• Graded • Haters Gonna Hate

And players gonna play. [Quincy Andaris]

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

Haters Gonna Hate


Timestamp: 74th of Ashan, 716
Location: House Andaris

Some people just had too much money.

Sabine stared up at the monstrosity that was the Andaris estate with something akin to loathing, though loathing itself was too soft of a word for what she was feeling.

She had been asked to interview Quincy Andaris several days earlier when interest in the noble’s assault had been at its peak, but she kept pushing the date out, telling herself that she was buried by paperwork and “simply couldn’t afford the time.”

Truthfully, her reluctance to visit Quincy’s home stemmed in part from her general dislike of nobles and their excess: excessive money, excessive possessions, and excessively large egos. The other part, however, was far more personal. During the 714th Arc, House Andaris had had her father arrested for his failure to pay back his large debts. His sentence? Debt enslavement. Sabine hadn’t seen him since the trial, and had been given no clues as to his whereabouts. She didn’t know whether he was still in the city, or if he had been sent to those godforsaken Endor Mines.

And it was for the second reason that her stomach clenched and bile rose in her throat outside the doors to the grand estate.

“Keep it together,” Sabine hissed. She tightened her grip on the strap of her leather bag to keep her fingers from trembling, and lifted her chin. She was better than this. She was a goddamn Qe’azour, a Warrior of Fire, and she refused to be intimidated by the Andaris name.

Deep breath. Sabine cleared her throat and knocked heavily on the door once, twice, three times.

And then she waited.

And waited.

And waited.

If it had been any other house, any other family, Sabine would have been concerned that she had mistakenly shown up at the wrong location with the amount of time it took for the door to be answered. She might even have turned around and left. But since she had finally mustered up her courage (and since no one could mistake House Andaris for anything other than what it was), she was going to get that interview even if she had to stand there all day.

Thankfully, it was only two more bits until the door was pulled open and Sabine was greeted by an unimpressed servant. The woman looked her up and down, taking in her wild braids, leather pants, and thin blouse. A lady, she most certainly was not.

“Can I help you?”

“I’m from the Rynmere Gazette,” Sabine said. “I’m here to interview Quincy Andaris.”

Lord Quincy Andaris?” the servant corrected.

“Yes, fine, 'Lord' Quincy Andaris.” Sabine’s fingers twitched. “Is he here?”

“What did you say your name was?”

“Sabine Qe’azour.”

The servant pursed her lips, as if considering whether or not to tell the truth about Quincy’s availability. It was an expression which made her look distinctly like a trout straight out of a fishmonger’s stall. “Wait here. I’ll see if he’s available.”

To Sabine’s surprise, the servant shut and locked the door - with Sabine still standing outside the estate.

“What the actual fuck…” She immediately raised her fist to knock on the door again. Once, twice, three times.

And then she waited.

And waited.

When the door finally opened for the second time, Sabine had nearly given herself a headache from clenching her jaw so tightly. The same servant peeked a head out and, stone-faced, gestured for her to step inside.

“Was that really necessary?” Sabine groused.

The woman ignored her entirely.

The door closed with a heavy thud as Sabine followed her host into the lion’s den. As the servant led her through the hallway, she tried to keep herself from openly gaping at the home’s extravagance. Still, her mouth dropped as she passed gold detailing and precious paintings and fabrics that must have been imported from lands she’d never heard of.

This, when people are struggling to survive in Lowtown.

It’s no wonder the man was jumped.


“Wait here,” the servant ordered once they came in sight of a door guarded by two annoyingly tall, well-muscled men. Guards within the estate - that was curious. As Sabine waited, the servant exchanged a few quiet words with the guards who glanced suspiciously in Sabine’s direction.

She scowled back at them.

Another moment of discussion passed before the guards stepped around the servant and made their way to Sabine. “I need to search you before you can see his Lordship,” Musclehead #1 said.

“…What?”

“I need to search you,” he repeated, and reached for her leather bag.

“Whoa! Get your hands off me.” Sabine stepped back from the guard, but not quickly enough to escape the heavy hand he wrapped around her arm.

“His Lordship is not accepting visitors without having them searched,” Musclehead #1 said stiffly. "I’m sure you can understand, given the circumstances.”

