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WELCOME TO CAECUS TOWN
LOCAL INFORMATION
Local Pokémon: Starly Flabébé Mime Jr. Snubble Cleffa
With flower boxes lining every street, polished white stone buildings towering in the air and dozens of Flabébé floating gently through the breeze, Caecus is a fairy-type lover's paradise, filled with Pokémon who have grown extremely used to human contact. Feral Snubbull are often simply adopted from off the streets, while Mime Jr.s and Cleffas collect the scraps fallen from the opulent outdoor dining tables of overpriced cafes. Caecus' official bird is Starly.
Both larger and more heavily populated than its sister-town of Campana, Caecus is just on the verge of being deemed a true city, complete with the corruption and greed to go with the title. Researchers will feel right at home with the local focus on TMs, performance-enhancing drugs, and less than legal training techniques, while trainers themselves may be interested in the recently installed Fairy-type gym, which boasts both its challenge and high fashion. Driving their prosperity through transport, clothing manufacturing, and a black market linked directly to Piscari, Caecus is a home-away-from-home for those less than inclined to follow the word of the law. Its original population is largely light-skinned, with a mix of French and British dialects.

 
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>  Time to Kill, Interaction - Aureliusz Volkov
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 Liam Byron posted at Jan 5 2018, 06:55 AM
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Liam strode down the sidewalk, unmindful of its fresh coating of light snow. They said that when it didn't snow naturally at this time of year in Caecus, the town hired ice specialists to create snow. It seemed mother nature was cooperating with the Christmas decor today, though.

Hands shoved into his pockets, the fingers of one slid along the edge of the business card tucked there. The fighter still felt prickly, like his skin wanted to twitch. He was so rarely walked out on in that way that it rankled. He was no stranger to rejection, certainly, but normally that came at the beginning of an encounter, not when they were practically falling into bed. He consoled himself that at least Keandre had seemed as genuinely upset as he was, so it likely wasn't that Liam had failed to intrigue him in any way.

The cold air seemed to help soothe his temper, and his pace gradually slowed. He took some time to look around and enjoy the scenery. As he had reflected earlier in the day, there was nothing about this town that was not decorative--or, in this season, decorated. There was greenery and lights everywhere he looked.

He paused for a moment in front of a bakery. Coffee wasn't much for a man his size to go on. Maybe something small to eat while he waited would finish settling his riled nerves.

He pushed through the bakery door, shaking the fresh snow from his thick hair and carefully wiping his feet on the throw rug inside the door. He looked around and found himself bemused. The shop was positively stuffed with wreaths, garlands, and floral arrangements decorated for Christmas. Wow. Somebody here is definitely in the holiday spirit.... The place smelled strongly of fresh bread and faintly of sugar, and Liam felt his tense shoulders ease. Maybe he was hungrier than he had realized.

He made his way up to the case, where an assortment of baked goods were displayed around a centerpiece of white poinsettias and pink roses. Cal rested in his usual spot against his trainer's back, crossguard lightly resting on Liam's shoulder. The trainer studied his options, hands casually tucked in coat pockets, while he waited for someone to come out of the back.

@Aureliusz Volkov

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 Aureliusz Volkov posted at Jan 5 2018, 07:38 AM
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A small figure peered over the register as the door jingled softly, the festive bells decorating it signalling the arrival of a new customer. The first in the past ten minutes or so, if the Ralts manning the register was correct in his maths. A quick glance at the clock told him that yes, he was, and then he was inspecting the newcomer again, those red eyes studying him carefully from where he was apparently hidden from the man’s view. Or perhaps he was too distracted by the food; that had happened before. His human was still in the kitchen, putting the finishing touches on some sort of celebratory cake, and had left him in charge of the register for the past few minutes. Given that it was typically the slowest part of the day, it only made sense for him to get some actual work done.

