Neville Tavington had grown quite used to finding himself in a state of perpetual boredom. He supposed that he shouldn't be so unhappy about it. Certainly there were plenty of people that would have delighted in the opportunity to be bored.

That didn't make matters any better. He drummed his hands on his desk and stared out the window at the ships. He would have liked to go sailing or on any sort of adventure, but his studies came first. There was no arguing about that.

There would be a party later in the week though. A large gala that he had been looking forward to for months so his boredom would not last forever. His parents would not attend therefore it would be even better than last year's. The Steeplechases were generous hosts and their daughters... Well, he had always fancied Mary. Maybe this year she'd actually notice him.

He closed the heavy leather-bound tome he had been reading. Then he glanced over at the unfinished letter he had meant to send his cousin who was over in the colonies. He pushed back a strand of black hair before he dipped his quill back into the ink and finished the letter off with a flourish. He could use the letter as an excuse to go out and enjoy himself for awhile.

He left the estate rather hurriedly, pausing only to grab his cloak and hat. Without breaking his stride, Neville muttered something to the servant by the door. He'd amuse himself at the tavern for awhile.

~~~

Captain Eisen O'Bannon hummed himself a jaunty tune as he strode back and forth over the deck of his ship.

It was, he reflected, very nice to own a ship. Well, not own, strictly speaking, there was no writ or deed or piece of paper that granted him ownership of the wood and nails that kept him afloat. But it was his all the same, in every way that mattered. His blood had gone into this ship, his time and care. It was his through and through, and no court or kingdom in the land could deny him.

And his leap from ship to dock was no less enthusiastic for all that. He smiled to the usual contingent of dock women, winked to the ones he particularly favored, and strode on into the city. The ship would take a few hours, perhaps as much as a day to restock, and to allow his men some shore leave. He had more than enough time for a quick pint at the local tavern, and a taste of some food that was neither over salted nor undercooked. It was the only hardship he regretted about sea life; the interminable dullness of the food.

"A drink of your most expensive!" he cried as he strode into the first of his usual haunts. A couple old drunks cheered his entrance, and a few dandies looked up, but no one else took notice. He made port in this town at least once a season.

"As usual," the barkeep slid the entire bottle down to him, and Eisen's gold was snatched up as quickly as he laid it on the counter.

"Anyone interesting in today?" he asked in a more conversational tone of voice, swigging from the bottle.

"Not so's you'd notice. The usual crowd, with some young sprigs coming up and starting to think of rebellion against their parents. Norric's sons are over, in that corner. Young Tavington's in as well, taking a rest from his horses."

"Really..." Eisen looked over, taking stock of the room. There were always opportunities to be had with the lordlings...