Skipping Stones

They made it out to the creek, she convinced him rather easily to let her drive. In favor of not talking about what she saw, he took the buy out option to let her drive. They pulled up, she was getting out, there was talk of rock skipping, and championship style no less. Clayton was slightly off after pondering that thing in his pocket, but he was comfortable again even. Truck on the side of the road, he doesn't even know which direction they're going to walk along the creek,learning it together it seems. Or she knows a little more, its his first time out here. Coming around the truck to join her, "Yeah, completely in finding the right rock. Smooth edges, flat and round." Then he pauses, maybe she only meant she hadn't skipped rocks in creeks or on moving water, she could of done it at lakes. He scoops up a flat black one, could be better rounded on the edges, but its too far from the creek to be water tumbled. He looks at her a moment "You've never skipped rocks or …" As in to verify his curiousity.

"I grew up around lakes." Chase hits the lock button on her keyring after hopping out and closing the door of her truck. There's a look back at it, she loves it, that's obvious, but she walks across the road and down the embankment towards the flowing water, an area a short distance away. "I've never skipped rocks though. I think I remember trying once when I was a kid and it was a bulky thing that splashed and… sank like a rock." With a look of chagrin, she smirks. "So that was my foray into skipping rocks." Of course she hadn't forgotten that flask-like thing in his pocket, but she's choosing her battles and that isn't one she's fighting at the moment.

"Okay, I'm making a promise here and now," grins Clayton, "We cannot leave today unless you skip one rock. You have a lot of missed skipping to make up for, Chase." The name said as if he's getting a better feel for it, beyond introductions. He has the one flat rock, and follows down the embankment, picking up more on the way as he goes down after her. "And no sinking like rocks. Here, I have a few, you're welcome to them." He holds out one hand with about five rocks now, more gray, a couple towards black. One that is well rounded, he points to that with his other hand. She can see his hands are calloused, either from working while growing up, or all the rocks he works with now. The one he points to is black and very smooth edges, "That one's probably a winner." Though he lets her look, curiously looking at her to see if she chooses, that and probably just looking at her, taking her in as it where.

"Oh yeah? Do you always make promises so easily, professor?" Chase gives him a half smile and pauses each time he hesitates to pick up a rock along the way. Standing at the bank finally, she tilts her hat back, high on her forehead and looks from the water to the five rocks, focusing on the one he points out. Yes, she does notice his hands, calloused. Not the hands of a teacher. For some reason, she likes that. Looking back to the rocks though, to the winner, and she shakes her head. "I don't want to waste the winner while learning technique." She opts for one of the other ones in hand. "How do I hold it?" Offering her hand out, the rock resting in her palm.

Her curiousity of his promises, even if teasing, catches a grin to him, she'll catch it as she watches the picking up of rocks. "Only the ones I think I can keep," leaving it slightly open, not saying he can keep them all even. As she skips over the winner, he nods, "We'll save it then, its still ours." Maybe part of that promise. Putting the others in his pocket including the winner, he keeps one himself. Holding it along his forefinger, balancing with thumb, like he's going to skip the rock he explains, "Its all in the finger, keep it flat but when you chuck it, you want to spin it. That gives it enough friction to skip, as it slows down, it'll loose that momentum and sink." If she looks like she's getting it he'll nod, otherwise, he'll come over to help with her hand. "Finger to spin, wrist to flick, then let it go."

Catching the smile, Chase is struck by it momentarily, but she forces her gaze away and down to the rock in his hand, watching the way he holds it, trying to mimic it with her own. She tries several ways until she finds something comfortable, almost natural feeling, her finger curved around the outer edge as the rock nestles on her bent middle finger beneath it. She practices a few times with the motion, skipping the release step, over and over until that feels natural also. She's very methodical in her learning technique, trying it, altering it until it was comfortable for her, envisioning the rock and the trajectory until she imagines it's lined up also. After several moments of her practicing, she focuses on, not the rock, but looking out at the water in anticipation. "Well.. here goes." And she follows through with it this time, releasing it….

Enjoying talking about rocks, even if just to huck it into the creek, Clayton watches, ready to assist, but not assuming she wants him to just touch her hand. In that moment, it becomes even more an intrigue, the methodical approach she takes to considering the rock, getting the feel for the rock. Even the practice throws, the feeling of the wrist movement, that little snap at the end. Its more an interest wathcing her approach to throwing the rock, instead of just throwing them until it feels right, she instead takes the time to get the movement in there. As if somehow, that childhood Chase was eager to try, and it failed, so she moved onto other things, and this one now, before him, understand practice. Perhaps curious, knowing he can be methodical in the field, but more so at that approach, wondering if something was lost as well, the sponteniety of it. Just that simple thing, practing a few times, ready to skip a rock, drives a new interest to him. His eyes look more at her as if reading there, or failing to read other than that curiousity. Then she annoucnes she's ready and he smiles again, "No turning back." From becoming a rock skipper, he turns to watch how the rock goes, he'll get ready to throw his own … unless her's doesn't skip much ….

