Castle of Secrets and Shadows

/ By d1gn17y [+Watch]

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The voice echoed once more and she forced herself not to respond to it, either in her mind or verbally. Ada needed to clear her head and ignore the voices because she knew that they were not truly there, at least that is what she had to keep telling herself because she really didn't want to believe that any of this was real. She had lost blood and she was fatigued and that was all this was.

Then it was her own voice she heard and she responded by shaking her head, regardless of how true the words were. Of course she wanted to find him; to get to the bottom of whatever it was that was happening to her but she had attempted to piece together some of the puzzle pieces herself and she had ended up getting hurt. Ada had to stop and she knew that.

She smiled towards Nathan and willingly accepted the plate of food and the water, taking some of the food first. It was exactly what she had needed to replenish some of her strength and after a few bites, she took a sip of the water to re-hydrate after the salty food had dried her mouth.

Ada looked towards Nathan as he spoke, contemplating whether she should tell him what spooked her. He was a friend and he would help her if she told him...right?

[b "I'm...hearing voices."]
  Ada / d1gn17y / 11d 17h 8m 4s
[right [pic]] "[B [i Lying...]]" the voice caressed the back of her mind, trembling down to her core. She wasn't being truthful, and that little, imaginary cramp in her stomach, a tightening that tells her it's true.

[right [size10 [B [i "And you want to come find him..."]]]]

That too was her inner voice. And no longer was it specifically sounding like the creature's, as it had been for the last day. It was hers again.

Alvér gazed at Ada as she stepped back over to the couch and sat back down. He had a bit of a frown between his brows, pursing his lips a little at how quick she was. He didn't want to call it desperation yet, but it made something in his stomach tighten. And, in turn, it made him come closer.

"[#00CCFF Alright,]" he said immediately, voice soft. He set down the pitcher and the little glass he had pinched between his fingers. He gave her the plate of the- basically antipasto was what he had managed to gather. Salty, filling, helpful foods for someone who had lost blood. And water. He wasn't certain, but he felt that that would help.

"[#00CCFF Are you alright?]" he asked, glancing back at her as he took up the pitcher and poured a glass of water for Ada. He kept his voice soft, even, juxtaposing the loud, quickness of her response. It worried him, and brought out his bedside manner.
  Tweedy / 53d 7h 35m 5s
Ada shook her head and looked around the room as if she might find the source of the voice but when she saw nothing and heard it again, she knew that it was in her mind. [b “No I don’t...”] She didn’t believe her own words even as they sounded out into the silent air around her. She [i did] crave the mystery or why would she have gone to the house in the first place or why would she have visited the grave yard again.

Then she found herself staring at Nathan who had entered the room but it took her a moment to register that he was there. He came with a tray of food and some water and she looked down at it for a moment. She hadn’t thought about food in a while and even the sight of it didn’t help give her an appetite but she knew that it was important for her health to get some food inside her.

She cleared her throat and looked to Nathan and then instantly shook her head. [b “No, no! Please...stay with me.”] She said with a faint smile as she lowered herself down into a seated position.
  Ada / d1gn17y / 82d 2h 22m 7s
[right [pic]] "[B But you don't want that,]" came that voice again. As certain as it was her own inner voice. It [i was] her inner voice. Most of her thoughts had come in his voice. In that creature's voice that had stuck to her as if his touch was still on her skin. "[B You crave the mystery of it all...]"

Nathan sighed softly, returning to the thing he was putting together. On such short notice, he didn't feel like there was much, but he had some things for her. Presently, he could bring up a plate with some cheeses and fruit and a bit of salted meat on it, and bread. Things she could make sandwiches with.

He stood there for a moment, gazing at the food. It should have given him at appetite, the idea of it. Or something. But there was nothing. He exhaled softly, almost missing it. He sighed, picking up the plate, and then took another pitcher with him for her, leaving the kitchen.

