Timid Beginnings (open)
The sedan pulled up to a set of gates and the driver had a muted discussion with the small box at his window. Dana grimaced when he pronounced her name incorrectly. The gates swung open and he pulled up to the front of the incredibly large, very imposing manor that was to be Dana's new home.
She heard the trunk pop open, then he was out of the car and opening her door. The heat hit her first, it was simply not this hot in Ireland, and it surprised her. The hours just before dawn were usually quite cool, and she supposed that for here this was cool.
Shrugging, she stepped from the car. The young man waited for her to move toward the manor, before going to the trunk and pulling out her things. He carried them to the porch. tipped his hat and went back to the car, having long ago given up on talking with her and getting a response.
With a sigh she picked up her suitcase and guitar case, and feeling a bit like Maria in the sound of music, pressed a small round button next to the door.
It didn't take long before it was opened and she was once more faced with a stranger.
(please feel free to be that stranger =) )
Tonight that business had taken them back to Ambrose's apartments here at the Manor. They'd ordered some new furniture to replace some of the older... more worn... of his. They might have broken it themselves. Unintentionally, of course.
Either way, everything had been tested. And it had been deemed - suitable. Ambrose had intended to pick up one of his guitars on the way out, but they weren't quite ready to leave yet. Instead they'd gotten two books for Marie from the library which would come in useful for a paper she was writing over her summer break.
Glancing around, Ysabel suddenly realized that that had been the doorbell. She regarded the door with mild distaste, trying to determine whether to open it or not. None of the servants were rushing to take care of the task for her.
She looked hopefully at Ambrose, whose arms were full. He had his cane in one hand and Marie's books in the other. Tilting her head toward the door, she let her eyes grow wide.
Ambrose scowled at her.
On tiptoes, Ysabel bounced up and down slightly, finally holding out her hands to relieve Ambrose of the books.
He clutched them to his chest and jerked his head toward the door.
Finally Ysabel frowned and gave a long sigh. So be it.
Floating to the door she delicately undid the lock at the top and opened it smoothly, just a few inches, to see who was there at this time of the morning. She was surprised to see a young woman there, a slip of a creature, who appeared to be somewhere around Ysabel's own age, although somewhat smaller and slighter in frame.
Stepping back and allowing the door to open a little more fully, Ysabel smiled warmly at the stranger.
"Good morning. May I help you?"
The doorbell rang and ordinarily he would have just opened the door but his hands were more than a little full so he assumed Belle would. Bad idea, he really should know better. Ambrose didn’t think she’d ever opened a door before. Hell, when they were together he always did it. It was some strange power she had making him mind his manners.
An odd battle of wills ensued over the doorbell. Ambrose wasn’t going to open it with his hands more than full and he wasn’t going to set anything down or give it to her. Belle was going to answer the damned door.
She did, sort of. He growled at her some what.
“You can open it the rest of the way. I don’t think it’s a mob of Jehovah’s witnesses out to ransack the manor.”
And if it was, it would give him some target practice. You know now that he thought about it a mob of missionaries could be downright entertaining.
"Yes, I'm Dana ÃƒÂ³ Ceallaigh. I'm expected."She finished rather lamely and forced her features into a polite smile. Hoping that the lovely blonde woman would simply let her in and not force her to stand on the porch awaiting the coming morning.
"Lady Erin's child?" Her face brightened as she smiled. "I've met her before. I'm Lady Ysabel Yolgrave." She dipped a little curtsey to Dana. "This gentleman here is Ambrose Townsend."
She didn't think it necessary to clarify her family any further. The Yolgraves were fairly well known in Europe. It wasn't often you ran across an entire family of vampires, much less one with twins in it.
"Welcome to Heolfor. You've come quite a long way from home."
((ooc: permission to be familiar received, and granted))
“Maybe it’s a gaggle of Seventh Day Adventists instead. I’m not sure I could protect us from them. They can get mean.”
He was going to pay for that, he was certain and took a couple steps backwards to delay the inevitable.
