"My you entered in such a hurry, I was so shocked." The woman said smiling beautifully. Well, everything she did she did beautifully. It was all Sam could do to keep from staring at her outright, jaw somewhere around her shoes. She'd heard of them before, but seeing a real seraph right in front of her... they weren't kidding then they said Tipperton was someplace else.
Long straight hair looking so marvelously soft and silken that only the awe you felt kept you from running your hands through it fell behind the woman to her knees where about three inches from the end it was held together with a simple white scrunchie. They shown like gold and seemed to not have a hair out of place yet at the same time look so casual and natural. Everything about the girl seemed carefree and yet perfect. Her beautifully tanned skin, those crystalline blue eyes that shown with kindness and friendship that even Sam and her distrust of others couldn't help but fall for. The woman was just so purely... good.
But that was what seraphs were supposed to be like. Usually they kept themselves hidden and just helped and tried to inspire humanity to be good people. If there was one race which was as a whole completely good it was seraphs. Looking at this one though Sam couldn't help but wonder at how well they managed the staying hidden part, even without the huge feathery white wings behind her and the halo like aura projection over the woman’s head there was no denying she was angelic. Delicate facial lines with thin arched brows, high cheekbones, and full lips she was the ideal beauty. There was even this faint scent Sam swore was coming off her which just made her feel like all the bad things in life weren't that bad and there was hope and beauty. Everything about this woman just soothed Sam's spirit and made her feel better.
"I have to say your coming here is something surprising in itself, and not just your entrance just now." The woman said scanning a piece of paper in her hand and then looking at Sam with sincere concern and in her eyes. "Samantha-"
"Sam." Sam automatically corrected finally able to speak.
"Sam." The woman acknowledged. "Are you sure you want to come here? I think that there could be other options for you at this point. Ours is a rather, extreme, option and I don't want you to come to regret it." The seraph was worried for her. Well made sense, Sam was worried for herself too. In fact she was terrified for herself. But she knew she had to do this.
"I will regret it much more if I leave now." Sam said resolutely and the seraph considered her for a moment then smiled.
"Alright then Sam, you're all set. I'm Charmeine, I'm one of the staff and tutors here. If you ever have any concerns or questions please feel free to contact me or any of the other staff here. After all we’re here to help in any way we can. Some of us do specialize more in one area or another though so it might be useful to check out the staff directory when you are all finished unpacking. You’ll find it and a variety of other useful information in this packet here.” Charmeine said handing her a thick folder full of papers. A few though were laying on the top along with a pen. “You’ll also need to sign these liability forms if you want to stay here.”
Scanning the form Sam felt her knees tremble a little. The general gist was pretty much that the Tipperton estates would not be held responsible for any accidents and harm that came to the one signing the paper. Pretty standard liability form except for the extensive list of examples of what might happen. Exploding, being turned to stone, random decapitation, having your eyes melt, partial transformations into an animal, spontaneous combustion, sudden disappearance of organs, being eaten alive or dead. It really drove home what she was doing and how dangerous this place was.
Sure the seraph was sweet and supportive, but she was a staff member. It wasn’t the staff that had gotten Tipperton the reputation of being absolutely terrifying. It was the residents. Tipperton provided a valuable service to the magical community. Sometimes some people just couldn’t blend in with the normal world, they could go here. The problem was that those reasons they couldn’t blend were also the reasons why they were extremely dangerous. Sure the problem could be as small as having trouble with your glamor abilities so unable to hide the fact that you were a 10 foot troll with green skin and tusks, but the problem could also be you couldn’t control any of your powers and had a tendency to randomly shoot lighting whenever you sneezed and only hope you didn’t sneeze on anyone you cared about by accident. So since Tipperton’s purpose was to help people like that, there were quite a few cases of accidents causing serious harm and even deaths from what Sam had heard.
She’d also though heard about that there was an even darker side of story. Tipperton took in people that couldn’t blend with the normal humans, including those that didn’t blend because they didn’t want to. They could control their power and intentionally cause chaos and death with it. These people obviously weren’t the voluntary residents of Tipperton like Sam, but forced into this side pocket of reality in order to keep them from causing any more harm, except maybe to the people already in Tipperton. That was the real reason Sam was so very terrified of this place. Since she was a kid stories about people locked up in this place were used to scare her into obedience or whispered among peers in the magical community as horror stories.
“Miss Charmeine…” Sam started hesitantly feeling queasy just thinking about it. “Are, I mean um, how extreme is this place going to be? Really?” She asked hoping this person who she already felt very trusting toward and made her feel safe would say they were all just stories blown out of proportion, tall tales meant to scare friends.
“Well it’s actually fairly relaxed. You have pretty much full run of the place, there’s no scheduled appointments or classes unless you set one up yourself with a staff member. You can stay as long as you like, but you can’t leave Tipperton unless you prove that you overcame the problem that brought you here in the first place to the staff who will sign your release papers once satisfied. Other than the restriction on leaving though you are pretty free to do what you want with yourself and your time.” Charmeine said explaining the program in broad strokes. She frowned though and looked at Sam’s face before continuing.
