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Drake Stuart

"Tch, you humans are all the same."

0 · 406 views · located in The Manor

a character in “Drop Dead, Darling”, as played by pieluver

Description

Image
I'm the new cancer, never looked better, you can't stand it.
Because you say so under your breath.
You're reading lips "When did he get all confident?"

There's A Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey You Just Haven't Thought of It Yet-- Panic! At the Disco


Full name: Drake Matthew Stuart. Self-named


Gender: Male.


Age: He looks to be in his early twenties.


Personality: Drake is a creature of many emotions, some of them conflicting. His desire for personal contact melds with his desire to cause pain. His need to know people, make them like him starkly contrasts with his need to kill them. He loves control, but at the same time he doesn’t want the work that comes with it. He just wants to be in control of himself really. To have a steady flow of food coming in with little to no hassle. Of course, that will never happen.

Drake loves human emotions. He almost obsesses over them. He likes seeing how they work, taking them apart. The putting back together part is where he goes a little wrong. He’d be just as happy seeing joy cross a humans face as he’d be seeing pain or fear, but of course, pain and fear are what he needs to survive.

He loves mind games too. Seeing what the human mind can do, what it can work out, if it can discern the difference between truths and lies. Seeing how far he can twist it. Drake is a clever liar, and anyone who knows him well would be wary of the words that come out of his mouth, because half the time they aren’t true.

Drake is just fine with his status as a monster, it doesn’t bother him much, the only time it acts as a hindrance is when he’s craving human acceptance, when he wants the humans to like him. That’s where his little conflicting emotions come into play. Of course, as he’s been alive for so long, he’s become an expert at mastering his outward emotions.

Drake, as he craves physical contact, finds himself sometimes becoming enamored with curious little human. He’s a collector of sorts. He collects emotions, in a way. Perhaps it has to do with the soul consuming thing. He loves emotion that is directed at him, whether hatred or loyalty. He doesn’t really care, he just wants it.

He can become jealous of others because of emotional expenditures between them. Especially between James and a mortal. Because James is his. Even though he doesn’t always show much interest towards his playthings, when they are threatened he’ll become extremely possessive.

Control is another problem for Drake. He loves it. Control over emotion, control over feelings, thoughts, anything and everything. It’s a complex. He wants it, but he doesn’t want the work. He will go out of his way sometimes to achieve it.

He desires trust and affection, even though he will gladly sacrifice those to fulfill more pressing needs. He needs people to rely on him, and that is usually how he catches his control. He knocks their legs out from under them but then turns around and treats them kindly, still manipulating them quietly. It works more often than not.

Everything for Drake is more than less about him, simply. He wasn’t raised as a human, so he doesn’t dally with human morals, even though he struggles still with some of the more pronounced human emotions. He abhors feeling weak; he abhors his dependence on the souls. But he deals well enough.
Outwardly he’s cool and detached for the most part; it amuses him to act so, and he strives for a smooth exterior. Maybe he enjoys playing the antagonist. He does sometimes, and sometimes he doesn’t. It depends on his mood, how annoyed, irritated, or hungry he is.

Image
Appearance: Drake is 1.8 meters tall, which is about 6’2. He weighs about 68 kilos, which is 150 pounds. He is tall and slender, with a refined grace that took long years to perfect. His white hair, almost white, the albino’s curse, sets him apart from most, as do his iridescent pink-red eyes. His skin is very light, with almost a purplish hue of death just below the surface. He’s fairly thin, and almost looks delicate. Well, he would be if it wasn’t for the air that lingers about him. He seems to carry an aura of death and power at all times, which doesn’t bother him much. While his teeth appear normal at first, he can unsheathe the shark-like teeth perfect for ripping flesh and soul, at will.


Other: As a soul eater, Drake tries to restrain himself from killing people, because that would defeat the purpose of his game. He can’t get to souls unless they’ve been killed by an earthly cause.


Short history: After he was cast out of the heavenly realm, Drake spent a long while wandering as a beast, killing ineffectually. He made a deal with Death after a while, the reaper gave him some of the death lists, and Drake hunted the people until they died, then fell upon them. It was long difficult business, which required much too much patience. After that he met James. And decided that he needed a companion. So he stole the boy away from his already dead family, he was slated to die anyway, stole his voice, and gave him a new life as a half daemon, bound to Drake by need. After that everything was uphill.
For a good while Drake lived in northern England, hosting Galas and luring people in and killing them. He started a new game, which was effectual as well as amusing. He met many different types of people, but eventually they all died. He set the manor alight in his wake, for he was being pursued by some human police force. He managed to shake them and now here he is, in one of his other homes in southern Europe, starting his game up again.

So begins...

Drake Stuart's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wiley Skidmore Character Portrait: Eden Fellsden Character Portrait: Everette Insuza Character Portrait: Theodore Clayton Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Drake Stuart Character Portrait: Laurent Matthias Foxlinde Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: Anderson Fulton
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Things had been positively quiet since Hassan had let loose on the manor and murdered pretty much everyone. It had taken Drake by surprise, set him off his stride a little, but now things were returning to normal, and he was bored. Linnet, who he rarely hesitated to harass, was starting to grow complacent in his opinion, and that meant it was time for another game. He hadn’t told anyone, but James knew by the glint in his eye one late afternoon after the demon returned from the small city not far from his manor that there were plans afoot. Research being done. Schedules looked into. Targets found. Traps set.

And now here they were. James could vaguely smell the life source, it was driving him a little mad, he hadn’t eaten in three weeks, he was certainly reaching his expiration date, but when it came to the games, there was no worry about time. They’d all slaughter each other soon enough. It was the way humans worked. The carrot and the rod. The small male considered the human condition, curled in an armchair after finishing writing some missives for Drake to send out the next day, since the demon was too impatient to write in the fine script the letters required. Drake was in high spirits, grinning all over himself, talking to his mute little servant as he mused over what to wear for the day. All of them were still out, they wouldn’t stir until they were shaken awake, he was sure of it. A nice thump over the head can do that to a body.

“Oh, and James?” James stuck his head up as his name was called to show that he was indeed listening. “Please do entertain the guests instead of just following Linnet around like a forlorn dog. You have a job to do, and you know very well that she can take care of herself.” And the unspoken ‘and if she doesn’t’ hung on Drake’s lips. They both knew that part of the demon hoped that Linnet would get herself killed. Not enough for him to do anything about it though. Of course he wouldn’t, James would pout for decades if he made a foul move. That didn’t stifle his jealousy over the bond James had with her. The spite simmered in the back of his throat. Loathsome human emotions, ruining all his nice things.

While James was still processing the words, Drake scooped him up in his arms. The boy let out a squeak and seized Drake’s neck, startled by the sudden vertigo. After a few moments of being carried, he decided he should take the current affection for face value and not think about the maiming he was sure to receive as soon as Drake introduced the game to the guests.
It wasn’t difficult to know about where Linnet was, if Drake focused a little he could pinpoint the direction her soul signature was coming from. Humans have such a distinct scent. What would be difficult would be getting her to come out from her hiding place in the ballroom.

