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Mistborn: The Inquisition


Following You


Eliza Fathvell's Photo Eliza Fathvell 11 Sep 2013

((OoC Note: This thread takes place immediately after "Throwing Things", which unfortunately I can't find in the Continuity Thread. Additional tags will be added ASAP!)

Eliza Fathvell could not believe how close she had come to being completely and utterly humiliated. What if Lord Caden had seen her on top of that wall? What if she'd hit him with that rotten vegetable? What if she'd hit him with it and he'd seen her? That would have been it for... whatever was going on between them.

It's nothing, she reminded herself harshly. Just because you can't stop remembering how he looked without a shirt doesn't mean he sees you as anything more than a tool. Nadia had reminded her of that too, and cautioned her against it. But while Eliza appreciated her friend's concern, Nadia just didn't understand. Eliza wasn't going along with Caden for the sake of a pretty pair of blue eyes, or that gorgeous smile, or the way he-- Stop that! She would, however, be more than willing to let him use her if it meant taking Colette down. So she enjoyed his company at the same time. What was the harm in that? The attention he paid her, and the way he paid it, made her feel special. Eventually he would marry the future Lady Hasting, and Eliza would be left behind, and that was that. But she would treasure this time with him for as long as she could.

And so, of course she would have to go find Lord Caden as soon as possible. He had visited her in person, after all! What sort of high lord did that in Luthadel? It did involve bidding farewell to Nadia, though, which made Eliza feel guilty. Reminding her that her father wanted to be on good terms with the Hastings probably wouldn't help, so she promised to make it up to her by throwing as many rotten vegetables as possible at Riordan Casuana - or anyone Nadia chose, except Caden - at the earliest opportunity. She also reminded Nadia that Caden was a good way to get away from Colette. Nadia didn't care about house politics, but surely she knew that the way Colette treated her was awful.

Once Nadia had gone, Eliza washed up and changed clothes in record time. She selected one of her nicest day gowns, a beautiful pale blue silk that complemented her skin tone nicely, trimmed in a delicate ivory lace. Both were common exports of the Southern Isles, and she hoped Jerzen would be pleased with how she had chosen to represent her homeland at this very important meeting.

A short carriage ride that lasted far too long later, Eliza had arrived at Keep Hasting. You are absolutely crazy, she told herself, but the footman was already announcing her arrival to the guards at the gate. She was past the point of no return, now; a servant would be sent after Lord Caden, and she would know soon whether or not he would see her.

Or worse, Colette would find out. Lord Ruler, I can't believe I actually came to Keep Hasting of my own free will.

She could only hope this wouldn't end in disaster.

Caden Hasting's Photo Caden Hasting 14 Sep 2013

Eliza is here? Now? It had only been a few hours since he had left Keep Fathvell. Caden had not been expecting a reply back from her with her availability until the next day at the earliest, and he had not dreamed she would come in person on the word of a mere messenger. Perhaps in the Southern Isles, such things are more common. Whatever her reason for arriving with such haste, Caden knew he had to get to her soon. If Eliza was her at Keep Hasting, it would only be a matter of time before Colette heard and moved in to play with Eliza's emotions like they were favored toys.

Thoughts of Colette made Caden hesitate, as they always did. Could Eliza's eagerness to meet be Colette's doing? His cousin had seen him defend Eliza at the Casuana ball. Could Colette believe he had feelings for Eliza, and have hopes to use her against him? Caden was tempted to send his servant to tell Lady Eliza he was busy, but the memory of her face and voice as they danced stopped him. She knew Colette for what she is, Caden thought. He had seen her fear, relief and hope when he offered her asylum from his cousin's attentions. His instincts told him what he had seen Eliza was genuine, and where Colette was concerned, his instincts were all he had.

"Tell Lady Eliza I will attend her shortly. Show her to the western tower's parlour and see that she is well taken care of. I should arrive there shortly." Whether he trusted Eliza or not, he had to proceed carefully. Even if Eliza was not aware of it, Colette could still be using her as a tool, and if Caden was ever going to succeed against his cousin, he needed to be vigilant at all times for her manipulations.

