: Hollow Manor :

By KyoyaPleasant


Closed for the lovely Tverdost

A mysterious horrifying tale of a rich family and the cursed staff that serve them.


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[google-font https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Playfair+Display] [size15 [Playfair+Display [i Come little children, I’ll take thee away...]

The blue-eyed child looked up at the black shape, peeking out from behind a tree, a single red light emanating from the monster’s face. The boy knew he shouldn’t have followed the voice into the midnight forest. He knew he shouldn’t have brought Hop with him.

[right [i Into a land of enchantment.]]

He gripped the stuffed bunny in his hand tighter, lifting it up to his chest. Maybe he would be protected. Maybe nothing would hurt him like this. The black shape almost moved invisibly in the darkness, using the natural cover of the forest to creep closer.

[right [i Follow sweet children, I’ll show thee the way. Through all the pain and the sorrow.]]

The child swallowed hard, too scared to run away, silent tears running down his cheeks and pooling at his chin. Hop will protect him. The creature paused just a couple steps away tilting his head at the boy. It mused in silence, watching the heartbeat of the young one increasing by the second before finally moving forward.

[right [i Rest now my children, for soon we’ll away...]]

The shadow shape grabbed the boy by the shoulders, lifting him up slowly, the gap in the monster’s chest opening up wide to a row of pointed teeth and blackness. The blue eyes looked up at the red light, the tilt in the monster’s head unwavering as it pushed the child into the starving cavity, the stuffed toy falling at its feet. The blood gushed into his system and only at the last moment, did the shadow realize its grave mistake.

[right [i Into the calm and the quiet.]]

[center -.-.-.-.-.-]

It was a rather gloomy day in the Hollows forty miles outside of Amsterdam. The country had been seeing a lot of rain the past week, making the rolling hills vibrantly green and fresh with life. Norman appreciated the landscape, as one should if he was to be a fair groundskeeper. He took a moment to sink in the view whilst he finished his cigarette.

The manor, located in the heart of the Hollows, stood tall and wide, littered with windows and gothic architectural design. The Harte family was known for being private, often preferring the remote location despite their business being settled another twenty miles out. They managed a specialty hospital where the care of the patients was greatly sought by many wealthy families all across Europe.
Having recently cradled another child into the manor, the head of the family decided to expand his staff with strict specifications. From Norman’s understanding, he only acquired the position based solely on an incident that happened with his last employer. [i Saved by a mad man who simply trimmed the hedges, Arthur Reese survived a vicious attack by a monster that hid itself away in the surrounding backwood mountains.] Or something like that...

These ‘shadow beasts’ weren't as uncommon as one would think. In these olden lands, creatures born of darkness were more than folklore, known to most of Europe as changelings. Once taking a host, they lived solitary lives for the most part but some, though rarely, go beyond taking a life by living a better one. Unfortunately, changelings were not cute or stubby faerie like creatures. No... they were monsters. They were [i all] monsters.

Norman dropped the cigarette butt and crushed it into the gravel beneath his boot. Leaving his rusted underwhelming Beetle near the edge of the extended curved driveway. Checking his unkempt hair in the side mirror one last time, the landscaper walked up to the grand front door and knocked, shifting in his wool coat. The ebony door clicked open, an older gentleman in a black suit bowing briefly before stepping aside to let him in.

Norman ran his fingers through his black hair, drinking in the grander of the main foyer. He’d been in reputable homes before but nothing close to this. [b “We are waiting on one other to arrive, sir. The head of the family appreciates your patience.”]

[#722aa8 “Yeah, sure, no problem,”] he mumbled, distracted by the large painting of the family to his left. Two parents and four- now five children... Interesting. ]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" The hunger was too much to bear. There had to be someone around here somewhere... Not much longer to wait now. It was barely morning and the fog was thick. The perfect setting to find someone. Not much longer to wait, you'll find someone soon.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" There on the swing. They will have to make do you can't hold on much longer it has to be now, quick while there's no one else around. Adults will be getting up for work soon, no one can see you.]]

[right[size16[i[font "Candara Light" "Hey sweetie are you okay? Where's your mommy and daddy?]]]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" The child hesitated until the woman in front of him showed him her nurse's badge and after all who's going to be afraid of a nurse who is there to nurture and care for people?]]

