Dangerous Games

Dangerous Games
Summary: Prince Jerric and Lady Victricia…talk. Plans are made, plots are hatched and with Vi named Ambassador…the games are surely afoot.
Date: 22/07/2013
Related: None.
Jerric Victricia 

Rhaedan Wilderness - Oldstone Bridge
Hundreds of tents, men on patrol. Here is a mighty force indeed. Right in the middle is a large pavilion, and atop that is the Prince's own flag. There must be close to 500 men strong located here. Not a place to start anything that is for sure.
Mon Jul 22, 1329

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to…oh. Those were men. A sea of men and still, "Not a drop to drink." The sight of such emblazoned men might be an inviting point for the slatterns who littered the edge of the camp and a place to go be 'one of the men' for those women who were inclined to sword point but it was not often the place that a proper, to her mind, Lady would spend any amount of time. Rumor tended abound in such a fashion. As was, the Lady Victricia coming upon the emcampment in the company of two guards, who bore Auldholme colors and one ladies maid, who was there for the dignity and honor of her reputation. After all, reputations were like maidenheads, you only gone one and when it was ruined, so were you.
Still, there's a method to the apparent madness and it makes itself known it what will probably not help the matter of wagging tongues, when the lady pauses to politely ask directions…to Prince Jerric's whereabouts. In a gruff request the lady was bid to wait without passing deeper into the encampment by one of the men on patrol, his own reasons for suspecting her presence clear on his face when he sent a young squire off to let the Prince know that his 'latest dinner partner' was there to see him. At least the squire didn't manage to convey the same implications as his knight did when it reached Jerric's ears.

Outside the large tent of Jerric is a makeshift table. Commanders from each of the armies gathered here stand around in a semi-circle peering over the shoulder of a fellow that is bent over the table the the parchment that is spread out over it. "Right, there we have it," Prince Jerric says as he stands upright and turns to the men gathered "Westmark men shall head out as soon as they are ready, then I want Hadleigh and Malgrave to follow." Smiles from a few of the commanders, the other's just nod. "Then turning to the Riedel "I am afraid that you will be last to leave, again, old friend, but it wouldn't make sense to try to get you out first as you were the first to arrive and would have to work your way though the camp."
Out near the bridge the engineers stand about, looking at the pair of massive trebuchets as they too make meady to dismantle the engines. "So, get your men ready, break camp when you are ready," Jerric tells the first ones to leave "And I shall report to the King who answered the call and who didn't." He smiles and nods to the men as they break up and shouts are passed through the army gathered.

"He's clearing the camp, m'lady," the squire squeaked out upon his return, "I didn't…," here a foot scuffed against the ground. "I didn't see fit to bother him just then, what with all the men and…," The boy couldn't have been more than eight, at best and from the way he had trouble meeting her eyes, still held the flush of genuine innocence. Bloodshed would steal it from him soon enough.
"It's alright," Tricia promised, affording the youth a smile meant to steal away his breath. "I'll find him on my own, no worries." With a wink, the woman pressed knees to her mare's middle and guided her own, side stepping the youth she'd been left with while the more honorific tended to their own and obviously more important duties. So it was, that Vi came to happen upon the scattering assortment of men that were at Prince Jerric's table; easing down from her horse some distance away and while she did spare a moment to fuss with the hem of her gown and the wrinkles, she waited on attendance without interruption.

Jerric turns back to the parchment, the guard there has seen the Lady and clears his throat in an attempt to get Jerric's attention. Fail. For Jerric shakes his head "I swear it is easier to call the men to war than it is to send them back home." The guard clears his throat once more and Jerric looks at the man "What is now, you needing a healer now?" The Guard, a long time one by the looks of him, rolls his eyes "Behind you Your Highness," Puzzled Jerric looks over his shoulder and it is then that he spots Victricia. He blinks a few times before standing upright again and turns to face the Auldholme "Lady Victricia, what a, a, pleasant surprise."

