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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: Let's Try This One More Time  (Read 402 times)

Description: Attn: Jer

Offline Cassius Decius

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Let's Try This One More Time
« on: Apr 18, 19, 09:40:48 PM »
Cassius had wished something in his life could be easy and finally something was.

Getting a job at a Red Moon house had been like picking up a lucky copper from the streets. The Prince would like to say that sixty years of pleasure training had been worth it, but that would be a lie. Cas would have much rather gotten a job loading and unloading supplies, providing solid work out in the bright sun. Something he could tell his daughter about with pride. But there was not enough money in such manual labor.

So, instead, he had sought out the best Red Moon house in Bidea. The Silken Lady. Getting an interview had been the hardest part. It had taken a few days to get one of the courtesans to provide what she thought was an intake interview. Cassius had had other plans.

For all the talk of the long-lived being so different in Pruul, so cursed, Cassius had never really thought the races were so far apart. Until now. It wasn’t that the courtesan was bad. Far from it. She was adequate. But it would take her so many more years until she reached Cassius’ level and by then—she would be frail and old. Perhaps that was what he realized for the first time about the short-lived. They simply did not have as much time to perfect certain arts. Which was a shame, because that didn’t mean they were any less good at them.

Nevertheless, Cassius had seduced, bedded, and secured a follow up interview with the foreman of The Silken Lady within the day. The foreman was more skilled, perhaps on the level of some of Judiah’s girls, but Cas had been ultimately unimpressed. Not that she knew that. She had been…occupied.

So the Green Jeweled Prince had secured a job at the Red Moon house and also managed to find a flat within the city. It wasn’t in a bad part of town, but Cassius wouldn’t have chosen to stay outside after dark either. When he received more of is paychecks, he would look to move somewhere further up town. For now, the newly minted Courtesan took his daughter by the hand and made his way back to the territory court. His Grey Jeweled friend had needed to attend to some business and Cassius didn’t want to leave Bellona alone, so along she came, bouncing eagerly.

“Are Dena Nehele Courts like Hayllian Courts?” The ten-year-old looked up at Cassius, excitement playing through her gold gaze.

“No, love. I seriously hope not—for our sakes.” His memories of Hayllian courts were not good, but then again, Aurav had not spent time with very many normal Hayllians. Walking up to the guard outside the territory seat, Cassius calmly asked to see Jeremiah Mercer. He didn’t have an appointment, but the thought of waiting additional days before he informed the man of his progress made the Prince want to scream. Every day that this was extended was one more he didn’t get to see Precious.

Showing him into a sitting room, Cassius dutifully took a seat and told Bellona to do so as well. She, like her father, seemed to have other ideas though. The Healer roamed around the sitting room, inspecting everything. “Their style is so different. I kind of like it. It’s…simpler.” The Prince fidgeted, standing up and then sitting down every moment the knob even so much as jiggled from someone’s footsteps outside. “Bellona. Come sit down. We are guests here and I don’t want to make another bad—"

A loud crashing sound split the air as Bellona accidently dropped a large vase she had been inspecting, the delicate material splintering into pieces at her feet.

Cassius shot up, shielding her body with his Green and staring at the broken pieces frantically—making sure she wasn’t cut and also cataloging the damage. Could he piece it back together? Had that been valuable? Where they going to punish them? The door opened and Cassius stepped in front of his daughter. As soon as the person fully entered the room the Prince stared at them with practiced composure.

“I broke your vase. My apologies. If it was valuable, I’ll pay the Price.”

Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: Let's Try This One More Time
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 19, 01:29:37 AM »
There were some parts of the Territory Court that could have found a home within Hayll, their opulence quite excessive (and not in good taste either but neither was some of what came from Hayll). Such rooms were being slowly remodeled, a project undertaken by the Head Housekeeper. It was one that Jeremiah was well informed of, given that it had resulted in at a few things being sold off and adding funds to the treasury.

Those were the sort of things that Jeremiah was looking over as a runner informed him of Prince Decius's had returned and wished to speak with him. Closing his eyes, the Black Widow Warlord Prince let out a breath as he briefly let himself drift. There were the obvious paths, the ones most expected, and the ones that were less traveled. In the case of the Prince, he expected that it would the one he was most accustomed to.

