She took a deep breath, looking outside the window. The weather today was much better than what it had to offer in the last week that had passed by. Vivian wondered if they would get the opportunity to look feel the warmth of the sun on their skin. With Bonelake always raining more than half the time in the year, it made the atmosphere damp and cold. The mansions were always cold, except for some places where the owners of the mansion strolled and stayed, and the Carmichael mansion wasn't any different from the other high-class family. The servants didn't sleep next to a fireplace and the only places they could find warmth apart from their room was in the horse shed and the kitchen.
After a few minutes she heard the sound of footsteps from where she stood, she looked up the stairs to see Leonard descending down, who had dressed well just like his father had. He was cuffing the button of his shirt.
"You're going out, master Leonard?" she asked.
One side of his lips curved, to ask, "Missing me already?"
Vivian who hadn't thought out before asking him the question now had a faint splash of pink spread over her cheeks. It wasn't anything new to ask one another when one of them left the mansion when they were children but they weren't children anymore. Maybe that was why Vivian felt shy wondering if she had been too forward with the man. Her heart too shuddered unknowingly when he came to stop two steps away from her. The ray of light that she had hoping for broke through the clouds to pass through the windows and fall on both of their forms unevenly.
"I am going to meet a friend of mine named Maximilian Gibbs. He's arranged hunting for us behind his mansion. I will be late for dinner. Take care of the mansion," she nodded her head promptly to see him step down the stairs and disappear at the corridor that led to the main door.
The same noon, Vivian accompanied Mrs Carmichael out to the town to get woollen threads as she was out of it. Knowing her son might need a sweater for the winter like snow that was around the corner, she wanted to weave one.
"No, not this Sir. How about that?" Vivian pointed her finger over the blue bundle behind the man where both the women had come to buy. As the man handed the bundle of wool, she examined it in her hand, "What do you think about this, milady?"
Mrs Carmichael took the strand of wool between her fingers, feeling the texture before she gave a hum of approval, "This feels much lighter than the others. I think this should do. If you could please get this packed," the vampiress asked politely.
"Yes, Lady Carmichael. Is there anything else you would like Madame?" the bald man asked, seeing if he could sell more items from his shop to have a better earning.
"That is all. I will be going back to the carriage," she told Vivian before handing over the money to the man and heading towards the carriage.
Vivian waited for the man to pack the three bundles of wool Mrs Carmichael had asked for while looking around the small store that was known for its finest wool in the town. The wool that was taken by the sheep were dyed in different colours. Stacks of wool was placed in and around the man who had finished packing it.
"Here is your parcel miss," taking the bag from him, she turned around to stop to only turn back and ask, "Mm, sir, by any chance would you be having the colour of red with you? The wool I mean."
"Red? Let me see," disappearing behind the two small curtains he came back with a ball of wool which was maroon in colour.
"That will do," Vivian said looking at the wool he held, "Can I get two more of it?"
Once she had got it packed and paid the money of her earnings from what she had saved, Vivian went back to the carriage carrying both the bags in one. They then went to visit Martha. Upon their visit, Grace, Paul's sister who had been taking care of the housekeeper made tea and served it to Mrs Carmichael who took it without hesitation. Before they left the house, Mrs Carmichael who stood at the door asked in a low voice,
"Has she been eating well?"
"She has, milady. We are making sure to keep her warm but I don't think it's helping much," Grace looked over her shoulder.
"I see. I asked Giles to arrange for a doctor this morning. He should be here in a day or two," Mrs Carmichael pulled something from her purse which jingled with coins inside it, "Take this," Grace didn't hesitate in taking the money from the vampiress. Grace's husband was a shoemaker and his income wasn't sufficient and neither was their son's who worked with his father. Medicines were expensive for the sick and it didn't come by anywhere cheap when it came to taking care of a sick woman who needed a constant fireplace running at night due to the harsh cold.
"Thank you for your generosity, milady. If it weren't for you, we don't know what would have happened," Grace bent her head down to appreciate the benevolence the lady was showing to the people who worked in her mansion.
"Martha and Paul have gained the right to it. They have worked hard and this is just a token to it," hearing the church bell ring in distant the vampiress murmured, "Looks like it's time. Please don't hesitate in asking if there's anything that Martha needs. I am sure you know where to look for that."
"Yes," Grace bowed her head again and she exchanged a bow with Vivian who returned the gesture, stepping into the carriage, both the women rode back to the mansion with the coachman.
Vivian who sat in front of Mrs Carmichael saw the lady have her eyes set outside the small window of the carriage. With all the women she had met and communicated until now, Lady Renae was the kindest of them all. Being the wife of the Duke in Bonelake, she had never let the title get to her head. She wasn't only beautiful but also kind and compassionate in nature, one could say understanding with the people around her. Most of the vampiress and vampire never showed compassion to the lower ranked people.
Only if all the vampires were like her, the world would have been a perfect place to live for everyone. It would be a paradise, thought Vivian to herself. At that thought she smiled, maybe the world wasn't meant to be a paradise for everyone. Only a few lucky ones got to taste the sweetness of life.
After she was done helping Paul in the kitchen and serving dinner to Mr and Mrs Carmichael at night, she hurried with her work so that she could start knitting. Vivian who was about to escape to her room got called by Mrs Carmichael to the drawing room who had settled on the wide couch with the ball of wool and a needle in her hand. She had already begun knitting a small blue piece and there was no doubt at this rate the lady would complete whatever she had in her mind by morning but she doubted she would stay up that late.
"Could you get the buttons we bought last time? I thought to add some more colours to it."
"Of course. Give me few minutes to go fetch it," excusing herself, she went to the room where the previous unused wool, buttons and other embroidery work were placed. Searching it, she found it to be on the top shelf. Looking around she raised herself by standing on the tip of her toes while flapping her hand to reach the box. Finally getting her hand on it, she pulled it towards her and went to the drawing room around it.
"Is there anything else you would want me to assist you with?" asked Vivian to see the Lady raise her head thoughtfully and heard her speak,
"Would you like to keep me company? There is an extra pair of needle in here, go get your wool," Mrs Carmichael smiled under the lit candles. And like that, Vivian provided Mrs Carmichael with her company. Compared to the lady of the house who sat on the plush couch, Vivian sat on the cold ground which she had got used to. With the wool that had been put in the needle, she started knitting the thread, meshing it one over the other with what she had learnt from Charlotte who had taught her during her visit to the mansion.
Putting up all the concentration, Vivian continued to knit the wool along with the Lady in complete silence. It was when she had managed to make a patch did she hear the door open to allow Leonard to step into the room with the same clothes he had left the mansion.