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 The Way It's Always Been [Nivansrywyllian, Alchemy]

Discussion in 'Roleplay Execution' started by Nivansrywyllian, May 14, 2018.

  1. Nivansrywyllian

    Nivansrywyllian Well-Known Member Member

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    [​IMG]

    Name: Casey Murphy
    Race: Irish-American
    Affiliation: Wizard of House Murphy
    School Proficiency: Thermomancy, Kinetomancy
    Height: 6'2
    Hair Color: Honey Gold
    Eye Color: Blue

    Brief History: Eldest of three siblings, Casey Murphy stands in line to succeed his father as scion of House Murphy's Council Seat. Accomplishments of note include a tour of duty as an enforcer with the Department of Magical Safety. Recently shamed publicly along with the rest of his house when his brother, Cade got into a magical altercation honoring a handful of veterans of WWII. One of the veterans was badly burned in the ensuing duel, requiring quick and severe restitution.
     
  2. Nivansrywyllian

    Nivansrywyllian Well-Known Member Member

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    Casey stood at attention, besides the hospital bed, eyes floorward, temper simmering silently. The set of his jaw was all that gave it away, his otherwise calm demeanor belying the fury for the situation. He was a tall man, nearly six foot three, but all the same, his aged father somehow managed to loom over he and his brother from his hospital bed. Beside him, his brother was staring even more sheepishly at his shoes. The pair were young men, Casey the elder, and both blonde.

    His brother Cade had a certain roguishly handsome quality to his expression that suggested the mischief he got himself in -and usually his brother alongside- but this time the fault was entirely on his shoulders.

    "-The choosing has picked your paths." Their father said. Dorin Murphy was a wizened man that had looked hale just a year before, a wasting sickness gripping him. His thick, golden hair had gone pale, and brittle, and nearly all fallen out. His skin was papery and thin, and when he coughed it was a wracking cough that brought blood to his lips. A curse, from when he was a younger man. There wasn't a thing to be done for him. "I do not have long in this world." He held up a hand, forestalling the youngest Murphy's noise of protest. "We knew the day would come. I had for a very long time." His wan expression contorted in fury. "And you've risked all I worked for, over a pissing match with the Frosts!" His fury contorted his face, and brought him sitting full upright.

    It also brought on another bout of wracking coughs, that sent his children worriedly to his bedside. He hacked, and wheezed, and kept coughing 'til his lungs were empty of air, and gasped another just to start the coughing all over again. Cade had a glass of water to hand, and was trying to push it into Dorin's, but the patriarch waved him away as he brought the fit under control once again. With labored breaths, the man raised a hand, flecked with blood from stifling the coughs toward the eldest of his children.

    "Promise me, Casey. Promise me you'll end this damnable feud. Promise me the house your mother built will go down in history as an honored school. I know you don't know her yet, but give her a chance. For your own sake. For House Murphy's sake." On toward the younger the finger traveled. "And I'll have your oath that you will not be letting your temper ruin this family. Swear it boy, or I'll spend my last cursing you into bloody obedience!"

    "On my honor, Father." Casey said, a moment before Cade chimed in with, "Fine."

    A moment later, the patriarch pointed to the door of the hospital room. "Get going. Casey, don't be late for the proposal. Cade... Just come visit me tomorrow. Please. Thank you. Both of you, out, now." The man looked more exhausted by every word. The pair of young men sketched quick bows again, before chiming in near-unison, "Yes father."

    Casey was the first out the door.

    ---

    Casey had dressed himself smartly for the proposal. He wore a well-tailored suit, of soft, patterned grey, and a tie of bold green for his house's representative colors. He carried with him his staff, a well-carved and iron-banded length of wood as tall as he was, clicking with his every step as he approached the restaurant he'd been scheduled to meet with the eldest Frost daughter at, the memory of the Choosing still fresh in his mind. A nervous hand rose to run fingers through his hair, pushing the lot of it back from his face once again as he approached the hostess. "I have a reservation. Murphy. Is my date here?"
     
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  3. Alchemy

    Alchemy The Rebel Queen Administrator

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    Evelyn"Eve" Frost
    The Legacy | The Healer | The Dutiful Daughter
    [​IMG]
    Age: 24
    Parents: Lauren May Frost (Mother), John Frost (Father)
    Siblings: Elaine Frost (Younger Sister)
    Height: 5'6"
    Weight: 135
    Race: Human with magical abilities
    Eye Color: Brown
    Hair: Dark Brown
    Sexuality: Bisexual, but prefers Men.

