A Fallen Mansion.
Willum, the sole owner of the mansion’s property, has long since passed away. Sona, his younger sister, did watch over the mansion after his death, but one day disappeared with her entire family, consisting of Loren and their daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend.
However, the mansion’s legacy still continues.
The new owner continues what Willum started. People who are robbed of life, dying in the outside world before they are given a chance to fully live, are plucked away from reality and tossed into this side realm. Here, their memories are swiftly erased and never talked about, as they wake knowing their name and highly basic information, and they are offered a chance to live in the safety of the mansion.
Occasionally some try to escape. Reaching the gates will only result in confusion, a ward to keep the occupants away. Opening the gates, or attempting to rather, will get a person a shock.
Each person is given a ‘job’, be it house keeping or cooking or even gardening. Males are no longer only butlers, but allowed to do the job they please.
Though it is quite large, the chefs normally take over half the kitchen for dinner, the only meal they are required to make for the mansion.
Bridgette always made sure that when she chose her time to use the kitchen to create her pastries, she did so just after the first rays of light. Dressing in apparel that were more suited to the kitchens, such as a sweeping long skirt with full apron. A light hair net caught her hair up in a petite bun, and she wore a small white hat on the top of her head, to tuck in any wisps of loose hair. Bridgette’s light footsteps often went unheard as she made her way quickly from her room on one of the upper floors, down to the kitchens. A shy girl by all accounts, she kept very much to herself. She cradled her favorite cook book in her arms tight to her bosom as she entered the kitchen; always making sure that she had beat the other chefs. As they took up so much space to cook when doing the dinner meals, Bridgette came down when people were scarce.
Placing down her treasured tome on one of the gleaming kitchen cupboards, she set about getting all the right ingredients to make some pastries and rolls for those that wished breakfast. Bridgette already knew the kitchen like the back of her hand, and soon had all her utensils, trays, mixing bowls and ingredients lined up before her.
She always made sure her hands were washed before beginning, and also setting the ovens at the right temperature.
The reason Bridgette settled so easily into this role, was it a job that she didn’t have to take orders from another, or even have to be social. Bridgette often hummed a quaint tune as she set about her work, kneading dough and then twisting up the scrolls. The kitchen would have a delicious scent, once she popped her creations into the ovens to cook. While they did cook, she cleaned away her work station, and then would read up on some other recipes that she might try over the coming days.
Her cook book was a tatty one and well loved. Signed by the original author, it had been a wonderful find in the Mansion’s library. Bridgette knew that she would eventually have to return the book, but for now she was still using it to help her create her delicious fare.
Overrated really. If not unnecessary all together.
An ever lasting night was much more desirable. But mornings. They had to be Satan spawn. The brilliant rays of light that ripped through the gorgeous scene painted by the moon and the stars, the first glimpse of sunlight desecrating the serenity that had been put together through the witching hours. The dew that caressed every blade of grass. The crisp, frosty, air. To most it was refreshing, pretty even, but to Zero it was Hell.
Perhaps it was fate that the Carpathian butler stepped into the kitchen that morning, already dressed to wander around the mansion and make sure everybody was alright, a task he disliked quite much. He wore recently pressed slacks and dress shoes, glistening from an afternoon polish just yesterday. Over the simple, gray, button up shirt was a jet black vest and his messy blue hair was untouched as the male hardly cared for attention nor asked for it.
His slender body, standing at the full height of 6’3″, paused, scanning the kitchen once before golden hues found the target. Moving around the counter, he hardly noticed the baker doing her thing, as he reached the fridge and ripped it open, tearing through the contents messily and without care, creating quite the ruckus. Finally gloved hands reached the plastic, shoved far behind the normal ingredients.
Withdrawing and turning, he held the bag of blood in his fingers and slammed the door to the fridge shut, tossing the meal into the microwave just to heat it up, as cold blood wasn’t entirely a delicacy. While he was doing this, he reached upwards, his back to the baker, and dug through cupboards, leaving items scattered around and cluttering the already hectic countertops all the more. Had he common sense he’d see that it might annoy the girl he had only seen out of the corner of his eyes, but at the given point in time, he was hardly concerned with the feelings of others.
