Calumbra 23: The Maid

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In Need of A Constant

Weeks had gone by and it was a habit that every night, Trinidad would sneak into the garden house and fall asleep. Delaware would always call up Sullivan to take the young master back to the manor and sleep in his own bed. It was inevitable that something could go wrong in the course of the little boy running in and out of a manor so close to the woods.

Delaware was looking all over the place for Trinidad, having a bad feeling running through her veins. It felt like needles were coursing through her and pricking at her all the time. She had found Tavit and had convinced him to stay with Angelica for the time being but she still hadn't found Trinidad and was worried when she heard a scream. Delaware yelled herself and ran out of the manor toward the wood.
"What was that noise, ma'am?" Sullivan asked, running up behind her.
"I hope it's not what I think it was." She said, hiking up her skirts as far as they would go to run. "Please, God, I hope everyone's alright!"
"Ma'am, you must know, I never found the young master. Is it possible…"
"Let's hope not."
She prayed all the way to the woods that she was wrong and Trinidad was in the barn or under the dining room table or something.
Sullivan was the first to see and a yelled, clutching his chest. He couldn't get closer but Delaware ran right past him. It was worse than she had expected and tears welled up in her eyes. They streamed down her face as she knelt next to the battered and scarred little boy and she turned him over to see if he was breathing.
To her astonishment and happiness, Trinidad was alive but he wasn't going to make it if they didn't' get the right supplies for him.
"He's alive! Sully, he's alive. Go tell Master Blackwood and get everyone you can. Call for a doctor as quick as you can! Hurry!"
"But Miss, will you be able to carry him?"
"You look like you might be sick, Sullivan. I can handle him."
Sullivan took off toward the manor as Delaware made sure that no vital organs were damaged before she picked up the frail boy and held him close as she ran herself back to the manor.

When she reached the building, Dominick was coming out and ran to her, taking his son from her and holding him close, tears forming in his eyes.
"How the hell did he get way out there? How could this have happened?!" Dominick yelled, fear and pain coursing through him all at once.
"It doesn't matter if he were right next to the wood or right next to the house. Those mutants are fast and determined. They could have come from the wood to his side within seconds and he would have never known what hit him. From the time I heard him scream, he had been dragged."
"How can you tell he had been dragged?"
"Look at his clothes. There are dirt smudges and grass stains all over him. He was dragged."
Dominick set Trinidad on his bed and he opened his eyes.
"Hey… Hey, kid…"
Trinidad swallowed and his eyes filled with fear and pain. He let out a scream of pain and lurched to the side. He arched up and let out a blood curling scream, making everyone back up just a little.
"What is this… Is he going to die?"
"He shouldn't… The lacerations aren't that deep but the blood loss is a bit much. That's why I called for a doctor." Delaware said, starting to leave.
"Where are you going?!"
Delaware looked back at him and then down at her dress.
"If you don't mind sir, I would like to get out of these blood stained clothes and get a basin of cool water. He will most likely have fever soon."
She nodded and left the room.

When she came back, the doctor had arrived and was looking him over to see if the lacerations were deep or not. Delaware knew that they weren't or Trinidad would have been dead already. She knocked slightly on the door and Dominick looked at her.
"I have some cool water to help him with fever." She said, coming in the door.
"He needs to be bathed and have these lacerations wrapped with a salve. He will be scarred, quite possibly for life, but he will live. And your maid is right, he will most likely have a fever soon so that the infection will be heated out. It was a good thing you got to him when you did." The doctor said, putting away his stethoscope. "I will come back with a prescription for the boy for pain."
Dominick nodded and left the room with the doctor.
Delaware sighed as she put the basin on the bedside table and then sat next to Trinidad. His face as screwed in pain and he was shivering. She lifted him softly and began to remove his clothes so that she could take him to the bath to wash him up. Someone knocked on the door and she turned to see Angelica peeking in.
"Will you be needing anything, Delaware?"
"Would you please run the bath for me with some salts?"
"But wouldn't that make him hurt worse?"
"It will help to keep out anything that could cause more damage. It will hurt but it is a good hurt that allows the body to respond."
"Why do you not just use your alchemy?"
"I don't know alchemy, Angelica… Please just do as I ask." Delaware said, a little miffed that she had taken up so much time.
Trinidad was in his undergarments already and she was hoping to just pick him up and set him in the tub but Angelica's mouth had caused her to be delayed.
She held the young boy in her arms and he opened his eyes a little to look at her. She smiled at him and put her hand on his head to feel his forehead.
"You've got a fever… Don't worry, Little One, you'll me fine. I won't let you die."
Trinidad's golden eyes showed her that he trusted her as he lifted his hand to grip her dress. Delaware moved his hand so he wouldn't get blood on her again and held his hand. He squeezed it as tight as he could and Delaware smiled lovingly at him, hurting inside at the pain he was having to endure.
Angelica announced that the bath was ready and so she stood up to take him to the bath.

