[size20 ‣ ] Suspicions arise after another murder happens and Eugene is once again there for it.
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[font "Times" [size15 She inclined her head to him once, slow. Fear indeed. She could feel how he was stopping; tasting words and swallowing them. Bitter, terrifying words, she knew. And she wanted to know what he was thinking. What he was hiding.
Her brows began to knit as he spoke to her. He elucidated on how he feared so greatly he was going to be blamed for this. Well. She tilted her head, a listening gesture, nodding almost imperceptibly. It sounded like a pitch, she realized, partway through. But he was crying superbly. A part of this was devastating him, of course, all this death, all the fear.
But something he was saying was making her attention pique. So specific, the only thing he specified was [i her]. "[B What is it, Mr. Bloodworth, that you think I can offer you?]" she asked, leaning towards him as he bandaged her hands. Her fingers closed around his, stopping his hand for a moment.
Winnie Blackwood ducked in through a collapsed door frame and into the blackened, peeling parlor of the home. Eugene had been detained on the scene, the star witness. Asked dozens of questions, no doubt. She looked between him and the questioning officer, listening in and looking at the notes she was apprised with as she was caught up with the situation. The whole house hadn't gone up, because neighbors had come in and help put out the fire. There was a well nearby.
Her eyes moved over the hearth and then landed on a vase with flowers in the window. She paused, eyeing the clear glass filled with water. She turned back to the young man. "[B Mr. Bloodworth,]" she called to him softly, voice prim. "[B you say you ran- all the way to the police officer's station. Why didn't you tell neighbors about what was going on? They claim they heard a shout, and then showed up, seeing the drapes on fire.]"
"[B And why-]" she stepped towards the vase, tipping it slightly, and showing the water inside. "[B did you make no attempt to put out the fire? Or remove Ms. ___ from the flames, if she was unconscious?]"
Winifred's eyes turned to Eugene, her expression peculiar, specific. She turned towards him so slowly. At first it was like the motion wasn't even there, until you realized her pupils had shifted from one corner of her eye to the other and back, her shoulders had followed. Her figure in black was pointed at full attention towards him. She leaned on that walking stick of hers, hands folded, gloved. Perfect. Poised. Hat impeccable, skirts unblemished and face softly rosy, alive. Those green eyes of hers never moved from him.
"[B I did some research,]" she mused aloud, moving across the ruined parlor. Her feet crunching on ash and cindered wood. "[B Reread over my notes, and I finally got a letter back from an acquaintance.]" She looked to him, face unreadable, calm. "[B Somethign you said occurred to me. You fear being blamed. And, it turns out; every single, mm- [i incident],]" she corrected, tipping her head. An auburn flyaway fell by her ear from her otherwise immaculate hair. "[B Was caused while [i you] were in residence.]"
She let that hang in the air for a moment to see how he would respond. Would he cry again? She wondered, gazing at him, she wondered about that.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/hYudHZC.jpg]][font "Poor Richard" [size15 Eugene took a small glance around the room as Ms. Blackwood produced the hankerchief, though his eyes fell quickly back to the woman, and the delicate lace edge poking out of her suitcase. He had a personal one he kept, with lace like that. It would have eased him a bit, something vaguely familiar, were this any other situation. But he turned his head and paid it no mind, and as Ms. Blackwood handed over the cloth Eugene gave his hest attempt at a genuine smile and got to work.
But when he [i touched her]...
He felt like holding his breath. He tasted metal, something of malice, his skin felt like tar to him as she gripped his hand. But when she let go he felt like he was breathing in...something... Clearer than air. He froze at her comment, glancing up at the woman with a look of panicked confusion and then [b "Mostly fear, Ms. Blackwood."]
..? He didn't say that. He hadn't even tried to move his lips- he raised his hand only to-
...was this possession? It didn't move. [i "Ms. Blackwood?"] His lips didn't move. And in fact, he himself could move, and could see that in fact, his expression hadnt changed from the same nervous expression is had as he started bandaging her hands. No confusion, no panic as he could feel himself displaying. His body wasn't doing what he was-
...This was possession. And if it could- then what else-
What if it killed her, here? He didn't know it could...oh dear...
