The controlled anger on Valainistima’s face hardens into rage. She strides quickly across the stone floor, grabbing the girl by the wrist. “You. Will. Show. Respect”, she hisses, punctuating each word with a painful twist of Abigail’s hand.
“Valainistima, you old nasty bat! Let her go!“
Scarlet grabs Abigail by her free arm and tugs her sister towards her in an attempt to free Abigail from the clutches of her stepmother. As Scarlet pulls her sister, she says defiantly, “Abigail is a grown woman. She can make her own choices. Can you not see you are hurting her?!”
Poor Abigail screams in pain while Valainistima continues to bend her wrist. The pain intensifies as the two women pull her in opposite directions.
“Clearly she has proven she’s incapable of making her own decisions when she squanders her life away by the likes of you! I refuse to let her drown in your misery!” Valainistima retorts.
“Please …please stop!” Abigail pleas as tears stream down her face.
Scarlet releases her grip realizing her tug of war approach was futile.
“Well misery loves company. We are not so different, you and I! After all that is why you are here. Abigail and Dorian are here. And now…my father, your husband. You are lonely just like I not long ago. ”
“I am nothing like you!” As she spoke, her face contorts with contempt and her grip on Abigail tightens causing Abigail to squeal.
“For I am a successful and reputable Magister of Kyonin primarily due to my talents and my noble upbringing. You on the other hand are a disgracefully uncultivated half-elf bastard and a failure at best.”
Scarlet grits her teeth to suppress her anger and remarks, “That may be so but you are bitter vile lonely old hag who likes to keep them at arms length. Not because you care for them but you seek control. Whatever your reasons may be without them you have nothing.“
“That’s absolutely ludicrous. I don’t need them. I am a wealthy and powerful wizard with friends in high places. Here is some sound advice, Scarlet, not that you deserve it… you should ease up on the wine. It has impaired your judgment… among other things…“
Valainistima gives Scarlet a look over and sneers, “But I can see that the damage has been done.”
Scarlet’s bites her tongue barely clinging on to her composure.
“Then let her go.” She challenges.
Abigail quivers while she closes her eyes to ease her tremendous discomfort. Scarlet notices that her entire wrist and lower arm have redden with strain.
Valainistima glances at Abigail and then looks Scarlet into her eyes and says curtly, “I don’t answer to you!”
She pulls Scarlet’s sister out the door. “Come along Abigial, where is that husband and no good father of yours?”
Scarlet rolls up her sleeves and approaches Valainistima.
“Very well then you leave me no choice.”
Without any warning Scarlet sucker punches her in the face.
The half-elf guardsman flinches in sheer surprise.
The brute force releases Abigail from Valainistima’s hold.
“Guards!!” Scarlet yells shaking her hand to soften the impact.
When the two guardsmen promptly arrive, their expressions quickly change to astonishment at the sight of Valainistima’s right swollen black eye. They look at the duchess in bewilderment.
“Seize her and send her to the dungeon.” orders the duchess.
“On what grounds?” protests Valainistima swallowing the trail of blood flowing down her nose.
“Trespassing, attemptive kidnapping, harming a guest …correction, a citizen of Tuskany”
“What!!! That’s preposterous! She did this to me!!” cries the outraged Valainistima.
“Oh and disrespecting the head of state.” the duchess adds.
“What about that fellow over there?” One of guard points to the half -elf guard cowering behind Valainistima.
“Put him in a separate holding cell for now until I have a word with him. I may consider early release if he chooses to change his allegiance. We could use more guards.”
The guards restrain her and her companion and remove their belongings. As they take them away Valainistima shrieks in the distance, “You will pay Scarlet! Mark my words!! Kyonin will wreak havoc once they hear about the atrocities you have committed!!”
Scarlet rolls her eyes in response to Valainistima’s outcry. She immediately examines Abigails arm and begins healing her sister’s wound.
“Oh Abby, I am terrible sorry to let you suffer for long. I assumed your intoxication would have lessen the pain.” She says apologetically.
Abigail grins. “Are you kidding me, sis! It was well worth baring the pain to see you smack that pretentious crone in the face. My only complaint was you shouldn’t have waited that long.”
Scarlet smiles. She picks up two glasses of wine and offers one to her sister.
“Where were you about Dorian before we were rudely interrupted?”
Abigail eyes the glass and says, “Well I guess there is no better occasion than this to drink”.
After the sisters clink their wine glasses, Abigail takes a sip of her wine and continues her story.