• March 13, 2006 at 11:38 pm #1884

    3:13:17 PM egeriafellows: The widow instead upon a carriage to take her to the abbey. There was little matter to mind over the poor weather and long walk, as Egeria has tread over and under worse circumstances before. However, this day the cassocks and robes sent to be tailored were completed and Madame Renault would have been twice damned to send a street-soiled garment to the church, even if it was of no greater offense than a horsehair. Each garment had been pressed and packaged in waxed paper tied in twine. Each package bearing the name of its recipient in calligraphy etched in cobalt ink. One Curate Roberts was to be met at the back of the abbey to take the delivery, and so she descended from the cab to go there. Once settled to the curb, the driver made off with the one-way wages the widow had provided him with. With a quiet sigh, she pressed on.

    3:21:51 PM octaviussouthwel: The morning's services had been concluded, and those who had stayed to give their confession had already been dealt with. The Bishop made his way towards the back of the cathedral, where he espied Curate Roberts standing around. After a brief word with the man, he'd gained the knowledge that the widow's employee was today to deliver the church's garments. A few more words, and the curate was sent away on another task, with the assurance that Octavius would remain to ensure the delivery took place. Once the other man had left, Octavius allowed himself a private smile for a moment, as he awaited the witch's arrival.

    3:31:18 PM egeriafellows: “Curate Roberts?” Egeria rose a dark brow over a blind eye, “here then. This week's work. The widow gives her greatest regret that she could not be in attendence to today's services.” The wrapped garments were extended to the man in offering. Seemingly rushed to take her leave, “I will have a courrier come to call for payment. It need not be tendered at this current moment.”

    3:33:46 PM octaviussouthwel: “In such a rush, Miss Fellows? Surely you've at least a few moments to spare. If being within the church's walls troubles you so, we could always find ourselves within one of the gardens, or the cemetery where you seemingly find so much peace and quiet.”

    3:35:31 PM egeriafellows: “Bishop,” a nod, “Perhaps I did not follow my directions correctly. I am looking for a Curate Roberts, I have come to drop of the week's garments and if you could only point me in the right direction I will not take anymore of your time.” The packages were taken back, close with a single step away and the other on standby in wait to where she would be directed to next.

    3:44:05 PM octaviussouthwel: “Unfortunately, the curate had to attend to some rather pressing matters. I volunteered to take his place awaiting the delivery.” He took a single step towards her. “So, if you'll come with me, the garments may be placed away, and, if you've some time to spare, we may go where you will.”

    3:49:22 PM egeriafellows: “Ah, ehm, very well. Lead the way I suppose then.” Pale fingers curled close to the brown paper wrappings, making little indents into the wax. “Should there be a next delivery then, you need only send word on what time would be more appropriate if what the widow has in her ledger is not sufficient.”

    3:53:05 PM octaviussouthwel: And lead the way he did, through the back halls of the cathedral. “Unfortunately, there was no knowing in advance that this would be the case today. Is it so upsetting to you to encounter me rather than the curate, hm?”

    3:56:04 PM egeriafellows: “I am not upset. I am sorry that a curate had to be taken away and a Bishop put in his place to carry out some trifle of an errand.” Whether or not Egeria meant what she said could not be gauged for the soft sincerity of her words. She was tired. That was the extent of what could be taken from her words and her features.

    3:59:11 PM octaviussouthwel: “Had I not volunteered willingly, it would have been another curate or some such who took Curate Roberts' place. Were I not doing this, I would merely be shut away within my chambers, poring over the bible and other such texts.” He cast his gaze over his shoulder upon her. “You seem rather tired, Miss Fellows, if I may say so. Is everything alright?”

    4:01:11 PM egeriafellows: “I thought though that is what you do? Shut yourself away with the good book and so on.” Egeria looked up with as much unfocused disinterest before her as she had below her when her gaze would have met with the cobbles had she sights to see with. “I am fine. I am well, thank you.” A half truth, maybe less, as she would not have otherwise meant the thank you, or that little lie of being well. The spirits were silent here in these halls. “It must be rather quiet here. Good for studies then?”