    Skills/Abilities

    Cephalomancy - Magic of the mind. Practitioners can use these abilities to heal, hinder or manipulate a person's mind.
    Corpomancy - Magic of the body. This can be used again to heal or hinder the body.

    Brief Backstory
    Eve is a determined woman, who has worked tirelessly toward the goal of someday taking her mother's seat on the Council. She is deeply protective of her family, and though she has a softer side, it is rarely shown to people she does not know well.




    Eve looked in the mirror as her sister droned on about something in the background as she readied for her date. Evelyn Frost had wished over and over that Elaine would be the one to actually pay for the consequences of her actions, but their matriarch and mother had insisted that if Eve wanted her seat on the council in two months time, she would be the one to make sure this entire situation was permanently smoothed over. Eve looked at her reflection in the mirror. She had worked her whole life to take her mother's place, and now, if she said no and asked for her own life, she would lose all that work. Her thoughts were lost to the tumult of her situation and she didn't really hear Elaine's question.

    "--Don't you think, Evie? Eve? Evelyn?" Elaine said to garner her attention.

    "Think what?" Eve said, sounding exasperated.

    "That both the Murphy brothers are pretty much hideous mutants. This whole thing feels like a cruel joke at your expense. Mother could have found a better way to mend fences with those...toads." Elaine said, the disgust clear in her tone. Eve looked over at her and then back to the mirror, putting on a pair of pearl earrings her at her had given her for her 16th birthday.

    "He's fine. Casey Murphy looks fine to me." Eve said. It was not the full truth. Had they not been born into families that made them instant enemies, she might have found him attractive. Handsome, even. Perhaps that was a good thing, considering what was about to happen to them.

    "Besides, you know what they say about kissing toads..." A voice sounded from the doorway. Lauren Frost entered the room and put a hand on Elaine's shoulder, a clear signal to the younger of the sisters. Elaine was suddenly quiet after more than an hour of constant talking. Lauren continued inward, until she stood behind Eve. The elder Frost daughter had pulled her hair up into a tight bun, but her mother immediately began to undo it, causing locks of chocolate colored hair to cascade down into soft curls.

    "Because whether he is a toad or not, you're going to have to kiss him, darling." Lauren said, leaving no room to question her expectations.

    ----------------------

    An hour later, Eve sat at the restaurant, waiting for Casey to arrive. She had gotten here early on purpose, she preferred to feel as if she had some kind of upper hand in this situation. Eve caught sight of him when he arrived and before the hostess could point him in the right direction, she was on her feet and approaching him. Her hands gently latched onto his forearms as she came in close and she lifted her mouth to press a soft kiss in greeting against his cheek.

    "Right on time, darling. We're right over here." She said, leading him back to the table where her coat and jacket were already hanging from the back of her chair. She had worn a sensible outfit, a black dress that hugged her body in a way that was classy, and the hem on it fell just above her knee. The jacket was white, a tailored piece that looked nice and crisp upon the chair. Once they were settled at their table, she leaned in with a smile on her face but her tone did not reflect the conspiratorial look she gave.

    "So how are we going to do this? Eat first, then you make a big to-do? I'm quite sure at least five of the patrons here tonight are reporters and photographers, so our parents will get their wish...People are going to know this happened." She said, her smile never fading. To anyone nearby, it would just look as if she were fondly greeting him. All to keep up the appearance that they had been dating in secret for months...
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
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  4. Nivansrywyllian

    Nivansrywyllian Well-Known Member Member

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    His eyes caught his date, and -for a moment- he forgot that he was there for political appeasement. He raised a casual hand to forestall the hostess, as Evelyn Frost approached, her hands settling on his forearm. The contact sent a strange flutter erupting into his stomach, and the chaste brush of lips-to-cheek had his cheeks flushing ever so faintly. Rivalry being what it was, the eldest Murphy had harbored something of a private infatuation for the scion of House Frost for years. Quietly. And well hidden.

    "You made it safely," He said, with a smile that only felt slightly forced. "You're sure nobody followed you?" That was -of course- for the hostess's benefit. And the benefit of any would-be eavesdroppers, before they were well on their way to the table. The thought occurred to him to pull out the lady's chair, but already she was draping her jacket on the back. He supposed it was a tired cliche anyhow. So he subsided in his own seat, his jacket neatly folded over the back.

