For a few days Leon and Lily have been able to keep Ciara away from Conrad long enough for him to get some rest and heal a bit. Ciara is determined to speak with him today, and there is a comical fight on the floor with Leon as he holds on to her leg for dear life. Conrad wakes up, spying Lily asleep in one of the chairs, touched that she kept watch over him. He moves her to bed, but she hears her mother shouting at Leon and wakes up to be surprised at Conrad being awake and moving.
Exiting the room to the kitchen, Conrad finally explains to everyone what happened when he was a child. A woman named Carmilla was friends with his mother, but she was slowly making his sisters go insane. Really horrible things happened to all of them in a single night, followed by his own father getting butchered. Carmilla possessed his mother’s body. Oracle had rescued him and send him back with his family, but once he was old enough he returned to the city and joined the Organization.
Ciara decides that Conrad is suitable for guarding her daughter and walks out with Leon trailing her. She’s angry about these sort of things happening to people, and yet the Oracle Organization seems to either get there too late or is completely ineffective. She plans to DO something about it. Lily finds a kindred spirit in Conrad.
- Conrad reveals his tragic family history. He is touched by Lily keeping watch over him.
- Lily finds a kindred spirit in Conrad, empathizing with his past.
- Ciara is angry that these sort of these keep happening to those that can’t defend themselves. She decides to do something about it.
Conrad: *Sat up in bed, feeling a lot better now. He didn’t feel weak now and he felt restless. He’d spent too much lying in bed for his liking.* … Lily?
Lily: *Being a bodyguard was a lot more work than it sounded like, and Lily was currently hanging over a chair sleeping with one of the cousin’s science books!*
Conrad: *Smiled a bit.* Welcome to my world. *He took the book away and put it on the table beside the bed and moved to pick Lily up so he can place her in bed. He felt really bad about her hanging around, watching him like this. On the other hand, he was really touched. It had been a real long while since someone had watched over him.*
Lily: *Between being moved and hearing her mother shouting at Leon, Lily was pretty sure she was supposed to be springing in to protective action! Except.. she was in bed!* ..You moved!
Conrad: *Sheepish grin!* Yeah. I’m real sorry. I’m not used to people watching over me, especially when I’m supposed to be watching over them. Besides, you needed your rest. *He cocked his head towrd the door.* And it sounds like Leon only has moments to live before your mother turns him into a rug.
Lily: *She rubbed her head, eyeing the door with a look between amusement and annoyance.* She’s sort of relentless… I can sleep later, anyway. Leon needs backup,
Conrad: You have to hand it to Leon. He’s got a lot of stamina. *He glanced at Lily.*
Lily: *After listening, Lily was curious about the stew story herself!* Are you well enough to deal with her now? Though I think he could last another day at least.
Conrad: *Deep breath.* Your mother is right to have … opinions. I’m sure she’s ready to kill me by now but I have to come clean with you, her, even Leon. *He took the doorknob and opened the door.* Ms Grey. Leon.
Conrad: Of course. *He nodded.* How about over some tea then? *And he walked around them and into the kitchen to start a pot. The rest of the family was outside and no one was cooking so the kitchen was empty.*
Lily: *Lily stepped around them, only to turn around and give Leon the thumbs up and a smile behind her mother’s back!*
Lily: *Lily made sure to steal herself some of that chicken and a crouscant roll for a small sandwhich before Leon swallowed bones and all! For the moment she leaned against the counter. Leon would tackle her mother if she planned on attacking anyone, and she was in charge of escape routes!*
Conrad: *Turns the stove on and puts the pot on top, he turns around.* It happened 17 years ago. I was eight and me and my family lived in New York City. My mother, Erica, was a professional violinist. You probably heard of her. She performed in front of royalty all over the world, visited places like Tokyo and Moscow. It was hard for her to leave us. My dad took care of us, working from home. I was the only boy with three sisters. Anna was the oldest, followed by Bethany, me and my youngest sister, Danielle. *He took out a cup.* Anyone else want some tea? *He asked before continuing.*
Lily: I’d like tea and so would mother. *She said before the woman could interrupt!*
Conrad: *Got cups out for Leon, Ciara, and Lily!* My mother didn’t go by Wolfe. She went by her maiden name so that we could enjoy some peace and not worry about all the publicity and trouble. She attracted a lot of attention. Particularly the eye of a wealthy woman of royal blood who became a sponsor of sorts. She and my mother grew close. It wasn’t long before my mother introduced her to us. Her name was Carmilla Sheridan. *The kettle was beginning to whistle by now so he began to make the tea.*
Conrad: Carmilla spent a lot of time with us, especially my sisters. They used to go out to the park and shop. When one of them became sick, Carmilla would nurse them back to health. When my dad had to run an errand and she happened to be there, she watched us. I didn’t notice anything was wrong … But when I did, it was too late. My sisters were acting different, you see. Dad pased it off as hormones. Mom just said it was the city. So although they talked back to my parents when they didn’t get their way or taunted their friends until they ran out crying … We just shrugged it off and said it was just a phase.
