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Back To The Homefront [Talia]

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  • Back To The Homefront [Talia]

    The elegant yacht glided in for a landing, the recently painted and surfaced circular pad rising above the ground and precariously hanging over the ridgeline. Beyond, rested the large estate of the Van Beek family, one that Willem grew up in and raised his own children in as well. It's three stories graced with many windows, tan stone and long veranda sporting a large pool in it's center, overlooking the verdant rolling hills beyond the rise, the long valley cut by a meandering river. Most of the land in view was owned by the family and had been for generations because of their loyalty to the crown.

    Rising from his seat, the well dressed noble extended his hand to the woman brought here and smiled as he took in her radiance. They had become close and now was the true test as he would finally get the chance to introduce her to his three kids and extended family.

    "Ready," he queried with a grin as the pilots went through the shutdown procedure, barely heard in their plush surroundings. Servos whined as the nearby ramp was lowered to the landing pad, interior door rising to allow the cool, clean mountain air of Bakura. Their baggage in a hoversled now traveled down the nearby hallway, guided by a servant droid and then slowed waiting for them to lead.
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  • #2
    It took a lot for Talia to feel stressed, and even somewhat scared. This trip to Bakura to meet with Willem's family was reason enough for her to go through this predicament. She disliked feeling so worried, but it was important to her. She wasn't used to be introduced to someone's family like this. At the same time, it was no surprise, for Willem was the first one she had ever introduced to her own family in the first place.

    Taking a deep breath and smoothing her coat, she nodded to her companion. "Yes." The financial counsultant and now governor felt a bit flushed and very nervous when she took his arm as they left the ship.

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    • #3
      He grinned at her obvious trepidation about meeting his family and knew that she wished to make a good impression, which wasn't necessary. Though he had felt the same when meeting her father, he knew and allowed her that much. As they descended the ramp, the cooler air embraced them as they walked across the short tarmac to the railed entry and then along a cobbled path tiled with local stone of deep rust.

      "My family has called this place home for many generations," he began as they neared the garden graced with a multitude of flowers and plants, one being the very rose that he had gotten the seeds for her own garden back on Bastion. "A lot of stories have drifted through these halls and around on it's grounds. We have Thumpers in the stables if you wished to ride later. Nicholas has been a great tender to them and has served since he was a boy, under my grandfather when he was the ruling baron."

      As they approached the lane cut through the garden, he moved to turn right and head up toward the stair that rose to the veranda just as the rear glass panel opened to reveal his daughter. Ksenia smiled as she rounded the pool, her straw colored hair and blue eyes reminding Willem so much of Anelie.

      "Father," she smiled, glancing to Talia. "Miss Stryder, welcome to Gistel," the twenty year old greeted. "He's been beaming about you since you both met, so we've all been eager to see who's finally put a smile on his face," she met them halfway to the veranda, wrapping her arms around Willem's torso and kissed him on the cheek. "About time," she whispered.
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      • #4
        Talia's gaze didn't wander too much. She was making sure not to make a fool of herself in regards to anyone in Willem's family, and by taking things one at a time, she was able to focus better. "It is important to have deep family roots." She nodded with a smile, a bit less nervous than moments before. The garden was beautiful. She was able to pique on that even then.

        "Thumpers? Oh, you may color me interested, Willem." She chuckled softly. She found it good that they had personnel who had been there for many years. It could make a world of difference. While not of noble ascendency, she had been born in higher society back on Gala.

        As they suddenly saw his daughter come to them, Talia got concerned again. The younger woman was beautiful, moreso than on the holo pictures she had see. "Thank you, Ksenia. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." She replied, her stance relaxing a bit, thanks to Willem's daughter being so welcoming. She watched with fondness as father and daughter reunited.

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        • #5
          Ksenia backed a bit, keeping her arms wrapped around Willem and smiled as she glanced to the load that the droid was pushing along in the hoversled. "I see you travel a lot like my sister-in-law's do, which isn't a bad thing. We've been planning for your arrival for some time and," she glanced to Willem again. "He probably didn't even tell you that it was his birthday, did he?"

          "Well," he glanced to Talia, then back. "To me it's just another day. I take more enjoyment in celebrating all of yours more than mine."

          Ksenia shook her head, patting him on the stomach as he backed, then moved around to take Talia's free hand. "Men, I tell you." Pulling their guest along, she continued. "He loves to torture us like this every chance he gets."

