You don't have permission to post in this thread.
Charlene was left with a rather cryptic response as to what was amiss with Isaksson, but she supposed this was something to get accustomed to. His wording was a bit strange to Charlene, who didn’t miss the age reference. She had to wonder just how old her new mentor was. He certainly didn’t look that old at all. Then again, even at Charlene’s age she was often confused for being younger than she was. However, she couldn’t argue with the man’s explanation of Mr. Isaksson’s intoxication, and was forced to accept his explanation.
He reached out, bangles clanking together with the movement, and closed the space between them. There was no great rush of air, or noise, or spark of power that closed the distance, it simply seemed to shrink away until they were within a sociable distance and his meaty hands came together leading into a series of claps. It seemed to be a command that brought the hovering candles above them down into a neat little rows. They burned into a heavy golden hue that illuminated the intimate space around them, and illuminated Charlene’s face, her eyes reflecting the burning flames before her.
She was able to have a better view of her host as well. He hadn’t moved from his cushioned pile of comfort, but she could better see just how large he truly was. She could also see the intricate and ornate details of his getup. She glanced behind her to see that Isaksson seemed to be disinterested in what was happening. He wanted the pipe’s hose back, but Charlene kept it out of his reach with a quirk of her brow towards him. What a grubby child, he could be. She gave him a single disapproving frown before her strange host introduced himself. His voice captured her attention and reminded her of her old boss, hopefully without the malcontent he was known for. She would have given her own greeting, but it was cut off from forming with Mr. Isaksson’s cold laughter.
He might have found himself hilarious in that moment, but both Dorium and Charlene gave Isaksson an irritated expression. Neither of them entertained at the moment by him, nor in abundance with patience for him. Still... she had not expected him to be suddenly sent back into the darkness, his pipe dematerializing into smoke, and laughter on his tounge. The hose she held even faded away until the smoke curled off of her hand. She curled her hand closed, and looked over into the darkness that echoed the fading strains of Isaksson’s laughter.
Perhaps if Charlene had been a more self-preserving person, she would have felt nervous being alone with the strange and large Dorium. That was not the case, she turned at his comment and gave a half-hearted grin. Dorium spoke once more, introducing himself again, and informing her of where she was. She was surprised to still be in the library. He had many names for his expansive library, except she didn’t see any books. Perhaps she was only allowed to see what he allowed her to see. What was beyond her allowance to experience remained shrouded in darkness and shadows.
[+green “Well, I’ve never seen a library quite like this one before.”] Charlene said giving a final look around the shadowed room, and finally made herself comfortable on her own pile of pillows that had seemed to conjure at the very thought of taking a seat. She reached down, kneading a pillow like a cat might, testing the firmness beneath her, and sat down.
[#daa520 “Tell me, Charlene, how does someone of ‘no importance’ end up with a man like Sebastian Isaksson?”]
His voice purred like a cat, mischievous and eluding that he might know more than he let on. Charlene gave his question a thought, mostly how to respond without revealing too much. In her moment of thinking she sighed and removed her hat to place it at her side.
[+green “That is a loaded question, Mr. Maldovar, but I will endeavor to answer what I can.”] She flashed him a playful smile, sitting a little taller and crossed her legs, planting her hands on her knees and looking rather like a cat might when eyeing something interesting. [+green “I met Mr. Isaksson rather recently. I came to London as a performer in a show, I’m a sharp shooter, and there ain’t a whole lot of women that do it, so I cashed in on it. I couldn’t afford to travel the Atlantic otherwise.”] She shrugged keeping her eyes on Maldovar, looking relaxed, but there was still a part of her that was learning not to be so trusting… her ears were listening for the softest of movement in the shadows.
[+green “I got turned around while on a day off in town, and happened to wander by a crime scene. Some fella’s house got blown up, and Mr. Isaksson was in pursuit of a man. I assumed Mr. Isaksson was with the authorities and followed, first exciting thing to happen in a while if I’m being honest. I wanted to see what would happen. Guess I saw too much… and now I want to know more. Somehow I convinced him to act as my tutor.”] She smiled at him. It was mischievous, but it suited her features in the lighting, and suddenly it wasn’t the fire from the candles being reflected in her eyes that burned, but something else. It gleamed like warm honey behind her eyes, and it was all too unknown to the woman who owned them. [+green “We were supposed to come here researching for something do to with that arson, I told you about. I certainly didn’t expect to find him dopey, nor was I expecting to be entertained by such a marvelous host.”] She motioned towards Maldovar with that same flattering smile, but it faded quickly as a thought came to her. For a moment she looked truly concerned. [+green “Today has been interesting, and I haven’t even had lunch yet,”] she mused thoughtfully, but the smile returned and the thought of what she might get to eat next entered her mind.
Her eyes suddenly locked with Maldovar’s and her aura shifted to a more serious matter. Her eyes more intense and less playful, she was ready to take an opportunity to learn more. [+green “You are the Curator of this Library, so I hope it’s fair to assume you are as equally knowledgable as the tombs you protect. I would like to ask you a question, I can’t ask Mr. Iasksson. Unfortunately, I believe the man thinks I am a child, and out of my depth. Do you know of a woman who is capable of invading one’s mind, of being able to speak in a person’s mind without speaking? And, can you tell me what’s in Balaclava? What happened there? Mr. Isaksson said he had dealt with ‘their kind’ before… That’s what I overheard when I first stumbled upon him. Ever since then… I’ve felt this… it’s like a shadow that’s following me… I don’t feel it here though.”] she noticed and that seemed to help her relax slightly, but the expression of her face showed she still wanted her answers.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Delighted to be reunited with his adventurous companion, Isaksson looked at her with impish delight in his dark eyes as she took the pipe from him. His freed hand sunk to his stomach, fingers pushing at the fabric of his shirt as if to dig at the gnawing hunger beneath. His teeth tingled like cold to bare skin and he could feel the blood coursing through him like some omniscient god’s son. Yet when she refused to partake of the feeling and join him, he pouted like an unruly child, turning his bearded chin from her hand and feigning disinterest in her.
For Dorium Maldovar this was all the better. He rather enjoyed seeing these little pink creatures at odds with one another. If she had instead approached the man with delight, perhaps mounting or rutting with him in some manner that humans were far too prone to do, then the large blue marble would have been most displeased. When she turned on him and demanded answers, he only chuckled, a dull, heavy sound in his deep chest.
[+darkgoldenrod “What is wrong with him? Oh, you poor babe, you must be new. So fresh, so innocent.”] The pity in his voice resonated in his rich chartreuse eyes.[+darkgoldenrod “When you live as long as he has there will be countless things [i wrong] with you. Though for right now, he is simply enjoying ecstasy of a organic nature.”] He seemed unconcerned though that didn't tell much given he was a stranger to her; perhaps he just did not care for Isaksson's well being.
A bejewelled hand shook in her direction, gold and platinum chains clinking and both she and her sulking teacher were brought closer. There was no physical movement, it was as if the distance between the talking parties simply ceased to be. Now his chubby hands came together, something that looked nigh impossible given his broad and heavy torso, but nevertheless they did, and he clapped them together thricely.
