Lena was pretty sure she hated her job. She was on her hands and knees next to a bucket scrubbing the floor with vigor. Her curly brown hair was twisted into a messy bun at the nape of her neck, but a few tendrils had fallen loose and kept tickling her nose. She wanted to call it quits, but she would not be fired over a stupid floor not being shiny enough. She sighed sharply and dunked her rag back into the hot, soapy water.
Zen sighed as he was walking the halls to his father's office. His raven, Mortem, resting atop his hat that was hiding his ears. Father sending for him was never a good sign; normally it would mean politics of some kind.
His hair was a natural pure white, though a jet black fedora covered the top of his head. The slight shadow casting it to a greyish hue. His eyes a lovely shade of blue thanks to the colored contacts, that were unfortunately too thin to stop his powers. It was a pair of stainless steel rimmed reading glasses that allowed that comfort, they would not hold up as real glasses on inspection for they were flat panes, but it distorted his control without affecting his sight. He were a double breasted suit of silk. It hid a bit of his more muscular form, though the effects were marginal at best. He was of 18 years and just above below the average high but not to any degree that was of note.
Mortem as if sensing something stiffened and ruffled his feathers. With another sigh, Zen turned the corner, slipping on the wet floor. Though, as luck would have it, his glasses and hat stayed on. Mortem took flight as his master foolishly began to fall. The raven sound some that was almost like a laugh.
Lena looked up, mortified. She jumped to her feet to apologize, but she slipped as well. She hit the ground hard, knocking the bucket of dirty water into her lap. Her cheeks were brilliantly red as she peered over at Zen. "Are you okay?" she asked, trying to ignore the fact that she probably looked like a disaster in her soaked through clothes.
Zen leaned up peering through his glasses at the blushing maid that sat before him. "Yes, I'm fine, though I must ask you the same question. You, my lady, hit the floor as well." As he finished Zen pushed himself to his feet, Mortem landing back on top of Zen's hat. The fall had not hurt Zen, though he would have to change out of the suit he was in, but the thought was fine with Zen. He did not like suits anyways.
Lena stood carefully, not wanting a repeat performance of her less than graceful fall. "I'm alright," she said, even as water ran in rivulets down her clothes. Her electric blue eyes landed on the bird and her lips twitched into the barest of smiles. Then her eyes fell back on Zen and her cheeks heated once more. "I am sorry that I caused your fall," she said, flicking water off of her top.
"It is not your fault, you were merely doing your job, though if I might make a suggestion; a wet floor sign would be a nice warning," he said, holding back a laugh. He looked at her and realized he had never meet her before. "Pardon me to ask, but may I have your name?" he asked in the most aristocratic tone he could muster at the moment.
Lena blushed bright red, but not from embarrassment. She had requested that she be granted a wet floor sign days ago - and no one had bothered to listen. She flicked a strand of hair out of her face with a sigh of mild annoyance. "Lena," she said. "Lena Harmony."
"Zen, Zen Draken, at your service." Zen pointed at the raven on his hat "And this is Mortem." Mortem looked at Lena with what seemed like dislike, though remained silent. Zen started inspecting the girl he had run into - brown hair in a bun, electric blue eyes, it was only the soaking maid's outfit that was throwing off her appearance. "Is there any way I may help you?" Zen was hoping he could get out of seeing his father and having another political lecture.
Lena reached up to let her hair down so she could refasten it to get the annoying tendrils of hair out of her face, but she froze and shot him a startled look, her hands lifted to her hair. "Help me?" she asked, tugging on the elastic band in her hair. A mass of brown curls tumbled down her back and she took the elastic between her teeth as she gathered the unruly curls once more. "Why would you want to help me? I'm just a maid." She thought about using her gift to see, but held back, waiting to see what his response would be.
"You may be a maid, but you are still a person and should be treated no less than me," he said sincerely. He reached his hand out to take the elastic band. "Plus, what kind of gentlemen would I be if I did not help a lovely lady,when she needed it?" Zen asked. He had to admit, she was a girl some might call cute, even if she was human.
