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The Unexpected

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51 Re: The Unexpected on Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:20 am

"Is Elwinel here?" I ask, Solas cutting me a severe look as he returns with an armful of his daughter's linens and a warm nightgown for Raefiya to change into.

"No," Solas responds curtly as he offers the night clothes to Yvla before turning his attention to preparing more comfortable places for them to sleep. "I apologize for setting you up in the den like this. Normally, I have a spare room available, but it's not set up for guests right now.

"Just as well, it sounds as though I'll be watching over you tonight?" he asks, the question pointed more toward the women than toward me. I can't help but be confused by his anger under the circumstances.

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52 Re: The Unexpected on Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:47 pm

“I-“ I start, shrugging slightly as Evan stirs in my lap. I offer Emhyr an I sure look before frowning. I hate even teasing the subject with Rae at my side, instead shifting her head from my lap before I rise. Nell watches me in irritation as I nod for the men to head toward what appears to be a kitchen, Nell just behind me.

“I don’t want Raefiya to hear, but Emhyr brought me some unfortunate news earlier,” I explain softly once we’ve cleared the edge of the room. “I really am sorry for showing up here so late.”

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53 Re: The Unexpected on Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:50 pm

"It's no trouble," Solas responds kindly even as his eyes dart toward me suspiciously. "What news does he bring that would concern you?"

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54 Re: The Unexpected on Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:40 am

“According to him,” Nell interjects, clearly still not convinced, “my brother wants to put a bounty on her head.”

I wince a bit at her tone as I cut her a look, frowning as I turn back to Solas. “He’s the children’s father, and he wants them.”

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55 Re: The Unexpected on Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:47 pm

"And where, pray tell," Solas starts as he cuts me a withering look. "Did he discover this information?"

"From the children's father," I respond bluntly, my glare trying to warn him that now is not the time to discuss the matter.

"Did he try to hire you?" he asks sharply, shaking his head and growing more badgering as my scowl deepens. "Did you find it posted on a bulletin? How do you know their father wants to put a bounty on her to get the kids, Emhyr, huh? How do you even know what the man even looks like??"

"Is that really rele-"

"You fucking spied on them!" Solas snaps, his voice not raising but a little bit as he glances toward the den and then steps closer to jam his finger into my shoulder. "I told you to leave it be!"

"I don't take orders from you!" I hiss back at him, flushing an angry red as I smack his hand away from me and push him back a few inches. "I have never, nor will I ever, just leave it be because you said so! We've been down that road, and people died because I took your word that they wouldn't be a problem!"

"And I dealt with it!" Solas's voice grows a little louder before I cut him off.

"Because I forced your hand!" I shout with no reservation for the children in the other room. "Left up to you, we would have left the druids to sort the matter out themselves and more people would have died! So yes!" I practically snarl as I glance toward the den and drop my voice, my tone still low and angry as I return his pointed gesture into his shoulder. "I fucking spied on them, and in becoming satisfied with my own evidence that they're not a threat rather than taking the word of a shady sympathizer with a history of fucking up, I found another threat! So now we're helping your witchy girlfriend and her cranky friend, and we're at your stupid, fancy house and you're going to smile and play house with them and the wee ones while I deal with the threat you would have missed by just leaving it be!"

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56 Re: The Unexpected on Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:29 pm

Nell brushes past me roughly as she heads back to the living room at the sound of Raefiya stirring, leaving me to linger uncomfortably just outside of the hunters’ exchange. Something about Emhyr’s remarks sit heavily in my chest, a tickle of hurt spreading from the way he speaks as though we’re lesser humans than he and Solas.

“I don’t fault him for watching us,” I say softly, holding my composure as I look between them. “I mean, I get it- We’re one breath from being criminals in your eyes, it’s just how you were taught. I don’t care, honestly. 

“I know what happens to people whose names pop up on those bounty boards,” I continue, looking to Emhyr. “You explained to me like I had no clue, but I’ve witnessed it. I’ve seen my neighbors arrested and taken in, and their families starve and scatter when they never come back. I know people who have disappeared and no one knows if they’ve been caught or actually gotten away. I’ve seen what happens to the children that get left behind when their mother or father’s name comes up on one of your lists.

“I would do anything in my power to prevent that fate befalling Raefiya or Evander,” My voice shows no more signs of anxiety or hurt as I look between them seriously. “You’ve both asked that I trust you, be it at different times, and I do, but whatever this is-“ I gesture between them in exasperation, “It isn’t giving me much faith!”

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57 Re: The Unexpected on Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:36 am

"Don't let our bickering weaken your heart," Solas responds with a heavy frown, his tone carrying a note of genuine remorse and concern as he looks at her seriously. "As much as we argue and as detached and other as Emhyr's view of the gifted is, there are few others I would entrust my life to when it came down to it. He sneers at what he calls my sympathies, but don't let him fool you. You are not the first family he has helped where his superiors would have him do otherwise.

"I would accept no less from a man I spend most of my time with," Solas adds as he gives me a measured look. "Whatever is going on, Emhyr will get to the bottom of it, and however he deals with it will be the just and honorable way. Even if he does bitch about it, and I make his life hell every step of the way."

