1800, somewhere in England
Feu Drake eyed the woman in front of him over his tea. “You are an interesting woman.”
“Thank you.” She sipped her tea in turn, decorous despite the shackles on her wrists. “And you are an interesting young man… Ignazio, was it?”
“That’s as good a name as any.”
“‘Fire,’ jae’Fire-Drake. You are not interested in subtlety, are you?”
“I am not certain jae is appropriate here, Miss… Attwater, was it?”
“Ah, yes. Maya Attwater, named the Nicor. You liked that better than knucker, or you were Named when the word was still nicor?“
“You’re a well-educated young man, aren’t you?”
“I endeavor to be. Although I would argue the young in any company but yours.” He sipped his tea again – it was a very nice blend – and smirked at the woman.
“Are you calling me old, Ignazio?”
“Far be it from me to impugn my elders.”
“At this rate, I’m going to believe you don’t actually like me.” Her shackles clattered as she sipped her tea. “You do get such good tea. however do you do it?”
“I own a tea room, Miss Attwater. It comes with the territory.”
“And such an interesting occupation that is for one of your lineage…”
“But you presume again.”
“I am known to be presumptuous. Now, tell me, are these silly shackles really necessary?”
“Miss Attwater, you are known to be several things. One of them is, indeed, presumptuous. Another is that you are almost universally fatal to the men you spend time with. And, as you have expressed some interest in spending some time with me, in, I believe you said, seeing what there was to see when you got this suit off of me, well, yes. I believe they are necessary.”
“They wouldn’t stop me, you know.”
“I am simply evening the odds, Miss Attwater.”
“Do you really have to call me that?” She set her tea down with a thump.
Finally, Feu Drake smiled. “Miss Attwater, there are any number of things I could call you. considering your situation, I think, if I were you, I would be satisfied with the niceties.”
Her shackled hand raised halfway to the collar around her neck – like the rest of the chains holding her, it was made of wood – and then dropped back to her lap as her chains pulled her short. “You are quite unfair.”
“That, my lovely Maya, is the point.”
Feu Drake teaches Law at Addergoole.
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