James: "I am not a changeling, but I am changed.... answer my questions and I will let you rest" "The Carniflower only does what it must. As I did and do, neither of us could disobey the King's order, Jocasta and you know that"
"So you are not a creature… but you wish the freedom from choice that we…" the descriptor was a challenge, showed in the time and the squirm Jocasta required to eek out, "Enjoy?"
Equating himself with a Carniflower - the most passive of creatures - was telling… the Green Duke did not want to take ownership of his actions. He wanted to be told. He wanted to obey. Jocasta obeyed because her flesh was no longer her own… but on some level, that pained her. She wanted to be sewing dresses, but instead, she was stealing them…
If the Green Duke was appealing to that mediocre mandate of "must," then he was far weaker than she, her sisters, and her queen had anticipated. Or, he wanted them to think he was.
James: "Tell me what I want to know, and I will let you rest.... I will find you the most exquisite gown, Jocasta. Inlaid with jewels, you would be grander than any lady. Tell us, who brought you and your sisters back".
Joscasta rolled over, onto her stomach, and seemed to force herself to focus on James' face even through the haze of her exhaustion. Propping herself up by an inch or two on her elbows, and covered in dirt, she snarled.
"What question is this? You know the answer. My queen told you..." Jocasta's lips curled, unpleasantly, not too different from the false expressions that had so often graced the once-handsome Duke-to-be's face. "Why should you ask me, now?" Her eyes were blurry, but she looked deep.
"That thing inside you is not one of us. It does not even wear green…." Even if it thought it did.
Her fingers dug into the soil, brittle because of the carniflower, but she showed no discomfort as twigs and bark bit under her nails.
"You ask me what I am, but do you even know what you are?"