Donovan returning to Evermore was something of a surprise even to himself. He made plans to return to south africa in the wake of his parents and brothers death to tend to the family business now that he was all that was left of the Hendrix family. He felt so utterly alone in the halls of the home he grew up in. Once filled with a full family,  was now unexpectedly dwindled down to just him. He held a title that really had no meaning since there were many Dukes and Duchess. He had cousins he wasn’t close to. His word was not here anymore. His heart belongs in Evermore. It was the only place he wanted to settle himself in. So he put things in order to make sure the staff that was part of the Hendrix family was either coming with him or settled for the next six months.

Selling off the estate would bring in even more future income, but part of him couldn’t bring himself to sell it. So he resided in the fact it could be a summer or get away home for himself. Leaving a groundskeeper to make sure the place was taken care of in his absence. After all was said Donvon and the people he was keeping on staff moved back to Evermore. This time instead of an apartment above his club that was still in full swing under the wonderful management he put in place before leaving, he purchased a small scale mansion. After placing his bags down he looked out to the night sky. He didn’t want to unpack, he wanted to see her.

The one person he left behind that would forever live in his mind. He looked at his phone, he was sure he could call her and talk to her like they had many times since he left. Finding a friendship along the way. She was the only one he felt understood him with the loss he had faced. The pain that echoed in his chest. He picked up his guitar case, bound his way out of his new home among the staff and movers who were unpacking things and moving them around. “I will be back.” He called to one of the house keepers that were trying to stop him. 

He slid into the car making his way to the ailward manor. He moved around where he knew Argents room was and picked up a few pebbles and started to toss them at the window. When he was sure he got her attention he pulled out his guitar and started to strum away the song he had written with her.

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Life had changed a lot for the aspect lately, starting university had kinda been a snap decision she made one day when she decided she wanted things to change but she hadn’t regretted it so far. The classes were challenging for her and she really felt like she was getting the chance to learn the right way. It had made her life busy though, from spending the weekdays at the dorms and only coming back to the manor on the weekends there was a lot to catch up on when she was here, from tracking guard missions to thinking about her own aspect duties. Thankfully those could be done from anywhere.

She was curled up by her window, blanket wrapped around her and snuggled up against the glass as she read a book, she wished she got more time to read because she honestly loved novels and the stories that unfolded in them. It seemed like the worlds in stories was so much better than this one, sure there were challenges but at least in the stories she picked out, there was always a happy ending. She found happy endings weren’t something that she was able to have, life was too complicated for that and she had accepted it by now.

She tried not to think too much about the roller coaster of her life because there was a lot to unpack, she knew she was complicated but she also liked to think she filled her life with a lot of good people. Argent had a lot of friends and she cherished all of them, starting from her siblings, then to the guards she had spent time alongside and now in Evermore, the list was growing. One of them she thought was going to last longer but then he had upped and left the city, they’d talked here and there but it wasn’t quite the same as seeing one another the way they used to.

When she heard the tapping at the window her first thought was that it had started to rain but then she heard the sound of a soft guitar strumming which made her crease her brow and push the window open to peer down. She was surprised to see Donovan there as a bright smile appeared on her lips “Donovan?” she questioned “I thought you weren’t coming back?” she asked as she considered for a moment whether she should run down or talk to him here first.

Leaving her side was the biggest thing the dhampir would regret. As his fingers moved along the neck of the guitar as he sang up to the window above. He paused when he heard his name and he slung the guitar on his back as he looked up to the fiery haired woman who hung out the window now. “Hey there silver.” He gave a gentle wave and then took a step back to look up to the sky for a moment. 

“Well I wasn’t planning on it. But losing all of my family and living in a castle alone soon became boring to me.” He said as he crossed his arms letting his gaze go back to hers. “This town and the people I have become close to here are my home now. I know leaving was sudden but…” He swallowed hard for a moment, remembering he left in the middle of the night to the call that his parents and brother's body had been found. 

He let the quiet long moment hand there before clearing his throat. “Well I wanted to come back to the place that has felt more like home than anywhere else had. And I had hoped my friend would be happy to welcome me back with open arms.”  He said in a teasing tone as he raised his hand and wiggled his finger towards her. “Why don’t you get the ball of light booty down here already and give me a hug. I have missed you Argent.” He called up to her letting the pain that was on his face hide behind a smile with ease.

She couldn’t stop the nostalgic smile that tainted her lips when he called her by that nickname, it felt like it had been a while since anyone called her that, she raised her hand to echo his wave as she leaned against the window pane “I mean the castle part sounds kinda epic but…” her expression softened because she knew what it felt like to lose a lot of people close to you “I’m sorry for your loss” she murmured softly but didn’t dwell on it too much because she knew he wouldn’t want her to.

“Evermore really is enigmatic in many ways” she agreed with him, people always seemed to find their way back here without expecting it “But understandable” she cut off when he seemed unable to finish his sentence and nodded her head solemnly, she understood his reasons for leaving but that didn’t mean she hadn’t wished for a goodbye or missed him. She grinned when he said he hoped his friend would be happy to welcome him back “You mean you have friends?” she questioned and quirked her brow in a teasing manner.

