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Familiar Gatekeeper

Aisling didn't realize just how long she had been in the room. She had been engrossed, lost in the details of the room...exploring the designs of the rungs, the imagery of the tapestries...and even delighted in looking out the small roof window...admiring the progress Cera was making on the Family House apartments; the woman had an eye for style!

So when Rowan kicked the wall in an attempt to gain her attention, it took the gypsy girl by surprise...so much that she nearly knocked over one of the privacy screens. She wondered who or what could be out there...it sounded like a kick more so than some branch idly knocking about as it passed along on the wind...not that branches were so light, but perhaps she hadn't realized the storm had returned. No...no no no...it sounded human...or humanoid. She figured it was either Cera, Rowan, or one of the painted-servants. She frowned at the thought of it being the soulless leocorn, and tucked her hand behind her to grip the gun that was still wedged in her belt. Peeking out from behind the curtain of the furthest of three doorways, the pit of her stomach sank when it was revealed to be Rowan...with two glasses of tea?

With her hand remaining tucked behind her at the ready, she stepped with her head subtly tilted at an angle. "Yes...?" Her green eyes watched him, her demeanor cautious.
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Rowan waiting, shifting his stance as he did. His ears perked when he heard the sound of a dividing screen being knocked into. He leaned a bit to see if anyone was coming, but was at the wrong angle to see Aisling peering at him first. When she appeared, he stared at her with a calm demeanor, though his eyes did travel from her face down her arm behind her back. He wondered about it, but decided not to ask and simply held out one of the glasses for her. "Iced tea. For you." He stated in his usual tone, not so gruff like before. His golden eyes went to her green ones, waiting for her to take the glass. He suddenly furrowed his brows and opened his mouth to say something more, but paused for a second. "Think of it as a..peace offering. I did not mean to scare you before, but you should be cautious of what you say regardless. I doubt you would be happy if I said things of similar meaning to you..." he trailed off, the glass was slipping a bit in his hand, so he retracted it and held it to his chest with his other arm. The cool glass was sweating, making his hand slippery with moisture. He wiped it off on his shirt before holding out the drink again to Aisling. He understood she was scared and skittish most of the time, he inwardly thought he could have tried to be a bit more pleasant but would not admit it aloud. At least he was making an effort to not seem so... mean, right? The leocorn just watched her as he waiting on a reply, and for her to take the glass before it started ot slip again.
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Familiar Gatekeeper

Her green eyes looked into his golden hues, blinking slowly as he said his piece. Slowly, she released her gun as her eyes lowered a bit. She tugged on her sleeve before reaching up for the glass...wiping the perspiration off with her sleeve. "Thank you." She said, lifting the glass towards her mouth, lowering it before she took a sip. Her eyes rose up to meet his again as she said..."I'm sorry for upsetting you." And then she took a sip of the tea...watching him from over the rim of the glass.

From there, she opted to remain silent...daring not to say the wrong words again; wondering if soulless creatures were so easily offended...perpetually unhappy and easy to anger.
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Rowan watched as she cautiously took the ice tea. He mouth twitched to the side, it was almost comical how oddly she watch acting to him. None the less, he was glad she actually took the tea so that he wouldn't have wasted a glass. He nodded at the thanks she gave him, then took a sip of his own glass of tea. It was sweet and tasted of lemon and other citrus, a touch of mint as well. "You're welcome." he said between a sip. His eyes shifted to the side but came back to hers when she apologized. He lifted a brow at that, not expecting her to say sorry for her actions before. Rowan actually found that amusing in some odd way and the corner of his mouth twitched upward in a slight smile. "That isn't a particularly hard deed to do.." He chuckled some, probably for the first him since he came to Blank Slate. "I've always been known for my temper... it was worse when I was first sent here.. to this realm. It makes one distressed and agitated to not be able to return home.. My soul aches for my hunting grounds...." he scoffed. His voice was soft at the end. Rowan had slipped his free hand into his pants pocket and looked to the side, glancing out the window across the way as he told her that. He didn't really mean to, it just slipped out. Once he realized he might have said too much, the smile faded and he took another drink of his tea. After he swallowed, Rowan would turn and begin to walk down the hallway to the stairs again, taking his hand out of his pocket briefly to backwardly wave at Aisling for his leave. Unless she needed something of him, he was done there. Besides, she probably could care less about the leocorn and his own mysterious situation. The room was far more interesting he thought.
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Familiar Gatekeeper