The candles came down from above, a line of them perhaps twenty or so that split alternatively into two neat rows of ten. The multitude of colours changed to one of gold and offered her a better view of the large man and his piles of cushions around him. It made for a much more intimate setting.
[+darkgoldenrod “Who am I? Well, I am the fantastic and grand Dorium Maldovar.”] His voice boomed all around her as loud as she might have heard from the ringmaster’s had back in the travelling circus. His head bowed a fraction, as if that was as far as he could go, though his momentarily haughty look was wiped from his face by the man behind her.
[+teal “Grand? Is that your gaudy way of saying fat? Perhaps the [i plump Dorium Maldovar] would be more appropriate.”] He barked a laugh at his own insight, spilling over into raucous laughter that left the man before Charlene letting out a huff of irritation. With another flick of his hand the chaise longue and its occupant were sent back into the darkness – minus his drug paraphernalia – with his laughter fading into silence.
[+darkgoldenrod “I would wager you wish you could do that.”] He commented with a returning smile of smugness. Clapping his hands once more and the space behind her was filled with her own set of cushions that seemed to fall as if from nowhere, nodding for her to sit.[+darkgoldenrod “Now, back to your questions. I am,”] a brief pause to glance back to the darkness over her shoulder,[+darkgoldenrod “Dorium Maldovar. This place is my little sanctum, nestled within the Great Library. Some call it the Tomes of Sand, others the Forests of Neldoon, or the Palace of the Zarosian Monks. Though that last one makes little sense as Zarosian Monks were fiercely protective of their books and would never let them become part of a library such as this.”] A scoff and moments pause for reflection followed, the man bringing his attention back down on the girl before him, her third and more critical question left unanswered. She was as pretty as he’d been told. Yet so small.
[+darkgoldenrod “Tell me, Charlene,”] the name rolled off his tongue like a purring cat,[+darkgoldenrod “how does someone of ‘no importance’ end up with a man like Sebastian Isaksson?”]
It took Charlene a good moment to catch her bearings, not that it helped. It was so dark. Charlene felt like a heavy curtain had been draped over her, because she couldn’t even see her hand in front of her. Speaking of hands, the tarred and blackened hands that held her earlier had finally faded away, but the dreadful feeling and the sounds that had invaded her mind would certainly plague her dreams for nights to come.
She smoothed her hands across the floor and felt the brim of her hat. The floor was smooth and cold to the touch, and it was a small comfort to have her hat back and settled on the top of her head. Slowly she rose up to her feet, but her heart was thundering. How could she navigate when she was in a sense blind?
She started by sweeping her foot out in an arch, to ensure she had footing to move forward. She moved methodically, and with surprising grace through the darkness until she felt with her reaching hands, something soft. It was fabric and it laid upon something solid. She had no time to investigate further as she was suddenly shocked by the sound of distant amusement. It was no laugh, more of a warm chuckle seated deep in one’s chest. For a brief moment everything was still, and then there came the illumination of a single candle. She stilled, looking at the flame with cautious eyes as it hovered right before her face.
The voice had warned her to run, Issakson was nowhere to be found, and something was clearly about to happen. As if to prove her right, numerous other candles suddenly came alive. Charlene stayed still, feeling she was facing off some unseen animal that wished to corner her. It was also hypnotizing the way they lights danced around her. She watched them bob and weave, spinning and rising above her. It all comes to a gentle stop and Charlene can finally see as the room is now decorated in thousands of glittering candles all around and above her. It’s still a vignette, the corners of the room dark and unseen, but as she finally finds the courage to step forward more of the room comes into play and Charlene is shocked by the voice that owned the earlier chuckle.
[#B8860B “Who have we here?”]
Charlene spun on her heel at the voice and was startled still by the sight of the person before her. Was it even a man?? He was large, even while sitting. Charlene was swept up in the myriad of colors and fine silks he wore, the pillows he lounged on, but more so his face. She questioned if it was a man because his skin was a deep shade of blue, and his eyes were wholly unsettling. Not so much because of their color, but the intensity with with they held. His eyes were far more captivating then the many jewels and baubles he wore. Charlene had a feeling this was a person who she had best use her manners with until she found a way out of this.
[+green “I… I am no one of importance,”] Charlene attempted, and it only seemed to amuse the man more, and he began a prompt evaluation of her. He called her a ‘Pretty toy for his amusement’, and Charlene had to steel herself from shouting a protest. She was reduced to staying still as he went over more shallow features when suddenly his mood shifted and he suddenly spoke to another in the room.
Charlene tense, she hadn’t anticipated another person. To be fair she wasn’t certain what to expect, other than she better get used to expecting the unexpected. She followed the man’s gaze over to a shadowed space that was illuminating itself to her as curling smoke came out of the darkness to greet her. She frowned, turning to face whatever was coming her way, and then it was her mood which turned sour.
[+green “Issakson?”] The smoke parted fully and laid out on a rich sofa, surrounded in a haze of smoke and stupor was Issakson himself. He was unlike she had ever seen him, or ever thought to see him as. Without shoes or socks, his jacket gone with his hat, and his shirt was rumpled, the sleeves rolled up. He puffed away lazily from a water pipe and hose, his wand was also in his other hand lazily pointed in nowhere in particular. If it wasn’t for the uncertainty of the situation Charlene might have found his relaxed state appealing on him. She couldn’t do so in that moment, too much was unknown, and he looked an absolute mess with his droopy bloodshot eyes.
He looked at her as if confused to see her and Charlene glanced over at their amused host. She was looking to see if there was any hint of malice in the blue man’s gaze, but he was a hard one to read. Suddenly Issakson seemed to realize she was there and went to jump up. Instead he fell back as if some drunken fool and began to giggle, of all the stupid things. Charlene frowned at him. She needed to figure out the situation, but she also needed to make sure he was alright. She walked over to him, but he was by no means enticing her with how he wagged the mouthpiece to and fro. If anything she wanted to smack it right out of his hand, and that stupid grin off his irritating face. Why had she chosen to follow him again?
Coming to stand before him she took the piece and cautiously took a sniff. It didn’t smell like peyote or the cannabis herb smoked back in the states. She'd smoked her share of it, but nothing in an excess like this. The smoke curling out of the hookah certainly had an interesting smell, like sweet citrus and musk. She kept hold of it, out of Issakson’s reach, and with her other hand grasped his chin. The hair of his bear tickled her hand as she tilted his head back to look into his eyes. They were certainly unfocused and he was clearly out of sorts. She liked a good party too, but how on Earth had he ended up here, and how did he get so smashed? He was fine aside from his intoxication, and Charlene looked over to their mysterious host as she released Issakson.
[+green “What is wrong with him?”] Charlene asked, there was concern in her voice, but also the subtle demand she be answered. [+green “Who are you and what is this place? Why have I been brought here?”]
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Given the rush of air and suddenness of it all, her senses would take a moment to come back to her. First she would find herself free to move, no longer ensnared or held, the loitering touch of the disembodied limbs remained. Remarkably the pitch-like ichor had left no trace upon her person, her body physically unharmed, though the smell of rot would linger for a time and the inane clicking, snapping, crunching of the hands would ring in her ears even longer.
