A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

 #30662  by Astrid Iver
Astrid sat in her private study, a large leather bound book perched in front of her. She had made a special effort to make this her primary location for peace and quiet; no longer did she sit in the sitting room or drawing room, and she rarely walked the gardens any more due to the colder weather and the fact she was usually assisted by a security member.

Despite having tried to make amends with Nathan, she still seems rather reserved in her daily life. They both worked, they both went for peace and quiet, they both enjoyed recreational activities alone. It was becoming the norm for them only to have dinner together, which was not always guaranteed - other than that, they continued to share a bed. After all, Astrid still desperately wanted a son.
 #30663  by Ciceron York
Ciceron didn't know why he was being summoned to her study, but he knew better than to keep him waiting. He made his way through Iver Hall, taking a breath before reaching and knocking on her door. Given permission to enter, looked over to her curious, shutting the door behind him.

"Mrs Iver?"
 #30664  by Astrid Iver
"Ah, there you are." She spoke, stoic as ever. Though, she didn't even flick her eyes up at him, not actually wanting to acknowledge him.

She allowed the moment to hang in the air as she scanned the page of the book. It wasn't very clear whether she was actually reading or simply trying to hold the power over him. Likely both. As she reached the end of the page, she slipped a ribbon between the pages and closed the book, sliding it to the side. Sitting back, she looked over Ciceron, deciding not to offer him a seat.

"I've grown tired of your existence." She said bluntly. "You like to think you are so very clever putting ideas in my husband's head, advising him against my will, comforting him when I wish for him to soak up the misery I wish to inflict on him. I don't know if it is some game you're playing, or you are too stupid to realise the position you put yourself in."

She leaned forward.

"Are you trying to make an enemy of me, York?"
 #30665  by Ciceron York
Ciceron cleared his throat, and then shook his head.

"No, Mistress. Of course not. I simply serve Mr Iver how I believe he requires. Sometimes it may be a little bit of advice, perhaps reassuring words here and there, but never to directly oppose you. I only wish to instill support and confidence in your marriage via your husband."
 #30666  by Astrid Iver
Astrid hummed.

"You are doing an atrocious job of that." She retorted.

It was then that a large Amethystine Python began to slither up her leg, around her waist, before its head rested on her shoulder. Astrid didn't flinch, almost as though she was not currently being smothered by the snake. It began to hiss, and a slight smirk began to show on Astrid's lips.

"I agree, Zwei. He would make an excellent ornament above the fireplace."
 #30667  by Ciceron York
Ciceron hid his discomfort well, shifting from one foot to the other. He watched the snake, and then watched Astrid just as closely. Either one of them could strike first.

"I'm flattered; that's not the first time I have been told as such." Ciceron commented, clearly not in the mood to be made a victim in this. "Rest assured, Mrs Iver, I don't purposely attempt to make your life difficult. I only wish for your marriage, and the Iver line, to prosper in every aspect. I may offer advice to Mr Iver, but my services are always avail-"
 #30668  by Astrid Iver
"Excellent. Then you'll serve me." Astrid interrupted, ignoring the furrowed brows of Ciceron. With that, Astrid brought out her wand and flicked it to the side to open up a large cupboard; a heavy box flew out and dropped with a loud thud in front of Ciceron.

"Go through these leasing contracts, find any loopholes or errors. Draw me up a counter contract for the acquirement of Cunningdale manor house in Buckinghamshire - I want to purchase it immediately for my business, but I don't want to be fooled by any of them. They're a shady bunch. Check everything twice, no, thrice. I want a full report by Friday."
 #30669  by Ciceron York
Ciceron stared at the box for a moment, and then blinked at Astrid. By Friday!? Only five days to complete a task like this? And he had to assume he wouldn't receive payment for it...

He took a breath.

Then again, if he did this for her, she would perhaps begin to trust him more again. Maybe it would also help to relieve any tensions between her and Nathan if she saw that he willingly served them both with as much effort as possible. After a few seconds, Ciceron leaned forward, taking a file and opening it up.

"Mm...Victoire Cunningdale...yes, she's a tricky one. Very savvy with business dealings; I doubt she will give up the property without trying to keep her claws in it somehow. I've worked with her before; she loves a hefty percentage of any business; fingers in a lot of pots. Immediately, I would suggest making her an offer she couldn't refuse but...she's not easily bought. She wants a lot of control; the money doesn't matter. How much of the shares are you willing to give her?" He asked, scanning the page.
 #30671  by Ciceron York
Ciceron snapped his eyes up.

"Zero? Mrs Iver, I appreciate your ambition but...she will never go for that. I don't believe that even with my legal knowledge I would be able to persuade her but..." He looked at her face a moment. "You...aren't thinking a legal method, are you?"
 #30672  by Astrid Iver
"Ah, perhaps you are not as stupid as I assumed." She smirked.

She took a breath, leaning back but hesitated a moment to allow Zwei to shift to a more comfortable position.

"I will be tasking Jodie to gather some intelligence for me. Or more accurately, blackmail. I would like you to liaise with her and add to the contract what she has found. If she refuses, simply let her know that other methods will follow."
 #30673  by Ciceron York
Ciceron bit his lip, thinking for a moment, and then had to question. "By other methods...you're referring to murder?"
 #30674  by Astrid Iver
"Perhaps. Perhaps not. It could simply be a little lesson to one of her sons. She likes to believe that because she is twenty years my senior, she understands how the games work. But murdering her would cause too much of a stir, and in reality, I do need her in future, I believe."

She pursed her lips.

"But she is a valuable influence...Go in with the original offer of the money in full; after two years, she may receive five percent back in shares for good standing, and will then be given the option to buy more if I present the opportunity. When she refuses, bring out the second contract with the blackmail. Refusal again will lead to harsher arrangements."
 #30675  by Ciceron York
Ciceron nodded, but then narrowed his eyes at her.

"You're asking m to draft up two contracts in this time limit?"
 #30676  by Astrid Iver
"Of course not."

She leaned forward again, daring him to speak against her.

"I want two completed contracts. Not drafts. I expect nothing less from a man with little else to do than advice my husband to act against me."