Drake tipped his head back and let out a roar. “LINNET, COME HERE.” That would catch her attention. He didn’t know if she was aware of the upcoming game or not, but he figured regardless, she could use some extra incentive to hasten her feet. “If you don’t hurry yourself, I’ll drop James from the roof and you can clean him off the ground.” His voice had returned to a casual conversation tone, but somehow it still seemed to boom through the vast room he knew Linnet was hiding in. He was sure she could hear him.

After he’d collected her, a smirk scrawled across his features, he led his merry band out the door, towards the guests’ quarters. James was still perched precariously on one of Drake’s arms, clinging to his neck for dear life, face tucked into the crook of his neck, and the demon didn’t look back once to see if Linnet was still following. She’d know the consequences if she tried to leave.

Once he reached the guest rooms, Drake abruptly released James. The boy staggered to his feet, straightened, and set to work. The red-eyed demon signaled Linnet to stay where she was, if she even needed the urging. She was too skittish for this. So James prodded all the humans out into the main room by himself, lining the groggy figures up in a row. All of them still looked some stage of bewildered, after being prodded awake by a strange child in a strange place.

Drake grinned as James returned cautiously to his side, looking up at him as the demon slung an arm around his shoulder, rubbing behind his ear like he was a dog. Okay, it did feel pretty good though.

“Welcome, friends. My name is Drake Stuart, and I’ll be your host for the duration of your stay here.” Drake’s voice was soft, but it still carried through the room. It was a voice that demanded attention. “We have much to discuss. But first, the introductions.” His toothy smile, on another face, would have seemed pleasant, but on the demon it merely seemed hungry.

“Let’s see, the young one on the left is Mister Anderson Fulton.” He gestured at the male languidly. His eyes turned immediately to the next victim, “And ah, Lady Everette Insuza, as resplendent as ever. And Mister Wiley Skidmore, terribly sorry about your hat,” Drake smirked, but the bored expression returned to his face quickly, “and of course, Mister Theodore Clayton” He gestured again, and then turned slightly to the last member of their little party. “And lastly, we have Mister Laurent Foxlinde. A pity about your children, but what is life without a little tragedy?” Drake shrugged apathetically, but there was a growing light in his eye.

“Now that we’ve finished with the introductions, let’s get on to the rules of this game.” James, who up until now had been leaning against Drake’s side, his eyes half-shut like a cat, straightened, wariness growing in his features. “This is a rousing game of Last Man Standing. Last one alive wins. You can kill how you please, granted you find your own weapons. If you plan to bleed to death, or cause another to, try not to do it on the carpet. It takes James a devil of a time to get the stains out.” He tugged the boy’s ponytail, causing his head to bob.

“And if you dally, or try to run away, you will be taken care of quite swiftly. I promise, it will hurt quite a bit before you finally die.” He paused for a moment, his piercing rose eyes digging into his victims. “And stay out of my rooms, any studies, the attic and the library. For goodness sake, don’t destroy anything or steal food from the kitchens. I will provide food as necessary. Also, while the ladies are quite lovely, if I find any signs of fornication, I will personally rip your limbs from your body.” He smiled pleasantly. “And for the love of God, do not hurt my servants. Well, I suppose James can stand a stabbing or two, he certainly deserves it, but don’t kill Linnet, she’s still new.” he gestured towards the girl so they’d know who he was talking about.

At this point, he released James, who stared up at the white haired male for a second, an incredulous expression on his face, then turned to move over to stand by Linnet before Drake changed his mind and bit his throat out again or something. His hands were already up to sign something to her as he moved behind Drake, and his focus so wholly taken that he didn’t notice the demon very deliberately shift his weight to trip his servant. James stumbled, grasping a fistful of the back of Drake’s coat. Drake smirked, but the boy didn’t seem to notice, he was too focused on moving over to stand beside Linnie, careful to give her a respectable berth. It was difficult for him, he was a contact oriented person, but he knew that Linnie wasn’t partial to people being in her comfort zone.

I’m okay!” James signed at Linnie, his back to the other humans. He was slowly teaching her sign language so they could communicate, and he was quite proud of her progress so far. ‘Thank you’ He continued, scrunching up his brow to show the depths of his gratitude. While he loved Drake with most of his heart, he knew that if Linnie wasn’t around, Drake would be much more apt to cause him bodily harm. Perhaps he was playing the jealousy thing a little too hard, and he did feel bad for keeping Linnie trapped here with his own selfishness, but he was keeping her alive, wasn’t he? Isn’t that what she wanted? To stay alive? He sent her a smile before turning his head back to the going-ons with the humans.

“I suppose that’s everything. Happy hunting, my dear friends! If you have any questions, direct them towards Linnet.” He paused for a moment, as if remembering something. “Oh, and if you see any ghostly figures, don’t touch them. They don’t like that.” With that, a grin on his face, Drake turned around and disappeared around the corner.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wiley Skidmore Character Portrait: Eden Fellsden Character Portrait: Everette Insuza Character Portrait: Theodore Clayton Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Drake Stuart Character Portrait: Laurent Matthias Foxlinde Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory
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#, as written by slcam
Hell. Hell was the only word Linnet could use for this blasted manor, and there was no reason to think of it otherwise. In her first few days here, everyone else who had been brought to the manor died. She was the sole survivor of Hassen’s massacre. And since then… Well, living with a soul-eating daemon is hardly pleasant. James was probably the only reason she still had even a shred of sanity, the only reason she still clung to her life as though it was still worth keeping. Things had been rather quiet for several days when Linnet started to notice that something was different. It was not long before Linnet made the startling discovery that there were others in the manor.

Linnet had peeked into a bedroom, looking for an item she had hidden a while before, when she realized that the room was occupied by an unconscious female. She quickly ducked out, then popped her head into another room. It was similarly occupied. She was rather tempted to slam the door behind her, but thought better of it at the last moment. The door clicked shut, hardly disturbing the quiet hall. Linnet’s left hand began trembling, jarring the doorknob, before she pulled it away and clasped the trembling limb to her chest. She tried to still the trembling, but even gripping it with her other hand made no difference. Her body seemed numb with fear, as though it was no longer hers to control. She closed her eyes, wanting to crumple to the floor and scream her frustration. It was clear now that Drake was starting a new game. And how she hated him for it.

Finally, she regained control of her legs and began running down the hall. Her mind moved almost as rapidly as her feet. Unwillingly, she thought back to the horror of what had happened to her, and what she had been forced to do. Now it was all starting again. She hardly knew what to feel, other than a horrible despair. Finally, after just a moment of running, she came to the ballroom. The room was large, ornate, and richly decorated, not that it had much use. It was easy to tell by the slight gathering of dust, especially as one got further into the room. Even with the manors rather unconventional cleaners, there was just too much room to keep fastidiously clean. The ghosts never had much of an attention span either. With the long, silky curtains shut, the room was rendered dim and uninviting. Which was exactly why Linnet chose to hide here.

