Chapter 10:

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 84


Chapter Ten

November 3rd

12:44 AM

Benedict was busy working at his office, reviewing his last set of documents for the High Court. He was flabbergasted by the amount of paper work he had to audit and sign. Never in his life had he been so bogged down with bureaucracy.

His desk was littered with several stacks of documents. He noticed that those that were ready to be delivered to higher management were still on his outbox. Where was his assistant? Each of these set were deemed urgent, and needed to be addressed as soon as possible. There was no way he could have delayed any of his work because their deadlines were so close, and it kept him working late at night. What was more frustrating was that the documents needed to be handled with his eyes-only. Benedict could not even entertain the notion of delegating some of his tasks to someone else.

Interestingly, the Verdons clan was all somewhat involved with each of these set. Most of the documents came directly from Vincent Verdon’s jurisdiction. Benedict tried hard not to be suspicious, but it was very tough to do. He did not believe that this entire backlog was pure coincidence.

Racing to finish the last set, he signed and approved the documents and placed his pen on the final pile. Good riddance, he thought to himself. He gazed at his watch, and saw that it was November 3rd. Did Gabe have any news of Ally? Was there any advancement in their efforts? He stretched as he contemplated calling Gabriel right away. No better time than the present.

All at once, his office door opened swiftly and Arina, his assistant, arrived with her arms full of more documents. She walked over to him and dumped the set unceremoniously on his desk. In a fit of rage, Benedict leaned over and swept his arms across the table, sending dozens of documents flying across the room. “Enough!” He bellowed at his assistant.

Arina winced at his words and stared at him. Benedict groaned. The last thing he wanted was to yell at the poor girl. She was only doing her job and following orders.

Arina Verdon was a second cousin to Moira. Neatly dressed in a dark blue trouser suit, with her auburn hair styled in a short bob cut, she showed off a nicely framed face. Benedict had always trusted her. She had been his assistant for over half a decade, and despite his mood, he knew she was a damned good one, too. She was courteous, discreet, but most of all reliable.

“I beg your pardon, Mr. Voss?”

Benedict sighed as he rubbed his temples. It had been over five years, and still she refused to call him by his first name. He despised formalities. He did not need to be placed and ranked over others. Although with his recent display of emotion, he knew Arina would not be so quick to be on a first-name basis with him.

“It’s nothing, Arina. Forgive me; I’ve been awfully tired lately.”

Arina nodded and smiled weakly as she sorted the documents. Benedict was ashamed of himself. None of this was Arina’s fault, so he should learn to curb his temper. She was not the one who kidnapped Ally.

He stood and walked over to face his large office window. The weather looked bleak. The days were getting bitterly cold and the thick gray clouds seemed to have finally matched his tenor. With the crisp November cold, he hoped Ally was somewhere warm and safe.

He turned his back to the elements and regarded Arina, as she made neat, orderly stacks on his desk. These proceedings were tying him down, he thought. They left him no room to advance his search for Ally. He had heard no news of Gabriel and was starting to wonder if his secretary, Beatrice, was forwarding his messages. Furthermore, to complicate matters, he had less than 12 hours before his wedding with Moira.

Incidentally, Moira was currently on hiatus. She had not returned any of his phone calls since he last talked to her. It was rather futile of him to hope that she could somehow convince Vincent of delaying their wedding for another week, just so he could find Ally. Despite, having found and bonded with another woman, Vincent would still force him to uphold to his side of the bargain. No, he could not postpone the wedding any further. It was truly a done deal. Ally needed to be present.

God, he was a fool for signing that contract! Hadn’t Gabe warned him? If he were to give up his relics, he could no longer conjure magic. Magic inherited from his household. Magic that was unknown to anyone outside of his family. No vampire ever gave up his or her relics. On the other hand, he needed extra time to find Ally, and looking back, he did not regret risking everything to find her. She was worth it. Yet, here he was working on these useless documents. Were these papers more important than she was? Was he really wasting precious time signing off documents that in all honesty, could wait a few more days?

