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Tales of an All-Purpose Person {History}

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[OOC: This is Nathaniel Niklaus's history thread. =) Enjoy.]


Chapter 1: Smack My Witch Up

The manor was quiet. It was late into the evening, somewhere past ten o' clock, so most of the residents had gone to bed. Only one person was still awake.
Nathaniel was seated on the sofa in the living room, reading a thick, leather bound book under the light of one lamp. Not far away, the fire was still burning in the fireplace. The flames created flickering shadows on the walls. But the young man was completely oblivious.
His deep blue eyes scanned quickly through the pages of his book while his mind collected the information that it had to offer him. He was dressed for bed, though he seemed unable to detach himself from the book, as if it had cast a spell on him with its contents.
The doorbell rang. Nathaniel at last looked up, blinking the weariness from his eyes as he stared at the front door.
“Who in the world could it be at this hour?” he pondered, setting the book aside before standing.
He padded softly across the living room to stand in front of the door, carefully but quickly unlocking it. Afterward, he opened it a little, just enough to see who was on the other side. His eyes widened in surprise.
There stood a woman on his porch. She was petite, but had a striking appearance. Her hair was a dark auburn red, nearly the color of freshly drawn blood, as if her head had started bleeding and the blood had magically materialized into long straight hair. But despite her lovely hair, her eyes were a very plain brown that didn't seem to match the rest of her. She was dressed quite conservatively, in a black skirt business suit. She smiled at him.
“Good evening,” she said, offering him her small delicate hand. “My name is Luaia, and I'm here to hire you.”
Nathaniel blinked, looking down at her hand before finally taking it in a firm, but not hard, handshake. When he released her hand, he stared up at her with a puzzled expression. “Hire me?” he inquired, making sure that he had heard her correctly.
“Well, of course. You are an APP, aren't you?” Luaia said, smiling at him. “An all-purpose-person who can be hired for any task and depending upon the nature of the task, you decide how much of a payment you'd like?”
“Oh! Oh, yes, that's right! I'm sorry, Miss Luaia, I seem to have forgotten myself given the late hour and too much reading,” he said, laughing nervously near the end. “Would you like to come in for a cup of tea? We can discuss the task you're hiring me for.” Nathaniel smiled, stepping aside and holding the door open so that she could enter.
Luaia stepped inside, and he led her into the living room. After making a fresh pot of tea and serving it on the table, Nathaniel sat down across from her, gratefully sipping from his own cup. 'At least with this, I'm not likely to fall asleep while she's talking. Hooray for tea.'
“Now then,” Luaia began, after setting her cup back down on the table, “this isn't the typical request, I assume, but then again, I don't think anything handed to you is exactly typical since you do pretty much anything. Anyway, I would like to hire you to be my escort, my date, to a ball this Saturday evening. How does that sound?”
Nathaniel's expression went utterly blank. It looked as if he had shut down, but he was merely thinking, mulling over the request in his mind. He closed his deep blue eyes and continued to ponder on it.
'I certainly wasn't expecting this. A date? Is that too personal for a client? Or is that cutting it close to whore for hire? No, no, that's a bit too far over the top. Oh, hell, what should I do?'
At last, the young man opened his eyes and offered the lady his best smile; a smile that reached his eyes. “Your request is accepted. I shall escort you to the ball on Saturday evening, Miss Luaia.”
“I'm so glad to hear that.” Luaia returned a smile of her own, carefully bringing her cup up to her lips to finish what remained of her tea. “Well then, Nathaniel, I shall see you on Saturday. Oh, and thank you very much for agreeing to this.”
“You're welcome,” Nathaniel answered, nodding softly before smiling once more.

Saturday came, and Nathaniel had done his best to dress accordingly for a ball. He was wearing a rented black tux, polished black shoes, and his long blue hair had been combed and tied back in a neat ponytail, leaving only his wispy bangs free to hang near his eyes. He was just looking himself over in the mirror when the doorbell rang.
He smiled, going to answer it.
Again, Luaia stood on his porch, only this time she was wearing an exceptionally elegant black dress that made her red hair seem all the more vibrant and striking. She smiled at him. “I'm impressed. You look good,” she said.
“As do you, Miss Luaia,” Nathaniel nodded, smiling.
“Oh, dear, call me Luaia. After all, we are attending the ball together. Mustn't be so formal with your date,” the woman corrected him, laughing softly.
“Ah, yes, you're right,” he said, laughing with her.
“Now, come along. The limousine is waiting,” she smiled, carefully slipping her arm through his, resting her hand over his as well.
Nathaniel returned her smile, stepping out with her and closing the door behind him. He walked with his back straight, confidence brimming, with her toward their ride.

