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[2002] And a Pocketful of Secrets

Everevna, Active Player

#23703
TAMSIN VERA HENRIETTE VILLIERS, C.1979 • CERTIFIED HEALER

"I can't believe I got lost again."

The new mistress of the York Manor emerged in the library fireplace amidst an ominous flare of emerald flames. Long legs carried her out of the extinguishing hearth before she lifted her wand to her braided hair, casting a stream of air to rid of Floo powder and chimney dust alike.

It had only been less than a week since she'd moved in. It was only natural that she should still mistake the address, especially when she attempted to cite it off the top of her head rather than read it off of the little card Ciceron had scribbled on for her reference.

At least, that was what Tamsin would like to chalk it up to. It wasn't as if she just had abhorrent luck with the Floo Network.

Which she did. Kind of. It was a little embarrassing.

It was very embarrassing.

The young woman discarded her satchel at the new desk that Ciceron had custom furnished for her before approaching the older male seated in a leather chair at his own desk. She slid down into his lap, clearly assured in his indulgence of her, and wrapped her arms around his neck so she might lean in to steal a kiss.

"Still at work, I see. Have you never heard of office hours, dear Ciceron?"
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Vyreia, Active Player

#23737
Ciceron smirked as the woman fell into his lap, causing him to place his quill down and look to her instead. He lifted a brow after returning the kiss, leaning back a little in the chair.

"Office hours? Never. I can't afford to stay within office hours with the things Iver and I have planned. We're making an entire dynasty with our families - although he has married a Lundstrom, we plan to marry both Viola and Hera to Iver men. Not quite the accounting work, mind you, but it certainly is a lot of working having to somewhat predict outcomes and possible alliances...and enemies..."

He trailed off, pursing his lips before offering a shrug in response.

"Part of taking charge of a family, I suppose."
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Everevna, Active Player

#23743
If she'd only allowed her mind to wander, Tamsin might see a shadow of her father in the chiselled profile of her partner. The way they both would sit with their dark heads bent over the desk at all hours, day or night, labouring over the welfare of a family, knowing too well that reputation and status required effort.

Unlike Ciceron and her brother, Oliver, she was never meant to carry that torch, and the knowledge had spoiled her to comfort in her laziness.

Ciceron had a talent for it, no doubt. His strategic mind showed often, especially at times when they played wizarding chess together. Still yet sometimes Tamsin wondered if her partner was coached the way her brother was when they were younger. If he was forced to stay up long past twilight hours reciting names and details of family associates, if his father smacked him on the knuckles whenever he made a mistake.

It was not the childhood that most of her peers had.

"Shouldn't you lead by example?" she curled her lips a touch playfully as she turned her head to skim over the sheets laid on the table. "I am sure there is a suitable lady in the Iver family that would make a fitting madame for the York family."
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Vyreia, Active Player

#23748
Ciceron lifted his brow.

"I'm also sure there is a suitable lady in the Iver family - unfortunately for her, I am otherwise bewitched." He spoke, and then eased his neck on the back of his chair.

"You sound like you're jealous of any potential suitors. Are you that desperate to become my wife?"
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Everevna, Active Player

#23766
"Don't you know? England's wives now share a half of the matrimonial earnings and assets," Ciceron's girlfriend replied, a light smirk intact as she gently tweaked a pointed corner of his shirt collar. "I like the sound of work being an option."

Even if what she implied was in by no way true. Tamsin loved her job, had truly toiled, strived, and worked hard for it only the entirety of her relatively short life. The colours of the robes were not always appealing, and the work occasionally gory, and the hours were nearly always untenable, and the pay barely passable, but she lived and breathed for each time a patient looked to her as 'Healer Villiers'.

Which reminded her of the conversation she had had earlier in the day.

It was not one she wished to relive just yet.

Jolting her mind elsewhere, Tamsin said, "Tell me, what's for dinner?"
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Vyreia, Active Player

#23773
Ciceron lifted a brow at Tamsin, and then shook his head in an amused manner. "And didn't you know that I am a master in contracts? I can alter anything to what I want, so perhaps not revealing those intentions was so wise of you." He smirked, bouncing her a little on his lap before sighing.

It was times like this where he wished the rest of the world would drift away. He just wanted to lie back and enjoy the ride, to enjoy the life he was leading. But alas, the family required work and mapping out; if Hera married Tarquin like he wanted her to, it would give Egan less control over the money. Not only would Egan be fighting against Hera, but Tarquin too. And if Viola married Gavin like she wanted to, it would create an incredible benefit to all involved. And if he married...

Well, no. He wanted to marry Tamsin, so why bother thinking about other options?

"Fillet; I believe my personal chef is coming today to give us a selection of flavours to try with the beef." He spoke, glancing to her. "What flavours do you prefer?"
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Everevna, Active Player

#23780
"Bone marrow butter," she immediately announced with less than a heartbeat's thinking. She paused momentarily, tapping a neatly filed nail against her lower lip. "Maybe blue cheese."

That was another thing she could get used to again—not having to cook meals on her own. Even though she was admittedly good at it. Cooking and baking were akin to brewing potions, Tamsin found, and she excelled in the latter more often than she not.

