Private Tales Behind the Mask

Wren Kingsley

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Wren’s gaze narrowed as she turned to watch him dash around behind the crates, but his words had at least made her stop shouting and throwing things. She still wasn’t sure she believed him, but as he spoke of Mary her fists clenched. The woman had been one of many mothering figures to Wren growing up and even now.. she had never mentioned him, but then again Wren trusted her not to mention her name to others either.

“And what do you think I wanted it for? To spend at the market?” She asked with a quiet huff, her tone relatively calmer but still laced with bitter resentment.
 
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Val

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"To run?" Val answered as he drew an arrow an knocked it on his bow.

He didn't know enough about Wren to say what she did and didn't want money for, but...well after about fifteen minutes of screaming he was going to be honest with her about where hid mind went first.

"Going on the lamb isn't cheap." Val called out to her. "Especially if you want to live any sort of life."

Didn't matter where you went.

Alliria, Elbion, Vel Anir. Hell, one of the border states would be the same. "I figured you just wanted a mansion somewhere."
 
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Wren Kingsley

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Wren shot him the most venomous glare of indignation at his assumption.. "If I'd wanted a mansion somewhere don't you think I'd have left this shit hole of a city for good five years ago when I was chased out?! No. I took my sisters away from this place and we made a home for ourselves in the fucking Widow wood because I cared too much about them to let them continue to starve." she pointed in the general direction of the city's slums.

"So fuck you and your assumptions too."
 

Val

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He considered for a few seconds. "Well fuck?"

Val said with a quiet growl in his throat.

The young noble wasn't really entirely sure where he was going to take this now. It seemed that their goals truly did align but...lips thinned as he looked at his bow. She was such a bit. All she could do was yell this entire time.

He'd been perfectly reasonable, she was the one who had tried to drag the air from his lungs.

"If I come up from behind this box are you going to magic me?" Val really didn't know how else to put it. If she did try...he would have to put an arrow through her chest. No hesitations. Not if he wanted to live.
 
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Wren Kingsley

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She tried to force herself to calm and she gave a huff of a laugh at his question, though her face was void of any amusement. "No. So long as you don't try to kill me again either." she growled. As though he'd been entirely innocent in all of this.

Wren dropped his dagger to the floor and clutched hold of the bleeding wound on her arm, blood now garishly soaked in to her undergarments and she'd tracked footprints of it across the room.

"I'd appreciate it if you'd return my clothes and weapons." she frowned.
 

Val

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Val pulled himself up from behind the boxes. He still held the bow in his hand, and there was an arrow knocked, but only one hand actually sat upon the weapon.

"They are in a box..." He told her as he looked around the room.

There was a scattered mass of...well pretty much everything around them. He frowned for a few seconds, realizing that he was probably the one that had to clean this mess up when all was said and done. The place was his, but still.

Seemed rather rude. "Somewhere."

He finished.

"Now." Lips thinned. "Do you believe me?"

Val asked with a scowl.
 
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Wren Kingsley

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Wren stared at him, her chest rising and falling with each quickened breath and her face a contortion of confusion and anger.

Did she believe him? Wren captured her lower lip in her teeth and chewed gently as she considered. She seemed to look at him as though for the first time, green eyes studying him carefully and curiously. Gods, she wanted to believe him. Wren had believed herself to be the only one trying to help the impoverished for the past twenty two years, even her sisters acted like they didn’t know what she done in her free time..It had always been just her.

“I want to...” she frowned gently, eyes falling to the bow in his hand and rose again to the scowl on his face and she sighed and turned to sit on the floor against a crate. Blood was sleeping through her fingers as she held on to her wounded arm, and she let go of it, wiped her hand on her thigh and reached for the dagger she’d dropped to tear a piece of fabric from her vest.

She attempted to tie it around the wound on her own, but she needed two hands and she huffed quietly as she lifted her gaze to him, throwing the dagger to the opposite side of the room before asking.. “Could you?...” she gestured to her arm and offered up the shred of fabric.
 
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Val

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For a few seconds Val wondered if it was some kind of trick, if she would pull out a knife and gut him as soon as he got close.

After a moment though he realized how stupid that would have been. She could pull the breath from his lungs in an instant if she wanted him dead, why would she waste her time tricking him and then using a knife for the deed?

That would have been stupid.

"Alright." He answered, though there was a stiffness to his voice that told of the fact that he was still weary of the whole situation.

There was a clatter of wood as he tossed his bow and arrow onto the crate besides him. The weapon would be next to useless next to her anyway.

