Diamond welcomes Hayley into the family, 6/26/2005

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  • Hayley says good-bye to Janus as he heads off to talk to Michael.
  • Hayley tries to seem brave but there are shadows in her eyes.
  • Hayley steels herself and gets the page or knight or whoever is guarding the door to go through the appropriate formalities, if there are any.

<Diamond> (A page escorts you in, introduces you to the QUeen, and then departs, pretty much)

  • Diamond is waiting for you in the sitting room where you were last night.
  • Hayley curtseys politely.

<Hayley> Your Majesty.

  • Hayley says quietly and respectfully.
  • Diamond is seated in a highbacked chair by a low table. She looks quite pale, but much improved since the last time you saw her.
  • Diamond is clothed in many folds anf layers of velvety black, with a feathery fringe at her cuffs and hems.
  • Dovev is brushing the Queen's hair... There seems to be no other members of the staff about.

<Hayley> You're looking well.

  • Hayley smiles.

<Diamond> You don't lie very well.

  • Hayley is sincere but Diamond probably will twist the sentiment.
  • Hayley sighs.
  • Diamond looks you over, perhaps examining for signs of weakness...

<Hayley> I'm not lying. <Diamond> Please sit down.

  • Hayley takes a seat as offered.
  • Diamond 's lips twitch slightly.

<Diamond> Perhaps you suffer from a defect of vision.

  • Hayley sits down gracefully, making pretty much no sound.

<Hayley> You're looking stronger, and that is good.

  • Dovev looks down at you, saying nothing.
  • Hayley clarifies politely.

<Diamond> Well.

  • Diamond looks to the window.
  • Hayley folds her long and graceful hands in her lap and waits quietly for Diamond to say whatever she has to say.

<Diamond> How long has it been, since our conversation at Yule? <Hayley> A couple of years, I think. <Diamond> Two years.

  • Diamond turns back to fix her icy gaze upon you.
  • Hayley manages to find the strength to meet that gaze.

<Diamond> Two years now, I have waited for you to fail. To show your true colours.

  • Hayley says nothing, just regards you as calmly as she can.

<Diamond> For two years I have despised you, and hidden my hate from my son.

  • Diamond 's expression is impossible to read.
  • Hayley listens respectfully.

<Diamond> ... <Diamond> I have set foils for you, threatened you... <Diamond> And yet, you are still here.

  • Diamond 's eyes narrow.

<Diamond> Why is that?

  • Dovev quietly sets the brush down.

<Hayley> Because of love. <Diamond> Do you not fear me, then?

  • Dovev glides to Diamond's side.

<Hayley> I do, but I also respect you because you are the mother of the man I love. <Diamond> Hm.

  • Diamond sits back in her chair.
  • Dovev looks you over, his eyes bottomless black pools.

<Diamond> And what about my quiet friend...?

  • Diamond smiles up at her companion.
  • Hayley sits quietly and calmly, wondering what will happen next.
  • Hayley can never really tell, though usually it is something bad.

<Diamond> Do you fear him? <Hayley> He is your bodyguard and faithful servant. I do fear him, but I also respect him and the role he plays in your entourage.

  • Hayley knows very well that he could eat her any time... but he hasn't, yet...
  • Hayley continues to wonder where this is leading, and dreading it inwardly.
  • Diamond gives you a thin, indulgent smile.

<Diamond> You are very tactful.

  • Hayley isn't sure what to make of that remark, and ends up looking down modestly at her hands in her lap, as she does also with Janus at
 times.
  • Hayley seems cautious, though, too...

<Diamond> But I can tell that you are burning with desire to know what it is I am going to inflict on you today... <Hayley> I suppose I am conditioned to wonder by now.

  • Hayley admits.
  • Hayley returns her golden gaze to your icy one.

<Diamond> I want to speak to you about what happened last night.

  • Diamond says matter-of-factly.

<Hayley> Yes, Your Majesty.

  • Hayley replies respectfully.

<Diamond> With you and Rachel.

  • Hayley swallows.

<Hayley> Of course, Your Majesty. <Diamond> I have not been able to put it out of my mind.

  • Diamond 's lips thin.
  • Hayley continues to listen, her eyes searching your own.
  • Hayley doesn't know why exactly you can't put it out of your mind, what stands out, and wouldn't wish to presume she knows.

<Diamond> I have hated you for years. I used my last breaths to curse you. <Diamond> And yet your last words to me were kindness. <Diamond> ...

  • Hayley is forced to look modestly down at her hands again. She seems quite awkward receiving such praise (?) from you...

<Diamond> Look at me when I am speaking to you.

  • Hayley looks back up at you, looking vulnerable for a brief moment before she composes herself again.

<Diamond> Now, listen to me carefully, for you are not like to hear it again. <Diamond> I have been... proven wrong in my judgement of your character.

  • Hayley listens, hardly believing her ears.

<Hayley> (more to come?) <Diamond> I regret... certain things that I have done.

  • Hayley smiles slightly, gently, hopefully...
  • Hayley wonders if she is dreaming.

<Hayley> (anything more or may I speak?) <Diamond> (go to it) <Hayley> You have also shown me great kindness... I couldn't forget that.

  • Hayley is referring to her time as a Squire before she went mad, and also when she was Debbie.

