aldersprig: (flower aldersprig)
First: Funeral
Previous: Funeral: Mutual Interest


Senga looked at Erramun’s face for a moment before moving the washcloth closer to his throat. “You have lived a long time. You showed up to my Great-Aunt’s funeral and didn’t think she was really dead either. You’re Named Death Comes Silently and there is blackmail on you that is bad enough that you are willing to Belong to me for six years rather than risk it — although perhaps you just didn’t want to be the reason my family killed me.”

He cleared his throat uncomfortably and nodded. “Both. Mirabella knew I could handle anything for six years. She knows I’ve handled anything for six years. So she wanted to keep you safe. I mean, that’s my guess. And if she wanted you safe enough to blackmail you into it, she thought there was going to be a threat to you that her clauses and rules weren’t going to protect you from.”
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aldersprig: drawing of the author (LynLyn)
First: Funeral
Previous: Funeral: Shower Negotiations


There was an ancient fae assassin in Senga’s bathroom, and she had her hands in his pants.

“I’m capable of taking care of myself,” he pointed out.

“Yes. But you’re my responsibility now.” She peeled his pants slowly off. He went commando; she was going to get the full show all in one go.

“You have other responsibilities. Besides, you gave me something to do.” He stretched back a little bit, consciously or unconsciously showing off. Flat stomach, muscular chest and arms: he didn’t work out so much as he kept his body in perfect fighting condition. Senga didn’t try to stop herself from licking her lips. He was kind of scrumptious, in a way that wasn’t normally her style.

“You liked it?” She looked up to his face, to find his eyes half-lidded like he wasn’t sure he wanted to see her reaction. “Being given something to do?”

“Yeah. I.” He shifted into something she thought was close to a parade rest and studied her. “Yeah.” He swallowed and considered that. “I didn’t think I would,” he admitted. “I don’t like orders.”
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aldersprig: (Ciara)
First: Funeral
Previous: Funeral: Kitchen Negotiations


“They’ll be at it all night,” she whispered as she led him upstairs. “Or at least a few hours. They always are. It’s how they handle… being them. All right, here’s the shower. You’re not body-shy, are you?”

“What?” He stared at her, and then at the bathroom - so suburban, with its pastel decorations clashing with the Human Anatomy shower curtain Chitter had insisted on.

“Your body? Can I see it naked?”

“…you Own me. You were there for that part, right? The part where you agreed to own me as your Bound Servant?”

“I was there.” If she was the sort of owner he thought she was, she might slap him for that tone, but she was pretty sure that wasn’t where she wanted to go with this and even more sure that it wouldn’t change his behavior in any helpful way. “And I’m asking. Can I see you naked?”

“…You really are young,” he muttered again, not quite looking at her.
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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
First: Funeral
Previous: Funeral: Debrief


“Senga, I am going to hit your man, just so you know.” Chitter glanced over at Senga before going back to the far-more-interesting problem of how to get around Erramun to the fridge.

“Chitter, just so you know, if you hit him, I’m not going to stop him short of the point where he might put you in traction. Especially if you hit him for teasing you.” Senga set her hand on Erramun’s arm, and so she could feel the way his muscles had tensed, even though he showed nothing on his face. “He’s older than us, he’s probably smarter than us-”

“-Smarter than you, maybe. Come on, no old guy is smarter than me. You, on the other hand, you walked into a- errrk.”

Erramun had casually and easily picked Chitter up by her throat with one hand. She had both hands around his wrist, and she was kicking in the air, but she couldn’t get enough breath to complain - or to spit out a spell.
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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
First: Funeral
Previous: Funeral: Best-Laid Plans


It was nearly a full day before the team made it back to the house. It’d been a short reconnaissance and information-gathering job, at least according to the brief, but she had three holes in her dress that had been holes through her until Allayne had thrown a healing at her. She’d had to do some interesting running to get her prey where she could subdue them one by one, and then even more interesting running to get to their backup-backup meetup spot without being seen.

Ezer was still cursing in her earpiece when they pulled into the driveway, their second nondescript rental car returned to its proper location. “Those fucking bastards. Reconnaissance. Reconnaissance does not mean getting my people fucking shot at.”

