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Silveus narrowed his eyes half an inch at Faustus. [i Good to know it's not just his personality,] he thought, mildly annoyed. Nope, he actively hated Silveus, huh? Nothing he could do about that.
Food platters drifted before his face, threatening to spill gravy or sauce on him and the table alike. He leaned back in his chair. His clothes were already wrinkled, they didn't need food stains on them, too. "Yes, please, a little of everything," he said quietly. It all looked delicious, from the gleaming duck to the platters piled with vegetables. His thoughts flicked to the leftovers rotting away in the fridge. Was he taking Logan's place at the table, eating his share?
"Or, no, I'll just take--that's enough," he said. There wasn't much on his plate, but he didn't have an appetite anymore. "Thank you, Bastion."
[i Like he would let me bring a cat,] he thought angrily, shooting the cat a short glare. Only the essentials for him, but Faustus could casually pick up a new pet, huh? It still stung, that one.
He turned at the mother's greeting. It was hard to think of her as a mother, let alone his mother-in-law. She was gorgeous, young, and barely a day over Logan's age, let alone Faustus'. [i Magic, I suppose?] he wondered. [i How old is she really?] It would be rude to ask. Maybe he'd bring it up with Bastion at some point.
"The traffic was clear, so the drive itself wasn't bad," he said demurely. "I'm used to traveling, it doesn't bother me."
If traveling bothered him, he'd never be able to exhibit his art. Not in the tiny town he and Logan had settled in. He didn't mind it--hadn't minded it.
"Thank you for having me," he added after a beat, nodding in her direction. He still wasn't sure he wanted to stay. Apparently the whole family lived in this mansion, if they could all have dinner together; well, it certainly was large enough. He was an outsider, an unattractive little smudge among all these lively, beautiful faces. He didn't belong. Neither did he want to belong. He'd gone his whole life supporting himself, so why stop now? If he stayed, it would be temporary. Long enough to get this magic stuff figured out, and no longer.
Silveus picked at his food and tried to fade out of the picture. He was so terribly inadequate compared to all these supermodels. Why had Logan picked him in the first place, if all the other magic-users were so gorgeous? He didn't understand. He hadn't understood in the first place, with Logan being so terribly out of his league, but it had been a little easier to swallow before he'd known that Logan apparently had lived his whole life within arms' reach of a dozen beauties. Sure, most of them were related to him, but if all mages were like this, why bother with a scrummy little mortal like him?
[center The room had quieted significantly, just murmurs amongst the family as Silveus took his seat near Bastion. Their mother sat at the head, hardly looking like a mother at all. But then, immortality did that. She smiled at him, studying him carefully from her place beside Faustus. He was the complete opposite, chatting with Angeleau, a smile actually on his lips. So different from the portrait of cold distance he had been before.
“Everyone, you recognise Silveus...? Logan’s husband.” Now widow, but she didn’t make a point of saying as much.
There were quiet greetings and smiles, even a few names here and there. Each brother actually made the effort to name themselves for reference—as did the two sisters. There were other coven members there with their children—cousins, a couple of aunts and uncles. No grand children, though, for the main family. That generation was yet to come.
“Please welcome him warmly.”
Faustus cast a glance at his mother, smiling to himself. Good luck to the lot of them with that. Faustus wondered now if it would fall to him as the oldest to teach him the ways. He suspected his mother would ask. She was never the sort to enforce her position as the head of the coven unless it was a dire circumstance, but he could feel the question burning in her.
He wasn’t sure he would deny her, but he would certainly need some time to think about it. Perhaps he would decide after seeing how Silveus settled in.
“Faustus, after dinner, a word?”
Plates and platters were passed to and fro. Angeleau And Bastion were apparently the ones responsible for feeding the new addition, so they asked him to point out what interested him.
“Watch where you levitate, Angel—“
“Speak for yourself. Yours looks like it’s about to start a chorus.”
“Shut up.” Bastion ‘accidentally’ spilled a green bean on his face. “Having any, Silveus? There are carrots, potatoes, uhh, asparagus... that looks like mushrooms there.”
He could feel Faustus watching them, mostly with curiosity.
