(1874-08-01) Good News and Bad News
Good News and Bad News
Summary: The Bad News: Susanna's younger sister Rachel is sick. The Good News: The Viscount and Countess manage to reconcile
Date: 8/1/2018
Related: All the Dovi and Imo squabbling logs since the Teleko visit
NPCs: None
Imogen  Susanna  Ludovic  

Aequor - Hellsmouth County - Hellsmouth City
Hellsmouth City, after which the province was named, is a bustling trade city that sits on theconfluence of three major vir-sidus built roads and provides the best river port available this far south. From this spot you can easily, and quickly, take roads north or south or set sail upon the rivers that open up the entirety of Aequor. A city that relies heavily upon trade it has stout walls and a remarkable number of inns and taverns.
Wednesday the 01st of Aout, 1874 IE.

Susanna is running down the mountain from the Keep, forgetting the horses offered to her, a piece of paper crumpled tightly in her hand. In her frenzy, she trips on a knoll and lands in a heap.

Imogen was just leaving the stables and headed towards the keep, thus she's in view as susanna takes her spill and rushes over to check on her. "hey, easy there, you alright hun?" she asks gently with a small grin.

Susanna looks up at Imogen with an expression nothing short of devastated. Too out of breath to speak, she presses the piece of paper into Imogen's palm. It reads:

'Your sister is seriously ill with fever. It is suggested you return to Chervaise immediately.'

Imogen blinks a bit as she looks at the letter and nods, lifting Susanna up gently and smiling patiently. "I know you need to get back, but you'll be no use to your sister if you're injured as well," she chides gently before nodding and begenning to lead the girl towards the stables. "Do you have any idea what your sister might be sick with?"

Susanna closes her eyes, tries to calm herself down as she rights herself with Imogen's help. "She's …she's prone ta colds an' fevers. I don' know wha' th' illness is, for sure—I ent no healer." A pang of guilt at her incompetence. "Some fevers are more serious 'n others… Bu' they said I should return immediately. Means it's serious. I, I need ta go ta her now. Yer Excellence, please…"

Imogen nods and smiles as she leads her into the stables and gets her mounted on a horse with little issue, even if the girl hesitates, Imogen will see her up there. "I can take you back to chevaise and see your sister tended to, but then I have to return here. Dovi and I have alot to talk about, given the circumstances, you're more than welcome to stay back in chevaise," she explains as she mounts up on another nearby horse.

"Right. Course," Susanna nods, hardly seeming to realize she's on a horse now as she presses her fingers against her eyes. "Thank ya very much, Countess." She swallows and her fingers clumsily find the reins.

You can tell Ludovic's on his way into the stables well before you can actually see him. For one thing his laugh is both boisterous and distinctive and for another the big dun warhorse lifts his head and perks up his ears at the sound. "You'll get it yet!" Comes the words following said laugh and the man with him simply grins and shakes his head. "You've been saying that for the last ten years Dovi!" The knight accompanying Ludovic the pauses, having spotted Imogen, and turns his attention back to the Viscount. "We'll talk later old friend" A thump on the shoulder is offered to Ludovic and then the blonde knight gets out of dodge. Five paces later the partially blind viscount realises just what he's been abandoned too and scowls. He still manages a "Good choice that mare" to Susanna though.

Imogen was just about to run off with susanna back to Chevaise when she hears an all to familliar voice. She should have kneed her horse and taken off with her handmaid, but alas, she froze up for a second and now dovi's here and it'd be rude to just leave. "Of course it is, I picked it," she remarks with a small grin over at her husband, in an attempt to ease up the atmosphere.

Susanna looks down at the mare as though she's just noticed its presence, then between Imogen and Ludovic. She tries her very, very best to hide her impatience by looking dumbly down at her horse again.

Ludovic glances between them both, shrugs and offers a polite "Enjoy your ride." before moving past to say hello to his stallion. "Pleased to see me eh old Boy?" He reaches to rub a hand over the horses face and eyes. "Though we'd do some work today"

Imogen sighs softly when dovi moves past and looks torn for a sec before moving over to susanna. "I need to dot hat thing….now, can you head back without me?" she asks quietly as she hands the woman a few crowns to pay for any expenses she has during the ride back to chevaise.