Still, it was nice to be able to choose to cook rather than having to cook.

Tamsin loved having options.

A mischievous grin quickly returned to her face. She hadn't forgotten Ciceron's retaliation on the issue of prospective sharing of property.

"Also, I checked." The younger of the pair bore a hint of pride for her own foresight. "A prenup shall be considered, but remains subject to the discretion of the court as to matters of fairness, need, and....something."Tamsin tapped her partner on his nose gently with a smirk. "Your options here are limited, Mr. York."
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Vyreia, Active Player

#23865
Ciceron lifted a brow, a glint of something in his eyes as she spoke about his options being limited.

"Forgery has no limitations, my dear." He said plainly before patting her on the leg to signal that he wanted to stand. After doing so, he stretched his back, groaning a little. As expensive as that chair was, after hours sitting there, it still hurt. He should really do more exercises to strengthen his lower back - sure, he could now punch pretty hard, but yet was foiled by general aches and pains? Ridiculous.

He ran his hand through his hair. This woman was a wild one - bone marrow butter or blue cheese...they were nice, but incredibly indulgent. Was a red wine sauce too plain? Perhaps peppercorn? Diane sauce? Perhaps he was a little too old fashioned, and it did show a lot in his thought processes.

"You seem to be speaking a lot about this marriage thing, so determined to take my money...why don't you just answer yes now?" He lifted a brow at her.
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Everevna, Active Player

#23870
Ciceron's girlfriend obliged as he patted her on the leg, though not without a slight raise of her brow at his suggestion.

"I wasn't aware there was a question," she immediately quipped in return, thoughtless as her attentions briefly wandered about the room.

It took a brief moment before she realised the error of her words.

Tamsin hastily offered her partner a smile in an attempt to distract him from her blunder.

"I mean, isn't this supposed to deter you rather than the opposite?"
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Vyreia, Active Player

#24084
Ciceron furrowed his brows, looking over Tamsin carefully.

"Deter me!? A bit late for that now, isn't it? Have you not got everything you want? Your hook is surely lodged deep in my throat, and now you're asking silly things like that?" He shook his head, stepping toward the other side of the room where the alcohol cabinet stood.

He unlatched it, pulling out a weighted brandy glass and pouring an expensive, fruity vintage gifted by Nathan and Astrid.

"Do you really want me to get on a knee? Can we not just subtly agree that we are to be married by the end of the year?"
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Everevna, Active Player

#24090
"Hey!" came the protest from over his shoulder, "Where's my glass?"

Ciceron's girlfriend did not relish the prospect of sobriety whilst breaking the news to him. And there was certainly no delaying it till dinner, or after dinner, or after tonight.

After never.

It was not because of this dilemma of getting down on one knee or not getting down on one knee—it would admittedly be nice to have a proposal before she gave away her own hand— and absolutely nothing to do with that she wasn't quite sure she'd like to take that step just yet.

"I— Well, perhaps we should sit down for this."

She herself chose a spot on the armchair in front of the fireplace as she watched her partner expectantly.
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Vyreia, Active Player

#24092
Ciceron scoffed, shortly pouring Tamsin a glass after without a word. Though at her statement of sitting down, he took a pause. That was not the answer from a woman keen to marry; that was a discourse starter to break up. He looked at her sceptically as he stepped over, placing the brandy down in front of her before taking his own seat.

"O-kay? Why? Is it so hard to say 'Yes, Ciceron, my love. I will marry you tonight if I could'?"
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Everevna, Active Player

#24094
The young woman picked up the glass with a softly uttered thank you, immediately drawing a long sip from the liquor, as if to occupy her hands as her mind mulled over the correct words to employ.

"For one, I am twenty-three. I am not in any rush to get hitched." She paused, inspecting the engravings on the glass between her hands. The words grated against her throat. "I am not even sure what I think about marriage."

What she meant was: I am scared of marriage.

If she would turn out the wife her mother was—insufferable, tolerated more than loved, scorned and unaware of it. If marriage did that to all men and women simply by way of life. If all the monstrosities were but inevitable.

Tamsin loved Ciceron. Of that she was certain.

Her parents once loved each other, too.

Their daughter wasn't ready yet. She was frightened that she may never be.

"And something has came up at work," she plunged into the easier topic before Ciceron could get a word in. "An offer. An opportunity, really, that I have been waiting a long time for." The healer inhaled a long breath as she met her partner's gaze. "It'll require me to be gone for at least one year."
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Everevna, Active Player

#24096
Merlin, how she loved this man, and yet still his stubbornness drove her to chagrin.

"Ciceron," his girlfriend began with an uncharacteristic patience, "I will be in South East Asia for a year, perhaps more. There may be months without a letter. You'll not be able to visit me, and I'll not be able to leave."

She needed him to understand their predicament, needed him to be rational in his decision.

Tamsin did not want to one day become another of his regrets. She drew in a long breath and exhaled.

"And I cannot promise that we will marry when I return. I don't know if I will be ready."

And what if he leaves you? A hint of fear crept into her chest as she carefully watched his expression. She pushed the thought down in a feeble attempt to dismiss. She would be fine if he did. And he wasn't going to. But she would be fine if he really did. Right?