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[center “You know, you have a penchant for making a lot of assumptions without actually stating them, but thank you for answering my question. Relax, no one is kicking you out. You’ve just made it abundantly clear you have very little interest in the prospect of being a part of our family—which, based upon what you just said, is confirmed. I just wanted to get the answer from you directly.”
Weight shifting, Faustus cleared his throat. “Regardless, I also wanted to ask you about your interest in magick. Logan had pretty explicit wishes when it came to you, because he clearly knew what the deal was, despite your ignorance. Ignorance, that is, as in never knowing. That wasn’t meant as an offence. I just want to make it clear that this can only really go a couple of ways.”
“If you’re looking to actually learn more about magick, sincerely incorporate it into your life, then you definitely belong her. But if you’re interest is only superficial, then I can show you some basics to keep you out of trouble if something should happen and you’d be welcome to stay until you decided to leave with no obligation to this family.”
Admittedly, it would have been a serious fucking shame. “And this is something I’ve been meaning to say since dinner a few nights ago, but... it’s very apparent Logan never let on to you that we, as in he and all of us, kept contact regularly. He offered me some very basic reasons for keeping you away from all of this— something about wanting you to be able to live your mortal life as you had been. Which makes complete sense. For the record, I agreed to a point, but it was my opinion that you should be given the choice in the event of his absence. Especially considering what would’ve happened afterward—which I knew only from experience. I don’t want you to be mistaken about my intentions here. I don’t hate you, and I don’t wish to see you fail.”
Okay, so watching him fail had been a little entertaining. But he was clearly hard-headed so making a point was necessary.
“I’ve been meaning to look into your heritage and figure out where this line of magick might lead. Especially because, no offence, my younger brother typically didn’t do anything for such simple reasons. I get him wanting you to continue to live your life as usual, but something about it strikes me odd. Before you met him, you really had no encounters with magick? No... inkling you were different at all?”
Faustus narrowed his eyes, clearly finding it hard to believe. “I mean, you can put a cap on it, tie it up and mask it however you like, but you can’t control it entirely. Not infallibly.”
He looked up at Faustus. Why didn't he just spit it out? He'd asked three times if he could ask a question, but hadn't asked anything yet.
In any case, it seemed he wanted a longer conversation. He couldn't fathom what had prompted the man to come here to him, since Faustus clearly didn't want to have anything to do with him. [i Someone else's influence?] he wondered. Who could possibly intimidate Faustus into doing something he didn't want? [i Must be a truly horrifying person,] he decided.
Silveus shut the door and stepped into the hallway. "So what do you want to talk about?" he asked, hoping the man would get it over with. Was it offensive? He hadn't hesitated to offend Silveus up til now, so it seemed unlikely he'd suddenly grow hesitant.
Oh. He bit his lip to prevent himself from snapping at the man. His husband died, he was yanked out of his house and hours away from everything he'd ever known, and this pretentious fool who'd been born with a silver spoon in his mouth wanted to know why he wasn't out on his own already? If Faustus didn't already know, he'd never be able to convince him.
No, he should try. At least give Faustus a realistic look at his life. "I'm going to be honest with you, so please try to understand," he started. "I know you're very well off, but--I'm not. I'm an artist. I work--until recently, I had two jobs to try and get by. Throughout our marriage, Logan and I kept separate bank accounts. It was my idea. I knew he made much more than me and didn't want our relationship to be based on his money, or lopsided because of it. So I supported myself, and he supported himself, with the exception of a few mutual purchases."
He glanced around the hallway. He hadn't known just [i how] different their finances were. Had Logan even worked? He clearly wouldn't have had to if he hadn't wanted to.
Silveus shook his head and continued. "In his will, he explicitly left all his money to his family--to you and your parents and siblings. We were only married a few years, so I guess he forgot to get it changed." It was a very Logan thing, forgetting the essentials until the last second. How many times had he had to remind the man to buy groceries when they had an empty fridge or put gas in the car when it was running on empty? [i Maybe it's because he was used to using magic for everything,] he realized. He'd always thought it was just a quirk of Logan's, but now that he knew about magic, it certainly made more sense.
"So I only have what I had saved, which isn't much. On top of that, my house isn't fit to live in, you said so yourself. And I don't know if you've noticed, but we're a several hour drive from where I lived. By the time I made the commute back to my jobs, I'd be losing money on the day with the price of gas like it is."