She pushed herself into a small alcove near the middle of the room, carefully scooting around a small, circular side table holding a vase to seat herself on the ground. She rested her back against the wall, feeling the handle of the knife she hid in her apron sash through the material of her dress. Linnie tilted her head back until it was propped against the wall and blankly looked at the short, half-dome ceiling of the alcove. She willed herself to calm down, trying to breathe deeply and slow her thoughts. At first, her efforts seemed for naught, and her left arm gave another few sporadic twitches in response. Finally, she stilled. She stared vacantly, though a mix of anger and fear still lurked under the surface.

It felt as though only a few moments had passed, though she had been sitting motionless for much longer than that. She finally realized how uncomfortable she was getting and began shifting slightly to get the blood flowing again. Suddenly, Drake’s roar split the silence, demanding that she come to him. She jumped, hitting the table and sending it rocking. A small noise of alarm burst from her lips as she quickly steadied it. Linnet held her breath for a moment as the fragile vase wobbled dangerously above, raising a thudding clatter as it rocked. Finally, it settled back on its base and she heaved a silent sigh of relief. Judging from Drake’s tone, breaking something right now may not be the best move.

Still, she was loath to leave her hiding spot. No doubt, Drake could easily track her down if he so desired, but Linnet always felt a measure of security when she was hiding. Even more, she had an idea of what he wanted her for. He probably wanted to explain the game to the new ‘guests.’
Linnet desperately wished she could just be left alone, even though she knew that would not be possible. Drake was rather stubbornly persistent with these things.

Linnie was still debating whether to come out when she heard Drake’s threat. To an outsider, it would seem teasing or empty, but she knew how easily Drake would carry it out. He had effectively seized her weak point, and she now had no choice but to obey. The girl would never willingly cause James harm. The boy was far too dear to her. And so she shifted her slight form out from her hiding spot, careful not to bump the table again. As she stood, she quickly swiped the dust from her skirts and walked toward the open door. There was a slightly guilty look in her odd eyes as she surveyed Drake’s form, noting to her dismay how he held James in his arms. No, his threat had not been empty at all, had it? She lowered her eyes before she was close and stood just out of arm’s reach.

Drake seemed satisfied, pleased even, with her obedience and soon led her down the hall, back where she had come from not long before. She trailed behind him like a sulking child, every once in a while shooting glances up to James. He wasn’t looking at her though, so she lowered her gaze each time. Linnet’s hands unconsciously clasped behind her back, and she fingered her dagger through the fabric it was concealed behind. As always, it was hidden so its form would be indecipherable, but Linnet touched the thing so often for reassurance, it was not hard to guess that something was there. It was the same knife James had given her more than seven months ago, when this nightmare had started. Linnie had not parted with it since.

It was not long before they arrived at the hall near the back of the house. Linnet felt rather jittery, wondering if Drake would force her to go wake people up. She heaved a small sigh of relief when, after dropping James, he motioned for her to stay where she was. She would rather not touch anyone if she didn’t have to, and it seemed for now she would not. Her dual colored eyes shifted over each form as they were pushed and prodded out from their respective rooms. If anyone glanced her way, she quickly ducked her head to avoid eye contact. When James finished, he hesitantly returned to Drake.

When the daemon slung his arm around the boy, Linnet began to worry. She recalled that last time, when Drake was explaining the rules he had throttled the poor boy until he was purple. Not to mention the time not long after when he ripped at the boy’s neck with his teeth, just to prove a point to Linnet. She shuddered, unsure of what she would do if Drake pulled a similar stunt now. She could hardly bear the thought of James being harmed, but there was nothing she could do in this situation. Her odd eyes flashed toward the bewildered bunch of ‘guests’ for a moment before returning again to the floor. Impulsively, she scooted so her right side would be partially obscured by Drake’s form, but she did not come any closer to him.

Though Linnie was tempted to space out during the introductions, she forced herself to listen and memorize the names. There were two females and three males this time. She could not help her curiosity and stared at each face for just a moment as they were called. Still, she ended up ducking her head if anyone so much as glanced her way. At the last man, Mr. Foxlinde, Drake’s comment caused Linnet to scowl slightly. Her hands, clasped behind her back, clenched until her knuckles turned bloodless. She hated the daemon terribly, but it was not like she could do anything about it.

He began on the rules, and Linnet noticed James’s sudden tension. She straightened in response, her eyes flickering between Drake and James, wondering what injury might be inflicted upon the boy. She ignored the rules, they hardly mattered to her anyway, and focused on the pair before her. Still, she winced when Drake told them James deserved to be stabbed and was faintly surprised that he cared at all if she was killed. Finally, he released James, increasing Linnie’s surprise. The only harm that came to the boy was a small tripping.

James recovered and moved over to her, but kept a bit of distance. She quickly signaled her concern and James confirmed that he was alright and thanked her. She smiled slightly, a small twitch of her lips, before her attention was again attracted to Drake when he said something about the guests asking her questions. She subtly moved closer to James, almost as if to hide behind him. It was fairly clear Linnie was uncomfortable with the idea of questions. She was close enough to the boy that he could probably feel her body heat, though she was not touching him as yet. She was still too distracted by the possible threat of the new guests.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wiley Skidmore Character Portrait: Eden Fellsden Character Portrait: Everette Insuza Character Portrait: Theodore Clayton Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Drake Stuart Character Portrait: Laurent Matthias Foxlinde Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory
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Laurent shot up quickly gasping for air with sweat pouring down his face and back. He tightly clenched the sheets of the bed he was laying in as he slowly came to terms with the fact it was a dream. He glanced around the room, but saw nothing in the pitch black darkness. He let out a deep sigh. A dream... No. A nightmare.

Even now, he could still the glowing crimson irises of the monster burning in the back of his mind. Laurent had certainly had horrific dreams before, but not like this. None of them had ever been so... crisp. Laurent swept his eyes across the room, his vision finally adjusting to the inky darkness crowding him only for it dawn on him that something was wrong. Very wrong.

A growing sense of dread began weighing him down as he slowly realized that this was not his bedroom. He recognized none of the furniture or the decorations within it, but the most disturbing detail being the carefully boarded up and secured window. So well was it covered that not even the edges glowed from the outside light. Laurent put a hand to his forehead to try to make sense of the situation only to startle himself when he realized his prized work goggles were still firmly strapped to his head. Unfortunately, when he took them off, he noticed a small spiderweb crack had taken up residence in the left lens. Tragic. He realized he was also wearing his same work clothes from the day before although they were wretchedly wrinkled and desperate need of a good washing. Even his leather shoes were still firmly on his feet.

Then, like a roaring river, memories from the previous night flooded his mind. He.. he had been coming home. He had just finished a difficult day at the company. They were experimenting with a new type of engine that would not only require less coal, but would also be significantly lighter. Yes... he had been exhausted trudging home late at night when he was ambushed. A strange man with white hair grabbed him and although Laurent fought, he quickly realized he was out muscled. All the same, he resisted until he felt a hard thwack across his head.