With quick steps he walked over to her, gently pushing away her hand so that he could take the shredded fabric and begin to wrap her wound.
 

Wren Kingsley

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She watched him as he considered, his caution clear and understandable, she wasn’t entirely thrilled about the idea either but she had to stem the bleeding and didn’t have much other choice in the matter..

“Thank you..” she muttered quietly as he took the cloth from her and started to wrap. She watched his face, as though trying to figure out a difficult puzzle.. “Are they really going to lose their homes?..” she asked hesitantly. The last thing this place needed was more homeless.
 
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Val

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Val nodded his head. "Their land is next to the mountains, apparently there's quite a bit of iron."

It was more valuable than the farming profits would have been, and that was of course all the Merchants actually cared about. To them it was all about the money, never about what it would do to the people. A few would try to claim that they could become miners, but no one actually cared.

"My father had made it all legal." With the Kings signing of course. "If the villagers don't come up with the money then their properties will be seized."

And then they'd all be forced to work the mines like slaves. "That's why I need it all."

It was a massive amount of coin, far more than he could ever hope to syphon from his father's accounts.
 

Wren Kingsley

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Wren sighed deeply, and her gaze fell with a deep frown as he spoke of his father.. She hated her parents, she done all she could to drive them into the ground but their wealth seemed to know no bounds. She let a pregnant silence hang between them for a while as she watched him wrap her wound..

"I had plans for it...But your cause seems a little more urgent. I can get what I need elsewhere, as long as I can keep enough to pay Theon for his troubles.. You can have it." she lifted her gaze, a weak smile of surrender on her lips.
 
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Val

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As he tied off the bandage Val let out a sight.

He assumed that Theon was the large man who had accompanied her to the Gala. Whatever his pay would be undoubtedly wouldn't be enough to make a true difference, and Val could always make up the rest through funds stolen from his father.

"Thank you." The young man said with a sigh, slumping back on his heel ever so slightly with no small amount of relief.

In truth...he still didn't really like Wren. there was something about her that made his teeth set on edge. Like walking around a panther who was ready to bite off your throat at any time, but at the very least she was reasonable.
 
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Wren Kingsley

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Wren's jaw clenched as he tied the bandage and she huffed, pulling her legs in toward her and draping her bloody arm over her knee, suddenly aware of how little she was wearing and how irate it made her to think of him stripping her clothes whilst she was unconscious. She dropped her gaze and decided to let it go..

"I'm not doing it for you...I'll bring it here, wherever here is.." she told him firmly and looked around the room which was now littered with crate debris.. She couldn't risk him knowing where she lived, she'd managed to keep hidden for this long, she wasn't giving that information over to an Oban noble now. "And the buyer for that egg is supposed to meet me at the docks tomorrow morning. It's the most valuable thing I took.." she sighed..

"Now can you please..find my clothes?.." she muttered quietly.
 
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Val

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For a few seconds he considered, wondering if this was all some sort of ploy by her. She could still be completely lying, just telling him, what he wanted to hear so she could get out of the warehouse and just get away.

Yet...she had trusted him. Shouldn't that mean he should give her the same leeway? "Alright."

Clothes. Right.

After a few more seconds besides her Val got up and began to search through the destroyed crates and half smashed pieces of wood. Eventually he uncovered the one where he'd stashed her clothes, all neatly folded and put together.

"Here." He said as he walked back towards her.
 
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Wren Kingsley

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She pulled herself to her feet and took the clothes from him, her lips curling into some semblance of a smile and a quiet "Thank you.." offered as she started dressing, still trying her best to push down her anger.

"So if you're feeling you know... indebted to me in any way.." she shot him a glance as she pulled on her leggings.. She had done all the work after all.. "I have several shelters that need supplies.. Theon runs one of them. I'd planned on using that take to set up another.. But since now I have to find another job or wait for another soiree, I could use some help." her brow quirked, and she pulled her shirt over her head with a wince as she stretched her arm. It would need stitching, Rob would be pissed off.
 
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Val

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He frowned for a brief moment. "I have a job."

Val always planned things ahead. If this had all fallen through there was something else lined up, though it was far more dangerous. He took in a slight breath, considering for a moment if he should tell her or not. After a few seconds he relented.

"It would have been too close to save the village." Val said, explaining why he simply had not gone after that score. "An Allirian Spice Galleon is returning from Elbion, docking in Oban in three days."

