Secret Lives (Taken)

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  1. The city of Gratinis stood out among the countryside. A sprawling city of especially fine food, wine, ale, cheese, and good times. It was nestled into a small valley where it was not too warm in the summer and not overly cold for very long in the winter. The weather was changing into that cold time, the snowy season. And yet the town itself was like the warm beacon of firelight coming from the hearth of home. The nightlife was out and about, music played softly in the streets while couples danced about. Inns, taverns, and pubs were alight with activity and kept their doors open to all who needed a good drink and good company.

    A young man, about twenty-five years of age entered one of the town squares the music and warm light drawing him like a fly to a lamp. He smiled as he adjusted his black suit, his coat was buttoned and a pristine white shirt peaked out from underneath. A blue tie puckered out a little from the matching black vest and the click of a hard cane could be heard as he approached. He was far too young to need a cane of course and it was much more then a simple statement of his influence or wealth. There was a sword hidden inside he kept the cane with him as self defense. This young man knew the value of money and understood the all too real possibility that someone might try to take it from him.

    Greenish blue eyes turned to look at a young woman selling a fine cheese with a loaf of freshly baked bread. Smiling he took a few coins from his purse and paid for the meager meal. They were the most striking feature about him, these almost warm greenish blue eyes which he'd been told invited people in. They'd certainly caught the gaze of a particularly beautiful woman. A beautifully sexy dress covered her from head to toe but left little to the imagination. She approached him, sauntering slowly as she reached out to touch his shoulder and get close.

    Brandon had seen such women before, they always seemed to appear whenever he pulled his money out. He'd stopped wondering why a very long time ago and now he just didn't bother. Turning to meet her he grasped her hand with his own just as it was about to touch his shoulder. Stepping back he brought the back of her hand to his lips. "Madam," with that one action he'd put some distance between them and then let go of her hand. "If you'll excuse me." He took his bread and cheese and then left her with a pouting look on her face before she found herself a new target.

    Walking away from the party he sighed, taking a bite of the warm bread and cheese. They were both delicious but the encounter with the woman seemed to spoil things for him. "Why is it, the only girls I can find are the ones that come when my coin purse is out?" His gaze was now upon the moon as he spoke as if it could some how understand him. "If it's not too much trouble, I'd like someone a little more genuine, if you don't mind." Smiling at the foolishness of asking the moon for a wish.
  2. Aeroa had just been milling around the square, there wasn't much for her to do here, but she enjoyed it anyways. The lights, the aromas, the sensations it all bought a simple delight to her. She wasn't much for conversation but she did love looking around at the people, and enjoying the world around her. The temperature was perfect, just cool enough, just delightful enough for her. She passed by many open doors, each one seemingly inviting her in, each one with it's own story that could entertain her, though she much preferred her own company. Her simple loose blouse and pants tugged her forward with a small breeze that carried them. It was night time, but with all the lights there was no problem seeing everything. She simply watched the people flocking around, some dancing with each other, others talking, some milling around as Aeroa was.

    It hadn't quite crossed Aeroa's mind that she may want to be cautious, there were many people around and it wasn't quite likely there'd be any problems. The air smelled of baked goods, the night echoed with laughter from afar. Aeroa just walked through the square with no real direction in mind, she simply enjoyed the walk, and everything around her. A few men bowed to her, and introduced themselves, but Aeroa said nothing to them, just smiled politely and kept on her path. Aeroa's eyes drifted down to the floor, she watched each foot taking a step. She did so until she ran into someone.

    "Oh!" She exclaimed as she bumped into the person.​
    "I'm sorry." She quietly said as she lifted her eyes to see the victim of her inattention. ​

    It was a man, he was tall in stature, and seemed fairly large. There was another person beside him of similar build but a tad shorter, neither of them looked very amused, or polite. The one she had walked into grinned a toothy grin as he spoke.

    "You really should pay attention to where you are walking little missy. Though, we've been looking all over for you."​

    Aeroa had recognized the face, and the voice, they were the men from her past. She gasped, but before she could scream the taller of the two grabbed her up and wrapped his hands around her mouth. This sent a quick panic through Aeroa, she wasn't exactly ready to fight, nor did she expect to be able to take on two men by herself, but instinct kicked in. She pulled her arm up, and attempted to hit the man that had grabbed her in the face, apparently she had accomplished such a feat because he let out a groan of pain and loosened his grip on her. Just enough for her to slip free. She let out a slight yell, and tried to run off. She didn't make it very far before the second man had caught up to her and grabbed her up. He learned from his friends mistake and bound her arms as well as her mouth. His friend had recovered and came over to look at his victim.

    "I never liked the tough kind. It will cost you." He said as he rubbed his face where he had been hit. ​
    "You just can't behave can you?" ​

    Aeroa tried to break free as much as she could but it all seemed so useless, even if she could get away from one, there was no way she would be able to take them both on. Her struggles only made her restrainer hold her tighter, practically keeping the air from entering into her. The main of the two men back handed her, a simple revenge for her hit, and she was quite convinced it was only the beginning, she did not allow herself to tear up despite the stinging pain that bothered her face.
  3. After a few moments the bread and cheese was consumed surprising Brandon with just how hungry he'd been. Still laughing lightly from talking with the moon he smiled. That was when he heard a sound, which stopped him from laughing, it had sounded like a hit of some kind. It was echoing down one of the alleyways nearby. There were voices too and they didn't sound like whoever was talking was on the best of terms. Most men in the city would leave well enough alone just continue on their way but curiosity won Brandon over and he began to move towards the sound. Grasping his cane and keeping it off the ground he stepped lightly and slowly made his way down the cold alleyway. There was another sound which sounded like a hit and the voices got louder, more angry, which only seemed to quicken Brandon's pace as he rounded the corner.

