|Golden Eyes, Black Wings, and Powdered Garlic
Author: Kerrigas PM
On a new year's eve outing to a restaurant, Aria accidentally discovers a several thousand year old secret - the waiters aren't human. Now she is forced to reside and work among them, and her problems include more than knowing which spice is which! EDITEDRated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Fantasy - Chapters: 6 - Words: 22,315 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 13 - Updated: 09-07-12 - Published: 04-30-10 - id: 2802259
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
.:Author's Note:. Waaaahhhhh I'm sorry! I feel like I've already uploaded these next few chapters, but I know I did add on to some of them since, so i'm uploading them all in apology. It's been so freaking long since I've updated ANYTHING. College happened and it's been HEEEELLL.
Anyway, I'll be trying to update a whole bunch of shit this summer. Hopefully.
The next morning, Aria awoke slowly and pleasantly, praising her silent alarm clock, which glared the numbers 11:32 defiantly back at her. She dressed briskly and skipped down the stairs, where she met the twins, Erick and Errol sitting at a table. Errol nodded to her and motioned at an unoccupied seat. Aria greeted them all and pulled out the chair, hungrily eyeing the steaming tomato and onion omelet, glass of orange juice, and crisp sourdough bread slice before her. As she began eating, she looked around and noticed that only Erick was also eating. The twins were squabbling over an expensive looking glass chess set, and Errol pensively sipped at a glass of what looked like wine.
"So, Erick will accompany you to your father's house with one of the cars. The motorcycle might not fit everything." Errol started. Aria nodded as she took a sip from the glass of orange juice. "Where does your father live, exactly?" He asked.
"He lives in Richmond, in an apartment near the bay." She replied between bites. Errol raised his eyebrows. "Do you go to school in Richmond?"
"No. I go to East San Francisco High."
"Isn't that rather far away from your home?" Aria shrugged.
"It takes about an hour using the bus."
"I see." He mused. "Well, at least you'll have a bit more time to sleep from now on. It only takes about twenty minutes from here." He said cheerfully.
Aria finished her food and she and Eric brought the plates to the kitchen sink before they left the house. Again, Aria followed Eric to the back of the restaurant. A cool wind and a cloudless blue sky greeted them as they left the building. Eric turned to the left and after a few meters, stopped and pulled the keys from his pocket. He crouched and placed a small silver key in a lock which held the garage screen locked to the ground. After removing the lock, Eric placed one hand beneath the garage door and heaved it up. With a groan and rattle, the screen rose until it locked itself in place two and a half meters up. Aria followed Eric into the dim garage, where he stopped by and unlocked a sleek red Corvette. Aria opened the door of the car and settled in the soft leather seat beside Eric. The auburn-skinned boy placed the keys in the ignition and started the car, backing it out of the garage. He employed the parking brake and left the car in neutral as he left to pull the screen back down and lock it. Eric quickly hopped back into the car, turned it around, and sped off.
Aria guided Eric to Richmond, and the two made little conversation on the way. It took them hardly forty minutes before they parked before the small complex. The two stepped out of the car, slamming the car doors behind them. Eric locked the car with a press of a button on his key set and followed Aria up a set of spiraling stairs to the second floor. They walked down the narrow terrace hall until they reached a plain white door with the gold numbers 23 nailed in the center. Aria knocked loudly and waited. No response. She knocked again, but likewise, the door remained closed. Aria sighed and tried the doorknob. It happily yielded and opened allowing the two inside a large white carpeted room. A small wooden dining table with three chairs sat patiently to their left in front of a leather couch of a hideous brown which faced a small flat screen television. Slightly to their right opened another small door-less room which was occupied by the kitchen, and before them a small hallway presenting two doors on either side. The house was lit only by the rising sunlight beaming through the unveiled windows. Dreary and bland faded white painted walls stood lonely and rather undecorated except for a few paintings and exotic photographs hanging in oak wood frames. The space appeared very slovenly, a mess of clothes, plastic bags and varying electrical equipment lying upon the ground. Aria heaved a sigh.
"Honestly? And he's only been here for one day? Eric don't move, just give me a minute." She bent over and began gathering together the clothes and shuttling the plastic bags to the trash can in the kitchen. Eric stood quietly by the doorway, watching her scurry about the house. Finally, Aria joined him apologizing. He hid a smile and muttered something under his breath. Aria narrowed her eyes suspiciously.
"What?" She asked warily. Eric shook his head and looked down at his feet.
"Ah, it's nothing. You just reminded me of a squirrel is all." He replied. Aria looked at him crossly but kept her retort to herself. Instead, she walked over to the last door on the left in the hallway and knocked loudly before entering. Eric followed her and looked in curiously. The room was small and narrow, seemingly smaller from everything crammed and packed together. A small single bed was shoved to the right and a large desk crowded by a desktop computer and stacks of papers and folders was placed across from them at the far end of the room. On their left, a large wooden closet stood promptly at attention, glaring down at the mess of clothes and paper littering the floor. Hunched over the desk, hands whizzing over the keyboard, with a pair of large headphones over his ears, was a man dressed in a wrinkled gray suit, with a thick shock of gray peppered black hair. Aria leaned against the doorway and knocked against the open door.
"Hey dad." She called. The man jerked his head towards them and quickly removed the headphones. The man looked up at them and blinked from behind a pair of small spectacles. He bore a long face, sharp nose, and soft, small lips, which formed into a genuine smile upon seeing her.
"Aria!" He cried happily. Aria's father left his seat and walked forward to embrace his daughter. Eric noticed that the man was much smaller than he had imagined, and his large suit weighed loosely upon his figure. Aria hugged him fondly back, then released him and frowned, looking him over.
"You've lost weight again." She said disappointedly. "Have you been eating right, or are you skipping out on your meals again." The man sighed.