“But I don’t think that’s what you’re asking about. I’m sure you’ve heard stories Sam, and I won’t lie while some of them may be made up, I’m not familiar with everything people say about this place these days, quite a lot are based in real truth. We do have some… unstable elements here who have hurt a lot of people and would have no problem hurting more. Of course they are much more strictly watched than you and others who come here to learn and improve themselves are. Still depending on their reasons for being sent here some of them will be wandering around just as you are, learning and improving themselves as well. After all Tipperton’s goal isn’t to confine people but to help them, they just need different kind of help from the kind you came here for. And no, I won’t tell you who was forced to come here and who came here on their own because everyone’s information is strictly confidential. But while the stories may be grounded in truth, they are as common as you are probably imagining. The things listed on that form aren’t happening every week, and the staff will be looking out for you as much as we can. So don’t be so scared alright?” Charmine said reaching over to place a hand comfortingly on Sam’s shoulder. Even though the fabric of her dull green t-shirt Charmeine’s skin felt luxiously soft and though contact was minimal to Sam it was all of a sudden like she was a little girl being hugged by her mom only a million times more comforting and soothing. It gave her some courage and she signed the paper and handed it back to Charmeine who slipped it into her own much thinner folder which held Sam’s information.
“Now then, let’s get you settled in. I’ll take your bags for you if you like.” Charmeine offered but Sam shook her head and grabbed it herself. Not that she didn’t trust the woman, she just didn’t want to separate from her things. Paranoia was kind of her thing. “Alright then, come this way.”
The seraph lead her from the small office like set up that had been set up near the front door, obviously only for greeting new arrivals since it lacked the resources of a real office. Just a chair, desk, some papers which looked to be additional copies of the same orientation package Sam had received, and a calendar. No doubt the real faculty lounge or staff offices was elsewhere, probably marked on a map inside the heavy folder Sam had in one hand while the other held her overstuffed duffel bag. That combined with the backpack she had on were all she'd brought with her after careful consideration. Neither of which were searched like she thought they might, after all this place was almost like an insane asylum right? It seemed they were pretty serious about privacy here which Sam could appreciate to a degree.
When she had first come in and slammed the door behind her she'd found herself in an ornate and gorgeous entrance hall with stately stone arches all along the walls leading no doubt to other parts of the huge mansion. Charmeine had been sitting at a table in the center of that room, obviously waiting for her the new arrival. Now she guided her straight through to the back of the entrance hall and to the door in the archway in the back. "Before we head to your room though we'll need to stop at the clinic for a brief examination and drop off your medical records."
"Okay." Sam replied in a small voice. Going inside revealed a small but clean clinic. Though it was unlike any doctor's office Sam had seen before. It lacked the standard posters about various health tips or pictures of calming things that seemed to be a part of any doctor's decorating tastes. It also was obviously renovated from some other purpose into it's current use and so still had the resplendent architecture of the stately mansion rather than the white wash sterile feel of a hospital's. The room also seemed to have been previously several rooms. From the wall they entered from there were a few tall, narrow windows looking out behind the mansion, and to the right two doorways, doors removed so that you could see in to a row of beds and more windows. Between these doorways a large fireplace, again reminding Sam of the age and history of the mansion. This room's furnishing though was mostly file cabinets and shelves full of books and strange objects but one large desk across from the second room drew attention. The top of the desk was absent anything, except the feet of the man sitting in the chair in front of it.
He was in the clinic, sitting at the doctor's desk yet Sam really couldn't believe he might be the doctor. The fact that he looked like he was in his twenties wasn't what threw her off, members of the magical community had learned never to judge age by looks since so many of the races defied human standards when it came to lifespans and progression of aging. No, it was more the fact that his shirt was completely unbuttoned and hanging open to reveal a darkly tanned colored chest covered in what had to be either a very serious skin condition, or hickies. His belt was undone on his pants but at least that the fly was zipped. What was probably his white doctor's coat was tossed over his face and he seemed to be sound asleep. He looked more like he'd come back from a night on the town rather than being a doctor ready to help people.
"Dr. Sallos Sitri." Charmeine said in a stern voice, whether chastising the sleeping doctor or introducing Sam to him was unclear. It certainly woke the man up though. He lazily moved an arm up to pull off the coat covering his face and then looked at the pair of them. His eyes as you would expect from his skin tone were a dark brown, rich and inviting behind long lashes. His model like face had slight stubble along the jaw furthering his rather unkempt appearance. His hair was cropped short but still managed to be messy so matched the rest of him. His messiness though only seemed to enhance his physical appeal, which between the face and the well defined and tone chest was already pretty high. He seemed to be ethnically a mix of Indian and Hispanic taking all the best traits associated with both in regards to looks. He smirked up at the two of them and it just about made her knees week and she didn't even like older guys. His looks though did not impress Charmeine. "These are Sam's papers, you needed to examine her before she heads to her room?"
"Aaaaah, right. Well then let's take a look then." He swung his long legs off the desk finally but completely ignored his still exposed chest and Sam wished she could do the same. Everything about him just seemed to scream sex right into Sam's ears letting her identify his species pretty easily. Incubus. Definitely had to be an incubus.