Something that would not necessarily--

Jeremiah sighed and pushed himself up to stand. With a flick of his hand, his paperwork was vanished and he moved to leave his office. The sitting room that Cassius was in was actually one of the rooms that had not yet had its decor changed to be something less Conta inspired. As he was heading that direction, he was going over within his mind all the things that would need to be discussed.

Especially where Prince Decius's daughter was concerned. The risk was too great with her out in the open, especially as a daughter of the Hundred Families. There would be conflict, he knew that much, and it was something that would have to be prepared. Or--as he had planned--it could be something that could be neatly sidestepped. (That the topic of Cassius's daughter was an easier one than that of the Prince and his Queen was not lost to Jeremiah.)

Mostly, however, he was preparing himself for the fact that ... Ah, there was the crash and the sound of porcelain breaking. Stepping into the room, the Black Widow Warlord Prince took in the sight of the Cassius with his wide-eyed expression and his daughter looking upset as well. As soon as the words were out of Cassius's mouth, Jeremiah let out a sigh.

"You didn't," said Jeremiah, sweeping into a brief bow of greeting, "break it." His head inclined as he straightened back up to his full height. It was just enough towards Bellona to imply that he was aware of who broke what. "As you've already shielded your daughter, Prince, please move her and yourself aside for a moment." Moving forward, Jeremiah carefully gathered up the broken pieces of the vase with telekinetic craft.

"There will be no Price," he added, "as accidents happen." The idea of a Price, as he could hear practically hear the capital p as Cassius had spoken, was ridiculous. Especially given that it was a child that had broken it, for all that the Prince had tried to cover it up. Once everything was gathered, Jeremiah turned from the pair and headed towards the door. At that same moment it opened up, revealed a blonde-haired Hearth Witch.

"Hand them over, Prince Mercer," said Aurelia, speaking of the fragments. Blood Opal carefully wrapped around the broken pieces. "I'll see to what can be done." With only the briefest glances spared towards the Prince and Healer within the room, the Hearth Witch left.

Jeremiah turned back around to face the pair, gesturing for them to sit. "Have you had lunch?" he inquired. "Something can be arranged if not, otherwise I'll have drinks brought while we're talking."

Offline Cassius Decius

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Re: Let's Try This One More Time
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 19, 03:19:18 PM »
Cassius was afraid of Jeremiah Mercer.

It was a simple fact. It wasn’t that the Prince thought the Steward would hurt him, even though he surely could. It was the plain truth that he could. He could hurt him and his daughter and even Precious so badly and Cas would be able to do nothing about it. Jeremiah knew he was an escaped slave, he knew he had kidnapped a daughter of the Hundred, he knew how he had failed to keep his Queen safe for so many years. He knew so much and he could use any one of those things to destroy the fragile life Cassius was trying to create.

But Precious trusted him. Presumably. The male’s mind splintered with distrust until he saw her, whole and unharmed.

As the door opened and the very man stepped inside, Cassius returned the bow quickly, mechanically. Bellona, however, swept out from behind her father and laid out a wide curtsey, her dress brushing the ground with all the grace money could buy. “Thank you for seeing us, Prince. My father has been anxious about it.” Her large golden eyes looked the Steward up and down as she straightened and grabbed Cassius’ hand, giving it a tight squeeze.

“I have not been anxious. Just…eager.” Bellona’s eyes twinkled, but she said nothing. She was a beautiful child, with all the handsome features Cornelia had chosen Cassius for. Her long black hair was hung loosely at her back and her yellow spring dress was intricately embroidered, small rhinestones sown into the fabric. It was a piece from Hayll, one that she had hastily packed when Cassius had come for her.

The child pulled Cassius to the closest couch at Jeremiah’s words. The fact that his ten-year-old daughter was more comfortable at this Court than her seventy-two year old father might have perturbed the Prince if he hadn’t expected it. Cornelia had loved to spend time at courts, showing off Bellona. Taking a breath, finding it already difficult to breathe as anxiety twisted in his stomach, Cassius tried to keep his gaze off the floor and on the Steward. “We already ate before we arrived, but drinks would be wonderful, Prince.”

