Slap in the Face

Perhaps it is all this talk of bonds, and being able to locate people, but my wrist has been bothering me lately. It tends to do so when I think of Catt, and I have been doing so lately, since my link to her is the only thing I know that links people at a distance. I suppose that was fae magic, but she was once kindred like me, so I don’t really know.

It is no secret that I love Aoibheann like a sister, but sometimes, she still surprises me with additional reasons. And, last night, it was good to see that, and to be able to do something on her behalf also. By the time morning came, I got a message from Maric that she had been recovered safely, although he did not go into details. I shall find out from Valene, some day.

I was walking across the green to the castle, when I ran into Lucis. She was on her way somewhere, but I managed to divert her long enough to ask her, very politely, to desist in demonstrating her passions for Aoibheann. While I agreed with her assessment that Aoibheann is occasionally a little too tightly wound, I had to point out that such advances would only make her nervous, rather than loosening her up. She took the request in good grace, and while she didn’t explicitly say she would cease, she did say that she should not have pressed the matter. I thanked her and let her on her way.

I continued on my way into the castle, where I found Maric talking with Aoibheann. I am not suite sure what was being discussed, but he seemed to be offering her the opportunity to be the lady of the castle. I was not quite sure what to make of that, it sounded a little impersonal to be a marriage proposal, and I was not sure if being lady of the castle was actually some title or role, just as I was steward. He also seemed to be suggesting he give her a tour of the vaults, which confused me at first, as I assumed he had already done so. However, it did answer one question I had been uncertain about  – she must have fed from him, otherwise he would not be showing her.  Whatever the circumstances, she seemed quite excited by the idea.

I greeted them briefly and headed up the stairs, to once again peruse the library. I scanned the shelves, bemoaning the fact that Katharina had never taught me about my own powers and wondering, as I rubbed the scar on my wrist, why it was that a scar, given me long ago, should still be linked to somebody who could be many miles, or indeed, worlds away.

Whatever else might have been about to be said or done was interrupted by a banging on the door, which turned out to be a very angry Orie, demanding to know what had happened, since he had been about to move heaven and hell to find her, presumably Aoibheann, and asking what we knew of Vedis’ whereabouts. Aoibheann, naturally was confused by his idiom, telling him that so far as she knew, Vedis was fine, but had to go somewhere. She then asked what heaven and hell had to do with it, as the Huntsman was not likely to be in either place. Maric held his temper, despite Orie’s rudeness, saying that various things were being looked into to deal with the threats, that things were as well as could be expected and would he like some wine. For myself, I confined myself to a simple ‘good evening’.

This was not what Orie wanted to hear. He shouted then, demanding in very uncivil language to be told what happened. I did not react to his temper. I told him, very calmly, that Vedis and Aoibheann had been taken by the hunter, and that we had been able to rescue them. His loud voice seemed to worry Aoibheann, and Maric was not impressed. He told Maric that he should be civil in his house, that I had already explained the situation and that there was nothing more to tell. We had dealt with a threat from the fae lands, and had come through to live another day. His tone was calm, but stern.

Sophia and Helene arrived at the door, so I beckoned them to come up the stairs, out of the way in case things escalated with Orie.  Things did. Orie completely lost his temper, yelling at us to tell him everything that had happened with Vedis, complaining that we were swanning around pretending everything was just fine while Aiobheann was going half-mad with worry with all the shit going down. And, if we didn’t like the way he was, we could take it outside and he would Maric’s ass, or my ass, or both if necessary. I had to admire his bravado, and his optimism, while also feeling sorry for him, since he would most certainly die if Maric took him up on the offer. I was tempted to use my vampire power to get him to behave, but opted for a very polite reminder to mind his manners. Despite what he might think, we were well aware of the situation, and that heated tempers were not going to solve anything. Maric glared at him and in a tone that could cut ice told him that he was asking to die. He should pick his battles wisely and heed the laws of the land.

Before anything else could happen, Aoibheann took a step forward, telling Orie very calmly that, while she believed he was well intentioned, we had told him all we could about Vedis’ whereabouts. And, if he had any further requests, he should make them more respectfully, otherwise, next time, it would not just be his face.  Then, she fetched him a stinging slap across the face. I was both surprised and impressed, and from the slight smile on Maric’s face, I think he was impressed too. It certainly impressed Orie. He froze, said “Yes ma’am, I am glad you are safe,” tipped his hat to her and left without a further word. He has no idea that Aoibheann might just have saved his life.

I applauded, Helene burst out laughing, and Maric complimented her on her strength. I suggested that maybe a couple of the guards should go keep an eye on Orie, in case he did anything foolish. Maric agreed, dispatched a couple of them to do so and then invited us all upstairs for drinks. We all went, save for Sophia, who said she felt a little unwell, and so went up to take her rest in the bunk bed. We chatted for a while, and then Maric sent me off to the library in the vaults to look something up for him. What happened after that, I don’t know. Maybe it was one of his potions left out on his workbench, or maybe I was just over-tired, but the next thing I knew, it was morning, and I was slumped in a chair with a book on my lap.

 Slap in the Face

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