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Bambi and the Duke 243 After everything- Part 1

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~263 chapters updated until now~

The council didn't let Abel speak during his interrogations as the man who was the one pulling the strings behind the scenes had not let him speak. Like the switcher, his hands and legs were bound by shackles. His mouth covered so that he wouldn't speak or bite anyone as the man was a pureblooded vampire. 

The man tried to free himself from the chains that were bound to the walls but it was to no avail. In the end, it was just the sound of the metals rattling around that filled the little cell room which was filled with the stench of the previous death. 

Creed who had finished speaking and discussing what to be done to the man who once worked under him came to see Abel down at the cell room. Hearing the sound of boots, Abel looked up from the chains to his senior councilman. He produced some incoherent noise from his bound mouth where the senior councilman looked amused. His black eye patch intact which covered one of his eyes while the other peered through the iron grills which were rusted. 

With no one to hear what they were going to speak, Creed said, "What did you do to cross that girl?" Abel shook his head over and over again as if it to say nothing, "It appeared that she knew a lot more than anyone in here who has worked apart from us. Unless you went to tattle on your own," he hummed making the man shake his head again. 

Not able to understand what he was trying to say, Creed cut him short, "You should have been meticulous in your tracks, Abel. I cannot let you free because the council members have picked out facts and have decided to go through your execution," he smiled. Abel's eyes widened and before he could create more ruckus, Creed continued, "Don't you know what happens to people in here who make noise?" 

Hearing this, Abel suddenly stopped and stood still. His eyes held fear for his dear life that was going to be taken away from him. The man couldn't believe that his superior whom he had helped all this while was giving up on him so easily.

"You should know this by now, Abel. If you see a drowning man, never go to save him because you will, in turn, drown along with him. You have been very useful to me. If things were different it would have been easier but right now my neck is important just like yours was when you saved yourself and threw your sister to be killed with her husband. People who make enemies should be wise enough to know to be careful of their footsteps," Creed taunted the man for his irresponsibility, "If she is caught on to you, there might be a chance in the future that she will try to track the rest of the imprints that follows the case of the witches. Rest in peace, Abel," Creed left the man in the cell all alone. 

When the next day arrived, Vivian didn't go to the execution ground to see her uncle nor the switcher. She had never planned for things to do down this road. She had planned to speak to her uncle, to confront him but as the time came to pass by. She wondered what good would it do? Her parents were dead, the man had refused to talk about his sister having children. He wouldn't tell her anything until she touched his skin which she could do even after his death. 

She had been angry over Dutan's death, Mr. Gibbs. The news had followed one after another and when her own life had been put under test, she had snapped at the person who was responsible to the mess that was caused over the four lands. 

"Here's your blood tea."

Hueren took a seat on the opposite side of the table in the little room where the council provided food to the councilmen and councilwomen. For once she didn't want to come to the council. To see people around her but as she was the one who had taken upon the case to expose the man and the events that took place, she was asked to come meet Rueben. 

But that wasn't all why she was asked to visit. 

What happened to Dutan couldn't be hidden and as it was the death of another councilman, Nicholas had taken the issue up to the head council. After explaining the death and the events in the presence of Leo and the others, Rueben had nodded his head before dispersing them out of his room. She was happy that the head council was understanding enough to not ask her twisted questions like the one where one would be asked in the court council. 

They now waited for Leonard who had been asked to wait and clear a few matters in regards to the case.

Seeing Leonard appear in the room, Vivian's eyes brightened up and her back straightened. A kiss was placed on her cheek and he sat down next to her, "Reuben said it will be a confidential case where no one will have to know," he kept his voice low in the bustling crowd around them. Vivian let out a sigh of relief and so did Heuren. Leo didn't go to explain anything further and he took hold of her hand, squeezing it, "Is this yours?" he asked nodding his head towards the teacup.

"Hmm," she nodded her head. He took the cup off the table, bringing his lips and drinking it. Heuren believed it was time to excuse them as he had done his part of watching over the lady in the absence of his senior.

"I will go visit the town to meet the magistrate, Senior Leonard. He couldn't come up here as he claims he broke his leg. I will return back in two hours," Heuren informed, bowing his head he walked away from the table. 

"Your skin looks pale," he said running his thumb over the knuckles. 

"Hasn't it always looked like this?" she tilted her head.

"Not this pale. Let's get you another cup and take a walk outside," he suggested and as he went to stand up, Vivian held his forearm, "Don't worry. I won't take you to the execution round. Come," he offered his hand where she placed it before getting up herself. 

After she was done drinking another cup of blood which had been warmed, they headed outside. Since the time of yesterday, the snow had increased in the level of thickness on the ground. It wasn't snowing nor was there a blizzard but that didn't reduce the chillness in the air. A week ago she would have frozen in this weather where she didn't wear her coat right now as they walked not far away from the council and into the woods. 

After Lord Nicholas had told the head council on what had happened to another councilman, the man had asked his guards to dig up the body and place him in the local cemetery at the time of midnight. When asked why it was being kept as a secret, the head council had told that bringing up another case of deaths which was involved with her would lead to complicated questions and situations. She didn't know what could happen but believing the men were knowledgeable, she agreed to go with it. 

