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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:45 pm

This was originally started on 18 July in Shrewsbury

Thomas of Looe wrote:-somewhere south of here-

"I don't want to be seein' ye about these parts no more," the tavern owner said brusquely as he dragged Thomas through the front door. Behind him, the last of Thomas' money, and then some, sat on the gaming table.

Thomas bristled with indignation. Who did this man think he was anyway? A mere tavern owner, pftt. Why his family raised horses for the Baron of Looe. This one-step-from-the-gutter barkeep didn't know who he was dealing with.

On the street outside, Thomas shook his arm free from the man's grasp. He gave the man a sneer, his tongue going to his top right incisor that had started to rot since getting broken in a fight a couple years back. He sucked a bit of meat from between the teeth and spat after the man as he returned to his establishment.

Thomas looked up and down the street making sure nobody had witnessed this humiliation. A cocky spring in his stride, he returned to the room he rented by the river. Not much of a home to begin with, it was a place he wouldn't be able to call home any longer. Two years' income couldn't cover his gambling debts and his name was now known in two or three counties. He shoved his meager belongings into his satchel, relieved himself in the corner and slammed the door on the place for the last time. Best get out of town before the landlord comes looking for his rents.

Several slugs of whiskey warmed his already ruddy complexion as he rode out of town on his aging gelding. The horse was the only thing he had left with any value. There was a time that one might have almost found Thomas to be an attractive man. He stood taller than most and had a finely-carved jaw and cheekbones. But too much drink and hard living had left him bent and worn well beyond his twenty-six years.

Of course, Thomas blamed his situation on a string of bad luck, not his unwillingness to work and desire to live beyond his means. Part of that bad luck was that scrawny lass running away. He kicked his horse in frustration at the thought of her. The horse lurched forward in response to the jolt. Oh, but he'd get her back. Hell, he needed to now.
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:46 pm

Thomas of Looe wrote:North. It seemed as logical direction as any. He couldn't go south, not with his reputation in Cornwall. So he plodded on, oblivious to most everything but the rumbling of his stomach and the emptiness of his purse. After several days with no food, he considered eating his horse, but quickly dismissed the idea as it would mean he would have to walk. Thomas thought himself above traveling on foot and was quite probably too lazy to butcher and cook the animal.

A couple more days and he would reach Thomas Allwright's home. The old wool merchant had been his father's cousin and best friend. They had been so close that Thomas' father had named his only son after the man. Surely he'd be good for a meal and a few nights' lodging. Maybe even a small loan, Thomas thought, trying to ignore the pain in his belly.

Hunger made Thomas more surly than usual. As he rode up to old Allwright's place, he twisted his face into an expression of congeniality. The smile almost hurt as he greeted the old man with a hug. He had three goals, food, money and the location of that lass, but knew he would have to play the game a while to get what he wanted.

"Is that really you, Thomas lad?" the older man asked, looking him over from head to toe. "Ah, it's gotta be, I'd recognize your daddy's blood anywhere." Allwright snapped his fingers as though he had made a great discovery. "Come let's get you a bite. Alma!" he called to his wife, "Look what dragged in, fix up a bit of that pottage."

One down, thought Thomas, his belly rumbling. He allowed his expression to return to a sneer at Allwright's back, but quickly put the smile back up upon entering the house. "Aunt Alma...."

Thomas went through the motions of being polite. It got easier as he ate up the rest of the pottage and wiped the bowl clean with the end of the bread. He stretched and leaned back in his chair, lacing his fingers behind his head. Small talk over, it was time to get to goal two. "I am actually up here for a reason," Thomas began, "You remember Aasha, my cousin? Well, she's gone missing and I'm afeared sumthin bad has come to her. You hadn't seen nor heard from her have you?"

Old Allwright scratched his beard and thought a moment. The wool trade meant he spent a lot of time on the road and saw many places and people. "You know," he replied furrowing his brow. "I thought I saw a lassie looked a lot like her over in Shrewsbury. Though I can't be sure, it's been so long since I've seen either of you." Alma and Allwright launched into speculation of what might have happened to Ash then into stories of the past.

