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Tal Volorro The capital city, first of the Asseryan consuls and now of House Vellfyre. Tal Volorro is both a magnificent feat of Asseryan engineering and a convoluted maze of narrow streets and dark alleys that has grown rapidly and unplanned since Kadreth's War.
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Old 10-06-2015, 03:00 PM   #1
(Princess) Valencia Vellfyre
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Default 4.5.31 | Outside of Volorro | Something Has Got to Give | Evening, Ziamara, Closed

There were so many things for Valencia to reflect upon knowing that she could have handled it a lot better. The pain she caused did not ease any of the frustration she had felt realizing how her tantrum seemed to make her feel even worse. Even the pregnancy and the welts on her back did not seem to phase her as much as the knowledge of losing her family's trust and love, but she could not seem to help herself. The jealousy was like a poison that almost consumed her. The hurt and loneliness she felt at being left behind also made her want to lash out and hurt everyone so they could feel as much as she did, but even that ended up back firing in her face.

It was easy to cry in the tower alone. It was easy to pity herself and nurse the hatred within her breast, but in doing so it took her far away from where she actually wished to be. Those months that she became pregnant and fell sick were a whirlwind of delirium. As her humors shifted out completely, she became quite the shrew as she attacked people physically and with words that were meant to take chunks out of those that could not protect themselves.

When she was finally allowed to return to Tor Vellesca, she felt distant, alone, cold and absolutely vulnerable, so she embraced the thorns like a shroud piercing her as a constant reminder, but also any and all that dared to draw closer to her. Her words, her actions all ended poorly and yet she could not help herself while boiling in her bitterness and misery. She had no one else to blame for her stupidity than herself and she realized how far she had fallen when she looked herself in the mirror and did not recognize who was staring back at her.

Even as she grew heavier with child, whatever was affecting her mind seemed to have lifted and she was grateful that the sickness seemed to have gone away along with the wounds from the whipping. A reminder to do better to push herself in case she backslid. Once the sickness and the pain diminished and faded away, along with the fever that appeared on a few occasions, Valencia managed to keep a bit more gruel down along with dried meats, nuts and berries. The movement within her also surprised her feeling as if she swallowed a tiny fish that began to swim about in her gut that later on as the days and months rolled by became more pronounced jabs and kicks on occasion causing her to jump in surprise.

She finally took bathes and allowed herself to be groomed and dressed as a princess should look despite being in the family way. Her father had given her something to do before he left and she attempted to coordinate with the Royal Steward of some concerns he might have. This was something she excelled at to ensure that everything was running along smoothly despite what Tal Volorro had to endure. Tor Vellesca was washed and cleaned with every servant on hand room to room in spring cleaning while stocked full of alcohol, as well as the larder and the general running of the palace while her family were away on progress.

Questions and concerns were tackled immediately, and those that were a bit more difficult to answer or address were reflected upon and dealt with as one of her more difficult puzzles. It helped to keep busy and to pass the time until her family returned. Of course, she was of mixed emotions on it. She missed them all dreadfully and yet the way it was left made her shy and full of shame. It was difficult to know where to even start or how to ask for forgiveness.

After the worst of it was over and Tor Vellesca was running smoothly enough, Valencia began to have a bit more time to herself. It had been months since she did anything for herself and it started with a few hours sketching by moonlight or by firelight then she even made a purchase for paints, canvas and brushes. As 4M drew nearer, there was word sent back, not to her in particular that her half-sister was to make the trip back to Tal Volorro. There was dread in her heart, but also an elation that could not be denied. She even wondered if her sister would wish to see her and she did not know what she would do if denied.

The days drew closer and the watch stated that someone approached with a full entourage and had made camp outside of the walls of Tal Volorro. Valencia was not entirely sure if it was because she was still at Tor Vellesca and her older sister did not want to see her. She did not know what to do all day knowing that Lord Warrick rode out to meet Ziamara. All the while Valencia paced back and forth wondering if she should go or wait to see if her sister would come to her. The sun fell away and the moon began to ascend when the Vellfyre could not ignore it any longer.

