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Bambi and the Duke 10 Hide and Seek- Part 3

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In the morning, in the kitchen, little Vivian nibbled on the bun Martha had baked for her along with the rest of the family for breakfast. With the arrival of the morning, the night was forgotten by the girl. When she was done, she ran out to the shed from the back door to look at the lamb which Paul had bought yesterday from the market.

She bent down looking at the lamb. Her movements were careful as she tried getting closer to the lamb inch by inch. She raised her hand to only shriek out when the animal turned its head towards her.

"You are going to scare the poor animal, Vivi," Paul chuckled who had come to the shed to check on the animals there, "It won't bite you. See," the man rubbed the animal's head to show her. Vivian looked wide-eyed and then went to touch the animal to only retrieve it back to her side when the lamb moved its head.

"I touch it," Vivian said softly as Paul walked to the drum where they stored water.

"Take as much time as you want," he said drawing water from the drum and taking it to pour it in the canals they had built which connected to all the sides of the shed where the animals could drink from.

Leonard who was sitting by the window, hearing his cousins argue with each other on what they were going to play. Charlotte wanted to play house which the boys refused. Her brother, Julliard wanted to play Hide and Seek, and their cousin Rhys wanted to sleep but was dragged forcefully to play by his younger cousin sister. Leonard left the three to decide and took a seat at the window, seeing the clouds gathering together as they darkened. The shed being opposite to where he now sat, he looked at the girl who had crouched in front of the animal as she tried touching it.

A smile lit up on her face when she succeeded in touching the animal's head at a distance before moving closer to it. Personally, he had never touched a lamb, more like he never bothered himself in acquainting with the animals which were going to be killed as meat. Attaching to something which was going to be killed was useless.

"Yes!" Julliard exclaimed, laughing in the course when Charlotte sulked, "We are going to play Hide and Seek now as promised so don't chicken out."

"I won't," his sister replied, filling her mouth with air.

"What happened to your new friend? You can call her to play with us," Leonard turned away from the window to hear Julliard ask Charlotte.

"I will go find her," she said, running out of the room to find the girl with her two piglets flying following behind her. Vivian was taken back into the mansion by Charlotte and Leonard who had accompanied her. They now stood in a circle ready to pull the sticks which Julliard held in his hand.

"Who is this?" asked Rhys when Vivian was brought into the room, receiving three different answers,

"My friend."

"Bambi."

"Vivian."

"Okay..." Rhys raised his brows who then turned to speak to Vivian, "Do you know how to play Hide and Seek?" he asked her seriously. Seeing her nod, he responded with an okay.

"Alright then," Julliard began raising his hand with five sticks, "Whoever gets the shorter stick is the seeker. Now the rules are very clear. The game is limited only to the mansion. Anyone found outside will be immediately turned to the next seeker. No climbing trees either," Leonard rolled his eyes as he usually got away by climbing in and out of the mansion by using the help of the trees, "Just inside the mansion. Clear?" hearing everyone agree to it, they got ready to pull out the sticks.

"I think you pulled the shorter end of the stick, Charlotte," Leonard smiled, "You can start counting here and we'll leave. Don't miss the numbers in between," The vampiress walked to the far end of the wall with slouched shoulders, mumbling under her breath of how her brothers were unfair making their little sister a seeker. As the vampiress began counting numbers from one to hundred, everyone began hiding in different corners of the mansion quickly, disappearing in the secretive places which the others weren't aware of.

Vivian being new who hadn't explored every nook and cranny of the mansion seemed to walk in the corridors of the hall. When she still lived at her home, she had played the game of hiding but there was always someone to tag along with her which made the hiding successful. Now that she was on her own, the young girl tried to quickly find a place to hide. Her head turned left and right, her footsteps leading to a room which she turned the knob and closed quickly as the counting came to an end. As the room was a fully furnished one, she looked at the paintings that hung on the walls and some which were on the floor. She looked at it in awe. Her mouth slightly parted as she stared at one of them.

"Idiot," the word left out of Leonard's lips, staring at the girl from the closet he had hidden in.

Hearing the footsteps that were distant that belonged to his cousin who was currently looking for them, he stared at the door then the girl. Didn't she forget that they were playing a game and that she was supposed to hide? Maybe it was hard for the girl to process as she was still young. But if she was caught, it wouldn't matter if she was young, she would end up being the seeker next and if she did, he doubted she would find any of them. With the footsteps getting closer as seconds went by, he opened the closet, taking the girls hand and pulling her into the closet with him before shutting it as quiet as possible.

He raised his finger, placing it on his lips to indicate her to keep quiet but it seemed like the girl had other ideas when she opened her mouth. Leonard's eyes narrowed, placing his hand on her mouth so that she wouldn't scream. He didn't know why he had even pulled her with him now. Thanks to her there was a higher probability of being caught by Charlotte. Noticing her eyes looking at something behind him, he turned to find a dark spider that had made it's home. Seeing the spider approach them, Vivian caught the boy's hand which was next to hers.

At the same time, Charlotte had stepped into the room to check if anyone was there. With the spider crawling closer, Vivian shut her eyes tightly and at the same time, someone sneezed from the other corner of the room.

Who knew that his cousin, Rhys had hidden under the pile of canvas, thought Leonard. Charlotte began to laugh, hopping towards him in glee.

"I caught you! I caught Rhys!" yelled Charlotte.

"I must be allergic to the paint," Rhys mumbled as he got dragged out of the room.

Feeling it was safe, Leonard opened the closet door and flicked the spider down the ground before stepping on it.

"The spider is gone, Bambi," said Leonard, whose hand was being held by Vivian. Opening her eyes she saw the wall to see that he was right. Leonard slipped his hand out of her hands and stepped out of the closet.

"Where did it go?" she asked softly, her eyes searching the closet. A few moments ago she had been scared of the spider and about to cry, and here she was now looking for it.

"Probably on a vacation," he answered, leaving the room with her trailing not far behind him.
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