πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️ Allure Of The Night Chapter 51 - 55 Full Chapters πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️


Chapter 51

This chapter is dedicated to mz_merl 3

Music Recommendation: Emma is Bored- Isobel Waller

In one of the mansions in Skellington town that stood proud along with the other buildings, inside it waited a fair maiden. The young woman was no more than twenty-two years old in appearance, but she was a few more years older than she appeared like the other vampires in the town.

She wore a spotless white gown which was mid-collar and had full sleeves. The dress had been ironed free of any wrinkles on it. The material had a sheerness above her bosom and a centrepiece pearl-embedded thread work which belonged to the creatures of the sea.

“Where is he?” Young Miss Rosetta Hooke demanded from the butler, who stood a few distances from her.

The butler was an old man and replied with eyes on the ground, “We received a message that said that Mr. Moriarty would be here by thirty past eleven, milady.” His eyes darted to look at the clock on the wall. It was eleven past twelve now.

Miss Rosetta wasn’t pleased with the tardiness, and her lips had a frown along with her eyebrows. She had decided to make the man wait by taking her time in getting ready. She had stepped out of the room fifteen minutes ago, only to know that her suitor had not arrived yet.

“Be patient, Rosetta,” said Lady Camille, who was Miss Rosetta’s paternal aunt. “Mr. Moriarty should be here any moment. He must be held up by important work. Make sure you are on your best behaviour.”

Miss Rosetta rolled her eyes. She had come to stay in her paternal aunt’s mansion for some time away from her parents, who were trying to make her meet suitors. But she should have known better that her father was intent on getting her married.

“I am always on my best behaviour,” Miss Rosetta rolled her eyes. “I do not like men who makes a woman wait for them. It is not very gentleman-like of them.”

The butler’s eyes moved to look at the young lady ever so slightly for her hypocritical words.

The young lady continued complaining, “The man better be worthy of my affections, as I am not someone who tolerates such an attitude. Men stand in line outside our mansion just to have a glimpse of me.”

“Do not worry about it, Rosetta. Vincent Moriarty is a handsome man, and his family is one of the few superior vampire families. You will like him just fine,” replied her aunt, to which Miss Rosetta softly harrumphed while crossing her arms across her chest. “The Moriartys are not only highly respectable family in our class and status, but they come from an old lineage of the pure-blooded vampires.”

Rosetta turned her eyes to look at her aunt, “How come I haven’t heard about them?” Lady Camille only stared at her niece because the younger vampire had been living in her own little world.

Hearing the sound of the carriage wheels and neighing of the horses, the butler quickly walked to the door and informed them, “The Moriarty’s carriage has arrived!”

“If he was one minute late, I would have gone to my room and changed my clothes for such lateness, hmph,” remarked Rosetta as she stepped out of the mansion. The butler quickly opened a delicate-looking umbrella that matched her dress and handed it to her.

When the young lady reached the carriage, she saw the coachman standing near the door. He took hold of her umbrellas and opened the door for her to step inside, and the young lady frowned. Where was this Mr. Moriarty? Wasn’t he supposed to greet her by standing outside the carriage?

Being stubborn, she stood outside the carriage without attempting to get inside. This had the coachman, her aunt, and the other people looking at them, wondering what was going on.

“Milady,” the coachman bowed his head as if to remind her to step inside the carriage rather than stand here. He offered his hand for support, but Rosetta continued to stay stubborn.

Outside the carriage’s open door, Rosetta could see the clean shoes and trousers of the man sitting inside. But because of the window and curtain drawn, a dark shadow hid the upper part of the man’s body.

A good two minutes passed, but this man had made no effort to spare even a word of greeting to her. Another two minutes passed, and by now, it wasn’t just her aunt or the butler or the coachman who looked at her and the carriage as some of the people who came to pass by whispered to each other.

Finally, the man sitting in the carriage spoke, “Briggs… close the carriage door. I cannot take a nap with the light.”