“Awww, Ezzie, I didn’t know you cared.” Even when Senga knew what Allayne was doing, that purr through the earpiece still sent shivers straight down her spine to her groin. And it did the same thing to Ezer a hundredfold. “Chitter, did you get what we needed?”

“Got it all and a couple soupcon of extras, too. If we don’t get hazard pay for this, I’m posting nude photos of the client to a photo-manip contest.”
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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
First: Funeral
Previous: Funeral: Introductions


Senga smiled crookedly at Erramun. “We fix problems. Sometimes we end things, sometimes we start them, but mostly people just pay us to solve situations they need solved.”

“That sounds really, really vague.”

“It’s meant to be really, really vague.”

“So which side of the law are you on?”

“We’re a legal organization. Most of the time, we stay on the proper side of the police and of the law. Sometimes we fudge things a bit,” she admitted. “Those moments where the Ellehemaei in us has to be more important than the law-abiding citizen.”

“And in those times?”
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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
First: Funeral
Previous: Funeral: Coming Home



Senga shifted herself between Allayne and Erramun quickly. “Don’t kill her, either,” she whispered. “Allayne, this is Erramun, sa’Death Comes Silently, a former associate of my great-Aunt Mirabella’s and, ah, currently, thanks to Great-Aunt Mirabella, my Kept, my bond servant. Oh, we got the Manor, too.”

Allayne looked Erramun up and down. “Forget the Manor, your aunt gave you a man? How do I get to be part of your family?”

“Generally,” Erramun answered, with a dangerous rumble to his voice and an obvious lack of being impressed by Allayne, “by losing some of your current family, often violently. At least, that’s what seemed to happen to Senga here. Sa-” He frowned down at her. “You can’t call me sa’, you own me. And I can’t call you sa’, I don’t know your name.”

“You seriously Own him. You Own him. You went to a funeral and came back with a man. Only you, Senga, only you. I told you you should have taken me with you.” Allayne clucked cheerfully. “Well, hello to you, Erramun oro’Senga. And if she wants to call you sa’, I wouldn’t argue with her. She had a fun sense of protocol. Probably comes from growing up with Mirabella as family matriarch. I know that would make me absolutely crazy, and I think Senga here just sublimated it into some strange manners.”
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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
First: Funeral
Previous: Funeral: Theft and Ownership


Erramun was pretending he wasn’t shifting uncomfortably in his seat. Senga swallowed a sigh and looked at him. “I might be young.” She let a little acid drip into her voice. She had been around her family, after all, and it had been a long day already. “But I know a thing or two about the collar, and I’ve been on both sides of it. A collar isn’t a collar isn’t a collar, any more than a nice chain necklace isn’t a leather dog collar isn’t a bar of steel wrapped around your neck.”

She saw the flinch he tried to hide at the last one, and took a mental note. “Did my great-aunt know?” she asked, a stab in the dark but worth it with the way he was reacting, “someone had kept you as a slave before?”

He eyed her. She could see the way his shoulders turned slightly toward her, even as she kept most of her attention on the road. Traffic in this part of town could be deadly, even without the added threat of nearby family. “I don’t have to tell you that,” he said, slowly but with an implied threat. “You haven’t given me any orders to honesty.”

“Should I?”
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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
First: Funeral
Previous: Funeral: Family Problems


Senga’s good mood only lasted until they got to the parking lot. Erramun had stopped growling, but he didn’t look happy - not that she expected him to; she wouldn’t have been in his situation, and she wasn’t sure she was in her situation.

“I think you frightened her,” she murmured. “This is my car.” She nodded her head at the nondescript vehicle in the nondescript color behind them, a mintish-green Corolla she’d bought because it looked like a hundred other cars within any given three-block radius.

He raised his eyebrows. “Making a lack of statement?”

“Exactly.” She beeped the car open and slid into the driver’s seat. “Unless you’re worried about your ride being stolen, why don’t you come with me now, and we’ll come back for your vehicle later?”

