[Center [Pic https://64.media.tumblr.com/fd0e6cea9b5ec9ef807513d5759a3d40/tumblr_n0ndozVugp1sswcb1o1_500.gif]]
[Center [Font "Hei" [#964a7b It matters not where you are from, only what you will become. Allow us to shape you into what you were meant to be]]]
[Center [Font "Hei" Welcome to Madame Pelagia Academy for Dancers, where the sons and daughters of prestigious familes come to learn the art and craft of dance, theatre and song. Here only the best of the best will walk through these halls where they will start as nobodies and come out as tomorrow's visionaries.]]
[Center [Font "Monaco" [#ec3639 Shoot to kill and shoot to win, trust no one and stay alive.]]]
[Center [Font "Monaco" Welcome to the streets, where blood sweat and tears might be the only way you'll ever gain an ounce of respect here; it matters where you've come from and it matters not what happens if you choose to partake. Just know that turning your back on the streets will surely lead to your downfall.]]
[Center [I Muse A] has spent her whole life in and amongst the riches and glories of a family that everyone fears - respects. She has been called the next best thing and has been admitted into Madame Pelagia's Academy with a full ride scholarship as a result of her talents. But part of her wonders what is she missing out on by being the goody two shoes? So enters the burlesque club 'Emotion'; it's only one night. But it's a night that is bound to change her life.]
[Center [I Muse B] knows nothing but heart break, the scent of gunpowder and blood. He's been raised in the streets and hates the established hierarchy, he dreams of ripping it down and rebuilding a better society but what can a lowly criminal like him do? Mistaken for a socialite he finds himself within the walls of 'Emotion'; he might be a bad boy who doesn't believe in love but will she change his mind?]
[Center [Font "Georgia" If you are interested please DM me, we'll discuss which muse we'll take on]]
[Center [Font "Georgia" This RP was loosely inspired by 'Look What You Made Me Do' and 'I did Something Bad' by Taylor Swift]]
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[Center || At the Police Precinct ||]
[U Third Person perspective]
[b "Someone please call the Silvercrest estate."] Senior Detective Samuel Dunne called out into the silent office, realising he was the only one there, the most senior of the Detectives half wishes he could whip the entire police Precinct into shape. As he collects another cup of black coffee he looks over the pictures on his desk; something didn't sit right with him. It never did when someone rich and powerful died and in his city of all places. He's exhausted but the scene in front of him makes little to no sense, the coroner's report, even less so. Of course, the fucking police officers at the scene had simply labelled it a tragic accident but Dunne felt differently.
Dialling the number to the estate - found by lockpicking his boss's office door. He lights another cigarette. If he is correct to assume that his hunches were correct, then, by all means, the last remaining Silvercrest was in grave danger - he didn't count Arthur as one, the man had been inside the cells more times than even a serial killer on a 'bad day'. Half of him is preoccupied as his junior assistant steps into the office, she is usually the second to arrive out of all the lazy motherfuckers in the city. [b "Good Morning Penny. Please read over the coroner's report and tell me my eyes are not deceiving me."]
Dunne has always liked Penny, she's quiet and hardworking. Asks no questions unless it is to prove a point. Moving towards the window; he's relieved to finally hear the voice of someone on the line -albeit one of the Silvercrest's staff members. [b "Yes good morning. This is Senior Detective Samuel Dunne. I need to speak to Miss Silvercrest at the earliest convenience. Please let her know I am calling as soon as she is available. I can be contacted on this number."] he repeated his personal number before hanging up. Turning towards Penny he gives the younger female a grave look [b "Please place the deaths Silvercrest under investigation for possible assassination and murder. Arthur Silvercrest is our main suspect for now. Do find out where the drunkard is."]
[Center || Back at the Estate ||]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/yiuXF2N.jpg]]
As soon as the call was finished, Alessia felt like she could breathe. [#02dec8 "That man is the devil incarnate. He is insane. A monster."] [#0b7def "We will be ok mother, he will not come here."] [#02dec8 "Your father, he is dying. Time is ticking. You could end up dead or killed or something or rather. We must be careful. Please we must be vigilant."] Dorian partially felt like his mother was overreacting but made no comment as she started to pick at her nails; a habit of nerves.
As if things could not get noisier, one of the female staff members, Cecelia - Dorian tried to recall her name entered with another phone. Just how many people were vying for Inaja's attention? He looked down at his mother who was trembling [#0b7def "Shall we move out of this room. I don't think any of this is good for my mother."] [#02dec8 "Yes... I need some air and some sleep. I should do that. You go off and stay safe. You come right back here if Diego decides to make a show of himself. He is a dangerous man. If not for him...."] she shook her head.
Alessia hated the memories, but all she could remember were the memories and how she had failed to keep her husband loyal, failed to keep herself safe. Failed Dorian. Failed to find ways to rid her life of the female who had taken everything from her. She wiped her eyes as tears began to fall. [#02dec8 "Oh how I wish I could turn back time."] she murmured under her breath.
[Center || At Diego's place || ]
[#f4abfc "You're practically obsessed with this girl. What's so great about her anyway. She's just some spoilt heiress. I mean she's a great dancer but apart from that she's so dull and boring and up stuck."] Cinder was starting to realise that none of her words were entering Diego's mind. What had happened to him? She felt as though she was being ignored, getting up from the couch she approached the male - he had always towered over her, something about that intimidation made her giddy.
[#f4abfc "Diego?"] [#ffa4ad "Inaja Silvercrest is worth half the country. She's not just some random little girl to be interested in. Anyone who's anyone will know that marrying her means you win the game. But I don't expect you to understand."]
Diego looked down at the phone, he had listened to the girl's assistant for more than ten minutes, not that he minded. He partially liked to think she was listening in just unwilling to say anything. Pulling away from Cinder he didn't care nor felt anything as she tried to tease him. When had she gotten so boring? [#ffa4ad "You ought to go back to focusing on who Dorian's secret girl is. Or have you fucking forgotten? Why is it taking you so long?"] [#f4abfc "It's had and they are oh so private. It's like talking to brick walls. Because I'm not a talented dancer they have no reason to care for me. I'm not rich and I look different to the rest of them."]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/lrWDttY.jpg]]
She crossed her arms, she was starting to hate this, hate what Diego was becoming. [#f4abfc "Perhaps you should have asked Lissa or someone who can actually dance to actually go and do the dirty work for you. I'm your girlfriend Diego. Not some lesser whore you boss around for the sake of looking like some Kingpin."] She hissed. [#ffa4ad "You seem to forget that once upon a time you were also a whore. My brother's whore. If not for me you would still be his whore."] those words stung and she found herself rubbing her chest, why was being so cruel.
There was nothing else to be said, she turned on her heel taking her duffle bag with her and walking out the door. Had she made the wrong choice? [#e93cfb [I Maybe I should have stuck with Dorian after all, he's nothing like Diego. Why did I ever leave Dorian? He was a good guy, now I feel like a pawn... maybe that's why it hurt so much to know I hurt him...]] she could half recall the night she stabbed Dorian in the chest.
[Center || Flashback ||]
She stood over his bleeding body, he had stopped moving. So much blood, the scent of it made her want to gag. She looked down at her hands, they too were covered in blood. She felt nothing for the man she once loved, he was dead! He had to be. She had made sure to stab him just as Diego had instructed her. Walking towards the kitchen she looks back, still no movement. [#e93cfb [I Stay down and stay dead. I never want to see you again Dorian. I can't see you again, or I may never forgive myself for doing this to us.]] Washing her hands of the blood she had to hold herself back from sobbing. [#e93cfb [I I am fine. I am fine just breathe. Just breathe he's dead he can't haunt you. He was too drunk anyway. Not like he could have felt it. Right???]]
Dorian gasped, he reached behind him and pulled the blade out. He had made sure to stay still as to stop the bleeding and also to make it seem like Cinder had been successful, the pain was unbearable and he nearly wished she had been successful. Just how drunk did she think he was? [#0a089b [I God she's a dumbass. She should have kicked me.]] he barely made it into a sitting position as the door was kicked down and Oscar entered gun raised at the ready.
His mate nearly dropped the gun at the sight of him [#0b7def "She's gone. She's not here. But I am bleeding out."] [#87fb3c "Thank god you're still conscious. I'll call Fiona."] Oscar stepped over him and rushed to the bathroom. Dorian felt in some ways that this whole thing was his fault. Yet he couldn't because in some ways he knew this was coming; that Diego would do this to him and get in the way of his private life. He swore to himself he would never fall in love again, because if this was the result? Then love could fucking die.
[Center || End of Flashback ||]
[#0b7def "So what are we going to do about Diego?"] they stood once again in the kitchen, Oscar was nowhere to be seen, the only ones in the room were Anya, Inaja and half a dozen staff members [#0b7def "And what are we going to do about the detective who just called?"] he looked up at the ceiling. He didn't want to look at all at Inaja, the scar on his back was throbbing; a danger was coming. He just knew it.
[font "Times New Roman" Anya had been on her way out of the room when Benedict stopped her, and took down her phone number to be able to have calls they screened forwarded to her phone since she was the Assistant and then he joined Oscar while she headed off to find Terry.
She had found him speaking with Cecilia in the foyer and went over the new schedule with both, sending copies to all of the heads of staff's phones. She also went over the use of which cars for which events would be used with them until her phone began to ring and she frowned. It popped labeled "SCREENED CALL" and she realized this must be why they needed her number. These were calls for Inaja that she needed to handle. She asked the two if they had seen Inaja and they directed her to the guest wing while she listened on the phone from one of the security men on why these calls were getting sent to her phone.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/1TwZM4D.jpg?1]] Anya found Inaja in one of the rooms with Miss Mead, Dorian's mother. She held up a finger and placed the call on speaker and mouthed to Inaja to listen only. When Inaja nodded to her, the phone call was switched over to her and Anya set to work. [#00FF00 [b "This is Miss Silvercrest's assistant, may I ask who is calling please?"]] That was when the deep voice answered. Inaja froze in place and felt like someone had filled her veins with ice. But also, so had Dorian's mother.
Alessia had told Anya not to give her real name. She could do one better. [#00FF00 [b "Oh! Mr. Shore! Of course, Miss Silvercrest received your package when she returned from dinner last night. Such a cute little thing. Miss Silvercrest adored her and has already named her. She'll be the perfect little playmate for her other dog, Queenie. It was a very thoughtful package, Sir, thank you very much. I am afraid, Miss Silvercrest is unavailable to speak with you at the moment. She is preparing for a very busy day, today, but I would be more than happy to relay any messages to her for you."]] Her tones were light, almost perky, and just the right amount of fawning to be professional and to make him believe that he was in charge of the conversation and not her. She was sure - with who was on the phone - that the others would be listening in to make sure that she didn't screw anything up. Would Oscar be listening in? Maybe he would see that she wasn't just some "Little Kitten" when he seen how she could handle such things.