He gave a light tap on the glass case to alert the man to his presence, but otherwise, not moving very far. A slight tug on the mental link he shared with his trainer - still in its infancy, but rapidly growing stronger by the day - was all that he needed to do to alert him that a customer needed his attention, so Kazimierz simply waited where he was, still eyeing the man. It was about this time that he noticed the silent ghost type, and it had him stiffening on instinct, that natural fear of steel and ghost types rearing its ugly head for a moment before he stomped it back down. But not quickly enough, apparently; that fleeting emotion had travelled through the link, and a few scant seconds later his trainer practically burst through the doors that led into the kitchen, those blue eyes finding him immediately. The tense line of his shoulders relaxed, then, when he caught sight of the psychic type and almost like magic, his entire demeanour changed in an instant. It was like a switch had been flicked, and he’d been replaced by the perfect customer service worker.

“Hello! Welcome to Fairy Cakes!” Aureliusz practically chirped, his tone bubbly and light as he approached the counter. As he reached the register, he reached out, almost subconsciously, to rest a hand on the Ralt’s head, although his gaze remained locked on the beast of a man who stood on the other side of the counter. “I hope you weren’t waiting too long! Not a lot of help around on the holidays, I’m afraid. What can I get for you?” he asked, an ever-present smile on his face, even as he reached up to adjust the pink santa’s hat on his head hat had threatened to fall off.


QUOTE

+1pt decorations
+1pt santa hat


@Liam Byron

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 Liam Byron posted at Jan 5 2018, 08:59 AM
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A slight tap on the glass of the case drew Liam's attention immediately. He smiled at the Ralts, even as he silently kicked himself for not noticing it sooner. Nice work, Pyroar. Great street skills there. You're going soft. None of his harsh inner monologue showed in his warm voice, though. "Hello there, little one. Are you in charge around here?"

The edge of panic around the figure that burst through the door from the back of the shop wasn't obvious, but to someone who made his living in the dangerous places Liam did it was palpable enough to make him glance at the door, tensing for a fight. The younger man relaxed, however, as soon as he laid eyes on the Ralts. Liam wondered if the psychic Pokemon had played some kind of fairy prank to frighten his trainer--a wicked sense of humor was known to be a trait of the soft-looking typing. The back of his neck still prickled, but he kept his shoulders relaxed. Caliburn has your back, he reminded himself silently. It had been a long time since he had that luxury; he still didn't take it for granted.

The young man's smooth transition to perfect cheer made the corner of Liam's mouth flick upward, the impulse only reinforced by the sideways slide of his pink Santa hat. It complimented his unusual hair and set off his blue eyes. Though a simple dresser himself, Liam admired the degree of attention to detail on display here: his pink shirt matched the hat to perfection, and he wore golden gift ribbon earrings. Really, too damn cute. Damn, two cute boys in one day. I could really get to like this town.... The fighter's smile transitioned into a full-on playful smirk, not entirely on purpose (though he admittedly did nothing to stop it).

"Not at all!" he reassured the younger man, pulling his hands out of his pockets and pulling off his black leather gloves. "Honestly, I've been so busy admiring your shop I haven't even made a decision yet." He tucked the gloves away and leaned forward, coming slightly over the counter, though not far enough to be uncomfortably close. Far from threatening, his expression was almost conspiratorial, and his little smirk never wavered. "It's my first time here. My first time in Caecus, actually. You have a beautiful town." His emphasis on the word beautiful, in combination with the way his blue eyes lingered on the baker's face, suggested he meant to compliment more than the surroundings.

@Aureliusz Volkov

This post has been edited by Liam Byron: Jan 5 2018, 09:39 AM

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 Aureliusz Volkov posted at Jan 5 2018, 02:09 PM
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“He has a Pokemon,” Kazimierz murmured softly as he leaned into his trainer’s touch, knowing that Aureliusz would be wondering what had been the cause of his fear moments ago. He hadn’t noticed the ghost type yet, Kazimierz could tell, and he wanted to let him know before he saw it for himself. His trainer wasn’t fond of ghost types, after all, particularly those with a penchant for possessing people. “A Honedge, see?” he pointed, quite impolitely, at the hilt of the sword, which would just be seen above the man’s broad shoulders. He felt the familiar prickle of unease through their bond, but his trainer only laughed, glancing down at him with a fond expression.

