Author Topic: Unfortunate Side-effects  (Read 9234 times)

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Offline Kysis

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Unfortunate Side-effects
« on: December 20, 2007, 04:26:08 PM »
A knock sounded loudly on the door, reverberating through the entire house.  That noise had Ryanna blinking, sitting up in bed and listening with groggy eyes-half open, ears straining.  That harsh knock sounded again, along with the click of metal against the wooden door.  Ryanna thought for a moment, thinking it might be rings, but not sure, getting up either way.  She pulled her cloak from the peg once she got to the door, putting it on and wrapping it around her for modesty.  No need to be answering the door in just a tunic.

Ryanna reached for the knob, turning it slowly before flinging the door open.

“So, a little bird told me someone was having too much fun at the Gulbrand Farm.”

Ryanna regretted her decision to get up the moment she opened the door.

* * * * *

She knew.

It had been just two days since Ryanna opened the door that night, and she had barely gone out since.  Ryanna had gone in the morning after the incident, to tell Kysis she could not work for a few days.  He had been concerned, but Ryanna had given up no information, leaving as quickly as she came.  She had not been stalking the night patrols either, preferring the solitude of her home to anything else.

It had been a long two days.

Ryanna reached her hand up slowly, touching the cut running from her cheek bone, curling up and around to knick the edge of her left eyebrow before continuing up a little into her forehead.  It still stung.  Ryanna flinched, putting her hand back down.  There were worse wounds than that.  There was a bruise on her right cheek, where she had been hit so hard it knocked her cold.  There were thin red lines all on her back, from a fine-tipped whip.

Those words still clung to her mind, the last words she had heard before receiving the full force of a back-hand, ring carving its own red line across her face, the one she had just touched.  When Ryanna had backed up, pleaded for her to see reason, another hit came, everything going black.  She had woken up to excruciating pain.  Her tormentor had been there when she came to, a wicked smile on her lips, a message on them too.  Ryanna could not forget those words, either.

“Remember, affairs above your head are to remain that way, commoner.  If that pretty little nose of yours shoves itself in any place even questionable, I’ll break it.”

Ryanna shivered, even though it wasn’t cold.  She had a full fire burning, was sitting in front of it, on the floor.  Though she wore beige pants that she normally considered comfortable, it did not feel so now.  Her tunic was what bothered her, off-white linen hanging painfully over her wounds, blood prickling the cloth in mirror of the bloody design beneath it.  If it didn’t hurt to be lying down (at least how she generally slept, on her back), she’d be curled up beneath the sheets, sleeping the pain away.  Ryanna did not even want to go out, in the state she was in.

Had anyone even noticed her absence?

The fire didn’t even feel warm after the visit by Lady Maracatte.  Nothing could.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
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Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2007, 05:05:42 PM »
Lieutenant Frederickson, as much as he tried not to, had definitely noticed Ryanna\'s absence.  Although he hadn\'t expected to see her smiling face at the guardhouse the very next night after they\'d spent the night together (even if she knew he was on duty after she got off work and it really wouldn\'t have been a stretch for her to turn up for her usual chat, would it?), he expected he would have seen it by now.

This had him very worried.  Had he done something wrong?  Was there something wrong with her that might, possibly, be connected to him?  Lam had told him earlier that day that Ryanna hadn\'t been at work - she\'d been complaining about Kysis having to go to the shop when he should be preparing for the damned exhibition he insisted on having - and she hadn\'t known why.  When Freddy had asked - probably with a startled look on his face, judging by Lam\'s expression when he spoke - if there was something wrong with Ryanna, she\'d merely glared at him and demanded to know why it mattered to him.

That had been enough for him to realise he should drop the subject and probably find out for himself, as nerve-wracking a prospect as that was.  So here he was, outside her house, still dressed in his work gear as he\'d just finished his shift, and biting his lip like a nervous schoolboy who didn\'t know what end of a girl should be up.  After staring at the door for a good five minutes, someone began walking up the road and he was compelled to act or leave.

He knocked.

Offline Kysis

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2007, 05:14:03 PM »
Ryanna flinched at the sound of the door being knocked on, even if it had a different sound than that of her tormentor.  Still, a simple knock on the door made her curl up a little, hunching closer to the fire, not wanting anything to do with the sound.  It didn\'t sound like that beast of a woman, though... But there was always a chance it was one of her men, come to deal with her.  The weapons rack was not far away, and there was a short sword, sitting in its sheath, propped up against the wall next to the hearth, in her reach.

Taking a deep, shuddering breath, Ryanna called out, grabbing her nearby cloak and tossing it to cover her shoulders and back as she did so.  It was just a precaution.

"Who\'s there?"

Her voice cracked, trembling, its very tone sounding afraid.  Ryanna wanted to reach for her sword, but resisted that urge.  Her tormentor had made it clear, she would be dealing with Ryanna herself, since they knew one another and all.  That was a frightening thought.  Ryanna would be happy to never see Lystra Maracatte again, if she was given the choice.

Deciding it couldn\'t be her, Ryanna changed her call to "Come in."  The door was unlocked, Ryanna having come inside after buying food, having forgotten to latch the door in her want to get the food situated where it should be, and get her thick, uncomfortable tunic switched out for a thinner one, one more forgiving on her back.

There would be no dresses for a while, that was for sure.
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Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2007, 05:24:07 PM »
Frowning, Freddy peered at the door like it had spoken to him itself.  Had her voice just cracked?  Ryanna certainly didn\'t sound herself... though, in the next breath, she boldly invited him in, without even knowing who it was.  That didn\'t make sense, didn\'t fit with a fear-riddled profile.

As instructed, he opened the door cautiously, his black boots making very little noise as he stepped in hesitantly, announcing himself warily.  "Uh... Ryanna?  It\'s me, Freddy," he called, expecting to see her standing before him and then having to locate her, surprised to see her sitting on the floor in front of the fire.  "Oh!" he exclaimed, turning to shut the door before swivelling back and approaching her, a nervous smile on his face.

"Sorry to disturb you, I just... wondered if... what happened to your face?" he asked bluntly, his pleasant expression folding into a scowl of concern as he got closer to her and was able to see better.  She had a dark red line that stood out in relief against her pale skin on one side of her face and the other looked... misshapen?  Bruised?  He kept walking closer to her to be sure.

