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Kaleb Reinhardt

""Hey there, wanna be friends?"

0 · 348 views · located in Khaol

a character in “Borrowed Strength”, as played by XShishioX

Description

Name: Kaleb Reinholdt

Age: 18

Gender: Male

Sexual Orientation: Bi or Pansexual, "I'm full of so much love. It's so wonderful and so bright and beautiful, I just can't keep it to myself." While Kaleb doesn't necessarily care about the gender of the person he loves, he doesn't date around. He's fiercely loyal and devoted to the person he's currently involved with. He will never cheat, and he will never abandon someone.

Role: Contractor, "I asked for a gift, I received a curse. Though the intention was good, the reception was twisted. Regardless, the power remains, and IT is a gift. I will use it as such."

Boyfriend/Girlfriend: A few in the past, but since his transformation, none have stuck around.

Do you have a Demon?: Yes. Her name is Lixtradiis. She is a demon of the Light/Creation domain.

Image
(This is him pre-transformation)

Image
(This is a better picture of his horns and ears, though his ears are a bit shorter than that)

Contract Details:

~The Price: Her contract demanded the blinding of his eyes and the darkening of his skin, as if he'd been singed by staring too long into the light. His once white skin has been permanently tanned. His ears grew pointed and his canines became slightly longer. He grew back swept horns at his temples that he cannot grind down, no matter how many times he's tried. His voice has a harsh, reptilian rasp to it, and his tongue is pointed, NOT forked. In short, she made him socially untouchable. Who would ever want to be near someone who looks and sounds like him? This coupled with his sweet and caring nature is the single greatest source of pain in his life.

~The Power Given: In exchange for the permanent change to his body, and the alienation it garnered him, Lixtradiis granted him fantastic powers. He can feel the existence of others around him, like the pit sensors possessed by snakes. This power is always active. His reaction time has increased as a result of his practicing using the power, but this wasn't granted to him by Lixtradiis, he simply got used to it and practiced it. However, if his body doesn't have the energy to keep up with his reactions, it doesn't matter how fast he feels the signals. His other power is the creation of up to thirteen swords of pure light energy that he controls with his mind, though usually one is wielded in his hands and the rest are not summoned unless he truly needs them. The swords can actually be held, as long as he is the only one who holds them. If someone else attempts to steal them, they simply disappear and reappear back at his side. This limits the strain on his body. Any weapon or part of the body is blockable by the swords created, as long as they physically get in the way of an attack. However, they do have limits, he can't simply block a building that's falling on him or a wrecking ball swinging at his face, he has to possess the physical strength required to block an incoming attack, and he does have to sense the assault. Further, blasts of elemental energy cannot be blocked, they must be avoided. The swords cannot move more that twenty feet from him, and they can only cut what a sword made of steel could cut, therefore things like stone and metal armor cannot be cut. Keeping the power active drains him of energy. The more swords in existence, the more it drains him. The farther they are from him, the more it drains him. The swords themselves are leaf-bladed and transparent blue in color.

Height: Roughly 5'10"

Build: Around 170 lbs and muscular.

Contract Mark:

Image
(The mark itself is on the back of his right hand, though he usually covers both his hands with fingerless gloves, regardless of how warm it is.)

Looks: As stated above, Kaleb has tanned skin, pointed ears, sharp canines, and horns on his head. He has blonde hair and had blue eyes, though now they're more of a milky grey. Kaleb is lean and muscled but not overly bulky. He tends to always wear a hood or a sock hat to cover his horns and ears. He wears a black, cloth blindfold over his eyes and walks around with a cane, despite the fact that he can still "see" perfectly fine. He dresses in whatever he feels like wearing, but always make sure he still looks sort of nice, he doesn't want to draw unwanted attention to himself, but he also doesn't want people to dismiss him after a single glance.

Personality

Personality: If you ask him to jump, Kaleb will ask, "How high?" He's just one of those naturally cheery, naturally kind people who you always meet early in he morning when you haven't had your coffee and you feel like death. He always looks out for people he cares about, and is quick to befriend anyone and everyone, even the kind of people who try to be purposefully mean. He's not particularly funny or smart, he's just kind to the point of being overwhelming. He's not overly competitive, but he just can't help getting into any sort of contest, even things like baking or eating contests. He enjoys the feeling of trying hard and having fun, he's not concerned about winning. He's spontaneous and excitable too, like a four-year-old, or someone who just never really grew up.

Likes:
~Juice
~Sports and games (even video games)
~Being up in high places
~Making silly noises
~People
~Jazz Music
~Baby Animals
~Sweet things, like chocolate

Dislikes:
~Soda Pop
~Being lazy
~Cramped spaces
~Things that are, "Boring".
~Spicy things
~Fighting, but he'll do it if he has to.

Crush: Too tired of being crushed, he's given up. At this point, Kaleb just wants friends, and lots of them. He's more than willing to try, but she'd have to be someone really special.

Equipment

A blind man's cane, and a sword sheath without a weapon in it. He, "pulls", the swords from their sheathe when he wants to use them.

History

History: Kaleb was found on the front step of the local orphanage. He was abandoned by his real parents and adopted at a very young age. He learned that he was adopted when he was five, but he didn't really care. At that point, his step-parents were his real parents in his eyes. He had a good life and was raised in a loving home. He was popular with the kids his age, making many close friends very quickly. He started dating around and was generally a very loved boy. When he was 14 tragedy struck. His father died for almost no reason, and the authorities never really figured out why. His mother took multiple jobs to support them, but without an education, and the money his father was bringing in they struggled. She eventually turned to some rather seedy individuals for money, but when they wanted their money back, she couldn't make the payments. They killed her before his eyes. Screaming out against the madness of the world, Kaleb wished for power. He wanted the power to protect, to keep those precious too him safe. He was approached by Lixtradiis. When he accepted her help, his skin burned and his vision went black. He couldn't see, but he could feel them. The men who killed his mother. He slaughtered them without mercy. The next day, when he tried to go play with his friends, they ran from him in terror. He didn't understand, why did they scream? Why did they run? Weren't they friends? He asked his closest friend, his ex-girlfrind Maria, why people were doing this to him. Before she left him for good, she said four simple words, "You are a freak." After that she left him without another word. Since then he's learned what he looks like and hides his appearance. He wants to move on, but no mater where he goes, he hears the same word over and over, "Freak."

