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* Plot Information for Little Terreille

A naive Black Jeweled witch has destroyed the Territory Court. From its ashes a new court is being constructed, one run by a manipulative killer. As the blood runs in the streets of Goth from open gang warfare, the Steward of Little Terreille begins a gambit to rebuild the Territory from the ground up and challenge the Star of Kaeleer.
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Author Topic: Unstoppable Today  (Read 1009 times)

Description: 193, Spring: Amerys beards Jon in his den, to talk about his Queen. Attn: Jon

Offline Amerys Tiernan

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Unstoppable Today
« on: Jul 08, 18, 06:16:30 PM »
193: Jonothan’s study, the Territory Court.
This thread follows Nature of my Circuitry, Because you Make me Hate you Today, The Liar in your Bed and Kinda I Want To by only a few days. It is also part of the story arc that includes It’s Never the Right Time, and I’ll Put my Armor on Show You How Strong I am.
Theme: youTube Sia Unstoppable Link


Amerys had dressed very carefully for this meeting; nothing distracting, too interesting, or that Jon might feel the need to comment on. Jonothan was always unpredictable and had been downright volatile for the last year or so. Amerys suspected that it grated upon him, to be attempting so many skills for which he was underprepared. In fact, he spent more of his time doing portions of Breck and Roland’s jobs than seeing to the minutia of numbers and balance that was a Steward’s primary concern. But that was a fight for another day; today, Amerys was here to gauge if the ‘secret’ visit of the ruler of Nharkava had healed or further wounded the Warlord. Either was possible; true reconciliation had clearly not occurred. After all, they not only were they still Territories away from each other, but neither one was willing to take action on behalf of the other. Not even trade agreements had been made. He was acting like his Queen’s visit was truly secret.

As if the entire Court didn’t know.

As if no questions had been asked.

Jonothan liked being the Steward of Little Terreille only when it suited him, and not when it was hard, or embarrassing, or intrusive to his private life. But then he wasn’t a ruling a Caste, and hadn’t been prepared for the realities of having a public presence in a Territory. Hell’s Fire, but he’d barely been a public presence in any of the Courts he’d served in! Part of Amerys could have pitied Jon, if he’d been the least bit willing to learn what he didn’t know, or even to respect other people’s expertise.

Amerys waited just outside his door for a few seconds, so that he could snarl, or swear or grieve in peace before dealing with her unwelcome presence. Ever since he’d believed his own Queen dead, Amerys’ very existence seemed to wound him. He positively radiated hate, some days. It was why she always met with him in his office; she suspected he felt safer, more powerful there. Or maybe he just thought she was less in control? It didn’t matter to Amerys, she was who she was irregardless of where she was. She was no less Queen of Little Terreille on the beach, or in the streets than in her Office. Other folks needed the trappings of rule, to feel in power. She had never had that need.

Only once she gauged he’d got over his normal frustrations with her, did Amerys offer a polite clap of hands to announce her presence. In a Ruling Seat, and many Blood residences, knocking on doors risked Security Webs going off. Generally, Etiquette and Protocol both recommended either a Psychic greeting, or a clap. Jonothan had never seemed fond enough of her presence that she would intrude by initiating a Psychic Thread or even a brush of minds. That was an open wound in any Queen’s Triangle (or even, in the awkward ‘Lord Black’s Triangle’ that Jonothan wanted this to be.) He was determined to keep his distance and keep his secrets, even if it cost him his power and wealth. That was a certain kind of tragic, which sorrowed Amerys. Not that she would burden him with that or any of her emotions.

As was her habit since his trauma, she appeared before him as the epitome of calm concern and focused purpose. A sweet, small smile greeted him, once the door finally opened. Her silvery eyes darkened near to black as they studied him carefully. However closed her own aura, she studied his body language, expression and Psychic Scent for any hint as to his well-being.

“Jonothan, thank you for seeing me today. Would you like to talk here, or walk through the gardens?” She’d have bet 100 marks he’d insist upon staying in the office, but you never knew. Darkness knew she got more than enough of sitting during her hours at Court.

Offline Jonothan Harmaa

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Re: Unstoppable Today
« Reply #1 on: Jul 09, 18, 07:14:12 PM »
The morning after had been harder than he had anticipated. Not just because he ached physically, but soulfully as well. He had focused on work and coffee and while the first few hours had gone well, by the time Amerys had arrived at his office he'd been staring out the window toward the horizon of Goth probably for the better part of an hour, lost in thought.

Her clap snapped him out of his reverie, and as the doors opened and made way for the Queen of Little Terreille he turned away from the window and his seat over to her. He didn't get to his feet right away; an improper greeting for a Steward to his Queen, but he did manage a small smile as she entered his office. She had said she wanted to talk but hadn't given a specific topic, which told Jon it was likely something that wasn't going to be business related or would annoy him. Regardless, he felt appropriately girded. "Good morning." She asked if he wanted to talk here and he considered the cold remains of his coffee and the small stack of papers that were unfinished.

"Mm. Let's do the gardens. I don't think I'm going to get much more work done today." His memory was too rich of her scent, his skin still felt fire of where she'd touched, and his body felt achey from the exertions he'd enabled himself the night before. He got to his feet and vanished the paperwork but left the coffee, smiling softly as he gestured for the side door for them to leave through.

