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Natalia Catherine Estbury

"My insecurities could eat me alive, if it weren't for the call of your voice."

0 · 445 views · located in The Manor

a character in “Je T'Adore”, as played by slcam

Description



Image

Natalia Catherine Estbury





I had my life, I know my place
I belong in your arms again
And I've been waiting for you
To belong to me

Some might say
I'm a silly woman to wait
But I know you still hold my love





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Nicknames:
  • Nattia: A literal shortening of her name that she only lets a very privileged few use. Most of the time, she insists on people using her full name.

  • Fox, Red, Starfire: Nicknames that Sabine, and only Sabine, uses. Anyone else attempting to call her these would receive only a hateful glare.

    Role:
    Human Three

    Apparent Age:
    25-29

    Gender:
    Female

    Height:
    5'4

    Weight:
    122

    Hair Color:
    A deep auburn

    Eye Color:
    Pale grey-blue




Appearance:
Natalia's appearance is both striking and near angelic. She inherited pearly grey eyes from her father. Her deep, natural auburn hair is a memento from a mother who died when she was young. She bears the fair skin that usually accompanies red hair, but no freckles adorn her cheeks. Still, she habitually, though lightly, powders her face, creating an even tone. Her lips are a deep, natural mauve. The upper lip is thin, but this serves to make the cupid's bow more pronounced. With her sleepy, downturned eyes and oval face, Natalia can seem open and innocent at times. However, especially when Sabine is not around, her expression seems much more harsh and sardonic. The disgust and irritation expressed simply through her body language makes it amply clear that she is not to be trifled with on a whim. Still, she seems to switch between these two personas almost instantly, which can make it difficult to pinpoint her true nature, at least as far as appearance is concerned.

She is fairly short, but well proportioned and graceful. She is not thin, per se, but her curves are pleasingly plump without being detrimental to her elegant form. As with her face, her skin is, as a rule, without blemish or spot. Still, she does have a small scar on her right lower thigh from a childhood accident, as well as a couple small moles on her right arm and legs that she powders and conceals when they are in view. All in all, her features are generally soft, elegant, and welcoming at first, but can easily change to more tense, intimidating, and foreboding for those who stand in her way.


Attire:
If there is one thing that Natalia adores, it is gowns. Whether the dress is silky, smooth, and clings to her form or wide, ruffled, and rustles noisily as she walks, Natalia enjoys wearing the latest fashion that Sabine can provide her with at any time. It is very rare to see her in the same dress, since she has accumulated so many over the years. She gets rid of any which no longer suit her fancy, and she could count on the fingers of one hand the times she has worn any sort of trouser rather than a 'gender- and rank-appropriate' gown. At times, she seems more ready to go to a grand ball than simply to prowl around their residence.
PIE WUZ HERE >:3




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Personality:
Nattia is, at times, a rather haughty, vicious creature. Her jealousy is almost a constant state at this point, and she would much rather have Sabine to herself. With this goal in mind, she is likely to sabotage and insult the other 'pets,' though it will be entirely discreet and underhanded. Sometimes so much so, that the intended victim never even notices her insults. It quickly becomes obvious that she thinks herself better than the others of the house, and treats every morsel of affection from Sabine as a confirmation of this. She has distanced herself from just about everyone except for Sabine. Even if someone did try to get closer to her, it would be difficult to get around her prickly exterior.

When around Sabine, however, she changes dramatically, and sometimes in the blink of an eye. She acts much more angelic and almost doting toward the demon, and often begs favors. Anything she can do to get confirmation of his affection for her will be done in a heartbeat. All her insults toward the other pets will turn to backhanded compliments that leave the person stinging, but the oblivious demon none the wiser. He still believes her innocent charade. Still, it is not entirely a charade. Her goal is to win over Sabine's affection that she craves as much as, and more, than his blood.

Over the years, she has become accustomed to Sabine's rages. At first, she was terribly frightened and always tried to reason with the demon. It soon became apparent that this hadImage no effect whatsoever. She was not willing simply to run away and leave him until he calmed down, since she started to feel that he needed her when the rages were over. So, now she simply braces herself and lets his anger take its course, even when the demon causes her harm. It is all worth it to Nattia if she can show him that she accepts this side as well as his doting.

In reality, beyond her harsh exterior, she is still a young girl full of many insecurities. She craves confirmation that she is not the unattractive, unappealing, unlovable old maid she was said to be so long ago. She wants to feel as though she is worth something to someone, and Sabine was the first to take interest in her after certain circumstances in her past. Thus, she has latched onto him like a lost puppy dog, jealous for his affection above all else.

Still, her feelings for Sabine are not entirely devotion. Deep down, she does bear some resentment toward him. From a young age, Natalia was absolutely fascinated by travel. She always dreamed of seeing the far off Americas, or the exotic Orient, or the dangerous Dark Continent. She longed to be an adventurous explorer, seeing odd lands and stranger people for the first time, and claiming those lands for England, or herself for that matter. This is why she so prized even small trinkets from foreign lands. So long ago, when Sabine not only took an interest in her, but also offered to take her traveling, she had jumped at the chance. Still, she felt somewhat betrayed since the only traveling they had really done was to different residences around England, when Sabine's odd household became too apparent.

Even more, with Sabine continuing to accumulate 'Pets,' Natalia felt less and less special to him. She, of course, has since grown to fight harder and harder for his affections until she developed a near-hate for the others. However, she still distinctly feels the sting of not being as special as she thought, and seeks all the harder for validation. Even so, there are times when she will simply give up for a time and seek solitude. If she cannot escape, for whatever reason, she simply becomes rather blank and cold, even to her dear Sabine.


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Likes:
  • Hair styles: Nattia loves when Sabine plays with her hair. Over the years, she has so often simply let him do her hair, that it has become extremely relaxing to her.

  • Fashion: Natalia loves to wear all the new fashions, as current as she can get. This is especially true if they are foreign fashions.

  • Horses: Natalia has long had at least one horse of her own. Even with her prim and proper ways, she has always enjoyed being around the creatures.

  • Gardens: Though she has never had the urge to dig into the earth and take care of plants, she enjoys the gardens produced by others. There has always been something soothing about looking at beautiful plants.

  • Travel:Nattia has long been obsessed with the idea of traveling. Though now she tends to irritably just skim books and journals, she used to read them rather avidly, and still enjoys them.



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Dislikes:
  • The other "Pets:" Due to her frequent bouts of jealousy over Sabine's affections, Natalia has very little love for most of the others in the household.

  • Inactivity: Though she can be still for a time, Natalia hates having nothing to do for long periods. After a while, she begins to feel trapped and claustrophobic.

  • Bugs: She has a long-standing fear of most bugs, and is not above demanding whoever is nearby to get rid of it, or simply running from the area in terror.

Hobbies:
  • Horseback Riding: Though one would not suspect it, Natalia is a skilled horsewoman, and is an exceptional rider of even the most difficult mount.

  • Embroidery: Embroidering has long been a mindless activity perfect for keeping her hands busy when there is nothing else to do. Nattia has become quite skilled over the years.

  • Spying on Others: Nattia will often listen in on private conversations and soundlessly enter a room. She is pleased if she either startles someone who thought himself alone, or hears something private that she can use.



History:Image
Natalia was born to a noble family. They were low-ranking nobles, but lived very comfortably. She had two older brothers who often got into trouble. As a gullible young girl, she was often drawn into their plans or the butt of their jokes. She often did not mind as much as she could have, because that was one of the few ways to get their parent's attention, and her mother's sympathies when Nattia came crying to her. When her younger brother was born, however, she was soon overshadowed, and had to strive even harder for her parent's affections.

When she was old enough, Nattia was sent off to be a Lady-in-Waiting for a higher ranking noblewoman named Lady Agnes. Her parents told her it was an honor, but the young girl was only one of several and she felt rather alone. It was during this time that Natalia's mother became ill. Through letters received from home, Natalia learned of her mother's condition. She would be in pain for days, only to seem better shortly after. Finally, her mother worsened enough that Nattia was called back home. Though the doctor her father hired used all his medicinal knowledge, even letting blood with leeches, Nattia's mother passed not long after in agony. This death had a profound effect on the young Natalia, and she felt even more uncertain and lonely than she had before. After a suitable, though short, mourning period, Nattia was once again sent away to Lady Agnes.

A couple years after that, as was customary, Nattia's father arranged a marriage for her to a boy from a respectable family. The match was thought to be beneficial for both parties, and so the began a short courtship to a boy by the name of Harold Trevain. It was very short, unfortunately. Natalia's father had invested most of their family savings into a merchant who had a run of bad luck when most of his ships were seized by foreign privateers. The Estbury family quickly lost much of their fortunes, and Nattia's betrothal was soon broken off. The Travains did not want a bad mark added to their name, after all. The Estbury's had to cut back on their previously enjoyed luxuries, and lost all but a sparse handful of servants.
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Still, Lady Agnes agreed to keep Natalia as an attendant out of pity, instead of replacing her. The Estbury family did not recover, and Natalia was considered unmarriageable by all nobles her father would consider equal to her. He would not let her marry below her rank either. Thus, Natalia stayed with Lady Agnes. She hardly felt wanted, and despaired at becoming an unloved old maid. By the age of twenty-six, she had resigned herself to an unmarried life.

It was around this time that she first met Sabine. She spoke with him several times, and was astonished and flattered by how interested he seemed in her. The 'man' showered her with compliments, and soon, gifts as well. She spoke with him of her desire to travel, and he was one of the few not to scoff at her. She was immensely attracted to the blond demon from the start. When he offered to take her away to travel with him, she readily agreed, and left her previous life without a goodbye to anyone she knew. She doubted they would care either way.

Though it took her a while to adjust to the actual circumstances that she found herself now trapped in, Nattia found a sort of contentment in Sabine's affections since then. Still, at her core, there will always be a restless need to travel and see what the world at large has to offer.
























I am the diamond you left in the dust
I am the future you lost in the past
Seems like I never compared
Wouldn't notice if I disappeared
You stole the love that I saved for myself
And I watched you give it to somebody else
But these scars no longer I hide
I found the light you shut inside
Couldn't love me if you tried
Am I still not good enough?
Am I still not worth that much?
I'm sorry for the way my life turned out
Sorry for the smile I'm wearing now
Guess I'm still not good enough

So begins...

Natalia Catherine Estbury's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Cayne Character Portrait: Kira Grey Character Portrait: Lonan Auraxtin Character Portrait: Syx Gryffen Pires Character Portrait: Lionel de Cambrey Character Portrait: Natalia Catherine Estbury Character Portrait: Aedan Huntington Character Portrait: Thea Basset Character Portrait: Hope Creighton
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Sabine Cayne


Everything has been so quiet recently. Sabine went through those periods occasionally, where he became quiet and perhaps a bit brooding, spending expanses of time staring vacantly into the middle distance as if reliving memories. There wasn’t much that could bring him from these reveries, though they didn’t stop him from seeking out his pets to keep company with. It was a good time to ask him for items and then sneak away quickly, but also good for a long hair brushing session or for some reading, because when Sabine hit these moody patches his activity would slow down supremely and he could spend several days without leaving a room, whether his or another of his choosing, unless someone moved him somewhere else. On the brighter side, it was most assured during these periods that the mellowed demon would not have a fit of anger, he hardly seemed aware enough of his surroundings to grow mad at anyone.