And soon he returned with that up the stairs to her. "[#00CCFF Ada?]" he came into the room, catching sight of her standing in the middle of the room. He paused, tipping his head. "[#00CCFF I have- ah,]" the water sloshed a bit in the pitcher. He tried for a smile, concerned by the paleness on her face, the fear in her eyes. "[#00CCFF Should I come later?]"

[#00CCFF #00CCFF]
  Tweedy / 104d 10h 4m 0s
If there was one thing Ada was sure about, it was that she was completely alone in this room. Whatever breath she [i thought] she had felt had not been real. Whatever voice she [i thought] she was hearing had to be in her mind. It just [i had] to be, especially since upon inspection of the room she could not see the familiar figure she had expected to see.

Her eyes shut once more as she tried to steady her breathing, the sound of Nathan's voice almost sounding as though it was a little bit further away that it actually was. It seemed to be more of an echo than anything else. [b "I'm not crazy."] She repeated, as if saying it over and over again would make it that little bit more believable. It was when she heard the voice again that some for of a whimper escaped her.

[b "Just leave me alone."] She said with a whisper before Nathan's voice broke through to her. Ada cleared her throat and turned towards the door and called back to him.

[b "I'm fine! Sorry...I...tripped over."] It was a lie but what was she supposed to say?
  Ada / d1gn17y / 106d 5h 35m 3s
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There was a clatter from downstairs as Nathan heard the yelp from Ada, and he dropped the utensil in his hand. He quickly nabbed the knife again before it could gather up too many crumbs and wiped it off on a cloth, glancing back upstairs. Armand's attention was taken as well from the front, glancing back down the hall to see Nathan's eyes up. They met gazes for a moment.

"[#00CCFF Ada?]" the man called, shifting out of the doorway towards the stairs. "[#00CCFF Are you alright?]"

"[B You're beginning to doubt that,]" came a warning, distant voice as if from the furthest depth of her thoughts. Small. But in that way so intimate, near. As if barely caught from around a corner. Here? Present? She hasn't looked for it.

"[#00CCFF Ada?]" came Nathan's voice again when she didn't answer.
  Tweedy / 115d 7h 34m 31s
Ada was sure that she would be able to stomach something, should Nathaniel find some food and so she nodded as he explained that it would help her to eat something. Then she was alone, or at least she assumed that she was alone.

Being inside and sat down was certainly helping with her fatigue and the faint sounds of the two downstairs brought her comfort. Here she felt safe. She wasn’t sure if it was simply the security of being inside rather than vulnerable facing the elements, or whether it was because of Nathaniel but that was not something she was about to ponder now.

As though something or someone had been able to read her thoughts or detect her feeling of safety, she heard the words almost instantly after feeling hot breath against the back of her neck, causing her to stand quite hastily, sending her a little dizzy. A gasp, or rather a yelp, escaped her lips as she did so and she found herself moving forward as if to put distance between her and whoever the breath belonged to but she was not about to turn around and face them, mostly out of fear that this was purely a figment of her imagination.

[b “I’m not crazy.”] She whispered to herself as she slammed her eyes shut.
  Ada / d1gn17y / 138d 6h 52m 15s
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Nathan nodded, "[#00CCFF Food is a good idea,]" he agreed, clasping his hands. "[#00CCFF Let me see what I can get for you, okay? You rest here, and I will be back with something for you. I'm sure we have- leftovers.]"

"[#00CCFF It'll help your blood sugar,]" he said over his shoulder as he turned back to the stairs.

With that the tap of his shoes disappeared along with him down to the ground floor again, and there into the kitchen.

Sitting there, the tick of the tall, dark wood clock started to fill the sitting room. Blissful silence falling over her of a house. The sounds of muffled voices- Armand and Nathaniel- and the sound of things in the kitchen clinking was heard.

And from the settling quiet, it was as if the building was breathing. Quiet sigh. Relaxing.

And then a very real breath behind her. "[B Finally safe,]" came a rare breath. "[B You keep odd company...]"
  Tweedy / 138d 7h 3m 52s
He was right, weakness did stem from circumstance and right now she found herself to be in a circumstance she had never expected to be in, all because she was too proud and curious to accept a woman’s place in this time. Still, even as she found herself needing to lean on Nathan, she still could not see herself giving into society’s need for her to marry simply for the sake of security. It wasn’t as though she was entirely against the institution of marriage but she would be damned if she entered into it for protection. Maybe one day she would find herself longing to be the wife of a man she loved but right now, she refused to give into what society requested of her.

