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Seas Of Erin > Cecilia > Daddy dear, you know you're still number one
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 1 2008, 11:03 PM
A rather tired-looking Marcello approached the brig. While he had considered Judith's advice, he also thought that walking around with his balls covered might give the wrong impression, and had decided to risk the lives of his future children in favor of dignity.
"Sir?" he asked politely as he came closer to the brig. "Sorry to bother you; would you mind some company?"
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 1 2008, 11:28 PM
When incarcerated, there were only so many hours in a day one could sleep. The rest of the time was a matter of filling empty spaces. Gioia had drowsed off herself after the both of them had been fed--like dogs, Neely reflected with a pinpoint of humour--and, other than pacing or amusing himself by taking his shackles off and putting them on again, there wasn't much in the way of entertainment that wouldn't wake her.
The shackles were off when Marcello approached. Neely hopped to his feet, quite alert, more curious than hostile. "I'm hardly in a position to decline," he pointed out. "I'd invite you in, but the landlady runs this place like a prison."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 1 2008, 11:33 PM
"I've noticed," Marcello answered dryly, giving the man a sympathetic look. "I think the only difference for us is we've got more comfortable accommodations. I just got through being thoroughly wrung. How are you lot doing?" he asked. "Are they remembering to feed you?"
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 1 2008, 11:43 PM
"They're feeding us," Neely assured him with a flat smile. "And providing hours of entertainment via the grate." He pointed upward to where a metal grid looked down into the cell from the deck. "It's like theatre for the blind."
He settled near the door, keeping his voice low so as to not wake Gioia, and rubbed at his raw wrists. "So. Is this going to qualify as a social call or a formal interrogation?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 1 2008, 11:52 PM
"Little of both," Marcello admitted. "I don't want it to be an interrogation-- I'd rather call it a conversation?" he explained. "And believe me, I'm not trying to take advantage of the fact that you're behind bars...I just went through the same thing with Judith, and she's...well, Judith." He gave the man a helpless look. "But really, I'm just trying to...get a feel for everything, here, before we get to the Erins and no one's on the same page."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 12:02 AM
"Why is it that everyone who has a conversation with the woman immediately stumbles onto the fact that she is, in fact, Judith?" Now the man was openly amused. "Only person I know who's become her own best adjective."
He leaned both arms to either side of the door's screen, face almost but not quite against the metal. "I'm assuming we are all on the Countess's page? I would hope?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 12:10 AM
"I think we all are," Marcello agreed, nodding. "Apart from Judith, who is apparently on the 'how-could-you-care-more-about-the-Countess'-personal-well-being- than-you-do-about-the-fate-of-the-country?' page." He gave the man a pained look. "And I'm not saying I want to Erins to crumble and fall into the sea, but I also don't particularly want Niabheara to, either, if you know what I mean. Although why Judith would worry about something crumbling and falling into the sea is beyond me when it only means she'd get to order it around, too."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 12:16 AM
Neely chuckled. "You're going to hate that you came to me on this one, too. I'm rather firmly in the fate-of-the-country corner. Don't worry," he assured Marcello, "you'll give up looking for people with pure motives sooner or later--although I will agree with you that a sound Countess would make for rather more a sound country. How is she doing, by the by?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 12:23 AM
"Scared," Marcello answered honestly. "Very scared. And, you see, that is mainly where you and Judith differ, is that she doesn't really seem to care so much about Niabheara's state of mind. You'll pardon my not really giving a damn about your country," he said dryly. "I'm only in this for her and I won't pretend differently. But I think a sound Country would make for a sound Countess," he added with a small smile. "Not that I disagree than Titania needs to be dealt with; between the two of us, you've killed her, and I've almost killed her. She needs to go. I'm more concerned with what happens after. I'm wondering what you'd like. For the country, for your daughter, whatever suits."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 12:34 AM
"I think she's too young for the job," the man replied almost immediately; there was no disguising that he had spent a lot of time dwelling on the subject. "I also think that a lot of the pressure will dissipate once there's no one in the upper Courts actively trying to kill or assault her; that will end largely when Titania's been dealt with. The same power that keeps Titania safe will apply to the countess, in that the country needs a Queen, no matter how brutal, vicious, petty . . . I am of course not speaking of your lady at this time." Another wry grin. "She'll be insulated, to a degree."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 12:44 AM
Marcello gave the man a relieved look. "She is too young for the job. She's going to need a lot of support. She's going to need her bard back. Moira." He gave the older man a meaningful look. "You did a good job with her. Moira was good for Niabheara. We've been working on a few things, too, that I think will help; I'm talking to the bards about creating a sort of representative court."