Sabine narrowed her eyes, but loosened her grip on the bag and raised her hands to allow Musclehead #1 to pat her down. “If you do anything more than pat…” she threatened. Musclehead #1 only raised an eyebrow in amusement and continued his search, while Musclehead #2 rummaged through her bag. “Hey, be careful with that!”

After a half-bit, the guards seemed satisfied that she wasn’t carrying weaponry with the intent to kill and was really a journalist (“Who did you think I was? A poor man in disguise?”). They nodded to the servant, who opened the door and led Sabine into a living area.

“Lord Quincy will see you shortly,” the servant said.

Sabine didn’t bother to respond. The woman had already turned on her heel and exited to a connecting room, presumably to notify the ‘Lord’ himself.

Joy.
Last edited by Sabine on Sun May 15, 2016 9:26 pm, edited 8 times in total. word count: 988
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Haters Gonna Hate

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He was finally able to get out of bed. The last few days had been hell for the Andaris brother, bedridden, in too much pain to even fathom moving. But the doctor his father had summoned seemed adamant that Quincy move about after a few days of full rest, something about keeping full mobility. He hadn’t broken any bones in the attack, but considering how he felt, he was surprised not every bone in his body was broken.


Quincy sat on the edge of his bed, gingerly touching the bruise on the side of his face, the swelling have gone down over the last few days, allowing him to see out both eyes again. A large scab formed on his lip and he fought the urge to pick at it. It had already bled numerous times as he absentmindedly bit at it. Smaller cuts formed into cuts across his face where the blows had broken skin.


His body was slowly healing, large bruises still covering his upper chest, arms and face where he had tried to defend himself. But it was to no avail. His attack had known what they were doing and it showed. The Andaris groaned as he slowly stood, feeling like an old man, and tottered over to the small table, a bottle of wine next to his chalice. The doctor hadn’t given him any meds to dull the pain, nothing that worked at any rate. So Quincy took to self medicating.


Pouring himself a glass, the poofy haired man slowly made his way to the window, grabbing the curtain and slowly opening it to allow light into the dark room, groaning as he moved. He cracked the window, allowing for cool yet fresh air into the stuffy room. He was feeling antsy locked up. But until he was healed and the investigation was farther underway, he would remain here.


A knock sounded at his door and Quincy answered. “Enter.”


He took a sip of his wine, swirling it once in his mouth, enjoying its harsh flavor before swallowing. Not turning to see who it was, he heard a servant opened the door and quietly crossed the threshold and come to the nobleman’s side.


“Lord Quincy? A person is here to see you.”


The second eldest shot the servant a hard look, a hint of warning in his voice. “I take it you learned from your previous errors.”


The woman swallowed visibly. “Y-yes Lord Quincy. Her name is Sabine, she is a journalist from the Rynmere Gazette. She wants to discuss your…incident with you.”


Quincy took another sip of his drink.


“And?”


“W-we…one of the guards searched her. We found no weapons of any kind on her. Just her bag, notebook, ink and quills. She seems to be who she says she is. Would you like to see her?”


The Andaris sighed.


'How many of these reporters are they going to send my way? Harassment. That’s what this is. Wasn’t the first story enough? Maybe we can have some fun with this.'


He nodded once. “Yes. Bring her in. And one of the guards, leave the other posted outside my door.”


She started to head towards the door.


“Oh and Janet.” She turned, a hint of worry on her face. “You learned.”


She looked slightly concerned, not certain whether or not he was complimenting her or warning her but curtsying nonetheless before opening the door and closing it behind her.


Quincy sighed and drained his glass, refilling it before heading towards his armchair that sat next to the fireplace. A smaller chair, simply crafted, sat adjacent to his. He settled into the armchair, placing his silver chalice on a small stool beside him, resting his elbows on each of the armrests.


He placed his hands in a steeple in front of his face, his legs spread open wide, dressed only in an unbuttoned bright orange shirt, revealing his hairy chest and stomach. Dark blue, black bruises could be seen in ugly splotches. His lower half was clothed in only a pair of white undergarment that came down to mid thigh, showing off his hairy legs but covering the rest.


A faint smile crossed his lips.