<Hayley> And... I know a little of what it is to be a mother, too. <Diamond> Everything that I have done, I have done for my son.

  • Hayley nods. She knows. She has known that all along.

<Diamond> I told you before I was Queen that I meant for him to be a Prince.

  • Hayley nods.

<Diamond> Someday... someday I mean for him to be a king. <Diamond> And his sons after him...

  • Diamond glances briefly at Dovev.
  • Dovev withdraws soundlessly into the next room.
  • Hayley nods, swallowing.
  • Hayley wonders if this is the crux of the matter now... Diamond needs him to marry a Sidhe woman...
  • Hayley understands but it still hurts.

<Diamond> I have a favour to ask of you, Hayley. And then I shall give you a gift.

  • Hayley 's eyes grow a bit shiny with tears.

<Hayley> Yes, Your Majesty. <Diamond> Janus does not know that I had a choice in the matter of... in the fate of the child I lost. He does not know that I sacrificed

 it for him. And he must never know.

<Diamond> Swear to me that you will keep my secret, and you shall have my favour. <Hayley> Of course I will swear not to tell him...

  • Hayley looks a little uncertain, remembering that she is oathbroken. She isn't sure what kind of oath you'd find acceptable.

<Diamond> Good.

  • Diamond seems satisfied with just your word.

<Diamond> Now, remove that charm you're wearing.

  • Hayley had already forgotten that part of what you said last night.
  • Hayley hesitates only for a moment.
  • Dovev returns now, bearing a large bowl of beaten silver, engraved with swirling, almost hypnotic patterns.

<Diamond> Ah, thank you.

  • Hayley hopes she isn't making a mistake as she sets the necklace on the table next to you, but closer to her.
  • Diamond reaches up to take it from him.
  • Diamond sets the basin, filled with clear water, on the table in front of her.

<Diamond> Give me your hand...

  • Diamond holds out her own.
  • Hayley places her hand in yours.
  • Diamond turns your hand palm-up, and grips it tightly. Her hand is quite cool.
  • Hayley 's is warm and dry.
  • Diamond produces a long, sharp pin from the folds of her gown with her free hand.
  • Hayley watches without fear.
  • Diamond pricks your index finger, then draws your hand over her bowl to squeeze a single drop of blood into the water before letting you
 go.
  • Hayley presses her thumb into her pricked finger to quell the bleeding.
  • Diamond seems to ignore you now, leaning over the bowl as the blood diffuses, spreading red tendrils through the crystal water.
  • Diamond 's eyes lose their focus, and she seems to be in a trance.
  • Hayley sits quietly, not about to interrupt her cantrip. Especially when she is still recovering from trauma and near-death.
  • Dovev watches you quietly.
  • Hayley just watches Diamond with quiet interest.
  • Hayley rubs her pricked finger a bit to soothe it, and that's the only movement she makes, aside from the regular rise and fall of her
 ribcage as she draws breath.
  • Diamond is very still for about five minutes -- maybe more, it's hard to tell -- and then sits up straight, her eyes clear once more.
  • Hayley might shift her hooves once then, too. (Legs falling asleep)

<Diamond> Well... that should work out nicely, I think...

  • Diamond looks to Dovev again, who swiftly moves to take the vessel away.
  • Hayley smiles tentatively, wondering what she did but uncertain how polite it would be to ask.
  • Diamond smiles at you, without the ice.

<Hayley> Might I ask... what you saw? Or is it a secret?

  • Hayley smiles. She doesn't mind if you don't tell her.

<Diamond> I don't want to spoil the surprise. <Hayley> Very well. <Diamond> When it happens... I think you will know.

  • Diamond winces very slightly.
  • Hayley looks alarmed.

<Hayley> Do you need one of your healers to attend you?

  • Hayley offers... she'll go get one if so.

<Diamond> No, that's allright. <Diamond> There's no cause for alarm.

  • Hayley hopes that Diamond will not be angry that I noticed her distress... she hates appearing weak, Hayley knows.
  • Dovev appears at the Queen's side once again.

<Hayley> All right. <Diamond> I think that I should rest a bit...

  • Dovev moves to help her to her feet.

<Hayley> Very well. <Diamond> ... Come a little closer. <Hayley> (me?) <Diamond> (yes)

  • Hayley stands up and comes around to a side of Diamond that Dovev is not occupying, then, I guess.
  • Diamond cups your cheek with her hand, looking you over again.
  • Hayley withstands the scrutiny.

<Diamond> You really are quite lovely... <Diamond> Hm.

  • Hayley blushes and lowers her gaze modestly.
  • Diamond smiles faintly.
  • Hayley seems awkward about the praise again.

<Diamond> Welcome to the family. <Hayley> (Is she still touching me or is it safe to curtsey?) <Diamond> (go for it)

  • Hayley raises her warm golden eyes to your gaze again, and curtseys gracefully.
  • Diamond turns (with Dovev) to go back to her room, then.

<Hayley> Take care, Your Majesty.

  • Hayley does whatever protocol requires... wait for you to leave or leave before you do. She has etiquette. ;)
  • Hayley puts her necklace back on and departs Diamond's quarters, walking on air and still not quite believing what just happened.
  • Hayley pinches herself a few times, in fact, to make sure she's not dreaming. And she laughs out loud joyfully when it's apparent she's not. ;)