Miss Rosetta’s eyes went wide over this man’s audacity. She said, “I am standing right here. Did you not come here to pick me up?!”

To Vincent, meeting a lady like Rosetta wasn’t new, and he was used to dealing with women and men like this. It was because some resided in the same mansion as he did.

“What are you doing standing there then? Waiting to drive the carriage?” Vincent sarcastically questioned, and Rosetta turned bright red in embarrassment by his words.

The young lady quickly got inside the carriage.

Her parents would hear about this! How dare this man treat her as if she was someone worthless and make her stand outside the carriage? Rosetta gritted her teeth in anger.

And while Lady Rosetta rode the carriage with Vincent, not knowing that they weren’t going to have lunch in Hollow Valley, on the other side, Eve and the Duke had reached the town of Thresk Hills.

Eve stepped down from the carriage, staring at the humble one-storey inn.

“Are you sure this is where you want to have lunch?” Asked Noah because there were better inns than the one she had chosen. “You do not have to worry about the cost as it is my treat.”

Eve quickly shook her head, looking at him with a smile, “This is the place where I would like to eat.”

“If you have already made up your mind,” replied Noah, and he turned to look at his coachman, who silently bowed and got back on the driver’s seat to park the carriage. “Shall we go inside?” he asked Eve.

“Yes,” answered Eve, and they walked inside the inn.

A woman appeared at the front, offering a deeper bow after noticing the Duke’s clothes. She said, “Welcome to Lily’s Inn. Where would you like to sit? In the open area or a little more private?”

“In the open area, but where it is less crowded,” replied Noah, and the woman nodded.

“You couple should pick a private setting,” the woman chuckled, making Eve’s eyes turn wide. The woman presumed it to be so because the young lady didn’t have a chaperon.

“No. We aren’t a couple. Just friends who have come here to have a meal together,” Noah corrected the woman, smiling at the woman’s error, who quickly bowed her head.

“Forgive me for assuming it,” apologised the woman, and she started to walk to lead them to their table.

Chapter 52

Eve looked at Noah from the corner of her eyes. The way he said it quickly, it was as if he didn’t like the idea of them being a couple. She and Noah took their seats at the table, sitting on opposite sides while facing each other, and the woman took their order and left to inform the cook in the kitchen.

Mr. Sullivan was a man whom Eve admired, and held high regard for him. It wasn’t like she was in love with him, but at the same time, she couldn’t help but question if Mr. Sullivan found her unsuitable to be his life partner. Was there something disagreeable about her?

Eve’s blue eyes wandered around where they sat before they came to settle on Noah, who was already looking at her, and he smiled at her kindly. She smiled back at him.

“Have you been here before?” Noah asked her. When the woman returned to the table with two glasses of water, they thanked her.

“This is my first time,” answered Eve, and Noah looked slightly surprised.

“You picked this place as if you have already tried and tasted the food. What made you choose this?” Noah took a more relaxed posture by letting his back lean against the wooden chair.

“Someone I know spoke very highly of this place,” Eve picked up the glass of water to her lips and took a sip.

The woman was her friend and enemy, Heather, who liked to show off to her on how good her life was. The woman had boasted about how she and her husband came here once every three weeks to eat.

“If it is someone you know, then this place must indeed be a commendable one. Not to mention, there are already a decent number of customers at this hour,” stated Noah, his eyes observing the customers seated and talking whilst they waited for their food. “It is a pity that your aunt fell ill and she couldn’t join us along with your coachman. Hopefully she feels better soon.”

Eve agreed, “I hope for the same. How do you feel about the position of Duke? Has it been well and easy?” She inquired.

“More than well. I spent a lot of time in the study room. Going through the information about the town which were stored by the previous Dukes,” replied Noah, and he placed his hands on the table’s surface. “The beginning month or year is never easy as it will take time to adjust and the people to get adjusted to how we work. Is it the same for you?”

“In being a governess?” Eve asked Noah, and he nodded. “I think on some level, but I think a week more everything should be much more smoother. The little girl whom I teach, she’s been able to pick up quickly.”

