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About Varied / Hobbyist Member G24/Female/United States Groups :iconmias-and-elle: Mias-and-Elle
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Elle never had much cause to linger in Mias’ study. Tempting though it was to her curious nature, the consequences wrought by poking her nose in what she could only assume were private matters were not worth the risk – at least right away. As the weeks had passed and living with the magician became her norm, she grew bolder in her attempts to understand him, though her steps remained small.

 

Lately it’d been arriving at his door a few minutes before the lunch hour so she could walk with him down to the dining hall. He’d let her in only for a few moments as he finished his notes and then they’d depart without commentary on the subject.

 

Today was different, however. Elle found herself pacing the study, listening to the scratching of Mias’ quill on parchment. It was already a quarter passed noon, how much longer did he intend to put off their meal?

 

“Finished yet?” She asked, trying not to let the grumbling in her stomach make her sound too whiney.

 

“Nearly done,” he replied, not once turning his eyes away from his work.

 

Elle sighed to herself and stepped toward the back wall where a lone cabinet, one nearly the length of the wall itself, stood apart from the other furnishes. It was a dark wood lacking the usual shine and refinement the other pieces had, though the details in the carving still gave it its unique charm. “Do you mind if I look in here?”

 

“Mn…” was the response she got.

 

It’d be his own fault then for not answering her clearly, Elle decided as she opened one of the doors to inspect the contents within. She found glass bottles, mostly empty ones, though a few had colorful liquids contained at varying heights. The bottles themselves were gorgeous glasswork, each one different from the other. They reminded her of perfume bottles, but seeing as that was unlikely, Elle felt assured in ruling they must be his potions. Liquid magic mostly used in lieu of medicine, she recalled Mias saying once.

 

She plucked a small, diamond shaped bottle from the eye level shelf to more closely examine the extract of light pink liquid still contained within. It was beautiful. From a distance it might only appear as colored water, but up close it had a certain sparkle to it that wasn’t a result of the ornate glassware. She couldn’t help but wonder what its effects were.

 

“I’m finished, my dear,” Mias announced suddenly in a voice louder than she expected.

 

She jumped along with the glass stopper for the bottle and turned around unknowingly of the slip. “Oh! Um, good.”

 

He finally turned around and while his expression turned unpleasant, at least he didn’t yell at her. “Do not play around with my potions.”

 

“I’m not playing,” she frowned. “Just looking.”

 

“And touching,” he added as he rose from his chair to approach her.

 

Elle never liked it when he ganged up on her looking displeased. She hadn’t done anything wrong and if potions were medicines, so long as she didn’t drink them, what was the harm in examining one a little closer. She squeezed the bottle to her chest, tilted the top towards her until she felt Mias’ shadow over her. She hated being scolded by him, mostly because he always made her feel like a child over natural curiosity.

 

“Elle, careful!” The tone of his voice suddenly changed and she felt the material of her brassiere dampen.

 

She looked down to discover some of the liquid had spilled between her cleavage. The direct contact to her skin didn’t burn, so Elle remained rather calm as she quickly returned the bottle to the shelf. “Sorry! I thought the top was on!”

 

“You fool! Some of these are dangerous!” He shouted, reluctantly avoiding touching her moistened bosom to examine which of his potions she’d spilled and sighed with some relief, indicating it wasn’t anything harmful.

 

Relieved that Mias stayed calm, Elle knelt to the floor to look for the bottle top. She hadn’t heard it break, so it had to be in tact somewhere: under the cabinet no doubt.

 

“Now what one…?” Mias began to ask himself just what spell he had stored in the bottle, but as he glanced over to inspect what Elle was doing on the floor, he suddenly remembered, mostly because it was obvious.

 

Elle’s body had shrunk to nearly one fourth of her usual size, only this wasn’t the halfway point between her rodent transformation. Her hair had grown back in to the length of her chin, her limbs were chubbier, and her face rounder. It wasn’t that she had shrunk; her very age had been reversed.

 

“Elle…?” Mias gulped nervously as he watched her crawl out of her dress that no longer fit and scoot across the floor faster than even thought a toddler was capable of. Pushing his anxiety aside, he quickly snatched her up into his arms. “Ah-ah, where do you think you’re going?”

 

“Go!” She said, squirming in his arms defiantly.

 

“Go where?” Mias asked, recalling that the details of the age reversal potion meant the mind regressed as well, and unfortunately, there wasn’t much he could do other than wait for the effects to wear off. Still, that meant he was stuck tending to a child until then, but this was Elle. Surely she’d be a good little girl until that time came. It may be the only time she’d ever be completely obedient to him.

 

“Down now!” She screamed, pulling at his fingers and shattering his dreams yet again as en even wilder stubbornness appeared. “Down now! Down NOW!”

 

Her temper scared him enough to comply and he set her down carefully onto her feet. He estimated her age to be between a year and two given some understanding of language and the fact she seemed sure footed enough to walk on her own, and of course she had no shame in waddling around in her birthday suit in front of him.

 

She reached the door, but not the handle and puffed out her cheeks angrily as she looked back at him.

 

“Do you want to go out?”

 

“Out.” She demanded, still scowling adorably.

 

“Alright, alright, but first let’s get dressed, okay?”

 

Elle held herself against the door as she watched Mias magically manipulate her recently shed clothes into those of a proper size.

 

“Come here,” Mias beckoned, holding up the dress for her to see. “We’re going to put on the pretty dress.”

 

“NO,” she stamped her foot. “OUT!”

 

“You can’t run around the house naked.” That was the first time Mias ever said that to a woman. If only Elle saw fit to streak through the halls at her proper age. “Now come here.”

 

She stuck her tongue at him and blew a very wet raspberry.

 

“You little—!” Mias caught himself, remembering there was no use getting upset with her at any age, but she seemed a right nightmare as a toddler. “Elle, will you please come here?”

 

Another raspberry.

 

And his patience was gone. There was no way he was going to have an argument with a baby. He crossed the room and grabbed her, instantly causing more shouting and then crying that far exceeded the range he was accustomed to. “Stop crying and just put on the bloody dress!”

 

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” She wailed, and in no time brought the curious up to the study.

 

“Sir, we heard the most horrific cry—” Malcolm began as he threw open the door, only to pause upon seeing his master fighting to cloth a defiant toddler. He couldn’t save face and immediately burst into laughter as the maid and Abernos arrived behind him.

 

“A baby?! Master, what happened?!” Retti asked as she rushed to his aid, what female instinct she did have driving her to take Elle into her arms and cradle her protectively. “There, there.”

 

“But that’s…” Abernos knew the hair color on the child could only belong to one person. “Is that Elle?!”

 

“Miss Elle?!” Retti gasped, holding the child out for a better look once her cries had settled.

 

“She came into contact with some of my stored magic…” Mias admitted. “The age reversal potion.”

 

“H-How do we change her back?!” Abernos asked.

 

“You have to let it run its course. The beauty of magic is its transience, but mostly because permanent spells require far more power and aren’t always effective. I could try to reverse it, but since that’s not my usual practice, I’m not going to make Elle a test subject,” Mias explained. “It’s too risky.”

 

“So she’s stuck like this?” Abernos asked, gesturing to Retti if he could hold her to which the maid agreed and carefully transferred her into his arms.

 

“Fwuffy!” Elle suddenly giggled and patted Abernos’ forearms.

 

“Unfortunately…” Mias groaned.

 

A gurgle from Elle’s stomach changed her mood back to sour and she began to fuss in Abernos’ arms. “Down…!”

 

“Oh, that’s right. It’s lunch time. You two didn’t go down yet, did you?” Retti asked Mias.

 

Is that why she was causing a fuss? Mias asked himself as he watched Abernos and Retti leave with Elle only to be left with Malcolm snickering in the doorway. “Ugh… whatever you’re going to say, say it…”

 

“Forgive me, Master, but it’s too funny. How many times has she asked you not to treat her like a child and now here she is, a child!” He chuckled politely behind his hand.

 

“Yes, haha, but you know where I stand on children, Malcolm.”

 

“And what, you’ll let the servants look after her? I’m sure she’ll be right pleased to hear about that when the spell wears off,” the vampire grinned.

 

“She won’t have any memory of it. She’s two.”

 

“Do you really think you’ll get that lucky?”

 

“…No, I do not,” Mias cringed. “But she’s so… unruly! And I’m not exactly the child rearing sort.”

 

“Oh come now, it’s not like she’s an infant. Surely you can handle this challenge.”

 

“You’re baiting me, Malcolm.”

 

“And you swore to the girl you’d look after her~,” he replied in a sing-song sort of voice as he moseyed down the hallway.

 

Malcolm reiterated a point Mias didn’t need reminding of. Elle was his responsibility, and while her current form wasn’t quite what he signed on for, he knew there’d be no living with her afterward if he didn’t at least try.

 

Down in the dining hall, Percy had quickly amended Elle’s plate to accommodate her current form. Retti had taken the liberty of at least tying a fresh cloth around Elle’s bottom to preserve some of her dignity, and now the toddler was sitting happily on the chef’s lap as he personally hand fed her grapes and bits of chicken.

