Who: Isolwyn and C’aol
Where: Weyrleader’s Office, Fort Weyr
What: Turns out that Isolwyn’s cousin is no better than her uncle.
C’aol has been in his office most of the day, having one meeting after another with various wingleaders and wingseconds about the state of Fort’s wings. His door is open and he is at his desk, reading a few documents while he sips klah. Daeserath’s positioned himself on the fireheights and is snarling at any dragon that comes near.
While Eosyth naps, curled around her clutch, Isolwyn has taken the opportunity to attend a meeting requested by her cousin, Fort’s Lord, and though she’s only been gone about an hour, the bronze who served as her wings reappears over the Weyr and descends to let his rider unclip straps and allow the Weyrwoman to climb down to her ledge. From there, Isolwyn crosses over to head into C’aol’s office, her expression clouded with poorly suppressed temper. “He may not be cruel, but that man is just as bad as his father.”
C’aol sets the document down that he was reviewing and takes a moment to evaluate Isolwyn’s expression. “I had thought he was rather dim and as such rather harmless. What did he do?” he asks as he gestures for her to sit in the chair across from him. He stands up and moves to a side table where he keeps a pitcher of water and glasses. He pours her a glass and hands it to her before he sits himself once more.
Isolwyn accepts the glass, but stares at it rather than drink from it, quite as if she doesn’t know what to do with it or herself. She doesn’t sit, but remains on her feet, pacing aimlessly for a good half minute or so before she finally takes a sip from the glass and sets it down on the nearest surface, then curls her hands around the top of the back of the chair. “He suggested… That, since he doesn’t appear to be able to conceive with his wife, the sensible thing would be for me to give him a child, so as to keep him from needing to look elsewhere and diluting the Blood.” Her grip on the chair tightens. “And I don’t mean he suggested he wanted Casi as his heir; he wanted to sire a child on me.”
C’aol watches Isolwyn in a passive way as she paces and then his features slowly shift as the nature of the conversation she had with her cousin is fully disclosed. “I thought he was dim, I didn’t know he was stupid enough to dare to suggest you be used as some sort of breeding mare.” He folds his arms in front of him and lifts a brow as he asks, “Did you knife him for the suggestion? If he cannot get his wife with a child that does not mean he gets to solicit you to be used for it. I will have to go have… words with him.”
“It doesn’t mean that the fault is with her, but that’s what everyone will assume.” Isolwyn sets her jaw and takes a deep breath. “I slammed my knife into his desk,” she admits, muttered darkly. “Which is a shame. I quite liked that knife.” She still can’t sit down, too agitated to settle. “My understanding is that his wife doesn’t know what he’s proposed. She’s sweet… Too sweet to have wanted to be saddled with the role she has now. If he’s that desperate for an heir, I doubt she’s had a comfortable night since he became Lord.” She rolls her shoulders. “The only plus here is that he’s showed his hand without thinking it through.”
C’aol watches as she continues to pace and his eyes harden. “If he is this stupid he should know that Fort Weyr is not a Weyr that will allow his behavior to go unpunished. What sense does this man have? Blood or not, you are Fort’s Weyrwoman. If he for one moment thought I would allow //you// to join him in that way so he could get an //heir//,” his tone is sharp and he sneers. “Then he is mistaken. I may go chat with him once we’re done, Isolwyn. And by chat, I mean with my fists.” He looks at his knuckles briefly and then looks to her as Daeserath’s roar rips across the Weyr. “He can be removed as easily as his father was.”
“I suppose sense goes out the proverbial window when desperation sets in. For all we know, he’s already attempted to sire an heir on another woman and failed.” Isolwyn’s head tilts slightly. “Rather foolish of him to suggest trying so with me, if he wishes to avoid the reality of his own failings, given that we know I can have children and there’s no proof that he can. No child would only have identified him as the problem.” She folds her arms. “He may be easily removed, but I think he’d make a better puppet than he would a corpse. He won’t want his wife knowing what he’s proposed. Or anyone knowing.” Smirking, she adds, “Not that I object to his having a meeting with your fists.”