Now, here he was in a strange room all by himself with a strange boy...

Laurent's attention snapped instantly to the boy standing at the side of the bed. The boy was staring at him blankly. He only proceeded to point at the door which when it was opened, Laurent had no idea. Instantly, the sight of the child washed over him a fresh wave of panic. His children! Where the bloody hell was his sons? Rage consumed his whole body at the idea of that white-haired bastard laying a finger on his family.

As Laurent was preparing to leap out of the bed and tear the whole manner down, an overwhelming sense of grogginess and confusion set over him. The boy grabbed his hand and pulled him out of the bedroom while Laurent had no choice, but to obey. Wearily he glanced back at the door and saw that it had the number five on the paneling. He was led through two long hallways until they reached what appeared to be an entry hall. He saw four others lined up looking just as confused and bewildered as himself. The boy tugged him to stand in the line as well before retreating to the imposing figure standing in front of them.

Laurent's fury flared in response at the figure. It was him. The white-haired lunatic who had dragged him here in the first place. Laurent could feel his arms shake as the adrenaline coursed through his body, but he was held still by some unknown force. He heard him begin speaking momentarily disrupting the wicked curses coursing through his mind. So, Drake Stuart was the dastard's name. The family name was unfamiliar and foreign, and by the size of the mansion, he felt as if the name should have been somewhat recognizable. He introduced the four others, but Laurent hardly paid attention. He was far too occupied staring daggers into their "host's" face. Then, Laurent just about lost it on his own brief "introduction".

“And lastly, we have Mister Laurent Foxlinde. A pity about your children, but what is life without a little tragedy?” There. He saw it. The glint in Drake's blood red eyes as he made eye contact with Laurent. The same glowering stare that had haunted his subconscious. There was no mistaking the evil glittering there and Laurent felt a shiver crawl down his spine. Whether the chill was from fear or anger, Laurent would never know.

Vaguely, he heard him spout about some nonsense of a game and rules and such, and if Laurent was thinking clearly, he would have hung on to each word and analyzed it to the deepest extent. However, he was too busy struggling to voice his outrage and the answers he was craving.

Finally, after ten minutes of speaking, Drake simply whirled around and seemingly disappeared around the corner. Laurent felt an audible pop in his mind, and could feel control rush back into his body. Without hesitation he took off after the sociopath.

"You bloody bastard! Where the hell are my sons?" he yelled running to the corner, but as soon as he was there, he saw that Drake was gone without a trace. He clenched his fists and whirled on the next best thing: his servants. He marched straight up to the young lady that was supposed to be taking their "questions". He wavered slightly when he saw the bitter expression on her face, but persisted anyway. He was a worried parent, and the longer he didn't know where his sons were, the more frantic he would become.

"Alright miss, since your master is too cowardly to answer himself and fight his battles fairly, I will take my answers from you. Where are my sons, and what the bloody hell is going on? One night I am coming home from the company and the next thing I know I am being attacked and abducted like a child!" Laurent kept his gaze steady with the young woman gauging her reaction. She looked extremely uncomfortable and upset. Could she be here against her will as well? Glancing at the others, they also, to his dismay, were in the early years of adulthood, and not much older then children themselves. Laurent visibly wilted. What had he done to involve himself in such a situation?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wiley Skidmore Character Portrait: Eden Fellsden Character Portrait: Everette Insuza Character Portrait: Theodore Clayton Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Drake Stuart Character Portrait: Laurent Matthias Foxlinde Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: Anderson Fulton
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Wiley’s head hurt. He could feel a lump swelling between his skull and the pillow under his head. Strange, why was he in bed? He’d been headed to work. Had he fallen? Was he in an infirmary now? He cracked his eyes open. It was dark in the room, but he knew immediately that he did not recognize it. His brain was too sluggish, swimming around aimlessly, for him to really comprehend what that meant for him.

At first he didn’t notice the child standing next to him, jostling his shoulder. When he did, it was in an unremarkable way, a slight trace of confusion on his face. He sat up on the bed, which he’d wrinkled by laying on top of, and rubbed at his eyes.

“Excuse me, but ca-oh” He started, only to be stopped mid-sentence by the boy grabbing him by the wrist and tugging him to his feet with a surprising strength for his small frame. He stumbled after the silent youth, who pushed through the door and into a posh looking hall. What was he doing in a house like this? The last thing he remembered was bumping into a man and a sharp pain in his head.

Out in the hallway that connected the rooms, there were already two people standing with their backs to him, and a man with unsettling red eyes, plus a timid looking girl standing near the door behind the man, looking like she was about ready to flee at any moment. Perhaps the expression on the girl’s face, or on the pale man’s should have made him feel afraid, but he was mostly focused on the fact that there were two girls in the room. Already his face was flushed with nervousness. What if they talked to him? As they neared, he saw that the girl was only wearing a night dress. He chewed his lip as he was deposited next to the tall girl.

The dark haired male sent a few glances at the two others, and also at the other girl that was in the corner. Not too long after, two more gentlemen were standing on his other side, one that looked about his age, and another who seemed perhaps a little older, but still had no facial hair.

Wiley kept his mouth shut as the red eyed man began to speak. As memories slowly returned to him, he recognized the man as the one who’d run into him. Drake Stuart? Never heard of him, but it sounded an excellent name for a villain.

The man began listing their names, but Wiley forgot them quickly as he remembered who was standing right next to him and heat flooded his face again. And when his name was mentioned, his hand went to his head like he hadn’t realized that his hat was gone. Or his tie. Oh, that had been a nice tie too.

The first inklings of fear dripped into his body at the mention that they would have to kill each other to make it out of this place alive. His brain was still trying to avoid those unpleasant feelings though, so instead it focused on the ladies around him again. His face couldn’t have possibly been redder, and his shifted on his feet, his knuckles white as he clasped his hands together.

Wiley absorbed the rules, trying and again failing to ingrain them in his flustered brain. Hopefully he wouldn’t mess up. Drake left, and almost immediately, as if a curse had been lifted, the room fell into motion. The man at the end of the line, Laur…laur…lauren? Laurent? something like that, stepped forward, positively trembling with anger, yelled about his sons as he tried to chase after the wraith of a man, but to no avail, because the master of the house was obviously long gone, as if from thin air.

Then the man turned towards the two servants, the young looking one in the suit and the young woman in the dark coloured dress who was hiding behind the former though she easily dwarfed him. He continued yelling. It was making Wiley feel skittish. He worried his hands, his eyes flicking this way and that. What could he do? Should he talk to these people? Was Drake even being serious about them killing each other? There were two ladies here. But somewhere in his brain he knew. Someone was liable to snap and start the bloodbath. This was all so surreal though. As if he’d gotten trapped in a strange and cruel story. But what kind of person could possibly be sick enough to think of something like this?

