While Zero was quite uncertain what gold actually was, the way she described it made him feel like he hadn’t seen it yet, and he wondered if it would be his favorite as well. It all made sense, the thought suddenly snapped into his mind. People always asked ‘what’s your favorite color’ and the question had always confused him until just now. There were so many options. How could one decide? While the darkness of the black was soothing, comforting, familiar, he found he enjoyed the brilliance of the sky and the beautiful shade of Bridgette’s eyes.
He thought about how to answer the question he asked, all the while shifting his weight so to compensate for the many, now loose, pages in his grasp.
“The color of your eyes.” He said thoughtfully. He didn’t mean anything by it, he just didn’t know the word that matched the shade. “I think I like that one.” Satisfied as they came to a halt outside the library, the Carpathian grimaced. He could already smell the billions of pages.
How long had he stayed away? How much knowledge was there? Perhaps there was information on his race in one of the books, or one of those boxes that had a screen that could answer anything. Maybe he’d try that.
Shifting his weight Zero managed to tuck the destroyed cook book under his arm as he leaned forward and snatched the door, pulling it open and holding it for Bridgette, shooting a glare as some guy walked by and nearly bumped into the little baker. His protectiveness was spiking it seemed, and it was more hard not to just run after him cursing. He inhaled and relaxed, seconds later, trying to grasp this want. Kill. Maim. Destroy. The three words summed up what he’d been doing for his whole life.
To this, Bridgette offered a shy smile, and took the steps to enter the library. By the sounds of voices and the movement of others they were not alone anymore. It was not surprising since this would be one of the few places in the Mansion where you are able to unlock certain mysteries, in particular the very ones you would have about yourself. Bridgette knew that she was human, for she had no real special talents. She couldn’t move at the speed of light, nor could she vanish from view at a whim. What she did know, in the solitude of her room was that she was able to bend her body into ways that one would not regard as normal. Flexible, would be the word you would use to describe her ability. Of course, her past remained just that, and haunted her as much as it did many others in the mansion. She had not sought out others to question them of how they came to be in the Mansion, though at night when she lay to rest, it was first and foremost in her mind.
The scent of the many books on the shelves gave her a sense of peace.
Turning to Zero, she then extended her hands and asked.
“I would er…be ‘appy to see if the book can be..er..bound again.” Bridgette didn’t know the librarian, but hoped that someone in the library could be of assistance. Her fingers would just caress the very back of his hand, in a gentle way.
When she stepped up to him and her fingers barely brushed against the skin on his hands he couldn’t help but smile. It was goofy and looked weird on his face, since honestly they were both used to a growl or a glare, or blunt rage.
“I have to come with you.” He insisted. “It was my fault the book ended this way.” A nod was given as he handed the pages over to her. Hell he’d give her anything…And just like that the Carpathian was caught in those bright orbs of her’s and he sighed softly before breaking away and sharply turning his head. The moment of affection and care was abruptly disrupted by the over bearing need to protect and in this strange place he wasn’t about to mess around with such a task so he stuck next to Bridgette like glue, or an overly attached mutt, and rolled his shoulders back slightly.
Only then did he answer the voice of an unseen being.
“We need assistance with…re-binding a broken book.” Broken being used lightly as the book was plain destroyed, though the pages were still in tact, just honestly needed cleaning. “If of course you have the materials.” The mansion had everything, he wasn’t sure why he was asking…Yet somehow felt it necessary.
The Mansion truly had to be one of the strangest places that Bridgette had ever encountered. The masked being that had asked as to the pair’s plight, soon became distracted by something large outside the window and instead of offering assistance took off out the door.
Blinking, Bridgette was not sure how to respond and in behind her a stack of books was knocked onto the floor by another member of the household. This soon had a young lady going over to assist, leaving Bridgette and Zero to fend for themselves with the destroyed book. Sighing softly, Bridgette gestured towards one of the desks that had some supplies and binding materials. A help your self desk, if you will. Bridgette moved slowly, with her full skirts creating a hush sound as they swept over the carpeted floor.
With the necessary equipment, Bridgette then asked Zero; “We…can fix it ‘ere, yes?” The young baker then went to get a small jug of water and some rags to dab away the blood from the splattered pages, while the binder and glues would be able to be used to put the many pages back together.
Bridgette now believed that the Librarian was not in, and only those that sought to find out information about themselves and their predicament in being trapped in the Mansion were on hand.
Coming back with the water jug and cloth, Bridgette took a seat and used her hand to gesture that perhaps Zero could do the same. If they worked together, the task should not take long at all.
When she sat down he took a couple steps closer and then she beckoned and a chuckle escaped him gently before joining her. He sniffed at the jug of water and then looked at the pages they had to work with.
The butler started to flip through the pages, withdrawing the ones that had been soiled by the erh…certain blood bag that’d been tossed by a certain Carpathian. Pulling the papers that were touched with red free of the stack, he set them aside carefully and set up the papers in the proper order so that it’d be easy to put the papers back.
“You wipe the blood, well dab really. Wiping might ruin or rip the paper. I’ll pull the papers out and give them to you and put them back when you’re done. Then we can work on binding….Or try to figure it out.” It was the most he had spoken at once and honestly he didn’t find himself minding as he sat down next to the baker, flipping through the cookbook as he retrieved the pages. There weren’t many, but there were a couple with large blotches that consumed most of the page. He worked silently, golden hues lowered as he seemed completely focused on the task at hand, As he slid the papers over to Bridgette one at a time, he’d take the ones that were recently cleaned and find their proper place in the cook book.
