166 Playing house- Part 2
Vivian should have known that when it came to her nothing went unnoticed by Leo. His eyes picked up every little detail but then it wasn't just about her. He was more attuned to his surroundings than her or the rest of the people she had come across.
She hadn't meant to make him worry. The dreams were more than one could say uncomfortable, where it was hard to let go. She tried not to think about it but the more one tried to escape the faster it caught up with the conscious until you didn't confront it and let yourself merge with it.
"The one with the ghosts?" she heard Leonard ask her, his head tilted to the side.
Yes, she thought to herself but that wasn't all to her dream. There was more than the ghost, "You can share anything with me," he assured her and she nodded to acknowledge the fact that he would always be there to listen to her.
Her night would usually be her waking up from her sleep which he had noticed but had not spoken about it. Despite her difficult dreams, Leonard had given her enough time not wanting to push her so that she would herself come to him if it was too much but she was overdue in telling him what was occupying her mind. On why she kept looking far away and a sadness that had come to hinder behind her eyes which peeked out once in a while.
"It was the snow mansion. I saw a lady, a lady in a white dress who keeps roaming in the deserted mansion," he nodded his head to tell he was listening to her, "I think I have dreamt about her now for four times."
"What do you do in the mansion?" he inquired about her dream.
Vivian bit the inside of her cheek, looking at him listen to her keenly with undivided attention. It was at that time did she come to realize how fortunate and lucky she was to have herself married to a man like him. The truth was that at times it worried her that she didn't love him as much as he did. His love was raw and unconditional for which not only filled herself till the top with love but which overflowed and maybe that was why her feelings felt little when compared to him.
She must have been truly blessed, thought Vivian to herself.
"I walk inside the mansion. Every time I dream of it, it feels far too real to call it as just a dream. I know it's a dream but I cannot wake myself up from it no matter how hard I try and it is only at the end when I am scared and my heart starts beating do I come to wake up," she stared down at her hands that she had placed on her lap, "It feels like this, the space and time very much similar to it. The dream ends with the lady wanting to haunt me."
"Have you met her before?" asked Leo for her to shake her head.
"I don't think I have but her face does feel oddly familiar like I have seen her once," she answered for him to pat her head.
"Not all dreams come true, Vivi. It need not be true. Dreams are just figment of your imagination which it conjures itself by taking various elements," Vivian hope it was true, "I might dream of a well but it would have nothing to do with me," believing that that was all that had been weighing in her mind he offered her a smile and this time she made sure to smile back assuredly. Though this was one part of what bothered her, there was another part of her dream which she couldn't come to tell him. If what he said was true there was nothing to worry about but if it wasn't and was a sign about something then...she thought to herself and didn't go to think further down the road.
"How long has Mrs. Clark been working here?" she asked him to change the subject again.
"Since I have known Maximillian. She was a young woman when I first met her but a human will always age," Leonard like Vivian walked on eggshells when he came to think about Vivian's human life. With turning her into a half-vampire being not an option, there was nothing more he could see in keeping her alive.
If he left as it was she would grow old and wither away in front of his eyes while he would still be a young man to continue to live on his life. Another option was to leave a soul bond on her which wouldn't make a difference in her case but once she would pass away his soul would start to die and it wouldn't be long before his body would be taken to the grave.
"She is friendly," Vivian commented on the maid of the house. The tears that had sprinkled over her lashes had dried up.
"That she is," saying this he placed his hand on the bed and leaned forward to kiss on her forehead, "If you ever want to move, tell me. We can buy a house which suits your taste."
"Mhmm," she hummed in agreement, which she doubted she ever would. The Carmichael's mansion was where she had grown up with Leonard. They shared a lot of memories with each other and the others they had grown around with. It was the first time for them, to be sitting like this in leisure like they had come out for a short vacation with the house just for them to occupy where there wouldn't be maids or other servants walking down the hallway or people who would come to meet Leonard, "What would you like eat for dinner?" she asked him.
He gave her a curious look as she got down from the bed and tying up her hair which had loosened to tie it into a bun, "Anything my wife prepares for me," he answered her and this time Vivian went to him and leaned down to kiss him on his lips which she shied from, "This feels like old times."
"Old times? But I never cooked for you," she said earning herself a tilted smile from him. She had helped in cooking meals with the other maids before but never had she been able to cook a complete meal for him. She doubted that the cake she had prepared for him could be considered a meal.
"The time when Charlotte and you would play house with each other, turning us to husband and children," Vivian gave him a look of 'really?' as if she didn't believe him. She was too young to remember every little detail, "Yes, it was quite ridiculous yet sweet now if I think about it."
"You were my husband back then too?" Vivian teased him, putting two pins into her hair bun so that it wouldn't come loose. She opened the door of the room where Leonard stood on his feet to follow her.
"Charlotte was too noisy to be her husband and I didn't want Julliard or Rhys taking the role. Of course, Julliard didn't want to pair up with his sister and would instead push me and Rhys," he stated the obvious. She couldn't stop the smile and bubble of laughter that burst through her lips, "Don't laugh," he sulked.
