(1310-08-26) The Next Best Thing
Summary: Unable to do anything directly, Matthieu de Rocaille issues additional orders from his desk.
RL Date: 26 August 2018
Related: Her Secret

August 22, 1310 - Rocaille Townhouse

"If things weren't difficult enough for you, I'd suggest we head off to Hellas at first light and rendezvous with Raoul," Gabriel de Montreve remarked grimly.

At the moment, he and his charge, Matthieu de Rocaille, were at his cavernous study. As always, the Cassiline's back was by the corner, situated by the window and with a clear view of the rest of the room, arms crossed over his chest and vambraces gleaming on his forearms. Firelight flickered over the space's white paneling and the minimalistic decor; typical of the occupant, who seemed to shy away from the D'angeline tendency to be extraneously lavish and ostentatious.

The ducal heir's broad-shouldered form was by the large fireplace, absently toying with a strip of parchment between his fingers. Lidded eyes moved over the single sentence inscribed within, recognizing the handwriting.

we found them.

He crumpled it up and tossed it into the flames, features wreathed with flickering shadows.

"But we can't," Matthieu said simply, looking over at his friend.

"No." Frustration played over Gabriel's sharp-featured face. "We can't. Still, it's a disconcerting coincidence, isn't it? That Livvy nearly gets killed around the same time you disappear, and Raoul leaves Terre D'Ange because of it?"

The Rocaille said nothing to that, at least not yet, fingers absently tapping against the mantlepiece situated above the hearth. "There's no reason to suspect a connection just yet," he said finally, pushing away. Walking stick in hand, he moved towards his desk with heavy steps. "When the only one that exists is our relationships with one another as children."

He reached for his stylus, and a sheet of paper. Gabriel's eyes followed the gesture like an eagle.

"What do you intend to do?" he wondered.

The tip of the stylus found black ink, words inscribed on pale paper in the sharp flourishes characteristic of Matthieu's handwriting.

keep me updated. send an agent to Hellas to keep watch over Raoul d'Albert. no intervention unless absolutely necessary.

"The next best thing," Matthieu replied, before dripping wax at the end of the strip and applying his signet upon it.

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