn't believe the guard should have anything to do with it, furthermore he suspected that they weren't meant to. But, it was a way to make sure people weren't hiding in the barracks where it was warm. Not that this had stopped Aran, dice and cards were his friends and his friends had convinced many a guard to take his place in a bit of double or nothing here and there. He wasn't sure if Talyn knew about it, but he was pretty sure Vasya did. On the otherhand, Vasya didn't interfere because, as he'd made clear sometime ago, anyone who was fool enough to bet with a cheat like Aran deserved to lose.


Not that Aran cheated... Well, he did quite often, but with his years of practice no one could watch him swap dice, and no one had figured out his system for the cards. After all, how could one swap cards when two of the same kind could come up? How indeed. Laughing at the thought, he could see Rosheen already fidgeting with the balls. Teaching her juggling had taken a bit of time, but thankfully that was the sort of training one could do inside. Tightropes weren't, but he'd been able to shout instructions from the commonroom window as he'd set up the tightrope just beneath.


Which is where they were now, no more than a foot high off the ground it was perhaps a bit over a dozen feet long. It had taken a bit to tighten the rope, but Aran had practice. Part of his lack of childhood, but Aran wasn't one to bemoan it, it had proven useful alot later. For example, without the skill he would not have had the opportunity to become Rosheen's teacher, and that had definitely been fun.


Well, except for the bit where he'd tried to get her to call him master. The black eye he'd received over that was hardly fair in his opinion, but Rosheen was rather elemental. Then again, most people with nothing between their legs were so be they woman or just really really cold. Speaking of which, Aran was glad for the wool he was wearing. Wandering onto the tightrope, he walked like he was on land and even turned about on the rope to look at her with a grin.


"Well, here is the drill. You walk back and forth on this while juggling, all the while I can do whatever I want to distract you. You're finished when I say you're finished or manage to break a wrist, or ankle, or whatever else you usually break. Think you can handle it? Hurry up wench." Stepping off the rope, Aran gestured to it with a grin for Rosheen to get started.




Tower Guard

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With many a muttered curse Rosheen followed Aran to the tightrope, struggling with her cloak and coat while she was at it. Knowing Aran she’s be sweating like a pig before long, and that was not a good way to waste a perfectly good coat. Fortunately the soles of her boots were a little worn, and therefore flexible enough to be suited for walking on the rope. She shuddered at the thought of having to do it barefoot in this weather. Ignoring Aran jibes, she got on the tightrope, and started juggling. Aran had only taught her a few simple moves, and she had the tendency to drop everything that required more than four balls. Fortunately today’s exercise only required three balls, which she could handle quite well, even if she did say so herself.


One of the first rules Aran had laid down was that neither of them would immerse themselves in the spring. Rosheen had done that in the beginning, and it made a lot of things quite a lot simpler. This of course meant that Aran would have none of it. Sometimes she wondered just how much he enjoyed seeing her fail. She glanced around herself as she walked a few paces back and forth, careful to keep her balance. From the corner of her eye she saw that a small group of people had started to gather around the tightrope. Probably also eager to see her land on her backside. As if they hadn’t seen it enough during the past few weeks.


“Alright, I’m ready.†She said, grinning at Aran. In truth she probably wasn’t, but under circumstances like these it was probably best to get things over with as soon as possible. Perhaps she could still find her way into the common room before she lost any toes.

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Laughing, Aran pointed. "Well start moving then." Following her as she slowly made her way across the rope, he had to restrain himself from laughing as he reached over to her. Specifically, he caressed her lower back and moved down the back of one leg softly as he spoke with lust. "You know, I never said this before but some nights when I go to sleep, and sometimes when I'm in the baths I think of you. When this is done, maybe you could oil my sword?"


Well, this was certainly starting off interesting. Rosheen felt herself blush at Aran’s words. At least that countered the cold a bit. She almost dropped one of the balls at Aran’s suggestion that she should oil his ‘sword’ when they were done. Feeling a little flustered she took to staring straight in front of her, keeping the balls going in a steady circle as she walked forward a little faster, trying to get away from Aran’s hand.