Diego went on as at some point Dorian had joined them in the guest room, scooping up the kitten from Inaja's hands as he listened in on the speaker call. Inaja looked tense, she held one arm around her stomach, her other rested an elbow to her lower arm, and her thumbnail between her teeth in her habit that said she was stressed. He was asking Inaja to dinner. Anya had all the self control to keep from making the same gagging face that Inaja silently made, though she almost snickered at her. [#00FF00 [b "Oh, I see. Do forgive me, Mr. Shore, but with the unforeseen accident of her parent's passing, we are currently trying to juggle her schedule to keep up with things as well as allow her the proper time to mourn the loss of Mr. and Mrs. Silvercrest. At the moment I am unable to give details of when she would be available until things are more settled and she is ready to take personal visits. But as of your calling, I have your number, and should she become available I could call to confirm something that would also fit your own scheduling. I would also be more than happy to pass on your concerns of her well being to Miss Silvercrest the next chance I get. I am sure that she appreciates such an endearing thought. As the recent events had been so shocking, she will need some time, but I am sure she will get better in no time. Is there anything else that I can help you with, Mr. Shore?"]]
She never gave a name, though who was assistant to the Silvercrest Heiress wasn't really a secret if one paid enough attention to the many articles made of the family. But she knew how to work a room and come out the winner, let alone a phone call that needed to be polite and professional without bluntly telling someone "Its never gonna happen".
Inaja was always proud of Anya and her ability to handle the most stressful situations while still sounding like her perky self. Though anyone that knew her would know that she actually had two tones. Her Anya voice, and her Miss Jenkins voice. Anya was how she talked to anyone when she was "Off duty" and Miss Jenkins was her professional - and sometimes her "Fuck off" voice that let her deal with things without causing bridges to burn or allies to be crossed unless absolutely necessary.
Without realizing it, hearing Diego's voice had caused Inaja to move a little closer to Dorian as she reached to pet the little kitten he held while listening silently to the call and also side glancing at Dorian's mother as she seemed to pale and look ill. Eventually she took little Tiger back into her own hands and looked to Dorian and then his mother softly as if telling him without words "Why don't you check on her while we wait and listen."
Oscar scowled [#87fb3c “I think between us, you would rather have me breathing down your necks than the alternative and have Diego dictating your life. The problem with me making appearances with Inaja is that I, unfortunately, have a reputation, for ditching these appearances. My sisters tend to take my place because unfortunately, I have a distaste for events.”] though that was more of a lie than anything, Oscar just felt that there wasn’t a total need for him to be with Inaja 100% of the time. Dorian could do that.
Watching Inaja walking out after his question confirmed his suspicions. He shook his head and rubbed his temples. He barely heard what Anya had to say; and before he could even respond, she too had disappeared and he was stuck with the remaining doughnuts and Benedict who seemed to slip into places just at the right moment [#87fb3c “I presume you heard what both brat and her little kitten had to say?”] he was going to get screwed over for referring to them as their nicknames again, but it was a hard habit to quit.
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/xF1DMTw.jpg]]
[#fcb68d “I did Sir. I would also like to inform you that Diego has been attempting to call this residence since about… fifteen minutes ago. Bradley has managed to fend him off but I am afraid that he wants to speak to Lady Silvercrest and will not stop. He is still rather unaware that she is under our protection.”] [#87fb3c “What does the fucker want?”] Oscar felt like his morning was going from ‘shit’ to ‘hell’ in less than an hour.
Alessia dried her hair, trying to style it up but to no avail, sighing she dragged her fingers through her locks once more before she heard someone enter the room, stepping out of the bathroom she was surprised to find a younger female holding the feline that Dorian had somehow managed to pick up. She listened to her. Before taking her hand [#02dec8 “Alessia Mead. Yes, I am. Thank you for looking after my son and for letting me stay here.”]
She stepped back returning into the bathroom to grab one of the white fluffy bathrobes, wrapping herself up with it and tying a knot [#02dec8 “Really, I am awfully grateful to be here. I don’t need much really. I’ve gotten used to not having much you see. I do everything I can for Rian because he deserves it much more than I do.”] she found herself blushing,
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/yiuXF2N.jpg]]
She took a seat, feeling rather light-headed. She found herself laughing almost, Inaja sounded so nervous and shy in comparison to what Dorian had told her of the young heiress [#02dec8 “I am sorry about your parents. Though the fact they died in the manner that they did. I don’t trust it was wholly an accident like they make it out to be.”]
She clasped her hands, normally she wasn’t so quick to open up but Alessia had, had her fair share of crime days and understanding the war. She then trained her eyes on the kitten [#02dec8 “Reminds me of his old kitten Tiger. Tiger was Dorian’s first pet kitten back when we lived with his father. They were inseparable and it seems no matter where Dorian goes, there is always a feline close by.”]
Alessia was not used to talking and actually having a proper conversation that, it felt almost surreal to be using her brain for more than just surviving, she smiled sweetly [#02dec8 “Don’t worry about me and overwhelming me. Apart from Dorian. I haven’t so much has really spoken a word to another female in a god awful time.”] she covered her mouth to cough a little and would have spoken more if not for a smaller female knocking on the door. [#02dec8 “Come in!”]
[Center || Elsewhere in the city|| ]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/ptcXksb.jpg]]
Diego stood impatiently over the phone, this had been his ninth attempt at getting through to the Silvercrest estate, but it seemed as if there was either no one at home or they were just ignoring him! After the puppy he wasn’t sure what else he was supposed to do; he had barely managed to get Cinder out of the house
Someone had finally picked up, a male voice, one that sounded slightly British, though it had the usual American-twang to it. [#ffa4ad “Good morning, if it would be alright I need to speak to the lady of the household. I would just like to ask her a question or two, but of course, if she has an assistant; she’ll do just as well.”] there was a bit of scuffling and shuffling over on the other side of the line.
Diego picked up the small device and moved towards the fireplace, watching the flames flicker to and fro. [#ffa4ad “Good morning, this is Diego Shore. I sent a package over last night, for Miss Silvercrest.”] he waited for the other person on the line to introduce themselves before he said anything [#ffa4ad “Yes I’d like to ask if she was available sometime this week, for dinner, or something of the sort. I just want to make sure she’s doing alright with her parent’s passing.”]
[Center || Back at the Estate ||]
Alessia’s bones and even her blood chilled, she knew that voice, it felt like a stab to the heart whenever she did hear the voice, she put a finger to her lip before the smaller of the females could respond to Diego asking for her name. She shook her head [#02dec8 “Do not give him your actual name.”] she whispered just loud enough that Inaja - and what looked to be her assistant could hear.
[#02dec8 “Do not get tangled in the webs that Diego lies. You do not want to enter into his world. Both of you are on the surface level knowing my son and Oscar. But Diego is much much worse.”] [#ffa4ad “If she’s too busy this week or of the upcoming month I can understand that. Suppose we could see each other at one of those meetings or events that those charities are so fond of holding.”]
Alessia felt like she had been gutted, crossing her arms. She would wait to see what this young heiress and her assistant would do, moving her head to the side she looked out the window and sighed. There was another knock at the door, Dorian entered and his face was just as concerned. She placed a finger to her lips to stop him from talking as Diego was left waiting on the other side of the line.
The only thing that Dorian could think as he entered the room, picking up the kitten along the way to standing at his mother’s side was [#0a089b [I What does that bastard want?]]
[font "Times New Roman" Inaja was watching Oscar and when he had first seen Anya, she almost expected him to drool before he bit into his donut once again. She knew that Anya could be a soft hearted little puffball that was startled by a running leaf at times. But the woman was a hell of an assistant, and she was smart. And when she did show her fire, she could burn anyone with a mere glance. Oscar finally managed to compose himself and asked that Anya not call him by his father's name as it caused chaffing. Anya simply nodded in understanding.
They went over who should be seen and who shouldn't be seen with Inaja in public while she had her meetings to attend. Inaja tried to look as though she didn't care who went with her, though she would much rather have Dorian than Oscar. Inaja had had enough and started to get up when Dorian mentioned he wanted to check on his mother, and then Oscar pointed out a kitten - not Anya - was in her home. She sat there blinking a moment in surprise. [#000080 [b "I don't.... Mother hated cats.... I've never seen the little thing before....."]] It clung to Dorian and when he thought no one else had seen, there was a smile on his lips that she hadn't seen in days.
She watched him walk out and disappear out the door behind her when Anya went over the itinerary for the day alone. Inaja was to head to the Lawyer's office along with the heads of the companies, stock holders, bankers, and other officials to hear the reading of The Wills. It was mostly a formality, she knew her parents enough to know how it would play out. Then there were meetings at each business with the company heads, off to the bank to sign papers, as well as to the courthouse to sign even more papers.
A basic line up for everything in her parents' names to be changed over to hers. They would come back to the Estate for lunch and all would meet Giovanni. Then the afternoon held a Charity Tea, formal casual - meaning simple cocktail dresses and pearls while they raised money for a charity that was or was not real. Although Anya was very good at finding the real ones over the fake ones, and Silvercrests only donated to true charities, and they did so directly, not through the hosted parties so that there was no mistake to where the money went. After the tea, Inaja would be back at the estate for Dance Lessons with Madame to keep up practice for her solo spots in the performances to keep her classes up. After that the evening was hers.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/1TwZM4D.jpg?1]] Anya and Inaja looked to one another before looking to Oscar as he began to complain about how he had his own life to live and lead as well. Inaja rolled her eyes and finished off her juice. Anya had spoken up then. [#00FF00 [b "If you had not intended to up end your own dealings, Mr. Oscar, to become security for Miss Silvercrest.... then... why did you offer up your services? While, yes, we can see that you have the man power to make sure that someone is with her at all times, you are still in charge of the operations of security and therefore will be needed to make appearances rather than to sit to the sidelines."]]
Oscar took a moment and asked Inaja if she and Dorian had had a fight and both women looked to him incredulously. Inaja stayed silent, and Anya tried to break the tension that suddenly rose up, but he went on to ask what she really knew about him. She narrowed her silvery eyes at him before she stood from her place and walked out of the room in search of Bradley. Anya watched her go and sighed before looking to Oscar and raising a brow at him. [#00FF00 [b "Well then.... it is safe to say, Mr. Oscar.... subtle... you are not. Please excuse me.... I need to meet with Terry to make sure of which car to take."]] With that she gathered up everything and slipped them into her purse and left behind the mouthy Oscar, and the security men that had over heard all of it and were snickering. One even whispered to another and made mention that she didn't look like the little kid from the night before, and gave a low whistle as they all watched her leave.
[center [i [b ~]]]
Inaja had found Bradley heading outside with Princess for a potty break. She caught him before he had headed out and mentioned that they would need to stop at the pet store after all for some things. But not just for Princess. She had stopped to ask one of the staff about the cat, and one had stepped up to tell her what had happened and how Dorian had saved the kitten from the pool. She told them that since the weather was getting cooler, the pool needed to be treated and closed for the winter, the smaller indoor pool in the Sunroom would have to do since it was heated.
