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Grubbistch

In Sickness and In Health

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There's always a few places one can go to in order to relax and find some peace. One of those places happened to be Patia, a kingdom ruled by a devil, but they serve a damn good ale in the bars. Godric enjoyed it there, it was a nice place to lay low, to think on things in life, and to await his next assignment from his employers at Book Ends. Of course there was always plenty of things to get into when the drink wasn't enough to pass the time.

“Deep breath.” He inhaled, crossbow aimed at the target a hundred yards away. Practice made perfect, and his accuracy was pretty damn close by his own opinion. His index finger curled around the trigger, squeezing it for just a moment, releasing the bolt, then watching it fly to the target.

Plunk!

Three inches off of dead center. Respectable, but not what he was hoping for. Resting the weapon onto his shoulder, he gingerly walked over to the straw target, removing the bolt and inspecting it for any damage. Damned things were expensive, so he was careful not to break them, especially on such a lack luster shot.

Depositing the projectile into a quiver he kept at his right leg, Godric Uldwar began to walk back to his firing position in the shooting range. It was a cold, sunny day, so he dressed in a warm brown jacket with a dark blue scarf and tan pants capped off with strong leather boots. He was a strong man now, having proven himself as an adventurer, for retrieving books and stopping monsters when the mood struck. Though it had cost him plenty, he wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world, well, maybe for something, or someone, that is.

“Deep breath, and we get the shot right this time.” He said with a smile, loading the bolt and taking aim.

@LikelyMissFortune

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It was the plink that captured her attention, but, the thud was what alerted her to him.

Half a day had passed between the frustration of not finding the 'boy' at Book Ends, and the annoyance that had been her companions demand for a few hours rest. By the time they had reached Patia, the Sun had already begun its descent, casting long shadows in golden light. It settled on Evie heavily, and conversation had all but ceased except for occasional jabs at her wild haired guard. Now, however, she held the golden haired Lord in exile with a fervent, delicate hope that made her feel as wretched as any criminal, knowing they'd get away with their crime

It was by chance that they had chosen the same inn as he did. And fortune did smile on them as, the inn keep was not stingy with his answers to their prodding questions. Evienne had then promptly left Marik at the inn, and, against her better judgement, rode out into the town, alone.

 Her only possible regret, perhaps, was her decision to prioritize aesthetics over practicality. Despite the relentless, merciless Sun, it was a cold day- and, the airy, silk gown did nothing to shield her from it, though it was a vast improvement from whatever she'd have donned back home.

Still, she reasoned that it was but a fraction of whatever horror that Merida surely faced. Evie should bare the discomfiture gracefully, it had been her fault, she had to take responsibility for it. And, damn the gnawing anxiety that threatened to swallow her whole at the thought of speaking to an Uldwar.

Surely, she would be fine.

They'd come looking for her if she took longer than a couple hours, and, surely, nothing could be done to her worse than what was being done to Merida. Merida was alone, and, scared and only the uncanny pantheon knew what was being done to her while they rested and ate, or took their time enjoying the view. Her Gods were fickle, but surely her trust in their divine providence must've pleased them, she found Godric Uldwar before the light had truly turned golden. This was a blessing, this was redemption- if she played her cards just so.

Evienne took her time, observed the man from behind, admiring the posture- almost right. Archery was not her forte, but, she could tell when the man was just slightly off kilter, the same principle applied to her daggers. She had to take a deep breath, aim... 

"Excuse me, Sir!" it wouldn't hit the target anyway, so she spoke up, just as he was about take the shot.

"I am really so sorry, could you please help me? I a-- I'm looking for somebody." It was a calculated move, letting exhaustion catch up to her- she swayed when she dismounted her ride, just enough so that she lost her balance momentarily. Her foot caught empty air instead of the stirrup, and she all but crumpled to the ground from the shock. It was only her grip on the saddles that saved her from making a complete fool of herself. 

