[M] Just Business [Closed]

Corwynn never minds his own business. Like, ever.

Old Rose Harbor is Anaxas' main trade port; it is also the nation's criminal headquarters, home to the Bad Brothers and Silas Hawke, King of the Underworld.
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Leander
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:21 pm
Topics: 10
Location: Old Rose Harbour
Race: Passive
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Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:08 pm

37th Day of Achtus
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The series of events that followed Leander’s final utterance was hard to follow. Corwynn moved far closer than was comfortable, a knife appeared from somewhere, it pierced the table, slicing through paper and wood as if air was all that resisted it. For his part, Leo made a conscious decision not to move. To a causal observer, the flinch was so minute that it would be missed, but Corwynn was too close, too attuned now, that he would see the shudder begin in his shoulders and reverberate down his spine as the passive blinked once against the display of violence.

He said nothing initially, watching in mute surprise, his voice stolen from him as he watched the Brother lean away and proceed to derobe. The passive stared at the poorly healed laceration. His first thought was to hold his breath, for surely something so jagged carried it’s own smell: even though it looked sewn up, there was nothing neat about it. His second thought wondered how Corwynn was still standing.

Tearing his gaze away from the wound, he forced himself to meet the other’s eyes. The threats flew from the golly’s mouth with the ease and precision of a practised criminal. Leo, through having spend his life around these people, was new to it, and didn’t doubt the veracity of the threads. Corwynn was not the type to waste his breath on empty threats... and he did not seem to enjoy having to repeat himself.

Look...” Look what? Leander swallowed and stared down at the forged ledger in his hand. “Can...

With the man less in his space than he had been all evening, scar still on display, Leo stood back, giving himself room to breathe. “This ledger claims spices were being brought into Old Rose Harbor. It was created it a month ago, give or take.” He handed the ledger over, as carefully decorated and lettered as any real ledger. “I know it’s a forgery because I created it.” There were, of course, tell-tale signs that it came from him: a signature, of sorts, that any counterfeiter could read and know of its origin. But he wasn’t about to tell Corwynn what those signatory elements were.

You see it’s for spices, cumin and the like. Other spices, well they were on the original ledger, and the... client wanted another spice added: saffron.” He could get killed for this, he knew, but he was keenly aware that his silence now would also spell a death sentence. “There’s a new drug, I don’t know it’s name, but the bloke was running his mouth off, cawing about how the Bad Brothers were blind fools. They planned to sneak it in right under your noses.

At the time, Leo hadn’t yet been drafted into Silas Hawke’s service, he had not even met the man... and even then, he did the work Resha ordered him to do. Counterfeiters didn’t take sides, unless they were indentured to a single man, which Leo wasn’t. They worked without prejudice, even for the Drain. He didn’t tell Corwynn this though - like any excuse would matter to him. “This ledger is dated five days ago. I suspect they carried more valuable cargo than drugs... but the man was far too smug about this drug which could sneak through undetected from the authorities or the Bad Brothers. An ounce is worth about three quarters of a bird, that’s how sure they are this drug won’t be found. An illegal high that no one can find, and Hawke is missing out on taxes and income.

The boy paused, considering, then, “They’ve commissioned more, that’s what I’ve been working on today. Some ten ledgers, dating once a fortnight for the next couple of months. I don’t know who you got that wound by, or why. But if it’s the Drain, they’re sending you on a damn wild goose chase, ‘cause this is where they’re making their money now. By summer, I estimate they’ll have enough coin and assets to unthrone Hawke. The right people, that is to say, the criminal underground, seek the most lucrative business rather than safety. Else they’d all be sitting on their grandmother’s knees at home knitting a fancy scarf.

The term “shoot the messenger” came to mind as Leo watched the other man’s face carefully. “Rumour is Hawke has become too complacent. He thinks he controls the underground, as well as everyone else. He’s sat on his cushioned throne too long and gone soft. Easy to challenge, easier to beat. Maybe they think you are an easy target too, best displaced before you learn of their plots. This... “Sparrow” knows what the people want, he know what he wants. And he’s willing to use you and Hawke and everyone without you even realising it to get to the places he wants to go.

