[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Nicolai was about to offer her a compassionate and cordial word on hearing that her love had passed. No-one should have to go through losing someone they cared about and if this man had managed to win her heart – albeit at a time when she had not closed off entirely from the world – then he was a better man than he. Of course as his lips parted to speak she continued and they immediately shut with gusto. Logan? [i The] Logan?! The supposed donor used only to create a child with which to deceive Germaine into not killing her? She loved that bastard?! He felt his blood beginning to boil, his hand tightening about the bottle, but she didn't stop at his name and as he began to just listen it all began to fall into some semblance of a full story. He wanted to ask if there were more children, more lovers, more lies by omission that she had failed to tell him over the years. But seeing her demure appearance, the way she avoided looking at him and focused solely on the soft grass, this was not a time to chastise.
[+royalblue “I found pain is a big part of love, at least for me. It hurts when they leave the room, even for just a moment. Hurts when you can't fall asleep beside them or wake up next to them or you can't just hold them, saying nothing, just.. just wanting them close for no other reason than to have them there, and knowing they are safe..”] He sighed and closed his eyes. How could he blame this woman for falling in love with Logan, when he had done the same with Elizabeth? The only difference is he got to live a life with the flaxen haired woman. He had a few years of family life with her and Natalya. He had those memories. Florence was constantly hiding and the one moment she indulged her love for him, he was caught, and he was killed.[+royalblue “And that's the good kind of pain love can bring. Everything bad like the lies, the way one wrong word can make your day feel awful, the way a single look can crush you.. hurts ten times more coming from someone you love..”] He said that entire part much quieter, mostly to himself and with a running slide show of memories of Elizabeth doing all that and more. It did leave a pain in his chest, even now, a dull throb as if some knife were being pushed into him slowly.
But he found himself quickly, reaching out his free hand and taking hers that had been brushing through the grass. There was a slight tremor to his touch but perhaps it was the alcohol or that he was cooling down or any number of things. He hoped she picked one of them to pin it on, and not what they both knew he was talking about. He turned his head, a reflective glint to his eyes as he looked on her.[+royalblue “I'm sorry for your loss Florence.”] It wasn't much but he couldn't think of anything more to say. He let go of her hand then, using his hand to help prop him up on his elbow and bringing his left leg up, foot flat to the ground as he turned to her a little more. The bottle was brought around and he took several long gulps of the wine, eyes screwed shut and it swayed a little in his hand. When he finally lowered it he let out a deep breath, placing the bottle down a little closer to her if she wished to partake. Hand now free he brought it up to push back his hair, his thumb brushing at the outer corner of his eye to brush away a little liquid.[+royalblue “You're turn to ask, if you want to keep going.”]
Taking her eyes from the dancing blades of grass, her darkened green gaze came back to the man beside her. Her expression was stained with remorse, as one would expect in this situation. [+mediumseagreen “He was killed.”] He had heard one version of the story before, but it was not the whole thing. Only what was convenient at the time. A little ashamed of that now, her eyes fall back down to the ground. [+mediumseagreen “That night Logan came to ask me to run away with him, I realized all too late that there was more to how I felt about him… I actually said yes, I would go with him, but him being the idiot he was, got too excited and made a scene. It was just loud enough to alert the guard in the hall. Had the true nature of the encounter been realized, it would have been the end of all three of us.”] Florence was including Augustine in that count, as she was sure Logan did at the time. [+mediumseagreen “He made the last minute decision to change tone and make it look as though he was an intruder… I guess he wasn’t as stupid as I always claimed, but he was not quick enough to do that and get away. He was caught and he died because of it.”] She always thought that perhaps had she realized her feelings sooner, or told him sooner things could have worked out differently, but she did not want to live her life by what ifs. [+mediumseagreen “That’s not to say I am still carrying around that torch. I mourned him, but I decided not to live life yearning for the dead. It has been so long now I almost forget what it felt like to love someone like that… though I was so guilt ridden that I was going behind my husband’s back that it was difficult to separate the two at the time.”] So while she said she had been in love, she knew it was a twisted version of the word, tainted by hard feelings and regrets. It wasn’t pure and wholesome like most longed for. [+mediumseagreen "Even now, I am not sure how much pain is supposed to be in the mix."]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat That first part got to him. It wasn't hurtful and it didn't feel like she was saying it to be cruel, but it made him chuckle lightly and drew a wry smile on his lips. Of course he would get that wrong. It put the pin in his understanding that he knew nothing about her, not even her favourite flower. In a way it was a light hearted way of her getting her point to really stick. It was good for him too. Sometimes the easiest way to get someone to understand, to truly grasp a theme and comprehend what it meant, was to be blunt like she was and it really did help. Having her sit close to him helped him to feel better about the situation as a whole. Putting their talking aside it was just helpful to have her not run off or sit in silence and let their talk die off to nothingness. She didn't know that sometimes just little things like that helped him and he turned his head to watch her as she stroked the grass slowly. Nodding with her request to return to their questions, he still watched her hand as it ran across the surface.[+royalblue “What happened to the person you loved?”] It was perhaps not the easiest question to start with, but she had mentioned she felt love in the past. If he could learn what made her fall for that person perhaps he could replicate it or learn from it and truly help them to see if this relationship was even possible.