That meant that the humans had had nearly a week to do as they pleased, for the most part, as long as they didn’t draw too close to Sabine and get caught in his arms for a few hours. But in the evening of one warm, lazy spring day, the demon’s eyes came back into focus as he sat slumped over in an armchair in the library, the book he’d been trying to read lying facedown on the floor below his empty hand. He rose slowly, like a man on stilts, and wandered down the halls to his rooms, located at the heart of the winged manor, running his fingers through his mussed golden curls and blinking slowly. It took a minute to place himself back in the century and location he currently existed in.

While he didn’t need to sleep, the humans did, and as the hour grew later, he could feel sleep descend on the manor. He could not sleep. Not anymore. At one point in time, sleep had been one more human delight to explore, but recently it seemed that nightmares plagued his dreams more often than not, and it was easier to hide from the problem than to wake up with the chill of fear wrapped around his throat time and time again.

Instead the demon busied himself with cleaning up, staring at the mirror that hung above his washstand as he filled the basin from the jug that stood next to it. While they had running water in a few rooms on the first floor, most notably the kitchen and in a hastily designed bathroom conveniently but noticeably attached to the manor. It was too much of a pain to run plumbing lines through the old house, so they were isolated to one wing of the ground floor. While the lovely roll top was nice, as was the cistern that flushed the toilet, they weren’t more than luxuries for humans that no longer required food or water to survive, and therefore could not perspire, and only needed to bathe if they managed to get themselves incredibly dirty, and only produced waste when they did bother to eat, which was more for some than others. So the running water was mostly used for washing clothes and occasionally the floors.

Nonetheless, there was something about running the damp cloth over himself that Sabine enjoyed. Maybe it was the reminder of how human he looked now. He couldn’t get over how amazing that was. While there were difficulties on the inside that he’d never bothered to fix, he couldn’t verily do so now without risking the pets dying of starvation. He had no clue how long it’d take him to rewire everything, it had taken ages to get the outside of the body to work right, and the only things he’d managed to perfect were the skeletal, muscular and cardiovascular systems. They were all that were really important to him anyway. He didn’t eat nearly enough for his lack of a digestive system to cause him trouble, and he didn’t mind being ill for the sake of his pets when he did eat.

The demon stared at himself for a long few moments in the mirror, studying his sad blue eyes. Wasn’t he acting the fool? How could he be so morose when there was so much here for him? This is what he’d wanted. He had a safe place to live, he had company, what more could he ask for? Persisting in such a manner would be foolish, it’d be akin to giving up. He couldn’t do that. Not when time continued passing, bringing new human opportunities with each new wave of life. Not when there were still humans in the house, they didn’t deserve to be ignored in such a way. He shouldn’t burden them with such things. It was time to lift his chin up and carry on as he needed to. He’d gotten what he wanted, so he should be happy! The demon smiled at himself. This was a common ritual. Every time he fell back into brooding, he had to remind himself that this was the life he’d chosen. He’d made this. If he wasn’t proud on it, who would be?

After combing out his hair, he dressed again as the moon reached the peak of the sky, draped a coat over his shoulders like a cape, and wandered outside. If there was another soul in his path, he either didn’t notice them, or they were too skilled at hiding for him to spot them. The night air was lightly chilly, sending a shiver through his form as he strolled through the gardens, looking at the flower buds vainly trying to bloom. The last snow was long behind them, and spring had graced the home with its presence.

Sabine sighed. Even after all these centuries, there were still some human emotions that were entirely foreign to him, and some that he still could not control. His soul didn’t fit quite right into his body, and it seemed to be leaking out more than usual. But the fact that he disliked these fits of rage and moroseness he was wont to only seemed to make them worse. Nonetheless, this sensation of peace was welcome. It was something he’d come to like about the human world. He could feel sad or angry as much as he wanted, but everything always came back to this odd, still feeling in the pit of his being. Calm. It was a good feeling.

The fact that he was vainly struggling with these stupid emotions that so easily overcame him was not something he could share with the humans. Theirs was supposed to be a carefree existence. He didn’t want to burden them with the trouble, even though his anger seemed to be doing the job for him. Sometimes, in the dead of night like this, he wondered if he should just let them go, but he knew it wouldn’t be fair to do so. They would die agonizing deaths by starvation. Or at least, he figured that was what would happen, based on their actions once they started to grow extremely hungry. He’d never let any of them die on purpose, he wasn’t about to kill a human for the sake of an experiment.

They had enough troubles on their own.

He just needed to remind himself that he needed to feel happy with the way things were. Then everything would be just fine. Life would continue on as it always had. As the sun began to stain the horizon with early morning colour over the trees, Sabine sat down on a stone bench, facing an angelic fountain he’d acquired a long, long time ago and never had the heart to get rid of, though now the stone had been worn down so the poor cherub was barely distinguishable. It was a trinket of a time since past, a gift from someone long forgotten.


It was funny. Sabine’s memory was vast, but as the years passed it worsened not because he lost the memories, but because it was too difficult to find them, lost in a maze of similar events and just the passage of human time. The blond demon stared over the statue at the lightening sky for a few moments, letting his eyes slide shut and peace settle over him. Life would continue for the household as it always did. Everything would be fine.

Everything would be just fine.

As the sky blushed shyly, the sun poking its head over the trees, Sabine rose. Things had been too quiet. He needed everyone to be together for a little while. That usually cheered him up a bit. It was an easy way to make sure everyone was doing alright. A nice breakfast would do the trick. Everyone would come together to make food, and then those who desired to eat could, and those who did not could sit for a while, and they could be a happy household for an hour or two. It’d be fun!

They were all probably starting to get on the hungry side anyway, Sabine had gotten in the habit of waiting for them to admit they were hungry before obliging them because, while some of them came willing enough, trying to feed others was like trying to drag a cat out from the attic. So it was easier to just let them come to him, but his morose mood of the last few days had prevented some of them from deigning to approach him. Nonetheless, most of them were too embarrassed about the violent measures they would enact if they let their hunger become too steep and they usually took precautions to eat before it got to that point on their own. While he didn’t particularly mind having his throat bitten out or his wrists scratched up on occasion, it bothered them. It didn’t hurt him, but that didn’t seem to change their opinions of it.

Probably just a strange human thing.

Sabine rose, pulling his coat closer around him so it wouldn’t fall off, and stretched like a cat before turning to flit off into the manor and alert everyone. Those who’d noticed that he’d vacated his spot the night before wouldn’t be surprised to see him bouncing around, but those who hadn’t would certainly be startled by his sudden mood change, especially since he had a habit of bursting into places when he was excited about something.

It was a bit of a pain to find everyone, he’d let them chose their own rooms, which mean that they were quite scattered. He didn’t stay too long after finding any one pet, just enough to tell them to go down to kitchens and start getting things ready for breakfast. Some were still in their rooms—some were still asleep—and others had already risen and were wandering about. Most of the time, meals were not spent together, since there was no real need to eat, but the best way to handle Sabine’s occasional whimsy was to sit at the table for a while until he floated off again, his attentions easily diverted. It was also a good time to ask Sabine for new items, whether pets, clothing, or other trinkets, because he was usually in a good mood when everyone was gathered together.

Those who were more reluctant to join the group by method of their own two legs would be carried down by Sabine, and he’d made good on the threat before. Well, he quite enjoyed it, but those who were carried tended to enjoy it a lot less, especially if they were in no mood to go wherever it was that he wanted to take them. But Sabine was a significant bit stronger than the humans—a fact that he often forgot—and he could easily carry two humans at a time, whether they liked it or not.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Cayne Character Portrait: Kira Grey Character Portrait: Lonan Auraxtin Character Portrait: Syx Gryffen Pires Character Portrait: Lionel de Cambrey Character Portrait: Natalia Catherine Estbury Character Portrait: Aedan Huntington Character Portrait: Thea Basset Character Portrait: Hope Creighton
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❖Aedan Huntington❖


❖❖❖❖❖▀ ❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖▀ ❖❖❖❖❖


Image2 Years. Aedan had been with Sabine for two whole years now. It was almost strange how fast time seem to fly by him in this house. It felt like only just yesterday that he was waking up in Sabine's bed, the demon hovering over him and asking if he felt all right. He could still remember it so vividly. He had awoken expecting to be in the gutter and wrapped in pain's embrace but he had felt no pain. No residual ache from his ordeal. Apparently he had been unconscious for a week before Sabine's blood had finally done the trick and healed him, save for his right eye that remained discolored and sightless though the demon swore up and down that his eye was fine. Sabine had scared the hell out of him at the time but then he remembered the blood. The intoxicating aroma and the bright color staining Sabine's wrist… It was the source of great discomfort for Aedan.

The thought sent a shiver down his spine of how he had lost all human control of himself and latched onto the man's wrist and laved at the slowly healing wound. He had licked and sucked at the man's skin and even found himself curled up in the man's arms; the man he feared was going to hurt him just moments ago. He had truly acted like a starving animal and the memory disgusted him and yet excited him. He remembered the thrill he felt in his core and the desperate need for more than just blood. He had craved being held and still sought that physical comfort from Sabine whenever he was around the man. It made him feel weak and out of control but he couldn't help it. It had been a long while since he had warm safe arms around him or a gentle touch and Sabine seemed to fill that void though Aedan had difficulty wrapping his mind around all of it.

Then there was the issue of all the other… pets. They were all so different and strange. Some of them tried to talk to him but then there was those he really didn’t want to have anything to do with. They were all quite the characters. He never would have thought he’d be thrown into a world where he’d interact with them. They all had lived for so long and seen so much of the changing world. He knew it was now his fate to but he still had a hard time reconciling the fact that he was immortal. He had only lived two years like this so he was still well within his time period and his regular life span. He knew eventually he’d hate the fact that he was stuck at his current age but he’d deal with that hurdle later on. He wondered how much more the world was going to change around them. Though he didn’t converse with many of the other humans, he realized he could learn so much from them if they’d actually take the time to talk about their history.

Aedan still didn’t know his place in this house and worried that Sabine would tire of him and send him out into the cruel unforgiving world again. Though he didn’t much like everyone here, this place was better than being alone again. Besides, from what he could tell, not drinking Sabine’s blood meant certain and excruciating death. He didn’t want to feel that pain. Besides, he could just avoid those he didn’t really want to interact with. The house was big enough that he didn’t have to talk to them or see them.

Aedan sighed to himself as he sat up in bed and looked out the window. Spring was always a nice season, what with the birds and flowers blooming. He did prefer the somber winter though. There was more mystery in it. He smiled softly to himself before he got up and walked to his vanity station and prepared himself for the day, ensuring that his pale blond hair and clothes were in perfect condition. Maybe it did make him vain, but he didn’t want to walk around disheveled. It just wasn’t in him to give up on himself and appearance had always been an important part of his human life. Aedan touched the skin just below his right eye and looked at the discolored color reflected at him in the mirror. One eye was a cornflower blue and the other… as cold and lifeless as the frozen lakes. That was unfortunately the imperfection he had been left with after his rather sad encounter with people he once called friend. Sabine commented that he liked the two different colors he sported but Aedan hated it. It was proof of his sins.