@Grubbistch @Ataraxy

Spoiler

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Bring ignorant of terrible things was a double edged sword. It was nice because it allowed one to not have to worry about the terrible thing, thus giving you a chance to lead a happier life. On the other hand being ignorant of terrible things could lead one vulnerable to the kind of people affected negatively by said thing. Godric was ignorant, thus vulnerable to the machinations working at this very instant in the form of a beautiful woman getting off her horse and calling for his attention just as he was making his last shot for the day.

“Woah there!” He said as he rushed to her aid. With a smile he helped her, getting her onto her feet without a problem. “You almost had a nasty fall there. Are you all right?”

Something about her almost felt familiar, he just couldn't put his finger on it, almost as if she were someone he knew back from home. “You said you were looking for someone? Maybe I can help, finding things is my specialty. Shouldn't be too hard to find a person as opposed to an object, though people do move around a bit more than things.” He chuckled, knowing a book or two that had been moving around more than ten people combined.

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Even Prescot would've been proud of the way Evienne hid her distaste, a shudder, followed by a lofty laugh that could easily have been taken for joviality. A good humored Lady, wearing her smiles with as much ease as the wind carried arrows. And just as fickle.

"I'm quite alright," she grimaced at her horse, sorting out the war strider's mane with quick fingers. Grey, they were still grey and cold- and spreading. "But, now, I'm also quite indebted to you, how could I let you help me avoid a rather nasty fall and take advantage of your supposed expertise? Sir, You're far too generous with strangers..." She laughed once more, engaging him with a coy, playful gaze. 

The sun beat down on them mercilessly; and Evienne drew the moment out, suddenly a bashful Lady- far too aware of her forwardness. Evie knew that the sun offered her a halo, and that the pallor cast on her since Merida vanished was expelled by an embarrassed blush. With her eyes averted, she was the very picture of bold Lady, bold, and, yet armed with all the silly manners of nobility. It did, however, give her enough time to confirm that this man was indeed Godric Uldwar without a doubt. Blonde of hair, blue of eyes... and all the cockiness she could expect from an Uldwar.

Evie was overcome with a desire to stamp her little feet, and demand he come back with them to Ursa Madeum on pain of death. But... it would not be a long term solution, and, surely Evie had far more grace than that. It was she who would make sure that they could not hurt her family again. It was her responsibility. Her's no matter Prescot's askance glances, no matter Erin's silent, perpetual disproval; Evie would make sure it was safe for her to breathe once more.

So she sighed in dramatic effect, sacrificing her posture for sheepish shrug, "Ah, very well! I shall be shameless in my endeavor. I'm looking for a young Lord, light complexion... I'm not sure if he would answer to this, but his name is Godric Uldwar. Lord Uldwar, actually, of Ursa Madeum."

She transfixes him once more, joviality replaced by exhaustion that bled into her words in a way that would've surely made Moonie or Merida laugh. It hurt to think about Merida, she haunted Evie mercilessly now. Her fault. "He should look a lot like you, Sir. Though, I wouldn't- couldn't recognize him at a glance, I've never met this Lord... Nor would I know how to say what I must." She rambled on, while her fingers mapped the outline of the fading welt on her cheek, then onto her lip, grey and pink.

"Tragedy hounds him, and, I think it would be far kinder to hear it from a friend, then from a stranger, wouldn't you agree?"

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His first instinct was to run.

Ever since he left the islands, Godric had feared this day would come. It didn't matter that he had left his home in exile, or that his father no longer held love for him, there would always be someone looking to take advantage of his name. Could it be that this seemingly harmless woman was also looking to take advantage?

“Godric Uldwar? Well I…”

It would be easy to lie, to tell her he didn't know a Godric Uldwar, or that he had gone somewhere else, like a different city. Something told him though it wouldn't be right, that it would be better to be truthful, to face his past and to admit who he is. Even if there was bad news to be had with admitting his identity, he would face it as a man should, and do so with bravery.

