Sess 40, 229: Dinner and a Tour

Dinner and a Tour
Summary: Ray stops by for a tour and gets invited to dinner.
OOC Date: 26/March/2014 (OOC)
Related: Farmer's Market
Ray Cloe 
Farmland and White Stone Cottage
A stone cottage nestled into a small clearing in the mini forest, lavender gray colored and warm and welcoming, looking as if it belonged here so absolutely that it appeared to have grown from the rock, a natural formation. Honeysuckle climbs up one wall like a lattice, winding all the way up and over the thick wooden shingles. Roses bloom in a handkerchief sized garden under the buttery yellow windows. A path of flat stones, almost amethyst in color, lead up to the arched wooden door.
Surrounding the stone cottage there is a rather large vegetable and fruit garden with trees as a backdrop. Cherry, peach, pear, apple, pecan, a whole variety, creating a fragrant and welcoming appeal.
Sess 40, 229

The coronation and the celebration. The announcements and the appointments. A militia formed and citizens being armed. Is it more surprising that Raymond Trevens was made the Royal Baker?
Regardless of the reactions, as agreed upon the next afternoon sees the baker on his horse, riding for the farmland where he is to meet Cloe for a tour and looking over her products for sale.

Outside, working the garden already, Cloe has her fingers in the rich soil, picking any stray weed she happens to see. Dressed in one of her working dresses, it has a few stains in the front from her gardening over the years. It doesn't seem to bother her as she inspects a yellow squash before gently placing it into one of the bushel baskets and moving on through the garden as she continues to work.

Riding up, Ray swings off his horse and ties the reins off closeby pointing warningly at the horse before turning and walking toward the garden and gardener, waving to attract her attention, looking the place, inhaling the perfumes of the place, his leather travelt outfit worn here, cloak pulled back over his shoulders until he draws it from himself, folding it over one arm. "Ho there Cloe, well met." He calls.

Cloe wasn't listening for the horse, time had gotten away from her and she thinks she has much time left before his arrival. Only when she catches sight of the wave does she rise from her kneeling position, wiping her hands off on each other. Her smile is welcoming and she moves to approach, calling over her hired hand to finish. She squints as she looks at the baker before shading her eyes against the brightness of the sun so she can see him better. "Good afternoon to you!" She seems genuinely glad to see him. "I am glad you were able to find the place okay."

Ray smiles as he approaches, nodding. "Not hard to find, thank you for the directions." He looks about, "Quite nice here. You have a talent." He smiles, "Please, show me your fine garden."

"Of course," Cloe motions to the large expanse hosting an array of colorful and succulent fruits that still needed to be collected for the next day's market. She glances back to him with a hesitant smile, as if drawn to him and uncertain why.. "There are any vegetables or fruits you can imagine. I use some in my own home for stews and different meals." A glance to the white stone cottage that is prominent in the landscape and an old plow out at the edge of the property that is clearly no longer in use. "If there is anything not being grown that you would like, I can get the starts of some and make some special for you. It'll take a bit, but I can make sure to have what you need later in the season and into next spring."

Ray nods. "As a matter of fact." He draws from his belt a small pouch. "These seeds are for Sky Herb. I received them in a pouch from the Lord High Admiral. The plants are male and female, and the female plants produce a resin in their leaves that I use in Sky Biscuits, a specific order, but the leaves are used for smoking and steeping into teas as well." He offers the pouch. If you can grow them and get them to flourish, I promise, I will purchase what you produce, what say you?"

All business. Cloe makes a note of that and reaches for the pouch.Sky Herb.. she had heard of it from a neighboring farm, so she was familiar with the growing of it. "The Brody's used to grow this. My ah.. husband's family," explaining the identical last names rather hesitantly. She takes it after it is offered and looks inside, nodding her approval before closing it again. "These are known to grow rather fast, especially if the weather remains warm and wet."