“I walked.” He slipped into the passenger’s seat. “I don’t - didn’t - live that far from here. But.” He coughed and shifted in his seat, not looking at her. “There’s stuff I don’t want to leave there too long.”
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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
Working on in-text character descriptions. Senga, from Erramun's POV

Erramun took a moment while Senga was bantering with her cousin to really look at her.

She wasn’t so much short as she was shorter than him, which, to be fair, wasn’t saying much. She was wearing a very nice dress in sedate black which very nearly concealed most of the weapons she was carrying and, to a less trained eye, might hide the muscles in her arms. It couldn’t hide the way she moved, though, like she was tracking something. He wondered if, under her Mask, her Change was feline.

Her hair had been done up; it looked fancy, but it stayed out of her way. Black-brown and straight or straightened, for all she called herself the white sheep, he was amused to see her hair was darker than her honey-brunette cousins. She looked comfortable in the fancy-dress, and looked like she could kill someone without breaking a sweat. It was an interesting combination - but one that was less surprising than it might have been, given her family.
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
First: Funeral
Previous: Funeral: Ellehemaei Inheritance Law


Senga looked over and up at Silence. He was looking over and down at her. He lifted his eyebrows at her. She shrugged at him.

“You’re right,” she admitted, “I’m screwed if you say no, and you’ve got more to lose by saying yes.”

“You don’t have shit to lose by saying yes,” he growled.

“Why don’t we talk about that when we’re out of here, one way or another? Because this isn’t exactly my cup of tea, either.”

“Yeah, well..”
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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
First: Funeral
Previous: Funeral: Legacies and Unimportant People


The lawyer was waiting for them, all prickly and officious. “Miss Senga Monmartin, Mr. Erramun Silence. Here are the full details of Mirabella’s behest to the two of you. It encompasses all that was read in the will - both the rewards for compliance and the punishments for a lack thereof, as it were - but includes also this statement:

“‘Now, Silence, I know you, and you’re going to try to give up as little as possible, and Senga, I know you, and you’re going to try to be nice, because that’s what you do. Neither of those things are bad traits - but they don’t suit this plan of mine. If I’m gone - and if I weren’t gone, you wouldn’t be hearing this, now would you - you’re going to have to trust the plan, both of you, because nothing else will keep you both above water.

“‘In that vein, I will only consider you to have followed the letter of my will and the spirit if you swear to the Belonging in front of Mr. Maladono, my favorite lawyer, and if you do so with no qualifiers. Nothing but you, Silence, saying you Belong to you, Senga, that and nothing more.’”
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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
First: Funeral
Previous: Funeral: Negotiation


The security guards wrapped up with Muirgen and headed back into the lawyer’s office, just as someone in a well-fitted but cheap suit stalked out of the room. Senga watched the man go with curiosity.

“One of Mirabella’s bean-counters,” Silence murmured. “Always thought he was underappreciated. Guess the will hearing justified that.”

“Maybe she threatened his life and reputation too,” Senga responded in the same low term. “Maybe he didn’t appreciate being treated like someone she ‘appreciated’ after all.”

“I’ll note she didn’t do that with her daughters.”

“Neither did she give her daughters diddly. They’re - well. You probably know them better than I do.”

“Ah, but they’re your family. And it’s their mother’s funeral.”

“And they’re on par with Mister cheap suit there,” she added in the same casual, quiet tone. “They don’t get the big things. They’re just not as important as they think they are. Of course, that won’t stop them from killing me,” she added ruefully. “And they’ve wanted to do that for a while.”
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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
First: Funeral
Previous: Funeral: Silence’s Inheritance.


Muirgen was still being handled by the security men; they had her in a corner and one of them was speaking very quietly to her. Senga ignored that situation as firmly as she could. Muirgen would not forgive her for having seen her in a foolish state, any more than she’d forgive Senga for having gotten something she wanted.

If today went as typical, Muirgen and Eavan would probably blame her for Muirgen’s loss of her inheritance. That was on par with their normal behavior around Senga or any of the other cousins who weren’t them.

She’d worry about that later. Right now, she had more important things on her mind.

