.Nightshade.

Spence Academy: Class Of 1895

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"Oh," The small girl replied, sinking back down into the soft cushions of the couch. She closed her eyes for a moment and tried to calm her nerves, a feat that was nearly impossible for No?lle. When she opened them, she found herself gazing into the pale eyes of the wolf/ dog beast, "I-it's name is Skye?" She asked, her voice hardly more than a whisper as she reached out to let the animal sniff her hand. It was much less intimidating now that it had a name and an owner. Her grandfather had two fox hounds that No?lle adored and seeing this other dog that reminded her of home was enough to cause a shadow of a smile light across her pale features.

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His half-smile grew softened a bit as the girl seemed to calm down. Ben took a couple of steps forward and took a seat in a wooden chair that was resting near the foot of the large couch. He moved slowly as to not scare the girl again, but she seemed to be paying most of her attention to the dog anyway.

"Yes, it is," he replied with a small smile when she asked about the dog's name. "He is a Siberian Husky, which is not too common around this area. I understand why he startled you, though," he said with a small laugh. "He does somewhat resemble a wolf."

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"He's big," No?lle nodded, wondering why she always had to sound so foolish when she spoke. In an effort to regain a bit of dignity and propriety, No?lle pushed herself upwards so that she sat with her elbow resting on the arm of the couch. Her feet, still modestly hidden within all of her skirts and petticoats, were curled up underneath her in that uniquely feminine pose that appeared to be graceful and painfully awkward all at once. "It was very kind of you to come to my aid, I truly appreciate it."

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Ben let out a small chuckle at her statement about the dog. Skye was quite large, and all of his thick fur made him look nearly twice his actual size. Ben leaned over in his chair, resting his elbows on his knees, and softly called the dog away from the girl so that she could get comfortable without his interference. His dark eyes glanced up at her as she sat up on the couch and thanked him for coming to her aid.

"I must admit, it was due to my carelessness that you needed aid in the first place, miss," he said, looking down at Skye for a moment. Scratching the happy dog on the head, Ben flicked his eyes back up to the girl's face in genuine cornern. "How are you feeling?"

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Alec felt the blade, and it was sharp. this confused him. It was a compitition blade. Those weren't sharp. though, it would be a nice experimental sword. he had a theory, that a cut, at a 45* angle, and pulling, just as it hit, would go deeper than just a cut at any angle.

just as he tested his theory, and it was right, he went to sharpen it. when he tested the sharpness (you use the hair on your arm to test it), it cut about a quarter-inch in his skin. Quickly reacting, he ripped of his brown shirt and tore a section of to tie around the wound.

After Alec bandaged it the best he could, he walked over to the barn. Alec didn't own a horse, they were to expensive for him. But he always felt a certain comfort from their presence.

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No?lle watched the dog return to his master's side and naturally her gaze drifted upwards onto her rescuer's face for the first time. He was tall with a chiseled jaw, probably one of the boys that her classmates spent their time whispering about. His eyes were interesting, somewhere between blue and violet- an odd shade of indigo that No?lle had never encountered before. Realizing that she was staring, No?lle let her gaze drop down demurely to her hands which lay folded neatly in her lap, "I'm feeling much better, thank you," She assured him softly.

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Although he had not been looking directly at the girl for the moment, Ben could tell that she had taken quite a good look at him. However, he also noticed that she took her eyes away quickly, which led him to assume that she had been raised to follow the rules. Most of the girls here at Spence were that way, so he hadn't really expected anything else. This girl seemed slightly different, though. She had been walking alone, unlike the other girls that normally paired up in groups of two or three to roam about the castle. Trying not to think much of it, Ben pushed the thoughts to the back of his mind and continued on.

"I'm glad to hear it," he said, rising up from the chair to his full height. A charming smile set on his face, he looked back at the girl sitting on the couch. "It seemed as though you had a destination in mind before I so rudely interrupted you...May I escort you somewhere?"

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Allister became angry at the girl after her remark towards him. Here he was, trying to be himself to someone and she has the nerve to mock him! A sudden taste of disgust entered his mouth. After all, he was telling the truth... why was she being so defensive? She didn't even know him. How could she compare him to her previous mistakes? Allister didn't find it at all appealing. If she was going to be like this, it was not worth him getting involved. But she seemed so perfect, how could he not like her? He decided to dismiss himself from the situation before he got considerably more angry with the girl. He looked straight at the girl, eyes piercing and lips pressed firmly together, and waited for her to look at him.