Without another thought she grabbed a cardigan from off the back of her chair and put it on around her shoulders, before closing the window and raising a finger to signal she would be there in a minute. She headed out of her room, closing the door and turning off the lights behind her before heading through the halls of the manor and out to where he was waiting. She wasted no time before running the distance between them and launching herself into a hug, her arms wrapping around him tightly. She stayed there for a moment before she sighed “Don’t worry me like that again” she scolded him in a light tone.

Donovan felt the sad smile touch his lips as he sighed for a moment. “Maybe sometime you can come visit the castle. It would be nice to share it with someone I care about.” He nodded his head but not wanting to dwell on the hollow ache of being the last in his family line. He had always counted on his siblings to carry out the duty to have children. So much conflict was happening in his heart, yet he made sure to let the sad smile stay on his lips not to worry her.

With a shake of his head for a moment he laughed out at her teasing tone placing his hand over his chest for a moment. “You are killing me here, Silver! I thought we were friends! Guess that means you aren’t happy to see me then?” He called back to her with a raised eyebrow also. Though before much left could be shouted back and forth between them, the window was closed and she was either on her way down to meet him outside of the manor or to leave him standing there like an idiot. Which he couldn’t blame her if she did.

He turned his head when he heard the sound of feet against the ground. As he turned to see the bouncing redhead (or blondehead) barreling towards him, he barely had the moment it took to ground himself to catch her in the tight hug. He closed his eyes taking in her comforting scent as he hugged her tightly. Not sure if he would let her go. “We both know I should make promises anymore after how I left you last time. I don’t want to be a reason you cry anymore.” He muttered lightly before finally setting her back to her feet before his hands came to rest on her shoulder looking her over. “Now catch me up on everything I have missed out in this last year.” He smiled at her. “Manage to get the hang of guitar without me?”

She wondered for a moment whether it would be better to change the subject but she didn’t think anything productive would come out of pretending it didn’t happen “I’d love to come visit” she responded without hesitation “Must be so strange to just have a castle all to yourself” she commented thinking about how large it must be and all the history it must keep hidden within it’s walls. She could sense his sadness behind the smile in his aura though, his usual royal blue tones were more muted now as though to reflect the experiences he had been through.

She giggled and scrunched her nose when he pointed out that they were supposed to be friends “Well I meant friends that aren’t several thousand-year-old dragons” she teased as she made her way through the manor and out the front. She didn’t even need to think about what she was doing as she crossed the short distance between them and threw her arms around him. She stayed there for a moment just basking in the relief she had from knowing that he was okay “Whether we like it or not, we’re not going to be able to shake one another, so the least we owe each other is to be honest” she assured him softly before she stood up straight when he set her down.

She tilted her head back to look up at him for a moment and pressed her lips together “I’ve been practicing a lot, though I’m not sure I’d exactly call it getting the hang of it” she commented and laughed softly “You’re actually lucky you caught me here because I spend most nights at the university now” she puffed her chest a little to show her pride “I finally took the leap and enrolled myself in classes” she was honestly so glad to be able to have the experience now she was here in Evermore, being away from her siblings in a short distance was still challenging for her but she was working through it. “What about you? Did you write any new songs?” she always loved to hear his songs.

“Yeah a castle to yourself is kind of strange. Had to have the caretakers bring their families around just for the noise. The deafening silence was driving me mad.” He chuckled out as he looked to her for a long moment. Wanting to tell her to stop reading him but he also knew there was no point in hiding the pain that was there. “It’s very beautiful though. So I think you would enjoy roaming the halls and getting photos to show Aurelia.” He recalled the guard that she was good friends with before his leaving and that was a skilled photographer.

“Let's be real Silver, Everyone wants to be friends with several thousand year old dragons.” He chuckled at her teasing. He was glad they could pick up like not much had changed. It was all the more comforation that he was doing the right thing by returning to Evermore. He missed holding her close, the light she brought with her that seemed to make him forget all his worries even if it was just for a moment.  “I like not being able to shake you. You make my heart happy. Having you as a constant makes life easier.” He said honestly as he looked deep in her eyes.

His lips held a genuine smile as he looked at her for a moment. “Oh yeah? You a college girl now?” He gave a playful brow wiggle as he gave her shoulder a gentle squeeze “How are the classes going? I am proud of you for doing this for yourself.” He smiled remembering how she had talked about diving school again. He was thrilled she kept growing into herself. It made him less sad in leaving. “I have notebooks filled with new songs. Many need fleshing out. Upside of depressing events, makes for good writing.” He mused for a moment before looking up to the night sky. “You wanna go get some ice cream?” He asked remembering she had a sweet tooth.

