𝔄 𝔓𝔬𝔬𝔯 𝔇𝔦𝔰𝔱𝔯𝔢𝔰𝔰

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There was a commotion.

Erin heard chairs moving, and her mother panicking to action first.

"Oh, sweet holy!" Lady Sutherton gasped, the clacking of her heels approaching quickly.

Erin groaned, pulling herself upright with a wobble. She pressed her fingertips against her throbbing forehead, her free hand stretching out to refuse her mother's oncoming help. "I'm fine, mother I---."

"---Mister Ezra." She stepped over her daughter, the blade of her heels narrowly missing the stunned girl.

"Mister Ezra, are you alright?" She examined him as if he were the one on the floor, dizzy and confused.

He widened his eyes, peaking once at Erin. "Me? Oh, I'm fine. I'm perfect." He glanced down. "Lady Erina are you all alright? Quite a fall you just had there." He offered his hand with a blinding smile. "Need help up?"

"Oh, yes, Erina." Lady Sutherton directed her concern to her daughter. "What happened? What did you do?"

She heard her mother, but her head turned to Ezra, burrowing her eyes into his.

"Erina? You heard me, I asked what happened?" After a few moments of silence, Lady Sutherton sighed, aware she was not going to receive a proper reply. "I'm so terribly sorry, Mister Ezra." She turned to him. "What can I say? She loves to make her scenes." She passed a dismayed glance to her daughter. "Erin, get up from the floor and stop pretending to---."

"---Pretending?" she fumed, raising her voice slightly.

"Yes." Her mother disapprovingly frowned.

"I didn't do anything," she said through clenched teeth, glaring at Ezra.

"Well, darling, you don't make a good case when you're still on the ground." She doubtfully peered.

Scowling with a twisted face, Erin whipped her hands around and struggled to her feet.

"Lady Erina, please allow me to help you." He offered his hand again and she smacked it away so fiercely their knuckles briefly banged each other.

She stabilized her feet and wrapped her hands over her chest. "Who is this?" she asked, pointing to Ezra and fixing her narrowing eyes.

Lady Sutherton swallowed. "Well, this is not exactly the most proper meeting, but?" She forced a thin smile. "Erina, this man is Ezra, Ezra Radcliff. He's going to be our new butler, the caretaker of this estate while we are away."

"New butler?" she said, scoffing. "What of the last one?"

"Erina, that's not funny."

"Wasn't a joke," she said, starkly. Unfolding her arms, she stared at Ezra with a large-eyed wild look. "Do you know what happened to our last butler?"

"Erina," Lady Sutherton chastised.

She neglected her mother and kept her eyes on him. "And do you know what happens when someone disrespects or displeases a Sutherton?" she seethed, sizzling with animosity.

"And Ezra?" Lady Sutherton forced a smile. "Please forgive her tone, but as you know this is our daughter, Erina Sutherton." She firmly pressed her lips together, growing anxious as she felt the heat of her daughter's burning hatred. "A-and, now that you two have met, she shall be making her leave. Right, Erin?"

She continued glaring, unresponsive.

Lady Sutherton cleared her throat and plastered on a smile. "She will be making her leave," she weakly said, grimacing at her husband who was still seated drinking tea. "Um, Daviyd, perhaps we should take Mister Ezra to another room to see---." She stopped, going pale as her daughter marched to Ezra.

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