Dressing in a gown the color of her favorite claret, Valencia made sure every hair was in place and looked presentable before she entered a padded wheel house to meet with her sister. She could not help the nervousness only caught a few times as she was tapping a rhythm of clicks from a puzzle that had her stumped for a couple of days and then gasped softly as the wheel house stopped when they arrived at their destination. The door was opened and her guard assisted her down the steps towards the magnificent tent that was erected and put together by an efficient staff. There was only a slight hesitation as she stood there for a moment mustering up the strength and courage to do what she knew she needed to do. It was her attempt at breaking down the terrible person she was when her entire family left her behind into someone just slightly broken. Ziamara had every reason to hate her and send her away without being seen, but Valencia knew it was time she needed to grow up and at least try to be something more than the path she chose. She decided all those months abed that she needed to start doing things differently or else lose the love, respect and trust of her family completely and she would have no one else to blame for her loneliness but herself. Eventually, she took the steps forward and awaited to be announced before gingerly stepping into Ziamara's tent.
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:20 PM   #2
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The guards had sent word of her sister's carriage approaching. Ziamara let Carissa prepare the tent and straighten things up, but she didn't don a full dress. She'd been ready for bed before the guards gave the warning, so she only pulled on a yellow wool robe edged in red silk. It wasn't hers, originally- she'd found it ages ago in a trunk of her mother's things, and hence it had lions embroidered at the wrists and hem.

A guard ducked into the tent to say Princess Valencia had arrived. Ziamara downed the entire cup of mead she held and handed it back to Carissa before walking toward the door to greet her sister. Valencia beat her to it by stepping inside.

Ziamara stopped short, her eyes sweeping her sister... then she gave a slight curtsy, as to someone more important than herself, but not quite so important she'd need to grovel.

"Your Highness. There was no need for you to make the journey from Vellesca in your condition." She smiled. "Please, have a seat. Your stomach must be absolutely rolling after being in the wheelhouse. There's ginger sekanjabin if you want."
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:36 PM   #3
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If she were anyone else, Valencia would have not thought twice about going over to her sister and giving her a hug while never letting go all the while chattering about missing her. However, the Vellfyre just stood inside Ziamara's tent looking awkward as if she was momentarily at a loss for words.

The formalities made her wonder what Zee was thinking and if they are to just remain polite. "I was not sure if you would have come for a visit. I do not think we should go even longer without talking." She explained as she accepted the seat offered and a ginger sekanjabin.

"I think the worst of it has passed...and..." she hesitated the words failed to come to her as she rolled the ginger sekanjabin in her hand not being able to look at her sister. "And I wanted to say I have behaved beastly and I think the worst of it has passed," she admitted without being able to look at Zee's gaze. She looked upset which was not too far off, but she also looked awkward if not a little agitated.
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:17 PM   #4
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"Emrello advised against my setting foot in the city this time of year." Ziamara shrugged. "My humors being out of balance already. And I won't be staying anyway, so it would be rude to make the steward air out my chambers so I could use them for a day or two."

Ziamara's smile remained in place and she shook her head. "Please, Valencia. You had a very rough time... I do understand it. Jarem is not who you had hoped and well, you've been terribly ill since you quickened. Add in the unrest and uncertainty... of course you've been upset."

She took a seat opposite her sister. "Are you feeling better? I assume at least a little, since you're able to get out of bed but... is the nausea abating somewhat?"
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Old 10-07-2015, 09:04 AM   #5
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It made sense especially with everything that had happened and inwardly, she feel a little better. "All the chambers are fresh from Spring cleaning while everyone is away," she interjected and then grimaced, "Father asked me to coordinate with the steward to ensure that everything is running smoothly. I felt that a complete cleaning would be a good idea especially with so many away for the time being on the King's progress."

