[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Augustus gave her a soft laugh as she huffed and puffed to a decision. It was interesting to hear that Nicolai would attempt to persuade her son into something, but seeing that she was dreading going to talk to the man made him feel a little better about his own reaction. He would have to come back later to try and get his own answers, giving her a light wave as he left to go distract his mind.
Down in the dungeon, in his cell, Nicolai was silent and contemplative as he remained tethered to the wall by his special bracelets. It had been a most uncomfortable night and between his medical needs and not being allowed to lower his arms, he was restless and tired. It seemed there was something about the castle that night that led to no-one sleeping. Still, come the morning he had been given the briefest of drinks and meals by the doctor, thanking him for his help even as the guard had kicked aside his cup to leave him wanting more by the time Florence arrived.
As she ordered the guard to leave, the weary prisoner moved his legs about again, back to kneeling on the ground in a somewhat respectable manner as he looked up to her with half lidded eyes. She did not look pleased. And from her words she was disgruntled. But he found it interesting how she was not asking about a ceasefire, asking him to sign something that would stop the fighting or to get him to agree to an unconditional surrender. Instead she was asking why he personally was here. From the look in her eyes, it was not due to some deep seated concern for him.
[+royalblue “You are asking what do I want?”] His voice was a little hoarse and dry and he took a moment to cough and ease the discomfort, licking his parched lips.[+royalblue “Well, I want for a lot of things. If you mean in my role as the leader of the rebellion, I want houses and jobs. I want pardons for my soldiers, the walls to be torn down and Astorian soldiers to leave.”] He spoke quietly though he showed a little of his authoritative demeanour and his back straightened just a little. It was a small sight of the old Nicolai, the General Nicolai.
Catching that stern emerald gaze however he knew she was not here to listen to him as anything but Nicolai the Elf, and his vivid violet eyes looked back at her with no hesitation.[+royalblue “As me, as an individual, I want my old life back. I know you and Augustine will be leaving for Wistina soon, unless something changed which it may very well have.”] He had no idea if they had decided to stay in Astoria, to write off Wistina. But from Augustine’s stature and how he had spoken, he seemed determined still to go back.[+royalblue “I want to go back too. I want to help him get back his crown and I take back what is his, even if not by birthright then by law.”] He wasn’t Germaines but the law of the land was that Augustine was Prince and Heir.[+royalblue “And,”] he voice dropped that octave more,[+royalblue “I doubt you will believe me, but I still want you Florence.”]
[+mediumseagreen “It has crossed my mind.”] There was a mild sarcasm in her voice, because that was exactly had been contemplating all morning. [+mediumseagreen “But so has leaving him there to rot, so you can see my dilemma.”] It would not have been so much of a problem had he just showed up. Sure, she was still mad about what had happened, how he acted so childishly, but she would have been willing to give him another chance. If only to give Augustine the chance to have that one link back to his home. But no, he had to go and incite a bunch of trouble on the mainland, trouble that had rising death toll. It could take its next victim at any moment, and he had made it clear he had no remorse for any of it.
There was a pause, then Augustus answered her. She was not entirely surprised by the fact that her son had wormed his way down there. He had been acting strange. Florence sighed, it was more a sound of irritation than anything else. [+mediumseagreen “Perfect. No doubt he tried to lure Augustine in with sympathies.”] She was just being spiteful; the woman still had no idea what it was that the raven-haired man wanted or if her son could possibly play into it at all.
Having finished with her current complaints, she was silent once more. Augustus stayed by her side, it reminded her that she still had his knife. She wouldn’t offer to return it quite yet, as his presence and comments were bolstering. She sighed again, this one in defeat. [+mediumseagreen “Fine, I will go ask.”] That didn’t mean she would get an answer, but at least she would have done something other than sit on her hands. Nodding her farewell, she took that first step through the door where she had previously been able to move.
Upon making it down into the dark, the guard looked surprised to see her. She could not blame him, not after how she left the last time. Still, she dismissed the armored man and took his place in the room with Nicolai. Standing some distance from him like she had before, Florence did not waste any time. She needed to get words out before he started patronizing her and they got caught in that vicious cycle all over again. [+mediumseagreen “I cannot begin to believe you are here by anything other than your own volition, so why? What is it that you wish to gain from all this, Nicolai?”]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Augustus understood Florence to be quite a detailed and factual woman in their times together. It was part of her personality that he found most admirable. He could rely on her to be blunt and to the point with him. Yet here she was, quite unsure of herself. It would have been amusing if he wasn’t also in the same state of mind. How frustrating it was to have their two brilliant minds just utterly bewildered by this one elf.