Nicolai seemed to be coming down from his frustration and into something more melancholy. It pulled at her heart to hear him like this, but at the very least Florence felt he had listened to her, that even if he was having a difficult time. He also came to a conclusion they could agree upon. They barely knew one another and they had a long way to go if they wanted this to work.
She had debated whether or not to tell him this, but given he was so intent to know more, she thought it would be cruel not to correct him. [+mediumseagreen “Oh Nicolai… I can’t stand orchids…”] with that comment she stood. The alcohol seemed to rush to her head when she moved for the first time since she started drinking. Florence had to stand a moment before she could continue on and come in closer to him. Shakily, she sat next to him in the grass. [+mediumseagreen “I want there to be hope for us… I do believe that you love me, even if it is complicated, and I have not been lying when I’ve said I am fond of you. I really am, I like when you pay attention to me and we spend time together. Sometimes it does not work out so well, but I don’t want to quit just yet…”] Her hand found the grass and she began to drag her hand over the earth, back and forth, in a soothing petting motion. Her eyes stayed trained on the grass as it shifted beneath her hand. [+mediumseagreen “I’m not so great at talking about myself. It’s not that I don’t want you to know; it is just hard for me. Maybe because I’ve spent so much of my life focusing on other people… I don’t know.”] There was probably some reason for it, but Florence did not know what it was. To her, it simply felt unnatural.
[+mediumseagreen “We don’t need to start over, we just need to get straight where we are going, I think…”] they had been through so much at this point it almost felt like a waste to throw it all to the side, even if much of it was unpleasant. [+mediumseagreen “You say you want to know everything, but that is a long story… how about we focus on one question at a time again. I’ll answer you, just like before; you just have to be patient with me. Sometimes I don’t know how to say stuff.”]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Laying on the ground gave him a chance to rest but it also forced him to stare up into the starry night and for the first time since opening one of those bottles he wasn't confronted by his family. Now it was just the same sky that he saw most nights he went to sleep, the same stars, the same moon, and it allowed him to listen to her easily without clogging his mind with the thoughts and feelings he had of his family. He could truly listen to what she had to say and if she had been looking for it she would see his hostility, his frustration and his petty mood begin to melt away. His brow turned upward, his lips pulled taut into a thin line. He could hear the emotion she put into her words and it was safe to say they had an obvious effect on him.
As they had been doing throughout he allowed a small silence to grow when she finished, still hugging the bottle to his side though he didn't go to drink from it just yet.[+royalblue “I'm sorry Florence.”] He said quietly, swallowing the lump in his throat and taking a deep breath. His chest rose slowly as he eased himself from some emotional precipice he had seemingly brought himself to.[+royalblue “I talk like a.. like a fucking idiot a lot of the time. Like I know what [i love] is, when really I don't. Rather I just have my own stupid warped reasoning of what it is, just like everyone else has theirs. Like you have yours. I shouldn't expect your idea of love to be the same as mine, so I'm sorry for that.”] He brought his free hand up to rest on his chest and rose and fell with his slow breathing.[+royalblue “But I do love all of you, at least all of you that I know about.”] He now brought the bottle up, lifting his head enough to take a sip but it was more for the courage the alcohol gave him to talk than to drown any sorrows. His head fell back when he was done.