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Corwynn
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Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:03 am
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Location: Ol' Rose
Race: Galdor
: The Taxman
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Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:24 pm

37th of Achtus, 2718
THE ATTIC | EARLY EVENING
"You created what—oh." Blond eyebrows drew back together and his expression darkened, thin lips as taut on the sea-weathered features of Corwynn's face as his field was drawn inward with a distinctly warm sensation of so much compression. Leander had forged the ledger that was handed to him and while earning one's keep was simply part of life anywhere (even outside of Old Rose Harbor), this particular piece of work the passive admitted to doing for someone in direct opposition to the Bad Brothers. There were new drugs and other concoctions everywhere, popping up from other Kingdoms and flowing through Silas' fingers or under his nose all the clocking time. There was Drake's Tongue, supposedly from Hesse, but there were any number of other options attempting to weasel their way into the market in hopes of eating the scraps of coin from Hawke's grand table.

Crystalline blue eyes narrowed as the dark-haired younger man continued, jaw clenching as he resisted the urge to reach for the opal-handled knife that had once attempted to destroy his innards. It was with a simmering restlessness that the blond gunman crossed his arms over his chest instead, tongue against the back of his teeth as if he was holding back a string of words that would have not at all been pleasant.

It was in the pause, however, that an obvious shift in demeanor began to creep into Corwynn's well-aged face as if he could somehow scowl any darker, "You've been working with these bastards? Knowingly? Willingly? Without breathing a word to the Brother's this whole time?"

Incredulity weighed down the galdor's voice, making it harsh and gravely. He'd been hunting Hesseans, he'd assumed, not the Drain. The erseholes who'd attacked him had made very specific threats, sure, but the blond had not considered the violence at all connected to their much more organized and motivated opposition. The Drain had plagued their trade routes for months, frustrating Silas' attempts to root them out and staking a rather ambitious strangle hold on much of Hawke's economic holdings, not just his illegal ones.

For a moment it appeared as if Corwynn was simply going to simmer wordlessly, letting the dark-haired man finish his statements with only the twitch of his lips as any indication of just how infuriated he'd become in such a short time.

Gods, this was just supposed to be a little game of chase.

Here it was so much more than that.

And this godsbedamned passive was far too smug about his part in it as if his fucking counterfeit code was somehow superior to the rule of the King of the Underworld here in the Harbor.

"Are these your personal views or just clockin' hearsay, Leo? Because I'm having a little trouble separating the two with the level of insight you seem to have discovered—"

He moved quickly, one foot sweeping Leander's chair to knock it backwards with a forceful shove and toss the young man to the floor with a clatter of wood and flutter of papers. One hand shot out and yanked the knife from the table with a hiss while the other curled four fingers into the forged ledger the passive had admitted was his own. Before the petulant thing could roll away, Corwynn dropped his full well-muscled weight onto the other man, straddling his chest and holding the ledger between them as if it was the last thread of protection he could hope for because the opal-handled knife was blessedly held at bay for just a breath or two,

"—you're still working for these luggers. This was your first job, was it? You must know a few faces. Maybe some names, fake or not. Do they meet you here? Do you meet them somewhere else? Do you have a deadline? And summer, huh? That's fucking ambitious—do you even know all that Hawke has his hands in through the Brothers? Obviously not—gods damn it."

With a dull thunk, the knife lodged itself in the floor next to Leander's head, blade leaving a stinging, unapologetic mark against his galdor-bred cheek, the blond gunman shifting roughly to lean further over the passive, hand still tightly gripping the knife's sparkling semi-precious stone handle,

"I didn't come here for your fancy-ersed opinions, wrong though they and your current clients may be. I came here for some answers, which you should stick to giving if you want to keep that face of yours as pretty as it is now. It'd be a shame to make a mess of it, I'll be honest now that I'm here so nice and cozy like—" The shift of Corwynn's hips was definitely lascivious even if his tone was so very not flirtatious. He grinned, though, an unreadable mix of intentions creasing their way into his sun-kissed features, "—but yours wouldn't be the first I've ruined for lesser offenses, Leo. We've done some sorting, yes, but it sounds to me like you've got far more inside knowledge, and I don't think you want me to go digging through flesh to get it out of you or that stack of papers."
word count: 926
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Leander
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Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:28 pm

37th Day of Achtus
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If Leander thought he had seen every emotion fly over Corwynn’s face already, he would be gravely wrong. The galdor’s face fell faster than a pre-corpse weighted to the bottom of the harbour, only to shift into horrific realisation and then utter incredulity. It was to be expected, Leo reasoned, Corwynn was loyal to Hawke and Leo has just admitted actions a penny shy of treason.