[size16[i[font "Candara Light" "I- I don't know... My mommy told me to wait here and said she would be back in a minute but she's not come back yet. I'm scared and cold Miss and I want my mommy".]]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" The stomach cramps began. Not much longer to wait now. He trusts you, you just need to convince him to come with you to the hospital so you can check him over. Persuade him with cookies. Kids love cookies.]]

[size16[i[font "Candara Light" "Maybe something has happened to your mommy. Say why don't we go to my hospital and see if she's there, she may be hurt and can't get back to you. Your mommy might be really worried about you. I'll stay with you the whole time and hey while we wait for your mommy how about some cookies. I have some in my car right over there. It's better than sitting in the cold right?]]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" Just as predicted as soon as the child heard cookies it didn't take long for him to stand up. Not much longer to wait now, don't move too quickly or it could ruin everything. This is your first chance to devour a child, I've heard they're delicious. Now get to the car so you can fill your tummy.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" The child grabbed the trusting nurse's hands and began the slow walk to the car. Not much longer to wait now. Keep calm you're almost there.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" The car door opened and the heat began to leak out into the cold as the two bodies quickly clambered into the car for warmth from the cold daybreak approaching. Not long to wait now, you just need to move away here. Why don't you make your way to the hospital it on a long secluded road, nobody will even know.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" The silence was deafening between the two as the warm friendly nature of the nurse began to disappear. She knew this when she looked into the child's eyes. The look of excitement of being reunited with his mother soon began to fade and now it was a nervous look with a hint of terror which only made the hunger worse.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" The car came to a stop. The kind caring nurse was no longer seated in the driver's side but a creature resembling that of a spider. The terror in the child grew more every second, you could tell he wanted to scream for help but part of him knew it would be useless. There was no way something of this monstrosity would let him go. Who would have thought something so hideous could have been hiding behind the mask of a kind nurse wanting to help a tiny child.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" The first spider's leg hit the child followed by the other eight. Finally, the wait was over. The hunger would be satiated for a little while. The child had been devoured and the familiar nurse stepped out of the car.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" The stomach pain only continued to worsen as the nurse vomited up blood and the remains of her victim. Staring down at the bloody mess on the floor she kicked some dirt to disguise it and looked up at the sky in anger.]]

[center[i[size16[font "Candara Light" "What a waste of a meal. Whoever said devouring a child was the most delicious thing in the world is an idiot... They taste horrid".]]]]

[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/729hptV.png]]

[size15[b[#006400[font "Candara Light" "I fucking hate this weather..."]]] [size16[font "Candara Light" The weather had been non-stop atrocious with constant rain this past week and Thana couldn't wait for it to be over. Reaching for the dial to turn the heating up on the car Thana punched it once when she'd realized it was already at the highest setting. She wasn't cut out for this weather but Amsterdam was where her newest job contract would be. It paid well so she would have to make do with the shitty weather for now.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" After all this was one of the few places that required a private nurse in a large estate. The others... well let's say Thana left at the right time before they became a murder scene. As if humans didn't have enough to worry about with other humans trying to kill them but there were things that went bump in the night. The things you told your children that were just make-believe, they simply didn't 'exist'. This always bought a smile to Thana's face. Mostly from the look of horror on the adult's face when they now knew that they'd been lying to their children all this time. These things they told them not to worry about did indeed exist and they had every right to live in fear. The stranger with the white van was practically a Disney character compared to the 'shadow beasts' that lived amongst the humans.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" The cramping in her stomach had begun earlier this morning. Thana had convinced herself to wait until night but from the looks of things, it would be as early as evening if she was going to keep her sanity. Luckily for her, the new workplace was out in the middle of nowhere and located in a dense forest. People must go 'missing' here all the time. Throwing her cigarette out of the window she pulled up next to a car just as crappy looking as her own.]] [size15[b[#006400[font "Candara Light" "Looks like someone is just as desperate for this job as I am".]]]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" Thana stepped out of the car not bothering to lock it due to the gated entry when she first arrived. She grabbed her large fur coat from the backseat of her car and quickly wrapped it around her followed by some thick leather gloves. Reaching for her handbag before shutting the car door she quickly made her way up the never-ending driveway. Something that attracted the rich folk, the bigger the house the longer the driveway.]]