Bellona pursed her lips next to her father and crossed her legs delicately. “He doesn’t like when people offer him drinks.” She gestured her head at Cassius.

“Bellona.” The single word came out exasperated. She was right, yes, he didn’t like accepting any drink he didn’t pour himself—too many of them doused with drugs. But he would take anything Prince Mercer offered him without a single word of complaint.

“You need to tell people what you want and what you don’t.” The Healer laid a gentle hand on his arm and smiled at him in a way that made Cassius want to scoop her up in a hug. Instead, a faint smile pulled his lips upward at the way she tried to protect him.

“I can handle it, love.” He eyed her adamantly.

“That is what you said about trying to bargain with that street vendor and then he charged you dou….” Cassius sent a bit of Craft her way, blowing her hair all over her face, tangling it. Bellona huffed and focused on fixing her hair indignantly.

“A drink would be great. I also made some Hayllian cakes for you and…well if you’d like to give them to anyone else.” Like his Queen. He had really made the cakes for his Queen. Cassius called the plate in and set it on the table in from of Jeremiah. The cakes were small squares covered in a delicate white icing, the inside so light and airy that they melted in the mouth before one even began to chew.

When you didn’t sleep, you had all kinds of time to bake.

Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: Let's Try This One More Time
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 19, 12:13:46 AM »
With his finger upon the emotional pulse of the world around him, though his attention was fixed upon the father and daughter in the room, Jeremiah found himself well aware of the turbulent flow of Cassius's emotions. Bellona's emotions were lighter; curiosity about things but concern and love for her father as well.

An eyebrow rose as Bellona spoke. Precocious, he thought, but that was not necessarily a surprise. Cassius's anxiety--or eagerness as the case was--was not a surprise because of what he was trying to work towards. "That," said Jeremiah, speaking of the Prince's anxiety eagerness, "is why I did not make you wait by having to schedule an appointment with me."

It was easy to see that Bellona was an aristo, though obviously one of Hayllian descent. It was there in her behavior, as she spoke, and the way she took charge of her father. Taking his own seat, Jeremiah leaned back in it comfortably. "There was reason behind my saying that I would have drinks brought, Lady Longinus. As the choice resides within your father--and you as well--if you wish to drink." Choice, consent, all of those things were near and dear to Jeremiah.

There was a glint in those queerly bright blue-green eyes of his. "Besides: to not supply refreshments, even if they are not partaken of, would be a poor showing of proper etiquette." While it was admirable that the Healer wished to protect her father--something Jeremiah could appreciate--she was of an age that Protocol and Etiquette were things she needed to be mindful of. They existed for a reason, after all, and were the things that allowed the Blood to coexist with one another.

The entire exchange between father and daughter, their banter, was just another thing that Jeremiah noted mentally. Something that he would write down later when the time came for such. "In this case," said Jeremiah as he studied the cakes--as he both baked and cooked, he was well versed in culinary delights--before returning his gaze to Cassius, "I believe your daughter has the way of it. Be honest, Prince, and say that they are for your Queen."

As he had phrased it, the way that he presented it, was somewhat manipulative. Even if the Prince did not recognize it as such. "I'll see them passed along regardless."

Not even a heartbeat later, the door opened and a servant brought in a service set with both tea and coffee. It was set upon the table, close to the cakes. Once the servant left, Jeremiah leaned forward to fix himself a cup of tea (no sugar, a dash of cream just enough to lighten the color).

"With your appearance, Prince, I assume you've things to talk to me about," said Jeremiah, stirring his tea. The spoon never once touched the sides or the rim of the cup. When he was done the spoon was set behind the teacup, the handle of the spoon pointing the same direction of the delicate handle. "So please tell me what you've accomplished in the time since we last met and then we can discuss what I have worked out as well."