Unfortunately looking straight forward didn’t help much either. To her surprise Vasya had wandered out into the cold. He was looking at her, smirking. She instantly decided he was going to wish he’d never learnt how to smirk. She focussed on the training again. "No thanks, Aran. You know how Sovald feels about people touching his property."


Letting his finger trace along her thigh, he went as far as the back of her knee before tracing back up, but along front of her leg now. Not enough to unbalance her, but definitely enough to make her stop in her track as he spoke up again. "Oh, now now, Sovald knows how to share. And those thighs! Oooh. A man could be crushed to death with those, but if I were to expire that would be the way I would choose. Mmmmm."


Rosheen hid her laugh in a rather elegant turn on one foot, which only unbalanced her slightly, before she made her way in the other direction. If Aran was going to block her way, she’d just go another way. "Why Aran, I never knew you felt that way about thighs." And at least this way she didn’t have to look at Vasya, which helped her concentration a lot. It was probably a good thing she was too cold to be ticklish too. "I’ll be sure to tell Ginae about that. I expect she’ll be very pleased to hear about your thigh-fetish."


"Oh she would, but its your thighs Rosheen Tahn Sakhr! Oh how they feel so strong yet so supple!" Caressing her leg as he walked with her, Aran was passionate as he spoke. "Yet the leg just be one part of you. Your lips, so red and full they are like strawberries they are so sweet! Your eyes, a man could lose himself in those misty blues, lose himself yet find himself at the same time. And those breasts! I could definitely lose myself in those!"


This was getting quite easy to keep up. Aran’s tactic of flattering her had put a definite blush on her face, but it wasn’t enough to make her lose her stability just yet. Even the eyes of the crowd, and the sounds of their laughter were bearable. She couldn’t even blame them for watching. A bit of a distraction was quite welcome on these cold days. She twisted again, focussing on the balls as the they rotated in the air. "You should know by now that talking about a woman’s breasts won’t get you in her pants, Aran."


"But I could talk about them all day long! Oh how I ache for them! They are just right! For they are not too large, yet not so small that one could ever forget you are a woman. Firm and tender, easy to cup in hand and crowned with dark gems, how could a man who is but flesh and blood as I not speak of them! Oh but for one moment!" Aran's voice had gained more strength, more conviction, and more laughs from the crowd that was forming. Those that didn't know what the exercise were being told by those who knew, and they were enjoying every moment of it.




Tower Guard


Rosheen Tahn Sakhr


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To show Aran that she wasn’t particularly interested in his description of her womanly forms, Rosheen started whistling a merry tune while juggling the balls. It was a song she’d heard one of her parents wagon drivers sing years past, one that had made her mother blush, and cup her hands over her daughters ears. She was quite sure Aran of all people would recognise the tune. After the first part she stopped, glancing at Aran with a grin on her face. “As you can probably tell, I’m not impressed with your means of distracting me.â€


Laughing, Aran pulled something from his sleeve, something round. "Oh really? Well in that case I have something to make this game a little more interesting. Yes, thats right, ball number four. I'm going to count to three, and on three I'm going to toss this ball to you and you're going to have to handle it like I showed you. Ready? One..."


Rosheen’s eyes widened slightly at the appearance of a fourth ball. That was going to be tricky. Three balls were easy, but she tended to lose track of the fourth one quite often. On three, Aran tossed her the ball. For a moment Rosheen froze on the tightrope, catching the ball, and wrestling it into submission. Before long she had a steady circle again. She felt a trickle of sweat make it’s way down her back when she started moving again. “Still not particularly impressed.†She muttered.


"The day I require a woman to be impressed with me will be the day I put on novice whites." Getting a few laughs and scowls alike from those who were gathered, Aran grinned. He was actually glad that she'd made it so far, that and he was getting the chance to do what he otherwise wouldn't be able to without having his hand broken. As it was, he had a feeling he was going to have a second black eye when he called the exercise done. "You know, I met your mum while she was here."