He seemed to be more calm, more at ease than his usual self. The smile that was present lingered in good humor, his psychic scent one of distraction but little other insight presented itself. Jon moved to fall into step beside her, the much taller man dressed in his smoke gray offered his arm to serve as her escort. Perhaps she thought him mercurial in this instance, as there had been frost at times in previous meetings and heat when they'd first been joined together. He'd almost seduced her on his desk once, but that close brush with lust had never been repeated.

"What did you want to talk about?" He asked as he turned to regard her, a single eyebrow arching in question as they made their way to the gardens.

Offline Amerys Tiernan

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Re: Unstoppable Today
« Reply #2 on: Nov 03, 18, 03:49:10 AM »
193: Jonothan’s study, the Territory Court.
This thread follows Nature of my Circuitry, Because you Make me Hate you Today, The Liar in your Bed and Kinda I Want To by only a few days. It is also part of the story arc that includes It’s Never the Right Time, and I’ll Put my Armor on Show You How Strong I am.

The doors opened before Amerys on a wave of (to her) invisible Craft. Jonothan swiveled his chair to face her, but not with the snap that betokened annoyance. He lingered in his chair, but instead of the sharp, punishing thing it had been for so long, his posture simply spoke of his comfort in sitting. But it was his small smile, that brought a wash of relief through Amerys, and softened her gaze. Unbidden, her carefully metered smile flashed to a genuinely sweet one, before settling once more into the more restrained mode. Jonothan always worked very, very hard; but usually his desk was clean of paperwork, simply because of the efficiency and speed at which he worked. Seeing him so relaxed lifted Amerys’ spirits immensely. With an extreme of self-control learned only from Jonothan’s rather harsh lessons (not that she would admit it, ever, ever EVER), she kept from bombarding the man with them.

“Good Morning, Jonothan.” She’d missed the simple give and take of normal greetings and contented smiles. He’d been so hurt, with a wound she prayed she might never understand even an echo of. Seeing him, hearing his greeting, she instantly forgave his Queen for her secret visit (if not her long neglect!). His choice to walk the gardens pleased Amerys, but not quite so much as his soft smile. No, she didn’t think it was for her ... but it told her that his Queen’s visit had been healing, not hurtful. From what little he had let slip during assorted arguments, well ... it could have gone the other way.

The side door opened, and he offered his arm. Amerys was taken by surprise, pausing only a heart-beat before settling delicately upon his arm. He’d not even touched her, since he’d lost his Queen. Thought he’d lost her. Amerys squeezed his arm gently, looking up at him. He looked good in grey, but she preferred him in blues. He was strikingly handsome, no matter what he wore, but never more-so than with the languid, easy air that marked him today. He moved and acted like a man content with his world, as well as in control of it. Study him though she might, she could not discover any other clues. And she’d so hoped to spy at least some evidence of passion; a hicky, a nail mark, a bruise. Still, she didn’t need empirical evidence to begin her discussion, especially when he so naturally gave her an opening.

“I am hoping you will tell me how you are,” Her smile widened a touch, silvery eyes meeting his blue ones with the same genuine interest she’d always shown him. “What happened, too.” She wasn’t shy about discussing sex, though to be honest she didn’t really know how Jonothan felt about the topic. It sometimes felt like she’d been working with and for several different people. She was still hoping to discover the truth of the man. Normally, no matter whom she was with, the gardens earned a large part of her attention. Not today. Treading lightly enough that Jonothan might answer her, whilst still being open enough that he’d sense her sincerity took a lot of concentration. It wasn’t a balance she could have achieved, even a year ago.

Offline Jonothan Harmaa

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Re: Unstoppable Today
« Reply #3 on: Nov 03, 18, 03:46:23 PM »
The gardens weren't quite as close as they were in the old manor, but Tarn Nataniel's were a lot more grand and easy to get lost in. The whole affair was more grandiose than anything that had been done in Little Terreille before. The Hell Lords territory had been scooped up almost wholesale to make room for the new Territory Court. The future built upon the ashes of the past.

As the pair moved into the gardens itself, Jon took a slow deep breath that brought in the smell of the trees, flowers, and shrubbery artfully set into paths and groves. High fences surrounded the gardens to keep out the random folk - the doors were only open during certain times and days. Jon had been clear he didn't want random riff-raff skulking around the gardens.

"What happened?" Jon looked over to her, an eyebrow raised in question as he feigned being lost in what she was referring to. "Did something happen?"

His gaze turned to the gardens around them as they walked, the sun shining down on them and just the slightest touch of chill in the spring day. He kept his arm firmly in Amerys's possession, no matter what she said in response to his query. In fact, he glossed over an answer to that point as he focused instead on their surroundings. "Glacia didn't have a lot of green. The forests, sure, but there was a lot of ice and mountains and rocks. Little Terreille never has either - it's always been a tree here, or there. At least around Goth. But this.." He nodded toward the gardens. "I like this. It was a good idea to put this here, Amerys." And regardless of whether it was her idea or not, he was framing it like it was and gave credit to her as some sort of architect for their surroundings.