“That’s what had you so nervous, malen'kiy?” he cooed, softly, brushing his fingers against the red, horn-like protrusions on the psychic type’s hood. He glanced up from Kazimierz to meet Liam’s gaze, a serene smile on his face as he nodded towards the Honedge on the blonde’s back. “He isn’t fond of steel types,” he explained, hoping that the man wouldn’t be offended by the explanation, “Seeing your partner frightened him a little.”

When the man leaned against the counter, Aureliusz took the chance to really study him, his gaze roaming from the tips of his long hair to his fingers as he removed his black leather gloves. It was almost unfair, how attractive he was, and those blue eyes of his were particularly mesmerizing. Aureliusz had to look away to avoid getting lost in them; it wouldn’t do to go zoning out when dealing with a customer.

He blushed delightedly at the compliment that followed; a shy little smile tugging at his lips in response when the double meaning behind the man’s words sunk in. It wasn’t unusual for customers to flirt with him, but it was rare that they would be so charming about it.

“Well then, welcome to Caecus,” he said, his accent become a tad more pronounced with his nerves. Or was that fluttering in his chest actually eagerness? He wasn’t quite sure. “We put a lot of pride in appearances, here. Must be those capricious fairies rubbing off on us,” he shot Kazimierz a teasing glance, to which the Ralts gave a small pout. It only served to prompt a delighted laugh from his trainer, who then shot Liam a grin. “I could always suggest something, if you’d like. I like to think I’m a good judge of people’s preferences.”


@Liam Byron

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 Liam Byron posted at Jan 5 2018, 03:16 PM
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Liam watched the specialist listen to his Ralts with sincere pleasure. He approved of people who took the time to work with their Pokemon enough to build their bond to such a point. He thought the Ralts was pointing at him until his trainer explained. "Ah! I see." Liam crouched down and rested crossed arms flat on the counter, perching his chin on top of them and bringing his eye level close to that of the little dual type. Little prickles of cold hit his skin as snowflakes clinging to his sleeves melted under his bare hands."I'm sorry if Caliburn frightened you. I can see why, since he's both ghost and steel--he could hurt you quite badly. But I promise, unless you try to hurt us he's gentle as a lamb. In fact," his voice dropped to a conspiratorial whisper, "I've been told he makes terrible jokes."

As if on cue, the Honedge spoke up without moving. "What's your point?" Liam quirked a grin. "See what I mean? He's a pussycat. We're actually thinking of getting a Ralts like you to join our team. Maybe we'll get one for Christmas."

Liam flicked his gaze up to steal another look at the handsome shop owner. He was delighted with the blush his compliment had provoked and felt a strong urge to kiss that shy little mouth. He also did not miss the blue eyes roving over his body, and felt the pleasant tingling of blood speeding up. What is it with this town and sexy guys with sexy accents? He really wanted to know what kinds of fascinating things this sweet treat would whisper in his ear in Russian....

Still, Liam kept his cool and stood smoothly back to his feet. He smiled at the spiel, a showman himself, he appreciated the smooth delivery and the Ralts's cued pout. "I'd love a recommendation. I'd enjoy hearing what you think my preferences are." There was a hint of teasing in his smile, but his voice was steady.

@Aureliusz Volkov

This post has been edited by Liam Byron: Jan 5 2018, 03:23 PM

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 Aureliusz Volkov posted at Jan 6 2018, 04:19 AM
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The image of the man - who looked like a Pyroar in a man’s body, if he were honest - crouching by the counter and resting his chin on his folded arms to gently reassure his partner was almost enough to make Aureliusz melt right then and there. It was so sweet, it would have put most of the desserts in the bakery to shame. He found himself smiling fondly at the display, his customer service facade melting away into something more genuine.

Kazimierz, for his part, was beginning to warm to the strange man with a sword on his back. He offered Liam a small smile - the only thing visible under the green hood covering most of his face - and looked up at his trainer. “I like this one,” he said, matter-of-factly, prompting another small laugh from his trainer.

