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Chaillot is facing a civil war. Rebel Queens have refused to Bless the land and are gathering supporters. Prince Etienne Roux is besieged as female led villages and districts rebel beneath male dominated rule, leaving Dark Haven caught in the middle of the two Blood factions. With the Blood at war the Landen have cast their gaze towards expanding their autonomy. Extremist organizations are rising within their own government as A.C.O.R.N officials move to take further legislative power.
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Author Topic: A quiet, charged tension  (Read 120 times)

Description: Lenore

Offline Jean-Isidore Lazare

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A quiet, charged tension
« on: Aug 10, 17, 12:15:29 AM »
Jean-Isidore really didn't get why he was still trapped in the Dark Haven. (There were other patients who called it the "Dark Hell," which was appropriate, but didn't make Jean-Isidore feel any better.) It had been a year since his last incident (as they called his justified terrible reactions to people forcing themselves into his head). Coincidentally, a year since they'd attempted to do that, also, but a year without problems was a year without fucking problems.

He'd avoided getting involved in the breakfast clusterfuck a few days previously, and even attempted (attempted) to keep Regarte out of it. Sure, he was an acidic bastard in group sessions, but that was just his fucking personality. If they wanted him to be nice, sweet, and polite, they should've... Okay, so, the staff of Dark Haven had no feasible way they could've prevented Jean from being sold to the salt mines. But the whole thing was symptomatic of the same fucking disease. At some point, Chaillot had gone from justifiable caution around their Dark-Jeweled to unjustified fear. That road led to little kids getting sold as slaves, and that road had consequences just like any other road they could've chosen. One of the reasonable results of a culture of hate and abuse was an acerbic Prince instead of a sweet, biddable one.

It'd been a year since his last violent outburst, seven months since he last snapped at someone for reading his mail, four months since he last broke Protocol, and a month and a half since they'd last sedated him. This was what they expected progress to look like; he'd seen it. When other patients (prisoners) followed this trend, they tended to get released. Yet, Jean-Isidore remained. What more did they want from him? He kept his nails clean, he fastidiously neatened his quarters, he dressed neatly and appropriately. Did they want into his head? Because that was the only damn place he'd ever had any privacy, and the day he let someone in there was the day he fucking died. Witch herself could demand it and Jean-Isidore would deny her.

...Eve, he thought, he might let Eve into his head. If he ever trusted her again.

He looked across the room at Lenore. Extended silences didn't seem to bother her like they'd bothered the other slaves, like they'd bothered the Geiba slavedrivers. It wasn't like the silences he'd shared with Eve over tea and poetry, either. It was just... quiet, a charged tension. He waited for her to speak, and she waited for him to do the same. Jean-Isidore broke first every time, and he broke first today as well: "I don't understand why I'm still here," he said.
Only entrust to me and mine your soul and all your darkness will be loved, and your pain made sacrament.

Offline Lenore Noir

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Re: A quiet, charged tension
« Reply #1 on: Aug 11, 17, 09:12:28 PM »
In sharp contrast to the solid black of several days before, Lenore wore a soft, pure white dress today. She sat, still and quiet, peaceful calm radiating off of her. It wasn't only for her benefit, obviously, the male before her deserved serenity as well. She was content to wait for him to start their conversation, aware that anything that she offered could steer the conversation in a particular direction. There was a reason he was here, and she wanted to know what it was.

"I don't understand why I'm still here."

She leaned forward, templing her fingers before her. "Signs of stability have been increasing in you for some time. It's a reasonable question. Tell me. Do you have any thoughts about breakfast a few days ago?"

He nodded and then replied with what Lenore found to be a remarkably transparent answer. "It wasn't Jean-Baptiste's fault, unfortunately. The new Queen bonded him and immediately started to freak out and that doesn't work well with Princes, it's worse for a Warlord Prince. But Jean-Baptiste DID punch all the orderlies. Not Regarte. She was trying to de-escalate it."

"You are fond of Regarte," she said. It wasn't a question. They both knew the answer. "Do you have any feelings about my actions towards her?"

"It was understandable in the context you had, but in the full context of the situation it was too extreme," said Jean-Isidore.

"I appreciate your directness," she replied. "And so I will offer you the same in regards to why you are still here."

