The Landkeeper

 

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Introduction

When twins Nicholas and Daniel are dropped off at their new caregiver's house. Odd things start to happen, that the rest of the household seems to not to notices. 

Only if that was the case. 

Elle Shardena and her two sons, William and Ethen hold secrets dear to them. If anything held more secrets than the Shardenas it would be the land they call home

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Chapter 1

I stepped out of the car and into the light rain as I pull an earbud out of my ear, I looked at the large house in front of me. The place was huge, a white house with red trimming on open land with trees everywhere. This place was unbelievable.

"Wow, She must be loaded," Danny said as he looked over at me

I gave a nod. "Yeah. Jessica, what is this place?" I asked our social worker.

Jessica was in her mid-forties with her black and gray hair in a tight bun on top of her head. She looked over at the two of us, she looked at her clipboard and read off of it. "This is the home of Elle Shardena. She is your new caretaker. Since you two manage to get-" She paused looking for the right words. "Excused from the other youth home. Maybe you can make it here. I worked with her before. You have only a year left then you can do as you please." Jessica said to me and my brother

We eyed each other before nodding. "Yes, Ma'am." I gave Jess my award-winning smile.

Jess rolled her eyes "Get your bags and follow me." Danny went to the back of the car and pulled out suitcases out of the truck. Once we had our bags in hand Jess lead the way to the house we will call home for the next year.

On the front door, there was a lion head knocker, Jessica took it in her hand and hit it against the door. The door was opened by a young male who was a little older when me and my siblings. His dark hair fell in his eyes before he moved it back to show off his bright spring-green eyes. He leaned back and yelled. "Mom! Jessica is here!" the boy looked back at Jessica and moved aside to let us in.

"And how are you, William?" Jessica asked him.

The boy smirk. "I'm good, Mom is on her way. She is in the library." The male explained as he closed the front door.

Danny's head popped up from his iPod "library?" Danny is in love with books. But since we moved almost every year to a new family, he would somehow lose the books he had.

The guy Jessica called Will nodded. "Yeah, Just passed those doors." He pointed to a set of fancy, white double doors under the balcony that connected two sets of stairs on each side. "Came on. I will show you. Mom must be really into the book she is reading." He nodded to doors before stuffing his hands into his pocket. "You can leave your bags here."

We all follow Will to the library doors. Will pushed the doors open. "Wow," Danny whispered as he looked around. The place was filled with books. Book cases outlined the walls on both floors of the room. There were more bookcases parallel to each other.

"Mom, Jessica is here!" Will called out to the library.

A woman's head popped out from over the railing above us. "Oh, Hello Jessica." The woman chimed. The woman's brown, curly hair hung over as she looked down at us. "Oh, You two must be Nicky and Danny." She smiled. "It's nice to meet you, I'm Elle Shardena." she pulled her head back and walked around until she found stairs close to a large wooden desk. Walking down the stairs Will walked us closer to the desk. "Welcome to my home."

Jessica looked at Elle with cold eyes. "I told you I was coming today."

Elle smiled like a child getting into trouble. "Sorry. I got caught up in something." Elle rocked back on her heels.

Jessica sighed and pinched her nose between her index finger and thumb. "Fine, But here is the list of things the three can or cannot have, What they can do and so on." Elle nodded as she took the packet of paper. "And you will enroll them in school, yes?"

Elle nodded. " Yes, I will do that before school starts," Elle said as she set the paper on her desk.

"Good," Jessica turned to us. "Be good and call me if anything happens," Jessica said before looking at her phone. "I have to go." She said looking at Elle, Elle just nodded.

Once Jessica left Elle and Will looked at us. "So, who wants to see the rest of the house?" Elle smiled before she leads the way out of the library and up the stairs that were on the right side. "On your right are the rooms and to your left is the bathroom and closet and farther down the wall is another room. Four in all that is in this hall. Each room has one bed, dresser, and deck. You can design the room how you like." Elle stopped at the end of the hallway. "Each bathroom has everything you might need. In the closets are condoms." Elle explains.

