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Linnet Mallory

"You never forget who you really are... no matter how many nights you stay awake trying to,"

0 · 642 views · located in The Manor

a character in “Knock 'em Dead”, as played by slcam

Description

Full name: Linnet Enola Mallory
Gender:Female
Age: 18, nearly 19 (she thinks)

Personality: Linnet, who goes by Linnie, is nearly always nervous to some extent. A worried look almost never leaves her eyes. She is very jumpy and untrusting of those around her. She talks little, and when she does speak it is in a quiet hesitant voice. However, her nervous hesitant demeanor does not mean that she is to scared to do anything. Once provoked to action, all nervousness fades and is replaced with the single minded determination that has kept her alive all these years. She despises being touched for any reason by any person, and, if they don't heed her warnings, she is likely to go into a blind rage and attack them.

Appearance:Image

Image

Height:5'4

Weight: 105

Description: Linnie has long, platinum blonde hair that falls to about the middle of her back. Her right eye is light brown and her left eye is light blue, though it is hard to distinguish until you are close to her. There is almost always a worried look in her odd eyes. She is very skinny, but has a surprising, wiry strength.

Short history: Linnet was born to a poor family in a small town near London. Her mother died due to complications from childbirth and her father, in his sorrow, began drinking. Unfortunately, he was a violent drunk, thus Linnie's revulsion to being touched. When Linnie was about 12, she snapped when her father came home drunk, found her hiding spot, and began beating her. She grabbed a pot and beat him with it until he fell unconscious and she ran off to London to get away from him. She was able to get some work here and there, just enough to keep her fed, but not enough to have a place to live other than the streets. No one was foolhardy enough to take her in either. She was taken off the streets early in the morning and now, she is in the game.

Other: Theme song! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhwV1bKQVe4&feature=BFa&list=PL8C623B22B49B0831
((and I brought you cake ;) ))
__l_l_l_l_l_l__
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|__________|

So begins...

Linnet Mallory's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Dominic Brecht Character Portrait: Hassen Heindrick Character Portrait: Allease LaVera Character Portrait: Drake Stuart Character Portrait: Lira Devine Character Portrait: Elizabeth Richardson
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A small form straddled one of the lower ridges of the roof, green eyes alert. His back rested against on of the many chimneys that seemingly sprouted from the top of the manor. Below he could see a pale form traveling the path to the building, a dark shape in it's arms. Above the shape the sun was just beginning to set, sending unassuming rays down onto the house below to make the windows sparkle and flash in the light. And make the bars that crisscrossed them sparkle as well. The light male pushed the gate open, shifting the body in his arms so he could lock the tall wrought iron gate behind him. As he continued down the cobble-and-brick path the child stirred himself, hastily standing and sliding down the steep incline to the open window.

The only unbarred windows were the ones of the attic, where James lived. Correction. Where the servants lived. Hassan had one half and James had the other. Drake had been smart enough to separate them with a a wall though, and they each had their own flight of stairs down into the main part of the building. James hurried down those steps, feet sliding in his shoes, Drake never bothered to find clothes that would actually fit James, even though he went the extra kilometer for Hassen, as the bloke hadn't been able to walk properly for a long while after his...accident.

When James made it to the wide, door-lined hall, Drake and Hassen where already there. The human looked anxious, but then again, he'd looked like that all day. All the humans and activity seemed to be doing a number on him. in the earlier part of the day he'd haunted the second floor room, acting like a guard dog. Whenever James showed his face around the corner of that hall, Hassen's head would bolt upright and he'd tense into an aggressive pose. James, even though a good fight was what he craved at the moment, always withdrew his head almost immediately. Drake had given him orders, and he couldn't perform any type of detour, even if the same was allowable when Hassen was the transgressor. Damn that human.

--

They waited. No, James waited. Drake wandered off, issuing James an order and Hassen a glance that plainly spoke, do what you like. Hassen promptly followed the light daemon down the hall and away, around the corner. James slid down the wall and rested his forehead on his knees to wait for the carefully administered drugs to wear off. Enough of a dosage that each of them would wake at approximately the same time. They were each in their assigned room, sleeping off the effects of the heavy, anesthesia-like drug. They'd awake groggy and confused but still to sedated to attack anyone or to flee.

--

Suddenly Drake reappeared, his normal grin curving his lips. Hassen trailed a meter or so behind him. James didn't care what Drake had been doing, he was feeling rather irritable, actually. He could guess though. Drake had either strolled over to the kitchen, which was on the other side of the first floor, and prepared food for the poor souls or worked on an illustration of one of his guests. Or Hassen. He'd taken to drawing Hassen much in the same way he'd often drawn James not a year before.

"Stir yourself, James." Drake said, making the boy start with surprise. He was pulled up by his upper arm, and Drake gave him a sharp little push towards one of the doors. He followed up by issuing a similar, but perhaps a touch gentler, push to Hassen.

"Line them up so we can discuss." He said vaguely.

James took the left side of the hall and Hassen took the right. First out was a light haired girl, guided out of her room. Linnet. Then came the also blonde Elizabeth from Hassen's side, from the door facing Linnet's. Then, from the door next to Linnet's came Dom, followed by Lira from the door facing his, and finally Allease was herded by James out of the door at the far end of the hall, right next to the wall. Across from it was the servant stairwell up to the second floor. The hallways was wide enough to fit all five of them shoulder to shoulder with half an arm-span of space between each.

The countenances displayed an assortment of groggy and confused faces, they still didn't seem too aware of what was going on. Drake planned to fix that, however. His red gaze traveled over each face, how different they all looked, and he paused for a moment, his jaw moving slightly as if he was chewing on his words.

"Welcome, my friends." He said warmly. The look in his eye, however, completely juxtaposed the words. "I'm glad that you have woken up. We have much to discuss. But first I feel that I should introduce everyone. It isn't fun to attend a game when you don't know your fellow player's name."

The pale male walked slowly, deliberately. He paused beside the odd-eyed blonde. He didn't meet her eyes though, as his gaze was wandering the rest of the group. "This little one is Linnet Mallory. Say hello, Linnet." He rested his slender had briefly on her shoulder before he continued, stepping behind her to reach the next person, the male who was nearly as tall as him. "This is Dominic Brecht. You may say hello too." He clapped the man on the shoulder as he moved on to the next human in the row. The blue-eyed brunette was next, His hand rested on her shoulder-blade as he introduced her. "This is Allease LaVera, you may follow with the pleasantries."

Three down, two to go.

The next was a tall twig of a man, standing slightly taller than him. Drake caught the male's upper arm briefly in his grip as he spoke. "This one is Lira Devine, Say hello, my fellow." And then to the last one, the other blonde. He paused for a moment with a hand on either shoulder as he announced the name of the last player of his game. "And finally we have Elizabeth Richardson, who may also greet the people."

In a flash he was back in front of them, shooting a glance at Hassen to make sure he was alright. He looked extremely anxious, and had taken to hovering near James when Drake moved among the other humans. James looked mildly uncomfortable with the hand on his shoulder. When the finger started tapping, James shot a glance at the other servant. The blue-green eyes were not on him, however, so he resumed his gazing at the floor. Drake's eyes traveled the pack again, they looked much more alert now.

"You are wondering why you are here at this point, I imagine." He stated, clasping his hands behind his back. "And the reason is, you are going to play a game. it is called Last Man Standing, and as such, I must lay down some rules. Firstly, if you are going to bleed to death, or inflict such an end on someone else, please make sure you don't get blood on the carpet. It takes James a devil of a time to get those stains out. Second, if you dally in the game or try to escape, you lose, and Hassen will make your end swift. Maybe." Drake jerked a thumb at the taller servant as he spoke. "Third, stay out of the room with the closed door on the second floor, or you will certainly die in the most painful way I can devise. Which would most likely result in you being ripped in half."

The daemon paused for a moment, shooting a glance at Hassen to make sure he was still alright. He could feel the poor chap's tension rising quickly. He shooed the taller out of the way, reached out, and looped his arm around James's neck, to make sure they knew that he was serious. "Also, stay out of my room and the library. And the attic. Other than that, you may go where you please. Don't steal food from the kitchens though, I will provide sustenance as you require it. Oh, and don't have sex, don't attempt to harm James or Hassen, and really, don't destroy anything other than each other. Please. And that, I think, is it. Thank you for your time."

Drake smiled winningly. The boy was slowly turning blue, his lips already a macabre purple, and had began to pull at Drake's arm frantically, his lungs complaining with the pain of not receiving oxygen. the chocolate haired servant was released suddenly, and he fell to the ground, gasping, and Drake turned on heel, vanishing around the corner without even a look at Hassen.

Let the games begin.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Dominic Brecht Character Portrait: Hassen Heindrick Character Portrait: Allease LaVera Character Portrait: Drake Stuart Character Portrait: Lira Devine Character Portrait: Elizabeth Richardson
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It was white- everything was white. If it hadn’t been for the red, piercing eyes of the wolf, I would’ve missed it. It stood right in front, eyeing me as if I was a piece of meat; yet, it didn’t attack. The white wolf lowered its head and strayed next to me, coming closer than comfort to me. It licked its muzzle; even I could tell it was very hungry- so why didn’t it attack? I was completely helpless; I couldn’t even move, as much as I tried. Even though it was a scary situation, I couldn’t help but to point out how alluring the white wolf was, how those red eyes seemed to tell a story that was too long for even my own life time. I suddenly could feel myself move- though it was very slightly.

My arm was stiff, but I managed to reach it out towards the white wolf; now just realizing how cold everything was, how the wind blew violently at me. The further my hand went out towards the wolf, the more I realized my surroundings. When my hand was reached out all the way, the sound of the blowing wind filled my ears. I quickly realized that the white wolf wasn’t alone; I heard a fierce growl and could feel pressure of another wolf along my back. The teeth tore into my neck- it felt so real, it was so scary.


