Author Topic: Duty  (Read 960 times)

Daniel DeAuster

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Duty
« on: October 19, 2016, 01:20:47 PM »
I want to tear a big hole in what is to be,
To end all this infatuation with unity,
I'm seeking my salvation alone again,
I never needed to be one of you anyway

Don't wanna be another player losing in this game
I'm trying to impress upon you
We're not the same
My own individuality is so unique,
I'm one impressive mother****er
Now, wouldn't you say?

Godsmack - Divide



[size=15]Wood met with a staccato beat for the two slowly circling one another in the sand-filled arena that dominated Gharnholme?s first subterranean level. Daniel?s eyes were narrowed, his torso gleaming in the light of the glow-orbs as he lunged, the practice sword in his right hand darting forward only to be batted wide to the side. The faux dagger spun in his hand as he ducked backward from the riposte that would have left another stinging bruise on his side had it connected.

?Better.? Julian smiled as he nodded to the young man, stepping back also and holding his twin practice tantos in a lazy ?X? before him. ?You?re letting instinct have more control. That?s good, especially with the fighting style you seem comfortable with.?

Daniel took a deep breath and let it out slowly before replying. ?On those last few passes I don?t even remember thinking about adjusting to what you were doing. ?

?That?s what I?m talking about.? Julian?s laugh was soft, his stance still relaxed as he studied Daniel. ?Your fundamentals are sound, and you had good teachers growing up.? The smile faded slightly as he cocked his head to the side. ?That makes a good starting point, but now you build on that. Learn to trust your instincts in a fight.?

?'is instincts be tha? o' a killer, like th? rest o? 'is family.? The soft gravelly voice drew the attention of both men upward to the landing overlooking the arena and the dark-clad figure leaned against the railing. ?An? 'e needs nae teachin' tae do i' either. Like tha? rest o? us, he?ll be good at it.?

?There?s a vast difference between instinct and bloodthirsty passion Lorcain.? Julian shifted his stance to bring one of the tantos up to rest on his shoulder. ?While passions can be an admirable trait it can lead to overconfidence, which in turn will get you killed.? Lorcain snorted softly and began to descend, his gaze flicking to Daniel then back.

?An? instinct can be dulled when yeh be dead-tired. Yer goin? tae slow down, get sloppy an? tha? will get yeh killed.? Reaching the bottom of the stairs he stopped, thumbs hooked into his belt as he studied Julian. ?When yer draggin?, it?s gonnae be tha? passion for livin? tha?s gonnae get yeh through. Tha?s gonnae give yeh a focus tae channel.?

?And can passion lead you to the most advantageous spot to spring a trap, or show you the best place to penetrate your opponent?s armor or defenses?? Julian countered, meeting Lorcain?s intense gaze evenly. ?No. It takes knowledge of combat and instinctual ability to assess at a second?s glance.? His chest heaved as he chuckled softly. ?Your passion can and will blind you to such things.?

?An' when yeh simply overpower yer opponent all tha' becomes moot.? Now it was Lorcain who smiled, though his was more akin to a shagien eyeing a deer. ?I?m thinkin? we shoul' put this tae th? test, yer ?instinct? again' me ?passion?.?[/size]

Daniel DeAuster

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Re:
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2016, 02:37:28 PM »
[size=15]?All right, I accept.? Julian nodded toward the racks set around the edge of the pit, where many different weapons and their wooden practice counterparts were kept. His cerulean gaze flicked down toward Lorcain?s weapons-belt. ?I?m certain we can find a set close enough to what you use.?

?Who said annathin? 'bout playin??? Julian ducked back, barely avoiding the vicious slash aimed at his jugular as Lorcain exploded into movement. Lorcain?s follow-up attack with his second dagger sent wood chips flying as Julian blocked with one of his practice blades, the sheer ferocity forcing him back another step. The matched daggers sliced in again in a bi-level strike intended to disembowel Julian, but this time the blades met resistance with jarring force as they impacted two ebon spheres that had formed around Julian?s hands. Julian took another step backward, the shadows lengthening in his grasp to form two ghostly approximations of the dueling blades he normally favored as he dropped into a ready stance.

Lorcain pressed his attack, each cut and slash was met in silence by a shadow blade. Julian slowly brought his momentum to a halt, forcing Lorcain into a circling prowl around the edge of the pit. After a moment of the exchange Lorcain paused, rubbing his bottom lip with a knuckle as he studied Julian again. ?Yer one o' Da?s fancy new knights, aincha'?? Julian, his weapons remaining at the ready, nodded fractionally.