Secrets: His horns, his deal with Lixtradiis, and his powers, for the most part. He just tries to act like a normal guy.

So begins...

Kaleb Reinhardt's Story

Setting

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Character Portrait: Kaleb Reinhardt Character Portrait: Lixtradiis
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Beeep... Beeep... Beeep... Beeep... Thwack!

Kaleb slammed his alarm clock on the head in their customary morning greeting. He snapped his eyes open, flung the blankets from his body and jumped down from his corner bed. "Yikes!! It's cold!" He almost screamed. He had went to sleep in his boxers and left the window open a crack overnight. The winter chill had crept in during the night while he slept, safe in his blankets. He dove back into bed, trying to salvage what little heat was left. When he was safe in the gentle warmth of his blankets, he looked around. His small, untidy apartment was just the way he left it last night. Clothes littered the floor, dishes filled the sink, and dust coated the shelves and furniture. Perfect. Keeping the blankets pulled over his body, Kaleb jumped down once again, his cold feet numb against the wooden floor. Padding over to the drawer, Kaleb pulled out the last nice-ish outfit he had. A pair of faded blue jeans that fit him well, a white t-shirt, a cream colored sweater with a quarter zip, some wool socks and a pair of sneakers. "Alrighty! There's no way I can leave before I clean up my mess. I honestly can't believe I let it sit this long. Gross, well, let's pull our sleeves up and do this!"

Kaleb did just that, he pulled his sleeves up and cleaned for a good three hours. He cleaned his whole house, sweeping, dusting, doing dishes and laundry, making his bed and rearranging the furniture. His house was finally clean. It was a small house, but it was his. He bought it with his parent's life insurance and made enough money with the widow's and orphan's fund to supply himself with food and some clothes. Today he'd find a job, the next day, he'd really start his personal mission. He had to find her. He had to find the one who called herself Lixtradiis. She'd saved his life by granting him power and he needed to find her. He had to know why she did it. Why him? "Enough heavy talk for now. Let's find us a job!" He got up from his couch and walked over to the closet by the door. He tied the black blindfold around his eyes and pulled the black stocking cap over his horns. He pulled on a black wool pea coat and stuffed his black gloves and white scarf in one of the pockets. He strapped his cane around his right wrist and an empty sheathe to his waist. A gentleman needed to protect himself after all, a town like this would eat you alive if you couldn't protect yourself, not with the demon quarter so close to his home. There were some really scary people there. After turning off his lights, and putting on just a little bit of incense, so his house would smell nice when he got back, Kaleb locked his door behind him, put his keys and wallet in his front left pants pocket, and headed out the door.

As he wandered his way around town, with no real destination in mind, Kaleb made sure to "see" as much as he could. He was paying specific attention to shops with “Now Hiring” signs. His eyes could no longer perceive visible light, but since he'd made the deal he could feel the presence of other things around him. His power over light allowed him to "see” a combination of thermal and electromagnetic energy in a radius around him. It even allowed him to feel what was in his blind spot. He must have looked very strange. A blind man, "looking" around town. It didn't matter, he wasn't screaming and dancing the whole way, so he must have looked just like any other blind man. Regardless, he couldn't find any jobs close to home, and walking around this part of town after dark was never any fun, so he just decided he’d be fine without for a while. He could always check back later in the week, there would probably be a few openings by then. With that decision made for him, Kaleb didn’t have anything to do for the rest of the day. He just meandered down side streets and walked around town. He had no real place to be, and being home by himself was boring. Plus, if he could meet people, he could make friends. He'd moved in only a while ago, but he hadn't met any new people and made any friends. It was lonely, Kaleb wanted to meet people.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Valentine Crossthorne Character Portrait: Kaleb Reinhardt Character Portrait: Lixtradiis
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Kaleb continued to wander around town. He hadn't found any new job offers. People were hiring, but no one wanted a blind man in their shop. It was mean, and Kaleb felt kinda sad about it, but it was understandable. To make matters worse, Kaleb hadn't heard or seen any sign of Lixtradiis, the girl who was responsible for his his transformation. The holder of his contract, and by extent, his mortal soul. Kaleb felt kinda bad, but it was to be expected. She wasn't the kind to stick around for no reason. She even told him herself, "I'm done with you for now little boy, so I'm leaving." "Wait! Don't go!" he'd said "If you're strong, little boy, come and find me yourself. If you can, if you can make it to where I am, you will have earned the right to see me." It was disheartening, you know? To want to see someone so badly, to thank them for everything they've done for you, but to not know where they are. He had gotten slightly lost, and was unaware of his surroundings. Everything was so new and unfamiliar. Kaleb looked around, getting distracted by the sights and sounds and smells. It was hard to believe a place like this could even exist in a world of demons. It was almost incomprehensible. Kaleb was ripped from his musings with a thud. "Looking" down, Kaleb saw he'd completely bowled over some poor boy. "Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry. I wasn't paying attention to where I was going and I must have knocked into you. I'm so sorry, are you ok?" Kaleb knelt down and let go of his cane, offering his right hand to the boy. Kaleb smiled, flashing his white teeth in a goofy grin, "Can I ever make it up to you? I know a great place to eat, and I dunno about you, but I feel kinda hungry. It is about dinner time. What do you say, can I treat you?"

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Character Portrait: Valentine Crossthorne Character Portrait: Kaleb Reinhardt
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Valentine narrowly dodged a workman, hefty and looming above him, from plowing straight into him. That was one of his major problems when he went out; dealing with the amount of people who seemed as if they would crush him, and didn't have enough mind to even notice that the small demon was even there. He hated cities, and that was all that was left now-a-days. Condensed and mulling, and everything seemed to rush on without noticing him. He didn't want to be noticed, of course! Not with a face like his, not being what he was, but at the same time... Well, he couldn't help it. It was simply in his nature to crave attention. Revel in it, even. The only issue being that it more than often came from quite negative sources. Even other demons made fun of him. His own attention was only momentarily distracted, eyes and on the bulky, grey-suited figure hobbling off without another thought of whom he might have crushed beneath his grandeur frame. Valen's free hand tugged at the hem of his hood, pulling it forward before turning his attention back to where he was go--

His small fame collided into another, his distraction having kept his eyes off of where he had been going just long enough for the next unaware person to pile drive him down to the pavement. He landed with a soft thud, but hit harder than would have been expected. Hands flying down to try and break his fall, the grit of the sidewalk scraped its way into his palms, stinging and becoming raw. He regained himself with just enough time to watch as the plastic bag from the smoke shop hit the ground and tore open, it's contents running into the path of people's steps, one falling into a rain grate, and the one can of soda rolling into the line of traffic. He felt his heart sink. Valen only had so much money he could waste from pick pocketing, and he had nothing left for food stowed away in the run-down building he called his home.