It wouldn’t matter at all that Leo was a nobody, ordered to work by whoever commanded the most coin, or kept him. No, that sort of detail did not to Corwynn, so wrapped up in his one privilege that he was. Tell a lie, all Resha absolutely demanded was that Leander would just show up every day mostly on time and intact. But it was no small ask, when a customer came calling, for a forger to turn him away... Corwynn’s violent display when he first came through the door of the shop and locked it behind him was testament to that truth.

If the galdor looked murderous before, it was nothing compared to the apocalyptic rage on his disfigured features now. No amount of excuses would lessen the Brother’s incredulous fury.

But, with the accusation said, Leander’s skin temperature dropped a few degrees. “There’s a very distinctive line between working with and working for other organisations. Hawke may have placed me in his service,” Leander had always associated anger with red, and with heat. It sets him alight, burns him from the inside out until he finds some way to extinguish it. But now it had no colour at all. It was white, so searing that it couldn’t burn Leander, couldn’t hurt him at all because there was nothing left in him but that rage. “Silas Hawke may have placed me within his service, and Resha may pay his taxes to him, but the King does not own me. Resha does, you’ve even said so yourself.

The wind rushing out of his lungs as his back collided with the floor was Leander’s first clue that his position had somehow changed as the hand of the much larger man. As he gasped in air, the passive didn’t have time to move before a heavy weight threatens to crush his chest, now nose to nose with his attacker. “You fuckin’ gollies with your life handed to you on a silver platter. Where you see fine tailored suits, I see Alioe’s little joke, ‘cause you’re all destined for the same thrice-damned hole in the ground. You think I willingly do anything in this fucked up cesspit, where buggery is the preferable option for most men?

His mother always said always said Leander was like a hurricane. She was right. When he was abandoned here, he cried and raged with more violence than any gale. Not to have his future before him was a torture to his soul. Today, he didn't break quietly, it was like every fibre of his being screamed in unison, traumatised that he should exist in such a pitiful way. The sharpened edge of metal against his neck was forgotten as the corners of his eyes grew wet with tears. “Just because you and Hawke gave up your cushioned lives...” The boy breathed in: a harsh guttural sound against the force pressing down on his abdomen, but there was a decade of bitterness locked up inside the passive. It was the sheer force of grief for a life he deserved now. He shouted at the galdor as if his brain was being shredded from the inside, consequences be damned. “You play with us like we’re your fuckin’ pawns to shuffle about, and you make it sound like we have a choice. And you’re so fucking blind to anyone who has less than you... or maybe you’re not, and you’re just as pissin’ wet as concrete. There is never any real choice, the idea is dangled in front of your victims and used as a training device to make them obey.

And, honestly, lashing out at Corwynn, goading him into the inevitable reaction, was the easiest way for Leander to displace blame, the blame that had been planted as a seed all those years ago when he failed. “Let me be the first to correct your assumption that anything I do or say is what I want.

Leander spoke quieter now, and he even laughed, though it came out more like a wheeze than anything else. “I have no more cards to play, I don’t know anything else, I write the papers, I sometimes hear talk. I told you what I know... and I care more about aiming true when I piss in the harbour than whatever they’re saying about your King. So you go ‘head and make your threats: I certainly have nothing left to lose. Alioe knows your kind took everything already.

