Chapter 34

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A/N: Hi everyone!! Pleasure to see all of you back. Thank you those who dropped by to say hello. Good news and good news I bring (I'll leave it at the end though)...for now we get back to the main stuff :P

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I couldn't help but look down to meet his gaze—a dull, aged blue lacking in the golden glint it once boasted. It was as if all light was taken away, leaving a dark shadow in its place.

Meeting my eyes however, seemed to return something back to his passive expression.

With one effortless motion, Master had my harness severed from the leash connecting it.

"This one will not be sold or ever brought here again," he says in a threateningly calm voice.

The host literally kneeled to apologize as did the staff working there. Even some of the guests tried to hide their faces while others shifted uncomfortably in their seats.

He had always carried himself with domineering confidence, but the audience seemed to fear him even more now.

Without another word, he turned to walk out of the auction hall. I followed behind accordingly.

Only when we were outside did I dare speak up.

"Master."

Master stopped.

"Long time no see," I start nervously, unsure if I had the right to speak.

He turned to face me with an unreadable expression.

"And when did Evelyn learn to initiate small talk?" his melodic voice blocked out all the sounds from the nightlife around me.

The me of old would quickly apologize, but now I couldn't possibly see anything beyond his gentle greeting. He always had a way of poking fun at me unintentionally.

"Evelyn learnt a lot of things when she was away," I answer.

"I can tell," Master says softly. Immediately, a slight pain weighs in my heart.

Back then, he spoke with deliberate softness. Now, it simply seems because of exhaustion.

"Have you been well, Master?"

He nods and offers a meek smile.

"If I recall correctly, you no longer have to address me as that."

"Master, I-"

"Evelyn," he interrupts.

My eyes follow him as he looks distantly at the starry sky before letting out a heavy sigh.

"I don't deserve to be called that by you."

"Master, that's not true..." I find myself defending against his own statement and any traces of my previous resolve dissipates.

"I forbid you to address me as such again."

There was a great solemnity in his words that seemed to come from reflection of the years that had gone by between us.

He didn't have to say anything else for even the densest of us to know that he has suffered more than enough on his own.

Never would I have imagined, someone like me, could feel so sympathetic for a man who once garnered so much of my respect and admiration.

Hearing his words now, I finally understand. Master is saying these words for my own closure.

And here along, I believed that Master has long forgotten about the likes of me.

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