He sighed, turning forward and....

Valen stared wide-eyed at the boy leaning down and looking concerned. What.... What on earth? No one ever cared if they had knocked him to the ground in the past. They'd mutter a sorry, but they'd keep walking, give it not a second thought. But this boy was peculiar, as well. Perhaps his peculiarity could account for his different response? Under quick examination, Valentine could determine blindness; he carried one of those fancy canes, and wore a blindfold over his eyes. Though, wearing a blindfold seemed unnecessary? What did Valen know of being blind, of course, but something seemed off about the boy regardless. He seemed to be... more aware than a typical blind man, regardless of the fact that he'd just crashed into him.

"Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry. I wasn't paying attention to where I was going and I must have knocked into you. I'm so sorry, are you ok?" The boy's concern showed, and Valen could only stare, still keeping his head tilted downward slightly, despite the concept that the boy could not see, as of his deductions. The other boy offered a hand to help him up, flashing a friendly smile. "Can I ever make it up to you? I know a great place to eat, and I dunno about you, but I feel kinda hungry. It is about dinner time. What do you say, can I treat you?"

Feeling even a bit embarrassed at the sudden interaction, he hunched his shoulders, ducking his head a bit more. He began extending his hand to accept the help, but quickly retreated, remembering the blood, and, pulling his sleeves down over his scraped hands, nudged the boy's offered hand away, standing up on his own and nudging him once more to stand up as well.

"I'm fine, I'm fine," Valentine murmured. He chewed his lip a moment, considering the boy's kind words. They were the first kind words Valen had heard in a while, but that was the consequence of hiding away. At least if he hid, he didn't hear the bad one's either. But the idea of food struck him, his attention drawing back to his meal that had been lost in the process of falling down. "You don't need to make anything up to me, I-" he stammered through the sentence, feeling a tad bit awkward about wanting to accept. "I just.... If you're offering, I mean... I've just lost the meal I was taking home. I dropped it."

He bit his lip, crossing his arms so that his hands rested under the opposite arm, though he tried to keep air circulating at the scrapes on his palms. They still stung a good deal, and all he really wanted to do was put ice on them. "I guess if you're offer still stands, and you don't mind....."

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Character Portrait: Valentine Crossthorne Character Portrait: Kaleb Reinhardt
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"I'm fine, I'm fine," The boy murmured. He chewed his lip a moment, considering the Kaleb's offer. "You don't need to make anything up to me, I-" he stammered through the sentence, there must have been something bothering him. "I just.... If you're offering, I mean... I've just lost the meal I was taking home. I dropped it." "Oh no!" Kaleb thought. "He must have dropped it when I bumped into him."

He really wanted the boy to accept. It was almost like that feeling of asking someone out for the first time. Kaleb was so nervous. It would be so great to have made a friend on his first try. He'd moved away from his old home, so he had no other friends in this big city. It had been so long since Kaleb had had friends. Not since Lixtradiis had changed him. He'd lost all of his friends overnight. Just to save his parents. He'd traded his world for them. But... What if... Oh no... What if the boy found out? What if he saw the horns, the teeth, or the mark? He'd have to hide it. It'd be ok, he could leave his hat on, but he'd have to take off his gloves to eat. Contracting with a demon was illegal. People said mean things about contractors. They said even worse things about demons. What if that scared him away? The thought of losing a new friend was heartrending to Kaleb. But still, it was better to have tried and failed then to have never tried at all. He had to try.

"I guess if you're offer still stands, and you don't mind....." "Oh my goodness... Oh my goodness! I can't believe it!" The boy had accepted Kaleb's offer. He'd never been so happy. Not for a long, long time. "Uh-oh..." Now came the awkward part. "Well, see, the thing is, I'm a bit strapped for cash at the moment, but I did just buy a whole lot of groceries. So... if you'd be ok with it... we could go back to my place, and I'll make you something nice. Whatever you want as long as I can make it. I don't mean to brag, but I'm a pretty good cook." Ryan chuckled a bit when he said it. "So what do you think, does that sound good?" Kaleb smiled when he said it. He had completely forgotten about his dilemma with him being a contractor, he was so happy. He didn't even care anymore. All Kaleb was focused on was the boy's next response. He couldn't wait.

(OOC: @Ashes, if Val agrees, feel free to take them back to Kaleb's house. Obviously he'll show you the way. That way you can have a meaningful post instead of a one liner. XP)

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Character Portrait: Valentine Crossthorne Character Portrait: Kaleb Reinhardt
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"Well, see, the thing is, I'm a bit strapped for cash at the moment, but I did just buy a whole lot of groceries. So... if you'd be ok with it... we could go back to my place, and I'll make you something nice. Whatever you want as long as I can make it. I don't mean to brag, but I'm a pretty good cook. So what do you think, does that sound good?" The boy seemed so eager, chuckling a bit with the statement and smiling big.

Valentine was slightly taken aback by this revelation, as well as the other boy's excitement for having company. Wasn't he fearful? He was inviting a stranger to his home without an ounce of apprehension. It was certainly peculiar. Valen wondered if perhaps the boy was just far too eager to be making friends, or was just dumb and didn't have any sense of self conservation. Hadn't he heard about the crime rate in..... well, damn, pretty much any area of the city. Unless you lived in some highly guarded, gated, rich community on high levels, crimes were through the roof, and no one really did a damn thing about it. Why would they, anyway? Its not like it would have helped. Police only ever just pretend to work anyway, and then they go "downstairs" to blow off some steam on the people who cant afford to live on the levels. But hey, that was just how it worked.

