[Marion had one of Lady Wellington\’s books and was surely not up to anything, nope.] -02:49 Jun 25
[Faulkner Grant had noticed the library door slightly ajar. ] -02:51 Jun 25
Faulkner Grant: *Unfortunately for Marion, Faulker is a naturally quiet walker. He doesn’t make a peep until he’s right behind her!* Ah, Miss Marion. -02:52 Jun 25
Marion: *She jumped and even squeeked! Clutching the book to her chest, she swatted him softly with her other hand.* Why must you walk so quietly! You might have scared me to death. -02:53 Jun 25
Faulkner Grant: *Takes the soft swat like a man!* I apologize, Miss Marion. I saw the door ajar and thought it was one of the Wellingtons. You know how Sir Wellington feels about being distracted. -02:56 Jun 25
Marion: They are both having a private lunch in the garden. Ginger was teasing him about their first kiss anniversary. *She smiled as she cracked open the book in her hands and went back to what she was doing!* -02:59 Jun 25
Faulkner Grant: *His mouth curved at one corner. However, it was hard to tell if he did this because he agreed with something, disagreed with it, or was just plain baffled by it. He tilted his head slightly at the book.* What are you reading? -03:04 Jun 25
Marion: *She tilted out of the way so he couldn’t spy.* Poems by Analisse. A little light reading for the afternoon. *Of course, it was one of Ginger’s crazy sorcery books, but he wouldn’t like that if she told him!* -03:06 Jun 25
Faulkner Grant: I do enjoy her work. I have some time. How about you read me a poem? -03:08 Jun 25
Marion: *She blinked! Oh bother, she thought that was a random enough author!* Well, I’m afraid I’m not exactly the best vocal reader so maybe when I’m through I’ll let you borrow it? -03:13 Jun 25
Faulkner Grant: *Chuckled softly.* Nonsense. I’ve heard you sing plenty of times. Remember those lessons your parents arranged for you when you were younger? I think if I survived those, I can survive you reading to me. -03:15 Jun 25
Marion: Faulkner Grant, that sounded very much like a vieled insult and I think you hurt my feelings! -03:19 Jun 25
Faulkner Grant: *His face showed how genuinely sorry he was!* My pardons, Miss Marion. But you said so yourself that you were terrible and you would never sing again. -03:20 Jun 25
Marion: *That poor man’s face! Marion laughed!* I’m not upset, but do you really have to remind me how dreadful that was? I’ll forever be remembered as the little girl who gave Lord Jameson a heart attack with her screeching. -03:24 Jun 25
Faulkner Grant: *Smiled.* In your defense, Lord Jameson was 78 years old at the time. And had a habit of working hard when he was supposed to be in bed. -03:35 Jun 25
Marion: I think for your punishment, you won’t be getting any book readings from me, however. *Turned her back to him, casting him a grin over her shoulder. She didn’t even have to lie about that one!* -03:39 Jun 25
Faulkner Grant: I deserve that. *He began to walk away but before he turned a corner and disappeared from sight.* … Sorcery was never my cup of tea anyways. *Then he was gone!* -03:42 Jun 25
Marion: Ooo! That blasted man! *Caught red handed. Well, she was a grown women and could read any books she liked. She wasn’t actually planning on trying anything In it, she was just looking for information. Marion flipped through the pages!* -03:45 Jun 25

Only too soon after Faulkner’s retreat came a knock on the library door. One of the maids poked her head in. Lunch is served and Miss Marion has a visitor waiting for her out in the hall!

Marion: A visitor? *That’s strange. She really wasn’t expecting anyone… Marion set down the book on Sir Wellington’s desk and left for the hall to greet them!* -03:51 Jun 25

Marion! Sweet Marion! Why, you haven’t changed a bit since she’s last seen you! A round woman wearing nothing but ruffles wasted no time in covering Marion’s face with wet kisses and hugging her tightly. What? Don’t you remember your distant cousin, Ursula? She’s visiting from France!

