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[Azudia] A Christmas Curse

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Title: AWC: A Christmas Curse
Number: 381
Date: Dec 14, 2008 at 2:46 AM
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Divinatas – Dec 14, 2008 at 2:46 AM

[bg=#676C4E][padding=10px][bg=#14382A]ANOTHER WHITE CHRISTMAS: A CHRISTMAS CURSE[/bg][/padding][/bg]

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Divinatas – Dec 14, 2008 at 4:20 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

[i]Have a holly jolly Christmas! It’s the best time of the yea-[/i]

CLICK.

[i]Iiii’m dreaming of a whiiiite Christma-[/i]

CLICK.

[i]Dashing through the snow, on a one horse open sl-[/i]

“ARGH!!” CLICK!

[i]I see a red door and I want to paint it blaa-aack.[/i]

“That’s more like it.” the woman muttered, tossing the remote on the coffee table as she leaned back on the sofa. Nearly every channel on the TV was showing feel-good Holiday movies, so it was impossible to find something decent to watch. Then the radio wasn’t much better. All Holly wanted to do was listen to something, [i]anything[/i] that wasn’t all this stupid good-cheer, happy holidays nonsense. At this rate she was going to stab a steak knife through her ears.

“I’m home! Oh, there’s a package!” a cheerful, older voice chimed over the music as she entered the house. Several bags were in her hands as well as a fairly large box left by the mail carrier. Holly got up from her seat to take the box out of the old woman’s hands and set it down on the kitchen table.

“What time did you leave this morning? I came downstairs at the crack of dawn for a cup of coffee and you weren’t here. It’s almost time for dinner.” Holly asked, eying all of those bags.

“Well, sweetie, if you want to get the best items for the best deals you have to be the first one there!” the woman replied. She deposited her bags in the chairs, taking a box cutter from one of the junk drawers to cut open the box. There was a squeel! Out of the box she pulled a fairly large Christmas rug. “It came! My that shipping was so fast! Look, won’t it look lovely under the tree?”

Holly blinked at the thing. “…It looks forty years old. Where the hell did you get that thing, Nancy?”

“I was looking on eBay for holiday gifts, and it was such a great deal! I had to have it! Here, sweetie. You got set it up under the tree and I’ll get dinner started. Your Uncle Kevin should be home any minute, and you know how he hates his Taters being under cooked!” Nancy thrust the rug in to Holly’s arms and bustled away in to the kitchen!

…Holly looked at the rug with her nose curled up in distaste. She was tempted to throw it out the back door, but obediently carried it over to the fireplace where she unrolled it on the floor. It looked wretched! The edges were a bit frayed, and the designs on it were over the top, even for a holiday rug. Holly kicked the corner of it. Of all the stupid things Nancy had to order.

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Azul Morag – Dec 14, 2008 at 5:08 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=854][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot had a rather rude awakening when someone rudely dropped him – well, rudely dropped the rug. He had fallen asleep at some point during… shipping. It was incredible, but not being able to breathe had been almost a blessing or else he wouldn’t have survived – packages have it rougher than he thought.

//I will freeze all her accounts and take away all her mobiles for this…!//

Elliot wasn’t quite yet accustomed to his new ‘situation,’ but he was quite aware when carried in from the cold into some building. Great, he had been sold on ebay. The MORE the reason to push that wretch into dire poverty! And [i]forty years old?![/i] What in Hell did that mean?

Whomever the creature bestowed with such bad taste was, she unrolled him somewhere and unceremoniously kicked him as well. A slight vibration of anger swept over the rug. The kicked corner stretched its ONLY SLIGHTLY TATTERED edges straight, taking every offense while at it!

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Divinatas – Dec 14, 2008 at 5:28 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly didn’t seem to notice any movement on the rug as she walked right over it to kneel next to the Christmas tree. How was she supposed to get the rug under it? The tree was loaded down with ornaments and candy canes. It’d take two people to move it! Blowing her hair out of her face, she plopped down to have a seat, resting her hands behind her.

Blinking she glanced down. “Jesus, did they even clean this thing before they shiped it?” she muttered, running her fingers over it to check the damages. “She better not have paid more than ten bucks for you, buddy. I doubt you’re even antique.”

“What’s not antique, now?” asked an older gentleman. Holly hadn’t even heard him coming home. He hung up his coat and scarf before walking over to the fireplace and blinking down curiously at her.

Holly shrugged, pointing down at the Christmas rug she was still sitting on. “Aunt Nancy found this old thing on eBay.”

Leaning, over the old man grinned! “Ah, a rug for the tree, eh? I always did like getting used things. They have more character.” he pat Holly on the head before heading towards the kitchen. “You make that tree look nice and pretty for us!”

Holly rolled her eyes, looking back at the tree as she tilt her head. [i]She[/i] had already explained to Aunt Nancy and Uncle Keven that she wanted nothing to do with Christmas this year. Yet, they dragged everything out of the attic and practically threw her in to it.

“This is so stupid.” she mumbled to herself.

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Azul Morag – Dec 14, 2008 at 5:42 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=854][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot was quite unsettled by the ‘news.’ He was a CHRISTMAS rug?! Of all the corny things – Adelaide was going to get it! A weight sat heavily on him. He calculated the Christmas tree plus presents was going to weigh as much, if not the same. He again took great offense – of course he was worthy more than ten bucks! At least the guy that walked in seemed to be a sensible person – but he wasn’t the one sitting on him. Elliot would be frowning by now. This was very stupid and unsettling, but he firmly refused to freak out. He was going to get back to being himself – somehow. First than anything, he needed to escape from this happy campers! He decided to stay quiet and wait for a chance to escape…

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Divinatas – Dec 14, 2008 at 5:50 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

As much as she would have preferred to chuck tree and rug in to the fireplace, Holly finally got up and rearranged everything. First she had to slide the tree over more in to the corner. Then she had to pickup a few of the gift boxes and set them aside. Finally she grabbed the rug and drug it over, dropping it where she needed it and occasionally kicking the curled up edges back in to place. For a moment or two she thought the rug was being difficult out of spite.

Pulling the tree on to the rug and arranging the presents back where they belonged, Holly took a step back to admire the handy work. It looked… beautiful. There was a brief sad look across her face, before she scowled and stalked to the back door. Holly needed some fresh air.

Opening up the door, she stopped. “Nancy, Kevin..! I’m going to step outside for a minute and grab a couple logs for the fireplace. I’ll be right back!”

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Azul Morag – Dec 14, 2008 at 6:02 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=854][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

The rug WAS being difficult out of spite! Why, the woman couldn’t talk for 30 seconds without saying something offensive! When she finally stopped tugging, stomping and piling things on him, she suddenly announced she was leaving and a gust of cold air washed over him. Good. There was a door open somewhere. The rug shook slightly -these things were heavy! However he managed to levitate a good three inches from the floor before hoovering ever so slowly towards the cold air source… If she didn’t notice him, he could sweep past her, off and away!

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Divinatas – Dec 14, 2008 at 6:19 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly turned back around to step outside… and blinked. Three times. That Christmas rug was hovering over the floor with a tree and presents on top, inching it’s way for the door. She was in such a state of shock and confusion that the rug actually managed to float across the living room and right outside before it occurred to her that the rug was [i]actually[/i] stealing Christmas!

Remember the fiasco of [i]last[/i] Christmas and that accident with Santa, there was no way in hell Holly was going to get blamed for something else! Dashing out the door, she chased after the rug before it got too far and stomped on it’s corner to keep it in place.

“Where do you think you’re going?! …Jesus I’m talking to a rug!” Holly leaned to grab it’s edges and drag everything back inside befo-

“[i]Holly[/i]!” squealed the voice of Aunt Nancy, Holly groaned!

“It’s NOT what it looks like! This stupid rug was taking off by itself! Look at it!”

Aunt Nancy stepped outside looking incredibly concerned, Uncle Kevin appearing behind her scratching his head. “Holly, sweetie, it’s a [i]rug[/i]. Why on earth are you taking everything outside?”

Holly dropped the edge of the rug to rest her hands on her hips. “Well I don’t know, Nancy. I thought the birds and critters needed a little Christmas cheer too!” she said sarcastically. That… really didn’t help her look any less crazy. The look on their faces said as much. “I told you, it was flying off by itself. I was trying to grab it before it got away.”

Aunt Nancy stopped beside her niece, wrapping an arm around her shoulder. “Sweetie, I know this time of year is hard for you. Did you take those anxiety pills the doctor gave you? Let’s go inside and I’ll give you a nice mug of hot chocolate while Uncle Kevin takes everything back inside.”

With a sigh Holly let herself be led away, but not without casting that rug one hell of a glare.

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Azul Morag – Dec 14, 2008 at 6:34 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

The Christmas tree was shaking dangerously through their tug-o-war but Elliot managed not to drop it. [i]DARN he almost made it![/i] Elliot dropped himself to the ground as soon as the rest of the campers appeared and feigned being… a rug. And she was stepping on him AGAIN. He was so going to sue her later!

SO, the rug offender was on some sort of happy pills? Elliot could not really point and snicker, he had been on anti-stress pills a couple of times, himself. He guessed that was a good cover for him anyway – she was just [i]seeing[/i] things. He was just an innocent and old, dirty, frayed, stupid etcetera, etc. rug. Elliot tapped the ground with one his corners while the people spoke. Surely the old man could not wrap him up around everything and carry the bulk back inside. He was going to have to take things in groups at a time. As soon as he’d go back in with the first batch, Elliot would be flying away!

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Divinatas – Dec 14, 2008 at 7:00 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Unfortunately (for the rug!), wrapping up the edges of the carpet around the presents and tree was exactly what Uncle Kevin did! For an old man, he still had a pretty strong back! He hefted everything up with one grunt and carted it back in to the house. His foot kicked the door closed behind him, as Kevin waltzed back to the living room. Kneeling by the fireplace, he set everything down carefully. Smoothing the rug back over the floor, righting the presents where they belongs, and adjusting the branches on the tree.

Uncle Kevin was giving the tree an appreciative nod as his wife and Holly returned to the room. Nancy had a tray of mugs with some of her delicious fresh baked cookies. Holly had another one of those scowls on her face. Kevin picked up a mug and had a seat in his old chair, gracing them with his usual cheerful old man smile.

“Isn’t it nice, sitting by the fire and having some hot chocolate with family? I remember when you and Noel used to sit in here writing your letters to Santa and arguing over who got to use the red crayon and who got the green.”

Holly found herself a place on the floor near the fireplace, swallowing the pills Aunt Nancy handed her, and occasionally casting that rug a suspicious stare. It wasn’t doing anything now. “Nice day for a [i]fire[/i].” she muttered in to her mug.

Aunt Nancy shook her head at Uncle Kevin! Couldn’t the silly man see this wasn’t a good time to bring up the family? “So Holly…! We’re so glad you decided to take off work this week! Christmas just wouldn’t be the same.”

“Shouldn’t dinner be ready by now?” mentioned Holly, setting down her mug and getting up from the floor. She escaped pretty quick in to the kitchen.

Uncle Kevin was scratching his head again. “She’s getting a bit worse, doncha think? Maybe we should take her to see that fancy psychiatrist.”

Aunt Nancy just threw one of her snowman pillows at him. “You goon! It’s only the second holiday without her family, she’s bound to be a little depressed. …Just in case, you better lock the doors. Heaven knows what she was doing with that rug and tree!”

Husband and Wife left to have dinner!

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Azul Morag – Dec 14, 2008 at 7:17 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

The rug wasn’t doing anything asides of bristling with anger! At least the old man was considerably more careful than the Witch of the West. Elliot was forced to just sit there and listen to them. He was quite upset and wishing he could just wrap around someone and suffocate them to death! -Someone- was going to pay dearly for this, starting with Adelaide Graham Smith! What else did the brat want – she had more money to spend in her useless existence than any of her spoiled friends! And a mother to educate her, too! Why, he didn’t even have a mother and he turned out quite well, she ought to have it a lot nicer!

Elliot stretched out a little and tapped one of his tassels on the floor on his far side from their voices, frustratedly. He guessed nobody was going to notice – or want to notice anyway. He still couldn’t ‘see’ anything, but he was starting to be aware of shapes, like elusive shadows. This was better, but it worried him… Was he sinking deep into whatever this was?

Trying not to brood, he just listened to the happy campers. Maybe the Witch of the West had moved out of the West leaving her family there? No wonder they didn’t tag along! Elliot tapped the tassel again, frustrated.

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Divinatas – Dec 14, 2008 at 7:29 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Dinner went by with simple conversation and without any incidents. Aunt Nancy chatted about her day shopping. All the crazies that got a little weird trying to get Christmas presents last minute. Uncle Kevin bragged about his greenhouse doing really well, and having fresh vegetables all season long. Holly muttered some things about work and her internship going well.

After dinner she helped Nancy wash the dishes and put up the left overs. Uncle Kevin went on to bed early with Nancy close behind. Holly plopped on the sofa, snatching up the remote control and flipping through the channels. She finally rested on some cooking show before she was dozing off. Those blasted pills never did a damned thing about her mood, but they always made her sleepy! Some medication! The rug had been forgotten for the time being!

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Azul Morag – Dec 14, 2008 at 7:41 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

The TV chattered on, but low enough to inform Elliot the two older campers were gone to bed and the Witch of the West was very quiet for a long time, now. Maybe she was asleep. Elliot wrapped deftly one tasseled corner around the Christmas tree’s cable and unplugged it. No reaction he could hear so far. Ever so silently, the rug rose two, three inches, then one foot from the floor and began hoovering his way out of the living room, using his tassels like antennae to find his way around…

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Divinatas – Dec 14, 2008 at 7:51 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly was having some interesting dreams about gingerbread men jumping in to vats of frying oil when she heard a soft jingle. Ignoring it at first, she rolled over on the sofa. Another jingle and a ting! Thinking Uncle Kevin was sneaking downstairs for a snack, Holly sat up and rubbed her head. Damned stuff, she felt a little grog- Holly blinked. The Christmas tree was missing.

…No there it was. On top of the rug, hovering around the room a few inches off the floor. Holly moved up to her knees, peeking over the back of the sofa to watch. It just… kept moving! Like it was looking for something! [i]’Probably for another open door out.'[/i]

“Why are you escaping? Rugs aren’t supposed to move.” she said, loud enough for the rug to hear, but not to alert Aunt Nancy or Uncle Kevin that anything weird was happening. Not that she expected the rug to talk back. …Actually, she wasn’t sure what she expected. It was a [i]flying Christmas rug[/i]. Maybe she really was losing it.

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Azul Morag – Dec 14, 2008 at 7:56 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Startled Elliot almost dropped one of the presents! The Witch’s voice was not moving though and she was perhaps dying in fright. Hopefully she’d stay away from him! The Christmas tree shook a little – evil people, why couldn’t they use fake bells like everyone else! Jinglejingle went the tree as the rug hovered round a corner and found the kitchen door. He tried to push it open…

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Divinatas – Dec 14, 2008 at 8:06 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

The rug flat out ignored her, which made sense seeing as it was a rug and shouldn’t have been doing what it was doing, anyway. Holly slowly got up from the sofa following at a safe distance to get a good look at what the rug was up to. Apparently it was trying to use it’s tassels to pry open the kitchen door. A lot of good that would do. The door was locked.

Holly rubbed her head again. They say madness comes in small spurts and instances. Was this the start? Flying rugs and stolen Christmas trees?

“Frankly, I could care less if you wanted to ruin my Christmas. I don’t care for it anyway. But I’d rather not have my aunt and uncle freaking out and having me committed.” Holly muttered softly, sneaking up behind the rug and getting a good grip on it. She dragged it back towards the living room fireplace.

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Azul Morag – Dec 14, 2008 at 8:11 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot was not elated at being dragged back; he gave a firm, warning tug and shook the tree menacingly! By now he had found the kitchen door had a lock – who puts locks in kitchen doors! He rolled the presents towards the center and swatted at the woman’s hands with his tassels!

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Divinatas – Dec 14, 2008 at 8:31 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Ow! You sonofab-!” The damned thing swatted her with a tassel! She had let go clicky to rub her hand, but like hell she was going to lose a fight with a rug!

“Get back in the corner!” she hissed, grabbing the thing again and yanking! The tree gave a dangerous tilt. Holly released the rug to right the tree back up again before it came toppling down on her!

A light from the hall flicked on. “Sweetie, are you still aw-…ake.” Once again Aunt Nancy had to walk in on a scene that looked a whole lot worse than what it was!

“Nancy, don’t you dare. I am telling you this rug is [i]possessed[/i] and trying to steal the tree!”

“Dear, dear me…” Obviously Nancy didn’t believe it as she shook her head sadly. “Let’s get you to bed.” Taking Holly by the arms, she just nodded and smiled at the girls protests about the rug. Holly’s angry voice carried rather well through the house as she still complained, but after a few moments it was silent again.

Aunt Nancy returned downstairs with Uncle Kevin, tut-tuting about her niece. “I think she was trying to drag it all outside again.”

Uncle Kevin picked up the tree and took it on over to the corner while Nancy was gathering up the gifts. “I kept telling you this was a bad idea. All three of them died before Christmas, I really don’t think we should make such a big deal about it.”

“But it’s [i]Christmas[/i]! Holly always loved Christmas.” pouted Aunt Nancy. With the gifts placed under the tree, she moved back over to the rug. She sighed! “She really has it out for this poor thing. I better lay it in front of the fireplace.” Picking up the rug, Nancy moved it just where she said. Laying it out all nice and pretty in front of the warm fire.

Having the living room straight (again) they went on to bed.

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Azul Morag – Dec 14, 2008 at 8:46 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot landed quick and softly when the older woman appeared – it was just lucky he hadn’t been hovering higher! However now he was back in the living room, set in front of the fireplace… yes, right there like a hearth rug – and most likely he was going to get sparks on him just like a hearth rug, too!

//Crazy people…// He at least could appreciate the care the older people took with the Christmas tree and his poor, cramped self. Then it dawned on him – they were forcing Christmas down the throat of the Witch of the West. They didn’t need Christmas, they needed a bucket of water!

Elliot flicked a tassel as they left him there. So it seems the relatives hadn’t remained in the West, but apparently died. Maybe that is how she turned into the Witch. Well, he was a rug – he guessed he could sympathize and sue her for a slightly less amount. Elliot waited till they all left again.

There must be a basement or some place with a window or if he could shake the tree off and try to slip under a door… Elliot laid there, listening.

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Divinatas – Dec 14, 2008 at 9:01 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Morning came all too slowly for a stationary rug. But at the crack of dawn, there was the sounds of someone waking. A shower. Footsteps. Holly was awake bright and early, already dressed.

Of course the first thing she did was march over to the fireplace and STOMP on the rug! Jump! Jump! STOMP! Hearing footsteps herself, Holly stopped her stomping, pretending to toss a fresh log in the fireplace to restart the fire.

“Morning, Nancy. I was wondering… do you remember who you bought the rug from?” Holly asked evenly.

Aunt Nancy looked a bit exasperated about the rug being brought up again, but shrugged her shoulders in good humor. “Oh… adelaide345 or something like that. You could check the computer. Um… Why do you ask, sweetie?”

Holly was already moving to the computer and dropping in to the chair to check. “I’m sending that rug back.”

“Oh Holly! Really? It’s such a pretty thing, though.” Oh dear. Holly really did have it out for the rug. But… maybe letting her send it back was better for her health.

Rolling her eyes, Holly pulled up Aunt Nancy’s eBay account and checked the recent purchases. ‘Old Stupid Christmas Rug’… that must be it. “Account deleted? C’mon!” she complained at the screen. It figures! Whomever had the rug last must have known it had a demon in it, and got rid of it. Well, Holly Roberts knew there was more than one way to return a package! Up she went finding the packing box the rug came in. Ah ha! An address! Peeling it off the box, she threw on her coat and brushed past Nancy to grab up the rug.

“I’ll be back after I drop off the rug. …Nancy stop looking at me that way. I promise. I’m just dropping it off and I’ll be right back.” before Aunt Nancy could argue, Holly already had the rug rolled up and under her arms as she dashed out the door!

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Azul Morag – Dec 14, 2008 at 9:08 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Just as he suspected, Adelaide had hoped to get rid of him for good! Elliot was so angry – first at being stomped on, and now at the news about what his stepsister had further done. Just as they were out of the door, he just couldn’t wait till she dropped him into the car; the wriggled with all his might to get out of her arms and fly away!

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Divinatas – Dec 14, 2008 at 10:20 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly drug the carpet out to the car. She could feel the little bastard tugging, pulling, and trying to escape! If she weren’t afraid it’d come flying back like some dog wanting scraps she’d be happy to let it go! But, nu-uh. Holly was going to make sure it was sent back where it came from, or she was going to destroy it trying!

Swinging open the trunk, Holly jammed the carpet inside giving it a good kick back in there when it tried to fly off, then slammed the trunk down on top of it!

Hrmph. Plopping in to the driver’s seat, Holly checked the address on the shipping lable before driving out.

The drive didn’t take long and Holly finally pulled up in front of a small house nicely situated near the main town area. Pocketing her keys, she grabbed the rug from out of the trunk (not forgetting to threaten it a few times when it squirmed) and trudged up the front steps to the door. She knocked.

After a moment the door opened with an old lady wearing a pink bathrobe and fuzzy slippers. “‘ello?”

“Ma’am, my aunt bought a rug sent from this address and I’d like to give it back. I don’t want a refund, this rug is just, well we don’t want it.” said Holly.

“Uh, I ain’t sold no rugs to anybody.” replied the old lady, giving Holly and the rug an odd look.

Damnit. Did she get the wrong address? Holly leaned back to check the house number, and down at the paper again. This was exactly where it came from. “Are you sure? Is there anyone in the house that uses eBay or had an account named adelaide345? …Would you LIKE a new rug? You could have it for free.”

The woman was backing away slowly. “No.. No, we don’t want any rugs!” With that she slammed the door, followed by the sound of bolted locks.

“Well shit.” Holly mumbled. It didn’t seem like the woman was lying, so that meant the Seller really didn’t want any send-backs and put down a fake address. That meant doing a little investigating. …Thankfully this was just the thing they did over at The Chronicle. Holly marched back to the car. “Alright, so that isn’t where you belong. But you just wait. I’m going to find who sold you and I’m going to stuff you down their throat.”

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Azul Morag – Dec 14, 2008 at 10:29 PM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot was dizzied and a little disoriented after all the beating – the Witch was a crazy savage taking her frustrations out on the passerby! He stayed still just for the sake of finding out – well great, Adelaide gave a fake address. As soon as they were back near the car so the Witch stopped to stow him somewhere, the rug slipped out of her grip and wrapped around her head as tight as he could, flailing those tassels too!

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Divinatas – Dec 14, 2008 at 10:37 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly nearly made it back to the car before the rug decided to brutally attack her! She tried to scream, but it was wrapped so tightly around her head, it muffled the sound. Using nails and all, she tried to pry it off, but an unlucky misstep on the sidewalk over an icy patch slipped her to the ground with a loud very painful THUD!

On the bright side, the rug kept her from cracking her head wide open on the concrete, but that didn’t spare the rest of her body from feeling the hurt. Holly decided to play dead. Maybe the stupid thing would let go… and frankly she wasn’t sure yet if she weren’t paralyzed!

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Azul Morag – Dec 14, 2008 at 11:00 PM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

The fall did hurt a little – the Witch as expected, had a very thick skull. Elliot basked in victory till he realized the Witch was not moving anymore. Maybe they had fallen in a pond and he hadn’t realized?

Slowly, the rug unwrapped halfway and tickled Holly’s nose with its tassels, very persistently, making sure that wouldn’t be visible to possible passerby… Of course he wasn’t worried, he just wanted to know if the world was a safer place for rugs and small children…

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Divinatas – Dec 14, 2008 at 11:23 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly stayed still for a good several moments until that tickling of her nose was too much to bare. Her nose twitched and she brushed the tasseled edge away from her face. At least she could move. Pushing herself up on to her elbows and then sitting up right, she groaned. Her back might not have been broken, but she hurt like hell!

“Are you alright?” a familiar voice asked.

Holly blinked up to see her bosses’ boss. The big boss of them all, Kendal Davidson! Well, this was a great way to impress the higher-ups. Sprawled out on the sidewalk with a rug wrapped around your neck like a scarf! “M-Ms. Davidson! Uh, yeah… I just slipped on the ice.”

A raised eyebrow from the woman as she eyed Holly carefully. “Looks more like he’s trying to strangle you. If you’re trying to jump in to investigative reporting, cursed rugs aren’t the best way to start.”

“No it’s nothing like tha-” Holly paused, looking surprised, “Cursed rugs?” raising her hand she pointed at the rug around her neck. “This one?”

Ms. Davidson pinched the bridge of her nose, looking at bit annoyed and maybe a little stressed, but from what it wasn’t clear. “Here’s a word of advice. People get cursed for a reason, and if they’re going to smother you in public, yes I saw that, then they probably deserved it.” Shrugged her shoulders, she already started down the street. “Do yourself a favor and donate him to charity. He’d learn some humility.”

“Wait, him?!” Holly scrambled to her feet (well as quick as she could between wincing and owing), but when she stood… Ms. Davidson was already gone. That was fast. People said Kendal Davidson was weird, but jeeze.

“…What am I supposed to do with a cursed murderous [i]male[/i] rug?!” she shouted!

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Azul Morag – Dec 14, 2008 at 11:31 PM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot would rather go after the other lady, she didn’t seem any more polite but at least she seemed to know something! He guessed that was a more effective -witch- maybe. The rug slipped off Holly and slid away to try and find the other witch!

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Divinatas – Dec 14, 2008 at 11:39 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Donate the rug to charity, there was an idea. The rug had let her loose and was drifting away. Holly was going to let it, until she released it was heading in Ms. Davidson’s direction.

“No!!” Holly lept after the rug, practically crash landing on top of it. It wasn’t graceful, it probably looked crazy as hell, but it couldn’t leave! “That’s the BIG boss! I swear to god if you get me fired I’m going to KILL you!!” Getting a good grip on the thing, Holly intended to drag it back in to the car. She’ll have to take it home, and call up the newspaper from there.

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Azul Morag – Dec 14, 2008 at 11:43 PM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot flailed violently when she landed on him like pro-wrestler – wasn’t she trying to get rid of him or what? Elliot wrapped around her like a wet towel; he was angry, confused, exhausted and fed up with the abuse! That other woman seemed helpful and he was going to FIND that other woman!

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Divinatas – Dec 14, 2008 at 11:56 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Argh..! Crazy bastard..!!” Wrestling with the rug wasn’t getting either of them very far. But as long as it wasn’t on her head, Holly stumbled over to the car. Keeping a grip on the rug as it tried to murder her, she fumbled to get the driver’s side door open, climbed in and slammed the door.

“HA!” was all she could squeak out, breathing heavily from the fight. For a rug, it – he? – was pretty damned strong. It didn’t help that her whole body was aching from that tumble. Holly rest her head on the steering wheel while she worked on prying the stupid rug loose.

“If you don’t get the hell off me, instead of taking you back where you came from, I’m going to send you to Siberia!” Holly hissed!

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Azul Morag – Dec 15, 2008 at 12:08 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot didn’t let go at all; he kept his grip with all the anger and frustration he was experiencing! In fact, he was so mad something new happened, just like when the rug became able to move and to fly; his emotions and his state of mind flowed into Holly’s mind faintly at first, then more definite and stronger but still wordless, like a voiceless language. He was mad at her of course, he was FED UP with the abuse, he was frustrated and he didn’t want to be a rug! He also thought her aunt and uncle were WAY more sensible people! And he just wanted to find the other woman before things got worse for him!

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Divinatas – Dec 15, 2008 at 12:22 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

How disturbing! Holly froze stiff for a moment, not quite sure if she were hearing voices, being poked, or simply stepping over threshold in to crazytown! She sure was getting tired of being called crazy, and hearing it from a [i]rug[/i] wasn’t making it better.

Forcing herself to relax, including refraining from trying to pry it away, pluck out it’s threads and pull it’s tassels, Holly took in a deep breath. A long breath.

“Ms. Davidson said I should donate you to charity, because a cursed rug is cursed for a reason. After you tried to steal my aunt and uncle’s holiday [i]and[/i] tried to murder me, it sounds like a grand idea. Frankly, you’re pretty damned violet for a rug and ~I~ don’t like the abuse! I don’t even know why I’m bothering to try and find where you came from, you’re making me look like some sort of maniac!” After all what was more crazy than sitting in your car arguing with a rug?

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Azul Morag – Dec 15, 2008 at 12:37 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Wait, the Witch of the West could hear him? Elliot froze for an instant and loosened his grip a little. He glimpsed the slightest hope for him – after all, she was a crazy witch but maybe – just maybe – she could be a useful witch! He tried to explain about his sister and his name but somehow words didn’t seem to go through. So he ended up trying to project on her mind a LARGE image of the main building of Syrius Standard Oil Corporation, why it was almost as well-known as the Chrysler building, that ought to give her a good hint!

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Divinatas – Dec 15, 2008 at 12:49 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Huh?” she said flatly. Trying to figure out what she was hearing… seeing… sensing? Screw it, figure out what she was [i]thinking[/i], was… confusing. First of all, he gave off such a sense of pompous ego about whatever it was he (well the rug was definitely a HE) was trying to show her, that she had to stop herself from rolling her eyes and snorting.

Deciding he’d likely try to murder her again to soothe a bruised ego, Holly decided not to mention that she hadn’t recognized the building right off the bat. It did look like one of those near the Chronicle building in the downtown area. At least it was a place to start.

Argh the time…! Holly sighed! “Alright, alright. But I can’t go right this minute. I have to get back home before Aunt Nancy calls the cops on me.” she muttered, with little humor. “I can get the phone number and address there, anyway. [i]Now[/i] will you get off me.”

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Azul Morag – Dec 15, 2008 at 12:58 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot was a bit startled at the request. He hadn’t realized he was still wrapped around her in a desperate grip – calling upon the shreds of his dignity now that he was at least [i]more than just a rug[/i] he slithered to the next seat and after some tries he could at least partially roll up. He kept his tassels handy just in case she decided to just grab him and thwack the world around her with his poor self -again. Well, he wasn’t thrilled at the idea of going back to Syrius Standard Oil Corp. looking like [i]this[/i]. He could wait. He just let her know that!

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Divinatas – Dec 15, 2008 at 1:19 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Well then! This was more like it! …sort of. At least she wasn’t being squeezed like a python’s prey. Holly pulled the keys out of her pocket and sent them on their way back to the house. The ride went in silence, mostly as Holly tried to process these new little details of information. At least if Ms. Davidson saw the rug and said it was cursed, that meant Holly wasn’t loosing her mind. Convincing Aunt Nancy and Uncle Kevin wasn’t going to be easy.

When she finally parked the car at the house and stepped out, (this time at least trying to be somewhat considerate of the rug’s feelings if not so much his…er… body.) she decided it was better not to bring up the gritty details. “Nancy, I’m back.”

“Thank goodness! Holly, I was really starting to worr- Oooh! You changed your mind and brought it back! How wonderful!” cooed Aunt Nancy, bustling up from her seat looking far too pleased with herself.

“Uh, no. It was just the wrong address. I’m gonna see if I can dig up the correct one tonight and take him – IT – over in the morning.” Holly carried the rug over to the tree and set him down. “In the meantime I’m starving. I ran out before breakfast. Is there any of that deli stuff left?”

“Go ahead and make yourself a sandwich sweetie! There’s plenty!” Aunt Nancy replied, shooing Holly off in to the kitchen. Nancy was overjoyed to see the rub back, and was already unrolling it out to replace it back under the tree with all the presents arranged nice and neat. “You’re a good luck charm aren’t you, you adorable little thing!”

Holly returned taking a bite out of a sandwich in her hands, and looked startled! She swallowed before calmly speaking. “Uh… Nancy, isn’t it just a waste to set everything back up on the rug when I’m going to take it again in the morning?” …Holly wasn’t too sure if the rug wouldn’t get up and try to fly away with everything again.

“Don’t be silly, sweetie. It only takes a moment to move the tree.” replied Nancy, getting up to bustle back to the kitchen. “Oh! I invited a guest over for dinner tonight, so you better change out of those clothes! What where you doing this morning, rolling around on the ice?”

“…you’d be surprised.” muttered Holly.

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 15, 2008 at 1:30 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot was kind of snoozing and the lady stretching him out woke him up. He almost swatted her with his tassels but just on time realized this was the aunt, not the Witch of the West. However the aunt was determined to put him back under the tree and there was not much he could do about it without giving away his… disturbing paranormal properties. Elliot sighed inwardly. He never thought he’d ever be under some woman’s Christmas tree.

“You’re a good luck charm aren’t you, you adorable little thing!” Went the lady. Elliot didn’t know if he wanted to laugh or cry. He just laid there, listening. Again loaded with a tree and presents, Elliot wondered what sort of guests witches have to dinner…

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Divinatas – Dec 15, 2008 at 2:18 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

A finished sandwich and a fresh change of clothes later, Holly returned. She was just about to sit down at the computer for a little rug-research when the doorbell rang. Grumbling under her breath she got up again to answer the door, but Aunt Nancy nearly flew out of the kitchen and beat her to it.

“You made it! I’m so glad. Holly will be thrilled!” commented Aunt Nancy as she let in her guest.

Thrilled wasn’t quite the right word. Holly thought [i]nauseated[/i] was a better description. Holly put on her best fake-smile. That one you knew damn well was fake, but it was a smile so you couldn’t say anything about it. “Aunt Nancy, what are you trying to pull?”

The man stepped in, not seeming to be phased by Holly’s fake smile at all. He pulled her in for a hug as well as a kiss on the cheek, before tugging her over towards the sofa. “C’mon now, don’t you have a better greeting for your favorite guy in the world?”

Holly dropped her smile, for the more honest groan of disgust and look of distaste. She dropped on to the sofa, visions of hanging Nancy from a tree dancing through her head. “Don’t you have someone else’s life to make miserable, Lance?”

“Oh, Holly. It’s almost Christmas, it’s the season of forgiveness, good deeds… [i]Reconnecting with loved ones..[/i].” Aunt Nancy hinted. If Holly could shoot mind daggers with a look, poor Aunt Nancy would’ve been speared to a wall. Wisely, the old woman excused herself saying that she needed to go pickup Uncle Kevin, leaving Holly alone with the man.

Lance had already made himself comfortable, sitting on the sofa next to Holly and draping an arm over her shoulder as if he owned the place. “I was pretty surprised when Nancy called. I mean, after you set me on fire last ye-”

“I didn’t set you on fire. Only a moron is going to lean over a table of lit candles with a plastic beard on.” Dumbass. She wished she HAD done it on purpose.

“No, no. It’s okay. I don’t hold a grudge. You know, I’ve been thinking about us a lot lately. Why don’t you come be my secretary at the Puget Times? We could work together again.”

“I already have a job.” What a jerk! That was a crystal clear offer for “office bitch” if she’s ever heard one!

Lance laughed! “You mean that weird-news rag? We’ve just got a tip-off that some oil tycoon might be missing. Those bozos at The Chronicle would likely write it up as some alien abductions or pirate curses. That’s not [i]real[/i] news. …Unless… You actually believe that nonsense?” he started laughing harder! “Boy, you’ve just jumped right off the crazy cliff, didn’t you!”

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Azul Morag – Dec 15, 2008 at 2:36 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

So the Witch of the West had set some poor sod on fire – that was news. Elliot lazily listened, stretching a little under the Christmas tree. The guy seemed confident he had to admit, to be hitting on someone able to set people on fire not to mention smack them against furniture and stomp on them, too. Elliot wasn’t surprised about the ‘rag news’ newspaper, since Holly had said the other witch could get her fired (sort of). Maybe he was actually lucky to have landed there. He also mentioned a missing oil tycoon – well, hopefully not many were disappearing nowadays; he hoped Holly would relate that with the building he showed her earlier… However this visitor very obviously had some holiday agenda and the witch wasn’t happy. He could tell that much. The visitor was laughing. Elliot didn’t really have any saying here, but for some reason he was angry again. His tassels flicked and in an instant, he was fully awake.

The Christmas tree wasn’t plugged yet, the aunt had unpluggled it when she replaced the rug beneath it. Elliot wished the loudmouthed guy would leave. He was distracting the Witch from more important things, like finding out how to break this stupid curse! Elliot was scowling – well, he would be! The Christmas tree lit for a couple of seconds, then the lights went off again, dying out with a creepy hiss…

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Divinatas – Dec 15, 2008 at 2:57 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly was three seconds away from planting her elbow in Lance’s face. Then the tree’s lights flickered. She paused giving it a curious look. Lance seemed to be doing the same thing. “Well, Lance. You’ve gone and pissed off my rug. I guess it’s time for you to leave.”

“Your rug?” Lance smirked. Okay, so the tree wasn’t plugged in. There were battery operated lights these days. “I swear, Holly, ever since your Dad and brother blew themselves up, you’ve jus-”

CRACK! That was the sound of her fist smashing in to his nose!

“Ow, shit!” said Holly, shaking her hand. She might’ve broken her own knuckles in the process, but boy was it worth it! Lance was howling in pain holding his now bleeding nose, and cursing up a storm!

“Fucking Christ! Crazy bi-ARGH!” Lance hadn’t been able to growl another word as Holly at snatched up the firepoker from the hearth and was poking him in the rear! Herding him out of the living room and through the front door like she was moving cattle, she poked, prodded and thwacked him until he stumbled out the door.

“AND IF YOU COME BACK, I’LL [I]REALLY[/I] SET YOU ON FIRE, YOU SLIMY SACK OF STUPID!” she screamed and slammed the door!

Holly stomped back to the living room, replacing the firepoker. She dropped to the floor in front of the fireplace and rest her head on her knees. …jackass! Holly couldn’t care less what anyone thought of her, but he didn’t have to go talking about her family like that..!

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Azul Morag – Dec 15, 2008 at 3:12 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

In entirely different circumstances, Elliot would have laughed insanely at the whole whooping scene, but he wasn’t amused this time. He wasn’t one of the youngest CEOs in the country for nothing (despite he yes, inherited the company, being the CEO was another story). His mind automatically made some connections. The witch hates Christmas season, the old relatives mentioned her closer family died during Christmas season and now the new piece of information added a more dramatic twist. He couldn’t blame her for being a witch (but again, he had accepted that fact without blaming her for it!). She set the guy on fire intentionally or not, but those blows to the personality were definitely intended. However, why was HE the cursed one? She seemed to have a curse, herself.

Now she was just sitting there. Elliot didn’t have much to say, but he expressed the wish she would do the same to his step sister, picturing her a crazy and greedy brat. She could smile or not, but at least he was safe under the tree!

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Divinatas – Dec 15, 2008 at 3:45 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly had forgotten she wasn’t alone. She sat up brushing the tears from her face with annoyance and flicking them at the fire. It’s not like a rug could see her cry anyway, so it didn’t matter.

“You shouldn’t think about your sister that way. One day she may not be there anymore.” she muttered. A long silence followed again. This wasn’t what she wanted to be thinking about at the moment. There was a rug to send home, after all? Holly was up and on her feet, moving slowly across the room. A vague sound of a pill bottle being shaken, as she returned with a glass of water and sat back down at the computer.

“I’ll just find that building. We can go there in the morning.”

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Azul Morag – Dec 15, 2008 at 3:54 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

She is not my sister, he could have replied – well, if he could. It was strange, put that way… but Elliot had never said it aloud anyway – it wasn’t necessary. He didn’t even [i]know[/i] the girl, let alone her mother and all they had ever required was cash. That ought to suffice, it always had – if the girl would have just left him alone this wouldn’t have happened in the first place. Way to call a stranger a sister; a girl that turned him into a rug and sold him on Ebay, then deleted her account.

