Valerian Empire

Chapter 24

Chapter 24: Lingering feelings- Part 2

Taking the seat next to Sylvia she saw Mr. Tanner whom she had met before sitting in front of her with an elderly woman.

“Miss Katherine, how do you do? This is my wife Althea,” Mr. Tanner introduce.

“Hello,” she greeted his wife, “I’ve been doing wonderful Sir, thank you for asking.”

The four horses pulled the carriage as the coachman whipped to start them moving. The theater was in the next town and the journey was less than an hour. Like her, they were humans but of elite class.

The Tanner’s weren’t prudes but instead conversed like any other day sitting in the carriage like they were the only ones. Though Katie had her eyes looking outside at the vast green fields, she heard the couple talking to each other.

“I hope they don’t play Incarus’ politics again, Mr. Tanner,” his wife Althea spoke to him with a frown on her wrinkled face, “What are they presenting today?” she asked.

“It’s Romero. The story which you love to read my dear,” Mr. Tanner patted her hand reassuringly. Hearing the word ‘Romero’ Katie’s head jerked to look at them.

“I assume you have read it,” Sylvia said to which Katie nodded her head.

When she worked in the library she had got her hands on the human-vampire stories. Some where delightful, some where gruesome.

Romero was one of them. A tragic, vampire love story where the man dies before he can meet the woman he loves due to war. It was one of her favorites and to see it visually was something she couldn’t wait for. She was glad that Elliot had invited her.

Reaching the venue, the coachmen pulled the horses to a halt. Other carriages came up bringing guests that wanted to see the play.

“They sure did a good job renovating the previous theater,” Elliot said looking at the huge building that could seat three hundred people.

“I cant wait to see the play,” Caroline said touching the big curled up hair behind her head, “I heard the theater has been booked full, opening for both the humans and vampires.”

Alexander stood next to them, his hands in his trouser pockets. His eyes lazily going through the crowd that was entering the theater as he occasionally exchanged smiles with the known faces.

There were some who avoided his gaze far away, steering clear of him. Very few knew that the Valerian Lord was nice only to people he found in terms with him and his strategies. They just had to follow the rules. His rules. It was that simple.

Mr. Tanner had information on the black witches and had come to the mansion to speak about it.

“Shall we go in Lord Alexander?” He heard Caroline when he turned back to see if the Tanner’s and the others had got down from the carriage.

His eyes fell on the person who Sylvia was talking to in the grey gown, tuning out everything around him.

Katherine’s cheeks had turned slightly pink and her hands held the gown tightly due to the cold weather. She smiled at something Sylvia said and replied back with a sparkle in her eye. He wondered what got her that excited.

Her hair was tied up where there were few loose strands on one side of her face that was out and very slowly she tucked it behind her ears. The gown she wore was a court gown and it amplified her bosom. There were many women who had bigger assets than her yet hers aroused the primitive man in him.

Though the view stirred something in Alexander, at the same time he felt annoyed. He wanted to take her back to the mansion and change her to something that didn’t attract any males.

A sigh left his lips. He was protective about her like she was his to protect. He didn’t understand why it was happening when the mark he had given to her was actually a temporary one and should have gone by now.

When Katie’s eyes met his, a soft smile graced up her lips and he smiled back at her like the saint he appeared to her.

“Lord Alexander?”

“Yes, let’s go in,” Alexander replied turning back to walk with Caroline next to him.

The theater as expected was filled inside. Most of the humans had occupied the ground floor while the highest of the elites sat up in the boxes like small gallery to have a better view. Walls were covered with paintings and the incandescence light brightened the place.

The Tanner’s had booked their own box while Sylvia and Katherine sat in another one with Alexander, Elliot and Caroline sitting in the next box.

As the play started the lights were dimmed and the crowd turned quiet to look at the scenes that were presented in front of them.

The entire play Katie couldn’t take her eyes off from the stage. She was bewitched with the actors and even though she knew the story her hands were clutched tightly when the man playing Romero couldn’t keep up the promise of meeting his lover. It was a two hour act and when the story came to an end the spectators clapped, congratulating the actors for putting up such a beautiful act.

Sylvia took Katie along with her to the backstage to greet the actress as she was acquainted with her.

“You came,” The actress exclaimed as she and Sylvia hugged each other, “And here I thought you would not use the tickets.”

“And miss it?” Sylvia asked with a grin before looking at Katie, “This is Katherine and this talented actress is Mira Mikhailov.”

“Hello there,” Mira greeted her, “I hope you liked what we showcased today.”

“Yes, very much. I always wanted to see Romero and I think it was done beautifully,” Katie replied holding appreciation in her voice.

Katie was distracted by the nearest painted wall when Sylvia and Mira spoke to each other. She walked towards it and touched it with the tips of her fingers.

“Do you like to paint Miss?” she heard someone ask behind her and she turned to see who it was. A man with blonde hair stood there wearing the sleeveless like jacket. She shook her head.

“I am terrible at it. I only like to look at the art work,” she replied walking forward to see other images.

“I doubt such a pretty lady as yourself would be terrible at it,” he said following her.

Ignoring the compliment and moving her hand away carefully she asked, “How long did it take to complete the entire work here?”

Alexander was with Mathias and Elliot discussing about the information that was relayed by Mr. Tanner saw Sylvia standing there talking to the actress but there was no sight of Katie. His eyes narrowed when he spotted her with a man and heard them speak.

“It took eight of us a year to complete this,” the man said, “We have portraits too. Would you be interested to see it?”

We have an underground dungeon that has nails and chain shackles, would you like a trip there with a free service? Alexander asked it in his mind.

“We’ll speak the rest tomorrow,” Alexander said to Mathias, “Excuse me.”

“May be another time,” he heard Katie reply politely. The man seeing Alexander bowed his head as the Valerian Lord walked towards them.

“Katherine, it’s time for us to leave,” Alexander called her. She bowed her head to the painter and left the backstage.

“Elliot, the Tanner’s carriage has arrived and Caroline was picked up by her father. It’s rather late therefore I’ll be taking Katherine with me and you can come with Sylvia.”

“Ah-sure, no problem,” Elliot replied looking at Alexander suspiciously.

In the carriage, Katherine and Alexander sat in the opposite seats. They had travelled half the way but none of them had spoken a word.

Katie saw Alexander looking outside the window, his hand supporting his chin as the breeze blew his hair romantically while he had his eyes closed.

His dark raised eyebrows and his lips set in thin line with the shadow of moonlight emitting from the dark sky only made him look like the man she had fantasized when she had come across the darkest dirtiest book.

He opened his eyes to look at her suddenly and it was as if the cupid had hit an arrow through her heart.

“It’s been bothering me for sometime…but does my close proximity scare you?” Alexander asked leaning his back to look at her and crossing his legs.

“Of course not Lord Alexander,” she replied with a worried look.

“Then could you explain why your is heart beating like a hammer on an iron right now?”

She felt heat rush to her cheeks and thankfully as it was night he couldn’t see it but how was she going to reply to that question?

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