04.01.3014: Family Matters?
Summary: Cyrielle and Balius are talking, until Lorelei shows up with the 'truth' about the financial troubles of Arion Oaks Stables
Date: 12/16/2013
Related: Several
Cyrielle Lorelei Balius 

Gardens of Nora
While these gardens act as the courtyard between the Heartwood and the Elder Seat, they have managed to obtain a peaceful ambiance despite all the foot traffic. There is a gently angled esplanade that leads up from the Heartwood, interrupted here and there by short segments of stairs. When it reaches the main promenade of the gardens, it flattens out and continues to provide a pathway directly toward the grand doors of the Elder Seat.

Flanking either side of the esplanade are parcels of well-kept garden that are divided by smaller pathways that lead off from the main esplanade. These parcels vary between thick carpets of moss and forest flowers to clusters of wild roses to a very small orchard of fruit trees that bear red apples and pale peaches in the summer. Natives and visitors alike are encouraged to wander throughout the Gardens of Nora — named for the first High Lady of Arborenin, the daughter to Hugh Arboren — but there are also Arborenin guards who equally frequent the area.

April 1st, 3014

Late March, the cool air is finally beginning to recede. It's not warm yet in Arborenin, but it's not cold either. The air is heavy and damp with melting snows and the beginning rains of Spring. The gardens are just beginning to find themselves again after the hibernation of winter. Few frequent the winding paths for there's a chill in the air that hints at oncoming rain.

Dressed in ranging leathers, Cyrielle looks almost herself again. If she didn't have crutches in hand, mind. The woman is sitting on a bench- facing away from the path and towards a plant bed. Her pants are brown, synthetic leather that tuck into well-worn boots. A dagger rests strapped to one leg. Her coat is left open for the slightly warmer weather and as she moves, some of the buckles and straps jar against one another in the otherwise near-eery stillness of the gardens.

Green vines of a translucent, glowing quality surround her limbs — save her lower, right leg — as she leans in towards the plant bed. Her eyes are veiled in white and she seems to be… murmuring to the plants in the bed. Leaves unfurl and blossoms open… though some seem darkened at the edges when they do, her brow furrowing in frustration.

The Quellton has been sorely peeved at a number of things lately. Most of them familial in nature, and he's got no desire to head back to the stables just yet. Having sent countless messages to his sister with no response, he's tossed the datapad in rage and is now finding himself disconnected from the world at large. His short hair is a bit of a mess, as the satchel-wearing Balius wanders into the Gardens. At least, it tends to be one of Loree's favorite places.

He's tossing an apple up and down, thinking about a wide variety of things. The student has even put his project on hold for the moment, though he was pleased with the progress of that until his Da called with the news of family chaos. Seeing Cyrielle, Balius gives up on Quellton matters for now and looks over to his Hollolas friend. His approach is slow, not wanting to interrupt.

Aura intensifying, Cyrielle leans in closer to one of the plants and swears softly under her breath. "Again?" She reaches out with gentle fingers, touching the singed edges of the flower. Biting into her lip, the woman shifts in and places a hand under one of the leaves. "You can do this."

Is she speaking to the plant or herself? The woman's hair is bound in a tight braid. All she's missing from her wood-ranging outfit is her bow. Something she's not had on hand in some time now, unfortunately. It's been almost two months since her leg was replaced… sometimes, time both flies and crawls.

Slowly easing his way to her side, Balius offers a soft cough to announce his presence. He knows not to interrupt Awakened time…that could lead to the gardens catching aflame or something. "Lady Cyrielle…is everything alright?" Because he's really not sure what to think of the situation. Is she talking to the plants? Are the plants…he just doesn't know if this is good or bad.

Lorelei's just wanting to spend some time with her favorite apple tree. With Hubert gone, she's feeling….lonely. Her dress is a new, but simple one, an Arboren style. Her foot steps or slow, and soft as she makes her way throughout eh garden, her hammer on her hip. Her eyes land on the two figures and she'll pause, a torrent of emotions flying across her face. She settles her biting her lower lip and looking away, gathering herself to walk by, to get to her tree.

