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With the full force of the Guilds at her back, Rilandra Vlas seized the Territory Throne of Dena Nehele. The common born Province Queen now owes allegiance to the Master of the Guilds for his assistance in both securing the throne and securing Darcia Glassade's continual safety. Trapped between the demands of the Guilds and the demands of the Aristos, Riley is struggling to rule, finding the palace more of a cage than she could have dreamed possible.
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Author Topic: in my darkest nightmare  (Read 321 times)

Description: attn: striker / drake

Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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in my darkest nightmare
« on: Dec 07, 17, 01:20:02 AM »
(follows the morning after my trigger, your finger and before how unlike the place in early fall 192)

Jeremiah did not like it, not one bit, but there was little choice in the matter. The best thing to do was for them to be in different places, for him to go to Tulzbruja and check in on his mother. To hope - above all hope - that Claudia's vision was wrong and his mother was yet living. It was a small hope, truly, that he had because while the Black Widow had broken the faith and trust he had put into her because of her bond to Riley (a true bond like his own) that changed nothing about his belief in her visions.

Riley followed them, listened to Claudia, and so would he.

He could not think about his Queen, not in this moment. If he did he would reconsider what came to mind in light of all the revelations brought forth, not want to bring this potential hurt to her, but he saw no other option.

No other avenue to follow but this one.

It was why he had reached out for Drake in the early hours of the morning, once he was certain the Prince was awake, along a thread of Yellow. Jeremiah was pacing, as he had been outside the meeting room the previous day, and waiting for him by the Prince's office (really, Jeremiah's own was just right down the hall; the Warlord Prince, with an office, that he actually used sometimes!). In his mind he thought of his mother, of how Mercers were never late. They were also never on time because they were always early. It was simply the way of things and would never change.

At least when it came to appointments they made.

Only the tenseness in his shoulders belied the stress, his control absolute. Jeremiah needed to leave, he needed to be gone hours ago really, but at this point what did it matter? A good night's sleep with Riley was the best thing he could have done considering this was the first time he was truly leaving her since he had said he would stay. He came to a halt, fingers pinching the bridge of his nose and a breath being exhaled.

It was all it took and everything was in place, Jeremiah ignoring the throb of Purple Dusk bandages on his mind as he continued to wait for Drake to appear. If he was going to have the conversation he was about to have he needed to be in absolute control because it was not going to be, in the slightest bit, a good one.

Let alone easy.

The time for secrets, Jeremiah thought, was long gone; dead and buried at the hands of a Red Jeweled Prince who played his role too well.

Offline Dragos Cutrov

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Re: in my darkest nightmare
« Reply #1 on: Dec 16, 17, 08:18:57 PM »
Today was different.

It was one thing to know that he was the First Escort of Dena Nehele. He was responsible for Rilandra’s emotional well-being, making sure that her personal needs were tended to so that she could rule the Territory and attend to her males as best she could. He was now bound to her through a heart-bond from the Darkness, but Drake was no less devoted to the Queen. People question her choice of him, or his personal history, or his laundry-list of personal defects that could fill a few volumes in a local library. But he was here to make sure that she was capable of ruling to the best of her ability.

It was another thing to understand the power that a First Escort held. He could speak with Rilandra’s voice adding weight to his words and know that she would back him. He could act in her stead diplomatically and know that she would not question him unless the matter was truly dire. Now that he understood the full weight of what he’d signed up to do, the Myos had considered handing the job over several times. Yet, he stayed because Rilandra needed him and trusted him. Drake had never known anyone to need him, outside of a time when someone had to die, and he found that he enjoyed the feeling it gave him. He could help her and serve her with his work, so he would do it to the best of his ability.

He headed down the hallway, knowing that his office was around the next corner at the end of the hall. But as he neared the end of the hallway, Drake slowed. He sensed that someone waited around the next bend. He did not know if the person was waiting for him or for someone else, but he’d found them here all the same. His mind worked out several calculations in seconds, as there were perhaps three or four people in the Territory capable of hiding from him by dint of Jewels alone. Others might do so with the aid of a Black Widow, but Drake had lived with one for several years and knew a few things to watch for in that regard.

