Of Bloodwine and Bloody Bleaters

Sheriff's Estate - Isobel's Room

The way this main room is decorated denotes that this is likely a more formal parlor or sitting area, perhaps one used for entertaining guests. The room looks inviting and comfortable, possibly due to the lack of overhead lighting. The warmer light from area lamps cut down on the harsh high-contrast effect in other places.

The antique looking, Victorian furniture is set up in a semi-circle in the middle of the room, in a way that invites conversation. A slightly large hunter green velvet Victorian camel-back sofa, with royal blue, is the focal point for the setting. On either side of it are lamp/console tables, the legs of which are a deep cherry wood and the top being white Italian marble. In front of the couch is a round cocktail table matching the two side ones.

Completing the semi-circle are two hunter green chairs with the same blue trim. The smaller is a tufted lady's chair. The larger is a tufted arm chair, at the foot of which is an ottoman.

The walls in this room are the a soft white, decorated at top with a scrolling border of bright red. Heavy drapes made of material that matches the Fraser Gathering Tartan are against the back wall though there are no windows. The drapes are pulled back and held in place by white tassels. Behind the drapes is a medieval-style canopy bed with blackout curtains instead of ones that flow gently.

isobel_icon.jpg james_icon.jpg

The evening is in full swing, the majority of the vampires from the estate are out about their business. Security remains, as do the bodyguards. As there is a prisoner residing in the specialized guest room upstairs, Isobel remains in the home. It is not out of necessity, but rather the need to go over a few things. Books from Medieval Times, notes from Nan Flannigan, messages from the Hotel Carmilla as to who is coming and going, delivery reports from the Lonestar Blood Services and Bloody Mary's, and of course the information that Gregory has left her.

The majority of it is boring and droll paperwork that she should likely hire a mousy accountant for.

A folder rests open on her lap, the paperwork being perused in great detail. Not a word skipped, not a notation forgotten. A pitcher of iced blood sits on the cocktail table, wine glasses off to the side. She does hold one as she reads, trying to make heads or tails of the information.


James has made it a habit to frequent Medieval Times most nights for at least an hour or two. In the first place, it wouldn't do for him to lose his edge, not with Marius as Whip and Isobel as Sheriff. James knows the chances he'll be called upon for some duty or another are fairly high. That being so, he's also made it a habit to drop into the estate at least two or three times in a week, just to keep tabs on things and ensure his sword brother is in good enough humour.

This night, however, he breaks his habit of immediately going to find his Maker in favour of finding the Lady, instead. A couple of quiet inquiries led him to her door. Thus, now, he raps quietly on it, waiting politely on the outside.

He'll never be one to just barge in… not without dire cause, in any case.


There is a reason the secret arena was built. While some would speculate that it is so Isobel can form her own army, that is simply not the case. It is available for any that ask, as a training facility. It is also meant for the Magister and King to dole out punishment. This is why she needs to pore over the dull documents to ensure that everything remains in working order.


That is all. One word. She does not move, though she is on alert. Most do not bother knocking these days.


James isn't a resident of the estate. It behooves him, thus, to behave as a guest. A welcome guest, he may be, but he's a guest, nonetheless.

Thus, he opens the door enough to poke his head in and ensure he's not disturbing her too greatly before he opens it further and enters. "M'lady," he says. The smile is in his eyes, rather than plainly on his face. Still, he's always glad to see her. "Hope I'm not interrupting, too much. I just needed to make an enquiry."


Icy blue eyes lock onto the supplicant as they enter. The faint hint of a smile should assure him that if he is interrupting her, it is a much welcome distraction.

The folder from Gregory is gently closed and placed atop the pile. "Nothing too pressing."

Motioning to the furniture, Isobel nods her head. "What can I help you with, James?" She watches until he's seated. "Help yourself to the blood-wine. I had someone procure me a little from Dahlia."


James' brow arches faintly in response to that, one of those approving gestures. Similarly, the hint of a good-natured human smirk ghosts through his eyes. Apparently, being Sheriff has its perks. "Don't mind if I do," he says, before he settles. He pours himself half a goblet and then glances about to find a suitable perch. Settling onto one of the large chairs, he indulges in a sip of the chilled liquid before coming to the matter at hand.

"A breather has asked a boon of me," he says, coming right to the point. His right hand flips errantly in the air. "Normally, I wouldn't think to bother you with such a trifling thing, but, in this case… What she's actually asking is a boon of the King. Or, rather, the King's Own."

