The Dante Manor held multiple dining rooms, each serving a separate purpose.
On the main floor, connected to a ballroom and one of the luxurious Versailles styled courtyard, was the grand dining room. Morrocan tiles and venetian glass made up the floor upon laid the massive white marble with inlaid golden veins dining table. A multi-tier chandelier graced the center of the double-height domed ceiling, echoing the architectural styling of western European basilica. It was opulent, bright and, most of all…intimidating.
Especially with Lady Dante sitting at the head of the table, her red leather arm chair embroidered with golden silk thread. On either side flanked three chairs, each one paneled with rich leather of a distinctive color.
These seven chairs held the power of the Dante Family. The purpose of the palatial banquet hall was to host visiting families from all over the city, leaving them with full bellies, overworked livers and a reminder of who held the Power in Monterose city.
On the other side of the dining room, away from the courtyard and ballroom, was the spacious service kitchen. To state its quality is anything less of a Michelin-award-winning restaurant commercial kitchen would be a grievous insult, punishable by death (as the matriarch of the Silvania family could attest to if she was still alive). The kitchen crew, on their generous breaks, would retire with the rest of the staff on shift to one of two connected break rooms. These industrial lounge rooms, styled with sectionals surrounding an expansive glass and ironwork coffee table, made up the second dining areas, exclusive to the staff.
It was a comfortable, yet utilitarian, space; a respite from the chaotic ongoings of the Dante manor, yet isolated from the guests and family members themselves. It reminded the workers that they were safe on the Island, but their welcome would NOT be overstayed.
As there were no large parties or business gatherings planned, and he was definitely NOT the help, Darrion was currently sitting in a mid-back, padded fabric armchair, a fire crackling at the stone hearth in front and to the left of him. While certainly not the overbearingly palatial banquet hall, this parlour, with the large and fully stocked art déco bar and wood floors, was the Dante Family private "dinette".
On the dark red stained mahogany round table just before him was a succulent roast of two goat's legs, marinated in currants and honey with saffron and rosemary spices, gracing the center of the bronze lazy susan. Surrounding it were various accompaniments: mashed sweet potatoes with pomegranates, glazed roasted root vegetables, and fluffy rice flavored with aromatics.
Darrion sighed as he looked from the impeccable meal towards the woman who sat on the other side of Edward. The dinner had all of her usual favorites and yet her plate was empty. She stared at it, her eyes distant, miles away from the present. Darrion's fist clenched watching her; he couldn't ignore the exhaustion hanging heavily from her eyes, the slouch of her shoulders, and frayed strands coiling against sunken cheeks.
The fire in her eyes was quelled, leaving only dying embers.
Darrion's eyes narrowed as he watched those vacant burgundy eyes stare at a melting sphere in a crystal tumbler of scotch. His violet eyes took in this empty shell of his boss; the intensity with which he stared could make any would-be-thief assume he was enamored.
However, for a particular diminutive would-be thief next to him, he was still as alert as ever, smacking the back of her hand before it reach for his own whiskey filled tumbler.
"Hey!" Cana rubbed her hand, pouting up her older brother with a scowl. "You know I'm old enough!"
Edward lifted his stem glass of Chianti to his lips, a slight snort escaping from under his mustache. "You are not at 11 years old."
"Watch it, you old fart!" Cana lifted a fork, aiming it at the elderly Greed. "I'm six-fucking-teen!"
Darrion lifted the glass upwards, and away from clawing pink fingertips. "The drinking age is 21, doll." He switched the glass to his right hand and used his left to lower the fork down from his sister's grip.
"I meant I'm old enough in Italy!" Cana scowled, lime green eyes glaring between Edward and her brother before she sulked, crossing her arms. "Everyone else is a fucking alcoholic and I'm left out!"
Pinching the knot between his eyes, Darrion shook his head. "I will not enable my little sister to break the law."
"But-but I'm a sniper! I have the second highest body count here!" Her bottom lip trembled as she blubbered, her puffy cheeks reddening, "I just wanted to try a little!"
Darrion's eyes softened, and he motioned over to the cherry topped, chip cream Shirley Temple besides the green-eyed princess, "Finish your drink here and stop asking. Or else no dessert."
A dismayed squeak escaped Cana's mouth, the rosy glow of her cheeks paling in horror. "How could you?!" She turned her attention over to her typical target, "Hey Bitch! You are turning my brother into a dick!"
Ira didn't given glance up. She lifted her tumbler absentmindedly towards the staff who refreshed her glass of scotch.
Cana's nose flared as she watched the Queen Bitch down the entire glass in one gulp. Long blond lashes flapped rapidly as she took in the non-reaction. "God dammit!" She slumped back in her chair, crossing her arms with a twisted scowl crossing her lips, "I get the slut was pretty, but shit! If someone tried to kill MY brother, of course I'd blow his pretty eyes out!"
Darrion pursed his lips tightly, a gruff growl in his throat. His eyes darted over to Ira. Her full lips twitched and he could feel the air thickening in response.