?The correct name is shadow-legionnaire, but yes, that?s right.? Lorcain was quiet for a second, and then just grunted as he darted back in, the deadly dance resuming. For his part Daniel watched the two in fascination. It was a study of contrasts, Julian?s controlled parries and strikes meeting Lorcain?s rage-filled attacks. Both were sporting several cuts, crimson stains growing on the right side of Julian?s shirt while Lorcain?s forearm bore a long gash. When Lorcain tried a sweep that, had it hit, would have severed Julian?s hamstring and had barely ducked away from the impaling thrust he stepped forward to insinuate himself between the two.

?OK, this is getting too?? The rest of his sentence was lost in a yelp of surprise as Lorcain spun around with a snarl, the dagger snapping out almost too fast for Daniel to avoid. Julian also reacted to the change of flow in the duel by sweeping one of the shadow-sabers toward Daniel?s leg, forcing him to kick his leg upward to avoid the cut. The dodge turned into a backwards cartwheel, though the attempt to put distance between himself and the other two did little good as they followed, not slacking their own duel in the slightest. Daniel sent his practice blades flying to either side as he sent out a mental shout, his call being answered by a solid ?thud? of a hilt slapping into his right hand. Torth hissed in glee as the circling dance enveloped Daniel again, the inky shield that swirled around his left forearm turning away another of Lorcain?s blows.

There was no sense of time for the three as they fought, each centering on the moment and movement of his opponents. There was no ganging up to knock out another either as each of the three gave and received in turn, forced to defend from both sides before returning to the offensive. It was a ballet of aggression and skill, one in which it seemed the three were evenly matched though Daniel found it difficult to keep up with his uncle and Julian.

The first hint any of them had that the dynamic had changed was a dark blur that suddenly appeared in the center of the three. Daniel felt the kick almost before he had realized that he had seen anything, the blow to his stomach sending him stumbling backward. Julian?s knee was buckled by the impact of a booted foot, a leather clad leg slamming into his torso and sending him to his back with enough force to send the air racing from his lungs. Lorcain received the worst, for he was just beginning to bring his blades down to deal with this new threat when a hard boot hammered into his stomach once, again, then came up to deliver a blow to his chin hard enough to flip him backwards to land in a heap on his stomach. Blinking rapidly he looked upward as the figure straightened, the long black braid whipping around her torso as she stopped. Emerald eyes flared with icy regard as she gazed at each in turn and though her voice was soft there was no mistaking the anger lurking in her tone. ?Would any of ye care to explain exactly what ye be doing??

?Ach, nae anna need tae be gettin? yer panties inna wad, sethar.? Lorcain slowly moved to his feet, rubbing his chin with a slight wince as he worked his jaw from side to side. ?Th? boy ain' hurt none, an' Danny be fine 'swell.?

?Indeed, Your Majesty. Daniel and I took it easy on Lorcain, given his advanced?experience.? The glare that Julian and Lorcain exchanged was nothing compared to the look Fiona shot at both of them from where she stood examining a cut on Daniel?s cheek.

?Daniel, ye fathair be waiting on ye in Cisroe. I?ve told Jasmine and Anya to lay out an outfit for ye.? Leather-clad fingertips brushed her son?s cheek gently, a thread of energy exchanged in that soft caress to accelerate Daniel?s regenerative powers. ?And it would be best not to keep him waiting.?

?Yes, mathair.? Daniel leaned close to press a kiss to his mother?s cheek before retreating toward the staircase leading out of the arena. Fiona moved to stand between the two men still below and her voice echoed upward as Daniel passed through the door heading toward the stairs leading to the second level of the subterranean complex.

?Now, the three of us need to have a little talk??
[/size]

Cieara DeAuster

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Re:
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2016, 10:28:02 PM »
[size=16]The family is the school of duties - founded on love. -Felix Adler[/size]

[size=16]Cieara DeAuster was many things, but patient was not always among them.

As she stood looking out one of the bay windows that overlooked the expansive gardens built around the seat of power of Mercyvia her thoughts drifted back along the events of the morning. For the last several months she and her brother Daniel had developed a ritual for the mornings, when they were not away from home. The two would enjoy a quiet breakfast with the rest of the family, and then head to the arena and spend the next hour sparring. The sparring bouts were a release of energy and sometimes pent up frustration. Myrialla had admonished them more than once to be more careful while treating the bruises and cuts the siblings would incur, for the two rarely held back.