“Yes, I am Godric Uldwar. Before you tell me the news, please let me offer you my coat and scarf, it's going to be dark soon and it'll be a lot colder then.” Beneath his coat was a long sleeved doublet, red in color, with the Book Ends symbol emblazoned just above his heart. Certainly, she was beautiful without question, but the harsh weather of these parts could not be swayed by the beauty of a maiden such as her. At least he would be numbed by the shock of what he may learn, sparing him from the stabbing cold of the wind that was beginning to pick up.

“So then, what news do you bring from the islands? Has my father gone and started a war?” He wouldn't put it past him, but Godric truly hoped that was not the case. Seeing Ursa Madeum swallowed up in conflict was a sight he could not bear.

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Tendrils of panic seeped into her like the cold at his admission. She knew. Evienne knew what he was, and still, it made her flinch. She had taken a step back, forced flush against her horse's rump. Fingers clutched against her chest; Evienne was forced to admit her fear. She feared the man, and, she was terrified with the name he carried, hesitantly given, as though it were a secret- a curse. Something that would damn them should anyone else catch wind of it. But, most horrifying of all was her own reaction to it.

They couldn't hurt her, that was what Marik was for. He'd come looking for her. 

Godric had proven to be nothing but kind, thus far. He had proven chivalrous, and far, far different from the imperious Cassandra. And the brutish Oscar. He couldn't hurt her.

She had this coming. She had thought Luis was harmless, a boy. She deserved it if she got hurt. 

It was a long while before she spoke, her silly lungs refused to draw enough air for breath. The frivolously rapid, deafening drumming of her heart drowned any coherent thought from her mind. Surely, she looked stupid, terrified of a man- barely a man, and, even worse: a name. She had faced the Father, grizzled and ready to cut her down in the middle of a ball, should he have to, without so much as a flinch. Yet, she balked and paled before the Son. 

"N... No, keep the coat, I uh, I beg you. I'm quite alright." She had to forced, finding her tongue painfully clumsy. Immediately, she busied herself locating the skin of wine she had tucked away in her saddle bag. It had been filled back at the Andelusian Castle, and, once found Evienne took a long, grateful swig of it.

She handed it to Godric without a word. There was strength in the drink. "It's from, er, the Emperor's own collection, it'll help. I am rather silly, Lord Uldwar, y-you look so much like your Lady Mother, you've her mouth."

Her face flushed from embarrassment, hands curled into tight fists by her side, so they wouldn't shake or fidget. Steady. With a breath, she tried to force it out; and she is pleased with the almost imperceptible twitch of her fingers.

"My name is Evienne Goldcourt, of House Dali," the tremor was gone from her words, so she braved a curtsy, fingers bent at her bosom. "Your Father hasn't caused war, Lord Godric, but, h-he's gone. No one knows where, but he's gone, and your Lady Mother has sought refuge at the Dali Estate. Though I'm not sure how long she'd be welcome there."

She tried to take a breath, and still, tears welled in her eyes. So she stared at the golden sky, the straw target, her own hands. But they shook, so frustratingly she had to clutch them together, hard enough to hurt. "Your Father's disappearance might concern you, in regards to who's going to be the next head of the Uldwars, but I'm not here for that. R-rather..." She found it hard to continue, to spit it out. It tasted wrong, "I'm afraid your little brother might've--"

She grit her teeth, and forced her eyes to meet his. "Luis might've taken my cousin, Merida. She's only 16 years old, and blind, he might've done something to her. I need your help, desperately." 

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When the news hit, Godric could only blink a few times, the shock of what he was hearing leaving him dumbfounded completely. There was no way this was real, it couldn't be. Luis? Young Luis, tender and afraid of his own shadow Luis? It had to be a trick, it had to be a lie, but the way this woman seemed to be nearly breaking down just by talking about it, it had to he true.

