italian manor

10

“Today I feel inclined for the life of ease. It would have to be a very interesting problem to tempt me from my chair. See you, I have affairs of importance of my own to attend to.”
“Such as?”
“My wardrobe, Hastings. If I mistake not, there is on my new grey suit the spot of grease - only the unique spot, but it is sufficient to trouble me. Then there is my winter overcoat - I must lay him aside in the powder of Keatings. And I think - yes, I think - the moment is ripe for the trimmings of my moustaches – and afterwards I must apply the pomade.”
- Agatha Christie, “The Adventure of the Clapham Cook”

Chapter 1: De Temps En Temps

Draco

1897 Paris, France

           June in Paris is exquisite. Everything seems to breathe with life, and count every breath as if it was the last. The way the golden sun kisses the tops of the buildings each morning to rouse them from their slumber is by far the best way to wake. However, any true Parisian knows that nights in Paris are what the soul really desires. The full moon that sits languidly above the Eiffel Tower, watching all of Paris laughing through the night, lets you know that you are never alone. It is definitely easy to understand why people fall in love in this beautiful city. It is as if every piece of Paris was made just for you, especially in June.

           Well, unless you’re being dragged a half hours walk to the 18th arrondissement after every decent person in the city has locked up their homes for the night by someone who is supposed to be your best friend. Then it is quite easy to be disgruntled in the face of beauty.

           If that is the case, then it really depends on the person. If you are the sort of person to enjoy a nice midnight adventure, traipsing through dangerous neighborhoods in your finest, then this experience visiting a different kind of…market, would surely be an enjoyable one.

However, Draco Malfoy was not the sort of person to stick his nose into the *ahem* business practices of anyone else. Especially this sort of business practice. He would much rather spend his time back in the 9th arrondissement… where it was safe, and sanitary. June in Paris for him, at the moment, seemed very unattractive indeed.

           Blaise on the other hand…

           “Draco, honestly, hurry up. I don’t want to miss anything.” The beast tugged on the jacket sleeve that was pressed within an inch of its life, wrinkling the fabric. You would never guess that they were from the same ilk with the level of excitement he was displaying. If Draco hadn’t known him all his life, he would have thought the handsome gentleman tugging on his arm had grown up in Montmartre itself, instead of the beautiful Italian manor house of which his family was so proud of.

           His temper was climbing to alarming levels as he followed his bouncing friend in the direction of the foul subsection. There were few reasons why a person from proper breeding would make their way to this part of the city, and Draco did not think they were here to peruse through the artwork of the locals.

           The cobbled streets below his feet caused him to stumble and curse, nearly falling into the tall man clutching his arm. The walk alone was murder if one was not wearing the proper shoes.

           “Will you unhand me?” he snarled “I gave my word that I would accompany you out tonight, even when you insisted that we spend the evening…” a sneer lifted the corner of his mouth as he realized exactly what street they were on. How could he have not noticed? The crowded streets filled with women in far too much makeup, men leering openly at everything with a pulse, Bohemians strutting about in their garish ensembles. “at the Moulin Rouge.”

           Draco could feel his pulse thundering in his temples, not that he let it show on his face. “Blaise, pray tell, what exactly do you not want to miss at the Moulin that is perfectly available on any existing street corner? There,” he gestured to an open corner where a very large woman was shaking her overly large breasts in an offensive manor. “Why don’t you venture over there and pick up that beautiful… creature. Preferably, without me being present whilst you…dally.”

           His dark features stretched into a predatory grin that made Draco’s stomach cramp with anxiety. There were two people who frightened him when their features took on that particular look; the man currently standing in front of him, and Pansy. Pity, that they had married each other. Surely their parents felt their match was appropriate, but Draco felt that if they had chosen someone more… demure then it would have saved everyone a headache in the long run.

 “Oh, my dear friend, do you not honestly expect me to believe that you have no understanding of what takes place at the Moulin? It is more of an experience than a simple rendezvous with Constance.” Of course he knew her name, the wretch. He pressed his hand into the other man’s shoulder. “Do not fear, my naïve friend, you are in my care now. You may drop the act of innocence that is surely only there to impress Ms. Greengrass. She is nowhere in sight tonight.” His grin stretched wider “Unless she too is somewhere inside, you have permission to live as you wish until morning.”

Draco clenched his jaw muscles and looked into the face of the other man.

