Firo Stutters Through a Proposition and Ennis Turns to Maiza for Conference

The day in the makeshift home of Ennis, Firo, and Czeslaw was tense. Firo was hosting a dinner party to welcome some imortals that had come forth since Szilard's death. Maiza was currently in the kitchen helping Firo with the dinner. Ennis was upstairs helping Czes with his hair while Czes helped her into her very first formal dress.

"Are you certain I look okay?" Ennis was sitting on Czes's bed while he zipped up the back of her dress. It was striking - a deep green that set off the copper threads in her hair. Czes would never admit it, as he was very much still ten, but he thought Ennis looked absolutely stunning.

"Miss Ennis, Firo will be very impressed." Czes smiled and jumped lightly off of the bed. Ennis turned, slightly uncomfortable, as the skirt made her feel as though she was expsed, though the skirt went to her ankles. Ennis gestured to Czes, leading him to her very limited jewelry box. Firo had given her a bracelet when she moved in.

"For helping with the house 'n everything." he'd said sheepishly. It was gold - the kind that only the Camorra could afford. It was the first piece of jewelry Ennis had ever owned. Ennis could not help but blush as she thought of how Firo had nervously handed her the box and wrung his hands as she gazed at the velvet-lined innards of the box.

"Do you have any other jewelry, Miss Ennis?" Czes's smile looked rather mischievous - his eyes glinted dangerously.

"No, Czes, you know that." Ennis smiled, tapping Czes's head gently before reaching for her shoes. She wobbled just a little as she found her balance in the tall shoes. Czes smiled again, taking Ennis's hand and taking her down the stairs. Firo must have heard their slow progress down the stairs because, just as they reached the halfway point, he poked his head out into the hallway. His smile fled quickly, a red tint taking its place on the young man's face.

"Ennis," he exclaimed, "You look, eh, great." He stuttered for a bit, eventually adding, "You look swell, Czes." Czes smiled, running to help Maiza in the kitchen as soon as he and Ennis reached level footing. Firo ran a quick hand through his hair, fidgeting with his shirt and apron. He smiled at Ennis, obviously debating whether or not to offer her his arm. She took it when he did eventually offer, smiling softly.

A crash from the kitchen hastened the two's journey back to the kitchen. Maiza was busy picking up a dropped bowl of stuffing. Firo hurried to help them, and once they had picked it up he turned fully to Ennis. She smiled slightly, uncomfortable under a decidedly appraising gaze.

"Ennis," Maiza smiled fully, "You look beautiful. Is this your first time in a dress? I can't recall seeing you in one previously." He chuckled lightly.

"I… haven't." Ennis blushed again. She felt horribly exposed with all of these men (and boys) giving her such compliments. Before it had only been Szilard, and he… No, not now.

"Maiza," Ennis looked up, "have you got a moment?" The man nodded, removing his oven mitt (for he had kept one on when picking up the stuffing) and wiping his hands on his apron.

"Of course," He put an arm around her shoulders, leading her out of the kitchen. They sat on the steps. "It's about Firo, isn't it?" Ennis colored, surprised.

"No." She said quietly, "I was wondering if I really looked… pretty. All of you have said as much, but… I still have difficulty believing that changing my hairstyle and clothing can make me a more attractive person." Maiza nodded, furrowing his brow. He sat for a moment before sighing.

"That's a difficult question to answer, Ennis. You are an attractive woman to begin with, but…" Here he asked her to stand before him again, contemplating how to continue. "We are used to seeing you in your suit, which you appear to quite enjoy wearing (and which is absolutely fine), so the shock of realizing you are not only strong but graceful and elegant (which isn't to say you aren't under normal conditions)… We are just pleasantly surprised." Maiza scratched his neck. "I apologize. Perhaps I am not wording this correctly. But you are not beautiful because you changed your appearance - you have always been beautiful. We all just… needed a push to see it." Maiza no longer glanced at Ennis. He was staring, Ennis noted, towards the kitchen. Was the stuffing burning, she wondered. It hadn't crossed her mind that this was perhaps the most she had ever heard Maiza speak at a time.

Soon, though, Ennis had no way to know why Maiza was acting so strangely. Miria and Isaac quickly began to "get the ball rolling" by bringing large bottles of Russian-imported alcohol. They poured it into a glass to see if Czes would believe it was water. Luckily, Maiza managed to put a stop to it before anything happened. Sylvie began to sing -loudly -after just one glass of wine. Elmer introduced the "new" immortals to the "old", asking from each a smile. In time, they all settled to dinner, smiled and ate, and eventually they retired to the living area. It was there that Ennis found he night - and truly her life - changed just a little.

"Ennis, can I bother you for a second?" Ennis nodded, confused. Firo led her upstairs to his room, asking for her to sit for a minute and wait. She did so, worried, for a moment, that Firo might be asking her to leave. She was worried he might ask her to change. What had she done so wrong? The longer she sat, the angrier she became. Why would he have a right to do or say such a thing?

"Sorry to keep you waiting." Firo smiled sheepishly, "I had to find this." He pulled out a box, very much like that which her bracelet had been presented in. He opened it, presenting Ennis with a beautiful, delicate golden necklace.

"If you'll have me," Firo said, giving the box to Ennis, "I'd… eh, I'd be honored if you'd, uh… spend some time with me in a, um, romantic fashion" He smiled nervously. Ennis was startled, as had happened so frequently that evening. he looked down at the necklace. It glittered in response. Ennis looked up at Firo, who had taken up a chair and was nervously tapping his fingers on his leg. Her glanced up, smile replaced with a nervously bitten lip. His eyes oozed anxiety.

"Are you propositioning Miss Ennis for romantic involvement?" Czes asked from just outside the door. He smiled impishly when he peeked into the room.

"Yes." Firo sighed.

"Yes, then." Ennis said, nearly unaware she had done so.

"Really?" Firo looked up, surprise and pleasure coloring his cheeks.

"Yes. I think I will." Ennis smiled, chuckling softly as Firo approached her. He stopped suddenly, just before embracing her. She glanced up at him before handing him the necklace. "Will you help me?" She turned round, waiting for Firo.

"Of course." Firo fumbled with the clasp before finally succeeding in helping her into the necklace. "So…" He said as she turned around, "Would you like to go out to diner tomorrow?" Ennis smiled.

"Do I have to wear a dress?" She smiled wryly as she glanced at her outfit again.

"Only if you want to." Firo smiled.

FIN