Conrad: *Was silent for awhile after that.* … I … I went to sleep early that night. I had a field trip the next day. We were going to the zoo. *He smiled a bit.* The tigers. I wanted to see the tigers. So Dad tucked me in early. Mother was home. She had gotten back from Paris just that night. She was tired. She was looking sick. I had just fallen asleep. Then I heard it … A knock at the door. I heard Dad answer it and I tried to go back to sleep. But then the yelling started. It was so loud and yet I can’t remember what was being said. I remember sneaking out of my bed. The yelling had started in the living room, then gone past my room down the hall, to my parents’ room. I went there, I peeked in. I saw Dad yelling at Carmilla. He was shaking the phone at her. Now I remember … He was talking about my sisters. They had done … some very bad things. And he was convinced that Carmilla was the cause of this.
Conrad: I found out later what they had done … Anna had … Anna had … um … killed someone. She was staying over at a friend’s house and had stabbed her. Over and over … She had uh, slipped a pillow over her friend’s face to muffle the screams. Bethany … tried to kill herself. She tried to jump off our building’s roof. Kept talking about shadows with fangs … how they were everywhere. Danielle had … She’d gotten raped. All of this happened in one night … *He shook his head.* I saw my mother get up. She started to defend Carmilla, said something about how Carmilla had been the reason she’d gotten into music. How she owed her. I’d never seen Dad so mad before. He was getting violent. He looked like he was going to swing the phone at Carmilla. I … I tried to stop him. I ran into the room and I threw my arms around his legs. He was so surprised. He dropped the phone. He was telling me everything would be alright … But his back was turned and I could see Carmilla … She had fangs. And claws. I held onto my dad while he was being ripped to shreds by her. I screamed and I screamed … And my mother just stood there. A statue. There was blood all over me … and I was screaming. Dad was trying to do something, trying to say something. But blood … everywhere. And Carmilla laughing and me watching as she possessed my mother’s body. She admitted to toying with my sisters. She said it was just a game. Then something happened … someone came. Darkness. *He shook his head.* I woke up at Oracle HQ. They shipped me here. But I moved back to the city as soon as I could.
Lily: *Lily didn’t say a word, the cup paused in her hand midway to her mouth, seeming to stare off in to space or at a spot on the counter. After a moment she sipped her tea, a questioning look at her mother.*
Conrad: Carmilla is just a name she used. *He replied.* I understand if you want to fire me, Ms Grey.
Lily: *Lily moved to nudge Leon with her foot. That look on her mother’s face was worse than when she was about to beat someone.* Go with her.
Conrad: *Watched Ciara and Leon leave! It was awhile before he spoke.* Does this … change anything?
Lily: You are kind of like a kindred spirit, in a dark and twisted sort of way…
Conrad: *Smiled a bit and scratched his head.* Thanks. It feels … a little better to share it with someone else. And … weird.
Lily: It’s strange to hear someone else’s story too… I think you might have made her cry.
Conrad: Maybe I should go apologize. I just wanted to explain myself. But I ended up getting caught in the details.
Lily: Leon’s with her. He’s been really good at keeping her sane. I sort wonder how she managed without him while I was… gone.
Conrad: Yeah, they’re real close. Did Leon ever mention having a family himself?
Lily: He really hasn’t said a word about it. All his stories usually involve Moma…
Conrad: From all the stories I’ve heard, he’d be a great writer. *He checked the clock.* Are you hungry? I can whip us up something to eat.
Lily: I’m nearly always hungry. *Lily hopped up in to a chair, taking her cup with her!* Are you going to be able to take me on a horse, or should I wait until next time we visit Montana?
Conrad: Damn, I nearly forgot about taking you riding. How about we go see the horses and once you’re comfortable with Maverick, we can go for a little ride?
Lily: *Lily eyed him carefully..* Should you actually be riding a horse now? What if he decides to throw me off a mountain or something, and you have to climb down to get my mangled body.
Conrad: Whoa! We’re not going anywhere near a mountain. In fact, I think we should just stick to a nice ride in the corral outside. We could call it a riding lesson.
Lily: An official riding lesson? …Mother tried that with me once, and it didn’t go over very well… *She wasn’t sure if she were just teasing him, or not-so-fondly remembering how terrible that was. She was pretty sure she screamed for an hour!*