[The+Girl+Next+Door [size15 There is a terrible cost to dark magic, but you know what they say. You can't take it with you.]]
Ciel looked over the design one last time before folding it carefully in order to be placed into an envelope. It would be a fun addition to the Funtom line and, due to its uniqueness, was sure it would sell out in weeks if not sooner. People were strange and their tastes adapted over time. At least his products were still in high demand.
He moved onto his next task, writing the report on his case for Her Majesty. Ciel could keep it short and sweet as he wasn't able to provide many details for her due to the nature of the case but was able to declare it as closed. At least one problematic thing in his life had ended. Once he finished it, he placed his signature at the bottom and folded it once the ink had dried. After that, he began work on accepting and denying invitations. Unfortunately they made the largest pile, everyone seeming to want the Earl's company. He knew the truth to that, no one really wanted him around but they were forced to invite him to keep up appearances. That was the exact reason he attended, to keep up appearances. Sebastian had made it clear that he couldn't deny too many in a quarter's time as it would reflect badly on himself. Normally the butler would allow him to get away with five or six denials in a quarter, seven if there were many. He carefully sorted through them all, picking out the ones he imagined wouldn't be as boring as the others, and began writing their responses. By the time he finished that task, it was around the time Sebastian would serve dinner and his stomach was already rumbling. He sighed, taking a small break and leaning back, rubbing the stitches under the bandaged arm in the process.
Sebastian returned to the manor swiftly, still having quite a bit to do. It was only mudane chores, but still. No matter how hard any human tried, none could spot the the fine details better than the demon. He went about his duties, grom dusting, and some of the more delicate gardening such as pruning the damaged or bruised flowers in his masters garden. He smiled, seeming relaxed, as he went thru everything. Any day where the servants didn't almost blow themselves or the mansion up was a good day to him. He didn't count the vase, as the maid had no control over herself at the time. The demon looked at the white roses, gently petting the delicate petals. Ciel always seemed to favor these collourless flowers. He often wondered why. Was it due to their disguised simplisity, or the irony behind their symbolic meaning? He pondered about Ciel, wondering if the boy had any inkling as to the fact Sebastian was trying to woo him. Was the boy simply still too inocent, or just in denial? Or was he just too subtle? Humans could be difficult, and he didn't want to insult the boy by crossing some unknown line, but Ciel didn't seem to be returning much of his verbal attempts.
His eyes went toward the window of the room he left Ciel in, then went further down to his masters bedroom windows. They were on the same floor, as the boy hadn't wanted him far in the begining. Perhaps he ought to try another approach? He cut the pristine rose from the bush, looking at it closely. The flower was perfact in every way, just as it was suppose to be. It only took him seconds to find 5 others just as perfact. He was careful not to leave anywhere on the bushes looking bare, though.
He took the flowers, careful to avoid Ciel in case he decided to try going for a walk on his own. He took a vase to use , and set them carefully in it once he filled it with water to keep them healthy. Then, he carried them into the master bedroom, setting the bouquet on his masters desk. He arranhed them for more eye appeal, leaving them in a not too obvious spot. However, he made sure Ciel would also see them, when he looked this way. He knew how most humans thought of same sex attractions, and thought it rather silly. He didn't understand it, but suddenly found himself nervous about how Ciel might handle the fact that his butler had set the 6 roses there. He shook his head, startled by the new feeling, and left quickly before he chamged his mind.
He needed to prepare his masters dinner, so he forced his mind onto that task. Ciel had tolerated the late meal this morning, but he still thought it inexcusable and wouldn't allow it to happen twice in one day.
Ciel worked quietly, reading over the reports for his company and studying the numbers. Everything seemed to be in order, no funds seemed to be embezzled or the like. Good, the last he wanted to deal with was a fiasco like last time. He reached over, careful of his sore back, and pulled the table closer in order to write on its smooth surface. Carefully placing a sheet of paper on top of it, he dipped the tip of the quill into the black ink and began to calculate another set of numbers. If things kept on this track and sales continued to improve, he could open another store in the Netherlands as requested. He also needed to create the new Funtom rabbit for the year ahead in order to have time to make them.
So much to do.
He completed the needed forms, filling orders and the like for the factories that requested it, then placed them in envelopes to be sealed and shipped when he had the proper tools to do so. He then placed another clean sheet of paper on the table's surface, drawing a rough outline of the toy rabbit in order to throw some designs on it. Every rabbit that made it through production sold, Ciel having trouble keeping the shelves of his stores stocked for longer than a few weeks. Christmas time was the worst for it as he seemed he couldn't ship them out fast enough. Quietly and slowly he began to work out a design, taking his time on every detail. He began with a coat, the design eventually turning into an elaborate pirate's coat and gave it a matching hat. He designed a removable eyepatch with it as well as a small sword. Once he was finished, he leaned back to look at it again. It seemed it would do, now it would have to go out to be made.