That night, as Thomas tried to fall asleep on a straw mattress next to the hearth, he couldn't get Shrewsbury out of his mind. Quietly, he got up, filled his satchel with food and left the Allwrights behind. He could make Shrewsbury by sunup.
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:46 pm

Thomas of Looe wrote:Thomas had hoped to make Shrewsbury by dawn. The sun was high over his head when he finally rode into town.

The Frisky Feline beckoned to him as he rode past but he had no money. He hadn't been able to bring himself to steal gold from Old Allwright; he may need the man's help one day and a few loaves of bread could be forgiven.

His teeth aching at the thought of honest work, he made his way to the orchard and found the overlord. A convincingly good act got him hired on for the afternoon. He dragged his borrowed ladder about the trees, making small-talk with the other pickers hoping, eventually, one would lead him to her. This was going to take longer than he'd hoped.

That evening, his fingers stained, his back aching, he made his way back to the Frisky Feline. It was going to take more ale than the money in his purse could buy to improve his mood.
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:50 pm

Aimar wrote:He had never been entirely convinced ale was worth wasting money on but if someone else offered it he was alright for a drink or two. Of course he was hardly ever in the tavern late at night but he did go in a few hours before the usual crowd. It was surely the best place to catch a nap before dinner without anyone knowing. Later, he thought his time was better spent sitting with Aasha on the grass in Anne's well kept lawn or even leaning over the fence surrounding the pasture until they tired of talking nonsense or just enjoying the silence in each other's company.

He was sitting alone in the tavern again today, his eyes closed, chair tipped back on the back legs and his injured right arm in the sling while he enjoyed his little nap when someone entered the tavern and the sound of the door woke him, oh...he--ll--o he said as he greeted the stranger, not entirely managing to stifle his yawn. It was usually travelers that came in at this time anyhow, as the deputy sheriff in Moose's absence, he had convinced himself the timing and the place for his nap was the best for the town somehow. Of course greeting newcomers and travelers kept him updated better than spending the hours at home with three women would!

Come in matey, he said and gestured towards a chair as he hailed the bartender for drinks for the man...if he was any good he would return the favor later...his lopsided smile may have betrayed the mischief in his mind, if only the stranger knew him better.
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:51 pm

Thomas of Looe wrote:Errgh, company. Thomas shuddered at the thought of having to make small talk when his back was aching as it was. But free ale was a big lure and it wouldn't hurt to have an ally in this Jah-forsaken town. Maybe he could even shake a few pounds out of the guy at the tables.

"Much obliged, my friend."
Thomas forced out the pleasantry with a crude smile as he sat next to the man. "We pickers need sumthin for the aches and pains." He made a big display of stretching then drained about half his tankard in his first gulp.

"Ahhhhh....."
He tipped his mug towards the other man and clandestinely summed him up, planning his next move. The man appeared to be slightly better dressed than the average picker. Thomas decided to make a play for a better job. Until he got that girl back, he'd need money and dragging a ladder everyday wasn't the easiest way to get it.

"Ach, this pickin' is new to me. I'm a horse man by trade." Thomas took a slug of his ale and looked for a response from his periphery.
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:54 pm

Aimar wrote:Ahh, yes, picking is a tiring job, especially if you have to do it one handed, he grinned and gestured with his head towards his injured arm, but you can get a decent day's pay for chores for field owners too, animal slaughter and tending to crops, he shrugged his left shoulder having learned finally that shrugs did not suit his injury a lot.

If it is not too crude for you, I need a worker to slaughter my pigs too...or...he thought of the horses he had seen around, there was Anne's and Jasmyne's just to name a couple,...I have seen horses owners around town too, maybe you should meet one and see if they can help?

