p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"Awaiting further instructions from command, Lady Igraine and Lady Galahad, the only two women ever to be accepted into the ranks of The Order, perch themselves upon one of London's many rooftops, this one, belonging to the Waverton House./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"A typical London morning dawns over them, knowing their latest mission would tear them away from reality once again. They stood, overlooking the familiarities of London's hustle and bustle; the spree of concrete mazes below them, surrounded by densely polluted air - all products of the recent industrial revolution./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"The lack of clean air isn't enough to null the pleasant floral scent radiating off Isabeau like a bloomed freesia in spring. Greye inhales deeply, and compliments it by sighing./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"Isabeau stirs beside her. "Greye, have you ever wondered what life would be like outside The Order?"/p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""Without a doubt. To be a normal citizen of society - sure." Greye replies, turning to see the playfulness set in her companion's emerald eyes. Noticing how her cheeks grow rosier by the second from the snap of a cool breeze while the muted sunlight fights it's way through the city's smog./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""Just imagine it. You and I, sporting dresses, fanning ourselves while the sun and breeze lash at our cheeks. Reading the daily gazette within the solitudes of a park, trees filled with song birds, serenading us as we bask in each other's undiluted happiness. Yes, me too."/p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""Wow, Isi, such poetry." The softness on Greye's face replaced by her screwing it up momentarily at the mentions of such garb. "But have you seen the latest fashion trends on London's cobble-laden streets? I would sport no such thing. Yet here we stand, not wearing dresses, thank the heavens. Instead, we spend most our days underground while our cheeks are graced by blood, sweat and tears."/p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""And the only things that serenade us are the howls of lycans in dank sewers. Must you remind me of our morbid duties while I fantasise, Greye." Isabeau replies, frowning./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"Taking in the sight of how dashing her mentor and long-time friend looks in her uniform. The image of the older woman embellished in nothing but high-town attire was something Isabeau couldn't quite imagine. Deciding for herself that Greye's personalised array of light-armor was what appealed to her the most./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"Greye sniggers, removing the loose wisps of dark hair from her face with a graceful flick of her head./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"The pair had been dancing around their feelings for quite some time, although their sworn oath's prevented a progression beyond that of friendship. It was this type of shared banter that fueled their affections from the very beginning. Nothing much had changed since then, only their ages./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"Their tailcoats flutter in the wind, the lace at Isabeau's wrists move coherently, eyes settling on somewhere distant as if reminiscing something her own mind had access to. "Do you remember the first time we met?"/p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""How could I forget? I knew from the very first time I saw you - you were going to be a handful." Greye admits, earning her a soft punch on her forearm./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""Excuse me? Was it because you were afraid I would unabashedly take your position of being the female exception to the Knight's of the Round Table?" Isabeau replies while a small giggle escapes her lips./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""Hah! The complete opposite, in fact. I knew that you were special, which is why I insisted on becoming your mentor all those years ago."/p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""Lady Galahad - that almost sounds needy." Earning Greye a gracious fleer. "As much as it weakens me to admit, I am grateful for your insistence."/p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"Greye beams down at Isabeau, who's green eyes speak words that needn't be said out aloud. For all she could see was the truth pouring out of them, a glint of admiration hidden behind thick, upturned /br /"Before we head out, I...," Greye discontinued, nerves wracking when she reaches into her coat pocket, fingers brushing over its contents./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""You?" Isabeau questions, patience diminishing at Greye's unexpected onslaught of nervousness. "Oh for heavens sake, tell me."/p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""I wanted to give you this." Greye, finally giving in with a gentle huff./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"Isabeau's eyes widen in surprise, watching as the woman slowly reveals a dainty wooden box with her first name carved into it's surface. "For you, my lady."/p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""Greye..." Isabeau gasps, clutching at her chest briefly when the woman offers it to her./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"Opening the tiny box seemed to take Isabeau forever now that her hands shook in the process. Dawning on her that her elation was out in the open for Greye to see, not caring that her green eyes grew glassy at the sight of a newly forged pair of ruby earrings cushioned neatly against a layer of black velvet. "Their absolutely...beautiful."/p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""For a more than beautiful woman."/p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"A single tear rolls down the slope of a heavily blushing cheek, resembling the teardrop design of the precious jewels she held in the palm of her hands. Shedding that stray tear was a result of being embarrassed and overwhelmed by Greye's unexpected gift. "Nonsense," Isabeau swipes it away hastily with a gloved hand, " Now look what you've made me do."