“Why, I think you just performed a Christmas miracle. It’s a rare thing for Kazimierz to decide he likes somebody so quickly.”

He motioned for Liam to follow as he walked further down the counter, behind the display case. “Something warm, of course This weather can chill even the warmest of souls,” he mused, eyes trailing thoughtfully over the variety of warm, savoury treats in the display case, interspersed by a few warm sweet treats here and there. This was the only case devoid of christmas decorations; most of them would melt in the warmth. “Something that you can take with you, because you’re a busy man. Nothing too fancy, though. Warm, practical and satisfying.” the last sentence was said matter-of-factly, and after a moment he pointed to two different items.

“Pirozhki, if you want something savoury. Or Tvorozhniki, if you want something sweet. Pirozhki is meat and vegetables wrapped in pastry and deep fried. Tvorozhniki are quark pancakes. Ours come with jam and cream. You can still eat them on the go, though.” He met Liam’s gaze with a curious tilt of his head, an almost coy smile on his face, even as the pink santa’s hat on his head tilted precariously to the side. “How did I do?”

QUOTE

+1pt for decorations
+1pt for santa hat



@Liam Byron

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 Liam Byron posted at Jan 6 2018, 08:05 AM
Quote ❝❞
^
Liam looked between the baker and his Pokemon, dipping his head as a boyish smile spread across his lips. "I'm flattered. I like you too, Kazimierz." He caught the trainer's blue eyes with his own before repeating his last line as though reinforcing his comment to the Ralts--but a little softer, with a little more weight behind the words. "I like you too."

He took great pleasure in the now genuine smile on the specialist's face and paced gladly down the case parallel to him, hands folded neatly behind his back. He nodded along to the baker's expert assessment, biting back bolder comments he might have made to the teasing Frenchman from earlier. This was a different game; a slower game, more subtle, a long fuse burning its way toward fireworks. "Something warm" was always the idea, yes, especially on a long, cold, winter night. He was indeed a "busy man"--the flamboyant baker had no idea. A quick glance at his watch confirmed he had less than a half hour until he was supposed to meet Keandre. Still, it was hard to resist the opening left by "warm, practical, and satisfying." Yes, I would say that about sums it up, gorgeous.

The whole time, regardless of internal monologue, his face remained pleasantly engaged with the younger man's words. At his dual recommendation, Liam couldn't help but smile as he said something almost an echo of what he had said earlier. "I like both sweet and savory, and honestly, they both sound delightful." He held the baker's blue gaze in his own, sounding just a little wistful as he continued. "But I think tonight, I need to choose one or the other...and tonight, I think is for the savory." He gestured toward the pirozhki without breaking eye contact. He paused, and his grin broadened a bit as he leaned forward as though sharing a secret. "But believe me, I will be back for the sweet."

He finally let the eye contact drop for a moment as he straightened back up. It was truly unfair how adorable the man behind the counter was with his head tilt and his little smiles that all seemed to demand Liam kiss them. The trainer prepared himself to take a stab at catching that adorably precarious Santa hat should it take a tumble, even as he answered the shopkeeper's question. "Uncannily well. You certainly seem to be brilliant at guessing what people want,...I'm sorry." He looked suddenly contrite. "I don't think I got your name." And he was definitely going to need that name when he came back for dessert.

@Aureliusz Volkov

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 Aureliusz Volkov posted at Jan 8 2018, 04:33 PM
Quote ❝❞
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Kazimierz practically preened at the man’s comment, something that was also highly unusual for the psychic type who rarely gave a thought to the opinions of anybody who wasn’t his trainer. It gave Aureliusz a little flutter in his chest; partly due to the little threads of happiness bleeding through their link, but also due to the sheer cuteness of the entire scene that was playing out before him. He met that blue-eyed gaze again with his own and felt a very slight shiver roll down his spine when the stranger repeated the words. There was something utterly intense about him, and it wasn’t just those striking blue eyes of his. Something about the way he spoke had Aureliusz wondering if there was some kind of double meaning behind his words.