Her icy blue eyes opened slowly as she found herself being pulled out of bed. Her body was heavy and stiff; it felt as if she was just hit by a carriage and decided to sleep it off. Allease’s eyes where heavy as she watched the boy heard her out of the room and into the hallway; her body leaning forward as she stumbled into the hallway, seeing a few others standing shoulder to shoulder. Confusion swept over her as she was placed by a tall boy with brown hair. She looked up at him with groggy eyes before looking straight forward, to see a familiar face.

It was the face of the white wolf that had haunted her dreams, yet just a moment ago; she found it a bit humorous to see how alike he had looked to the wolf in her dreams and couldn’t help but to peer a sleepy smile- looking as if she was drunk. She nearly dozed out of his whole introduction thing with the people, too dumbstruck to pay any attention, but she snapped quickly out of it when she had felt his hand rest on her shoulder- unnoticeably jumping suddenly away from his grasp a little.

Allease resumed her spot when he had moved onto the next person, now listening to whatever he was saying. "You are wondering why you are here at this point, I imagine. And the reason is, you are going to play a game. It is called Last Man Standing, and as such, I must lay down some rules. Firstly, if you are going to bleed to death, or inflict such an end on someone else, please make sure you don't get blood on the carpet. It takes James a devil of a time to get those stains out. Second, if you dally in the game or try to escape, you lose, and Hassen will make your end swift. Maybe." She couldn’t help but to wince at his words. "Third, stay out of the room with the closed door on the second floor, or you will certainly die in the most painful way I can devise. Which would most likely result in you being ripped in half."

Ok, now, he couldn’t just do that! Now that she was alert and listening, Allease started to wonder what he was talking about. Why was it so forbidden to go into the doors that he had closed? Her eyes darting from him to the now glaring Hassen; the boy had reminded her of a feral dog- one that was lost beyond repair. She automatically felt pity for the boy, but quickly tried to refrain her thoughts from progressing; Allease knew the feeling of pity, and she knew very well that she would rather have someone’s cold hatred than their disgusting pity.

Once she had her head cleared, she had realized just how much confusion had token over her; not only that, but compared to others around here, she felt smaller than ever. She swallowed hard as she watched Drake choke James harshly before making his exit swiftly. Now she was growing anxious and fearful as she watched the man fall to the ground, gasping for air. Allease’s chest expanded as she looked down at her clothing; which had only consisted of a light pink dress that reached just below her ankles- slightly showing off her large, brown ankle boots. The dress was ruffled along the square neckline and the ends of the sleeves, it complemented her figure, but made her look very flat chested; her hair was messily pulled back into a low ponytail. She looked like she was dragged out of bed.

"A-are you alright?" Her eyes beaded across the hallway to the girl who had spoken, walking over towards James to help him out. For some odd reason, when Elizabeth had asked the boy for help, it sparked an odd memory of where she was before this had all happened. Her eyes slightly closed as she could remember her walk back- perhaps it wasn’t too smart to walk alone at night.

She could remember it now, how addictive the night was; the cool wind blew gently and it was the perfect night to just walk home. Now, Allease realized how oblivious she had been, though, she didn’t worry much about now- why worry about the past now when she had a much bigger problem on her hands. Her eyes beaded to the dog-boy, who she assumed was Hassan. His glares send shutters down her back; her goal now was to completely avoid the boy.

Allease’s mind tried to make up possibilities to her predicament at hand now, but because she had just recently awoken, her mind became a blank, which in turn had aggravated her much. After what seemed like a moment of thinking, Allease decided that it would be a good idea to flee instead of fight- or at least stay here long enough to hear the others’ opinions. She took a step forward, before turning her head slightly towards the others. “W-Well, I guess I’ll be g-going then…” She gave a weak, innocent smile that easily portrayed her feelings of confusion and fear.

She decided that exploring the place might be able to ease her nerves, but in reality, she had many questions to ask the three men who put her there, but she thought it would be smart for her to calm herself down before asking questions; almost like thinking of a logical answer to explain all of this. Allease gently and quietly stepped around James, her eyes glazed over as she saw him. The boy was absolutely adorable! If she wasn’t in such a predicament, not much would stop her from bending down and picking him up like a kitten to hug him tightly in her arms.

Allease’s eyes did avoid Hassen’s though, not wanting to have much contact until she either had all the answers to her questions, or until she was able to calm down enough to be able to speak properly. Though, the boy was in her thoughts, as well as everyone else in the area. She silently went over the rules in her head before she stopped at the kitchen. Oh how was it big! She walked towards it but quickly stopped and leaned against the wall. Allease tried to hold back everything and bottled it up inside. She figured that she’d be at a small advantage if she had gotten a weapon and hid it somewhere, but the thing was, she had nowhere to hide it.

She started to think about her advantages and disadvantages; Hassen was tall, and would have no problem to take her down. From the looks of Dominic, he could easily crush her as well and knowing that fact scared her a bit. Lira didn’t really seem much of a threat, but she knew looks could be deceiving. He reminded her very much of the snake in the bible- the one who’d convinced Eve to eat the apple, but she couldn’t be for sure since it was only her assumptions.

Linnet was quite beautiful, and in Allease’s opinion, looked much like a small doll; she would hate to see such a pretty girl get hurt, so Allease started to think that she’d avoid the women who were there with her; but under certain circumstances, Allease knew that it would be smart to have more than just yourself to rely on. Elizabeth seemed sweet, and had reminded Allease of Cinderella, a character in a book she had once read.

Allease lightly shook her head and even thumped it against the wall she was leaning on, hating the sour way her thoughts had turned. Her right hand grabbed her left arm as she tried to comfort herself and sort out her annoying thoughts.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Dominic Brecht Character Portrait: Hassen Heindrick Character Portrait: Allease LaVera Character Portrait: Drake Stuart Character Portrait: Lira Devine Character Portrait: Elizabeth Richardson
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#, as written by slcam
Linnet's vision slowly focused on arms, pale arms, wrapped securely around her, carrying her off to some unknown destination. As she turned her eyes upward to look upon the face of the person carrying her, her attention was caught momentarily by a sky streaked with spiraling, vivid colors that, for some reason, felt totally normal. All sensation faded as she felt pulled into the pulsing whirlpool of color. All too soon, the sensation of being carried returned and her head completed its turn. A scream of terror caught in her throat as she recognized the face of her father, filled with drunken rage. His eyes, instead of their usual dark brown, were bright red as a newly blooming rose. Linnet was certain from the rage on his face that he would kill her this time. A screaming voice echoed in her mind, though the man's lips never moved, "It was you! You killed her! You killed my wife!" The sobs followed, soon accompanied by a now quiet, hoarse voice,"Now she is gone and I am stuck with you." Linnet struggled desperately to get out of his grasp, but felt weak as a newborn. The red eyes were as filled with hate as the twisted, spiteful smile. His face began to flicker as his hair turned a startling white, even paler than her own as it grew longer. It wrapped around her neck and mouth, slowly strangling her as she struggled to scream, to breath, to move...

Linnie fought her way out of the nightmare, a scream finally escaping as she bolted upright to a sitting position, the sheets tangled around her small form. Where... am I? she wondered, her thoughts seeming to move in slow motion. For a moment, she feared she was going blind, but her vision slowly became more clear, if not totally, as the terror of the dream began to fade, replaced by a steadily growing headache. The room was mostly dark except for a rim of light from under the door that dimly illuminated the room. If her vision was normal, she would have easily been able to make out what was in the room, but all she could see was dark blobs. Where am I? she pondered again. Did I faint on my way to work? Did... did someone bring me in off the street?

However, she soon realized that didn't fit because of a brief remembrance of being grabbed from behind in the empty, or so she thought, street. She struggled, even feeling her elbow jab ribs, but after that, all was fuzzy and blank. And then the nightmare. Linnie shuddered and dropped the train of thought. She untangled the sheets, moving slowly so the room wouldn't spin as badly. After a moment, the messed up sheets were kicked off in a still tangled heap and Linnet slowly scooted to the edge of the bed. As her feet touched the ground, the door opened, and she gave a jump, though somewhat delayed. A boy with dark brown hair, or so she supposed, quickly got her up and hurried her out of the door and into a wide hall. Her headache intensified at the sudden brightness, but as her eyes adjusted, everything was almost entirely clear. Linnie watched with a hand covering her mouth and concern in her dual-color eyes as others were taken out of various rooms and made to stand next to her in various states of confusion and consciousness.

Linnet involuntarily shuddered at the sight of the man with the same white hair and red eyes as were in her dream, unconsciously taking a small step back as his gaze passed over hers, but her eyes never left the man's face as he began speaking. She nearly bolted as the man stepped toward her, but her body didn't respond. She trembled slightly at his touch, her hand lowering to her throat as she endeavored to say something, but her mouth quickly shut and the man moved on. She slowly turned, her eyes never leaving him as he introduced one person after another. Dominic Brecht. Allease LaVera.
Lira Devine. Elizabeth Richardson. She mouthed each name, her eyes glancing to each and just as quickly latching back on the albino's face.

He finished the introductions and began explaining why they were there. Linnie never even noticed the other servant with the disfigured face as she stared, taking in all she could of what the man said about this game they were to play. Her mind still seemed to work in slow motion, but she understood the jist of what he was saying. They were meant to kill each other, and if they took too long or tried to escape, the other servant, Hassan, would kill them. Her eyes nervously flickered to Hassan's disfigured face before looking at the other servant, James, as the man began choking him, still listing the rules as the boy turned blue from lack of oxygen. The man quickly released James, who fell to the floor, and strode away. Linnie's worried eyes followed the man until he was out of sight, and then darted to the poor James and the young woman who was moving to help him, Elizabeth.

We are now in a game of kill or be killed, Linnie thought bleakly, her odd eyes still vaguely frightened and an out of place determination apparent. She slowly backed away from the others, taking them all in until her back touched a wall. She slid down to a sitting position, watching, waiting for what would happen next. She knew then that she would do everything possible to survive.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Dominic Brecht Character Portrait: Hassen Heindrick Character Portrait: Allease LaVera Character Portrait: Drake Stuart Character Portrait: Lira Devine Character Portrait: Elizabeth Richardson
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The room was dark. He had no idea what time of day it was. And where was he, exactly? It wasn't his own room, he was sure of that. As Dom attempted to sit up, his limbs felt heavy and clumsy. It was as if his brain had flipped on the slow motion switch. Everything was taking so long to process, and he didn't even know what he was processing to begin with. "Did I drink so much that I ended up in someone else's house?" Even his words came out slurred. He'd dealt with the effects of alcohol the morning after, but this was something on a whole new level. He realized that he was still laying down, never actually having sat up like he'd planned. His fingers fumbled with the sheets, not even being able to keep a hold on them. He balled his fists in frustration, but his fingers slid and fell limply against the sheets.

