• PM To Join • Seeking Motive

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.

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Malcolm
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Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:01 pm

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41 Ashan 716
Investigating a crime scene wasn't high on Malcolm's list of favourite things to do, in fact he would rather be training a batch of fresh recruits than spend his morning guarding a body until the right people arrived, "Ten arcs ago they would have rolled this guy into the gutter and recorded it as another unsolved case," the knight on duty with him sneered, "now we have to identify them, inform loved ones, study the place of death and remains."
Malcolm looked across at Heath, a knight in his late thirties who had obviously grown tired of the job, "Any idea what happened?"
"My guess?" Heath scratched the top of his head, "I don't think he died here."
"Planted?"
"Do you see any blood?"

Malcolm approached the body and crouched down to inspect the dead man's face and belongings. There was a short, thin blade beside him with blood on it, but without moving the man, Malcolm couldn't be sure that he hadn't been stabbed. He didn't see any blood on the ground or the stranger's clothing, but with nothing else to go on, he could only assume his comrade's theory held some weight. Another look across the steps and surrounding gardens of the monastery didn't offer any more clues, and nothing looked particularly out of place, other than the dead man himself. Being this close, Malcolm was able to smell the alcohol on him, even amongst the putrid smell of death that assaulted his senses and saw him scrunch his nose up in an attempt to block out the smell.
"Nothing?" Heath drew his gaze.
"No blood on our dead guy, but there is some on the blade... It doesn't look fresh."
"He doesn't smell fresh," Heath added as he waved a hand back and forth in front of his face.
"I think however or wherever he died, he was highly intoxicated at the time," Malcolm took a square cut of material from the inside pocket of his leather jerkin and held it over his nose and mouth as he got to his feet, "might give us a starting point?"
"Taverns?" Heath inquired.
The knight nodded, "I'll start writing down a description," Malcolm offered and took a small notebook from his pocket, giving the attached ink pen a shake before jotting down a few noticeable details, a rough height, hair and eye colour, length of hair, tone of skin, clothes he was wearing, and any distinguishing marks.

For a while the two of them were able to work in relative peace, taking notes, double checking their surroundings, and building up a mental picture of what might have taken place. Soon, however, the locals would start to wake up to go about their day, and no doubt the crime scene would get a lot more attention than any of them would have liked, "I wonder if we should knock on a few doors?" Malcolm asked, "Check to see if anyone saw or heard anything."
"Waste of time," Heath argued, "our time would be better spent patrolling the east and southern roads to the shore, there's been a lot more criminal movement there lately.

As Malcolm listened to Heath offer an alternative, he couldn't help but notice the light band of flesh about the man's right forefinger. Being a married man himself, Malcolm was bound to recognise something like a missing wedding ring, but not only was this ring on the wrong hand, but also the wrong digit, "Heath?" He spoke lowly but was ignored by his comrade who suddenly bellowed.
"Well if it isn't the Skyriders late to work again," the man wore a smug grin, arms folded across his chest, "how can we help you ladies?" He asked.

Malcolm looked up, the younger of the two women was familiar to him, but where had he seen her before?
Last edited by Malcolm on Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Elyna
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Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:11 pm

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Elyna had started the day in her usual way. She arrived early at the practise courts, then attended the stables and Jacadon lairs to clean them out and carry out the thousand small jobs that needed doing. Then she had been summoned and sent out to assist with the Knights; but not before a very long lecture on duty and responsibility and representing the Skyriders in her work to the best of her ability. She'd done her best to smarten up her clothes and make sure there was no stray strands of straw in her hair or clothes, and jogged through the city to the steps. There her steps slowed to halt and she looked up, blinking at the man who had called across at her.

Biting on her bottom lip, she didn't reply. She could either rise to the bait trying to say something snappy in reply but she wouldn't win. She didn't want to ignore him either, or give him an excuse. She had arrived as quickly as she could. Elyna rested on her back foot, one hand on her hip.