“Anything bigger than an apartment is strange on your own” she countered and nodded slightly, then again she’d spent her entire life surrounded by people so it was hard for her to imagine what living alone would be like “At least you don’t have to fight anyone to use the bathroom” she commented, since she moved into the dorms that was her biggest complaint, having to plan when she used the bathroom. “I definitely have a soft spot for nice architecture” she commented and smiled, she was an artistic soul at heart after all.

“Do they?” she questioned with a wry smile “Some people argue they’re out of touch with the world” she mused and tilted her head slightly, she was working to be more connected to the world around her and she liked to think she did okay at it but she definitely still felt like a bit of a stranger sometimes. “It’s hard to shake me once I care” she responded and gave him a small, encouraging smile. They’d had a rather complex journey but now they had made it through, things were simpler “I’m always around, for whatever you need...talk my ear off if you like” or just sit in silence knowing you had company, she didn’t mind.

She laughed and gave an embarrassed smile when he pointed out she was a college girl now “It sounds so ridiculous considering all the paths I’ve taken in my life” she confessed and laughed under her breath “But here I am” she didn’t regret it though, she liked being in the middle of this whole different world, it was a challenge for her “Pretty well, though I swear there is so much to remember I fear my brain is going to run out of capacity” she laughed and wrinkled her nose, it was challenging and that was important. “Notebooks?” she raised her brows playfully “Sounds like I need to raid them for the gems” she grinned slightly and nodded excitedly when he asked if she wanted to get ice cream “I wanna get one of those massive sundaes you always see people getting at dessert parlors” she confessed.

“I mean I know plenty of people that have houses and are on their own. Yet I have never found that weird. Some people like having offices and libraries and other things in their home.” He chuckled for a moment looking up to the manor she lived in. Maybe she only found it weird because she couldn’t be alone really in the end. A laugh rang out from him for a moment. “Well this is true I even have more than one bathroom in that place. Actually I never counted past five there, maybe bathrooms I didn’t even know about.” He was lost in trying to remember the layout before looking at her with a smile. “I would like to take you there for a little get away. I think you would find it beautiful and maybe even get a few good photos.” He said with a smile knowing she had a soft spot for artistic things.

“Dragons would never be out of touch with the world in my book.” He winked towards her as she tilted her head towards him. “I am lucky you still care about me after everything.” He admitted with a smile. “I am glad I didn’t make you not want to be my friend at the end of the day.” His fingers wrapped around  the lighter he had in his pocket. “Thank you. For being a great friend. I could learn a thing or two from you.” He teased softly but appreciated that she was so willing to be an ear for him.

Seeing her laugh and full of joy made his heart happy as he watched her. “Well you know, you better be safe among all them college boys, any of them give you trouble, call me and I will break out my fighting skills on them.” He teased her with a wink. “I have a feeling each path has had its own rewarding journey.” He then looked at her head. “I am pretty sure your brain could hold an archive, Silver, Don’t worry too much on that.” He gave a gentle nod of his head. “Well if you would like to read them I would be more than happy to hand them over. Maybe you can help me pick what to play at the club some nights.” He chuckled and then held out an arm for her to link hers through. “Then the mission of a massive sundae we are on. I think I may know a place that has that if you are okay with a little drive outside of town.” Happy to see he caused an excited rush in her.

She smiled softly, she supposed if you could afford a big place you might as well have it but she was a naturally extroverted person and so she found it hard to be alone, even for a short while “All of it just seems so bizarre to me...but then I am the girl who has shared a castle with at least 8 people for all her life so…” she shrugged her shoulders slightly, it was a bizarre way to live but to her it was now normal. “Just so you can do an entire tour of the bathrooms” she teased playfully “Well it would be one way to show off I suppose” she grinned a little. “That would be nice...I’m sure it’s more peaceful than Evermore” it was crazy here, that much was certain.

She bit her lip playfully when he said dragons could never be out of touch with the world “We try our best” she teased and raised her brows “Though we still need a little help here and there to stay on top of everything” there was a lot happening in the world after all and it was ever-changing, always moving forward. She gave an easygoing smile when he said he was lucky she still cared about him “I’m harder to shake that than” she nudged him slightly with her elbow “And no one in their right mind would let you go” she murmured softly, he was a special person, so brave and such a loyal leader “You should give yourself more credit” she scolded.

She laughed softly when he warned her about the college boys “I’m sure I can handle them just fine, honestly, it’s the girls that scare me more, dorms are basically gossip grounds” Argent had never really gotten to attend a public school but she’d done research on them and it was somewhat daunting. Still, she felt up to the challenge, she could figure things out she was sure. She rubbed the side of her head when he said she could fit an entire archive in it “I’m still a little worried that I’ll forget things” she might be an aspect but that didn’t mean her mind was any different from others. “Of course I want to read them!” she exclaimed the moment he mentioned it “Though I can’t promise I’ll be able to pick between them” she teased and grinned slightly.

“I’m game for an adventure, I’ve already snuck out of the house so why not run away too” she teased before heading over towards the car “Sometimes all you need in life is a bucket load of ice cream” she teased playfully, admittedly the aspect had a sweet tooth.

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