She explained their newest addition to Bradley and he had promised that everything needed for the little thing would be provided, but he would need the kitten for proper sizing as well as a name for the tag. She spoke up saying she had time to look for the kitten, and she would have to get back to him on the name. She was wanting to surprise Dorian, so she couldn't outright ask him, and she was about to cut Oscar's tongue out, so he was a no go as well. She followed a mewling sound to one of the guest rooms where she finally found the little kitten, just as a woman came out of the attached bathroom.
[#000080 [b "Oh.... do forgive me, I didn't think anyone was in this room. I was just looking for the kitten.... You must be Dorian's mother?"]] She asked with a smile and offered her hand to the woman lightly as her other hand held the purring pile of fluff. [#000080 [b "O am Inaja Silvercrest. It's good to meet you, and to see you somewhere where you can get some better rest. Its no trouble having you all here, and if you need anything, my staff is here to assist you in anyway."]] She could see Dorian in the woman's face. She had kind eyes and she was beautiful. She looked tired, and based on the way her clothes fit, she didn't eat or sleep enough. It made her heart ache.
[#000080 [b "Um.... forgive me if this is too personal to ask.... but.... I cannot ask Dorian, as I want to surprise him.... He seems rather fond of this little guy... and so I was going to bring some things home for him to use to care for the kitten.... but I need to get a tag engraved.... and we don't know what to name the little guy..... would you happen to know of any names that Dorian would like?"']] She asked the woman softly, hoping that she wasn't going to overwhelm the woman with her question.
Oscar had no words. None at all, zilch, nada, zero. His brain had completely halted to a stop; he hadn’t even heard what Inaja had to say. All he could do was gawk like a love-sick idiot at Anya. He bit into another mouthful of the sweet treat and decided to look elsewhere. [#44a008 [I When I told you last night to come in heels etc. I hadn’t expected you to literally blow my mind away. Here I thought I was the non-emotional attachable type. Yet here I am silently drooling away in my mind over a female who I called kitten from the moment I saw her. Well, that’s one way to fuck up your chances. Damn it.]]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/xF1DMTw.jpg]]
When his mouth was empty and he finally remembered how to speak Oscar cleared his throat [#87fb3c “Please just call me Oscar. If I am being honest, my father’s surname leaves me wanting to heave.”] he then continued [#87fb3c “As this is a matter of personal family vengeance and cock-fighting. Between Dorian here and his brother Diego; it’d be best if someone other than Dorian was seen around Inaja. Personally, because Diego has a hit list and three hundred or so assassins around.”]
[#0b7def “Which means it would be safer if Oscar was seen around Inaja… they don’t necessarily have to get along… in fact, they already don’t. But perhaps, for the time being, a silent truce. Oscar will stop with the teasing and calling Inaja of half a million names. Ditto Anya. In return he’ll act the part.”] Dorian looked down at his breakfast, before picking up his cup of coffee and sipping it silently [#0b7def “Thank you for getting us breakfast Anya.”] the soft mewling and pit-pat of a kitten running around caught his attention next. [#87fb3c “Didn’t think you had a cat, Inaja.”] Oscar murmured.
Dorian picked the small animal up and held it in his arms, the purring was immediate as was the licking and nudging against his chest. [#0b7def “Now if you don’t mind, I’d like to be excused. I need to check on my mother before I head off to work.”] When no one spoke, he took it as his cue to disappear.
Oscar resumed eating, listening to Anya explain what was to happen, what was expected - including the day’s plans. Oscar wanted to blanch and ditch half of it. It reminded him almost similarly of the life that his sisters led. [#87fb3c “How much of this will I have to be around for, I merely ask because if some of these events are optional or not black tie. I would like to be excused from them. Seeing as I have my own life and my own affairs to get in order. I also do not particularly think that either of you wants to be forced to sit through me blackmailing someone.”]
Before Oscar realised a little too late the change in the air. He held his hand up. [#87fb3c “Serious question. Did Dorian and you have an argument? If it has something to do with him being a cold-ass polar bear. Don’t blame yourself.”] he took a sip of his coffee. Oscar could see out of the corner of his eye that Dorian was listening, well pretending not to listen by playing with the small feline that appeared out of nowhere. Oscar leant back on his chair [#87fb3c “How much do you know about my best friend. Apart from what he’s told you.”] that was enough for Dorian to disappear right with the cat.
[#02dec8 “This place is very nice. But I want to know. Who is that female?”] [#0b7def “Which female?”] Dorian brushed his mother hair out as she stared out of the window, the kitten on her lap. [#02dec8 “The one who knows this place. I am not an idiot Dorian, though I thank you for trying to calm me. She’s very beautiful.”] [#0b7def “Her name is Inaja Silvercrest. She is just a friend.”] he felt slightly better now that his mother had called him out for his bullshit.
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/yiuXF2N.jpg]]
[#02dec8 “My sweet Rian. You never refer to a girl who means nothing to you as just a friend. What is holding you back? Her position? Her name? It means nothing in the grand scheme of things. Look at me, your father fell for me and we had you; though I was nothing but a florist who did funeral flowers. You ought not to let me nor her wealth, her title or otherwise get in the way. You’re young, you deserve to have at least one good love before you find some dreaded bitch that’ll take away everything and leave you for nothing.”]
Her words stung, but Dorian knew that his mother had a point; [#0b7def “I’ve already ruined my chance ma.”] [#02dec8 “No such thing as a ruined chance, not at least until you’re six feet under. You go out there and you show the true you, not this jaded scary twenty-two-year-old whose had to fight for everything. Tell her who you are, show her you have a heart. You got those tattoos for nothing. She might just be shy.”]
He placed the hairbrush down, standing up and stretching his limbs. His mother gave him a hopeful look before placing the kitten back on the carpeted floor. [#02dec8 “If you indeed told me her schedule correctly. Then you ought to get changed into something less street. You might be scared of this place, but it is not your fathers. This is a chance for you to make something good out of this. Don’t waste it.”]
He nodded and headed into the adjoining room, looking through his bags, he brought up and out several options for his mother to choose from. A few of them had her laughing at his ‘poor taste’ but eventually they settled on a deep maroon jumper, black denim jeans and instead of his usual leather boots. His white sneakers. He looked casual and comfortable; but because his tattoos were hidden under his jumper; he was harder to tell apart in a crowd. [#02dec8 “You look the part of a Prince Charming. Now go get your Queen.”] his mother ushered him out of their room.
Dorian headed straight back to the kitchen.
[#87fb3c “Well would you look at that. It seems he’s had a change of heart. Looks like today you’ll be accompanied by Dorian. In fact… the idea is somewhat smart, dressing casually but smartly means he’s likely going to fit in more with the picture - and no one will know he’s actually acting as your security guard.”] [#0b7def “We’ll take turns. Half the day will be mine, the other half yours. That way for the night events. People won’t know you’re hanging out with me. Also means that Diego is less likely going to give you any problems if it’s perhaps Oscar or Benedict whose following you around and keeping you safe”] he felt a little subconscious, standing there in the kitchen - Oscar’s eyes were approving though. At least that was something? [#0b7def “Just tell me what you need of me. I’ll do it.”]
[font "Times New Roman" Anya had been going over some of their preferred traveling choices when the walkie went off and someone who sounded rather crabby yelled about being woken up. [#00FF00 [b "Not one for manners is he?"]] she spoke up softly. Benedict gave her a shushing motion and buzzed the walkie again and she giggled when the man on the other end was enraged again. It wasn't long before another man joined them in the security room. She was sitting on one of the chairs, her legs crossed easily as she sat eating one of the take out boxes and switching all of the parents meetings to Inaja's schedules once she had texted her for permission.
Anya looked up at the man staring at her through her own glasses perched on her nose almost in a librarian fashion. She blinked up at him before he went on to ask Benedict who the kitten was. She knew immediately that he had been talking to her and she frowned softly. The security man finally got it and introduced her. She gave a slight wave since she had a mouth full of lo mein. When he started to pat her head she flushed deeply and stood to smack his hand away. Without a word she produced her driver's license that proved she was who he said as well as the fact that she was twenty-one years of age.
As Benedict tried to explain, the man took her license and looked it over before giving it back and interrupted the introduction. He must truly hate his father to say such when making sure they are related. But then, if he does not like his father, then why say they are related? She wondered to herself. Before she could defend herself in anyway, Oscar was gone declaring he would not see anyone until morning. She looked to Benedict then. [#00FF00 [b "Mr. Lennex doesn't know how to be professional, does he?"]] she asked softly and sighed to shake her head. [#00FF00 [b "I need to get back home. Bags to unpack and I need to update upcoming events and meetings for Miss Silvercrest. I will text her to let her know I've left, and I shall be back promptly in the morning. Good evening, gentlemen..."]] With that she packed up her purse and made her way out to her car and was gone.
[center [b [i ~]]]
Inaja sat on the couch waiting for him to come out. When he tried to play it off as he didn't know what had happened, she gave him a look and then he came clean. She didn't look to him then. Her home caused him issues. He didn't want to be here. He'd made it clear that they didn't belong together anyway, so what was the point of even trying. His phone chimed and he tried to leave. She knew he was going home, and more than likely going to check on his mother. She was going to just let him go, but at the last minute, she was up and grabbing at his hand.
She didn't look up at him but she held to his hand. He spoke up, asking her a question and she sighed. [#000080 [b "No.... not you.... that's Oscar.... I...."]] She shook her head then finally looked to him. [#000080 [b "I know you're going to your mother and home..... and if Diego knows you're running from him, he knows you won't want your mother in danger..... he might be watching the place..... so.... bring her here.... she'll be safe, the staff will help look after her... and she'll be well fed.... any care instructions you can give to Bradley or Cecilia.... she'll be safe here...."]] She then let go of his hand and bit her lower lip softly. She watched him leave and composed herself, telling herself to get over it all, before she went to find Bradley but he was busy. She went to Cecilia and Terry instead and explained to them they were about to receive another guest, to pass the news on to Bradley when they seen him. She was exhausted and going to bed.
[center [i [b [u ~The Next Morning~]]]]
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/1TwZM4D.jpg?1]] Anya had come over early, as promised. She had even brought over three dozen donuts for breakfast as she knew that Giovanni would not be in until lunch. She left the pristine boxes in the dining room so that all would find them, and then went to the security room to give them a copy of the new schedule now that it was figured out. The night before she had shown up with her hair down and loose, a knit sweater, jeans and a pair of converse. This morning she wore a knee length black pencil skirt, a soft green blouse, black sheer stockings, three inch black stilettos, and her hair was pulled back flawlessly into a bun atop her head. Her jewelry was simple. A couple of silver bangles, a delicate silver chain with a small crystal charm that matched the icy blue of her eyes, and medium sized silver hoops. Her makeup was a natural tone, with a medium brown lip color, gold shadow for a natural smoky eye look in its warm tones, and clean eye liner with crisp lines that tipped into the slightest wing in the corner. Nothing too dramatic.
She had gone into Inaja's room - already knowing she was awake per the morning texts shared. Inaja dressed in a soft blue dress that reached mid calf, sleeves to the elbows, nude stockings, and silver pumps. She wore layered silver chains, a couple adorned with little charms, mostly stars or moons. She wore simple tear drop sapphires in her ears and her hair was pulled half up and out of her face, with a bit to frame her face. She had similar makeup. Natural tones, more rose in the lips and her eye shadow was more of a nude beige.