"Very well," the demon accepted this easily. He still had to build a cell for Fredrick before he let him wake up. It would only take a minute or two, as nobody was there to witness his inhuman abilities. He took the dishes to the kitchen, setting the treats aside for the other servants to enjoy. He would never dream to give Ciel anything but the most fresh and highest quality of foods. Perhaps that ment he spoiled Ciel a bit, but that didn't really matter. If he were to be honest with himself, he enjoyed cooking such impressive meals. He had been beyond angry when his master first ordered him to actually cook them, rather than seeming to pull things out of thin air. Now, however, he found it somewhat meditative. He tilted his head, seeing Bard had made Fredrick lunch. What it was, the demon could not even try to guess. It looked to be some sort of gelitine type of... thing... it was mounded on the plate, with a faint green tinge and even wiggled when he picked it up. Being from Hell, he had seen some digusting things. He never expected to meet a human that could create something just as bad. Impulsivly, he sniffed it, surprised to find it had no scent.
He curled his lip in disgust, taking the dish with him. He decided he didn't want to know what this was suppose to be. He would have to tell bard to try perfecting simple dishes, before trying things far above his capabilities.
When he entered the celler of the ruined manor, he found the human as he left him. The injury he caused was a furious red, but he wasn't overly worried. He wouldn't let him die of an infection. Only suffer through it. He pondered as to what part of the room was darkest, creating a table for the plate to sit on as he worked. He used the collapsing building to find his supplies, crushing, heating, and forming the crumbling stone nto a much sturdier substance. He could have done the same thing and materialized a cell nto place, but along the way he thought it might be more enjoyable to make it himself. Soon, he had the bars made, and set them into place. There was no door, as he could easily bend them to allow passage. After a moment, he decided to let the man make due with wjat he wore for warmth. When he first answered Ciel, the boy was in nothing more than a dirty and tattered night shirt. Fredrick had more than that, so he would be fine. He carried the man into the cell, then brought the plate and left it on the floor. He bent the bars back into place, leaving the man to make sense of the change when he woke. Sebastian did not even wait to see his reaction when he woke up, as tjat would defeat the purpose of solitary confinment,
Ciel only nibbled on a couple more snacks before he was finished, turning his attention to the mountain of letters he needed to deal with. He glanced over as Sebastian began to clean up, letting out a quiet sigh as he began sorting the unopened letters into small piles. Letters from the queen and relating to his business were top priority, they went into the closest pile. Invitations followed after that, he could allow them to sit for a few days before he was forced to answer. Finally were letters from acquaintances that he didn't feel like dealing with for the time being, leaving them to answer at his convenience. He continued with this as he saw the demon leave the room, returning shortly after with some paper and writing supplies.
[+blue "I have no other work for you for the time being,"] he informed his butler, beginning to open the first letter by breaking the wax seal. [+blue "You can see to whatever duties you have left, I suppose."]
The demon bowed, "please do." He answered. He remained silent after that, waiting for Ciel to be finished with the refreashments. He watched Ciel throgh the corner of his eye. It was a habit, especially when Ciel had not been acting like himself. While the boy seemed back on track, an uncharacteristic worry still knawed at him. It just wouldn't go away no matter how much he tried to brush it off. Perhaps he had been around humans for too long. It was the only logical explaination he could come up with at the moment. When Ciel appeared to no longer show interest in the snacks, he began to transfer everything back to the cart. Before he took his leave, he went to the desk in the room, pulling out a couple quills, parchment and an inkwell. He brought the items over, knowing there were going to be things relating to the Funtom co. Even if there wasn't, Ciel had a report to write.
Ciel began looking through the envelopes, examining the wax seals to see where they came from. Luckily he didn't see any new orders from the queen, though he did need to write his report and send it to her. She would, no doubt, be displeased that he couldn't rescue the latest missing children but at least it was all over. Well, that part, anyway. He recognized some seals from other nobles, not looking forward to opening those as he knew those to most likely be invitations to some dreaded event.
[+blue "As long as it wasn't one of the expensive ones from the French auction last year,"] he responded quietly to Sebastian's answer. Those were quite a find and he couldn't promise he wouldn't lose his temper if she broke one.