The minutes passed slowly, but thankfully he was getting some control back. Then his door burst open, and light flooded into the room. It overloaded his senses, and he shied away from the light. With the light shining, he realized he couldn't see as well as he thought he could. A dark shape hovered over him, grabbing his arms and pulling him up out of bed. The room swam around him, and he felt like he was going to throw up. He was guided towards the light, and brought to stand next to a girl he'd never seen before. At least he assumed she was a girl, his vision was still blurry. When the hand let go of him, he was grateful to find that he could stand on his own, though he felt like he was standing on a boat in the middle of the ocean. He watched as three other people were brought out in the same manner to stand next to him.

Dom finally noticed the figure standing in front of them all, and found it weird that he hadn't noticed the man before. His hair was white, but it most certainly wasn't from old age, and he had piercing blood red eyes. Yet as much as they held hatred, he couldn't make himself look away. He partly registered that there were two other people, who seemed to be doing all of this man's work for him. His vision started to clear, and he felt slightly more in control of his body than before.

"Welcome, my friends. I'm glad that you have woken up. We have much to discuss. But first I feel that I should introduce everyone. It isn't fun to attend a game when you don't know your fellow player's name."

Game? What was this man talking about? And how had he even gotten here in the first place? His memory didn't seem to be functioning properly. Suddenly the man slapped him on the shoulder, and he wavered, almost falling to the ground. He focused on the man's words now, hearing him introduce the three others. He was becoming more confused by the minute. In the blink of an eye, the strange man with the red eyes was standing in front of them once more.

"You are wondering why you are here at this point, I imagine. And the reason is, you are going to play a game. it is called Last Man Standing, and as such, I must lay down some rules. Firstly, if you are going to bleed to death, or inflict such an end on someone else, please make sure you don't get blood on the carpet. It takes James a devil of a time to get those stains out. Second, if you dally in the game or try to escape, you lose, and Hassen will make your end swift. Maybe. Third, stay out of the room with the closed door on the second floor, or you will certainly die in the most painful way I can devise. Which would most likely result in you being ripped in half."

The man's arm shot out in a blur, and came back with a young boy stuck in its grasp. His eyes narrowed, head cocked to the side, staring with pure puzzlement. His eyes then moved left to right, looking at the other's faces, yet none of them seemed to know what was going on either. His eyes returned to the front as the man finished his monologue. "Also, stay out of my room and the library. And the attic. Other than that, you may go where you please. Don't steal food from the kitchens though, I will provide sustenance as you require it. Oh, and don't have sex, don't attempt to harm James or Hassen, and really, don't destroy anything other than each other. Please. And that, I think, is it. Thank you for your time."

The man quickly disappeared after letting go of the boy, who crumpled to the ground in a heap. Immediately the girl at the end of the line rushed towards the fallen boy. Already he'd forgotten her name. Then the girl to his immediate right took off on her own, while the one to his left backed away, a look of horror in her eyes. He looked down to find his left hand shaking violently. He grabbed it with his other hand, forcing it to be steady. The two servants stayed, not saying or doing anything. He spun around in a circle, his hands out palm up, as if saying 'what exactly is going on here?' Suddenly, a memory flashed in his mind. He had just woken up late morning to find the house empty, had gotten dressed, and went outside to walk off headache from the night before. When he had opened the front door, a figure he hadn't seen quickly assaulted him, he felt a poke, and the world around him had slowly faded to black.

Dom's eyes made contact with every face still in the room. He posed a question to the eerily silent room. "This is some kind of joke, right?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Dominic Brecht Character Portrait: Hassen Heindrick Character Portrait: Allease LaVera Character Portrait: Drake Stuart Character Portrait: Lira Devine Character Portrait: Elizabeth Richardson
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What was this? Lira's dark, blank eyes widened in panic and shock as strong hands grabbed him from behind. He had been right. Why did he choose this day, this moment to go for a damn walk? People were after him! They always had been and he had evaded all attacks... Why did he fail now? The urge for a breath of fresh air was gone and Lira cursed himself as he striggled against the hands holding him captive. If only he were stronger... If only he hadn't sent his body guards home for the rest of the day... then this wouldn't have happened. Lira was finally about to yell for help, but the attacker must have read his mind, as Lira's mouth was quickly covered. The grip was tight and the tall, pale man could feel himself straining for oxygen. Which competitor was this one? Lira tried to get a glimpse of the face, turning his neck as much as he could.

All he saw were a pair of gleaming red eyes, leering at him as Lira faded out of conciousness.


When the wealthy heir opened his eyes, Lira automatically squinted. The light.. was kind of bright. Where was he? Then his head started throbbing and everything came back to him. Ignoring the pain, his dark eyes darted from left to right and was upset to see so many people near him. The urge to run and flee were the first thoughts in his mind. However, his upbringing wouldn't allow him to shrink into himself the way he wished to. No. Lira was trained to stand up straight with his posture rigid and his eyes cold. So that's exactly what he did. Let no one see the fear. He quickly tried to see who he was with. However, there was no need as the pale man with the red eyes started introducing everyone there. Everyone seemed different and unusual in their own way. There were three women besides him and the other man called Dominic. Obviously, this was a fight to the death. Drake Stewart confirmed his thoughts. The smooth voice was not lost upon Lira's ears and the skinny young man made up his mind. Lira knew how the poweful men worked. Everything was just a game. Lira had taken part of many before... though not one that was as violent as this. They had all been mostly mental games.. but how much harder could this be?

He was going to kill everyone there. Besides Drake Stewert and his slaves, of course. Then he would live and go home and live the way he was used to. Weaknesses were something he was used to spotting. It would be quick and maybe even easy. Then Lira felt someone's gaze upon him and immediately tensed. Eyes were things he became used to.. but hated. People were always looking at him be it with hate, fear, or disdain. It repulsed him. With one look at him, they all drew their own conclusions.

Lira hated people. He had always hated everything about them. It might be... fun to kill them. He glanced back at the women and then back at Dominic. Lira decided he would save the guy for last. He seemed like the biggest threat. In appearance, Lira was much weaker looking but he had faith in his intelligence. Lira was sure he would be able to do this.

Dominic Brecht. Allease LaVera. Linnet Mallory. Elizabeth Richardson. No matter. Names were meaningless now.

Then Drake put an arm around James' neck and the servant started turning blue, thrashing weakly. Lira just looked around calmly. He caught sight of the other servant, Hassen. The one that was to kill them if they did anything Drake did not like. He made a mental note to stay away from him. It wouldn't do to panic, though part of his mind was wanting to scream and beg to be released from this game. That was the stupid cowardly side of him and Lira ignored it.

Despite... his problems, Lira always, always managed to get on top. To win. There was no way he was going to lose now.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Dominic Brecht Character Portrait: Hassen Heindrick Character Portrait: Allease LaVera Character Portrait: Lira Devine Character Portrait: Elizabeth Richardson
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No one voiced an answer to Dom's question, but the answer was clear enough as he watched the boy slowly shake his head back and forth. His brain was immediately overloaded with questions, complaints, worries, and too many other things to process. Honestly, he wanted to collapse to the ground and cry. But that would look weak in the other's eyes. His hand began to shake once more, and he had to steady it. The second servant suddenly started forward, bumping into him, and then to the man next to him, before stalking off. He watched the servant go, more confused than angry about the entire situation. One by one, the other 'contestants' left the hallway, all heading in different directions. He was going to follow, when his other hand began to violently shake as well. Frowning, he quickly slipped back into the room he'd been sleeping in moments before.

He didn't even go to the bed. He just slid his back down the door, ending up sprawled on the floor right there. He couldn't stop the shaking, and it was beginning to frustrate him. He clenched his fists, doing his best to stop the trembling. He took a few deep breaths, trying to calm his nerves. If what was said was indeed true, he would be dead soon. As well as everyone else that had stood beside him. And the worst part was that they were supposed to take each other out. He slammed his fist against the floor a few times, trying to let his anger out. This wasn't the time to be emotional... he needed to have a clear head.

Dom's thoughts returned to the four other beings who had been thrown into this as he had. Three females and one other male. He didn't know if he should try to go it alone, or attempt to pair up with someone. Two minds were better than one. But eventually he would be turned against his partner. He most likely could charm any of the females into working with him. But the way they had looked at him. Had they been sizing him up, or working out their plans to kill him off first? Maybe he should just easily get all the females killed first. The other man was his biggest opponent, though. He wasn't physically intimidating, but one look at his eyes and Dom had known he would be difficult.

Were they all plotting together to kill him first? He was easily the most physically intimidating. Maybe he should just try to avoid them all and let them attack each other. Suddenly, his eyes filled with tears as a wave of sadness passed over him. He would never see anyone else again: his father, best friend, any other women. He wiped the tears away forcefully, angry that he'd let himself become so fragile. He needed to focus and get it together fast, or he didn't have the slightest chance against the others. He finally relaxed his fists, letting his fingers fall against the floor, and he was relieved to find that the trembling had stopped.

It was time to come up with a solid plan... and fast.

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Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Dominic Brecht Character Portrait: Lira Devine Character Portrait: Elizabeth Richardson
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Humans dispersed quickly. Allease was already far gone to where ever it was that caught her fancy, and Elizabeth followed soon after, her shoes clip-clopping like a little horse. She'd left him with a lingering look. She'd die quickly, James decided. She was jumpy looking, and perhaps slightly paranoid from the look in her eye. Or maybe she was just frightened, which was twice as bad. A troubled look entered the boy's face for a moment. There wasn't anything he could do about it. It was better for him if they died as 'painlessly' as possible anyway. And with the smallest amount of mess. Strangulation or asphyxiation or something. No blood.

