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Thread: Deal With the Devil [9/7, morning, Veronica/Carson]

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    House Peregrine Veronica Peregrine's Avatar  
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    Deal With the Devil [9/7, morning, Veronica/Carson]

    Most of the travelers that had so rudely infiltrated Welch Run -- people whom Veronica had known for a long time, names that went back as far as her own -- had departed nigh on two days ago; getting into their carriages and mounting their horses, sending off their disgusting well-wishes to the new leading family; but some stragglers remained, apparently too absorbed in the party atmosphere to get the hint and shove off.

    While in another life the Peregrine woman might have enjoyed the prolonged excitement, each lingering body that was not of her own blood infuriated Veronica all the more. She had expected this little gathering of the De Angelis family to fail, and miserably at that. While none of their neighboring lords had come to the call when her father and family were slaughtered, she had least expected those who attended this sham of a celebration to question what had become of the remaining Peregrine girls. She had prepared her story, artfully so, and only half of it was actual lies -- and yet, nothing. These disgusting sops were just as turncoat as the De Angelis' had turned out to be; and none of them so much as inquired after herself and her cousins.

    Not even the King. Not even the bloody King.

    So when Veronica came across another unfamiliar back that morning, walking rather confidently down the veranda of the easternmost wing, yet another intruding presence -- Veronica's usual ire heightened, her pretty face taking on a pinched expression; the taste on her tongue souring. Just another prat lord, licking after Dastan's boots --

    But as he walked, the man gave a slight turn of his face; and Veronica's heart jumped, an unexpected jolt. Unthinking, one hand rose to high-collared dress she wore that day; the garment a trifle too heavy for the still-warm fall, but a necessary addition to her wardrobe.

    It had been dark in her bedroom when they had first met; but the way he carried himself was unmistakable.

    She considered stopping, and leaving. But then...

    "How very strange..." Veronica murmured, upon falling in to step just behind the man; her hands clasped at her waist, a line creasing along her delicate brow. Her tone was controlled, but she felt the heat rise around her throat; anger? Disgust? Interest? The Peregrine woman did not deign to walk beside him, but kept her pace just so -- a step behind and to the side, her words soft, needling like phantom buzzing into his ear. She kept her dark eyes focused on the side of his face; his features much sharper now, in the light of day.

    "I did not think you would exist in the daylight. I was told spectres could not walk among the living without burning right up..."

    -----
    @Carson Kendrick
    Last edited by Veronica Peregrine; 06-17-2014 at 10:52 PM.
    "I cheated myself, like I knew I would; I told you I was trouble -- you know that I'm no good."

  2. #2
    House Kendrick Carson Kendrick's Avatar  

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    For the most part, the bustle in Welch Run had disappeared, and Carson was likely not far behind it. There was business in Tarreston, and a meeting with Greenwood that required his attention. But he had lingered a day or two, still seeking that which had eluded him. No doubt, his host was put out, but Kendrick had been polite about the inconvenience. A few more servants to speak to, and a few more stones to overturn, and he would be on his way.

    It wasn't the footsteps, or the scent of her that tipped him off. It was the noticeable chill in the air as she approached that made the false knight smile. Instinctively, his scratched hand flexed beneath his glove, and he kept his pace as she fell into stride behind him. When she spoke, the man had to go out of his way not to chuckle at her words. Instead, he shrugged the shoulder nearest her and turned the corner. "Spectres come and go as they please," he told Veronica softly, his tone cool. "Darkness or daylight, matters not."

    Reaching the doorway to his chambers, Carson produced a key and unlocked the door. He still had not turned to look at her, and as he stepped into the room, he called back to her over his shoulder. "Close that behind you, please." There was an easel and a large, detailed sketch of Riverwatch upon it. Approaching it, Kendrick drew his dagger and crossed out a room on the far side of the castle, similar to other markings on the parchment. With a soft sigh, he looked at the remaining options skeptically. "Is there something I can do for you Lady Peregrine?"

    Pointing to a tray with a wine bottle and glasses on the far table, Carson sighed. "Wine, if you will," he told her, though it wasn't clear if he was offering it, or asking for it. As he frowned at the map, Kendrick tapped his dagger thoughtfully against his lips, a habit that he had never been able to shake. "Where are you," he asked, though who or what he was speaking to, was a mystery.
    Last edited by Carson Kendrick; 06-18-2014 at 06:55 PM.

