Buttercup

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"As I said before, my investigation is by a private party who wishes to remain anonymous." Currently I was sitting in Theodore's office. "What I can tell you is that I have successfully infiltrated the staff and have begun to collect the pieces." We've been here for hours with Theodore grilling me the entire time.

He was leaned back in his seat, his head resting on his left hand as his eyes narrowed at me suspiciously.

"So why the act? What reason do you have for that?"

I laughed, "That was just a rouse. My boss wanted me to do a sanity check for the responsibilities that you've taken on. I come from a high place... they are worried about your well being."

We talked for what seemed like hours after that. I was truly being interrogated. I was questioned on my agency, my name, my clothes, anything and everything that could poke holes into my story was patched and reinforced with my layered lies. At the end of our talk he sat back in his seat.

I held my breath. Would he believe me? If he did then I would count this as one of my biggest accomplishments. His eyes were guarded, but behind his shields I could see the hope.

He's desperate I realized, but why?

"So this employer of yours doesn't think that my brother committed suicide?"

I gulped and my tongue went dry in my mouth. The severity of my lie settled on my shoulders. If I said no, that my employer didn't believe his brother's death was a suicide, then I would have a reason for being in his household, a reason for him not to send me to some hospital where they would medicate the memories of my old life out of me.

I paused as I continued to think.

Maybe I am crazy? Maybe I hallucinated the whole thing and this was always my life? Maybe I did go off the deep end and now my subconscious is blocking my memories of living here.

I looked around and concentrated. The office had deep wood paneling that climbed up half the wall. It complimented Theodore's dark wood desk with its ornate embellishment trimming the edges. I was sitting in one of the two chairs facing the desk but when I first tumbled in here I noticed that there was a patterned couch and two armchairs off to the left of the desk.

Nothing nagged in my head that suggested any sense of familiarity. Not the style and not the formality. There was no way that I could make up another life, and if I did then I deserve a round of a applause for coming up with such a fucked up life.

No, if I was going to imagine a new life it would be nothing close to the one I came from.

I looked back at his expectant eyes. If I said yes, that I did think his brother's death was a suicide, then I wouldn't have any reason to be here and I needed a plausible reason.

I took a deep breath. I could find an in between.

"My department head believes it's a suicide." I slid my eyes to meet his, "But I have a small feeling of doubt. Technically, I'm here on my own." I swallowed. I felt like I was choking. I hated lying and here I was—lying the worse lie I could ever lie. "I'm a woman, so I need to be right."

"So, you're here to prove something?" His eyes were impassive but his hands were still clenching and unclenching.

"Yes, but we can help each other. I'll be able to prove myself and you can have some closure on your brother's death."

There was a long pause before I spoke again. My voice was softer this time, "I don't know how your brother died," at least that was the truth, "but I'm willing to figure it out if you are."

Lies. Lies. Lies.

There was another long pause before he leaned forward. His stormy green eyes pinned me down.

How can green eyes be stormy you might ask? Well, I've never been to a rainforest, but the swirling and clashing hues of green in his eyes is how I imagine a rainforest to look like during a monsoon. If I looked too long I was scared I'd be trapped, captured and buried in their depths.

I blinked and broke the one-sided spell. I hated this man.

"Okay, but there'll be conditions." His voice pulled me from my thoughts.

My sympathy vanished in an instant as I saw his eyes glint with a devious plan. What is this bastard up to? I leaned forward and propped my elbows on his desk.

"What conditions?"

"Well, as I understand, you're not supposed to be here, so in exchange for letting you eat my food, sleep in my rooms, and generally stay here without spending a pence of your own money; I expect certain outcomes."

I tightened my fist and clenched my jaw. This asshole was backing me into a corner. He knew there was no way that I'd say no to his conditions. I just elaborated on how important it was for me to be here.

"What do you have in mind?"

He chuckled, actually chuckled. I think he was definitely enjoying this too much. I squirmed with my discomfort. Once I knew for sure I was going home then I could exact the biggest revenge of a lifetime. I didn't know what it would be, but I at least had a couple days to think of something, something devious.

"First, you'll become a lady of the court."

I nodded my head, encouraging him to continue.

"I think this will aide your investigation more than being a gardener. Second, you'll learn the proper ways of being a lady. I don't need a blue stocking or whatever you are quaking around the fine ladies of the ton. This means you will dress like a lady, talk like a lady, and dance like a lady. I have the perfect tutors in mind." A smirk wormed it's way across his face.

I briefly thought back to when I first met him. I thought he was much like a captain, his words demanding to be commanded. I realized that I was right. This was obviously his turf and I felt powerless as I sat across his desk. I was completely and utterly at his mercy. I hated every second of it.

He wanted me to be like Lady Harringson, disciplined with a back as strong as a cooked noodle. That's how it seemed the women here were breed. He wanted me to obey, to break me like a horse needs to be broken.

I looked away from Theodore's face and rooted myself to the spot. I have never wanted to hit or possibly strangle a man as much as I did at this moment.

"Well?" He asked with a raised brow.

"What?" I must not've been listening.

"Do you agree?"

My lips pulled up into a smile as I held out my hand to shake, "Of course I do." My voice was so sugary that it could give people diabetes.

He stared at my hand and then my face, trying to find out my motive. He slowly reached out his hand and clasped it with my own. I made sure I gave a strong handshake before I jumped from my chair and walked to the double doors.

"And Blue."

I paused with my hand on the knob, "Yes?"

"If you don't find out who killed my brother I'll make sure you spend the rest of your days in an asylum, wondering if you really were just a crazy woman."

I turned fully to look at him, giving him my full attention.

I smiled. "Oh Theodore," for some reason he didn't like it when I used his real name and I loved the way the skin around his eyes tightened when I did, "I'm a woman of the future, ahead of my time." I smiled some more, "Don't threaten me too much."

My smile transformed into a smirk as I flung the doors open. I turned around one last time and blew him a kiss, "'till next time buttercup." I closed the door and scampered away, his shouts echoing after me.

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