He hoped that it would make her feel better. To put a lock on their…interesting hour long past. He wanted to see her smile…And it was the motivation.
Placing the jug of water down carefully, Bridgette started with the worst pages. Blood spots like ink blots that were varied in the size and colour. To get each out would require care on her part, and Zero suggested that dabbing would work much better, as wiping would only spread the blood further onto the pages. Happy with this advice, Bridgette took a cloth and with a single digit she dipped the cloth into the water before starting to dab lightly upon the first page. The trick worked, much to Bridgette’s delight. Zero would be able to see the slight crease upward as her lips curled into a smile, that widened as she tried a second page, and then a third. Each piece of paper handled delicately, like it was a great work of art or manuscript to a play – not some humble cook book.
Zero took each page after it was cleaned, putting them back in chronological order which would make the binding so much easier. The stack of papers grew and grew until finally the damage had been cleaned away. With Zero sitting close by, and working with Bridgette they made light work of what was quite a task.
Once all the pages were done, Bridgette reached for some binding tape. This would form the arc or spine of the newly fashioned book, and then she would attach the binding to the original book’s cover. To watch her work, Zero would see the slight pink tip of her tongue, that edged out past her lips as she concentrated on the task. As she closed the cover finally, she pressed a hand to the cover and let out a great sigh of relief.
“It’s…good as new, Zero.” She said with a soft voice, passing the book to him to see for himself that through their team work, they had been able to save the treasured tome.
“I am…most er…grateful to you.” Again with the smile, Bridgette tilted her head slightly to the right to catch sight of his warm ember colored eyes.
People cursed and yelled and gave him the stink eye. Thank you was so foreign. He couldn’t stop the smile that broke out.
“No don’t thank me. Thank you Bridgette.” He said thoughtfully, trying to put the right words to voice what he was saying. Carefully he reached over and brushed a lock of her beautiful chestnut locks and tucked a strand behind her ear and then withdrew his hand sharply as if he realized he made a mistake. The next words spoken had such care, admiration, and affection strewn into them, spoken in no more than a whisper, he found it almost hard to believe it’d been from him.
“You showed me the world.”
A genuine smile as he got up and slid away from the desk and bit the inside of his cheek. He wanted to carry her off and go explore this new world. He wanted to brush a hand over her cheek and feel her lips. He wanted to taste how sweet her blood was and make her his. But he had just met her, and this overwhelming affection would drive her away, or so he figured. This sensitivity to others was new, annoying almost, but he respected…Respected her.
“It’s late.” The Carpthian said to distract himself from the growing want. He wanted nothing more than to stay there and talk, but it was rather late out by now and he didn’t want to keep her up, she was human after all. A grin. “I hope we cross paths again Bridgette.”
He turned to walk out of the library, forcing himself not to look back over his shoulder. Lords. Maybe he’d never feel this way about another, but as he departed he felt more uneasy and he could feel the darkness dancing beneath the surface.
She was truly his light.
The quiet hush of the library was replaced by the soft words spoken by Zero. Bridgette stole a glance of how he ran his slender fingers back through his hair and ruffled it in a nervous gesture. All this so new to him. Kindness and thanks shown after what had started as a terrible quarrel. A warmth in the blush of Bridgette’s cheeks blossomed as Zero said he needed no thanks, but that he was thankful for her. Not only had he brought color to his black and white world, she had shown forgiveness. A rare and beautiful gift, in this dark place.
Not taking her eyes off his, when Zero moved to brush back a lock of her hair, Bridgette bowed her head ever slightly – savoring the coolness of his delicate touch. Each second passing, each word causing her chest to swell as she caught her breath and held it. For a moment, she was simply lost for words, and only when he went to stand and said that it was getting late, did she remember that it was late for her. As a baker she was always up at the crack of dawn, not only to make her pastries but to catch that beautiful golden light as the Sun rose over the horizon.
Bridgette gently eased her chair back and then stepped out, so that she could push the chair neatly back in place. Forgetting the book and the fact she was in this most public place in the Library, Bridgette crossed the floor to where Zero stood, and then she went up on tip toes and kissed both of his cheeks delicately. Her lips feather soft as they brushed the cool of his skin.
She seemed to stand in that same place for a minute, then remembered the book, and spun on her heel to go fetch it. Bridgette didn”t want to turn the book in. Not now. This book was a symbol of her and Zero’s budding friendship. Catching the book up and holding it tight to her bosom, she then gave a curt bob, before hurrying out of the library and turning the corner to head up the stairs to her room. Like a bird in flight she ascended the stairs, only to disappear around a corner.
(thread change – Bridgette’s room)
“I hope so Bridgette.”
But she was long gone and the Carpathian cleaned up the supplies that they had used, making sure that the area that had been so convenient was left clean for the next desperate person who needed it. The male left the library without hesitation, honestly annoyed with all the different smells from the thousands of books, and headed towards his room down the hallway. The two seemed to be roomed on the same floor, it was a wonder they hadn’t met before, but he was a bit grateful for that. It just made him cherish the moments all the more.