Blood Rites

Terreille => Dena Nehele => Topic started by: Liana Volkov on Apr 23, 18, 01:36:26 AM

Title: rebel just for kicks
Post by: Liana Volkov on Apr 23, 18, 01:36:26 AM
Liana had been acclimating to her new position within Arkadie Graveworthy's court quite nicely, if she did say so herself. And even if she hadn't? She probably wouldn't have said so, stubborn as she was prone to being. The witch would've made it work no matter the circumstances, but thankfully things seemed to fall into place far more than they were needed to be forced.

She'd already set up a meeting with Sebastian to let him know of the development and her appointment to Steward, as well as having sent word to her father (who had sent back an incredibly delighted and speedy reply, then further demanded she drag Aurelia back home for them both to attend family dinner sooner rather than later). Then of course, there was surprising Cid and reveling in amusement at his shock, as well as meeting all her sister's demands for information.

So yes, frankly, she was already doing a damn bang-up job being on top of things. A+ Steward, A+ Master of Silca, thank you very much. The moving and rearranging of her offices in both venues had been a little bit of a pain in the ass, but that was to be expected. Liana was quick to threaten inform the overly-helpful Hearth Witches that worked at the District Seat that no, she did not need their help getting situated, for the love of Mother fucking Night please stop touching her shit!


In fact, she'd just finished putting up the newest batch of files and assorted decor that she'd brought over in exactly the way she liked it before meandering out of the room and taking a lean against the banister at the top of the staircase. It was mostly empty aside from the occasional straggler, which was fine if not a little disappointing and boring.

Until she noticed one, silver-haired straggler in particular emerging from the kitchen of all places. Followed by Arkadie herself, which only caused Liana's confusion to intensify, her head angling to the side as she watched them part ways. Were they...? Had they been...? No. There was absolutely no fucking way. Weren't they related, however distantly? Damn it, this was not Hayll, how many people did she have to say this to?!

Thankfully, her initial suspicions were assuaged as the residual smell of pancakes eventually hit her senses. Okay, that was fine. Pancakes was a lot more acceptable than them fucking. Although then this still left her both confused and offended. Why was he randomly stopping by for breakfast and why had literally nobody told her this was a thing?

Huffing, Liana unceremoniously decided the quickest route to getting downstairs was, in fact, sliding right down the banister of which she'd been leaning against and fluidly upright once more after reaching the bottom... which conveniently was placed directly in front of Jeremiah's current path and allowed her to face him with a wide grin. "Mercer! Long time no see!" Not really, she made frequent enough visits to the Territory Seat between Auri and Sebby that she passed the Queen's Shadow with moderate frequency, but that wasn't the point.

"It's really rude to just cavalierly show up and start cavorting with someone else's Queen over breakfast food, you know. Don't you literally have your own for this exact kind of thing?" she teased.
Title: Re: rebel just for kicks
Post by: Jeremiah Mercer on May 03, 18, 03:45:55 AM
Jeremiah would not say it aloud but he would think it: his fingers and hands were sore. While he was quite used to playing piano, it was not the same when it came to working with Widow's thread. If anything he found that he struggled in using the frames, having an easier time in draping the webbing between his fingers and starting that way before he moved to a frame.

Yet by the end of lessons today they had done away with most of the lace pancakes and he had crafted his safe-ward. It would wrap itself around him, constantly layered and strengthened by his Yellow and Rose, and keep him secure as he dove head first into the very place everyone said not to go.

More importantly was the other bit of webbing that he had tucked away carefully. The one that would eventually go to Lyoshka and ensure another layer of protection and security for the Healer. It had already been vanished away but he rubbed his thumb across his fingertips, remembering the feel of it. When he added his Rose to it, just a little in practice as he had already done so much other work this day, he had felt the shift. The subtle change from being purely Arkadie to something else.

Something that was both of them and unique.

A yawn escaped, the training always leaving him feeling as if he could use a nap (or just in general, it seemed, because it appeared to be a thing for him). It was the rush of feeling that caught him as he had been about to leave. Queerly bright blue-green eyes blinked as Liana made her appearance, blocking his path and barring him from leaving (and the sweet, sweet comfiness of bed and sleep). Liana looked as she always did, felt as she always did (bright, insistent, and sure of herself), but still there was something ...

