Private Tales A Silver Tongue Turned Gold

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Inara Irren

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Inara had learned long ago to avoid the Vaudelay and especially Mama Leveau and her girls. She shared the same sentiment with Tal. She had no desire to go down there but she also couldn't let Fillian continue his little side business.

She rubbed her forward with her thumb and middle finger as she let out a deep sigh. Who the fuck had she pissed off lately? It was someone of importance apparently. Had Max put a curse on her so all she could do was fail? That certainly would make him happy.

"Any ideas that won't end in our deaths?" Inara asked Tal. She felt a little bad that she had drug him into this now.
 
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Tal

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Tal glanced at Inara for a moment.

Briefly he considered just stepping away from this mess, turning on his heel and heading out the door. This wasn't really his problem after all. He had offered to help Inara, but it was just that, help. There was no reason to get himself killed.

Unless...unless he thought of a way to turn this to his tide. It would be hard. Mama Leveau was hardly stupid, but there was a chance. "Well."

He said, musing.

"I'm thinking a little less lace and more bare skin first of all." Before she could answer Tel turned to the barkeep. "We'll talk later about that little thing with Viktor."

The Underboss said with a raised brow, and then flowed away from the bar. He motioned for Inara to follow him, not wanting anyone to overhear. "Mama Leveau isn't dumb."

No, there were a thousand ways to describe her and dumb wasn't one of them.

"She doesn't want war with the Syndicate, she just wants her people safe." He explained. "So we just have to make it clear that there's more to be gained by handing over your boy."

There was more of course, but Inara didn’t need to know everything. She just needed her problem solved, and besides if Tal pulled this off, he might get a few witches in his pocket.
 

Inara Irren

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The withering look that Inara threw Tal told him exactly what she thought of a little less lace and more bare skin.

She followed Tal as she tried to think of possible solutions. She listened to his idea and had to admit that it wasn't a bad one. Mama Leveau was not dumb and she did want her people to be safe and successful.

"I think that might work. Having two underbosses from the Syndicate show up on your doorstep is more menacing than one..."

They exited the bar and she let out a long sigh. She was not built for being a boss and it kept giving her a headache.
 
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Tal

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As they made their way back towards the carriage Tal began to fold the plot over in his mind. Menacing someone like Mama Leveau was not the best course of action, not if you wanted to live, but the implication of it would be enough.

"No thugs." He told Inara as they climbed into the carriage.

They would have to be...careful about this. The Vaudelay was a territory no one wanted to be seen invading, even if they carried every confidence. Tal doubted that the City Watch itself would dare march into that section of the Shallows. "This will need a careful touch."

He mused, glancing at her.

"And..." Tal stared at her. "I think we're going to need to up the price of this little..."

The underboss gestured. "Favor."
 

Inara Irren

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Inara didn't speak as the got into the carriage. She didn't need to. There were so many things running through her mind right now. She did absently nod in agreeance with Tal saying no thugs.

He was right, it was just them in this. She hoped that just them being there would work. It would send a message that this man had screwed over two of three sections of the Syndicate and that was not someone you wanted in your family.

Inara finally looked up and caught Tal's eyes with her bright hazel ones. "Oh? And how exactly do you want to up the price of the favor? Hmmm?" She was smiling even through her questions.
 

Tal

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Tal smiled. "Oh no no, Doll."

From his pocket the Underboss plucked one of his cigars. The sweet scent of it filled the carriage as he clipped it's end, leaning back on the bench as he peered across to his companion.

"You don't get to know." He told her with a wag of his finger. "You agree now."

Tal told her. "You do as I say, when I say, and play this little favor to the end."

The words lingered in the air.

"Or...you can deal with Mama Leveau all on your lonesome." Why take only what was offered? Why gain only one advantage when he could have two? Why not have a little...fun on the side. Especially when that fun would be so exquisite.
 

Inara Irren

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Inara looked amused at Tal's demand. She smiled sweetly and leaned forward, clasping her hands together.

"We are back to this little game, huh? I am your obedient little side kick?" She sat back again and crossed her legs.

She grew more and more curious everytime he spoke of her payment. He knew she was a woman of her word.

"Of course, I agree, my dear Tal. I am just curious as to why you are keeping up the pretense that there will be some kind of cloth on my body..." Inara winked at him.
 
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Tal

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"Oh I don't need you to be a sidekick." Tal said with a click of his tongue. "Just obedient."

The Carriage ride was a surprisingly short one for where they had been, and as Inara offered her quip they suddenly came to a stop.

Tal seemed to linger for a moment in his seat, pulling a match from his pocket and striking it against the door. The cigar pinched between his lips was lit, the smell of sweet tobacco filling the air even more as he smiled at Inara. "Oh there will be some, sweetheart."

He told her.

"I wouldn't have you attend the party bare." Tal leaned over and opened the carriage door. "That would be far too indecorous."

He smirked at her. "It'll be the accessories that will be the real fun."