[+darkslateblue “I have a wild notion but; have you thought of going down and asking him why he is here or doing this?”] It was a bit tongue in cheek to say but it was as good an option to take than to stand here and ponder forever. When she asked if anyone else had talked to him, or specifically gotten information from him, he was in two minds what to admit.
Augustine had spoken to the man but Augustus knew she would not be pleased that he had. Florence wanted her son away from that influence no doubt and to have her son be one of those who had marched down and confronted the elf may have left her blood boiling. Yet on the same point he felt she deserved to know. She needed all this information if they were to decide on a course of action. And if she found out from Nicolai that Augustine had gone down, and Augustus had not told her when he knew, she would likely turn the anger on him. It seemed everyone was wary of her anger.
[+darkslateblue “The doctor was called multiple times during the night though no-one knows why as he has sworn to secrecy anything his patients tell him – even the elf.”] He looked across to the doorway down.[+darkslateblue “Other than the doctor there is only myself, you, and.. Augustine..”]
She found there was not much use in turning around to see who it was, the gait of his walk told her it was Augustus. His voice absolutely confirmed it, but there was little need for it. They’d known one another so long now; almost everything about how he moved, spoke, and held himself was ingrained in her memory. No doubt it was the same for him.
Shaking her head, she answered his second question before the first. No, she had not made it down there. She was just standing in front of this door like an idiot.
His other inquiry was a mite more difficult to respond to. [+mediumseagreen “I do not know.”] Her shoulders moved up and down minutely as she admitted it. [+mediumseagreen “I just do not understand why he is here, why he did any of this.”] As much as she wanted to say it wasn’t like him, she did not know that for sure. He had always been so difficult for her to predict. And a seven-year parting from one another surely only made that worse. Releasing a long sigh, the breath passed slowly over her lips. [+mediumseagreen “Was anyone else able to get any information from him?”] If they hadn’t, perhaps she really would have to go back down there.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Augustus' morning walk did help. Not with the problem at hand. But it helped him to relax, to calm down and feel a sense of togetherness with his thoughts. He had not experienced a night like that in a few decades, perhaps the last being the night after his daughters birth – but that would be for obvious reasons. What he would give to have her back as a newborn babe and his only worry being to make sure Julia slept so that she might not thump him in the arm repeatedly with her stress. She was lovely but at times he felt her playfulness got too painful.
Family matters aside he first went to the infirmary, finding the night nurse who was due to finish her shift and asking her how Adrian was doing. The prognosis was much the same as yesterday; he needs time. The fever remained, the infection as fierce as before. In the few moments he had awoken in the night she had rushed to have him swallow mouthfuls of water and gotten a single slice of bread down with it before he fell back to his dreams.
Augustus found he had no preference towards whether the man lived or died. He had not become friends with him over the years, preferring a relationship of professionalism than personal. It worked for their general lives but in this moment, it meant he felt a little guilty for his feelings. He wanted to leave but the nurse made mention of a second patient. The prisoner.
Augustus was told of how Nicolai had required three separate visits by the doctor, two during the night. But when he pressed for more she had shrugged; he wouldn't tell anyone what had happened. Some hippocratic oath to treat all patients with utmost respect and confidentiality. A novel idea and life choice, quite annoying to those wanting as much info on the prisoner as possible.
Heading over to the dungeon, wanting to discover the truth for himself from the source, he found Florence moving away from the door. Not knowing that she had merely stalled at the door and not gone down the stairs, he frowned.[+darkslateblue “Florence? Is everything okay?”] He looked from her to the door.[+darkslateblue “You didn't go down again did you?”]
Sleeping was not an issue for just Augustus that night. Between him, Augustine, and Florence, there were a great deal fewer resting heads. The next morning, Florence emerged; looking a little more ragged than normal. She was grumpy too, since she had not found her answer, but at this point she knew she needed food, so that was that.
By that point, news had also spread to Gregory that the ringleader from over in Malidek had been captured. Luckily, he had not discovered the man’s true identity. Only that is was not Ulrich as they had first predicted. He was chipper about that, even though it might mean that Florence and Augustine would be leaving that much sooner. Over all this time he had kept his word. He had no plans to leave the island, though even if he did, his daughter would not have let him. His eyes were failing him more and more each year. Cataracts blocking his vision and leaving a white filmy look over his once dark gray eyes. He knew the castle well enough to get around despite it, but she would not dream of letting him out much farther than that. A front she and Eugene were united on.