This morning had started in similar fashion, but Cieara had found herself stopped by Fiona on her way out of the dining room to meet Daniel. " Cieara. I need ye to come with me." Cieara found herself being led back to her room where she found an exquisite black satin and lace gown had been laid out for her. ?A gift from ye fathair and I. He expects ye in Cisroe, and ye nae need keep him waiting." After kissing her daughter on the cheek Fiona left her in the hands of Kaelyn and Rhian as she went off to find Daniel.

Cieara wasn't used to being fussed over in such a fashion and had a suspicion that Kaelyn knew something, but no amount of pouting or cajoling would get the young woman to admit to anything. She would deflect questions with a comment about the latest news or to tell Rhian to bring her an accessory from the vanity. The empathic link Cieara shared with her brother was not helping for it was allowing her to experience the thrill of his sparring with Julian and Lorcain, and she was soon squirming in her chair from the shared perceptions. The fact that she was missing it made her already sour mood worse. Finally she was ready and, along with Kaelyn, stepped through the portal to Shadows Falls, the family manor outside Cisroe.

On the carriage-ride toward Antetion Palace Cieara again tried to get Kaelyn to talk but she would only smile softly and say "Be patient." Cieara let it drop with a soft growl of irritation and the rest of the journey was spent in silence. On arrival the two friends swept up the stairs and into the halls leading toward the main audience chamber, but found themselves intercepted at the double-doors by a young page wearing the newly-installed black-on-green livery that Lucius had adopted over a century before. "Your Royal Highness...Madame." with a respectful bow to both he continued. "His Majesty has requested that you wait here for his summons." Cieara stared at him aghast, several seconds passing before she found her voice.

"Excuse me, but did you say his 'summons'?" She was sputtering in anger and it was only Kaelyn's soft touch to her arm kept Cieara from launching into a tirade on the poor page. The young man paled slightly under Cieara's withering gaze but, to his credit, maintained his composure.

"Yes, Ma?am. He was quite specific in his instructions."

"Thank you for the message." Kaelyn quickly dismissed the page who gratefully retreated back into the audience chamber before Cieara could respond. She looked to Cieara and gave her friend a quick hug. "Wait here and I shall go in and see what be going on." Again Cieara had the feeling that Kaelyn knew something but the blonde swept away before she could force the issue. Fuming the young redhead had stomped to the bay windows to get away from the flow of the court, which is where Daniel found her on his arrival.

"Good morning, sethar." His voice brought her around, though the smile that would usually bloom at seeing her brother was absent.

"I was here first, so ye'll wait your turn." Her tone brought Daniel up short, his hands raised as if to ward off a blow.

"Whoa. Whatever it is, I'm fairly certain I didn't do it." Cieara sniffed and turned back to the window, arms folded in front of her. Daniel stepped up to stand beside her and she glanced in his direction.

"No, ye nae had me made up like a chevarice doll and hauled here with nary a word as to why, and then forced to wait here for fathair's pleasure." She shot a glare toward the door to the audience chamber, while Daniel laid a hand on her shoulder to give it a gentle squeeze. Turning more toward him she brought up a lace-encased finger and ran her fingertip along the faint white scar that was still visible on his cheek. "You dropped your guard again."

Daniel smiled ruefully and inclined his head toward her. "In my defense I was fighting two people this morning." Cieara just shook her head, a faint smile finally drifting across rose pale lips. "I do wonder though how long we'll have to wait."
[/size]
I never want to lose
what I have finally found
There's a requiem,
A new congregation
And it's telling me
Go forward and walk
Under a brighter sky
Euphoria by Delirium

Cieara DeAuster

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Re:
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2017, 11:35:12 PM »
[size=16]"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life." ~Richard Bach[/size]

[size=16]"Not long at all." The voice brought the attention of the siblings around toward the corner and the warrior that had just arrived. Both smiled at seeing the man who had come to command their father's mercenary forces during his war with Urevan. Commander Johann Farris bowed his head in greeting to the two, the pomp of court replaced by a familiarity forged on the battlefield. "Your father sends his apologies for making you wait, and he hopes you will forgive the delay. They are, however, now ready to receive you. If you will come with me?" Turning, Farriss started back down the hall away from the main audience chamber. Cieara and Daniel hurried to follow, cutting a puzzled glance toward each other.