"So was that it? Just checking up on me?" He asked as he shifted the mood of the conversation, as if she hadn't revealed the true reason for her purpose.

Offline Amerys Tiernan

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Re: Unstoppable Today
« Reply #4 on: Nov 03, 18, 11:06:16 PM »
193: the Gardens, the Territory Court (Tarn Nataniel).
This thread follows Nature of my Circuitry, Because you Make me Hate you Today, The Liar in your Bed and Kinda I Want To by only a few days. It is also part of the story arc that includes It’s Never the Right Time, and I’ll Put my Armor on Show You How Strong I am.

The gardens were beautiful, far more grand than any Amerys would have planned, but dense enough and wild enough to get lost in, which utterly suited her. The trees and shrubs were incredibly beautiful, the walkways and groves little pools of peace in this loud, cosmopolitan city. If Amerys herself would have mixed food and medicinal plants with the purely ornamental, she still loved the sheer, luxurious size of the place. That the garden was fenced in was mere common sense in a city that had been at war with itself, one way or another, for all of Amerys’ life. All Blood needed contact with the earth, Queens more than most, so her Court having access to this serene, beautiful place was a brilliant move. Nonetheless, she’d not had a lot to do with the initial plans. She’d focused upon the roof gardens and hanging gardens on her balconies, more than willing to discuss these gardens at length, but not pushing for anything save a large expanse of greenery.

Jonothan’s perfectly dead pan, What happened? Did something happen? caused her to miss a step, before laughter danced in her silvery eyes. “Yes, something happened, I’m dying to know -” visibly she restrained herself from peppering him with questions. He was really good at giving bullet point answers that technically answered questions but actually conveyed no true information. She also let him run over her protest, an achievement in diplomacy that was not her general nature. Turning her full attention upon his answer (well. Non-answer? To his change of subject, anyway).

It was just barely possible that he was teasing her, and enjoying every minute of it.

Though the gardens sheltered them, her attention had largely remained fixed upon Jonothan. The sun gilded his strange golden hair and painfully pale skin. She spared a glance to the lovely gardens, when he commented upon Glacia’s terrain. It was in vain, her trying to picture the kind of snow, ice and rock Glacia was made of. It sounded beautiful, in its way. Romantic; or at least romantically tragic. But stranger still was his crediting her with the gardens. She’d wanted them. It was all she’d asked for: a safe place to walk, barefooted over the grass. But this was so much more than she’d asked for, that it felt like a lie to take any credit at all.

And she never lied to Jonothan.

“Glacia sounds beautiful, though stark cold. I can’t really picture that it, truth be told. But this garden exquisite, and so very soothing. I think of it as a gift, both to this Court and to the citizens of Goth. Thank you, Jon.” she inclined her head to him, focusing her attention fully upon Jonothan once more. She’d have to draw him out; it wasn’t a skill she was terribly good at. Usually, she had only to be quiet, and stare at someone, and they burst into a random outpouring of information. Not Jonothan; Not Hayden. neither Breck, nor Roland. Davos, on occasion. When Dave talked it was sheer poetry and she sometimes got so lost in the beauty of his speech as to miss the substance of it. In fact, few people that she truly cared about simply opened up. So she’d learned, slowly, painfully, how to adjust her approach for the person being ... coaxed. Coaxed, she assured herself. Not interrogated.

Amerys had to bite her tongue, to keep from overwhelming him with questions. Silvery eyes laughed up at his blue ones. It was likely the most cheerful he’d seen her in quite a long time, despite her great effort not to overwhelm him.

“Of course I am checking up on you; I always do.” a rueful laugh accompanied the words, because it seemed more often than not to make Jon crazy, than comforted, when she did. “But this time, it’s more! How did it go? What happened?” A deep, profound breath kept her from exploding in questions.

Offline Hayden Sheane

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Re: Unstoppable Today
« Reply #5 on: Nov 07, 18, 09:07:46 AM »
Masked as her presence was by the depth of her Jewels, it would've been easy to miss the woman sitting with her legs folded on one of the stone benches tucked into a corner of the gardens. Hayden wasn't hiding, per se, but it wasn't hard to overlook just one more Blood presence in a location as busy as the Territory seat. She had a large cup of something in steaming held between her hands, and balanced on her knee was a sandwich of some sort, half-tucked into a napkin. She was reading something from a small sheaf of papers on the bench in front of her, though she looked up when Amerys and Jonothan rounded the corner.

Hayden saw Amerys first and her expression warmed, a smile lifting in preparation of greeting the Queen. Before she summoned any words, though, Jon's shape emerged past the hedge and arrested the rising mirth in her. It was subtle, the way a cloud moved over her expression. She didn't despise Jon, after all, so much as she was just conflicted about some of his choices. She felt alot of things in the wake of his evening with his Queen, in fact, and not all of them were easily parsed, yet. All she really knew was that the sight of him made her feel heavy and sober, and she'd never had to fake her bearing with Jon and she didn't want to start now.