    Once they were settled in, he leaned forward, a slightly mischievous smile flicking over his face. "Well," He began slowly, studying the woman's face. She was a better actor than he. Casey had always worn his heart on his sleeve, and guile was perhaps the weakest of his talents. But the show had to go on. "If you're dead set on the trite dinner proposal, I could go down on one knee here and now, I suppose. We might not even have to have dinner then. You could work up some tears, cover your mouth and nod, and we could make off like we were going to be romantic somewhere less public." He suggested.

    "Or," He laid his hand halfway across the table, palm up in invitation for the woman to take it in hers. "We could spend the space of a dinner getting to know one another a bit better, and I could surprise you with something a little more genuinely romantic. After all, just because it's a necessity, doesn't require it to be a misery. No matter where it happens, I have a sneaking suspicion we'll be followed, viewed, and put in the papers all the same. Thanks to our somewhat less constrained siblings."

    "You look lovely tonight, by the way."
     
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  5. Alchemy

    Alchemy The Rebel Queen Administrator

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    She waited to see some sign of distrust or disgust from him. Instead she was met with something unexpected. Kindness. Sympathy, perhaps? The main goal of this meeting was to make it appear as if this was a thing they had done for months, that their closeness had been the thing to trigger her sister and his brother into the fight that had happened at the World War II Gala. Eve thought about it for a moment and then she lowered one of her hands down and laced her fingers into his. It was a casual touch, but she found it still sent slightly pinpricks along her spine. Perhaps they were going to better at this than she had originally thought.

    "I supposed the latter option will seem more genuine. Dinner it is." She said, her smile cracking slightly as her brain tried to figure out what his angel was. She had always been taught that the Murphy family had a reason for doing anything they did, and it was almost always a malevolent reason in her family's eyes. And yet, with their ages about to be tied together forever, Casey seemed to watch something else. Maybe he wanted a chance at happiness, just as she did. Eve leaned forward, the smile back to its steady state upon her lips. Those reporters might still be watching and waiting to see what passed between her and the son of a rival family.

    "Thank you, you look quite handsome yourself...but then, you always do." The curve of her lips was fully sincere for a moment. "And soon we'll be married and soon after that we'll both hold spots on the Council. You're probably aware, but my mother is sent to retire in a couple months. I think that's why she agreed to this on my behalf for Elaine. She's always been protective of my sister." Her mother had never shared that protection with Eve, she had always pushed her head first into hard situations.

    Eve held his gaze for a moment, her honey-brown eyes studying him for a long moment before she spoke. "You're right, we can make the best of a difficult situations. So tell me, why did you agree to this whole thing? Your brother, yes? It sounds like we're the same in that regard, that we'll both do anything to keep our families happy and healthy. That's an admirable quality, Casey." Perhaps he was not the evil once she had been told, since he had agreed to this just as she did. It still remained to be seen though. She squeezed his hand for emphasis, a gentle touch but a meaningful one.

    "As for me, I like the color rosey-pink. I prefer old movies to new. I actually just like roses in general. That's a quick crash course in me as a person. What about you?"
     
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  6. Nivansrywyllian

    Nivansrywyllian Well-Known Member Member

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    Casey cracked a slanted smile that suggested a particularly wry nature as she took his hand. She even paid him a compliment. That, he had not expected. "Why miss Frost, you'll have me blushing like a schoolboy." He studied her eyes. They were lovely. And discerning. He had the distinct impression that he was being measured as a man, down to his smallclothes. It was going to be a night of careful exploration, or his oath would fly to tatters as quickly as his position on the Council once the date went down in flames. His gaze turned to her fingers, lacing with his own, and he ran his thumb across her digits gently.

    "I love my brother," He said slowly, his smile dropping to a more serious expression, golden brows furrowed. "But he's not why I'm here. He needs to learn to control his temper better. Gods, he's a grown man. What happened at the memorial service was inexcusable." Back to his date his eyes turned. No, I-" He very nearly spun an old lie, he'd been telling for months. Something stayed his tongue, though. This was a woman he was going to marry. Communication and honesty, his father had said, were the foundation of a great relationship. He shook his head again. "My father is ailing. He might not live the month. He took my oath that I'd look after my brother, and the House Murphy. And that means..." He gestured vaguely to the room in an encompassing motion that suggested the situation as a whole. "Well. I could imagine harsher punishments."

