Daphne stood in front of the gate. Prima had just vanished behind it. It was cold in the night, but Daphne body had tasted Prima and burned for more. She starred at the iron gate and the letters which read Maison des Lilas
. It was old and Gothic.
She had a sense that whatever it was, Prima did not want her to know. It was surely gloomy. Daphne was not about to let that kill her curiosity. She pushed the heavy gate open and tried not to make to much noise. It was squeaking terribly. The small road was quite long.
"I must be in the middle of nowhere," thought Daphne.
She continued until she saw light. She arrived at large yard in front of a huge old mansion. In front of the large front door stood Prima. Prima knocked, and the door opened slightly, not enough for Daphne to see who was there. Daphne thought it weird that someone would knock on their own front door. Prima entered and Daphne came up to the building. It looked like something from an old horror movie.
There were lights in a few windows, and she wondered whether should look through them. She decided not to as she might get spotted.
"And then they will call the police," she thought.
Before she knew why, she too knocked on the dark wooden door. She realised that she had not even thought of an excuse for being there.
"What am I going to say?" she thought. "It's not like I can say 'Sorry, I was just passing by' out here. There's nothing here."
Before she could think, the door opened. There, in the doorway, stood a tall, stone-faced woman. She looked to be in her mid-thirties and had honey-coloured hair, gathered in a tight bun. She wore a long, tight, grey dress, which looked Victorian in style.
"Who are you? What do you want?" she said.
"Erhm... I was just... I mean, I wanted to," Daphne stuttered.
"Get in," the woman commanded.
Daphne followed her in without knowing why. Inside was a huge hall, dimly lit with candles.
"Oh, my god. This entire place must be like something from the 1800s," Daphne thought.
It was. She was shown in to a small sitting room where, to Daphne's surprise, Prima was sitting. Prima looked just as surprised, if not terrified.
"Ah, I thought, you two might know each other," said the woman. "Not only are you hours late - you also bring along this kind of trash!"
Daphne wanted to say something and give her a piece of her mind. The woman turned to Daphne.
Daphne obeyed, much to her own surprise. The woman then turned to Prima.
"You will sit here, until your uncle gets home - both of you!"
"Yes, Aunt Flavia," said Prima.
The woman left through the door and closed it behind her. Prima waved Daphne over to the table where Prima was seated. Daphne took a chair by her side.
"Why did you come here?" asked Prima. "I told you not to. Now I'm going to get in so much trouble!"
"Who was that woman?" asked Daphne. "Who does she think she is ordering me around?"
Daphne knew however, that she was staying at her own free will, and so was not being kept against her will. She stayed for Prima's sake. She took Prima's hand.
"Why don't we just go? You can stay with me, if you want to."
"This is my family, Daphne. And I just met you!" answered Prima.
"Tell me, where are your parents?" Daphne asked.
"My parents died in a car crash, back when I was eight. I was adopted by my Uncle Alaire and my Aunt Silvana."
"Then who was she
?" said Daphne and pointed to the door, behind which the woman had disappeared.
"Flavia is my second wife, since Silvana died of cancer the year after the adoption," said a voice behind them.
They practically jumped out of their seats. For the first time Daphne saw the man she would come to know as Alaire. He had come from a second door behind them. He was very tall, with shiny black hair and piercing green eyes. He spoke with the same accent as Prima and had something cold and statue-like about him. He too was dressed strangely old-fashioned.
"This is not the kind of thing I would want to deal with the minute I come home," he said. "Are you going to state your business, young lady? Or are you just going to run off with my niece?"
"Please," said Prima. "Please, go home."
"I promised myself that I was never going to leave you!" Daphne replied.
"Well then. You have two options as I see it. Stay or leave. What you come up with is for good," said uncle Alaire.
"Go home," Prima begged.
Daphne pondered. This was the oddest situation, she had ever been in. It was so easy just to leave by the door. She couldn't bring herself to leave Prima here in this odd place and Prima would not come with her.
"What one does not do for love," she thought to herself.
"Okay," she said. "I'm staying."
"Good, go now. Take of what you need taken care of and be back tomorrow," said Alaire. "Prima, go upstairs!"
Prima ran out of the room. Alaire showed her to the front door in a most stiff and cold manner.