She looked down to her papers for half a second, then set her mug down so that she could wrap up the remainder of her sandwich and pick up her papers off of the bench. She vanished the latter once they were gathered, and stood up with her sandwich in one hand and her tea in the other.

"Afternoon," she said, to the pair of them, with a wan smile. If Amerys gave one of her typically warm greetings Hayden would respond agreeably. But rather than engaging either of them in conversation afterwards, she gave a nod and turned from them with a quiet, "See you later," as though she had business inside the Keep that required her to relocate just then.

Offline Jonothan Harmaa

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Re: Unstoppable Today
« Reply #6 on: Nov 07, 18, 11:53:40 AM »
Jon affixed Amerys with an uplifted eyebrow, his poker face not revealing that he knew exactly what she was talking about and not really inclined to give her the answers she was looking for. At the end of the day Jon didn't look at Amerys as a confidant - she wasn't his Queen, she wasn't his friend, she was just the woman he'd put into the Territory Seat for convenience sake. He did not look at her as Little Terreille's ruling Queen, he saw her as the mouthpiece that allowed him to rule Little Terreille. It wasn't a position that he blanketed with contempt, but there was a dose of realism in his view of the young woman who was barely past her Offering and placed at the head of the entire Territory.

"Amerys you're going to have to specify, I don't know what you're getting at.." He began to deflect again, because the night with Maarika was still fresh, personal, and something he was mulling over. Part of him wanted to seek out who told her about Maarika's arrival, because if it was one of Breck's people Jon was going to have to lean on getting the man replaced.

But then they rounded the corner, and Hayden was there. He smiled genuinely to her as she got up, but it faded as he noticed Hayden's mien shift. Amerys went off to say something warm and generous to Hayden in greeting before Hayden just up and left, obviously in one of her moods.

For a second, Jon was inclined to use that as the method to sidestep this whole talk about Maarika, but it got him to thinking of how upset Hayden had been about Maarika's presence - how against she'd been about them trying to work things out. He sat there, his eyes sliding away from Amerys in thought as something heavy weighed on his shoulders and a little bit of defensive anger clawed into his heart.

"You know..." He said slowly, more to himself than to the young woman beside him who was not confidant, Queen, or even really friend. "I had thought she was dead." He said, as if they had been talking about Maarika the whole time. "That whole time, it had torn me up. We had never gotten along. You think you have problems with your bonded, Amerys..."[/b] He shook his head and turned to look down at the young Queen on his arm and smirked. "You've got it good compared to me and Maarika.

Last night she came and she said sorry to me. She apologized to me. She acknowledged me. It's so ironic, considering I told her to go fuck off the last time I saw her."
And Hayden had seen it too, but he hadn't lost himself enough to mention her. His brow furrowed in thought as he considered her, though, how defensive she was about him, and how the whole thing had put her into a bad mood. She must have thought he was an idiot to let her into his heart again.

"It was..." He tried to find the right words for it, but everything seemed insufficient. "Well. I'm in a good mood, to say the least." The smile that came to him took no effort, a warmth settling into his chest beyond the minor aches. It replaced whatever knee-jerk resentment that came to him, leaving him only in a pleasant afterglow. "There's a lot of history and baggage there. But we got through a lot of stuff last night. Not everything - it isn't perfect yet. But it's better."

He nudged Amerys with his elbow then. "That satisfy you, Lady Nosy?" His smirk was disarming, indicating more a tease than any true annoyance.

Offline Amerys Tiernan

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Re: Unstoppable Today
« Reply #7 on: Nov 13, 18, 01:22:47 AM »
193: the Gardens, the Territory Court (Tarn Nataniel).
This thread follows Nature of my Circuitry, Because you Make me Hate you Today, The Liar in your Bed and Kinda I Want To by only a few days. It is also part of the story arc that includes It’s Never the Right Time, and I’ll Put my Armor on Show You How Strong I am.

For no more than a heartbeat, Amerys had to question if Jonothan truly had no notion why she was there. It wasn’t reasonable, from a man who studied other people’s motives so carefully. It was just that his uplifted eyebrow and perfectly sculpted expression was so very convincing. Focused as she was upon reading the unreadable from Jonothan, Amerys nearly did miss Hayden. But the scent of a warm, steaming drink and a delicious sandwich drew Amerys’ gaze right to her friend. Her own face lit up with a sweet, genuine warmth. “Hayden, such a delight to find you here!” There was a joy, a comfort that went far beyond reason to see a matching joy rise in Hayden’s eyes. Hayden looked busy, deeply and truly busy, with a mountain of papers balancing upon one knee. The papers saved Hayden from an exuberant hug, if not a warm clasp upon the shoulder. Amerys managed the feat without releasing Jon (lest he escape), the move made to look graceful from two years’ in the public eye.

Amerys had learned to attend in past, painful two years. So she did not miss that there was something of pain, in the wan smile Hayden offered. The feeling of the a veil cloaking the sun, in the witch’s expression. The quiet greeting, the way Hayden left so suddenly all seemed subtly off, to Amerys.

“Of course. We’ll talk later, Hayden.” Amerys reassured her freind.