“That’s good to hear. I know it isn’t easy when it comes to handling children, but knowing you, you must be excellent at it.”

As this was the first time for her to be sitting alone with a man, without Lady Aubrey or Eugene around, it would be a lie if Eve said she wasn’t slightly nervous. Clearing her throat, she said, “Will you excuse me for a moment, I would need to take a visit to the powder room.”

“Of course,” replied Noah, getting up along with Eve, and she left the table.

Outside Lily’s Inn, a posh-looking carriage driven by four horses stopped right in front of the inn. The coachman of the carriage quickly jumped from his seat and opened the carriage door.

The coachman bowed his head and announced at the door, “Master Vincent, we have reached the inn.”

Vincent stepped down from the carriage, unbothered about the dust settling on his spotless black shoes. Miss Rosetta, still in the carriage in a terrible mood, gathered the front of her dress, and when she stepped down, she noticed a wrinkle on her dress and started to make it proper.

Ready to scold Mr. Moriarty, whom her father had decided for her to meet, she turned, only to have her mouth hang open. The man had distinct coloured hair, and his facial features were sharp and strong. He looked like a sculpture that had come to life.

Blown away by the good-looking man, she decided to put his earlier rudeness behind her.

“This is the Inn where we will be having our meal today,” stated Vincent, looking at the surroundings before his coppery-brown eyes fell on the brattish young lady, who now sweetly smiled at him.

Miss Rosetta had never seen a man this handsome until now, and she decided to put her learnings into good use. She bowed at him, “It is a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Moriarty. I am Rosetta Hooke. I am glad that our parents made this arrangement for us to meet today.”

“I know,” came the uninterested words from Vincent, and he turned to look at the entrance of the inn, “I am famished.”

Miss Rosetta coyly tucked a piece of her hair behind her ear and then said, “I am not particularly hungry, but I would be more than happy to join y—” she stopped talking when her eyes fell away from the man to look at the surroundings. “This is not Hollow Valley.”

“This is Thresk Hill, milady,” it was the coachman who cleared her doubt.

The young lady nervously laughed and turned to look at Vincent. She sweetly expressed, “We are supposed to have lunch somewhere in Hollow Valley. What are we doing here, Mr. Moriarty?”

“To eat. You aren’t too bright, are you?” Vincent asked her, and Miss Rosetta’s face turned bright one more time.

Miss Rosetta crossed her arms and said, “I am not going to be having my lunch in this wretched looking place. I demand that we leave for Hollow Valley now!”

“Briggs, park the carriage,” ordered Vincent, making his way towards the inn’s entrance. The young lady looked at him with disbelief when he said,

“You can either eat here, or starve. Suit yourself.”

Chapter 53

Miss Rosetta turned to look at the carriage that was taken away to be parked, and when she looked at the other carriages that passed by her, they were all in poor condition in her eyes. Her clean white dress stood out against the somber people and surrounding, making others look at the young lady.

Softly gulping, Miss Rosetta quickly moved her feet to follow Vincent Moriarty into the inn he had brought her to, as she didn’t have a ride back.

“Wait for me!” In the past, Miss Rosetta had passed Thresk Hills, but her carriage had never stopped here. “Do you think our parents will be pleased if they found out that you brought me to a poor place like this?”

Vincent, who had never bothered what his parents thought, now turned to Miss Rosetta, who stared at him with wide, questioning eyes.

“They will be glad to see you humble down. And mere rats running through the kitchen to lick the utensil is not going to make you sick. Relax,” Vincent calmly stated while the young lady looked horrified.

“Y-you aren’t serious, are you?” Asked Miss Rosetta as she continued to follow him. “I cannot eat in a place like this! Not only are they not clean, but who knows with what hands they make the food. Are you not worried that you will catch some sickness?!” She asked in a low voice.

“I grew up eating things like that, and in time my body has become used to such food,” remarked Vincent. He noticed an elderly woman with an apron tied around waist make her way to them.