He did not draw his knife, deciding that he’d handle whatever came next with his bare hands, if needed.

He turned the corner and found none other than Jeremiah Mercer waiting at his door.

Prince Mercer, am I late?” Drake asked, uncertain if he’d actually forgotten an appointment with the Warlord Prince known as The Queen’s Shadow. His presence here had been a balm to Rilandra’s soul and the man often enjoyed sleeping with her when Drake could not and Prince Dumitrescu was otherwise engaged.

Drake moved to the door, opening it and inviting Jeremiah inside.

Can I get you a drink, Prince? I hope you weren’t waiting long. Still trying to lock this whole schedule down and sometimes Rilandra tries to throw me a curve.” Drake said, favoring Jeremiah with a half-smile.

Is there something I can do for you?” Drake asked, unsure why Jeremiah had come to see him...though he could think of a few reasons off the top of his head.                                                                                                       




Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: in my darkest nightmare
« Reply #2 on: Dec 16, 17, 09:28:32 PM »
Bare hands would have at least given Jeremiah a fighting chance. Not that it mattered much as the Warlord Prince stopped pacing the moment he sensed Drake. He was watching expectantly as he came around the corner, though he had not necessarily expected the friendliness. Perhaps something more somber, more restrained but then-

No, the thought was pushed away. This was neither the time nor place. "I am early, Prince Cutrov but it's also a last minute meeting before I leave for Tulzbruja." The response was quick, the silver-haired man following after and waiting for the door to close. There was a flicker of a small smile, quick and barely there, at the mention of the scheduling issues but this was not what he was here for.

"There is but I am not certain you will like it," replied Jeremiah, watching Drake carefully. It was a measuring gaze, the kind of look that he kept about him when he was always keeping watch on the ebb and flow of emotion around him. "I'll pass on the drink but I would request that you shield the room." A small pause, before he clarified. "Sound. While I could certainly do so myself, you wear the Red and there are - currently - none who match you present." Well, there was the man who looked after the animals but he was not within the walls of the Court at present. None who matched Drake meant that there was no worry about anyone else hearing this.

The moment he asked, Jeremiah knew that it would likely change the tone of the meeting but then ... Everything was changed. Riley's fury had been a thing he could barely soothe and even then he could not ease it entirely. Not when he was to be leaving, not when he was here and about to speak to Drake about something she would not forgive him for.

"I have a request for you, Prince," he said slowly once he was certain the shield was settled, "and I am not asking it of the First Escort, nor of Dragos Cutrov." Jeremiah walked a very thin line here, he knew it. It was one thing to approach Sway but another to approach a man whom he suspected of being Myos. The clues were all there and, perhaps, if Riley had not shielded that one place within her mind he may not have even thought it. Combined with the previous day, her fury of a Myos attack upon Claudia Genadie's mother, and the fact that for it to be pulled off it had to be someone darker than the Seer ...

Her anger towards Drake could not be hidden and the gears had turned within Jeremiah's mind. The place they turned to, however, was one that was likely not expected. "Before I make my request, however, I've one question to ask. Your answer determines if I continue on to making it." His eyes, strangely bright and more blue than they had ever been before, were focused sharply upon Drake. This man before him, though younger, was every inch the Warlord Prince he was meant to be. Jeremiah Mercer was the Queen's Shadow and it could be seen in this moment and heard as he asked his question of Drake. "How much do you care for Rilandra? Truly? Because I need to know that you are ready to potentially break her heart to keep her safe."

Offline Dragos Cutrov

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Re: in my darkest nightmare
« Reply #3 on: Dec 20, 17, 10:48:42 PM »
There is but I am not certain you will like it...     

Drake did a bit of a double-take at Jeremian’s choice of words. Drake was usually the bearer of bad news in most circles he moved in. He turned to face the Warlord Prince more fully now, those his posture remained loose and limber. If he held any fear of the Warlord Prince before him, it wasn’t evident in the set of his shoulders or his stance. Jeremiah clearly had something on his mind. That he’d flagged down Drake prior to his leaving for Tulzbruja, while not a cause for concern, poked at something in the back of Drake’s mind.

