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Grand Opening Celebration- Sunset Springs Spa, Seattle Started by: Emily-Renfroe on Jul 17, '19 01:44

The weather couldn't have been more perfect for a Seattle grand opening. Emily had made peace with the fact that the day of the grand opening would be rainy and soggy; after all, Seattle is what it is. When the morning came, though, and the sunshine peeked through the window of her bedroom, Emily couldn't wipe the smile off her face. 

Chloe and Jen were there early for breakfast, and then rode with Emily to the spa. Oh, how the brand new building seemed to gleam in the bright sun. The three women walked arm-in arm into the main entrance of the Sunset Springs Health Spa and Resort. For a long moment, they stood silently, admiring the finished product that they'd all worked so hard on. A rush of excitement coursed throgh her, momentarily dimming the physical exhaustion of her weakening muscles, and the worry that she still felt for Gavin. 

Jen gave Emily's arm a gentle squeeze.

"Look at it, Em. It's just...perfect!"

Chloe, with the widest smile, looked at Emily.

"It really is. I never imagined it would look so...."

"Grand?" Emily volunteered. 

There was a quiet sound from nearby, the sound of a man clearing his throat. Emily turned, following the sound, and her eyes fell on an older gentleman wearing a black vest and a big smile. Emily's own smile broke even wider and she flung her arms out toward him.

"Colin! Oh goodness! It's so good to see you! You came all the way up here for this?"

The older Irishman laughed heartily and kissed her cheek. 

"Not at all. I came up here for a job! Got a phone call that this place needed a barkeep-"

He nodded back toward Jen, who was beaming.

"-so I called in a favor to an old friend."

Before Emily could say anything else, another gentleman with a camera appeared just inside the door.

"Excuse me, Miss Renfroe? I'm here from the Seattle Times. I'd love to get a picture for the paper."

Emily grinned and nodded, grabbing Chloe and Colin's hand, and Colin took Jen's hand. They posed as the reporter took the photo. After the flash died down, Emily turned to the door, looking at the small crowd that had gathered.

"Well, let's not keep everyone waiting. Open the doors!"

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Aurora arrived on the arm of Billy_Mastrosimone.  They stood together, arm in arm, under a wide umbrella to shield them from the rain.  Aurora was wearing a pale green tea dress that cut off at the knees and high heels - Billy had a matching pale green pocket square that appeared to be made of silk.  

"Emily thank you for inviting us."  she said as they came up to the woman.  Giving a kiss to her on each of her cheeks she continued, "What should I be looking at first - tell us all about the place!"

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Watching the crowd growing, Emily waved as she saw Billy and Aurora approaching. She squinted against the sun as it glinted against the glass enclosure over the springs.

She returned the traditional greeting to both Aurora and Billy.

"I'm so very happy you both could be here. It just turned out to be a perfect day! I think the absolute first thing you should see is the hot springs. After all, that gorgeous glass enclosure was your husband's idea. You wouldn't believe the comments I've already gotten. Come- let me show you inside."

Winking at Billy, she took his other arm and walked carefully along with them.

"What is your first impression of the finished product, partner?"

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Billy smiled and nodded as he was half dragged through the hall.

"I'm glad folks are liking it. Though I can't say that either of us came prepared to enjoy the hot spring tonight. We just wanted to come by and see the finished product and wish you the best. After all, I can't help you much, I don't know what I'm doing."

He laughed and then turned and looked to his wife.

"We can always come back another time right dear?"

He nodded for the two of them as they arrived in the main room and squinted as the light danced through the glass and among the steam coming from the hot spring.

"Wow Em, this came out even nicer than I thought it would be."

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Before Emily could reply, a familiar British accent rang out behind them.

"Mr. Mastrosimone! How wonderful to see you!"

Jenny and Chloe rushed over and greeted Billy and Aurora. They hadn't seen their former employer since the night they left Las Vegas. Emily smiled and watched while they chatted. Chloe was fawning over Aurora's dress, and Jen was already talking staff with Billy. Despite the pleasant smile on her face, she kept glancing at Aurora. She couldn't help it, the strong, brunette woman just made her think of Gavin. 

Softly, Emily cleared her throat and touched Aurora's elbow, nodding toward a pair of seats near the glass doors. 

The two sat side by side, with a moment or two of silence between them. Emily broke it first.

