A soft smile graced the young woman's lips as the dog was told to go to her and soon was up beside her and had his head rested upon her lap. Danica as she had said loved animals and found the dog rather relaxing and gentlt stroked the canine's head. Her attention never leaving the man who was left to pick the dog's fur from his pants.
His soft wince after he had spoken was not lost on her. It appeared that he was as curious of her as she was of him. And he had proved that he would listen just as she would to him. Strange but in a way it was nice. They may not have been equals and he may have been her new employer, but she didn't see him as harsh or bitter as blogs said. Instead, she saw a man who struggled with people and wanted, no needed a companion of sorts in the same sense she did. Though she did find it funny that he could not believe her as being awkward.
[b "I am pretty much an open book. Anything you want to know you can ask... There isn't a reason to hide. And I like to learn about people and what makes them them as well."] Her words were soft as she spoke them, but she hoped in a sense perhaps they could make the man feel at least a little more at ease. She didn't "bite" so to speak and she would say if she rather not answer something. But so far he seemed to be as careful as she. Testing the waters so to speak.
[b "How about we do eat outside and a tour of the estate after lunch? I would love to hear more about your beautiful home. Does that sound good, M- Sebastian?"] Dani found herself asking as she slowly picked up her cup of tea and took a small sip from it, awaiting his answer.
Bastian smiled slightly. He could tell she wanted to pet the dog, so he looked him in the eye, cocked a brow to the pooch, and tilted his head in the direction of the girl. The shaggy thing--Rumfer--lumbered to his feet again from his sitting position sand slowly shambled toward the couch. Once he got there, he slowly raised himself on to the plush furniture, curled into a ball, and laid his head in the young woman's lap.
"No, please," he said as he picked a few of the dog's sheddings off his suit pants. "I enjoy hearing about your family and your childhood. It gives me a better view of you and what makes you...well, you." He winced inwardly again. God, could he be any worse at this? He took a strong swig of his now tepid tea, finishing it off before adding some more to his cup.
"Would you like a tour of the estate? There are a few rooms in particular I think you may enjoy. We could continue our conversation as we walk, or we could stay here, if you'd like. My kitchen staff is making a late lunch as we speak--they're probably nearly finished. If you woul like, we could eat outside on the patio before the mosquitos come out for the day?" He wanted to ask more about her family, her childhood, and... well, just herself in general. But he didn't want to be invasive.
His words did come across as cheesy and completely like something an employer would say. It had been said to her before but it almost amused her to hear it coming from the man sat before her. And if she was to be honest, Dani didn't know why it had amused her but it did. [b "I have faith in almost everyone.. Or anyone who has a craft or a talent which they so very love. So I am more than sure that it may only grow."] She said with a smile, though now she was VERY much aware that she sounded the cheesy one. Oh this could be fun as both did appear to have quite cheesy lines up their sleeves.
And very soon after his spoken words and his own, Sebastian seemed to motion to a dimply lit place by the fire, a spot of rug she had not noticed before. But then why would she have? Her attention had been chiefly on her new employer and his interview. Yet now that it seemed to be over, green eyes stayed on the spot of rug as the man across from her made whistling sounds and a tired looking dog soon was up. If she had to be honest the dog was rather cute for as homely a thing as it looked. And she so wanted to get on her knees and pet the dear. None of which she could do and so she soon was turned to looking at Sebastian and listening to his spoken words. It was sweet to say the least and to her proved that even if he may not admit it that the man did have a big heart.
[b "Growing up we had cats, dogs, hamsters, birds, and rabbits. I was always quite taken with the cats, hamsters, and rabbits.. They were always so soft and comforting. My favourites was a cat, Snowbelle that I got when I was three and she.. well she died when I was eighteen. But we still had others...and Tux became my baby after..he was meant to be my sisters'..but chose me as his human."] She said softly and her green eyes fell to her clasped hands in her lap. Why had she told him that? All he had needed to know was that they had had pets..not the rest of that. [b "I do apologise.. all of that was too much.."]
