|Accusations and Apologies|
|Summary:||Whisper-yelling, teacup-throwing, blood-licking, and angry incest. What more could you want from Jacsen and Lucienne?|
|Lady Lucienne's Chambers - Four Eagles Tower|
|zomfg, more temp descs? whyyyyyyyyyyy|
|Sun Jun 10, 289|
Perhaps it's the relative luxury of Lucienne's chambers that prompt her to spend so much time within; soft carpets, a cozy hearth that is regularly lit even in the warm summer evenings, comfortable chairs enough for her and several guests. This evening the scent within is overwhelming, sweet jasmine with a touch of soft pink rose wafting from the hearth where her tea brews. The lady is at her desk, seeing to some piece of parchment or other with her quill whilst a tall and pretty handmaid brushes out her hair. The silence between them is comfortable, the servant girl permitted to watch with keen interest as her lady writes.
It wasn't luxury that kept Jacsen to his room these past days, but he's finally up and moving around again. Slowly. Laboriously. There's a slow, weak tap at her door before he steps through. The walk from his room to hers is short, but has still taken its toll on him; but otherwise, he looks much better than the last time she saw him. "Luci," he greets with an edged smile. "Can we talk?"
Luci looks up and over her shoulder toward the door at the interruption, breaking into a small smile at the sight of her brother. Her handmaiden steps back, and there's a slight twitch in Lucienne's brow as she notes that edge to Jacsen's expression. "Alone?" She doesn't yet give up her writing.
Jacsen considers that question for a moment. "Please," he says quietly, giving the handmaiden a smile and a nod. "Unless now is not a good time," he adds, glancing to her writing. He hobbles over her way with some urgency. "What are you working on at this time of night?" he asks curiously, trying to catch a glimpse of what she's scribbling out.
"Pour us some tea please, Celine, and then leave us?" The request is accompanied by the soft click of her lightweight desk chair, as Luci lifts it out to stand. What she's writing is nothing too scandalous, simply a letter to their brother Jarod asking him to confirm he is well and any details of the current situation in Stonebridge — nothing she sees any need to hide from Jacsen. "I will always make time for you, dear heart," says Lucienne, reaching out a hand to steady him. The tea poured, Celine sees herself out with nary another word, closing the door softly. "What is it? You're looking… better."
"I'm feeling better," Jacsen says with a wan smile. There's a wariness about him even as he's steadied by his sister. "So I wanted to see you, of course," he says casually, moving to take a seat. The less time he spends on his feet, the better. "I also heard that the Groves were visiting, and that you and Dmitry met with them," he says conversationally, glancing up at her. "How did that go?"
Of course she picks up on the oddity of his demeanor, used to a far different sort of Jacsen when the maids are dismissed. Lucienne follows, retrieving teacups on her way and offering one to her brother before sitting opposite him. Unphased, she answers rather dryly, "Quite well, until your lady wife saw fit to intervene. She seemed to be under the impression… that it was some great secret, perhaps?"
"I think she just wasn't expecting it," Jacsen says with a shrug, accepting the tea. His hands are steady again. "She hadn't heard about the Groves decision until I mentioned it in passing, either." There's a drawn out silence as he takes a slow sip and puts the cup down. "Did you get anything from them? The Groves?" He raises a brow in her direction. "I know your plan is to insinuate yourself into their House, but I assume this is all just groundwork now."
"That's hardly my fault," says Lucienne archly in Jacsen's long silence. She consoles herself with a short sip from her cup, savouring the wash of tea over her tongue with lowered lashes. When they part again, her mouth crooks a thin smile. "What do you think I was able to get, brother, with the lovely Lady Anais running her acid tongue after every suggestion?"
"Be that as it may," Jacsen says evenly. He watches his sister as she drinks, studying her features. "I don't imagine there was much you could get from that meeting," he says, looking down to his cup again. "What of this rumor I hear that Father has forbidden your marriage to them? I haven't been able to speak with him yet on these latest matters. But you asked me to seek out a marriage for you to Lord Stafford - and you would never ask me to act against his will." Although it's spoken as a statement, it carries the question with it.
"We simply sought to open a dialogue between our Houses, where none had been opened before - much to our detriment," Lucienne points out, her tone far more even as she lowers her tea to her lap. Her hands remain curled protectively about it, and she seems puzzled for a moment. "Did Lady Anais tell you that? There were plenty present when last our father and I discussed such. He said he would be willing to consider the match, but that he would not trade his daughter for grain."
"Mm," Jacsen grunts into his tea, acknowledging the need for dialogue between Terrick and Groves. "I don't remember if it was Anais or someone else. But I know I heard it more than once. At this point, I can hardly tell what is truth and what is rumor." A cautious statement for a cautious conversation. "Why did we lose the offer, Luci?" he asks plainly, resting the tea against his leg. "They wanted that land. Did the Naylands offer them so much coin as to blind them?"
"This is absurd," Lucienne tells her teacup, lifting it again for a balm to her irritation. "Would I hold a meeting in the throne room to act against our father's wishes? Do you think me that daft that you'd ask, Jacsen?" She draws a deep breath, and a deeper sip from her cup, before sighing heavily. "As I heard it from Lord Kittridge Groves, your wife indicated to him that we were not in a position to make an offer. With you abed, and nobody else brave enough to risk Lord Jerold's wrath by conceding the lands, the Groves took the next best deal. Were they meant to wait until the harvest had spoiled?"
The half-empty teacup is contemplated deeply. "No," Jacsen says quietly. "I think you far to the opposite extreme. Which is why I don't understand any of this right now." He takes down the rest of the tea, replacing it on the table with a sigh. Why can't anything ever be as simple as it seems? His head sinks down into his hands. "And for all of it, we're no closer to getting what we need. Not yet." He presses and rubs his temples.