His father was gone, but how could that be? All his life he had known Oscar Uldwar as being one of the most stubborn, stand your ground kind of person he knew. There was no way he would just vanish, unless something happened to him, or he did something that required a quick departure.

By Gaia this was feeling more and more insane by the moment, and now he was being told by the family cousin of the kidnap victim, possibly kidnapped by his own brother. Dread washed over the young Lord, and he began to feel numb all over.

“I...I can't believe this. This all happened recently?” Color had completely drained from his face, leaving him a white sheet.

Suffer…

Looking to Evienne, Godric could not help but to feel some level of guilt, of responsibility for all that was going on. By trying to run away from his problems at home, he was unable to prevent whatever had been happening here. Something had to be done, action had to be taken, but what?

“This...this is truly disturbing news. I am sorry about what is happening, Lady Dali, it is my hope that your cousin is found and this mess is sorted out.” He began to take some steps back, going towards the direction of the inn he was staying at. “As for myself...I hear Ignatz is turning very lovely this time of year. I think I'll go visit and...think on some things.” A coward, yes, but he knew better than to get mixed up in the politics and the mess of it all. He had already sacrificed an arm and a leg to stay out of it, and he wasn't going to mess around with this now that it's become a veritable powder keg.

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"Wait!" She lunged, grabbing his arm. The action hurt her, and winced at the sharp throb- still, she doesn't release her painful hold. "Please don't go, L-- Godric, I..." 

Words rise bidden to her tongue, only to die at her lips. Her panic is mirrored in his, and the realization that time-- more time, has t o be spent in this pursuit dawns on her. There's be no use in scaring Godric away, failure was not an option. Slowly, she relaxes her fingers, grateful for the pain now, it cleared her head.

Reminded her of what was at stake.

"As you said," she mused, wanly. "It's getting dark, I would not want anything more to occur. I believe we're staying at the same inn, will you not accompany back, at least?" 

Evienne affixes him with a pleading gaze, a nervous laugh wrenched from her. "I don't quite know anyone in... Patia, I left my guard at the inn as well. Everything happened so quickly last night, I left in such a hurry..." She shook her head mournfully, taking another swig of the wine skin. "I am a silly, silly girl, Godric Uldwar. But, whatever the words of one so silly is worth, I am truly sorry for what's happened. No one should have to hear what I've said to you from a stranger."

It was a concession, gladly made. Evienne gingerly grabbed her horses' bridle, and slowly lead the beast back towards the inn, it wasn't very far. Evienne could walk, despite the stinging warning of her knees, her thighs. "Won't you rest the night and be off at dawn? We'll be doing the same. That way, at least, we could both leave without a heavy conscience. I'd loathe it if both my cousin and another noblemen met with misfortune under my watchful gaze, they'd think things."

Bitterly, she admitted, "Sometimes, those old nobles can be even sillier than very silly girls."

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So far Godric had lost his leg to a demonic shadow hound and his arm to the poison of a bandit, making tragedy a normal person part of his life. This woman didn't seem like she was as used to it as he was, however, forcing the adventurer to take pity on her, a mistake he would later regret.

“Yes. I'd be happy to escort you back to the inn. Patia can be a bit strange at times, I will admit. Guess it can't be helped considering whose in charge but uh, I'm just babbling.” The same Inn as him? As if that was a coincidence they must have known in advance somehow...no, get it together, he thought to himself as he walked with her. His own suspicions were getting the better of him, and he needed to keep his mind clear it he wanted to navigate this delicate situation.

After arriving back at the inn, Godric found his mind to be racing a mile a minute. This woman, this noble woman from his homeland needed help, and not just any help, his help. Things had been happening quickly during his absence from the islands, so much so that they have escalated into a woman traveling all the way up here just to find him. With all this pondering and speculating, Godric was realizing he desperately needed a drink.