She opened a drawer and pulled out a neatly stacked tower of letters and set them on the near empty desk. They lay there, in the middle of surface, warmly glowing with energy and a psychic scent that she knew Jean-Isidore would recognize. And if he failed that, the flowery script that graced the top envelope was not mistakable for another. It was not a secret that Lenore had treated Evette, nor that they had remained in contact through the years. Eve was one of her most shining examples of the success that could be accomplished with effort and dedication. She didn't expect, however, that the Prince before her quite understood the depth of the friendship that had blossomed between the Opal Jeweled witches who held so much control over his fate. 

"How is your Queen, Jean-Isidore?"


Offline Jean-Isidore Lazare

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Re: A quiet, charged tension
« Reply #2 on: Aug 12, 17, 12:18:43 AM »
Jean-Isidore looked at this letters like they were snakes that might bite him. Venomous snakes. With sharp teeth and faster reflexes, compared to his own, which were dulled by years of irregular use. They didn't exactly encourage the prisoners to remain fighting fit here. His hand was very still as he adjusted his glasses. Very, very still, too still when his hands tended to tremble and ache at times, mostly when his shoulders did, when it was humid or a storm rolled in. Long years swinging a pick, a whip, had taken their toll on the Prince's musculature.

"I wouldn't know," he said, very calmly, though there was strain in his voice. He stayed very still, controlling himself. "Lady Presage has been in Raej these past few months, if memory serves." And he didn't read her letters. Lenore and Jean-Isidore both knew that he did read the letters, that he went to great efforts to conceal the fact that he read the letters, that he touched them as rarely as possible otherwise to prevent the transfer of psychic scents. The fact that Regarte had damaged the letter he'd allowed her to read was still bothering him, like a tooth gone loose in its socket. He didn't have the Craft to repair it, knew better than to ask. Lenore was keeping him here because he wasn't answering the letter. She wouldn't assist him in continuing to be delinquent in his socially-required duties to the Queen he served.

He was far too still, like a statue. He didn't move. He didn't fidget. He sat. "You're keeping me here because I don't like talking to my Queen?" Jean-Isidore's voice steadied once he settled into a groove. He knew how to respond to this. His tactic was set, and he was going to stick with it. "I suppose that means I won't be released except into her custody." He didn't sound bitter about it. His affect was flat. He was trying very, very hard to be there, to not snap. "What if I have no desire to serve in her Court?"
Only entrust to me and mine your soul and all your darkness will be loved, and your pain made sacrament.

Offline Lenore Noir

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Re: A quiet, charged tension
« Reply #3 on: Aug 18, 17, 12:00:44 AM »
"Yes," she replied crisply. "If you wish to simplify it as such, that is exactly what I am doing." Lenore's cool calm flowed off of her, but she did not vanish the letters or put them away. It was too easy for Jean-Isidore to pretend he did not care, or focus on anything else but Evette. Lenore, however, was not going to allow that, not if he were going to ask such questions as why he was still here. He needed to come face to face with his fears if release from the Dark Haven was his true goal and desire.

"Yes," she repeated again. "That is exactly what it means. Who else should I release you to, if not the Queen that the Darkness has bound you to serve?" It was a simple enough question, although Lenore did not doubt that the Prince before her would have a very complicated answer, if he chose to to answer her at all.

She rose when he asked about service in Court, walking around to sit directly in front of him. Close enough to touch if he reached for her, but still a respectful distance. "Let me ask this. If you do not desire to serve in your Queen's Court, what do you desire, Jean-Isidore?" She knew that part of him of course wanted very much to serve Eve, to be close to his Queen. The constant denial that he set before himself only made his life more difficult.

But then, he knew this, too. He was not a stupid man. He had learned exactly what was needed and followed it precisely, but he had missed one key component in his assessment: Eve. He could not be truly balanced or find consistent stability without the grounding that a relationship with his Queen would offer him. It was time he release his resentment and find his way back to her.


Offline Jean-Isidore Lazare

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Re: A quiet, charged tension
« Reply #4 on: Aug 29, 17, 01:16:47 AM »
I'll leave, thought Jean, there were thousands of Courts that didn't feature the woman who had locked him away. Dena Nehele could always use Dark Jewels. He knew how to handle Raej. He could have a purpose in Raej, he knew the people, the atmosphere. He could be somewhere where his Dark Jewel wouldn't cause him to feel constantly under threat. Somewhere he didn't have to play fucking games. With Eve, he would constantly have to pretend, to live the life that he'd learned here.

