(122-12-07) To Buy a Scorpion
To Buy a Scorpion
Summary: Rhaegor propositions Manfryd, but not the way you think.
Date: 7 December 2015
Related: The Scorpion Strikes, Seeds of Peace plot

Manfryd had to keep his head down since the incident a while back in this very, but, as most things do, they blow over. There's a small Dornish crowd in the Fist tonight, not enough to cause trouble but at least a couple wingmen to watch one another's backs. Manfryd had slung himself over a bar stool, stooped forward with his arm curled around a wide hip of a wench, the other curled around the large stein - empties around him showing he's been either drinking fast, occupying the serving maid so she can't gather the empties, or a bit of both to suggest he's been here for long enough to start feeling it. There was no spear in sight tonight, just a whip and a dagger on his hip. It had been… difficult to walk around with a spear after the last time he came to the Fist. But, one Dornish looked like another in this shit hole, so they really didn't know the difference. He wears a scarf around his neck to, perhaps to draw it up to cover his lower face, while he's dressed in down graded sandy robes - not so expensive as the last time he bristled into the fist, leathers glistening. He actually fit in. And he was drinking. Lots. With a squeeze to the pretty thing in his lap once and a while. She had picked enough of his pockets that she'd be content to sit with him for a while.

When one Dornishman among a half dozen has killed one of your kinsmen, you know him from the others, and when Rhaegor enters the Fist he moves directly to his mark. The wench nearly falls off the barstool at the sight of the Targaryen prince. He tilts his head at her in an invitation to make herself scarce, and claims the stool at Manfryd's side, dropping into a heavy sit atop it. He's not the usual clientele, but a drink is delivered to him without much by way of prompting, and the Dragon downs nearly half of it in a single draught before fixing his pointed stare on Manfryd.

"Hey… where you going—" he starts to protest, languidly, with a slight slur to his words as the wench removes herself from his lap, with his damn coin and not even a damn kiss for it. She doesn't even look apologetic about it. Hard brown eyes snap toward the one responsible, cooly letting his gaze linger over the Targaryen before he blows air out of his mouth in a loud 'pfff' sound, clearly not intimidated by the Dragon. Or if he is, he's masking it well with a casual pull of his stein so he can take a good chug of the piss water mixed with the spice of poison. Well, that's what it tasted like anyway. He scowls as he settles the stein back down, speaking to the Targaryen without looking at him, "You owe me a girl, Princeling." He paid for that ass. Or something. Casual side stare. No doubt if there was tension between the two, people have noticed already and are backing off. His Dornish companions are watching but not yet moving to intervene.

"There is a better place," Rhaegor says, without so much as an apologetic note to his tone. "The Acacia. Fashioned after one of your pillow houses. The women there are less likely to leave you burning when you piss, besides." It's a different side to the prince than Manfryd has previously witnessed; he speaks much more bluntly than the staid diplomat who treated with Torren in Dorne. Perhaps it is the influence of his betrothal to Emira Martell. Perhaps it's something else. His eyes have a glint of a feverish burn, brightening them intensely. "When we're done here, I'll send you that way with a fistful of coin."

"For the bloody rich maybe-" he tells Rhaegor with a cocked glare. Not everyone had the title of Prince to fall back on. And he had the look of a man who hadn't been paid his stipend for some time. Would anyone blame Torren for holding back? Not bloody likely. Still, the 'Scorpion' shrugs his disgruntlement with a sharp movement at the company he had now, compared to what he had been enjoying. Manfryd takes another long glug of his ale, or whatever the hell it was. At some point a man didn't care, as long as it got him tanked. He looks back to Rhaegor, "Yer still here—" by way of surprised irritation, "-don't you have some Dragons to catch or something…" he scoffs and is getting more annoyed by the second.

A key part of his role as a diplomat for the Crown, and no doubt his success in said capacity, is Rhaegor's ability to treat with even the most hostile of counterparts, and besides that, to discern their desires. Just like that, he unhooks the purse of coins he wears on his belt, letting it thud onto the bar, the heavy shift of coins allowing Manfryd to mentally gauge how much must be within. "It's yours. If you are inclined to accept my patronage." He doesn't yet name the nature of the employment he proposes, but merely lets the temptation linger there in the form of cold hard cash.

Manfryd's eyes slide toward the coin as it's presented with a sound that is music to any man's ears, especially one who has had to cut back on his spending, resorting to ugly wenches and piss water ale. "If it wasn't from the hand of a fuckin drag—on…" he tries to stop himself at least, but there was no hiding the grudge that he bore for the Targaryen. There would be little of anything else with this one, who got a taste of dragon blood. His eyes had not strayed from the purse. Suspicions arise but the greed (or need) has captured the Scorpion's attention. He glances over at Rhaegor, not yet reaching for the pouch, however, his fingers twitched ready to reach out and snatch it should Rhaegor pull it back. "What do you want…Targaryen? With me? I'm not going to apologize. Your man got the end he deserved."