'This should be fun.'
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Haters Gonna Hate

Sabine tapped her foot idly as she waited for the servant to return, and ran through her list of interview questions to keep herself occupied.

1. Can you tell me what happened?
2. Do you remember the man who did this to you?
3. What did the doctors tell you about your recovery time?
4. How did your family manage to become such skilled ruiners of lives?


“He’s ready for you.”

Sabine was pulled from her thoughts by the servant’s re-appearance and moved to enter the room, stopping only when she heard the servant summon Musclehead #1 to join them.

“Seriously?” Sabine crossed her arms tightly against her chest. “I’m really not sure you understand how very little of a threat I am.”

As per the morning's trend, she was dutifully ignored and unceremoniously shepherded into the adjoining room.

Upon entering Quincy’s chamber, Sabine’s attention was immediately drawn to the back of an armchair and the startling poof of wild brown curls that tumbled over its top. She raised her eyebrows at the sight and dropped her arms to her sides.

This was it: go time.

“My Lord,” the servant said from the doorway, alerting Quincy to their presence.

Sabine was interested to see that the servant’s demeanor had changed dramatically once the trio crossed the chamber’s threshold. Outside the room, the woman could only be described as insufferable and overbearing. Inside, however, her spine had wilted like a flower and she took on a decidedly submissive posture.

It was almost enough to make Sabine feel bad for her.

Almost.

The cowed servant led both Sabine and the guard around the armchair until they stood in front of the fireplace and faced someone who Sabine could only presume to be Quincy’s long-lost twin. She couldn’t imagine that Quincy Andaris himself, being someone who had grown up in a noble household, would even consider dressing so boldly.

And yet.

A look of surprise crossed her face, in spite of her best efforts to remain unaffected by the noble. Was this how symptoms of blunt-force trauma manifested?

She was already composing the article in her head: Lord Quincy Andaris wears nothing more than a garish orange shirt and underwear for our interview, leading this reporter to wonder if the attacker had, perhaps, hit him harder on the head than the doctors let on.

To his credit, the bruising was horrific. Quincy had a sickening cornucopia of black and blue bruises painted across his chest and face. Someone had clearly had it out for the man, and it looked as though their intention was to ensure he remembered the beating for a long, long time.

Still, even in the face of such obvious suffering, Sabine found it difficult to remain sympathetic once she remembered her father’s fate and the city’s pockets of poverty.

“My Lord,” the servant repeated. “May I present to you Miss Sabine Qe’azour.” She curtsied, and looked expectantly at Sabine to follow her cue. Instead, much to the woman’s horror, Sabine nodded her head towards Quincy by way of greeting.

Etiquette, like wealth, evidently did not belong in her repertoire of strengths.

“Do you need a moment to… ready yourself?” Sabine asked, and gestured to Quincy’s distinct lack of pants and unbuttoned shirt. “Or is this what the doctor ordered?”

The servant’s face reddened, and she looked to Sabine in alarm. “What are you saying?” she hissed. “You can’t speak to his Lordship like that.” She turned to Quincy and hung her head like a dog that had just been caught chewing an expensive shoe. “M-my Lord, I’m so sorry. I’ll have her escorted out right away.”
Last edited by Sabine on Mon May 02, 2016 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 637
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Haters Gonna Hate

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Quincy heard the door open, footsteps crossing the highly polished wooden floors towards him. He lifted a hand, snapping his fingers twice. The guard who followed behind the women saw the gesture and placed himself next to the chair, hand resting lightly on the sword at his hip. The Andaris returned his elbow down to the armrest, fingers forming a steeple once again.


He ignored the servant as she introduced the reporter, his eyes locked on his visitor.


'Well, well, well. What do we have here? Savages roaming the house it would seem. What would our dearest father think if he knew we let strays in.'


He smirked at the thought of how irritable their last remaining parent would be at the thought of this, creature, in their pristine home. Her intricately woven braids that adorned her head framed fierce eyes that bore into his. Though currently, that fiery look was beset by a look of astonishment. He wasn’t surprised though. He knew he looked like hell.


Janet introduced the woman that stood in front of him and he almost laughed at the horror that crossed his servant’s face as Sabine simply nodded at him rather than bow as befit his rank. And then to top it off, the sass that came from her sharp tongue.


