Eis groans as he slowly climbs out of the limo he was forced to summon to bring him back to the palatial Schnee Manor on the outskirts of Seattle. Most of the bruising he had received from the beating from Ruby’s brother had finally gone down, but the three cracked ribs were taking a while to heal. He watched as a second driver pulled his beloved Mercedes into the parking garage, where his bags are currently stored. He had tried to drive home, but barely made it a mile before he was forced to pull over and call Klein for a pickup.
He hates flaunting his status as a rich person, but he had no choice. It simply wasn’t safe for him to drive right now. Walking inside slowly, he snorts as he listens to the normal tongue lashing his brother was receiving from their father. No doubt he had gotten drunk and wrecked another car. All he wants right now is to see his mother and retire to his quarters before his father turned his ire on him. But of course, that wasn’t meant to be.
“Eis Schnee! Would you care to explain why I received a damage bill from the owner of the Wolf and Boar?” Jacques glares at him as he walks to him at a measured pace. Eis winces as he realizes that Jacques is well and truly furious.
“I offended the brother of a patron at the Wolf and Boar. He found it necessary to re educate me on how to properly speak to his sister.” Eis will not give Jacques the satisfaction of the truth. That is his burden to bare.
“I see. I trust you learned your lesson then?” Jacques looks at Eis calmly, almost too calmly. Eis swallows the bile building in his throat as he locks his eyes to his father’s.
“Indeed. Never believe myself to be the equal of barbarians like that ruffian.” Eis wants to vomit at the words. But he knows if he doesn’t say them, he will never be allowed to return to Beacon.
Jacques’s small smile is almost enough to provoke him to violence, cracked ribs or no. “Excellent. I am glad to see you are finally thinking like a Schnee, Eis. Nothing good comes of associating with the commoners.” Jacques turns on his heels and strides back to his office, stopping when he reaches the door. “I have already dealt with the damages of course, and Peter Port is satisfied with the compensation. Now that is someone you would do well to learn from Eis, he has run many successful businesses over his long career.”
Eis simply starts moving once more towards his mother’s room, too disgusted with himself to care about anything else at the moment.
“Come here Eis! Let me see you!” Willow Schnee calls out softly as she sees her oldest son walk into the room. Eis sweeps her into a gentle hug, even as he groans softly from even the gentle pressure on his ribs. “What did you do now Eis? Another Lacrosse incident?”
Eis just holds Willow close, even as he feels the first sobs start to wrack his frame. “I did something horrid mother.”
“It cannot be that bad Eis.” Willow rebukes Eis gently as she pushes him away to look at him. “It is not like you caused the death of another human being, did you?”
“I almost did Mother. I almost caused the death of a wonderful human being with a moment of cruelty that would have made Father proud.” He answers half heartedly as he sits on the edge of her bed.
Willow simply looks at him in shock at his statement before taking one of his hands in both of hers. “Eis, tell me about it. Please son?”
“No Mother, you are too ill for such things.” Eis protests as he lays a hand atop hers. “You have more important things to worry about with your MS.”
“Eis, I am not dying yet. The medicines they have me on are helping me manage my pain and my symptoms a bit better. And I desire to know what is going on. Or do I need to have Klein start asking questions?”
Eis’s eyes widen in surprise at his mother’s vehement stance on learning of his greatest shame. Without thinking, he begins to tell her everything. The tongue lashing he gave Ruby four years ago now, the fact that he ripped her pendant off and found it the next day, and the confrontation earlier in the month. By the end, he was sobbing on his mother’s shoulders and calling himself a monster, which was angering the Schnee Matriarch.
“Enough Eis. You are no monster. A monster would have never wanted to apologize for his actions. A monster would not wear that pendant as a mark of shame, and a monster would not be crying over all of this now.” Willow chastises her son even as she raises his head and wipes his tears away.
“She showed me the scars mother! The scars my cruel words caused!” Eis cries out right before a slap is heard. Eis stares in shock as Willow lowers her hand, while her eyes have turned into a pair of glaciers.