The Red Prince was wary of the direction this conversation was headed.

Well, when you say it like that, of course it sounds bad.” Drake said, laughing easily at the sudden tension in the room. Jeremiah asked him to sound shield the office, however, and that’s when Drake knew that he didn’t like where this was going.

Every time he shielded a room, the topic turned to work.

Drake gestured to the chair in front of his desk for Jeremiah to sit in. Whether or not the Warlord Prince remained standing or sat down, Drake sat in the chair behind his own desk. It was only recently that Sway had come here, seeking information connected to the very man standing before him. After she’d obtained everything she could from him, she’d taken the time to thank him for helping her earn some jacket from the Guild.

Once more, work.

The sound shield snapped into place with a minimum of concentration from Drake. Once done, he ceded the floor to Jeremiah with gesture, inviting the Queen’s Shadow to speak.

Jeremiah spoke, saying he needed a favor…but not from the First Escort or Dragos Cutrov. Drake’s only response was slight canting of the head, a silent query as to whom he’d be asking his favor of, if not the man he’d come to see. But Drake’s mind was already at work.

Room is shielded. Flip the desk, smash him into the floor or the wall. Crush his windpipe, wait for his eyes to go dark. He knows.

Genuine irritation crept into Drake's mood. He’d been forced to tell two people, two fucking people, and now it felt like the whole palace knew. He knew that wasn't so, but it felt that way. Drake kept breathing, even as he imagined what Jeremiah’s neck would look like twisted at a ninety degree angle. Or a full one-hundred eighty degrees? Drake expended the barest hint of Craft as he looked at Jeremiah and sensed the legion of scars beneath his torso. It occurred to him, then, that he’d never really looked at Jeremiah Mercer before today.

Still, the man was talking and Drake focused on him and his request.

How much do you care for Rilandra? Truly? Because I need to know that you are ready to potentially break her heart to keep her safe.

Oh, Jeremiah.

As First Escort, it’s my duty to see to her safety and well-being. Since I’m not bound to her, however, I think that makes it imperative that I bear the brunt of her fury when necessary.” Drake said.

So yeah, I'll do what I have to in order to see her safe. She can hate me afterward, so long as she's alive to do it."




Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: in my darkest nightmare
« Reply #4 on: Dec 20, 17, 11:20:45 PM »
The shift was, to him at least, noticeable and it meant his suspicions were correct. Jeremiah had survived within Dena Nehele because he was observant and kept his finger upon the psychic pulse about him, be it emotional or otherwise. Things shifted and clicked into place as the Prince before him was no longer just Dragos Cutrov, Drake, but someone else entirely. For all that he was considered predator, simply by nature of being a Warlord Prince, Jeremiah knew when he was dealing with something far, far worse.

... and he was not afraid of it, nor showed any signs that he would be. Self-preservation was not his strong suit, not when he sparred regularly with an Ebon-Gray and others who were always darker than him, not when he spent his entire life fighting to survive and to ensure his Queen could do the same. He knew well the feel of murderous intent, cold and calculating, and wondered what he would read as to the Prince before him. His torso and shoulders were scarred by slashes of what had thought to have been a mountain lion before those memories were proven to be false.

Jeremiah Mercer was someone who should have died, time and time again, but instead preserved and lived despite the odds being against him (and they were frequently against him). He learned from the experiences, strengthening himself because it was the only way he knew how to survive. The only way to keep going was to keep pushing himself over and over and over again.

Yet he was facing a situation where that was, potentially, not an option and he needed another one. One he expected to find with the Red Prince before him. It was still a careful line that he walked but he pushed ahead, knowing that it needed to be done. His eyes were sharp and studying upon Drake, not at all satisfied with what he was told. It was very nearly a practiced answer.

"That could very well be a non-answer, as impersonal as it is. The same could be said by Princes Bane or Dumitrescu." Though Valeriu was bonded to Rilandra. "I am not asking you as her First Escort, I am not even asking you as a Prince- I am asking you, the male that exists underneath all the masks and subterfuge, how much you care for her? As I stated: this is about whether or not you will be willing to break her heart. Beyond hatred, beyond fury, but taking from her something which cannot be given back."