When Oscar waved them in, already munching on the donuts Anya had brought, she kept a smirk to herself. Inaja, on the other hand had no issues bursting his bubbles. [#000080 [b "You could at least thank Anya for bringing breakfast, since you can't be bothered to get someone's name right...."]] She snapped and plucked a couple of donuts for herself as she sat down. Anya introduced herself to Dorian and took his hand with a smile before she sat next to Inaja, which perched her at the other side of the table from Oscar. She reached into her purse and pulled out her phones, her planner, a pocket book annual calendar, and then pushing her glasses back up on her nose, she looked to Oscar.
[#00FF00 [b "No need, Miss Silvercrest.... merely helping out as I know Giovanni will not be back to cook until lunch. Breakfast is no problem with so many.... unexpected guests. Now then... Mr. Lennex, I have already given copies of the scheduled meetings and events that Miss Silvercrest will need to attend in her parents' place. And yes, I did factor in the private tutor sessions with Madame Pelagia as well. Thankfully most events are after class hours, so you should be able to get back into the swing of classes with ease while taking up your new post as head of the family within at least a week or two."]] While speaking, she had grabbed a donut for herself, poured a glass of juice, one for her and one for Inaja, and passed a copy of the schedule to both Dorian and Oscar.
[#00FF00 [b "Really all I need from you, Mr. Lennex and Mr. Lockwood, is who will be with Miss Silvercrest in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings. I suggest your best men.... or maybe just yourselves.... to be there for the more formal events. The larger the gathering, the easier it is to cause harm. Please do remember that she has an image to the public to keep, and therefore, those guarding her at Formal affairs, shall be properly suited in tailored suits and tuxedos. They will be washed, combed, and cut. Weapons if any will need to be properly concealed....."]] She stopped there a moment when everyone around her except for those of the Silvercrest estate was staring at her. She felt a flush creeping up softly as she pushed her glasses up once again, this time out of nervous habit. [#00FF00 [b "Have..... I said something wrong?"]] she asked shyly. She glanced to Inaja who shook her head as she sipped her juice and watched Oscar to see how long his silence would last.
[#87fb3c “I thought I said I wanted to be left alone!”] he was about to toss the damn thing out of the window and possibly break it when there was a sound on the other side of the radio, he sat up putting his glasses on and placing the radio to his ear. The sound of a soft sweet almost bird-song like the voice of a female. Who the hell was here now? Oscar was barely changed by the time the damn walkie-talkie buzzed again.
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/xF1DMTw.jpg]]
Using the Bluetooth option he shouted [#87fb3c “WHOEVER THE FUCK BUZZES ME AGAIN IS OUT OF A JOB.”] his voice echoed and bounced off the walls, all he heard next coming from the black box was an apologetic [#fcb68d “We’ve accidentally woken up sir from a nap. He will be joining us presently. He is not much a fan of late nights unless there is something on his mind.”] [#87fb3c “I can hear you, Benedict.”] Oscar reminded the older man.
Once he was presentable - except perhaps with the addition of his own glasses and his hair tied into a bun rather than it’s laid back casual style he approached Benedict and what seemed to be the smallest woman he had ever put his eyes on.
Had someone really been that stupid, that utterly idiotic to bring their kid to work? He nudged Benedict who near jumped out of his skin from shock [#87fb3c “Hello, who's this little kitten?”] [#fcb68d “I…Sir? Kitten?”] Benedict looked around the room trying to find the small animal his employee spoke of before the words connected the dots in his head and he opened his jaw in slack-shock [#fcb68d “Sir I believe you’re mistaken.”] [#87fb3c “Who brought their kid to work?]
[#fcb68d “Sir. This is Miss Anya Jenkins. She is Inaja’s assistant.”] [#87fb3c “You’ve gotta be shitting me. This chick?”] he found himself absentmindedly petting her on the head [#87fb3c “More like a kid sister. You’re pulling my leg Benedict.”] [#fcb68d “I can assure you I’m not. Miss Jenkins, this is Oscar-“] [#87fb3c “Alright kitty cat. Name is Oscar Lennex. Son of sir prick-a-lot Governor Lennex. If you really are spoilt princess’s assistant. We’re going to have a word and for the love of Christ the next time I see you. Please put on some heels. Otherwise, I am going to mistake you for sugar plum’s kid sister and I don’t think you want that.”]
[#44a008 [I She’s adorable. Definitely date-worthy. I should pester bane of my current existence for this little kitten’s favourite spots…]] before another word could be said, Oscar turned on his heel speaking to Benedict specifically. [#87fb3c “I’m going back to bed. See you tomorrow at breakfast little kitten.”]
He nearly hit his head against the tiled wall, his heart was pounding though it slowed significantly knowing it was just Inaja, she was trying to help him. [#0b7def “Thought you hated me?”] though by the time his voice was stable enough she was already outside of the bathroom, therefore she hadn’t heard him. He sighed; drying himself off - taking a moment to find the hairdryer before drying off his soaking wet hair and getting his hair out of the way.
When he finally had the energy to put his sweats on he stared at himself at the mirror; he had completely forgotten his phone, picking it up from off the counter the screen turned on and winced again. A picture of his mum and him after he had passed his driver licence. [#0a089b [I Mama help me, please. I can’t do this]] he took a deep breath before stepping out and setting his eyes on Inaja.
[#0b7def “Sorry about that. I just I had no idea what that was.”] her look told him he wasn’t going to get away from this particular conversation [#0b7def “I… look, I find it very hard to be in places like this. Oscar makes it somewhat bearable but if it were up to me, I wouldn’t be here whatsoever.”]
His phone chimed again and he looked down at it, [#0b7def “I would love to stay and pour my heart to you, but you have enough on your plate. I need to go.”] he was really half-way out the door when she gripped his wrist. [#0b7def “Inaja, I thought you thought I was a nuisance? Just like Oscar?”]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/yiuXF2N.jpg]]
Alessia sipped the lukewarm cup of lavender tea, where was her son? She looked at the clock and then back at her phone waiting for him to message, for a call. He rarely ever stayed out for this long and without telling her of all things. She didn’t want to interrupt whatever he was doing but she was starting to get very nervous. [#02dec8 “Where are you, Dorian?”]
She subconsciously dialled his number, and placed it to her ear waiting to hear his voice - even his voice mail would suffice.
[Center -Back at the estate-]
Dorian opened his mouth to speak again when his phone really lit up, he didn’t even bother to check who was calling before answering [#02dec8 “Rian? Where are you?”] he bit his lip [#0b7def “I’m coming home, mama. Could you do me a favour and pack a travel bag for yourself? Just what you need. Don’t forget any of your medication or vitamins.”] he turned away from Inaja and listened to his mother’s relieved voice.
[#02dec8 “Oh… ok… I am sorry if I interrupted something, are we going away?”] [#0b7def “No, no of course not. Mama. I’ll see you in thirty minutes ok?”] he made sure that she hung up first before disconnecting and rubbing his temple. [#0b7def “Would it be alright if my mother came here and stayed. She has terrible anxiety and was recently diagnosed with schizophrenia. She’s not used to me being away for long periods. It gives her the same kind of feeling that my father gave her when he dumped us both at a woman’s shelter with 40 dollars in her pocket and a hungry six-year-old.”] he wasn’t going to elaborate any further.
[Center -An hour later-]
Alessia gripped onto her son’s arm as they stepped into Inaja’s estate, she was trembling and unsure of herself. Perhaps she should have dressed in her more formal clothing. She didn’t recognise any of the men who were packing up what seemed to be construction equipment. [#02dec8 “Where are we Rian?”] she even sounded scared. [#0b7def “This is a friend’s house. She’s really important and powerful and just wants you to be ok.”] not a total lie, not the total truth either.
Bradley approached the two, his mouth was agape as Dorian shook his head pleading silently that the man in charge of the house would let it drop and not say a word as his mother further hid in his larger form. [#0b7def “Can my mother please have the room next to mine.”] when he was given no verbal response; he continued to lead his mother through the many hallways, he tried not to wince or hiss as her nails dug into his forearm.
[#02dec8 “Where are we Rian?”] his mother asked again, she was looping. [#0b7def “Someplace safe. Somewhere dad arranged.”] he immediately felt her arms start to relax, she wiped her tears and sniffled - Dorian couldn’t bear to tell his mother the whole truth. [#02dec8 “Is he here?”] [#0b7def “No but he’ll visit at some point I’m sure.”] as he opened the door to the room he had been given.
Once his mother had taken her medication - he had made sure, and was asleep in the giant king-size bed, Dorian made sure that a single lamp was left on as he shut the door behind him, how late was it? The estate was practically silent. As he walked through the giant maze of a place he heard a soft mewling and what seemed to be a loud pitched yapping - Diego’s package or perhaps it was Inaja’s own dog? [#0a089b [I What now?]] his attention had been caught by the mewling.
He stepped out into the backyard, listening for the sound; before he heard what could only be the sound of something drowning. He ran towards the pool at full sprint - without thinking or looking and dove into the water, fully clothed. He emerged from his dive and quickly landed on the kitten, barely treading water. Swimming towards it he picked the small animal up. Placing the small little thing on the ledge. He climbed up and out of the pool.
Panting [#0a089b [I What the hell is a kitten doing here? Nearly drowning without its mother?]] he coughed - that sound alerted the motion detectors and one of the staff members - which he wasn’t sure approached with towels [#0b7def “Don’t worry about me. Worry about the kitten.”] he stood up taking the spare towel and drying himself off again - he was going to need another shower he just knew it.
The kitten on the other hand could not stop mewling for his attention; the staff member sheepishly handed the small creature over to Dorian; [#0b7def “It’s not mine.”] the kitten mewled offended. [#0a089b [I You do remind me of Tiger.]] as he rocked it back and forth.
[Center -The next morning-]
[#87fb3c "Look who finally decided to join us! Princess and Kitten."] Oscar waved them over, Dorian gave Oscar a strange look, who the hell was kitten? Dorian turned his head and saw a new female, smaller in frame than Inaja's taller more graceful dancer physique. He stood up and offered his hand out [#0b7def "Dorian Lockwood. Thanks for having us. Your name?"] [#87fb3c "Hurry up and sit down. Have some breakfast. We have a lot to go over, whether you like it or not candy cane."]
[font "Times New Roman" [#000080 [b "Look how cute she is! She's a little puffball!"]] She crooned as she watched them pull the little over-fluffed white Pomeranian puppy from the box. It yipped and wiggled and she quickly ran to the puppy and scooped it up into her arms as it licked her face. It yapped over and over and over. Obviously very vocal. She peered into the box and noticed that they were also pulling out a silver food dish - which was actually the same dish she had bought for her Husky - Queenie - as well as a silver leash. [#000080 [b "I think I'll name you.... Princess!"]] She giggled softly as she pet the fluffball in her arms.
She didn't care if the puppy came from Diego, she was keeping her. Not to mention, better with Inaja than him. She would make sure the sweet thing was well taken care of. [#000080 [b "Bradley, do we still have any of Queenie's old collars around? Just until I can take Princess out to get one?"]]
