With: Sarnai, Killick, Brandy
Where: The Bowels of the Northern Castle
When: May 16, 877 ROK - Evening
Sarnai: "Think Liam's friend will be forthcoming?"
Brandy: "What's his deal?"
Prisoner: "Took 'is heart. He got no…"
Killick: "What do you mean?"
As Killick grabbed the torch and cast light into the cell, Liam turned and braced himself. He was here because of a missive from his village, that this was Merrick, that this was one of his childhood friends. Someone who had done more than just welcome him in when he was a lost boy who stumbled out of the woods. Someone who'd played with him, come up with pranks with him, stolen fruit from orchard trees to snack on while splashing in a forest stream, reveling in the little bit of harmless crime they'd done until one of the adults came around and chastised them and put them to menial work as punishment. Worth all the trouble, all the same. Liam's first childhood crush was Merrick's older sister--a silly crush that went nowhere.
Liam hadn't seen Merrick since he'd stopped visiting his village, though. Not since Liam had been bitten.
Even so, when Killick's torchlight flickered across the chained man on the other side of the bars, Liam recognized the cut of his jaw, the exact shade of his brown hair, the line of his cheekbones. It was Merrick, and Liam didn't even really think about the decision. He had the key in his hand. He unlocked the cell. He went inside to kneel by his friend and reached out to touch him.
But Merrick's eyes snapped open, and he lunged against the chains toward Liam with a sudden start. If this young man had no heart, it certainly wasn't stopping him from moving. Liam leapt back on reflex, anger surging in his veins.
"Merrick, it's me," he said, firmly, tamping down on the way that the anger always seemed to surge up too easily in him now. This was his friend. He wouldn't let werewolf instincts control him. "It's Liam. Calm down! We're here to help."
Merrick snarled out some kind of response, the words too twisted at first, but when he couldn't force his way loose from the chains, he slowed and quieted, though still straining at them, to get closer to Liam. There was something about the way the light hit his eyes that made the irises seem like great empty voids, and his skin was paler than it should have been.
"Liam?" the chained man said, the first word that actually sounded like a word. He tilted his head a bit to one side, then the other, the motion conveying almost a distance from the moment, a disconnect. "Yes. Liam Lostchild... What are you doing here?"
Liam's words choked up in his throat. This was his old friend, but it wasn't him at all. He glanced over to his companions as he grappled with this moment. Something was horribly wrong here.