Offline Dragos Cutrov

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Re: in my darkest nightmare
« Reply #5 on: Dec 21, 17, 12:36:20 AM »
You’re right. It could be a non-answer. It’s also the truth.” Drake said, trying to suss out where this line of questioning was headed. Jeremiah wanted something from him and Drake wanted him to play it straight and come out with it. That he wasn’t doing so was irksome to Drake, but he tried to see it from Jeremiah’s angle. He’d come here on a whim to ask something of Drake specifically. Which meant that he couldn’t ask it of Dumitrescu or Bane. Or anyone else he could easily reach.

If you’re looking for a declaration of love or something, you won’t find it find here.” Drake said.

I care for her enough to rehab the sham of a life I’ve been living. I cared enough to join her service because she needs someone willing to kill for her. Dumitrescu wants her. He die for her. He’ll live for her, but he won’t kill for her. Bane will give his life in her defense, but he’s a wife that he loves. It won’t be his first choice.” Drake said.

I have none of those things. I’m the only member of her Triangle here because I choose to be. And I choose to be because she’s just as much my Queen as she is yours, or Dumitrescu’s, Bond or not.” Drake said.

I’ve broken her heart before, Jeremiah. I told her who killed Sorinna Roman’s father, at great personal cost to myself.” Drake said.

So yes, I can break her heart beyond anger and fury, if necessary.




Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: in my darkest nightmare
« Reply #6 on: Dec 21, 17, 01:25:38 AM »
Jeremiah snorted, amused at the comment about declaration of love. "If you did," declare love for Rilandra, "I would be questioning why you're telling me and not her." No, he specifically asked if he was capable of hurting her to protect her, to keep her safe.

His eyes were bright as Drake laid it all out, as he spoke and revealed what he had considered to be truth where others did not. That this life of his was a sham, that he presented a facade to the world and let them believe it. What he did not expect was about Sora. Jeremiah's eyes widened, just a little, before composure clicked back into place. It was necessary because he could not afford the rise of anger that spiked as he read between the lines.

He could not think of Sora, small and afraid, clinging to Riley after she had been found. How he had sat with her many a night when she had been much younger and stayed to keep nightmares at bay. None of this could matter, not right now, but it did tell him everything he needed to know. Not just about Drake, or the Myos assassin that he was, but about why she had shielded certain things about Drake and why there had been an ache of sorrow about it; why Riley wanted him where he was.

It was the very reason why Jeremiah was here.

"You are right that she is your Queen just as much as she is mine but the Bond does make a difference." A breath was released, Jeremiah rolling his shoulders. "The depth of the bond between Rilandra and myself ... it only grows. I had not truly realized it when I traveled far and wide but now, here with her, I know it even if I'm uncertain of it's true depths." His fingers clenched and then released. When he had been younger he had not believed the tales of the Bond, yet he was faced with the truth.

There were moments, when he was with her, that he was certain they were simply one person who lived in two bodies. Her fury was his as a Warlord Prince, his calm was hers as a Queen. It was something he would have celebrated realizing, spoken of it with Ryllis, but instead there was fear because of what it meant, how it could be used with him as open as he was to potential mental attack.

"I am a liability, Prince," he continued, "because of it, because to strike at Rilandra one must simply come after me. Were there not holes in my Inner Barriers, bandaged as they are with Purple Dusk, I would not be but because of that I am. She bought safety for Queens but she did not do so for those closest to her." It was not meant to be a barb, simply a truth, even in light of the death of Dalea Grigorie. "Which is what brings me to you because I have to ask you to do worse than revealing involvement in the death of our ward's father." Truly, Sora was their child, though it was not by blood but fate.

"You stated you will kill for her and I am calling upon that. I've no idea what entails in the contract upon my mother and myself but it's been in the works for over a decade. What I am asking of you is that should the worst come to pass, should I be compromised and judged too dangerous and mind healing and repair no longer an option, that you do what Rilandra will not be capable of.

"I need you to be ready to kill me; to protect her because I will not be some Aristo's pawn against her."