[b "There's been so many around town, you know. That's why you're here. I've said before that I'm scared of being blamed for this- [I these] crimes, but it's more than that I-"]
There was a pause, and Eugene looked up at Winifred, a sense of relief for his safety but also fear. Wrestling back control would no doubt have consequences, and there was also a matter of what to say. He gulped, looked down, and closed his eyes. [b "I- I fear-"] Stop stuttering so bad, Eugene. [b "I fear I"m being targeted, Ms. Blackwood. All these- these victims. I cared about them. They took me in when I- when I got here. This suit- it's from the woman that died this morning I-"] He paused for a moment, tightening his eyes to stop tears from falling. He could already feel it was angry. But it was too late to stop them from falling. [b "I don't want people to keep getting hurt. All of my friends are dying Ms. Blackwood and I'm scared. And you might be the only one who can stop people from dying but-"]
He finally looked the woman in the eyes, his own full of tears. [b "What if- whatever is- is doing this...what if it kills you too? Then we can't...you can't...stop it..."]
He gulped, took a second to stabilize himself, and stood. [b "I...I apologize Ms. Blackwood but I need to go-"]
He rushed out without another word.
The next afternoon Ms. Blackwood was called for. A house fire, spread from a woman's skirt after she had tripped and hit her head on the fireplace mantel, and then fallen in. Now, how do you fall into it from that angle? The police had no answers yet. Though they thanked Eugene for running all the way to the station to get them when he heard her fall. A shame about the fire, and the woman- he'd have to find another place to stay-
It told him to consider asking Ms. Blackwood, as she arrived. But he just tensed. More evidence against him. Soon she might say he's a killer. And then that fire- will be around him. Or worse.]]
[size16 [font "Times" Winifred nodded in acknowledgment to Eugene, "[B No, he certainly didn't, but there's only a few ways, unarmed, that one may trap a raven, isn't there?]" she said, sending a glance towards the bird's direction, smiling again at the man before her.
Inside the inn room, there was a basin and pitcher for water, a bed, a bureau with a large mirror above it, a nightstand with a tumbler of water and a glass, Ms. Blackwood's suitcase and train case, and a familiar umbrella leaned against said bureau.
She smiled at him, pleased with his expertise, "[B Brilliant, I appreciate the help.]" And with that she went to said train case and opened it, bringing out a couple of handkerchiefs. Two plain ones, where the lacy edge of a finer one was seen as she shut the case again, offering the pieces to Eugene. They smelled of lavender and herbs. She was careful not to touch him, handing over the pieces without skin contact.
Her dark green eyes were on him as he spoke, a smile spreading over her face again, bemused by his pause, but not mentioning it aloud. "[B I do,]" she responded, hands hesitating before letting him have them.
As soon as Eugene's skin touched hers, Winifred felt the shock of whatever he flooded her with. It was dark, cold, crawling over her back like shivers, and had that metallic tang to it. Something familiar she couldn't place. Her hand gripped his briefly as the vision, of sorts, washed over her, and then she pulled it free for a moment, face wan.
The young woman's eyes were wide, off of him for a moment as she seemed to gather herself, before placing a semblance of that familiar, ever-present smile on her face. "[B You have- a certainly interesting set of things on your mind, Mr. Bloodworth.]" Her voice was soft, quietly between them, folding her hands in her lap with an almost apologetic edge to her smile, keeping her eyes politely from him.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/hYudHZC.jpg]][font "Poor Richard" [size15 [b "I- I suppose that's fair- I can't imagine the raven...would enjoy, um, that sort of thing-"] He had no idea, entirely, what to say to that. What do you say in response to a woman grabbing a raven mid-flight? And why was she even...grabbing the raven to begin with? He figured it wasn't his place to ask, only his place to offer aid and...try and dance his way through this mess- to get help.
When Winifred sad it would be appreciated Eugene let out a nervous laugh, nodding. [b "Yes- and I've bandaged more, with less- handkerchiefs will work fine."] He waited for her to step out of the way and entered, glancing around quickly to see if there was anything else he could use, to treat the wounds. Any alcohol he could dilute, even any water to cleanse them-
[b "You wear your gloves often, don't you, Ms. Blackwood? I- I only ask so I can make sure the bandages don't get in the way. I think if I wrap it right-"] His eyes drifted on her and lingered, a creeping feeling welling up his chest, a darkness lingering there before sliding down in a gulp. [b "It shouldn't get in the way of them."]
As soon as he was given the handkerchiefs, he got to work cleaning and bandaging.]]