For a moment Rosheen was quite sure she would drop the balls and fall off the tightrope. Her mother? What the? Without really wanting to, Rosheen envisioned Kyrie’s mother. A pleasant woman, of an age with Roshana. Her eyes widened significantly. It took her a lot to get herself under control again. When she spoke her voice was dangerously low. “If you ever mention my mother in a way that is anything other perfectly civil, I will nail you to a boat by your tongue.â€


Laughing even as the crowd ooo'd, he grinned up at Rosheen. "Now that was just plain terrible, why does everyone assume the worst of me?" Sighing theatrically, he continued. "But yes I met your mother, and your father too, fine man he is. In fact, he once told me how his little princess used to ride her little horse wherever she went with a wooden stick in hand. Rosheen! Warrior Princess!â€


The blush that spread on Rosheen’s face was far more genuine than the blush she had had before. That was just because Aran was being Aran, and he was touching her leg, and that was just too weird. This was because she definitely remembered the way her father had laughed until he cried when she’d charged at him with a stick in hand, crying ‘Forward the Rainbow banner!’. Her mother had insisted that if any banner should be forward, it should be the rainbow banner. Of course, at six, it had seemed like a rather good idea. “I hate you.†She said, glaring at Aran, almost forgetting to keep the balls in the air. “You’d better run fast after this is done, because I’m going to kick your arse.â€


Even as everyone laughed harder as she threatened Aran, Aran spread his arms out to everyone to let them know he had more to say. "But, not only was our princess armed with a stout stick to make the mightiest foe quiver! She had upon her a magical helm! For this was no ordinary helm, indeed it was a helm that granted might and power to its bearer! Long had it lain forgotten though, for it had cunningly disguised itself as a humble bucket!"


Roaring laughter echoed in Rosheen’s ears as she wobbled on the rope, trying very hard not to fall off. “I can’t believe they told you about the bucket.†She muttered, a pout slowly forming on her face. She would definitely have to have a talk with her parents about that. What if Ursana ever heard about that? She’d never hear the end of it then. It was actually rather surprising Aran didn’t bring this up to embarrass her sooner. “Pain. Lot’s of pain. That’s what I want you to think about, Aran. Think about all the pain you’re going to feel when I’m done with you. Trust me, getting your hand stomped on by Ginae will feel like a caress after that.â€


Laughing so hard, he almost had to sit down, he managed to pull himself together as he stood by her side as she kept juggling while maintaining her balance. His friend had managed it, but he knew for certain that she was going to kill him now, so he was of a mind to take a certain final liberty since he was most likely going to be in the infirmary anyway. "Ladies and gentleman, before one and alI hereby anounce that our little Princess has passed!" At the last word, Aran swung as hard as he could, the smack which resounded as his right palm connected with her left buttock brought a fresh wave of laughter even as she fell to the other side of the tightrope. Running into the crowd, Aran was using them as shields as best he could as he cried out even as he laughed with those around him. "Protect me! Save me!"


Rosheen let out a very unladylike shriek with Aran slapped her backside. For the first time during the exercise she actually lost her balance. Fortunately she was able to step off the rope with relatively little trouble. She was focussed on Aran though. Even as he was racing through the crowd, Rosheen took aim, chucking her balls after him, hearing a satisfying thunk three out of four throws. He was still running though, and Rosheen was getting worried she wouldn’t catch him as soon as she would like.


She needn’t have worried though, because just as Aran cleared the crowd, someone tripped him. A glance upward told her that Marie definitely thought it was time for Aran to get his punishment. Rosheen grinned at the other Tower Guard, before diving on Aran with a battle cry that sounded suspiciously like "Forward the Ranbow Banner!†Then the time for battle cries was over, as Rosheen proceeded to hit every inch of Aran she could reach. With grim satisfaction she noticed she had complimented his look with another black eye. Before she could do any serious damage, someone pulled her off Aran. That was probably a good thing, as she hadn’t actually intended to beat him up all that badly. She turned to see Vasya holding one of her arms. “Alright then…†she muttered, dismissing the thought that she should wrestle free and pound on Aran some more. “Who wants ale?â€

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