“Well, here we are, back at the inn. If you don't mind I'm um, just going to get a drink or two before going to bed then.” Walking over to a booth, he took a seat and asked the waitress for an ale. This was going to be a long night, and he needed something to drown the emotional damage in.

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"He's resisting me," Evie sighed her grievances, whispering into the shared pillow, a way to surely arouse disdain from her companion. She had stomped her way up the stairs, slammed the door to their room, and now encroached his bed with the masses of airy taffeta she sported. What wasn't very comfortable for her would, no doubt, be unbearable for him. So far, he had only stirred, cracked bleary eyes open and murmured half heartedly at her griping. She didn't mind it terribly.

It was unnerving how she didn't mind Marik. Lazy and Obstinate as he was.

Even now, as the hour closed, and the ruckus from downstairs grew ever louder; she didn't want to trade the bed for the cold, the noise and, no doubt, the painful simpering smiles. She'd much rather while her hours away conjuring up new way in mildly annoying the man beside her, until he cracked, and she dissolved into a fit of laughter and sordid apologies.

But Evienne had a role to play, she allowed herself to steal only precious minutes of absolute stillness, before plunging back into the cracked veneer of the Lady. Infuriated that Godric Uldwar had not immediately melted into her hands, another offence on top the laundry list that the Uldwars have committed. She hadn't expected him to, but, frustration warmed her- it gave her an edge she doubted forgiveness would.

So she doesn't luxuriate in peeling her dress off- impatiently tearing in places that require a more delicate touch than the ones she could be bothered with at the moment. She was methodical in yanking a heavy robe on, in plaiting her hair, and in grabbing a green vial- ominous and foreboding. Empty wooden and glass potions littered the floor by the time she found her self stooped over her sleeping 'guard', a hand pushing back locks of hair. She flinched when she grasped a fistful of his hair, and tore it out. 

She is a specter when his body jerked, a ghostly kiss- there one second, gone the next. 

The locks of an admirer. Unwillingly gotten, the last ingredient.

The timing was near serendipitous. A young woman sat, sniggering behind the bar with another customer- primarily at the blonde man in a booth, his slouch all but assured her of his current state of affairs. Perfect. The inn was near deafening, a few bards having gotten into what sounded like a fight about who could sing the loudest, bawdiest- cacophonous songs about things that made Evie's ears burn. Still, people shrieked, sang, fought and hollered all around them; cast in the warm glow of plenty of fires set about the room.

"Rabbit stew, two for that booth," She smiled, daintily stifling a yawn. "Better make it two ales as well, though, I'd cut him off after this one. That one doesn't look too good, and I don't think either one of us want to mop up after the little lordling, do we?"

The bonny girl laughed uproariously, and set two mugs of ale before Evie. "I'll take it myself," She assured her, and the girl shrugged her answer, turning around. Evie seized the opportunity to dump the contents of the vial into one of the mugs, and tossed the empty container underneath a table. There'd be no trace, nothing to link it back to her.

She wouldn't allow herself to ponder upon what was right or not, Godric had been given a chance to comply.

Certainly, what she was doing to him was no worse than what his family had done to Merida.

It wasn't ideal, but, it was a necessity.

Thus, it was with a shuddering heart that she placed the mug in front of the lordling- sliding into the seat opposite his, shaking her hands in a pantomime of pain. "I broke my fingers in the maze," she laughed, nervously sipping at her ale. "I hope you don't mind me joining you, I came to get dinner but... you don't look very well, Godric." 

 

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Though he truly did want to aid Evie in finding her cousin, the young man was nothing if not an opportunist. There was no way he would travel all the way to Patia from Andelusia and not try to find the Devil's gold. An ironic name considering the being who ruled Patia was quite literally a devil. Fortunately for Marik the actual gold had nothing to do with Roen. Not that the mere fact of that would have stopped him, but at this point it was irrelevant for the man to stagnate upon the thought. 