    4:05:58 PM octaviussouthwel: “Indeed. Personally, I find it quieter here than within the cemetery, and without the risk of disturbing those who have passed on from this life.” He led the way through another door, took the garments from her, and set them down. “But should you be more comfortable there, or in the gardens, you need only name where you would most find yourself at ease.” And he would consider taking her there, as opposed to somewhere else. “It is easy to say one is fine, but your tone and your features speak another tale entirely.”

    4:09:39 PM egeriafellows: Egeria thought to fill the silence with a laugh. A quiet one at least. It was never but in these places that the world around her was so silent. No chatter, no echo of sound. Silence and the thoughts sprung from them. A miserable quiet, “I would like to breathe the fresher airs. Though I admit that I hardly have the time to even do that, Bishop.”

    4:13:48 PM octaviussouthwel: “Surely, Miss Fellows, you can't be all that pressed for time. One must make time for things such as air and quietude.” He walked back through the door, leading the way through the corridors again, their footsteps echoing and reverberating along the halls the loudest of sounds.

    4:17:39 PM egeriafellows: “Much work to do, always that.” And the cane, added to the echo in a diseased stab and grate against the floorstones. Anything to fill the silence with something to focus upon when here company had left her here.

    4:20:14 PM octaviussouthwel: “There is always work to do, and always will be, long after you or I have joined those who have come before in leaving this world. If we concern ourselves overly much with work, then we do ourselves, as well as the Lord, a grave injustice.”

    4:22:00 PM egeriafellows: “Of course. Yes, of course.” Though she did not need to say anything at all, not for the purpose of answering. But, it was for the purpose of sound. Words to be heard over the strange quiet and stillness this place possessed. It was a wonder why he had not been driven mad over it, of it at one time, he was far more pleasant and sane than he was now.

    4:24:59 PM octaviussouthwel: He led the way into a secluded garden amongst the cloisters, taking a seat upon a stone bench. “Please, make yourself comfortable, Miss Fellows. I hope the air does you some good, and that you'll then be more willing to speak upon what has you looking and sounding so fatigued and withdrawn.”

    4:27:49 PM egeriafellows: Egeria stood there for a moment among the sleeping foilage, twigs, and bare shoots that the season has brought. A slow and uncertain hand slid her cane to the opposite of where his voice sounded till its tip found a bench opposite of his own. Her movements were hesitant, thought of, gauged. Her freed hand slid out from her cinch coat to aid in finding her seat, and when she had, she lowered herself there, and faced him. “Thank you, Bishop. It is pleasant out here. Indeed.”

    4:30:26 PM octaviussouthwel: He watched her with some measure of interest. She was far more hesitant than usual, and it seemed more difficult for her to find her way around. He managed to keep his smile and laughter from appearing, though they were certainly felt. “If you'll pardon my saying so, Miss Fellows, it seems to me as though you're having more trouble finding your way around than you usually do. Is something the matter?”

    4:33:00 PM egeriafellows: Eyes narrowed, a moment's worth. Perhaps discomfort atop stone, perhaps suspicion to his questions. “The house has been plagued by drafts the past few months. I think they are catching up to me and that it is little more than the onset of the sniffles, or a cold.”

    4:35:16 PM octaviussouthwel: “Ah, then I will pray your health returns to you swiftly. An illness can be a difficult thing to deal with at any time of year. Perhaps, then, it is for the best that you have left your old knight, for I am certain at his age even an illness as innocuous as a cold could have drastic repercussions.”

    4:37:50 PM egeriafellows: “Indeed, another good reason then to keep my distance from him. You are wise.” Birds, rodents, nothing was here to stave off the quiet but their own words. Egeria sighed, and smiled a bit, “Perhaps then we do the things to hurt ourselves, if only to spare a greater pain from those we care for.”