Practice must pay off in the end, or it was for nothing. Chase does feel his gaze on her though and attempts to keep her expression inscrutable, that guarded look, afraid to let someone in. It's fairly obvious. When it was time to release, she concentrates, loathe to be a failure again in front of someone else. Perhaps it wasn't so much a childhood issue at all, more stemming from her adult choices. Once she releases the rock, she watches as it bounces on the water once. Twice. Then it sinks. Still, it's a victory and she can't hold back the fist pump and the soft sound of victory. Or was it relief?

Seeing the inscrutable expression, not taking it as afraid to let someone in, perhaps a hint guarded, Clayton observes the same, but tries not to oogle, so much as read her. When she lets go and gets two skips of the rock, he grins in her accomplishment. "Nice, see a natural," he assures, though it was more the practice and her determination most likely. He turns to let his rock go, it gets a few more skips, but its not as rounded on the edges and one catches enough to plunk it down into the murky depths of the river. "Another practice one, or feeling like trying Skippy, our prize winner?" He filches them from his pocket, offers them again, a few more to go through before needing to dig around for more. Whether she takes one or not, he'll plan to throw one. More conversational then, "You know, you seem to prefer it out here." Alone he might mean, not directly saying that, "If I'm too pushy, let me know." He skips his next rock getting 6-8 before the current catches it, "I'm usually not like this."

"I do prefer it out here. The peace is real." Chase doesn't elaborate much on it, not at the moment, but she does take a moment to look around the immediate area. "There are rumors of danger out here, but at the moment, here and now, I don't sense it." There, that's all she offers as he holds out the rock. She reaches for one, not Skippy, closing her hand around another rounded one she stands at the edge. With his getting so many skips, she looks impressed, "Nicely done." She lifts her own and with a minor adjustment, throws it out. It skips three times before sinking. One left, there's Skippy. She reaches for it. "I don't always have to participate to have a good time. Sometimes, watching from the stands is just as fun and you get a better show from it." So she reaches for his hand and places Skippy back there. "I would rather watch you throw it, be able to count the skips without the pressure of trying to make sure it isn't wasted. So would you do the honors?"

No comment on him intervening into her solitude, he takes that at a good sign, same with the pushy thing. While not usually so forward to invite himself out to skip rocks with women like this, there was an ease to it. A quiet ease, even with his not so good attempts at some jokes. "I heard about those rumors, I'm curious myself … only because the local geology seems interesting, and that mean's coming out here more." If he really gets into getting field samples and studying the geology with his eyes versus GIS or other collected date. Grinning his thanks, he purses his bottom lip comfortably while shakin g his head, taking the nicely done, but being modest in his rock skipping talents. When she talks about watching from the stands for fun, getting a good show even, something catches at him there, again he looks at her softly, his smile fading. Only in that it touches him gently and further fuels curiousity in the man. "Yeah, I'll do the honors … I've never heard someone say something like that, to me at least." Just watching, enjoying the show. He tries to regain some composure, probably not meaning to have said that. "Now, I can't let you down. We should make a little wager on it, some reward for getting more than 10 skips?" He takes the rock, starting to get it into his hand, but pausing as the idea of that wager strikes him, a skip of his own heart, not sure if that's a good thing or not, or fun even, but it sounds like it could be, he puts it out on the line. That moment of uncertainty in how she'll take it there, on his features as he partially watches her for reaction, while diverting some attention to getting the rock just right into his throwing hand.

There was no comment on how he usually is, no questioning of it after his comment of being different, perhaps she is exploring who he is without asking. "The rumors will either continue or play themselves out." Feeling that look, hearing his confession of never having heard someone say something like that, she lowers her gaze and finds something in the grass interesting, scuffing the toe of her boot along the brown grass, faded with the autumn temperatures. "I don't mind a wager, more than ten skips, you set the terms, within reason." Lifting her eyes to his then, she still has wariness but there's curiosity now.