Offline Cassius Decius

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Re: Let's Try This One More Time
« Reply #4 on: Jun 09, 19, 10:07:36 PM »
Cassius’ hands fidgeted together, fingers picking at his manicured nails even as he tried to keep his eyes raised to look at the Steward. The Prince tried to forget that this man, sitting across from him and offering him tea, was the Steward of all Dena Nehele. He tried to forget that he had probably never spoken to anyone so important in all his life. And he definitely tried to forget that he had yelled at him a few days ago, the act sending a cold wash of fear through him.

The male had vowed to do better today. He was going to be perfectly behaved. Meticulous. Obedient. Honest.

To do so, Cassius beat down the hot burning desire to see his Queen. The desire that kept him awake long into the night. In fact, he was surprised Jeremiah said he would give his cakes to Precious. His heart jumped slightly and he leaned forward in his seat, excitement glowing off his smooth skin. He tried to pull it back, tried to not let the thought of his Queen receiving a gift from him send sheer joy through his body. It was hard though. His emotions were more difficult to control now. Harder to shut into a small box. “I…I didn’t know if you wanted to keep the fact that I’m here a secret. Sometimes, well, Precious and I don’t think the most logically when we want to see each other.” Although he was trying. Really trying.

He hadn’t tried to send her a thread once. He hadn’t tried to scale the palace walls, under cover of darkness, and scream Precious’ name through the halls. He might have thought about it. But he hadn’t done it.

Once the tea arrived, Bellona politely placed a cake on a napkin and leaned over, eating it delicately with a fork. Not a single crumb dropped to the ground and she wiped her lips after every bite, ensuring the icing did not stick to her lips. Cassius, on the other hand, eyed the tea and then eyed Jeremiah. The man had said it was his choice to drink, but would he think it was rude that he didn’t? Would he think he wasn’t mentally ready to see his Queen because he feared his drink might be poisoned? Was that an abnormal thing to think? Was he overthinking this?

The Prince swallowed hard and poured himself some tea before forcing himself to drink, inspecting his body carefully for any signs that the drink might have been laced. When there was nothing, when it was just tea, Cas felt stupid, annoyed with himself. If he was scared of drinking tea then how could he be ready to see his Queen? The Prince bit his lip and listened quietly as the other male spoke.

“I’ve really tried to take your advice and establish myself here.” He said carefully, in response. “I got a job at the Silken Lady, right here in town. I’m just assigned to lower tier clients now, but I suspect that will change in the next few months, after word spreads. Right now, it pays well enough.” Although not as well as Judiah’s place in Hayll would have. He never wanted to go back to Hayll though. Never. “I rented a place for Bellona and I. It isn’t much, but it’s in a safe neighborhood. I’m planning on getting more furniture, toys, new clothes for Bella when I get paid next. I’ve been looking for a teacher for her, but Healers are so rare here…I haven’t had much luck.” Jeremiah had been right about that. Bellona received increasing stares and Cassius ahd taken to sight shielding her when they went out.

“I can go a little bit without a teacher. You don’t need to worry, father.” Bellona’s bright golden eyes turned to Jeremiah and she wiped her mouth, finished with the cake. “I was the best in my Craft classes at home.” Her small feet swung back and forth on the couch. “I mended Surilious’ arm without any help when he cut himself climbing a tree. I even did it after he pulled my hair. Father says you should be nice even when others are mean.”

Cassius glanced down briefly. Did Jeremiah think he was a bad father for telling her that? Should he have told her to fight back? Or to save her gifts for those that treat her well? The Prince was terrified what the male thought of him, how he was weighing and judging him.

“Other than keeping an eye out for a tutor, I’ve been cooking a lot, writing letters. I know I haven’t gotten to focus on my mind healing, but I’ve been feeling really good. I haven’t snapped at anyone else or lost control of my emotions. I’ve been really steady. Safe. I swear.” Cassius glanced back up at the Black Widow Prince and tried to read what those queer blue eyes were thinking.

“W-what did you work out?”

Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: Let's Try This One More Time
« Reply #5 on: Jul 09, 19, 12:25:07 AM »
"I am well aware that you don't," said Jeremiah, watching Cassius and the way that he practically vibrated in his seat, "but if I were to lie to her then I would be no better than those that have hurt her in the past. Lies may not do physical harm but they can hurt someone emotionally and it is her emotional well being that I am seeking to protect and see grow."