“Who is this new friend? Does he belong to Silveus?” Their mother queried, noting the cat, now collared and clean.
“No, just another new addition. He’s been purged of all impurities, so he’s quite healthy now.”
“Lovely. Silveus, how was your trip here? Hopefully not too unbearable? The drive can be dreadful sometimes.”
He sat carefully on the bed, almost afraid to disturb the covers. It didn't feel like it belonged to him. Then again, it didn't. His house was a long drive away, with most of his belongings. His whole life, miles and miles away. Gone. It was like the world was tearing every last piece of Logan away from him. First the man himself. Then his house, and everything they'd built together. What next? What was there left to take?
On the other hand... he wasn't spending every second reminded of how Logan wasn't there. He could sit here and not wonder if he was erasing the shape of Logan's body in the bed. He could look around the room and not be reminded of their vacation trips or Logan's favorite artists. It was--it was refreshing. A weight lifted off his shoulders.
A soft voice startled him awake. He sat up from the bed and wiped his face. [i Ugh.] He rubbed his eyes. [i I fell asleep?] Dinner. Right. Silveus stood, then stopped. Did he want to go down there? Face everyone? If they were like Bastion, it wouldn't be too bad. But... he imagined a room full of Faustuses and grimaced. No thank you.
It was weird. This whole scenario was weird. They'd kind of skipped the whole family-introduction bit of the relationship, so it'd be his first time meeting most of Logan's siblings. He wiped a hand down his face. Did he want to? He didn't really feel like a part of their family. His only link to them was dead. [i What even is a family,] he found himself wondering. What did it mean? Christmasses and birthdays and all that?
He didn't want to be taken care of. Didn't need it. He was too damn old to be living at anyone's parents' house. He had a job. Jobs. Was kind of making it as an artist. He didn't need-- but then there was magic. And he didn't know the first thing about that. [i At the very least, I need to learn more about that,] he decided. The first step, then, was meeting everyone. He steeled himself with a deep breath and walked out the door.
The table was huge, and the family filled it. [i The hell,] he thought, scanning the room. How many kids did they have? So much food, too. [i Do they have a private chef or something?]
He'd wanted to slide into the crowd unnoticed, but he felt everyone's eyes on him as he approached the table. Casting his own eyes down, he took the empty seat by Bastion, far away from Faustus.
"Good evening," he announced himself softly, not wanting to attract attention.
Everyone at the table looked so beautiful. Logan had been but a sample of what this family's genetics had to offer, clearly; there wasn't a lemon in the bunch. [i I wonder what they think of me.] He caught a glimpse in the polished silver plate set before him. Clothes rumpled from the ride here, his hair slightly askew from his nap and singed besides, complexion pale from spending too much time indoors, dark bags under his eyes from sleepless nights, the narrow face and the spidery fingers. He didn't look the part of the harlot who'd stolen their brother, as he had no doubt Faustus saw him, nor did he look like an upright, honest, sweet man who could nurture and care for Logan. [i More like the indy slum freak your kid dates on a whim, the one where no one can understand what the kid sees him him. The one his parents hope he doesn't end up with,] he thought. No wonder Faustus hated him.
He watched Bastion from the corner of his eye, waiting for the man to make the first move. Should he introduce himself? Was it alright to eat? How did they handle passing dishes around? Were they going to eat in courses, like this kind of extravagant spread seemed to demand? [i Maybe I should've just stayed in my room.]
[center “That’s fair,” Bastion concedes, taking him to what may or may not have been his room. It was as you would expect a room in this house to be. Decadent but welcoming. Meant to be lived in but never lacking in appearance. He set the luggage atop a coffer that footed the queen-sized bed and turned to exit the room. “See you at dinner, hopefully. It’s in a couple hours or so.”
And then he was gone, disappearing about the doorway a moment later and shutting the door behind him once Silveus was inside. He deserved his privacy, after all.
About the house, there was movement, voices rising and falling, fading or growing. It wasn’t so very long before they began to gather in the same place, summoned by the chime of the clock that announced dinner.
It was always a spread, but it kind of had to be for a gaggle of witches and warlocks. One ridiculously large table full of goodies for their consumption with at least a few dishes as entrees.