"It really means a lot that the two of you came all this way. I... was wondering if you'd heard from your father. I have to admit he's been gone longer than I thought he might be; and I'm probably a little more worried than I should be."

She shrugged sheepishly.

"I hope you don't think I'm prying.  I mean...I certainly don't mean to."

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Aurora's face darkened a touch.  She tensed a bit and sat thoughtful a moment before deciding how to reply.  When she spoke her voice was quiet, level, and each word was spoken with purpose as if carefully selected.

"I love my father with every fiber of my being.  I would die for him, gladly, though I know it would likely be the death of him just the same if he were to lose me or my brother Will."

She folded her hands into her lap.  

"He thought I'd be upset finding out that he'd come to care for you.  He's wrong.  In fact, it gave me a great swell of hope that my father might be happy again when he asked me to go back and find you and your girls before we fled Las Vegas.  It told me how much you really mean to him and what he was willing to put at risk to save you... that is to say, all of us.  In my mind, that made you family and it's why I brought you to the house in Port Huron... my mother's most sacred haven, a repository for all the happiness of her life.  Its why I gave you breakfast that morning to take out to him.  I needed you to know I trusted you with him, with his happiness, and with his very fragile heart."

She turned her head and looked at Emily then, her eyes meeting finally the woman's, "My husband tells me you moved to Seattle because you were afraid.  I get that.  I haven't been able to protect our family the way my mother or Aunt Tara did... I've got a very long way to go if I ever hope to come close to filling their shoes and for that... I am sorry.  Sorry to him.  Sorry to you.  Sorry to everyone."

She shook her head, "But you joined another family here in Seattle.  You didn't leave the mafia.  The risk is the same, the name has just changed... and the location.  You're one of the only comforts left in this world... and you moved away from him, a whole damn continent away from him."  

Her nostrils flared.

"I just gotta know... if you cared so damn much, how could you do that to him?" 

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Aurora's words landed like icy splinters on her ears, and in her heart, but Emily couldn't deny that it was a completely fair question. It was clear that Aurora cared deeply for her father. 

Every way that Emily tried to start her answer seemed wrong, but she had to try it. She laced her fingers together in an attempt not to fidget as she tried to formulate her reply. 

"Aurora, you have to understand something. If Vegas hadn't fallen, I would have left anyway. After the attempt on my life by Petrelli, I could barely leave my bedroom. The house, the city...everything was a constant reminder of the insanity I've lived. I've been on the run since I was 14 years old, dodging and cheating death that always seemed to be on my heels."

Emily closed her eyes briefly, fighting a wave of dizziness before continuing. 

​​​​​​"The second night at Port Huron, when I was visiting the girls at the B&B, they begged me not to get back into the info game. They begged me to just walk away. They didn't understand what you and I understand. You can't leave the mafia. You can't stop, but it doesn't have to haunt you. As long as I was in the city, I would be haunted. Hunted. It's the nature of the game I played for too long in both of those places. My history makes it very hard for me to hold still."

She looked to Aurora, this time with a grave look in her eye. 

​​​​​​"If I had stayed in Vegas or Detroit, your father would have been trying to chase away all my demons for me or finding my broken bones every time he walked through the door, and I don't want that for him. If I have a chance to give him any solace, it isn't going to be in the city. It's going to be in the mountains, among the trees and the wild woods. It's where I've found my own peace, for the first time ever. I don't have to look over my shoulder here, and so I know he won't have to look after me, either. He knows where I am, and he'll know this place and my home will be a sanctuary when he wants it. I have one more battle to fight, and if I'm lucky it'll be done before he gets back. Then, I can just be here for him, not needing anything of him; just being here for him. That's all I want."

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She shook her head, "In my whole life... my father has never done anything halfway." 

She looked away from Emily, realizing then who she was really mad at and it wasn't the beautiful dark-haired woman beside her.  "You might want to think that my father... if he comes back from this trip... will only come to see you from time to time; but I see the reverse being true.  My father will retreat to the solace you offer and only emerge when we need him... when he misses us enough... for holidays, birthdays and special occasions.  My father lives to play the hero Emily, you're not a burden to him... you and your problems make him feel needed and that more than anything is something he needs these days.  He needs it so damn badly he's chasing after a son he barely knows trying to help him solve his problems."

