A Foreign World
November, 1862. A last battle is held in Lexington, Kentucky, cornering the Union army against the Appalachian Mountains. A surrender is filed and the Civil War ends. Now it is the middle of the month, and reconstruction has begun...
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SnowClaw of Windclan

"I need to drop something off to our Senator," Tabby stated, holding a thin white envelope between two fingers as she headed up the marble steps of the Senate building. Bella and Pauline flanked her, the first of the two heading up the steps rapidly, almost fast enough for her ankles to show. She opened the door and let Tabby take it, leading the way into the Senate building before setting her hand on the side railing and watching the men in the room with the expression of a wild lioness watching its prey minutes before the kill.

"Senator Bailey, this is a letter, a suggestion for a bill, really," Tabby said, holding it out.

1/31/2010 #91
Star the Foxhound

"Thank you." Bailey took the letter, giving a small nod in greeting. It was always good to hear about the views of the people.

1/31/2010 #92
SnowClaw of Windclan

"It is no problem." Tabby smiled as Bella's gaze, which had been raking the room, moved to the Senator and locked for a moment, following his movements as she assessed the way that he carried himself. She saw the pale skin, the weak stance, and felt anger, the need to hold dominance, rise up in her chest. She let it settle, still watching with the same predatory expression as before, before she approached. "Hello. I am Bella Leon."

1/31/2010 #93
Star the Foxhound

"Nice to meet you Miss Leon." Bailey nodded in greeting and smiled faintly.

He noticed the way she assessed him, feeling uneasy about it, knowing that he really wasn't much to look at... not since he'd been wounded.

1/31/2010 #94
SnowClaw of Windclan

Bella took a step forward, her shoulders coming forward in turn as if she were a cat stalking towards its prey; then they straightened out and she looked at him, her eyes tracing the pale complexion and thin smile. "Bel-la." Tabby's placent tone wafted through the room as she watched her neice, the woman the image of a lioness down to the mane of black curls surrounding the strong, pale jaw. She turned and aknowledged her with eye contact, then turned back to Jim. "It is good to meet you as well, Senator. It is quite a pleasure to us to know what goes on in this office." Tabby wrung her hands on the front of her dress.

1/31/2010 . Edited 1/31/2010 #95
Star the Foxhound

"And it is always nice to know that there are people such as you who take an interest in what goes on in this office, Bella," Bailey replied.

1/31/2010 #96
SnowClaw of Windclan

Despite her ability to read body language, including Aunt Tabby's, she did not pay attention to the woman, for she had been strangled in the rush of a game of cat and mouse, had taken on the predator's mindset in the relationship. "I take an interest in what affects me and my own, Senator Bailey," Bella stated, watching him with a scrutinizing expression. Poor Child, thought Tabby, a man only wants to see those eyes behind a gun in a duel.

1/31/2010 #97
writingbythepower

Victor marched back into the Senate, breathing heavily. He didn't truly think about anything other then bringing down Mr. Flynn. I'll having him crying back to his mama in no time. He'll be gone, and then I'll have nothing else to worry about. He walked into the room, wasn't paying attention, nearly ran into a young lady. He looked up at her, was caught by her face. She wasn't beautiful, but she was pretty and caught him for a moment. He smiled quickly and nodded apologetically. "Excuss me, miss."

2/1/2010 #98
SnowClaw of Windclan

Bella's head snapped around to face him, rustling the frame of black curls around her strongly jawed, pale face. She watched him for a moment, her slanting blue eyes boring into a spot above his shoulder in a prominent glare. The man should have watched out where he was, and stayed out of her path. "It is alright, Senator. I should have been more careful of where I was, meddling in mens' affairs like this." The act of a helpless lamb, as Southern women were supposed to put on, was lost on her, as she appeared only as a lion painted white.

2/1/2010 #99
writingbythepower

He looked at her, smiled. She had something, some sort of energy. It wasn't everyday that a woman tried sarcasm on him, and he found it interesting. "Not at all, miss. I should have seen where I was going. Mens' affairs are something of a trouble, and can affect the mind. Luckly for yourself, women seem to be immune or surpass all of men's troubles." It was a ploy, something to see how she would react. He wasn't thinking about Flynn now, he was thinking of this little game he was playing. He rather enjoyed it, thought it could turn out interesting.

