(121-04-28) Dessert First
Dessert First
Summary: In which Eomer and Lexander discuss the finer things in life.
Date: April 28, 2014
Related: none

Golden Maiden Eatery — Lower Hightower Street

Warm oakwood walls contain this small eatery. Large candelabras have been hoisted up on chains to hang up near the ceiling, lending a warm light to the room and playing up the golden colour of the wood. A large counter, again of golden oak, stands near the entrance. It is there that drinks are poured, and food brought out from the kitchens behind.

The place houses at most twenty people at its round wooden tables. The chairs are cushioned in the same deep merlot coloured fabric as the table-clothes. In the center of each table is a thick white candle on an oaken pillar-stand.

The scent of warm breads and cheese permeate the room, as does that of choice cuts of meats. Everything is crafted to pair well with wines that are the House's speciality.

Female and male servers tend to people and their culinary whims, spreading the word of the meals of the day and the pairings to go with them.


An invitation for a (free) dinner in the Golden Maiden is not the sort of invitation Eomer Meadows would ever turn down. Even if it hadn't been offered by someone to whom he owes a great deal of money but still does him favors, sometimes. Occasionally. If he can weasel them out. None of this stops Eomer from arriving at The Golden Maiden an hour early, however, so that he can enjoy a few glasses of the more expensive rye-based hard liquor (on Lexander's tab, of course). It seems he's come to enjoy the attentions of one of the serving girls, as well, or perhaps the other way around? Eomer's seated at one of the round tables, a glass of rye whiskey in one hand and the other resting, just lightly, on the knuckles of a lovely young woman who probably ought to be seeing to the needs of another patron. Instead, she's smiling warmly at Eomer, cheeks pink, eyes down.

Lexander drops unannounced into the seat across from Eomore, all bright colors and devil-may-care grin. He's dressed flamboyantly in a tight-fitting high-collared jerkin over a shirt with billowing sleeves, and loose trousers to match. Bright, royal blue and sunburst yellow, with a wide-brimmed hat held in one hand that matches it all very nicely. "Lord Eomer," he says as he settles in, his voice brimming with friendly mirth. "My thanks for your invitation." Only, wasn't it the other way around? No matter. "I'll join you in a glass or three, hm?"

Eomer sets his glass down, though only so he can use that hand to hold up a finger. "Ser Eomer," he corrects, grinning himself, his gaze still on the pretty girl. Her hand is lifted so that the back of it might be softly kissed before it's released. "Another glass for my friend, please, my dear. In fact, why don't you bring a glass and the bottle. Oh. And menus." He winks and the girl flushes more brightly as she gathers her professionalism about her again, steps away and sees about the order. Eomer sighs contentedly at the view said retreat provides before looking over at his dinner companion. "Master Charos," he greets. "Good evening, good evening, indeed. And an excellent venue you've chosen. Or have I chosen it? Well, either way, well done."

"Brave Ser Eomer," here it is Lex' turn to raise a finger, "The Devil of Hangman's Bluff, wasn't it?" This interjected before the maid can make off with their ordern, and then the Essosi leans in low over the table, eyes sparkling with mirth. "I shared a meal here just recently with a mutual friend," he confides, his dark eyes scanning toward a table in the corner briefly before they return to his dinner companion. "Or half a meal, at any rate, before we made good our escape. The truffles come highly recommended."

"Ah, hangman's Buff," Eomer sighs with a shake of his head. "Of course, I never discuss that incident when there are women present. Causes too much fainting, you see." He leans in when Lexander does, and his brows lift in delighted interest. "Did you? Well, well, then."

Lex nods once, sharply. "We did," he allows, quiet and conspiratorial. "It was a fine time, and I'm grateful to you for carrying the message, hm?" He sounds it, too, but pushes back from the table to lounge as the maid returns with the bottle and glass, looking her over with a keen eye before letting his dark eyes drift back to Eomer. "You've an eye, Ser, for a fine drink. I've always said so."

"Of course," Eomer replies, as if it was merely a favor between friends, to courier messages between a fine lady and a… Lexander. His lips lift in a smile for the compliment. "My eyes see very clearly," he agrees. "It's a pity they are occasionally larger than my pocketbook." He sighs wistfully for such an injustice.

"A cruel world," Lexander commiserates, leaning forward to take up his glass and raise it in a sort of a toast to the notion. He drains a healthy amount of his glass, then lets go a soft sound that is half cough, half laugh, at the taste. "I think I shall never get used to that taste, friend. Next time, it is pear brandy until the wee hours of the morning, hm?"