An amused smile crossed Bastian's face. "Please, call me Sebastian. Although I may technicallybe your 'employer', I'm hoping to be more of a friend." God, that sounded cheesy, and exactly like something an employer would say. "I do appreciate the faith. Maybe under your support and guidance my hobbies will grow into being better than they are. As for animals...." He gave a sly sideways glance to the side of the room--it was fairly dark in that corner, although still lit by the soft glow of the fireplace and small lamps--and made and odd clicking noise with his mouth.
A small brown rug, shaggy with long threads that looked quite soft, slowly began to move. Somehow, a dog about the size of a pit bull had managed to camouflage itself into the rug. Its head swivelled to look at its master, blinking tiredly. The eyes were droopy, creating an appearance of being beyond exhausted--even though all this dog did, it seemed, was to sleep!
Bastian made another click noise and a very short whistle, and the dog ever so slowly found its way to its feet, stretched, and trotted over to Bastian's side. He placed his hand on the dog's head and ruffled the fur, making the dog's floppy ears shake.
"I have many. One of the organizations I support is the SPCA, and whenever I find that there's an animal that no one wants or some reason or another, I find a way to bring them here. I have several dogs, three cats, and the squirrels around my estate are rather fond of me. Well, two of them are--I found them as babies and nursed them back to health before releasing them. They come by and will nap on my shoulder if I'm outside reading. I've had many other pets--birds and parrots, snakes, lizards, I've even housed a komodo dragon at one point as a favor for a friend." Bastian shuddered at the memory. Boy, those were animals you did [i not] want in your house. Or near your valuables. Or near you. As interesting as he found them to be, Bastian doubted he would ever, [i ever] make the mistake of boarding a dragon at his house again. Unless it was a bearded dragon--he thought those were cool.
Shaking himself from his thoughts once again, he looked to Dani and asked curiously, "Do you or your family members have any pets?" Heknew some people didn't have animals, but he just couldn't fathom not growing up around animals constantly.
Careful, the man seemed to be so very careful in the words he spoke and how much he gave away. It was even like he did tend to take extra time when he formed his answers. This was not the first she had noticed it, but she would not draw attention to it either. It in a sense helped her to get a better feel of his character. And it gave her an idea of what she may or may not have him say as well. Dani for as "pretty" as people thought was more "sensitive" and "observant" then most would think her to be. Sometimes she would use that to her advantage though not in a bad or misdirected way. More so to understand a person or people better. Again none of which she spoke as she listened to the man speak.
[b "Ah, but that would be your own thoughts and opinions Mr.Bellvue. We do tend very much to be our own worst critics. Always will we be hardest of ourselves than will the rest of the world. So again I do think you are underestimating yourself... And as to your writing...perhaps one day I may get to see it? I do truly love to read and see the worlds and sparks that others may have... My own though not horrid may only have a beginning with no end...sometimes I feel more compelled to poems..."] And after she had spoke, Dani gave a timid smile. She did realise she may have spoken too boldly but she could not help it. She was one who could perhaps find beauty on artistic exspressions where another may not. She did also hate to see others being so harsh on themselves.
Again she fell to silence and noted a faint pained look cross in his eyes just for the quickest of seconds as the man seemed to be contemplating his next words. Before she could ask what he may be thinking, her new employer went on to speak of his sister. And she again realised the carefulness in which he worded it all. Though she had to admit she was the slightest bit stunned how open he had actually been upon speaking with her. There was somethig that had her guess he had not meant to be this open, but in a sense she was thankful he had been. It gave her an idea of the man she would be working for.
However before she could speak or fully process, Sebastian was bringing it back to her own interests. He even asked what genre or genres of movies she did enjoy. [b "I enjoy a wide range of movies. It would depend on my mood and what will catch my eye at a given time.. But History, Fantasty, Romances, Disney, and sometimes Horror are a few I enjoy.. May I ask what you yourself happen to like? Because a movie is almost always nicer when you have someone you may enjoy them with. Also...you mentioned animals being around...what types do you keep?"] Surely it could not hurt to ask a couple more questions.
"....didn't mean to give you a long sob story. It truly isn't that important anymore--it's all in the past. Quickly, back to your interests, you said you were an avid moviegoer--what genre or genres do you tend to like best? I have a small in-home theater at your disposal and, hopefully, we have the same tastes in movies so we could watch at least one together, no?"
