168 Full house- Part 2
"Elliot," she heard the voice of Jerome Wells behind her which made her turn to see the man whose eyes moved from his brother to her, giving her a warm smile. He wore a dark blue suit, his black wavy hair holding the same texture as his brother except for the hair color.
"Good evening, Vivian," his gaze had always been kind not because it was her but to everyone around him. Since Mr. Carmichael's death, Jerome hadn't visited the Carmichael's mansion as often he did in the past. The housework which was given was a summer house that had been work in progress and had now been paused.
"Good evening, Jerome," she greeted him and the man greeted everyone around being his polite self.
Taking a deep breath internally she didn't let her eyes wander far this time as she didn't want inviting anyone more whom she knew to talk to her. It was as if everyone she knew were under the same roof today. She should have known though that coming here didn't just bring the opportunity to see her parents but also others whom she knew and some whom she wasn't eager to meet and exchange pleasantries. With so many people, she tried to relax her self while keeping a calm and peaceful composure while giving herself a mental pep talk.
Having so many people around, Vivian had to greet people whom she had no clue and hadn't met before. Leonard being one of the most capable men in the council, he was quite popular where people didn't miss to stop and talk to him, spending their time asking how he arrived and where he was staying apart from work-related issues.
But Vivian was no less when compared to him. Being one of the topics in the council as she was one of the few females who had attempted and possibly the first human girl to pass the first exam, some of the council folk already knew her name.
Two of the councilmen who belonged to the same wing, Datan and Heuren wanted to talk to Leonard, excusing themselves while leaving her in Jerome's company.
"You look very pretty today, Vivian," Jerome complimented her, his voice not too high for anyone to pick but enough for her to hear.
"You don't look bad yourself, Jerome. You didn't come to visit now, we still have a chess match which has been long overdue. Had Leonard not spoken about the house on how he wants to proceed with it?" she asked, her eyes going to see Leonard who was still talking to his fellow councilmen about something which must have been important as his face held a grave expression.
Jerome smiled down at her, his eyes were not able to keep away from the beautiful lady who stood next to him, "My apologies for not visiting. I have been meeting with the Duke outside. It seemed rather befitting to discuss at the layout where one cannot see how they would like it built," the truth was that even though Vivian had picked Leonard to be her partner, the vampire still couldn't get past his fondness for her.
He had caught her first glimpse today when she had entered the hall like many others his eyes had followed her around the room, like a beautiful angel that had ascended down here she had a smile adorned on her face. It wasn't her unbridled smiled but a smile nonetheless which could capture one's attention.
He had loved her since the first time they had met at the Carmichael's mansion, her spirit was free and untainted but he could see now that there was something that lingered around her, something that had changed and though he couldn't point it out, he could tell her soul wasn't the same as before. Still, his feelings remained the same. Love wasn't something that came easy to him, he was a handsome man who had received his fair share of attention from women but it was the maid whom he had been attracted to. Jerome was the kind of man who would continue to love the girl despite her not returning back his feelings without keeping any ill intentions for what he loved.
To maintain distance, he had begun to meet the Duke outside and not in the mansion to avoid himself from being more than attached to the girl. Maybe if Leonard wasn't there in the picture, there would have been a high possibility of Vivian being sweat off her feet by him but the thought couldn't be lingered on with. He wasn't blind to see that Leonard loved the woman which Vivian had accepted with an open heart.
"How long are you going to be here in Valeria?" he asked her.
"Just until tomorrow morning."
"That's short. There are a few wonderful places to look around," Jerome smiled at an old woman, bowing his head who was walking by them, "You can ask Leonard to take you. It would be a change of pace before you get busy with the council work."
"How about you? Are you planning to stay here?" she asked him curiously. One of the servants who was walking by with the drinks in the hand stopped by to offer them, handing one to her and one to the vampire.
The servant after taking a round of serving the drinks to the other guests until the tray he held was empty he made his way back in the way he had come to step out of the hall where a lady stood with her arms crossed, her feet tapping underneath her gown. Seeing the servant come out of the hall she asked him, "What happened? Did you give it to her?"
"Yes, milady. Just as you asked," the servant replied back who looked left and right to make sure no one heard him, also making sure no one had found him to be suspicious.
"The one with the red?" the woman made sure to see if the lowly human had done as she asked to see him nod, "Good," pulling out her pouch which she had carried along with her, she opened to pick a gold coin. The servant eyed it greedily but to his dismay, the lady put it back in her little pouch, jingling it before pulling another coin which was silver in colour.
The silver coin might not have been equivalent to the gold coin but it was more than the bronze and the nickel which the servants were used to and some who didn't even have enough to save them. About to hand it over to the man, she almost placed it in his hand before pulling back her hand to gain his attention, "Keep this to yourself."