A beat.

"You see why I come to you?"

In his mind, protocol dictates that he get Will's permission before he approaches Chloe.


"Valentinus has been busy of late," Isobel begins slowly. There are ways she has of contacting him, but even she knows not his whereabouts which either means he is avoiding her until her humor returns to a better state, or he has pressing matters in other Areas to handle.

"A breather. Whomever it is has been made aware of the costs then? That a favor will not only be requested by you, but also each that is involved with their request?" Distractedly, Isobel dips a finger into the chilled blood and swirls it around.

"Though a breather helping a breather is of little concern to us. It could be weeks before the King returns, and even then he may not wish to let his precious little telepath become involved with such things."


James nods simply in answer to her question. Yes, he told the breather exactly what the cost would be. He takes another sip of the wine, holding it on his tongue for a moment and savouring the tart, coppery flavour. "It is precisely because she's a telepath that this breather needs her — though she doesn't know that. Nor, frankly, do I intend to tell her. That will be entirely up to His Majesty and his vessel. But, she's agreed to the cost."

His eyes glitter.

"In fact, the terms of our agreement state that she will owe me a favour simply for my attempt on her behalf, whether or not my answer to her is favourable. Beyond that, she's owes the standard price."

The upshot? He's getting two favours out of it.

He gives a mild shrug, now, taking another sip of wine. "Under normal circumstances I couldn't care less about her tribulations. However, she was glamoured by someone wishing to frame the Whip for a particularly vicious attack on her — the sort of attack that could garner us unwelcome attention from the human authorities at this… delicate time."

Translation? A vampire scandal in the media, right now, would be bad, and he knows it.

"I know Marius isn't particularly bothered by the attempt. No one among our Kind would be foolish enough to assume it was him. His reputation is formidable."

To say the least.

"However…" Here, he takes a moment to compose what he wants to say. A ghost of a smile sparkles in his eyes again, this one bespeaking a certain irony. "You and I both know our well-beloved friend doesn't have the keenest mind for subtleties. Politics. I believe whomever initiated the attack was sending a message… to the humans: That they are and will forever be prey." That message, he only disagrees with insofar as it complicates the current official stance that vampires and humans can coexist peacefully as fellow citizens. "But, more importantly, I think the greater message was that the attacker could flaunt Marius' authority… and by extension yours. And His Majesty's."

A beat. A swallow of wine.

"I could be wrong. I'm merely a soldier, myself."


"Then you speak of the woman who flouts her relationship with Michael Isonzo and treats him as though he is a toy poodle."

Isobel's icy eyes remain upon her friend as he speaks. The fingers in the wine bring the viscous red liquid up to her lips, her tongue flashing out to clean them. It would appear for a very long time that she has nothing else to say. No other movements to make.

Then there is a flash in her eyes, and she smirks.

"I would suggest that perhaps Isonzo did it in order to secure a claim from the woman so that he need not worry about her desire to throw herself at anyone she deems to be of import, but Isonzo is far more subtle than that."

Tilting the wine glass upward, she drains the remainder of the blood before settling the empty glass upon the cocktail table. "You know full well that a glamour of our kind cannot be entirely reversed. From my understanding, even deep hypnosis is not always able to bring memories to the forefront again." Isobel has never been privy to the workings of a true mind-witch however.

"Even if the petulant brat decides to help you, we may be no closer to finding out who has attacked this woman, if she were truly attacked by one of our own at all." The glamour could have come after an attack to calm her down.


James lets out a soft snerk. "I recognize that Izonzo is very old, and to be respected as a result. But, he's too besotted with her, I think, to harm her. Again, I could be wrong. I only saw him with her once. But, his solicitousness bordered on the romantic. And she seemed entirely beguiled by him."

He shakes his head. "Of course, she claims — rather voiciferously, in fact — that she has no interest in being claimed by anyone. But her actions belie that. Beyond that…" A chuckle actually escapes him, though it's more of snerk. "As the Queen of Denmark once said: Methinks the lady doth protest too much."

He leans back in the chair now, and there's a sense of weariness about him. "I'll tell you the truth, Lady. Had I my druthers, I'd glamour her myself — and tell her to forget the whole thing, to forget everything she's heard about vampires since the Great Revelation. I'd also tell her to stay as far away from us as humanly possible." A beat. "Which would include having her stay away from the damnable Fellowship and their ilk, incidentally."