He chewed his lip, thinking a bit more on the offer. Perhaps the boy wasn't worried about inviting in dangerous people because he was dangerous himself? Valen was never much good at detecting contractors or other demons. Some demons were pretty obvious, but others blended so well with humans that they were practically human themselves. But Valen certainly wasn't worried about himself, obviously. He wasn't in any danger, nor was he really posing any sort of threat to this other boy. After all, Valentine liked to remain on the defensive unless necessary, and he could protect himself quite easily. He was just a little surprised. This boy had such an odd disposition. First actually caring that he'd bumped into Valen, and then secondly just inviting him into his home on a whim. It just wasn't typical for people now-a-days.

But he wasn't about to turn up the offer, even at how ridiculous it was. He nodded slowly for a while, until realizing the motion would not be noticed, and decided to stop, feeling a bit embarrassed at the action.

"Um, well," He took a deep breath. This situation was not one he was used to being in. "Yes, sure. I'm not really in a position to say no, after all....." He had begun nodding again, and had to stop himself, beginning to follow the other boy as he begun walking back to what was presumably his own apartment.

Valentine followed closely behind, staying no more two strides directly in back of him. He simply found himself staring with wide eyes at the boy in front of him. He stayed quiet for quite some time, unsure what exactly he should have done. This still seemed at least somewhat awkward... He didn't even know the other boy's name.... But he supposed that would be a good start.

"So, aren't you at all a bit reserved about bringing a stranger into your home?" He asked, trying to make a little bit of conversation at least. Not to mention, he was still curious. "You don't even know my name. It's Valentine, by the way.... But seriously, you're letting me come right in. What if I was something bad?"

He regretted his word choice almost as soon as it had come from his mouth. Something. He'd said something bad. Not someone. It was too late to take the word back and replace it. Not without drawing attention to the fumble. He could only hope it would go unnoticed. He tried to keep going, to try and bring the attention of the boy to something else, and make sure the fact that he'd practically addressed himself as a thing, rather than a person, would be ignored. He'd practically run out of any more on the subject, though, and settled for something easier; he'd mentioned his own name, but hadn't asked the boy his.

"So, whats your name, anyway?"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Valentine Crossthorne Character Portrait: Kaleb Reinhardt Character Portrait: Lixtradiis
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"Um, well," Kaleb heard the boy start. Kaleb nodded his head and smiled. He heard the boy breathe hard before starting again. Kaleb was worried. From what he could, "see" and hear, the boy's body language looked reluctant or hesitant, as if he wanted to accept with all his heart, but was having trouble allowing himself to accept. He spoke again, this time a little more sure of himself. "Yes, sure. I'm not really in a position to say no, after all....."

"Oh great!" Kaleb almost shouted. "Oops, sorry, I hope I didn't startle you. It's just been a very long time since I've had some good company, you see. The last person who kept me company... well... she's on a trip, now... She won't be back for a while..." Kaleb frowned a little. He hadn't made any headway on Lixtradiis's location and it saddened him. He'd gotten someone to come over for dinner though, that was a start for at least having friends in town. "That's a subject for another time though." Kaleb finished his earlier train of thought. "Anyhow, let's be off, shall we? Follow me if you please." Kaleb said with a smile, shaking off the worry. He could wonder about her later. Kaleb started off in the direction of his home, having needed to take a moment to get his bearings while trying to appear like he couldn't actually see what was around him. It was sort of difficult, but he hoped the boy hadn't payed too much attention to that.

Valentine followed closely behind Kaleb, staying no more two strides directly in back of him. They walked in almost complete silence for a long time, they'd made it through the front door of his apartment building and were headed up the stairs. Kaleb was just starting to feel the smallest bit uncomfortable when he heard the other boy speak up. Obviously he'd felt the silence begin to irk himself as well and had come up with a way to alleviate it. Conversation.

"So, aren't you at all a bit reserved about bringing a stranger into your home?" He asked, trying to make a little bit of conversation. "You don't even know my name. It's Valentine, by the way.... But seriously, you're letting me come right in. What if I was something bad?"

He seemed to pause when he said this, but at that moment, they'd made it to Kaleb's room and he was futzing around with his keys. "Hmmm... Valentine. What a wonderful name." Kaleb said, almost wistfully. He wasn't really paying attention and was still fumbling with his keys. He hadn't noticed that Valentine had made the tiniest fumble while speaking, he was too busy with those darn keys. They always seemed to vex him. Damn things.

"So, whats your name, anyway?" Valentine asked Kaleb.

At that moment, something occured to Kaleb. He'd really only just recalled what Valentine had said. So, aren't you at all a bit reserved about bringing a stranger into your home? Kaleb thought about those words for a moment, then turned around and faced Valentine.

"Pfft, So that's what you were worrying about." Kaleb said. He was in no way making fun of Valentine, he was trying to make the issue seem as if it weren't something to worry about. "I was wondering why you were so hesitant... Well sure, I don't normally bring people I meet on the street into my home, but you're not a normal person, are you Valentine?" Kaleb asked, but didn't wait for an answer. "No, you seem very sweet, very gentle, and very kind. You don't seem to be murderous and malicious and vile, do you?" Kaleb continued. "No, I brought you with me because you seem like good company and we made a deal that I'd replace your dinner that I ruined. Seems like a good enough reason for me to bring YOU into my home, doesn't it?" he finished, putting particular emphasis on 'you', when he addressed Valentine. "So no, I don't just bring anyone into my home. You're different. Special even." Kaleb finished with a smile.

"Still, if it bugs you, it can't be helped. Let's start over." Kaleb held out his right hand for Valentine to shake and smiled, "I'm Kaleb Reinhardt. If we shake hands and meet each other properly, we aren't strangers anymore, are we? Seems to me like we're closer to being friends than anything else. So what do you think? Would it be normal for me to invite a friend into my house for dinner? Don't worry about the blood on your hands, I'm wearing gloves and I can wash them and get you a bandage later. They're just gloves, they aren't important. What is important, is that right here and right now, you shake my hand, friend." Kaleb smiled while he said it. He knew it was cheesy but he didn't care. He wanted to be friends with Valentine. More than anything he'd wanted in a long time.

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Character Portrait: Valentine Crossthorne Character Portrait: Kaleb Reinhardt
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"Pfft, So that's what you were worrying about." The boy said. Valen could tell the statement wasn't meant to be offensive, but he found himself put down a bit by it anyway.

