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Feb 28, 2021 12:50 AM
Henry in the Victorian Mansion CYOA
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Gabe went back to talk to his mom. So he can grab a few things, hopefully she will convince him to stay with her, so only one of them will be homeless. Regardless, he finds himself alone at the Jace's residence, figuring out what to do next. Denis' parents didn't ask too many questions, but that was almost entirely because they had been too busy to during the day, and tonight they had a party to attend. Taking Denis and his younger siblings.

The entire time, the entire family had been looking at Henry with a sort of scared look of someone whose home had been invaded, and it had. Henry had no business being here, bringing Gabe along. Henry couldn't blame anyone but himself for letting himself and Gabe being caught by Aunt Rose. He definitely didn't have any business with letting Gabe kick himself out of his home because of Henry. But... he was too weak.

None of this shows Henry what to do next.

He cleans Denis' room and the kitchen. But he decides against cleaning the other bedrooms, the Jaces didn't ask for their privacy to be broken.

The doorbell rings, and Henry opens the door upon seeing the elderly lady on the other side.

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The woman identifies herself as Auntie Vicky and asks if the Jaces are at home. She claims to want to talk to her nephew.

These statements are not strictly connected but there is no reason to suspect a kind old lady with such a disarming smile.

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There really isn't. Henry explains the situation. He doesn't know when the Jaces will be back. But lets her in so she can wait for them.

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Isn't he a sweet young man. "Would you mind making me some tea and keep me company for a little while?"

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Not at all.

He asks her to just wait, while he fires up the kettle. He will be back in a minute.

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Once he is away from her... he blinks, there is something wrong... what could possible wrong?

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Huh...

...in the other room, the old lady notices the sudden raise of concern upon the young's man face. This at least confirms what she suspected.

She reaches for her necklaces and quietly whispers a few words to herself.

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Henry just stands still. It's like having something in the tip of your tongue...

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She will continue doing this with a bit more vigor, which isn't at her age. But he is untrained. She will win...

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Henry blinks. He finds himself back into the room, serving tea to the... Auntie Vicky. He must have zoned out. Yeah, makes sense. He puts on a smile.

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She pulls out a handkerchief to wipe away some sweat from her forehead. And accepts the tea with a smile. Now she is curious what a young man like himself is doing all own his own in the Jaces' residence? Maybe he is involved with the charming young man in the house?

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Henry quickly answers that they are just friends... and then blurts out that they do have sex with each other.

He covers his mouth.

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It's okay, she is old, but not that old. He can tell her everything.

Everything.

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Well, see he was raised by his aunt who divorced her uncle because the uncle used to beat Henry. So his Aunt Rose had to raise Henry and her own son Gabe by herself, with little to no skill, all because of Henry. But despite effectively growing up as brothers Henry got involved with Gabe. Rose found out and kicked Henry out. Gabe followed after him, and now the two are effectively homeless, and they don't know what to do next. Henry knows he should keep Gabe with his mother, but he is scared of facing things by himself. The Jaces are nice enough to put up with two random teenagers spending the night, but they definitely can't stay for the long term and-

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She... raises a hand to quiet him down, and turns the movement into a pat on his back.

"Hold on," the old lady says. "I have a proposition for you. My family has an old house here in the city," she says. "No one's lived there for quite a number of years, decades really, and it's dirty and full of old junk. Would you be interested in clearing it out and cleaning it up for us?"

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"That would be amazing."

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She smiles. And they discuss the terms. Room and board, a thousand dollars per week for however long it takes, three meals a day, and Henry can sleep in the house.

They negotiate, or rather, the old lady needs to say she is fine with those terms. Really. He can take the thousand dollars a week. The place is really that much in need of a clean.

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He accepts. And asks if it's okay for him to see Gabe outside the house.

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Of course, of course. She accepts immediately and excuses herself, it's getting late.

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Makes sense. He sees her out.

He cleans things up and thinks about making a note to leave for Gabe or Denis. But suddenly feels very tired... Gabe will probably stay overnight with his mom... yeah, he can just take a nap.

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He blinks and discovers that it's early in the next morning. Gabe... is not around. Is the first thing he notices.

The second thing he notices is that the doorbell is ringing. And apparently the rest of the house is sound asleep. So he gets up from the couch and answers it.

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It's Auntie Vicky with (presumably) her husband. They came to take him to the house.

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Oh, right. He supposes there is no reason to not go now, so he gets in the car. Belatedly, he realizes he should've left a note or something.

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That won't be a problem.

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No? How come? He really should give some warning, at least something for Gabe...

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She touches her necklace and insists that there is no reason to worry.

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