"Lord Norman and Lady Ester asked me to inform you that we will be having a ball tomorrow in the evening and that you will have to stay here and that your presence wouldn't be required," she heard the maid speak as she ate her food.
"A ball? What kind of ball?" she asked the maid.
"Just the usual one's where the elites gather together with the humans, the nightly creatures of council and Lords. Wher-"
"Lords?" Katie interrupted her.
"Yes, Lords, Ms Katherine. They are the high part of the social class aren't they?" she asked confused.
"They are," Katie felt hope flicker in her eyes as she nodded her head, "My bad. I forgot the Lord's belong to the higher class too," she smiled before completing the bowl clean after a very long time.
The next night, the mansion was decorated bright and beautifully in welcome of the people whom they had invited. It looked no less than a Christmas with men and women laughing and chattering in each others company.
Though Katie was asked not to attend the ball she wanted to see Lord Alexander if he was there. She didn't know how she would react if he brought along Lady Caroline with him and for now she pushed those thoughts away from her mind. She had sneaked out of the room, trying to find people she knew in the main hall where the ball was held.
She found Lord Norman speaking to one of the head council who had visited Valeria. Silas was no where to be seen and when she tried finding Lady Ester, she heard a voice right behind her,
"I thought I ordered you to stay in the room," spinning around she saw Lady Ester standing there who had Leroy right behind her.
Cursing herself for being caught she spoke, "I was curious about the ball."
"Did you have a good look?" the Lady tilted her head in question.
"Yes. I will be going back now," she gave her a pressed smile.
"Of course dear, Leroy please accompany this one to her room. Thank you," her voice chimed sweetly and the guard caught held of Katie's arm, dragging her away from the hall and towards her room forcefully.
"Ouch! I can walk myself," she tried prying his hand away but the man's hand was no less than a metal.
"Leroy, stop manhandling the woman," Silas ordered the man from down the stairs, "I will handle it from here," he said walking up the stairs.
"Lord Silas your mother-" the guard began to which Silas held up his hand.
"Is the language difficult to understand?I said I will take it from here," he said it with a ghost chilling smile, "Katherine," and Katie followed him to see Leroy still stand there for few seconds before turning back and going down the stairs.
As they walked past her room, Katie wondered were they were going.
She followed him, walking through the corridors. He led her inside a room which had no lights, walking towards the racks and stacks of books there.
"What is this place?"
"My brother and I often enjoyed making tricks in the mansion, paths that would lead to different parts of the mansion which no one knew about. No one knows about. This is one of them," he said pulling the lamp down due to which the walls moved apart to lead to an open passage of space of a bridge.
"But why are we here?" Katie asked him confused to which he sighed.
"He was right. You are a question bank. You will have to go from here by your own. I don't want anyone questioning where I was," Silas said stepping away for her to walk through it.
Did this mean he was letting her run away from the mansion? The locket she had picked up was still in the room, "I have few things to pick up from the room."
"To be clear, you are supposed to be back in an hour or I will hunt you down and skin you alive," he threatened her before closing the gateway.
"Wait..." she trailed as the walls closed and she felt the drizzle of water and wind in and around her.
It was a cold night, the sky dark except for the occasional lightnings in the clouds to show how grey the clouds were. It was a long bridge connecting from one building to another in mid air. Up here everything was so quiet and tranquil. Turning around she realized that she was perhaps standing in one of the isolated buildings with no windows or doors in sight.
She closed her eyes wondering what she was supposed to do.
When she opened her eyes and looked in front of her, she felt her world stop still. The clock that was ticking, the drops of water that was falling from the sky, even her breathing.
Lord Alexander stood there, just like her in the drizzling rain. Their clothes got wet as both of them stood there looking at each other, consuming the other's frame with their eyes. He took slow, forward steps and the next thing she knew she was running to him unable to take the separation any more and he opened his arms, taking her securely in his arms as he held her there.
He pulled her under the pillar to avoid the rain that had begun as he kissed her lips, his hand finding its way through her hair and the other one holding her back firmly. She kissed him back with an equal fervor, her hands holding the lapel of his black jacket, scared that he would vanish if she opened her eyes.
She felt him push his tongue in her mouth, to meet hers while his hands slid up her waist pushing her against the wall without breaking the contact. The kiss was desperate and equally passionate, with his lips finding its way to her jaw and neck.
Her cheek rested against his chest while she tried catching hold of her breath in his arms.
"I missed you," she heard him whisper above her head, his hold tightening around her.
"I missed you too," she replied hugging him back as she smelled him through his shirt, a scent she had grown comfortable with.
She realized that it didn't matter if she didn't have a place which she used to have because this is what home felt like. He was her home.
"I thought you weren't going to come to see me because of your engagement to Caroline," she said softly when he stepped back to look at her, "It-looked like I was one of your piece of pawn in this game of chess," her eyes strayed away from him when she said it sadly wondering if it was true.
"Silly fool. The engagement is a false alarm so don't concern yourself with it," he murmured warmly with a smile as he tucked a piece of hair behind her ear, "You are my valuable queen in this game of chess. And I love the queen too much to sacrifice her," her eyes snapped up to look at him.
Lord Alexander never said anything directly but his words always conveyed what he wanted to say to her.
"You have a small bruise," he said touching her cheekbone with his finger tips, "When did you receive it?" he asked her casually like it wasn't nothing to be worried about.
"Four or five days ago," she had gotten used to seeing her face with the bluish green mark that she had forgotten about it. Hearing this Alexander smiled wide but his deep, dark eyes said completely something else.
"The list keeps growing," he murmured to himself.