A Time For Change - XX

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Eli stared into the murky dishwater.

He couldn't see his likeness within it, only a dark silhouette; an indistinguishable stiff splotch on the surface.

Good.

Eli didn't want to see himself, the person who'd be staring back at him if the water was clear. He didn't want to see his emerald eyes, the pathetic being he'd witness through the reflection.

A drip from the fosset disrupted the stillness and then he drained the soapy water. He couldn't seem to get his head straight, thoughts collected properly. He tried to keep his head leveled, especially after the other day with him and Jasper's...minor quarrel.

Minor, yes, that's what it had been. A minor quarrel of mislaid attitudes. He still regretted the manner in which he'd snapped at Jasper. The boy didn't deserve his anger; it had just come out of nowhere.

The clanking of dishes being put away brought Eli back. He dried his hands, slinging the cloth he'd been using over the door of a lower cabinet. It'd been just about an hour since he last left Jasper to deal with the household on his own, and wasn't quite finished with his duties enable to return to the Young Master's side.

After gathering an armful of replacement candles from a lower storage area in the kitchen's basement, Eli traveled down the hall and commenced to swap all the half melted candles from their hostlers in the hall. He found the task redundant; remembering back to a time when he was a child, when he and his father would mend candles by combining their melted wax to create virtually new ones. It was common sense.

The rich, he thought with a hushed huff of his breath, such wasters.

When each holster in the hall was filled, Eli fixed the last of the candles in his hold and entered the dining room. Mr. and Mrs. Lancechester were seated together at one end of the table, Jasper's cousins, the twins, Jacob and Maxwell as well as their parents, Aunt Stephanie and Uncle Hector seated more in the center of the long table.

The family didn't bother looking up to see who'd entered; given it was only a butler of the house. Eli continued in and approached the table.

"Have you heard the news that reaches us from the commoners," Hector said, he was speaking only to Master Ronald. "It seems the authorities have stormed the streets of Brimonhive, taking with them a walking disgrace."

Eli wasn't deaf. He could hear every word being spoken perfectly. He just wished Hector would shut his mouth. Obviously, the topic was about Silas.

"Please," Master Ronald said, "I do not care for the happenings of what goes on in a place like Brimonhive. Commoner tribulations are not where my concerns lie."

Now Eli hoped Hector got the memo and stopped.

"Oh, but you should acknowledge Brimonhive in some way," Hector continued, "The properties in the village and much other common lands are what keeps this high priced roof over you and your family's head."

Master Ronald looked up, annoyance in his eyes, "And yours as well, given I am the one whose roof you live under."

Not catching the Master's tone, Hector said, "Exactly, it seems the authorities apprehended a foul sodomite taking shelter within Brimonhive."

The Master sighed haggishly, clearly put off by the mentioning. "Hector, please, hold off on this matter," he said, eyeing his nephews, sister and wife, "I do not need such treachery spoken at my table."

As if not hearing the orders handed down, Hector continued, "They've taken the unclean soul to have him done away with."

At that Eli's knees buckled, and as he leaned across the table to adjust a skinny candle, he dropped it, having to suddenly catch himself with both hands. All eyes flashed in his direction, and he was quick to gather himself up. "Apologies," he said.

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