Okay, well at least he didn't sound like he'd let her get killed out of hand because she wasn't a proper freaking familiar. Not that she even knew what it was. All she'd heard about familiars were stories, probably most of which were exaggerated simply to scare off humans into going into the territory. The irony was just sickening. Hearing his explanation of why he'd done what he did, she stumbled for a moment out of pure surprise. So, wait? What did that mean? Had he done it to save her? Or had he done it because he would have anyway? Avery was tempted to push for a better explanation, but had a feeling he either didn't want to talk about it or had nothing more to say.
His. She was his. She'd gone from being a typical human with a crappy family and a boring job to being something not quite human and a possession. That rankled a bit, the idea that she was property. At the same time, she could understand it was for her protection. She wasn't stupid enough to b***h about being independent just to get killed. No, she had some brains on her, at least for that much. Having some pride was one thing. Realizing when you were in way over your head and that things were completely unlike your old life - that was common sense telling you to adapt or die. And damn it, she wasn't ready to curl up and die, confusion be damned.
Her eyes followed his gaze and she nodded to let him know she was listening. The house really did look more like a church than a house. Sort of in between a castle and a church, maybe. It was the last sort of building she had expected to see. Not that she had any expectations at all, really. "It's interesting looking," Avery said honestly, sure to keep close to the vampire as they walked down the street. Listening to his warning, she nodded again. Like hell she'd planned on going out on her own anyway. "Um, what do I call you? Nicholas or sir or some last name?" she asked, feeling weird that she had to ask at all.
The best part about being his age and around with a human who'd only heard stories he could pull of being slightly crazy and mixing his explanation. Though in truth he didn't want to talk about it about his reasons for doing what he did, there was to many ears in the territory ones that didn't look to kindly to the soft hearted vampire for humans.Also he just didn't want to share his thoughts about what he did for her. Even if she deserved to know the truth, he didn't feel like sharing it.
"Thanks" He said his voice gruff he looked at her again letting a smile tug at the corner of his lips as she tried to ask him what to call him. "Call me as you wish, I normally answer to Nicholas or Nick," He told her giving her a shrug in answer. He wanted to own her as much as she wanted to be owned but he had no other choice then to claim her as his own. Hating his thoughts of owner ship he picked up Avery and ran the rest of the way to the house setting her down on the top step of his home while he moved to open the door and let her in.
"There's not much in there but there's a bed if your tired," He offered and waited until she stepped into the house. "You can open the window and let the sun in which ever room you want to, it's all the same to me," He told her for any person it would be a welcome to set fire on him should he want to be free or she could just get fresh air and see the sun.
"I don't have any food, we can get that later and you can get whatever else you'd like to have to make you feel at home." Nicolas said trying to thing of what else to say, it'd been a while since he's had company to stay with him, it was odd.
Avery squeaked in surprise when he suddenly picked her up, but quickly got her bearings as he set her down on the step. He'd caught her off-guard again and she wondered if he meant to do that to keep her off-balance, or if it was just how he was. He had said he'd never had a familiar before, so maybe it was just him improvising everything. Looking around as he let her in, she realized he wasn't kidding when he said there wasn't much. There were the basic items of furniture scattered around, as if someone had realized the place would be too creepy without them. She wandered to the kitchen curiously and was surprisingly greeted with a fairly-modern set-up, though none of it currently worked. Hoping that meant there was plumbing for a bathroom, Avery headed back to the vampire.
It was rude to go off and explore his house like it was her own, after all. The fact he said she could let the sun in some rooms surprised her. Did he think she'd burn him up for some weird revenge? Or did he trust her not to? It was probably apathy. "I promise not to burn you up during the day," she assured him. It wasn't like she expected him to take her word for it, but at least he had it.