His gaze lifted, however, as he began to speak about his next topic and focused on the butler. So the older demon decided to help. Interesting. He was a bit excited to see how this would all play out but the risk had him nervous. This wasn't some simple criminal they were going after, this was a very dangerous task. He was relieved, though, to know they wouldn't be surprising him by appearing beside his bed at any time.
[+blue "I doubt I'd want to, anyway,"] he murmured quietly, sorting through the letters again. [+blue "I'll leave that to you."]
Sebastian smiled at the boy. "Nothing you need to concern yourself with. A decorative vase broke while Meyrin was cleaning the area." He said, not wanting to give Ciel anything to worry about. Remir wouldn't do anything to cause Ciel harm, as it would affect the Raven if he did. The old demon considered him as a son, and would not do anything to damage his contract. He planned to use that to his advantage. He knew the demon very well, and knew he was at least somewhat reliable. Like any demon, he could twist things for personal amusement, but right now they had the same goal. Which was the death of the Prince. He was more worried about the conversation after.
He decided he should share something of the conversation he had with the older male, though. "Remir has agreed to assist, if you happen to see one of our messengers, don't be alarmed. They will look simular to a turkey vulture, with 2 sets of white eyes." Color and feather patterns were different dependng on where they were from, but the massive bird was the closest thing he could think of. "And don't handle them, call me. They only serve because blood is their main food source. They do not care who they take payment from." One of those could easily rip one of Ciels hands off, and he didn't want that. "They cannot enter a building without permission, so they cannot surprise you." He knew Ciel would have recognized the bird for a creature from hell, but sometimes his masters innocent curiousity did get him into trouble. The last thing Ciel needed was to give into such a thing with one of the those birds.
Ciel picked his head up as Sebastian returned, carrying tea with snacks on a silver tray and the mail under his arm. Quietly he shut the book, having only a few pages left which he could finish later in the evening, and set it aside before sitting up slowly again. His back had calmed quite a bit since his walk that morning which made it easier to move and his arm, which still throbbed a bit since it was a pretty deep cut, was feeling better as well...at least compared to that morning. He took the tea as it was offered to him, looking over at the sweets that accompanied it. They looked rather good, the boy picking up a scone to nibble on, and let his attention fall on the stack of envelopes Sebastian had set down on the small table.
He was grateful he had something to do and, even though it was boring compared to other things he could do, was grateful to have it. Hopefully it would give him something else to think of. He was also happy to see that his butler wasn't retaliating on him and sending homework up as well. He may be bored but he wasn't bored enough to wish to suffer through lessons. The demon could be rather strict when it came to his charge's education and it wasn't something the boy was willing to deal with at the moment.
[+blue "What happened downstairs?"] he asked quietly, looking up at Sebastian.
Sebastian found Bard in the kitchen, browsing thru their storage and seeing what needed resupplied. The demon sighed in reliefe, as everything seemed to be in order. He silently made the fresh tea, taking the pile of mail that had already been fetched. Probably by Finny. He took some time to make a quick snack for Ciel. He had a rather late breakfast due to this mornings excitement, but he still wanted to offer something to go with his afternoon tea. He stopped by his masters office as well, to pick up anything that still needed done. He knew that Ciel might be hoping for something less dull, but it was his job to keep him on track.
With everything gathered, he returned to Ciel. He let himself in without announcement, seeing the boy just about done with his book. "Due to your late breakfast, I was not sure if you are hungry." He said, "so I have brought a mix of cream puffs, scones, and eclairs." He said, pouring the tea which he chose to accompany the snacks. "And, as requested, something to busy yourself with." He set the stack of mail on the nightstand. "I will leave the bed table for you to work properly."
Ciel curled up under the blankets, making himself a bit more comfortable, before slowly opening the book. He wasn't aware of the real happenings outside between his butler and his creator, believing the crash to be because one of his servants broke something on their own. If he had known different, he would have tried to eavesdrop. It never worked, Sebastian always knew where his charge was, that fact sometimes annoying.
Heterochromic eyes began to flicker over the words on the pages, allowing himself to become lost in his literature as the pain in his spine slowly lessened. He was looking forward to the day he could move around freely again and do as he wished, Ciel growing tired of being babysat rather quickly. Unfortunately it was necessary in order for him to heal properly. He sighed, keeping lost in his book until the demon returned.
Sebastian, halfway out the door in his haste to hurry, paused. He smirked slightly, his inocent human probably didn't even know the danger of such a request. Too bad he was still to injured, he would have to let the oppurtunity pass. "As you wish." He said, then closed the door behind him. He followed the direction of the sound, finding a flustered Mey-rin standing near a broken window and vase, her fingers bloodied.