She could not recall that she had ever seen Hayden hurry away from Jon before. A questing gaze returned to search Jonothan’s usually unreadable mien. The edge of a genuine smile lingered there; Amerys made a note of what it looked like. His expression faded to ... was that what sad looked like, on Jonothan? A hint of anger? Resentment, maybe. Amerys felt like she was intruding, suddenly. Not for ascertaining if Jonothan was alright and still sane, but for glimpsing whatever pain lay between the two staunch friends.

At last, Jonothan began to speak of his Queen. Amerys listened, silvery eyes grave. His smirk part way through won a half smile and reassuring squeeze to his arm, but she did not interrupt him. Only a Glacian could convey such pain, so calmly and with so little emotion leaking out. His brow furrowed in thought, as he lost himself in contemplation. Once more she held very still, barely breathing. Just waiting, a calming presence, even if not yet wholly a welcome one. A peaceful smile, reminiscent of the one bestowed upon Hayden crept out upon his features. That smile eased the tension within, but also left Amerys baffled. How had so great a Healing been managed in a single evening?

Amerys rested her cheek upon his upper arm, eyes veiled from view, as she breathed a soft sigh of relief. The playful elbow nudge and question drew her gaze back to Jon’s face. His teasing smirk won a laugh, and she slipped an arm around him for a half hug. “Thank you, Jonothan. I’m so glad you have some peace and Healing.” She was oddly serious, just then. So much was at stake, for Jon. and if for Jon, for the rest of them, too. For all of Little Terreille. But his joy was so intense, his teasing so comfortable and natural-seeming, that her own good nature swiftly revealed itself in a gently teasing smile.

“I promise to let you quiz me in turn, if ever the urge arises.” A safe enough promise, Amerys figured, as she could not recall him ever asking her about anything. Which amusing thought made her eyes sparkle all the brighter.

“Should we set aside an ambassadorial suite for your Queen and her people to use?”


Offline Jonothan Harmaa

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Re: Unstoppable Today
« Reply #8 on: Nov 23, 18, 07:40:11 PM »
Amerys's note of being glad for Jon sort of rankled him, as it felt like charity he neither deserved nor wanted. Still, he'd been around Amerys and her 'little comments' for a while now and knew she was trying to be as warm and as kind as possible. It wasn't even faked, which was still a weird thing for Jon to deal with consistently, but he'd come to know who Amerys was and understand where she was coming from.

It was just a place that Jonothan, himself, would never stand.

"Quiz you?" Jon asked, his eyebrow lifting in question. "Is that what this is? Am I going to get a passing grade because I told you that I was doing better?" He let out a soft half-laugh at that, shaking his head. "If I wanted to know something about you, Amerys, I'd find it out."

Amerys's next question made Jon bark out a laugh, not all of it kind. "What? Are you kidding? Hah! No! She's not moving in or anything. Sif would have her neck. Or her sister's. No. Maarika's staying where she is, I've no doubt. But it makes things easier in dealing with our neighbors. I've got a couple things in mind going forward on how to deal with Nharkava - I think I've even lined up the right people for it.

But no. I think any other times I see her I'll be visiting her. We haven't figured out the logistics yet. I think we won't really until after we deal with Sif in some way. And that's a harder puzzle to solve."


Amused still, Jon turned to Amerys. "Was that what this was all about? Why? You worried I'm going to give Maarika the Territory Seat? Cause that's not going to happen." As the creature that he was, Jon figured that Amerys was more concerned about her own position than any well-being of the Steward. Sure, he knew Amerys meant well and probably did care about him, but he also knew that she knew her position was tenuous, and some part of her would have a question about that in the back of her mind.

Better to nip it in the bud rather than deal with the headache of that insecurity rearing its ugly head for the next few weeks.

Offline Amerys Tiernan

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Re: Unstoppable Today
« Reply #9 on: Nov 26, 18, 06:18:20 PM »
Jonothan was always a quicksilver creature, his moods never quite what Amerys expected or understood. His laughter out-of-place, though still infections; his smiles powerful if never quiet what they seemed. Still, he drew a grin from her, in his certainty that he could understand her without ever investing in getting to know her. It seemed very apropos to how he lived his life; he might even be able to manage it, given his friendships with several people whom she also counted as friends. The harsh, almost bitter laugh in response to her question of setting up a suite in order to formalize relations with Nharkava set her back a moment, until she untangled the informal Sif as the Lady Elisif Brenden -  the Grey Jeweled, Tri-Casted reason Jon had initially chosen to conquer Little Terreille.

His hard, unkind laugh seemed an odd pairing with the genuinely amused expression turned upon her as Jonothan inquired if she feared he’d set up his Bonded Queen as Territory Queen in Little Terreille. She’d considered it, of course, but she had her money on a different Queen entirely, if Jonothan decided to remove Amerys. Her head angled to the side, as she considered him deeply for a few moments more.

“Thank you for your reassurance, Jonothan.”

“But no, that is not why I came to see you.”

Midnight Keeper, assassin, diplomat, Glacian Noble - Jonothan was skilled at reading people and could no doubt discern that she spoke truth, if he so chose. Her gaze searched his, her brow wrinkled. He might never know why, actually; that struck her as such an odd thoguht. Because she would have bet money he did know why she’d come. It was oddly disquieting, that he didn’t.