"What is it with you and the title?" Cyrielle doesn't look away from the poor flower, though her hand lowers slightly. "We've fought together, Bey. Or would you prefer Master Quellton?" There's a slight upward twitch of her lips. The woman does finally lean back, hands falling to her lap. "Ah, I'm just…" She lifts a hand, waving fingers slightly.

There's a slow exhale of breath; a release of frustration. "Things change, much as the seasons, Master Quellton." Finally Cyrielle turns slightly, catching just the edges of Lorelei's dress in her perephrial vision as she angles to view the youngest of the siblings. "How have your studies been?"

Shaking his head, Balius joins her on the ground, not yet seeing his sister. Though that is the reason he came to the Gardens in the first place. She's always here. "I know, I know. It's just all these rules. Some nobles might have ya skinned alive if ya forget the title." He shrugs a bit as he looks to the flower. "But you're right, Cyrielle. How's the therapy coming along?" He pauses for a moment and takes a bite of his apple before responding. "It seems like I'll pull out some great grades this semester…even in Pre-Reversion Haven History."

A deep breath and Loree will start walking, eyes down, her satchel over her shoulder. She's not sure if she wants to cry or grab her hammer. So she'll just focus on her tree, it's leaves are starting to bud. that should make her happy, right? Her hands twitch and she'll hold them together, trying to not draw too much attention.

"Well, you can remember I won't do that. My father might, but, ah-" Cyrielle's shoulders rise and fall. "I kid. He wouldn't skin you alive. He'd just toss you to the sharks." The woman winks; a surreal thing with white-cloaked eyes. "Therapy is going well enough. Still haven't gotten the hang of walking yet. Looks like I'm stuck to crutches a while yet."

The brunette pushes back a bit of errant hair, tucking it away behind her ear. She looks back to the plant bed and exhales in a small sigh. "Even in History? Good, good. I was worried a bit there." There's a quiet moment before she leans back, hands falling to her lap. Cyrielle looks to Balius then, white eyes intently regarding the young medic-in-training. "Why have you been avoiding your brother?"

"Crutches are the freakin' worst. How much longer are they tellin ya for therapy?" Balius asks as a very familiar figure is going to sit over next to her favorite tree. He freezes momentarily, not sure if the adrenaline pumping in his system is allowing him to choose options that don't involve fight or flight. In the midst of the fact that he now knows his sister is actually alive, and apparently entirely unharmed…and then there's that question.

"Excuse me?" He says to Cyrielle quietly. "I've been avoiding Chi? Saw the dude just the other day at the Taphouse. He's the one off on the Crescent." Okay, half-truths, sure. "Though at least Chi checks in to let people know he's alive." Okay, that's his voice raising in volume being pointed in his sister's direction.

Lorelei was gonna just sneak by, she was so close, but then Balius's voice cuts through the air, hitting her like a physical blow. She stops walking, her fingers tightening on each other, stopping her self from grabbing her hammer. She'll blink and then slowly turn back, walking towards the two. Her eyes, the closer she gets are red from much crying, and she has dark circles underneath them. She'll release her fingers to fold her arms. Not looking at her, "Lady Cyrielle." Her voice is flat, it's nothing against the noble, she more just acknowledging her before whatever happened with Bey. It might actually be better if Loree had grasped her powers, then Bey wouldn't be able to see the anger in her eyes.

"They're not sure. There's few cases of people being an idiot and waiting six years to have the work done. They weren't even sure it would take. Thank the Six it did or I'd be out a leg entirely." Cyrielle's making light of it, but it's clear — even without the color to her eyes — that it's not as casual as she makes it out to be. "I'm proceeding slower than most, though, so…" She shrugs.