"I was wondering why you were so hesitant... Well sure, I don't normally bring people I meet on the street into my home, but you're not a normal person, are you Valentine? No, you seem very sweet, very gentle, and very kind. You don't seem to be murderous and malicious and vile, do you? No, I brought you with me because you seem like good company and we made a deal that I'd replace your dinner that I ruined. Seems like a good enough reason for me to bring YOU into my home, doesn't it? So no, I don't just bring anyone into my home. You're different. Special even." The boy smiled kindly.

Valen simply stared up at him with wide eyes and flushed cheeks. After a moment, he broke his gaze, ducking his head down and hunching his shoulders, regaining his shyer, introverted position. All this was so embarrassing. Calling him sweet and gentle and kind and special. Even commenting on his name when he'd introduced himself. He started shaking his head, opening his mouth to say something against the statements. Sure, maybe he wasn't so murderous or malicious. But one could never say anything against vile. Vile, disgusting, pitiful. It was the whole reason he kept away from other people. The minute they saw him, they turned up their noses, only thinking about how disgusting what he'd done to his skin was. It wasn't something he could help, it was simply something he had to do. Basic survival. He wanted to say something, but nothing of the sort would come out, and he closed his mouth, biting his lip and staring at the ground.

"Still, if it bugs you, it can't be helped. Let's start over." The boy held his hand out to shake with Valen. "I'm Kaleb Reinhardt. If we shake hands and meet each other properly, we aren't strangers anymore, are we? Seems to me like we're closer to being friends than anything else. So what do you think? Would it be normal for me to invite a friend into my house for dinner? Don't worry about the blood on your hands, I'm wearing gloves and I can wash them and get you a bandage later. They're just gloves, they aren't important. What is important, is that right here and right now, you shake my hand, friend."

He looked back up at Kaleb, inspecting that kind, caring expression. People like that, the kind who just looked at the good in people, were few and far between. And it normally didn't last very long even in those cases. He hesitated another moment, looking at the offered hand. Kaleb said not to worry about the blood, after all. But this was so odd. He didn't really know how exactly he wanted to react. Kaleb was almost too sweet and kind - probably the sort of person who would take in stray or wounded animals to help them - and Valentine felt like he didn't deserve it. After a moment, he extended his hand as well, meeting Kaleb's hand gently and giving it a light handshake. He stayed quiet for a moment, biting his lip a moment while he dropped the hand that he'd been using, before realizing something.

The blood on his hands..... If the boy was blind.... how did he know about the blood? Valentine hadn't told him about scraping his hands, he'd hid them and acted like nothing happened. He looked back up at Kaleb, staring again with his head tilted to one side. "How did you know I had blood on my hands? I didn't say anything about it..." He fidgeted, pulling his hood a little further over his head for good measure. Logic would have told a person that it was stupid to worry about his skin being revealed to a blind man, but Valentine could never be too careful. At this point, the last thing he wanted was for this kind person to be disgusted with him. To think he was gross. He shook his head, almost wanting to disregard what he'd said, as if it were unimportant, despite how peculiar it was. "Um, never mind. You're being so kind to me and all i can come up with is more questions.... I'm being rude."

He bit his lip, looking a bit apologetic. "Thank you... For being so nice." He said the words softly, and stepped slightly closer. "I'm just not used to it is all."

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Kaleb felt the slightly chilly hand enter his grasp. They shook slowly, Valentine barely holding onto his hand. "There. Not so hard? Right? Friend? Now let's get you inside so I can get you a band-aid and some warm food." Just as Kaleb was about to turn around and finish opening his door, Valentine seemed to be perturbed by something. Kaleb tilted his head. What's wrong? he wondered. "How did you know I had blood on my hands? I didn't say anything about it..."

Kaleb's heart almost stopped. He'd slipped up. He'd noticed a small leaking thermal energy source that smelled like blood, so he'd only assumed. He knew. He must know. He was going to ask him. Here it was. Kaleb almost braced himself, as if he were anticipating a slap.

"Um, never mind. You're being so kind to me and all i can come up with is more questions.... I'm being rude."

It was like a massive weight had rushed off of Kaleb's shoulder's. Valentine had brushed off Kaleb's blunder and was forgetting about it. Hopefully his reactions didn't show too much on his face. Kaleb smiled, brushing off the awkwardness, and looked him directly in the face. He could tell that Valentine still had something left to say.

He bit his lip, looking a bit apologetic. "Thank you... For being so nice." He said the words softly, and stepped slightly closer. "I'm just not used to it is all."

"Well," Kaleb said, "My... nose... is very strong. There's nothing quite like the irony scent of blood. So... I just figured you must have scraped them when I bumped into you earlier. " Kaleb fumbled. "I'm sorry the world hasn't recognized that you're such a sweet boy. It doesn't matter, you're my friend now, aren't you? You treat your friends well, or at least, I do. Now come along inside, I'll get you a bandage. Would you like some ice?"

With that, Kaleb opened the door. The lights were off, so Kaleb flipped them on. The place still smelled lightly like the incense he'd left on that morning, luckily the smoke had dispersed and all that was left was the soft smell or smoke and the understated, undefinable sweet smell that came from good incense. Since he'd remembered to close the window the house was cozily warm, and a warm welcome from the outside's cold.

"Here we are." Kaleb said. "The Reinhardt house. You can hang your closet up in the coat.... your coat in the closet, silly me." Kaleb fumbled then corrected himself, putting particular emphasis on his corrections. He chuckled for a moment at his own blunder. He then walked to the closet and hung up his coat, cane, the empty sheathe, and threw his gloves into a hamper to be washed later. He left his hat on to conceal his horns.

Kaleb then walked to the cupboard on top of his refrigerator and pulled out a white gauze pad, some tape, and a pair of scissors. He then opened up his freezer and retrieved a pair of ice cubes, closing it when he was finished. Once he noticed Valentine put away his coat, he gestured over to the couch.

"Please sit." he said. He then walked over to Valentine and handed him the ice. When Valentine took the ice from his hands, he snipped the gauze pad cleanly into two equal pieces and set them down with the scissors and the tape on his plain, glass, coffee table. "For the pain. Once they feel better I'll bandage you up and we can start cooking. As long as I've got the ingredients for it I can cook anything you like! You can help me too, it'll be lots of fun. What do you say? Sound good?"

(@Ashes, I've made some relatively minor assumptions here about Val. They were all prompted with a question, but I still don't like the way it feels. If you're grumpy about it, I can change them.)