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Cadence wondered faintly if she had spoken too softly, because the boy had not answered her when she asked for his name. Turning towards where he was standing, her dark eyes flicked up to his, and then suddenly back down. He did not look happy. At all. She had a feeling that he would not hurt her, but he most certainly looked like he wanted to. Had he really been so offended by her words?

Letting a soft sigh slip through her lips, Cadence let all of her bitterness towards men melt away. How could she have forgotten her manners so? Just because she was not in the eye of a teacher did not give her lease to be a so rude.

"I'm sorry for being so rude, I - I just..." she began, stammering slightly in her embarassment. Her dark eyes flicked from his face to her hands to the floor and back again, and she could feel her cheeks redenning slightly. Taking a deep breath to calm herself, she began again.

"I'm terribly sorry, my rudeness was inexcusable. May we start over?" she asked hopefully, looking up at his handsome face through dark lashes.

Edited by .Nightshade.

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Allister took in a deep breath. He looked out towards the edge of the barn when he heard footsteps approaching. He let his gaze linger there while he thought the next few moments through. "Allister," he whispered, which didn't seem like a whisper at all because of his deep voice. "Allister Patton".

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Her dark eyes followed his as he looked towards the entrance of the barn, where Cadence was sure she had heard footsteps earlier. When the boy spoke his name, though, she flicked her eyes back up to his. Allister? That's quite an interesting name... she thought. She had never come across anyone with a name so unusual, but she quite liked it.

"My name is Cadence," she offered, glancing back over at Rowan, who was again nibbling at her dark curls. "Cadence Westcott."

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"Westcott?" he asked aloud. "As in the Duke of Somerset?" Allister remembered his mother speak of the man like he was some sort of god of the english social chapter. If that was her father, the girl would be wealthier than half the students here at Spence. Allister hoped that did not affect her personality. There were plenty of wealthy girls back in London that his mother tried to get him to court, but they were all the same... selfish snobs who wore too many frills. She didn't seem that way, but her earlier remark suddenly came back into his mind. He would have to be careful. The girl seemed like she was genuinely sorry for her earlier remark. What could have happened to her that made her so bitter towards men? He doubted that she would tell him right away. While Allister stood waiting for her to answer, he wondered if she would give up her ride in exchange for a walk. He wanted to make sure they were not being secretly overheard, and since he had no horse walking would have to be sufficient.

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Her delicate eyebrows furrowed slightly in confusion at his question. Not that she wasn't used to it in her hometown, but she had not expected anyone at Spence to know much about her father.

"Yes..." Cadence said slowly, wondering the intent behind the question. "Why do you ask?"

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"It's just that, well..." How could he put this? He didn't want to disrespect his mother, but he had to tell Cadence something. "My mother organizes a number of parties, it's kind of her specialty. She always sends an invitation to your father. She... er... respects him. You know, being the Duke and all." Ugh, he sounded like a babbling idiot. Why did he have to ask such an invasive question? Hoping she wouldn't think him an imbecile, he asked, "Would you care to take a walk?"

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When Alec walked into the barn, he noticed two people having a conversation. He rarely eavesdropped on people, but there were a few exceptions. It looked private, so he simply spun on a heel and walked right back out. Hunter will be enough comfort, at least until they're gone.

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"I was on my way to breakfast," No?lle explained softly. Having only arrived at Spence recently, she was still learning how to navigate through the many hallways and it would be nice to have someone who was familiar with the school to walk with. However, the young man had probably been going somewhere as well, it was too early to be wandering the halls without a destination in mind and No?lle was far too polite to ask him to go out of his way to accompany her, "I'm sure that you and Skye have business to attend to elsewhere, I wouldn't want to put you out of your way."

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(haha!)

"I'd certainly say I'm not a 'bloke'" she said, stumbling over the last word, and making a funny face at how it sounded coming out of her mouth. "And what if I was a Gertrude or Elizabeth? You would've just insulted me...and I think Agnes is a lovely name...." she paused for a moment, and then added "....Well, no. It is rather dreadful, I pity whomever is stuck with that name..." Areta shot back at him, her eyes laughing. "Not Isolde either...and I suppose it could be considered to be foreign, but that depends on what you call home."