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    House Peregrine Veronica Peregrine's Avatar  
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    If her presence wasn't welcome, or even unexpected, this man made no signal; there was barely a break in his step as he continued down the corridor with purposeful strides, Veronica moving rather swiftly to keep up. They had rounded the corner and she followed him wordlessly inside, swallowing the cold ball of anxiety that rose up in her throat at the narrowing quarters; and, obediently, and certainly out of her nature, closed the door behind her at his behest. Without looking at her, he strode across the chamber, his focus fixed on anything but Veronica, it seemed -- and in particular, a map propped up on an easel at the far side of the room.

    Veronica, for her part, did what he asked; allowing herself just a moment's hesitation before she moved to pour him a cup of wine, calculating her next words.

    Is there something I can do for you Lady Peregrine?

    The Peregrine woman moved slowly, with measured gestures; and then Veronica moved to stand beside the man, her dark eyes flicking from his contemplative face towards the map spread out on his table; one hand gently offering a chalice towards him, half-filled with the aromatic wine, the other possessing one she had generously poured for herself. She made a soft humming noise in her throat, as if toying with her response.

    "I'm surprised to see you still here. But that is... fortuitous. As I think you and I -- started off with a sour step. And I would be remiss, as a Lady and a hostess, if I didn't suggest we -- revisit that," Veronica said lightly, a hint of a purr in her words; looking away from the map and towards his face once more; a coy smile tugging at the curve of her mouth.

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

  4. #4
    House Kendrick Carson Kendrick's Avatar  

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    Carson accepted the wine with the hand not holding his dagger and nodded a short thanks. Her surprise at finding him was amusing. Perhaps she thought that after their last encounter, he would be quick in departing her home, for fear that she might set De Angelis or his guards upon him. But Carson didn't trouble himself with the girl. No matter how much Lord Dastan must surely dislike him, there was no doubt that he was less likely to take Veronica Peregrine at her word. Whether or not the fact that Kendrick had not departed was fortuitous for her, remained to be seen.

    His head swiveled to his shoulder as she approached, and he chuckled lightly. "I see," he said smugly. "As a Lady and a hostess, you would feel remiss?" That was entirely unlikely in his eyes. Considering that he had nearly choked her to death in her own bed, Carson was sure that most hostesses in her position would not be remiss in allowing him to depart. Kendrick dreamed it all the more likely that she was luring him into a trap, having already signaled the guard, or worse, that she was now acting in desperation. Whether she had calculated her odds at still turning his proposition into coin, or she thought that he could be used to help her eliminate her new lord, he wasn't sure.

    Settling on his next adventure, Carson tucked the blade back into his belt. If what he was looking for wasn't there, he would likely have to leave without finding it. Another day in Riverwatch, and Dastan would be on to him. As he turned to finally face the woman, he smiled. "Let's say that I am amiable to your suggestion of revisiting our poor first impressions. What exactly are you proposing, in order to dispel the opinions we have already formed?"


    @Veronica Peregrine

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    House Peregrine Veronica Peregrine's Avatar  
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    I see. As a Lady and a hostess, you would feel remiss?

    He had taken the wine from her without word, and Veronica kept her ground, just to the side of him; the soft laugh that crossed his lips making her feel somewhat sickly, nonetheless. The Peregrine woman lifted the chalice to her lips and took a generous drink of the contents within, trying to dispel that same queasy feeling; for such unsettledness would not do. After finally completing his lasting look at this map -- the contents of which wasn't hard to recognize, although that too made Veronica very briefly quaver in her mission -- he moved to tuck his blade back within his belt. She tried to take that as a comforting sign; and set her shoulders straight once more.

    She was Veronica Peregrine. She had survived worse than this man; and had come away from their first interaction relatively unscathed. This, she would find a way to do a second time; and with a better result.

    He smiled; and she mirrored it with snake-like confidence.

    Let's say that I am amiable to your suggestion of revisiting our poor first impressions. What exactly are you proposing, in order to dispel the opinions we have already formed?

    "Merely that you and I are obviously in a position to be mutually beneficial compatriots -- and that although our methods are obviously... dissimilar in nature, perhaps we merely... started with a misunderstanding." Veronica reached out then and placed her palm on the man's chest, her fingertips grazing lightly against his tunic. She smiled demurely at him from over the lip of her chalice. "I require a touch more honey, and you seem to prefer vinegar." The Peregrine woman looked bemused then, and gave an exaggerated shrug of her shoulders. "That's perfectly fine. We are still getting to know one another." She paused, lifting the chalice to her lips once more; and then relinquished her hand from Carson's chest, and placed the goblet on the nearby table.