    The scene which was before his eyes seemed to slow down, two men surrounding a woman, keeping her completely restrained and a redness around her cheek seemed to suggest that she was the one being hit. The two men were about Brandon's height maybe taller and they both looked like they could hold their own in a fight. The woman was beautiful if a bit strange, her hair was almost white or silver he couldn't tell at this distance, and her eyes the brightest blue. They were so sharp that he wondered if she could see him from his hiding spot. Whoever she was she seemed to be fading quickly as the men continued to hold her tighter.

    It didn't take long for Brandon to figure out that if he left this woman that these two men would likely have their way with her. That was something that Brandon could never live with. He'd seen the effects of such an action and in his opinion it was an unforgivable act. Gripping his cane he pulled the sword from it's scabbard. It was a basic straight sword, duel edged, with a razor sharp point. Brandon was no expert but he could hold his own in a fight and it seemed that he would need all of his training for what he was about to do.

    Taking off at a run he closed the distance just as the man raised his hand to strike the girl one more time, Brandon arched his blade forward and caught the man on the back of his thigh. He let out a scream of pain before falling over and gripping the back of his leg. Brandon reacted quickly and decided to try and handicap the man further by kicking him in the side. It was a swift blow and sent him rolling away. Before the one holding the girl could react Brandon had taken the hilt of his sword and slammed it into his forehead. The force of the blow shocked him into releasing the girl and by then Brandon was already on top of him. The blade once more made an arch and caught him on the abdomen. It split his shirt open and the area soon began to wet with the crimson of his own blood. Fear suddenly crossed his face and he took off at a dead run. His partner watched him flee for a moment before turning to look at Brandon and scrambling to his feet after his friend.

    Taking out a rag from his pocket Brandon wiped his blade clean of their blood before sheathing it into the cane once more. Turning to the girl, "Hey, are you alright?"
  4. Aeroa had just saw the shadows out of the corner of her eye flicker, as though there were movements, but who would be around here? She questioned it and tried not to focus on the pain. She knew things weren't going to go well for her. She was certain after the beating her life would be hell, there'd be no one to keep her from becoming these men's toy. She shook her head, trying not to pay attention to their taunting, trying not to pay attention to the pain.

    Aeroa again noticed the darkness seem to move, but this time a figure came out of his, at quite a speed. He ran towards the man that was hitting her and pulled out a sword, it was a sight to see. A man, coming to the rescue of the damsel in distress. He was far more cool about it than Aeroa had expected, and he handled himself far better than she would have guessed. From what she could see the man wore a black suit, and had golden hair. Someone of such status, she thought, should not be meddling around in the business of attackers.. It was far unusual. Men of his status usually sat around giving orders, making people do their bidding for them. It was an unusual sight.

    Aeroa flinched and closed her eyes when the man hit her restrainer. She was scared he was going to hit her, she wasn't sure why, it was probably just a reaction from already being hit by the other guy. When he let her go she threw herself away from him. She slunk to the ground against the wall of the alleyway. She watched as the men who were just making a meal of her fled. She smiled to herself, but she knew they would return eventually, for now things were okay. She looked up as the sophisticated man of sure status cleaned off his sword. He was handsome in his features and Aeroa did not forget to feel grateful. Her eyes found the ground once again as she lifted herself up from the wall. She heard his words being spoken to her, and did not look up to see if he was looking at her. She put her hand to her cheek, surely it was swollen, it felt that way, and she hoped did not look too bad. Her fair fell in front of her face.

    The words she heard were asking her if she was alright. She wanted to speak, but she still needed words, so she hesitated.

    "Yeah... I'm.. okay. Thank, you." The words were soft, but she tried to speak loud enough to be heard. ​

    Aeroa had felt the urge to walk away, she had said thank you. What more was there to do? But she couldn't, she felt that it would not be befitting of her. He had just saved her life.

    "How may I repay the favor?" She asked, slightly louder than last time, "You saved me."​

    Her gaze never left the ground, but for the last moment she looked up, keeping the tears from her eyes as the pain continued to set in.
  5. Her voice was soft, almost melodic in tone and volume it took Brandon a moment to hear her but she seemed to be genuinely grateful for what he'd done. Turning to face her he nearly fell back over, she was absolutely stunning at this distance. Her eyes were still so blue and her hair was amazingly silver. He'd never seen anything like it before and it shocked him a little bit. The only thing that seemed to detract from her beauty was the red and now swollen cheek she had from where the man had struck her. She seemed to be in a bit of shock at the turn of events which had transpired. Her next few words were ones asking what she might be able to do for him... her eyes finally lifted from the ground and he found himself staring for just a moment. There were tears there, he assumed it was from the pain.

    Breaking his gaze so that Brandon did not seem odd he spoke quietly to her, "I couldn't let men like that take advantage of you, believe me it was my pleasure. They had it coming to them." He gave her a smile and then stepped forward reaching out he touched her hair brushing it aside and taking a good look at the swollen red cheek she was now sporting. "Please, come with me... my house is not far and I have some herbs which will help to reduce the swelling and numb the pain." Not waiting for an answer he simply turned and made his way down the alley stopping only a moment to make sure the strange and beautiful girl was following him.