Delaware put Trinidad in the washing tub but he wouldn't let go of her.
"Now, now, Little One, you have to get washed up. If you don't then you'll be in a lot of pain and get very, very sick."
His hand slowly slipped away from her and she leaned him against the side as she grabbed a rag. She knew not to use any of the soaps and oils, as to not leave any residue in his wounds. He moaned by having the salty water be poured on his wounds but the blood was clearing away nicely.
Seeing the wounds clearly now, she could make out two swiping marks across his face and neck as well as all along his bicep. He fought them… she said, impressed at the boy's determination. There was a big bite mark on his shoulder and other various smaller scratches on the rest of his body that indicated that he didn't go down without a fight.
Delaware checked the scar that were on Trinidad's neck to see if they were deep enough to penetrate anything in his neck but it looked more on the surface.
"Little One, can you say something? I need to know if you can talk…" He nodded but she moved his face to look at her. "I need you to talk to me."
He gulped, the pain making him shudder but he braced himself.
"It hurts…" he said softly.
Delaware smiled and touched him under the chin in a loving gesture.
The door opened and Sullivan walked in and walked out.
"Excuse me, Ms. Tate… Am I allowed to come in?"
"Yes. Sullivan, I'm not naked. Even if I were, I'm used to being looked at so it's not like I'd be embarrassed."
"But I would…" he said under his breath as he set the towels beside her. "How is the young lord?"
"In a lot of pain but he's a fighter. He'll survive. You ready to get out, Little One?" she asked sweetly.
He nodded and held out his arms to her. Delaware grabbed the towel from Sullivan and picked him up and stood him up on the floor. The gashes and bite marks were clean and weren't bleeding as profusely as they once were so she was careful to dry him off. She grabbed the under garments that Sullivan had also brought and put them on Trinidad along with pants. She kept the damp towel around Trinidad's upper half and picked him up again.
"Thank you, Sullivan. How long have you been serving the Blackwoods?"
"Since I was young… My father was a servant to the late duke and I became a servant of the house just four years ago… Why do you ask?"
"Because you seem to know what needs to be done before I ask it."
"Oh…" he said, a blush forming slightly on his cheeks. "That's because us Canes have a natural knack for it. It's in our blood, y'see…"
"Hmm… When you get married, will you train your child to work for the Blackwoods?"
"I'm not sure… Depends."
"I think you should. You should keep your family as 'servants' of the Blackwoods for future generations."
"Why? Can you see the future?"
"I only say it because there might be a time when the time of Blackwoods is at an end."
"Believe me, Sullivan, I won't let that happen."
"You can guarantee that, Ms. Tate?"
"As long as I am alive, I will make sure this manor and these people remain at the status they are. I must have something to return to."
"I don't know your plan but if you guarantee the success of the Blackwoods, then I might just take you up on training my children to be servants…. But what would it have to do with you, ma'am?"
"Having a constant makes me feel like I'm not that old or losing touch with my life. The manor is the only constant that I have but a building is a building and it deteriorates. When Blackwood Manor falls, I will have nothing left in my life to go back to. I made it my resolve to keep humans as a constant this time in my long life. If I am able to find those connected to this past in the future, it will enable me to go forward…"
"That's almost poetic, Ms. Tate. Then again, knowing that you would always be there to look after us all is kind of nice."
Delaware smiled as she looked at Trinidad, who was half asleep but listening, and rubbed his back a little.
"That also goes for you too, Little One." She whispered.
They opened the door to his room and found the doctor in there with bandages and other medical supplies. She laid him in the bed and left to finish her duties.

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