He is in fact, businesslike as he listens and smiles, "Excellent, excellent. If you can purchase full plants from neighboring farms to save time in harvesting, Ill be able to provide coin for that." In the first non businesslike gesture, he rubs his forehead, appearing grateful this is working out. "Alright. With all the things happening since the coronation, I believe you can count on steady purchasing from me." He sighs, shaking his head slightly with a smile.

"The Brody's no longer grow it, they found it wasn't financially solvent and cost more money than it was worth, since it sold very little when they were growing it." Cloe also remains businesslike also, taking her cue from him. "I will ask around though, I am fairly sure there is someone around who grows it. I have a lot of friends in the farming community, so if you need more than I can grow of anything, then I can set you up with others." Watching the movement of rubbing his forehead, she looks concerned briefly. "If you like, I have some tea going inside. I realize you have early morning work every day and may be tired. I could bring it out to you here if you would prefer not going inside?" The white stone cottage is near enough he could wander around the garden or come with her. "Was the coronation interesting?"

Ray nods. "Sky Herb is coming into fashion now. Ill buy what you can provide or arrange." He rubs the side of his neck, and nods, Some tea sounds lovely as does your hospitality, thank you." He accepts with a smile. "I have a garden plot in the bakerys back area but its small and I fast realize I havent the time to tend to it." He begins moving, accompanying her where she leads. "The coronation was fascinating, im afraid I wasnt paying attention when I was decreed Royal Baker and the bakery was given the Royal Seal of Approval, but the changes to the common man, very interesting." He snaps his fingers, "I beg a moment." He moves back to his horse, opening a saddlebag and withdrawing a box, returning to her. "For the tea, I thought you should taste what your berries went into. This is a sampling from last night. "

"Is it? I will keep that in mind." Cloe confirms her trust in his advice. She still holds on to the pouch in her hand as she leads him towards her cottage. "I imagine living in town that you have limited space to build upon. I love the outside and open air out here, it is so peaceful and quiet." And lonely, which she does not add, but her expression may hold a trace of it. As he tells her what had happened, she hesitates in her walking and looks impressed. "Royal baker and a Royal seal of approval?" Wow.. "That's quite a feat!" As he disappears to the horse, she waits beside her door, not going inside as of yet. When he returns and explains, she smiles. "Tempting with sweets? I do think I would never be able to turn down such an offer." She opens the door. Please come in."

He nods as he moves in charmed as he looks around. "Oh this is wonderful, Cloe, just lovely. You keep a fine house." He smiles, "Thank you, im not used to it yet but still adjusting to the idea of it." He smiles to her and offers the box to her. Gift upon coming to someone elses home style. "Your right, in town theres bustle and important people and events but out here the peace is tempting of itself."

Pleased he approved, Cloe smiles at the words he offers. "I am really glad that you like it. I love my home, it just feels so.. welcoming to me all of the time. After my husband passed away, I knew I could never leave here. It is my oasis from the rest of the world." She closes the door behind them and leads him to the kitchen. Inside,there is a table beside a large window that looks out over the back yard and the flower boxes with the climbing roses and the shimmering pool. "Please have a seat." The kitchen is made for someone who loves to cook, the stove large and wide, a kettle on the back with steaming water. There are several small baskets of fresh fruit and vegetables along one counter top that's obviously used as a prep area. Fresh eggs and butter and cream and other items are kept in a small box with a door built within the stone wall to ensure it remains cooler. She brings down two cups and brings them to the table as well as two plates for their dessert he had brought. Next is the tea. "What sort of delights have you brought us today?" Eagerly looking at the box he had brought.

He smiles as he sits, looking the kitchen over with a practiced eye. The casual look sweeping around and taking in everything, nothing dimming his smile. "I certainly understand." As she.asks, he grins opening the box and displaying the pastries directly from last nights proceedings. It does strike that the purple and silver of the Kilgour house are rather obvious, perhaps garish in their vibrancy but then this was for a formal themed banquet. Even so the purple and silver checkered pastries and sweets all made so with the berries that flavor them. Ray leans back, offering the treats literally from the highest court in the land.