    4:39:29 PM octaviussouthwel: “It is a distinct likelihood. For after all, by hurting ourselves rather than them, are we not lessening our own pain? For would it not be twofold injurious to cause them pain, and thus pain ourselves as well, not only for seeing one we care for in pain, but for causing them that pain as well?”

    4:42:12 PM egeriafellows: “I did not think of it that way. Though it is no more comforting to know of that, I admit.”

    4:43:19 PM octaviussouthwel: “I must admit, Miss Fellows, that you confuse me. You speak of a desire to have only the dead for company and, perhaps, to join them as well, and yet it sounds to me as though you very strongly regret your decision to leave him.”

    4:45:43 PM egeriafellows: “He was different. And, indeed, I do very much so regret my choice, but it was one that that to be made. Perhaps he will be found again, years from now, many…your God willing…after a peacful passing in his sleep. Maybe I will find him then, if I remain still myself.”

    4:47:19 PM octaviussouthwel: “How, Miss Fellows, was he so very different from any other man who walks upon this Earth?”

    4:48:11 PM egeriafellows: She shrugged. “He was kind to me. And I cared for him. Something so very different from any other man who has walked upon this earth that I have found.”

    4:49:16 PM octaviussouthwel: “Is it not a possibility that there are others walking this Earth who are also kind? Can there really be no others who have treated you with kindness in all your years?”

    4:49:42 PM egeriafellows: “Not as he had. No.”

    4:53:08 PM octaviussouthwel: “Must all kindness come in the same form to be worthwhile?”

    4:57:47 PM egeriafellows: “It was a kindness that came without expectation. It was not the kindness given to some freakish blind ward of the street that happens the sew. Or the kindness of a tip given to a teller of the future and a seer of the past. It was kindness that came without the expectation of money, or greed, or material things. That is what made his kindness most worthwhile, most treasured.”

    4:59:50 PM octaviussouthwel: “No, perhaps it was without the expectation of material things, but did he not expect the immaterial of you? Did he not hold expectations of sin, of lust? I hardly think his kindness could be considered so very different from the kindness of any other.”

    5:00:47 PM egeriafellows: “He was always a gentleman…”

    5:01:51 PM octaviussouthwel: “There is a difference between being a gentleman and expecting things, material in form or otherwise.”

    5:05:30 PM egeriafellows: “He expected nothing from me…why are you doing now? Why do we return to him?” Egeria shook her head, rose to stand and take her cane back into her palm, “I have taken enough of your time. I should go now, I am certain the widow expects my swift return.”

    5:08:18 PM octaviussouthwel: “Forgive me, Miss Fellows, I only seek to understand why you believe him to be the only kind person who remains amongst the living. You can't possibly believe that to be true, can you?” He watched her stand, but made no movement to do so himself or otherwise help her find her way.

    5:13:36 PM egeriafellows: “What does it matter now? If that man exists, he can not be found in England. And if he can be? I care not to meet him.” A quiet reply, her words to his, as she moved to where they had come from, though paces closer to the wall by side of the portal rather than the thresh itself. When her fingers reached, their tips were met by a rough grate of brick and mortar. A sigh as she slid her hand off to the side and followed it to find the door.

    5:15:59 PM octaviussouthwel: Shaking his head and finally allowing himself a brief, private smile, he stood and moved towards her. “This way, Miss Fellows.” He led her back inside the cathedral, and started down the corridor. “And why would you care not to meet him, if he could be found? Does kindness not always matter?”

    5:18:34 PM egeriafellows: “It would not be proper. Though I have left him, I cannot say that he has so easily left me, Bishop.” Her hand followed the wall, to trace her steps as they passed.

    5:19:57 PM octaviussouthwel: As he led her along, he noticed her hand upon the wall, and tugging her lightly along, pulled her gently towards the center of the corridor, as though they were turning, which, well, they might have been. He didn't say anything about it, though. “Ah. So you have not only left him, but left him still desiring you. Is that the case, Miss Fellows?”