He shook his head. How stupid was he? To hell with his duties, Benedict had pressing matters to solve. As he gathered his coat and keys, he stopped and apologized once again to Arina for his harsh tone and behavior. Next, he started heading towards the door.

Arina gasped. “Where do you think you’re going? You have to finish your work here.”

Benedict froze mid-step. Was she giving him orders? Arina had never spoken back to him. “I must step out for a bit, Arina. I’ll be back shortly.”

“When?  As an executive, you have responsibilities, Mr. Voss.”

Ben was amused and he knew she was right, but to hell with it all. He wasted too much time already. With less than a day left, he needed to find Ally, get their union officiated, and annul his marriage with Moira.

“These documents can wait or miss their deadlines, Arina. I must find… Moira.”

At her name, Arina lightened up. It was completely understandable for Benedict to want to sneak out early from work to be with his fiancée.

Arina beamed a bright smile. “You, two, will be the most perfect couple on our realm. Is everything ready for tomorrow?”

“Um, you know, Moira, she probably has everything planned to the hilt.”

“Everyone’s talking about the ceremony, you know? I’m looking forward to it.”

“As am I.” He lied.

Benedict’s suspicions over the Verdons implications with the amount of paperwork he was receiving were confirmed. Arina, beyond any shadow of doubt, would have prevented him from leaving his office for any excuse. She was only lenient because she believed he was trying to find Moira.

He noticed that her stance visibly relax at her name. Did Arina know about Ally? Was she aware that he bonded with another and was hoping to annul his wedding? Everything was getting overly complex now. He no longer knew whom to trust. Was Gabriel right? Were the Verdons involved in this sordid mess? If they were, God helped them all.

At the spur of the moment, he wondered where exactly Moira was. He had tried getting in contact with her for almost three days now. Yet, he was to wed with her tomorrow? Something was not adding up. He wondered if Arina would know anything about her whereabouts.

“Arina, I have been trying really hard to get in contact with Moira. Do you happen to know where she is?”

Arina looked away. “It’s a secret, Mr. Voss. She fears you might see her dress or you might overhear some of the surprises she has planned for the wedding. She really wants her day to be special.”

Benedict’s eyes narrowed, with one brow raised. He knew Moira was not much into surprises. Also, even if it were true, he did not plan staying with her for long. He just wanted some information about her father.

“Ah, I see,” Benedict smiled softly at his assistant. “The problem is that I have an heirloom to give to her. I want Moira to wear a pearl necklace that has been passed down to each new wife who is to become a Voss.”

“R-really?” She breathed, mesmerized by romantic ideals.

“Yes. I very much hope to see it around her neck tomorrow. It would mean a lot to me.”

Arina considered Benedict’s words. It was all so romantic and lovely. The tale of two household joined by love and devotion. An heirloom signifying an immortal bond between husband and wife. It was so perfect, so wonderful, such a grand fairy tale!

Arina smiled at Benedict with sparkly green eyes. She was not going to prevent Moira from getting the necklace. She was delighted that she would be part of the wedding, helping both Houses to perfect their day.

“Ms. Verdon should be heading to Helena’s Bog.”

“Helena’s Bog? Wait, why?”

“She has a cottage there. I overheard her telling Mr. Verdon that she was going to the bog to settle a few matters before her big day.”

“She was here?! When?”

“Oh, well, she wasn’t here per say, but I heard her message on Mr. Verdon’s voicemail.”

Benedict nodded slowly. “Anything else?”

Arina frowned. “Well, to be honest with you, Mr. Voss, I’m not sure why she decided to spend her last days at the bog. It’s isolated, and the cottage is completely run down. Plus,” she whispered, “She’s bringing goons with her.”

Benedict went rigid with that announcement. What the hell was Moira doing at Helena’s Bog? Along with goons? He did not like this one bit.

“Thanks Arina. You’ve made my day.” He said as he rushed out of the room.

Submitted: August 22, 2011

© Copyright 2020 Merilly. All rights reserved.


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