He smiled and took a swig while he assessed the man before him; he looked fine enough...well built and a view of his oddly broken teeth when he spoke told Aimar he was not one to spare a fight when provoked...or maybe he too had taken a short cut down a ditch, he thought, taking a comical view of his own injuries before asking, Must say, I have not seen you around before, new to town? or passing through? He was certainly not going to recommend a stranger to Anne for her mare, he still remembered the incident with the horse from the neighboring pasture...his smile deepened again as he waited for an answer.
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:55 pm

Thomas of Looe wrote:Thomas' eyebrow lifted at the mention of work on the farm, the horses especially. The thought of slaughtering a pig turned his stomach a bit, more from the amount of work it would be than from the gore. "If you're serious, I'm looking for honest work. I'm not much on heights so picking just don't agree with me."

He flagged the barmaid down and motioned for another pint, maybe it too would go on this other fella's bill. On his ride north, he'd given a lot of thought to how to answer questions of his past.

"I'm new - thinkin' of settlin' down if I can find some good work. My wife and new babe passed a couple months ago. I couldn't stay there no more."

That ought to draw some sympathy and stop more prying questions.
Thomas put on his best expression of sorrow and took another slug of ale.
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:57 pm

Aimar wrote:Ohh...sorry to hear that he mumbled and was at once more attentive knowing of the man's family. Empathy came naturally to him, other than during his fits of anger, the man needs help and that costs me nothing more than just referring him to the right people...I am Aimar de Balboa... he was going to hold his hand out to shake but ended up grunting and offering a nod of the head to accompany his introduction when the pain in his arm stopped all else. The quizzical look on his face was obvious enough though; he expected an introduction.
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:57 pm

Thomas of Looe wrote:"Name's Jack," Thomas lied and thought to himself that he needed a name for the non-existent dead wife. "I'd be much honored if you'd give me a chance to prove myself slaughtering that pig."

Balboa.
Thomas had heard that name and could practically taste the good fortune he'd just stumbled upon. It wouldn't kill him to slaughter a few pigs to get in with that family. If anyone had connections around here, it was them. Ash couldn't hide forever. That thought brought a genuine smile to Thomas' face.

"Tell me, how'd you get the broke arm?"
People loved to talk about themselves.
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:59 pm

Aimar wrote:Welcome to Shrewsbury, Jack he said with a grin ...and sure, my ranch is not far...I would be honored to help whenever I can, he was only too happy to see the smile on the man's face, surely losing a young family would have been hard. Oh my arm? It was nothing, he was glad the tavern was never too well lit so it hid the color that always rose in his face when he admitted he was too clumsy to even walk without getting himself dented, I heard I fell into a ditch...he could see the funny side of that now though, only I was not awake to find a clear path down-- he shrugged his left shoulder again and grinned, 'tis is not as bad as it looks, he bluffed trying to get attention off himself.
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:59 pm

Thomas of Looe wrote:Prolly drunk, Thomas thought as he took another look at the guy's arm. Some folks just can't hold their liquor. Thomas filed away that tidbit of knowledge for future use. "Sounds rough, looks it too."

He drained his second mug and decided against a third as it may tarnish his act of respectability. "Tell ya what," he said, "I'll be at your farm in the morning to deal with that pig. Just need directions."
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:03 pm

Aimar wrote:Hmm...directions...he pondered, and thought it best to give the easiest way around. Well I'd say you can find the Ale Monument easy enough, it is behind the town hall and on the Castle Street...follow the Castle Street towards Shrewsbury Castle in the North East-- Jah I did not know directing someone would be this hard, You will see the Weavers Corps to the right...do not turn there, follow the next fork to the right and then first left-- Good, almost there...My plot is the one next to Severn, the second on the road -- he smiled, There are only two this side of the river so it would be easy to find.

He made a mental note to get up early to get to his house before the man arrived; he was, after all, new to town. Being in sight when Jack gets there will ease him into Shrewsbury well, thought Aimar as he made to get to his feet, I should be getting along now, my good man, I will see you on the morrow. He nodded and mumbled g'day, only waiting to give Jack a chance to answer before he made his way out the tavern to head to the market...
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:03 pm

Thomas of Looe wrote:With the man gone, Thomas ordered another mug and pondered tomorrow.
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:05 pm

--The next day--

Thomas of Looe wrote:The man's home was quiet and seemed to be vacant when Thomas arrived. He wondered if he was in the right place. He'd replayed the directions in his head all night as he'd laid awake waiting for dawn. A good night sleep was something he was seldom able to grasp and it usually took a significant amount of alcohol to get any sleep at all.