Offline Dragos Cutrov

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Re: in my darkest nightmare
« Reply #7 on: Dec 22, 17, 02:23:31 AM »
Drake watched realization on dawn upon Jeremiah’s face as he spoke about Lady Roman. Apparently, Drake had passed the test Jeremiah had in mind, which was good. He couldn’t take much more of the coded talk that was so unlike the Warlord Prince he’d known. Whatever Jeremiah wanted of him, of Striker, he had know that Drake was capable of going against Rilandra to get it. Drake was absolutely certain that he’d have to do that, at least once, in the near future. Based on the terms of the contract, it was his duty to protect Rilandra.

And yet, this felt a lot deeper than simply knowing that Drake could protect her.

Jeremiah explained how the bond between he and Rilandra influenced each of the and, not for the first time, Drake felt fortunate that he was not bound to Rilandra, or any Queen. He served Rilandra because he chose to.He could not imagine knowing what someone felt toward you at all times. Or knowing that they could read you better than anyone in the world. In his youth, Drake thought he wanted that kind of connection, that kind of security.

He didn’t want that now. Or ever.

When Jeremiah fell silent, Drake studied him for several seconds. Drake had also, through the murder of Dalea Grigorie, prevented Claudia from getting the info she needed to save Riley. Drake recognized that he was responsible for a great deal of suffering in Riley’s Court, but stayed silent until the other man stopped speaking.

If Rilandra ever finds out that we made this deal, she’ll skin us both alive, Prince Mercer.” he said.

But she won’t hear it from me. My job is to keep her safe and I’ll do that. Even if it means killing a man I’ve come to respect in the doing.” he said.




Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: in my darkest nightmare
« Reply #8 on: Dec 23, 17, 02:14:21 AM »
Straight and to the point, often blunt to his detriment, and brutally honest, was what Jeremiah was in most cases. He had not been that way in this, circling around the topic because it was a sensitive one. There was trust being afforded to Drake, to revealing the depth of his connection to Riley. It was something that could be used, something he had not even spoken to her of yet because of everything that was going on.

Surely she sensed it but it was better to never assume things.

"In a worst case scenario, Prince Cutrov, you'll be skinned and I'll be dead. Apologies for that." Gallows humor, if the twitch of his lips said anything. "... but, yes, I suspect there would be nowhere in Terreille that would be safe should she find out."

An appreciative smile, small and quick, was given as Drake continued speaking. For just a moment the Warlord Prince looked tired, worn by all the recent events, but it was pushed away for the man that he presented himself as. "There is no one else I can ask of this because of that." Drake respecting him. "It's for that same reason that I ask it of you. I am putting my trust and faith in you, that you can handle what needs to be done if things go poorly." The trust he was giving was not slight at all, but something else entirely. Drake was a Myos, an assassin, and trusting one was probably never wise but he would, no matter what.

Jeremiah closed his eyes a moment and released a breath. "I've no idea what I will find in Tulzbruja, at Sweetbriar." It was the name for the Mercer estate and land, their home surrounded by sweetbriar that had been brought from Dharo so very long ago. "I expect the worst and hope for the best, though it is somewhat foolish to do the latter. If my mother is dead then I suspect my time is up sooner rather than later."

Offline Dragos Cutrov

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Re: in my darkest nightmare
« Reply #9 on: Dec 26, 17, 09:37:14 PM »
Drake appreciated Jeremiah’s black humor where their situation was concerned. The Warlord Prince was trying to add levity to a moment that someday, possibly, only Drake would be looking back upon at all. Should the worst come to pass, Rilandra would understand. She would, when presented with the breadth and depth of the issues before them, understand why Jeremiah sought out Striker to ensure that he never became a threat to Rilandra. Both men cared for Rilandra enough, loved her enough, to trust each other now. Even if they did not hold personal respect or affection for each other, they’d have made this decision because Rilandra trusted and believed in each of them, separately and collectively, to do what was best for her.

She would never forgive Drake for killing one of her bonded males, for taking someone that was hers, but she would understand why he did it. Perhaps that would be enough to let him keep his life, in the end.