As a child she would work just like any other child, her sex not even determining what she should be able to do but the moment she reached to appropriate age to marry, she was expected to become someone else and she refused to change who she was for anyone else. Nathan was the only person to accept her for who she was now, not who she was expected to be. Maybe she should marry him. That would get everyone off her back. She mused to herself and smirked as they approached the steps of Nathan’s building.

Ada glanced at the steps and then looked towards Nathan. While her energy was dwindling but she managed to climb the steps with his support and as they entered the building she was greeted by the assistant that Nathan had insisted he needed. Apparently now, it required two men to help her up the stairs and she couldn’t help but feel guilty due to the fact that she had caused much fatigue to the friend who helped her home. To his home.

As she was lowered onto something far more comfortable than the bench they had used to take a momentary break, she let out an exasperated sigh. She reached for the water and did not hesitate for even a second as she allowed the liquid to slide down her throat, replenishing the much needed hydration.

[b “Food would be a good idea. I’m not hungry but I should eat…shouldn’t I?”] She understood enough to know that she could make herself worse if she didn’t.
  Ada / d1gn17y / 152d 17h 27m 34s
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"[#00CCFF Weakness stems from circumstance,]" he responded.

Nathan's smile was wry at that, realizing how quick he was to respond, slanted as he glanced away. "[#00CCFF Your constant reminders eventually took,]" he said softly, thinking back on little slaps on his hand or dirty looks as they grew up.

Ada chafed under the expectations of delicacy for a woman. After working as she had growing up, and being expected to be strong and useful, the movement to society was like the kill switch on an electric current for her. Years of expectation suddenly turned into different ones, and she was expected to simply crawl as if out of her skin as a fair, demure little creature when she reached a certain age.

It wasn't as if he couldn't relate. Being treated gently until a certain age, though it being an earlier age, somewhere in his childhood he couldn't think back on well enough to pin, when suddenly he was pushed into a man's role. Held less, expected more from. It was an acute and particular kind of hell to be rejected so solidly from any form of intimacy, and made to feel ugly and dangerous. But now wasn't the time to reflect.

Now was the time to help Ada up the front steps and into the reception area for the mortuary. Inside, his assistance Armand, came out. His thick, curled blond hair practically straining against the ribbon he held it back in. His hands nearly dropped the pen in his hands, belatedly slipping it into the inkwell, and came up to help the two of them.

"[#00CCFF Armand, would you help me bring Ada upstairs?]" Nathan asked, putting an affect of exhaustion into his tone, bending a little underneath Ada's arm as if their trek had tired him, for now.

He helped, "[+maroon I'm sorry I didn't see you coming down the street,]" came the plaintive apology as he helped steer, grabbing a pair of muddied boots and taking them out of their way.

Ah, that's right, he was going to wash those off, earlier, wasn't he? Nathan thought. There would be plenty of time for that later.

The two men helped situate the lady on one of the upholstered couches upstairs, away from the front room so that she needn't be disturbed as Nathan took care. Armand soon returned downstairs to man the front desk and continue with chores as Nathan shooed him. The two men lived together, sharing the rooms upstairs that weren't for inpatients, at least.

Nathan got Ada some water from the pitcher in the basin and handed it to her, concern knotting his forehead. "[#00CCFF I'll see what we have in the form of suitable foods to help your blood pressure...]" he murmured.

[#00CCFF #00CCFF]
  Tweedy / 159d 9h 58m 49s
Ada looked up and saw how close they were to Nathan‘s home. It definitely offered her some relief to see the building before them. It was as though seeing how close they were sparked enough energy for her to keep going and with a new found determination she tried to pick up her pace so that she could rest sooner. She nodded softly as she pulled her gaze back to him and smiled as if to reassure him that she could make it.

