Archives => Kaeleer Archives => IC Archives => Ile de Paon Archives => Topic started by: Eulalie Reneux on November 08, 2018, 08:41:56 AM

Title: Family Favors
Post by: Eulalie Reneux on November 08, 2018, 08:41:56 AM

Eulalie had made up her mind. The decision eased by Vrai’s unwavering agreement to go with her. Now all she needed to do was wrangle the finally piece into place and finish laying her plans. It was like weaving a web, but Isidore was more stubborn than any spider silk Eulalie had ever encountered. Not that she did much weaving beyond the illusions that kept her people in the dark about her true nature.

She sent for him, using one of the youths destined for the cut to fetch him. This time she would meet him in her office rather than her armory. No encounter ever went well there, not since the honey incident. Eulalie could still feel his eyes all over her body sometimes when she was alone in the room. Or see him lash marked, sweating and begging on the floor when she was meant to be paying attention to other things. And hear all his cold accusations.

”Come.” She answered to the trembling of her door, flinching away from her broken quill. She swept the pieces into the dustbin and wiped her hands clean on each other. The neck of her dress was high, fabric cuffed just below the curve of her throat, but it had no sleeves, and its skirts were loose and cooling. It would only grow hotter. The air strangling damp. ”Cousin.” Vanishing her papers, Eulalie leaned back into her seat, cheek tipped on his direction for greeting. Eyes watching his approach, trying to read his mood.

He was the worst of all of them. Eulalie was so sure of him, the memory of a queen’s broken neck as evidence of his dedication. But she did not trust him. He knew too many of her secrets, and he loved reminding her of them. Of his power over her. And so she was not sure of him at all. Closest of all her other family. He was blood. The trust should have been inherent and without flaw. But he was Isidore.

”Sit with me. I have a request of you.” She gestured to the chair across from her. A table between them to keep her safe.

Title: Re: Family Favors
Post by: Isidore Nazaire on November 08, 2018, 11:38:04 PM
A short break from Paon had been just the thing for Isidore’s temper. Nearly a week on the mainland without the thumb of responsibility bearing down on his spine. He had been wine-ing, wooing and winning over Charisin that time. But he had also been working. Plotting the path of a raid in Scelt. Which had also gone beautifully. The fishing village had put up a fight so there had been proper swordplay, blood spilled and everything. Twenty useless survivors left behind and half that many hauled back to be sold on the auction block. Either there in Paon or off in Raej.

As if she had been waiting for his return Eulie sent a scamp down to the warehouse. It wasn’t the only message, either. Eulalie’s uncharacteristically genial summons came shortly after a much more interesting letter from Corlay. Tucking the cheap parchment into his cabinet he made his way leisurely to the temple. Leather account book under one arm he played with the freshly made memory crystal in his pocket. A quick vision of the young women and children he had brought back. He never offered Eulalie the male slaves. Laborers were too useful, and sold too easily. But he always gave her first choice of the rest.

In the corridor outside of her office he flashed a toothy smirk at a mirror. It was a subdued sort of elegant piece that hung over an antique table decorated with flowers from someone’s garden. An ornate Dhemlanese vase collecting the buds for display. Straightening his collar so it stood up properly Isidore rounded the corner and knocked on her door. He thought he was there about the raid. To give a report, and for Eulie to make sure she was getting her share.

Which was ridiculous. He never shorted the temple. She always acted as if he would though. Always acted as if he were just waiting to take over. Isidore had no ambitions for ruling though. Not as anything more than a favorite advisor to his Lady. Eulalie’s guilty conscience affected her perception of… well everything when it came to Isidore.

”Eulalie.” He greeted in kind. Flashing the same smug grin he had practiced on the mirror at her face. The week of opium laced fucking had been good for his ego. Topping it off with the victorious raid had planted him firmly in an upbeat mood. Now he had a dark little surprise to whip out too. It was tempting to toss the letter in her face just to watch it rile her up. Position himself to sweep in and be the hero. But he wanted to know what she wanted first.

Laughing he cast a look over his shoulder at the chair offered. ”Of course you do. You never call unless you want something.” A sliver of bitterness wreathed in his heart but Isidore managed to keep it from his tone. There was no need to repeat the same tired accusations. Eulie knew he wanted more from their relationship. Eventually the seed would blossom to fruition.