Eventually the microwave dinged and the butler placed a wine glass on the granite and poured the steaming blood inside, tossing the empty bag quite close to where the baker was working, not noticing as the trash landed on her open cook book. He turned, placed his rump against the curved edge of the counter, his legs crossing at the ankles, and pulled the shining crystal to his lips, taking the first sip. In the same motion he was staring at the back of the maid, eyes lowered from her perfect little neck to her ass, hidden by the thick skirt, but there never the less, and capturing all his attention.
But like all good things, they often come to an abrupt end. Whilst the baker waited patiently for her buns and pastries to cook, and had her treasured cook book open on one of the work benches, a man of slender build and with gaunt features ruined what was to be a pleasant morning. With no care at all, he swanned into the kitchen and set about causing a ruckus, that was so loud that it startled the french maid. Glancing up from a recipe on how to prepare Chausson aux Pommes, the young girl stared at the back of the Carpathian butler, who was rummaging through the refrigerator, like a raccoon digging through a garbage can. When he retrieved a plastic flagon that had a familiar crimson tint, the maid realized that he must surely be one of the Vampires that she had heard all about. Amazing how the walls had ears. Thinking that he must be done, now he had his prized blood pack, she bent her head down to continue to read, only to then hear him digging about through a variety of different cupboards. Bridgette’s hair on the back of her neck practically stood on end. Did he not realize that the room amplified ever single sound that one made? Tutting under her breath and whispering a few choice words, she tried once again to go back to her recipe, only this time the butler did what could be described as not only rude, but shocking to boot.
In a half assed attempt to dispose of the blood pack, he tossed it in the direction of the baker. Whilst it did not strike Bridgette, it did land on the open pages of her treasure cook book. Her porcelain features soon turned to a striking shade of pink, as she slammed both hands down on the kitchen bench at either side of the blood splattered book. By now the Carpathian butler was facing her, and to make matters worse, he was staring at her with eyes that looked to be undressing her. Bridgette’s jaw fell open as her mind raced with all manner of obscenities that when said in french may well turn the blood sucker on.
The oven timer dinged for the pastries were ready, and the girl was so flustered that she spun on her heel and frantically tried to get the trays out of the oven without burning herself. Setting out the trays on the cooling bench, she turned off the oven and spun around to pick up her ruined book. Bridgette scowled as she shook her fist at the Butler, and slamming the book together, which only made it drip on the counter, she stormed out of the kitchen before she said something she regretted.
He turned on his heel and looked at the pastries cooling down and reached over, selecting one and sniffing it, holding the glass in his other hand, before taking a nibble, ignoring the blistering heat, and nodded to himself. Well the spitfire little lady was good at baking at least, and not bad to look at.
The Carpathian reached for a second pastry when the most immeasurable pain possible tore through his head, sparking right behind his eyes and charging backwards. The shock, the pressure, of the sudden attack cause the glass to slip from his hands, shattering as it hit the tiled floor, thick blood crawling from the remains. He let out a pain filled cry, nearly sinking to his knees from the searing fire that was currently raging through his head, though his right hand reached out and pressed into the counter, keeping him upwards. Every single nerve in his body felt as if it was being held over a flame all at once. His fingers pressed into the granite, tightening a little bit more with each passing second, eventually breaking through and ripping up a good chunk of the counter, sending him to his ass.
The attack itself lasted all of five seconds but he was left breathless and a cool sweat had taken hold over his entire body, chills rolling down his spine as his eyes pressed tightly closed. The first thing to move after silence had fallen was his right hand which toyed with a bit of rock between his two fingers.
Then he opened his eyes, and promptly let free a hiss.
What had been a world of black, white, and gray, was suddenly filled with color. He’d not seen this in a century, though he had no recollection of color since his memory had been wiped clean, and he squinted. It was painful to even look at the room he was in, let alone the light pouring in from outside.