    5:24:08 PM egeriafellows: “I do not know what state I have left him in. I pray that it is a safe one, but what I meant by my own words is that I would not, and could not, forget him so easily. As we spoke of the night before.” Her freed hand reached to take her cane, to scrape it low against the floors, to a wall, a portal. “I am sorry. I can take my leave from where I came…”

    5:28:05 PM octaviussouthwel: “This way, Miss Fellows, this way…” tugging her yet again out of reach of the walls as they made their way along the halls. “Nor should you forget him so easily, nor any other piece of your past that you're already aware of, as we've spoken of, as well.”

    5:30:30 PM egeriafellows: “Have you seen him in service today? Is he well? How did he seem to be? Do you think he is in good health?” The questions came as quickly as the steps that followed him, followed his hold of her hand.

    5:31:31 PM octaviussouthwel: “No, unfortunately I didn't see him today. I don't believe he was here, or if he was, he made himself scarce. Perhaps I should pay a call upon him or his family, to seek out how they may be.”

    5:33:51 PM egeriafellows: Egeria nodded. “If you do, if you could please let me know if he is well…”

    5:34:19 PM octaviussouthwel: “Of course, Miss Fellows. I wouldn't have it otherwise. I know you remain concerned over him.”

    5:36:46 PM egeriafellows: “Yes, yes…” Another slow breath to wither the lungs. “Now then, I should be off. I thank you for your hospitality, you need only direct me to where the door may be and I will see myself through it.”

    5:38:03 PM octaviussouthwel: “This way, this way…” he said absently, almost as though he wasn't really listening to her. He led the way through a door, and then another, and, once they were within the room, he closed the door behind them and locked it, slipping the key away again. He moved away from her and took a seat behind his desk. “Do make yourself comfortable, Miss Fellows.”

    5:42:18 PM egeriafellows: A shiver ran it's course over a rigid spine as she stood there. Her cane was taken up in her hand, wrapped by her arm, and held close to her chest. Her freed hand stretched till striking a wall, and then, till striking a door. Her fingers slid over the frame to the knob to turn, and find it locked. “Octavius, what is the meaning of this?” Her voice was cold and low.

    5:43:29 PM octaviussouthwel: “Whatever do you mean, Miss Fellows?” His own tone remained pleasant, calm, and conversational.

    5:44:25 PM egeriafellows: “The door is locked. We are not outside in the streets. And I am most certainly not on my way back home. What is this?”

    5:46:12 PM octaviussouthwel: “Merely a habit of mine to keep that door locked at all times. Please, won't you have a seat, Miss Fellows? Might I offer you something to drink or to eat? I don't have much in the way of either here, but you are welcome to what there is.”

    5:49:14 PM egeriafellows: “Octavius, I have asked to take my leave. There is the need for me to turn home. I do not undertsand why you are doing this.” She tried the door again, and when it would not go, she tired at it with her fist.

    5:51:09 PM octaviussouthwel: “Really, Miss Fellows, these outbursts of yours aren't necessary. Please calm yourself.”

    5:52:42 PM egeriafellows: “I would like to go now.” She turned to him, rather calmly in her words though pale eyes set wide in their focus upon him, “Really, I mean no ill will towards you, but I do wish to return home now.”

    5:54:08 PM octaviussouthwel: “Is it truly necessary for you to be in such a rush, Miss Fellows? It seems to me that you're always in a rush to be elsewhere than you are. Or at least to have those around you take their leave.”

    5:54:29 PM egeriafellows: “What is the meaning of this?”

    5:55:47 PM octaviussouthwel: “What is the meaning of your desire to rush away all the time?”

    5:56:43 PM egeriafellows: “I have work I need to tend to. I wish to do so. Now answer me.”

    5:57:21 PM octaviussouthwel: “Won't you have a seat first, Miss Fellows? Some tea? A scone? Something else?”

    5:57:51 PM egeriafellows: “No, Octavius. I need to go now. Will you please unlatch this door?”

    5:58:25 PM octaviussouthwel: “No, Miss Fellows, I won't. Not yet. Now, would you please have a seat?”