2/1/2010 #100
SnowClaw of Windclan

"Oh, I don't know what it must be like, being a man. I can't begin to think of all of the responsibilities you must have." Bella locked eyes with him for a moment, a hostile expression written as plainly on her features as a note on a piece of fresh paper. She meant none of the words; there were razors hidden in her tone, as if her glare and agressive stance weren't enough. She put on the facade only because it was expected of her, but it was clear to see that the acts were highly artificial. Tabby wrung her hands and Pauline looked away.

2/1/2010 #101
Star the Foxhound

Bailey watched the two in silence for a moment, not even sure if either one of them realized he was still there. He looked away from them and picked up his things before turning to leave, walking past them as he headed towards the door of the chamber.

2/1/2010 #102
writingbythepower

Victor watched the body language, heard the tone. He had done these treats enough, had played enough people to know where to find the hidden messages. He smiled, continued to enjoy the game. He could take the challenge. "Well, miss, I'm certain that you have you're own fine share of responsibilities. Some don't understand what it is like, don't appreciate it." He looked over to Tabby and Pauline, sayed in a whisper, "The weak." He thought he could send her a message, thought she would either fall or accept. He was hoping accept, hoping he could have a non-aggressive conversation with her. At least, for a moment.

2/1/2010 #103
SnowClaw of Windclan

Bella watched for a moment, the condensed, feline power behind her movements evident as she stepped forward, her shoulders moving slightly forward, straightening still, in a similar motion to a stalking animal. She set a thin, white hand on the side of the table, watching them with the same evaluating expression. She was aware of the filthy creatures that senators were, hardly gentlemen; Bella dropped the facade. "I am Bella Leon. Your name is...?"

2/1/2010 #104
writingbythepower

He watched her every move, thought as she walked. He felt like a dying man, being stalked by a vulture. He laughed inside, knowing that she wasn't prepared to deal with the likes of him. "Senator Victor Cromwell, at your service." He grabbed her hand and kissed it lightly. He wanted to get a reaction, was hoping for one. Must see where her breaking point is, when she'll finally attack. He had become intent of discovering how he worked, how she thought. It was his new puzzle, and he was rather enjoying it.

2/1/2010 . Edited 2/1/2010 #105
SnowClaw of Windclan

Bella looked down at her hand after he kissed it, the familiar hostile expression remaining on her face as she turned back to Victor. "It is most interesting to meet the men that are deciding factors in the government," she decided, using near the same words that she had used with the other man, Senator James Bailey. In reality, she rarely gave more than a penny for what men had to say, as it didn't often have anything to do with her. "I would be most interested in meeting Mrs. Cromwell."

2/1/2010 #106
writingbythepower

Victor gave a slight smile, saw she knew she had noticed the ring. Or, he thought, Maybe she has that ability to know the truth. She's very good. "Unfortunately, Mrs. Cromwell is not here, but in Tennessee, my home state." He looked over to a pair of seats, decided to act. "If you would like, we may sit and talk now." She was hostile, very aggressive. He wasn't used to men being like that to him, let alone women. It intrigued him, making him want to know how she acts.

2/1/2010 . Edited 2/1/2010 #107
SnowClaw of Windclan

"I do not object to that," she stated firmly, without waiting for him to lead her or even allowing him to walk in front. She came forth with her shoulders moving with each stride, standing straight and moving with obvious purpose. The woman sat down in the chair of her choice, watching him. A chill wind moved through the room, barely touching the strands of the woman's charcoal mane.

2/1/2010 #108
writingbythepower

He sat down across from her, took note of everything she did. She wasn't going to be easy to understand, but the challenge intrigued him. "Tell me about yourself, Miss Leon. Where do you come from, where are you going?" He let it be very open, be very general. When he tried to understand someone, he prefered them to become specific, allowed him to better understand. He used the exact opposite when trying to manipulate.

2/1/2010 #109
SnowClaw of Windclan

"I am from Atlanta and I am here to stay with my aunt and my cousin." Bella stated, setting both hands on the chair, "Now, tell me about yourself, Senator. I do not know more than your public face." There was an implying tone to the strong, almost masculine voice, which she used on a daily basis to pressure others into doing what she wanted them to do. She pushed most of the people in her house around as a habit, and even if she wasn't trying her presence was overpowering.

2/1/2010 #110
writingbythepower

Victor gave a slight shrug, and chuckle. "I'm not much of an interest. The people are what I'm concerned with. Please, go on, I'm very intrigued." He lied through his teeth, trying to push her. He wasn't going to let her get what she wanted, no matter how big or small. He wanted her to feel backed into a corner, sooner or later, so he could see who she really was. Animal instinct will begin, he thought, And true character will reveal itself.