"Zee..." her words faltered for a moment as her gaze came up to meet hers, "How do you do it?" A frown appeared while Ziamara smiled as she searched her sister's face as if it were one of her mysteries all the while the answer eluded her. "How do you know just what to say to put someone at ease?"

To listen to her sister worry over her felt nice, but did she deserve it? "Yes, I think so. I still feel queasy at times, but not to the extent...not like before. The child allows me to eat bland gruel or dried food along with a bit of sweets." Then winced as she felt a jab above her pelvic bone where her belly protruded. "Now, instead of making me sick, I just get kicked, shoved and bullied about." Looking down at her belly as she gently pushed and rubbed the spot that was just kicked.

There was something bothering her as the information processed. Zee's arrival and brief stay just to go somewhere else...where else? The visit with Lord Warrick and...the frown deepened as the little niggling bits starts to interlock, "Did our father send you back just to go to Blacktide?"
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:13 PM   #6
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Ziamara shrugged and picked up her cup to take a sip. "I have no idea. I didn't even know that's what I was doing."

She watched Valencia and then Valencia's stomach but only nodded at her sister's question. "I'm going straight to Blacktide. Ser Worthing's bones must be returned to his kin and waiting it til father comes north wouldn't do.... When does the magister say you're going to be delivered from the bullying and kicking?"
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:21 PM   #7
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Valencia looked awkward for a moment staring at her sister in silence. Everything seemed to come together easier for Ziamara or so she thought and that frustration seeped in, but instead of the original anger that followed there was sadness. "You may not because it seems to have been imprinted into your bones while I struggle to understand. I see people and what they do, but to interact with them...it never goes well or at best ends on an awkward note." It was probably one of the first times she shared anything with her sister that did not start with a snap. Perhaps a genuine attempt to understand, to question and push forth an effort that she was going to try instead of shut down or push people out.

As Valencia was about to object even though it would not change a thing, Ziamara instead attempted to change the subject back upon her. "They have claimed sometime mid-month next month, but I hope sooner. Maybe it will go much smoother after the hell I have been dragged through since...is Lord Warrick accompanying you?" She asked not allowing the original subject to drop and finding it perfect fine to carry one a conversation weaving two topics at once if that is what Zee desired to do.
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Old 10-08-2015, 05:09 PM   #8
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"That's the pregnancy speaking," Ziamara said with what she hoped was reassuring tone. "You have never been half so awkward as you think- save in your own head. Perhaps you should try being among people more often?" Her eyes took in her sister's posture and she set her cup down.

"Warrick's going. Were your time not so close, I might've asked you but I think it's best you stay here. Practice your skills on the petitioners that come in over the tax season, if you can."
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:13 PM   #9
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"Perhaps...," Valencia replied as she stopped fiddling with the ginger. "It will be a mystery worth solving when everyone returns." She added, but she knew for a long time that she had issues relating to people even her own flesh and blood.

"It will be taken care of, would you be coming back to Tal Volorro or heading straight to Summerhall afterwards?"
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:02 PM   #10
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"Summerhall," she said after a moment's thought. "If you send word should your time draw closer sooner than expected, I will endeavor to come back for it but... I confess no great eagerness to ride past the temples just yet."
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:47 AM   #11
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She nodded attempting to figure out what to say to convey her understanding. Besides, I understand. "Okay," she said instead and then nodded. "Word shall be sent, but we do not even know if the child will live passed its first," she shared her realistic views finding it easy not to feel any attachments even while it grew in her womb.

"I have not heard anything of the King's progress or the Queen's for that matter. Was it enjoyable?" She tried her hand at a bit of small talk trying to not make it sound like an inquisition, also not something she was the greatest at, but it was a part of her practice make perfect attempt.
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Old 10-09-2015, 05:12 PM   #12
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"At least the child's made it this far. It might yet live to see the world. You've gone to such trouble to keep it with you, Val... don't get pessimistic now." Zee smiled but the question about the progress only got her to scrunch her nose.

