𝔗𝔥𝔢 𝔊𝔲𝔢𝔰𝔱

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"Davyid!" Lady Sutherton desperately searched for her husband. She moved violently in her pursuit, her heels ramming against the floors as she darted past various corridors running around the house. As fast as she moved, it seemed she just couldn't seem to pin down her husband's location no matter where she hunted.

"Have you seen, Lord Sutherton?" she asked a nearby maid dusting off a vase.

The maid shook her head, watching puzzled as Lady Sutherton continued to rush like a woman without a head.

"Davyid?!" she shouted, increasing her voice with every shout. "Davyid!" She went from room to room, bursting open door after door.

"Have you seen my husband?" She anxiously questioned every person she passed by. "Have you seen, Davyid! Has anyone seen my husband!" she screeched like her throat was split open.

The truth was startlingly clear to her that something, as per usual, needed to be done about their daughter, and it needed to be done immediately.

"Davyid?" She pushed open his study quarters to reveal a brightly lit and well-decorated room; along with the golden glazed walls rays of sunlight flowing in from the windows. And there was the pleasant smell of fresh-brewed tea and pressed quill ink in the air. Yet, she could not and would not be pleased by the sights or scents.

Desperate, she went in circles around the room searching for a hint of the square outline of his figure, the thick smoke trails of his cigar, or the cold glacial sound of his taciturn mechanical voice.

"How convenient, Mister Ezra."

Chills. She got cold chills upon hearing a familiar man's voice.

"Davyid?" she questioned, finally finding her husband. Her eyes followed the study's open veranda patio doors.

He was seated at the outdoor roundtable. It was something she handpicked out herself. She thought the chalk-white roundtable and ornate chairs were perfect for the setting; upon stepping out from the study one would enter a garden enclave area. There were white rose bushes, white marble stone walkways, and the occasional flight of the manor's snow-white doves.

She had planned the whole area out even going as far as to help breed the doves herself. The intent was to create a place of refuge for her husband from his work. Yet, she never once expected to find him in such a place.

In fact, she was a little more startled by the sight.

"Davyid." She approached him, confused about his location yet relieved to finally find him. "What are you doing here?"

She examined his face for signs of illness, but then she caught sight of papers in his hands and more documents on the table. Had that not been there she would have found more terror in that than the situation with her daughter.

"You know, I have been looking all around for you!" she snapped, still shaken and struggling to catch her breath.

Silent and unresponsive, he gradually set his sight on her. For a moment, he observed her and after that moment, a disapproving furrow scrunched up his frown.

The woman was the epitome of disaster; her once neat and silky pressed-down brown hair stood atop her head with a life of its own. Spikes of wavy brown strands were a ratted nest sticking up left and right, while her bangs were splattered on her forehead. Stress lines dotted her exhausted face. Her makeup was smudging and smearing, leaving pigmented streaks on her cheeks and lips. Her clothes were no exception. On her dress, deep wrinkles were forming, and sweat leaked into the expensive sheen of the fabric.

He could not describe her as a mess---she was much worse than that.

"What is the matter, Anya?" He looked away, his voice unfeeling and without concern.

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