A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

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 #28247  by Nathan Iver
When Ciceron had returned home, Nathan had promptly sent out an invitation for the "Yorks" to join him and his wife for drinks and a pleasant chat... which was anticipated by all but Ciceron to be anything but pleasant.

As it was a beautiful night the windows to the lounge were wide open, letting a cool, evening breeze flow in, chasing away the heat from the day.

After the drinks were served, followed by the usual chit chat, Nathan took a seat, looking directly at Ciceron as he said, "And how is your mental health after your little trip?"

No point beating around the bush...
 #28248  by Ciceron York
The first week of Ciceron's trip had actually been good and relaxing. He had gone to the beach and done a lot of swimming, just like he used to when he was younger. He'd decided not to invite Danica along, even for the second week away, and he'd appreciated the peace and quiet of it all. But as his mind began to clear, so had his thoughts, and now, things were starting to make more than a little sense. Since arriving home, he had been rather civil to Danica, though had not been particularly affectionate under the guise of still going through some recovery processes.

But now he sat here, across from Nathan, taking a sip of his drink as he pondered what to do here. The air felt tense, particularly between himself and Danica.

"Better. I'm back to thinking critically, likely will be able to come back to work shortly. Things seem to make a lot more sense." He said bluntly, looking to Nathan and then glancing to Danica before looking back to Nathan. "How was your time without me?"
 #28254  by Danica Iver
Danica sat in a stiffed back chair, very strait, very proper. Her clothing choice was all black, perhaps a symbol of the impending doom she face.

Why had she agreed to this? Could it not have been kept a secret for longer? she felt like she was going to be sick!

Yet she sat there, sipping her glass of wine, waiting for the inevitable... and perhaps there was... something comforting about having Nathan and Astrid there. Alone? Who knows what would have happened?!
 #28255  by Nathan Iver
"Unpleasant," said Nathan at once. "I couldn't find but one day to work in my lab. We need to find a good assistant for you that can handle things better when you are gone. But of course even with that... there are some things only you can do."

Nathan glanced at Astrid, then said, "Well I am not one for putting of unpleasantness, so let's get right down to. Ron... I am afraid Danica has something to tell you." Looking to his cousin he said, "She feels she must be honest with you, and we agree. Some times it is easier to deal with things with family to support..."

Motioning to his cousin then he said, "Tell him what you told us Danica."
 #28256  by Ciceron York
"There's no need." Ciceron said abruptly, not even looking at Danica, his eyes instead on Nathan. "I know. Very naive of me to believe her stupid little lies about a vampire. Why else withhold information about his appearance? Why else cover her neck in make up? And what possible vampire but the Iver pet himself."

Ciceron leaned forward a little, tilting his head.

"There's a reason I came back so soon, Sir. And let me assure you, it was not to sit and have an awkward family dinner."

But then her started to move his eyes to Danica, his face blank as he looked at her.

"There's no need. But I want to hear you say it. Now."
 #28257  by Danica Iver
Danica's eyes went wide. She took a long gulp of her wine... then began to feel angry. He spend an entire day and night at home and said nothing!! Just let her stew!

Alright.... she couldn't exactly stay on a high horse about that, but still!

Danica slowly put her glass aside, then said, "Ron, I...." She swallowed, then said more firmly, "You are right. That night you lost your temper, wouldn't talk about it for a moment, and then said you wanted a divorce! You were treating me rough and... I felt dead inside. hours and hours you never bothered to come find me to talk, to apologies, or even to see if I had sat with it and wanted to speak to you... I was wondering the halls, far from the party. I wanted to find a place to just sleep away life until I could leave." A single tear pricked her eye.

"That was when I came on a vampire." Lifting her chin slightly, and taking a deep breath, she said, "I thought he might kill me, or attack me. I was frightened, but felt I couldn't run. But he said things that... oddly brought a breath of fresh air to my soul and mind. I knew he wanted me and... it felt good. And I kept thinking that just to escape for a moment from this unhappy life with him would be worth it... even if he took my life. Because there was little left for me in it if I lost you Ron."

She then fell silent,hopeing he could keep his composer as he had been doing up untill now.
 #28258  by Ciceron York
Ciceron felt his blood boiling, but for the moment, he remained calm.

"And now allow me to educate you." He said sternly, suddenly very condescending. "Imagine you being me, just for a moment. You took a risk and went for a woman who was statistically out of your league, far more beautiful than any other, and would likely be fiery in personality. Not only did you have to impress her, but you had poignant competition with another family, and in order to win dominance in that field, you had to single-handedly fight three goons. You marry this woman, and feel your feelings and admiration for her grow as she comes to accept parts of yourself that you rarely expose. You start to feel the very familiar tingles of love."

"And then, after several months of marriage, you find out that not only has she not looked into changing her name, but she loathes the idea of it. She says so publicly. She mocks your family, history, name - completely omitting the fact that you have worked to the bone for years trying to regain reputation. She even suggests you change the name you worked so hard to bring good standing. And then she slaps you, in front of a crowd, in the middle of your cousin's highly important wedding."

"She scurries off; you attempt to search for her, but this wedding is about building momentum for a family name, and you cannot provide the life your little wife wants without this opportunity. And so you make the decision to try and recover from any social damage and make some arrangements with fellow guests. Some time later, your wife returns looking a little...dishevelled. Pink in the face. Suddenly suggesting for a name change - but not to what is suitable - simply to a mocking double-barrel name. You decide to take the man up on his offer from earlier in the night when he was taking hits in the drawing room. What harm could it cause? There's a lot of stress, so why not?"

"And then you see yourself break down, screaming, losing control. The woman you love is crying and pleading, and you think you are the scum of the Earth. You want it to end. So you try. She stops you, and you think this was just a blip...and then you feel the scars."