Eyebrows do rise at his words, "Did you? That's good. I saw him not too long ago and he was… rather upset that you had been visiting me while I was in the hospital. Claimed I saw you more than he did." Cyrielle is confused about the last statement from the youngest Quellton, expression pinching slightly into a frown. All becomes clear, however, when Lorelei speaks up. The Hollolas turns slightly, glancing towards her. Each sibling receives a raised eyebrow.

Balius' expression is flat as he responds to Cyrielle. "Well, when Chi decides I'm no longer seven, it might be easier to see him." But the comment is short-lived as he looks ot Lorelei. "Good to see you're alive." The youngest Quellton makes no move to her. No one at the stables, himself included, had any message about her. Chi was off on the Crescent and apparently not open to sharing either.

Lorelei's eyes flash, "I tried to bring you lunch 3 days ago." That would have been the day she went missing. "I didn't know where you would be, so I tried the labs first. Had a long talk with Demos…" Her voice is low, but there's an edge to it. "And then I went home, and had a talk with Da…." She doesn't move towards Bey either.

"Hmmm." Perhaps it's the flat tone or perhaps the tension in the air between brother and sister. Cyrielle seems to have little to say in response to Balius' words, leaving the two Quelltons to work things out… or not, as the case so often seems to be.

Instead, the Hollolas turns back to the plant bed and reaches out to the one lone flower she's been working with. Fingers brush over singed edges and she draws a slow breath. Upon release, her aura flares somewhat. There, at the edges of the flowers and leaves upon the vines that wind around her… are similar singe marks.

"Oh? Learn anything interesting then?" Balius asks challengingly. He's not spoken to Demos, that link missing in his timeline. And Da has spent the entire time staring at the door, waiting for his daughter's return. His eyes look over to the singing of the plants, confused. There's an odd sense to the tension.

"I did." Loree's eyes, still hard, search Bey's face. His tone is confirming everything that she feared. "D-Did you know? What happened to Hubert?" It's an odd question. And Hubert's not back at the stables.

This is a family matter and not one Cyrielle is about to get involved in. She knows nothing! Literally, at this juncture. For all the singed edges of her aura, she seems to have it all in check. The woman is just focusing on the flower before her. Drawing in a breath, she works at it, letting her druidic abilities pulse into the thing… yet there's a crackling and the scent of burnt atmosphere instead as the flower catches flame and burns out in the damp air and wet soil rather quickly.

She swears. Quietly.

"…yes. And I worked it out so that it wouldn't happen again, even helped convince Da that we could get him up and running again." Balius says quietly, not really sure what to say now that the proverbial cat had found it's way out of the bag. He files away confrontations for Demos and his Da, if they're so lucky. And let's not mention that part of that convincing involved selling the meat of the other poor horses.

Lorelei actually pales at Bey's words, "You…You worked it out?" She was holding onto that small hope that he didn't know, that he was kept in the dark, of that at least. Tears are starting to form, "You knew…You let me inspect out fences, over and over, and you knew?" Her voice starts to raise, it's not a yell yet, but it's not the soft almost whisper it was moments ago. "They killed two of our horses! They broke his leg!" Loree looks somewhere between exploding at Bey and turning and running away.

Is it the conversation or the burned flower that has Cyrielle's shoulders squaring up. The woman mutters to herself, leaning closer in to the plant. Well, what was formerly the plant. There's a bit of muttering as she mixes the ashes into dirt.

"And they gave you a new saddle too." Balius adds boldly, even though he's unsure of just how much Lorelei knows about the situation. "I'm through with the whole thing…why'd you have to go stick your nose all over the place - things were fine. I was dealin' with it, alright? Safer for you not to know. I was protecting you."

