πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️ Allure Of The Night Chapter 66 - 70 Full Chapters πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️

PHYSIENTS WILL ALWAYS OFFER BEST STORIES AND LIVE STREAMING ALL TIME


ALLURE OF THE NIGHT
Chapter 66


The faint sound of the footsteps turned louder and stopped when the person came to stand in front of the room. It was Lady Marceline, holding a bouquet in her hand.

“Good afternoon, Lady Marceline,” Eve greeted the young woman, who offered a polite smile to her.

“Afternoon, Miss Barlow,” said Marceline, and her eyes fell on her little sister, who was drinking water. Noticing her sister, who appeared to be shaken, she asked her, “What’s the matter, Allie?” She then turned to Eve, “Did something happen?”

Eve shook her head and answered, “I am not sure. We were doing fine, but then Miss Allie suddenly went quiet.”

Marceline frowned, walking up to where Allie sat. She placed her hand on her shoulder and said, “Why don’t you go and fetch Kehlani for me, Allie?”

Allie nodded as if she was waiting to escape from the room. She placed the glass on the bench and dashed out of the room. Eve watched Allie leave, and when she turned, she saw Marceline, who was already looking at her.

“Did you say something to her?” Questioned Marceline, to which Eve shook her head.

“We just took a break from playing the piano and I don’t know what happened,” explained Eve, and she asked, “Lady Marceline, might you have an idea of what triggered Miss Allie to look like the way she was just now?”

Marceline walked towards the window, her back facing Eve. The vampiress softly sighed before she said, “A few months ago, something very bad happened. You are Allie’s governess and I think you should know, but I hope you can keep this to yourself.”

Eve nodded before saying, “Yes. Of course, Lady Marceline.”


The vampiress took a moment before she said, “As I told you a few days ago, Allie has been sad over what happened with the previous governess. I lied about something to you before because I didn’t want to scare you. The governess wasn’t just fired but she was killed for being too close with my little sister and it has left Allie traumatised. It is also one of the reasons why my mother wasn’t happy when Vincent hired you.”

Getting the verbal confirmation from Marceline didn’t put her at ease even though she already that the governess hadn’t left but was killed.

“May I ask you something, Lady Marceline?” Asked Eve, and Marceline turned around before giving a nod. “Why wasn’t the governess taken to a place where Miss Allie wouldn’t have seen her being killed?”

Marceline was taken aback by the question of the governess. She was waiting to see a frightened Eve and in a frantic mess… ready to quit the job. Instead, the human was inquiring about something else.

Eve said, “It would have saved Miss Allie from seeing something she was not supposed to see.”

Even though Miss Allie was a vampire and belonged to a family of one, she was still a young and sheltered girl, Eve believed the little girl hadn’t seen the worst until then.

Marceline pursed her lips and stated, “I had the same thought when it happened, but the person who killed the governess didn’t share the same views. But the woman should have followed the rules.”

“Who killed the earlier governess…?” Eve could feel her heart growing anxious.

“It was my brother Vincent,” replied Marceline and she sighed again. “Sometimes, his anger knows no bounds and he won’t see the place or time.”

Eve’s face turned pale and her hands cold. Vincent had issues with Allie being close to her previous governess?

“I wonder if he felt bad for killing Allie’s governess and decided to bring in a decent one this time who would follow his words,” Marceline slightly shrugged her shoulders and then offered an encouraging smile to Eve. She continued, “You have been doing well so far, Miss Barlow and I doubt he would repeat it…” but there was doubt in her voice, which struck doubt in Eve’s mind.

When Eve was looking for a job, she had prepared her mind for the worst possibility, but she had never considered this situation, not from this angle at least. To think her employer was the one who had killed the previous governess and it had left Allie traumatised.

At least she knew that the next time she and Vincent were alone, she would have to run as quickly as her legs could carry her out of there. But then she remembered Marceline’s words. He didn’t care about time or place.



To change the subject, Marceline said, “I am usually not fond of flowers, but when they are given as a gift it is rude to not accept it,” she looked down at the bouquet of the flowers.

Eve gathered her thoughts and replied, “They are of beautiful color, milady. I have never seen a pretty colour like these.”