    His smile sprang back, only slightly strained. "Me in a nutshell. Let's see. I like Celtic punk rock, I'm certainly a dog person, and I don't consider a food a meal unless it involves meat of some sort." The expression eased into a more comfortable one. "And I'm the sort of old fashioned that still picks up the bill on the first date." His eyes swept to the side, as a waitress approached with a notepad in hand.

    "I'll have a porterhouse, rare." He glanced back to his date. "Wine with dinner, darling?"
     
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  7. Alchemy

    Alchemy The Rebel Queen Administrator

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    Eve lifted her gaze to the waitress. She had barely glanced at the menu, but she had been her a time or two before. A wide smile touched her lips as she looked up at the girl, who seemed to recognize both of them immediately, as signaled by the slight line of confusion in her brow.

    "I'll go with the filet mignon and I think a bottle of a good Tuscan red wine, if you have it."

    The waitress took their menus with a slight nod and Eve was free to return to their conversation in progress. She shifted a little, trying to relax. Maybe he was not the horrible punishment her mother and sister thought he was. This had all started over a situation like this, over a century ago. Her great-great-grandmother spurning his grandfather's proposal in favor of a more wealthy, more established magical practitioner, Elijah Frost. It had started the rivalry and both families had spent the better part of the last century fanning the flames.

    "So basically, we need each other to get what we want." The statement was made without malice or judgment. It actually sounded more like she was relieved. If he was willing to give up the chance at love and happiness with a woman of his choosing in order to get a seat on the council, perhaps they were more alike than she realized.

    "And this is technically not supposed to be our first date, but I think I'm happy to let you foot the bill all the same." She smiled at him. Even though she had never been through anything like this, she knew how things were about to go. Everything was about to happen very quickly, as soon as he proposed. Neither one of them would have a good reason to wait to be married, so the engagement would be short. The smile softened, pulled at by sudden thoughts in her head. She was still looking at the situation as an unfortunate business arrangement, when he seemed to actually want to make something more out of the cards they were dealt.

    "Then maybe we can look at it like that, we look at as us working together to achieve our goals. I think if we can support each other in that, then you are right...There are harsher punishments than being forced to marry a talented, handsome and determined man like yourself. I guess since we'll be skipping past the courtship, I should ask what you want and expect in a wife..."
     
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  8. Nivansrywyllian

    Nivansrywyllian Well-Known Member Member

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    Casey relinquished the woman's hand when the waitress moved to take their menus. His eyes followed her as she departed, although more in a measure of distance than any sort of desire. When she was far enough that he didn't think she could hear any longer, his gaze returned to his date. "I don't mind at all. DMS pays very well." He leaned his elbows on the table, steepling his fingers over his empty plate.

    "I agree wholeheartedly. We are both capable, and talented adults. We both want to see wizards coming up in this world. Hells, if we hadn't made a point of voting against one another during elections, I'd go so far to hazard a guess that our politics aren't all that different." He was speaking generally of the houses, rather than the pair of them in specific. "There is no reason at all that this union can't be functionally effective. An alliance going forward. A brand new partnership, for the betterment of our kind."

    The waitress arrived again as he subsided, with the waters. He raised a hand to touch her elbow gently, "Oh and, an Irish whiskey, neat if you don't mind." She dipped a quick bow, before hurrying off again for the alcohol.

    The last part of her statement had his hair standing on end. She'd said it. What he'd want in a wife. "Gods, that's what it will be soon enough, won't it? I understand that this isn't ideal. And -apart from the letter of the law- I don't expect you to be mine." This was all delivered in a conspiratorial tone, with that crooked half-smile of his, leaned over the table. "I'm not about to demand you drop any lover you might have for my sake. As long as it doesn't come back on our houses, your heart is none of my business. As long as you're happy, and I'm happy, we'll make a happy team with the public none the wiser." His cocksure grin spread.

    "But if we're going to live together, I suppose we'll have to figure out how that'll work. Do you cook?"
     
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  9. Alchemy

    Alchemy The Rebel Queen Administrator

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    He was very likely right, they probably had more in common than they had allowed themselves to realize. She then cut to the quick of why they were here and it was clear the subject caught him off guard. In truth, she was not sure what she wanted out of the situation between them. He seemed so calm about the idea that they would simply be married for the benefit of the public and their families, but that beyond that, they wouldn't need to be involved.

