Fort Weyr - Stone Barn
Fashioned from the same volcanic material that houses the caverns, these square-cut stones have been laid by a mastercrafter stonemason turns ago to house the implements necessary in caring for Fort Weyr's stock. Large enough to stable several runners, there are also stalls for ailing herdbeast, with straw-covered stone floors within the stalls, the aisle outside swept clean. Overhead is a loft full of hay, grain bins, and other supplies. Large double doors open wide on either end and smaller windows higher up along the walls allow for light and the free flow of fresh air.
At either end of the structure are two work stations, one for leatherwork and another for healing: the waist-high counter of stainless steel with shelving above contains gadgets and tools, jars, bottles and boxes of salve, potion and powders - some of it fairly scary-looking like saws, clippers, clamps and needles. Mingled with the scent of animals and hay is a pungent medicinal smell that marks this as the healer area. The other has a wooden workbench with a rack of snippers, blades, mallets, awls and an anvil beside which are pegs with strips of leather, half-finished harnesses, whips, aprons and wide-brimmed hats. Overhead, shelves with jars of finish - dyes and oils, boxes of coiled rawhide thread for stitching and handtools indicates this is the leatherwork station.


Despite the chilly winter evening outside, inside the barn all is cozy and warm, the scent of animals comfortable and pleasant. In the back, Ezra is visiting the puppies, who have grown quite a bit now into bounding, bouncing, leaping bundles of /fluff/. "No, sit. Sit. I said…oh, here's a treat." Yeah, Ezra isn't great at training at the moment. They're just too CUTE.

Laurali may have been here all along, with the hour edging towards evening. Probably caught up in Healer business that has brought her to Fort Weyr and not kept her holed up in the warmth of the Hall. She's grown bored of her "free time" though, waiting on her Journeymen to finish with their after dinner chattering and managed to gain permission to go wait elsewhere. Namely: the barns. Why not? It's warm here and the animals do fascinate the young woman to a degree. Plus, they do not ask her boring questions. It's the sound of movement and of the puppies that draw her from wandering aimlessly around the runner stalls and for a moment she will linger back, still bundled up against the cold, to watch Ezra (fail) at training the puppies. "You'll make them fat at this rate, feeding them so many goodies." she teases as she steps a little closer. Hey.

Ezra no longer jumps when he's surprised, but he does look back quickly, and then grin. "Hey! And, arg," jumping puppy, "I know, but…they're…I mean, they get a ton of exercise. What're you doing here? Here to pick out your puppy?" Because surely that's why she's here, right? Come all the way for that?

Of course that's why she's here! Laurali giggles, maybe more for the puppy jumping about than Ezra's questions and she'll step forwards to kneel beside him and try to entice a few of the pups over to her. Gloves are stuffed in her pocket and she'll have enough understanding of animals to keep her hand extended and still for the puppies to sniff first rather than just grab at one. "Healer stuff. I'm here with some Journeymen from the Hall and they figured to make a lesson of it too. Only now they're all chattering amongst themselves and I… got bored and asked to wait here." So she made a half-truth? "Just my luck you were here, hmm?"

The puppies lick at her fingers and then try to nibble at them, curious and wiggling their whole behinds in their excitement of NEW PERSON. Ezra chuckles, sitting down on the straw and gesturing for her to sit down as well, if she wishes. "Ahh. Well yeah, I'm glad you found me. You can pick out your puppy."

Laurali giggles when her fingers are licked and bubbled, but if any get a bit too sharp with their teeth, she'll gently correct them and withdraw her tempting digits. It's hard to resist WIGGLY PUPPIES though and soon she's back to trying to pet them or sneak in a scritch or two. Of course she'll sit, cross legged and watching each pup carefully. "I'm glad to find you too. You're fun, at least, to talk with." she murmurs. "So which are female or male? Do they have names yet?"

Ezra grins. "Well I'm glad to hear that. Likewise." Then he points. "Two males and four females, do you have a preference? And…not really yet, I mean I kind of call them all 'puppy' right now…" And they're learning puppy, which is a problem.

Laurali smiles sheepishly for his compliment and she will try to pinpoint the males and females from Ezra's guidance. "Not sure. I'm thinking I want to focus more on their behaviour first, than focus on gender. And…" She frowns, eyeing him. "Doesn't that make it confusing, calling them all 'puppy'?"

Ezra looks a bit sheepish. "Yeah, but..I didn't want to give them names before you picked out one, because what if you picked a puppy but hated the name?"