    They arrived at his manor just outside of the town, it was barely a ten minute walk from where they'd been. The manor sat on a large stretch of land, a small orchard and garden were nestled onto the side along with a small pool of water where the birds could bath. It was a two story home in a Victorian style with a balcony off the master bedroom and several of the guest bedrooms on the second floor. The front door was a huge set of double doors, made of sturdy oak wood. The front room spilled off into a study with it's walls lined heavily with books. A sitting area where guests could congregate. There was also a few doors leading to the kitchen and dining room. It was luxuriously furnished however the most prominent feature was the large staircase leading to the upper rooms. "Welcome to my home..." he said with a smile.

    It was more out of habit than anything else, when any woman came over he was on his best behavior. Walking over into the kitchen he soon came back with some green herbs, a mortar and pestle, as well as a bit of water. He went about grinding the herbs with a little water making a thick paste with the mortar and pestle. Taking some of it out he formed it into a small ball with his fingers and reached out to hand it to her. "It's a little trick I learned on the roads from some experienced hunter. Put this in your mouth between your teeth and your cheek. I promise it doesn't taste very good but it'll help."

    Then after a few moments he thought about something, perhaps it was selfish of him but... she was beautiful, and what if she did not have a place to stay or those men returned. "I do not wish to receive payment for what I did today, but if you need a place to stay I have need of a servant around the home. It's rather large for one person and I could use the company." After the words came out he realized how they might be interpreted and quickly tried to recover. "What I meant to say was it would be nice for the house to not be so empty."
  6. Aeroa was very much surprised at the eyes of the man that had saved her. They were quite stunning, attractive, and they seemed to speak more than his words did, maybe it was true that eyes were the window into one's soul. It sure did seem like it. She could tell there were secrets to this man, his deep eyes alone portrayed that, but the color, suggested a kind and compassionate nature; one that was rare. Of course, Aeroa could be wrong, eyes she could could be deceiving. She only hoped that she was correct. She sighed a small sigh, he couldn't let men like that take advantage of her? The thought of the scene that had just played out put a burden on her heart, it became hard to swallow. She gave a small nervous smile.

    When the man reached to touch her hair she was a little nervous, but he brushed it aside, surely to look at the damage the men had done. Had he just asked her to go to his home? Far unusual, far too kind.. How could she possibly go there? He seemed nice and all but many men were far too happy to take advantage of women. She hesitated as she saw him begin to step away, but the night was getting quite chilly and looking out over her shoulder in opposite direction of the man, she realized she would just spend the night wandering around. She figured even a small little shack would be far better than the possibility of meeting those men again; surely they would be looking for her.

    He had only taken a few steps before Aeroa convinced herself that it would be okay and to follow him. She stayed a few steps behind, and mostly watched the ground, but this time she made sure not to run into anyone. It didn't take very long to get to his house. It was quite large. There were gardens, and everything you'd expect to see from someone of such status. It made her feel small, poor. The man was quite wealthy. Aeroa got distracted in the beauty of it all, but a slight sound in the distance made her look over her shoulder. 'They left... they haven't followed me here. Besides why would they? He almost killed them.. They'd be foolish to try again, in his own home.' Aeroa gave a small smile as she watched a squirrel scamper by, of course that was the source of sound of the intruder. A simple squirrel. She shook her head as if to rid the thought of it being anything else and followed him inside.

    He disappeared for a moment and returned, he was holding something which Aeroa didn't exactly recognize. But he said it was a herb, and that it would make the pain go again, it wasn't much, getting hit. She felt like it was a minuscule detail, something that didn't matter. The swelling would go away on it's own, and it only hurt if she thought about it.. sort of. But she quietly obliged, if he had wanted to hurt her, wouldn't he have done so already? She placed the ball into her mouth, between her teeth and her cheek, but he was right it did not taste good, if anything it was bitter and very unpleasant. After a little bit the taste was less intense and the pain slowly seemed to fade, it was much better than before.. which kind of surprised her.

    Aerora looked at the man that had just invited her into his home, it was a very sweet gesture; far more nice than many other people she had encountered..but not only did he offer her a place to stay, she could work for him. Though Aeroa couldn't help but to give a small laugh, apparently he had felt the need to correct himself, which for the first time, made him seem more normal, and far less surreal. But that was a good thing. He insisted it wasn't payment, but she felt that if anything she would be able to repay the favor. At the least, with her company, and hopefully she would do a good job. She wasn't exactly sure what servants did in houses such as these, but she was sure she could ask.

    "Well, thank you. I'm sure this place will be much better than.... than mine."

    She graciously accepted the request, there was slight hesitation though. She was careful to cover her mouth, but felt silly for not knowing what to do with the herbs. It wasn't a giant bulge in her cheek, but it was enough to throw her words off slightly. She put her hand up to cover her mouth as she spoke, because she hoped she wasn't making too much of a fool of herself.. Her eyes fell to the floor for a second and then looked up at him. He just seemed so gentle and kind. Maybe his soul wasn't as black as the others..... Besides this place was sure going to be much better than anything that would happen out there... she just wasn't sure she should bring her troubles to this man.... maybe for just a few days. She'd be safe, and hopefully she wouldn't endanger him as well..

    "I'm sorry, I'm trying not to be too quiet. But it's my nature..may I ask? What would a servant do.?" She felt foolish, but if she had just accepted such a request, she wanted to know what she would be doing, she secretly hoped she hadn't just signed her soul away. It wouldn't be the first time someone tried to take claim to it though.
  7. The look on her face was priceless, he was sure that the bitter and unpleasant taste was almost too much. Brandon had likely made a similar face the first time the hunter had given it to him. She continued to talk, dutifully keeping the herbs in her mouth. Inwardly Brandon was laughing but showed no change on the outside other than to smile. Just a little longer though and she could take it out.