    "I'm not-- I don't--" She began, but the words would not form in her mouth. "I am not currently seeing anyone. I have a friend from college that I sometimes...stay the night with, but those nights are few and far between. If we're married, I think I would prefer to end that practice. I just...Haven't had much time for dating, I've had other things in life to focus on." Dating was a strange world for her anyway, people often saw dating her as an opportunity to move up in the world, to get contact with her family. James knew that their arrangement was purely physical, a way to deal with the stress of life, and that was why he had become her occasional booty call.

    She looked a little shy then, perhaps bashful, since they were laying out a roadmap for their lives together. She barely knew the man in front of her, so that was an odd task to attempt. "I worry if we both decide to have affairs, that we will end up living half-lives where we can't give our full hearts to our intended...And as much as it pains me to say, without notoriety, eventually the truth would come out. I'm not telling you that you have to be celibate or be with me, I wouldn't presume to try to control you, but I think for my part in our marriage, I'll abstain from seeking outside relationships." It sounded more formal than she intended it to, but she let the answer to his next question soften her a bit.

    "I cook. My mother wasn't home a lot when I was little, so our nanny taught me everything she knew. I can figure out just about any recipe, even though I tend to rely way too much on take-out nowadays."
     
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  10. Nivansrywyllian

    Nivansrywyllian Well-Known Member Member

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    Casey found himself smiling at the girl. Woman, really. His wife-to-be. She was lovely, and put-together, and -at the moment- she was floundering over his bluntness. He dipped his chin in a nod. "The trappings of romance have no hold over me. Blessedly." He rolled his eyes. "Could you imagine the mess this would be if one of us were involved from the outset?" He arched a brow. "Messy. No, I agree. I'll likely not pursue anybody outside of the marriage."

    He paused again as their drinks came, setting his tumbler on a coaster. The waitress uncorked the bottle of red, and poured Evelyn a glass, before setting the whole of the bottle on the table between the pair. The young wizard nodded a quick, "Thank you," as she departed, lifting the whiskey to his lips for a sip.

    "I can cook nearly anything on a grill. Baking's weak for me, but I can learn. Maybe we'll take turns. Cook and do dishes by the day." His eyes turned to the table. Marriage. It would mean the end of certain freedoms he enjoyed. But all endings made for new beginnings, and he was determined to make the best out of the situation. When his gaze returned, there was a determined set to his icy blues.

    "What do you want your wedding to look like? Big, and fanciful with a thousand guests? Small and private, at the courthouse? Do you want to take a priest, or a magister out in the dead of night to be married beneath the moon and the stars?"
     
  11. Alchemy

    Alchemy The Rebel Queen Administrator

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    So they were both essentially willing to be fully committed to this so-called 'punishment.' That concept still struck her as relatively odd, but it also filled her with relief. Even if nothing truly romantic happened in their relationship, she did not want to suffer the embarrassment that would come with the outside world discovering her spouse "cheating" on her. This felt like a much better option. They were both focused on their careers and they could move forward in them, together.

    "I can bake. I actually had dreams of owning a cupcake shop as a child, but they were quickly dashed by my mother. It's still a fun hobby now and then though. Perhaps you can teach me how to grill and I can teach you how to bake?" A genuine smile blossomed on her lips, at the idea of it. She could almost see them in some future kitchen, making dinner together.

    Again, his next subject caught her off guard. It seemed that this would be the way things would move tonight, each of them throwing out an expected concept with unexpected consequences. Eve had never really given the ceremony much thought. Her mother would want the big wedding, with a thousand guests and a large venue. With their caliber among the wizard community, it would be something of a "Royal" wedding. The combining of two very well-known lines.

    "Let's elope. A calm night under the stars, a couple weeks after the engagement." She said, loving the idea of such simplicity. The press would still have a field day, but they could keep it separate from that moment. "We also need to think about a place to live. I have a tiny apartment downtown, but I mostly use it for nights I work late helping my mother. I often end up sleeping at the house I was raised in, so those two places are not exactly ideal for starting a life together..."
     