The reason behind the strong smell and sound was the lack of vision where she had been released, the darkness so thorough her hand couldn't be seen before her eyes. The floor was smooth, dry, cold and hard though this solid platform would give her a place to work from. Despite being released and having her freedom, she would naturally be cautious. Not one to sit still and await rescue it was only natural that she might swing her arms about her, seeking a wall or something to press her back to. Whilst she would not find a wall, her fingertips would brush against fabric, very soft and gentle fabric, and with that minor touch she would hear a chesty and growing chuckle.
Where Charlene looks for the sound, a single flame shall ignite before her eyes. Sat atop an emerald tower of wax, the candlelight is an arc of brilliant gold in the blackness all around her. More lights join the first, lighting around her in a circle, each one an earthy shade; rich mahogany, deep forest green, warm caramels and dark chocolate browns though each topped by the same brilliant golden flame.
With ten or more of these candles about her they begin to rotate like a carousel around her, riding a spectral current slow at first though they gain more momentum, rising and falling like waves in the ocean. The flames do not falter, the candles rising up now in an ever increasing radius, high up above her where they now turn so that their light points down. No waxy residue drips down on her however, no change in their glow. It is as if they sit quite happily upon a table. Yet more candles ignite above like stars in a night sky.
The room is now glowing in the light of a thousand candles when there is a further amused noises from a tittering stranger.
[+darkgoldenrod “Who have we here?”]
The voice is grand, almost booming in the silence, the affluence and regalness distinct though there was a hint of whimsical giddiness ingrained within the tone. Her eyes would be drawn to the voice naturally, though it was also because the owner of said voice took up a good deal of the room before her.
Dorium Maldovar was a hard individual to miss. Firstly, he weighed close to a tonne and stood some nine feet in height; when he chose to stand that is, which was seldom if ever. Secondly, he was a most brilliant shade of sapphire in colour with a smooth head and eyes of lime green. And thirdly, because of the outlandish but beautiful robes he wore as if some Sultan from distant Ottoman shores. He sat cross legged before Charlene surrounded by many layers of large cushions and soft fabrics, gold and silver jewellery atop his head like a crown of sorts, his thick stumpy fingers alder in rings, trinkets running up both arms – he liked his shiny items.
Presently he was looking down at Charlene, a look of amusement and delight across his features as he observed her.
[+darkgoldenrod “Hmm, very nice indeed dear. We don't get many like you down here, but you will make a pretty toy for my amusement. Lets see,”] he brought out a pair of opera glasses, pearl inlaid with a glimmering purple material, all the better to look at her without need to move,[+darkgoldenrod “such pouty lips, a little more buxom than most, such heartbreaking eyes and cute button... nose...”] He paused and his voice lowered, disinterest in his eyes and his overall mood dropping as his tone took to pity.[+darkgoldenrod “Oh, poor dear. This is one of [i yours] isn’t it?”]
Long smoky tendrils had been flowing from one side of the room, and only now were they beginning to curl around the young foreign girl. The smoke does not come from the candles above, burning a smokeless wick, and the smell is less a smoky fragrance and one more of citrus and spices like cinnamon and ginger, all distinct and rather pleasant. Dorium had turned his thick head toward the source of the smoke, a large cloud of it parting like curtains with a flick of a jewelled finger. Lounging upon a chaise longue like a King's favourite mistress, lay a bearded trickster who had been more bane than boon to Charlene's life thus far.
Dark olive eyes, dilated and half lidded, turned sluggishly toward the girl. He had no shoes, nor socks, nor jacket or overcoat. Down to just his trousers and shirt he looked very relaxed for once. In one hand he held his obsidian wand, the tip held near to the metallic tray of a hookah, for the wooden pipe attached to the hose was in his other hand, remnants of smoke rising from the end. Looking at her he seemed bemused for a time, as if he knew who she was but couldn't comprehend just why she was there. That face was so familiar and yet his gaze couldn't discern a reason behind [i her] being here, like he hadn't seen her in a very long time.
Suddenly his eyes opened and with a grin he sat up, putting the pipe to one side as he went to stand, though it ended with his backside falling back onto the cushioned seat and he let out a soft giggle of laughter.
[+teal “Yes! Yes she's with me, she's one of mine… Charlene! Yes! Good of you to finally turn up. Come, come, you must try some of this. See what sparked two wars and cost countless thousands of lives.”] He reached to the side, lifting the pipe up and wiggling it to and fro as if to entice her to come join him. From Dorium she would hear a faint chuckle of amusement, his previous annoyance left behind as he watched his long time acquaintance.
Charlene felt she was having an attack. She tried to stay grounded, tried to think of a way out of this situation. How did she even find herself here in the first place? Why did this keep happening? Ever since she met Isaksson she kept finding herself in more and more wildly dangerous situations, with no real understanding of the mechanisms behind it all, and no hope of figuring her own way out. She was seriously questioning herself in the moment, and all of her life’s decisions up to that point.
[+green “Oh yeah… trust your gut… never led you astray before. No need to think anything through, just go with the flow. Life is a wild ride, you just got to hold on… ugh, what a bunch of malarky. I’ll whip him black and blue when I get out of this…”] She paused and looked down the darkened corridors, feeling eyes on her, yet not seeing any. She heard voices surround her, but could not make out the words they spoke, and there was another sound. The repetitive pattern was familiar, and yet daunting in its simplistic approach. She felt a heavy sense of dread settle in the pit of her stomach, as it all seemed to be moving in closer and closer to her. There was no escaping… and if there was, she did not know how to find it.
When the sounds came to a climax and suddenly stopped, that was when Charlene finally felt the stab of fear, the cold air seeping into her clothes and chilling her skin.
[center [i “You should have ran…”]]
The voice seemed to come from behind her, and though Charlene spun around, knife ready, there was nothing and no one behind her. She tried to look brave, but inside she was starting to feel the fear, and it doubled the moment she felt something brush against her. It came across parts of her body all at once. It came from the shadows, hands grasping and reaching. Decrepit things that were rotted or festered, patches of flesh gone, bone and sinew all that was held together, and all of the hands dripping a blackened essence. They could grasp her, but she was unable to push them off, to stop them, her knife knocked from her hand. Before she manage a terrified shriek, the hands dragging her further into the shadows, she felt them finally close over her mouth, her nose, her eyes, and even one wrapped about her throat. The hands grabbed her everywhere, even if places she would have not been touched at all.
She didn’t have time to think about where certain hands were holding her before she was suddenly consumed by the darkness and seemingly falling into nothing.
Charlene couldn’t see, past the hands that blinded her, she couldn’t breathe past the rotting flesh that covered her face, and she couldn’t move to fight off the many hands that held her. When she finally stopped it was abrupt and not gentle. She felt she had slammed her back against a wall, and she was suddenly released to fall forward against another surface.