Aedan picked up his eye patch and positioned it securely over his sightless eye before he picked up his papers and his favorite black dip pen. The handle was decorated with a golden scrawling to match the cap that went over the actual dip. He looked at the variety of ink bottles Sabine had helped him acquire. Blue. Definitely blue today. Once he finished gathering up what he needed, he headed to one of his favorite places in the whole manor; a little alcove beside a window that opened up to the garden. It let in the natural light and sometimes he’d leave the window open to smell the aroma of the roses. It was a very calming place though it was stationed in the hallway. It provided him a very comfortable place to do his writing and watch the others that lived in the manor. The garden itself gave him quite the inspiration to.

Aedan sat down in the cushions and set his ink beside him on the little wooden extension in the alcove and tapped the end of his pen against his lip as he debated what he would write about. Hm, maybe he’d write something about that little dark cloud that wandered the halls sometimes. He had managed to catch Lonan wandering about a few times and Aedan couldn’t help the instant curiosity he held around the mysterious and gloomy man. He shored up his fascination up to the writer inside of him. He saw Lonan as a dark mystery and a tortured soul, not that he was the only one in this house that had a horrid past. Yes, he would write about man.

Just as Aedan dipped his pen into the ink and carefully tapped the excess off, he was startled to see Sabine all but floating through the hallway and calling him for breakfast. Breakfast? Only last night Sabine had been a lazy mass of gloom in his chair. Aedan had gone in there to ask Sabine about one of his books and then had been quite literally pulled into cuddling session for hours. He hadn’t minded it at first, but when it had been four hours later and his foot was asleep from the position Sabine had forced him in, Aedan had squirmed and fought in the man’s arms until the man had finally let him go. He thought for sure his leg would never recover. The antsy feeling that shot down his leg afterward had not been fun. Sabine’s random mood swings still unnerved Aedan but he didn’t question it. He liked it when Sabine was this happy and bubbly. It brought new life into the quiet house. Maybe he could ask Sabine for some book bindings and ink. He was running low on his black ink and he really wanted a hard cover binding for his poetry manuscript.

Aedan tapped the edge of his inkwell and wiped his pen clean before he put everything back into his room and entered the kitchen as was requested of him. He really wasn’t that great of a cook so he’d let someone else start the cooking. Instead, he started to set up the table with all of the plates and utensils that they would need. It really did look like a nobleman’s kitchen set up since that was what he was used to and he found he liked the familiar set up. It reminded him of the good times at home. He wondered what news Sabine would share with them today. And if he was quick enough, maybe he could nab one of the seats beside Sabine before Natalia or Syx. He didn’t want to sit next to either of them though so if those spots beside Sabine were taken… he’d probably sit beside Kira. He liked Kira. She was such a cute little thing and he just wanted to hug her all day.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Cayne Character Portrait: Kira Grey Character Portrait: Lonan Auraxtin Character Portrait: Syx Gryffen Pires Character Portrait: Lionel de Cambrey Character Portrait: Natalia Catherine Estbury Character Portrait: Aedan Huntington Character Portrait: Thea Basset Character Portrait: Hope Creighton
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Image
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Location: His Room ---> Kitchen
Dialogue Color: #0000A0

Sniffing. Whimpering. Panting.

These were the noises that filled the room, stirring the large man from his slumber. His pale eyelids fluttered open slowly to find a large black nose inches from his own. An over sized tail began thumping against the floor once the dog had noticed his master's eyes were now ajar. Another small whimper and a pink tongue lay against the exposed hand that sat on top of the covers. A smile was forged across Syx's features and he peeled the covers away from him. He knew his best mate was hungry and he needed to start the day.

Syx made his way downstairs to the kitchen to fix Fang breakfast. His bowl was placed on a tiny rug and he scooped up the metal tin then set it on the counter. He retrieved a bottle of skimmed milk from the fridge and mixed it with wheat flour and broth before placing it in front of the excited dog. He slid his hand down the dog's spine as he lapped up his food, before proceeding back upstairs.

He began his morning routine by going to the bathroom and washing his face, then head to his room to start his morning workout. He started with one hundred jumping jacks and began to lose himself in the act as he counted and held his breath steady. He began doing squats and lost count after two hundred forty-three. He was thinking about what his day would most likely consist of.

The day before he had sweat hard while slaving in the garden. He'd already planted the flowers around the edges of the manor, but he had yet to begin planting his crops. He had merely tilled part of the land and some of it still needed tilling and then he needed to plant seeds and water as well. Then the hardest part would be done and the fun of checking them consistently for withered leaves or critters would begin. Last year a few rabbits had found their way to his heads of cabbage and he'd thanked them by using them for some of Fang's dinners.

He came back to his mind and realized his legs were aching from doing so many squats. He raised his brows and chuckled to himself before lying down to begin doing sit ups. He was nearing three hundred when Sabine poked his head into his room. The expected grin flashed over the pale man's face and he lit up, as he did every time the demon surprised him. Sabine informed him that he desired for everyone to meet accordingly downstairs for breakfast. Syx's eyes momentarily went to the window of his room to see how high the sun was and he nodded in agreement. It wasn't until Sabine had mentioned breakfast that he felt his stomach moving underneath his skin. He was getting hungry and didn't even realize it. He promised he would be downstairs in a few moments then finished his morning exercises before going to his wardrobe to change.

He dressed himself in a button up long sleeved shirt and a waistcoat with nice pants. Even four hundred years after being blessed with this lifestyle, once in a while Syx was still surprised to be a part of such a change. He had never been subjected to wealth, so he took advantage when acceptable. Which reminded him that he needed to ask Sabine for the next book in a series he was reading. He looked at his reflection for a brief second while running both sets of fingers through his almost always messy hair, then headed back downstairs to begin preparing everyone's meal.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Cayne Character Portrait: Lonan Auraxtin Character Portrait: Natalia Catherine Estbury Character Portrait: Aedan Huntington
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#, as written by slcam
Natalia Catherine Estbury




As Sabine, master of the manor, sunk into a contemplative state, the house became more peaceful for a time. Even Natalia acted more subdued, and was more likely to avoid the other pets than seek them out. She almost felt as though she needed to hold her breath, so as not to disturb the fragile peace. Sabine hardly noticed anyone when he was like this, but Natalia still often sat quietly in the same room, perusing biographies of explorers or working on embroidering a pillow. Still, she took care not to sit too close unless he was brushing her hair. She knew too well the danger of being trapped in a cuddle session for hours on end. Often the stillness would become suffocating and she would relocate outdoors to wander through the gardens or to visit her mare in the stables. It was a time of waiting, and that seemingly endless waiting made Natalia tense. Those Natalia passed, she ignored entirely, her mood echoing Sabine’s with a pensive unease.

Just the evening before, Natalia had retired to her rooms early, forgoing her usual activity of watching the sunset from her favored sitting room. She sat in her bedroom at her desk, perusing some notes she had made a while before. At the time, she had been studying James Cook as word of his explorations returned to England. Of course, the news was often old and outdated by the time she had gotten hold of it, but she had felt as though she was experiencing it with him. At least that is what she imagined at the time. Now, however, the thought held little interest for her. She was far too restless. Though she tried to make her mind settle so she could sleep, it raced and fretted over nameless worries.

Finally, she became too agitated to remain in her quarters. Natalia set off in search of Sabine, hoping maybe to have him brush her hair. If anything could set her at ease, that would be it. She paced through the halls, checking a few likely places before finding him in his chair. Natalia was surprised to find Aedan clasped tightly in the demon’s arms. ‘Seems like someone got caught.’ Natalia could not help the smirk and scornful laugh that escaped her lips. It caught Sabine’s attention momentarily, but he soon slumped again. Aedan, however, looked acutely uncomfortable. Still, though amused by Aedan’s predicament, Natalia only stayed a moment before leaving the room. After a bit of wandering, she ended up back at her rooms and was able to sleep.

Nattia awoke to a gentle stream of sunlight sneaking through the eastern edge of her window, illuminating the pastel colors of her wallpaper. Her eyes studied the pattern of large, arching foliage of an amherst grey surrounding small clusters of flowers of every shape. Whenever she studied it, there was some new detail to admire, such as a small grouping of pale purple berries she saw grouped around the stem of a forget-me-not. Her eyes wandered over the featureless ceiling until they reached the half canopy that stood guard over the head of her bed. Its heather-colored fabric draped at a central point over her, and was then gathered to either side by paired gold cords. The matching bedclothes that covered her were spotted with embroidery in pale gold and green thread. The main geometric designs had always been there, but throughout the years, Natalia added her own designs, even filling in the spaces of the original embroidery. In fact, several other embroidered pieces inhabited the room: the curtains on either side of the window, a few pillows on the window seat, a throw blanket laid over the back of the desk chair, a couple hangings on the wall. Each lent a little spot of warmth.

After just a few moment’s contemplation of what she might do that day, Natalia arose and sauntered to the wardrobe, pausing on the way to scan the contents of her desk before moving on. Inside the capacious wardrobe were countless gowns of many stylings and eras. After a moment of ruffling through her collection, she chose a pale rose-colored gown with wide ruffles around a neckline that exposed the shoulders, and an empire-waist tied with a translucent red sash. She hung it from the front of the wardrobe and strode to her vanity, which was against the same wall as her bed, to apply her regular makeup.

Once her skin was an even tone and her lips were lightly rouged, she returned to the gown and began the work of dressing. The very thought was still odd to her, as lifetimes ago she had grown up with a servant to assist her in the task. Since coming to the manor, she had been forced to do it mostly on her own. After all, she hardly saw the other female ‘pets’ as anything more than a necessary nuisance. So, she learned to manage on her own, though it was a struggle at first.

She was just fidgeting with the last button when she heard the sound of tromping footsteps coming down the hall. Natalia scurried back over to her vanity and ran a brush through her hair until it satisfied her. She heard her sitting room door open, and a familiar voice called out for her, causing a thrill of excitement to run through her being. There was only one person that would seek her out at this time of morning. Or at any time for that matter, under normal circumstances. It had to be Sabine, and that meant that he was out of his slump. She felt a sudden new energy and purpose to her step. Natalia chuckled at herself, she was as cheery as a girl.

Only a minute later, she opened her bedroom door, immediately seeing the one she expected. Sabine was gathering the household for breakfast, and Natalia gave a small, "Hmph" at the request. Sabine seemed hardly to notice before he was whirling off to find the next person. “And if I would rather just dine with you?” she called to his retreating form, receiving no response.

Breakfast was nice and all, but the tension could build so fast when the household was gathered all in one room. Even worse, she would be expected to contribute to the preparations if she went down now. She did not even want to think about the attempts at socializing. So, instead of continuing to get ready or heading down, she sat in her armchair with a slight scowl. Inwardly, she felt the buzzing happiness at seeing Sabine once again full of energy. As much as his quiet spells unsettled her, the release always inspired a thrill of joy in the red-haired woman.