Oink, oink, snort.

"You must be dinner" Thomas muttered at the fat hog. With a look of distaste, he went to work. It wasn't long before the animal was strung up by his back legs, bled dry and ready for the butcher. Thomas still hadn't seen the young owner and didn't want to leave before he'd had a chance to thoroughly impress the guy. He looked around for more work. A pile of wood sat at the edge of the field and after a little poking around, Thomas found a maul. His back ached just at the sight of the pile, but he set in on it anyway. That lass don't know what I do for her.

As he stacked the newly split wood neatly by the house, all Thomas could think of was a hot tub and a bottle of whiskey to soothe away the blood, blisters, aches and sweat that this day had heaped upon him. Jah curse me, this had better be worth it. He carried the last bit of wood into the house to stack next to the fireplace and took the opportunity to look around the place a bit.
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:07 pm

Thomas of Looe wrote:Thomas poked around the kitchen and parlor still carrying the armload of wood; should he be interrupted he could always claim to be looking for another fireplace. August? What the hell, at least the kid wouldn't think he was trying to steal something if his arms were full.

There wasn't much of interest in the place though the jug on the shelf in the kitchen was haunting him. Thomas dropped the wood by the hearth. Nobody's home. He grabbed the jug and pulled the cork. Just as he brought it to his lips, there was a thud in the next room.

Startled and angry, Thomas recorked the jug, placed it carefully inside the dust ring on the shelf and followed the sound. He'd been so sure nobody was home. He paused, listening.

"'ello?"

Did I say my name was Jack or James? Gotta keep better track of my aliases. A small scratching sound on the other side of the door replied. Thomas opened the door and a small kitten burst out, its tail in the air. A light odor of cat urine followed the animal.

Satisfied that he had a good excuse to have been in the house now, Thomas headed back to the kitchen to let the cat out and sit on the porch to wait for its owner to return. He needed information more than he needed any of this guy's stuff. And Balboa kept running through his head.......
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:09 pm

Aimar wrote:It took him a while getting back, the festivities had taken long and he was glad he had gone, though he had missed his cousin and Aasha a lot more than he thought would have been possible...well I expected to miss Aasha, not Anne...he grinned at the thought of saying that to Anne and pictured her devil may care look as he turned towards his home.

He had not been living here but it had occurred to him only on his way back that he had forgotten all about the appointment he had made with that Jack fella'. His door was open when he got home, Pea was rolling in the grass and licking its coat clean alternately and the sight of Aimar probably did not interest her much since she looked up, eyed him and then decided her coat was more important, Mad at me, eh? he mumbled under his breath with an amused look on his face as he made for the door, Aa-- he was about to call out to her since she was the only one who knew Pea was here and he thought she must have let it out but she wasn't the figure standing in his kitchen facing away, ---uhh...wha'? he said, unable to hide the surprise in his voice as he eyed the back of the man with suspicion, My house...no one is going to have any claims on it even if I was not living here for a few days...he pepped himself into a little rage as he walked up into the kitchen...what are you doing in my house? he chewed on the my a little as he spoke...
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:10 pm

Thomas of Looe wrote:Gah, but the man was quiet. Thomas hadn't heard him coming. He put his most convincing smile on his face and turned around slowly.

"Good day to ya, sir." Thomas tipped his hat. "Your hog's hanging out back. I's just bringing this wood in and heard that critter in the bedroom."

Thomas waited for the man to relax. From his first impression, Thomas expected him to be embarrassed that he had forgotten the appointment. This could certainly work out to his favor. Dinner? Maybe over at the Balboa place. Or maybe just another job for tomorrow.
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:14 pm

Aimar wrote:Oh...ahh...well...thank you, said Aimar, no one had cut his wood for him before since he had left his fathers' home and it seemed odd that the man had actually thought that. Very considerate...poor bloke, he thought of how it must be a family man's second nature as Aimar clapped the man's arm lightly to assure him the sudden antagonism was not just gone from his tone but his heart too, He misses his wife and child probably...