Farriss paused beside one of the heavy oak doors and held it open for Cieara, who smiled in thanks before stepping through. Daniel and Farriss followed her into what the siblings recognized as the smaller audience chamber usually reserved for council meetings. The table that normally sat in the center of the room had been moved to the wall leaving an unobstructed path along the red carpeting to the small throne across from the door, where Lucius sat in repose. Fiona stood beside him with a hand resting on his shoulder, having changed into an emerald ensemble before returning from Gharnholme. A quick glance found Myrialla and Kaelyn standing to one side alongside Duke Jonathan Harte and the recently appointed chamberlain Valcriss DelCroiss. A shorter woman, her hair swept up in an elaborate coif, stood next to Harte. Others stood behind the quintet but most were unknown to either Cieara or Daniel.

The three crossed over to where Lucius and Fiona waited, a soft touch to their shoulders urging them into a bow and courtesy respectively while Farriss knelt behind them. Cieara glanced upward toward her parents and her earlier annoyance faded at seeing the smile each held. Lucius looked over to DelCroiss and the chamberlain stepped forward, a parchment held up before him which, after clearing his throat, he began to read.

"Let it be known that, on this sixteenth day of Halmarch, that we the royal court of Mercyvia do acknowledge the following..." DelCroiss paused for effect, looking at the two standing before the throne as he continued. "...His Royal Highness Daniel Rhystil, as befitting his status and in reward for duty served, shall be hereby gifted the manor of Rosecliff and all attendant lands, located within the Duchy of Blackcrest." Daniel's eyes widened at the announcement and shot looks between his parents and sister beside him. "Puissant with this he shall also henceforth hold title as Earl of Rosecliff, to be given honors and hold the responsibilities that said title and lands entail." Daniel was in shock as Kaelyn stepped forward to stand behind him, setting a robe of rich burgundy that he had missed seeing in entry across his shoulders and giving them a soft squeeze of support and encouragement. Cieara watched and listened in bewilderment, though she was not to be left wanting for long with the chamberlain's next words.

"Furthermore, Her Royal Highness Cieara Jade, as befitting her status and in reward for duty served, shall be gifted the manor house of Alcrain and attached land, located within the barony of Valdell. Puissant with this she shall also henceforth hold title as Countess DeAuster, to be given honors and hold the responsibilities that said title entails." Myrialla set a heavy cloak across Cieara?s shoulders as Lucius came smoothly to his feet.

?Daniel. Cieara, the two of you have done everything your mother and I have asked of you and so much more. You have made us all proud, and this is a reward you both have justly earned.? His gaze shifted from his daughter to his son and back. ?And we know you will continue to do so. Now, rise, Earl of Rosecliff. Rise, Countess DeAuster?

Cieara and Daniel straightened, and Cieara found herself swept into a hug by her father. He released her after a few seconds to clasp hands with his son as Fiona gave her daughter a second hug. Valcriss was motioned back with a nod of Lucius?s head, and his two children were led to the side to stand with the others, leaving Lucius alone with the still-kneeling Farriss.
[/size]
I never want to lose
what I have finally found
There's a requiem,
A new congregation
And it's telling me
Go forward and walk
Under a brighter sky
Euphoria by Delirium

Lucius DeAuster

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Re:
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2017, 01:14:35 PM »
"Johann Farriss, there are those who counseled me not to trust you when you first came to me." Lucius's arms folded over his wide chest as he stared at the kneeling warrior before him, his words taking both back to the day when the then-mercenary had arrived at the gate of Gharnholme, escorting his children and Myrialla from an ambush on the road from Ivory Flails. Farriss had refused to obey the order of his patron Nikolas Urevan to capture or kill the young DeAusters, and in fact had fought the mercenaries of Urevan's ally Argus Torvien. All this had stood in his stead when he came before Lucius, who, at the favorable word of his fianc?, had taken the commander and his men into his employ.

"I made a proverbial leap of faith, and you have rewarded it time and again." Lucius's soft voice brought Farriss back to the present. "Now, I can properly reward you for your service." A predatory grin slowly crossed the features of the Dark Sovereign. "I understand there is a solemn ceremony for this, but I believe that, between us, it can be set aside." Farriss closed his eyes and took in a breath, using the motion to keep his feelings steady as Lucius continued. "Today I proclaim Johann Farriss a knight of the realm of Mercivya, with all the duties and rewards provided. Now, rise, Sir Farriss."

Farriss rose smoothly, and he took Lucius's hand, the two clasping forearms in the traditional way of the warrior. "Thank you, Your Majesty."

