Polina's Captivating Capital Date
Set between the Polina +18 story and Painting Seyrsval Eggs story
Capital De Seraphim, Pryldahn, 1439 ATC
The market streets of Capital De Seraphim buzzed with chatter as merchants clamored for their wares to get attention over their competitors. It was an early spring sunny day with hardly a cloud in the bright, blue sky and a comforting breeze to ease the temperature as the couple politely moved through the throng of people til they reached a less crowded area to converse.
"Excuse me, pardon, gangway, beep beep." Venser mumbled as Polina giggled at the last two words he said to get people to make way.
They wandered the markets in the city for a while, looking at the buildings and seeing where the ancient structures had been incorporated into the modern buildings. He recognized blocks from an ancient Imperial temple making up the facade of a butcher's shop. History was strewn casually around the city and many over the centuries had built over or repaired many of the buildings to the point where you could see all different eras in a single place.
"So how long have you lived in The Capital?" Venser asked as the new couple browsed hand in hand.
Polina snapped her gaze from the vendor's wares, ignoring the disappointed glare of losing a customer, "My whole life. I've never been outside really been out past the farmlands or to the other cities really. My father is the only one who travels on business, if he ever does."
Venser silently nodded at her answer, tucking the bit of information to the back of his mind, "And how long did you say your family has been in the fish farming business again?'' He asked while they browsed various random vendors who sold all sorts of insignificant trinkets.
''Hundreds of years really, off and on. My family is one of the oldest in this region and it's branched off many times and it's all a huge web that honestly gets confusing when I think of all my cousins and extended families.'' The short girl spoke, soon her voice starting to drip with contempt as she crossed her arms and looked up to Venser.
''It's not polygamy and confusing family connections that bother me. It's that who sell fish are looked down upon as occupying a lowly occupation, even if it prospers and many people in this part of Pryldahn rely on fish.'' That got a nod from the handsome bearded man followed by the mutter, ''Doesn't make any sense...''
''I know it doesn't make any sense. Owners of our man made fish ponds certainly benefit from the ready availability of fish, the enormous expense of building and maintaining the most modest pond makes a solely commercial function seem unlikely. Which is why my family rarely travels. It's... It's not rare, but it's just uncommon that a family is wealthy enough to hire us. But...'' Polina's voice returned to gladness as she shuffled forward and smiled widely, burying her face into the handsome man's side. ''I'm happy to be on a date with you and not having to deal with work and my family.''
"We're on a date," Venser stated, his grin only increasing ten fold when Polina pressed her body into his, her smooth features and dark eyes looking up to his emerald slitted greens. The handsome bearded man bent down a bit so his face was closer to hers, and put his hand underneath her chin and raised Polina's to his. The passion, the lust, the love in his eyes took her breath away. Venser's lips came down on hers, and to Polina it felt so good and so right. With one kiss, Venser warmed her as though she was lit from a fire from within. They broke the kiss quickly so as to not inconvenience the other shoppers that moved around them.
''Best not to stay idle too long. That's what a tavern is for.'' He gave Polina a sly grin and kissed her softly on the cheek before standing straight up again.
"So, Venser, what did your family do before you purchased your farm?'' She asked as they continued walking now.
The man was quiet for a few short moments. Not something he really liked to reveal or talk about often. "I was an orphan from...'' He tried to think of a small village anywhere, one that Polina would likely have not have heard of. ''Timberline. It's a woodcutting village out east. It's near a river where they have a lot of charcoal burners. Beautiful country but... I left to make my own fortune and gain perspective about the world you don't get from staying in one place your entire life.''
"Oh." That was a sad thing to learn from Venser, but Polina tried not to make him feel down and tried to talk about the more positive side. ''That's like, a really good way of thinking of things Ven. That's why I love coming down here to the Capital docks when I can. Seeing all of the imports and all the walks of life. It's simply amazing. Seyrsval is soon oh there are going to be so many painted egg decorations. And lots of opportunities to paint!'' The girl could barely contain her excitement.
The pair stopped at a tailoring vendor, as Polina had spotted a dress that caught her eye and caused her mouth to gape. A stunning dress of shimmering ocean blue, strapless and backless, the way it sparkled and the embroidery gave way to the smooth silk that truly did resonate with perfect waters. The shimmering blue dress had a small, droplet shaped gap in the center, strategically positioned to reveal a good amount of cleavage. The length of the skirt and the lack of sleeves displaying her smooth, white skin perfectly.
''By the Trinity, Venser... Wow.''