Running a hand through her hair absently, she sighed. At least she wasn't hungry right at the moment, thanks to that late dinner. No alcohol left in her system, it felt like. Too bad, she almost wished she still had that comfortably-numb buzz. It was probably better to have a sober head for all of this anyway, she reflected. God, that'd be the last time she ever drank. Not that she had much of a choice at this rate, of course. She'd missed any sort of smile on the vampire's expression so far and hadn't the slightest clue what he thought of her.
"Um...what am I supposed to do?" Avery asked curiously. Other than make sure no one fried him, she got that bit. It'd be poor form to let him get killed when he'd saved her life.
"I wouldn't blame you if you did," Nicolas said with a shrug, after all it wasn't like he could stop her from burning him while he slept during the day. And even if he could he wasn't a hundred percent sure he wanted to stop her if she so decided to burn him. After living for so long and experiencing the changing world, with it's electric lights and the humans changing as they grow from when he'd first met them and been awed by them. There wasn't much left for him that would make him enjoy life.
He watched her as she moved too look around, he didn't mind it after all it was her new home she was aloud to explore it. While she diapered into the kitchen he took a seat on a black leather couch that was set out and waited for her return. He watched her curiously as she came back to wards him still seeming as calm as she was when he'd offered his help to get her out of the vampire territory. He was surprised most would have come out of their shocked states and be enraged or even frightened, at being around vampire and also upon truly realizing that they were dead to their family and friends. Was she truly take the change so well? With what he was seeing he'd have to awesome, that yes she was.
"What ever you want I guess," Nicolas told her shrugging as he still watched her. It was the first time in a while that he'd been curious abut the behavior of someone. Though he was sure it wouldn't last. "There is running water and walk in bathrooms in every bedroom in the house," He told her thinking of the few bedroom on the ground floor and more on the second, for one single vampire he sure did have a lot of room.
"This place is your new home now, so do what you wish to make it feel more livable and at home." He said leaning back and folding his arms behind his head still looking at her with curiosity. "Some where in on for the rooms it's games, both of the video variety and a pool table you're welcome to it at any time" He said then looked away from her thinking of what other rooms might be of interest to her, or that would keep her busy until he woke again. "There is also a library that your welcome to if you care for reading," Nick finished and shrugged, if what he offered was not to her satisfaction he could always order other thing that she'd enjoy more.
While he talked, Avery moved to stand in front of him, watching him with just as much curiosity as he had been looking at her with earlier. She was oblivious to any of his looks at the moment, too busy figuring out if she should try to throttle him in anger or admit that her life had sort of sucked. It wasn't like her brother and dad would wonder where she went. Although, there were some things that were important to her in her apartment...vampires were allowed to go into the rest of the city if they didn't have any record, and most did anyway. Whether it was to feed or explore, she didn't know, but she saw them often near clubs or bars, or whatever.
"So, uh, I'm really stuck here," Avery realized, forced to flop down next tot him on the couch before her knees gave out. Well, this place was way nicer than her crappy apartment, but...What happened when she didn't pay rent or come? What happened to all her stuff? "I know that, um, I have to live here now. With you. But, uh, I have..." Her stilted words trailed off as she wondered if he'd even understand sentiment. "Most of my stuff I don't really care about, but I have some stuff, from my mom, that's sort of important. Am I...can I go and get that stuff, at least?" she asked, turning her body to face him. "It isn't a lot, I can carry it," she added hastily.
She'd explore more later. And she didn't even have to leave tonight. But maybe tomorrow? There was her mom's jewelery, and a quilt she'd made Avery years ago...and maybe she could at least grab some more clothes? What the...was she supposed to ask him to buy what she needed? Crap, she'd have to....could she quit? Or did she seriously just..."Do I just disappear?" Avery asked bluntly, running a hand through her hair again and looking at him. "My job, do I just not ever go in again?" Didn't she need her own income?