Offline Kysis

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2007, 05:32:57 PM »
Freddy.... It took a moment for that name to register, the voice with it, but when they did, her eyes flared open wide.  Oh no.  She had to hide herself.  She had to move quickly, obscure her face, her other injuries.  It was already too late, though, his approaching once seeing her.  And then he saw her face.

Ryanna looked sharply away, staring into the fire with blank eyes.  She did not know what to say.  If she told... no, then her life would be forfeit, laid out for her tormentor to take however she so pleased, taking however long she felt like.  Knowing the woman, Ryanna realized it would probably be days, at the very best, and most merciful of chances.

"I\'m fine."

It wasn\'t true, but it was the best she could muster.  Ryanna started tying her cloak into place, not wanting it to be removed despite the warmth that had accumulated in the room.  That would reveal her back.  She should have kept that thicker tunic on, despite the discomfort.

"Really."

It probably sounded more like Ryanna was trying to convince herself rather than convince Freddy, and it was true.  Ryanna did not know if she was ok.  All she knew is that it hurt to move for the most part, which is why Ryanna kept her seat beside the fire, trying not to look at Freddy.  She didn\'t want him, of all people, to be seeing her like this.
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Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2007, 05:37:22 PM »
His frown only deepened as he crouched before her, peering at her face.  His forearms rested on his thighs, hands hanging between his legs even though he really wanted to reach out and turn her face this way and that, to examine her properly.

"No you\'re not," he argued sternly.  "You\'re hurt.  What happened?  Is this why I haven\'t seen you around for a few days?"

Offline Kysis

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2007, 05:44:28 PM »
Ryanna shook her head, not to deny that was why she wasn\'t around, but to show that her lips were sealed.  Surely there were lots of people who felt the same as her.  They felt a hatred for Maracatte that was cold, low burning, not the sort that caused a rage, or cause retaliation.  He was a resigned sort of loathing, the type where they felt nothing could be done to resolve the conflict, so why push it.  That was how Ryanna felt now.  Maracatte had done that much to her.

"Really."  She turned her head towards him, looking at him with sad, distant eyes.  Movement in and of itself felt pointless.  Ryanna had been afraid before, when she was leaving the Gulbrand Farm, but this?  This was far worse than her worst of nightmares.  Lady Maracatte was known for her cruelty (though none but those who suffered it knew its depth), and when someone crossed her, the offending person usually said their prayers and barricaded their house with a shred of hope that she might leave them alone.

If Ryanna did not meddle further, Maracatte might leave her alone, and that hope was clung to, even if it sounded far off.  Once Maracatte sunk her talons in... Ryanna felt like a hopeless mouse, stranded out in the open of a desert with three falcons circling.

"I mend well.  I\'ll do fine."

One thing Ryanna couldn\'t bring herself to do was lie to Freddy.  Oh no.  Ryanna refused to stoop that low.  Silence would have to do.  It was the only safe route.
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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2007, 06:46:48 PM »
"You won\'t tell me who did this to you?" he asked incredulously, hurt rising in his chest as, again, she shook her head.  He mulled it over, brow still deeply furrowed, wondering why, in Talon\'s name, she wouldn\'t let him help her.  Did she not think he could?  Was that how bad it was?  She looked withdrawn and defensive... was that because of what happened to her or because it was him asking?

"Would it help if... a woman did the asking?  Would you talk then?" he asked as delicately as he could, not wanting to ask if she\'d been raped but having to assume she had, from the way she was curled up and looking warily at him.  Her answer quickly dispelled that notion, however, and he was back to gnawing on the inside of his lip, contemplating her.  He wondered if her father knew but didn\'t even bother asking; from the state of her, it seemed no-one knew.

"Well how badly are you hurt then?  Can I see or... help you with it?" he queried, his tone evidence that he was growing exasperated with her.  She wouldn\'t tell him who hurt her so he could arrest them, she was barely responsive as far as communication went and he didn\'t even get the feeling that she wanted him there, asking these questions... so what good was he?  He felt useless and awkward, as if he\'d invaded her home like an uninvited guest no-one knew how to get rid of.  Three days ago she\'d asked if they\'d ever speak again and he\'d assured her they would; now he was beginning to wonder if he\'d spoken too soon.

Offline Kysis

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2007, 11:59:07 PM »
It hurt, seeing how much he wanted to help and not giving in, but it was something she had to do.  As far as Ryanna had seen, the guard could do nothing against Maracatte, either of them, daughter or father.  So, what was the point?  It would just be her life, and the vicious woman would go about her fowl tortures as if nothing had ever happened.  Had anyone ever told a tale of what she did to them?  Ryanna was unsure, and for a moment she wondered if all it would take was one to take her down....

But that train of thoughts flittered right out of her brain as soon as Freddy offered to help another way.  Ryanna had needed to wash out the wounds on her back, but could not properly reach them, even partial reaching making it feel like she just ripped them back open.  So, Ryanna had let them be, and they burned now.  It was probably a wrong decision to make, but hopefully she was not too late.  She would probably scar anyway, though.

"I...."  Ryanna tugged at the haphazard bow she had tied to keep her cloak on, soon undoing it and pushing the concealing cloth aside.  If he looked at her back, he would be able to see lines where red had seeped through the cloth, tones of little red lines. "I can\'t reach them all."  Her voice was a meek whisper at best, as if she was afraid Maracatte or one of her agents was watching them, listening, reading to throw a killing dagger if she uttered anything.  Ryanna had closed and bolted all the shutters over the windows, but she still didn\'t feel safe.  Every time she had to use the outhouse, she had run as fast as she could to get inside the little structure, afraid to linger for too long outside.

"My back..."  Ryanna twisted her head, eyes trying to see the full extent of the damage on her back, but she was sore all over and couldn\'t quite manage, going back to stare at the fire.  It was interesting to her, that Freddy had come to check on her and her father had not.  Ryanna did not really think on it too much, though.  She was still in too much pain to concentrate on anything but her fear right now.
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Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2007, 01:24:00 AM »
"Oh, Rhee," hebreathed, lost for further words as he gazed at the bloody stripes across her back - lost, even, to finish off her whole name.  It was too much for him to bear all of a sudden; his fists clenched and his jaw clenched as he looked up at her, at her innocent face and tried to understand who could hurt her in such a way, how such a harmless and friendly creature could not only endure this sort of pain, but keep quiet about who did it, too.