"I'll leave," he said. "There are plenty of opportunities for a Green Jeweled Prince away from Chaillot." He'd only come here because his sister had been here. And he'd been quickly redirected once the Queen who had met him had realized she held his leash. That moment on the docks had saved him and ruined him in one fell swoop. He ground his teeth together, eyes gone dark at Eve's persistent psychic scent. "Raej. Dena Nehele. I'll find somewhere else to be. She's afraid enough of me to send me here, when I never caused harm to her. And while I can recognize that my time here has been of some benefit--" he didn't grit his teeth but he wanted to, and it showed in the tautness of his jaw "--I feel betrayed by that."

It was alright to be a little emotionally vulnerable. It made Lenore less likely to go poking around for the real stuff. For the nightmares. He didn't scream anymore, they were rare, he was handling them; if she poked around about Eve, that was fine. He didn't care. "I am fine. I am under control. I don't need someone to hold a leash on me..."

He trailed off. It occurred to him then that Lenore and Eve were friends. That Lenore cared about Eve, and this might be her way of helping someone in whom she had invested substantial emotional capital. He could use this. But what was the best angle? What did he most need? The ring around his cock, he wanted it off. He hadn't found a good angle to negotiate for that. But this...

"You want me to write to her," he said, green eyes narrowing. "Yes?"
Only entrust to me and mine your soul and all your darkness will be loved, and your pain made sacrament.

Offline Lenore Noir

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Re: A quiet, charged tension
« Reply #5 on: Sep 03, 17, 11:30:06 PM »
Lenore sat quietly while the stubborn male before her offered up all the things he would rather do than stand at his Queens side and serve. There was no reason to interrupt him. If he felt better snarling about it when they both knew, left to his own devices, he would drive himself mad with the refusal to be near the Queen he was bonded to, then she was content to allow him a place to snarl.

Much of her job seemed to be just that. Allowing her patients to talk themselves off of whatever overly dramatic ledge they were threatening to jump off of. Waiting them out until they talked themselves into something saner, less drastic. Some needed more help than others. Jean-Isidore needed nothing but her silence.

He had been doing well. Well enough to hold his temper, to not rush in to rescue Regarte despite his fondness for the Sapphire witch. It was clear he wanted out of here. And if he was willing to go to that extreme to be released, he was likely to go to even further extremes to not be recommitted. Which meant that he would not be a threat to his Queen, any other Queen, or Chaillot as whole.

And that, of course, was the point.

When he finally asked about what she wanted, it was a simple answer. "Yes. I want you to write her. A relationship with your Queen is important, and its lack is impacting you whether you choose to acknowledge it or not."


Offline Jean-Isidore Lazare

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Re: A quiet, charged tension
« Reply #6 on: Sep 07, 17, 03:24:12 AM »
"Well," said Jean-Isidore, "I don't want to write to her. I don't want to see her." For this to work, he would have to emphasize that there was no benefit to him to write to Eve. He was reasonably sure that there would be more benefit to him being out of here, if only from a monetary perspective, and from there outside of Chaillot. He was reformed, whatever the hell that meant, and he didn't intend to stay in the Territory that wanted him caged. "But I will, if you give me what I want. What I want is this ring off my cock."

He let that settle in for a minute. Then he continued: "I don't care if you have to put a collar on me in exchange. You swap the ring I've got out for the collar version and I'll write as many letters to Lady Presage as you want. You'll get another success story, just like you want, and your friend won't be so upset all the time when she writes you." He could smell Eve's distress off a few of those letters. It wouldn't hurt to give her just a few notes to express his true sorrow at being such a douche. (Not really.) For a different collar, he could make that go away. At least, away until Jean-Isidore got the fuck out of the Territory. He imagined at that point, Lenore would be pretty pissed off, but he didn't give a shit about that happening, really. Lenore's sad feelings once Jean-Isidore got out and rejected Eve once and for all, for good, bothered him not even a little bit. Then he could fuck off to Raej. It was nice there; there were slaves, yeah, but it was close enough to Pruul and it adhered to same Protocol he'd learned here in Dark Haven.

"So? I think it's a fair deal, Lady Noir." Well, of course he did, or he wouldn't have offered it. Did she really want him kicking around here for the months it would take him to rationalize writing to Eve without this simple exchange? It was semantic, since she wouldn't lose even a modicum of power over him. He still wanted it, since it would improve his comfort levels dramatically. But she'd know that, wouldn't she?
Only entrust to me and mine your soul and all your darkness will be loved, and your pain made sacrament.