He pushed himself to his feet as fast as he could, using the recently broken counter top to push away from, nearly slipping in the pool of thick blood, but catching himself at the last moment, stumbling like a child just learning how to walk. The Carpathian reached the window sill and his lips parted in awe.
The sky was blue.
Trees were green.
Roses were red.
But the sky…It was blue. It wasn’t just blue. It was beautiful. Clear. It was more than he could comprehend. Was the world meant to be this blindingly ravishing?
“What the Hell did she do to me?” Zero uttered under his breath wondering if this was a spell. She must be a witch. For a year and half he’d believed that the world was free of color. Was he wrong? Was this simply a hallucination?
Eyes tore away from the stunning view and towards the door that the woman had disappeared through.
“Wait!” The word came out in a deep growl as his head was now thundering from the storm that had just passed. He was running after her, using his nose to find her, and his speed to catch up with her. He’d take down the witch that caused him so much pain. Or so was the plan.
The hunt was on.
Devastation. That was how Bridgette felt. Her treasured cookery book was ruined and all because of the horrid man that had spoilt what was the only highlight of her day. Holding the blooded book tight to her bodice, the blood droplets were now staining more than just the pages of her cook book, but also her brilliant white apron. Her skirts rustled against the pile of the hall carpet, as she hurried past oil paintings of the owners of this strange house. Eyes appeared to follow her movements as she hurried for the sanctuary of her room. The very idea that she could take the library cook book back now was in ruins. What if they never let her borrow another? Bridgette muttered under her breath as she was about to take the stairs, but then one of the blooded pages tore free from the inner spine and floated to the floor – a large red blotch mark covering what was some pretty lemon tarts.
“Je n’en reviens pas.” (“I can’t believe it.”) Bridgette cried, as she came to a stop and crouched down to pick up the loose and bloody page from the cook book. It was then she heard a male voice coming from the direction of the kitchen.
“Wait!” Was it the same man that had brought her such grief this morning? Bridgette looked up and sure enough, he was racing towards her at a speed that was not human. So very fast, that she was like a startled rabbit.
“Oh là là .” (“Oh dear, oh no.”)
The look on the man’s face was one of fury. Bridgette had no understanding at all. She merely shook her fist at him, yet he was running at her like she murdered someone close. Rising to her feet quickly, she fumbled with the cook book in such a way that it fell from her hands and pages flew in all directions. The book had met it’s end.
Bridgette didn’t know what was worse; seeing the book fall apart or the man running at her as though to seize her. The baker cried out as her hands became animated at the ruined book on the floor.
“Regardez ce que vous avez fait.” (“Look what you have done.”0
The book was airborne, juggled between fumbling hands, before it fell down and the pages showered onto the mansion’s floor. It had all happened in slow motion to the Carpathian who was basking in every detail of this new and colorful world, amazed at the detail on the pages, even the little pictures.
Zero had absolutely no idea what the girl was saying, he was too busy debating on what to do. He had paused as the book had fell, standing on the opposite end of the massacre. It was clearly something she cared about and for some reason he wanted to stop her from getting any more upset. Why was he so compelled? He hadn’t the slightest. His original plan was to just grab her and demand answers, but it was no longer what he wanted to do.
“I can’t understand a word you’re saying.” He said slowly, despite living in Spain at times he had always stuck to straight English, knowing a few scattered phrases in Latin. Raising a hand, perhaps to show he wasn’t going to jump her, at least not yet, the male knelt down and collected the papers into a pile and looked down at them. Recipes stared back up at him and he sighed slowly.
“I don’t know what you did to me.” Golden hues rose and narrowed ever so slightly. “Are you a witch? Can you even understand me?” He looked back downwards and thumbed through the pages, changing a couple so that they were in numeric order. This was his fault. There had been blame in her tone. So. Yes. He was feeling guilty, a new emotion, one he hadn’t felt in a century. One he was struggling to understand.
The Carpathian cleared his throat and closed the gap between them, grabbing the baker’s hand, and putting the thick stack of papers in her grip before withdrawing and taking a single step back.