2/1/2010 #111
SnowClaw of Windclan

Bella narrowed her eyes, agitation rising in her throat as she moved into a more powerful, bold state, watching him. "No, please. I am interested in what you have to say." She had moved forward to the challenge, preparing herself for a collision of wills. Her ferocity was fairly well known in the county, but talked about behind closed doors and by old maids during the balls.

2/1/2010 #112
writingbythepower

"Old men have enough to say. Young women never speak enough. Please, Miss Leon, I'm certain that you can give something or more interest then politics." He was going to win, and that was the end of the matter. It didn't matter if she tried hard, if she had even prepared, he wasn't going to lose an battle like this. And, more importantly, he was going to discover what made her so interesting. The fire was building, he could see it in her eyes, and he prepared for something that would eventually come.

2/1/2010 #113
SnowClaw of Windclan

"I asked for you to state something about yourself, Mr. Cromwell, if you do so recall," she stated, her hostile stare fixing on him, following the slightest movement and detecting it the moment it had been initiated. She squared her jaw, expecting fully that she would get her way, as she almost always did. The senator was being difficult, and had such made himself a prey object.

2/1/2010 #114
writingbythepower

"Ah, but I asked you first, Ms. Leon, if you do recall," he fired back, no longer trying to be charismatic. The gloves were off, this was war. And he wasn't going to lose, not if he could help it. He had been in the Senate for years, and fought against some of the greatest political minds of the past few decades. Yet, never had he had so much fun arguing with this girl, never had it been so difficult either. He was enjoying it, no matter how much it wouldn't seem so. He was beginning to wonder if she would jump the table and physically attack him.

2/1/2010 #115
SnowClaw of Windclan

It had gone on long enough. Bella leaned forward, setting both hands on the side of the chair. Her voice lowered, almost guttural sounding. "Senator, I asked you to speak on yourself. I did as you requested and now I request that you do the same for me." Her tone had began to form into spitting, similar to an infuriated cat. The hair on the back of her neck, hidden under the thick ebony mane, bristled. "I ask that you give me the due respect that I deserve. That is not being given and that is going to be a problem. I know your kind, Mr. Cromwell. You are a liar and a scandal. You are a senator, and it is not hard to see beyond your facade. It is really quite poor, Mr. Cromwell."

2/1/2010 #116
writingbythepower

He laughed, gave a very long and jolly laugh. When he finished, he locked eyes with her. "Now doesn't that feel much better, miss? Although, I can hardly think of you as that. A worthy opponent, truly, not like any other lady. I can hardly say that I've ever been able to hold off such as yourself, definetely not in this Senate. You've got an energy, Miss Leon.... Bella. I like it. Your remind me of myself, but less controlled. You're too obvious. You think you can see who I am, but I know who you are as well. And don't think that I care, I don't. I find it rather.... interesting. And I believe that we could learn a lot from each other. And, more importantly, use each other." He looked over for a moment to seats four and five, unoccupied, but still a nuisance by their mere existance.

2/1/2010 #117
SnowClaw of Windclan

Bella watched him with a hostile stare, open ferocity reflecting in the slanting blue depths of her eyes. "What is there for me to gain from this?" Luckily, Tabby and Pauline were waiting for her outside. They hadn't heard her open fury towards a man, a Senator above all, although they certainly knew about their cousin's rage, as did most of the county, back in Georgia.

2/1/2010 #118
writingbythepower

He smiled. "I thought you'd say that. Well, let's see. How would be the sole impactor on the largest and most important pieces of legislation in our nation seem to you? That seems to fit you right nicely, don't you think? Of course, after that, we can begin real negotiations." He nodded, waited for her to respond. He was willing to compromise, willing to give her more then she wanted or needed. But, in reality, he felt that the original objective, being manipulative for a larger purpose, would entice her enough.

2/1/2010 #119
SnowClaw of Windclan

She narrowed her eyes suspiciously, a catlike expression on her face. "What is to assure me that my influence will be asserted on your vote?" She moved forward, fluid power in her movements although she was not physically strong. There was an air about the woman that asserted, forced the others in the room to aknowledge her dominance. She desired power more than anything. Money was just a side route to the original objective. "I know your kind, Senator. Your promise to me is worth an alligator's tear."

2/1/2010 #120
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