Still, she continued her playacting at being sullen, soon picking up a book to peruse as she stubbornly remained in her rooms. She knew Sabine’s will ruled the house, and in the end she would be with the others at breakfast. She also knew Sabine himself would likely come to retrieve her and the thought of even that small time stolen alone together would be worthwhile for her. So, there she sat, skimming through a book that could not truly hold her interest as she stared at it for a myriad of minutes. Suddenly, Sabine once again burst through her door, startling her into slamming the book closed, as if guilty about it. She quickly covered her embarrassment, leisurely setting her book back on the shelf.

"Yes?" she asked innocently, though she knew full well he was back to insist she came to breakfast. He tried to put on a solemn face, but there was far too much cheer beneath for it to convince Natalia.

"Are you coming to breakfast, Starfire?" Though Natalia tried to maintain her own facade of innocence, she could not help the small, mischievous crook of her lips as Sabine called her by her favorite nickname. Still, she quickly resumed a sulky frown, not willing to give up on the game yet.

She demurely folded her hands in her lap, looking out the window with a stubborn air, "Ah, breakfast. What a bother. And if I refuse to come to the amusing charade we call breakfast? What then?" Her eyes turned back to the blond demon, a full pout on her lips. She had to work to keep it from turning to a smirk. As he grew closer, approaching her armchair, her pout faded and her eyes grew wide once more with pretended innocence.

"What then?" He asked, his voice melodious "Why then, I'll have to sweep you up and carry you there myself! How could we possibly expect to have breakfast without your illustrious presence, my darling?" At his question, she scoffed, making a shooing motion at him and turning her face. Inwardly, however, she was warmly pleased. She felt his hand on her chair, and turned in surprise. This time she could not contain the smirk as Sabine leaned nearer. "Whatever would you do then?" he teased.

"What would I do, you ask? Well, I would stay right here and enjoy my solitude, of course. Who needs all that noisy rabble of a crowd you keep around?" She turned once more, this time positioning her back to him as she sat near the edge of the chair and folded her arms across her chest. Her hair was only inches from his face, attempting to tickle it.

"Oh, you wound me, princess," he told her as she turned. Sabine laid a strand of her hair over her shoulder and she glanced back at him from the corner of her eye. He turned to leave, bemoaning her refusal, as he sighed,"I suppose I'll just have to leave then, and parley with my rabble all alone."

She replied with a slight tinge of victory in her tone, "I suppose you shall." She examined the nails of one hand, oblivious to Sabine's sudden turn.

"Or I could steal you away right now. You can brave the rabble for me, can't you?" She was surprised by the sudden lifting, letting out a shrill shriek that quickly dissolved into a giggle. She clasped her arm around his neck as though frightened of falling, though she was rather secure in the knowledge that Sabine would never drop her.

She gave a sigh of exasperation once more as he proposed facing the rabble for him. "Well, your argument does hold a certain persuasion, I suppose. I don't seem to have much choice, now do I?" She could not help the slight giggle that once again bubbled from her lips when Sabine began moving. There was always something rather pleasurable about being carried. Sabine’s close smile warmed her as nothing else could, and she felt a slight flush rise to her pale cheeks, only partially concealed by the powder.

"You know I couldn't bear to be away from my beautiful girl for too long."

He spun her around and she laughed once more, nestling closer to avoid getting too giddy. “Stop, stop,” she said, breathless from her giggles. “You silly creature! You will make me dizzy.” He began to hum and tromped out of the door. He hesitated a moment, and Nattia peered inquiringly into his face.

"Ah, we have one more stop to make," he murmured, as if to himself. "Lonan didn't come down either. I hope you don't mind, Lovely."

A small, stricken ”Oh,” emerged from her lips, and the corners curved into a dismayed frown. She turned her face from Sabine and looked sullenly down the hall. A familiar, deep-seated resentment flared in her chest. Of course it would be Lonan who would refuse to go to breakfast. He was always trying to hide in the shadows, as though his pathetic attempts to conceal himself meant a thing when Sabine wanted him. Natalia’s annoyance only built as Sabine sought after the boy, and she ignored any further attempts at banter. She resentfully resolved to do nothing but sit in Sabine’s arms, staring ahead as they walked.

When they finally found Lonan, she continued to occupy Sabine’s arms, glaring at the dark-haired boy. It painted a rather comical picture, but Natalia was far from amused.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Cayne Character Portrait: Lonan Auraxtin Character Portrait: Natalia Catherine Estbury
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#, as written by Skwidge
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Silence… eerie silence. The walls dripped with it, the floors creaked by it. Existence seemed to slow to a near standstill- a phenomena that occurred for the benefit of those under its roof. It was almost like a blessing forced to be given, something that the universe had to give them to make up for the hell that they were forced to suffer forever.

One would expect that when the head of the household lapsed into this kind of stagnation, Lonan would become livelier and more open, easier-going and more relaxed around the house. But they would be wrong; at least after a fashion. It was true that these things may occur to a small degree in the somber man, but it wasn’t something to be witnessed by the others in the house when this rarity of Sabine’s developed. It may have taken him a day or two to realize that Sabine’s demeanor had changed, as that was just how much Lonan avoided the man, but once the fact was established, Four seemed to disappear from existence entirely.

For when he assured himself that Kira wasn’t in any harm from the hands of their dictator, he lapsed into his own kind of altered state. Lonan would be gone for days, no one having the slightest clue as to where it was he went, or if he had even left and was instead simply hiding too well within the manor. Following the easing of his concerns in regards to Sabine and Kira, Four stole away under the cover of darkness and solitude that first night of confirmation. While the others relished in the freedom they received to roam the house without any worry of the demon, Lonan had elsewhere to be.

When Sabine was consciously aware of himself, Lonan restricted his wanderings to the courtyards of the house at night to get his running and fresh air in, but when the chains were released and the leash around his throat went slack, Four ran with it the first chance he got. It was easy to slip away unnoticed- the other pets were too busy with themselves to really notice anything else and he had the skill tucked away under his belt to begin with.

He would run far and fast, relish the stretching of his muscles and the change of scenery. He would put as much distance between himself, the house, and the town a day’s journey away. It didn’t matter the distance between the latter two, didn’t matter that the house was in the countryside. Lonan was always suffocating under the heaviness of civilization, of smoke and upgrading technology. He hated it all, hated that he knew things would only grow worse as time progressed. And all he had was time.

Four would escape into the nearby forests of the countryside, would conceal himself to a past familiarity to attempt to find solace and self. The outdoors were his peace of mind, where he felt closest, most connected to his past with some semblance of normalcy, where he could attempt to pretend that nothing had changed, forcefully ignoring, almost painfully ignoring the obvious lack of everything he once knew. The sights and the smells… the feeling of a different age in a different place. He would go out hunting, living amidst the leaves and dirt with the rough feeling of a quickly crafted bow conjured from the skills buried within the memory of his hands fitting comfortably within his palms. The long-misplaced familiarity of stretching tendons and muscles when he would pull back on the bowstring, strong shoulders set and eyes intently focused on whatever sort of prey he had honed in on, aiming with decades of past practice.

Four felt little in regards to taking the lives of the creatures in the forest. It was better them that he exerted his anger and frustrations on than the others in the house, than himself for a fleeting moment of time. Well, he felt little except for a melancholy jealousy; they could die, could pass from the earth and move on in their allotted time of existence. They wouldn’t discover the debilitating change that came with the turn of ages, wouldn’t live with the realization that everyone who ever cared about you, everyone you ever loved, had moved on and passed without you. They would never be forced to face the terrifying reality of being utterly alone, being in a place that you did not belong, being crushed beneath the force of constricting eternity and helplessness.

He was doing them a favor, really. They would not have to suffer the future winters and hardships that came with life. It fulfilled Four in any case, so it honestly didn’t matter what the animals may have thought. He did not feel guilt, only relief that was desperately needed to flourish from his cooped up soul.

This was a game of torment and torture, however. Lonan would delay the inevitable, ignore it despite the knowing certainty that it would always happen- that the hunger would inevitably return and break any poorly veiled spell he had tried to weave for himself. That his duty, his curse, beckoned to him like a siren’s song that could never be ignored. It would bring him crashing back down to reality; it would tear him from familiarity, from any possible happiness, back to the damnation he faced daily and suffered eternally. It was reliving every feeling from that very first day, the day he realized that nothing would ever be the same. The fear, the anger, the hopelessness, the dire feeling of all-consuming end- that everything was all over.

It was a sick and twisted game where he would allow himself a possibility of relief only to be denied and harshly reminded by his own hand that it would not be allowed- he was not allowed to be happy, he was not allowed to find relief or solace; he was not allowed to escape into his memories or to lose himself to them. Because the hunger always came back, and with it the chains constricted around him once more, digging into him and dragging him back down into the depths of a living, continuous hell.

It wasn’t so much the pain that forced him to return to Sabine’s side. No, the pain he could easily handle. He dished it out upon himself daily in every degree of the word anyway. Pain was nothing to Four, or at least when it wasn’t at the end of Sabine’s rod. The true monster was the madness that ensued, the primal hunger, the desperation and the loss of human self. This was the reason that he did not simply bare to end his existence. Because he was a danger to everyone in England elsewise. Lonan reacted differently to Sabine’s blood than all the others. When it dwindled from his system not only did he endure a climbing sense of excruciating pain, but he slipped into a sense of bloodlust and rage, unsatisfied with any pool of blood sticky and dripping through his fingers unless it were Sabine’s. While bloodlust was a natural occurrence for the pets later on in their timeframe of lacking the demon’s blood, Lonan’s was violent, unfiltered, and had a tendency to stir sooner than anyone else’s did.

So Four was always aware of the time that passed between his last feeding and the distance he put between Sabine when the demon lulled. He could not bear the thought of harming anyone else, forcing others to suffer under his anger, to suffer the same way he suffered. That was one of the many reasons he did self-harm; on the rare occasion that the anger stirred to an unbearable degree, he would abate it using his own flesh as a canvas of expression and release.

Lonan had probably been absent from the manor for about three to four days when he felt the draw and duty to return from days spent amidst the quietness of the forest, with the gentle rustle of leaves and the smell of life and earth, the warmth of the sun and the coolness of night paired with the choirs of chirping crickets and the distant hoot of an owl wishing to join the serenade, the comfortable roughness of a thick branch beneath him as he slept. The journey had been a quiet one with Lonan rarely speaking and instead listening to his own thoughts and the sounds of the earth. Was there regret to be leaving once again? Of course, but it was mellow, concealed. It was just another fact of his life, one he had come to terms with long ago.

Four returned to the manor the sixth night, dawn of the seventh day in the week of Sabine’s slumber. He snuck past familiar stone fences etched with ivy, roses in bloom, and the local crickets innocently chirping away their final notes of song before the predators began to stir. The sun had not yet peaked over the horizon, but its time was growing near, and Lonan did not want to be caught out in its rays. Eyes consistently focused on each window of the house to ensure that there were no watching eyes, he slipped seamlessly between bushes and trees, low walls and hedges, until he reached one of the back doors.

The house would begin to stir shortly with the earliest of risers, but Lonan had quite the opposite in mind. He need to re-familiarize himself with his room, find that small etched out nook he had made for himself in terms of accepting Sabine’s presence once more. But the haunting memories of the house would greet him as well, would loom over his mind and invade his being the moment he entered. He often had a great trouble sleeping and instead did something with himself at all hours of the day- out of the prying eyes of others, of course. That would not be the case today, however.

