Darcy is grumbling all the way down to the breakfast with taking furtive glances around each corner trying to avoid Lynette and Lionel at all costs
Michael helps by shooing Lionel back into the kitchen right before Darcy can notice him. The banter at the table, now including John, is relaxed up to the point when Lynette saunters into the room wishing everybody a good morning which gets Darcy to promptly drop her tea cup (which Michael catches), turn red, mumble something and try to flee. Lynette really wanted to talk to her, so Michael tries to calm her down, taking the talking over.
Lynette informs them that payment from John would mean his permanent addition to the household and asks if everybody is okay with that, which they are. Darcy’s part of the payment is that she has to protect him from mundane methods of being removed from the house which she intended to anyway
With that settled Lynette hooks arms with John and says that this will take the better part of the day before escorting him off
Michael plans a night out on the town to celebrate with John, and Darcy, terrified at letting those two alone, enlists the somewhat unwilling Arthur as a chaperone
Michael decides to run errands in London, asking if he can bring Darcy something before suddenly smirking and saying he knows what to get. She has given up on being suspicious and just readies any letters she needs to be delivered and asks him to pick up the paperwork from Harker’s
During a short break from the paperwork for her, and from studying forensics for Arthur, he takes a ride and finds a red wolf running along for a short while. When Arthur returns to the stable Lionel asks him what is going on with Darcy now, he thought the two of them finally started getting along better so now he is confused why Michael kept him away. Arthur offers that he isn’t sure but it probably would be bad to ask directly, but given the way Michael looked lately, Arthur does not want to know anyway!
Michael returns in the evening and saunters into Darcy’s office, where she is more than happy to put the paperwork to the side given that she spent the entire day on it
He puts a fancy suitcase on her desk and hands her a key with the most innocent of grins, prompting her to open the gift very cautiously… and to slam the lid right back down once she sees that he went back to the “private gift shop” and got her a full starter kit
Utterly flustered, scandalized, but secretly curious she ends up shooing him out of the room wishing him a good night out on the town. Thrown off-balance she decides that she might just as well finish the paperwork he brought home… and of course she finds herself lifting the box lid curiously after some time only to slam it down again
With the now unlocked box still standing on the table Darcy feels rather apprehensive at her mother coming into the room to discuss some more wedding details. And of course, it takes Lucy all of a second to take a peek the moment Darcy’s back is turned leading to an utterly embarrassed Darcy and a rather proud and touched Lucy at Michael being so thoughtful towards a dhampir’s increased needs, instead of just getting her flowers. As strange a Segway as that is, it brings up a heartfelt conversation about why Lucy could not be around to raise Darcy. Many vampires want dhampirs dead for the danger they pose due to their improved hunting abilities. Darcy realizes that she might have to fight vampires and how unwilling she is to do so (not fully consciously realizing that is because she copes with being a dhampir by identifying more and more with her vampiric side)
She cannot dwell on the thought for too long because there is a rather shy knock on the door, and now fully transitioned John enters the room in much better fitting clothing. The now distinctively male smell combined with her already liking him gets Darcy to blush, which makes John blush, and Lucy turn around trying her best not to laugh. The conversation between Darcy and John is awkward, if sweet, so it is for the best when Michael shows up.
Maybe not so good that he basically tells him that he looks good and starts putting an arm around him, prompting Lucy to make a nosebleed comment which Darcy takes a good while to process before cussing her brain out. Another unbidden thought is that when her mother clearly seems interested in John she gets competitive thinking: “If somebody bites him it is going to be me!”
John and Michael go to find Arthur, finding him asleep in the library, adorably lying halfway under a book he must have been reading. Trying to be gentle, Michael puts a honey cake in front of his nose, which together with the movement does wake Arthur up.
On the way out Michael does suddenly push both of them in a different direction because he is the only one who has spotted Darcy having given up on the paperwork and fighting off her “interests” and therefore having grabbed the suitcase and is on the way to her room, and Michael knows that she would not want anybody spotting her
Out in the pub, Arthur is taking up position in a corner, with a beer and hides behind his book with only occasional glances at Michael and John to make sure everything is in order. To his astonishment, he gets approached by a girl asking about his book and it turns out that she can hold a good conversation about books, making the evening more enjoyable than he was prepared it would be.