“You are used to eating things like that?” Miss Rosetta murmured under her breath, her eyebrows knit together in confusion. Didn’t her aunt mention that this man’s family was from a pure-blooded family of vampires? Did someone trick her family?

“Welcome to Lily’s Inn, would you like to sit outside or in a private setting room?” Asked the lady with a deep bow and a warm smile on her lips.

“Private setting room!” Miss Rosetta was quick to choose, and the woman turned slightly startled. The young lady cleared her throat and repeated in a more polite way, “We would like a private setting room.”

The older woman turned to Vincent, and he nodded, “Sure. Private room. Do you have cakes?”

“We do, Sir. What would you like us to serve you? We have carrot cake, banana cake, strawberry cake, lemon cake, cake with fresh fruits,” the woman gave him the variety their inn could provide to the customers.

“One piece of each kind. I would like to have them packed and hand it to my coachman Briggs who is waiting outside after we are done eating,” ordered Vincent, and Miss Rosetta’s eyebrows rose in confusion.

“You are buying cakes for your servant?” Asked the young lady.

Vincent looked at the inn’s woman, “Give it to this one too.”

The woman nodded, “Please let me lead you to your room.” She walked in the front, Vincent walked behind her and behind him walked the young Ms. Hooke, who gritted her teeth in anger. This man had placed her and his servant in the same place, how humiliating!

When they reached the private room, Lady Rosetta asked the inn woman, “Do you have a powder room in this place? A good one, which is clean and doesn’t have any rats.”

The inn’s woman tried her best in keeping a polite smile over the question asked, “Yes, miss. We do have a powder room, you can go straight from here and take a right. You will find the powder room,” she gave the direction.

“Excuse me,” Miss Rosetta gave a half-hearted bow before leaving the front of the room.

In the powder room, Eve leaned towards the mirror that was next to the window, adjusting her scarf to ensure her neck was properly covered. As expected, the fingerprints had started to turn visible, and she didn’t want to be questioned by Noah when she was having a good time with him.

Eve pulled the fringes of her hair to the sides and took a look at herself in the mirror.

Suddenly the powder room’s door burst open, and in came a lady wearing a beautiful white dress. The young lady had tears in her eyes, and out of concern, Eve asked,

“Are you alright, Miss?”

“Leave me alone!” The young lady snapped before breaking down into sobs. “Don’t look at meugh!” came the incoherent words from her.

Eve wondered what happened to the lady for crying. Pursing her lips, she decided to let the young lady be and not meddle herself in the matters. But before she could walk past the lady, the person said,

“I didn’t even want to be married, why am I being humiliated in this horror of an inn?” The young lady searched for something in her pocket, and when she didn’t find it, she sobbed harder. “My life is so hard.”

“Here,” Eve quickly pulled out her handkerchief and offered it to the person.

The young lady looked hesitant but wanted to wipe her tears and nose now as she couldn’t be seen in such a state.

“T-thank you,” said the lady. Taking the handkerchief, she wiped her eyes before blowing her nose not so very gently.

Eve looked a little uncomfortable, not knowing all the details. The young lady, who appeared to be younger than her, looked spoiled yet innocent at the same time. The lady was not someone she would come across in inns like these, thought Eve in her mind.

The young lady hid her face as she tried to blow her nose once again, but the sound fell harshly on the quiet room. She then turned back and sheepishly looked at the handkerchief.

“That’s fine. You can keep it. I don’t think I will be needing one anytime soon,” Eve assured the young lady with a smile.

Miss Rosetta, who was sad, was touched by this human’s kindness. But at the same time, as she was brought up with an air of superiority, instead of saying thank you, she blurted, “Let me pay you for the handkerchief then. I do not like to be in debt to anyone.”

Eve would have laughed if she didn’t see the utmost seriousness this lady looked at her with, while still quietly sniffling. She cleared her throat and said,

“That is kind of you, but there is no need for it. I have plenty of handkerchiefs in my house.”

