Loud - at least to Rafael’s senses- footsteps moved away from Rafael then. He brought his gaze back up with a start, fixing his eyes on the retreating back of the man before him. Vincent lowered himself back into the chair, which gave a soft creak as his weight settled back in. Sparing not another glance back a Rafael, Vincent picked his fountain pen up again and began writing. The black metal glimmered in the firelight, and the sound of scratching soon followed, as the man continued his work. “You should be cautious, Mr. Clark. A man like you has no sense of self preservation. You will find that there are those here will take advantage of that. I would detest having to pen letters to your father about any incidents that might occur.”
Rafael flinched at his words, rage replacing the instinctual fear that had settled into his spine. He pursed his lips briefly, the words biting inside of him, fighting to get out. Before he could speak, however, Vincent spoke once more, still without lifting his eyes up. “Should your father even care- which in this case, I doubt quite a bit,” the man’s lips curled into a cruel smile, a sharp coldness settling in the pit of Rafael’s stomach, “but the incident would still have to be explained, and I find that work dull. You are dismissed, Mr. Clark,” he paused, and then his pale, slender fingers shifted to something on the desk. A rather cheerful bell echoed out into the room, and then settled into a heavy silence.
Rafael found himself wordless in the face of a man like Vincent. He couldn’t quite understand it- normally he didn’t bat an eye at anyone, regardless of their station. But there was something truly dangerous – Rafael could think of no other word to describe him- about Vincent. Like a beautiful snake, coiled and fast to strike. Every instinct Rafael had said not to test this man. A man like his father was nothing before someone like Vincent.
The scratching of pen on paper sounded harsh to Rafael’s ears, easily overpowering the sound of his own heartbeat in his ears. All retorts buried themselves deep inside Rafael, flooding him with a palpable bitterness. He swallowed hard, nearly jumping out of his skin when the door opened behind him with a sudden creak.
He half turned, his pulse racing for a few brief moments, as panic gripped him. Rather than the servant he had seen before, a young sour looking man stood in the doorway. He wore dark clothes, a uniform with St. Ursula’s emblem emblazoned on the front of his. He had dark eyes, and similarly colored dark hair, cropped short in a fashionable nature. The first hint of such he had seen since arriving in this odd place. The man’s dark gaze cut over to Rafael, and his eyes narrowed.
“Lord Filmore,” the man began, ducking his head in a respectful bow. It seemed everyone Rafael encountered so far practically worshipped the dangerous man behind him. It was perplexing, but there were always those who respected people born with power. The bootlickers of society, content to grovel at the feet of those whom ‘fate’ had deemed their betters. Rafael’s gut wrenched with anger, but he simply fixed the newcomer with a blank look, trying to keep his expression from shifting into a grimace. “What is it you need?” The stranger gave Rafael a dirty look, and Rafael returned it
Once again, Vincent continued writing without looking up, as he responded. “Yes, Charles, I would like you to show Mr. Clark to his room. With Oliver, of course,” he stated, voice sounding unfocused on the current conversation. “Inform him of St. Ursula’s rules of course, as per usual.”
Rafael felt a chill in his spine, his eyes returning to Vincent’s face, to find that piercing gaze suddenly directed at him. One corner of his lip was lifted in a half smirk, the fire’s light casting shadows on his features. “And be sure to focus on the punishments for breaking any of the rules.”
Rafael couldn’t be sure if the odd gleam in the man’s eyes was due to the fire or not, but he had a sinking feeling that it wasn’t. And then a wall came up between Lord Filmore and the rest of the world. His eyes locked down to the paper in front of him with intense focus, clearly brokering no interruption. Somehow, the pressure in the room seemed to fade, and Rafael was left standing in a completely different place. It was still the same room, still the same walls and decor- and yet without Vincent Filmore’s attention, it was not the same.
“Of course, sir,” the man- Charles- behind him answered. Rafael scowled briefly, but grabbed his suitcase, and then turned to face Charles. For a moment, the two stared at each other, taking one another in. Judgments were made quickly, and from the look on Charles’ face, the other man found him lacking. Scowling, Rafael could honestly say he came to the exact same conclusion. “Come with me, then, Clark,” the man said in an icy tone. Rafael scowled all the deeper, not truly bothered by the lack of any honorific, but irritated at his hateful tone. He had received quite an icy welcome so far.
Hesitating for one last moment, Rafael stole a last glimpse of the headmaster behind him. The man sat there scribbling away on whatever documents he had been before Rafael entered the room. Tearing his gaze away, finally, he grabbed the handle of his suitcase, and then turned away, suppressing another quick shiver running down his spine.
Rafael turned to face Charles, who stood glaring at him from the doorway. This time, he didn’t stop himself from rolling his eyes, as he strode across the room and to the doors. He felt the loss of the warmth of the Headmaster’s room as he stepped out into the hallway. He hadn’t noticed it before, but there was an ever present chill within the hallways. Probably due to the spacious atmosphere, and lack of general insulation. Stone castles didn’t have much in the way of that, he supposed. Especially ones with so many useless windows, constantly in the rainy weather. It was a wonder the entire grounds hadn’t been washed away by this point. Or even eroded a bit.
Rafael let out a ragged sigh, already feeling exhausted with today’s events. His encounter with Lord Filmore had been draining, to say the least. And the last thing he wanted was to listen to some stooge babble about the rules and regulations of a Godforsaken place like St. Ursula. Rafael inhaled sharply, and then let it release once Charles decided to speak. As Rafael had expected, his tone was frigid and unhappy, as if eating a most undesirable dinner.
“If it were up to me, you would be sent away without a second glance,” Charles drawled, venom in his tone, “but since Lord Filmore requested it, I will do as he wishes.” Rafael stifled a half snort at his words. He had barely even spoken to the other male- what point did it serve to be so standoffish upon first meeting someone? Surely the man understood it wouldn’t make him any friends- of which Rafael doubted the other had any. But with his precious Headmaster giving him orders, Rafael guessed Charles didn’t think he needed any. Shaking his head silently, Rafael rolled his shoulders a bit, trying to work out his muscles. All the while, the other droned on, and though Rafael would have liked to ignore Charles’ blathering, he forced himself to focus.