"Not really. Lord Seyfert went mad and started sacrificing people to the old gods- walling them up in his tower of prayers, as he called it. The tourney was all right... but then he went and arrested Zanara Solvitreo and all but started a blood feud. Father stripped him of the title, giving it to his son... then Tyana and Darres decided to burn the bloody tower to the ground... with the former lord and his men in it."

Ziamara drank deeply. "At least it wasn't dull."
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Old 10-09-2015, 08:59 PM   #13
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"I am just trying to be realistic, Zee, but yes I have carried and endured much already to give up now," she said it matter-of-factly then nodded.

She just looked at her sister as if attempting to read her like a book with a deadpan look as she replied dryly, "I would say that the story was quite fantastical, but I would not put it passed the Solvitreos to retaliate so passionately. Yes, well could it ever be dull with the 'shoremen in tow? I do not envy Tyana and what awaits for her in Tal Solarii or when the news reaches my mother. It was a good idea not to have Tyana accompany her to Trimeris."
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:06 PM   #14
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She actually shuddered. "That child loose in Lindaraxa's court would end in war between our mother and their queen... and very shortly after war between the kings as well, no doubt. No, I will save my pity for Lady Solvitreo, who will be put to great effort if she's to intervene between Adhemar and her daughter." Ziamara smiled. "Though likely it's Princess Zorayda that ought truly to be feared."
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Old 10-09-2015, 11:00 PM   #15
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She nodded solemnly in agreement, "Although, I heard that Lady Solvitreo is often hiding at the temple in prayer these days. It might just be father and daughter facing off."

It was her turn to shudder, "More grisly than a prisoner losing to a lion in the arena."
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Old 10-09-2015, 11:31 PM   #16
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"Mm. You have a point, sister. Especially since our father ordered that Tyana's dower be gifted to the new Lord Delving in reparation." Ziamara's eyes rolled and her shoulder lifted in a shrug. "That will bring Solvitreo's ire out, I'm sure of it. Especially with the tensions brewing between his northern vassals... You haven't heard anything have you? Any new whispers from Dragore or Seastone?"
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Old 10-09-2015, 11:53 PM   #17
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Her expression darkened, "No which troubles me more than if a tantrum was started. You know when people are scheming with how quiet it gets, but I hope to get some word back soon. Anything to prepare us for what is to come."
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Old 10-10-2015, 12:08 AM   #18
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"Mm. I suspect Lady Saherazai's intending to wed Leah's son. He must be the stupidest of our cousins if he's planning such a move-- assuming the Dragore vassals don't riot at the thought of answering to a Veracora, Adhemar will butcher him before he lets Seastone control a bigger navy than his own. Either way it goes, it won't go well."
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Old 10-10-2015, 12:39 AM   #19
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The neutral look turned into a pensive one as she mused aloud, "I could not imagine Lady Saherazai missing how this will end if they were to be wed, but I wonder if all her intrigues have fallen short leaving her with no other option but to give in or walk the plank at sword point."
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Old 10-10-2015, 05:47 PM   #20
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"One would think the sensible intrigue would have been to simply tell him no and threaten to involve the king since she's serving at court. But I happen to know she's never once appealed to father for advice about it. Nor Jason, and she was very nearly his mistress... but then one considers if she'd become his mistress, it would have handily defeated any requests for her hand." Ziamara's expression darkened. "Instead she's been bedding Lord Vayth's son-- the one with a sellsword company. It doesn't take all the powers of my imagination to guess that what Lady Saherazai wants is to wed our dear cousin and set off a war in the 'Shores all the while pretending she's an innocent pawn in Andreas' plots. She'd have the Golden Sons to see to her safety from her vassals until it's over, and Adhemar's wrath will fall mostly on Seastone. The funny thing is it might work... unless someone can beat some sense into Andreas' head in time."
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Old 10-10-2015, 07:10 PM   #21
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A soft sigh escaped, "It all sounds like a bother, but it makes sense. If she wanted to avoid such a suit why play about with Lord Vayth's son and Jason..." Her scowl was just as dark, but she blinked, "How is Elinor...and her new husband?"
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:31 PM   #22
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"Search me," Ziamara said with a laugh. "I spoke with her the day after her wedding and she seemed content enough. Rhaegar is one I wouldn't be caught in a dark room with but Elinor wasn't weeping and wailing the next morn, so I suppose that part went well enough. We shall have to see what shape she's in after the progress, I suppose."
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:36 PM   #23
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"I only asked to see if Elinor could sway her husband's mind and heart away from Saherazai and then she would not have the man so enthralled enough to have his company protecting the schemer from her vassals. Just figuring out how to see it all backfire by locating the lynchpin on her plans," she said with a shrug not really caring if Elinor was settling down into married life well. Another wince, another face and she rubbed the sides of her stomach just before taking a drink of tea.
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Old 10-11-2015, 05:46 PM   #24
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Her sister's explanation drew a laugh. "Gods, no. Elinor might sway him if you gave her a year's head start... but so soon? I doubt Milena herself would sway Rhaegar Vayth without offering a king's ransom of gold and gems." Ziamara shrugged. "And Saherazai might well have made an offer of that much gold. I only hope his friendship with our brother extends deeper than Jason's contract with his company."
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Old 10-11-2015, 06:27 PM   #25
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"True," she replied one word conveying her doubt. "Me too. At least now with the association with the Vellfyres and his friendship with Jason, perhaps he will think less mercenary and more towards something more important than gold and gems."