Vi'd offered a most pleasant smile to the guard who'd spotted her and stood, with her hands folded demurely against her middle as a way of saying that yes, both of her hands were in sight and more, she wasn't there to attempt to stab the oblivious man in the back. Though the look of amusement on her face grew, when the gent had to clear his throat for a second time. It fact, it was almost almost close to laughing, when Jerric finally looked in her direction and when he spoke well then the laugh did escape her, rich and merry, full throated. "I would wonder at this habit of yours of falling into such eloquence every time I am near, Highness. Only yesterday I got an 'uhm' out of you and today, you're stuttering. Surely I am not that intimidating." Wink.

Jerric runs a hand through his hair, of course it falls right back where it was, "Well would I be wrong to say yes and at the same time no?" The parchment is rolled up and handed to a nearby scribe "I just hadn't expected to see you here in the middle of all this." He makes a motion to the large tent "Would you care to step in side, I fear that things are about to get rather busy as many of the men have been gone from home for a good number of weeks."

While veiled, it's there, that study of his person from the way his hand goes through his hair to the answer and her grin is one of brilliance showing her joy with ease. "You are my Prince, do you truly think that I would tell you that you are capable of being wrong?" There's a tease in that bit of light banter, before the young woman's head dips in agreement to his invitation. "I should enjoy it, yes. Though if you have needs be elsewhere, then I could speak to you another time? I wouldn't want to intrude upon your time." How humble that sounds, genuine despite the mischief in her eyes.

Jerric turns his head ever so slightly, his eyes narrow but the grin is in stark contrast to the rest "I think if I were wrong you would be the first to point it out. And truthfully I would be appreciative of it." He moves the war tent, and pulls the flap open "My lady," he says allowing her to enter first.

"You're not used to enjoying someone else's company are you?" An observation, "At least, not like me." But one she's willing to be wrong about. "Regardless, I feel safe in saying that you know me well enough, for you're right. Even if you came to hate me for it." Though, as she steps inside, leaving the bulk of their conversation for more private terms, the last any eavesdroppers might hear would be her remark on…, "Oh do tell me that you've some more of that wonderful wine.."

"NO, not like you," responds Jerric as he follows her into the tent. But he rolls his eyes I have a dozen that would swear it would be a great idea if I suggested that we all toss our weapons into the lake to show the Southerners that we mean them no harm. No matter what I say, it is always the right thing. Once I told them that we should go into battle with every other Knight on foot. They thought it was a splendid idea." He shakes his head before he motions to the young squire "See about getting the Lady some wine and an ale for me." This isn't the grand pavilion like that which was in Laketown, but a war camp tent. Still the travel chairs do have cushions on them and the table is clearly sturdy enough. "Please, sit," he motions to one chair while he takes the other "So what brings you to the Camp, Lady Victricia?

"I would ask if its the thrill of intrigue or the hint of danger that appeals but er I do, you might answer and then? I would surely be disappointed," the tall blond teases, as her eyes sweep over the tent as she listens; observent and sharp, before she settles for one of the folding canvas chairs that so often littered war camp tents. There's at least some familiarity with the carefulness required in sitting, so that the blasted thing doesn't fold up and collasp with her and she settles, preening as any peacock might as she laughs. "The many hardships of ruling, my Prince, lives forever change upon your word or end completely. There are few who would risk such a thing," sincerely given, while she worries her bottom lip between her teeth for a moment. "What brings me? Many things. Some of them personal, others less so. All of them business of a sort. Which might his Highness prefer to tackle first?" Inquired, with a casual glance over her shoulder towards the flap of the tent; a single hand rising to bid the maid linger precisely where the two plaps overlapped - out of sight and 'within' as far as anyone from the outside looking was concerned and yet, out of sight from those within.

Jerric laughs at her tease. The wine arrives along with the ale and the squire is dismissed. He leans forward and takes the ale and sips as he watches and listens to the Lady. "Well, I have found I would rather hear the bad things first, the hard things first then it only gets better and easier as we go along. So, tell me what's on your mind, My Lady?"

