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Thread: Since I've Already Been Gambling - 9/4 During the Dicing, Veronica's Room - Carson/Veronica [closed]

  1. #21
    House Kendrick Carson Kendrick's Avatar  

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    Allowing the doorknob in his hand to roll silently back to center, Kendrick looked down at the hand on his chest. She had run to plead with him, which wasn't a surprise given what he was contemplating. Her grip on his arm remained, but Carson paid it no mind. It was nothing compared to the raking of her nails on his flesh earlier. But if he was going to entertain this farce any further, he wouldn't be wise to do it where the guards outside could hear him. He had paid them for the entry, and any screams of protest from Veronica would have likely been ignored. His offered coin was likely not sufficient if he was caught conspiring against De Angelis. If the Peregrine did not release him, she would simply be dragged along.

    "You are cunning and wily, Veronica," he said, the expression on his face refusing to soften. "And those are valuable traits in a potential agent. But you are far too conceited to serve my purposes. While it is true that Aloise is young and naive and innocent, it would take me less time to teach her cunning and wile than it would take me to teach you humility. And she can be forced to do my will. You have made it clear that you have no fear of me." Though perhaps she had a rational fear of what he might do to others. It was less leverage than he would have over her younger cousin, but it might be enough. If he pressed her.

    At her insistence, Kendrick seemed to consider her offer. It was what he had come in search of, but he had not expected Veronica's sudden shift, and blatant defiance. Though in the end, it wasn't the brashness that perturbed him. It was the casual manner in which she conducted herself despite being at a disadvantage. If she were to overplay her hand with Dastan as she had overplayed it with him, the results could be disastrous. De Angelis was not as likely to go to the extremes that Carson would resort to, but that didn't mean that he couldn't offer Veronica something else in exchange for betraying Kendrick. Her freedom perhaps.

    Shaking his head, Carson frowned regrettably. "I can offer you no such assurances, my dear. Not with only your words as collateral."


    ***
    @Veronica Peregrine

  2. #22
    House Peregrine Veronica Peregrine's Avatar  
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    There was a concern he would not respond; but it took only a moment for the man to release his hold on the doorknob, stepping away from the portal and back towards the room; the movements quick, dragging Veronica along with him, who would not let go of his arm. She followed without question, keeping barely a few inches apart; insistent. She heard his response, and felt her throat close up.

    "Aloise is nothing," she hissed back, almost the tone of a jealous lover to an outside ear. "You can achieve nothing of your phantom plans with her. She is just a child, silly and insipid. I can help you. I alone can help you." Now, she wished she had pretended to fear him from the start; but her pride kept her from cowing to yet another man whose voice and bravado demanded of her trembling knees and quivering lips. Why was their universal anger, reflective of her own disinterest? It was just so hard for Veronica, who was a master chameleon, to pretend that of all things -- for after all had been stripped away, Veronica found there was very little that mattered to her. Very little worth pretending to be bent so low.

    Perhaps, save, her cousins -- now, after everything, but certainly not before. And her own skin. One more than the other...

    I can offer you no such assurances, my dear. Not with only your words as collateral.

    Even in the darkness, Veronica's face flushed in anger; and her hand on his chest bunched into a fist, grabbing the fabric of his doublet beneath her fingers, bearing into his chest with her frustration. "No. You know that is a lie. You are a wagering man. There must be something you want from me in exchange for leaving her be. You hardly mentioned her before this moment. You and I both know you'd be making a poor trade, herself for me." She spoke calmly but quick, her brow knit together, looking up at him.

    How to play this?

    "You want something as collateral? Tell me what you want, and I'll make it so." Veronica's voice was soft but confident, her gaze was insistent, hungry almost. It was a lie, in so many ways: there was very little Veronica could offer but her own natural shrewdness and her willingness to play along. But that had to be enough; even the promise of it. Those were the cards she had left to play, and she'd run this hand till it was dust. "Just say it, and it's done."

    -----
    @Carson Kendrick
    "I cheated myself, like I knew I would; I told you I was trouble -- you know that I'm no good."