    5:59:25 PM egeriafellows: She turned away, and resumed her banging upon the door.

    6:00:11 PM octaviussouthwel: “There are none who will hear you or come to aid you with the door, Miss Fellows. If you wish to damage your hand and wear yourself out, by all means, be my guest. I can wait.”

    6:03:58 PM egeriafellows: Resigned with a sigh, her forehead touched against the door. “I hate you. I despise and loathe you for this.” Extracted then from the wood, she returned to him, her back kept pressed close to the door. “Now, how then do we play this little game of yours? Hm? I do not have the time for this.”

    6:05:44 PM octaviussouthwel: “A game? I don't play games, Miss Fellows. Please, do have a seat. There is always more time to be found or made. As far as your hate, well, I hardly think that's anything new, now is it? You've barely tried to cover it.”

    6:08:41 PM egeriafellows: Pried away from the door, Egeria searched for a seat. Her hand, her cane, a tap and reach till one was found and soon she found herself within it. “There then. There.”

    6:09:53 PM octaviussouthwel: He watched her seek out the chair with some measure of amusement. “You know, Miss Fellows, I always thought you'd some sort of unholy powers, some dark abilities granted you by Satan that aided you in making your way around and in all the actions you take in your life. Now, here on consecrated ground, I'm more inclined to believe it's nothing more than the departed you've already confessed to communing with that aid you.”

    6:12:02 PM egeriafellows: “And?” There was a curl of disgust to her mouth.

    6:12:36 PM octaviussouthwel: “And they're not here to help you, are they?” A smirk slowly began to grow across his own lips.

    6:19:17 PM egeriafellows: “Please, Octavius.” She reasoned in her quiet tone. Hands folded close to the arms of her chair, “I will not be found here again, or in your cemetary, if you just let me leave now.”

    6:21:08 PM octaviussouthwel: “Well, well, well. So they're not here after all.” That was good to know. His smirk was larger now. “And what then, Miss Fellows? Surely we shall, whether we wish to or not, see each other again, elsewhere if not here.”

    6:21:42 PM egeriafellows: “I will say nothing to you. I swear to it, you will not hear from me again…”

    6:22:17 PM octaviussouthwel: “One may still take action even if they do not speak.”

    6:23:04 PM egeriafellows: “You will remain nothing to me. Forgotten.”

    6:23:38 PM octaviussouthwel: “And what have I said to you of forgetting the past, Miss Fellows? It accomplishes less than nothing.”

    6:23:53 PM egeriafellows: “What do you want?”

    6:24:45 PM octaviussouthwel: “A very good question, Miss Fellows, a very good question.” He paused for a time, seemingly lost in thought. “What is it you're offering?”

    6:25:28 PM egeriafellows: “You can be the most garishly dressed peacock in London. Envy of all the landed nobility.”

    6:26:06 PM octaviussouthwel: “Is that all you offer?”

    6:27:41 PM egeriafellows: “That is all I have to give to you.”

    6:28:30 PM octaviussouthwel: “Ah, but there, I believe, you are quite mistaken, Miss Fellows.”

    6:29:14 PM egeriafellows: “Money will take time, time you are taking away now. But allow me to have, and I will give it in turn to you. How much?”

    6:29:58 PM octaviussouthwel: “How much would you offer?” Increasingly amused by all of this, he was.

    6:31:07 PM egeriafellows: “How much do you want?” All this would earn him would be a knife to the throat if he would continue this.

    6:32:08 PM octaviussouthwel: “Frankly, money isn't really a concern of mine, Miss Fellows.”

    6:33:00 PM egeriafellows: “What is it then?” They were sharp words to compliment a dull ache of her head.

    6:33:31 PM octaviussouthwel: “Well, the offer of fancy garments is a tempting one. But it isn't enough.”

    6:34:26 PM egeriafellows: “What do you want so that I may be on my way to get it for you, and get me as far from you as I could ever hope to acquire.”

