false start

Room 7
Sun and Moon Inn
Lancelyn Green

You stand in a small but comfortably furnished private room of the Inn. The bed is made neatly with a plain but pleasant quilt, and several blankets can be found in a small trunk at the foot of the bed, should the room grow cold. There is a lit fireplace in one wall. A window looks out westward, revealing a pleasant portrait of the road out in front of the inn. A nightstand sits beside the bed, and a washstand beneath the window. There is a vase of dried flowers beside the pitcher and bowl on the wash stand. A woven rug by the door completes the cozy effect of the room.

Loc paces in front of the window, pausing occasionally to look out. His brow is knitted and his features grave.

Astor unlocks the door hesitantly, peeking in to make sure he isn’t ambushed.

Simetra follows him, looking rather displeased to be there.

Simetra locks the door.

Colin is sitting on a cot or bed or whatever it is in sullen silence.

Loc doesn’t seem to notice the company.

Colin ignores the company.

Astor walks in more surely now that he has a visual on the room’s occupants, carefully balancing two bowls of stew. “I’ve brought supper.” he says gruffly.

Simetra sets a third bowl on the nightstand for when Lanisen wakes, and returns to standing with her back to the door.

Loc looks over his shoulder at the soft clink by the bowl being set on the nightstand, back to the Inn Keeper and his wife. He remains composed and silent.

Colin looks at Astor and Simetra quietly. “Thank you.” he says, his tone subdued, but sincere.

Simetra inclines her head in response to Colin’s gratitude.

Loc turns his gaze to the window again.
Loc asks, “How’s the Calormene?”

Simetra says, “The same.”

Loc asks, “Is she well? Is she comfortable?”

Astor at least favors Colin with a nod for the thanks. He eyes Loc, “She is well enough.” He offers nothing else.

Simetra’s lips purse a little at her husband. She responds, “She is not well, still. We are, however, doing what we can for her.”

Colin listens quietly.

Loc gives a slight nod, “She will recover with rest. She’s gettin better care than Myrd ever gave.”

Simetra says, “Indeed.”

Astor raises an eyebrow. “I find it odd that you should care for her welfare.”

Simetra mumbles something incomprehensible to Astor.

Astor’s eyes remain resolute, not heading what his wife has to say.

Loc gives a grim smile, his eyes dark. “Ah yes. Yet another to put yourself so high and mighty–expected from a former lordling. But then–your mother was folk like us.” He shrugs. “Do you think that because I am a man of the road I am void of all feeling and emotion? I tell you I have loved as passionately and as strongly as you have my friend.”

Colin watches, his brow knitting.

Simetra crosses her arms over her stomach and presses her back more firmly against the wall beside the door, watching the conversation with apprehension and obvious discomfort.

Astor snorts, “Yes, I was a lordling with a lower class mother, but if you put slurs upon her, you would also do so on Lady Rosalind, whom you claim to admire.”

Loc says, “Did I ever speak ill of your mother? To do so would degrade my own, who was a saint. And Lady Rosalind is more a lady in nature than that stuffed peacock and her daughter who were my own ladies.”

Colin eyes Loc, but makes no comment or protest.

Simetra frowns.

Astor turns red and warns, “Have a care. My status may be common now, but my blood remains the truest stock of Carmichael. I will not take insults to the Lady Priya, wife of my brother.

Loc laughs heartily, though it is mirthless. “Ah yes, the lovely doe of Coghill–sister to the Steward yes? I wasn’t referring to /her/.” He grins deviously, “This peacock I’m speaking of is your own sister’s darling mother-in-law and her daughter–you remember Avery don’t you?”

Astor coldly inquires, “What of her?”

Colin jumps in. “Loc, shut it.” He says warningly.

Loc facepalms, muttering something.
Loc mumbles “My you ain’t a bright one are you…”, to Colin.
Loc mumbles “My … ain’t a … … are you…”, to Colin.

Simetra’s brows rise at the colloquial nature Colin’s vocabulary has taken.

Loc’s voice carries that Colin might hear.

Colin arches an eyebrow at Loc and responds in kind.

Colin mumbles “What of it?”, to Loc.
Colin mumbles “… … it?”, to Loc.

Loc slaps his forehead with a hand and grunts. “Think about it Astor. /Think/ about it.”

Colin warns him again. “Loc, leave it.”

Simetra puts her hand on Astor’s arm. “Lady Avery was his lady, Astor. He is from Chesterton.”

Loc applauds, “Well done Mistress. Well done.”

Simetra looks at Loc. “You are an imbecile.”

