Vivian stared back at him until she felt she couldn't look straight at him and her eyes shifted to look at the table. The anger on Lady Shirley for taking up the ownership of something which wasn't hers ha dissipated but she was upset. Upset with the fact that Leonard thought the sweater she had knit specially for him was woven by Lady Shirley. She had wanted to surprise him, make him guess on who might have given him the present but who knew things were going to turn out this way?
Biting the inside of her cheek, she looked back up to see him still looking at her with his dark maroon eyes. Before everything changed, Vivian and Leonard used to be friends, at least that is what she thought it was. Unlike the way he usually looked at the other servants of the mansion, she had noticed his eyes were softer on her and maybe that was one of the reasons why she decided to come clean about the situation.
"Lady Shirley is lying," said Vivian, though she had been brave enough to bring the lie in the light that didn't mean she was courageous about it. The sides of her hand held her skirt for support. There was no telling if Leonard would believe a maid's words.
"Lying about what?" he asked her curious to what she was talking about from behind the table.
"The Sweater. She wasn't the one who knit it! She's taking creditability for something she didn't try for..." Vivian's sudden outburst over the matter which caught the Duke's attention and he slowly sat up.
The young Duke wasn't a slow man to not know where her words were leading in to. Though rift had been caused between the servants and owner, Leonard knew Vivian wasn't the kind to spout lies in the air.
"Why would you say that?" he asked her curiously, "And even if she didn't knit it herself, it was a gift given by her. Bought or prepared. Spilling tea with a bad aftermath behavior wasn't expected from you," surprisingly his tone didn't hold disappointment but Vivian being oblivious about it went ahead to speak,
"But master Leonard what happened there was by mistake and she deserved it after the lie she said because it was..." her words turned to a whisper when Leonard stood from his seat to walk up to where she was and she stopped herself from speaking as her heart sped up. She didn't know if her heart that was beating much loudly was due to fear or his closeness from where she stood.
In all the days that had passed, this was the maximum amount of words they had exchanged.
"Complete your words, Vivian," Leonard prompted her to speak as she looked away from his intense gaze on her.
"I," she felt her heart begin to beat again, her eyes turning blur as nervousness caught her senses. She had wanted to play the game of guess but who knew she would have to answer it straight like this, and she finally said, "I was the one who did it."
Leonard was caught off guard by her confession.
He hadn't like the tone she had used while accusing Lady Shirley about not being the one who had knit the sweater and had come to fix her attitude on it as he didn't want something like this repeating in the future again. A servant of a mansion reflected the owner in the pureblooded vampire families. A bad behaviour would only mean how loose and incapable the master of the house was when it came to handling the house servants.
His eyes slightly wide now stared at Vivian who looked to her side without making an eye contact with him. He had seen her knit alongside his mother but it was definitely not the colour he had in his closet now. His brows contoured in question,
"How can you say it is yours? You didn't even see the sweater we were speaking about?"
Vivian shook her head at his words, "The sweater wasn't made from sheep's wool but rabbits found in the far mountains which come after Isle Valley. The colour was picked to match your dark red eyes and the pattern was knit in a way to have space between the two lines which took more time than the rest. The collar was kept simple, keeping in mind that it wouldn't turn stifling if it took too much of area. The sleeves were measured to the recent clothes you got tailored when you arrived here," as she blabbered the details Leonard felt the little amount of warmth touch his frozen heart.
The Duke didn't need to know further who had made the sweater for him.
"Why didn't you come and give it to me personally?" he asked her, the revelation still sinking in that Vivian had been knitting it for his sake.
"I wanted to surprise you," she looked up to meet his eyes, "It wasn't right for Lady Shirley-"
"-to tell it was her who made it-"
"Vivi," Vivian felt Leonard's palm on her cheek which spread around to brush his thumb over her tender skin which stopped her from speaking any further, "Thank you for the gift," he said his voice much lower than what he had used while questioning her.
Vivian didn't know why but the atmosphere between Leonard and her felt different suddenly.
She opened her mouth but no words came out of it. She stood frozen in front of him. She had known Leonard for far too long but never had she felt this aware of him.
Leonard who still had his hand on Vivian's cheek stared into her innocent eyes that looked at him in surprise. Since his parents had passed, Leonard had distanced himself from everyone be it his relatives or the lord of their land. He didn't trust a soul, the word had turned heavier in the passing days that believing it seemed impossible.
Yet, he wanted to depend on this one here who stood in front of him now. 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2018 So Far
Leonard asked her, "Care to explain what happened in the drawing room?" his eyebrows looked relaxed, his expression grim as he stared at her, waiting for her to speak.