Marion: Ursula…? of course I remember! *Oh no, she really didn’t!! Was it one was Thomas’ family? Or related to her wicked Auntie? Marion put on a smile anyway!* I was just about to sit for lunch, would you like to join me? -04:00 Jun 25

Oh! She could never impose! But she was awfully quick to get the attention of a maid passing by and started ordering a ton of food for herself! If Marion didn’t know better, she could have sworn Ursula was going to pack all that food for an army!

Marion: *It wasn’t polite to think the things she was thinking! Still smiling, Marion took Cousin Ursula by the arm to escort her to the dining room!* I’m pleased to have your company today Cousin Ursula. Did you want to talk about anything in particular? -04:14 Jun 25
Faulkner Grant: Whatever Marion wanted to! She was just here to enjoy some time with her! Oh, did she know that Ursula had the most godawful journey from France? It was absolutely terrible! First, her attendant had lost her precious baggage! And then her favorite necklace had broken and it was so hard to find someone to fix for free nowadays! Oh, and she got seasick and stained her favorite gown! … And the list goes on and on! -04:20 Jun 25

Whatever Marion wanted to! She was just here to enjoy some time with her! Oh, did she know that Ursula had the most godawful journey from France? It was absolutely terrible! First, her attendant had lost her precious baggage! And then her favorite necklace had broken and it was so hard to find someone to fix for free nowadays! Oh, and she got seasick and stained her favorite gown! … And the list goes on and on!

Marion: *Marion nodded and smiled! Interjecting with a comment or question here and there and making sure she sounded as interested as possible! Not that Cousin Ursula wasn’t interesting, but she did talk an awful lot about really ridiculous things… Marion had made sure to offer her the best chair and poor her a cup of tea to make up for her awful trip!* -04:23 Jun 25

Oh yes, tea! Thank you, Cousin Marion! It is so refreshing to find a friendly face here. This country has the most bleak weather! Why, her hair has suffered so badly in this cold and damp climate! Fortunately, France is such a beautiful and breathtaking country!

Marion: I’ve onyl seen France once, and it was very pleasant. *Pouring the woman a cup, she offered it before pouring herself some tea. If she had to smile any more she swore her face would fall off! The thought of that nearly made her giggle out loud!* -04:35 Jun 25

Indeed! Why, the English could learn a few things from the French! Why, the French are the picture of civilized and evolved people. They know how to treat others. Not like this horrid England. Why, everything she has had to buy was overpriced and with the most horrid customer service ever! Imagine how the world would be if that type of treatment just went on and on … Why, the world would be out of business, that’s what! Oh! Wait a moment, she must fan herself! She gets so heated up about such things. But really, it makes so much more sense if you think about it the way she does.

Marion: *Smiling and nodding while Cousin Ursula was talking, she wasn’t even really listening any more. What if the English were really more like the French? Would they have to eat snails at parties? And did the French call it French Kissing or was it just plain kissing? But then what would they call normal kissing…? * Of course, Cousin Ursula. -04:44 Jun 25
[Marion was being tormented by a very talkative..um.. reletive? Maybe if she escaped…] -03:59 Jun 28
[Faulkner Grant is doing butler things.] -04:00 Jun 28

Ursula was chatting a mile a minute! Marion has grown so much since she’d last seen her! Of course she was so small back then! She’s filled out a bit but she could definitely fill out a lot more. Is she eating well? Are the Wellingtons taking good care of her?

Marion: *Oh good grief!* I… you know, Cousin, I do feel a little ill. You wouldn’t be too upset if I said goodbye early. We could always have lunch another day, maybe next month..! -04:02 Jun 28
Faulkner Grant: Ursula looked astonished! Feeling ill? She quickly checked Marion’s temperature. First with the back of her hand against her forehead. Second by actually opening Marion’s mouth before telling her to go "Aah!" After several moments of studying Marion’s teeth, she let the poor girl go. Oh dear! Her mouth was looking awfully swollen. Was she allergic to anything? Did a bug bite her before her visit? -04:11 Jun 28

Ursula looked astonished! Feeling ill? She quickly checked Marion’s temperature. First with the back of her hand against her forehead. Second by actually opening Marion’s mouth before telling her to go “Aah!” After several moments of studying Marion’s teeth, she let the poor girl go. Oh dear! Her mouth was looking awfully swollen. Was she allergic to anything? Did a bug bite her before her visit?