Laurali giggles again and flashes a quick grin to Ezra. "Can always train 'em to take a new name? And who knows. Maybe I would have liked the name you gave them." Her attention drifts then and it's clear that she's narrowed down her preferences to two. A tough choice, between a black and cream female and a smaller almost all cream save for his ears male. Coaxing both to her, she spends some time with both and in the end it's the male who seems inclined to stay with her. "… this little male." Laurali murmurs. "I think he's the one I'll claim. He's… not claimed, is he?" Wouldn't THAT just be perfect and her luck?

Ezra shakes his head quickly. "No, none of them are claimed. Folks have asked, but…I said I didn't know if I was getting rid of any of them. Wanted you to have first pick." D'awww. "That's him then? Here, hold on a second." Smiling, he pushes to his feet and slips out of the stall. Returning, he offers her a collar. "So we'll know for sure." It's a simple leather collar, but it has her name stamped on it. This is /her/ canine.

How sweet! Laurali blushes a little and tucks some of her hair back behind her ears now that she's not busy entertaining puppies. The little male has bounded back to be with his siblings and she'll nod her head. "That's him. I like him!" He's stolen her heart, alright! As Ezra stands, she'll watch him go curiously and when the leather collar is handed to her, she looks genuinely shocked. "Ezra… you didn't have to go through that trouble! What if I… what if I didn't pick a puppy?" Yet despite this, she's already wrangling the little one to her again and slipping it around his neck. HER puppy!

"Then I'd put it on you." Wait. That came out toootally wrong. Cough. "I mean, er, it'd….maybe be a necklace, or I'd just toss it. It wasn't hard…" Cough. He grins though when he watches her interact with her puppy. "Name ideas?"

Laurali starts and peers up at Ezra, cheeks flaring bright and hot with colour. Wait… what? Oh. OH. Neckless. Right. Cough. She ducks her head down, pretending that what the puppies are doing is SO FASCINATING. "Leather does make nice jewelry," she admits neutrally. See? Not awkward now. Maybe. "Not sure… I… How'd you come by Zoi's name?" she asks. Give her ideas?

STUPID Ezra. Jeez. Then, yay distraction topic. "I just picked random letters," he says with a little smile. "I couldn't figure out what to name her for a long time though. Eventually…yeah. Random letters. Doesn't mean anything, I just thought it sounded nice. Easy."

Oh, the awkward! That is avoided by PUPPIES! Laurali tilts her head and glances sidelong to Ezra and her smile is amused. "Really? For… such randomness you lucked out. Zoi's name is really pretty." she compliments. Then she frowns and begins to mull over a few letters but finds nothing that fits. Next comes to words and tentatively, she mutters one. "… Marwa? It's an… old, old word for sweet marjoram. Also known as Amaracum or Amarakos." Of course. Healer and herbs? Fitting.

Ezra nods, "I did, thanks." Or he just picked a good group of letters. Not like he drew names out of a hat. "Marwa? Huh. I usually think names that end with a are girl's names, but it's a neat word. I like Amarakos. Amarkos? Kos?"

Laurali tilts her head, curious an a touch puzzled and then her mouth quirks into a grin she tries to suppress by bitting her lower lip. She also tries not to snicker… too much. "So would that make your name a girl's name then. Ezr/a/." she teases. His suggestions have her bobbing her head, but none seem to stick. "Kos might work. There is Salix, Pyrus, Heath, Alder, Ilex, or… even Dalber?" she lists off a few more that aren't so obviously herb or plant related.

Ezra blinks. Blinks again. "Well. No. I…it…" Damn. Cough. "I didn't pick my name," he mutters. Pouty face. "Ooh, I like Pyrus and I like Ilex. Those sound properly masculine. Unlike my name." Smirk.

Laurali can't help but laugh now but it's gentle laughter. Happy laughter, more than mocking or teasing and when Ezra pouts, she just leans over enough to playfully nudge his side. "You're name is a good name, silly. I was teasing you." It was the first name of one of the first Colonists! That has to stand for something, right? "Ilex is another name for species of holly." she explains. "What do you think? Kos or Ilex?"

Ezra considers the pup with a little smile. "I like Ilex. I like that…x at the end." Way to be detailed.

Laurali giggles and gives Ezra another playful nudge before she's calling her puppy over with a few clicks of her tongue. Scratching him behind the ears, she begins to murmur the name over a few times and finally bobs her head. "Ilex it is, then. I think it suits him just fine."