"I have been sent to shadow the movements of your work today," she replied simply. She forced herself to speak up and not give into temptation and simply run away. It was then her gaze skipped to the man behind and she felt embarrassment burning the base of her neck. She cleared her throat and bowed her head to Vaughns Father. He was, afterall, unmistakable.

"Elyna Sirs," She settled her fingers of her left hand on her knife, and ran right fingertips down the bridge of her freckled nose. Breath in, she thought, breath out. It was then though, that the smell of death and stale liqour hit her. She wrinkled her nose and stepped forward, taking care to skirt the edges of where the men were, her eyes trained on the body. It was so sad. It didn't matter who it was, a life had been taken. Her fingers dropped to her chest and she looked up, straightening once more, "We have been sent to asssist."
Last edited by Elyna on Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Malcolm
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Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:44 am

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The lady with Elyna then introduced herself as Madeline Grant, and pinned to her jerkin was a set of wings, signifying that the two of them shared the same rank. The same, however, could not be said for the men, who were both missing their colours this morning.
"I'm Heath Lane, and this is Malcolm Krom," he introduced his fellow knight as the taller male rose from beside the corpse once more, done with his examination.
"It's a pleasure to see you again, lady Elyna," Malcolm spoke and Heath spun about to look at him.
"The two of you know each other?"
"We've met once before," the knight admitted.
"Good, how about the four of us split up for the morning, I along with Madeline will head to Ye Olde Inn, leaving yo--"
"Us to take the Blacksmith Arms," Malcolm cut him off, "how very kind of you."
Heath laughed, it was a lighthearted, humorous sound, "You know the old boy there doesn't like me, not since our last run in."
Malcolm raised a hand, "Say no more, I'm sure we can handle ourselves down there."
"Shouldn't someone stay behind to watch the body?" Madeline interjected as soon as she could get a word in.

Heath pointed to the patrol of city guards on there way up the hill headed for the area.
"Good timing," Madeline smiled, "shall we be on our way then?

Malcolm wrapped the thin string of leather that kept his book and ink pen bound, about the two items before tucking them away in the inside pocket of his jerkin. The item of clothing had short sleeves, from which the much longer arms of his white shirt sprung, pulled taut at the cuffs around his wrists where he had kept the buttons fastened. The ends of the man's fitted pants disappeared into the tops of his boots and a black, leather belt hung heavy about his narrow waist, weighed down by his silver long-sword and sheathed throwing blades.
"I hope you like ale," Malcolm said to Elyna out of earshot of his comrade, "you might want to take your wings off too, the tavern we are headed to is no place for a Skyrider, or a lady for that matter."

If Elyna was half as smart as she looked, she was probably already two steps ahead of him and knew the way to the tavern without being pointed in the right direction. Malcolm had only been in the capital for a short time, and though the idea of time itself seemed irrelative to the man, he wasn't going to make the mistake of underestimating his new partner for her youthful appearance.
When they reached The Blacksmith Arms, an old underground establishment, Malcolm stopped half a street away from the shop front and turned to Elyna, "I'll go in first, count to fifty. If I'm not out by the time you finish counting, follow me in, work the patrons and I'll see what information I can get out of the barman. Knowing that old goat, Rufus, he's bound to know something about our dead guy."
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Elyna
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Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:48 am

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As usual, as experience had told her, so long as she nodded politely as the introductions were made the conversation carried on its course without her interjection. She turned with Madeline to watch the approaching guards before lifting a hand to wave her colleague away. The name Heath lane was familiar, she wondered if she’d heard other Riders talking about the Knight. Her attention returned to Malcolm and the young woman found herself relieved to finally know his name and committed it carefully to memory. Her gaze settled on the man, he looked business like and capable, “the pleasure is mine, please pass my regards to your wife,” she replied politely. Polite conversation she could do, it was easy and it didn’t require thought. It was safe.

