(122-09-18) Stolen Words
Stolen Words
Summary: Camillo — with accompaniment — seeks to relieve Jana Fossoway of a certain item regarding Marsei, for the greater… good?
Date: 23/09/2015
Related: A Sour Apple

Lady Jana Fossoway is absent from her chamber exactly when Marsei said she would be, setting out in the early evening for a short ride before mealtime, attended neatly by the lanky stableboy before she departs.

Her chamber is on the same level as the other highest-ranking nobles of this half of the Fossoway family, including that of Lord Owen; a blessing that it is empty, for it lies just next to that of Jana. The chamber that once belonged to Lord Jarvas and Marsei, temporarily resettled with Marsei's belongings, is also nearby, although the lady herself has been pulled insistently away downstairs. It was truly the only one time she wanted to be in that room since arriving; in fact, she nearly called the whole thing off, set upon entering Jana's room herself, were it not for the interference of visiting nobles and former Fossoway goodcousins eager to see her to the point of insistence. She did, however, find enough time to seek out Camillo one more time and uncomfortably tell him the details of where the proposed impossible item might be found— and to also insist that Siva meet him there, in polite but non-negotiable terms. It must be this way, she said, seeming to put her faith in both of them.

Servants occasionally whisk by, and a young lady, who cannot be more than ten-and-two, Jana's attendant, flits in and out of the chamber, preparing it for her return. Finally, she seems to be at peace with her work, locks the door — a new addition to the routine — and hurries down a staircase, out of sight. The door of Marsei's chamber creaks open ever-so-slightly, the darker face of Siva peeking out cautiously, searching.

Camillo does not seem to fully understand why the handmaiden must be part of his task, but he does not argue. He finds his time to slip up, passing down the hall unobtrusively every so often as if on business to see the girl attendant's progress. When finally she quits the room and locks the door, he slides through the hallway once again, passing Marsei's chamber.

Glimpsing Camillo, Siva slips out, following in his path. The trusted handmaiden is quiet of step and moves with a certain graceful furtiveness that lends itself just as well to blending into the background in social situations as it does to a quiet hallway. She nears Camillo, absent words, only bringing with her an air of expectancy as she looks toward Jana's door.

Camillo eases a few thin metal tools out of a pocket in his clothing as they approach the door. Perhaps it takes him a few moments longer than he might like, and he has to crouch a bit suspiciously to see what he's doing, but after a moment there is the click of the tumblers giving, and the door eases open.

"Did she ask if you could pick locks?" Siva asks in whisper, a question made of wondering, yet her voice betrays little of it. She watches the hall closely while Camillo works, but every time she does glance his way, there should be little doubt that he is being watched very closely, too. Careful not to crowd him, she reaches past to push on the heavy door's carved panels, bidding he enter first. The room is simple, but prettily decorated in golds and greens. A small fire lights the hearth and a basin of water warms beside it.

"No. But…" Apparently he can. Or whatever that trailed-off nonsentence was supposed to mean. He slips inside, careful to disturb nothing, taking a look round first to be absolutely sure there's no one else here before he heads for that vanity and tugs at the handle of a drawer.

Whether Siva is satisfied or dissatisfied with Camillo's answer remains unspoken. She remains at the door while he makes his way to the vanity, and there she seems torn, but ultimately slips within and closes them in rather than remaining to keep watch. The first drawer opens to reveal naught but a closed jewelry box and a stray ruby-and-emerald hairpin fashioned like an apple with two green leaves.

It might be peaceful inside the chamber under different circumstances, barely a sound but the lightly crackling fire. "The one on the right," Siva says quietly, making her way over.

You'd expect someone who can skillfully pick locks to look interested in a jewelry box, but Camillo doesn't. He shuts the drawer and tries the one Siva indicates.

It's locked. The lock itself is tiny, fashioned between the carvings and filigree on the slender drawer so that it barely seems to be there at all until one looks.

Siva presses her hands to her hips, concern pushing through her calm as she looks between the door and Camillo more and more.

Camillo selects his tiniest pick and, since this lock isn't terribly complicated, deftly flicks it open and reaches into the drawer.

Rustling parchment. A whole stack of folded letters, some with broken seals and some with no seal at all, a quill, and ink.

Camillo rifles quickly through the letters, searching for the one Marsei is so concerned about. He glances at Siva. "It's wiser not to take all of them, isn't it?" he murmurs, to get her input.

So far, the letters are mostly from various lady so-and-sos from here-and-theres. "Jana will notice either way," Siva replies, although she does concede with a nod after the fact. "Can you read?" she asks quietly, studying the way he flips through the missives. Unable to contain herself any longer, she rushes with purpose to Camillo's side, reaching for the stack. "I will look."

Camillo nods and gives Siva half the stack. It looks as if he's telling the truth, from the way he scans the openers and closers.

Siva takes the half stack so quickly, she practically snatches it out of Camillo's hand before it's offered. She flips through, recognizing names, key words— she flies through it all, tossing the pile onto the vanity in hardly any time at all. "Nothing," she murmurs, "it's not here." She reaches, again, for the rest of the letters Camillo studies.

Camillo gives over the other have, not having found what he was looking for before Siva's hands are coming down in front of his face again. He takes the opportunity to step back and have a glance around the rest of the room. Just in case there's anything useful.

Jana's room is well-decorated, but bears little in the way of obvious personal touches. Apples and trees are an obvious feature in the decor, and blossoms, painted, embroidered and fresh. A hanging of pulpy parchment dyed a soft pink and embedded with pressed flowers hangs on one wall. It is, altogether, a typical chamber for an unmarried noblewoman.

Siva goes through the letters Camillo didn't reach. She would be frantic if she weren't so sharp-eyed and methodical. She pauses at the very end. "This one," she says with certainty as her eyes travel back and forth over the words. "It is this one." She sets the rest of the worthless letters on the vanity and holds only one. It is made out of an odd parchment — dyed a soft pink and embedded with pressed flowers.

Footsteps scuff in the corridor.

Camillo tightens the corners of his mouth as he hears the footsteps. This is the inconvenient part of the two-man job. He very carefully feeds the letter to the fire, being sure that it's absolutely consumed, gesturing meantime at the door with his chin. "Someone's coming, hurry out. If you're caught, say you saw smoke. I'll follow as soon as it's burnt."

As the letter leaves Siva's hands, it crumples, her fingers trying to close in on it to crush and fold its handwriting from view before it meets the flames. She quickly agrees to Camillo's plan, swiping some of the other letters back into the drawer on her run past.

She opens the door to emptiness soon filled by the younger handmaid carrying handfuls of bottled bath oils, all of which she drops upon seeing Siva. One even breaks in the corridor, hitting the stone. Siva uses the distraction; Siva assures the younger that everything is just fine and that they can find something to clean up with and replace the bottle with one of Lady Marsei's, leading her away and leaving Camillo alone.

Camillo sees to it that the paper blackens and turns to ask, then closes everything up, slipping out and going the opposite way from the direction Siva just departed in.

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