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Corwynn
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Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:03 am
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: The Taxman
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Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:15 pm

37th of Achtus, 2718
THE ATTIC | EARLY EVENING
"Distinct for you, perhaps, but from an outside point of view? No difference." Smirked Corwynn whose field had its own gravity; it felt as though the invisible, sentient particles made the broad-shouldered gunman even heavier despite his short, galdor-born frame. It could also be that he knew when to lean, leveraging his weight every time Leander exhaled to make it harder to breathe just to fuck with him. Just because that's who the Taxman really was,

"Does Resha really own you? Did he counterfeit those papers, too? Dumberse. You're not his fucking property. Just his damn apprentice."

Four fingers curled around the knife handle, yanking it from the floor while the young, dark-haired passive sputtered his racial woes, pouring out far more emotions than the Bad Brother had any interest in hearing.

Oh, yes. Fucking galdori. Always the fucking galdori speech—how many godsbedmaned times had he heard some version of this?

Too many, so many.

He'd lost count.

How he'd heard some version of Leander's words spewed and spit and growled at his face his whole damn life, but here in the Rose, how he knew it could be different. Out at sea, he'd lived the truth—those that wanted power took it. One's birthright didn't have to determine their lot in life if they were willing to rise up against their oppressors. Not that he was a clocking Resistance member! Gods, they were out of their moony minds.

But Silas Hawke was an equal opportunity employer for a reason—giving permission to the powerless often had profitable, glorious results.

"Leo, darling, sweetheart, you were born into the same privilege as I was—someone's pampered galdor son. Someone's hope and promise, handsome and spoiled. Don't even try to tell me different." Purred the predatory ex-pirate, sliding the opal-handled knife back into its place in his boot and shifting over the dark-haired young man to cease crushing the breath from his lungs. A calloused thumb wiped the thin trail of blood from Leander's cheek without apology in the gentleness of the touch,

"And when you turned ten and failed your test, no one sold you out to Brunnhold. No one made you a slave. You have no tattoo. You don't wear a uniform. You don't cook and clean and serve a bunch of snot-nosed galdor brats in school for nothing but a bed and the promise of fewer beatings, for the promise you were protected from the danger that is your damn self. You walk the streets a free man. You have coins in your pocket. You can have whoever you like in your bed whenever you want them. Resha's an old son of a bitch who will die one day hopefully while you're still alive—sooner rather than later since this is Old Rose Harbor, after all—and then you will be beholden to no one. If you aren't already."

Corwynn sniggered at the passive's talk of privilege as if he'd never known it, having already discovered that Leander moved through life as if he deserved everything still and yet as if he'd still tasted nothing. Neither were the truth.

The older galdor didn't flinch. He didn't appear to grow angrier. He wasn't insulted. In fact, if anything, the tirade against a social system he already hated seemed to soften the frustration in his sea-worn features, smoothing the creases of anger that had twisted his well-aged face. Was he offended that this scrap lumped him in the same bucket as the rest of his magical kind? No. He had to play that part far too often for the Bad Brothers, and he wore the mask of proper galdor so well. Did he feel the same anymore, however, deep beneath tanned, inked skin? No. Not at all.

"The only person keeping you in a cage is yourself. You can't blame your family. You can't blame Resha. You can't blame galdori. You can't blame the King of the Underworld. And you can't blame me—"

He'd given up everything and nothing at the same time.

He'd sacrificed a reputation that had never mattered and yet only because he'd hollowed out the gilded insides of his family name and left the shell of the Wynngate legacy intact while hiding everything beneath the polished exterior—piracy, guns, illegal deals, questionable politics, bribes, drugs, murder—all while leaving no heir. His name would die with him, and, truth be told, it was for the best that it did.

"My kind? Fuck you, Leander. You don't know me. You only think you know the idea of me, and I assure you: your childish fantasies don't match up to the reality of my existence." Corwynn deflected in the most even, emotionless tone he'd used all evening, sighing through grit teeth as he moved to stand, drained of the passionate anger that had incited the comforts of violence. Diffused. He didn't offer the boy a hand, either, both of his palms rubbing roughly over his stubbled face until he could curl fingers in his fading blond hair.

The galdor laughed, subdued but sarcastic.