The formerly-human woman took a deep breath and closed her eyes for a moment as she tried to orient herself. Panicking wasn't going to help. Neither was getting overwhelmed. There was a lot of things she had to ask him and freaking out the first night wasn't going to help anything. Okay, he'd mentioned bedrooms and bathrooms, good. She'd take a hot shower once he fell asleep, that would help her think. And he had a library. That was nice. Maybe he had older books, she'd have to go poking around in that. That would help her calm down. Swallowing, Avery ran a hand over her face and breathed again before looking back at him, waiting for some answers.
His eye's followed her as she flopped down beside him, it seemed that thing were finally sinking in for her. It was kind of pleasant though, that she wasn't yelling and screaming like he'd heard most unwilling familiars do. Nicolas really didn't like loud noises, maybe it was his sensitive ears or maybe it was just the screams over the death of their humanity and the sorrow behind every while.
"I honestly don't know how to answer your questions Miss. Avery" He said tasting the letters of her name as he spoke it. It was strange but it didn't stop him from thinking of her request of retuning to her apartment to pick up a few important items. "Though there are few more hours left in the night, if you wish to grab your wanted items now I shall a company you." He told her it had been a while since he'd even bothered to pass through the gate and venture into the human city and when returning the could by pass the scene that had happened after he'd shared his blood with her.
"As for you're disappearance, if you wish to then sure if not then I don't see why you can't continue to work in your human job." He told her also turning his body towards her, he pulled up thoughts of conversations shared between vampire and familiar or vampire and vampire. There weren't many over heard conversations but enough to give her a possibility of keeping her own independence from him. "Most familiar's stay with their 'master's'" Nicolas wrinkled his face at the word master sliding his tongue over his teeth a few times as if he were trying to rid it of a horrible taste. "Come to think of it though some have human jobs, either because their mas...vampire's have told them to or so they have something to do during the day," He said pausing for a moment in thought.
"Perhaps that with those who have more than one familiar or has enough power that their enemies fear what would be done to them." Nicholas added and shrugged looking to her questioningly . "If you want t continue to work, you are quite welcome to, I'd meet you at the gate until you are confident enough to walk back yourself or that it turn into common knowledge among the vampires that you are under my protection." He reasoned deciding the protection was a better word then ownership.
Avery immediately brightened at the news that not only could she keep some independence, but she could go and get the things important to her. Maybe it was materialistic, but there were things that were more important to her than most people she knew - actually, all of them, to be honest. And while it wasn't that she loved her job, it was nice to be told she could retain that part of her life too, in all honesty. She'd never liked being dependent on someone, even her parents. Now her life was just a bit more insane than she'd ever expected it to be, having some sort of normalcy was a relief.
"So we could go tonight and get my stuff? Really?" she asked, pleased by that offer. Thinking on it, she wondered if he wanted her around during the day or if he just didn't care. It didn't seem like he would, if he hadn't had a familiar before. But maybe now that he had one, he'd want to use her like the other vampires did. "And would you rather I keep working, or do you want me to hang around during the day?" Avery asked, returning a bit to her calm self now that she knew she wasn't trapped in this place. If she could have this job, she could have other jobs. So she'd still have some freedom. His offer to meet her at the gate didn't seem constricting at all. On the contrary, she appreciated it.
His face while he spoke was interesting. For one, the faces he made at all were odd. Like when he talked about 'masters'. It didn't seem he liked that word, which made her happy. The vampire seemed more expressive than a lot of humans when he spoke, even normally. Maybe he wasn't used to masking his emotions? That seemed stupid, since he'd dealt with those three other vampires. Maybe it was simply he didn't feel he had to with her? Avery really didn't know, but it was a good thing to think she wouldn't have to guess. Hopefully he'd just be upfront with her.
Taking another breath, she sank further into the couch for a moment, now that her initial panic over losing her things was gone. "I'm not sure if I should be angry you did this to me, or thanking you for saving me," Avery admitted after a moment. Maybe after a while she'd figure out what she would feel. Or both. She could go with both and work through them until she felt normal again.