“They are, aren’t they? Men always try to give the best things when they are wooing a woman,” Marceline softly chuckled and looked up from the bouquet.

Eve agreed. Lady Marceline was an inch or two taller than her and was a pretty-looking young woman. Marceline had delicate features. It would be odd if she didn’t have admirers in this town, especially when she belonged to a wealthy family. But with a brother who killed governess, Eve thought to herself.

Allie returned to the room with a maid following her, who bowed at Marceline’s presence in the room. The little girl appeared calmer now and took a seat in front of the pianoforte on the bench.

Marceline spoke to the maid, “Take these flowers and place them in the vase.”

“Where would you like me to place the vase, milady?” The maid asked without raising her head and taking the bouquet from Marceline.

“Have it placed along with the other vases in the hallway. It would be a waste to have it sit in the corner,” stated Marceline, and the maid bowed and left the room. The vampiress turned to Eve and said, “I forgot to ask you, did you try the gowns I gave you yesterday?”

Eve smiled with a hint of nervousness, hoping the lady wouldn’t ask to return the gown to her, “Unfortunately, they don’t fit me, milady.”

“What a pity!” Exclaimed Marceline before saying, “I should have taken it into consideration. I was sure they would fit you perfectly. That’s fine, you are beautiful, Miss Barlow… I doubt anyone would notice what you are wearing at the ball.”

“Thank you for your kind words,” Eve offered a polite bow, and Marceline took a look at Allie.

“We are all looking forward to seeing you play, little sister. Make sure to practice well,” but Marceline’s supportive words only made the little girl turn that much nervous. “Have a good day.”

“Good day to you, milady,” replied Eve, watching the young woman leave the room.


The rest of the hours, the little girl was back to being quiet without sparing another word and Eve didn’t try to push her. The last thing she wanted was to make Allie feel uncomfortable.

When the clock struck four, Eve quickly picked up her lunchbox and umbrella, dashing out of the Moriarty mansion. On her way to the local carriage stop, she caught sight of Miss Rosetta and her aunt standing in front of their mansion. They seem to be having a discussion. Miss Rosetta, on seeing Eve, waved her hand.

Eve offered a small bow to both the women. Rosetta walked to where she was and greeted her,

“Fate seems to have made us meet each other once again,” said Miss Rosetta and she then asked, “Did you just finish your work?”

“I did, Miss Rosetta. How have you been doing?” Eve asked the young girl, who shook her head.

“Truth to be told not very well. My aunt wants me to attend something I have least interest in. How about you?” Miss Rosetta asked.

“I have been doing well. Thank you for asking,” replied Eve. She politely apologised, “Forgive me but I am in a hurry today and will need to catch the carriage that will be here in ten minutes”

“Is everything alright?” asked the young miss with a frown.

“Yes. Please do not worry,” Eve replied, “I have to buy clothes for myself.”

“How odd that I had to go shopping to buy a new gown,” Miss Rosetta paused for a moment before she said, “If you do not mind, may I join you?”

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ALLURE OF THE NIGHT
Chapter 67



Music Recommendation: Jane Fairfax plays Mozart- Amber Anderson


Eve had planned to go to Thresk Hills to buy the dress for the ball, but Miss Rosetta was persistent in buying their dresses in Hollow Valley—a town specifically built for the use of the high-class people.

The only reason she had agreed to come at the end was because Miss Rosetta mentioned that her aunt had told her about some shops in Hollow Valley that were known to stitch the gowns in less than three to four days.

The two young women stepped down from the carriage. Miss Rosetta waved her hand while ordering her coachman,

“Park the carriage, and come back quickly. We’ll be at one of the shops.” She then turned to Eve and said, “Which shop shall we go to visit first? There’s Madame Russo’s shop, and then the older seamstress Mrs. Houghton.”

“Whichever has the least crowd,” Eve replied with a smile, because it was always the less popular shops which were not crowded, which in turn would be less expensive.

But Miss Rosetta took it in the most literal way and said,

“You must be worried about buying a dress as soon as you can. Do not worry about it, Eve. I will get you the dress that you are looking for, there’s never been a time where I wasn’t able to get my hands on the dresses and gowns I intended to buy.”

