Chapter 1: Rosie
Violet set down the paintbrush when she heard the door creak open, only then realising how much her arm ached. She had been painting all day, going from bedroom to bredroom of the saunders manor with cans of paint and prushes and rollers and a bunch of other things that violet barely understood further than how to use them. After almost a month of rennovations, the house finally looked like a regular family home. From the inside, at least. On the outside, it was still a creepy manor with three weird spires.
There were eight bedrooms in the place. So far, in the past two days, violet had painted six of them. With Juniper and Augusta on a break and out of the house, Isaac was supposed to be helping her with the final four—he was moving in as soon as it was done—but Violet hadn’t seen him all day.
The sound of the door closing echoed through the house as Violet bounced down the stairs holding her aching right arm in her left. “ISAAC?” she called. A response came from somewhere in the house. Violet followed the sound of his voice to the front hallway to find a bashful looking Isaac with a suspisciously lumpy jacket.
“Hey. How’s it going?”
Violet rolled her eyes, reaching up to brush a leaf out of his unruly hair. “You need a haircut. Also, where have you been all day?”
“Your roots need touching up,” he quipped back, but his usual demeanor was lost slightly when he ran his fingers through his curls and his expression changed, momentarily confused at their length. “Um, well, I was just walking around the edge of town, you know, and near the entrance sign, well, I—I found this little guy.” Isaac slowly opened the side of his jacket and brought out a tiny, tiny golden retriever puppy. “I couldn’t just leave him,” Isaac hurridly continued, “he looked like he’d been abandoned. And he’s so small, I almost stepped on him at first. I wouldv’e been back sooner but I took him back to my place to get him cleaned up and feed him and—”
“Shut up. He’s adorable.” Violet was somewhere between laughing at isaac’s ridiculousness and crying because of how cute the pup was. “Oh my god, I’m so glad you saved him. Let’s sit down, though, before you say anymore, I’ve been standing all day and my thighs are killing me.”
Before they could go anywhere, however, the door opened again.
“Oh, hi mum,” Violet said over Isaac’s shoulder at the figure in the doorway. “How was your date?”
“He’ll have to stay with Isaac until we’re finished with the house, but of course he can stay. There’s really no other option, is there?” Juniper smiled at Violet, whose head was in Isaac’s lap and the puppy asleep on Violet’s stomach, all on the couch together. “Have you named him yet?”
Isaac shook his head. “No, he didn’t have a tag or anything. I thought we could decide together.”
Violet looked from the puppy up to Isaac. “Can we name him Rosie? I know that’s a girls name and he’s a boy, but… I mean, if you want to name him something else that’s fine. I just thought maybe…”
“What even is gender, anyway?” Isaac replied. “I think it’s great.”
Beaming, Violet turned to Juniper. “Mum? What do you think?”
Juniper smiled softly at her daughter. “I think it’s lovely. I also think it’s not my choice. He’s your dog, you two.”
“Only if you’re absolutely sure that I can move in. Otherwise dual ownership would get confusing for little Rosie.”
“Stop it,” violet said, poking his chin. “You know how many spare rooms we have anyway. Or would, if you’d done anything at all today. It’s literally no trouble.”
“Isaac, are you being a bad boyfriend?” Juniper reprimanded him.
Violet interrupted his answer by shoving her hand in Isaac’s face. “Oh my god, mum, you have no idea. He left me to paint four rooms all by myself just so he could be angsty in the woods.”
“I wasn’t being angsty! I got you a puppy, you ungrateful child.” Isaac laughed back, pushing away Violet’s hand.
“I’m not ungrateful, my arm is just very sore, thank you very much.”
“Then be quiet and let me talk!”
“You want me to shut up?”
“Yes. Please. Shut up.”
“Make me,” Violet said, her eyes glinting.
Isaac shook his head firmly. “Little Rosie doesn’t need to see this. Look at that, you woke him up. You’re a horrible person, Violet Saunders.”
“Oh my goodness, I am so sorry. Rosie, I swear I didn’t—no, come back please!”
The puppy trod onto the couch and off her stomach, and when violet sat up to try get him back, Rosie promptly lay down in Isaac’s lap.
