Tired, Alexander had fallen asleep when he had got to bed that night. Hearing someone in his room, he opened his eyes to see Katie standing with a pillow in her arms.
“Katherine?” He asked her confused, “What is it?”
“I am scared and unable to sleep,” she whispered clutching the pillow tightly.
Moving, he made space for her and pulled the blanket for her to occupy, and she without a thought drowsily got in. As he closed his eyes to sleep he covered her with the blanket before both of them fell sound asleep.
In the morning, when Katie woke up she stretched her body like a cat, it had been days since she had last slept this well. She could hear the water running and she wondered if it was raining. Rubbing her eyes she opened them, adjusting to the light and once she was wide awake she looked at the room puzzled and then realization hit her.
Scurrying from the bed in a hurry she picked the pillow that was on the ground and left the room.
She was late for work! She had to bring tea to Lord Alexander! She rummaged her cupboard she heard a knock on the door. It was Daisy.
“I am sorry, Daisy. I slept more than I intended to,” Katie apologized pulling out clothes.
“Why aren’t you dressed yet? I’ll ask someone to get the tea prepared for Lord Alexander and get it here. You’ll be ready by then, won’t you,” Daisy asked her.
“Thank you thank you,” Katie said going to hug her.
“Quick now. Don’t waste any time because Martin hates it when a maid doesn’t work with time. Off you go,” the elderly woman said leaving the room.
Daisy had sent the tea trolley through her friend Dorthy and she took it to Lord Alexander’s room with no more delay. He still hadn’t come out of the bath and she was relieved. She began dusting and cleaning his room, picking up things that were on the ground. When he stepped out of the bath she didn’t have the courage to face him.
She was embarrassed with herself. How could she have gone and slept in the same bed as Lord Alexander? She had been so scared the previous night and sleepy that she hadn’t weighed the consequence.
She poured his tea and left the room without looking at him.
Later, Martin had asked her to help serve breakfast with Matilda. It was as if God was punishing her for the mistake she had committed. She carried the glasses into the hall placing them beside the plates.
“Good morning princess,” Katie heard Elliot’s voice from behind. He with Alexander and the others took a seat in the long table. It looked like they had guests today.
“Good morning,” she bowed her head before placing the bowls with the help of the servant. Alexander was talking to the guests when Katie poured the liquid into the glass.
“Last night sure was bad,” the woman in front of Sylvia spoke rubbing her hand together.
“It has been some time since we experienced the winter air that harsh. We couldn’t get the kids to sleep,” the man next to her said passing the salad to his pregnant wife.
“I think most of us had a trouble sleeping,” Sylvia said.
“What about you Alexander?” Elliot commented turning his fork around carefully.
“I slept quite well last night,” Alexander replied smoothly cutting the rare cooked steak in front of him and placing it in his mouth.
“And you Katie?” Elliot asked staring at her.
“Ah-me?” Katie asked unsure how to reply. She saw Alexander there continuing to cut his steak like he was hardly bothered but the twitch on his lips said otherwise, “I slept okay.”
“Lovely isn’t she,” Katie heard the woman speak and she ducked her head taking the empty used bowls, “How old is she?” The pregnant woman asked when they were done with breakfast.
Sylvia and the woman walked ahead while the men spoke about the recent newsletter the council had issued to the four Empires.
“She should be around seventeen or eighteen,” Sylvia replied, “Why do you ask Lady Letitia?”
“Isn’t she the one whose family had been killed? I heard it from John,” the woman said with a frown on her face, “She’s young and beautiful, but isn’t it time to find suitors for her. Forgive me as it isn’t my place to speak. I only mean well for the girl.”
Sylvia nodded with an assured smile, “I know.”
Human families usually found suitors for their daughters when the girl turned seventeen. It was considered the right age to marry, unlike the vampire families who waited for two more years.
If Katie family was alive she would be seeing suitors but instead, she was working here as a maid, Sylvia thought to furrow her brows.
“I don’t know why it didn’t cross my mind,” she murmured.
“You don’t have to worry about it,” Lady Letitia said stopping to hold Sylvia’s hand, “Next week we have a tea party being held at our place. There will be a number of bachelors who will be searching for a bride.”
“Let me ask Katie on it. If she’s willing, I shall bring her there,” Sylvia said patting the woman’s hand.
That day when Katie had gone to get Areo from Alexander’s study, Sylvia spoke to her outside the room about what Lady Letitia had told her.
“There’s no pressure and you don’t need to answer it right away. Take your time,” Sylvia said getting back inside.
In the mean time in Katie’s room.
“I don’t know what I should do,” Katie said to the cat as she groomed him, “I know I’m not getting any younger and I need to settle down with a man but…you know I have been having my eyes and ears and my heart on someone else. I don’t know what to do.”
The cat meowed looking at her and she nodded her head, “I know you don’t what to do either,” it was that tiny hope she was hanging on to, “There you’re all good to go now, Ari,” she said patting his head.
She opened the door to let him out and when she stepped outside she saw the Valerian Lord talking to Lady Caroline downstairs. Her friend Dorthy who was getting the sheets around the corner looked at what her friend was seeing.
“Lady Caroline is beautiful, isn’t she,” Dorthy said in a low voice.
“She is,” Katie agreed to look at the woman who laughed at something her Lord said.
“Rumor is that she will be engaged to our Lord by the end of summer,” they witnessed Lady Caroline lean forward and Alexander kiss her on her mouth, “Where are you going?”
“Peeping is rude and we still have work to do,” Katie said.
“Could you help me take this for the laundry? I still have sheets to get,” Dorthy asked her and she took the sheets from her.
Alexander had felt the gaze from above when he was humouring Caroline and hadn’t bothered to look up knowing who it was.
He hadn’t expected her to come to his room last night. He had been tired travelling and was running out of sleep due to which his mind was fuzzy and he had thought it was a dream.
He wasn’t used to having sleeping companions in his bed and it came as a surprise when he woke up before dawn to find his legs tangled, arms around her as her breath fanned softly over his bare chest. When he had tried to pull away from it only made the situation worse as she snuggled her warm body closer to him.
The blanket that had covered them was only covering their legs. Her lips were pale pink and the dark lashes that closed her innocent brown eyes. The night gown she wore had risen to give him a view of her beautiful milky legs.
But then Elliot had come to his room because the council had sent a letter and his look had turned to an accusing one. He didn’t know why but his third in command had lectured him that morning after breakfast.
“You know she fancies you, Alex and letting her sleep like that is only going to bring her hopes up,” Elliot said in distress.
“I didn’t invite her to bed and she’s a big girl to know what is right and wrong,” Alexander replied with his eyes narrowed.
“I know I know but she’s young. Like any woman she wants a stable life,” he knew what Elliot was speaking about, “I heard from Sylvia that Lady Letitia invited them for a tea party to get a suitable suitor for Katie.”
Relationships were never his thing. He found it quite troublesome. He used women to quench his thirst for blood and physical needs.
Though he found Katherine attractive since the night at the theatre he couldn’t offer her things as Elliot had pointed out not so subtly.
Alexander knew he wasn’t the dream man. He broke things and people, and it was better not to break the girl.
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