 

“Mmmmm!” Elle beamed happily with full cheeks as she politely ate without fuss and to the amusement of the others.

 

“She’s so cute,” Abernos perked his ears up merrily as he watched her eat.

 

“I wonder if this form is how she truly was as a baby,” Retti added.

 

“I bet so,” Abernos grinned and kept wiggling his ears each time Elle looked over at him. It made her giggle and smile wide.

 

Percy smiled as well as he carefully held a glass of water to Elle’s mouth to let her wash down her meal. Excess dribbled down her front, but the chef tentatively wiped it up with a napkin and then dabbed her mouth dry. “All done, Miss.”

 

“All done!” Elle repeated, shooting her hands up triumphantly into the air.

 

Percy set the napkin on the table and put her back onto the floor. “Good girl.”

 

Elle giggled and ran under the table to the chair Abernos sat in and promptly jumped onto his furry leg. “Heehee!”

 

“Hello Elle,” Abernos peaked under the table to witness the ovary bursting sweetness that was little Elle hugging his leg cheerily. “Do you want to play?”

 

“Yeah!” She responded enthusiastically and hugged his leg tighter as he got up to walk out of the dining hall.

 

“Shouldn’t we dress her first?” Retti asked, helping Percy to clear dishes onto the trolley.

 

“I’ll see if I can get that dress from Mias,” Abernos said, being cautious with his steps as he didn’t want to hurt Elle as he walked. He didn’t have to step far before he encountered the magician heading towards them in the corridor. “Oh, there you are! Do you think we can get her dressed?”

 

“Of course we can. She’s only a child,” Mias said as he bent down on his knees to meet Elle’s eye level. “Elle, would you come here for a moment?”

 

“Uh-Uh,” she shook her head and hugged Abernos’ shin tighter.

 

“It’s alright, Elle,” Abernos assured her.

 

Elle didn’t budge and hid her head behind Abernos’ calf.

 

“…I think she’s scared of you,” the stag said.

 

“Great…” Mias groaned sarcastically. It was to be expected, he realized. He didn’t look like the friendliest of men to adults to begin with, so of course he’d send little girls hiding – even Elle.

 

“Elle,” Abernos leaned down to touch her shoulder. “It’s alright. I know he looks scary, but he won’t hurt you.”

 

“That’s right,” Mias smiled, his mind working quickly to develop a plan to coax her out. He extended his right hand forward and conjured a small ball of green flames and with some concentration, turned the color to pink and the flames to fluttering butterflies around his fingers.

 

Her large grey eyes were instantly transfixed and she stood on her feet, still half hidden behind Abernos.

 

“See? I’m not scary,” Mias explained, swirling his fingers around to draw the butterflies back into his hand where they disappeared, much to Elle’s amazement.

 

She stepped over to him and grabbed his hand to investigate their whereabouts. She looked the entire hand over before looking up at him with a puzzled look on her face. “Where’d they go?”

 

“It’s a secret,” he smiled, holding a finger to his lips. “Only good little girls who put on their clothes get to know.”

 

“Oh…”

 

“Do you want to put your dress on?” He asked, taking the garment draped over his sleeve and holding it up.

 

“Okay,” she consented and lifted her arms up as Mias pulled it down over her head.

 

He struggled a bit at first to get her arms through the sleeves, but after a little fuss and brushing her hair back into place with his fingers, she finally looked presentable. “My, aren’t you pretty.”

 

She giggled a little before staring back up on him. “So what’s the secret?”

 

“Okay, I’ll tell you,” he leaned his lips down to her ear and whispered something that only made her confused again.

 

“Huh? Whazzat mean?”

 

“It means I’m a very special person,” he smiled and picked her up, this time without any fuss.

 

Elle had little comprehension of his words and in typical child form, decided to move on to more important matters. “Wanna play?”

 

“I was thinking I’d take her outside to run around,” Abernos told him.

 

“Alright, I’ll join you,” he agreed, once again underestimating her energy.

 

Nearly three hours later, both Mias and Abernos had collapsed with their backs against one another’s in the side field while an ever giggling Elle tried to get the dogs in the playing spirit.

 

“Puppy, come on!” She ordered, tugging on one of the hound’s long ears. When he didn’t respond, she plopped down at his side and reclined against him. Her eyes became droopy and she yawned quietly as the last of her reserves were depleted and a nap was inevitable.

 

“Ah, finally tuckered out, eh young lass?” The groundskeeper who’d been watching from a distance made his way over to the group and scooped Elle up with one arm before tapping his boot against Mias and Abernos. “Oy, ya can’t leave her unsupervised, ya know.”

 

“We’re exhausted, Gale…” Mias groaned.

 

“Aye, they tend to do that,” he chuckled and placed Elle into Mias’ arms. “But ain’t that face make it worth it?”

 

Using what strength he had left, Mias tilted his head down to find Elle nestling into his chest. Forget cuteness, having her asleep was the real welcomed sight.

 

“She’ll probably nap for an hour or two,” Gale warned him. “If ya were wise, ya’d take that time to recoup too.”

 

“You’re a father Gale, can’t you look after her…?” A sleepy Abernos asked.

 

“Haha, nice try boys, but m’youngest is already seven and I’m happy to have the baby days behind me.” His words provoked another groan from the two. “Ah come now. Ya’ll younger than me – ya have no excuse t’ be complain’. Lil lass ain’t gonna be this small for long, so ya should enjoy it while it lasts.”

 

“‘Enjoy’ isn’t exactly the word I had in mind,” Mias grumbled. He wasn’t sure how long the spell would last, results varied, but he preferred it to be sooner rather than later.

 

It took some motivating, but eventually he and Abernos returned to the manor to find proper resting spots. Abernos collapsed on the couch in the parlor room while Mias was able to make it up to Elle’s room. He kicked off his boots after sitting on the edge of the bed and swung his legs up onto the mattress once his feet were free. Reclining back into the pillows, he made sure Elle was secure and content in his arms before he dared close his eyes to rest.

 

“Mias,” Elle called his name while lightly slapping her entire hand against his cheeks.

 

He groaned, but didn’t awaken.

 

Elle pouted and crawled further up his chest to grab the antenna like lock of hair he never seemed able to push back. One good pull was all it took for him to open his eyes.

 

“Ow! Ow, ow… Elle, what are you doing? Let go!”

 

She giggled as he forcibly removed her hand and held it so she wouldn’t be tempted to continue.

 

“What is it you…” His voice trailed off as he realized the front of his shirt was damp. Praying it wasn’t what he thought, he looked down at the skirt of her dress, and sure it enough, it was wet. “You didn’t…”

 

Elle innocently blinked her eyes. It wasn’t something a two-year old body could control after all. It was actually somewhat impressive it soaked through two layers of cloth, but it wasn’t anything to be happy about.

 

“Ugh… Anaret!” He called for the maid as he set Elle on the mattress and began pulling off his shirt.

 

It took only a few moments for her to appear at the door. “Yes sir?”

 

“Change her, would you? And wash my tunic.”

 

“Yes sir,” Retti rushed over to the bed, gathered Elle in one arm and Mias’ laundry in the other.

 

“Retti!” Elle giggled and tugged on one of the girl’s braids.

 

“Yes Miss, please hold on,” Retti told her and Elle let go in favor of looking over her shoulder to grin at Mias as they left for the scullery room.

 

“Bye-bye!” She waved.

 

Mias gave an unenthused wave back as he turned to walk up the hall to his room for a change of clothing as well. He didn’t understand how Gale thought any of this was enjoyable. She fussed, had unrivaled energy, and no bladder control – where was the fun in any of that? She may be cute, but it wasn’t summoning any parental instinct.

 

He wasn’t the sort for children, never had been, although aside from his occasional encounters with Marius as an infant, he hadn’t actually had much experience with them. It wasn’t something a powerful Lord like himself need concern about, even if he were to sire a child, it’s not like he’d be the one raising it.

 

“There we are, a clean bottom and a fresh nappy,” Retti smiled as she finished tying the cloth diaper around Elle’s hips. “I imagine you’d be quite embarrassed if you were your normal self Miss, but worry not this shall remain between us.”

 

Elle giggled and sat up to pull both Retti’s braids.

 

“Ow! Miss Elle, please!” She managed to free her hair and then walked over to one of the indoor clothes lines where one of her shirt hung. “I think I can fashion this into a makeshift dress for you… I’ll just need a bit of ribbon.”

 

“Ribbon?!” Elle’s eyes sparkled excitedly.

 

“Yes, Miss. What color would you prefer?” She asked while seeking her sewing basket off one of the linen shelves.

 

“Pink!” Elle said without hesitation.

 

“Pink it is,” Retti produced a spool of ribbon from the basket along with a pair of scissors and after gathering the shirt off the line, pulled it over Elle’s head and began the alterations. She tied a ribbon in a belt around the waist, pulling up the access shirt so the hem rose just above Elle’s feet, and then did a similar tie with the sleeves. The access fabric made for a rather baggy looking dress, but with pretty pink bows tied at her back and sleeves, Elle wasn’t complaining.

 

She giggled and Retti cut one last length of ribbon and tied a bow in Elle’s hair. “Oooo! Pretty!”