It only took a moment for things to click into place.

There was a different sort of grace to Jeremiah as he greeted Liana, always following proper Protocol and Etiquette.  He had, by no means, ever lacked it but this was not the perfect poise of a Warlord Prince. Jeremiah Mercer was, to those that had known him for years, becoming an altogether different sort of beast.

"Didn't we just see each other last week, Volkov?" Since apparently they were not going by titles at the moment. Not even first names. It was another clue just as Jeremiah's teasing back was ... slightly out of place. "I am certain that you'll discover I'm actually on the schedule to meet with her this day every week." His head tilted, a calculating gaze upon Liana. "I suppose since she's yours, and you hers, that you're allowed to be a touch ..." His hand waved through the air as if to cover everything that Liana was currently doing. "About a Warlord Prince simply stealing her away for hours."
Title: Re: rebel just for kicks
Post by: Liana Volkov on May 05, 18, 03:54:14 AM
Liana blinked at Jeremiah after she'd effectively managed to stop the Warlord Prince in his tracks. And stared. And blinked some more. Then stared a little more, too. His greeting was... off. For him, anyway. While she certainly didn't mind the casualty of which his retort was shot back, she'd known the younger man long enough to know that it was not his usual sort of response, both in wording and in tone. It was a little strange if only because he was correct in that they had crossed paths the week prior and he was not different then. Or if he was, it hadn't been as noticeable.

Not that the Jack was really complaining as she always took delight in someone returning the shit she gave them. Which, with Jer, tended to be hit or miss. Sometimes he would and it'd just be exceptionally polite and precise, but then other times it was just the exceptionally polite and precise without any of the added cajoling - that was no fun. "Maybe we did and maybe you are." It was a solid 'yes' on both counts, and she knew that to be true. As Steward she memorized everyone else's schedule as well as her own, it just made things infinitely easier, but that wasn't the point!

"But I find it incredibly hard to believe you have several hours of appointments set aside weekly with Arkadie for breakfast. And if that is the case, then it's a level of betrayal the likes of which I've never experienced in my life and you should both be ashamed of yourselves!" Teasing, of course, given the way she was grinning wildly, but no less dramatic than was befitting of her nature. Did Arkadie hear her faux outburst at the moment? Potentially, but this wasn't something she was concerned with as the Black Widow Queen would be getting her own playful earful later, to be sure.

"I'm not being a touch anything, don't be silly," Liana scoffed loudly, finding the notion to be absolutely preposterous - though it might've been true, she wouldn't admit it and she didn't feel she was being any more or less excessive than her usual. "I think you're just a lot more serious than I thought you were about your goal of befriending literally every Queen in the realms."
Title: Re: rebel just for kicks
Post by: Jeremiah Mercer on May 12, 18, 01:56:55 AM
Definitely not a noticeable difference unless one knew him and spoke with him. The truth was that when Jeremiah grew tired, especially after his training, he tended to loosen up even more. What differences had seeped into his being were that much more obvious and he was, at this point, not graced with enough energy to care about it. He was certainly not drained of his jewels but there was an emotional component that went with training as a Black Widow that left him more tired than physical training did.

Jeremiah let out a small laugh at Liana's rather obvious - to him - yes. Amusement was clear in the way the corners of his eyes crinkled just slightly. Even the teasing, the witch's wide grin, was taken in stride. Not that the Warlord Prince did not find himself yawning whether he wanted to or not. "Pardon me." Polite as always, his head tilted away and mouth covered as he yawned. Not that he did not shoot her a look, queerly bright blue-green eyes saying what he did not say aloud.

Yes, she was being a touch something. Whether that was playful or otherwise, it did not matter. Liana was well within her right to be such as she was Arkadie's Steward. Then Jeremiah was blinking, shaking his head at her. "That," he said, speaking of the befriending of all Queens, "was a statement made while inebriated and ..." Trailing off he sighed. "Still true, I suppose."

The sign turned to another yawn and Jeremiah smoothed a hand across his face in annoyance. "Volkov- Li," he amended, shifting the tone of conversation, "if you wish to discuss why I take up an entire day of your Queen's time weekly, including breakfast, it would be best to do so privately." His head tilted, a gesture for her to lead somewhere. Once she did so, the pair ensconced in a sitting room, Jeremiah sat down upon the couch and yawned again.