A slight heft of the rock, its in skipping position, Clayton nods in regards to the rumors, still uncertain if its more local legend added into otherwise other odd occurances such as missing persons and such that is untypically high for the region. That skuff of the faded grass gets his attention. A reminder, it autumn, and winter isn't far away. And through all the colors of the leaves, not used to this region or this far north so much, even at his last university, it doesn't quit pull his eyes from her. When she lifts eyes after her curiousity at the wager, his smile is there. A little more confidence, as if more welcome to talking by her responses, from the participating by observing comment to the play of the wager and setting terms. "Within reason," he says, not suggestive so much as playful, and he easily enough comes up with some terms. "If I get more than 10 skips, you let me treat us both to some ice cream," sundaes, shakes, its left open, "And if I don't get 10 skips … maybe you have a term?" He's holding the rock ready to throw, based on if she accepts his terms and adds any of her own should he 'lose.'

His expression, the smile, when she lifts her head again has Chase studying him. The confidence was there without being overwhelming, the smile fit him well or he wore it well, one. Waiting for the terms, when they come, she looks surprise, it registers in her eyes and in her expression. "Ice cream." She contemplates it. There's a nod after only a moment. "I accept those terms. If you throw less, you have to read my book. Or at least the reviews of it." Waiting for him to accept or decline, she offers her hand for sealing it, should he accept.

<Game> Clayton rolls dexterity+2. Result: 14 (3rd Lvl: Good)

The right corner of his mouth turned up, comfortable with crooked smile, or more natural for him that way, Clayton is happy she accepts teh terms of ice cream, adds her own. Pausing a moment, he takes her hand to shake it, firmly, sealing the deal. Then he turns, and he takes a few moments lining it up. Cause he wants to take her to get some ice cream. Releasing it then, he watches it, slightly in that skipping rock lean, he stays tilted to that side. She can count it out … 1 …. 2 … 3 .. 4 5 6… and it hits about 13 before the skipps are too close to count and it plops into the water. He does the fist pump, "Yes," then feels sheepish and turns back to her, "I mean … I wanted ice cream." Or some time with her even though skipping rocks here is just as fun as anything else even. "I don't know where to get ice cream in town yet though," or if they might need to drive to the next town even. He moves closer, not into personal space, that is well respected. "Is it cheating, if I would have agreed to read your book anyways?"

As her hand is taken there's a look of Chase bracing for the touch, a guard felt as they do touch and then when he lets go, a visible relaxing. She holds her breath as he throws the rock, watches it skip and skip, gasping when he goes on and on and on. By the time it hits thirteen, she is bouncing on her feet, her cowboy hat has fallen off and she is enjoying herself. "I see you want ice cream fairly bad." Though at the mention of her book, she smirks. "You don't have to read it."

Turning back to see the bounce and the hat off, this doesn't help his smile. More it grows on him, his cheeks even color. Like some small accomplishment just happened and she's there in support. A joint effort even, for without her watching, it didn't really happen so much. The guard up and the visible relaxing from the hand touch and shake not missed, what he thinks is the reason and the real reason may be different, but thinking it could be uncomfortable to even talk about, he respects that she is simply guarded against others in her life. Thus, making simply talking to her all the more a joy, and he is nodding. "I did, and the company isn't half bad." Though by his tone, the company far more important than simply the icecream. "Up until last week at the Orchard, it was me in a town of unknown people, then you walked in, warning me of worms, teaching me how to be bad." IE Making apple TNT, which is very dangerous to a sweet tooth. "So yeah, I want that ice cream fairly badly. And I'll read it, you took the time to write it, has to be something you wanted to write about in there." A pause, he looks around, "Show me a few rocks, then we can get that ice cream?" He moves forward, picking up her hat for her, if she lets him. "And I can hold off on the book, if you like, get to know you like normal people do … you know, talking, asking questions, eating ice cream together?"

Lost in her excitement, Chase didn't even feel his gaze she'd been watching the rock skipping. Only after a moment does she feel his gaze on her and she chances a glance to his to try and read it before thinking better and opting not to try and read it, after all. "It's still a town of unknown people to me. I mean we are acquainted, you and I, yet there are large gaps that some may say are best unfilled." She tilts her head though and is unable to not give a half smile at the part of how to be bad. "You do as you would if you hadn't met me. If it interests you, then read it, if not, then don't."

What she might find in reading him is left a mystery, though his smile remains. Its half on his face, as if controlled, in a good mood, but not overjoyed, though his eyes are probably more telling. Matching that smile at the corners, signs of crow feet down the road in the warmth there. Far more friendly even. "Yeah, some gaps best just left where they are," he seems to agree with that, "We'll worry about the large ones if we think we need to, but we're just acquaintances, we get to do the fun things right, get ice cream together, swap apple recipes. Totally small town." Or he thinks so, his hometown much bigger and really, nearly, a suburb to way bigger cities (Los Angeles/San Diego both close enough). "I googled the reviews already, was going to check it out if I find a book storein town." An admittance, then he nods his head, slightly back to the truck, "If you want a trade off, you can read my research articles, mostly about glacial dropstones in asia. Exciting stuff, and if you're having trouble sleeping, it gauranteed to help put you out."