“Cold water. Cold water gets blood out.” He wasn’t even sure he was being understood. “And…If you punch holes in the pages you could make it into a binder, or keep the pages together with yarn or something. I don’t know. Look I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you…Or…Be…An asshole. I just want to know, no, I need to know, why you hurt me? Why you did this to me? Please? Is this temporary?”
Bridgette didn’t know whether to cry or shout as the hallways was now littered with the pages of the ruined cook book. She could not help but speak in her native tongue. She rarely spoke to anyone in the mansion, so this was really the first time. Bridgette knew English…barely. Enough it seemed to be able to take in what the crazy eyed man was saying, or trying to say. His whole body language changed from the rampaging Vampire, to that of a man that was clearly confused by the effect the young french maiden had on him.
“I can’t understand a word you’re saying.”
This was said slowly, as he raised a hand to demonstrate he was not about to lunge at her. Taking breathes quickly, the french maiden finally spoke English, since she could see he was not about to attack her.
“The book…a…it iz from….ze library.” She spoke in broken English, as her eyes gazed down at the many hundred of scattered pages. A book so well loved, that it finally came to rest on the hall way floor. Dead. Slowly she sank to her knees and in a vain effort tried to pick up each page, but only to hear the Vampire now say that he didn’t know what she had done to him. ~Done to him? What was he on about?~ the girl thought, every so often staring up at him as though he was mad. He then asked if she was a witch and if she could understand him.
“I amz…human…er…I am ze baker. I do…nothink…to youz.” Again with animated hands, that were clutching the odd blood splattered page. She was getting more and more confused as the Vampire rattled on. Bridgette was trying to get the pages together, but it was clearly a mammoth task. Blood stained nearly every page. This was when the Vampire took a step back and offered his advice, that cold water gets blood out.
Bridgette raised a brow. So he was saying she should wet the pages even more than they were now? That made no sense to her. She shook her head, and continued on as he spoke of perhaps punching holes into the pages, and then making the book into a binder of sorts. What part of the fact it was a library book that he didn’t understand? Bridgette let out a soft sigh as she simply let the pages slip from her hand and float back to the floor.
Again the Vampire was going on about how she had done something to him, how she had hurt him. Begging her to tell him if what ever condition he had was temporary. Bridgette slowly pushed herself to standing and then folded her arms. She was not a mind reader and she certainly had not to her knowledge harmed or hexed the man.
She took two steps towards him, over the sheets of the book and then said simply.
“Perhapz….er….ze blood…you drank…vaz….er…how you zay….tainted?” It was the only logical explanation she could come up with. The french baker shrugged, and then turned on the ball of her foot and dropped the cover of the library book on the floor. He was the butler….he could clean it all up.
The girl before him, distraught with the abrupt destruction of the cook book, said she was human, she even offered up that he drank tainted blood, which hadn’t really dawned on the man at all as a viable option until just now. How could this human girl know more about that than he?
Either way it had gone right over his head and he watched her turning around and dropping the cover of the library book on the floor, this gathering a quick twitch of his eye as he glared at the back of her and felt the most familiar emotion of them all bubbling up inside of him, rage.
Before he could stop himself a balled fist jolted upwards and slammed into the wall of the hallway, crushing the wood like paper, the spark of energy that was exerted branched outwards and the window to the right of the crater cracked, the spiderweb like pattern branching out without hesitation, though it did not fall from the frame.
At the same time a deep, feral, growl birthed in his chest and rolled up into his throat, escaping in two words that passed through a tightly locked jaw.
It had been practically shouted. He wasn’t even sure if he was right but for fucks sakes he just wanted a straight answer. Not a guess. Not an assumption. She’d done something. Dark magic perhaps?
“Be gone she wench! And know that your magics will only hold me for so long and there are only so many places to hide in this mansion!” Hm. Unbeknownst to him, he sounded like a rambling fool, his rant even gathering a shooing motion with his hand as he beckoned for her to be on her merry little way.
