He had always been a handsomely wealthy man, from the years of his youth to those that had led to the coup that triggered the escape of his previous wife-to-be only weeks before their intended date. He had pooled his resources, learning an invaluable lesson about getting the things he wanted and in the end, when a missive had shown up on his doorstep with, after all these years, her address and the theater she had chosen to live in, Brevard Beauvais had wasted no time in setting up the required means of transportation to get there. Hours before her intended arrival time, the area had been swept for potential security systems, most turned off or forced into proper silence with wire cutting. Servants of the Beauvais house had also set up a perimeter, drilling proper channels for cameras, for bugs to listen in to both conversations and phone calls, and even infrared sensors that came on when motion was detected on the ground. Rather than leave, the devilishly handsome Beauvais had settled just inside the door of her studio, the one place he figured she would go once he learned of it due to the time he had learned she had spent drawing and conducting her own art when she was still back home. He was adorned in a rich, immaculate suit that swept over his legs and arms, button-up sports jacket withholding the few small weapons he often carried like the guns from this city to a dagger and even a handkerchief that wasn’t a weapon but a means to wipe prints. His cane, sparkling metal goat aside, was resting in his lap where he sat, piercing green eyes hidden by the shadows of the room, his hair combed back and kept rather short.
Zera La Fae
The days of surveillance revealed nothing of note as they were setting up the system. The occupant had not been home for some time thanks for being detained thanks to a rather unfortunate encounter Tetheon, and by extension, the redhead herself had with a small unit of soldiers. However, the watcher was in turn being watched. The particular island in which the suave man’s former fiance had chosen to reside was filled with wondrous creatures, namely dragons. Unlike their homeworld, this one was one of magic. Instead of using the main lobby door, the redhead came in through a backstage door that was used as a fire exit. Bootsteps climbed the stairs, bits of dried mud coming off with each step as her mind was on one thing – a shower… and then all thoughts left her mind.
She had changed a great deal since the last time he had seen her. The redhead had always been small, but her cheeks had thinned out and her curves were slightly more accentuated than the flat-chested child he knew. There was also a scar the went across both on the right side of her face. And those eyes. Those haunting topaz colored eyes. There is a brief moment where there is the same panicked look she had as he plunged a long sword through Zenith’s heart and then calm resolve. She did not speak for a long moment; No, she merely stood there and glared at him with far more hatred and contempt than she ever had before. “Get. Out.” To her credit, she did not revert to their native language but used the one common to Hellifyno. Her mind was a swirl. Unlike last time, she now had furthered her training. She now carried weapons and prayed to Bondye that he did not know of Portal Coins.
He had not seen her for years, the redhead who had once insinuated the ideal prospect of the system that had been in place before he had become who he was and he almost didn’t recognize her from where he stood. He had gotten word the moment she had been spotted but that had only given him a few moments to ready himself for the inevitability of their reunion. She was far more beautiful than the last time he had seen her, her face more willowy than full as if she had skipped out on meals, though her hips, her curves, her entire body denoted the visage of a woman instead of an apprehensive child.
The bureaucrat rose to his feet at her ordered words, a devilishly charming grin perching at his lips as he did, that cane’s flat rubbery sole setting to the wood, or carpet, beneath him. He knew the language here, had taken the time to learn in those days that had led to this moment. He could understand what she was saying but also did not want to slip into the scenario where she dictated what took place within her home, in his presence, as she had tried so many years before with rebuking his presence and their marriage. “I will not,” he said with a snide grin, in their native language as if to mock her attempt. He walks forward a few feet, cutting that distance between them. “Do you have any idea how long it took me to find you? How much I spent hiring detectives, hired hands, even assassins? And the moment you’ve been found, the very first thing you say to me is ‘Get. Out’? You and I are going to have a polite conversation, Kalina de Lautreamont.” His cane lifts, a cane that is no real cane indeed. She would recognize it for it held the very same sword that had run her sister through. Of course, he doesn’t point it directly at her or brandish its weaponed status. Instead, he points at a chair. “Sit. Do not make me tell you again.”