"Isn't that a woman's line, my Prince?" Though instead of elaborating on just what line, the woman leaves it be, glancing towards her wine instead and offering thanks to the squire responsible for it. "The Queen gains little, while the only hold you have, you give up? Your men are removed, her way is freed and she still gets to keep your sister, along with the two you 'trust most' though I daresay between us that they probably aren't your most trusted but rather in the end what you could live with losing and…stir my memory but she promised you…actually, I don't remember saying that Princess Ni had permission to come and go as she pleased or to be sent home. She did not even offer assurance that the two men that she chose would remain, but instead…were they not to be sent here to witness this dismanteling? I confess my mind may have been addled from the headiness of being in such esteemed company but she made you into a public farce," Tricia gentled her voice and reached for a moment to give his hand a pat with the statement, as in apology for putting it so bluntly, "But…what did you get?"

Jerric listens and then chuckles before he takes a sip of his ale "The men here, I have to say, was my bluff. There is no way I was going to war with the South. It was to force her hand. She has given her word that my sister will be released. As for those I sent, you can rest assured I value as if they were my own kin. All Rhaedan, true Rhaedan, I hold so. So it was not lightly that I sent them. The two she sends, that Blue Guard female and the Count of Lohstren. They will be here, with little to no guards and I shall still have well over 300 men here when they arrive. With out Nin back her, they do not leave."

Vi smiles then, a gentle smile but a smile all the same. "His Highness is clever," the woman compliments, sipping her wine in the wake of it, "But so is the Queen. If she weren't she'd have dismissed me out of mind, last night. She won't release your sister until the last have gone, I'd wager. So…why not choose those men of whom you trust implicitely and assemble a party beyond where her eyes and those who ride with her may scout? Incase of…issue, shall we say." Thoughtfully mused. "Do you not think that she would not do the same?"
You have already given Jerric a cookie this week.

Jerric nods "Wise words. I can see that you have put some thought into this." He pauses for a time, then "Seeing that you have put so much thought into this party of yours, do you have a suggestion as to who I should send?" The question asked as he meets her eyes with his.

"It is a game, my Prince," Victricia demures with a smile, "I enjoy it. As for who? I can not say. Your finest archer, perhaps, that the arrows might carry the distance, the arrows poison tipped so that even if the blow is not a felling one, the damage will remain. My apologies that I can not offer you more, I'm meant to be but a watcher in these things, as name and position suggest."

"A game, I see. The games I play are on the battlefield, not in the back rooms." Again Jerric falls silent before he nods "It shall be as you suggest, for I find a lot of wisdom in your words. I shall also love to see the Southerners she sends to be welcomed to the camp, and kept here till my sister stands on the other side free once more." He thinks for a time "What say you to being my ambassador in all this? You have shown that you are most capable of it. You have to journey no further south than Laketown and I would wish you not go any further south. I think I can have much use with your talents, Lady Victricia."

"Ah, but games on a battle field begin in the backrooms and over dinners with assorted members. The way to win them may often be found in the same," it's meant to be advice, naught more; her wine swirled lazily in the glass as it was given. "Or at the very least, shorten them considerably." There may have been a glimmer of bloodthirst in that smile then, or cruelty, or it could be the gleam of the lamp light that was misconstruing her mirth, but when it faded the smile was easy and more, at his words, surprised. "Ambassador? Prince Jerric?" Twice now and only twice, she's made use of his name. My Prince, always or Highness. But never his name. Instead of leaping to the offer though, the woman is silent, thoughtful and considering before she ventures in all seriousness, "There will be talk, if you do such a thing. In fact, if I were less of what I am, I may find more in your words myself."

"Yes, you are right but I tire of the needless and sometimes endless banter. Say it, do it or say nothing at all I think. But I do know that this is not always the best way. For your way I am not as suited to as you are." An admission? He chuckles and shrugs his shoulders "I can not for the talk, but if you feel that it would harm you in anyway, I shall retract my request." He studies her for a time, starts to say something but then doesn't. "But the answer lies with you, I can only ask for something like this, not command. I would not do so."