Lorelei didn't have names, didn't know who. But the saddle is a dead give away. She actually pales more, well, actually looks a touch green and she'll stumble a half step away. Chi was right? As Bey verbal attacks her more, she'll shrink into herself. "I wasn't… I didn't…" How is he turning this into her fault? A very small shake of her head, Cryi forgotten, "You've been lying to me….for years. I could have helped, but you both lied to me, to Chi…" Oh, Six. Chi better not have known about this! The tears are finally starting to fall. "How is this safer?"

Welp. It might be time to mosey on home. However, Cyrielle really… can't. She does straighten and she does release her Awakened state. The aura fades away as she does so, eyes resuming their dark hues. Even as she gathers up her crutches, however, the Hollolas pauses. She draws in a slow breath and turns slowly, taking the two Quelltons in. "If there… are issues and you require mediation, I could perhaps locate someone."

It's Lorelei, however, that gains a long look. "They lied, yes, but it sounds like they felt they were protecting you. That's fairly important in family, you know. A family that looks out for you and cares. Their hearts were in the right place."

"You shouldn't have to help. It's not your fault - not your problem." Balius replies. "And then running away from us only proves you don't care to fix it." He shrugs a bit, trying to hold back his own tears. "I don't know what you expected me to do when Da made me promise not to tell you…I'm the spare, Loree."

Lorelei pauses, but doesn't look at the noble, "…Lady Cyrielle…. This is beyond one incident. it's become a life style. Families also trust each other. They also believe in each other." Her eyes are becoming more distant, the anger is there, bout it's like she's pulling everything back and away from Balius, "How is it not my problem? I ran away because I had to clear my head! You, Da…it's all lies. I lost control, nearly blew the doors on the stables….I couldn't even stomach to look at Da…And you. Money? You send Six damned money? Like I'm some hired help your sending a bonus to?" Loree must be upset to be swearing like that, "I have been willing to put off everything for you and Chi. Everything. I didn't go to House Iah. I've not gone with Ephraim…because the stables needed me. I needed to stay , so Chi could become a knight, so you could go to school!" She'll wipe her eyes, not quite angrily now, panic, "I've never treated you like a spare. I would have told you. I would have trusted you."

Leaning on her crutches, Cyrielle raises an eyebrow somewhat. The woman bites into her lip and considers for a moment or two. "It's not a sacrifice if you hold it over someone's head," she offers, at long last. "If what you truly want is to leave, you should do it. Don't keep holding it over your brother's heads. It's not fair to force such guilt on them." They didn't ask, perhaps, but she's found herself continually involved nonetheless.

"If your father asked him not to tell you…" Cyrielle gives a small shake of her head. "Perhaps your family is different and defying your father is not a big deal, but it doesn't happen in mine." There is a glance cast to Balius, side-long, "However, from the sounds of it, you could be home more often helping out. As for Chiron, well… He's stuck in the Crescent now. That's what he gets for squiring to a Peake."

"Loree, perhaps it's best if we talk about this later…" Balius says, realizing now that Cyrielle has inserted into the business. He's embarassed now. "And I just assumed that it was mine to carry. Da's always expected me to carry it out, and I was worried it would stop Chi from being able to become a knight if he got too involved. And…well, you were a handmaiden for Arboren." He's trying to keep his emotions out of this, at least for now. That's what ale is for.

Lorelei pulls back at the nobles words like she's been slapped. "I wasn't holding it over…" She'll just trail off, realizing this is a fight she can not win, ever. She's lost. She'll open her mouth, but then Bey is talking and it's clear he's uncomfortable now that Cyri's involved. in her view, it's the only reason he's upset, Loree's making him look bad. A bit dramatic, yes, but she's got reason to be. Loree's trying to regulate her breathing, as she's starting to cry harder, "Fine." That distance is back in her eyes, stealing the warmth they usually have. "We'll talk later. I-I'm no longer a hand maid. I'm there and should know what to expect."

"You may not have intended to hold it over their heads," Cyrielle says, shifting her stance slightly on her crutches, "but I've seen you do so a few times now. Perhaps the three of you ought to sit down and just air this all out. Perhaps beat one another with some sticks." There's a brief, upward tick of her lips.