When Daphne woke up the next day, it all seemed so unreal, but nonetheless she packed a bag. She was not about to move all my things out of her flat just yet, but Daphne was very excited about going to live with Prima. It was odd, but she guessed that's what you call falling head first in love. When she arrived by the bus that afternoon, everything looked completely different, from the gate to the yard. She could see why this place seemed sinister in the dark, but in the sunlight it was transformed. While she walked down the narrow road from the gate, she noticed that the trees along the road were booming with lilacs. They almost created a ceiling above her and the sweet scent made her dreamy. The mansion looked peaceful and behind it she could see a huge garden with green grass, roses and fruit trees.
She calmly knocked upon the door. The girl, who opened, was unfamiliar to Daphne.
"Hi," she said. "I'm Tertia. I heard you were coming. This way, please."
Daphne followed her up the staircase in the hall. She couldn't help but notice Tertia's beautiful shape as Daphne walked behind her. There was something fairy-like about this girl. She had shoulder long ash blond hair, big blue eyes and a few freckles.
"Again with the porcelain skin," thought Daphne. "I'm really starting to like that."
Daphne almost flipped backwards when a girl, who was seemingly identical to Tertia, came skipping down the stairs. They were even dressed almost identically in long white dresses which made them look younger than they were. Tertia had a bright red satin band around her waist, where the other girl had a yellow.
"Oh," said Tertia. "This is my sister Secunda."
Secunda nodded at Daphne and hurried on. Tertia took Daphne down a hallway.
"This is our hall," Tertia explained. "The first room is mine. The one across is Secunda's. The next one there is Prima's. You are going to have the one across from hers. It used to be for storage, but we cleared it out for you last night. I'm sure it will be better, when you get your things here."
"There are a lot of rooms here," said Daphne. "In fact, I didn't realise the house was this big."
"No, we have a lot of empty rooms. So there is plenty of room for you. You can visit Secunda and me if you want to. Just come over and knock. Oh, but the room to the right of Prima's is Livia's. Don't bother her."
"Who is she?" asked Daphne.
"Well, she is uncle's real daughter."
"And you are not?" Daphne asked.
"No, but Prima is his real niece. Secunda and I are adopted, just like you, Quarta."
"What? Hey, I'm not adopted by anyone. And my name is not Quarta. It's Daphne."
"No, it's not. You're silly. I like you," said Tertia as she opened the door to Daphne's room.
The room was bare with dark red walls. There was a chair, a table with a candle and a metal, hospital-like bed with white bedding. Daphne put her bag on the bed.
"I can't be adopted, Tertia. I'm nineteen."
"Well, then you'll be the oldest here. Prima is eighteen. Secunda and I are seventeen, well Secunda is a few minutes older than me and Livia is sixteen. Don't worry.. Uncle and Auntie will be home in an hour. You can get settled meanwhile. I put out some clothes for you. You should see if they fit. I'm sure you'll fit right in with us."
"I'm sure, I will," said Daphne.
Tertia nodded and closed the door. Daphne directed her attention to the pile of clothes on the table. She shook her head as she went through them. There was a white dress, just like the one she had seen on Secunda and Tertia, only this one had a bright blue satin band.
"Baby-blue," she thought and couldn't help but giggle, as she thought of the satin bra in her bag. The one she would wear for Prima's eyes only. There was a schoolgirl-like grey dress, white shirts and knee high socks. Everything in the pile seemed like larger versions of child clothing. She selected the grey dress, a pair of the socks and found several pairs of flat, black ballarina shoes under the bed. Amazingly, it all fit her.
"How on earth did they guess my shoe size?" she thought. The hour seemed to quickly pass. Daphne spent the time thinking about why she was there. Somehow it made sense to her that she should be. There was something chilling about the place, but also something very beautiful.
When the clock on her phone showed that the hour nearly had passed, she got up. She knew in her heart that if she was to fulfil her dreams of love and desire she had to become Quarta. She walked to the mirror at the back wall.
She smiled and curtseyed clumsily. She then reached out her hand and said, "Hi, my name is Quarta."
As she got ready to go downstairs, she thought of Prima. She decided that she would see her love that night and that she would be with her every night from then on. She thought about the pretty twins. Had Tertia not said that she could always come knocking?
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<a href="https://www.lushstories.com/stories/love-stories/maison-des-lilas-2.aspx">Maison Des Lilas 2</a>