She rounded a bend in the path, brushing away some queen anne's lace that swayed gently in the wind. The school (castle, really) came into view, and she slowed her pace, attempting to prolong her time outdoors.

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Hands still stuffed in his pockets, Rylan kept his eyes foward as he walked down the path. He had to squint to keep the bright sun out of his eyes being that it was directly in front of him. He didn't notice the girl who had been watching him off to the side, he was too busy mulling over his thoughts to look around. As he neared a curve split in the path, he let his eyes stray from it's normal straight view and looked casually to his left and right. To one side he noticed a girl walking along side the trees, her pace casual and light. His green eyes watched her for a moment, his hair still blowing as wild as ever.

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Amidst the gently swaying trees, Areta noticed a slight movement. Pausing in her step, her ears still attuned to the gentleman she was walking with, she scanned the area around her, her eyes wary. She spotted a figure, shrouded by the leaves; his hair was shockingly red, even more so than that of the man standing next to her. He looked alone, and she had a sudden urge to call out to him, though she was already walking with someone.

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Without thinking, Ava began to walk towards the boy. There was just something about him that made her want to know more. But then she remembered her place. She was new here, and to most she probably looked like a child. She decided to trust her instincts anyway and walk up to the boy. As she made her way over, she noticed another girl and boy walking along the path. They seemed to be in a conversation of their own. She looked back at the boy and smiled

Edited by Auroras_Light

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As she listened to the boy babble on in slight embarassment, Cadence's brow smoothed and a small smile formed on her lips.

"Yes, I should think a walk would be quite nice," she said, a small laugh escaping her lips.

Turning to Rowan quickly, she gave the horse a small kiss on the nose in apology for mising their morning ride, but she knew that he wouldn't mind. The big gelding could probably use a day off every once in a while. Picking up the bottom of her blue dress with one hand, Cadence slowly walked back towards the entrance of the barn, waiting for Allister to come along.

-------------

"Ah, well that is an area I can most certainly provide assistance with," Ben said, a small smile crossing his features. He practically had the cook wrapped around his finger, and he felt that he needed to make it up to the girl anyway. "The cook, Brigid, is especially fond of me, and I can get you anything you like."

Taking a couple of steps closer to the couch, he held his hand out to the girl to help her up from the soft cushions. Part of him did not expect her to take his hand or allow him to accompany her, but maybe she would surprise him.

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Rylan kept his eyes over on the are of the trees, watching as the girl who was alone started walking towards him. Movement further down caught his attention and he noticed a girl and a boy walking together down a different path. He was glad to see so many people out enjoying the sun as he was. He was thinking about going back in, but now that the younger girl seemed to be walking over to him with a purpose, he slowed and decided against his decision.

As she came closer, he quickly formed a greeting, knowing a conversation would work nicely.

"Morning, miss," he spoke as she reached speaking distances, bowing his head slightly in greeting. A small smile formed on Rylan's face, a friendly one that matched his crazy red hair.

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Allister followed in step with Cadence walking out of the barn. He was surprised when he saw how many people were outside. He recognized a few of them who have been coming to Spence for a few years, but there were also some new faces. He took in a deep breath of the crisp morning air. He remembered how he and his sister used to take morning walks together when they wanted to get away from their sometimes eccentric mother. He smiled to himself as he dwelled on the thought.

-----------------------------

"Hello", Ava replied. She was happy to see the boy smile. He seemed very nice and easy to talk to. She paused after her greeting. It was then that she realized she had thought of nothing else to say. She wanted to know about the boy, but her shyness held her back. What could she possibly start to talk about? She looked around where they were standing and noticed a patch of wildflowers growing near their feet. She bent down and picked a few stems. "Did you know this type of wildflower only grows in these parts of England? I believe it is a part of the Chicory family. It hasn't been found to survive outside of this particular county." She smelled the blue-ish purple flower while she slowly looked up at the boy. Blast, she thought.

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Rylan held his smile, glad to see how friendly she was being. It was nice to meet someone who was open to conversation, especially after he had been out so long, seeing so many people who had wanted to keep to themselves. She had a pretty face, young and sweet. He could tell she was new here; he had been going there for a few years and knew lot of the people. Rylan was one of the eldest students, being nineteen, which always made him feel separate from the younger crowd. But today it was nice to meet a younger student who was willing to converse with him.