Zera La Fae
While the thinness of her body may look as if it were due to skipping meals was a partial truth, since there was a time where the artist sank into a depression and stopped eating after her former love killed himself in front of her, the main reason was due to training. Gratefully, any muscle definition could not be detected thanks to the loose clothing she wore. Thank the gods that she was wearing the crimson-colored jacket that had once belonged to Acetyl and the item was noticeably a couple sizes too large. “Nine years,” she replied through gritted teeth, a foot taking a half step back as he closed the distance. The action would more than likely be taken as her submitting to his intimidation, but it was merely a strategic move. It would give her a better angle to make a move further into the studio or to dart down the stairs if need be. “Nine years, six months, and twenty days. That was when Kalina de Lautreamont died along with her family.”
Zera moved away from the door but did not sit at the table as told. He had no claim over her now. The boogyman from her nightmares. Instead, she moved to the counter and added water and fresh grounds to a coffee pot. It was too early for this amount of bullshit without caffeine in her system. “I should know. You have dogged me with mercenaries and headhunters since then. I suppose I have you to thank for the Lycan that kidnapped me about two months ago? Pity, I managed to slip through his fingers just as I have always been able to slip through your’s.” In some weird twisted way, she really did need to thank Brevard. If it had not been for him she would not have embraced her military legacy and trained as hard as she has, not only in martial combat but in magic and elemental manipulation as well. This last bit of information, she would keep for herself. Instead of sitting, she leaned against the counter, her arms crossed in front of her modestly sized chest. “This is my house and I will do as I please, so I’ll stand thanks. Now. What do you want, Brevard? State your business then leave.”
“Red hair, gleaming eyes as if judging the world, observant,” his voice has taken a tone lower than what it should be. Partly because he isn’t the type to raise his voice unless the situation calls for it, also because he’s trying to make a point. “Seems like the same Kalina de Lautreamont that I know.” It’s hard to tell much of anything pertaining to her protection in that body of hers. He can’t possibly know that she’s talented when it comes to fighting, to wielding magic. What he does know is that she is responsible for the deaths and failures of several headhunters and hired hands, these mercenaries she’s called out. “You are even more stunning than you were then. Perhaps if you had stayed with me, become my wife, you wouldn’t have had such a hard life.”
He looks around the room and then sort of opens his arms wide. The move leaves him open, truthfully, but throughout the building, if she is paying attention at all, whatsoever, the creaks and moans of steps and boards bending beneath the weight of moving feet have become entangled in every bit of the building’s foundation. The two are not alone and with good reason. His hand tightens over that staff of his and he seriously considers bringing that metal goat’s head down upon the side of her leg but there is neither room to do so accurately here nor is there need when he may very well have to pull her out of here himself. “Darling, if you slipped from my hands, how am I here, now, of all places and times? The werewolf… it was a nice touch, wasn’t it? Did you enjoy your time with them?” He may or may not have sent them. Magic, it’s still fucking baffling that such a thing exists, much less people being able to turn into those hulking wolf-like creatures. “That’s where you’re wrong, Kali,” he sighs, folding one arm over his chest.
“Choose to stand if you desire. Accept not my bid to be civil in this situation.” He steps forward again as she leans against that counter. “I’m going to give you one more opportunity to set things right. Losing your parents was regrettable, as was my splitting your sister with my blade.” This, he states with ease, eyeing and watching her through a charming smile. “But you ran away when you could have just accepted as any good bitch would have. Their deaths and what happened are on you, is what I’m getting at.” He walks away then, putting distance between the two as he moves to look toward the balcony. “We can do this the easy way. You come back home, forget all about this world of magic and technology. Forget about the past and marry me as was your oath and you become my wife as you damn well should be or I’ll make your life a living hell from this day forward. And..” he pauses to look back over his shoulders and toward her. “I do my thing here, find anyone you care about and either turn them against you or make you watch as I displace them as I feel necessary.”