Turning on his heel he poured himself into her chair, chin resting on a raised fist and ledger laid in his lap. ”Go on then. What is it this time?”
Title: Re: Family Favors
Post by: Eulalie Reneux on November 11, 2018, 08:40:45 AM

Eulalie did not trust his smile, but then she never had, not since his offering. Mother Night still had not answered her question. The fervent whisper she repeated over and over. Why? Mayhap she was faithless and that was why she received no answer. Eulalie was a believer through and through except in this. In this she doubted and questioned and worried. All because of Isidore and his Darkness damned Ebon-grey.

”And you never come unless you want the same.” Eulalie bared her teeth in a pleasant, if feral, smile instead of laughing. If he did not want concessions for his business or bad behavior, he wanted to barrage her with demands of a more personal nature. Leaning forward, she folded her arms over the top of her desk, watching as Isidore sat. Lounging in her office as if their position were reversed.

She supposed in the wider world he might out rank her. But the wider world was wrong. So very, very wrong.

”There are things I need to know. Knowledge saved from the mainland.” Saved on the mainland. Eulalie studied him, expression passive so that he could not guess the passion in her heart. The drive and desire to see and do this thing. She did not want him to use it as a weapon against herself the way his desires were turned against him.

Which reminded her to speak with him about such things.

”I wish you to take Vrai and myself to the Keep. I have need of its libraries.” If his father had succeeded in winning Isidore’s place she could have simply demanded it. But he might not have possessed the power to see them there and back safely or quickly. Much less both. And Eulalie could not do it herself, Wind craft was anathema for a woman to know. Even her.

Title: Re: Family Favors
Post by: Isidore Nazaire on November 11, 2018, 01:22:44 PM

”That,” Isidore said pointedly, shoulders rising then falling slack again, ’is because I’m not particularly welcome.” Especially not of late. A broken apprentice was sad business, surely. But Eulie had seemed more upset at Vrai’s involvement. Which had puzzled Isidore. He would have expected such a reaction from a man. A eunuch shouldn’t have been so affected.

A puzzle he had the last piece to now. Eyes playful with the dark warmth of the upper hand he cozied into the chair. Watching her watching him and wondering if it was professional or personal. Not the request, he didn’t care about that yet. The watching. He wanted very much for her to be looking and not just observing.

She didn’t keep him waiting long before starting on this mysterious request. Doling out hints like breadcrumbs leading to a trap. Throwing an ankle on the opposite knee he settled back in the chair. Listening but not looking at her. One eyebrow craned up as he studied the bookcase over he shoulder. Not reading the titles. Mind working to piece together what she was hinting at. ”I thought Paon policy was that if it wasn’t here it wasn’t need to know? You have one of the oldest libraries in the world Eulalie.”

He could only think of a few older, but only one with more intact religious texts. They had spoken of a raid on the Keep before. Was she finally going to kick the stool and hope it was his neck the noose tightened around? It was a good time, tactically speaking. Fresh after the loss of the last scouting party, but with the Dhemlanese out of the tower it had grown sleepy and dormant again.

Isidore was careful to keep his expression still. Mildly curious but not overtly invested. It would be a lot of back and forth. Trying to figure out what books she would want. What knowledge she was after. He thought it could earn him a lot of bargaining room.

But she blindsided him with an addendum. One that made him laugh out loud. ”Take you? Off the island? There would be riots in the streets.” The men would want his fucking head! Rule breaking was risky but a lot of fun. And he if got her to break that huge cultural rule, what others could he tempt her towards? The Keep was a big place. They would be alone, mostly. There were tons of books to distract Vrai with. Which reminded him, he had a bit of blindsiding of his own to do. ”Eunuchs and women are forbidden to go to the mainland, Mother Priestess. You’re well aware.. I guess I could take Vrai though, since he isn’t really either...”
Title: Re: Family Favors
Post by: Eulalie Reneux on November 11, 2018, 09:19:53 PM

She hated the way he didn’t pay attention. Not fully. Eyes looking past her instead of at her. It was infuriating. Eulalie tried to neither notice nor care, to stifle her reactions to him completely. ”I know what I have, Isidore.” Mouthing policy at her. Eulalie’s eyes narrowed at him. He was constantly testing the boundaries and breaking the rules. He had even brought drugs onto her islands!