Nick nodded his head as she asked if what he'd offered was true, he had no reason to lie to her. Save for the reason he'd given her for changing her life. "Of course, we can if you so wish" He said the way she acting, added to his own curiosity about her. He was finding herself wondering about her human like, the life he had ripped her from. He also found himself thinking if he'd improved her life or worsened it, he pushed he thought of her life away as she asked him which he preferred more her staying or not.
"Honestly, I've lived this long with out a familiar to keep me safe, though you are welcome to stay and keep watch during the day but I am sure nothing important or exciting will happen you'll probably get bored with nothing to do until I awake" He told her and shifted preparing to stand for when ever she was ready to leave. "I'll leave the choice up to you," He told her, she owed him no loyalty because he had saved her life, he wanted to give her as much freedom as he possibly could. Let her protecting him through out the day or not be her choice.
"In short, you're very welcome to keep your independence, and should you choose to stay here during the day you will be compensated for your time and what have you," He expected nothing from her while she lived with him and if she did choose to do a true familiar's job then he would repay her and give her an hourly wage of the amount she desired. If they were to have any relationship between them he figured it would be a business one. "So you will not be with out if that is your true concern." He added, this had been what he'd made his life about as he bored of it. Work. Every thing he did well, aside from his saving her from a slow death, was a business trance action between two willing people. It was nothing more or lest.
He'd missed that she was watching him and his expressions as he spoke and tried to answer her curious questions of what she could and could not do. He was playing it by ear and figured most of their relationship would be just for show and nothing more, that they could under the same roof but lead separate lives. He hadn't even truly noticed that he was expressing himself more with her than he had with the other two vampires. Maybe he just had nothing to hide from her.
"Be both or neither the choice is you're" Nicholas said pushing himself up from the couch and offering her a hand to help her up as well. "Free will, is a beautiful thing" He said a small sad smile appeared on his lips, it was ironic thinking of free will when he'd take her's away tonight when he fed her his blood. "Shall we go or would you like to take a look around first and find a room for your self?" He asked curiously, what would she choose.
Taking his hand and letting him pull her to her feet with easy strength, she didn't even have to think about the choice. "I'll find a room when we get back, I'd really like to go and get my things, at least some of them," Avery told him with a nod. She could go back during her lunch breaks at work to pick up whatever else she wanted. Once everything was taken back or trashed, she could end her lease and not have to pay most of her income to that landlord who refused to fix the dishwasher. She wasn't sure what she'd use her money for, other than food and stuff like that, but it would be nice to have it.
And it was nice he was keeping things business-like between them. His offer to pay her if she stayed during the day surprised her, but she didn't want to take him up on it. It felt too much like when her parents would pay her for housesitting or something. She felt fairly certain he meant it to equalize them, rather than patronize her, but getting paid to sit around and do nothing was silly. Straightening out her clothes, Avery snorted at his remark about free will. Looking down as she checked for bloodstains or rips in her clothes, she missed the sad smile on his face.
"I don't need a lot to keep me happy. It's more...I just like being independent," Avery explained as he led her to the door and outside again. "I worked hard to get it and it's just, I dunno. I don't like being a mooch. I'm an adult, I should be able to provide for myself somehow since it's not like I'm maimed or sick." That was her philosophy, overly-simplified but honest, and she was a bit surprised she'd even bothered to explain it to him. Well, if she was going to be living with him, and she had a feeling it would be safer for her if she did, it was dumb to not at least talk. Nicholas didn't seem to mind speaking to her, at least. He seemed the sort of person to not do something simply to be kind.
Taking a deep breath as they walked back down the street, she shoved her hands into her jacket pockets and made sure to stay close to him. She definitely didn't want to run into those vampires again. "Thank you for taking me so quick back home," she said sincerely.
"Alright," Nicolas said nodding his head and letting go of her hand once she was standing. He started to the door and once more held it opened again to let her pass as they headed back out of the house. He listened to her as she kept talking and nodded his head at the right times. Her reason for wanting her independence made sense to him, it was something he hadn't hear from some one so young wanting much of unless it was to get a free ride partying and drinking with their friends.