"My Prince has cut me to the core," Vi teases, wine sat aside as she clasps a hand against her bosom. "Needless, endless banter and yet…," her eyes gleamed bright and mirth-kissed in his direction, "He begs leave of my useless skills all the same." A wink and that humor, the easy nature that could be cast on and off so easily at will, eased back that she could give the conversation the attention it deserved. "You could command it." As he, she studies him and the question is obvious, both questions, for all that they never leave her lips and it will eat at her, what he could have said but didn't. "I can brave the talk, head held high regardless of what falls but…," for a moment once more, Vi looked apologetic. "And while I honestly hate to bring it up, I feel I must, for while I would do this for you, you can not be the only reason or it is not business but a favor and well," a shrug as it was left unfinished, with Vi picking up where she left off. "Ambassador of you and with the authority to speak in your name? For a duration of time only until your sister is released or beyond it? These are, I fear, important things and while it embarasses me to suggest, what reward is with it? For I do live on the allowance my Father provides," as most unmarried ladies did. "Or would the reward but be your attention?" And why did it feel like the conversation itself had turned dangerous, for reasons that had naught to do with death?

Jerric laughs as she does protest his choice of words. "Well, some are more talented with a sword in their hands while other's are more talented with one in their mouths," there comes that smile of his, that half smile "wouldn't you agree?" He sips the ale thinking it is obvious. "And so you are asking if I ask this as a favor to me or for the good of the Kingdom?" He leans forward in his chair closing the gap between them. "Both. I want my sister home. As for the Kingdom, they hold a card that we do not. If I were to do anything that they, the South, does not like they have Nin to use against us. We, on the other hand do not have this. So it puts the Kingdom at a disadvantage, one that I do not want to have." Still leaning forward "As for the time, bring Nin home, in the shortest time possible and we shall see about extending this role beyond if you care to have it."

"With a sword in their mouths, my Prince?" The lady parrots in a tone that's softly questioning, "Why Jerric," ah, there; such informality, "I would -choke-." Yet there's something to the tone that suggests….well, perception is the mother of defination. That she licked her lips and favored them with wine directly following, surely that was for completely different reasons. Yet Tricia doesn't shy from meeting his gaze, when he closes that gap between them, in fact, as he leans so does she, until there's but room for a breath between them or perhaps, "Good." A finger. Because hers rose to tap lightly at the top of his nose in the wake of her mention. "Because favors for the kingdom would require payment for services rendered. After all, knights are compensated for battle and you are asking me to wage no less a war. And I should like it in writing, that I speak with the authority of your name, with likewise the promise that any tools that I may require will be made available to me any fees I incur for such an endeavor to be covered by yourself." Her smile turned sweet then, teasing, as she wrinkled her nose and resisted..another urge. "That's not too much, is it?" Wink.

He roars with laughter at her first response and appraises her even more differently now. "I should have known not to spar with you, not on your field of battle. But it still was worth the try, no?" He grins then blinks as he taps his nose. "The letter you shall have, the expenses I shall cover. But these tools, that can be many and varied. Lady Victricia. I know how women like to change dresses at the drop of the hat, and don't let me get started on the shoes. While other's go through men as if they were pieces of candy that once tired of they are cast aside." A slight tilt of his head "What tolls would you require and you are not going to cast them aside as quickly as some do with a dress?"

"Trying is how one learns, my Prince. Practice enough and I'm sure that even I may be brought low." Another joke or pure truth? Sincerity or innuendo? There was no hint to the lady's tone with which to define it, no 'tell' to be found in her eyes. "You're assuming again, Highness, that I am like other ladies. My wardrobe needs naught to encase me in perfection. And men? Do not mistake me for a whore, I have but one reputation, one coin, if you will, to trade and unlike others it is not so freely cast aside. Nor will it be." Steel in the last words, a ring of honesty that was inarguable. "Not even for a Prince." Mercy, that was…well, Tricia knew what it was, she just wasn't sure where it would go. "If I desire pleasure, for the sake of pleasure then, who would know better what pleases me than I?