Lena stared at him for a long moment. "I'm not quite sure what you're offering to help me with," she said, dropping her hair so that it fell around her shoulders again. "You've taken my hair band, so I can only assume you're offering to do my hair for me, sir." She cringed inwardly, cursing her smart mouth. She hoped he would find humor at her words and not anger.
He smiled. She spoke her mind, a trait not common among those who worked there. "But of course." Happy to find an excuse for not going to his father, Zen began to tie her hair into a bun. He wondered, idly, why she would be working such a deeming job. "May I ask why you are on your knee scrubbing the floor? That is no task for a lady."
Lena's blue eyes were wide and her shoulders stiff as he gently tugged her hair - that often didn't like to behave as it should - into the proper position. She found it hard to believe this was happening at all and it took a moment before she could answer. "I..." She had to stop and formulate her words. Very softly she said; "I have no choice. My grammy - " She blushed. "My grandmother is sick and she can't work. I...I needed something. It was either this or prostitution," she blurted out the truth.
"Oh," he said, his face turning red at that comment, he was happy he was not facing her. "I'm dreadfully sorry about asking that." He finished tying her hair into a bun. He checked his watch, realizing he needed to get to his father soon. "Well, miss Lena, I do believe I must be going. It was a pleasure, but I must go. Till we meet, again." As he began to walk away, he truly hoped his abrupt leaving did not seem rude. Though if it did he supposed it could not be helped.
Lena stayed exactly where she was, not turning to watch him leave. Then she sank to her knees on the wet floor, lifting a hand to her newly tied didn't realize she was crying until her tears spattered the floor. She swiped them away quickly and muttered a few words under her breath without bothering to look around her to make certain she was alone. The floor dried almost instantly and she stood, repeating the spell on her clothes. She grabbed the empty bucket and fled the hall.
She had told the truth. Her grandma was sick.
She just hadn't mentioned that she was dying.
Zen knocked on the door to his fathers office."Come in," said a lightened tone. Zen walked into the office where his father was finishing signing papers. Zen was the spitting image of his father, despite the fact that Zen possessed a wolf tail and ears while his father did not. "You're late," he said with a sour tone.
"I was helping this girl and..."
His father got excited. "Oh? What noble lady took your eye?"
Zen gulped. He knew that his father would not like that he had helped a common maid; that was wrong in his father eyes. "Her name is Lena Harmony," Zen said, hoping his father would leave it at that. He did not.
"I don't know of any family under the name Harmony. What links her to nobility?"
Zen swallowed hard, knowing this was not going to end well.
Lena hurried to her next job - cleaning her boss' office. She hoped he wasn't in there because it was always horribly awkward when she cleaned around him. She slipped up to the door and paled, seeing the door closed. The boss was in and she could hear voices through the door. She knocked tentatively, her cleaning supplies in a basket in her arms.
"Well, you see she is..." Zen began to explain why he was held up , but there was a knock at the door.
Zen's father looked away from his son. "One moment." Turning his head to the door, "Come in." Zen turned his head to see who was coming in -most likely a maid - but it still peaked his interest to know who. A moment later, his heart skipped a beat. Lena. This can't end well, Zen thought.
Lena thought she was going to die on the spot when she saw Zen, but outwardly she showed no sign of her panic. "Time to clean your office, sir," she said, hefting the basket a little higher in her arms. A piece of hair fell from the bun Zen had fixed for her and she nearly went cross-eyed looking at it.
Zen's father took no notice of the girl, though now he could no longer talk about the bloodline of whoever had stalled his son. "So boy, tell me what exactly was so pressing that one would stall you from coming to me?"
Zen felt his throat go dry. If she was not right there he could have easily lied; this would be complicated. "Oh, it was just a small matter," Zen said. "It was mostly my fault I'm late, I stayed too long."
His father was not entirely convinced. "Still, Zen, what happened to hold you up?"
Lena swallowed as she moved around the room, dusting and straightening writing materials. She glanced at Zen and felt pity. "It was my fault," she blurted. "I was cleaning the floor and he slipped." Her small body shook slightly in fear of the punishment that was sure to come.
"Hmmm..." was the only sound Zen's father made; that was bad. Zen knew his father had two types of anger. One, when he yelled at you and the other when he was too angry to form words. Zen's heart beat harder knowing there would be retribution for her actions. He did not know what he would be punished more for, helping a human or lying.