 

“There, that should do for now,” the maid smiled.

 

“You too! You too!” Elle insisted, pointing at Retti’s braids.

 

“Me? I’m a little old for hair ribbons, Miss.”

 

“Do it!” Elle ordered.

 

“Yes Miss,” Retti obeyed without once taking into consideration her orders came from a toddler, before returning the girl back to Mias in his room. “Um, did you want me to continue to look after her since I have experience with children?”

 

“No, Elle is my responsibility. I didn’t hire you for child care,” Mias said as he took Elle back into his arms.

 

“Yes sir,” Retti bowed. “May I bring you anything?”

 

“See if you can find any old toys in the attic to amuse her,” Mias said before Elle pulled on his ear. “Ow! And do be quick about it!”

 

“Yes sir!” The maid rushed out of the room in search of any child-friendly play-thing to alleviate the roll from Mias.

 

“I don’t know why I had it in my head that you of all people would behave for me,” Mias complained out loud as he pried Elle’s fingers off his ear while listening to her mischievous giggles. His ear freed, he held her out at arm’s length and sighed. “You like annoying me, don’t you?”

 

“What’s ‘annoy’?” Elle asked innocently.

 

“Never mind,” he said as he dared to set her down on her own two feet. “Now then, what to do with you…”

 

Elle looked around the room before confronting him with her large grey eyes. “Why do you look like a badger?”

 

“A badger?”

 

She giggled and poked her fingers near his eye socket. “Badger eyes!”

 

“They are not badger eyes, they are the marks of a Dormaeus,” he said, once again having to take her fingers to get them off his face. “You can’t keep putting your grubby little hands over everything. Look and don’t touch – hasn’t anyone ever told you that?”

 

“Daddy,” Elle answered in a laugh. She’d heard it before, but never let it sink in.

 

“I’m not your father, but you’d better listen to me or you’ll end up getting hurt,” Mias warned her.

 

Sensing his scolding tone, Elle puffed out her cheeks to pout. “Meanie…”

 

“Elle, I’m not doing this to be mean,” he bent down a little lower in hopes of looking her in the eyes. “Look at me.”

 

For once she listened the first time and raised her head up.

 

“If anything were to happen to you, I’d be very sad. I know you want to have fun, but don’t touch things without permission, okay?”

 

“Okay…” she said quietly.

 

“We’ll find something suitable for you to play with, I promise,” he tickled under her chin to get her to smile up at him. “Cheer up.”

 

“Heehee!” She giggled and for the better part of the day was in a decent mood with him.

 

Retti’s search of the attic turned up a few old toys, but very few age appropriate ones: a scarce collection of wooden blocks and carved animal figurines made do though for Elle’s imagination. Besides being talkative, she was creative even at this age and often brutal when she exiled the sheep from her make-believe farm for making an omelet out of the chicken’s eggs and was subsequently eaten by wolves, or so Elle told him.

 

Dinner didn’t stir much of a fuss and neither did bath time, although Retti did exit the bathroom with the front of her clothes soaked, looking defeated and tired while a freshly bathed and changed Elle rushed back to play a little more.

 

“She… didn’t want to?” Mias asked.

 

“Oh no, she wanted to be in the water,” Retti answered with a heavy sigh. “But she still splashes...”

 

Mias chuckled. “Who would have thought she’d be so wild?”

 

“Do you think you’ll be able to get her to bed, sir?”

 

“Shouldn’t be too hard,” Mias speculated. “She’s bound to tucker herself out soon.”

 

“Alright, let me know if you need anything more,” the maid offered reluctantly.

 

“I can handle it, Anaret. You’re dismissed for the evening,” Mias told her and waited until she stepped out of the room for him to approach Elle. “Having fun?”

 

“Uh huh,” she said, not even bothering to look up at him.

 

“Alright,” Mias glanced over at his bookcase and thought he might as well pass his evening time leisurely. “Let me know when you’re tired.”

 

“’Kay,” Elle responded without care while Mias grabbed a volume to read in the comfort of his chair by the fireplace.

 

He found his reading glasses upon the nearby table where last he left them, pushed them onto the bridge of his nose, and finally opened the book to his last bookmarked chapter. After only reading a few pages, he felt eyes on him and shifted his glance over the arm of the chair where Elle’s large grey irises were gazing up at him with interest. “Yes?”

 

“Whatcha readin’?” She asked in a rather sweet tone.

 

“The Man From Burnt Cove,” he answered.

 

“Whazzat?”

 

“It’s a narrative about a man who washes up on a beach with no memory of who he is,” he explained, though doubted Elle could comprehend such a storyline.

 

Her expression was confused, but still interested and so she proceeded to crawl up onto his lap without cautious mind.

 

“Alright, alright,” Mias tented the book over the other arm of the chair momentarily to bend down and pick Elle up to avoid any unpleasant grabs. “You want me to read to you?”

 

She nodded her head and cozied herself between his chest and arm as he took the book back into his hands.

 

“Comfy?”

 

“Mhm,” she nodded.

 

And so Mias continued reading, this time out loud. He knew Elle wouldn’t understand the tale whether if he began from the beginning or the middle, and she never voiced a complaint on the matter. She just sat there snuggled against him with her eyes growing heavier and heavier until they finally closed. He read on until the chapter’s end, wanting to make certain she was asleep before attempting to move her.

 

Setting the book aside, he cradled her carefully and walked her over to his bed. Balancing her with one arm, he pulled the duvet back with the other before gently setting her down on the mattress and tucking her in.

 

“There,” he thought proudly as he returned to his chair to continue reading, “that wasn’t too difficult.”

 

By the time his own bedtime hour approached, Mias had completed another chapter, taken a bath, and dug to the bottom of his special clothes trunk to find an old set of cotton pajamas he’d maybe worn once before in his life. Not that there’d be any harm to sleeping naked, he just didn’t want any misunderstandings – especially since Elle could revert at any time. He didn’t need that sort of trouble.

 

Fully dressed, he went about turning down the oil lamps before finally sitting himself down on the opposite side of his bed. The right side. Elle’s usual side. Though she was asleep right across from him, it wasn’t the same. However, it was only for tonight; two nights tops if the spell was stubborn. Maybe she’d even be back to normal by morning. All he had to do was close his eyes and sleep until then.

 

“M-Mum…! Mummy!”

 

The sound of Elle’s whimper woke him up roughly two hours later and perplexed him for a moment until his mind awakened as well. “Elle?”

 

Her crying calmed at first when she heard his voice, but wavered when she couldn’t see him.

 

“Elle,” he called her name again and crawled across the bed to her side. “Elle, I’m right here. What’s wrong?”

 

“Want Mum…!” She cried.

 

“Shh, shh…” He hushed her while pulling her back up into his arms. “She isn’t here.”

 

“Can’t you go get her…?” She sniffled.

 

“No Elle, I can’t...” He said regrettably. Her mother would certainly be a great comfort to her, but even with his magic, pulling off a convincing transformation of either parent would be difficult. He also didn’t see the point of lying to her like that, even if she was a child. “Please tell me what’s wrong.”

 

She shook her head defiantly before burying it into his shoulder.

 

“Is it too dark?” He guessed, lifting his right hand to conjure a floating fireball to provide some illumination. He stroked his hand over her head until she quieted down a little more and looked up at him with heartbreakingly sad eyes. Mias hadn’t a clue what more he could do other than try to comfort her. Maybe it was the dark, maybe it was a nightmare, or maybe she just missed her mother… regardless of the reason, he hated feeling so damn useless to her.

 

At least she ceased crying for the moment in favor of grabbing handfuls of his shirt to cling to.

 

“It’s alright, Elle,” he assured her, continuing to stroke her hair and hug her tight. Maybe she just had a moment of insecurity, he wondered. Sometimes all a child needed was a warm hug and a loving kiss to make it better. He decided it couldn’t hurt to try and tilted his head down to kiss her forehead.

 

“Nn…” Elle buried her head into his chest.

 

“What?” He smirked, finding her usual reaction in this form just as adorable. “You don’t want kisses?”

 

“No,” she said firmly.

 

“How unfortunate,” he lifted her up a bit higher and kissed her soggy cheek. “Little girls who cry get kisses.”

 

“No…!” Her face flustered, but he could tell she didn’t have much fight left in her.

 

“Just one more?” He asked while reclining back against the pillows and freeing her movement to let her go where she wanted.

 

Elle pouted out her lower lip and reluctantly accepted another kiss to her other cheek.

 

“I suppose having you irritated is better than having you upset,” he said while pulling the covers back over them. “But it’s a bit late to be anything other than tired. Let’s get some sleep, shall we?”

 

“Okay…” She responded quietly.

 

Mias smiled and closed his eyes while he returned to stroking her hair to lull her back to sleep. “Good night.”

 

“…Night…” She yawned and nuzzled her head into his chest.

 

And thankfully there were no more incidents that night, and come morning, Mias awoke to find his pajamas dry, but his bed lacking its other occupant which sent him into a panic as soon as he realized Elle’s absence. He flew out bed, shouting her name, and stumbling over the little wooden figures she left out. “Elle! Oo! Ah! OW! ELLE!”