Zera La Fae
Keen eyes darted about as his back was turned to survey the room, the outer edge of irises taking on a blue cast for the briefest of seconds before returning to normal by the time he turned to face her once more. Those eyes that never missed an artistic detail noticed that something was not right. The sound of her home was different as well, like the very floors they stood on protested in objection to an unwelcomed presence. Her eyes watched the arc of the cane, ready to move at a moments notice.
She was small, hardly a half inch taller than the last time he saw her nearly a decade ago, but she had since learned how to use such a height difference to her advantage. She had learned many things. Of science. Of physics. “The death of half of Kotlwes was on your hands and the hands of the Council, not mine.” Had he found his former fiancee before she arrived on Hellifyno she might be convinced that it was her fault. Unfortunately for him, this was not the case. Zera poured herself a cup of coffee and one for him as well. She had come to love the strong, bitter drink in her years of travel. Would he like it? She couldn’t say, but she was raised to be a good hostess and did not want to be accused of being rude. “My life hasn’t been all bad. I merely grew up. You knew me as a child, one who is no longer here.” Her own tone was even, not changing in intonation as was her former habit. This she needed to thank Acetyl for. While she was still tempestuous, she knew how to control her tone and anger thanks to the former Hunter of the Guild. Besides, if she had had such a hard life, how could she afford such a large space on her own? She moved, but instead of sitting at the table, she perched on the edge of the open balcony railing, her back to the mezzanine that was below. Once settled, she raised the cup of black coffee to her lips for a sip.
There was a slight grimace when he called her ‘darling’ and ‘Kali’. She always hated nicknames. The only one she accepted was the nickname of petite fée, little fairy, given to her by Raynor. Darlin’… that was what Ace used to call her. Thankfully, the distaste could be masked by the bitterness of the bold coffee. “You gave me the option of marriage or death. What choice did you give me? My father took the proper steps – our pending vows were revoked and you have no claim over me and yet you unilaterally decided to act like a child and destroy half the city because you craved the power our marriage would have meant.” Her jaw tightened slightly at being called a good bitch in such a similar tone as he used to call her a ‘good little girl.’ Oh, how she loathed him…
and then she laughed. “Go back? To what home?! Etamara was completely destroyed! I saw it with my own eyes not even a month ago! Your power hungry goons messed with the wrong sects and it is naught but a desert wasteland instead of a tropical paradise now.” She had heard whispers, rumors that he was still alive when she went back but didn’t want to believe them. That… going back… that was her mistake. That was probably how he finally tracked her down.
She may very well see it, the beginning of movement across the mezzanine that dictates a presence other than their own. A suited figure that has the barrel of one of this world’s rifles pointed at the balcony itself but he is not focused on such trivial matters when his attention is solely upon her and her new way of life. No, this place isn’t as grand as his last home, like hers, but he can see the merit in living here. She can see the dangers that are approaching, can tell that there are dangers she has not yet had to deal with but now he has at least one advantage to her moving into the room. She cannot be closer to those stairs that were on her side previously and he can be.
His head lifts and that cane of his is settled against his side before he takes up said coffee poured for him. He does not drink it, though, even if offered it. The steam coming from it is enough to warrant some semblance of curiosity but nothing more. “Yes, you have grown up,” he offers, a decisive strike to show that he is still interested. He eyes her once and then a second time before moving toward her this one last time. He’s used to getting what he wants, used to knowing, against better judgment, what women want. That’s thanks to a great many reasons, one of them being his most tightly guarded secret. “If you had given me what I wanted, I could have worked something out with the Council. I could have made things work.”