She looked around; he’d only been gone a few moments before she stepped out of the office. Where had he gotten to? Had he left? She resisted the urge to swear. If he didn’t hold up his end of the bargain, he was going to leave her in a pretty precarious position. He’d need to be here after the reading. Otherwise… well. It was going to be a mess.
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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
This follows The Funeral and Further Funeral and Funeral: Will-Reading and Funeral: Senga’s Inheritance. It’s set in Fae apoc, pre-apoc era, possibly 2010.

Senga stared at the lawyer. She didn’t dare look at Mr. Silence; she didn’t dare look at the rest of the room.

Clause Seven. That was the clause which had kept her alive. That answered a question she hadn’t wanted to ask yet - did Great-Aunt Mirabella’s protections continue after her death? It appeared that they did, or at least that they might.

If she agreed to Own someone who was clearly averse to the idea and clearly dangerous.

Well… he might be less dangerous than the rest of the family and of Mirabella’s empire.
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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
This follows The Funeral and Further Funeral and Funeral: Will-Reading. It’s set in Fae apoc, pre-apoc era, possibly 2010.

The room did not seem very crowded, but the list seemed to go on forever. Great-Aunt Mirabella’d had extensive holdings, after all, and with those holdings came promises, deals, arrangements, and piles and piles of sealed envelopes.

Senga had her eyes on the envelope that held her deal, but that one hadn’t gone up yet; the cousin had gotten only what the lawyer called the “common” envelopes, which Senga thought probably involved human dealings or dealings that appeared human.

She had ended up sitting a few rows away from her tall, dark, and handsome friend, and as the readings went on, she could see that he was growing more and more tense. His attention seemed to be aimed at the same pile of envelopes she was worried about, but he was very nearly vibrating.
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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
This follows The Funeral and Further Funeral. It’s set in Fae apoc, pre-apoc era, possibly 2010.

“What are you doing in here?” Eaven glared at Senga as a small group of the mourners trooped into the office. “It’s not like you’re the most favored relative or anything. And you.” She glared over Senga’s head at the as-of-yet-unnamed black-clad cowboy Senga had been talking with. “This isn’t for the help, you know.”

He smirked. It was the sort of smile you might imagine on a shark, right before it had you for dinner. “I was invited here to listen to the will-reading. It falls within my agreements with Mirabella. So here I am.”

“Same,” Senga agreed. “Great-Aunt Mirabella wanted me to be here. I haven’t told her no yet.”

“You don’t dare, do you? Even with her dead, you can’t go against her, or-” Eaven ran her finger across her neck.
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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
This follows The Funeral. It’s set in Fae apoc, pre-apoc era, possibly 2010.

“Do you think they did it?”

Senga found it interesting that he used they and not the more traditional it.

She shook her head slowly. “No. No, if Alencaustel was going to do it, they’d either have left absolutely no trace at all, or put up giant signs. Besides, no matter what shit Eavean is throwing around, they’re not a Nedetakaei.”

She dropped her voice to a murmur for the last part of the sentence. For one, it wasn’t a word the Mayor or the Chief of police would (presumably) know. For another, considering her Great-Aunt’s friends, she couldn’t be entirely certain there weren’t Shenera Oseraei - children of the Gods, Law-breakers - in the room. And it was considered ill manners to start a fight at a funeral, no matter what Eavean over there was going.

For a third, she didn’t absolutely know the person she was talking to wasn’t one of those Law-breakers himself.
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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
This started out as something else, but it appears like in addition, it wants to be a murder mystery. Fae apoc, pre-apoc era, possibly 2010.

Senga didn’t believe it until she saw the body. Ellehemaei did not die very often, and they almost never died of natural causes; until she did a very quiet Working on the body itself, she was still working under the assumption that this was some trick of her Great-Aunt Mirabella’s.

The confirmation that it was real took her breath away. She walked past the body again, looking at what her diagnosis told her more than the corpse. Natural causes? Well, hawthorn was natural, she supposed, and her aunt was chock full of it.

“Miss Attenoin? Do please come to my office at noon. There’s the will reading.” The suited man stank of lawyer, and his suit stank of money. No surprise, considering her great-aunt. But…

“The will?” Senga frowned. “Great-Aunt Mirabella and I weren’t all that close…”
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