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Return to Inquisition (M) Jabba x Firesblood

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Offline Firesblood

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Valaria had always known that Ampetrion was not truly her grandfather, and yet he still claimed himself the patriarch of their clan and her true grandparents had yielded to him, as had her mother and father.  That her grandparents had known him when they were just children, and that their parents and grandparents had known him as well...even now Valaria had trouble trying to make sense of it in her mind.  Centuries old, Malachi had said.  For the first time, she realized that she didn't believe it was just a tall tale.  Malachi spoke of how Staunton had saved him, of how he was only a touch younger than Etienne, himself.  It was so much further beyond the scope of anything she thought she knew. 

They arrived to Staunton's study and Valaria held her breath, trying to quell the nerves that were threatening to seep down into her bones.  He may not have said much, but Valaria was keenly aware that it was still too much just the same.  If their lives were not meant to be kept a secret, no doubt everyone would know what they were and that there were others like him.  She bowed her head slightly to Staunton as they entered, remaining quiet as Malachi answered the implied question.  Her eyes averted and cast downward as Malachi went on to tell Staunton about the Spaniards. 

"No, my Lord.  I was not harmed.  They focused most of their attention on Mr. Roe," she said, her voice barely above a whisper.  She fell silent then.  The plan had been to ask Staunton if she may find a place in his citadel to work while she figured out what she would do next.  She still planned to, but she wasn't sure at what point in the conversation she should bring it up.   


Offline Jabbathejack

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Staunton nodded, his expression grave.
"It is fortunate that you were not harmed, I have heard some worrying reports of their methods. "

He paused.
"You are welcome to stay here for as long as you wish. We can speak of the future at a later point. For now, rest."

Malachi shifted his weight subtly from one foot to the other; for someone who was ordinarily a confident man, he seemed to be uncharacteristically nervous. When he spoke, it was in his native tongue.

"She knows, father. " He paused, his jaw set as he continued. "Forgive me, there were some things that I was unable to hide. I should have been more careful."

"But it turns out that Ampetrion has already shared with her some things about our kind."

He straightened up to his full height.
"I accept the consequences of my failings and I await your judgement."


Offline Firesblood

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Valaria did not understand why her life mattered in the grand scheme of things, or why this man who was practically a stranger cared, but she was not in the habit of looking a gifted horse in the mouth.  She had nowhere to go and no one else to turn to, not if she wanted to remain free of Ampetrion.  Stranger, though this man might have been, there was something….somehow more genuine about him than the man who called himself her grandfather.  That did not mean that she did not believe he would harm her if the need occurred to him, but what man wouldn’t?  “You are most kind, my lord.  Thank you for your generosity.”

Her eyes drifted back to the floor then, waiting to be excused from the room rather than taking her leave.  As it happened, Malachi began to speak, though in English rather than French.  She could understand many of the words, but she had not been far into her learning of the language when she fled Ampetrion’s manse.  Understanding was one thing.  Reading and speaking the language was entirely another. 

Valaria sucked in a quiet breath when Malachi outed her knowledge of what they were.  She could not expect anything less; Malachi answered to Staunton, and she was a mundane human who had seen too much.  She looked up when Malachi mentioned Ampetrion’s name, her frown deepening. 

“Only little,” she managed, the sound of her English thick and struggling beneath the weight of her accent.  She pronounced the words slowly, uncertainly, as if she was not entirely sure they were the right words at all, but she did not feel comfortable pretending that she could not understand them, at least somewhat.  It seemed deceptive to her.  “Him…love secret, hate talk.  Him drink blood, say…” she halted in her words, brow furrowing while she tried to think of the right word, but it didn’t occur to her. 

Rather than struggle to find a word in a language she was still trying to learn, she shook her head with some small frustration and returned to French.  “He said that he was old, ancient even, the father of my bloodline.  He said that he took me from my family because of something in my blood that others would desire.  He never elaborated on anything and spoke in riddles and half-truths, but I watched him and I noticed the things that he left unspoken—the same things that I noticed with Malachi.  It isn’t Malachi’s fault.  Please do not punish him.”


