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The Lord Ruler's perfect capital city, Luthadel, is doing the impossible: rebelling. Skaa half-breeds are being taught the power of Allomancy, something that the Lord Ruler's obligators said only existed in the nobility. The enslaved skaa, with their murderous benefactor, now fight back against a living god's oppression.

So, the Inquisition was formed. The nobles begin to fear assassination from all sides. The times of nobility Mistborn killing each other are over. The Steel Inquisitors look for aristocrat traitors and insurgent skaa, and the skaa try with all their strength to merely survive. The Lord Ruler's perfect Final Empire is slowly devolving into chaos.

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Jasper Sorelle



2 replies to this topic

#1 Jasper Sorelle


  • Broken Man

38
Sureau Assassin

Posted 29 April 2018 - 06:01 PM

JASPER SORELLE
Noble



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Name/Handle: Mora
Contact: PM or Discord


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Name: Jasper Sorelle
Type: Noble
Age: 44
Gender: Male
Place of Origin: Eastern Dominance
Occupation: Lord of House Sorelle, Head of Sorelle Building Company
Relationship Status: Widower


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Once a handsome man with piercing blue eyes, Jasper Sorelle’s lifestyle has begun to take a toll on his appearance. His blue hues have dulled. Lines have etched their way into the skin of his face, and are most defined around his eyes and mouth. When at home, there are many days when he doesn’t bother to pull a comb through the dirty blond strands that brush his collar. He seems to be perpetually covered in stubble. His 6” frame is no longer the solid mass of muscle it was in his youth, as he doesn’t go through great lengths to maintain it, but he carries his bulk well.

Jasper Sorelle in the public eye is a very different man from Jasper Sorelle in private. The former takes pains to dress well, ensure his nails are neat, his hair is brushed, and his manner is polished. He makes an effort to be cordial and charming while in the company of nobility. While his dress clothes may vary and alternate, the sapphire and silver ring of the Lords of Lynwood remains a permanent fixture of his dress, since the day he inherited the title of Lord. Though he’s been a widower for many years now, he still wears his silver wedding band.



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Spoiled before his was old enough to talk, Jasper is still very much concerned with his wants above all else. Since the loss of his wife, his wants mostly consist of drinking and gambling and wallowing in his despair - habits that have transformed him into more beast than man. He puts these wants ahead of any of his “duties,” and his children are forced to endure his verbal and physical abuse (as are the few servants they have left). He is mostly absent in the management of Lynwood, making appearances with false smiles for show.

He still has hints of his former self, the cunning, charismatic businessman. But that part of him makes few appearances compared to the animal who sits in Lynwood Manor. He can still be quite charming in person, especially with the unwed or widowed ladies of the realm. He plays the part of the broken-hearted widower - but that much isn’t an act.

Appearances are very important to him, insomuch that he advises the steward to keep the damages to Lynwood Manor and their Luthadel townhome away from public areas as much as possible, and few people are ever invited to either these days. His children are trained well enough not to share anything of their private affairs, and even to look upon him with love in pubic. Yet, his habit of placing Avril in her mother’s old gowns is counterproductive to this goal. It speaks to both the sexist part of him - since he keeps Aric dressed in current fashion - and his sentimental side.

His children are, as far as he is concerned, his possessions, and as such they will serve his purposes, and bear whatever he decides for them. He keeps them close, and is protective in that other people shouldn’t get the opportunity to harm them, or take them away. Jasper has never loved more fiercely than he has loved Ashley; it might be more accurate to say he needs his children rather than that he loves them. He’s more likely to announce his hatred for them - in private, of course - as though each of them had contributed to Ashley’s death. But mostly, he blames himself, since it was childbirth that killed her.

Avril’s resemblance to her mother is a source of pain for him, a constant reminder of what he’s lost. It’s also been a source of anxiety for him as when he’s well into his cups, she is Ashley, and he feels attraction to her - which, in turn, both sickens and terrifies him.

