“Are you here to tell me I have to be gone by morning?” was Sean’s sad greeting as Ana entered the shed that he had banished himself to, slightly after nightfall.
“Why would I be here to tell you that?” Ana asked him gently as she overturned an empty basket and took a seat upon it, there in the corner of the tiny shed that had been his home for the last year.
“I tried to kiss one of my boss’s mistresses, didn’t I?” he scoffed, still not able to turn his eyes towards her as he remained seated atop the cot, his back against the wall, his beautiful eyes burning a hole in the bedding in front of him.
“Think about that sentence a moment. One of his mistresses? Monogamy obviously isn’t among one of his most apparent demands.” she stated, still speaking softly.
Sean just shook his head with another slight scoff, “You knew though, you knew she was my sister.” he said, choking a bit on the sentence.
“We should’ve told you. But your father, he killed himself when he found out about Chantarell’s conception. Your family tree isn’t the most pleasant subject, for any of us.” she attempted to comfort him, while still not letting on to who she was to Chantarell as well, as that would be an even harder hurdle to get him over.
Sean just shook his head again, trying not to let his sadness at the whole of his new life situation, show through too clearly, “But the only girl that I’ve ever had any interest in, ever. And she’s my sister? God, what does that say about me?” he pleaded.
“You didn’t know she was your sister, Sean. How could you have?” Ana attempted to assure him, “Besides, all you did was try to kiss her. That’s not the most horrifying intent most boys your age might have had, upon being left alone with a girl they knew was quite, sexually free, shall we say?” she added.
Sean just shook his head once more, “But no other girl has ever even interested me. What’s wrong with me?”
“Sean, you grew up sheltered from most of the world. You’re barely twenty. I’m pretty sure that it’s more than likely that you’ll find another one who piques your interest. I promise.”
“But that’s just it. There were girls there. And all of them were exactly the same. None of them I ever really even considered trying to be with. As long as she’s got a pretty face and a nice figure, that was all it took for the other boys to want them. Not me though. Doesn’t that mean there’s something wrong with me?” he pleaded for her assurance.
“Actually, Sean, I think it would mean the opposite. That there’s something right with you.” she told him with an honest smile.
“So why am I probably the only boy my age who hasn’t…” he just shook his head.
“But if that’s all you wanted, you could have gotten it from the girls the other boys were getting it from, couldn’t you have?” she pointed out to him.
“I suppose.” he admitted quietly.
“And obviously, you want more for yourself. And that in no way, means there’s anything at all wrong with you.” she told him once more.
He paused a long moment before speaking up, “Mr. Torrence isn’t sending me away, then?”
“Only if you want to leave. If not, you’re more than welcome to stay.”
“How do I deal with Chantarell though?” he had to ask.
“You still want her?” Ana asked.
“God, no.” he told her loudly.
“Then there’s nothing to deal with. We were all at fault for the misunderstanding, and that’s all it was, and I’m sure there will be others. They’re part of life.” she told him, her maternal qualities more than obvious, despite the youth she appeared to have.
“Why are you all so nice to me? None of you seem to be the type to really care about the opinions of others, or even conventionality.” he couldn’t help adding.
“Maybe it’s not us, it’s just karma. You’ve been dealt enough bad hands in life. It’s time for a lucky streak, no doubt.” she told him with a smile as she rose from her makeshift seat, then leaned in to place a small kiss upon his forehead, before heading out of the shed once more. After all, it was a night for celebration, not despair.
It was a warm spring day in April when Sean finished his duties at the Torrence home early, and decided to take a walk through the woods that his hosts seemed so fond of. Over the last couple of years, he had found himself drawn by curiosity, back towards that strange clearing again and again. Though he did only approach the place when he was sure that his hosts where safely inside the house, and not likely to be cavorting with each other by firelight.
Though this time, when he came upon the place, it was not deserted after all. Near the fire pit, still not aware of his approach, sat the pretty raven-haired girl that Sean had seen only briefly, in passing, that first time he had accompanied his sister to town.