Jerric smiles "Actually, Lady Victricia that is exactly what I wanted to hear from you in response to my talk of other women. I have to know where one stands in all things, in all matters, if they are to speak for me. For a whore has her uses, she would sell you out for the next highest coin. But a lady of standing that regards her reputation as strongly as yours gives me less doubt that she would protect mine just as fiercely," He sits back "You would protect mine as you do yours, no?" Another sip of his ale but his eyes never leave hers, even as he looks over the rim of the mug.

Tricia's head fell back, those golden curls dancing with the sound of her laughter filling his tent. Rich and throaty, smooth as honey and rough as whiskey all at once; a blend that…seemed to suit the woman's personality. "You are a clever man, Highness. Truly. Would but with manuvers such as that, you would have no need of me at all. How is it that…even when I may say something that displeases or sits counter to your words, you do not lose your temper with me and yet, when it comes from the lips of another you do? The man that I have before me now, would have made even Regina wonder at what she was up against." High compliment indeed, sincereity with it, for the way her gaze lingered against his own ever and always without a hint of shyness. "I would protect your reputation as I would my own, my Prince. For all that both shall suffer speculation for our acquaintance. The Queen will assume I am your whore. Tell me, is that the diversion which you are trying to cast? To let her assume that there is a fondness for me, seated at your table, given leave to speak on your behalf. Would you think to trade me for your sister? It may work, if you could play the role convincingly enough."

Jerric smiles, dips his head with a bow "I thank you for the kind words, Lady Victricia." Then there is that half smile "Everyone expects me to be the hot head. Everyone expects me to go off at the slightest drop of the hat. So I give them that when I should. They know that I would rather draw my sword than take insult, so they hold their words." He then winks "And if they think I may be the baddest ass in all the Kingdoms, so better." He shrugs smugly "And when the need arises I shall surprise them by trying a different tact, to throw them off, get them unbalanced. That is my play at least." Again he shrugs "Sometimes I have no idea which way I will go till the time hits me." Then he nods "As I suspected and if I had thought that my reputation was for sale by you, you have my word that I would not have made the offer I did." Then he laughs as her questions come and he shakes his head "No," he says firmly "I would never do that and if any where to cast doubt upon you by our arrangement then I would be the first to come to the fight for you." Still he shakes his head "No, I want her to meet her match in the test of wills, while I stand back and fume and fumble and fall to her every wish," But he grins "At least that is what I want her to think. Wars are not won on a single battle but a single battle can set the stage for the loss of the war. I want her to think she has won, you are my unknown, it will take her off her stride. She will be expecting me, there, all hot headed and when she find that I have given you leave to speak on my behalf it will have to force her to change her tactics."

"There are some who take it as you being a 'badass'," Tricia offers, "And others who would view it as childishness. Perhaps we should come up with a code? Formal dinners, I'll sit by your side and if I stomp on your foot, that means you're not supposed to play the hothead?" There's a grin then, childish and almost innocent, as if she were still capable of such. "How's that?" A hint of laughter followed it, before her brows furrowed in consideration. "If you were the first to champion me at the hint of doubt, it'd only further their cause in speculation. Which," Vi was quick to correct, "Isn't to say I don't want you for a champion. I will not be painted a slattern. It's too early in the game and that particular role will not win it." Sigh a sigh, the lady fell back in her chair; a quiet groan of comfort on her lips, while she plucked at the strings of her bodice as if to ease their fit. Not to remove it, but to adjust. It was an action that showed her comfort, rather than flirtation. "If you send me to the woman directly and before one and all, then she will assume that you are attempting to make a mockery of her status before one and all. So while yes, it may garner me some renown of my own for you allowing it…, I would much prefer a quieter setting over which to speak with her. If his Highness will allow it?"