Ezra grins, nudging her back. "Ilex. I like it," he says. Again. "You like him? You're happy? I'll get a beastcrafter to start training them…I did alright with Zoi but these…" Are a handful. And he had a lot of help with Zoi. He's no natural canine handler that's for sure.

Laurali chuckles and then gives him a look while she has Ilex in her lap. "Of course I like him! I'd not have picked him if I didn't. Honest, Ezra. I'd have said no if none of these pups caught my interest. Ilex is mine!" Beyond just the collar that says so and Ezra's word. Her smile is gentle. "I am happy. And… yes. Training. Are you sure you do not mind keeping Ilex or seeing to his care? At least until I am no longer required to be at the Hall."

Ezra shakes his head, "Of course I don't mind. It'll be good for him to be here with his pack, and learning from Fort's excellent beastcrafters. Then you won't have to worry about him, but you can visit whenever you want."

Laurali smiles softly and gives Ilex one last hug and strokes his back a few more times before letting him go back to his siblings. "I'll try my best to visit as much as I can. Not just Ilex but…" she lets the rest drift unsaid with a faint shrug of her shoulders. "Thanks, Ezra. For letting me have one of Zoi's puppies." she murmurs softly and picks idly at some straw. The silence that lingers isn't relaxed. The girl is holding something back.

Ezra smiles, nodding his head. "You're welcome," he answers. Then when she goes silent and picks at the straw, he watches for a moment. "Everything okay?"

Laurali picks at more straw and is silent for a little longer even after Ezra's prompt. Long enough for her to pick three long strands of straw and begin to weave them. For all her crypticness, she's easily read as any open book. "Lyreh is gone." she says in a quiet whisper. "All her stuff. Just her knot stayed behind. Many are not surprised…" And neither is Laurali. Rayathess must have accepted it too, else Ezra would have received a note. That or the older brother is just wanting to deal with it alone first. Classic.

Ezra blinks. Blinks again. "Wait. She…Wait. Gone? She didn't tell you anything?" Looking upwards, he lifts a hand and silently summons Alpha. The bronze glides from the rafters to land on his master's outstretched arm, while Ezra fumbles in a pocket. Oh, Rayathesssssss. You jerk.

Laurali shakes her head and continues to weave the straw into a makeshift braid. "Not a word, but I knew enough of Lyreh to sense it. She wasn't happy, Ezra. I can adapt and have and she could not… Weyr, Hold or Hall life is not for her and when she realized she could not tempt me or your brother back to a wandering path…" As holdless or renegade? "… she left." Laurali shrugs. Simple as that? Yes, Rayathess is a big, big jerk and bull headed when it comes to certain things.

Ezra fishes out a parchment and a stylus, scribbling a letter and sending Alpha off to try and find Rayathess to smack him with it. Ezra flops back against the stall door with a sigh, looking over at Laurali. "And how are you doing, now that she's gone? She…tried to take you both with her?" GRR RAYA.

The note reads: Rayathess. Laurali just told me Lyreh left the Hall. Why didn't you tell me? Are you okay? Come visit if you can. -Ezra

Laurali will watch in sneaky little glimpses as Ezra writes that note and sends it away in Alpha's care. Maybe she's guilty for spilling it? Maybe she swore to stay quiet about it. If so… oopsies? Tossing the woven straw aside (where it's promptly investigated by a puppy), she will shuffle over to sit next to Ezra. "Why else do you think she stuck around, Ezra? And I'm… alright. Disappointed, I think. Saddened. She reminds me of… me, in ways but I can't hate her for going away." she admits softly.

Ezra watches her approach and then he extends a hand, offering it to her palm up, if she wants. "What, you think she went through all the trouble at the Hall just to try and lure you both back into the wilds?" He sighs. "There's nothing wrong with wanting to be on your own. I…no, there's no need for hatred. I mean…she had to do what was best for her. Even if it meant leaving others behind." And if she's taken his hand, he'll give it a gentle squeeze. "Maybe she just wanted to wait until you were settled. Until she thought you'd be okay without her."

