The woman stumbled as she walked down the street, taking deep, ragged breaths. Perspiration on her face reflected the light from the streetlamps and dark sweat stains saturated her clothes, although the early summer night wasn't hot enough to make anybody sweat that much.
She stepped into the bedroom, stumbling as she had no wall to steady herself on. The door swung shut behind her with a sharp thud and she turned, already knowing what she'd see.
Seer: "H-help me."
Her voice as she spoke was unsteady, and she stuttered as if she had to force the words from her lips.
Magician: "And so the prodigal son returns, seeking my forgiveness and aid."
Seer: "F-f-forgiveness? I d-did what y-y-you asked, all...of i-it."
The reply was sharp as he turned away from her.
He paused, one hand on the slab of stone in the center of the room, and spoke without turning.
Magician: "Something for sleep, then."
The next night she awoke.
Magician: "Drink, mei delicata."
The liquid touched her lips and she turned away, pressing her face into the fabric of the sofa. No, she wouldn't! Not this time!
Magician: "Do not be difficult. I brewed this just for you."
She didn't want to See, not now. In a trance she could say anything. She tried to open her mouth to decline, but her lips wouldn't cooperate. They were mashed into the cushion, that was probably why. She twisted her head to the side - the rough fabric scraped her sensitive lips like sandpaper - but the words still wouldn't come. She was too far gone to even say no, but she could resist physically. She could do that much.
As prepared as she was for a struggle, it never came. After a few moments, she rolled over again, peering out at the room with blurred vision. He was gone. Her head was dizzy, and as she reached for the arm to attempt sitting up again she fell onto the floor, gasping involuntarily at the pain as she hit the floor.
This time he had a different vial, not that she could have resisted if it had been the first again. She knew this one though, it was a reprieve, a step back towards normalcy. She swallowed it as he held it to her lips, then lay curled on the floor for a few moments, collecting her strength again. It wasn't enough - it never was - but it was something. He reached down and lifted her to her feet after a few moments had passed
Seer: "C-catacombs, up the hill behind his house."
Her voice was steadier than the previous night, and gaining strength.
Magician: "A simple matter, then."
She shook her head, her tangled hair falling into her face, though she made no effort to brush it away.
Magician: "No? Explain."
Seer: "Only someone of his blood can open the lock."
Magician: "He has a brother, and sisters."
Seer: "No. It isn't close enough."
Magician: "Clever boy. Too clever."
His voice took on a hard edge as regarded the Seer, reaching out to brush her hair away from her face as he stared at her intently.
She could feel him probing her mind. She summoned what was left of her strength to deflect him, and for a long moment they were locked in mental struggle. He tightened his grip on her chin and she cried out in pain, even as she felt his presence receding from her mind.
Magician: "You fell in love with him."
It wasn't a question.
Seer: "N-no! It was part of the act. He had to believe me."
Magician: "Liar. I can see into your mind, even as you try to hide it from me."
Was that all he'd found out? She couldn't be sure, but if it was...
He dropped her chin, though his eyes never left her face.
Magician: "You disappoint me, Acadia. After all these years of loyalty, you would run off with that boy, who has never been anything more than a thorn in our side. And waiting so long to come back afterwards, dear me."
Seer: "I had to w-wait so he wouldn't find me. H-he would look."
Magician: "So you claim. Surely you did not think you could stay away from me forever."
Seer: "I came back!"
She spat the words out clearly and without the stutter that had been working its way back into her speech - a small victory, and one that wouldn't last. He smiled cruelly, taking her face in his hands again.
Magician: "We both know you only came crawling back because I stopped sending you the serum. Do not try to play games with me. It won't work."
Each of the three words in his last sentence were sharply and distinctly enunciated, cold steel against her vehement defial. She tried to pull away from his grip, but it was as hard as his words; as she struggled, he leaned in and kissed her roughly on the lips.
~ * ~
Wow, my chapter outlines are going all to hell. I need to stop deciding that my organization of events are awful, and get with the program! So after moving that bit of chapter 40 to this chapter, I realized that this chapter was an awful monster with way too much dialogue, so I chopped it in half. Now the last half of chapter 41 is squished in with chapter 42, so some of chapter 42 will probably end up in chapter 43, etc. This irritates me more than it probably should.
When I'm writing dialogue for the Magician, his voice in my head sounds like a combination of Sherlock and Russell Edgington. You're welcome.