Vivian stood in the corner of the hall with her back against the wall as seconds felt longer than usual. Two maids who stood next to her whispered in a hushed tone which wasn't clear but she could hear bits and pieces of their confused and shocked conversation. It seemed that the council members hadn't just accused her but every single one of them who had stepped into the room for interrogation.
As the rays of the sun finally passed through after the gloomy rain, her hands felt cold and she doubted that the warmth of the sun could make anyone feel better. People had died. Killed by their own which was a tragedy, a day no one could forget.
Was it true though? That something had been mixed in the pot she was handling? She didn't understand why anyone would do that. The Carmichael's were good people, kinder than the other pureblooded families and everyone was aware of it. Why would any person stoop so low? She stared at the marble floor, her eyes fixed on it as everyone was asked to wait here and not leave.
She couldn't erase what she had witnessed. The blood, the bodies, the death of Mrs. Carmichael by her son. Leonard hadn't spared her a glance during the procession that took place with her and the council members. And she had no complaints about it. Her gaze moved from the floor to the wooden door where Leonard was. Her heart ached for him. He had killed his mother for the sake of her, for the sake of everyone and maybe for Mrs. Carmichael's sake to end the misery of wildness that took place in the night.
Vivian who was a servant and a friend to him was aware of the bond both he and his mother shared. Though she hadn't experienced the motherly love and affection directly from her own mother, whom she didn't know of, she had seen it in Mrs. Carmichael's eyes for her son. The vampiress cherished her son until her last breath.
Before she could let her thoughts go any further, Vivian heard something rattle and fall from the other side of the room. Commotion took place inside the room which pulled everyone's attention who stood outside the door now wondering what was going on.
The doors flew open and the councilmen held Paul who had his hands tied.
"I didn't do it! I would never do it!" Paul screamed frantically, "Please believe me that I didn't kill them," he tried confessing his innocence.
"Should have thought it out before you decided to kill all of them," said Lionel, the councilmen pulled him roughly, taking the housekeeper out of the house.
Vivian took time to grasp the situation, and as it processed she realized the councilmen, the Lord and Leonard had picked the culprit to be Paul. But Paul would never do it, thought Vivian to herself. Her body was too rigid to speak and before she could even voice her thoughts on it, the Lord spoke,
"Thank you for everyone's cooperation. As happy as we are to be able to find the culprit who was responsible to cause what took place, we will be holding the funeral tomorrow in the morning to give others the time to come and visit before the cremation takes place. Everyone can go back to your rooms," the family guests were reluctant in the beginning, nonetheless, they left the space as the hall got deserted in a matter of few minutes.
Vivian was one of the last few people to leave as she stood fixed in her place. Leonard had left with Charlotte and his uncle Sullivan while the Lord stood there waiting for everyone to disperse.
Clutching her hands tightly, Vivian took steps towards the lord and saw him turn to her as she reached him. She bowed at him and he returned it.
"Lord Nicholas, pardon my intrusion but what is going to happen to Paul?" she asked anxiousness laced in her soft voice.
"For what he did today, death is what will be dawned on him as punishment. Not just him but even his family," as the Lord said this, Vivian's eyed widened.
"Yes," Lord Nicholas nodded his head, "This isn't a simple mistake or an error that has been caused. Not an object that was stolen but lives that were twisted and killed. By killing his master's family he brought this not only on himself but also his family. The council people don't take these things lightly. By killing the others in his family, it will ensure no revengeful act to be taken place in the future."
"But milord, I-I think it's a mistake. Paul isn't a person who would ever attempt something like this. I have known him for a long time. I know it's too much but can you please recheck on it. Please, Lord Nicholas," she bowed her head deep, waiting for him to agree that he would make sure to see if Paul was innocent or not, "Please, milord," she whispered.
"I will give it a go. Just one," hearing this, Vivian closed her eyes in relief and stood straight up. Thank you so much," she bowed her head again and dismissed herself from the hall.
The day passed by quicker than expected and the next day arrived. Guests and other family relatives who were close to the Carmichael's arrived at the mansion and the cemetery. People arrived, leaving their condolences and going back from where they had come. The grief of the losses that had taken place was too much. The Easton and the Meyers, family related to Mrs. Carmichael left after burying their family members. The people who stood during the final time with Leonard was his cousin Rhys, Lord Nicholas, and his uncle Sullivan.
That evening, the servants were called to the dining room and this time it was by Leonard. The servants didn't utter a word in front of the Duke or the Lord. Silence filled the room when the last maid her way hurriedly to stand beside another worker. None of them had a clue as to why they were called. Did another murder take place? Had someone betrayed again? It was hard for anyone to digest the fact that the housekeeper who had been working for the Carmichael's family all these years had gone to such a lengthy exchange to kill the family. Though whispers and hushed voices had begun back in their rooms since the previous morning, none had the courage to ask or speak in front of the vampires who stood in front of them now.
"Everyone's here?" asked Leonard looking at each and every one of the servants, his eyes gauging the familiar faces he had come to know since he started living again in the Carmichael's mansion. His eyes didn't avoid Vivian's but as soon as the eyes met, in the same vigor, it moved to the next person.
Vivian who hadn't realized the close attention Leonard had been giving her since the time she had come to know him now felt the emptiness and the huge space between them. With him keeping the distance from everyone, she hadn't found the opportunity to check if he was doing alright. It was as if a hole had been buried which had dug itself after that dreadful night.