"Well, I eat when I have the time, but it's been pretty busy lately. In fact, I wanted to tell you, they're shipping me off to Denver in about a week." Aria blinked.
"That soon? But you've hardly had time to rest!" She protested loudly. "This is inhumane. I'm going to file a complaint with your company pleading child neglect and illness from overworking." The man laughed, his voice clear and pleasant. Suddenly he noticed and turned towards Eric, who stood awkwardly behind Aria.
"Well, who would this fine gentlemen be? Have you finally gotten yourself a boyfriend?" He asked Aria lightheartedly. Aria rolled her eyes.
"Thanks for emphasizing my failure of a love life dad. But sorry to disappoint, this is my friend Eric. There's something we'd like to talk to you about though, actually." Her father smiled and stuck out a large hand. Eric grasped it and the two exchanged greetings.
"Damian Manetta." Aria's father started.
"Alright," Aria interjected after they released grips. "Let's move to the living room." The three of them made their way back to the large room, where they sat at the wooden table at individual ends. Damian offered to make coffee but Aria warned him that they were leaving soon.
"Well, first off," Aria began, "I found a job in the city." Damian's eyebrows raised and a large grin spread out on his face.
"Really? That's great. Where?" He asked.
"A new restaurant in the mission. Apocalypse Haven."
"Oh really?" Her father exclaimed. "I heard that it won several culinary awards. I'm surprised you managed to find a job there." Aria nodded.
"I'm also working at their café during the day, but when school starts, I'll just be working in the evening. Eric is actually one of their chefs." Damian regarded Eric impressively.
"Is he? And at such a young age too." He mused. Eric shifted his gaze awkwardly.
"So," Aria resumed, "first off, I have a few papers I need you to sign, release forms and all." Her father nodded and accepted the folded papers she removed from her pocket.
"Is that everything?" He asked, looking up at her from behind his round spectacles, deep hazel eyes shimmering.
"Um yes." Aria hesitated before continuing. "Actually, the restaurant builds into an entire large house. Most of the personnel live there. It's where I've been staying for a few days. I know that I should have told you before," she said quickly as his face hardened, "but I wanted to explain everything. I've made good friends with everyone there, and they have offered me a room, since it is closer to the school and because you're so often away." Aria stared down at the table, digging her nails into the seat of her chair. The silence tugged at the nape of her neck, and she looked up cautiously. Her father studied her passively, tracing patters into his cheek with his left hand. He sighed and rubbed his temple.
"Well, that's a big decision." He said at last, looking up at her. "Are you sure about this?"
Well it's not like I have much of a choice. Aria thought. "Yeah." She responded simply. Her father sighed again.
"How many people are there?"
"Well, there's Eric, Lucian, Errol, the twins, Darius, Vincent, Leila, and apparently there's two others who are away for the time being."
"That's a lot of people. Are you sure you can trust them all." Aria shifted her gaze.
"Yeah. Sure. I mean, Eric and Errol are really responsible, Lucian and Vincent are a bit difficult but harmless, the twins are pretty cute when they aren't talking, Leila seems rather nice, and Darius is very kind. He's an adult, as well." She added as an addendum. Not that age has much of a say in this, considering Lucian's apparently well over two hundred but still has a way to go maturity wise, she thought, bemused.
"That's a lot of guys." Her father muttered. Aria sighed.
"Dad, like I said, they're harmless for the most part. And besides," She added exasperatedly, "I know some aikido, and took kendo and karate for six years. I also still have that Japanese switch knife you bought me for my 15th birthday. I can defend myself." Her father smiled.
"Well, I supposed you're right. Besides, you're almost 18. I'll have to let you go soon anyways." Aria rolled her eyes.
"Dad, you see me about a week per month. This isn't going to change much. I'll even stay with you during that week you arrive if you want me to."
"I know. However, I think it might be best you stay at their house for the first week of school at least. I'm going to be too busy to take you, and the bus takes over an hour."
"But then when am I supposed to see you?" Aria complained.
"Well, we'll do something next weekend, just the two of us." Aria sighed sullenly.
"That what you said last time, and it never happened." Her father frowned and scratched at an invisible rash on his neck.
"I know. There was a sudden change in plans, and I had to leave early. You know how much I regret that." He said sadly. "I promise we'll do something next weekend." Aria sighed, allowing herself a small smile.
"Alright then." Damian quickly signed the forms and handed them back to Eric.
"I'm assuming he's here to help you bring your stuff back?" Aria nodded. She rose and left the table for her room, and Eric rose to follow her, but was held back by a motion of the father for him to stay. He soundlessly settled back into the chair as Aria disappeared behind one of the doors. Damian studied Eric quietly, hands folded over the table.
"Aria's still 17, no matter how much more mature she may seem." He began. Eric met the man's greening eyes understandingly. "Her mother died from a bad illness when she was only five. Since then, I've been raising her, working like a madman at home to support us both. When she was old enough to take care of herself, I accepted a promotion, but it forced me to be away from her most of the year. I had a close friend take care of her until two years ago, when she moved to Illinois to care for her sick mother.
"Thus, I would like to ask you to look over her in my place. Though she always put up a tough front, I know that she must feel very lonely when I am not here. You look like an honest and simple guy, and my gut instinct tells me I can trust you." Eric smiled lightly, meeting Damian's gaze in all intensity, eye to eye.
"Aria is strong. She can take care of herself. I have not known her for long, but I know this much." He said kindly. "But rest assured, I will take it upon myself personally that she should remain happy." Damian blinked, then smiled, relief filling the creases along his mouth and eyes.
"Gee dad, you're acting like I'm getting married off or something." Aria drawled from her room. He laughed heartily, and Eric smiled, rising from the table and striding over to help carry her brimming red suitcase.