Unlike humans beauty was often a racial trait among magical races. Seraphs were known for being beautiful and inspired instant feelings of trust and comfort in others. Incubus were beautiful too, but inspired a lot more carnal sensations. It was some of the ways Sam had been taught to identify people since knowing what you were approaching could be of great assistance in known how to approach. Sam had studied up extra hard before heading here since after all this was the first time in her life she'd been around so many people from 'her' world rather than the human world. What had before just been interesting things to know now might be a very important life skill.
"Sam" Both her and Charmeine corrected at the same time and the doctor raised an eyebrow but then returned his attention to her file.
"Right so then you're a ... an elf? Hmmm." His eyes ran over her in a way that felt far from professional. What he saw besides her lithe frame with long gangly limbs and little feminine curves, pixie like face all points and angles, and her thick pale brown hair that hid the pointed ears which her the universal indentifier of her kind that made him suddenly smile with a sparkle in his eyes Sam had no idea. She was lovely in her own right, her kind always were though too thin and sharp edges for traditional beauty and certainly not traditional sexy. "Well then Miss Coldwell welcome to our mad house."
With that he took her hand and brought it to his lips. Before she could squawk and pull it away she felt a sharp prick and realized in horror he'd bitten her.
"Mr. Sitri!" Charmeine said startled and grabbed Sam's hand from the incubus, rubbing her thumb lightly over the bite. His teeth had broken skin and the small puncture bled freely. Sam watched though fascinated though as the wound closed under the seraph's touch. She felt some irony that the doctor caused her wound and the office lady was the one healing it. "I don't think that was appropriate at all!" Charmeine continued to chastise the doctor as she let go of Sam's and, finally giving her back her personal space.
"Oh come off it. She knew what was coming, you told her she'd be getting a check up after all." Dr. Sitri replied apathetically running a rather long tongue over his teeth, especially the particularly sharp looking canines. She was shocked to see that wasn't the only change. It seemed he dropped his human form, now right along his hair line two small horns poked out just a little higher than his hair, the hickies on his chest all disappeared and poking above his pants was a long flexible tail that swung lazily back and forth. It shocked Sam to see, growing up in the normal world she rarely saw people in their true forms. But she guessed here it didn't matter who saw.
"She wasn't told it would be that kind of an 'examination'. I hadn't been told." Charmeine answered hotly.
"Well of course, if I'd told you you would have stopped me. A blood tasting was the fastest way to do that."
"And blood is frequently used to exert control over others. No one would feel comfortable having their blood taken by a stranger without consent! That was highly unethical!"
"Oh now come on, you know I'd never resort to blood binding to get a person to do what I want. I prefer to use my looks for that. But if you really want to have a proper examination then how about you turn around back out that door angel and I'll have the play doctor with the patient. First you'll need to remove your shirt, while I get my stethoscope." The words were so playful yet seductive.
"I think there's hardly a point for that anymore considering you've already tasted her blood. And I've told you before to stop calling me that." Though obvious dead ringers for the normal world's concepts and ideas of angels, seraphs Sam had been told disliked being directly addressed as such to their faces. Maybe because since they were just a species of sentient being rather than any kind of heavenly messenger from god it felt like a lie to them? Seemed though what Sam had been told was true from Charmeine's reaction.
"Well let's just hear what our new resident has to say. Maybe she'd like a more thorough examination?" Suddenly attention was back on her making Sam nervous and scared.
"I think I'd just like to go now." She managed to spit out and the adults seemed to have their riled up emotions deflate, Charmeine's righteous anger and Dr. Sitri's playful flirtation. "If everything checked out that is."
"Mmhm, perfect health from what I read. You're just fine. If that changes for any reason or you just feel lonely in this new, big, scary place you are welcome to come to me anytime." The doctor said smirking again. Sam nodded her head once and then looked to Charmeine who seemed upset, but willing to let it go.
"Well then, till later Dr. Sitri. Come on Sam I'll take you straight to your room now so you can put that bag down." Charmeine herded her back to the door and Sam gratefully came along. Outside the door and a few feet away Charmeine stopped and turned toward her. "I'm so very sorry for that. I really had no notion he would examine you that way. Though, I do know what he is like so I should have considered it. I just thought it would only be... unappealing commentary as usual. I obviously held too high of regards for the man."
Sam was unsure how to reply. Blood was serious business and the strongest magics used blood in them. Taking someone's blood could, if you knew how, give you intimate knowledge about their body and abilities as well as offer an in to magics that could control the victim's magic, mind, or flesh. That small a bite, just a drop or two, wasn't enough for anything too serious usually but it was still a huge deal. Especially to an incubus whose powers specialized in bodies one way or another. "So he's always like that?" Sam finally said.
"Pushing boundaries, personal and ethical? Yes. But he is a very good doctor." Charmeine said sounding resigned. "I just hope one day he doesn't push the boundaries so far that it outweighs his medical skills."
"Oh." Sam said noncommittally as she processed that information feeling a little shell shocked from the whole experience. Shell shocked already and she was just meeting the staff so far. "I just want to get to my room right now."
"Alright then." Charmeine replied with a look that managed to be apologetic and sympathizing.