“I shall not hear any more of this defeatist attitude from you Eis. I did not raise you to simply wallow in your grief when there are debts to be repaid. A true Schnee knows now is the time to begin to repay them.” She lectures him as he casts his eyes downward.
“How Mother? Father controls almost every last aspect of my life as of late. I can barely take a step without him calling me and chastising me for it.” Eis asks curiously, knowing now is not the time to argue with his strong willed mother.
“Allow me to worry about him. You are to continue to focus on your studies, and stop worrying about this nonsense of him sending you to business school. I shall no longer tolerate it from him.” Willow tells him matter of factly as she beckons to Klein, who has been standing in the shadows.
“As you wish Mother. With your permission, I would like to retire to my room.” Eis asks as he stands slowly, wincing in pain.
“Go. Do not worry about dinner, I shall have Klein bring you something.” Willow responds with a smile as Eis kisses her cheek before hobbling out slowly. Her smile slips from her face the moment the door closes. “Klein, find me everything about this Ruby Rose. It is obvious Eis cares for her, and because of Jacques’s influence on my son, a grave mistake has been made.”
“Of course Willow. Do you wish everything done through our normal sources?” Klein asks as he takes a phone out of his pocket.
“Use any and all available resources. And insure Jacques is kept in the dark. When the time is right, I shall burn him at the stake for this.” Willow Schnee seethes as she glares at the Schnee crest carved into the wall over her door. She is sick and tired of her husband destroying her family's good name, and now they are involved in the attempted suicide of a young woman who had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time? What have they become?
Willow Schnee swears to herself as she settles back down in her bed, exhausted from the visit that when the time comes, she will find a way to be the one holding the torch when it comes time to make Jacques burn for his sins.
Meanwhile in the Rose-Xiaolong house, Ruby, Blake and Xiang just arrived and got their things to their respective rooms. Christmas is only two days away and many preparations had to be finished. Even Though Ruby was still tired from the two hour drive and her brothers constantly talking on such close space, she was still more than happy to help her father. Now that she was in college she only saw him during the breaks or on weekends,and she really missed her dad.
Busying herself with the decoration of the Christmas Tree, Ruby couldn’t help but to let her thoughts wander back to her last encounter with Eis. Ever since she discovered that SnowPrince 18 was in truth Eis Schnee, she hadn’t even logged in to the app. She would like nothing more than just to forget this ever happened and live in a world without the constant presence of the white haired boy.
Feeling a wet tongue on her leg she looked down in the chocolate eyes of her corgi Zwei.
Laughing Ruby picked him up “Hey buddy what's up?” without warning he started to lick her face, causing Ruby to laugh more “I got it! I got it! No more sad or depressive thoughts!”
At this he stopped with the licking and just cuddled her face.
“Hey Ruby, do you need any help with the tree?” Asked Blake who appeared out of nowhere.
Already used to it, Ruby didn't even jump when the Amber eyed woman stood next to her “Hm, I could use some help with the lights.”
While they were putting the lights around the tree, they were having just some talk about everything and nothing. It was obvious to Ruby that both Blake and Xiang are walking on eggshells around her since the incident in the Cafe.
Sighing Ruby looked over to Blake “Just ask.”
Startled Blake, who seemed to have been thinking about something’ just gave Ruby a “what?”
“Just ask what you want to ask for days now.”
Just when Blake was opening her mouth, a strong smell of something burning followed by a black cloud coming from the kitchen interrupted her.
Within seconds everything started to move, Ruby ordered Blake to go outside, while she could hear her father's voice shouting “Xiang!” Ruby grabbed the fire extinguisher and ran in, aiming at the flaming pan on the stove.
Tai had opened all the windows to get the smoke out, when Ruby looked at her in black Ash covered brother “You should know to stay away from the kitchen. What were you making anyway?”,
Xiang gave her a sheepish smile while scratching the back of his neck “Well….you see...I may have tried to make some french toast.”
Both Tai and Ruby just sighed at this, moments later the fire department arrived.
It took hours to clean up the mess, but later when they were all sitting in the living room watching some Christmas movies, Ruby couldn't help but smile slightly.
She could always depend on her family to take her mind off the unfairness in life.