But Zara was not alone for long....

Quietly slipping into the sear across from her, Caleb crossed his arms on the table, and looking at her keenly said, “You alright Miss Shepard?”

He hadn’t heard her exchange with Hugh, but he had seen enough, and he had see her state even before the conversation, and so he felt himself moved to speak to her. She had to be feeling quite alone at the moment...
Kyle lifted a brow. "Well yes, there was more drama but not good drama. I'm just glad the whole Marlowe shit is over with. That was drama I simply wasn't into."

He sighed, leaning against the bar as he looked over to Hugh and Zara.

"Oh...What..." he furrowed his brow. "She just..."

Played By: Vyreia
Caleb knodded and said, “Well it’s an open bar so feel free to drink untill your herts content... take advantage as this will be your last Cleary Company party...”

Taking a sip of his own drink he said, “So what will you do after this? You have another job lined up I assume?”
"Good plan." She spoke bluntly, lifting herself up and heading to the bar, looking over her shoulder at Caleb to continue speaking. "Another job? No. I don't know what the plan is, but I knew it wasn't this. I'll find something..."

She trailed off, and then called Dice over.

"Dragon's Smog, double...actually just...just keep them coming, okay?" Might as well, right?

She glanced back to Caleb. "I don't know...maybe I can pick up a couple of inside jobs, like...bounties or something. I'm good at that. Ha, I could even get Magda in on that. She's good..." But despite her words, her tone was dull.

Played By: Vyreia
“You would habe to speak to Magda’s handlers first,” said Dice with a chuckle, having heard everything. “But what you really need is just something... Oh I know!” He said, snapping his fingers.

“Watchdogs! You could get... a... job...” his words faltered as he saw Caleb give him a quick shake of his head with a “What the fuck?” expression on his face that he quickly hid.

“..at... uhm...” Dice looked up, then said, “Or not... or... Well Magda is a good lead. You could maybe get something there... What about working for the Ivers eh? I know you don’t like Nathan, I mean who does, right?” He said with a smirk, “But it’s always exciting times there. You would not believe the shit one can get into. Enough to distract your mind from failed romances. Plus watching Nathan and Astrid interact might turn you off the idea of love forever. They are very strange. But although I joke I am also serious. It’s an organized mad house. Ordered chaos. Very exciting. An upgrade from The Kingdom for sure, so you would do well. Especially if you can wrap your head around seeing that they are sort of revolutionaries, fighting to good fight... even if it is a means to an end.”
“No, no...” said Caleb, standing and moving closer. “Don’t listen to him Miss Shepard. You would not like it...”

Looking at Dice and chuckling he said, “You have to be kidding. Going from Clearys to Ivers? No... and with past tentions between her and Nathan?...”

Caleb shook his head.
“You are basically treated like a dog...” said Simon, who was some how suddenly seated a few paces down from Zara, sipping a drink. “Expected to follow orders to a tee, no matter how odd, dangerous, or degrading they might be...”

He took another sip of his dring as Caleb nodded and said “exactly”.

But looking at Zara then Simon added, “But... a dog fed prime cuts of meat from a silver dish. The pay and benefits make it worth it. Apparently...” he said with a glance at Caleb.

“Those that Nathan or Astrid find particular notice in can get the best jobs, interesting perks, trust in plans... but even those below their notice, so long as they behave properly, receive their good graces as being part of the collective. For example when the master and mistress left for their honeymoon their wine stores, and even some rooms in Iver Hall, were opened to all of us as a gift. Things are very different now with Mistress Iver in the picture. With a simple exchanging of rings and the words “I do” the male dominated, chauvinistic world of Iver Hall was forever altered by an equal to our favorite dark wizard. If nothing else you would appriciate that...” ended Simon, raising his drink to his lips once more.

For his part Simon was enjoying the moment of freedom... freedom from the chains that usually crushed his heart to Zara’s when around her. He had not been called out on it, or killed for it yet, so he could only accept that having Jodie do what she did for him... was a blessing and not an ax descending on his neck.

He could be around Zara with out dying inside, or starting drama.... even if the night was still young....
Zara glared hotly at Dice as he mentioned Watchdogs. Of course, he didn't know...wait, did he? No, he couldn't. Surely not. But even then, he should know just how much she hated Ivan.

"There's no way I'm working under Ramazanov...fucking prat." She muttered, looking away before ushering for her drink to be hurried up. As it arrived, she took a long swig, looking between the men as they spoke. It was weird to hear Simon speaking like this; his tone was so straight-forward and blunt...he didn't seem to be pining or attempting to swindle his way into being closer. They were just facts.