*Clink* go those glasses. The sound of fine crystal, there is nothing quite like it. Eomer closes his eyes and hums in quiet appreciation before taking his own sip. He neither coughs nor laughs, having long acquired a taste for whiskey. "But pear brandy is so sweet," he complains with a small, dismayed frown. "Well, but if we must. I suppose it will be your turn to pick, anyhow, next time."

Lexander shakes his head, settling back into the chair again, holding the glass with a thumb and forefinger to swirl its contents idly. "I have a cask imported from Tyrosh," he says with a lift of his sharp brows. "I've hardly touched it. It sits even now, alone in the dark, pining for your touch. I can fairly hear it crying." His lips spread into a slow grin at the claim, and he follows it with another sip of the whiskey, this time keeping his composure.

"Well, I do not like pining or tears," Eomer allows with another little sigh, "so I suppose, out of kindness, I will help you relieve it of its loneliness and suffering." He holds up the glass so that the light of the torches can shine through the amber alcohol. "How much do I owe you, these days?" he muses languidly.

"Some," Lexander allows, though waves the notion off with an open-handed gesture. "There are men who owe me more," he says lightly. "Mayhaps women too — I don't typically keep the figures." He glances to the bar, where sits a man slightly older than Lex, nearly as broad as he is tall. That man is dressed in a similarly fine style, though his mien could not be more different than Lex'. Scarred and thuggish, but a common sight wherever the Essosi goes, that must be the man who keeps track of the debts. "Why the interest? Are you considering evening our account? I confess, I should miss your company, if you did."

Eomer's gaze follows Lexander's to rest on large, well-dressed thuggish… gentleman. It's possible he's been responsible for a few of Eomer's bumps and bruises when payments have come in late. He has another sip before shaking his head. "No, nothing so drastic. I was just wondering if you might increase that 'some' by a few dragons."

Lexander's eyes widen slightly in understanding, and he nods his head. "Of course," he agrees readily, as though it were a simple favor between friends. He leans close to reach for the bottle, refills his glass, then leans closer still to refill Eomer's. "I had a notion you might be able to compensate me with information, rather than coin, if it suited you better this month." A raise of his eyebrows turns that statement into a question of sorts.

Eomer is quiet as he watches his glass refill, pressing his lips lightly together as he considers this offer. "What sort of information might that be?"

"There's a woman," Lexander says, shrugging one shoulder as he puts the bottle back down between them. "Not that sort of information," he interrupts with a grin, shaking his head. "A lady Braavo, I'm told she lives with the Targaryen contingent at that manse on Starry Street? I need to know the nature of her relationship with the Maiden's Knight."

Eomer's brows lift hopefully for the word 'woman' and then he's smiling as she's not only female but a bravo. "Well, if she's living with Targaryens in their own manse, the nature of her relationship to someone must be interesting," he muses. "You've intrigued me, Lex. Indeed, you have. I shall learn what secrets I can of this exotic young woman, perilous though the task may be."

Lexander frowns at that thought, the expression furrowing his brow, though another sip of the whiskey soothes it somewhat. "If you find it too perilous, Ser, leave off and I'll not think less of you. Nor, truly, will you find me vexed, hm?" His tone does its best to convey that he means it earnestly. "Rona Vielo is her name, that I have, at the least. Someplace to start."

"Never, Master Charos, or how could I call myself a knight?" Eomer tuts with a shake of his head. "No, no, I shall see the through to its bitter end. Speak fondly of me, won't you, if I never return."

"Your memory will be loved better than the man himself," Lexander says with a clear-voiced laugh, and he raises his glass again first toward Eomer, and then to his lips. "And by all the gods, call me Lex, won't you? I fear I'll never be used to 'Master Charos,' Ser."

Eomer grins and raises his own glass, because 'woo, reason to drink!' He does, with another small, contented sigh for the quality of the whiskey. "Lex, then," he agrees, swirling what alcohol remains in his glass. "Now. May I ask you a question regarding the nature of one of your relationships?"

Lexander swallows the whiskey, his words stalled by that drink, but nods his response. It's a quick thing, repeated twice, before he can speak again. "Of course. Ask what you will, friend. I shall give you the clearest answer that discretion allows."

Eomer's question is only a name, offered quietly, after a glance around the space assures him no one is too close to overhear. "The Lady Johanna Oakheart," he murmurs. The rest of the question is asked with a lift of his brows.