He looked away, struggling mightily with the force of the emotions washing through him, tears of fury and indignation pricking his eyes.  He\'d been this angry perhaps twice in his life but had been able to smash and hurt things to vent it out of system; now, he was expected merely to choke it back down and not ask her what sort of monster could do this to her, his lovely... no, not his, he had to stop thinking like that.  She belonged to nought but herself - and it was very clear that even though she\'d just proved she was into something dangerous, that she couldn\'t control, she wouldn\'t stray from remaining true to herself and her ideals.

Eventually, Freddy\'s breathing calmed enough that he felt he could speak without swearing, threatening to throttle some faceless bastard or wail at her to let him please hunt down and arrest this sick man (for it never occurred to him that a woman could be responsible).  He looked back at hear and cleared his throat to test his steady-speech theory properly.  "I think," he said smoothly, his lips pressed together in a determined line when he wasn\'t simply breathing to get control, "that you probably need a poultice on those.  Something to stop them getting infected.  Do you have anything like that or will I go and get what\'s at my place and bring it back here?  Do you want a bath first?"

Of course, he realised belatedly that he\'d asked a couple of questions out of order but it was only after he mentioned returning to his house that he thought of how that had been the other day, when he left her, and how he\'d moped until work that afternoon.  The fact that he\'d left her in the bath was recalled then and he figured she hadn\'t been able to get the tub inside with these wounds upon her, so she might appreciate that before he put anything on her (and he could boil the water while he quickly ducked home to get his ointment supply and she wouldn\'t have to move a muscle.

Offline Kysis

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2007, 09:39:28 AM »
He was willing to help her, a wave of relief blanketing her at that thought.  At least he was here for her, when she had felt so alone and isolated.  The thought of a bath and her wounds being tended to made her feel better, at least some.  She seriously needed it, that was without a doubt.  Ryanna did not want any of the wounds to get infected.  That would be giving Maracatte exactly what she wanted.

But the thought of Freddy leaving had her full of fear again, that momentary relief gone.

"I have no poultice, but please, be fast.  I\'m scared she\'ll come back."

Ryanna\'s voice was barely a whisper, trembling, pleading.  Her whole body was shaking merely at the thought of Maracatte coming back for her while Freddy was gone, and the big guard returning just to find her dead and bloody and mutilated.  Those thoughts had her even more scared, to the point that tears welled in her eyes, streamed down her cheeks.

"Please be fast."

That was all she could really say about it.  Ryanna wanted a bath, forcing herself to stand shakily.  She was going to get the bathtub, but could not get up the initiative to do it quite yet.  Maybe soon, when her legs stopped quaking so.
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Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2007, 01:21:03 PM »
She??  Was she kidding, a female did this to her?!

It was almost out of Freddy\'s mouth, his eyes wide and his mouth opened to protest but something made him shut it.  Something beyond the fact thatRyanna had continued to talk and was even standing up now.  Something wise that told him if she\'d let that slip already, then perhaps he could learn more through incidental listening, instead of hounding.  Being a sympathetic ear might work in her favour, even if she didn\'t mean it to happen (though it opened up a whole new lot of questions as to who might have done this, if it was a woman - and what sort f relationship did Ryanna have with such a person?).

"I will be but... a bath?" he asked as smoothly as he could, pushing his thoughts about a woman who\'d injured Ryanna aside.  When the girl agreed that she was just going to get the tub, he objected loudly and ordered her to a nearby chair instead.  She was in no condition to carry that thing inside.

In next to no time he\'d got the steel container inside and set as much water as was possible heating over the generous fire.  Once that was done, he left Ryanna to attend it and raced home to get the small wooden container of poultice that he kept on hand for any deep cuts he received.  It was about the size of his hand, a square dish with a fitted lid, but he wondered if there would be enough inside; it was only half full.

On the way out, he considered changing out of his uniform but the manner in which she\'d asked him to hurry dissuaded that notion as soon as it occurred and he locked his house up and fled back to hers as soon as he could.  Once he got there, he let himself in and took the time to remove his thick cloak on this entry, hanging it on the hook by her door; his rapid movements had heated him up considerably, the warm room only compounding that, and he undid buttons on his jacket too.

Placing the poultice container on the table, he went to Ryanna to see what she needed him to do next.  "I\'m back," he stated needlessly, "is the water boiled?  Ready for the next lot to go on?" he asked distractedly, looking at where it was heating.  His stomach gave a faint rumble and it occurred to him then that he hadn\'t stopped for dinner.  Still, there was no time to be hungry with her in as much pain as she was.

Offline Kysis

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2007, 02:09:15 PM »
Ryanna had been scared half to death every moment Freddy was gone.  As soon as he left, Ryanna vacated the chair she was forced onto, sitting near the fire again, this time with her back to it, wide eyes on the door.  She kept holding her breath, counting to as high a number she could before letting the breath out and taking another large one in, repeating the process.  It was the only way she could pass her time, but it also made her frightfully aware of how long Freddy was gone, and made it feel even longer.

When he got back, Ryanna jumped up, moving quickly for her chair.  From there she could see up into the pots, which she looked at when asked.  "The small one is boiling."  Three kettles had been put before the fire, one small, two the large type she usually used to heat her bath water.  Ryanna wished she could be more helpful.  That would make her feel better, at least partially take her mind off things.  Maybe.  Ryanna knew the hot water would sting a great deal, but it would be best to clean out her wounds.  Freddy was right.  She was in no shape to be moving the tub.

"Oh, the big ones just started."  Ryanna saw the bubbles rising up in those two kettles now.  That was good.  Soon she would be clean, the layers of caked on blood washed off.  Ryanna was looking forward to it.  As horrible as she knew she looked under her clothing right now, the bath was what she needed, so she tried reassuring herself that she could be seen by Freddy like this, after how he had seen her three nights ago.  Then, she had been as flawless as she had ever, in her entire life.  Now Ryanna was battered and haggard.  Ryanna was intimidated by what Freddy might have remembered by her.

Still, this was not a wooing session, so it shouldn\'t matter.  It was to help her heal.  Anything else could happen when she was better, if Maracatte ever let her get better.
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Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2007, 11:40:26 PM »
"Good," he announced gruffly, emptying the two boiling lots of water into the tub and then refilling them.  By the time they were set down to heat again, the third container was boiling, so he emptied it and repeated the filling process, finding it somewhat cathartic to be travelling outside to pump more cold water in the meantime.