Great, they knew each other, well Belle knew of the new arrival and they were apparently going to do the title and court manners. Perfect, he’d fit in so well. Deciding he’d just let the two of them dance their little dance he only nodded at the girl.
Manners ingrained in her for the last nine hundred years took over. She curtsied deeply, bowing her head. "Milady Yolgrave. It is a pleasure to meet you."
She straightened and nodded her head at the man. "A pleasure Mr. Townsend."
Feeling the knot in her belly loosen at the knowledge that this was a woman she could put some small amount of trust in, had a real smile curling Dana's lips. "Thank you. It is terribly far, but I made it in one piece."
She let her eyes wander the large entry hall that they now stood in. It was a lovely place and she hoped whatever accommodations Lady Erin had secured for her, were just as lovely. "Could you tell me whom I would see about rooms?"
Brushing off the suspected dust from her arms, Fallon entered the foyer from one of the halls that led to the staircase, and descended the staircase at the sound of voices. Ysabel, and Ambrose were among those there, which of itself wasn't unusual. Both members of her clan were often around Heolfor these days, much like Fallon herself was. She knew Ysabel had her own manor apart from Heolfor and suspected Ambrose probably did too, but it still wasn't out of the ordinary to find people keeping house in more than one place. Up until very recently Fallon also had a home outside Heolfor, and was only now finishing up relocating to the manor. Her own Ger Kogji in the process of being closed up, possibly for good.
"Good evening Ysabel, Ambrose."
Fallon smiled in welcome, briefly embracing both her brethren in greeting, then moved around the outside of the small group, and held out her hand to the newcomer.
"Might you be Dana? I received word you would be joining us here at Heolfor, but I'm afraid amid everything else going on, I had forgotten exactly what date you were set to arrive."
Over the past year or so Fallon had become very adept at running Heolfor, still keeping in touch with the elders, but less frequently as was earlier required. Of course the staff at the manor helped immensely, even if they weren't ALWAYS where they should be at any given time. She doubted Rupert would be far off, even if he hadn't made it to the entry to greet the new resident.
Still smiling graciously at the young woman, Fallon inwardly considered how nice it would be to have a few more residents at the manor, and considered how Aislinn might get along with Dana. Feeling slightly remiss in not having taken time to catch up with Aislinn recently, Fallon made a mental note to do just that as soon as she could squeeze out some time.
(ooc: please forgive the 'hugging' liberties, and let me know if they are inappropriate so I can edit)
She was not a fan of being startled and she was quite certain the lovely young woman that joined them in the hall had had no intention of doing so. With some effort she let her eyes meet the woman's, who greeted her by name. It did however take her a moment to get words out.
"Yes, I'm Dana. I've only just arrived, and had the good fortune to be greeted by the Lady Yolgrave and her gentleman friend." She managed to get a smile to her lips and since her cheeks didn't feel warm, she had also managed not to blush.
"It's simply Ysabel, please," she corrected Dana warmly. She'd given the woman her title by way of introduction, so she'd recognize the family. Ysabel had never really stood on formality with it. Not in this century, at any rate. Besides, technically Elsa was Lady Yolgrave at he moment. They swapped.
Moving back a bit to stand beside Ambrose (whose sarcasm she still insisted upon ignoring), Ysabel concluded that the reasonable thing to do was to let Fallon take over and wish them both a good morning, but the matter was slightly more complex. She didn't really know Dana but technically, she did know Dana's creator. It would only be courteous to ascertain that Dana had everything she needed upon her arrival. Well then, the best way to clarify was the most obvious.
"We'll be happy to accompany you if you like Dana," Ysabel offered. "Otherwise I would love to sit down with you when you're rested and talk some more."
There. Hopefully Dana would not feel immediately put-upon to accept company, but if the quiet young woman wanted it, she and Ambrose (she shot a glance at Ambrose daring him to disagree) would be happy to go along.
Ambrose almost growled at Fallon for getting so close when his hands were so full but he decided to play nice, at least right now. Mostly nice at any rate, as he made a point of shifting his various loads to remind people he was carrying them. But as Fallon seemed to know what to do with the new arrival he was on his best behavior.
