I was awoken by a soft knock on the door. Even though I had slept fitfully for the better part of the night, I might have dozed off at dawn. It was the same lady who had attended to me last night. She entered the room after giving me a cursory greeting before busying herself with tidying the room, opening the curtains and making up the bed.
I scrambled out of the room, my cheeks turning hot as I was not at all used to these services. Back at home, it was me or Harmony who did the house chore.
"Uhm...Miss...there is no need-", I began too embarrassed by such a thing but she interrupted me, "I am the housekeeper of this manor m'lady. My name is Beth Jones, I am responsible for cleaning the Master's chamber", her monotonous voice had an edge to it and her eyes did not even attempt to conceal the disapproval.
I lowered my gaze and mumbled, "Pleased to meet you, Miss. Jones". I let her be as she barely acknowledged me with a nod. I went to the cupboard and picked out a lavender gown. The gown was simple yet beautiful. The neckline was not too low, the fabric was soft and comfortable with elbow-length sleeves.
"Shall I bring the bath?" Beth's voice startled me. Her face was blank as she looked at me expectantly. I nodded. Before leaving she asked, "Do you wish to take your breakfast in this chamber or downstairs?" I mumbled, "Downstairs". But before I could ask the reason for such a query she had left the room. Why would she ask that when she knew that my family was still residing here? And wouldn't Lord Damian wish that everyone gather for breakfast? Or did Vampires not eat actual food? I sighed and sat on the edge of the bed idly picking on the hem of my nightdress.
As I waited for my bath to be brought, I wondered where my husband was at the moment. My reverie was halted when a young woman or I should say a girl ambled into the chamber with a bathtub that was twice her frail size. I rushed to help her.
Her face was red with what I presumed, embarrassment. "Thank you, m'lady and I am sorry. I am new here", she mumbled hurriedly, her eyes downcast. "Its alright, the bathtub is too large anyway", I replied with a gentle smile, a little abashed by such treatment as well. She glanced up timidly then scurried to draw a bath.
By the time she was helping me get dressed, she became quite jovial and talkative. I liked it, her name was Alice, she was near to my age. So it was a lot easier to talk to her than the housekeeper.
"Oh, she is really frightening at times, m'lady", she commented to one of my earlier statements about the housekeeper. I chuckled. Out of curiosity, I asked, "Do you know where Lord Damian is?" Alice's fingers stilled for a moment as she was braiding my hair. She hesitantly replied, "Master has not returned". My eyes furrowed, wasn't Damian supposed to be staying in the library? Too mortified to ask this, I merely nodded, my heart thudding in my chest.
"And...has my family finished having their breakfast?" I asked. I looked at her reflection in the mirror, she averted her eyes, "They left at dawn". I was too stunned to speak. Left? Why? They did not even bother to say farewell. I swallowed the lump in my throat and gazed at my fingers. My eyes prickled with hot tears. Why did they do this? Dd Damian say something to them last night? Did father not wish to lengthen the stay now that his debt had been cleared. I was sure that Harmony would want to meet me at least once before leaving.
I clenched my fists and willed myself to stay strong. I wanted answers and one Damian Beaufort could give me that.
Alice accompanied me downstairs and led me to the dining hall. My eyes widened at the abundance of dishes that had been placed on the long table. I had never seen so many different dishes in my entire life! I quickly schooled my features and greeted whom I now recognized as Bastian. He gave me a short bow and held out one of the seats.
I realized that I would be the sole person having breakfast. Feeling lonely and slightly abandoned, I swallowed back the emotions quelling in my chest.
"Have you all had your breakfast?" I asked him. Bastian was visibly taken aback. I blushed. Maybe it was not appropriate to ask after the servants. Didn't rich ladies do that? Were they so proud? I lowered my gaze and hurriedly said, "Uh...I have a habit of asking this when I am the only one eating". Bastian had composed himself, he cleared his throat and replied, "Yes, m'lady we all have had our breakfast". I nodded and tried to have what my appetite would allow me.
It was midday and there was still no sign of Damian. Having absolutely nothing to do, I was gradually getting bored. Alice could stay so long before she had to hurry and finish her chores. I had no idea what else to do or who else to ask to show me the house. Back home my day consisted of finishing work at home, going to the market and by the time I finished everything, it would be time for preparing dinner.