There came a soft knock at Silveus’ door and a soft voice announced that dinner would commence shortly. He was welcome of course, and despite the fact that it may have seemed unnecessary to say, it was stated nevertheless.
Faustus, Bastion, Danté, Angeleau, Krista, Juno— so many faces gathered about their table. They arrived in pairs or alone, taking seats for themselves where comfortable. Faustus kept to the far end of the table betwixt his mother and Angeleau, and Bastion had saved a seat for Silveus in the event he elected to join them.
“How is our guest doing?”
“Truthfully? As miserable as expected. Poor chap.” Bastion murmured sympathetically.
“I hope he does join us.” Esmé, their mother glanced curiously at Faustus. “You seem rather button-lipped about his arrival.”
In return, he offered her a humourless smile and no more. “Never mind it. Just tired.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Mm, I’m sure.”
“Quite the spread. Duck, roast, fish?”
“Options, we know not how he eats. There are plenty of vegetables as well if for some reason he is against the consumption of animals.”
“Thoughtful.” Angeleau remarked, dutifully filling a couple of decanters for the table.
Back to his house? He was allowed to go back? He raised his eyebrows. "I was under the impression that Faustus was going to burn it down," he muttered. He could just go back home. A small part of him unwound. They weren't going to destroy his house and everything he and Logan had built together. Everything was okay. He could go home.
He breathed out. "I think we're both pretty upset," Silveus sighed. Their tempers were both flaring. It made them a volatile pair. Gasoline and fire. Though Faustus could have been a little less of an ass. Just a little.
The house was gorgeous. He took it in as they passed. It was a Victorian manor, but glowing and spotless. A Victorian manor straight from the age itself, without a day to wear on its sheen.
"I appreciate it," he murmured, following the redhead through the halls. He needed a minute to compose himself. Think of his next move and consider what he wanted to do.
He sighed. Silveus met Bastion's eyes and shook his head. "It's been a hell of a day," he confessed. "I was ordered to come here, told magic was real, told my house was going to be destroyed... I need a minute. An hour." Time to think and process. Figure out what he wanted. "Please, show me to my room and just--give me a moment." He gave Bastion a small, tired smile. It had been a long day. He needed to gather himself. Think.
[center “Haven’t seen you since... uhh, well, since the you know what, but before that, when Logan was dragging you away from your wedding reception.” Bastion started up the steps with his luggage in hand, pausing to acknowledge his question of the room. “No, that’s actually my room, thank you. If anybody gets the view, that’ll be me. Sadly, you get a nice cushy room in the less treacherous part of the manor, so I guess I should apologise for disappointing you.”
Faustus had disappeared, to go and inform their mother of Silveus’ arrival no doubt. And of course, Bastion was now charged with showing Silveus to his room.
“You do know we aren’t your prison guards, right? If you want to go, you’re free to go. Faustus or one of us can simply bring you back to your home and leave you be. We don’t own you.”
Bastion was sure to emphasise the last part. Unlike Faustus, he was definitely a lot more open with his affect, so his thoughtful expression would have been easy to pick up on as he considered his brother’s disposition.
“I’ll be frank with you... he and Logan were close. Thick as thieves, never a day went by that they weren’t in contact. He’s pretty upset about his passing, so if he seems kind of rough, please try not to take it personally. I told him as much before he left about you. Obviously he wasn’t as... nice as I thought he’d try to be. But I don’t want you to take it as you ever being a bother. You’re really not.”
He crossed into the foyer, with its high ceiling, grand double-split stairwell, chandelier, and pretty much everything you’d expect the manor of a coven to look like. Expensive and... antique. Minus the signs of aging.
“If you’ll just follow me up this way... I’m sure our mum is dying to come and see you, but we convinced her to give you some time to yourself. You’ll see her at dinner should you decide to stay.”
Bastion turned to face Silveus suddenly. “Seriously. It’s optional. Tell me what you’d like to do. Because that’s really going to suck if I bring this all the way upstairs and you change your mind like... five minutes from now.” He let a wry smile touch the corners of his lips, and it was genuine at that.]