"As much as you may hate it, honesty is generally the best route. Just get it done and over with. Avoidance… Mmm." She'll shrug somewhat, before beginning to move forward. "I'm glad you've spoken with Chiron recently, Bey. You should do so more often. He misses you." And she'll start her rather slow route back towards the promenade.

"You'll need to get that from Da. I'm not the bad guy here, Loree. Everything I did, I did for our family." Balius says as he moves closer to his sister. "And you have noble connections still. Don't want Ephraim or Benny bopper involved either, that'd just make things worse."

Lorelei 's whole body stiffens. Whither intended or not, Cyri's words are doing nothing but agitating the young woman. She'll take a deep breath, and keep her eyes on her brother. "Fine." Her skin is pale, making the tear tracks stand out more, "I'll talk to Da." She doesn't step away but shifts her body into a more protected stance when Bey moves closer. Her eyes narrow, but she waits till Cyri is out of ear shot to ask anything else, "Why would that make it worse? They have both said they would help. Wouldn't owing a noble be better than someone who kills our horses?"

And yes, Cyrielle does pass out of earshot. It's slow, due to the crutches, but she has no need to stick around longer.

Balius shakes his head. "I don't think it's just money anymore, though Da won't tell me what." Balius seems like he's trying to stop a runaway, though there's little chance he'd actually be able to stop his Awakened, agitated sister from doing that. "And you think they'll not kill all our horses as soon as they get paid? Maybe cause an accidental fire in the stables? What if…what if they found Chi's armorsmith and paid him off…" Okay, Balius has given a lot of thought to these scenarios, though he usually doesn't say them out loud.

Lorelei's always been pretty manipulatable by her brothers, it's part of why all the candy wars started. But now she's on the defensive, unsure she can believe anything coming out of his mouth. Her eyes go up, but she won't make eye contact, she focuses on his shoulder."We….We could tell House Arboren…They're supposed to protect us…" As soon as Bey mentions a fire in the stables, a thought, a terrifying though crosses Loree's mind. "H-How long has this been going on?" SHe tries to remember a time before Da's friends showed up. She seems to pale even more and her breathing gets shallow as Bey talks about Chi's armor, "What…there has to be something we can do…"

There's a shrug from Balius. "You're free to try, just remember how that's going to look on Ma and Da." The youngest Quellton still finds the moment surreal, as if it isn't actually happening. "I learned about it when I was ten, Loree. But I have a feeling it's gone on much longer than that." Balius knows she won't believe him, and at the moment, he's convinced himself he doesn't care.

Ten…Bey was ten, that's before the barn fell. Loree's connecting dots, maybe incorrectly. She looks like she's been punched in the gut, unable to get any air into her lungs. "You…There's…Ma knows…" Of course Ma knows. Were She and Chi the only ones in the dark? Eyes closing, her arms warp around her torso, hand unconsciously covering where the Hostile axe hit her, "So there's nothing that we can do… except let them hurt us?"

"I don't know, Loree." If the youngest one had come up with a solution, he'd have done so long ago. "All I know is that Da's shot down every one of my ideas over the years." Keeping the books and suggesting many of the things currently being discussed. He'll start to reach out an arm, and then moves to put it back.

Lorelei shivers suddenly, like she's cold. "What…what did you mean, it's not just money…what do they want?" Her voice is soft, like she's afraid to draw any more attention than she is by crying in the middle of the gardens. Once she's able to calm down, the idea that her brother had to do this along will set her into another crying fit, but for now, it's all shock and feelings of betrayal.

With a shrug, Balius raises his hands in the air. "Power. Control. I'm not them - who knows? Whatever it is, they must have something big on Da." And Bey doesn't want to know anymore than he already does. Her brother hesitantly places a hand on her shoulder. "It's…it's a huge mess."