The two young women walked on the side of the street like any other folks in the town now. It wasn’t just Eve, who was looking around the shops, but also Miss Rosetta, who said,


“I have been living in Skellington for two weeks, and this is my third time coming here. Have you been here before, Eve?”

“Once, Miss Rosetta,” and on Eve’s answer, Miss Rosetta looked impressed. It was because she was sure that a person from Meadow would never step foot in this kind posh town. The shops and people intimidated the middle-class people, to the lower-class people, it was almost forbidden. “When do you need your gown?”

“Tomorrow,” came the straight words from Miss Rosetta, and Eve raised her eyebrows. “The seamstress back in my town takes just a few hours to make a dress.”

“Your seamstress must have had many helping hands,” Eve stated, and Miss Rosetta nodded.

“She indeed did. Back at my place, most seamstress are vampiresses and they are experts when it comes to stitching beautiful gowns. All one has to do is to pay the extra money to make haste and you will have a decent dress in a matter of a few hours,” there was slight excitement in the young Miss’s words, and she looked excited to be here.

The rich were privileged, Eve thought in her mind. She asked,

“Your aunt seems like a nice person, why were you having a disagreement?”

Miss Rosetta pursed her lips before saying, “She is a nice person. So nice that she failed to reject the invitation to the ball when there’s no need to go.”

“The ball?” Eve turned to look at the young miss.

“Yes, I am supposed to be attending this ball that is taking place in one of the families in Skellington. And the invitation is from the same family, whom my father wanted to form my marriage alliance by marrying me off,” Miss Rosetta huffed and complained, “Why would I go to attend a ball there? I am only doing it because Aunt Camille threatened to send me back home if I don’t listen to her words.”

A deep frown appeared on Eve’s face, and she asked, “Do you know the family’s name whose ball you are attending?”

Miss Rosetta scrunched her face in thought, “Now that you ask, I am unable to remember the name for the life of me. Was it Mioglari?”

Eve’s lips twitched, and she asked, “Moriarty?”

“I don’t remember,” Miss Rosetta shook her head, who wasn’t interested in getting married to the man her father had earlier chosen, she hadn’t bothered to remember the name after returning home from the awful lunch. “Like I was saying, why would I need to go…”

Miss Rosetta’s voice dulled in Eve’s ears, along with the sound of the moving carriages and people who walked past them after she realized Vincent was with Rosetta that day at the inn. Thankfully Miss Rosetta kept on speaking without asking why she needed a dress.

“Look there, Eve!” Miss Rosetta quickly pulled her arm, breaking her away from her thoughts. Eve looked in the direction of where the vampiress was looking. “We have two men like these guarding the front part of our mansion. Oh… I wonder if he heard us, we should hurry!”

It was the same giant-looking guard man guarding the front entrance of ‘Little Teeth’s Inn’. The man’s eyes fell on Eve and she bowed her head in greeting. She greeted him,

“Good evening, Mr. Guard.”

Miss Rosetta had not expected Eve to speak to a man like this, who looked scary in appearance. His clothes were duller than the people around them.

“Hmmm,” the giant man didn’t speak, but the sound he made came deep from his throat.

“Do you know this scary looking man?” Miss Rosetta asked Eve in a low voice while standing behind her.

Eve nodded, “I met him the last time when I visited town. He’s a nice man.” She then turned to look at the man and said, “It was nice to see you here again. This is Ms. Hooke. Are you on your break?”

“Hmmmm,” came another response from the giant man, and he then walked past them.

Miss Rosetta peeked from Eve’s shoulder, and said, “I never knew you were friends with a person like him.”

“Why not?” Asked Eve, turning to look at the young miss.

“He’s a giant. A kind who is lower than the lower class in status. They say people like him and some others, they don’t fit in any class,” Miss Rosetta explained the views of what she had been taught.

Eve smiled at Miss Rosetta, the smile was kind. “Don’t you think it is unfair, Miss Rosetta? To be snatch the right to belong just because a person is big or small. The way we are born should not be used to classify us into factions.”

“But this is how society has been organized. It is what we people have been following for years,” Miss Rosetta said with a small frown as they continued to walk again. She asked, “How would you suggest arranging people?”