Charlene fell forward, face first into what she could only perceive as a cold stone floor. The impact of stopping had her sightly disoriented. She felt she had drank too much and the room around her was spinning. She kept her head bowed, trying to grasp at what had happened and where she was now. Most importantly she had to figure out how she was going to get out of this without Isaksson’s help. She did not anticipate him coming to help her. She doubted he knew where she even was. Perhaps he was the one who put her in this position in the first place. Holding her head and groaning at the odd sensation in her body she tried to look up and take in the view before her. Now to figure out where the fuck she was now….
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat The feeling of being watched only grew as she moved. It was as if eyes peered from between the dust laden tomes, curious and inquisitive if distrustful of the stranger that walks amongst them, though they turn away swiftly should she look for the owners. Loose pages scatter at her step like fleeing vermin or crunch like dry and brittle leaves under her boot. Save this, a far-off chatter plays to her ear, as if she stands at the centre of an auditorium, surrounded by a whispering and dissenting audience.
When the knife had been retrieved it did little to stem the feeling of unease or bring that confidence in safety as she may have hoped. That trepidation of what lay in wait in the near darkness would sit heavy in her gut. The drawing of the weapon brought about louder if far off whispers, the soft and distant calls of voices in a tongue not known to her though the anger was more than evident. The wooden bookcases groan and creak as if suddenly placed under a great weight. There is movement in the corner of her wary dark eyes. Turning there is nothing, though the movement comes from the other side, pulling her attention from side to side, turning her, spinning her, disorientating her.
[center [i Pitter-patter.]]
The movement has a sound, one she has to concentrate on over the ghostly cries, a light scurrying, the sound of naked feet upon wood – but not quite.
[center [i Pitter-patter.]]
As the sound swirled about her, consumed her, resonated within her, she would come to a peculiar and disturbing insight.
[center [i Pitter-patter.]]
It was more like the dull drum of… [i fingers.]
A biting cold would rise from her feet. The air took on a distinctive aroma; sulphuric. At first it was negligible, the vestiges of spent ammunition to which she would be acquainted. Swiftly it became heavy, choking her airways, bitter and ashen on her tongue. At some point the [i pitter-patter] had come to an abrupt halt. The hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. A chill runs up her spine. A voice speaks from nearby.
[center [#3c7935 [b [i “You should have ran…”]]]]
Something brushes against her legs and along her thighs, across her arms and about her waist. It happened all at once, leaving her little room to manoeuvre though the hand that grasps her knife does have time to swing. It does little though as the understanding of what grapples her now begins to dawn on her. From a fog of darkness behind her are a multitude of incorporeal hands, grasping at her clothing and limbs. Their pale and sinewy fingers hook and grasp at her, pockmarked, devoid of flesh in places and exuding a thick black ichor that drips down from hanging skin. Whatever scream she may muster is muted as the hands move over her smooth neck and fingers curl over her lips. The stench of rot and decay fills her nostrils as two withered hands cover her eyes and she is drawn back into the cold mist behind.
Charlene was enthralled by the massive collection of books, the architecture and the general atmosphere. She’d never be able to read even these books half in her lifetime! Where should she even begin? For the time being, Charlene did her best to simply blend in walking along the railing and looking down to see that the design on the main floor actually moved, but when she looked up she saw a dark never ending sky of starlight that seemed to also stretch with floors upon floors of information. She didn’t want to wander off too far, and did her best to keep track of where she had been, but she could tell it would be very easy to get lost in a place like this.
As she walked through rows of books in languages she couldn’t read, her fingers skimming over the spines, and her lungs filling with the scent of musty paper, she reflected on the morning. Her breakfast with Ms. Elizabeth still wasn’t sitting well with her, and had left a bit of guilt to sit in her stomach alongside the delicious pancakes. Her final barb wasn’t necessary, and Charlene was resolved to give her apologies upon their return to the house. For a moment she considered offering to preform a task or chore for Ms. Elizabeth, but something told her Mr. Isaksson would vehemently stress against such a thing, so an apology would have to suffice.
Deeper she descended into the library, until the shelves grew taller than oak trees, books became ancient looking scrolls, leaflets of paper scattered the floors, and people grew more scare. The further she went the air grew heavier, the shadows darker, and more imposing. Even the din of the main lobby seemed so far away. It took her a while before she noticed that things had grown so dark that the flickering lights from candles weren’t enough to fight the darkness, or the strange fog that had begun to take over. She stopped by a standing candelabra, the three candles dimly keeping the space illuminated over a podium that held a very old look book.
Curiously, she went to examine it, and found it was written in English, but it was a very ancient form of English, that it was rather illegible and difficult for Charlene to gather what it was about, other than the topic was about a woman named Morgana. She would have read more of what was displayed when she heard footsteps behind her.
[+green “It’s about time you found....me...”] she had turned around to see no one behind her, or anywhere near her. It was just darkness and the pale illumination of bookshelves around her, and yet the footsteps continued, fading away. Was it just her or was it also growing faintly colder?
She tried to shake off the strange new sensation, and put her focus back on the book resting on the Podium, but to no avail. She couldn’t hear the lobby, but she was hearing other sounds... or was it a figment of her imagination? She swore she heard a growl before a shout, and the wailing of a small child. She turned to try and follow the distant sound, but looking down over the railing she could no longer see the lobby. Was it possible the sounds were coming from a book?
No... because Charlene was suddenly struck with a feeling that she was indeed not alone, and was being watched. It was a dreadful sensation, and was only verified by the sudden intrusion of a voice surrounding her.
[+red “Run dear... run away, now! Before it returns!”]
Her heart skipped a beat. The voice was familiar, but she was unable to place it... what she recognized most was the feeling of encompassing darkness, rage, and sorrow. She had felt this last night during her faux excursion to Paris. The sensation was tenfold this time, accompanied by a creeping chill that climbed up from her legs along her spine, making the hairs on her neck and arms begin to rise with awareness. With a shaky breath she could see her exhale plume into the darkness.
She couldn’t move. She was alone with no help in unfamiliar territory, and felt as if a great beast was behind her ready to pounce and devour her. For once Charlene knew what it meant to be the unsuspecting doe at the end of her rifle, or the frantic rabbit about o lead chase from the cunning fox. Aware but unsure, and wholly at the mercy of an obvious predator. Looking around she saw no discernible place to run for, and in the darkness how could she tell she was going the right way?
[+red "You have to escape whilst you can - run!"]
Charlene was shocked again to hear the feminine voice. She struggled to place it, she had heard it before, but in her anxiety, she was finding she couldn’t think clearly. Fight or flight was kicking in, and while Charlene was usually quick to choose Fight, as it was not in her to run away from a conflict. With a reach to her side she realized she had left her pistol in her room back at Ms. Elizabeth’s. She cursed her luck, and since she refused to run she moved to press her back up against the side of a bookshelf. Straining her ears to truly listen to what was around her. Running blindly would be foolish, and Charlene needed to know what she was up against and needed to formulate a plan to find her way out of this mess.
[+green “Next time I’m staying in the lobby...”] she grumbled to herself under her breath reaching into her pockets to find some way of protecting herself. She thanked her lucky stars when she reached down into her coat pocket and felt her pocket knife. It was of a decent size, and she flipped it open to reveal a sharp looking 4” blade. She gripped it in her hand tightly, ready to use it if necessary.... but what exactly was coming for her?