Rhaegor watches, silently, while he destroys what's left of the swill he's been served. He notes the shifting eyes, the twitching conflicts of impulse, need and disdain, and he doesn't so much as flinch at the way dragon is uttered by the Scorpion. At the last, though? The muscles in Rhaegor's neck cord, and his jaw sets. The slain Targaryen was Rhaegor's own kin, and his young life was cut too far short. There's a flicker in his stare that might give Manfryd pause to think the prince will indeed retaliate. But instead, what he says is, "It is in the past." Another needful tool in the diplomat's arsenal; the ability to architect a bright future out of a dark past, when circumstances demand it.

The arrogance of the Scorpion doesn't always have to be loud and obnoxious, such as the case in point, where he's practically needling at the dragon, baiting, without raising his tone. The lack of respect, the slumped way he was sitting, the comments that he has thus made. Maybe the young Sandy knight was waiting for his opportunity to prod at Rhaegor, wanting another go at him after he was soundly beaten in the tournament? Whatever it was, he was treating Rhaegor as if he wasn't, who he was. Lower than the spittal on the bar floor boards. Manfryd's dark eyes, after all, glitter with excitement, a flash of it, when Rhaegor looks ready to cave in and retaliate. The Dornish could do with a fight. When it doesn't happen, his hand thumps on to the top of the pouch, "Then this was in the past too. It's mine now." What a way to show gratitude!

Rhaegor declines a second mug of swill with a lift of his hand at the barkeep, glancing sidelong at the Scorpion as he snatches up that purse of coin. His gaze is razor sharp and just as quick, but he doesn't so much as protest the claiming of the prize. "You'll spend it all tonight and be back on that stool tomorrow," he prophesies, pushing back his own barstool with a skid across the shitty plank floors. And then the dragon stands to full, broad-shouldered, looming height, looking down on Manfryd as though he wouldn't think twice of crushing him like an insect beneath the heel of his boot. "And then the day after, you'll come to me for more." Still, what he wants in return hasn't been put out in the open yet. And for all the Dornishman may regard him as spittle on the floorboards, the dragon in turn weathers his bad manners like some inconsequential pest that might be extinguished if he merely wished it.

Manfryd's fingers are happily feeling the weight of the pouch. Well, he doesn't express the happiness, but one can tell by the jingle of coin that Manny was trying to guess how much had been in that purse and how many days he could… well, hours, he could have spending it. A good healthy wench will bounce on his knee, at the very least. The prophecy, however, from Rhaegor, does cause the Scorpion to glare at him. Manny wasn't that easy to read, was he? But maybe he was. A man who has been left hanging to dry in this stank of a town, with no job or duty to keep him busy… Torren left after all and abandoned the knight and even if he was back, hadn't called for him! So what was he to do but linger. And lingering for this high tempered youth was like piling dry tinder high waiting for lightning to strike - it was dangerous and someone would eventually spark a flame. Manfryd watches Rhaegor from the corner of his eye as the man climbs to his full height. There's no invitation from Manfryd for the dragon to sit his arse back down, just, the weight of judging how he could strike swiftly before the dragon's fist drove into him. A grimace settles on Manfryd's face at the notion of going to beg for more, shaking his head, defiant, "Yeah yeah…" Didn't believe it. Wouldn't believe it. Not going to happen! Such as his posturing proclaims.

But Rhaegor offers no recourse for the purse-snatching. Just the flat prediction he lends and the advice he offers in parting. "You're like to get three girls and the best room for that coin. And real Dornish red, not this Reachman's bile." Then, just as abruptly as he arrived, Rhaegor goes to leave. He hazards, practically over his shoulder, "I'll await you at Dragon Door Manse, sun up, two days hence. Bring your spear and be prepared to train. I would learn your craft."

That advice, might stick in his craw - no matter how many girls he got with for the coin. The idea that they'll be paid for by dragon's coin has him frown, but on the bright side, he grunts, "I'll have fun spending your coin Dragon, in a way you never can." Rhaegor can be damn proud of himself. He got under the Dornish man's skin, evident by the way there is some jaw clenching going on. The last sentiment, however, does it. He twists on the stool, one foot slamming down onto the floor, making it seem as if he was going to stalk after the dragon and show him a thing or two about demanding things from the Scorpion! Unfortunately, inevitably, he doesn't. He sits back down with a snark at the bartender, calling for another round of the swill, grumbling, "We'll see how many coins left I have by then… Dragon. Not going to come crawling…" *mutter mutter mutter* A snarl to his boys, "DRINK UP BOYS. Nights young!"

And Rhaegor goes out into the night with that snarling chorus of protesting at his back, the entire dodgy establishment seeming to sigh in unison with relief when the prince departs, leaving them to their debauchery.

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