"Of course," He said politely to her as he thanked her. He didn't mind at all talking to her, and part of he reason that he was, was because he was being nice. Though the more he talked with her the more curious he became, she was a smart young woman who had a good head on her. She asked interesting questions and said more word's then most familiar's he would meet on the streets when he had gone on his walks. She unlike the other and a brick wall could actually uphold a conversation and keep it going.
"Don't worry most or out feeding or are busy doing their own private work at home through a computer." He said anticipating her unspoken thoughts of French and Romanian vampires, had he not know they were harmless, as well as being a newly turned familiar, he'd be wondering about the other vampires especially the one's that she'd meet shortly after him. "As for the two you met earlier their probably finding their fun else where or with each other." Nick added simply eying the gate as it came closer towards them.
Nodding at his reassurance, Avery still didn't move very far from him. Everything was weird and just a bit unsettling to her, no matter how calm she was acting. She simply didn't see the point in freaking out or screaming or yelling or anything, really. It wouldn't get her anywhere and would just make the situation worse. Doing those things had always made it worse in her family, so she'd learned to take things as they came and at least act calm. If she had to panic, she'd do it on her own time, behind closed doors. Pissing off the vampire who kept her alive was just stupid.
Obviously, she hadn't the faintest idea that it was anything but normal for him to go through the gate. For all she knew, he was one of the ones that walked the streets, prowling for victims or amusement, or both. So the woman strolled back to the human territory without a second thought, keeping pace with the vampire as they headed down the street. She lived a few miles away and even though she had a car, she was used to walking around the city to save gas and money. And it was doubtful the distance would bother someone who wasn't even human. "I live a few miles down this way. Sorry, I left my car at home to save money on gas for the stupid thing," Avery told him.
Well, at least she didn't have to worry about being bothered with him next to her. He was definitely intimidating. Even as a human, she'd bet he wasn't much of a pushover. So, that was one positive, at least. No more getting tossed into the damn territory like bait. Even this late, the city was alive and plenty of cars sped past them, half the drivers probably drunk for upcoming weekend. A few people ambled along the streets, walking short distances from homes to bars or back again. Most people just drove or took taxis. Avery didn't particularly like the city, always awake and moving fast and crazily, but it was where the job was, so she put up with it.
Okay, another good thing. It seemed quieter in the vampires' territory. Probably because they were naturally territorial and suspicious anyway. She could live with that. "Are most vampires private, staying close to home?" the woman asked, figuring she might as well learn.
"You have nothing to apologize for" He told her shaking his head as she apologized for the having to walk. "It's a nice night out any how, and I never did finish my walk around the vampire city." He said, he liked walking even with the technology the world had today, with car's and scooters and motorcycles, he rather walk to where he needed to be in fact he preferred a horse and buggy over a car. Though he hand never been in a car before...
He didn't remember much of his human life, it had been so long ago now. He couldn't even remember if he was as menacing then as he was now. He assumed not, after all he had been not less than a stable boy, that was just about all he truly remembered of his human life. Now day's with the leather bicker jackets, and other clothes that one could use to accent their more menacing, or softer side depending on their mood, was quite handy. Also being part of the living dead didn't hurt either. And the couple of times he had ventured out of the territory and into the human city he'd been left alone for the most part, there had been some moment of harassment but he paid little mind to the nattering mosquito that followed him.
Though like him, and as amazed he once was with the growing human world, he came to dislike the large noisy cities. It was the first enjoyment of his long life that had lost his interest and soon others things in his life followed in loosing it's enjoyment and became routine and boring for him.
"Honestly that's probably just me," Nicolas shrugged to her question, as far as he knew he was the only one bored at living. Their was nothing to enjoy in his life any more hadn't been for a while.