Eliza Fathvell's Photo Eliza Fathvell 14 Sep 2013

Eliza didn't know whether to be excited, relieved, or terrified when Caden sent the message that he would see her shortly. What would she do now? What would she even say? What had he wanted with her in the first place? She remembered her courtesies well enough until she was left in the parlor, at which she sprang up from her seat and immediately began pacing the floor, kicking her skirts anxiously as her nerves whipped themselves into an ever-increasing frenzy.

Back and forth and back and forth she paced, wringing her handkerchief until it was wrinkled beyond recognition, at which point she frowned at it in frustration and went right back to wringing. What was taking him so long! Never mind that it had barely been two minutes since she was seen to the parlor. Was she inconveniencing him somehow? Was she--

She was interrupted from her thoughts when a cold chill of terror ran down her spine, and she turned around to see her worst fears realized. There was Colette Hasting, standing in the doorway and grinning like a cat who had cornered a mouse.

"Good afternoon, Eliza dear," she purred. "To what do the Hastings owe this distinct... pleasure?" the twist of her mouth when she said the word made it clear she didn't actually consider Eliza a pleasure at all.

"Lady Colette," Eliza said nervously. She managed a shaky curtsy, but where should she go from here? She didn't want to give Colette any more information about Caden than she had to, but if Colette thought she was making unsolicited calls to visit him, things might get even worse.

"Just, er, paying a visit," she managed weakly after a too-long pause. Why was she suddenly so terrified of this woman? Colette was a bully, but she shouldn't feel like she had a knife to her throat.

"I see." Colette paused thoughtfully, as though considering pressing the matter further, but - surprisingly - she just smiled sweetly. "Well, I shall leave you to it, then. Enjoy your afternoon, dear." And with that, she was gone, swishing out of the room as quick as she'd come.

Eliza sank into the closest chair, shaken. What in the Lord Ruler's name was that about, and what was Colette up to?

Caden Hasting's Photo Caden Hasting 14 Sep 2013

Caden froze as he heard his cousin's honeyed tones floating down the hall. "Well, I shall leave you to it, then. Enjoy your afternoon, dear." Moments later, he could hear the swishing of her skirts as she swept into the hall. Before she could see him, Caden quickly ducked into one of the side rooms and held his breath until she had passed. Thank the Lord Ruler Colette was a Rioter and not a Tineye! Even after it seemed like she was done, Caden counted to one hundred before he dared to duck around the corner again. Seeing Colette was, in fact, gone, Caden made his way to the parlour to greet his guest.

Mist and Ashes! How had Colette gotten to Eliza first? Caden knew Colette had spies crawling all over Keep Hasting, but even so, he had not expected her to act so quickly. Whatever the case, now she would surely know that he and Eliza were meeting alone. The question now was how could he use her knowledge of the rendevous to his advantage?

Caden was forced to set his brainstorming aside and adopt a more pleasant countenance as he entered the parlour. "Lady Eliza," he said with a slight smile, "It is a pleasure to see you here. Had I known you were going to respond to my invitation so soon, I would have waited at your keep and escorted you here myself."

Eliza Fathvell's Photo Eliza Fathvell 14 Sep 2013

"It's quite alright, Lord Caden," Eliza managed. Her curtsy for Caden was much more sincere than the one she'd given Colette, but it was no more balanced or stable. Colette had shaken her to her core, and there was no hiding it. "I wouldn't want to have inconvenienced you so.

"I'm just sorry I couldn't have greeted you when you came," she continued, flushing in embarrassment as she recalled the reason for that. "It's quite the compliment that you came in person, so of course I wanted to return the sentiment. And, well, here I am."

That didn't sound pathetic at all. Idiot.