A ghost of a smile played on her lips and her eyes got a distant glassy look to them, "When my father left for a time, to raise us, he was... miserable.  I mean, he loved us and it was great but... he wasn't the same.  He might think I didn't notice, but the decline of his speed and strength was a wound to his ego.  Every year he was out, he knew what he was trading.  His prime... for a few more of our smiles."

She exhaled.

"As a mom, I get it now.  I didn't then... but I do now."  She shook her head, "But he lived for those moments when my mom and him got to cowboy up for another grand adventure.  Every time I clean my gun the smell of gun oil takes me back to those times watching him clean his guns, that shit-eating smirk on his face, the same sort of excitement and fear you get going on a thrill ride at an amusement park.  It was electric in the air all about him and my whole damn life, for as long as I can remember knowing what it was he was doing... I wanted to be him.  I just wish I had been able to understand why sooner."

She closed her eyes a minute longer than was needed to blink, she could almost see her mother smiling at her as she went out the door closing it behind her. 

"He told me about his liver before he left.  Told me about how he's been feeling.  Talked about you... a fair amount and if he didn't care about you so god-damned much... I honestly wouldn't give a shit where you went or what you did." 

She drew a long slow breath.

"But he does... and I do, care that is, about you.  He didn't tell me much about your business... I've pieced together some of your story from so many sources but I wouldn't have presumed to know much about you in truth.  But despite how upset I've been with you leaving... I do want to.  I meant what I said about you being like family and I hope when my father inevitably begins spending more time in Seattle's wilderness than with me and my kids... that you'll kick him out to come to see us from time to time."  

Aurora was silent for a long while.

"I know you're scared.  Worried about how he's doing and how long he's been away. But, trust me when I say, he'll come home."  She said, reached over and took Emily's hand in her own, repeating the words her mother had said to her as a little girl so many times before. 

"Our Wolf always comes home."

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Seattle's favorite orange alley cat wandered into the complex through a slightly propped open front door... Something had stopped it from closing after a certain duo from Detroit had made their way inside. Perhaps it had just been the wind from the rain that held the door at bay, but it shut solidly behind the cat who paused and turned to look at it as if saying -rude!-.

Turning away from the door, the cat padded quietly across the room and hopped onto the front desk where he startled the receptionist.

"Meow..."

The receptionist giggled slightly after her fright and then reached out to pet the animal. "What are you doing here mister?"

"Raow..." he purred out and pushed his head against her hand, his paws walking all over the desk. The receptionist chuckled and picked him up. "Oof! You're a heavy boy, hmm?" she snickered as she walked toward the front door. "I'm sorry, but I can't have you in here..." She frowned sadly at the cat and then hugged him tightly before opening the door and tossing him outside. He turned and stared at her and meowed again in an obstinate whine before the door shut on him. The receptionist turned to head back to her desk.


The door opened again right as she turned around and Thomas walked in, a smile on his face. "Oh! Hello!"

The poor girl nearly jumped out of her skin as she spun and stared eye to eye with the dark, curly haired male. "H-hello? I swear I didn't see you or I'd have held the door open for you! I'm so sorry! Oh my gosh, I must have been so preoccupied with that poor cat! Hello, welcome to the Sunset Springs Spa!"

Thomas looked over his shoulder then back to her, a puzzled look etching slowly across his face. "Um... What cat?" He blinked at her and she walked to the door and opened it. "That one rig..ht... there?" She frowned and shook her head. "Oh! I know!" She grabbed his hand and led him to the desk where she pointed at wet little paw prints on the desk. "See! There was a cat!"

Thomas chuckled and nodded. "Okay then, lass. There was a cat. I believe ya." The receptionist, feeling like she was no longer loosing her mind, smiled and handed him the leather bound menu. "Here are our services! What might you be interested in today, sir?"

With a smile, he ran his finger down the list. "Honestly? I just want to look around, but that steam rock sauna sounds nice." The receptionist nodded and began writing things down on a registrar list before passing the paper off to the hostess who waved Thomas along. Once in the changing room he'd been handed a wonderful terry-cloth robe and a glass of champagne. Tipping his head, he waved farewell to the hostess.