He kept a slow pace as they walked together, his green eyes watching as she picked a few flowers and held them up. As she spoke about the history of the flower, he raised his eyebrows in interest, surprised she knew so much about the particular wildflower. He had never paid much attention to the actually flowers, but really only how pretty the landscape around here was. It was a bit odd that she chose to speak about flowers right after they greeted one another, but he didn't mind, it was a lot nicer than the usual boring introduction talk.

"Oh really? That's quite interesting," he mused, letting his eyes watch the flowers she was holding before looking back up at her face.

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Tristan smirked at the expression Areta made as she said the word 'bloke.' He was pleased to note that she was offended by neither his choice of words nor any of the names he'd listed. Tristan felt her pace slow and he changed his step to match his companion's, wondering whether she had slowed on purpose. And if she had, why? At any rate, Tristan was grateful. The more time it took to get to the door meant that he would be spending less time trapped inside.

Chuckling, he threw his hands up in defeat, "Alright, there are far too many names to pick just one. I need a hint, what letter does it start with?"

---

No?lle bit her lip as she listened, trying to determine what was the proper response. He had been so kind that she would feel terrible turning him down. And the other girls allowed young boys to walk with them through the grounds. She tried to think back to the school rules, wondering what the official policy was. But she was new and there were so many rules. Best to be safe, she thought.

And then she looked up at Ben and the hand he was holding out. He looked so earnest. And she had[/] just fainted, it would probably be wise to allow him to walk her to the dining hall in case she began to feel dizzy again. So No?lle lifted her hand and tentatively placed it lightly in his as she carefully rose to her feet.

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Smiling, Areta looked at him out of the corner of her eyes. "Well, I suppose I could tell you the first letter...." she said, but then realized something. "I don't suppose that you're feeling generous enough to give me your name, do you? It trade you....one first letter in exchange for a whole name?" Chuckling, she thought that though she didn't know much about bartering, she had just offered him a very silly bargain. Good thing she didn't plan on being a business woman, eh?

ah, this is really short lmao. my b!

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Ava let out a slight giggle. The boy could not possible think that talking about a weed was interesting. And if he did, what an interesting hobby that would be. She never really gave that much thought to studying horticulture, she just remembered her father telling her how much her mother used to enjoy chicory because it only grew around here. She looked up at the boy and narrowed her eyes. "Interesting...really? Or are you just trying to be polite? If that is the case, then let us make a decision right here and right now. I absolutely despise cover-ups, so let us be frank from now on. If you don't like talking about flowers tell me so I can think of some other absurd topic to talk about. And if you do like talking about them, I shall find a tree or weed perhaps that might fit your fancy. So what is it?" Ava's eyes searched for his reaction. She so hoped that he would show his emotions so she could better understand him. She tried to hold back the growing smile.

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Rylan was surprised yet again when she spoke so abruptly about how she wanted his true opinion on the weed. He never knew a girl to be so straight up, yet it was nice that she wasn't into the fake smiles and pleasing words. If she wanted it raw, then that's what he would give her. He had said that to appease her strange talk, but still it was interesting that she knew so much. So as he walked, he didn't know exactly want to say, afraid she might accuse more if he said something wrong.

"Mostly I said that out of politeness," he admitted, looking away without a smile before looking back at her. "But now that I know you'd rather skip that, I'll admit I'd rather not talk about weeds. They're not exactly my favorite subject of conversation," he replied, watching her for a reaction, squinting as the sun shined down into his eyes brightly.

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Ava hoped she hadn't offended the boy with her blunt nature. "Oh, ok, well... what is you favorite subject to talk about? My name is Ava by the way." Ava smiled at the boy hoping to show her kinder side. It was starting to get later in the day and she wondered if the ball was still going to happen. She hadn't heard anything about it from the other students, but had noticed Brigid cleaning the great hall earlier.

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"Nice to meet you Ava," Rylan spoke with a soft smile, giving a shallow nod and bow, just out of habit in manners. He was glad she smiled again and seemed to not be bothered by his own opinion. At least she was willing to change the subject to suit his desire.

"My name is Rylan," he spoke, holding his smile and watching her with his green eyes, seeing how she would react, or if she would at all. "And as far as topic of our conversation goes... How about you tell me about yourself?" he asked, raising one side of his mouth higher to make his smile a bit crooked. He was hoping she would be willing to tell him about herself.

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