He knows how such things can backfire, otherwise.

Chances are, too, that Isobel knows him well enough from their time in South America to recognize the subtext there. He wouldn't be glamouring the girl for her sake, but entirely his own.


"Romance is for the foolish," Isobel remarks, leaning forward to pour herself another glass of the chilled blood. There is time and place for such things, but fawning over a breather in public and allowing them to toy with you is just asinine.

"Of course she would tout such nonsense, James. Isonzo is one of the eldest vampires in the state of Texas. However, he holds no real power. I have seen her ilk at the courts all over Europe." Icy blues lift to lock onto his face. "She desires power, not pleasantries. Why do you think someone as rotund and Henry the Eighth had so many mistresses? He was a king, and therefore rife with power over many vassals."

Women like those are why Isobel eventually left the courts and took to busying herself with certain war efforts.

"You hereby have my permission once this is over, to remove any thoughts or inclinations as you so desire from the mind of the woman. Though I do suggest that you do so with care. While I am certain that a swordarm such as yours is could handle Isonzo, we do not wish to create a civil war here."


James inclines his head in thanks for the permission. It's quite possible he'll take advantage of it.

Once all this is over.

The elections can't come quickly enough.

A playful smirk touches his features, now. "What do you think, Isobel? Shall we, as a race, rise up against the upstart chattel and assert our rightful place as their lords and masters? It would be pleasant, don't you think, to neither hide in the shadows nor abide by the thrice damnable restraints placed however voluntarily upon us by the Great Revelation."

He takes a deep swallow of the blood in his cup, letting out a breath almost like a purr as he indulges in the fleeting fantasy.

However, James is a practical creature. He never indulges in fantasy for very long. "Ah well," he says, dismissing it, and holding the stem of his glass as he rests the base on the end of one of the arms of his chair.

"The question remains: Will you do the maudlin bleater the entirely undeserved honour of speaking to the King — or at least encouraging him to allow me a brief audience to do so, instead? Or shall I tell her she owes none by I a favour and shall simply have no satisfaction? Not that I expect the King's Own will be any more effective than any other hypnotist in removing the shadows on her memories, but that's not really my problem, now is it?"


There could never be more agreement on that. The elections, Isobel's favored candidate is in dire straits at the moment. Aiding him in anyway would hinder his campaign, yet doing nothing will send them all back to the Middle Ages, and not in a favorable way.

Her expression remains rather stoic as she sips from the glass once more. "We are still far outnumbered, beyond which it has been prophesied by the Queen of Iowa that this would be an awful idea at this point in our history." Everything is on edge these days and the slightest move that is perceived 'wrong' could do a great deal more damage.

"Though there are many times when I wish that it would be feasible to do just that. These breathers become more confident and more foolish every day. Treating us as though we are to be walked all over at their leisure."

The question remains at that, the Sheriff mulling over it silently. "Entirely and utterly undeserved. She should speak with her toy about these things and not harass the likes of you." A dry smirk touches her features briefly. "I cannot promise that I will be able to bend the King's ear one way or another. I shall leave him word that you wish to speak with him in regards to that which he has claim to. Otherwise, I simply suggest telling Miss DeVilliers that she is… what is the colloquialism?"

Toying with the glass of wine, she looks over the glass and winks at her old friend.

"Shit out of luck."


James allows a fuller smile to grace his lips, now, blue eyes glittering enough to give rise to the idea that vampires actually do sparkle. (Whatever!)

"I'll await His Majesty's pleasure," he says lightly. "At worst, she simply waits a few more weeks to hear the same message. At best? She'll live to regret what she owes some very powerful people debts she simply can't escape."

He has no problem with that, whatsoever.

A beat. Then: "Poor bleater really doesn't have a clue." And, obviously, that amuses him. So, perhaps that, in the end, is why he's bothered with the snipe, at all.


"Never let her fool you, James. Miss DeVilliers knows much more than any breather not directly associated with our hierarchy should." Something else that has Isobel displeased about the woman.

"I will contact you the moment I have spoken with Valentinus, just to let you know whether the audience has been granted or whether he deems this slattern to be of little consequence."

Once again, she takes her time sipping from the wine glass. Savoring the cool, thick liquid as it spills down her throat. Afterward, it is her turn to ask a question.

"Tell me, James. What is it that you have told your Maker of our acquaintance?"


