183 Heal- Part 1
Vivian stood in the snow mansion, the event repeating back the way it happened with her neck being squeezed where she could hardly breathe. The man squeezed her neck, pressuring it to the point where her vision turned blur and the oxygen began to cut off, depleting its content in her lungs where she couldn't breathe. Her hands tried to claw, her fingers trying to push him away but there was no more energy left.
Finally pushing him away, she ran towards the door. Pulling it open she stepped into a forest where the river flowed down and when she turned back to look at the room she was in, it wasn't there anymore. Surrounded by trees all around she heard birds chirping above with joy. Walking towards the river she saw the clear water where fishes jumped up and down. Her hair looked messy and the way she looked right now, she looked as if she had contracted a disease which was incurable. Getting closer, she touched the water to bring the water to her face so that she could clean her face.
Dropping her hand back to the water surface, she dipped her hand where a hand suddenly merged from the bottom to pull her into the river with a splash. Before Vivian could get out of it, a hand-pulled her leg down making her movements futile where she couldn't resurface back.
She struggled, her hands and legs hitting in the water to let free and out but whoever had caught hold of her leg wasn't letting go. Looking down in the water on who it was she gasped, which made water go into her mouth and throat. It was a ghost-like person who wasn't translucent but enough to know that whoever it was had gripped her leg. As she started choking, Vivian's eyes opened wide in the bed to look at the ceiling of the bed.
Turning to her side she saw Leonard who had a hand supporting his chin where he had closed his eyes. As if sensing her being awake, his eyes opened and he quickly went to sit on the bed next to her.
"You don't have to sit up, lay down," he said to which she went to lay back on the bed as she felt pain around the side her ribs, "Don't worry you didn't break anything. It's a swelling that has formed a small sprain. A good rest should make it better," he went on to speak, "You must be hungry, let me go fetch Jan so that he can prepare something edible which you consume now. I did ask him to keep things ready as it's been fourteen hours since you fell asleep. Let me-" Vivian placed her hand on him so that he would stop talking.
"Are you alright?" she asked him. She didn't remember when was the last time Leonard had been this talkative to anyone. Him speaking so fast made her worry as to what was wrong. Leo who had stopped talking stared at her, his face falling forward next to her pillow, "Leo? I am fine now," she could sense the worry and anxiety now that he must have felt after seeing her today.
They had been apart for three days and the distance had made them miss each other terribly. They were used to each other's company which kept both of them awake at the time of night, though Vivian was awake on the second and third night because of deaths and the ghost mostly.
"I know," she heard him whisper, "You had me worried there, Vivi."
"I am sorry," she apologized and she felt him move his head as if shaking his head.
Pulling back, she could see his eyes that had dulled and worry marking his forehead, "What are you asking sorry for?"
"I can tell that you look worse than I am now," she tried to joke but that didn't go well.
His hand found hers and he held it with both his hands, clasping in it, "Do you know how you came to me?" it wasn't a question, therefore, she didn't go to answer to it, "You looked weak, weaker than any day I have seen. Blood on your forehead and...and the marks," Marks? What was he talking about? He gritted his teeth, "Your neck. It has fingerprints on either side of it. What happened there, Vivi?"
With Leonard who was not entertaining any guests, he had locked the door and the windows to give her the peace and quiet she needed. Over the time of his work in the council, this was the first time he had seen something like take place. Yes, there were deaths and he had been worried due to which he had asked the councilman Lionel to send one of the men as a guard so that he wouldn't have to worry too much.
He was confident that Vivian would stay alive but there were some things one couldn't stop from happening. Through Toby, Nicholas' pet bird he had received the parchment which had written words from the
witness and the only alive examinees on what had happened. Reading through the report which was actually given by the two councilmen after they had dropped by the Rune's mansion to discuss it. Nicholas had sent the letter on what he heard knowing well that Leonard wouldn't be leaving the mansion or talking to anyone out of the mansion for a day at least.
He had read it but he wanted to know from Vivian on what happened in those three days. Leo, knowing how his subordinate felt about her had taken advantage of it and had nominated his name to be part of the examination knowing well that he would look out for her during his absence. And though not everything was written down in the parchment, he understood that the ghoul had come to the rescue when one of the men had tried to attack her making his furious. The sad part was that if the man was still alive, he would have tortured to the point he would beg to be killed. To touch something so precious of his like this, his eyes darkened looking at her neck but the man was lucky to have died in the snow mansion else he would have torn the man's body limb by limb.