[+royalblue “Truth is you've been right for so damn long, and I was just too damn stubborn in realising that I don't know you. I fell in love with the idea of you, what I thought of you, whatever that was. I didn't wait and instead started us up here,”] his free hand rose off his chest as high as he could reach,[+royalblue “when in truth if I wanted things to work I should've started down here,”] he now pat his chest,[+royalblue “start from the ground up and get to know you.”] Turning his head he looked over at her, looking for her gaze though not outright seeking it.[+royalblue “I didn't stop to ask who the girl was behind the Queen title, behind the.. the tough exterior she had to put on in front of others.. I didn't take the time to get you to trust me and to open up to me so I could learn who you were, your past, your family, hell I only know you like orchids because I made Tomas the gardener tell me. How fucking creepy is that?!”] He shook his head and turned back to look at the sky.[+royalblue “I know I give, or maybe I show my feelings far too easily.. and in a way I just found it was the easier way to get peoples attention, their adoration, their.. their love..”] He sighed and let out a soft groan. Some feelings and emotions even he didn't want to open up on, and that had been something he didn't like to admit. Being vain and craving praise and attention was something he didn't want to admit, not least because it drew a connection to his mother.
[+royalblue “I know I can't make you love me, and I can't go back and start again – we already have baggage tied to one another. But,”] he paused as if to think over his wording,[+royalblue “is there any hope for us? Or are we just stuck doing this back and forth nonsense where I get pissy and you try to reason with me but we get no-where and just end up annoyed at one another?”] Loathe to say it out loud he was fearful that Augustine and Gregory were right; he wasn't good for her, she was better off alone than with him. He didn't want to believe it; surely he was better for her than nothing? But sometimes solitude was better than to deal with the strife and discomfort he caused her.[+royalblue "I want to learn everything there is about you, but I won't force you to open up. Even I'm not [i that] much of a bastard."]
That made more sense, timing. For Her, an intimate question would have no better time than an intimate moment. They went together, but now that he said it aloud, Florence could see why he would have rather just enjoyed their time together. Especially since moments like that were so rare for them. The second part of his reasoning though, that hit her a little harder. The intention had never been to make it seem like she did not believe him when he said he loved her. Until quite recently she believed that never stopped. She was still confused at what changed his mind, but now was not the time for that as stated by his hand.
What came next was more baffling. Her brow furrowed. She jolted slightly as he fell, as though she was going to try and stop him but inevitably stayed in place. Her expression did not soften though. [+mediumseagreen “Don’t lie to me and tell me I am everything you’ve ever wanted.”] There was irritation in her voice. [+mediumseagreen “Can you honestly sit there and tell me when giving a choice you would pick someone like me who struggles with intimacy over someone who would freely hold and kiss you the way you long for? Someone who wasn’t abused and broke? Someone who isn’t scarred? Someone who isn’t so argumentative?Someone who doesn’t fall ill to basic exertion? Someone who can fucking breath?”] No, Florence did not imagine any of these things were ideal for him. [+mediumseagreen “Look, I get it. You like a lot of thing about me, there is a lot I like about you too, but don’t tell me you love everything when I know that can’t be true...”] Had she missed the point? Maybe. But Florence felt this needed to be said. [+mediumseagreen “I’ve loved before, as shocking as that might seem, it’s not impossible... There’s no invisible line or standard to meet. It just happens... and I’m so bad at understanding those feelings, how could you possibly expect me to literally share them with anyone else?”] Her words softened by the end. She was the type who did not notice how she felt until it was too late.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Nicolai was wondering if he had upset her with his words but with his back to her he couldn't tell. He did not want to hurt her, if he had he could have been much more scathing and much more pointed with his argument to do so. No, he was just trying to get this long standing issue between them sorted. He wanted it over with. He wanted to move on and go away from it and just work with her to be happy and all that. But it felt like he was coming up with the same arguments and she was there with the same excuses and counter-points. Shaking his head at what she started with saying he was just as respectful as she was in keeping silent. Interjecting would only prolong things.