"Oh, I'm well aware she knows far more than she ought," James concedes, draining the last of his glass and setting it aside. "That's why I say I'd glamour her myself. Make her forget it all, that she's ever met a one of us."

Though, Isonzo wouldn't like that, he's sure.

As to the question of Marius, however, he chuckles softly. Again, his eyes glitter good-naturedly. And sincerely. "The truth. That we hunted together for a time in the south a decade or so ago. That we were friends, but no more friendly than is mete. I didn't know you were Sheriff in Dallas, and he didn't tell me who the Sheriff was before we three met here together. You know, Marius. He doesn't like surprises. But, you have to admit, they do him good once in a while."

He raises his head, becoming a trifle less impish about the elder Whip. "I don't go out of my way to make trouble for him, or with him. You should know that, Lady. Marius and I… We left off the Maker-Child relationship centuries ago. We are brothers, now. I can often calm him when no other may… I'll go to my final death at his side, I've no doubt. And likely he to his in the same fashion."


"Should Isonzo give you issues in regards to the glamour, do remind him that it is necessary for the good of our kind and that it can benefit him greatly if she forgets most of it. She may be more amiable toward him then," she offers with a hint of a smirk.

"The truth." Laughing at this, Isobel allows the look in her eyes to soften briefly. "Alas, this means I cannot tease him at all about it. To be fair, I have not been Sheriff in the city for long. Marius had only recently come himself when you arrived and you know his dislike of technology. He likely would have told you had he met you face to face before your arrival."

Dipping her finger lazily into the mostly empty glass, she swirls up a bit of the blood. "I am well aware of your relationship to him these days, James. Though do please leave off with the Lady nonsense. I tolerate it from the sychophants that wish favors, and from Marius as he is far set in his ways. You must call me Isobel, or Sheriff, though I much prefer the former to those I consider friends."


James does grin at that. He was calling her Isobel long before now, after all. "As you wish, Isobel," he chuckles. Yes, he's playing some. But, he knows he can get away with it. After all, wasn't he actually brazen enough to call her Issy, on occasion, down in the Argentine? All said with the pronounced accent of a hard-working south Londoner with all the same affection as might be given a sister. Got the pair of them out of a scrape or two, that did.

But, Marius would choke if he heard James call her that, now.

"In fact, Marius and I did meet face-to-face before the night you happened upon us here. I had come to the estate the evening I first arrived, intending to introduce myself to the Sheriff, of course. Instead of you, since you were off entertaining yourself in the Far East, I found him. And he neglected to tell me your name — only that he had the utmost respect for you."

Another smile: "As we both do."


"Suck up," Isobel says with a great deal of affectionate teasing in her tone.

"It likely just slipped his mind that you knew not who it was that was responsible for this Area." The blood soaked finger is then gently licked clean. Most obviously this trait is one she's picked up from the man they happen to be speaking of.

"Truthfully, James, had my Maker not asked it of me, I would not have opted for the position. It is far from the English or French courts, and I do not have a great deal of respect for all the paperwork that it entails."


"And, yet, you willingly saddled poor Marius with it," James laughs lightly now, chiding only in jest.

(Basically? Sucked to be Marius.)

"I can't say I blame you. It's not a position I'd ever want, to be sure. Marius neither, I'm sure. He's as sure a mark with a weapon as he ever was. With a pen? Pens are not so mighty as swords in his hands, I reck."

Personally, he's just as glad he's never really had to deal with courts of any kind. A Parliamentarian, he's always been a more democratic fellow and has probably had an easier time of it than many others his age, simply thanks to Cromwell's uprising.


"I delegated the responsibilities to him for a short period of time as the hierarchy dictates." Had there been another that was not merely weeks old, she would have allowed them to take care of the administrative duties.

"I had considered requesting you help with the American Vampire League, though considering your issues with Miss DeVilliers, I would not suggest it at this time." James is safe for now.

"Instead, I suggest that you and the dogs take up residence here. I could use a good guard at my side in some instances and I can think of none better save the King and the Whip, who currently have other duties to attend."

Rising from her seat she moves toward the chair. "Should you care for the job, I will ensure that you are well paid."


James has no doubt Isobel followed the letter of what was required of her. He'd have done the same. So, his sympathy for Marius extends only so far. It is part of his job, after all.