While Evienne had taken one of the horses to go meet the man she'd called Godric Uldwar, Marik had taken the second horse in the opposite direction- toward what was supposed to be an old, abandoned factory. Part of him felt guilty that he hadn't offered to go with Evienne or even bothered to tell her about the little trip he was taking, but the feeling was soon pushed from his thoughts as the factory came into sight. Like the wind, it simply wasn't in his nature to be bound. He always had to be moving forward. Always. Never stopping, not even for a moment. Or else the screams of his past clawed back to the surface and yanked him down with them.

A loud explosion brought Marik back to the present as he blinked away the rain water which had untimely decided to pour down on him. The drops of rain sliding down his cheeks were salty to the tongue. 

Where the factory had been marked on his map, now flew pieces of debris and licks of fire. The horse he rode reared up, nearly knocking him from the saddle. Crazy animal. This was why Marik preferred to ride more intelligent creatures. Like dragons. Or griffins. After a moment of yanking at the reins the horse finally settled down and snorted. Marik laughed, petting the beast's white mane and snorting in return. 

"It's just a bit of fire, ya dumb beast," he teased, chucking as he gave its neck a soft pat. The horse simply snorted again. He couldn't tell whether it was laughing or insulting him. Probably neither. 

Swinging his leg over the horse to dismount, Marik then led it over to a nearby tree and ties the reins around the trunk. Hopefully it wouldn't kill itself in panic if another explosion went off, but the mere thought of adventure was too much for Marik to just let be. With a steady pace he took off toward the ruined factory, each second covering large areas as his strides propelled him forward at a speed similar to the horse's. He probably hadn't needed to bring the horse, but he wasn't sure how dangerous it would be. If he couldn't walk afterward, a horse would prove useful. 

Unfortunately he didn't find anything in the wreckage. Well, nothing related to the gold in any case. Lots of clues about who was responsible for the bombing; clues which Marik committed to memory if he decided to circle back around and look deeper into the mess. For now however, he left the material alone and left as the local law enforcement arrived having probably seen the plume of smoke climbing up toward the sky. 

Hopefully Evie's trip had gone better than his.

He arrived back at the inn maybe twenty minutes before Evienne and collapsed in the bed, more disappointed than tired but still definitely tired. He'd cut himself a bit in the rubble from shards of metal and whatnot; wounds that cried as he moved. What was new?

Then the very fine figure of Lady Evienne Goldcourt burst into the room, and flopped down beside him. Poofy dress and all. 

"He's resisting me," she said, whispering the words in the pillow below his head. He could feel her presence close to him, feel her breath as it tickled its way down his neck. He peered at her but didn't move to say anything or really show that he was awake, at least not anymore than the faint smirk playing on his lips. 

But she had a duty to her family. And though he disagreed with it and believed that trapping herself would do no one any good in the long run, it wasn't his place to stop her. He could only warn her. In all honesty he wasn't sure what some torture or mind reading couldn't accomplish that binding herself forever with Godric could. It was truly a waste of such a fine woman. 

To that end he shut his eyes again and feigned sleep, knowing that her complaints were only a momentary and that if his being awake would only work to cause her further hesitation. Second later he was proven correct as he felt her shift off their bed and start doing something involving glass- makeup. The corner of his lips unintentionally twitched at the thought of Evienne dolling herself up for another man. If he hadn't been pretending to sleep, his eyebrows would have shot up in disbelief.

Is that emotional attachment, Marik? he thought to himself; scolding himself. 

Then her hand was in his hair with a lover's touch before her fingers closed down and yanked, ripping hair from his scalp. He jolted for a split second in surprise, having not seen that coming, but didn't have time to do anything more before her lips were on his in what could have led to a session of passion. A second later nothing. He opened his eyes and Evienne was gone, like a ghost who'd never been. 

Marik groaned and leaned back in the bed, rubbing the spot where hair had been and redirecting a bit of excess energy to speed up the recovery. "Fuck, how am I so attracted to this girl?" 