Minutes later, Alpha will return with the note, but with Rayathess' writing on the other side. It's a quick scrawled message: Laurali needs to learn to keep her mouth shut. I'm okay and I was going to tell you when I next visited. Soon. Sorry. — Rayathess

Laurali will take Ezra's hand and she smiles softly both for his words of reassurance and when he squeezes her hand. A gesture she returns, even as she sighs as well. "Maybe she did? Lyreh had her own motives. And… I don't know, Ezra. I really don't. There were days when I wondered if she and I were friends or if she had some… other reason for keeping me close. I think she clings too much to the past…" she murmurs with a faint shrug and then glances up as Ezra's bronze returns with a message. Now she DOES look guilty.

Laurali was hurting. Silly Rayathess. Ezra shoves the note into a pocket and sends Alpha back to the rafters. "I guess you weren't supposed to tell," he says, "but whatever. He'll get over it. He should have told me." Then he exhales softly. "I…I don't know, Laurali. It's hard to figure out people's motives. I know I…it's been hard to learn to trust again. Hard /not/ to think that every gesture isn't some ulterior motive. But with Lyreh..I just don't know."

Silly Rayathess, indeed! Of course he wouldn't factor in that Laurali could be hurting, despite her claims of being alright. "No, he told me to keep it to myself." Laurali admits, chewing at her lower lip and then nodding her head. "I thought you should know too. Your brother can be stubborn." So she did try to convince him not to be silent! She shakes her head. "Who knows, Ezra. I tried to be a friend to her, since she deserved a chance. And do you find you can trust people now?" she asks softly, only to grimace. "Maybe that was Lyreh's weakness then. Lack of trust. I don't know. Won't know… I only hope she finds her place somewhere. Somewhere good."

Ezra nods firmly. "He can be. And I should know. So thank you." As for her question, he considers it. "People, yes. Everyone? No. Nor do I think you /should/ trust everyone It takes a while to gain my trust, but…yes, I trust a few." There's another nod. "I hope she does too."

Laurali dips her head to his thanks and then cocks it a bit to the side as she listens. Her brows knit and she struggles to understand. "But if you trust people, isn't that trusting everyone?" she murmurs, blushing a bit of her naiveness. Grimacing, she nods again. "No, you're right. Trusting everyone would be… bad." Very bad. Exhaling heavily, she leans back against the stall door.

Ezra shakes his head. "I…no? I mean…everyone…it's…" He fumbles, pauses, takes a second. "I no longer /mis/trust everyone I meet. Everyone I see has the potential to earn my trust. But not everyone /does/." If that makes more sense - and he sounds doubtful that it does. He gives her hand another squeeze. "How about you?"

Laurali waits patiently while Ezra fumbles. She is in no rush for his explanation. "Ahh, now I see." It does make more sense and any doubts he had could be set aside when she smiles to him, almost as if to thank him for elaborating. Squeezing back with her hand, she takes a slow breath and exhales. "Same, I think, now that you explained more. I don't mistrust everyone and some may gain it in times. Others won't." And that's fine.

Ezra nods, "It takes time," he says, reaching out to gently push a pup aside that's decided to nibble on his shoe. "Do you need to get back soon?" he asks, glancing towards a window to try and gauge the time.

Laurali clucks and clicks her tongue again to draw a few of the puppies over, but it's obvious she's trying to coax Ilex back to her side and succeeds after a moment or two. "It does take time," she agrees with a quiet smile. "Hmm?" Glancing up at the window, she starts a bit. "I… I don't know? I'm with my Journeymen. I go back when they do and we're to meet here. But they can talk forever." She wrinkles her nose.
Ezra nods, looking around. "Well, as long as you don't have to go anywhere. Want to help me feed them?" They're getting some solid food now. Meat, some other stuff mixed in. D'ani showed me how to make it."

Laurali shrugs her shoulders. "I'll be summoned when it's time. Their runners are here…" she murmurs, now that she is calming down and her rational mind assures her that no, she wasn't left behind. She perks up a bit too when Ezra offers to show her how to feed the puppies. "Alright. Is it tricky?" Already she's pushing to her feet, eager to be shown something "new".

Ezra shakes his head, "No," he says with a grin, "it just takes a bit of time to feed all six of them, plus Zoi. It can get a bit…chaotic, but I'm trying to train them right." Pushing to his feet, he offers to pull her up with her hand and then lets her go, moving down the aisle to the back room. There is a small ice chest back here, plugged into the wall, and that's where he goes for some ground meat. "The bowls are down there," he says, pointing beneith the long work table. "Put a half cup of that mix into each bowl, and I'll do the meat."