He gestured, an ironic smirk on his face. Left him between a rock and a hard place. "Jobless, homeless, hours from my friends and connections. What do you propose I do? I've been searching for a job, but the market's not great. If I got an apartment, assuming I'd get approved with no job, I'd run out of my savings in a matter of months. I'm trying to sell my art, but that's not going any faster than it ever has." With a shrug, he glanced up at Faustus. "But if I'm a burden, I'll go. I can figure something else out. Find someone else's couch to crash on. I never intended to stay here forever, just until I got back on my feet."
Silveus pushed his hair back. Which was probably all Faustus was asking about from the start, but it'd felt good to rant to him about it. He was tired of Faustus expecting him to be able to just--do whatever he wanted. The real world didn't work like that. Or at least, it never had for him.
[center He was ever the ray of sunshine, wasn’t he? Faustus had to find the will to actually smile at this man. “Well, I’m actually here to clarify a few things. Now that there have been a few days to cool off, I thought we might actually have a civil conversation.” Without all of the micro expressions.
Then again, perhaps he had been a bit harsh with him. It wasn’t fair to put all of this on someone who didn’t even know the role he had played. Logan held full responsibility for that one.
“I also had some questions for you, that I hope you’ll answer honestly.” Especially considering it meant Logan had really never let on that he was still in regular contact with them. And what could possibly have been his goal in doing that?
“I was wondering if you would be able to come with me for a bit? I want to get a better idea of how you really feel about all of this and hopefully fill in the blanks in attempts to at least—well, I’ll save that for later, I suppose.”
Faustus peered down at Silveus with a rather neutral expression. If there was any trace of hostility here beyond some reluctance to be there, it was absent now. Perhaps this had been his mother’s intention. She was hoping they would hug and make up.
Clearly she couldn’t tell how stubborn this one could be, but what could be done. She had a tendency to see things in a more positive light, and in her mind, she couldn’t imagine why Silveus might hate them.
Well, so he could guess, anyway. Faustus hoped he was wrong about that, but even hope couldn’t shake his suspicions about why he might’ve actually chosen to stay here.
“Plus... I am wondering what prompted you to stick around. You seemed awfully adamant about leaving a few days ago.” There was no hostility in his question, just pure curiosity.
Maybe there was another way to approach this... without unnecessary exposure. ]
It was five AM when he came to terms with the fact that he wasn't going to fall back asleep. Silveus got dressed, got ready for the day, and still had a few hours before anything was supposed to happen. He wandered his room. What was he supposed to do?
When Logan was alive, they would've cuddled until he fell back asleep. Afterwards, at least he had the whole house to wander. He could go to his studio and paint, or go for a walk, or go make himself an early breakfast. Here, he felt so trapped. If he left his room, he was subjected to the expectations of Logan's family.
They were kind, and they tried to be accommodating, but he felt the pressures on his shoulders every time they looked at him. He was only wanted if he came into his powers and decided to have magic like them. But he hadn't hardly seen them use magic, and all he knew of it aside from that was that because of magic, his house was uninhabitable. It didn't exactly make magic sound great to him.
Besides, it wasn't like they owed him anything. It made him uncomfortable to receive their charity, that was the long and short of it.
He'd had to quit all his jobs. He couldn't afford to make the hours-long commute. At some point, they'd brought his car over, and he'd started looking for new jobs, but honestly? It was effort he didn't feel like making, most days. He felt stuck between his lack of motivation and his desire to support himself, and it left him feeling useless.
[i Maybe I can do that,] he decided. He had a few hours, why not?
Mid-search, someone knocked at his door. He glanced over. Faustus. His least favorite. He had half a mind to stay silent and let the man keep knocking. Silveus stared at the door, summoning the desire to face Faustus, then, with a deep sigh, strode over and pulled it open. "Can I help you?" he asked. He couldn't hide the tired note in his voice. He was running on empty, and Faustus took more effort to deal with than most people. If the man didn't need him, he'd rather be left alone.
[center It certainly was. Gorgeous. The picture of perfection. Made you wonder how someone could leave such an ideal life behind, didn’t it? But then, that would have been assuming so much about Logan that wasn’t true. He had never been the superficial sort. He was 99% heart, 1% trickers. Well, okay, those figures were off, but the simple truth had been that he’d chosen his life with Silveus happily.
For that, certain... things... had followed. Unavoidable, regrettable things. Something Faustus wouldn’t bring up for fear of destroying lives, no matter how severely the truth burned in his mind.