He tugged at his ear then. "We need to deal with Lady Eleanor, obviously; I'm not sure what other real enemies the Countess has. Those are the kinds of things I'm depending on you for. The bard's promised to help me, but you're probably more of a resource than he is on--" he shot the man an amused look. "Certain particulars. But I'm still-- I'm worried about her as Queen. She's got this...political self that's not at all her real self, and I think she needs more time to be her real self first, or I think she's going to end up being suffocated. Especially when I hear things like that she can't leave the Erins, or that she won't be in Cnoch-na-Niall anymore, and that place is like lifeblood to her. Judith says that the Queen used to be able to leave...it's another thing I need to speak to the bards about. I don't think the Erins can stay cut off from the world forever, and that means she's going to have to be a proper diplomat, too."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 12:55 AM
"I liked Moira. She had a good head on her shoulders. You've met the rest of the countess's family--they're peasants. She needed something." Neely raised an eyebrow in return. "'Certain particulars'? You make it sound sinister. What sort of a representative court, something like the Court of Barons?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 12:58 AM
Marcello laughed. "Not those kinds of particulars. The family situation. People you're friendly with, who might owe you, anything like that. Anything that can help." he shrugged. "And I don't know the Court of Barons well enough to say, but yes, something like that. Niabheara says that it would be impossible to get everyone in one place at one time, though, so I was thinking that if every house could send whatever representative they wanted-- a member of their household, a servant, a messenger, their bard...to Court, it would-- improve communication, make people feel like Niabheara actually gives a damn about them, unlike certain current monarchs?"
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 01:25 AM
Neely shrugged and backed away from the bars, regarding the sleeping Gioia a moment. "The trouble with being dead is that I haven't had much opportunity to maintain ties as much as I would like. The princess . . . well, she'd be Queen Fiona now, wouldn't she? If you're going to herd allies, there's no reason not to start as high up as possible."
He turned back to Marcello. "Essentially, that's what the Court of Barons is. Fortunately King Finn had enough sense to heed rather than dismiss them. A rather large group of his nobles sent up a delegation shortly after Titania gained power; they saw the way she ran things and didn't find it a good example. The largest difference between the Unseelie and the Courts is that the Unseelie ruler has always been bound by the law. Titania is for all intents and purposes above it."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 01:29 AM
"The Unseelie way is how we do things at home in Venice. England is a little more..." Marcello sighed. "Well, complicated. The King's meant to be bound by law, at least. But I'd be more comfortable with a proper Court, for the very reasons you said. And also," he said, giving Neely a meaningful look, "because, with a very young Queen, I think that it is better that the people don't see her as the sole decision-maker. There are bound to be people looking for her to make a mistake, so if they can't blame her..." He put a hand out, illustratively.
Then he sighed. "Moira was going to Fiona when Titania captured her."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 01:40 AM
"The immediate problem is that she has no such resources, and I'm assuming she's not sufficiently trained to lead a charge herself. I'm sure she makes a lovely figurehead . . . " He frowned and rubbed his thumb thoughtfully against the inside of his palm. "I wouldn't even trust Fiona on the point of loaning her men. Not the least reason is that the Unseelie are going to see themselves as being drawn into another one of Titania's personal squabbles. I understood correctly that the countess took Oireachteigh?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 01:45 AM
"The Countess took Oireachteigh," Marcello answered, nodding. "But only after Titania had decimated the city with her damn plague. She killed Lady Bride, then let up. And then slit Tristan's throat."
His expression went dark. "Your uncle was not well when we left him. I don't know if anyone decided to tell him that his son was murdered; he was very ill. We're planning to go to Oireachteigh first."