Aisling's brow furrowed as he walked away, just after explaining a little bit about himself. His soul aches? "Why were you sent here?" She called out before he entered the hallway, the warm summer breeze shifting, causing her unruly curls to drift off to one side as she cautiously followed after him. "What do you mean by hunting grounds?" She continued to ask. "Are you from a city...or...did you not always walk on two legs...?" She didn't know how else to word the question.
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Rowan stopped and slowly turned to face her. He was taking another sip of his tea, which was now half-gone, as she asked him questions. The wind as well ruffled his hair, and he lowered his glass to his side. "I do not know why I was sent here.." he stated plainly, as if that question had been asked of him a thousand and one times. He stared at her, golden eyes unblinking as she asked other questions. He raised his chin a bit, the wind tousling his hair again. The look could be described as mysterious, or if one would look close enough, majestic in a very strange way. The look was as if he was glad she caught on, wise eyes watched the gypsy girl as she had followed him the few paces. "Where I am from.. cities were carved from stone by humans and elves. Some reached underground and others on cliff faces. I lived in a forest, I inherited it from my father. I lived among the beasts of the wilds. I was the wilds." He actually smiled again, a bit wider this time as he lowered his chin to better meet her gaze. "Are you still afraid of me, gypsy girl?" Rowan asked with a slight tilt of his head.
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The gypsy's head tilted when he couldn't explain why he was sent there. But his description of where he came from, as vague yet precise as it was, gave her a better idea of what she was talking with. She sipped her drink as he questioned her, her brow furrowing again as he tried to coax some kind of fearful quiver out of her.

Aisling's eyes slowly sized him up from behind the rim of the glass, her sips were long and thoughtful...delaying her answer while she thought their encounters through. The fact that he spoke of himself in the past tense, how he was the wild...did that mean he no longer was now?

"No..." She said thoughtfully, refusing to be intimidated by his menacing grin. "...because if you were truly meant to harm me, then you would have left me to die in the illusionary realm." She explained with a small, honest smile on her lips.
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Rowan nodded, taking his glass up to sip it again. "Exactly. I never meant to hurt anyone here, nor will I ever unless they are a threat. I'm glad you finally see that, Aisling." He said to her, honestly smiling behind his own glass. After a long drink, Rowan finished his tea and lowered the glass back to his side with a sigh. His golden eyes looked to the window again and then back to the gypsy girl. "Do you have more questions?" he would ask her with a curious tilt of his head. His animalistic ears flicked a few times as a fly found its was inside and was currently annoying the leocorn. After another moment, he opened his mouth to say something again, but was hesitant. He looked down to the ground, as if searching for the right words, then let them set again on Aisling in front of him. ".. This form.. this is not my original body, it is much smaller, as an answer to your question before." he said, last minute before she could get a chance to answer him. It was clear he was hesitant to talk about much of it, his gaze was piercing into Aislin's green orbs, as if testing her silently to see if she could be trusted.
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Aisling slowly blinked as their eyes locked on each other again. It was a habit she head, perhaps learned when dealing with animals...though, she believed he was something more than a mere dog or cat. Leocorns were of the majestic breeds...mythical legends that were talked about over the fire to lull little kids into fantastical dream induced sleep. Though...she wondered how he got to be here, why he wouldn't stay in his own realm to hunt as freely as he so missed. But she felt that such inquiries would only agitate him again.

"This form...did you choose how it looked? Or were you changed against your will?" She asked, wondering if it truly represented a more human aspect of him, or was just an illusion used to gain someone's trust.
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Rowan's smile faded slowly at her question. He should have seen that coming, but he couldn't help how it effect him. "It was against my will, though I believe I stopped the process before I lost everything" he answered, an almost solemn tone in his voice. He broke the gaze with her, lifted his chin a little and began to turn around. Though, he wouldn't leave just yet. With his free hand he motioned for her to follow him. "I will show you something, though I do not really want to. It may help you to trust me a bit more - after all, if you are to stay here with us, we should be on good terms." He told her as he began to walk along en route to the exit. He looked behind him with his golden eyes, a slight smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. "That is, if you really would want to know." Rowan chuckled. It was a deep chuckle that came from the belly not the throat, as honest as he was when speaking.
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She frowned, beginning to wonder more and more if he had perhaps been cursed for something he might have done. Aisling nodded, following after the leocorn as he offered to show her something. And...being on good terms during the duration of their coexistence on the estate would in turn have to be mandatory! The sound of his true and honest chuckle caused her to subtly smile...believing she heard a great and noble beast emerging from within him.
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(( For anyone interested in seeing a new picture of Rowan, click here! And PR, you can use this as his new ID photo on the front page ;P hehe ))

