I m Going Home

Duchess's Office —- House Karm

Somewhat out of place, light springs eternal from bay windows that rest to the right of the womans desk. Bookshelves line the counter wall, breaking only for the recessed doorway. Candles and various accoutrements line the various shelves. The room is devoid ofpictures, though a sculpture has been carved out of quartz and burnished at intervals with gold. The image of a phoenix taking flight, its head tilted skyward. The desk is of an ancient wood thatis nearly aged to a perfect black. The usual suspects can be found about the desk. A worn, leather backed chair faces to smaller for when there is business to be handled, and matched with a sofa on the far side of the room.

There is a bustle of movement to the duchess's office today. Not a great many people, but the lady herself dancing between a series of images (in all varying shapes and sizes) to her desk where a large tome lies open and yielding some of its secrets. She's not glass of wine today.. No No, there is much to do between notes to the margins and dancing back to the desk. An absent "come in" thrown out to the knock on the door.

Felix opens the door and lets Laila enter first before he even moves to step inside. Once he is inside, though, he closes the door and looks to Lilith. "First off, sorry about the other day, Lilith. But we've got a bigger problem that we want your advice on."

Laila glances around slowly, tugging her cloak tight about her. Unlike Felix, she doesn't speak, just watches, looking just a little dazed. Which isn't terribly new.

Lilith looks up from another notation to a far corner. One that has a lock spilling over her left eye and an amused smile. "A bigger problem? I'm going to start wandering if you ever bring me good news, Felix," she replies with a note of teasing. Though she curls her pen to her hand, playing with the lid while he speaks.

Felix doesn't look all that amused at the teasing. "Laila disappeared and I followed her to Kitezh. Apparantly King Viktor has decided to claim our son for Kitezh. I thought you might know what to do about that."

Lilith looks to Laila. "Where did you go," she asks calmly and motions to a set of chairs. "Do you wish a drink? It seems that the both of you could use one."

"I went home. To Kitezh." Laila replies, moving towards a chair.

Felix moves towards the other chair and settles in. "I'll take a drink," he says. He must really be feeling something over all of this since he's asking for a drink.

"May I ask why," prompts Lilith while stepping to the bar. She pours out two glasses of apple brandy, offering the first to Laila. The later soon offered to Felix.

Laila shakes her head to the drink, "Because I wished to go home for a little while."

Felix takes the drink and downs half of it in one gulp. His hand shakes a bit as he holds the glass; him trying to contain his anger.

Lilith nods, and sets it to the edge of the desk while skirting about to her own chair. "And what did his majesty say upon your arrival?"

"Asked if I had found a way to defeat the Road. Then called me a woman of loose morals." Laila replies, frowning just a little.

"A familiar saying these days," Felix says, the anger in his voice. "But odd since she's only been with me."

"a volva remains chaste, does she not?" There isn't an accusation, so much as a question to the duchess's voice. She shrugs and continues. "So then what happened?"

"It was because I was unmarried and pregnant." Laila replies, starting to her feet, "If you'll excuse me, I believe that I shall leave. I do not need to be insulted any further today."

Felix moves a hand to grab Laila's arm. He doesn't grip her hard, it's meant to be comforting. "Relax and hear her out, Laila." He own tone is pleading before he looks to Lilith expectantly.

Lilith lifts an eyebrow. "I dont' believe there was an insult cast, Laila. Please sit down," she adds with a motion to the chair. "I cannot assist in a matter that I do not -fully- understand."

"I'm not a child, Lilith. Your mention of chastity implies that his statement of my loose morals is correct. I would prefer you to not treat me as a child." Laila replies, patting Felix's hand absently, "He said Amber wasn't worthy of this child, claimed him for service to Kitezh."
Felix removes his hand when Laila pats it, but he still looks uneasy. "I'm sure you know what I wanted to do when I heard that," he says to Lilith. "But there has to be something better."

"Laila, you will remember that you remain in this house at my good graces," notes Lilith with a subtle edge to her voice. "I'm not familiar with your ways. To insinuate otherwise is an insult of your own. Now if you wish to storm off like a child, then I will treat you as such." She takes a deep breath. "But if you are the woman that I once believed you were, then you will sit down and speak on this calmly. Now, how did he get to a position that he felt your child was his?"

"I no longer am in this house. I've been ordered to remain home." Laila replies, frowning, "He's King-thane. All is his."

Lilith nods. "Do you wish to still be adopted, Laila? I believe that was one avenue. I can speak to the Thane, if you like."

Felix is anxious, but he remains silent. He shakily lifts the glass with the rest of the brandy and drinks the rest of it.

Laila shakes her head, "He will not allow it. It's simply to late for anything other then my following orders and returning to the task I was set to."

"So you will walk away from what you have with my brother," notes Lilith gently. Her hands lacing to hide her own concern. "If you wish to follow orders, what would you ask of me?" She looks to Felix and nods to the spare glass. "Are you just worried for the child, Felix or that of Laila as well?"

