Alder Heights We are family

Outfit(boots are only ankle height and black) w/bag

Arabella was nervous coming back to Alder Heights, she had avoided it since last she was here and now she was welcomed to coming and was going to be seeing her brother. Her brother. That thought alone was making her head swim as she swore he had been dead and burned in the house fire. She was fidgeting with the lace gloves that she was wearing, having stopped at the street to his house so she could just take a moment and move sure she looked ok.

Adjusting her skirt and making sure the buttons were perfectly aligned, her long hair was pinned to the back of her head to keep strands out of her face. Wringing her fingers together, she would slowly then make her way down the path and to his front door again.

The flashback of what had happened here made her throat clench, her eyes closing as she had to pep talk herself into pressing the doorbell once more before stepping back. It was a little flinch but only because she was scared that maybe he would react poorly again; she was praying he wouldn't but she was still nervous due to last time.

house ref

He had known after the text messages that there was no going back. There was no more delaying, no more wallowing. But knowing did not make the fear and worry go away, if anything it made it worse. The walls had grown thick with the sounds of his pacing and then the urgent clatter of cleaning. What would his mother say if he invited anyone in with a dirty house? Fueled by the stress Ceri had gone up and down the cottage for the last few days until it sparkled. Still he worried with a fervent chaotic energy that made him go from the house to the yard and back again as if having a well groomed garden or dignified house would make anything better. So he fretted and cleaned and fretted some more.

When at last the agreed upon evening arrived it found him pacing the foyer, hands tugging listlessly at the neck of his sweater. Was it too informal? Should he have worn a suit? Yet that also had felt wrong, overdressed. He had rolled the collar down for the fifth time when the door bell rang. The sound caused his fingers to jerk and mess up the crease of the fold.

She was there just beyond the door, he could feel it. Had felt her presence slip through his gate and climb the walk to his front door.

Deep breaths.

And he pulled open the door.
Arabella was wringing her hands, anxious and trying to play it off as she was calm and relaxed. That it was fine, that it was just a long awaited reunion between family and not one that had been caused by the thought of both of them being passed.

She had so many questions; mostly when had be become a vampire. That question was dancing in her mind as it made little sense; unless he became one the night of the fire? She tilted her head back to look up at the starry night sky as she heard footsteps coming to the door.

Her stomach knotted further as it opened and she saw him again. This time he wasn't changing; he didn't have grotesque fangs and a look that made her want to hide in a bush. She would look him over and was a bit unsure of what to do at first; so she went on instinct then. Arabella would reach out with lace covered fingers to touch his arm lightly. She wanted to know he was real and she wasn't imagining him before her again.

"Bonjour, Ceri, " she told him with a little smile, happy tears in her eyes as she looked up at him and unafraid into his eyes. He was here. Truly here and it wasn't a ghost haunting her memories anymore.
He couldnt stop the flood of guilt that came with seeing her. Her appearance would remain locked from that night. She would never age, never grow laugh lines or callouses. There would be no nephews or nieces for him to dot on. He had taken everything from Arabella that night and unknowingly abandoned her to a cursed fate.

He watched motionless and unbreathing as her hand extended towards him. Guilt and fear crushing down on his chest. Yet as her cold hand pressed against him tears pooled into his eyes.

Arabella was here, not dead under the ground. He grasped for her. Pulling her body into his and into a tight hug.


Half laughing half crying he repeated her name. Cold and dead but she was here. Living in his arms.
The sudden hug made her gasp a little but it only took a moment for her to wrap her arms around him tightly and cling to him. He wasn't gone. She had family still! She had her brother whom she thought she would never see until she died again. He was here and looked well!

Her face buried into his chest, tears rolling down her cheeks as she nuzzled into him while refusing to let go of him. She felt safe again, that her nightmares had just been that, nightmares and they never actually happened.

"I never thought I'd see you again- at least...not like this, " she told him softly as she clung to him, her gloved fingers rubbing against his back a little as she felt bad for ruffling his shirt but at the moment her care was little of clothing.
He knew there were things they needed to talk about, that the happiness Arabella felt at seeing him might turn into anger or hate. And so he just wanted to stay in the moment with her safe in his arms. His fingers made circles along her shirt, calloused from years of playing instruments. They had learned together when they had been young. Dressed in miniature suits and dresses they had both broken skin over violin strings. He did not remember when the lessons for Arabella had stopped, at what time their paths had diverged. He had gone to war and Arabella had been left to find a husband. That was what had been expected of them. Perhaps he had ruined any engagement Arabella had when he had come home blind before the war had ended. With no vision and a ruined face he had no one but his family to rely upon.

