Why in the fel am I so nervous? It’s just a job, I can do this. She took a deep breath and walked up the stone ramp to the door. She pushed the door open and stepped in the door. It was warmly lit with candles and the woman who would be her boss was standing there looking non-plussed.
“You are on time for the door to open. Barely. I expect you to be here early from now on. The shop opens promptly at 9 am. You will be ready for the first customer if they walk in as soon as we unlock the door. Is that clear?” Wynne stared at her, completely unimpressed.
“Yes, Miss Wynne,” Niqi stammered. She looked around, unsure where to go. Wynne pointed roughly to a tired, old work table in the corner. At the next station, a tall, slender Kal’dorei man sat working silently. She watched him for a moment, impressed by the steadiness of his hands and the precision of his stitching.
Moving over to her new space, she put her bag down on the table and pulled out her tools. She set them down as quietly as possible, not wanting to disturb anyone. Next she found her apron and put it on, tying the sash about her waist into a neat bow. She carefully placed the needed items into the pockets and stashed her bag in the corner.
She sat down and waited, expecting to be told what to do. After a few minutes of silence, she squeaked out, “Miss Wynne? I…what would you like me to begin with?” Wynne’s head shot around and the man at the next table winced slightly.
He raised his head and offered Niqi the most genuinely kind smile she had ever seen. His silver eyes shone out of his deep purple skin, though there was a hint of something there. Exhaustion, worry? Niqi shrugged it off. “My name is Reianas, but everyone calls me Anas. You’ll be working with me.” He set down the fabric in his hands and stood slowly. Her eyes went fully round when he reached his full height, which was shocking compared to her tiny frame. He offered her a bow and she curtsied to him in return.
“Niquisse Greythorn, My Lord Anas. I hope you will find my skills useful,” she couldn’t help but smile back it him. It was plain to see that there was nothing forced about his easy manner. “What can I do first?”
He chuckled. “Well, you can start with just calling me Anas. And that will depend on what you can do. Simple stitching? Full patterns? Embroidery?”
“All of those, My L…um, Anas. And I am currently studying methods in creating lace. But I would not count on that just yet.” She giggled a little. “I didn’t quite get a consistent pattern. It’s pretty hard!”
He laughed aloud at her declaration. “Indeed it is! Well. For now, how about you let me see your skills in proper spacing.” He moved to his work table and picked up a gown that was mostly complete. “Twenty pearl buttons down the back, including the button holes. Can you do that?”
She beamed at him. “Absolutely!” She gathered the gown from him and started towards her station.
“Um…the thread you used on the rest would be?” She looked up at him sheepishly.
“Right here,” he grinned and reached over for it. Handing it to her, he settled back down in his chair. He picked up his work and resumed his silent attention to a sleeve in progress. Niqi tipped her head to the side, curious, but went to work at her own place.
Laying the dress out, she pulled a measuring tape from her pocket along with a piece of chalk. Carefully marking out the spacing, she held it up and lined up the two sides. Pinning them together, she laid it back down and marked the other side the same. “How’s this?”
He turned and looked it over, “Very good, Niquisse. You can go ahead and start on them.”
“Anas?” Her tone was soft, happy.
“You can call me Niqi, if you want,” she offered. He smiled that same way at her and nodded.
“Okay, Niqi it is!” He turned back to his work.
Niqi let out a relieved sigh. Maybe this would be okay after all.