Still, he had promised to help. Though if she'd needed some of his hair, she probably should have just asked him. "Ow," he said, groaning again as magic surged around his scalp, the spots of ripped hair already growing back into place. "Seriously."

To be fair, not the craziest thing a woman has done to him while he slept. At least Evienne hadn't gone for his jewels with a pair of scissors. There were a lot of treasures he'd be willing to part ways with, most of which were not shiny or gold, but he was most certainly not ready to part ways with those. 

Groaning for the third time in a minute Marik rolled to the edge of his bed and stood, shaking the exhaustion from his bones with a roll of his shoulders and a surge of magic. Thank Gaia for magic. He'd probably have died long ago without it. Keeping silent and out of sight, Marik made his way to the bar. The shadows cloaked him well and hid his presence with a practice touch, sitting him away from Evienne and Godric though close enough he could act if something required his presence. 

Otherwise the shadows are where he'd stay, listening to whatever he could. Both to make sure he kept his word to keep Evienne safe and to see if anyone knew about the factory's explosion.

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It was good sometimes, to be in the thick of the chaos, to be engrossed in the noise. Godric preferred it over silence, as it gave him something to occupy his mind from actually thinking. If there was anything he didn't want, it was to think about this mess of a situation.

“Oh uhm, sorry, I've just been all…” His hands attempted some kind of gesture, the index fingers twirling in a small circle before he lost his train of thought. “Can't think straight.”

There didn't feel like an easy way to go about this, but he knew it wouldn't get better until he did something about it. Of course trying to do something about it meant it could get even worse, and he would invariably end up in a situation more uncomfortable than right now. “It's...it's just crazy, things just can't have gotten that bad.” He rubbed his face with the palms of his hands, shortly before taking a drink from his first cup, then looking to the new one. “Thank you for the drink.”

Just this morning he thought the worst thing he had to worry about was the loss of the original headquarters for Book Ends. Now there was all of this mess, this ugliness going on with his own brother, little Luis, the mousy boy who kept to himself, nose stuck in his books, too afraid of the world to even leave his room at times.

To even think he could commit such an act against a girl just two years older than him, it filled him with nausea. In an effort to settle his stomach, Godric drank deeply of the ale that Evienne had given him, sealing his fate. “Tastes a little funny, did you…” His sentence trailed off as his eyes went to hers, getting lost in the beauty of those elegant windows into her magnificent soul. “Oh my, I had no idea how incredibly gorgeous you are. I think I'm in love.” He chuckled stupidly, his worries melting away as his heart became irrevocably in the Goldcourt’s grasp.

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There was something awful about the expression Godric sported. As though all of his brains had turned to mulch and drained out his ears, the sudden devotion was unnatural, and altogether too complete. A prickle of guilt

"Why," She shivered, pausing to scan the room once, continuing only when she was sure he wasn't present to witness the interaction. "Thank you, Sir. Though, I think I'll take offence to that. I've been told not to put too much stock into my looks, surely, you've seen things far prettier in your travels than I?" She laughed, tipping her chin in such a way, Prescott would've been amused.

The horror paralyzed her, with her second, demure look into Godrics eyes. The realization, the familiarity of that light, the twinkle in his eyes; achingly close to that which her lover shared. Infinitely amused, infinitely taunting. The potion had backfired, Godric wasn't just charmed, the young man was infatuated. Perhaps, even warped into a twisted, barbed shadow of itself, poisoning his mind.

Charming a man was one thing, a poisoning was quite something else. It was with no surprise, the Evie found she was sick to her stomach; panic bubbling under her skin, threatening to crackle into sordid confessions, should she remain still for too long. 

This was a crime. If she were caught...

The thought had her moving, hastily, she yanked the mug out from Godric's grip, careful not to touch him.

