Putting his arm around his shoulder suddenly, Nathan whispered loudly into his ears, “You think you have her protection. You don’t... It’s all a game to try and get at me. So I will let her keep playing her game untill she is satisfied. And then you are mine...”

Letting go of Simon then, Nathan gave him a pat on the back and said, “Run along...”

Turning back into the room then and looking at Jodie he said, “Soooo... I have just one question for you.”

He walked up to her, quite close in fact, before saying, “Look me in the eyes.” He then said, “You plotted against me... took actions to cause a huge rift. It would seem you had every intention of destroying our marriage and yet... why did you stop me from drinking that wine?”
Jodie swallowed thickly. She was highly concerned for Simon's safety now, even after involving her in this mess. She was already trying to think of ways to subtly ensure that Simon remained under Astrid's protection; Merlin help him if she ever got bored.

At Nathan's question, she looked up, taken off guard, eyes wide like a deer's.

"I only did what I thought my Mistress wanted; I never wanted to destroy your marriage...I don't know if you and my Mistress have any prior agreements or not. I assumed it was simply for additional information on her part."

She bit her lip.

"I don't know you, and I have no vendetta against you. But it's to my best knowledge that my Mistress would highly regret taking brash action against you. She's spoken far too fondly of you to suddenly be okay with killing you. I just didn't think it was right. And...well...this marriage means that I am also under your command, and although I may have been used to spy, I don't want to be a part of killing either of my bosses. It was in everybody's best interest to warn you."

Played By: Vyreia
“Do you know why you are being punished?” Said Nathan, raising a brow at her and offering nothing as to why he was asking or where he was going with this question.
Jodie opened her mouth, and then shut it again, hesitating.

"I...I betrayed Mrs Iver's trust. In multiple ways; I should have made sure the order was from her. I shouldn't have tried so hard to fool you or gotten so close to what she's protective over. And I'm sure she is also punishing me for speaking up about the wine..."

Played By: Vyreia
“And there in lies the issues...” said Nathan, turning his head to smirk at Ciceron. “What do you make of this conundrum Mr York? Loyal to both... yet can’t remain remain loyal to both with out betraying the other. First she betrayed me by pretending to be Viola... then she betrayed Astrid by warning me about some poisoned wine..”

Seeing the look on Ciceron’s face he said, “Oh yes, I forgot to mention she tried to poison me... well now you are up to speed.... Anyway, Jodie here is to be punished for that. Yet...” looking back at her he said, “It was me she saved. Is she loyal or disloyal then? What are you Jodie?...”
Ciceron shook his head. Of course there was a threat of killing each other; wasn't like they were like every normal couple and just threatened to divorce.

"Well, yes...it is a very hard position to be in. Just how much do you want to trust her knowing all information could go back to Mrs Iver?"

Played By: Vyreia
Jodie swallowed.

"My job...has always been to protect those I serve from harm. I never considered emotional harm to be of that category, and I apologise for being a part of that. But I am loyal to you both; I will always warn you of danger, even if it is from your partner. If you tried to poison Mistress Iver, I would have to tell her...which is why I told you. I don't think she was going to allow you to die, but I thought it was too much of a risk just to make a point. I would drink the wine again if you asked me to."

She looked up at him.

"I have always been loyal to my Mistress, and have vowed to carry that loyalty to everything she holds dear...and since the moment she decided to marry you, you are what she holds the dearest. And for that, I am as much yours as I am hers. I will be your children's if they so want me. I am loyal to the Iver's best interests, and I apologise for misjudging what the best interest was this time."

Played By: Vyreia
Nathan nodded at Ciceron’s wise words. This was true. How could she be trusted by either in the end. But as she went on he quirked a brow, then said,

“Why?” He paused to let his question sink in, then going on said, “I knew another of her servants... loyal to a fault, would do anything Astrid said but, that loyalty did not transfer to me. Her disrespect soon grew to a level where it could not be tolerated and... well she is dead now. Not at my hand but might as well have been.”

He looked over at Ciceron, as though sharing an inside joke, then looking back to Jodie he said,

“And then we have Ivan... always loyal to me, but he had a bit of power struggle with Astrid and now I have lost him. I suppose she think it is only fair....”

Nathan leaned over and picked up his cigarette case and taking a new one out for himself, his eyes on Jodie, he said,

“You seem to have chosen the better option. Serve us both. Do best by both. Yet it would seem even then you can not win. What is a loyal servant to do when master and mistress are at odd with one another? You do what you judge to be in the best interest of both... but then you end up with both angry at you all the same. How will you survive Jodie Watts? What will happen the next time husband and wife are at odds? You are not nearly as important to Astrid as Petrolina was, or as important as Ivan was to me?”

Glancing at Ciceron he chuckled at the absurdness of it all and said, “I really don’t have the anser for her. I have never been in such a position myself. Do you have advice Mr York? How will you survive?”

Striking a match he said, “Absolute loyalty to me and polite lip service to Astrid? That had better be your strategy at least...”

He then lit the end of the cigarette and took a nice, long drag.
Ciceron shrugged.

"I will survive how I always have. I will be loyal to you," He gestured to Nathan. "and advise you to the best of my ability to avoid situations like this. Even if you ignore my words, I will support you as far as I can. Mrs Iver will also receive my advice if she wishes to hear it. But if it ever came to the point where you and Mrs Iver are on course to kill or harm each other...well, need I really say where my loyalties lie?" He lifted a brow.