"How are you feeling?" asked Leonard before he added, "Physically."

"I am okay," she paused for some time and then asked, "Has it been done? The execution?" she was angry for everything turning wrong but that didn't mean she was heartless. The man was still her blood-related uncle, possibly the last relative she knew of who was close to her parents. But could someone who had baited their own sibling and their family to save their neck be considered close? 

Vivian who had grown up around Leo, Martha, and Paul had picked up their habits and teachings, turning it nothing less to a bible of her own. 

"Yes. Both of them were executed before the time of dawn," Leo noticed the way she kept zoning out in her own thoughts and he gave her the time she needed.

He wondered if she had any regrets to her decision of bringing up the man's name but that was the best decision of hers. For a man who didn't think twice when his own sibling was killed, would he spare that siblings child? Lies were bound to be followed in cases like these and who knew how much more tangled it would be? Leo had never liked the man since the time when the black witches were freed. And after he had come to know that the reason his parents had died was connected to him, he was glad to have the man dead.

He heard her ask, "What are we going to do about Creed?" 

"Get some clues about him. Set him up," he gave out random ideas.

"Until he lives there will always be a direct threat to not only the public people but also the council through the black witch. I ran my hand's over hundreds of boxes in there, Leo but there was nothing I could find related to him. Not even a single trail which I could pick to read further. Not even in Oliver's memory I couldn't pick anything in there," she frowned staring at the ground, her footsteps halting to turn to look at Leonard, "Have you noticed something. The man wears gloves on his hands occasionaly." 

"It would mean you need to have a person touch an object or other things through their skin contact to pick their memories," he stated. That was one and maybe the only theory they could think of right now, "He does have a clean record. Maybe cleaner than Nicholas but the cleaner ones are always the ones that make one question. We'll figure something about him," he took her hand and placed it along with his in the pocket of his jacket. 

"What about the black witch?" she could feel his hands had turned cold just like hers. 

Though pureblooded vampires were higher creatures compared to the humans and the average vampires, warm blood ran through their body and veins unlike the lower vampires who were cold-blooded. They wouldn't feel cold to be in pain but that didn't mean their body didn't feel it.

"What are we going to do when people start questioning about me being a pureblooded vampire?" she asked him. Leo smiled at the number of questions that worried her kept coming at him. 

"I have asked Murk to help me with it. He means to offer his thanks for what you did yesterday."

"What did I do?" she was confused. 

"You did a lot of things which would have made Martha and Paul proud if they were alive today," he walked to stand in front of her, looking at her where she raised her head to look up at him, "Vivi, you made most of us proud yesterday. Nicholas, Hueren, the women who are part of the council as they never had the opportunity to take up a case as you did. Until now it has bee only men to take part in it actively. Even Lionel," she gave him a surprised look as if she didn't believe it one bit.

"I think that is too far, Leo," she smiled at the effort he put in cheering her mood and lifting up her spirits. 

"It is the truth."

"His expression told otherwise."

Leonard hummed in response, "He can be like that. He will come of to be rude and hard when it comes to work but deep down. Like really deep," Leo chuckled when Vivian began to nod her head, "What I am saying is he isn't that bad. If he were, Nicholas would have never pushed me to work under him."

"It wasn't what you wanted to work?" she wondered why they had never come across this little information. 

"I wouldn't say no but Nicholas literally shoved me to the first case along with him. There wasn't much I could do that time," and saying this, he stepped closer to her and leaned down to kiss her lips. It was a chaste kiss where he pulled back to see her eyes that were closed as she lingered in the feeling of his lips on hers, "Out of all of them. You made me very proud, Bambi. I saw you grow into this beautiful, strong, admirable woman. I feel fortunate to have you stand beside me. Here, like this," and nothing else could have swept the smile on her face after hearing those words from him. 

All these years before even entering the council, she had always worried about them together. Vivian who had a blurred background where she had only been a mere human had always compared her to him but he had always come to bridge that gap between them. 

One of the nights when she had woken up in the arms of Leonard, she had touched him not in the intention to read his memories but the memories had zapped into her mind and she understood how dear he was to her. 

She felt happy to know that she now stood equal to him where she didn't have to worry about her chasing to maintain that gap which she felt at times but in reality, it was him who had chased after. And if she knew one thing it was that he would never let of her hand if she were ever to outstretch her hand.

To Leo's dismay, Vivian pulled out her hand from his pocket. She raised her self slowly up on her tiptoes and even after that, she was no match for his height. Maybe this was one thing she couldn't do anything about. 

Trying to keep up, she had gone to stand at the tip until her balance was lost to only be caught by Leo. He held waist with his arm. 

"My ever clumsy, Bambi," he whispered with their lips trying to seek each other and it finally met. Warm lips moving against one another, licking and sucking with entangled tongues. Snowflakes started to fall from the sky one after another and they finally broke away. 

"I want to take a bath," she said looking somewhere at the council building. 

"No one ever stopped you from taking one."

"With you." Her pale cheeks had turned pink and one wouldn't know if it were because of the chilling weather or because of her suggestion to him. 

"My time is for you to take."
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