 

“Would you calm down?! I’m in the bathroom!” He heard her reply in her usual speaking voice.

 

Curious to see if the transformation had truly worn off, he didn’t think much of common courtesy before barging into the bathroom to find full grown Elle clad in only a baggy shirt sitting on the toilet and proceeding to turn a bright shade of red.

 

“WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH YOU?! GET OUT!” She shouted.

 

“Oh thank goodness,” Mias heaved a huge sigh of relief and threw his arms around her. He didn’t know how much he missed her need to be independent of him.

 

“Mias, what the hell?! Get out of here!” Elle kept blushing and trying to force him off without her thighs leaving the toilet seat. “I can go without your help!”

 

“I know,” he kissed her temple. “You’re a big girl who can take care of herself.”

 

“You bloody pervert, I’m not playing here now GET. OUT.” She finally got enough force in her arms to push him back, and this time he headed her and closed the bathroom door behind him.

 

Once said matters were concluded and the two dressed, Elle questioned why she awoke in one of Retti’s chemises and a cloth diaper. She had no recollection of her time revisiting her youth, and perhaps that was a good thing because the more details Mias gave her, the less she wanted to know. By conversation’s end, she’d stubbornly secluded herself in her own room due to embarrassment.

 

“Elle,” Mias dragged out her name as he stood before the twin doors tapping his fingers against his crossed arms. “You hate being kept in that room, so it perplexes me as why you’d willingly lock yourself in there.”

 

“You know why!” He heard her answer from the other side.

 

“We all have the same bodily functions, my dear,” he stately calmly. “It’s not like I saw anything anyway.”

 

“Don’t get me started on that!”

 

“I can understand your embarrassment, my dear, but for all the trouble you put me through yesterday you were still you,” he explained calmly. “I can forget the minor unpleasantries that come with that age – it’s your dwelling on it that makes it remain in memory.”

 

“Couldn’t you cast a spell instead to make us all forget yesterday?” She asked hopefully.

 

“Oh heavens no,” he smiled. “I never want to forget how adorably demanding you were.”

 

“Oh god…” Elle groaned. She’d heard tales of her younger years from several relatives and they were never flattering tales.

 

“And it was perhaps the first time I was able to impress and mesmerize you,” Mias continued.

 

He heard her feet quickly tread across the room and the door lock clicked as she released the mechanism. She pulled the door slowly open to expose half of her face. “I don’t need to be doing your ego any favors…”

 

“It wouldn’t hurt seeing as you usually are quite cold to me,” he pouted.

 

“I’m the cold one? I’ve had to fetch you for every meal because you can’t pry yourself away from your damn study. I know this is your house: your rules, but you don’t get both your work and time with me. The world doesn’t work like that Mias, not even for you.”

 

“Oh dear, have I been neglectful?” His tone changed and he put his hand on the door to pry it open further.

 

“No, and I really wouldn’t care if you were absent from meals at all, but I know that means my sleep will be disturbed then because you seem to be incapable of living with yourself,” she retorted, trying to close the door on him before he could enter, but it was no use since the doors opened inward and gave his side the advantage.

 

“I don’t like to break when I’m being productive, and it’s not that I can’t live with myself, I want to see you,” he smiled slyly and snaked his arms around her middle before Elle had the chance to put some distance between them.

 

“You want to annoy me,” Elle corrected him and pushed against his chest to try and keep an appropriate distance apart.

 

“Because it’s much more fun at this age,” he grinned and pulled her a bit closer.

 

“You really are obnoxious,” Elle sighed to herself, resigning herself to rest her head against his chest in hopes she wouldn’t encourage him further.

 

“Should have seen me as a child,” Mias chuckled, bringing a hand up to comb through her hair. He knew better than to push his luck, especially when Elle was feeling less secure than usual.

 

The day ended peacefully once yesterday was put in the past, though as Mias read silently in the comfort of his chair and Elle paged through her lesson book on the sofa, something about the atmosphere seemed amiss. It’s true Elle didn’t have any memory of yesterday’s events, so perhaps it was only coincidence that the idea came to her in the first place.

 

She set her lesson book aside and left the sofa to approach the chair’s arm. “Mias…?”

 

“Hm?”

 

“The Man From Burnt Cove is one of novels you wanted me to read, right?”

 

“Of course – it’s a classic.”

 

“It’s written in the more archaic language though… so… could you read it to me?” She asked hesitantly. It seemed so childish to ask it of him. The archaic form wasn’t even that difficult once you recognized the old letters.

 

He looked up from the book with a small smile on his face as his fingers removed his bookmark. “…Provided you sit on my lap.”

 

Elle cracked a smile and didn’t protest his conditions. She readily took a seat on his lap and reclined her body against his as he turned to the front page and began the story again.

An Elle and Mias Side Story
I wrote and finished this a while ago. It's one of those "let's give the guy who doesn't like kids, a kid he may actually like by turning his love interest into one" sorta stories. Seems like a filler kind of episode, doesn't it? So that's why it's a little lame, but the idea of Mias putting up with a stubborn toddler Elle was adorable... :heart:

(c) StressedJenny & SuirenShinju
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Mature Content Filter is On. The Artist has chosen to restrict viewing to deviants 18 and older.
(Contains: sexual themes, violence/gore and strong language)
Elias was none too pleased with being ordered out of his home, but even he wasn’t foolish enough to test Durias’ patience with him. He did as he usually did, returning to Iedra’s mansion to lounge about while waiting for his partners in crime returned from their mission. Elias had no intention of making things easy for Mias, and he had a new desire to irritate Durias for once again not taking his side.

However, to annoy, but not get himself involved meant sitting this round out, leaving him to the devices of an idle mind. Mostly he thought about what he ought to do about Mias and his little bird. They were causing far bigger commotion than he had – another world entirely? What was Mias thinking? And just when had he become that powerful? Did that mean he was always holding back on him? How irritating if that was the case; there was nothing Elias hated more than being pitied.

And Elle… a woman from another world, and yet he didn’t know it just by looking at her. She was a little strange, he supposed, certainly not a local to their fair region of the world, but to be completely foreign still bewildered Elias and ignited further interest in her. Still, it also meant the novelty of her exotic origin would take a great deal of time to wear away Mias’ interest. Granted, it’d only been a few months, but he still seemed quite protective of her… perhaps the indulgence of her flesh provided him with a unique source of pleasure he sought to covet. It was the only explanation. He doubted Mias could ever truly care about anyone other than himself.

The slamming of the front doors and the sounds of struggling immediately withdrew Elias from the parlor to investigate. He found Duncan and Iedra ordering a bound-and-gagged stag and maid to sit and stay on the ground while the two entered and removed their riding clothes.

“Where’s the girl?” Elias asked, not recalling ordering a pair of servants.

“We had to amend the plan,” Iedra told him.

“They made taking the girl quite complicated, so we decided we’d fair better taking someone she cares for,” Duncan grinned.

“Why Duncan, you magnificent bastard,” Elias grinned and knelt down in front of the two.

Abernos had dried blood all over his neck and dripping down his chest and back while Retti’s lopsided hair and mangled arm made him chuckle.

“A precaution, or did they make it difficult for you?”

“A precaution, of course,” Iedra said, watching Elias take a look at Retti’s arm.

“Oh my, Iedra, you really finesse when it comes to the art of torture,” he said as he freed her injured arm to examine it, much to Retti’s fear he’d only make it worse. “Talons… ugh, yes it’ll break the skin, but you won’t get any good screams from such a shallow clutch. It won’t make the infection she gets in the wounds worth it.”

“I didn’t have time for ‘art’, Elias,” Iedra argued.

Not long after their banter, Abernos and Retti found themselves tossed into a less than savory part of the cellar, but it might as well have been a proper dungeon given the iron bars and chains they used to secure the two. The stonework was ice cold, the air: stale and dank, and of course it was dark, especially after their captors left them.

At least they were free of their gags for the time being so they could combat the quiet on the deep cellar.

“Are we… going to die…?” Retti asked, still finding some tears to shed even though she was exhausted from anxiety.

“I dunno…” Abernos answered honestly as he studied their surroundings. “Not if I can help it.”

“Why are they doing this….? We didn’t do anything wrong… We were just doing our jobs! A job I was promised was safe!”

“I don’t think anyone involved with the Dormaeus family is ever truly safe,” Abernos said as he pulled for slack on his chains to move closer to her. “Surely you knew that on some level…”

“Why?! You think I’m ‘dumb’ too?!” She cried. “Because I try to believe what I’m told isn’t a lie?! I was practically raised in the Dormaeus household so forgive me for having faith in my master!”

“I…! I didn’t mean it that way!” Abernos said and watched her cry for a moment before redirecting the subject. “Your arm… how bad is it…?”

“It was like Lord Elias said… it did slice up my skin pretty good, but they’re shallow… and they probably will get infected being down here… How’s your neck?”

“It actually only itches a little,” he reluctantly admitted. “I’m still a little drained, but I think I’ll be alright… Do wounds like these get infected?”

Retti shook her head and sniffled. “No, a hemovore has a very clean mouth actually. It’s to prevent bacteria getting into their preferred feeding place – that’s what Malcolm told me anyway.”