While his behaviors are generally destructive, Jasper does have fears. He’s afraid of Aric dying before him, thus leaving him without an heir. He’s afraid of both his children dying before him, leaving him completely alone. He’s afraid of losing Lynwood Manor, and completely destroying everything his ancestors built up, but this fear hasn’t been stronger than his own self-pity. This fear is easily forgotten at the bottom of a bottle. He’s also afraid of others finding out about the state of his finances, and the monster he is in private . . . unearthing those secrets would just make everything even worse.


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Special Skills: Reading, Writing, Dueling, Lying, Negotiation, Charming

Strengths:
While very damaged, Jasper still has some of the skills that had served him well in his younger days including his business sense and ability to charm others. Though rusty, he does still have some skill at dueling, and some brute strength, from a combination of his size and the storm of emotions that rage inside him.

For his faults, he is a very skilled builder and architect. He has a good sense of interior and exterior design,.

Weaknesses:
Jasper is not mentally stable. He’s been trapped in a deep pit of despair since his wife died, which has led him to take up multiple vices which all serve to make him weaker - drinking, gambling, and whoring. He’s mismanaged his funds for so long that his finances are in ruins . . . and the manor he lives in is literally starting to crumble in places. He’s behind on the majority of his payments, stretching thin the goodwill of multiple noble houses. If any one person were to buy up his debt . . . that person would gain considerable power over him unless Jasper could somehow settle the debt for considerably less than he owed.

His secrets could be found out and used to destroy him. Apart from his financial state, the fact that he abuses his children (and the far older secret about what happened to his brother) would bring his monstrous nature to light, likely resulting in ostracism from society, and the end of his ability to get contracts and keep their house from complete collapse.

He’s also not in the best physical shape. While he still has physical strength, he isn’t as agile or quick on his feet as he once was.

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Jasper Sorelle entered the world on a fine day in early Spring of 874, about two years after his older brother Merrick had been born. A younger sister joined the family a couple of years later. Like many Sorelles before him, Jasper enjoyed a childhood in which he wanted for nothing. He was given the best of everything, (swords, clothes, tutors, etc.) and was more than a little spoiled as a result. Still, he was a charming boy.

The second son born to Vienna and Riordan Sorelle had not been primed for Lordship.
Instead he had been educated in the ways of the family’s main business, of building and architecture, under the tutelage of his Uncle Mason. He had been taught the manual skills along with the design principles and drafting. More importantly, he was taught the arts of being a businessman - cunning, adaptation, negotiation, and when necessary - intimidation. He took to his studies well, and genuinely enjoyed his work. As was expected of the Sorelle sons, he was also trained in riding, fighting, and dueling. Then it was off to the university, a formality, really, as he had already learned all he needed about the family business through hands on experience.

He was twenty when his father caught the chill that killed him. For weeks it was nothing. A cough here and there. But it devolved into something worse. Little coughs turned to all-consuming, painful events, that led to a fractured rib. Eventually he could no longer get food down between fits. Then the cough yielded blood instead of mucus. Wasted away to a shadow of himself, Riordan Sorelle gave up the ghost at the age of fifty-two, and Merrick became Lord of Lynwood.

The perfect son - and Coinshot - had been raised up for the position and the mantle of responsibility fit him perfectly. The twenty-two year-old had the Sorelle charisma and had established all the necessary relationships to continue the family’s work. All that was left was to marry a Lady and sire an heir. Thus, he began courting in earnest as his schedule would allow.

Jasper was at home more than not, now, to support his brother and learn from him as he became the new heir to Lynwood. He conducted much of his business from Lynwood Manor itself. It was how he met Ashley.

She was perfect to his eyes. With skin like milk and hair like wheat and eyes like a cloudless afternoon sky and lips made for kissing and a petite nose absent of any bumps. She was the picture of feminine beauty, with soft curves and a tiny waist and skin as smooth as silk, and a voice like music. Her laughter was like music, too. She calmed his very soul - both when she burned brass and when she wasn’t.

Merrick had the same opinion of her.