When she ran into Augustine, he was not very talkative. He had no questions and he did not seem to be rushing around like he generally was. It was suspicious to say the least. She did not know what he was up to, or what he had been up to, but she probably would not like it.
Just like she did not like the indecision she was facing. More than once, Florence made her way down to the doorway that lead to the cellar that held the single cell. But she never passed the threshold. She did not have the energy for mental gymnastics today… that and she thought he just might deserve to hang there a little longer in solitude.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat The Doctor left that underground cell some two hours after arriving. It had been some hell getting things to a more level status, but he had given Nicolai the correct instructions and in turn found him receptive to the treatment. The guard had requested to know what was going on, so that he might inform Augustus, but all the medical man would tell him was to mind his own business and that the prisoner would live. And that was all Augustus was given.
It left him quite frustrated to have such a man falling ill. He had not arrived secretly; the town outside the castle would be bustling with the news of Adrians injury and the arrival of a prisoner. Should the prisoner die under suspicious circumstances, then it was likely to reflect badly on Eugene. And although he understood Nicolai to be an outlaw in Wistinian lands, it would serve as a means to press for compensation or some form of recompense for the loss of a general and Duke. It was an outside chance of that happening but his role was to think of such things.
The rest of his night was spent mostly awake, thinking over the issues of the day and finding it terribly hard to relax. Nicolai’s words had given him quite the moral quandary. He wanted more answers, but to go skulking back now would be to admit that the man had taken his interest. Although he had told Augustine he was sure the man told the truth he was not absolutely sure. That doubt is what kept him up. He had taken extra time to return to Florence and Augustine as he was collecting evidence. Sadly he had found it. With only a few hours of sleep he had left his bed and sleeping wife to walk out in the early morning sun. Only he had the information, for now, and so the weight of responsibility sat on him to dictate what to do with it.
To hear him say that he was considering it at all, let alone finding a means to confirm it, was enough for Augustine. He hadn’t a clue what had been said, but he knew that they probably should not take it lightly. To be chided in the end though, that did not feel so great. Still, it was solid advice. [+coral “Alright.”] He gave a curt nod. [+coral “I will keep above ground for the time being.”] It was understandable not to trust Nicolai so easily, even with all the time he had been acquainted with him, Augustine was not sure he one hundred percent trusted him. Especially in matters that concerned Florence, though that was another matter entirely… probably.
And that was the end of that, at least for now. Augustine was anxious to see how everything was going to play out, and how this would affect their upcoming journey. The main reason they had held off as long as they had, was because they feared Ulrich was close. Now that they knew that was not the case, they could leave sooner than expected. A lot sooner.
Away from all the commotion that was stirring, Florence kept to her room for the rest of the day. She was thinking: How could she best handle this situation? At this point the ex-general was a wild card. The dark haired woman hadn’t expected to see his face again in this lifetime, let alone chained to the wall of the dungeon taunting her. And after stabbing poor Adrian no less… well, that last part she could have probably seen coming if it were seven years earlier and they were stuck in a party together again, but here and now? Most definitely not.
And then there was the situation with Ulrich. They had spent years thinking he was right at their doorstep, just to find out that was something else entirely. She didn’t know what was worse either, having him as a visible thorn in her side here, or slinking about in the shadows of Wistina. Neither was pleasant, but she was beginning to think she would have preferred him meddling in Malidek.
She had half a mind to go straight back down there and demand Nicolai tell her exactly what he was thinking in doing all of this. But she did not. Florence bottled it all up, keeping all her frustrations confined to the walls of her room.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Seeing the weak grin at his unflattering depiction of his mother, Nicolai knew he had struck a chord with Augustine and that was the pivoting moment. He did not press it however, as he was a tactician first and foremost.
Knowing he still held some ground in his mind, if not his heart, he could use that as a hold and regain his place at the lithe boy’s side. As he had thought before, so he felt rather confirmed now; Augustine still cared. It was one small step toward his overall goal but each small step was advancement and at this stage any progression was welcome. He showed the bruise on his chin, letting Augustine believe it was simply from his mother’s strike and not also from the shield knocking him out. It earned him a light joke and a chuckle and Nicolai nodded in agreement.
