He wondered if Ester had arrived at the door. The black witch was the only who came and went during the odd hours of the night; not revealing herself completely as she always had a hood to cover her face. Padding across the dusty ground, he unlocked the metal latch to find a hooded girl but not the one he was expecting.
"Charlotte?" he asked baffled in surprise at her presence.
"Rory!" she jumped to hug him, binding her arms around him. What was she doing here?
"What are you doing here this late at night?" he asked confused before his eyes fell on the trunk that stood upright next to her, "Oh, Charlotte, please tell me you didn't run away from your house. Didn't I tell you to wait for my word?"
Pulling her inside along with the luggage, he shut the door close, taking to her to a corner, from afar, he could see his father wake up before lying back down at the sight of the vampiress. Rory made sure to have Charlotte face him. He then heard her speak,
"There wasn't much time. Father has decided to give my hand to Duke Harrison. I shall not marry anyone if it isn't you," her words made his skin prickle.
When he first met her, he had avoided her due to the dislike and hate he held against the vampire race. It was after meeting Ester did he decide to court the young vampiress. He had led her on to believe that he was in love as much as she was but it had only been a farce. The only reason he had picked her was that she was an easy target to fool. Catching a vampiress' attention was hard, especially finding one alone.
She looked dejected as he hadn't replied to her confession. He didn't know how long he would have to keep up with this act as it was tiring him.
Charlotte had run from her house after her parents arrange to marry another man, a man of her status but that would only hamper their plan which they had built for so long. He would not be able to step inside the vampire's mansion if she was to stop coming by, by getting married to another man. The plan was to wait for their wedding day. To get her parents to approve of him so that he could pour the potion into the food they would consume before losing their sanity.
When she left the house to go to Bonelake, he closed the door shut to see his father standing in the dark.
"What are you doing?" his old man asked.
With furrowed brows, Rory asked, "What?"
"I asked what are you doing, leaving that girl alone on her way. She is the key to the house, the easiest of them all. You have to protect your investment if you want to see the plan Ester has sketched to come through," the old man coughed.
"You're suggesting me to go with her?" Rory raised his eyebrows in amusement but his father, Edward wasn't one bit amused.
He pulled out the stash that hung on the wall, throwing it to Rory, "You need to make sure she reaches Bonelake safe. That's your priority. If she's gone we will be at a great loss. If she questions about your decision to come, tell her you will return back after seeing her to her relatives home."
Rory sat with Charlotte in the coach, a woman who stared at them continuously, especially at Charlotte with eyes that looked scheming which he brushed off as most of the humans were nosy beings.
He had never traveled out of Mythweald, keeping himself in the land of humans had always been the safest option and now because of the girl sitting next to him, he had to step into the vampire land. Not knowing how long the journey would take, he sat quietly in the moving coach.
The sudden jerking and thud movement of the coach woke him from his sleep for the second time. The vampiress who was sleeping on his shoulder also woke up, almost hitting her head. The woman who was in the coach opened the door and stepped outside, leaving the couple alone.
"Are you alright?" he asked Charlotte to see her nod.
"Yes, what happened?" she asked looking at the open door while he glanced over his arm which had begun to bleed.
"Must have been a pit hole. Let me see," he said getting out of the coach as the vampiress followed right behind. His guess was right. The coach's front wheel was stuck in the pit and to move it over, it would take at least two to three men.
He sighed, irritation surfacing in his eyes but the darkness of the night hid it. It would take them hours to get the coach up and running, and there was no telling when the next coach would arrive so that they could get a lift to the land of East.
Where did the coachman and the woman go? Thought Rory as he looked through the trees, taking a step back he turned to look at Charlotte when his eyes went wide.
"Charlotte!" he screamed when the coachman swung the metal rod right at her head making her fall down due to the impact.
It took two seconds to process what just happened and before he could do anything, he fell straight on the ground when another metal rod was struck across his head. Killing him the second time the rod impacted against his human head, cracking the skull.
Leonard looked outside the window, trees passing by one after another as the carriage rode under the warm sun. It had been only a few minutes since they had left Easton's mansion to pass the village he had stepped into earlier.
When Vivian, who had been looking on the other side of the road gasped softly, her heart picking up speed, Leonard didn't need to look to know what she just saw. He had made sure to tell Duke Harrison how he wanted them dead and where to place them.
Her breathing quickened and he could smell fear in the air, "Are you afraid, Vivi?" he asked, turning his head to set his gaze on Vivian.
"Did you...?" she knew the answer yet she wanted to confirm.
"Am I responsible for hanging them?" he sighed. Vivian was a sweet girl and it wasn't something he wanted her to see but the world was filled with filth. As much as he would love to protect her, the truth would always follow a person like a shadow, "People should know of what fear means when they hurt people whom I care for. To know the pain of someone losing someone dear. Blood will be avenged by blood. Nothing less or more."
Before he and Duke Harrison had left the village, Leonard had asked to look into the house. Hoping to get some possible clues though there was less hope on finding anything in the small house. But something tingled his senses.
It was the way the old man who had been passive suddenly didn't like the fact of them in his house. Agitation was evident in his physical form. With the family members out of the house and only Leo inside, he picked up the little bottle that laid under the bed, hidden in a corner which would have been missed if one didn't look closely but then it was one of Leonard's specialty to have a keen eye.
Looking at the tiny glass bottle, he opened it carefully and brought it up to his nose so that he could inhale. When he did, his anger knew no bound, realizing what it was. He had come across this liquid previously in his own mansion, the day after his parents were killed.
Going through the house and the next one, he finally stepped outside asking the guard to stay put and to make sure no one left the village without prior permission. Three tiny bottles rested in his pocket.
"What would you like to do, Duke Carmichael?" asked Duke Harrison, the man who looked after this part of Mythweald.
"Kill both their families," replied Leonard.
He didn't care what the council would do after knowing his quick decision but there was no point delaying the punishment which was unavoidable. This was about his family. The investigation could be done later to verify the death penalty he had passed down on the humans responsible for killing his cousin.
The question was where was the boy named Rory. There was also the matter of the little poison potions which he had collected from the two houses. How did the humans get their hands on it?