Without another word Tal stepped out of the carriage and into the streets of the Shallows. Ahead of them lay a small, ramshackle townhouse squeezed between a dozen others. A few people milled about on the street, but Tal ignored them as he moved towards the building.
 
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Inara Irren

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"Wait, what?! Party?!"

Inara gaped at Tal as he opened the door. That was not what tripped her up though. No, a party was one thing but the next words almost caused her to fall out of the carriage.

"Accessories?! Tal!" She whispered sternly as she found her footing and straightened herself out. This asshole was going to drive her insane. Well...more insane!

Inara stood straight with her chin held high as the two of them headed toward the townhouse. She was starting to grow nervous now and she hoped that they could pull this off without bloodshed. Or more changed to the deal being made.
 
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Tal

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Tal moved towards the building without a single second of hesitation, entirely ignoring Inara's outbursts. "Mama Leveau is practically a Queen in this city."

It was very likely that Inara already knew that fact. The Vaudelay was mentioned in more stories and ghost tales than anywhere else in Alliria. No one fucked with it, not if they could help it. Those that did ended up not dead, but as something far worse.

"And a Queen needs to be paid proper respect." Climbing up the steps Tal pulled out a key from under a loose brick, sliding it into the door and unlocking the townhouse with a loud click. "A gift will go a long way for that."

The door opened, and the inside of a ragged, worn down townhouse was revealed. "And I know just the perfect gift."

Tal mused as he crossed the room and began to tap the floor boards with his feet.
 

Inara Irren

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Inara looked around the room in mild disgust. This place was...well...it was a place. She watched as Tal tapped on the floor boards, a small smirk crossing her face. Inara crossed her arms and raised a brow.

"And what is the perfect gift?"
 
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Tal

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For a few seconds Tal didn't respond.

Instead he stepped and moved around the broken down home. It was more than clear that he was searching for something, and after a few moments the sound of his boot landing seemed a lot more hollow. "Something she..."

He mused, squatting down.

That odd blue blade flickered into his hand, stabbing down between the floorboards. He jiggled the blade back and forth, and then the board popped up. From beneath it he pulled out a small wooden box, tapping it for a moment as he replaced piece of the floor.

"Doesn't even know she wanted." Tal said, seeming rather pleased with himself.

He had spent five years in this city, and every day had been spent learning more. Preparing for anything and everything, assuring that there would always be a plan. Always be an answer.

It was how he'd survived.
 

Inara Irren

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Inara wondered closer to Tal and looked over the wooden box he was holding. It looked plain and she found it hard to believe that it held some great treasure that Mama Leveau would want. Tal had been doing this much longer than she had though so she would defer to him.

It was true that negotiations were a form of conning but it was a different type than she had done before her new life. There were always extra components with Tal and with all of this craziness.

"What is in the box, Tal?" Inara asked her question with a narrower scope this time.
 
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Tal

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Tal turned towards Inara for a moment, smiling. The question was a fair one, and yet that hint of playfulness still hung around him. He liked to tease, poke, and keep everything he could to himself. It was how he had made it this far.

"Oh," He tapped the front of it, fingers gently rapping against the top of it.

He mused for a moment more, and then turned towards Inara. Gently touched the top of the box, and then without a second of hesitation pulled open the lid. Within, a sight revealed itself that many would have found disturbing.

Two fingers, each of them cut off just before the third knuckle. "Just a few of a ladies favorite tools."

Tal said with an easy smile, then snapped the lid shut.
 

Inara Irren

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"Kress, Tal, really? You just keep fingers under the floorboards as gifts? I have serious worries for your mental health!"

Inara was really starting to wonder if this man was genuinely insane.

"And why does Mama Leveau want fingers, Tal?"

Was it too late to just go back home? Run away from all of this and let the offshoot business continue? No, she couldn't do that. That was fucked up.
 
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Tal

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"You should meet my father." Tal said with a slight chuckle.

Truth was, a few years ago he probably would have agreed with Inara. Keeping fingers under the floorboard was most definitely not normal, but even the oddest things became rather ordinary after all that he had been through in the last few years.

"They aren't just any fingers, love." He said with a smile. "They belong to her husband."

Amusement flickered through his tone as he walked towards the door. "A husband who scorned her, and ran away."

His tongue clicked. "Something she very much took offense to."
 

Tal

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Circumstance, luck, and preparation. All of the things that mattered in this business. One truly needed all three to have even a hint of success, and Tal had made sure to cultivate each section of the triangle as much as he could.

Even luck. "I'm going to ask one last time, Inara."

For once, Tal's voice was serious stern. There was no hint of a joke or jest as he reached the carriage, one hand still clutching the little box.

"No going back." He told her.

Tal wouldn't spell out the price. Wouldn't say what the fun he would have with her was. She had had enough hints, and knew the problem she faced. What more cost might land at her feet.

The decision was entirely hers.
 