[size14 [font "Times" Winifred folded the gloves in her fingers, inclining her head towards him with a smile. He was a soft-spoken man, and it was pleasing to her. She was vividly unimpressed by loud, masculine men. However, the soft, insecure man made her feel rather dominant with how he acted with her. It was pleasing.
Her attention went to her own hands, then, and noted the scratches she hadn't paid yet much attention to. Spreading them, she chuckled, looking up at Eugene again. "[B Oh, yes, well,]" she smiled. "[B that tends to happen when one plucks a raven out of the air. I can say, I would do the same should someone do it to me.]"
However, to her surprise, Eugene asked if he would be allowed to help. Her eyes returned to him, brows arching as she gazed. "[B Oh,]" she responded, feeling of all things a flush of embarrassment now at having the cuts untreated for so long. However, she was more embarrassed at the reason for that. She had very little idea about proper medical treatments.
"[B That actually would be- appreciated,]" she admitted, closing her hands again as she tucked her gloves into her belt. "[B Would you like to come in? I'm afraid all I have is handkerchiefs, would that suffice?]"
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/hYudHZC.jpg]][font "Poor Richard" [size15 Was that another voice, behind the door? Sure, he had only met Ms. Blackwood this morning, and yet she did not strike Eugene as the type to have guests over, at this hour. Perhaps he read her wrong. And yet there was a...urgentness, in the voice of the woman- part of him- a lot of him, actually- feared it was with the mayor, or someone else of importance. Someone she was telling about his [i guilt]. He put a hand to his neck breifly, shuddering, and removed it quickly when the door opened.
As she took the gloves, he gave a nervous smile and watched her hands- [b "Ah, you're welcome- I figured they would be a terrible thing to lose-"] Should he comment? He looked up, keeping the nervous, uneasy smile he always got in the presence of such women- [b "I don't meant to pester, Ms. Blackwood, but- ah- maybe it's not my place to ask but- are your hands alright?"]
[i Say you'll help and then pour lemon juice on them]. He did his best not to let his expression show what he'd heard. This thing was a vile being, wasn't it? [b "I don't mean to overstep, ma'am, but...perhaps I could assist in bandaging them? I...believe I got fairly good at bandaging things up, when I was growing up..."]
His father sometimes made it necessary...
With this creature growing annoyed with him, he wondered it if it would become a useful skill, again.]]
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/zLWclse.jpg?1]] [size14 [font "Times" Winifred was gone out of the room, knowing exactly how rude she was being by fleeing like this, and abandoning Eugene to the mercy of the constable. But upon seeing the body of that raven she knew she couldn't let it go.
And so, it was the woman in black who burst from the inn's front door, skirts fisted in a hand, who ran in her lady's boots and leapt rather deftly as the raven swooped down. She caught hold of its body, gloveless hold slipping to its feet and clutching. The bird's protest was loud and full of fluttering feathers as she verily plucked it from the air and grabbed a hand around its wings, pushing the creature underneath her arm, nice and secure.
"There you are!" she greeted, a polite irritation in her tone as she patted the fussing creature on its head. "I've been looking for you," Winifred huffed, feeling her chest constrict underneath her corsets and pressed her free hand to her front, nodding to the greengrocer's horrified look at her.
The word in the village was 'witch' that evening. Catching ravens from the sky, as she did...
"[#00CCFF She's onto you. If I've found you, Anna can't be far behind me. Cheyenne wants to know what you've found out about the attacks,]" came the soft voice of a man through the door. "[#00CCFF Is it Liam? Or...]"
"[B I don't think so,]" Winnie responded.
"[B I can handle this investigation on my own. I said I would write or scry if anything came up. But then again, it's a good thing you're here, isn't it?]" a smile curled her lips as she turned towards the raven haired man with a smile. He looked back at her, seeming to come to terms with the threat in her tone.
That same smile remained across her lips as she gazed at him, and he wasn't certain if she was waiting for him to respond or not. "[B I will solve this case and find whatever little creature is causing it, and then all will be well. If the inspector is so impatient, perhaps she should give me the diadem so that I could utilize this properly, at least.]"
"[#00CCFF You know I can't do that,]" the man responded.