[size16[font "Candara Light" Standing in front of the manor Thana knocked on the door 3 times and didn't have to wait too long before a smart-looking gentleman in a suit opened the door. Thana immediately turned on the charm as she flashed him a huge smile and made her way inside once she had been gestured to.]] [size15[b[font "Candara Light" "If you'll follow me please madam. We have been waiting on your arrival, there is already a gentleman waiting in the main foyer. Once you've been introduced I will tell the head of the manor you have arrived".]]]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" Thana nodded as she was shown to the waiting area and just as the suit guy had said there was someone else in there. He seemed lost in admiring the painting so Thana decided to be polite, after all, it wouldn't surprise her if the head of the manor didn't install some secret cameras somewhere and for all she knew this could be some kind of test. She lightly coughed to announce her presence and then opened her mouth to speak.]]

[size15[b[#006400[font "Candara Light" Hi there, my name is Thana Reeve. Looks like we're the rookies off this place, I look forward to working with you".]]]]

[google-font https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Playfair+Display] [size15 [Playfair+Display The fiend’s attention was pulled from the painting, turning to see a sharp woman in a rather over exaggerated fur coat. Their eyes met and, whether it was an ancient inherited ability or a mutual lust, Norman instantly felt, like him, something was terribly wrong with her. Did she see it too? Just now or was it merely his intangible hunger?

Knowing full well that creatures from the dark need to play nice, he returned her smile wholeheartedly. From personal experience, changelings were very protective of their property and he didn’t necessarily want to compete for the family. He had never come across another like him trying to blend into society, at least never this far off from major cities. He’d killed many wild ones sure, but none had a face and demeanor as devious as hers.

[#722aa8 “Looks like it,”] he said, pulling his right hand out of his jacket pocket and shaking hers. His touch was always warm which lured many victims into the Shadow’s traps. He tried his hardest not to seem threatening or unapproachable, though it was a struggle. His smile always felt forced and didn’t look right when he practiced in the mirror. Naturally, he avoided people when he could and while Norman did prefer to be alone, the creature wanted to truly do more good than harm to the humans.

[#722aa8 “Norman Braxton. Hired for the groundskeeper position.”] The man eyed her suspiciously, as he pulled back, noting the pink on her nose and cheeks. [#722aa8 “I take it you’re not from the Netherlands are you?”] ]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" As the man in front of her turned around it was almost as though a bolt of electricity shot through her. It couldn't be... could it? Thana knew this feeling all too well, he was like her. Exactly like her for that matter. Thana couldn't help but feel the excitement in her stomach about it either, sure she'd met other shadow beasts in her life but not many of them tried to blend into society as she had done, so this was something new for her and she was dying to know his reason for it. But that would be for later, for now, she needed to keep up the sweet appearance and play dumb. Which was becoming increasingly difficult from the cramping in her stomach from hunger.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" Thana smiled as he removed his hand from his pockets and shook hers. Then the warmth hit her, it was like the fires of hell had opened and caressed her body. She immediately wanted to drop the only thing keeping her warm and run to his warmth which was far better, it was like a moth to a flame but the only difference is Thana wouldn't be burnt.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" Realising she had been holding his hand longer than that was expected, Thana let go as much as it pained her to, she looked into his eyes and flashed a smile.]] [size15[b[#006400[font "Candara Light" "It's a pleasure to meet you Mr.Braxton. I hope I didn't keep you waiting long, I got a little lost".]]] [size16[font "Candara Light" By lost she meant she stopped for a quick bite to eat, and still it wasn't enough to fill her, but then again nothing ever was. The next comment Norman made hit the nail on the head and Thana wasn't even going to pretend to deny it, she hated the cold and would make that clear to the head of the household.]]

[size15[b[#006400[font "Candara Light" "You're exactly right. I recently transferred here from Florida which was a lot warmer. But let's just say I needed a change or scenery and this was the perfect job offer..."]]] [size16[font "Candara Light" Thana smiled once more followed by a slight giggle, knowing full well he wasn't the stupid type and knew what was she getting at.]]

[google-font https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Playfair+Display] [size15 [Playfair+Display The pull between the pair was intense, to say the least. It piqued his curiosity, Norman studying her mannerisms like a predator sizing it’s prey. The changeling’s instincts always seemed to be tiptoeing on the line of being too aggressive with it’s words and actions that Norman often had a continuous struggle containing those violent urges. With Thana, it was beginning to feel more defensive.