Yep. That was apathy, or something that sounded like it. She'd heard it from her grandpa and a few other people who lived out their lives. It was odd to think that vampires felt like that. After all they - wait, she was too now - were immortal. Well, that sucked, if he wasn't even interested in stuff anymore. She hated the city, but there were a few nice things. "Do you like book?" Avery asked, realizing they were both moving a bit quicker than normal humans. "There's the archive downtown, I like to go there and browse. It's interesting, the sorts of things you can find. And it's nice and quiet, my head thanks me," she added with small shrug.
Why she was trying to interest him in stuff, she didn't know. Maybe she just didn't want to live with a vampire that was so....bored. Trying to be ever the optimist, the woman hoped he just needed a new perspective. Or something like that. If she annoyed him, she was sure he'd tell her so, or just ignore her. The noises of the city quieted a touch as they neared her apartment. She'd tried to get as close to the suburbs as possible, without paying the ridiculous prices they had to. And she'd thought the city was expensive. No, everyone wanted that peace and quiet even when they moved here. Idiots.
"We're almost there," she offered, not sure if he cared or not. "You can come up with me, I don't care. I won't be very long, I can get some things during work, if that's okay," the woman added, figuring he'd tell her to do what she wanted. That was a relief, that he just didn't seem to care what she did, but was making sure she would still be safe.
"Yes, books are good company when living a long life," Nicolas answered nodding his head, book's were probably the only thing that actually still head some what of an interest to him. It probably wasn't much but it was something he guessed. "Perhaps we might have a look at it," He said a hint of interest in his voice as he spoke.
He found it some what enduring that she wanted to peek his interest in life once more, but she was still young and didn't understand. After seeing the change all over the world since his day's as a human up until now were quiet different, yet not much had changed. There were still human's that nothing more of the vampire race as the spawn of Satan. It was all he'd heard before in other tongues, in the lands of old and the one they had now.
"Alright," He said no sure what else more to say to her as she offered him to come up and help her. He wasn't sure how much help he'd be but he wouldn't deny the young lady his help. He hadn't so far this night. "Of course, bring as much of your home to mine," He said, it was only fair that she made the house her home and be comfortable in it.
Pleased he'd at least agreed to her idea, Avery led him up the stairs to the fourth floor where her apartment was. She liked being up high, most people tended to break into the floors easiest to get to. It wasn't like she had much worth stealing, she thought, but still. Unlocking the door, she flipped the light switch near the door and was glad she didn't have any pets. That would have been just too complicated to deal with. There wasn't much, as the place was small and it was just her, but everything she had was at least clean and neat, if a bit worn. Not like she had money to spare. Casting a longing gaze at her recliner, a birthday present from her parents after she'd moved out, she wondered if she could possibly get that back. Probably not.
"Oh, I didn't expect you to carry my crap. I just didn't want to be rude and make you wait outside," she assured him, heading to her bedroom and pulling out a bookbag to stuff clothing into. A few steps took her into the tiny bathroom, where she took what she'd need in the morning and was glad the bookbag had all those little pockets everywhere. Very handy. Running through a mental checklist, she decided she'd leave her books and other things for another trip or two. That just left what was most important to her.
The quilt was on the bed, a bit worn but carefully folded up nonetheless. She managed to pack it into the bag and went to cringe as she lifted the heavy thing. And then paused when she realized it wasn't heavy. At all. Was this a side-effect of familiars? Well, this was ******** handy. Wow. She went over to her dresser and opened the narrow top drawer, pulling out several cases that had rubber bands around them in case the clasps somehow broke. Avery spent a moment just holding them, rarely even taking the cases out of the drawer. She was so afraid of losing them. For a moment, she forgot about Nicholas and just thought. It passed quickly and she tucked them carefully in a side pocket, zippering it up tightly. She would have carried them herself, but was afraid of dropping them.
Looking around, Avery shrugged. "I can come back for stuff. Thanks for coming with me and waiting around. I think all of my stuff could fit in two of your rooms," she joked, a smile appearing on her lips. Getting her mother's things made her heart less heavy. The apartment was just a place she didn't particularly like, it wasn't like she'd miss it.