Susanna had enough money with her to pay for expenses, anyway, but she's too worried to argue over her new possession of yet more untold riches. She starts the horse out of the stable and…hopes she's going in the right direction.

Ludovic starts leading his heavy charger out of the stall and into the preparation area. Theres a single, brief, "Hey!" from him followed by him shoving the horses shoulder hard enough that the big animals ears go back. "Manners Sand. You know you aint allowed to bite me"

Imogen chuckles softly and smiles a bit as she sees Susanna off, and indeed in the right direction, though the servant she soon grabs to send after her on her horse is probably to ensure she doesn't get lost all the same. Once she's done being a good boss though….it's time for the less looked forward to concern which is speaking to her husband, and so, cautiously, she moves to walk alongside him. "I know you're busy but….can we walk and talk?" she asks cautiously

"Yeah." Ludovic says as he tethers the horse and moves off to collect a brush. "Go ahead. I'm sure you have plenty to say."

Imogen chuckles softly and grins a bit as she falls into step beside him, being careful with her words obviously but still relatively at ease when he isn't obviously too angry with her at the moment. "I don't have anything to say, not really, but I do wanna ask you…..if I can have another chance, to fix myself, to earn back your affection," she ventures, focusing more on the ground as the words spill out, talking about her emotions in a normal state of mind isn't easy for her, but she wants to try.

Sandstorm is honestly already clean and fit for a ride as he is but Ludovic goes through the process of brushing him down anyway. He does manage to keep Imogen on his left side as he works. He's done quarter of the horse before he simply asks her "Why would you even want to?"

Imogen looks at him as if he head grown two heads when he asks that, as if the answer should be obvious. "Because I care about you dovi, and I know at one point, you did care about me, and that we had a future and a chance to be happy. I want to try and earn that back," she ventures cautiously, battling between the ideas of wearing her heart on her sleeve and reservation to protect herself from his seeming indifference, but despite all logic, she seems to be leaning towards the former. "And I promise, i'll try not to speak in anger anymore. I can't garuntee that I won't, but i'll try, no more threats about leaving when all i want is to stay with you, no more threatening to take away your child when you make it obvious you still want it, I promise, i'll try my hardest,"

Ludovic is really slow to answer, his eye on the horse as his hands rub the brush across the hide. Eventually he speaks of course "You will have to make some pretty serious concessions. You really willing to do that?"

Imogen just nods quietly and doesn't say much until she's sure he's done speaking, but eventually the anxiety of uncertainty wins out and she finds her voice. "What concessions?" she asks, trying her best not to sound suspicious of him, but there's no hiding that the word makes her nervous.

"You reinforce the fact I have custody of that child you're carrying if you decide to leave again. Thats one." Ludovic tells her. "Then theres gonna be lessons, and the usual expectations, in how a wife and a countess is supposed to act. And you're gonna take both seriously. So seriously in fact we'll have punishments written up. Anytime I tell you not to leave the castle. You wont. And next time I tell you to run and fetch something you actually will do it." He looks over at her. "That will do for now."

What does someone say to something so cold and….formal like? But she knew the risks, she knows that maybe this is only temporary, that he'll warm up to her again and it won't feel quite so painful to interact with him. So she nods and keeps her eyes trained on the ground, but vocally she offers no response, she doesn't trust her voice to speak.

"Sure now?" Ludovic asks her seriously. "Because thats a big ask and I wont let you just nod along and tell me I forced you again."

"For ones sake dovi I said it while i was recovering from being mind raped by a vampire, which despite what /you/ think, hurts like hell. I thought you would have realised by now what I said then wasn't what I truly felt, I didn't even make the decision to say that!" there's the old imogen, her voice is rough and she pretty quickly withdraws back into not looking at him and silence, but at least it shows that imogen is still in there.

