169 Full house- Part 3
If she had taken another sip from the glass when Jerome had told her about the second exam having to do in the snow mansion, it was for sure that she would have ended up coughing due to the liquid going in the wrong pipe.
"It would be best to do some research beforehand so that you are well prepared," Jerome finished the last contents of his drink before giving his empty glass to another servant who was passing by them.
Vivian looked at him with dread, why did it have to be at the snow mansion? She couldn't help wondering about the coincidence of her dream occurring along with the council exam task which she was going to take part in. Did it have something to do with it? Remembering the woman who looked decayed every time she came close to her brought in chills over her body.
Jerome had mentioned about the skeleton was it the same skeleton she and Leo had found? It must be, she thought to herself.
"How do you like the Winter's ball so far?" he questioned, snapping her out of her thoughts.
"It looks grand. It is my first time to be attending it," which was true. All these years, she had only heard of Mr. and Mrs. Carmichael visiting it. Life here was different from what she came from, she had grown up thinking of herself to be someone who was from a poor family who had abandoned her, which wasn't entirely false, "There's a wide gap between the higher society and the local folks who fight for a living. One from the other side of the world won't even dream to enter and see this side of the world."
"Life is about balance, Ms. Vivian, like night and day, and rich and poor. Nothing is ever equal if you observe you will find a flaw in everything," he commented. Giving her glass away the vampire said, "Looks like you can handle your glass fine," he looked impressed with her. Vivian might have not noticed but the faint smell of alcohol had wafted over Jerome's nose.
Vivian smiled at the compliment. She could drink all she wanted but it would never affect her, it was her healing ability which didn't allow her body to be intoxicated.
Turning her gaze to where Leonard had been standing she saw him missing from the spot. Her eyes moved from one person to another until it reached to the blonde man with a glass of alcohol in his own hand but the liquid in it hadn't been sipped yet. Leonard had just held it in his hand for show.
From Vivian stood she admired the man, her eyes capturing every movement of his which was very subtle compared to the others who stood next to him who spoke animatedly. He nodded to his head, speaking something which she couldn't hear from where she stood. His hair made him look so different and it made her wonder how could a simple change in a person's hairstyle make so much difference. Leo was handsome but this was a whole different level of handsomeness and maybe sexy too? Blushing at her own thought, she looked away before looking back at him.
His sharp jaw which she had come to touch many times now, the soft hair which hindered his gaze slightly like before. A sigh escaped from her lips which the man next to her caught,
"Everything alright?" Jerome asked her concerned before giving her an apologetic smile, "I am sorry if I am boring you," he laughed and she quickly shook her head.
"I'm sorry. You aren't. It is nice to have your company. I enjoy it very much," she cleared his words to see him nod.
"That's good to hear," Both Jerome and Vivian stood there quiet for a few seconds before Jerome turned to offer his hand in front of her,"Would you like to dance?" he asked, his bright red eyes looking at her gently.
"Yes," Vivian didn't see any harm in dancing with Jerome as he was a gentleman. Though he could have left her to be standing alone while going to greet the other people in this hall to socialize with them, he had been considerate enough to stand by her and offer her his company. She was thankful for it.
The music that was played was melodious that traveled across the hall which had baited some of the guests to be brought to the center of the floor so that they could dance with each other. It was sweet yet there was just something about the tune which made one think of sorrow. The loneliness in the music had the ability to prick a person's heart out of pain and yet it was sweet.
With Jerome's lead, Vivian walked to the center of the floor and placed one hand of her's on the man's shoulder. Vivian hadn't received any special dance classes like the other elites but she had learned it from Thomas, Paul's nephew which wasn't refined but enough to know when to step forward and back.
"Have you danced with the Duke before?" Jerome asked her and she shook her head, "I must be lucky to have your first dance then. I will take what is there," he winked, making her smile awkwardly.
Wondering if his feelings for her was still there in hope, Vivian tried to put her point across so that he would be able to move forward, "I am sorry for not returning back your feelings, Jerome."
"I know, Ms Vivian. Don't fret about it," he assured her with a smile, "A man needs to know when to give up else the feelings of love will turn into something similar to poison," hearing him using the word love she looked more distressed, "You don't have to feel bad for me. If you continue to look so worried the Duke will accuse me of causing trouble. I have loved you and I do not regret it," he said when she came close, "The time we spent at the Carmichael's mansion is something I would cherish for life due to which I do not regret it for a minute. Since I have known you, it has been wonderful. Let this dance be memorable one now," saying this, he let her hand go before catching it back as she was turned around in his arms.
Vivian was very grateful to the way Jerome thought about both of them, respecting each other's feelings that made her chest lighter.
"Thank you," she whispered.
"Anytime but do remember if you ever need my help, I will be here," his words were pleasant and polite without a word causing which could cause her discomfort. Before the dance came to an end, something black caught Vivian's eyes on the floor and she was rather surprised to see a black cat walking around which people either ignored or didn't it.
