Emil was on a mission, one that could prove to be more challenging that he initially assumed, but not impossible. He stood motionless in his hiding place and carefully watched the movements in
Wilmer castle's front garden. Even though it was still early in the morning and the sun had yet to spread its weak rays across the land, the servants were busy preparing the venue for the grand New
Year’s Eve party that was coming up in four days.
His eyes were mostly fixed on the lady who seemed to be in charge. The Wilmer’s housekeeper. She was middle aged, her dirty blonde hair was neatly tied into a bun and was secured under her hat and her clean clothing seemed classier than the rest of staff. She was yelling at everyone, shouting orders about garden and stable which were covered under the ice and snow. Emil needed her in order to make a success of his assignment.
Waiting patiently, he sought warmness by blowing into his hands. It had not been snowing anymore, but the frosty weather had turned the snow into an icy surface that made it hard for servants to move quickly. From time to time, someone would fall and make the housekeeper even more irritated and frustrated. She was not going to be an easy target, thought Emil.
He had done loads of missions for his master and never failed. He knew how to deceive, manipulate and if necessary, use violence in order to perform what he had been asked. After all, he was the best in the circle of guardians, which was why he was given the privilege to accompany master as his personal servant.
The master was his whole world, his idol, his god. Emil had never questioned his will; he always did as he was asked for because he strongly believed his wish should be granted at any cost. Last night was one of those rare occasions when he had not been able to please master to his best. He had worked nonstop to create a idealistic scene, but the damn cottage was too small, and despite his labours, the master was not satisfied.
Emil shivered from both chill and fear, as he remembered the fury in the master's eye. His honey coloured eyes turned darker and his black pupil reddened as he saw Emil's creation. He was fortunate that master decided to leave the cottage then and postponed his punishment, and when he came back, he seemed happy and overjoyed so his discipline was yet to come.
He was determined not to make the master disappointed again. From what he understood, his mission had a direct connection to the young lady his master desired now. The girl who was soon going to be Emil's mistress when she became his master's bride. So no matter what, he had to make sure this task was done properly.
A cold wind whipped on his tanned skin and he welcomed the goose bumps that were forming on his skin. Ten years of living in a hot and sunny climate had not been able to convert his love to his native taste. He felt a slight excitement at the thought of his home land, Romania. Soon they were going back and this time they could stay there forever, in the master's grand castle, close to where his village was. It was surrounded by high and freezing mountains that restricted access of strangers greatly. How he had missed the amazing landscapes of his home land, its rough icy weather and grey colours in winters and its enchanting springs that although short, were incomparable to anywhere else.
The sound of a young boy, running and shouting breathlessly towards the castle gates broke his day dream. He withdrew himself a little but then turned his attention to the young lad. Despite the long distance, he could hear him talking to the housekeeper as clear as if they were standing steps away. One of the benefits of feeding on Master's left overs.
As he listened, a smile crept on his lips. He might have finally found a way to get his master an invitation to Wilmer's household for that evening.
Annie woke up with a tingling sensation in her tummy, something she had never experienced before. As she opened her eyes and took in the familiar surroundings, she could not help but smile at the memory of her dream. The image of that sinful stranger was so vivid and clear that she could have sworn everything had happened in reality, but it was insane, a mysterious man making his way to her bedroom in the middle of a night. So it must have been a dream, but oh, such a sweet and delightful one. She impulsively touched the place on the bed, where the man had seated on in her vision and a delightful red colour spread on her cheeks as she reviewed every single second of his presence. Her skin tickled pleasantly when she caressed the places that were touched last night and she playfully licked and sucked on her bottom lip to stimulate the final kiss he had planted on her.
Frankly, that man, mysterious prince Sami, had occupied her mind from the first moment she saw him in cemetery. She was immediately charmed to a degree that she invited him to their New Year Eve’s party without being able to stop herself because she wanted to see him again. And now the handsome stranger was everywhere, in her mind, dreams, and gradually conquering her soul.
There was only one small problem. The man, his man, seemed to have an interest in her sister, Leyla. Annie could not be sure, but there was something about the way his eyes followed her sister with such warmness in them. Of course, the issue was not impenetrable; no man in his right mind would choose Leyla over her. She was well aware of the effect she had on men and her skills to play them like puppets.
A sharp pain in her forehead disrupted her daydreams. She instinctively touched her head and frowned when another scene from her dream cleared before her eyes. The man had been whispering something in her ears as he continued to tease her to the point of eruption, something twisted and dark and upsetting, but she could not remember his words. The pain was gone in a second but she was left confused and muddled.