Marion: I’m sure it’s just a mild cold and nothing to be worried about, whatsoever. Just in case though, I think I better get straight to bed. *She was already rising from her seat and easing her way towards teh door.* I’m so sorry Cousin Ursula, but you’re welcome to stay for lunch and leave when you’re ready! -04:13 Jun 28

Ursula looked like she was about to rise from her seat and help Marion to bed. But she slowly nodded. Very well. It was such a pleasant visit. Perhaps she would pay a call later tomorrow? Run along, Marion, and get well soon!

Marion: Goodbye Cousin! *It took all her willpower not to run out the door! But once it was closed behind her, she picked up her skirts and fled to her room before the women decided she needed a nursemaid! Who knew someone could talk so much!* -04:15 Jun 28

Marion’s bed looked like it had just been made and it was spotless, as usual. The perfect place to get away from noisey, pesky relatives!

Marion: *Marion fell face first in to bed and sighed with relief. She didn’t even get to finish looking at that book. Though after Ursula, a nap wasn’t sounding so bad after all. Maybe just an hour or so until she was gone…* -04:18 Jun 28

There were the sounds of Ursula possibly leaving but so hard to tell for sure. Meanwhile, Marion picks up a subtle scent in the air. It was very nice … Was that lavender?

Marion: *It did smell like lavender, and had her thinking about Sir and Lady Wellington having their special lunch. If Ursula was gone, then it should be safe to go back down stairs! She sat up slowly, not being able to help herself from yawning. Then again a nap wouldn’t hurt. She leaned down to slip off her shoes.* -04:25 Jun 28

It was now or never! It was the perfect time to strike! The wench had her back turned and was bending over! He sprung out of the closet and pressed his knfe against her throat. He made sure not to break the skin but he could feel her pulse. “Marion … My sweet Marion.” He pulled her close.

Marion: *She quit nearly screamed! It was that voice again but Thomas wouldn’t pull a knife on her.. would he?* w…what do you want? I swear to go I’m going to scream…! -04:33 Jun 28

A soft chuckle. A stroke of her hair before his fingers slipped through her locks, curled in them and yanked her head back. “Scream all you want, my love. The pain I inflict on you will be nothing compared to the pain of betrayal by someone very close to you.” He paused. “And you know who I’m talking about, don’t you? You already have doubts of your own. This man who pretends to be your protector and yet appears at the wrong places at the wrong times.”

Marion: He wouldn’t ever…! You’re the one hurting me! *She wouldn’t listen! A man with pretty words and knife was surely more dangerous no matter how… strange Faulkner Grant could be! She grasped the hand with the knife to push it away and tried to elbow herself free!* -04:41 Jun 28

The man had been expecting a struggle! He yanked on her head and sent her falling back onto the bed! He straddled her and covered her mouth with one hand while showing off the knife in the other. “Would he? Perhaps you do not know him as well as you think you do. He and the Wellingtons are connected to Thomas. And to his death as well.”

Faulkner Grant: Miss Marion …? *A knock on the door.* Are you in there? -04:44 Jun 28

At the knock, the man’s grip on Marion loosened ever so slightly!

Marion: *A muffled cry as she froze! What did he mean connected to Thomas’ death? But they hadn’t even… at the loosened grip Marion struggled to break free again and scream!* -04:47 Jun 28

The man turned his attention back to Marion but it was too late!

Faulkner Grant: *At the scream, all Faulkner had to do was open the door and he ran inside!* -04:49 Jun 28

By now the man was retreating! And quickly jumped out the window?! When Faulkner went to investigate the ground below, he saw the man running away!

Faulkner Grant: *Swore under his breath before turning and moving to Miss Marion’s side.* Miss Marion, are you alright? -04:49 Jun 28
Marion: *She nodded quickly!* I’m alright… he just. … Scared me. *He did always show up just when she needed him… but that was a good thing wasn’t it? She brushed tears from her face quickly!* -04:52 Jun 28
Faulkner Grant: *He offered her a handkerchief.* What happened? -04:53 Jun 28

One of the maids came by. She’d heard the commotion. Was everyone safe?