With the tea kettle in hand, Cloe approaches the table just as he displays the perfection of the pastries inside. She gasps, surprised at the daintiness and colors, the way they are made so exquisitely. "They look incredible, Royal Baker." Throwing that in there with a smile, impressed still. Pouring his tea, then hers, she has a seat and places the kettle aside, glad her kitchen was so bright and warm and welcoming. "It seems almost a travesty to eat them."

Ray chuckles, "Well don't let that stop you. They are not going to last long at all." He grins, taking his cup and offering the box, "Please." He takes a sip of the tea and settles back, apparently in no hurry himself to enjoy them. He looks about slowly with a slightly wistful gaze, considering something.

Seated, comfortable, Cloe looks into the box and reaches for a very delectable looking pastry with purple on top, taking a bite before placing it on her plate. She groans in pleasure at the taste of it as it dances across her tongue. "I don't know how you make the pastry so light and fluffy, but whatever it is, I think you have earned the title of Royal Baker for the royals." Though when she gives him her gaze again, she notices the slightly wistful gaze and tips her head to the side as she tucks a dark brown lock of hair behind her ear. "Is something troubling you?"

Ray looks back and smiles widely, "No, not at all. I'm simply appreciating your home. I am glad you enjoy the pastries, please." He gestures to the box, "There are still more left at the Bakery for the moment." He thinks, and nods, "I think it would be best if you came by with your wares before setting up your stall." He smiles, "Depending on my needs, you might not set up a stall some days." He smiles, "Milk, eggs, cream, any animals you are ready to butcher, honestly, I've done specials from whatever's available. It's kind of fun."

"I am so glad you like my home. It is.." Cloe looks around, trying to see it through his eyes, as if her first time here. Surely, there are a few things that needed repaired, like the shutter that bangs when the storms come in because the latch was broken and other small things that had fallen into disrepair since her husband had died, but all in all it was.. "comfortable," she inputs in place. Her lips twist in a crooked smile as she reaches rather unabashedly for another of the pastries. "I could never turn down your desserts." At the mention of the animals, she nods. "My chickens are getting thick. It is about time I got rid of a few of them, I do keep my best egg layers." Lifting her tea, she takes a drink of the now cooled and fragrant liquid before answering the rest. "Of course, I would come by there first in the mornings. If you save me from setting up a stall, I'll be able to give you a better price since I could come back and work the garden without having to hire someone to do it for me while I work the stall."

Ray takes a slow, appreciative sip of the tea, enjoying it quite a lot, showing it far more interest than the pastries. He nods, "Oh, ha. I.." He sighs, blinking, "I really don't have any worries about money now." he tilts his head slightly. "Literally. I mean, now I really have no concerns about money. Bakery was successful, but now." He shakes his head, chuckling, then shrugs. But he still looks around, not seeing the repairs here and there that need to be done, just seeing a place so comfortable, and nods, "This is the kind of place I want to bring the flavor of." He says into the air, then looks back to her and smiles. "Best thing about chickens. One way or another, they have a purpose."

That such a great baker takes enjoyment from the simple tea she had made makes Cloe smile and she watches him a moment. "I am sure you are quite successful. I imagine it must be quite a strain off of you to know there are no concerns about money." Though she hears the rest. "But now?" She questions, not sure what he was wanting to say, almost certain there was something unsaid, until he clarifies. "The flavor of? To your bakery you mean?" She laughs, knowing he was right about the chickens. "The cows are the same, but I need them around for awhile for the milk and cream, until I can afford to have a bull brought in to make more babies."

