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Bambi and the Duke 99 Potions -Part 1

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Vivian didn't know what to make of Leo's words. Though the weather was warm her fingers felt cold at what she had just seen. He had admitted being the one responsible for those people's death who was hung on the trees that they had just passed by, yet she found it hard in herself to believe it.

As she had never seen Rory, she didn't know if Leonard had killed him too but why? The man loved Charlotte. During Leonard and the other Duke's conversation, she had come to hear that human were the ones who had killed Charlotte. She clutched her skirt at that thought, living in Bonelake, a place that was mostly habitat to the vampires, Mythweald had a major population when it came to humans.

Did the humans hate vampires that they would go to the extent of killing an innocent soul who knew nothing about hate that had grown over the years?

She knew that Leonard was in pain, the loss was too much on his side. First, it was his parents and Julliard, and now it was Charlotte. The Easton's had lost both their children tragically. That didn't justify Leo's actions in her eyes. To pass judgment so quickly, Leo would be no different than the brutes who killed his cousin.

When the coffin was descending down the ground where the soil had been removed, Mrs. Easton has cried in his husband's arms. She was later escorted away with Mr. Easton, leaving the relatives to stand. Leonard hadn't spoken much. Asking her only if the question was pressing, he had finished his duty and now they were on their way to Bonelake.

Would he answer if she asked? But what if she didn't like what he had to say?

Finally, she decided to speak, "That was a lot of people. Were they all responsible for...what happened to Charlotte?"

"A few," he responded to her burning question, "And the rest would be in the future," what did that mean?

"Was that Rory's family?" Vivian asked to confirm to see him nod. She couldn't help but frown. Did that mean that he was planning to use Charlotte? Before any more questions could pop in her mind, Leonard asked her casually,

"Did Charlotte ever mention about the boy and her relationship with him?"

"She did," she answered, her words carefully to see his eyes immediately narrow at her.

"What?" it wasn't a question he was asking, "You knew about it? Why didn't you tell me when I spoke about Jerome marrying her?" tension began to form in the carriage as he waited for her answer.

"I-I," Vivian tried to get the right words seeing his eyes glare at her

"You what? You knew about the man all this time and didn't bother to tell me about it? Do you understand that if you did I would have looked into his background to make sure that she was safe?" Leo asked her frustratedly while running his hand through his treses.

"It wasn't my secret to tell. Charlotte didn't want anyone knowing about it," Vivian replied back.

"Vivi, one word that is all it would have taken!" she flinched at his tone, tsking, he turned his head away from her. Internally guilt began to eat her at the thought that maybe, maybe if she had mentioned about Charlotte's relationship with the boy then her death could have been prevented.

The remainder of their ride, Leonard didn't speak to Vivian due to his uncontrollable anger as he thought he could have saved his cousin from such harsh death.

Vivian drowned in self-guilt, the rim of her eyes turning red as she held back her tears. She hadn't meant to keep it away from him. Gradually it would have slipped out of her mouth but she had promised to keep her mouth shut when Charlotte had told her her secret. Both of them with their head turned in the opposite direction stayed quiet until night came to fall upon the ground.

The coachman pulled over the carriage at a local inn so that they could eat and rest for the night before continuing their journey back to the East land.

Though Leonard was angry with her for keeping away the secret from him, he booked a single room for both of them for the night. After having dinner, Vivian followed the inn wife and Leonard, her footsteps not too far or too close.

Now that they were alone, she didn't know what to do. Already drowned in guilt, she decided to apologize to him but he beat her to it.

"I am sorry," he said, his jaw clutched tightly, "I didn't mean to raise my voice at you. I was upset," he apologized.

She nodded her head, "I am sorry too. If I knew it was going to end like this, I wouldn't have kept it a secret."

"Come here," he raised his hand. Walking softly towards him, she placed her hand in his and he pulled her to hug her, "I am sorry," he placed one hand on her head and the other around her waist.

Leo had lost his cool when he had found from Vivian that she already knew about Charlotte in a relationship with that bastard. He was angry because he could have stopped the unfortunate incident taking place. He could have saved her from the misery she had gone through before dying. Avoided it but he could do nothing. He had lost so many people in such a short time for a pureblooded vampire that anger bubbled at his fate.

There was no point being angry with Vivian, how could she even have a clue about it?

Fate was being cruel with him, taking people whom he loved one by one as if wanting him to spend his life in solitary that it worried him now. Worried because of the girl who was in his arms. Vivian was important to him and if asked he would tell she was the only one he cared about.

As much as he wished she would have told him there was nothing they could do. With prayers for the soul to rest, they had buried his cousin yet he couldn't stop the images coming in front of his eyes every time he closed them.

Her vacant eyes and her body that was opened for the core of her heart to be removed, he pulled Vivian closer in his arms.

To make sure of things, he pulled away from her to ask, "Is there anything else you would like to say to me?"

Vivian bit her lip wondering about it. When they were young, she often made him her personal diary where she would go on and on about what she did from morning to what she heard people speak. As they grew up in distance, Vivian had come to learn to keep her thoughts to herself.

She then realized there was something she had forgotten to mention. She moved her lips, "On your birthday night. I had gone to your room," she pushed away from the embarrassment as she confessed to him, "To place the gift in your room but hearing someone enter, I thought it would be you and hid in the room."

"When was that?" he asked.

"At night," she reminded him, "I don't think it was you because of the shadow and whoever it was smelt like food."

"Someone from the kitchen," Leo concluded. Deep down Vivian still felt Paul was innocent but Leo's guess couldn't be wrong that it was someone from the kitchen. It was a high possibility but if it wasn't Paul did it mean that the culprit was still in the Carmichael mansion? Worried she looked up at him. She then heard Leo speak, "I didn't get to meet Rory. He must have escaped."

"You didn't?" she asked confused as she had thought that Rory had been killed and was one of the people who had been hung on the tree.

He shook his head, "I didn't. Apparently, he disappeared along with his friend. He must have known that we would come back with our suspicion. The family was involved too," this time Vivian couldn't hide her surprise, "I found bottles in the houses."

Letting go of her hand, he walked to the stand to pick up his cloak, fishing the pockets he pulled the bottles with his hand to show her.

"What are these?" she asked looking down at his hand.

"These are the potions that the witches are using to corrupt the core that is present in a vampires heart. If a vampire consumes it, it will change the entire metabolism of the vampires to the point that they wouldn't be able to function anymore. The way my mother died," Vivian nodded her head not wanting to delve into what happened that night. The last time the matter had come up, Leo had shut himself. She wished he would talk to her, bare his pain and wounds so that she could shoulder them but he wasn't ready or didn't want to, "There are tens of vampires who have already been corrupted and once the corruption takes place they cannot be turned back to their former self. Death is the only stop to it."
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"Can I see them?"

"Of course," he said handing one of the little bottles to her.

"Does it affect humans?" she inquired while looking at the bottle closely.

"Only vampires and the pureblooded vampires. Humans don't have a core so it wouldn't make much difference if one consumed it."

She placed her hand on the cap of the bottle and looked up at him. Seeing him nod, she opened it. Her nose tried to pick up the smell but the liquid lacked any fragrance. Putting a little amount on her hand, she came to realize nothing was going to happen. She hadn't learned how to pick up memories by her sense of touch and this was a disadvantage to her.

Wondering if she should consume it to find anything, she twirled the bottle in her fingers.

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