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  12. Nivansrywyllian

    Nivansrywyllian Well-Known Member Member

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    Casey's wry grin sprang back. She'd teach him to bake. He could picture it now, him in some stained apron, with flour everywhere, and her scolding him for the mess he'd made. Maybe it wouldn't be so onerous a duty, this marriage. They seemed to be getting on well. With luck, it would be no more difficult than rooming with a friend. "I'd like that, I think. I make the best steak you'll ever eat, guaranteed." He glanced around in search of their order. "I'd have invited you for a cookout if I'd thought we could get the publicity we need. And if I thought your mother wouldn't suspect something untoward." He shrugged, apologetically.

    The subject of finding housing had Casey's chest expanding in a ponderous sigh. "Right. A place to live. I hadn't even thought of that. There's my family home as well. I don't suppose that's a good idea though, with politics sitting they way they are. I suppose we could get a new place together. It would certainly be slightly symbolic. A new life, and a new home." He suggested, gauging the woman's reaction as he lifted his whiskey for another sip. He set the tumbler down again, and leaned back in his chair. "Personally, I'd like a place that's not in the city. Too much noise. Too little security. It'd take me a whole year to ward the house as well as I'd like without stepping on someone else's toes."

    He stopped again, when the waitress returned, this time with their meals on a tray. The eagerness in his eyes was earnest when the steak settled before him, and his stomach let out a gurgle of glee. A morning spent at the hospital hadn't allowed for a decent breakfast. After the waitress dropped off their food, he continued as if she hadn't interrupted. "I think I'll enjoy that. We can have it under a full moon. The next one's midway through next month. Maybe it's silly, but I always feel that ventures taken under the full moon are blessed. A good omen." He said, rolling his eyes. Though he was a rather talented wizard, Casey Murphy was something of a skeptic when it came to blessings and omens. Despite himself.

    "Do you have any burning desires? A quaint suburb, a flat downtown, a loft? A grand old house?" He paused once more to drain the last of his whiskey, and took up fork and knife, eyeing his food eagerly. Only propriety kept him from taking the slab of meat in hand to tear into with his teeth.
     
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  13. Alchemy

    Alchemy The Rebel Queen Administrator

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    Eve began to work at her meal as well, cutting it up into easy bites. She shrugged her shoulders as they continued to converse.

    "My mother is likely to suspect a lot of things, but she's the one who really wants this wedding to go off without a hitch." The Frost matriarch had all but told Eve to seduce Casey, to ensure they was enthralled with her enough that the fences between their families would be mended without any sort of issue. When her mother had first introduced the idea, it had made Eve almost queasy to think about. Now that she sat before him, now that they had talked...It didn't sound so bad. Not that she intended to seduce him, but she could actually see herself sharing a life with the man in front of her, even if their relationship was largely platonic.

    "I think 'somewhere quiet' sums it up nicely. Something sizable, but not huge. Close enough to the city our commute isn't horrific, but far enough we feel like we have some room to breathe. I suppose we could probably make the drive together, once we've both taken a council seat." That idea struck her as suddenly odd. The Frost's and the Murphy's almost always voted against each other in matters that concerned the Council. When her mother retired and his father...passed, they could quite possibly change that. It would not have a huge impact, their votes alone, but both families both had a considerable amount of sway and influence within the Council and with the public at large. They could literally change the political landscape, were they to work together to do so.

    "Is there anything I can do to help with your father? If he doesn't have much time, we don't have to wait for the full moon. I know what it's like to lose a father, and if he can see this milestone for you, maybe that's a good thing? Maybe we even try to show him that this will become more than just a punishment or a marriage for political gain?" Sure, they could say it started that way, but they found more than they bargained for in each other. His father could leave this world knowing that his son would have a good life, a happy life, with a woman who had come to legitimately care for him.

    "I want to be there for you, it's clear you deserve that much." Eve said.
     
  14. Nivansrywyllian

    Nivansrywyllian Well-Known Member Member

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    5:35 PM
    Casey nodded agreeably. Some place quiet sounded fantastic by him. A place not too far out of the way. Maybe a house with a yard. He let the thought of settling down, getting a dog, and having a couple of kids run through his brain. The implications of that carried were enough to shut down the line of thought abruptly. He shook his head, and his mirth faded quietly at the mention of his father. A momentary flash of sorrow flitted across his face, before he'd assumed a stony neutrality. He wasn't very good at hiding what hurt, but there was too much riding on the night to color it with the grief he was carrying.

