37th of Achtus, 2718
THE ATTIC | EARLY EVENING
The insolent young man who'd had the misfortune of being born a non-magical creature, stuck in a mold his ego had obviously not been prepared for at the tender age of ten, would have normally been a source of somewhat boundless entertainment for Corwynn. His indignant sort of displeasure amused the older galdor immensely, and yet, for once, the Bad Brother was simply not in the mood. The temptation was there, sure, both to continue to edge the boy in one direction or another or even to reach out and resort to some kind of violence for the sheer self-gratification of it all, but, no, the blond gunman was far to focused to allow himself such paltry distractions.
One broad shoulder pressed against the door frame into the room where Leo had fled, icy gaze fixed on the dark-haired man who sat for but a heartbeat or two as if he had every intention of going back to work. Only, just as quickly, the younger man stood again, pretending so graciously to have had some repentant change of heart.
It only served to sour Corwynn's mood further, but there was no anger in the thick weight of his field, his countenance gathering where his fair eyebrows met into a scowl, a frown, a look that was strangely bitter instead of furious. He didn't buy the mockery of sincerity one bit, that much was obvious, but it was also clear he wasn't about to take Leander's excuses to heart and leave, either. His whole hand drifted upwards, calloused fingers pressing the bridge of his nose while he leaned there and the passive prattled on, eyes fluttering closed for a moment,
The older galdor cleared his throat, palm dragging over his stubbled jaw and chin before his hand drifted lower to rub almost absentmindedly over his abdomen, lingering over a fresh scar that was, of course, totally unseen by the man standing so defiantly before him, "—this is a really fun game. Normally, I'll admit, I might enjoy antagonizing you too clocking much, and I deserve this turn about, I really do. Sometimes, it's even kind of cute, to be fair. But right now? Gods, I don't want to fuck around. And I really don't want to shoot you. I don't want to deal with the fallout of that."
Corwynn, in his typical hatcher-may-care fashion, left that idle threat hang in the air between them without apology, the shift in his hips as he straightened purposeful and direct enough to reveal the firearm that was always slung there, comfortably at the ready as if he needed it at all as a galdor brimming with magical potential,
"You don't have to put on this—" His less than whole hand, four fingers and a knotted scar, waggled in Leo's direction as if he was indicating some theatrical costume that simply wasn't on par with the performance about to go on stage, "—this act. Of course my schedule is fucking busy. Of course Resha keeps you fucking busy. But are you apologetic? No. No need to pretend for my sake. As if you're the most disagreeable bastard in the harbor—please. I'm here of my own accord when I'm very aware of other duties I could be attending to, so we're just about on even keel. Almost."
His tone implied he knew they weren't. His expression creased into just enough of a smirk to reveal he didn't fucking care. Crystalline blue hues washed over the ruffled, younger creature in all of his illusion of having the upper hand simply because Leander had been given the opportunity to refuse, both of them aware he hadn't been given the actual choice. The illusion had been enough, however, and there was something about the way the passive laughed that was both curiously interesting and horribly infuriating.
Corwynn didn't waste any more words, lifting his satchel between them and removing a stack of papers: ships' cargo records, port of call tallies, several lists of tariffs from both Laus Oma in the Muluku Isles and Old Rose Harbor, and there was even a very extensive collection of cargo inventory between Anaxas and Hessean ports of call. There were notes scattered in the smudged layers. Unceremoniously, the Bad Brother dumped the fluttery pile onto the desk Leander stood next to, jaw clenched for a moment as if touching them had actually somehow disturbed him far more than he desired to let anyone see,
"At this particular juncture, fortunately or not, you're probably one of the few clocking bodies I can trust with this shit. Maybe, just maybe, the only one. Imagine that, right? So, fuck off with that chip on your shoulder—I didn't really appreciate being damn-near gutted during a game of cards at the Dove in Dentis, and I'm not about to let a bunch of upstart Hessean gangsters get away with it."
Unfiltered Corwynn was a strange creature who despised his own capacity for honesty and was practically nauseated by the vulnerability he was forced to admit. He'd had almost a season and a half to recover from one damn stabbing, but there was something about the evening that had left more than just a puckered scar in his tanned, freckled skin. Facing his own mortality was something he did on a daily basis, but that singular event had continued to writhe and twist in his thoughts. Now, restless and frustrated, he simply wanted to put the problem to rest by any means necessary. It required showing far more of his true self to this petulant little scrap than he really wanted, but his options were few and he'd already let far too much time slip through his nine fingers already,
"I need to find something in that mess. There's a code in there. Some of it simply has to be forged, fudged, faked. I just—this isn't—your cheating debacle was a lucky clocking guess. This needs more precision."
The older galdor swallowed thickly, field and face a suddenly unreadable landscape,