One hand slipped to dig nails against the freckled skin at the back of his neck, tongue stuck between his teeth for a few heartbeats too many before his crystalline gaze hardened in the dark-haired passive's direction, "I don't want another game of cards. I don't care about your piss-poor aim, true though you claim it is. I don't want your stop clocking baggage. I want a bunch of dead Hesseans at my feet, drowned in their own blood because I killed every damn one of them, possibly with my bare fucking hands. I want you to tell me names. I want to know the next time you're meeting these erseholes who hired you. I want to be there when you give them your forgeries. I don't give a chrove's erse about your passive sob story—did you know your so-called kind are all the same, too? Godsbedamned bunch of doormats, you magic-less pieces of shit, but only because you're told to be so. Only because galdorkind—only because erseholes shaped like me—tell you you're trash to make themselves feel better when you're somebody's brother, somebody's only child, somebody's last fucking heir. Here you are fully aware of what you're capable of, whining and moaning about privilege when you've got the power of absolute fear to wield as you see fit—"

Even humans were terrified of the potential for destruction passives were rumored to possess, regardless of the truth of it all (or the lack thereof).

"—still not enough for you? Want a gun? Nothing stops gollyscum like me from casting a spell like a fucking bullet. Trust me on that one. Now, get up and stop being such a good for nothing scrap already. Clocking hell. I should just stab you and spare us both from the weight of your eternal suffering." Corwynn groaned the end of his words with an overly-dramatic, theatrical flair, tossing up his hands and turning back to the papers on the desk to begin impatiently sifting through the piles, needing something to do with himself after far too much salty wisdom that probably went unheard anyway.

He didn't actually want to stab the young thing. Well, only a little. Bedding him was most likely out of the question at this point, but a good knife between the ribs still felt like a strangely satisfying option. The blond gunman had his preferences, obviously, though he doubted he had a choice in the matter.
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Leander
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Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:10 pm

37th Day of Achtus
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There’s a kind of tired that needs a good nights sleep, and another that needs so much more. For Leo, energy spent in a flurry of released emotions, he sat firmly in the latter category. Had he been standing, had Corwynn been crushing him against a wall instead of the floor, he would hand hung limp like linen left out to dry on a rainy day. Instead, he lay on the floor, breathing heavily (or as much as he could beneath the intrusive weight above him) following his tirade.

The man feeds and houses me, of course he controls me.” It was only a partial lie, and it didn’t contain the same fervent energy of the words earlier. Leo didn’t doubt Resha’s fondness for his apprentice; he would be fed and paid regardless, but Resha had the power to deny him those things without cause, should he want to. That was enough for Leo to mistrust the notion that he had any rights or power anymore. “Fine. You’re right, I’ve squandered everything. I’m stuck in this pit, because I’m the lucky one. The scrap who got away.

He laughed mirthlessly, a sound filled with the same bitter resentment that fuelled his decent into enjoying the finer things in life. “No brand for me, no gated life trapped in Brunnhold. How Lucky.” The boy fell silent, breath catching for a moment as Corwynn’a thumb trailed gently over his check, collecting the crimson fluid he didn’t even realise was flowing.

Problem was, to be born into privilege made the downward tumble even harder to bear. He knew what it felt like to have it all, to want for nothing, to know he would one day be worth everything. Even as a child, Leo has craved power. He’s lost sight of why he had originally wanted it, but the last decade saw him craving it simply to protect himself. Corwynn could never understand that, no matter what he said.

When the galdor stood, Leo took the opportunity to curl onto his side, practicing how to breathe again as if the skill was the same as learning to balance a bicycle. As he did, he was glad for Corwynn’s continued speech, which seemed more like a chastisement than anything else, because it meant he didn’t have to speak, he could concentrate on feeling normal again. Eventually he did stand. Instead of responding, or even speaking directly to the disfigured blond, he muttered, “I need a drink.” When did he not, really? It was no longer clear if the tremors were due to acute withdrawal or the adrenaline rush of the past few minutes. Regardless of the reason, a stiff drink was the only thing Leander could rely on to remedy any situation.