Jerric chuckles "So for the next ball I should wear my sabatons for when you stomp on my foot?" He asks with a wink. "But I do understand what you are saying," he gives a moment "You have permission to stomp on my foot, I just ask that you do so lightly. I do need it to get around." The rest he listens to intently, taking in each word and testing it it would seem. "I see your point, you may handle it as you see fit and when you see fit." He holds out his hands "Is that fair enough?"

"I think..," Vi teases, flashing Jerric a charming little grin, "That you just called me fat, or certainly implied I was heavy enough to do you bodily harm with a tinsy tiny dainty little stomp." There was even a coquette flutter of her lashes, to go with the way she demured her head. That was all done in humor rather than intent obvious in her eyes. "More than fair. So, I should like two of the most potent sleeping droughts your healer possesses in his stash, before I leave. And a hallucinogen. I did tell you I would need tools. With luck there will need be no use of them at all, yet who knows what the Gods may put before us." A gleam in her eyes then, before her lips split wide in a smile and like a child with a secret, she leaned forward in her seat closer so that she might whisper, "You're finally having fun, aren't you? Oh to be fair, it's serious, serious as death but…somehow it's not just the boring drone of business, is it?" While those eyes flashed in challenge, almost daring him to say otherwise.

The joke is not taken as one at first as Jerric looks shocked "I would never say you are fat," but then he catches on and laughs. As to her request "It shall be as you ask. I shall give word to my scribe that anything you need, with in reason, is to be at your disposal. He is a good man and I trust him explicitly, you may do so as well." He leans forward as well and his voice just a tick above a whisper "Always, it is serious but it is to be enjoyed as well, is it not?" So close they are any further and they would meet, the tease between them bounces from one to the other. Knowing that it won't go further. His eyes are bright "And you, you are enjoying it as well?"

With a gleam in her eyes that suggests she's successfully baited him, Tricia allows a faint giggle. "Ah, so you /have/ been looking at me then," there's a hint of her tongue peeking just so between her lips with the tease, but it's gone quick enough and while the space between them is minimal at best, she manages a nod that while the warmth of their foreheads could be felt by the other, there was still no contact. "I trust you. Nor shall I abuse the position in which you have placed me." Quite that, with a voice that fell to match his whisper, nevermind the sensation of just that. "I can find but one thing about you, Highness, that is not to be enjoyed and that? I will not tell. So yes," and that yes was almost purred. "I am. Now, tell me where I may find Regina, without having to follow her home." Though she'd not be the first to lean back either, as if that itself had become some sort of challenge.

His breath is hot as is hers and it's felt against his face. For the longest time his eyes remain locked upon her's "Some day you will have to tell me what that fault it, Victricia," there, the title is gone "for I would surely wish to know." He still does not move back, and the next word comes softly "Laketown," There is a long pause "The last word was she was there."

"A clever man may see it for himself," comes the lady's reply, her eyes never wavering from his own. She'll not be the first to look away, nor withdraw. And for a moment, there's a flash of awareness in her eyes when it's her name he says. There's his sister to discuss, there's a document that needs drawn, there's other things that need discussed and…what she says?
"Call me Vi."

He won't move away either, so he grins. "A clever man would know, but a truly clever man would want to know what other's think it is, no?" He chuckles "It could be that other's perceive a fault that truly isn't there, then does not the clever man then have the edge?" Oh, so close the two of them are. Words barely above a whisper would sound loud. And if anyone just happened to enter, what would they think? "Vi, ok it's Vi." His eyes move to take her's in "And what of you, Vi, what would be your fault?"

"A clever man might, yes," it comes with a grin; those bright eyes twinkling in their merriment. Ouh there's serious undertones there, she's aware of it but..there's a thrill in it too. Nevermind if someone entered how doomed they'd be. "A cruel man might just want to hear me say it." Was that a..clue? Perhaps, perhaps. Yet his question of her fault? It was answered without hesitation. "I could say…I am bound to my Prince. Or… I could say, I want everything. Or…you could go riding with me tomorrow and we could play a game of truths and with it, you might learn more than just my fault."