He was bursting to question Ryanna further - even though he knew it would do no good - so travelling in and out with empty and re-filled containers helped distract him.  He tested the water frequently, uncertain about adding cold to the boiling mix but deciding her body likely wouldn\'t be able to withstand the temperature that it normally did - having dipped a bruised and battered body into a hot bath a time or two, he could appreciate how delicate her skin would be and so he tempered it with straight cold potsful as well.

While waiting for the third lot of water to boil, he gave in to his growling stomach\'s demands and asked Ryanna if she had some food he could have.  When he offered to go home and get what he\'d planned to eat tonight for himself, she panicked again, dissuading him from going anywhere.  By the same token, when she offered to prepare him something, he talked her down and insisted she instruct him from her perch where to find everything, he would do the rest.

Spending a little time eating made the boiling seem to go faster, though Freddy was up and down from the table checking frequently.  He wanted her to have a lot of water in the tub so that she could soak and be fully submerged and he told her so, declaring that he would see to it she put such a large tub to good use.

Eventually, they\'d eaten their fill and the tub was brimming with hot water.  Freddy took their dishes to the washtub but merely set them on the bench before returning to his charge, watching her worriedly.  He\'d taken his uniform jacket off by now and wore only his black boots and pants and a white knitted undershirt that clung to him like a second skin, the sleeves too short to crest his muscular biceps, the scooped collar revealing his thick neck and the top of his chest.

"Okay, the bath\'s ready.  I\'m not sure you should try to take that tunic off," he told her worriedly, leaning around to inspect how it clung to the blood on her back yet again.  "It would probably hurt less to just get in with it on and I\'ll take it off you once the blood\'s dissolved, okay?" he queried, straightening to look her in the eye once more.  He was only thinking now about the fact that he was going to be seeing her naked and trying to stamp down that automatic flare of appreciation whenever he thought about it.  Now was certainly not the time for such thoughts.

"Where\'s your soap?  I can wash your back if you like... or you can just soak, your choice," he finished with a congenial smile and a tentative shrug.

Offline Kysis

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2007, 12:01:15 PM »
Every time Freddy went outside to refill water, Ryanna got more nervous, until her feet were up on the chair, arms wrapped around her legs.  There were only a few little bruises on her legs, not much, and not painful.  Well, she could not feel them, probably because of the other, more taxing wounds.  Either way, she was thankful that most of her body had been spared.  It would have been hard to function if Maracatte had done more damage.  It already was hard to function, all the more because Freddy would not let her do a damn thing.  It was frustrating.

Ryanna tried tugging at her tunic lightly, feeling the pull and doing as suggested, leaving it on.  The blood would have to be dissolved, most definitely.  However, her pants would come of just find, and underpants too.  Ryanna quickly stripped out of those, wadding the two pieces of clothing into a ball and putting them on the chair she had just vacated before sticking a toe in the water to test it.  It didn’t feel like it would be too awfully painful.  Alright.

Taking a deep breath, Ryanna stepped in and sat.

“Owww!”

She clapped a hand over the mouth to cut off the last part of the noise, biting her tongue as well (though not hard).  Blinking away the tears she suddenly felt in her eyes, Ryanna took another deep breath.  That hurt more than she thought it would.  Oh dear.  But she needed this bath, just as she needed to have her wounds treated.  Ryanna had been too afraid to ask anyone for help, even if her employer knew well how to deal with wounds, and was planning to marry Captain Wilson, who was above the bribes Ryanna was sure Maracatte would dish out.  Of course, Freddy would also be above those bribes…

“I…”  Ryanna clamped her mouth shut, realizing she was just about to tell something.  She had the feeling there would be a crossbow bolt in her back the moment she uttered her attackers name.  Ryanna did not want to die.  So she cut it short, deciding instead to cover it with information as to the soap’s whereabouts. “I’m not sure.  In the kitchen?  Where you found the pots?”

It was not as smooth as she had hoped it to be, but better than she thought it would be.  It felt horrible to lie to Freddy (as not telling was as bad as lying), but still!  Maracatte had gotten away with these things for years!  Her father had gotten away with it for years before that!!!  How would they be able to help now?
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2007, 04:49:46 PM »
He cringed at the sound of her pain being vocalised, wishing he could do something more about it than simply stand by and wait for the inevitable to unfold.  That was an impossible ask, however, and so he merely watched her, numbing himself as best he could (for he intended to touch that painful area didn\'t he, and that wouldn\'t exactly have her singing with joy would it?).  He tilted his head when she began to speak, hesitated and then talked about the soap.

Her words were delivered smoothly enough and he didn\'t question them, turning to look where she believed the soap to be.  Once he had it in hand, he walked back to the tub and knelt by her, looking seriously into her eyes.  "That should be long enough for the tunic to be soaked through, don\'t you think?  I\'ll take it from you."  It was a statement that didn\'t brook argument - though if, at the first tug, there was resistance to the cloth coming loose from her flesh at all, he would let it sit a while longer and allow her to have the soap to wash the rest of her.  He wasn\'t a monster, but he wanted to be sure she wasn\'t going to be getting sick from the wounds, either, so the sooner he could see what he was dealing with, the better he\'d feel.

When the shirt finally was removed, Freddy took the bloody, dripping thing and walked it hastily to the nearby washing tub, then he returned to her side.  She was hunched forward, allowing him a clear view of the topmost strap marks, and what he saw caused him to gasp again.  He cursed himself with a very subtle, "Shit, sorry," as soon as he did, knowing he wouldn\'t be offering her any sort of decent reassurance by reacting to her cuts like that, but he couldn\'t help it.  It was horrific and the thought of a woman inflicting this damage was just... well, it didn\'t bear thinking on, that was for sure.

Clearing his throat with a mixture of embarrassment and awkwardness, he knelt by the tub once more and held out his hand for the soap.  Most of his attention was focussed on the cuts, though, for he was trying to figure out just how he\'d be able to clean them properly without touching them.  It would take a lots of patient sluicing as far as he could tell, but he had the time and there was still more water on the stove boiling, so that he could top the bath up when it started to go cold.

"It all looks quite red - there\'s some yellow gunk in the middle of a few of the cuts," he murmured, commentating for her benefit while he looked the wounds over.  "Hopefully this will wash that away and stop it all from getting worse.  I can\'t see everything clearly yet because there\'s some caked blood I\'ll try and get off but... I\'ll be honest, I don\'t want to touch you because it\'ll hurt too bad.  I\'ll do my best but... we may just have to settle for lots of soapy water running over it all and another couple of baths tomorrow to get it all clean, okay?"

