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Valerian Empire 63 Slacker- Part 2

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Katie now stood quietly in Elliot's room as he stood in front of her with a deep thought and a frown on his face. He had said he had gift for her too just like Sylvia but he hadn't spoken to her since they entered the room.

Wondering what it was she asked him,

"Um Elliot?"

"I want you to forget your feelings for Alexander," he said with no hint of playfulness in his eyes. Elliot who was always cheerful now looked serious.

Katie didn't know how to react to his request. She was confused.

"But why?" she asked softly.

"Don't take me wrong but I don't think you two are suited for each other," were the words that came out of his mouth and she lowered her eyes down to the floor.

Katie hadn't expected Elliot to show her the reality so bluntly.

She knew they belonged to two different worlds. It was something that was there at the back of her mind which she had pushed away. She wanted to be with him.

She then felt a hand on her head.

"This is why," she heard Elliot speak to which she raised her head and saw him smile at her gently, "Alexander isn't an easy man. He gets bored easily and before you know it another person is replaced. And even if things do work out in the beginning, he is a vampire and you're a human. As time passes you will grow old and things will only get difficult. Knowing this are you still sure that you want to move forward with the way things are?" he questioned her.

"Then I will stay as long as he permits to," Katie replied making him smile.

"I just don't want you hurt, okay?" Elliot spoke concerned and muttered under his breath, "Personally I think you deserve a better man than him."

He knew that the Lord cared but love was something he wasn't sure about. But maybe Alexander would change his ways in time. After all Katherine wasn't like the other women.

Going to one of his closets and pulling out a small wrapped up gift, "I did say I had a gift for you," he grinned going back to his usual self.

Curious she took it from him while he urged her to open it.

Pulling out the wrapper she found a glass jar that was filled with water. Looking at it closer she noticed the tiny little mermaids along with the castle and sea shells. They held intricate details and it was something that she had never seen before. Above, on the cork, it said Elliot.

She felt her eyes moisten as she held the small jar in her hand. He had made it for her.

"Thank you," she whispered as she hugged him and felt him rub her back.

"I guess I am just worried about you. It is like giving my dearest animal as a sacrifice to a carnivore," he gave her a troubled look as they pulled back.

After coming back from Elliot's room, Katie carefully kept the gift she received from both Elliot and Sylvia in her room, heading down for lunch.

As she went to sit down next to Dorthy she felt some servants, especially maids, who looked at her discreetly while talking amongst themselves. At first she brushed it off but having food had turned out to be awkward with so many eyes on her.

She didn't​ have to guess what it even was about. The maids sure did gossip a lot.

"You're really famous here," Matilda commented while eating her food.

"The maids aren't able to stop talking about you and Lord Alexander coming back at midnight," Dorthy who sat next to her whispered, "Apparently one maid saw it and many versions of the tale have been spun. Like, really bizarre tales you wouldn't want to hear."

"I don't think I would like to hear that either," Katie smiled trying to ignore the looks she was getting from the others.

"One says that you are a dark witch who charmed the Lord and in no time you would burn at the center of the city," Cynthia piped in.

"She is no dark witch. We all know Katie can't hurt a damn fly," Dorthy supported her.

"Thank you for pointing that out," Katie said wryly.

"Looks can be deceiving. The ones that look innocent are the ones you need to be wary about," Cynthia said it loud enough for everyone around them to hear it.

"I think a trash tal-" Dorthy began in a snappy tone but felt Katie hold her hand tightly seeing Martin had entered the floor.

Even though the butler was lean, with his small eyes and wrinkles, he was a scary man. Causing unnecessary havoc would lead them to three nights in the dungeon along with God-knows-what punishment.

Her cousin Ralph had taught her the basic defense she needed and trying it out here wasn't something she was planning on. And it wasn't a fly, it was a big insect that she was uncomfortable with.

"I think I'm done eating," Katie said picking up her plate and leaving the basement.

As she walked through the lit corridors she felt someone follow her and she turned around but there was no one but her. It wasn't the first time she felt it.

Shaking her head she walked out of the mansion and towards the stable. As it was the lunch hour, there was hardly anyone around except for the animals. Sighing loudly she went where the wolf was and unlocked its chain thoughtlessly without seeing if the other leash was tied up or not; it was not.

Suddenly she felt the huge wolf pounce right over her, making her fall down flat on the hay before being licked all over her face making her laugh.

"Boy, you're the only woman I have seen laughing with her face covered in a wolf's saliva," a man said behind her, "Let me help," he said pulling the wolf back to it's den.

With all the time she had worked in the mansion she hadn't seen him before. The man seemed to be in his early twenties, his wavy blonde hair covering his forehead and his eyes dull grey.

"Thank you for that. I haven't seen you before. Are you new?" she asked going to the large water drums and washing her face.

"I am. It's just been three days," he answered promptly.

"I see," and she went back to her work. As she cleaned the stacks for the tools she found the man staring at her with a smile and she raised her brow in question, "What is it?"

"You are a very earnest person with what you do. It is a rare sight to see a maid not skip work when no one's around," he commented looking at her clean.

"Well, you are here too," Katie pointed out making him nod, "I think you need to start helping out. If Martin finds you slacking he will have you reported."

"The old butler? I'm not scared of him," he said hopping up to sit on the slab.

As days passed by Katie found herself being followed around by the man who seemed like he was enjoying his time in the mansion doing nothing but talk and sleep. Sometimes she would catch him staring at her like the time in the stable before he would clear his throat and turn away.

In the stable he would often be seen sleeping leisurely and it was a wonder on how he never got caught by Caviar or Martin.

It was a Thursday and she went to visit the cemetery as usual. Thinking she had some alone time she sighed as she sat on her knees in front of her parents grave.

"You sigh a lot," she heard the voice of the man and turning around she found him leaning over the tree.

She could feel a light headache form with him following her even to the cemetery.

"Do you have a dear one here?" she asked placing some flowers at the grave.

"I don't know. It's been a long time. I might have one," the man answered her thoughtfully.

"I don't know how to put it but I think you need to stop following me," she finally said it to him.

"But you are the only one who talks to me," he frowned looking at her.

"That's because you haven't tried hitting a conversation with anyone else," and she began walking ahead.

"I can't," she felt him say it sadly as he followed her to the old grave with the stone cracked.

"I know you are new to the mansion but I think talking to others would do you good than only talk to me. There are nice people there," she said to him, "And you really need to stop following me."

"If you don't intend to have me following you around stop placing the damn flowers on my grave!" he spoke exasperatedly.

"Your grave?" she asked surprised with his sudden outburst and looking up at him puzzled.

"Yes, mine," he replied touching the stone with a frown before grinning to show off his perfectly white teeth and sharp canines, "I guess I forgot to mention my name."

And before he could speak out she felt the blood drain out of her face as she looked at the gravestone.

"Malphus Crook," they said at the same time.
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