Next to skitter off was Lira. He caught the end of the male's decay into a lesser state before the body flattened itself to the wall and slid away. That one reminded James of Hassen in a chilling way. Speaking of Hassen, James's eyes flicked to the human the servant had bumped into in his passing. James was pleased that he'd won the standoff, but it was a lackluster victory. Hassen was obviously tired and in no mood to put up a proper fight, so the clashing wasn't interesting enough. Dominic seemed to be contending with the shaking his hands were currently enduring, and shortly after James's green eyes landed on him he scooted back to his room, a deep frown on his face.

That left Linnet. She was as good a target as any, and James needed something 'productive' to do. He'd keep an eye on her for a while. she seemed shrewd enough, but at the same time perhaps a bit cowed. But that was humans in general. James hadn't really expected anything different. Green eyes flicked over her, and he meandered his way in her direction. She looked about ready to leave. before he made it to her he paused by Dom's door, resting the flat of his hand on the door for a second as if that alone could tell him if the male was alright. Then he continued. His face was creased by slight trepidation, mostly for her sake. A shy boy would seem less of a threat than a cold servant.

Upon a closer examination, James noted that her eyes were different colors. It was a curious looking ailment. Unearthly in an all to human way. As he neared further, James slowly reached into his jacket, his other gloved hand facing up to show that he meant no threat. From his interior pocket he withdrew a hand sized knife, holding it pinched by the blade between his first finger and thumb. It was a simple weapon, slender but blocky, with a finger length blade with rudimentary steel working and a squarish handle wrapped in a sort of canvass. There was no fuller; the dull sides of the blade were completely smooth. A poor but efficient and strong weapon. He offered it to her handle first, a little flicker of a smile curving one side of his mouth. The look echoed in the surface of his eyes, but the depths were blank as anything.

Business as usual. Drake had instructed him to arm the humans as he found necessary to move the game, and James decided that this young woman had quite the amount of potential for the game from the way she sat calmly, examining the others. And perhaps a little part of her reminded him of another human in a...sparrowish way. His throat bobbed as if he was about to say something, but of course he couldn't. And didn't. He shouldn't go making friends with the humans anyway. He knew how well that had turned out last time he'd done something so foolish as becoming curious and growing close to one of those little blood-spatters.

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Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Hassen Heindrick
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#, as written by slcam
Linnet quickly looked up as James approached. She hadn't even noticed he was still in the room. How stupid can I be? she thought, mentally berating herself. The nervousness in her eyes increased, as well as the strange fierceness that she had perfected over the years. It made her resemble one of the half starved curs that wandered the streets when they were cornered by particularly cruel schoolboys with nothing else to do. Her eyes held that strange mix that was seen right before fangs were bared. Most of the time, when she was alone after dark, this very look would give any particular attacker pause enough that she could escape, her strange eyes flashing in the moonlight. However, James only continued his approach, one hand up non-threateningly, but the other in his pocket, grabbing for only God knows what. At this, Linnet jumped up, her teeth slightly bared since she now fearfully scowled at James as he pulled out a knife. When he calmly handed it to her, her face returned to its normal blankness as the fierceness drained out of her eyes like water down a drain. She hesitantly put out a hand, her eyes not leaving James's face as she took the knife, her hand brushing lightly against his. She let out a small breath meekly spoke.

"Thank ya... evar so much... Sur James," Linnie said softly with a slight nod of her head. She wasn't quite sure what to call him, James was too informal and Mister sounded like an old man. In any case, Sir James seemed to fit him nicely. She also wasn't quite sure if she was supposed to be above him or below him. He was a servant and also a captor, but she was little better than a servant as well. Either way, it was a silly thing to consider, but she couldn't quite help herself. She gripped the knife firmly for a moment, looking at it carefully. It wasn't pretty and shiny, but she had never really had anything pretty and shiny anyway. It was a adequate blade for her needs and she wasn't one to be picky. Linnie reached back to tuck it in the wide sash of the somewhat wrinkled work apron she still wore, realizing she still had a couple coins sown into it. She made sure it was adequately hidden from even the most picky eyes while still somewhat accessible as she loosened and adjusted the garment.

After a moment, her eyes hardened slightly as a new thought occurred to her. "Are... are there otha knifes in the kitchin?" she asked, her now mostly serious eyes fixed on James's face as if searching for the answer there. Suddenly, there was a loud, inhuman roar and pounding on a door. Linnet jumped nearly a foot of the ground, hitting back on the wall, but not especially hard. When she landed, her hand was already fingering the knife through the fabric. It's Hassen, she noted, with slight fear and agitation. Has he cracked already? She now noticed there was a dog with the man, but made no move toward it. Dogs were never to be approached in her thinking. When she realized there was no threat to her at the moment, her gaze returned to James's face.

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Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Hassen Heindrick Character Portrait: Allease LaVera
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After a few moments of doing nothing but walking around and taking deep breaths, Allease was finally calm and level headed. Her body leaned against the wall, it was silent all around her as she thought; it was certainly something she had never done, killing someone that is. It was memories of the farm that came to her mind; Allease’s first time butchering a farm animal. Her skin became chilled and she shuttered a little bit, not realizing how truly afraid she was of killing an animal.

The thing was, people weren’t animals; they were much more violent and horrid- at least an animal can die innocent, while a person cannot. Or that’s how she thought at least; that is why she had loved animals so much more- they had no true evil desires. Her blue eyes peered open as she got her plan together; Allease would try her hardest to avoid any contact at any cost, from anyone unless it was from the three men who had put her here. She decided that it was best to allow them to kill each other off; if she had so happen to run into someone, she would certainly fight back if they had attacked first.

Poor Allease didn’t have much on her though, and she would have to watch her back carefully- she would have to play her cards carefully. She thought over her surroundings; a main bathroom where everyone shares the tub, which meant no baths- it was too dangerous to take one here (even though anyone who knew Allease knew she absolutely loved baths). Her room didn’t have locks, but despite it plain looks, (Allease was able to examine it very vaguely and quickly as she left the room when the young boy, James herded them out) the room was quite filled with unnoticeable weapons. Even though her room was established, it wouldn’t protect her from being attacked in the hallways.

In her midst of thinking, she hadn’t realized the hot drops on her cheeks until she paused; Allease raised a hand up towards her face to touch a small tear. Was, was she crying? Before she could react further, a small choke escaped from her lips; she felt utterly pathetic- crying in a situation like this. Allease raised her arms towards her face and quickly wiped it dry; shutting her eyes tightly to avoid any more tears from falling. She quickly wiped her nose against her sleeve before opening her eyes once more. Get it together! You need to survive and crying won’t do much good! She scolded herself in her mind. Her blue eyes became icy and her nose went red; great, now everyone will realize that she was crying and point her out as the weakling of the group.

Even though she wasn’t crying anymore, hiccups still escaped from her mouth and her body trembled lightly, but unnoticeabley as she headed down the hall, still wiping her face. She slammed her hands against her cheeks hard to try and get herself together before stopping at the kitchen once more. Thoughts ran through Allease’s head as she stared emptily at the kitchen, should she grab a knife? She knew she didn’t have anywhere to put it without having a chance of hurting herself as well; a sigh escaped from her lips before she quickly made her way towards where she started. When she had turned the corner, a loud yelp nearly startled her half to death.

She couldn’t help but to peer her head around the corner, to find Hassen by Dominic’s door, and a, was that a dog? Allease’s heart thumped loudly before she turned the corner slightly to make her appearance. “It’s adorable.” She was monotone, but her eyes loving and happy at the sight of the puppy. “When did you get it?” Her head leaned against the wall slightly as she watched the puppy- all its fur just made it look cute. It was then she realized what she was saying, and who she was saying it too, not only that but he had seemed to be busy. Her lips parted slightly before standing straight up, away from leaning on the wall.

“You seem busy. I am truly sorry for disrupting you.” A weak smile was planted on her lips as she stared at him and the dog; oh how she wanted to leave, but she couldn’t, not just yet. Allease hadn’t known why she couldn’t move, but she couldn’t; perhaps it was the dog? Allease was so focused on the dog, that she hadn’t recognized Linnet and James standing there until her eyes carefully averted towards them. She stared silently at Linnet before her gaze reached James and then back to Hassen and his dog; maybe it was a good idea to stay forever in her room.

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Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Hassen Heindrick Character Portrait: Allease LaVera Character Portrait: Elizabeth Richardson
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#, as written by slcam
Linnie was somewhat taken aback by James's yawn, or more exactly, what was missing from it. He had no tongue, just a stump. Linnie kept the pity she felt from her eyes, however. She knew how horrible it felt to be pitied, no matter what the circumstance. Though her countenance didn't change, it was still obvious that she had noticed. At James's nod, Linnet gave a little sigh, looking down slightly and crossing her arms. Her eyes went back to his face as she gave a smile. It was a small, half-hearted sort of smile, but a smile none the less. "Well, I'll be off then, Sur James." She gave a little nod before stepping around him, noticing Allease now standing in the hall talking to Hassen. Allease glanced over at James and Linnie and Linnet noticed James stiffen beside her. Did Allease make him stiffen, or was it just the feeling of being watched?

Linnie hesitantly took a step toward the Hall. She had to find the kitchen somehow, but she really didn't want to go past Allease, Hassen, and especially, the dog. She determinedly kept walking, keeping her head down as she past the dog as far as she could be from him and the same for Hassen and Allease. She meant to calmly walk, but as she went around the corner, she found herself to be nearly runnning, though still at what could be called a walk. As soon as she was out of their sight she did begin running, stopping and peering around each corner before continuing. After running through a few halls and sneaking past the other woman, Elizabeth, whose back was turned, Linnie found the kitchen. She hesitated, making sure there was no one in either the hall or the kitchen before she continued in. She quickly rummaged through all the drawers and even the cabinets, and took out every knife, and even a few other sharp objects, and stuck them in the deep front pocket of her apron. She layered and alternated the blades, hoping they wouldn't make as much noise that way.