Her final point also brought a huff and his shoulders sagged a little, though he waited a few seconds more to ensure she had finished.[+royalblue “I don't mind you asking, but for a woman who won a throne and then had to deal with Germaine, I'd think you'd know a bit more tact and diplomacy and where the right time to ask such questions is.”] Perhaps not whilst they were laying in bed in a loving embrace.[+royalblue “I'm sorry... I'm not angry at you for the question itself... I was angry at the timing, and more so that you questioned me about how I feel."] He was a little animated there, pressing his chest with his free hand.[+royalblue "I can't help that I feel this way about you and to question it, makes me think I have to meet your approval or your criteria or just.. like my feelings aren't valid to you.”] Again the bottle rose but his free hand also came up and towards her, a finger held up to stem her from any rebuttal or witty remark. He was speaking – well, after he finished his drink which was two healthy gulps later.
Wiping away the residual wine from the edges of his mouth, he half turned back to her, and she would see the look of pain in his eyes illuminated by the lanterns glow.[+royalblue “But that end part, that points exactly to what the problem is with us.”] He didn't want to look at her lest this drunken wallowing evolve into more so he looked down to the ground.[+royalblue “You [i are] my ideal partner. You tick everything on my list of wants. Not at first. At first you were just.. just beautiful, and you had a beautiful voice.. but then I got to know you. You were strong, you didn't take shit from anyone – even Germaine! You were smart and witty and when Augustine came along I saw how caring and loving you were. Yeah, I stupidly said I loved you from the first day but that was me trying to be a fucking poet or some shit, thinking I sounded sweet or whatever.”] He waved his hand at the air as if to swat away the stupid point and move on.[+royalblue “But still, I let myself be open to falling for you and let it happen. But you? You just said so yourself, you don't expect anyone to hit your marks. You seem like you don't expect it, like no-one will even live up to your standards or hit that benchmark for love and therefore fuck anyone for trying. I'm here willing to change and you're there just.. I dunno.. just feels like a fight to get you to change anything.. you're too stubborn to even let me try.”]
Feeling a touch awkward as he finished talking he swung a boot to scuff at the grass but swung a little too far, the momentary lack of balance had his standing leg buckling and he fell onto his arse. He looked annoyed more so than embarrassed or hurt though thankfully the bottle was in tact. Not bothering with trying to get up he remained seated on the ground,[i [+royalblue 'fucking grass”]], mumbled softly though he slowly lay back so he was laying flat on the ground, defeated.[+royalblue "I don't like fighting with you... it never seems to end.."] He commented and the bottle came to be coddled at his side.
There was a lot coming out, a lot of pent up feelings and antagonizations. Florence did not feel all of them were fair. She had rebuttals, reasons she did what she did, it made it very difficult to sit there and listen to him, but she did. She let him get it all out, though she did feel incredibly shitty at the end of it. The giggling had ceased, seriousness in its place, but as she was the woman had a hard time figuring out what to do with the mood, what to do with what he said. There was so much, she did not know where to start, or even if she should. However, his final question was one she had to answer, as per their agreement. [+mediumseagreen “Yes, I do.”] She understood why he initially had not wanted to talk about it, it was a little difficult for her to grasp that he felt the need to storm out after she dropped it, but it all came down to the ruined mood variable and that was so subjective that she could not hope to get to the bottom of it.
There was quiet between them, she did not want to make it worse. But in the silence, she felt like they were drifting even farther apart from one another. Maybe that had been his intention. Maybe he was done trying? Glancing back over to him, his eyes were elsewhere, she could not tell what he wanted right now. Her head was not clear, and even if it was it was unlikely she would have been able to glean anything from his expression other than irritation. [+mediumseagreen “I have never been good at understanding you… even now… if I do not ask why, when I won’t ever get it. And I want to be able to bridge the gap...”] She was trying, maybe she hadn’t been those seven years ago, but she was now, and it was difficult. To know he did not want her to look any deeper was torturous. It felt like she would be condemned to a life of misunderstanding if they persisted this way. [+mediumseagreen “And I won’t be able to feel any closer to you. That is all I was trying to do, I am sorry.”] It was a genuine apology, though she was not sure he would be happy with that either. [+mediumseagreen “I am not a good person; I never have been... I will admit I did terrible things to you, but please know that it was never meant out of cruelty. Though I doubt intentions count for anything at this point.”] Clearly, they did not if he was still carrying all these things with him. She had explained her reasoning to many of these transgressions in the past, so Florence would not put him through that again, unless he wanted it, but he could always ask if that was the case. [+mediumseagreen “And while you may not be my ‘ideal’,”] she used air quotes here, [+mediumseagreen “I am not holding that against you... those were simply things I like, the lack of them doesn’t make you subpar or inferior. Besides, has anyone ever found a partner that hit every tick mark on their list of wants? I certainly have not, nor do I expect to.”] Part of that was because she had planed to live and die alone for a very long time, but it was what it was.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Again her answers were humorous to his own and he softly smiled at her teasing. He didn't really see the compliment as a real one, instead only nodding as he believed her mocking tone was enough to show his chances weren't any higher. Still it kept the conversation going so he didn't comment through her rather sweet words about wanting to talk to him. Granted this was perhaps not the best place for them to talk, especially given the alcohol consumption, but it was talking to an extent and he felt a little warmer for her words.