Insufferable asshole. But Eulalie could not goad him now. Or chide him. Once she began scolding him she would not stop, and he would have no interest in hearing her. Too hurt or angry and hearing his faults to listen to her needs and give in to them. So Eulalie stuck her tongue between her teeth and asked for what she wanted, instead of correcting his ideas about policy.

And of course he laughed. Eulalie frowned at him.

”There will be no such thing.” They would never know. Not if Eulalie had her way. Already she had plans working themselves through her mind on how to arrange it. And back up plans for her plans, should they go awry. He might have laughed, but he also hadn’t said no. Eulalie latched on to that hope. ”They won’t even know I’m gone.” Eulalie had ideas about that as well. She leaned forward, as if she would lay them all out right at that moment.

”What is that supposed to mean?” Sitting up, Eulalie’s frown deepened, creasing the smooth skin between her brows. ”Vrai is my First, of course he is a Eunuch, and yes I am well aware of the edicts of Paon.” Was this because of his attack on Georgette? Other eunuchs partook of sexual relations, Eulalie knew. Not all or even many, but some. Their lack of passion making them favored choices when it came to virgin nights.

”For this, I think they should be broken. Now explain yourself about Vrai.” Her nail nearly pierced a stack of papers on her desk.

Title: Re: Family Favors
Post by: Isidore Nazaire on November 11, 2018, 10:20:43 PM

”Well you’ll have to let me in how you intend to keep it from them.” Isidore answered. He inspected a bruised fingernail on his secondary hand then flicked his gaze up to her face. ”I love you dearly, too dearly to let you risk your position by unsettling our people.” No woman had left the islands. Not any that would be let back anyway. Only those who failed to appease the Darkness and earn Jewels of worth had the mainland as an option.

In all his travels Isidore had never met a single one. He was convinced they all drowned or starved before reaching friendly shores.

Of course it wasn’t just her neck he was worried about. If he had to leave Paon in a hurry Isidore would be leaving behind millions of investments. And possibly a wife or two depending on circumstance. He didn’t want to give up his holding and childhood home for one of Eulalie’s whims. Or worse, for giving in to a trick. She would just love a reason to set a noose around his neck. Convincing him to commit what most would see as treason was a perfect set up. All she’d have to do was put on that endearing Mother Priestess pout then claim she was testing his soul or some hogwash of the sort.

”Your First and Left… yes. A eunuch, probably not.” She knew. She had to know. He was almost positive. Reacting with such forced calm. They were lovers. A lot of people suspected it, a lot of priestesses and eunuchs were attached at more than just the hip. Anyone that knew Vrai personally might have doubted, he held himself stiffer than an iron board. But now Isidore was in on that secret too. And it explained so damned much.

Sucking his tongue behind his teeth he studied his cousin. Not cousin. Soul wife. ”What do you hope to find there? Why can’t I go and bring back what you need?” He would do it of course. And she’d be thankful for two seconds then cold as the caps of Glacian mountains once again. ”Explain about Vrai. Please, Eulie, you don’t have to pretend. I don’t care if he was cut or not. No one’s ever going to know. He puts on such a solid show.”

Maybe he took brews or something. Isidore was too eager to know just what had Eulie in such a sudden thirst for knowledge. The set of her shoulders was a warning though. Until she knew what he was on about there’d be no more talking. ”Alright. Alright. The girl is pregnant. The healer I sent to check on the mother is sure of it.” He leaned over his own knees. Watching her closely now to see how the information sank in. Would she be jealous? Surprised? Angry? Maybe he’d get to watch her whip Vrai this time. That might be almost as much fun as feeling the sting himself.
Title: Re: Family Favors
Post by: Eulalie Reneux on November 12, 2018, 06:10:19 AM

”That sounds much more like you love my position.” And why shouldn’t he? It had garnered him countless favors. Not to mention near limitless opportunity. There was no way to know that he would have risen to raider captain or enjoyed the same freedoms he did beneath Eulalie. ”Do you have so little faith in my ability to deal with my people?” She did not see how they were his.

Isidore was often gone. And many feared him, as they should. The people of Paon were hers. Isidore was hers.