[+royalblue “Precisely, better than a knife or a kick in the manhood any day of the week.”] They shared a few more moments of small humorous talk before he felt the need to excuse himself. There was no request from the elf that he came to visit again, or a promise from the boy that he would speak to his mother in his defence. He would do what he wished and that was part of his plan. As the door closed over however, the guard taking his place opposite once more, and the smile slipped from his face, Nicolai slumped back to the ground. His knees had given in on him again. He was tired. But something else would happen not more than an hour later, the guard sending for the Doctor.
Augustus looked up to Augustine with a touch of confusion why the boy was here. Did he not have a book to read or some training to complete? It was not a thought meant with ill will, but he was always doing one or the other – or so his daughter complained all too often to his wife, and thus on to him. That beautiful offspring of his knew how to play her parents to her tune at times, though Julia was astute enough to see this and only allow it to work when she wanted to. If it pushed at Augustus fatherly nature to keep his daughter away from boys, even if it was Augustine, then Julia would let it work.
Still, that was getting far from the point of the matter and he nodded for the young man to continue with whatever he had come to discuss. Hearing what he said however, only deepened his current state of unease and he nodded slowly.[+darkslateblue “Is that so? I understand. Did he tell you what was said?”] When the boy shook his head negative, Augustus was visibly relieved.[+darkslateblue “Good. That means he doesn't blab. Whilst I have confirmed what he told me myself, I will not lie that it is good to hear you tell me that.”] He lifted his hand and brushed back his unkempt hair.
Leaning against the hand a moment he was in deep thought before looking up.[+darkslateblue “So you went in and spoke to him? Augustine, I understand you think you know this man but it has been many years since you last saw him. I trust what he told me, but I don’t trust him entirely. I don’t think it right that you go down there again.”] His fatherly tone came in then, warning him as he would to Julia to stay away from a boy – though this time it was a grown elven general.
The air around them was sort of turning around, Augustine was not sure how he felt about that. Strange how there were some people you could just fall back into the flow with, even when things were tense.
He could not help but grin at the man's comparison of his mother to a mountain. It was fitting, almost to a tee, in both its description of her and the futility of Nicolai's actions back then. Plus, he appreciated that it felt like the elf was actually taking what he said to heart, at least the tiniest bit. But then things took a turn. It was more serious. The battered man danced around his conversation with Augustus. Augustine was immensely curious what it could have been. Being out of the loop was not his favorite, but he also did not think that any amount of pushing the topic would bring him answers. After all, Nicolai was nearly as stubborn as his mother, if he remembered correctly.
Reflecting the gentle expression back, the thin figured boy nodded. He could keep this all a secret for now, though he didn't think he would be in any real trouble. Florence seldom scolded him about anything, he doubted she would start now. Though that last bit did surprise him. [+coral "She hit you?!"] His tone was probably a little more excited than it should have been. That was something he would have paid to have seen. As close as they were, he was pretty sure his mom was still somewhat ashamed of her physical condition and compared herself to how she used to be. He never got to see her do anything like that, she broke out her bow sometimes, but any other training was done in private. [+coral "Well, I guess we should just be glad she didn't use the knife."] Chucking, he almost would not put it passed her, almost.
Things settled after that and Augustine excused himself. He had a lot to think about now, and as always, he wanted some space to do so. There was a lot to be said about what a quiet room a few hours could do for clearing your mind. And by the end of it, he was off to see Augustus. The dark eyed man seemed to be mulling over something himself. He sat at his desk, papers splayed out in front of him, but focusing on none of it. It was highly unusual behavior for him. So, the young man too this opportunity to grab his attention. [+coral "Augustus..."] His tired eyes came up from the off colored parchment, as if to call for the child to continue. [+coral "I don't know what Nicolai said to you, but I think you should consider there to be weight behind it... I went to speak with him and I did not get the impression he was just out to fulfill some sort of revenge plot."] That last bit might not make sense to the man, Augustine was pretty sure he had never been fully informed of just what happened to cause the split during their travel north.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Nicolai watched Augustine as he responded and it was an odd reaction he found from him. He did not sense sympathy or pity, and that was good. Although the topics he talked of were quite literally depressing, or negative at least, he was a proud man and did not want to be seen as weak. He had gone at a tangent when speaking of dark time, a moment where he had let out more than he wanted. Still, he hoped to be seen as someone he respected – even if just for his military experience, if not for his individual character.