I was pacing in my room and my anger was also increasing has time passed. Damian needed to answer me and he had disappeared. Where was he exactly? Not that it was any of my business but I was more concerned about him lying to me.
I decided to visit the library. Maybe I did not get a formal education but my sister tried to educate me as much as possible. I loved books for some reason. My friends often scrunched up their nose when they saw me carrying a book in the washer basket. But reading helped me to escape reality sometimes.
Why had it not occurred to me before?
I left the chamber to find someone who could lead me there. As I was about to turn a corner, I heard the sound of giggling. Two girls were speaking to each other. I knew eavesdropping was not appropriate and I wouldn't have done so had I not heard one of them say, "Have you heard? the lady had asked Bastian whether everyone had breakfast? I mean who would ask such a question?"
The second girl agreed with her and commented, "Yes. And have you seen her dress? I think I dress better than her". The first one hummed then scoffed, "She is not fit to be a lady of this manor, neither is she fit to be the Master's wife". The second girl said contemptuously, "Yes, she isn't. No wonder the Master left yesterday night. He did not even touch that worthless woman. She wasn't able to warm his bed on their wedding night and you expect her to remain here?"
The other girl giggled, "Who knows you might just become his mistress. After all, he has been favouring you for quite some time". It was followed by more laughter. I couldn't hear it anymore.
My vision was blurring. I had heard lots of things about my family but these comments hurt. I took a step back before silently going back to the room. I knew this was a marriage of convenience, I knew Damian would never love me. I knew me becoming his bride was just a result of his whim but I never imagined that he would be unfaithful. I was so naïve.
As if the conversation had finally broken loose all the emotions that had been brewing inside me. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I sat on the bed, feeling helpless. Everything came to head, Damian's lie, him leaving me alone, my family leaving me without bidding farewell. I felt lonely and disheartened. Why had my life suddenly become like this? I never wished to become the lady of this manor or Lord Damian's bride.
I never noticed the presence of another as I sobbed quietly. "My lady", I stilled. I had vowed to not show him my vulnerable side but here I was a crying mess and there he was standing at the doorway, frowning at me.
MyraI wiped away my tears hurriedly even though I knew he had seen everything. I straightened and looked at him square in the eyes, my jaw set. "Welcome back my Lord", I greeted with a short bow. He did not move from his position, he was observing me. I clenched my fists. The weight of his stare was too much for me to bear at the moment. I turned away and stomped to the cupboard. I sifted through the clothes idly because there was absolutely nothing else for me to do in the room to avoid his gaze."Why were you crying?" his voice was nearer, he had definitely entered further into the room. He gave him a cold shoulder. It was almost noon and my dear husband just wishes to saunter into the room and ask me why I was crying. Ridiculous."That is none of your concern, my Lord", I answered through clenched teeth as my hold on an evening dress tightened."Loosen your hold, my lady", he murmured right beside my ears and I stood dumbfounded a
Myra"So...is everyone in this mansion, like Lord Damian?" I asked Alice, reluctantly. She was helping me get ready for Damian's guests that were supposed to be arriving today. The thought had not occurred until recently. The comb stilled. I looked at her through the mirror. Her eyes had widened, "Why would you say that?" her voice was almost a whisper."Uh...I apologize", I chuckled nervously. She resumed combing my hair, her lips turned downwards, "No...no my lady I beg your pardon for going beyond my station", I could feel the rhythm of the combing faltering."Ah...don't be", I mustered a smile, my ears heating up. I subconsciously caressed the silver ring, the metal felt cold against my warm skin. She mumbled, "To answer your question, most of us are humans. His Lordship is really kind to us poor people. I am an orphan and my dignity was at stake. Had it not been for him...rescuing me on time...I would have..." she trailed
MyraMy ears were ringing. Alexandra's lips were titled up into a sardonic smile, no doubt relishing my speechlessness. She regarded her red varnished nails as she conversationally asked, "Wish to hear more?"I balled my fists, "I don't believe you. There is no way my sister will do such a heartless thing and my father? He might be an irresponsible man but he will never stoop so low either". I glared at her unperturbed reaction. She clucked her tongue, "So naïve". Her gaze locked with mine, "Tell me then Myra, why did your sister and father leave without meeting you? Or why did your sister tell you that you were to marry lord Damian on the wedding day itself? Did you not question this?"I opened and closed my mouth, unable to say anything. My heart was pounding in my chest. My heart was denying the very possibility of father and... Harmony doing such merciless work. My sister's guileless smiles, her caring nature, her protective