Rowan continued on the, knowing Aisling was following him. They descended the stairs, passed the other rooms, and back onto the kitchen patio. Here he would stop to put away his now empty glass and wait a moment for Aisling to do the same or get a refill. After that was out of the way, the leocorn lead the gypsy back to the main house and up to the floor of his own room. The walk was silent, as Rowan felt all that could be explained was better left in his room where he would feel he had the most privacy of the issue. He wasn't even sure if Cery knew about him really, he couldn't remember if he had told her anything at all of what happened to him and how he came upon the estate so long ago. His room was dark because the curtains were still drawn, but the door was left open to receive air circulation. He entered first, making sure to kick some books and other knickknacks out of the way so that neither of them would trip in the small space. He drew the blinds open, letting in the sunshine, and as well opened the window to let in the air. A random gust blew in and ruffled his hair, as well as blew some papers off his bed. The main color of the room was red, accented by creams, browns, and some blacks and grays. There was a shelving unit by the end of his bed and small side table near the head of it. On the floor were a few different pairs of pants and shirts, aslo and assortment of books, carving tools, and an extra pair of shoes. He paid no mind to Aisling when they entered, or if she even did; Rowan had his doubts because of the size. Instead, he fumbled around the side of his bed closest to the window, throwing his pillow to the floor, and finally coming up with something in hand. "I made this soon after I came here.. Out of an old log that reminded me of home. " He would tell her now turning around with a box in hand. It was small and oval in shape, a deep reddish color with light and dark grains running through it. On the sides there were grooves, like cuts, just under where his fingers held it. One might guess that he nicked it with the knife he used to carve it, but the spacing and how it laid perfectly in line with his fingers pointed to something else. On the very top was a symbol, carved into the wood, in the outline of a leocorn beast. From the horn to the mane, to the paws in front and hooves in back, and ending with the curving tail. Rowan looked at it with mixed emotion clear on his face, his golden eyes staring at the symbol on top the box. He lifted a hand and pointed to the symbol as he held it out for Asiling to see. "That is what I truly am. I carved this so I would not forget" he paused, his fingered curling away for a moment before he drew the box back and undid the latch. He looked up before opening it, wanting to see Aisling's current reaction before anything else, also to give a moment for any further questions or comments.
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Familiar Gatekeeper

When they dropped off their cups, a silent servant cleaned up after them...as they are known to do. Aisling followed in silence, pausing in her steps when something caught her eye...a painting Cera had hung in the halls...or a detail in the stair railings. She was amazed at how the rooms, halls, floors, levels...everything changed in d├ęcor and style once you passed through a door or reached the end of a staircase. The strange woman had an eclectic taste...or an understand of the variety of things that might make an individual comfortable.

The gypsy girl paused at Rowan's room door, not fully entering in until he found what he was looking for. When he presented her the design on the box, her initial instinct was to reach out and touch it, to get a true feeling of what it was like...the craftsmanship, the shape, the wood grain....but she hesitated, not wanting to overstep his boundaries.

"Are you afraid that you'll never return to your true form?" She asked looking up to him as he hinted at opening the box. Of course, she was curious if there was something inside...but...as much as he stated that they should trust each other, why was he being so open with something so personal? Did Cera even know about all of this?
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Rowan watched her as she reached out for the box, but he pulled it away a little too soon for her hand to reach it. If she did feel it, it would have been very smooth and cold like it wasn't touched in a while. The craftsmanship of the box was incredible, there were hardly any mistakes or shaky carvings of the box, the only blemishes were the odd little nicks at the bottom. He looked her in the eyes, his emotion changing within his own when she asked him that. They looked a bit saddened, but angry, then he dropped his gaze to the box and thought about it. He stared at the symbol of the leocorn he carved, thinking if he really feared not returning like Aisling said. His eyes went to his hands, he pulled one away form the box to look at it; pale and callused, fleshy and spongy and hairless. It seemed that he changed his mind when Rowan closed the clasp that locked the box. "In a way, yes... For I have no idea how to get home, or to even return to my original body. I think this is enough to see for now.." he trailed off, setting the box behind him on the bed and looking back up to meet her gaze. He wasn't sure what to say next, so instead of words he would stand and walk towards her, then stopping just a step away. "I have theories of what happened to me and why, but I believe it would be best to leave them within my mind for now. Perhaps another day. I hope the tension between us is removed, it would be unpleasant to uphold animosity with a resident. Go and enjoy the day, gypsy girl," Rowan said as he ushered her out the room gently, his voice and gaze returning to his usual, "I still have things to tend to on the grounds."
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Familiar Gatekeeper

She nodded, retreating into the common area of the dormitory floor. The gypsy girl looked back towards him...she could have asked how he knew she was a gypsy...some buffers didn't have a clue, considering how easy it was to dress and act like them. "My name is Aisling. Ash...for short." She made her way to the stairs, and paused at the top step...gripping the railing as she looked back to him again...gypsies always had a thing for riddles...curses...but she wasn't going to press a story he wasn't ready to reveal. "Thank you for the tea."

And with that she trotted down the stairs...found her way back to her room...and decided to get cleaned up...and ready for a much needed nap.

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