He brought his hand up, fingertips running along the faint scars on her neck, his face still rather stoic.

"By force, she says. Not what it seems, she claims. Another failure to protect the ones you love. You are the scum of the Earth. So self-absorbed and stupid to recognise danger...you let her get hurt. Something died inside you. And then...you decide to go away for a while due to your boss' recommendation. An attempted jump off a cliff...you even pick out which one to jump from. The one with the sharpest rocks at the bottom for a more stricken impact. You deserve it..."

His hand began to slide around her throat, his hold firm but not enough to cut off air yet.

"You sit there, perhaps for hours on end, staring at the ocean below. The salt in the air sobers you...and then you begin to think. A vampire in Iver Hall...how queer. All by force and yet...you almost try to protect him. And then it begins to sink in. The woman you love is a whore."

His hand began to squeeze around her neck, his eyes set on her.

"Pretend you are me, Danica. What would you do? Is there any use asking you? You will say the most favourable answer, right? Because my money, and power, and influence, and connections are so very important. But not me. Never me."

He let go, using the same hand to take his glass of wine and sip from it for a moment.

"I won't divorce you." He said, eyes shifting to her. "I would like to spend the rest of my life watching you squirm in your misery for this."
 #28260  by Danica Iver
Danica gasped slightly as Ciceron's hand went around her neck and then she just... closed her eyes, praying her would let go. Would he really kill here there? In front of Nathan and Astrid? Surely they would stop him!

But she heard him. Oh did she hear him. Every word. And he was right! So terribly right. Her chest hurt from his word! she could feel his pain. But... there was nothing she could say or do! If they had a long, loving background to fall back on, but they did not. They had nothing. She could not remind him of "the good times". But she did not want this! A long, drawn out, loveless marriage would have been bad enough, but to also know he had not respect for her, hated her, and his only joy from her would be to see her suffer?!

As he let go her hand went to her throat and she looked at him, waiting until he had finished before standing slowly and saying,

"Ron I'm sorry... so terribly, terribly sorry. You are right. And I know there is nothing I can say now to make this better but... surely you can give me a chance to try. Would you chose unhappiness over the possibility we could work things out?" Tears leaked from her eyes then as she said,

"I was in a bad place, you were in a worse place." Pacing now she added, "But can you not give me a chance? I don't care about the name. It is nothing compared to all this grief! Can't you see I am willing to do anything to make this up to you?"

She looked at him, blinking back her tears and feeling utterly hopeless. The future looked so terribly, terriby bleak.
 #28261  by Nathan Iver
Nathan was feeling quite impressed with Ciceron. The fact that he had kept his knowledge to himself, preferring to wait and make Danica speak... And keeping his emotions under control?! Yes, quite impressive. And the fact he planned to stayed married to her was excellent!

those were the most important things of course. But beyond that Nathan did feel for Danica. Because he had been in her situation himself! Or at least nearly in it. He knew the feeling of being trapped, feeling his back to a wall, and all he could do was tell the truth and wait for the axe to fall... And he could still hear Astrid's words about members of his family being unfaithful. She might have been right but... they still hit hard.

When Danica had fished he cleared his throat, almost ready to speak but... decided to wait. whatever his thoughts there were certain things he simply could not fix for people, even if he wanted to.
 #28262  by Astrid Iver
Astrid watched quietly, sipping at her wine. The display was quite incredible and she couldn't help but be drawn into it. Ciceron had certainly proved his point, and she of course related far more to his situation than Danica's. And there she was crying again.

Who cared if Astrid had cried too! She didn't sob like this girl!
 #28263  by Ciceron York
Anything? That certainly was interesting. But he remained expressionless as he looked at her. Despite the shift in power where she was stood and he was seated, it was still very much in his favour. He held the cards. He knew that.

But for now, he ignored her pleads, looking to Nathan.

"Has he been punished?"
 #28264  by Nathan Iver
Ah... Nathan knew this was coming.

"He has," said Nathan, knowing both Ciceron and Astrid would likely not have thought the relatively short time he was in pain was enough. But it had been done all the same.

"And I don't think he will be lurking about where he shouldn't... or seducing women in our family again. He is most certainly regretting his part in this now. And I know it doesn't help much, but we do not allow him to wander about our home under any circumstances... it was unfortunate he chose to slink about here during a wedding of all times."

Nathan paused, then said calmly, "Couples have gotten past worse than this..."
 #28265  by Danica Iver
Danica's ears perked up as she heard the question and answer. Punished? How? Despite all... it wasn't really fair. Or was it? she was torn. A big part of her wanted to blame the vampire. He shouldn't have been there! It was so much easier to pass the blame but...

She quickly tried to take her mind from him. IT was too confusing and upsetting. She needed to focus on her marriage...
 #28266  by Ciceron York
Ciceron blinked at Nathan.

"You took the satisfaction of revenge from your most loyal partner?" He asked bluntly, looking him in the face. "Had it been Astrid, would you have allowed me to tear the opportunity away from you without so much of a word? Or is that simply because you want to dampen the flames that your cousin has caused?"
 #28267  by Nathan Iver
Nathan looked back coolly at Ciceron a moment before saying, "Watch your tone Mr York. Hunter broke my rule in my home. He is my property so I will of course deal with him at once! I had a wife giving birth down the hall from him, involving a great deal of blood as you should know, a house full of guests... I am the foremost authority when it comes to him and I was not going to dilly dally about wile you were away. Are you going to tell me I should have put your marriage over the safety of my wife and newborn daughter?"

He stared down Ciceron, then said, "Don't be ridiculous. I will except your apology... And then if you would like to discuss taking your own, personal revenge because of how he wronged you… we can do that."

Nathan raised his glass to his lips, his eyes still on Ciceron as he did.