Nonetheless, he smiled at her comment, knowing full well her reasoning behind a sudden drastic move out to Europe. So, she was a hungry bitter? If she knew how far often he starved himself, she might think he was on the verge of going insane. That any day he just might [i snap]. [#722aa8 “Careful now, one might think that hunger of yours is insatiable,”] he replied low enough for her to hear.

There was the clatter of heels to wooden steps descending the staircase behind him and his grin grew wider, giving the ‘woman’ no time to retort. [b “Sorry I’m late you two! I seemed to have lost time in my study.”]

Norman turned, watching the head of the household hurry to down them. Blonde hair and mustache, business suit, red in his cheeks. Mr. Harte reminded him of all the other masters he’d been employed by. All cut from the same silk cloth. He held out his hand as Harte approached, trying out the smile again. [b “Good heavens, that’s disturbing,”] he started, shaking his hand enthusiastically. [b “Let’s try and refrain from smiling, shall we?”]

Norman’s expression turned solemn as Harte greeted Thana next, his eagerness oozing out of every word. [b “I’m so happy you’re here. Come, we shall sit and have tea in the drawing room.”] He snapped his fingers and the butler moved to set the coffee table.

The groundskeeper took a seat in an armchair that felt too close to the floor, lacing his fingers over his raised knees awkwardly. Tiny sugar cookies and opaque tea were placed in front of them, as Mr. Harte began to explain their day to day duties. He zoned out for a moment, studying the tea that had been sitting out too long.

[b “Your quarters will be in the employee hallway on the far east side of the building where all the other help boards, your rooms across from each other and if there’s any complications whatsoever, do let me know, of course. Do you two have any questions?”] Norman shook his head, looking over at the other fiend curiously.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" Thana giggled quietly to herself at Norman's comment. Looks like she'd been found out but who cared? It's not like he was gonna go to authorities and report her. They would either laugh at him or admit him for being insane. Either way all Thana needed to do was flick the switch on her charm and they wouldn't be able to control themselves around her. Men were always the easiest to lure away, although Thana was partial to the occasional woman depending on their smell.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" Just as she was about to make a witty reply she heard footsteps heading in their direction. It looked like her comment would have to wait for now. She was positive she would be running into Norman again rather soon...]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" A male with blonde hair and mustache entered the room and the wealth was practically leaking out of him. Thana smiled, he looked like every other rich person she'd come across in her lifetime. But no wasn't the time to turn her nose at him, what she needed to do most of all was impress him, maybe even flirt a little.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" As Mr. Harte made his way over to Norman, Thana quickly ran her fingers through her hair and moved her coat down so it was resting on her shoulders. Luckily the building was warm, but it wasn't warm enough to her liking. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed Normal pull the most awkward smile she'd ever seen, it was an expression that almost made her burst out laughing and Mr. Harte's comment only made things worse.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" Desperately trying not to laugh she clenched her stomach which made the pain even worse. Hopefully, this meeting wouldn't take too long so she could settle in before finding something fun to eat. Now it was her turn for introductions. Thana flashed him her biggest grin as she took his hands in her own, just from touching she knew he could easily be seduced which was tempting to do so, however, she needed this job more.]]

[size15[b[#006400[font "Candara Light" "I'm happy to be here Sir! Thank you for this amazing opportunity. Also, that suit is divine! Correct me if I'm wrong but I do believe that's Alexander McQueen is it not?"]]] [size16[font "Candara Light" Judging by the expression on his face Thana had guessed correctly. Simply too easy as a smirk appeared on her face. As he gestured for them to make their way into the drawing-room Thana hooked her arm in with his much to the astonished look on the butler's face. But it seemed Mr. Harte didn't mind, in fact, he somewhat enjoyed it. Oh, she was going to get away with murder in this place.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" As everyone took their seat Thana instantly reached for the freshly poured tea and wrapped her slender fingers around the delicate cup. The warmth sent a tingle down her spine almost making her shiver. Bringing the hot liquid to her lips she realized it needed a lot more sugar. Thana leaned forward and grabbed the sugar tongs on the table and began dropping cubes of sugar into the tea. After about the ninth or tenth cube, she stopped herself realizing that both Mr. Harte and the butler were giving her a puzzling look. Thana laughed making a light-hearted statement.]]