I hope you found everything easily, my intention was to be here before you...all thwarted because I got a late invitation to a wedding out of town...
he shrugged slightly, his arm noticeably was no longer in a sling . It was different, he thought of the wedding and he paused for a moment thinking about the sweeping motion...the swirl of the bride's dress and about Aasha...

As his momentary reverie broke as he took a deep breath and a smell other than the usual fresh air reached his nostrils, ugghh! he uttered and looked around for the source before he remembered he should probably pay the man first. Making a mental note to strangle the kitten as promised, he gestured for Thomas to take a seat and pulled his pouch out, counting out the wages with the look of a man who parted with his money after deliberation. Sixteen...hmm...the wood, he bit the inside of his lip to stop a sigh from escaping, he was still trying to get back on his feet after his accident, the losses had been more than just the weak right arm.

I am afraid I have not been living here recently, hence the... he gestured towards the unkempt look of the room, I cleaned it the day before he thought angrily, it was all because that silly cat decided everything was placed there for its entertainment, he smiled after an effort and added a coin to the sixteen, the look on his Thomas's face made him drop another and press the gold on to the man's hand before he could get the urge to add to the coins he was already parting with.

I am sorry I was not here when you got here, I hope you can forgive me for that..., he looked around distractedly for the source of the smell again as he tried to indicate he could offer no refreshments as he would have liked to, and thank you for letting Pea out...he sighed, there must be more than just 'pee' to go with the stench...I have to clean before I sleep... after the long journey, that was the last thing he had wanted to deal with...
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:16 pm

Thomas of Looe wrote:The chair creaked as Thomas plopped himself into it, being a common laborer was, well, laborious. He pondered the blisters on his palm as Aimar dropped coins into his hand. Sixteen, seventeen and another. Eighteen. Great, a turnip with my bread and another night in the corner at the inn.

"Good name for your cat." Thomas watched the kitten dive at the fringe of the rug, roll over on its back and kick the offending strings with its back claws before bounding off again. "Arm's better, I see." Smalltalk never came easily to Thomas and he struggled for what to say next. He couldn't get out of here without another job or an invitation to come back tomorrow. It was apparent that Aimar himself didn't have much money, but Balboa, there was money there somewhere.

"Tell ya what, I ain't got nothin going on this week and you got more work that you can do around here with that arm. Two meals a day and a spot to sleep on the porch and I'll come back tomorrow."
How could Aimar possibly refuse such an offer? It would be a rough couple of days, but he'd make it pay off.
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:17 pm

Aimar wrote:Hmm?...ahh...alright...he was distractedly looking for the source of the smell while trying to keep it from being too obvious. Cleaning Pea's poo was not an inviting business, hmm...if you can keep the cottage clean, you can use it for two days...two days only though...then I am shifting back in so you will have to hunt for a place after that...alright? Two birds with one stone! he thought and bit back the grin that would surely have been indecent, he could help the man and get the cottage cleaned, his arm was already hurting.

Is that alright with you? It won't be hard to find a good cottage here, and I have pigs ready for slaughter, you can work all eight when they are ready, I don't mind, he had not even looked at the job the man had done on his first pig but...he will do fine, he did cut the wood too...Aimar smiled at the man, waiting for a reply; whether he agreed or not, Aimar just had to go see Aasha, and he was starving!
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:19 pm

Thomas of Looe wrote:Two days was all the man had given him, two days to straighten the mess that damn critter made, two days to stew and wonder how the man became so tight. The cat was named right though, it took to peeing on Thomas's shoes on a regular basis. If he didn't need the money, and didn't know the Balboa name meant he'd get some, he'd have killed the mangy critter the first day. It had given him plenty of time to go through Aimar's things, but with so little here, there was nothing he could take for extra cash. Can't do that, things going missing would only make him suspicious.