Wiley turned his attention from the yelling man, trying to keep himself calm. Everything was all happening at once, now that it was sinking in that he was probably going to die in here, a knot was forming in his stomach. He wanted to flee. He turned to hurry back towards...somewhere? He had no clue where anything was in this place, but maybe he could find a nice room to hide from all this in. But he was so involved in his trembling that he ran directly into the man who'd been standing at the end of the line. A-andrew? Anderson? Something like that.

"T-t-terribly sorry, sir" he said, flushing even further at his own clumsiness, under the impression for a moment that he'd lost his hat when he collided with the man, only to remember through the faint haze of a headache plaguing his mind that he'd lost his hat some time earlier. Wiley still wanted to flee, but he couldn't possibly just turn tail and run now, after so rudely bumping in to someone, so he just stood awkwardly, staring at the ground, pigeon-toed and bumbling his fingers together, unsure of exactly what to do at all. Oh, this was a right mess, wasn't it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wiley Skidmore Character Portrait: Eden Fellsden Character Portrait: Everette Insuza Character Portrait: Theodore Clayton Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Drake Stuart Character Portrait: Laurent Matthias Foxlinde Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory
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#, as written by Skwidge
A dull pain throbbed somewhere in the back of Everette’s mind, slowly growing in magnitude to the point where it could no longer be ignored. She slowly regained consciousness along the crescendo of muted pain. Her form stirred within the softness that surrounded her. That didn’t seem right, but she was not yet aware of anything to do any real considering.

It was dark… really dark. And all too quiet. Perhaps she should bother to open her eyes now. A muffled sort of noise trembled through her vocals as she finally came to and her eyes crept open after a few tries. It was still dark- quite the surprise. Ever blinked a handful of times, quickly wincing as she came to actual awareness. The smallest of hisses slipped through her lips as she tried to support herself onto her hands. The pain that had previously only been a far-off echo in the recesses of her mind now came to a sharp stand at the forefront of her consciousness. With that sharp, unexpected reminder of some tragedy that had occurred, Everette buckled from the tension just after having woken up. What little amount she had managed to raise off of the bed went crashing right back into it.

Lifting a hand to rest it against the side of her face in a vain attempt to locate and subdue the beast that had shot at her while she was unawares, Eve tried once more to pick herself up from her position. Her mind was finally catching up with her, and the more it did, the more a sense of wrongness grew in warning. At least the pain seemed to be retreating once more…. Or at least the pain in her head. It was then that another feeling registered to her. A bit of stiffness at the neck, one she knew would be uncomfortable the moment she actually made an effort to change the position. She had been lying face down on the bed, seeming to have almost been unceremoniously dumped onto it without a care, her head turned to the side so that she would not suffocate into the pillow her head had been resting upon.

It was an unfamiliar position to her- she was a side sleeper, never one to slip into the absolute nightmarish and inelegant way she was now. She turned as soon as it was possible for her to, ignoring the invisible grasp to her neck as she shifted it out of the position it had likely been in for hours. She would have to take care of it later. But for now her eyes were scanning across the wall closest to her bed, as that was all that was available for her eyes at that moment, adjusting to the darkness. There was no doubt that this was an unfamiliar place.

As Everette turned her head to take in more of the room now that she could actually discern shapes in the darkness, it suddenly stopped on another figure simply hovering by the door, staring at her. She stared right back, mind slowly calculating through the situation. The boy blinked, she blinked. They seemed to simply stare at each other for who knows how long, when her brain finally registered a warning and the boy moved from his stock still position. A sharp sense of unease panged through her gut, but Ever didn’t really get the chance to voice her unease as the boy was then at her side, grabbing her hand with clammy fingers.

She shivered at that, but for some reason she did not complain, nor did she try to wrench her hand free from his purposeful grip. Curiosity gripped her judgment now rather than the natural sense of fear, rather than the reaction of flight rather than fight. Instead she did nothing, simply allowed herself to be led out of the room, shifting slightly to the point where her clothing seemed to drape her form the way it was supposed to. It was disheveled, that was for sure, and no doubt so was her hair. Not that that was her current concern.

She was being led through strange, unfamiliar halls by a strange, unfamiliar boy. The eerie silence she had first experienced before she had come to seemed to hang over the whole building. There were no other sounds than that of her own footfalls. The boy’s own did not seem to make a noise, other than an occasional shuffling against carpet or flooring.

It seemed as though ages had passed as the boy led her through the winding maze of wherever it was that she was. They finally came to a large, open room, and the first thing that Everette noticed was the line of people forming. Nothing large, simply three other people so far, each looking just as she did- ruffled and unfamiliar with these surroundings. A shorter girl stood to her approaching left as she was led to the line as well. She was in little more than her smallclothes, it would seem, as a simple nightgown was all that hung over her form. To her immediate right was a tall young man who seemed fairly uneasy and apologetic, as if he didn’t quite understand the correct feelings he should be harboring in this situation. One other male stood beside the first one- the same height as she was, Eve mused for a moment.

The boy released his grip on her hand after he had seemed satisfied with positioning her in the line, and he walked off once more, no doubt to retrieve another if her deductive reasoning was anything to look at. How many of them were there, and why were they here? There still seemed to be some sort of block in her mind, she was still obviously missing a very important chunk of information, but what it was….

It was then that Ever finally finished looking over the others beside her and her gaze actually shifted to the center of the room, finally realizing that there were two others. A small girl in the background, she registered her first but really didn’t pay her any mind, for when her eyes landed on the tall gentleman who seemed to command all attention, everything else was drowned out. Funny how she hadn’t recognized to notice him before that moment; rather a contrariety to his intended display.

It was serene, really, what transpired within that closed-off interaction that seemed to occur just then, though no doubt he wasn’t paying her any mind. Even when their gazes seemed to meet. But appearances were deceiving, she knew. No fear seemed to stir within her despite the dire-some situation she was in, despite the fact that she should be freaking out like a child or a throaty old bird. But the only emotion she had was simple curiosity and a grip of herself. She did not waver under his presence nor the supposed stare he had leveled at her, she simply looked on with a blank face, blinking when needed.

His eyes…. They were the color of the roses in her garden, illuminated in the night. Such a pang of familiarity, yet completely foreign and uncharted. So otherworldly- different. Everette’s head tilted a fraction as she mused upon them from her still position in line with the others. With the sights of those orbs and the presence that swirled behind them, it was then that she remembered what she had been missing previously. Her memories of the other night.

She had been out amidst the gardens wandering, trying her best to escape the suffocating presence of fake smiles and otherwise simple looks of happiness for her- looks that, if she didn’t already know, might have been taken seriously. But it was too easy to see through that thin veil- greed, relief, hate. Those were the true intentions that hid in such plain sight. It was not only the people who had driven her away, both fake and ever so monotonous, but the fact that loomed ever increasingly, only strengthened with what that night had meant.