“I guess we know who his favourite is then?” Violet said at the same time as Isaac said “He’s trying to be just like you. How cute.”
They looked at Rosie, asleep again, then at each other. “When did my mum leave?” Violet asked quietly. Isaac shrugged.
“As long as she doesn’t come back,” Violet murmered, leaning in.
Chapter 2: Home
Isaac heard a knock on the door less than a minute after walking through it himself. Not daring to risk putting Rosie somewhere he might get stepped on, Isaac kept the puppy in his arms as he went back the way he’d just come.
Once he got to the door, however, Violet was already closing it again. Isaac let out a sigh of exasperation. “If you’re just going to let yourself in, then why do you knock?”
“Why not?” Violet asked. “Also Augusta’s cooking, so I decided I’d camp here tonight. Because we both know what ‘cooking’ means. Ignoring the fact that she’s terrible at it, of course.”
Isaac arched an eyebrow. “That’s the only reason you’re here?”
“Obviously not,” Violet scoffed. “I’m here to keep Rosie company in case he gets bored of you. Also, I thought it might be smart to paint my own bedroom last.” The eyebrow arched further. “Fine, I’m going to miss this place.”
Isaac shook his head. “I’m not. It wasn’t ever home. Just a house. Although to be honest, I’ve never really had a home anyway, so I’ve nothing to compare it to.”
Violet wrapped her arms around Isaac. “I’m going to make sure you have the best damn home. You too, Rosie. Whoever owned you was so horrible to throw you out like that. Ew!” Violet jumped back and wiped the dog slobber off her cheek. “Rosie I love you but that was disgusting.”
Chuckling, Isaac stroked Rosie’s head. “Where’s Orpheus, by the way? I haven’t seen him around much.”
“I don’t really think about Orpheus much. He just shows up every now and then and does regular cat things. The rest of the time I reckon he probably just chills in the woods or something. I don’t want to get deep into thinking about it because it just gives me a headache.” Violet flopped down on the couch.
Isaac placed Rosie onto her lap. “I’m going to go order a celebratory pizza. Then, since you’re here, you can help me pack my stuff up!” he said cheerily. “How fun!”
“Still better than Augusta’s cooking,” Violet yelled as he walked out of the lounge room. Isaac snickered as he dialled the number.
Violet woke on the couch under a blanket even though the last thing she remembered was almost falling asleep on the edge of a moving box. She rubbed her eyes, looking around at the lounge-slash-kitchen of Isaac’s apartment. “Isaac?” she called. No reply. Violet sat up and was about to push the blanket away when she thought the better of it. This wasn’t some generic blanket belonging to the town hall, as far as Violet knew, so she folded it up and shoved it into the nearest box that had enough space. The only box, actually. The rest that were stored there were all closed, which looked like most of them. Violet crept over to the partially open door and peered in to see Isaac sprawled on top of his sheet-less mattress. The room was strangely blank. The first time violet had ever been in there had been in the middle of a crisis, but it had been so full of life, so much of Isaac. Now it was just empty and devoid of anything remotely life-giving.
One final box was taped up ready to go, so violet took it and left. Quietly. Placed it beside the others. She turned on the coffee machine and went to wake Isaac.
“I made coffee.”
“Cool, can I have some?” Isaac groaned sleepily.
“Yeah but i don’t have it right here, you’ll have to go get it.”
Violet checked her phone. “Oh, it’s nearly ten, by the way. We have to be out in just under an hour, so hurry up.”
“Shit!” Isaac exclaimed. “Why didn’t you wake me sooner?”
“Why didn’t you go to be sooner?” Violet shot back, sipping her own coffee as she watched Isaac panic. “Calm down, it’s fine. I’ve enlisted the help of some friends. By that I mean Justin. And possibly my mother, but that remains to be seen.”
Isaac visibly relaxed. “Thank god. The sooner we’re out, the better.”
Someone knocked on the door. “I’ve got it,” Violet said, laughing silently at Isaacs obvious state of distress as he had yet to realise there was nothing left to do.
Justin, in all his blonde glory, stood in the doorway. “Hey, V. Sleeping over?” He winked.