[b "I am not much for crowds of people or parties..."] Perfect. He nodded a little while clasping his hands in front of his face. He rested his chin on the hands and looked thoughtfully to the side of the room for a moment, trying to piece together his words in an eloquent and understandable way. "It certainly is a pleasure that you are so... supportive of people," he said, "without knowing their merits in certain areas, if that makes sense." He gave a dry laugh, one corner of his mouth curling into a wry smile as he did so. "While appreciated, though, that support is completely misplaced in my case. I can paint about the level of a fifth grader. Maybe--MAYBE--a sixth grader. My writing isn't too terrible, I will agree on that, however egotistical it may sound, but I can only ever write portions of stories. I can write the ending scene of something that will never have a beginning, or describe an incredible bit of scenery that will never fit into any of my current writing projects."
He wanted to avoid the question about Tricia, but he knew it was inevitable. Especially if she decided to stay--one way or another, she would learn about her, so he may as well get the very basics out now.
"I do miss her," he said carefully, "and I do get lonely here, although not because she isn't here. She hasn't been around for quite some time, so I've been very used to not having her around. When she left, I was very sad--I wouldn't leave my room, I sulked, I didn't eat or exercise, I slept all day. I missed her terribly, but I understood her reasons for needing to leave." He decided to keep those reasons close to his chest, at least for now--Dani was already getting more out of him than he had prepared to divulge today. Strangely, it made him feel a little... lighter to tell her this, though. Only marginally, but still, it helped. "After the first six-ish months, Bethany--my head of staff--said that that was enough of me being an angsty teen and she brought home an old, raggedy, hideous little dog that I hated--until she licked my face and cuddled up onto my chest. Ever since then, I've been sure to have t least a few animals in my house, in case I were to lose someone catastrophically dear to me--like Bethany." [i Damn,] he thought, [i I just cant keep my mouth closed, can I?] It was as if the floodgates had opened.
Reigning himself in, he composed himself and brought his face back to being nearly emotionless, save the curiosity that quirked one brow up as he looked at Danica. She was an intriguing woman, no doubt. "I apologize, I didn't mean to give you some drawn out sob story. Now, for your interests--you said you enjoyed movies. What genre, generally? I have a small in-home theater you could use whenever you like. Hopefully we coud use it together at least once, if we have the same tastes in movies, no?"
"I am not much for crowds of people or parties..." Perfect. He nodded a little while clasping his hands in front of his face. He rested his chin on the hands and looked thoughtfully to the side of the room for a moment, trying to piece together his words in an eloquent and understandable way. "It certainly is a pleasure that you are so... supportive of people," he said, "without knowing their merits in certain areas, if that makes sense." He gave a dry laugh, one corner of his mouth curling into a wry smile as he did so. "While appreciated, though, that support is completely misplaced in my case. I can paint about the level of a fifth grader. Maybe--MAYBE--a sixth grader. My writing isn't too terrible, I will agree on that, however egotistical it may sound, but I can only ever write portions of stories. I can write the ending scene of something that will never have a beginning, or describe an incredible bit of scenery that will never fit into any of my current writing projects."
He wanted to avoid the question about Tricia, but he knew it was inevitable. Especially if she decided to stay--one way or another, she would learn about her, so he may as well get the very basics out now.
"I do miss her," he said carefully, "and I do get lonely here, although not because she isn't here. She hasn't been around for quite some time, so I've been very used to not having her around. When she left, I was very sad--I wouldn't leave my room, I sulked, I didn't eat or exercise, I slept all day. I missed her terribly, but I understood her reasons for needing to leave." He decided to keep those reasons close to his chest, at least for now--Dani was already getting more out of him than he had prepared to divulge today. Strangely, it made him feel a little... lighter to tell her this, though. Only marginally, but still, it helped. "After the first six-ish months, Bethany--my head of staff--said that that was enough of me being an angsty teen and she brought home an old, raggedy, hideous little dog that I hated--until she licked my face and cuddled up onto my chest. Ever since then, I've been sure to have t least a few animals in my house, in case I were to lose someone catastrophically dear to me--like Bethany." Damn, he thought, I just cant keep my mouth closed, can I? It was as if the floodgates had opened.