Then he nodded. "Niabheara couldn't lead a charge, I don't think. Nor can I. I can fill in for what she doesn't know in terms of diplomatic strategy, spying, negotiating...straight-out con jobs...and I'm a fair hand with a sword, but I've never been anywhere near a military that wasn't trying to hang me. But I'm in agreement. We've no army. We had the Trul, but Titania bought them off."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 01:59 AM
"Which is why mercenary armies are always a bad idea, particularly when the enemy has more money than you do." Neely shook his head in mild disgust, with the expression of a man contemplating a particular tricky chess play. "Basically as far as I can see, she's already done everything that I would absolutely advise against. Cnoch-na-Niall is in no condition for an extended siege, she had no troops of her own, mercenaries have already been bought out from under her . . . leaving the final option as the other thing I would advise against: cultivating some strong allies and trusting they won't hamstring her."
Neely turned back to the door. "Which I am assuming is already the foregone conclusion, is it not? If the duke my uncle is not well . . . congratulations, you have one part of a standing army. Make a base of Oireachteigh, fortify it, and lure the grand bitch out."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 02:07 AM
"That was already my intention," Marcello informed the man, giving him an amused look. "You know, your daughter had me convinced you were a villain," he informed Neely cheerfully. "This is starting to make me wonder what she'll think of me when she realizes we're of one mind about this. I-- it's not her fault. She's been caught unprepared, and not always with many other options. At the moment, though, we've got one thing we didn't have before, and that's Anvil Harbour and Judith's pirates. But...again, I don't know how well we can trust them, and I don't know what good a sea force will do us."
He took a deep breath. "You know she named herself Queen of Avalon?" he asked the man tentatively.
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 02:17 AM
"You can trust them about as far and as long as you can trust Judith. I leave that to the countess's judgement." Although measuring by the small smile on Neely's face, it was clear how far his own judgement extended. "Get the idea of allies out of your head. She'll need them at first, but only to build up her own forces. If she's already declared herself Queen of Avalon . . . hell, let's give her Duchess of Oireachteigh as well. There's no chance Titania would sit through that sort of a challenge."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 02:23 AM
"What's the line of inheritance for Oireachteigh?" Marcello asked interestedly. "She's the Duke's grand-niece, and the only living descendant as far as I know, save for yourself, and she's the proper sex? Is that enough to inherit?" he asked.
He paused a moment, pursing his lips. "My personal preference, in this whole mess?" he suggested tentatively. "Is to make her properly Queen of Avalon, put the seat at Cnoch-na-Niall, and leave the Erins to someone else."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 02:44 AM
"We're still not certain I am alive," Neely pointed out nicely. "I honestly can't remember off the top of my head. It would go down through Lady Bride, if the young duke is dead, and I can't remember where that woman's from. Teamhair na Ri, I believe. At any rate, if the Duke's unable to retain control and there are no living heirs, the lands would revert to the Crown." Still Neely looked slightly doubtful. "Making Avalon a power unto itself would still leave the question of whom is going to rule the rest of the place, and whether or not it would be a better choice than Titania."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 02:50 AM
"That's the trouble," Marcello said. "There isn't someone, as far as I know...but then, I don't know the lay of the land. And I doubt where you've been you've been able to keep track..."
He frowned. "One thing I haven't puzzled out quite yet...how long ago did everything happen?" he asked. "Your rebellion...your death? Not to ask too many personal questions."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 03:09 AM
"The war was . . . would've been twenty years agone." He tipped his head to the side at Marcello's hesitation. "Of course it would be. Her Ladyship is twenty. One would think I've finally have that drilled into my head. Twenty years," he repeated, more firmly. "I've been more-or-less dead for . . . three or four, I believe."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 03:15 AM
Marcello nodded. "That puts a decent frame on things. So Niabheara could not have even been conscious of the goings-on," he said thoughtfully. "But it's in recent enough memory for everyone else, especially when you lot have such long lives. Again," he said. "Not to-- pry. But you...is that why you decided to have a child? Because of the war?"