I could feel the lack of shame she had. I slightly raise my hand. "Why condoms?"

Elle smirked. "Because I was a teen once. There are different sizes and don't you dare tell me ones "not big enough."Her said with air quotes. "I can still my whole arms in one and it won't break. Don't be stupid and wrap up, kids. There are also dental dames and female condoms." Elle said as Will shook his head.

"Okay, Mom, I think they get it." Will sighed. "This way please." Will said motioning us to the other hall. "The same as the other hall. You can pick any room you want. Well, all but one." Will knocked on a door with yellow type on it. The door was opened by a redhead boy. "Ethan. We have newcomers."

Ether gave a smile. "Hey, Welcome." Ether looked past all of us and to Elle. "Hey Mom, did you get the thing?"

Elle nodded. "I got it."

Ethan smiled. "Thanks," Ethan said as he walked out of his room and closed the door as Elle's phone went off.

Pulled out her phone and frowned at it. "Well, looks like I need at the office. I trust you two will show the other the rest of the house."

The two boys nodded. "Yes, Mom." They said at the same time. Elle nodded before leaving the group.

It wasn't until the front door opened and closed did I turn to look at the two boys that already lived here. "So, Are you really Elle's kids? I mean, you call her mom but you look nothing like her and she looks a bit young to have kids of your age." I asked.

Ethan and Will looked at each other then started to laugh. "No, Elle isn't our biological mom. She adopted me. Ethan is in the process of being adopted by her." Will answered.

Ethan nodded. "Yeah, so the rest of the house, right?" Ethan clipped his hands before moving passed us and next to Will.

"How old are you guys?" Danny asked with his hazel eyes looking at the two boys.

"Will is eighteen and I'm fifteen." Ethan looked over his shoulder and gave a smile as we walked down the stairs. "So the main floor is a little different than the upstairs. Down one hall is similar to upstairs, but that's where full-timers sleep." Ethan said as he started down the opponent hall way.

"What do you mean by full-timers?" I asked.

"That's where my room is, along with Elle's. Once you turn eighteen and if you want to stick around and help with any others if any come then you will move to that room."

Danny and I looked at each other and nodded understanding. "Full-timers," he said at one time.

There was a chime though the house. Will and Ethan looked up slightly and smirked. "Is anyone hungry?" Will asked

The three of us nodded before Will and Ethan leading us to a dining room with the table set and ready. The food was steaming and smelled great. There was pie and small cakes, at each chair was a bowl of what looked like soup and grilled cheese. My mouth started to water, I licked my lips slightly.

"Take a seat and eat. There is more if you want more." Ethan told us as he pulled out a chair for himself and took a seat.

"Who cooked this?"Danny asked as he took his seat.

The boys looked at Danny as they started to eat the meal, confused by the question. "What do you mean?" Ethan asked

"Just sit and enjoy, Mr.Know-it-all," I said to my brother who looked unsure of food as Will, Ethan and I took our seats and started to eat the warm meal.

The tomato soup was something different. Like it was freshly made, along with the grilled cheese. All freshly made, the first freshly homemade thing me, my brother and sister have ever really had. Moving from home to home every few months or years since we were little we didn't get a lot of home-cooked meals.

But Danny was right. Who made the soup and grilled cheese?

 

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Chapter 2

After eating, Will and Ethen had something to do, leaving me and Danny alone to find which room our bags were in. It took a while to find the room since there was so many. While walking around, there didn't look like much, now that is was just me and Danny there was a lot more. The bags were in one of the many rooms with everything Elle said would be in it, one bed -already made- a dresser and a desk. The walls painted baby blue. Other the head of the bed was a window that let light in.  

Danny and I looked around the room in aw, just like we did with the other. This wasn't some spare room they put us in because we were "unexpected." This room like the others was ready for some to stay in. It smelled fresh, as odd that is to say it did. Other places me and Danny stayed in the room smelled old and stale.  Now I think of it all the rooms in the house smelled fresh. I don't remember a house I been to that was like this. I hope we can make it work and stay here. 

I looked over at Danny and nudged him. "Do you want this room?" I asked him when he looked at me. 