“I’ve my own thoughts on why placing your Bonded Queen here would be an unlikely outcome.” Those were things she’d not willingly speak aloud, or share with anyone. She drew her thoughts back from whatever deep considerations they’d fallen into, and focused once more upon him.

“So are you going to formalize relations with Nharkava? Will we have an ambassador? Or is more to your benefit to keep the appearance of hostilities?” There was a tension in her, as she asked, but only a sensible one.

Nobody wanted to go to war with Glacia.

Well.

Nobody but Jonothan Harmaa, Steward of Little Terreille.

And maybe his almost-but-not-quite estranged Queen.

Great.

Offline Jonothan Harmaa

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Re: Unstoppable Today
« Reply #10 on: Dec 06, 18, 07:01:54 PM »
Jon shifted his gaze to take in the Tiger Eye Queen he'd put on a throne. She arrested his attention as she said she'd come to see him for another reason. Lifting an eyebrow at her, the comment she made would normally be one he might ignore. But the smell of Maarika's hair and her perfume still fresh in his nostrils provoked a need to challenge any assumption made about his Lady.

"Oh? What thoughts are those?" He didn't add on her name to call her to attention - to snap the psychological leash that every person had when hearing their own name. It was a tactic to get full focus, to put a period to the end of a sentence and bring someone to the exact conversational point to springboard from.

She tried to switch the topic to Nharkava, but he didn't quite go there yet. For right now there was some weight between them - some thing unsaid, and he wanted to get at that before it festered in the roots of everything else they did.

"If you've something to say, Amerys, now's your opportunity. I'm listening." His hand slid away from hers, his arms crossing over his chest as he settled his stare on her. He could suppose any sort of reasons, thoughts, hatching plans or concerns - he had a feeling he knew what was lurking behind those eyes and that smile.

Jon had no patience to do the work for others, however. It was the Glacian in him that was ingrained and bone deep. At the end of the day, even after all this time and all that had happened, he would always have an edge.

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Re: Unstoppable Today
« Reply #11 on: Dec 06, 18, 07:56:37 PM »
193: the Gardens, the Territory Court (Tarn Nataniel).
This thread follows Nature of my Circuitry, Because you Make me Hate you Today, The Liar in your Bed and Kinda I Want To by only a few days. It is also part of the story arc that includes It’s Never the Right Time, and I’ll Put my Armor on Show You How Strong I am.

The subtlety with which Jonothan slid away from Amerys, turning in a heartbeat from erstwhile ally to potential threat, was amazing to watch. Or maybe that was just his way, when he feared a conversation might turn to something painful. Her gaze searched his, seeking deeply for the truth of where he was, at this moment. The full truth of him she thought no one save Hayden might ever know. He was the more arresting, as a threat, she’d always felt. The predator in him was fierce; seeing it near the surface always felt more genuine to Amerys. It reminded her of when he’d hugged her, and assured her she was safe in his company. Then of how he’d raged at her. She didn’t know him, only some of his moods, of the faces he presented to the world.

That he asked her point blank why she’d come, then asked for her thoughts upon the matter, startled her. She froze in place, the easy flow of breath and conversation stilling. This face of his was new to her; she’d never known him to show genuine interest in anything about her besides the outer facade appropriate to a Queen of her station. Now she was pinned in a moment that could turn her association with Jonothan into something violent and deadly, rather than lay the groundwork to a true friendship. She had no notion what to say to tip the scales either way. She wasn’t a diplomat, the way Glacian’s meant that term. She wasn’t even a politician, as those of Little Terrielle might mean it.

He’d locked his attention upon her when she’d had reassured him that she’d not suspected him of putting his Queen upon the throne of Little Terreille. But his follow up question had been on what was, to her, a different topic, altogether. So did he want to know the why behind her desire to ascertain his well-being, or the what behind her calculation that he’d not want his Bonded Queen here?

“I don’t know much about you, Jon. I really only know three motivations for you. You love power. You want to be safe from the unimaginable might hidden in the Jewel of Kaeleer. And you wanted your Queen to be alive. I know next to nothing of your Bonded Queen; that you long for her respect. That she hurt you. That you were enraged at her and are or were estranged from her.”

“Taking those things into account, I saw only a small possibility of you wishing her this close, long term. Even less for you to desire her to rule over you here. Even if you did, given Glacia’s power, I could not imagine you giving up the chance to wield two nations strength in your defense.”[/b

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Re: Unstoppable Today
« Reply #12 on: Dec 08, 18, 07:16:18 PM »
"Heh." Jon gave only that non-committal sound. Not a laugh. Not an affirmation or a denial. Just a sound that he'd heard Amerys and what she had to say. He watched her for a moment, a shake of his head coming to him slowly afterward. "What you just described is pretty much everyone who's not Glacian who has a Queen they're connected to, Amerys."