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 03:27 AM
Between the space of one blink and another, the man's face closed almost entirely, as if a wall had dropped between his eyes and the world. He folded his hands behind his back and took a short, polite step back from the door. "It was."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 03:30 AM
Marcello watched the man for a long moment. "To be honest, I think that's perfectly reasonable," he informed the man quietly. "Th-- Ah. Good neighbor." His tone was deferential, earnest, and he nodded to the older man. "I'm not going to ask anything else about it, unless you want to tell. The daughter you gained is one of the kindest and more genuine people I have ever had the honor to know. You deserve to be proud of her."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 03:39 AM
"What else would you say? You're bedding her." He rolled his eyes and turned his back on Marcello, wandering over to the other end of the small room to check on Gioia, who would, by this example, sleep through the ship going down.
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 03:43 AM
"Oh, please," Marcello answered, rolling his eyes. "You really strike me as the sort to think that sleeping with someone requires being head over heels in love."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 03:46 AM
"Ooh. Nice attempt, but it lost something in the delivery. Didn't quite have the nonchalance you were looking for. It was pointed, but there was no real wit." He turned back to Marcello. "All in all, I'd give it a six of possible ten, but two of those points are solely on potential. Better luck next time."
He straightened up as he headed back toward the door. "We were much better off discussing politics."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 03:49 AM
"I liked the politics," Marcello assured the man, smiling back at him. "I like them so much that I'm tempted to make a good case for letting you out of here as soon as we've left port. Which keeps seeming to get delayed; I'm not certain why. Sarcasm isn't really my strong suit. Long, rambling dinner-party lies are really more level of expertise. Of course, if you want to ask me any uncomfortable personal questions, you're more than welcome."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 03:50 AM
"Certainly." He smiled. "How does it feel being a kept man?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 03:54 AM
The young man took one look at Neely, took a step back, blinked, and laughed out loud-- a strong, side-splitting belly laugh.
When he wiped the tears out of his eyes, he looked back up at Neely. "What, don't you think I'm earning my keep?" he asked.
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 04:02 AM
Neely directed his gaze upward in a bid for patience. "Keep it down, please; some people are trying to peel paint with the reverberations from their sinus cavities." And he gave a small, fond look to Gioia.
"I concede that you must be doing something right." He stepped in nearer again. "I wouldn't know."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 04:08 AM
"Sorry," Marcello muttered, covering his mouth for a moment, as if he might start laughing again. "You want the honest answer? I'm happier than I've ever been in my life, except for the parts when I'm terrified that something's going to happen to her. And I'm not here to live off of her, if it really concerns you. I've got lands and a title of my own. I really do love her."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 04:17 AM
Neely gave a long, low laugh. "It doesn't concern me, but it's kind of you to consider that I might be worried about some unscrupulous tallfolk sweeping in to take advantage of our poor befuddled young countess. Remember what I mentioned before about pure motives?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 04:22 AM
"I'll give up looking for them sooner or later, but you agree a sound Countess is better for a sound country," Marcello quoted back at the man. "I presume you mean you don't particularly care one way or another, then?" he asked hopefully. "And not that you're suspecting I'm out to knife you in the back. You want me to take any messages to your daughter?"
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 09:14 PM
"If I want to speak to her, I'll send for her." From the assurance of his voice, the idea that such a request might be rejected was not even a consideration. He raised an eyebrow at Marcello. "Should I care? You two have apparently formed your own closed circle."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 09:24 PM
"We open it to select indivudals," Marcello replied dryly. "Morgana. Moira. Mortoch. Apparently your name has to begin with an M or an N, so you might actually have a chance," he informed the man encouragingly. "If it were my daughter?" he asked. "Or even my sister? I'd care."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 09:38 PM
"Soothly? Then stay away from my daughter, you monster." He spoke lightly. "Are you that much a menace? Or is she?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 09:40 PM
Marcello laughed again, but covered his mouth. "Honestly, I'm sure she's much more menacing," he answered with a grin. "I meant care whether I was a monster, not assume I am. I think the worst of my crimes are probably compulsive lying and swindling the intellectually-deprived."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 09:45 PM
Neely threw up his hands and chuckled. "You're standing around hanging yourself on this one, really. You're coming clean on being a compulsive liar. The depths of that paradox are dizzying. And if I were less closely following context then I would swear you just referred to the woman you wish to see crowned as 'intellectually-deprived'."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 09:53 PM
Marcello rubbed at his forehead, looking amused. "Either that, or my compulsive lying led me to claim swindling when I actually poison dogs and children."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 10:00 PM
"Keep it up and I'll negate this entire conversation as soon as you leave my sight." He squeezed his knuckles to pop them. Already he wore the weary expression of a man prepared to wade through a hip-deep field of bullshit. "Back to the actual subject, if you don't mind? You made mention that she was scared. I'd be a bit more concerned if she was chomping at the bit, but how is she holding up in spite?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 10:05 PM
"I'm not lying anymore," Marcello answered reassuringly. "I promised Niabheara I wouldn't."