It was a long drive, but it passed in silence. Silveus stared out the window as if he was memorizing the route home. Part of him was. He hadn't failed to notice that he was not given the choice to drive there himself, in his own car. His means of transportation had been taken away. He still had his money for now, but who knew how long it would take before they took that as well. They were certainly ripping him away from his jobs, which meant he had no stream of income.
He hadn't failed to notice that Faustus had made no reply to his earlier comment. [i So that's how it's going to be,] he noted. A medieval bride, beholden to her in-laws until she found a new husband. It wasn't the way he'd wanted to spend his life. [i It's only temporary,] he reminded himself. Once he figured out this whole magic nonsense, he was going to vanish.
Out of the car, Silveus stretched. The cat followed docilely behind Faustus, and he watched it go with narrowed eyes. Was that supposed to be him? A cute new pet? Hardly. He wasn't helpless.
He turned his attention to the redhead. "I'm sure he was as kind as he could be," he said dryly, glancing after Faustus's retreating back. He turned his eyes back to Bastion at the man's greeting and nodded. "Nice to see you again, as well." He vaguely remembered seeing the man at one of those events. Maybe he'd attended the wedding. He certainly didn't remember seeing Faustus at the wedding.
"Don't tell me, it's going to be a tower room with a door that locks from the outside?" he quipped with a straight face.
He shook his head. "I don't expect to be bothering you for long."
Silveus watched Bastion's face as he spoke, checking for his reaction. The man looked like an open book, especially compared to Faustus. Depending on his expression, he could figure out what the family wanted from him. "Faustus didn't tell me much," he confessed. "Just that I was supposed to come with him." Which wasn't much at all. Meaningless, really, but then again, that did seem to be Faustus's MO: giving him no information, then laughing when he made a mistake.
[center Faustus resisted saying anything further. In fact, he didn’t say anything at all. The luggage went into the car, a message went out to his remaining brothers, and he tucked the cat away in the back seat. He was sure their friend would behave for the trip. He appeared to have taken to them already. He’d have to be given a proper name and collar once they arrived back at the estate, though.
And as for Silveus... well, that was another matter unto itself. He wasn’t sure what the rest of the family would make of the man, but he had at least drawn a few conclusions about how well they could get on. There was little hope for that bridge thus far, but who knew. It felt so odd to think that Logan had been married to him, but there was a good chance this was mostly grief and he was just lashing out. So he told himself, anyway.
Once they were in the car, he’d turned over the engine and drove off without hesitation. Not even a glance backward as the home Silveus once knew was left behind—abandoned. He had a new home that would accommodate him. One that wouldn’t wither and consume him as collateral, and that counted for something.
The trip they had to make was long—taking them through every manner of scenery, from urban to pastoral, to thick woodland and back again. They had just passed a sign for their destination when Faustus slowed to a regular speed, navigating the roads of a town. It looked nice, actually. Like the kind of place you’d want to raise a family in. Diners, bookstores, record shops, roller rink, et cetera. A lot of old architecture but plenty of trees and greenery.
He took them farther beyond, past the church, mills, a large farm, and even farther back until the estate came into view. Looming, beautiful, glowing from within. The hours of the day had slipped by in the time it had taken to get here, and truthfully, Faustus was relieved to see it at last.
He threw his car in park, stepped out, and rounded the car to greet the figure that had emerged from the house.
“Brother— you return, hopefully with our in-law in tow?” A kind face peeked about Faustus’ form. “Silveus, was he kind to you?”
Faustus cleared his throat. “Would you mind fetching his bag? I want to go and see mother.”
“Surely.” Offered the new face, fetching Silveus’ luggage from the boot. He also freed their furry friend, who was happy to trail after his new master into the house.
“Hi, there. I’m Bastion. Nice to see you again.” He offered, drawing open his door for him. A figure was lurking near the doorway, chatting briefly with Faustus on his way in. One of their sisters. He had handed off the album he’d taken with him to her and she’d disappeared from sight.
“Shall we go and get you settled?” Offered Bastion, a redhead, amusingly enough. The bright red was such a contrast to Faustus’ feathery locks. ]
The canvas was torn from his hands. He stared up. "Don't step on my art," he muttered. He glanced down at his gear. Did he have enough? "Yes," he said. He stood, cradling his supplies in his arms.
