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“Got the morbs” was Victorian slang for a temporary melancholia — Dante
In a panic sort of reaction, she shut the door but neglected to make sure she was on the other side of it.
the thrill of the chase moves in mysterious ways

Dashing Through The Snow
December 28, 1891 — Selwyn Grounds
The Christmas holidays would be over in just a few days but some festivities were still ongoing. Aristide was still unsure of what he wanted to do for New Years Eve. There was a party that he would be going to with Adrienne that was being hosted by Camilla Prewett. That was all well and good but he also wanted to slip off to spend the last moments of the New Year with Asa who lived in London. The opportunity would be there since the Destiny Hotel was already in London.

He had coerced Adrienne into going riding with him as he wanted to get his mind off things. But the wintry air and ease the twins both tended to ride with only served to allow his mind to keep wandering to the same troubles. He slowed his steed as he turned to look over at his twin.

"Adrienne, have you ever wandered what love might feel like?" He asked. After all, who else could he ask these kinds of questions? It wasn't like he could ask Asa. Well, perhaps he could but that would potentially open Pandora's box and he didn't know if he was quite ready for that.
@Adrienne Selwyn / @Tilda MacFusty

All bundled up and outside yet again. Adrienne wouldn't have minded too much, if she hadn't just been outside strolling around with Uncle Trystan yesterday. The subject of their conversation had stayed with her for quite some time, and she found herself feeling a bit more pensive than usual. So much so, in fact that she hadn't much felt like going for a ride when Aristide had asked her to. Of course, in the end, he'd persuaded her, but she felt rather adrift as the stablehand was tacking up the horse. Even mounting had seemed like she was moving through a fog.

So, when her brother asked her a question, Adrienne didn't respond at first, her gaze fixed at the point between her horse's two ears. But it ended up being the horse who inadvertently alerted Adrienne she'd been asked a question, because the horse's ear gave an involuntary flick towards Aristide and the witch's head jerked up, her gaze refocusing on her brother. "Hmm?" She asked vaguely, now fully meeting his gaze. "I'm sorry, I was miles away. What did you say?" But even as she asked the question quickly, an apologetic expression sliding onto her features, she registered what he'd asked, and her mouth popped open in a slight 'o' of surprise. "Ah!" She exclaimed. "Love..."

Merde what was she supposed to say to that?

"I don't know if I've wondered about that." she admitted, slightly uneasy. It wasn't as if she could fantasize about the man she was going to marry if she didn't have a say in who it was. Aristide seemed to have more control over that - at least he had a few more years; maybe even longer if he wanted to become a Gentleman of Leisure (as if that wasn't his unofficial title already). "What do you think it feels like?" Adrienne returned, her interest now piqued.

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Aristide looked at his sister in mild concern. She really did seem a million miles away as she said herself - but then again, he had been much the same for the past couple of months. He was sure that whatever it was that had her head in the clouds would be relayed to him when she was ready.

His cheeks flushed as Adrienne asked him what he thought it felt like. The answer bubbled up all too easily for him and he couldn't quite meet his twins eyes. How would she feel if she ever knew just who these thoughts and feelings were caused by?

"I think it feels like that persons always the most beautiful person in existence. The sun hits their hair or their eyes and your breath is stolen from you," Aristide said, his mind very much all too easily conjuring the image of Asa Scabior gazing out the window of the train when they had been stranded. "I think it feels like whenever they turn to look at you, nothing else in the universe matters. And you just see everything about them that is wonderful even if they seem to not even see it themselves. That you would know them, even in another life."
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   Adrienne Selwyn

The answer came to her, quick as champagne bubbles spurting forth from a bottle, and Adrienne could only blink as she watched her twin's expression glaze over slightly as he spoke. In fact, she herself found herself slightly mesmerized. Ari had always been an artist, a poet and focused on his music, so it shouldn't have been a surprise to Adrienne that he'd managed to think of something so stunning and picturesque that it might have been unreachable. That you would know them, even in another life...

Is that what love felt like? What she should be searching for? Despite the fact she hadn't been the one talking, Adrienne still fell silent. This was one of the few times that it felt like she and Ari were...out of synchronization. She always felt she was able to tell exactly what he was feeling, what he was thinking, and perhaps it had been her conversation with Uncle Trystan yesterday, but she only felt perplexed at his description.

It made her feel things, sure, but she had never thought of love presenting itself in such a miraculous way. Perhaps it was because she didn't want to expose herself to such feelings given that she'd expected to marry well and that so rarely seemed to begin with love — so why open herself to disappointment?

"That was very beautiful," She commented quietly, focusing on the reins in her hand before she turned to look at Ari again. "Do you think you'll ever feel something like that?" And yet, even though she felt disconnected to him, she somehow felt that this hadn't entirely come from his imagination. No, it felt so much more...emotional than that.

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Aristide thought for as moment as Adrienne asked if he thought he would ever feel something like what he had described. For once in their young, mostly shared life, he wasn't sure just how much he should be sharing with his twin. The thought of Adrienne looking at him with any sort of disgust was more than he could bare.

"Probably. Who knows? Perhaps I am just being fanciful again," was all he said in the end though he didn't quite meet her eyes and his fingers fidgeted with the reins in his hands like he usually did when he was trying to hide something from her.

Fanciful. Adrienne's attention was fully on her twin now. It was rare that they ever tried to hide things from each other, but Ari was, and she could smell it clear as day on him. If she had any doubts about that, her eyes flickered down to his hands to see —

Whenever he was nervous or avoiding something, he fiddled with whatever was in his hands be it a paintbrush, his lyre, or in this instant, the reins of his horse. Her eyes narrowed slightly. It was so unlike him to hide something from her, yet he never usually did unless it was something deeply personal.

For a few moments Adrienne grappled with wanting to push Ari for answers, but their discussion had just been about love. Was this what Ari was like when he fell in love? She had noticed him being a bit more head-in-the-clouds lately but even with Ari it was hard to tell sometimes. "Ari," She started, still loosely holding her reins so they would keep walking forward. "Ari what aren't you telling me?"

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Aristide honestly didn't know what to say to his twin. He liked to think that she would accept him just as he was. But there was never any way to be one hundred percent sure about anyone. Not even your most trusted companion who had been by your side since literal birth. 

"I don't know if I am ready for you to know. I don't know if I will ever be ready."

There was something in Aristide's voice that garnered a spur-of-the-moment reaction from Adrienne. She tensed, her hand jerking involuntarily on the reins and the horse suddenly stepped sideways in response to the confusion signal she'd just given it. "Woah," She murmured to her ride, reaching forward to press a gloved hand on the beast's neck in attempt to step back on their path. But even though she hadn't fully gotten control of the horse again, Adrienne's attention went back to her brother's, her mouth slightly agape. "Ready?" She echoed, blinking as she searched for what possible meaning could come along with that.

But even as she searched for a possible answer, there was a pit of disappointment that had opened in her stomach. There had always been a fear buried deep inside her that one day they would be torn apart; not just physically, as she had always suspected would happen when she got married, but mentally pushed apart. By what, Adrienne couldn't fathom, but that didn't mean the fear wasn't there.

"Ready how?" Adrienne stared at him, wishing they weren't separated by horses so she might reach out a hand to touch his shoulder. But instead, her hands gripped the reins tightly as she fought the urge to swallow.

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