"I'd be happy to move in," he notes. He was getting restless at the hotel, in any case. The neihbourhood was proving more crowded than he'd like. Particularly for the dogs. "And happy to lend you my sword arm. I've had a nice furlough. But, I think it's time to take up a trade that's a little more active than carving wood tends to be." He'll carve flesh, instead. He's good with that.

"I can arrange to have my things here on the morrow. There's not much, not with just me and the dogs."

Ah, yes. The dogs. That'll mean three guards for the price of one. Not a bad deal, that.

As to the AVL, however… "Ms DeVilliers' involved with the League, is she? I can't say I'm surprised, any. She really is a bleater, you know. A fangbanger that won't admit she is one."

He uses the term as derisively as any human might. He doesn't have a whole lot of respect for prostitutes of any sort. And the woman is a player — an actress — after all.

He's pretty good at keeping up with the times, but in that, he's still stuck a century or two in the past.


"Wonderful. I will have the final room down here aired out for your use." Rather, she will have one of the day people take care of it so that the room is ready come the evening. "There will be room in the yard set aside for the dogs as well." Not that they stray too far from their Master most of the time.

"I think you should leave this as a surprise for Marius though. It will be a most welcome one for him, I should think." Which means there will be no little jealous snit.

"I have no doubt in my mind that is precisely what she is. First with Isonzo, and then with yourself and Marius." Isobel has heard quite a bit about this annoying little breather. "As I said, she craves the power."

Sitting on the arm of the chair, she glances at her new 'bodyguard'. "I do have one rule that I will ask you to follow, beyond those of the city. Miss DeVilliers is not allowed in my home. If you have dealings with her, it is best they be done at Bloody Mary's or the hotel."


"Izzy, luv," James says, affecting a stronger accent than usual, "as th'devil's m'witness, of all d'fings in d'world I'd do, that is not one of 'em. I don't bring bleaters back t'me 'ome. More 'an that, I certainly ain't bringin' 'em anywhere near the Royal Courts. The breathers what get in 'ere, far as I'm concerned, damn well better be top breed, vouchsafed by a vampire what actually know what he — or she's doin', and on their best behaviour, else me an' th'ounds'll be havin' a right bloody bit o' sport, eh?"

That said, however, he schools his features back to the cold, glittering neutral of the bloody-minded soldier he is and rises to give a formal half-bow. "You've my word, Isobel." He drops the heavy accent in favour of something far more appropriate. "Not within near miles of here, if I know about it."


There are very few that can cause Isobel to laugh, which is partially why she chose to bring Elliott into the fold. Relaxed and far less stressed about paperwork than she was originally, she leans in to place a kiss atop James' head.

"You are the only one that walks this earth that can get away with calling me that. Valentinus does from time to time, though I am quick to tease him in return to make him stop."

What he says about never allowing her near the estate garners a nod. "Very well then. Tell Jameson at the door that you require a key to the estate. I will call up to him and let him know that you will be needing one."


James gives a rich baritone chuckle in response to Isobel's light laughter. He does like to see her laugh. "I promise not to call you Izzy in front of Marius." A beat. He adds firmly, "Unless the situation absolutely calls for it. In which case… Well, I'm duty bound." And likely to get clocked by his Maker. But, it wouldn't be the first time. Nor the last. He's okay with that.

"I'll see Jameson on the way out," he notes. "I appreciate the room for the dogs, as well. But don't be surprised if they tend to stay the day with me in my room." That's one of the reasons he has them, after all. They're his guards.

Not, mind, that he considers himself likely to be under threat here. Nonetheless, one doesn't live centuries without learning a little prudent caution.

"Should you ever wish it, you're welcome to one to lay at your feet."

Probably Titus. He's the lighter coloured one. Matches her decor.



"Marius would not like the disrespect, though he knows the rule about bloodshed in my home." Take it outside, and hose off the blood before reentering the estate. "If I need remind him, he may learn that I am no slouch when it comes to certain weaponry though I am far below the skill you three possess." One cannot think to survive in wars if one is unable to protect themselves.

"They are more than welcome to stay in the room with you, but should they need to take care of their business, it is better they use the area outside."

Isobel smiles a little, glancing about her room. "I dare think that they would only stay by my feet at your command. I can hardly charm a bird to do my bidding, though I believe I am far better with the animal kingdom than Marius." She has had no word on whether he has broken that 'damnable beast' as of yet.