Elyna made a final attempt to brush of the straw dust from her own jerkin. It had longer sleeves but was a shorter jacket that stopped at the curve of her back. Her shirt had seen better days, but then she hadn’t expected to be sent out on city business. She’d dressed for a day in the stables, hair pulled back in a rough horse’s tail and tied with a strip of leather. Her woollen breaches dropped into boots. Because she had only bought an eating knife to the yard that morning, she’d been loaned a short sword and hastily buckled it to her belt whilst she and Madeline had tried to catch up with the Knights they’d been assigned to. She took a moment to remove her wings as suggested, tucking them into an internal pocket in the leather of her jerkin and then to check the fasten on the belt, in case she’d missed something in her rush.

He hoped she liked ale? She bit her tongue quickly to stop her protestation, that it was still morning. Where were the days that she would have known that? That she and her fellow Airmen could have been found recovering in the mid-morning from the night before? Or starting anew if they felt particularly stupid? Crushed beneath the depths of the sea. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d been out drinking with her friends, “thank you,” Elyna nodded. There was no reason he should know she was probably far too familiar with the Arm’s than any law abiding citizen should be.

The journey passed in silence and her gaze moved over the city, watching everyone going out their usual business. Just another day. The sawing call of a morning bird echoed over the streets, as Malcolm bought them to a pause, she scanned the empty sky for it before meeting his gaze; realising as she did that the man before her, made her uncomfortable. She recognised her own reluctance to focus on him properly and lifted her eyes to his, determined to dismiss the feeling. They would be working together and she had no reason to feel anything toward him. He had been nothing but courteous.
“Work the patrons,” she repeated under her breath. Well, it would be a new challenge. She set her shoulders back and nodded. She would give it her best, this was important, “I’ll start counting when you step inside, good luck” Elyna agreed.

With a few small steps she moved back into the shade of a building and watched his approach. As promised, once he vanished from sight she started counting. Work the patrons. Drunks, recovering drunks, and everyone else in between. After a moment of hesitation she reached and loosened the tie around her hair, letting it out. She pulled the soft brown waves forward and ruffled the hair atop her head to loosen it. Then she shook out her shoulders, trying to ease their general stiff posture. It was morning, she was going into a disreputable tavern. She needed information. She wasn’t going to get it if she went in looking, as so many people kindly told her, that she had a sword up her ass.

The count to fifty came and went and she followed Malcolms steps to the Blacksmiths Arms. She resisted touching the walls for balance as she made her descent to the bar, her eyes taking a few moments to adjust to the candle light, after the bright day outside. She scanned the collection of patrons, most of the few who remaining were slumped, hungover at their tables. A couple were stretched out on the floor, or one of the low benches. She didn’t envy their headaches. One looked slightly more…awake than the rest. A man her own age, with short dark hair and stubble lining his jaw. Elyna approached and dropped down into the seat opposite him, stretching out her legs as she watched his expression. She raised a brow, “looks like I missed a good night,” she said. Butterflies flit in her stomach, she could only hope her attempt to start up a conversation wouldn't end in disaster.

Maybe it was being back underground, after a couple of years away. Maybe it was the smell of stale ale, sweat and candlewax that bought her back. But her shoulders eased a little more, and she found a faint smile pulling at the corner of her mouth. She wasn’t going to think of the sadness she associated with the place. Instead, she let the memory of music, dancing, drinking within the underground chamber, wash over her.
Last edited by Elyna on Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Qaerris
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Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:30 pm

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Earlier that evening...

Qaerris first arrived in the tavern nearing dusk, his plans for the evening reduced to null when it turned out that his customary patronage for the day alerted him to a cancellation. She was being forced away from his company, carted off by her husband against her will to participate in some shameless gossipmongering and trivial pursuits of the nobility to find some sort of common ground. Truly, all who held the blood of nobility were revolted by one another, from the Mortalborn's experience, for an unconscious comparison of what they had or whom they could possess always stirred about. Of course, in secret, Qaerris' clients could brag about the exquisite harlot whose evenings they took from him, though Qaerris expected that if he shared his truth, never would he be alone by the desperate ranks of the female aristocracy.