As he finished speaking, he leaned around to look her in the eye at last, a frown of concern upon his face showing how intimidated he was by this whole process.  The thought of her enduring it left him pale.  No matter what he did, it was going to hurt, but he would do his best to keep the pain to a minimum.  He would try with his hand - and make contact around the lashes - but he anticipated he\'d soon be getting up to retrieve a cup to pour soapy water over her.  That would hurt (of course), but it would also dislodge anything nasty more efficiently than him simply splashing at her would.

He really hoped she didn\'t end up hating him after this.

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2008, 12:15:49 PM »
It all hurt, very badly, but Ryanna gritted her teeth against the pain, knowing it only would have been worse if she waited.  Yes, the pain would be much worse.  So, keeping that in mind, Ryanna bit her lip, and stiffened herself against the water as it seethed against the still open wounds.  And when he said sorry, Ryanna managed to grumble that it was alright, that it had to be done, though she doubted much of it was audible.  Before Ryanna had just disliked Maracatte.  Now there was definitely hatred for the woman festering inside her, as surely as the wounds had been festering on her back.

Ryanna tensed again at the scrubbing, repeating over and over again (half mentally, half very quietly in a mumble) that this pain was a good thing.  She was getting clean and better.  Clean and better.  Clean and better.  Dammit, ouch, clean, better.  The young woman managed to twist her head, trying to look at her back as Freddy dealt with it.  It was very nice of him, to be doing this.  Helping her of all people.  They had not seen one another since that night.  Though it wasn’t long ago, it felt like it.  Ryanna blamed Maracatte for soiling that bit of happiness.  Bitch.

“Go ahead and do….”  Ryanna took in a deep inhale of breath as water hit one cut hard, that breath ending in a hiss, “what you need to do.  A little pain now is better than a lot of pain later.”  Ryanna tried sitting so he could better get to her whole back, squirming before her shins ended up on the bottom of the tub, Ryanna’s arms resting on the rim of it as she made her back as much like a table as possible. “Does this help?”

It was an awkward position, but would give him the most reach on her back, which is what Ryanna aimed for.  She was thinking as she held this pose.  What could she say?  Was there anything?  Was there some tidbit she could drop, that would allow the guards to look and would eventually lead back to Maracatte?  Perhaps…. Ryanna remembered quite suddenly the rumors about Lady Elena Maracatte being very ill, close to death even.  Funerals.

Maybe, just maybe, Ryanna could say something that Maracatte could not trace back to her.  Having a member of the Guard in her house was dangerous enough as it was, Ryanna realized, but it was already too late for that one.  If Ryanna played this right…..  She would need more time to think.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
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Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2008, 12:24:06 AM »
He looked at the wounds now laid entirely to bare before him and gritted his teeth.  He\'d got that cup after all, to help wash things away with as gentle a force as he could, but her current position offered new possibilities.  "Yes, that\'s good, but I think I need a wash cloth - I\'d like to remove anything still clinging, now that it\'s softened up.  Do you have one?"

There were still clots of blood and skin stuck determinedly to the edges of the cuts, despite his efforts at tipping water over it to dislodge everything.  He\'d not had access to anything below the waterline before now, either.  Following her instructions, he found a cloth that would be appropriate and then set about swiping the more solid sections away, scrubbing as gently as possible at every crusted remnant.

The water was beginning to turn very pink due to all the blood he\'d already washed away and some of the sections he\'d inadvertently re-opened with his ministrations.  This was something he hadn\'t anticipated and which filled him anew with anger and frustration as he continued.  He needed to distract himself, for the sight of her beautiful back weeping blood as he scrubbed at it only filled him with a futile and incapacitating hatred.  It would do him no good.

"So... if you won\'t tell me who did this to you, could you at least tell me why?  I mean, you\'re a bit talkative at times but that\'s not a crime that warrants this sort of treatment, meaning your attacker believed something really bad of you.  Something I don\'t believe worthy of this sort of retaliation but... there must have been something that triggered this?" he queried quietly, his voice earnest. He glanced towards her bowed head but was quickly focussed on what he was doing, neither expecting her to answer nor make eye contact.  It was just something to say so he could keep going.

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2008, 12:23:08 PM »
A wash cloth!  Why hadn’t she remembered it sooner!  A wash cloth was always needed, a bath necessity, so Ryanna quickly cleared up the mystery of where one was located (behind where the soap was, actually), keeping her position despite how uncomfortable it was quickly becoming.  Oh well.  She would have to grin and bear it.  There were other thoughts on her mind, though Ryanna actually concentrated on the pain as he started washing more, and she started bleeding through.

It kept her mind on Maracatte, and how dangerous that vicious woman actual was.  All the rumors were true, it seemed.  All those terrible rumors…. The rumors!  Another idea floated to her mind, and Ryanna turned her head to the side, looking towards the window on the front facing wall of the house, seeing nothing but darkness out there.  If one of Maracatte’s people were listening…. Hopefully they felt the same way as Ryanna in the matter, but were just too chicken to do anything themselves.  That had to change.

The next question made her heart stop for a moment, Ryanna holding her breath in hopes he did not really ask that.  But he did.  Closing her eyes, Ryanna breathed out slowly, trying to gather her calm.  Freddy asked.  Ryanna could not deny him the answer to this.

“Remember how I said I was visiting some friends at the Gulbrand farm?  Well…. I wasn’t visiting friends.  I was posing as a servant of Dag Gulbrand’s benefactor and used that to snoop around all of his finance ledgers and files and papers.  It was not Gulbrand or Weiss who did this.”  Ryanna quickly added that last sentence in, making sure that was perfectly clear.  Neither of those men had anything to do with it.  With all of that intelligence in the hands of Magnus and his people, Dag and Weiss would have enough to deal with.

What could be revealed… Ryanna was still mentally sifting through all of the data she had in her brain, trying to figure out what would be vague enough it could not be traced back to her, but at the same time would lead to Maracatte through independent investigation.  There was only one thing Ryanna had thought of so far, but it seemed far fetched.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2008, 10:17:30 PM »
Freddy frowned, putting the pieces together slowly.  He didn\'t recall her saying she\'d visited a friend on the Gulbrand farm at all, but he wasn\'t going to correct her.  He considered it another piece to the puzzle, for that matter.

"But... someone found out you were spying and... did this to you because of it?" he offered warily.