[#2E8B57 [b "I do not think so, Miss, but I will look around to make sure. If I cannot find one by morning, I will take the new little miss into town with Cecilia tomorrow to get all new collars while we pick up miss Queenie from Training."]] She smiled her thanks to him as she nuzzled and played with the little fluffy pup when there was a knock on the door, and not a buzz at the gate. Everyone looked up and then towards the security guys. They watched as Bradley went to answer the door, a knowing smirk on his features while the new security team looked surprised that someone had gotten past the main gate without hassle. Inaja simply shook her head at them.
[#000080 [b "Some security team....."]] she murmured though they weren't meant to hear it. Only one person ever made it through the main gate, and still knocked on the door when she got there. Bradley moved to the door and opened it with a warm smile as his greeting.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/1TwZM4D.jpg?1]] [#00FF00 [b "Bradley! I know I'm back a bit early, but once I heard the news I had to come..... I'm sorry I didn't make it to the funeral.... is Miss Ina home?"]] Came the soft and sweet tones of a woman from the door. He nodded and let her in after sharing a hug with her. The woman walked in and paused a few feet in at the scene around her. Power tools, cameras and tech, weird guard looking guys, empty box, Miss Ina, and the cutest little puff ball she had ever seen. But with so many sudden eyes on her, she started to duck into the rose colored sweater she wore.
[#000080 [b "Anya! You weren't supposed to be back yet! What are you doing here?"]] Inaja squealed a bit and moved to hug the other woman who looked to be about between the ages of fifteen to seventeen years old. They hugged tightly around the still yapping fluff before she passed the puppy off to Bradley to take outside for a bathroom break before feeding her in the kitchen. Anya explained that she had seen an article on her parents death a couple days ago and came back as soon as she could from her vacation at her grandparents ranch in Arizona. [#000080 [b "I'm sorry you had to find out that way.... but it's sadly true.... we had the funeral this morning....."]]
[#00FF00 [b "I'm so sorry..... Wait is.... is that why all these weird new guys are in the foyer? I thought the article said it was an accident.... why beef up the guns?"]] Inaja sighed and took Anya to sit on a nearby set of chairs someone had been using to attach a new camera, instead of using the stepladder and explained everything to her. By the end of it all, Anya was staring wide eyed around the dark glasses that sat on her face. Her mouth agape, almost eating the milk chocolate hair that framed her face. [#00FF00 [b "Oh God..... I was only gone a week..... and I missed so much....."]]
Inaja nodded lightly when her phone buzzed with a text. She frowned and looked at it, surprised to have a text from Dorian. She hadn't seen him slip off before and now looked around to see he was nowhere in sight. She reread the message and her frown deepened.
[#000080 [b "I need to go check on something.... since Benedict and the others are going to be playing protection detail until this is all over, you need to go over schedules with them, so that they are more prepared. Also, when giving them copies, please list beside the formal functions when they have to dress up and when they can dress casually. I have to keep up appearances, and I cannot show up to charity functions with Oscar in his jeans...."]] She groaned with a sigh, hugged Anya, and then took off in search of Dorian.
Anya blinked a moment then looked around frowning. She asked which was Benedict and when they pointed him out, she pulled out her phone and a second phone and went to him to begin explaining the upcoming functions that Inaja was going to have to go to in place of her parents, making necessary corrections as she needed, and adding details of security within her notes. She was nothing if not thorough and good at her job. When one of the men asked her how old she was, she gave a sweet smile and spoke up to them all at once giving her name as Anya Jenkins, age twenty-one, and Personal Assistant to the Silvercrest family. The looks she was given was the usual. Shock, awe, surprise, and doubt. Someone murmured that someone should go and get Oscar and she was wondering just who this Oscar guy was.
[center [b [i ~]]]
Inaja had wandered through the house until she passed the in home gym and seen the door was cracked. She peered inside, but it looked untouched. She was about to leave when she heard that the shower in the back of the gym was going. She walked to the shower room, and followed the sound of water until she heard Dorian's voice and she froze on the side of the shower so she didn't see anything she shouldn't.
Based on his voice and tones, he hadn't heard her come in. She was about to call to him when he began talking again. Something about his mother and sounds of pain and fear, and the unmistakable sounds of crying. She stood there debating on if she should leave him be or not, but she noticed that the steam from the shower was starting to drift which meant his water was starting to run cold. She didn't want him getting sick, so she reached a hand into the shower without peeking and shut the water off. She then grabbed a towel for him and held it in past the door as well.
It was a bit before he realized that someone was with him, and when he called out to them, she spoke up softly. [#000080 [b ".....its only me Dorian..... no one else... I promise..... Take the towel.... your bag is still in your room upstairs, right? There are some sweats in here you can wear.... I'll wait in the gym.... if... you want to talk....."]] What more could she say? What more could she do? Something had caused him to disappear like that, and the fact that she hadn't noticed only proved how much she was truly paying attention. Her parents' death had really messed with her. She used to be aware of his motions around her at all times, and now she couldn't even keep up with him slipping away from the group. True to her word, she left a set of sweats on the shelf outside his shower, then she left the shower room to give him privacy, and waited on a small leather sofa in front of a flat screen on the far back wall for him to come out.
Oscar had plenty to say about how under-equipped the house was, and by the time Benedict had told him all of the limitations, restrictions etc. he wanted to murder the heiress himself. How could she be so oblivious to the danger; adding to the fire was of course Diego’s sudden arrival and package. [#87fb3c “I swear to fucking god, if he doesn’t kill her for her fortune. I will. She’s such a fucking child!”]
Oscar had lost track of Dorian, he had run off as soon as Diego had appeared and disappeared and without his best mate around to keep him from saying words he’d later regret, the only soul unfortunate to have his ear talked off was none other than Benedict.
Benedict Morris had been a part of Oscar’s life since before he was even born; he had first come to the family after his mother’s miscarriage of what could have been his older brother - though Oscar’s family had been blessed with one son and two daughters
[#fcb68d “Sir you ought to remember that her parents have just passed away, she may need some time to properly adapt. Besides all we can do now is comply with her wishes, this is her home after all. No point making adjustments that are not needed.”] [#87fb3c “I swear to fuck all. I am only here because Dorian just had to fucking fall for her! If not for him, we wouldn’t be in this situation.”] Benedict sighed as Oscar nearly ripped his hair out from the stress.
[#fcb68d “Perhaps it would be best if you just left Dorian here with the heiress. They seem to get along. It might even be better if we cleared out. Dorian is capable of protecting both himself and the girl. He’s already done so and they were merely strangers then.”] [#87fb3c “They are merely STRANGERS now!!”] [#fcb68d “I would advise you to keep your voice down sir.”]
Dorian was out of breath, he sat by the treadmill covered in sweat; picking up the towel he patted the fabric against his forehead and sighed. After the abrupt arrival and departure of Diego, he needed space and quiet to think things over. It hadn’t been difficult to locate the estate’s gym.
His phone buzzed, picking it up his mother was wondering where he was, why he hadn’t come home. He had wanted to lie to his mother but felt that she had already gone through enough, besides was there any food left at home? As he collected his belongings and placed equipment back to their original positions he found himself messaging Inaja. [#0b7def ‘Leaving the estate. Won’t be back till Thursday.’] that gave him effectively five days away from this place, the stress of it and most importantly Oscar.
Using the adjoining showers, he stood under the water and found himself unable to move, instead, a sob escaped his lips. He barely cried, in fact, he didn’t know why he was crying. But the water drowned the sobs out; he placed his fists against the shower wall and let it out. He hated feeling weak, helpless. What on Earth would his father say? If the man even cared? Dorian barely noticed that he was on the floor still under the shower water against the wall. Oscar could deal with the impending water bill.
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/yiuXF2N.jpg]]
[Center -Flashback, aged 6-]
[#0b7def “Mama! Where’s daddy going?”] he looked up at his mother, she was wearing her pretty blue dress. The one he liked best. She looked down at him and smiled [#02dec8 “He’s just going to work, he’ll be back sweetie.”] [#0b7def “Then why did he leave us here? I wanna go home.”] [#02dec8 “I want to go home too sweetie.”] Alessia Mead, formerly Lockwood. Picked her son up and turned around.
His head bobbled, as he held onto his mother; this strange place was unlike the home he knew, the grand hallways, where was Tiger? His calico kitten? He found himself burying his head into the nape of her shoulder, unable to understand what his mother was saying [#02dec8 “Yes, just my son and I… we need a place to stay, just for a few days.”] he could barely understand the words on the wall. What was a shelter? [#02dec8 “I have… forty on me. I’m working on getting a job. I have a son.”] [#0b7def “Mama?”] she felt him placing him down, he didn’t let her go.
[Center -Flashback, aged 9-]
[#02dec8 “Happy birthday beautiful boy.”] his feet swung as his mother placed a single red velvet cupcake with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting on the table, a blue candle attached. How long has it been since he had such a sweet treat? He smiled and shut his eyes; she started humming the tune to ‘happy birthday’ [#0a089b [I Please come back, dad. Please come back for mum and me. Please I want life to go back to what it was. Please]] before he blew out the candle and his mother clapped.
How long had it been since she had eaten something? He was concerned for how frail she was becoming, looking down at the cupcake, he split it unequally the larger portion going to his mother. [#02dec8 “No you need to eat Dorian.”] [#0b7def “I wouldn’t be here without you mama.”] biting into the smaller portion as she took the larger half, she could barely hold back the sniffles. [#0b7def “Don’t worry mama. I wished for dad to come back. He will won’t he? We’ll go back to living the way we used to! But until he comes back. We gotta make sure to keep you strong.”] [#0a089b [I You matter more than I ever will. I’m the reason he went away, I am going to make things right…]]
[Center -End of flashbacks-]
His head snapped up, he could hear someone in the bathroom, his eyes were too distracted by the steam and the water to notice that the water was turned off and a towel was handed to him. He blinked rubbing his eyes puffy from crying; his hands were shaking. Who was in the bathroom with him? Had they heard him crying? [#0b7def “Whose there?”]
[font "Times New Roman" Inaja stared at the two incredulously. Had she not made it clear that she couldn't just be swept into hiding? Oscar mentioned that she had met with Diego at the funeral and she then knew he had been spying. Had it been someone from the funeral? She would have seen Oscar and Dorian there, especially after learning that Diego had been there. She crossed her arms as Oscar began in on her with one sentence, asking if there was a safe room. Before she could start in on him, Dorian had pushed him out of the room and into the hall with Bradley.
She listened to him speak as he thought it best to be the one to inform her that until things were safe, they were moving into the estate with her and that if she had any protests or concerns to give them to a man named Benedict instead of Oscar. At this point she was seething. She moved past him, pulling him from the door and then opening it. [#000080 [b "Bradley.... could you also bring me Mr. Benedict?"]] She asked as she could hear the security team coming into the house as well now.
