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These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends

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26 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:40 am

"What did you do?" I ask with a stark frown. After what she's said, I want to drop it. I want to just leave it alone, I do. But I know I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I didn't find out a little more. Especially realizing that everything she's told me makes her exactly the kind of person Richard looks for: a proverbial deadman. I have to know what potential she could have. "You had to have some purpose in your guild. What was it?"

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27 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:44 am

I blink back the tears as I turn to face him, "I fixed witnesses." I say simply, "Made them forget, or made them remember something new. Didn't matter."

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28 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:48 am

"You-," I can feel all the hope I'd been holding onto deflate out of me, my heart sinking into the pit of my stomach as I rest my face in my hand. I know firsthand how hard it is to come forward as a witness, how hard it is to convince one to share their story... the thought of her thwarting all of that courage, perverting any justice they could have brought to the world...

"Get out," I say softly.

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29 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:49 am

I stiffen as the words hit me, like a slap to the face. 

"What?" I ask, knowing I'd heard wrong.

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30 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:53 am

"Leave," I say more firmly, my jaw clicking as I turn a teary eyed glare on her. "I need time to think," I say more evenly, though the hollowness in my chest still rings with a fury that threatens to blow up if she tries to argue. "And I don't want you here while I do because I might say something I regret."

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31 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:01 am

Inhaling sharply, I only nod as I rise from the couch, keeping the blanket tucked around my torso as I step awkwardly away from the sofa. 

"I'll just-" I start, looking around at a loss as I nod, "I'll get my things and go."

I don't hesitate as I head for the stairs, rubbing at my eyes as I focus on keeping my composure. It's tense as I get dressed hurriedly, shoving my belongings into the basket Lavellan had brought me the night before before coming back downstairs. I come through the foyer, this time, to avoid seeing Marnin as I get my moppy from the kitchen and linger for a moment near the sink. He hasn't moved from his spot on the couch, still sitting tensely with his sightless gaze boring a hole into the floor.

I want to explain myself, but I can't risk it. Not exposing my connection with his brother, with Lavellan. No, I need to leave while I'm ahead. So I do. Without a word, I leave.

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32 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:19 am

*Lavellan*

I'm still bone-achingly exhausted when I return to the comfort of my own home. It's just early enough that people are starting to trickle in to the shop below, a handful of whispers following me as I stop in and help myself to the stock of prime spell components that have been set aside behind the counter for me. It's always risky coming in through the front door like this, but any worries I might have had are erased when I go to the door at the back of the shop - a white, peeling, glass paneled door that feeds directly into a stairwell.

It's unremarkable except for the jagged, menacing symbols carved into the door jam and the bundle of herbs and voodoo-like sticks tied to the doorknob. Dangling from the center of a relatively normal looking dreamcatcher amidst that clutter is a single, tiny lavender geode; a dream drop. They're a rare commodity here in Skycrest, but I'm one of the few people in the city who would know what they are or have the connections and resources to obtain one. And it's really the only one I need.

The moment I pass through the door to go upstairs, the dream drop does it's job, a tiny little piece of it chipping away as it lets out a burst of its magic, and the shop's patrons forget having ever seen me. The only other time the dream drop gets any use is when someone tries to come up the stairs uninvited - another little piece of the geode dissolving away as their hand touches the doorknob, and they forget why they had come, instead remembering something more urgent to deter them from proceeding.

With that handy little bit of magic, the more deadly protections beyond the entryway seem rather redundant, and have gone neglected as a result. Even the discoloration worked into the door at the top of the stairs has worn away with the passing of time, the poison it had once housed having long since gone inert with disuse. Unless you count what's worn off from my own touch, that is.

Inside the rather sizable loft, however, is hardly without it's hazards. One would hope that if an intruder had managed to make it this far, they would know what sort of dangers lurk in every nook and cranny of my home - whether it's hiding in the wealth of herbs hanging from the ceiling in various stages of drying, or the thousands of little baubles and potions, books and brooms, wands and blades, cauldrons and burners... hell, even the furniture isn't always what it seems, and more than one of my 'guests' have taken their seat in one particular harmless looking chair - now buried under blankets and books - only to find their every innermost thought lain bare for my pleasure.