When her question came he passed back the bottle which was beginning to act as a speaking stick to be held by the questioning party. It was regretful as her question was a heavy one and he would have liked to take a very long drink right about now. And he did, only he took up the wine bottle and a sip of its sweet delights would bring a slight rosy glow to his cheeks. Wine was a bit of a crux to him as it was a creeping alcohol that he could drink lots of before the effects bore fruition. It was an excellent vintage and stored well, but by now flavour didn't matter too much.
Sighing he lifted a boot up onto the bench, resting his chin on his knee and hugging his leg a little. He wasn't staring toward the graves now but to the side of Florence as he faced her.[+royalblue “I left because you kind of ruined the moment.”] Not a great start for her at least but he went on.[+royalblue “I don't mean to be cruel or whatever but I was really enjoying the moment. I was warm, I was with you, we had time to just relax with one another and be a couple. Your father wasn't there like at the fire all those years ago, Augustine wasn't bursting into the room like at the tavern in Preth. We had time to ourselves. And you had to prod at me and question why I feel like I do for you. You can't just enjoy things, you have to have an answer for why, you have to know the background of it and it pissed me off because why did it matter?”] It was asked rhetorically and he glanced at her for just a few seconds before back to his bottle, his finger running around the rim and an eerie echo reverberated from inside.
He was focused on the bottle now, not looking over to her.[+royalblue “I'll save you a wasting another question and just answer it now. In truth, I didn't love you after the lake. Quite the opposite, I rather hated you afterwards. And for a long time.”] He lifted the bottle now and took a little sip as his free hand wiped his mouth clean.[+royalblue “You had lied to me about Augustine and then you told me to leave and before you call bullshit on that, we both know what I was asking at the lake. It was between me and Adrian, and I lost because he was homely or some other shit.”] He couldn't remember everything perfectly but the main points he was okay with.[+royalblue “I'm sorry I'm not your ideal partner. I don't have a beard – I'm a fucking elf, won't ever happen! I'm also not built like a brick shit house either. I'm not going to be your number one fan all the time and I'll actively tell you to your face if I think you're fucking up.”] He had done so before and in a manner of speaking he would continue to tell her when he felt she was wrong, though it would now be with the hindsight that he was not as infallible himself.
[+royalblue “Yes it was selfish to leave but fuck, I'd saved Augustine - twice! - and I'd shown you I was with you and that was despite how big a fucking lie you had told me and everyone else, and yet you'd already swooned for that twat!”] He rose up now, standing up and moving away from the bench ostensibly because he felt his blood beginning to boil a little and didn't want to be near her with bottle in hand. He may not have ever considered to use it, but tempers were high, alcohol had been consumed, many things could happen. He moved away towards the graves, standing before his mothers and just staring down at it. Now he swayed a little.[+royalblue “I hated you from that day for nearly five years. I'd given up my life and my home for you and Augustine only to find he wasn't Germaines, he wasn't a Prince, and despite wanting to protect him still you decided my duty was served and you released me from my vow.”] He lifted the bottle but none of the liquid reached his lips and it came back down to his side soon after. He hadn't truly answered the question from that morning in the bed, he had gone off on a tangent and if anything he had avoided the question. But he was drunk, if that was even an excuse.
[+royalblue “Can you see now why I didn't want to talk about it?”]