If she had left, or stormed, he’d be left in the hallway with an overbearing pressure. An emotion called regret. The butler would sigh and begin to pick up the pages of the book carefully and put them in order, with some ease, and tucked them under his arm after he gave up halfway through. After he watched the crater in the wall pop back outwards and the window sealing itself again, he’d mumble under his breath about this whole place being nothing but a trap, and then walk away to his quarters.
If she chose to stay a little while longer, and perhaps exchange some nicely placed words, he’d not plan on backing down any time soon.
Making his way through a different door, the vampire smoothly took a couple steps inside with one empty tray in his hand. He had been whistling some sort of melody, however the soft tunes soon came to a stop the second he entered the one room he loved the very most in this mansion. It was a mess. Also…A smell of blood was in the air. A frown went across his pale, pale, face. In a calm couple of strides, the male made his way to the nearest counter- where he placed the silver tray down whilst inhaling through his nose the scent of blood again. For the ones who knew Nathaniel, it was when he was quiet and perfectly emotionally still, was when he was angry, or rather annoyed. His eyes glowed a cold icy blue aswell as he turned to face the kitchen again. What type of childish moron could have done such harm to his precious workplace? Nathaniel exhaled, emptying his lungs. He began to fold up the sleeves on his white shirt, all the way to his elbows before he grabbed his tie aswell and angrily tugged it off around his neck so it wouldn’t get in the way. He left his black vest on, and began to work after that. Firstly he handled the blood. Ugh, he thought, sneering at the sight. What a terrible waste..
Being an undead creature that can’t feed on anything but blood, seeing something like this was sure to upset him. It reminded him to ask for more blood however from the caretaker, he himself had not fed in a few days and this one seemed to be the very last they had. Cursing faintly, he soon finished washing the floors and dumped the wet cloth into a bucket filled with what used to be clear water, but was now tinted in shades of red. With his keen sense of smell he could still catch the hint of blood in the air though, not quite concealed by the soap he used. However at this point he detected another scent, a sweeter one. Freshly baked goods, perhaps? Oh, he wasn’t wrong. That curious little French lady had been doing her little artworks again. It cheered him up as he saw them, French sweets were surely his favourite. They had charm. He do wish she would talk more, but she was so awfully shy. With a light chuckle, he gently gathered them up and placed them somewhere they wouldn’t get in the way of his cleaning, before he continued his work. However when reaching the cupboards to organize the different items, he seemed to slow down. His face had a mix of intense focus and slight irritation as he got stuck trying to perfectly place everything. He hesitatingly lifted his hand, but eventually slid the final cup into place after a while of puzzling about. The colors, shapes, sizes, everything had to be perfectly placed together or else he’d go crazy thinking about it. Deeply sighing, he shut the cabinet doors at last. The kitchen looked somewhat alright again, but it wasn’t finished just yet, it needed to look…Well, to his standards, which were rather high especially when it came to the god damn kitchen.
The young french maiden had more or less kept to herself since she arrived at the Mansion with no clue to as to how she came to be there, or even why. Her previous life was nothing but a mystery, but she knew her name and the fact that she was just an ordinary french girl caught up in a house with some of the strangest and most peculiar people you could ever imagine. It was for this reason that she had kept to herself. Fear. She was nothing special, in her mind. A human with no talents save the ability to bake. Perhaps that was what she did in her past life. She simply didn’t know, but it came perfectly natural to her. It was a day when she found the library that she happened upon the cook book. It was as though the fancy french swirling lettering and the delightful cover beckoned her to read it. From that moment on, she treasured the cook book, because it was the only thing in the entire house that made her feel…something. It helped give her a chance to carry out a duty within the house, and to do it when most others were either asleep or haunting the grounds.
Now the book was in ruins, and to make matters worse that man that had caused this was going off his brain in a rant that had her stop dead in her tracks. Screaming that she lied. She lied about who she was. If she were a witch, like he claimed, oh…she WOULD put a hex on him for his ill manner and maybe even whip up a spell to seal his lips shut. But Bridgette could do nothing like that.