Ray nods, breathing the steam from the tea, "Mmhmm. The feel of this place, the flavor of it." He also nods about the cows, "Well, perhaps it will be a good expense soon, money coming in." He nods, "But still I have need of milk and creme." He chuckles, "And that means those cows are making you money." He smiles, sipping his tea, and nods, "But I think you would benefit from tomorrow morning, seeing the setup of the Bakery for yourself, I've got a lot of things, butchers rack, garden that I don't have time to tend. But it's a good place, and I think you'd appreciate it."

"I have plenty of milk and creme and butter, I make the butter just after milking the cows with the skimmings. It's a lot of work, but worth it. I really love it out here, doing this sort of work and cooking with the fresh ingredients each night. I was just about to make a shepards pie if you would like to stay for dinner?" The invitation comes naturally and she takes another sip of her tea. "I would love to come a little early in the morning if you would offer me a tour of your setup." Pleased he was interested in showing her.

Ray actually lights up at the invitation, "I would be honored to stay for dinner, Cloe. I seriously would. I just wish that I knew I would be staying, I would have brought wine." He smiles to her, "And I think you'll like the Bakery. If nothing else, it'll give you an understanding of how I work, and what you can provide for coin."

When he lights up, Cloe smiles warmly, pleased at the response. "I have some wine, if you would like to go to the cellar to get it." There are stairs down to the cellar are right outside the house, a solid and heavy door blocking it. "It stays cooler there." She gives him directions noticing the sky is getting overcast and she looks briefly worried. "I can begin the dinner, if you wouldn't mind?" She moves to the kitchen and begins pulling out things she will need. "I look forward to seeing the Royal Bakery more, myself."

Ray nods, looking to the window, then rising, "Of course." He smiles, "I guess it is the Royal Bakery, hmm?" He asks as he moves out to get the wine as directed.

Comfortable enough with him, Cloe doesn't mind sending him into her stockpile of foods and wines, her root cellar, her place she went when the storms scared her so badly. "Thank you." While he is out, she washes potatoes before peeling them and cutting them and putting them on to boil.

Ray returns with the wine, smiling. "Very nice cellar." He says, lifting the bottle and moving back to the table, looking to the food she's making, smiling with anticipation, "It's my favorite, you know."

"Shepherd's pie is your favorite?" Cloe seems very pleased at that notion. "I have always preferred it myself. Do you make them in your bakery as well? I did notice you had chicken and steak pies, but I saw they were fully crusted." As she talks, she works, washing, then cutting up carrots, putting them into a pan on top of the stove to begin getting tender. Next, she peels then dices an onion and adds it to the carrots, sprinkling some seasoning on it. "If you would like to begin on the wine, you can go ahead and drink some. The cups are just here in the cabinet." The one over her head of the counter she is working on, but her hands are cutting up meat into tiny cubes since she is lacking a grinder of any sort.

Ray smiles, "My favorite food is anything I don't personally have to make." He chuckles, moving to get the cups down, careful as he opens the cupboard and fetches them down. "People always think I'm kidding, but I rarely am." He says, relaxed here for some reason.

"I believe I understand that.. with you cooking daily in the bakery. I find it a treat, I rarely get to cook for anyone other than myself, so this is incredibly nice." Stepping to the side so he can get the cups, Cloe smiles at him when he is so close. "You rarely kid with anyone?" She gets the meat cut and adds it to the carrots and onions, stirring it in the pan. While it browns she checks the potatoes. Almost finished, but not quite.

Ray pulls down the cups and smiles to her, "About food." He smiles, moving back to the wine bottle, "But really, this isn't baking for others or making food to sell, this is just dinner." He deftly opens the wine bottle, "That's rare for me, that's a treat." He comes back, two cups of wine, one placed where she can see and get to it when she likes as he leans against a counter and takes a drink, nodding.

"Oh?" Cloe smiles in return, watching as he moves around the room, warmed by his presence. As the meat browns, she drains it into a bowl before adding some peas she had shelled earlier and flour and butter. Next there are more seasonings along with some stock she had reserved. She covers it and allow it to simmer for awhile, making a thick gravy. "Is it? I assumed you had a wife tucked somewhere inside the bakery, cooking with you and taking care of you." She reaches for the cup and lifts it slightly. "To you getting a break from cooking then." Before tipping it back for a small drink and replacing it.

