Mary looked up from her meal. The chicken and potatoes were both burnt and tepid. “Lizzy? Is Stroz feeling okay? Everything is just a little bit cold…” This was unusual since normally it was burnt but at least it was hot.
Lizzy grabbed Finos’ freshly poured tankard and stomped over to the bar. “Hey! I was drinking that.”
Mary turned to Faute, “What’s up with her?”
Faute sat down across from Mary and leaned toward her whispering, “Kegar came by a while ago and asked Strozazand to go into the bone tower with him.” She glanced toward Lizzy, “He said she couldn’t come. That she would be useless.”
Finos hopped down from his bench and waddled on pudgy legs to the girls. “Faute, mind if I get another beer?” He looked at Mary and winked.
Faute sat up straight and looked down at him haughtily, “Fine, get one.”
Finos sighed and walked toward the bar muttering to himself, “I just wanted her to get me another drink. I thought that’s what barmaids were for.”
Mary watched the hobbit stumble off, “You don’t have to be mean to him.”
“He’s a little creep and he hits on all the girls.” Faute said, watching him out of the corner of her eye.
Mary took a bite of the cold chicken, shuddered and put her fork down. “He just wanted a drink. He wasn’t hitting on you.”
That was the problem of course. Faute had made it clear to the whole village that she was better than them. It made her an abysmal barmaid. Finos Nimblequick was a flirt. He was charming and tried, playfully, to pick up every woman in town. Married or unmarried. Except for Faute. No one would accuse her of being jealous… but much like Shandra, she had a gift for the magic arts and fire in particular.
Faute touched her slightly pointed ears, seeking reassurance, before pushing back her hair to reveal her well-known fae heritage to Mary. “I don’t know why he would hit on a blue mutant like yourself!” She stood up and stalked off to the back room where her father, adopted father as she was insistent to tell everyone, kept the books.
Mary looked down at the cobalt epidermis on her hand. Tears threatened. She knew she should have a thicker skin when it came to comments about her skin color. She had been blue her whole life and no one knew how or why, but it was still very hurtful. Knowing that she should be tough only made it worse really. The tears started to leak out. She had sniffed once when a slightly dirty hanky was thrust at her.
Finos held out the hanky in one hand and held two mugs of ale in the other. “Here.” He set the mugs down and hopped up on the bench. “Looks like everyone is having a bad day.”
Mary sniffed and wiped her eyes with the hanky, “What makes you say that?”
He shrugged and took a pull on one of the ales, pushing the other toward her, “Well, certainly everyone in this tavern. You, me, I hardly need to explain. Lizzy is going to kill Kegar for obvious reasons. So that’s bad for both of them. Faute is angry, again.” He shrugged again. “I don’t know if the day could get much worse.”
They both looked up as the door opened. Percival stepped through looking like a dandy. Seeing them he smiled and walked over, grabbed Mary’s pint as she was reaching for it and sat down. “I hope you don’t have plans, because I have news from Capita.”