          Willem just smiled, allowing his daughter to assume the guide and followed close behind them, up onto the veranda and then around the pool.
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          • #6
            Talia felt privileged to see Willem with his children. His daughter left a very good impression on her already, and she was able to relax a little, despite how important this journey to Bakura was. "As a financial consultant and now a Governor, I do have a lot on my plate indeed." She smiled, knowing that it also helped keeping her mind focused when Willem was deployed with the Navy.

            "I had no idea it was your birthday." She said to the Bakuran noble, giving him a surprised look. She felt empty handed now and it bothered her, though she didn't let it show. "It means I will have to come up with something then as I hate having brought nothing."

            She had little time to say anything else as Ksenia took her hand and led the way. "I don't have to complain too much. I know that my own work can sometimes be what drives him crazy!" She chuckled as the younger woman began to play guide. Ksenia reminded her a little bit of her own sister, but in a slightly quieter way!

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            • #7
              Nearing the transparisteel door which slid aside at their approach, the interior of the large mansion contained keepsakes from several generations. Quiet, symphonic music played in the background from unseen speakers, adding a bit of class to the history in the main living room. A large fireplace to the left commanded the wall, holopics as well as older paintings of family members, all in either a sitting position or standing in uniform flanked the stone hearth. Polished parkay floors supported plush furniture which looked like they were comfortable enough to double as beds. Dark wooden tables sporting a host of knickknacks helped divide the room into two as the right side of the living room became a game room. A long bar on the far right wall faced billiard tables and a dejarik table nearer the curtained wall facing the veranda.

              "This is our favorite room," Ksenia began as she guided their guest inside. "The family spends most of it's time here or in the dining room," she glanced back to her father as Willem led the droid inside. "When we're here." Blue eyes returned and she continued, guiding Talia through the living room and into the intersecting hallway and to the main foyer. Sunlight brightened the shadowed portico outside as well as the manicured lawn beyond as she rounded a large, heavy vase of white marble containing a large floral collection and to the left, then up a winding stair padded with rich, red carpet.

              Willem followed quietly, the smells of the house bringing back many memories and moved up the stair to the second floor. Turning right, Ksenia moved into the first of many guest rooms. A four post bed centered the left wall, flanked by end tables each sporting an ornate lamp. Willem waited in the doorway once the droid moved in with the hoversled and began unloading Talia's luggage into the large closet.

              "If you need anything at all," Ksenia continued as she motioned to a small com panel on the wall, near the doorway. "Just call for one of the servants." She moved away and back towards her father. "If you wished to freshen up a bit, we'll be downstairs," she stated, pushing Willem out of the door and he smiled and waved at Talia.
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              • #8
                When Ksenia explained how the room they stepped in was the family's favorite one, Talia smiled to Willem. "I understand why you took an easy liking to the one at my family's estate." She also remembered how they had spent quite some time honing their holo chess skills against each other during some of their travels. The brunette was glad to have found an opponent that was challenging enough to keep her interest.

                The place was splendid and it helped the imperial be less worried as Willem's daughter continued to show her the place. As they reached the guest room where she'd be staying, she smiled. "Thank you for the tour, Ksenia. I will join you all downstairs soon." She chuckled softly as she saw the younger woman push her father outside.

                Once alone, she went to look outside the window, enjoying the view for a moment. Then she took her coat off and went to hang it. Freshening up a bit, she inspected her reflection in the mirror a few too many times but this trip was very important to her and she wanted to make sure that Willem's other children would welcome her.

                Once she was satisfied with how she looked, she left the guest room and headed to the large staircase that would take her to the ground floor.

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                • #9
                  Back downstairs, Willem moved arm in arm with his daughter as she guided him to the large couch and they sat down. "I like her," Ksenia smiled. "I can see why you two get along so well."

                  He nodded, "She's great. How's school?"

                  "Fine. And no, Theo won't be here for dinner. He's spending time with his family and we're not dating, so don't even ask."

                  Willem chuckled. "Which only makes me think that you do like him after all, which is fine. I just want you to be happy."

                  "Good," she smacked him on the arm and pushed herself up, "Then leave me alone about it. Drink," she queried and moved around the couch and headed toward the bar.

                  "I'm fine, thanks." He heard the door open again upstairs, knowing that Talia would be joining them in a moment. "I guess Ian and Ovikk are still at work," he glanced at his chronometer and realized it was still early.

                  "Yeah, they said they'd all be home long before supper." Seeing Talia enter the living room, Ksenia turned her attention to their guest. "Want something to drink, Miss Stryder?"
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                  • #10
                    As she joined Willem and his daughter, Talia smiled. "A glass of wine sounds like a lovely idea, thank you." She wasn't one to like strong alcohols and tended to stick to wine and champagne when venturing away from her beloved caf and tea.