She poked her head out of the door to the hallway, and, not seeing anyone, hurried off to find a staircase. She only walked now, not wanting it to be obvious that she had things in her apron. She soon found the stairs and went up to the second level to hide the knives. She wondered where exactly the room they were supposed to avoid was. She calmly wandered about, hiding a couple knives in a vase, a few under a mattress in an unoccupied bedroom, some stuffed under a heavy wardrobe in a different room. Soon she had hidden them all and felt a bit better as she sat in a random corner on a thick carpet. Even though it was likely she wouldn't be the only one James supplied a knife to, they at least weren't so readily available now. She wondered if there was another kitchen somewhere and began wandering again.

She found the hall with the closed door and decided it would be better to not even go down it. After walking through a few more halls, Linnie began feeling a bit tired. She stopped in what seemed to be a sort of parlor that was near some narrow stairs leading to the attic. She slowly entered the dark room and looked around. There were a couple sofas, a little table, and some art on the walls, but not much else. She took the knife James gave her out and squeezed between one of the couches and the wall, hidden from anyone looking in from the door. I just want to sit and rest for a minute out of everyone's way, she thought. She began trying to process all that happened, tears streaming silently down her pale cheeks, the knife in her lap.

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Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: Lira Devine
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After a few moments, Linnie gave a sigh and lifted her face from her knees. She wiped her face and a look of near surprise crossed her eyes when her hand came away wet. "Now's not tha time ta be cryin', ya hear Linnie," she told herself firmly. She almost jumped at her own voice in the quiet room and scolded herself once more for being foolish. She quickly wiped her eyes on her skirt and sat a moment until she was sure her eyes were no longer red. Luckily, she didn't need to blow her nose. She didn't know what she would blow it on if she did, she had no hankie. A few seconds later, she had gotten up and managed to squeeze out of her hiding spot.

She walked out of the room while tucking the knife back into its place and continued down the hall, still checking every corner before crossing and keeping as far away from the corridor with the shut door as possible. Perhaps that is a way to escape, she mused, but more likely, that would be the third floor rooms.She didn't know exactly what she was looking for, but she didn't like not knowing where the others were, even though she couldn't have been gone more than a half hour.

Linnet had just gotten to the bottom of the stairs when suddenly, there ws a loud shriek. Someone's hurt! she thought, her feet already carrying her to the source of the sound as she gathered her skirts so she wouldn't trip over them. She had already passed through a couple halls before the thought came to her that she should be running away from the noise, instead of toward it.

Before she could decide to change course, she hurdled around a corner only to find someone directy in her path. The Snake, she thought in alarm, too late to stop herself as she crashed directly into Lira and onto the floor.

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Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Lira Devine
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Lira was trying his best to take everything in when the familiar feeling of eyes were on his back. Was someone already trying to kill him? His chest leaped at that thought. He was in a hallway that he hadn't been in before and was quickly taking in shallow breaths. His eyes darted from left to right but he was too fearful tp look backwards where he would no doubt see his stalker. Lira put both pale, shaking hands on the wall beside him and shuffled a few feet away. The cold, indifferent Lira was gone at the moment. Now it was just the lonely, paranoid boy who was scared shitless.

He felt like crying and burying his head in his hands. Out of all people, why him? All he wanted to do was curl up in his bed and do nothing. It was the besat way to calm down for Lira. There was never anyone to comfort or hug him. It was always him, by himself alone. There wasn't a single soul who offered him simple, kind words. If there was any urge to, fear from his parents quickly squashed any sympathy away. Lira's whole body was shaking and his pale lips opened. However, no sound came out except a slight wheeze. The fight or flee instinct had set in but Lira was frozen in place. His feet feeling like collumns of lead.

What was this? Lira had never been so terrified. But then again, he had never been in such a life or death situation. Was he that scared of dying?

If the person wanted to attack you, he would have done it while you were panicing...

The clever part of his brain seemed to speak to him with a touch of contempt and disdain. Was that his voice? Lira pondered this a moment before backing away from the wall and taking a step foward. The voice was right after all. It must have been simple to finish him off while he was sniveling and feeling sorry for himself. Who was it? Who was this person that followed him? Lira had a feeling it wasn't a woman. So maybe it was the man that called himself Dominic? Well, whoever it was, had lost their chance. The pathetic boy was gone now. Lira was increasing his pace and cursing the being that followed him. This person was making Lira lose his cool.

He had paused again and was deliberating where to go next when there were sudden footsteps behind him. Before Lira could look back or run, a force collided into his lanky frame making him go crashing into the ground. He held in the small cry of surprise that almost escaped his lips as his kness made contact with the hard floor, his hands quickly following. What the hell was this? The weight on top of him did not seem to be too heavy or muscular. Instead, the attacker seemed to be made of soft curves.

Tch. No matter if this was a woman, she attacked at a bad time. Had this been the one to watch him before? Lira stood quickly, feeling relieved as the weight no longer bore him down. Now that he was up and standing, Lira took the time to gaze at the woman. If his memory served him correctly, this was the one called Linnet. He made his signature glare and loosened his stance giving him that careless indifferent look.

"So you want to die this fast hmmm?" Lira asked in a low, icy tone. His lips quirked up into a smirk. "If you wanted to kill me, you should have attacked me sooner when I was an easy target."

His sense of indifference came back and all he could feel was annoyance. The feeling of anxiety and fear had melted away as if it hadn't existed in the first place. However, Lira still had no wish to confront the person trailing him and continued walking, taking twists and turns, hoping the person would lose interest and leave him alone.

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Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: Hassen Heindrick Character Portrait: Allease LaVera Character Portrait: Lira Devine
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Linnet scrambled back from Lira, who she had knocked down. She nervously stared, looking up at him as his face took on an irritated scowl. His words chilled her, causing her face to go pale as she fingered her knife. She gave a relieved breath as he turned and strode away and she scooted back further to sit against the wall. Lira had thought she was trying to kill him. It wasn't true and Linnie wondered whether she should have said something about it. On the other hand, it might work to her benefit if he thought she had tried to kill him. Or it could go horribly wrong and he might try to kill her to eliminate any threat. Either way it would complicate things and she would have to be more careful. Her heart was still beating fast, but at least the screaming had stopped. Linnie wondered again whether anyone had been hurt or killed. After a moment, she got to her feet and began walking.

As she reached the hallway that led to the stairs, she noticed one of the other women and Hassen. Linnie quickly ducked out of sight behind the corner and cautiously peeked around at them. Linnie was nervous that the woman, Allease, would be harmed. Hassen did not seem to be in a good mood. Linnie, unsure of what else to do, stayed still and watched.

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Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Lira Devine
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Uh-oh. James retreated slightly as another form hurtled around the corner in front of the human he was tailing. The young male settled himself in a nearby door frame to see what would transpire. It was the little mismatch girl, Linette. James frowned slightly. What was she doing? For one, she didn't look to be the type who'd just out and off someone right away, rarely did a human go ballistic and start killing people for no reason here, there had to be some kind of confrontation first. And she didn't seem to have a weapon out, so what was she playing at?

James leaned farther out from the safety of his door frame so he could examine the situation while the humans were focused on each other. He could see a back of the head thirds view of Lira, enough that he could make out that his lips were moving and his head tilted disdainfully. Of Linnet he could see a partial profile, and the nervous look on her face. She hadn't been running to attack him, which meant that she had to have another reason. Probably. Sometime humans did stupid things for no reason, but usually they had some kind of motivation. Was she fleeing? She didn't seem in any particular hurry to get up though, after the tall male continued on his way. The earlier fear the butler had seen in his gait was gone. He'd wondered if he was the cause of the stress, or it had been something in the man's head. Now he decided that it had been some internal worry, and that Lira was not aware of his stalker.

James wanted to continue following the male, it was something interesting to do, but little Linnet was still on the ground, looking slightly dumbstruck. What had she been running for. Or from? Had it been Hassen's wailing, which had sounded just a few moments before she appeared around that corner? Why was she running towards the source of the noise? That was an utterly idiotic idea, running towards a screaming person. Screaming usually meant something bad, and here, that meant death. Of course, with Hassen, one never quite knew. James had no particular urge to see if his fellow butler was alright or not, so he was not going to waste time wondering what thing the human had gotten himself into this time. He was so delicate, so weak because of his injuries, if he wasn't attacking someone he was probably having problems with one part of his body or another. Maybe he overexerted himself playing with his little dog or something.

Linnet stood, and continued on her way, towards the now quiet hallway where the sound had emanated. James paused for another moment, to make sure she wouldn't come back and that there was no one pursuing her, then he continued his aimless hunt. Lira was a ways ahead, but thankfully he wasn't too far away. Because then James would have lost his game, and he didn't want to resort to extreme measures. It wouldn't be worth loosing a couple hours of coherent thought. And Drake thought an apt way to fix him was to whack his head against the floor, or a wall, which always left him with a splitting headache and a broken skull.

Of course, soul scents carry far, and even without trying he could sense all the people within a six meter range, and feel everyone within the building. On a good day he could smell the people from the town on the other side of the little forest, if the wind was blowing right. As it was, he had a general idea of where everyone was, even though he wasn't very good at telling who was who. Humans were human, perhaps it was better if they had no further identity. Right? Especially here.

James found himself on Lira's tail again, following by a couple paces. He was less worried about being spotted now, if the man hadn't noticed his presence yet, he probably wouldn't. And even if he did, what could he do about it? Nothing, that's what.

The little chocolate haired boy was learning quite a bit about Lira by following the man. He had quite a come back time, he could pull himself together quickly and seamlessly, and there was more going on in his head than he showed when speaking to the others, obviously. He was taking quite a couple twists and turns, was he just paranoid, or worried that Linnet, the silly little girl, might follow him. he was shrewd, from his handling of the girl, but cold and cruel. He'd barely spoke two sentences and left her as nervous as a fat rabbit in the winter. He'd spoken then just walked away, as if he didn't care whether she moved to attack him or not, even though it was obvious by his actions now that there was an element of wariness to him.

He certainly reminded James of Drake, but perhaps keyed down in some elements, and a touch more...there was something to him.... James couldn't put his finger on what was off about the man, but there was something wrong with the man.