Yet her eyes closed, and the heat dissipated. The dinner preceded by an awkward silence. Usually dominated by loud barbs, infectious laughter, it was quiet and solemn; life at the table started and ended with Ira.
Here, life never even arrived.
Not even the shuffling arrival of a looming shadow brought a reaction to those dulled, garnet eyes. Orsin glanced over to Ira, one large hand rubbing the bandage on his neck. He gulped, his stomach growling at the savory sweet scent of a goat while he hesitated in coming closer.
He wasn't sure how to greet everyone at the table when his sister, usually motioning him over and nudging a seat next to her, didn't even glance in his direction.
Edward set down his fork before turning his head over his shoulder. "Orsin, stop loitering and join us. Perhaps you can provide some illuminating conversation."
"Yeah, anything but this BORING silence." Cana slurped at her Shirley temple, whip cream coating the corner of her lips. "Queen Bitch here has been SULKING like…FOREVER."
Orsin fiddled his fingers, taking his usual cushioned chair by his sister while his shoulders remained hunched. He glanced over at her, honey eyes desperately trying to reach out to her.
She was in her hell, far away, silent words escaping from her barely opened lips.
This was worse than he thought.
Orsin turned his attention to Darrion, watching the stoic officer wipe his sister's cheek. Darrion glanced over to him, violet eyes narrowing. Orsin broad shoulders hunched by his ears as Pride scolded him severely with that glare, glancing down at his full plate.
His stomach rumbled, but his mouth was dry. "So, uh, Sybil is stable…"
Cana flapped her hands rapidly, smacking the napkin and her brother's hand away from her face, "I hope she never wakes up! Those buzzing little shits of her freak me out!"
Darrion frowned and flicked her forehead. "Without her, our information is limited." He looked over to Orsin, his glare as severe as ever, "The Island is fortified, but I'm driving blind with our vigilantes sneaking around."
Edward scowled, rapping his knuckles on the table. "Enough of those pests! What about Orosco? We've stalled in our white gold acquisitions!" He turned towards the immobile Ira, "Lady Dante, those Columbians only bend when you make them! Never mind the Triads and their slowed pharmaceutical productions."
Ira only lifted her glass, the ever attentive attendant behind her filling her tumbler.
"You can't keep ignoring this forever! This is our family we are talking about! We are becoming compliant! One misstep and everyone scoundrel and leech would think us weak!"
A spark flickered in Wrath's eyes, her brow furrowing as she level cold glare towards Greed. However, not a word left her lips in response.
Orsin sighed again, licking his lips to bring back some moisture while he lifted his knife.
"Forget it, ya old fart. The bitch is just sulking because she killed the only dumb whore willing to stick it in." Cana was about to take another sip before Darrion reached over and snatched away her drink. "Hey! It's true! That's why she's being all so…like depressed and shit!"
Darrion’s amethyst gaze was piercing. "You've had enough sugar, Cana Dante."
She paled at hearing her full name, her mouth gaping in protest.
Yet the sound of glass shattering killed the chatter. Orsin dropped his knife as he watched blood dripping down Ira's fist, smoke mixed with rust filling the air, "Sissie…"
Bright crimson eyes stared out of sunken holes as Ira closed her first further, grinding the glass shards into her flesh, whiskey burning through the thousand cuts in her palm. "I'm done." Her fist opened, glittering dust falling from her hand before she stood up and shoved the chair behind her.
The attendant jumped out of the way as the seat skidded against the wood floors, slamming into the other wall with a thud.
"Wait, you didn't eat-" Orsin large fingers reached up towards her hand, only for him to clutch air as his sister left the room. He watched her with misting eyes, his appetite abandoning him as swiftly as she did. He looked over to the stunned Envy, honey-orange eyes holding her gaze. "She loved him, Cana. She really did. I don't…I don't think she's ever going to get over that…"
"Of course she isn't." Darrion’s brow knotted as his baritone voice deepened to a low bass. "How could she get over that fucking stray when she keeps watching him?"
Edward slammed his fork onto the table. "Damn it all, the boy is STILL alive?!"
Orsin looked between Greed and then to Pride, his eyes widening and brow lifting in shock, "Wait…she…but I thought he—"
Darrion finally finished his glass, his appetite failing him as well as he glared at the meat on his plate, his teeth grinding together. "She didn't. She is still keeping him alive. After what he did to YOU, Orsin."
Orsin flinched, closing his eyes as the weight of his sister's sin bared down on his shoulders. Darrion's words cut through him, far deeper than Tristan's knife ever could.
This was his fault. He was to blame.
When he tried to make things right, they only ended up more broken than before.
"She's still keeping him? A-Alone?" The large man stood up, backing away from the table, "This isn't right, this isn't right at all!" He turned away and marched forward, "Sis! Ira! Wait!"
As the two siblings took off, Cana could finally register what just happened as she took in the two abandoned plates of food. "…Huh. The fat-ass didn't eat." She leaned back in her chair, "…Shit."
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