However he didn’t have a way to say that to Holly, and what was the use anyway? Elliot had to admit the ferocity of her reaction had impressed him. He had no one to be so protective about, not since his father died. The old man was strange, but they were strange in the same way. Come to think about it, he had only been alone after his father died.

Great, now -he- was depressed. He heard the tickling of the pills. They were in the same room, but they both were alone nonetheless.

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 4:03 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

The silence was only interrupted by the faint tapping of Holly’s fingers on the computer keyboard. For a moment she paused to pop two of those pills in her mouth and take a sip of the water. That’s what they were for, right? Those moments she was diving in to bad-thoughts so deeply that her chest was starting to hurt.

First she pulled up a directory of Elswen. Focused on the main city area. There was a nice picture of the skyline. It took a few moments to find a picture at the right angle, but she found the name of the building the rug projected at her.

“Syrius Standard Oil…?” she muttered softly and cast a look over at the rug. Wouldn’t he rather project his actual HOME or something? Family? Google searching the company, Holly dug up some more about the building and it’s business. Hitting the print button, the info and the address printed out on a few sheets of paper. Once they were finished, Holly took them over to the fireplace and sat down next to the tree and rug.

Holly lay the papers out on the floor, though she wasn’t entirely sure the rug could see anything. It’s not like rugs had eyes. Her chest was still aching, enough for her to pause a moment trying to breathe.

She had a thought… Lance was cracking some joke about a missing oil tycoon. The rug wouldn’t be related to that would he?

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Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 4:15 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot didn’t hear her when she muttered the name of the company; he was too busy brooding. He only noticed when she sat near him and heard the rustling of paper. He still couldn’t see anything, only and very faintly perceive large shapes around him. Elliot flicked his tassels slightly, feeling as flat as he actually was. He waited for her to speak.

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 4:31 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Releasing a slow breath, she got that hurt in her chest under control. Holly picked up the first of the papers.

“Did you work for Syrius Oil?” Holly asked, reading over the papers. They didn’t exactly have an employee name and address on them. Just a little history about the company and it’s top CEOs. “I need a name or something… I don’t think I’ll get a lot of results there showing up with a rug and asking ‘Anyone know this rug?’ Why didn’t you show me your house or family’s home?”

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Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 4:38 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot flapped his tassels angrily at the ‘anyone know this rug?’ joke. YES, the company’s building his practically his home, he tried to stress. He tried to transmit words, but that still wasn’t working… He tapped the floor, feeling impatient and frustrated… He thought harder.

Elliot tried to figure out what to show… He tried his step sister again. She still came across as a crazy teenager, but at least her name was the same as the Ebay account, that could give a hint to Holly.

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 5:01 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

If rugs could scream, that was probably what he was doing at her. It was all bucnh of jumbled ARGH in her head, and it was nearly giving her a headache! There were thoughts about his sister again, rather wicked things… but at least adelaide jumped out at her.

“Okay, okay. Jesus, think any harder and you’re going to make my head explode.” she muttered, quick scanning over the papers. Frankly, she didn’t think there was going to be anything usefu- Oh, there [i]was[/i] a mention of her name!

“Adelaide Graham-Smith who recently participated in school events…” Holly didn’t bother to read the article in it’s entirety. Having her full name was enough for her to ask for at the Syrius Oil building. She’d just ask one of the secretaries at the front desk about it.

“Holly, we’re back! Oh, is Lance gone already?” chimed Aunt Nancy, stepping inside with Uncle Kevin behind her. Uncle Kevin looked pretty mad as he came in the house, giving Holly an apologetic look. At least he understood!

“Yes and I’ll thank you not to meddle again. I swear to god, Nancy, you have the worst judgment of character.” Holly nearly growled, but Nancy was looking chided enough as it is, and likely Uncle Kevin had given her a good lecture too. Sighing, Holly got off the floor and picked up her papers. “I think I’ll skip dinner tonight. I don’t feel to well, so I’m going to bed.” Giving Uncle Kevin a kiss on the cheek and another glare at Nancy, she went on to bed.

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 5:36 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Well, that was that. Elliot DID agree with the fact that the aunt had the worst possible judgment of character (the earlier -you adorable little thing- cooing made him feel ridiculous, if it was possible to feel any worse). Holly was gone and soon the older people were gone to bed, too.

Elliot spent hours thinking under the Christmas tree. It was incredible, but he was actually having second thoughts at getting turned back to his normal self. Being forced to think about identifiable aspects of his life, or someone to turn to for help… was not tossing a pretty picture. It made him feel lonely and made him realize how much he actually missed his father. Who could be missing -him? His secretary, maybe. Clarice was a good woman and quite helpful, too. Everything else was mostly work relations, a few old friends he hadn’t seen in forever and a general wish to be left alone in his own world. Certainly he did not believe his aloof ways gave anyone the right to turn him into a rug just because he refused to play the show-and-tell pet for [B][I]her[/I][/B]… but he wondered if being a rug was any less stressful than being Elliot Graham-Parker.

Maybe it was the season, and the rather depressing and abusive way he had been treated lately. Christmas was crushing him – literally. What the hell do these boxes have inside? And the jingling tree agonizing on top of him couldn’t be having it any better… unless it was plastic. That would spare it everything; the shaking, the stomping, the being beaten against things, the cooing and the chimney sparks. Elliot unplugged the tree again and once more levitated with all his cargo over the floor. Sheesh, he was even getting familiarized with the position of the furniture already.

Now, if he could just shake off the tree, he could maybe scurry under the kitchen door… but he thought again. It wasn’t fair, he guessed, for the older people and even for the Witch of the West, whose name – quite ironically! – was Holly. Elliot decided to get her to remove all this stuff off him so he could just leave. Jinglejingle went the tree as he sailed across the house till he found the stairs and tried to find her room… Faint snoring informed him which room was occupied by two people and not one. He floated outside her door and softly jingled the tree. Nothing. He shook it harder – sheesh, witches were supposed to have light sleep!

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 5:56 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly was apparently sleeping deep, she didn’t move or stir at the sound of jingling. Her door was slightly cracked open for those moments Aunt Nancy came to take a peek. On the bedside table that bottle of pills and a happy cheerful photograph of Holly and her Brother making goofy faces at one of the Mall security guards.

Speaking of Aunt Nancy, she must have heard something suspicious and perhaps thought Holly was up to something weird again. There was a creak of the bed in the other room and the soft mumbling of an old lady slipping on her slippers!

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Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 6:07 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

There was the old lady coming out! Elliot couldn’t go back downstairs, so he pushed the door open and flied in, then closed the door behind him the best he could, yet leaving it just adjusted and floated behind it with his cargo to avoid being seen, should the old lady peek into the room… He tried to hold very still so the darn bells wouldn’t jingle!

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 6:16 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Aunt Nancy stepped out of her room and glanced down the hall. Yawning she stepped softly, stopping at Holly’s door. Just barely opening it a crack she peeked inside. Holly was still in bed safe and sound, thankfully not doing anything we- Aunt Nancy blinked! Was that one of the Christmas balls on the floor?

The door opened slowly, Aunt Nancy bending over to pick up the ornament. When she stood right again,.. there was the tree! Tree, presents and rug! All tucked away neatly in the corner of the room. Tears welled up in the old woman’s eyes! “Oh Holly, you poor dear!” she whispered! This was at least a much better outcome than Holly trying to sent people on fire.

Aunt Nancy hung the ornament back on the tree and tip-toed over to the bed to tuck Holly in. “Poor thing, wanting Christmas nearby to be closer to her family.” she mumbled, adjusting the blankets just right. Holly didn’t wake, still sleeping soundly. Nancy picked up the bottle of pills and shook her head. The prescription was already running out. Maybe she’ll stop pestering the girl about taking her medication!

Content that everything was alright, Nancy left and went back to bed!

[/solid]

====

Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 6:25 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot patiently suffered the tree on top of him being dotted on, then the Witch being dotted on… till the old woman left. Elliot frowned inwardly – if the woman would -just- wake up, they could have their perfect holidays! Elliot waited till the shuffling of slippers died away and the old woman was hopefully, back in bed. Then he hovered a little and made the tree jingle again…

Nothing. Elliot landed and flailed his tassels in frustration! Again he hovered and made the bells jingle…

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 6:35 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

It really didn’t seem like Holly was ever going to wake up, but after a moment or too she mumbled something under her breath (that sounded a bit like “Jingle balls is NOT funny Noel!”) and rolled to her side. Her hand reached out fumbling for the alarm clock. 5 AM…? What the hell?

Blinking wearily she glanced around to find, surprise surprise, the rug and tree. Groaning, Holly fell back in to bed and pulled the pillow over her head. A muffled ‘I’m sleeping’ barely being audible.

[/solid]

====

Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 6:43 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot was NOT going to accept that answer. He made the tree jingle again and floated higher (this was tiring and stressing)… and the tree lit up! Just a blink of lights first, then POF! It was all lit up and flying in the middle of the bedroom! Elliot was not quite aware of it, because he was too mad to notice – till he realized he was seeing bright shadows again. The tree lights went off with a jingle of bells.

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 7:11 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Jesus, he was lightning up the room like a firecracker. If he made the tree any brighter it’d catch on fire! Grumbling a few curses under her breath, Holly rolled out of bed with a thump. 5 freaking AM. She pulled off her pajamas as she crawled, practically falling in to the closet while she pulled out some fresh clothes. A sweater stuffed over her head, a pair of pants pulled on. Socks, boots.

With clothes on, Holly shuffled past the tree and in to the hall. Heading towards the kitchen much like a zombie to fresh meat. A cup of coffee. Something hot with caffeine, then she’ll kick the rug for being an impatient sleep-ruining tree stealer, drive him to the Syrius building and… well, coffee first! Then planning!

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 7:25 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot was perplexed; he tried to get in her way and was ignored. When she finally was stationary and seemingly having breakfast, he hovered next to her and very patiently tried to communicate the idea of the tree and presents next to the fireplace BUT without him underneath and then the door open.

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 7:31 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly made herself a cup of coffee and dropped in to a kitchen chair. As she sipped, she was casting the rug a rather blank glare. Her very tired mind was trying to imagine the beast as a man. One that seemed to have no issue with waking up too damned early, worked for an oil company, had a horrible temperament… and most likely cursed for these very same reasons. of course, Holly was not a morning person, so thinking murder by de-threading only came natural to her.

“Do you ever [i]sleep[/i]? Stop? Chill out? Smell the roses, enjoy peace and quiet, soak up the sun, or any other seemingly non-productive activities that we normal sleep-loving humans happen to enjoy?” she didn’t mean to sound so crouchy. But it did make her wonder what sort of man he was.

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 7:45 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

The tree lit up again – she was not even trying to listen! Elliot hovered up and down flashing the tree lights, but that couldn’t be helpful, he realized. He hovered lower and turned off the tree.

Elliot made the tree jingle again out of spite and circled the place where she was sitting…. Of [i]course[/i] he slept, he had a bed at the office! Actually it was a specially designed closet of sorts with sliding panels, a bed and bookshelves, and a closet with sliding cabinets, and a wonderful bathroom with a big bath – he had decided bathtubs were relaxing very long ago. He also had an apartment, but he kind of liked the office unit best because it was stylish and nobody had to know about it. He ate in restaurants, if he needed to chill out he’d go to a club or go reading to the Company’s private library. What else was to desire? It wasn’t like she was going to see all that though, if she was refusing to simply understand he wanted the tree and presents off him and the door open!

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 7:53 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

He was making her kind of nauseous with all that circling around her like a shark and attempting to throw so many images at her all at once that all she could make out was AWESOME BATHTUB and GO GO GO GO GO. Which she was pretty sure was rug-speak for, get off your ass and lets leave already.

Drinking down the last of her coffee, she snatched up a couple of the presents from the rug and headed over to the fireplace. “I got the message. Tree and presents off, then away.”

…. “Are you the type to play with bath toys?”

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 7:59 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot grumbled inwardly without even attempting to reply and sailed back to the spot near the fireplace, where he landed and waited for her to remove everything. Evil Witch of the West, it was impossible to get anything past her skull… He wondered why he had even tried.

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 8:06 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Apparently you have no sense of humor.” Holly said, taking the tree off first to place it in the corner. Then all the presents were removed and arranged where they belonged. She wasn’t sure how she figured that bit out. Maybe it was the way the rug moved around. Unless he was projecting his distaste for her so loudly that she was picking it up.

After scribbling a note for Aunt Nancy and Uncle Kevin, Holly shrugged on her coat. “Alright rug, I’m driving you to Syrius. Let’s go.” Opening up the door so he could fly on through, she stepped out after him towards the car. This time she didn’t open up the trunk to stuff him in, she just opened up the driver’s side so he could fly in and find himself a seat.

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 8:09 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot shook a little and flied out yes, past the door and past the car and down what seemed to be the sidewalk, looking for some alleyway to slip behind the houses…

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 8:26 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Hey~!” Stunned in to a blinking silence, Holly watched the rug fly off like hell was on his heels. She wanted to shout some curse words and chase after him, but he already disappeared around the corner. And didn’t she want to get rid of him in the first place…?

Holly was surprised to find herself offended. She didn’t have to help that cursed rug and she was going out of her way to do so, despite the fact Nancy and Kevin thought she was losing her marbles now. She should turn around and go back inside to crawl back in bed.

Groaning with a sigh, Holly dropped in to the driver’s seat, slammed the car door and started the ignition. Against her better judgment, she’d go to Syrius and see if she could catch him there. At the very least she could get the address of his sister and tell the missy where her rug-brother went.

The Syrius building was easy to find. It was only a few blocks away from The Chronicle, so the drive wasn’t bad. Holly parked the car and glanced around. There weren’t any flying rugs hanging around scaring people. …checking her watch, open business hours were just starting. Holly headed in to the building and straight to the front desk.

“Hi. Uh, I have a gift for Adelaide Graham-Smith. From her brother. But I misplaced the address. Do you mind digging it up for me?”

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 8:53 AM

[dash][b]Syrius Standard Oil Corporation[/b]

Syrius Building was a mass of concrete, steel and glass built after WW2 by famous architect Philip Johnson: heavy and definite geometric shapes, abstract elements from Greek classic construction and specially, glass; plenty of it. The massive building itself formed sharp edges towards the skies to complete the run in an austere crown, cutting sharp shadows in the sunlight. The main lobby still retained most of the characteristics of its original spatial design, several stories high and crossed by sleek bridges at the sides. There were special digital displays with company investments and environmental research for the public, a giant screen seemingly floating above with commercials and announcements, and a Stock/ DAQ screens running below the first balconies in the perimeter walls. A female, robotic voice greeted visitors and made announcements about the company. There was a front desk, long and sleek with several attendants and a futuristic design. The building was active, but it was too early yet. The clerk that attended Holly had picture-perfect makeup and hair, with a curious hat on her hair. She smiled and recited the obligatory greeting, then blinked at Holly’s request.

“A gift for miss Adelaide Graham-Smith from her brother?” She repeated with a a second blink. “If you mean…” She seemed to be processing the information. “Miss Graham-Smith doesn’t have any brothers, unless you mean Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Elliot Graham-Parker. Miss Graham-Smith lives up state with her mother.”

The clerk still seemed mystified.

“Do you have an appointment?”

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 9:03 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly blinked back at the desk clerk with the same mystified expression. Chief Executive Officer? …Was now a cute Christmas rug with Santa Claus and Friends? No wonder he was so pissed off. Holly might’ve laughed if her Aunt wasn’t the unlucky sucker to have purchased him.

Wiping that look off her face, Holly sighed and nodded at the clerk. “That’s definitely her. I get the impression that they don’t get along or talk much..?” she asked, curiously. If the rug pictured her as a little brat. Their last names were different, so obviously the girl was a half-sister or step-sister. They couldn’t have been close if she turned him in to a rug and sold him off on eBay!

“Er, not that I mean to get nosy or anything. It’s just really urgent that I delivery it to her as soon as possible.”

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 9:14 AM

[dash][b]Syrius Standard Oil Corporation[/b]

The clerk blinked. She wasn’t supposed to say such things, but she was so surprised and Holly seemed so surprised as well that she might have said things she wasn’t supposed to say!

“Actually… no, from what I hear… Mr. Graham-Rothschild remarried some years ago, but his son… well, Mr. Graham-Parker does not socialize with them, yet he sees about their needs as his father specified in his Will. He has nothing against them, but I am not sure he’s met them… yet he did attend the wedding.”

The clerk spied by the corner of her eye and saw a shark… errr supervisor turning the corner not too far away.

“I am not authorized to give you Mrs. Graham-Smith’s address, but magazines have it, I suppose it is public information at the city register…”

[/dash]

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 9:26 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly frowned, not because the clerk couldn’t give her the address, but because apparently the rug doesn’t socialize with his family… at all! Holly was having a hard time trying to comprehend something like that. Her family was her whole world, and he doesn’t even talk to his? It sounded like he never even tried, even before his father died.

Finding something they had in common with a loss of family, but not necessarily a pleasant thought to think about, Holly gave the clerk a weak smile and thanked her before walking out. Outside there was still no signs of the rug. Rugs didn’t have eyes, he couldn’t flown himself to his doom somewhere.

Already invested in the mystery of finding out, Holly headed back in to car and drove off. He escaped the house so maybe she’d find him zooming around somewhere. Thank god Elswen was an island. At least she wouldn’t have to look across the whole country.

A good three hours of driving around town later, Holly finally spotted a carpet hovering near a gazebo in the park. Hoping there weren’t any [i]other[/i] cursed Christmas rugs loose in town, she stopped the car in a space on the sidewalk and got out.

“Mr. Elliot Graham-Parker, you’re a real devil to find.”

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 9:37 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot was startled (and somewhat ashamed) at being found by Holly. He did try to keep from being noticeable, but maybe he wasn’t doing a good job out of it. Still, and despite discovering homelessness was not for him, he had not changed his mind about turning back to his old self… but now Holly knows his name! He just hovered there, indecisive.

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 9:55 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Stuffing her hands in to her pockets, Holly took her time walking over to the gazebo. She plopped down on the bottom step near enough to the rug and blew out a breath.

“I went to Syrius and a very nice clerk told me that I could find Adelaide’s address in a directory. And being curious about the rug that’s turned me in to a raving lunatic, I asked a question or two. …It sort of had me wondering on the drive, why don’t you ever talk to your sister?” she asked, though putting it more like an out-loud thought rather than an actual question.

“You think of her like she’s a wicked brat and she cursed you, so I thought maybe you hated each other and never got along. But it seems like you have never even spoken to her.” Holly stretched out her legs and frowned. “Did you ever even try to get to know her..?”

Holly wasn’t even sure why she cared, but she felt it was important to be close to your family while you had them. Didn’t he realize that his sister was trying to get his attention? Why else would the girl do something so crazy?

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 10:08 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot was frowning – well, he [i]would be[/i]. Adelaide was not his sister. Her mother married his father, he wasn’t even involved! Besides, he didn’t know them at all. To Elliot, it was illogic to suppose they were [i]family[/i] by any means. His father wanted to get married, well he respected that. He didn’t object, he didn’t get in the way and he looked after their needs – and right there was where a line was drawn. He had his life, they had theirs. Apparently, it was an unsaid agreement. He was an adult when they married. Then why somehow he was the rug AND the villian in the picture?

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 10:28 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

He was mad again. It wasn’t easy, but Holly was getting use to that way he ranted. It wasn’t in words, but there was a real emotion behind it. She was trying to understand. Holly just shook her head sadly. “You just don’t want to be attached to anyone at all, do you? It’s pretty lonely.” she said simply.

It was freezing cold outside, and the clouds were suggesting snow in the next day or two. It always snowed in Elswen for Christmas. Her mother called it the Christmas Miracle of the town.

“I guess maybe it’s not a bad idea. Not being attached. I loved my family so much and now they-” she paused to swallow, “They’re not here anymore. Christmas was always the best time of year, but now….” Holly leaned forward. There was that ache in her chest again, that difficulty in breathing. She didn’t have those pills with her. “It’d be easier if everyone left me alone.”

Ugh, crying again. Holly wished SHE was the rug, as she wiped her face on her sleeve. “Eh… but I am not the one with the problem. Where would you like to go now, or have you decided that you don’t want my help?”

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 10:47 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot was starting to empathize her, despite she was the Witch of the West and had stomped on him, beaten him against objects and called him a murderous rug that deserved to be a rug. At least she had tried to help him… after all that! She was having a rough time, herself.

Elliot simply had no idea what he wanted to do. He guessed he could donate himself to the nearest church sale and spend 11 months a year in a box. It was just too awful to think about, the more time that passed. Turned into a rug and sold on Ebay by someone whose life HE made sure was affluent and safe. It was incomprehensible and he -still- was the murderous rug here. Elliot guessed in such circumstances, laying in front of the hearth was not so bad.

He had not been depressed since mourning his father. What a helpless feeling – it was even more depressing because he was helpless. Elliot landed on the gazebo’s floor and rolled up.

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 11:21 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

That really wasn’t much of an answer. But considering he now looked how she felt, it was clear that if they were going to sit outside feeling sorry for themselves, they’d turn in to popcicles. …if rugs could freeze.

“Jesus, Elliot.” she muttered softly. Getting to her feet, she tugged over the rolled up rug and tucked him under her arm. “We’ll figure it out. I’ll beat the devil out of your sister until she uncurses you. Then you can string her up by her toes and hang from the Main Street Christmas tree.” it was meant to cheer him up, but then again if she were the rug she’d probably use that as a serious suggestion.

Holly headed for the car, opening up the passenger side door to set him inside. She even buckled the seat-belt over him so he wouldn’t get flung around while she was driving.

“You little thief!” said a voice from behind her! Holly found herself jerked around by the arm to face Lance of all people! He grabbed the collar of her jacket shoving her back against the car.

“Ow! What the hell, Lance!” Holly swung a fist fully intending to break his nose twice, but he snatched her wrist and twist her harm painfully behind her back.

“So you’re trying to steal my story now? I saw you back at the Syrius building and heard you mention Elliot Graham-Parker. You think you’re gonna upstage me? Get a fancy interview with a CEO and steal my job?!” he growled!

“I don’t want your stupid job! Get the hell off me.” she shouted back, wincing. Holly knew he was a jackass, but she didn’t think he was a psychopath!

Lance didn’t seem to believe it as he leaned forward to his in her ear. “I rolled a lot of heads to get my job, and that story is gold. If I see you snooping around about Elliot Graham-Parker again, I’ll break your legs, no joke.” He let go of her rather suddenly, backing away to flash his cocky grin before turning and walking away!

Holly just stood there leaning against the car, blinking at his retreating back with a startled look!

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 11:32 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot was startled at the noise and then the attack – wow, Nancy got to be one of those creatures the fact they are alive is a miracle in itself, if she thought that guy was safe to be allowed into her house! Being buckled up, he couldn’t slip outside and wrap around the head of that jerk… but he had almost managed to wriggle free when the guy left as quickly as he had appeared.

Holly was still outside the car and he had no way to tell if she was injured. He wriggled more till he could free himself and slid out to find her.

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 11:48 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly hadn’t moved until she caught glimpse of the rug out of the corner of her eye. Slowly she straightened, nudging the rug back in to the car without a word and closing the door. Rounding the back, Holly slipped in to the driver’s side. She rubbed her wrist and reached for her keys, but her hands were shaking so bad she couldn’t stick them in the ignition.

She certainly wasn’t cold anymore! Her face felt warm, and she wasn’t sure if she were angry or just plain scared! It was near impossible to breath again, so Holly rest her head on the steering wheel.

“He missed out, huh? Had his story right in front of him and he didn’t notice.” she tried to make light of the whole thing. “I’ll have to take you home just so he can’t get his stupid story.”

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 11:54 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot expressed the wish Lance would slip on the sidewalk and break his neck. There was not much else he could do, after all. He partially rolled up and just sat there, slowly tapping the seat with his tassels. He could have suffocated him… but she could also call the police – he let her know that.

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 12:04 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“I like the suffocating idea.” she muttered under her breath. She could call the police, but after last Christmas she suspected Lance might try to suggest she was setting him on fire again.

Holly sat back up, finally managing to drag in a deep breath and still her hands well enough to turn the ignition and get the car started. “It’s empty threats. Nothing to be concerned about, anyway. Getting you back to normal is more important at the moment.”

Focusing her thoughts on the cursed rug, she turned the car out of it’s parking space and started on the street to return home. “I can connect to my office computer from home and search some address directories. Then we can go straight to Adelaide’s place.”

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 12:08 PM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

There was reluctance oozing from Elliot all the way after she mentioned uncursing him. He wasn’t quite intending to let her know that, but he was starting to feel strongly about it, yet he was aware it seemed strange it was just the way he felt about it!

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 12:19 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly cast a side glance over at the rug. At [i]Elliot[/i], who perhaps didn’t mean to let on his second thoughts, but with the way he was projecting the emotion it was hard not to notice. Blinking with a slight confusion, she tried to work it out in her head. Why would anyone want to stay a rug? …was he regretting his life?

“Hum…” she started slowly, thinking she might try to talk him out of that melancholy, but really unsure of what to say. Everything she thought of just came across as bossy or lecturing. What did she know about his life anyway to have a right to comment on it? If he wanted to stay a rug it was his own business.

But what a really boring existence that would be.

“…I guess… you could just stay with me if you don’t want to go home. When Christmas is over I wouldn’t stuff you in a box somewhere. Although… I suppose your business would suffer. And I can’t imagine what it’s like not getting to eat cheeseburgers…”

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 12:31 PM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot rolled up a little more. He wasn’t sure yet he was going to miss any of those things, yet he guessed he’d end up fretting about his work after a week or so. But still… He tried to reason himself out of depression, but his mind only drew a blank. He just stayed there and snoozed. He seemed to do that a lot lately…

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 12:48 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Not good, not good at all. The rest of the trip home was in silence, and Holly didn’t bother to disturb him when they arrive. She just picked him up under arms and headed back in to the house. If he couldn’t make the decision she’d make it for him.

“Still with that rug…?” said Aunt Nancy, looking up from her needlework from the sofa. For claiming it was evil, now she seemed to be attached to the thing! She was taking it everywhere!

“Uh, yeah. I found out who sent it, so I’m just going to look up the address now.” Holly set Elliot down next to the computer desk and sat down. She hadn’t bothered to pull off her coat as she logged in to her office account online and did a search over the databanks. Adelaide Graham-Smith… Adelaide…

“Sweetie, you look a little pale. Are you alright?” Aunt Nancy had gotten up and was hovering around Holly’s chair now, pressing a hand to her forehead. “You’re as cold as ice! I don’t think you should be running around anywhere else today. Why don’t you crawl up in to bed and I’ll bring you some nice hot soup for lunch?”

Holly sighed! “Nancy, have you ever wondered what would happen if you lost yourself and you weren’t you anymore, and you couldn’t find a way back to yourself fast enough so you were slowly slipping away where you didn’t even exist? I think that’s happening right now, so I [i]really[/i] would like to take the rug back before it’s too late.” Ah! There it was! Adelaide’s address! Now she just had to get up and go!

Aunt Nancy looked startled! Holly was so much worse off than she had ever expected! She really was losing her mind! “That’s it! Holly, this has gone far enough. I won’t let you slip in to madness and leave us! I’m going to get rid of this rug myself!” Before Holly could stop her, Aunt Nancy was snatching up the rug and marching for the back door.

“Nancy, you can’t! Give him back!” Holly hopped out of her chair and chased after her!

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 12:57 PM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot was jostled awake when Nancy grabbed him and he heard Holly behind them and protesting… Great, now he was a demon rug, surely. Elliot still didn’t want to give Nancy a heart attack, so he feigned being a simple rug – what was she going to do, put him in the charities box? He felt a little lethargic yet – all the ‘exercise’ of the later days must be getting to him just now, he guessed…

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Divinatas – Dec 16, 2008 at 1:18 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Aunt Nancy stopped right out in to the back yard, heading to where Uncle Kevin was burning up all those leaves he had raked out of the grass. Holly was on her tail, and screaming furious!

“Nancy, I’ve never hit you in my life, but I’m about to knock out your teeth if you don’t give me that rug!” she shouted, trying to catch up to the woman. For an old lady she was fast!

“Kevin! You better grab her she’s hysterical!” cried Nancy, dodging Holly’s snatching for the rug. Uncle Kevin wasn’t quite sure what was going on, but his wife was running around and Holly was screaming, so he did the logical thing and grabbed Holly. “Sweetie, if I had known the rug would upset you this badly I never would have bought it! I’m just going to burn it, so don’t you worry about having to return it!”

“What?! You can’t burn him – you’ll kill him! Give me that damned rug!” Holly squirmed to get out of Uncle Kevin’s arms. Of all the times for Nancy to see sense about something! It had to be the wrong timing!

“Alive? Good lord, Kevin! She’s senile!” Nancy was nearly in tears! All she wanted to do was give Holly her Christmas spirit back, she never wanted to make her worse!

“Damnit, I’m not crazy! Just give me the rug back!”

Uncle Kevin was thankfully a more even-tempered man. Having a good grip on Holly and looking back and forth between the girl and her aunt, he gave the situation some serious thought. After a moment he shrugged his shoulders. “Nancy, you go ahead and give her the rug back. There’s no harm in her having it. I’m sure Holly promises not to hurt anybody or herself, right?”

Holly stopped her squirming to sigh gratefully. “Yes, I promise! I just want the rug.” With her promise Uncle Kevin let her go. Holly refrained from leaping across the yard and tackling her aunt. Aunt Nancy looked really doubtful, but she finally handed the rug back to Holly.

“Nancy, you go on back inside.” Uncle Kevin said. Nancy sniffled dramatically, but she returned to the house. Once she was gone Kevin rest a hand on Holly’s shoulder. “I know you miss them, and you don’t like talking to me or Nancy. That’s alright with me. Just remember there’s somebody out there that’ll listen and understand. You don’t have to be upset by yourself.” He gave her another pat on the shoulder and a ruffle of her hair before he returned to tending the burning leaves.

Holly sniffled just like Aunt Nancy as she returned back to the house with the rug in hand!

[/solid]

====

Azul Morag – Dec 16, 2008 at 1:30 PM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

What in Hell was that?, was all Elliot could think after the whole thing. He was… drowsy but burning him was completely out of the question and he would have wrapped around someone if they were to try something too hot for comfort. He was still trying to… to figure out when exactly he’d have to flail for his life when he was rescued and he hadn’t yet come to terms with that fact when the uncle spoke.

That was something. Elliot was aware of course (after all that had happened to this point) that Holly was being dragged through Christmas, but he hadn’t thought she was being dragged through family relations too, not after the things she had said earlier. Elliot almost didn’t object to be carried like his in her hand, but he reached out and patted her hand with his tassels. Her relatives would understand, eventually. She loved them, after all – and they loved her. That was more that he could say. He just let her know that.

[/dashed]

====

Divinatas – Dec 17, 2008 at 4:46 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly took the rug upstairs to her room, setting him down on the bed before snatching up her pills from the dresser and popping a couple in her mouth. She retrieved a quick cup of water from the bathroom to drink them down before she fell backwards on the bed. Throwing an arm over her face, she just needed a moment to calm down. A little time to make that ache go away so she could get back to the rug. Elliot. Who was nearly kindling for a yard fire! He might have been feeling more and more like a rug, but she was seeing him more and more as a person! It was nearly disturbing!

“I’m going to take you to see your sister.” she mumbled after a moment. “Even if you want to stay a rug, you should hear why she cursed you. That’s the right thing to do.”

[/solid]

====

Azul Morag – Dec 17, 2008 at 5:12 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot -would- have protested, but all the excitement made him a little tired so that he just needed a little nap and he’d be alright, or so he thought. He was snoozing there and having strange dreams about meetings, stale coffee and some idiot he awarded a scalding memo with copy to the executive board for being caught trying to embezzle his arse. Work was so tiring sometimes… and people were strange. His father had showed him a file with photos and personal information about the woman he wanted to marry. His father wasn’t being a creep, he just needed to keep everything neatly filed or else he’d forget details and have a fit. The woman was divorced, with a little daughter and a Schnauzer – whatever happened to real dogs? In any case, they were going to marry. The woman looked a little tired but she didn’t look like a social climber at the Company’s Christmas party. That was his only memory of her. The rest of his scattered images were photographic and cardboard-esque wedding group poses for mementos. Someone ran the Schnauzer over at the parking lot. He couldn’t quite remember if he felt sorry for their dog or not. Being a rug made things fuzzy and flat, with clumps of dust and dancing dustbunnies.

Elliot was still snoozing when they finally left, and he forgot to ask where he was supposed to spend the rest of the year. He patiently tried to warn Holly if she’d put him anywhere near his step sister he was going to suffocate her, but he seemed to keep on trailing off.

[/dashed]

====

Divinatas – Dec 18, 2008 at 5:45 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

It was all just getting worse and worse. Holly wasn’t sure if she meant herself or Elliot who was trying to threaten her, she was sure, but he just sounded so sleepy. If he wasn’t turned back in time would he become a flat and lifeless rug for real? That was a frightening thought, and maybe he had given up and no longer cared, but Holly was still afraid for him. Someone that could worry about her safety or try to comfort her couldn’t be all bad, and didn’t deserve to be a rug.

The drive out to the address for Adelaide was very long. All the houses here were large and attractive, but not ridiculously huge. Nicely tailored fancy yards. Holly parked her car on the side of the street in front of the house, staring at it for a moment. Elliot had probably never seen the place before.

Holly stepped out of the car, rounding to the other side to pull out the rug. Tucking him safely under her arm, she walked down the driveway, over the step stops and to the front door. She knocked!

[/solid]

====

Azul Morag – Dec 18, 2008 at 8:51 AM

[dot][b]Adelaide Graham, mother of one[/b]

Waving away the butler, Mrs. Graham opened the door herself. She wasn’t expecting visitors, but there was something peculiar about this… one. Or two. She couldn’t really tell. Mrs. Graham was a lady in her forties, with auburn hair in a fluffy French twist and a dark blue tailored dress. She oozed elegance and class in the exact same way the Gibson Girl did. Why, she looked just like her, except for the fact she was not crushed into an early 1900s corset. Mrs. Graham looked at Holly from the depth of her dark blue eyes, and that gaze seemed to summon her up but at the same time, she seemed to expect something else. Behind her was a small and perfect vestibule in soft pastel blue shades.

“Good evening?”

[/dot]

====

Divinatas – Dec 18, 2008 at 9:22 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly blinked at the woman, feeling very out matched and out classed in her own simple sweater and jeans! Finding her voice again, she adjusted the rug under her arm.

“Uhm, I need to speak with Adelaide Graham-Smith. I have to return this rug to her and… say a few things.” Holly wasn’t sure yet who the woman was, if she were staff or family, but either way mentioning the rug was Elliot might not go over so well.

From down the hall there was a GASP followed by the click-clack of heels running down a hallway, then a loud SLAM of a door!

“I think she already knows I’m here.” mumbled Holly.

[/solid]

====

Azul Morag – Dec 18, 2008 at 4:38 PM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot only transmitted some offended discomfort as Holly adjusted the rug under her arm, then snoozed some more. It was odd… Why was he under her arm anyway? That was a strange place to be. He didn’t elaborate though, because he was asleep again.

[/dashed]

[dot][b]Adelaide Graham, mother of one[/b]

Mrs. Graham blinked as a door slammed somewhere behind her but years of practice in socially awkward situations helped her not to flinch. Her gaze shifted to the rug in question.

“Do you know my daughter?” She asked. “I believe we’ve not been introduced…”

[/dot]

====

Divinatas – Dec 19, 2008 at 3:27 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“I don’t really [i]know[/i] her, but she sold my Aunt this rug and I need to return it to her.” Holly replied. “My name is Holly Roberts.” Elliot wasn’t projecting a word, so he was either terribly off or didn’t know his own step mother when he saw, er.. heard her.

“I am sort of acquainted with Elliot though… I have to speak with Adelaide about the rug.”

[/solid]

====

Azul Morag – Dec 19, 2008 at 4:18 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

There was no reaction from Elliot at all; he was soundly asleep if that was the correct definition for his state. He was having odd dreams about his childhood and things he had not remembered in a very long time. There were colors and voices he had forgotten, things and people he only met briefly before he had to move on to the next place and the next, to school, then college and university and back to the Company.

[/dashed]

[dot][b]Adelaide Graham, mother of one[/b]

Mrs. Graham eyed her carefully. When she mentioned the son of her late husband, a slight hint of recognition touched her mind, but she still couldn’t tell what to make out from it. She however had some doubts that Elliot would be sending something with an… acquaintance instead of sending in a Syrius Corp. messanger boy. Besides and despite she had always tried to keep their home out of the spotlight, it was silly not to admit money attracts weirdos and terrorists. She didn’t know miss Roberts and yet, she could feel her daughter did know what was the woman’s business here.

“Why don’t you give me the rug then?” She politely asked. “I will see that my daughter gets it. I could give her your message. Excuse me, but this is a little unexpected.”

[/dot]

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Divinatas – Dec 19, 2008 at 4:26 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Sheepishly Holly shook her head! “As much as I would like to drop him – it – off, It’s imperative that I speak with Adelaide about the rug personally. Very important things to discuss about Elliot, and she’ll know exactly what it’s about if you could do me the huge favor of letting me speak with her!”

Holly wasn’t so sure the woman would let her inside, so just in case she was plotting to sneak around the house and crawl in a window. It might be a little dangerous, and she could get herself arrested in the process, but it would be worth it to save a rug’s life!

[/solid]

====

Azul Morag – Dec 19, 2008 at 4:41 AM

[dot][b]Adelaide Graham, mother of one[/b]

Mrs. Graham again eyed Holly very carefully before allowing her to come into the house. She seemed ready to very stylishly thwack her round the head with the nearest sculpture if she moved too fast or did anything overall strange, though!

“How did you become acquainted with Elliot?” She asked.

[/dot]

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Divinatas – Dec 19, 2008 at 4:51 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly stepped inside through the door, holding the rug carefully in her arms. She glanced around the large hall, all decorated flawlessly with classic and attract things. It was a stark difference from her own home, being sort of cluttered with years worth of knick knacks, family photos, and furniture.

Far down the halls there was a light, suggesting a door had been creaked open, followed by another slam of a door. Holly might have laughed at the teenager if the situation weren’t so serious!

“By accident. A fight with the rug, actually.” she said, honestly. Holly might have mentioned he tried to smother her too, but that may not have painted a pretty picture of her step-son!

[/solid]

====

Azul Morag – Dec 19, 2008 at 5:22 AM

[dot][b]Adelaide Graham, mother of one[/b]

Mrs. Graham blinked. She eyed Holly again.

“A fight -with- the rug?”

She reached out to touch the rug but stopped before touching it, looking dubious. “Do you mean you [I]fought over this rug?”[/I]

Mrs. Graham didn’t know Elliot all that well, at least not in person; but it was incredibly difficult to imagine him in a tug of war with a woman over a small Christmas rug. She could see Rudolph from where she stood.

“Adelaide,” she called out imperatively. “You have a visitor, my dear.”

[/dot]

====

Divinatas – Dec 19, 2008 at 5:43 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

For a few moments there wasn’t a sound and it seemed like the daughter wasn’t going to come out at all. But finally, a door creaked open and there was the soft click-clack of heels heading down the hall. A girl with an imperious look appeared, with auburn hair sporting some new highlights, blue eyes and dressed like any trendy teenager would be. A cute little babydoll print tee, a mini skirt that was dangerous short, and her clunky heeled shoes.

It was pretty obvious as she stopped next to her mother that she was trying really hard not to look disturbed or like she recognized the rug. She just crossed her arms. “Who is this lady? [i]I[/i] sure don’t know her.”

Holly raised an eyebrow, adjusting the rug in her arms again. “Oh, you don’t know me. But you [i]do[/i] know this rug, don’t you? The [i]prank[/i] you played on Elliot? We need to talk about that.”