Lorelei can feel her heart pounding, this is all so much, and there's no indication that there's even a way out for her family. She'll take a shaky breath, "I…" Her throat is suddenly dry as well, making her voice scratchy onto of the quiet. Flinchign when Bey touches her, she doesn't pull away, but he can feel her whole body trembling underneath his hand. Her eyes are still distant as she finally looks up to his, "I need to …I-Is this why Ma has been horrible to me?" Loree's on the right track , but going the wrong direction. "She's mad, so she's been taking it out on me?"

Balius tries to give his sister a tight hug, even if she did flinch. "Nah, Ma wants to get you away so you're safe is all. She's nervous. That's why she's always trying to let you Companion far away, Loree." Bey shakes his head a bit. "It's gonna be alright."

How can Bey even say that? Loree stiffens as he hugs her tight, not returning the hug. She's to hurt-betrayed right now to give him any comfort, or even to seek any from him. Her head is starting to swim, she doesn't really know what she's supposed to do. "No, Balius, it's not going to be ok." That's the only think she knows for certain, anymore.

After a few moments, Balius will release the hug and look at her. "You've got Eph…or even ol' Benny Bopper." He says, with a sad smile. "And Chi's gonna be a knight. It's what Da and Ma want, Loree." He says quietly.

Lorelei looks up at her taller, younger brother and feels like she's failed, in everything, "No. Da doesn't want that. I can see that now. And…and it's not going to be alright. Not like this." Her brain is going a lot faster than her mouth, thankfully, as she realizes something. There's a touch of the old, warmth, way in the back of her eyes, but it's still blocked by all the negative she's feeling right now.

"I'm sorry that you found out this way…" Balius says with a sigh. "I was hoping you'd never have to." Which is the truth. He looks away for a moment.

Lorelei is still shaking some, she's dealign with a lot. When Bey looks away, Loree drops her eyes. Her stare falls into her hand against her torso. SHe'll flip it over, and the faint scar lines from where the windshield went through it is visible. "You should have told me." There's no fire behind her words though, between his and Cyri's taking down to her, she's feeling small and useless.

"Da said it'd ruin your future, Loree. That no one would ever hear your poems. Then you were, well…falling in love. I was hoping it'd get paid off, but I'm starting to think it never will be." Balius fiddles absentmindedly with the strap on his satchel.

Anger flairs, but she'll close her eyes, "You…you had no right to take this on for me, with out my permission. It's…It's the whole families business." Her lower lip trembles, so Loree bites it, trying to get at least something on her to stop shaking. Chi's going to be livid. "No one is going to hear my poems…it has nothing to do with the stables." At least if the last open mic night is any indication. "If…If I had known, I wouldn't…I would have tried to stay away from Ephraim." Not that she didn't try in the beginning, but she would have tried harder. "D-did you know…about the horses? Before they did it?" when she looks at him, he knows her well enough, this is the deal breaker.

Anger begets anger. "It's not mine to share, Loree!" Balius says back in angst and frustration. In his mind, this isn't some little sibling secret. "And you're in love with Ephraim…why would I have denied you that?" He looks befuddled at her last question. "NO! How the hell would I have known. Six Loree…" And he turns away.

Lorelei flinches, she's trying to not cower, but she's got all these mixed up feelings, and is now getting yelled at. "It's affecting all of us, Balius." In her mind, if it's effecting her, she should have known. She'll shake her head, "That's not…Now it's….It's all messed up, now. Eph knows some. now I have to try to get him away from this…"She'll not even mention Benedict's offer. She'll flinch again, "I don't know what you know and don't know, Balius. I don't know what you've done, or how much…" She'll reach a hand up and wipe her eyes. He's lied about so much. the little things all add up.

"You know me. I'm your brother, jeez." Balius says as he starts pacing. "I was trying to - I was trying to protect you, alright? Not purposefully hurt you. It's not as easy as tellin' ya one thing or another. I know as much as Da let me know." He's been great at controlling his anger lately, but today is proving an exception with the rage of his youth taking over again.