Lost in his musing, James didn't realize that he'd drifted closer than he intended,and when he caught himself he darted to a doorway instinctively.

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Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: Hassen Heindrick Character Portrait: Allease LaVera
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Allease watched him carefully, trying to regain his composure once more; all she could do, was stare, her bright blue eyes not leaving him until his spine finally straightened up and he just glared at her. That glare only sent a light shiver up her spine; though, because she had seen his earlier childish 'form', she wasn’t as afraid of him as she first was.

She stayed in silence, like him- everything about her almost matched him perfectly; as if he was looking into a mirror until he waved at her, shooing her away. Allease couldn’t help but to feel just a tad bit hurt that she couldn’t help him, and decided that it might be just the best to leave him be for now; to allow him to handle himself- he wasn’t a kid anymore, right?

Allease just watched him for a second before giving him a soft smile, lowering her head as if she was excusing herself- which she was. “Well, I can see your fine; I’m glad.” She simply stated, her voice a bit low before she slowly backed up, heading away from the stairs. “I did really enjoy your puppy though; if you ever want someone to play with it with you; then feel free to try and find me.” Her smile only grew just a tad bigger, trying to hide her worrying for him- oh, why did she do this?

With that, she turned around; yet, she still cautiously watched her surroundings- that’s when she spotted a woman (one whose name just slipped her mind). Allease looked at her, the woman must’ve been ease dropping; oh, how Allease could use a friend- one that wasn’t going to kill her. She was only but a few feet away from Linnet- Allease being just a bit cautious than how she had been earlier; she really didn’t want to die- at least not now.

Her feet naturally backed up a few steps before she raised a hand, slightly waving it at the girl before Allease started to ponder. “Hello.” She said simply. Damn her for imagining about her dream during introductions! Her lips started to form the letters of an L; she knew it started with an L, but what was it? Linard? Lio? Lin… Lin… Linnet! “Linnet…” She finally said, as if she was just completely her sentence.

Allease looked at her, her hands now folding in front of her. “Uh, so, how’s it been?” She knew it; Allease had gone mad- hasn’t she? Not only was she just trying to help her enemy and make friends with him, she was now trying to socialize with a woman whom was supposed to kill her! If no one was around, Allease would bang her head into the wall.

“Damn it…” She whispered under her breath at her own stupidity; before looking up, at Linnet once again.

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Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: Hassen Heindrick Character Portrait: Allease LaVera
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Linnie watched, frightened, as Hassen straitened threateningly, a pained look on his face that quickly turned cold. His whole body seemed tense and ready to spring. Linnie was sure that she was about to see Allease murdered by the frightening man. If he sprung, Linnet was poised to run the other way as fast as she was able. By Allease's statement, Linnie figured Hassen had been the one screaming earlier. He was definitely insane, or perhaps just in a lot of pain. Linnet figured that was as much of a possibility, thinking back on his pained expression when he stood up straight. Now Allease was talking about something about playing with the "puppy." This only confirmed in Linnie's mind that this woman was crazy, though not the same dangerous crazy as Hassen was. Allease seemed crazy in a way that was detrimental to herself, and others allied with her. Linnet wondered if she already had other allies and figured that was probably what her objective with Hassen, the man who was supposed to kill them.

Allease suddenly turned and Linnie jumped back. However, she was too late and was spotted. She heard the hello and slowly moved in the hall so Allease could see her, but Hassen could not. She flinched inwardly as Allease called out her name. Now it didn't matter that he couldn't see her, he still would know who was there. She was slightly startled by Allease's odd question and looked away nervously as she quietly cursed. "Well, fine, considerin'," she said, unsure of what Allease was trying to achieve by speaking with her. "I'm not quite... comf'table speakin' 'ere," she said nervously, glancing in Hassen's direction, though still out of his sight.

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Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: Hassen Heindrick Character Portrait: Allease LaVera
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Allease heard Linnet’s words and she immediately regretted what she had said; Jesus, they were here to kill each other, and yet, Allease ponders on how everyone is- she now started to think whether she was right in the head or not. “I’m sorry; I don’t mean to ask useless questions. It’s just hard to believe we are in this predicament; I mean, there must be a logical reason of why he brought us here, right?” She looked at Linnet, hoping that she was one of the sane people who Allease could speak to.

Her blue eyes sat on Linnet’s face for a while before her lips parted once more and she spoke, once again, “I don’t think he’d trap us in this mansion just for his entertainment- I mean, he isn’t here to even watch.” Great, now she was babbling, and before Allease could spew more of her thoughts on their situation, she stopped herself just in time.

“Ah, I’m sorry. I seem to have a habit of not being able to hold my tongue when my nerves are uneven.” She apologized, her head lightly bowing in her apology; still, just because Allease actually shut up, didn’t mean her mind didn’t. For some odd reason, she just couldn’t believe that Drake would trap them up in here just for his twisted enjoyment of watching people kill each other- there had to be a deeper meaning.

Allease’s mind started to roll over all of the books she had read and each and every one of them that had the ‘bad’ guy was always involved in the crime- why? Simply because he/she loved the entertainment; despite how Drake may involve himself into his ‘game’, there was still the missing piece on making him a crazed social-path killer; and that missing piece, was something Allease couldn’t recall. Damn her forgetfulness!

Out of the three categories of killers, he was obviously in the third category- a category of a little bit of both, organized and unorganized. Him stealing this much people within one general place would often make it a bit more noticeable; unless he didn’t do it as often as she suggested- which could be a theory that she’d place aside for now.

He obviously wasn't that cruel to animals- or at least from what she saw; perhaps he was, she didn’t know. Maybe Allease would ask Hassen, James, or even Drake himself if she had gotten the chance; though, being a cruel one to animals would often suggest the mind of a serial killer- one trait that often shows in even the most secretive killers.

Allease bit her lip slightly as she tried to think; he did have two loyal ‘henchmen’, one whom could not escape even if they wanted to; perhaps Drake gave them a new life? Or maybe they had a special bond that couldn’t be broken; either way, they didn’t leave his side, regardless of what he did to them. This fact alone only concluded that each of the henchmen had some sort of mental capacity that needed to be tended for, and Drake, was the only one who could tend for it.

In other words, because of some sort of mental hold, one which she didn’t really know, but regardless of what it was, they could not leave Drake’s side. And because you can learn so much from books and the characters’ experiences, Allease had figured that because Drake had kept some sort of companionship, he was still a human who wanted human interactions.

Then again, Allease knew very well she could be all wrong, she knew that she could also be over thinking the entire situation; still, this was something that could be taken into consideration… right? She knew that she couldn’t exactly try to think of an exact answer on to why Drake would do this- she wasn’t a killer, you know?

Her mind began to ponder onto different stories; one she particularly loved to read when she felt like reading a biography and a thriller at the same time. The book wasn’t famous, in fact probably the less known book in the entire library she worked at; so unknown, that there was only one copy of it, and she found that one copy one in the gully, a mile away from the library- the gully is where they often threw their trash away; don’t ask why she was there, she couldn’t possibly tell you.

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Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: Allease LaVera Character Portrait: Drake Stuart Character Portrait: Lira Devine
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Linnie softly sighed, unable to look in Allease's eye as the woman ignored her desire to talk elsewhere and continued speaking. She was pretty sure she heard Hassen hobble off. That was a sound she was sure she would never forget. Linnie's eyes dropped to the carpet, her right arm holding her left behind her back as she fingered her knife with her left hand. She had no thoughts of taking it out, much less using it at this point, but its very presence was reassuring. At Allease's question, Linnet looked up, directly into the woman's eyes. "I... I couldn't say...."

The woman continued to talk, and Linnie made the surprising realization that Allease was more nervous than she was. When the woman finally stopped talking, Linnet noticed a thoughtful look on her face. No doubt, she had stopped chattering out loud, but was still going on in her thoughts. After a moment, it was clear she was completely lost in her own world and Linnie wondered if she could just leave. It wasn't likely that Allease would even notice.

A moment later, she thought she heard something in the hall causing her gaze to rise from the floor once more. It sounded like footsteps and she wondered if Hassen had come back. That in itself was frightening, but she quickly realized the nearly silent steps could not belong to him. She looked back at Allease, who seemed still deep in thought, and slowly began backing away. Suddenly, Lira came into view, a knife held above Allease, his arm shaking. A look of absolute horror crossed Linnet's face as she stumbled back faster. The knife came down. Once. Twice. Linnie let out the breathe she had been holding in, turned, and ran as fast as her legs could carry her.

There was no sound but that of her heavy, panicked breathing as she sprinted blindly through the halls. Eventually she could run no more and stopped, chest heaving as she leaned over with her hands on her knees. She anxiously looked around, seeing no one but realizing she was in the hall outside the kitchen. Nervously, she looked around once more before darting inside. Immediately, she realized the kitchen was occupied as the door softly closed behind her. Her chest still heaved but her breathing was silent as she observed their captor, whose back was to her at the moment. It seemed he was preparing something to eat, and, from the size of the pot hanging over the fire, she thought it was to be for all of them. She stood still, completely frozen, unsure of what to do.

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Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: Drake Stuart
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If Drake noticed the entering human, he didn't show it. He merely continued watching the soup with a slight frown on his face, as if he was urging it to boil. After a minute or so he cast a glance behind him and his red eyes alighted on the girl. Linnet. His gaze wandered off for a moment, landing instead on a rag laying on the counter, which he picked up and used to wipe all the various juices and little clinging bits of the things he'd mutilated to put in the soup. Then he put his knife back in his inner pocket and smiled pleasantly at the human.

"Are you looking for something to eat or are you running from someone?" He asked nonchalantly, leaning on the counter top. "Because if it is the former, food will be ready soon. If it is the latter, there are no knives in here for some strange reason, so you'll have to find something else to defend yourself with. Or you could hide over there." The man pointed at a large floor level cabinet. He did not mention, however, that he would give her hiding spot away the moment someone else burst into the room. Little details, merely little details.