           He could feel the throbbing in his temples increasing at an alarming rate. Blaise was many things, but never would he have considered his friend to be stupid. If he thought that this lurid display of…. promiscuity was going to do anything to calm his nerves from his impending engagement to Ms. Greengrass, then he does not understand how they have remained in acquaintance all these years.

           “How do you—never mind.” He shook his head “Blaise, please tell me this isn’t some sort of scheme to take my mind off of my engagement.” He looked the other man in the eyes.

           A loud, undignified, guffaw erupted from his friend’s lips. “Oh Draco, dear heavens no! This trip is purely for educational matters. I just figured that you might as well get some practice in before you wed, that way when the time comes— “

           “Blaise!” He was going to murder him, right here. At least this way he can blame the atmosphere for his willingness to commit such a crime when they haul him for trial. Surely his father’s lawyer would understand. “Can we not discuss my upcoming marital affairs in public? Actually, let us not discuss them at all. Just because you and your spouse decide it is fine to jump into the bed of anyone within 300 yards, does not mean that my marriage will be the same!”

           He knew that was a low blow, as well as hypocritical. What Blaise and his wife did behind closed doors was none of his business and he preferred it that way. The heat of embarrassment fills his cheeks at his outburst. Curse his fair skin.

           Blaise lifted an eyebrow “The difference in the relationship between Pansy and I, and the one that you and Ms. Greengrass will be establishing in a two years’ time, is that I am attracted to my wife.” His eyes glinted in the lighting cast from the glow of the buildings, giving them a frighteningly shiny gleam. “I do not require the ‘practice’ to get through my husbandly duties.”  

           Perhaps he deserved that.

Draco suddenly found that the Moulin was a much more complex structure than what he had though upon first glance. He could feel the heat in his cheek spread to his neck.

           Ah, yes. That particular… abnormality of his would pose a problem with his future spouse if he could not err—perform up to par on the night of his betrothal.

           “Draco,” Blaise’s face softened with his words “You know that Pansy and I do not mind, and would never betray your confidence.” He gave a kind smile. Sometimes, Draco felt he was lucky to have a friend like Blaise. Other times, like now, he understood why his father thought them unnecessary. “Besides, it is perfectly legal.”

           He inclined his head toward his friend. He did know that, but that didn’t mean he would… advertise this information. He was supposed to sleep with his wife after they were wed. That is what he had been taught all his life. You procure an heir, and your husbandly duty was fufilled. When his affliction presented itself when he reached of age, suddenly the husbandly obligation seemed more daunting. He had trouble enough imagining how to go about doing it, so how would it be possible if he—well… For arguments sake, the theory was if he could deny his abnormalities, then when the time arrived for him to fulfill his duties he would do it to the best of his ability without the memory of what he could have lingering in the back of his mind.

           A theory Blaise might not have agreed with, but had jumped onto if it meant that he might accompany him out.

           Some things, like deflating at the sight of your exposed wife on your wedding night, were just not on. Something he knew was in the near future no matter how much ‘practice’ Blaise insisted he have.

           “Besides, I did not bring you here to fraternize with women and steal all my opportunities.” His grin returned to its previous state of decadence “I brought you here because Zidler has proven to us all that he is completely insane.”

           Draco allowed an eye roll to cross his features as he released the tension in his shoulders. Mollified that Blaise wasn’t going to convince him to sleep with some terrifying woman.

Everyone has always known that Charles Zidler was a mad man. A genius in all things to do with the sins of the flesh, but a complete nutter. “What has he done this time, given his girls polka-dot knickers?”

           “He hired a male can-can dancer.”

           The heat that had finally ebbed from his face, relocated to his abdomen. Suddenly the Moulin’s complex structure was no longer a source mild interest; It was absolutely fascinating. Almost compelling him inside to see if the grand ballroom matched the exterior walls in their indecent shade of red. Images of a man with hard muscles wrapped in girlish garters, kicking his legs into the air along with the other dancers flitted through his mind. The red windmill on top beckoned like a sirens call, promising the inside to be filled with mesmerizing objects and creatures that Poseidon, himself, could never imagine finding.

           Draco swallowed audibly.

           “Oh, did I get your attention then?” he smirked.

           He physically shook himself out of his trance “But… why would I be interested in seeing him? It’s not like I could ever stoop to, you know.” His cheeks would have warmed again if all the blood in his body was not currently making its way to his groin at the mere thought of what that statement entails. He most certainly could not ‘you know’ with the can-can dancer, but oh god, he wanted to.

           Blaise’s eyes looked as if they were going to pop out of his head and roll onto the cobbled ground beneath their feet. “What do you mean you are not going to ‘you know’ with him? You can’t not ‘you know’ with him! You know?”