Inara Irren

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Inara looked up at Tal as his voice changed. She knew what she had agreed to. She had to fix this. She couldn't let Marcus or Max find out. The former would be disappointed, the latter would be irate. He liked being her bodyguard about as much as she liked not having the ability to lie.

"Yes, I am sure. This needs to get fixed and you are the only one I," she paused looking for the right word. "Trust..." Inara smiled a small smile at him.

Yes, she was aware that he had plans for her and she would just have to accept it. She had accepted it. She was going through with this.
 
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Tal

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A scoff pulled from his throat. "Well, you couldn't have picked a worse man."

Tal told her with a shake of his head, and then ushered her into the Carriage.

The box was set down on the bench besides himself. His hand came up to sweep slowly through his hair. The door to the carriage closed behind Inara as she sat herself inside. A few seconds later they began to move forward once more.

"The Vaudelay." He began, his voice once again taking on that slightly more serious tone.

"How much do you know about it?" Tal asked. "Even your father tends to avoid it."

As did most of the Syndicate.
 

Inara Irren

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Inara huffed at his response to her comment about trusting him, "I could think of a few that are worse."

She got into the carriage without another word. The carriage started to move and she sat back into the seat comfortably.

"I do not know much. I know the witches are there and you do not fuck with the witches." Inara answered honesty.

She had no idea that Marcus avoided it but she wasn't surprised. There were few things that had stuck with her as well as the advice she got about The Vaudelay. If you do not want to die, do not go there. Do not fuck with them, do not look at them, do not trust them. Those were words she had taken to heart.
 
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Tal

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Tal nodded, having suspected as much. "It's a...different sort of place."

He admitted with a frown.

"Mama Leveau and her people are from the Bayou, some say, but got here a few hundred years ago." Least if one believed the rumors. He'd heard tell that Leveau herself was well over nine centuries old. Something he'd never quite been able to confirm. "Not all of them are Crones, but enough."

Enough that it could be a problem. "Make sure..."

For a moment he trailed off, then, slowly Tal shook his head As if he were dismissing a thought. "Don't buy anything, don't pick anything up from the ground, don't stray from behind me, and most importantly..."

He looked at Inara. "Be polite."

There was no small amount of irony with those words coming from him.

As he gave her the list of rules, the scenery outside the carriage began to change once more. They went from the familiar Shallows to the marshes around Alliria. Slowly the buildings became somehow even more ramshackle, tinged with moss and covered in vines. No windows sat within these buildings, and the air seemed to grow thick.

Men and women still roamed the street, their dark skin decorated with thin white lines of paint. Some marked with a tattoo of stark red, a symbol that appeared a circle of three swirling lines meeting in the middle.
 

Inara Irren

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"Tal, I am going to try to avoid talking at all. I am afraid that if I cannot lie to her then I will end up hurting this more than helping it." She hated to admit that sometimes it was best to just shut the fuck up.

"I can be polite though...I hope..." Inara grimaced at the thought.

She really did hope she could be polite because otherwise she would get them killed and that would not be good for anyone.

She noticed how the appearances changed so drastically in the short trip and it even seemed colder and darker here. This was not a place that normal people wanted to come.
 
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Tal

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Tal blinked for a moment. He let Inara's words linger in the air, as if he were considering something. His head tilted to the head in an odd sort of way, and then after a few seconds more he finally spoke.

"Honesty is not a hindrance." Not if you knew how to use it, and especially not with Mama Leveau.

If there was one person in Alliria that he would not lie to in Alliria it was her. He would of course not tell her everything, and only give her the information that he needed to give. But outright to her? No. He knew better than that. "You just have to say the right thing."

Slowly the carriage came to a stop, and before either of them could reach towards the door it seemed to open by itself.

Goosebumps almost immediately prickled over his flesh, and he tried not to clutch the blade at his side. Instead he grabbed the small box besides him, offered Inara one last look, and then stepped out of the carriage.

Greeting them almost immediately on a small dirt pathway that lead to an unassuming shack of a house stood a young girl. She could not have been older than fifteen, her skin dark, her eyes a palewhite. It was a stark contrast that could make even the biggest thug feel uneasy.

"Mama is waiting for you, Tal. She is very interested in how you got what's in that box."

Tal smiled. "I'm sure she is, Helene."

The Underboss said as he began to follow the girl up the path.
 

Inara Irren

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Inara nodded at Tal's words. She would have to consider her words even more than she normally did. She would need to be extra careful today. She did not want to die or get Tal killed or add on to her favor.

The carriage stopped and Inara moved to exit but the door opened of its own accord. Fucking witches, she thought as a chill of fear ran down her spine and through her body. She locked eyes with Tal for only a moment before he exited the carriage and she followed on his heels.

The young girl was beautiful and creepy at the same time. Inara just stood silently by Tal's side as he spoke to Helene. She was instantly curious how much he dealt with the witches if he knew this girls name. Interesting.
 
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