A scoff parted his lips as his gaze lazily flickered about the modest tavern in which he chose to spend his time hiding away from other potential clientele. This evening, included in it a mug of the finest ale that Qaerris could afford, was his to enjoy, though he'd not object to a rather fetching sort to steal some of his valuable time from him.

As Qaerris made his way through his drink, he heard the scraping of wood against the floor, a loud thud crashing through the modest tavern. A blow seemed to have been struck, the Mortalborn's body moving out of reflex, though there was no present danger to him. A hand reached for his own drink, as if spilling it were both worst nightmare and committed blasphemy in one. A frown parted the Mortalborn's lips as he resorted to a half-cocked training that he'd never quite finished. Often times, Qaerris simply escaped from those that would seek to hurt him, though the jealous husband of some desperate, fetching and abandoned soul would on occasion seek to take out his feelings of jealous inadequacy upon the Mortalborn. Oftentimes, their anger worked against them and Qaerris needed but back away. A fist was sent flying his way, the Mortalborn leaning backwards to allow the fist to narrowly miss his faze. A foot rose from the ground to catch the drunkard in the stomach, Qaerris abandoning his now empty mug and scooping up his fallen adversary's, holding the mug over his mouth to let the fluid pour down his throat. Qaerris noted the appearance of the man who assaulted him, letting his lips purse in disapproval.

He seemed scarcely able to stand, his reddened face half-hidden in his doubled over state. Letting a shrug move his shoulders, Qaerris drained the man's drink, dropping the mug onto his fallen body as the Mortalborn sought to extricate himself from the situation. He'd find his solitude near the bar as the fight turned towards the door, the Mortalborn taking a good look at those who retreated and managing to catch their direction before shifting his attention to the lass who remained as a bartender.

As the newcomers arrive...

Nearly an hour had passed after the scuffle had unfolded, and though the Mortalborn could offer no insights as to what happened then, the events clearly stuck in his mind. However, as time passed and Qaerris continued making conversation with the bartender who seemed to turn so many heads earlier, his interest in the fight dissolved entirely. A hand reached forth to caress the woman as the Mortalborn made his way through his third drink, soft, breathy giggles parting the bartender's lips as Qaerris. The woman seemed to, with reluctance, need to check up on matters in the inventory room of the tavern, leaving Qaerris once again by himself.

He immediately left the bar, the last few sips of his ale the great task he needed to overcome. When a woman sat herself across from the harlot, he did not immediately look up, his vision blurring, the ale seeming to double in amount before the fog of intoxication leveled, leaving the harlot clear-minded as an easy laugh parted his lips. "Oh, you sure did. You missed quite a few faces, too, Ms..." He held off, not quite caring what the woman's name was but instead noting the obvious fixtures that came with being a skyrider. "What brings a law-woman to this place this evening? Did something happen?"

Ever astute, the woman and her companion's features seemed to reveal the answer to his question. Though, he was incredibly interested to hear the specifics.
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Malcolm
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Sat Apr 02, 2016 2:01 pm

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“Hemlock,” Malcolm mouthed as he sat down at the bar, watching Rufus, the owner of the long standing establishment, clean out a dirty wooden mug with an old rag.
“I’d offer to piss in a cup for you, Ser, but I just went,” the Biqaj quipped, obviously still bitter about the season before where Malcolm and his on duty partner, Heath, had come in and roughed up a few of Rufus’ patrons, breaking up a deal he had tipped them off about.

