A Plan For The Future
Sunlight streamed in through the window, the light on Eve’s hair making it shine like fire. “You know, we always seem to end up like this,” she teased, turning to Warlund.
She was stretched out in her bed, laying on her stomach with her feet in the air. “You’re insatiable.”
Warlund’s eyes fluttered open at the sound of Lady Daniels’ voice. “I’ve been listening to you breathe,” he said, gaze locked on to the ceiling. There was a short delay before he continued, “But as I recall, you instigated this one.”
His remark was met with a quiet laugh. Eve turned her gaze to the bed, red hair spilling forward like a curtain to hide her features. “Mm….. Yes, I think you’re right. I can have Hannah bring up breakfast, if you’re interested.”
Warlund groaned, rolling onto his side. “That’s fine,” he said, “Just have her burn my bacon black.” He now laid on his stomach, eyes meeting Eve’s. “It’ll be good to see the old woman anyway.”
Eve rolled her eyes a bit as she moved off of the bed. She paused to stretch, before retrieving a silk robe from the chair by the bed, tugging it around her nude form. “Why would you want to ruin perfectly good bacon by burning it?” She asked as she pressed a small button on the wall by the vanity. Taking a seat, she began to brush her hair, watching his reaction in the mirror.
“It’s just something I do,” he said, not caring where Eve went. Warlund kept laying there, reluctant to move, let alone dress. “It’s preference.” He laughed, “I seemingly have a few of those, especially around here.”
“We all have our preferences,” she remarked. A quiet knock at the door announced the arrival of a maid to take their breakfast orders. Setting the brush to the side, Eve moved to the door and quietly gave the maid instructions.
“Hannah will be bringing up your very burnt bacon soon. So, you have other preferences around here?” She asked with a smirk, certain she knew exactly what he meant.
Warlund chuckled, “Is that a surprise?” Propping himself up, he turned to face Lady Daniels by the door. “Does it really need to be said?” Warlund asked, “I’m confident my actions speak for themselves.”
“Actions do speak louder,” she replied. Tilting her head to the side, she looked him over silently for a moment, emerald eyes sparkling with amusement. “What a strange turn this has taken.” Dismissing that train of thought before it could go any further, she moved to sit by him on the bed. “We’ll need to contact Lady Ludlow about another wine order, and Penny about tea….. We went through quite a bit.”
“I’ll write to them, then,” he said. “Shouldn’t be too difficult to acquire more of Penny’s teas, or Ludlow’s.” He raised up, just an inch or two away from Eve’s features. “I,” Warlund began, but a knock at the door quickly interrupted him; Hannah, presumably, with his burnt bacon. “That’s for you,” Warlund commented.
Eve lingered a moment, looking at him with a raised brow. I what? “Hannah will be disappointed to see me, rather than you,” she teased as she moved to answer the door. Opening the door wide, she greeted Hannah with a smile.
The elderly maid stepped into the room, carrying a tray filled with various breakfast foods; toast, fruit, and of course, bacon burned to a crisp, as well as two mugs and a pot of coffee.
“Just set it on the table there, Hannah, quickly now.” Eve instructed. “I believe Warlund is still undressed under that sheet, we wouldn’t want to embarrass him,” she teased.
Hannah’s brow rose slightly and a gentle chuckle escaped her lips as she did as she was told. She couldn’t help but steal a small glance toward Warlund though.
Warlund huffed out a laugh, climbing from the bed and allowing the sheet to fall where it might’ve. He stood there, on display, as Hannah passed by. “Who’s embarrassed?” Warlund questioned, shrugging in Eve’s direction, a grin accompanying it. “Let me get dressed, then we’ll eat.”
Hannah, shocked, but not altogether embarrassed, cast a quick glance in Warlund’s direction. As she headed for the door, she turned back to Eve to sink and give an approving nod.
“Well, you’ve impressed Hannah,” Eve said with a smirk as she took a seat at the small table by the window. “Don’t take too long, wouldn’t want your ruined bacon to get cold,” she teased.