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58 Re: The Unexpected on Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:51 am

I nod weakly as I look between them, glancing back to see Nell sitting on the couch with Raefiya, talking to her softly as they both grin and giggle. 

“And if it’s too late?” I ask after a moment, looking back to them both seriously, “If my bounty is already made? What then?”

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59 Re: The Unexpected on Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:59 am

"Most bounty hunters will abandon a bounty that has no guarantee of reward," I respond. "If he has placed one, I will do what I can to convince him to rescind it. If he refuses, then a few words in the right ears will have every hunter from here to Novigrad believing Wolter is not a man who honors his contracts. No one will do business with him, and most will believe the bounty already executed without reward."

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60 Re: The Unexpected on Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:05 am

“So... That’s where we are.” I sigh, my arms crossed uncomfortably as I look at Emhyr. “Thank you.”

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61 Re: The Unexpected on Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:38 am

"I should get going," I respond to her thanks with a frown, the situation making my more than a little uncomfortable. Solas, meanwhile, remains silent as he stares right through me. I can only guess at the judgments passing through his brain as I put my gloves back on and avoid their gaze.

"Don't wait up for me," I finally say as I turn to leave them, unwilling to linger any longer to consider what it is I'm actually doing for these witches. There will be time for internal crisis later. For now, I need to have a chat with Wolter.

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62 Re: The Unexpected on Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:33 am

There’s a tension left in the air once Emhyr leaves, the crackle of fire and the soft exchange between Nell and my daughter the only sounds as I look back to Solas tiredly. 

“You don’t need to worry about us,” I say after a moment, “Tonight, I mean. The kids will sleep, and we’ll stick to that room... We won’t be in your way.”

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63 Re: The Unexpected on Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:40 am


"I'm not concerned about that," I frown as I turn my attention back to her, Emhyr's departure doing little to ease my mind. "We'll get you and Nell set up with something to eat, and we'll find something to keep your mind busy until Emhyr returns."

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64 Re: The Unexpected on Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:42 am

“Something to eat would be good,” I nod softly, offering him a vague smile as we head further into the kitchen.

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65 Re: The Unexpected on Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:14 am

"I am sorry about Emhyr," I sigh back to her as I go to the icebox to pull out the eggs Elwinel had gathered this morning from the chicken coop. "I had noticed he seemed to be avoiding me this past month. Now I know why."

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66 Re: The Unexpected on Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:23 pm

“No,” I shrug half heartedly, following him tiredly as I look around the room with a vague curiosity. “I don’t care, honestly. I’m lucky he did it.”

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67 Re: The Unexpected on Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:31 pm

"So it seems," I concede with a sigh as I begin digging out the ingredients for a cornbread. "I trust he hasn't given you any other trouble, though?"

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68 Re: The Unexpected on Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:37 pm

“Before tonight, I had no idea he was even still around.” I admit.

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69 Re: The Unexpected on Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:57 pm

"That's disconcerting," I frown as I glance back at her. "Are you alright?" I ask gently. "Between him and Wolter, it sounds as though you've had a rough night."

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70 Re: The Unexpected on Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:02 pm

I hesitate before nodding, swallowing thickly.

“I didn’t want to believe Wolter had this in him,” I say softly, glancing towards the living room to see Rae and Nell talking quietly. “It’s hard to believe the man he is now is even my husband... It feels like he’s been traded for this stranger.”

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71 Re: The Unexpected on Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:07 pm

"The desiccation process is a heinous one, for certain," I agree as I watch her with a sympathetic frown. "I wish I could tell you that the man you knew is still in there somewhere, but I have honestly never seen someone come back from this. And I've searched, far and wide, for some way to reverse the process. I don't truly believe there is one."

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72 Re: The Unexpected on Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:47 pm

“He hasn’t been himself since it happened,” I start, taking a seat at the island as I watch him move through his kitchen, “and every time he comes through, it’s that much more obvious the Wolter I knew is gone.” I say thickly, rubbing at my eyes as though to keep myself awake.

“I don’t know what to think of this yet,” I admit quietly, “I just can’t shake this feeling that I’ll never see him again.”

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73 Re: The Unexpected on Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:53 pm

I only offer her a soft frown in response as I begin working together my ingredients on the island across from her. I knew how this would play out before Emhyr ever left, but I don't have the heart to confirm her fears.

Instead, I step over to the icebox to retrieve an iced over bottle from the ice compartment. Grabbing down a couple of short glasses, I place one in front of her and then pour us both a drink.

"Infused with Witchberry," I explain as I hold up my glass toward her and then down it in one go.

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74 Re: The Unexpected on Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:34 pm

“Mmm,” I nod a soft thanks as I take the glass, swirling it lazily as I ponder if it’s worth it.

“You know he’s Nell’s brother?” I start, staring at the amber liquid as I sigh, “Older by six years. I grew up just a few miles from them.” I sigh, downing the infused liquor with a quick swallow and setting the glass back in front of him.

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75 Re: The Unexpected on Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:38 pm

"How has she taken this?" I ask as I glance toward the den where Nell and the young girl have camped out in the middle of the thick sheepskin rug. Their hushed voices leave me with the impression that they're telling one another stories to pass the time.

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