But Jasper wanted her more than anything he had ever wanted in his life. Merrick had more than a few ladies to choose for his wife, as the Lord of Lynwood. Jasper made it his business to win her affection such that she would no longer be interested in marrying his brother. He thought he saw something of her affections returned to him when they locked eyes. He made her laugh and smile easily. He gave her gifts. She didn’t rebuff him when he’d offer his arm.

But she became engaged to Merrick anyway. And Merrick became aware that his brother’s feelings for Ashley were not the brotherly type. The two argued. Merrick forbade Jasper from seeing her until after the wedding, and never without him present. Jasper was overcome with emotions stronger than anything he had previously experienced, even after the death of his father. He had never been kept from what he wanted. And he had never wanted anything more.

His social drinking habit became something more serious, as he took to the bottle like it was his lifeline, like it was the only thing that could keep him from breaking his brother’s order. But he found no laughter there. No comfort. The substance only fueled his bitterness and rage. He wrecked his room, trying to expel the feelings that took over his entire existence. He was more animal than man at this time.

The noble soul called Merrick reached out his hand to Jasper, to try to pull him back from the pit of despair. But Jasper wouldn’t let him in. Merrick didn’t fit into the world of self-pity he’d built around him. Unkempt, dirty, drunken Jasper Sorelle did not need to see the pretty face who’d bested him.

Reluctantly, Merrick left his brother alone, in hopes that time would heal all.

But Merrick never got to find out if that hope was true. Just shy of a fortnight before his wedding, he was found dead in his bed, without any signs of a struggle, or any obvious cause of death.

But Jasper knew the cause, because he was the cause, or more accurately poison that had been planted with his own two hands.

The Lordship passed to him.

His distraught mother pulled him out of his wreck of a chamber with the news. There were more important things at stake now than his self-seclusion and misery. He had no choice. He had to pull it together for their House. He had to put one foot in front of the other and lead the family in all matters, mourning foremost among them.

And he did mourn. With his mother and his sister and Lady Ashley. He was strongest for Ashley most of all, Ashley who needed comfort desperately, Ashley who despite being Merrick’s had been closer to him than the rest of the Sorelles still breathing. Ashley who he still wanted and loved. Ashley who Soothed him.

The bonds between them deepened, as she leaned on him for so much in this time of vulnerability. Life continued, the memory of Merrick strong - stronger on some days than others - until they’d made enough memories of their own. Finally, she acknowledged that she shared the feelings he’d never hid from her. They married in the spring of 897. Throughout this time he continued to provide her with the best of all things, frequently gifting her with fine fabrics, and gowns, and jewelry. He felt he never truly filled the hole Merrick left behind, and tried his best to fill it with his love and coin. He put this need above properly managing Lynwood.

Jasper arranged a marriage for his sister, his mother joined their father in the afterlife, and his own family with Ashley grew. Avril came into the world in autumn of 899. The little girl was adequately doted on as the sole progeny of Jasper and Ashley, with fine dresses and toys and a beautiful piano, with lessons, and a fine governess and tutors. Ashley miscarried twice in the years that followed. She was given the best medical treatment Jasper could buy, and professions that his love was not tied to producing a male heir.

Aric joined the family in the spring of 906, filling the void of heir. Life was good. Aric was even more celebrated than Avril had been. Lavish feasts were held in celebration, and before long Ashley was with child again, confident that any difficulties with regards to pregnancy were behind her.

But she was wrong.

She went into labor six weeks before she was due, and spent hours in childbed. The doctors were not confident of the child’s ability to live outside the womb, and were concerned for Ashley’s life, as well. Jasper begged them to save his wife, if it came down to it. She begged the opposite. As she grew paler and weaker and drained of more blood the Lord of Lynwood was carried away and barred from entering the room. She delivered a tiny, stillborn baby boy, who’d been strangled on the umbilical cord meant to nourish him. It was too quiet. Ashley begged to see him. Unsure of what to do, the nurses wrapped the little thing in a bundle and set him in his mother’s reaching arms. Her eyes closed for the last time before she could utter a single word of appraisal, and Jasper had gotten back inside the room in time to hear the last shallow breath escape those lips he’d loved to kiss.