The man himself was looking at a crimson full sleeved shirt that came with a dark blue short sleeved tunic tunic belted at the waist. Very simple, and yet opulent and professional. Much more than the loose entertainer's Venser currently wore that could easily have gotten him mistaken for a monk if it was a brown or tan color. ''Pick whatever you want, Polina. It'll be my treat.''
''Oh thank you Venser... Thank you.'' Polina relied without taking her gaze off the dress as she slowly walked around the mannequin, her dark eyes missing nothing as her hopes steadily rose. ''I have to have it!''
The puppy eyed look Polina now gave Venser simply begged him to buy it, along with the semi-professional clothing that was in his signature colors. Fishing the coins from one of the pouches on his belt, he asked the clothing merchant. "How much?" While pointing at the mannequins on display. The tailor looked between the outfit and the bust and waist of his buyers.
"Hmm... Since I wouldn't have to make any changes of measurements, how does ninety sound?"
''That will be fine. I obviously am not carrying that many coins on me so let me write you a letter of credit...'' Venser adjusted the fine traveling cloak he wore and fished around in another one of his pouches while the merchant already had a contract ready for him to sign. Thankfully, the man already carried around a fair amount of coins to pay for a good meal, booze or anything fairly cheap on a whim but he was saving all of those for later. Venser believed the younger painter should be wearing the most beautiful dresses Capital De Seraphim had to offer. And soon enough he and Polina were on their merry way, happily carrying their parcels of old clothes while wearing their new.
''Mhm that does look good on you. Delicious, even.'' The handsome bearded man said as he lead the way, looking back at the girl in the shimmering blue dress, letting out a low seductive growl.
Polina felt her cheeks burn and watched him stride ahead, the new tunic fit snugly against his broad shoulders and tapered over his hips. Tall, handsome, amazing eyes...
''Right back at you, lover.'' She said walking faster to nudge his side gently and grab his hand, linking her fingers with his. ''It's just like the sun reflecting off the ocean... Deep and shimmering like the sea. Or like your pretty eyes, Venser.''
They stopped again briefly, reaching out with his other hand and gently capturing the young painter's face. Meeting her level again, he looked at her long and hard, his expression fathomless. ''Eyes you can get lost in.'' Venser said in a low voice only Polina could hear. Her lips parted softly as she leaned her head in and closed her eyes, kissing him deeply again, feeling the warmth of his breath that only lasted for a few seconds before he pulled away.
Venser beamed at his date with a bright smile., "Let's go eat together! I don't know how often you get to eat at the finer places of this city." Elena blinked numerous times and just smiled widely. She wanted to continue their date on a good note and was always happy to spend time with Venser.
''I would love that!'' They continued on across the market and through the square to a very fine establishment on the right, a gilded sign that read "Felix's Bistro" hung above the door.
Venser pushed open the doors to the restaurant and held them open as a true gentleman would. A well dressed human host was manning the reception area and he quickly waved them both over, smiling genially.
“Ahh, welcome back, Mr. Karkaldwin. And might I say that the woman looks ravishing tonight?” He gave a courteous nod to Polina, who blushed slightly at the compliment. She fixed her hair and held Venser's hand as she followed.
“A booth is ready and waiting for you. If you would follow me.”
The Host led them over to a secluded booth on the far side of the restaurant, allowing them a good view of the harbor. All of the windows were open, allowing them to listen to the gentle sounds of the rolling waves and to catch the cool seafront breeze. The temperature was perfect, the seats were soft and welcoming, and the moment felt... relaxing. The perfect dinner date.
Polina's soft, fair hands splayed out across the cloth that covered the surface, several golden rings catching the flickering light of the candles set between them. Her expression was soft and welcoming, fitting perfectly with the music that drifted across the room. Soft lites and soft wood instruments filled up the room. Tables were decorated and adorned with candles and cutlery
Nonetheless, they both took a seat without incident and grabbed the proffered menus. They both looked over the menu, and many of the dishes sounded like they would be delicious and from the sound of it, Venser was willing and expecting to play a generous host.
''Have you ever been here before, Polina?'' The handsome bearded man asked as the girl's dark eyes wandered over all of the food items.
Roast stag in antler sauce
Poached and peppered quail eggs
Herb crusted chicken and vegetables
Roast heron and chopped sundew
Baked pheasant with leeks
Smoked salmon and wild berries
“I haven't... Oh Trinity, what to choose? Uhhh... I’ll have the herb-crusted chicken and vegetables, please.'' The young painter said, just about to hand the menu over.
“Absolutely, ma'am.'' The Hose replied smoothly. He took her menu away, saying, “An excellent choice. I can assure you we only use the freshest, purpose greens. You won’t be disappointed.” He turned his attention to Venser, who sat tall and watched Polina. “And for the sir?”