He exhaled slowly, mostly a heavy breath through his nose. A small chuckle came to him as he considered Maarika and the idea of her ruling him or he her. Slowly the Territory Steward shook his head, and his smile slowly returned. "Maarika and I would never work where one person was in charge, really. We'd have to have a partnership of sorts - there's just too much want to control things in each of us. It's just the Glacian noble in us both, maybe. But that's a far-off talk. I wouldn't have control of Nharkava, anyway. It belongs to her, for now. As long as she can hold it, anyway. Glacia rules Nharkava but it was never a neat control. There's always rebels and dissidents. I don't envy her position over there. She'll be seen as a tyrant from the natives, and if she doesn't dance to Sif's tune, she'll be a traitor back home."

A slow shrug then, and Jon scanned across the gardens. He reached a hand out to Amerys, gently touching her arm by the elbow and gestured to the bench. "Come on. I think you're thinking of it in the wrong way. It makes me sound so damn villainous." He guided her to the bench and slowly settled down beside her once she sat herself and arranged himself so that he was leaning against the back of the bench with his body and face mostly faced toward her. It allowed for a nearer body language - something more relaxed - and his voice softened some, too. Less confrontational, more friendly. Intimate.

"Maarika's more than just my Queen, Amerys. She's my wife, too. We've had a bad go of it for a long time. I didn't know how to share. I kind of still don't, but it's a work in progress." A slow smile creeped onto his face, and he shook his head. "For now, it's just good we were able to be in the same room and appreciate each-other, I think. It's practically the first time it's happened in a long time."

He exhaled and shifted, turning to look at the garden. "It's hard to explain why I wouldn't want her here. Not yet. Our whole situation is fucked up - we're fucked up. A toxic, nasty knot. It'll take time to unwind it all and make it better. One night won't fix it. Maybe nothing ever really will, but it's exciting to think it could happen."

Jon realized he'd gone on for some time, explaining rather than letting Amerys really get a thought in, so he shrugged and turned to regard her. "My first concern is Little Terreille. I think it always will be, now. Goth is my home in a way Glacia never was or will be. It's weird to think of it that way, but it is."

He pursed his lips and considered the Tiger Eye Queen for a moment. "We should talk some shop, though. Since we're both here. Get some things figured out about the Court and the Territory."

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Re: Unstoppable Today
« Reply #13 on: Dec 11, 18, 06:41:21 PM »
193: the Gardens, the Territory Court (Tarn Nataniel).

Amerys’ eyes widened, as Jon paralleled his experience of the Queen Bond with pretty much everyone else’s. It seemed a worse condemnation of Glacia than anything she’d ever heard. It was a heavy thing, thick with tragedy and loss. She remained still, watching Jonothan patiently, and was rewarded as he slowly released some of the pent-up whatever that haunted him in a long sigh. The small chuckle he gave won a faint smile, before Amerys even knew what he found amusing. Then he gave a most sensible analysis of a Queen Bond, though it was a goal that was far harder to put into practice in reality than in theory, or so she’d found. So her smile turned wistful.

Jonothan gently guided her to a bench, and ... and ...

But he was villainous.

It truly left her speechless, for a time. Especially as she hadn’t meant what she said to suggest he was, only that that was all she knew of him. Well, that and that he tended to suicidal depressions and murderous mass- rages. Or raging mass-murders. All he’d chosen to share of himself, save his deep friendship with Hayden.

But who wouldn’t be friends with Hayden, given a chance?

She settled to the bench at first with the careful formality he responded best too, but he threw her off her stride again, not siting down with a rigidly perfect posture or cool Glacian indifference. No, he had to turn to face her, his body relaxed from perfection to genuine.

Or genuine seeming, anyway.

He settled beside her on the bench in a way that felt like a friend, and honestly, Amerys didn’t know what to do, for a heart beat. If she softened in turn, he’d snap or close a trap on her. If she didn’t, and he was genuinely reaching for friendship, he’d close down in anger and rage. Maybe take another two years to try again. So her cool, careful smile lifted into a brighter one, and she faced him in turn. When he spoke, his tone of voice catapulted her back to an earlier time and place, before he decided he hated her on the basis of her Caste alone. He drew her in, with his softer tones and pain-ridden confidence. She listened, with complete attention. He spoke of his difficulty sharing, of how much deeper his pain was, over his estranged Queen also being his wife. How much it had healed him, to just be able to be in the same room with her, without a fight. Jonothan turned away from her then, to study the garden, admitting he wasn’t sure why he didn’t want his queen here, just yet. And those confessions were more real, more true than she’d expected.

As was his hope, that they might fix it.

The moment when he turned back to face her once more caught her a bit by surprise, so he’d find her keen attention fully locked upon him for a moment before she leaned back and glanced away, embarrassed he’d caught her out. Her breath stilled. It took her a moment, to soften the intensity of her eyes, force a curve to her lips; to draw in a deep breath and lean back on the bench. She ordered in her mind what she wished to say, glanced back at him, ready to speak ...

He changed topics again, jumping into the never ending work of running a Territory. The one he loved above all others, and thought of as his home. The emotional reaction to the words surprised her; so many wildly divergent feelings raced through her she defied even Jonothan to be able to sort out how she felt about his final confession, when she was unsure.

She wanted him to love Little Terrielle. Had worked tirelessly to try to get him to fall in love with the people, the place, the culture. But she had a hard time believing he had. She very much feared he simply adored it because he felt like he owned it.