"I have been called many things, Vi. But never cruel." What he has been called is left hanging in the air. A half of a chuckles escapes him when she says about being bound to the Prince "Everything isn't bad," he then says with a shrug. It is the invitation of riding that catches him a bit off guard. The few flutters of his lashes would indicate it. "Riding," he says at last. "And a game of truths." It is then that his eyes narrow the smallest bit "I think you could be a worthy friend or a frightening foe." He waits a few minutes, "What are you, Vi, if I may ask? Friend or Foe?" His brows stay slightly furrowed even after the question is long since said.

"There is a first for everything," softly spoken there between them; though the smile on her lips goes yet to indicate the tease that'd been meant with prior words. It fades…somewhat in the wake of his seriousness and the blond minx looks almost insulted. There's nothing theatrical about it, it's just a brief narrowing off her eyes, a glimmer of insult and then gone, which speaks more of the truth of emotion rather than her remarking on it might have. "Friend. You asked me to protect your reputation as if it were my own. You've asked me to speak in your name. Do you regret it so soon? I merely made a suggestion for an outing between friends, Highness. My apologies if I have crossed some line and brought about your discomfort." So it's her then, to first draw back, because she does. Though it's not out of fear, it's not an act of submission, it's the result of his doubt.

Only then does he sit back and waves his hand with a smile "No, not to this, not to the Prince, we have answered that fully." Hi head tilts as it does as he thinks, "But to me," his open hand goes to his chest "Your loyalty is unquestioned, Vi. I ask you now, what is it, Friend to Jerric?" His manner not really relaxed, more like he is confused. For so long has he talked with Guin, but here, before him, someone that…"As for the ride, you are on, My lady."

"You know, Jer, this is something that could be answered on the morrow, er we ride. A simple game of truths. Where each may ask the other any question of their chosing, the only rule? To answer and not to lie. Of course, there's no way to enforce it, so there's way to know one lies, but lying I feel cheapens the game. To lose? One need only refuse to answer a question. But…I suppose that isn't what you've asked me now, is it?" Replied with a chuckle and a shake of her head, "I wasn't trying to be evasive. It's just…you are not your title. You are a man. One with more responsibilities than others yes, but a man all the same. Would you have me treat differently? Should my answer change? It is still friend. Unless there is a reason it should not be."

Again that little tell of a head tilt. "No lies, I can agree with that." But the tilt remains. Clearly the wheels are turning with in his head. "Then friends it will be, between Vi and Jer." Finally he smiles. "The truth is, it is hard to tell who are truly friends and who say they are friends." He shrugs "It seems as if there is always someone wanting something in the end." And there it is, just the tiniest bit of forlorn in his voice.

"Such as men who like your way with words and think to use you as a tool for their own political agenda? Do you mean wanting something like that?" Victricia questioned, a sense of gentle honesty to the tone. "I don't think there's anyone in the world, who doesn't want something, or need it. We wouldn't be human otherwise. We can only hope that people may find within us more qualities and things to enjoy than simply our usefulness, so that we do not become tools of commodity." A pause followed; a silence into which she frowned and then, the question that followed was barely a whisper touched deep with hesitation. "Will you hate me if I fail you? Will I be so easily cast aside?"

Jerric listens to each word, hang on them it would seem. He studies the woman across from him for a time. As if trying to make up his mind about something. At last it seems as if he came to a decision "I mean, everyone is looking to me for something, some try different ways. They want more men, more equipment to supply their keep. They want less taxes to be able to have more feasts. They came to me, professing loyalty and friendship but there are times I have to wonder about both. It gets to the point were I wonder about everyone all the time." H sighs and closes his eyes for a time "And it gets very tiring." There some a look to him, as if puzzled "And I have no idea why I am telling you thins."
Then hastily he shakes his head "And no, I will not hate you. Those who do not try never fail but also never gain, those who try will fail but the wise one will learn and try again, just another way."