    He studied his hands, trying to compose himself well enough that he could trust his voice. "It's a curse," He admitted, somewhat surprised that his voice remained as calm as it had. His throat felt tight. "From long ago. The wording's tricky, but he certainly won't live out the next three months. He could be gone tomorrow." He made himself smile, though it didn't quite reach his eyes. "He has my oath. He knows I'll do what it takes for the house. For my brother, and for myself. While I think he might like to see the wedding, I suspect he'd rather it got done right than rushed. So..."

    The wizard's chest rose as he took in a deep breath for a sigh. "If we can do it right in a week, all the better. But if we can't, then..." He trailed off. He took solace in his steak for a few bites, trying to occupy his mind as well as his mouth for a moment. When he could swallow again, both the steak and the emotions, he went on.

    "Thank you, Evelyn. I'll be honest, I hadn't expected this sort of compassion for a Murphy. That was a disservice to you. You do your house proud." He dabbed at his lips with a napkin.

    "I think I've had my fill. Do you want to grab that bottle and come with me for a walk?" He nodded to the wine she'd ordered. "Hand in hand, like proper modern lovers?" The wry twist was back, and while there was still a melancholy in his eye, the smile was sincere.
     
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  15. Alchemy

    Alchemy The Rebel Queen Administrator

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    "Then we do it right in a week. I think we can, especially if we intend for a small ceremony. I can figure out a dress this week, and we can use my little apartment until we find a better place." It was small, a loft in the city where they would not have much privacy, but they could find somewhere else pretty quickly, given the sway of their families and the considerable wealth they had access too. Maybe it would be good to be confined closely together for the first bit of this thing. They'd have ample time to get to know each other.

    She was nearly finished with her meal as well, so she nodded. The waitress seemed to gather the cue as well, because she came over and helped them settle the check. Eve stood and pulled her jacket back over her shoulders before she took the wine bottle into one hand and reached for his with the other, just as he had mentioned.

    This was all so much easier than she had expected, so much so that she almost didn't notice the wide eyes on them as they left the restaurant together. Up to this point, people would have been able to assume they were simply meeting as friends or political opponents, but Eve made it a point to snuggle herself a bit closer to him, so there would be no doubt left.

    As they neared the exit, her grip tightened around his hand. "Once we're out there, we can't really go back." Eve was not sure why she was giving him one last chance to back out before this went public. If this night alone was any indication of how their relationship going forward might be, they would make a very good team. Perhaps more than just a team.
     
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  16. Nivansrywyllian

    Nivansrywyllian Well-Known Member Member

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    The young wizard shrugged into his coat as he rose from the table, glad to take the pretty brunette's hand in his own as he fished for his billfold. He didn't need to wait for their check. He'd done the math on the food and the wine, and the hundred he'd left on the table was enough to cover both meals, and a generous tip besides. His smile broadened however, as his soon-to-be fiance tucked in against his side. It felt strangely right. Like it was where she'd been meant to go.

    His chest swelled, and as they turned on the entrance of the eatery, the girl squeezed his hand. It drew his eyes down to her. His free hand rose, that smile quirking small to a more private expression as he touched her chin with thumb and fore. "Sweet of you to offer, Eve, but I've given an oath to my father. And a promise to you, to make this a night to remember." He grinned. "Let's make the best of it."

    And like that, he lead the woman out into the New York night.

    ---

    It was a short walk from the busy streets of New York, to the somewhat more private seclusion of the local park. Not private enough to dissuade the reporters likely hired to tail them from carrying out their job, but secluded enough to make the moment to come private.

    "I'm going to ask you to trust me, Evelyn." He said, still hand-in-hand with the woman as they approached small lake set into the park's center. The moon was new, and it left only the starlight, and the distant streetlights for illumination. There were the occasional passers by with flashlights, lanterns or glowing baubles, but for the most part the two of them were alone on the shore of the lake.

    "Will you close your eyes, and keep them closed 'til I've told you to open them again?"
     
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  17. Alchemy

    Alchemy The Rebel Queen Administrator

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    Her stomach twisted a little when he mentioned the word "trust." It wasn't his fault, not directly, but their families had barely been able to be civil towards each other in the last century, and for a moment, it felt like asking for trust between them was asking for a lot. Then she looked at him again and those fears seemed to melt inside of her. Whoever they were by name, he had shown he wanted to make this work as badly as she did and he had equal motivation to do so.