The intensity in those eyes only seemed to have grown stronger during the brief period that their gazes hadn’t been locked; when he looked up again after making his recommendation he had to fight back the blush that threatened to warm his face. He swallowed involuntarily when the taller man leaned in, that long mane falling forward like a golden curtain around his face, the tips of the long strands brushing the festive decorations that lined the top of the display case. The way he spoke seemed almost too purposeful; like there was something about the conversation that Aureliusz wasn’t privvy to. But he couldn’t look away; at least, not until that last comment. That was an innuendo if he’d ever heard one, and this time he couldn’t help the blush that warmed his cheeks, flushing his face a light pink. Not quite enough to match his hair just yet, but close. He dropped his gaze, even as his lips curled into a shy smile.

He busied himself with retrieving the pirozhki, purposefully avoiding those intense blue eyes as he did and trying to will away the blush on his cheeks. The santa’s hat dangled precariously as he leaned down to retrieve the pastry from the case, but somehow managed to stay in place during the whole process of retrieving and wrapping the tasty treat, even when the man’s question prompted him to look up again. The compliment made him smile again, and he gave a small shrug. “You work in customer service for long enough, you learn how to spot that kind of thing, you know?” Aureliusz explained as he made his way back to the register, trusting the man to follow him.

The request for his name caught him off-guard a little, and the words came tumbling out of his mouth before he really had time to think about them. “Oh, uh, it’s Aureliusz,” He paused, then, the moment the comment left his mouth. He normally didn’t give out his real name, but this charming stranger had thrown him so off-kilter that it had simply slipped out. “But, uhm, most people - I usually go by Asya. Most people can’t pronounce my real name.” he added, setting the pastry down and punching a few numbers into the register. Of course, this was the moment that gravity won out, and the hat slid sideways and right off Aureliusz’s head.


QUOTE

+1pt [santa hat]
+1pt [decorations]



@Liam Byron

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 Liam Byron posted at Jan 9 2018, 03:20 PM
Quote ❝❞
^
There comes a moment in every flirtation where an experienced practitioner knows whether or not they have gotten a hook in and actually have a chance. That moment came for Liam when he leaned forward and the mild-mannered baker blushed, broke eye contact. and smiled. He felt a surge of adrenaline at the success, but kept his cool. He had to be careful with this one; he could still spook.

Even if that expression made him want to see just how far the blush spread.

The tension broke as the beautiful boy ducked into the case to retrieve his pastry, hands deft and sure. Liam watched him try to keep from looking at him and had to fight back a smile. He briefly considered shifting into his eyeline to put an end to his little game--or to change it to a more direct kind of game--but he restrained himself. Easy, Pyrorar. Take your time. Liam willingly trailed after his host like a kitten after a favorite child (or one holding a saucer of cream) all the way to the register.

When Aureliusz gave his name and then immediately retracted it, Liam was intrigued. He tilted his head to one side, long hair shifting over the shoulders of his coat. The last of the snow was melted now, leaving it darker gold and slightly damp in streaks, those locks now inclined to curl in a more unruly fashion than usual. "Is that because you prefer Asya, or because people can't be bothered to learn how to say Aureliusz?" It was a good approximation of its owner's pronunciation, just a bit off in accent. He gave a crooked smile. "Because if that's the problem, I don't mind making the effort if you'll give me a chance." He tried to catch his eyes, to use his own calm to steady Aureliusz's nerves, but the pink-haired boy was too focused on the register.

His intense attention did mean he was able to react quickly when that Humpty Dumpty of festive attire that was Aureliusz's hat finally fell. One large hand darted out with surprising speed, securing the plush pink fabric before it could strike anything but air. With a cocky grin--unable to help being proud of his reaction and coordination--and a playful little bow, he presented the hat to its owner. "I believe this is yours, Aureliusz." He was careful to wrap his nimble tongue around the name carefully to get it out properly--fortunately, he had always been good with names. "I'm Liam, by the way."