"Did you say that tasted funny? Perhaps we should call that barmaid." The concern that weighed her mouth down was genuine enough, the panic detectable, even in the airy tones she offered. In her flurry to signal the roving maid, She tipped her own mug onto the floor, earning a distressed shriek. And a pool of ale soaking the bottom of her shift. The bard nearest to them stopped strumming, to shoot an inquiring gaze at their booth, and the dozen or so people nearest to their table did so as well.

That, at least,  got the maid's attention.

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"My deepest apologies, my lady." Godric said quickly, his heart in dearest pain at the thought of offending the woman he loved so passionately. "There is so much more to you than just your beauty, but I do confess there is nothing that I have seen, nor likely ever will see, that matches your own beguiling visage." 

Another wound was inflicted upon his spirit, one borne from a different kind of assault. Somewhere deep, deep into the hastily buried recesses of his mind, his love for Ioreth called out, demanding attention, but receiving nothing but scorn in response. That strange but incredible elf was pushed out of his mind, nearly erased entirely, but not without leaving behind its own damage to the young noble. Wounds of the heart are a complicated matter, and in this instance, Godric's was both alive with newly discovered love, and wilting at the loss of one he held so close to his own happiness.

It did not take long for Godric to fall back upon his own delusions of infatuation, smiling in that idiotic way that he had, hoping to catch her eye and receive her attention. When he noticed her drink spilling, he shot up like an arrow loosed from its bow, using his own coat to mop up the mess. "Fear not, my love, I will have this cleaned up in no time." Ignoring the strange looks he got from the other patrons, Godric was happy to serve in whatever way he could for the woman he loved with all his heart.

"Is everything all right?" The bar maid asked, her face in a slight bit of shock at seeing a man, who by her recollection was always a bit of a quiet customer, now actively trying to clean up a mess with his own coat. "Er...are you okay, lad?"

"Am I okay?" Godric asked, laughing with such gusto that it caused the servant woman to back up a bit. "I've never been better, especially now that I have found my one true love, my future bride to be. A round for everyone on me! To love!" The others cheered, happy to take free ale from a love struck fool such as Godric. Little did they realize the severity of his condition, nor did they understand the sheer fact a crime had been committed, right under all their noses...

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There. Her goal was with in reach, delivered onto her lap on a silver platter.

Without so much as troubling to have a conversation with the Lord. She did not know his favorite color, she did not what he liked to do nor did she even know what his temper was like. And yet, here he was, proclaiming her as his future bride-to-be, and the air had all but turned to bricks for Evienne.

At times like these, there were various tricks she had seen Ladies employ. To smile, and nod and make pleasant sounds to escape as soon as they turn their backs. To remain stoic, and unmoving. Unaffected by any and all, a stone Queen to an eager King. They'd lose interest eventually. Of course, she could cry and make a scene, petulantly run into Marik's arm, profess everything was a mistake, abandon every dream she ever had. Run away and be free, and carry the dissapointment of her family, Merida, and perhaps even Quinton Swan.

It could not be. She had to breathe.

It was all wrong. She had wronged a person.

The fear that had frozen her lungs had stiffened her knees. The shrieks of laughter bounding off of the walls did nothing to alleviate it, instead her heart struggled to to compete with the boom of the lutes, the voices, Godric's damned laughter.

She shook at the sight of his coat, sodden and sticky with Ale. Ruined. Ruined, cleaning up her mess, and there was something between laughter and another shriek trapped with in her throat. How apt, how apt that he paid for all her mistakes, how apt that only now did she realize the true gravity of her actions.

It all snapped back into resounding clarity, when her vision had started to fade. Evienne Goldcourt was no simple, wilting flower.

"Godric? Lord Uldwar?" Her voice shook, even as she allowed the horror to dawn on her face. "You really don't look fine-- You're terrifying me now, bride to be? I agreed to nothing, what's going on?"

She skewered the maid, silver eyes narrowed into angry slits, all but hissing at her, "You! What did you put in his drink? He's a Lord, wench. They'll hang you if you did something to him, out with it."

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