[size15[b[#006400[font "Candara Light" "What can I say? I'm drawn to sweet things, I simply can't help myself".]]] [size16[font "Candara Light" Thana looked at the blonde male flashing him a smile, seeing his cheeks turn even more red almost made her laugh, instead she buried her mouth into the teacup smiling to herself. Thana glanced at Normal who seemed to be in his own little world as Mr. Harte began the boring process of explaining their duties whilst being here, Thana found herself almost drifting off deep into thought until he asked if they had any questions which Thana did, well it was more of a statement than a question. As she set her cup on the table she leaned forward and smiled.]]

[size15[b[#006400[font "Candara Light" "I actually have one Mr. Harte. I'm feeling the cold terribly here and would need a portable heater to keep me my room and office warm. Of course, I have prepared this myself so you won't need to go out of your way to provide one. I do hope you understand".]]] [size16[font "Candara Light" Thana again flashed another dazzling smile as she looked a Norman wondering if there was anything he needed to get off his chest. Although she couldn't help but feel an excitement brewing knowing that they were going to be across rooms from each other, it was almost like they were roommates. Thana bit her lip at the thought.]]

[google-font https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Playfair+Display] [size15 [Playfair+Display As the introductions droned on, Norman picked up on the subtle predatory style of the other changeling. A very sensual kind of creature that used her charm and physical appearance to lure in her victims- like a fly to a web...

[b “Of course, such arrangements can be made,”] Harte replied, trying to cool the heat in his cheeks.

[#722aa8 “Then I need wax,”] Norman spoke from his low corner chair. [#722aa8 “Candles. I like the scent of candles.”]

The blonde raised an eyebrow. [b “Sure, if you need more than a ceiling light, I’m sure wax is easily obtainable. Please see that you talk to the head of the employee quarters, Mrs. Shelley. She’ll be able to get your items of request. Now go off and gather your things, make yourself comfortable and feel free to explore your offices. Your duties start bright and early come the morrow.”] The master clapped his hands, the butler following him out of the drawing room and back of the wooden steps.

Noting that Mr. Harte failed to tell them anything about the immediate family, Norman presumed that was how they were to be treated whilst working in the mansion. Creatures that were hired to mind their own business.

The groundskeeper followed Thana back out to their vehicles, reaching into his rusted buggy for his faded gray duffle bag and swinging it over his shoulder. He closed the car door, pausing to study the other as she gathered her things. The odds that the two of them were employed simultaneously was entirely too coincidental. There had to be a reason. [#722aa8 “I’ve never worked with another of [i my kind] before,”] he started, holding a hand out to aid with her luggage. [#722aa8 “But it goes without saying that you are [i not] allowed to eat our charges or I will annihilate you.”]

Norman’s voice was firm and nearly monotone. He didn’t want to give the other any sign of weakness or a shred of doubt. Killing changelings was a hell bent goal but she didn’t need to know that. [#722aa8 “The obvious out of the way, don’t come into my territory,”] he gestured to the landscape surrounding them. [#722aa8 “And I won’t come into yours.”] He nodded to the house. [#722aa8 “Do we have an understanding?”] ]]
TverdostThana Reeve/Achrya   304d ago

[size16[font "Candara Light" Hearing him make such a peculiar request Thana quickly brought the delicate teacup back to her lips in fear everyone would hear her laugh, he was a very peculiar one indeed. By the look on Mr. Hartes face she could tell she wasn’t the only one who thought the request peculiar, but he also couldn’t make it blatantly aware that he already had a favourite either, so he went along with Norman’s request.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" Knowing the meeting was coming to an end Thana quickly finished the remainder of the tea left in the cup which was now lukewarm and had lost it’s delicious taste. Standing up she reached for her coat and placed it around her shoulders, not seeing the point in putting it back on for a few moments only to take it off again. Taking the lead with Norman closely behind her they both made their way to their rust buckets that they called cars.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" She opened the trunk of her car and stared at four or five rather large and expensive suitcases which were mostly filled with clothes, makeup, jewellery and shoes. With the occasional odd bottle of perfume here and there, Thana was never really one for perfume. It dulled her natural pheromone which made it difficult to attract her food. Thana sneaked a glance at Norman as he lifted a large duffel bag out of his trunk with one hand.]] [size15[b[#006400[font "Candara Light" “Strong, warm and handsome? Aren’t I the lucky girl?”]]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" Thana smirked as the two of their eyes met. She lifted the first suitcase with two hands and made a little helpless grunt as it dropped to the floor. Knowing that Norman had noticed and offered to help Thana smirked. The sentence that came out of his mouth Thana thought on it. Did she continue to play dumb or have it all out in the open now, that way things wouldn’t become complicated later on. But still it couldn’t hurt to tease him a little.]] [size15[b[#006400[font "Candara Light" “Your kind? Whatever could you mean Norman. I am simply a humble woman looking to just simply survive in this man’s world.”]]]