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 Aureliusz Volkov posted at Jan 12 2018, 05:38 AM
Quote ❝❞
^
Once again, it sounded like his words had a double meaning; like there was a half of this conversation that Aureliusz wasn’t aware of and he had a feeling that that part of the conversation was an internal monologue in the other man’s mind. At least, that’s what Aureliusz speculated; he had a tendency to get caught up in his own mind, too, and that was the only explanation he could come up with for the oddly intense way he spoke. The tension seemed to waver when he busied himself with retrieving the pastry, though, and he let himself relax, falling into the familiar rhythm of doing his job.

So of course, he jumped about a foot in the air when that large hand shot out to snatch his rogue santa’s hat out of thin air, almost knocking over a Christmas Sawsbuck in the process. He was glad that he’d already placed the pirozhki on the counter, or else it probably would have ended up on the floor. He could only blink at the hat in surprise when it was held out for him, gaze eventually flicking upwards to meet Liam’s again as his brain processed what had just happened. Once the surprise settled down, he smiled bashfully, embarrassed by his reaction, and quickly shifted into something more playful - mostly to hide the embarrassment he felt for being so jumpy.

“My hero,” he cooed, which quickly turned into a tittering giggle in response to Liam’s bow; he was charmed and completely amused by the display. The way he purred his name - his actual name, and not the nickname he’d offered - sent a tingle down his spine and caused yet another light blush to bloom on his cheeks. “Thank you for rescuing my hat, Liam,” it was practically a purr, the way he said Liam’s name, which came as a surprise to Aureliusz - almost as much as it had Kazimierz, if the thrum of surprise through their link was any indication. Flushing a darker pink, he busied himself with placing the hat atop his head again, taking a moment to adjust the way it sat until he was sure that it wasn’t about to take another tumble. Finally, he addressed Liam’s earlier question; while simultaneously reaching into the display case to retrieve an impeccably decorated cookie; shaped and decorated like a snowflake with light blues and white piped patterns.

“Nobody could be bothered to learn. But I give out nicknames like candy, so I guess it’s only fair that they give me one too! Well, I gave it to myself, rather. It’s a diminutive of my mother’s name.” He didn’t elaborate further; rather he placed the cookie in a cute, pink paper bag and laid it on the counter by the pirozhki that Liam had ordered. He smiled in response to the questioning look he received, and gave a slight shrug. “A token of my appreciation for rescuing my hat.”

QUOTE

+1pt [santa hat]
+1pt [snowflake/winter cookies]
+1pt [gift giving]


@Liam Byron

This post has been edited by Aureliusz Volkov: Jan 13 2018, 04:56 AM

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 Liam Byron posted at Jan 13 2018, 04:36 AM
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^
Liam felt a momentary flash of concern when Aureliusz jumped. He could see where his catch of the hat could be startling, but that reaction seemed a bit beyond the norm. Still, the baker regained his composure quickly. Some people did startle easily. Before Liam could apologize for the fright, Aureliusz smiled, just a bashful little curve of delicious lips.

Damn. The boy really shouldn't do that unless he wanted to be kissed repeatedly.

As quickly as it had slipped into place, the smile was replaced by a more playful one. Still highly kissable, honestly, but a little easier to resist. Liam smiled broadly at being called a hero, eyes dancing at Aureliusz's giggle. That reaction was even better than he'd hoped for--just delightful, really. He made a mental note to try and come up with something else to elicit such a giggle before he came back. No sooner had he tucked that thought away than Aureliusz said his name--and Liam's eyes snapped to grab and hold his. That voice, faintly teasing and sultry with the husky texture of a purr, was the voice of someone who was into this. How could that voice come out of the same bashful baker who still had the traces of a blush lingering on his cheeks?

Liam was suddenly very hungry in a way that pirozhki was going to do nothing to help. It seemed to him it would be a wonderful idea to lock the shop door and find out just how much of the shy baker was a mask over someone very exciting.

But no. Liam tamped down hard on his impulses, leaving only a smirk and the intensity of his pale gaze to mark his fiery internal reaction. His gut still said, despite all purrs, that he needed to take things carefully if he didn't want to scare this little gem away. Still, he found himself regretting that the hat came between their fingers as Aureliusz took it, preventing them from brushing skin.