“I suppose it doesn’t make sense to make your food go bad…” Abernos reasoned, trying to get a better look at the two fang marks, but not succeeding.

“It’s not that bad, really,” she said as she raised her knees to her eyes to wipe them dry. “I probably would have preferred being drained to becoming a hawk perch…”

“I’m sorry…” Abernos apologized.

“It’s not your fault…” she told him, trying blow a strand of loose hair off her face. “How bad does my hair look…?”

“You’re worried about your hair at a time like this?”

“I’d rather worry about my hair than impending death!”

Abernos could tell she needed the distraction and tilted his head down to get a better look. “Huh… you lost half of it…”

“That woman cut it… Does it look bad…?”

“It’s not really something I…” Being a stag, such things as hair styles weren’t a large concern to him, but that look in her eyes told her he ought to try. “I suppose once you even it off, it’ll look nice. You don’t see many females with short hair.”

“Those who do are either sisters or maids…”

“You’re a maid, aren’t you?”

“No-No, I mean like a woman who’s chosen not to wed, not one who cleans house, though they very often are one and the same.”

“Huh, so do you plan on being wed or will you be a maid-maid?”

“I never gave it all that much thought… I suppose I would have to if Master Mias ever sired a child and would need a midwife and a wet nurse. That’s what my grandmother did.”

“What’s a wet nurse?” Abernos asked.

“…You really don’t know anything about females, do you?” Retti smiled a little.

“We need something to talk about for a while, don’t we? Now’s a good a time as any, and it’ll keep your mind off it better if you’re the one talking, right?” He smiled back.

“Yeah, that would be easier for me,” her smile widened, grateful for his compassion and rolled her eyes up to think of how best to begin such a conversation. “Well I guess I’ll answer your question first, you see a wet nurse is…”

Conversation was all they could do for the time being. Without knowing when rescue would come, if at all, it was certainly better than fixating on just how dire a situation they found themselves in.

Perhaps it was fortunate that word of things going from bad to worse hadn’t reached Elle. She had enough to deal with navigating the woods on her own with cold and dirty bare feet, an uneasy stomach, and a broken heart – although she questioned if she could call it so when her feelings were still left unsaid. It hurt just the same she reckoned, paining everything from eating to sleeping, both of which she hadn’t gotten much of in the past two days.

She was traveling west without taking any turns unless necessary to avoid getting lost, but the straightforward method still hadn’t led her to a town or even an out of way cottage, and confident as she was that this was the only way to proceed, her patience was wearing thin, and all but snapped when a familiar cramping caught up with her while walking.

“No… No, you’ve got to be kidding me…” She groaned, clutching her lower abdomen with one hand while the other braced against a tree. She was certain of what it was, but still figured she ought to be absolutely certain.

With no one around, she didn’t think much of unbuttoning her trousers and sliding them down to her thighs to check the crotch. Fresh blood stained the fabric and repulsed Elle as she reluctantly pulled her trousers back up. They were a thicker fabric thankfully, but give it a few hours and it’d leak through.

“Oh why now?” She tried to keep from miserably laughing at her own misfortune when it occurred to her the supplements Mr. Percy provided with her morning meals probably had been a sort of birth control – Mias was too careful with such matters. It’d been a few days now without the drug, so perhaps this was just a side effect… and with the stress… well, it made good sense for her body to want to cleanse itself as quickly as possible.

She hugged her middle with some understanding of its reasoning and pressed forward, knowing the cramps would only worsen if she kept still for too long, however, with her mind now conscious to the situation at hand, it just made her feel all the more disgusting.

There was no kindness for her in this world, only fleeting bits of happiness that brushed past her fingertips without ever allowing her to grab them. It was what life had always been and each time she always failed to treasure the brief moments for their worth, or worse, let them become tainted by what future awaited them. She couldn’t look back on memories with her family without remembering how they died and left her alone, nor could she look back on previous loves without remembering how they hurt her. She supposed she could think about Abernos and her friends… friends who weren’t there to support her right now.

She had to think of other things, like eating her favorite chocolate or curling up with a good book. That was what would get her through this, not Mias, not anyone, only her own stubbornness.

By sheer chance, or perhaps finally a small bit of luck, she finally found herself hobbling onto a dirt path en route to a quaint farm cottage just a little further ahead.

The next morning Elle awoke in the comfort of a downy bed with a thick, fluffy comforter. She was in a daze at first, her mind reminding her how the older couple who resided here with a few farm hands kindly took her in – mostly at the misses’ instance to see a poor girl out on her own without proper every-28-day knickers. After a warm bath and a humble meal, she fell asleep just as her head hit the pillow.

“You awake, dearie?” A soft knock from outside the door followed by the slowed speech of an elderly woman brought Elle’s attention to the door.

“Yes mum,” Elle replied, pushing herself upright against the pillows.

“How are you feeling?” The woman asked as she slowly trotted into the room with a small tea tray containing the like and two slices of buttered bread.

“Better, thank you,” Elle smiled, pushing back the covers to assist the woman, only to be swatted at.

“No, no, no need to rush yourself. You were in a right state… will do my old bones some good to do a little tending to.”

“Oh, um, alright…” Elle retreated back into bed and sat patiently as the woman placed the tray over her lap and proceeded to the nearby rocking chair to take a seat.

“‘Elle’ was it?”

“Yes mum,” Elle politely replied, being sure to take small bites and sips of her breakfast.

“So well mannered,” the woman chuckled. “And once groomed a rather pretty thing… which has me curious why such a nice girl would be wandering on her own without so much as a bag of rations on her.”

“…Would you accept ‘it’s a long story’?”

“Well, you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. I’m sure you had your reasons.”

“Yeah… long story short: a man I thought I loved didn’t feel the same way about me,” Elle offered the simplest explanation she could think of.

“Ah…” The woman rocked back and forth slowly, digesting the information for a few rounds before bracing the arms of the chair to stand up. “Good enough reason I suppose.”

“And yet I still feel foolish…” Elle said she handed the empty tray back to the woman.

“Never knew someone in love who wasn’t a bit foolish,” the woman said comfortingly as she gathered the tray. “Now then, if you’re up to it, you can get dressed and come downstairs.”

“Alright,” Elle smiled and waited until the woman left to change out of her night dress to a peasant’s dress, definitely a more comfortable fit than her trousers for the time being, and the knickers were a tremendous relief.

What awaited her downstairs was housework, but for their trouble, Elle didn’t object. She found it therapeutic to have tasks such as bread making, laundry, and general tiding up. It certainly helped her get her mind off you-know-who as well as repay them back for their kindness.

The family ran a goose farm, the feathery devils waddling all over the backyard and down to the small pond at the property’s edge. Elle had a hell of a time going about the coop to pick feathers, what with protective father geese determined to guard their nesting mates. Her troubles earned a laugh from the men: the woman’s husband, three sons all in their late twenties, and a nephew slightly younger than his cousins.

Still, it was worth the trouble when enough feathers were gathered to complete a pillow or a quilt square. They were so soft and warm, and once they’d been aired out in the sun a while, they didn’t stink of goose either.

Elle decided only to stay until her menstruation ceased, not knowing what beasts in the forest could be provoked by the smell. Throughout her few days at the farm, she didn’t once receive any sagely advice from the old couple, not that she expected to, but she got the feeling the woman, who clearly wanted, but never had a daughter, had a soft spot for her and her situation. She worked up until the day she left with the youngest two boys to sell the pillows and blankets in the nearest town, which as luck would have it, was also set westward.

Her departure was brief and simple, and even once in town to say goodbye to the youngest son and nephew was also short: just a wave and a wish of good fortune.

Elle had with her a bag of rations good for a full week as well as her Earth clothes freshly cleaned and packed at the bottom of the humble bundle. The woman had given her the dress seeing as she could no longer wear such a garment, along with a worn, but still functional pair of flats to make walking that little bit easier for her.

However, Elle’s intentions of walking were a last resort as she asked wagon after wagon if their destination included the coast: many didn’t, few did that could offer her a ride, and one half blind grain merchant was finally the kind soul who let Elle sit in the back in exchange for conversation on the open road.

They talked a great deal of the way, nothing serious at first, just light hearted chatter about the weather, things he’d seen during his numerous travels, and the occasional fun fact about the birds that passed them overhead.

“I do so love the birds. Hehe, but they only love me because of the grain,” he chuckled lightly. “Half blind, but I know them all by sound… that call off to right of us is the blue-speckled lark. Favored friend of the fairy folk, you know.”

“It has such a sweet song,” Elle commented with a small smile on her face.

“I know it’s none of my business lass, but I’d hate for you to have to wander the rest of your journey on your own. Are you sure I can’t take you to your destination?”

“I don’t think I’d get anyone to take me where I want to go,” Elle admitted with some reservation.

“Try me.”

“Well… I have business with the Dormaeus family,” Elle hesitated to mention the name, but since she wasn’t quite sure of the estate’s location, a ride there would be greatly appreciated.

The wagon jolted for a second as the man stopped his mule for a moment, only to click his tongue to encourage it to continue. “W-What business could you have with the likes of them?”