He shuffled over to a cabinet in the corner and unlatched the hook, opening up to a single, half empty bottle of rum. He leaned over the table and pulled out two tumblers and the bottle, which he quickly opened and poured a healthy portion of amber liquid into one of the glasses. The bottle banged against the top of the cabinet as he put it down, discarding for Corwynn to pour his own if he felt so inclined. With all the refined practice of a regular drinker, he took a large swig, swirling the liquid in his mouth before swallowing. The second swig finished the glass, which he then refilled and turned to rest his thighs against the cabinet. “I told you already, I don’t have names. I don’t know who they are. Do you think me imbecilic enough to put a target on my head?

Yeah,” he scoffed, “You know as well as I what I can do... but you also know I have no control over it. Clocking mona sings whenever she feels like it, and we all become victims.” He took another, smaller, sip of the rum, inspecting the glass as if it were the most interesting thing in the world, rather than meet Corwynn’s gaze and see whatever it was he was afraid to see in the other man’s eyes. “But you keep explaining to your inferiors what they should be feeling.” still smiling to himself, Leo pushed up from the cabinet.

Silence reigned as he fished out the forgery he had been working on when Corwynn had entered. It was almost finished, dated and everything. Placing it on the table, he pushed the useless pile Corwynn had brought in aside and examined more of the relevant writs and ledgers. I fledgling idea stared to form in his mind, one which required more alcohol to find the balls to follow through on. He downed he second glass and poured a third, forgetting his present company and how he might be judged for his liberal relationship with alcohol.

This ledger,” he waved the nearly complete forgery, “Is dated for a week hence. The ship’s name and details of the captain are already recorded, though I cannot vouch for whether the captain and crew are involved. You can memorise the details and cut them off, but the Drain will know and that will be the end of the involvement of the Attic, and you will lose your chance of thwarting then on a larger scale. The other option,” another swig, and pause for him to savour the burning sensation as he swallowed, “Is to play the long game.

I gave you enough information tonight, information that I could have kept to myself without fear of you discovering my deception. I willingly provided it, wilfully disregarding my code and disobeying my master in doing so. If that is enough to trust one another, without you throwing about your weight, we can drop the pretence and superfluous threats. Hawke has me in his service. I will work for him, for you, and no one needs to know.” Another swig, his hands no longer shook as he poured out another generous helping of rum. “I’ll follow your instructions, and the Brothers can come out victorious. If you believe your own words, this magic-less scrap can be of use. But no, I can’t give you details, other than the ones lettered in this forgery.[/color

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Corwynn
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: The Taxman
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Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:40 pm

37th of Achtus, 2718
THE ATTIC | EARLY EVENING
"Are you a grown man or a fucking child?" Corwynn all but groaned, watching with no small amount of totally undisguised humor creased into his otherwise impatient expression as he idly looked on while the passive lay on the floor for a few extra moments. Blue eyes followed the petulant creature as he stood, smirking finally at his declaration of need, only to chuckle and make his amusement known out loud as Leander revealed the depths of his familiarity with alcohol as if attempting to rival the depths of the blond gunman's familiarity with sex,

"Tsk. Please. I don't give a hair on Hurte's glorious mane about your clocking feelings. You can feel any damn way you like. Gods—" His gaze wandered to the empty tumbler left unfilled with a mockery of insult crept into the baritone of his voice. He scoffed, glaring at the young thing that wouldn't meet his stare while he leaned just so against the cabinet. With a grunt and the flutter of papers, the galdor went out of his way to make sure he brushed bodily against Leander as the pair switched places.

Fine. They were drinking now. He could get behind that without complaint—the drinking, of course. Not that he'd complain about anything else, either.

Corwynn rummaged through the liquor, judging its contents with a far more experienced eye than one who relied on alcohol as a crutch, "—how old are you, anyway? Twenty? -ish? Grow a pair already, Leo. Or at least grow into the pair you've got if there's anything worth admiring at all in those Resha-bought trousers of yours. Which there may not be as far as I can tell."

His back was to the passive, which was probably for the best, for the blond gunman's grin was wicked as he taunted the younger man while deciding on the still unopened Gioran whiskey that looked so lonely and neglected nestled in the cabinet of otherwise rather poor selection of alcohol choices. Corwynn eyed the small glass while he worked the seal of the dark amber bottle with the snow-capped, jagged mountains of Gior etched so carefully into the label, trying to decide just how civilized he felt at this juncture.