Lorelei pulls back at his pacing, she's trying really hard to not instinctively reach for her powers. It scared her that they came so easy when she was angry at Da. She'll frown, "Of course it's not easy…." She'll shake her head, "I don't' need you to protect me …I need you to be on my side…to…to work with me. Not keep me in the dark…"

Balius disagrees entirely. In his mind, his sister is always getting herself in trouble and will always need protecting - especially since Chi is gone off on another continent now. But that's a losing argument at the moment. "And what good is all this sharing going to do us, hm? Now you're gonna go ruin stuff with Ephraim and be miserable. There's no win in this situation, Loree."

Lorelei flinches again, "I'm not….Ruining anything. I'm not stupid. He just wants me to be happy. He knows family is…." Her voice cracks, "He knows I'd do anything for you all." Loree feels so betrayed, "I could have helped. Instead, I feel like you've decided I'm not smart enough to help you. to get our family out of this." She'll wrinkle her face, "I'm not some frail bird you and Chiron think I am." Well, she kinda is, but mostly because they keep treating her like one. Eph too!

"I didn't tell Chi either cuz he'd go and do somethin' stupid too." Balius adds. "Eph wants you to be happy, and damn Loree if he's not gonna do everythin' he can to make that happen. Just like the rest of us. It's got naught to do with smarts, so don't go usin' that." She is a fragile poet-bird though! Even Chi says so. "It was Da's decision to make, and he's the head of our family."

"Too?" Loree's eyes narrow, even with the tears and she bristles. "I'm not same damn delicate flower that's going to break at a breeze!" She'll inhale, getting angrier, "Well Da was wrong!" Her hands clench, "And you know it!"

"This ain't no breeze." Balius says back, as he tilts his head to her. The more emotional she gets, the more it seems to confirm his unfair bias. "Do I, Loree? You're just gonna broadcast the problem all over the Spine, are ya? Just yell and huff and puff…maybe set Da on fire while you're at it?"

If there was a chance of Loree taking down that protective emotional wall during this conversation, Bey's last words kill that hope. A soft strangle sound escapes her lips and she'll take another step back. The look she gives him is one of betrayal, hurt. She'd never hurt Da…how could he say that? Anotehr step, and Bey knows Loree well enough that this is the start of her getting ready to bolt.

Her brother just looks to her. "Or run. How can you help if you're gonna run? How's that fair for anyone." Balius calls, ready for her to just run off, throwing his hands up in the air. "Do you want to sort this out or not?" He glares at her challengingly.

Lorelei freezes, and has started shaking again. He voice is low, like a hurt animal, "How is this working anything out? All you're doing is being cruel."

Balius just shrugs. "Fine, I'm being cruel. I want to make sure you ain't gonna run off again, Ma's gonna throw herself off a tree if ya keep doin' that. Ya got folks that care about ya, and none of us knew where you were. So we'd at least appreciate you givin' us a heads up where you're goin'."

What has happened to her brother? Why is he being like this? He used to pick on her, but he was never cruel, never cold like this. Loree doesn't step forward, keeping her distance, "I'll send word to Ma." She doesn't sound like she believes that Bey or Da really care. "I'll be back to pick up the chores in a day, so you don't have to. So you can go back to school and do whatever the hell it is you're doing there…." There's more, but Loree bites her tongue, not sure she'd be able to control herself.

"Well, good. You can be useful then. When you decide you still care, I'm sure you'll come track me down." Balius starts to march off. It's totally not fair and cruel, but the youngest Quellton is taking out years of carrying the burden on Lorelei. Completely convinced that it's not his fault in the slightest, that she shouldn't be mad at him, that she should understand the sacrifices he made.

Lorelei just stands there as her brother attacks her verbally. She'll shrink with every word. She doesn't call out after him, just watches him walk away, for what feels like the last time.

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