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"Well," Kaleb said. He seemed to try and fumble through the sentence. "My... nose... is very strong. There's nothing quite like the irony scent of blood. So... I just figured you must have scraped them when I bumped into you earlier. I'm sorry the world hasn't recognized that you're such a sweet boy. It doesn't matter, you're my friend now, aren't you? You treat your friends well, or at least, I do. Now come along inside, I'll get you a bandage. Would you like some ice?"

Valentine stared at him again, almost forgetting that there was a question in the air while Kaleb unlocked the door and stepped inside. Valentine was still pondering that little bit of information.... He'd smelled it? Perhaps he had previously underestimated the ability of blind people, but he still couldn't bring himself to understand. Even Valentine could smell blood from more than mile away - a paper cut two doors over in another apartment, a scraped knee on an adjacent street, a gruesome murder on the other side of town - but he doubted humans could tell exactly what part of the body was bleeding from scent alone. There were so many factors in Valen's level of detection. But how would he know? He didn't know anything about being a human, necessarily. Maybe the heightened senses of a blind man could do essentially what Valentine could do but on a smaller scale? He shook himself free of the thought and tried to focus. He had been asked a question...

"Oh, um, yes please...." The phrase came as a sort of mutter as Valentine stepped through the door quickly, his lapse having lasted a second or two at most. As he stepped into Kaleb's apartment, the feeling changed dramatically from the world outside. It was warm, carefully arranged, and had a subtle aroma hanging in the air, most likely from incense. The inside of the boy's apartment really couldn't have been described as anything aside from homey, really. Especially to a boy who currently resided in an abandoned building. He was lucky that where he lived had even had a bathroom.

"Here we are. The Reinhardt house. You can hang your closet up in the coat.... your coat in the closet, silly me." Kaleb chucked at his own fumble as he hung up his own jacket, as well as his blind person cane thingy and an empty sheathe. Valen suspected the fumble might have been a sign of Kaleb feeling a bit jittery, but wasn't quite sure. He wanted to laugh and keep up with the other boy's lightheartedness, but couldn't bring himself to do so. Jitters of his own kept him quiet. It had been too long since he'd interacted with people. What had it been? thirty years since his last contract? Perhaps it wasn't that long to some people, but it was long enough to cause him to withdraw from seeking the attention that he so desired.

Valentine paused with his hands on the zipper of his black hoodie while Kaleb was off to another room. He's blind, he's blind, he's blind, Valen kept thinking to himself, as if trying to convince himself of that fact. It's okay, he can't see me, he wont get grossed out, he's blind... He took a deep breath, only barely convinced that the idea of taking off the extra layer was a good idea, and unzipped the jacket, pulling it off his shoulders to reveal a white shirt with three-quarter length grey sleeves and grey hems. The shirt was plain, if not for quite a few rips in the cloth that also bore dark, set in stains from blood. The skin that was revealed from having the jacket removed and hung in the closet was gruesome, scars coating nearly every inch, some quite faded, but others very pronounced, and probably brand new. The worst scars to look at had to be the ones that stretched across his jugular, or the major veins in his wrists; these areas having been sliced into when he'd needed a lot of blood, and he'd needed it quickly. The wounds looked like they would have killed him, but obviously, that was untrue. The most noticeable scars were on his face though, ruining his sweet expression and mutilating his pale skin. The freshest cut was large, a deep, only slightly healed cut that ran from his cheek on the left side downward, over his lips and down to his chin. The most painful part had been where the lip was split.

He shut the closet and ventured away from it, wrapping his arms around himself awkwardly. He wandered a bit, just examining the boy's apartment and all the little details. It was nice, comforting, and after a small while, Valentine dropped his arms down to his sides, relaxing just a bit. It wasn't as if keeping his arms up was doing anything to hide his scars. There wasn't much he could do about that.

"Please sit." Kaleb said, coming back over and handing Valentine the ice. Valentine took it and quickly found a place to sit on the couch while Kaleb cut up some gauze for the wounds and placed them down on the coffee table. "For the pain. Once they feel better I'll bandage you up and we can start cooking. As long as I've got the ingredients for it I can cook anything you like! You can help me too, it'll be lots of fun. What do you say? Sound good?"

Valentine stared again, a little surprised at being giving a choice of really anything. He had trouble trying to think of something, especially because it had been so long since he'd even had a cooked meal. He'd spent so many years just getting the crap they sell in corner stores, and the idea of a real meal was difficult to fathom. He wasn't even sure what it was that he was going to want to eat.

"Oh, wow," Valentine finally began, smiling sweetly. "I don't even know what to pick! Um, anything is fine really, any hot meal would be good. I can't tell you the last time i had something like that... I don't even have a stove. It's been a long time since i cooked anything, but i can certainly try to help as much as I can." He bit his lip. The information that he didn't have a stove probably seemed a little weird, but he supposed he could easily explain that by just being too poor to fix a broken one. Not that he wanted any pity. He hoped the boy wouldn't pry or try to be a hero or anything.... It would be too much of a hassle.

He fidgeted, turning the ice over his raw palms and feeling the stinging sensation cool. He didn't need all this extra care for his wounds, and he could have simply purified the wounds with his own abilities, had he been alone, but he had to act normal. He didn't want to seem any more strange than he already was. After another moment, he set the ice down on the coffee table. "My hands are getting too cold now... I'll be fine, though. It's just a little scrape, really..." He fingered at some of the scars on his neck with one hand. He'd gone through plenty worse. The scrape was nothing to sneeze at. It was hardly worth the fuss and attention, but Valen couldn't help but like being payed attention to. It was simply in his nature, after all.

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"Oh, wow," Valentine finally began, smiling sweetly. "I don't even know what to pick! Um, anything is fine really, any hot meal would be good. I can't tell you the last time i had something like that... I don't even have a stove. It's been a long time since i cooked anything, but i can certainly try to help as much as I can." He bit his lip. "Poor kid, he must be scraping together a living." Kaleb thought, a frown momentarily surfacing on his face.