"There are many things we need to speak of"

It was the time to pull away and let her inside, yet he found it hard to withdraw from the hug.
Arabella just clung to her brother. He was no longer warm but his hug of her held so much heat that it warmed her cool body. She had the smallest picture of him and their parents in a locket that she had kept safely tucked away at her place, fearful of losing the only images she had of her family. Seeing Ceri now though, his face paled the picture as she would press her face against his chest. She didn't want to let go, let her stay like this in the safety of her brother's arms.

His words made her head nod but she too didn't want to let go.

"I know...I just...I don't want to let go. I'm scared this is but a daydream and that when I snap out of it, you won't be here and I'll be back in my room, " she confessed to him. She often daydreamed of being with her family again, having lunch in the garden and drinking tea. Going over a book or just enjoying one another's company.
It was far too tempting to use this as an excuse not to confess all the wrong he had done, and he did falter for a moment. If he didn't say anything they could go back to how they had been in life. At least that's what he deluded himself into believing even if only for a hand full of minutes. There was to many questions that had to be answered.

He pulled back, shifting his hands from her back into holding hers.

"If we delay I will loose my nerve."
Arabella would hold him until he pulled away but then would take her lace covered hand. Her fingers would wrap around his hand tightly as she would nod a little bit, "Alright but if we can, can we sit outside? It's a lovely evening out, " she would ask him.

Her fingers would just hold onto his, her eyes looking up at him and then around a little as she partially expected to see the intimidating dominus again but she didn't see him so things had to be good.
It was pleasant out, spring had bloomed throughout his garden. It might be better to have this discussion among the perfume of flowering buds.

"We can talk in my garden."

He agreed, and if there were no protests would lead the way around to the door that lead into his back garden. It was half covered in vines and leaves with bushes of delphinium, peony, lavender, and foxglove growing along the cobbled path. A bit to wild for an English cottage but he supposed his taste in flower care had never been refined. He liked the clutter of flowers nestled against each other, and the creeping over vines over wood and stone even if it was not all that good for the walls.

"I would offer tea but I suppose there is no point."

They could taste again, not that he had tried, but he didn't think sipping tea would be worth the vomiting.
She followed him around his home and to the back garden that he had, the wild growing vines and flowers made her smile and reach out to touch the petals; even though she really couldn't feel them through her gloves. Her imagination told her how they'd feel and that was enough for her.

"I miss tea time... I keep satchels of different teas back where I'm staying at just so I can smell them still, " Arabella told him as she would walk around his garden.

"It's beautiful here, " she told him as she looked around for a moment and would only go sit after she had a brief explore. Once she had, she'd sit, her hands smoothing out her skirt while she set her purse on her lap before looking at him.

"Can...can I ask where you've been? "
Through the door would be the back garden full of similar flowers but at one corner was an a cocoon of roses surrounding a bench. There he would take a seat while she explored. Each moment bring him closer to a potential disaster. He didn't know how to explain, how ask for forgiveness. Could he even do so? He had abandoned Arabella, even if he had thought her dead.

"Perhaps if you really want we can take tea sometime, our sense of taste has returned. Though the end result is still the same."

He wouldn't mind the sickness if it meant a pleasant time chatting.

He shifted a bit to give her room as she sat. Her words edging into unforgivable event.

"France for a time, then London until the bombs started dropping. I relocated to a remote moor town until the end of the war. From there New York until two years ago."
"I think that's something I dislike most...the outcome of tasting food or drink, " she told him with a little frown on her face to him s she would just enjoy his garden for a moment but was happy to sit by him again.

She hadn't lost any of her manners, her ankles crossing easily as her feet tucked under the seat she was sitting on so they wouldn't be out and in the way of anything.

Giving a small nod as she listened to him, her head bowing a little bit. "I stayed in England for a while...then I found my way to Scotland and didn't really leave from there until I came to the U.S last year...somehow I managed to find my way here, " she told him, not going into too many details. She feared him being upset at hearing about things that she'd gone through, he'd always been so kind and caring, the best brother she could have wished for but she was still scared.

