Seraph smiled weakly. "There is a stables, it just hasn't been in use. I can send someone to go make some repairs to make it fit for the horses for a night. As for the list of employees, things work slightly different here than usual. Everyone serves under contract. Some, to pay off a debt, while others, to recieve housing in the meantime and the entire sum when they finish. I am in charge of monitoring that. The only person with the authority or releasing them of their contracts is you. Meaning they can't quit without your aproval. I shall make you a list with details shortly, a written one so that you can refer to it whenever needed."
"No it's alright. I will fix them up tomorrow. I don't like to let other people touch my animals unless I get to know them first." Stark told the girl. He was being respectful and not letting his eyes wander to her figure but his mind was threatening to betray him. He quickly shook it off and tried to focus on what needed to be done at hand. "Thank you for taking the time to make the list. If you would kindly show me where to take my horses I shall. And then I would like to go inside and ready myself for some sleep. After I made some peach tea." he told Seraph as he started to get his horses unattached from the carriage.
"Now, now." Seraph looked back at the head servant. "Have someone make the master peach tea. Whoever does it best." He nodded and disappeared. She looked back at Stark. "Right this way. Your things should be unpacked and put away by the time you finish your tea. Your chambers are being prepared as we speak."
She hesitated, looking at the horses. She so badly wanted to reach out and stroke them. She adored horses. The only reason she hadn't been able to convince his great uncle of keeping them was because he was alergic. She sighed, leading him around the large mansion to where the stables and small pasture was. It was all in rough shape, rotten and decayed. But it wouldn't take a lot of work to at least make it safe for the horses. Making it look nice was a different story.
Stark sighed when he heard her have someone else prepare his tea. "That will take some getting used to..." he mumbled to himself. Stark was very tired but he wouldn't let his horses go unattended. "Hmmm.... I can get this place in shape in two or three days." he told her once he'd lead the two horses, one black and one white, to the stables. Being a farmer for his whole life he could get work done faster than a normal person.
Once he put the blanket that he'd grabbed down in the stables Stark coaxed his two horses in. "Sorry Singer and Dancer. I know it isn't as nice as the old home but I'll fix it up soon." Stark smiled at his horses with fondness. He clearly loved horses as well as other animals.
Seraph bit her lip. "If it means anything, I've always loved horses." She murmured. "If you's aprove, I'd like to help you care for them. Not for the sake of saving you work, but for the sake of...well...I miss having horses around. Your uncle got rid of all of them because he was alergic and wanted to put that money elsewhere."
The stable was built to accomodate up to twenty horses, with special arrangements for breeding. There weren't any supplies, but it wouldn't take long to stock the stable once more.
With the money Stark had received from his small farm and the inheritance he would be able to fix the stables up no problem. Getting more horses... Well he'd have to see about that. "Really?" Stark was a little on the untrusting side of things. Seraph did work for him though... And she had been his uncle's worker as well. "Okay... We'll see how that goes." he agreed and straightened up. "What else can you tell me about my uncle?" Stark asked her when they were heading into the house.
"He kept to himself mostly. Had a bit of a temper, but never harmed or fired anyone, just respectfully asked a few people to leave at one time. He was...lazy, I'll admit. He hardly lifted a finger for anything." Seraph explained. They entered the house in a sitting room and she led him out into a hallway. All along the walls were portraits, all of past owners of the mansion. And in every portrait, there was a girl that looked a lot like Seraph. Of course, they all looked a little different, depending on the style of the artist to paint them. Each painting had a different artist, meaning Seraph could get away with letting people assume it was just her own ancestors in the portraits and not her.
She kept her eyes down as she led him toward the dining room.
"Hmmm..." Stark went deep in thought as they entered the mansion and he saw the portraits. Seeing the girls in them he knew they must have been related to Seraph. This made him a little more trusting about the horses. "Well you won't have to worry about laziness with me." he assured her as he was lead into the kitchen where his peach tear was being prepared. "When I'm done with my tea could I speak to you in the privacy of my room?" Stark asked Seraph. He didn't realize how disrespectful and and fishy that sounded as he took his seat where his tea was being served. While they were both of age it was still frowned upon for two people of opposite gender to be in a room behind closed doors when not under the sanctity of marriage. Stark had never persued any woman so it had slipped his mind.
Seraph tensed, red rising in her cheeks. The last time that had been said as soon as the new owner of the mansion arived, he had taken advantage of her body and her undying service. She swallowed. "Of course master- I mean..." She looked away. "I...I'm just not entirely comfortable with what that seems to imply."
