The night before the engagement Heidi couldn't get the needed sleep and instead walked in her room, hoping it would tire her enough to put her to sleep. Her mind had been weighing with a lot of things. She knew she wouldn't be using the potion the Duke gave her not because she was scared but because she had fallen for the lord. The person her people warned about, the person she was not supposed to side with. But, here she was preparing herself for tomorrow, to have the courage to marry Warren who was kind to her. She felt that she was betraying them and didn't know what to do. A part of her wanted to run away, run away somewhere far and star over her life but was that even an option?
She twisted and turned in her bed but nothing seemed to work, not even counting the sheeps in her mind that jumped over the fence. Looking at the clock on the wall, she saw it was around ten past twelve. Moving the sheets away from her body, she sat up for a while before stepping out of her.
The corridors of the mansion was deserted when Heidi made her way to piano room. The candles that burned lightly in the corner and on the walls. Opening the door, she stepped inside to sit in front of the grand piano. She had been feeling restless for sometime now. She felt it was better to occupy her mind with the music than stay in her bed and worry about things that were unavoidable. Taking the sheets that were placed in the stand, she shuffled it around, moving the one in the front behind until she saw some markings in the music sheet. Curious, she placed it in front of her in the stand and looked at the first keynote. Pressing her finger like an eager child on the white and black keys, she looked back and forth between the sheet and keys. Tucking her hair which was hindering the side of her eyes, she went back to play the first line again. It looked like her fingers had be all over the place and she played the single line many times yet something seemed amiss. Maybe she wasn't playing it right, after she was giving a lot of pauses after pressing two keys.
"That doesn't sound right," she gasped hearing the lord speak who was at the door. He was in his sleeping attire, a black robe which was untied, "Unable to sleep?"
She nodded her head, "What about you? Did the piano wake you? I am so sorry," she apologized quickly. She had heard of the lord's ears being sharp but she didn't know it was this good.
"Don't fret about it. I was passing by when I heard the sound of the piano," Nicholas walked to stand behind her, "For beginners you sure did pick an easy piece," she heard him chuckle.
"I was trying to learn," she answered him with a quiet voice and she then turned her head around so that she could see him, "Do you know this piece?"
"Hmm," he answered thoughtfully, "Let me show you how it is played," he said leaning forward to reach the keys with his right hand.
It was a walk in the meadow for him when it came to playing the first few lines with a single hand, it was slow but it sounded even paced unlike hers. The center of the room where the piano was situated had a raised platform, due to which Nicholas didn't have to lean too much. His elegant, long fingers moved across the keys and she couldn't help but be fascinated with the music that was created.
As Heidi sinked into the beautiful music with her eyes closed, she suddenly opened them when she felt Nicholas' cool breath hit the side of her neck, raising goosebumps all over her skin. Ready to move aside to make room for him to play, she leaned slightly when his left hand moved to play the keys, caging her between both his hands. The cool breath tickled and tingled her warm skin. She was embarrassed with the amount of affect he had on her.
Her eyes went wide as saucers when something touched her neck and she jerked from her seat. He brought the music to a sudden halt, pressing the keys on both the sides. But his hand didn't move away.
"L-lord Nicholas?" she gulped, feeling her heart thunder in her chest with their closeness in the empty room.
"You need to drop the title now, Heidi. You can call me just Nicholas. After all we are going to be family very soon," he whispered softly right next to her ear.
Jumping from her seat she stood up to face him, who had that smile which worried her. It was the tricksters smile, a scheming one. And a scheming one was never good. With his current expression it looked like he knew exactly what he had done and was waiting for her to say something.
She saw that his hair was slightly wet, meaning he had only gotten out of the bath before coming here. She could see his firm muscles that peaked out of his shirt. Why did the lord have to be so good looking, only if he were ugly it would have made things easier, she thought.
"Nicholas," he corrected her immediately.
"Nicholas," she repeated, barely able to function her mind. She had come to the piano room to clear her mind but instead things had turned only more messier.
"It is rather late. You should go to sleep now," the lord stated.
As she hurried through the corridors, she could hear the piano play again but she didn't wait around to hear it.
In the morning, Lettice had come early to the Rune's mansion to help Heidi in dressing and getting her ready. When she entered the room, she saw her friend was already up and sitting with a dazed expression. Coming towards her, Lettice exclaimed,
"Oh my! What happened...?" the young woman asked worried seeing the dark circles around Heidi's eyes, "Didn't you sleep?"
"I didn't," Heidi replied, staring at the blank wall in front of her.
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