Violet rolled her eyes and opened the door wider. “I told you not to call me that. Just get the boxes in the truck.” When Justin hesitated, Violet narrowed her eyes. “You do have it, right? I told you to bring the van.”
“That’s all you need to say,” Violet said lightly. “Run and go get mine.” She fished the keys from her pocket and threw them over. “There’s no way I’m carrying this shit. It might be little but it weighs a lot.”
“Be right back,” Justin winked before jogging off.
Once he returned, the three of them set to warm tetrising isaac’s things into the boot and backseat of Juniper’s car. It took some time, and when they finally managed to, Isaac and Justin were all for going immediately. Isaac has even called shotgun before violet had time to run back in for a final check, and she could hear them arguing from inside.
Hidden just underneath the bed was a strip of photos that looked like they were from a photo booth from a distance. Violet picked it up, realising as she did that it was the same strip that had caught her attention so easily the first time she’d been here. The one of Justin and May smooshed on either side of Isaac, and the last one with Isaac staring at Justin with such intense longing. Eyes captivated, violet backtracked without watching where she was going, back out to her squabbling friends at the car.
“Isaac, you left this,” Violet called, holding it out. He barely glanced at it before saying that he meant to leave it behind.
“Why didn’t you just give it to Justin? He’s in the photos.”
Violet pocketed the strip. “Mine now, then. Where did the blonde one go?”
Grimacing, Isaac explained. “Said that it was some emergency with someone, now that people are talking to him again. Because, you know, social lives and all that.”
“Of course he did.” Violet climbed into the driver’s side of the packed car. “Get in, we’re going home.”
Chapter 3: honestly idc anymore
Being asleep meant not feeling how hot it was, which was why Violet hated so much how the sun never failed to wake her during summer if she forgot to close her curtains before she went to sleep.
Thankfully, today wasn’t one of those days. Well, today wasn’t one of the days she woke up from the sun in her eyes. Instead, she woke to a pillow in her face. Violet mumbled a string of curses under her breath and pushed the pillow off with one hand while she stuck out her middle finger on the other.
Muffled laughter came from more people than should have been in the house, and hushed conversation too as someone ushered everyone else out of the room.
Finally, Violet opened her eyes. Isaac was sitting on the armchair with one leg thrown over the side and the other curled in a way that looked quite uncomfortable for his gangly frame. “Good, you’re up,” he said. “We’re going down to the lake, don’t try to decline, because I’m sick of seeing you sulk in the piano room all day because it’s the coolest place in the house.”
Violet pushed herself to sitting. “So this is an intervention?”
“Yup,” Isaac beamed. “Get your bathers and be downstairs in ten minutes.” He blew a kiss her way and ambled out of her room, closing the door behind him. Violet stretched and rubbed her eyes before walking over to her dresser.
Violet squealed as the cool water splashed onto her skin, courtesy of Justin, Harper, and May, who were already in the water, but didn’t stop running. The lake was large enough that by the time she’d made a lap, Violet was almost out of breath. She wasn’t the fastest runner by a long way, and Isaac could’ve easily caught her already. He was just teasing—soon she’d have to stop. When she did, she planned to throw herself in not to let Isaac have the satisfaction, but Isaac caught up to her before she could and wrapped his wet arms around her, pulling her close.
“Get off!” Violet half-yelled, half-laughed. She could feel his grin as he picked her up, still kicking, and threw her into the lake. Violet tumbled in with a splash and let herself sink into the cool water for a moment before kicking to the surface. Her hair fell over her face and she pushed it away, laughing. Another wave of water rode over her as someone else jumped in—Isaac, presumably. Violet turned to splash him back, but the wave she made accidentally hit the others too, which broke out into a full-on splash battle. It ended with May, who was on Justin’s shoulders, pushed Violet off Isaac’s shoulders.
Later, after an intense round of marco-polo, the five of them lay on the grass together in a circle, occasionally talking about school or the future or anything else they thought of. None of them mention the Gray, or the Beast, or the founders, but it was in the back of their minds, as always.
((there u go issac threw violet u happy leeson))