When Raymond left the room, the Duke dismissed the other servants out of the room so that it was only Heidi and him.
"Do you like Bonelake, Ms. Curtis?" he inquired casually, taking off the spectacles he wore to clean it with the cloth that was on the table.
"It is alright..." she replied, her voice unusually smaller than usual. She wasn't sure how to reply to it, what do you say to a person who doesn't like the land?
"Is that so. You look beautiful," she was taken aback at the sudden compliment, "The right clothes and shoes makes one into a fine person, don't you think? Would you care for a cup of tea?" he asked her.
"Please, I insist," he smiled, pouring the tea from the white kettle into two cups, "What have you been doing in the Rune's mansion? It must be quite a bore to sit alone midst the vampires," she saw him add a spoonful of sugar into the tea cups.
"Ah, yes, it is sometimes but Mr. Lawson has asked me to take lessons from the educator," she answered him.
"That's lovely to hear. Here," he said, raising the tea cup. When Heidi stood up to take it, she moved it away, "Why don't you sit here? My neck hurts stretching too much to the right," he placed the cup back on the table next to his tea cup. Heidi clutched the side of her dress, her heart thumping in fearing at the thought of what was going to come. Not being brave enough to defy the man as he was the owner of the mansion, she took few seconds to go and sit next to him, leaving a little space between them, "Do you know why I invited you today?" he asked her, not waiting for her answer he continued,
"With what I have heard, your time at the Rune's mansion might extend further as the council is busy with catching hold of the black witches. And it puts us in an advantageous position. With the amount of time we have, it will be sufficient to throw off the pure blooded from the empire. I believe you remember what I spoke last time we met?" he saw her nod, "Unfortunately there have been small changes in the plan. I want you to continue what you are doing, gain Lawson and the Lord's trust. I will give you a tiny, little bottle before you leave. Your task is very simple. All you have to do is pour it in the Lord's cup at my word."
"What does the bottle contain?" Heidi asked the man to see him smile after he finished taking a sip from his cup.
"Well, let's say that it is a potion that will turn any vampire or pure blooded vampire weak and powerless, slowly resulting in body degradation. Isn't that simple?"
"Why would you go that far?"
"What?" he raised his head to look at her, the smile faltering on his lips.
"The whole point of the truce is to bring peace. Isn't that what this is all about? Why start another war which will elongate to many more years that is to come?" unable to keep the question to herself, she asked him.
She saw him place his cup on the table and closing his eyes before opening to turn back at her, "I think you missed the beginning of the story, Heidi. Shall I recollect it for you?" she caught the menacing look in his eyes. Out of sudden fright, she went to stand to only be pulled down as the Duke caught hold of her arm tightly in his hand, "What is the matter, have you already forgotten what happened to your beloved servant?"
"Let go of my hand, please!" Heidi exclaimed feeling his hand tighten around her arm. She struggled to push the man away, his weight fell over her body, cornering her body in the couch.
"It looks like you aren't willing to cooperate, let me help you with that," he said one arm still tightened around her arm and the other which made way into her dress.
"No!" She screeched loudly, pushing his face away from her which only resulted in him treating her more roughly. His hands like snake, moved inside her dress and reaching between her legs, he pushed the material aside to push a finger in forcefully to only hear her scream with pain
"Scream as much as you want, because none of your cries will be heard here. Sweet lord, you're a virgin. So tight," he whispered into her ear. It pained with a rough burn, her eyes stinging with tears, "Do you understand what is going to happen, if you aren't willing? Girls like you need to listen," when he tried to push the digit under the tight passage, it took all her effort to push the man away and she ended up falling on the ground before hitting her head against the table stand.
She scattered away from him when the Duke stood up. Fear consumed her at the possibility of what was going to come next. The man then crouched down in front of her and spoke,
"Don't think I am unaware of where you come from, Heidi. I know everything about you," he said looking at her, "Girls like without a master are sent straight back to where you came from. And it will take less than a day. You know that, don't you?" he asked her, bringing back the past which she had desperately been running from, "Today was only a demonstration. The next time I won't be this lenient. Here, take this," he said pulling a little bottle out of his trousers.
Her hand shook as she took the bottle from him.
"If only you were an obedient child like your sister Nora. She is a wonderful girl who complies to every request of mine without a question. I hope that you can be more like her," he said standing back up straight, "You wouldn't want me shortening her life now, would you. I know you are a wise girl, Heidi," he pacified her softly after what he had done.
Heidi hadn't breathed a word after that. She hadn't gone to visit Howard or she couldn't with the state of mind she was in. Her uncle never bothered to ask her anything, turning a deaf ear to the entire situation that took place at the Duke's mansion. Reaching back to the house, she first took a hot bath, cleaning herself vigorously from the foul touch of the man. Why? she asked herself, as hot tears blended with the water on her skin. What had she done to deserve such thing? She cried until there was no more tears left to be shed. She was caught in a circle where there was no way out. This was what her life consisted of with no freedom to live her own life.
When morning arrived Heidi sat in the carriage to head back to the East Empire of Bonelake. Her family had put up their good behavior once again in front of the guardsman and this time it wasn't just them but also her, who felt relieved leaving the house. She hadn't been able to sleep the entire night and sitting under the water for hours had weakened her body while crying under it. Leaning her head on the window pane, she saw fog come out of her mouth as night came by. The thought crossed her mind of how Bonelake was colder when compared to Woville. Being the only one inside the carriage as the guardsman had taken the seat next to the coachman, she rubbed her hands together in an effort to create some heat in her hand.
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