She leaned her chin on her hand, thinking for a long moment.

"Mister and Mistress Iver, huh? I hear Mistress Iver has a gambling ring, one that involves some shady fights...maybe if she wanted a true assassin on her side." She looked to Simon. "Unless you have wormed your way into that position. Then again, you are a sniper. I bet you don't really enjoy the theatre of it....even if I don't work for them maybe that just....help to get rid of the need of it. I get so worked up, so desperate to just fight and sweat and bleed..."

She tapped her finger to the table.

Played By: Vyreia
Just then, Magda slid between Zara and Caleb, sitting quite close to the other woman.

"What's that? You're gonna join us at Iver Hall?!" She gasped, her accent lilting her words as she smiled her toothy grin, gap very much visible in her teeth. "That would be so good! You'd love it, I swear. You get your own room, or you can share with me if you wanted - I have a pretty good one. You get good food, private training areas, experience against dark magic, you get to go to all the private and special parties if you're on security...it's a good deal."

She sipped at her drink.

"Master Iver isn't that bad...I mean, it's as Simon says. Just as long as you're loyal and don't piss him off, you'd be okay. But I bet my Mistress would take a big interest in you - she'd love your fighting and ruthlessness. She would definitely provide you with anything you need if you impress her."

Played By: Vyreia
Kyle frowned.

"Do you really need to leave Cleary Co? I want the best for you Zara...and I know you just burnt the contract but...maybe you could just work part time, or at the warehouse or...something..." Kyle frowned, clearly unsure of all this.

Played By: Vyreia
Caleb was was looking with frustraition at Dice, then Magda, but when Kyle chimed in he said,

“Right, what he said. You loved it here Shepard. In your own way.... I think you and Cleary just need to... cool your heads a bit. You will feel different in time. I mean seriously....”

Looking to Magda he said, “Listen Mag, you don’t know Shepard like I do. I have known her for years now. Seen what she hates, loves, resents, respects... You grew up in that sort of system. You were born into it. You have seen worse so your view point is different. Zara doesn’t hold her toung when she should. She speaks her mind, she is a raving feminist, she’s very independant, doesn’t bow or scrape to anyone.”

Looking to Zara then he said, “You could start at the rings, then one day they might say, “Oh guess what? For the next month you are going to be Nathan’s personal body guard and that means your are under Ivan’s orders. How fun would that be now?”
"That's the worst possible outcome. I can't work under Nathan." She frowned deeply, glancing over at the back door before shaking her head suddenly. "But it's over. I can't stay here. Me and Hugh, we...well, we're just not meant to be. I don't think we ever were. He needs someone who wants to the same as he does - I feel like I'm coming to the conclusion that I'm never going to get married. There's too much pain and disaster involved. I can't..."

She swallowed thickly, hanging her head.

"The one time I tried to be a mother, to protect the two children I loved dearest, I fucked up so badly. I'm not cut out for the life he or Levi or any other man wants. I don't think I'm right for anyone...and why should I even care? I've never cared this much about having a man in my life before, so why care now? I should focus on myself, and if it's going to help for me to mindlessly kill things in the ring, then I should just do it."

Played By: Vyreia
Simon stared at Zara a moment with unblinking eyes, then said,

“Yes well... remind me to tell you something about that later. In private...”

... that the games were all fixed... although... Astrid probably didn’t want him spreading that around. Hmmm... this was quite the dilemma...
Leaning into Kyle Dice said in a low voice, “Merlin... she is so hot when she talks like that. What a tease... I can hardly take it!”

Moving back over to Zara and handing her the drink, Dice said,

“You are happiest when doing what you want Zara. Don’t let Pryer change your mind. Here he is talking like working for Nathan is the worst, yet he is one of his top cronnies, one of his most faithful little goons. Before tonight I have heard him bitch and complain about working under Hugh, Ivan, Kyle...” he said with a nod towards the other man, wile Caleb sat up and said, Shut it! I do not... with a glance at Kyle.

“But never Iver...” Dice said, going on with out a hitch. “Probably don’t want your skills over shadowing him... Or he doesn’t want to risk having to work with you. I mean face it... you two don’t exactly see eye to eye.”

Placing a hand on Zara’s shoulder then, Dice said with a smirk, “Forget Magda giving a good word for you. I already have an in for you, ready and waiting. It’s sort of a surprise but... erm... Remind me to tell you about it later, in private...” he said, echoing Simon’s words.

Yes, he should tell her the Kingdom was being assimilated into a working force for Astrids pleasure... which technically meant Zara was already working for Astrid, she just didn’t know it yet...
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