    While she was keeping the herbs in place she accepted his offer, a wave of happiness seemed to wash over Brandon as he looked at her. It was far too much happiness at the simple idea of her accepting the offer. They had just met and yet, there was something about this girl. Thinking back on how the night had gone he remembered what he'd wished for at the moon. Was this some sort of answer? He laughed a little bit at the idea his wish had been answered by the moon. And yet, was it so far fetched? She was beautiful, and for once a woman that seemed genuine in her appreciation. Also there was something in the way she'd looked at him back in the alleyway. As if she was trying to find out who he really was...

    Reaching out with a small cloth he smiled, "You can spit it out now, it should be done. It will be a little sore but give it an hour or so and you won't even know you'd had it." Once he had the herbs in the cloth he wrapped it up and placed it in the mortar and pestle. Reaching out he placed it on the coffee table so that it was out of the way. "Well as a servant it will be your job to keep this place tidy, the grounds well pruned and taken care of, and a hot meal every night." He looked straight at her with a serious look on his face watching her reaction to the large task she'd signed herself up for. He began to laugh lightly once more and smiled before shaking his head. "I won't expect all of that, nor will I expect a house that is devoid of dust. But just keep things as clean as you can. I can help once I get home from working. Also I don't expect a hot meal, but I do love food and would love to try anything you'd like to make." He told her with a smile. Taking the cup of water in his hand he held it out to her to wash the taste from her mouth. "Believe me, I'm more than grateful just for the company."

    A thought crossed his mind which caused him to laugh once more before standing up, looking down at her. "Here we are discussing work and living and we don't even know each other's names." Bringing his hand across his chest, an open palm resting above his heart he bowed to her. "My name is Brandon Penn."
  8. Aeroa happily spit out the herb. It was disgusting and though the taste faded it still remained. It wasn't as intense but still as unpleasant. She was relieved to have it out of her mouth though, it was quite uncomfortable, and didn't exactly seem befitting. Aeroa listened to the list that he rang off, it was a tad surprising at first, the thought of cooking a meal. Well, it wasn't completely foreign but it wasn't the easiest task either. Though, she knew she could clean and tend ot the garden. She almost felt that she had agreed to too much, but the laugh he let off surprised her. She wasn't expecting it, and it confused her at first. Until he explained that he wasn't really looking for such a array of tasks to be completed. She gave a small smile, his laugh seemed to ring throughout the house though it was light. It was refreshing.

    The thought of doing duties and tasks around his house reminded her how odd she was. She rarely settled in one place, she was much more used to roaming. It seemed to be a great way to explore, and see all the wonderful sights in the world. Even the simplest of things. It sort of made her feel like an outcast, because she was so different in her living style, but she figured it was something she should overcome anyways.. Besides he said he would help her. It being her job and all she told herself she would only accept help to being with.

    When she was offered the water to wash the taste from her mouth, she happily took it, but she sipped it and then drank it. She hadn't exactly had much in the way of food or drink for a bit, and the whole scene with the men had thrown her way off track. She hadn't realized how shaken up it made her, and the sight of water seemed to bring everything back into perspective. She shook a little, from remembering. It seemed like even though it had just recently happened, it was going to be difficult to get passed. It wasn't a traumatic event in the greatest of magnitude but it reminded her that men were looking for her, and they hadn't stopped. Water seemed to bring it all back to her. It was an odd comfort though, drinking the water helped with the thirst that she had apparently ignored, which was easy after having to keep that bitter herb in her mouth.

    Aeroa smiled, with a small sense that she may be far too odd to blend in correctly, but her differences wouldn't make such a huge gap she believed. She was caught by his laughter that seemed to magically appear again, but he was right, it was quite peculiar to be discussing living and work without so much as knowing each other's names. So, he was Brandon, Brandon Penn. Aeroa remained sitting but looked up at him, she gave him a polite smile.

    "It is a pleasure to meet you. I am Aeroa, Aeroa Linksi."

    Oddly, she felt like she should stand as well, but because she didn't know what to do once standing, she let herself sit there. This was going to be a learning experience.
  9. Watching her it seemed a little odd that he'd stood and offered a bow when she gave none in return, perhaps she didn't know how to curtsy or something... where was this girl from that she didn't know what a servant was or how to curtsy? Perhaps that why she seemed so out of place in this town. Looking her over once again he realized that there was very little about this girl that was typical. Her shimmering silver hair and the bright blue eyes, she couldn't have come from the town of Gratanis...

    Looking down at her cup it was drained completely, she'd finished it quite quickly. It was just an assumption but he figured that she had not had much to eat in awhile. "Would you like something to eat? I don't have much in my kitchen, I usually eat what I can fresh from the vendors. But I think I have some fruit left over from the harvest." Walking across the room he came to the door which he'd brought the herbs from. Opening the door the large kitchen spread out before them. There was a long counter in the center made from beautifully stained hard wood. A butcher block lay on one of the ends, it's surface scarred by the many knife slices which had been accomplished on it's face. There was a counter running the length of the wall as well as a large cooking fireplace in the center. Baskets of various fruits such as grapes, apples, raspberries, and strawberries lined the counter. There were also a few baskets overflowing with various nuts like pecans and walnuts. "Please help yourself."

    He made his way over to the basket of apples and selected a ripe red one from the pile, biting into it he heard the satisfying crunch and the sweet juice filed his mouth, satiating his thirst almost instantly. He wondered for a moment the last time he'd had someone in his home, it had been at least a year since a woman had come here with him. She'd entered the kitchen explaining how large everything was, how spacious, and inviting. "Aeroa, that is a beautiful name," he told her truthfully. He'd never heard anything like it and the last name of Linksi didn't ring any bells of a family in town. But there must have been thousands of people that he didn't know in town.