Four knew Sabine to a certain extent, what with having been stuck with him for a few centuries, so he usually had a good grasp on the demon’s timer when it came to these times of peace. Undoubtedly he would return to his usual self very shortly; if not today, then certainly tomorrow. But Lonan hoped to be far from him when that occurred, to find some peace and rest for his aching muscles, to hide beneath the sheets of his bed and never come out again. It would never happen, but he could still hope, foolish as it was.

The old wooden door creaked quietly open as Lonan pressed against it with his side, slipping inside and looking around for a moment, allowing his eyes to adjust to the low level of lighting. A hooded cloak of dark brown adorned his frame, hiding his face and appearance just in case he were to run into someone. He would not allow his place of respite to be disclosed to others, and the dirt and sweat that clung to his form would easily tell of a place he had been. He did not want others asking questions, trying to figure him out. It did not matter if one or two of them had somehow overseen him slipping away at one time or another, he always slipped away if anyone were to pursue, was always careful to cover his tracks. He unlaced his boots quickly so that he would not track mud in the halls, further disclosing that he had been up to something.

For a moment he paused, considering that he might have used the walls of the building instead to reach his room, but the thought was dismissed in the next instance when his body ached in a dull beat. No, he would be too tired to do so. Besides, he was fairly confident in his ability to avoid everyone- he did it every day anyway. Four left his muddy boots by the door; he would clean them later, or inevitably someone else would pick them up and do the job for him. He was not worried about them- the mud could easily be placed for that in the gardens outside.

It was quiet in the halls he wandered through on socked feet, the wood was dark from the lack of any lighting, and the pathways rang with a cold from lack of any heating element, whether that be from a hearth or from the sunlight. Four liked the house when it was like this, it was quiet, familiar. He was left alone and the walls reverberated with his thoughts. He wandered past many pointless rooms, empty of any life or touch, simply there to make the house bigger and nothing more. Those were his rooms; they were just like him. Overlooked, ignored, left by the wayside to collect dust and dirt, never seeing the light of day and sort of just there. There for no reason.

On his way to one of the many sets of stairs in the building, Lonan paused by one of the washrooms. He was quick and efficient in washing the grime from his form, the water cold to his warm skin and sending a chill up his spine. It didn’t really matter though, his bed would be warm once he crawled into it. Four removed any traces of having been out in the wilderness for a few days, set the rag back into the basin, and departed once more.

The stairs creaked beneath the weight of his feet; it was strange, that the house seemed to be so much more talkative when all other voices fell silent, when it was just Lonan wandering its expanse. During the day you would never hear the creaks and squeaks, or at least never pay them any mind. It was hard to ignore them, however, when they were the only things making noise. Four ascended onto the second floor, feet falling into a familiar practice of wandering down the halls toward his room. He lived on the second floor of the house in the left-most wing, his room as far from Sabine’s as he felt was satisfactory. No others occupied any of the rooms adjacent, immediately across, or down from his own. There was a space of at least two doors in any direction before any of the rooms had an actual purpose.

If his room weren’t different from all the others for the simple fact that he lived in it, there was also the matter of its doorknob being completely different from any of the other doors in the house. His was wooden instead of brass or silver. That was one thing he had taken into his own hands, switching out the mechanism with one of wood, just another reminder of his past- he was a woodsman, so it was no surprise that the object was made of wood. It was decoratively carved, done by Lonan’s own hand, with leaves and branches. Nothing fancy, but simple and well-done.

As his fingers closed over said object, he mused for a singular moment on how soft and familiar it felt in his hand. The wood was worn from hundreds of uses, sometimes not even to open the door, but instead a light rub of it for luck and remembrance. Four turned the knob, heard the light click from it releasing off of its hatch, and guided the door open. The room itself was dark, and not simply from the fact that it was early morning before the sun had risen. The walls were painted a maroon with light brown effects. It was rather plain, asides from the regal bed that stood slightly askew from the center of the room on the right side, pushed against the far wall, and the large window that rested slightly to the left of the center of the room. Dark curtains hung over the panes, blocking out any light that should dare to disturb the rest of the individual within. There was also a small room off to the left, probably a storage area, but one that Four mainly used for a washbasin and the likes whenever he couldn’t be bothered to use the ones downstairs. It may have been a hassle to bring water up that far, but it didn’t really matter to him.

The room was sparsely furnished, with little more than the bed, a desk and chair, wardrobe, and chest of drawers. Each piece of furniture was rather time-worn and a bit battered, but the bed itself stood out among the rest. It was a large four-poster of dark mahogany wood. Drapes sat tied tightly to the tops of the posts with dark cording, but it didn’t have much in regards to a headboard nor anything in regards to a footboard. It was hard to tell whether it had started off that way or whether Four had made the adjustments. He didn’t like being boxed in, and thus had secured for himself that it wouldn’t be an issue in regards to his bed.

Lonan’s room was also directly above Kira’s, intentionally so. He would be able to slip out of the window and work his way down to her rescue if it were ever required, or even just to visit her at times. He wished that she would have chosen a room that had been around his, but he knew that she had a fear of fires, and thus would never abide on the second floor. So instead he had made the necessary arrangements to bridge the gap between them, to ensure her safety and wellbeing. He never seemed to be too far from her at any one given time, especially since they were confined to the space of the house and its grounds.

Lonan’s facial features softened once he was within the safety of his room and the door had been quietly closed. He let out a small sigh of relief, removing the cloak he had donned once more after he had rubbed himself down with water. He simply tossed it off to the side, intending to pick it up in the morning. After he had shed that first bit of clothing, the rest were quick to follow as he slowly made his way over to the dresser pushed against the left wall. He changed into a lighter set of clothing- sleepwear made up of a light grey long-sleeved tunic and a soft pair of brown trousers. He was not one for nightshirts or sleep gowns or the likes.

After having accomplished the feat of worming out of stale clothes and into fresh ones, Lonan finally made it to his bed, tiredly crawling into the sheets and under the covers. Once his body had stilled, he allowed his muscles to relax and his form to rest. It was then, as he lay there staring up at the ceiling, that the darkness converged on his mind. Every concern and burden he had left at the manor when he departed into the woods came rushing back on him. This was where the struggle lay in trying to sleep. Nightmares and sufferings: yet another fact of life he had simply accepted by now and fought through just like all the rest.

Lonan wasn’t sure how long he had laid there awake, tossing and turning, squirming about under the pressure from inner torment and physical stress. He wasn’t sure how many time he fell asleep only to wake up again, or if he had fallen asleep at all. It was hard to tell, as any nightmares that may have occurred were too easily slurred between the lines of reality and the horrors of actual thoughts. He did recall, however, a moment of waking when he had gotten up and moved around. Or something like that. The details were heavily fuzzy.

Eventually, a general sense of stillness loomed about the room. Silence reigned in the atmosphere- a fact that was certainly not missed by the young man wrapped up in the sheets of his bed. Lonan had some random swath of cloth pulled over his head, covering one eye as the rest of him was curled up in the mess that was now his bed. Four had finally slipped into an unconscious state of dreaming and had finally gotten his weary mind and body to rest. He was completely unaware of the doom that was closing in upon him with gentle, upbeat footfalls.

Said doom had a red-headed serpent on his arm, attempting to try his little blackbird’s door but finding it not locked but wedged shut. It perplexed the demon for only a moment before he leaned against the door, one foot outstretched to set himself up, and pushed on it. A wickedly loud crash ensued, and with it came the singsong voice of Sabine, ”Lonan~!” The demon chirped with positive cheer, ”I told you to come down for breakfast a while ago, what are you still doing in bed?”

How long had it actually been? Two seconds perhaps? Lonan couldn’t tell. There was never any peace for the poor little bird that had nestled so deeply into his bedding, having only fallen back asleep moments ago. His mind had registered the turning of the door handle, yet he still hadn’t seemed to really hear it, or more-so simply ignored it. That skill had been trained so rigorously to perfection over the years, it wasn’t really surprising. However, what Four couldn’t ignore was the massive crash that followed. Not only was there a solid thunk on his door when Sabine pushed against it, but there was also the dresser.

It toppled over from its position in front of the door with the loudest crash imaginable, no doubt disturbing the entire house, falling over onto its face and undoubtedly damaging the aged wood and tarnished silver handles. It had been a very heavy piece of furniture, after all. Damn Sabine and his inhuman strength. It had really been a pointless measure to have attempted to barricade the door, which he was just now realizing was a thing that had happened, and Four really should have known better. But you couldn’t really blame his sleep-addled mind for it. Besides, it helped him sleep easier, or had, in this case.

Lonan had practically jumped out of his skin at the noise, having immediately startled and jolted upright a bit to prop his torso up by his hands, as he had been lying on his side beforehand. His heart was racing, hair ridiculously disheveled by his sleeping habits and eyes wide for a singular moment as he stared over at the chaos that had occurred right on his doorstep. His eyes now were mere slits and a very scornful look adorned his features. If he weren’t immortal now as well, he may have just suffered a heart attack at that. But that wasn’t the worst thing. Sabine had waltzed right in, announcing his presence- as if he needed to speak to do it, and it seemed that he had also brought along something even worse than all that. But Lonan wasn’t concerned with Natalia sitting on top of the overturned dresser at that moment, because Sabine was approaching, dangerously fast.

Sleep still clung to his form- ironically so as he hadn’t actually gotten any sleep- and so he did not have the speed or awareness to react properly in time. Sabine suddenly pounced him, crashing into the poor boy without a single concern for his wellbeing; though, it wasn’t like Lonan cold die at this point anyway. Bearing the full weight of the sadistic, overly-powered demon, Lonan easily went down, collapsing on his arms and getting his face plunged into the fluff of his mattress.

Sabine seemed to be oozing love and affection, completely unaware that he was suffocating his squawking blackbirk, who was currently struggling and flailing under him to try to regain his limbs and get the leverage and strength he needed to push the demon off.

Somehow he managed to hear and understand Sabine speaking of breakfast and how he had already called him down once. That was strange, though…. He hadn’t heard the demon, or he had and he just didn’t remember. Mayhaps that was why he had barricaded his door in the first place. Yeah, that sounded about right- he had gotten up and pushed the dresser to blockade the door some time previously.

That didn’t really matter right now though, as Sabine was perched, cat-like, on top of him. The demon simply stared intently at the boy’s struggles, completely unconcerned. A few moments passed, a very smug look of triumph to his face, before he slid off of him. ”Look at you, you’re such a mess; when’s the last time you had any sleep, love?” Sabine purred, a little hint of worry in his tone that was mostly drowned out by the excitement he held for the prospects of breakfast.

Once Sabine had finally gotten his fat body off of him and rolled over to sit next to him, Lonan had at last managed a breath of air, taking the action in a deep, gasping manner as he lifted his head up from the depths of his mattress. He glared at Sabine, eyes practically smoldering in irritation. Four ignored Sabine’s prior question, yet still deigned to humor him with an answer of sorts, ”None of your business.” His response was short and clipped, little more than a growl than anything else.