Still, even I occasionally bump into the wrong thing inside my own familiar walls - hence the chair being covered. It's for this reason that my bathroom is so far removed from the main part of the house - an entire, relatively empty bedroom between it and the deadly presence of my craft. The small room isn't without it's charm, though. Shelves line the walls from top to bottom, each covered in jars of essential oils and herbs (all harmless), and more plants and baubles hang from the rafters and populate every corner than you could shake a stick at. And then there are the windows, opening up in the ceiling and the outer wall, all offering a one-way view outside and into the vibrant bit of nature Skycrest has to offer - and just beyond that, the edge of the earth, falling off into nothing and opening up into (this morning) a brilliant pink and purple sky.

It's a relief to finally crawl into the tub, the water heavy with rich oils and salts that sink into my aching muscles, soothing away all the soreness of the past few days. I have no idea when I managed to drift off or how much time has passed when I wake again, the water still steamy and comfortable thanks the the magic of a few large heated river rocks. When I open my eyes, however, the sky is a pale blue and the room is awash in the light of a high sun.

First the couch. Now the tub.

Ugh, I'm never getting a proper sleep. Groaning, I sit up and carefully extricate myself from the warm of the water which pools on the floor before vanishing as I drip unchecked in the middle of the room. Something had woken me, but I'm still too groggy to know what... at least until I hear it again - a faint knocking coming from the front door.

Fucking Richard.

I practically growl as I snatch up a dingy robe from the hook, more for the chill in my backside than any modesty as I march through the bedroom and into the front room to answer the door. I'm already yelling at him for his intrusion, robe still flung wide open, when I jerk the door open to tell him to piss off. What I'm faced with, however, isn't Richard.

It's Ljuba.

"How in the fuck-?" I ask after I've stared at her for a long moment of shock, my head popping out the door to look past her just in case Richard - or someone else - is hiding somewhere on the steps. "The door is warded! How the fuck did you get up here?!"

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33 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:02 pm

"Please," I scoff, his partial nudity doing little to deter me as I duck under his arm and step in with my basket in hand. Once past him, I set the basket at my feet, scanning the cluttered room curiously before turning back to look at Lavellan.

"'Warded,'" I laugh, my fingers making quotations as I say the word, "Like a little dream drop is going to stop me." There's an anxiousness in my tone though as I watch him, as though trying to gauge whether he's actually bothered by my being here. Regardless, I continue.

"No, uhm- I need to talk to you. You see, you have the distinction of being the only other person in this city that I know, so we're gonna talk. Or, I'm going to talk. You're going to listen. You don't have to comfort me or offer advice or respond whatsoever, but you are going to listen."

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34 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:07 pm

"I could hex you instead," I threaten as my gaze roves over her suspiciously, weighing her carefully. Unfortunately, my curiosity gets the better of me and I sigh as I shut the door. "Come on then," I say shortly before glancing back at her to wave her away from the table in the center of the room. "Don't bump anything! I'm not reviving you if you hurt yourself."

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35 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:09 pm

"I honestly expected you to have a nicer place," I remark as I grab my basket and wander after him, the assault on my senses of smells from the various herbs only making my lingering headache worse. "Or, you know... A bigger one."

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36 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:12 pm

"Compared to that shoebox you call an apartment?" I scoff as I glance back at her with a cocked eyebrow. "I could fit that thing in my bathroom and still have room for another set of shelves for the plants."

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37 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:18 pm

"You don't have to rub it in," I retort, narrowing my eye at him as we step into the kitchen and I find an empty spot on the table to set my basket. 

"Mind if I use your kettle..?" I ask as I gesture towards it, a hand sitting in the basket as I wait for permission to grab my moppy.

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38 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:23 pm

"Mm," I respond with a nod as I pull one down and put it on the stove for her. With her working on her own tea, I set to work preparing my own, a drawer squeaking a bit as I pull a tea ball out to begin picking off pieces of the dried herbs here and there. Something soothing and numbing to help me endure the undoubted headache coming my way.

"You wanted me to listen?" I press as I grab down a pot to drop the tea ball in for my own tea, nodding vacantly at her to add some more water to her kettle. "I'm listening."

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39 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:25 pm

Lingering over the sink, I stare at the kettle as I fill it slowly, working up the courage to start. Start where.

"Marnin kicked me out." I say with a bit of unpleasant laughing.