“Good and bad,” replied Eve, but as easy as it seemed, she knew it was still difficult. As much as people didn’t like, it was the faction in the current society that kept peace and order.

Miss Rosetta softly laughed and said, “I don’t think I can imagine a place without factions. Before I left my parents house, I heard papa speaking to one of his men and telling there have been disturbances with the factions. I didn’t ask about the de—the shop is here. Let’s go in!”

The young miss quickly stepped in front of the door, and a man opened it for her. Miss Rosetta turned around and called, “Come, Eve,” and she disappeared inside it.

Eve shook her head from the previous thoughts and stepped towards the door. Unlike for the young miss, where the man at the door had opened it for her, he didn’t bother to open the door for Eve.

She pushed the shop’s door herself and stepped inside the fancy looking shop. She noticed Miss Rosetta already going through the gowns. There was a white stand placed at the centre, in front of which stood three tall mirrors. Mannequins were placed at four corners of the room, dressed in the finest silk and other materials one would not see in Meadow or any other town apart from Hollow Valley.

“Good evening, ladies! Are you looking for any specific gown? We have the rarest material of clothes that were consigned through the ships last week,” said a woman, who walked into the room.

The woman appeared to be the seamstress of this shop. She had her hair tied up in pencil and a measuring tape that hung around her neck. Her eyes were more drawn out, hidden behind her glasses with high cheekbones and she had a lean figure.

Miss Rosetta, who was looking at the gown that was worn by one of the mannequins, decided, “I would like to try this one.”

The seamstress cleared her throat and said, “I don’t think it would fit you well, miss.”

“You mean to say the size is too big? I have been told that I have an hourglass shape,” Miss Rosetta placed her hand on her waist. The seamstress stared at the young miss because the young vampiress didn’t have an hourglass shape. “Come now, we have to look for another gown after this. Let me try it.”

The gown was taken off the mannequin, and Miss Rosetta wore it after being helped by an assistant. Standing in front of the mirror, the young miss held a grim expression on her face.

“What do you think, Eve?”

For a second, Eve blinked and said, “I think you should try another gown. Something that will reflect your personality.”

“You are right, it doesn’t suit me,” nodded Miss Rosetta.

“It is what I said earlier, miss,” stated the seamstress before saying, “Do you prefer to look at more gowns, or would you want me to take your measurements?”


“Measurements for me,” replied Miss Rosetta.

The assistant of the seamstress appeared from the back side room to take the body measurements of Miss Rosetta’s.

During that time, Eve knew she wouldn’t be able to afford a gown even for half the price. She was looking through the fabrics when she noticed the seamstress walking towards the back room.

“Excuse me…” Eve stopped the seamstress, who raised her eyebrows in question. “But might you have a used gown which hasn’t been bought… in a very long time.”

The seamstress’s lips set themselves in a thin line. She asked, “Why do you think there is a gown that I haven’t been able to sell? Every design here has been loved and praised by many women.”

“Forgive me for my rudeness,” Eve offered a bow and politely said, “It was only to ask if you have a gown that has been priced for a lower cost than the others in here.”

The seamstress narrowed her eyes. Eve turned worried, if the woman would ask her to step out of her shop. It was because the older woman sized her up and down the clothes and shoes that she wore.

But instead, the woman went, “Hmm.”


For readers who have and haven’t reviewed the book, I would love for you to drop a review of what you think about the story so far and the characters 3 Thank you for your support 3
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ALLURE OF THE NIGHT
Chapter 68

Music Recommendation: A new Era- John Lunn


The seamstress didn’t utter another word to Eve and turned away to step inside the back room of the shop. After a good three minutes, a male assistant stepped into the room where Eve and said to her,

“Miss, you are being called.”

Startled, Eve asked him, “Me?” pointing her finger at her and the assistant nodded. She turned to look at Miss Rosetta, who was busy discussing with another assistant the kinds of fabric she wanted and how she wanted her dress to be designed.

Seeing the young miss occupied, Eve followed the assistant, who led her into the backroom. Many lanterns had been lit, hanging on the wall even though the rooms were enough to fill the passage and room with light.