"It's more than earned." Lucius replied. "And the first duty I charge you with is the building of a new order, the Order of the Axe." The smile returned as Lucius gave voice to something he had been considering ever since taking the throne from Urevan. "You are to find those of similar temperament, skill and loyalty to the throne, and build them into a force to make us proud."

"Your will be done, Sire." Farriss nodded deeply, bringing a soft chuckle from Lucius. The sovereign turned to address those gathered as witnesses.

"Thank you for being here today, my lords and ladies." He inclined his head, and in turn the nobility bowed in kind. "And now, let us join the others, and enjoy the feast that has been prepared. At a wave of Lucius's hand the doors to the main hall were flung open, where others of the court had already started gathering and enjoying the tables laid out.

Cieara soon found herself meeting several of the nobility, the names blurring together as she was introduced as the newest countess of the realm. In truth, she found herself a bit intimidated by the crowd, and was thankful as one of the ladies who had witnessed the ceremony, The Duchess von Bellgrade, joined her to talk about her new holdings. The presence of the duchess kept many away and provided a buffer, until Fiona joined them. "I hope ye will forgive your father, but he did want to surprise ye today with the honor and title given."

"He did." Cieara nodded, a hint of color touching her pale cheeks at the memory of her anger earlier. "But he doesn't like all this the pomp and circumstance, so why not just proclaim our titles?"

"This was for the court more than yourself." von Bellgrad answered, taking a demure sip from her glass before continuing. "Some of the witnesses were also ambassadors and courtiers from other nations and realms, and by holding the spectacle it helps solidify your rightful hold to the title, as well as quash some of the loose lips of the court." Fiona nodded slowly in agreement.

"Aye. As Lucius told ye brother some time back, politics be as dangerous as any battlefield. Every act, every word holds hidden meanings." She smiled warmly then, and gave her daughter a one-armed hug. "This ceremony will serve you well soon enough." Luminous green eyes moved to her mother, though the next said widened them a bit. "The son of the king of Malirid is reaching his majority, and Auric is holding a grand birthday celebration in his honor. Both Daniel and yourself have been invited to attend."

"Do I have to?" The words escaped her before Cieara thought about it. "The last time I saw that...princeling I broke his nose." The duchess brought up a hand to hide the smile, and Fiona just shook her head slowly.

"And I trust ye will refrain from doing so again...unless he allows his hands to try to wander once more." The two ladies did laugh now, while Cieara pouted. "Ye won't be alone, sweet. Daniel will be with ye, as will Sorcha and any ladies-in-waiting that ye may have by then." Cieara perked up slightly.

"Ladies in waiting?"

"Aye. It is customary, as a princess of the realm, for you to have such attendants." von Bellgrad inclined her head to her left, where a young woman stood at a respectful distance near the wall. "Not only to help you prepare for the day or attend to errands you may have, but they are also confidants. Perhaps, even friends." Cieara glanced over, then back, her lips curling into an impish smile.

"I will remember that. Thank you, Your Grace." She looked to her mother again. "I do have to ask something, mathair. I know there was a lot to do this morning preparing for all this, but why couldn't I watch Daniel's fight before having to get ready?" Cieara's question was asked just as Lucius came up behind her, having edged away from where Daniel stood talking with Kaelyn and Myrialla to join his wife and daughter for a moment. A questioning expression crossed his features, and Fiona and Von Bellgrad both started laughing as his question nearly caused Cieara to jump in surprise.

"What fight?"
[color=blue:edda570bea][i:edda570bea]Fate whispered to the Warrior
"You cannot withstand the storm"

And the Warrior whispered back
"I am the storm"

-Anon[/i:edda570bea][/color:edda570bea]

Julian delRonan

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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2017, 03:38:56 PM »
Sorcha laid the last of the folded linens into the travel chest sitting at the foot of her bed and, after stretching, let her gaze be drawn to the balcony and the view beyond. The sun was starting to peek over the horizon, coloring the few clouds in vibrant hues of reds and violets. "Red in the morning, take heed of the warning." She hoped the old saying would not become an omen for the trip.

Fiona had taken her aside the day before near the end of the reception honoring Daniel and Cieara's investment so they could speak in relative privacy. "Auric has vouched for the safety of those attending his son's celebration." Her hushed tone conveyed Fiona's thoughts on such a promise, and Sorcha had easily guessed what was coming next. "And since there has been a request not to send a retinue Lucius and I would like for you to attend as a representative of Zymier."