The woman got to her feet suddenly, "[B It's already speaking to me!]" she hissed, her hands curling in front of him as she advanced towards him. "[B I can feel it here now, close. She watches me. It [i felt] you before you even got here. That's how I knew,]" the inspector said, eyes holding a strange intensity in them. "[B It's in my head.]" She uncurled her hands, showing them to him. "[B Don't you see? The whole town can't think I'm crazy if they're going to trust me to investigate. I'm already a woman! What else-]"
Winifred's hands snapped away from the man, curling against herself at the knock at the door. She froze for a moment, wondering if she was shouting. There was the rough call of the raven from the other side of the room as she arose from the chair and went over to the door. She reached for the handle, opening the door slightly and looked out to the pale face of
"[B Eugene?]" she said quietly, her brows arching. She was in no way expecting him to seek her out after she had nearly terrified him earlier that day, especially after his noteworthy comment about her putting him in a noose. As much of a small stir in her that it had conjured. "[B Why- why-]" but his words drew her attention to his hands.
Winifred's hat was off, her dark green blouse the only color against her black attire, coat removed as well. "[B Oh, goodness me,]" she responded, reaching out to carefully take them from him. "[B I hadn't realized, thank you.]"
Winifred's hands had little cuts on them along the fingers as she retrieved the item from him.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/hYudHZC.jpg]][font "Poor Richard" [size15 Where was he staying? That was a good question. [b "Currently-"] He had to say currently, for he had been all over the place as of late. [b "I have been staying at the church. They've been nice enough to let me stay there while I find somewhere else to stay."] He had been living with a nice couple, for a while, but when one of their children started foaming at the mouth, the wife tripped on some carpet and cracked her head open, and the husband fled town fearing being charged for murder, that changed.
The funny thing was, he didn't cause that one. Perhaps he was trying to get away with something, admist the chaos of death, but got scared.
Scared was the theme of the night. [b "A complicated question, Ms. Blackwood."] He started. [b "I find you a comfort. Here you are, trying to solve these tragedies, and I greatly hope you can. You being here gives me hope that they'll stop-"] He paused finishing off his tea. [b "But I believe anyone would be a little scared, in my position. I'm a suspect, after all, and you could decide my guilt at any moment and put me to the hangman's noose- and that, Ms. Blackwood, is terrifying."]
He followed Winnie's eyes when she looked over, willing himself not to tense up when the man came over. He gave a nod, but couldn't give much else in response. [i "Next."], it hissed. He knew this man. He had a sick little girl at home. He adored her, but still thought women were meant to stay home.
Still, he shouldn't die. He looked away, until he heard Ms. Blackwood speak again. [b "I understand the hunch. I just hope you're able to find the truth and put a stop to this, Ms. Blackwood."]
He frowned at the mention of a murder in a neighboring village, feeling sorrow for the child, but honestly, hearing about something he didn't personally do was...a relief. There were other tragedies, and somehow, that was comforting.
God, he hoped she could stop this.
And then suddenly Ms. Blackwood was leaving in a rush for a...bird? And Eugene was left in confusion, eyes darting around until he noticed her gloves on the table.
Without thinking much he grabbed them, excused himself to the constable, and ran after the woman. [b "Ms. Blackwood! Ms. Blackwood, wait! You forgot your gloves!"] He felt something stop him before he could catch up with the woman.
But she was staying at the Fox and Anchor...he knew this.
Perhaps he could swing by later...give them back.
The constable had an accident on the way home. Eugene felt awful. But there was nothing he could do, except lead Ms. Blackwood to finding it, while keeping his head out of the noose. He asked for Ms. Blackwood's room when he got there, saying he had to return her gloves. Which was true, yes, but he wanted to know if she'd found anything, yet, too. He knocked on the door lightly in rhythm, looking nervously down until it opened. [b "Oh, um, good evening Ms. Blackwood. You'd left your gloves on the table, and I thought now would be a good time to drop them off?"]]]
[size14 [font "Times" Winnie gazed at Eugene as he began to choke up. Her lips pulled down in a little frown as he began to get emotional. There wasn't much on this earth that made this woman uncomfortable, but the tears of other people was one of them. Quick hands went to retrieve the notepad from her pocket and flipped it open, grabbing her pencil. Her eyes dropped down and her lips pursed out a little as she let him... gather himself.
Decay, beside her, immaterial, hovered close. Winifred could smell the scent of rotting plant matter on the creature's hide and body and glanced down gently as she noted the dark impression the creature was making on the carpeting. She exhaled as it became threadbare and barren, and gray. The creature then bumped the table. Now it was Winifred's turn to turn pale as she saw the saucer to her cup take a tumble off of it. Her hand shot out to catch it, exhaling, and placing it back on the table.