Eulalie scoffed.

”Do not be ridiculous, of course Vrai is a eunuch.” Vrai had practically been born a eunuch. Eulalie’s lips pursed, brows furrowing. The accusation was a new one. She knew there were whispers about them, a source of ironic amusement to Eulalie now that she knew the lengths her mentor had gone to to see Eulalie and Vrai never walked that path. That he was no eunuch at all, she had not heard before, and was so unfathomable she dismissed it with ease.

”I am not wholly sure yet; which is why I must go myself instead of merely sending you.” Because she wanted to go and do this thing herself. To take her and Vrai away from Paon and the recent horror lingering between them. Isidore, however, turned back. Such belief in his pleading! Eulalie leaned back in her seat and rolled her eyes at his dramatics. Worse was that he expected her to trust him with yet more weapons against her!

”Isidore, there is nothing to explain!” She fanned papers with her thumb. ”Of course he was cut. He was chosen in childhood for his role.” His grandmother would not have allowed such an important facet of his training be neglected. Or would she? Eulalie glanced away, thinking of Vrai’s bloody knuckles and her own forced solitude. All that separation. Had she been less inclined to see her own bloodline clipped?

No. Eulalie could not believe it. Even when Isidore told her that the girl, and there could be only one. Georgette, damn the girl. Skin growing ashen as the color left her face, Eulalie stared at the row of drawers down the side of her desk. Belief did not stir. Pregnant? ”That’s impossible.” Confusion drawing her eyebrows close. Her heart beat heaving in her stomach. It was completely impossible.

”There must have been another. Either before or after.” She would not believe it. Not of her Vrai. Eulalie set her shoulders and her jaw, stiffening her resolve against the very idea. ”Vrai took the cut. He couldn’t have sired any child on her.” Eyelids flickering, Eulalie could see him crying into her skirts. ”Besides, he did not finish.” She reassured herself. Someone else had gotten a child on Georgette. Anyone else.

Title: Re: Family Favors
Post by: Isidore Nazaire on November 17, 2018, 12:36:33 PM

Eyes narrowing Isidore resisted the urge to shake his head. And to shake his cousin with clawing probes. The brat. ”Perhaps to ears that are always most eager to find something wrong with me.” Same old trap. He sighed. One of these days he would outlast her defensiveness. Maybe she would never trust him. He was a warlord prince after all, and she was a great big liar. But someday she would realize their relationship needed closer, not father. ”I love you in your position, true enough. But do you really think I wouldn’t be happier with someone else in it? Someone that could trust and love me back? Someone that saw my loyalty instead of looking passed it for ways to take me down a notch?”

His Ebon-gray was independent of Eulie’s role in Paon. He would have been richer with someone else ruling. More dotted and petted on. The Darkness saw fit to put Eulie there, though, with the stipulation of Isidore matching her power. Keeping her balanced. Sacrificing both of their raw happiness to ego.

”Deal with them, she says, as if they were pests or obstacles. Is that answer in and of itself?” Paon had a healthy dose of fear for their Lady. They were a people oppressed by laws that often hurt them to their cores. Distancing themselves from beloved children. Sending them away if they were ‘lesser’. A thousand other cruelties and fears injected into their daily lives. Their faith in the righteousness of their leaders was critical. Giving them a glimmer of doubt could topple the pyramid. ”If they find out, there won’t be any going back. One rule broken will cast doubts on every law in place.”

But he did want her to break it. He might even have wanted to watch her drown in a mass rebellion. Just so he could pluck her from the center when the time was right. War didn’t frighten Isidore.

Rubbing his bottom lip with a thumb Isidore shrugged his shoulders at her quick denial of Vrai’s manhood. ”If you insist.” It was frustrating. Not having the same access to her thoughts that he did with others. Even Vrai would be difficult to gleam the truth from. If they wanted to lie then he would have to wait. There was a very set timeline for the truth to literally come out.

”Not wholly sure?” Isidore huffed, eyes rolling. ”So you don’t know how long finding what might not even be there will take? That’s rich.” She wasn’t talking about a mission at all! She was planning a fucking vacation into a place steeped in conflict just so she could have a poke around. Breaking laws she governed over in the process. ”How about you make an actual plan then get back to me.”