/p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""Well, it's not my fault you've constantly expressed your interest every time we pass the jeweler's boutique. I just had to have the satisfaction of besting the next aristocrat vying to purchase them and of course, to see your face play through the emotions."/p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""I could slap you, if you weren't choosing your words so carefully. All I can say, is...thank you." Isabeau tilts her head gratuitously./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""You're more than welcome. Here, let me help you put them on." Greye insists. Carefully removing them from the cushion of velvet, while she slipped them into Isabeau's earlobes./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""Believe it or not, these are the only pair that exists in the United Kingdom."br /br /Being this close, Isabeau swears the other woman could hear her heartbeat loud and clear. Welcoming the gentle contact while both her ears were being adorned by finery./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""Which is why they suit you so well. You're one of a kind - the only jewel of the country." Greye declares truthfully. Admiring the way both Isabeau and her rubies complimented each other so well./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""Who knew you were such a reclusive romantic, underneath all that knightly uniform." Isabeau responds, brandishing the other woman's gorget with her fingers./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""And who knew, that you would become so susceptible to my relentless charms. Now you can stun the enemy with your beauty without ever having to fire a bullet again."/p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"Isabeau let's herself go and chuckles lightheartedly, the tips of her cheeks peaked in amusement. Humming to herself when the butterflies in her stomach disintegrated, only to be replaced by a sudden tug in her heaving chest. "If only things could be different. If only..."/p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""At least we have eachother, regardless of the circumstances. Remember that, Isi."/p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"She doesn't see it coming, but welcomes it wholeheartedly, when Greye places a gentle hand against the side of her head, almost sufficing as a pillow, fingers fumbling over the tight braid woven into her hair. /p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"The gentle contact of soft lips pressed against her forehead is what really catches the younger woman off guard now that she's displaying her own understanding of their unfortunate situation, by placing a firm hand over Greyes'./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"If hearts could speak, it would almost be a possibility, as both woman share an intimate moment of brooding only the kiss could be placed elsewhere, somewhere where it could be received just as equally as it was given./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"Isabeau almost cusses when the communicator sounds off on Greye's shoulder, a rude interruption that brings them back to reality in a matter of seconds. The warmth of Greye's hand now replaced by cool air./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"'Greye, this is command. You and Igraine will rendezvous with Lafayette at the United India House, and contain the threat.' A familiar voice emits from the device./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""Copy that, Percival. Pray, we meet in due time. Greye, out."/p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"Isabeau's already tucking the trinket box into the pocket of her coat, after admiring it one more time, once obtaining the latest instructions from Percival./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""Well, then. I guess it's back to business as usual?" Isabeau mutters, straightening the lapel of her coat, looking devastatingly battle-ready, especially with the new pair of dazzling rubies dangling from her ears./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""I'm afraid so, my lady." Greye replies./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"A tingle of excitement rises within Isabeau when Greye's fingers brush against hers on purpose, even more so when the woman turns to leap off the rooftop, landing safely on a fire escape fixed against a nearby building./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""Well, are you coming or not, Isi? It's rude to keep a woman waiting." Greye bellows from below. Watching as the young woman follows suit, landing gracefully beside her. /p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;""Do try and keep up! I was just giving you a head start." Isabeau says, setting off in a moderate jog while Greye matches her speed with ease./p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"The anticipation of embarking on a new mission with her companion still left Isabeau feeling disappointed; forced to discard the fantasy of living a life outside The Order with the woman by her side. A fantasy that would re-surface time and time again, only to be subdued by their duties as protector's of London's city. /p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"Although their sworn oath's forbid them from acting on their feelings; the mutuality of sharing an unspoken love is far greater than the woes of having to live a life bordered by restrictions. /p
p style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 15.119999885559082px; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', 'GNU Unifont', Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; list-style: none; margin: 1.286em auto; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.5; color: #2a2a2a;"Absorbing the weight of their guns at their backs while the weight of plentiful hearts offer a sense of balance, both will always serve as a constant reminder, that at least they have each other, regardless of the circumstances./p