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~ Chap 2~
“Ouch!” I groaned as my shoulder hit the ground.
I opened my eyes to see the carriage seat above my head. I figured I must have rolled off it in my sleep. Then I realized that I was along. Sitting up quickly, I checked out the windows. Everything wasn’t going by anymore. The carriage must have stopped. I moved and checked the other window. What I found took my breath away. Before me was a gigantic mansion. The trance was something out of a fairytale. Beautiful willow trees, a hanging flower garden, ancient ponds, and a granite fountain in the middle of it all. I was so distracted by the splendor that I never noticed Lord Darnel and an Argonian woman talking in front of the two gigantic mahogany doors.
You finally awake?
Lord Darnel’s voice brushed against my mind. I blinked a few times. Having half expected him to be somewhere near. But he was continually talking to the Argonian maid. He didn’t even turn to notice me. He didn’t turn until the maid lifted a reptilian hand to point me out. He turned with a slightly surprised look on his handsome features.
Don’t act surprised! I hissed mentally.
His low laughter wrapped me in its velvet seduction. Your thoughts are distracting me again, purred his teasing reply.
He was deliberately changing the subject. “Jerk,” I grumbled under my breath as I gingerly climbed out of the parked carriage.
I walked up the cobble walk way with long quick strides, purposely keeping my head down. Partly from Lord Daren’s teasing, the other part was to hide from the Argonian maids searching eyes. Her curiosity was proving to be murder on my nerves. I bowed quickly to get this greeting over with.
“So, she is the new chamber maid for the second floor?” The maidens gravely voice was the perfect example of her race.
“Yes, she is. Synadil, this is Joshna, the Head Maid. You will be under her orders from my commands.” He turned his attention back to Joshna. “Take her through the house and get her a uniform.”
With that he left, walking into the labyrinth of a house. Joshna gave me one last look over. Then lead me into the mansion. My jaw dropped as we entered. The room before me was huge! There were doors lining the walls with a double stair case that met in the middle. The rug under my feet looked exotic with all its intricate designs. Joshna grabbed my hand impatiently and lead me through some doors. I snatched glances at libraries, sitting rooms, work rooms, and more. The rooms were all elegant, all beautiful and classic. Joshna had pulled me into the maids’ chambers. She dragged me past the curious staring eyes of the other women and closed me in a room.
“This is your room.”
She went to a drawer and pulled out a dark blue uniform. It had an oval neck with long sleeves, and of course a short dress line. It wasn’t overly short, but I was starting to think there was a dress code for girls that have to bend down and work to wear skirts.
Only the pretty ones, Lord Darnel’s voice purred and caressed my mind.
Pervert! I shot back.
He laughed in male amusement.
Go pick on another maid, I said in a huff.
I grabbed the dress and put it on quickly. Purposely ignoring him, this only served to amuse him further.
I hate you, I told him hotly as I put my curly locks in a bun.
He laughed again which only got me wanting to strangle him. By the way, He started, still chuckling. I told Joshna that you will be serving dinner for our guests this evening.
I slumped down on my little cat bed in shock.
Joshna smiled at me, showing rows of pointed teeth. “He told you huh> He said you had exceptional physic abilities. I’ll see you in the kitchen at 5:30. Dinner starts at 8:00. Be warned. Our guests are vampire.” She inclined her head slightly then left me in my new room.
I cursed under my breath and smothered my face in the pillow. “Why?” I asked myself. The tone sounded sad and lonely, as though a stranger were speaking through my lips. All I wanted was a normal life. I didn’t want to serve vampires and have physic abilities. I wanted to raise horses and read books. Lord Lank had encouraged my dream. He had told me many a time that he wished to make me an heir. It would bring me from my slave status to a respectable Mistress. But Lord Lank had died suddenly, so early, so strangely. Before he could change his will fully, so that I could become what he wished of me. The land before the valley of the dark had taken him, leaving Sir Jaxx to inherit everything, even me.
I want you to get acquainted with the others… Lord Darnel prodded softly.
He had the perfect timing. Why was he in such a rush to get me “acquainted?” And the questionable who? With a sigh I prompted, and?
I like to show off, okay? He admitted in exasperation.
I laughed. Ha! I knew it!
He scoffed, it’s 5:20, Princess, go to the kitchen.
He cut the connection and left me to myself.
“Moody,” I muttered and started my way out.
I wonder around in slight confusion. ‘Cause to tell the truth, I had no idea where the kitchen was. After about five uneventful minutes, I gave up. I slumped down on the double stairs and sighed heavily. I was about to give up and try to see if Lord Darnel would help me when the most delicious smell hit my nostrils. I sat up slightly. My senses flaring out, I followed the source. I let my feet guide me. And what I found made me caused a wave of relief to hit me like a gust of air. The kitchen. I smiled softly at all the busy workers and the season smell that followed them. I walked with silent steps past the throng of chefs. Until I found Joshna. The Head Maid was tenderizing steaks like a mad woman…err, Argonian. She looked up suddenly, a bit irritable. As soon as she saw me though her face softened.
“I worried if you would get here or not. I forget to show you the kitchen.”
I smiled and nodded my head politely. “It is well ma’am. What is your will?” Shyness crept into my voice. Hell, nice first impression. Oh yeah, that’s been done already.
She answered with a reassuring pointy smile. “Yes, I would like you to find some cagin’ spice. Master likes it on his meat.”
I nodded as she resumed battering the meat.
Curious, though I was, to know why a vampire would eat meat. I searched for the blasted spice anyway. The kitchen held a few cupboards here and there. Most contained metal pans and clay containers.
Finally after what seemed to be my 500th cupboard, I found the spice.
Trotting back over to Joshna I couldn’t help but question the whole “Vampire eats Food” thing.
“I thought Vampires only drank blood. I didn’t know they ate…food. Why would they eat food and drink blood?”
Joshna smiled, “They don’t eat like us, you are right. They cannot eat many things. Steak and other bloody meats, they can. I hope you can understand why.”
I held down my wince. Yeah, I could guess why. Bloody meat was the same as bloody person.
“Help me with this.” Joshna put the tenderized meat aside and picked another.
I nodded and grabbed one.
Joshna gave me a friendly grin. I supposed to encourage me. Did I really seem that…timid?
“I guess the whole meat thing makes sense.” I threw in the agreement to start conversation. Hell, better than working in an awkward silence.
Time pasted back in the silence I dreaded. I guess I shouldn’t have minded though. Years were spent in silence as a slave.
After we were done we cleaned some dishes and seat the table. I learned a lot about Joshna after a while. She probably sensed my tension and used the subject to relax me. The talk kept the annoying “Vampires! Vampires! You’re serving dinner to Vampires!” Which was really annoying specially when your trying NOT to thick of such things and do work.
I ignored the stupid little voices in my head and concentrated on the Head Maid. I was surprised to learn that she had been working for Lord Darnel for 20 years now. She was born a slave like me. Lord Darnel had saved her from her former Master. Lord Citreous. Apparently Lord Citreous had been a friend of the bottle. Stumbling around drunk was as sober to him as talking. Lord Citreous had beaten many of his slaves, Joshna one of them.
Lord Darnel seemed to be a kind heart. Wow, vampire sweet hearts.