A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

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 #22724  by Jace Rutherford
Location: Durant Veranda • Date: February 16

Jace adjusted his tie. To be honest, he had been rather surprised when Phoebe had said yes to the meeting, but he figured maybe she was finally getting over her obvious dislike of him. He wasn't too sure how he felt about that. On one hand, having Phoebe as an ally could be good, but on the other... he didn't like that his reputation was changing.

He had made his way on the suggested date to the Durant Estate in Montreal, and found the veranda near the back of the property. He had caught Phoebe and Ronelle gossiping there several years earlier, during a party, and ever since it had been the spot for the rare opportunities when Phoebe would allow him to speak with her in private.

There was movement behind him, and he turned. "Good evening, Miss Durant," he said, flashing a charming smile.
 #22725  by Phoebe Jareau-Young
Phoebe had taken a while to respond to Jace's original letter. Against her better judgement she had finally replied, deciding she could handle any games he tried to pull. He was still a snake, after all, despite what was running around the gossip train lately.

After a dinner with her parents and sister, she made her way out to the veranda. There he was, looking as smug as usual.

"Good evening," she replied simply, taking a step closer and eyeing him carefully. "You have ten minutes. My sister wants to show me her latest paintings."
 #23638  by Jace Rutherford
He shrugged, turning and resting his arms on the railing around the veranda. "Ten minutes is fine," Jace said, staring out as the golden rays from the setting sun washed over the property.

"I wanted to ask you something. How do you feel about our parents deciding who we marry?" he asked, not turning to look at her. The question itself was so far out of his comfort zone, but he had figured if anyone could help him figure out his mess, it was her. She had always been one of the most thoughtful people he knew, even if she didn't like him.
 #23639  by Phoebe Jareau-Young
Well that had come out of the blue.

Phoebe had remained near the entrance to the veranda, ready to turn around and leave if he tried anything, but the words that left his mouth were far from what she had expected from the snake. She bit her lip, watching his profile carefully and wrapping her arms around her torso. Not only did his question seem out of character for him, but it hit a little too close to home for her. She lifted a hand, brushing against the fabric of her dress that covered her decolletage, underneath which lay her wedding band on a chain.

"Truthfully? It's a little archaic," she replied softly, taking a step closer to him and dropping her hands to her sides. "I mean, it's a little ridiculous that we're not trusted to choose wisely." She paused. "Why do you ask?"

Her thoughts drifted and fell on Nathaniel, who was technically, as far as his parents knew, still engaged to Riley Perkins, and flushed.
 #23640  by Jace Rutherford
He had been worried about her response, so when her comments seemed to validate his own thoughts, Jace let out a sigh of relief. He immediately clammed up, though, realizing he had let a crack show in his armor.

"No real reason," he said quickly, glancing sideways at her just in time to catch the light pink tint to her cheeks. He filed it away for later.

"I agree, though. It's archaic, and also... it's a new millenium and we're expected to marry in our social class, but what if there's someone out there who might not be..." he stopped talking abruptly, turning so his back was to her.
 #23642  by Jace Rutherford
Jace grunted. Trust her to figure it out right away. Clearly he hadn't kept as good of a handle on the rumours as he had hoped.

Still, though... "No," he replied, sulkily, not turning to face her even though he knew she was right there. Maybe he could save face. "Look, this was a bad idea. I'm just gonna-" he made a vague gesture, turning and stepping around her, heading for the exit.
 #23644  by Jace Rutherford
Jace looked down as her long fingers wrapped around his wrist, and he stopped short. As he made eye contact with her, he let out a longer sigh.

"I thought I was pretty good, but I guess I'm a bit off today," he said, tugging his wrist out of her grip. "Yes, you caught me. Her name is... Elliot." It was strange, talking about this with someone. Especially someone like Phoebe. "I met her a few years back... when I was doing that community service on the farm."

A light smile spread across his lips. "I hated her at first, but she's grown on me. But she's hardly someone my parents would have selected."
 #23645  by Phoebe Jareau-Young
Phoebe arched an eyebrow, letting him tug his wrist away. This was a side of him she hadn't seen before, and she wasn't sure what to make of it.

"Sometimes we find love in the strangest of places," she told him, slipping her arm around his waist and slowly guiding him to the railing to look out over the property again. Her ring sat cold against her bare skin under her clothes. "The simple truth of it is that our parents are trying to control the future of our families, and it can be difficult when who they want and who you want are two different people. I know what that's like..."

She nibbled on her lip, glancing up at him to see his reaction.
 #23646  by Jace Rutherford
It was strange, her being so open to him. Even stranger still was the fact that he was accepting it. Jace barely even noticed when her arm slipped around his waist. He glanced down at her as she spoke, trying to get a read on her.

"Wait. You know what it's like? How?" he asked, suddenly curious.
 #23647  by Phoebe Jareau-Young
Phoebe blushed, lifting a hand and tugging the chain out from under her dress. "No one knows. I'm trusting you right now," she said, fully aware that she was wading in murky water. Sure, she had blackmail material on Jace now too, but what she was about to share with him could ruin her if he told the wrong people.

Rolling the ring between her fingers, she let out a breath, then slipped it on her ring finger.
 #23648  by Jace Rutherford
Jace's eyes widened, staring at the ring, then back up at her face.

"Is that...?" he asked, lifting her hand to look at the ring. "When did that happen? Who?" He tried to think about what he had read about her lately.
 #23649  by Phoebe Jareau-Young
"Last June. In Paris." Phoebe hesitated, not sure if she really wanted to say who. A short moment later, she made her decision. He had come for reassurance from her, so she would be honest with him. "To Nathaniel Ridley," she admitted, glancing down at the ring.

"See, I do understand what you're going through. My parents would disown me if they found out." Phoebe sighed, lifting her gaze back to his eyes and searching them carefully. "But I did it anyway because I love him, and he loves me."
 #25306  by Jace Rutherford
Jace's eyebrows disappeared into his hairline. "Damn, Phoebe. Who would have thought you would do something that crazy," he murmured. But it was nice to know that someone else understood him.

"I always thought the two of you would make a good couple, though." He frowned. "Will you ever tell them?"