The animal that had been first awakened years ago roared its ugly head again. Everything became about his self-pity, his guilt, his need to forget the nightmare he was living. He continued to spend wrecklessly, but on drink, and on gambling, where once it was gifts for his lady wife. Lynwood Manor’s coffers were already low, due to years of mismanagement. The steward did the best he could to manage things as much as Jasper would allow. The lands around the estate still flourished; it was the seat of its Lord that began crumbling. Jasper raised rents to cover his bad habits. But it wasn’t enough. And soon that money was gone, too. They started selling what they did not need. Furniture from rooms sparsely used. Paintings. Tapestries. Avril’s beloved piano. His little girl fought to keep that one, but Jasper pulled her out of the way by her pretty blond braid. Tears fell from her pale blue eyes, from the force of the pull, or the loss of the piano, or staring in the face of the animal Jasper had become - or maybe all three.

It became commonplace to see carts waiting to be loaded outside the manor. But Jasper never touched anything that was Ashley’s, or that he had bought for her and stored away. Some of the staff was dismissed, as rooms on upper levels were closed off. They worked to keep the outside manicured and the first floor - and some of the second - intact for visitors, such that their financial plight might remain private.

He dismissed Avril’s maid, citing the reason that Avril was a girl, she had to know how to clean her room and dress herself based on her sex alone. And he could do with one less wage to pay and one less mouth to feed.

He had no patience for his children Yet, he wouldn’t just let them stay separate from him all day. They were his. They belonged to him. And they carried some part of the woman he’d loved and lost. He’d see his children whenever he pleased, and most certainly at family meals. Black moods were never far from him, they were always there, sticking to him like his shadow. He didn’t have the energy to keep them hidden all the time . . . It was a wonder he got out of bed in the morning and didn’t pour liquor down his throat every minute of every day.

Naturally some of that darkness leaked out.

A lot of it did. And even as it found its way out of his mouth, through the flat of his hand, and the curl of his fist, there never seemed to be less of it. It was as unending as the universe itself.

Whenever he got loud or agitated or threw dishes off the dinner table, two-year old Aric would cry. Barked commands to stop being a wimp didn’t help things, but he wasn’t a gentle mother or a nursemaid or a Soother; he didn’t have the capacity to calm down the tiny boy. Twiggy little Avril would put herself between them whenever she thought he might harm Aric . . . and the act only enraged him more.

They were his.

His children.

They didn’t get a say in how he chose to discipline them. Or in how he tried to cope with his own darkness and pain.

They just had to bear it.

He was doing the bet he could, Lord Ruler, damn it!

Avril bore the brunt of it. Her fierce protectiveness of her little brother, her insolence in talking back at him, in using her body as a kind of shield only angered him more. He wouldn’t let that manipulate him into backing down, not when lessons needed to be taught.

Beyond his blurry existence of mostly drinking, eating, sleeping, and more drinking, he vaguely noticed Avril inserting himself in other matters, sticking close to their steward, likely trying to make herself useful. That in itself wasn’t a huge problem. They had to do more with less, and she didn’t have a proper governess to instruct her in the role ladies play in running noble households.

The problem came when rules were broken.

Maybe it shouldn’t have been a surprise, given how far she ran her mouth sometimes.

It was like she wanted to get hit. Lord Ruler knew he had more than enough anger coursing through his veins to oblige her. She didn’t make it any easier for him to keep the darkness caged within. She couldn’t just leave things alone.

She was twelve, on the cusp of her teenage years, when he noticed Ashley’s ruby-and-diamond necklace missing - one of the many gifts he’d given to his love . . . he’s given her this particular piece of jewelry just after Avril had been born, to mark the occasion, the miracle of their first child together.

Every dress, every jewel, every piece of embroidery that had been hers . . . were all that he had left. He would sell the shirt off his back before he let go of any of it. He would let Lynwood fall down upon his head, so long as he preserved the things that were once Ashley’s.