"You can tell it later," he said not wanting to strain her. Right now what was important was that she was one of the people to be alive and she was with him, "Sleep some more," he gently spoke to her, his hand brushing her head.
"Okay," she listened to him, closing her eyes and letting herself drift to sleep. This time she dreamed something much calmer where she was sitting in the mansion talking to Charlotte who was alive and part of her fragmented dream.
The next time when she woke, it was because of the smell of food which she hadn't been able to smell in the last three days. Seeing Jan place the food close, she saw Leonard come to her, helping her sit up as she leaned against the headboard of the bed. Taking the little table, Leo placed it on her lap while giving her a smile which she returned back.
"Jan, prepared a lot of things for you to eat. You can pick anything you want, anything you will be able to digest," her husband informed her. Feeling happy for the thoughtfulness which might or might now have stemmed from the housekeeper himself, Vivian thanked him for the man to bow, asking her to get well soon before he left the room.
With her stomach that had lacked food, she couldn't eat a lot and therefore after five or six bites she had given Leo a look for him to understand that she couldn't eat any further. Having drunk water, Leonard had let her rest back again with him sitting next to her and reading a book.
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For Leo, Vivian was the only important person in his life and he would do anything to protect and save her. He loved her too much that at times his love turned to a desire to monopolize her, wanting to bully her but he didn't like anyone else doing it. Anyone making her cry since their early childhood didn't settle well with him. How many maids had been scolded for that? Anyone who would pointlessly scold her had got a scolding back in return for hurting something which was his.
To see her in that state, he had lost his mind while keeping a calm face in the front.
With a day that passed by, Vivian felt much better with the rest she had taken and the care Leonard had shown by having all the meals with her and rarely leaving her side so that she wouldn't be bored alone. In a state of exhaustion, she had asked Hueren to drop her here and had fallen unconscious after seeing Leo.
Sitting in the dining room after a day of being cooped in the bedroom, she asked Leo, "Did I pass the exam?"
When the fourth day had arrived, the councilmen had asked her questions, speaking about what happened but they hadn't been clear if she or the other man who now had gone to Wovile had been passed or not.
"It might take a day more for the result to come out through letter. Nicholas will be sure to send it as the names reach him if the information of the examination is put out by councilman Lionel. They must be investigating the scene before they shut down the little case as it was part of the exam," he explained for her to nod.
She had white bandages wrapped around her neck to hide the finger markings so that it wouldn't call attention to while walking in the mansion or if someone were to arrive at the doorstep. Taking the teacup in her hand, she sipped from it quietly.
Thinking about the scene she wondered if they got all the bodies now. When the doorbell rang, the housekeeper went ahead to open the door and welcomed someone in. In came the Lord of Bonelake with a small bouquet of flower and fruits on the other hand which he gave it to the housekeeper.
"I see that you have hurt yourself quite badly. How are you feeling, Vivian? I bought you some excellent quality fruits which will get you back the lost energy," Lord Nicholas chimed in, his eyes falling on the bandaged neck for a mere second before falling back to her eyes with a smile on his face.
"I am doing better," Vivian smiled brightly, having Leo's eyes on her which had been making sure she was alright and wasn't hurting anywhere.
"That is good news but I have better news than that. The council has closed the investigation on what happened and they won't be on Everest' tail. But that's not all, they have posted out the result stating that this year's second examination has two pass-outs," Nicholas relayed the news and Leonard hugged her from the side while kissing her temple.
For some time, Vivian was shocked and then her head snapped to look at Leo, "I passed..."
Leo looked at her proudly, "Of course, you did. Congratulations, Bambi," he wished her.
"Congratulations, Vivian and welcome to the council," Nicholas wished her, "What do you want as a congratulatory gift from this brother of yours?" he asked generously.
"That's okay. I don't need anything," Vivian replied for the man to frown.
"Don't be so modest. You can ask me anything right now and I will grant you the wish. Yes! I did give you my word that I will give you Everest. He has been very naughty lately so it might take some time before you tame him," the Lord said thoughtfully.
Leonard who had been observing her, said, "Vivian has something on her mind. What is it?"
Truly, she couldn't hide things for a long when it came to him, thought Vivian to herself.
"I can ask anything?" she confirmed.
"Mhm, anything," answered the Lord.
Taking a deep breath, Vivian then said, "I need you to bury someone," both the men's eyebrows shot up in question.
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