[size15[font "Candara Light" Thana put her hands to her right cheek and looked up at him innocently for a few minutes before bursting out laughing, placing her left hand on her hips she waved her right hand.]] [size15[b[#006400[font "Candara Light" “Oh calm yourself Norman, as long as you don’t hit me with the power trip of how much stronger you are than me we’ll get along just fine. I can’t stand men that do that…”]]]

[size15[font "Candara Light" His next comment made Thana’s smile soon drop for a few seconds, enough time for Norman to realise the expression on her face had changed. Then as soon as it had disappeared it was back, the charming but devious smile.]] [size15[b[#006400[font "Candara Light" “Do you honestly believe I’d be that stupid. I know a lot of us are soulless eating machines, myself included but stupid? No no no this is something I am not. I was foolish once but quickly learned from my mistakes. I take my business outside of the grounds so there’s nothing to worry about.”]]]

[size15[font "Candara Light" Thana turned her attention to the largest suitcase in the trunk and lifted it easily with one hand, glancing at Norman with a smirk, showing him just how decieving she could be when she wanted to. Pulling the suitcase handle up she lightly caressed Norman’s chest.]] [size15[b[#006400[font "Candara Light" “Oh my dear Norman, I would never be desperate enough to steal someone’s food. Though I wouldn’t mind wondering how you taste.”]]]

[size15[font "Candara Light" Thana bit her lip seductively, eventually removing her hand from his chest she made her way up the steps of the manor, leaving her bags with Norman knowing he was the type of guy to not want a lady to exert herself… A true gentleman. She waved her free hand in the air smiling.]] [size15[b[#006400[font "Candara Light" “Come darling daylight is burning and there is much to be done. All this excitement has me feeling rather ravenous.”]]]

[google-font https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Playfair+Display] [size15 [Playfair+Display The woman liked to play conversation like a game which annoyed him greatly. Manulpation was her speciality- he’d have to keep his guard high. Despite her playing coy, Thana dismissed his territorial fear with the wave of her pale hand. Obviously the creature wasn’t afraid of him either, competing for fleshy food or otherwise. 

Not that she truly had anything to be cautious about with him. A truth better kept to himself.

Norman adjusted his grip on the bag, rolling off the feeling of discomfort at her delicate touch. He rolled his eyes, grabbing the remaining cases that were clearly left for him to trudge and followed up the steps back towards the entrance of the elaborate manor. 

Once back in the foyer, a stubby woman emerged from a branching hallway. [b “There ya are,”] she started, rubbing her hands on the apron around her waist, a strong Irish accent. [b “I’ve been waitin’ for more help ‘round here. Always room for cross trainin’.”]

Oh, he hated the sound of that. Not bothering to hide his displeasure, Norman followed the ladies as Mrs. Shelly, he presumed, led them down an adjacent hall and gave a brief tour of the employee quarters. Admittingly, he lived in worse. Thankfully the mold and vermin were limited in this establishment but the halls were narrow. Comically so that he had to walk sideways halfway through the tour with Ms. Thana’s obnoxious baggage. 

[b “I don’t know why ya bothered to bring so much Mr. Braxton.”] He rolled his eyes again. 

[b “Here is your room,”] Shelley gestured for Thana to the left. [b “And Mr. Braxton yours directly across.”] 

Norman felt a zap of irritation. [#722aa8 “Why do we have to be so close?”] 

Mrs. Shelley looked taken aback, almost disgusted. [b “What? Are you sayin’ she’s not good enough for ya? Too much of a nuisance to sleep in a room across from ya? Pull up your britches boy.”] 

He watched her turn away, her nose held high. [b “I’ll be back soon with those items you requested. Supper at seven.”] 