Such a look of annoyance crossed his face that someone, somewhere, would have likely found it cute. Instead it was likely odd for someone who was used to Jeremiah not being so openly emotive, as he always played things close to the vest. Presenting, to the world, a calm and controlled Warlord Prince.

"I am sure you remember what happened during winter?" His tone was serious, Jeremiah's expression closing off finally at the mention of what was Sebastian's near-death at his hands while on the Killing Edge. "There were more details about that that were not shared." As was the way of things, truly. "The shortest version is that I had been compromised by a Black Widow, her webs and influence thrown back and destroyed. In the aftermath a few things were made apparent but the end result was that I pursue training with a Black Widow." There was no yawn this time, as he spoke, but Jeremiah did look tired then.

Liana was free to speak, to ask her questions, as surely there would be some but ... At least he made clear why he was spending time with her Queen.
Title: Re: rebel just for kicks
Post by: Liana Volkov on May 30, 18, 04:05:41 AM
"Sorry, Mercer, what's the saying? Drunk mouths speak sober thoughts?" Li retorted with a sharp arch of a singular eyebrow. While the mission statement to befriend every Queen may very well have been made while they were piss drunk (it was, she remembered that night despite not recalling what they were drinking for), it was still made nevertheless. And seemed to be something that the Warlord Prince managed to make good on, intentional or not. Though it wasn't necessarily a bad goal to have, per se. Most of the Queens within Dena Nehele were perfectly pleasant and she couldn't fault him for apparently having a predisposition to being amenable with half of them.

But then he lost the amused smile upon his face (which really was a rare enough sight as it was sometimes unless Riley happened to be in the immediate vicinity) and his tone turned more solemn, causing the Jack to blink a few times. To be honest, she'd simply assumed Jeremiah had been in Vatra Dornei so frequently at the behest of his Queen for some reason or another, which would've made sense as it was known that he tended to move about where she wasn't always able to go with her schedule.

However, the fact that the conversation seemed to shift so strikingly was telling and brought her some pause, but only a few beats before she obliged and did lead him to the closest sitting room. Taking the chair opposite where Jer opted to sit, Liana sat in the cushioned seat sideways, her back pressed up against one arm while her legs dangled over the other side, head lolling to the side so she could keep her gaze on her friend while he spoke. The brief look of annoyance that flashed across his face when he yawned yet again (of which that was also rather unusual, truth be told) was enough to spurn a small smirk from the witch, but she reeled the look back in afterwards.

What was subsequently revealed was nearly enough to make her fall very ungraciously out of her seat had she not been perched so carefully in it to begin with, though her mouth fell agape slightly and she regarded him quietly, thoughtfully, for several moments. "Holyyy shit," was all she eventually offered at first.

A Warlord Prince was one thing, but a Black Widow Warlord Prince? She couldn't even really fathom it right away, though if her memory served correctly the last head of the Hourglass Coven had been of such a caste before Alexandra Luceau took over, so maybe it wasn't that unusual. "That's what it is. You have the whole --" she paused, face contorting slightly as she tried to find the word she wanted for it, but when she could not she simply settled for raising her hands and wiggling her fingers as if to denote some kind of... mysteriousness, "-- thing going on. Like Arkadie does, from... being in the Twisted Kingdom I guess? Not as much, which makes sense since I thought it was just her. But apparently fucking not. Huh.

Well... how's it been so far? You like it, or...?"
Title: Re: rebel just for kicks
Post by: Jeremiah Mercer on Jun 03, 18, 02:22:39 AM
Jeremiah was honest to a fault, sometimes too much so and occasionally to his detriment. It was better to be brutally honest than to lie but then they had to play the same games the Aristocracy played and it often meant he danced around the truth of a situation. In this he did not; afforded respect and more to Liana. There was not a desire to lie to her, nor was there a need, when he knew that she could keep this secret well.

A snort escaped, amusement clear, when Liana very nearly let herself tumble out of her chair. Holy shit, indeed. Then he was blinking as she continued on, head tilting and studying her curiously as her face contorted and gesture was made with her hands. Did he have that air about him? Was that part of it? Jeremiah had always been slightly odd - off to a lot of people - but it was merely a fact of life and part of who he was.