Adelaide swallowed, looking white as a sheet. “I… have no idea what you’re talking about. Jeeze, mom, you let a crazy in to the house. I, um, I have to go finish my homework now.” The teenager was turning around and attempting to escape back to her room!

[/solid]

====

Azul Morag – Dec 19, 2008 at 5:55 AM

[dot][b]Adelaide Graham, mother of one[/b]

Mrs. Graham watched her daughter like a hawk.

“Exactly what prank is this lady talking about, Adelaide?” Since there was no answer, Mrs. Graham reached out to touch the rug. She twisted one of the corners, and a tassel gave her a weak and indignant swat before hanging rather lifelessly again.

“Adelaide – [B]I am listening.”[/B] Mrs. Graham gave her daughter the most stern look a mother can muster!

[/dot]

====

Divinatas – Dec 19, 2008 at 6:13 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

The was a soft squeak out of Adelaide as she slooooowly turned around to look up at her mother with big doe-eyes. She was trying her best to look as pitiful and as sorry as possible. And she WAS! But it was sooo bad!

“You’re not going to [i]believe[/i] me! I just wanted him to know how I felt! He always sweeps me away like I don’t matter, and his dumb secretary does all the dirty work!” At that point Adelaide was tearing up, but stomping her foot trying to get herself all mad. “He’s such a JERK but I really, really didn’t know it would turn him in to a RUG! I’m so so sorry!!”

Holly felt sorry for the girl, but at the same time she really did sound like she needed a good spanking! “Sorry is a start, but now you need to change him back.”

Adelaide twisted the tail end of her braided hair around her fingers. “…I kind of… don’t know how…”

“What.” Holly said blankly.

“I don’t know how, okay!!! I got the spell off a Christopher Lee website along with some cool crystals and a new CD and it’s like the spell worked the way it was supposed to do ANY way…!!”

[/solid]

====

Azul Morag – Dec 19, 2008 at 6:32 AM

[dot][b]Adelaide Graham, mother of one[/b]

Mrs. Graham looked somewhat pale, herself. She picked up the rug.
[I]
“Is this rug [B]Wilhelm’s son…?” [/B][/I]She looked shocked and distressed, yet still keeping a tight rein on her emotions. “Adelaide, how could you! I told you to stop pestering him!”

[/dot]

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Divinatas – Dec 19, 2008 at 6:41 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Adelaide the teenager was crying now, begging and pleading her mommy to understand! While Adelaide the Madam, though attempting to keep her serenity looked (at least to Holly) about to clobber the girl senseless. Th Step-mother had the rug now, and Holly was itching to reach out and rescue him, but refrained.

“EXCUSE ME.” said Holly rather loud, trying to catch their attention. “As much as she probably deserves a good ass beating, there’s a matter of Elliot still being a rug..! How do we get him to NOT be a rug? He’s not even talking to me anymore and I’m getting worried.” Holly really would have thought he’d have attached himself to Adelaide’s face by now and tried to smother her, so him just…well… being a rug was a reason to be concerned!

“I don’t know, I don’t know…! It was just a curse to teach him a lesson so he would know how I feel! I don’t want him to be a rug!” cried Adelaide! “Mommy doooooo somethiiiiiiing! Sue Christopher Lee!!”

[/solid]

====

Azul Morag – Dec 19, 2008 at 6:59 AM

[dot][b]Adelaide Graham, mother of one[/b]

Mrs. Graham was clearly distressed and extremely displeased. She stepped away from her daughter and clutched the rug to her stately chest. She may not know Elliot well, but she could not bear the idea that her husband’s son was a rug. Her husband wouldn’t have been thrilled at the idea! Mrs. Graham unrolled the rug and shook it.

“He’s almost completely asleep by now… He will be gone soon if he does not wake up!”

[/dot]

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot on his part, was only mildly incommoded in his sleep by all the shaking and wailing. He was still asleep. It was like sleeping through a storm in a warm and safe bed. He had no intention of leaving his newly found restful peace any time soon…

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 19, 2008 at 7:20 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Maybe if we stomped on him, that sure as hell pissed him off when I did it.” Holly was only half joking. This was looking pretty bad for Elliot. There was that ache in her chest again. What a crappy time to panic!

Holly moved to prod at the rug with a finger. At least if he was angry and trying to kill someone, he was still alive! “Eliiot! Elliot, you stop being a damned rug! Or I swear, I’m going to… Let Aunt Nancy turn you in to a shower rug! …For your SISTER!”

Adelaide looked sort of offended through her tears. “Hey!! I said I was SORRY! I’d do anything turn him back! I’d give up all my CDs and I’d never ask Mom to buy me a car ever again!”

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 19, 2008 at 7:33 AM

[dot][b]Adelaide Graham, mother of one[/b]

Mrs. Graham blinked at the woman; she would have laughed if the situation was not so serious! She handed the rug over to her.

“Try to wake him up!” She said. “I will fetch a book.”

As she left it became evident she knew what she was talking about, even if she didn’t give any explanations…

[/dot]

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot curled up wherever he was in his sleep… Well, in that comfy bed under a warm comforter and trying to sleep as a storm ravaged outside. Something was prodding him and he swatted weakly to make it go away… tassel-ly.

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 19, 2008 at 8:01 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“I bet she’s going to call 911!! But what can the police do about a rug?!” said Adelaide! Now she was wringing her hands. Everybody was freaking out about the rug, she must have killed him or something! “Here, give him to me!” she reached out trying to take the rug from Holly.

Holly pushed her away quickly! “YOU’VE done enough! Where’d you get some stupidass idea to curse him anyway! Can’t you write an email like a normal teenager?!” There was time to yell at Adelaide later, though. Holly held out the rolled up rug and SHOOK him! “ELLIOT! Elliot, you stop ignoring me! Wake up!” Shouting at a rug had to look pretty comical, but it wasn’t seeming to help. Her chest was hurting so bad now, it was leaving her out of breath. But she couldn’t pause and take a break now!

“I said sorry like a millions times already, JEEZE! What do YOU know about it anyway, you’re screaming at a rug!” cried Adelaide, still looking kind of offended!

“Jesus!” Holly was ready to smack her. …And since Elliot had wanted to smack her too, Holly took the rug and BONKED Adelaide over the head with him! There! A man’s revenge! At least he was a rug and it was only a soft thunk on the head instead of a fist in the nose!

Adelaide ‘oomphed!’ at the thunk over head, then stomped her heel shoe on the floor! “You’re not even trying to wake him up! You’re about as useful as a rug yourself!” Huffing, Adelaide managed to snatch the rug out of Holly’s hands and rolled him out on the floor. She was going to jump all over him with her cute little shoes!

Holly growled something not very lady-like and was pushing up her sleeves to [i]really[/i] hit the girl when she paused, clutching a hand at her chest! There was that sharp pain in her lungs, and she couldn’t seem to catch her breath again. Why did she have to forget those anxiety pills! Reaching out to brace herself against the wall, it didn’t too much good as she slid to the floor in a dead faint, collapsing over the rug!

Blinking, Adelaide stared… and then screeched in horror! “OH MY GOD!! I DIDN’T MEAN IT! Don’t turn in to a rug too! Wake up, lady! MOMMY! I KILLED THEM!!” The teenager was panicking up a storm, flailing her arms around and crying for help!

[/solid]

====

Azul Morag – Dec 19, 2008 at 8:19 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot was not very happy at being thwacked around! He tried to snooze but the screeching came way too close to him and he recognized Adelaide’s voice. He growled. He had almost forgotten her; he had almost forgotten everything, even the Company, his life, his scarce friends and his work… Yet, there she was, the cause of his cursed life as a rug! Because just then… he remembered too, he was a rug. That was infuriating but he was just so tired he could sleep a little and everything would be alright…

Something fell heavily on him, startling him again… Something he had met before, but he just could not remember… or could he? Elliot’s heart sank. It was Holly, laying motionless on him. Elliot shivered and tried to move, but he could not; he struggled with all his might but he felt just so heavy and flat… A rug, that is what he was now. He didn’t have arms or legs, or a head. Elliot tried to remember how had he managed to move before, and finally the rug moved. It wasn’t much at first, but since Holly wasn’t moving at all his distress pushed him fully awake.

The rug flailed and flicked, hitting Holly’s legs with his tassels trying to wake her up! He was calling her somehow, but yet he was awake, he was just confused and dizzy. The world seemed rather fuzzy but he was thoroughly alarmed now!

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 19, 2008 at 8:28 AM

[dot][b]Adelaide Graham-Smith[/b]

The rug was suddenly moving, and Adelaide screamed again! She was really expecting him to jump off the floor and kill her! Well… he might still, but he was stuck with the lady passed out on top of him! It was good that he was awake, but not Adelaide worried that she might have pushed the lady too far and killed her! She was going to go to prison forever and be some lesbian’s girlfriend!

“MOMMY!” she called again. Adelaide was afraid to get closer, but she sloooowly inched over to the passed out lady, trying not to touch the rug! She picked up one of her arms and dropped it. No response!

“Hey lady!? Uh, he’s awake! You can get up now…!” Still no response, Adelaide poked her cheek! “Oh my god! She’s pale as [i]death[/i]! Is she breathing?! Moooooommmyyyyy!!! Oh god, Elliot, I’m so sorry!! I’m a murderer twice over…!!”

[/dot]

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Azul Morag – Dec 19, 2008 at 8:40 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot could [i]hear[/i] his step-sister now; he vowed to suffocate the girl as soon as he could manage… But for now, Holly was more important. He kept on trying to wake her, swatting her with his tassels and calling to her mind…! She just had to wake up! He promised her wouldn’t sue her! Her family was waiting for her! Everything would be okay…

[/dashed]

[dot][b]Adelaide Graham, mother of one[/b]

Mrs. Graham came back with a heavy, leather bound book and a couple of candles and a belt of pouches with bottles clunking in it. She put everything on a table and was instantly glad to see the rug moving but then saw the lady wasn’t moving at all. She picked a box of salts from one of the pouches and brought the pungent rancid little box open to Holly’s nose.

[/dot]

====

Divinatas – Dec 19, 2008 at 8:48 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

With the terrible scent, Holly gasped and coughed! Coughing for breath still, she rolled to her side. When her fingers touched rug, she quickly rolled herself off him! Sitting up resting her back against the wall, she rubbed her chest, trying to catch her breath back again! There was a slight glare at the teenager’s direction, but a relief to see a moving rug!

“Elliot-*cough!* you scared the hell out of me!” Blinking, Holly noticed the step-mother had returned with an assortment of odd things. Trinkets and such like from those occult stores.

“Where did you get all of that stuff?” Adelaide was glad to see she hadn’t murdered the lady after all, so she hadn’t noticed all that weird stuff he mother had fetched until just then.

[/solid]

====

Azul Morag – Dec 19, 2008 at 9:02 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot was so glad when Holly moved that he slink when she moved back and wrapped around her to the last tassel and stayed there till his sense of dignity seemed to return and he loosened his grip in sheepish embarrassment. He was feeling a little tired again but he still wondered what was going on… till he realized! Holly had brought him all the way to Adelaide’s house!

Elliot let go of Holly and hovered a couple feet up, indecisive. He was rather upset but yet he wasn’t thinking clearly yet, he remembered he had not wanted to be here in the first place!

[/dashed]

[dot][b]Adelaide Graham, mother of one[/b]

Mrs. Graham casted her daughter a stern motherly look.

“You young lady, are very obviously NOT ready to know such things. After we are done here I will decide if you still get internet access or not.” She beckoned to both Holly and the rug… errr Elliot.

“Please come closer.” She nodded at the hovering rug. “I know you are confused, Elliot. I just need you to trust me and everything will be fine. If you are uneasy, you could at least trust your friend. She brought you to the right place, despite what you may be thinking right now…”

[/dot]

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Divinatas – Dec 19, 2008 at 9:10 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Adelaide whimpered in sadness about her potential loss of internet access, but silenced quick with a sharp look from her mother!

Opposite of the strangling Holly thought she was going to get from Elliot, instead she had a more comforting ruggy hug! At any other moment, she might have smiled, but instead she was moving to her feet, keeping braced against the wall in case she freaked out and couldn’t breath again.

Apparently Elliot’s step-mother was a bit of a weirdo too, which in this case, was some good news. Holly gentle grasped the edge of the rug, tugging him to move closer to the woman.

“Elliot, please. You’re not meant to be a rug… Afterwords I’ll help hold Adelaide down and you can beat the daylights out of her.”

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 19, 2008 at 1:07 PM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot flicked his tassels in warning when Holly tugged him, but he just let her take him closer to his step-mother. He was anxious and confused. He… wasn’t even sure what he wanted anymore. Being asleep had been so simple, perfect and peaceful… but he also was aware (yet still confusedly) that he had a life, a job and at least someone who had cared enough to remind him he wasn’t meant to be a piece of decor. He was aware of things he had done, things he had planned to do in the future… but his ordinary confidence was yet to return. He was still a helpless rug. Perhaps he would be better if he could just change that.

[/dashed]

[dot][b]Adelaide Graham, mother of one[/b]

Mrs. Graham smiled.

“If Elliot starts getting drowsy again, shake the rug,” she told Holly with a nod as she begain to prepare whatever she was going to need to try and break the spell.

[/dot]

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Divinatas – Dec 19, 2008 at 7:41 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly was more than happy to shake the rug an moment Elliot seemed like he was getting drowsy again. She was quite interested in what the Step-mother was doing. Looked like a set up for a spell. It was Ironic that she was just recently put on as an intern at The Chronicle tabloid and here she was involved in one those very bizarre stories.

Speaking of stories. “You know, Elliot. When you’re all right and normal again, wouldn’t it be grand to go crash a baseball bat in to that pompous Lance’s face? To think he was going to try and make a little cash over you being missing and writing up some crazy story!” Thinking about Lance sure pissed HER off, hopefully that’d send some fire in to Elliot so he kept himself angry and awake!

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 1:48 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot began floating a little lower after a while but Holly shook him awake good again. She seemed to have a knack for that! Elliot swatted faintly at her with his tassels and had half the mind to jerk free to wrap around Adelaide’s head, but he decided to stay where he was… Then Holly spoke again. She seemed halfway between happy and mad, which was strange, but he didn’t mind it at all. He agreed on the baseball bat, he wouldn’t be a rug next time the jerk called Lance would be around. Maybe they could use Adelaide as the bat, too. He let her know his suggestion.

[/dashed]

[dot][b]Adelaide Graham, mother of one[/b]

Mrs. Graham traced what seemed to be a summoning ground on the floors with pieces of chalk in different colors. She didn’t seem to worry about how difficult it’d be to wash it out later on. When she was done, she hung a big pendant around her neck and lit a few candles she placed at certain angles of the summoning ground. She motioned to Holly, then hesitated.

“I almost forgot.” She gave her squirming daughter a stern stare. “What happened to his clothes when he was transformed? We are going to need some clothes for him if his own were left behind.”

[/dot]

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Divinatas – Dec 20, 2008 at 2:28 AM

[dot][b]Adelaide Graham-Smith[/b]

Adelaide was looking guilty again as she turned on her heels to run back down the hall. There was some loudly shuffling and moving stuff around in her room until she came back with a box. Inside had a very nice tailored suit, shoes, socks, a person other unmentionables, a wallet and other things.

“I, um, kept his stuff. Maybe to dress my boyfriend up for Valentine’s Day.” she admitted. Well, it’s not like she could sell his clothes! That was just wrong!

Holly suddenly felt sorry for whatever poor idiot was Adelaide’s boyfriend. The guy was probably going to end up a couch cushion for the sofa.

[/dot]

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 3:12 AM

[dot][b]Adelaide Graham, mother of one[/b]

Mrs. Graham checked the box and sighed. “Yes, this will do. Now, both of you out! I will let you know when you can come back inside…” She ushered Holly and her daughter to the hall and closed the door behind them. Hollly and Adelaide were left to their own devices as a click informed them the studio’s door had been locked.

Once they were alone, Mrs. Graham turned to the rug.

“I am terribly sorry, Elliot. Adelaide is not a bad girl, she is simply… going through a difficult stage. The years we spent with your father were not long enough, but she misses him and I also do.” Mrs. Graham sucked in her tears. “I know she was stalking you relentless, but she only wanted to know you. Wilhelm often talked about you.”

She stepped into the summoning ground.

“Please come here and land in the center, Elliot.”

****

There was not much that could inform the ones outside about what was going on behind the closed door, except some flashes and strange noises, and a voice chanting but too low to be intelligible. About fifteen minutes slowly dragged by. Luckily and just before Holly and Adelaide were at each others’ throats, the door opened again.

Mrs. Graham appeared on the threshold. She looked tired and pale, but still without a single hair out of place. She eyed Adelaide.

“If you ever try again something as cheap and adulterated as that, I will ground you for a week. As for your punishment for what you did to Elliot, we will talk about it later today.”

Mrs. Graham moved from the door to let them in.

“Elliot, thankfully, is alright,” she informed.

[/dot]

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot stood next to the now half-blurred summoning ground. His step-mother had erased part of it for safety. He was tall, almost a head taller than Holly, with a very agreable lean and fit body in an impeccably tailored grey wool suit. Elliot had light olive skin and green eyes in a handsome yet definitely tired face and his soft black hair needed some brushing. He only put on the tie because he well… wanted to make a good impression. He was smiling a bit, yet kind of embarrassed.

Elliot casted Holly a long look. It was the first time he could actually see her… She matched her voice, somehow… but she didn’t look like the Witch of the West, which caused him to smirk inwardly.

“Holly,” he said. “Thank you.”

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 20, 2008 at 3:21 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“What kind of crazy lady talks to a rug, anyway?” Adelaide had said.

Holly was about to pounce on her and give her that spanking she so richly deserved when the Step-mother came out! Scowling at Adelaide before entering the room, Holly was rather surprised to see the rug’s real appearance! He didn’t look like the sort of man that would be a Christmas rug at all, and the grin on her face probably confessed that image!

“You’re much taller than I expected! You’re welcome.” she grinned.

Adelaide peeked around the door frame, still wounded from her mother’s chiding and had very nearly rushed by to give her brother a big squishy hug! But there was an ‘ACK!’ as Holly claimed her by the back of her shirt and pulled her back. “Let’s talk about your punishment [i]now[/i].” Holly said, giving her shake! “Do you know what we’ve been through the past few days?!”

“How many times to I have to say I’m sorry!” wailed Adelaide!

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 3:47 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“A whole lot more times!” Elliot grumbled. “And if your mother agrees, I will leave you penniless for a month!”

He was smirking though, because he had just pictured Holly whooping Lance around with the fireplace’s poker. Elliot could only hope she wouldn’t try one of those rug-wrestling moves on him again – and he kind of looked it.

“Let’s see, what else could it be? You already suggested you could do without a car when you are old enough for a driving license. Maybe those school tours to Europe are not necessary at all! Perhaps it’s time for you to get your first job, too. Without a salary. In the Company, maybe as a messenger! Wouldn’t that be [i]awesome?[/i] Work helps to form character!”

Elliot was smirking but the glint in his narrowing eyes made very likely he meant all he said. He crossed the room to go to Mrs. Graham. It felt awkward as Hell but if he didn’t do it now he’d never do it, and he knew that well. He took the older lady’s hands.

“Thank you, Mrs. Adelaide. I… wasn’t even sure I wanted to change back at all. I know we don’t quite know each other and I must confess I didn’t have enough empathy to realize there is so much to appreciate in that my father loved. I would like to see you more often, if you would let me.”

[/dashed]

[dot][b]Adelaide Graham, mother of one[/b]

Mrs. Graham quite unlike her stiff lady-like demeanor, opened her arms and gave Elliot a motherly hug; she was tall but she still had to get on tiptoes to put her arms around his neck.

“Of course you are welcome, Elliot,” she said. “I should have approached you but I was too busy wallowing in my own grief.”

[/dot]

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Divinatas – Dec 20, 2008 at 4:23 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly was grinning wide now. Elliot would get to know his family now, and that would do him worlds of good. It didn’t help that she very much enjoyed giving Adelaide a bit of harassment and watching the girl twinge and whimper at every wicked suggestion Elliot put out.

“You’ll think twice about ordering spells off the internet won’t you? Maybe you should come and be my gofor-girl at the Chronicle and you’ll get to see what happens to all the poor people that get enchanted, abducted and friendly fire hit by crazy teenage girls.” She’d send her out in the cold frosty snow to get frozen lattes, and have to walk to do it! In high heeled shoes and one of those silly miniskirts like she’s wearing now!

Adelaide huffed and crossed her arms. They’re being absolutely wretched to her, and well, she DID deserve it, but weren’t they forgetting that she was abused in the first place. “I didn’t do it to be mean…” Eying Elliot and her mother, the pouty look on her face turned much more hopeful! “Does this mean you’ll stay for Christmas and we can go have fancy business lunches? Will you come to my school dance? Oh!! Could we go to the zoo and take lots of pictures so I show Candace that my brother is WAY more cooler than hers?!”

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 4:45 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“School dance? Didn’t you mention you have a boyfriend you were going to dress up in MY clothes?” Elliot frowned, but at least kept to himself the fact that the zoo was the LAST PLACE ON EARTH where he could be seen with his step-sister! “I think Holly’s idea is definitely good. You do need a good reality check!”

Wow, that sounded strange.

“Well… as real as it can get anyway.”

[/dashed]

[dot][b]Adelaide Graham, mother of one[/b]

Mrs. Graham was smiling. Her eyes were wet. She could very well see the father in the son. She let go of Elliot and smoothed out her dress like a preening bird.

[i]”Will you stay for Christmas?”[/i] She asked. “If you don’t have any plans, of course.” She smiled at Holly. “The invitation is for both of you, of course.”

[/dot]

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Divinatas – Dec 20, 2008 at 4:52 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Christmas…?” She might have paled at the thought! Holly released Adelaide (it seemed she wasn’t going to kill or be killed so it was safe) to raise her hands and shake her head. “No thank you. Not that I don’t really appreciate the offer but- But I think it’s well past do for me to go home, and now that Elliot is alright I should probably go back to my hole – [i]home[/i] and go.”

In fact she was now backing up and eeeasing herself subtly to the door for an escape. Argh! He [i]was[/i] a real person, and now she quickly realized Mr. Elliot Graham-Parker had probably seen and heard more than his fair share of Holly Roberts Christmas drama. The only thing that could have been more embarrassing would be seeing him naked, and thankfully the Stepmother spared them from that!

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 5:05 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot opened his eyes wide. He ran his fingers through his hair and straightened his tie.

“Thank you Mrs. Adelaide. I would love to spend Christmas with you – I am not exactly expected at the Company right now so I won’t be missed. I will come back.”

He was going to say, I will come back soon, but he stopped right before saying it because he had no idea when he’d be back! It wasn’t like he was going to allow Holly to escape yet! He eyed her as she tried to make a dissimulate escape.

“I will go back with you, of course,” he said. It was evident he was as strong-tempered as the rug. “I don’t think you even need to ask me why.”

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 20, 2008 at 5:14 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

There was an inward groan, but Holly managed to keep that to herself and at least grace the Stepmother and Adelaide a cheeky smile. “Thank you again, ladies. It seems I’ll be driving Elliot home this evening.” She blew a kiss, mostly to pester Adelaide, before casting Elliot a side glance and leading the way out the front door.

She felt rather stiff, but she wasn’t sure if it was from the past few days of fighting with a rug, getting ambushed, fainting in a fancy ladies’ home, or maybe because she knew there was going to be a ‘discussion’ and you can’t exactly run away when you’re trapped in a vehicle! …What was she so worried about anyway? She wasn’t the rug!

Holly trotted for the car, putting on that grin she gives Aunt Nancy when she’s being ‘good’. “Where would you like to go, Mr. Graham-Parker? Home? Office? …You don’t actually live at the office, do you?”

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 5:21 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot gave her back the fierce smile.

“Remember the bathtub? It’s in my office.” He waited for her to unlock the car. “Nobody knows that except my secretary, though… so I trust you won’t publish that.”

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 20, 2008 at 5:26 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

That brought the image of the non-rug Elliot to mind in a giant bathtub with rubber ducks and battle ships. Instead of laughing, once the door was unlocked she turned to poke him in the chest with a finger and frowned!

“For your information I don’t write the kooky stories, so if you want all your secrets spilled you’ll have to ask some other raving lunatic!”

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 5:38 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“I will keep that in mind,” Elliot said flashing a sudden grin. He got in the car and adjusted the seat before strapping on the seat belt. He waited till they were on the road to prevent being thrown out of the car, clobbered with a mailbox or anything as dangerous before speaking his mind.

“Will you get in the car?”

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 20, 2008 at 5:46 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Feisty.” muttered Holly as she rounded the car and dropped in to the passenger’s seat. Seat belt in, key in the ignition, and she was pulling off the side of the street to start that achingly long ride home. At least his tone as a man wasn’t any different from the rug. It was nice to actually [i]hear[/i] the words instead of everything jumbling up in her head.

Of course, if he didn’t appreciate her sense of humor he might threaten to sue her again! Holly tapped her fingers on the steering wheel trying not to grin at the thought.

“I suppose you want me to sign crazy lawyer papers of silence? Or did you seriously like the idea of Adelaide being my gofor-girl? I could use an assistant to boss around.”

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 6:05 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot smiled a little, biting his lip.

“What if I decide to trust you? Besides, you are very much involved in my rescue and you keep on calling yourself a lunatic when you very obviously are not. By the way, I am a lawyer myself so don’t go and tempt me. I know that sort of arrangements easily kill good will.”

He checked his wallet. What got to be the thinnest cellphone in the world was safely stowed there, along with some pocket money, plastics and a number of other things – nothing was missing.

“And to answer your question… Yes, I think being your gofor-girl would be beneficial to Adelaide. She needs to learn where do her own boundaries lay… and some empathy and compassion, may I say so myself. Work is a good way to form character. I started working with my father when I was younger than her.”

Elliot shook his head.

“We were always at the office. It was easier to keep close that way. He was a good father to me. I just wonder how he managed to take in Mrs. Adelaide and her daughter… He retired to marry and left the rest to me.”

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 20, 2008 at 6:16 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“An Oil tycoon [i]and[/i] a lawyer. You must’ve had more sleep in the past three days than in your entire life.” Because he sure didn’t look like some crotchety old man that’s already been through school and work in a perfectly timely order. Holly was trying to remember if anyone had mentioned Adelaide’s age… She couldn’t be more than 15, and if he were younger than her and always around in that giant building.

“Work would be good for her, yeah. But being a kid is important too. Did you ever do kid stuff? Besides playing in that giant bathtub?” Holly was curious, and it didn’t hurt to ask. He said himself he didn’t even realize he had a family for awhile. Did he really work that much?

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 6:29 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“Kid stuff…?” Elliot asked absently. “I wouldn’t know. There is nothing worse than forced friends, and most of the kids my age at the time were children of people trying to get on my father’s good graces. That is not very natural and I admit I wasn’t nice all the time. I had friends in school, some through College. The real friends I have are few, and we keep in touch more thanks to them than to me. I was usually the odd one out that wasn’t allowed to stay or go at any time I pleased, and sometimes we had to cope with the fact I had bodyguards sometimes, depending on the state of oil business. My father tried, though. We met baseball players and watched games I liked in VIP. If we wanted, we could escape at night and play in an empty stadium. He knew how to use money; it didn’t consume him.”

“I hated Opera but we had to go on my mother’s birthday. She died when I was born. Even after he married again, we’d go – just the two of us. We went to museums and funny exhibits, and science displays. I doubt I had much of the usual ‘kid stuff’ but I don’t think my childhood was a bad one.”

Elliot fiddled with his wallet and didn’t raise his eyes for a while.

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 20, 2008 at 6:39 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly frowned, tapping her fingers on the steering wheel again. He said it wasn’t a bad childhood and she believed him. Elliot loved his father, and it was easy to see his father was a good man based on the way he talked about him and they the Stepmother spoke of him too. But did he realize it sounded so lonely too…?

“You’re really lucky to get to try all of those different things. We always had the same traditions every year, especially when we’d take out the boat and…” Holly trailed off for a moment. After a blink, she quickly changed her tone and the subject.

“Maybe taking Adelaide to the zoo would be fun. I could go too. Be a bodyguard or spare you from weird teenage girly things.”

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 6:47 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot managed to smirk.

“The zoo is the [i]last place on Earth[/i] where I could be seen with Adelaide, not after this cage without bars she put me in.” He blinked to inconspicuously clear his eyes. “I have to say I spent most Christmas seasons at the Company with my dad. There’s the Company’s party every year… yet that is also a form of business event, for the investors and the stockholders, the Press and other organizations. My father was religious in his own particular way but we didn’t go to Mass on Christmas Day every year. I guess… mine was mostly the commercial version.” He smiled a little. “Why don’t you tell me about yours?”

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Divinatas – Dec 20, 2008 at 6:57 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly shrugged her shoulders, seeming to purposely ignore his question. She cast a quick look at him out of the corner of her eye. “The whole mess started because she wanted a little attention. It couldn’t hurt to hang out with her a little bit until she decides big brothers aren’t so cool when they say embarrassing things in front of your friends.”

“I can just see it. Walking her in to a dance and then threatening to sue any boy that gives her a sideways look. She’ll never ask you take her anywhere ever again.”

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 7:10 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“I don’t know how to be a big brother,” Elliot said biting a sad smile. “You are avoiding my question. I remember you told me when I was a rug, Christmas is the best time of the year. Now you avoid telling me why.”

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 20, 2008 at 7:22 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Well, let me see. I would just [i]love[/i] to tell you, but if you haven’t noticed I have this terrible habit of getting all up and angry about things, which tends to lead in to anxiety attacks and passing out on previously mentioned Christmas rugs. Not the best idea while I’m driving.” Holly muttered in reply, barely managing to keep her sarcasm down to a non-insulting level. He didn’t really deserve to have that all directed at him.

“Now, my job, there’s something interesting. I’m just an intern for now. Taking ideas that’re thrown at me and writing up the articles, or editing things, and office work. I didn’t really believe most of the stories the paper publishes, but I sure as hell do now.” Changing the subject was the safer route.

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 7:36 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot watched her as she spoke. She was changing the subject again. He cared and he worried, but the lawyer in him took her subject shuffling as a challenge!

“What exactly do you write about?” He asked. “Why would you work on something you didn’t really believe and still have passion about it?”

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 20, 2008 at 8:00 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

That drew a thoughtful look of surprise from her. “It’s just a job, I guess. At least the Chronicle is entertaining. The Puget Times is nothing but crime rates, farm cows, and social gossip. I mean, who [i]really[/i] cares what Carly St. Clare wore to the Annual Charity Auction. Seriously.”

Holly looked sheepish for a moment, remembering she’s talking to one of those CEO rich fancy people. “…Not that it’s wrong to read… that stuff.”

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 8:08 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot smirked.

“I don’t read the social chronicles; my secretary lets me know when there is something there I need to know. Which is next to never, except the hard, economic facts. Not the people. Most of them are just self-congratulating. When someone that knows me wants me to see something in the Social section, they send me an email.”

He watched her curiously.

“I read online newspapers, mostly… Somehow I don’t see your aunt reading about paranormal stuff.”

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 20, 2008 at 8:16 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Laughing softly, Holly had a hard time imagining that herself! “Nancy isn’t fond of newspapers. Says it’s mostly bad news anyway. She likes those gardening magazines and knitting booklets. Neither of which were all that fun sounding for career options either. Kevin reads all the serious stuff. Economy, World News, I guess all of the stuff you would read.”

Tilting her head, she thought about it a little more. “I guess even if I didn’t believe in all the supernatural things, I still wanted to. I suppose that’s what made it so easy to talk back to a talking rug? Can’t imagine what would have happened if you were sold to some huffy-puffy old crone or something.”

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 8:23 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“I would have escaped, then probably I would have either found and strangled Adelaide or I’d be floating somewhere around Elsewen, I suppose.” Elliot fiddled with his cufflinks. He sighed. “Maybe it was more than just good luck.”

“I never gave supernatural things any thought… even though sometimes I have sensed things, or so to speak. My father said it comes from my mother’s side. I don’t remember her, of course… but I have seen photos. What was your mother like? Is she Nancy’s sister or Kevin’s?”

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 20, 2008 at 8:35 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Kevin’s and he went and married her best friend. Noel would always tease me and say he’d run off with one of my friends too.” Holly went silent, her fingers tightening on the wheel.

“Speaking of supernatural, your step-mother seems to be rather interesting. I think she might be a sorceress or witch. Not those bad kind either. I’ve heard my boss is a witch too, Kendal Davidson, you wanted to chase her the other day. I guess witches are rather common here in Elswen.” Holly had skillfully changed the subject again.

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 8:45 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“So it would seem,” Elliot said. “I wonder why is that. Have you ever wondered if you have some sort of… power, too? I wouldn’t have thought so from Nancy, but Kevin did spare my fuzzy life. It may sound stereotypical, but maybe it runs stronger in women. Did your mother seem to sense things, sometimes?”

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 20, 2008 at 8:55 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Jesus, she could have been one of Santa’s elves she was so weird. She loved Christmas, I mean [i]really[/i] loved Christmas. I’m surprised my father isn’t Santa Claus or that we didn’t all have elf ears. All that glitter she’d toss around could have been faerie dust for all I know, and frankly, Elliot, I’m about two questions away from driving us in to a snow drift or reaching over and pulling your tie!” It started off sane enough, but by the end she was nearly growling at him! Blinking back threatening tears, she tried to keep her focus on the street and taking deep even breaths. She didn’t [i]want[/i] him seeing her cry, and she didn’t want to pass out and kill them either!

[/solid]

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 8:58 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot searched his pockets and took out a linen handkerchief. It was one of those things his father had taught him; how to fold them perfectly and keep at least two because a fine gentleman always has a handkerchief. He carefully unfolded it and held it within Holly’s reach.

“Then perhaps we could stop by the road for an instant,” he softly said.

[/dashed]

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Divinatas – Dec 20, 2008 at 9:03 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Stop by the road for an instant.” she mimicked, still growling at him. But Holly did pull over on the side of the road where there was a bend to keep them safely off the street. Turning off the engine, she snatched the handkerchief out of his hands and turned in her seat so her pack would be to him.

Still trying to breathe and not tear up, she only fussed with the hankie. Giving it an look. “…who even keeps these on them any more?”

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 9:07 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“I do. My father taught me,” Elliot said, simply.

He just watched her and waited. He did make sure he could protect his head if necessary, but he just waited there calmly. He knew what a delicate moment this was… and he just wanted to ease her pain.

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Divinatas – Dec 20, 2008 at 9:27 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

It was a very [i]nice[/i] hankie and would a shame to cry all over it. Holly folded it neatly in to one of those origami styled flower napkin shapes. After one escaping sniffle, she managed to return to her perfectly unemotional self and turn back around in her seat. She offered the hankie back to him.

“You ought to be careful. I might flip out and set you on fire.” she said, passing everything off as a joke as she seemed to have a habit of doing. Holly sat silent for a moment, leaning her head against the back of her chair. “Sometimes I think I’d have been better off dying too.” she admitted. “But I guess I’ve still got [i]some[/i] sense.”

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 9:53 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot smiled faintly.

“You’ve got more than some sense,” he said in a low voice yet still perfectly audible in the silence inside the car. “When I was the rug and you started telling me about your family and asking who I was and who could I ask for help… I truly got to think my options were quite limited. I was completely helpless. The feeling began to numb out the world and when I was asleep… it was so restful, so peaceful. I wished I could just sleep and all my worries would disappear. I only vaguely knew it was dangerous, but when I was senseless I could feel no pain.”

Elliot stared ahead into the row of white trees nearby, lining along the road.

“I was something out of Hamlet’s soliloquy.[I] To die, to sleep… no more; and by a sleep to say we end… the heartache, and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.[/I] But unlike him, I had no dreams.”

Elliot nibbled on his lip.

“I know something terrible happened to you; a great loss, an unspeakable one. However you lived, Holly. I wouldn’t have lived if you hadn’t shown me life is worth living when I was slipping away. You showed me, therefore I believe you know there is life to live… but you refuse to heal your wounds. I can’t say I can simply help you somehow, but I want to help you realize you are alive, too. I would like to give you hope, but what do I have? However… perhaps the season of hope could bring you the gift you need, if you would allow it to happen.”

Elliot bit his lip.

“Or you could just thwack me and keep on driving. I’m beginning to digress.” He absently looked for his second handkerchief.

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Divinatas – Dec 20, 2008 at 10:19 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“This season is nothing but a painful reminder of everything that’s missing. It’d be easier to ignore it altogether.” Holly sniffled again, this time not being able to stop herself from crying. She lift up the corner of her sleeve to wipe against her cheek, giving a shaky laugh.

“So I’m a bit broken. What will we do, sing carols and throw snowballs at kids? You’ve given me a wild ride already, I think I could try a few more days with you.” she was trying to laugh it off again, but coughed instead. That tightness in her chest and being unable to breathe! Holly leaned forward between sniffles rubbing her face with her sleeve again.

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 10:33 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“Contrary to popular belief, it’s very difficult to get rid of me,” Elliot said, wiping his eyes with his second handkerchief. “I will only sing carols if you teach me.” He pocketed the handkerchief again, then turned to Holly. It was difficult to move, not only because he was tall but also because of all the stuff technology had dictated must be placed between an upset driver and an upset passenger.

“Please don’t thwack me,” he muttered, holding her. “Why exactly is my handkerchief a flower?”

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Divinatas – Dec 20, 2008 at 10:47 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Thwacking him hadn’t crossed her mind when he reached out to hold her, but thwacking herself sure did. Resting her forehead on his shoulder, she snickered softly between wiping away tears before they fell on his fancy lawyer suit.

“I don’t sing very well, you might regret it.” she mumbled, only turning her head to peek one eye at the handkerchief flower. “Snow lilies are seasonal, aren’t they? Makes more sense than poinsettias. Poinsettias can’t even grow in the snow.”

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 11:04 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot nodded, resting his cheek on her hair, only a little. “People seem to favor poinsettias more, though. I like the color red… but I might like snow lilies, if you show me some of them.”

Elliot just held Holly, his eyes half-closed watching her to make sure she was actually breathing. He looked out of the window. It was getting darker. Elliot stroke her hair a little, smiling faintly.

“I am sorry but I will have to listen to you first in order to form my own opinion…”

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Divinatas – Dec 20, 2008 at 11:26 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

It should have been awkward sitting there like this with someone she had only actually [i]seen[/i] just today. But it wasn’t, and more surprising was that he was comfortable. Enough to close her eyes and just talk about really stupid things she hadn’t talked about in a long time.

Holly leaned back finally, no more tears or sniffling to cast him a soft grin. “As long as you promise not to sue me later. …I’m glad Nancy found you.”

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Azul Morag – Dec 20, 2008 at 11:32 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot smiled at her, more warmly than he had smiled at [i]anybody[/i] after his father’s death. She was smiling. That was excellent news.

“I won’t sue you, I promise,” he said. “I am glad she found me, too… However she might want a refund.”

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Divinatas – Dec 21, 2008 at 3:08 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Ugh.” Holly rolled her eyes leaning back in her seat again, but kept the smile. “I might as well get her a new rug. She was so excited about it. Although I’m not sure how I’m going to explain you to her. ‘Hey Nancy, I changed the rug back to a man so everything is cool now.’ I think she’ll cart me off to the funny farm.”

She tilted her head to glance at him again. “Where [i]do[/i] you want me to take you? Back to Syrius?”

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Azul Morag – Dec 21, 2008 at 4:27 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“I am not so sure about that,” Elliot replied. “I had thought perhaps I could meet your family. We don’t have to tell them about the rug, if you prefer not to tell them. Maybe ambush Lance before he ambushes your family. Then you can stay happily with your family and I go back to my step-mother’s house… but I guess I will miss you.”

