"Did you eat?"
Vivian, who had been standing not far behind Leonard in the dining room saw him looking at her with his hands holding a knife and a fork.
"I will be eating later-"
"Jan," he called the housekeeper who was in the room too.
"Yes, master Leonard," Jan appeared next to him.
"Leave us alone," at Leonard's command, the vampire bowed his head and stepped out of the dining room, placing down his knife on the table, he pulled the chair next to him and said, "Sit with me."
Gnawing on her lower lip, she went around the table to sit on the chair he had pulled for her to sit in.
"The maids aren't supposed to sit with their masters for meals," she reminded him seeing him cut the cooked meat from his plate, "People would talk badly about it."
"It's just us here and Jan knows well not to mention what happens in the mansion even to his previous master. You haven't been eating well. Here," he brought the meat up to her mouth. He looked calm and peaceful as she stared into his eyes, "Open your mouth, Bambi," his voice sounded like honey and she opened her mouth as if under a spell.
It felt good, the food that was placed in her mouth. The meat was cooked until it was tender, flavours bursting on her tongue which was rare as servants never ate the same meal as their masters. The servants weren't privileged enough to taste such delicacies. The leftovers were usually thrown away without giving the workers a bite from it, such was the difference set by the high-class members of the society with the lowly beings.
If it weren't for Leonard, the only taste she got was while preparing food.
With a serene expression on his face, he cut the meat again this time to place it in his mouth in the same fork he had used to feed her.
He looked in much better health and mood, and it made Vivian wonder if it was because the murders of his family had been executed. As he fed her alternately, taking a bite himself and then feeding her, she couldn't erase the memory that had been etched into her mind. How could she when she had seen the person who was no less than a guardian to her was hanged to death.
After the execution, Vivian had avoided Leonard, not wanting to be around him initially. She wanted to be angry but she couldn't bring her anger on Leonard as she knew he was right where he stood and she was right where she stood. It was a tie. A place where she could do nothing about and accept the fact that Paul nor his family would ever come back.
The pain was there and it only intensified when she remembered what happened to the culprits in Bonelake. Like many who had been killed under the council orders, the bodies were never given a burial. Instead, they were taken to the lake of bones and dumped amongst the other bodies that melted into fumes to form a dark grey-blue fog.
Picking up the glass of water, he handed it to her when she coughed a little. These were the things that melted her heart. How could she be angry at someone for avenging their families gruesome death? She was sure Leonard had made his best efforts due to which the execution trials had been delayed.
When he brought the fork up to her lips, her little heart squeezed in her chest. With his calm expression, it was hard for her to understand what he was thinking right now while he fed her with the same food he ate.
It was as if his presence took away all her worries bringing in hope that had been lost. Innocent times like these filled her heart with joy and undoubtful happiness that stole her world.
Leonard gave her a questioning look when he saw a smile appear on her which she tried to hide before shaking her head.
She continued to chew her food in silence. Once the plate was clean, Vivian took another sip of water from the glass to see Leonard pick his own glass which was filled with blood.
"Leo?" she asked not looking at him, her eyes cast down on the glass which she held in both her hands.
"Hmm? What is it?"
"I wanted to go somewhere tomorrow," her voice was quiet but he heard her well.
"Where do you want to go?" the calm Leonard suddenly turned sharp at her words though he didn't show it at the surface and behaved coolly. The world that had brought him happiness had also brought in chaos; he didn't trust people. He was glad that he had placed the master-slave bond on his servants, even more, glad to place it on Vivian to know where she was but it was only for a certain distance.
Vivian sensing the change in Leonard's voice tightened her grip on the glass, she spoke, "It has been a long while since I visited Martha's grave."
"I will take you there," he stated right away to her request. He would be going out to the town which would be an opportune moment to take Vivian along with him.
She felt him touch her hands, taking away the glass from her before holding her hand in his, "Do I scare you too much?" he murmured running his hand over the side of her face.
She shook her head, her mind turning numb and dizzy at his actions and velvety voice. He had only touched her face with his hands yet her toes had already begun to curl. Her heart beginning to beat faster making her dizzy.
"Calm down, Bambi," he pulled her to hug her in his arms, "Deep breaths," he rubbed her back.
"I am fine," she responded back a little flustered. with the way his arms wounded around her body. Seconds turned to minutes but he didn't let her go, "Leo?" she called his name to feel his arms only tighten around her.
"Let's go out sometime next week," he said pulling away to look at her. He had hardly fine anything to her and her face had already turned red.
"To a tea party?" she hadn't forgotten what had happened the last time she went to a tea party with him.
"No. Somewhere much better. You will come with me, won't you?" he asked her already knowing she would say yes to him. It was a habit incorporated between them, for Vivian to follow where Leonard went.
"Yes," Leonard smiled at her response. 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2018 So Far
She who was supposed to be helping in the kitchen couldn't help but hang around the drawing room in fear of Lord Nicholas tattling on what she had done to the prisoners to Leonard. As good as their Lord was, Vivian had been worried that he would tell it to Leonard as they had a good relationship between them.
Until the time of night where she was serving Leonard dinner, she felt the anxiety building until she realized her master hadn't brought anything remotely close to the topic she had been anticipating in dread.