In fact, with Fallon Belle hadn’t called him out for being an ass and he looked forward to a quick get away and that put him in a decent frame of mind. Or it would have except apparently Belle felt some responsibility to the girl. He could only guess it was due to an acquaintance with her maker. He snorted at the idea of any one taking any special care of him because of Damaris. It was probably a damned good thing he’d grown up with out courts and chivalry and manners and rules; at least of this sort.
Catching Belle’s look he gave her his most innocent ‘do I look like I was going to say anything’ expression.
As the situation didn’t seem to call for him to say anything, he didn’t. Well he shouldn’t have, but he did.
“It’s that or turn you over to those kids in the white shirts, black ties who keep trying to convince you to convert. Although I hear the Avon lady has got a gang and is planning on taking the punks down.”
Good thing he was already dead. That, he was certain, was further than he should have pushed his luck.
"Thank you Ysabel, for volunteering to escort Dana to her rooms. Right now there is a small suite next to Aislinn's that is ready, or there are also two others, depending on which direction you favor, Dana? Personally I like to face east, and watch as the sun just lightens the horizon, before I sleep..."
Fallon shrugged, but her mind wandered for a few seconds. Her suite was the one Cyrus had settled in long before she had arrived. It had been just easier to keep it, rather than move from there as well. Besides, Fallon still enjoyed the touches of Cyrus, and the memories they evoked. Once they had been painful, and hidden from, but no longer. Now they were comforting.
In any event, Fallon's train of thought returned to the present.
"And if none of them suit, I'm sure we can find something else later. At least you can unpack and get settled in before sunrise."
Hoping the accommodations would work for now, and a little anxious to get back to her own final settling, the young clan administrator stood by waiting for a response. Had Ysabel and Ambrose not been there to tend to Dana, Fallon certainly would have happily made time to show the new arrival about. For now it was good she had other options.
"Then, when you are up and about tomorrow, if you let me know your plans, I'll make all the necessary arrangements to make them permanent...well, for as long as you like I mean."
Organization was one of Fallon's fortes...she was all for making her life as simple as possible whenever possible. Keeping accurate, and concise records of what went on in Heolfor helped accomplish this.
"How does that sound?"
Then relief flooded her as Ysabel offered to accompany her. Then the other woman started talking again. She talked a lot... and Dana decided that she just wanted to be alone.
"Thank you...madam." She turned to Ysabel. "Ysabel, I'd be very grateful if you would be so kind as to show me my rooms. Whatever has been assigned to me will be just fine, I'm sure."
She smiled again, "Then I'd like very much to simply sleep for a while, it was a rather trying flight."
As Fallon thanked her, Ysabel inclined her head graciously. It was nothing that Ysabel wouldn't have managed to do anyway. She had the feeling Fallon, perhaps, forgot that Ysabel was of the same Order. Very well though. If Fallon thought the older vampire was doing her a favor, then so be it. Ysabel did not know Fallon very well, so she contented herself by falling back into what was normal - demure, quiet, and ladylike behavior with an emphasis on always being amenable and agreeable.
She swept by, her wide skirts flaring as she turned down one hallway and then back to face Fallon once more, having had a sudden thought. "Fallon, are the suites furnished?" Many Anantya chose to furnish their own, so there were both furnished and unfurnished apartments available. Ysabel did not know which were free at the moment.
Looking at Dana, she added, "If they aren't, Dana, you are welcome to stay in my old suite. I have a house outside Heolfor and when we are here overnight, Ambrose and I have... other arrangements." She smiled softly; it had been a long time since she and Ambrose had slept in different beds. They stayed either at her home (which she considered their home, but Ambrose, in his pride, still referred to as hers), or in his suite at Heolfor. Hers had been vacant for months, although the servants had kept it fresh and clean.