The cottage looked a hell of a lot cleaner now than it had when he first walked in. Other people might be proud of their accomplishments, but not him. He only resented the lass more. None of this work was something he should have to do, these were the types of things she was for. Just wait till I get my hands on that lass. I know she's here somewhere, and I'll make sure she has nowhere to run.

But the cottage was small, so he had plenty of free time on his hands. Part was spent in the taverns, you never knew when someone might be feeling generous and share their rotgut. Part he spent looking for the girl, and making nice with Aimar. He even took to following the man, who knows, he was a Balboa. He should have contacts all over, he might even know her.
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:33 pm

Thomas of Looe wrote:His luck finally changed, but not until after Aimar moved back into his house, forcing Thomas to hole up in a dingy room that cost him too much money. He'd gone over to slaughter the pig the next day. That's when he'd seen her walking over the bridge from the man's place. Well look at that, under my nose the whole time. I'll make her miserable before I take her home. She'll regret the day she ever left.

Following wouldn't be a good idea, but he knew where she was now, he could systematically destroy her life first. A menacing smile crossed his face, and for the first time in a long time, he enjoyed his work. Her face flashed in his head every time the knife sliced through the pig's flesh.

The satisfaction lingered long after he'd cleaned up and put the meat inside the man's house. Catching sight of her after dusk, he followed at a distance, and was shocked when she went to Aimar's cottage. What's that fool girl doing there? He stayed in the shadows and watched as they talked outside. He couldn't hear them from a distance, but could see affection between the pair. Something to use against him later...and her. A wicked smile crossed his face, his attention never leaving the couple.

That same smile faded quickly when he saw the kiss. Rage consumed him. That insolent pup thinks he can lay hands on my property? Trying to claim her for himself? No way, I won't stand for it. She's mine, and she damn sure better know it. Thoughts of slowly poisoning her relationships here were forgotten in his moment of madness, the only thing that consumed him was a desire to lash out. Had she been close, he could have easily taken satisfaction in kicking her repeatedly. Lucky for her she was not, and his rage was directed elsewhere, to this whelp of a man who'd dared to mess with something of his.

His eyes tracked Aimar back to the cottage. That idiot didn't even make sure the door latched proper. Eyes narrowed, Thomas stalked in, following him to the kitchen. Blinded by fury, consumed by fire, Thomas grabbed a pot and hit him, as hard as he could. "She's MINE, not yours! You stay away from her you idiot. Don't be touchin' my property!"

It wasn't until the body hit the ground that Thomas noticed the blood. Lots of blood, and the man lay unmoving on the floor. Everything he'd planned, everything he wanted, it could all be ruined by this one rash act of rage. You blew it! No, its that fool girl's fault, not mine. He'd covered one murder, another would be just as easy. Let her find him. Let her know she destroys everything she touches. She'll never find happiness, I'll make sure of it. A smear with a rag on the counter made it look more like an accident. He dropped the pot carelessly into the puddle of blood still forming, then walked out the door, leaving it ajar. I'll have to disappear for a while, but I'll be back, and when I do, she'll be sorry.
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:33 pm

The afternoon was beautiful. She'd gotten an early start to the day and had a whole basket of fruit to show for her efforts in the orchard. Enough for her, Ellie and even Aimar. Excited, she rushed over to his cottage to give him a few before heading home.

The door was open, Pea was meowing like crazy, and a cold feeling of forbidding came over Aasha as she approached. Pillow was through the door first, barking like mad. Her footsteps slowed at the entrance, she could smell a stench that had her flashing back to the barn. The shovel connected, the pain in her chest, the weight on her, the blood everywhere. Closing her eyes tightly, she struggled to breath, forced herself to walk through the door, then opened her eyes.