"Then why ask," Lucienne shoots back tersely over the rim of her cup, her dark eyes piercing like daggers. "Justin seeks suit with a Nayland. Your wife should concern herself with begetting an heir rather than trying to sully my name, what with the reputation that House has." A stark contrast to Jacsen's weary gestures, Luci pushes up and out of her chair, ferrying her tea over to the window, sharp and alert. "Regardless of when I wed, you will concede a dowry. Right now, we have no means to use the land, and no solution to find a means in the near future. If you wait, you will need offer a far greater sum for a far lesser lord than Stafford Groves, Jacsen. They have gold, and they want land."
Maybe it's the headache. Maybe it's the accumulation of everything that he's been through since awakening. Maybe it's the he-said-she-said back and forth politics. Whatever it is, Lucienne's question makes him burst out, "Because you asked for the seal!" He pushes himself up, leaning against the arm of the chair to keep himself mostly upright. "Because you told me that you wouldn't, you told me right here, in this bed," he hisses, pointing, "that it wasn't part of your designs, but you came to me while I was weak and promised me Milk of the Poppy for it."
Tea goes flying from her cup as Lucienne spins, making quite the spectacle to match Jacsen's outburst - she'll have to rewrite that letter on the desk. "Would you sooner give it to Justin, whom you barely know? I came to you, and you were stark raving mad in your withdrawals. What was I meant to do, Jacsen? What was I meant to do?" She could hardly be called loud, but there is a decisive lift in her voice, and a helpless note besides.
"So you wrote me off, is that it?" Jacsen asks, rounding on her. Well, pivoting a little, anyway - he can't exactly be dramatically imposing in his current position. "Just like when I was in my fevered sleep, sister, and you planned on taking it? I had been in withdrawal for two days. Two days!" His voice is a harsh, raspy whisper. A wince as pain shoots through his leg, sending him reaching for his cane. "You waited three months last time, but I'm awake for a week and I only merit two days? What will it be next time, Luci? Three hours? Five minutes?" He tries to hobble over to her, but only manages to make it to the edge of her bed, where he gives in to the pain and sits, grinding his teeth as he rubs his leg.
"I don't care who bloody takes it," hisses Lucienne, "If they damn well use it!" Unmoved by her brother's pain, she tosses the teacup at him furiously. The curse words sound unfamiliar rolling off her tongue, but she delivers them with a razor's precision. "We don't have two fucking days to spare, Jacsen. Do you think me a traitor, too? Go on," she urges, her chin lifting defiantly. "Accuse me again."
Jacsen sees the teacup coming. He has just enough time to close his eyes and try to dodge back into the bed before it hits him, the hot liquid splashing on his face and neck, the cup itself striking his jaw and shattering, leaving a few short cuts on the right side of his face. "I never called you a traitor," he growls angrily, touching his hand to the cuts. His fingers come away with blood. "I will use the seal. I will," he says, raising it defiantly at her. "I'll shove it down people's throats if I have to. Or do you doubt me too, Luci?" Allowing the blood to slowly drip down his face - none of the cuts are serious - he gets back up again. "You, of all people."
There's a moment longer that her anger burns, despite the blood her rash action has drawn. "You come in here, questioning whether I'd set you against our father," Lucienne growls back through clenched teeth, her hands drawing fistfuls of silk in an effort to keep from clawing Jacsen instead. "And you have the hide to try and guilt me? Who has doubted who, brother?" She hurries to bridge the few steps between them, releasing her hold on her skirts to push him back down onto her bed.
Jacsen doesn't shrink back when she closes in, his eyes as sharp as the cup-shards that cut him. But when she unexpectedly pushes him back, he flails, eyes wide. Which leads to his cane snapping up, failing to catch his balance, and his free hand reaching out to grab at her. Whether it's to keep himself upright or bring her down with him, he needs to actually connect in order to achieve either.
If he's intending on keeping himself upright, Jacsen would do better to reach for a bedpost. Without much weight to her, Lucienne is not a great counterbalance to the force of her surprise shove, and thusly, she stumbles forward as her brother latches onto her arm. Her knees hit the foot of the bed with a soft thud, and she winces and yelps as she plants a hand down on his chest to try and keep some distance.
Jacsen wheezes he lands, falling onto his back and Luci on top of him. He puts his hand on her shoulder, bracing her up and glaring at her with a half-snarl like he's going to push her away. But the anger behind his eyes have given way to something else altogether, and the proximity and warmth is too much to bear. The hand moves to the her neck instead, his fingers digging in to pull her down toward him.
This is what she expects when he sends her maids away, and Lucienne grasps a fistful of fabric at Jacsen's chest as he draws her down. Her temper transforms, and she presses a kiss first to his injured jaw, blood smudging on her mouth. "I'm sorry," she whispers fiercely, tongue peeking out to taste red as she moves to seek his lips.
Her touch, her kiss, her scent ignites Jacsen. Her kisses her back deeply and hungrily, hands already working their way under her shift and roaming across her soft skin. "Oh, you will be, my… lovely… Luci," he whispers, his lips brushing against hers. Between those last words, he nibbles her lower lip, the last one hard enough to draw a point of blood. "You will be. I'll draw those words from your lips." Holding her eyes, he pulls her down for a rough kiss right against her cut. "Because I love you."
Light flashes in the dark pools of her eyes as Jacsen holds her gaze, her tongue brushing against the split he's caused in her lip. Lucienne only smiles before she surrenders, and NOBODY WILL EVER GET TO READ WHAT HAPPENS NEXT BECAUSE THAT IS GROSS.
BUT IT'S TOTALLY HOT, INAPPROPRIATE, DEVIANT SEXINGS.