'She’s got spine. I like that.'


Quincy tilted his head slightly, a smile dancing at the corners of his lips in amusement.


“You will have to forgive me Miss Sabine if I don’t stand to greet you. I recall having taken a tumble of sorts and seemed to have hurt myself.”


He listened to her subtle, yet sharp comment about the state of his wardrobe, her gesture further emphasizing her point. He cocked an eyebrow in mock surprise, ready to launch into what he deemed would be a verbal joust. Something he was very excited to do.


“Pray correct me if I am wrong, but I was led to believe that you came to my home, uninvited, demanding my presence without an appointment for the solo purpose of prying personal information about me to further your own agenda and most likely career? That is the assumption at any rate. Have I missed anything or does that seem to cover it all?”


He looked down at his disheveled state, finally addressing the reasoning behind his lack of clothing, sarcasm lacing his words.


“And then for reasons unbeknownst to me, movement of any kind brings great discomfort upon my physique. But if my inability to dress, due to severe injury upon myself, distresses you in any way, I am certain my servant can cover your eyes for you and spare you the sight. Perhaps bring a bucket out for you in case of nausea?”


He smiled at her pleasantly, wrestling to hold back the grin that was on the verge of coming out. He wanted to see her reaction to his allegations, in an attempt to kick her off the high horse that she rode so confidently. Fighting off the grin, however, made him grimace slightly in pain. The servant began spluttering indignantly but Quincy just waved her off in annoyance.


“Janet, please. Leave our guest alone and make yourself useful. Bring Miss Sabine a glass of wine.”


Flushing red, she curtsied again and headed for the table. He called out after her.


“The Zemoni, if you would. We aren’t savages after all.”


Quincy winked at the journalist. It wasn’t the most expensive wine he owned but he didn’t expect the woman in front of him to have a refined enough palette to know it. Quincy gestured towards the simple chair in front of him.


“Please, sit. Make yourself comfortable, my dear. As charmed are as you must be by me, I was told you had something you wished to discuss with me?”
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Sabine fought off an urge to throw her bag at Quincy’s smirking face, mostly because it was the only bag she owned and she didn’t want to risk losing it to Musclehead #1.

That’s not to say it wouldn’t have been satisfying.

Instead, she forced a false smile on her lips. “No, I think you've just about covered it, sir," Sabine replied, feigning ignorance of proper titles. “You're right - I should be more grateful for your generosity. How kind of you to let a poor, opportunistic journalist like myself speak with you when you’re clearly so… busy.”

She let the word hang in the air for a moment before continuing. “Please don’t bother your servant for a bucket,” she said. “It would seem unfair for me to have one when she and your friendly bodyguard there are left to their own devices.” Here, her eyes brightened in jest and her smile turned genuine for a wisp of a second before she remembered her audience and rebuilt her walls.

Damn it. He was supposed to be the enemy: a noble and, worse, an Andaris. She shouldn't have let herself get sucked into whatever little game he thought he was playing. She should have remained silent and shown him how completely unaffected she was by his ploy.

Should have, would have, could have.

All she knew was that anything would have been better than jumping at his bait like a damn rabbit.

Sabine dug her nails into her palms and took a breath to refocus as Quincy exchanged words with his spluttering servant. It wasn’t even noon, but she already needed a drink. Maybe a whiskey, or a beer, or even –

Wine. Thank Ilaren. That should do the trick. Much as she hated the idea of accepting any drinks from the self-satisfied man seated before her, she was certain she would hate herself more if she had to go through the entire interview sober.

Sabine smiled tightly at Quincy as he offered her a seat, and made her way over to the open chair. She took her time getting settled before answering his question: placing her bag carefully on the floor, brushing a hair from her face, leaning back on the chair, crossing her legs, and, finally, meeting her host’s eyes.

“I’d like to talk about your recent attack,” she said. For a half-second, she considered offering her sympathies, but decided that there really was such a thing as too much sarcasm.

The mortified servant returned and thrust a glass of wine (Zamboni?) into her hand.

“Can you tell me what happened? Is there anyone you can think of who might want to harm you or your family?"