He was already sick of Faustus's high-handed nature. Oh, was he supposed to just believe he had magic? Was he so wrong for being suspicious? He hadn't survived this far in his life by taking everything strangers told him at face value. Especially not something so fantastic. Since he'd been stuck in the circle, it felt like Faustus had been laughing at him non-stop.
He made a face. [i No wonder Logan wasn't close with his family.] His brother was [i nothing] like him. Hopefully this wasn't a sign of how the rest of them would be.
[i With my luck,] he thought, shaking his head. What a month. His husband died, then he got kidnapped by his in-laws. His haughty, annoying in-laws.
"Make sure you don't miss a single one," he said, a slightly haughty note in his voice. That was his hard-earned money on those canvases, and his income. He couldn't afford to lose any of them.
As they left, Silveus took in the house for one last time. This would be his last time in the entrance hall. His last time past the kitchen, or the salon. The urge to sweep up the salt struck him, but he resisted the urge. There was no point. He could already tell that he wasn't coming back.
He shoved the gear into a bag and headed out the door. He grabbed a pair of sneakers on the way out to pair with his loafers in case they'd be doing physical work of some sort. Faustus hadn't told him what they'd be doing or where he'd be going, so he figured it was best to be ready for anything.
"I feel like a medieval bride," he commented dryly. His husband had died, so the family swooped in to rescue the poor damsel in distress who couldn't possibly support herself on her own. It made this whole situation more annoying. He [i could] support himself. He [i had been] supporting himself. He didn't need them to spirit him away like this. He didn't have a say in it at all, and it was pissing him off.
Faustus gently swiped a hand over the palms to heel them, doing the same briefly with the injured part of Silveus’ head before he’d hurried off to fetch his things. Patiently awaiting his return, he accepted the case and set it down, spiriting it away to the car. Like hell he would play the roll of bellhop.
Instead, he busied himself with the feline, exploring the lower level of their home. Silveus was clearly territorial, angry... though something told him that was likely just his disposition. Perhaps it couldn’t be helped for the time being. He had a right to his grief.
Still, Faustus could already spot bad habit they would certainly have to deal with. Like for one, acting as he pleased without consequence. That wouldn’t go over well with certain elders. Especially when it came to unbinding his magick completely. Perhaps baby steps were in order. Until he could be trusted with his temper.
He and their new feline friend perked up in the same moment, Faustus turning to follow the sound that was suddenly pricking at his ears. He took the same path Silveus had taken, suspicion tickling at his palms.
“No. Leave it.” A boot had already firmly drawn it away, allowing it to flatten against the floor once more. “Don’t touch it. Have you all that you need?” Gaze wandering from canvas to canvas, he didn’t even so much as grace Silveus with further eye contact.
It was best they left. This place was growing more rancid by the second. Perhaps his charge wouldn’t have been so skeptical, either, if he could see what he’d seen.
He would have to take a look once Silveus was out of range. Perhaps he would have the brothers come and fetch it up as well.
“Your art will be taken care of. My brother’s will come and safely transport it back for you.” And the seal Logan had buried in the hearth. No need to leave such a thing alive in his absence. The house already reeked of suffering.
His first instinct was to hide his hands. He glared up at the man, eyes narrowed. Trapped in, told nothing about the circle burning him, what a great first impression. After a second, he reluctantly showed the man his palms. As little as he liked this man, his hands were the tools of his trade. He couldn't afford to damage them like this. "I'm an artist," he snapped. "Tell me if my hands are in danger!"
Pack only what he needed. Shit, right. He had promised to go along if he had magic. But... Leave the home behind? The home he and Logan had built together?
Take only what he needed, but Faustus was taking the cat? That seemed fair. He rubbed his forehead in irritation, then swallowed it. It would be fine. He'd figure everything out.
He stood. Only what he needed. A quick scan of this room turned up nothing that called to him too strongly, so he headed upstairs, to the bedroom. On the stairs, he turned back. "Wait here," he commanded Faustus. He didn't want the man seeing his bedroom, for one, and for a second, he didn't need any more rooms to get filled with salt. One was quite enough, thanks.