He was older than Jeremiah, he knew, but the Warlord Prince looked tired in that moment. Drake couldn’t imagine everything weighing on his mind at this time. This trip to Tulzbrujah sounded like a trap, though, causing Drake to level a curious gaze at the Warlord Prince. Jeremiah had been traveling Dena Nehele for years on Rilandra’s behalf and the man knew each Province like the back of his hand. Yet Drake sensed his trepidation at returning to Sweetbriar. The Red Prince had heard of the place, but nothing new out of it in many years. The info about the Mercers being from Dharo, across the Dark Gate, was news to Drake. He would ask Jeremiah about it further when he returned, because he would return. There was nothing else for it and Rilandra wouldn’t accept anything less. Sora wouldn’t accept anything less, but he suspected that Jeremiah already knew both of those things.

He stuffed his hands in his pockets and leaned back as he regarded the Queen’s Shadow.

You’re not going alone, are you? Prince Mercer--Jeremiah--don’t do that. Get some back-up of some kind. If you’re expecting a trap of some kind...take something that can help you, man. When Rilandra’s worried about you in a few days, I’ll tell her what she already knows: You know what you’re doing and you can handle it.

But I’d like to be able to reassure her further, if you take my meaning.
” Drake said.

Don’t go out there and get yourself killed. Otherwise, I’d have to find the son-of-a-bitch and return the favor.




Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: in my darkest nightmare
« Reply #10 on: Jan 08, 18, 01:05:51 AM »
It was a wonder that the young Warlord Prince that Drake had met all those years ago had turned into the one before him. Their first meeting he had been a small, scrawny thing that was - ever as he always was - a step behind Riley, within her shadow and staring balefully at any male that came near her. Then there had always been fears and worries that unknown males would take her from him, see her hurt and no longer part of his life.

A fear that had only been made stronger when the Black Widow had attacked him during his very first Rut and left him with memories of a life he did not want to have; the knowledge and pain of what it was to feel a bond break as your Queen died. It was this knowledge that made him seek out Drake, made him ask this of Striker, because he was certain that it would be far easier for Riley to live through his death than for him to live through visiting harm upon her in any fashion.

He had marked her soul enough.

Jeremiah looked caught a moment, a look flickering in his eyes before he sighed. "It's short notice and Seb- Prince Bane has had to split up his guard more than he'd like. Lady Genadie needed an increased guard with her and keeping tabs on everyone here ..." He shook his head. "I am supposed to stop in Caecian and pick up a guildsmen." If one could be found in time. "There also will be someone following behind me, to ease your concerns. I fully expect that this trip will take longer than the day I wish it to take."

He expected to go home and discover his mother's body, to know that the only person left on the contract was him and that now - more than ever - he had to be alert and on watch. The worst part was the not knowing the details. Was this because of Riley or was this simply another play by some Aristo as part of their never ending Game. It was not as if his very existence was not laid squarely at the feet of the Game.

"Hope for me to be home in a day, expect that it will be longer as I will have to put affairs in order. The only reassuring thing I can say is that I've not heard anything out of place from home but that does not say much." Not when you were looking at a Black Widow such as Maker.

"Reassure her, Drake," his tone was somber, "because she is faltering right now. I know she is not pleased with you but you are a strength she needs."

Offline Dragos Cutrov

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Re: in my darkest nightmare
« Reply #11 on: Jan 08, 18, 02:20:19 PM »
Drake cursed softly under his breath. Disapproval of the plan was written clearly in his expression. Letting Jeremiah go off on a possible suicide mission with a few people of questionable skill bothered Drake. Jeremiah wasn’t his bond-brother in the traditional sense, but he respected Jeremiah’s love for Riley and his dedication to keeping her alive. Enough that he’d risk his life twice over to ask a suspected killer to take him down without fear that said killer might just silence him for even floating the idea.

But Jeremiah was also determined to end the threat to Riley that existed because of him and Drake recognized the need to support that. He couldn’t force Jeremiah to do anything, so the best thing he could do was get out of his damned way.