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2008, 10:26:30 PM »
"Yes."  Ryanna sighed again, wishing there had been some sort of warning that this could happen.  Oh wait, there was a warning, but that was more along the lines of Dag raping her if he found her out, or Weiss killing her, neither of which happened.  If Magnus had had his nose into his brother\'s business dealings a little more beforehand, Ryanna might have learned about talks with Maracatte, and known to avoid the farm that day, or to decline the risky task all together.

Ryanna cringed as he hit a rather sore spot, and another sentence slipped out of her mouth because of it.  It was the only way she could think to point him, and Ryanna felt terrible for not being able to just tell him the woman\'s name and let it be over with.

"Have you ever looked at the Talonists?  There \'ave been some hush hush burials...."

It was a start.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
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Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2008, 11:27:20 PM »
He raised a single eyebrow, sensing that she was alluding to something more than just making inane chatter to distract herself from the pain she\'d obviously just experienced.  She was giving him a clue, without saying enough to be accused of revealing her attacker.

"You\'re saying... that you\'re not the first person that\'s been attacked by this... person?  And that they\'re... noble?" he mused, trying not to ignore what he was doing, so that he didn\'t hurt her more.

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2008, 11:37:43 PM »
“It’s a family thing…”

Ryanna was chewing her lip nervously, staring at the floor now, chin resting on her arms and digging in, giving her a lesser pain to focus on than her back, which was nice.  At some point she needed to wash the cut on her face as well, which she had been doing regularly, but had yet to get to it today.  She had been busy today, getting food so she could survive as a hermit.  Of course, her employer would worry soon, seeing as she came in all scrapped up and asked for time off.  Kysis was too sarcastic to deal with the shop alone, and Rico did not know as much about weaponry as she did.  Ryanna felt terrible for abandoning them on it, but…

“I’ve heard whispers that someone will be buried in two day’s time.”

It wasn’t a quiet burial, the type no one was supposed to know about, but it was still hushed, even if the Grand Chaplain of Talon was speaking at the funeral.  It was Elena Maracatte, the mother of the monster, who was being buried that day.  And, if Ryanna heard the rumors right, it wasn’t natural.  Maracatte’s servants were too scared to talk, but one had visited her the day after Ryanna’s own beating, and had giving a few vague scraps of information, but not much.  In fact, it had taken a day to unravel part of it, and Ryanna was still sifting through the tidbits.  The way that servant had gotten to her was to deliver a warning, that if she talked, it would be worse.  Ryanna already known that, though.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2008, 12:24:24 AM »
"Someone... " he repeated hollowly, searching his brain and realising he had no clue who she might be talking about.  He also got the feeling that she\'d said enough to put him on the track to understanding how this horrible attack had occurred and wouldn\'t be saying any more, that he would have to possibly attend that future funeral to find his answers.  Of course him showing up unannounced at a noble\'s interrment would be a bit obvious, he might need some help from someone else willing to help Ryanna, who was also noble... someone like her boss.

With a frown that was nowhere near as deep with resentment as it might have been even a week ago, Freddy decided to push aside that thought for the time being.  Nothing could be done now - unless Ryanna changed her mind and spoke plainly - and he would do better to help her in the way that he actually could.

"Your back\'s free of bad stuff now," he told her quietly, surveying his handiwork critically.  It was true, there was no more pus or crusted blood in the welts upon her back but most of them were bleeding freely again.  "Would you like me to empty this bath out and run you another, just to relax in?"

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2008, 12:54:26 AM »
“No, thank you.  I… I don’t feel so good.”  Ryanna sat back down on her rear, wincing at the fell of water sitting against the ones that were open again.  The back of her hand was pressed to her mouth.  She was feeling really queasy but managed to swallow it back.  Her stomach felt like a hollow.  Uhg…  Ryanna took a few slow, drawn out breaths, trying to remain calm and not nauseous.  It was hard.

“Can I have a towel?”  Ryanna also gave directions as to where she kept the fluffy things.  They were a present sent by her older sister one year a while back, right after said sister and mother made their escape.  The towels were nice, if a little old.  Ryanna always made sure they were clean and ever fluffy, so it worked.  But right now she just wanted to dry off and get her back bandages.  She could get a small pot of water warming to wash her face up after that was done.

How Freddy could attend said funeral, Ryanna had no idea.  There was a hush hush burial of a servant earlier that week, which Maracatte herself mentioned as part of her threats.  The woman was good at being intimidating.  Ryanna also knew that the guards had good people in the upper ranks, good people who could not be bribed.  She had to keep talking, keep her mind off her stomach and the thoughts of what might happen to her if Maracatte found out she did this, she gave the clues.

“The High Chaplain of Talon is speaking at the funeral.  There will be all nobles there.  I have no idea how you could investigate that without being seen… It was a stupid idea.  Forget I even suggested it.”
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2008, 12:10:23 PM »
He waited until she was out of the bath and as dry as possible - he was thinking about what she\'d said all the while, in an effort to both solve her problem and distract himself from looking too closely at her nudity - before he said anything.  By then, he\'d encouraged her to lay on her stomach on her bed so that he could recline on the mattress beside her (sans boots, of course) and apply the balm that would hopefully mend the cuts sooner and keep them from becoming infected.

"Well... I\'ve been thinking about that.  As a guard, I turn up to the temple between shifts, to worship when I can, so if I just happen to arrive at the start of a funeral I didn\'t know anything about, it wouldn\'t be completely strange for me to ask - politely - who was being buried and if it was okay if I snuck in the back just to have some quiet time, without disturbing the family.  Would it?" he asked her frankly, raising his eyebrows and glancing towards her head as he primarily watched what his hand was doing.

He was sitting up beside her, his legs curled to the right, the bowl in his left hand and the fingers of his right gently prodding salve into her wounds.

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2008, 10:13:43 PM »
Ryanna was now laying on her stomach, stretched out, and the bed still seemed enormous compared to her.  For a moment there was a tinge where she wished she was taller.  Not Captain Wilson taller, but... just taller.  Even Alia taller would work.  But Freddy was talking, and the cold, gooey feeling of the balm felt good on her back, so she found herself concentrating on where the burning of open wound stopped and the cold squishy began.

As soon as he was done giving his idea, Ryanna shook her head, trying not to move the rest of her body in the process.  She twisted her head to the side, cheek resting on her folded arms so she could watch Freddy.  He was putting sooooo much attention into this.  If they weren\'t having an important conversation right now, she would break down and tell him thank you a million times or more.  Ryanna felt Freddy deserved it.  Freddy didn\'t just think of her as another ribbon on his shoulder, cared enough to check on her.  If it had been any other time, any other circumstance, Ryanna might have smiled at the thought.