Drake took a few slow steps forward Linnet and examined her face, leaning forward slightly. "Hmm, you do look rather frightened, little rabbit, but that might be my fault, might it? But you are breathing heavily. You were running, I see. I don't hear any pursuers." He stated, then lifted his head up slightly, a pensive look on his face as he listened for another sound of running feet. "So what are you running from, girlie?"

The man stared at her for a few more seconds, but the soup caught his attention again and he wandered off to examine it again. nope, still not doing anything of interest. He grabbed a spoon and dipped it in, curious. Upon sticking it in his mouth however, he shook his head like a dog drying to clear water from its ears. "That's not done at all." He made a face as he moved over to the wide sink basin and dropped the spoon. Human food was bad enough when it was warm, half cold human food was even more disgusting. He wasn't going to try that again...today. He'd most likely be back at it next time he made them food, however.

"Why don't you cook faster?" He complained at the soup, shooting it an accusatory glare. "You take all together too long." It seemed that the daemon had forgotten entirely about his audience, and had reverted back to taking to the inanimate objects in the room as he was wont. "Maybe you need another log, that seems plausible." The man bent and removed another log from the wood box in the corner of the room and pushed it into the fire with no regard to the flames that indifferently liked at his fingers as he did so. He did notice, however, when his sleeve, which had crept its way down from his elbow, caught alight.

"This is a new suit, you bugger, you aren't going to eat it." He told the fire, pulling away and shaking his hand in a futile attempt to extinguish the little flame. Mockingly it seemed to grow a little larger. That gave Drake a bit of a pause, then he seemed to take a more rational path of thought, rational for him at least. He caught the flame between three fingers and his thumb, and the flicker went right out. Drake examined the damage, which was minor, and shoved his sleeve back up over his elbow again.

He moved to the sink to rinse his hands off, send all the blackened skin off so his hands and wrist could heal up again. Then he noticed Linnet again. He laughed softly to himself. "Oh, I apologize, I forgot all about you." He told her. "It's odd having people about the manor again. Especially people who can speak properly. James is no way in conversation, and Hassen isn't much better. I forget I have guests to entertain all to easily." He shook his head slightly, as if reprimanding himself.

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Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: Drake Stuart
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Those red eyes sent chills down Linnie's spine. Even when they flicked away she could still feel them burning in her mind. His smile a moment later did nothing to reassure her. She clasped her hands behind her and looked down as he asked her a question, but made no response. She felt slightly embarrassed when he mentioned the missing knives, her doing, but she showed no signs of it. Her eyes followed his arm to look at the proposed hiding place and considered it for a moment before shaking her head and looking down again.

When he stepped forward, Linnet instictively took a step back, her back against the door frame. Fear was apparent in her eyes, but it was no longer calm and meek. One could call it dangerous. It was close to the same reaction when James approached her, that of a cornered animal. When he called her girlie, a flash of anger and hatred crossed her strange eyes. They seemed to flash, making the blue and brown more obviously different.

After a moment, the white haired man turned and tended to the soup and she slightly calmed. However she was still agitated, her mind on a different man who often called her girlie: her father. She still had yet to forgive the man, and just the thought of him caused anger. Linnie didn't even know if her father was still living, or if she killed him. Honestly, she didn't much care.

Her attention went back to the man as he said something about a log. She watched in a curious horror as he stuck his whole hand in the flame, setting his sleeve on fire as well. Instead of shrieking in pain, as she expected, he merely scolded the fire for "eating" his suit and pinched out the flame. She notice that his hands were blackened as he went to wash them off. She looked away nervously when he began talking to her, but her eye wandered back to the burned hand.

Not realizing she spoke aloud, she quietly, accusingly said, "Wot's wrong with you?" She seemed startled that she had spoken her thoughts and her eyes darted again to his face, and those haunting red eyes. "I.. I mean to say... didn't that 'urt? Are you alright?" She forced herself to look at him, though she desperately wanted to look away.

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Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Allease LaVera Character Portrait: Drake Stuart Character Portrait: Lira Devine
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Drake laughed aloud at her words. He examined her mismatched eyes for a moment, his head tilted slightly to one side. "What do you mean, did that hurt?" he asked, his voice was light with what could only be describe with delight. Or amusement. "Do you think I'd do it if it did?" He held out his left hand back facing the human. The skin was blackened and beginning to flake away from the water. He passed his other hand over it, brushing the dead skin away. It fell almost like dust. Below the layer of fire eaten flesh was another layer, pinkish and tender looking but quickly fading into the paleish tone of the rest of his skin. He did the same thing to his palm and his other hand, then lifted and eyebrow at her.

"I'm like those odd-eyed witches they used to burn at the stake." He said, his voice serious but an almost cruel smile drawn up on his features. "But they can't catch me, now can they?" He singsonged, his countenance suddenly growing cheerful again. He strolled across the kitchen and pulled a teetering stack of dishes from a high shelf. He slid them expertly down the counter, and they stopped right at the edge nearest the fire.

"Now, Miss Mallory, have you seen the others around? I assume you've had a run in with someone. Don't bother telling me if it was Hassen, he'll most likely eat with Alexander, so don't need to know where he is, unless of course, he's gone after someone else." Drake frowned slightly, as if he couldn't stand the name. "And I don't think James has it in him to go running about killing people, the silly boy, he's more of an instigator, I think. Speaking of that, have you seen him? I do need to speak to him at some point because I swear, if Hassen's little monster decides that it wants to follow me around as it was doing earlier I might have to do something with it that I'll regret." The daemon had stopped speaking to Linnie and was now talking to himself.

After a few moments, the daemon heaved a loud sigh. Then he near about froze. Blood? The man's head tilted back slightly and he inhaled again. Yes. Blood. Ah, that was what the human was fleeing from. He should go investigate. But the soup... and the girl. Oh well. He could leave the soup, it would be okay for a few minutes, and he could take the girl with him. Investigate the blood and perhaps herd the humans back to the kitchen for food? Yes, that was a good plan.

"Blood's been spilled." He announced to the girl, an excited look in his eye "We must investigate, come." Then without hesitation he grabbed her hand and tugged her along with him. "Wouldn't want to leave you alone. All manner of little beasties could come and rip your pretty little throat out." He cast over his shoulder at her, accompanied by a shark-toothed smile that plainly said that he was the only one in the manner capable of ripping throats. "I assume that whoever spilled the blood was who you were fleeing from? Don't fear, I won't let him getcha." Drake was in a different kind of spirits now that he'd caught the first sign of blood.

Upon making back to the hallway with the human quarters, Drake spotted James crouched next to a human form. It was a girl. Allease. Her hair was covering her face and her arms were sprawled in front of her. "Oh, she's still alive." Something like disappointment sounded in Drake's voice. He released Linnet's hand and knelt down next to James. He could see blood welling up on the back of her dress. She had one deep cut to the back of her shoulder, and another more shallow one to the area near her shoulder blade. The woman stirred slightly as Drake gently pushed her onto her front so he could examine the wounds.

"James." He said, and the boy stood, disappearing up the flight of stairs.

Drake pulled out his knife again, now focused completely on what he was doing. Gently he placed the weapon at the point where her neck met her shoulder, then scooted it a bit to the right. In a swift moment he brought the knife towards himself, ripping the woman's clothes down the back so he could get to the wound. The wounds didn't look as bad as they had through the layers of cloth, he decided.

"Poor little girlie, someone caught you by surprise, didn't they. I'm sure you didn't even have time to fight back." Drake spoke softly as he moved the prone form's hair off her back. She stirred slightly again, and he hushed her. James appeared again a few seconds later, toting a large box with him. "Stitches?" Drake asked, pointing at the deeper wound. James looked at it for a moment then shook his head. "I think your right. We'll just wrap her up. Stitches would be restricting."

Drake set to work wrapping up both wounds, careful to be exceedingly gentle with the half conscious human, assuring her that everything would be alright every now and again. The wrap he applied went around her shoulder, but also wrapped a few times around her torso until the wounds were completely covered. The souls of infection-ridden humans were just disgusting. The measures would keep anything nasty at bay for a few days, perhaps a week, but hopefully whoever had attacked her would come back and finish the helpless girl off by that point, put her out of her misery.

Drake laid the girl on her bed and closed the door behind him. "I'll want you to check up on her later." He told James. The boy frowned slightly. He remembered what happened last time he'd gone to check on an injured person. He'd been stabbed quite a couple times. Not fun at all. But he merely nodded, then pointed at Lira's door. Drake nodded, a go on gesture. "He needs to eat too." Drake said. James let out a reluctant sigh. He'd seen the look on Lira's face in the moments before the man had fled into the safety of his room, and the boy wasn't entirely sure if Lira was safe. Some people turn into wild animals at the first experience of true fear.

James gently put a hand on Lira's door and poked his head inside. He was then issued a push that forced him all the way inside the room, courtesy of Drake's foot, and he stumbled forward, wobbling to catch his balance for a moment.

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Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Drake Stuart Character Portrait: Lira Devine
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Lira looked in a bad way, James decided. He looked almost fearful, paranoid perhaps. The way the human's body had jumped at his entrance. His weak attempt to kill the girl seemed to have taken a huge toll on his mind. James felt the slightest twinges of regret. He'd encouraged the human to do something he wasn't ready to do, that he wasn't mentally prepared to do. After warily scanning the man's face, James's bright green eyes dropped to the human's hands. They were gently spattered with blood. James's were too, from comforting the human girl before she wavered out of consciousness. James moved to wipe his hands on the front of his jacket so he could pull his gloves back on when another hand grabbed his sternly. It was James's turn to jump. He hadn't noticed Drake walk in behind him.

Drake roughly wiped the blood off James's fingers with a handkerchief, studying the human man before him. "You look rather pale, are you feeling ill?" There was no trace of mocking in Drake's serious tone, but the faintest of grins curled up on his lips. Drake released James's now clean hands, and the boy gave the pale man a frown. Drake flicked his wrist and James got a faceful of handkerchief. The child tried for a scowl, but he couldn't help but smile slightly under the attention he was receiving.