It never occurred to James that the dogs would do their business anywhere other than some place discrete outside. Never in his room. He may have been raised in the filthy streets of London, but he thinks modern sanitation is a definite wonder of the current civilizations.

Regardless, James has a gift with dogs, to be sure. "It's true enough," he admits. "But, you need never doubt my loyalty, and so, by extension, my hounds'. They are extensions of my own self." He chuckles now. "Shall I tell you my latest trifle? I met a young bleater not so long ago, out walking her dog in the neighbourhood around that damnable Fellowship chapel. Their poster-girl, in fact. I passed myself off as human — the dogs helped. And I charmed her animal."

If Isobel follows the dots, as she must certainly be able to do, she'll easily see what he means by that. "She's nothing but a pup, the bleater's hound. And her impressions are, by nature, imprecise and unfocussed, but… It amuses me, anyway."

Poor Hope would be crushed, no doubt, at the thought the only way to 'cure' the dog of her thralldom is quite likely to kill her.

Or kill James. (That, she'd be okay with, he's sure.)


"I would never doubt your loyalty unless you gave me reason to doubt it." Even then, Isobel would leave punishment up to the Maker, and not herself. Just as Valentinus would deal with her if she stepped out of line in some way. "I have always been fond of your dogs, and should they prove to be much like their ancestors I do not think we shall have any issues."

There is no doubt in her mind that Titus and Brutus are outside the room, or waiting quietly upstairs in the vault. She knows they would not be far.

"The Fellowship, nothing but a bunch of terrified breathers trying to hide behind religion as a way to persecute that which is different." There is no love, no compassion there. "A pity that I am uncertain if the mayoral candidate has a dog. Should I find this out, I shall let you know as that can prove very useful."

The dots are definitely connected and she grins. "You may not get rich information from the animal, but certainly whatever you are able to determine will be appreciated should you wish to share it."


James nods to that, smiling. "Oh, it'll be my pleasure," he says lightly. "Though all I can report, for now, is that the girl has a twin and is getting married. Other than that? She is, I think, familiar with Wright's campaign, but the dog's not."

And, too, there's the reality: what's said before dusk doesn't necessarily get passed on.

"I spend a little time with her each night. So, the bond's growing. But, she is still a pup. There's years ahead of her, yet."


"She will be a wonderful asset then."

It goes unsaid that the pup will be well trained by the time she reaches a year, and will better know what it is James wants with her.

"I have met the man, and he seems to be a cautious, but community-minded individual. He may hate vampires on the whole, and for that I do not blame him. My research indicates that his wife and unborn child were slain by one of our kind. Should you find any that can find the one responsible, do let me know." Isobel will personally deal with that. While she has the necessity of feeding off of humans, or utilizing a blood bank, even she draws the line at feeding from or harming a human child.


Yes, but Isobel has a much softer heart than many of their Kind. And James knows it.

It's one of the reasons she keeps Marius close, isn't it? He can do the distasteful things for her. Not, mind, he knows, that she wouldn't do it herself if it had to be done. Still, James knows her sensibilities.

"I'll see what I can find out. Have you thought about putting your other eyes and ears on it, as well?" He means Gregory, of course, though he's not met the man to actually know him at all. But he knows Isobel usually has someone on the payroll to do such things. "See what their authorities know. Or, more importantly, what they may not know?" James knows a think or two about the underworld. What's not said is often more telling.


"In regards to the incident? I will have him look into it." Poor Gregory will be kept busy, but then his family's debts continue to be paid off. It is not as though Isobel is utilizing all of his time these days.

"From what I myself have been able to gather, it was not a vampire that is prone to entering this area often." Had it been, she would have located them already and found out why it was done.

"Was there anything else? I do hate to 'dismiss' you, darling, but I have these awful papers to tend to and if I do not answer Nan Flannigan before she wakes she will be less than thrilled. She is most annoying when angered over correspondence."


James pushes himself to his feet with a smile. "Naw," he says, letting the Londoner emerge again. "That's the most of it, I expect. Don't let ol' Nan get her britches knotted. That'll never do. I should go harass Marius, in any case. Give 'im an excuse to try to beat me in the arena." He stresses 'try' as if it's the operative word, when, in fact, the two trade blows more or less as equals. They know each other so well, a stalemate is usually the case. Unless one cheats the other. (Dogs make such great distractions. And Marius has his own ways to retaliate.)

"I'll be off, then. See you in the evening."

Tomorrow, of course.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License