"They don\'t like guards, and they don\'t like commoners.  We are just meat to use and then trash."  There was venom in Ryanna\'s voice, her hatred for the whole Maracatte family really coming out now.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2008, 12:19:16 AM »
His movements slowed as he took this tidbit it, his frown turning impatient.  "I wouldn\'t wear my uniform," he pointed out.  "I\'d just approach and no doubt get told it was a private ceremony and then ask who... oh Hell, save me the trouble and tell me who is being buried in two days\' time, because that\'s all I want to find out by going there anyway," he told Ryanna impatiently.

Freddy wasn\'t the cloak and dagger expert, nor was he used to having to take unnecessary amounts of time to work things out.  If something bothered him, he pursued it doggedly until it was resolved.  "If more is to be discovered, I think I\'d have to employ the help of Lord Liari, as a noble who won\'t be out of place," he finished offhandedly, muttering this bit of information as if it was an inconsequential thought.  Really, he wanted to know her opinion of such a proposal and figured dropping it casually would be the best way to find out.

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2008, 04:16:03 AM »
A lieutenant in the guard, in uniform or no, was generally known, especially when of the size and particular looks of Freddy.  There was no mistaking him.  Just up and saying who was getting buried would not do either.  Who was getting buried was not the huge thing.  It was who was attending, and who was buried not long ago that mattered.  Ryanna knew there were funerals held at night, with one or two people present, and all were servants of Maracatte.  It was frustrating as hell, but—

Lord Liari.  Ryanna did not want to get her employer involved.  Surely Maracatte knew Ryanna now worked for Lord Liari.  Surely he would be out of place because of his disdain for the whole noble circle but with that came the thought of the fact he could fend for himself.  If Maracatte ever dared come at him, or someone close to him (which consisted of guards, Rico, and Captain Wilson, all of which could also defend themselves well), she would be in for a surprise, that was for sure.  Ryanna’s mind was racing.

“It might work….  Lady Elena Maracatte is being buried.  I only met her once, but she was a good woman.  Lord Maracatte bought a few maces from my boss to furnish his guards, so it might just work.  But… what about the other burials?  Will you look into it?  Or should Lord Liari while he is there?”

Ryanna gave the information she believed would be necessary for this to take place.  Lord Liari had to know who the funeral was for in order to attend, and that connection, as thin as it was, would help.

“I…. I can manage here, if you want to… to go tell him.”  There was a bow with some arrows under her bed, as well as a wooden shield.  Ryanna had left the sword out by the fire, but she could retrieve that as well.  In fact, Ryanna knew she would not be able to sleep, so she planned to sit by the fire and stare at the door.  Yes.  That should do.  If Maracatte came back, Ryanna would have no qualms with shooting.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2008, 11:11:04 PM »
Freddy looked somewhat startled by her response.  He\'d gone from fishing around with his comment to receiving a positive confirmation that he wasn\'t prepared for.  "What?  Now?" he asked incredulously, hardly able to imagine himself approaching Lord Liari in the day time, let alone now, at night.  It wasn\'t the time, he wasn\'t mentally prepared to go knocking on his and Lam\'s door in the middle of the night, just to ask the man to do him a favour and go snoop around an upcoming funeral.  That simply wouldn\'t do.

The blonde\'s eyes narrowed on his companion.  "Just what do you expect me to say drove me to such a request, on the spur of the moment, at this hour, then?" he asked admonishingly.  He wanted to tell Kysis exactly what sort of condition Ryanna was in, and if she encouraged him to go see the Lord now, he felt he would have every reason to reveal that information - but he had to be fair and subtly warn her that that would be the standpoint he\'d be forced to take.  "He should know how much pain you\'re in, I suppose," he mused deliberately, making the point unnecessarily clear.

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #30 on: March 08, 2008, 06:20:52 AM »
"No!!!  You can\'t tell him!  He would never approve of what I was at the farm doing and-- and--- he\'ll fire me!  And probably want to turn me in to the guards for it!  Just go in the morning!  Really!" Ryanna almost jumped off the bed in her adamant desire for her boss not to be told.  Anyone but him.  Lord Liari (from what Ryanna had seen) had the moral compass of a Grand Chaplain of Adora, and would not tolerate even the idea laid before him, much less going through with it.

As much as she wanted something to really happen about Maracatte, more for the sake of her poor servants than herself, she could not dare drag Lord Liari into her mis-deeds.  Ryanna knew her boss and Maracatte had a very thin business connection, and that would shatter completely if Kysis found out and then tried to go through with the operation she and Freddy were considering.  The guilt of knowing would show through like a candle behind a piece of thin paper!

Oh, none of this was going as planned at all.  Ryanna almost wished she had not mentioned it at all.  Things would be a lot easier that way.  Easier?  Who was she kidding?  She had complicated everything on her own.  Her fault entirely, even if Magnus was in on it and helped out considerably.

"Morning would be better." Ryanna nodded fervently. "I mean, you would have to tell him that there is an ongoing investigation into someone at the funeral, but, don\'t tell him about my injuries.  Please."
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #31 on: March 08, 2008, 10:47:15 PM »
Freddy gave her a reprimanding look, but settled back down beside her, not wanting her to fuss enough that her wounds started bleeding again.  "Alright," he agreed reluctantly.  "I\'ll go to Lord Liari tomorrow and request his help in observing the funeral, telling him I\'m investigating some of the people I believe will be there, so that he can tell me who he saw, what he saw and ask him if there\'s anything further he can add to my information... alright?" he asked.

The longer he spoke to her, the more solid the plan became in his mind.  He was fairly confident he could go to the lord with a story like that, but he wasn\'t certain that Lam wouldn\'t question it and undo the tenuous threads Ryanna was having him string up to hide the truth... but he saw no other alternative at this stage, not if she believed he\'d stick out like a sore thumb at the temple and not if she was unwlling to simply tell him the name he desperately wanted.

"Rest," he told her with a sigh, smoothing a gentle hand over her hair as an encouragement for her to get comfortable on the bed once more.  "You need it."  He wasn\'t sure if he should stay in the bedroom with her or whether he should guard her in the outer rooms - or leave altogether.  He didn\'t think he would know unless he asked and so, in typical blunt form, he did.  "Do you want me to stay tonight?"