“While I can see how we might leverage him to our advantage, I am not entirely sure what benefit we will see for it at this time. It will be good to hold this over him, especially since he has a lot to lose were this to become public knowledge. While I appreciate we both have Blood ties that are strong enough to leverage our future offspring to the position of power should they want it, I am not sure I want that to be the only goal for them. Specifically Casi,” C’aol rises from his chair finally and moves closer to her. “How would you like to proceed?” he asks with a smirk in answer to hers.
“We could start small. Leverage his guilt for economics. Bankrupting Fort Hold serves no purpose, but they could certainly afford to be a little more generous when considering their Weyr.” Isolwyn sets both her hands down against C’aol’s chest and leans into him a little. “Do feel free to go and frighten him to within an inch of his life. Maybe you could get my knife back?” She lifts up onto her toes and gently touches her lips to his. As she steps back, her eyes narrow slightly, her gaze distant. “We could give him a time limit. Either he has a legitimate heir by a given time, or… we get to name who it is.”
C’aol allows a smile forward as Isolwyn gives him instructions to retrieve her knife. “Yes, I will get your knife back and I may use it to threaten some sense into his dimwitted head.” He does not let her step too far away from him before he places a hand on her shoulder and squeezes it. “No one will ever be allowed to suggest that you are fit to produce heirs for them. You are mine. And Fort’s Weyrwoman. You are not some trophy or way for them to hold on to their power. Ever.” He removes his hand from her shoulder and then shrugs his shoulders. “If you want me to add more pressure to him in his pursuit of heir-bringing, I will. I would rather we… keep that card for use later on with him.”
“Perhaps I ought to be flattered that that there seems to be little I can do to escape being proposed as someone’s prize,” Isolwyn utters with ample sarcasm. “I almost feel as though I ought to have done something very shameful in my youth to dissuade them from finding me an interesting prospect.” She huffs a note of dry laughter. “Then, I don’t know that you would have approved of me very much either, in that eventuality.” Her fingers reach to smooth creases that aren’t there from C’aol’s shirt. “I would just love to see his face if he were expected to abdicate in favour of his own wife.” She shakes her head. “Not that that is really an option, if Fort is to remain in the hands of its Blooded. It would serve him right for making her feel inferior, though. Leave it, for now. I don’t want him subjecting her to his attention more than necessary.”
“Does he not love her?” C’aol asks with a shake of his head. “I suppose he couldn’t if he’s taking himself off to ask his sharding cousin to join him in bed.” He snorts and then moves to brush his fingers lightly against her cheek. “I will go and make him squirm. You can join me if you want? Perhaps it’ll prove the point that you are my equal. You can watch him beg for forgiveness.” Something sparks in his gaze and his smirk returns. “And then watch as he signs over a larger tithe to the Weyr.”
“I had thought he cared for her, but perhaps his circumstances prevent him from being as considerate of her as he ought to be.” Isolwyn lifts her hand to cover his. “And her marriage doesn’t leave her in a position where she gets to decide when she has children.” She inches close enough to press a kiss to C’aol’s cheek. “Eosyth should sleep a while longer. We could probably be back from tormenting him before she wakes.”
C’aol loops his arm around Isolwyn’s middle and turns to guide her out of his office. He closes the door behind them but does not bother to lock it. He looks down at her with that icy-gaze of his. “He will not sleep for weeks when we are done with him. Fetch your riding gear again. I’ll ready Daeserath.” He leaves her then to go and collect his flight gear and Daeserath’s straps. Once the bronze is ready, he guides Isolwyn up onto his back and then he follows. He wraps his arms firmly around Isolwyn as she’s settled in front of him. “Let’s make him pay.” He laughs, a cold, humorless sound, “And earn more for our Weyr.” Daeserath is soon airborn and Fort’s Weyrleaders’ disappear Between. The fate of Fort’s Lord Holder… well, that will depend on many things.