Tonight, as every other night, it was Tendaggio and Photina who prepared supper. Photina, a particularly homely looking yongster with a particularly beautiful face bee lined from the kitchen to the dinning table and back, hauling plates and bowls and platers of food. Chowder with crawfish, roasted potatoes and fried trout which Tendaggio had ever so carefully filleted. Tendaggio stalked inside, the bread layed on a tray in his hands, his large Fae form seemed to suck up the air in the room.
A loud curse from the field outside echoed in through the windows, followed by amused laughter. Tendaggio sighed, his amber eyes drooped with exasperation. Although, that had seemed to become his usual expression since they had moved to this town and Filip had acquired a large company of friends.
However, there was one he favoured as his closest friend, that they all very much liked and treated as their own.
He was the one preprimanding Filip for swearing in front of a child, their sister Delphine. Just ten years of age.
"Go tell them supper is ready dear, and give the smart one a pat on the head for me." Tendaggio said and he busied himself with whipping the mugs.
"Can I yell at the not- smart one?" Photina asked with an innocent smile.
"By all means." He said and waved her off.
Photina grinned and went to the door, swinging it open as she marched onto the field where Filip was tossing little Delphine into the air while Viktor spotted for him so she wouldn't land head first into the ground.
"Ah, here comes the lady of the house." Viktor mused as he drank her in. The way the late even sun made her black tresses slightly brown and her silver front pinkish in the distance. The way her hips popped even underneath her skirts as she look her strides through the long grass. He never tired to hide his attraction, not even the very first day they had met one cold winter morning.
Filip rolled his eyes, attempting to launch a giggling Delphine into the air again. Photina only pointed a finger at him and motioned it to the ground. Filip, sweat grazed on his forehead and sticking his jaw length hair to his face put the child down carefully.
"Supper is ready." Photina finally announced. Delphine yelped and ran to their cottages l.
"Wash your hands and face before you sit at that table girly!" She called after her, only slightly turning her face to look over her shoulder.
"That goes for you to" she said turning to her twin brother.
Her twin who looked nothing like her. She had long pitch black hair with a silvery patch at the front that stretched from ear to ear, Filip's hair was a sandy blond, wavy and wild. His eyes were a pure teal, she had dark greys; one of her irises stained half way with that teal blue due to some supposed disorder whose name she could not bother with.
That was the only indication that they could be related, that and the black flecked which spotted their faces. Photina's were strategic dots around her eyes, as if they were put there on purpose and Filip's by is nose and mouth.
"You are lucky you did not drop Delphy this time." She said, hand on her hip.
Viktor registered the gesture, using it as an excuse to scope the smoothness of her shoulders and chest her gown exposed. Then down to sash of deep red she wore around her waist. Photina was only seventeen, but she had the body of a fully grown woman and a well endowed one at that.
"You can't make me." Filip spat.
Photina took his challenge, raising a fine, warm ivory hand. On inspection you could see the small cuts and scars of being in the kitchen and sewing room for so long. A whirl of gentle dark power sieved itself from that hand, and shadowy mist whirled.
Filip's eyes shone, without any further retort he marched back to the cottage. Leaving Photina with Viktor, who stared at the shadows flicking and snapping at her fingertips... his face pale.
"Sorry," she apologized, pulling her power back into her and tucking her hands into her pockets. "He only listens to that, and Tendaggio."
Viktor nodded and gave a small smile. "Quite understandable." He said.
"We... should go in."
"Yes definitely." She nodded and let him lead. She never walked in front of a male, not because of any orthodox moral. Just simply because her rear end tended to draw attention and although she secretly desired to catch Viktor wide eyed at it right now, she still wasn't comfortable with the awareness that someone was looking right there. Even if it was him.
Viktor looked over at her. He saw her slowly drag along, arms folded in that self conscious way of herself.
With a heavy exhale, he took the twenty paces to her. Viktor held her shoulders and planted a kiss on her forehead, a plea for her to look at him.
Photina raised her chin, Viktor took their peculiarity in his hazel eyes. Just before he layed a kiss on her lips. It was one of many quick, secret kisses he'd steal from her, always leaving her wanting more. Viktor, who was a a little over a year older than the twins probably had some expertise with women, she thought.
Viktor wrapped an arm over her bare shoulders, the roughness if his sleeve, crapping against her warm ivory skin.
"I'm quite faminish." He cooed as they strolled to the cottage.
"Well there's a big dinner waiting for your aching belly." Photina laughed and patted his stomach. Getting a quick feel of the toned abdominal underneath.
Viktor purred his laugh and let his hand downwards, to her sash, a move that made Photina blush.
"If you would escort me home tonight, I'll do more than simple kisses." He whispered.
Photina shivered, they were now at the porch, she could hear Tendaggio in the dinning scolding Delphine for filling up on bread and how she'd ruin her appetite.
It wouldn't be the first time she'd go to his cottage for a mild session, nothing too physical. Not yet he insisted.
"I'll think about it over supper."
Supper was chattier than usual with Viktor there. Tendaggio even had an extra helping of wine, unconsciously, because he was so caught up conversing with Viktor about some little league sport championship he'd like to see in the capital. And that sparked a whole other conversation entirely. About how they would all like to seek greener pastures in Olla's capital, Port Arrigen. The Melting pot of beings of every kind. Human, Fae, Magic wielder. All were welcome there, all were the same there.