Valentine fidgeted, turning the ice over his raw palms. After another moment, he set the ice down on the coffee table. "My hands are getting too cold now... I'll be fine, though. It's just a little scrape, really..." He fingered at something on his neck with one hand. Kaleb's 'vision' only showed him shapes and heat signatures, he couldn't see what it was. Must have been a tag from his shirt or a zit or something. "Alrighty then," Kaleb said, picking up the ice and carrying it to the garbage. Taking a deep breath, Kaleb asked Val a loaded question. "Do you mind if I take off my blindfold? I know that blind eyes are kind of gross, but I just feel better when it's off. If you don't want me to, I'll leave it on." He grabbed a paper towel while he was in the kitchen. Walking back towards the living room and Valentine, Kaleb waited for a response before taking it off. He didn't want to upset his guest. Walking back to Valentine, Kaleb wiped up what little water was on the table from the melting ice and sat next to Valentine. Turning towards Valentine, Kaleb picked up the tape and scissors from the table and set them on his own lap. Then he put his hands out in front of him, palms up and said, "Here, give me your hands. You'll need to bandage them up if you're gonna help me cook. I was thinking some meat, something to really fill you up, I just bought some beef, with mashed potatoes and some vegetables. But you can't do that with blood on your hands, so come here. I gotta bandage you up." Kaleb said with a smile.

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Kaleb took the ice, traveling over to the trash and throwing it away. "Do you mind if I take off my blindfold? I know that blind eyes are kind of gross, but I just feel better when it's off. If you don't want me to, I'll leave it on." He came back with a paper towel, wiping up the condensation that had accumulated on the table from the short moment the ice had been sitting there.

"I don't mind," Valentine answered, tilting his head to one side curiously. Why on earth would he be bothered? But perhaps typical humans had become even more vain and cruel than he'd imagined. What did he know, after all. "There's nothing wrong with blind eyes. Trust me, it takes a lot more than something like that to gross me out. Especially since I don't find that gross in the first place."

He let out a slightly deeper breath, not quite a sigh, but very close to one, although less noticeable. Yes, it was very difficult to gross out someone like Valentine. He was a creature that could put up with living among vermin and strays in a broken down building with leaks and mold and no light. He was something that altered his own appearance just to protect himself. There was very little that could possibly gross him out. He knew what gross was. And gross was him. Valentine couldn't help but think to himself that Kaleb was sort of lucky to be blind just about now. Perhaps not so lucky on any other day, or really, perhaps Valentine was just lucky that Kaleb was blind. He would have figured the boy wouldn't be so nice if he knew what was in his house.

Feeling slightly more down on himself than a couple of seconds and a few self-esteem-lowering thoughts ago, he barely half-watched as Kaleb took a seat next to him, picking up his supplies to fix up Valen's hands, and putting out his own, trying to coax the small demon to give over his scraped palms for cleaning them up.

"Here, give me your hands. You'll need to bandage them up if you're gonna help me cook. I was thinking some meat, something to really fill you up, I just bought some beef, with mashed potatoes and some vegetables. But you can't do that with blood on your hands, so come here. I gotta bandage you up." He smiled as he spoke.

Valentine was almost caught off-guard, having drifted slightly, and almost gave his hands right over, before thinking about it. Sure, Valen could get away with his skin because the other boy was blind, but what about touch? Wasn't that stronger with the lack of eyesight? Sort of like the smell thing, right? Now Valen felt like he was in trouble. What was he supposed to do? He couldn't refuse... The other time, the boy had some gloves on, and it had been so quick. Now Kaleb was going to have the time to touch his skin, and feel all those imperfections and scars. If he so much as touched Valen's wrists, the boy would probably think it was numerous suicide attempts, rather than Valen simply trying to access his ability. But could he really refuse touching the boy for long? It would be rude, first of all, ans suspicious, second of all... He bit his lip a moment, before stopping from pain, as he'd bit the side that was split not too many hours ago. He couldn't risk the wound bleeding again.

He gave over his hands, simply hoping for the best. There wasn't anything he could do about it, except maybe come up with a bullshit explanation for the scars if a question arose. What else was there to do? He watched cautiously as Kaleb started wrapping him up, not sure what do to until remembering that there was actually something he could talk about, to make sure any other topic was avoided.

"Um, right, yeah," he fumbled, finally getting some words out. He smiled, but rather nervously. "Its probably smart to cook with clean hands. Its been a long time, and forgive me I'm kind of nervous being around people. But the meal sounds like it'll be amazing. I would have been grateful for like, a bowl of soup or something." He tried laughing about it, but it came simply as a few breaths alongside his anxiety-smile. That was still all he could think about. He just didn't want this kind boy to hate him.

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Kaleb sat for a moment, waiting for Valentine to give him his hands. When he finally did, he had to suppress a gasp. Val's hands were covered in scars. Thick, lumpy, and painful scars. It was such a shame, the poor boy must live on the streets, fighting for his life everyday. It was a miracle Kaleb found him when he did.

"Um, right, yeah," he heard Val fumble. "Its probably smart to cook with clean hands. Its been a long time, and forgive me I'm kind of nervous being around people. But the meal sounds like it'll be amazing. I would have been grateful for like, a bowl of soup or something." He laughed a little, nervously and obviously a bit shy. Kaleb felt kind of bad, forcing this shy boy to come to his home. Poor boy must have been scared to death. Kaleb finished wrapping him up quickly, finally snipping the last bit of tape and picking up his bandaging supplies. "Alrighty then, with that you're all finished. Now, let's begin!" Kaleb said with a smile. He flounced over to the pantry, skipping just a little bit before turning back around and smiling at Val. "Come on silly, I need your help to make dinner. I need you to chop up carrots and mash potatoes and do all kinds of stuff with me!" Kaleb said. Once he'd finished speaking, he turned towards the kitchen and walked over to the drawers and cupboards, pulling out a great big pot for boiling potatoes, a chef knife, a peeler, a frying pan, a potato masher, and a glass casserole dish with a glass cover. Kaleb then walked over to the fridge and pulled out the meat from the butcher, the carrots, celery, garlic, parsley, and butter. Finally, he rummaged around under the counter in the dry pantry where the potatoes and spices were and pulled them out as well. Kaleb placed all the supplies on the island counter in the center of the kitchen and spoke once again. "Val, where are you, I need you to help me."