    "Okay," she began with one last squeeze of his hand. There were probably people nearby watching their interaction, but she did her best to push them out of her mind as she set the bottle of wine she had been carrying down on the ground next to her. She offered him one last nervous smile and then she closed her eyes and waited. Was he going to propose here? It did seem more romantic than the restaurant. Eve had always had an affinity for nature and parks were small pieces of that.

    In her mind, she thought about their fictional relationship as she waited for him to tell her to open her eyes. Clearly, they met through their parents' dealings, perhaps if it were real it would have started very secretly...Or in a very fiery fashion, with heated trysts after their families had hurled insults at each other. The thought of that brought half-smile to her lips, and for just a second, the idea of the two of them, half-clothed, pressed against one another flashed in her mind. Her breath caught as she pushed the idea to the back of her brain. She tried to focus more on the way the fictional courtship might have progressed. They would have likely spent time her little apartment, the only place they could get real privacy.

    It was all odd to think about, but strangely it made her feel better about whatever came next.
     
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  18. Nivansrywyllian

    Nivansrywyllian Well-Known Member Member

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    Casey gently pulled her hand from his own, and left her on the bank as she closed her eyes. "No peeking," He insisted. There was a soft, creeping, crackling sound. Like settling frost. Light, and the rush of air played on the eyelids of the pretty brunette. The sound of Casey's footsteps, muted on the sandy bank changed as he stepped further from his about-to-be fiance. Bootheels clicked onto something much harder than sand, and farther out than the edge of the shore.

    The stepping sound stopped, but the creaking sound continued, though growing vaguely more distant. "Alright," Casey said. "Open your eyes."

    Casey stood well beyond the shore, on a path of ice as wide as his outstretched arms. He was backlit by what appeared to be a roaring bonfire on the water, and he was holding out an inviting hand to the woman. Little wisps of flame made footprints on the ice that lead to the young wizard, dancing gaily and contending with the fire behind him to make the shadows dance on the unseasonal ice. It was a display of control and power. And it was lovely to look upon.

    "I have something to ask you, Evelyn Frost." He called across the intervening space.
     
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  19. Alchemy

    Alchemy The Rebel Queen Administrator

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    She felt the brisk turn of the air, but it was actually more refreshing than intrusive, as she waited for his signal. Even though she had a good idea of what was about to come next, she still found herself filled with anticipation. When she opened her eyes, it was likely experiencing magic for the first time all over again. They didn't need some elaborate plan for a proposal, he seemed able to pull beauty from the air. Eve had never really pictured this moment in her life, but now that she stood here, it felt right. It felt good. A far cry from the concerns she had felt earlier.

    Others had started to stop their wandering, spying the two of them from short, but polite, distances. Eve closed the gap between them, walking carefully on the frost. He had incredible control of his abilities, something she had never really had the chance to be witness to until now. Her own abilities were nowhere near as flashy, but she wondered if that was another signal that they might be able to truly compliment each other if they could make this work.

    Eve took his hand, warm in her own against the backdrop of the frost and ice around him.

    She leaned in close. " You're quite talented." Her lips curled into a genuine smile as she leaned back again. "Now what was this you wanted to ask me? Something important?" There was a bit of playfulness to her tone, since they were well out of earshot of the few public passersby. He had made good on what he said, this was much more romantic and even felt more personal than a restaurant proposal might have been.
     
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  20. Nivansrywyllian

    Nivansrywyllian Well-Known Member Member

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    The wizard smiled at the woman as she stepped onto the thick sheet of ice he'd made. As she passed, little ice prisms shot up from the water with her every step, catching and reflecting the fire at shoulder-height before falling down with plops once again, until she came to a rest before Casey.

    When she took his hand, he found himself smiling back at her. Slowly, he sank down to a knee. Whether or not the onlookers could hear them, it was as sure a sign for a proposal as any. "Even if it might not be what you want, even if we have troubles down the line, I am willing to give you my oath. To do right by you, and to help bridge the rift between our families. To that end," He said, fishing a hand into his coat pocket. He picked out a little velvet ring-box, and gently released the woman's hand to open it.

    He held it in an upturned palm, baring a simple band of gold. "I'm sorry it isn't a prettier ring. On short notice, it's all I could afford. But despite the shortcomings of the situation, and this proposal, my question is this: Evelyn Frost, will you marry me?"
     
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