"[B Please, be careful,]" she chided the being beside her, feeling heat in her face in frustration.
"[#0c4e15 [B Apology,]]" it responded to her, keeping its voice in her head.
Exhaling, her eyes were brought back to him when he spoke again, explaining their relationship. Her hand moved, noting what he said in shorthand. Again Mr. Bloodworth trailed off and she let him, chewing on his words a moment.
"[B And where are you staying in town, Mr. Bloodworth?]"
Her eyes studied his face in the way Eugene hesitated on his own words, seeming to reconsider them and quirked a brow gently. She hummed in noncomittal acknowledgment of what he was saying and wrote down her doubts. "[B Pity,]" she murmured in response, but set the note aside, folding her hands on the table before herself.
"[B Do I scare you, Mr. Bloodworth?]" Winifred asked, arching her brows at him and tilting her head slightly. "[B It's alright to say so, I'm curious to know.]"
Presently her eyes shifted towards the door of the tea room to see a constable speaking to the attendant. She smiled over at them, noticing their glances in their direction, preemptively greeting the man who then came over towards them. "[+navy Ma'am, sir.]" he greeted, bowing gently to them both.
"[B Hello, constabulary,]" the woman responded with a nod, lacing her fingers in front of herself.
"[+navy I am informed that you were the- uh- "inspector" who arrived on the scene earlier?]"
Winifred's smile stiffened at his lack of belief. She could taste it on his tongue, but said nothing. "[B Why yes.]" She sat back in her seat, smoothing her skirts, and got to her feet. She was tall for a woman, but shorter than the man before her. Her eyes showed no fear as she smiled at him. It was a mean, irritated smile, but so polite and so poised. In her hand was her riding crop. "[B I'm here gaining a statement from Mr. Bloodworth.]"
She turned to Eugene again, upon whom her smile notably softened to her genteel manners again. Winnie pressed a hand to her abdomen and bowed towards him slightly. "[B I seem to be treating this as if it were clearly foul play, Mr. Bloodworth,]" she continued. "[B As I said, I don't have any evidence. Other than a hunch.]" Her smile towards him was mirthless for just a moment.
"[B I'm currently investigating another case in a neighboring village where a child was partially dismembered in a very unfortunate, forest animal attack. Well,]" she seemed to laugh at that. "[B Strangely large animal, if you ask me.]" Winifred looked back at the constable, "[B I suppose it's got me all up in spirits.]"
"[#0c4e15 [B I smell kin,]]" came the voice near her. Immaterial, again.
Winifred started a little, her smile vanishing as her eyes flickered around the room. She smoother her coat over her front and regained her polite smile, looking towards each man.
"[B Pardon me,]" and with that she fished the pocket watch from the chain and glanced at it. "[B gentlemen, I seem to have lost my-]" she glanced up and saw the body of a raven flicker by the window, diving off of its perch into the street below. "[B -bird. My bird.]" and with that, she flashed another smile to them.
"[B I have Mr. Bloodworth's statement right here and I shall bring it to the office within the hour!]"
"[+navy Miss- miss-]" the man protested, turning after her.
"[B Ta!]" Winnie replied simply, and moved towards the door.
She had forgotten her gloves on the table.
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/hYudHZC.jpg]][font "Poor Richard" [size15 [i "Words I've heard many, many times."] Eugene knew. He knew how it sounded, how it looked...how he was, at the moment, the [i only] suspect. And that by answering the way he did, he'd practically just assured that she was even more suspicious of him now.
[i It] hissed in his eat and all he could do was try and not let his expression show fear. He wanted her to help, yes, but he didn't want to die to get this to stop. And he was sure they'd hang him.
The victim? He'd been doing this so much lately that it took him a moment to remember who it was. But once he did he frowned. [b "Mary Lindberg...she was..."] His voice actually shook as he started. Of course he still felt sorrow over all this, no matter how many it made him kill- he...he truly cared about all of these people.[b "She was one of the first friends I made when I came to town. Um,"] He paused again, needing a second. [b "I come over about once a week and she's been giving me fruit from the tree in the backyard, since I...I'm not nessacarily very well off, here."] He looked down, closing his eyes tightly to avoid crying, although one tear managed to escape anyway. [b "She treated me like I was one of her kids. I can't believe-"] He trailed off.