"Yes, milady. My lips are sealed," the servant bowed his head low enough to make the lady nod in satisfaction.
Lady Shirley looked pleased, waving her hand as if she was done with his presence, she went back inside the hall where everyone was busy talking or dancing in the middle of the room where the musician had situated themselves close by the wall. When she had come to the Winter's ball like she had been excited like other time she had come to take part in this occasion which was held by the pureblooded families of the oldest lineage.
Her charms and efforts over Duke Leonard might have not worked but that didn't mean she couldn't look at the other blooming prospects. There were plenty of bachelors, who would willingly take her as their wife but it was just that she had been evasive with each of them in the past due to her eyes set on Leonard Carmichael. Ball and other social gatherings meant she had a chance to show herself off on how singly available she was, a girl of beauty who came from a good background.
Lady Shirley might have thought it to be so and it might have been true a few months ago when she was being pursued by most of the men who had great wealth in terms of cash and lands. The problem was that when men came to court her, she had been absolutely rude to them and delusional at the same time to think her looks and affection for Leonard was enough to woo and make him fall in love with her.
She hadn't expected to see the wretched maid to be here not with the Duke at least. Her blood had boiled looking at the woman and why did she look like that? She was a maid and maids were meant to look ugly! Shirley couldn't understand what had happened, the girl was an average looker but why was she dolled up? Her clothes looked expensive, one which must have been of vintage and the necklace, Shirley's eyes had gone wide in shock to see something so delicate and out of the price to be worn by a lower human.
Just because she wasn't aiming for Leonard anymore that didn't mean she didn't spite the maid for the embarrassment that she had caused in the soiree. She hadn't known that it was the maid who had woven the sweater and unknowingly she had made use of it, calling it as her own to impress the man she was trying to catch the attention of.
The maid had the audacity to tattle-tale on her and Shirley wanted to even the score now.
The drink that she had sent through the maid wasn't something a human would be able to withhold consciousnesses. Shirley had smartly mixed the contents which would have seemed like a normal squeezed juice. With the knowledge, she had come to learn that mixing many alcohols could give one another strong feel, kicking the conscious to another state. She could hardly wait for Vivian to drink.
"I might stay here for a month or more," Jerome answered to her question which surprised her, "I know it is long but my brother lives here and he wanted me to stay with him for some time," she nodded her head understandingly.
"You should spend more time with him," saying this, she looked at Jerome's brother, Elliot who was flocked around by many women who were waiting for his attention. Compared to the two brothers Elliot was the extrovert while Jerome didn't go out of his way unless it was necessary.
"You can stay here for some time too," Jerome's words brought her gaze back to him, "You can ask him to go ahead while you spend some time here. I can show you around, some of the tourist's spots which might be to your liking if he's busy that is," her lips parted but she didn't know how to respond to his suggestion.
Vivian had never been the kind of person to hurt someone's feelings purposely. She always took an atmost effort in making sure her actions didn't cause anyone hurt or pain and maybe that was one of the many qualities of her which attracted men like Jerome.
Seeing the distressed looked Jerome smiled, "It's okay to refuse, Ms Vivian," he addressed her the way he used to before she was turned to Lady Vivian.
"I apologize for before if my words lead you on to something," her brows furrowed as she said it to him. The music was loud enough to drown a whisper of talk as they conversed with each other. Jerome shook his head.
"Please don't say that. You will shame me if you apologize," he then looked down at her hand where she held the red drink in her hand.
"You need to make sure it's drinkable by humans. Some drinks are not meant for humans and can be very toxic," he spoke concerned to which Vivian smiled who had already taken a sip from the glass. The drink was too sweet and coarse on her tongue making it feel nice in her mouth as she took another sip.
Apart from Leonard, no one knew that she couldn't be intoxicated and she was glad that the alcohol would never affect her but this one seemed like a normal juice. Taking a few more gulps, she then heard Jerome turn to look at her completely, "I heard something from one of the councilmen who heard about the examination that's going to take place next week. The task," he said informing it like secret know one was supposed to know of. Vivian leaned forward as the task wasn't something which would be told before the examination took place.
"A skeleton was supposedly found in the area which was placed there for a long time without anyone moving it as they say that dead things are sometimes better to be left where they are but there's also a saying of the restless soul wandering in search of revenge or peace due to which they are burnt and buried. I heard from the councilman that the task it to find out what happened there," she tried to wrap her head around with the confidential information which Jerome gave her.
"It's a groundwork," Vivian responded.
"Looks like it. I heard the previous exams were difficult while this one is supposedly easier," curious to learn more about it, she asked him,
"Do you know where it is?"
"It's in Bonelake," it was? how lucky was she to not have to go to another land which she wasn't versed with, "It's the mansion up on the hill. The snow mansion," her face turned pale at this information.
~Don't forget to use your power stones for the book~