[+mediumseagreen “This is previously meditated, I see.”] She poked fun at his quick reply. [+mediumseagreen “But I suppose I see where you are coming from, though I was unaware all you wanted was a pity fuck, I could have had that out of the way years ago.”] Would have been less trouble in the long run, but of course she was not serious. And somehow she was able to keep her mouth shut for the rest of the jabs that followed that line of thinking. He must have had sex on the brain since it kept coming up, but that was in the name of the game, so Florence could not hold it against him. [+mediumseagreen “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. We might get intimate yet, you are looking rather dashing in this new tunic, so your chances are going up.”] Out of all her teasing, this one was laced with an actual compliment. Rare for her.
Then it was his turn again. The playful gleam in his eye faded a tad and she came to expect that he might move away from their previous topic. She was right in that assumption. [+mediumseagreen “No, babysitting is what got me stuck with the kids downstairs.”] She sighed, still half wishing she had left Ool own there with them, [+mediumseagreen “I told you I would be here with you and I planned to stick to it, whether you are a cunt about it or not. So far you have not been completely intolerable… but that might be the alcohol talking.”] Florence chuckled softly. Her head was a little fuzzy, but in the pleasant way. [+mediumseagreen “That and I have actually gotten used to spending at least a little time out of everyday with you. Just doesn’t feel right when I don’t… we did not talk today, so I thought this might be my only chance.”] Had the reason they did not speak not been so unfortunate that might have been a cute admission, but at least for her she had a hard time looking past the negatives.
Once again, the tipsy woman was left thinking of a question that spring boarded off the last thing she talked about. That meant recent events. [+mediumseagreen “I still don’t understand why you left yesterday morning… Well, I know I asked something I shouldn’t have, but after I tried to drop it so that we could just spend more time together, you left… Why?”] Though there was a bit of distance between now and then, thinking of it still hurt her feelings.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Her jovial little remark did annoy him, but he did well not to show it. His mother wasn't just another whore as he had much more emotional baggage attached to that statement but he decided to bite his tongue and smile at her. Somehow he was still able to reason with himself that this wasn't a normal talk, they were each trying to keep it light and counter the heaviness of the situation. But of course she would again make light of his own question and he pressed a hand to his chest as if pained.[+royalblue “I'd say I was surprised but no, I get it. You have just been using me to get what you want all this time, now I don't even get a pity fuck!”] Yes, he was using his argument back at the lake that she was using his feelings for her against him, as a joke. Alcohol made his reasoning and logic change their stances and that was evident as he finished off his glass, seeing she had taken the whiskey to swig at.
Her accent did register with him but he was far past sobriety to notice the different inflections of here and there. The Astorian was all he really picked up on and it made him hush just a little. He had always found it quite alluring and sweet and in this moment of quiet togetherness it sounded all the more perfect to him. Thankfully she continued talking and he was forced to actually reply and not stare mesmerised at her.
It was unfair that she turn the question back on him so literally, but he answered remarkably quickly.[+royalblue “Oh yeah, Ool is dead, but only because I want Cam for my own.”] He looked a little serious in saying that though it was only because he had to quickly turn his head aside and belch, smacking his chest with a fist to be done.[+royalblue “Sorry, erm, I guess.. well, I'd marry Augustus because I doubt he'd want me to fuck him so it would be like marrying you.”] That was,, a little too accurate perhaps.[+royalblue “And you know, with one arm I bet I could overpower him in bed and be the dominant one – if it really came down to it.”] Cruel but theoretically true? He moved on.[+royalblue “And I'd fuck you just to say I had. Plus it's probably the only way I could get you to fuck me.”] He added with a chuckle, turning to her and clicking his fingers, demanding the bottle back off her as he hummed, thinking of another question.
When it was finally given over to him he nodded. The humour was on his lips, fading swiftly, but his eyes were back to a more serious look.[+royalblue “My go.. hmm.. what.. hmm..”] He seemed stuck on how to ask the question, pausing to swig and recoiling at having drank too much in one gulp. Whiskey was always a heavier hit to him than rum or brandy combined. Recovered, he put the bottle back between them though held on to its neck.[+royalblue “Why are you here?”] It was quite open and he seemed to realise that, as his free hand came up to shush her, pressing a finger to his lips and shaking his head.[+royalblue “I mean here.. on this fucking bench, next to a real cunt like me as he drinks and complains before his shitty, dead, parents. 'cause if you're here just babysitting my sorry arse I don't need it. I'm fine. I'll be fine.. just need more-”] And with that he took up the bottle again and took a small swig, again wincing from its hard taste. He was doing better at not drinking too much too quickly.