The moment passed as Aureliusz adjusted his hat and retrieved the cookie. Liam gave a crooked smile, genuinely amused, at the pink-haired peach's explanation of the alternate name he had offered. "I'm not sure it counts as a nickname if you give it to yourself," he teased gently. He silently resolved to give this boy a proper nickname sooner rather than later--as soon as something that fit presented itself.

Liam gave another little bow at Aureliusz's gift (since the first one had amused him so much). "It was my pleasure, but I'll take the reward. I have a weakness for sweets." He winked playfully at the baker, setting payment for his piroszhki on the counter between the food and the holiday-clad Sawsbuck he had almost clipped in his grab for the hat.

Liam could feel his internal clock cuing him that he should really be going, but he lingered at the counter, slipping the cookie into his coat pocket and taking the warm pirozhki box into his hands. He was willing to bet that between the pastry and the way the younger man had his blood up, he wouldn't even feel the cold when he went out the door.

@Aureliusz Volkov

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 Aureliusz Volkov posted at Jan 13 2018, 05:43 AM
Quote ❝❞
^
Aureliusz had, to a certain degree, been hoping that Liam wouldn’t quite notice the way he had said his name - but at the same time, a small, playful part of him had wanted to see what would happen if he did notice. The playful side won out this time; it was obvious that the little purr hadn’t escaped the maned man’s notice when those intense eyes snapped up to meet his again, full of fire and something that Aureliusz could only describe as, well, hunger. It sent a thrill of nervous excitement through him. That wasn’t a look that he often saw directed towards himself, and it was a heady combination of thrilling and nerve-wracking to have garnered such a reaction from such an attractive man.

Fortunately for him, Liam’s crooked smile helped temper the butterflies that were having a field day in his stomach - and likely prevented him from doing something silly, like saying something else in that teasing tone of voice just to see what kind of reaction it would get him. But he composed himself, reigning in that cheeky inner voice that wanted to come out to play, and made sure his tone was even as he spoke. “No? I suppose that just means that they’re being lazy then,” he said with a laugh, imagining the kinds of nicknames the twins would have given him if he hadn’t suggested one for them. The possibilities were endless, and mortifying. “It’s probably safer not to let them choose, Arceus knows what they would come up with.”

Of course, those butterflies returned with a vengeance when Liam bowed once again and, Arceus, winked at him. And was that another double entendre he’d slipped in there? Aureliusz wasn’t quite sure, but it made him blush all the same, because he wouldn’t be surprised at all. That blush only darkened a little further when he retrieved the money as Liam placed it down, his fingers brushed Liam’s larger ones. He retracted his hand a little too quickly, and tried to cover it by acting as casual as possible as he processed the transaction.

As he handed over Liam’s change, he was overcome with a suddenly boldness he didn’t know he possessed. He placed the change on the counter and leaned against it, biting his bottom lip in a way that could have been considered coy if it weren’t such an obvious nervous tic and looking up at the much taller man through his lashes. The way the santa’s hat tilted to the side again just added to the coquettish look of him. “I don’t believe a cookie quite counts as dessert, so... I do hope you’ll make good on your promise to come back.” He grinned, still teasing as he added, “Maybe I’ll even give you a nickname for your trouble.”

QUOTE

+1pt [santa hat]


@Liam Byron

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 Liam Byron posted at Jan 13 2018, 10:35 AM
Quote ❝❞
^
Liam gave a little chuckle at his suggestion regarding nicknames. "That is the trouble with nicknames. Sometimes, they're not quite what you want them to be." Not that Liam had that problem anymore, but boy had he had some monikers he was not proud to claim when he was a kid on the edge of the pits...and as a teenager in them.

The first moment you touch a potential lover for the first time is important. Liam believed that, wholeheartedly. If it doesn't feel like anything, carry any weight, a whole flirtation can fizzle.

This flirtation did not fizzle.