“I think it’s best that I not say,” Elle didn’t want to say too much in case it put him at risk.

“You do know what sort of family they are, don’t you?”

“Of course, and it’s not that I want to go there, but I have to. I have to…” Elle clutched the skirt of her dress. “I understand if you can’t take me there, but if you could even give me directions, I’d truly appreciate it.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t know how to get there. I don’t think anyone really does, but there’s a town that gets you as close as locals would want to be to such a place. I can take you there.”

“Really?! That’d be more than reasonable, sir! Thank you!”

“I dunno if I ought to be thanked for taking ya someplace so dangerous…” he gulped nervously, reluctantly pushing his mule onward.

By night’s end, they reached the town the man spoke of, and again, he heeded Elle reconsider, all to no avail. Determined to reach her goal as soon as she could, Elle’s search for directions brought her to the local pub where all her requests did was halt the merriment and get her kicked out for asking such things. Apparently this wasn’t going to be as easy as she thought.

Deduction indicated that with one of the two roads passing through the town being the one she came down, the other had to lead closer to the estate – if a common road existed to the estate at all. No, surely it did. Even the Dormaeus wouldn’t trouble themselves with riding through the thicket, but maybe… maybe they had a private roadway only they used. But even if that was the case, that still didn’t give her any idea of where to look for the darn thing, and with dusk well upon her, she doubted she’d make much headway tonight.

She didn’t have money for a room, so like the rest of the vagabonds, she found herself nestled in the hay loft of the local stable. It stunk, both of horses and of drunks, the latter Elle found herself hiding from after too many cat-calls made sleeping in the open uncomfortable. Thankfully her times as a mouse made nesting easy, even in human form, and once she heard snoring from the rest of her compatriots, sleep came to her as well.

Morning again, and Elle still hadn’t a clue what to do other than continue to ask anyone and everyone she passed on the streets if they knew how to reach the infamous estate. The attitude of the town remained the same: they knew nothing, or if they did, they weren’t willing to say, whether out of fear or good common sense remained to be seen however.

“Hey, ye the girl askin’ ‘bout them Dormaeuses?” A bar maid from the pub grabbed Elle’s arm as she passed by the establishment.

“Um, yes?” Elle responded reluctantly, a bit frightened to have the woman suddenly grab her and pull her into the now deserted pub.

“Listen, ye ain’t supposed to talk ‘bout them, ye know? Talk too much, they might come down here.”

“I don’t want to cause trouble, I just want to know how to get there,” Elle said.

“Ye wan a go there? Are ye mad, lass?! They ain’t the sorta folk be hospitable to ye.”

“Then I am a little mad,” Elle replied honestly. She probably was. She had no guarantee of her safety before she met Durias. The likelihood that she’d be killed for trespassing before getting one word to him was a high risk, but even so, Elle didn’t have much to lose at this point. “I have to go there, so give me directions or I’ll keep making a fuss and bring them to you.”

“Ach…” The woman heaved a sigh. “I suppose that don’t give me much choice. Listen, ye want’a go there, fine, I ain’t been there myself but I know the road I seen ‘em come down from. Ye follow the north road outta town to ye get to a fork, now’in, the left leads ye off a cliff and the right dumps ya back in the forest.”

“What’s the point of going to a dead end?” Elle didn’t see how these were good directions.

“No lass, that’s the thing, ya gotta keep goin’ straight. Tis a road not seen or used by ones other than those who bear the death marks,” she explained, tracing a circle around her eye.

“And you’re certain?”

“Can’t be certain, but rumors too often hold their share of truth… I don’t know what lies beyond that road, but I assure ye it ain’t the place for the likes of us…”

“Then it sounds like where I have to go,” Elle smiled. “Thank you very much, Miss.”

“Ye ain’t heard it from me,” the woman warned, slamming the door to the pub after allowing Elle to step back out, making her question just how valid the woman’s word was, but with no other leads, she had to at least investigate it.

The trek up the northern road was steep and rather narrow with numerous bends and curves, obviously a road least traveled. It took nearly half a day for Elle to reach what she assumed was the correct fork – it was hard to tell given the little amount of traffic. Her intended direction of straight ahead was of course barred by a giant bush, one that didn’t yield to her efforts to push through it. She tried various sides, none of them getting her beyond a foot within, and without a tool to prune her way through, Elle stepped back to reassess her possible access points.

“Go straight… just how am I supposed to do that…? I can’t climb over the darn thing…” Elle looked up and down the height before her eyes fixated near the bottom. “I could try to squeeze under it… worse come to worst; I can transform and go through.”

She got on her hands and knees and bent down as low as she could, pushing herself under the foliage and found that it did give way after a bit of pushing. It wasn’t pleasant with branches scratching and catching her clothes, but the struggle saw her through to the other side where a dark forest of trees on a steady incline welcomed her.

Elle gulped, fearing how easy it would be to become lost in such a thick wood, but it would only get darker at the day went on so her time was limited. She entered, abandoning any last warning of caution and feelings of reluctance. There wouldn’t be any turning back now.

The climb was exhausting, at times requiring her to scale bit of rock since there wasn’t much hill. Elle noted the lack of animal trails and absence of songbirds, like life itself was void from this part of the world. It didn’t surprise her; in fact she felt she’d be disappointed if upon seeing the homestead, an ominous flash of lightning didn’t strike behind it. She pictured the house to be grand and gothic, yet spooky like in those old horror movies with lots of gargoyles and spikes: the sort of place that didn’t need a ‘keep out’ sign to detour unwanted visitors.

She couldn’t be sure of the time anymore given the absence of the sun, but it felt like it’d been hours by the time the strenuous climb plateaued in parts to allow her to rest. From the looks of her surroundings, she still wasn’t anywhere near any manmade structures, just more relentless terrain shrouded in darkness.

Elle didn’t expect an easy journey given the family’s reputation, but there was only so much she could do on her own. Perhaps if Mias had given her the ability to transform into a squirrel, or better yet, a bird, it’d be a different story. A mere mouse trying to scale even the smallest of mountains was laughable, she understood her odds perfectly, but she’d come all this way of her own power and wasn’t about to let discouragement override her stubbornness.

It must have been nightfall by the time she pulled herself onto another bit of flat ground. Her hands were bloody, bruised, scratched, and dirty, barely able to move without causing Elle pain. Pushing herself any further at this point was probably a bad idea. She sat against the rock face to once again catch her breath and recover a bit of strength. She wasn’t going to get anywhere in a day obviously.

She closed her eyes for what felt like the duration of a blink, but when they opened, she was colder, far more tired, and aching far worse than ever before.

“Shit, I fell asleep…” she cursed quietly, quickly forcing herself to her feet. She’d lost all sense of time now, but for what it was worth at this point, it seemed irrelevant since she couldn’t see that far ahead of her anyway.

Elle fished a bit of honey bread out of her bag to eat while she looked for the best route to continue on, and curiously, she noticed the ledge on which she sat seemed to have a small animal trail winding around the back of the rock. How had she not noticed that before?

She finished her breakfast and wipes her hands on the apron of her dress before carefully proceeding to the side of the ledge and up the trail, a trail that widened with each step she took and wound its way up and around the terrain to make it no more complicated that a beginner’s hiking trail.

“There’s… no way I could have not noticed this…” Elle said to herself as she found renewed energy from the discovery and began walking. Within a half hour, mossy cobblestone seemed to rise out of the mud to form a proper path, and the further she went, the more the woods opened up, allowing fresh sunlight to finally warm her clammy skin.

Forgetting about how she stumbled across the path for the moment, Elle put her mind to willing herself forward despite all her aches and pains. Something awaited her at the end of this road, but she didn’t let her hopes escalate that it’d be the end of her struggle. Even if she was able to walk right up to the front door, what would she say to whoever answered the door?

By now, the path she walked upon flattened while the land to her left steadily rose up on chiseled stone with black iron bars slowly rising up from the top stone. Withered vines with thorns and dry rose-looking flowers somehow preserved to their stems had tight hold around the cold metal. Despite the macabre appearance, it was still rather beautiful in its own way. Maybe their gardener could be likened to Morticia Addams, she thought whimsically to keep her mood up.

The walk along the wall seemed to go on forever, and with the road at a slight curve, Elle wondered if she was simply going in circles at this point, but just as she was considering resting again, she spied a gate further down and rushed in excitement to open it. No sooner did her hands clutch the iron bars, she noticed a thick and rusted lock prevented the gate from opening.

Deciding this was as good a time as any, Elle pushed her bag through the bars before transforming and crawling through with ease. She took the opportunity to change into her cleaner T-Shirt and trousers after changing back. They were likely to recognize the outfit if Mias had been telling the truth about Elias presenting them as evidence. At the very least, they wouldn’t kill her out right, hopefully.

After stuffing her dress into her bag, Elle turned around to examine what lay within the wall. She saw a long stretch of dried out garden filled with withered flowers and bare bushes and trees providing a rather creepy welcome for her. There was no life in it all, a strange thing given abandoned land tended to be reclaimed by the earth, but this was just… sad. Like it’d been frozen on a cool autumn day, forbidden from ever knowing the warmth of the sun again.

