The Black Dove Tavern Old Rose Harbor
on the 15th of Intas Early Evening
It was Lucy's second week in Old Rose Harbor and she was already tired of the town. She had managed to land a job at one of the taverns, but it wasn't the sort of tavern that had respectable clientele. She had found it difficult to get into the more… not even upscale, but the medium-scale taverns and had been forced to take the job at the Black Dove as her small savings slowly trickled down the drain of everyday expenses.
The newcomer to Old Rose sat in what passed for the "dressing room" in the ramshackle old tavern, ignoring the old man who stunk of booze and was snoring away in the corner of the room. She closed the door behind her, putting a spare chair against it to keep out any peeping Toms. Luckily, she had been doing this for years, so she didn't need to rely on the blurry image in the old battered piece of copper that passed as a "mirror" to do her makeup or to fix her hair. She quickly pulled her hair back into a loose chignon, making sure to let some tendrils "accidentally" drift over her cheeks in such a way that some people might be tempted to try to push them back gently.
Then she changed into her dress. It was bitterly cold out and she wasn't nearly stupid enough to go out in the dress she would be performing in. She pulled off the layers of clothes she had wrapped herself in, and then examined the dress happily. The Bastian galdor had commissioned it in Vienda and it had turned out much better than expected. It was a beauty made of satin, in a deep emerald meant to complement her fiery hair. She stepped into it and purred as it clung to her body, expertly pushing her assets up as well as any corset could, while not constricting her ability to breathe. The waspish waist lead to a skirt that draped down to drift gently (yet closely) over her curves. Ivory lace spotted with tiny emerald beads adorned the neckline, further drawing attention to what Lucy knew most men were interested in.
Lucy sat back down and took a few deep breaths. As always, she wasn't nervous about her performance. Someone with her talents could only shine. Instead, she reminded herself that, while this place was far beneath her usual standards, it was a stepping stone to better places. She ran mentally through her repertoire, choosing the songs she would sing for the night. She was only granted time to sing four songs, so she had to choose them wisely.
Once the songs were chosen, she made her way to the side of the stage. Her shrewd blue eyes watched the woman performing for a few moments before rolling her eyes. If that was the type of entertainment that this crowd expected, Lucy would blow them away. When the other woman walked off the stage, Lucy gave her a pleasant, but completely fake, smile. "Good job!" she said and, while her voice was encouraging, her eyes flickered with sarcasm for a second. Then she heard her stage name announced. She took one last breath before stepping onto the stage. She gave the crowd her most cheerful smile, though she doubted that anyone except the people directly in front of the stage could see it through the smoke.
The ruby-haired woman opened with "The Ballad of Old Rose" and a few of the drunks started singing along with her cheerful singing. Then she moved on to "You Loved Me in Vienda", which she knew always went over well. Her next song wasn't well-known in Anaxas. But it was one of her favorite Bastian love songs and she couldn't resist singing it. As she sang, her high, sweet voice filled with longing for a man who had left her for another woman, begging Hurte to bring him back to her. She poured so much emotion into her song that it wouldn't be surprising if some of the audience thought that Lucy herself had been abandoned. She finished off with a few rounds "Drinker's Lullaby", riling the crowd up again.
After her set, she bowed gracefully and made her way down to the main floor of the tavern to mingle. She didn't particularly like this part of her job, but it would ensure that more people would come back to her shows. She chatted cheerfully with the clientele, making promises to sing their favorite song next time as they tried to subtly paw at her. She was well-practiced in defending her body from drunkards, though, so the most that any of them got was a feel of her erse. She was also well-experienced in keeping potential pickpockets from grabbing her wallet, which she had tucked in her brassiere. Her purse had been left in the back, but all it contained was her makeup and hairdressing supplies.
The flame-haired Bastian giggled as men offered her drinks, fending them off with platitudes and even more promises. Of course, she wouldn't take them up on their offers then, either, but it was her job to give the audience any reason to come back. She looked for someone who looked even remotely trustworthy as she mingled, though, since she knew she would need to have at least one drink to ensure the clientele thought that she was one of them.
She wasn't one of them, of course, but they didn't have to know that.