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Bambi and the Duke 253 Another place -Part 3

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Vivian who was drenched and wet due to the rain that had poured down, she kicked the little stone that was in her path. She pulled the coat that she wore, feeling the cool air breezing through her to stop and look in realization that she had forgotten to give his overcoat back to him. Turning around she saw no carriage or person as the man lived in the opposite direction. They were going to meet tomorrow, she would give it then to him she nodded to herself. She was already wearing her coat but he had given his for her to wear. 

Reaching the house, she climbed up the window from where she had jumped previously to meet Leonard. Finally getting inside she saw her brother wake up startled where he had been waiting for her return after she had dashed out of the window without any prior notice. 

"Vivi!" her brother Gregory stood up concerned. Seeing her drenched from head to her muddy shoes, he inquired, "Where did you go? And whose coat is that? It smells like a male," frowned her young brother and she had to flick his forehead. 

"I went to meet the Duke," hummed Vivian, taking out the coat and walking into the bathroom where she would wash and dry it by morning. 

"Duke?" her brother questioned, "Duke Armington?"

"Duke Leonard," her brother first heard her calmly and he then started laugh, "The man whom you butted your head with? What did he want?" 

"We just met," Vivian didn't hide anything from her sibling and neither did he. Seeing the wide smile that wasn't toning down from her face, Gregory folded his hands, "What?" she asked not knowing why he had gone suddenly quiet. 

"Oh, nothing. Doesn't he seem a little too quiet? Or should I say aloof or rude, I don't know. I heard he's not good with words."

"He seemed perfectly capable when speaking to me."

"Mhmm, capable you say," her brother gave her a knowing look to which she rolled her eyes, "Are you going to meet him again?" he asked her, his back hunching against the table while Vivian walked all around the room picking things that she had not sorted out earlier that day.

"Yes," she said with a daydream like a smile, "Now get out of my room you nosey little being," she shooed her brother away to lock the door.  

During the time of night, Vivian laid on her bed looking at the ceiling of the room as she remembered what she spoke with Leonard over and over again. She made sure to remember everything that had transpired. From the time he had placed his umbrella over her head, to the way he had helped her wear his overcoat to the way his lips moved when he spoke to her. The same lips that had touched hers. She brought her fingers up to her face, touching them very softly while she tried to remember how his lips felt.

Her heart tingled in her chest at the thought of him. Unlike many other men, who would often take time court her, the Duke had swooped and taken her out to spend time. Though technically she had forgotten about their meeting. 

"Leo," she murmured the name on her lips, the unbridled smile never coming to stop. 

When the morning arrived, Vivian decided to sneak out of the house in the name of her brother and her going to the church in the next town. Her brother dropped her off close to the tower bell and went on his way.

Yesterday, when she had gone to meet him. She hadn't been in a presentable state and had left in a hurry to meet him. But today was different, thought Vivian to herself. She had dressed her self in one of her finest dress which she had saved for a special occasion. Having tied up her hair in loose braids that crisscrossed behind, she walked to the tower bell to see Leonard who had dressed in a crisp inky hue shirt and a black trouser. It looked that the hair which he had combed had ruffled itself slightly for it to move a little disarray from the rest of his blond hair.

The urge to smoothen it her hand itched but she kept it to her side without moving it. As if sensing her presence, he turned his head to look at her. 

Leonard drank in her presence as she got closer, a small nervous smile on her lips. Dressed in a white and pale beige dress with full sleeves, she walked to where she was. The pink tint on her lips didn't go unnoticed by him, it made him internally smile that she had dressed which showed the eagerness to meet him. 

"Good morning," she greeted him, her heart beating loudly and both smiled at each other. Her's out of nervousness and his in the assurance of something unknown from the past. 

Leonard instead of wishing as she did, he picked up her hand in his. He leaned and bent forward whilst keeping his eyes on her as he kissed the back of her hand, "Good morning, Vivian," he greeted her, she gulped. This man really was too straight forward in showcasing his emotions but for some reason, it didn't alarm her. Instead, she basked in it as she did with the sun rays now. 

"Shall we?" he asked her, sneakily intertwining two of his finger with two of hers, pulling her to the horse which was tied to the pole. 

Vivian and Leonard spent their time on the horse where she sat in the front. As the man didn't live there, Vivian was the one to guide him. The horse walking slowly as it took them places while they spent their time talking about random things. Neither of them had experience when it came to being around the other gender romantically. 

Sitting in front of him, she felt her back touching his firm chest occasionally which bloomed her cheeks further. None knew how time passed and when the time of the evening came Leonard took her close to her home to see where she lived. Not willing to part this soon, they stood under the tree in silence. The silence wasn't awkward but was rather comfortable in each others company. 

"I will be leaving tomorrow evening," he informed her. Vivian felt her heart skin at the information. The time she had spent with this man had been wonderful that she had forgotten he would have to go back to Bonelake. After all, that was where he lived but she had thought he would be staying here a day more, "The council needs my assistance on a case and have asked me to leave a day early," noticing the sadness that came to settle in her eyes, Leonard said, "I wouldn't have left if I didn't have work."

"I understand," she smiled with a heavy heart. For the first time, she came to realize the expression of placing a rock on one's chest and doing things, "What is the case about?" she asked him when he saw his lips set in a thin line. 

Though they had spent time together, Vivian hadn't asked if he was willing to spend more time with her but how could she? It had been barely two meets but then why did it hurt her so much? She blinked back the prickle in her eyes which she didn't understand. 

"A half-vampire was found beheaded and hanged in the middle of the town. They haven't been able to find who killed the person," he gave a crisp detail to her without going into too much information, "Have you thought about opening a medicine store? I am sure the people in the village would come to buy it from you. That is until and unless you had tested and tried it."

"I will have to speak to my parents about it again," her parents weren't happy with her odd work with the herbs. They had once called her hobby similar to witchery which she wasn't happy to hear. 

"If you were wanted to work, there's a vampire doctor in the council. He works something very similar to what you do. You might get a lot of exposure to learn from him. That is in Bonelake," he said gauging her expression. Leonard for once instead of asking her directly had beaten around the bush. 

"I have my parents here. I don't think I would be able to leave right now," while Leonard had taken a roundabout, Vivian didn't understand the subtle hint of his question which he had tried to get an answer for. With neither of them getting to the point, they spent some more time before she bid him a bye with a heavy heart. 

Vivian wanted to spend more time with him but it was late and she had to head inside the home. Turning around when she reached the gates, she turned to see him standing below the tree with his hands in his trouser pockets. The expression on his face was hard to read and the words he had imparted on her were few which had made her wonder if she did something she wasn't to. 

He was going to leave tomorrow Valeria tomorrow and there was no saying when he would return back here. Her feet didn't want to get in until the door of the house opened, her head snapped and she hurriedly went inside the house.

Getting to her room, she climbed the bed and laid her head on the pillow with one side resting on its surface. 

There had been several times when her mother had set her up with men of good prospects but never had she felt like this for any of them. At first, the man had come off to be overbearing but spending time and his sweet, polite gestures towards her had made her heart flutter. It felt unrealistic to like someone so soon but it made her wonder if this was what they called love at first sight. But then it was maybe third sight for her. 

Turning around, she closed her eyes. What was she going to do? He had kissed her but he had expressed nothing to her about it today. They hadn't even kissed which made her ponder if she had thought too much about yesterday. Was she a passing time for him while he was here? And now that he was leaving he didn't find a point? The thought of him leaving tomorrow ached her heart. But then he didn't appear to be that type of person. What was she going to do?

An old ache that had come to resurface back in her chest and mind.
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