“Not even a silver coin? Do you want more?” Asked Miss Rosetta, a little suspicious about why this low-class woman was not accepting money from her. Until now, whenever she offered money to a person, they were often quick to take it.

Eve smiled, “No, not even silver coin. I hope you feel better.”

Miss Rosetta looked taken aback by Eve. After her little outburst, she noticed the woman in front of her was beautiful even though she was only a human.

“I should get going,” Eve bowed at the young lady, and in return, Miss Rosetta only gave a slight bow, who decided to stay in the powder room for a little more time.

Chapter 54

Eve gently closed the door behind her and started to make her way back to the table where Noah was waiting for her.

But on the way, her eyes fell on a head full of dark silver hair, and she didn’t need to see the person’s face to know who it was.

Why was he here?

As if sensing someone’s gaze, Vincent, who was talking to the woman of the inn, turned his head and met Eve’s eyes.

As Vincent had earlier guessed, this woman had mentioned the inn to his little sister Allie. He turned his body completely to face her and remarked,

“What a pleasant surprise to find you here, Miss Barlow.”

But Eve wasn’t surprised but shocked. She had hoped not to see any Moriarty family members today, but here she was with Vincent Moriarty.

“I didn’t know you knew about this inn,” more importantly, she didn’t know someone like him could come to a place like this.

“Lily’s inn is a popular place, you know how word moves from one person’s mouth to another,” Vincent’s voice drawled, and his eyes briefly moved to her neck before looking back at her eyes.

“It is indeed,” Eve murmured, “The cakes here are famous.”

The inn’s woman proudly chimed in their conversation, “This gentleman here has already packed all types of cakes we have.”

Eve’s eyebrows rose because she had never pegged him to be someone with a sweet tooth. She nodded, “I see. I should get back to my table.”

Vincent only stared at her before his lips subtly twisted, and he questioned, “Came here alone, Miss Barlow?”

“I have company. What makes you think that I would be here all by myself?” She asked him back. By now, the woman of the inn had left the place.

“For a woman who visited a night inn alone at the Hollow Valley, I just thought you enjoyed your company a little too much, which is why you are single,” replied Vincent, slipping his hands into his pockets and mirth evident in his eyes.

Eve was conflicted if Vincent was complimenting her independence or throwing shade at her for being unmarried even at the age of twenty-four. Her eyes slightly narrowed before she proudly said,

“I am with company today, Mr. Moriarty. In fact, with the same person whom I spoke about having excellent manners.”

“That’s a relief to know. It would have been a pity if you said you were here by yourself,” commented Vincent, the corner of his lips pulling up. “But I wouldn’t be surprised, because most of the governess often dedicate their lives teaching others’ children.”

Though annoyed by his words, his words were true.

Women who had their own families couldn’t leave them behind to work as governesses. It was frowned upon by society as it was their responsibility to look after their house, as people believed doing both believed that they would jeopardize both home and work. Which was why a governess often quit her job after getting married. Or forever pursuing only to be a governess, who would one day be fired by the family, who didn’t enjoy elderly governesses’ presence around their children, believing the woman to be incapable.

Right now, she and Vincent weren’t in the Moriarty’s mansion, and as she wasn’t working for him today, Eve didn’t see a reason to hold back her thoughts.

“Your company today must have a high tolerance towards people,” remarked Eve, and Vincent’s eyes glowed, yet the smile on his lips remained.

“She’s an absolute delight,” replied Vincent before deciding, “Won’t you introduce me to this gentleman?”

“Maybe some other day,” Eve quickly rejected his idea and bit her tongue.

Vincent cocked his head to the side, a devious smile appearing on his lips, and he chuckled, “What a pity, you don’t want us two to meet? A simple peek shouldn’t do any harm.”

Vincent, who was already bored with the company he had brought here, decided to find amusement elsewhere—which was in the misery of others. He walked towards the end of the corridor, and Eve quickly followed him. The private seating area was separated by a glass that kept the voices from both sides from being heard.