Ray chuckles, "Oh no. No wife, haven't been lucky enough yet." He lifts his cup, To getting a break from cooking." He salutes and drinks, looking to her, and the food, smiling, "Oh that looks good."

Cloe studies him a moment after replacing the cup down. "I wonder why that is.. you are an attractive man with a business and a smile that would warm anyone in the hardest of winters.." She blushes as her compliment turns personal and she turns to drain the potatoes. Without a masher, she brings a wire strainer out and dumps the potatoes inside it and, using a spoon, pushes the potatoes through the wire mesh to smash them well. "I hope you will enjoy it." It smells good to her as it cooks and she works, pushing the potatoes through until they are all done. Then she adds butter and milk and a few seasonings and stirs, making mashed potatoes for the topping. "I do hope you are hungry."

Ray smiles to the compliment, "Well, thank you, I just haven't really found anyone it worked out with." He takes a drink of wine and watches the cooking, smiling, "I'm quite sure I will." He says, watching her, "It's so rare for me to get a meal, and when it is it's whatever I can get at a tavern.

Cloe crinkles her nose rather playfully. "No telling what goes into the meals at a tavern. They take no pride in their work and the vegetables they use could come from anywhere." She does not seem serious, merely playful. After pulling out a longer, deeper pan, she uncovers the simmering meat with gravy and pours it in, spreading it evenly inside before spreading the potatoes over the top of it and decorating it with a few chives before sliding it into the oven. Now all that was left was the baking of it, so she gathers the dirty dishes and places them in a sink of water to soak. "You will be more than welcome to take the leftovers home with you tonight, for tomorrow. If you like."

Ray smiles, shaking his head, "Thank you, I eat constantly at the Bakery. I taste every step of the way, so.." He tilts his head, then admits, "I've gone weeks without having a meal, simply because, I never really just stop and sit and eat." He shrugs, "Now I would have something to look forward to having."

"I will be making something new again tomorrow night." Cloe collects her cup and leans on the counter across from him now, smiling up at him. "I always make more than I need, so if you ever find the time to come out, consider it an open invitation."

Ray smiles to her, "Yes? I think that would be quite nice actually." He takes a drink of wine, and smiles. "When I can." He lets out a breath, "Though you will have to allow me to cook sometime." He lifts a hand to her, "Some night, with the whole bakery buttoned up tight, and I can properly prepare a meal." Sounds like he'll enjoy it and.. gods alone know what kind of food he's talking about. She's had day old pastries.

"Anytime you have time, you are more than welcome." Cloe smiles, seeing the hand lifted, she glances at it and smiles. "I would like that too. Though if you do manage to make your way out here, feel more than free to bring dessert." Already knowing how talented he was there, even if it was day old pastries. "Would you like to cook at the bakery or here, when the time comes?"

Ray grins, "Oh the Bakery, Oh yeah. The Bakery. Definitely." He nods, "I think you'll appreciate the Bakerys cooking facilities. I can bring desert. That's simple enough." He grins, "We can set it up in the mornings, what we do for dinner."

It all sounds so perfectly planned out that Cloe can't help but get excited at the thought of sharing meals with him at times, when he has the time. She smiles, her entire demeanor reflecting her happiness. As it had been a bit now, she moves to check the food, peering inside. It's done, perfectly slightly crusted on top. Withdrawing it from the oven, she brings it to the table, the steam rising in a fragrant aroma. "I look forward to having a meal at the bakery with you. A reason to get dressed up." Only just then realizing the state of her dress… she's suddenly embarrassed and looks away with a blush. "Forgive my appearance."

Ray looks confused, and smiles, "You look beautiful." He says simply, with enough cluelessness to be honest, before he realizes her dress is dirty and smiles, shaking his head, "And that looks delicious, I cannot wait to get a fork into that."