Everette was expected to marry in a month, to be condemned to a swirling vortex of captivity with the sharp, devastating need to escape life and her own torrential emotions, yet with the absolute knowledge that she would be stuck forever. To live a dull life of servitude under an unfamiliar man, to keep up draining masks of fake appearances and endure the utter simple minds and malicious tongues concealed with sweet words and passive aggressive inclinations. A true internal crisis whose force would be unmatched, unwavering, unending. That was hell.

She had been wandering in the large gardens around the estate, doing her absolute best to stave off such negative, hopeless thoughts and simply enjoy what she had in the moment- silence, solitude, sweet air, freedom. She had wandered far from the house, putting as much distance as she could between herself and the life she was cursed to bear. It was then that she had heard an unnatural snap in the twigs of the bushes, had felt an eerie presence behind her. She was simply not fast enough to react, and perhaps… she didn’t really want to.

Everything went dark after that, and her memories picked up at the point where she had awoken in the unfamiliar bed of the manor. So, she had been swept away from her home in the middle of the night by a strange man to a strange house, and the only thing she felt towards that fact was burning curiosity; it interested her greatly as to the reason why this man had done it. But by the rigidity and animalistic nature that seemed to swim within those pink orbs, it would no doubt be anything but good.

But anything would be better than the life she had been kidnapped from.

The boy had returned with yet another figure, an older gentleman who seemed to tower over every single soul in the room, and Everette wondered if the young boy would disappear once more, when he slipped to the side of the white haired man, looking rather comfortable.

It was then that the man spoke, introducing himself as Drake Stuart with an attention commanding voice despite the gentle timbre of it. Everette did not really shift in her seeming comatose handling of the situation- she simply watched on and listened without any real conflict showing on her gentle face. It was then that Drake mentioned introductions, and with the toothed smile that seemed to just barely make it to his harsh eyes, it happened once more. There was an unmistakable inkling at the back of her mind, something that bothered her to no end, like there was something important that she knew, something amiss with the man who spoke to them. But for the life of her she could not put her finger on it.

Drake finally began addressing each of them, the shorter female to her left as Eden Fellsden. The name seemed the vaguest bit familiar, but Everette was uninterested enough to simply not dwell on the piece of information. She had not really expected to be among the first to be introduced, but really, what was she expecting anyway? Drake’s gaze focused on her, and he spoke her name, adding a rather flattering bit afterwards. Not that she was impressed or moved in the slightest. With his attention came that irritating itch within her mind, the information dancing just out of reach. Her eyes narrowed slightly in response to it, but otherwise she did not move. She seemed unable to, anyway, which was increasingly strange to her.

Drake continued with the introductions, naming the three gentlemen beside her as Wiley, Teddy, and Laurent. The little bit he added with Mr. Foxlinde’s she would never have expected. The man had children. Well, it wasn’t entirely surprising in itself, the male was certainly old enough to have them. It should have been unsettling, it should have put quite the distance between the five of them and their host what with such a flippant remark. But the only thing that came to mind was that with kids came marriage, and Ever utterly despised the idea. Despite the fact that it was obvious that this was a different situation, Eve also could not help a bit of detached malice towards the thought of kids as well, with only the information she had- upper class children. Spoiled brats, loud, irritating, posh, superiority complexes.

After Drake had finished, he moved on to the actual business of why they were all there. A game, apparently. She noticed the boy shift uneasily at the man’s side, and a small sense of wariness settled over her as well. As he explained the general idea of this event, he introduced the small boy as well, James.

So it was a Battle Royale that they were made contestants of. A game of life but inevitably death. It was then that the rules were set, a hesitation of blood towards material possessions, a warning in regards to wide spread physical limitations, boundaries set, necessities met, and a mention of fornication that made Everette’s eyes widen. It hadn’t occurred to her that such a thing might happen in the midst of trying to kill each other, but the vices of the flesh were wide spread and varied. She didn’t dwell on the thought too long, lest complications arise.

After all, Drake was still speaking. He made it clear that neither one of his servants were to be harmed, yet went back on that statement in the next flow of the subject, mentioning that James needed a good stabbing. That made her uneasy as well- why would he suggest such a thing, if there was the easy chance to lose the boy? That annoying, wiggling thought returned, still as shrouded as ever. It was driving her off the wall in a softly increasing sort of way. The girl was introduced as well- Linnet- and it was then that Everette actually looked her over.

She was young and rather small, though no smaller than Fellsden. She looked wickedly uncomfortable and as though she were a doe, ready to bolt at any split second in regards to any motion. Another pang of unease hit Everette, though in a different sort of manner. Drake then released his hold on James, and the boy tried to move back to the girl, but was tripped on his way over. Subtle hints of worry slipped around her features, but the boy seemed fine. He used his hands, motioning at the girl, and for the first second Ever was confused. But the answer followed in the next moment. He was a mute.

Drake abruptly butted into her thoughts, announcing that he was done and bidding them fare hunting. It seemed he purposefully, and delightedly, burdened the girl with having to answer questions when she obviously wanted nothing to do with the room at the moment, and it was then that the white haired man turned and left, leveling one final piece of information in regards to ghosts. Great.

The older gentleman, as soon as they seemed to regain control of their bodies once more, shot off across the room after Drake, yelling profanities and threats. Everette took a step back in regards to the distasteful display, though she would never have blamed him. Everyone seemed rattled- well, everyone but her. For a moment Insuza wondered why she wasn’t as upset as the rest of them. Had she already accepted her fate? Was she simply incapable of caring? Was she broken as a human being?

There wasn’t an answer, and when Laurent came to a shuddering halt- apparently their host had disappeared without a trace- another focused look came upon her face. Something was off, there was no doubt about that. But it seemed that she was cursed to just miss the answer she might have in her mind towards it. It would do no good to frustrate over it.

Laurent then whirled on his toes, suddenly facing back towards the group, a hateful and unpredictable look to his face. He suddenly approached on the poor girl, showering her with angry questions. It bothered Everette, and a soft frown draped across her face, obviously unamused and seeming almost disappointed. She was moving a moment later, eyes set easily on the male who was bombarding the young servant girl.

As soon as she came within reach of him, she stepped up to decrease the obvious difference in height and swiftly moved her hand against his cheek. The force intended behind the blow would not be particularly hard nor was there be any intended malice behind it. Just a motion to jar him back to reality and out of his frenzied state. It seemed she may have moved a bit too slowly, as he seemed to come to a bit of a realization himself as he glanced back towards the rest of the group. As he turned and her hand was closing in, at the last moment she may have faltered a bit, and so she waited to see if it would land.