“Isn’t that the new Duke of Woodlock? Seems like you found a suitable man for you to settle down with,” said Vincent, and the smile on his face widened. “I should have known after how you praised him and look at him now.”

Eve corrected him, “We are only good friends.”

Vincent rolled his eyes, “It is very rare for a man and a woman to be just friends, Miss Barlow without a single speck of intention behind it. Especially having meals together during such lovely day. There’s no need to be shy,” he continued to irk her with a slight smile.

“Seems like you failed to have a good friendship with women, Mr. Moriarty. Mr. Sullivan is a man of honor, and we were supposed to have lunch with my family, but my aunt fell sick and she decided to stay back and rest along with Eugene.”

“How convenient,” Vincent turned away and said, “Oh, I do have one or two friends, thankfully they live far away. Because ones who get close only end up being charmed and get annoyed after it. Do you understand what I mean?”

Eve shook her head as she tried to imagine who could be attracted to Vincent Moriarty. But then people had various tastes, and who was she to judge?

“It seems like I gave too much credit to your brains. Go on, we don’t want your love interest to be stolen by someone,” Vincent tried to shoo her.

“I do not love him and I do not look at him funnily. Also why am I arguing with you about it?” Eve asked herself in a slight frustrated voice. “I hope you enjoy your meal, Mr. Moriarty and let me enjoy mine.”

Vincent didn’t comment on her words, but he did watch the human glare at him before walking away from him.

“So amusing,” he murmured under his breath. When he returned to the private room, he saw Miss Rosetta had already arrived and had taken a seat at the table.

Eve, who made her way back to the table, took a look at the spot where she had been standing earlier with Vincent. The man had disappeared. A sigh of relief escaped from her lips. The last thing she wanted was him bringing up about the night in the inn with Noah.

Sitting in her chair, she apologised, “I am sorry for taking this long.”

“Don’t be,” Noah smiled and said, “You are just on time for the food.”

Once they finished their meal, Eve and Noah stepped out of the inn before thanking the woman for their delicious food. Eve in the meantime, couldn’t help but look over her shoulder as Noah’s coachman went to bring the carriage to the front of the inn.

“Everything alright?” Asked Noah, looking in the direction of where Eve looked at. “Did you want to pack something more to eat?”

“Oh, no! I think you packed plenty for Eugene and Aunt Aubrey,” replied Eve with a slight bow. “Thank you.”

“It would be rude to send you back home empty handed. After all, they were supposed to join us too,” said Noah with a polite smile.

Back inside the inn, Miss Rosetta refused to take a single bite from the food that was brought to the table by a maid, and she looked at it wearily.

She watched Mr. Moriarty eat the food, and her face scrunched further. When the enticing-looking cakes were brought to the table, she couldn’t look away from them. For some reason, they oddly seemed pleasing to her eyes.

“Won’t you try it, milady?” Asked the woman who was serving food.

“No,” came the sharp reply from Miss Rosetta, who continued to sit with her arms crossed. “I shall die before I eat anything from here.”

But after fifteen minutes, Miss Rosetta couldn’t resist and had ended up eating the cakes. Not stopping at one but making her way through the fourth cake.

Vincent pulled out a little vial from his pocket and poured the red liquid into his tea. He stirred it with a spoon and then said,

“I hope you are aware of the Moriarty family tradition, which is sacrificing the first bride.”

Miss Rosetta suddenly stopped eating and looked at him, “You are joking…”

“Why do you think my father was married the second time? Hm?” Vincent took a sip from his teacup while the spoon from Miss Rosetta’s hand fell on the floor with a clatter.

Chapter 55

When Mr. Sullivan’s carriage entered Meadow town, Eve turned to tell him, “I had a wonderful afternoon today. Thank you for inviting me for lunch.”

“You have yourself to thank, Genevieve. I know you worked really hard to be a governess and that you have been looking for families to hire you,” Noah offered his never-ending encouraging words to her. “Not to forget, I did tell you that I felt bad for not being able to invite you to the celebration of me being a Duke.”