Present company excluded.
Last edited by Sabine on Tue May 03, 2016 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 470
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Her abrasive tone changed suddenly, vocabulary almost sounding more educated than her station suggested.


'Ahhh, so she parries and attacks in kind. Goooooood. She’s quick.'


Quincy tried shrugging in mock modesty, wincing yet again at the movement. He kept forgetting his injuries until he shifted and they announced their presence.


“Why thank you deary, for your kind words. One is led to believe you are as intelligent as you are beautiful.” Quincy sighed deeply, flicking his wrist nonchalantly. “Oh, it is my pleasure to speak with you. I have been known to do charity work for those of the…lower class from time to time.”


He let the word hang in the air, patronizingly, just as she had done.


Her comment about his servants needing a bucket almost made him laugh but he held it in check behind a straight face, fighting for control over the muscles in his expression. He saw a flicker of something in her face as well. She might have been a commoner but he liked her fire and attitude. She didn’t seem to take well to authority. Neither did he, a quality he admired. Not that he would tell her that.


Quincy tisked, barely glancing at his servants as he spoke, watching Sabine for her reaction.


“Oh they shall be fine. They are paid to put on a good show, aren’t you?”


The maid curtsied for the millionth time in response, “Yes, m’lord.”


The guard almost seemed as though he would grunt in response but remembered whose presence he was in and saluted smartly, “Indeed we are Lord Quincy.”


The nobleman reached for his silver chalice, the unnecessarily large…beverage holder. It appealed to him. It was unwieldy, shiny, and gaudy, much like himself. He thought about crossing one leg over his knee but even the mere thought of it sent pain lacing up his back.


The Andaris lifted his chalice to his lips and took a sip before pursing his lips, pretending to be in thought.


“Mmm. The attack, yes. Where to even begin.” He took another sip of wine, buying time, wild ideas running through his head while he drummed his other hand along the armrest, acting as though he was absentminded. Finally he settled on a story he would weave for the journalist. See how long it took the two reporters to figure out which one was real. In that time, maybe they’d learn that harassment did no one any favors. He took a deep breath and then launched into his tale.


“I was walking home alone after working a late night at our gala, being a successful business owner and all. Always work for us, nel don’t make themselves.” He winked at her. “We had a new shipment of Red Aida come in, a delightful wine from Desnind let me tell you and…”


He stopped, as though realizing he was prattling on about the beverage and acted sheepish. “But I digress. As I was saying, I was alone when suddenly I was jumped in the dark. Four?...five burly figures, more monster than men really, surrounded me holding nasty looking clubs.


“I told them,"
His voice lowered, sounding gruff as he retold his words, "‘gentlemen, if you want to see the light of dawn upon this day in one piece, you better step away. I’m trained in five types of kickass.’"


His voice returned to its normal tone. "But they seemed intent on meeting their doom. So I had no choice but to defeat them. But as you can see, they somehow managed to get a blow or two in, those fiends.”


Quincy lifted his glass to his lips, looking over the rim at Sabine, smugly. She was no fool. She’d see right through his blatant exaggeration but he wanted to see how she responded to his elaborate, yet poorly told tale. See how long until she exploded in frustration.


“As to your other question, well. My brother isn’t exactly patron of the arc. You may have heard the phrase, ‘the black sheep of the family’? Well he makes that sheep look white in comparison.” His face darkened, tone dipping, his irritation towards his sibling coloring his words noticeably. There was no love lost between the two brothers. Especially after the incident at the gala.


Realizing he was showing genuine emotion, he smoothed his features out, trying to smile lazily at her, hoping she missed that display.


“Is there anything else?”
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The man was infuriating.

He danced back and forth between condescension and jest so quickly that Sabine couldn’t tell which face was the honest one. She couldn’t tell, for example, whether comparing her intelligence to her beauty was intended as a patronizing compliment or a derisive jab at her appearance (though she was leaning towards the latter).

She also couldn’t tell whether he was using the phrase “charity work” in jest, or if he was truly that much of an ass.

Once again, she leaned towards the latter.