Claire sat cross-legged, in a pretty long gown Chantarell had snuck to her while her parents were away. Her eyes were closed as she held a small knife out in front of her, the point facing her as she grasped it in both hands, above a lit candle that sat upon the rock which was decorated with the Aries symbol of the zodiac, the warm breeze blowing a few long free strands of black from her face as she seemed to be meditating on something, deeply.
Seeing her there, like that, as well as getting a much better look at how beautiful she truly was, did throw Sean more than a bit as he couldn’t stop himself from just having to clear his throat to announce his presence to her.
“Shit.” was her immediate reaction as her eyes flew open and she quickly moved to tuck the athame into the back of her belt and blow out the candle in front of her, “How long have you been there?” she asked him angrily, her breath still managing to catch a bit as she too was more than a little swayed by his own beauty.
“Why? Did I miss something good?” he had to ask, considering the last time he had spied on some sort of, something, that had been going on in the clearing that seemed so hallowed to those few acquaintances he had.
“You’ve ruined it.” she said sadly as she brushed some grass from the dress as she stood sadly.
“What exactly did I ruin?” he asked with narrowed, though somehow amused eyes.
“You work for Mr. Torrence, right?” she said, wanting to be positive that this was indeed that new servant that she had only seen briefly, in passing, almost two years ago, for the sake of her own safety, if no other reason.
“Yes, but what did I ruin?” he asked, with a continued smile.
“I only have ‘til midnight to get this right.” she sighed as she somehow seemed relieved by his answer at the same moment as still displaying her earlier disappointment, “Chantarell’s going to be so upset.” she added, still seeming lost in her own conversation, while honestly, just trying not to look at him for too long, as she knew that he was part of the strangest household she knew of, and she wasn’t sure exactly what kind of a part of that household he was, considering the other odd relationships that took place there.
“To get what right?” he said with another smile, taking another step forward.
She sighed as she finally looked up at him, “I’m sure you’ll think it’s ridiculous.” she scoffed, looking down again.
“I’ve gotten pretty used to ridiculous, so try me.” he told her with another step toward her.
“I turn eighteen at midnight, and I’m supposed to try my first…” she bit her lip as she shook her head, looking into those ice-colored eyes and feeling her heart speed up again, just like it had done the one other time she had seen him.
“Your first what?” he asked, trying not to force any off-color tones into his voice, and failing.
“My first spell okay?” she said in frustration, “Going to cart me off to the nut-house now?” she dared, hoping it was a joke.
“I don’t know if my horse could carry all four of you.” he smirked, “So, I guess I’ll have to let it slide, this time.” he added with another teasing tone to his voice.
“All four of us?” she asked with a raised eyebrow.
“You, Chan, Ana, and Mr. Torrence.” he answered, “Seems I’m the minority when it comes to not having any idea about all your spells and magic, or whatever it all is.”
“You don’t think we’re all evil?” she asked warily.
“Crazy maybe, but I haven't noticed much evil yet.” he smirked again.
“Seriously?” she asked, suddenly seeming to take on that youthful glow and almost, happiness, that usually was only displayed by Chantarell, on her happier days.
“Well, I dunno. I better check: What was the spell gonna be for?” he asked her as he took a seat, somehow seeming to honestly wanna hear her answer.
“You will think I’m crazy.” she replied, biting her lip once more.
“Too late, guess you might as well tell me.” he chided further.
Claire couldn’t help letting out a laugh that he couldn’t help nearly melting at the sound of, before she did give in and answer, “I think it’s supposed to like, bring like happiness, or something. Chantarell said that it can’t be overly specific if it’s supposed to work, but still really carefully worded.” she told him, looking back at him again, thrown by the fact that he wasn’t looking at her like she was crazy, but rather, like he was overly intrigued by everything that she was saying. She swallowed as his eyes stayed on her, his brain seeming to be thinking a million things, but none of which he was saying, which only made her more nervous, causing her to have to speak again, “But like I said, you interrupted it, so I’ll probably never get my happiness. Thanks a lot.” she teased him back.
“Unless it’s already worked.” Chantarell stated as she appeared behind them, smiling between the two of them, almost as though she knew yet another secret that they did not.