“Mrs. Russo, you wanted to see me?” Eve tried to ensure that the assistant had the right woman, and the seamstress turned to look at her with the same shrewd eyes.

“Yes, I did. You were looking for a cheap gown?” the seamstress confirmed.


“I was,” Eve nodded.

“Young lady, you should know that there is nothing ‘cheap’. Not just in this shop but in the entire Hollow Valley. To speak, no one with less than five five gold coins can afford a decent glass of juice to even drink in this town. I must praise your courage to step into a shop and ask for it,” said the seamstress, and Eve offered an apologetic smile.

“Forgive me if I have offended you,” Eve realised she would have to see if she could fit into Lady Marceline’s dress, but maybe- “What if I exchange a gown? The fabric might be of some use for you?”

The seamstress, who had been staring at Eve let out a hearty laugh, and the other assistants turned to look at their owner. The woman said, “It has been a while since I have come across someone like you.”

Eve bowed her head and said, “I wouldn’t have brought up the exchange, it is just that there’s an urgency and I am in need to attend something.”

“How unfortunate,” murmured the seamstress and she then said, “Let me see the dress that you want to exchange and believe that it is of value. Bring it to me later and we shall speak then.”

Though the seamstress didn’t promise to reduce the price of the gowns here for her, Eve was grateful that the woman was willing to take a look at it. After Lady Rosetta was done speaking to the assistant about her gown while asking Eve,

“Did you find a gown you like in here Eve?”

“I think I will continue to look later, Miss Rosetta. Are you done here?” Eve asked and Miss Rosetta nodded.

“I believe I am,” replied the young miss and she placed a red velvet bag on the table for the seamstress to take. She said to the woman, “It is fifteen gold coins.”

The seamstress was more than happy to make business with the daughter of a Marquess and she offered a polite bow, “I will have the dress prepared in the next forty-eight hours.”

“Excellent,” replied Miss Rosetta, and she stepped outside the shop.

When Eve’s eyes met the seamstress, the woman offered a slight bow and she did the same before following Miss Rosetta out of the shop.

Later, when Eve returned home, she quickly went to her room and picked up the blue gown that belonged to Lady Marceline. She would have taken the other torn gown, but Eugene had cut the fabric into pieces and had used it to clean the various parts of the house or the carriage. 

Eve took a second trip to Hollow Valley; this time, the sky
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ALLURE OF THE NIGHT
Chapter 69

A click was heard from the table, and the seamstress pushed the door open. She picked up the lantern that she had earlier placed on the ground. Entering the room, the woman lit other lanterns, and suddenly the room was as bright as it would have been in the morning.

“Since the time I started and have been a seamstress, I have been creating sample gowns for the women and young ladies of high society. Maybe we can find you something decent to wear here,” said the seamstress, adding, “But I will need it back the very next day.”

Eve’s eyes widened at the woman’s words and she quickly offered a deep bow, “Thank you so much, Mrs. Russo. I will not forget your kindness!”

The poise look on the seamstress’s face didn’t change and she moved her elegant, lean hands to push open the trunks one by one, which had different gowns and dresses. While they looked for the dress, Eve asked curiously,

“Why did you decide to help me?”

There was no reason for this woman to offer her any gowns even though they were old, as she would not benefit anything from her. Unless… the woman had brought her here to drink blood from her. Eve’s heart skipped a beat in slight worry.

“There was once a time when I didn’t have proper clothes. I came from a poor family, from another land,” said the seamstress, and as she said it, Eve noticed the woman having an accent. “My parents were from a middle-class family, yet they couldn’t afford what the rich could. A kind lady once gave me a dress. It was peach in colour. I decided to make my own shop, reusing the materials to make better ones. I know how it feels when you don’t have something others have,” explained the woman.

“Your family was originally a vampire family?” Inquired Eve, and the woman nodded.

“You look surprised,” the woman chuckled, and she picked an orangish-brown gown from the trunk. “Why don’t you try this and I will see if there’s anything more.”


Eve took the gown in her hand and went behind the wooden divider, wearing it as she heard the shuffling sound coming from the other side of the room.

“How is the fitting?” asked the seamstress. The woman came around to take a look at Eve, who was still in the process of wearing it.