Florence could not help but crack a smile at his rather succinct description of his mother. [+mediumseagreen “Oh come now, that is not so bad as you seem to think. One of my closest friends was a whore.”] That was a freebie, she decided. But then she listened as he went into more detail on what he meant. The woman had figured he was being more figurative with his wordage, but there was no telling for certain. [+mediumseagreen “But I do suppose that is an apt description.”] To be frank the woman sounded like a raging bitch, but she barely managed to hold her tongue. The woman’s grave was right there for gods’ sake.
His question made her groan. [+mediumseagreen “Can’t I kill you all and be done with it.”] Her speech was losing some of the formality the woman always held on to, it brought out her accent, though now that Nicolai had spent more time up north he might notice that it was tinged with more than just Astorian. There was a hint of Malideki in there, though it was only spackled here and there. [+mediumseagreen “Kill Ool, because I have to get rid of that damn wolf somehow…”] She had to think a little harder on that last bit, as she did Florence reached for one of the other bottles between them and took a quick swig. [+mediumseagreen “Augustus is too obsessed with his wife, so I would never hear the end of it, so fuck him. Guess that means I have to marry you, but only because I’ve run out of options.”] Her lips curled into a smile as she laughed lightly at her own decision.
[+mediumseagreen “Same question back at you, same options, me, Augustus, Ool.”] She latched on to the idea of making him squirm with a stupid joke, though she was curious how he would answer her frivolousness.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat His small smile grew into one of triumph – and a little seat dance too – to accompany her agreeing to his request and he looked on her more interested than at in anything through the entire day. The bottle was brought to his chest both to stem him drinking and missing out on some information, and also because it was quite close to empty and needed to be nursed to last a little longer.
Everything she said enthralled him. He was hearing more about her past with each sentence than he had in the entirety of the years he had known her. He knew the basics – but everyone knew where she was from, who her brother and father was, things like that. But to hear her mother passed young was fascinating in its resemblance to his own mother passing when he was ten. Hearing her call her father merely 'her husband' was eye opening, literally for him in this state. It all was so captivating to him and he wanted to quickly ask more questions, but his eyes narrowed and he pouted when he realised that his go was over.
When she asked her question he groaned audibly.[+royalblue “I hate this game.”] He complained and lifted the bottle to sup a little more. When it came back down he shook it some to check how much was left and poured the rest into the glass – only about half full.[+royalblue “She was a whore.”] He said as if in passing and turned, throwing the next bottle over the wall, however it was a bad throw and landed closer than the last, smashing on the rocks past the brick wall and he nodded with satisfaction at hearing it this time.[+royalblue “She liked attention, she craved men's attention, and if she didn't get it oh boy would there be anger.”] He spoke slowly so that his words carried to her better, knowing he could often go too quick when discussing something he disliked talking about. It was something he learned to do as an advisor with Germaine.[+royalblue “She got real good at dislocating fingers, I got real good at fixing them.”] Holding up his hands he wiggled them as if for emphasis, though they were all perfectly straight.[+royalblue “But that was when she got real mad. You see, a favourite of hers was to take a few unripe oranges, put them in a sock and hit me. Doesn't leave a whole lot of bruises you know? Less questions from people, still gets her satisfaction. She was [i all] about appearances.”] He huffed a little, hinting that he could go into such details about 'appearances', but instead he shrugged and let the question roll away into silence for just a little time, losing himself to memories and thoughts.
Shaking his head, raven hair falling loosely over his face, he pulled away from his silence and looked over at her. Brushing back his hair a little he took up the glass.[+royalblue “My turn. Fuck, marry, kill – me, Augustus, Ool! Go.”] He was trying his best to go to the complete opposite end of the scale to their current questions, wanting to lighten his own mood but also genuinely curious how this would turn out for him. A small smile managed to make its way to his lips once more as he took a sip and offered it back to her, though he couldn't hide the deeper emotional feelings going on in his mind from those vivid violet eyes.
