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Trigger Happy Jack II

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6 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:35 pm

"It wouldn't be considered rude," I remark, shrugging as I take a drink of my whiskey and pull the book back into my lap as I pull it open distractedly. "I think you just realize, like I have already, that your husband didn't mistakenly double-book it. I haven't known Richard long, but I've deduced he's not the sort to accidentally put someone in the wrong room. No, no, no," I sigh, twirling the whiskey as I glaze over the page to find where I'd been. 

"He's done this on purpose. I haven't done anything, to my knowledge, to warrant being toyed with, so that leaves you." I shrug. "I'm here to bother you in some way, so the sooner you get comfortable being bothered, the sooner the situation can resolve itself." I finish, conceding that I won't be reading any further before setting the book on the ottoman where my feet had rested as I move to stand up, heading towards the stocked bar I'd requested to top off my drink.

"Whiskey?"

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7 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:53 pm

"I'm not allowed..." I say hesitantly before nodding as I come over to grab down a glass for her to pour me some as well. Rules be damned. He's fucking someone else right this very moment - I'm having a drink. I'll pay for it later, I'm sure. Especially if this guest is reporting back to him. But with any luck, I'll have imbibed enough alcohol by then that I'll be numb to the pain I've earned.

"What do I call you?" I ask after I've swallowed down my first shot, the alcohol burning pleasantly at my split lip as I tap the rim for another two fingers. "I assume you're here on business? Your clothes don't have the Estate's smell clinging to them yet, so you can't have been here long."

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8 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:10 pm

"Well, most of my family calls me Ellie." I say with a shrug, refilling our glasses before replacing the stopper in the decanter and heading back to the chair I'd claimed as my own. 

"Yes. I'm here for business reasons. Setting up trade routes and protection orders for said traders. And my shirt has been in my bag for two days. I'm sure it smells like the rest of my clothes."

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9 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:34 pm

"Your shirt..?" I hesitate at the emphasis she's placed on it before my heart skips. "Oh! I'm sorry, I didn't realize - I can give you some privacy."

I don't know what's more flustering, realizing she's half naked or the fact that my words keep stumbling over my swollen lip. The way she remains in her seat, however, only smirking in amusement, tells me she's not particularly bothered by her lack of pants, and I find myself simply standing here lamely.

"I, uhm-," I clear my throat uncomfortably. "You're not actually going to bother putting on pants, are you?"

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10 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:37 pm

"I didn't need them for the first part of this encounter," I shrug, taking a sip of my whiskey before setting it aside, my hands resting in my lap as I watch him in amusement. "Will I require them for the rest of it?"

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11 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:49 pm

I press my lips together, unsure how to answer that question. I still don't know what kind of test this is, but I feel the need to put it out there.

"If that was a proposition, then I do have to remind you that I'm married," I say, my voice wavering a bit. "So pants may be required... if that wasn't a proposition, though, I really don't care. I need to take my shirt off, so by all means!"

I wave a hand dismissively as I go to pull open the various drawers in the room. I'm a little surprised to find that my bandaging supplies are still in the same spot I had left them. It's uncomfortable trying to sit down on the edge of the couch, my jaw clenching as I try to find the most comfortable position. It's even more uncomfortable trying to figure out Ellie's role in the Game, her eyes never venturing far from me as she sits on the other side of the room. I almost wonder if I'm meant to hide my injuries, and by proxy, Richard's nature from her. If that were the case, he made a foolish decision putting us in the same room together.

Gritting my teeth, I decide to simply ignore the Game entirely. If I guess wrong, I'll be punished, and if I guess right, I'll still be punished by putting myself through the anxiety of trying to figure out what the play is. So I surrender to it and begin unbuttoning my shirt. At least one discomfort can be amended - I can bandage my ribs, maybe put some salve here and there, and hopefully get some sleep. Whatever happens tomorrow happens.

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12 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:00 pm

"No proposition," I respond after a moment, watching him curiously. I do what I can to keep any sort of judgement out of my tone, instead distracting myself with my whiskey before continuing. "Though, to be quite fair, I don't know if I'd take the state of your marriage as the best reason to decline. It doesn't seem to be a very happy one.

"Your husband," I continue, setting my whiskey down as I rise to walk towards him as his hands shake with the bandages, "he's got a bit of a cruel streak."

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13 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:11 pm

I don't know why, but I feel frantic trying to manage the bandages as she gets closer - as though getting them on quicker will spare me some kind of pain. The feeling is so intense, I can't help but flinch as she lifts her hands to help, an unreasonable fear of being struck tightening around my chest. The breath of relief when nothing comes of it is almost as embarrassing as the flinching...

"That is precisely why I must decline," I say quietly, though I know that if Richard is listening, it won't be at the door where he can't hear me whispering. It'll be through the woman I'm speaking to. Sighing, I relinquish the bandages to her, my nerves still frayed as I catch myself flinching every time her arm lifts up anywhere I perceive as near my face.

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14 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:21 pm

"It's also precisely why I'm not silly enough to proposition." I say lightly, taking care to bandage his torso - dropping the bandages only long enough to apply the salve he'd gotten out. 

"Having only known him for a short period, I must ask - What is it you did?" I continue quietly, my own voice lowering slightly to match his. "His reputation precedes him, so I've reached a dead end on guessing. So far, my front runners are: You ate with the wrong fork at dinner several months ago, and you've been tucked away in the basement ever since, but given your build, I'd say that's inaccurate. Perhaps he isn't that disturbed... The other guess is you've gone on business, and he's reason to believe you're unfaithful. 

"Which might explain why you seem to think I may have propositioned you simply by being dressed for relaxation in the quarters I was assigned to."