He took a breath and brushed any tears away from his eyes as he looked back up, taking a sip of his tea as she continued and asked about the girl.
His face paled a bit and his eyes shot back down to his cup. It got angrier and he felt a tightness in his throat, stopping his words before they could come out and replacing them. [b "No, I'm afraid no. I just saw her the once and...she didn't really stand out."]]]
[size14 [font "Times" He wasn't looking at her. Winnie tilted her head a little, leaning towards him with attentiveness in her eyes, to perhaps forge a feeling of more intimacy so he didn't feel the need to speak so loudly. Or because it was kind of rude. And trying to catch his expression. It was the only comfort that she could offer him, the man she was interrogating nearly immediately after the death or someone he claimed to be a close friend of.
When Eugene faced her again, she woman placed a thin, mild smile on her face in acknowledgment of his eye contact, pleased with its return.
"[B Words I've heard many, many times.]" the inspector said, attempting to put a modicum of empathy in her tone as she nodded towards him. "[B As it is, I've no proof if it was a murder or not. I simply said so to get a response from you. And I believe I've got one.]" She held his gaze as she said that.
"[B However,]" she changed the subject quickly, brushing her hands off on her skirt and putting on a smile."[B In order to make this a rather more proper investigation, I believe we should turn part of the conversation to the victim. You said you knew her? What was the nature of your relationship? And her name. I may have avoided asking the constables that, actually.]"
Winnie blinked as she realized that she was being bidden to receive this young man's entire life story. She shifted to settle in, crossing her legs and set her hands in her lap, absently playing with the leather in her fingers. Of all the things she had been expecting from the young man, she wasn't expecting an entire story. He was being strangely forthcoming about these things. But he was in shock, and a great many things came out like that... Was this normal, then? Was he so guilty that he was trying to garner something?
It did occur to her, the details of this story, something about that girl specter. "[B Mr. Bloodworth,]" she began, shifting her position more forward in the chair again; reinserting herself in an active role in the conversation. She closed the distance between them, lowering her voice. "[B I do hope I don't seem insensitive asking, but I'm dreadfully inquisitive about the vision of the specter. The girl.]" her eyes returned to his, arching a brow. "[B Did you recognize her? Have you had any more throughout your life?]"
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/hYudHZC.jpg]][font "Poor Richard" [size15 Eugene could only shake his head at the question of seeing his father. Of course he hadn't. He hoped he never would again, but given his luck- or lack thereof- he knew it would happen one day when he was even more down on his luck. He was full of- well...
Misfortune. He looked down at the table as she repeated it, and as she continued. He only looked up at his name, and then continued to glance down.
He knew. He knew how bad it looked. He knew how bad it was. He [i knew] he did it. But what choice did he have? [b "I understand how bad it sounds, Miss Blackwood. It's very clear that I'm the most suspicious here and I will not deny that. I have no proof to back myself up-"] It hated him saying that. [b "But I swear I had no control of the situation. I wouldn't have gone if I'd known it would have ended up like this."] At least there was no proof that it was exactly him, too. Other than the obvious furniture being moved and such- there weren't any fingureprints. None of his, at least. Because the creature covered them. So what proof did she have-?
He blinked at her say something, but she continued normally and he chose to...ignore that? And just focus on answering the question at hands. Even if it was a touchy subject and...hurt a lot. He let out a sigh before explaining. [b "When I was eight. My mother had brought me home a hunting dog so I could start participating in my father's hunting trips. I was excited, I had something that was mine that I even got to give a name- Forest. So I took it on a walk, trying to bond with it. I was so [i happy] for once. But on our walk I saw some child run into the woods alone and- clearly I couldn't let her go in there with the wolves. So I followed after her so I could convince her to go home where it was safe and-"]
He paused. [b "The girl walked off the cliff and the dog started freaking out. She didn't fall. She was just...standing right past the edge. So Forest broke the leash and ran toward her, barking and snarling and-" He was clearly upset about it. [b "It fell."]
He went silent for a moment. She hadn't really asked for the whole story but...he needed to give it. For his own sake. So maybe she could help. Even [i if] it make the demon mad. [b "I spent the next two days out there, too afraid to go home without Forest. The dog had cost my mother a fortune and I feared if I went home my father would kill me. Not only that but...I loved that dog. So I tried to find a way down the cliff,and once I did...it was being eaten by wolves. It was already dead, I knew it but...that's not something for an eight year old child should ever see- the guts of it's beloved pet hanging out of a wolves mouth."]