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Divinatas – Dec 21, 2008 at 4:52 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

For a second there was a grim expression on her face at the thought of Lance and his empty stupidity. But then she cast him a side look.

Holly grinned rather wickedly as she leaned to rest her shoulder against his. “You’ll miiiiiss me? After I stomped all over you?” she teased, laughing softly. “If I have to have some holiday cheer, I’m sure not doing it alone. And I can’t leave you alone with Adelaide so soon. Who knows what crazy thing she might do.”

“Besides, we’re friends now, right? We can go out and have coffee and laugh at rugs from shop windows.”

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Azul Morag – Dec 21, 2008 at 5:23 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

A lopsided smirk curled Elliot’s lip.

“Yes, I am strange like that. I am assuming myself invited to your holiday cheer, then…” He nodded. “Adelaide is a danger to civilized society. I wonder what her friends may be like!”

“Yes, we are friends now…” Elliot poked softly the top of her head with two fingers. “But no laughing at rugs. One of them could start flying after us!”

Elliot blinked. A young deer had come out of nowhere in the snow and was ever so shyly peeking out of the window, leaving a trace of vapor as it sniffed the glass.

“This is a bad moment to mention this, but I am going to need a coat.”

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Divinatas – Dec 21, 2008 at 5:35 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

A deer of all things. They [i]were[/i] outside of the city. Holly leaned over Elliot to press her hand against the window at the curious deer!

“We can stop by Syrius on the way home, unless you’d like to go shopping. I think we’ll get back in to town before all the businesses close.” she blinked. “…If I stop screwing around and get back to driving.” she muttered sheepishly. It was the first time in weeks she had sat still and relaxed. Strange it’d be in a car parked on the side of the road with a former rug.

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Azul Morag – Dec 21, 2008 at 5:57 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot nodded with a smile. “Perhaps we could go shopping. If I appear at Syrius right now they will try to keep me.” He watched the deer; it was sniffing the glass over Holly’s hand. “I wonder if it [i]is[/i] sensing any scent at all through that glass. Anyway, we could also get some emergency gifts. Like a hatchet for my step-mother and a dress made from a sack of potatoes for Adelaide… and a rug for Nancy. Hopefully one that flies.”

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Divinatas – Dec 22, 2008 at 4:00 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Boy is Aunt Nancy going to be surprised.” Holly replied with a grin. Sitting back proper in her seat, she turned on the ignition, startling the deer back in to the woods. Holly turned back on to the road and continued back to the main city area of Elswen!

Having someone to actually talk to, the ride back in to the city didn’t seem to take as long as it did to get to Adelaide’s. Holly had to fight to find a parking space near the downtown shops, and the occasionally cursing under her breath was a testimony to her annoyance with crappy drivers!

Holly took a deep breath before climbing out of the car. “Well! I guess we get you a coat first so you don’t freeze to death!”

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Azul Morag – Dec 23, 2008 at 1:39 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“Yes indeed,” Elliot replied with some teeth-chatter. His suit was a very good one but it was still just a suit, nonetheless. In a corner not so far there were some street musicians playing Let It Snow with an oboe, a percussionist and a guy with a portable electric organ. They seemed to be in their own little world (and certainly had not chattering teeth) as the crowds squeezed around them. Elliot smiled. “My fingers would be frozen long ago if I were a street musician…”

A wisp of snow swirled past. Elliot moved closer to Holly and raised his eyes. “That store! My father used to be a regular customer there.”

It was one of the uber-fancy yet small shops with a facade of polished oak around its door and a single glass window with a stylishly dressed mannequin in a blue suit, coat and the fluffliest red wool muffler in the world over a dark coat under a golden light that made the red muffler look wonderfully warm.

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Divinatas – Dec 23, 2008 at 2:34 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly eyed the mannequin in the window for a moment, tapping her fingers against her mouth. As attractive as it was, she bet it cost a minifortune. Not that she didn’t enjoy nice clothes, but some things were just so ridiculously overpriced. Hrmph. Maybe she was just cheap.

Stepping in to the small shop first, she glanced around. Men’s clothing stores always looked so different! “It’s like a club for rich people in here.” she mused out loud.

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Azul Morag – Dec 23, 2008 at 2:59 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“Well, I sure hope they still hand out food,” Elliot muttered concealing it with a smile. “I am hungry.”

There were scattered black leather couches with tall, stylized floor lamps with paper lampshades and orderly displays. The clothes racks were fixed to the walls topped by shelves and more clothes racks. The were dressing booths in all corners and a very nice front desk with a golden lamp. There were not many people at the time. Elliot glanced around and approached an old gentleman just as a young salesman tried to approach Holly and he.

“Herr Schultz?”

The old gentleman turned and studied Elliot over wire-rimmed glasses with a fatherly yet dignified air for a few seconds.

“Goodness gracious, isn’t it Master Elliot,” the old gentleman said raising his eyebrows with a smile. “Chip off the old block, sir. It’s been a very long while.”

Elliot grinned.

“Yes, I was still a teenager I guess. Herr Schultz, this is my friend Ms. Roberts.”

The old gentleman nodded to Holly with a smile, not looking phased or curious in the slightest – a trusty mister.

“Herr Schultz, I need a coat. Maybe something like the one in the window? But of course I am open to suggestions.”

“Very well sir. Please take a seat. Will you care for a snack, sir? Maybe a drink?”

“YES, very much thank you.” Elliot beamed. Herr Schultz motioned to the young salesman still hovering at a prudent distance.

“Charles, the wine chart.” After another polite nod, Herr Schultz left them there. Elliot sighed.

“My father used to bring me here when I was a kid,” he explained. “However I hadn’t returned in a long time. Herr Schultz would make selections for my father when my father was too busy to come all the way here. Do you like the place?”

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Divinatas – Dec 27, 2008 at 1:53 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

There was a quirk at the corner of her mouth at [i]Master[/i] Elliot, but Holly kept the amusing comments to herself. This little shop was quaint, old fashioned, and entirely all too interesting. She was surprised to find they actually served snacks in a store like this, and somehow the little old gentleman fit in so perfectly with the atmosphere that she would have been disappointed if it were some younger stuffy salesman.

Holly slowly sat down on one of the sofas, casting a look around once again at the place as Elliot asked her if she liked it. She nodded, quirking an amused smile. “Surprisingly, I do. I thought maybe it’d be all weird and stuffy, but it’s weirdly comfortable for a shop.”

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Azul Morag – Dec 28, 2008 at 4:30 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot grinned. He took a seat on the couch as well.

“It’s a very good shop. There’s branches in all the main cities, but the style is very similar to this one. This is the very one from which Herr Schultz started his business after WW2. Friends to friends advertising; former soldiers that made fortune and eventually became a brand name. At least that’s what my father told me, then it grew up into this.”

He sighed, but smiled again.

“People were more resilient back then, I think. But well, back to plan: do you think a hatchet with a red bow for my stepmother would be too extreme?”

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Divinatas – Dec 28, 2008 at 8:29 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly looked like she was seriously considering the hatchet before she half-smirked and shook her head slowly. “I don’t know. It might give Adelaide some crazy ideas.”

Tilting her head, Holly tried to think of what might be appropriate for his step mother. A woman he hardly knew at all, but clearly cared enough to break a curse on him. …She was probably a witch. Of course, getting her a book of spells or crystals might not be classy either!

Looking sheepishly, and opting not to share her thoughts, she shrugged her shoulders. “Maybe one of those electric shock collars she can put on Adelaide.”

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Azul Morag – Dec 28, 2008 at 3:27 PM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot snickered. “That may work,” he muttered rather mischievously as he studied the wine chart Charles handed over to him before giving another one to Holly. The chart had a list of select wines, liquors and some cocktails, a few snacks and desserts, and a list of hot and cold beverages.

Herr Schultz came back pushing a little rack with a few coats on it. It was a bronze rack in Art Deco design, actually. The coats ranged from a sportsman-esque padded coat filled with fine feathers, passing by a rugged-looking leather coats, a thigh-length double breasted suede coat to a long, semi-tailored coat with thick layers of wool fabric that looked like a comic book villain’s coat.

“Here we are, Master Elliot,” Herr Schultz said with a small yet warm gentlemanly smile.

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Divinatas – Dec 29, 2008 at 5:09 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly was expected maybe one or two things to drink and a snack or two. This was practically restaurant service. Eying the rack of coats Herr Schultz wheeled in, Holly hid the smirk on her face with the wine chart. Trying to picture [i]Master[/i] Elliot in a few of them was giving some pretty amusing mental images. Especially the evil villain coat. With a Christmas rug cape.

Coughing, she lowered the menu, attempting to put on her usual impassive expression. No deviousness. “What do you think about Hot Chocolate and Biker Heir Leather?”

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Azul Morag – Dec 29, 2008 at 12:02 PM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“Thank you Herr Schultz…” He rose from the sofa to examine the coats as Holly spoke.

“Biker Heir Leather?” Elliot repeated with a blink. “Now wouldn’t that make Nancy want to beat me with a stick.”

He examined the coats.

“Bailey’s hot chocolate sounds great to me.” He examined each coat feigning indecision and bit his lip to prevent a smile as he waited for her next comment…

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Divinatas – Jan 19, 2009 at 6:45 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“I think Nancy has a weakness for bad boys. Look how Uncle Kevin is.” Holly replied with a smirk. She tilted her head to eye the coats again, tapping her chin with some thought.

“Although, you could try the wool one if you’d like to look like a real villain. Wear it to visit Adelaide and bring her a chainsaw. I think she might go running in terror.”

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Azul Morag – Mar 24, 2009 at 5:17 PM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot was smirking.

“I like that idea. Let’s see.” He took the wool coat from the perch and slid it easily on his broad shoulders. It was a perfect fit. Elliot adjusted the coat over his fine suit and flexed his arm to make sure the sleeve length was correct. It was. The coat was lightly tailored in a favoring way and when closed it made a sort of stylized, almost triangular shape from shoulders down, just like a comic book villain’s coat. Elliot, still smirking, raised an eyebrow and the effect was complete!

“I might need a hat and a shotgun to go with this,” he muttered. “So. What do you think, Holly?”

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Divinatas – Mar 25, 2009 at 8:47 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

The effect was all too perfect. It was impossible for Holly to repress the loud cackle of laughter! Mister Evil Businessman could really look the evil villain part. Holly might’ve forgave him for being a wicked rug, but she sure didn’t forget!

Coughing again to still her snickering, Holly shook her head. “No… I don’t think that is the one. Too wicked, for sure. I really like the long suede one, actually.” She leaned to point a finger and the double-breasted thigh length coat still on the rack behind him. “It looks attractive and suede always feels nice to touch.”

Not that she was planning to be touching him, but now the though was in her head and she gave a peculiar expression.

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Azul Morag – Mar 25, 2009 at 10:42 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot looked somewhat disappointed and very much amused at her reaction. He dusted one of the sleeves with a couple brisk flicks of his hand.

“No…? I might like looking wicked, specially now that Adelaide is going to be around more often.” He smirked and watched Holly’s curious expression for a couple of seconds. “But well, I can try the suede one and see.”

Elliot removed the wool coat, which Herr Schultz replaced onto a hanger and to the rack after handing over the double-breasted suede coat. It was a lush suede with mink lining and smart double-breasted tailoring. A buckled belt to cinch the very nice fit on Elliot’s body.

“So? Do I look less wicked in this one?” He asked with a ‘I know I will look evil in any of these’ somewhat smug look written allover his face.

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Divinatas – Mar 25, 2009 at 11:02 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Snapping herself back to attention, she looked him over twirling a finger to have him turn around so she could get the full effect. It fell very nice, making him look a lot like those fashion models in magazines. The suit he wore added to it, and she wondered if everything he owned was so perfectly tailored.

At his smug expression, Holly couldn’t help but grin. “Just barely. We might want to paint your face with reindeer and Santa for a more friendly look.” she joked. “I like it.” Holly finally said. Although, she could still imagine him bringing a shotgun over to Adelaide’s and possibly laughing like a grinch!

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Azul Morag – Mar 26, 2009 at 2:44 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot couldn’t help but to laugh. He dug his hands in the coat’s pockets with a wicked grin.

“I’ll go by your judgement,” he impulsively said. “We must hurry after all.” Elliot turned to Herr Schultz with a smile.

“Herr Schultz, thanks for your recommendation… I’ll buy this one. I’d like to wear it right away.”

Herr Schultz gave an approving nod.

“Very well, Master Elliot. Would you please take it off for us to remove the tags.”

“Yes, of course.” Elliot slid the coat off and when handing it over he barely muttered so that Herr Schultz could see his lips moving, ‘The wool one, too; to the office.’

Herr Schultz just nodded in complicity and had the young clerk wheel the rack away. Elliot turned to Holly with a mischievous and ever-so-slightly guilty smile.

“Oh, my Bailey’s hot chocolate.” He picked his mug from a tray set next to their sofa and sipped, smiling into the mug.

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Divinatas – Mar 26, 2009 at 9:35 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly had picked up her mug too, pleased with how nice and warm it was in her hands. “You told him told him to get the evil villain coat too, didn’t you.” she said, hiding her amused grin behind the mug as she took a sip. She hadn’t heard what he mumbled, but by the way he moved and that look on his face now… Holly was observant.

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Azul Morag – Mar 26, 2009 at 12:21 PM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot almost choked on his Bailey’s chocolate; he cast her a look of impish surprise and laughed again. He held his breath for an instant as if trying to find the words to explain himself, but just had to snicker trying not to laugh again.

“Well… it’s a nice coat after all,” he finally said. “Besides, I [i]might like[/i] looking like a villain sometimes… How’d you…?” Elliot didn’t finish the question; he was smirking. “If Adelaide will be around often AND will bring her friends, then I definitely will put that coat to good use later on.”

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Divinatas – Mar 26, 2009 at 6:51 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly didn’t need to explain how she figured it out. He [i]was[/i] fancy evil lawyer tycoon. Every lawyer should know how to weasel, after all he did plenty of urging her to blabber things on the way here.

It was nice to hear that he was actually planning ahead for time with Adelaide, even if it came in the form of being wicked. Holly leaned back on the sofa, wincing at the twinge of sore pain. She was rather glad he wasn’t a rug anymore. Had she fought with him anymore she might’ve ended up with something broken.

“I think you’re going to be startling enough for Nancy and Kevin without looking like some official come to take me away to the funny-house.” she said with a wide grin.

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Azul Morag – Mar 27, 2009 at 1:51 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot spied her wincing over his mug and after a second of concern he suddenly realized why she seemed sore. His smirking turned into a wicked grin.

“Extreme violence must be tiring,” he commented. “Why, I am surprised I don’t have a headache yet.” Elliot leaned back against the sofa and watched Holly, critically. “I have to wonder how dangerous is your line of work!”

“As long as she doesn’t dot on me and call me a lucky charm again, I think it’ll be safe. But seriously… What will we tell them?” Elliot eyed his empty mug. “I suppose they are worried right now.”

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Divinatas – Mar 27, 2009 at 5:10 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly looked entirely unamused at his teasing. Did he forget he practically tried to kill her? As far as she was first concerned, he was some kind of demon!

Actually, he could still be a demon with his love of evil villain coats and ingenious torture for Adelaide!

Her sour looked vanished to something more guilty. She had completely forgotten about the time, and she left the house long before anyone else was awake. Holly couldn’t even remember if she left them a note! Groaning, she set aside her cup and quickly rose to her feet, despite the protest of her body.

“I’ll be lucky if Nancy hasn’t called the police for me yet! We better get going quick. I’ll think of something clever on the way there.”

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Azul Morag – Mar 27, 2009 at 5:42 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot seemed quite unrepentant despite her sour look. If any, he only seemed slightly wary but still quite amused.

“As you wish, madame,” he replied, getting on his feet and heading for the counter. Herr Schultz welcomed him with a gentlemanly smile.

“Everything has been taken care of, Master Elliot. Shall I charge your tab or do you prefer to use credit?”

“The tab will be fine. Thanks Herr Schultz! I am glad I came here today. Merry Christmas.”

The young clerk aided Elliot into his coat just like a valet would under Herr Schultz’s watchful gaze. Herr Schultz then handed Elliot a small and chic paper bag with the logo of the store.

“Merry Christmas, Master Elliot,” he said. Elliot blinked. He paused for an instant before taking the bag; he seemed both mystified and touched. The old gentleman smiled. He gave Holly another paper bag with a smile. “Merry Christmas, Ms. Roberts.”

“I shall see you to the door.”

Herr Schultz accompanied them to the front door.

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Divinatas – Mar 27, 2009 at 9:23 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Um, thank you.” Holly said upon receiving the small bag. She was a bit surprised at the unexpected gesture! Herr Schultz accompanied them to there door, where she nodded and smiled a goodbye before stepping out in to the cold December air.

Holly held up the bag to shake it carefully, curious about the contents! She rather wanted to open it now, but there was the thought in the back of her head saying ‘Don’t ruin the surprise!’. A slight scoff escaped her – it’s not as if she cared about Christmas surprises anyway!

“…Are you going to open yours?” she asked Elliot.
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Azul Morag – Mar 27, 2009 at 9:34 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

As they neared the car, Elliot blinked.

“I didn’t say thank you,” he absently muttered. He nibbled on his lip and took a few seconds to answer to Holly’s question. “Maybe… it would be fine. Do you want to open yours now…?”

He stared at the bag.

“It’s curious. I just thought… I wonder… where am I supposed to open this?”

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Divinatas – Mar 27, 2009 at 9:41 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

The man looked about as mystified as she did about getting the present. …but at least it made sense for herself to be confused! Didn’t he get presents at all? Holly stopped at the car, blowing her hair out of her face with slight impatience.

“For Christ’s sake. Open it now! It doesn’t say ‘Wait till Xmas’, or you’d have to wait until Christmas morning.” she responded, opening her own bag just a bit so she could take a peek inside.

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Azul Morag – Mar 27, 2009 at 10:01 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot nibbled on his lip a little.

“I suppose it’d be fine,” he said. Elliot removed the paper seal on the bag and opened it. Inside there was a linen pouch tied with a red bow on crushed chiffon paper. Elliot removed the bow and opened the pouch. He smiled a bit. “Maybe he saw us coming after all.” he said, pulling out the fluffy red muffler they saw on the store window earlier. When he unrolled it, it seemed to double its size on the pouch; it was a very warm and intense red to orange color. An envelope slipped out. Elliot caught it before it fell all the way to the sidewalk.

“Will you unlock the doors? It’s snowing again…” He folded the muffler in half to put it on all while trying to peek into the envelope.

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Divinatas – Mar 27, 2009 at 8:14 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

It was a nice color for him. She watched a moment until he asked her to unlock the doors. Holly shook her head, tucking her own bag under her arm so she could dig out her keys and unlock her door. She slid in to the car, leaning over to the passenger’s side to unlock it and push the door open for Elliot. Then she was turning the key in the ignition to rev up the engine and get the heat running.

“What’s the note?” she asked. “A Christmas card from Herr Schultz?”

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Azul Morag – Mar 28, 2009 at 5:17 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot slid into his seat and closed the door before fixing his seat belt. The muffler was as warm as it looked; definitely he had been needing both the coat and the muffler – and it was snowing again, even! He fiddled with the envelope.

“I suppose it is…” He pulled out a pretty card in soft brown and gold colors with fluid blue ink script. “Season Greetings from Harvey Schultz and Family. There is a note, too… Merry Christmas to Mister Graham the young from a family friend. I meant to give you thi…” Elliot stopped reading aloud. He read in silence for a moment, then looked into the envelope again and found a photo. It was kind of yellow and slightly battered. Elliot stared at it for a long instant.

“Guess who is this,” he said with a lopsided smile handing the photo over to Holly. Elliot’s eyes were wet but it was hard to tell because he looked down. The photo showed the shop they had just left, which had not changed much at all and looked as vintage in picture as in person. There was a gentleman trying on a pair of boots with a child sitting at his feet on the carpet with what seemed to be a wooden toy train. The gentleman was smiling – well, more like smirking – at the camera; he was a blond version of Elliot with a definite Machiavellian air. The kid had dark hair and apparently all his teeth from the grin her had on his face.

“I am not sure I remember when was it taken…” Elliot muttered.

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Divinatas – Mar 29, 2009 at 9:16 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly had been watching him as he red and then went silent in the middle. There went that Mister Mean facade. It was a shame he had never shown himself to Adelaide before. He might not have ended up a Christmas rug!

She reached out to test the softness of that red muffler when he showed her the picture. Holly laughed softly! “Well there is a goofy grinning grin. That’s you, I assume. And your father?”

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Azul Morag – Mar 29, 2009 at 3:12 PM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot smiled, a bit sadly. Looking down, he didn’t notice she had reached out to touch his muffler but he saw her fingers move back when she took the photo. Distracted by emotion, he didn’t think about it at the moment. Elliot smile lingered on his lips with its hue of melancholy.

“Yes, that is me. That train was really something; it worked with steam, it had a real engine…” He paused. “Yes, that is my father.”

Elliot straightened his back, pulling himself back against his seat. His eyes were wet and his face was calm with a sort of resignation despite the tense line of his jaw spoke of held back emotion. He tried to smile but failed miserably.

“Some people say,” he said at length, “that I look like him. Maybe it’s more about similar lifestyle than anything else.” He fiddled trying to further choke the pain and reached for his wallet. Slowly, Elliot opened the wallet and pulled out his cellphone. After fiddling with the menu, he handed it over to Holly.

“That’s my mother. I scanned the photo years ago.”

Well, the reason for his black hair and olive skin were in that photo; a beautiful lady with Italy written allover her, in a traditional Italian dress with a suspiciously way too scenic background.

“It’s from a poster,” Elliot explained. “She was an opera singer.” Now that the car was warmer (well, maybe he was the one that was warmer), he loosened the muffler a little.

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Divinatas – Mar 31, 2009 at 3:03 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Wow.” Holly held up both the picture and the phone so she could look between the two. It was true that the majority of his looks came from his mother. But there was a presence about him that was his father.

“I can see why your dad would take you to the Opera, now. He probably wanted to feel close to her even though she was gone.” she said slowly. Holly would have liked to talk about it a little more, but it was bringing up uncomfortable feelings about her own parents. She didn’t want to go there right now.

Holy handed him the picture and the phone back, before returning to the wheel. She pulled them out of the parking space and was heading for home! Nancy and Kevin really were going to be surprised.

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Azul Morag – Mar 31, 2009 at 3:18 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“Yes, you are probably right,” Elliot quietly said, carefully putting away his memories. He slid card and photo back into the envelope, then put his cellphone into his wallet and back into his pocket. He watched the streets as she drove.

“When I was a rug I couldn’t see anything more than shadows, not even shapes. It’s strange somehow, to see and hear clearly again.” He commented. He eyed Holly a little, noting she seemed pensive. “Maybe I should take something to your house. That way Nancy would have her hands busy and I’d be safer.”

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Divinatas – Mar 31, 2009 at 3:35 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly laughed at the thought! “If you think you can distract Nancy, you’ve got another thing coming. On the bright side, Kevin will probably be able to protect you most of the time.” Holly was still debating how much she would try to spare him. …Would he want to stay long?

She cast him a curious look out of the corner of her eye. “Did you feel anything as a rug? All of that abuse? Half of which you deserved, by the way. I think I have a million bruises.”

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Azul Morag – Mar 31, 2009 at 4:33 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot had a fierce smile. “Let’s not go there,” he said. “Yes, the keenest sense I had if not the only one, was Touch, then Hearing.”

He eyed her and his fierce smile turned into a mix of a smirk of amusement and bared teeth. The glint in his eyes was somewhere between mischievous and accusing.

“You are pretty strong, aren’t you? I think I lost consciousness a couple of times there.”

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Divinatas – Mar 31, 2009 at 4:44 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“You [i]didn’t[/i].” Holly replied, sounding a little startled maybe even apologetic. But when she cast him a quick glance, there was that mischievous look on his face. He was grinning with teeth at her! What a wicked face!

She quickly hid that apologetic look, taking on the more haughty expression. “I [i]am[/i] pretty dangerous, being completely mad at all. So you better keep that in mind next time you get the idea to strangle me.” Holly suddenly grinned. “Or steal a Christmas tree and get me blamed for it.”

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Azul Morag – Mar 31, 2009 at 4:53 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“I will keep it in mind,” Elliot replied. “Why, I don’t think I could ever forget it!”

He didn’t seem to be angry, though. He was still smirking and eying her with that mischievous to accusing look.

“Besides, how was I supposed to escape being pinned under the Christmas tree? If I’d shake it off me, it would have been quite noticeable! By the way, what IS in those boxes, the whole lot weighed a ton! I think I have a couple of burns from sparks, too. Being a rug is pretty tough. I don’t recommend you to try it.”

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Divinatas – Mar 31, 2009 at 5:08 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“I’ll try to stay on Adelaide’s good side.” she replied. Holly tapped her fingers on the steering wheel. She really had no idea what was in the those boxes. Telling Nancy she was boycotting Christmas obviously hadn’t worked out at all, so it was probably presents to and from family. She had refused to do any shopping herself, and the first time she had left the house all vacation was to try and get rid of a demonic rug.

“Presents tend to be surprises.” she said, casting him another side glance. Holly pulled the car up in to her parking spot at the house and turned off the engine. She took in a deep breath and grinned! “You’ll have to behave when I take you inside. No shark circling, flashing lights or anything.”

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Azul Morag – Mar 31, 2009 at 5:22 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“… As long as I don’t have to go under the Christmas tree again,” Elliot replied, almost defensively. “I am thinking I should bring something neutral and large, like a basket of fruits and wine. If anything happens, apples make good projectiles.” He smirked again.

“I don’t think Mrs. Adelaide with allow her daughter to do any more practice… in a while, at least. I didn’t know those details… yet my father described her as spiritual, once.” Elliot spent a couple of seconds worrying and thinking. He abruptly snapped out of it. He looked at Holly.

“Would you like to shop for your family before we go into your house?”

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Divinatas – Apr 2, 2009 at 4:32 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Absolutely not.” Holly said quickly. Just because she was willing to help [i]him[/i] get reacquainted with his family (as he very well needed to do unless he wanted to be a rug again), didn’t mean she wasn’t still boycotting Christmas. With a huff, Holly stepped out of the car!

“I am going to remain the Christmas Grinch, or everyone is going to think I went out and smoked a crackpipe.” Of course that was over exagerating, but she looked crazy enough as it was. A sudden changed of heart was only going to look like another psycho moodswing.

Holly jumped over a spot of ice on the sidewalk and headed for the door!

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Azul Morag – Apr 2, 2009 at 4:43 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“But I didn’t bring[I] anything!”
[/I]
The car door slammed so Elliot highly doubted she heard him, and even if she did he didn’t think she’d change her mind. Feeling uncomfortably at disadvantage, Elliot got out of the car and followed her. It was going to be strange, he reckoned. It wasn’t like she could give any warning, he was like a head taller than her and being behind her wasn’t exactly being kept out of sight in any way.

“Holly…”

He followed her to the door.

“I honestly think it would have been better if I brought something. At least for safety!”

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Divinatas – Apr 2, 2009 at 4:56 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly paused with her hand on the door turn around and look at him incredulously! “For [i]safety[/i]? From what?” She vaguely recalled him calling her a witch, he may as well thought he needed a sacrifice to keep from getting mauled.

Holly smirked. “I read in a magazine that those who bring gifts are just using them to hide behind.” it wasn’t true. Well, she did read it, but the notion was probably made up. “Besides, if you come baring gifts they’ll think you’re my boyfriend or something.”

It was too late to argue, as before Holly could open the door herself – it swung open!

“HOLLY! My god, I was so worried!” Aunt Nancy practically tackled her as she flung her arms around Holly and squeeze for dear life. “You weren’t here when I woke up, and you didn’t even leave a note! Goodness gracious, it’s been all day, surely you have ca- Oh my! Who is this handsome gentleman?”

Aunt Nancy released Holly none too soon! Holly coughed for breath. “This is-”

“Silly me, we can’t have you standing outside in the cold like this. Come inside!” Nancy wasn’t taking no as an answer as she shuffled them both in the house. Immediately she was trying to take Elliot’s coat. “A guest of Holly’s is always welcome! I’m her Aunt Nancy. I’ll make us up some nice hot chocolate, or would you prefer some spiced apple cider? You know I didn’t even catch you name!”

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Azul Morag – Apr 2, 2009 at 5:10 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot was a bit startled by Nancy’s effusive welcome, specially after she tried to burn him alive in the backyard! After Nancy practically shook him out of his coat, Elliot was sorely tempted to tell her he was her ‘adorable little thing,’ her ‘good luck charm.’

Goodness gracious, he was glad he was not a rug anymore. Elliot managed to give a most charming smile (probably this was part of his lawyerly skills anyway).

“Thank you Ms. Nancy,” he said with a nod. Holly did say Nancy was not an avid newspaper reader, so he saw no point in being shy… yet the words ‘I am the rug you bought’ did cross his mind and a mischievous glint flashed in his eyes for less than a second. “My name is Elliot Graham. It’s nice to meet you – I have heard a lot about you.”

He accompanied those words with what seemed to be a [I]harmless[/I] smile.

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Divinatas – Apr 2, 2009 at 6:44 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Aren’t you a handsome one! Holly, you really should have called and told us you were bringing home such a charming guest.” With a girlish giggle, Nancy was taking Elliot by the arm to lead him in to the living room.

Uncle Kevin was sitting there in his chair, having remained silent, but curious. He stood to shake Elliot’s hand and cast Holly a curious look! “We really weren’t expecting company, but glad to have it all the same. I’m Nancy’s husband Kevin.”

Holly was giving Elliot the watchful eye – especially with that [i]harmless[/i] smile. There was a look on his face, though very subtle, that reeked of trouble! On the bright side, he already knew she was a violent maniac and threatened men with fire pokers. Holly grinned sheepishly at Uncle Kevin.

“Elliot, uh… owned the rug. So he is here to thank you for letting me take it back. His sister in law wasn’t supposed to sell it.” Holly explained.

“Then I’m glad we didn’t let Nancy chuck it in the fire.” said Kevin.

Aunt Nancy gasped, looking very much embarrassed as she snatched Kevin by the arm. “Really, Kevin! Don’t say things like that. Now, Holly you make sure Elliot is nice and comfortable. Kevin, you help me in the kitchen with some drinks!” She drug Kevin away!

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Azul Morag – Apr 2, 2009 at 8:27 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

As soon as Nancy and Kevin disappeared in the kitchen, a persistent twitch began to quirk Elliot’s harmless smile into his usual Machiavellian smirk. He tried to keep it at bay, though!

“Well, well – I have to admit that was nicer than I expected. Thanks again for giving my dear rug back to me,” he said low enough not to be heard by the couple busy in the kitchen. He grinned and looked around. “I somehow expected it to be smaller. I could navigate your living room with my eyes closed, I am sure.”

Elliot made his way to the fireplace and stayed still for an instant, watching the Christmas tree twinkling in the corner with it’s profusion of wrapped boxes under it. He held his lower lip with his quite nice teeth, but he was smiling albeit a little wistfully.

“I wonder how much does the whole lot actually weigh.”

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Divinatas – Apr 2, 2009 at 7:35 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Probably a wee less than I do. But you could always lie on the floor while I pile stuff on top of you.” Holly replied with a cheeky grin. That would be a scene to remember.

Holly moved around the stop to stop near the fireplace. She gestured vaguly at the pictures there. “Since you showed me yours, I think it’s only fair. Mind you, they aren’t quite as picturesque.” she muttered.

On the fireplace, surrounded by little Christmas houses, pieces of holly, and tinsel there were tons of framed photographs. There was a cute photo of Nancy kissing Kevin on the cheek. A picture of a little girl in a baseball uniform with a bat leaning on her shoulder, casting a grin that could only of been Holly. Another picture of a teenage Holly looking unamused and unfazed at a young man dangling a lizard on a stick at her. Various pictures of random family members and moments.

Holly finally pointed to one neat the end. It looked almost recent. “That is my favorite. It was our boat.” The boat looked a bit old, but well maintained. There was Holly and her brother in the front both posing dangerously, and her parents standing in the back. They were all dressed like pirates. “…It was an event, mind you, that’s what the pirate stuff was about. A boat race.”

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Azul Morag – Apr 2, 2009 at 8:04 PM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot’s lip curled into a lopsided smirk.

“To tell you the truth, I never imagined I would ever be found under someone’s Christmas tree. I am thinking one time got to be enough. Do you know how difficult it actually is to unplug those lights using a bunch of tassels? And don’t get me started about balancing the tree without dropping it.”

He turned and went to the fireplace to see the photographs on the mantelpiece.

‘Good God, she can handle a bat,’ was the first thing he actually thought when he saw the photos. He spied the firepoker from the corner of his eye, half-jokingly in case she would be watching him. Still smirking, he surveyed the photos and his smirk dissolved into a faint smile. He recognized Nancy and Kevin, and Holly. Elliot looked at the photos of her brother and parents, specially the one in pirate gear on that well-used boat. He nibbled on his lip and wondered for once, what was it like to have a family like this. They looked happy enough. Elliot suddenly got a wider view of Holly’s grief. Elliot did not regret his own family of one, considering his mother died at childbirth and how his father had worked really hard to make up to Elliot because of the fact that it was only the two of them. He felt a rather familiar pressure on the bridge of his nose and a lump in his throat.

With the pragmatism of an old habit, he shifted his attention to the lizard dangling on a stick in one of the photos; it was ugly enough to shift his thoughts elsewhere. He did note younger Holly’s unimpressed look. She had been like that even from before the tragedy, he reckoned. Heck, she had been unimpressed of a flying rug. Elliot dimly realized too, she seemed to be unimpressed with him, too and he found it strangely refreshing.

“Beautiful photos,” he said. “I like the lizard… But honestly, it’s a bunch of happiness you got there. It’s wonderful.”

With sudden inspiration, he checked again. No, Lance was not in the blurry background of any of the photos. That was good. Calculating his eyes were dry again, he turned and smiled.

“Did you have to attack other boats and board them during this event?”

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Divinatas – Apr 4, 2009 at 4:10 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Yeah. A lot of happiness.” she went silent for a moment. Looking at the pictures with a distant sort of expression. There was that dull ache in her chest again, but she was trying to ignore it.

“We didn’t [i]have[/i] to attack other boats. Didn’t stop us from doing it, though. Gave a couple of people a good fright a few times. No one really expects their boat to get invaded these days.” That was probably the best summer of her life. And it was never going to happen again.

Holly turned away from the fireplace to move and sit on the sofa. She rubbed her chest absently, looking for a quick change of subject! “You were gone for a few days, I bet there’s a lot of people worried about where you are.”

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Azul Morag – Apr 4, 2009 at 4:52 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot clasped his hands behind his back, his back to the fireplace.

“I see,” he observed with that mischievous glint in his eyes. “I would have loved to be there.”

He suddenly jerked away from the chimney but quickly regained his composure yet that didn’t keep him from biting one of his knuckles where a spark had quite unexpectedly landed. With a slight frown, he dropped himself on the other side of the couch with his knuckle between his teeth.

“What a fierce household,” he observed in a low voice. He quickly noticed though that she was not looking well but her question came back to mind. Watching her, he shook his head once.

“I don’t think so,” he flatly answered. “I had finished a substantial amount of work ahead of schedule. My secretary will have dosed it to the stockholders so I doubt anyone is worried. Besides. Nobody sees me on an everyday basis as to notice I was gone, except my staff.”

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Divinatas – Apr 4, 2009 at 5:12 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

There was a faint grin as he jumped and called the household fierce, but she squelched that away quick. As he sat down, she was getting up to move across the room. She stopped and rummaged through a small table drawer.

“I think more people notice you’re missing than you think. I doubt there’s more than one missing oil tycoon, and Lance was pissy as hell when he thought I was scooping his story.” she smirked at that. Lance had his story right in front of him and had no idea.

Finding what she wanted, she walked back to the sofa and plopped down next to Elliot. She took his hand, eying the small burn critically before shaking a small can she had fetched from the drawer. A few quick sprays and he was good and germ free, with that added cooling bonus of medication.

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Azul Morag – Apr 4, 2009 at 5:36 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“Damn.” Elliot hissed quietly while she was still rummaging at the small table drawer. He had forgotten that detail, which very well meant the company detectives were out looking for him or worse, the police.

“Oh well, I just used a credit card,” he muttered. “They know I am around or at least, that my credit card is. Herr Schultz won’t give me away, though.”

He watched curiously as Holly disinfected his burn and a slow smile appeared on his face.

“Thank you for not washing the rug.”

He just couldn’t help himself.

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Divinatas – Apr 4, 2009 at 6:35 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

There was a confused look on her face for a moment, until she realized what he meant. Holly burst out laughing! “Now that I think about, there’s probably a lot of worse things that could have happened to you as a rug. Vacuuming, or getting the dust beat out of you… Nancy likes taking her rugs outside to beat on them that good old fashioned way.”

“Oh, Holly! It’s so nice to hear you laughing!” Speaking of Nancy, she bustled out bright and cheery as ever with a big tray of goodies. Setting it down on the coffee table, she was quickly passing a cup of hot apple cider in to Elliot’s hands! “I couldn’t decide the best sort of snacks, so I have here some cookies, a few scones, and some fresh fruit! You know, Kevin has a greenhouse out back, he’s so darn proud of the thing. He has his vegetables and fruits all year long!”

Kevin had returned as well, looking a bit apologetic about Nancy’s constant chatting and embarrassed when she brought up his greenhouse. “Nancy… sit down a minute.” Kevin prodded the woman to take a seat, and he himself sat in his favorite chair. Giving Nancy a warning look before she prattled on again, he was picking up a cookie from the tray to nibble.

“Now then, Mr. Graham. Your named sounds a bit familiar, where do you work?” Kevin asked.

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Azul Morag – Apr 4, 2009 at 7:00 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Holly was laughing. That was nicer than expected. Elliot took an appreciative sip from the cup of hot apple cider and his eyes dilated slightly, looking a slightly lighter shade of green.

“Thank you Mrs. Nancy… It’s very good.”

Then the grilling began – he just knew it instinctively and got [i]slightly[/i] worried. No reason to worry, right? It’s not like being an oil tycoon and a former rug is a crime of some sort.

“I work in a family business,” he said with a nod. “I started as a lawyer for my father some years ago and after he passed away I formally took the reins of the company. When people hear ‘lawyer’ they tend to think I am a criminologist,” he eyed Holly meaningfully, “but I am specialized in Commerce. I have a PhD. in international business law.”

He still didn’t say -where- he worked, but for some reason he preferred to let that slip. It was childish he knew it, but if anyone was aware of the invisible barrier his name creates around him that was Elliot Graham-Parker.

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Divinatas – Apr 7, 2009 at 8:25 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Sounds like a very solid job. Busy as well, I’d imagine.” Uncle Kevin replied, satisfied with the answer.

Nancy was sitting on the edge of her seat, though, and was very interested in hearing more. “Oh dear, that IS very impressive for a man so young. Your own business even. Now, Kevin and I are retired and we often do a bit of silly homemade things for extra money here and there. But our Holly just got an internship at The Chronicle! Has she told you about that? It’s such a neat little newspaper, probably the most read one in Elswen.”

Holly didn’t look at all uncomfortable as Nancy prattled on, though she did cast the older women an exasperated expression. The woman was acting like Holly just brought home a new boyfriend and not some stranger she had just met. …Regardless of how interesting said stranger was even when he was not a rug!

“What are your plans for Christmas, Elliot? We would be so happy to have an extra guest if you would like to stay!” asked Nancy.
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Azul Morag – Apr 7, 2009 at 8:42 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“Thank you,” Elliot said with a nod. “Yes, it’s quite a busy job. It has its moments, though.”