“I didn’t expect it to be inviting, but you’d think they’d tend their property a bit better…” Elle commented to herself, recalling how lush Mias liked to keep his property, but then again, Mias was the black sheep of his family, wasn’t he? Perhaps this was just how his family preferred things.

She walked along one of the pathways that cut straight through the flatland, hugging her arms to steel herself against the ominous atmosphere she felt herself stepping deeper into. The design probably had something to do with psychological deterrents, she theorized, or maybe it was some sort of spell that protected the property by encroaching on a person’s fears. Marvelously done she had to admit, just a few weathered skeletons and some spiders and it’d be perfect for a Halloween party.

She wished she hadn’t thought that. At first she thought her foot had simply snagged a vine, but when she reached down to free it, she found it snagged the bend of a dried arm, half buried where he dropped.

Elle shrieked, barely having any good sense to clutch her hand over her mouth until she reached her highest octave, and in her fright, unfortunately broke herself free from the old corpse. This probably wasn’t the sort of garden most families had on their properties. Mias did say there were those still brazen enough to attempt raids on Dormaeus property. It probably was easier to turn them into worm food than it was to dispose of them elsewhere.

“Oh god… please let it be an abandoned cemetery…” Elle begged as she found herself hurrying down the path now.

Was that what happened to intruders and those who so much as looked as these guys wrong? She didn’t want to end up fertilizer for an undead garden! This was a bad idea. There was no way she had the gall to face the likes of this family. What was she thinking?! She should have let Mias send her back, but no, she had to be stubborn and fight against a world that clearly had it out for her. How could she be so bloody stupid?! Why did she want to stay in a world like this?! Because of him? Damn Mias, this was all his fault. If he could have just left her alone; found someone else to pick on…

She ran until she passed through an archway that opened up to a simple expanse of grass before a set of stairs leading to a tall wall of windows with numerous panes overlooking the grounds. She figured she must have entered through the backyard as took a deep breath and stepped towards the stairs.

It was difficult to get a good look at place, but she hadn’t the time to admire the architecture like an enthusiastic tourist. She had to hope and pray that someone would be around to hear her as she tapped on one of the windows before glancing inside. It was dark (no big surprise there) with no sign of life at all.

“Who’d want to be in a conservatory that overlooked such a place?” Elle asked herself as she walked around to look for a door. It was a bit difficult to spot since it blended in with the windows, but thankfully the handles weren’t so easily concealed. Testing her luck, Elle pushed down and heard the latch unlock – it was open.

She had her reluctance about entering without being invited, much less making her presence known, but she wasn’t about to traverse more of that ‘garden’ in the hopes she’d find the front door in a timely fashion.

“Hello?” She called out as she opened the door and stepped inside. “I’m sorry, I really don’t mean to intrude, but I’ve gone through a lot to get here and I…”

Her voice trailed off when she realized there really wasn’t anyone about or nearby. It was quiet, still, and definitely creepy.

It’s a big house, Elle told herself. Once she found a room or a hallway that had some light, she’d wait until someone came along. Not the best of plans, but she had no idea of how else to go about all this.

“Hello, my name is Elle and I’m the one Mias kidnapped…” Elle rehearsed her introductions as she slowly navigated through the dark room in search of another door. “No, no… um… ‘A pleasure to meet you Lord Dormaeus. It’s to my understanding you wished to meet me’ …Maybe that’s too polite. I doubt ass-kissing will win me any favor… How about, ‘It seems that ass Mias has caused both of us undue trouble’? No, too casual… and I should avoid insulting any of this family…”

The risk of getting lost as she passed through room after room only seemed to increase. She tried to stay along the wall where there were at least windows to let in some light, but after five or six doors, she found herself in a corridor that stretched into the interior. A bit foreboding, but she did see one lamp alight in the distance.

It seemed strange though. For as guarded as Mias led his family to be, Elle didn’t think she’d be able to enter into their property so easily and remain aloof to the inhabitants. Where were all the servants? Surely things would be much easier if she came across one of them first. She hated the idea of randomly encountering one of the brothers, Elias especially.

The lamp light she thought she saw vanished by the time Elle arrived to where she thought it was. She found herself at a cross of corridors and with three different directions to take, hadn’t a clue which one would prove most fruitful. Since she’d been heading straight and then wandered to the left down the corridor, provided she hadn’t gotten lost, the ideal route became the corridor to her right, which she promptly followed until a cool breeze made her stop and shiver.

She slowly moved forward to the source of the draft and found herself entering a small courtyard where a light bit of rain had just begun to fall. Great, now the atmosphere was simply depressing. What if that bar maid had given her false information for a laugh? Elle had no way of knowing if this even was the true Dormaeus homestead. What if was just an abandoned property and the light she thought she saw earlier had just been a trick of her mind? It wasn’t impossible.

She crossed through the courtyard to the next room where she decided to stop and eat again. She was getting too impatient and anxious over the matter. It was best to take a break to breathe and regain some energy.

The room she was in looked to be some sort of office with finely polished table near the window and built in shelves filled with books. She tested the oil lamps on the tables and walls and was surprised to find they had a full amount of fuel in them. At least she could brighten up the place a bit as she gathered her thoughts and constructed a more solid strategy.

However, as she sat in the office chair and tilted it toward the window to watch the rain gradually increase, all she wanted to do was enjoy the calmness of that moment. No thoughts or fears, just the sound of the rain and a door opening, followed by the gasp from a heavier set maid who had popped in to get the fire going for the usual occupant’s return.

“MY LORD!” She screamed and waddled down the hall as fast as she could, a startled Elle already in pursuit.

“W-Wait! I’m not here to cause any trouble! Please let me explain!” Elle shouted to her. This wasn’t a good way to introduce herself.

“Lord Durias! An intruder, sir! There’s an intruder in the main house!” She belted out, not listening to a word Elle said until the blonde caught up to her to grabbed her arm.

“Please, wait! I didn’t mean to intrude! Honest!”

“My lord! I’m being assaulted! My lord Durias!” The maid rambled on with clear exaggeration and rather than make things worse, Elle let her continue her pathetic run while following quietly behind.

“What’s the fat bird on about this time?” Aurelius pondered out loud as he leaned over the railing in the hall to see what had gotten that particular maid into a tizzy this time.

The loud footsteps of Durias’ boots proceeded his appearance as he came marching out from another room on the first level to meet the woman. “What’s all this nonsense?! No man can intrude on these grounds without our being aware of it!”

“And yet my eyes do not fail me, my lord!” She cried, dropping to her knees at Durias’ feet before whirling around to point an accusatory finger at Elle meekly hidden against a doorframe. “Be she some witch or spectre, I do not know, but she’s within these walls!”

Durias raised a curious eyebrow and stepped passed the dramatic maid. “Well? What manner of beast are you to have entered this house undetected?”

Elle gulped and nervously stepped forward. “I… I didn’t mean to be so rude, truly I didn’t.”

“That doesn’t answer my question,” he said firmly, not lowering his defenses even for a ragged looking girl.

“I don’t know. I climbed up the hill, went through your… unique garden, and found the door to the conservatory open. I knocked, but there was no sign of life,” Elle explained.

“You climbed up from the valley… to here?”

“Yes, and my hands ought to prove it,” she said, showing off her poor injured hands as proof.

“That is not possible,” Durias said.

“Well it wasn’t easy, but—”

“It’s not possible. How did you see through the spell?”

“Spell?” Elle had her guesses, but she didn’t think she’d actually be right about one. So maybe what all she saw was part of a deterrent spell like she theorized, but if that was true, how did she manage to slip past it? “I… I don’t know. I swear I’m not a witch.”

“Only those who have our blood can pass that spell,” Durias explained, towering over her with a cold glare. “I doubt you’re a long lost relative, so kindly explain before I remove your head.”

“I only came here because you wanted to meet me!” Elle cried in her defense, the last threat being genuine and not the usual teasing like she was used to with Mias. “My name is Elle and I’m the one Mias brought from another world! I don’t know how I got past any spell! Honest, I don’t!”

You’re Elle?” Durias sounded doubtful. He expected someone with a bit more… curves, though he had to remember Mias wasn’t exactly picky when it came to his women.

“That’s her?” Aurelius seemed equally astonished by the revelation.

“What’s going on?” Thade asked as he joined his brother at the rail.

“It would appear Mias’ little mistress has somehow stumbled into our home,” Aurelius explained.

“What?” Thade looked down over the hall with intrigue.

“Why aren’t you with Mias?” Durias asked, deciding to hear her out before he did anything extreme.

“That asshole abandoned me!” Elle said, not bothering to censor herself at this point. “He didn’t want me to come see you; he said it’d be too much trouble. I figured I’ve caused your family enough trouble I owed you the courtesy of my side of the story, but I suppose that doesn’t matter if Mias has washed his hands of me...”

Durias couldn’t refute the idea of Mias backing out on his orders. This wouldn’t be the first time the magician tried to wiggle his way out of such requests. “Elias is still keen on taking you—”

“PLEASE NO!” Elle cried, hot tears welling in her eyes at the thought of seeing that man again. “I’d rather you would remove my head than let that bastard get anywhere near me!”