And yet this necklace, this confection of white and red, that had brought such a beautiful smile to her lips, that had looked so lovely at her milky throat. Blood and light, that was what the jewels recalled, that was what the child she’d borne was made of . . .

Gone. It was gone. This piece of her. This object tied to memory. This object that had touched her hands, hand graced her neck . . .

He lost it. One moment he was running his hands along her jewels, the next his eyes noticed what was missing, and he felt as though he’d been stabbed in the heart. He fell to his knees, and cried, the sadness and pain wracking his frame.

But as his tears fell, as his agony emerged from his lips in sobs, anger welled up inside him, climbing up from his toes to his crown, until he could only see red. Heved would pay. He’d feel a fraction of the pain that Jasper endured daily, as much as an old man could take without giving up the ghost.

But Avril got in the way. As usual.

The confession that fell from her mouth had the beast shifting his focus to her. This time . . . this time she’d learn not to disobey him. This time he’d learn something, too - if that skinny bitch was more than just an insolent child, if there was a greater worth lurking beneath that milky skin of hers . . . worth that could help him hold on to the things that mattered to him - the things he needed to save.

He dragged her by the wrist, and barked the order for Heved to follow. They climbed up and up the winding steps until they arrived at “the breaking room.” He forced a vial of metals down her throat, and then he broke her. Fury gave force to his fists and his feet, connected with the weak girl’s body, until she could no longer stand, no longer pull her head up to look at him with defiance and hatred in her blue eyes. Her blood coated his fists, filled the thin lines in his hands, dripped onto the old floor that bore the permanent stains of such beatings.

He gripped a clump of her blonde hair and tugged upward, forcing her to look at him. ”What do you feel?” He asked, his nostrils flaring with the anger still coursing through him, despite how much had been taken out on her. She made to spit in his face, but Heved threw a hand over her bloody, cracked lips, and asked specifically about her stomach . . . what she felt there.

She was able to choke out the words it burns.

As Jasper had decided to try to snap her spontaneously, they didn’t have the benefit of a Seeker to discern what Avril was burning. So they improvised. Jasper threw coins at her hoping to elicit an allomantic response, bit Avril merely groaned as the metal struck her broken body. He taunted her, tried to see if maybe she’d affect him emotionally but there was no obvious result, certainly no newfound calm. Jasper grumpily came to the realization that more time was required to figure it out - he put that responsibility squarely on Heved’s shoulders as he left them in that horrible room to return to his bottle and to his incomplete collection of Ashley momentos.

Time revealed that she was a Pewterarm.

Though she’d been badly beaten, the repeated dosing with metals had accelerated her healing beyond what the average body was capable of.

Jasper had mixed feelings about this revelation. Pewterarms were highly valued Mistings, and this power would certainly give her greater worth in marriage negotiations. But having this ability meant she could become a threat, could more effectively fight back . . . if he let that happen. On the other hand, her enhanced healing was a benefit, given how often she drives him to raise his hands to her; scars would be far less of a concern. He decided the best course of action was to neglect her training, saving him from investing in her financially, and keeping her from gaining an edge when it came to physical blows.

As Avril reached her teen years, life got even harder. She looked more like Ashley every damned day, and it haunted him. With enough liquor in him, he swore she was Ashley. In the worst moment of his pitiful life, he’d forced his way into her room, to her bed, convinced she was the wife he’d lost. But then she’d pulled a dagger on him, and the shine of steel in candlelight brought him back to reality. The sadness and desperation gave way to fury and self-hatred and a sick feeling in his gut, all of which were taken out on his daughter, who had to bring this out in him, who had to look so much like her, who messed up his mind just by existing . . . And his son, his heir had tried to pull him off, away from Avril . . . he couldn’t understand, couldn’t see what was happening, how he hadn’t wanted any of this, how the loss of his wife had broken him beyond repair . . .