Small pawprints tracked across the wood, dark indentations on the gleaming surface. Petrified, she went in further, straight back to the kitchen where the animals were now howling in symphony. He was there, lying almost totally face down, unmoving. A black pot lay by his side, a smear of blood on the counter. Pea looked pitiful, her fur matted with dried blood. It was a nightmare, worse because no matter how many times she tried, she couldn't blink and make it go away. She'd rushed over and knelt beside him, cradled his head in her lap and whispered his name. It was too late, he was gone...her whole life, everything she'd tried to accomplish...over...in what appeared to be a horrible accident. Tears tracked down her cheeks for hours before she ever moved from the spot.
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Post  Aasha on Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:40 pm

The__Rider wrote:The room was rank from the now dried gore. The body was gone, but its stench danced in the air with fumes from the lamp oil and pitch. The pallet and floor were soaked with the stuff. Blood mingled with oil and glistened anew, and the scents formed a new perfume. One that brought The Rider a terrible thrill.


He tossed a lit torch into the room and left for the bridge.


Behind him, the last of Aimar Balboa burned brightly in the night.

--Days...or weeks later...--

--The__Rider wrote:Messrs. ------------------,

I have found your misplaced property. However, I'm afraid the going rate has increased. Send your man to Ludlow on the 5th to discuss terms.

Your's in Jah,

Z
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Post  Aasha on Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:23 pm

--Thomas_of_Looe wrote:Patience had never been Thomas strong suit. Disappearing was a necessity, not a choice, one he resented deeply. It wouldn’t do for her to see him before he was ready, he couldn’t afford to tip his hand. So he waited, staying hidden. Disappointed when she bounced back too quickly, the support she seemed to gain from friends showed a strength he was not happy with, one he was determined to destroy. It only firmed his resolve, she was undeserving of happiness, he would see to it that she remembered that. How dare she think otherwise! She is mine, I will make sure she never forgets.

The more Thomas thought of her newfound strength, the more enraged he became, until all he could see was her lying broken at his feet. A subtle word here, a whispered rumor there, and he watched with satisfaction as one by one the people she was close to fell away, chucked with glee at her losses. He was poised to strike after Tiffanyanne died, finally ready to destroy that which he couldn’t understand. Confident that her support system no longer existed.

The grim reality was that she bounced again, the wolf entering her life at the wrong moment, disappearing from his sight after that reception. He was kicking himself for not moving faster, he should have taken her before she arrived, not waited until it was over. By the time she reappeared in Shrewsbury later, he’d worked himself into a fine rage, wanting to act recklessly and kill her then. But he’d heard too much of this man with her, opportunities hadn’t arisen when she moved in with him. He couldn’t go up against Donnor directly, not trusting his strength in a direct confrontation. He could only follow and watch vigilantly, waiting for fate to intercede.

He thought he’d found his chance after the battle in Chester, even spent the last of his coins on an assassin. A colossal waste of money, the idiot had failed him. The couple escaped to Ireland before he had a chance to regroup and try again, Donnor regaining strength too quickly to suit him.

With barely two pence to rub together, clothing now ragged and stained, he was forced to sell his horse for passage on a ship. Thomas was livid, he would make her pay for these indignations. Forced to walk, his every step fueling a desire for revenge, he vowed anew to ruin the chit. To forcibly remind her who was boss, who she belonged to, who she owed her life to.

Yet he still hesitated, determination wouldn’t give him enough power to face her husband, Thomas never saw her alone. Finally, the break he needed so desperately was realized. He winced as he witnessed them kiss, the depth of his hatred and bitterness growing, reflecting clearly on his face. Sticking to shadows, he followed the couple until they split up, and evil grin crossing his lips. Rubbing his tongue across the jagged edge of his tooth, he followed until she was out of sight of the town. The road to the university empty in the early morning light.

The time he’d spent had not been without cause, he knew her habits, assured him of his own strength if he could get her alone. No one would expect her for hours, by then they would be long gone. The knife in his hand gleamed dull, his footsteps silent as his bulk stepped behind her. The blade drew tight against her neck, his other arm wrapping around her tightly. Fetid breath washed over her neck, cruelty rang in his whispered threat; You thought you could run from me? I own you girl. Don’t move, or it’ll be the last one you make.

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