As the door shut, however, the magic began. He waved his hands and changed the color to black with a monogram insignia on the left chest. He then sat about exploring around the spa resort with his champagne in hand until he stumbled into the hot springs room itself. He paused in mid-step, looking awfully comfortable in his black robe, barefoot, and disheveled hair with champagne glass in hand.

"Oh! I'm terribly sorry." He nodded to Aurora before looking to everyone else. "Forgive the intrusion. I'll leave you to your gathering!"

Thomas took a drink of his champagne then bowed his head and turned toward the direction he'd come from; he hesitated, if only for a second, to see if someone needed him or wanted to say something to his presence...

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This was the day, the opening of Emily's new business she's been telling him about for weeks now and there was no way he was going to miss this big day for her.  He adjusted his crimson necktie, threw on a charcoal grey suit vest then made his way to Sunset Spring Spa.  He drove his Mercedes-Benz 710 SSK Trossi Roadster with it's top-down enjoying the sunshine and wind on his face.  It wasn't exactly as freeing as riding a motorcycle, but it made Integra a lot more comfortable riding with him. 

He pulled up to the establishment.  The building was very impressive, his imagination from the details she told him about, did not to the building justice. It was absolutely perfect. He ran his fingers through his raven black hair, in an attempt to tame the mess that was made of it during the drive there, then walked inside and was warmly greeted by the woman behind the desk, he gave her an equally warm smile and his usual British charm. 

"Hello there," He smiled and his amber eyes sparkled, "I'm a friend of Emily's, I'd like to personally congratulate her on opening this absolutely fantastic establishment..."

He had no sooner finished what he was saying when he heard some very familiar voices coming from near the Hot Springs, and smiled a little brighter after realizing he'd found her when he looked over the woman's shoulder. 

"If you'll excuse me, I believe I have found my dear Emily." 

He gave the woman a friendly nod, and headed over to Emily, and to his surprise Aurora and Billy.   The smile he wore on his face quickly faded as he approached Emily, her health was not getting better as he had hoped it was, it looked like she was losing more than just weight, but muscle mass now as well.  He knew in public was not the place to address his concerns though, so he made sure he was wearing a smile again by the time he made it to the three of them. 

"BILLY!" Alucard extended his hand to his brother,   "How are you?  It's been a while since I last saw you at the Chaise.  Things are going well for you I hope."

Turning his attention to Aurora, he smiled and warmly said, "Mrs. Mastrosimone, it's always a pleasure to see my twin iris." 

Finally, he embraced Emily as he said, "Now here's the woman of the hour.  Em, this place is absolutely amazing.  You know, I've never had a proper massage before, something I think I'll need to remedy here soon."  He whispered his last words to her, "When you have a moment I'd like to have a private word with you."

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"Mr. O'Malley, you don't need to leave so quickly!"  She called out to Thomas_OMalley and called out to Billy_Mastrosimone who had reappeared in her line of sight.

"Billy this is Thomas O'Malley, I told you about his investing in The Riverwalk?"

Wild-Card's arrival caused the last of the stress to leave Aurora's face and she smiled brightly at the amber-eyed gentleman.  "Twin Iris... you do wear those suits well.  Is Integra here with you?" 

Aurora looked around for Alucard's better half. 

"I'm sorry I didn't bring the kids to play with Seras.  Maybe next visit we can plan to make a day of things?"

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Billy smiled and embraced his brother as Aurora smiled at him.

"You're still tiny Alucard, maybe these springs will thicken up those muscles of yours. Em told me she knew you, I ask about you last time I was here, but it didn't seem like there was much time to say hello."

He gestured to his wife then.

"Of course things are going well, just look at my wife. Not a more beautiful woman in the place, what do I have to complain about?"

With that he turned toward the other gentlemen who he had been introduced to and stuck out his hand to Thomas_OMalley.

"Mister O'Malley. It's nice to meet you, Aurora's told me a couple of things, but I confess I try not to pry into her friendships too much. I believe she should have some independence from her husband. After all, she's the most capable person I know so really, it's me who should be the one on her arm all the time."

He smiled and thought about pulling out a cigar for the group, but then realized where he was and kept them in his pocket.

"I do like your robe, different than the others I've seen about, you come prepared yourself?"

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This was the first time Emily had seen the connection between Alucard, Billy, and Aurora. It warmed her heart to see, especially given the heartfelt words that Aurora had just said to her. She stood, hugging Alucard and not without noticing the hint of concern in his eyes. As he chatted with Billy, Emily glanced over to the row of massage rooms. All of them were open. She put a hand on Alucard's shoulder. 