He shrugged, then sighed. "She's holding up. I think she's unhappier than she'll let me know, though; she said something to me last night that she's trying not to look upset for fear of upsetting me, and I'm not sure what to do about that. I'm trying to be there to support her, not make it harder, but it means I'm not entirely certain what parts she's most scared of. I know she feels like there's a weight on her, that she knows she'll have to make decisions that will get other people hurt or killed. I know she's nervous about being Queen. And she-- she's the sort who likes to have everything in a nice little rule book, and I think she's only just learned that she can't play by the book when her opponent doesn't."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 10:10 PM
Neely's expression grew progressively more grim with each item Marcello added to the list. "In short," he concluded, "she's just encountered that nasty thing called reality and she can't cope." He pressed a hand to his forehead. "Oh, this is going to take some work."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 10:14 PM
"That's not everyone's reality," Marcello pointed out. "The vast majority of people I know have never been responsible for whole armies or nations, and she's twenty. And she is coping. She's making decisions. She's thinking about how to address problems. She's coming better than I would have at twenty-- hell, she's coping better than I would now. But as for work, yes," he agreed. "It is. I already told you, it's going to take everyone helping her."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 10:25 PM
"Are you her lover or her lawyer? There's no need to leap to her defence; we've established that we're in agreement on the most critical matter. She needs a bard and an army. An heir would be nice, but I won't hold my breath against hope on that one."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 10:29 PM
"Both, technically," Marcello pointed out. "And as much as I'd offer my assistance on the heir front, she needs a full-blooded Tuatha heir." He held both hands out apologetically. "Titania has her bard captive. I think we can get Judith's friend to send a stand-in, especially since the College will not be pleased, but I would much rather we have Moira back if we can."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 10:35 PM
"If it's possible to get Moira back from Titania. Again, I'm not holding my breath. Make other preparations in the meanwhile--the other bard would be that raven-fellow, Maitiu? You do know his familiar was the Lady Oisin's brother?" Neely frowned again. "Any idea on where his grace King Auberon stands on all this? Especially the matter of Oireachteigh; he might weigh in on family if nothing more."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 10:40 PM
Marcello's eyebrows raised. "If the bard has any loyalities to Oisin, he's not so much as mentioned it," he informed the older man. "He's-- as far as I know, he's firmly on the side of the College, and the College is not with Titania when she's first injured and now abducted one of their own. I...don't know the man well enough to trust him or no, but I trust his loyalties."
Then he shook his head. "Auberon might have been an easier guess if your daughter hadn't tried to sell him to a demon in a fit of desperation and he then hadn't tried to rape her," Marcello replied. "They are not on good terms as far as I can guess, but he did...he did give me the antidote to cure her when Titania poisoned her."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 10:50 PM
"Don't trust him, then," Neely said in a curiously flat tone. "The pair of them are known for doing things for the sake of infuriating one another, but that's largely a ruse: in truth one rarely acts without the other's knowledge. Auberon will place himself as an alternative to Titania, all the while acting with her consent. I saw them do it literally hundreds of times. It's not worth the risk. If he starts looking interested in the Oireachteigh situation, be suspicious."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 10:53 PM
And Marcello looked relieved. "And Good Neighbour for that," he replied. "When I was talking about certain particulars, that's what I meant. Auberon seems to be almost the more dangerous of the pair only because Titania is more outright in her malevolence. He acts as if he sympathizes, then turns around and lets her murder children."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 11:06 PM
"There's no more dangerous when they're working as a unit," Neely said in a biting tone. "You seem to understand all of them that you need to know."