Caden Hasting's Photo Caden Hasting 16 Sep 2013

Caden nodded thoughtfully as he considered what to say next. Lord Ruler, if only he'd had more time to plan! Unlike Colette, who seemed to know exactly how to use people against Caden naturally, Caden preferred for his plans to be measured and well thought out. While he valued instinct, he also understood how easy it was to miss important factors when acting too quickly, and experience in dealing with Colette had taught him to always err on the side of caution. Unfortunately, Eliza Fathvell stood in front of him now, waiting expectantly for him to say something. Of course she expects you to say something! You invited her here! Whatever his expectations of how this meeting would go did not matter any more. Eliza was here and he had not had time to plan, so he would just have to deal with it.

I can do this, Caden told himself. He was not incapable of thinking on his feet after all, and improvisation and quick thinking were vital skills for a Lord of a Great House to have. And Caden would best Colette and be House Lord one day. Failure in that regard was not an option.

"I bid you welcome then," he said with a smile. "Now, I suppose you are wondering why I asked you here today."

Eliza Fathvell's Photo Eliza Fathvell 17 Sep 2013

Eliza probably should have agreed that yes, she was indeed wondering why he had invited her here, but then, she already had a good idea of why that was. After all, she dared not hope that he had any real interest in her specifically; sure he had defended her at the ball, but any true gentleman would have done the same in his position. No, given their previous conversations, there was only one option.

"I was," she finally replied with a thoughtful expression, "though I admit that I thought it was most likely concerning..." she almost said Colette's name, but then, how could she really be sure Colette had left? She might have lingered in the hallway, or gone to an adjacent room to listen through a crack in the wall, and now Eliza was having paranoid delusions. Wonderful.

"... concerning our previous conversation," she managed at last after a brief but awkward pause.

Caden Hasting's Photo Caden Hasting 02 Oct 2013

Caden nodded. Good she understands. It was unfortunate that Colette had made an appearance, but at least now he knew she was aware of Eliza's visit, and that she might be watching. I need to get Eliza out of here, he realized. Keep Hasting was too dangerous, and was crawling with Colette's spies. If he wanted to avoid them he would have to think of a reason to get Eliza and himself out of the keep.

A piece of card-stock on an end table caught his eye, no doubt left there by one of the earlier occupants of the parlour. It was an invitation to the Perrault ball that night. Caden had observed the event, but hadn't intended on going. The Perraults were a major central dominance house, but after the disaster of the Casuana ball, he was still scrambling to get meetings and appointments arranged before the upcoming Elariel ball. However, if he could move some of those arrangements around, perhaps he could make something work, giving Caden the opportunity to observe Eliza and decide how she could work with him against Colette.

Striding over to the table, Caden picked up the invitation. "Yes of course, our conversation at the Casuana ball," he said, for the benefit of any of Colette's spies who were listening. "I enjoyed our time together thoroughly, and I hope you did as well." Caden smiled, adding a little charm to his voice as he handed her the invitation. "Tell me Lady Eliza, you wouldn't happen to have the rest of the day free, would you?"

Eliza Fathvell's Photo Eliza Fathvell 02 Oct 2013

"I-" Eliza began, but the words caught in her throat. The whole rest of the day? What in the world could Caden have in mind that would last the rest of the day? And what was that paper he'd picked up? He couldn't be asking her on a date, could he?

No, of course not. That would be ridiculous; he had no interest in her.

"I do, actually," she finally said, relieved that her response sounded much more graceful than her previous attempts at speech. That wasn't particularly true, though; her Father had wanted her to take some more etiquette lessons this evening, but Caden Hasting was more important than having fake tea with a Terrisman pretending to be a noblewoman. Perhaps she could make up some savvy-sounding story to her Father about how she didn't want Fathvell to be seen as potentially favoring one heir over the other or some such nonsense.

Actually, that sounded pretty good. Luthadel wasn't corrupting her already, was it? Nadia would certainly say it was. Agh! Dammit, Eliza, focus! She almost blurted out a simple 'Why?' but having already been thinking about the etiquette lessons she would be skipping, one of the lines she'd been forced to rehearse came to mind as an alternative.

"May I ask what you had in mind?"