    6:36:06 PM octaviussouthwel: “You will provide me with the wardrobe you've already offered. You will, as you have said, speak not a word to me unless I desire it, nor will you take any action against me. And, before that, you will remove the garments you presently wear.”

    6:39:13 PM egeriafellows: Egeria laughed. Quietly, calmly. She laughed till little streams of water trickled down from useless eyes that possessed no mirth to them, “I will not leave here without my clothes, Octavius. I think that to be a foolish proposition.”

    6:42:11 PM octaviussouthwel: “Oh, when you leave, you won't go without them,” he said, magnanimously.

    6:44:05 PM egeriafellows: “No, no Octavius. That is not right. That is not proper for any man, let alone one of God. Do you not agree?” Her hand lifted to slick away the moisture that had fallen down her face.

    6:45:30 PM octaviussouthwel: “Who are you of all people to say what is or isn't right, Miss Fellows? You've no right to judge me or any other. Simply put, those are the terms and conditions I am willing to accept. And, of course, that no others shall hear a word of any of this. And in return, you may go, and I will not seek you out, nor shall I enforce the terms of the widow's prior deal which would have you here on a weekly basis.”

    6:47:33 PM egeriafellows: “I can't. I've not been seen but once before.” Lifted from the chair, she attempted her way towards the door, “Please Octavius, not that. It's not proper.”

    6:48:30 PM octaviussouthwel: “You've heard my conditions, Miss Fellows. It's up to you now to decide what means more to you.” He leaned back in his chair, watching her move blindly about the room in her search for the door.

    8:21:52 PM egeriafellows: “Please don't do this. As I will not,” the knob was found, tested. Locked. She felt cold and ill, and for the first time in quite a long while, utterly alone.

    8:22:47 PM octaviussouthwel: “As I've already told you, Miss Fellows, there's none who can help you now. Either you can continue to exhaust yourself and I can wait, or you can make the best of the matter.”

    8:25:40 PM egeriafellows: “I cannot do this.” Egeria paused her breath with her palm, part for the hopes to have be able to suffocate herself, part to keep the bile from welling up into her throat.

    8:26:27 PM octaviussouthwel: “Oh, going to let yourself pass out, are you? Very well. That works, too, I suppose.” He smirked. “Find a way, or make some other offer and I'll consider it.”

    8:27:11 PM egeriafellows: “Anything else. Ask and it will be yours.”

    8:27:25 PM octaviussouthwel: “I've asked of you what I want.”

    8:29:52 PM egeriafellows: “Why do you want it? Hm? To make you feel more of yourself? More than you deserve to feel?” Her back pressed flush against the door, her cane came to rest against it. “Is that it? Some momentary gain of control?”

    8:30:55 PM octaviussouthwel: “Does it matter why, Miss Fellows? I have my reasons, just as you've your own not to. That's not the issue here.”

    8:32:54 PM egeriafellows: “We may not always be able to control certain matters.” She returned to her chair with stretched and emptied hands. When she had found it's wooden arch, she pulled it close to her, a few steps of distance between them, and sat down. “I have learned that long before this moment. I suspect that one day, you may as well.”

    8:35:01 PM octaviussouthwel: “Believe me, Miss Fellows, I well know that there are always times when we cannot be in control of a situation. If you have, as you say, learned that well before now, then perhaps it would be best for you to realize that this is, for you, one of those times. But ultimately, the decision is yours.” Another smirk.

    8:35:35 PM egeriafellows: “And if I do not?”

    8:36:12 PM octaviussouthwel: He shrugged, and the smirk withdrew into a mild smile. “Try it and see.”

    8:37:30 PM egeriafellows: “I would imagine that if I remain here long enough, it would be only a matter of days. Perhaps a week or so, no more, and I would gather that I could take my leave of this room one way or another…”

    8:38:11 PM octaviussouthwel: “Ah, but you forget, Miss Fellows, that when you are weak enough, there will be ways for me to ensure you don't perish.”

    8:39:28 PM egeriafellows: “I do not think that even you know anymore of resurrection than what the good book has told you.”

