When Heidi got down from the carriage, she noticed the carriage Nicholas had used in the morning stood under the shed now, implying he was back in the mansion. Heidi should have gone to her room but instead her feet had carried her towards the Lord's room to talk to him about things she hadn't told him yet. She knew it was late but she had to tell him one day or the other because eventually he would find out. He had created a soul bond and knowing well how the people here treated slaves she was scared on how he would take it.
In spite of all that fear she carried with herself, she continued to make her way towards the lord's room. Ready to knock the room, she raised her hand but stopped seeing the door which was slightly open. Pushing the door a little, her throat went dry at the sight of what she saw in front of him. The lord sat on the bed, his back facing her and a woman laid next to him lying motionless on the bed. The woman was a maid of the mansion. Nicholas' sheets were black and it was hard to say if it was blood that had moistened a part of the sheet which was visible to her from where she stood.
Feeling her presence in the room, the pure blooded vampire turned around, lips bloody and eyes that seemed unfocused. Quite frankly, Heidi didn't know how to feel about it. He had killed his maid for blood, who now laid on the bed with a blank expression on her face while the lord looked calm.
"Where did you go? I heard from one of the maids that both Stanley and you left at noon to visit someone. It's been four hours since you left," he stated, getting up from the bed and wiping his lips with the back of his hand.
Heidi couldn't take her eyes off the dead person in the room and felt her heart shudder. Dead body, her mind spoke back to her.
"You killed her," Heidi whispered, moving her gaze back to him, "Why?"
Nicholas could see the fear cloud in her eyes as he took his time to speak, "I was hungry," and he then added, "It's is much complex that it appears to look."
"Please explain it to me then," she said, trying to reason out why he would kill someone if it was only to quench his thirst.
"When the thoughts of me sinking my fangs in your skin passes my mind, I can't hold back the need to drink blood. My cravings have increased," his answers to her questions had always been to direct, "The maid was very willing even when she knew what and how the consequences would turn out to be. I didn't intend to kill her."
"I don't mind you taking blood from me," hearing this the lord laughed.
"If I were you, I wouldn't be that willing. Come," he said taking her out and away from his room, "Aren't you worried that I'll end up taking more than I am supposed to?"
"Wouldn't it be better, that it be me than someone else," she stopped her footsteps to look into his eyes.
"What would I do without you," he said raising his hand and rubbing the side of her forehead with his thumb that had dirt on her skin.
"Doesn't a life matter to you?"
"It does. Only if it is something I consider to hold some value to it," Nicholas replied, "You should understand that a vampire's life is much different than what a human can comprehend."
His words weighed in her mind that night when she went to bed. Indirectly, it was her fault that the maid had died. She didn't understand why he refused to drink her blood now when he already had tasted it. The next few days, the lord made short conversations with her during the meals and the remaining hours he would disappear from her sight to be either locked in his study or in his room. She didn't know why but it felt that he was avoiding her and she felt hurt over it. She had done nothing wrong, not anything he could be aware of to be angry enough to avoid her so subtly. She was the one who had the right to be angry on him for killing the maid.
Maybe he felt guilty about it, thought Heidi. But it was Nicholas she was talking about here and the word guilt didn't associate with the man.
Sitting in the drawing room, Heidi sighed unable to read the book that she had been trying to read. She wondered if things had moved too fast between them. She had gone to his room to tell him about her but things had only gone haywire. She recollected what happened yesterday in the morning when Warren had just arrived in the hallways of the mansion entrance.
"What is this?" she asked him seeing the large rectangular box he held in his hands. Was it another dress from Venetia?
As though reading her expression, Warren spoke, "It isn't from my mother. It's from me," he said giving it to her. The lord who was being accompanied by the butler were in sight as they came to greet Warren.
"What's that you have there with you, cousin?" Lord Nicholas asked him with a smile.
"It's an archery set for hunting. Heidi was very good hitting the mark the last time we went hunting," he then turned to speak to Heidi, "I thought you might like your own bow and arrow than borrow others the next time we go hunting."
"Thank you for being thoughtful about it. I will use it well," Heidi thanked him, taking the box in her hand.
"By the way, I was going to go and visit the orphanage now. Would you like to come? Only if you want to of course," he added the last line.
"Yes, I would love to go there with you," she smiled taking a small peek at the lord as she said it who's gaze was locked with Warren with a smile. Heidi had thought it would bring out some sort of reaction out of Nicholas but it did nothing. Instead the man saw them, telling her,
"Please do enjoy yourselves and send love to the children from my side."
Heidi leaned her back on the chair she sat, pondering about it. Hearing the door knock, she saw it was Timothy who held two glasses filled with wine in his hand.
"I hope you aren't busy for a drink," he said entering the room, "Nick is busy with something else down the dungeons right now and I thought it was a good time to share a drink with you."
"What is this?" she asked taking the glass which he handed to her.
"It is a fine wine from what I acquired in the black market today. It's made of flowers, wild ones so you might find it a little strange at the start," he warned her, taking a sip from his own glass and humming in approval.
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