Her hands would tug at the lace of her glaves a little bit, fidgeting with them but she couldn't bring herself to ask the question on her tongue; did he do this to her? Or did he know who had done this to her? Did they kill her? It took a bit for her to just calm her growing nerves as she was still pushing away her memories from all those years ago.
The silence that came after her statement was heavy. Words choked between them, and the knowledge of things that needed to be said. He stared at his hands trying to mount the courage to just say it.

"About.. about that night"

He swallowed the guilt, heavy in his throat.

"I was the one who turned you."
Arabella didn't want to hear that, watching him as he got out the words and told her what a part of her brain knew but she refused to accept. Her head would shake a little at him, her lips pursing together some as she shifted away from him for the first time.

"'d never hurt. It was someone had to be, " she told him as she felt herself resorting back to when Ewen found her curled up in an abandoned place covered in dried blood.

Pulling her legs up to her chest, her arms would wrap around them as she shook her head, tears rolling down her cheeks but freezing then as the spot she was sitting on started to grow frosty. "I don't want to remember that night...I don't want to, " she told him shaking her head and then hiding her face now. She was back to just being a scared young woman with no one to lean on because thinking was too much for her. Remembering was too much at the moment but yet a part of her knew, deep down, that he wasn't lying.
Even though he could not feel the cold he could see it, the frost that spread out like tendrils from his sister. His heart wrenched to see her this way, hurt. Worse knowing that he was the cause. He hesitated for the briefest moment before pulling her into a hug. One he knew he did not deserve, but one that she needed.

"Shhh its alright love."

He should not console, he did not deserve that spot anymore. But he could not leave her like this. So alone.

"We can talk of other things."

Anything if it meant she would be okay again.
There was no pulling away from him as he pulled her into him, she would press her face into him as she just wanted those memories to go away. They didn't need them and she didn't want them. It hurt too much to look at the truth still, it was why she left Scotland but she couldn't leave him.

Her fingers would move to hold onto his shirt, her small body shaking a little as she tried to not slip back into the monster that all vampires could become.

"I'm sorry...I'm sorry...I don't...the vampire who found me, he was pressing me to remember but every time I did I became uncontrollable and he's have to put me to sleep...I don't want to hurt you if that happens...I don't want to hurt you I've missed you too much, " she breathed out, her voice shaking as she clung to him tightly. Arabella didn't want to hurt her brother, even if what he said was true, she didn't want to hurt him.
Ceri did not want to know about this vampire. The one that took her in, did the thing that he should have done. He should have waited longer that night. If his Sire had not been there he would have spent all night by her side even until the dawn. There had been no luxury of time, the mansion was on fire and the chaos had stirred up the servants. If he had been found holding Arabella's bloodless body.

"We could...get rid of the memories if you wished."

It was a vile thought. He had already murdered her and here he was wishing to wash it all away.

But it was possible with suggestion. Perhaps it would take Beauregard to erase the past, but it could be done. He would live with the guilt knowing what he had done, what he would do if it meant Arabella was happy once more.
It took a moment to push away the frosted tears on her face, the droplets hitting her lap as her face just stayed there until she heard his offer. Remove her memories? Weren't they too old?

"I was told they're too old...that they can't be removed, " she told him, her head tilting back to look up at him now. She was unsure about that as a whole, would that mean only he'd remember? Would he have to carry it alone?

Then her fear of forgetting him hit and it made her all the more anxious about memory removal.
He didn't know of any limit on memory wiping. Though he did not it was difficult. If he messed up would Arabella forget everything? Or would it be like a regular failure where the power fell short?

"I can ask my Dominus, he is more experienced then I with suggestions."

Which brought up another thing. Her power and her rogue status. From what it looked like she did not have control over her ability, she could have hurt herself. Damage that would not heal easily, he knew he was still partially blind.

"I think you should consider joining the clutch as well, they are good people and you would be safe with them. With me."
"Do you think it would help? " she asked him curiously. Mostly, would it be worth it, to just forget the gruesome parts of her past like that and to live on like it never happened. It might be better, she wouldn't be at risk of losing control.

The clutch. Would they welcome her? She was a stranger and had just left her last one but then he said with him and she had a bit of a hopeful look on her face. She wanted to be with him, spend time with him once more as they used to- was he still blind? He didn't seem to be but maybe had just adapted.