Elliot flashed that wicked smile again.

“The Chronicle does seem to be an interesting read,” he said. “I don’t have a subscription yet but I definitely am going to need one.”

“I would love to stay, but my stepmother has a Christmas dinner, too. I promised to attend.” He ate a cookie. It was good. He sipped more apple cider and decided he likes it.

“This cookies are delicious,” he observed. “Are they homemade?” Elliot took another cookie and briefly eyed Holly with a mischievous air.

“Can [i]you[/i] bake cookies like this?” He asked.

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Divinatas – Apr 7, 2009 at 5:57 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Oh, that’s too bad. Holly would ha-”

“[i]Holly[/i] was going to escort Elliot to said Christmas dinner.” Holly said quickly. …and then regretted mentioning it so soon! Nancy looked surprised, then all too pleased, and now Holly wasn’t going to hear the end of it. How was she supposed to explain it was only to make sure Elliot didn’t strangle his little sister, and to save him from any more rogue rug-spells?

“Really! That’s wonderful! Holly can take some of those cookies over. There [i]are[/i] homemade, I’m so glad you like them. Holly helped make all of the Christmas treats this year.” chattered Nancy.

Elliot was giving that mischievous look. Holly returned it with a perfectly innocent grin. “I did help. Instead of setting people on fire, I decided to poison cookies.”

Kevin choked on his cider with a snicker, but at Nancy’s horrified look, he quickly subdued himself.

“Nancy, I was kidding…”

“Well, sweetie, [i]I[/i] know that, but you’re going to give your poor guest a heart attack!” Nancy finally replied, now looking a little less disturbed!

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Azul Morag – Apr 8, 2009 at 7:43 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot would have laughed but prudently kept a hold of himself. After all, the firepoker was but a few feet away from them. He took another sip from his cup mainly to hide a mischievous grin.

“Thank you Mrs. Nancy,” Elliot said. “My stepmother will love your cookies, I am sure. There’s such a magical taste to them.” He flashed that harmless smile again, eying Holly for less than a second. “Thankfully, of the safe sort.”

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Divinatas – Apr 10, 2009 at 6:14 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Nancy laughed softly at the joke, glancing between Elliot and Holly. “So charming, Are you sin-”

“Nancy, I think it’s time for us to get to bed.” interrupted Uncle Kevin quickly! He rose from his chair, holding out a hand so no one else would get up. “It was a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Graham. You’re welcome to come by for another visit any time. Come on now, Nancy.” Kevin was quickly ushering away Nancy before she could sputter anything else out but a quick ‘Goodbye!’

Holly waited until they were gone before she gave a wide grin. “She was about to ask if you were single, and then proceed to tell you how amazing I am. Again. Then later this week she’d probably invite you over without me knowing for an ambush date.”

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Azul Morag – Apr 10, 2009 at 6:33 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot cast her a fake and exaggerated look of amazement.

“If that’s the case you’d do well in calling them back – I do have to wonder what could possibly be any more amazing about you than the things I’ve known in the past days. I would really like to know that.”

He flashed a mischievous grin and plucked another cookie from the plate.

“If -I- were to tell them instead, they would not believe me.”

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Divinatas – Apr 10, 2009 at 7:32 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“I don’t think I’ll ever top talking to a rug. There’s that certain line of crazy you cross and can’t come back from.” Holly was grinning as she leaned back and got comfortable. Now, no longer having to worry about Nancy doing any more prodding, no fears of sending back demonic rugs, or time limits for breaking spells. It was surprisingly easy to relax, despite that aching in her muscles from a few days of weirdness.

When Holly realized she was falling asleep, she sat forward again rubbing her eyes. “I better take you home before you end up having to spend another night here.” she said with a grin. “You can come and pick [i]me[/i] up tomorrow when you’re ready for another strange day at Adelaide’s.”

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Azul Morag – Apr 10, 2009 at 7:48 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot eyed her, yet more amused than anything else.

“You are falling asleep,” he replied. “I couldn’t let you fall asleep driving back here. I could take a taxi back to… Hm. I have an apartment somewhere, I just have to remember where it is.”

“When…” He stifled a yawn. Those things were contagious. “… would be the right time, though? I still have to get them something. I have a couple of ideas.”

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Divinatas – Apr 10, 2009 at 8:33 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Here I thought you would go back to your office with your [i]awesome bathtub[/i].” she replied with a smirk. Rubber ducks and battle ships. A very amusing thought.

Holly tilted her head thinking about an appropriate time, it was going to take awhile to drive there and it was better early than late. “Hmm. You can come and get me around Noon. If you still haven’t figured out what to torment Adelaide with – and I don’t recommend explosives as tempting as it sounds – then we might have time to stop somewhere on the way.”

“…do you even have your own car or do you have some fancy chauffeur?” This question came seriously. She was curious to know!

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Azul Morag – Apr 10, 2009 at 8:54 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot smirked.

“Well, [i]yes I do have[/i] some ideas, just not as lethal as yours. Besides, the only reason why I am not going back today is I like being this free for once. If they catch me, I’d have to explain why I didn’t attend the Company’s Christmas party yesterday. I need some time to come up with something credible. Besides, I am sure my apartment has an awesome bathtub, too.”

Elliot blinked.

“Most of the time I do use chauffeur services,” he said. “He’s not all that fancy, though – and he is my bodyguard. I have a couple of automobiles and I bike I use next to never. It’s not quite the same when your chauffeur is following you.”

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Divinatas – Apr 19, 2009 at 8:39 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“A bodyguard.” she responded with an amused and slightly dubious tone. Where was that bodyguard when he was turned in to a rug?

Holly leaned to set her cup on the coffee table before slowly rising to her feet and stretching her arms over her head to give herself a quick burst of energy. …It didn’t work too well and gave her a jolting reminder about her sore muscles! She was going to have to take a dozen aspirin before bed. But at least she would sleep well!

“I’ll call a taxi for you.”

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Azul Morag – Apr 20, 2009 at 10:59 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot smirked.

“Sore?” He asked with a hint of irony. “Alright. I will be back at noon tomorrow, then. Would you give me your cellphone number? Should I get lost I will call you.”

He stretched his legs and browsed the tray for another cookie.

“These are really good…” He stifled a yawn. “I will take a bath in my [I]awesome bathtub[/I] and then I will go straight to bed.”

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Divinatas – Apr 20, 2009 at 7:25 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly cast him a wry smirk, that may have mimicked his own. “I don’t have a cellphone. Not everyone buys such fancy things, you know.”

Stepping over to the desk there the phone sat, Holly picked it up along with the phone book. She flipped through a few pages until she found the number for the local cab and called them up. They’d be there right away. Hanging up the phone, she scribbled her home phone number down on a notepad… and as a second thought, added her number at work too. Just in case he’d want to call her there too…

Holly returned, handing him the piece of paper with her numbers. “I guess I’ll have to bring extra cookies if you’re going to eat them all.” she flashed him a cheeky grin!
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Azul Morag – Apr 21, 2009 at 6:50 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot raised his eyebrows, that harmless smile from before lazily spreading on his face.

“Do you have doggy bags?” He asked. “Why, I wouldn’t mind taking some home. And since when cellphones are fancy things? Being a reporter it would be convenient to you to have one, I think. Being on the move continuously and [I]haunting down[/I] the supernatural, the illegal and all that.”

Elliot carefully put away the piece of paper into his wallet. He watched her.

“By the way, why The Chronicle? Why did you choose to work there? Is that newspaper only about the paranormal stuff?”

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Divinatas – Apr 21, 2009 at 8:41 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly laughed at his dreadful pun, picking up that plate of cookies from the table to carry them in to the kitchen. She was fishing out one of those little plastic baggies out of the cabinet when she replied.

“I’m not a reporter just yet. Not out on the field anyway. I mostly dig up research and write stories in the office.” She picked a few of each kind of cookie to drop in bag. There would be enough left over to pack up and take over to Adelaide’s house. “I liked reading The Chronicle. I always thought the stories were more interesting and could put a new perspective on some of the everyday weird things that don’t make any sense.”

Holly handed him the bag of cookies, just in time for the honk of the taxi horn to blurt from outside. “Your cab is here.”
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Azul Morag – Apr 23, 2009 at 6:53 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot grinned.

“You have no idea how many years ago was the last time I left a party with a bag of treats,” he said. “Thank you, Holly. For everything.”

Elliot put on his coat and his muffler back on, then picked up his bag of cookies.

“I will be back at noon tomorrow.” He paused at the door, looked at her again and smirked. “I just thought… it’s too bad I don’t know what Lance looks like. I thought I knew, but I have actually never seen him before. How am I going to strangle him if I don’t know what he looks like? Anyway, I guess I will find out sometime. Goodnight.”

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Divinatas – Apr 23, 2009 at 5:11 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“I think we should be glad for that. Can’t get you arrested on Christmas.” she replied with a smirk. Opening the door for him, she gave a slight wave as he stepped out. “Goodnight, Elliot.” she waited until he had walked down the sidewalk and to the cab before she closed the door and leaned on it.

No rugs, no men, no weirdness.

Until tomorrow. Holly was grinning at the thought as she headed off for bed.
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Divinatas – Apr 24, 2009 at 10:31 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

[b]Christmas Day[/b]

“Goooood mooooorning, Sunshine! Merry Christmaaaaaas!”

“Woman..! I am trying to sleep!”

“C’mon, sweetie! We have breakfast and presents!”

“I’m not having presents for breakfast!”

“Sweetie, it’s ten o’clock, you can’t sle-”

“Ten? Oh shi-” THUD! Holly rolled out of bed to stumbled in the floor. Jumping to her feet she was rushing around the room to grab some clothes. She had two hours to shower and get dressed! …and she had a feeling that mister Elliot Graham-Parker was a very punctual man! In the shower there was a lot of cursing – more bruises than she thought she had! – but she was out in moments, wrapping a towel around herself and tossing one over her head to dry her hair.

Nancy was looming around, trying to be as helpful as possible. After all, Holly was going out for Christmas and with a mysterious lawyer! This was exciting! “Why don’t you wear that nice dress with the reindeer and sparkles on it? It’s so cute!”

“That’s a [i]nightgown[/i].” Holly paused in the middle of digging through her closet to eye Nancy. For moment she actually considered it. Elliot would find it amusing. …but that really wasn’t the sort of impression she wanted to make with his mother in law. And she sure as hell wasn’t going to let Adelaide have anything to harass her about. She’d end up throwing the girl out a window, and her mother wouldn’t appreciate it.

Holly finally opted for a fashionable sweater. A deep red that fell off the shoulders, hugged her waist and had a little sparkle to it. With a brown suede skirt reaching just past her knees and a pair of knee-high black boots, it made an outfit that was attractive and appropriate. Not that she was [i]trying[/i] to look attractive.

…Well she was, but not with the intentions that NANCY seemed to be having as Holly was trying to apply some lipgloss in the mirror! “Don’t say a word, Nancy! Not a word!”

“I was just thinking if you put your hair up, that would look so elegant!” Nancy replied, not looking the least bit offended!

Holly stuck her tongue out at the woman before checking herself over in the mirror. At least she didn’t look tired! Heading downstairs to the kitchen, she poured herself a nice cup of coffee and wandered in to the living room where Uncle Kevin was sitting on the floor surrounded by open boxes and looking a pair of long underwear with distrust. Holly smiled.

“Morning, Uncle Kevin.”

Kevin glanced up, a wide smile splashing across his face. “Underwear again. You’d think with how often Nancy tells me to throw out my old underwear, Santa wouldn’t bring me new ones every year. You look very nice, this morning.”

“Why, thank you!” she replied, casting a ‘See, I look fine!’ glance at Nancy! “Elliot will be here soon, so don’t harass him.”

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Azul Morag – Apr 25, 2009 at 4:09 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

It was three minutes to twelve o’clock when Elliot was standing in front of Holly’s door. Contrary to previous considerations, he did bring a gift to distract Nancy: a basket of fruits around a traditional italian Panettone on a finely woven linen napkin. To be honest, he considered doing as Holly said and not bring anything, but since it was Christmas after all he guessed he wouldn’t get clobbered for bringing something along.

Elliot was wearing the leather coat today, too. He decided to keep the villian black coat for other occassion. He was wearing elegant Italian shoes, fine wool slacks, and a dark olive green turtleneck under his tight-length double breasted suede coat with the muffler Herr Schultz gave him wrapped in a loose loop around his neck and shoulders. It was slipping, true; but it looked good that way too, even if he hadn’t noticed it. His car was parked at the sidewalk – an european car that looked very much like a crouching, black demonic beast, with smoky green glass, three seats and very stylized lines. Elliot pushed the bell ringer…

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Divinatas – Apr 25, 2009 at 4:56 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Nancy practically tripped over herself as she rushed to beat Holly to the door. Holly didn’t quite try to out run her (why bother, she was going to bat her old lady eyes at Elliot anyway), so she waited with an arm crossed around her waist as she sipped her coffee.

Opening the door, Nancy squealed with delight! “Don’t you look handsome, Mr. Graham! Come in, please!”

Holly was leaning against the back of the sofa and tilted her head to examine his look. A night of rest did him well. It was almost easy to forget that yesterday morning he was a rug on her floor. “You’re not wearing any tassels.” she said lightly, hiding a grin behind her mug.
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Azul Morag – Apr 25, 2009 at 5:18 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot smiled sunnily at Nancy.

“Good morning, Mrs. Nancy. Merry Christmas!” He proceeded to step inside and hand over the basket to the effusive old lady. “I brought a little something, if you would allow me. Merry Christmas.”

He used the brief seconds Nancy was looking at the basket to cast Holly a fierce smile before quickly replacing it with a [i]harmless[/i] one.

“Tassels don’t go with his coat,” he said. “Should I have known, I would have worn some for you.” He casted her an appreciative look. “Boots. Excellent; I see you’ve not forgotten Adelaide. She kicks ankles, you know.”

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Divinatas – Apr 25, 2009 at 5:42 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Holly laughed! Between tassels and ankle-kickers, it was going to be an amusing day. Nancy was oohing and awing over her gift, taking it over to Kevin to admire. Uncle Kevin was giving Elliot an appreciative nod, and then tilting his head to signal for them to escape while Nancy was good and distracted with taking her new present off to the kitchen!

Setting down her mug, Holly moved towards the door to pull on her coat. “Don’t wait up for me.” she said with a grin. Tugging Elliot by the arm to sneak out before Nancy returned.

Outside, she was watching her feet carefully so she wouldn’t stumble over any hidden ice patches, so it took a moment before she spotted that car. She paused, resting her hands on her hips, eying it with a raised eyebrow. “Is that a car or a demon?”
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Azul Morag – Apr 25, 2009 at 6:07 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot snickered. “It’s a car, of course. It’s easier to find parking with a smaller car. Do you like it? I got it when I got my lawyer license.”

He opened the door for her; it slid open intead of swinging open. Inside the seats were ergonomic, lined in light grey leather; it looked very much like a capsule.

“I have been considering giving Adelaide one of those messenger bags made with used tarps I’ve seen on TV lately, then give her a job like you suggested. As a messenger! I’d make sure the max she gets is a bicycle. How about that?”

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Divinatas – Apr 25, 2009 at 6:26 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

Sliding in to the seat, Holly thought it was a bit like stepping in to a space ship. Everything was very shiny. She adjusted her skirt at her knees and made sure he seat belt was secure. Would he drive a car like he flew himself? Holly was briefly grateful she didn’t get taken on a carpet ride!

Smirking to herself, she shrugged her shoulders. “I was serious about having her work for me, by the way. The Newspaper can always use someone to go grab coffee, file stuff or run something to another office. I’m sure we could tell her a bicycle will keep her from turning in to a big blob and boys won’t date her.”

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Azul Morag – Apr 25, 2009 at 6:47 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot got in the car and closed the door, snapping the locks on before fastening his seatbelt. He was smirking at the way, listening to her.

“I see. That sounds very good, too – plus she wouldn’t be lodging complaints to my secretary every time someone doesn’t agree with her. She likes to threaten people with me as if I were the boogeyman or something like that. Are applications available online or do we have to get them at the Chronicle? I could slip one of those into the messanger bag I definitely am going to give her today!”

The engine purred and growled. Elliot checked the mirrors and pulled onto the street. The car slid past the houses like a silent shadow and took the road with a smooth leap (well, there was a small hill there anyway!).

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Divinatas – Apr 25, 2009 at 7:15 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“Actually, you could probably drop her off with me one morning, and I’d take special care of her.” she replied, leaning her head against the back of the seat and turning to cast him a smirk. Holly didn’t blame the girl for using her big brother as a threat. That’s usually what sisters did. He did look pretty wicked when he was giving his harmless smile. His new villain coat would complete the look.

Holly was so used to driving herself that having someone else doing the driving was a little strange. She twirled a bit of her hair around her finger as she glanced out the side window. “You’re not planning on sneaking anything naughty in that bag are you? Floor rugs? Tasmanian devils? Mouse traps?”

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Azul Morag – Apr 25, 2009 at 3:06 PM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot smiled.

“The job application sheet would be naughty enough, considering she -will- work from now on. It will be good for her but that doesn’t mean it has to look nice, does it?”

Elliot blinked.

“I think we forgot the cookies.”

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Divinatas – Apr 28, 2009 at 12:56 AM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“You’re wonderfully wi-” Holly paused. “…Damnit! I knew I’d forget something.” Blowing her hair out of her eyes in frustration, Holly checked the time. They could go back, but then they might have to dodge Nancy again. She [i]really[/i] didn’t want to Nancy-dodge. Yet picking something up on Christmas day was always frustrating!

Holly chewed on her bottom lip with indecision. “We can go back, and I can run in the house quick before Nancy catches me. Unless you know somewhere we can go that might actually be open on Christmas Day.” she paused for a moment, then gave a mischievous grin! “Although if you have a kitchen that actually has food in it, I bet I could make some quick cookies.”
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Azul Morag – Apr 28, 2009 at 1:47 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot laughed. “Is that warm and welcoming old lady really that difficult?” He asked. “I do have a kitchen with food in it – or so I think I do. We can go to my apartment after the shopping and hopefully all will go fine. Is there any secret ingredient we need to buy other than the usual raw things? My housekeeper has most things in the pantry already, I can bet.”

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Divinatas – Apr 28, 2009 at 11:48 PM

[solid=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853][b]Holly Roberts[/b]

“She’s a monster. Really.” she was kidding, but she still said it was a straight face. Holly considered the ingredients… It really depending on the kind of cookies. But since this was going to need to be a quick batch or two. “Eh.. chocolate, brown sugar… maybe some ginger.”

Holly was running the recipes over in her head as she cast him another glance. “I take it, you don’t really cook either? What do you besides working?”

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Azul Morag – Apr 29, 2009 at 4:05 AM

[dashed=http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot smiled a bit.

“I do know how to cook,” he replied. “In one of those moments of teenage angst most youngsters have, I took classes on Italian cuisine. It’s silly, I suppose. I don’t know anything about my mother’s family or what she was like, asides the things my dad told me sometimes. He didn’t speak about her often when I grew up. Now I know it was painful, but you are not in an understanding mood when you are a teenager. I don’t cook anything else, but I strayed from recipes a long time ago; cook books are a fuss.”

“I don’t think I’d have enough ginger. I put it in my coffee sometimes. We can buy some before we go to my apartment.” He executed an evasive maneuver when a car slowed down unexpectedly and took a detour with a dangerously closed curve, leaving the other driver cussing in the distance. “As for other things I do, I don’t know. There’s a number of stupid things one -has- to do, like playing golf and tennis with clients sometimes. What do I do to amuse myself? Hm…” He pulled out of a narrow street where three astonished cats and a drunkard cast them a startled stare from a group of stacked wooden boxes and a dumpster; the car suddenly reached downtown, nearing the shopping area. “I’d have to think about it. What do -you- do asides work?”

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Divinatas – Apr 29, 2009 at 6:54 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Aggressive driver. Not so much alarmed, as slightly nervous, she had briefly held on to the door handle as he maneuvered around the other car. Holly was surprised he could cook anything at all, but not so surprised to find out he didn’t seem to do much outside of work.

Then again, she didn’t have much room to talk. Holly didn’t step out of the house anymore unless she was running to work or doing a favor for her aunt and uncle.

“Nothing, really. Work. Errands. Strangely enough, I think this is the first time I’ve done anything outside of the house in a really long time.” she sounded a bit surprised about it herself. Well, it took a cursed rug to shake things up, it seemed.
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Azul Morag – Apr 30, 2009 at 7:27 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot smirked.

“I see! So I am not the only one confined to the constraining and insane boundaries of daily life. I have to say, it’s good to be outside, free of worries sometimes.”

He drove the car into the traffic and maneuvered to cut through it; soon they were circling the city blocks like sharks looking for stray fish, trying to find a parking lot.

“There’s a parking building somewhere near here, I think.”

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Divinatas – May 6, 2009 at 3:05 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

They were circling like sharks. It was pretty easy to imagine the sleek little car devouring up people as they drove by. Holly pointed towards a building at the end of the street. One of the large parking garages conveniently located near the shopping district.

“Confined by choice, mind you. I haven’t really been in the mood to do much.” An honest confession. Though two years wasn’t exactly a short period of time. There was a slight frown from her, but she brushed it away quickly. Today was about Elliot and saving him from any future rug incidents. That’s what she was focusing on!
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Azul Morag – May 7, 2009 at 11:09 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

It didn’t take long to leave the little car safe three stories off the ground – well, as safe as a lawyer’s car can be. Elliot was picky about where in the rows to park it. He took the elevator down with Holly and soon they were on their way into the shopping district.

“What is that about confined by choice?” Elliot had asked. “I didn’t choose it – it happened to me. What do you mean, did you choose to be confined?”

He found himself a little disoriented. Elliot guessed he was probably thirteen years old last time he walked the area, but he didn’t say it.

“Yet I guess grieve does that to you. I used to go out more, I admit it… but there’s been days I just did not want to see anyone… but that was not possible, so I worked. I’ve been at the office all this time, I guess.”

He stopped by a window shop as people hurried around them. Elliot watched the people for an instant.

“It’s curious how you can be in a crowd and at the same time, be completely alone. It’s been said no man is an island. I think every man IS an island. If we don’t build and maintain bridges, we end up alone. No bridge foundation can be laid in our island without our permission. That is also true.”

“Where have you been, Holly?”

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Divinatas – May 12, 2009 at 6:33 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly walked down the sidewalk with ease, as if she knew exactly where she was going. Which was probably a stark contrast compared to how she [i]felt[/i] at the moment. Of course she didn’t mean [i]he[/i] was confined by choice. At least she understood the responsibilities of his career – though, she was sure he could easily make more time for other things. Hell, he was doing it right now.

She stopped at the window as he stopped, and while he was watching people she was glancing at the items on display. It was one of those random girly shops, showing off their holiday items. Bags, clothes, jewelry. A pair of holly hairclips made her smirk for a moment, but it disappeared just as quickly. Her mother would have though those were amusing too.

“What?” she replied, turning to blink at him. He had been talking of islands and bridges. The man might have been a better writer than a lawyer with his observations about people. “I suppose I might be on an island. Though by that analogy, my dear friends and family might consider me on a volcanic one, due to explode at any moment.”
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Azul Morag – May 12, 2009 at 11:29 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot found himself smirking.

“Indeed that does come to mind, now that you mention it,” he observed. He stared for an instant. “I really wish I was able to see when you swung the fire poker. I had every intention of tipping the tree on that nuisance of a guy, but then I could hear the fire poker hiss in the air, like a whip – it was awesome.”

Elliot blinked.

“Sorry, I shouldn’t bring that up I guess.” He was looking quite unrepentant. He peered into the window shop, too. “Look, they have a hair chopstick in silver with green crystal leaves, there. I wonder if it’s made of steel. Would you like it?” There was the machiavellian smile again.

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Divinatas – May 13, 2009 at 6:35 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“You say that now, but I was mad enough to start swinging a fire poker at you too if you had been a person at the time.” she replied in good humor, glancing in through the window again. “Although since you are daring to brave more time with me, maybe you’ll get the enjoyment of trying to dodge my swings.” Holly matched his smile with a wide cheeky grin of her own. One suggesting that she doubted his abilities to take her in a fight!

“They’re pretty, anyway. But don’t you think I am more the kind of girl that wears reindeer antlers instead of fine sparkling things?” Holly had even put her hands at her head to mimic antlers and wiggled her fingers before dropping them and laughing. “Do you think your family would faint dead away if you arrived wearing antlers? Although I can’t imagine what would be more surprising than a Christmas Rug.”
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Azul Morag – May 13, 2009 at 7:11 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot’s machiavellian smile went wider.

“How about [i]another rug?[/i]” He asked. “Of course well, we’d have to warn Mrs. Adelaide that wouldn’t be me… but perhaps that is best left for another day.”

“Besides,” he tapped lightly on the window’s glass,”yes I thought as much, but may I say so myself I am not as much of a beast as Lance. If all you could do was float around and toss mental images to get assistance, you would get impatient too, you know. I only suggested the hair chopstick because it doubles as a lethal weapon, I thought you may like it.” He snickered. “Yet I have to admit you would look rather fetching with antlers. My secretary’s kid had a pair of those last week, with bells. It’s a good locating device.”

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Divinatas – May 13, 2009 at 7:27 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Another rug! As hilarious as that sounded, Holly agreed that his mother in law wouldn’t find that as funny as they did! She grinned, in the back of her mind appreciating that he could have a sense of humor about something that could have very well been very traumatic. She wasn’t sure if she could have taken it as well.

Then again, he might still try to poison Adelaide at dinner.

“Is it wise to give a maniac more things she can use as a weapon?” she asked, taking his arm gently to pull him inside the store.
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Azul Morag – May 13, 2009 at 7:44 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot allowed himself to be pulled into the store with a grin.

“Holly, everything around you -is- a weapon, including stationary and little kittens.”

Elliot glanced up at the giant plushies on the top shelves at the other side of the store, including a Winnie the Pooh with a pot of Christmas honey and Pigglet with a giant plush candy stick.

“Okay, maybe not everything.” He gave it a second thought. “Nevermind, everything is.”

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Divinatas – May 20, 2009 at 1:06 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“You shouldn’t taunt maniacs, Elliot Graham-Parker.” Holly said with a laugh. It was sad that she knew exactly how she [i]could[/i] use stationary and kittens as weapons. He had plenty of reasons to fear.

Holly browsed around at the shelves, trying to think about an appropriate present for a son-in-law un-rugcursed could give. They had Adelaide under control, but Mrs. Adelaide was a mystery to her. All Holly knew herself was her… interesting talent… how richly furnished her home was. [i]’Chains for her daughter is a bad idea, though tempting…[/i] Elliot wasn’t going to provide much more useful information than she already knew.

She was just going to have to rely on instinct!

Stopping in an area that had lots of books, it seemed like the best place to start. She pulled one with an interesting sounding title off the shelf and flipped through the pages. “Think quick. Shouldn’t your lawyer skills be nearly as amazing as a psychic’s to where you’d magically gleam a person’s innermost gift desires?”
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Azul Morag – May 20, 2009 at 1:19 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“Regarding money, maybe,” Elliot replied with a smirk. “If you are thinking about my stepmother, I suppose something ladylike in a sort of conventional way would suit her. Maybe one of those translucent stoles with fringes and brocade appliques ladies wear to the Opera. Or a small, formal hand purse, with a stone inside to clobber her daughter when she steps out of line.”

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Divinatas – Jun 22, 2009 at 9:50 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“Aside from clobbering her daughter with a pretty purse, I’m not sure if the conventional would suit her.” Holly mused, thinking of Mrs. Adelaide’s interesting talent. She replaced the book she pulled before her hand stopped at another. Holly gave a slow smirk as she took it from the shelf and held it up for Elliot to see the title.

“[i]101 Ways to Stop a Teenage Witch[/i]. I don’t think we’re going to find anything more perfect than this!”
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Azul Morag – Jul 15, 2009 at 10:31 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot read the title with a snicker.

[I]”101 Ways to Stop a Teenage Witch?”[/I] There was a raised eyebrow. “Well, that is something. I will need I copy too, I suppose!”

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Divinatas – Jul 16, 2009 at 5:47 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

With the book (including an extra copy just for Elliot!), and a few interesting items, Holly helped Elliot put together a nice little gift basket. The items unique and personal, things for both Mrs Adelaide and her incorrigible daughter. Holly was even very particular about how she had the gift counter arrange them before wrapping. It seemed despite having a strong dislike for the Christmas season, she still had a strong opinion about how things were done!

Their second stop had been to a local grocery store to pick up ingredients for cookies. Again Holly was very particular about the ingredients necessary for Christmas cookies. She couldn’t settle on just one type of cookie, so they found what they needed for Gingerbread and the nice white chocolate macadamia cookies that Aunt Nancy enjoyed raving about.

With the purchases safely tucked away in to the car, Holly had dropped in to the passenger’s seat and buckled her seat belt before turning to Elliot.

“Alright then, where is this apartment of yours? At the highest tower of your fancy business building or secreted away somewhere like Batman’s cave?”
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Azul Morag – Jul 16, 2009 at 12:10 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot bit his lip in a futile attempt to prevent a smile and gave Holly a sideways glance.

“Do I look anything like Batman?” He asked. “I have a quite un-heroish dwelling, thank you. I have to admit I spend most of the time at the office,” Elliot started the car and took it to the streets after some interesting turns down the spiral ramp of the parking building, “but I have a keyskeeper. She takes care of it when I am not there.”

After a brief stop at FREITAG store (because Elliot had not given up on his idea of giving Adelaide a messenger bag with a job application inside) they finally headed to Elliot’s apartment. It was a tall building in grey rock and green glass, but probably Holly didn’t see much of it before they got into a tunnel that led them to a gate to an underground parking lot. Inside Elliot pulled up one level to his parking garage; every tenant had a set of five parking spaces forming a sort of lined up garages separated by rails and bars. In Elliot’s there was only a black chopper, as demon-looking as the car. After leaving the car parked and the garage closed they entered a glass lobby with an automatic clerk. A card key and digital print, and up they went in a roomy elevator with mirror walls. Elliot used a key to get the elevator to his floor.

“I don’t really like this elevator types,” he said. “It opens directly to the apartment; it makes me paranoid sometimes.”

The doors opened. There was a vestibule and directly beyond it, a vast living room with cozy illumination and a dark red wall, black granite floor and leather sofas, among other elegant design items and a stiff-looking lady in her fifties wearing a grey suit, with her platinum hair gathered in a chignon and sleek, small eyeglasses on a sharp nose.

“Alfred!” Elliot greeted. “Why are you here on Christmas?”

The lady eyed them both with a kind of British distrust.

“I work here, [i]Mr. Wayne.[/i]” She said without missing a step. “You did not tell me you were going to be here, but as you will see on the note at your desk I provided a small dinner if you would need it.”

Elliot wrinkled his nose a little.

“It’s Christmas regardless. Thank you.” He didn’t seem too thankful, though. “This is Ms. Roberts, a friend. Holly, this is my keyskeeper, Ms. Hathaway.”

“My pleasure,” Ms. Hathaway said. “I will be leaving shortly.” She gave Holly her card. “The numbers in the back are for emergencies,” she said. Indeed, it was the firemen number, a private ambulace service number and the police.

Elliot arched an eyebrow and shifted the bags of supplies in his hands.

“Emergencies? Well, I will take these to the kitchen.”

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Divinatas – Jul 17, 2009 at 9:16 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly mentally agreed that having an elevator open right up in to your home had to be asking for trouble. She was a little taken back by the elegance and.. [i]perfection[/i] (she couldn’t think of another word to describe it!) of the room, but then had to hold back a snicker when he addressed his Keeper as Alfred and the women didn’t miss a beat.

The woman handed Holly a card with emergency numbers, and she wasn’t quite sure what to think about that! “…am I the holiday maid, or are you afraid Elliot is going to burn the place down while you’re gone?” Holly spoke her initial thoughts out loud. “Unless he plans on murdering me. Do you bring ladies up here for killing, [i]Mr. Wayne[/i]?” Now she was just being bratty!
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Azul Morag – Jul 17, 2009 at 12:10 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot, who had hoped to escape to the kitchen with their supplies, just blinked with the most innocent expression ever seen on a man’s face.

“I barely step into the place, how come I am now accused of being a serial killer?” There was a raised eyebrow. “She is still angry at me for having unforseen accidents, that is all.”

Ms. Hathaway eyed them both from cool steel-grey eyes.

“I do not intend to pry, but your safety is my concern Mr. Graham-Parker. Disappearing without a trace does not exactly help.” She tilted her head slightly to watch Holly… like a hawk perched on a tree to stalk! “The other side of the card is my contact information, as important as the other numbers. Since unforseen accidents do happen, why not have those numbers handy? He could have had a seizure and laid in an alley for days, for all I know.”

Elliot frowned.

“I do appreciate your concern Ms. Hathaway, but you will have to forgive me for keeping a pocket of secrecy I prefer to call private life. If I do have a seizure and die of rage I promise you, I will die with your name on my lips.”

He said it with a smile, too. Ms. Hathaway eyed him but seemed strangely amused despite her perfectly straight face.

“As you prefer, sir.”

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Divinatas – Jul 18, 2009 at 5:33 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“[i]I’ll[/i] make sure to call you, Ms. Hathaway.” Holly said with a smirk. The business card she examined one more time before slipping it inside one of her pockets. “Especially if he turns homicidal and tries to smother me with a Christmas rug.”

She cast Elliot the most sweetest of grins before taking the bag from his arms. “Now where is the kitchen? We need to hurry or we’ll be late to Mrs. Adelaide’s.”
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Azul Morag – Jul 18, 2009 at 6:13 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“Over there, there’s a corridor to the dining room, the kitchen is the door at your right.”

Ms. Hathaway’s eyebrow arched faintly at the mention of Mrs. Adelaide… Graham, no doubt. Unusual enough, but perhaps fortunate, she thought. Ms. Hathaway gave a curt nod.

“Feel free to call at any hour, Ms. Holly Roberts. Taking my leave now if you don’t mind, sir.”

“You shouldn’t even be here today,” Elliot said. He smiled. “Thank you. Merry Christmas, Alfred.”

“Merry Christmas, Mr. Wayne. Ms. Kyle.”

Ms. Hathaway went to the vestibule, picked up her sleek brown coat from the coat closet and took the elevator. She eyed them for the last time as the black and silver doors closed.

Elliot waited till Ms. Hathaway disappeared and choked a laugh. He headed for the kitchen. The corridor was almost six feet wide, leading to a dining room with a glass table for eight with tall black chairs under a dome painted like the sky. The kitchen had a window counter to the dining room, its pliable window panes closed; the kitchen door was a double door that swayed both ways revealing a kitchen out of a cooking show, with plenty of work space in steel surfaces, clear cedar wood panels and beautiful lamps. At the far end there was a glass wall forming a niche with a round table for two, overlooking the city below.

“Here we are. Don’t mind Ms. Hathaway, she’s figures she is my governess.” Elliot dropped the bags on the isle and headed to the… steel wall that was apparently a very large fridge, freezer and related cold storage, for a cold drink.

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Divinatas – Jul 18, 2009 at 7:00 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly admired the sleek design of the kitchen as she walked across the floor, pulling off her coat. She stopped near the large window, draping her coat and scarf over a chair as she peered out at the buildings. Suddenly, she paused and slowly turned around on a heel, quirking an eyebrow at Elliot.

“…did she just call me Catwoman?” Why was that hilarious to think about! Returning to the counter, she clicked her fingernails over it before she started pulling out their purchases from the bag.

“We’re going to need cookie sheets. Mixing bowls. I think you could fit ten bodies in that fridge.” she paused long enough to take a look at it. The stark contrast to how he lived compared to her own humble little home was amusing.
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Azul Morag – Jul 18, 2009 at 7:21 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“She might have,” Elliot said with a lopsided smile. “Would you like something to drink, juice, soda? Mineral water?” He turned with a very mundane can of Coke in his hand. “Why… you are right. Adelaide would fit right in one of the vegetable drawers.”

He opened his can and took a sip.

“Feel free to choose whichever you like; I’ll get your cookie sheets and bowls…” He disappeared behind a slim door on the wall of cedar doors, cabinets and panels at the far back. Soon he returned with a stack of cookie sheets and some glass and metallic bowls sliding dangerously on top. Leaving those on the isle, Elliot opened a drawer in the isle and rummaged through wooden spoons, batter mixers and measuring spoons and cups. “These, too…” Fom the neatly stacked cabinet under the isle he picked up a pyrex measuring cup up to one litre.

“Anything else? Waxed paper?”

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Divinatas – Jul 18, 2009 at 7:37 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“Wax paper, yes!” She was a little surprised to see he knew where everything was, but when she thought about it, Elliot Graham-Parker probably always knew where things were! Holly confiscated a bottle of water for a quick drink, before she was organizing bowls and ingredients in appropriate order.

Then she was measuring flour and sugar, seeming to have everything perfectly memorized in her head. “I suppose if she turns up missing, I’ll know where to look first.” Or where she’ll go first to hide the body if by chance she couldn’t restrain herself from throwing the teenager out the window!

While mixing things together, she occasionally stole a few of the white chocolate chips to eat. The whole fun of making cookies was getting to steal things before they were done. “I think you should show me your awesome bathtub when these are baking.”
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Azul Morag – Jul 18, 2009 at 7:52 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot got slightly red. Only slightly.

“Should I?” He asked. “I know you would laugh.” He deftly stole a chocolate chip and moved out of clobbering range to eat it.

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Divinatas – Jul 18, 2009 at 7:58 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly very nearly swatted him with a wooden spoon simply out of reflex, but she continued her stirring as she cast him a wicked grin. “Will I?” she replied. “I suppose it’s covered in rubber ducks, battles ships, and possibly fish floor mats with pitiful expressions.”

With the first batch of cookies good and mixed, she laid out the wax paper over one of the cookie sheets and placed little balls of the dough in simple rows. Holy cast him a sly sideways glance. “Unless there’s dirty underwear all over the place that your dear Alfred won’t dare to pick up?”
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Azul Morag – Jul 18, 2009 at 8:26 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot snickered.

“Nope,” he said. “I have to say Alfred was surprised to find me here yesterday. I have not yet explained where I was; I think my stepmother could help me on that. I don’t leave my underwear around, by the way.” Elliot stole a nick of brown sugar and butter mix, quickly retreating to prevent getting clobbered with that wooden spoon of hers.

“If you really want to see it, I will show it to you if you promise, [i]promise[/i] you won’t laugh. If you do laugh…” Elliot arched an eyebrow with a sideways smirk. “You will have to teach me your recipe for the chocolate chip cookies.”

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Divinatas – Jul 18, 2009 at 9:11 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“Well, now I [i]have[/i] to see it, just to know what’s so damn funny about it.” Her spoon swung and just barely missed his hand. He was asking for a whack now! She made quick work for a second batch of cookies, these the gingerbread. They weren’t going to look fancy, but they’d taste like heaven. Having two sheets prepared in no time at all, she only had to pause a minute to figure out the settings on what had to be a restaurant grade oven!

With the two pans slide in the oven and a timer set, Holly dust off her hands, casting him another side glance and a wicked smile. “You’re lucky you couldn’t see much while a rug. I [i]do[/i] leave underwear all over the place.” Holly didn’t wait for a tour invitation, she was already heading out of the kitchen to explore the bat cave he called an apartment!

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Azul Morag – Jul 18, 2009 at 9:39 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot got himself another chocolate chip before following her out of the kitchen. The apartment was quite large, yet the apartments tower had a sort of ‘nicked’ shape that allowed all rooms to have windows on at least one wall. Most of the windows were simply glass walls; others like the dining room’s had doors to a shaded terrace. Up there the wind was strong in some areas of the tower but there was no visual communication from one apartment to the one above or below. Thick curtains in some rooms, blinds in others, provided a way to shut out sunlight at will. There was the main living room, guest bathroom, a private living room with a Media center, a studio (your office away from… your office!), the kitchen, a guest room with its own bathroom, a servant’s room with bathroom, a sun room and the Master bedroom with its very own bathroom.