[+mediumseagreen “Sir, I think you are overestimating most the sex I have had,”] she looked him over skeptically, though her words did hold a hint of humor to them. [+mediumseagreen “But I do see what you are so crudely trying to get across.”] It was not a terrible offer, and she noted that he would have no out during this little game. The rules were stacked in her favor and he was the one to come up with it himself. Still, she was not so sure she wanted to give him that much power. To let him learn anything his little elfin heart desired, however, this being the first time she had seen him smile in nearly two days her heart melted just the tiniest bit and she sighed in defeat. [+mediumseagreen “Fine… but if you do not keep your word I will be very cross with you.”] Her eyes narrowed on him only momentarily, then she gave up on trying to look irritated and tried to think of where to start.
[+mediumseagreen “Well… you see, my brother and I were very young when our mother passed. Six and four, I believe, so he does not remember her, or her husband... I want to keep it that way.”] She had spent years dodging questions from him, telling him she either did not remember, or being more on the nose and telling him he did not need to know. It grew harder in more recent years, as Augustine came to his aid. The boy was very particular about bloodlines. [+mediumseagreen “If he finds that marker he will have our name, the one we were born to and given he has access to anything he wants in the archives it would not take long to track down more information about our house and parents… that man, the one who sired us, Eugene would be heartbroken to know who he was, Gregory too. It is better for everyone to just let it remain a mystery.”] It probably would have been better to leave it at that, but her lips were loosening. [+mediumseagreen “Besides, no man who treats his children that way can really be considered a father.”] She hated to think about him. Shaking her head, it was like Florence was trying to wipe him from her brain. It never worked though.
[+mediumseagreen “Your mother, what was she like?”] On the topic of mothers, the woman could not help but fixate a little. Plus, this would be easier than asking what happened. That could come a little later.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Whilst she was right that he shouldn't care if someone rebuilt in the ashes of his home, to Nicolai it just felt wrong. Perhaps it had been enshrined in him that this was his land, this was his home, something no-one could take away from him and that to burn it down in a crude sense was hurting himself. He didn't say it out loud for how contradictory it made him. And given her quick input, to which he felt she had previous experience on this matter, she was not one to show sentiment towards land or a building. It was pointless to continue that argument. Looking across to her however as she spoke, he didn't seem to react to the comment about him laughing. Was the story of her mother so amusing? His increasingly alcohol ravaged mind didn't make the connection between his laughter and her story, but he listened intently as she spoke. When she had, he rolled his eyes slightly.[+royalblue “Oh come on Florence! You can't just end at that!”] Whilst he understood it was a touchy subject, inner Nicolai was the one talking now, not sensible and respectful Nicolai.[+royalblue “Why is it suspicious to visit your mothers grave? What information can a grave hold? Clue to what?!”] It was like a child now on the edge of their seat, as he was, itching for the answers and unable to contain their interest in what was going on.
However then his eyes lit up, clicking his fingers and nodding to his subconscious that the idea he had was a good one.[+royalblue “Look – I'll make you an amazing offer.”] He paused to quickly slosh some rum into his mouth, hesitating as its strong flavours kicked at him before he swallowed, holding up a finger toward her as he took in a few lungfuls of air. He really needed to slow down.[+royalblue “We do a little back and forth. Like sex. You still remember what that's like right? You know, you give a little, you take a little. It's super easy. Simple. And lots of fun.”] That small barb in the middle crept in but in this state he had lost that filter. It was not meant in a harsh manner, more like a snippy comment. His hand slapped the bottle.[+royalblue “So! You get to ask a question, anything, absolutely anything, and I have to answer it! My family, past, future, anything at all and you'll get nothing but truth from me. Elven promise.”] He made a symbol over the crest of his tunic that was a very rough version of an elven prayer from many decades ago.[+royalblue And once I answer, I get to ask you a question. I'll even let you have one pass! So if I ask something and you really, really, [i really], don't want to answer it, you get to use it. But only one! And we go back and forth with it, okay? Great.”] He wasn't waiting for her to accept this offer, no Nicolai was going to press on and get them past this awkward social barrier.[+royalblue “So me first; answer.. all that stuff I asked about your mother and the grave and such.”] His hand gestured for her to continue from where she had stopped as he smiled, delighted with his idea. Again he wasn't swaying nor were his eyes blinking repeatedly in that drunken manner many had, but it was clear the alcohol was getting to him now and his drinking had slowed.
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