”Get out of my room, and take that thing with you.” Four’s harsh gaze travelled from Sabine’s shadowed form to that of the annoying redhead seated on his dresser. He’d have to burn that now, poor thing. Though not poor enough for Lonan to actually care about saving it. He would have to get a new dresser from one of the abandoned rooms, or perhaps he could simply ignore the need for one. That way he wouldn’t be spotted by any of the others and would not be bothered with their desire to help or the need to stare at him since he would be so out in the open and in plain sight.

”Oh, don’t be sour,” The demon spoke lightly, completely ignoring Lonan’s harsh gaze and even harsher words. ”And I told you, we’re all having breakfast, which means you too.” Sabine smiled and stretched out on his mattress rather languidly, quirking an eyebrow at Lonan in an unspoken challenge. ”Of course, if you aren’t feeling well enough to walk, I can carry you~” The monster teased, reaching out with a swift agility unmatched by humanity to scruff Lonan’s already messy hair with one thin hand.

Lonan completely ignored that one, caring little of Sabine’s reasons and excuses. The devil was getting very comfortable in the boy’s personal space, and Lonan didn’t like it one bit. Four simply stared at him with a harsh gaze, not batting an eye as Sabine looked down on him with that quirked eyebrow of his. They seemed to be locked in combat now, neither one standing down. Lonan would not be going to breakfast if he had anything to say about it. Sabine would inevitably outvoice him, thus nulling the point, but he would put up a fight nonetheless.

When Sabine purred out his little tease and had his hand suddenly on his head before he could get a word in edgewise, Four was further demeaned by the demon ruffling up his hair as if he were some child. His harsh golden orbs never left the demon’s own, a poisonous look oozing from them. With a swift hand he had Sabine’s own in his clutches, a harsh grip tightening around the slender palm and crushing it under the duress of his strength. Lonan removed the offending hand from his personal space, dropping it with utter disdain.

”I said, get out.” With a merciless look, Lonan tilted his chin up, suddenly pushing the man off the bed with a foot to the stomach.

However, Sabine only seemed to hum in the back of his throat with amusement in response to the hand crushing and removal, and another little hum with allowing himself to be pushed off the bed. However, he suddenly grabbed Lonan’s ankle at the last second and pulled him off with him. Four had foolishly assumed that he had rid himself of the demon being too close to him, but just like the leech that Sabine was, they still seemed to be attached at the end of it all.

They fell onto the floor, Sabine on his back and Four landing awkwardly on his hands over him, foot in the demon’s grasp and twisted in an awkward direction. A laugh burbled from the demon’s throat, who was completely unfazed by Lonan’s dour mood or by the collision with the floor. His excitement and happiness wasn’t to be dampened by anything, not even Lonan.

”I’ve got you now, little bird.” He spoke as he straightened, now holding Lonan upside-down for a moment, simply looking him over and inspecting him for the best way to turn him the right way up without losing a grip on his catch. However, unlike Sabine’s facial features, Four’s were completely unamused. He allowed Sabine his little moment of victory, simply staring up at him with lips subtly turned down in a light frown, waiting for the demon to refocus on him, as he knew he would. Lonan would wipe that smirk right off the man’s face, literally.

Four shifted slightly, swaying ever so faintly in Sabine’s grasp, and suddenly a foot-to-face experience was shared between the two of them. A satisfying smack resounded in the room as the sole of his foot connected with Sabine’s face.

The demon hadn’t been expecting it at all, and with the connection between the human’s foot and his face, there was not only a loud smack, but a faint crunch as well as the bridge of his nose cracked and buckled under the force. Sabine let out a faint sound of surprise as blood dribbled from his face for a few seconds before the cartilage knitted back together. He did not, however, release Lonan like the boy had been holding out hope for. It hadn’t been likely to begin with, so it wasn’t too disappointing. Despite the fact, Lonan felt a bit of pride flourish when he heard the crack beneath the weight of his foot. It was true that it didn’t really affect the demon in any way, as was shown by the flesh just weaving back together, but it still felt good to take some of his anger out on the inhuman, even though at the moment he was more miffed than enraged. It was hard to catch Sabine off-guard, so his pride was well-founded despite being utterly insignificant.

Sabine’s face reddened and he dabbed at his face with his sleeve, effectively staining his shirt. ”You know, if you are hungry, you can just ask, not kick me in the face, Birdie.” Four hadn’t been expecting those words, and it was his turn to flush slightly. He had half a mind to kick Sabine again, but it would have been impossible; he had exhausted his body with the first round, what with being upside-down and working against gravity. A frown slipped onto his lips and his eyes shifted smoothly away from the demon’s face, arms crossed and cheeks faintly reddened from both irritation and some semblance of embarrassment.

”You’ll have to wait though, we’re keeping the others waiting, after all.” The demon then intoned. It was only then that it actually dawned on Four. A look of horror would have flooded his face if he hadn’t kept it so carefully controlled at that moment. He would be forced to be with the other people of the house, almost all of whom he despised, and be put on display for all to see. But at least it wasn’t a thing lightly suffered- he had gotten Sabine good today, and while the demon probably didn’t realize, there were still traces of blood on his face, a nice pink mark the size of a foot- quickly fading- and the fresh showings of a bruise just beginning to form. The signs of a struggle were definitely apparent.

However, Sabine suddenly shifted his grip on him, easily hefting the weight of his form and simply slinging him over his shoulder, arm secured across the boy’s thighs to ensure there would be no squirming away. But that didn’t mean that Lonan wouldn’t try, especially if it meant giving Sabine trouble. It would really only be for posterity’s sake, as he would quickly tire of the actions and settle into accepting his fate. At the first shift in position, Lonan had put his hands out to catch himself before he face-planted into Sabine’s back, but after settling himself, he dropped them and turned his head to the side, allowing it to bump against the demon’s lower back as Sabine carried him back over to the dresser where Natalia was impatiently waiting, looking completely fed up over the whole ordeal and having the most heinously sour expression towards Lonan. Lonan didn’t give a single inkling of concern towards her, didn’t even acknowledge her presence, just to get a further rise out of her.

If there was one good thing about this whole mess, it was getting the first spite of the day in against Nattia.

As Sabine scooped her back up in his free arm, Lonan firmly secured over his opposite shoulder, Sabine whistled cheerfully as he stepped over the dresser and back out into the hall, carrying his triumphantly caught quarry in one arm and his little lady in the other. Lonan would randomly burst into a fit of squirms and small kicks, arms flailing in the empty air, attempting to wrest himself free, but never to any avail.

And as such, the three of them headed down to breakfast.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Cayne Character Portrait: Kira Grey Character Portrait: Lonan Auraxtin Character Portrait: Syx Gryffen Pires Character Portrait: Natalia Catherine Estbury Character Portrait: Hope Creighton
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It had taken her by surprise, the first time that Sabine had lapsed into introspection. Hope had been unsure how to react at the time, and even now, a decade later, she found the peace of the house... disturbing. Every time that Sabine lapsed into his moods, the house became quiet. It's as if the life and energy of the pets were all tied to their master in some way, and though that wasn't true, it could be forgiven if one thought that. Especially since Lonan vanished and little Nattia sat forlorn watching her precious from a distance. The others lapsed into the background, as if too loud a noise would attract the attention of the brooding lord.

Hope always felt restless during these periods, unable to find a way to settle down into the silence. It was... well, in all honesty it was boring, but at the same time, she could not bring herself to ruin the peace herself, and instead paced the halls with a broom or a feather-duster, taking out her restlessness on the dust that tended to gather. Very few of the other pets had a pride in their own work, or a dedication to keeping their living space clean. It was quite often that the other pets would notice her moving around the edges, cleaning or re-arranging as she went, industriously keeping herself busy.

How she woke up that morning wasn't different than most mornings. After all, the sharp barked "Everyone up. Dawn is close and breakfast must be ready for the matron." still echoed through her head. Though with no longer the same fear lancing through her, she still was already dressed and standing at the kitchen door before she consciously realised where she was. She had no more need to be up and at the door, but even so many years later, what had become rote for her still haunted her. A slight sigh and a twist of the lips later, Hope was headed upstairs. If there was one advantage to being up before the sun, it was that no one was aware she never slept in her upstairs room. Claiming it shortly after they moved here, Hope quickly found out that she struggled to sleep in such opulence, and what few times she could sleep, she found to be not very restful. However, her pride held her chin too high to suffer such fall of face, and she often waited for others to sequester themselves into whatever corner they slept in before sneaking softly down to the pantry. The servants quarters adjacent to the work rooms were instead where she slept, where the beds had a comforting solidness, rather than the quicksand-like beds of the rich. It was no wonder they were so soft, considering their surroundings and bedding.

Of course none of the other pets were wandering the halls at such an early hour, and Hope easily found her own room. Inside, her wardrobes of clothing and various luxuries that Sabine had lavished on her draped around the room, but Hope found a quiet piece of floor and her embroidery. Needlework had always fascinated her when she was a maid, and she fixed many clothes, her own and others, simply from the skills she had picked up mending things in the Workhouse. In this, she found the nobility and their preferences quite enjoyable, as simply making patterns on sheets of cloth was a relaxing, if useless, past-time. Her latest work was a simple flower, and she was proud of the detail she managed.

She knew the sun had risen by the time she had finished her latest section of embroidery, when her restlessness drove her from her room, but she had not paid attention to the passing of time. There was not much use to pay attention to every single moment when you had eternity before you. Watching the world around her move past was both exciting and terrifying. She had only gathered her tools of cleaning when the day immediately turned brighter, for on her way to continue yesterday's cleaning, Hope nearly ran straight into a much more lively Sabine. Of course, the sight of the demon reminded her of the gnawing at her gut that could not be dispelled by food, and of course it promised that the house would rise from the daze it had sunk into once more. He didn't linger long, merely informing her that the pets were to gather downstairs for a communal breakfast.

Even as she ventured back to her room to put her cleaning equipment away, Hope couldn't help but smile, and her stride was invigorated with new energy. The house was going to come back alive, and in the communal gathering, Hope would find the energy that she had been missing for the last week. Even if it meant that Nattia would be meddling once more, rather than sitting like a love-sick puppy at her master's feet.

The change of clothes was quick and efficient, no fancy dress for Hope, but she wasn't going to head to communal breakfast in the ratty clothing she used while cleaning. Efficient clothing was not suited for social gatherings, after all. By the time Sabine had done his first round, Hope was already gone from her room, and down the servants staircase to the ground floor. Unlike the others that had arrived just prior to her, she did not offer to help Syx with breakfast. He had it well in hand and she needed not add another pair of spare hands. Though he would likely appreciate Hope's aid, it would only cause tension in his other potential helpers, and Hope had seen Kira among that number, and hung back in the shadows.

It was only when Sabine arrived with both Lonan and Nattia on his arms that Hope moved from her spot in the background of the dining room, silently trying to avoid attention. Not that that was hard, since Nattia had eyes only for Sabine and the pest that was invading her space, and Lonan was too busy sulking or struggling. The obvious difference between their reactions amused Hope, but it was by far the mark on Sabine's face that suddenly brightened her day. Not because Sabine had been hurt to an extent, merely because she felt giddy already as the strings that she could feel beneath her fingers began to a play tune once more. This is what she had missed for the last week. She couldn't wipe the smirk from tipping the edges of her mouth into a grin, and she smoothly entered the kitchen area and headed for the chief cook.