It couldn’t get that far again. He would not, could not let that happen. It was one thing to punish the girl for her insolence, this was another. Despite the debt and ever lighter family purse, he knew he had to redirect his funds to the fulfillment of physical needs. More staff was dismissed to make way for live-in whores.

Years passed, Jasper fell deeper into debt and Lynwood Manor fell further into ruin. More goods were sold. Avril had the gall to suggest Aric go live with their Aunt Cristiane, to help progress his development as heir. That suggestion ignited fury within him, and Avril paid for it by way of the lash. He didn’t trust anyone with his heir; it as if the world was out to rob him of all he had left. Aric would learn what he could at Lynwood, within his domain, where he had control, where no outsider could be a threat. Lessons for Avril’s development in the arts - and the art of charming suitors - were out of the question given their financial state. He gave her some dancing lessons himself, and if they were lucky, she would inherit charm and grace from her mother, just like the physical traits that had passed down to her.

Jasper still outfits himself in new clothes when possible, putting it on the steward to sell something, and he does the same for his heir. Avril, however, is hardly ever given anything new to wear. She is directed to use fabric that had been purchased for her lady mother for something new, or to simply wear one of Ashley’s old dresses, which are years behind current women’s fashion. Despite the signs of financial struggle, it was expected that the Sorelle children keep their woes a secret.

Now, Avril is nineteen and Jasper fully intends to marry her off to whichever noble family would offer him the most money to pay down his debts. He’s begun advertising the fact that she’s a Misting, in hopes that will make her a more desirable match.

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Jasper Sorelle didn’t want to be disturbed.

He’d lost all sense of time and place as he’d drifted between bouts of crying and drinking and sleeping. His clothing was rumpled, coated with dried sweat and whiskey. He was finally fading back into the gentle embrace of sleep, his face pressed against Thora’s pale chest, as she slowly ran her fingers through his tangled dirty blond hair, trying to calm him as best she could. She wasn’t as beautiful as Ashley, or even as pretty as Avril, but her coloring was relatively close, and she was willing to put up with him, to share her body with him, and to answer to the name of his departed wife without so much as a blink or a wince. When he closed his eyes, it was somewhat like being with his love again . . . As he was no worker of miracles, somewhat would have to do.

A rap-rap-rap at the door prompted the heavy lids of his eyes to open. He responded with a brusque, “What?”

Heved’s muffled voice sounded on the other side of the door.

“Sorry to disturb you, my Lord, but we’ve spotted a rider approaching.”

Jasper groaned. Thora’s fingers moved to caress his forehead, like she might wipe away the headache that was undoubtedly brewing within at this disturbance. “Tell them I’m indisposed.” He closed his eyes, hoping that was the end of it. Today had not been one of his better days. Or maybe it was yesterday, as he’d lost track of the hour . . . It was the anniversary of when Ashley had told him she was pregnant with their third . . . the beginning of the end of her life. He didn’t want to deal with anything if he could help it. It wasn’t like the rider could surprise him. He was likely dispatched to inform him he was so many weeks past due on some bill or another. Nothing new there.

“It’s um . . it’s just, um,” Heved’s voice sounded feebly beyond the door. He heard the man cough next, trying to clear his throat. “Burgundy on a black horse, my Lord. D’Orsay messenger colors. Given our relationship, perhaps you might want-”

Ashes.

His relationship with House D’Orsay was a positive one; it wasn’t worth compromising because he wanted to laze about today . . . Especially not when Lord Alain was rumored to be looking for brides for his unwed sons.

He let out a guttural, frustrated sound from the back of his throat, and gripped Thora’s hand, stilling it.

“I’m coming,” he replied, irritation in his tone, as he lifted himself up to a sitting position. “Clothes. Now,” he ordered as he moved to the door. He yanked it open and yelled after the steward who was already off and running, “AND GET AVRIL!”