"To have more feasts? Mercy, you're surrounded by fools. They ought to want lower taxes to feed the funds into their fortifications and their income." With a roll of her eyes and a shake of her head, having attempted that bit of humor to lighten the mood, Vi sips the last of her wine, before returning the empty cup to the table. "I'm sorry, I tease but..I could see the worry riding higher in your eyes and the doubt on its heels. Though, I've little doubt it gets tiring. You should try and I pray you forgive me for the analogy, but try being a lady sometime. When every kindness isn't a kindness at all, but either someone wanting beneath your skirts or a woman, wanting some piece of information with which to ruin you. It's always tiring." A wink. "But, I can't help you riddle out why you're telling me things, except that perhaps for the first time you're comfortable and the idea that you could be…is startling." Yet in the wake of that reassurance, her smile tempers again with melancholy. "I will do the best that I can, Jerric. The very best. I don't..," a sigh, and for once, hesitation on her part. "I don't want to disappoint you."

Jerric laughs deeply "If men were women, then I fear most would be whores, Vi," he gives a wink. "But do not think that I feel any different. It's just that I don't wear a skirt. Though I have had advances from the women that would wish me to get into theirs and they make it plain to see. And yet, they still want something from me, no, from the Prince." He shrugs. "But enough of that for now. Tomorrow we will ride, get to know one another and see about where this little game leads us, no?" As for the why he was telling her this, he speaks no more about it. Perhaps it is something he needs to think on more?

There's a grin from the woman, while she reaches up to nudge her hair back away from her eyes, tucking a straying strand of it behind the curve of her ear. "You are a man, a man who is also a Prince. I think…that the day you learn to reconcil that they are one within you, you'll feel better. Even if you were but a man, there would still be people who wanted something from you and women who would throw themselves at your feet." A smile came with it, one reassuring and full of warmth all the same. "In the meantime, as for our business, I suppose you owe me a written document." One that put her authority onto paper, "And I shall be out of your hair. Until tomorrow." Grin. "So, where shall we meet?"

Again Jerric laughs. To the point that the trusted guard that has been hovering in the back ground looks at the Prince in a funny way. "I will have the papers drawn tonight. It and I will be waiting for you here." He thinks for a time "If this is the truth between just us, I suggest it be just us on the ride, no?"

When he laughs, Vi smiles, her eyes warming for the sound of his joy, her smile brightening perhaps a touch at the corners for his words but…at his suggestion there's an air of seriousness about her again. "My Prince…," an apologetic expression, as if she has to recall that they're past formalities in the moment and being themselves. "Jerric," she begins anew. "I..there will be rumors, you must realize. There will be those who suggest that I am simply out to warm your bed and play tricks on your mind. They'll call me a viper and more for it. Women are cruel, most of them catty and some commoners…worse. I don't…I don't want you to fall prey to the gossip, if our friendship falls to ruin, I would hope that it would be because of us rather than the manipulation of others. On the same note, I have no desire to give them more room to talk than necessary. One guard will ride with me, one maid. But distance enough that our words will only be for ourselves. To do without completely would court scandal and I pray…that you forgive me for desiring to avoid it."

A simple nod "Wise words, Vi." He looks to the old time Guard and grins as the fellow, who has been with Jerric since he was very little, smiles "Of course I would be with you your Highness, for the reasons as the Lady states and for my duty to you as well." Jerric grins and nods, turning back to Vi "Then it is settled. On guard for you and a maid, one for me as well." He leans a bit forward "Besides Kylier would not have left me alone, I just like throwing a scare into him now and then." To which the guard grumps.

"Sometimes I'm wise. Others," Vi trailed off, shaking her head and looking past Jerric to cast a grin towards his guard, appraisal in her eyes. "Nor should he, Highness." Though when she says highness now, there's an undercurrent of a tease in the tone, even as she rises to her feet. "With luck you'll not startle him into an early grave." Though with a low dip of her head, Vi glances towards the exit, a hand smoothing down the front of her skirt. "Until tomorrow, Jerric. May the Guardians keep you well."

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