The rest of my time there was more or less a useless attempt to stop my face from flushing and keep my gaze fixated on something besides the hem of my skirt or the navy carpet. I felt like the three pairs of eyes were all on me. Elizabeth's, Ciel's, and the man's. All of them were watching me squirm around and try to catch the words that rolled breathlessly off of my tongue.
"I understand. I'm not a nobleman anymore. It's okay." I laughed with small beads of tears welling in the corners of my eyes. "It's okay."
I figured he knew what I wanted next, so the man gestured steadily to the open hallway.
"Shall I show you to the door?" his voice suavely stated the obvious remark, but it hurt anyway. Silent, I followed him out of the room after curtseying slightly to the Earl and his fiance. As we made our way down the stairs, I held the railing loosely. The man didn't look back at me, but said,
"I'm sorry, miss."
Save it, I almost spat out of frustration.
"Thank you, but you needn't pity me. I saw Ciel's next move from a mile away." I lied with a stone still lodged in my windpipe. The man cleared his throat, holding back his overt amusement.
"I heard your name is Sofia Abadie, am I correct?"
I nodded, though he didn't see it. We reached the bottom of the staircase and turned to face each other as our feet clicked the polished floor.
"Your family is responsible for that unfinished Basilica."
I stared at his pale face at least a foot above my own.
"My grandfather was the one who started the construction in 1875. I have no partake." In fact, I now wanted nothing to do with the Basilica or the whereabouts of my parent's pursuers.
"Ah, yes. A young french mistress like yourself couldn't possibly finish the building of such a monument on her own, I am being foolish." he laughed to himself and took another step towards the exit. I raised an eyebrow at the response and let the words wash over me, wondering whether I should be offended or not. He opened the door to the fresh mid-January greens and sky, yet I stood my place and watched as he began to look at me oddly, wondering the reason to why I had not already taken my leave.
"Not to be rude, but you have my name, and I not yours."
He eyes squinted to a perplexing smile.
"Sebastian Michaelis." his shoulders went back in a cocky sense, instead of a low bow as expected. "Pleased to make your acquaintance, Miss Sofia."
At that moment I felt almost pressured to return the smile and blush like a lady, and nearly did; instead I took the door in my own hands and fluttered my lashes a bit too shyly.
"Such mannors. You're quite the gentlemen, Sebastian. Perhaps you were once a nobleman yourself?"
He chuckled once more and placed a gloved hand near his heart.
"Nonsense. I'm simply one hell of a butler."
I paused where I stood, then shut the door behind me, fastening it tight.

Early in February, still thinking of the Phantomhive estate residing neatly in it's own world on a street that reeked of money, I often scolded myself having to look at my own sad, grimy abode. Dust collected on every surface. In the basement that I no longer dared to enter, I heard water leaking from the pipes. My only pastime was reading nearly ancient books found in the family library upstairs. On my way out one misty morning, I found a white piece of paper protruding from the rusty mailbox nailed to the door. I carefully took it between my fingers, causing flakes of reddish metal to stain the card. On the front was a single blue balloon. My eyes skimmed the body looking for any other decorative design, but there was none to be found. Just a balloon and negative space. I finally opened the card, on which the inside in cursive had the words Happy Birthday. A bit surprised, the thought started to bubble within my mind that it indeed was the eve of my 16th birthday. The paper was nameless, and coming to this knowledge led me to put it into my coat pocket and trot down to the sidewalk.

As I leisurely made my way back down the same path with my arms full with groceries, a slight gust pushed my long orange hair into my face, stinging my eyes. The letter with the balloon dropped out my pocket and was carried meters away, dancing in the wind. After clearing up my sudden blindness, I glanced around desperately for it, unable to drop my bags. Couples, families and small children whirled past, ignoring my struggle and progressed on. I looked between myself and the few steps to my front gateway. Feeling irritated, I began to crouch down to lay my items on the sidewalk.
I stopped.
In the midst of the path and near the unattended grove casting gloomy spots over the yard, there was a tall, shadowy figure, his head and shoulders towering far above everyone else's like a dark skyscraper. His hair was slicked down and he was dressed in a black suit and tailcoat that give him the appearance of an undertaker. There was no expression on his face as he appeared on my doorstep. I was frozen. One of my bags dropped to the cobblestone, spewing cans and vegetables into the street. He turned gracefully toward me and as I made eye contact with that soothing grin, I felt dizzy, and all the civilians and houses began to melt away, to be replaced with swirling, suffocating darkness. With great effort I tore my gaze away from the man and looked down at my feet, walking briskly to meet him.
"Good evening, Miss Sofia," Sebastian beamed upon my expected arrival. Without replying I reached for my keys with chilly fingers, unlocking the door and stepping inside, immediately shocked to find my coat being removed by a pair of hands that were not mine. I jerked the rest of the coat off myself, rotating on my heels to give the butler an disapproving, eminent scowl. Sebastian, unnervingly calm, strode over the the fireplace and lit it suddenly, as well as a path of candles while he slowly progressed to the kitchen. I hurried after him and threw my body in front of the cupboard before he could wrap his gloved fingers around the handle. Staring at me with a hint of particular curiosity, he withdrew his hand and laid it gently to his side. After watching me breathing heavily for a moment or two with my lower lip puffed out, a slow smile dawned on Sebastian's face, and he cuffed me around the head with one of his giant palms.
"Please move."
We had another stare down as I kindly reminded him who's residence he was in. Upon hearing his, he chuckled. Something I've gotten used to hearing before being burdened with bad news.
"Happy Birthday."
"Be quiet. You've begun to make me very mad, mister Sebastian." my cheeks flamed with the sudden burst of courage as I feared his response. Sebastian's eyes became as vacant as a sleepwalker and the corner of his smirk twitched slightly.
'The young master has sent me on this assignment accordingly. Allow me to serve you a meal, and then I will be on my way."
I'm not sure what compelled me to, but I suddenly stepped out of his way and sat limply down in a chair accompanied by a small table.
"Why what?" he asked with his back to me, collecting pans and ingredients form my recent escapade with great speed.
"Why are you here?"
"For your birthday, of course." a more friendlier grin had returned to his ghostly face.
"Oh yeah?" I laughed, tapping at the tabletop with my index finger. "Then where's my gift?"
Setting a small amount of steaming tea into my cupped hands, Sebastian calmly stated,
"You're looking at him."
Nearly spilling the liquid, I bit my tongue gazing up at the butler with horribly flushed cheeks. No. No, no, no. No. No. No.
He casually looked at his pocket-watch, gently placing the chain back into his suit.
"I must leave now to return to my master. I'll be back tomorrow morning to run my schedule over with you." he strode over to the kitchen exit. I thought he was going to keep on walking to the front door, but at the last moment he stopped. He bent down to meet my eyes and gave me stiff wave, a smile still plastered across his face. "Have a peaceful rest, my lady."


Hurr durr another long one. DO YOU LOVE ME AGAIN TAYMIN? ; A ;