Regardless, if it did or did not, she spoke up with a small tremble to her voice, one which she coughed softly to clear before continuing. “Apologies, but terrifying her further is likely to produce the opposite intended effect. You’re scaring her.” The first bit had been to explain the reasoning behind her attempted action, but it seemed Everette grew impatient with herself and added the last bit to get to the point that she was actually concerned with.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wiley Skidmore Character Portrait: Eden Fellsden Character Portrait: Everette Insuza Character Portrait: Theodore Clayton Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Drake Stuart Character Portrait: Laurent Matthias Foxlinde Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory
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Clayton likely could have slept a lot longer had he not come to the realization that he was not in his own bed. It was the unfamiliar scent that lingered on the sheets that woke him in then end and the sudden worry that came hand in hand. Where was he? He wasn't sure, his memory foggy like a puzzle missing its pieces. His brow furrowed and he tossed the bedding off of him, glancing around the strange room. It rang no bells; he was positive that he'd never been there before. Uneasily, he slowly inched toward the edge of the bed, rummaging through his memory for some recollection as to how he'd gotten here - he'd been heading to the market when... thump. There was a sharp pain in the back of his head as he remembered having been hit from behind. He'd not seen his assailant coming, nor had he gotten a glance at their face. It seemed likely that he had been mugged... so was this place some sort of hospital? The thought, though he believed it reasonable for a moment, was almost immediately proven false by the figure that opened the door.

Teddy found himself staring back at a young boy he didn't recognize, one who didn't seem to fit the role of any sort of doctor. Right. So this place was no hospital. But, if not... He cleared his throat, watching as the child slowly and silently approached. "Er, 'scuse me, but what exactly is this place?" The boy provided him no answer, merely grabbing the elder's forearm and pulling him from his place on the bed. Instinctively, Clayton attempted to pull away, but the boy's grip was like iron. He quickly decided that it would be in his best interest to play along, and so he followed the child out into the hall.

As soon as he'd stepped out from the darkness of his room, Clayton's free hand went over his eyes to shield them from the blinding light. His eyes adjusted quickly, and so as soon as he could see once again he began to observe his surroundings. One of his uncles, whose house he'd stayed at for a few months, had been an avid hunter, his home littered with the heads of his kills. Though Teddy had found such an interest both unappealing and rather cruel, he'd not been saved from the man's hunting stories. One such tale was of a time in which the man had gotten lost in the wood. He'd gotten out of his horrid situation by finding anything that held a sense of familiarity and finding his way back from there. If only Teddy could, somehow, take a peek out of one of the boarded up windows, he might recognize the area and...

Before he could finish the thought, he found himself placed next to a row of other people who looked just as dazed and confused as he did. His eyes narrowed, having another try at grasping the gravity of their situation before his thought was interrupted yet again. His attention, and the attention of the others, was immediately drawn to a man who seemed almost otherworldly. This could have easily been due to how he suspiciously knew each and every one of their names, or the malicious aura he seemed to give off, but the detail Teddy seemed to fixate upon was his eyes. It was as though rubies had been placed where his pupils should have been – completely and utterly fascinating, but terrifying as well.

The man, who introduced himself as Drake Stuart, began to explain just what was going on through the wild grin upon himself. After naming all of his 'guests', he proceeded to explain that this was all supposed to be some riveting match of murder, to which Theodore laughed aloud. He hadn't thought the man serious, but his mind was quickly changed when he noticed the grim and panicked expressions of those around him. Absentmindedly, Clayton rubbed the back of his head while he listened to the rest of the explanation. They were expected to slaughter one another for a reason Theodore didn't seem to understand. It certainly wasn't something he'd expected to occur during his simple run to the market, and he still couldn't wrap his mind around the fact that this was really happening.

As suddenly as he'd appeared before them Drake seemed to vanish, leaving his servants behind to do the explaining. Clayton opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out. It seemed, for one of the first moments in his life, he was relatively speechless. Hmm. However, it didn't seem that his speechlessness was mutual, as the moment Drake began to leave a man went rushing after. Angry words came flying from his lips, which was understandable but did nothing to lessen Clayton's headache. He seemed to head toward the female servant next, still somewhat livid. Teddy merely shook his head, mumbling something about this all being some horrid dream. Unfortunately, his gut told him that wasn't the case, but he would have liked to believe it.

A woman - Ms. Everette or something of the sort? - seemed to be attempting to reason with the man, - Laurent, possibly? - and Teddy decided he'd attempt to help. The last thing they'd need was panic; lest the actually begin to kill one another. "Oi, pal," he said, walking over to the small crowd, "I think this fine lady's got a fair point. Your anger's warranted, 'specially if you've got kids, but gettin' upset isn't gonna help anyone." He smiled, hoping to somehow help ease tension. But, in a situation like this, it felt like he was attempting the impossible.

"Though I've got to ask," he said as he turned toward the female servant, who seemed visibly uncomfortable with the commotion, "Just what's this all about? I mean I got the gist, 'last man standing' 'n all. But even so, that doesn't quite make sense. Why would we want to kill one another?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Everette Insuza Character Portrait: Theodore Clayton Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Drake Stuart Character Portrait: Laurent Matthias Foxlinde Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory
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Laurent seemed to calm down almost immediately, a wave of relief rushing over Clayton. Their current situation was maddening enough as it was, and having people panic would almost certainly make things a million times worse. It seemed, luckily, that the man was more sensible than Theodore had given him credit for. However, he noted the parental ferocity and passion he'd had and decided, then and there, that he had no intentions of getting on Foxlinde's bad side. After all, a good father would do anything for his children. Clayton had to wonder whether or not that might extend to murder.

Murder. It bugged him that he were even considering that the idea that someone who stood a few mere feet away might resort to killing someone. Such concepts had always seemed so foreign to him, and yet now each and every one of them was being forced to partake in a twisted game. How truly horrible. He allowed his eyes to wander the room, getting a peek at each and every one of the guests. These people all seemed nice enough. Upstanding citizens and all that jazz. If this Drake Stuart wanted a bloodbath, why pick them? They weren't criminals, they weren't killers. Why, why, why? Did he enjoy watching previously normal human beings become savages? Clayton felt that the answer was, most likely, yes.

The girl that they'd crowded around finally spoke, her eyes trained on the floor as she did so. Though she was certainly not literate, her point came across perfectly well. She spoke to him, a bit of resentment in her voice, her eyes locking with his. Though Clayton was no skittish man, he felt undeniable anxiety for a reason he could not explain. She had a point - a good one. He'd had his own worries about Foxlinde only a few moments before, the man being a father. The rest of the lot, their motives were unclear. Who knew what they had left behind and just how willing they'd be to return?

Clayton quickly realized that he'd frozen, his mouth hanging open, speechless. He quickly sealed his lips, taking a tentative look at those around him. No, to lose his composure in a moment such as this would be utterly stupid. She was baiting him, quite obviously, and if he began to distrust the others without reason, he knew it would end problematically. They'd given him no reason to believe them capable of murder and he wasn't about to peg them as such.

Still lost in thought, Clayton had been slightly startled to find the quiet boy, who he had hardly noticed, leaping in front of Linnet and slicing through the air with his hand. Some horrid growl escaped the lad's throat and Clayton quickly found himself stepping back. Obviously, the child had gotten tired of their questioning.