He could react on her statement, the idea that their home is a wasteland of death and destruction, a desert rather than a tropical paradise but he doesn’t even if suspicion creeps into his eyes, tightening within his jaw. Instead, he pushes forward, reaching to grab hold of her hand holding that coffee while his cane strikes between her legs toward her right knee cap. “You’re lying. You’re being the same selfish little bitch you were back then. Nothing at all’s changed with you, has it?” He reels back after that, though, whether she chooses to react to his push, his hit, his attempt to keep her from spraying coffee upon him when he has set his own down on the table before approaching her in the way that he has. “So if I’m understanding what it is you’re saying, you’re choosing to disregard my desire to have you as my wife and you’re welcoming any advances I make toward you or your friends or potential lovers?”
Zera La Fae
She felt disgusted and creeped out as the older man checked her out. She didn’t have an issue with older men, especially since her last beloved was a centuries-old vampire. She just couldn’t stand -him-. “In the immortal words of an Earth song, ‘You can’t always get what you want. You get what you need.’ Things will not always go your way, Brevard. I thought you would have learned that by now.”
The sudden burst of movement when he moved forward to grab her caused her to instinctively lean back, dropping her precious lilac coffee cup and shatter it on the floor. Doubled with dodging the swing of the cane, it caused her to slip backward off of the balcony railing and was being supported by Brevard’s strength as he grasped her one arm. She looked up at him, with a moment of panic in her eyes, thinking that she is going to fall, her feet struggling to find purchase on the small foothold of the ledge… and then he calls her a bitch for the second time. All the panic is replaced with an eerie calm as she stops struggling and she just dangles there precariously. Once more, the outer ring of her irises turn a brilliant shade of azure and stay that way. “Why would I lie? You always knew when I was lying to you when we were younger because I had a shit poker face. Am I lying now?”
Brevard couldn’t be more wrong. Things had changed. She was stronger now, both in body and spirit. She may have lost a lot because of him, but she had so gained so much more. She had friends, yes, but she was not worried. Those friends could take care of themselves. They had survived skirmishes with dictators, the nightmares of Paroxysm, magical plagues, the Void controlled Olde Watch. No, he did not scare her anymore. If anything, he should be afraid of her. Not the memory of how she was, but the untapped potential that he had caused her to unleash. She had Tetheon, an elemental dragon on her side, that was watching this situation unfold as based on the ring of blue around her eyes and the uncomfortable feeling of static electricity rising in the room. She had a Goddess on her side that could unleash the fury of the untamed portions of Twine. She had the caretaker’s ferociousness in protecting his friends as well as the aid of all the dragons on the Grimvale Islands where she resided. There was Kaler. And Jorek. And Zalos. And any number of people who would be willing to lend her aid should she need it. And none of them save one knew of the name Kalina De Lautreamont. Similarly, Brevard would not know the name Zera La Fae. There were no credit cards nor bills, nor any sort of mail with that name on it. She could simply disappear again, never to be seen or heard from again.
By this time, the full weight of Zera’s body would begin to weigh on Brevard’s grasp. She may be small and relatively light if not dangling and being supported by a single arm over the balcony, but that small body was muscular and starting to get heavy. “As I said before, Brevard, you have no dominion over me.” She smirked up at him as she reached into her pocket for something, unafraid of being dropped. “You can try to threaten me all you want, but I’m not scared of you anymore, Mesye Beauvais. Quite the contrary – you should be afraid of me. Now as I first said, do kindly fuck off and get yourself and your goons out of my house by the time I get back.”
Timing was everything and it couldn’t have been more perfect. Knowing he would be shocked and no doubt angered at her words, she lifted her legs to find the walled ledge of the balcony and kicked off hard. His grip would have weakened by now and the sudden movement would have broken his grasp. Portal coin in hand, she opened a small portal to whisk her away from his grasp and her studio. Where had she gone off to? It was hard to say. There were no distinguishing features to be seen within the portal to give away her location. And as the redhead fell back first into the portal, it would snap shut behind her. The landing… yeah it would probably hurt, but she would be away from him and safe for the moment. That would give her the opportunity to think and decide how to handle the situation with Brevard.