"Would...that be ok? Your Dominus didn't look happy to see me last time, " she told him, not hiding how nervous she was on that one. Arabella didn't want to make things hard on Ceri and his clutch but she also didn't want to be separate from him as well now that they found each other once more.
He was no psychologist, he didn't know if it would be better to forget or to face the memories. It caused her to loose control so it would be best to cut that night out of her mind.

"He was just upset at the situation, Beauregard is a very generous Dominus. He approved of you coming into Alder Heights tonight."

He pulled his phone out and scrolled to the Dominus's number. Leaving the offer open. He could send a message or he could not. As much as he wanted Arabella to join the clutch it was her choice.

"It is your choice to join, and it is your choice if you want to try to get rid of the memory."
Oh...that was true, he had been ok with her coming here without issue. "He did yes...guess I'm still a little scared of him because that look he had on his face that night but...circumstances as they were, I do understand, " she told him with a little nod.

She would, rather unladylike, curl her legs up and around her as she leaned into him. Arabella just wanted to hold onto him as he pulled out his phone and pulled up Beauregard's number.

"Because you trust him and seem to be doing very well here, I'd like t if he'd be ok with me memories...I am scared that too much might be erased, I don't want what memories I do have of home and our family to be wiped away, " she was scared of losing that, even though they were faded she could recall them if she thought hard enough on them.
With her ascent he would use the voice program to word a message to Beauregard.

Memories were tricky, and he didn't want her to loose any more then just that night. How much could a person change with a tampered memory? He didn't wont to consider such things. And with the quick response from Beauregard, read aloud through his phone, he felt some weight lift. That memory could be a question for another time.

"You dont have to consider it the suggestion. I dont want you to forget our home, our childhood."
A part of her felt oh so silly curled up like this but yet it made her feel safe like this against him as she was able to calm the whirlwind of emotions that had burst through her. He was trying to help, she knew this, no matter how dodgy the past was. She had her brother back from the dead and that was more than most got with family after nearly ninty years.

" I need to move to the area? If he says I can? " she asked Ceri curiously. She hadn't thought of that but last time she basically lived where her old clutch called base so she wondered if she'd be doing that again or if she'd stay in her little apartment. Things were going to change again, one way or another, and she was trying to prepare for it.
He didn't mind the close contact, it felt normal between them. Similar to how things had been when they had been children.

"It would be best if you moved to Alder heights, better protected among the clutch. And the Dominus can sense things in territory."

He didn't know all of what a Dominus's powers entailed or even how it worked. Not that he was interested in ever finding out.

"My house is always open for you as well."
Arabella would nod a little at that, so she could move her already mostly packed things. She just needed to get her clothes and embroidering in order basically.

"That...would be smart, yes, " she told him in agreement as she found herself just relaxing to him once more. Her own painful emotions tucking back into a box where she kept them.

His offer though, her head would tilt back to look up at him. He'd take her in?

"Really? " she asked, her eyes brightening all over again as she looked up at him with a smile before her arms wrapped around him. "Yes please- Oh! I almost forgot I have something for you, " she told him as she would reluctantly let go and sit up to grab her purse. She would pull out a bit of pale blue fabric that had a nightingale carefully embroidered onto the old fabric.

Carefully, she held it out to him, "I had made this for you...a long time ago and have carried it around...I thought of burying back at home but I couldn't but now I can give it to you like I had intended on, " she told him with a little smile as she held it out for him to take.
He was a slightly surprised that she was surprised on his offer of opening his home. They were siblings and it was natural to let her stay with him. Privately he felt things would be more secure if she did live with him. So far he had only seen her loose control, rather understandable given the situation.

A new wave of emotions overcame him as the handkerchief was handed over. (The writer is too tired to write what emotions just that there was a lot of them)

Tears tickled the corners of his eyes.

"Thank you."

Was his only choked up reply.
It would be nice, to just live with him, someone she had missed for so long. She would nod though, "I'd like that please, " she told him as she would smile a bit at him.

The look on his face and the tears in his eyes had her just reaching out to gently wipe away any that had fallen.

"You're welcome. I'm happy that I finally got to give it to you, " in some fashion. She had gotten better since she made that handkerchief but he'd see that when she brought over her things from her little apartment.
He was too choked up with emotion to say much more. At some point he would remember that her violin was still sitting in his living room, and that he needed to give her a tour of the place as she would be moving in. Things had not turned out as he had thought, perhaps it was for the better. Only time would really tell. Or the meeting with Beauregard.
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