Don’t take any chances, Jeremiah. Don’t be heroic. You’ve got two Queens counting on you to come back and explain how you handled this shit, man. Don’t make a liar out of me for telling them you’re gonna find the person or people responsible for this and shut them down.” Drake said.

Rilandra’s stuck with me, so we’ll figure out our issues in enough time that you’ll come back and she can complain about how Night-damned overprotective I am. You know, like she does.” Drake said, the laugh making his bearded face seem a little kinder, a little less severe than it had been for the duration of their talk.

He stepped forward and offered Jeremiah his hand.

Stay alive, Mercer. I expect you to tell me real soon that my services aren’t required. Can’t believe I actually want someone to say that for once. The hell is this world coming to?” Drake asked rhetorically.

He would shake Jeremiah’s hand if the other man allowed it.

And now, for my next trick, calming a worried Queen. Fortunately, I’ve got a plan for that.“ Drake said.




Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: in my darkest nightmare
« Reply #12 on: Jan 15, 18, 12:26:40 AM »
Jeremiah knew that Drake would not like it but the truth was he did not either. Yet in this situation, timing as it was, there was little to be done. Drake's disapproval was more than just his expression, it was there in his emotions as well, and oddly it was reassuring to be able to read. They had not truly known each other that long but with the possibility that he was already without the last family member he had it was comforting to know there were others that he might, in a way, consider extended family.

It would not be the same way that Riley was family or even Sora but it was still family. That was what mattered most. The corner of his mouth twitched up a little at the mention of vengeance and he shook his head. "It is a Black Widow, a Myos," as he was certain Drake knew the name as well, "that has had her webs dug into me since I was sixteen. Careful is all I have." Jeremiah was practically wired for Maker to be able to mess with him but he had faith in Claudia's patchwork.

"You know," Jeremiah said conversationally a moment later, amusement apparent in his eyes,  "the trick with Riley is just sitting on her. Literally and figuratively." Basically this: use her Queen urges against her. The Warlord Prince stepped forward, taking Drake's hand into his own. For a moment there was the brief press of his pointer and middle finger against the pulse point of the Prince's wrist before he squeezed lightly and released.

"Keep my Ryllis safe, Drake, and I'll do my best at stopping your world from going topsy-turvy." Another amused huff of breath was released. "Do what you believe necessary, she'll dislike it no matter what, but it's for the best." There was more he could say, more that he wanted to, but there was no time.

Sweetbriar waited for him.

Offline Dragos Cutrov

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Re: in my darkest nightmare
« Reply #13 on: Jan 17, 18, 11:26:31 PM »
Jeremiah was about to start looking into a Myos that had been sent after him. Drake wished that he knew more or that he could provide Jeremiah something more tangible in the way of back-up. If Jeremiah died, Rilandra would never forgive herself, no matter how impractical it was. She took the world’s burdens on her shoulders. Drake loved that about her, but he also recognized that it was the reason that she was trapped in the life she now lived. Rilandra Vlas had never met a lost cause that she could walk away from. Dena Nehele didn’t deserve her, but they had her right now.

Dena Nehele also had men like Jeremiah Mercer.

Drake laughed at the man’s suggestion about sitting on Rilandra, but that laugh died as the Warlord Prince grasped his hands. He felt not just the request, but silent plea for Drake to protect Rilandra from danger, including herself. Despite what Jeremiah knew about him now, despite all of the things he’d done before coming to this place, this man was still ask Drake to protect his Queen. He could have gone to Val or Sebastian. For all Drake knew, he probably did. Yet he’d still extended his trust to the First Escort to do more than his duty while Jeremiah was away.

He was asking Drake to do that duty in case he didn’t return, too.

You have my word, Jeremiah. I’ll keep her safe, no matter what it takes.” Drake said, meaning it.

He watched Jeremiah leave and then watched the door for a long time after the door closed behind him. He’d come to this place as some kind of twisted penance and now he was among he most powerful people in the Territory, bound to the fortune of a Queen who wasn’t his. The chains were growing tighter on his wrists. The noose settled in around his throat, stealing away his breath. Everything he did just pulled him in deeper. He couldn’t walk away from this, no matter how wise or prudent it was to do so.

Worse, he didn’t want to.