[center [b [i ~]]]
Bradley had gone to the group and asked for the one that Lady Silvercrest had asked for. When found, he escorted him to the studio, then waited in the hall. It wasn't too long before the Mistress of the Estate was heard yelling at full voice on the other side of the door. Bradley winced and sighed to shake his head. She always had the worst attitude when she was upset. And this was the most upset he had ever seen her.
He still had his composure set in place as the door opened back open and out came the Miss followed by two startled men and one very smug but disgruntled man. [#000080 [b "Have the guest wing prepared, Bradley.... Benedict and his team are working security, please go over all safety measures the Estate has with him and his team. Do not let them go overboard with any and all changes they need to make with the estate. My schedule is NOT to change from what has already been planned, and it is not negotiable. With the security details, I'll be using the family car, not my personal car, so please have Terry informed."]]
[#2E8B57 [b "Yes, Mistress."]] Bradley nodded and accepted his duties before he looked to the men behind her while she stalked off to her room to shower and change. [#2E8B57 [b "Gentlemen..... we shall collect the others in the foyer and then I shall take you to your rooms. Once you are settled in, we can go over the Mistress's scheduling and the security precautions. Any and all changes must go through my approval before being made. I know this estate blindfolded and backwards, so please, do not insult me with trying to slip something past me. As I know that Mr. Benedict has a recorder in his pocket that recorded the Mistress and her anger, to play for the other men so that he doesn't have to repeat himself. Now then.... follow me, please."]] He turned on his heel and led them to the foyer to gather the rest of the men and then led them to the opposite staircase that Inaja had taken to lead them to the guest wing.
[center [i [b ~]]]
Inaja had gone to her room and showered and changed, now wearing jeans and a blouse. She made her way downstairs to find the ever going sound of drills and men at work. She frowned and swore that they had better not ruin her family home. She gad given Giovanni, her chef, the night off and so to feed everyone she had sent Terry and Cecilia out for chinese for everyone. She also made a point to talk to Benedict that if she was to have security tailing her anywhere she went off the estate grounds, then they would need to look the part. Suits and proper stealth devices to speak to one another instead of the clunky walkies that they used in her house. She had a reputation, and to try and show that nothing was wrong, they needed to play their parts too, otherwise Diego was going to become suspicious.
She had been talking with Benedict when the gate buzzed that someone was there to visit in the security room her family had set up properly in the back of the estate. Of course they didn't just let people roam the estate freely. There were cameras - but apparently there were blind spots. She had put her foot down that there would be NO cameras in any bedrooms or bathrooms and that was final. When the voice on the screen spoke up at the gate, she froze and looked to the monitor to see Diego had shown up at her estate. Benedict explained to her own security, the head man named Joshua, about who this man was and how he needed to be watched out for.
Diego had come baring a present for the grieving Heiress. Some of the security team had gone with Bradley to greet the man at the door while she stayed out of sight. She was fighting back the want to vomit and had to sit down. Dorian and Oscar also had to stay out of sight. Her "Butlers" brought the box into the foyer and gave a promise that they would make sure that the Lady Silvercrest received his gift and his well wishes, but that she had not been home at the moment and had gone out for dinner. It wasn't a lie, she had decided to eat out, but she'd had it brought to the estate instead. Having Terry and Cecilia go to get it had made sure that no delivery boy decided to get chatty and claim that he delivered to the estate.
Bradley assured Diego that he would pass on the message to the Mistress and thanked him for his kindness and generosity. He waited until Diego had driven out of the gate before he went back inside and closed the door.
Inaja had come from the Security room once Diego had passed the gate, looking paler than she should have as she looked to the box. Another yap and she froze a moment. [#000080 [b "What the hell was that....?"]] She asked and one of the security men ran checks over the box before opening it up in front of her. Inside was a small ball of fluffy fur.
[#87fb3c “Nice to see you too princess. We’re here because a little birdie of mine told me that dear Diego paid you a visit and because you’re precious to me and to dear Dorian. We’re here to keep you safe. I must ask though.”] as Oscar’s eyes paid attention to very other detail but Inaja [#87fb3c “Please tell me this house has a safe room.”]
Dorian could not would stand for this he shoved Oscar out of the studio and into the awaiting arms of Bradley before shutting the studio door. He took a deep breath. [#0b7def “I couldn’t stand listening to him rant over and over about the inadequate security system so I am going to take it upon myself to say. We’re moving in he won’t take no for an answer and if you have any questions, protest etc. Give them all to Benedict because he’s going to be much easier to deal with than a raving mad Oscar.”]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/xF1DMTw.jpg]]
He could already hear Oscar attempting to get back inside the studio, Dorian made the move to lean directly against the door his weight stopping Oscar from making any further progress, now that they had some time alone. Dorian’s eyes roamed over Inaja, he liked what he saw but he was going to make a direct comment on it. [#0b7def “We’ll go back to waiting in the living room until you’re finished with practice. We can talk about my brother later.”]
Arthur groaned, his bones felt like jelly and hurt even more. The sound of the crowbar clattering to the floor, shocked him almost back into consciousness. [I “Please no more. Why are you doing this?”] [#ffa4ad “Because I no longer have a use for you.”] [I “She’ll notice.”] [#ffa4ad “As far as I am concerned I am pretty sure she said for you to never contact you again, your death will be inconsequential furthermore they’ll never find your body.”]
Arthur could barely see Diego standing over him, two of Diego’s best mates were standing on either side, all three were gloved; leaving Arthur on the floor of the basement with several broken bones. [#ffa4ad “Tie him up. Throw him away.”] Diego left without another word. What time was it? What was Inaja doing Arthur wondered.
He howled with pain as they chained him up, nearly passed out from it as they covered his feet with concrete, the metal chains chattering back and forth, a bag placed over his head meant he could not see nor smell or say anything - they had to seen to that by taping his mouth shut. All he could feel was bumps… was he in the trunk of a car?
[#0b7def “Don’t you think this is a bit… much?”] he asked out of the blue, Oscar had decided to settle into one of the wings of Inaja’s house, furthermore he had brought the whole nine yards of his security detail with him; the persistent sound of drills and men grunting as they outfitted the house with what could only be Oscar’s vision of ‘Fort Knox’. Meanwhile Dorian and the man in question were sitting on the floor with several boxes of chinese take out between them.
[#87fb3c “We did promise to stay out of her way to only do things that could be easily removed and we promised not to control her life and to pretend we don’t know each other. It’s really quite simple. We keep her safe, you fall in love with her, she falls in love with you. We keep Diego out or we kill the fucker and then we can all go on our merry little ways.”] Part of the reason Dorian sometimes dislike Oscar was his seemingly never ending amount of positivity, Dorian sighed, picking at one of the dumplings [#87fb3c “I mean what more can she want? We’re going to pay our own bills, we won’t bother her staff. It’s like we’re ghosts you know?”] [#0b7def “I still think this is a bit much.”]
Oscar would have said more but the chiming of the door bell shocked them both into silence, Oscar lifted his hand up, wiped his mouth the picked up the small walkie talkie radio. [#87fb3c “Psst. Whose at the door?”] [b “We’re not sure sir.” ][#87fb3c “Well find out! I pay you for a reason.”]
[Center -At the gate-]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/ptcXksb.jpg]]
[#ffa4ad “I have a delivery for Lady Silvercrest.”] he pressed on the small intercom button at the gate, the hum of the engine keeping him calm as he waited for a response. [#ffa4ad “If she’s not home then no matter, I’ll leave it here and you can give it to her.”] there was more silence before the gates finally opened and he was allowed to drive in; he had known that the SIlvercrest family were wealthy but he had never imagined that that their estate would be so large and so grand. Stopping the ignition and climbing out of the car, he walked to the front door where was greeted by a team of butlers.
[#ffa4ad “The package is in the back. I am still awfully sorry about the events that have taken place. She must be awfully lonely.”] as they moved the wooden box out of the car, the sounds of a soft yap coming from it. He cleared his throat [#ffa4ad “What’s going on behind you?”] he asked them [b “Just some maintenance. Lady Silvercrest would like to keep the house as her parents did, though she is making some adjustments.”] [#ffa4ad “I see. I see. Well apart from the package. Please let her know if she needs anything, even help with the business that she can rely on me.”]
[font "Times New Roman" She didn't know what in the world gave her Uncle the gall to think that he had any claims to her life. She'd only seen him a handful of times in her life, mostly coming to her parents for help and then getting drunk and wasted. And each time, her parents had sent him away without so much as a nickel. When the guards had him settled down and unable to cause anymore of a ruckus, the line continued on. Business partners, classmates, colleagues, supposed "friends", one and all came to pay their respects. She was sure that had they not been rich and powerful a family, they wouldn't have near as many people as they did now show up.
The lines died down, and they settled into their seats as the eulogy was read. As the devoted daughter, she gave a bit of time to speak of her well meaning, stern and firm but loving parents and how they would be missed in the hearts of many. Her emotions didn't have to be faked like so many here did. She had started to break down and Madame quickly rose from her seat, but she managed to thank everyone that showed and excused herself back to her seat. A couple of business partners that worked with each of her parents then spoke. The church's choir sang a few hymns and then the Deacon gave a last prayer before things began to break up to head to the family owned cemetery and the mausoleum that her parents were to be placed into with one another.
Before Inaja could start to leave, her Uncle began giving issues once more, claiming that she needed to meet someone he knew. Before she could snap at him again, someone behind her spoke up and she turned to meet the man. He had wild eyes, though everything about him was all hard planes and sharp shapes. There was something familiar about his features, but they were too prominent to register and so she let it go. She softly lifted her lace veil to get a better look at the man a moment so as not to be rude. He offered his hand and she took it gently, warily. He gave his respects, claiming he had worked with her father, and that he had been a mentor of sorts. [#000080 [b [i Wonderful, another colleague to kiss her ass.]]] she thought to herself as she thanked him softly.
He promised to help her with anything should she need it, then he gave his name. Because of her publicity practice, her features never changed from the polite and soft facade she'd been giving everyone all day. But inside she was dying of panic. Her stomach had felt like it had hit the floor. [#000080 [b [i Diego Shore. THIS man was Dorian's brother?!]]] She felt as though she was going to be sick. Her Uncle began to cause issues and she glared at him and pulled her veil back into place. [#000080 [b "A deal was a deal, Arthur..... I met whom you wanted me to meet.... I am about to bury my parents..... and you are out.... never contact me again....."]] She snapped at him, this time not caring whom had heard her as the guards had taken the cue and was dragging him outside.
The rest was a blur. Since they were going into stone instead of the ground, Inaja lit a candle and set it on a pillar near monument laid next to a silver rose in place of tossing dirt onto a grave. As each person passed, they would toss a rose at the base of the pillar as the caskets were taken into monument, and then she would give the turn of the key to lock the doors. Only family had a key. Only SHE had a key. There had been an option for a second, and she denied it. She didn't want her Uncle to be able to try and go after anything that was buried with her parents.