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40 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:29 pm

"Oh, brother," I groan, already not liking where the conversation is heading. "I know I don't need to tell you that's bad. Just like I don't need to tell you that Richard will be incredibly displeased.

"So go on then," I sigh as I pull down a couple of mugs for us before leaning against the sink. "Why did he kick you out?"

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41 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:04 pm

"That's where it gets into the long story part," I frown, setting up the kettle on the stove before walking towards him to grab my mug to begin prepping the moppy tea. I don't relish telling it, but sitting on it alone for weeks on end... That's even less appealing. 

I go to sit at the table, carefully moving a few things out from in front of me as I start the mindless task of prepping my tea. 

"I used my magic on him." I say simply, "Unintentionally, but I did. We fell asleep on the couch, had a bit of Valerian tea to help with it. It's been so long since I'd slept beside someone, much less used as much magic as I have this week. I didn't even think it could happen, but it did. I piggybacked him onto a nightmare I was having."

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42 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:07 pm

"Oh god, you're one of those?" I blurt out before I can stop myself before waving a hand and pinching the bridge of my noise. "Sorry. Continue? You piggybacked him onto a nightmare? What was the nightmare about?"

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43 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:19 pm

"My family." I respond, absently sucking on the end of my finger where it'd dipped into the moppy concentrate. 

"It's the same dream I've had for awhile, minus a few changing bits. Sitting around, everyone's happy, but then Nik brings up the divorce, and in come what I can only assume are Chekhov's men. They grab Nikolai, then beat Bea to death..." I wince at the memory, even saying the words leaving a lump in my throat.

"It really disturbed him, because he saw it, but the parts he latched onto... He remembered my daughter's hair, and the violence, but he was asking questions and... I was too shaken to lie."

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44 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:26 pm

"So you didn't lie to him..?" I say hesitantly as I push off of the counter to look around the shelves distractedly, already feeling as though the subject is winding down and I can stop listening soon.

"So, what?" I ask as I pull down a set of small jars and a mortar and pestle set. "Was he mad about the magic then?" Tucking them to my chest, I grab one of the rods of dried herbs from over the sink before coming to sit in front of her. "I guess I don't understand. You didn't lie and you made a blind man see. What's the problem?"

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45 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:37 pm

"He asked me why Nik was divorcing me." I respond, glancing up at him as I set my mug aside to let my fingers anxious fiddle with themselves. 

"And Nik was divorcing me because he found out I worked for Kumarin's Guild, or so I'd assume. He never served me the papers, but they were dated shortly after a fight we had.

"I don't know what I was thinking, but I told Marnin that I worked for a guild, and that it was my job to fix witnesses."

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46 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:44 pm

"Oh, shit," I laugh, shaking my head at her horrible fortune as I start unraveling a bundle of herbs to break into the mortar. "You don't know much about Marnin, do you? Part of his whole spiel against Richard back in the day was what he did to innocent folks here in the city. Busted his ass gathering witnesses, searching for evidence, convincing them to testify... he's put a few of my men in the hospital for trying to get to the witnesses.

"You fucked up, doll," I say simply as I hold out a bowl of dried fruit toward her - a meager consolation prize.

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47 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:47 pm

I give him a tired look as I ignore the bowl of fruit, shaking my head. 

"And Nikolai was a prosecutor," I confess lamely, laughing at my own shit luck. "You'd think my taste in men would lead to a better hobby."

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48 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:53 pm

"Opposites attract, or so they say," I shrug as I put the bowl down and take a piece of mango out before returning to my work. "Not that I'd know, I seem to gravitate to other blatant sluts with no moral compass.

"So what are you going to do?" I ask as I use my fingers to break up the fragrant herb inside the mortar.

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49 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:02 pm

"Wait it out and hope for the best?" I shrug, "I don't know. He told me to leave so he wouldn't say something he regretted, so perhaps that's a good sign.

"However, I don't particularly want to sit around in my apartment and lose my mind, so." I look up at him, "Do you have any jobs for me?"

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50 Re: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends on Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:09 pm

"Yes," I say as I stick my fingers into the narrow necks of the jars beside me, using them to pick several up at once so I can place them over in front of her. "Fill these," I say as I get to my feet to go to the icebox. "And tell me what you prefer: sweet or savory?"

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