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October 29th

2022

Eris' Compound

 

 

 

 

She was looking up into a light golden glow in the window through a haze of illuminated gray. Mouse had retrofitted the windows in her office with the same light shields her plane had. The girl was a genius. The effect was much like a fogged over moon in the midst of a bright night; she couldn’t quite reconcile she was actually staring at the sun through the window and not be on fire.

 

Ahanu cleared her throat softly and the viceroy blinked out of her contemplation.

 

*npc* Does it bother you at all?

 

She shook her head, going back to the business on her desk, handing her assistant and bodyguard several leather folders to take care of.

 

“Only because it seems so strange to look at after all these years. I don’t think the world realizes how disorienting it is to never see the sun. It doesn't bother me physically,” she said quietly, picking up the Bakkhos invitation in the next small stack of things she didn’t feel like taking care of. “Decline this please.”

 

She handed it off as well. She hated parties. She hated gatherings. Fuck, she just hated people.

 

*npc* You should go.

 

Ahanu tossed the invitation back on the desk.

 

“…and you should stop dating Roderick, but we can't always have everything we want can we?”

 

Words were a bit vicious as she signed her name on a few other items and slipped them into another leather portfolio, ignoring any reaction from her associate.

 

*npc* Maybe you’ll meet someone there too. Might chill you out a little.

 

Lips pressed together, the viper knowing it was a fair swipe. Dark eyes looked up at her. Only here, in this space, did Ahanu ever dare question her. It was welcomed sometimes, it knocked her back out of her neverending drive when she needed it. This was one of those times.

 

“You have every right to be happy,” she placed down the pen and leaned back in her chair, hands on the arms as one leg slid quietly over the other. “Just not at the expense of Nation security. You have to be more careful what you say. You’ve been to Glamis, you know the risks. You’ve seen what happens when we step over the line. Bakkhos is not our friend. If we are seen there, it calls into question the relationship between us and them.”

 

*npc* In a way, that’s good… correct? You being seen there, Adrian can’t question you’ve done what they’ve expected of you. He just doesn’t realize Bakkhos also knows.

 

Eyes fell to her desk a moment.

 

“Being seen at Thyrsus and their clubs while repairing the fallout from the Bloodmoon was enough,” lashes flicked back up to her. “Being seen too much calls to question that it isn’t just a business relationship.”

 

*npc* So what, Ausar doesn’t question your loyalty.

 

“But Adrian does.”

 

Ahanu looked at her a moment, there was more there than the Viceroy was divulging. There always was, but this was more personal.

 

*npc* You’re concerned about retaliation from Adrian, more than just his usual bullshit.

 

“Yes,” her voice was a bit harsh. She didn’t have to say a word for her perceptive right hand to confirm her suspicions.

 

*npc* Why didn’t you say anything.

 

“It wasn’t relevant.”

 

*npc* It is now. You’re afraid he’ll fucking smash Bakkhos if he thinks you’re too attached to them.

 

The Sheut kneaded her temples a moment.

 

*npc* He doesn't want you associated with anyone but us... that’s why he absolutely lost his shit when he thought Reid…

 

Eyes snapped up, the weight of their ferocity halting Ahanu’s thought in its tracks.

 

*npc* He's treating you like property. You are the last person I ever thought would let someone screw with you like this. Take it to Ausar.

 

“No, this is a personal matter.”

 

*npc* Take. It. To. Ausar.

 

“NO! she stood, force of her hand smacking the desk making even the floor shudder. “Ausar doesn’t need to hear about our fucking personal problem!”

 

*npc* He didn’t put you here to be micromanaged by a jealous asshole! ...wait, this isn't just about being associated and seen with Bakkhos is it? You don't want to be seen with Gallo.

 

Ahanu glared at her with suspicious eyes, the stand off terse as the Viceroy's silence left much unanswered, but confirmed at least some points.

 

Eris sat again, fingers pinching the bridge of her nose.

 

*npc* For god’s sake, what are you in this position for for then? Signing papers, ferrying rich people and Nation back and forth, watching over us and Bakkhos? What are you doing it for? Christ, do something for yourself for once other than buy designer shoes and sit in here by yourself.

 

Ahanu snatched the invitation from the desk and took the other portfolios as she made her exit.

 

The Sheut sat there a moment, eyes finally opening to look at her cell on the desk. She needed to cancel herself, in case Ahanu did something stupid. Picking it up, she dialed her favorite local stylish Were, leaving a message.

 

“I appreciate the Bakkhos invitation, but I will unfortunately have to decline. I wish you the best with your event.”

 

Phone snapped shut and was tossed on the desk, sliding over more business in front of her. She had quite a bit more to go, and a party wasn't in the cards... neither was making anyone a target from her presence. Bakkhos had always been a target, one she had softened the blow for considerably. Thomas, would be collateral damage if someone got irritated in the wrong way, then Bakkhos would follow and all her work and risk would have been for nothing.

 

Protecting her motley band of outcasts from constant Nation threat was easier because they were always with her. Thomas wasn't. She couldn't protect him... but that was why she'd picked him right? Because he could protect himself?

 

Ausar had put her there because he trusted her. Maybe it wasn't just that. Had he meant some other outcome besides stabilizing New York? She didn't fucking know, and she had other things to do than try to figure out his mind...

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