    Taking another large bite of his apple he leaned back against the counter closing his eyes for a moment to enjoy the fruit, "So where are you from Aeroa, your name doesn't seem like one from the city so have you been here long?" Now seemed like a good a time as any to get to know her a little bit, however she might also be a little tired. "If you're tired I can take you to a room where you can get some rest, we can continue this conversation tomorrow."
  10. Looking up at him, he seemed to be thrown off by something, was it that she hadn't stood?

    "Sorry, was I supposed to stand?" She asked, concern seeming to show in her tone, but her voice remained soft, the question was more to herself than him and she hardly expected a reply. Sometimes she spoke too softly, she knew that.

    Aeroa stood and followed him to the kitchen, the look of the fruit was very appealing.

    'Yes, food would be nice.. Thank you." Aeroa smiled as her eyes found the floor once again. She wasn't sure she should be eating his food as well as staying in his house, but she was hungry, and she didn't want to be too humble and not receive any food.

    Aeroa was surprised at the fruit that was before her, there seemed to be so much of it. Baskets of various types of of fruits. Aeroa could not help herself, she walked to each basket, taking amounts of each. She began with a few, but it did not take long for the hunger to seem to carry her away. She answered his question while enjoying the fruits. She was not rude about it, and only spoke when she wasn't eating.

    "Uhm." She hesititated, "No. I'm not from here actually.." Her eyes fell to the floor before looking at Brandon, she didn't bother answering where she was from, but she continued with the rest of the questions. "I haven't been here too long. I usually roam." the last sentence was spoke and she gave a small laugh. Talking about it just seemed odd to her. How much could she really say about herself anyway? She enjoyed the grapes, and probably the strawberries the most. Having fresh fruit was one of Aeroa's favorite things. It was natural and wasn't too saturated in anything, which was nice.

    "Fruits are a favorite of mine." She wasn't sure why she chimed that information in but she said it with a smile looking at Brandon before taking a bite out of a peach.

    When she looked back at each basket she had ate more than she had realized. The grapes were almost completely gone, the peaches, the strawberries were gone, and the raspberries half, as well as a few other baskets. She only slightly dabbed in the walnuts and pecans. She had surprised even herself.

    "Oh! ..I'm sorry. I guess.. I guess I was just hungry. I'm sorry... I didn't mean.." Aeroa took a step back and looked at the floor. She was sure being a guest, and soon servant she wasn't supposed to eat all of his food. She felt like she had taken too much and blushed from being embarrassed.

    "When I tend to the garden... I will get more.."

    Aeroa took a moment, his last question had finally set in. Maybe she was tired. Maybe she did want sleep.. it had been a long day after-all.

    "Yes. Please. May I get a room to sleep?" Aeroa was still embarrassed, but she hoped that she hadn't done too great a crime.
  11. Watching her eat was like watching a lion or a tiger wolf down a meal of meat. It was like she had a second stomach, which only seemed to get wider. Though she wore more loose clothing he could tell that she was a very lithe and beautiful woman. And yet... it seemed she had the appetite of several grown men. Where was it going? One of the things his step father, the orphanage owner would speak of was a hollow leg where they could stick the food. He knew it was just because they hadn't had any food for so long they needed to eat like they wouldn't have another meal for awhile. Then she seemed to sum it up quite nicely, she liked fruit. Laughing lightly he nodded, "I can see that," with a few more bites he was well on his way to finishing his apple.

    It seemed she'd finally noticed how much she'd consumed in one sitting, it was more then half of the fruit he had in his kitchen. Looking around at the baskets himself she then began to look particularly embarrassed and started to stutter out an excuse and an apology. He began to laugh a little more as he finished his own apple. "I'd say you had a healthy appetite but that might just be an understatement." She promised to get more when she went out to tend the gardens he nodded and then walked over to her. He'd seen this type of appetite before, or at least he thought he had, she seemed not to have a home to go to. It might have been awhile since she'd eaten.

    "Don't worry, you are more than welcome to all the food, you are now a part of this house and you'll have to eat just as much as me. There is always more fruit in the world," looking at her he smiled softly and couldn't resist a joke, "Though I'm not sure how long that will last with an appetite like that..."

    Nodding when she asked him if she could get a room he turned the corner back to the door to the entry way. Holding it open for her he led the way up the stairs, It led to a hallway which stretched the length of the house. The master bedroom was at the far end it's door closed for now, Brandon just led the way to one of the large guest rooms. He didn't normally receive visitors so no one would be using them. Opening the door it was very well furnished, several shelves, vases, a mirror, and a few painted pictures lined the walls. There were no flowers, Brandon did not have much of a green thumb so he didn't usually keep flowers around the home. They only seemed to die. There was a large desk with things to write with and write on as well as a large walk in closet which was practically empty. The balcony seemed to stretch off the side of the home and gave a wonderful view of the city and wall which surrounded it.

    The largest piece in the room was the bed, it was large enough for two people and covered in soft white sheets. It's headboard was ornate and beautifully carved with a rising sun and song bird frozen in place by the artists touch. "This will be your room, if you would like... I have other rooms if you'd prefer." He said not really sure what she was used to or what she was comfortable in.
  12. Aeroa gave a small smile for his comment. He was welcoming her to the food. His patience, and kindness were quite overwhelming. People like him were rare, and she knew that. She had really only known few people like him. Most were selfish, arrogant, and inconsiderate, Brandon seemed to be the complete opposite. She was basically just surprised that he wasn't appalled and unhappy with her, she did eat a good portion of his food. Aeroa gave a small nervous laugh that she hid by moving her hand to cover her mouth in response to his joke. Though it was sadly true, she was known to eat a lot, but also to go without food for a while. She believed it evened out. Fasting wasn't hard, she just ended up hungry; that's all.