That night was still etched in the mortalborn’s memory as if it had taken place only days ago. The bust had been handed to them on a silver platter and Heath, ever the eager-beaver, had knocked out the wrong guy, giving the pirate they had really been after time to escape. The brawl that followed had left Malcolm with a black eye and a busted lower lip, and Heath had managed to break two ribs falling over a low wooden bench seat onto an empty crate.
“Don’t worry, I left Lane at home this time,” Malcolm jested, hoping to get on Hemlock’s good side.
Rufus sneered and watched the girl who had walked in no less than a minute after Malcolm, “Think I was born yesterday?” He spat into the mug and balled his rag up to rub off a speck of something that didn’t seem to want to budge, “I know she’s with you,” he raised his chin defiantly, “can’t pull the wool over my eyes, son.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it,” Malcolm smirked without looking back to see where Elyna had managed to park herself.
Rufus rubbed the rough smattering of stubble over his chin and set the mug down on the countertop, “Drink?”
“Something else actually.”
Rufus leaned forwards with his arms crossed against the bar, “I ain’t seen or heard nothing, knight.”

Malcolm took the notebook he had scratched the details of the dead man’s description into earlier that morning and struck the open page with the point of his writing pen. Rufus, unfazed, popped another pinch of chewing tobacco into his mouth and turned away from Malcolm to stock one of the lower shelves with wine.
“Male, late thirties to early forties, five foot eight, sandy hair, blue eyes,” Malcolm listed the details.
“Could be anyone,” Hemlock shrugged.
“His belt had a silver buckle.”
“Well done, you just described half of the men in Burhan,” the old man laughed.
“So he’s a pirate?” Malcolm pressed.
Rufus scoffed and turned to look at the knight, “You daft, man? You know better than to say that word down here.”
“In broad daylight when you have all of five customers, three of which are passed out on the floor?”
Rufus leaned in again and hissed, “Be specific.”
Malcolm looked thoughtful and took a few long seconds to think about his reply, “He was wearing a ring on this finger,” the knight pointed, “and a set of black robes.”
“Nothing,” the barman shrugged again, “Sorry.”

Malcolm sighed.
“You sure I can’t offer you a refreshment?”
“I’m tempted,” Malcolm grinned, “Perhaps another day.”
“Ah, you know what they say about temptation, lad, the only way to rid yourself of it, is to yield.”

Malcolm smiled and got up to wander over to Elyna and see how she was faring.
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Elyna
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Sat Apr 02, 2016 2:13 pm

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It seemed her modest attempt to ally suspicion had been pointless. She did quickly double check that she had removed the wings, along with anything else that would make her as a Skyrider and eventually gave up, sinking back into the chair. She folded her arms over her chest and studied the man before her. He had been drinking, but he was sober enough to work out who she was, and what she was doing here. Perhaps she just had the words 'pain in the ass' branded on her forehead. It had been mentioned before, with more frequency in the last few years.

"There is a dead man outside," she said simply, blunt. There was no point dancing round the truth, if the man before her were to walk outside, she was sure that the gathering crowd would draw attention. There was very little privacy in a city so large. With such a serious crime committed and displayed on the Temple steps, and with the Knights ideally wanting to keep things quiet - no doubt everyone would know before noon.

She lent forward, "you seem like a man who pays attention, so if anyone saw anything, I'm sure it was you," the Skyrider traced her fingertips over the table, exploring the wood-grain and shunting any spilt ale along the lines, "is there anything you could tell me?" She offered a faint smile, it was all she had in her, "We would appreciate any additional knowledge of events last night," it was mild, but it was still flattery.
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Qaerris
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Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:36 pm

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Such a long life had rendered Qaerris quite the astute nature.

It was all the Mortalborn could do to resist the fit of laughter that so threatened to erupt within his throat. The woman seemed to assess herself by the very utterance of his suspicion, though to her credit the assumption had stemmed from the incredibly obvious knight that she had accompanied into the tavern. It was illogical to assume that they were not together, for they gathered in pairs until they split off in order to save time. Though, when a flicker of recognition manifested, the Mortalborn laying eyes upon the other, the ghost of amusement cast upon his features.

That face is way too familiar... the harlot thought to himself as he noted the visage of Malcom's features. As the fellow Mortalborn closed in on Qaerris, it was actual focus and effort that was needed to not simply let the laugh erupt. Had the fight later turned into a murder? There was an investigation underfoot? It seemed in the nearly eighteen years that Qaerris had not set foot in Rynmere, that the city had gone quite uphill.