"Aurora, if you don't mind, I need to steal your husband and this troublemaker for a few minutes. We have a bit of business to discuss."

With a perfectly gracious smile, she greeted passing visitors as the three moved toward service room one. It was decorated simply, but gave a very relaxing feel. Closing the door, Emily hoped that would work in her favor as she started. She stood with her back to the table, perching just on the edge and making eye contact with both men. 

"As my business partner and my boss, you have a right to know what I'm about to tell you, but as my friends, I need you to know."

She took a slow breath in. 

"You both asked me to see a doctor, and I did. I found one of the most highly respected physicians in the region and underwent several tests. Dr. Clark believes that I've contracted poliomyelitis. Polio, as most know it."

She felt all the air sucked out of the room almost immediately. Emily raised both hands a little, attempting to slow their knee-jerk reactions. 

​​​​​​"He's wrong. It's not polio. There are s similar symptoms, but not all of mine match the benchmark diagnosis. Dr. Clark, I believe, was far too quick to make such a diagnosis with the tears conducted. He didn't even have them run again and wouldn't extend me the professional courtesy of allowing me to review my own results. So, I'm going to do more research on my own and seek a second opinion."

She looked down at her hands, no rings, watch, or bracelets were there as none would stay on anymore. 

​​​​​​"I don't want either of you to worry. I'm getting nutrition via IV and it's working fine. I'm doing as much physical exercise as I can manage to counteract what seems to be a loss of muscle mass, and I plan on working as steadfastly as I have before. But, I promise you, if I need back up, Chloe and Jen are prepared. Billy, you know both girls and their capabilities. Alucard, I think it would be a wonderful idea for you to get to know them. They do not want to be 'in the business,' but as operators of the resort, they are perfectly qualified and I'll be using them to represent me and my wishes...if needed."

With that, Emily stopped to let the two men process what she'd just hurled at them. 

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Billy looked to Alucard, then back to Emily and nodded before stepping up to her and giving her a hug.

"It's gonna be ok Em, you can beat whatever it is."

He stood there for a moment and waited before backing up again.

"The girls can take care of shit like you said, and I'm always around, Alucard is right down the street too, so I'm happy to bring him in as your boss, and as a silent partner to make sure things run smooth. I wouldn't trust anyone as much as I do him, he knows that. Right?"

He turned to face his brother then and made a face that begged for help protecting the woman who was his friend.

"In the mean time, take your time, get another doctor to take a look and see what they say. It's good that you're still able to be up and about with that kind of thing going on, but we gotta get you a fix for it."

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Pretty little Emily! I shall pay a visit to your fine establishment.
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Alucard gave his brother a grin at his playful jab.  "I may not be that hugely muscled brother, but at least Tegs can use my abs like a washboard if we ever need to.  I mean, I can show you... if you like."  Alucard gave Billy a wink, before addressing Aurora. 

"Tegs stayed behind to put Seras down for a nap, and leave the sitter some instructions.  She should be here shortly.  Though would be nice to see the kids together, I think Brigette might have some fun playing with Baskerville, heck he might be big enough now for her to ride him like a pony."  Alucard gave a warm chuckle, "That would be a sight to see."

He felt Emily's hand on his shoulder, and gave Aurora a nod and excused himself as he followed her and Billy into the massage room.  He listened to everything Emily had to say about her condition.  His amiable expression quickly changed to that of sheer concern. 

"Em, if you want I can help you with muscle training.  We can do work on exercises, getting the right proteins in you for muscle building. Whatever it takes, I will help you through this.  Even if I have to physically carry you places.  Whatever you need.  I'll be more than happy to spend more time with Chloe and Jen, I know I wasn't around too much when you all were staying at the house, so if I'm going to be around a lot it would be best if they are comfortable with being around me." 

He looked to Billy as well, his concern for Emily shown clear as day across his face.

"Same goes to you Billy, whatever you need as well. I'll be around to help out here, and I hope you know I will do everything in my power to help Emily.  We'll get her through whatever is going on."

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A smile cracked across Emily's face as she stood, looking between the two of them. 

"That's right. We just keep rolling forward."