"So this is the girl who held you up?" Distaste in every word from his father's mouth. "Well I expected her to be... well just better."
Zen clutched the arms of the chair. She may have been mortal, but she did not deserve that. "Father, thats not …" His father shot him an angered glance and Zen fell silent abruptly.
"Girl, finish quickly, before I lose my patience." Words rang in Zen's head. Why did you help her? She is no vampire.
Zen thought while focusing on his father, and neither am I. Not completely.. Father, she deserves respect as well, human or not.
Lena scrambled to finish, but she happened to catch her bosses eye while hurrying around his desk and, her level of fear being as high as it was made her powers unstable, she knew her eyes were darkening noticeably - going from a bright blue to nearly a navy color. And cold fear gripped her as she looked at Zen's father. He was angry - furious really - and he hated her. No one had ever hated her before. Her heart beat wildly and she whirled away, breaking the eye contact, praying he hadn't noticed. She didn't look at Zen, terrified of meeting his eye. She clumsily gathered up her cleaning supplied and started for the door, cracking her knee on the edge of the large desk.
Zen moved grab her as she hit her knee. "Are you okay?" This, though, did not sit well with his father.
Stop helping the bloody girl. A ruler must control subjects not pity them, his father snapped, directing the thought to Zen.
To that, Zen remained silent, helping Lena with her stuff out the door. "I'm sorry for that. My father is not kind to anyone really," Zen said as he helped her down the hall.
In the office his father slammed his fist on the desk, breaking it as if it were a twig. Alucard sighed and stood up slowly. The desk was thankfully only a replica of the one of a kind desk in his study. The difference was the wood. Still it's edge had been gilded in gold and it would take time to have another crafted.
He looked out over the sky line of the city. He wondered ever so slightly if he should take up Falconridge and his offer. He know the nobility were roaring over his son being yet without a bride. Many offered that their own daughters were rejected and so far it seemed the imperial bloodline was not going to have another Purer generation any time soon. With a moments hesitation, the vampire picked up his phone from the broken desk and began to dial Falconridge.
Lena still wouldn't look at Zen, afraid that he would notice the drastic color change her eyes had done. "I'm fine," she said quickly, a little shortly. She hadn't meant to say it so harshly, but back in the office...that could have been a disaster.
"Is there a way I can repay you for my father's actions?" Zen looked at her, though she was avoiding his gaze. For a reason he did not comprehend, it gave him a tinge of sadness. "Are you hungry or thirsty? We could grab something together, if you want." Not until after he had spoken did he realize what it sounded like he was asking. His pale face began turning to a pinkish hue.
Without thinking, Lena snapped her head up to look at him in surprise, her now navy eyes wide. "I...uh..." she stuttered. "You don't have to...to..." She fell silent, realizing that he could see her eyes and they had yet to return to their normal color.
When he saw her eyes, they seemed to look different from when he meet her, though Zen cast it off as a trick of the light. He was taller than her, which would have required her to look up a bit, so it seemed likely. "Though I would rather like to, but the offer is yours to take or leave." His face was still pink from what he had said, but he was determined to make up for what happened.
Lena let out a breath she didn't know she had been holding. He hadn't said anything about her eyes. Was it possible he hadn't noticed? He is a man, after all, she thought to herself. "I...um...sure," she finally said, relief washing over her. She had been uncertain as to how she would explain her freaky eye change.
Zen smiled. She might not have given the most confident yes, but it was a yes. all the same "I do think you should change first. Maid outfits are normally not what one eats in." I should probably change as well, Zen thought. My back is still wet.
I know it may seem unwise to start another large story when i rarely update the one i have now, but this is a collaborative effort between me and a friend Jnl94 who i recommend you check the work of. Me and her have spent a long time working together to craft a tale of good worth, she was the first person I have ever rped with as well.
I will be able to update this more often as much has been already written and it is just extra detail adding and grammar combing. This is going to be realses in a number of small chapters for those who have little time to just sit down and read.
Please do all the things below you deem worthy of your time and good day my snowflakes.