... except it made sense that that would shift and change. That he would start taking on other qualities. Never mind that he was good about ensuring he did not reek of the Abyss, nor the Twisted Kingdom after that first dip. "I suppose I do," he finally answered, another yawn escaping and quickly followed by an annoyed look. "It's part of the package, I think. Though if it's really noticeable I might have to do something about it ..." Trailing off, he grew quiet before he shook his head and explained. "As there are some moments during my training that leave me vulnerable I am trying to not advertise that I am doing so."

There was the rest of what she said to consider, to answer, and that was something he was not sure how to answer. "It's been an experience," said Jeremiah finally. "Apparently my dreams and otherwise have touched upon the Twisted Kingdom for years. I'm learning to control that." Which gave him control over a fear that had held strongly onto him for almost his entire life. "I am in the midst of learning the ropes. My web-weaving was terrible and Arkadie thought the best way for me to learn was to make lace pancakes this morning."

Which he had and now, afterward, he felt more comfortable with actual widow's thread. Did, in fact, weave a safe-ward that was more than passable and he would be using to protect himself as he traversed the Twisted Kingdom in his sleep. "Mostly," he said with a stifled yawn, "it is about peace of mind being returned to me. My mind was compromised for most of my life, my Self jeopardized because of an aristo plot, and the training helps me regain what was taken."
Title: Re: rebel just for kicks
Post by: Liana Volkov on Jun 23, 18, 05:10:46 AM
If Liana hadn't been so stunned by the reveal in the first place, she might've remembered to tease Jeremiah about the way his face so openly contorted in bewilderment as she struggled to find the word she wanted to describe his presence and aura, but as it stood she was distracted on two fronts and instead the moment passed without incident or jabs at him. He was generally such a stoic and somber individual, even when he was happy, so it brought the witch some form of enjoyment when he was more emotive and expressive - maybe she needed to catch him when he was tired more often.

She wasn't a Black Widow, she couldn't even pretend she knew how any of their Craft or machinations worked beyond the basics even if she harbored an interest in doing so. (As many could attest to, she didn't, short of any she dealt with in her work as a Jack or, you know... hopping into bed with one of them.) So while Jer explained the oddness that befell his air and whether or not it came with the training, she could only really nod in acknowledgment. "If it helps, I still think it was mostly Arkadie? It's very subtle, anything coming from you, and we both know she is, oppositely, not so much with it. So you're doing a bang-up job of keeping it inconspicuous, which I absolutely don't blame you for."

Though there may have been a lack of ability to personally relate, it made the Warlord Prince's answers no less fascinating to Liana. And while she wasn't able to lean forward with her interest as she might have normally given she was sideways in her chair, the attention she afforded her friend while he ever-so-patiently answered her inquiries was apparent and genuine. She'd heard many a rumor and tale about what it was like to wander the Twisted Kingdom, how easy it was to get lost if one wasn't careful, as well. It all seemed rather mystical and fantastical to her, even being a member of the Blood who were such in their own right (compared to Landen, anyhow), so she very obviously delighted in what he had to say.

The mention of Arkadie and lace in the same sentence prompted something of a snort from the witch (her mind apparently having wandered off into a different realm regarding such things), but her teeth quickly clamped down on the inside of her cheek to force her expression back into neutrality. Jer didn't need (and highly likely didn't want) to hear anything she had to say about that, so she'd save the topic for later when in the company of someone who would vastly appreciate it (Cid). "I guess that makes sense. Sounds like a much safer alternative instead of mucking up the actual webs and causing a hell of a lot of damage." Or so she assumed, anyway. Sounded like a type of dangerous she had no experience in pursuing.

Amusement dissipated from her mien slightly, taking on a bit more of a serious undertone at the idea of any part of her old friend being jeopardized. Wasn't like she could do anything about it, but that didn't mean she had to appreciate the fact that people she was fond of never seemed to entirely cease being in danger left and right. Such was the nature of living in Dena Nehele, she figured. "Well if that's the case, then I'm glad you decided to take it up and found yourself such a qualified teacher for it. I'm sure Arkadie won't steer you wrong and I hope you're able to reclaim that peace of mind."
Title: Re: rebel just for kicks
Post by: Jeremiah Mercer on Aug 12, 18, 04:24:35 AM
Jeremiah had not entirely caught on to the entire emoting thing he was doing. Perhaps he would later when his face actually felt tired from using muscles he rarely did or when it was actually pointed out to him. Not that he would say anything in response because that was probably a good thing. To stop thinking about keeping his face neutral, to not hide so much, meant that he was lessening the reigns of his control.