Norman narrowed as Thana, dropping her luggage heedlessly. Without a word, he turned slightly to peek into the bedroom, narrow and plain. He turned back to her and smiled crookedly. [#722aa8 “Have fun trying to fit all this in there.”] Taking pleasure in a small victory, he stepped into his room with a singular duffle bag and closed the door. ]]
TverdostThana Reeve/Achrya   42d ago

[size16[font "Candara Light" Greeted by a rather small round woman Thana flashed her a smile, there was no point in flattery with this one, there was no need for it. Thana did however giggle at her comment, glancing back at Norman with all of her luggage was comical in its own sense.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" Following the woman down the hallway there was little conversation between the three of them, however, every now and again Thana would smirk seeing all the different directions Norman was having to turn in order to fit down the narrow hallways.]]

[size15[b[#006400[font "Candara Light" “Actually the luggage here is mine, Mr. Braxton here was being a true gentleman and carrying it for me, isn’t here a darling, I would go even as far as to say husband material”.]]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" Thana gave the woman a playful wink causing her to giggle with a slight blush forming on her cheeks. Giving her a few moments to compose herself they had finally arrived at their rooms, it was a lot smaller than she was expecting but there was an added bonus across the hallway from here. Hearing his complaint only excited her even more, she would find somewhere for her luggage, she wanted to be as close to Norman as possible.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" Thana thanked the woman and after she had disappeared Norman dropped her luggage on the floor, she couldn’t help but grin as he made a remark in which he’d thought he’d won this round, Thana being the kind-hearted soul she was let him win. As his door shut she quickly glanced around for signs of cameras and any bodies on this floor. Fortunately, there were none. With one deep breath, four spider's legs came out from her back. She quickly placed the luggage handles on them and disappeared behind her own door.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" Dumping the bags on the floor she retracted her extra legs and they disappeared in her back. The flirtatious smile was now gone and she glanced around the plain dull looking room.]]

[size15[b[#006400[font "Candara Light" The light is perfect but this room is much too dull, I wonder if the darling owner would let me decorate to my taste? And whilst I’m asking for favors I wonder if he has a locked room I could access anytime for my clothes”.]]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" Thana was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to be able to collapse on her bed, but it wasn’t to her quality, glancing at the clock in her room there was still some time to kill before supper, Thana found this a perfect opportunity to take a look around the grounds. Opening the door Thana smiled at Norman's door and decided to invite him along.]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" Putting on her most polite voice she gave a quiet tap before speaking.]]

[size15[b[#006400[font "Candara Light" “Norman? I don’t mean to disturb, there is still sometime before dinner, I’m going to take a walk to familiarise myself with the grounds if you wish to join me”.]]]

[size16[font "Candara Light" Thana smiled patiently as she waited for an answer. If there wasn’t to be one then should walk alone, she was sure there would be someone she could find to show her around.]]

[google-font https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Playfair+Display] [size15 [Playfair+Display Norman let out a deep breath instantly feeling at home in the tiny room. He’d lived in smaller quarters before and in every place previously, he made sure to make the most of it. Though to be honest, he loved small spaces. Intimate, safe... kept the monster at bay. 

He ran his hand across the cotton sheets before setting down the duffle bag. He unzipped and laid out the few contents uptop of the singliur side dresser. Two thick yet slightly melted candles, a notebook with a pen, a couple of soft cover novels and reading glasses. He threw in an armful of clothing into the two sets of drawers and just like that, he was done unpacking. 

The changeling took a seat on the bed, absentmindedly raising a hand to the trinket around his neck. The weapon was always close and honestly he was too anxious to be without it. He groaned slightly, feeling the hunger twisting in his gut. He would need to eat soon or he would surely perish. 

A tap as his door pulled him back to reality, hearing the utterly seductive voice that came from the changeling across the hall. Norman rubbed his temples as he debated her offer but the thought of Thana seeing the landscape first was too much of an advantage to give her if they were to compete in keeping the employers safe. He didn’t have an ounce of trust in her words.

Norman opened the door, not bothering to return her coy smile. He was, however, taken back noticing that she managed to fit all her luggage in her tiny room. [#722aa8 “A woman of many talents I see.”] He sidestepped by the poised Thana, nearly brushing against her. The halls were too damn narrow and that was his only complaint. 

They found a side door that led to the outside branching from the employee hall located just before the kitchen. Already finding the property convenient, Norman let Thana lead, finding it best to study her and everything else from a distance. The grounds were large and open and, as they rounded about near the gardens, he could see another building tall and white half hidden in the fog amongst the hills. He paused, pushing up his sunglasses. [#722aa8 “Do you recall how the Hart’s fold in their money?”] It seemed too convenient to have a building this close to the manor. ]]

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