Chapter 12

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Clarification: Evelyn only has one master (Alek). The rest are called that for formality.

I do not know why, but I wait from my position, not moving nor saying a word. I do not mean to intrude so I back up further away, but my hearing informs me that the lady is named Valerie. The rose emblem sewn on the saddle of her horse indicates she must be from a noble family of Rosehold, the neighboring region south of Argid. Judging from their interactions, they seem unnaturally close. But if that is so, I wonder why they meet at the back of the garden.

I take no interest in this, but I struggle on whether to inform Alvena. She will be curious if I return early. My train of thoughts disconnect when I hear steps on the grass from behind.

"Master Lucien," I greet with a bow.

"You're missing the curtsy," he points out. I do not give him one because he isn't expecting it. "Why're you wandering the gardens?" he asks while walking pass me to admire the roses.

"I come to fetch Master," I answer candidly.

"You found him?" he halfheartedly asks.

"Yes."

Master Lucien plucks a fresh rose from the bush and twirls it around his fingers. "Where is he?"

"Behind the vines."

"Alone?" He stands in front of me now, green eyes glistening in the afternoon sun. I hesitate, not knowing if I should answer or tell Alvena first. "With a lady?" he asks. Would Master want me to say anything? "Do you know who?"

I did not expect Master Lucien to talk so much. I am not sure if Master wishes for me to speak, but again, I am a servant and must answer truthfully.

"No. Yes. No."

He gives me the same smirk from this morning. "Would you like to know?"

If I answer no, he might not tell me and I will have to return to Alvena with nothing and be forced to report on Master. If I answer yes, I would be lying and he might not even tell me.

"Only if you would like to share," I reply.

"Well, I much rather not," he comments with relief. "Follow me to pick some roses would you?" he beckons me follow.

Master Lucien stops at a full rose bush, far enough for me to not hear Master, and starts picking. He gives them to me to hold as he selects one from each tree before hopping over to the next.

"Roses are red, violets are blue, but Evelyn's eyes are something new," he chants as he snips another red rose.

"No, Master Lucien. My eyes are red too."

"Really?" He places the rose in my hair and looks back and forth. "The shade is different." He places his hand under his chin as if thinking. "I like yours much more."

I blink once and stare blankly at him. "I like the roses more." Taking the plant out of my hair, I place it back into the pile with the rest of the flowers.

"Then you can have them," Master Lucien hands me the twelfth rose.

"Should I put these in Master's study?" I ask, unsure what he means.

"Please don't," he answers and leans near me until I feel his breath at my neck. "These are for you."

"I understand. I will not put it in Master's study."

Master Lucien turns around. "I'm afraid you don't, Eve~" I hear him sigh.

"I do understand, Master Lucien. These are for me because I like them."

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