"I know her," Lexander allows, leaning in. But Eomer is well aware of that. "You have, of course, arranged for several meetings between us. You must have guessed something. But I dare to think you may be the only one as knows of our close friendship, hm?"

"Well, if anybody else does, it wouldn't have been through me," Eomer agrees, those raised brows somehow shifting from quizzical to innocent surprise with the smallest adjustment of a few facial muscles. "She is quite a gem. Congratulations."

Lexander's eyes hold what just might be genuine affection for her — and if so, must certainly be a slip on his part, in letting it show. "A gem indeed, and a dear friend," he claims. And though he stresses 'friend,' the men know one another well enough to know it's a lie. They've shared the company of women before, often enough for Eomer to know that Lexander has no friends among their number.

Eomer's mouth lifts in a small knowing smile, and this time it's his turn to lift his glass. "To friends," he proposes before clinking them together.

"To friends." The glasses ring together again, and Lexander matches Eomer's drink before letting his fall to the table again. "What will your young maid at the Quill say if she finds you've taken a liking to this serving girl? Or… Gods forbid, that red-haired thing at the Fist and Falcon — she would be heartbroken. How do you keep them straight?"

"Oh, that's easy," Eomer replies with another warm, slightly cocky grin. "Mondays are for the Quill. Tuesdays in the Falcon. Perhaps I shall make the Golden Maiden my Wednesday, now I've been banned from the Siren's Song. Did you see how she blushed? I simply must learn how far down her body that rosy glow can spread."

Lexander shakes his head at that reminder, though it's with a good-natured grin. "That was unfairly done, I thought," he claims. "They will regret it every Wednesday now, when they count the coin at the night's end." That claim, at least, might be near the truth. His dark eyes trail back to the counter, where the serving lass takes a moment's ease, and he nods slowly. "A stag says it doesn't reach a hand's breadth past the neck of her dress. She has the wrong complexion for it."

"Hey," Eomer objects, even if Lexander is likely right. "I prefer to think that they breathe a sigh of relief, now I am not there to carry away the house's horde." Which, while it may have happened a time or tow, is likely not why he was kicked out. But, his gaze sparks at the offer of a bet. "I'll take that wager. I think it covers at least the tops of her breasts. She looks tan, but she would be paler if it were not so sunny out."

"A stag it is, then," Lexander laughs, "And I'll trust your word for it. It can be so difficult to tell, with the women here," he claims with a shrug of his shoulders, shaking his head, "Though there's nothing quite so satisfying as a mystery solved, hm?"

"Except a new mystery to investigate," Eomer replies, smiling softly. He finishes his glass and reaches for the bottle to refill it before offering to do the same for Lex. "I wouldn't lie. No fun in winning, if you have to lie."

Lexander nods at his glass, pushing it toward Eomer. "Mm, no," he agrees, "A false victory doesn't carry the same thrill, does it? I'd have a victory properly won, or no victory at all."

"Just so, my friend. Just so," Eomer agrees, splashing another two fingers of whiskey into Lexander's cup. The menus arrive (probably they would have arrived earlier but I forgot about them) and Eomer takes the Eossi's advice and gets the truffles. Oh, well, and the steak. And a bottle of wine, of course. You can't have a meal without wine.

It's the steak for Lexander as well, and those truffles he's so fond of. Something bold and red will do nicely, and he nods as the order is placed. "Mayhaps that strawberry dish, once we've finished," he calls after the serving girl as she departs. "Do check with us, first." That serious business seen to, he takes his glass up again, without yet drinking from it. "It's all very fine here," he claims, "But I shouldn't like to order beyond my appetite."

"Ah, but too much is so much better than not enough," Eomer replies, "and, really. When can you not manage dessert, if dessert is sitting right there to be had?"

"I've often wondered why we don't start with it," Lexander allows with a shrug of one shoulder, idly swirling the whiskey in his glass again. "I might do, next time I'm here. Just to be quite certain that I experience it, at least the once, hm?"

"I suppose because sweet after savory tastes better than the other way around. Or so I've found for myself, at any rate," Eomer muses. A corner of his mouth quirks. "I good dessert should never be experienced 'just once'."

"Why indulge, when we could instead overindulge," Lexander asks with a laugh, nodding as though the answer were patently obvious. "In point of fact, mayhaps I will sit with you through the meal, then order the dessert and leave you to enjoy it with her," he says, nodding at the serving lass. "Sweet and savory, together at the same table."

"Mmmm," Eomer approves of this plan wholeheartedly. "You are a good friend, Lex." He has another sip of whiskey as the wine arrives. And then the truffles and steak.

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