The very same control that Arkadie reminded him could get him killed as a Black Widow. It was a boon that he took to trusting his instincts as he trained more than trying to pull himself back in. Even if that was exactly why he got in trouble and ended up in the deep end where he was not meant to be (Jeremiah would argue that he was exactly where he needed to be). "It does help," admitted Jeremiah, "though I suppose ... I haven't given much thought about what air I - or others - have about them."

Which was an entirely different subject and not always related to whether or not one wore the touch of the Twisted Kingdom about their shoulders like a cloak. For all that he kept himself in tune and aware of the emotions around him, Jeremiah was both dense and oblivious to certain matters. Thankfully Liana's interest, genuine as he could tell it was, was noticed. It made it easier to talk to her as he had not - as of yet - truly sat down and talked with anyone that was not mentor (Arkadie) or bondmate (Claudia).

Due to the previously mentioned being dense and oblivious, Jeremiah absolutely did not pick up on the exact reason that Liana reacted as she did about Arkadie and lace. For which all should be thankful because the Black Widow Queen had taken on a more motherly air when it came to the Warlord Prince. "It was also an issue with frames." Jeremiah's nose wrinkled up in dislike. Just another expression he did not think about making. "I, ah ..." He paused a moment, thinking of how to phrase it and sighed. "I overcomplicate and sabotage myself." As Arkadie continued to point out. It was something that was not expected of someone like Jeremiah Mercer who was collected and calm and never seemed to have anything out of place. Everything was exactly as he thought it needed to be and that was the problem. "Working in a familiar medium helped work around them, then working with the thread by itself became easier as well."

The feel of widow's thread stretched and draped between his fingers, had felt far easier and more natural for him to deal with.

"I think I will," admitted Jeremiah, "and be able to move forward from all of what happened." Too much that had happened. A sharp grin was given suddenly, too sharp canines visible in a way that clearly spoke of trouble. This was the Jacks member known as Bear, the one that Savi told stories about because no one would ever believe it was Jeremiah Mercer, the Bitch Queen's Frigid Prince.

"... and make sure that it is not just my peace of mind that will be safe." As in being a thorn in the side of the aristocracy, among other things because that was a necessity sometimes, especially when they continued to act as they did.
Title: Re: rebel just for kicks
Post by: Liana Volkov on Oct 10, 18, 03:50:35 AM
The notion of Jer overcomplicating and sabotaging anything seemed more than a little ludicrous to the Jack and she expressed as much via her own surprised facial expressions as the Warlord Prince elaborated. He was generally, exceptionally comported and put-together, so the idea that he flubbed up using what was the basic confines of web weaving was strange to fathom. Not that she really understood what he was talking about in any great sort of depth beyond a basic knowledge, but it wasn't her job to do so and thus it didn't particularly bother her.

"So you prefer to weave without the frames that most Black Widows use. Interesting," she mused with an acknowledging nod.

The grin that her friend sported next caused Liana to laugh loudly and return it in kind, with her inwardly deciding that she could very much get used to this version of Jeremiah. It was impish in a way she appreciated and reminiscent more of when she'd first met the male, as opposed to what he had slowly developed into over the years. Not that she minded the latter either, but given her own nature there were merely certain personality types she thrived on more; troublemaking being a rather primary one. "I see."

Beyond that, the pair of them continued to talk for some time, with the witch getting most of the immediate questions that sprung to mind out of her system and Jeremiah answering them with as much patience as a perpetually-yawning Warlord Prince could muster. (No surprise to anyone, as he was generally always quite even-keeled for his caste.) After a point though, Liana did indeed find herself out of inquiries (for the moment, anyway), and with seemingly impeccable timing to boot.

Rounding out the new hour that had apparently ticked by while they chatted, she felt the initiation of a thread from the Black Widow Queen in the direction of her office upstairs. It hadn't been entirely specific in its nature, but that hardly mattered. Regardless, the summons meant it was definitely time to see Jeremiah out and on his way, something of which Liana was sure he was likely grateful for anyway.

The End