Ludovic just puts a hand on Sandstorms wither and turns to look over at Imogen. "You know you've not said sorry yet Imogen? Just made excuses?" He grunts a bit and looks back to what he's doing. "Sounds a lot like I lashed out at you but you have to forgive me because a vampire hurt me." He looks back at Imogen. "But you see. I dont have to forgive you anything. That same line of thinking gives me a thousand reasons to lash out at you and cry the same thing. You've broken my trust girl. You've broken it and you aren't even trying to deal with that. You're just trying to make everything get brushed away under a rug where its gonna fester and rot and have babies and one day leap out and strangle me."

Imogen just looks at him like he's grown more heads and shakes her head determinedly. "No, I do want to apologise for what I did, and I was working towards that. But just as i hurt you, you've hurt me, we've BOTH said terrible things to each other, and while i'm here trying to ask for forgiveness, to make things right, you don't even seem to care, heck, you DENY everything I accuse you of," she fires back before taking a moment to breathe lest they just start bickering again.

"I never demanded forgiveness though, I only asked for a chance to earn your affections back, to fix everything i've broken. That's not sweeping it under a rug, that's the most direct form of dealing with it I can do, and if that's not enough for you then i'm sorry, but it's what i can offer," "Well then Imogen." Ludovic says. "Why dont you tell me what you need?"

Imogen shrugs and huddles into herself, tucking her hair behind her ear. "I don't know, I don't think I ever asked you for anything. There are things I want from you, sure, but you know what that is, and I know that it'll take time for me to earn it back from you,"

"Try Imogen." Ludovic says. "Almost everything you've said has been the same sort of thing. You expected things and your angry you aren't getting them."

Imogen sighs softly and nods. "Because I came into the marriage thinking it was something it wasn't, and you're right, that's my fault, but I want to try and make it like I originally thought, I want to believe it's possible, that's why i'm still standing here, in spite of your coldness and your indifference, I want to try,"

"I'm not indifferent Imo." Ludovic looks over and lifts his arm in that invitation for a hug. "But you gotta come to me. How can I chase you after what you said?"

Imogen looks something between conflicted at worst and hopeful at best, but she doesn't hesitate on the invitation, walking over and wrapping her arms around him, maybe it's the cold making her shiver, but not likely. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean it," she murmurs weakly

Ludovic lets his cheek settle against the crown of her head. "I'm sorry too. I never wanted to make you think I dont want out child. I want it very much."

Imogen nods quietly and slowly seems to relax into him as she calms down. "I know, normally I would have known that, I just, always worried that you wouldn't want the child. Lianna had to practically force me to tell you, so when you said something I could construe as not wanting it, my imagination took off running before sense could kick in," she admits quietly.

"Imogen." Ludovic says. "Theres a difference between not wanting something and not wanting it now. Half of whats happened likely wouldnt have if thered been time for us to get to know each other properly before the child. But you know I'm excited about the kid."

Imogen nods softly and chuckles weakly. "I know, i'm not saying I wanted to be a mother before I turned twenty-two either. But I was broke and too humilliated to speak up. But you know, if you wanted me to take this child back to anders and never speak of it to you again I would right?" she murmurs softly looking up at him

"Dont even suggest it Imogen." Ludovic actually tenses at the very suggestion. "I've had loads of opportunities to refuse to take responsibility for the baby. I dont even get where this is coming from. I've done nothing, Nothing, but honor that child."

Imogen nods softly and chuckles. "I know, I was just worried, and you're not exactly the only one who's told me how odd it is for me to be pregnant so quick and so young. But you're the only one who I can explain that I was just too poor to afford prevantatives to. I know you mean well, I just….worry," she admits quietly

"Its cruel of you to keep blaming me for not checking too" Ludovic complains. "I did check. Heck everything I was worried about that day by the stream turned out to be true. I'm trying to make concessions Imogen but I told you then that I wasnt good with innocents and you gotta cut me some slack."

Imogen looks up a bit more panicked at that. "I'm not though, and if that's how it sounds i'm sorry. It's not your fault, it's mine, and i /know/ that," she protests hurriedly before looking away and pouting. "Also i'm not innocent, i had sex and relationships before you,"

"Yeah." The corner of ludovics mouth curls up a little. "If you werent so young and romantic and inexperienced then we'd not be dealing with all these problems because you got it into your head that a marriage feast was about anything but politics. The contract signing and the day after the feast where we were celebrating with our friends and family /those/ were the romantic parts."