Sabine took a long sip of her wine, barely pausing to appreciate its sweetness as Quincy hummed and hawed over where to begin his tale. She knew next to nothing about wine – the extent of her knowledge being that it was a type of alcohol and, really, did she need to know more? – so any enjoyment of the experience lay entirely in the fact that it went down smoothly.

Soon enough, Quincy began to tell the story of his attack. Sabine leaned forward and tried her best to focus, but quickly found it too painful to look at him directly. Everything about the man was over-the-top. Between the obnoxious goblet, the unfortunate outfit choice, and the proliferation of nasty-looking bruises, maintaining any semblance of professionalism proved to be far more difficult than she had anticipated. She settled for staring at a stray thread on his bodyguard’s sleeve to keep her expression from cycling between amusement and distaste.

But she needn’t have worried so much about appearing professional. It was becoming quite clear that Quincy had no intention of taking her seriously. With every word, Sabine grew increasingly agitated by his claims, and so the more he spoke, the more she drank. If he had been a commoner, she might have laughed it off and even returned his banter. Unfortunately, he was an Andaris, which meant she had come into his home with something to prove and would be leaving with a documented list of (real or imagined) slights.

As Quincy wrapped up his story and claimed an epic defeat of his attackers, Sabine clenched her fingers around the stem of her glass and drained the last of her wine. She was not getting paid enough to deal with this shit.

‘Five types of kickass.’ Really. That’s what he was going with. The man was bruised practically from head to toe, and had a softness to him that undoubtedly came from a lifetime of privilege. And it wasn’t as if she missed the grimace that arose every time he shifted in his chair.

Was anything he said even remotely true?

Wait. There. When he talked about his brother. Sabine lowered the wine glass from her lips and narrowed her eyes at Quincy. She could have sworn he had dropped his self-satisfied mask for a moment. Interesting. Perhaps this was the real story: trouble brewing in the Andaris family, brothers antagonizing the proletariat, a Noble House teetering on the brink of collapse (…more or less). With this story, did it really matter if there were two attackers or ten?

Sabine’s aggravation lessened and she leaned back in her chair, tilting her head at Quincy like a circling tigress who had finally found a weakness in her prey. Her confidence was bolstered by the liquor swimming in her bloodstream, and she found herself forgetting her earlier frustrations in her eagerness to pounce.

“That must have been some fight,” she said, baring her teeth in a parody of a smile. “Four or five men – and you defeated them all? I’m surprised the Knights didn’t find their unconscious bodies when you reported the assault.

“But tell me more about your family. It sounds like you think this may have been a targeted attack.” Sabine clinked a nail absentmindedly against the side of her empty wine glass. “Are you and your brother close?” Given Quincy’s earlier comments, the question might have been rhetorical if she wasn’t struggling to understand why someone would attack him to get at his brother. Why not just attack the brother? Unless the brother had hired someone to attack him…?

That seemed absurd.

“You called him a ‘black sheep’. Why?”
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Peake.


There wasn’t a person that Quincy knew that was worse than his older brother. The bearded man was a true monster. Quincy wasn’t typically intimidated by people, mainly because he didn’t bother to pay attention to them. But there was something…dangerous about the oldest Andaris brother that made Quincy incredibly uncomfortable around him.


But that didn’t stop the younger brother from undermining Peake every chance he got. Subtly wasn’t his strong suit but if Peake were to ever find out anything Quincy had done to screw him over well…he knew he’d pay for it. However, his hatred towards his brother overruled any common sense that might have made him hesitate in answering the journalist’s questions. There would no doubt be ramifications if she ran with some of his statements and they were tied back to him which he knew without a doubt they would.


Only time would tell.


He met Sabine’s eyes and saw fire flickering in them, a coy smile on her lips. Her comment about the knights caused a wry grin to cross his.


So she caught on to my tall tale. Didn’t think of that little flaw…


He was about to give a retort when she changed subjects, dipping into family drama. Quincy paused a moment. Was it worth dragging the family name through the mud? What would his father say? What would the baron say about tarnishing their name? More specifically, what would it do to Peake’s image? The memory of the gala flashed in front of his eyes, how humiliated he’d been at his brother’s hand and he set his mouth grimly. Game on.