Upon arriving at the ball, he helped her out of the limousine and walked hand in hand with her inside. The inside of the building was decorated lavishly, lots of pearl white, with plenty of flowers; roses of red and white and blue. There was an extremely long line of tables lining one of the walls, its surface covered in dozens and dozens of plates of food. Several smaller round tables littered the hall in various places. There was even a designated area for dancing. But what interested Nathaniel the most was that all of the other guests had dressed in black as well.
'That's odd. I mean, it would be normal for the men, but the girls usually like to have a variety of colors for their dresses. Could it be the requested attire for this ball?' he thought, looking around.
“What do you think, Nathaniel? Nice, isn't it?” Luaia inquired, smiling at him.
“Yeah,” he answered, perhaps a bit too quickly. “I mean, the decorations are lovely and everything looks great. Can I get you anything, Luaia?”
“Well, since you asked, would you like to dance with me?”
Nathaniel felt himself blush a strong red across his face. He had been taught how to dance for this particular occasion of course, but this was the first time he was going to dance not with a teacher but with another young woman. After a fleeting moment of nervousness, he answered in a calm tone, “Yes.”
She smiled at him, walking over to the dancing area. The band on stage was playing soft, gentle music, the kind meant for slow dancing.
Nathaniel took a deep, calming breath before carefully taking one of Luaia's hands in his own and resting his other one on her waist just above her hip. She giggled softly, happy to take his hand. They exchanged one more smile and started to dance, moving and turning gently across the floor.
“Nathaniel, dear, do you want to know why I hired you instead of going to a professional escort service?” Luaia looked up at him, smiling.
“I was a tad curious, but I thought it might be rude to ask for your reasons. However, now that you're offering, please, I'd like to hear it,” he answered, trying not to sound overly anxious.
“When I came across your article in the local newspaper, I decided to look up your website on-line. That's where I saw your picture. You're a charming, handsome man. So much so that I was smitten with you at first sight. I love you, Nathaniel, and I would like for us to date again.”
Nathaniel froze, causing Luaia to come to an abrupt stop with him. The other couples who were also dancing were forced to move around them, with much bumping and near falls that were narrowly avoided. But he payed them all no mind. He was trying to untangle his emotions. On the one hand, it was nice to have an admirer. But on the other hand, he didn't even know the woman and he certainly had no intention of entering into a real relationship with her, especially since she was only supposed to be a paying client. He swallowed hard, finally releasing Luaia and taking a step back from her.
“You're very kind, but no,” he said, shaking his head once. “I'm sorry, but I don't feel the same. Perhaps you should have gone to an escort service after all. Have a good evening, Miss Luaia.” With that said, he started to walk off of the dance floor.
“I don't think so,” Luaia hissed, reaching into the front of her dress to draw out a small wooden wand. “If you don't love me, then I'll make you love me.”
“I rather doubt that,” Nathaniel shot back, turning around to look at her. His eyes grew wide. “Oh, hell. You're a witch!?”
“That's right,” Luaia grinned, holding her wand at the ready.
“I should have noticed earlier. Wearing all black, no date to go to the ball with. It all makes sense now,” he said, keeping his eyes on her in case she decided to cast a spell at him.
“Why, you little... You will be mine!” Luaia uttered the brief incantation for a spell and a bolt of bright pink energy erupted from the end of her wand in his direction.
Nathaniel practically threw himself to the side, rolling along the floor in order to dodge it. He was absolutely sure that he didn't want to be hit by it, whatever it might have been. After rolling once or twice, he managed to jump back to his feet, but he didn't stay still. He weaved and dodged in and around tables and other guests while keeping an eye on Luaia's movements.
By this time, all of the other people who were attending, and he assumed them to be witches and wizards as well, had started screaming and running for cover in the same manner that he was. Apparently, using magic at this event was not allowed and Luaia had decided to break that rule for her own personal gain.
'I'm guessing none of them even brought their wands tonight. If they had, surely at least one of them would have stepped in to help me or bring that psychotic woman under control,' he thought, finally reaching the line of dinner tables against the far wall. He needed some sort of shield, and he had an idea for one.
Nathaniel ran along the table until he spotted a large silver platter underneath a large cooked turkey. Normally, he wouldn't have approved of wasting food, but this was an emergency where he was willing to make an exception. He picked up the platter and dumped the bird onto the floor, turning it into a shield as fast as his hands could move.
Fortunately, he had done so just in time. Luaia had fired another pink spell at him in that same moment. The spell bounced against the platter's surface and came back at her, hitting her in the waist. She staggered a bit, but remained standing. She turned her brown eyes up and for a moment, stared at the platter as if she were fascinated with it.
'What in the world?' Nathaniel stayed still, carefully observing. For now, he was simply grateful that she didn't try and attack again. If anything, she seemed to be content just staring at her reflection in the platter's silvery surface.
“Uh oh,” came a voice from the crowd that had gathered near the doors.
“What? What is it? What's happened to her?” he asked, looking at them, his expression one of confusion and caution. He didn't entirely trust the rest of them not to attack him.
“The poor dear has gone and bewitched herself,” the woman answered, slowly coming over to tend to Luaia. “She was trying to cast a love spell on you and you deflected it back at her. When she looked up, she saw herself and well... now she's the very definition of a narcissist.”
“Um... yeah, sorry about that, but I didn't really want her to cast it on me. This happened against my will so...” Nathaniel stammered, blushing in embarrassment.
“It's all right, dear, we'll take care of her and clean up here. You can go ahead and go home,” the woman said, offering him her most sincere and apologetic smile.
“Right. Thanks. I think I will. Sorry about all the trouble,” he said, setting the platter down on a table as he carefully made his way to the exit.

A week later, the witch's Inner Circle had removed the love spell that Luaia had cast on herself, but they had also temporarily confiscated her wand for attempting to bewitch an unwilling young man.
Nathaniel was back home, reading his book, content to pretend that the whole thing had never happened. If anything, all the experience had done was lessen his trust of the more feminine gender as a whole.
But now he knew what to look for, should he ever come in contact with a witch again, and that was really all that mattered for the all-purpose-person.

Chapter 1 End


[OOC: This chapter has already been graded.]
 
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