"Ah, Port Arrigen would be a great place to live. We'd get a big apartment in the city, or a house at the beachfront." Filip sighed, leaning so far back into his chair it would tip over of he wasn't careful. Which he hardly was.
"And you Photina? What would you do if you got the chance to live there?" Viktor asked, expectant.
"Well... I've always wanted to perform. And they have huge theatres and great dance troupes I could audition for. It would be a great place for anyone looking for a big break." She said and sighed.
"You want to perform?" Viktor laughed.
Tendaggio raised an eyebrow at him. Photina frowned as well.
"I hardly ever see you anywhere other than here, work and the market." He went on to say.
"You haven't? I thought you were her watchdog? Dancing is Photina's favourite pastime" Filip said, arms acrossed over this head.
"Oh?" Viktor raised his thick brow.
"Photina dances with Sia and Mercedes." Delphine said, nibbling on her fried fish.
"And they're really good." She added.
Photina smiled at her sister, who quieted all of a sudden.
"Someday...the three of them while dance in the king's palace. After that, they'll all be highly favoured" She said, unblinking.
Suddenly Delphine shook her head, pressing her smallish hand onto her stomach. Her face turning a sickly shade of green.
"Daggio..." As she fondly called the older male.
"I don't feel so well."
Tendaggio dropped his cutlery and walked over to Delphine's side of the table.
"I knew we shouldn't have let her have the crawfish." Tendaggio said.
"Must be a reaction to shell fish." He hummed, examining her. Tendaggio plucked Delphine from her seat and cradled her in his arm.
"Next time, you'll listen to Tendaggio when he says you can't have shellfish." He said in sweet yet firm voice. Delphine only groaned and leaned into his shoulder.
"I will take care of her." He said to the rest before disappearing into the hallway that led to their chambers.
"Poor Delphy." Filip said, drinking water from his large mug.
Photina sighed, moving the rest of her food around her plate.
Viktor only smiled, apologetically at them.
"Well at least you are sure that she has an allergy to shell fish." He said.
"It's the only way you can really learn these things."
Photina nodded in silent agreement, bringing her mug to her lips.
"Do you really dance with those two? You know they have a reputation for being...wild?" He quizzed.
Filip raised a bushy brow, looking from his twin sister to his friend.
"Mercedes is the one I'd say is wild. Sia just happens to be there to fix her messes." She said.
"And even she isn't as the rumours say. She's a dreamer..." Photina paused, thinking of her friend as the determined, zealous female the rest of the small town could not see.
"Who will not settle for anything short of her vision. She added.
"Vision of what? Being a frivolous dancer who spreads her legs for fame?" Viktor hissed, earning an outraged look from Filip.
Photina, in contrast to her brother narrowed her eyes into slits.
The last straw... that was the last straw.
"I will not have you talk shit about the two females who bothered to give me companionship when every other one stayed away from me merely because I look like the Zil half-breeds who 'come and take all the handsome young men away.' " she said, quoting the phrase with a stereotypical young maidens voice. That sickly sweet tongue they thought was attractive.
Before Viktor could say anything else she stood from the table with her plate, took Filip's and Tendaggio's; not sparing Viktor the courtesy of a glance as she took his and marched into the kitchen.
Photina's blood ran hot in her veins as she scrapped their reminants into a bin and tried not to toss the plates into the washing basins.
It was as she washed the dishes that familiar footsteps found their way into the kitchen, stopping a respectable distance from her.
"You're still here?" She asked, not bothering to look at Viktor.
"I thought I'd help you with the dishes..."
"Is that it? If it is then I can finish them by myself." She replied, dunking a soapy platter into clean water.
"Photina, I — I'm just looking out for you." He said, daring to take a step closer.
"No, you're trying to make me a perfect, homely bride for yourself." She had said it in anger... but had realised that that was exactly what he was trying to do.
"Photina—" he started.
She spun around to face him.
"You do not like me using my powers, do not like my friends that you obviously don't even know, you do not want me going anywhere else between here, work and your cottage." She interjected and placed a hand on her temple, another realisation setting in.
"Dear gods above, you don't even want to be seen with me in public."
"It isn't like that—"
"Then tell me why you act like we have nothing between us but my brother when we see each other in town? Why do you only give me attention when my brother is there?" She quizzed, grinding her teeth.
"Why on earth did you insist we stay at your cottage on Dia De Ascuas when every other couple was dancing and seeing the fireworks at the celebration?" She spread her arms to her side, palms open. A big "why"?
"Because, you're subject to a lot of discrimination here. I want to protect you."
Photina let out a huff of laughter.
"More like you want to contain me." She said, turning back to her dishes.
"I love you, Photina." He breathed.
Photina looked over her shoulder at him, the teal in her right eye caught in the moonlight beaming through the window.
"You don't love me, you don't love who or what I am. What you love is the idea of having a more exotic house wife. A trophy, I know that's what you males think of foreign females." She said.
"I thought you were different."
"I'm meant for bigger things Viktor, so I suggest you keep looking." She concluded, looking back to her dishes.
Viktor, unable to speak, curved his shoulders into a defeated slouch and dragged himself out of the kitchen. She heard him say his goodbyes to Filip and Tendaggio.
And then the front door shut.
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