Page 453: Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Summary: Darek pays Sela's cell a visit.
Date: 19 October 2012
Related Logs: Under the Lash and To Speak of Things
Darek Sela 
Dungeons, Highfield
Access to the dungeons is obtained through the squat little tower that funnels traffic up the keep. Where most of the traffic goes up and along the rampway, a very select few instead go down. A wide winding staircase leads several meters down into the motte. The structure here has been given the most amount of care — all stone walls and ceilings. The space is divided off into several dark cells which are walled in wrought bars. There are always guards assigned to this area, and is occasionally visited by retainers meant to wash down the cells of scent and stains. Stocks are placed near the back of the chamber and a door rests between them, leading into another room that is no doubt used to aquire information from prisoners who might have such to offer.
October 19, 289

Squires don't skulk. Neither do star musicians. Apparently, however, when you're both, you do. Darek lingers around the entrance to the dungeons, watching people go in and come back out and counting as he does. When his counting tells him that there shouldn't be anyone visiting, he sets aside his practice blade and shield, buckles on his swordbelt over his livery, and makes his way down into the dungeons. He's sweated out most of his hangover, but a scowl still gathers between his eyes. He nods to the guard on duty to make sure that nothing disappears, then inches his way up to the open door to Sela's cell, moving tentatively, quietly.

Wine-induced dreams are strange ones. Since she woke, she has been trying to remember each little detail, but they keep slipping through her thoughts like water through a colander. The door to her cell is opened wide, but she refuses to acknowledge that she can so freely stroll out of the Ashwood dungeons. Perhaps it's a test, perhaps they are just waiting to see if she would cut her own time in the cell short. Her hair has been knotted up messily off her neck. She is dressed in a thin blue shift, and there are sparse, fine lines of blood staining the garment's back. If she hears Darek approach, she does not register it. Instead she is staring straight ahead at the wall that bears the shackles, though it is almost as though she is seeing through the wall itself.

Darek hesitates there, just outside the cell door, his lips pressing together and smoothing out, his brow furrowing and clearing, his emotions clearly not settled or controlled in any sort of way. Eventually, however, he sighs heavily, reaching one arm up to brace his forearm against the open frame of the cell door and lean against it. "What in the seven hells did you think you were doing, Sela?" The words could be angry, they could even be shouted, but instead they sound more tired than anything, more than a little flat and drained.

The moment the words start spilling out of the squire's mouth, she is scrambling up to her feet and turning to face the boy. She is backing away from him, and that branded hand is drawn tightly behind her as if he has never seen it before. Perhaps it's instinct, not to let anyone see the marks that make her story impossible to hide. "Darek," Sela almost whispers before she takes a daring step forward. She must grind her desire to rush through that cell door to him, and her toes curl against the rush-covered floors. "I was trying to see Cherise," she says automatically.

Darek starts back at that sudden flinching movement, no longer leaning against the doorway, but instead holding up both hands as one might to a spooked horse. The response draws confusion onto his features, and then he rolls his eyes, discarding the statement like a shirt used to wipe off sweat, "Bullshit. You said you weren't anything to her." At least, that's what he remembers of the brief discussion on the topic. And now the anger that was warring with concern beneath his features comes to the fore, a sneer painting itself across his delicate features, "So which noble son of a bitch was getting a visit to his window? At least I cursed well hope it was a noble if you dumped me over him."

The thief advances another step, though his sneering words causes her to freeze again. She narrows her eyes, anger flashing in those brilliant blue eyes. "I wasn't comin' around to fuck with one of the Ashwoods," she retorts scathingly. "And even if I was, it ain't your business who I'm sleepin' around with." She approaches another step, pointing an accusatory finger at the squire. "I heard all about you and Simone," she snaps back. "She was braggin' about you tossin' about with her in the sheets."

Darek narrows his eyes at the first retort, "So it is another c — " and then she's at it again, and he subsides angrily, his teeth clenching together. And then she's stabbing a finger at him, and his mouth drops open, "Why that lying little bitch…" Snorting and tossing his hair aside, he puts a heavy dose of ironic sneer into his voice, "It ain't your business who I'm sleepin' around with, but I was on duty with Ser all that night, lookin' for a couple of guards who were drunk off their asses and hadn't reported for duty." His eyes narrow again, and he tucks his thumbs behind his belt-buckle, "So you're keepin' track of what I'm doin'? Funny, that. For someone who says we're done."

Now it's Sela's turn to roll her eyes, and she turns slightly away from the squire. Her profile has gone unchanged, though she still holds herself with a ramrod kind of accuracy. "You don't have to hide it," she says hotly. "I know you've been kissin' on Simone before." Which is perhaps true, but Sela has never had issue with Darek's kissing behavior before. "I ain't keeping track of you. Simone was talkin' about it in the kitchens. You can do whatever the fuck you want."

"Are you fucking kidding me?" Darek throws up his arms, "Do you think I would bother to hide it if I was fucking Simone? I'm nothin' to you. You made that abundantly fucking clear before you decided to go sneak into some damned house-servant's room." He shakes his head, angrily scrubbing his hair back from his face, "I come here to make sure that you're okay, and to find out what the fuck possessed you to go sneaking around, and you start yelling at me for something I cursed well didn't do."

Before emotions can give her away, Sela turns away from the squire. She presses her hand to her mouth, chewing at her fingernail wearily. What was she even suppose to say at this point? She settles for shooting a rather dismissive, "Well, you came, and you found out that I'm just fine." The moment the words are out of her mouth, they bring on a shade of guilt.

Darek clenches his teeth, although much of his anger bleeds away at the sight of the bloodstains on the back of her borrowed shift. His hands drop down to his sides and he blinks slowly, deflating. "Curse it, Sela. I thought we had something. I really did. And now I find out that even a noble bastard sees a common bastard as just a step-stone on the way to something she sees as bigger and better." He tries to put on a carefree smirk, but it comes up hollow and empty, "Bet those stripes fade before the bootprints do." And then he turns around, starting out of the open door.

Just as he turns away, Sela turns around. She advances after him with ghostlike steps, though she still does not dare cross the threshold of the cell door. Instead, she clings to the frame, looking out toward the departing back of the squire. Her own shoulders drop, and with the gesture comes a sudden sear of pain as the soft fabric grazes along ripped and welting flesh. She sags into the iron, gripping it for a moment until the jolt subsides. Her release can't come soon enough, for the moment she steps out of this dungeon, she's leaving with Garett — wherever her father might be going.