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In Sickness and In Health

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And just like that, all the mirth was sucked out of the room, replaced with an uneasy silence, broken only by the stammering of the accused.

"W-what?! I would never do such a thing!" She said, eyes wide with terror. 

Many of the patrons had already begun to whisper, pondering the likelihood that the maid was in fact the culprit. Godric didn't make it known to his status as nobility, but he was a handsome man, and there was nary a woman who hadn't thought of how to coax him to their beds. Surely it wouldn't be out of the question, and yet...

"Hold on, hold on!" Said the barkeep, a surly man who didn't wish to see a public lynching take place, stepped up to diffuse the situation. "We can settle this hear and now."

"Oh thank you, Mr. Oldin. You've known me since I was a girl, you know I wouldn't do this." Her breath was getting labored, noticing the eyes of all the people looking at her, suspecting her of such a heinous crime. "I would never spike someone's drink, never in a million years!"

"Yes yes, I know, Melinda. We'll test the drink and show everyone that you didn't do this." Taking out his own vial from a pocket on his apron, he walked over to Evienne, requesting her drink so he can pour the contents of the vial into it. "With this we will know once and for all whether or not-oh no..." As soon as the liquid touched the ale, the entirety of the drink turned a bright pink, signalling that it was indeed spiked with a love potion. "Oh Melinda..." He said with sadness.

"Wait, wait! I didn't do it, I swear! You have to believe me." Tears were in her eyes, chest heaving in anguish. "Mr. Oldin you have to believe me!" Throwing herself upon him, he could only look away and shake his head.

"Boys, make sure she doesn't leave the kitchen. We have to alert the guards." The maid could be heard sobbing and whimpering all the way into the kitchen, while the bar man looked to Evienne. "I am deeply sorry for all of this."

During all of this, Godric felt a great deal of confusion, but his eyes never left his new love, not even for a moment. "So...does this mean you don't want to be my wife? I...I'm just feeling very confused right now." His mind in its current state could not properly comprehend what was going on around him. So much was his mind muddled with unlimited love that even knowing his feelings were fake, he still felt incredibly in love with her. "My feelings for you are still real, I know they are, aren't they?"

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Evienne wanted smash her fists against the table, snarl at the few that dared to glance at her. All suspicion should be directed toward the maid, whose face now trembled and quivered under the strain-- it would do no good to seem angry. Anger was an ugly emotion, too strong, too out of line with the visions they had of maidens. So, instead, she clasped a hand against her mouth, tears welling in her eyes. Horror. Fear. Grief.

"I saw her laughing at him," Evienne quivered as the maid was dragged away, "her and that other man. They were laughing at Godric, and I thought I'd take the ale in case something happened... and still. Why would you do something like that? We are more than just things you can point to and laugh at, I just don't understand." The barkeep looked on, grief setting into wrinkles and folds. She could not bear to look into his eyes for too long. The buzz of whispering patrons already echoes incessantly in her mind, accusing her, absolving her. There would be no grieving men in her dreams, none on her conscience, she would not bear that.

It shouldn't have happened, but it had. Better the maid than Evienne, always better anyone else than Evienne. It was a selfish and petty sentiment and it sat with her heavily, squirming in her gut until she was very sure it would leave her sick. First Merida, now the maid. Evienne was not a criminal, she could not be a criminal, and yet...

Godric hadn't seemed to quite grasped what had happened, pity bloomed in her heart as much annoyance reddened her cheeks. She had gotten what she wanted, she would get away with this, and now it descended on her to quietly complete her mission and return back. And all she could offer then befuddled young man was a little smile, and her hands, gingerly wrapped around his.

"I'm not sure about that, Godric. The woman just did a very terrible thing to you, will you let me help you Godric? Come with us, we'll take you back to Ursa Madeum, we'll try to fix this." She urged, softly, even as her toes curled in distaste, "Perhaps then, when you're better, I'll marry you."

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And with that, Godric resumed his ignorant smiling, glad to know that things were on their way to normal. At the mention of wedding, he seemed nearly giddy, his drugged mirth on full display for all to see, not caring that they now pitied him. 

"Wonderful! Once I'm cured then we can marry, and in the meantime we can even get to know each other. It'll be just the most amazing journey ever." With his mind so obscured by the potion, it was likely he would even forget what it was he needed to be cured of, but that didn't matter to the love struck idiot. All that mattered was that he was with his true love. 

After that, the two retired for the night, Godric begrudgingly respecting her wish to sleep in a different room, then finding it difficult to get to sleep himself as he lay in bed. Everything felt so right, and yet he could not explain why his eyes all of a sudden began to water. He wasn't sad, he was happy, so he figured it must have been tears of happiness, and so ignored it while he tried to get some sleep.

If only he knew the damage that was being done to his body, even at this very moment...

In the morning, they left the city of Patia by carriage, headed to Biazo, to a future only one of them could see being particularly positive. So engrossed was Godric in looking into the eyes of his love and speaking with her about her own interests, that he completely missed the dangling body of the woman accused of dosing him, hanged for a crime she did not commit, all in the name of unchecked ambition.


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