Reigning himself in, he composed himself and brought his face back to being nearly emotionless, save the curiosity that quirked one brow up as he looked at Danica. She was an intriguing woman, no doubt. "I apologize, I didn't mean to give you a long sob story. Anyway, back to your personal enjoyments--you said you liked movies. What genre, generally? I have a small in-home theater to be used whenever you would like. If we have the same tastes, hopefully we could watch some things together, no?"
The man seemed as if he wanted to return her smile, but something held him back. What she wasn't sure but she was sure she would find out. Since the two would be spending a lot of their time together, Dani was sure more would be known. People had their skeletons and were entitled to them even. And when he spoke of his sister, a spark of sadness did shine through in her eyes. She honestly could not imagine life without her younger sisters or her family. [b "Do you miss her or get lonely without her here?"] The question had been asked before she could stop herself. It had just come to mind as more a follow-up of Sebastian's words than anything else.
And after she had spoken, Danica found herself falling into silence to let the man go on. His enjoyment in activities were actually quite interesting to her. Some she could admit that she would not have thought of. Though the painting and writing had not exactly shocked her. For as lovely as the home he owned was, the young woman could only imagine having a creative spirit to match. Would it be silly to speak such words? Of course it would as she did not truly know him and in a sense he had just become her employer as well. The best thing that she could do for the time being was to keep certain thoughts or observations to herself.
As he had done, Mr.Bellvue had turned her own question back to her. It was quite fair. [b "I do not believe you to be as horrid a painter as you may think..nor do I think the stories you write may lose direction. We all have sparks and then they may be lost for a time, Mr.Bellvue."] She found herself saying softly. She then gave a small and timid smile. [b "I love reading and writing... Movies and spending winter nights curled up by the fire with a book and hot chocolate.. I do also love to play piano and to sing..neither of which I am good at..but they calm me. I also very much enjoy spending time in the childrens' wing at the hospital and spending time with my own younger sisters.. I am not much for crowds of people or parties..."]
Wow. Her smile was... lovely. It almost made Sebastian want to smile back, but he held himself in check, instead giving a small nod and letting the corners of his mouth tilt up in the slightest. Answering her first question, he said, "I have a sister, but I haven't seen her in some time. Tricia is her name. She sends a card every Christmas or so, when she can. As for what I enjoy doing..."
Hm. What [i did] he enjoy doing? "I like to read," he said carefully, looking upward and clasping his hands under his chin, elbows resting on knees. "I like to read, and I like to learn new things. I like to paint, although I'm absolutely ghastly at it. I spend most of my time in the room I use for painting."
The room he used to paint in was absolutely enchanting. High ceiling, dark oak walls, and one gigantic floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall window that looked over the back of the estate. It showed the garden, the pond, the large expanse of lawn, the trees--everything. Covering the window were two translucent white drapes which, when closed, filtered light in in the most magical way, and when opened and tied back to reveal the view, framed the whole scene more beautifully than words could describe. Though his painting skills weren't the best, that was one of his favorite rooms in the whole estate. He loved to sit and just look out that huge window, pretending he was a child again, seeing it for the fist time.
He came back to the present wit ha few rapid blinks to wipe the daydream image from his mind,looking back down to Danica. "I enjoy music, boxing, and at least attempting to write. Rarely do any of my stories lead anywhere," he admitted somewhat sheepishly. "What of yourself?"
[b "I sometimes will go into the children's wing at the hospital my mother works in. They let me help and play with the children. I've been doing that since I was sixteen and it has I suppose helped me decide what I want to do.. And I find that children can be better company than adults can be...there is something so sweet and innocent. They are hardly judgey and very open minded. Fantasticly creative too."] Danica said softly, her cheeks seeming to colour a light pink as she had spoken her words. And when she did realise fully what she said, the young woman was mentally kicking herself.
Her cheeks were still the soft pink from her previous words and she was listening to Mr.Bellvue speak his next words. At first, his words had been lost on her. Other they had been until his pointed look had been given. [b "I..You can donate however you wish. And I do thank you very much for everything."] The smile that slipped to her lips was not her usual timid smile but a genuine one so very few saw. It was a rare sight and even more rare for her to give.
The girl did straighten the faintest as her eyes were on the man as he once more spoke. It all was a lot to be taking in. And just the chance to get to know a little about him would help her see what form of "companion" he would be needing her to be. [b "Do you have any brothers or sisters? Or.. what sort of things do you enjoy for pleasure?"] Simple enough as she was trying not to pry too much. It was more her trying to get a feel for the man.