"Both," Felix answers immediately before he reaches for the other glass and downs it in one breath. "Very much both."

Lilith nods sutbly. "Then it comes down to your choices, Laila. I know what your king has said, but what do you want?"

"You never spoke to him about myself and Wyatt, now he has ordered me home. I've no choice but to follow orders." Laila replies, tugging her cloak tighter around herself, "You do not understand. I have no choice. I have been ordered. It has always been my destiny to save my people, and I came here seeking the answers. I have found none. He has ordered me home. He has laid claim to this child because I am not married. He is unhappy."

The look of anxiety is growing in Felix. He looks to Lilith and then to the bottle of brandy, but wisely choose not to go for it. He settles back in his seat and waits, listening.

"I can see to his unhappiness, Laila. I'm hearing what your king wants, but not what you want," adds Lilith gently. "Do you wish to return, or do wish to remain? I will make no promises, but I will speak to him on the matter." She gives a small wave for Felix to take the bottle, if he wishes. She wont' be drinking this evening.

"I had wished to marry Wyatt, yes. But it is no longer up to me." Laila shakes her head, looking sad for a moment, "The control is not mine."

Felix reaches for the bottle of brandy and pours another glass before he seals it up and pushes it far away. He drinks half of this glass of brandy. "Please tell me you have an idea, Lilith."

Lilith growls and straightens. "The choice is always up to you, Laila. You're not powerless to your own life," she adds firmly. "Only if you give that control up. So I will ask you two questions. One, mustyou be a volva? And two, do you love my brother? I'm not talking the sort of passing fancy, but is he like the food you eat or the wine you drink?"

"Must you be a Weir?" Laila counters, shaking her head, "It is not a profession I choose. It's in my blood. And yes, I love your brother."

Felix creeps back in his seat some at the exchange of must you's. He looks between the two of them, hands still shaking somewhat. And there's an odd look in his eyes.

"There are choices that we make, Laila. Some of them -very- hard," Lilith sighs and reaches up to brush her hair back from her face. "I'm not telling you to deny your blood, but you do so anyway by saying you love Wyatt. If a Volva is not to marry," she raises a hand, "hear me out. If she's not to marry, and you wish to anyway. Then do you not become something else?"

"No." Laila replies, shaking her head, "A Volva is always a Volva..no matter. Marriage or not." She raises a hand, rubbing at her forehead, "You can't understand."

Felix sighs at this bit and shakes his head. "She can understand if you keep letting her ask questions," he says.

Lilith shrugs. "Perhaps not. I cannot change my weir blood, but I do put my loyalties to his House first in all matters. You have choices, Laila. It is whether you will empower yourself to them. Do not -many- Kitezhka women have children out of wedlock? It doesn't lessen you, and you should not believe that it would because of one man's opinion. You have the opportunity to have someone help you, but you desist.. why?"

"I would not say many, no. And I am not a normal Kitezhka woman." Laila frowns, "I'm not saying you can't speak with him, simply stating I do not have a choice."

Felix bites at his lower lip. "I don't want to do something stupid," he says, mostly to himself. "But I'm not letting him keep my son."

Lilith skips out of her seat, and moves to the bar to fix a glass of juice. "There's once a friend I had, Laila. A wonderful woman, really. She felt that she had not choice, or sway to her own life. Then one day, everything she knew was ripped out from beneath her. Do you know what she did," she asks and looks back to the couple. "She discovered the strength that she had all along. Even should your king not hear what I have to say, you've always the ability… the choice, if you will… to walk away. Yes, it sets you to a whole new path, but isn't that what life is? A series of chances?" She flashes a faint smile before lifting her glass to head back to the chair. "But I will speak to Viktor if that is what -you- want," she notes to Laila, trying to hold the woman's gaze. "But I will not force you to stay if it is your desire to go."

"I follow the path the gods set for me." Laila replies, "Speak with him. But I have to return now."

Felix moves to stand, his hand shifting to his blade and then away. He clenches his fists, fighting to remain calm and whatnot.

Lilith tilts her head. "Can you not tell me what you want, Laila? I'm not slighting your gods, for they are different for each shadow. Nor would I ever wish to tempt their ire, but I would prefer to hear what you desire."
"Speak with him." Laila replies, then turns to move towards the door.

Lilith looks away to Felix. "Thank you for bringing this to my attention," she replies and draws her attention back to the earlier drawings. "Seems the expedition will need to be put off a bit longer."

Felix nods at Lilith though he still looks worried. "Please talk to him and see if you can help, Lilith. I'm begging you." He moves after Laila, though. "I have to get her back."

"Safe travels to you both. Laila, if you need anything, please be sure to contact me," adds Lilith towards the departing woman. "Perhaps I can see to an answer quickly."

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