The bathroom had a big sink shaped as a seashell on top of a long marble surface with a wall-to-wall mirror with angled side panels. At both sides embedded on the walls there were cabinets with toiletries, towels, and all necessities. The polished floor had a thick straw mat for standing barefoot at the sink. The toilet had its own stall. There was a skylight, closed. Then there was a pretty white tub with bronze lion feet right next to a glass door to the shower stall. On the other side of the white tub there was another glass door.

Elliot smiled mischievously.

“Well?”

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Divinatas – Jul 18, 2009 at 9:53 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly rest her hands on her hips as she glanced around in the bathroom in amazement. Someone actually [i]lived[/i] here? Though he did say he was always at work! As with the rest of his home everything was designed with impeccable taste. Straight from pictures in home magazines.

“I [i]guess[/i] it’s a nice bathroom.” she replied, casually. Holly stepped across the room to lean and take a look at the bronze lion feet. Old fashioned, but gorgeous! She turned around to sit on the edge of the tub, and with a tilt fell right in side, crossing her legs up over the edge. The tub was almost large enough to fit three people! …or one really ginormous man! Lying in the tub, she was now blinking at the closed skylight.

“No wonder your Alfred worries about you. You could get so comfortable in this tub and fall asleep and drown!”

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Azul Morag – Jul 18, 2009 at 9:58 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot smiled mysteriously.

“So, do you think this is an awesome bathtub?” He asked with that harmless smile of his.

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Jul 18, 2009 at 10:09 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly shifted, remaining in the tub, but now sitting up so she could rest her arms on the edge of the tub and sit her head on her arms. She responded with a mischievous grin!

“Yes. Quick frankly, it’s bound to be the most awesome bathtub I have ever seen. After being a dirty old rug for days, this must have been your first stop!”
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Jul 18, 2009 at 10:13 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot’s harmless smile shifted to a lopsided smirk.

“I see! Well, well. What is behind this glass door, I wonder?” He tapped his fingers on the glass door next to him she had apparently missed. “Because well… I think this one is a rather common bathtub with lion feet. A Victorian replica, I admit it – but… Well, if you like it so much I guess that is good.”

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Divinatas – Jul 18, 2009 at 10:20 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“What?” she exclaimed sitting up and blinking towards the glass door he directed at. “You’re a damned deviant, Elliot!” Holly almost refused to take a look out of sheer principal. But, curiosity won out in the end. She very primly climbed out of the lion foot tub, and stopped next to Elliot. Her arms crossed and she raised an eyebrow in disbelief!

“All right, I’ll take your bait. What bathtub could possibly be even better? Because I think you’re yanking my chain again.”
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Jul 18, 2009 at 10:33 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot tried his harmless smile but ended with a grin.

“See by yourself,” he said, opening the door for her and stepping aside to let her pass.

There was a large room beyond the glass door. The floor was a mosaic of blue and green, just like a Roman bath – there were whales and dolphins, fish and fishers like a mosaic out of Pompeii. The walls were a mix of mosaic and mirrors with a detachable shower in the middle, a low bench and a sink fashioned like a seashell like the one outside. To the right there was three ondulating steps leading to the top of the bathtub itself, in mosaic and brown rocks forming a small pool. There were bronze faucets. The tub was empty, allowing to see the mosaic floor below, with a long bench and the outlets of the jacuzzi and water-force massage. The rocks climbed against the wall and the mosaic around it simulated a sea horizon with old greek ships and a city in the distance. Above all, a skylight gave plenty of light to the bath room.

Elliot bit his lip and waited for her reaction…

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Jul 18, 2009 at 10:48 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

To say she looked stunned was an understatement! Holly had been expecting maybe a steam room or something with jets, but this was just… indescribable! It was like a small lagoon by the ocean. All it needed were plants and sounds. She stepped inside to run her fingers across one of the mosiacs on the wall, marveling how the light from above caught the tiles and made everything look shimmery as if it were under water.

“This isn’t a bathtub, this is [i]heaven[/i].” she finally exclaimed, then paused. “…Do we have to go to Christmas dinner, or can I just spend the rest of my life in here?” It may have very well been a serious question by the expression on her face!
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Jul 18, 2009 at 10:57 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot choked a laugh.

“You are really difficult, aren’t you? You didn’t laugh!” He folded his arms and leaned against the wall. “I am glad you like it. Last night I was so tired I only took a long shower before dropping dead in bed.”

He tilted his head, watching her.

“Let us go and enjoy Christmas dinner… cookies… putting Adelaide in the vegetable drawer and things like that. The bathtub is not going anywhere, you know. If you really like it, I could let you borrow it. It’s the least I could do for not letting me burn at the stake in your yard!”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Jul 18, 2009 at 11:06 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“Stupid Christmas ruining my day. Fine then, but once I get in here, it’s going to take a shark to get me out.” She cast a last over dramatized wistful look the room before she brushed past him, giving him a gentle poke in the side when she passed.
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Jul 18, 2009 at 11:21 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot smirked. He stepped out after her and closed the glass door.

“I should still have one of those toy sharks with a mechanical tail somewhere.” He observed. “How long till those cookies are ready?”

He eyed his bed as they passed by it and wondered if it was too plain or something, then wondered why he had wondered that – he could get clobbered with a fire poker.

“I am a little hungry, but I suppose I better wait till dinner. I wonder what Mrs. Adelaide is preparing… if it will come alive and fly… Who knows, really.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Jul 20, 2009 at 6:15 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

There was a [i]DING[/i] as they walked in to the kitchen. Holly gave a smirk.

“Until right about now.” she replied. Holly flipped off the oven and after snatching up some oven mitts she was pulled the cookie pans out of the oven. With a spatula she was moving them quickly from the pan to a cooling rack set to the side. She didn’t want them to keep cooking on the pan and get all hard and not-perfect!

“If you ask really nice I might let you have a few before we leave. But I suspect she’ll probably have something traditional. …Then again nothing about Mrs. Adelaide and her daughter seem all that normal…”
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Jul 22, 2009 at 4:55 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot was watching her thoughtfully, yet what he was really doing was awaiting a chance to steal a cookie.

“I wonder if my father knew. It’s not quite possible that he didn’t, I suppose; not living together on an everyday basis. That reminds me of that file he showed me…”

He stopped. He had not told Holly about that, did he? And if he did, it was probably a bunch of incoherent images tossed by a drowsy rug.

“I think she does look normal, like any experienced socialite. I have not been the most frequent visitor I admit, but I had never seen or heard anything suspicious about them.”

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Divinatas – Jul 22, 2009 at 6:58 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“File?” she asked curiously. Though, now that she thought about it, it wouldn’t be all that strange for a rich guy to put out some sort of investigation on the woman he would marry. There were a lot of gold digging hussies and husband murderers out there.

“It’s probably not a big deal, anyway. Everyone has some weird thing about their family, and hers just happens to be witchcraft.” Holly leaned against the counter as she crossed her arms. “I’d be more worried if she were in the mob or something.”
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Azul Morag – Jul 22, 2009 at 7:04 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot took the chance as soon as she crossed her arms to steal a cookie and be out of clobbering range in the blink of an eye. He smiled mischievously.

“At least the mob doesn’t turn you into animated furniture,” he replied. “Yes, well… my father was very meticulous. He did show me a file on Mrs. Adelaide when he was dating her, but I didn’t read all of it.” He looked somewhat guilty. “I figured if he really wanted to date her, it should be alright. After all, he didn’t date seriously if at all while I was a boy – I was not going to stay in the way and that was never my intention.”

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Divinatas – Jul 22, 2009 at 7:19 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly moved, ready to swat him, but he started away with stolen contraband faster than she could uncross her arms! She frowned slightly, returning to her position against the counter.

“I suppose it doesn’t really matter, You get to spend time with her now. If at least a little ambushed by her teen terrorist.” Speaking of which, they would be late if they hung around here for too long! Holly turned around to start dropping cookies in to a plastic baggie. She made sure to steal one for herself to nibble while she packed them away.

“Hrm. Do you pull up files on women you’re dating? Find out their torrid past and how many men they’ve been with?” She didn’t know why she bothered to ask, but she was curious!
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Azul Morag – Jul 22, 2009 at 7:33 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot laughed and almost choked on cookie crumbs. After a dignified cough, he replied. “No, I don’t. However I cannot speak for Alfred or the company detectives. It’s hard enough to keep them at reasonable distance when they get too demanding.”

Elliot took another bite at his cookie.

“Besides… as a reporter, do you use your resources to peek? I think it’s easier to ask the person directly. I do admit I might take a risk, but don’t we all. I manage an oil company. It’s inevitable that when people look at me some don’t see me but a stack of dollar bills like a Lego statue, or just Syrius Standard itself.”

He bit the corner of his lip.

“Life gets unnecessarily complicated.”

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Divinatas – Jul 22, 2009 at 8:18 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“I’d keep them at a distance.” the cross look on her face suggested she’d probably use methods he was already familiar with. Swinging things at people made them shut up and back off pretty quick.

She shrugged her shoulders at his comment, though. “I like to think I have common sense enough to know an asshole when I see one. So there’s really not any reason to go checking up on people.” With the cookies zipped up tight (and moved to where she could watch them!), Holly took the dishes over to the sink to rinse them out.

“You look more like a rug to me.” she said with a smirk cast over her shoulder.

[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Jul 22, 2009 at 8:44 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot flashed his [i]harmless[/i] smile.

“See? The steel hair chopstick is perfect for you. The best things are those you can actually put to good use. Luckily for me, I don’t have firepokers around here.”

Elliot blinked.

“Why? Mrs. Adelaide told me what the rug was like, I look nothing like Santa Claus and Friends.” He eyed her with a smirk.

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Divinatas – Jul 22, 2009 at 8:57 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“I thought we established that I can use anything as a weapon. Like kittens and paper towels.” He was kind of asking for it with that so-harmless smile of his, but she didn’t want to get her nice outfit dirty before arriving at Mrs. Adelaide’s.

“Maybe Adelaide will have some reindeer antlers with bells. You can start a new tradition and be Christmas Lawyer Rug?” she flashed him a toothy grin. Setting aside the dishes to dry, she moved to fetch her coat from the chair she draped it over and pulled it on.
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Jul 22, 2009 at 9:11 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot tapped on the crown of her head when she was slipping her arms into the sleeves of her coat.

“No, thank you. I shall make a vow that you will never stomp on me again, or use your rug-wrestling moves on me!”

He moved out of clobbering range and went to the living room for his own coat, snickering.

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Jul 22, 2009 at 9:44 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“It’s not like you can stop me!” she replied as he walked out. She wrapped her scarf around her neck and fetched the bags of cookies before following.

“You might have arms and legs now, but that doesn’t mean I can’t tackle and pin you to the floor. You’re lucky I don’t want to get my clothes wrinkled.” Chances were, all he knew were some fancy swings. Holly played dirty! The expression on her face said as much as she waited patiently, grinning like a fiend.
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Azul Morag – Jul 22, 2009 at 9:57 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot smirked with incredulity written allover his handsome face. He put on his muffler and his coat, dropped a black, smoothed shiny wool Fedora on his head and picking up a pair of gloves put them in his pocket.

“Thanks for long skirts,” he said, smirking. He picked up the bags. “Shall I consider myself safe for today? It’s Christmas after all. Peace on Earth?”

He raised his eyebrows before calling the elevator with his key. “I am sure there is some Christmas song somewhere that says You’d Better Watch Out. Now I know why.”

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Divinatas – Jul 22, 2009 at 10:22 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“I’m not celebrating Christmas this year, remember?” she laughed softly at [i]You’d Better Watch Out[/i] and stepped in to the elevator when it arrived to the floor. Again she mentally agreed that having it open directly to his suite had to be creepy. Who knew when you called the elevator if someone would be waiting inside to jump out at you?

Of course, that sounded more like Holly-Ambush tactics if she ever needed to show up and beat him with a stick. She smirked at the thought.

Holly tilted her head up to eye him for a moment, then reached out and stole his hat. She set it neatly on her head and admired the look in the mirror. “You’re safe for the day anyway. I’m here to protect you from Adelaide, not help her pounce you.”
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Azul Morag – Jul 22, 2009 at 10:31 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot raised a quizzical eyebrow at the hat theft.

“I expect extra cookies for that,” he said with smirk. The elevator door soon opened to the lobby. In no time they were back in Elliot’s car and leaving the building, heading North to leave the city and reach Mrs. Adelaide’s home.

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Divinatas – Jul 22, 2009 at 11:28 AM

[bg=#676C4E][padding=10px][bg=#14382A][b][i]At Mrs. Adelaide’s[/i][/b][i][/i][/bg][/padding][/bg]

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Mrs. Adelaide’s home looked just as fancy and lovely as it did the day before. A pretty wreath was perched neatly on the door, decorated with subtle touches of glitter and a big red bow. Holly had the cookies in her hand, safe from possible theft while Elliot had their last minute gift basket. It was a bit strange coming here this way and Holly was nervously chewing on her lip after ringing the door bell. Visiting family and friends for the holidays wasn’t exactly a big deal, but she was usually [i]with[/i] family when she did it. This was new.

The door swung open suddenly followed by a loud eye-piercing squeal! Adelaide, was hopping up and down and somehow managed to find a way to get past the basket Elliot was holding up for defense to snake her arms around him in a big hug.

“Oh my god! I so didn’t believe you’d actually come! This is going to be so awesome!” she chirped, releasing him to steal the basket. “And preseeeents! Mooooommy! Elliot [i]actually[/i] came!” Now she was hugging the basket, looking as if she was ready to rip off the wrapping to see what was inside, but thankfully had enough manners instilled in her to resist. Her clothing was similar to previous day’s, but now it was ‘dressed up’. A tight fuzzy pink shirt covered in sparkles and skirt that a teenage girl probably shouldn’t be wearing. “God, stop standing around and come inside!”

“I don’t know, is it a trap?” Holly responded, but stepped in through the door. Despite thinking Adelaide was slightly evil, the girl’s enthusiasm was entertaining. Elliot was going to have ‘fun’ today.

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Azul Morag – Jul 22, 2009 at 11:57 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot casted Holly a ‘Weren’t you going to defend me?’ kind of look as they were finally inside and he closed the door behind them. Leaving their coats at the special closet in the vestibule took just an instant before walking into the living room. There were candles and wreaths on the side and center tables of the victorian-esque sofa set, glittering in the dancing lights from the fireplace. There was a tall Christmas tree out of a Victorian Christmas card, complete with angels, bows and silver bells. The star was also an angel with a lit up crown. There was uninstrusive Christmas background music. Everything was chic, cozy and sweet.

Even the stuffed Schnauzer dog had its own big red bow.

Elliot tried not to stare at it, but that was difficult. Adelaide had escaped with the basket. Mrs. Adelaide came into the living room wearing a deep red gown that fitted her like a glove with tasteful elegance, her hair up and a necklace around her collarbone like a snowflake made of crystals.

“Welcome Elliot and Holly. Merry Christmas!”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Jul 22, 2009 at 12:16 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“Good evening, Madam Graham-Smith.” As expected, Mrs. Adelaide was a vision of classic beauty! Holly felt just a smidgen under dressed, but she was expecting as much. She didn’t put away Elliot’s hat along with their coats, that she was holding hostage on her head simply because she liked it.

Everything looked very grand, aside from younger Adelaide who had put away the basket next to the tree (that tree was huge! Who brought that in here?) and was now hovering near Elliot like a kid in a candy store.

“Sooooo, Elliooooot. What didja get me for Christmas?” She asked, clinging on to his arm.

Holly had caught sight of the dog with a bow, and all attempts to rescue Elliot disappeared for the moment. “I can’t believe you stuffed a dog!” she announced, without quite thinking before she spoke!
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Azul Morag – Jul 22, 2009 at 12:34 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot smiled slightly but his mirth was written allover his face despite his calm look.

[i]”Merry Christmas[/i], Mrs. Adelaide. To you too, Adelaide.”

Mrs. Graham-Smith didn’t look phased.

“Oh poor old Samuel! I just couldn’t find a proper pet cemetary for him. He got run over on my wedding day with Wilhelm. Adelaide was so distressed.”

There was a secret reason, of course. Mrs. Graham-Smith didn’t want to risk her then little daughter raising her pet from the dead by accident just as her magic abilities were starting to appear in her. That Pet Cemetary movie was worrying enough.

Elliot was just thinking of that movie as Mrs. Graham-Smith spoke.

“Better to keep an eye on it,” he muttered, eyeing grinning Adelaide a little. His stepmother smiled a social ‘let’s move on’ kind of smile.

“Would you like an appetizer? Dinner will be served in a few minutes.”

“Certainly! Menthe, please.” Elliot said. “Holly?”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Jul 22, 2009 at 1:26 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“I’m fine, but thank you.” A stuffed dog like that, just sitting around the house like some sort of… guard animal. She remembered watching a movie when she was younger about zombie pets coming back to life. Holly [i]never[/i] liked freeze-dried animals after that! They gave her the creeps!

Adelaide cast Holly a huge frown, but she was still hugging Elliot’s arm. “We have vegetables, crackers, cheese, fruit and well everything, really! Candy and – hey, what’s in the bag?” she asked curiously, eying the small bags Holly was carrying.

Holly stopped staring at the dog long enough to return her gaze to Adelaide. A slow grin crept across her face. “These? Cookies. Possibly the most amazing cookies in the world. But you probably won’t like them. They cater to more adult tastes.”

“~I~ am adult.” replied Adelaide with some offense. “And I am in charge of the desserts, so I’ll be taking those, thank you very much!” Adelaide released Elliot’s arm and snatched the bags from Holly, who appeared to give them up far too easily after she had spent so much time guarding them against Elliot. She escaped somewhere around the corner, no doubt to steal a few of them while no one could see her.

Holly grinned at Elliot after she disappeared. “Rescue number one, successful.”

[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Jul 22, 2009 at 3:42 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot gave a concealed wink of complicity. Mrs. Graham-Smith came back with a tiny gobblet of menthe for Elliot.

“Please, make yourselves at home. Dinner will be ready soon.”

“Thank you.” Elliot enjoyed the aroma of his menthe before taking a sip. His stepmother smiled at them and left to inspect the dining room.

“Lets move away from that dog, for heaven’s sake,” Elliot muttered behind his teeth with a concealing grin. He headed for the tree. “I do suspect why she kept it, you know.”

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Divinatas – Jul 22, 2009 at 6:51 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“Please don’t say anything about undead pets. I saw this weird movie when I was a kid, and I swear to god if that thing ever comes to life I am probably going to die.” she looked pretty serious about the threat too, and was more than happy to move away from the dog.

Holly stopped by the tree, peering at all of the ornaments and various decorations. The ladies of the house were definitely of a class all their own. Social class was never something Holly ever thought about or considered. But then again, she rarely went anywhere or did anything that would bring it up. At work she had been interning and being everyone’s ‘go-for’ slave for ages up until she was able to start writing articles herself! And how often were the supernatural tabloids ever about people like this?

She crossed her arms as she examined the sparklie things of the tree, trying to hide that frown that was trying to sneak it’s way out. Her own mother probably would have loved how nice everything looked here. It wasn’t something she wanted to think about at the moment.

“I wonder if Adelaide realizes there’s really disturbing pictures of her hanging on this tree.” she poked one of the ornaments to hear the bell jingle. It had a picture of a very small Adelaide dressed up like a very unhappy clown.
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Azul Morag – Jul 23, 2009 at 6:17 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot looked at the photo with a smirk. “I wonder why mothers love to dress up their kids like dolls. She looks so harmless in that photo, doesn’t she?”

Elliot tilted his head and spied Holly’s face under his hat she was wearing. “You are still a pirate,” he said. “I don’t mind as long as you don’t try your cutlass on me.” He blinked at the tree. “I’ve seen Christmas trees with strings of popcorn in photos, and cookies. I wonder if those don’t get mauled by kids and critters – especially by kids. Adelaide looks like a tree mauler.”

He sipped his menthe. “I wonder if we are the only guests.”

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Divinatas – Jul 24, 2009 at 9:25 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“I might show you my cutlass later.” Holly replied, casting him a sudden smirk. “Most of the popcorn gets eating while you’re making the string, so guess the kids are tired of popcorn by the time it’s done. I remember making gingerbread cookie ornaments in school and teacher had to remind us not to chew on them cause we had to add glue to the batter to keep them from spoiling.”

“Didn’t stop some of us from trying anyway.” she made a face! Clearly she knew from experience!

Adelaide suddenly appeared looking as innocent as the day she was born. “~I~ didn’t invite any guests. Mommy wouldn’t let me. I was going to ask all my friends come over to meet you, but she said [i]family[/i] is more important. Of course, she let [i]Holly[/i] come, so I guess that means she’s your girlfriend.”
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Jul 24, 2009 at 9:57 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“Glue?” Elliot was disappointed. “That is a set up!”

He blinked at Adelaide with a fatherly smile lawyers give after their fees are set and the contract is signed.

“One day, when you are a grown up,” Elliot said, “you will realize that not every couple you see are boyfriend and girlfriend. On the other hand, I was unaware that you think Holly and I are destined. Perhaps if someday that comes to be, we will inform you when we deem it necessary. Other than that, any relationship we may or may not have is strictly our business.”

“Other thing you seem to forget is, Holly saved me from being donated to a charity and die a ruggy and dusty death in some box. I think that elevates her from the category of spectator such as you intended [i]your friends[/i] to be, to that of someone quite important to me. Why is that so surprising?”

There was that glint back in his eyes again, despite the smile!

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Jul 25, 2009 at 8:13 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“Destined?” Holly raised an eyebrow at that, finding the word pretty amusing. Then again, that was something teenagers through around a lot. She had been there once!

“You protest WAY too much!” Adelaide said, seeming to completely ignore the glinty look he was giving her. She was rocking on her heels and looking pretty devious. It was probably her usual expression. Holly was about to reach out and rescue someone (Who, she wasn’t sure yet. Adelaide looked suspicious, but Elliot might strangle her), when Adelaide continued. “But I guh-eeessss if it’s no big deal, then mistletoe is no big deal either!” She pointed up over their heads at the bundle that was hanging neatly from the ceiling. In fact, there seemed to be lots of those hanging all over the place.

“Let me guess. You were going to invite a boyfriend.” Holly said, glancing at the ceiling.

Adelaide coughed, unable to hide her expression. “…yeah. But he’s not here, and YOU are there, so guess what! Kissy time! It’s in the rule book!”
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Jul 25, 2009 at 8:40 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“Show me the book and I will show you a citation order,” Elliot replied with a raised eyebrow. He wasn’t opposed to the idea, but he wasn’t amused at Adelaide’s attempt to push them around. “Which reminds me. Is this absent boyfriend the same one that cannot be the heir to my clothes since you had to return them?”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Jul 25, 2009 at 9:32 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly smirked. Leave it to Elliot being difficult to spare her from a Christmas Tradition! It [i]was[/i] in the rulebook, but she wasn’t celebrating thus Adelaide was on her own!

Adelaide looked a little put out, slowly inching her way to hide somewhere behind Holly. “Maybe! It doesn’t really matter anyway, because the dance is ages from now so he’ll have time to find a something cool to wear.” Elliot was sooo mean sometimes! He was back to normal, so what was the big deal? “Stop changing the subject! We’re talking about Christmas. Oh! What did you get me?! Is it something awesome?”
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Jul 25, 2009 at 9:59 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot tried not to – he really tried! But he rolled his eyes.

“I can’t believe you really were going to dress him up in [i]my clothes[/i] after you shipped me out!” He sipped his menthe and narrowed his eyes. “I got you [i]just what you need[/i],” he said in a lower voice with that glint in his eyes again. “You just wait and you will see.”

He mysteriously sipped his menthe again.

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Jul 30, 2009 at 9:22 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=853[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Adelaide looked a little disturbed by his reply, and Holly really didn’t blame the girl. After all, the tone of his voice suggested it was going to be ten times worse than being turned in to a rug. Maybe she expected to get thrown in to the fireplace. Holly couldn’t help herself, this time she laughed out loud!

“Don’t hide behind me, you’re only triggering his kill instincts.” Holly said taking a glance over her shoulder. She could say it with a straight face too, he was a layer. It could be true!

That had Adelaide stepping out from behind her. “I’m going to see if Mommy is done!” she said quickly, dashing out of the room as fast as her clicky heels could take her!
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Jul 30, 2009 at 10:11 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot arched his eyebrows.

“Triggering my kill instincts, hm?” He sipped his menthe to conceal a Machiavellian grin. “Really… I am very nice, you know.”

He opened a little wooden chest with a little porcelain angel fixed on it placed on a side table, revealing three folding levels of the cutest bombons. He plucked one.

“My father had this in his office,” he said as if his knowledge of the box’s use needed some explanation. “Hm… maybe I should have been more creative. Maybe next year.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Sep 16, 2009 at 10:53 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly watched as Adelaide fled for her life, before turning to watch Elliot carefully. She found the treasure box of candy interesting, and wondered what other sort of treasures might be hiding in the Madam’s lovely home. The house of a witch must be filled with all sorts of things. For the moment she kept her natural curiosity under control.

“Already planning for next year, huh? I guess you’ve been infected with the Christmas spirit now after being a rug for days.” Holly flashed a wicked grin, inching close enough to pluck that bonbon right out of his fingers before he could eat it. She made her escape!
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Sep 25, 2009 at 11:30 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=12&pictureid=855[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot blinked at being robbed!

“Thief,” he said with a smirk. “Robbing lawyers is not very wise, you know.” He plucked another bonbon from the box. “I might be. I kind of like this…” He waved a hand at the tree. “There is something peaceful and nice; something relaxing and somehow egotistic about it. Time for yourself, with the people you love without secretaries calling you, board of directors claiming the sky is falling down and no one trying to pluck the life out of you. Even if there are thieves around, I am relatively safe.”

Elliot ate his bonbon, thoughtfully.

“Perhaps I am mistaken? If television and ads are to be believed, some people get more stressed during the holidays rush than they get in the whole year. I wonder why is that.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Sep 28, 2009 at 1:50 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly grinned, moving by the fireplace and bouncing the bonbon between her hands like a toy. “People get all uptight about the perfect holiday experience. Decorating, presents, every single tiny little detail. They forget all of the important stuff.”

Like family. She didn’t want to think about that. Holly balanced the bonbon on a finger. “After tonight, what are you going to do? Back to work as usual? Paperwork and boring business meetings?”
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Sep 29, 2009 at 1:30 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot shrugged his elegant shoulders.

“Most likely. Alfred would not allow me to take too many holidays…” He checked his cellphone. “In fact, I have to go back to work at 8:00 am sharp on January 2nd. Imagine that. I suspect Alfred was afraid I was going to turn up dead in an alley and she slipped in some days off for me to come back to life.”

Elliot smirked. “Usually I would be doing business elsewhere during the holidays if needed; some of our business partners are not Christian and yet some of them do celebrate holidays as a cultural curiosity, they don’t have a week off. I keep in line with my father’s tradition and I do give employees some days off for the holidays. Mind you, I am not a slave driver.”

He shook his head. “I see a few friends sometimes, but… a lot of people prefer to travel nowadays for the holidays; specially after they get married. People say a lot about Europeans, but they do like their cities.” Elliot quirked an eyebrow at Holly. “So, what were you saying about the important stuff?”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Sep 30, 2009 at 7:07 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“Important stuff. Hanging out with murderous family members, and all that nonsense.” She popped the bonbon in her mouth, very deliberately eating the whole thing at once to avoid saying anything else about the subject. She just shrugged her shoulders and flicked her fingers at him.

Adelaide finally came skipping back in to the room, this time to pounce Elliot from behind in a big snugglie hug! “Elliiiioot! Mom says dinner is ready! We have the dining table set up to perfect, if I do say so myself. You can sit next to me!”
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Oct 7, 2009 at 2:05 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot opened his mouth to reply but Adelaide jumped him quite unexpectedly. With a raised eyebrow, Elliot made his way to the dining room dragging permattached Adelaide behind him – and rather easily at that. Regular exercise habits do that for you.

The dining room was [i]small[/i] if compared to a full-blown mansion but still it was home to a table for ten seats, a long sideboard with drawer knobs of shiny bronze and two beautiful, tall glass displays for tea sets and other cute things. The whole set was made of some dark wood and exquisitely enameled in a transparent red hue. The table was set for all the seats. An embroidered white table cloth with snowflakes and lace was laid on the table and on it, ten sets of red dishes with golden edges, silver cutlery finely wrapped in napkins matching the tablecloth flanking the main plate. The water goblets were transparent golden glass and the wine goblets were red crystal. Flowers adorned the table and the chandelier high above it was lit. Its golden lights danced, multiplied by the numerous crystals in it.

Elliot found the whole thing rather cozy and he would have commented on it if he were not busy trying to pry Adelaide’s fingers off him. Her hands were small with thin fingers that had a surprisingly strong iron grip and kept on sliding through his fingers in some strange way.

“Adelaide, were you not going to find us seats at the table…?”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Oct 7, 2009 at 6:30 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly stepped in to the dining room, fully expecting to see a company of richly dressed guests wearing ballgowns and tuxedos. The table setting was luxurious, looking right out of the pages of a stylish dining magazine. Holly decided her favorite part was the red and gold of the glass, and the sparkling of the chandelier above.

Adelaide held on to Elliot for as long as she could get away with before she finally released him to stand behind a chair. “This one is yours. It’s right next to mine here.” She grinned, before rounding the table to the other side. “And this one is Holly’s chair across from you, and this chair is Mommy’s.”

Adelaide was sure the seating arrangement was perfect. She would have full access to cling to Elliot, and Holly couldn’t kick her from under the table!

Holly was thinking just that, as she eyed the teenager. She was out of kicking reach, but she wasn’t above throwing food at her if she had to. Her aim was impeccable, and there would be no need to worry about stains on Mrs. Adelaide’s beautiful table linens.

Taking a seat, Holly took one of the napkins and neatly folded it in her lap.
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Oct 22, 2009 at 1:48 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot wondered if he should fear for his life, after seeing the look in Adelaide’s and Holly’s eyes. He swept a look over the table again and wondered if they were the only guests. Elliot took his seat and casted Adelaide a warning look before sitting down.

“Are we the only guests tonight?”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Oct 29, 2009 at 7:46 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“Yep! Unless mom decided to invite someone over, but it’s Christmas and she almost never does unless it’s family or someone drops in for a visit.” Adelaide dug in to her pocket until she pulled out a little pearl pink cellphone. She pressed a few buttons on it before she leaned on Elliot’s shoulder and held up the phone in front of them. There was a CLICK as she snapped a picture, and then was pressing away buttons like a professional, apparently to email the picture to all her friends.

Holly smirked from her seat. Adelaide was treating the man like some sort of rock star. Honestly, there was brother worship and then there was just being plain weird.
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Nov 18, 2009 at 5:15 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot was almost taken by surprise by the photo snapping but by when Adelaide pressed the shutter button he had reacted and ended sending her friends one of Elliot’s scariest glares. He quirked an eyebrow as Adelaide busied herself with the cellphone and wondered if it was time to escape.

“Whatever happened to may I and please?” He dryly asked.

Mrs. Graham appeared with a round of appetizers. She evaluated them all with a motherly glance to make sure they were all whole and unharmed.

“I have given the night off to the service,” she said with a smile. “There might be another guest, but he didn’t confirm attendance. Adelaide, come and help me with the soup.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Nov 18, 2009 at 5:32 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Adelaide only griiiiined at Elliot before she was hopping up out of her chair to follow her mother in to the kitchen.

Holly rest her elbows on the table and her chin in her hand, smirking across the table at Elliot while she clacked her heels together. “In about fifteen minutes your glaring face is probably going to be the cellphone background to every teenage girl in town. How do you feel about that Mr. Graham Parker?”[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Nov 18, 2009 at 6:06 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot blinked.

“You are exaggerating,” he said with a frown and looking [i]only slightly[/i] disturbed. “How many friends could she have that would do that anyway?”

The appetizers included mixed nuts and some interesting shredded tiny Mexican salad with sauce, and tortilla chips to eat it. Elliot served two of the tiny bowls his stepmother had brought along with the appetizers and handed one over to Holly.

“I would ask you if you were like this, but thankfully we didn’t have camera cellphones back then.”

In the kitchen, Mrs. Graham-Smith had readied a large porcelain soup bowl and let Adelaide fill it. The bowl had matching lid and a long porcelain serving spoon. Mrs. Graham-Smith suddenly rose her head as if she had heard something…

“Please dear, get the door; I’ll take the soup to the table.”

Outside the door sat a white cat waiting patiently for the door to open. It was a pretty creature with long, brushed shiny coat like an Angora but without the flat profile so many people like in purebreds nowadays. It was well poised and proud, waiting there. It had a curious feature yet not so uncommon in white cats: one of its eyes was blue and the other one was orange!

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Nov 19, 2009 at 12:48 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“A girl like Adelaide? A lot of friends.” Holly accepted the bowl to sit in front of her and nibbled on one of the chips with a smirk. “I wasn’t as bad as her when I was a teenager, but pictures of good looking guys did manage to find their way on my walls.” In fact it was good he hadn’t seen her room. …That picture of Gerard Butler was almost new!

Meanwhile Adelaide was skipping to answer the door, curious as to who her mother would invite on their family-only-except-holly Christmas Dinner. When she opened it up, she didn’t see anyone there.

“Weird.” Then she looked down. And squealed! “OMIGAWDWHATACUTIE!!” Adelaide scooped up the kitty, white as snow and carried him in to the house draped over her shoulder. She was proudly parading in to the dining room with him.

“Mooom! I found a kitty! Can I keep him? He’s sooooooo gorgeous! He was just sitting there waiting all polite and stuff just for me!”
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Nov 19, 2009 at 1:51 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot smirked.

“So, I am…” He couldn’t finish his statement as Adelaide passed by with a cat she had probably kidnapped somewhere drapped on her shoulder and on her way to the kitchen. He blinked.

“What if it’s someone’s cat and you are stealing a child’s Christmas?” He asked Adelaide. Mrs. Graham-Smith was just coming from the kitchen with the soup and she casted her daughter and the cat a somewhat startled stare. The cat simply looked back at her with its bright mismatched eyes and waved its fluffy tail slowly.

“Oh dear.” She brought the soup bowl to the table to at least have her hands free!

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Nov 19, 2009 at 2:17 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Adelaide looked completely unperturbed. “He’s not anyone else’s cat or he’d have a collar. BESIDES the doorbell rang and he was on the door, which means he’s for me!” Adelaide then turned her gave at her mother, and have her best pout. “He [i]is[/i] for me, mommy, isn’t he? He’s oh so cute and soft and fuzzy!”

Holly wasn’t sure what was more interesting. Adelaide acting like a complete dork, or the fact her mother was looking… well… a little disturbed at seeing her daughter hold the cat that way. Normally she’d just assume the older woman wasn’t fond of cats but… Holly got the impression that wasn’t the case. With her luck the cat was probably another cursed individual looking for a little help!
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Nov 19, 2009 at 2:36 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Mrs. Graham-Smith [i]still[/i] looked somewhat disturbed but she frowned slightly and waved a hand at her child.

“Move away from the table, you will get… cat hairs on the dishes.”

The cat managed to tuck its paws under its chest at Adelaide’s shoulder and prickled her while at it. Elliot looked skeptic.

“The cat looks unhappy,” Elliot observed. “Maybe it will shed on your shirt in revenge. I still think it belongs to someone; it’s doesn’t have that homeless look of cat poverty, if you know what I mean.”

The cat flicked an ear and narrowed its eyes a little. It’s chest vibrated a little. Mrs. Graham-Smith sighed.

“Adelaide dear, give me the cat. You cannot keep him.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Nov 19, 2009 at 2:57 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Adelaide pouted. She really didn’t want to give the kitty up, even gave him a few good pettings despite the prickly claws before the look on her mother’s face said [i]now[/i]. With great reluctance, she carefully pulled the kitty off her shoulder and handed it to the woman.

Holly raised and eyebrow and glanced at Elliot. “Cat poverty…?” She knew what he meant, but the way he said it was amusing. As if cats had their own tiers of financial status!
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Nov 19, 2009 at 3:16 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“But of course. There are poor cats too, after all.” Elliot said with a near perfectly straight face!

The cat waved its tail calmly as Adelaide handed it over to her mother. Elliot rose from his chair.

“Let me put it outisde for you, Mrs. Adelaide,”Elliot offered. “You are busy enough.”

“Oh that’s alright Elliot,” Mrs. Graham-Smith said but Elliot was already taking charge of the cat. The cat clung to his sweater to make sure it wouldn’t swung around and waved its tail menacingly. Elliot frowned. “See? The cat wants to leave already. I’ll put it outside where it belongs.” He left the dining room for the front door.

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Nov 19, 2009 at 3:39 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“I don’t think that’s…” Holly started, but it was too late. He was taking the cat out. She leaned back in her chair, picking up a glass of water to sip and looking just [i]slightly[/i] exasperated.

“That cat is coming right back in the house, isn’t he?” she stated, not really meaning to ask a question.

Adelaide was pouting again, plopping down in to her chair. “It’s going to be all cold out there in the snow. Alone. Without me to keep him warm.”
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Nov 19, 2009 at 3:45 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

A minute later, Elliot was back in his chair after taking a small detour to wash his hands. Mrs, Graham-Smith had moved back to the kitchen looking a little disturbed.

“It surely belongs to somebody and all it has to do is go home,” Elliot said, noting Holly and Adelaide’s faces. “What else could happen?”

The doorbell rang again!

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Nov 19, 2009 at 3:52 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“Well, he could ring the doorbell again, for one.” Holly cracked a wicked grin at the joke. “[i]I’ll[/i] answer it.” she said quickly before, Adelaide, who looked pleased as pie, could jump up and run off to the door herself. She’d probably run off to kidnap that poor cat again.

Resting her napkin on the table, she moved from her chair and exited the dining room. Upon reaching the door, she opened it up fully expecting to see a bouncing cat trying to get back in.
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Nov 19, 2009 at 4:05 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

A tall man stood at the door, indeed waiting to be let in. He was wearing a long, black overcoat and a black, wool hunter cap on his soft and white, very white hair. It was short and straight, with long bangs framing his handsome, chiseled face. His eyes were unusually bright and surprisingly enough, one was blue and the other was orange.

He placed his very stylish boot on the threshold as if he expected them to close the door on him.

“Good evening!” He said with a small smile. His voice was grave and melodious, like that of a professional singer. “I am here to see Mrs. Adelaide Graham-Smith. She invited me, I assure you. My name is Amadeus Ritter.”

At the dinner table, Elliot simply waited and ate another tortilla chip. Mrs. Adelaide came out of the kitchen just on time to hear the front door open.

“Oh dear.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Nov 19, 2009 at 4:36 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“Well! Nice to meet you, Amadeus. I’m Holly.” This guy was a bonified good looking. Sounded like a rock star and looked like one too. If he were one of the men on her favorite band posters, she might have jumped on him like some wacky fangirl and started screaming with glee.

Which meant he was in [i]so[/i] much trouble when he came inside.

Holly grinned even wider. “She’s expecting you. Come in.” She stepped aside, allowing him to enter before closing the door. Taking far more amusement in it than she could, she led the guest to the dining room where everyone was waiting.

“Announcing Mister Amadeus Ritter.” she near started laughing.