Caden Hasting's Photo Caden Hasting 02 Oct 2013

Caden laughed. "I enjoyed your company last week, and was hoping to spend more time with you," he said, gesturing for Eliza to take the invitation from his hand. "When I invited you here, I did not expect you to come today, but since you are, we might as well take advantage of an opportunity to get to know each other better, and potentially expand upon the bonds between our houses."

"I hadn't made any plans for tonight yet," he continued as she took the invitation. "So preparations will need to be made. Perhaps we could make some of those preparations together, and enjoy each other's company in the process?" Colette's spies would have a field day with this. They must think Caden was smitten! Colette would see through it though, she usually did. Hopefully he could get Eliza out of the keep without giving away where they intended to go, escaping Colette's influence.

"So, what do you think?"

Eliza Fathvell's Photo Eliza Fathvell 02 Oct 2013

Eliza stared dumbly at the invitation in her hand, at first not really comprehending what was going on. He couldn't possibly be asking her out on a date... except he was. That was exactly what he was doing. And he wanted to take her out before the ball too? Lord Ruler! She could only hope that having an evening alone with Caden - the whole evening! Was this really happening? - and free of Colette's interference would help her learn to keep her head around him. As it was, though, she couldn't entirely prevent a tinge of pink from creeping into her cheeks.

"I would like that very much," she said at last, with a smile that nearly split her face in two. "I should probably send a message to my Father though, so he knows not to expect me until later."

Caden Hasting's Photo Caden Hasting 02 Oct 2013

The warmth in Eliza's smile was infectious, and Caden felt his carefully constructed smile brightening as well. "Excellent," he said, "I'll summon a messenger, and get a carriage ready while you write. Is there anything else you require before we leave?"

Eliza Fathvell's Photo Eliza Fathvell 03 Oct 2013

Lord Ruler, he really meant to go right now! Of course he'd basically said that when inviting her, but it was still shocking, especially after witnessing the strange preoccupation Luthadel nobility had for planning to do things later. Make an appointment here, schedule a meeting there. It was a wonder anything got done. But the attitude of deciding to do something and then doing it? That was familiar ground, and Eliza found herself beginning to relax a little. There was one detail that was still missing, though...

"Er, well, there's the matter of what to do with the carriage I took to get here," she said. "If we're going to share a carriage," and why wouldn't we, idiot? "I'd hate to just run off and leave the coachmen sitting here."

Caden Hasting's Photo Caden Hasting 22 Oct 2013

Caden nodded, understanding Eliza's concern, and noting what it said about her character. Colette would have never let concern for a servant affect her plans. While Caden did not like associating too much with those lower than him, for fear of living below the station he had cultivated himself for all his life, he also took pains to be a better person than Colette in every way possible. It was a delicate line to walk, but Caden's whole life had been shaped by the expectations he perceived people having of him, and those he had of himself. That being said, Eliza's sincerity made him feel that the day spent with her, though unplanned, might be beneficial for him in more way than one.

"Perhaps, if it is agreeable with your coachman, perhaps we can use your carriage?" As he said it, Caden realized that using Eliza carriage might be prudent anyways, as anyone who did not actually see him getting into the carriage would just think Eliza had left. On top of that, Eliza's coachman was far less likely to be one of Colette's spies.

Not that it matters, he thought. Knowing Colette, her spies would be good enough to catch him leaving with Eliza, but there was still a chance he might escape their notice. At the very least, however, they would notice he was gone, leaving Colette to make the likely inference that he had left with Eliza.

Moving to the door, Caden summoned an attendant, and requested a messenger be sent to the room. "You should be able to find paper and writing materials in the desk by the wall," he continued when he had closed the door. "A messenger should be up presently."

Eliza Fathvell's Photo Eliza Fathvell 23 Oct 2013

Eliza nodded, and got to work writing a message to her father. Her hand was shaking, though, and it took her a couple moments to gather herself to the point that she could actually write the message. She didn't want her father to think she was being kidnapped or something, after all.

By the time the messenger arrived, she had written a simple message explaining what was going on. Once it was sealed and on its way, she turned back to Caden with a grin.

"There," she said. "Ready to escape?"