1st Day of Flamerule
It was foolish of me to think that coming back to Baemore would provide a moment’s reprieve from all of the insanity that has been going on. Oh, how wrong I was — and how scared I am to realize that trouble has followed us here, too.
It appears that the bandits have an operation in the city. This sort of danger is just what I had feared and what I had hoped that we were taking care of by flushing out their camp. Knowing that they have been operating on the very doorsteps of our families this whole time is the worst possible outcome for this situation. Not only that, but it appears that they’ve gotten townspeople involved in their illegal plots, whether it be by doing their bidding or by taking the fall for crimes not their own. It’s so difficult to tell what is the truth and what is a lie. Who can be trusted and who is covering up for these vile people?
I am deeply concerned by the fact that Anzo is so clearly involved in this, although comforted in a small way that I sense that he is not complicit. If he were truly one of them, he would not have given me the combination to that safe.
…or would he? The papers inside; they are evidence that he would not want to end up in the wrong hands. Evidence that would condemn not only himself, but Arseni’s brother and sister, for crimes of theft. Petty though they may seem, they point to their larger crime of being involved with the bandits, which will certainly cost them a much higher price. Convinced that I was going to the warehouse whether he liked it or not, could he have given me the combination knowing that this was his best chance to put the information into the hands of someone who may not report it to the authorities immediately?
No, I feel so sick imagining being used in such a way that I can’t bear to consider it any further. Surely he would not do such a thing. Troubled though he is, I have to believe that this is not Anzo’s way.
At the same time, I also admit that I cannot tell if Anzo’s motivations for confiding what little he did are true regret for his involvement or a concern for myself. I was too preoccupied with worry for him in the heat of the moment to realize it, but with a step back, I now recall the way he held my hands, the way he looked into my eyes… It was different from usual.
Intense, I think is the word. In the midst of everything else that is so confusing about this situation, the one thing that I am completely certain of is that he cares more for me than I ever realized or imagined. Perhaps it took the danger of the situation for these feelings to bubble to the surface, but the rawness of them makes it all the more convincing.
Despite myself, I flush as I write these words. I know that I have so much else to worry about besides romance, especially with the situation that we find ourselves in now. And even were I not suspicious of the depth of his involvement in this plot and the meaning of this evidence I’ve found, I have my family to worry about. I feel as if I’ve terribly neglected Sebastian and Father (as usual, Marcella neither requires nor wishes for my mothering) already since I began running around with Aaron and the others. Even in a perfect world where Anzo were not wrapped up in all of this mess, I could never justify to myself allowing myself further distraction.
This is how it always has been.
But is this how it always must be? When will I feel that I’ve done enough and be able to get past the guilt of moving on?
It doesn’t make sense to worry about it now. First, I must decide how I am going to confront him about these papers… and what I do if he admits to the crimes. I have to share this with Arseni too, but not until I’ve spoken to Anzo. I do not know Arseni well enough yet to know what he would do with the information. My heart wants so badly to believe that the information is fabricated and that we can simply burn it, but there will be no chance if it’s reported immediately.
Hopefully I’ll be able to get some sleep tonight. I feel I’m going to need all the rest I can get come tomorrow.