Michael meanwhile turns out to be a good wingman and John soon is dancing with all the pretty girls, and later in the evening in a corner kissing one of them
Michael does interfere a bit to John’s grumbling by pulling him away at the end of the night and on the way home (accompanied by an “ew”-sound from Arthur and him walking ahead out of earshot) tells John that he promised Darcy to make sure that John doesn’t need a shotgun wedding, and that last girl definitely wanted in his pants, before he gives John the talk
Lionel welcomes Arthur home and asks if he didn’t feel like singing, given that he can hear the drunken singing further down the road between John and Michael, and Arthur surprises him by saying that the evening was actually okay, as soon as Lionel hears that there was somebody to talk about books he smiles and nods
In the house, John ends up putting an arm around Arthur and going into a long talk about being different and how good it feels to finally be accepted. Arthur does his best to lend a sympathetic ear while steering them towards bed
Michael knocks on Darcy’s door, probably hoping for a bit of a show, but gets disappointed when she tells him she is decent and finds her rather frustrated, given that she just found out that seemingly, being a dhampir does increase your urges but also means that you need somebody to fulfill them with
“Well, you aren’t alone anymore”, comes his response with a grin. Before they can really start in they suddenly notice a tray with a notice on it. Looking perplexed at each other Darcy grabs it and reads it out to Michael, discovering that the house has had it with them and has given them a map to a specific room to please play in from now. Darcy is embarrassed about even the house commenting on her sex life but Michael is in stitches. While they are trying to gather themselves her mirror suddenly swings aside with a clicking sound, revealing a hidden passage likely leading down to the dungeons and their room
Peeking down the passage Darcy hints that this is his chance now. Still being somewhat uncomfortable around the whole consent issue Michael does ask if she wants him to throw her over his shoulder and she pouts that him asking is sort off ruining the point of her hinting. Overcoming his second thoughts he obliges her. At the end of the tunnel they find a door with a key in the lock and another key on the ring, the two keys put together form a heart, and open the door to a room that is clearly meant for their special needs, with the bed seemingly having incorporated some of the initial dungeon furnishings…
The next morning, as long as he doesn’t think too hard on it, even Arthur is amused by Darcy’s grin slipping off her face every time her father looks in her direction, Lucy is snickering at the display, and John is nursing a headache and vehemently (supported by Arthur) declining to repeat the song from yesterday
A letter is delivered and it turns out to be Harker informing them that the Arthur’s Cove case is settled, declaring Darcy the official owner of the cove and all buildings therein. Overjoyed she asks Arthur to help her start in on setting up the necessary paperwork to bring a school to the community. Harker also asks for permission to send a clerk to help with the large number of ongoing cases and apologizes for the inconvenience so shortly before a joyous occasion. Darcy can’t help but ask her mother if the man was always so formal, which Lucy answers that he is a good man, she guesses, if boring.
For once Darcy couldn’t mind less having to do some paperwork, after all, it is such a lovely day and everything is wonderful
When she does take a break for a midday run, she notices voices from her mother’s room and immediately recognizing Michael’s raised voice she investigates to find Lucy is using vile and vigor to get Damien and Pretty into their wedding outfits for fitting, if he wants to or not. Amused that her mother for once is more interested in putting clothes on Michael than get him out of them, she has trouble ripping herself away but finally convinces herself that it might be bad luck
Arthur took John along for his ride today and Darcy is apprehensive about showing her wolf-self, so for a while she runs along in the underbrush, being loud enough (of course) to alert both to something being there
Wanting to try out one of those pranks the boys are so fond off she jumps out of the woods and at the horses when Arthur mentions that there might be wolves on the manor grounds
Having startled John enough for him to fall out of the saddle Darcy is too afraid for him to get hurt and supernaturally fast jumps again to catch him out of the air and bring him safely to the ground where she circles around him a few times to make sure he is okay, which only frightens him more
Arthur dismounts and reassures him that this wolf is harmless (growl), um, friendly
John notices that the wolf has the same eyes as Lady Darcy, prompting her to hide behind Arthur and looking rather sheepish, while Arthur is doing his best to give non-committal answers to his questions
Growing bolder John kneels in front of her, looking into her eyes, and Darcy decides she might just as well be in for a penny, in for a pound on the joke, and tackles him over licking his face
Bad idea… she notices his taste a bit too much, and is rather thankful she is still happy from last night, so to distract her and because Arthur deserves his own due, he is the next one getting tackled and slobbered on, prompting him to try to find out how much she still is in control of herself
Her deciding that her only way to save at least a little bit of face is to pretend to be more wolf than Darcy she does not give him any good answers. Slightly unsure he decides to turn around and bring everybody back to the castle just in case
Michael is waiting on the stable roof (making John gasp at jumping down) and grabs Darcy for a hug, getting slobbered over as well, with Arthur handing the problem over to him
Michael did see her wink and feels her mischievousness and decides the best way to get her to change back in that mood is to jump into the pond with her, resulting in nothing more than a wet wolf and a water fight
When Arthur to his utter disbelief sees that scene Michael is trying to get him involved, only to run nose first into a magic barrier and getting his wounds licked by Darcy, who at this point really is beginning to lose herself
Michael softly tells her to change, and too embarrassed to fully admit to it being her in front of John she runs off behind the house (after Michael’s shout about the floors veers her off her path to run into the house directly)
Alone now, the boys decide to actually go swimming for real and head to the lake, with John being much happier than one would expect for just going swimming, but to him it is the first time he can simply be one of the boys, so the joy of playing naked in the waters has special meaning to him