Ada was not a stranger to his home, in fact she had frequented it as much as he had frequented her home. However, Ada had not visited his home as a patient. Her visits were far more social and it felt strange to her to be going to his house with the intention of him looking after her.

As Nathan started to change direction so that they were heading directly for his home, she detected something in his movements. Whether it was embarrassment or something else entirely she did not know. [b “I like that you care about me Nathaniel. You’re the only man that doesn’t make me feel like I am a weak woman.”] She laughed momentarily, [b “even though right now that is exactly what I am.”]
  Ada / d1gn17y / 166d 7h 5m 50s
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"[#00CCFF Just another block,]" he assured her, hand brushing over her shoulder as he held her upright. "[#00CCFF We're close now. See? Just down the street.]"

His building stood close now down the street. Its glass windows gleaming in the evening sun, and above and behind it, his apartments. A tree overhung the corner that his funeral home, mortuary and physick's stood upon.

He heard the downtrodden tone, dropping away from her like the stomach he imagined at his admonishing. Nathan swallowed.

"[#00CCFF That does not mean- I'm not glad he helped bind your foot.]"

Swallowing again, Nathan angled them towards his place- of business and of home, recently. After he had returned from schooling.

And, as it was, he was still caught like a schoolboy. "[#00CCFF No. I was looking for you... I worried, recalling your blood loss.]"
  Tweedy / 166d 7h 21m 13s
Ada didn’t mind that she needed to lean on him to get back home. She was far to tired to consider her pride or argue like she might have done if she had all of her senses. For now, she would accept his help and think nothing of it as he helped her back towards town. She could only hope that once they arrived there she would be able to sleep off the fatigue and feel better in the morning and maybe then Nathaniel would be able to do his tests so that her mind may be out to rest with regards to what that creature did to her in the castle.

One this was for sure, Nathaniel wouldn’t let her out of his sight again until she was better. Ada would need to make sure she resisted any urge to go back to that graveyard or that castle. She looked to him as he spoke, pouting almost like a scolded child. [b “ I suppose I don’t.”] With his next words she smiled again.

[b “You happened by? You were just taking a walk then? You were not looking for me specially?”]
  Ada / d1gn17y / 166d 7h 56m 21s
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Nathan stared back a moment, wondering what was making her smile so. His brows pressed together, looking at her. But he shook it from him, taking her up so that they could continue towards his home.

Her weight was little on him, but it was her balance and the fresh wound on the strain of twice- thrice, even- emptied vessels to carry her. Either way, he would make do. But it would be less [i visible] if he needn't carry her. And, to spare her pride, she could walk on her own. Visibly.

Shame flooded him, suddenly, pulling his eyes away from her. "[#00CCFF That's not true,]" he murmured. "[#00CCFF I don't trust [i him], Ada. Henry, was at least in earnest. You don't know anything of that man in black.]" His eyes returned to her at that. "[#00CCFF Do you?]"

But as they went, softly, he heard her again. His eyes turned to her, feeling an acute ache at her words. "[#00CCFF I- happened by,]" he hedged, keeping his eyes forward. "[#00CCFF Think nothing of it.]"
  Tweedy / 166d 8h 44m 12s
Ada watched as the man’s thumb absently ran over the top of it and she smiled to herself, the movement bringing an odd sense of comfort to her. When he finally looked back towards her she offered him a smile, barely noticing the tremble in his movement. Her smile began to drop away from her face when he spoke.

[b “You don’t tend to trust many men when it comes to me, do you?”] She asked. It was a pattern she had began to notice over the years, more so over the passing weeks. With any other man, his concern would become exhausting and she would likely distance herself from it, but she had known Nathaniel for years and his concern was a comfort to her; a constant.

Ada took his hand with the gesture and allowed him to pull her back onto her feet. [b “I can make it. I’m fine.”] She kept her hand in his as she started to move again, with a determination for her getting back to their little town. [b “I’m glad you came for me. You’re always there for me, aren’t you?”]
  Ada / d1gn17y / 169d 58m 8s

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