           Draco did think that he knew, but one could never be too sure with his friends.

           How could he explain to Blaise that he just couldn’t? It would be too much like Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. Once he would have the knowledge of what is out there, he could never go back without driving himself mad.  For Blaise, it’s easy. He might, upon occasion, enjoy a tryst into the deviant Bohemian lifestyle of sexual freedom, but that is all they are to him; trysts. They don’t haunt him with realities of his ailment, nor do they taunt him with the knowledge that legality has nothing to do with familial obligations. “I can’t Blaise. I’m engaged.”

           “And I am married.” Blaise laughed. “What of it?

           The image of the man in garters returned “You, you just don’t understand.” Draco hissed. “You’ve a wife that does not mind you messing around with other people. You both are honest and open about who you are with each other. Don’t you understand that if I were to sleep with this man tonight, I could never allow my wife the honesty she deserves? I could never look at her and promise her that I would hold her above all else? Because I couldn’t Blaise, you know that I couldn’t. I would return here, every night if I could.” He looked into his friend’s eyes.

           Judging by the sadness he found there, he might now understand what he was feeling. But the steel in his eyes promised that the disagreement was not met. “Draco, listen to me. I know that I cannot fathom what it is to be in your situation, but you have got to let go. It is not healthy for a young man to repress his very nature.” He lifted his chin “Ms. Greengrass is not your wife as of yet. You have not even announced your formal engagement and this opportunity presents itself at just the appropriate moment, and you have decided to live your life never knowing? What would Pansy say if she could hear of you being a coward? This is a sign, Draco. One telling you that you must take care of your needs, which you do not do often enough, if at all.” He gave him a stern look. “If you choose to ignore this as a sign, then fate itself will punish you if my wife does not get to you first.”

           Draco looked at his dearest friend and saw the genuine concern that lay behind his words. As his courtship with Ms. Greengrass loomed in the near future, he became more withdrawn. Barely speaking to any of his former friends. He had spent all his energy on appearances, so worried that if he dared lose his footing in the proceedings, that everything would be revealed. Pansy had finally had enough of his distance and demanded his return to the land of the living, or she would make Hell seem like a sauna. It had worked, and he had promised her from then on to take care of himself.

           It seemed like an easy compromise. Pansy, for her part, would rather it if he would live openly and find himself a nice young gentleman to settle down with, the tart.

           “Fine, but you will stay with me Blaise Zabini, or you will find yourself on the end of your wife’s shrill descant.”

           The Cheshire cat grin reappeared. “Excellent.” He straightened Draco’s jacket, and pushed him inside the doors. “I promise you will not regret this.”


8

Malavoglia (Italian for Ill- Will) Manor Wip

I’’m just sitting here at work building a mansion since I don’t have my PC to play Origins. ( which by the way is awesome!) anyway, I was sitting here like what shall I do then I decided to build a mansion… I’ve been working on this for hours and I’ve only managed to furnish 3 rooms on the ground floor… the ground floor is still missing so many rooms and don’t even get me started on the upstairs lol… I have a lot to do… 

Dark & Wild Series - CRAVE (V, OC) Part 11
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Prologue | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10TRAILER

OC- Charity Miller


(Narrator’s POV)  

It was December 1st when V began to worry. 

Getting out of the house at seven in the morning, he made his way into the basement and got his keys to his Mercedes Benz G-class, a perfect ride to take on a road trip. As he was putting his bag on the passenger seat, Shin came down and greeted him good morning; his face a mask of apprehension. 

“What’s with the face?” V muttered as he hopped into the driver’s seat and started the engine. Shin made his way over to his side and threw him a worried look, “Is it really safe for you to go out—“

"It’s fine.” He answered, his hands gripping the stirring wheel. V looked back at him and sighed, thinking how he had a point. He shouldn’t even be going out at this point. “I have to see them.”

“Are you stopping by the penthouse?”

V sighed then shook his head, “Not today. I told her I wouldn’t be able to come." 

For the past month and a half, V had been coming in regularly every morning to his penthouse where Charity currently resided. The attacks had ceased to his relief, but the nightmares didn’t. He came in to check on her just to make sure that she was still okay…

That she was still sane.


"You’re going to have to tell her sometime.” Shin murmured and V only looked straight, his face blank and expressionless as he pulled the door closed and backed up, ignoring Shin’s warning. 

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The Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, by TheLadyInTweed on Flickr