As she turned back to meet his gaze, he had changed his tune, and was waving her away. Shooing her as he wanted nothing to do with her now. Like dirt that you would find caked to your shoe. An annoyance. He had even punched the wall and sent a virtual shock wave through the wall, creating a large series of cracks in the windows.
From that moment, she truly believed he was dangerous. Dangerous to her, and to anyone he came into contact with. His rage was almost like he was blinded to the very truth of the situation. He said there was nowhere to hide in the mansion, and he had a point about that. Bridgette was ready to turn tail and run. Her heart pounding for all it was worth. How dare he threaten her? How dare he call her a liar. Both hands of the young maiden curled into fists, and this was when the shy french baker suddenly saw red. HOW DARE HE?
She marched right up to him as he held but the cover of the book and a few token pages. With a furious look, she was no longer going to be some little door mouse for others to disrespect. And with that, she twisted her waist ever slightly, and went to slap him across the face with her right hand, the intended strike to hit his left cheek.
However, her dainty hand rocketed towards his cheek left. There were many options for him, but he decided not to move as her hand connected with his face, causing the man’s head to shift ever so slightly to the side. The sting from the hit was not physical. No. It was mental. He’d pushed a woman to raising her hand against him. Perhaps he was going about this whole thing wrong. While the darkness in him wanted nothing more than to drag her off, there was a little voice, an angel perched on his shoulder, preaching about being kind and not hitting her back. Equality was a bitch, said the devil on his other shoulder.
The cover in his hands creaked in the seconds that followed, as his grip tightened and broke through the material. Then, only after the book’s cover was discarded to the mess on the floor, did he move.
Assuming she didn’t move, or didn’t have some crazy dangerous weapon hidden away to use against him, the man’s heightened speed would snap into effect as he went to grab her hand, that had just passed by his face, and wrapped his fingers around her entire palm, side tracked by how small her hand was. But that only made him more annoyed. SHE was the dangerous one here. SHE had cursed him. SHE made him feel off and not his usual darker self. The way he liked it.
The Carpathian would rip the woman towards him forcefully. All his might. Closer. Closer. In the end her hand would be held above their heads, slightly over his own shoulder to get the angle correct and he’d touch his cheek with his free hand. He didn’t expect her to go down without a fight or some well placed hits, but it’d not bother him as he lowered his head and leveled his eyes with her’s. Honey colored hues glistened with power, glowing gently, almost pulsing with life, as he thought of what to say, his ironclad grip unwavering.
“That wasn’t very smart.” He whispered through a clenched jaw. Yes Zero. The way to a woman’s heart was definitely to question her intelligence. “And here I was going to let you get a head start…A couple days.” A chuckle as his thoughts wandered. “Are you always this temperamental or am I just a special case?”
He’d take his time.
He’d enjoy every squirm. Every flare of anger. Every hit she tried to dish. But he’d not be letting her go. Not any time soon.
Caught in the vice like grip of Zero’s hand, Bridgette was like a fish on a hook – twisting and pulling; trying to free herself from his hold. Was she crazy to even think to slap his face? He had insulted her and for that it was a crime that deserved punishment. A lady had the right to hold her ground, even in the face of being attacked further. Gritting her teeth with her lips practically a thin line, Bridgette made a terrible growling sound. Zero was hurting her now with his increasing pressure on her skin. Held aloft like some prize and now made to suffer further indignity.
Bridgette watched as he caressed the mark where her hand made contact on his skin. She got her point across, that was for sure. But was he about to release her?
“That wasn’t very smart.”
No, it wasn’t but Bridgette was not about to let him see that she knew it. Defiance shone in her eyes. He teased her without mercy, that he was going to give her a head start, a chance to hide. This was a game to him, obviously. Nothing more.
“Are you always this temperamental or am I just a special case?”
Now he was questioning her sanity? Oh, that was the last straw. She couldn’t run…she couldn’t fight against his strength. The only thing she could do….was use what God had given her.
“Doez….your breathez…always zmellz….like de….’orsesz…azz?” She gave back with her broken English. Cruel taunts were all she could think of.