                    She looked at Willem. "And at some point, I will have to borrow your daughter to speak to her in private." She grinned a little and glanced at Ksenia. "If this is alright with you of course." She was still trying to figure out how she may adjust to the fact that her companion had omitted to tell her his birthday would occur during their stay on Bakura.

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                    • #11
                      "Alrighty," Ksenia replied and poured Talia a flute of wine as she poured herself something as well.

                      Willem grinned and nodded, knowing already what the request was for, "Sure, that's not a problem. I have some financials to go over, so you two enjoy one another," he pushed himself up and left the living room, turning right as he headed for the private study.

                      "Ooh, clandestine meetings," Ksenia grinned mischievously. "The scandal." Moving around from behind the bar, she carried both flutes to the couch and handed Talia hers, then moved to sit down in the chair to Talia's right. "So, what's on your mind," she asked, taking a sip of her wine and setting the tall, gold rimmed glass upon a coaster, crossing her right knee over left as she reclined into the thickly padded cushion.
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                      • #12
                        "Financials, you say? Now you are trying to distract me from speaking to your daughter, Willem." Talia replied with a slight grin, for she could spend forever working on her financial work and he knew this. Once he had left, she returned her attention to his daughter, thanking her for the flute of wine.

                        "Thank you, Ksenia." She was grateful that the younger woman accepted to speak with her as such, so shortly after her arrival. "I know that I couldn't have guessed that your father's birthday would take place during our visit; but I nevertheless feel bad for having nothing with me for the occasion. I was wondering whether you might have some last minute suggestion for a present for him."

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                        • #13
                          Ksenia grinned knowing that her father was a mystery sometimes, blue eyes taking in the one that he had decided to open himself up to again. "To be honest, I'm just glad that he's finally met someone," raising her hand toward Talia. "Not to say that goes beyond whatever point you're keeping the relationship at," she lowered her hand once more. "If he didn't think a lot about you he never would've brought you here in the first place." She glanced in the direction of the study, then back. "I never thought he'd find someone again. Mom's death hit us all pretty hard, my brothers moreso than I since I barely remember her. But, he was always burying himself in work after that and we hardly saw him. I remember as a little girl praying that he would come home instead of some officer coming to give us bad news." Though she realized that he was still in the service of the Navy, just not the local one.

                          Sighing, she took another sip of her wine and set the glass back down. "As far as a gift," her azure gaze drifted passed the comfortable furniture and through the distant windows that flanked the front door in the foyer, then it hit her as her face lit up. "Take him out on the town tomorrow night. Just have fun," Ksenia smiled as she returned her attention back to the new girlfriend, even if no one else was using that word. "Think he'll enjoy that."
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                          • #14
                            Talia felt honored that Ksenia could speak as she did to her. With Willem's children all grown up, she had never thought about being some kind of replacement for their mother, but she was hoping to form good relationships with them, especially if her hopes turned out to become real, regarding a possible future with Willem.

                            "I have been looking forward to meeting all of you for a while, especially since your father met my family." She paused, slight color rising to her cheeks. "I had never introduced anyone to my parents and sister before. You can say I am a workaholic and have high standards." It was one of the reasons Willem and her got along so well.

                            "So I am grateful that you are accepting of my existence and hope that your brothers will be the same." She expressed with a smile, before sipping on her wine.

                            She hoped that Ksenia would have an idea for the gift as she was pretty much caught off hand with this! "That, I can do." She chuckled and smiled to Ksenia. "I will just need to figure out where, for this is my first time on Bakura, despite having already traveled to several imperial worlds."

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                            • #15
                              Ksenia smiled, "You and I have a lot more in common than I thought we might," she glanced again in the direction of the study, then back. "I love my work and business is something that I've wanted to get into for years. My grandfather's a great influence and being in the construction business, he's governed a small empire in that field longer than dad's been alive. Subsidiaries all over the planet with thousands of employees, and he keeps track of most of that." Slender, tanned hand rose as she motioned to their mansion, "He's expanded and upgraded this place more than once. But, he and grandma enjoy their apartment in the city more now, but they come out for the weekends and spend time with us."

                              She thought for a moment about where to take her father and took another sip of her wine, "Well, I'd probably take him to Elyse Gardens. He loves the outdoor feel to that resort. They have an outdoor theater right on the lake and sometimes the Bakuran Symphony plays there on the weekends."
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