It had been so long since Cloe had received a heartfelt compliment she didn't know how to react at first. Her smile reappears as she collects the plates and utensils and fresh baked bread from a little earlier that day. She brings it to the table and places it all down with the serving spoon, offering it to him. "If you would like to serve yourself first.." Leaving it to him, she cuts the bread, a couple of thick slabs for them to sop the gravy with.

Ray takes the spoon and inclines his head, "Thank you." He says, wasting no time in digging out a sizeable portion for himself and taking her plate, positioning the spoon, "How much?" He asks, starting a goodly portion, "Aye?"

"A little less. I am much like you, nibbling strawberries all day or other berries or vegetables." Pleased he had opted to serve hers as well, feeling like he somehow belonged there with her, beside her, at the head of the table. "Thank you.." she says softly. "For what you said earlier. I think you're good for my ego."

Ray serves, and does it without breaking the crust of mashed potato on top. Setting the plate in front of her he smiles, "Thank you for making it true." he says, lifting the cup to toast, "To our first meal."

Cloe swallows when he once more tosses a compliment in to her. She lifts her cup and gently taps it to his. "To our first meal together," echoing his words, pleased at the toast because it implied more. She takes a drink after toasting, though waiting for him to as well, before she lowers it and sets it aside. "I am so glad you stayed."

Ray clinks, drinks, and takes a bite of the shepherds pie, then slumps forward, leaning against the table, on one elbow, giving a little moan of pleasure, "Mm so am I." He mutters before swallowing, "Oh that's amazing." And he's eating. Ray will be back in a moment. He's eating.

They say the biggest compliment a man can give is to stop filling in conversation while they are eating. It seems he was enjoying it, which causes Cloe to have an inner glow of happiness. How long had it been since she had a man enjoy her cooking? Someone who actually enjoyed it and not ate it just as another meal? She eats too, taking pleasure in sharing it with him, this moment, this meal. "Thank you."

Ray shakes his head, chewing, coming up and swallows, "No, thank you." He says honestly, taking a drink of his wine and before going back to eating, he nods, "This is really good." And he's back to eating.

Cloe continues eating, pleased he was enjoying himself. She found herself already looking forward to the morning when she would go by the bakery and see him again. Dangerous thoughts, she warns herself, but they were there all the same. Using her bread, she tears off a small piece and dips it into the gravy before taking the bite into her mouth, really glad to not be eating alone.

Ray finally sits back, stopping his eating to take a more leisurely pace as he takes a drink of his wine, "Oh, Cloe, this is the meal I've had in, I honestly don't remember." He sighs, and takes another bite.

"Thank you, Raymond." Having only heard the extended part of his name, not the shortened version, that is the one she uses. "I am really glad it pleases you." She takes another sip of her wine before asking. "Would you like more wine?" Though the bottle is closer to his arm at the moment, it is still within reach of her.

Ray nods, "Yes, please." He takes his cup, holding it out to her, to let her pour. He smiles to her over the cup. "Thank you for the lovely meal, and lovely company."

Reaching for the bottle, Cloe pours more into his cup, refilling it before pouring about half for herself and replacing the bottle. She wipes her mouth with her napkin, finished with her own meal now, but concentrates on her wine now. "Thank you for the company and you're more than welcome for the meal and company. I had a wonderful time."

Ray finishes his portion, and drains his cup, and sighs, "As have I, and I shall be leaving, to see you in the morning." He moves his chair back, to rise. The action gentlemanly, and proper, and respectful. Deliberately so. "I have enjoyed myself immensely and I look forward to seeing you again." Quite openly.

When he finishes and he moves his chair back to rise, Cloe smiles and rises. "I will see you in the morning, for certain, bright and early." His gentlemanly demeanor was not so surprising, but more than welcome and sweetly touching. "I also look forward to seeing you again, Raymond." Her smile genuine and honest.

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