She took a steady breath, the exhale still pluming in the frigid air, and dared a look around the sides of the bookshelf. Seeing it was clear, she tried to steady her rapidly beating heart and took down the isles to find her way out. She couldn’t explain the feeling, but she knew she was not alone. The daunting presence still seemed to linger, and the feeling of being hunted was prevalent. Her goal was to get into a well lit space, then go from there to find Mr. Isaksson. [+green “Anyone there?”] Charlene dared to call out to the darkness as she stopped against the edge of a bookshelf. Where was the voice now from before? Was this its doing? Damn! Too many questions came at rapid fire in her mind. She couldn’t focus on that! Instead she held her ground and waited for what might reveal itself.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Whilst she was right, this was quite like the New York Public Library, it was this building that offered inspiration to that one, for this was much, much older than that. The large open reading area with row upon row of seating sat below a high vaulted ceiling, though it seemed to rise forever, no roof visible and one could quite imagine wisps of clouds or the twinkle of stars come night-time. Despite this the room was quite well illuminated though there was need for candles and the like for those not near the windows, where the sun streamed in like a flamboyant guest not waiting for an invitation before waltzing in and making themselves at home.
The circulation desk where she left the books handed to the young apprentice by the now missing Master was perfectly circular and the outer panelling were wonderfully intricate. The shapes and designs seemed so detailed and had she stopped to watch she would see it all move like pictures on a kinetoscope, though these moved much more fluidly than a simple horse at gallop. The books she placed atop are lifted by some spectral force and
Having left the main entrance, Charlene would find herself drawn deeper into the building, compelled to walk further into the library and further into its ever-maddening depths from the flight of stairs she took. Walking down a central aisle, the bookshelves either side appear to grow higher and higher as the darkness shuts out the light. Away from the crowd and in the thick hazy air of burning candle wicks, the space becomes very disorientating. Soon there are less people, only the faint outline of those crouching down low to the floor reading, or the shadows of those up high atop rickety looking ladders. The pathway she walks becomes increasingly filled with stacks of books, loose and torn papers, scrolls of untold age and candle stick holders with only waxy remnants.
The conversations of the main hall have progressively muddied to a far-off hum until she comes to realise now that there is silence all around her. Turning this way and that she will hear nothing but the occasional far off set of footsteps. They seem to head towards her as they grown in sound but no amount of turning will yield sight of any being and as it appears the footsteps are almost atop her… they disappear without another footfall.
[b The mind can wander in the darkness.]
[i Was that a growl?][center [i Did someone just shout out in alarm?]] [right [i Is that a child crying?]]
[+crimson [center “Run dear... run away, now! Before it returns!”]]
The woman’s voice is equal parts soothing and familiar as it is panicked and worried, echoing all around Charlene though her constant turning this way and that and the miasma of smoke and the disheartening echoes will play against her should she wish to flee.
[i Which way is out? Which way did she come from?]
The hairs on the back of her neck will begin to stand on end and soon her breaths will become visible in puffs of vapor before her hickory eyes. The temperature had subtly dropped as she walked. The number of lights had dwindled. Only a lone candle is nearby now, and its light is low offering limited help to the woman. There is no Mr Isaksson to sweep out the darkness and take her in his arms, to take control and offer safety. No. Not here. Here, in her heart, she can feel that she is both alone and yet in great danger, the voice returning again.
[+crimson [center "You have to escape whilst you can - run!"]]
Charlene couldn’t help but roll her eyes, as once again, Mr. Isaksson warned of the depths that this new world had. Why did it seem at times he was trying to dissuade her? Dullard was right, she came here for it all, the excitement, knowledge... all the good and all the bad. That included any possible danger. She wasn’t deterred by his admittance to not needing her for research, though there did seem something he had in mind for her. If anything, she was resolved even further by the time he finished. This was to further his investigation into the murder of the man at the bookstore. She recalled the event... Words had been exchanged, and a man was no more. Empryean... Balaclava... [i “You can’t study the darkness, by flooding it with light, Isaksson...”]
She eyed Isaksson as they passed through a courtyard. She had seen him turn a man into golden dust. He had tricked her into thinking she’d been poisoned, he nearly got her and an audience killed by a stone monster, [i and] he was clearly withholding something from her. She had followed him that night because she’d been curious, and because he looked like a lawman in need of backup. Not that he needed her help, it was obvious that she had actually gotten in his way. Was it her fault the man was erased? Was that what even happened to him? Was Mr. Isaksson even a real member of the Queen’s Guard? So many questions.
Her own mental musings were silence when Mr. Isaksson turned towards a stately looking building made of mortar and slate colored stone. They managed their entrance just as another was leaving and Charlene hurried inside. She felt her balloon deflate to see it was just a single roomed library. This couldn’t be it. She eyed it skeptically and glanced over to Mr. Isaksson, his books still in her arms.
[+teal “Here, put this on,”] Charlene turned to face him and accepted the trinket he offered her with an outstretched hand. She turned it over and saw it was a simple golden Bobby pin. [+green “It’s lovely,”] was all she said on the matter. She didn’t question him, but turned and set the books down on a nearby table and removed her hat. It had to have something to do with the task at hand. Turning her hat and the Bobby pin in her hands, she affixed the gilded feather to her hatband, and replaced it promptly back on her head.
[+green “What do I have to do?”] she asked curiously and turned to the direction Mr. Isaksson pointed as he delivered his instructions in hushed words. [+green “Far end, turn right, get through the door. Got it,”] She said picking the books up with a determined look and went to leave but stopped seeing him staring at her uncertainly. Charlene stared back until he gave a final nod of his head and slinked off to hide among the towering shelves of books.
Charlene stood up nice and tall, before making her way towards the far end of the room. She passed through the bright light brought in by the windows and into the shadows of the building. Charlene looked about as she passed through, she took stock of the people in the room, and the questioning gaze the librarian was giving her. Charlene only smiled with an air of confidence before turning right and stopping short. The man she was expecting at the door was not what she saw. To be fair, she had no idea what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t the large man seated before her.
They stared at the other for a good long moment, when Charlene finally decided to smile and take a step forward.
[+green “Good Morning -“]
[b “What do you want?”] he asked gruffly, cutting her off and simply scowling at her. Charlene had to bite her tongue and remind herself of her manners. She forced a less friendly smile and raised her books to show him.
[+green “I’d like through the door, please. I have these books...”] Charlene tried, hoping it was convincing enough. He leaned forward to look at the books in question and then looked her over. He seemed unconvinced and distrusting. She needed through that door, but there was no getting past the brutish looking man before her. He’d tackle her and crush her with a single flex of his arm.
[b “What’s your business?”] he asked. Charlene pouted and lifted the books up again. He eventually took one from her and looked over the spine and opened it to the last page. Charlene looked over it as well, but didn’t see anything of merit and yet, [b “Your books are overdue.”] How the hell did he know that? Even she didn’t know that. [b “You got money to pay the fee?”] Charlene didn’t speak, unsure how to proceed. Did he want a bribe? [b “If you can’t pay the fee, then go.”]