Fuck it. He didn't.

Bringing the bottle to his lips for a swig before he bothered to fill the tumbler to the brim, he turned his attention to the forgery waved in his direction with a hiss. Corwynn shrugged with hatcher-may-care lack of concern, setting the open bottle down and making sure his over-full glass was emptied enough to walk with before speaking up, "The Drain will know you squealed, yes. What a shame for your business. I suppose Hawke would be disappointed by the paltry loss in taxes letting a bunch of Drain thugs torch the Attic may bring, and I'd have to answer for my involvement."

He moved back to stand far closer than was at all necessary, hovering within Leander's very personal space without a hint of judgment about how he chose to all but drown himself in a clocking impressive volume of rum, making sure to exist just short of making a bother of himself through unnecessary bodily contact, "I always play the long game—thank you."

It was rare when the singular statements the Bad Brother made couldn't be accidentally construed as an innuendo, and this single breath of a sentence was really no exception. Leander poured himself another helping and Corwynn took another swig.

Pretense? Clock the Circle—this fucking scrap!

The older galdor snorted, perching himself just so on the edge of the desk laden with papers and poking his only remaining index finger in the direction of the passive's chest, "Oh for tocks' sake. You're hardly willing or compliant, but I'll just let you have that because arguing with you is clocking exhausting. Willful, yes. Willing, no, you're definitely not."

Settling and pausing to empty his glass, blue eyes wandered over the dark-haired passive thoughtfully while the Bad Brother licked the last of the whiskey from his lower lip with just enough sound to make the languid motion obvious, "Do you have an idea or are you waiting for me to propose one, then? Hmm, Leo? You've just attempted to point out you're free enough to think for your own damn self, after all."
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Leander
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Sat May 11, 2019 12:54 pm

37th Day of Achtus
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Clocking scum never let anything taken at face value, did he? He’d been dining out in the gutter away from any decent sort for far too long… that could be the only reason why anything Leo said to be seen as a false truth. The passive, for his part, glared over the rim of his drink, but said nothing more. He allowed himself to be bodily moves aside: if that was what Corwynn needed to feel big, he would acquiesce to his pettiness. “Just shy,” he replied shortly, though the Gods knew he carried his drink with the finesse of someone double his age... which was to say that there was no finesse, only professional alcoholism.

Leo watched in silent judgment as Corwynn pushed the passive’s hospitality to its limits, not only opening a fine whisky, but drinking from the neck. Of course, more posturing, what else could be expected from winch an upstanding gentleman such as this. The boy rolled his eyes as he set his own tumbler down.

Well it’s neither here nor there if the Drain seeks retribution for my loose tongue.” For all his big words, Corwynn’s grasp of how the world worked was rather narrow. “If, for sake of argument, I knew more and could tell you more… how could I expect you to walk away from me today with faith that I am reliable. Surely your segregationist tunnel vision doesn’t blind you so much to appreciate that my integrity, my silence on this matter, is ultimately what makes me an asset to you, to Hawke, or to the Bad Brothers?” Did he really have to spell it out?

Arguing with me is exhausting?” The boy asked incredulously, “Your visit is exhausting.” He gestured down to the writs and ledgers on the table, “I will not waste my breath further on this if you are insistent on this runaround circus, because this… whatever this is, will be impeded by your prejudice. If it will make you leave me in peace, I will give you the information you want. But you and the Brothers will never trust me again, for how could you trust me if I so willingly hand over information on a little bit of posturing from someone waving something sharp in my face? I admire your ability to tolerate cognitive dissonance, but the prospect sickens me.