“Mhm all of it sounds good... But I will have the roast stag in antler sauce.'' Venser said, handing over the menu.
''And for drinks in the meantime?''
"I hear Whispering Wyvern wine 29... Ah ha, is actually a good vintage." Venser said as the waiter came along, glancing at Polina. Her hair was beautifully styled, and smelled sweet, too. Raspberry and the smell of spring when everything was in bloom.
Polina laughed. "Really repetitive name isn't it?"
''Just like Polina Piscator?'' The handsome bearded man said waggling his eyebrows at the short brunette across the table from him, who just scoffed and waved.
''I can't argue with that.''
While they spoke the waiter had returned with a tray, the bottle of Whispering Wyvern 29, two glasses, and a basket of garlic bread. ''Here you are. Your meals shouldn’t be long. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you require further assistance.” The Host said, opening the bottle with a flourish.
''Thank you.'' Venser nodded and the waiter nodded back.
''Enjoy, this is one of the best wines in all of Pryldahn.''
The handsome bearded man poured them both a glass slowly, picking his up and swirled it around, taking in the nose before giving it a sip. Noting with satisfaction that it was indeed warm to the touch. ''Mhm...'' He sipped slowly, savoring the wonderful taste.
Polina took a larger sip of her port, smacking her lips as she swallowed and put the glass back down. ''Oh... By the Trinity this was a good choice, Ven.''
Venser watched her with interest before draining about half of his glass, swallowing the crimson liquid with relish. He put the drink back down and looked at Polina's glass as she guzzled all of it fast. “Didn’t expect you to be drinking like that. You must be thirsty!''
"Thirsty, hungry... Horny.'' Thank you for taking me here, Ven. It's a charming setting for our first date." Polina said as she selected a slice of garlic bread to nibble on while they waited on their food. Ezio felt like he struck it rich as she addressed him and smiled across the table. He knew when she first saw him it was love, and he admired the young painter. Venser had Polina wrapped around his finger so easily.
Blushing madly, he scratched the back of his head shyly, "I try my best, Polina."
After they had placed their order and patiently waited for their food to be brought out while snacking on garlic bread and wine, Polina decided to revisit a topic from earlier that peaked her curiosity, "So you said your story started when you left your village and wandered? What happened then? Where did you go?''
Venser paused for a moment, again. ''I came from nothing, from that poor village. Traveled with gypsy caravans where they taught me music, and then learned swordsmanship from traveling mercenaries. As for my magical abilities... Natural talent. I suppose everything I know just comes from traveling all over the world. But really in the end though I'm just out for a good time, and do what's best for my family. Provide for them by running a business and going off on adventures. You've always have to mix it up otherwise you get bored in life. You have to learn new skills, facts, and travel. Many people do not get to do that.''
Polina nodded along, understanding her companion on a very intimate level. She felt lucky enough to know her calling in life. Right now it was art and trying to practice whenever she could, and learn all forms of art not just painting, but sculpting, artifacts and architecture. The budding young painter still craved to travel outside of Capital De Seraphim and learn all she could. And thankfully, she waited for Venser to ask about the subject.
"I hope, Venser, that we will always continue to be friends when we travel the world and forge a new path for ourselves," She placed her smooth, petite hand on his, feeling the stirring sensations of butterflies run amuck in her stomach as he placed his other hand on hers enveloping it in the heat he generated. Their moment of sentiment interrupted as The Host placing their plates of food on the table with a bashful apology before quickly retreating.
"I'll cheer to that, Polina."
The couple chuckled to themselves as red stained their cheeks, retracting their hands back to their person and digging into their food while falling into a comfortable silence as they ate, Polina letting out pleased moans every few moments much to Venser's amusement. Pausing every once in a while to ask questions that popped into their mind. Thankfully, Venser did ask about her passion.
''And I hope the same, lover. So, tell me. I know you don't want to work for your family anymore and they don't approve of your art but... What exactly do you want to get out of it? Why art, what does it mean to you?'' He asked, popping a piece of stag into his mouth.
Polina nearly choked on her mouthful of her herb-crusted chicken, swallowing and forcing it to go down and drink a few gulps of her wine to wash it down before she could speak. Venser regarded her oddly but patiently waited nonetheless, interested at what she had to say. Her face clearly lit up brighter than before.
"Art is amazing. Its in everything. It's the landscapers dream, the singer's tongue, a chef's recipe, and so much more. And I believe art is not as simple as having or not having talent. Art is in us all and many people do not notice it and like, it has to be expressed one way or another. And the world is just so full of color and I hope to apprentice from the best artists in this city and make coin from my passion. And be independent from my family business." Polina explained.