The long case clock sang seven times, she needed to get up for breakfast or the Duchess would be annoyed. Her mother was always firm with her rules but she would deteriorate as the party drew closer, with her fame and reputation in having the best event in the country at stake, the Duchess would have no mercy on the slightest deviation from her strict orders, and to be present for the meals on time was one of her first priorities.
Annie sat by her vanity to brush her hair before changing her night gown when her eyes fell to her neck. Her beautiful blue eyes widened in fear and she put her hand on her ruby lips to muffle her scream. Frozen by what she was seeing, she touched the side of her neck to make sure it was real. The mark remained there on her brilliant white skin, like an ugly patch on a dazzling cloth as its red colour had a vivid contrast to her flawless neck and face. She shivered as she thought of the origin of this love bite. It could not be.. it was impossible…
A knock on the door startled her.
“Annie, are you still in bed?” it was Leyla, probably wondering why she had not shown for breakfast yet.
“I am almost ready; I shall join you in a moment.”
What could she do now? Her heart pounded in fear of how Duchess would react, she could envision her mother, her icy cold tone as she firmly questioned her about it, and what she would assume. Annie took another look at the shameful spot; no respected woman in their right mind would display such a disgraceful image to others, especially if she was single.
There was no time left, she ran to her wardrobe and took out a dress with high collar and chose a silky scarf to cover her shame. She did not care that her style seemed out of place for a day that she was supposed to stay at home; all she wanted was to cover the only sign that would make her wicked joyful dream, a reprehensible reality.
Black roses, symbol of love and death. It is petrifying how these two concepts are blended with each other, as if they are one. People seek one and run away from other without understanding that in order to taste the true meaning of love, there is only one way: to die.
I have carefully observed people in their final moments. Even those who are ready to sacrifice their lives for a loved one, at the last moment regret their decision. Thus, to be pure of any feelings that might overcome love, people should firstly die. That is why I am presenting three black roses to my beloved Leyla who will eagerly accept them from me to grant me her permission. Her consent to die and love and worship me afterwards for the eternity.
Standing by these mesmerising flowers, I am doubtful of which one to choose. I want to take the best one to my darling one, a rose that could convey my burning passion to her, one that she could cherish, take to her bedroom to preserve so she could remember me just by looking at it. I touch the velvety petals and try to make my mind up, while Leyla’s innocent eyes dance before me in my mind. Soon, those eyes shall only see and adore me.
I finally settle for a newly blossomed rose, its dark petals are not open fully yet, but the spellbinding sweet smell would be bound to enchant her. I take another moment before grabbing my gold headed stick and brilliant top hat and stepping out. Emil is waiting for me by the coach, as he smiled affectionately at my image and hurries to open the carriage’s door. I return his smile; after all, he had done an amazing job by earning me an invitation for tonight’s dinner at Wilmer castle.
I had to reward him for his good work. He followed Wilmer’s housekeeper to the village, where she was supposed to receive their ordered flowers and transport them to the castle in their own carriage, and arranged for an accident. With the housekeeper, desperate and petrified of her mistress, left in the middle of the road, he turned up with my coach and offered her a ride to the castle and she immediately accepted. The rest was easy; he had introduced himself as the Persian prince’s servant, explained about my wealth and status, and charmed her as best as he could. When they reached their destination, the Duchess was there, waiting for her precious flowers and with housekeeper explaining the events of that day, she ended up inviting Emil’s master for dinner, as a gesture of her appreciation.
Yes, Emil has done an excellent job, and I would never leave a good deed unrewarded. Tonight, after dropping me off in the castle, he can go back to the cottage where I left him something to enjoy. I know his taste, the young boy I hunted is not from the village and seemed homeless and alone, so I doubt anyone would ever miss him or look for him. I have drunk him a little, just to make him weak for my faithful Emil.
The carriage stops and I wait for the door to be opened. This is going to a very interesting night, a truly challenging time for me, as I will not be able to influence Leyla’s mind. She will be looking into my eyes, searching for a vision to satisfy her newly discovered fantasies, but alas, I can not give it to her this evening. She needs to wait for our fateful time to come.
I draw a deep breath to calm my nerves before entering the mansion. It has been a long time since I experienced nervousness. I tell myself that it will be easier than I assume, that she is half in love with me and it will not take long until she is walking into my cottage, in a bridal gown, offering herself to me. I shall then make love to her as I drink her revitalising blood and let her have a taste of mine in return. She will end her mortal life in my arms, sacrificing her virginity and blood to be my bride, my one and only mate.
I feel much better now, even though my body is highly aroused at the thought of being this close to her. I can smell her, feel her movements behind the walls, hear her heartbeats and almost taste her sweet lips on my tongue. It is time to present my sweetheart with her destiny.
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