Nodding along to what the boy said, he would always know him as the boy he once was, he waited for him to advise that he was very much on Florence’s naughty list before grinning a touch. It was a toying and wry smirk as both of them knew how stubborn the woman could be. To simply get off that list would be terribly hard.[+royalblue “I hope you trust me when I say that I understand where I went wrong. I tried to change her opinion of me in a week, what had taken me ten years to construct.”] He was showing progress in that. In seven years, he could see his folly.[+royalblue “Yet as it came within reach, so close I could touch it, I rushed ahead. I pushed at the mountain and became upset when it remained stationary.”] It was a crude analogy but it made him shake his head lightly at the thought. But it showed he understood Augustine's points and accepted them a little graciously.
He allowed the moment of joviality to pass by them before continuing.[+royalblue “What I told Augustus is something he should be very worried about. But, it is up to him if he wishes to divulge that information. He is the first representative of Astoria I met, I leave my information in his hands to do with as he chooses.”] It was good to hear that the man had reacted in such a manner. It was as he had hoped. When he had revealed who he was, Nicolai knew he was on to someone high up. Passing along the knowledge would hopefully lead to a pathway whereby he was released from these damn shackles.
[+royalblue “Thank you Augustine for this insight, and I hope what we have discussed will remain between us also. Your mother is angry at me right now, do not let her shift that anger to you on my behalf.”] He smiled softly.[+royalblue “I have lived with her anger many times in the past. Though I don’t recall ever being punched quite so hard.”] His cheek was a little painful as he focused upon it. The woman sure knew how to throw a punch.
There he went again, trying to gather sympathies. Though Augustine couldn’t entirely blame him for that, his life was on the line after all. He listened to his words. It was difficult in places. That was his mom that Nicolai was talking about, so there a hint of apprehension there. But the biggest warning flag by far, was that from the sounds of it, he was [I still] in love with her. Despite everything, and all the negative comments, those feelings were still there. The heart was a very confusing thing.
Giving himself a moment, Augustine went over all the man’s looks and tones. He appeared to be genuine in it all and so the boy decided to give a genuine answer in return. [+coral “Back when I was a child, no. I would have done exactly what you did. But things are different now… I actually understand her a little bit, or at least how her mind works...”] It was a shame it took as long as it did for them to make that connection. He went through many years feeling as though he didn’t have a mother at all, even though she was right there the whole time. [+coral “She did give you a gesture, at least, she thought she did. Releasing you from your oath and giving your back your autonomy to choose was her attempting to be kind and show that she respected you as an equal.”] He had spoken to her briefly about it, and while Florence hadn’t used so many words, that was how she saw the situation.
[+coral “Believe me, I know how stupid it sounds, but that is how she sees things… It is exasperating.”] He rolled his eyes, she was working on it, but the progress was minimal when dealing with anyone other than himself, who demanded she explain her intentions. [+coral “Also, and this is my own personal opinion, but I don’t think she would have kept you around just for protection. She must have been fond of you to at least some extent.] He really did not think she would have fought so hard to keep a body guard, she was too stubborn and prideful. [+coral “Well, she used to be… Augustus said she was pissed when she came back up after seeing you, so that might have come and gone. And I don’t know what you said to him, but he was pretty shaken up, so that probably has you on her shit list too…”] Augustine had a hard time seeing anything come of the elf's return. Even if Nicolai could sway him, getting him out of here was an uphill battle that might not be worth it.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat So many things could be said in rebuttal of the points Augustine made but again, Nicolai was in a situation where to lose this last link would be disastrous. Florence would perhaps return, curse his name and disparage his character. But her son still stood here, had spoken to him, and conceded by remaining here that he still held some care for the old general. He had to nurture that relationship to stay alive for now and build upon it. That was how Nicolai thought, but he saw the boy give up a little weakness and struck for it.
[+royalblue “Augustine, if you know how difficult it is to change ones feelings for someone then you must surely understand why I had to leave? I have loved your mother since before you were born. Close to two decades of loving someone.”] His body sagged a little and his head dropped, staring at the ground between the pairing.[+royalblue “I have regretted my actions that night for the last seven years. But at the time I felt they were right. I had been lied to by your mother, about you at least. I felt she had tricked me with her feelings. I was hurt and felt entirely alone.”] He swallowed hard, licking his dry lips.[+royalblue “It was a very dark time for me Augustine. After the incident in Stonebrook I feared I might lash out again, I might hurt you. I thought it best to seclude myself from you all. Lord knows why Elizabeth stayed with me.”]