* * *


One of the benefits to having a keep-style home set high on a hill was advanced notice of visitors - provided someone was periodically looking out the windows. The lead time was enough to make Jasper presentable. He’d donned a vest and pants of navy blue, with a crisp shirt of pale grey underneath. His hair and been combed so it fell neatly over his collar. His stubble had been neatened to look like a calculated fashion choice rather than the growth of days spent without a care for his appearance. The sapphire ring of the Lords of House Sorelle sparkled on his right index finger, the simple silver band that marked his marriage to Ashley rested on his left ring finger. He’d never taken it off, even after all this time.

More important than the threads he wore, than the jewelry on his fingers was the smile of welcome that spread across his face as Lady Axelle herself strode over the decorative mosaic floor, the tails of her long burgundy coat streaming behind her. She offered a bow, rather than a curtsy before him, likely due to the fact that she was wearing pants rather than a skirt. It was all rather unlady-like to his traditional mind, but there was something interesting about it nevertheless.

He mirrored her motion with a bow of his own. “Welcome to Lynwood, Lady Axelle. It is an honor to receive a message directly from your own hand. Your client must be an important one indeed.”

Axelle smiled in return, the expression reached all the way up to her blue eyes, as she reached into the folds of her coat and pulled out a letter sealed with gold wax. She extended it toward him and he took it from her casually, no hint of worry on his face.

“When I saw the message was addressed to you, Lord Sorelle, I snapped up the job for myself. It has been too long since I’ve set eyes on the beauty of your lands, and the soaring towers of your home . . . The first grand party I’ve ever attended was after the birth of Lord Aric. To this day, it’s one of the best I’ve been to.”

It had been a grand event. They’d been so, so happy. If he could go back, he wouldn’t told her it was enough, that two children were enough, that a spare was unnecessary. Things were perfect just the way they were.

“Speaking of grand events,” he made himself say with a twinkle in his eyes. “Will we be seeing you at the Luthadel balls this season?”

“You shall,” she said, inclining her head, still the picture of happiness and light. Ashley had been that way. It was as though she moved about the world finding little jokes here and there built into the very fabric of it. Jokes that were clear to her but invisible to many others, himself included.

“Then I may beg a spot on your dance cards, though I suspect they might be overfull, already.” He had to play the game. Had to flatter. Had to be kind. Even if he wanted to bury himself under the covers and drink himself to sleep. He was going to Luthadel to find a way out of the hole he’d made, and he’d need to dig his fingers in and climb, even he split nails, and broke fingers. It had to be done. He could do this.

“Come now, Lord Sorelle,” she said with a laugh, “we both know I’m beyond my prime.”

He shook his head lightly. “Only if the young Lordlings do not know the meaning of the word. Prime is not a number, my Lady.”

Avril found her way down the stairs then, clad in a simple day dress of robin’s egg blue, her blond strains partially tied back with a ribbon of the same color. She came to stand at his side, and curtsied prettily for Axelle.

“You must be Lady Avril,” Axelle said, her blue eyes flickering with recognition. “ . . . You look so much like your mother,” her voice was quieter, softer, heavy with memories from twelve years ago. “When I first met you,” her lips formed a soft smile, “you were just a tiny thing. A tiny girl with a maternal instinct, fussing over your baby brother.”

Lord Ruler. He hadn’t expected her to remember, to bring it up . . . He was even more conscious of the holes in his heart, now. It took so much more to keep from breaking down, to focus on the impression he was making. He knew Axelle would report back to Alain, mention her thoughts on his daughter as a potential match . . .

He glanced to Avril, to her light blue eyes, to hair like palest gold, to the delicate facial features, and back to Axelle, moisture pooling in his eyes as he couldn’t help but compare the girl beside him to woman who only lived in his memories.

“My Avril has turned out beautifully,” he said, “just like her mother.”

Edited by Mora, 29 April 2018 - 10:26 PM.


#2 KChan

562
Atium Chandelier

Posted 11 May 2018 - 10:56 PM

I love Jasper's tragic story. It'll be great to see what becomes of him! Approved!

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#3 Comatose


  • Shard of Brain Inactivity

354
House Raisaal

Posted 27 May 2018 - 07:00 PM

Approved! Sorry it took me a while. The writing is excellent as always.

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