[+green “But!... but, wouldn’t it be best to still return the books? I’d hate for someone to not have access to them because I couldn’t afford a late fee...”] she chuckled nervously, smiling her best, and took a steady breath as she turned to stare at him. [+green “Don’t you think it’s best I return these books promptly, and accept that I will not be able to take anymore until my fine has been paid? It’s not fair to everyone else... Don’t you think?”] Charlene asked, removing her hat and doing her best to look contrite. The man seemed ready to agree with her, but was suddenly blinking away a sort of strange haze. His eyes now on the pin Mr. Isaksson had given her. He reached out and turned her hat and then gave her a pointed look.
[b “Lead with this next time. I don’t have patience for games.”] Charlene looked down at her hat to see the golden feather and grinned. So stupid, she should have known.
She grinned placing her hat back on her head, and hurried through the door, less he change his mind. Charlene felt the door close behind her and she stopped in her tracks. The room was massive. It was just as large as the New York City Library, but far more ornate, and filled with rows of colorful books of all different shapes and sizes. That wasn’t all, there were display cases filled with all sorts of oddities, and in the very center of it all was a circulation desk surrounded by tables, but Charlene noticed the floors design. Geometric shapes crossed over the other behind an image of the sun and the moon. It reminded Charlene of those strange tarot cards, she’d seen Gypsies preform. The door behind her opened up suddenly and she jumped, startled by it, and moved out of the way of a man in quite the hurry. Oh boy... she didn’t think she’d be leaving through the same door...
Needing to do something while Mr. Isaksson found her, Charlene made her way down to the main floor and towards the circulation desk where she deposited the books. She hoped Mr. Isaksson didn’t need them, but also knew he wouldn’t meet her at the desk if he was unwelcome, so she began to wander, and eventually made her way up a flight of stairs to simply take in the sights...
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat Her reaction was quite adorable. She was the proverbial child in a sweet shop, eyes wide and bright, voice so hopeful of getting all she wanted. On one hand he wanted to embrace that disbelief and curiosity and draw her deeper. He could so easily take advantage of the situation and he quietly pondered for a juncture over the consequences of doing such. She must have seen he was lost in internal thought, soon questioning just what they were to do that day in the library.
[+green [i “I’ve well enough accepted this supernatural business.”]] He all but chuckled at this comment, a flash of pearly whites as he looked back to her and found that familiar glint in her eye. Always the optimist, buoyant, delighted to come across anything new. She was so naive.
[+teal “You see… how best do I put this to someone of your… background,”] it was not meant as a slight at her but with his abundant experience it was an ingrained belief that the general population was below him,[+teal “you may now be aware of the presence of a parallel world but you do not realise the depths to which it goes. Not to continually go on about it but do not take it too lightly. What you have seen so far is… minimal, insignificant, boring!”] He rolled his dark eyes, a soft sigh escaping between pursed lips.[+teal “My word, I sound like such a dullard.”] He whispered to himself as he led her on.
The crowds on the street growing as they neared the river and the sun rose more. Thankfully they were not too far away, ducking down into a courtyard to cut through a sections of buildings. Here it was that he recalled she had actually asked a question amongst her fawning words.
[+teal “Well really you aren't much use to me in my research. Well, you are, but not the sole reason I need you this morning. In truth; I need you to help me in getting inside. They don't like me much there; apparently burning a few books grants you a certain negative notoriety to where they no longer accept your presence.”] He said little more on that, pausing at an entrance way as he realigned himself to the route they needed to take and nodded with recollection.[+teal “Remember when we met? The book store explosion? The man I killed when you followed? Well this is a continuation of that. Someone attacked the proprietor, a man I knew personally, killed him, and I need to know why. What did he know, who stands to gain from his demise, why do so in such an obvious and spectacular fashion?”] So many questions ran through his mind and he could have rattled off a lot more, however his new apprentice was too busy holding onto the books in a smitten manner and seemed to lose herself much as he had before.
It was rather sweet to see her so engrossed in the belief that this would be an educational endeavour and that she would only come out of this with a vastly greater understanding of the world about her. Also, it helped that he did not have to constantly tell her that things would be scary or difficult if she were actively looking forward to it. She did not come across as a woman who needed repetitive coddling and he would not look to shield her all the time. Children learned best from their mistakes.
A few minutes later and he turned into the entrance of a stately looking building, several light coloured steps leading to a dark slate sill and trim surrounding a set of beautiful and thick oak wood doors. The metal pieces on the doors, both knocker and knob, were made of brass and from repetitive use they shone brightly in the morning sun. He was about to turn to his charge and have her open the door, but thankfully as they approached the door was being pulled inwards and he quickly bounded up the stairs to stop it from closing behind a man who was leaving, his foot bracing the bottom of the door to hold it open for Charlene to enter. For a moment he eyed the man who left and seemed to debate going after him, but relented as he stepped in after her and let the door close over behind.
Inside was a rather standard if small library, with several tall bookcases each filled with books set out in neat and orderly binders, their names and authors inscribed on the spine of each. A desk sat off to the side of the entrance, several chairs set around it, and to the left there was a desk where an older gentleman sat reading that mornings paper. Grand windows that ran from floor to ceiling allowed plenty of light into the room though the further in one went the more shrouded by darkness from looming bookcases one would be.
[+teal “Here, put this on.”] His voice was quiet, after all it was a library, as he held up his hand to her showing a golden bobby pin. The ridge was designed as a golden feather and it was quite a beautiful piece for what it was.[+teal “Walk to the far end, turn right and in the corner will be a door with a man sat beside it. Get past him and get inside that room. I will meet you on the other side when it is safe.”] With the piece of jewelry taken he fixed her with a determined look, as if to convince himself that she was up to do this. If he was wrong and she was uncovered, then it would set him back a little finding a new accomplice, but he gave her a gentle nod and turned away to disappear amongst the shelves and assorted tomes.
Mr. Isaksson wasn’t promising her an uneventful day. Like all things she’d experienced with him, nothing was normal, and she should learn not to be so surprised by that. It was what she had been looking for, a guide to the abnormal. The Supernatural, and now that she’d found him, it was amusing how she was so reluctant to believe this was’t entirely a dream anymore. It was really happening! With her eyes on the books for a moment, she thought about how the past few days might reflect on what she was to see, and to be honest, she was excited. She had every intention of diving deep into this world of his.. a world that would soon be hers as well.
[+teal “What do you think? Do you want to keep going? Go in with guns shooting, as they say? That’s an American saying, I think.”] she looked up from the books to him, and sighed at his misquote of a common American phrase.
[+green “It’s: Guns Blazing… that fact that sometimes there’s shooting is irrelevant. However, to answer your more important question, it’s: Yes. I do want to keep going. You’re providing me with an opportunity that would be foolish of me to refuse.”] Her gaze was on their horizon, contemplating the things she might see. Would there be more like the baker, with his strange eyes? Perhaps it was more like a collection of ancient spell books, arcane mechanics, alchemy, and pickled creatures for study. A rush of adrenaline flushed through her for a brief moment at the prospects, and she subconsciously gripped the books tighter.