The sound of voices outside the room grew thicker. Emily reached out and squeezed both their hands. 

"Alright. Enough of this. Today is for celebration, so go find those pretty wives of yours and enjoy it."

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Thomas spun on his heels and smiled at Aurora_Mastrosimone , a slight bow of his head. As the one introduced as Billy_Mastrosimone stuck his hand out, he gripped it with a smile from ear to ear. "Tha pleasure's all mine, I assure ya." He looked down to his attire, feeling under dressed in the gathering, but perfect for the establishment.

"I can tell yeh, Aurora's line? I've watched them, hell pretty sure our lines 'ave crossed 'afore." He chuckled as he looked back up and met Billy's eyes. "But I overheard tha lady," he pointed at Emily-Renfroe"say that this?" He gestured to the domed roof. "This was your idea." Thomas grinned. "So don't count yourself out either, lad." He winked. "As for the robe? Just a little somethin' I whipped up." He smirked, knowing just how true the statement was... However, as Emily asked to speak with Alucard and Billy alone, he nodded and stepped aside to let the three pass; bowing his head in respect to Wild-Card as one of the city's heads.

 

As the others left, Thomas made his way over to Aurora. "Greetings, madam." He smiled and reached for her hand, raising it and kissing the backside. "On behalf of Seattle, welcome." He respectfully released her hand as quickly as he'd reached for it. "So if I may, is everything okay? The tension was a bit..." he paused, looking away as he searched for a word. "Conflicted? Constricted? Hell, it was foggy in here, love... And not in the steamy kind of way." He chuckled.

"You looked a bit upset..." Thomas turned his back and made his way toward the hot springs, his feet slipping into the water with an audible sigh of relief. "Oh these are nice... I bet they could help whatever worries your beautiful brain, lass. And madam Renfroe's." The towel opened with his back to her, but he tactfully kept himself shrouded from her view (if she even watched) with the robe... Slowly lowering himself and allowing the robe to bunch together on the edge of the springs...

Once fully enveloped in the steamy waters, he turned back to her with only his arms and face showing, resting on the soft, black terrycloth of the robe. "I'm a good listener, and can generally make things... Better. Some people say there's 'magic' in these fingertips..." He waved his fingers jokingly as he rolled his own eyes in the lame charade of being, well, Thomas...

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Integra had arrived a bit after Alucard since she'd stayed behind in order to get Seras down for her nap, leaving Baskerville at the house to help guard the small child. She smiled warmly as she watched her daughter sleeping, giving Basker some attention before heading out with a few guards to head towards the Sunset Springs Spa that had just been opened up by Emily Renfroe. She relaxed a bit in the car ride as she straightened herself up before running her hands through her hair. 

Baskerville certainly kept her on her toes, she felt blessed that Seras seemed to inherit her calmness as a child. She certainly was a curious one and would be a bright child, but for now, Integra would enjoy her little girl being just that. She wouldn't worry too much about her once she got older either for there was Baskerville who always seemed to be at their side.

Once the driver pulled outside of the Spa, Integra allowed herself to get out of the car and glanced up at the building, taking everything in and smiling at the hard work that Emily had put into this place. Taking even strides she walked in, nodding towards the woman at the front desk, about to ask where Alucard and Emily might be when she spotted two familiar people to her and one semi-familiar. She smiled warmly at the group as she simply walked towards them. Walking up to Alucard and hugging him, before glancing over at her brother with a smile and giving him a hug. "It's good to see you again, Where's Aurora?" She glanced around for Aurora_Mastrosimone before turning her attention to Emily. The last she had seen the girl she was looking healthy. The last she had heard was her worry for a certain man had her not eating as much. This view in front of her though was not someone who was simply worried about another being, but it wasn't for her to dig up as if it was something Emily wanted her to know... then Emily would tell her. Instead, she would just offer the woman a hug as she greeted her. "This place is amazing."

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"Integra, I'm so happy you could come."

She smiled and hugged her back. 

"Before you go, I have something for you - a gift for your daughter. I'll go and get it and leave it at the reception desk, that way you can get it when you're ready in case I'm somewhere else."

Emily nodded to Alucard, Integra, Billy, and Aurora, then slipped off toward the staircase near the restaurant that led to the second floor. Chloe watched her go, then took Colin by the arm and began to chat quietly to him. 

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