    Brandon was very welcoming and his house seemed basically open for her use, though it was quite odd. Homes. She wasn't used to them. He seemed quite proud of his, at least he wasn't discontent with it, it seemed. The room was extravagant and far bigger than she would have expected. It was nicely decorated and she could tell someone took great care if setting it up. The furniture wasn't just thrown in, there was some sort of design to it all. It was a very calming room. She wasn't ready to call it her own, but she could make due.

    "This room will be fine." She replied.

    She wasn't exactly sure she wanted to stay. At all. She felt like she should be roaming around, out in the streets, or woods. Aeroa walked over to the window, and out onto the balcony. It was a nice night, the sky was beautifully lit with stars, the cool breeze was seductive. She bent over so that she could rest her arms on the balcony railing. She was hoping he would follow her actually. She was ready to be alone in a room for a night, but Brandon was striking her attention. She wanted to know more about him. She was staying at his house anyway. It would be odd to, with a stranger. She figured losing a little sleep over a conversation wouldn't be bad. But then again, maybe he was tired too. Maybe he wanted some sleep. She wasn't going to ask.

    She looked down over the railing, heights didn't scare her, they just made things prettier. It was odd that such things happened on a lovely night like this. Those men. But she couldn't call it all bad, she had met a nice man. He struck her as very odd, he wasn't like everyone else. 'I can't stay too long... those men. They will be back. I have to remember that. I can't endanger him..' To Aeroa, things may have been more complicated than they seemed.

    "It is pretty." Aeroa said in her soft voice, partially to herself.
  13. It was interesting to meet a girl that was as quiet as she was, Brandon wondered if this was how she always was... it might have been a little strange to be invited to live in a strangers home. And yet she seemed to have a presence that told him this was a little of how she always was. She was quiet, humble, and genuine. But those eyes, those eyes were so beautiful yet he wondered what they might hide. What was her story? She'd never answered where she was from and perhaps that was because she was ashamed. Or maybe she just didn't have a home or a place to go to, it wouldn't be uncommon for a drifter to end up in this town. Everything about her seemed to draw him in, want to know more, wanting to perhaps... even get close to her.

    Brandon found himself moving forward, as if he were being compelled to step out on the balcony with her. She went to the railing and he stayed just at the back not wanting to intrude on her privacy if she didn't want him to be there. Her body did not tense or react she seemed calm and watched the city while her hair gently blew in the breeze. It's beautiful lights and avenues, the distant sound of music being played by one band or another. It could be a bit mesmerizing. Then three small words came out of her mouth which seemed to sum it up in the quiet tones of the night. Walking forward he placed his hands on the balcony railing as well next to hers. "It is indeed." He replied just as softly looking out over the expanse.

    Keeping his eyes on the city he smiled, "I'm sorry," he told her. "This must seem very strange to you having a random guy show up, ask you into his home, give you his food, and a room to sleep in." Laughing lightly he continued to look at the city before turning and looking at her. "I even asked you to become a servant in my home..." turning around so his back was leaning against the railing. "It must be weird for you."

    Looking up at the moon he remembered his wish, perhaps the moon could grant wishes. "If you'll believe it, the reason is that I wasn't too different when I was younger. I roamed the streets as an orphan, I had a good foster family, but there was no room and certainly not enough food to go around so I had to make it my own way." It surprised him how much he was opening up right now, but he figured she might want to know why he was opening his house to her and not that he had other motives. "I always envied the rich, wondered why they couldn't offer a piece of bread to a hungry orphan... I swore that if I ever became rich, I'd never turn someone down." Looking over at her, "Not that you're an orphan, and it's fine if you are. But I wanted to make sure that someone got the help that I never had."
  14. Aeroa could almost feel the presence of him behind her. She didn't know why, and she figured it may have just been her imagination, but it wasn't. He stepped into her view after agreeing that the night was indeed pretty. She gave a small sigh, pretty, yes, but also full of good and evil things. Not everything could be pure. Beauty was one of the least pure things, there always seemed to be something hiding behind it. The night, as beautiful as it was covered the actions of thieves, murderers, and mischievous people. It was a double-edged sword, ready to awe you with beauty, grace and elegance, but in another moment ready to draw blood, kill and hinder.

    Aeroa couldn't help but to think about her past, there were many things that were in it; and for the most part it was a lovely life. She lived off the land, she was happy, her family was content. She didn't know many hardships, and she enjoyed life.. Until that day, when she learned how much evil the world masked. How life truly operated. Maybe that was the reason Aeroa was also so quiet, life had stripped her of her happiness, and in that left her speechless.

    Aeroa saw Brandon look up from the corner of her eye, and she couldn't help but to peer up as well. The moon, it too was full of beauty.. what evil it held, Aeroa was quite unsure. Aeroa turned her head to look at Brandon as he began to reason out why he was letting her stay. Her gaze got caught on his eyes, the window into his soul. The initial clue that there was more to than man that what appeared. Deep, and inviting. Aeroa could not help but to feel sad, his childhood was not one of much happiness, he admitted. But it had obviously helped mold him into the man he was today. As long as he spoke the truth, which she didn't doubt, it worked out for his good in the end.

    He was a foster child, how hard that must have been, Aeroa could not begin to imagine, maybe it was a lot like how her life was now. Except, she was much older than he was when he dealt with it. She felt that he was noble for allowing something so tragic to make him into someone much better than everyone else. It impressed her that with a life like that he didn't turn into a bitter, pessimistic person that shunned the world. Maybe her roaming life, and her own incident were turning her into someone that shunned the world; keeping minimum interaction with them as far as talking was concerned.