Stark tilted his head at Seraph, not understanding what she was getting at. "Okay." he spoke the word very slowly before taking a drink of his peach tea. It tasted better than the peach tea he usually had. 'Seems to imply?' Stark thought to himself, trying to understand what she was talking about.
"Oh! Oh Seraph. No no no." pink covered his cheeks and he stared at her. She was beautfiul yes... But oh no. He'd realized how it sounded with how he'd spoken and shook his head, putting his tea down. "No Seraph. I don't mean like that." Stark was so embarrassed with what she'd gotten. "I want to speak with you without anyone hearing his all." he told her, looking down at his glass beyond embarrassed.
Seraph breathed a small sigh of relief. "I'm sorry...just it tends to run in your family to take advantage of my family...especially on the first day..." She closed her eyes. "It's fine. Only be aware that if you do not specifially say I have a choice in something, I usually don't. It is my contract."
Stark suddenly didn't feel like talking anymore. Nor did he feel like drinking his tea anymore. "You know what..." he shook his head as he stood up. "I can't... I don't want to talk anymore. Where is my bed?" Stark questioned. He was suddenly unable to look at Seraph. And a lot of the male was so happy he'd been adopted. The idea of taking advantage of a girl in that way... Of being raised to believe such an act is okay made Stark sick to his stomach. And he couldn't find the courage to look at Seraph after learning this information.
Seraph sighed, reaching out and gently taking his hand. "Come with me. I will show you to your chambers." She said weakly. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have told you about that. Whatever it is you wanted to discuss should not be put off simply because of your discomfort."
"No. I'm glad you told me." Stark admonished, tensing when his hand was taken. He hadn't had any physcial contact with anyone in quite sometime but didn't make an issue out of it. "I just want you to know I would neve do that... I would never touch you without consent." he promised. Stark was a pretty straight forward fellow though he didn't always think before speaking. He hadn't noted that he hadn't said he wouldn't touch her at all. Just not without consent.
Stark allowed Seraph to guide him to his room before speaking again. "It's been a long day for me. Especially with what I've learned... So I'd like to just go to bed and we can talk the way I wanted tomorrow sometime." Stark paused to look at Seraph for the first time since she'd spoken of her contract. "I would really appreciate if I could get the list of everyone tomorrow along with your contract specifically. I want to change some things on it."
"I'm afraid my contract cannot be changed." Seraph said firmly. "Especially not at this point in your arival. It's solid and cannot be altered but when two of the original signers are present. As I am the only one living, it is impossible."
Stark huffed with irritation. "Well I dislike your contract and will change it as I see fit. As you have informed me I can do as I wish with the servants of this mansion. Goodnight Seraph." he spoke curtly and once finished shut the door before she could have a change to reply. Stark knew he had been disrespectful and would most likely apologize in the morning but for now he was too tired and cranky to bother with anything anymore.
Seraph sighed and left to take care of everything. She had a servant tend to the matter of getting Stark all the supplies he'd need for the stable. She compiled a list of all the servants and included details on them he might want to know such as ages and disabilities. She went ahead and gathered all the contracts, including her own. But instead of putting hers with the rest, she tucked it away into her bodice.
Seraph gave the servants their orders for the morning routine, making sure they'd be prepared to serve Stark in any way he wanted.
The male slept throught the night despite being restless here and there. It was a new place which would take some getting used to.
Stark rose bright and early the following morning, just before dawn. This was from a very long time of having to get up at the same time day after day after day to tend the farm. He was ready to start on the stables by first light, dressed in new clothing for the day. A dark undershirt with a dark vest as well as dark trousers. They were his working clothes for sure, shirt going up to his elbows to expose his hard muscles that he had from hard work. When his shoes were finally on and his hair kept Stark walked out to the hall and down the stairs in search of Seraph so he could know where the supplies would be.
Seraph was waiting for him at the bottom of the stairs. "Good morning sir. I hope you slept well, all things considered?" She hadn't slept at all that night, or the night before, or the night before that. It was starting to show. "Your supplies have just arrived and are being unloaded by the stable as we speak. You can go work on it whenever you please. Breakfast will be ready shortly, unless you would prefer to prepare it yourself, or skip it entirely."
Stark was a bit surprised when Seraph was waiting for him. "I did." he got out before he listened to her speaking again. He was even more surprised that she was so prepared with everything. "Right. I don't eat breakfast normally so I'll be skipping. I'd like to get to work on the stables straight away while you come out and read those contracts to me if you wish." Stark wouldn't boss anyone around but he'd ask them, never making them do anything they didn't want to. "And... I'm sorry about last night. But I do want to review your contract as well."