Marion: *Marion just shook her head, taking the kerchief to dry her eyes.* Oh.. same old, same old? *She gave a half hearted, nervous laugh. What else was there to say..?* But you’ve rescued me again, so it’s alright? -04:56 Jun 28
Faulkner Grant: … We’ll be fine. Thank you. *He told the maid. He turned back to Miss Marion.* We need to tell the Wellingtons. It’s not safe for you here anymore. *He sounded very sad about that.* -04:58 Jun 28
Marion: I don’t think there is a place safer than here. *And thought was scary all by itself! He knew that didn’t he? Or did he want her to… Oh, now she was getting suspicious because of a maniac’s warnings?! Marion shook her head again!* No. We better not. I’ll just… change my room! Somewhere without a window. -05:02 Jun 28
Faulkner Grant: *Smiled at the suggestion.* I will sleep right outside your door if you want. -05:05 Jun 28
Marion: Sleep in my room. I.. think that would be better? Then I could see you and… know you’re right there. -05:07 Jun 28
Faulkner Grant: *Blinked!* Um … Are you sure? That’s … very … er … inappropriate. I doubt the Wellingtons would agree to that. -05:09 Jun 28
Marion: *Despite any suspicion and fright of the moment, that made her smile.* I think by now what is appropriate and what’s not has been tossed out the window, don’t you? -05:11 Jun 28
Faulkner Grant: *Chuckled softly* I see your point. I suppose I can sleep on the floor. -05:13 Jun 28
Marion: Then if that crazy Cousin Ursula is gone, I would really, really like to find another room and just… stay there forever. -05:20 Jun 28
Faulkner Grant: … That would explain all the talking I heard. And I was outside at the time. *He studied her for a moment.* How about you get some rest? -05:25 Jun 28
Marion: *She stood slowly, almost as if testing her own legs!* I am almost sorely tempted to just sleep in your room. -05:28 Jun 28
Faulkner Grant: I don’t know if you’d enjoy my room. It doesn’t have a window, remember? -05:31 Jun 28
Marion: Then it’s perfect! No one would ever expect me to be in your bed, what better place would there be? -05:33 Jun 28
[Marion with her feminine wiles had convinced Faulker Grant to let her stay in his room and she SHOULD be fast asleep!] -02:38 Sep 12
[Faulkner kept Miss Courtland company until he was certain she was sound asleep!] -02:52 Sep 12
Marion: *Marion fell asleep, but sound sleeping was en entirely different matter. It’s not easy sleeping, knowing you could die at any moment!* -02:53 Sep 12
Faulkner: *He brushed his hair back with his fingers, suddenly feeling very old and very much his age. She appeared to be asleep … and by the tone of the clock, it was getting late. He couldn’t wait any longer or else he’d never make it back in time. He drew the blankets over her and brushed a strand out of her face. Then he was out of the room and he quietly shut the door behind him! Then he glanced around and headed for the back door!* -02:56 Sep 12
Marion: *The soft click of the closing door roused her, and she blinked weary eyed at the empty room. Had he gone to fetch something? Marion waited a few moments, sure she was going to drift back to sleep and that he’d return any second. But when he didn’t she slid out of bed. It was the middle of the night. What if he WAS up to something? She should know! Marion snatched up one of the smaller blankets to wrap around her shoulders as she snuck out the door to follow!* -03:01 Sep 12
Faulkner: *No one was around this time of night. The staff went to bed early, mainly because the Wellingtons were early risers. He fetched a lantern from the closet in the kitchen next to the back door and then headed through the garden and to the side gate, the same gate Marion had wandered out through before drowning. But instead of heading down to the river, he went straight through some wild brush. Not too long ago, it had been a well-kept lawn but nature had swiftly taken it over.* -03:05 Sep 12

The full moon rose high above the brush. There were tall bushes, once well-trimmed, but now growing in every direction and then tall weeds and vines. -Faulkner