When the song came to an end, a man came forward to ask Vivian for a dance. A few inches above her height, the man had black hair, a person whom she had met before. It was true what she had thought earlier, she had met a lot of people whom she knew.
"Lady Vivian, it is good to make your acquaintance again. I hope you remember me," the man smiled as he took her hand in his.
She did remember the man, he was the one she had met at the council's building after she had crashed against Lord Alexander. But his name, she tried remembering it which she couldn't recollect, "I apologize, Sir."
The man smiled, "It is Lancelot Knight," ah, she thought in her mind. She did forget his name.
"Pardon my memory, Mr. Knight," she said. Though she wore her gloves her hand felt a little slippery which was in his hand. Not pointing it out, she danced with the man. She was glad that he didn't talk to her much and she only hoped for the song to come to an end soon and it wasn't because his hand was a little sweaty but because she didn't know the man to converse with him.
As if he had heard her thoughts, she heard him say, "You are the murmur in the council, milady," she didn't have to guess why she was popular as she had already come to know that her being a human female who had cleared the exam, some were waiting for to fail while the others were watching to see if she would be able to pass. From far away, stood Lady Shirley, waiting for the alcohol to kick in the girl's system but she looked fine. Thankful that the song came to an end, the man bowed his head but he had also gone to kiss the back of her hand to appreciate her for dancing with him.
Exiting from the dance floor herself, she felt eyes following her when she decided to meet each and everyone's with a smile on her lips. Most of them were polite enough to nod at her. She wanted to go to where Leonard was but before she could reach him, his second cousin stepped in-between in the way.
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Having danced with the councilman, Vivian pulled out her gloves feeling the material that had turned wet. Her hands felt good to be free and in open.
"Good evening, Vivian," Eleanor greeted her coming forward she hugged leaving an airy kiss on both sides of her cheek. Responding with the same gesture Vivian kept a smile on her face which didn't falter for even one second. Eleanor was wearing the gown which she had bought along with her when they had gone to the town. Her features were sharper than the other women in the hall, her beauty, and elegance remarkable for a person of her age, "I wasn't expecting you here," of course she didn't, thought Vivian to herself in her mind.
The gown which her second cousin had bought the girl wasn't as good as the one she wore but neither did he nor this girl who now stood in front of her had mentioned about coming to the ball. She had expected the girl to stay in Bonelake but she should have known she would leech on to Leonard to come here.
Not liking the fact that this eyesore had come to the ball but also accompanied the person she loved, she smiled at her sweetly. The alcohol might not have intoxicated her but it had loosened her mood from being too cautious.
"Why not?" Vivian tilted her head, lowering her smile, "Do you think I am not fit to suit this gathering?"
Eleanor hadn't expected the measly human to question her question in this manner. Men and women around might have been talking to each other, but when two extremely good looking women came together with an atmosphere that sizzled through, they couldn't help but eavesdrop. The vampiress laughed it off, making it seem like they were good friends who were teasing each other, "Why would I ever think that. I know you hail from a reputed family if it weren't so Leonard wouldn't have brought you along here. Isn't it?"
"You are right," Vivian hummed.
"You look lovely, Vivian. Even with a gown which was picked from a storage room," the vampiress commented to point out how old the dress was.
"With a bag of more than thirty gold coins, I wouldn't expect anything less. I have to say though you look lovely yourself where you were able to acquire the gown for a lesser price," Vivian subtly hinted how cheap Eleanor's dress was when compared to her. With these words, she had also declared that she didn't come from an established family.
"Well, you have heard of what they say, less is more," Eleanor returned back her own words while also biting her tongue to hold back the words which would cause the image she had built all these years to go to waste. The last time she had spoken to the human she had been a sweet little girl due which had made her overlook the fact that she might have not seemed to be the person she posed to be, "Men sure are flocking around you asking for your attention. You must be used to it," the vampiress sweetened her words.
"You are making me conscious. I hold no candle to your beauty but hasn't anyone asked you for dance yet?" Vivian asked feigning innocence.
"I'm saving myself for someone than dance with every man who comes across to ask me," the sarcastic remark had caught in the wind which had got the onlookers attention, wondering and waiting how the human would counter. Poor girl, some of them pitied her for locking horns with the vampiress. The Winter's ball was organized for the pureblooded vampires, therefore, the night creatures could only look at her in pity. Vampires were much intelligent and capable in regards to a human.
But the human girl smiled, "Do not worry, Eleanor. I will be sure to save at least one of them for you. It would be very rude of me to if I didn't do it for you. Excuse me, before I take that someone you are waiting for away from you," Vivian smiled at the vampiress after having a good jab, feeling somewhat satisfied. It was often told not to go to the level of people who didn't matter and to ignore them, it was what Paul taught her but Grace had taught her otherwise.