Family Favors

Description:

Eulalie Reneux

    Red to Ebon-gray
  • Black Widow Priestess
  • Played By: dergon

    Priestess Mother
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    74 Posts    415 marks
Family Favors
« 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.

Isidore Nazaire

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    Raider Captain
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    93 Posts    307 marks
Re: Family Favors
« Reply #1 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?”

Eulalie Reneux

    Red to Ebon-gray
  • Black Widow Priestess
  • Played By: dergon

    Priestess Mother
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    74 Posts    415 marks
Re: Family Favors
« Reply #2 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.

Isidore Nazaire

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    Raider Captain
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    93 Posts    307 marks
Re: Family Favors
« Reply #3 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...”

Eulalie Reneux

    Red to Ebon-gray
  • Black Widow Priestess
  • Played By: dergon

    Priestess Mother
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    74 Posts    415 marks
Re: Family Favors
« Reply #4 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.

Isidore Nazaire

    Sapphire to Ebon-gray
  • Warlord Prince
  • Played By: Jones

    Raider Captain
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    93 Posts    307 marks
Re: Family Favors
« Reply #5 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.

Eulalie Reneux

    Red to Ebon-gray
  • Black Widow Priestess
  • Played By: dergon

    Priestess Mother
    Ile de Paon Kaeleer
    74 Posts    415 marks
Re: Family Favors
« Reply #6 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.

 

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