[center [b [i [u ~At the House~]]]]
Madame had taken her home - after once again dodging her Uncle as she threatened a restraining order. They had been speaking in the car about Madame staying with her in the large estate, or maybe Inaja should come and stay with her. Inaja had tried politely to turn down both options. She knew the woman meant well, but she had too many things on her mind and too many things that needed her attention. If someone was hovering around her the entire time, worrying with every step if she was alright, then she was going to go insane, as much as she loved the woman. She tried reassuring her that she wouldn't be alone in the large house with the staff being there. They would make sure that she was cared for and fed properly, and she agreed to the schedule for Dance Lessons so she didn't fall behind.
When Madame hugged her, she hugged her back just as tight. She called for Bradley to see her out safely while Terry had gathered the car for her. When she had left, Inaja had changed from her funeral clothes, to her tights, unitard, flowing skirt, and en pointe ballet shoes. She made her way to the studio on the ground floor, it was a large studio for a single dancer. Easily they could perform the entire show - minus sets and props - in this studio. Speakers were built into the walls and ceiling so that she would be surrounded in the loud music. As the prologue began to play, she centered her mind as she always did during practice, and gave into the music as she went through each step. She was grace and poise, she embodied her character. Playing the Curious Clara of the Nutcracker was not new to her, but she always took pride in her acting.
Her body was toned and tight, all muscle and curve. Soft and sweet, but also lean and strong. She could leap and pirouette, switch between point and non with ease as if she had been doing so since birth. She made it look effortless, but anyone that knew what signs to look for would see the hard work she put into each step, timed perfectly as she moved. Taking care in her practice, and the drowning music, she had not heard her "guests" announcing their presences. Bradley had seen the Madame out as Oscar and Dorian had made themselves comfortable in the sitting room. Bradley came to the doorway as Oscar showed his appreciation of the large estate.
[#2E8B57 [b "Good afternoon, I am Bradley. If you gentlemen would follow me.... Lady Silvercrest is this way.... she will not be able to hear you with the stereo going. If you please..... right this way."]] And then he turned and began to walk from the sitting room to the large studio. Instead of interrupting her - which could be dangerous while she was en pointe - he waited for her to notice him in the mirrors at the door. She had gone through a couple of chorus runs with the solo piece for the Sugar Plum fairy - unknowingly of Dorian's earlier teasing - before she noticed Bradley and came to a stop and using a remote tucked into her belt to turn off the stereo as she panted for breath. [#2E8B57 [b "Forgive me, Ma'am. You have a couple of visitors."]] and he waved a hand to the last two people she had wanted to see today.
[#000080 [b "Thank you, Bradley..... I have it from here....."]] Waiting for him to give a soft nod and leave, she then glared at the two men. [#000080 [b "What the hell are you doing here? I didn't bring any press to your precious safe house....."]] Images from the funeral and the meeting of Diego made her nauseous again and she grabbed her water bottle for a drink before she lost her stomach.
Poor old Authur, it seemed that in his eyes his niece was going to be a quiet, docile submissive little thing. Instead for the older man after hearing his niece speak so harshly he wondered where she got her attitude from? He was going to discount the fact he was responsible for her parent’s death, and that she was in a bad mood but apart from that; was that any way to treat your uncle? Your only living relative left? Authur didn’t think so. But he had no choice but to move aside and sit down - this time the guards flanking him didn’t intend to let him out of their sight.
It must have felt like a thousand years by the time that hideously long line of admirers, mourners, underclassman etc was finally cleared. Arthur had wanted to stand up to speak to his niece but the two almost tank-like security guards kept their hands on his shoulders. Forcing him to sit - it also ruined the intimidation factor because now she over-towered him. He had to admit though he never understood the need for his family to choose white over black at occasions such as this.
[I “Inaja please tell these men to unhand me, I won’t be touching you I merely want to stand so we are eye-to-eye.”] whilst he stuttered and spat out his words Diego emerged from the corner of his eye. Arthur swallowed. [I “Inaja. I would like you to meet someone, he’s behind you actually.”] [#ffa4ad “I think I can introduce myself Arthur. You are clearly not wanted here.”] he felt his heart begin to hammer. Both Inaja and that stupid hag of a dance teacher turned around to face Diego.
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/ptcXksb.jpg]]
Diego had lied about being one of the Silvercrest’s associates in business, however, if you looked the part and sounded the part you could mostly get away with anything. He had, of course, paid his respects to the former matriarch and patriarch of the family, he had played the part. But he was like a shark to blood. He knew where and who to speak to and this would just be another of those moments.
Inaja Silvercrest had caught his eye when he had entered - skipping the line altogether, fading into the background and pretending to be like the other mourners. The colour white he supposed was so alluring and perfect on the younger female. She looked like a bride - perhaps this was foreshadowing certain events to come. [#d00b1f [I Why aren’t you just the prettiest.]] he cleared his throat and offered his hand, a solemn look on his face.
[#ffa4ad “My sincerest apologies. I’m still at a loss for words. Your father and I were very close, he took me under his wing. Back when he was the head of the accounting department.”] another thing that Diego had taken the time to do, was a little bit of research on Inaja’s father, and his career. [#ffa4ad “If there is anything I can do for you, let me know. Diego Shore.”] he then stepped back [#ffa4ad “You have others to attend to, and I should let you go do that. I am awfully sorry once again. I’ve given your assistant a card. If you need anything, please do not be afraid to let me know.”] he then turned on his heel without so much as looking at Authur and left.
[I “See that wasn’t so bad! Diego is a good man. You ought to get to know him better.”] Arthur commented as the guards grasped him tightly and began to drag him out of the building, some of the guests noticed but none commented, nor did they appear to want to stop Arthur’s removal. [I “We’ll see each other again I’m sure Inaja. The family never strays for long!!”] just as he was shoved out of the parlour and onto the streets. Part of him was mad, Diego hadn’t even waited for his brother and sister in law to be buried in the ground before making his approach, thus ruining any future chance of interaction between himself and his niece.
[Center -That Afternoon-]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/GFk5ate.jpg]]
[#e6aa00 “I simply do not believe it would be very beneficial for you to remain in a house so large and by yourself, my little Ina. It simply won’t do. I can understand your need to distance yourself and to take responsibility for the lives your parents left behind. I will be here, supporting you. You can take all of the time you need in the world. But do not tell me you’re perfectly alright.”] Elena rarely walked in front of the girl she saw as her granddaughter, instead preferring to always be three steps behind in private, though in public this was the opposite. [#e6aa00 “This house… it’s nice but so dark and quiet. It simply won’t do.”]
The last time Elena had stepped even a foot into the Silvercrest home was when Inaja was but a small child, waiting to be selected as a student under her; Elena has been surprised and struck almost in intimidation at the size of even the mere front hallway. She opened her mouth to speak again, but the expression on Inaja’s face told her that enough was enough, that she would not be swayed. [#e6aa00 “Well then, I will let you go for now, but if you find yourself consumed by loneliness you need only come to me. My door is always open. I will come three nights a week and will be here to tutor you on the weekends from noon till sunset. Apart from your lessons I will not get in your way.”]
Elena felt that it would probably be best for them all if Inaja was given space, even if that meant time away from Elena herself. Picking her purse up she gave Inaja one last bone-crushing hug before asking for a car to be called up for her by one of the servants.
Elena was barely out the door when two men, of which she had never seen before were at the front door of the Silvercrest estate, with duffle bags. [#e6aa00 “I’m sorry but who are you?”] [#87fb3c “We’re friends of Inaja.”] the more feminine looking of the males offered his hand whilst the other picked up the dropped duffle bag and moved into the house. Elena opened her mouth to protest. [#0b7def “Inaja! If you can hear us you might as well come out. Oscar is in a terrible mood and unless you want to be called sugar plum, honey or otherwise. We’ll be in the living room waiting.”]
Elena looked at the man who was still in front of her, he gave her a wink before also proceeding to walk into the house. [#e6aa00 “Excuse me! This is most unsuitable. Who are you both! Barging in here like you own the place?”] [#87fb3c “As I said. We’re friends.”] the one she could presume was Oscar winked… she found herself blushing.
Perhaps this was why Inaja was so sure she could stay in the house alone because she had a partner! This must surely be it. Elena cleared her throat and shut the front door, she was going to give Inaja and her ‘friends’ some privacy.
[#87fb3c “Well would you look at this place! It’s bloody grand to high hell. The French would be impressed.”] Oscar sat upon one of the leather couches, stroking the leather, he felt right at home. Dorian on the other hand wasn’t so sure. [#0a089b [I Why does it feel like we’re intruding]] he decided not to sit, but to stand by the door with his duffle in case Inaja decided to throw both of them out. When and if she finally emerged, Oscar was going to have a very stern with the heiress; whether she liked it or not. [#0a089b [I Please just let me survive this…]]
[font "Times New Roman" She stopped when he spoke up and mentioned that if she called an Uber to the front of the safe house, the entire place would be compromised. She glared at him then, turning back to look to him. She wanted him to think her mad at him, because it was easier than showing how hurt she was. [#000080 [b "I know how to avoid the press, Dorian.... I'm not stupid.... even when calling for an Uber I use a fake name.... since your boy thought it would be smart to try and hide me away, my car was left at the school.... and I've already spoken with police to go identify my parents' bodies..... I can't just vanish.... otherwise you idiots end up looking guilty and then it looks like you kidnapped me.... you don't need me to get yourselves into trouble.... if I need to get ahold of you for some whatever reason.... I know where to find you...."]]
She then headed in the directions he gave for the back door as she pulled out her phone and set up an Uber call as she heard Oscar coming back into the room. She was seething, but to be honest, she was mostly hurting. The one time she went and did something for herself, and it had gotten her parents killed. Seemed she was truly destined to never have anything normal in her life. Just one nigh was all she had wanted, and when she got it, it truly changed her life forever. She was old enough to be considered an adult, though she looked young for her age. When the Uber came, she had given an address that was near the crash site. The driver warned her there had been a real bad wreck and she assured him she was just going to the outskirts of it, and would be sure to watch herself. He grumped but nodded and took her there without any more issue. She made sure to tip him well.
[center [b [i [u ~Scene of the Crash~]]]]
She had waited for the Uber driver to leave, pretending she was checking something on her phone. She hadn't meant to actually mess with her phone, but she wanted it to be believable so she simply pulled up her contact list. That was when she noticed that she had Dorian's information in her phone and wasn't sure how that had gotten there. When she looked up and seen that the driver was gone, she put her phone away and made her way over to the police officer nearest her to be escorted over. They wanted her to look around the scene to see if she noticed anything familiar of the other car. She seen her father's silver Mercedes smashed to pieces all over the pavement.
She had heard his voice first, her Uncle Arthur. He was calling to her as though he expected her to run to him for sympathy. She made it a point not to acknowledge him in any way, and in that the officer asked him to keep back. He was only allowed on scene because he had been one of the next of kin called. He kept calling to her, but she ignored him and looked to the cars before her.
Blood was smattered here and there. She could smell burnt rubber, gasoline, an assortment of other automotive fluids. She could see where the powder from the airbags had managed to dust some areas. There was glass and chunked metal everywhere. Covered in dents, scratches, scrapes, and pieces that she couldn't tell what they used to be before the wreck. The bodies had been taken to the precinct's morgue already, but they needed her to try and see if the other car was known, as a precautionary measure. She didn't recognize the other car. It was a dark, near Hunter Green in color. All the people her parents usually dealt with had flashier cars. Whites, silvers, blacks, reds, blues, or neon colors. She relayed all her information to the officer who wrote everything down as she tried to hold herself together against such a scene.