Colin mumbles “Well said.”, to Colin.
Colin mumbles something incomprehensible to Colin.

Loc shrugs. “So is your husband.”

Simetra says, “Oh. Well said. You are the soul of wit.”

Loc gives a mock bow. “Nay, just a humble jester–/milady/.” He sneers the final word.

Astor gets even redder at this exchange, especially around the word “think”.

Colin can’t take it anymore, and his leg lashes out and kicks Loc in the back of the knee. “I said shut it!” he growls.
>>> Colin kicks Loc hard! Loc is bruised!

Simetra says, “Aye. Humble. That is the word I would use.”

Loc snorts indignantly at Colin, “You ain’t my boss.”
Loc says, “You’re still nothing but a traitor. Sulky because I went to her ladyship. forgive me for being concerned the Kign might not take /your/ word.”

Astor scoffs, “Right. Your boss is in prison.”

Loc looks to Astor, “And may he rot there.”

Colin retorts. “No, your boss is rotting in the dungeons of Anvard, if you recall. Soon you’ll join him if I have my way.”

Loc holds up a finger, “I turned myself over to the only decent one among the lot of us, Lady Rosalind. She will have her way. And perhaps it shall be the only decent act I’ve ever done. And if I rot, I rot. So long as Lanny can go home.”

Colin says, “He won’t even do that if you keep this up.”

Loc says, “Lanisen is not responsible for my actions. Lanisen is who you caught.”
Loc says, “I’ll settle my own fate.”

Simetra looks disgusted. Her momentary frankness has passed into silence.

Colin crosses his arms and leans his back against the wall. “You already have.” He says darkly.

Astor’s muscles tense, but he makes no move. “No, I believe His Majesty shall settle that.”

Loc says, “Aye. I ain’t afraid to hang you know.”
Loc says, “I /could/ have run. But I didn’t. I know what’s waiting me.”

Simetra mumbles “Humble AND …”, to Simetra.

Colin would probably have chuckled at Simetra’s comment before, but doesn’t now. He just looks at Loc and shakes his head, keeping his thoughts to himself. For now.

Loc leans against the wall, eyes moving to where there will probably be a bruise from Colin’s kick. He doesn’t acknowledge if it hurts. “Though finding a way to hole me up–that was smart. Takes away any… change of mind. Now I just got to wait.”
Loc looks out the window, his voice quiet, “Makes fate a little easier to bear.”

Astor looks disgustedly at Loc, “Are you suggesting we should treat you with pity?” He rules his eyes and mutters something low and sarcastic.
Astor mumbles “What a martyr.”, to Astor.

Loc laughs and looks at Astor, “Pity? What do I know of pity? Or compassion? Or mercy? Other than that is what I’ve heard many beg for before one worse than me takes their life.” His voice is hard. “Why should /I/ expect pity or compassion or mercy. Why should I care for it! I have dug my own grave. Now I can lie in it.”

Simetra lets out a breath. “Enough. This discussion is leading nowhere. We have other patrons to attend to.”

Colin looks at Simetra with an expression akin to “Don’t leave me in here with him!” before he resignedly masks it and looks away.

Loc looks at Colin, “I ain’t gonna kill you. I’m not Zan.”

Colin retorts, “I’m more worried about what I’m going to do to you.”

Loc says, “Do what you please. Just remember to leave my neck be. That’s the King’s.”

Simetra says, “There will be no violence in this inn, despite the patrons it is lately subjected to.”

Astor’s lips curl slightly in a smile at Loc’s retort, but then he drops it.

Colin sighs, and gives a slight, respectful nod. “As you wish, Mistress.” he says quietly.

Simetra sticks her key in the door, keeping her back away form Loc as much as possible. “Astor.”

Loc looks at Astor, “You might consider listening to your wife. You ain’t got nothing to go off of besides we haven’t done anything to you. We’re bandits and scoundrels–and really bad eggs. You wouldn’t be wise to keep our company lest you do something stupid. Or worse–find out maybe we’re not scum.”

Simetra gives a disgusted shake of her head.

Astor scoffs at the last, “Oh, aye, and pigs fly.”
Astor starts to follow his wife.

Loc chuckles.

Loc says, “You see what you want Astor. It’s what you expect. Most folk do. Why should you be any different?”

Simetra puts her hand behind her husband’s back, a silent gesture to ignore the rogue.
Simetra unlocks the door.

Colin gives Loc the evil eye.

Simetra exits the room, expecting her husband to follow.
Simetra walks into the hallway.

Astor smiles humorlessly, while not turning around “Because I rose above what was expected through hard work. Something you wouldn’t understand, Loc. And I imagine you won’t even when your feet swing.” He follows her out.
Astor walks into the hallway.