    "Perhaps we can revisit your terms now, within light of this further understanding. I think we would both be remiss to overlook this opportunity..." She regarded her goblet as she placed in on the polished wood, before her eyes casually slid back to Carson's face. "As it seems that what you what, and what I want, are likely not mutually exclusive, no?"

    She paused, the coy smile playing on her mouth. "Shall I continue, or at this juncture, see myself out instead?"

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

  6. #6
    House Kendrick Carson Kendrick's Avatar  

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    A misunderstanding was one way of putting it, he supposed. Carson was not above allowing for some poetic license, but he wasn't exactly sure what Veronica was driving at. "I am more than capable of plying with honey just as easily as vinegar, Veronica. If it gains me what I want in the end." It was true that he was happier beating his desire out of his associates. Bribery took time and effort and usually money. And as the woman laid her hand upon his chest, he silently wondered if she really believed that his interest lied between her legs.

    Looking down at her slender fingers as they rested over his shirt, Kendrick smiled. "More to the point, Lady Peregrine," he said dryly, "I want what I want, when I want it, and on the terms that I want it. And while I am willing to reward those who are eager to placate me, I am often soured by those who seek to play their position stronger than it is." He paused, making it clear that the episode the other evening was viewed as just such an affront. "I am solely interested in my benefit, and any mutual gain you manage to see in serving me, is only due to my generosity and desire to keep my agents performing in a manner that I deem to be of value. Which I believe you are capable of, if you can be brought to understand just who is in charge of this detente."

    Turning back to the map when she pulled away, Carson chuckled heartily. "Silly girl," he said with some mirth. "What we want is exactly the same thing," he told her as he tapped another room on the map with his index finger. "We want the gold that rightfully belongs to your family. The question is, if Dastan De Angelis doesn't have it, then where could it be?"

    @Veronica Peregrine

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    House Peregrine Veronica Peregrine's Avatar  
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    Veronica watched Carson with bright, alert eyes, a playful smile tugging lightly at her mouth as he spoke; reiterating the same demands he had a few nights before, but certainly with less -- physical, vigor. The Peregrine woman, for her own response, stood resilient, letting his dictations wave over her, a rock in the shore. When he took a moment to pause, Veronica gave a slightly wave of her right hand; a priest, gesticulating absolution. "Then it's done, good Sir. Be in charge. I hardly want the task... I saw where it got my father, leading the people. I just want your money, and maybe a touch more -- understanding of my own gains," she said lightly, laughing softly, as though he had merely misheard her all this time; the Peregrine woman taking pause as well to tug lightly at the high-collar of her dress, the faint edge of a fading bruise peaking out the top.

    Carson turned away from her again, moving back towards the map, and he tapped one of the faint square outlines again. Veronica, for her part, sidled up to him with a disguised ease; lifting one hand to press casually against his shoulder-blade, her own body leaning forward in feigned interest to the map of her castle, squinting slightly at the shapes and notations.

    Her castle -- she briefly reminded herself.

    Her words were husky, and tinged with annoyance. "Don't you think I've been considering the same thing?"

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

  8. #8
    House Kendrick Carson Kendrick's Avatar  

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    Carson had no doubt that Veronica knew, as he did, that the funds must reside somewhere. Being a lord of a major city on Tuneric was really all it took to be financially sound, and just because the crown and the people of Welch Run didn’t know where it had gone, did not mean that it no longer existed. Quite to the point, Lord Peregrine was no doubt withholding the funds for her own personal use, whether that be for bribes or luxuries or dowries, Kendrick couldn’t say. Nor did he care. His own math and informants made it clear that what should have been in the coffers of Riverwatch, was plainly somewhere else.

    But locating the wealth was not what he had in mind for Veronica. Moreover, if the woman located it, she would hardly need Carson’s handouts, and that would make her quite the liability. Kendrick did not like liabilities. “I have no idea what kind of daft thoughts wander through that mind of yours, Veronica. Undoubtedly your skull is inhabited with visions of flowers and dresses and tea parties, for which I have no use at all.” The knight would prefer that the woman forgot her father’s fortune altogether. For if she didn’t, and stumbled upon it, there was no doubt that it would simply become that which Kendrick had been maneuvering to prevent. Dastan DeAngelis’.

    “Why are you here, Lady Peregrine?” It was a fair question after all. Even if Carson did already know the answer. She could not be so spoiled that she was afraid to strike out in the real world, if it meant staying here and being treated like the common rabble. If she were common rabble now, why not have it be on her own terms? Why not take her sisters and flee Welch Run? Even as the daughters of a fallen lord, there was no reason why should could not be employed as a lady in waiting to better than Silvia or Secily.


    @Veronica Peregrine

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