Chapter 10

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The next morning, Kat was still in a foul mood, and moped around the house. She wandered down the halls with her head in the clouds, and she spent many hours figuring out how she was going to get home and she didn't realise that she had wandered off into an unknown part of the townhouse. It was mainly dark and covered with cobwebs. Giant white blankets covered furniture, and there was a general musky smell. 

Her curiosity got the best of her and she kept exploring the mysterious wing of the house. She soon found her way to a room with big wooden double doors, and she creaked one of them open. The room was too dark, but there was enough light for her to make out tall curtains on one side of the wall. Kat pulled them all open to reveal tall and wide windows that let in lots of light, making the room seem airy and light. 

She walked around the room. It seemed like a drawing room like the one she found herself in when she had first arrived, but this one had been completely shut up. The roof was high and there was a grand piano forte in one corner of the room, covered in a sheet of fabric like all the furniture. Covered up in blankets there were couches and coffee tables, but the one thing that was not covered up was in the very far corner, it was an easel. 

There was a canvas on it with the foundations of a painting on it, Kat could tell that whoever they were, the painter was trying to paint a city landscape, she guessed the one outside the window of the street behind the house. There were paints in little pots on the floor around the leg of the easel, and empty canvases of different sizes were piled up against each other and propped up against the wall.

She was extremely happy and discarded the used canvas carefully in a corner before placing a clean one on the easel. She had an idea of what to paint, and dipped her brush into the pot, breaking the layer of dried paint on top, before painting the colours on the canvas. She got caught up in the time, and she hadn't realised how much had passed until a maid burst open the door, panting.

“Excuse me m’lady, your mother is looking for you.” The maid looked around the room before gasping and realising something.

“You're not meant to be in here, m’lady”

Kat furrowed her brows in confusion, but decided ultimately to ignore her. She turned back to her painting, but the maid stepped forward.

“M’lady, you have guests, Lord Hartford and his father are on their way. You need to get ready.”

“Just let me finish this little bit of my painting, and then I'll make my way to my room to get ready.”

The maid seemed to believe her white lie, and she nodded with satisfaction and left the room. Kat continued her painting, and she painted for what seemed like five minutes, but she realised the time when she was once again interrupted, this time by Lord Eric Hartford, who chuckled when she turned around covered in paint.

“What are you laughing at, sir!”

She placed the brush down on the easel, and placed her hands on her hips, but as she did she realised she had paint on her fingertips, and that she had transferred it onto her lovely crisp white muslin dress. She then realised it wasn't just on her hips, but there were strokes of paint and splatters from her less than careful painting technique, all over her dress. Eric burst into laughter at her bewilderment, before reaching up to her face and rubbing off more paint that was on her nose, but his hand lay on her cheekbone, as he stared into her eyes. He began to move closer, and Kat felt her heart began to beat faster, and she felt herself inch her face towards his. His hand moved to hold her jaw, and suddenly Kat was back to her senses. She placed her hands on his chest and pushed him away, her brows furrowed.

“What the hell was that?!”

Eric stood with his mouth open, and he blinked a couple times.

“I-I don't know I-” he stammered
“I just, I don't know, it was just instinct.”

Kat felt her heart flutter, she didn't know what was coming over her, she couldn't begin to like this man, this was not her world, this was not meant to be. She rushed out of the room, her head and heart at war with one another, but she found herself crashing straight into Lady Abigail who looked extremely cross.

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