  3. #23
    House Kendrick Carson Kendrick's Avatar  

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    Casting his glance down to where she was balling up the fabric of his clothing, Carson stood motionless. She didn't sound desperate in his ears. More, she sounded convinced. Perhaps she was willing to believe that he was the monster he claimed to be. And perhaps she was willing to concede that she wasn't nearly as haughty as she acted previously. "Perhaps," he said, reaching calmly for her wrist and pressing his thumb into the pressure point in the base of her palm, forcing her fingers to relent until they released him. His other hand came to smooth his doublet, even as he released her from his grip.

    The fact that she was willing to bargain with him now, in a manner that he considered far less offensive than her previous attempts at being coy, suited the false knight. He was wary that it was an act, but that didn't concern him. In the end, Carson only wanted her to act the way he had convinced her to. If she was a stuck up snob in front of others, he wouldn't be upset. Getting what he wanted from Veronica Peregrine was all that mattered. After all, he had come here willing to pay for her cooperation. Why should he turn away from his plans now?

    "I may have been quick to dismiss you. I have often given others the chance to redeem themselves, and no doubt you were acting out of a reasonable amount of fear." Given the way he had nearly strangled her, Veronica's little show of seduction could have been a gambit based on what she thought he wanted. "But you should know that I am not a wagering man," he said with conviction. "Gambling requires a man to sometimes bluff. Be aware, my sweet, that I will never hesitate to do exactly what I say I will do." And that should be the end of the talk about Aloise.

    Carson knew the woman had nothing left of value. And even if there were ferreted away family heirlooms, she would never admit to having them. The fact that she was destitute was the reason he had come to her. He was the one with the wealth. But a show of faith was necessary. "You can start by resuming what you started on the bed," he said, reaching out and tugging up on her gown, before letting it fall down. "Though this time, try a little humility. Shame can be such a turn on."

  4. #24
    House Peregrine Veronica Peregrine's Avatar  
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    There was no subtle shift in his demeanor she could detect, as he moved to pinch the delicate bones of her wrist; causing Veronica to wince as he removed her hand from his tunic, even if her gaze remained unflinching on his face. She needed to hear him say it; she didn't know what avenues were left for her. This had to work.

    I may have been quick to dismiss you. I have often given others the chance to redeem themselves, and no doubt you were acting out of a reasonable amount of fear. But you should know that I am not a wagering man. Gambling requires a man to sometimes bluff. Be aware, my sweet, that I will never hesitate to do exactly what I say I will do.

    Veronica's eyes narrowed; she had him. This was enough for now.

    "I believe you. And I think you believe me." She paused, lingering on those words. "We have an agreement, then." Veronica's words were crisp, but unchallenging. She chose to think that this man's word was his bond, even if no man in her life had ever kept to a single promise she could remember. But all of that mattered little. What mattered the most, was that he understood her terms.

    The rest was just trivial.

    You can start by resuming what you started on the bed. Though this time, try a little humility. Shame can be such a turn on.

    His hand grazed at the fabric of her nightgown at her thigh; pulling up the filmy material a few inches before dropping it back down. Veronica said nothing; her dark eyes still flinty and fixed on his face. The lines along her face smoothed out, and she paused; before taking a step backward, and then another, till the backs of her thighs brushed against the edge of her mattress. This night had certainly taken an unexpected turn, but Veronica was learning to adapt, quickly, and to increasingly severe situations. She tried to consider what she was making off with; and where she could go from here. She had him on this side of the door, and she'd keep him there until she'd made a deal that worked.

    Another nail in the De Angelis coffin. That was all that mattered.

    Without breaking his gaze, the Peregrine woman bunched the fabric at her hips with both hands; pulling the garment up and over her torso, above her head, her long, tangled auburn hair falling back in an unruly heap upon her shoulders. She let it fall down to the floor beside her, the fabric washing gently over one bare foot.

    "You're no fun," she whispered, one eyebrow arching on her forehead.

    -----
    @Carson Kendrick
    Last edited by Veronica Peregrine; 05-30-2014 at 11:37 PM.
    "I cheated myself, like I knew I would; I told you I was trouble -- you know that I'm no good."

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