    8:40:19 PM octaviussouthwel: “And do you think that when you're weak enough, I can't force sustenance upon you? That I can't ensure there's nothing here that you could harm yourself with?”

    8:41:39 PM egeriafellows: “I suppose that we are meant to find out then…”

    8:43:01 PM octaviussouthwel: “Very well, Miss Fellows. Perhaps in some time, you'll reconsider. Hopefully, for your sake, my offer will still stand at that time. For I will have what I want. One way or another.”

    8:44:40 PM egeriafellows: “The widow will know where I have gone. The driver set me straight to where I was to meet Curate Roberts. They will know…they will find out.”

    8:45:52 PM octaviussouthwel: “What do you think they'll find out, Miss Fellows? Curate Roberts never saw you. Nobody did, apart from I. And I? Well, you left rather swiftly after making the delivery, I'm afraid. I was worried about you, in such a rush as you were. It seemed as though there was something you feared.”

    8:48:42 PM egeriafellows: Egeria closed her eyes and thought of someplace warm and yielding. Of a quiet morning spent in the townehouse when all the spoiled children took their leave and even the spirits were tired of wailing. Far better to remove the mind to that place, than the cold feel of wooden seats and stone walls and knowing that his company was just a short distance away from her.

    8:49:58 PM octaviussouthwel: “Are you beginning to realize the delicate nature of your position, Miss Fellows? Beginning to reconsider things?”

    8:51:28 PM egeriafellows: “Neither. You are right, it is better not to forget the past. I will think of him in the time that I spend here, whatever it's duration or end will find me.”

    8:52:32 PM octaviussouthwel: “I'm glad that you've begun to see at least that much, Miss Fellows. It's important to remember one's past. I'll be sure to tell him, the next time I see him, that you think of him still.”

    8:53:17 PM egeriafellows: “Thank you…”

    8:54:53 PM octaviussouthwel: “My pleasure.” He stood, and took a few paces, staring at her, a cold smirk on his face. “Take. It. Off.” he spoke slowly, cruelly.

    8:58:00 PM egeriafellows: “No. No I made my choice, I will stay here until I take my leave…” It may not have been longer than both of them had thought, having gone a day without food or drink. She smiled quietly and off into the vacant ethers.

    9:04:32 PM octaviussouthwel: “You realize, of course, that I'll have what I want sooner or later. You can't win, Miss Fellows. This situation is out of your control.”

    9:07:11 PM egeriafellows: “Then by that time, there will be nothing left worth for the taking. Nothing warm at least.” A thin smile trailed over her jaw, her vacant eyes lifted to his own. Strange amusement was found though there was no one else to share such a secret.

    9:09:01 PM octaviussouthwel: “Oh, we'll see about that…” He smirked. “I think you may find it to happen sooner than you believe.”

    9:09:54 PM egeriafellows: “Come any closer, and you may not see ever again, Octavius.”

    9:11:26 PM octaviussouthwel: “Oh, we'll see about that.” He laughed. “Besides, who said anything about it being necessary to take what I want from you right now? So, Miss Fellows, I will give you one last chance to reconsider. For in the end, your decision means little. I'll have what I want, one way or another. Except perhaps the wardrobe. It would be better for you were you to relent.”

    11:38:17 PM egeriafellows: “Please go then, and wait your days. I am tired now, and I wish to be left alone. Please.”

    11:38:57 PM octaviussouthwel: He smiled at her. “Who said it would be days, Miss Fellows? This is your last chance. I'll give you a minute to think about it.”

    11:39:55 PM egeriafellows: “I told you already, I gave you the words you deserved.” A final stand off it may have been, though she stared into his own eyes quietly, cautiously. “I warn you.”

    11:41:17 PM octaviussouthwel: He laughed. “You warn me? Of what, Miss Fellows? Of what? There's naught you can do to me, particularly not here or now.”

    11:42:01 PM egeriafellows: “No, perhaps you are right.” But later, outside of these cloister's, so help her, and may his God help him. Should anything happen.