Marion: *House slippers made following silent, but hardly aided in avoiding getting snagged by vines and weeds. Marion disentangled herself quickly, finding it more and more curious that he was sneaking out the side gates like this. Was he trying not to be seen?* -03:11 Sep 12
Faulkner: *Nearly two-thirds of the way there, he found himself short of breath and had to lean against what looked like a broken pillar of some kind. He shut his eyes. It would be so easy to just fall asleep and leave everything to the Wellingtons … He snapped himself out of his daze and stood up, shaking his head. No. He had to get back. He couldn’t help like this. He continued on, this time on a narrow path free of vines and weeds that led to a large, dark manor.* -03:16 Sep 12
Marion: *Marion was perplexed! When he stopped, she was tempted to jump out and demand to know where he was going, but instead remained out of sight. As the manor came in to view, she was more curious. The Wellingtons didn’t say anything about neighbors or extra properties. On the clear path, she stayed at a good distance… Maybe he wasn’t going there specifically.* -03:21 Sep 12
Faulkner: *He stopped in front of the steps that led up to the front door of the manor and held the lantern up high. He started remembering when this place was a lot different, back before it had become a memory hidden away from all. He remembered all the windows being lit, and the laughter and … many more things that no longer existed here. He suddenly turned around and looked back the way he’d come. Why did he feel like someone was watching him, following him?* -03:25 Sep 12
Marion: *Ack! Marion dashed behind the nearest tree. He was going to that house! It was obviously vacant, so why would a man sneak off to a place like this in the middle of the night! She waited a few moments.* -03:28 Sep 12
Faulkner: *He finally turned back around. But instead of going into the house, he moved around the corner to the side. There, he stepped up to the wall of the manor covered in vines and, by doing something Marion couldn’t see, a hidden door opened and he disappeared inside. After he was gone, the door stayed open, giving Marion a way in if she decided to follow.* -03:31 Sep 12
Marion: *That sinking feeling in her gut… She tried to ignore it. This was mischief. Suspicious mischief. If she went home now, she wouldn’t know for sure… Marion dashed down the path, and slipped through the previously hidden doorway.* -03:35 Sep 12

The door closed up right behind Marion! What followed was a winding narrow flight of stone steps that finally led down to a small chamber that split off into several tunnels. It was easy to spot and keep up with Faulkner though, as he had the lantern and he wasn’t moving very quickly. When he finally stopped, he was in a large chamber filled with books and tables and bubbling liquids. There were candles all around. -Faulkner

Faulkner: *He put the lantern down on one of the few spaces free of clutter and began flipping through a large book left open on the table nearby.* -03:42 Sep 12
Marion: *Marion locked her teeth together to keep herself from screaming. Pulling the blanket tighter around her shoulders, she stayed close to the wall as she followed. This place was disturbing, there was surely not right about it. She stopped at the start of the chamber… What sort of madness was all this? It was like a laboratory!* -03:46 Sep 12

SQUEAK! SQUEAK! Oh, heavens, was that a rat?! And the bold little bugger ran over Marion’s feet! -Faulkner