"Syx, good morn. Four appears to be being more affectionate with our dear lord Sabine now, you should congratulate him." Keeping the grin and glee from her voice, she talks as she glides past Syx, and though her voice is quiet, it is clear enough for those also working in the kitchen to hear. It was hardly the most complex manipulation, but after the week of silence and restlessness, even simple meddling was savoured. Even mindless of the presence of Kira, she stopped next to Syx to survey the state of the kitchen as it was, "How is breakfast coming along?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Cayne Character Portrait: Kira Grey Character Portrait: Lonan Auraxtin Character Portrait: Syx Gryffen Pires Character Portrait: Lionel de Cambrey Character Portrait: Natalia Catherine Estbury Character Portrait: Aedan Huntington Character Portrait: Thea Basset Character Portrait: Hope Creighton
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Location: Kitchen ---> Dining Room
Dialogue Color: #0000A0

Syx was filled with copious amounts of joy and excitement but also riddled with a myriad of anxiety. He was entirely enthralled to have everyone in the same room. The only reason they collected together was by force through Sabine due to the few of them that desired to be off on their own, which he understood. He enjoyed being alone; quite a lot actually. But he also desired to keep in touch with everyone in the house to keep tabs on their well-being, whether they enjoyed his presence or not.

Now he found himself preparing the table for the trays of food he would bring in to welcome these few people who did not care for him in the likes and the remainder of the residents. It always got under his skin when people disliked him for any reason, which was one of the reasons his anxiety was nearly at its peak. Sweat dripped down his back causing his button up shirt to cling to his back and his hands were constantly shaking no matter what task he set for himself. But he would never allow anyone except Thea see him as any more than his smiling facade.

The dining hall was adjacent to the kitchen. The long table furnished five chairs on either length, and one on either end. Although the manor only housed nine people, it had spots for guests. Syx found this a bit amusing. Not many of them ventured out from the house and when they did, it was never easy to make friends, much less someone they could bring home to this distorted family. Aedan had properly placed all of the plates and glasses among the table, as well the silverware was nicely wrapped into their napkins with silver napkin rings. Everything looked perfect. He grinned at Aedan and thanked him profusely for helping prepare the dining room. It was one less thing he would have to do this morning.

He remembered how quiet the house had been when Sabine again went into inactivity. He hated it. It felt like there was no time range between when he was last in his recession. He had sought him out only to find the demon sitting still in one of the many chairs in the library. Syx always got a bit down when he would find Sabine like this, hating the stillness the manor experienced and that Sabine would not be there to fleet around and intrude on him reading or to come and poke at his newly budding plants like he used to when Syx first started gardening.

Syx mainly used this time to work harder on maintaining his strong figure and to start readying the gardens again since it was finally Spring. He first planted the flowers, making sure there was a grand amount of Calla Lilies. He also included other breeds of Lilies, Roses, Tulips, Carnations, Daisies, Peonies, Dahlias, and Bleeding Hearts. Afterwards he had worked to till the garden which was a three day process since the garden was so large. He had felt cooped up in the Winter and cursed himself for being worthless, even though that was farthest from the truth. But when he was always reading after the chores and meals were completed, he got too antsy and it irked him when he couldn't find anything better to do than read or workout.

He returned to the kitchen once he readjusted everyone's plates to make sure they were all facing the same way and fixated himself on slightly moving glasses and candles and his freshly picked flowers among the table to assure himself that everything was indeed perfect.

Syx had hardly seen anyone except Fang in the week that Sabine resided in his own mind. He'd passed a few, but he kept himself busy outside for the allotted time. The night before last he was up late reading by candlelight and Fang had left the room suddenly so he figured Four had returned from his few day activities, whatever they were, and Fang had gone to investigate who was coming through the back door at this time. Although Fang would never harm someone of the house, but if it had been an intruder, he was trained to attack on command if need be.

Syx had already placed a ham in the top range so he could save the bottom to hold the food that was finished preparing to preserve its warmth. Three cast iron skillets adorned the range top. One withheld the sausage and bacon which hissed loudly at him to be turned, another contained the eggs which he was obediently flipping, and the last was occupied by a few grated potatoes that he'd seasoned to taste.
His hands still shook as he began slicing up fruit to serve to each individual and when Thea rounded the corner it startled him. He slammed down the knife, showing his surprise of her arrival. His heart was already pounding and if it hadn't been his best friend he may have yelped unexpectedly.

“Thea, good gracious, darling!” He stepped back from cutting apples and ran his hands through his hair in angst. She was the only one he even considered to show his true self to. They'd known each other for hundreds of years, so it was expected that she had seen him in all states, worst and best, and vice versa. She had even seen him when he got angry. Which was a terrifying image alone, much less to be the one to console him when he was indefinitely acting like a monster. He'd had to think twice not to throw her off of him. He still scolded himself for that evening.

“My apologies, Thea. I've been quagsagging since I stepped into the kitchen to begin breakfast. My anxiety is really quite horrid at the moment.” He gave her one of his trademark fake smiles but it was met with sad eyes.

He knew she would see right through him and turned back quickly to complete the remainder of the fruits. He placed several varieties of them into separate glass bowls for everyone then asked Thea if she would help place them around the table. While she was setting them about he paced quickly to the fridge to get the milk and began jirbling milk into all of the glasses he had set out. He loathed the idea that most of the food would go to waste, but in spite, he reminded himself that it was easily replaced. Though his heart stung for the less fortunate that were surviving off of gruel.

“Oh dear,” He said to himself, mid-pour.
He set the milk down, leaving the unfinished job to be done in a moment and hurried back to the kitchen while saying, “I've forgotten the toast!”

As he was rushing to the kitchen he came face to face with Kira.
“Good morning angel.” He grinned and leaned down to kiss her on the cheek then without skipping a beat pulled out a metal tray and began laying out bread to be cooked in the range.

Although he had a problem talking to new women, the women of this particular household did not bother him so, especially Thea and Kira. He adored their companionship and was always eager to see them. Natalia was fun to mess with and he was still getting to know Hope, but he enjoyed her as well. But if a woman approached him outside of the household, he would immediately begin stuttering and shaking. Women strangers, even clerks at markets, would have him shuddering in his boots with anxiety.

“I really appreciate it! If you could maybe finish pouring the milk in everyone's glasses, I would be forever grateful.” He grinned as he slid the tray into the heat then closed the range to focus on what lay atop it. He removed the eggs and meats from the cast iron skillets and onto glass plates and they followed the bread into the range. Now he attended the potatoes and looked back up for a moment to see Lionel now in the kitchen too. He grinned down at the man, his eyes lighting up to see so many of his friends here already. It was certainly a happy occasion and his anxiety had dwindled profusely as more faces came to greet him and were so willing to help him.

“You're not late at all, sir, you're early, in fact.” He smiled again and tried to think of what needed to be done, then snapped his finger and pointed to him.

“I have yet to start the coffee, if you could do that for me I think we will be set unless anyone has any requests.” With the last word he turned his gaze to Thea as if specifically meaning her requests. She always had a good idea or a random craving that set the mood perfectly for whatever meal they were having.

“Ah, I also forgot the jams and the lemon and cherry curds. Drat!” But he could not gather them just yet as he was still maintaining the potatoes.

Syx looked down when he heard Hope's voice brush against him. She practically purred about Four's state and Syx finally tore his eyes away from cooking to notice the demon that was now in the kitchen as well. A faint red mark was displayed across his face and his eyebrows knit to show a look of pain for the demon, even though he probably didn't even feel the strike. His gray orbs cascaded to view a very annoyed set of pets in either of his master's arms. He smiled at this and looked back to Hope.

”Better than breaking his arm like he usually would. And it's going well.” He retorted with a smile. The kitchen was so full now with everyone here.

He didn't mind all of this hustle and bustle though. For a little while in the seventeenth century he had taken on a job as a chef to secretly learn the era's ways of cooking so he was accustomed to this type of running around. Although he didn't need any money, he was just passionate about cooking. Being in the kitchen helped keep him happy and at peace. Especially among good friends.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Cayne Character Portrait: Kira Grey Character Portrait: Lonan Auraxtin Character Portrait: Syx Gryffen Pires Character Portrait: Lionel de Cambrey Character Portrait: Natalia Catherine Estbury Character Portrait: Aedan Huntington Character Portrait: Thea Basset Character Portrait: Hope Creighton
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❖Aedan Huntington❖


❖❖❖❖❖▀ ❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖▀ ❖❖❖❖❖


ImageAedan looked up from his work of setting the table as each member of the little family entered. "Good morning," he greeted each as they arrived, thought it was really only Syx, Kira, and Lionel that had really paid him any mind. He wasn't much of a talker really until Kira showed up. Out of everyone here, he was the closest to her. He didn't know what it was about her but it made him feel safe to open up to her. He didn't fear her or worry that she was going to somehow sell his secrets. True he hadn't really talked too much about his past details, but he didn't feel like he needed to hide from her. She was just this sweet and adorable lady and though she was ages older than him and had far more experience to her name, Aedan, for the first time in his life, felt like he could protect someone. Back home he had been the youngest of two older brothers and they had always watched his back. Now he could watch over Kira and really, he saw the woman as a little sister; his little blossom.

"You're welcome, Syx," he answered when the man thanked him for setting the table. "Thank you for making the food. It looks and smells monsterful." Aedan didn't consider Syx much of a personal friend and didn't often associate with the man, but he had to admit he was quite the chef. His food was always delicious. He had to give credit where credit was due. Aedan used to cook for himself and his food... it was edible at best. Cooking was definitely not his forte. Aedan stood back to ensure he had set everything up on the table and did his best to stay out of Syx's way. He'd offer to help but there were plenty of hands for that and he was sure that whatever he touched would be burnt beyond recognition. Since he wasn't much use in the kitchen anymore, he hurried towards Kira.

Aedan quickly wrapped his arms around Kira and beamed brightly at her, his chin resting on her shoulder. "Hi Kira. Did you rest well?" he asked her then. Before he could focus on an answer, Aedan heard the door to the kitchen again and his eyes widened though he really shouldn't have been surprised. After everyone else had wandered in, there stood Sabine with Natalia and Lonan in his arms. Natalia looked rather miffed about the situation and Lonan... Lonan looked like, well, Lonan. He was always a dark cloud though this morning he looked more tired than usual. He could see the mark on Sabine's face and he could only assume it was Lonan's doing. The sight sent Aedan through a flutter of different emotions.

He felt the odd attraction to Sabine since hey, he was a rather handsome man, but there was so much more to it. He was happy to see that he had been hurt a little and happy that Lonan got it out of his system. He hated the fact that he took a certain sick happiness and relief from the fact that his savior had been hurt. And lastly, he did feel concern for both Lonan and Sabine. There was a heavy weight on Lonan and he wished there was something he could do to help, but that would require getting close to Lonan and he didn't think Lonan would appreciate it. Besides, that would require Aedan to divulge his own secrets and he... wasn't ready for that. He didn't know these people well enough. And Sabine... oh, Sabine. He was a puzzle in and of himself to Aedan. He loved and hated the demon. He was attracted and disgusted. He craved and loathed his attention. It really was quite the maze for the poor boy to navigate through.