He smoothed his expression out into something more pleasant, though his insides were twisting nervously. The jokes and fables were over, he had been bored out of his mind when Sabine first arrived, making do with the distraction to pass the time. But now something serious had been breached and he was going to use it to his advantage. Quincy reached for his chalice to keep his fingers from tapping the armrest restlessly and took a sip.


“Targeted? Hmm. It’s possible. I would say we are one of the more affluent families in Andaris. The city was named after our ancestor after all. That was something earned. So it’s not surprising to me that one of us was attacked. Though why me? I’m not next in line to take the title of Baron when he dies. Our father is and then Peake. He has the most to gain from it. Unless I was attacked to send a bigger message.”


Quincy sat in his chair, thinking. Finally he spoke.


“Our relationship is…strained at best. Peake isn’t an easy individual to get along with. You might have heard I hosted an event at the Andaris Gala a handful of trials ago when Peake showed up with a harem of prostitutes, drunk out of his mind, violent and rude, interrupting the party, causing a scene and embarrassing our family in an attempt to humiliate me. I haven’t seen him since.


“Unchecked, he could cause excessive damage to himself and others around him. It’s not someone you want to get in the way of or be on his radar.”



He said the last part with an edge of warning in his voice, dropping the façade and looking at her seriously. He kind of liked Sabine. He didn’t want her to get hurt chasing something that would lead to her being harmed. And if Peake found out...


Suddenly a hint of worry crept into his mind. He typically didn’t think about many people outside of himself. But something inside of him wanted to protect this woman from the monster that was his brother. He'd suffered enough at his brother's hand to know what would happen. He didn't want that to happen to her. Maybe he could distract her from following up on that lead.


Quincy leaned in, a slight groan escaping his lips as his body protested, lowering his voice.


“Okay listen. The story earlier wasn’t...accurate. I had been walking home from a night out, I was surprisingly sober and I was jumped by a lone individual. I saw it but…”


He paused, trying as hard as he could to remember the incident. He knew he had seen the face of his attacker, staring right into its eyes before he was attacked. Everything was clear in his mind, all except for its face; it was a blur in his mind.


“I can’t remember my attacker's face. I looked straight at it, but it is hazy in my mind. I was savagely beaten, unable to protect myself and as I began to black out from the pain I heard…”


He was embarrassed by this part, hence why he made up the original story.


“…I heard a woman’s laughter in my mind. Then I woke up outside the gala."


He paused to emphasis the point.


"...I was nowhere near there when I was attacked. Someone moved and left me there.”


Quincy sat back, having finished the story and awaited her reaction.
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Sabine
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Sabine was unsurprised when Quincy responded in length to her questions; if there was one thing she’d learned about the man during her short time at the Andaris household, it was that he loved to talk.

She was, however, startled by the vehemence and candor with which he now spoke. He was no longer the cocksure noble who spoke only in boasts and insults. His armour seemed to be chipping, and she was becoming increasingly convinced that what he shared with her was real.

Her earlier confidence faltered and, much to her annoyance, she realized that she didn’t entirely hate this side of him.

She shifted uncomfortably in her seat.

Hatred would have been so much easier.

As Quincy began to speak of Peake - a harem of prostitutes? Really? - his servant busied herself by collecting Sabine’s empty wine glass. Their fingers brushed, and Sabine frowned when she noticed that the woman’s hand was trembling. Was that… fear?

Her eyes flicked over to Quincy’s bodyguard. Even Musclehead #1 looked distinctly uncomfortable when Peake’s name was mentioned.

Peake Andaris.

Why are they so frightened of you?


It was as if Quincy had heard her unspoken question.

“Excessive damage,” she repeated thoughtfully. How had she not heard of his brother’s reputation before? She had always imagined the worst of the Andaris family, of course, but hers was a straw vision built entirely from her own loathing - and the occasional Gazette gossip.

Peake just sounded so violent. And this was the man who sat second in line for the throne? Who would waltz into power if just two people - two measly little people - died?

How could Rynmere allow that? Did they even know?

A thought popped into Sabine’s head, and she narrowed her eyes at Quincy. What if he were lying to her again, tricking her into making a fool of herself when she brought the story back to the Gazette? Why else would he sell out his family?

Unless he’s telling the truth about his strained relationship.