Marion: *She wouldn’t scream, she wouldn’t scream…!* Aiiie..~!! *She screamed! Kicking the furry beast away from her feet, she stood up in the nearest chair… and all too late realized she had given herself away! She quickly tried to paint an expression of decorum on her face, but with being caught spying and standing on a chair… she choose a direct attack instead!* What, exactly, do you think you’re doing here! -03:50 Sep 12
Faulkner: MARION?! *She was, by far, the last person he had ever expected to see here! Not to mention there was no telling what would happen now!* I mean, Miss Courtland, what are you doing here? How did you … And why are you … And … *He ran his fingers through his hair. There was no way he could undo this.* You have to leave. Now. *He started for the lantern to show her the way out.* -03:54 Sep 12
Marion: *Marion stepped down from the chair, but clearly wasn’t going to budge! His reaction didn’t bode well either. He sounded dreadfully guilty!* I am not leaving without answers! What is this place? What are you doing here? How are all of these things just laying around ready and waiting? You’re… You’re up to something! -03:57 Sep 12
Faulkner: *He stopped at the doorway to the tunnel, in mid-reach for the lantern. He didn’t turn to look at her. He only took a deep breath.* This is … this is my family’s home. Or … it was. -04:00 Sep 12
Marion: *Marion was trying to think if she had ever even heard him speak about his family… She had never met them! …And those thoughts weren’t going to distract from the problem at hand.* With secret doors and laboratories included. That you sneak off to in the middle of the night. -04:06 Sep 12
Faulkner: *He finally turned around.* I … don’t come here often. Unless it’s necessary. I needed to see what I could do about this. *He glanced up at the silver streak in his hair.* -04:08 Sep 12
Faulkner: It’s more than just a streak of white. And I know you’ve noticed it when it suddenly appeared. But it is a rather long story. I’d prefer if you were somewhere warm and comfortable when I told it. -04:11 Sep 12
Marion: Warm, comfortable and out of your way, I assume. *She didn’t mean to sound so suspicious… but under the circumstances… Marion glanced over the room again.* I want to know what all of this is. -04:14 Sep 12
Faulkner: Alchemy tools. *He looked over the books and the liquid and the other countless things scattered around.* Do you remember what alchemy is? -04:15 Sep 12
Marion: You’re certainly not trying to turn silver to gold…*Marion muttered, softly.* What has it to do with your hair…? -04:18 Sep 12
Faulkner: No, alchemy has to do with more than turning things to gold. *He said.* One of alchemy’s … beliefs … is that to achieve something, you must give up something of equal value in return. For using alchemy, I give up a portion of my life force. And as I do that, I get older. The streak of hair is a visible sign of my aging. -04:21 Sep 12
Marion: *Marion blinked slowly… His answers were only giving her more questions to ask!* Why would you do something like that? It sounds dangerous. Impossible. -04:27 Sep 12
Faulkner: It … was a last resort, I assure you. But it was necessary. I believe Thomas’ favorite words were "Nothing is impossible." -04:32 Sep 12
Marion: *Crossing hr arms, she chewed on her bottom lip. How could she trust him if he kept things like this from her… Something so dangerous and scary. That stranger could be right…* But why. What could be so important that you’d waste away your own life for something that couldn’t possibly be sane! -04:35 Sep 12
Faulkner: *He shut his eyes as if reliving a painful memory. He had known this question was coming, in some form or another. But it didn’t make talking about it any less painful.* About a year ago, Thomas contacted me. He was involved in a struggle against someone very close to him and he needed help. I did what I could and … we had thought that someone had died. Then Thomas passed away. Using alchemy became necessary when all signs pointed to that someone still being alive. And coming back to finish what he started. -04:47 Sep 12
Marion: Thomas was doing something that night. The night he died. I just… I just can’t remember what it was… *Marion turned away, trying to think. Thomas had his books and was up late. She was going to bring him some coffee…* Why is it, that everyone remembers what happened but me. The Wellingtons and now even you were involved… -04:54 Sep 12
Faulkner: *He gave her sometime to think before he spoke again.* Please, Miss Courtland, allow me to escort you back to the house so you can get some rest? *He’d have some explaining to do to the Wellingtons about this.* -05:01 Sep 12
Marion: …and then what? Will you come back here once I am out of sight and mind? *She turned back around with arms still crossed as she frowned at him.* I have always done what I was told, but now all of you are passing me back and forth in the name of keeping me safe. But it’s.. it’s not really making a difference, is it. I think… that I should be allowed to see what everyone is doing. -05:05 Sep 12
Faulkner: *She meant every word of it, too! He sighed softly. The thought of throwing her over his shoulder and marching all the way back occurred to him but … he was in no shape to be doing that type of carrying.* I am only doing research here. If I find what I’m looking for, I might come up with something that will help restore some of my youth. And regardless of anything else, you’ll need something warmer for a place like this. -05:14 Sep 12
Marion: *Marion shrugged her shoulders.* I brought a blanket. *Looking back at the tables, shew was chewing on her lip against.* Isn’t it a paradox to sacrifice bits of your life to try and get more of it back? -05:16 Sep 12

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.