Re: In Silence there may be Peace

The freshly ordained priest turned out highly astute, and clever in his thoughts. He may well have been young, and had not learned to hide emotions from his features - but he knew to listen to things that were not said as much, as to things that were said. She was unsure on how to react to his assertions and for a moment, she merely stared in thought into the distance, her fingures continuing to fiddle and fidget, while the rest of her form remained quite motionless.

He offered her prayers and advice in the same breath and finally, before the silence would stretch into awkward, she focused her gaze on the priest, nodding. "Thank you for your offer on prayers - may the Lord hear them." her voice was soft, and unspoken remained her thought for he might hear from from one who believes, and sins not.

"... also don't get out of your home alone for a while… and think if you have aggravated someone. If your store is an obstacle in anyone's business… Have you been asked to sell lately? Or have your neighbours sold recently their stores?

Ria shook her head softly. "I think, I could not keep my mothers from the store if I tried. They have not had as much excitement in their lives since... ach.. none of us can remember. So no, in that regard I won't be alone in the store." She did not mention all the other places she had to go. Deliveries of ready gowns, picking up of new wares, doing her own sleuthing in the case... on all these, she was quite alone, though she knew were she to finally ask Rinaldo for help, he would probably pay for it. And she would be in his debt. No - she remained stubborn. She would not come to the count, without solid knowledge or information. Briefly, she wondered whether rumors had made it to his estate yet. Again, the count entered her mind unbidden and she shook her head to drive the thought away.

"The warehouse has an odd history. It had belonged to the da Vola merchant clan for many generations, until my late husband gambled and drank them away. It is likely, that whomever he lost parts of the warehouse to might want the whole lot in order to sell? I do not know. But it is no secret that I'll want to buy the whole lot back - without success." She grimaced at the explanation. Her knowledge of history of the warehouse was too spotty. She knew nothing of her husband's contacts or people. How in the name of all that was holy should she ever find out?

She lifted her shoulders in a defeated gesture and dropped them again.
"One of the days this week I'll come to your store too. Until then, you have time to pray and to think. Maria Rosa… do I remember well your names?"
"Yes - but please do call me Ria. Thank you for keeping your eyes and ears open. And of course you are welcome to step by the store anytime. I do owe you a robe after all, thanks to Signora Bellamarre." She reminded the priest, and her smile softened at the thought of the ongoing contract and account between Thurenza and her in regards to the young priest before her.

word count: 564

Re: In Silence there may be Peace

The young woman was obviously thinking hard, considering his words and getting more nervous at the perspective he was opening to her thoughts. She confirmed that she wouldn’t go alone until the situation clarified somehow. Then she told him the story of her warehouse, confessing with it that her marriage had been of the unhappy kind.

”They might try to intimidate and dissuade you from buying with this,” he said thoughtfully. ”Everything you are saying is possible. And I have no more advice to give you… of the kind not to endanger you further.”

He could suggest her to try to learn more about the other owner. Or to try to pretend she was selling her part to someone who would be an accomplice to the plan, just to make the others reveal themselves. But both ideas were unsafe for her. Getting a gondola through the back door into the shop was an act of violence against the shop. God forbid a next one against her, the owner…

Agustin smiled when she insisted to be called Ria.

”I will call you Ria, but I needed to know all your given names in the right order for the prayer. God’s servant Maria Rosa is praying for good health, prosperity and the safety of her shop, asking for all saints’ protection and for help in revealing her enemies, he further stated, to make her understand.

word count: 236

Re: In Silence there may be Peace

Ria listened to the priest's words, her head bowed, staring at her hands. She ewanted to feel better, having confided in the man. But the fear still sat in her stomach like a hard rock. It didn't help that she had all the support she could wish for, both from the priest, Count' d'Este if she asked for even more help,... She still had that sinking feeling it had to do with her late husband and she still was sure it was something she had to solve for herself. Independently. How embarrassing otherwise would it be, if it came out that she fell trap to something her husband might have done years ago?

Still, Father Agustin turned out clever and astute and his assumptions that this may have been a prank, or an act of intimidation were more accurate than she wanted to believe, but had to. She could only nod in response.
Another nod followed, when he listed the saints she should pray to. She did not look up to meet his eyes until he asked whether she had been asked to sell.
She shook her head then, and looked up. "I had not been asked to sell. I had been asked to place a lien on the store, but I refused. And in any case, I do not think that person who asked would stoop so low as to threaten violence for now reason." Again, she shook her head, dismissing Thomas Winchester and his offer in January from her mind. That was a fight Rinaldo d'Este would have well in hand if it came to that and that was a fight she fully intended to stay out of... But she could not imagine either of those two conglomerates to be involved.

"One of the days this week I'll come to your store too. Until then, you have time to pray and to think. Maria Rosa… do I remember well your names?" the priest offered and Ria nodded.

"Please do - You would be welcome anytime, of course. And thank you for your ear and comfort."
She pushed herself upright and straightened her shoulder. At least, she had not been dissuaded from her plans and thoughts. She probably had shared too little for him to do that. However, he had confirmed her mind that this was no accident and she absolutely had to forge forward to try and solve this crime. And that was just her intention.

Aloud, she said softly "I shall not keep you from your duties any longer, Padre - I thank you again and hope to see you soon on my doorstep."

Little did she know, she would see him sooner than expected, when all she held dear threatened to burn down around her...
~ End of Scene ~
word count: 466
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