And he did seem genuine - worried, even.

Sabine twisted a braid around her finger as a flash of uncertainty passed over her face. The feeling only amplified when Quincy transitioned into the ‘true’ story of his assault.

“Are you serious?” she blurted once the noble fell silent. She didn’t have to look at the servant to see that the woman was frowning disapprovingly. “I mean…” Sabine paused, and debated whether to rephrase for etiquette’s sake.

…Fuck it.

“No, that’s what I meant. Are you serious?”

Her mind was racing, and thoughts of Peake fell to the side. Somehow, the way Quincy told it now, the story of his attack seemed far more sinister than the previous “jumped by five men with clubs” tale.

Perhaps it was because she couldn’t find a hint of humour in his expression.

"Is it actually possible that your attacker could have been a woman?" The question wasn't malicious. "I mean, to do this much damage" - here, she gestured to Quincy's bruises - "and then to drag you all the way to the gala. No woman I've ever known would have the strength to manage that."

Sabine thought for a moment. "You really can't remember anything about the person's face? What about their clothing? A scent, maybe?"

Her questions came, in part, from her investigative experience as a journalist. But there was also a genuine curiousity underlying her words, and a newfound desire to solve the mystery that had been presented to her - assuming, of course, that it was true. Quincy had, finally, managed to capture her interest.

She felt her own armour begin to chip.
Last edited by Sabine on Fri May 06, 2016 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 628
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Quincy Andaris
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Quincy watched her apprehensively, looking for a sign that he had sufficiently distracted her from following the lead on Peake. As much as he wanted to bury his brother, he didn’t think the journalist before him was up to the task. Not alone, anyways. The eldest Andaris was a force to be reckoned with and not a job to be taken lightly.


What were you thinking, idiot. If he found out she was trying to expose him, Peake would destroy her. After he murdered ME, of course.


The woman seemed to be processing the information about his brother, sitting back in her chair, eyes distant. As his servant went to take her empty wine glass, he caught sight of the slight tremble in the maid’s hands. He shot her a dark look. She wasn’t helping the situation. He already regretted sharing the information with Sabine. A different route would be required to deal with Peake than a leaked tidbit to a tabloid.


But she seemed to understand the possible danger, or so he hoped, the cocky look slowly slipping from her face, replaced with uncertainty. Normally Quincy would enjoy it but this had taken a far more serious turn than he had originally anticipated. And he seemed to be finding himself…on her side. That alone made him feel uncomfortable. But he pushed that feeling away for the time being. The important thing was that she seemed distracted by his other story.


He did have to admit, her stunned reaction did make up for the embarrassment. He wasn’t sure when it happened, but somewhere in their conversation; it had gone from light hearted banter (at least in his mind) to hushed, whispers of conspiracies. He could feel the tension in the room covering them like a blanket.


Sitting in his chair, trying to block out the throbbing pain, his brow furrowed in concentration.


Now that he began to think about the assault, it did seem odd. Not the attack itself but the situation surrounding it. Things didn’t seem to add up. He hadn’t spent much time processing it; rather he had been trying to push it out of his mind as he self medicated.


A shift came over his interviewer, a change of demeanor. She was beginning to take him seriously, an unusual experience for him. He wasn’t sure how he felt about it. He wrinkled his nose at her incredulous reaction when he finished and question about the gender of his attacker. It had seemed so embarrassing before. But the more he thought about it, the more unlikely it sounded that a lone woman could have done all this to him. However, if there was one thing about this whole ordeal he was certain of, it was the woman’s laughter.


He finally looked up at Sabine, shaking his head.


“I’m positive it was a woman. She was smaller than me, swathed in dark cloth. I…I think I saw her approach but didn’t give it a second thought. She didn’t seem dangerous…until she attacked me. I looked up and I saw her face under the hood when I was on the ground and heard that shivering laugh. But it’s…”


Quincy waved a hand in the air eradicately, feeling agitation starting to form in his stomach.


“Ugh! I can’t picture it! It’s just gone from my mind. I can remember everything else about that night - Except that one detail.”


He ground his teeth, frustrated.


Why couldn’t he remember the woman’s face??


It just didn't make sense...
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