Silveus’ art had been transported somewhere safe and the seal had been broken on the house. Unfortunately, that meant the house had begun to rot, but what could be done about that? The seal couldn’t remain, and without the seal, any old thing could wander in. Talk about a haunted house. These creatures just loved to leech off of magick.
Arrangements had been made for Silveus to meet officially with the coven, but before then, Faustus was expected to debrief him. Ever so much the pleasure for him, of course. He just loved pursuing little, angry men who clearly cling to resentment for him.
But he was an adult. This was simply duty. There would be nothing to worry about. After all, it wasn’t as though he’d really done anything to him.
...okay, so he’d let him get fucked up a little by a trapping circle, big deal. He was fine, he’d been healed, and if he really clung to any resentment regarding that, then that was his problem.
Inhaling deeply, he raised his knuckles to knock thrice at his door, already dressed and fully prepared for the day. Well, prepared depending upon how this conversation went. If things went south, then this was pretty much over. Which, he guessed wouldn’t be so bad.
Silveus seemed adamant from the moment he’d arrived to get away from them. Despite how well received he had been by the family, and despite how little there would be to go back to in that house where Logan no longer dwelled.
“Silveus—you’re not still asleep, are you?” Even if he had been, it wouldn’t be for long. They had a long day ahead of them, potentially, and he wasn’t about to waste a second. Besides, he was eager to learn this man’s true intentions. If he did stay, to what end? Did he even care for Logan’s family? Did he even care to be one of them?]
Faustus, huh? He repressed the urge to grimace. Now was not the time. His resentment towards Faustus was something they could work out another day. If they could. Though the thought of having Faustus as his main source of information was worrying. His eyes flicked to the side, to the gormless, clueless Bastion. He could always ask him afterwards. Faustus liked to laugh at his suffering, but Bastion was much less of a sadist.
He looked up when the matriarch pressed him for more information. He'd rather fade into the background and vanish, but it seemed like he wouldn't be given the chance. "It's coming along fine," he lied. Since Logan's death, he hadn't been able to paint the way he used to. There was no joy in the task, just catharsis, anger, resentment, and when he came out on the other side, he couldn't recognize it as his own work. The series he'd been working on before Logan's death, the landscapes and portraits, was unfinished, and would remain unfinished, maybe forever. There was no more sunshine in his soul to share with the canvas. Instead, everything came out dark and twisted.
"This house is gorgeous, I must say," he returned, deflecting the conversation. It was always polite to compliment the host, but this time, it was easy. Her house really was quite beautiful. "I've never seen anything like it. Are these all antiques?" he asked, gesturing at the decor. She had an eye for quality, if so. They were incredible pieces, from the solid wood dining table to the chandelier overhead. And they went together so beautifully. It looked as though she'd purchased them all together.
[center It was so tiring. He could sense the bitterness rolling off of this guy. If he resented them so much, why eat with them? It seemed as though there was no pleasing him. What had Logan ever seen in him, exactly? Faustus found himself hoping this was him in mourning, because if this was his true nature, then perhaps his brother had been blind all along. That thought was something that did not settle well with him, given that Logan wasn't a fool.
However, he [i was] a bleeding heart. Honest to a fault. Kind beyond his means sometimes. That was the sort of man he'd always been. To think that his judgment could have been so skewed... that hurt.
Which made him wonder what this man had against them all. It was all too evident he despised being here already. They would have to explain to him, still, the real reason for his being brought here, but Faustus wondered if that wouldn't be better done tomorrow when they all got some proper rest.
Their mother, ever wearing a fond smile, as an image as she took in Silveus' words. Her fiery waves cascaded like silk, pinned up on just the one side. She looked like what every femme fatale might-- resplendent, youthful, probably bathed in the tears of men. Except, she was actually rather kind.
"Well, it's certainly a comfort to have you here. You're much safer with us. Faustus will further explain why soon enough."
Thanks, Mum. Just what he needed. More time spent with the half-blood. The ungrateful half-blood, at that. Okay, okay, no. He couldn't be biased. It wasn't his fault. Maybe they could find a solution to all of this that would make them all happy.
Like... well, he didn't exactly have any ideas yet, but he would... soon. He hoped. It was that or they'd simply have no choice but to return Silveus to his life...or what was left of it. What was to happen would have happened regardless of their interference. Except... he'd probably be dead or something.
Definitely not an acceptable outcome, he mused.
"How has your art been coming along?" She queried, eyes alight with interest.
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. ]
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