He dutifully followed along with the women, still lugging his books guitar, cane, meals for five, a dinning set for seven… ok he was exaggerating. At least no one had suggested he carry the new arrival’s belongings too. His leg would give out if he picked up much more.
Good thing Belle had offered her rooms because as it was they were going to need his. He looked around for a clock and tried to sort out when the sun was going to rise. He didn’t like the idea of leaving the waif alone all day. Oh she’d be fine and it wasn’t like they couldn’t call her and she cause so little trouble it was scary, but still.
“Where’d ya come in from then?”
"I'm sorry dear, where is my mind. I'm Fallon Arslantai, and it is my pleasure to welcome you."
It was obvious that Ysabel had things well under control, and Fallon was relieved to be able to go about some business that was a little more pressing right then and there.
"All the suites I mentioned are furnished with the basics, down to the linens. I wasn't sure what Dana's tastes would be, so I made sure to have a little variety."
Once she responded to Ysabel's question, Fallon again turned to Dana.
"I think whichever suite you choose, you should be very comfortable until you arise again."
Sensing a little weariness, or possibly projecting her own imagined feelings after a long trip, Fallon knew it would be best to leave the young woman now, to her own devices. That, along with assistance from Ysabel and Ambrose.
"I won't keep you any longer, except to again wish for your stay to be pleasant, and to hope to meet up with you again soon, when we both might have some time to talk, and get to know each other better."
Fallon cast a smile at the three in the foyer, and departed in a direction opposite from where she came.
(ooc: Fallon out, pending)
"Ireland, Mr. Townsend, north and west of Letterkenny."
She picked up her luggage once more and grinned at Ysabel. "I'd like only a soft bed and someplace to hang my clothes. Beyond that I'm not picky."
She wasn't either, the space mattered little to her, it was how it was arranged that mattered. She was already mapping out in what order she would take care of her things. It was only a matter of making the room fit the idea in her head.
Shaking her head slightly as Fallon left, an indulgent smile on her face over her clan-sister's apparent distraction, Ysabel was relieved when Rupert finally showed up. At her polite request he quickly supplied her with keys, locations, and, for Dana, directions to a suite he felt would be most appropriate for the new arrival.
"Thank you Rupert," she said gratefully. The butler gave the three vampires a respectful bow in return.
"Shall we?" Ysabel turned to Ambrose and Dana, holding the keys Rupert had given her to the newly-arrived Dana to take.
She gazed at the keys for a long moment before taking them. "Why should I need keys?"
Was she likely to be robbed? She'd never had keys for her room before, she'd never had cause to lock her chamber door, not in all the time she'd been alive had she locked the doors to her rooms. It was a very odd concept to her mind.
Ambrose muttered. Truth be told he’d never been off the continent before. It just never seemed important.
He really was feeling a bit superfluous right now. Rupert came and went and Ambrose half wished he could go with the man.
“What brings you out here?”
The question about keys and locks brought him up short. Most people just accepted them. He grinned at the young looking vampire.
“No, you’re not. At least not in side the manor. It’s more of an option for you privacy and all that.”
Ambrose always kept his rooms locked, just out of habit.
Her smile never faded. She was happy for Dana. Her trust and apparent naivety indicated a happy life with no need for suspicion and mistrust. On the one hand Ysabel found that charming, but on the other hand she worried. Nachton could be dangerous, like any other city. Ysabel had learned about it firsthand last year, with Marie. She knew Dana must be around her age, at least, for she had met Lady Erin for the first time several hundred years ago and she was certain she'd mentioned Dana. Could it be this clan-sister of hers was really that sheltered? Perhaps her timeline was off. Or this wasn't the same child Lady Erin had referred to.
For the time being though, she simply made a mental note to keep her eyes and ears open. Surely Dana could take care of herself, but if she wanted a friend who was used to Nachton by now, Ysabel wasn't loathe to fill that role.
Putting those thoughts aside as she led the way through Heolfor's passages, Ysabel nodded to indicate that she, too, was curious as to what had prompted such a move for Dana.
"It is a long way to come," she agreed. "I hope Lady Erin is well?"