"That sounds wonderful. And it's rare to be able to turn your passion into a money making career and I fully support you, Polina. And I will help you." He responded, causing the young painter to blush again and shudder from his touch.
"Thank you so much Ven... My dad pushes me and my siblings to just stay with the family business, and marry and bring them into our line of work though so I can have a foundation." She said with a shrug. "Which I already have but it's not a foundation I want."
"Maybe once you find an apprenticeship you can do both? Help your family half of the week apprentice in the Capital... Balance it." Venser shrugged. "In this life you have to find out what you love and pursue it. But I admit you can't do it all the time or it would get boring and you would appreciate it."
The young painter smiled and nodded her head, thinking about it as Venser shrugged and picked up his wine, sipping it before going back to his food.
"I don't know Venser. I have to deal with my family and the money... For materials and then seeking an apprenticeship."
''Money is a construct." The handsome bearded man said with a wave of his hand. "Everything I own, my family your family everyone's family owns... It’s all material shit. In the end we have nothing but memories and how we live our lives but... Ahem with art, you leave behind a legacy. Works of art that will be around for millenia."
"Like this city and the giant statues of The Trinity in the harbor!" Polina beamed as Venser leaned in again, gazing into her eyes and noticing swirls of amber candlelight in her dark browns. "I want to capture everything, life, people as they look in the natural moment. I strive to make my work look just as close as to when I look at the world."
Venser nodded and said, "It's amazing no one has painted you yet, Polina..." Getting another blush, feeling her hot breath against his. "We have to find you the greatest master with the greatest reputation."
"Stick with me and I will find you a proper workshop for you to apprentice in... I am friends with the God Queen herself you know. So I am very certain we will find an established painter or sculptor and the secrets of the trade will be all yours, I just need to speak with her. Don't worry about the money, or anything else."
The world seemed to slow and the young artist heard the four words she had always wanted to hear from someone, anyone, "I will support you."
Those simple words made something clench deep inside of Polina Piscator. The dark eyed artist could not put into words that Venser Karkaldwin was the most handsome man she had ever laid eyes on and that was enough to fluster her. She closed her eyes and kissed him passionately, and he did the same, squeezing her hands tightly as they connected in that romantic moment.
"I think I really like you V... Ven."
Dinner eventually had to come to a close. They had both finished off their meals and the The Host had cleared away the plates and glasses. Venser settled out the bill by producing a small pouch of silver from his utility and Polina noted that he left a healthy tip for the staff.
Soon they were both out in the cool night air. While they had been eating, the sun had begun to set and many of the street benders were beginning to pack up their stalls and turn in for the night.
"Old familiar faces, everywhere you meet. Following the ways of the land. Cobblestones and lanterns, lining every street. Calling me to come home againhainnnn...! La la la la la la, la la la la la la!" Venser sang and dance, placing his hands on his hips and raising his legs to do a jig, causing the young painter to burst out laughing as the older man set down their shopping bags, grabbed a nearby streetlight and began to dance on it.
"When we get home I'll grab my guitar and play it for you and the family. It's always a perfect way to end the night before bed." He continued getting off the pole and carrying their bags with one hand, taking Polina's with the other as they walked towards the harbor to watch the setting sun and admire the ocean.
“I would love that... I had a great time tonight, Venser.” Polina started, “I’ve never been on a date before, but there was something special about this... Is this how a date night normally is? Do you play any other instruments?"
"Only the best dates." Venser said nudging the shorter girl softly. "I do. But to be honest, I can't read music but I can play any instruments, all by ear. But the guitar has always been my favorite."
"That's amazing. You were born talented. How long have you been playing?"
"Since I was about a teenager really, late start. But its never too late to learn." The handsome bearded man only shrugged and said, "Everyone is either born with some kind of talent or a will to learn something they really like. Like with you and painting. All one needs is time, skill, and months or even years of expirmientation and failures to get to a place of success."
Polina nodded again and squeezed Venser's hand, looking up at his handsome visage as theh sat down on a bench beside the sea and looked at each other. The young couple embraced, and the young painter decided to reply with a very enthusiastic kiss on his lips, and soon became lost in the kisses and the touch of his rough hands. And Venser only encouraged the young painter as his hand rubbed along her lower back and kept her so close.
Even though they both enjoyed themselves, Venser saw fit to back away for the moment, leaving only a trail of saliva between the two. "I would say this is the part where we go home and you spend the night with me..."
Polina could only moan softly and bite her lip, completely entranced. "Yes sir..."