    Aeroa glanced down before asking her question. Talking, conversation, yet another thing she wasn't used to.

    "Why don't you hate life? For putting you through those things." Aeroa's question was sincere, and she figured she probably already knew the answer. The simple statement that was true for everything. Most likely, he didn't blame life. It seemed to her, that if someone kept blaming someone, or something else they would begin to despise it; at the least that was the case with Aeroa, she blamed those men for ruining her life, and thus she despised them. Her anger was passive though, she was not out to kill them, but she was out to find a way to get them to leave her be. That was all she asked.

    "I do thank you for looking out for me. Offering your home and all. I was quite curious as to why someone would do such a thing... But it is pretty clear now." Aeroa paused, talking, and so much of it. She found it odd how many words came out of her mouth, "I'm glad though, because you've become a better person, as it seems.."
  15. Aeroa asked him a question, it caused him to stop and think for just a moment about the path that his life had taken up to this point. It was an honest question that she seemed to be quite curious about. Perhaps she wasn't so different from him after all... "I knew that whatever life threw at me, I could choose what I did with it. If I wanted to be angry with it I could. But I chose to act, to do something, to not blame the circumstance, and now..." Turning back around so he was a little closer to her. His hands rested lightly on the railing beside hers. "Now I'm sitting where they had been, now I'm looking at the same town they were and trying to make a different choice.

    She expressed her gratitude to him and then she said something that he'd never heard before. He'd thought about it a time or too, it seemed selfish and prideful. When someone else told him that he'd become a better person it just seemed to cement what he'd been working for. Was he really that closed off from others that they'd never been able to say that? No, he imagined it was because they had always been more interested in the man he was now and never where he'd been. It seemed strange, he wondered just how many of those girls would have walked away after he'd made an announcement like that. And how many of them were even half as beautiful as the one standing next to him telling him that she appreciated what he'd become.

    "Thanks, I don't get that often..." he told her with his smile. "I think I'm going to like you miss Linksi." He used her last name because he wasn't sure if she wanted him to use her first name. It was a beautiful name to him.

    Looking out over the town he thought about everything he'd seen in it, he'd never really known another town. He'd come here when he was far too young to remember where he'd lived before. Or perhaps he'd just put it out of his mind. He remembered his parents for the short time that they were in this town with him. Then they died of sickness and he was left alone. Taken in by the Penn family, he was too young to really have any attachment to his parents name of Larous so he just took theirs. Then he simply made his life on the streets, buying and selling to get enough money to pay for the day's meal. Like this town or hate it, he'd made his living here and found his fortune. It wasn't all bad you just had to know where to look.
  16. Aeroa had watched him pause, he seemed to be caught by something, something she had said if she had to guess. Maybe conversation wasn't all that bad after all. She could learn interesting things, and instead of having to watch and observe everything it was simply information offered up to her. Maybe a friendship could be struck up with Brandon, he seemed nice, genuine and kind. She didn't know what all that entailed, since she planned on leaving soon. It would be hard to remain in communication if she didn't want to endanger him. Besides, she doubted her 'pursuers' would take very kindly to her having a friend.

    "It's better to not blame circumstance." Aeroa was sure she pointed out things already known far too often, but she couldn't help it. It was apart of her quiet nature. There wasn't much to say except what was right in front of her face. Brandon turned back around, and Aeora looked back over at him. She gave a small smile and took another gaze out over the city.. There was a lot to it.

    "Well, I hope you do." She paused, "Please. Don't call me Linksi, I'll forget you're talking to me." She said and gave a little laugh. She only found it funny that it was her own name, and yet she hardly knew it. She was never referred to as Linksi, nor did anyone ever say it, so it almost seemed foreign to her. "Aeroa is fine." She smiled politely, and took her hands off the railing.

    "You know... we live in one world. But each world seems very different, and yet connected. Similar even." She hesitated, maybe she had said too much, and maybe she had said it confusingly but, she didn't know how else to word it. She simply meant that each person had their own perspective and there was so much in a single person's world. A history, a present, a future, a perspective, emotions, and thoughts. Her world, of roaming, and everything else seemed very different than Brandon's. He was rich, wealthy and sleeping comfortably each night. And yet, though both shared similarities in their life, and how they were living it.

    "I hope that isn't confusing."

    There was a lot Aeroa needed to figure out, especially about the world in general. The one filled with everyone's tiny worlds. That one was the most confusing, and full of surprises. She believed she would have a lot to think about. With her life-style she wasn't sure she was even allowed to be a servant. It was quite possibly against everything. How long she was going to stay here she had no clue, but she could feel it already, she'd be going for walks very often. She almost felt like going on one now. It would give her time to think. But she was enjoying the conversation. Something she hadn't had in quite a long time; at the least not one that had actually been interesting and significant.
  17. "Aeroa, it is then." He said, actually quite thankful because it seemed so informal and cold to talk to her using miss or her last name. Perhaps he was being a little presumptuous in calling her by her first name, but she didn't seem to mind and that's what really mattered right?

    It seemed there was far more to this girl then met the eye, she seemed only to become more and more insightful. Deep would be another way of describing the feelings and questions she asked. There was definitely a lot of maturity in this young girl. She spoke of how they were the same and yet different even in the same world. The way she worded it seemed a little strange but after some thought he seemed to be able to wrap his mind around the concept. Brandon began to wonder what kind of life this girl had led so far in her life.