Bastian chuckled. "Kids, eh? Have you had any experience, aside from your sisters?" He tended to like children but to keep his distance from them. Small children, in his experience, were good at not being judgmental, but they also tended to be [i very] blunt and speak their minds. "I donate to a few child-centered charities once or twice a year. Anonymously. If you would like, I can donate in your families name--it wold be the least I could do for your company. Sometimes, families are very grateful to benefactors and will send small gifts." He gave a tight smile and raised a brow--the implication was clear. At least, he hoped it was. She got the "job".
"Now, before I show you to your room, do you have any questions for me?" He knew her head must have been spinning from how quickly it had all happened, so he decided this would be a good way to give her some time to think. He finished off his tea and wrote a little more in his notebook.
His nod made her curious as he seemed to give the faintest to the man, Petri who had been standing by. It had only taken that nod before the man left and once more her full attention had come back to the man that sat before her. And she was highly puzzled as to what he could or would be up to with the nod. However, her question though unasked became answered.
It was NOT at all what she had been expecting. Yes she knew what she had come here for, but even so she had not expected it. So that in itself had come as a shock, but yet also a happy surprise. He had even it seemed to drop more in to a "human" demeanor..or rather less stern and business-like which made her smile a bit and she gave a faint bow of her head. [b "Thank you so much for doing this...I... I know that I am more grateful for it than you could imagine."] And she was. Only she wished that she could find the words to say to express much more of what she felt. But there were none and the young woman of twenty-three was at a loss, truly.
His next question might have been the easiest for her. And one she may not be too timid with. [b "My great aunt, grandmother, and mother have all been nurses...And though as I have said I can be people shy and have a hard time.. I do very much like young children and children..I think what I am trying to say is that I hope to be able to finish school and to be able to be either a doctor or a nurse. My main wish is to do something useful and that can help others."] She said with a small smile.
Sebastian nodded contemplatively. He looked to Petri and nodded--having worked for Sebastian for several years now, Petri knew what to do. He left the room once more to place a call.
"Well, Ms. Johnson," Bastian said as he sipped his own tea, "your family won't have to worry about full payments any longer. One of my maids, Bethany, who you spoke to on the phone when scheduling this interview, did some light research on you. In about half an hour, Petri will have enough information to contact the bank your parents' mortgage is with and pay half of it off through my line of credit." He let a small half smile show to seem more human and less businesslike. "Even if this interview finishes on a bad note or you choose to decline the offer, should I end up giving it to you, that reasoning is very selfless. I'm happy to help your family out for that alone."
He scribbled something else in his notepad before looking back up to her, his pen tapping at his lower lip. "What are your dreams? Your aspirations? Your plans for the future?"
For a moment, Dani thought she could see something flicker in the man's eyes. It was more noticed when she had mentioned that she had trouble making friends. How was she to explain that if asked? She had always just not been too favourable on people and they in a sense scared her. She was gentle and sweet by nature but she was nowhere outgoing as the rest of her family and tended to hang back. More like an "outsider looking in". Or "the loner who wants to be around people but is way too shy" as her mother had always put it.
Slowly did she take up her cup of tea again and take a small sip, a small smile slipping to her lips as it slid down her throat and warmed her. She was using it as a means not to yet speak but to listen and to once more watch. And when the man spoke did she once more set down her drink. There was something softer in the man as he spoke, not something she was sure would be noticeable by others but she had. [b "It has been home to me since I can remember...And to my parents it had been their dream home...also where my sisters had been born. I do not believe that it had been cost as much as it having for lack in better words being as a dream coming true."] There was so much more of the house in her own views but she did not say it. In fact, the young womab felt it would perhaps end up sounding silly and the words of a little girl.
Again she reached up to brush her hair back behind her ear. Being unnerved was not because of the man himself or his home. Ironically enough it made her think of Beauty and the Beast somehow which was her favourite Disney movie growing up. It still was. No, Danica was flustered and shy to talk about herself and to let others in. That had ALWAYS been hard for her. Not that she meant it to be but it was. And so again she fell into complete silence and gave a faint tilt of her head.
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