His friend had conquered it for him, after all.

She glanced down again, the tips of her toes tracing patterns upon the path. Her gaze lifted then, to sweep across the length and breadth of the garden, though she was seeing the Territory she loved so deeply, the land she’d come to know from border to border. After she settled, she risked a glance back at him.

“I think your instincts are sound. That while in certain areas a male rules his queen, and in others, a Queen her male, things would go better if mostly they just worked together.” She asked gently, a faint amusement twinkling in her eyes, “I didn’t mean to imply you would also rule Nharkava. Only that she would try to defend you, even if you couldn’t command her to do so.” She shook her head, letting the topic go. If he permitted, she’d offer a gentle squeeze to his arm.

“I hope you have come to love Little Terreille very deeply. It’s people, it’s history. Most of it’s culture ... though I despise the gangs, especially those that turn Red Moon houses into places that institutionalize rape.”

“Goth is a place that suits you, Jonothan.” Her smile came back, bright and fierce. “I’d love to revisit what is being done to make Goth safer, better, brighter, wealthier. Our school is doing well, we employ a small village worth of workers in our Tarn Nataniel alone. Yet I’ve been told we still have issues with people starving on our streets during the bitter winters.” she sighed in frustration. “It may be time to implement the Burroughs?”

“We’ve come a long way towards equalizing our power structure and employment issues, Territory Wide.”

She gathered herself, her poise perfect, her voice clear, the diction flawless. These were subconscious acts, rather than deliberate; a visceral response to the knowledge he wasn’t going to like what she said next.

“I’d like to have us take a hard look at our entry and employment rules regarding using the Dark Gate and the service fairs.”

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Re: Unstoppable Today
« Reply #14 on: Feb 08, 19, 05:14:17 PM »
Jon didn't actually care much about bad Red Moon Houses. He played that he did, if only because it would make the conversation with Amerys for the rest of their talk better if he feigned stoic outrage. His face shifted from a smile to a grimness that came from being serious and he reached his hand out to take hers and give it a bit of a squeeze. "We'll shut it down soon enough, Amerys. We're making progress. It won't be much longer now." Well, they'd shut down the places that didn't pay their fees or forward the profits upchain to whomever was paying the Territory Court.

Crime and cruelty still paid, and Jon had expensive plans for Little Terreille's future.

"I do like the idea of the Burroughs." He conceded with a nod. "Maybe it doesn't even have to be Queens ruling parts of the city. After all, they're best used by giving to the land, right? Not like they can do that much in the middle of Goth. But maybe we can figure out a way for them to have parts of different Districts to be responsible for tending, while also ruling their Burrough.

Give me a list of who you'd like to see put there and we can get a meeting. Maybe the Triangle, you, and some of the First Circle to take care of it. Sound like a plan?"
After all, then there'd be some more reasonable voices than just Amerys's blind idealism.

...And then she shifted, she gathered herself, and was going at him like she knew it was going to be a sore subject. He rose an eyebrow at her in question, as he wasn't sure where this was coming from.

"What about them? The Gate's been better for Little Terreille than ever. Sure - Marchesa Talbot doesn't like us accepting so many immigrants into the Courts, but since when have you cared about what she thinks?"

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Re: Unstoppable Today
« Reply #15 on: Apr 11, 19, 09:26:03 PM »
193: the Gardens, the Territory Court (Tarn Nataniel).

Amerys relaxed, her fingers resting easily in Jonothan’s grasp, when he assured her that the Territory Court was working on cleaning up the more despicable sorts of human trafficking. She nodded quietly, thinking through his ideas about who to have in the Burroughs. She suspected knew exactly why Jon suggested folks other than Queens ruling, and it had nothing to do with the shortage of Queens. Just occasionally, it felt like he didn’t really understand her Caste.

But she knew better than to mention it.

“The Burroughs can still act as a place for Queens to learn their art, and they can gift the land where needed. In fact, the ability to have Queens we can send to places in trouble will be very powerful, politically and economically speaking. So I’d rather not assign them a specific Village, District or Province to aid. Let where and when they gift the land be ‘at the Territory Queen’s pleasure’.”

It would require more of her time, a closer supervision, to have non-Queen’s in the Burroughs, but they were desperately short of Queens. And surely, some sort of merit-based (as opposed to wealth based) system would produce more order, more safety, more health for Goth.

Without creating the police state Jonothan dreamed of.

“I’ll get the list for you,” She assured him, thinking a lot more of the nuts and bolts of making the notion work, than his rather unlikely thought that the Triangle and First Circle might offer a restraining influence upon Amerys. Her smile flared, and while not predatory, it was fierce, almost hungry. She meant to form lasting change, during her rule.

And he’d just given her the means to do so.

But she took a deep breath and turned her attention to the area where they most deeply disagreed.

“I suspect that I understand Lady Talbot’s point of view, on several levels.” There was a faintly amused air to the observation. “I have personal experience of just how it can complicate a Court to have people you didn’t choose serving. How much worse must it be, if those people were forced to take that contract, or to remain trapped in Gate City? Surely, we could at least compromise with you offering a given person say, three choices?”