Perhaps Chase doesn't even allow herself to come to a conclusion as to what she finds there. Taking the hat, she places it back on her head, tucking her hair behind her ears in the process. "I like that idea. We could do that, have the ice cream and swap recipes, stuff like that. There's a bookstore in town." It doesn't bother her that he had read the reviews, it sort of makes her smile. "So, ice cream tomorrow? We can head back for your bike now."

Clayton doesn't know what she is capable of, bypassing her own conclusions even if she wanted to, though if he knew, he might enjoy that there isn't a conclusion. Simply going with the flow of thigns. Whatever her thoughts, he's in good spirits all around, "Tomorrow it is, if I find that bookstore, I may dig into a chapter. Skip gradding papers until later tonight." Half a grin, "You like you're truck, but do I get to have the honors of at least picking you up on the bike?" Then he feels sheepish again, as if too forward for him, even if he did really want to ask her that, "I mean, we could meet there if you tell me where it is too." Certainly wanting the former, the bike ride, since he felt he was too forward, the 'out' is offered of just meeting there, offhandedly.

Definitely no conclusion. Chase begins walking with him back towards the pickup, up the incline of the embankment to the road above. "It's not too far from the Firehouse Grill. I've had to go orders from there, good food." The invitation catches her off guard. She realizes she would have to give her address then. Instead, she takes the out. "Sure we can meet there, it'll be fun."

Inversely, he wasn't thinking of her addresss in the least, so he takes a little differently for the now. Though, she's still good company and saying it will be fun, hit or miss it seems. Something slightly curious in that alone. Up the embankment he moves after her. "I've been by the Firehouse Grill, I must of missed the ice cream joint. Maybe meet at Firehouse Grill, we can walk for ice cream?" He's keen on this walking stuff it seems. Then he looks back down, "See some of those off white rocks, more quartz around here too. This place seems to be loaded with it." Yet again, another grin towards sheepish, he looks to her as the head for her truck, "Sorry, can't help it sometimes." Notice and talk about rocks.

"The ice cream place is in the drugstore. And the bookstore is near both." Chase watches him as he collects some more rocks, she leans in and lookd down at them, the bill of her hat brushing his shoulder. "You don't have to apologize about looking for rocks. I brought you out here so you know where to find it now. We should be heading back though, I have something set out to thaw for dinner and it should be thawed by now.'

There is a comfortable sigh about the rock comment, both in that it is offered even as she bends down to look at the rocks in his heand. When she's that close, he can practically feel her warmth, as he holds up the stones for her to look at even. "Thanks," he says, both about telling him not to apologize, as well as bringing him out to look. "Its hard to see, this one is green quartz, would be very pretty polished up." Its pointed out, as she comments about the something thawed for dinner. "Yeah, I shouldn't keep you, I have something in the freezer, completely ready for my microwave." He's teasing, even if its honest. Letting her look at the rocks as long as she likes, hoping she doesn't quite catch the hint of a tremble to her voice, nervous and curious when she leaned in that close, it was slightly in his throat, he could feel it at least. Nervous exciting. When she's done, he'll move for the truck again. "Tomorrow we up the acquaintence though, we each have to share a big secret …. our favorite guilty pleasure song." The one that might be embarassing to admit to friends they like, but they still know the words too that is. He'll start clambering into the truck.

OOC Date: 2015.06.17
IC Date: 2014.10.26
Cast: Chase & Clayton

Reecer Creek
Though not far from the road, the sounds of tumbling water over smooth stones eclipses the sounds of the road, giving the area near the creek banks a serene feel. The creek slopes downward, surrounded by a thicket of pines and elm trees with trunks so close in some places they nearly form a wall. The water is clear in the shallows, but deepens into a brown-green color where the depth is a little more drastic - in fact, some might not call this a creek at all, as it is wide and deep enough in some parts to be considered a small river. There is much wildlife around these parts, ducks, fish, and small woodland mammals - it just takes an observant eye and a quiet step to meet them.

The world is dark and foggy. Everything is half-hidden, nothing clearly seen. It's chilly and the air feels damp. No wind blows. The dark shapes of nearby trees loom at you suddenly out of the deep grey fog as you approach them.

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