Laurali will follow Ezra to that back room, chuckling to herself as he explains the chaotic feeding routine. "I'm thinking this will be just as amusing to learn as it is to watch," she muses. As they step inside the room, she'll find the spot Ezra points too and nods her head briskly to show she understands. Pulling out the bowls, she'll measure out half a cup of the mix into each and maybe take a little too much time making sure the scoops are exact. Healer training! Don't blame her? "How often do you feed them? Is it only you who does?" And if so, where does he find the time?

"Twice a day," Ezra answers as he pulls out the meat, cut into small chunks and sets it on the counter. He doesn't push her for her measuring technique, though his is more like 'a handful' than anything /actually/ measured. A handful of meat into each dish, mixed up with the dry food with his hands. "I feed them when I can, but I'm not the only one. There's a board outside the stall that we mark when they've been fed. Because they'll lie and act starving." They figured that out the hard way. /Fat/ puppies.

Laurali seems pleased with her careful measuring and then steps back to watch as Ezra adds the meat and mixes it all together. She'll even peer over his shoulder or from beside him, curious even though the technique is very simple in the end. "Twice a day would be tricky to follow alone." She giggles. "Clever of them! I'll keep that in mind whenever I am spending time with Ilex. So what is next? Do we bring it to them or… set it down and call them?" Chaos time?

Ezra picks up two bowls, balancing a third on his arm and nods for her to do the same. "Now…we feed them in the aisle. This part is tricky, to get each pup their own bowl and make sure they don't go steal from others. So we bring them out into the aisle first, then start handing out the bowls, and just…push them away until they're each at their own."

Laurali picks up the remaining bowls and follows Ezra's lead like any good student would. "Uh…" She peers at the aisle suspiciously, then back to him and frowns. Oh boy. "You weren't kidding… How… do you keep it from being utter chaos?" Or do they even bother? Too late now to turn back!

Ezra sets the bowls down a few feet from each other and grins. "You just nudge them away. Here," he says, opening the door and blocking it with his legs. One pup scampers out, finding a bowl. Then a second, going to that same bowl. "Move him…"

Laurali follows suit in arranging the bowls and dusting her hands off on her clothes, she'll peer sidelong to Ezra. "You make it seem so easy!" she mutters and then braces when the door opens. One puppy out! Okay… that isn't so bad. Now the second and she darts forwards, a touch clumsy as she tries to nudge the puppy over to another dish.

That pup is happy to find her own food and begins to gobble, which is good as Ezra lets another, then another, then the last few out. There's a bit of chaos, some growls, one snap of teeth before they've all found their bowls and are gobbling away. "Whew. Thta went well," Ezra says with a smile. "Thanks. I feed Zoi later, when the pups are all sleeping." Just in case Laurali thought he'd forgotten /his/ canine.

Laurali does her best to herd the pups to a dish each and is relieved when it all progresses without too much chaos and squabbling. Her eyes will linger the most on Ilex, of course. HER puppy! "That was a good feeding?" she muses to Ezra, only to snicker. "I figured as much. Does Zoi get the same food as the pups?" she asks. No, she never assumed Ezra forgot his beloved canine!

Ezra grins, "Yeah, it was." Leaning against the stall, he watches the pups eat with a rather proud, paternal gaze. The other five are HIS. "She gets more meat," he admits. "A few other things. So…no." To answer her question. He flashes her a grin. "After this we get to take them all outside for their potty break.

Laurali has ceased watching the pups the moment she catches that paternal gaze in Ezra and her expression softens for a moment, only to revert back to a neutral one when he explains Zoi's food. "Suppose she would be different, being an adult. Like humans." Different nutrition needs! "Uh… um.. what?" Wait, what'd she sign up for?

Ezra just grins at her some more. "Take them out to pee. And poop, since they just ate." And the pups are now starting to get frisky, chasing tails and yipping. "This way!" Ezra calls, moving at a fast clip towards the barn doors, ready to open them and let them all outside into the chilly weather.

Laurali doesn't mean to wrinkle her nose. It's just habit. "Do we have to mind them while they take care of that?" she mutters, but she'll follow alongside Ezra all the same and help herd the frisky puppies outdoors while he takes care of the doors. At least they won't have any irate stablehands on their backs?

Ezra nods, "Of course we do. And pick it up. But, ah. I can do that." He wouldn't make her do it. That'd just be mean. Out in the chilly weather the pups bound and frolic, play, and do their business with Ezra following after with shovel and bucket, cleaning up after them. And he whistles as he does it, a soft, mindless tune.