"What happened?" He asked, already suspecting the cause. He glared out the window, but saw nothing. He still knew what the cause was, though.
"I... I don't know sir. I was dusting the vase, I was. Then it just broke!"
Sebastian sighed, "patch yourself up, and clean this mess." He sighed, she nodded quickly, scurrying away before the butler lost his temper.
Sebastian dropped the tea set off at the kitchen, then ventured outside. He could see Finny nearby, the boy whistling happily as he worked. He moved away, not really wanting to deal with his questions.
When he was finally alone, he looked around. "For someone who has lived since the begining of time, you are quite childish." He paused, waiting for an answer. When he recieved none, he spoke again. "It is hardly fair to injure the maid to get my attention, then hide. Do I have to drag you out?" After a moment, the one he addressed stepped out.
Yellow-orange eyes glared, the demon just slightly shorted than the butler. He wore heavy robes, and his skin was dark. He had a heavier build than the raven.He was clearly not English. "slimy. Really?"
"Only you would be insulted by the truth. I suppose you heard the entire conversation?"
"But slimy? What impression are you trying to make."
Sebastian growled, "you wonder why I stopped talking to you. As far as I care, you owe me. You don't want to be the reason I ended up devoured, do you?"
"You undermine yourself. Still, you are stronger than you think. Perhaps that boy will let you see it. But yes. I will help. Now, back to why would you tell him I was slimy. I cannot help it."
Sebastian frowned, "you are exhausting. I have work to do, so if you will excuse me... uness you want a real issue, of course."
Remir huffed, "fine, but when he is dead, we are going to sit and talk. Even if I have to bind you myself. The other three will be much more challenging," The other vanished, not waiting for an answer. Sebastian remained still for a moment,then nodded when he felt the older males aura slowly dissapate.
"Wonderful. Another nuisance to deal with." He complained to himself, knowing his Creator would hold onto that threat. Now he just needed to check on Bard, due to Ciels lack of specification he would bring him the mail to sort thru. That would certainly keep him busy until dinner, at least.
Ciel's eyes flickered over to the doorway as he heard the crash as well, almost expecting to see one of the servants in the doorway with an apologetic look on their faces. He was aware that they screwed up quite often, though it was rarely seen thanks to Sebastian's quick work, as the male had let it slip a couple of times. By now it was almost expected but at least nothing that was precious to him was destroyed .
He nodded at the demon's words, letting out a quiet sigh. He had to admit he was a bit disappointed that his butler was leaving. Even though he upset the male from time to time, he still enjoyed his company and wasn't looking forward to being alone again. It was incredibly boring, especially since he didn't have much else to do besides read. Maybe the demon could help fix that.
[+blue "Bring me up something else to do when you return,"] he requested quietly, reaching over and picking up his nearly-finished book. [+blue "It's quite boring."]
Sebastian bowed, smiling to hide the slight dissapointment. "Yes, my lord." He rather liked seeing Ciel so comfortable in his space. It couldn't be helped, though. "If you do not require anything else, there are some things I must see-" a loud crash could be heard, followed by a cry that clearly came from the maid. "To.." he finished unnessisarily. A rather worn and annoyed expression on his face. "I will bring you some fresh tea after I make sure those three do not collapse the manor on us." No matter how many times he tried to teach them, they always made the same mistakes. They were really what stressed him out, much more than anything Ciel came up with to be difficult. He was a demon, and he was surprised they hadn't caused his hair to strart greying. He took the tea set, leaving quickly to try to stop whatever else might happen soon. Once one messed up, the other two were likly to follow close behind.
Sebastian's news was a relief to hear, especially after the surprise attack earlier. It would be nice to know that he wouldn't encounter the asshole unless he decided to nor would he need to worry about being attacked in his sleep again. Would it make him more enticed to listen to his captors? Ciel couldn't answer that. Fredrick was a strong willed individual and had been for some time. He doubted it would happen immediately and, if it did, it could take months. The small earl didn't mind, through, as he had waited years for this moment. He could wait a little longer.
He remained half reclined into the pillows, the position taking some pressure off of his back. [+blue "Excellent,"] he responded quietly. [+blue "I'd rather not trip over him unless I choose to. Besides, I think it may take quite a bit of time until he's ready to see things on our terms. Now that his presence won't be an issue, I suppose I can return to my room; I'll do so in the evening, I'm too sore to move again now."]
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