Packing the essentials was easy. He filled up his luggage, the small size that would fit in an airplane's overhead carryon box. Then he paused. He might never come back. What else?
His eyes strayed to Logan's night table. The reading glasses, the half-finished book, the empty glass. It wasn't essential, none of it was. But he was leaving this house behind. He wanted to take something with him. Something of Logan's.
He slid the nightstand open. There was a bracelet tucked into the drawer, among the sundry items of their daily lives. He pulled it out, considered the thin golden links, the strange knot at the center, then linked it around his wrist. There. Now he'd always have Logan with him.
He rushed downstairs, carrying the luggage. "Here, put this in your car," he ordered, pushing it off onto Faustus. "I'm going to the studio, I need to bring my supplies."
Before Faustus could say anything, he ran off into the house. Shadows flickered around him as he ran, the lights too weak to banish the darkness.
The studio was in the back of the house. An annex to the original house, it was painted white from top to bottom and had plenty of windows. The once pristine white was now splattered with paint; the windows were grimy from neglect. He hurried past the paintings, picking up brushes and paints as he went. Slowly, he wandered deeper into the room, past the landscapes and portraits, deeper into the abstract works.
Stepping forward to grab a set of acrylics, he stepped in something wet. He glanced down. Red. Red like blood. Was it--
He dipped his fingers into the substance and sniffed it. No, just red paint. Had he knocked over a bucket? He looked around, searching for a source.
The tipped over painting seeped paint into the floor. He blinked and approached it slowly. What? Why was it bleeding like that? The paint should be long dry. Slowly, Silveus approached the painting. He put his hand on the frame and lifted it upward.
[center The look Faustus had on his face in that moment was worth a million words. And yet, he spoke not one of them. He had to choose carefully how to approach this next. Well, for one, he’d have to heal him once he got him out of that circle. Which, by the way, the temptation of leaving him within was almost too great.
Perhaps it was his lack of patience when it came to mortal beliefs. He had to work on that. At the very least, not act on it.
Stepping forward, he cast the toe of his boot through the border, smudging it away and one of the trapping symbols along with it.
He crouched before Silveus, palm extended. “Let me see your hands.”
There would be more time for answers as they went. “I highly suggest packing only what you believe you will need for now. My brothers can fetch anything else of importance before this structure succumbs later on.”
If he were younger and less restrained, he might not have been above floating in that moment, but spoiling in another’s pain wasn’t really his style when he wasn’t seeking vengeance. After all, Silveus was his charge now, it seemed.
“I guess you can consider this lesson number one. Don’t fuck with a trapping circle. You’ll always get burned in the end if it’s done right. Also, we’ll take this fellow with us.” He indicated the cat.
“He was kind enough to help me, so I will offer him a home in return. Which is the second lesson of the day. Expect nothing without cost. Plus, he’s pretty damned cute.”
Cuter than this uppity half-blood, anyway. Logan must’ve had his hands full with this one, considering his fiery disposition. Fates help him if this was what he had to expect going forward. Some real talk was very much in their future. Especially considering where they were going, there were rules.
Ugh, and then there was his heritage to consider. They would certainly have to explore that further given that he would have to officially become part of the coven at some point. Before that ceremony, there would be much preparation ahead to look forward to.
He couldn’t imagine how he must’ve been feeling. To not know something like this about yourself, in the wake of possibly the worst tragedy of one’s life? Definitely got the rough end. What had [i he] done in his past life.
Okay. The cat walked out of the circle. He cocked an eyebrow at Faustus. Right, so he was supposed to stand in there, and then... what? Get trapped? Sure, sure. It was just salt, after all. He'd watched his brother-in-law lay it down right before his eyes. There was nothing magic about it at all.
"Well, if I do have magic, then of course I'd want to go with you," he said. He was a logical man. If he had magic, then he needed help figuring out how to use it and everything. He didn't, of course. Magic didn't exist. He had never seen a seal anywhere on his body, and Logan had never been anything more than mundane. A wonderful man, yes, the perfect husband, but magical? Hardly.