"I have food on in the kitchen, so if you would like to partake I'd advise that you follow me." The pale daemon paused for a moment. "Of course, you could stay if you wish, and I would have to send James to share his with you, but I don't think you'd fancy what he eats." Drake said. See, he could be reasonable, even though his tone of voice obviously spoke that no human in his right mind would ever deign to select option two.

The man paused for a moment, as if ruminating about what he should say next. "Oh, and next time you go to stab someone, hold the knife with your thumb on top and stab upwards, rather than holding in your fist like an uncivilized creature and flailing it around." He smiled pleasantly around the insult. "I do hope you don't mind that I went and wrapped her up and put her to bed. You weren't expecting her to lie there for the day it would take for her to bleed to death, mm?"

A pale spider-like hand landed on the top of James's head, and the boy allowed himself to be steered out of the room, driven by a man who wasn't even looking where he was going because he was speaking at the human. That resulted in James's face meeting intimately with the wall next to the door, unable to stop Drake's forceful hand from driving him forward. James let out an annoyed sound. "Watch where you're going." Drake said, releasing said boy so the little creature could flee through the door.

"Come on, boy, if you want to eat." the man said over his shoulder at the human, making a 'follow me' gesture with his hand. He strode through the door, his eyes landing on Linnet again. He offered her a vague, sharktoothed smile, then turned his head to find James. The boy, upon noticing that his daemon was seeking him, stepped forward, standing close beside the much taller man.

"James shall escort you and perhaps our other little friend down to the kitchen, and you may take what you like from the pot. I must seek out the others." He informed Linnet, casting another look over his shoulder at Lira's quarters as if he doubted that the man would emerge from the safety of his room.

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Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Allease LaVera Character Portrait: Drake Stuart Character Portrait: Lira Devine
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Linnie flinched at the man's laugh, frightened by what she heard in it. At that moment, she desperately wanted to be anywhere but there. She watched, unable to look away as he brushed off more of the damaged skin to show new unblemished skin. It was at that moment she realized he was not human, or at least not an ordinary human and a new wave of fear swept over her.

At the mention of odd-eyed witches, Linnet flinched again. She could not count the times she had been called that, usually accompanied by cursing and objects thrown at her as she fled. Despite her fear, and even strengthened by it, she gained a new determination. She had survived the streets of London alone, an odd eyed "witch," and she would survive this, or die fighting. She would not just lie down like a dog and give in, no matter what happened.

As the man rambled on, Linnie mostly ignored him, thinking about what to do next. Perhaps she could go to her room and see if there was anything of use there. She was beginning to be able to smell the soup and realized she was famished. Maybe they would eat soon. Her thoughts then turned to poor Allease. It was likely that she was dead by now, but Linnet knew she could not add that to her worries. Though it felt unforgivably harsh, she had to look to her own survival and no one else's now.

As if he could read her mind, the albino man said that he smelled blood. Linnet then had the frightening thought that maybe the fables of vampires were true. The legends of those who ate the flesh and blood of humans to retain their youth forever were not silly tales to frighten young children, but fact. He grabbed her arm and she gasped, frightened that he was going to harm her. His sharp smile did not reassure her as she thought about how vampires were always said to have two sharp fangs, but this one had a whole mouthful of sharp teeth.

When she realized where he was taking her, she began trying to pull out of his strong grip, even scratching at his hand to make him let her go. She thought of taking her knife out, but didn't think that it would do any good since the man had just stuck his hand in the fire without pain. When they returned to the hall where the bedrooms were, the 'vampire' man dropped her hand and went to the fallen Allease. She was sure he would drink her blood or some other vampire like thing, and she raised her hands to cover her mouth, slumping against the wall and sliding down to a sitting position. He seemed disappointed that she wasn't dead.

Linnie was confused when he began tending to her wounds, rather than leaving her to die there. There was a certain gentleness about his actions that surprised her. She watched him as he set Allease in her room before going in to check on Lira, pushing James in before him with his foot. The mention of food immediately gained Linnie's interest despite her current situation. She hadn't eaten since the night before she had been kidnapped, and she had no idea how long ago that was now. She listened as the 'vampire' talked to Lira about coming to the kitchen to eat, how to hold a knife, what happened with Allease. Linnet realized he was setting Lira up to try to kill Allease again. She couldn't comprehend what was going on. First, he told them to kill each other, then he tended a hurt woman, then set her up to be killed again.

After a small thud, James and the 'vampire' came out again and Linnet sprung up. She nodded at his instructions and waited for James to head to the kitchen, wondering if he was a vampire as well.

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Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Drake Stuart Character Portrait: Lira Devine
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Lira heard Drake's words but the meaning didn't sink in until much later. What a disgusting creature! Why would any sane man tell him better methods in which to kill? The strange pale man looked so indifferent as he talked. Lira didn't meet his red eyes. Had he finally gone to hell? Lira's hand twitched again. And how could he talk about food at a time like this? Thinking about it almost made Lira gag. His hands were still covered in blood. Was he expected to eat like that? But then again, maybe it would be better if everyone saw him like this. Then that would most likely keep everyone away from him.

Lira felt so ashamed at what he tried to do, becoming caught up in the moment, he had not really thought about the consequences. Lira doubted he'd ever be able to sleep soundly again. He wanted to go back home. But it seemed that it wasn't going to be possible. Lira didn't want to touch that knife ever again. Maybe he'd rather even die than kill another person.
It was for the best. Lira stood silently, his lean frame looking like it could fall over at any second. Even as he rose, he looked as if he was teetering over and edge that wasn't there. His eyes were slightly glazed and he watched Drake walk out the door. It wouldn't do to sulk though. He should get some food inside him. Even if it was just a little bit. It was also a good time to get another good look at everyone. At the moment, Lira couldn't remember who was who.

He glanced at James. "Lead the way." His voice felt like it was coming from a different body. He didn't want to talk, but his mind was giving him words to speak. Act normal, his brain was telling him. Lira almost scoffed aloud at that thought. As if anything could be normal for him ever again. These people here were all supposed to kill each other. Lira felt a searing surge of hate. Hate for Drake and himself, for getting caught in the first place. Then some for James and Hassen. Because of them, he wasn't able to escape. He doubted he could even bring himself to kill them though. Lira was, after all, a coward at heart.

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Character Portrait: Linnet Mallory Character Portrait: James Butler Character Portrait: Hassen Heindrick Character Portrait: Drake Stuart Character Portrait: Lira Devine Character Portrait: Elizabeth Richardson
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James tugged on Drake's sleeve when he spotted Hassen at the mouth of the hall, looking slightly hesitant, as if taken aback by the number of people in the hall. Drake had already noticed him though, and gave James a slight push away as he moved to intercept the servant and his...companion. James's fellow servant was looking at the ground, so the green-eyed boy decided that a glare would be a waste of effort, especially with Drake so near. Then Lira emerged from his room. James didn't need his words, he'd already received that order, but whatever the man wanted. He still seemed a bit hollow, like his attack had made him realize something. James frowned at that. This was going no where fast. He started off down the hall, beckoning to Linnet as well, but sure to keep an arms length away from the two of them. Not that they could hurt him or anything, but seeing Alease lying mostly unconscious on the ground put him in the mind of different, more potent humans.

As the boy departed, he could hear Drake speaking to Hassen.

Upon evaluation of the situation, Hassen really didn't look like he wanted to be bothered, Drake noted. He wasn't going to argue about supper on that front, especially since the victim in the situation looked to be unconscious. "Do make sure you get something to eat after you finish...whatever it is that you're planning to do. And fetch me if you break him, please." Drake smiled, not lingering with the servant. That left one human left to find. Miss Richardson. It wouldn't be too difficult. He could make a game of it, but no, he'd make no bones about it. He was starting to feel antsy, first blood had been let, but no one was dead yet. That reminded him of how hungry he was.

It had been a good week ago that he'd found a dead human to sate himself with. It was too much trouble to do more than wander around, hoping for something or looking off scraps of the list he'd bartered vigorously for for someone slated to die soon that was close enough for him to get to. And for James it had been even longer than a week, more on two and a half or three weeks; he was nearing his expiration date if the humans didn't hurry themselves up. It didn't trouble Drake very much though, he often let James go until the very last second possible.

Drake let his senses guide him to the remaining human without thinking much on it. When he spotted her, a grin curled his face. Her back was to him, so he called out, "Miss Richardson, I've been looking for you." he paused for a beat, drawing nearer to the young woman. "Where have you been off to? You missed all the fun. But I've got food on, and I thought you might like to join us."

James led his little group of two to the kitchen uneventfully, without even looking back at them to make sure they'd followed. Admittedly, Hassen had him a bit riled up. Drake let the man do whatever he pleased, but James was not allowed to harm the humans at all unless it was an extreme emergency. he could just give them weapons, and his plan hadn't even worked out properly, because Lira had failed to rise to expectations. But he couldn't blame the human, he was just a mortal after all. It had taken decades for James to reach this constitution. Turn a hard heart to death, learn how to live for himself, And Drake. Mostly Drake, less himself, actually. But that was what being a servant was about. Because Drake was the only one who could kill him by knowledgeable choice, and James had been reminded that on many an occasion.

Taking the serving upon himself, James passed a bow of soup and a spoon to each of the humans. There was a low table in the corner of the room, if they wished to sit, but as their numbers were depleted at the moment James figured that Drake wouldn't want him to take them to the dining hall, which was much too large for the company.

After providing soup to the mortals, James paused for a beat. Drake still wasn't back yet. What should he do? The boy shifted on his feet. Hunger pangs were plaguing him now, Allease had had a similar effect on him, and that made him antsy and uncomfortable. Well, he could always, but that had the potential to annoy Drake because human food was for the humans. It would sate him for a little while, not anything like it would sate a human, but it would do. Such thoughts left the servant eying the pot of soup, which was still more than halfway filled.

Giving in to the urge was easier than James would have liked. There were plenty of extra bowls on the counter, what had Drake been thinking when he got all of them out? But it served James's purpose and he took one, looking around as if he was doing something bad, and dipped the ladle back into the soup, careful to only pour broth into the bowl because he wasn't very good at chewing thanks to his lack of tongue, and chocking would not be fun.