One of Gendry’s apprentice blacksmiths, the one that’s been coming around more and more, looks like she’s real tired. So Hot Pie passes her the usual–this flaky, curved bread he might call…curved bread? It kinda looked like a crescent moon, so…moon bread? That could work.
She takes it, tearing off a chunk with her teeth and chomping it before saying anything. As she does so, Hot Pie watches. Her arms flex underneath the thick leather all the smiths wear around her forearms. She must be really strong, he wagers. Maybe not as strong as him, but she could probably lift barrels of wine. He likes that about her. Her face is all smudged up with soot and her hair is always wrapped up in a scarf, so he can never tell what color it is.
“Got more?” She grunts, brushing the flaky bits that fell off on her dirty tunic.
“Oh! This one!” He says, excited, as he pulls out a tray. “The dough came out a little harder than usual, so you can try it for free.”
For the first time, the smith’s apprentice gives a grin, dirty fingers careful not to touch any of the other ones. She picks it up, inspecting. “What’s it supposed to be?”
“A stag’s head. Why, don’t it look like one?”
“It looks like a badly done knot.”
Hot Pie sighs. “At least let me know if it tastes good.”
The smith nods, taking a bite. It makes a loud ‘crunch.’ She rolls it around in her mouth while Hot Pie waits with bated breath.
“I think it’d go better with ale.” She lifts up her hands, bits of the stag’s head in her palms. “Maybe smaller, too. So it don’t get all broken up when you try it.”
He nods. “Guess all I got to do is think of a name.”
She holds the pieces thoughtfully. “Pretzel?”
Hot Pie wrinkles his nose. “What’s that?”
“The name, you idiot.”
“What’s it even mean?”
“Little arms, ‘s how you say it in my village round Bronzegate.”
Hot Pie thinks. Looks at the tray in his hands. Looks at the smith. Then the tray.
“Nah,” he decides, sullen. “Ain’t nobody gonna want to eat arms.”
“I would,” she says with a roll of her shoulders. “I like all the stuff you make. ‘S why I keep comin’ over even though you charge too much.”
Hot Pie’s eyes go big.
“Anyway,” the smith says, tapping her closed fist against her chest a few times until she lets out a burp. “I’d better get going. Save me one of them moon breads for after I’m done, would you?”
She leaves without another word. Hot Pie just watches her go, then stares at the stag-head-dough-biscuits.
Is he in love?