Eve quickly gathered the gown in front of her body, and the woman rolled her eyes. The seamstress said, “You do not have to be shy, I have seen plenty of women and girls’ bodies to now see nothing in them but a mannequin. I think we’ll have to look for another one.”

“I think this is fine, Mrs. Russo,” said Eve. She wasn’t picky and only needed to wear something passable to the ball.

“You underestimate me, girl,” the seamstress turned to give Eve a look. “There’s not been a single customer I have let step foot out without my personal satisfaction. Not to mention, you underestimate the ball that is being held in the Moriarty mansion.”

Mrs. Russo went on to open another trunk, picking up one dress after another, before she found a pastel blue gown. She murmured to herself, “I completely forgot about this.”

The woman returned to the other side of the divider, carrying the dress for Eve to wear. At first glance, the gown looked simple and nothing too eye-catching. But it was elegant and soft to one’s eyes.

“This is one of the finest dresses I made for a woman who unfortunately died after being attacked by a werewolf,” said the woman, handing the gown for Eve to try. “People believe in misfortunes and I locked it up in the trunk. You know what they say, someone’s misfortune is another one’s luck.”

Once Eve was done wearing it, she stood in front of the mirror, and the seamstress appeared next to her. Eve liked how the dress looked on her, even though it would need a little adjustment when it came to the fittings.

“Doesn’t it look stunning?” questioned Mrs. Russo, admiring her own work, which she had created three decades ago. “Let me see where it needs to be tightened.”

While the woman was taking the measurements, Eve noticed the lilac lace that went below her bosom and to the back. The lace was then tied at the back before letting the rest of the lace trail down.

Eve stayed there for a few more minutes while the seamstress made a few alterations to the pastel blue gown before handing it to her. She offered a deep bow and thanked the woman again,

“Thank you for lending me the gown, Mrs. Russo. I cannot tell how much I appreciate it.”

Mrs. Russo gave a slight nod and said, “No problem. I will expect to see you after a week?” 

“Yes, I will bring the dress back once the ball is over,” replied Eve, and she saw the woman step back inside the shop, leaving Eve outside by herself and the bag that had Mrs. Russo’s gown as well as Lady Marceline’s gown.

Hearing the tower bell ding, Eve’s head turned to look at the tower, and she noticed the clock had struck seven. Seeing how she still had a good amount of time on her hand, she decided to look at the shoe shops.

As Eve walked, her eyes fell on the names of the shops, and she muttered the names under her breath. Her eyes looked through the glass walls of some of the shops, and she couldn’t help but stare at the items there.

She tore her eyes away from the expensive shops, and while looking at the other shops, she caught sight of Vincent in the opposite direction. Before she had the opportunity to switch streets, he noticed her.

Vincent wasn’t alone but with a man Eve had met the night the siren had died. Vincent said something to the man, who bowed his head and left his side.

A crooked smile appeared on Vincent’s serious face as they got closer. Eve turned slightly frigid when he got nearer. But to her surprise, he didn’t stop to talk to her and walked past her.

Huh?

Eve didn’t realise she had been holding her breath. Curious, she wondered who Vincent had smiled at and turned around. She noticed him greet a young brunette woman and kiss the back of her hand. The woman was beautiful and it seemed like both of the woman as well as Vincent were able to keep up a conversation.

Of course, thought Eve to herself. She had been worried for no reason that he would annoy her.

She was a governess. And in a town like Hollow Valley, people like him and her didn’t mix.

Turning, Eve continued to look through the shops for the next fifteen minutes. The prices of the shoes were too high for her to afford, but there was no price when it came to looking at them, and that is what she did. Though some guards and shop owners were hostile to her, glaring at her so that she didn’t hover.


While she stood in front of the last and maybe the most expensive shoe shops in here, Vincent walked to where she was with his hands in his pockets, “Have you decided to quit being a governess and work as a guards woman outside the shop?”

His eyes subtly moved to look at her hand before returning to meet her eyes.

Eve turned to him and noticed he was all by himself. She saw a few folks walking by pass looks at them.

She said, “I was looking at the shoes.”