He looked back at the room and nodded. "Yeah, can you get the room next door?" He asked me. 

I gave a small nod. "No problem, Dan. Get your things set out and we can go exploring later." I tell him as I pat his back and go to the room next to his. My room looked just like his but my bed was in the far left corner away with the window still in the center of the far wall. The desk was at the far right, with the dresser close to the door.

 I tossed my bag on the bed and looked around. I gently touch everything in the room as I start to wonder how many other kids stayed in this room. Did they enjoy their stay? Or did Elle give up when she was unable to handle them? I really did want that to happen to me and Danny. My brother deserves one good home before we are out on our own for good this time.  The last few times we have been kicked of homes been my fault, but me and Danny never been separated and we don't want to be. Jessica seems to think Elle could help us and put up with us for the next year. I hope she is right. 

As I look out the window I see Will outside with a butterfly nest, just standing there watching something before bringing down the nest until it looks like he caught what he was after. He started to talk to what was in his nest before letting it go. Will put his hand out as if to push it away before the trees' branches started to sway in the breeze and the thing got caught in the wind and flow away. 

I shook my head casting it off as something just odd as I start to unpack my bag, pulling out the two other pairs of clothes I have along with other clothing items. At the bottom of my bag was some nicknacks I collected over the years from the homes me and Danny stayed at. It was my way keeping track of where we have been. The bottom was the date we got there and left. Now I need one for Elle's. 

I walked back over to Danny's new room and knocked on the open door. Danny looked up from the notebook he manages to keep with him. "Come on let's go check this place out for ourselves." I nodded my head back to the hallway. 

He smiled and nodded. "Okay," Danny said as he put the notebook down and got up. 

I smiled back as I hooked my arm around him. "So where to first?" 

"How about the library," Danny said with a bright smile. 

I chuckled a little. "Good for me. Maybe there are some books you haven't read yet." 

"Did you see that place it was huge. Books outlined the walls and everything." Danny said with a smile. 

"Not to talk about the second floor of books." I chimed in. 

Danny smiled and nodded. "Yeah," Then his smile was gone. "Are you sure Elle won't mind us being in there?"

I looked at him. "Don't worry, just say it was my idea. It's not a lie." I tell him. "Besides Elle doesn't seem like that kind of person. She has condoms in the closets for god sakes." 

Danny chucked. "Good point," Danny said as he wrapped his arm around me. "Let's go explore."

And so we did. We entered the library and looked at all the books it had to offer. Danny loved every second of it. He would pull out books and show me them, tell me how much he wanted to read it. It was great. 

As it got later, Danny started to slow down. A sure sign he was getting sleepy. Danny pulled out one more book and Elle walked in. She gave us a smile "Hey, boys." She said walked over to her desk. "Is there a book a can help you find?" She asked us. Danny held the book he picked out a few seconds before she walked in, close to his chest. Elle looked at the book and smiled. "How about you read it and tell me how you like it." She said with a smiled and Danny's eyes light up and nodded. 

"Thank you," Danny tells her before yawning. 

Elle smiled at him. "How about you two go to bed. I will make breakfast in the morning. What do you like?" She asked us. 

"Chocolate chip pancakes." The sleepy Danny said. 

Elle smiled. "Me too, Go to bed, Danny, sweetheart." She said before looking at me. "You too, Nicky."

I nodded as I got up and gently pulled Danny' hand to the door out of the library. Elle is a sweet lady. But she seemed more... mature than she was when we first got here.  She talked like she was a mother conversing her children to go to bed. 

After I got Danny to his bedroom and got him to take off last his jeans and got him into bed. I had to convert him to sleep without the book in his arms, once that was down. I went back to my room to get ready for bed. I kicked off my jeans, pulled my shirt over my head and crawled into bed. The feeling was blessed. 

But as I tried to go to sleep the light from the hallway hit something on my dresser. I got up and looked to see what it was.  

A ring with a craving on the ring band. it was today's date with a dash under it was a piece of paper neatly folded. I picked it up and opened it. 

Welcome to the family. 

 
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