Spices, as Wren would surely know, fetched a pretty penny around the world. That ship would be carrying it's own weight in gold. "I'll split the take with you, help you get the supplies you need."
 
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Wren Kingsley

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Wren's brow arched at him, her lips twisting as she looked at him in consternation.. Ships came and left Oban every day, she'd never robbed one. She'd never robbed anyone but the people of Oban, the people she held grudges against, the people that flaunted their riches in the faces of the people suffering at the other end of the city.

"I have nothing against Alliria.." she answered quietly, but there was still consideration in her tone, but after a moment she shook her head.. "No. I appreciate the offer but I want them to know the coin came from the rich families of Oban who couldn't give a fuck about them. That's where it always comes from.." her shoulder shrugged and she pulled her scarf over her head and settled it around her neck, covering the cut he'd left there earlier..

"I'll meet you back here before first light.." she told him with a huff and held out her hand. "Weapons..."
 
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Val

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He shrugged his shoulders.

Val had never cared really which rich bastard was the one to pay, only that some rich bastard did. No one had ever hoarded that much wealth without doing something terrible to someone else. Val knew that fact better than most others.

He'd seen his fathers actions more than once. "I'll be here."

Though he was not entirely sure if he could stick around the entire time. His father and mother would no doubt wish to speak to him about what had happened at the party the night before, specifically if he intended on marrying soon.

That conversation would be enjoyable to have for the eighth time.
 

Wren Kingsley

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Wren found her way back to the warehouse as she promised, and he was there waiting, as he'd promised. The two large sacks were heavy with valuables, and she'd had to ask Theon to accompany her and to take the heavier of the two. When they entered the room, they let the burdensome baggage fall to the middle of the floor and Wren huffed, wiping at her clammy brow and pulling her scarf down to show her face. Theon's brow lifted.

"All there.." Wren commented, and the bristling older man stood with his arms folded over his chest, glaring at Val disapprovingly.

"..'Ave you seen the state her arm is in?" the man grumbled and took a step toward Valren.

"Theon.." Wren cut in with a tone of exasperation, but the man had been intent on letting his displeasure over Wren's maltreatment be heard.

"An' that cut on her head lad? Sort of a man d'you call yourself? And still this fucking saint of a girl is handing over her hard earned takings.." he snickered and huffed, quieting as Wren stood in front of him and rested a hand on his arm. He was very much a father figure, and Wren smiled appreciatively at his concern, but he'd already ranted and raved at her for over an hour.

"It's done.." Wren arched a brow and looked between the two men.
 
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Val

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Val gestured to the binding on his thigh. "Let's not pretend she's the most fragile doll in the house, shall we?"

The words were probably needlessly antagonistic, but he didn't like the idea that Wren was being presented as some innocent flower. She had nearly killed him thrice since they met, and once of those times had been a complete and utter shock.

"My lungs still burn." He commented as he shot a look towards the woman.

He heard the way she tried to squash the argument before it even began, but the small note wasn't one he could let go of easily. Oddly enough she felt almost betrayed by the fact she could do magic, as though she had lied to him.

Silly really.

"I promise It's going exactly where I said." Val pulled out a small piece of parchment, stepping up to the good and offering the paper to Wren. If she read it she would see it was an article from the Oban Tribune about the village. "Not really evidence, but...I couldn't steal the papers from my fathers study."

Not if he wanted to succeed.
 

Wren Kingsley

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"An' she 'ad good reason, lad!" Theon argued back and attempted to step around Wren but she stepped in front of him for a second time and he looked down at her with a disgruntled huff. He silenced, and after an affectionate pat to Wren's cheek he tore from the room before he said anything else.

"Sorry.." Wren murmured after he'd left, and turned back to Val.. "He cares that's all." her arms folded, and she didn't bother to take the offered parchment. "I believe you." she told him quietly and looked him up and down with a light shrug..

"Guess we're done here.. But you owe me." she reminded him with the slightest of smirks.
 
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Val

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Val let out sigh and let the parchment drop to his side. It was tossed onto the makeshift table with the loot, forgotten about as he rubbed at his face.

A part of him was thankful she had come, but now that she mentioned a favor he couldn't help but feel...dread. He was sure by the end of the month he would end up at his father's own manor stabbing him or something.

"Fine." Val wasn't about to back out now.

He was pretty sure if he'd said no she would have just dragged the air out of his lungs and taken the money back. Better to just agree. "Just raise the Val signal and I'll be there."

The young noble joked.
 
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