Adelaide was still sulking at the table until she saw the new guest. Her eyes grew as wide as saucers and her jaw dropped open. For once… she was speechless![/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Nov 19, 2009 at 4:57 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Standing next to Holly, Amadeus smiled a little as he looked at each of them one by one and the corner of his lip quirked slightly as if recalling some sort of private joke.

“Good evening,” Amadeus greeted. “I see I am a little late; if I had better means I would have been here earlier.”

Mrs. Graham-Smith smiled a little uncertainly as Elliot rose to shake the hand of the newcommer.

“I was not sure you would have the time to join us,” Mrs. Graham-Smith said. “You are very welcome. This is Elliot Graham-Parker, his friend Holly Roberts and my daughter, Adelaide. You surely remember her.”

“Indeed I do,” Amadeus said. He shook the hand Elliot offered him. “I am glad to see everyone is whole and healthy.”

“That’s a Swedish greeting,” Mrs. Graham-Smith quickly said.

“I am so foreign to this land, I never get used to it.” Amadeus produced a bottle of wine in an embroidered sheath of coarse wool. “Mead for the hostess.”

“Thank you. Please have a seat.” Mrs. Graham-Smith had already poured water in the water gobblet the remaining prepared seat and she quickly was gone to the kitchen with her gift!

[/da][/da][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Nov 19, 2009 at 5:10 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“We were just talking about cats and poverty.” said Holly, moving to her chair. That’s when she realized that Mrs. Adelaide’s guest had very unusual eyes! She had blinked in surprise, about to take a double look when-

“No, no, no! That’s MY seat!” exclaimed Adelaide loudly before Holly could sit. She was up and out of her chair like a rocket, zooming around the edge of the table. She grasped Holly by the arms and all but dragged her to the other side, where she plopped her down in the seat next to Elliot. Adelaide didn’t forget to switch their water glasses or provide her with her snack plate.

Practically bouncing, she hopped over to what was Holly’s seat to sit next to Amadeus. “Hello! Mommy said you remembered me, but I don’t recall ever meeting [i]you[/i] before. Are you a family friend? You know… I don’t have a boyfriend…”

“I don’t have a boyfriend either.” Holly said with a wicked smile. Not that she was interested in Mister Ritter, but the glare of DOOM Adelaide was now casting her from across the table was worth it.[/so][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Nov 19, 2009 at 5:38 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“It looks like I have been dethroned” Elliot muttered with a faint smile only loud enough for Holly to hear. On the other side of the table, Amadeus had taken refuge behind his water gobblet.

“Cats and poverty. That is such a sad…” Amadeus couldn’t finish before Adelaide whirled around the table and somehow he found himself in his own seat. “Hello there. Yes, I do remember you. Why, I handed over the bride after all, at your mother’s wedding.”

“Did you?” Elliot blinked in surprise. “I don’t quite… remember you.”

“Sometimes I am entirely forgettable,” Amadeus said with a smile. “In any case, I was not the one supposed to stand out.” Amadeus watched switched his gaze and thoughtfully watched Holly. “Sometimes the most startling things look like everyday objects to most people. It’s only natural.”

“I could say I don’t have a girlfriend,” Amadeus said, “but that doesn’t seem safe. No, in any case she is not friendly to me. Nevermind, please forget it.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Nov 19, 2009 at 6:14 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

At his friend Holly was sure this was the cat. Unless he was like a werecat, that meant he probably wasn’t cursed. …speaking of cursed though, he she was surrounded by all the best stories in the world for The Chronicle and she couldn’t in good conscience write a single word about them. Oh, the painful irony! Still, she leaned to the side, casting a grin at the dethroned Elliot.

Adelaide put on her full flirting look, which including batting her eyelashes and lots and lots of big bright smiles. “I would be friendly to you. Did you know sixteen is a legal adult?”

“What sort of lady is your non-girlfriend, Amadeus? She must be something interesting if you mentioned her regardless.” Holly interjected Adelaide’s weird commentary with a curious question.

“Elliiiiioot.” Adelaide whined through clenched teeth, trying to subtly point at Holly and signal him to do something about her. Anything! Kill her! Get riiiid of Holly![/so][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Nov 19, 2009 at 6:31 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot replied to Adelaide with that [i]harmless[/i] smile of his, making clear that he wasn’t going to stick his hand in the fire for her. After all, his stepmother had a fire poker complete with an active chimney in the living room.

Amadeus smiled at Adelaide.

“Is it? I had no idea. I am too old for you, though!” He blinked at Holly. “Non-girlfriend? Why hadn’t I thought about that myself!” He grinned like a man that’s found a silver dollar in the sofa. “That is exactly what she is! She is hm…” Amadeus pondered. “She is… her work. She defines herself by it. She’s a sort of marriage counselor, but more like a matchmaker. She’s like a cross between an ultrafeminist and a extreme-left politician. Also, she is moody and unsociable, and she thinks it’s my fault. I’ve never done anything to her, really.”

Elliot blinked.

“How can an ultrafeminist be a matchmaker?”

“I have no idea, but she figured it out somehow. Personally, I don’t try to understand it. It can get painful, thinking about it.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Nov 19, 2009 at 6:40 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Adelaide was pouting again! Not only was Elliot being totally non-helpful, but the super hot guy said he was too old for her. SO not true. For the moment, she was crossing her eyes and looking like the sad poor cute girl that needed a hug.

Holly was trying to wrap her brains around the non-girlfriend’s description. She sounded sort of like a lunatic, but consider how some men could totally be dense… Holly snagged one of the crackers from the appetizer tray.

“Probably jealous. Or crazy. Crazy jealous? If I was your non-girlfriend I might be a little jealous too. You probably get a lot of attention from crazy women.” Holly gave another wicked grin.[/so][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Nov 19, 2009 at 6:53 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Amadeus was a little taken aback at Holly’s assessment.

“Maybe crazy is more like it,” he said with a perplexed blink of his mismatching eyes. “I [i]suppose[/i] it could be said I get attention from women. She says I do it on purpose, which is not true. I am simply friendly and civil! But she gets mad and then I am the one with a black eye.” Amadeus rested his chin on his hand. “She sometimes organizes matchmaking parties. The most boring thing in the world – it’s like work interviews with flower arrangements on the table.”

Amadeus smiled at Adelaide.

“You wouldn’t need to go to a matchmaking party, yes?” He said. “You just go out and meet people!”

Elliot raised his eyebrows.

“A lot of people she has already met, and she does have a boyfriend,” Elliot dryly said just to be pesky.

[/da][/da][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Nov 19, 2009 at 7:05 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Having the man’s attention again, Adelaide was nodding quickly. “Yes, I-” and then Elliot had to go and blabber about her boyfriend. “I DON’T have a boyfriend. Not really… He’s like a non-boyfriend like Holly said!”

“Is this the non-boyfriend you were going to give Elliot’s clothes to?” asked Holly.

Adelaide quickly shushed.

Holly shrugged her shoulders as she picked up her water glass. “You can’t help being gorgeous and nice to women. But I suppose if you didn’t like the crazy-lady you wouldn’t keep seeing her again to get those black eyes.” A friendly grin before she took a drink of her water. But she paused for a moment giving it some thought.

“Who actually goes to match making parties, anyway? Isn’t it hard enough to score a date without having tons of people walking around checking you out like a roasted turkey? There’s a place called Katrinka’s that my Aunt Nancy keeps trying to talk me in to going.”[/so][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Nov 19, 2009 at 7:21 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot wondered if he would end with a black eye sometime. It did seem possible! He eyed Holly, kind of looking that he was thinking! Amadeus frowned a little.

“You wouldn’t believe it. Some people form CLUBS for that sort of thing. I mean, what is the meaning in paying membership for a matchmaking club? That kind of defeats the purpose.” His eyebrow raised at the name of the stablishment Holly mentioned. “She likes that sort of names, maybe it’s her again…”

Mrs. Graham-Smith came from the kitchen with a bread basket; she then proceeded to serve the soup.

“What is the topic at hand?” She asked.

“Matchmaking clubs,” Elliot said. “And black eyes. They seem to go hand in hand.”

“Oh dear.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Nov 19, 2009 at 8:17 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“I could go to Katrinka’s and give it a look. Could probably pretend it was for work or something. ‘Insane Matchmakers and the People they Help’.” Holly turned to glance at Elliot, who was eying her pretty weirdly. If he thought she’d be giving him some black eyes… Holly narrowed her own glance at him.

Adelaide chimed in again. “I think matchmaking is silly, I mean, I’m smart enough to know the perfect guy when I see him!” To make her point she smiled super pretty at Amadeus, even leaned real close as she bat her eyes. “If you saw the perfect girl you’d know her when you did, riiiight?”
[/so][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Nov 19, 2009 at 12:27 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot gave Holly a [i]harmless[/i] smile that was short from a wicked grin.

“Undercover reporting?” He asked. “What if the people there are completely earthly albeit a bit lonely?”

Amadeus smiled.

“Who am I to say which girls are perfect in every sense?” He cryptically said before sipping his water. Mrs. Graham-Smith cast her daughter a motherly glance for her to behave!

“Adelaide, come and help me with the rest of the dishes.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Nov 20, 2009 at 3:03 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

There was that [i]harmless[/i] smile again. Holly matched it with a half smirk. “I’m quickly finding out that nothing in this town seems to be normal.” Which incidentally, made her job at the Chronicle that much more fun. …and maybe a little dangerous. She was going to lead towards fun though.

“But mooo-ooom.” complained Adelaide, who grumbled in defeat when her mother gave her the look again. She slooowly got up from her chair and followed the older woman out, much like a criminal about to be executed.

“Now that the pain in the ass is distracted,” Holly said once Adelaide was out of the room, “What [i]is[/i] good for you, Amadeus? In a woman. Maybe if you don’t want crazy females chasing you, you should give more definitive answers.” She did turn to steal a glance at Elliot too, giving that smirk again. “You could answer too, Man Who Works Much.”
[/so][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Nov 20, 2009 at 3:37 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Amadeus leaned against the back of his chair with his arms crossed. He seemed both reluctant and pleased with the challenge!

“Good for me in a woman? That utterly depends on the Era and the conflicts at hand. What is good in a woman, for me? She would have to be reasonably independent and capable of fending by herself most of the time. Self-esteem never hurts. A woman able to converse and has an open mind but yet, a set of morals or at least, ethics. Flipflops have never been attractive. She mustn’t try to kill me, that is an important point. I like women that are articulate and express themselves fluently – women that don’t expect me to guess them out. At the same time, I don’t like the obnoxiously vocal type that traumatize you with information you don’t really need – Ah! Most importantly, I don’t like fights with or without weapons, I have enough of that elsewhere.”

Elliot raised his eyebrows with a slight smirk at the question, then wondered what was Ritter’s line of work. Maybe a stunt double? Or maybe he was a hitman. One never knows… but he seemed more of an artist type than a hitman.

“So now I work too much? And what kind of question is that?” Elliot shrugged his elegant shoulders. “In physical terms I don’t think I have a preference, yet I admit I admire a woman that looks after herself. I suppose,” Elliot arched an eyebrow, “I like a woman with character. People around me and in the places where I have to live in general, are not the best human beings in several aspects, yet yes there are many decent people I know. Staff mainly, tend to be overly proud and snotty. People are judgmental and constantly measuring up against one another. I like women that can deal with that with their own flair. A woman with a sense of humor that can laugh at herself; like Amadeus mentioned, a set of morals never hurt… I prefer someone I can respect. I like to think I am honest. I expect honesty, too. Maybe I can be judgmental myself, but aren’t we all.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Nov 20, 2009 at 4:38 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly was having much the same thoughts about Mr. Ritter’s reply as Elliot. Era? What does this guy do for living? He HAD to be in the movies business! Hollywood women were violent and psycho.

But she shifted in her chair to listen to Elliot’s reply, finding herself much more interested in what his answer might be. She rest her arm over the back of her chair, and twitched her foot after crossing her legs.

“Sounds like a pretty generic answer to me. Even he-” she pointed a thumb at Amadeus, “said he doesn’t like fighting with or without weapons, which is at least a little bit interesting.” She cast the man across the a weird glance, suggesting she’d love to ask more about that later!

“Everyone says they want someone with ethics, independence, and humor. And they’ll date a dozen people like that. So what about the little things that really make the difference and stand out? My father always said he loved my mother because no matter where she was in the house she’d just [i]know[/i] when he was about to drink out of the milk gallon. He’d do it just to see if she’d catch him.”
[/so][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Nov 20, 2009 at 5:09 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Amadeus snickered. “Women are much more natural at foretelling actions than men.”

Elliot bit his lip to prevent a lopsided smile. “I am sorry; I am a lawyer. I can’t help generic speech sometimes, you know.” He smiled nonetheless. “Honestly, I don’t know. It’s very difficult to tell even for me, what would make me love someone. I just mentioned the most… basic things for me. Would it be someone that complements me? Or someone that does everything I do? I really don’t know. I haven’t had any great romance story of my own as to say, this is what I want; and well, I can’t exactly tell what were my parents like for each other. I only have what my father would tell me. Yes, I liked his stories but I don’t know. My mother was passionate and liberal on many aspects but very conservative on others. She left Italy with my father – and I mean she left it, I have no idea who were her relatives or where did they all go. She was an opera singer, as I have mentioned. She still had her career and she was a strong woman, but she died. My father married again yes, but decades later; I can only imagine what he felt like inside. I am not sure I would want something so intense…” Elliot made a pause. “But in some way yes, I would like that. I cannot have that if I cannot trust a woman I love. So yes, those are the basic things for me: Someone strong-willed because really, this sort of life is not for the faint-hearted; most women I have met think I am an ATM and want me to be there for them but flee when I need support. Someone with a set of morals because money is a great adversary and I need someone that won’t turn against me just to get more money. Someone with humor because I am not someone easy to live with, or so it seems. So what else?” Elliot shrugged. “Those traits are hard enough to find together.”

“I like sports, maybe she could join me but it’s not mandatory. I like detective novels and documentaries about nature. I can watch horror movies but the fast-forward button becomes very useful. I like race cars and motorcycles. I like to cook. Maybe someone who would enjoy these things with me. Someone that is not constantly criticizing me or calling me a hellish overlord that buys human souls for cheap, just because of my line of work has a bad reputation nowadays.”

Amadeus nodded.

“Yes, that is good, too!”

[/da][/da][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Nov 20, 2009 at 5:26 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

His answer was long winded, but it made sense, for him and his life. She liked it. But fast forwarding… Holly grinned, not the [i]harmless[/i] one, but an amused grin. “I’m kind of disappointed. Not only do you skip through horror movies, but you don’t deal in souls? What sort of evil villain is that? I think Aunt Nancy might be scarier.”

She turned in her chair to grin at the dinner guest. “What if you told your non-girlfriend something like that? Do you think she’d chill out, or is she the run away and cry type? …Or based on some earlier comments, starting swinging weapons at you..?” Antiques dealer maybe?[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Nov 20, 2009 at 5:36 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot quirked an eyebrow.

“I have more hidden traits, but I’m not spoiling things for you,” he said with a fake offended air.

Amadeus’s eyes widened slightly at Holly’s suggestion.

“Do you think I have not tried? She says I am trying to distract her from the truth, and then she says she’s not interested in me… but I still get a black eye nonetheless. Figuratively speaking. She cursed me once – and she meant it!” He looked very much offended. “I hadn’t done anything to her. She runs away alright, but not before trying to deafen me. She tripped me the other day on the street, and when a woman and her little daughter stopped to help me she accused me of flirting with women of all ages.” He threw his hands up in mild despair. “She is just insane!”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Nov 20, 2009 at 5:44 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Spoiling things for her! That sounded like a challenge. Holly cast Elliot a sly smirk.

“She does sound crazy. Don’t talk to her then! Don’t see her, don’t run in to her. Poof, out of your life. Of course, unless you [i]like[/i] her. Then maybe you’d have to do something crazy yourself. I think crazy people only recognize crazy gestures.”

“Elliot knows all about ending up in the hands of a maniac.” She said, with an air of complete innocence.
[/so][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Nov 20, 2009 at 5:59 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“That’s easy for you to say,” Amadeus said, tragically. “I don’t know if I like her – I suppose in some crazy way I do. However people may like a Komodo dragon at the zoo and at the same time they don’t want to take it home with them. In any case she doesn’t like [i]me[/i], it’s more like a mania of hers against me or perhaps the flu.”

Amadeus quirked an eyebrow.

“Some things seem to be bad luck, but be the contrary in the end. Won’t you two agree?” He cryptically said. Adelaide and her mother came back with trays of food, then again with a large roasted turkey!

“Wonderful!” Amadeus said. “It must have been huge!”

“That looks delicious, Mrs. Adelaide,” observed Elliot. Mrs. Graham-Smith smiled.

“Thank you!”

[/da][/da][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Nov 22, 2009 at 5:33 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Bad luck turned good fortune, huh? Holly cast a wry grin at Amadeus. Boy, he could say that again. …! Weird, was it good luck after all? Madam Adelaide had returned with the dinner spread, which really did look divine!

With the dishes out, now Adelaide was free to plop in to her chair and make more flirty looks at Amadeus, and not being at all bashful about it. “Mommy makes the best food, and I know all of her recipes.”

“Yes, what was that new one you learned, Christmas Rug Surprise?” Holly asked, blinking innocently when Adelaide choked on her water and dropped her spoon on her plate. “She’s so modest. I’m not, though.” She grinned. “Elliot and I made some cookies before coming over.”
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Feb 8, 2010 at 5:15 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Amadeus smiled into his glass, half to conceal his expression; however his mismatching eyes gave him away. Like a cat, indeed!

“I do like cookies. Christmas Rug Surprise, what an intriguing name! What kind of dish is it?”

Elliot -almost- interfered to save Adelaide, but he quickly changed his mind. He simply watched as intently as a lawyer can watch while looking dangerously casual. Mrs. Graham-Smith broke the small, awkward silence:

“Let her explain later. Elliot, you should say the blessing; Wilhelm used to say it for us.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Feb 9, 2010 at 10:37 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Adelaide was still coughing on her water, much to Holly’s pleasure. Resulting in Holly casting a wide devious grin in Amadeus’ direction. She liked him. He was very fun indeed. Alas, Mrs. Adelaide came to the rescue with the suggestion of a dinner blessing. So Holly respectfully adjusted the napkin in her lap, and tilted her her to blink curiously at Elliot. He hadn’t spent a holiday with his family in ages. Far longer than she had seen hers. A practiced lawyer could give a little speech, couldn’t he?
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Feb 9, 2010 at 11:32 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot blinked slowly.

“It’s been a very long time,” he admitted. “I can only hope I remember.”

Amadeus was smiling slightly and watching. There was something strange about him; something that made him look strangely old and battered like an old but strong alley cat, dignified but ever so slightly… guilty? It was the strangest thing and lasted less than a second. Mrs. Graham was watching Elliot with a wistful smile. Despite the father had been as blond as the son was dark, the two strongly resembled each other; not only the facial features or the body, but something else about Elliot brought about the same air of his long gone father. Elliot bent his forehead, closed his eyes and joining his hands, pressed them against his lips for an instant. He remembered the joy of gone years and more closely, how much he loved his father. He remembered and thoughtfully repeated those words he had heard countless times from his father’s lips; only repeated them for saying them himself would have put a knot in his throat.

“Thank you Lord for the fellowship around this table, for the good friends, for the hearts of love that manifested themselves through hands that prepared this wonderful feast. Bless us as we eat and bless us as we fellowship. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

“Amen,” Mrs. Graham-Smith and her daughter said. Elliot smiled, looking touched and… kind of fatherly! Amadeus replied also or not, but he nodded and smiled.

“May I propose a toast,” he said, lifting his cup of mead the hostess had poured a minute earlier for everyone. “May the Heavenly Providence smile over all of you and especially bless the excellent hands of our hostess. May this table always be a place for peace and rest for humans, cats and old birds who do Heaven’s work. So be it.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Feb 2, 2012 at 9:42 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly too muttered a soft [i]Amen[/i], her mouth twisting up in a less sarcastic smile. The Cranky Rug could speak really well when he wanted to. Despite having avoided his family for so many years, Holly suspected she just saw that desire to connect with people on his face. If only briefly. It made her miss her own family…

The mysterious Amadeus offered up a toast and Holly was more than happy to have a distraction from her thoughts! His toast was both elegant and eccentric. …and hinted at things that may very well have been truth and not just quirky wordplay.

“And a rescue for rugs. We can’t forget Christmas Rugs.” Holly chimed in, taking a drink from her glass of wine with a wide smile.
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Feb 2, 2012 at 10:03 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot smirked into his goblet.*

“Indeed, we should not forget that” He said.*Mrs. Graham-Smith smiled motherly… after giving her child a warning glance! Elliot gave Amadeus a curious glance.
“Cats and old birds…?”
“Yes”, Amadeus said with a mischievous smile. “I suppose, why not… Christmas Rugs, too?”
Elliot got slightly red.
“One Christmas Rug alone does not make Christmas”, he pointed out. “It would need help!”
He smirked at Holly and sipped from his goblet again.*

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Feb 2, 2012 at 10:23 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“I guess it doesn’t make Christmas by itself.. but it sure can steal it.” Holly responded with a mischievous expression.

Adelaide looked a little uncomfortable with the conversation and with her mother’s glare. So she did what she did best, and changed the entire focus on her GOOD deeds.

“New Years is going to be in a few days, maybe we can all go to a party!” she chimed in.

“We’ve barely had Christmas Dinner and you’re talking about an [i]adult[/i] party holiday. Tisk tisk. I am pretty certain, anyway, that Elliot probably has a crazy office party to attend to now that he’s… back from vacation.” she was grinning again. Her office always had a big New Years party, so she could only imagine the sort of party a fancy oil tycoon lawyer would have at his giant glass skyscraper.

“oh my god, Elliot can I be the date to your party, pretty, pretty, pretty please?” Adelaide squealed. It seemed her teenage crush on Amadeus was already over and she was back to adoring her step-brother instead.
[/so][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Feb 2, 2012 at 10:43 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“What? No; of course not!” Elliot arched an eyebrow. “Office New Year’s parties are not a place for… young girls. My father wouldn’t have allowed it” He remarked, almost defensively. “I wasn’t to one at Syrius till I was out if College!”

Amadeus blinked with an exaggerated look of amazement.

“That sounds really good; I wonder if -I- could go! I enjoy parties. I could bring a group and sing, too!”

Mrs. Graham blinked at her white-haired guest.
“Would you be allo… [i]Would you do that?[/i]

Amadeus looked very dignified.

“Well, why not?”

Elliot frowned.

“Definitely, not a place for teenagers.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Feb 2, 2012 at 11:00 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“Aww… I would have loved to hear Mr. Amadeus sing! You’re going to be there, you can keep an eye on me and I promise not to steal champagne.” Adelaide whined. Her voice even amping up an octave which was the start of a temper tantrum.

Holly was ready to throw a dinner plate at her. But instead took another long drink of wine. “Elliot already promised he was going to take me to the party, Adelaide. And he can only have one female guest. It’ll make up for trying to smother me with a rug.” A swift and clever way to shield Elliot from the teenage witch. Not that Holly was interested in a New Years party at all. She had really bad luck at parties. Although… if the stranger -was- going to sing there, Holly wanted to see that for sure. Mrs. Graham seemed to think it was interesting.

“Unless you -want- to take your sister? I wouldn’t get in the way of family bonding!”
[/so][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Feb 2, 2012 at 11:20 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot flashed one of his [i]harmless[/i] smiles.

“I could not break such a promise… Even if you pulled the rug first” He added with a fierce smile. “Adelaide will surely understand that! Wouldn’t you?” he asked his stepsister.

He briefly stared at Amadeus and Mrs. Graham. Was he a singer, maybe a gun for hire that sings songs on the side…? She seemed a bit unsettled…

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Feb 2, 2012 at 11:45 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“Ugh… whatever…” Adelaide looked completely crushed. However, that just meant she was back to beaming her smile at Amadeus and scooting her chair closer to his. “So… If you go, you would need a date too, right?” She asked carefully.

Holly was there to save Elliot, not protect Amadeus, so she just grinned and let the girl have at it. Holly tilted closer to Elliot, whispering softly. “You really don’t have to take me if you don’t want to. But I do think Mrs. Graham’s friend is definitely worth getting to know better.”
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Feb 3, 2012 at 5:43 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot slowly tilted a little closer to Holly, still looking at Amadeus and spoke in a hushed voice.

“Don’t you think he is peculiar? I guess I could get his group a space at the party, but… Isn’t it odd he has eyes like that cat from earlier? Mrs. Adelaide seems to look up to him. What if we all end as a full living room set? Quite living at that!”

Elliot smiled slightly. “If you can attend, I don’t have the slightest reason not to escort you to the party. At least if I end up as furniture again, you’d find me.”

Amadeus did notice the exchange, but he was too busy with Adelaide to pay attention!

“Sadly, I must say no. I do not think your mother would approve… or my non-girlfriend, either. She is dangerous like a large and fluffy pink beast!”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Feb 3, 2012 at 8:48 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“He usual, for sure. But I might just be over sensitive to the bizarre after a really strange week.” she confessed. Holly hoped she didn’t start finding cursed people as furniture all over the place and seeing odd things every day. …then again didn’t she start her job with that faint hope that some of the things reported in the Chronicle were actually real?

All over again, Adelaide was looking disappointed. She was getting turned down everywhere and it was so unfair! “I read in mother’s books that you can pray to the angel of love when you need help with your romances. Not that I think you should bother with a non-girlfriend -any- way.” She huffed.

[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Feb 3, 2012 at 10:46 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Amadeus’s eyes slightly dilated in a mix of horror and shock at Adelaide’s words.

“Angel of love? That would be such trouble in the making”, he said. Quickly pulling back his composure, he quirked an eyebrow and smirked, this time at the hostess. “Such controversial reading materials you have!”

Mrs. Graham-Smith’s ears reddened a bit, yet not a muscle in her face twitched.

“Harmless reading. It’s not like such creatures walk the Earth and drink to your health nowadays”.

Amadeus smiled at mother and daughter.

“Of course not! We are near perfectly safe”.

Elliot decided it was best to just eat and watch. He quirked an eyebrow and took a sip of mead.

“Bizarre is too mild a description”, he muttered so that Holly could hear him. Then he said to the others, “I wasn’t aware angels had a profession.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Feb 4, 2012 at 12:02 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“They can’t just stand around watching us all the time, right? That would like… be super creepy!” responded Adelaide. She still thought invoking the angel of love was a really good idea. She DID want a good date for the dance, and she wasn’t so sure about her boyfriend. Now she was eying Amadeus as a potential date.

“The Chronicle has written some interesting story pieces about angels.” Holly mentioned. “There was an amusing one about meddling in the affairs of human being something that’s highly under debate.” She cast another grin. “Nothing like those TV shows where it’s all about good deeds and saving souls.”

[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Feb 4, 2012 at 1:42 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Amadeus blinked his mismatching eyes one after the other with the suffering air of someone being wronged over some matter from a long gone past.

“Angels? Who wants to hear about angels these days? Angels of all sorts are highly overrated. Vampires and werevolves are more like it, for young girls nowadays… The more glittery, the better.” He was smirking. “Those do meddle, don’t they? You are more likely to find one of those turned into a policeman rather than angels in robes standing in some dark nook in a public square with hands folded on their chest and rolling their eyes up at the skies.”

He proceeded to demonstrate, folding his long, pale hands and rolling his eyes up rather impiously. Mrs. Graham-Smith cast him a reproaching glance.

“You are rolling your eyes up now.” She said. “Which is not very nice. Young girls have their dreams, and some do come true. Why shouldn’t they try?”

Amadeus narrowed a glance at her.

“How about trying on their own? In any case, I mean no harm.” He smiled at Adelaide. “Believe me, there is nothing like getting things done by yourself.”

Elliot coughed meaningfully.

“Don’t tell her that,” he adviced dryly. Amadeus shrugged his shoulders.

“I am a do-it-yourselfer. I know nothing more.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Feb 4, 2012 at 3:35 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly nearly choked on a bite of her dinner. If she spent any more time snickering this evening, she probably wouldn’t live through it. “I think I agree with Mister Amadeus. What’s better than taking care of your own business? Cursing those that plague you, or in some cases [i]un[/i]cursing. Of course, I don’t condone kidnapping people, Adelaide, it’s not attractive in a girl.”

Holly smirked as Adelaide bristled again. Almost as if the teenager was actually thinking of kidnapping. “Gooood. You guys act like I am the next generation of evil! It’s sooooo unfair.” She whined in Amadeus’ direction. Adelaide nearly grabbed on to his arm for the full effect of pitiful clinging, but her mother was shooting her another one of those looks again.

“ANYWAAAYs, I’m ready for dessert! Can we take it to the living room by the tree so we can open presents?”
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Feb 4, 2012 at 4:13 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Amadeus was grinning, apparently quite amused at the thought of someone trying to kidnap him. Mrs. Graham-Parker raised her eyebrows.

“That is a nice idea, dear; as soon as we finish dinner. Your brother is still eating.”

Elliot did not appreciate being used as an excuse to say dinner was not over, and he deliberately slowed down his eating. Amadeus ate as daintily as a cat and his dinnerplate was somehow miraculously empty, except for a pile of bones at its very center, like dry wood for a bonfire. He watched Elliot and Holly in amusement.

“I agree. I would not appreciate being kidnapped, or cursed. It’s very annoying.”

“You could say that again”, Elliot growled. He finished eating as slowly as he could manage!

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Feb 4, 2012 at 4:22 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Adelaide stared at her step-brother and his excruciatingly slow eating. She squirmed in her seat. Huffed. And almost reached across the table to ‘help’ him eat, if Holly hadn’t threatened her with a table knife.

Holly, of course didn’t -threaten- her. She simply tilted the knife back and forth in a subtle chiding. Holly herself was also finished eating. But seemed to have no problem lingering with a glass of mead while Elliot tormented his sister. Leaning to the side to whisper to Elliot again, she hid her grin under a serious expression.

“You realize, should she get too frustrated she will likely try to curse the cookies we brought. I’m not too keen on spending the next week as a Gingerbread girl and ending my year as someone’s midnight snack.”
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Feb 4, 2012 at 4:41 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot snickered but managed not to choke on a mouthful of dinner. He drank some mead. It was strangely sweet for something vikings would drink. He had guessed it would be bitter and tequila-esque strong.

“You’d be one of those cookies with a chunk of salt inside for self-defense”, he observed in a hushed tone with a smile. He smirked as he announced, “What a wonderful dinner, Mrs. Adelaide. It was delicious.”

Mrs. Adelaide smiled.*

“Thanks Elliot, how nice of you. Adelaide, help me bring dessert to the living room”.

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Feb 4, 2012 at 5:06 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Adelaide practically lept out of her seat. Bouncing off to the kitchen to procure all the desserts, even beating her mother in there. She bounced away humming a merry Christmas tune about reindeer.

Holly drank the last contents in her glass. Enjoying that nice warm feeling that rushed through her veins. She thought she might’ve had to drink a lot more just to be able to get through Christmas evening. But… spending time with Elliot’s family wasn’t so bad. Maybe because it was so different from the traditional way her family used to spend it. There were less reminders to make her mood dark.

Before she started thinking too deeply down that road, Holly rose from her seat. Tapping her fingers on Elliot’s shoulders as she passed him. “To the living room, then. We can spread you out on the floor and pile presents on top of you.” she smirked wickedly.
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Feb 4, 2012 at 5:36 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot smirked.

“I refuse to cooperate.” He said, leaving the table to follow her. Amadeus ran his fingers through his hair and followed them with a grin. He inspected the tree and mildly shook the tiny bells on it, batting at them with his fingers. Noticing, Elliot quirked an eyebrow.

He opened his mouth to speak, but thought about it and started over.

“I see you are an old friend of Mrs. Adelaide’s. How did you get acquainted?”

Amadeus smiled a little.

“She helped me out of a family quarrel”, he said. “She was a very talented young woman; a true artist. Had I been younger, I would have turned her into a musician… but she was not attracted to crowds and power. So we are simple friends.”

Holly was enjoying the evening, there was no hiding it. Elliot opened the jewel box again and gave her a chocolate as Amadeus spoke. Mrs. Adelaide as a rockstar? There was some food for thought!

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Feb 4, 2012 at 5:44 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

It was all too easy for Holly to imagine Mrs. Graham as a rockstar. Maybe it was just something about the way the woman walked or spoke to people. Holly always figured the most prim and proper of people were usually the ones that could really get wild and have a great presence when they wanted to make it known.

Accepting the chocolate as a bribe to not bury Elliot in presents she popped the piece in her mouth, followed by sanguine smile. Mister Amadeus was a natural presence. If Holly were younger, she might have been as bad as Adelaide and clung to the man’s every word. She really [i]was[/i] interested in hearing him sing.

And Elliot… Elliot was definitely not a rockstar. Holly more imagined him riding carpets in the Arabian desert, swinging a cutlass like a pirate and giving harmless smiles before he hijacked your treasures and went sneaking off in to the night.

Now she couldn’t quit grinning!
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Feb 4, 2012 at 6:02 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot wondered if that meant Mrs. Adelaide used to get into fights with cat people singing on rooftops. He was still pondering on that when he saw Holly was grinning from ear to ear and looked at him just like she did when he tried on the villain coat the first time, at the shop. Elliot gave her a lawyerly warning look! He wouldn’t go without a fight, if she planned on shaking the poker at him!

He was still smirking at the thought as he replied to Amadeus, “So you are a professional musician. Are you a singer?”

“I used to be. Now I am mainly a composer. I write songs for a selected few.” He almost preened like a cat. “I still sing sometimes, I enjoy singing for friends or in private parties.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Feb 4, 2012 at 6:29 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly wasn’t scared of his lawyer look at all. And the fact he was giving it had her grinning all the wider. She did make sure to escape to a safe spot over near the fireplace. It was only by coincidence she was near the pokers.

“That sounds like a fun career.” she mentioned, clasping her hands behind her back and strolling to the opposite end of the fireplace before Elliot got any ideas of her going on a swinging rampage. “I think I’d enjoy hearing you sing or play some music, but I’ll ask another time when Adelaide isn’t here to maul you.”

Speaking of Adelaide, she came prancing in to the room with a tray of cookies, cakes, and other sweets all neatly arranged. Leaning over a coffee table she set them down. Then she was pointing at Holly like she had just spotted something amazingly wicked.

“Miiistletooooe!” she squealed. “Now somebody has to kiss you, or you’ll be cursed to a life of being an old maid!”

“…are you threatening me with a curse, Adelaide?” Holly asked, crossing her arms over her chest and rethinking walking away from the fire poker. She might need it after all.

[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Feb 4, 2012 at 7:29 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot was eyeing the pokers when Adelaide bounced in and threatened them with mistletoe curses -or at least that is what he thought.

“You have some sort of matchmaking obsession”, he observed. Holly looked right about going back and grabbing a fire poker! “Holly breaks curses of all sorts.”

Amadeus blinked.

“She does? Doesn’t that deserve a kiss?”

Elliot blinked at the sudden remark. “I think it’s the other way around,” he observed. Mrs. Graham-Smith came in with a dish bearing the cookies Holly and Elliot brought to the party. She placed down the tray and simply moved out of the way!

Elliot felt both pressured and kind of ridiculous for fearing for his life. Even lawyers get a day of reckoning, he guessed. He walked up to Holly and took her hand.

“Only if you’d allow me the slightest kiss, Adelaide will be turned into a piece of decor, herself?”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Feb 4, 2012 at 7:39 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Having grown up with a sibling, Adelaide’s prodding hadn’t bothered her in the least. (Though she was never going to trust the girl again when she mentioned a curse.) So she was trying hard not to smirk when Elliot seemed so stiff and perturbed by the entire idea. She even plotted on teasing him a bit and seeing how much more ruffled he’d be. It’d serve him well for some of the trouble he caused her all week.

But she really didn’t expect him to take her hand and make such a formal show about it. Those thoughts about him being a wicked Arabian thief were coming to mind again.

“Elliot, to turn Adelaide to chair I’d give up a thousand kisses.” she responded, trying to make light of the entire thing and hoping she wasn’t turning red or anything else equally as stupid. She was a grown woman, and it was no big deal. Really.

Adelaide sliiiid up next to Amadeus. “Can I have a kiss?” She bat her eyes at him with her sweetest look.

[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Feb 4, 2012 at 7:53 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot found himself smiling, and he hoped he wasn’t looking like an idiot for it. He gently slid his arm around Holly’s waist and leaned forward, giving her a gentle kiss. It… lasted a tad longer than he had planned!

Elliot felt a rush of warmth. That mead sure was stronger than it seemed to be! Because it had to be the mead, right?

On his side of the room, Amadeus smiled mysteriously.

“No dear lady; you can’t. I respect and appreciate your mother very much, and you are her dear child.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Feb 4, 2012 at 8:12 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly expected a simple, brisk, completely ordinary everyday kiss. Not a caress of lips tasting faintly of mead and a tinglie rush of dizziness that made her knees nearly give way, and causing her to tilt a little too far forward in to his embrace. Holly hadn’t even realized she held her breath. Only breathing for the first time when she finally pulled away from Elliot.

There went her idea of not turning red, because she could feel the heat in her cheeks. Now she was just hoping no one heard her heart beating a thousand miles per hour.

“Only… nine hundred and ninety nine to go for a plush chaise?” she murmured softly.

Adelaide wasn’t paying attention to the chaos she had cause. Now pouty at Amadeus with that dark and sulky look again. “Mother ruins everything!”

[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Feb 4, 2012 at 8:29 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

She did say something, but he didn’t quite hear it and it would have been painfully embarrasing to ask. Elliot had tightened his hold on her as she leaned closer into his arms and whatever she had just said, he prayed it wasn’t along the lines of I’ll sue you, or worse, let go of me. She had moved away though – and she was blushing! He found that bewitching. Elliot smiled a little awkwardly and blinked, looking a bit lost. His ears were red.

“… Did you say something…?” He muttered.

“On the contrary,” Amadeus gravely said. “Didn’t she get you to this world for us to meet you?”

He left it at that and plucked a cookie from the tray.

“So much sweetness. I almost miss my own family.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Feb 4, 2012 at 9:04 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“Nine hundred and ninety nine.” she repeated. …then cleared her throat! Maybe Adelaide did go casting some crazy curse, cause Holly definitely felt enchanted. She reached out a hand to straighten his shirt, despite the fact her really didn’t need it. Holly lift a hand to point over towards the coffee table. “There’s cookies.”

Adelaide wasn’t sure if she had just been insulted or not. But she decided to take it as a compliment instead. “You’re right! I guess she is pretty awesome after all!” She plopped down on the sofa, taking up a cookie to chew on.

“These are pretty good. Holly made them herself?”

A spell breaker! “Yes and Elliot helped by looming in the kitchen and supervising like it was a business meeting.”
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Feb 5, 2012 at 6:04 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Nine hundred and ninety nine what? Elliot blinked and the need to grasp whatever she meant forced him to focus… However, he could only blink again and look at the cookies on the table.

“Hm… Cookies.” The sound of his own voice grounded him back into reality. “Yes, Holly made them… They passed quality control with flying colors. Obtaining the test subjects was extremely difficult, I must say!”

He moved over to the small table and reached out to grab one of the cookies. His ears were still red.

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Feb 6, 2012 at 1:22 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly’s face was still red, but at least with the break of contact everything was returning back to normal. She smoothed her hands over her skirt, not trusting her knees to work proper if she moved. But after a few moments, Holly migrated away from the fireplace and over to the sofa. She sat slowly, with all the grace of Mrs. Graham (and wondering why she was bothering to be so prim) and settled before reaching to snatch up a cookie for herself. At the going rate, Adelaide would scarf them all down before long.

Having one cookie in her mouth and two in her hands, Adelaide didn’t share her mother’s manners at all. She crawled across the floor towards the Christmas Tree, where she sat on her knees moving presents around. “I have a gift for Elliot!”