"But at least it would not be dull whatever happens," she said using her sister's choice in words from earlier.
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Old 10-12-2015, 05:38 PM   #26
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"A sellsword we must pray to be less mercenary?" She laughed without any joy. "Whatever Jason thinks of him, I don't expect he will resist the pull. Father would've done better to make Adan the new Lord Vayth and been done with it."

She sighed. "Not dull. I find I almost envy you childbirth, sister. It sounds only moderately less attractive than Lord Wolfe's company but I fear I've no choice."
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Old 10-14-2015, 12:54 PM   #27
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"I would imagine Adan is relieved that he is not Lord Vayth and tends to not show any sort of ambition. Maybe he is a puppet master and better at pulling strings while in the shadows." She thrummed her fingers and gave a soft sigh, "Well, Father always has a reason for his decisions even the irrational ones even if Jason had a say as well. If he was completely ill suited, I would not imagine even a good word would have gotten the sellsword far."

A brow quirked at Zee, "And above all things I would desire a switch. Although, both seem equally painful if not dangerous. At least, Lord Warrick along with father's finest will be present to protect you, Zee. All I have is the will of the gods when this baby is ready to come out."
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:07 PM   #28
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"The will of the gods and excellent midwives have kept your mother safe. Mine as well. I doubt you've much to fear beyond the pain and ugliness of birthing itself when your time comes."

She sighed. "What worries me is that father put the sellsword in power as a salve to Jason. The same reason I'm engaged to Lord Vaughn's son... our father is trying to make up with our brother, though Jason doesn't seem to notice."
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Old 10-15-2015, 02:38 PM   #29
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"I hope so." Valencia said the whole thing making her uncomfortable and finding it better to just push it aside especially how being pregnant made her feel.

"It is maybe because we are not used to him being so indulgent. His way is right whether it is wrong or not. No one can say otherwise. Maybe Jason cannot see it as you say, have you brought it up with him?" Valencia asked, her expression behind an unreadable mask only because she had no idea how to feel about it all so instead she took another sip of the ginger concoction instead of playing with the cup in between her hands.
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Old 10-15-2015, 04:31 PM   #30
(Princess) Ziamara Fairchild
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"No... Or actually I have tried. Repeatedly. Jason refuses to see it." Her eyes darkened. "He's determined to see our father as an enemy, and if he's not careful he may wish it hard enough to make it true."
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