Warlund gathered up his trousers, slipping them on. “Well,” he began, “I do live to impress Hannah.” Joining Lady Daniels by the window, he remained standing, taking a piece of bacon and biting into it. “What are we doing?”
Brow raised, she leaned back in her chair. Emerald gaze roamed over his bare torso for a moment before drifting back to his face. “We’re having breakfast,” she replied, lips curving into a grin.
Warlund laughed. “How coy of you,” he commented, “But that’s not what I mean and you know it.” He finished a piece of bacon, accompanying it with a sip of coffee. “What are we doing?”
He wants to have this talk? “I’m not sure how to answer that, Warlund. We are business partners, friends, more than that, but yet,” she paused, tapping the table gently. “You have Lady Suncrest. So again, I’m not sure how to answer that.”
“I do have Lady Suncrest,” he said. “But I’m spending more and more of my time here or at Stormshadow.” Warlund took a sip of coffee, seating himself opposite Eve. “Do you know why I have her?”
Eve turned her attention to the table, pouring herself a cup of coffee as she spoke. “Frankly, I can only assume you see her as a way to redeem yourself.” She added cream and sugar, taking her time, keeping her gaze on the mug. “Why don’t you tell me your reason?”
Redemption? Warlund shook his head, “I didn’t want redemption. I never wanted it. But, in the end, it was my only option. I did what I had to do.” He shrugged, “I can’t, earnestly, marry a Quel'Dorei. I thought I could. I thought I wanted to settle down and retire.” There was a brief moment’s pause before he continued. “I used Lady Suncrest, and it went further than I should’ve let it.”
Brows arched with surprise, Eve lifted the mug to her lips and took a small sip of coffee. Turning to face him she laughed quietly. “Well. That is interesting.” She paused a moment, considering her next words. “What do you want, Warlund?”
That’s a good question. “I want what I’ve always wanted, Eve: a legacy. I can’t go quietly into retirement. It’s not who I am.” He looked away, thoughtfully, “And, to be honest with you, I cannot let Stormwind think it’s beaten me.”
“Mm. So, you’re building something for yourself here, with Stormshadow and with The Silk Road,” she replied. Taking a sip of the coffee, she continued, turning his earlier question back on him. “What are we doing, Warlund?”
“It’s about more than material wealth,” he said, “It’s about being remembered, and no one remembers a commoner. I want my nobility returned to me.” He sipped from his own cup of coffee as well. “Right this moment? Having a conversation. But the future’s important to us both. You need an heir; I need to solidify my name– again.” He looked to Eve. “We should consider the future.”
Eve nodded along, setting the mug on the table. “Are you proposing, Warlund?This is hardly romantic,” she teased. Smirking a bit, she tossed her hair over her shoulder. “I agree, we should consider the future.”
“Not yet,” Warlund said, laughing a little. “It’s something to think about, though. You and I could carve out a trade kingdom here in the Highlands. We could use (and are using) the Silk Road to gather information on friends.” He leaned forward, “We could use that same influence to dictate policy, here and in the House of Nobles.”
Eve mirrored his movements, leaning toward him a bit. “I do like the way you think,” she said quietly. “Hannah would be thrilled to see more of you around here. What do you plan to do about Lady Suncrest?”
“I’ll end things with Lady Suncrest,” Warlund muttered, nodding. “But I doubt she’ll take it well.” He leaned forward a little more, brushing a hand against Eve’s features. He kept it there a moment before pulling away. “If you’re going to marry me, I will expect honesty between us. No secrets, Eve.”
“I haven’t actually agreed yet,” she teased. “But I think I can do that. I’m more honest with you than most, as it is. If I’m going to marry you, Warlund, I expect to be the only one sharing a bed with you,” she said with a raised brow. “I don’t share, Warlund.”
“Well, I haven’t agreed, either,” he said, smirking. “If you don’t share, you don’t share. I can live with that.” Warlund turned to the window, finishing off his cup of coffee. “Anyway, I have a couple of things to take care of at Stormshadow. But I’ll be back tomorrow.”