He sighed, looking down at the table. [b "When I got home, my mother was packing her bags. She'd had enough and was going to live with some woman instead. She was covered in bruises her wrist was swollen and- I didn't blame her, really. But I never could quiet forgive her for leaving me alone with him."] He saw the server come over with their order and stayed quiet until she left and started speaking again once he'd had a sip of tea. [b "It only got worse from there. But- I'd say that's when it started."]
[font "Times" [size14 Winifred's eyes flickered up to his face at the surprising change of tone from Mr. Bloodworth. Was it from irritation, or a sudden boldness that had suddenly summoned out of something interesting? But he reeled back almost as soon as he had spoken, giving her a smile. Winifred's expression of quiet interest changed little, save for her eyes narrowing slightly as her own smile widened just slightly, humming in thought. "[B Pleasure's entirely mine, Mr. Bloodworth.]"
The servor nodded, confirming that they indeed had Lady Grey and turned to ask Winnie. "[B I'll have the same, if it's black.]" she said, unfamiliar with the brand, but it was no problem to be adventurous. "[B And nothing else for me, thank you.]"
[i Abuse,] Winnie thought to herself, tilting her chin up and looking Eugene over a moment. Clean face, so it was something that was meant to be hidden, nor did she see anything that had been telling on his hands for the couple of moments that she could have caught sight of them. "[B You have not seen him in some time, I assume?]" she asked, leaning her chin on her hand gently.
"[B Misfortune?]" the woman repeated, looking interested, but made a point not to look [i too] interested in that. She wanted to say it seemed like she had chosen well, but it was so early. Cases rarely turned out easily. Winnie tilted her head a bit, putting a sympathetic look on her face and laced her fingers. "[B And yet this woman ended up dead.]" The woman brought a hand up, touching her hat a moment to readjust it on her hair, "[B I hope you know what this looks like on the surface, Mr. Bloodworth.]" her dark eyes turned back up to Eugene's gentle face, bringing seriousness into her gaze even as her smile was ever-present. "[B You were the only person in the house at the time, you could have easily followed her up, moved the armoire, any number of things. I have yet to pour over the scene, though the constables will allow my access once I speak to them, but this does not look good for you, sir, and at this time you are the main suspect.]" Winifred looked at him a moment and she sat back a moment, an idea suddenly occurring to her as she glanced over his face. Behind her, the cold presence of her own voice, her own creature that was very, very real hovered over her shoulder.
"[#003300 [B What thinkest thou? I know you are suspicious of him.]]" its breath was immaterial but cold on her skin. Rather that was the way the sensation translated to her, as the creature was immaterial, it was its touch on her being. Winifred had been serving this creature for years on the promise it would keep her alive. It had lost its sight, and so it had to rely on hers. Even ethereal creatures could be disabled. They together completed a single, more than complete being.
"[B Something,]" Winifred murmured before she caught herself answering it out loud. She put a smile back on her face and shifted her position in her seat. "[B When did this phenomenon start?]" Winifred's thoughts began to spin- was he...? Certainly not? There must be a more orthodox explanation.
[right [size11 Upcoming Questions
"[B What is the victim's name/What is your relationship with the victim?]"
"[B Do you know of anyone who would want to hurt your friend?]"
"[B How long have you lived in this area?]"
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/hYudHZC.jpg]][font "Poor Richard" [size15 She was such a beautifully intimidating women. In any other circumstances he could have found himself flirting. But she could get him hanged for this, and he knew to his mouth shut. Besides, he'd just end up running away in the other circumstance anyway. Maybe this one was better; because he couldn't hide from this. He forced a smile and a nervous laugh at her words and followed, then moved in front when gestured to enter first and glanced around, his heart still pounding in his chest. It was so loud. It hissed and it growled and it drained all possible joy from him. He offered a smile to the steward and followed Ms. Blackwood to sit at the table, and made note of how [i nice] everything was here. It was a welcomed chance from the chaos. But it didn't last long.