The Black Widow Warlord Prince knew exactly how much this took out of Cassius. How much it made his heart ache to not just reach out for his Queen. Within all his tangled webs that he had weaved he had not seen Cassius take things into his own hands to ensure his Queen was once more within the same space as him. So far, at least, thought Jeremiah, nothing has been seen.

"It would not have offended me," said Jeremiah after Cassius drank, "if you had not taken a drink. There is no need to force yourself if it is a lingering issue for you, Prince." A sad smile flickered into place on the Black Widow Warlord Prince. "I have not had it happen as often but I have had my drink laced without my knowledge, so I do hold a measure of understanding." In the end it had been to help him, when Arkadie had poisoned his tea with her venom, but it still left him with a preference to never take honey in any drink ever again.

Jeremiah listened as Cassius launched into all that he had done in the past few days. Part of him wondered at the Prince going to work for the Silken Lady but it was his choice to continue onward. (Someday he hoped that Cassius would see that working within a Red Moon House--albeit a particularly nice one--was not the only thing he was capable of. As a Long-Lived it was especially true.)

Still silent, waiting for Cassius to finish, queerly bright blue-green eyes flicked to Bellona briefly at the mention of her lessons. "Let us talk about your daughter first, Prince," said Jeremiah. "As you have learned, Healers are rare within our territory. Not only are they simply not born but few wish to even train into the Caste. It has meant that Dena Nehele is a harsh land where even the smallest of injury can prove to be fatal."

Here Jeremiah paused, taking a sip of his tea and setting it back down. His focus went back to Bellona as he spoke again. "So, young Healer, you are someone that must be kept safe." His gaze flicked back to Cassius. "Not only because she is a Healer that wears the Opal and might one day wear the Red. Your daughter she may be, the law of the Blood says that you are not. We've no desire to see trouble arise between the Hundred Families and our Territory Court."

Leaning back into his chair, Jeremiah pressed the tips of his pointer fingers together. "To that end I've made arrangements for your daughter to stay with someone that can both protect and hide her." His hands broke apart, the Black Widow Warlord Prince holding up his hand to stop either of them from interrupting yet.

"You'll be able to visit her all that you want, Prince, and you will have plenty of others your own age to befriend, Lady." He gave them both a reassuring smile. "We will be giving her a trinket that will hide both her Caste and her Birthright from being detected." A beat passed, what he said next directed to Bellona. "You'll also have to pick another name that those outside of this room will call you." Jeremiah leaned forward in his chair, his elbows coming to rest on his thighs.

"We will also see that she gets more instruction, not just in her Caste but as befitting someone of her age." This was said to Cassius. "If you find this agreeable, Prince and Lady, then I will speak further of the subject." As in who the ally was, where she would be staying, and so on.

Offline Cassius Decius

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Re: Let's Try This One More Time
« Reply #6 on: Jul 09, 19, 08:30:11 AM »
This exhausted Cassius. Every moment of being in the same building as his Queen but not seeing her. It ate into his bones, causing them to ache. He needed her like he needed food. The Prince had never once stopped to think why that might be. How Aurav had twisted their bond into something that suffocated their individuality, what little they had possessed that was. Instead, he clung to the need like the slim lifeline that it was, a buoy that kept his head above water.
 
He shook his head gently as Jeremiah instructed him, his eyes searching the other male’s for any sign that he was overstepping. “No. I need to work on being normal.” What would a client think if they handed him a glass during one of their sessions and he tested it for drugs or poison? He would lose his job and his one opportunity to see Precious. Cassius took another sip and tried to focus on the taste this time, finding the tea rather pleasant. The warmth helped him focus as he relayed his progress to the Steward.
 
It did not lesson the stab of pain that reverberated within the Prince as Jeremiah laid out his arrangements for Bellona. Cassius had known there was a chance they would be separated, but he had not told the young Healer. No, he had clung to a small scrap of hope that perhaps they could both hide in the Territory Court, away from the world. Him, Bellona, and Precious. Together. Safe. Happy.
 
He had been stupid. Precious would have scoffed at him for dreaming such a fantasy.
 
