Chapter 17

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"This is truly the last time."

Master didn't give me reason to doubt his words and I was grateful for that.

At first, I was uncertain since he kept on replacing the roses in his study with fresh roses every few days. But when I found out that he picked them together with Alvena, it all didn't seem to matter anymore.

I was happy watching him hold her tiny hand in his much larger one as they toured the garden maze every morning together.

I like hearing Alvena laugh when Master talks about his friends. I like it more when Master looks at Mistress with gentle eyes that sparkle and doesn't seem to look anywhere else.

I don't know what happened, but it was like Master changed overnight.

Morwenna explains to me that it's "love." She say that in the past few hundred years that she served him, Master was never so genuinely and openly affectionate and happy. Master is truly in love I hear her tell Adrian and London who agree.

Lucien, who's here almost every single day, also agreed when he overhead us talking. Since they all agree, I should too. Right?

So on one occasion when Master was out with Alvena in the village and I, ordered to be in the distance, decided to consult Lucien.

"How does everyone know for sure Master loves Alvena and no longer cares for Valerie Rosegarden?"

Lucien's green eyes shimmered gold and delighted in my boldness with him.

"He's known Val for centuries. How can he not care for her?"

Lately, Lucien gets on my nerves. He pleasures in asking me such difficult rhetorical questions that I can't hope to answer.

I once asked him why he couldn't just give me answers straightforwardly. He told me he was still trying to get me back for last time. He told me I offended his sensitive vampire heart. I slightly regret offending him now.

"I'm sorry for my lack of empathy. Would you be as kind to forgive me and simply feed the answer?" I ask with a little less monotone than usual for Lucien might complain about that too.

He grins. "You can tell that Alek is very fond of your Lady Mistress. He lets her call his name out in public. Now that is a rather bold statement."

I look at him with disappointment. "Master allowed her to do so before...he seemed to forget about Valerie."

Lucien shakes his head. "Someday, I would like you to call me by my name."

"I do call you by your name." My eyes slant. "If you can't give me a solid answer, then don't pretend like you know. It gets me confused."

I think he scoffed at me.

"It is you, Eve, who doesn't understand," he says as he waves off the topic. It annoys me when he acts like I don't understand.

Maybe it is true that I'm confused. But I think I understand—I think.

"What are you so lost in thought about, Evie?" a jubilant voice interrupts me in my mid-daze.

I squint a little at the mischievous grin playing on Alvena's face.

"Nothing important. You called?"

She grabbed onto Master's arm as if urging him to say something. Master shook his head with feigned disinterest from his seat at the garden table.

"As of late, a very desperate Lucien has been extremely persistent in pestering me about giving up one of my favorite servants," Master stretches.

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