[+green “May I ask what it is we are researching at the Library today? I assume that’s our business, and it’s not to simply see how much more my psyche can take. I’ve well enough accepted this supernatural business, I’m just naive to its intricacies. Unaware of how deep the well goes, as you said.”] she said as they reached the walking path along the Thames. She knew she was full of questions, and it potentially made her seem younger than she was, but Charlene was a quick learner, and observant, and these days she was making a stronger attempt to be more aware of her surroundings. She didn’t want to be caught off guard by another woman in black, or stone golem. [+green “I wonder what sorts of topics the books of this library will have. Is there theory, and practicum? History? Oh! Potions, Astronomy, Alchemy?”] She groaned with impatient excitement and hugged the books to her chest, her eyes starry and wide. [+green “I’ll bet there’s all that and then more…”] She whispered to herself, and a daydreaming sort of expression clouded her features. It was clear that despite her rugged sharp shooting appearance, she was at heart an academic.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat He was halfway to the gate before she called out to him and with a swing of his foot, he turned back to see why he must stop so soon, coat fanning out around him as he did so. Seeing her shaking a veiled foot at him he let out an exasperated sigh, gave a roll of his dark eyes and waved for her to go on, a soft [i [+teal ‘hurry up’]] cast back as if she were terribly inconveniencing him by actually dressing. He had not told her when he would return, or that he would leave to begin with, but as he hadn’t informed her, he decided it best to keep most grumbles to himself. His hand reached into his inner coat pocket to fetch something as she rushed inside.
On returning she’d find him inspecting a piece of paper that he quickly crumpled up and stuffed back into the inner pocket before looking over to her and nodding at her first very brief query. He liked how she looked at him almost with scepticism dancing in those rich eyes of hers and that questioning lilt of the brow only made him grin as he headed down the path and opened the gate to her like a true gentleman. It groaned shut behind him as he led her off down the street and he tucked his hand into his trouser pockets lest they take in the chill of the morning air. Her words were quick and fast, and she rattled off about her formative years in Wyoming. She only confirmed his earlier suspicion that indeed she was peculiar. She read to begin with, an unusual thing for a woman and one born far from the East Coast. Often, they were farmers daughters, raised milking cows, collecting eggs and repairing clothing, given only basic reading lessons to get them through life. Likely he was just out of date. It had been a little time since he visited the western states; perhaps he would find time to go back?
He had drifted in his thoughts so long that she started up once more and was quite candid in her hope that today would be much smoother than the last.[i [+green “some strange dark tunnel underground into a reliquary of who knows what.”]] That concern brought a gentle and knowing smile, having been in such a position himself countless times, but he did give a slight shrug of his shoulders too.[+teal “I can’t really say what kind of day it will be. Yes, it is a library, but much like everything I’ve shown you so far, it’s a library of [i my] world. It will not be like something you have seen before and will be quite... disconcerting, at first.”] He would be honest with her there as he was eager to gain her trust and not hide too much away from her. There was little point in bringing her in if only to push her to the fringes. As he had said before, she would have to learn quickly.[+teal “But it is a good step to understanding just how deep this well can go. I think yesterday offered an insight, but two small moments like that don’t compare to the vastness of what you’re getting into. And from how you’ve reacted to me since meeting you, I feel you want to get stuck in. You don’t want to tip toe around. You want the full experience and to get lost in this world. Figuratively speaking of course.”] Lord forgive him if he lost her to this world. It was something that did trouble him a little. She was quite unique and vital in a manner of speaking.
[+teal “What do you think? Do you want to keep going? Go in with guns shooting, as they say? That’s an American saying, I think.”] He grinned as he led her towards the River Thames and more accurately toward Hammersmith. It was not far but it would seem a million miles away from where they currently were.
Mr. Isaksson was aloof as per usual, something Charlene had become quickly use to. Instead of telling her about what lessons she might learn that day, he was still interested in her dreams and his concern over nightmares. She dared not quirk a brow less he think he struck a cord. He’ only give her so much of the information she desired, she’d do the same as he seemed interested in figuring her out. Good luck.
His carefree demeanor would only last so long, and it turned quite serious as if the outside breeze had triggered it, and she looked over at him curiously as he eyed her with something like appreciation.
[+teal [i “I find nothing wrong between two consenting adults...”]] she wasn’t surprised to hear that, after all, their conversation last night revealed that much, but he had also implied he was uncomfortable with it... or perhaps that was only with the lovely Ms. Elizabeth... or perhaps not.
He leaned in rather close to Charlene looking her over and in no subtle way informing her if she asked she’d receive. She hated instantly how her face undoubtedly flushed, regardless how much she tried to remain stoic. She swallowed tensely past a lump in her throat at his near touch, and when he pulled away with a snap of her fingers, Charlene released a breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding.
She watched him stand up and brush himself clean and smooth as he started down the steps. She blinked, confused by his sudden change and eagerness to leave. The books he’d brought remained at her side on the bench and she looked from them to him with eyes that questioned him and possibly his sanity., Perhaps hers as well, for wasn’t she just as mad to be following Mr. Isaksson, a practical stranger? Well, Charlene had always said: A Stranger was just friend you had yet to meet. He called for her to get moving, that he would combine her lessons with practical use, and pointed to her.
[+teal [i “Get off your pert little backside, grab all those books, and follow after me. Time to go to the library!”]] He was so jovial in his expressions, and seemingly overjoyed to be visiting the library. Charlene had been to a library a time or two, they were usually just small shelves at the post office where people could lend and trade books, but that was back home. New York’s Library had been huge and filled with books! Charlene had spent a whole day in that place alone during her two week stay in NYC before taking the ship overseas.
He seemed so excited, that she almost felt bad for putting a hold on it.
[+green “Hold yer horses...”] She grinned at him when he looked back to see what she was going on about, and showed him her sock clad foot, waving it to him. [+green “I’m in no way ready to venture out, but if you give me a moment, I’ll be back with shoes and ready to go.”] She gave a nod of her head and rose from the bench to hurry inside. She had not been expecting to get up and leave so soon after breakfast, something she would be sure to correct in the future and planned to simply be ready for anything from here on out. In her room she stepped into her boots, draped her coat over her, and placed her wide brimmed hat on her head and hurried back down the stairs. Thankfully avoiding Ms. Elizabeth in the process.
She arrived moments later dressed for a day out, and quickly collected the books that remained on the porch and jumped to stand at his side. [+green “Alright! Now I’m ready, thanks for waiting. So the library, huh?”] she looked down at the stack of books in her hand and arched a curious brow at him. She would have assumed he’d been there already by the books she carried, but shrugged her shoulders at the thought, keeping pace at his side. [+green “Is it a big library? I visited the one back in New York City, it was very impressive. Back home, in Wyoming, we didn’t have a library, we had a shelf at the post office where people traded books, but there was never anything good. The school house had some of the better books, but I’d read them all by the time I was finished with school. My teacher did have this large world atlas she kept up on a wall at the school house. It was the first time I’d seen a map of the world, and not just the Territories of the United States. I would stare at it and wonder what it was like in all those strange places across the ocean. As you know France is certainly on my list, but I’d like to see more than just Europe. Maybe with that nifty ring you’re having made for me I might get to see a few places, and won’t that be something?”] She asked, but it was rhetorical, he clearly did not need to answer. Charlene realized she’d been rambling in her excitement, and it was obvious she was not upset in the slightest to be going to the library, but she would try to contain herself and act her age.
