Jump to content

[IC] A Housekeeper For This Solitary Gentleman

Recommended Posts

The Steele Mansion was an imposing sight. It was protected by an iron fence, rust creeping up the bars. Gnarled, mossy trees hung low to the ground outside the estate. The dense forest and the thick, gloomy fog kept visibility low, making the building difficult to find and even more imposing when it was ever discovered. The house itself was white, but no one would ever know. Moss and ivy had crept up the sides, and the wood looked old, giving the house a ghostly grey coloration. The front doors were large, decorated with ornate designs and a looming archway. The home looked abandoned, as if no one had lived there in years, as if anything could be behind those doors. Locals who happened across it came back with stories of being chased away by vampires, of being to afraid to approach, of a single slat in the blinds lowering; they felt watched. No one came in. No one came out.

But that didn't mean the home was uninhabited.

A single horse and two riders were on the path to the house, a near-invisible dirt road only kept usable due to the occasional daring passerby looking for adventure. One rider, named Balok, was tall, with dark skin, wearing thick leather armor and his jaw clenched. His partner was smaller, and had not said anything for most of the duration of the trip, other than the fact that her name was Graysen and that she was the girl who was to serve the Steele Estate. 

"Miss Graysen," Balok began, his voice rumbling and low. The thick fog, which stifled the usual white noise of any forest, caused even this man's quiet voice to almost boom in the silence. "We have arrived. I have been instructed not to go any further." Balok dismounted, helping Graysen after he had done so. He gestured to a tall iron gate, the surname of the estate hanging above it:


The escort reached into his pockets, quickly pulling out a large set of keys which clanged noisily in the smothering quiet. He unlocked the gate, pushing it open, gesturing for Miss Graysen to enter. "Be careful. The front steps are not far, but you need to be aware of what is around you." Balok's face becomes grave, looking into the prospective maid's eyes, his voice serious as he spoke. "I have not seen my master in more than a year. Keep your head about you when speaking with Mister Steele. He may not be right in the head anymore. No one knows. Now go!"

If Ari Graysen was paying attention to the mansion's windows, she might have seen a slat in the blinds spring back into place.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

hog82DU.pngShe would have been caught off guard by the unsightly and offensive looking Mansion, if she had not been acclimated to such things from the past. It certainly made her much  more aware that she has a whole lot of work to do, and that's just speaking of the outside, she can only imagine what the inside looks like. 

She heard Balok and measured his words, wondering if she's found herself in the hands of the same man she just left most recently. Is there something about her person that draws her to subtle dangers or is she willingly placing herself in such matters? When he spoke about the mind of his master (now her master as well), Ari gave him a sharp look that begged for him to further explain. 

There was no time for any of that. 

He opened the gate and pressured her to move, and move she did. The small woman gave Balok one final wave of her hand before stepping through the gates, now fixed on the future rising ahead of her. She'd be a liar she said she wasn't the tiniest bit afraid about this change of pace. Her life had been so predictable and fairly easy, to say the least, up until things were not so easy and not so predictable. No matter what, she stands by what she believes and she believes is the right choice.

'I can do this.'

Ari looked at her surroundings critically, recalling what Balok said to her before parting ways. 

'You've seen - been through - worse.'

The mantra was spoken whenever she saw something move or may have moved, or when she felt the air get heavier the closer she got to the steps. By the time she reached the door she was almost out of breath and little more sure of herself, something that's surprised her. Taking the steps in stride she raised a hand and knocked on the door, but afterwards she felt like she had made a mistake. Maybe she should have entered on her own?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

There was silence for a few moments before any move to open the door was seen. Only the heaviness of the fog was there for comfort, and even that was dispelled by the imagination. Tales told by locals were very effective at instilling anxiety. Could the incoherent wailing of a savage vampire be heard? Or was it just all in the head? Those thoughts were common when left alone in the fog.

The sound of bolts and locks being undone broke the silence, and then the door was slowly opened, the rusted hinges shrieking in agony under the weight of the heavy wood, deafening after the nothingness of before. "Come in. Now," said a low, hushed voice, ordering Ari to enter.

After ushering her in, and after a possibly paranoid look out the door, Aaron Steele turned around, closing the door, revealing himself to his new housekeeper.

He was tall, maybe a touch taller than six feet, with a broad, fit frame. His black shoes were polished, and the dark laces looked as if they had been tied with hands used to meticulous work, a perfect knot for each foot. His dark, pleated pants were pressed, wrinkle-free. They looked like if touched, they might still be warm from the iron. His hands were concealed under white gloves, wrapped around the end of a straight black cane. His suit jacket was fitted perfectly, fastened by two buttons near the bottom half. Underneath was a white dress shirt, decorated at the collar by frills and a black bow tie. His head was not adorned with a hat, but rather by his chocolate black hair, which was cut neat, standing up of it's own thickness. His face was clean-shaven and strong, and his skin was fairer than any of his portraits that were shown. Not unhealthily pale, but fair enough to know he had not seen the sun for some time. His nose looked as if it had been broken long ago, but other than a small knot on the bridge, it was straight. His eyes were piercing and intelligent, but the color could not be determined. They seemed to shift between brown and green with the light. Possibly even some blue. He opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out on his first attempt. This was a man long-deprived of human company, and it showed. He cleared his throat, and began again.

"Thank you for accepting my invitation," he said graciously, his voice gaining its usual confidence as time went on. "Would you like anything to drink before discussing what you'll be doing? And pardon, me, what is your name, dear?"

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

hog82DU.pngAnd now she did. Ari worked up the nerve to step forward with easy, but hurried steps; taking measure that she doesn't appear too hurried, yet hurried enough, if that makes any sense whatsoever. 

Once inside and the door closed behind her, she took a glance around before resting her sight on her new employer. Openly, she looked him over with wide eyes that withheld absolutely nothing. Ari had never been the sort to keep secrets or hide her mannerisms for the pure pleasure of being coy and mysterious. Such readiness often got her in trouble, placing her vulnerable in the eyes of hungry wolves.

Sincerely speaking, she liked the way he looked, and she relaxed knowing that at least he didn't appear like the house she's to take care of. Something about broody men makes her feel uncomfortable, be it because they're difficult or because such emotions hit a little too close to the familiar. Either way, she let out a small sigh of relief. Maybe she can genuinely find herself in a place that's safe, or at least consistent and not so life twisting difficult. Now is the time to keep her feet on the ground and she's actually looking forward to it.

The young lady opened her mouth to speak, but then she remembered that she's not a familiar to him. Quickly, she points to her head and then to his own (that's way up above her's; like a ant talking to a growing oak), gesturing to prepare him for something not so unusual.

'Ari Graysen, sir. I don't mean to be intrusive, but this is the easiest form of communication.'

Now, she can speak, but it's hard to understand. She can use her hands, even small whistles that mean something different, to communicate, but for now this is the clearest route to take until they get comfortable with one another. He'd hear her voice dance along his mind; a gentle tune that's played very little.

'Water would be great, actually.'

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.