It was obvious to him at least.

Played By: Vyreia
Jodie lifted her chin.

"Excuse me Sir, but I am more valuable than Petrolina has ever been or could have been." She said bluntly. "I can't speak on my comparison to Ramazanov, but I know how I measure to Petra. I don't make decisions based on lust or love, I don't make them in accordance to my own gain, and I have more subtlety in my actions. I will never be a tool used for the sole purpose of pleasure or entertainment, and thus I cannot be replaced. I am a peasant, a business woman, an escort, a soldier, a server, a politician, a policeman, a judge - I am whatever you desire me to be, whatever you need me to be."

"I served Mrs Iver with the promise of being able to sing to a crowd and have opportunities I never would before...I would serve you with the promise of using my skills to find my true worth. I would serve both of you to be a part of something big and meaningful, and to be recognised as part of that change. I will survive because I am wholly aware that in the grand scheme of things, I don't matter too much...but the roles I play do."

She stepped forward, looking up at him.

"I do not love my Mistress. I do not love you. I am not driven by blind love for either of you. I am aware of the danger and the threat of dying - I know either one of you could kill me in an instant. But that did not stop me from drinking the wine. Perhaps my best way to survive is to act in ways that won't guarantee my survival, but will ensure yours and Mrs Iver's."

Played By: Vyreia
When Ciceron finished Nathan smiled slyly and said, “No, you need not say. I know your heart and mind better than you do. But you do serve as a good example. No mater how often those around us claim joint loyalty... everyone knows their true master, and where they would stand if it came down to it...”

But as Jodie spoke up then he turned to her and listened, then taking hold of a chair he pulled it up and took a seat, looking quite curiously at Jodie. When she had finished he looked at Ciceron a moment before saying,

“Am I drunk? Or did she just give a hell of a good speech there?”

Looking back to Jodie and gesturing to her with the tip of his cigarette he said, “Do you know what your issue is? You may indeed be more valuable to Astrid. But you are not as important on a personal level as Petra. You don’t matter as much...” But sitting back then and looking thoughtful he said, “Or maybe that is the genius behind it. The more you matter to one of us personally, the more you strike that emotional chord. Therefore the harder you fall. And you know this. You betrayed her... yet she handed you over to me rather then throwing you into the rings, or finding a more interesting way to make an example of you. I suppose there is an upside to being the sort of useful tool that is so easily used and tossed aside.”

Leaning forward again, his arms resting on his knees, he said, “But the down side is although you can fall harder... you also can’t rise as fast or as grand so easily. Isn’t that right Ron?” Turning to look at Ciceron he said, “I know you remember that day when you disappointed me most. When I fired you, utterly humiliated you in front of those you hated as you grovelled on the floor, abandoned you... See? In a way it was a compliment. You meant more to me so your failure also meant more. Therefor your rise to the top was more grand for the same reason. It’s a gamble to be so noticed, but one that payed off.”

Looking back to Jodie then he said, “But you now... Are you truely content simply being an important tool in our cause? In our journey? You don’t have political ambition? Mr York here is now my second in command of everything. The only person that knows more secrets and plans than he does is my wife. If Petra could have kept her emotions and true feelings in check she would have a very high position as well I have no doubt. You really believe in us to such an extent you will be content as you are? Even if it means not surviving? Or not truly being noticed for the valuable service you have rendered?”
"You're drunk..." Ciceron spoke from behind, but smirked. "Perhaps both. That was a good speech."

He didn't speak after that. Nathan knew what he was doing, and Ciceron could see that Nathan wanted to evaluate for a moment. He would likely offer his thoughts later.

Played By: Vyreia
Jodie smirked a little at him.

"My entire job involves not being noticed. If I perform my job accurate to an extent where nobody even notices? It means I have succeeded. I don't need a constant stream of compliments or recognition - I am aware of my accomplishments without being told about them. But part of my accomplishments come from watching others rise with my help."

She shrugged.

"Perhaps that sounds too noble. In all honesty...I am interested in the Iver movement. The politics of the rise itself is interesting. It's intriguing to watch, to be involved with, to see how people change sides or create alliances; as an actress, it suits me well to be in a position close enough to learn how these interactions work. And if I'm honest,"

She looked Nathan in the eyes, her expression serious.

"I want to learn from the best. I don't care how long it takes me to rise, or if I ever will. But there is nobody else that would offer me a way to learn as much as you and Mrs Iver do. All I ask in return is to be involved. I want to help the balance of power change."

With that, she descended to her knees, bowing her head to him.

"Punish me if you must...but explain to me why whilst you do so. I want to know everything. I want to know how the Iver mind works."

Played By: Vyreia
Nathan looked down at the women, almost as though unsure of what he was seeing. But one thing he did know... he certainly enjoyed seeing people on their knees before him.

“How the Iver mind works...?” Said Nathan slowly. “Good luck to you. It might take a life time...” He then said, “Show me your true form.”

He did not tell her to get off her knees. Nor did he mean her to.
Jodie took a breath. Slowly, she lifted her head up, looking up at him as she relaxed and allowed her form to adjust. She had been using her server persona from the rings, and now, her skin was darkening, hair coiling, face smoothing over.

But she was honest with her appearance now...was this perhaps the first time she had let Nathan see her?


Played By: Vyreia