He still couldn’t outright say no. Not when the actual excursion could prove so much fun. When it would give him another foothold into her life. Another slip of blackmail if that was how things went.

Right now they were going sideways though. Eulie turned pensive but continued her facade of quick denials. ”Being chosen as a child doesn’t mean he filled every expectation of the role. I asked around. You know the healer that supposedly did his castration was executed. Literally the same day.” Suspicious and convenient. If she was supposed to do the cutting but was put to death first… who would be able to deny what was or was not done?

Isidore had given Vrai a squeeze when they fought in the courtyard. There was definitely something going on down there. Instead of letting her wave the fact away Isidore fed her more. ”Well the impossible is happening then. She’s pregnant, and she’s not been touched on my watch.”

Not in his care. He would know. None of those he had tasked with her care and wellbeing could hide their thoughts from his prying. Which mean that Eulie’s staunch defensiveness could only open up one conclusion. ”The only explanation then, is that your apprentice was raped twice in your temple.”

It seemed his dear lady didn’t quite grasp the fine details of conception. Somehow that surprised Isidore more than the fact that Vrai had shattered anyones jewels. ”I’ll leave educating you on the workings of sperm to a healer. If it isn’t his then you need to investigate and figure out who it is for. People will talk if I start footing the bills for a baby.” They were already talking about his sudden uptick in donations to the temple’s coffers.

”I need a week to see these slaves sold before I can take you anywhere. Which reminds me.” He flashed her the memory crystal before tossing it over. ”Let me know if any stir your fancy and I’ll send them over.”
Title: Re: Family Favors
Post by: Eulalie Reneux on November 18, 2018, 09:29:45 PM

”Spare me.” Eulalie had no sympathy for Isidore’s wounded ego. He was oversensitive. A dangerous thing to be when he was also subversive. Her eyes narrowed at his words, which sounded too much like threats. To her person and her rule, both so entwined that to sever one would sever both. Rubbing the scowl from her face, Eulalie leaned back in her seat and looked away from him.

She could sense the urge to defend herself rising like hackles on a dog. Especially when he spoke such cutting words. Eulalie scoffed softly, chin tucking toward her chin as she shifted in her chair, shoulder angled toward her cousin as if he might glimpse how he cut her heart out if she continued facing him. ”That was not how I meant it, as you well know.” But did he? Pressing two finger tips to her temple, Eulalie tried to push away the headache developing there.

Taking a steadying breath, filling her stomach up with it, Eulalie opened a drawer and pulled out a piece of parchment. She spread it out across the desk as if she would take notes. Empty gestures to help her regain her balance. She did not wish him to see how disturbed she was by his words. Hurt by his lack of faith in herself. Horrified by his accusations against Vrai.

”I apologize for not having a list of tombs to take from a library I have never seen a catalogue of.” It made her worry. It made her doubt. She knew how to fool the temple into assuming her presence. Much the same way she had fooled all of Paon into seeing her Black. It wouldn’t last long, but surely long enough for her to find what she earned for. Perhaps it was best she leave such things under the stars and content herself with her roll and her place. It just seemed to important that she go.

”That does not mean Vrai was not cut.” Eulalie did not remember that time well. Not the parts that revolved around Vrai’s cut. ”It doesn’t mean anything.” She just wanted it all to go away. To wash away everything that had happened. A baby would complicate matters. But the baby couldn’t be Vrai’s. Eulalie closed her eyes against her headache. It helped no more than rubbing her temple had.

”How? Or when?” But such questions only made Vrai seem guilty. She did not like it being called rape either. Steeling herself, Eulalie set her jaw and shook her head. ”If you’re so worried about it, have the fetus aborted. She doesn’t have the wits to raise a child anyway.” Or to complain about a bit of unwanted medical care. Really! What would or could Georgette do with a child? Nothing. Eulalie had seen her once or twice since the girl had been pieced back together.

She had doubts Georgette would ever be useful again. And more and more she regretted not sliding her slack face into the water.

Catching the memory crystal, Eulalie laid it on the empty parchment. ”I will look later, but I don’t think the temple needs anymore servants at this time.” Nor was she currently interested in fattening Isidore’s larder. She should not have expected anything good to come from calling her cousin to the temple. He neither agreed nor refused to take her to the Keep, but had certainly latched on to the opperunity to derride her and bring her ill tidings.