"Jealous. You must have been an adorable child," she commented, her voice filled with affection for him.
"Think what you may," he said making it only more obvious that he had been jealous since he was young.
"That's very cute," she continued to tease him. It was very rare that she ever found something to tease him with as he was careful when he spoke to her or anyone for that matter.
Mrs. Clark was in the kitchen cleaning the utensils when both Vivian and Leonard appeared there for her to stop and ask, "Is there anything you would like to have? I can prepare a quick meal which shouldn't take more than an hour," Vivian smiled at the offer.
"Mrs. Clark, would you mind if I used the kitchen?" asked Vivian politely for her permission. She was aware that some of the house staff didn't like it when a stranger or any other person tool hold of the kitchen management.
"Of course not, but may I ask why?" the woman looked at them confused.
Leonard piped in, "Vivian here would like to try to cook something. She doesn't get to cook at her house because of her family status," the woman wasn't sure but she nodded her head anyways. What could go wrong after all? Just a few burnt dishes and spoilt food after the young miss would be done testing with her skill of cooking.
"Yes, a young girl ought to know how to cook. Denying the art of cooking is such a shame in your families, young master," Mrs. Clark washed her hand with the water that was placed near the sink, "I did send Master Leonard's coachman to run an errand to bring the few vegetables and meat which we don't have. Is there something you have on your mind that you would like to prepare?" the woman asked the young girl who was a human.
"Let me see," at Vivian's vague response, Mrs. Clark decided that today she would have to put extra effort in scrubbing off the burnt utensils and feed the dogs that often came by at the time of morning so that she could feed them with it.
Vivian could see the worry and distress that formed on Mrs. Clark's face as Vivian began to pick random vegetables that were laid in a corner where the meal was yet to be prepared. Like the woman had stated, some of the items were missing if one wanted to prepare a grand meal but that was alright, thought Vivian to herself.
While his wife was walking around the kitchen getting everything she needed with the help of the maid who looked worried wondering if she was going to set the kitchen on fire, he took himself to the other side so that he could watch her prepare dinner for them. He enjoyed seeing her work as the wife of a simple man, making him wonder if he should make her cook for him once in a while having the servants away.
She moved around gracefully, picking up the utensil and chopping the vegetables which initially Mrs. Clark had gone on and on about being careful with her hand with every chop making her giggle to only be scolded by the elderly woman.
"Don't laugh, milady. You need to focus when you are cutting them else you'll end up with sliced fingers," the last thing Mrs. Clark wanted was chopped finger and her neck on the table as she didn't want the young master furious with her. Though right now it seemed that he was having fun seeing the girl cook. He looked at her calmly his eyes catching every movement of hers which gave an impression to the elder woman that the young master was interested in the young girl.
Noticing the fast movements of her hands and the ingredients she picked, smelling them and adding them to the utensil one by one as logs of fire heated the vessel. Vivian might have not cooked for him but that didn't mean she had never tried cooking. When she was over at Paul's sister's house, Vivian would always help Grace taking hold and testing what tasted good and better. Over time she had grown to be a fine cook.
The elder woman who first had been worried turned from surprised to suspicious. Was young master Leonard joking when he said the lady didn't get to cook because of her status? Because of the way she saw it, the girl had finished one dish after another where after an hour she had got four dishes prepared.
With the main course completed, Mrs. Clark thought that was all but Vivian instead picked three eggs, cracking them open in a bowl before she started beating them while adding milk little by little making her wonder what she was preparing now. Adding a few other elements to it, she put it to be baked inside the steamed utensil in the meantime cleaning the slabs and getting back the kitchen the way it was.
After some time, Vivian went to pull out the batter which turned firm yet soft, steams coming off from above that she placed it in the cold water for it to cool down, "Let's keep it here and change the water every few minutes so that it can be cooled off," hearing this, Mrs. Clark who was flabbergasted asked her,
"Milady, where did you learn to cook like that?" She had picked the simplest items from the kitchen to prepare a meal which smelled delicious from where she stood.
"Ah, that," Vivian hadn't expected to receive a reaction like that for her cooking. Even Leonard beamed from where he stood and she could tell that he was impressed with what she had prepared which made her happy, "The housekeeper-I mean my housekeeper he taught me how to use minimum food while we cook. He was an excellent cook," Vivian praised Paul, "He told me that a way to man's heart is his stomach."
"That is right, dear. It is always the food that will bring two individuals closer," the elderly woman agreed to nod her head. She then turned to look at Leonard, "Young master Leonard, you lied."
"I did?" Leo cocked his head to the side making the woman frown, "Frankly I am surprised myself that she cooked so much. You turned to a fine wife," he directed his last sentence to Vivian to have his wife blush at his compliment.
Mrs. Clark picked up the compliment before she froze. Wife? For a good three seconds, she processed his words and her eyes widened. She caught Leonard looking at Vivian with a smile on his face and she looked at the girl before saying,
"Young master Leonard you are married?!" to this Leo placed his finger on his lips knowing Mrs. Clark could be trusted with this small secret of theirs.