Well, that settled which of the twins was trying to manipulate him again. Elias was due a good thrashing anyway. “You may keep your head for the time being. I’d like to hear a more detailed account of your story once you’ve composed yourself.”

“O-Of course,” Elle sniffled, trying to dry her tears immediately.

“Let’s go to my office,” he said in a calmer, gentler voice and gave a nod to the maid that he’d handle the situation before escorting Elle back to the room from whence she came.
Elle and Mias II -- 50
Fifty Chapters on 486 Word Document Pages! Woohoo! A big 'Thank You' to everyone who's supported me thus far. I'm not sure if this story will run for another 50, but it will have a definitive end, but that won't be for a while yet. Also a huge thanks to StressedJenny who not only is kind enough to let me use her characters, but lets me seek advice and guidance when I'm having writer's block or just a lack of confidence that what I've written isn't good enough. This may not be the true story of Mias and Elle, but it's a damn good version of it, and I am quite proud of it.

So we get a quick peak of what the dastardly trio has in store for poor Abernos and Retti as well as how Elle handled herself after being abandoned by Mias. The timelines still aren't entirely lined up again yet, Elle's further ahead currently, so do let me know if any parts get confusing so I can rectify it. I try to be careful when jumping around like this, but I'm not perfect and sometimes things aren't as clear as I think they are when I write them.

Again, thank you all so very much for your support. I hope you'll continue to watch and support me with no other this story, but others I hope I can write in the future.

:heart: G

(c) StressedJenny & SuirenShinju
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How's everyone holding up? It's been a while, hasn't it? I've been trying to avoid voicing every little complaint and opinion which is why journals stopped. Not that anyone really reads them out of my 800+ watchers, but if you do, I want to thank you for your support, and to those who are maybe just reading this one, thanks to you as well for supporting me with your watching.

Well, I'm working 2 housekeeping jobs in addition to my dog walking so that's giving me a lil money. Not nearly enough to get me outta my parents' house, but it's a start and I'm enjoying the work for the most part. I'm the head housekeeper at a local B&B as well as a private housekeeper for a lady, so I'm getting pretty good at perfecting cleanliness and order, but walking Jack the Corgi is still my favorite job. I love that rascal, and he loves me. He seems to love my brother Paul more than anyone though, but since we moved out of the neighborhood the other year, they don't see as much of each other. But I did surprise my siblings a few weeks ago by bringing Jack out here and everyone had fun with that. Nothing sweeter than a bond between man and beast. :3

Things are still rough though since our old house still hasn't sold. We tried on our own for a while since we don't like realtors and have been screwed by them in the past, and we did have it sold twice before the people backed out on us. Reluctantly, we lowered our pride to see if an agent could sell it and still, nothing. I can't say I blame the agent this time though because people nowadays are just stupid when it comes to recognizing a good deal.

Now I know most of you kids who follow me aren't at my age, so let ol' G tell you a story. The house we left is a 3 bedroom, 2 story home in a valley community (not gated or anything, just a set neighborhood right outside of town). Typical house size. We had it priced for 220,000. A lil high for first time buyers, we understand, it's valued at 250,000. It has 10 inch walls so heating it in the winter cost almost nothing. To build a house with walls like that nowadays would cost 400,000. And aside from the windows, we've replaced everything over the 14 years we lived there. New roof, appliances, furnace, central air, water heater, counter tops, cupboards, redid the bathrooms, floors, light fixtures, etc. The only thing you'd have to change if you didn't like it would be our paint colors, so you agree the price is more than reasonable after hearing all this, yes? Well apparently no one else seems to think so. For that price they expect another bedroom since kids apparently just can't share nowadays (I never had my own room, and still don't. I share with my sister, and my brothers still share) or for it to have some other extra feature that houses don't need but people feel they did to have (like sound systems and whatnot). Did you know you can have all that? Did you know it might actually mean waiting and having to save up a while? We didn't overhaul that house right away. It takes time.

I cannot believe what young adults and such are like nowadays... I know I'm part of that generation, but being raised sensibly, I understand you can't have it all at once. If you have loads of money to do so, great, good for you, but most of us don't - yet we've been spoiled with every lil instant-gratification techno-gizmo and whatnot that as a whole, we've forgotten that nothing worth having comes easy, and it certainly doesn't come quickly. Maybe I just don't get the mentality of this generation, but I'd like to believe with how gullible we are with certain things, you'd think we woulda convinced someone to buy our house. If the crooked realtors can't do it either, that's really something.

So we're stuck paying two mortgages still and it's been almost a full year so now is when it's gonna start getting difficult. My siblings and I have all started paying for most of our necessities to help out, but it's still hard to come home some days and see Ma frustrated as she looks over the books. We've never been a family that good things happen to, but we're always able to endure it, so I know we'll be fine, but having a little less stress especially around the holidays would be nice... our new house looks nice though all done up for Christmas, even though it needs a good overhaul too, but we get that it'll take time and for now we're just grateful we have a roof over our heads.

Well, that's enough of my moaning and groaning for now. I'm trying to fix up chapter 50 for ya'll. Hope you're all hangin' in there. Take care!
How's everyone holding up? It's been a while, hasn't it? I've been trying to avoid voicing every little complaint and opinion which is why journals stopped. Not that anyone really reads them out of my 800+ watchers, but if you do, I want to thank you for your support, and to those who are maybe just reading this one, thanks to you as well for supporting me with your watching.

Well, I'm working 2 housekeeping jobs in addition to my dog walking so that's giving me a lil money. Not nearly enough to get me outta my parents' house, but it's a start and I'm enjoying the work for the most part. I'm the head housekeeper at a local B&B as well as a private housekeeper for a lady, so I'm getting pretty good at perfecting cleanliness and order, but walking Jack the Corgi is still my favorite job. I love that rascal, and he loves me. He seems to love my brother Paul more than anyone though, but since we moved out of the neighborhood the other year, they don't see as much of each other. But I did surprise my siblings a few weeks ago by bringing Jack out here and everyone had fun with that. Nothing sweeter than a bond between man and beast. :3

Things are still rough though since our old house still hasn't sold. We tried on our own for a while since we don't like realtors and have been screwed by them in the past, and we did have it sold twice before the people backed out on us. Reluctantly, we lowered our pride to see if an agent could sell it and still, nothing. I can't say I blame the agent this time though because people nowadays are just stupid when it comes to recognizing a good deal.

Now I know most of you kids who follow me aren't at my age, so let ol' G tell you a story. The house we left is a 3 bedroom, 2 story home in a valley community (not gated or anything, just a set neighborhood right outside of town). Typical house size. We had it priced for 220,000. A lil high for first time buyers, we understand, it's valued at 250,000. It has 10 inch walls so heating it in the winter cost almost nothing. To build a house with walls like that nowadays would cost 400,000. And aside from the windows, we've replaced everything over the 14 years we lived there. New roof, appliances, furnace, central air, water heater, counter tops, cupboards, redid the bathrooms, floors, light fixtures, etc. The only thing you'd have to change if you didn't like it would be our paint colors, so you agree the price is more than reasonable after hearing all this, yes? Well apparently no one else seems to think so. For that price they expect another bedroom since kids apparently just can't share nowadays (I never had my own room, and still don't. I share with my sister, and my brothers still share) or for it to have some other extra feature that houses don't need but people feel they did to have (like sound systems and whatnot). Did you know you can have all that? Did you know it might actually mean waiting and having to save up a while? We didn't overhaul that house right away. It takes time.

I cannot believe what young adults and such are like nowadays... I know I'm part of that generation, but being raised sensibly, I understand you can't have it all at once. If you have loads of money to do so, great, good for you, but most of us don't - yet we've been spoiled with every lil instant-gratification techno-gizmo and whatnot that as a whole, we've forgotten that nothing worth having comes easy, and it certainly doesn't come quickly. Maybe I just don't get the mentality of this generation, but I'd like to believe with how gullible we are with certain things, you'd think we woulda convinced someone to buy our house. If the crooked realtors can't do it either, that's really something.

So we're stuck paying two mortgages still and it's been almost a full year so now is when it's gonna start getting difficult. My siblings and I have all started paying for most of our necessities to help out, but it's still hard to come home some days and see Ma frustrated as she looks over the books. We've never been a family that good things happen to, but we're always able to endure it, so I know we'll be fine, but having a little less stress especially around the holidays would be nice... our new house looks nice though all done up for Christmas, even though it needs a good overhaul too, but we get that it'll take time and for now we're just grateful we have a roof over our heads.

Well, that's enough of my moaning and groaning for now. I'm trying to fix up chapter 50 for ya'll. Hope you're all hangin' in there. Take care!

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SuirenShinju
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:icondaniela200013:
Daniela200013 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014
HAPPY BIRHDAY!!!! :D
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SuirenShinju Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
 A day late, but thank you!
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PrincessRuesina Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Happy birthday 
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Thank you!
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chiara939 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014
Happy Birthday!!!!! XD :) X3 :D
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SuirenShinju Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
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sapphirelink Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014
Happy Birthday, Hope you have a great day. :cake:
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SuirenShinju Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
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