"Do the knights and skyriders actually investigate crimes now? How wonderful. It was under my impression that if I was found under a bridge I'd simply be sent on my way to the ocean."

Though Qaerris' words were meant to be somewhat derogatory, his tone did not reflect it in the slightest. His voice was level, his lips curled into a vibrant, amicable smile. The Mortalborn's presence seemed to reflect an illusion of perfection, his teeth perfectly straight and white, skin flawless and his expressions nonchalant to the point of being utterly nonplussed by the plausibility of a murder being committed.

Mortal lives end. It's a matter of fact. However, this particular one is probably new to her profession. The idea of a murder being committed at all seems to have her rather shaken.

Always an astute sort, it was a matter of professional integrity to know the subtle nuances of the female expression change under pressure. As a moment passed, Qaerris took it to collect himself. Then, he spoke.

"The men were all drunk out of their minds. However one in particular seemed to be causing most, if not all of the trouble. He was a rather short, blond fellow, maybe just turning into middle age. He tried his hand with younger men that he couldn't handle. You know how it is, I'm sure."
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Malcolm
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Sun Apr 03, 2016 3:21 am

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His mouth formed a cruel line upon his face at learning the new information, why hadn't Rufus said anything about a man causing trouble last night? The mere mention marred any illusion of trust the knight believed he had been able to build with these people, none but a blight on society. Be specific, he would take the man's advice, not in handing out information but asking for it. The stranger sat across from Elyna described a man that sounded somewhat like their dead guy, and Malcolm felt the notebook burn in the breast pocket of his leather jerkin, "Can you remember anything else, what the man was wearing, anything he might have spoken about, where he was headed perhaps, or came from before he arrived?"

Malcolm didn't take a seat at the table, finding it more comfortable to stand. Twice the knight thought he had caught Qaerris staring at him, a flash of recognition present in his gaze and the subtle pinch of his brow. Living a long time made one very observant, but it did little to improve the memory and Malcolm couldn't say with any certainty that he recognised the other man. Even if the two of them had run into each other somewhere, it was safe to assume that Malcolm had aged at least a little, wore his hair longer or shorter, and kept up with the latest trends and styles when it came to clothing himself. His wife, Vanessa, had her preferences of course, some of which he still indulged from time to time, but for the most part, Malcolm did his best not to appear old fashioned.
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Elyna
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Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:37 am

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Elyna folded her hands together and let her forearms rest on her knees. She didn’t like his words and she didn’t like the false smile. The guard hair raised on the back of her neck and she stilled a little, concentrating very hard on not scowling across at him. She was proud of who she was and her role as a Skyrider. It was always a hard thing to swallow, hearing someone be dismissive or derogatory of everything she held so dear. She knew she shouldn’t take the words personally, but the Riders were her life, for the time being, they were who entire being and existence. Everything else, the friendship’s she’d managed to salvage, her visits with family, disastrous dates to make her Mother happy; it was all just fancy and useless decoration hung on the blunt, steel weapon of her being.

“Bodies are usually investigated, but in your case I’m sure we could make an exception and leave you under the bridge if you’d prefer?” she smiled sweetly back at him, her tone light, airy. The expression failed to reach her eyes.

She glanced up at Malcolm and instantly regretted her words, looking quickly back to the man in front of her. It was rare that she lost her temper and let such things escape her. But it wasn’t professional and this was important. She dreaded to think what he would report back on her performance. Then his comment about not being able to handle younger men and despite all her efforts to shake off her annoyance, it came straight back. She clenched her hands tight together, fingers woven and nodded.

“Mmmmm,” it was the only thing she trusted herself to say. And his words hadn’t even been offensive. He had made a point, it made sense. The blond man had gotten himself too deep in a scrap and come off worse. It was a perfectly reasonable thing to say. What was wrong with her?

Frustration forced she listened to Malcolm and looked back to the man before her, “did you see him leaving?”
Last edited by Elyna on Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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