    "No, don't apologize, I think I get it... we're similar in that we seem to have similar backgrounds, but we live in different worlds now. We're not the same but similar." Saying that only made him wish that he could be a little more in her world.

    Looking over at her he watched the way her body moved, the way her hair moved, "Though I'm not sure what your world is like, tell me about yourself." Raising a hand up he smiled and had his palm facing her. "Don't worry, you don't have to tell me if you don't want to. I would just like to know a little more about you, about your world."
  18. His questions made her pause. She hesitated and took a step back, it wasn't on purpose or even to put space between them, but it was a natural response when asked about herself. The further away she was, the further away the question was too, and if there was distance she didn't have to worry about messing something up. "Uhm" She began. "Well." Aeroa felt torn, he had just told her about himself, and he wasn't planning on hurting her it seemed. Especially not after helping her so much. So why couldn't she tell him? 'I can't tell him everything... but maybe I can give him a glimpse. Maybe a little view into my world.' Aeroa smiled at her own thoughts. That should work.

    Aeroa took a few more moments to contemplate the question and it's implications; what she was allowed to say and what she shouldn't. There was quite a bit to sort through, but it only took few moments to decide what she was allowed to say and what she wasn't.

    Aeroa looked down, and then up at Brandon and began. "Well, I don't really have a place. I don't actually.. live anywhere. I roam. A lot. Uhm. Well, all the time really. I guess it helps I love being outside." Aeroa wasn't really sure where to go with this, but she was almost determined to say something about herself. "I had a lovely family. They were all really pleasant people." She knew he would probably pick up on the past tense of having a family, but that was okay, she knew she wouldn't have to explain what happened. Or if he asked, she would just find a way around the question. Aeroa paused, she wasn't sure what else there was to say really, "I had two brothers and a sister." She started to speak slowly.

    Saying things like that reminded her of how much she actually missed her family. How much she hated those men for ruining the good thing in her life. Aeroa stopped. She couldn't say anything else. It was five years ago, and yet she felt like it had been more recent. The pain of losing her loved ones never really went away. She never talked about it before, she wasn't used to emotions resurfacing. Her eyes fell to the ground and she grabbed the bottom of her shirt. She clenched it a bit, and bit her lip. Aeroa turned to the balcony railing and looked out. It was odd how talking about it seemed to rub such a sore spot. She was sure it didn't bother her that much. Apparently talking to people about emotional things took a bigger toll on her than she thought.
  19. At this point in the conversation Brandon suddenly wished he hadn't asked the question at all. It seemed that there were some raw feelings there about where she came from and about her family. It was past tense which meant they had passed. Even if she hadn't mentioned that or if he hadn't caught on by then, the reaction he was receiving now would be enough to tell what had happened. Though the question remained about what exactly happened, were they killed? Or did they simply die? She told him that she had siblings but that was in the past as well... they'd all died. Which seems to suggest that someone had killed them.

    Whether or not that was the truth Brandon no longer really wanted to know, it was clear that this was causing quite a bit of emotional pain for her. Closing the gap he reaching out and touched her shoulder, like a friend would in a time of comfort. "Hey, it's alright... I'm really sorry I brought it up, I didn't know." His voice was as soft as he could make it, without being too quiet that she wouldn't hear him. He hoped that by closing the distance he could show her that he was there and that he cared. "I bet they'd be pretty excited to see you living in such a big home." He said, trying to put a little bit better mood into the air.

    The breeze rolled over them, Brandon moved his thumb over her shoulder just a little bit. After a few moments and when he felt like she had made somewhat of a recovery he decided to change the subject. "So you've been all over? Have you been up north? They say that the hot springs in the Chiso mountains are amazingly warm all year round." He knew it was a poor effort but he didn't like seeing her so down, those blue eyes had suddenly been filled with the painful past. "I've always wanted to travel but my business keeps me here.
  20. "No. It's okay. I just.."Her words were slow and soft at first. She didn't know how to finish that, "I just don't talk much. So it's... odd. But, I know you didn't know. It isn't your fault."

    Aeroa gave a sad smile at his attempt. It was nice. She was here after all. In his home, eating his food. Working as his servant... thinking of such she was probably doing a horrible job as an employee, she figured she'd make up for it all tomorrow. But she was in his home, eating his food, and staying in a giant room. It may have been an improvement, but she wasn't. She loved the outdoors, and roaming, there were pros and cons to it, but she was sure there were cons to this room as well. Aeroa looked up at Brandon. His gestures showed that he cared. And he was truly sorry for bringing up a subject that turned out painful for her.

    When he completely switched subjects she tried to as well, allowing her mind to wonder through all the places she'd seen. "Well, no. I haven't seen Chiso mountains.." Aeroa sighed but continued on, "traveling is nice, I have been up north.... but it was a long trip.. it was cold, but I enjoyed it." Aeroa thought about it for a moment. What it must be like to be stuck in one place all the time, attached to a house. It seemed silly to her, why stay in one place when there were so many others to visit, to see and things to experience. "I don't get the whole settling down with a house... it, well, it inhibits.." She didn't know how to say it without sounding odd, "your traveling ability.. Doesn't it make you more vulnerable to attacks and such? Staying in a house.." She paused. Wow, she was talking a lot more than usual. What was it about this guy that made things so different for her? "I mean.. I know there are people that don't get along, and living in the same spot makes you an easy target.. wouldn't it?"

    Aeroa was quite quizzical about the world that she wasn't used to. It was odd. Everything about it. Though, she was sure the room's bed was going to be a good form of odd, and many other aspects were good as well, but some things just didn't make much sense to her. Maybe he would help her to understand the world that was so strange to her.

    "I'm sorry if I ask weird questions.." She added.
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