Loc snorts, “Still living that fancy life. He thinks he’s still more than a regular folk. But then people don’t ever lose airs.”

Colin says tersely. “You shut up about him.”

Loc says, “You got airs too.”

Colin asks, “What of it?”

Loc says, “I suppose you think my father ‘n mother were like me? That I was born bad as sin and worse.”
Loc says, “That’s normally what people think.”

Colin says, “Don’t assume what I am thinking.”

Loc says, “They want… a man whose hardened and bad and vile. So why not give them what they expect?”
Loc gestures to the door.

Colin asks,, “And why not surprise them?”
Colin says, “Couldn’t hurt your chances.”

Loc says, “It’s not what they think.”
Loc says, “You shoulda seen the way that woman walked up to me. She condemned me before I had a word out a my mouth.”

Colin asks, “Who bloody cares what they think?”
Colin asks, “And don’t you think she’s just a bit justified? You killed two of her friends in her eyes.”

Loc snarls, “I never killed a man in my life!”

Colin raises his voice. “She doesn’t know that!”

Loc says, “I turned myself in, I did the right thing. And even in doing that I ain’t given a chance.”
Loc says, “She don’t know cuz she just assumes! That’s what she wants. She doesn’t want to see maybe…” He runs a hand through his hair. “And maybe they’re right…”

Colin says, “The way I see it if you give them what they want, then you make them right.”

Loc shrugs, “And they’re happy. I’m off no worse for it.” He sighs, “You want to know why I went to Rosalind?”

Colin says, “I assume because you don’t trust me.”
Colin says, “Or my situation.”

Loc hehs, taking a seat on the trunk next to the food. “There’s that. But the whole trust thing and situation thing–there wasn’t offense meant. Last time I trusted a person they turned their back on me.” He flicks the spoon of the bowl closest to him. “I heard a lot about Lady Rosalind. Heard she was good and kind. And I thought maybe, just maybe, she won’t throw me out. Maybe she won’t think I’m spit and scum.”
Loc says, “And she saw a desperate man in a bad spot. One she was willin’ to help.”

Colin sighs. “Well. Of all people you could have gone to, I suppose she was the best. I was considering approaching her myself but…” he looks at Loc and switches the subject. “Hey do me a favor? Stop messing with things from now on. You’re only going to keep messing things up and…heh. Just stop it.”

Loc looks at Colin, “Can’t help it. They’re just so up tight and judgmental. They give you all airs and self righteousness and then expect you to snivel before them. I ain’t gonna do that.”
Loc says, “Astor might be /surprised/ by what I understand.”

Colin says, “I’m not asking you to snivel. I’m asking you to stop monkeying with things. It’s going to work out… but only if you quit messing around.”

Loc grunts, “Can’t mess with much now can I?”

Colin snorts. “Nope. You’ve got us in quite a spot, but at least my job is easier.”
Colin says, “Don’t have to keep such a close eye on you.”

Loc nods. “And I don’t have to worry about itching to run.” He looks down at the soup, “I did you know.”

Colin says, “I suspected as much.”

Loc says, “Thought about bringing Lanny and Shenzi away. Start over.”

Colin gives a small nod.

Loc says, “But I think Lady Rosa knew… And… it does–make this easier.”

Colin appears to be toying with something. He draws a breath. “I almost let him go.”

Loc says, “He’d have crawled back to us. I think it might work better now… I hope it does. I don’t know what to think anymore.”

Colin says, “He has a chance. To learn a trade. To make something of himself.”

Loc nods.
Loc says, “Go back to people who love him.–Who are /good/.”

Colin looks at Loc. “I’m going to do everything I can to help him.”

Loc says, “You need to help yourself first. Get yourself outta this spot.”

Colin hehs. “Don’t you worry about me.”

Loc hehs, “Just saying. You need to be in a spot to help him.”

Colin repeats, his tone growing terse. “Stop worrying about me.”
Colin says, “I’m not going to hinder his chances.”

Loc nods. “I hope you find a way out a this.”

Colin says, “I already have.”

Loc gives a small nod.

Colin sighs, and kicks his pack under the bed from where it’s laying on the floor.

Loc takes his bowl of soup and begins to spoon some of it into his mouth.
Loc sets the bowl aside once he’s finished.

Colin watches silently

Loc grabs a blanket and moves to the wall under the window, laying down,

Colin leans his head back against the wall and closes his eyes, appearing to be asleep.

Loc curls up with the blanket. He closes his eyes and drifts off.


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