It was the first mentioning of the elven girl to Augustine but he did not go on to elaborate more about that. Instead he shrugged, the discomfort in his shoulders returning and the dizziness in his mind having grown subtly in the background.[+royalblue “That night, in the forest, all I asked of your mother was her to stand by her words. I had heard so many lies that night that I wanted to know that she was still open to me, that I could be the one for her to put her trust in. Just for her to make the smallest of gestures to show that I still mattered as more than a body, a figure or a guard, someone to ensure her sons safety.”] He was drifting into monologue again and now he returned to meet the boys stern look.
[+royalblue “What would you have done if you had been in my shoes? Can you be truly honest and say you would have done differently if in my situation?”]
That got under his skin. And while he brought up many an excellent deed that he did, it was not what Augustine was looking to hear. He remembered all that and he appreciated it. That was the reason he had any attachment left to the general at all, but this situation was so multi-facetted that that was just not enough for him to take Nicolai back with open arms.
[+coral “I trust my friends, I trust my family, and I do not appreciate that you speak ill of them… my mother especially”] And just like the woman, his eyes were hard and cold. A frightening gaze that betrayed his anger. [+coral “Though you assume wrongly on the account of Adrian. I don’t think I have spoken two words together with him in three years.”] Augustine still wasn’t particularly moved that the man was injured. Though, he would not go so far as to say that aloud.
He sort of huffed, did Nicolai always like to make so many assumptions? [+coral “See, there it is... You were not loyal to me, you were loyal to your feelings. Everything was an attempt to have my mother’s attention. And even now you are blaming her for that.”] Augustine remembered that night vividly, maybe even better now with hindsight, and all the misunderstandings between the pair. [+coral “You made your own choices, now be a man and accept that… besides...”] The word was a little quieter than the previous ones. [+coral “It wasn’t like she ever loved him. They flirted for like three months and then laid it to rest.”] It was embarrassing to talk about, especially since he knew he was one of the reasons that was the case. [+coral “You threw every chance you had away because of that.”] It was almost laughable. [+coral “… And, I have kinda been in my mom’s shoes regarding all that.”] That was even more embarrassing. Why was he being so loose lipped? [+coral “It isn’t easy to turn your feelings around like that… it takes time.”] Augustine cleared his throat a little before going quiet.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat [+royalblue “Loyalty? You doubt my loyalty? You insolent brat.”] The anger of being questioned on the one thing he still felt true to, that was a part of him he had never lost over the years and could be called on to stick to his word, it was unleashed in the look and cold touch to his voice he took as he narrowed his eyes on the boy.[+royalblue “I was the one willing to stay and fight for Wistina. I was the one who got us to safety. I was the one who saved you and your mother from Ulrich and Gerald. I was the [i fucking] one, [i who stayed true to you after you father died and everyone abandoned you!”]] His voice rose toward the end until he was close to shouting at Augustine – but he retained enough control not to go over that edge.
[+royalblue “You trust in the words of who then? A travelling vagabond who spun you tall tales that you ate up each night without questioning who he was? A grandfather who wants no dealings with Wistina, not least to allow you to go back and would stop at nothing to keep you here? How about the adulterous mother? She not only lied to Germaine about whos child you were so that she could live, she then used my feelings toward her to keep her safe.”] Again Nicolai stopped, pausing as his eyes looked away, taking only seconds to ease himself back from the precipice of losing himself to his emotions and his feelings. He could be forgiven for being in such a state however, given seven years of thoughts were now able to be spoken.
He shook his head and bit on the inside of his cheek from insulting Augustine, not wanting to damage any connection that he may still have to the youthful man. He needed Augustine on his side, or at least to rekindle that relationship he had one shared with him. And to that end he looked back up and met his eyes.
[+royalblue “Augustine, look, I am sorry. I can understand being angry that I left. I did not want to leave, I wanted so much to stay, but she made the decision that night. She decided on Adrian. And you may not be able to understand it given your age but you will come to learn; a man cannot stand by and watch as the woman he loves, loves another.”] He had no knowledge of his and Flora’s blossoming relationship. All he saw was the same innocent boy he remembered. It was hard not to.[+royalblue “I am sorry if you saw that as a betrayal but again look at it from another perspective, from mine. I felt I was the one betrayed.”]
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