Imogen sighs more though a grin is slowly pulling at her lips. "Look, i never once told you i'd had serious relationships, and i'll freely admit that you were and are the first person i've ever cared for like this. Like I said, i'll do what I have to, but I want to earn back your affection and stay in your life," she murmurs more quietly

"No." Ludovic says. "But you did tell me enough that I assumed you knew what moon tea was." He follows that up with a brief kiss to the top of her head and then gently eases her back from him. "Meant it abour those contracts. You really, really, hurt our reputation the other day Imogen and I knew you were inexperienced but I gotta /know/ you know what your doing now. I'm embarassed. You should be embarassed too. First up you need to apologise to Jasmina."

Imogen laughs softly and grins. "Oh i knew what it was, and that was way too expensive," she snarks good naturedly before easing back onto her feet and though she's listening she heads for her horse nearby. "In my defense, vampire influence, i'm super embarassed about that as is so apologising, it'll hurt my pride but i'm not opposed to it," she remarks with a small smile.

"But there's a bit of an emergency back in chevaise, not for the holding, but it's susannas sister, and my ard, if it's alright i'd like to go back and ensure everythings okay there first?"

"More expensive than spending six months out the saddle Imogen?" Ludovic tells her seriously. "Or ending up beholden to a man you hated six weeks later?" He starts to hold up a hand as she starts making excuses. "Jasmina is here. Now. You wont get a better opportunity. Dont make excuses just go tell her that your behaviour was wrong and that you are going to study etiquette to make sure it doesnt happen again." He shakes his head. "But I'm not controlling your movements Imogen. I just need to be able to do it when you're being dangerous again. Since I cant seem to talk sense into you without you taking it wrong. Been trying to guide you Imogen. The last thing I want is to smother you." he frowns briefly and then says. "But now everyone knows about the child you're not to go near a battlefield. I've had enough of people suggesting i'm a terrible father because of you. Dont want anymore."

Imogen sighs softly and shakes her head. "In all fairness i've been pregnant with your child for five months and never once truly hated you," she states calmly before looking at him once more as if he's grown an additional head. "Is….this an upper class thing? This not doing anything after the first three months of pregnancy? Cuz I dunno about you, but my mother was out helping with the harvest when she went into labour, life if it's just an upperclass thing, fine, but i'm not delicate," she protests good naturedly.

"Also how did anyone find out about the pregnancy, the only people i've told are Lady Bordeaux and Lady Sokar?" she questions before reluctantly letting go of her horse and letting it return to feeding and lounging about.

"Didnt say you can't take a sickle and take up farming Imogen." Ludovic looks amused at that. "Just that you can't go to battle. Theres plenty of other useful things you can do that wont cause half my men to be more attentive to you than what the enemies doing." He shrugs. "No idea how everyone found out. But they have."

Imogen deflates and pouts, but she's not protesting and nods to his request. "Fine, fine, no battles for me, but at least find me something useful to do? I completely refuse to sit around /knitting/ for the next……oh my god dovi there's only four months left," whiile she started out pouty that's kinda cleared away upon the sudden realisation of how far into the pregnancy she is.

"Well you've got those lessons." Ludovic points out. "And your holding, and you seem to enjoy running the business of the main house, and your friends sickness. I rather doubt you'll be bored." He tilts his head towards her stomach. "Can you feel him kick yet? Did I miss it?"

Imogen shakes her head and laughs. "Dovi if i felt THEM kick, i don't think our fighting would have stopped me from coming to tell you, soon probably, though if midwife tales are to be believed, I shouldn't be overly excited," she remarks bemusedly before nodding and sighing. "I just, it feels weird to stay home with qutanux and vampires on our front lawn," she murmurs worriedly

Ludovic moves to press his hand to her belly. "Imogen." He says. "I havent been to battle since I lost my eye. There is a lot to do that doesn't require being on the pointy end of things."

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