Offline Jabbathejack

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Malachi stared at her in surprise. She understood English? Yet what was more surprising was that she actually stood up for him, even against a man like Staunton. Malachi opened his mouth, about to speak up, afraid that he might appear to be hiding behind Valaria's defence, yet he remained silent as Staunton stood.

"It is true." Staunton paced slowly around his desk. "For a human to learn even some of our secrets, the sentence is usually death for the human and severe punishment for the vampire concerned."

He smiled bitterly, shaking his head.
"But I was never one to follow the rules."

He walked around the desk and approached Valaria, frowning in thought.
"I wonder, what is it about your blood that he was referring to? It is true that we can develop a certain... preference, but I would imagine that what he was referring to was something deeper than that."

His nostrils flared a touch as he inhaled, as if he could smell her blood from where he stood.


Offline Firesblood

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Valaria felt a brief stab of fear when Staunton mentioned that knowing what they were usually spelled death, but had she not suspected as much?  Had she not been reluctant to confirm her suspicions for that very reason?  Then again, aside from the initial flair of unease, Valaria simply couldn’t find it in herself to feel anything else about it.  Death…part of her still feared it and wasn’t ready for it, but the rest of her…the rest of her couldn’t help but think of her poor family and the family that had been dumped in the barn by the Spaniards, and how some fates were far, far worse than death ever could be.  What did she have left to lose, that her death should make any difference at all?  At least death offered the chance to see her loved ones again. 

She hardly blinked when Staunton mentioned that he had never been one to follow the rules, unwilling to believe just yet that she was in the clear.  At his posed question, however, Valaria looked up, sighed softly. 

“As I said, he enjoyed keeping his secrets and speaking in riddles,” Valaria explained, coiling a lock of her hair around her finger nervously.  “But…when he mentioned it, he said that I carried ‘wild blood’ in my veins, something that he thought had been bred out of the bloodline a long time ago.  He said that there was a possibility that any children I gave birth to could be cursed by it as well, that it could be stronger in their blood than it is in mine.  He said that if I suffered the changes that made him what he was, my blood would become like a siren’s call, and I would be hunted for it to the end of my days.”

Her voice tapered off to a whisper towards the end, just as uncertain of what to make of it as she had been when she first heard.  Her eyes rested on the floor once more, her brow furrowing.  “That’s all that I know about it, my Lord.” 


Offline Jabbathejack

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Wild blood? Bred out of her bloodline? Staunton frowned; wondering what that actually meant. Now that he stood quite close to her, he could smell her blood through her skin, coursing through her veins. Perhaps she did smell a little different from most humans, yet he could not pinpoint exactly what that difference was.

What was certain was that Ampetrion clearly did not want her to face the change, yet whether his dire warnings were simply to prevent her from asking it from him, or were actually the siren's call to a life of being hunted, he had no idea. He was tempted to risk trying it, simply to spite Ampetrion, but Staunton knew that he would never make such a move, not without her consent at such a monumental change.

After a moment of intensity, Staunton turned abruptly away, retreating back to take his seat behind his desk. His face broke into a smile.

"No matter. Debate on Ampetrion's riddles can wait for another day." He shook his head. "Where are my manners? I would imagine that, above all, you need a good meal and some rest. Especially after everything that you have faced."

He turned to Malachi.
"See to it."

Malachi bowed, opening the door for Valaria.


Offline Firesblood

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Valaria was unsure of what to expect, or whether to be afraid or calm.  Even trying to summon up the gumption to fear for her life seemed to be too much effort; everything was out of her hands at this moment, and Staunton would do whatever he chose to do regardless.  At this point, if it meant an end to the day, Valaria didn’t much care which way it went. 

But then he left her and went back behind his desk, and Valaria released a slow breath that she hadn’t realized she was holding. 

“I am grateful for your hospitality, my lord,” Valaria murmured, ducking her head briefly.  “I wish to offer my skills in service to you.  I know the basics of handling myself in a melee, and I am fluent and literate in French, Spanish, and Italian with…some little English as well, and I am trained in diplomacy.  I hope that you will consider it.”

At his dismissal, she nodded and followed Malachi out.  All said, she had not expected to walk out of Staunton’s office alive, but Staunton continued to surprise her.  She glanced sidelong at Malachi. “I am sorry for causing you trouble,” she said quietly.