There were press everywhere, kept at bay from the scene with extra officers and firemen as well as the first responders. Once they had seen her being escorted to the site, they had their story. They were already calling her things like "The Silvercrest Princess". What would they call her now? Once she had given all she could, he asked her to meet with them at the station to identify the bodies and to see if they knew the man from the other car as well. She nodded and informed him that in her haste after the call, she had left her car at the school in a moment of panic and forgetfulness and asked if she could get a ride and asked if she could call someone to join her at the station. At his agreement, he took her to his cruiser and she pulled out her phone and hit speed dial.
The familiar british accent on the other end was already condoling and crooning to her as she sat in the back of the cruiser. Her voice broke and she whimpered into the phone. [#000080 [b "[i Nonna] Elena....."]] It was all she had to say. The woman assured her that she was already on her way to the station, and that she would be there when they finished questioning her and then hung up.
[center [i [b [u ~The Station~]]]]
She had been taken to the morgue and shown the bodies. She had kept the tears back as she confirmed that it was her parents, and that she didn't know the male from the other car. They took her into a room - gratefully keeping her Uncle who had shown up while she was in the morgue away from her, despite his angry threats and complaints. She had told the officers once in interrogation room that she did not want to be around her Uncle. He was all but disowned. They had understood and made him wait outside the room. She had told them where she had been all day, giving as much detail in the run through as possible so that she had her statements and alibis all settled away for their paper work. They asked her to stay in the room until they were sure they were done with her, mentioning there was an older woman waiting in the hall and asked if she wanted the woman inside. She explained who she was and said she was alright with the woman, just not her Uncle.
The officers left and then a knock came followed by that british accent of her teacher. Madame Pelagia, who had been more of a maternal figure than her own mother. When they were alone, she was always Little Ina. And the Madame was always [i Nonna] or [i Nonna] Elena. They always kept it professional when other students were around so as not to have them believe there was favoritism. And there wasn't. She worked hard and Madame made her earn just as hard as the others.
[#000080 [b "I won't be able to come to class for awhile....[i Nonna]... I promise not to fall behind in my practices. But.... I have to start setting things up for the funeral, and dealing with the companies and businesses before I can come back to class.... if needed.... you can always come to the estate and we can go over my practices in our studio. And you will, of course, be compensated for your extra time...."]] She was trying to be strong as Madame had said. She was trying not to cry or fall apart again.
She didn't look up to the woman, she kept her eyes on the table, her hands folded properly on her lap. Her eyes were puffy and red, the emotion in her eyes pained and bright with the threat of more tears, but the rest of her features were shut down. Something she had learned to do at an early age with her parents. She spoke with Madame until the officers came back, finished up with her, and then she took a ride with Madame to get her car from the school and then drove herself home. She spent the next couple days setting up the funeral and wake. It would be a large funeral, since there were two bodies. But she had made it very clear that unless the name was on the list, they were not to get in. She didn't want any press at the wake or the grave site. And she didn't want her Uncle.
[center [i [b [u ~The Wake and Funeral~]]]]
At the wake, the coffins were set in brilliant silvers for the family's namesake. Due to the chill outside, the wake was inside a large parlor that was also used for weddings. People wore black or varying shades of Silver, except for Inaja. She wore white. All Silvercrests wore white to funerals. She had her parents dressed in white as well, and surrounded in lilies. Her mother was in her favorite white lace two piece dress suit. Her father was in a three piece white and silver suit. Thankfully the damages done in the wreck had not made them have to have a closed casket ceremony.
Inaja stood at the bottom of the stairs and to the right of the coffins, where the line would start for people to pay their respects. Next to her was Madame in a black and grey gown. Inaja wore a simple white gown, ankle length and just off the shoulders to be tasteful and classy. Lace gloves matched the lace veil set in silvers that she used to cover her face, pinned up into the curls that were piled artfully on top of her head. Some would say she looked more like a bride than a grieving daughter, but this was normal for Silvercrests. And Silvercrests made their own rules. First the line would pay their respects to Inaja and thank the Madame for being there for the girl. Then they would climb the stairs and pay respects first to her mother, then her father and then give a nod or soft prayer with the deacon on the other side.
The line was going in a blur. Many faces of "family, friends, and business partners" went by in the never ending line. Inaja went through them all in a daze as though she were on auto pilot. It was only when there was a commotion at the door did she look up and glare. Someone dared to make a scene at her parent's funeral? Who would have the audacity? Then she seen who. Uncle Arthur. She sighed and gave Madame a tired look, but the woman was engaged in soft conversation and had not seen. Security seemed to have him under control so she ignored it. More faces went by until her Uncle appeared before her, cutting the line completely, and she looked to him incredulously. Madame began calling for security as Inaja glared at him.
[#000080 [b "How dare you.... you come here of all places and cause a ruckus and a fuss, all because you want me to meet someone? Are you seriously insane? Do you not have any dignity or respect at all?"]] she hissed at him. She glanced around and realized he was drawing attention to them and she growled before stepping to him to hiss a whisper at him. [#000080 [b "If I do you this one favor..... you are to NEVER.... come to me again..... after this funeral.... you are not my Uncle. You are NOT my family..... sit your ass down.... and shut the hell up.... I will meet with whoever this is.... AFTER the funeral.... once my parents are in the ground and not a second before..... do you understand me? One word before then..... and I'll security throw you out of here on your ass....."]] Madame came up then after talking to security to watch him and Inaja took her place once again in the line to finish with the wake before things began.
Dorian could clearly tell he had lost whatever leg, foot, hand, arm, liver, eye or spleen of an advantage he had with Inaja from the way she so coldly introduced herself. He watched as she hitched her bags up prepared to leave, he stood cleared his throat and sputtered [#0b7def “Don’t call for one using the front, the press… they’ll be there. Waiting for you. Use the back entrance, the one that I use and Oscar normally…”] he then continued on before she could interrupt him [#0b7def “I’m so sorry about your parents. I can understand… your kind of anger, at least to some extent.”]
Dorian rarely dwelled on the past, in particular when it came to his father; that whole area of his life pained him to no end, even the mere mention from Oscar had felt like someone had forced a heated iron rod into Dorian. It made him incredibly uncomfortable when people knew who his father was - furthered by the fact that until either him or Diego died. Neither of them would be declared heir to their father’s mass influence, wealth or otherwise.
In recent months the rivalry - at least according to Diego had increased with the sudden announcement of their father’s diagnosis with late stage kidney failure and stage two lung cancer. If their father died, and without declaring an heir out of either himself or Diego; all of that money and influence would be wasted. Dorian couldn’t really care for it, but Diego hungered for it. [#0a089b [I If it were up to me I’d see the money go to my mother, the woman he cheated on because of her failure to give him anymore kids.]]
He had wanted to follow after Inaja, [#0b7def “The back entrance is the hall to the right, third door on the left.”] as she disappeared having followed his directions, Oscar returned without a cigarette. [#87fb3c “Where did she go?”] [#0b7def “To do what’s expected of her, to the police or the crash scene or whatever. What the hell was with all the nicknames. Why not just use her name. Not like it’s an impossible name.”] [#87fb3c “Beats me, just don’t let her become…”] Dorian glared at his best mate, he didn’t need a reminder. Oscar raised his arms then walked off into another part of the house. Dorian found himself unable to move.
[Center -At the crash scene-]
[U Arthur POV]
He felt too excited, too giddy. The hit had been a success and they had even made it look like an accident, he was ecstatic. With his brother and sister in law out of the way, that meant he had to be the one to become their daughter’s legal guardian - if she would have him obviously and not fight him every step of the way. He was going to be out of debt and his wife was going to want to remarry him! He could see it now.
Part of him worried though, over Diego’s last words [#ffa4ad “If this fails, it won’t just be your head on the line.”] he swallowed and cleared his throat, as he listened to each of the investigators and officers, he was waiting for his niece to arrive; he had been the one to call her school. Where was she? As he walked around the crash scene again, he pretended to wipe his nose on his handkerchief. All of the words flew over him, he didn’t so much care; they were dead and that was what mattered.
He had caught sight of his niece as soon as she arrived, surprisingly in an uber, was her car at the repair shop? He approached her, his arms wide open [I “Inaja! Sweetie. I am so sorry.”] his voice cracked and he took a deep breath, when she walked right past him he felt like she had shot him… was she going to seriously ignore him? Rushing after her he tried again [I “Inaja!”] still nothing.
[Center -At the station-]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/GFk5ate.jpg]]
[#e6aa00 “I do not particularly care for what you have to say Arthur. You should not be here.”] she stepped away from the man, he smelt like sweat and alcohol - like he hadn’t showered for years. She cleared her throat and waited in front of the door like he was for Inaja. [#e6aa00 “You haven’t so much cared for your niece for years.”] she wanted to do more than just scream at Arthur but she kept her composure. She needed to be here for Inaja. That was that.
When the door did open and the investigator in charge of the case stepped out first, she refused to move. Arthur on the other hand started berating the man with a million question-statements. She felt the urge to roll her eyes, stepping past the two men she knocked on the door first to let Inaja she was coming in. [#e6aa00 “Little Ina, may I come in?”] she started, then stopped. Elena just wanted to hold her star pupil in her arms and comfort the girl - now was not the time and place. As she stepped into the investigator’s office, she shut the door behind her and sighed in relief.
It had of course shocked Elena half to death at the news, but what had scared her even more was the fact that Inaja was not there - rushed off on a bike with some man - the security team said. [#e6aa00 “Little Ina.”] she offered her arms to the younger female [#e6aa00 “I have no words to express this…. tragedy. But we must be strong. We will be strong. You tell me now exactly what you need and I will not ask for anything more nor do anything you do not want me to do.”]
[Center -3 days later-]
[I “This is ridiculous! Let me in! I am her uncle!”] Arthur attempted once more to push into the funeral parlour, only for the two men in black to push him back not once had Inaja spoken a single word to him! Him! Her only blood relative left! Instead Inaja seemed to find comfort in that old woman who smelt like Earl grey, violets and bee’s wax. [I “Please Inaja! Let me speak to you! I want you to meet someone!”] he shouted over the guards. [#ffa4ad “Let me through. I’m one of her father’s business partners.”]
Arthur’s stomach dropped out of his body as he turned around, Diego Shore gave him a disgusted look as the guards let him move past, it was because of Diego that Arthur squeezed past the guards and into the parlour. Diego seemed to act like they didn’t know each other as he approached the front of the parlour and paid his own respects. Arthur on the other hand immediately made a beeline for Inaja. [#e6aa00 “What are you doing here! Guards.”] he gave the older woman a glare before trying to desperately to say something to his niece [I “Please hear me out. I want you to meet someone.”] he gestured towards Diego. [I “Please do me this one favour then I will leave and you will never see me again!”]
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