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15 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:29 pm

"I wasn't away on business," I frown. "I was just away - not far enough, clearly - but I've been away for six years. I had hoped he'd found some reason while I was gone, that he'd let me go and realize that I don't want to be here. But I was wrong. He'd tease me about being wiley with the women while I was gone, thought it was funny when I'd flirt - I can't flirt with women, I've a husband. But he didn't find it so funny and impossible when it wasn't just harmless flirting anymore."

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16 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:31 pm

"Ah, so you were unfaithful," I nod, coming to stand before him as I tuck the last of the bandage in and take a step back. "In a sense."

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17 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:38 pm

"He's gonna kill us," I can't stop the words from coming out, fear and guilt welling behind my eyes as I wonder what's happened to Ljuba since I left. "It's my fault, I should have known better." It takes every bit of effort I can muster to squash the emotion threatening to overwhelm me as I rub at my bruised face roughly. Clearing my throat, I tilt my head toward Ellie, trying to gauge her discomfort as I frown.

"I'm sorry, this isn't your problem," I say weakly. "You're here to do business with him, not hear domestic complaints."

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18 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:43 pm

"I'm also not here to drink whiskey, yet I seem to be doing that, as well." I retort, returning to my seat as I continue nursing my drink. 

"Have you considered killing him first?" I ask absently, pulling my book into my lap as I flip through it boredly. "Or are you one of those who's too desperately in love with your abusers to attempt to fight back?"

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19 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:55 pm

My mouth remains clamped shut at the question. Game or no Game, it would be beyond foolish of me to reveal my intentions - however vague they are - to anyone this close to Richard's court. Instead, I avert my gaze, pulling in a jagged breath before I speak.

"I know he loves me," I say dully. "In his way... and he's all I've ever known. I don't know what I would do without him."

Neither of those things are true, though I am sure that he loves me in some perverse way. But I don't need her knowing that I have known different, and that I do know what I would do without him. Rejoice. Rejoice with Ljuba... somewhere far from here, where the creak of a door doesn't set my heart racing with fear or anticipation of who or what is to come.

"What will be, will be," I sigh, gathering up my supplies so I can put them back in their drawer. "Until then, whiskey."

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20 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:57 pm

"Que sera, sera." I nod quietly, raising my glass towards him before finishing its contents. 

"So what was her name?"

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21 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:04 pm

"Ljuba," I say the name quietly, with an almost guilty reverence. "We were friends first. We met after I left all those years ago, after she'd been through her own private hell. Who knew shitty fortunes could forge friendships, eh?"

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22 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:05 pm

"Well, you know what they say-" I say, my arm resting on the arm of the chair as my fingers swing the empty whiskey glass aimlessly, my gaze following it.

"Birds of a feather."

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23 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:18 pm

It's an odd feeling, the way my heart skips when I notice the impatient way she shakes her glass. It's not even a conscious decision when I get up to refill it, but the discomfort I feel once I have is very much part of my consciousness. I find myself sitting down on one of the ottomans, a seat lower than hers, as I refill my own glass and keep my gaze turned from hers as I contemplate the response, my glass dangling precariously from the hand rested over a crossed knee.

She's studying me. Why, I don't know, but I'm sure that it's clear that I'm both subservient and grossly out of practice. My hand shakes as I bring my glass to my lips - I really hope she doesn't tell Richard how rude I was. In his company, I don't have to defer to anyone but him - if anything, I hold a higher place than anyone else in the room with him. But in his absence, I'm to see to the guests' comfort - and if that means scrambling to refill a glass...

"Are you hungry?" I ask, my throat sticking a bit as I lick the split on my lip. "I can have some food brought in, if you like."

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24 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:24 pm

"I have someone bringing me food later," I say dismissively, sinking further into my chair so I slump lazily against the back. Head cocked, I watch him curiously, my glass resting on my hip.

"Are you hungry?"

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25 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:26 pm

I nod faintly, my gaze dropping to my glass as I run my fingers through some of the alcohol that has spilled over the rim.

"I haven't eaten since Arrowpoint," I admit. That was two days ago.

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26 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:28 pm

"Then call me up a plate," I say, shrugging, "Something indulgent. I'd like a feast."

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27 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:33 pm

I can feel my brow furrow at that. I'm unsure what her intent might be. She could do as Richard has done many times before, covering the table in succulent meats and ripe fruits to stuff himself silly, my stomach growling in envy the whole time. Or perhaps she means to be kinder - I don't know.

"Alright," I say anyway as I get to my feet to go to the phone. "What would you like? We usually have good stuffed hen with blackberry sauce this time of year, if you like that sort of thing."

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28 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:35 pm

"You know the kitchens better than I do - Order whatever you think is best." I say, pulling the book back into my lap before reaching back for my glasses.

"Meat, fruit, vegetables. You know - the spread."

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29 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:47 pm

"As you wish," I frown a bit before picking up the phone. It takes me a moment to remember the number to the kitchens, the old rotary dial ringing into place with each number. I recognize the voice of the servant on the other end instantly, and I can't help but smile at her friendly voice. She's surprised and disappointed to hear my voice, but she says nothing as I give her the order before promising to send it up right away.

"It should be down in just a few minutes," I say as I hang the phone up and return to my seat.

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30 Re: Trigger Happy Jack II on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:50 pm

I hum my understanding as I read through the pages of the book, sipping at my whiskey. Only occasionally so I glance up to see Marnin - never straying from his seat, taking tentative drinks as though waiting to be beckoned for another errand.

"Do you have any records?" I ask, never looking up from my book. "I was told I could have run of the room, but I couldn't find them."

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