He watched as the child began to move his hands, turning back toward the girl. Theodore quickly decided that the two of them were communicating. He'd never seen any sort of signing, having lived with so many loud-mouthed relatives who didn't know a lick of anything aside from traditional English, but he assumed that this had to be what it looked like. With narrowed eyes, he glanced at the other two before turning back to the servants. He cleared his throat, hoping to possibly catch the duo's attention.

"Pardon my interruption, but I think we're all a bit curious as to what you're saying over there, if ya don't mind sharing," he said, trying to maintain a somewhat polite tone lest he sound a bit harsh. He even added a wide grin; he definitely didn't want to pick a fight with either of these two - in fact, making friends with everyone here just might be his best chance of survival.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wiley Skidmore Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Drake Stuart Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: Anderson Fulton
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#, as written by Shané
Anderson's first thought as he awoke was to curse all his fellow classmates. By the sizeable headache he could only guess they had somehow convinced or forced him to finally get drunk with them. His eyes still closed he let out a growl of irritation. How many times did he have to tell them of his lack of interest in their typical games. That was when he involuntarily took a trip down memory lane and ended up sitting up with a curse.

His eyes flew open and they did not like what they saw. It was not his room. When the last memory you have is following a strange noise out of the house and you wake in an unfamiliar environment you know you are in trouble. Immediately his mind ticked over the new information. The key here was not to panic but to think. Apparently his kidnapper had no intention of allowing him to, as a boy suddenly entered.

Immediately Anderson was dragged from the bed. He opened his mouth to tear into the boy verbally, but then thought better of it. He carefully shut his mouth instead focusing his attention through his eyes, taking in the dark Victorian mansion. Abruptly he was released next to a few others. From the variety of clothing and dazed looks it appeared he was not taken alone. Instinctively he crossed his arms over his chest, glaring at the formidable character standing before them. For a split second his intense gaze swept to the boy and the young girl at the front, but perceiving less importance from them his eyes returned to Drake.

From the self-important speech the first word that popped into Anderson's head was sadist. At the mention of a gory fight to the death his immediate reaction was one of distaste and revulsion. Goodness this man was a sick bastard…then his mind began ticking over. Six people…some weaker, some stronger…one way out…a challenge!

Unconsciously his hand went to his chin and he was entirely unaware of the commotion around him. An impossible challenge. Hmmm. Perhaps it wasn't so impossible after all. Two were females after all. And none appeared to him to be natural killers- though he mustn't too easily underestimate them. Briefly his eyes flickered over to Linnet and her stammering answers to the small crowd around her. From her appearance and answers Anderson quickly discounted asking her any questions, it didn't seem like she'd be much help and there were too many others there to listen to the answers. His eyes glossed over again as he returned to his thoughts.

Perhaps it would be smarter to find a way out. Immediately the thought was discounted- the amount of people escaping a kidnapper was minimal and Drake Stuart certainly seemed the kind to have thought this through. Therefore that was a secondary option. If an opportunity arose like hell he'd take it, but for now the main objective must be to off the others. Inwardly he chuckled slightly, if not a little uncomfortably. At the back of his mind was his conscience screaming at him in horror at how quickly he had accepted this option. It only took a few seconds for Anderson to the shut the thing up. What alternative was there? He doubted the others would stick to their morals for very long anyway once the ball got rolling.

Now he needed a plan….surely there was a kitchen somewhere. And where there are kitchens there are bound to knives-

His thoughts were suddenly put on a screeching halt as a nervous older man crashed straight into him. Instinctively Anderson took a few steps backwards to remain upright.

"T-t-terribly sorry, sir"

For a second Anderson simply stared at the young man. Taking in his nervous, anxious habits and obviously uncomfortable stance. Then the spell was broken and Anderson's face relaxed into a friendly smile.

"No harm done." He murmured smoothly. "In consideration of current events, I would say there are more detrimental matters to attend to. Can't rightly say I'm interested in playing this sadistic game."

His eyes quickly darted to the man's eyes to gauge his reaction. For now it was a social challenge. Stab too early and you'll likely find four knives in your back. He'd play the morally upright card and the intellect attempting to think of alternative escape paths for now.


"The name is Anderson." He said sticking out his hand by way of greeting.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wiley Skidmore Character Portrait: Everette Insuza Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Drake Stuart Character Portrait: Anderson Fulton
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Drake was in a light mood, humming to himself as he wended his way through the manor, ending up in his library. He had a sneaking suspicion that someone would inevitably end up in here. Humans were terrible with directions, their skulls were too thick for them to actually process instructions, or even threats in some cases. The best teacher when it came to humans was experience. There was no amount of warning them that could prevent them from stepping into the bear trap, but once their leg was firmly gnawed off, they'd surely be more careful in the future. Drake smirked as he strolled through the library. It was a beautiful one, any human would be envious of the mass of texts he had obtained over the years. Ancient texts, some of which he had the only surviving copy of. And he had no strong desire to share them with the world, unless he could make a good sum from them.

The demon yawned languidly as he crossed the shelf-maze and entered the small study nestled within the larger room. There were several chairs in the room, but only a few of them showed use, mostly from James's small body curling up on them while Drake worked. He reclined behind his desk, propping his feet up on the mahogany surface and resuming his place in the book he was reading.

Surprisingly, or unsurprisingly, as it were, it didn't take long for someone to wander through. Drake could sense a human enter the library. He lifted his head, his mouth falling slightly open as he tracked the human's soul signature. It paused for a few moments, probably taking in the library and reorienting itself, then started moving again. The demon rose to his feet, folding the ribbon that kept his place back into the book and placed said book lightly back onto the table, as if a loud noise might alert his prey. Slowly he exited the study, leaving the door ajar behind him as he slunk down the aisles with a practiced light-footedness.

He found his way to the end of the aisle the human, who turned out to be Lady Insuza, apparently made of tougher stuff than her demure appearance would suggest. He folded his arms over his chest and stood completely still, observing her, and waiting for the human to pull herself away from the bookshelves and notice the white wraith at the end of the aisle.



Linnie smiled at him as she left, and James watched her dolefully, hoping she took care and didn't get hurt. She was clever, and he knew that she'd be fine, but it didn't stop him from worrying. Then he turned his green gaze back to the three remaining people in the room. The three were talking, and one of the men had gone red as a cherry, so James tuned in to discern what it was they were discussing. The woman was excusing herself, and James' eyes tracked her as she glided away. Then his eyes snapped back to the two remaining people. Looks like he was tailing them now. It seemed like they were making plans, the red-faced one was stuttering something about arming themselves?

James lifted an eyebrow slightly. Out of all of the people currently trapped here, that man seemed the least likely to manage to hurt anyone, just looking at the way he was trembling like a leaf, James wondered if he could even sum up the courage to squash a fly. The boy leaned against the wall behind him as he continued to watch the pair, not caring of they noticed him or not. He would follow them and keep an eye on them, just in case they ran into any trouble.