A smile spread on Eve’s lips, and she nodded. She was still grateful that Noah, who wasn’t just the Duke’s son was now a Duke, had taken time from his busy schedule to eat with her. She said,

“Next time I shall treat you, Noah,” stated Eve, and Noah didn’t reject the idea.

“I look forward to it,” he replied smiling and watched her. The golden blonde strands of her hair were no less than a ray of sun. Her face held a pure expression when she looked outside the window.

“I wonder if I should perhaps make a trip to the market. Eugene must have not left home so that he could look after Aunt Aubrey,” murmured Eve. She asked him, “Is it alright if I get down here?”

“If that is what you want, yes. I wish to accompany you, but I have somewhere to be,” Noah’s words were polite. Eve shook her head.

“It is just a few things. I should be fine by myself. I wouldn’t want to keep you from your duties,” Eve said. Noah leaned forward and tapped on the window to gain the coachman’s attention, who pulled the reins of the horses. She got down from the carriage and bowed her head at Noah, who had got down from the carriage. “Thank you again.”

“It was a pleasure as always,” Noah offered a slight bow. “I will see you around. Take care of yourself.”

Eve nodded and watched the man get back inside the carriage. A few women, walking towards the market in and out of it, had stopped in their tracks to take a better look at the gentleman.

Once the carriage rode away from the front side of the market, one woman Eve knew came towards her along with another curious woman.

“Genevieve, what were you doing with Mr. Sullivan to end up in his carriage? Do tell me,” Chimed the woman with great interest in her eyes.

“Isn’t he a Duke now?” questioned another woman, and Eve nodded.

“Yes. Mr. Sullivan is now the Duke of Woodlock,” answered Eve, and the women’s mouth hung open in awe before the first one said,

“It seems like you are indeed smart in capturing the man’s interest,” the woman stared at Eve in question with a slight regret in her voice.

“Don’t be rude, Sabina. The Duke must have come across Eve on his way and offered Eve a ride in his carriage. You must have been waiting to have your daughter betrothed to the Duke, he is a catch,” said the second woman. She then looked at Eve and said, “Once you get married to him, don’t forget me, dear. I would surely love to come to visit you at the mansion.”

Eve chuckled at their words and said, “Forgive me for disappointing you ladies, but the Duke and I are only friends and nothing more than it.”

Though Eve liked Noah and enjoyed his company, there were no romantic feelings involved, making it easier for both of them to converse with each other. Neither one expected anything from the other.

“If that is true, I would be grateful if you would put in a word about my Bessy. On how lovely and pretty she is and what a wonderful wife she would make next to him,” said the first woman.

“That would be ridiculous, Sabina. This poor girl needs to find a suitor and you want her to find a suitor for your daughter?” The second woman huffed.

The first woman frowned and questioned, “What is wrong in trying when Genevieve is not going to marry the Duke? Unless… she is lying and trying to hide it from us.”

“I will try to put in my best word about Bessy with the Duke,” Eve offered a bow with a polite smile on her lips. “Have a good day, ladies.”

“You too, Genevieve!”

When Eve was far away from the prying eyes and gossiping mouths of the mothers eagerly looking for wealthy and sound suitors to marry their daughters, she shook her head and smiled.

She hoped that her ‘putting a word’ to the Duke would stop the men and women of the town from spreading any rumour about something going on between her and Noah. Especially after how the Duke had replied to the inn’s woman, she believed it was only proper to keep the friendship they had.

Returning home with the groceries and the parcel of food from Lily’s inn, Eugene opened the door for her.

“Welcome back home, Miss Eve,” Eugene took hold of the bags she was carrying in her hand, “Did you have a good lunch and time?”

“I did,” Eve replied, and she said, “The Duke bought some things for you and Aunt Aubrey, which you may eat now.”

“How generous of him,” replied Eugene, and he started to make his way towards the kitchen.