When he'd found Val, he explained what they were going to be doing. "So, what's next is very simple. we start by boiling water. While that's happening I'll wash the carrots, celery, and potatoes. The potatoes can go strait into the water once it's boiling. Then we peel the carrots and chop the carrots and celery into slices and leave them be for a while. Next we spice and brown the meat so it's ready to be put in the casserole with the sliced carrots and celery along with a few sprigs of parsley and a few cloves of garlic. Finally, the whole lot goes into the casserole and is cooked covered for 45 minutes at 300 degrees. Before we can eat it, we have to check the meat to see if it's 120 degrees warm. If it's not it has to cook a while longer or else we could get sick and that's not good. So, after we cook it some more we check again and if it's 120 degrees, we mash the potatoes and then dinner is done, sound like a plan?" Kaleb knew it was a lot of information all at once, but it would be easier to finish explaining the rest while they were doing it. Kaleb smiled again at Val, he couldn't help but feel as Val didn't get smiled at enough nearly as much as he needed to.

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Valentine watched as Kaleb finished up the bandaging job and cleaned up all the stuff. Valen found himself sighing with a bit of relief that Kaleb hadn't said anything about the scars. It was impossible not to notice, and he was grateful for the subject to remain untouched.

"Alrighty then, with that you're all finished. Now, let's begin!" Kaleb smiled, standing and making his way over to the kitchen with a skip in his step. "Come on silly, I need your help to make dinner. I need you to chop up carrots and mash potatoes and do all kinds of stuff with me!"

Valentine stood quickly, coming over to Kaleb while Kaleb rummaged through the fridge and pantry for all the needed ingredients. "Val, where are you, I need you to help me."

"I'm right here," He stated, quickening his pace over, getting a little closer to get a good look at what Kaleb was doing. Cooking wasn't something quite so familiar with him, especially not the modern kind, or any kind that tasted good. The idea was survive, not to be pleasurable. It was one of his big differences from other demons. But it simply couldn't be helped.

"So, what's next is very simple. we start by boiling water. While that's happening I'll wash the carrots, celery, and potatoes. The potatoes can go strait into the water once it's boiling. Then we peel the carrots and chop the carrots and celery into slices and leave them be for a while. Next we spice and brown the meat so it's ready to be put in the casserole with the sliced carrots and celery along with a few sprigs of parsley and a few cloves of garlic. Finally, the whole lot goes into the casserole and is cooked covered for 45 minutes at 300 degrees. Before we can eat it, we have to check the meat to see if it's 120 degrees warm. If it's not it has to cook a while longer or else we could get sick and that's not good. So, after we cook it some more we check again and if it's 120 degrees, we mash the potatoes and then dinner is done, sound like a plan?"

Valentine stared at Kaleb for a few moments, genuinely shocked that anyone could remember something like that. Cooking really was tougher than he remembered, or at least, good cooking might have always been more complicated that what he'd done. He nodded a moment, still in a state of information overload, before managing to get anything out at all.

"Wow," he stated, trying to run over the information his head to see if he'd retained anything at all. "Um, yeah, okay! I'll try my best..... how the hell do you remember that kind of thing?" He shook his head, kind of embarrassed of himself. Here he was, a "great and powerful" demon and this one random human happened to be more capable than he was. Now the only thin he could think of was how much he really didn't want this boy to realize that either. Talk about pathetic. An idiot ugly demon who can barely take care of himself. Its one thing to be a little stupid for a demon, but a whole other for being dumber than humans. It was almost a talent in itself. Thousands of years alive and he still had the intelligence of an adolescent.

He sighed, running his fingers over the fresh bandaging job and trying to give a smile back to the other boy, despite the fact that the boy was blind. "Well, okay, you just tell me what to do and when to do it, and hopefully i wont mess up too bad." He gave a light pause, thinking about the situation. He had to make sure this didn't go on too long. It would be better for the both of them that way. "And... After the meal I'll be going home. I think that would be best."

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Kaleb just smiled. "Sorry, that's a lot at once. How about this? Just help me out with what I need your help with and we'll be feasting like kings! As for remembering all of it, it just comes with practice." Kaleb said. Then Valentine spoke again, "And... After the meal I'll be going home. I think that would be best.", and with that, Kaleb's smile faded ever so slightly. "Oh... ok... I'm sorry, you must have a home to go back to. A place where people are missing you. I'm so sorry. Hopefully I won't keep you for too long. I guess I'll just do most of the cooking work so you can be on your way!" Kaleb walked over to the sink to wash his hands, taking off his gloves, scrubbing his hands thoroughly, and slinging a washcloth over his right shoulder before setting to work. While he was still at the sink, he grabbed the big pot and filled it with water. Once it was full, he carried it over to the oven and set it down on the back burner, covering it with its lid so the water would boil faster. Kaleb turned the back burner to the highest temperature and preset the oven temperature to 275 degrees. He then walked back over to the sink, past the island counter top, bringing all the vegetables with him. "Alrighty," Kaleb said, "I need you to hand me the vegetables one at a time so I can wash them. Then we'll slice them. After that we'll spice the meat. Ok?" Kaleb asked. He smiled at Val once again.

They took their vegetables over to the sink and Kaleb washed them each in turn as Val handed them to him. "Ok, now that that's done, can I get you to peel potatoes with this peeler? It's really easy, all you do is grab this peeler, hold it like this, and scrape it along the surface of the potato until all the skin is gone." Kaleb explained. He demonstrated on a potato before uncovering the pot and plopping the potato into the now boiling water. "Once you're done with all of them, I need you to cover the pot with the lid and then leave them be, they need to cook for 5 minutes. Once that's done it'll be time to bake them with everything else in the oven. Sound good?" Kaleb asked with a smile. Having company over was so infectious. He couldn't stop smiling. It had been so long since Kaleb had had company.

Whilst Valentine set to peeling potatoes, Kaleb sliced vegetables and spiced and browned the meat. He did so with almost lightning speed, preparing for their dinner as quickly and efficiently as he could. Finally, when Val had finished with the potatoes Kaleb was done with his portion as well, he'd set all the vegetables in the casserole with their spices and was waiting for the meat to finish browning and the potatoes to finish boiling. "There," Kaleb exclaimed, "now we're all done. Unfortunately for now, we have to play the waiting game. That's the only downside to baking. You get all the flavor, but it takes forever." Kaleb explained, mock pouting just a little when he got the the part about waiting. However, he was secretly overjoyed that Val would have to stay with him. Val was such a sweetheart, he was such good company.