“I could tell by the way you were looking at it now. Dawdle here idly and one would mistaken that you are planning to steal something,” remarked Vincent, and his eyes fell on one of the guard, who was eyeing Eve.

“I realised that,” Eve replied with a bitter smile.

Vincent stared at Eve with an unwavering gaze, before he ordered, “Step in.”

“What?”

“You obviously are in need of a pair of shoes, and I wouldn’t want my little sister’s governess to be the centre of bad attraction,” stated Vincent in a matter-of-fact tone. “The payment of the shoes will be deducted from your wage.”

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ALLURE OF THE NIGHT
Chapter 70

A shout out to the readers who continuously greet and wish in the title comment 3 Thank you for your good thoughts ^^


Eve followed Vincent inside the shop, carrying the bag and umbrella in her hand. The walls of the shop were dull green, and brightened with many lit candles that were enclosed in a fancy-looking glass case, where each glass case had three candles in it.

The shoe racks in there were made of oak wood, and the shoes were placed on it. Undoubtedly, the shoes were the finest she had come across until now. Forget about having them; she had never dared to dream of one that the elite women wore. It was because of the prices written next to each, some of them were more than what she would make in a year as a governess.

“Good evening, Mr. Moriarty. It is so good to see you here,” the owner of the shop stepped forward, who had red eyes, and his greasy black hair was combed to the side. “How can I help you?” The shop owner was eager to serve Vincent.

Vincent said, “We are looking for a pair of shoes for Ms. Barlow so that she can wear them for the ball. Preferably something flat,” he turned to Eve. “Unless she wants to look tall.”

For a moment, Eve’s heart skipped a beat because she hadn’t expected Vincent to take note of it. But then she had lost her balance many times before him.

The shoe owner came to where Eve stood and politely asked, “Miss, if you could remove your shoes so that I can see the size of your foot.”

Eve placed her things on a chair. Pulling the front of her dress, she used her one foot to remove the shoe from the other foot and vice versa. When she pushed her boots aside, she noticed the shop owner scrunch his face at the sight of her shoes.

“It seems like these are the miss’s favourite shoes,” remarked the show owner, who could not stop looking at the battered shoes.


Eve could tell that the person was trying to be polite only because she was here with Vincent.

Vincent turned around, letting one side of his body lean against one of the shoe racks, watching Eve and the shoe shop owner, Mr. Soler.

“It looks like it is twenty-three centimetres. Please take a seat while I go look at the shoes,” said Mr. Soler, and he then asked Vincent, “Mr. Moriarty, is there anything you would like to drink? The usual?” 

“That would be splendid,” Vincent responded, and Mr. Soler looked very pleased.

“I shall get it right away, Sire! Please do make yourself comfortable,” saying that the man disappeared behind the curtain. The man returned with a glass of red liquid in it and offered it to Vincent before disappearing behind the curtain once again. One could hear the shuffling coming from there.

When she sensed Vincent’s gaze on her, she ignored it for a few seconds, but then she turned to meet his eyes.

“Do you come here often, Master Vincent?” She asked him.

“To Hollow Valley or this shop,” Vincent questioned, staring at her unblinkingly.

“This shop,” replied Eve. Her gaze shifted and looked at the curtain as she hadn’t been able to handle the intensity with which Vincent was looking at her.

“Sometimes, though I wouldn’t say it is often. How about you, Miss Barlow, when was the last time you went to buy your shoes?”

“Two years ago,” replied Eve, and she heard him hum in response. And though he didn’t question her more on it, she couldn’t help but explain to him, “They have been very comfortable, and it protects the feet from any water seeping into it. Not to mention, they are durable… you know what I mean?”

A smile cracked up on Vincent’s lips, “I know.”

She found his smile to be sarcastic and she pursed her lips before shifting her eyes to look at the rack of shoes in front of her. The thought of him having murdered the previous governess came to pass in her mind, and goosebumps appeared on her skin.

She heard his voice behind, “Everything alright, Ms. Barlow?”

“Apart from my wage being deducted, why wouldn’t I be?” Eve questioned back, and she heard him chuckle as if the devil was going to steal her soul.

“I am sure we can do some adjustments, depending on how well you behave during the time you attend to the ball,” stated Vincent, who started walking next to the shoe racks. He said, “Smart of you to buy a gown.”