“How is Aunt Aubrey doing?” Asked Eve as she pulled the scarf from her neck as she was feeling hot.π‘“πš›πšŽβ„―π˜Έπ™šπ˜£πš—π˜°Ξ½eΖ–.c𝒐𝐦

“She is sleeping now. She fell asleep an hour and a half ago, and she sh—AH!” Eugene raised his hand to point at Eve. “W-what happened to your neck?!”

“Shh!” Eve shushed him and covered her neck back with the scarf. But Eugene had already seen it.

“What’s going on in the kitchen, Eugene?” Aunt Aubrey’s voice came from her room. “Did you break a glass? I can only tell Eve took after you,” the elderly woman sighed.

“I will explain. So calm down,” Eve whispered, and the expression on Eugene’s face was nothing less than a child’s beloved toy’s arm being torn.

“Did the Duke do it?” asked Eugene because he hadn’t taken a note of it earlier that morning, but then he asked, “Was it Mr. Moriarty?”

Eve shook her head.

But Eugene’s little scream had startled Lady Aubrey, having her wide awake. Eve then explained to both of them what happened.

“Did you place wet cloth on it?” Asked Lady Aubrey in concern, and seeing Eve nod her head, she said, “Good. Will you be alright working there?” The elderly woman was doing much better than this morning.

Eve nodded again, “Mr. Moriarty warned Mr. Morris not to repeat it, so it should be okay.”

“I see. I am glad that nothing bad happened to you. Let me show you something,” said Lady Aubrey, and she pushed the blanket near her legs and pulled her dress to reveal her bare feet, “Do you see the two toes?” Asked the woman.

Eve and Eugene stared at Lady Aubrey’s two missing toes on her left foot at the corner.

“These were broken by a vampiress who belonged to the higher society. It was during my initial days of being a governess, and the vampiress was a guest, not from the family I worked for,” revealed Lady Aubrey before pulling the blanket to its original position.

“What happened?” Asked Eve, her eyebrows knitting together.

Lady Aubrey looked as if she didn’t care about her two squashed toes and said, “The vampiress was in a bad mood and wanted to put her anger somewhere.” She then smiled, “The humans who belong to the lower and middle-class, and the creatures who are the outcast from the norm. Inside or out, we are never safe.”

“But you didn’t stop being a governess…” Eve’s voice trailed. To think of the pain Aunt Aubrey must have felt. She asked, “Do you remember this vampiress’s name?”

A thoughtful expression appeared on Lady Aubrey’s face before lying, “I don’t think I remember the name now.”

Eve was already looking for her mother’s murderer. Lady Aubrey didn’t want the girl to look for that vampiress who had hurt her.

Back in Skellington, Vincent had dropped Ms. Hooke at her aunt’s house before reaching his mansion. When he reached the entrance, the butler was quick to greet him,

“Welcome back, Master Vincent. W—”

“Find the little hamster and send her to the South wing,” ordered Vincent while dropping his coat in the butler’s hands.

“Yes, Master Vincent,” Alfie bowed his head.

Ten minutes later, Vincent stood in the deserted side of the mansion, which was the South wing. The servants of the mansion and the family members didn’t come here often. Allie ran through the corridor, stopping right in front of her brother. A look of anxiousness marring her face.

“What took you so long?”

“Sorry, brother,” the little girl bowed in apology.

“Here, stretch your hands,” and Vincent dropped the parcel box in Allie’s hands without notice, and the little girl quickly caught it. The little girl looked back and forth between the parcel and her brother, and he said, “You can open it,” he rolled his eyes.

Allie placed the box on the ground and opened it. Her eyes widened because there weren’t four but eight cakes in there. Her eyes sparkled at the very sight of it, and she hugged Vincent, but the very next second, she stepped away.

“Thank you, brother Vincent,” said Allie, who couldn’t wait to devour each of them. Now she would know how they tasted when her governess would explain to her about it tomorrow. “Do you… want one?”

“I am good. Go on now,” remarked Vincent.

The little girl picked up the box and ran away from there as if it was their little secret.