I officially have pictures of Neroli and Carico! Go here to see them: leave a comment there too, if you want. I always appreciate them. And if anyone has a deviantart or sheezyart or whateverart account let me know! I love seeing other people's work!

There are also pictures of Sleet & Hale characters (just a few so far) in my gallery on deviantart. Just go to noihseret.

One more thing! Thank you DaggersHurt, Daisuki CES, Wolfblood82 (your last review was wonderful! Thank you! that was an issue I had thought about so I will try and give mre character details in from here on.) Sysi, Rust Phoenix, Hawk Raskenark, Kakyou Takashiro, Yokotasshi, FoxyGrampa, and KharrisK. -SweetNSourMisery-!!! You guys are what keeps this story going

Burnd the Forte
The Soul of a Forte

When we started walking to my house, the sun had just begun to sink into the earth. Now a soft orange glow washes over the city, giving the stone buildings and fountains a vibrant tint of colour.

We arrive at my doorstep and open the door, entering the chaotic house. My grandparents are talking in the living room, my father is just coming down the stairs, and my mother is running from room to room, getting things ready for dinner. If you haven't guessed yet, dinnertime is the most important time of the day for my family. It's the only time we're all together in one room. Plus, who doesn't like food? Especially when it's my prepared by my mom.

"Hello Abaceos, Carico." She smiles, a white apron tied around her waist.

My father notices us as he sits down besides my grandfather. Unfortunately, my father's parents died when I was young. I never really got to know them, though I heard once that Blithe had a strong connection with them. As for my mother and her parents, they've been inseparable. Partly because of how tight money is around here, but also because our family likes to stick together. Except Blithe; she's the exception with everything.

"Is Mr. Farfalla staying for dinner tonight, Abaceos?" My father asks.

"Yeah, if that's alright." I stroll in, dragging Carico by the arm.

"That's fine with me." My father says, "Guess who else is joining us tonight?"


"Your sister."


"Okay everyone, it's ready!" My mother calls happily, beckoning us into the kitchen.

Everyone gets up, my grandparents a bit slower than the rest, and head around the bar, into the kitchen. Carico stays close to my side. I wonder if anyone will notice his hesitancy.

My dad takes his seat just as my mom finishes putting the food down. I sit beside him and Carico.

"So where is she?" I mutter.

As if on cue, Blithe comes prancing down the stairs, her thick, wavy hair bouncing about her shoulders.

"Hello everyone." She smiles, taking a seat besides my mom. She takes one look at me and glares, "Oh, hi Becky."

"Hi bitch."

"Abaceos!" My mother exclaims, "Would you two please just get along for one night? Blithe here has come home for a few days to visit and I don't want you two fighting."

"Yes mother." Blithe and I say in unison, staring down at our empty plates.

If I had known my sister was coming I wouldn't have invited Carico. He shifts uncomfortably in his seat.

"Now," My mother sighs happily, "Let's have a nice meal. Dig in everyone!"

Chattering silverware sounds as people begin taking food and passing around bowls. I scoop a pile of mashed potatoes on my plate. Carico does the same. The only thing we have in common when it comes to food are potatoes. Our tastes are almost the exact opposite with everything else.

"So, Blithe." I speak up, "What where you doing upstairs? Studying?"

"Yes," She replies in a matter of fact tone, "Because I actually care about my studies."

My father shoots her an evil eye.

I cough, disguising my laughter.

"So Blithe dear, tell us about your college exams." My grandmother smiles, "I hear my little angel came in the top ten again."

"Well, they're not that hard, grandma... much easier than most people say they are." My sister says intelligently, glowing with praise, "Then again I did try out for some of the top colleges in the area."

"Gee, you're so smart, sis." I roll my eyes.

She sticks her tongue out at me.

I wish Carico wasn't here.

"Carico, you seem quiet tonight, how are you?" My mother asks, as if reading my mind.

Carico looks up at her and smiles. I want to rip it off his lips, the little liar.

"I'm alright, nothing much going on in my life."

"How's your mother?"

"Surviving." He says jokingly.

He gets a few laughs. For some reason, I notice my sister watching him. Damnit, Carico be careful. You're not the only one who can read people.

The table continues in the usual mindless chattering, my grandfather making jokes and my grandmother praising Blithe and I. My father sits back and enjoys it. He's never been one to partake in much. He just enjoys observing.

My mother is the only one in the world besides me who knows about Carico's mother's… issues. She found out one night when Carico and I were just kids. He had come to my house after his mother had hit him in a drunken rage, but I wasn't home. All he needed was a shoulder to cry on, so my mother gave him one.

As the talking quiets down, Blithe looks to Carico.

"I'm sorry, Carico, what did you say your mother's name was?"

He guards his eyes and takes a bite of chicken, "I didn't."

YES! I love you Carico! Stand your ground, man!

Blithe looks taken back; she can deal with it. She deserves it.

"What does she do for a living?"

Everyone's attention seems to be on Carico now, especially my sister's.

"Hey Blithe." I interrupt, "What did you say you were…"

"Let Carico speak." She says, a wicked grin in her eyes.

"I've nothing to say." Carico says simply.

"She doesn't work?"

I'm gunna strangle her…

"Leave him alone, Blithe." I growl.

"Why? What's wrong with my question?" She exclaims, "All I want to know is what Carico's..."

My mother cuts in, "Maybe the boy doesn't want to tell you. Maybe it's not of your buisness."

"Yeah Blithe." I sneer.

"Shut up Becky!"

"SCREW YOU!" I lurch forward in my seat, "Zioneit, what's your problem?!"

"Abaceos! Blithe!" My father protests, "If you two can't behave then maybe you shouldn't be at this table!"

I sit back down, glaring daggers at Blithe.

"Nero…" Carico whispers to me, "Maybe I should leave…"

"No, it's alright."

"I think I should." He says, getting up.


"Thank you for having me, Mrs. Neroli, but I have to go." He says politely.

My mother looks to him in concern, "Oh, well, if you're certain, that's fine." She says, "Thank you for coming."

"Thank you for dinner."

I rest my head in my hand, irritated, not at him though, "Carico, you don't…"

He can't hear me. He walks back around the living room and out the front door. Blithe is watching me. I get up.

"I wonder what was wrong…" She says innocently.

"You were." I mutter, "Why don't you just go back to your college and leave us the fuck alone?"

"Abaceos!" My father yells.

"Yeah, yeah. I'm going." I turn to my mother, "Why don't you tell our sweet little bigot about Carico's mom, huh?" I say, leaving the kitchen in silence.

I know how bad I've been about updating, so I've come up with a little schedule...

Today's saturday, so I'll update chapter 6 on Monday (if I get four or more reviews) or Tuesday (if I get less than that). I just always feel weird about updating when not alot of people review. This wasn't meant as a guilt trip or anything, but please do review! I love reviews and I always return them!

Sin. Noihseret