Marionette Ada Books held the folds of her dress in her hands as she rushed through her father's Forest-side Manor, she could barely breathe because of the corset, but she wanted to speak to her father, Edwin Giles Books, right away. As Marionette dashed round a corner she slammed into someone. They quickly caught her before she fell, steadying her. "Miss Marionette, have I not told you many times not to run indoors?" Marionette blinked and backed away at the voice, knowing all too well who it was.
"Sorry Anderson, I am looking for my father, do you know where I might find him?" Sebastian Abram Anderson was the chief butler and he gave Marionette the creeps, she felt there was something not quite right with him.
Sebastian flashed her that strange smile of his, his single blue eye seemed to pierce into her soul. No one had ever seen his other eye, some of the servants thought he'd damaged it which was why he hid it. Ashamed, they said. "I am afraid the Master is out conducting business, Miss Marionette. I was looking for your so I could inform you of his departure, I am sorry that you were not up in time to catch him this morning." Marionette sighed but nodded, her father was always out on business trips, leaving her alone with the servants and Sebastian.
"Oh, I see. Thank you, Anderson." She wobbled slightly as her vision dimmed for a moment.
Sebastian took hold of her arm gently. "Miss Marionette, you still have not recovered fully from your feverous state, allow me to guide you to the dining room. You must be famished; you had not eaten for a fair few days." Marionette nodded and allowed the butler to guide her. As they walked, Marionette took a moment to glance at the butler's attire. He was wearing his usual set of clothes. He wore a pair of neat black dress shoes, black dress trousers, a neatly ironed white shirt, a black waistcoat and over that, a long black swallow-tailed coat.
Marionette couldn't help but wonder if Sebastian ever wore anything different, she'd considered asking her father, but compared to him Sebastian was a lowly servant so she supposed her father wouldn't know the answer.
Marionette then looked down at what she was wearing; it was a simple blue and white dress. The sleeves were short and slightly puffy; the bodice was squared off and was decorated by blue lace with white, slightly frilly, edges. Dark blue string criss-crossed the front of the dress and continued down to her waist, at which point the blue of the dress split off to the sides, revealing the longer whiter skirts. The blue layer was edged with white frills just as the lace was. The dress was most definitely one of Marionette's more subdued dresses.
Two servants pushed open the double doors ahead and Sebastian led Marionette through them, guiding her round the long table to her usual seat. He pulled the chair back and Marionette sat, hiding her smile as Sebastian strolled off to the kitchens. She'd tried smiling at him once before, but Sebastian's stoic expression hadn't even twitched. It had become a game for a while, a game Marionette had always lost. She'd continue to try and make the butler smile on many occasions, even going to the extreme as to pull pranks on him, but he never even got irritated. Sebastian would just nod and say; 'very good, Miss Marionette.' This little game had continued until her father had told her to stop messing about and to act more like a lady.
Marionette was pulled out of her thoughts when Sebastian placed a plate full of her favourite foods in front of her. "Thank you Sebastian." She sighed slightly, forgetting what she was told about calling the butler by his first name. Marionette almost corrected herself but stopped when she noticed that one corner of the butler's mouth was tugged up slightly. Sebastian was gone before she could comment on it.
Maybe he doesn't like being called by his second name all the time, maybe that's why he never smiles.
Marionette thought to herself, a smile pulling at her own lips. She gave a light shrug and began to tuck into the food. Once she was done, Marionette dabbed at her lips with a handkerchief, noting that though he had no funny bone, Sebastian was a brilliant cook. The cooks always made food, but if only one or two people wanted to eat, it became Sebastian's job.
Marionette picked up the little silver bell and rang it, summoning the all but monotone butler. Sebastian picked up her plates and started to head into the kitchens but Marionette called out to him, "Oh, and was that a smile you had a moment ago?"
Sebastian turned to her with a wicked gleam to his single blue eye. "I regret to say that it was not, Milady. Are you starting up that old game again?"
Marionette raised her head. "Perhaps I am. Will you tell father?"
He seemed to think this through for a moment and she thought he really would tell on her, but then a mischievous glint shone in his eye. "Not at all, Milady, let the game commence." With that he pushed the double doors open and stepped inside the kitchens.