Bellona, for one, did not even let the Steward finish before she interjected. “No.” She stated firmly, the same adamant tone of her mother in her voice. “I will NOT be separated from my father. We came here to be together. We already were separated once. We are safe. We can hire guards or…or I could….” She trailed off and gritted her teeth, her small hands clenching and unclenching, unsure what she could do, but determined to do something.
 
Cassius lifted his hand ever so slightly at the Steward if he was offended or if he tried to reply. His fingers weren’t high enough to forcefully request silence from the man. No. Never. Just raised enough to request an opportunity to calm his daughter down.
 
“Bella. Your mother will find me here and she will want you back, guards or no guards.” He placed a hand on hers, clasping it lightly, sending Green calming craft to wrap around her, softening her fear and anger into blurs of the bright blues and reds they had been before.
 
“Well….Well then let her come. I will just tell her no.” She stuck her chin out, the years she had spent as an Aristocrat flowing forward.
 
Cassius felt himself tense at his daughter’s words before he swallowed hard. He looked away from her for a moment, trying to reign in the abject fear showing in his eyes. The thought of telling Cornelia no…the things she would do to him. His breath came out in panicked spurts before he felt his daughter’s hand squeeze his in fear, sensing his shift.
 
Clenching his free hand tightly by his side, so tightly that the white of his knuckled appeared, he dropped it out of her line of sight as he deadened his emotions. Crawled into the cold headspace that was the only thing that allowed him clarity when he was afraid.
 
“Think, love. If she finds you with me then she will know for sure I took you from Hayll. She will demand a Price. Body. Jewels. Life. You know her.” He turned to meet her golden stare with his own.
 
“I will protect you,” She whispered, but he could see her relenting.
 
“It isn’t your job to protect me, Bell. It’s my job to protect you. You aren’t safe with me. I don’t know how to fight. I don’t even know how to fully use my Green.” He laid out the truth for her, just as he had done when they had left Hayll. “Your mother will find you if you stay with me and since when has your mother ever not gotten what she wants? If she wants you to go then you will go, kicking and screaming if necessary.” Cassius took the hand that had clasped hers and moved it up to gently cup his daughter’s cheek.
 
“I will visit you every day. I will tuck you in every night if you want me too. I will make you your favorite breakfasts. Read you your favorite stories. Everything we do now. And think about the friends you can make. People your own age. People that aren’t just friends with you because you are one of the Hundred, but because of how special you are.”
 
Bellona made no reply. Instead, tears quietly pooled in her eyes. She made no protest when Cassius wrapped his arms around her though, burying her head into his chest as his hands rubbed her back in small circles. After a few moments she pulled away and wiped her eyes, looking away from the two.
 
When the silence had drawn out, Cas finally broke it. “Thank you, Prince. Please, tell us more.”

Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: Let's Try This One More Time
« Reply #7 on: Jul 11, 19, 06:22:51 AM »
"If you wish to work on being normal," which Jeremiah considered overrated but understood what Cassius was getting at, "then do so but also be mindful. To push yourself, to stretch yourself thin, in trying to be normal you can set yourself back a great deal." He leveled a look at the Prince. "You can undo much of what you have accomplished, the healing that you've experienced, if you push yourself for too much too soon."

The interruption from Bellona belied her youth as much as she was trying to put forward the front of an adult. Not that he stopped her, letting Cassius work it out with his daughter. He was a quiet vanguard, watching the ebb and flow--along with the sharp spikes--of the emotions within the room. If anything had gone a direction, something uncontrollable, he would step in.

In the end, there was no need.

It did not mean that the Black Widow Warlord Prince would not speak on the subject. "Make no mistake," he said, his voice gentle but firm; Jeremiah was a man whose voice always carried and could be heard clearly, "that I do not wish to see you two separated. I believe that it's good for both of you to be together." A beat. "This will also not be forever, I hope you realize, young Healer. It will last until you come of age and claim your Offering or we no longer believe that your family wants to see you returned."