Eve’s eyes had been trailing Vincent, and she noticed his spotless shoe. She asked him, “Does that mean I will be earning extra?”

“Mhm.”

Eve turned relieved because the last thing she needed was to spend all her wage on a shoe she wouldn’t wear much.

Eve subtly looked at Vincent’s side profile. His silvery hair held a softness against the light of the candles in the room. The smile was nonexistent on his lips. His cheekbones looked strong with a sharp jaw.

“Staring is rude, Ms. Barlow,” remarked Vincent, and Eve narrowed her eyes.

“I should tell the same to you, Master Vincent,” it wasn’t as if he wasn’t staring at her earlier.

Vincent placed the shoe he had picked and turned to face Eve, “And who was I staring at?” He tilted his head in question. Before Eve could say anything, he said, “If I remember it right, I have only been staring at the shoe rack, and this side looks quite new.”

Eve grit her teeth because that was possible as right now he stood on the opposite side of the rack he had earlier been standing. Not knowing how to retort, she changed the subject, “Did you capture any new creatures today apart from the one in my town?”

“So far, the towns are clear. But you never know which family or person goes missing,” Vincent responded. It seemed like the head guard in Meadow had only been following Vincent’s orders as he was the one to run the search through the town to find the siren.

Unable to resist herself, Eve asked him, “Isn’t it a hassle to have to distinguish between the people who go missing because of the outcasts and the people who go missing because they were killed not by outcasts or ordered to be killed…” on hearing Eve’s words, one corner of Vincent’s lips pulled up. At the same time, they heard something fall on the ground—Mr. Soler had dropped the shoe boxes from his hand.

The vampire looked slightly amused by Eve’s question and said, “Not necessarily. Being an expert in dealing with such things as you already know…” he paused to let Eve know that he knew that she had learned something about him. “It makes it easier. You know what they say. Do the job that you are good at.”

Eve softly gulped at his intimidating words.

Mr. Soler finally appeared from the room he had earlier disappeared, carrying three boxes in each hand. He placed the boxes on the ground and said,

“These are the finest shoes that arrived this morning. We have only one piece of each pair, making it unique for the customers,” he opened the boxes to display the shoes on the ground. “Which one would you like to try first, Miss?”

Eve looked at the shoes and pointed her hand at the pair of beige shoes, “That one.”

As Vincent was paying for it from her wage, maybe she could buy something decent, thought Eve.

Mr. Soler took the shoes out of the box and helped Eve wear it. But the fit wasn’t right, and she felt the back of the shoe bite her. “How about this, milady? These are good,” he pulled out a pair of blue shoes.


Vincent watched Eve try out the other shoes, and each time she tried a new pair of shoes, her face scrunched as if she was in pain. He turned to the shoe owner and questioned, “Mr. Soler, are your shoes made for humans?”

“Of course, Mr. Moriarty. I have humans and the night creatures customers coming in here to buy shoes,” answered Mr. Soler and stared at the human woman’s feet. “I don’t know why, but it seems like the miss isn’t fond of my shoes.”

And the more the two men stared at her feet, the more vulnerable Eve felt, feeling her legs would transform into a fishtail. She bowed her head at Mr. Soler and apologised, “It is unfortunate that as lovely as the shoes are, they don’t fit my feet.”

Vincent pushed himself from the rack where he had been leaning against, “Move,” he ordered Mr. Soler.

Mr. Soler turned worried, and as he got up and stepped aside. He said, “Let me see if there are other shoes that might fit the lady.” He didn’t want Vincent to be angry with him.

Vincent didn’t respond, instead he sat in front of Eve on his heel.

With ease, Vincent’s hand reached for Eve’s exposed ankle, where she had slightly pulled up her dress earlier. His cold fingers wrapped around her ankle before pulling it up so that he could inspect her foott, and Eve grasped the sides on her seat.

Eve’s eyes turned wide and she protested, “Mr. Moriart—”

“Quiet.”

His other hand shot up, and his slender fingers touched the sides of her foot. Blood started to rush up Eve’s face with every squeeze of Vincent’s fingers on her foot.

__________


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