”Best you get on with selling your cargo. I’m sure there will be another raid scheduled soon.” Eulalie stood. Her patience worn to nothing already. She needed solitude. Quiet so she could compose herself and put away all the feelings that weakened her.

Title: Re: Family Favors
Post by: Isidore Nazaire on November 20, 2018, 08:17:20 PM

Isidore was determined not to know it. The curve of a single eyebrow all the challenge he had to spare for the comment. Eulalie had a dangerous amount of say so in his life. What work he did, what profits he was allowed to keep from that work, even his beloved Ome had been Eulie’s choice. There was no way he would allow her to dictate his thoughts, or presume to know what they might be.

Unless it involved her naked body. Or with a whip in her hand. Or naked with a whip in her hand. The thoughts would be dirty and impossible to hide then. Just as she struggled to hide her thinning patience now. An untidy posture hinting that she had heard more than she wanted. Without hearing the agreement she had been hoping for.

”My cabinet can hold entire sections of those archives. A general subject to collect would be information enough.” He almost tacked on a pert little ‘as you well know’. She might get fed up too quickly if he pushed too much sass at once though. So he bit his tongue. Fingers crossed as he tapped them on the arm of the chair. Waiting impatiently to see if she would offer what he really wanted to know- what did she want to know.

Other than the truth about her Left Hand. Or did she? Isidore was rather caught by the ferocity of her defense. It was more than denial. More than her just not knowing. She needed it to be the truth. ”It means something. The cutting is a vital part our culture, they wouldn’t just execute a healer who had been doing the procedure for years.”

Not unless they were covering something up. ”I imagine he wouldn’t have told you though, would he? You’d have been children.” Isidore had no idea when Vrai had taken, or supposedly taken, the cut. It was before his time. But it was in the air now and he couldn’t help hoping a wedge in their bond might make room for himself.

”How should I know, Eulie? I can certainly investigate covertly if you wish. Unless you don’t actually want to know.” There was a shard of accusation in his tone. Not bitter or vicious but questioning. If Eulie really didn’t know then this would all be a nasty shock. ”If I have the baby murdered will you tell Vrai it existed at all? We’ll have to kill them lot of them. The boy and the mother know. They could put up a fight, or worse- talk.” Would it be a scandal? Even if they tried to hide the murders as some sad accident people would wonder. So soon after the first tragedy… three deaths would be suspicious.

”I’ll see the child raised. The mother has a few years left in her at least. A maid to help should be no great stretch.” There was no denying between the three that an extra mind for child rearing would be necessary. The villagers wouldn’t even notice.

Fingers bobbing dismissively Isidore shrugged, ”At your leisure, Eulie. They’ll sell well if you’re not interested.” Their meeting was coming to an end. A change in the energy of the room dismissing him far less subtly than his dear cousin’s demeanor. He sat up straighter. Scooting to the edge of his seat, ”Listen, Eulie, we’ll figure things out. Maybe at the Keep when its just the three of us. No one can prove who the baby is for, no one but the father will know and even then not until its born.”

He stood in that swaggering way that seemed inherit to his solid legs. Joining her at the desk again to sweep in for a kiss to her cheek. ”Five days from today I’ll meet you in the armory at sunset. Pack warm, its in the mountains. I’ll have to bring Vrai first so you’re not there alone and unguarded. It’s probably an hour travel between.” The brat. One of these days he’d stop doing her dirty little favors then where would she be?

Sitting on her "eunuch's" face probably. Damn them all.
Title: Re: Family Favors
Post by: Eulalie Reneux on November 21, 2018, 08:44:57 AM

Eulalie’s lips thinned, altering the generous bow of her mouth into an annoyed slash. ”I’m familiar with the depth of your cabinet,” she reminded him. His cheek had not unnoticed, nor had she missed it in his absence. Nostrils flaring, Eulalie looked away. The words seemed to heavy. As if they had more meaning when they should not. Anger had never made her tongue deft, and Isidore frustrated her like no other.