“It’s not a genie’s lamp or trap box, is it?” Holly asked. Using the cookie in her hand like a shield.

“Noooo.” Adelaide huffed. “It’s a normal gift, jeeze…”
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Feb 25, 2012 at 7:39 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot found himself watching Holly as he ate his cookie. Well, at least some fortune came out of misfortune, even if such fortune was able with a firepoker. Elliot wondered if her had blushed or if she had flushed with anger. What was he trying to avert himself from? If it had been anger, she would have skewered him. Maybe she would like to go for coffee next morning… or in about an hour?

Adelaide’s exclamation pulled him back to reality. Elliot had to admit he would rather not get any [i]presents[/i] from Adelaide after the unfortunate situation he had to live through the last week… He frowned a little.

“As long as it comes in peace…”

Amadeus grinned as if some pleasant memory had come to mind. He seemed about to share it but had second thoughts and kept it to himself. Mrs. Graham-Parker poured him more drink and smiled.

“Will you stay in Elsewen?”

Amadeus’s smile faded a little.

“That is my intention… yet, I might need to visit England later next year.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Feb 26, 2012 at 11:18 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Adelaide pushed around several presents under the tree until she found just the one she was looking for. Small and flat, it LOOKED harmless enough, but Holly was sure everyone in the room were eying it like it might contain some sort of bomb.

The teenage girl hopped to her feet and flounced over to Elliot. Offering him the package, neatly wrapped in silver and gold paper, she remained there. Staring, waiting for him to unwrap and open it.

“It’s a picture frame!” Apparently he was taking too long for her liking, so she blurted it out. “My best school picture from last year where I look the prettiest. Now you won’t forget all about me!”

“Probably be nice for target practice. Did you get him a set of darts too?” Holly mentioned, now with a cup of milk in her hand to sip from and use as a shield.

Adelaide didn’t appreciate the comment.
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Feb 26, 2012 at 10:38 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot just finished unwrapping the gift despite the contents were revealed before he could finish. He stared at the picture. It was a very sugary Adelaide in her school outfit (even he found it ridiculously expensive, for a school uniform) staring from the picture frame with eyes like someone incapable of turning people into rugs then selling them off on eBay.

“I suppose I could borrow some darts from Amadeus… but yes, it’s a nice gift Adelaide. Thank you.”

He was about to say she was hardly forgettable, but he didn’t because it suddenly seemed bad encouragement for her awful behavior. He grinned a lawyerly grin… It was kind of sinister!

“I do have a gift for you, as well.”

He went over to the tree to get it, after entrusting the picture to Holly like he was giving her a pet anaconda to hold: with a kind of ‘watch out’ look! He fished a big package from under the tree and handed it over to Adelaide.

“It’s just what you need.” He said, with that lawyerly smile again!

[/da][/da][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Feb 27, 2012 at 1:23 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly eyed the picture. That uniform Adelaide was wearing probably cost more than her car! At least Holly could understand the sentiment of the girl giving her older brother a picture. Just… as a Christmas gift? With Elliot’s sinister smiling, Holly couldn’t help but find herself grinning wide. He really did look like a villain every time he smiled like that.

Adelaide was very excited to remember she had a present too! The minute it was in her hands, she plopped on the floor and wrapped paper was sent flying in every direction. The girl looked surprised to see the messenger bag, even pleased! She examined every inch of it, even tipping it upside down to see if anything was hidden inside. She was confused when a paper dropped out.

“What’s this?” she asked, reading the contents.

“A job application!” Holly chimed in. “For The Chronicle. You’re so good at getting in to trouble, what better place to work.”

“WORK?” Adelaide looked completely disgusted by the idea. “Why would I wanna do that?”

[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Apr 16, 2013 at 12:07 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“Work will help you earn some money for your expenses, and it will also help you acquire valuable people skills if you are to survive in organized society,” Elliot said, furrowing his brow. “If Mrs. Adelaide approves, you will be working at the Chronicle by your own means for a while.”

He flashed his lawyerly smile again.

“This will do you good!”

Amadeus blinked. A smile was dancing in his eyes, but rather than commenting, he sipped his drink. Mrs. Adelaide was dubious, but she seemed to be gravely pondering on the possible benefits that hard work could bestow on her daughter!

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Apr 20, 2013 at 11:40 AM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“The best part, is that you’ll be working for me as my own personal gopher. I think that makes up for an entire week of a christmas rug trying to kill me.” Holly hadn’t quite gotten over that faint tinge to her cheeks enough to take a look in Elliot’s direction. But that slightly sarcastic tone of voice was back and she was all but cheshire-cat grinning in Adelaide’s startled direction.

Adelaide’s entire range of emotions sprinted across her features in a split second. Annoyance, anger, confusion, disgust… but then she was squinting at Holly. Then at Elliot. Tilting the application in her hands back and forth as if she were weighing a monumentally huge decision and all the possibilities that came with it. Finally, the most mysterious devious smile flittered over her face.

“Okay! Working should be fun, right? And I’ll learn stuff and get to see more of Elliot when he comes to visit Holly at work. Oh! Did you get Hoooollllyyyyy a christmas a present? Besides mistletoe smooching, cause that is totes not a present.” Adelaide’s look was victorious.

And Holly nearly choked on a cookie.
[/so][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Apr 20, 2013 at 8:50 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot furrowed his brow at Adelaide’s remarks. Then he flashed his harmless smile.

“Yes! You will find work may actually be fun. I was thinking… I may visit your new place of work to appraise your progress. I think you both are getting something you need this Christmas. Isn’t that wonderful?”

He sipped his drink.

“Christmas is not over yet. Maybe I have something else up my sleeve, but you don’t need to know that, Adelaide.”

Amadeus coughed to keep himself from laughing. He sipped more mead.

“My older brother is just like him”, Amadeus confided to Mrs. Graham-Smith. She sighed, casting him a slight censoring glance, then gave Adelaide a conciliative smile.

“Adelaide, we owe Holly our merry Christmas. Don’t we? I do have a gift for her.”

Mrs. Graham-Smith walked to the Christmas Tree and removed one of the balls, which turned out to be a spherical box. She gave it to Holly.

“Thank you, Holly.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Apr 20, 2013 at 9:00 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly looked a bit as if she had just been handed a bomb. Nor did she make any pretenses at hiding the expression. In fact, thinking about what [i]any[/i] of them had in mind for Christmas presents, Elliot especially, left her with that sinking sense of dread. Like a fish in a shark bowl. Or a journalist amidst sorcerers. It was so much more accurate than she wanted to realize…

“Thank you, uhm…” Holly very gingerly twisted the round box to pull off the top, pausing only when Adelaide crept up and near bounced next to her.

“What is it!” she squeaked.

Holly almost considered letting her open in, in case it was another holiday curse. Frowning at the girl, she resumed opening the box, prepared for anything crazy that might jump out!
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Apr 20, 2013 at 9:21 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot found himself a little aprehensive. He just hoped the gift was a regular one, like a necklace or something! As Holly removed the top of the box… The inside of the spherical box was lined in velvet, and there was a makeup mirror; two round mirrors in a lacquered shell on a golden hinge, with a tiny knob to keep it closed. The lacquered shell was decorated with… tiny ravens hovering on blossoming branches, on a full moon. Inside, the top mirror was a normal glass mirror; the bottom one only seemed to be normal. It had a slightly blue tint to it. Mrs. Adelaide smiled reassuringly.

“The bottom mirror will show you beyond people’s masks as much as possible, and signs of danger. Some masks are too strong for it, but only rarely strong… masked beings are around. I think you may find it useful.”

Elliot needed all the lawyerly skill he could muster to remain cool at that! He guessed like Holly said, there’s a certain line of crazy you can’t come back from, once you’ve crossed it!

“… That is not a good thing to have around lawyers now, is it?”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Apr 20, 2013 at 9:31 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“On the contrary, it’s likely [i]the[/i] perfect thing to have around lawyers…” If there was any doubt to Mrs. Graham-Smiths strange ties to the mystic and supernatural, the odd little compact she held in her hands now was proof to the contrary. Holly didn’t know if she should make quick apologies and run out the door to flag the first bus she found or… try it out to see if it worked! There was that part of her that was crazy enough to join a paper like the Chronicle that found these sorts of things fascinating.

“Ooooooooh! I want to see! Momma, why don’t I get presents like these?”

Yet, in the back of Holly’s head she was just imagining all the trouble a girl like Adelaide could do with a gift like this. Holly kept the compact tight in hand and gave Adelaide the ornament box it came in. “Maybe when you’re about twenty years older and not a kleptomaniac badwitch?”

“But, uhm, thank you, Mrs. Adelaide. This is a really special gift.” Strange… but undoubtedly special. Holly finally stole a glance at Elliot to see what he thought about his interesting new family.

[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Apr 20, 2013 at 9:49 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Mrs. Graham-Smith smiled.

“You are welcome, Holly. I think you may find it useful, especially after this last week. Just be careful and discrete when you use it.”

“Basic politeness will suffice”, Amadeus said, a little gloomily. “Masked beings are masked for a reason. Some may not take well being revealed, let alone exposed.”

Mrs. Graham-Smith nodded and turned to her daughter.

“In time you will learn how to handle these things, Adelaide. You must, because you cannot help it. You are my daughter.”

Amadeus didn’t seem to approve of the gift, but he didn’t seem about to censor it, either. He shrugged his shoulders, rather philosophically.

“All of you will”, he said. He drank more mead.

Elliot stared at the compact in Holly’s hands.

“Will you use it on your boss?” He asked. “I hope I would not look like a rug in it.”

He instantly regretted saying that, because the last thing he wanted was to try it out. Amadeus narrowed his mismatched eyes with a feline glint to it.

“How about trying it on yourself?”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Apr 20, 2013 at 10:03 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Adelaide was now sulking, because instead of something amazing and potentially magical, she was getting a job instead. Not even a date with Mister Amadeus or with Elliot. The teenage girl eventually sunk to the floor at the foot of the couch, plucking up cookies off the tray and chewing on them like they were the last joy she would ever get from life.

Holly glanced back and forth between Elliot and Amadeus. Occasionally even a look at Mrs. Graham Smith. …that is when she broke in to laughter. “I dunno… I have already learned the hard way all about Elliot and Adelaide. As well as the most elegant Mrs. Adelaide.So really, the only person I haven’t discovered secrets from is [i]you[/i] sir. And I have to admit, you’re pretty darn alluring to someone snoopy like me.”

It was Holly giving one of those [i]harmless[/i] smiles now. But she was closing up the compact and kindly not aiming it in anyone or anything’s direction. “Lucky for you, I think I have seen enough for one week. I’ll save it for a moment I really need to know the truth.”

[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Apr 20, 2013 at 10:33 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Amadeus laughed!

“I wonder what my non-girlfriend would say about your words”, he said. “I know I am interesting… Yes, maybe I am too interesting. However you may be disappointed!” He laughed again. “I am too old for these things, really.”

Elliot blinked slowly.

“I am just glad things took a turn for the best”, he dryly said. “I don’t feel curious in the slightest at the moment. I guess that mirror is more useful on politicians and salesmen.”

Mrs. Graham-Smith smiled benevolently.

“I only want Holly to be safe in her line of work.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Apr 20, 2013 at 10:50 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Well that was mysterious and strange. From Mrs. Graham-Smith and not Amadeus. That man was charming and strange, in all of the good fun ways. Holly couldn’t fault him for that. Mrs. Graham-Smith, though, just seemed like she was giving some subtle gypsy warning about untold evil in the future. It was laughable – yet scary seeing the circumstances of her family.

“I’m just a journalist. Not even the go out and catch a good story kind. I work for the Chronicle and all my stories are based on lots of reading, phonecalls and boring stuff. I’m pretty sure I’ll be okay!” Now Holly was having that urge to run out the door and bury herself in bed where it would be safe and sound.

“…besides, I survived Elliot trying to kill me, I’m pretty sure I can take on the world at this point.” Holly cast him a cheeky grin.
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Apr 20, 2013 at 11:09 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot munched on a cookie, looking completely unrepentant.

“You tried to bury me under presents and a tree”, he said. “Besides, you tried to kill me, too! I would’t have survived if I had any bones back then.”

Amadeus cast them a gloomy look.

“Well, that is similar to a non-girlfriend I know”, he said. Mrs. Graham-Smith caressed her daughter’s hair but couldn’t help to smile at their comments.

“Life is full of surprises. I shall get a subscription of the Chronicle. It must be very interesting.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Apr 20, 2013 at 11:27 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“It’s a very interesting paper. Probably right up your alley, I think. Elliot might like that sort of news more now. Which, by the way, I did [i]not[/i] try to kill you. Defending myself from a crazy tapestry is perfectly acceptable.” If they were going to bicker over who did more damage, he was going to lose that battle. Lawyer powers or not. He tried to smother her! And nearly knocked her unconscious! And made her look crazy!

Holly’s thoughts vaguely wandered to what her Aunt and Uncle were doing, knowing that she was about on Christmas. Were they waiting for a call from the police about her setting someone on fire again? Or the loony-bin because she had an insane obsession with talking to rugs? She almost cracked another smile.

“In any case I guess it’s getting kind of late, and I doubt spending the night here would have good results for Elliot with Adelaide around.”

“Hey!” Adelaide pouted again and muttered. But now that the idea of Elliot staying over was in her head, she already looked like she was churning ideas.

[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Apr 20, 2013 at 11:52 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot smirked.

“Charming… as the evening has been, yes it is kind of late now. I will drive you home.” Elliot quirked an eyebrow at Adelaide, who was half-pouting… Half-scheming, maybe? The more the reason to leave! He smiled at his… crazy relatives; he wondered if Amadeus was part of the package!

“We’ll leave when you are ready,” he told Holly. “Thank you, Mrs. Adelaide. For everything, really. It’s been a wonderful evening.” The older lady nodded and smiled.

“You are always welcome; both of you”, she said.

Elliot shook Amadeus’s hand. “If you really would like to sing at Sirius’s Christmas Party, I will make the necessary arrangements for you.”

Amadeus smiled. “Sure! I will call you tomorrow, if that’s okay.” Elliot nodded and handed over his business card. Then he turned to Adelaide.

“Well, little sister. I hope to see you soon… working hard at The Chronicle and making your mother even prouder.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Apr 21, 2013 at 5:07 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Adelaide wasted no time in leaping off the floor and swinging her arms around Elliot’s neck in what looked like a death grip hug. Holly seemed to slightly motion like she was going to grab the girl and pull her back, but second thought it. It wasn’t even because she thought Adelaide was in attack mode, she was just a little concerned Elliot might have flung the girl across the room and straight in to the fireplace. SHE would have.

Course Holly found out the hard way that what you [i]think[/i] you’d do isn’t the same as what you [i]actually[/i] do, when Adelaide released Elliot to pounce on her instead. Holly stood there like a frozen rabbit for a split second before she reluctantly gave Adelaide a pat on the back.

“Thaaaaaank yoooou for bringing Elliot back! You know, I didn’t REALLY want him to be a rug and stuff and I glad everything is awesome now! I can’t wait to start working and investigating and seeing Elliot all the times, it’s going to be toooootes cool! So you’ll come back here sometimes too right?” Adelaide chattered on until Holly disentangled herself from her.

“I might yes. With a bodyguard. Hmm… Thank you for welcoming me, Mrs. Adelaide. It was a pleasure to meet you Amadeus. I think I’d enjoy hearing you sing sometime.” She gave the man a wink before she tilted her head towards the door to show she was ready to go. Already making the steps for the hall to fetch her coat and scarf.
[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Apr 21, 2013 at 9:19 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot raised his eyebrows at Adelaide but he was more amused than anything else; besides, he noticed the glint of a tear in the older lady’s eyes and he did not want to spoil the moment for them. He was surprised by the curious tightness in throat, almost as if he was moved, too. Was he not? Elliot smiled and said nothing as Adelaide detached herself from him only to attach herself to Holly. He smirked at Holly’s reaction.

“Thank you Holly; please come back to visit sometime! You will be very welcome.” Mrs. Graham-Smith said.

Amadeus beamed at being winked at.

“Hopefully you’ll hear my music sooner than later,” Amadeus said. He caught up with Holly at the doorway to the hall and quickly added on a low voice. “Holly. If you see two old black birds, crows or ravens if you like, lingering around together, don’t use your mirror on them.”

He smiled mischivously and returned to the cookies. Elliot didn’t quite hear what the man said, except something about the mirror. Strange things already? He made a mental note to ask once they were in the car!

Mrs. Graham-Smith gave Amadeus a kind of motherly stare, only to get one of his unrepentant smiles. She turned to Elliot.

“Good night, Elliot. Please drive safely, and visit again soon!”

Elliot blinked but immediately flashed one of his lawyerly smiles.

“Yes, of course Mrs. Adelaide. Goodnight!” He moved to the vestibule after Holly, where their things were left in an elegant hanger to be picked up on the way out.

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Apr 21, 2013 at 9:33 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Well. There went the questions of Amadeus too was mixed up in mystical funny business. Though she couldn’t figure out WHY she’d even point her mirror are ravens or crows.

…until now. Now the seed of temptation was planted in her head and Holly was all too curious about what she might see.

At the door she picked up her scarf to wrap around her neck and pulled her coat up on her shoulders. Watching Elliot, though she was a bit lost in her own thoughts about magic mirrors and ravens to really be looking [i]at[/i] him. She shook herself out of it once she realized he was about ready himself, then it was a matter of stepping outside in to the cold winter snow.

Holly waited until he followed and the Graham-Smith door was closed. In fact, she waited a few more spaces further from the house in case the Mrs also turned out to be able to hear through thick walls too.

“Well, that was an interesting family dinner… Not what I was expecting. How about you, then?” she asked, actually genuinely interested in what he thought about his family. They were a strange bunch to get used to.[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Apr 21, 2013 at 9:57 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot blinked slowly in wonderment.

“I… really do not know,” he said, slowly. “I was fully exposed to the peculiar characteristics of the family only [i]after[/i] I was… Not myself.” He cast a wary glance around, yet the night was white and deep, and it didn’t seem like there were another soul around… It had seemed to him like someone was watching them!

“I am wondering if my father knew, which I believe would be hard for him not to know – but why didn’t he tell me? Or did he in some subtle way, and I didn’t realize? I suppose,” Elliot tapped his chin over his fiery orange red scarf, “that I will need to visit more often and learn more about this. Also, could this be… not limited to my own family? You said your boss’s boss is known to be…”

He raised his eyes. They had reached the small car, under the sketchy shade of a leafeless tree in the moonlight. There were two birds, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder not too high above their heads. The birds were probably crows, looking right back at them. One of them stared, then looked away. The other one clicked its beak and fluffed up more, to keep heat, and watched them. Elliot eyed his car.

“It’s best not to startle birds sitting over your car,” he muttered. “Let’s talk as I drive.”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Apr 21, 2013 at 10:20 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly was sure all the blood had run out of her face when she saw the birds. And why! Why be surprised! She had spent a week with a cursed rug-lawyer, had dinner with a couple of witches and vaguely flirted with a man who seemed to be peculiar himself. Suddenly the weight of everything just felt so… draining! Holly was more than happy to pack herself away in to his car and didn’t say another word until her seatbelt clicked, his car door was closed and the engine was started.

“I’ve worked for the Chronicle long enough to know it’s not just your family. I mean, I never really encountered any of this stuff before myself… but the supernatural history of this island goes all the way back to it’s founding. And you know if it’s here, it’s everywhere else in the world too.” she responded, leaning back in her seat to get comfortable for the long ride. Holly glanced at him out of the corner of her eye.

“But you [i]are[/i] going to see them again? Check in on Adelaide while she is working for me…?” It was purely out of curiosity and not just because Holly thought it might be nice to see him again after tonight.

[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Apr 21, 2013 at 10:41 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“Of course I will! I promised I will keep in touch with them,” Elliot said. “And yes, I do plan on checking up on Adelaide and making sure she does not try something not so funny on you… As I am sure I mentioned before: Contrary to popular belief, it’s very difficult to get rid of me.”

The moonlight made the night white and black, with hardly any grey hues at all. The road shimmered as they sped down the road into the forest where they saw deer before. Elliot had got the impression that something had startled her, but since she didn’t say anything, should he pry?

“I am kind of limited by my work and the price on my head,” he said with a smirk, “as you already know, there are my bodyguards and Alfred, but I won’t make it subtle that I want to see you again, if you agree. I want to get to know you better. We already know quite a lot about each other, but is it ever enough, anyway…?” Elliot tried hard… But no, he had to ask!

“What did Amadeus tell you? You were pale a minute ago…”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Apr 21, 2013 at 10:53 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly smirked after he commented he was hard to get rid of. That might have been the understatement of the year. She tried pretty damned hard to and now she was wanting the exact opposite. Yet his avoidance at being ‘subtle’ had her both wanting to flush and to out right laugh. It was what she wanted to hear, so why did it make her so nervous?

Asking about Amadeus, though, left her giving a sheepish shrug of her shoulders and a slight grimace. “He said not to point my mirror at any ravens or crows, especially two sitting together. Of course seeing the birds was coincidence, those things are all over the place, but you know… a night like tonight and Mrs. Adelaide’s warnings… I guess I am a little jumpy.”

Holly turned in her seat, eying him while he was too busy driving to look her way. “I don’t want to talk about it, thought. That sort of stuff is work for me, they are your family. I don’t want to inadvertently snoop around on your families business. I did promise I wouldn’t. …so tell me about your company Christmas party! What do a bunch of boring lawyers do during a holiday party?”

[/so][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Apr 21, 2013 at 11:51 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot stared at the road ahead, listening to Holly. Most importantly, she didn’t refuse the idea of seeing him again, and get to know each other even better. That was good! Elliot was a strong-willed man and as such, he highly valued clear standpoints. Elliot was aware that the circumstances around them were very strange, but he was very appreciative of Holly’s courageous and noble character. Were she any different, he would still be a rug – that was a matter of fact. They could get closer… And who knows? Maybe the future was bright and filled with… stranger things. So… Strange supernatural beings had been loitering around his car? Why did that seem so oddly amusing?

“Well, at least they didn’t charge me for watching over the car during our dinner. Okay! Let’s forget about those birds. It sounds like a supernatural witness protection program… or something similar.”

He snickered.

“What is to be said about the company’s Christmas Party? It’s a huge thing. Employees plan for it all year long; I am not directly involved in the planning, though. That is left for the Department of Public Affairs. Last year we had the Cirque du Soleil, and a Christmas masquerade – it was the most absurd thing. We also had a rock band that played well into the morning and ended up crashing a wedding when they got back to their hotel. Both the band and I got sued.” He shook his head. “Anyway, it’s a great stress-reliever for the people at Sirius. It’s good fun, but it’s no place for children, let alone teenage witches. Important business partners are invited, too… but I make a point to keep the party as a party, not an excuse for business. I need rest, too!”

[/da][/da][/bg]

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Divinatas – Apr 22, 2013 at 12:30 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

She was casting a look of disbelief. That narrowed-eyed stare suggesting she was so sure she believed him. Still, there was a quirk at the corner of her mouth and the entire thought amused her.

“Sounds over the top. Pretty unbelievable, especially for Mr Elliot Graham-Parker who seems to live out of his office and never has the time to spend in his wonderfully clean apartment with the big shiny tub.” Though, maybe she [i]could[/i] imagine him at a masquerade, all dressed in black with a Phantom of the Opera mask and skulking around like a dark and wicked villain. A sort of mischievous grin danced over her face for a moment before she returned to the conversation.

“And expensive. Office parties at the Chronicle are pretty much a bunch of people in their work clothes standing around in the office with beer and cupcakes from the local shop. And pinatas. For some reason there is always a pinata no matter what the occasion is. Maybe the big bosses have more interesting parties.” Pinatas filled with dollar bills? That’d be amusing.
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Azul Morag – Apr 22, 2013 at 1:18 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot laughed! “What? I do spend time home… Hm. I admit it seemed pointless sometimes, to go back to an empty house. It was already empty when I got it. At the time, it seemed only natural to get my own place. I had friends over… But then my father died! His death… hit me very hard.”

Elliot nibbled on his lip for an instant. He coughed once and dissimulately, then spoke again.

“I wish our Christmas party were more like yours, but people await this one so eagerly, it’s become a sort of unspoken right. Last year’s was a good party; it was the first one I attended since… my father died. The masquerade was fun. I still don’t know what was Alfred’s custome – and I am sure she did it on purpose. Some art students came by and set up people’s costumes and makeup with the things they brought over, and it was a success. We sponsor a scholarship for them now.”

He smirked. “I hear piñatas have great therapeutic properties… With prizes inside, they got to be awesome.”

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Divinatas – Apr 22, 2013 at 1:53 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“I had my own apartment before. Granted, it was a bazillion times smaller and didn’t even have a separate bedroom, but it was mind and I liked it. Though, I admit I do like knowing there’s going to be someone around when I get off work. Eating dinner alone kinda sucked.” That was trailing in to areas she didn’t want to get in to. Tonight had been rather nice, the last thing she wanted to do was freak out right at the tail end.

Shifting slightly in her seat to flick her hair out of her face and lean against the door, Holly stifled a yawn. “Your corporate party sounds surprisingly fun. I can imagine Alfred spending the evening incognito and having some sort of lascivious one night affair.”

Holly turned to give him a wicked grin. “Pinatas [i]are[/i] pretty great. And I can swing one hella mean stick. No pinata has ever stood a chance.”

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Azul Morag – Apr 22, 2013 at 2:09 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot gasped and couldn’t refrain a loud cackle of laughter! He instinctively lowered speed to keep control of the car.

“Alfred! A one night affair! I wonder if the guy would survive long enough to see the next day!” Elliot laughed, pretty wickedly. “I suppose she’d be kind enough to drop him at the hospital!”

Switching gear, he accelerated to previous speed again. He was grinning. “Would you come with me to Syrius Christmas Party? You’ll see by yourself what it is like! I don’t think we’ll have piñatas, but I just need to find out what have they plotted out exactly, and I do believe Amadeus will be there, too. Who knows what his band may be like. He said he’ll call me tomorrow.”

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Divinatas – Apr 22, 2013 at 2:40 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“You know, dangerous woman could also be romantic if given the setting and opportunity!” Holly was grinning and chuckling herself. She doubted his Alfred was as dangerous as he described, but then again… wouldn’t you need to be when your boss was kind of wicked?

“Your escort to a very Syrius Celebration… ” She tilted her head, pretending to think it over. Though she didn’t have any interest in seeing what a bunch of rich lawyers and business people spent their evenings talking about over wine and sparkling jewels, Holly [i]did[/i] want to see what Elliot was like when he wasn’t a vicious attack rug or surrounded by peculiar family.

“I suppose I’d like to see what sort of musician Amadeus is. I have the feeling he likes to be surprising. Not so sure I have anything appropriate to wear, though… You’re going to out dress me.”
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Azul Morag – Apr 22, 2013 at 3:35 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

The end of the forest came into view, as they took a long curve down the road. Trees bent their branches over it like a curious, round gate in the moonlight. Elliot smiled mischievously.
“Setting and opportunity… I wonder what that would be. Maybe a bank robbery, or an armed kidnapping? Something extreme?”

“Thank you for sort of saying yes.” He cast her a critical glance for a fraction of a second. “I think you’ll like the party… Whatever it turns out to be. I’ll get the details, day and hour for you. I will pick you up. As for Amadeus, we’ll see what sort of tricks he may have up his sleeves. I only hope they are electronic!”

He hesitated, because he did think of offering a credit card for party shopping, but he figured he’d get clobbered senseless just for suggesting something like that! Elliot nibbled on his lip. “I will find out if there’s some sort of party dress code this year. You see, people there are under all sorts of stress as it’s usual nowadays, and that is why the party tends to be quirky and eccentric. It’s a sort of escape from reality. My father told me it was my mother’s idea, and it just took hold.”

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Divinatas – Apr 22, 2013 at 3:56 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

She was snickering. Flickering her fingers through the edges of her hair over her shoulder and watching the trees fly by as they reached closer to town. He was bossy about driving, but then she didn’t mind this so much. Getting to steal a look when she wanted to without having to pay attention to the road. It helped that his car was so much nicer and not a deathtrap on wheels!

“Are you worried I might not dress up to standard, Elliot?” she teased. If he chewed on his lip any further, he’d be eating it. And it was giving her terrible ideas on top of it. “I’ll find something appropriate. If anything, my aunt will probably be thrilled to help. Taking me on two Christmas outings in a week, she probably thinks you are my guardian angel.”

She tilted her head and eyed him with that [i]harmless[/i] smirk. “I still think you look more like the villain…”
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Azul Morag – Apr 22, 2013 at 4:26 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“Ha! I’m anything but an angel,” Elliot replied. “You’d have to make a conscious and intense effort to look less than pretty, so don’t give me that. Now, if you want to dress like a diva… That’s something different. Tall hair and two storied shoes.”

He was disgressing and he knew it, but she started it!

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Divinatas – Apr 22, 2013 at 5:45 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

There was a compliment mixed up in there somewhere, and she hadn’t failed to notice it. Which left Holly faintly brushing and suddenly finding the outside view of her window very fascinating. She laughed, though. Shrugging her shoulders with ease, and fussing with the seatbelt over her shoulder.

“I could pull off the diva look, I bet. Head to toe in gold sequins and enough hairspray to fry a turkey in. Not so sure I can walk in heels so high, though. I hope you’ll be happy with the six inch platform heels?” Holly was trying to imagine herself all diva-styled up. It was probably one of the more ridiculous images in her head. Worse than her prom dress, and that was a dress that needed to be forgotten.

“Well, at least we are of the consensus that you are not an angel. I’m pretty sure that’s illegal for lawyers anyway.”

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Azul Morag – Apr 22, 2013 at 6:16 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot snickered. “Yes, at least we agree on that. Everyone knows all the ancient assasin guilds evolved into law firms. Especially, all commerce lawyers are direct descendants from the Knights Templar. Gold sequins and hairspray… It doesn’t sound bad! As long as I don’t have to go disco, it should be alright.”

He smiled at her. The forest was now behind them and they entered the city. Traffic, neon lights and desperate shoppers! Elliot maneuvered to skirt the madness and reach the suburbs where Holly’s family had their home. Maybe she would like to go for coffee now? Maybe it was too late already?

“I lost track of time,” he said. “I would like to have some coffee with you, but if it’s too late now, maybe we could go tomorrow?”

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Divinatas – Apr 23, 2013 at 1:38 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“Hmm. Tomorrow sounds nice. I’m afraid any place you take me now, I’m just gonna pass out there. And it’ll look pretty weird with a dark scary lawyer carrying some unconscious woman off in his villain car.” she cast him a big wide smirk at the comment. Pretending like she wasn’t thrilled at the idea of going out for a coffee date. Cause that would silly. There was nothing thrilling about coffee.

“Although, I’m surprised you’re not spending a day in lock down to handle all that work you missed while on your adventurous vacation. Even villains need the time off?”
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Azul Morag – Apr 23, 2013 at 5:15 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot cast her a sideways smirk, always keeping an eye on the road. “Tomorrow, then. How about around 3:00 p.m.?” He snickered as he pulled the car into the driveway at Holly’s house. “Remember what Alfred said? I am free till January 2nd. Then I must go back to work.”

The neighborhood looked pretty and quiet, with decorations and lights of every color set in most houses. Elliot stopped the car in the driveway and sighed. “Why do I have a sense of impending doom? Let me get the door for you.”

He got out of the car, with a kind of precaution. He walked over to her side and opened the door for Holly.

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Divinatas – Apr 23, 2013 at 5:30 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“So old fashioned.” she mumbled with amusement as he opened up the car door for her. Holly slipped out of the car, maybe with a little bit of exaggerated movie-star styled grace. Pinching his cheek with a wide grin.

“You sound a little spooked, Elliot. I wouldn’t worry [i]too[/i] much about Mrs. Adelaide’s warnings. From the looks of things, I think gravely grave prophecies are part of the lifestyle. Besides, I have a magic mirror now!” She tilted her head towards the house, lifting a hand to point a finger towards it too.

“You may as well walk me to the door?” Why did that feel like an excuse to talk to him for just a few more minutes?
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Azul Morag – Apr 23, 2013 at 6:48 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Well, there was something he was not used to! Elliot blinked at his cheek being pinched and flashed a fierce grin.

“Did you know your aunt called me her good luck charm? Maybe my rug charm lingers,” he muttered. “I don’t know; it’s just… Earlier when we saw the birds, it was like someone was watching us. And now… Well! It must be my imagination.” He snickered. “Maybe tomorrow we can test that mirror of yours, somewhere.”

He took her arm, mischievously.

“Why, yes; I will walk you to the door.”

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Divinatas – Apr 23, 2013 at 7:08 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

“I’m not sure if you sound like the concerned knight, or the villain with a nefarious plot, right now!” And with that dark coat on, and the mischievous look, it was villain all the way. “Maybe I’ll use that mirror on you after all, it might just save my life.” she muttered with a smirk of her own. He could be murderous if he wanted to, at least he was as a rug.

Once they stopped at the front door and she turned to him, that smirk faded and she was chewing on her lip. “Elliot… thank you. For today, I mean. It was weird and different, and just [i]nice[/i] getting to spend time with a family for Christmas without everyone staring at me and thinking I’m gonna set fire to something or reminded me to take my pills, or just being overwhelming in general. It was nice…”
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Azul Morag – Apr 23, 2013 at 7:38 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot grinned.

“You don’t need to thank -me-! If you had not gone to Mrs. Adelaide insisting to change me back, I would not have had dinner either!” Elliot held her chin, gently. “Listen, Holly; we both had problems. Now, thanks to you, we can face life differently. It’s almost like a new start in many ways. I decided to take the experience philosophically, but I am aware I may freak out in the morning. I hope I won’t. You… I am glad we met, and we can get to know each other better. As I said before, I do want to see you again and I remind you, I’ll be here tomorrow to go out for coffee. I think we have everything it takes to be honest to each other. I mean, nothing can get weirder than the past days (with usual people, anyway). Could we just… hope for the best? I know a great coffee shop. Also, I do make excellent coffee.”

Slowly, almost tentatively, he leaned in and kissed her forehead.

“Don’t thwack me, please.”

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Divinatas – Apr 23, 2013 at 7:58 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

He was practically rambling, and the more he did, the warmer her face seemed to grow. By the time he leaned to kiss her forehead, Holly was praying she wasn’t as red as a beet. Quite thankfully, his ending statement made her laugh out right. And she suddenly had the weirdest urge to kiss him. Holly tried to subdue that urge and merely grinned instead.

“You sound like you’re asking me out. All date-like and official.” she teased again, ignoring the tiny little voice in her head that was chirping she’d thinking about it since the moment he kissed her under the mistletoe. And now [i]that[/i] was on her mind again!

Holly squeezed her eyes shut, giving a strange sort of embarrassed grin. “I’d love to get to know you better, Elliot. Maybe I am not so optimistic about anything in general, but… you’ve been a nice surprise. A wicked, sorta dangerous surprise, …but them I’m sorta a maniac so I guess it all sort of fits anyway!” Now [i]she[/i] was rambling!
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Azul Morag – Apr 23, 2013 at 8:22 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot bit his lip to prevent a smile as she laughed, but he was not able to hide it. “Technically,” he said, “we will be leaving here tomorrow for coffee, and I asked you for it… So yes, I did ask you out! I am glad you did say yes…”

She was blushing and grinning, and he did want to kiss her again. Then she squeezed her eyes shut. Each and every hunt instinct was triggered, but he knew better than ruining good things by jumping on them.

Or maybe he should know better. Elliot leaned over again… paused… and tapped softly on the crown of her head with a finger.

“I like being unexpected,” he said. He kissed her hand. “Good night,” he said, still holding her hand to his lips.

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Divinatas – Apr 23, 2013 at 8:32 PM

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Oh damn. And unexpected was exactly that. Holly tried to think of the last time someone had kissed her hand – if ever! It had probably been never, because it was such an old fashioned, ridiculously romantic thing that no one did anymore. Ever. Now she felt as if a [i]rug[/i] had been swept out from her, possibly worse than if he had actually leaned to kiss her. It was crazy and she was speechless.

After a long moment of breathless silence, she seemed to shake herself out of the spell, literally shaking her head a bit as she sucked in a quick breath and tried desperately to keep her tone even and normal. “hum… uhm! Right. Very unexpected… Goodnight, Elliot.” It wasn’t until she had the knob of the door turned and was pushing it open with her back did she finally pull her hand away and stepped inside.

“Goodnight.”
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Azul Morag – Apr 23, 2013 at 9:02 PM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

“Goodnight…” The door closed with a click and Elliot had to make a conscious effort not to toss his hat into the air in joy…! Then he noticed she stole it. Smirking to himself, Elliot left the door and got back in his demon car. He paused for a few seconds, watching the closed door.

Was life going to be crazy from now on? It probably was already.

“Goodnight, Holly,” he muttered before leaving the driveway and going home.

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Divinatas – Apr 25, 2013 at 7:23 PM

[b]AND THE NEXT DAY[/b]

[bg=#2C0C0E][so=#305443][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1686[/imga][b][u][i]Holly Roberts[/i][/u][/b]

Holly’s morning was spent chewing on scones and answering ten million questions from Aunt Nancy. Her favorite was to keep repeating [i]Are you sure you didn’t know him before?[/i]. Spending Christmas dinner with a man you just met over a rug seemed to baffle Nancy. It would have baffled Holly too had the man not [i]been[/i] the rug. Though, there were some other things she was completely bedazzled by…

“Holly, sweetie, you’re spilling crumbs everywhere.” said Nancy, who seemed to be far too amused with the preoccupied, starry-eyed look of her niece.

Holly scoffed, quickly sweeping the crumbs off the dark blue blouse she finally managed to settle on to go with her jeans. Casual coffee date attire. Not too fancy, not trying too hard. …maybe it wasn’t trying hard enough. Why was she trying anything?! This was insane! “Thaaaank you, now can you quit looking at me like that? And don’t answer the door when he gets here! You’ve embarrassed me enough already!”
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Azul Morag – Aug 5, 2013 at 1:52 AM

[bg=#870000][da=green][da=green][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1838[/imga][b]Elliot Graham-Parker/ The Christmas Rug[/b]

Elliot had not quite realized yet how much time of the day he had devoted to thinking about Holly. If anything, he did notice he didn’t feel the usual urge to go to his office and find out exactly how much chaos had ensued upon his absence… He had been thinking about other things he had never really considered before.

Driving to Holly’s house, he noticed how different the area looked in daytime. Houses had Christmas decorations, that he had already seen… But now in day time, the houses looked oddly quiet. A ball suddenly bounced across the street, and Elliot applied the brakes. ‘There is a child after every bouncing ball’, his father had told him when he was learning how to drive. His father’s voice flowed in his mind spontaneously. Luckily, the street was nearly deserted, sparing him from honking drivers behind him. A boy ran behind the ball and caught it, then was promptly captured by a young and startled father. The man smiled apologetically at Elliot after capturing his kid, then took him away. Elliot barely waved back and continued down the street.

Had his childhood been so lonely, indeed? Perhaps yes, it had been so. Come to think about it, he had very few childhood friends, and he could not recall playing at the park with other children. He did have access to wonderful places, like stadiums, aquariums and museums; beaches, boats… But not places with people. Not until boarding school. He only became truly social in College. The pictures in Holly’s house made him wonder… She did say his childhood sounded very lonely.

Elliot pulled onto Holly’s house driveway and stopped the car before checking his watch. He was just on time. Elliot left the car and adjusted his orange red, wool scarf. It seemed silly, but he really appreciated this gift. He could wear it every day of the month. The air was cold and dry, with specs of snow floating here and there… Before long he was at the door, his hat pulled just over his eyes and trying not to smile like a fool as he rang the doorbell.

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