Her eyes traveled over the cobblestone and dirt packed streets watching other passerby’s. She took in the sights of the brownstone homes, and shop windows as she kept pace with Mr. Isaksson. For a moment a fleeting feeling of doubt filtered through her, and she wondered if it was really a library they were even going to. Unable to help it, she broke her silence with a line of cautious questioning. [+green “So it is a library, correct? You’re not going to take me down some strange dark tunnel underground into a reliquary of who knows what, filled with who knows what kind of creatures? If I’m being honest, I’m not quite sure I’m up for more stone monsters and nefariously dressed women in black... not today at least. I’m still processing it all.”] She admitted honestly, but there was a candor to her tone that said she was clearly not dissuaded from continuing her pursuit of answers.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat [+teal “How old do you think I am?!”] A mock appearance of pain lifted his brow and he clutched his chest as if stung. There was soon a devilish flicker in his olive gaze as she questioned him further, but it gave way to a laughter as he lifted his foot to rest over his knees, watching her sweet smile as she pressed him on that days lessons. He could just as easily play around with her and skirt her questions but he had been quite demure in explaining anything that was going on and only offered her sips from his fountain of knowledge. He could see the eagerness and drive in her warm almond eyes and he let out a soft sigh as he decided to relent. Let her not say he was not flexible in his approach.
Still he couldn’t let those barbs go unanswered, it was too fun not to respond.[+teal “I would rather you dream of me than have any nightmares. Though perhaps they are synonymous in your mind already?”] He chuckled heartily, his rhetorical question having a few fun implications but he pressed on.[+teal “And it is only inappropriate should it affect your studies. I find nothing wrong between two consenting adults engaging in sexual promiscuity. Something to know and remember about me Ms Dodger,”] he leaned across, atop his books, eyes flickering back and forth between her lips and her eyes as if he were non-too-subtly weighing up something in his mind,[+teal “ask and ye shall receive.”] He whispered to her in a less playful, more serious tone. He kept this closeness between them, raising a hand though he did not touch her, rather mirrored the curve of her chin as if stroking along her tanned skin. The sensation would have felt very similar to real contact though mixed with a little unease that he wasn’t touching her. It left most in an excited manner as they tried to make sense of it – though this time Sebastian clicked his fingers before her eyes to draw her attention and stood up in a fluid manner.
Brushing down his jacket of invisible dirt he took a step from the bench before turning on his heel to the left, spinning 270 degrees and pointing toward the gate of the house in a smooth almost dance like motion, his coat fanning out behind him as he walked forward.[+teal “Come now dear. We have little time to waste. Much as you joining me is a positive it is also quite problematic. You are useful, very useful, but I have little time to spare in training you. So we will try to combine your usefulness with your training. First lesson!”] He looked back to her still sat in her seat, pointing at her directly.[+teal “Get off your pert little backside, grab all those books, and follow after me. Time to go to the library!”] He sounded so happy to be heading to such a place, though he was sure she would have something to complain about. From how he had judged her the last few weeks she was all about adventure, about the action and the danger and forgo the danger, the injuries, the pain and suffering. Why were the young one’s so eager to die?
Regardless of their death wish he began to walk off, trusting his ‘apprentice’, as she called herself, to do as ordered and follow after him in a quick manner. Tardiness would not be appreciated.
He chuckled at her. Charlene was more impressed he was not cross with her for disrupting their hostess’ peace. She accepted the intriguing little device he tossed her way, and looked it over in her palm. She’d never seen anything like it, and delighted at how the flame sprouted up without a match. She brought the flame to her cigarette and listened as he explained the rings. The first was a translation ring and to know she would need such a thing thrilled her. What would be the need of such an enchantment if he did not intend to take her across the globe? Her imagination flourished with a myriad of possibilities and places. There was wonder and excitement concealed behind a steady gaze.
All those thoughts paled after he explained the second ring. Charlene’s body tensed, over loaded with excitement and nervousness. Magic, or rather ‘not magic’, was a real and tangible thing. She had stepped away from the railing of the porch, indicating her supreme interest in the topic, until his comment about firearms. She arched a brow at him. She fired her first gun with her father at eight years old. She got her first rifle at twelve. Apparently he saw this as a problem and in a rather smug tone, proclaimed he intended to keep her safe. If that stone monster the other day was his definition of protection she was doomed.
She made no comment, only to allow him to address the issue that had been nagging at her all morning. Ms. Elizabeth, their hostess and the unfortunate recipient of Charlene’s insecurities and ire. Mr. Isaksson’s explanation of her did little to assuage Charlene’s feelings, but allow for some clarification into the other woman’s character. Apparently he gathered the woman liked her enough to find her ‘worth the time’. That was nice, she supposed.
[i “She doesn’t like submissive personalities...] He began to conclude, and summarized she had increased her value in Ms. Elizabeth’s eyes, and stressed once more not to accept an offer or deal made by the woman. What was she, some sort of Crossroads demon? The kind that bartered for years of your soul for something in return? Regardless he had mentioned it nigh three times now. The rule was concrete, she would follow his advice.
Charlene took the final drag of smoke before she put it out into the little ashtray on a small iron table by the bench, and listened as he prompted a new conversation. Or rather, he referenced their parting goodnights. Was he in her dreams? No, but if he had... how many times would she have struck him? She didn’t have an answer, but she pretended to ponder on it as she dropped into the bench beside him and crossed her legs, looking out at the street.
[+green “Dream of you... mmm... nope. Can’t say that I did. Slept like a baby last night.”] A half truth... the image of the woman in black had haunted her for a spell. There was something very dark about that creature, and Charlene didn’t need instinct to know that. Glossing past the fleeting thought, Charlene let a coy grin grace her face, her gaze on the distant horizon. [+green “Why ask? We’re you hoping for a ‘yes’? Would you like for me to dream of you, Mr. Isaksson? I could... you are rather handsome for a man your age... but, don’t you think that’s a bit inappropriate of a Mentor and his apprentice?”] She chided teasingly at him, and only then did she turn her face towards him. She chuckled at him, amused by the thought, and the faintest traces of what she thought was a blush on his cheeks hiding under his manicured beard.
[+green “Nevermind that,”] she waved with a grin, saving him from having to answer. [+green “Did you have any breakfast? I’m sure there’s still some left inside, we made plenty this morning. In the meanwhile, what shall you have me learn today?”] She asked with a pleasant smile, and genuine eagerness to begin at his earliest convenience.
All posts are either in parody or to be taken as literature. This is a roleplay site. Sexual content is forbidden.