Which…” the corners of the passive’s lips curled upwards, fractious as Leander was, Corwynn either knew exactly how to enrage the passive, or he was just that dense. “Would sort of defeat the point of Hawke’s decision to place me with the ranks of his Brothers.” Leander was tired, tired from working, tired from being cast in a light whereby he deserved maltreatment. Leo had tried to play nice, to accept his lot and play the part of Hawke’s willing servant… Hell, he might have even forgotten how much he hated the King, everyone could have benefitted, had Corywnn been willing to give him the honest chance Leo deserved. “But you seem so sure of your judgement on me, so we’ll do it your way, because working together is clearly abhorrent to you. Come back at first light tomorrow and I will have the information you want. Now get out.

word count: 572
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Corwynn
Posts: 112
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:03 am
Topics: 7
Location: Ol' Rose
Race: Galdor
: The Taxman
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
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Plot Notes: Plot Notes
Writer: Muse
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Sat May 11, 2019 9:00 pm

37th of Achtus, 2718
THE ATTIC | EARLY EVENING
"It's not that I don't see your point." Grunted the blond gunman in what could only be described as exasperated acquiescence, perched as he was on the edge of the desk now littered with far more of his shit than anything Leander had been working on before he got here. He drank, rolling the strong, fiery liquid around in his mouth until all the soft, fleshy bits objected to the burn and he swallowed with a hiss,

"I'm not fucking stupid. It's just that I really don't give a damn." Corwynn's tone was gravelly, low, as if honesty hurt, but his expression was so deadpan and sincere that it was hard to doubt him, "I don't take kindly to brushes with death and I don't have any particular attachment to you or Resha's business. I have no interest whether I ruin your reputation—I want all of these Hesseans dead and that's really all I'm concerned with. If it turns into leads on the Drain and their activities, even better. It's cute, though—"

He raised the tumbler to his lips again with a wink, taking another swig, blue eyes wandering over the very angry, indignant passive in front of him in a way that was not at all concerned with his emotions as much as he seemed to be curious about the contours of his face or the way his clothes hung just so on his young frame,

"—I don't trust you now, Leo. I know what you're capable of—as a godsbedamned magical timebomb and as a counterfeiter—and I'm here anyway." Real honesty was gross. It soured on the older galdor's tongue and drew his lips into a thin line, "You've hardly proven yourself much of anything other than a whiny little snot, to be fair, and I've got a timeline. You'll have to excuse me that I'm in a bit of a hurry to figure out who the fuck attempted to murder me before they all disappear at sea in the rainy season. How inconsiderate of myself."

He spoke from over his middle knuckle because his first one was so obviously missing, less whole hand wrapped around the last dregs of his chosen poison, tossing the glass back and finishing the rest of the expensive, soul-warming liquid within. Slamming the small glass down on top of his paper work, Corwynn laughed and shook his head as Leander attempted to dismiss him, as the petulant young thing once again brought up how what the Bad Brother was asking him to allow him to keep his word "off the books" would ruin his reputation among his clients. The blond gunman knew plenty about trust: earning it, keeping it, and losing it far too many times in his twenty-odd years serving his King of the Underworld as he had (and betraying him once or twice, too).

"My prejudice? Oh, gods, please. Drop it already. If I've learned anything different from the rest of my golly peers, Leo, it's that a man—or, gods forbid, a woman—can make their own way if they really want to, no matter what his race. Who do I call King? A wick. Who do I call my Brothers? Humans. More wicks. Passives like you. And who finds their way into my bed? Anyone I damn well please. Do I like being rich? Clocking right I do. Do I care about the status quo? No. I really don't. Not so long as it's still working for me, that is."

He slid off his perch and poured himself into the dark-haired passive's personal space again, his field warm and heavy like a hand on one's shoulder instead of hot and oppressive like a knee to the chest. Their bodies barely grazed and he sighed, reaching up to adjust the other man's collar as if it was his fault it was out of place. Patting Leander's chest gently, palm lingering, the blond gunman's grin was a hatcher's, "Oh no. I'm not going anywhere. I'm not leaving this shit alone with you and walking away."

Fingers curled into fabric, holding the younger passive where he was, Corwynn's broad-shoulder's presence now entirely indistinguishable from his body heat, blue eyes narrowing into sharp pieces of bright sky, "You'll have to put me to work, because if you're up all night figuring this out, so am I. Maybe, just maybe, if you can stop complaining and fussing, it won't be such a fucking boring evening, either. I promise you there's far more enjoyable ways I could be spending my time, but work isn't abhorrent to me. I'm an ersehole, sure, but I can pull my weight just fine, Leo, especially when I'm motivated to do so."
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