[b "Ah, yes. The fun part."] The sarcasm in his tone was almost...[i sharp]. But he quickly covered it up with a smile and a small laugh. [b "It is really nice to meet you, Ms. Blackwood. You seem like a wonderful woman."] A wonderful woman who could hopefully stop this, but would likely kill him in the process. He kept his smile despite the fear, until asked about his father. If he never had to talk about that man again it would be too soon. He was just glad the steward stepped in and gave him time to gather the answer. He looked up at Winifred and shook his head, then over at steward. [b "Do you have any lady grey, by chance?"] It was practically the only tea he drank. [b "It would be lovely if I could get a cup of that. And perhaps a scone."] Not that he had much of an appetite after doing what he had but...perhaps his nerves would calm a bit if he had something to pick at.
It was unfortunate that after the steward left he had to get back to interrogation. [b "My father was...is still, probably, a politician. A horrible, lying bastard of a politician, but I feel like all of them are, technically. I haven't paid attention to what he's doing now so I don't know if he's still in the game, but that's what he was when I left. I can't say I've ever been fond of him. He's the reason for at least half of my scars, if not more."] Not that his scars were visible. His father always made sure to stay away from his face. [b "You could have possibly heard about him, if our name is going about again. Or, unfortunately, it could have been because of me. I hate to say it, Ms. Blackwood, especially given the circumstances, but misfortune has seemed to follow me all me life. But I swear I didn't have anything to do with the deaths here. All I did was walk inside and she went upstairs to change into something and...then fell when she tried to come down. I never would've hurt her, or anyone here. I don't want to hurt anyone."] He felt terrible lying about his deeds. He wanted to confess, but not to die. To stop, but not at the cost of his own life. At least the last part was true. He wanted the world to turn to gold; for everyone on it to be happy. Cheesy, pathetic, and impossible, and yet he wanted it terribly. Perhaps it was that kindness that drew the darkness to him. Perhaps it was some sort of family curse. He'd likely never know; he just wanted it to end.]]
[font "Times" [size14 Her dark eyes slid to him, trying to keep herself fro being impressed by an internal, personal warning about flattery being easily turned from the one giving it in response. "[B I'm sure you're wildly popular with women, then, socially. We like hearing of our own import.]" Looking forwards again, the young woman caught the gaze of one of the stewards of the tearoom. She laughed a little, amusement dancing in her eyes. "[B Anyone can be intimidating if they want to be.The basest brute can manage to blackmail, and the highest intellect can resort to physical threats.]"
"[B Bloodworth,]" Winifred repeated vaguely, interest piquing gently at the surname. She had perhaps heard of it before in some other circumstance- wondering which.
Another smile, if grim, crossed her features, as they moved across the tearoom towards their table. An energy was filling her at the thought, coloring her response some. "[B Oh, I think it's delightful. I've my first witness, suspect and another murder in a string of others with the same circumstances.]"
Winifred gestured for Eugene to enter in front of her, smiling graciously. The tearoom itself was in the back of the inn, a large if filled and well lit area that filled the back of the building, a plush, patterned carpet edged in an even more florid pattern at the edges of the room. It was lined with tables, all covered in white, and set with the silvery china. Men and women were dispersed across the area, suited stewards and stewardesses milling where they were needed at the demure raise of a hand, or vigorously crossing the room to return to the kitchens to retrieve their becked foodstuffs.
The stewards approached the couple, quietly greeting them and gesturing towards one of the open tables near the large, sheerly curtained windows. Seeing as it was the back of the building the windows would have otherwise looked out on the alleyways and the back lot, but to let in a sumptuous amount of light despite that and preserve the richness of that natural light they were covered cleverly.
Winifred rounded the table, brushing her hands behind her bustle and perching herself on the chair, adjusting slightly to make herself more steady on the seat and set her riding crop on the surface of the table. The young woman then stripped off the black gloves from her hands and put her napkin on her lap, brusing it flat against the dark of her skirts. "[B Now comes the interragatory part of our conversation, I'm afraid. But at least we're in this lovely place to do it in, by chance?]" An exhalation, calming herself, "[B That all said, it's a delight to meet you.]" Winifred remarked, inclining her head towards the young man. She appreciated his face, gentle, aristocratic features and a nervous, twitching mouth. She didn't know what about it, but it was charming. Perhaps he had an earnest sincerity about himself. In their circumstances it felt a shame to have to try and put that aside outside of her natural inclination, but she tentatively claimed to be smarter than that. "[B What does your father do? I believe I've heard that name floating about in the social ether somewhere before.]"
The steward, waiting patiently, now bowed forwards into their conversation and looked at them each, "[i What can I get for you?]"
Miss Blackwood looked at Eugene again, "[B Do you have an allergy to something?]"
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