He flexed his hands, then tucked them behind his back again, his head lowered in thought. "I think we have the bare skeleton of a plan to start building on. I'm impressed. You were both better than halfway along before I even came into the matter."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 11:10 PM
"Well, apart from the bit where we left the country," Marcello admitted sheepishly. "Judith's still not pleased we did that, but I didn't want to risk another attempt on Niabheara's life while she was still weak."
But he was still rather glowing with pride at the compliment. "I'm flattered, sir. You think there's anything else we need to be thinking of immediately?"
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 11:21 PM
"Find out what the bard knows, if anything more than what he's already said. They're all a pack of gossips, boiled down. If there's any way to get in contact with the College directly, find out the weather there and let them know to expect her--if there is no way Titania can find it out first. Last thing we need is a welcoming party." The corner of his mouth pulled deep into his cheek. "Anything that I might need to know?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 11:24 PM
Marcello gave the older man a pained look. "Probably quite a lot," he admitted. "But I'm not sure where to start. Foremost on the list, though...Jochy's been...causing trouble for her. Not-- the two of them are like oil and water, is most of it. She works herself into a fret whenever he's around. Did you ever know Jochy's father?"
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 11:28 PM
"If you know Jochy for any length of time, you hear more about his past, present, and personal life than you could ever want," said Neely in a dry, bored voice. "Jochy's not here, is he?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 11:38 PM
"Unfortunately, yes," Marcello answered. "But he's not sailing with us. I'm serious; every time the two of them even speak, I end up having to talk her down afterward," he said, looking pained. He ran a hand through his hair. "Jochy's father wants Niabheara to use her as some sort of simulacrum to host the spirit of his mad wife."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 2 2008, 11:42 PM
"Talking her down is much better than having to extract arrows from her," Neely snapped back; he sounded as if he had just been distracted from the invisible chess g-me of several minutes' prior. "And wanting to and making steps to do so are entirely different categories. Do we know if he's done anything to the girl to prepare her in that direction?"
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 2 2008, 11:48 PM
"He visited her once," Marcello answered tightly. "Before I came here. I..." He took a deep breath. "I don't know what was said. I'm afraid he's waiting for her to be Queen. In the meantime, I'm trying to make it so his wife has enough of her own self back that she can object."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 3 2008, 03:01 AM
"Find out," Neely said sternly. "She's about to have enough on her plate without another person coming in with an unknown set of objectives."
He gave a wry snort. "At the very least to seal up another hole through which Jochy could try to wriggle his way into this situation.
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 3 2008, 03:07 AM
Marcello rolled his eyes. "I see your opinion of the man is lower than my own, even. I thought he was rather likable as long as he wasn't anywhere near Niabheara."
He nodded. "I'll do that. I think that's the one big thing you don't know, but if there's anything else you're curious about...I'm sorry, I don't want to leave you with any holes, but..." He shrugged.
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 3 2008, 03:15 AM
"I told you, I'll think on it. I'm more concerned with what we are going into than what's already transpired. That, and I don't think I can catch up on twenty-odd years of information in a single evening, no matter how much alcohol flows."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 3 2008, 03:19 AM
"Is that a hint?" Marcello asked nicely. "Next time I come down, I'll see if I can get a bottle."
Posted by: Neely O'Niall May 3 2008, 03:32 AM
Neely laughed--as quietly as possible, so as not to disturb Gioia--and shook his head. "I'll beg it off Judith. She keeps the good liquor locked up in that grand godawful sacrificial desk of hers. If you have any say up there, however, see if you can plead my associate off before we set sail--or at least get her out of the damn cell."
Posted by: Marcello Basciano May 3 2008, 03:34 AM
"I'm afraid your reception has been much better than Judith's so far, which is ironic, considering," Marcello replied apologetically.
Then he grinned. "But I'm staying in her cabin and I know how to pick a lock," he pointed out happily. "I'll see what I can do for your friend," he assured Neely, nodding at the man before he started away. "Good neighbor to you. I'm- -I'm glad we talked."
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