MyraMy ears were ringing as I stared at him, open-mouthed. His gaze was unflinching. He was spewing lies, I whispered, still denying the fact, "No. You- you cannot. They...how? Harmony?" My voice quivered, the question barely making any sense. Damian's gaze turned gentle. He averted his eyes, "My lady-" I held up my hand, sniffling, I felt faint. Even though he would tell me the whole truth at some point, but at the moment, I had no intention of hearing it.I lowered my gaze, my vision had blurred with unshed tears, my mind was reeling with this unforeseen revelation. My hands trembled as I kept the book aside. Silence ensued and I don't know for how long it prevailed before I heard Damian sigh."Your father was indebted to me, Myra, but he had no other choice than to-""-marry me off to you to pay your debt?" I glared at him. He huffed out a laugh, shaking his head, "Oh, if it only were the way you say it". He locked his gaz
MyraFor a while, the only sound in the otherwise silent room was my sobs. My whole world was crumbling. I felt nauseous, so this was Damian. The sob turned into gasps and black spots marred my vision. Am I dying? Well. death will certainly not be unwelcomed. Death felt enticing, a better option than living a life as a maid despite being married to the master of the mansion, being humiliated in the process and not knowing the end of this ordeal. Yes, death would be significantly better. After all, no one needed me anymore, neither my family nor whom I considered as my family or my estranged and superficial husband. My body tilted sideways, I felt light-headed and succumbed to the darkness.~~~~It might have been a sharp yank, or maybe a harsh shake that awakened me. I blinked my eyes open, wincing at the bright sunlight streaming into the room through flimsy white curtains. A groan left my lips, I realised I was not sleeping in the proper
DamianThe stretch of my lips felt so plastic that it felt more like a grimace, and even Greyson could detect it as his grin widened. The word 'pet' grated my skin like a jagged stone. Greyson and I were turned on the same moonlit night. High Queen was the one who took it upon herself to execute the Change. Since then, centuries have passed, seasons have come and gone, and I have managed to remain in the High Council's good graces, steadily rising in rank and maintaining my position as one of the esteemed Royals of the court. With fame comes envy, and I wasn't ignorant about it. A few vampire leaders did not back down from leering at me and taunting me in open while many spoke about me behind my back. Unfortunately, my blood brother surpassed them all. Being given the position of an Elite instead of a Royal irked him to no end."Won't you give me permission to at least bid farewell to my better-half?" I implored, the pretentious genial grin plaster
MyraThat infuriating man. My fists clenched. How could he be so arrogant and...lewd? My cheeks heated up as the image of his face close to mine flashed in my mind. I looked around at the huge library. I will definitely not be able to clean it in a day. Why on earth did I even agree to this? Not that I had much of a choice. I huffed. I should probably go and meet him downstairs. He just walked away without a second glance. Where was he going anyway?I spared another glance at the pile and the unsorted bookshelves before leaving the library. Cleaning could wait. Right now, I needed answers. Surely he did not leave so soon. I stomped downstairs only to cry out in horror. There on the carpet lay one of the maids. Her lifeless body had turned grey. Her eyes wide and her mouth hung open. I stumbled back, trembling with the ghastly sight in front of me. My gaze landed on her shoulder, smeared with dried blood. Did Damian...? the thought made me shudder
Damian"I am aware," I admitted at length. I knew the consequences of a vampire marrying a human. I knew it well, more than anyone else. The old wounds that I had buried deep along with my past life writhed and roiled as if wanting an opening, to flood my dead brain and make me relieve those days, the days that had taken years to forget. That was another reason why I felt more baffled and perplexed. I should stay away from humans, treat them as a source of food and pleasure yet I went ahead and married a human against my better judgement. My fists clenched as I felt unbidden anger on myself.High Queen must have gauged my inner turmoil. She let out a heavy sigh, "You must annul the matrimony, Damian". Despite knowing the inevitable, my eyes snapped up, locking with her blue-grey ones. She jutted her chin as her gaze bore into mine, challenging me silently - to defy, to protest. I averted my eyes quickly, lowering my gaze once again I muttered, "W