Offline Kysis

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #32 on: March 08, 2008, 10:56:34 PM »
"I \'aven\'t slept in a few days."

Since Maracatte had visited her, at least.  Ryanna had tried to sleep once, but kept being jarred awake by dreams of Maracatte having someone sneak in to kill her, or coming herself to torture Ryanna again.  The dreams had been horrible, and Ryanna had woken up right when the attacker touched her, bolting upright with enough force to tear at her back, slicked in sweat which stung the new re-openings.  And then, Ryanna could not fall asleep again, sitting out by the fire with a weapon or two, staring at the front door.

She needed rest, but for what?  Ryanna knew that if Lord Liari went to the funeral, she would have to go to work.  She also knew that during the funeral, it would be safest if she was not home.  Wouldn\'t a mother\'s funeral be a perfect alibi for a murder?  The thought sent a shiver up Ryanna\'s spine.  That blasted witch of a woman would think that way, wouldn\'t she?

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.  The first part was how Ryanna had always thought before.  She would always hope for the best.  The second part had rubbed off on her from her boss.  He always prepared for the worst, no matter how severely things were slanted in his favor.

"I don\'t want to keep ya up...."

That was the truth, but she also did not want Freddy to leave.  She felt safer with him there.  A big ox of a man could do that.  However, Ryanna was sure it was more because it was Freddy.  Reliable Freddy.  She could trust him.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #33 on: March 08, 2008, 11:08:53 PM »
The lieutenant rubbed a weary hand over his face, not particularly feeling like being kept up, either; especially if he was to go to see Lord Liari on the morrow.  Thing was, Ryanna needed the rest more than him and, if it was necessary, he would make the sacrifice for her.

"Well... I could maybe sleep beside you?  I\'m a light sleeper but I\'d get rest until something happened that required me being awake," he mused, looking at the bed thoughtfully.  It was difficult to meet her eye, making such a forward request as this.  Besides, Ryanna wasn\'t that big but she was terribly wounded.  He wouldn\'t be surprised if she balked at the thought of having him lie beside her, in case he happened to bump her.  Still, she knew that he was a steady sleeper, and not one to flail about restlessly.

He couldn\'t meet her eye as he waited breathlessly for her answer.

Offline Kysis

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #34 on: March 08, 2008, 11:13:39 PM »
Well, that wasn\'t an idea that had come to mind.  Ryanna blinked furiously, tilting her head to one side, nose wrinkled as she considered.  Yes, he was a still sleeper, so he wouldn\'t bump her wounds.  That was good.  Ryanna was not sure if he was a light sleeper or not, but weren\'t guards supposed to be trained like that?  Especially him of all people.  So...

"I guess that could work."

Ryanna looked at the large bed, which was huge with just her on it, but would not be cramped with Freddy there too.  She scooted over some, wiggling to get to one side of the bed.  A smile was forced, as weak as it was.

It did remind her some of that night, three ago.  It seemed like ages, but it was just three.  Ryanna nodded. "Ok."  What else was she supposed to say?  Ryanna had a feeling she would sleep just fine with Freddy there, so this was a middle-point, so neither of them lost sleep.  That would be good.  She nodded again at her own mental points, though it might have looked odd to an outsider.

"I think I\'d feel a bit safer that way."
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2008, 11:22:01 PM »
"And we both sleep," he pointed out, his grin growing.  It was a difficult thing to hide how pleased and relieved he was, now that she\'d accepted his offer.  He was slightly disappointed that she hadn\'t made the suggestion herself or been... well, enthusiastic about him being with her, but he knew that feeling would fade once they\'d both safely seen the night out.

He hoped they saw the night safely out, anyway.

"I\'ll go and tidy everything up," he told her obediently, starting with taking everything he\'d brought into the bedroom out of it.  He stoked the fire out in the main room and put in some extra wood, figuring that his companion wouldn\'t be able to cover herself fully with blankets and would therefore need some heat in the air around her (even if it came from the other room).  Hopefully his excessive body heat would sustain her, too.

Once everything was set to rights in the main room, he returned to the bedroom, wearing only his ankle-length under pants (tied firmly at his waist so they wouldn\'t loosen suggestively).  "Let me help you with the covers," he said softly, fussing until they were no longer beneath Ryanna, but were pulled up to her waist - and then he got in under them, beside her.  He did his best to move slowly and shuffle about gingerly, not wanting to shake the frame of the bed and hurt her.  When he was settled, he turned his head on the pillow and looked at her shadow in the darkness.  "Alright?" he asked softly, meaning was she alright, as well as was his entrance into the bed alright.

Offline Kysis

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #36 on: March 09, 2008, 12:18:14 PM »
Ryanna did not have a chance to tell him that he did not have to tidy.  Really.  Ryanna did not even clean her own house very often (though she laundered her clothing and washed the dishes on a regular basis).  However, it was nice to just sit there for a while, to shiver a bit from her skin and the cold air being in contact.  She really wished she could just curl up in a cocoon of covers, but knew that would just murder her back.

Oh, nothing but Freddy was going her way now.  Had she sacrificed all her luck for one thing?

Probably.

Those thoughts were dashed when Freddy came back in the room and carefully arranged her.  He was so gentle, especially for the giant he was.  A real smile touched her lips.  She was thankful to have him there.  It was more comforting than she had imaged, even with his cheeky comments.

"Thank you soooooo much."  Ryanna snuggled in close to him as soon as he was situated, enjoying his warmth.  It was like her own personal fireplace, on the bed, without the risk of dying.  Ryanna rested her cheek on his shoulder (a little closer to his arm, but still near enough to the shoulder).  She felt tiny next to him, but the bed felt right sized, so all was good.

Well, almost all good.

"I\'m comfy.  Are you?  There is water and food and stuff if you need anything.  Really."
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2008, 01:28:01 PM »
"Mmm," he murmured negligently, not really interested in getting up again now that they were settled and she was seeming a little more normal - enough to snuggle up to him, anyway, and be friendly rather than frantic.  He leaned forward and kissed the top of her head lightly and then settled back, closing his eyes and smiling a little.

"I\'m comfy, sleep well," he murmured, not able to say anything more that was dancing upon his tongue, as the exhaustion of finishing a shift and then becoming immersed in a stressful situation (as he worried about what Ryanna had got herself into) claimed him.  He was dragged down into the depths of slumber without any further ado, hoping his companion surrendered to the same.