Offline Lenore Noir

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Re: A quiet, charged tension
« Reply #7 on: Sep 07, 17, 04:07:36 AM »
She almost smiled at him, but didn't. Well, well. He had learned how to play the game well, hadn't he? Most of the inhabitants at the Dark Haven had collars, but Jean-Isidore had been a slave before, had worn a collar. It was important when he first came here to make it clear that this was different. He was not a prisoner, he was a patient, and he was here for the purpose of getting well. It was a distinction that Lenore wanted to drive home, especially since when he left here, he would be granted into Eve's charge. She wanted him perfect by then.

And here he was, negotiating. He said he didn't want to see his Queen or write her. Lenore knew that wasn't true. At least not fully. Part of him wanted desperately to be able to connect to her, to soothe her distress. The intention mattered to her very little, however. What she wanted was results.

She stood and moved across the room to a tall cabinet. She opened the outer doors and used a combination of Craft and keys to unlock one of the slender draws. What she pulled out looked like a large, flat jewelry box. She returned to stand in front of him, opening the box and revealing a brand new collar. "In exchange for my granting what you ask and placing this around your throat, how often will your write to your Queen?"

"I'll respond to every letter she sends me within three days."

Lenore nodded in approval. "You must really want that ring off your cock." She set the box down, picking up the controlling ring and putting it on the opposite hand of the one she already wore for him. She triggered the locking mechanism and it sprang open. Moving toward him, she pressed close enough to be able to easily affix it around his neck, her body brushing against his. "And you understand that if you fail to uphold our agreement, I will remove this and replace the current one, yes?"

She waited for his affirmation, and then firmly clicked the collar into place. Her craft flowed over his skin as it locked and attuned itself to the ring on her hand. She stepped back, smiling at him for a moment. For just those few seconds, she had both sets of control over him. It was an intoxicating feeling. "Stand up and drop your pants," she said.

He did so without hesitation. Her hand moved towards him. He flinched, but quickly corrected. She grasped the ring that encircled the base of his cock and balls, holding it firmly with her index finger and thumb as her other fingers brushed across his skin lightly. Lenore looked into his eyes as she did. She triggered the release mechanism. For a moment it grew tighter, and then it released. She slid it from his body, stepping back away from him and placing it in the box the new collar had come from.

"You can get dressed," she offered, leaning against the desk and looking at the way the new collar reflected light from his throat.


Offline Jean-Isidore Lazare

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Re: A quiet, charged tension
« Reply #8 on: Sep 07, 17, 04:52:53 AM »
Jean-Isidore liked when a negotiation went his way. It hadn't been much of one, such as it was, since Lenore's position wouldn't be strengthened or weakened by her acquiescence, and she had to have known that eventually Jean-Isidore would have wanted out so badly he'd either do something rash or would do as she asked. But he'd gotten what he wanted, and two days to mull over Eve's letters besides, and she hadn't even demanded that he write letters of a specific length. Of course Jean-Isidore would play it straight and give Eve sizable letters, most times. But he liked having that wiggle room.

She placed the collar around his throat and Jean-Isidore swallowed once, twice, reacclimatizing to the feeling. It was cool against his throat for now. He knew exactly the way that the awful thing would heat up should Lenore will it. He found his gaze going to the ring on her finger, the one that gave her that control over him. He longed to cut it off, use the Jewels he was not given permission to wear to mutilate the woman before him. But he didn't. He left Lenore unharmed, let her put her hand on his cock long enough to take off that awful, hated ring. It felt strange to be without it, now, but he was nevertheless glad for the successful negotiation for its removal.

He would rather die than wear a Ring of Obedience ever again.

Jean felt like he could still feel her cold gaze boring into his even as he redressed, fastidiously ensuring his shirt was tucked in, the placket perfectly straight. He had what he wanted. Now he had to find a way to exceed Lenore's expectations and win his freedom as soon as possible. Who knew what she would consider 'reformed enough' beyond docilely responding to Eve's letters and letting her visit him, interacting with her, having to be in the same room as that clean and beautiful scent?

Eve had betrayed him. He still wanted her, awfully, painfully. He buttoned the top button of his shirt and straightened his tie, looked down at his scarred hands. "You'll see a letter go out by the end of the day tomorrow," he said, simply.
Only entrust to me and mine your soul and all your darkness will be loved, and your pain made sacrament.