As Aureliusz's fingers brushed against his, Liam felt the spark of connection and saw the blush on the baker's face deepen. He didn't bother to hide his smile; they were in full blown flirting territory now. If he had any doubt of that, the baker's actions when he pulled out Liam's change proved it. His gaze flicked to the teeth sunk into the soft lower lip and he felt a pleasant sort of growl rising in his chest with a sudden and pointed wondering how that lip would feel between his own teeth. As he spoke, blue eyes looking up through the thick fringe of his deep pink lashes, Liam felt a very strong urge to just lean in the few inches it would take and kiss the little flirt until he gasped for air.

Patience, Pyroar.

Instead, Liam leaned in close, into Aureliusz'z personal space, and reached in with both hands to slide his change away from the baker's hand, careful to avoid the inopportunely placed Sawsbuck Christmas decoration. The thumb of one hand brushed lightly over the back and fingers of Aureliusz's hand. His skin was warm and soft, and Liam made a point to catch his eye and smile, this time at dangerously close range.. "Thanks, Aureliusz. I certainly will." Liam spoke softly, not moving away. He returned the other man's earlier favor and spoke low and husky, keeping his eyes set firmly on the baker's blue gaze.

He withdrew slowly, putting the change in his pocket as he pulled back. He pulled on his gloves, picked up the pirozhki, and smiled at his host. "It was very nice to meet you. I'll be back soon--I promise." With a last little smirk, Liam turned and walked away. He didn't look back, not even as the door fell shut behind him. He ate the pirozhki as he strolled through the sharpening cold. It was delicious, and Liam could not be more pleased with his stop. He slid one hand into his pocket to feel the crinkling paper bag that held the cookie and smiled to himself. The main course was delicious, but he was also looking forward to dessert.

@Aureliusz Volkov

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 Aureliusz Volkov posted at Jan 13 2018, 12:52 PM
Quote ❝❞
^
Aureliusz could hear the pleased rumble in the older man’s chest, particularly when he leaned in to meet him, invading his personal space like he had every right in the world to be there. For a moment, Aureliusz had been somewhat concerned - excited? nervous? - that he was going to keep leaning in until there was no space between them anymore; the way those striking blue eyes had dropped to his lips hungrily only served to fuel that thought. But the older man stopped a few scant inches away; close enough that Aureliusz could feel the warmth of his breath fanning his face when he spoke; the deep, husky voice saying his name sending a delighted shiver straight through him.

The spell was broken when Liam drew back, and Aureliusz finally found himself able to breathe again, slowly releasing the breath he’d been holding that entire time. He returned the sentiment with a soft, almost breathless, “See you soon, then, Liam,” and offering up a small, shy wave as he left. Once Liam disappeared onto the street beyond his front doors, Aureliusz sagged against the counter with a sigh and began fanning himself with his hand. After such an encounter, it was definitely necessary; he felt hot and flustered all the way from the tips of his hair down to his toes. He was sure that the blush on his face hadn’t let up at all, his cheeks still felt hot and his heart was still beating a mile a minute from the adrenaline that came with being pushed so far out of his usual comfort zone.

“You’re ridiculous,” Kazimierz drawled, looking up at his trainer with an expression that was both knowing, and so very judgmental. Aureliusz just laughed in response, offering up a small, nonchalant shrug. He couldn’t find it in himself to be bothered by the psychic type’s judgment, he was still far too giddy over the entire situation that had unfolded. It had been exciting, the back and forth banter they’d had. It was… almost like a game of wits, actually, this whole ‘flirting’ thing. It had been nerve-wracking and intense and so totally new for him, but fun and exhilarating at the same time. He found himself hoping that the lion of a man would make good on his promise to come back. It would be such a shame if he didn’t.

He grinned down at Kazimierz, those blue eyes sparkling with the laughter he wasn’t voicing even when his santa’s hat took another tumble, this time hitting the counter with a soft pap. He barely paid it any mind, too busy voicing the question on his mind. “You think he’ll come back?”

Kazimierz just rolled his eyes. “I have no doubt that he will.” That, he was sure of.

[[END]]


QUOTE

+1pt [santa hat]


@Liam Byron

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