”Do not speak to me as if I do not know these things, Isidore! I am Paon’s culture.” She had been suckling on the tit of indoctrination before her mother had ever put her to the breast. Not a moment to lose with all that potential at risk. Eulalie had been raised to embody all that was holy. And she believed all of it. Every lie and half truth. Every musing. Eulalie had faith in what they stood for and the things they did. ”There are plenty of reasons for execution. It very well may have had nothing to do with the other.”

The look she cast him was sullen and petulant. As if he accused Vrai of misconduct, or herself. Something darker than the cut or the attack or the child. Striking unwittingly at what upset Eulalie the most. ”Vrai tells me everything.” They had no secrets. But Eulalie did, why might Vrai not? Except that he was better than she. He was the true purity of Paon. She shook her head. No. She did not wish to know, or have Isidore investigate anything within her temple.

”You send a healer, do you not? Babies die before birth all the time.” She had given blessings to such souls and comforted their mothers. ”Then there is no need for talking or fighting.” And if Isidore couldn’t stomach it, Eulalie could. His question deftly avoided by simply not answering. As if it had not been spoken at all. Vrai could never know. Should never know, no matter who the father proved to be.

And it could not be him.

And Isidore did not have the stomach for it. A sneer swept across her lips and away, face turning so he would not see. Paon’s Prince. He was soft. ”We shall see.” The Keep he promised. Eulalie did not trust him, but perhaps it would be a good distraction, to take Isidore’s mind away too. In case the baby did not survive.

Both of them standing now, Eulalie wove her hands behind her back and tilted her cheek up to him. Body bowed to accept his kiss. Eulalie let her cheek brush against his, lips passing his jaw. Good. He would do it, and he had asked nothing in return. ”Five days.” She reminded him. Five days was long enough for her to weave her illusions. Eulalie gave him a faint smile. Treacherous cousin. Why couldn’t he have just agreed to begin with, and left all his suspicions and questions somewhere else?

”Was that why you went to Corlay? To visit Georgette?” She pried, tone docile and just a little wheedling now that he had given in. ”I hear they have a weepy little queen there. Have you been tormenting her Isidore?” Eulalie did not like it, and knew he had seen her at least once, of course. Eulalaie paid attention to all places her cousin went. ”Is she more biddable than your wives?” She asked sweetly, eyes sharp and teeth too much exposed.

Title: Re: Family Favors
Post by: Isidore Nazaire on November 25, 2018, 04:45:54 PM

”Torment her to what end, Eulie dear? They’re much more submissive when you woo them.” He leaned against her desk. Thigh biting around the wood as he held his weight on one leg. Staring at the set of her mouth to see if her smile flinched. ”Her life is torture enough under Citrine anyway.” And by Citrine he meant Eulalie. There didn’t need to be accusation in either of their tones for the insinuations to be easily picked out by the other. Queen afflictions weren’t afflictions according to their people, which Isidore thought was callous. Rather than say so, he had warned his cousin that the more they were mistreated the more likely the people would sympathize with them. It was the nature of the Blood to follow Queens.

Meanwhile Eulalie enjoyed reminding Isidore that being afflicted for them was not just frowned upon, but absolutely forbidden. Never mind it was an integral part of being Blood, especially for a warlord prince. Their caste so highly prized for their ferocity. To avoid a lengthy fight he glazed over the moment with an answer he knew she didn’t actually care about. ”No. I just stopped in for a pet and to see if she tasted any good. Your nosy fucking priestess was the real reason I was there. That eunuch of hers, the one with the off island queen mother? He was poking around my house.”

His sentences was so pointed there was no questioning that there would be repercussions yet to come. ”From what I gather they were curious about my last trip off the island. Or more specifically, what I brought back. You remember who that was don’t you?” Returning her toothy smile he raised his eyebrows and tipped his face down at Eulalie. ”My people said nothing but if they had it could have ruined both my weddings. I went to tell her my business is none of her business, sadly she was quite conveniently unable to attend our meeting.” Her apprentice’s excuses had been reasonable, of course. Important funeral writs were… important. Time had run out for that visit. He would have his day with the bitch soon enough.

”As for my wives… Well,” His tooth grin grew to the point of profanity. ”They are both quite eager to be the favorite.” Shifting closer he whispered into Eulie’s hair, thumb tracing a strand away from his damp lips. ”You’re still my favorite though you terrible wretch.” He did so hate loving her.