Aedan shook his head and tried to clear it from these confusing thoughts. He had other things to worry about. Like the fact that everyone was here now. He got along with most of them but he hated Natalia and he was sure she'd say something or do something to annoy someone. It really was quite the taxing game everyone played to just get along. He didn't want to become a target and having so many people in the room... it was a bit overwhelming. He wondered why Sabine had wanted them all together this morning.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Cayne Character Portrait: Kira Grey Character Portrait: Lonan Auraxtin Character Portrait: Syx Gryffen Pires Character Portrait: Lionel de Cambrey Character Portrait: Natalia Catherine Estbury Character Portrait: Aedan Huntington Character Portrait: Thea Basset
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Thea poked her head into the kitchen, ready to leave if someone undesirable had claimed a position. She was pleased to find that Syx was the only one there. She strode in. “Excited to be cooking so much, hm?”

The slam of a knife stopped her in her tracks. Her friend was obviously extremely tense. He was doing the thing where he messes with his hair. His apology for startling her was accompanied with a thin smile, as usual. Thea quietly let out the breath she wasn’t aware she had been holding before smiling back. “No, no. It’s my fault for sneaking up on you.” He seemed to be teetering on the edge of okay. It would be wise to keep an eye on him this morning. Not that she was feeling at all confident about the gathering. He had good reason to be anxious.

Syx was making a big meal. She wasn't sure if it was because his nerves were making him restless or because it was Sabine's request. They do say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Though, in Thea's opinion, every meal is important. She jumped up to her usual spot on the stool in the corner to watch him work. His dexterity when preparing food was always a sight to behold. With her clothes today she would only be in his way – he would hate to be the cause of stains on a proper dress like this one. She, however, was happy to help no matter what she was wearing, and did not hesitate when he asked for her to set out the fruit.

Aedan was in the dining room when she entered, bowls in both hands. She nodded at him as she made her way around the table. A slice of apple went missing. Then another. In her defense, they were very sweet and crisp. Thea made a note of which bowl she had been sneaking fruit from so that she could sit there later. Or, on second thought… With a wry look she swapped it for one of the ones near the end of the table where Sabine sat. It’s not like Natalia (who at this point pretty much had dibs on both of the seats there) ever did more than nibble anyway. Syx poured milk beside her until he realized he hadn’t started to make toast. The poor darling was so scattered he nearly ran into Kira on his way back to the kitchen. Thea made to greet her, managing to get out a quick “Hello” before Aedan shot past her to embrace the other girl. Aware that she would no longer have a chance to speak to Kira, Thea went to Syx just as Lionel came into the kitchen. Syx turned to her, waiting for a request – he was right to do so, as she had one. “Candied walnuts! I know where you put them.” Hearing that he had forgotten the spreads, she offered to get those as well. “Everything is somewhere in the pantry, I’m sure.”

The kitchen Thea returned to, her arms full of jars, was far noisier than the one she had left. Sabine had arrived, his arms full of a disgruntled redhead and a fuming Four. It was quite a sight. She would have to record it in her journal in detail. What a way to start the day! She cheerfully placed the preserves she had gathered onto an empty counter for Syx’s disposal and retreated to her stool to watch the two troublemakers struggle in the hold of their master. Only then did she spot the red on Sabine’s face. Oho. That would explain Lonan’s ridiculous position. She stifled a laugh.

It was a good morning indeed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Cayne Character Portrait: Kira Grey Character Portrait: Lonan Auraxtin Character Portrait: Syx Gryffen Pires Character Portrait: Lionel de Cambrey Character Portrait: Natalia Catherine Estbury Character Portrait: Aedan Huntington Character Portrait: Thea Basset Character Portrait: Hope Creighton
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#, as written by slcam
Natalia Catherine Estbury




The closer they approached to Four’s quarters, the stormier Natalia’s face became. All her giddiness from just moments earlier dissolved into a brooding anger, directed mostly at Four. Sharing Sabine’s attention was never high on her list to begin with. That despised door lurked in a dim corridor, far as possible from all others. Natalia, still perched in the demon’s arm, gave a huff of annoyance as he tried to doorknob, only to find the door unmoving. “How utterly unpleasant,” Natalia murmured to herself. Sabine seemed to take little notice of her comment and set himself against the door, straining only the slightest bit against whatever dead weight denied him entry. Still, his hold on Natalia remained as gentle as ever, and she could not help the small ray of pleasure that pierced her disgruntlement. Finally, with one final effort, there came the sound of something very large indeed toppling headlong to the floor. Despite expecting it, Natalia still jumped from the enormous clatter, her heart beating wildly. “God’s wounds!” she swore under her breath bringing a hand to her heart to calm herself. Her venomous gaze immediately settled on Four, communicating her displeasure at the situation better than any insults would. In any case, with Sabine present, she could not be as outright with insulting the lout in any case.

Though Four looked rather startled and half awake, rather like a young child, his expression soon turned to one of disgust mirroring Nattia’s own glare. Sabine smoothly set her on the now overturned dresser, and Natalia arranged herself a bit more comfortably, so she could sit up straight and continue her glare at Four. She hoped to communicate that she did not wish the boy to make more commotion than he already had. Still, she knew there was little chance that the thick-witted lout would stop acting so childishly. Sabine fairly tackled the boy to the bed, and despite the stirrings of jealousy in her, she could not help the slight bit of interest in how the situation would turn out. Four struggled uselessly and Nattia suppressed a laugh of amusement at his helplessness. Sabine asked about how much sleep the boy had gotten, and only got a rebuff in response. Nattia scoffed at Four’s useless resistance. It was really bothersome, even when directed at Sabine. When it was then quickly directed at her, supposedly for sitting on his dresser, she merely made herself more comfortable, refusing to drop her gaze, as if to say, “I am here, deal with it.” A smirk played on her features in response to his loathing.

Sabine seemed to ignore Four’s harsh gaze and tone and responded playfully, even ruffling the boy’s hair. The effect was rather comical, and it was clear how much Four disliked it. He looked like a cat being petted the wrong way. Natalia’s spiteful smirk only grew, even as the boy grabbed and moved Sabine’s arm. Or rather, Sabine allowed him to move it. Four commanded the demon to get out, kicking him off the bed, but Sabine dragged him along by his ankle. Nattia only rolled her eyes in annoyance at the antics as Sabine merely dragged him up until he was hanging upside down from his ankle. Four suddenly lurched, bringing his foot up to connect with Sabine’s face. The demon’s blood began to dribble from a nose that was quickly taking on a crimson hue. Nattia let out a gasp of alarm and outrage at the ridiculous display. Sabine lightly took it as Four being hungry, but Nattia’s rage did not cool and hate for the boy gleamed in her eyes. When Sabine reminded him that they were keeping the others waiting for breakfast, the guarded look on Four’s face gave Nattia a twisted pleasure. He clearly did not like that idea, but it served him right. “Yes, little soot bird, we are late for breakfast. I am sure you would not want to miss that,” she purred, mocking him lightly.

Sabine slung him over his shoulder and came back to the dresser to retrieve her. Nattia started out trying to convince Sabine to let her walk with a, “No, no, my dear. I think I would be more comfortable.--” She was cut off as he picked her up anyway, hardly seeming to notice her protests. She was soon once again nestled in Sabine’s arm. Though she attempted a couple glares at Lonan over Sabine’s shoulder, he firmly ignored her. This irked her to no end, which quickly became obvious. The boy was so insufferable, Nattia hardly knew why Sabine even kept him around. Even worse, he continued to struggle at random intervals. Sabine was too strong for these to have any effect, so Natalia was sure the boy was doing it just to be a nuisance.

Unfortunately, despite her attempts to ignore these childish irritations, by the time they reached the kitchen she was silently fuming. It would not be a good morning for any who got in her way. Still, luckily for Lonan, she wanted to get away from his idiocy for a time. As soon as they entered the kitchen, Nattia could feel the general attention shift in their direction. She automatically straightened, levering a haughty gaze at whoever looked her way. She assumed that each glance was at her and glared accordingly, making it clear that this was not the time to test her.

As soon as Sabine set her down, she fussily straightened her skirts, gave Loonan an acidic glare, then whirled off to the dining room without acknowledging anyone else. Nattia sat at her usual spot to the right of where Sabine usually sat and sulkily stared straight ahead.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sabine Cayne Character Portrait: Kira Grey Character Portrait: Lonan Auraxtin Character Portrait: Syx Gryffen Pires Character Portrait: Lionel de Cambrey Character Portrait: Natalia Catherine Estbury Character Portrait: Aedan Huntington Character Portrait: Thea Basset Character Portrait: Hope Creighton
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Sabine Cayne


There was certainly a spring to Sabine's step as he entered the kitchen, basking in the bustle. Lonan was still flopping occasionally like a disgruntled fish, so Sabine kept a firm hold on him as he lowered Nattia to the floor so she could daintily dismount. She swept off immediately to the dining room, but he waited a moment before following her. He shifted his weight to hold Lonan up, hands firmly under his arms so he couldn't make a wiggling escape, the permanently young man's feet dangling in the air, and looked him dead in the eye. " If you try to escape again, I'll catch you and tie you down so you can't get away, my little birdie." He said, his voice cheerful, but a cool expression iced over his eyes for a moment. Just as quickly as the ice had hardened, however, it vanished, and he grinned and wrinkled his nose a bit.

Sabine deposited Lonan in the dining room, seating him in the chair directly across from his usual spot, and shot a smile at Nattia, who was sitting beside his spot. " If he tries to make a break for it, give me a shout, would you, Red?" Then he turned to make sure everyone else was present, patting the foggy-eyed Aedan on the shoulder as he passed, offering him a joyful, crooked smile, ruffling Kira's hair, chuffing Lionel's shoulder, brushing a stay fly-away behind Hope's ear, resting his hand for a quick second on Thea's back as he passed through the kitchen, dodging the bustle. As he usually was when everyone was gathered together, He didn't understand the first thing about food, even after all his years of life. It all puzzled him, but he trusted his pet's judgements on their personal tastes, and had been known to enjoy food on several occasions.

He noticed straight away as he neared his precious boy that Syx's hands were shaking. Of course, being quite oblivious, he didn't understand the depths of Syx's anxiety issues, but he'd been around his sweet bear for long enough to know that he wasn't feeling tip-top. "My prince~" Sabine said, wrapping his arms around Syx's waist from behind and standing on tip-toes to press his face into the other's neck, "Look at you, working so hard!" he crooned, making a marginal attempt not to sound plaintive, in a, 'pay attention to me instead of what you were doing' sort of way, and more, 'calm down, you are doing a great job,' though his desire to have attention spent on him usually confused his praise.

Sabine was absolutely zero help in the kitchen, his skills maxed out on being able to carry things from one place to another, (though he was highly skilled at carrying, thanks to his superb strength and balance,) and other than that, he usually served to be a bit always in the way. Nonetheless, he helped carry things to the table as Syx and the others finished up, and soon enough everyone was settled down at the table. Sabine was still grinning all over himself, pleased to see everyone together, whether they liked it or not.