Laurali would have done it, if Ezra had asked. Yes, she's a girl but she'll be dealing with things far worse than messes left behind by puppies in time. Probably see things far worse too. So she won't abandon him to his task, though she does stand by the door with her hands drawn up into the sleeves of her jacket and huddled against the cold. His whistling has her smiling. "And that's all there is too it?" she muses, calling the puppies (or attempting to) to her.

Ezra nods, "Pretty much," he says, moving around the edge of the barn to dump the bucket into the dung heap. The puppies continue to play for a few minutes more, ignoring Laurali's call until the cold gets to them and they all tumble into the barn. "They're quite entertaining," Ezra says, holding open the door and gesturing for her to go in ahead of him. "Looking forward to when I can take them to Stonehaven though."

Laurali grins and her laughter at the puppies all tumbling into the barn comes without her realizing it and rather than fight it she goes with it. Stepping back inside, she'll wait for Ezra to join her again before wandering in a little further. "They are. A lot of work too, but… a small price to pay. And when will you take them back to Stonehaven? When they're mature? Will… Ilex go too?"

Ezra shrugs a bit, "When Stonehaven is ready to have them. When Stonehaven needs them. And I'd assumed Ilex would go, but…uh. Well. He's your canine so whatever you want really."

"What will they be trained to do, for the hold?" Laurali is curious, peering sidelong to Ezra as she steps towards the stall and then turns to lean against it. "Spit canines? Guard canines?" she asks, already assuming that these will be working animals and not so much pets. She chuckles, "If it's best for Ilex to go to Stonehaven, then I'd not mind. I don't know how long I'll be at the Hall, Ezra. I'm only an Apprentice. I've… a lot to work through before I can be considered a Journeyman. If I am even so lucky."

Ezra grimaces slightly at the idea of these fine animals being spit canines, shaking his head. "Probably not spit canines. But maybe. Who knows. Herding and guarding for sure. They're built for that, for spending their days out with the animals, protecting and guarding them. Guarding the hold. That sort of thing." Curled up at his feet in the evenings, as they all doze by the fire after a long day's work. This is the image he has in his mind. "Well if he were at the Hall or here, it'd be closer for you. Stonehaven's a few days ride from here."

Laurali sheepishly looks down when she realizes she forgot about herding. Of course, there would be herding! "You're right. They'd be wasted on the spits. I'd rather have Ilex be out with the herds or a guard animal." Though in her mind, Ilex looks so sweet and adorable. She has no image of them all curled up by a fire in the evening. She shrugs her shoulders, glancing sidelong towards the barn doors. "Guess you're right. Just seems a shame to split him up from his siblings… if that comes to pass." And it will. It'll be Turns before Laurali walks the tables.

Ezra shrugs, "They don't really form bonds like we do though. Least that's what I was told. They are happy with…whoever they are with. He'd be fine here, with the weyr canines, or at the Hall. He wouldn't, like, miss his brothers and sisters. Not the same way we do." There's a small smile for that. Though…Grr, Raya.

Laurali frowns, "They don't? They must to some degree or… why else would they stick around?" She's puzzled but she'll nod her head and try to sneak another peek of the puppies and her puppy among them. "I don't know. They must miss being with them but I suppose so long as they have company of any kind… it doesn't matter?" she says softly, smiling in a small way too as she glances sidelong to Ezra. She's about to say something, but then the doors are opening and there's a gruff call of her name. Laurali snaps to attention in a heartbeat and is calling back and she gives Ezra a 'wait' gesture before she's off to speak to the Journeymen waiting there, while stablehands ready their mounts (and Laurali's). There's a lot of yessir's and no's and at one point the Journeyman glances to Ezra, nods curt but politely and there's further no's and yessir's from Laurali. A reprimand? Maybe. She'll manage a few seconds to slink back though. "Sorry." Time to go. "Thank you again, Ezra. Take care of Ilex for me and… I'll see you around." Laurali murmurs and she wants to hug him or some friendly gesture but drops a hasty curtsy instead with the Journeyman's eyes fixated on her back. "Good night." And then she's turning away and hurrying back to accept the reins of her borrowed mount as they prepare to lead them outside.

Ezra straightens a bit, smiling easily. He doesn't look guilty, or shifty. They weren't /doing/ anything, so he just smiles at the Journeyman and dips his head in a nod. "Evening. Thank you, Laurali. And I'll see you later." A slight bow, and then he's going back to work, this time brushing out the tangled puppy coats. Whee?