Jeremiah was quiet for a moment, letting that sink in. "I am endeavoring to avoid a worst-case scenario: that Lord Longinus and his sister--your mother--come and seek an audience with the Court. It is because of this possibility that I am doing this. With you hidden, somewhere that the Court is not aware of, then we can safely say that we do not know anything." He left out the worst potential outcome: that an audience was granted and aid given to the Longinus family due to the fact that Cassius had no say when it came to his daughter. Jeremiah had the utmost doubt of such things--that they would be told where they could, as his Queen might say, shove it--but the possibility existed; a thread that made up the weave of the future.

"Your father is right, however, in that he can do all those things he spoke of. The distance between you is only as great as you make it out to be." After all: they still had psychic threads that they could speak upon. While Jeremiah had no children that were of his blood, he had raised a child and considered her his. The idea of Sora being gone--especially when she had been younger--was not something he would have indulged as a thought.

"I will be putting you into contact with Lady Raluca Vaduva, a Black Widow." His eyes glinted impishly. "If her name is not familiar, her troupe is; Tantalus." And it would be as Tantalus was known the realm-wide as a theatre troupe that had made a name for itself by putting those that came to see their shows within the very places their stories took them.

They had--even for a few months--been in Hayll. Now, however, the primary troupe had situated itself within Bidea, wanting to put roots down in their home territory. It meant that it was only their smaller traveling troupes that visited, the meat of their performers calling the theatre here home. "After we've finished talking here, you can head there. Simply tell them that Bear sent you to speak with the Lady of Tantalus and that you’re expected."

The Black Widow Warlord Prince leaned back in his seat. "If you've any questions about this arrangement, I will answer them but if you do not ..." His fingers flicked through the air. "I will move on to discussing other matters at hand."

Offline Cassius Decius

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Re: Let's Try This One More Time
« Reply #8 on: Jul 11, 19, 10:28:17 PM »
“Have they…have they enquired about Precious? Do you think they know she and I are here?” Cassius could feel his voice tremble, a small waver that clung to each word. If they knew that he was here then they would come looking and, in truth, he was owed to them. The Prince did not understand the intricacies of politics, but Hayll still retained slavery and their property had been stolen from them. Since he ended up in Dena Nehele, even though they didn’t recognize slavery, were they bound to return him upon request? He was too afraid to ask. The Green jeweled male fidgeted with his shirt collar and then ran his fingertips over the scar from his real collar.

He did not think he would sleep for the next few nights.

Maybe he would check with the security at the Silken Lady and see if there were any Craft they could teach him to protect his flat. He could shield it with his Green, but Aurav and Cornelia could always hire someone darker. Then, he would be a sitting duck.

Bellona, on the other hand, had different thoughts. She crossed her arms and looked right into Jeremiah’s eyes, challenging him in a way that Cassius would never dream of. “The distance between my father and I is not determined by what we make it out to be. It is what it is. Distance. My mother separated us. My uncle. Now here. A family shouldn’t be separated AT ALL. It’s not fair. I wish I was of age now.” Bellona pursed her lips together and Cassius did not know what to say. He struggled to find some words, some delicate way to tell her that life was indeed not fair. That it would probably destroy her, build her up again, only to watch her crucify once more.

There simply wernt any, none that he would tell his ten-year-old daughter, so instead he took the blame.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t keep us together, love. I’ll do my best to make sure you don’t feel alone though.” He squeezed her hand and Bellona squeezed it back, scooting closer to him as Jeremiah explained the plan. Her head did perk up a bit when he mentioned the famed theater troupe. Bellona had seem them once in Hayll, when she was even smaller than she was now. They had been graceful and filled with energy and life. The girl worried that perhaps she would not fit in there, that maybe she was too shy, but she didn’t bring it up with Prince Jeremiah, because her father was already leaning forward, straining to hear what the man had to say next.

“I don’t think we have any questions, Prince. Thank you for taking the time to arrange this for me and my daughter. I am in your debt. One among many that I owe to generous people that offered help after I fled Hayll.” He paused. “I…I never knew there were so many people out there…those that help others when they have so little to give in return.” It gave him a bit of hope. Far more than he had ever had in Hayll.

“But please, go on. Have I…have I made enough progress in order to see my Queen?” 

Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: Let's Try This One More Time
« Reply #9 on: Jul 18, 19, 04:15:27 AM »
"They've no interest in Lady Bannok, Prince. As horrible as it is to say: she was bought and sold as far as they are concerned. Her collar was removed upon her arrival to this Territory Court." Jeremiah's gaze was sharp. "I removed it myself as collars a thing that are soon to be banned entirely within Dena Nehele." The same, however, could not be said about Cassius. Though he was free of a collar, he was still a runaway slave. Such a thing was also why the Black Widow Warlord Prince wanted to put some distance between them.

"As you live now, little Healer," said Jeremiah, gaze fixing upon the Healer, "the distance is what you make it. I have listened to you, through each outburst, and while I understand a great deal," the look in his sharp blue-green eyes was telling that he did and to argue about it would not go well, "they will not do anyone any favors. You long to be an adult but you are taking your first steps in a world that is not carefully cultivated by your mother and Uncle. So do be mindful as not all will be as cordial as I am now. The world bends to those that know how to bend it and you haven't learned that yet." Which was to say there was a time and place to speak up, to counter someone, and this was not it. She was a child, yes, but she was of the Blood--an aristocrat--and such lessons were integral to being able to interact with one another without strife.

A soft breath was exhaled before his gaze softened once more and turned to Cassius. "The number of people that will help another just to help are few but we exist. Kindness for kindness's sake is, I've learned, a foreign concept to some but ..." Jeremiah shook his head. "I do wish it was one more widely known."

The topic of Cassius's Queen--of Lady Bannok--was one that Jeremiah was both looking forward to discussing and not at the same time. "You have made a place for yourself, even found work, Prince, but there is more to it than that. As I said: I believe that you need therapy. Lady Sabbah repaired a great deal of damage to your mind but that does not mean that it's all better. You still have emotional instability and that stems from more than just the Green that you wear." Which was to say that it was known the darker jewels held stronger emotional reactions.

"For me to feel comfortable with you seeing Lady Bannok I will need to see you in therapy, Prince, and to see how your mind has healed over these past few months." Very quickly a hand was held up. "As I said before: I can make arrangements for you two to see one another but not privately and so my requirements for that to happen still stand." Which was therapy and, in this case, a check over of his mind. He could not risk harm to Bannok just as much as he could not risk harm to Cassius. They could do a great deal of harm to one another and never intend it if they were not both ready to see one another.

Offline Cassius Decius

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Re: Let's Try This One More Time
« Reply #10 on: Jul 22, 19, 10:39:09 PM »
Bellona looked down and her chest rose and fell, rose and fell. She was frustrated. Scared. Angry. But she sat there in silence, uncertain how to approach this new situation. Normally her mother would step in now, forcing the other to give in, but Bella did not yet have that skill. So instead, she pushed herself into the pillow and took a deep breath, trying not to cry. That would NOT be a very adult thing to do and she did not want to put her father anymore on edge than he already was.

 Cassius, for his part, had his undivided attention on Jeremiah. He wrung his hands and felt his heartrate rise. He had done what the man said. He had followed his orders. Now, he needed to see his Queen. “The emotional instability comes from not being able to see my Queen. She calms me. Centers me. I just need to see her and I’ll be better. I swear.” He had never been this emotional before, when he had been with Precious. It was only now, freed and separated.

Surely he hadn’t lost control of his emotions from being freed. That was a good thing. It had to be his separation from his Queen instead. “When can you make those arrangements? Today? Tomorrow? I need to know how much longer. I just…need to know. The uncertainty is the worst part.” He lied awake at night wondering how many more hours, how many more days, he would be away from Precious. He wondered how she was feeling. If what the Steward told him was true. If her scent had changed. If her body was still as soft as he remembered.

“You can look into my mind. I’m used to it. Master Longinus liked to have his friends look inside, so it doesn’t bother me. We can do that now? So you can see that I am okay. That I would never hurt her.” Except…he had hurt her. The dichotomy tore at him, inside, but the Prince tried to hide it. Tried to keep himself together so he could push through, just keep moving forward, until maybe the guilt was left behind.