    11:42:24 PM octaviussouthwel: “And what do you think you will do, hmm? Your dead friends can't touch me.”

    11:42:47 PM egeriafellows: “You are right…”

    11:43:35 PM octaviussouthwel: He smirked. “What, then, are you warning me of?”

    11:43:53 PM egeriafellows: “Nothing now. Please, I wish to be alone.”

    11:44:37 PM octaviussouthwel: “That won't be happening, Miss Fellows. I shall wait, as promised, a minute, in case you do change your mind. Nothing now? And what do you think later, hmm?”

    11:45:37 PM egeriafellows: She remained silent, an attempt to enjoy the moment's dark quiet brought when her eyes further fell shut.

    11:46:59 PM octaviussouthwel: In a sudden moment, strong hands would grasp her arms, holding her down in the chair. Octavius laughed, gleefully, wickedly.

    11:48:34 PM egeriafellows: “You've two hands Octavius, and so have I.” And she stretched them as far as she could manage to scratch at his eyes if only she could.

    11:49:43 PM octaviussouthwel: He was still far from her, though. “That may be the case, Miss Fellows, but angels have hands as well.” Melal held her down, and, using the Gifts that he was teaching to Octavius, a force would press her hands down against the chair as well.

    11:55:35 PM egeriafellows: “Who else is here? Who else is this?” There was a shrill tone of fear in her voice there, to have felt two pairs of hands holding her then. Egeria kicked back, kicked away, anything to rend her from her seat.

    11:57:46 PM octaviussouthwel: The grip upon her was tight, and held her in place. “Do you believe in angels, Miss Fellows?” He approached her now, slowly, a wicked glint in his eyes that she would never see.

    11:59:50 PM egeriafellows: “I beg of you please, let me go…” Warmed tears fell freely now. She wept with the half hope that someone might have heard. “Anything, anything the world over that I can acquire for you. Just please, not this.”

    12:00:25 AM octaviussouthwel: “Make me an offer, Miss Fellows, and I shall consider it. I have told you this already. I know not what you can and cannot acquire, after all.”

    12:00:41 AM egeriafellows: “I don't know…”

    12:00:58 AM octaviussouthwel: “Well, then how am I supposed to take you up on that particular offer, hm?”

    12:02:00 AM egeriafellows: “Surely there is something you want more than this trifle thing?” Thin slips of brine paused in their fall, hopeful that there might have been something she could manage.

    12:02:42 AM octaviussouthwel: “And what do you think you can offer that would suffice, Miss Fellows?” Patient, calm, smiling.

    12:03:09 AM egeriafellows: “I do not know what you want…just ask.”

    12:03:51 AM octaviussouthwel: “I have little need for money or material goods, Miss Fellows. And the offered wardrobe, while a nice idea, would be considered an addition to this, not a replacement.”

    12:05:08 AM egeriafellows: “Does he have to be here as well? You, you are bad enough on your own terms, please, bid him to take his leave. Whomever he is.”

    12:05:46 AM octaviussouthwel: “And why should I do that? So you may attempt to scratch out my eyes again when you come to realize there is no alternative?”

    12:07:13 AM egeriafellows: “Please? It is a small consideration…this is dreadful enough. Difficult enough. Please do not add to this suffering…” Egeria looked up to him, over to where the other might have stood, and back again. “Please…”

    12:07:55 AM octaviussouthwel: “Are you going to cease your struggling? For he may be recalled in but a moment.”

    12:08:50 AM egeriafellows: A nod, and then another, “please, send him away…”

    12:09:41 AM octaviussouthwel: “Very well…” And as quickly as it had arrived, the pressure upon her dissipated, and Melal was sent away again. At least for the moment.

    12:11:56 AM egeriafellows: Her hands were quick then. To her face, through her scalp, hiding. Hiding away as shoulders shook from weeping too hard.

    12:12:30 AM octaviussouthwel: “I'm waiting, Miss Fellows.” And grinning in triumph.

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