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Emerald-green lawns rolled away from the mansion in a fashion just a shade too calculated to look like a natural meadow. Someone a hundred years ago or so had been told by the Marko family to make it look like a castle in an ancient forest. Whoever the architect had been, however, had been unable to quite give up right angles and pre-planned asymmetry. Charles frowned at the grass, trying to remember if the estate manager had hired three groundskeepers to come twice a week or two people three times. "I suppose I shall have to let the staff go," he said.

"What?" Raven asked in a tone that indicated full well that she'd heard him, but she just couldn't believe what he'd said. She'd been using that voice a lot in the last month.

Charles shoved his hands in his pockets, keeping his eyes fixed on the landscaping. The gravel drive would need weeding soon, and he remembered someone coming around to prune the trees in the next month or so. Still, "We can hardly train these explosive young men, and I do mean that literally, around..." He searched for a epithet that wasn't 'normal people.' "Around civilians."

"Afraid of what the neighbours might think?" Raven asked, and Charles didn't have to read her mind to know that she was thinking about his mother.

"I'm afraid that Alex will bisect the gardener on accident." She shot him a glare, and he paused, then admitted, "And I suppose it would be nice not to worry about what the people of Salem have historically done with people who are different. It's too early to deal with all that."

Raven stood beside him, hands in her own pockets, and didn't say anything for a long time.

"I want you and the boys to feel safe here," he said, shifting to brush his shoulder against hers. "This is our home now."

She snorted. "Well, I suppose nothing says 'home' like having to mow the lawn."

"I have certainly heard that said," Charles said blithely, no one had ever mentioned such a thing in reference to him. "Though I was rather thinking we might leave that up to Erik. To hone his powers, see if he can control the rotary mower without petrol."

Looping her arm around his, Raven turned them back towards the mansion. "Sounds like a plan, though you can be the one to tell him that."