"Of course." Sorcha had nodded, already considering the details of such a trip. "I presume Queen Bronwyn has agreed?"

"Aye, and the papers ye shall need will be here by the end of the week." Fiona had glanced over to where Cieara stood talking to Duke Blackcrest and Lady Tarsos, one of the lesser nobles of the court. "I nae think any would risk alienating Malirid by attempting anything, but recent events have proven anything is possible." The cool emerald gaze had returned to Sorcha before Fiona spoke again. "Also, I trust ye to keep Cieara centered." Sorcha's lips had flattened slightly but she merely nodded in agreement.

A knock on the door shook Sorcha from her reverie and she glided over and opened to the lean form of Julian, a steaming mug in one hand and a thin leather case in the other. "Good morning." The shadowknight held out the mug and Sorcha's nose twitched as she caught the aroma of the rich coffee favored in her homeland, a faint smile crossing her features at the scent and on seeing him. "I thought you might want something to help wake up."

"Thank you, Julian." Taking the mug and the case she turned back to the room and moved over to the small desk. Julian stepped across the threshold and watched as she set the mug down and pulled out one of the parchments in the case to skim the contents, nodding to herself as she reached the end of the page.  

"I take it everything is in order?" Julian took a lean against one of the plush easy chairs, and Sorcha turned back toward him as she tucked the parchment back into the case.

"Aye." Tossing the case onto the pile of clothes in the travel chest she took a long sip of coffee before continuing. "Travel papers and letters of introduction from Bronwyn and my father." Setting the mug down she moved toward the bed to pick up a folded pile of clothing. "At least it will be easier to keep an eye on Cieara than if I was masquerading as a handmaiden." Julian's brow arched slightly at that though he wisely kept any thoughts to himself.

Julian delRonan

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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2017, 12:28:24 PM »
"You will also be looking after Kaelyn." Sorcha's hesitation confirmed his suspicions that she had been unaware of that addition to things. "Daniel asked for her to accompany him and the Queen-Consort has given permission for her to go." Sorcha sighed softly as she laid a towel into the chest.

"It's going to be hard enough looking after Daniel, Cieara and her new lady in waiting." Scowling she turned to grab the mug from the desk for another sip, stormy sea colored eyes blazing at Julian over the rim almost as though he was the genesis of her frustration. "I am only one person after all."

"Which is why I will also be going, as Daniel's steward. You shouldn?t feel so stretched then.? Sorcha just peered at him for several seconds, prompting him to continue. "It should make things a little easier, though from what I have heard Cieara is the one to keep at a distance." Sorcha set the mug aside and then nodded slowly, a faint smile finally lightening her expression. The story of the younger DeAuster sibling's first encounter with the prince of Malirid had been recounted during the party, much to the amusement of the family and close friends and horror of the more staid members of the court.

"Aye, that will help. Thank you." Sorcha picked up a towel and set it by the chest before turning back to Julian, who was still loitering by the chair. "Is there something else you needed?" To her eyes and senses Julian seemed almost apprehensive before he stepped forward.

"I have this for you." He offered to her an elaborate hair pin, the clasp wrought in a dragon coiling around a gleaming crystal. Tiny gems made the eyes almost seem to glow when catching the light. Sorcha started to frown but paused when her fingers first brushed the gleaming metal. Taking it in hand she smiled as the pin shivered, the metal flowing into the shape of a jagged- blade dirk and the clasp lengthening into the handle. She turned the dirk to examine the blade then sent it spinning deftly around her fingers.  "Given the request of Malirid's king and your cover I thought it would make you a bit more comfortable having a weapon handy."

"'Tis an elegant gift Julian." The weapon shifted back into the shape of an innocuous hairpin with a thought and she turned to set it beside the folder containing her letters of introduction. "Thank ye" Julian smiled and silently nodded once to her and then turned toward the door. Sorcha felt him pause and looked back as he spoke.

"So...Sorcha, any chance I might be able to see you in these?" His tone was full of mischief and her eyes widened as she watched him pick up a piece of purple satin and hold it up with one finger. Stalking over she snatched the panties away with one hand while the index finger of the other jabbed Julian hard in the chest.

"Out. Out, out, out!" Each word was punctuated with a hard poke to the chest forcing Julian back over the threshold. The slamming door cut off his laughter and Sorcha leaned her back against the heavy wood as she glanced to the underwear she held. "Men..." With a soft growl she tossed the cloth back into the chair and moved to finish her packing. Julian meantime headed toward his chambers, chuckling softly to himself.