Silveus eyed the salt. He knelt down and touched it, lifting the particles to his nose. It was salt, for sure. Ordinary table salt. [i This is ridiculous.] He shouldn't even go through this test. The whole setup was absurd.
[i If I do this, he'll go away and leave me alone forever,] he told himself. He took a deep breath and stepped over the border of the salt.
It didn't feel like anything. Any more than stepping over a line of salt ever felt like anything. He shrugged, making eye contact with Faustus. [i See? No problem,] he thought. He stepped over the salt on the other side.
His toe stubbed on something. He continued forward, carried by his momentum, and smashed into a wall face-first.
Silveus pushed himself up on the wall, confused. There was nothing under his hands. Something was burning, too. It smelled awful. He glanced down. His hands--his hands were... smoking?
Suddenly, it felt like he'd touched a hot stove. He yanked his hands away and stepped back, shaking them. "What the hell?" he asked. There was no wall. He saw nothing. He backed away. His heel hit against a wall. He fell back and smelled his hair burn as his head smashed into the circle. Silveus yanked his head forward and pitched forward into a crouch, curled up in the center of the circle. What fresh hell was this?
"What did you do?" he demanded, glaring at Faustus. It couldn't be magic. ...Could it?
[center This was ridiculous. Having to resort to such measures. “This cat...” he began, petting the fur of the small creature. “Though it can serve as a familiar, would not be trapped by something like this.” He indicated the circle he had formed on the salon floor, expression hinting none whatsoever at his annoyance.
It would have been so much easier if he could simply walk away, but giving it an honest effort would have been better than living with the guilt. If he still opted to rot after this, that was his choice. But he would not desecrate his own honour in the process.
“This is a trapping circle. As you can see,” he explained, setting the feline gently in the circle. “It does not trap anything it isn’t meant to.” He clicked his tongue gently at the young cat, summoning it back.
It hesitated at first before leaving the circle, sauntering back over to curl about his ankles and weave betwixt them.
“The test is simple. If you are a witch... a warlock, then you will stick. If not, then you should be able to step out again. After all, it [i is] just salt, is it not? From your cupboard, no less. Being that you’re so... all knowing, this shouldn’t daunt you in the least.”
He scooped the cat again, affectionately scratching behind its ears. “I’ll wait.”
After all, simple as it may have been, it was effective for simple applications. Even in more complex circumstances, it was a nifty little trick to have up your sleeve in the event you needed a bit of scene setting.
It was apparent in his features suddenly how tired he truly was. Promises could be foolish things, but he was not so selfish that he would abandon this one so easily.
“I will say, no one is forcing you to do this. You however, set the terms willingly, so I hope you are prepared for the possibility you will have to keep your word.”]
Now Faustus was trashing his house. He stood by the countertop with his arms crossed and watched while the man drizzled salt all over the floor. Then he vanished.
Silveus crumpled against the countertop for a minute. He rubbed his temples. Just being around Faustus was exhausting. The exact opposite of his husband. The man was a ball of energy and demands. The first conversation they ever had, and what did he do? Demanded Silveus come live with him, told him he knew nothing about himself or his husband, and told him his house was infested. He wanted to take a break. Take a nap, maybe. Sleep.
A creak from the door warned him of the man's returned. He stood up. Couldn't look weak. Not in front of this grifter, anyways.
A cat. He raised his eyebrows. Why did he have a cat? Where had he even found the poor thing?
Join him in the salon? "Why did you pour salt on the floor here if we're going to...?" he asked, following the man. Not that it mattered. This was all fake anyways. Nothing was going to happen. He'd just have to watch this man wander around flailing until he got tired and went home.
"I am fully prepared," he sighed, leaning against the wall. Prepared to watch this man wave his hands, maybe waft a few smouldering herbs, and nothing to happen. He'd almost believed the man for a second there, but then-- claiming [i he] had magic powers? He scoffed again at how ridiculous it was. He would have [i noticed] that. It had to be part of the grift. Act like the target was special, then, what, teach them nonsense and charge an arm and a leg? Had to be something like that.
At this point, he wasn't even sad anymore. He was just angry. The extent to which this man was trying to fool him was disgusting. And he was supposedly family, too. Showed how important family was.
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