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   Chapter 7 Honeysuckle Sweet

I Thirst For You By JMFelic Characters: 24145

Updated: 2018-09-06 22:27


Amanda woke up early the next morning feeling refreshed. With her night clothes on, she stood up and neared the French door of the balcony. The outside showed the cheerful sky of light blue and yellow-orange. She inhaled deeply and smiled.

She maybe in the witness protection program, but that didn't mean she can't tour the castle grounds freely.

Taking an early bath was the first step to it so she did that in a classy bathroom accessible just a few strides away from the bed. By the time she finished and exited with a towel wrapped around her body, breakfast was already laid in the coffee table, the bedroom door was open, the thick curtains were drawn to the sides, and the early morning light shone through.

There was a new maid busily fixing her bedding, but she seemed to be immersed with the rock music in her headphones.

"Uh, good morning?" Amanda stated, standing near the bathroom door and looking at the maid with brows drawn up.

The young lady in a clean ponytail didn't respond.

Amanda tried again but this time, she neared the maid and waved her hands.

"Good morning?"

The maid, wide eyed, almost immediately pulled her headphones out. "Oh shhi...eez, I'm sorry, I didn't notice you Madame O'Malley. Good morning too."

She lowered her head and attempted an ill-timed, unpracticed curtsy.

Amanda just smiled at her and tilted her head. "Just call me Caitlin please and don't be formal. I prefer you to act normal Miss..."

"I'm Arissa. Arissa Lee, Madam-ahh...Miss Caitlin, " the maid corrected quickly.

Amanda raised her hand for a handshake to which the latter accepted, albeit hesitantly.

"Don't be stiff. Loosen up. I'm no guest in this castle."

"Uh, you are Miss Caitlin, " Arissa stated, "As per Sir Jerome's words."

Amanda crossed the space and went to her luggage lying on the floor next to the vanity mirror. She squatted and opened it, careful not to spill the contents.

"Yes, speaking of him, where is he by the way?"

The maid seemed taken aback. "Oh? He didn't tell you?"

Amanda cocked a brow at her. "No. Why? Where is he?"

But then a knock on the door sounded catching both of their attention.

"Good morning Madame O'Malley, " greeted a pixie-haired woman wearing a below-the-knee pencil skirt, printed blouse with ruffles and a thin-framed reading glass. She had visible wrinkles in her eyes, most likely of old age, but she didn't look senile at all. She admitted herself in the room and bent her head by the time she was a couple of paces away from Amanda.

"Uh, good morning too, " Amanda replied after standing up. "But please, do call me Caitlin."

"I'm sorry, but I cannot do that Madame. You are, as per Jerome's instructions, a special guest of the Family. I am permitted only to be formal with you."

Amanda sighed. "I see. May I know your name please?"

"Lady Varsha Granger, at your service." She bent her head again.

To Amanda, this submissive action could only mean one thing: the woman maybe the next-in-command, second to the Head Majordomo. Her overall aura actually was a giveaway clue for it.

"Jerome isn't available for the time being, so I'll be the one to supervise your stay here, " Lady Granger informed. "Since Master Cord failed to brief you about the rules of the house last night, he ordered me to tell you now. He said that you maybe his guest here, but you are still expected to respect and follow the rules."

Amanda crossed her arms over her chest. She was still in her bathrobe, her hair still damp and she literally had no knickers on, but to get it over with, she sat at the edge of the bed and said, "Enumerate them then."

Lady Granger gazed at her from head to bare feet and said, "I suggest you change first Madame. I can tell you then while you're eating breakfast."

This produced a wide, relieved smile from Amanda. "Thank you."

She pulled out a comfortable get-up to wear from her luggage: a denim shirt, black jeans and black ankle boots and for ten minutes, she readied herself inside a walk-in closet connected to the bathroom. She applied light make-up and tied her hair up in a high ponytail for a clean look - something that she had been accustomed to doing on normal days.

She settled in front of the coffee table for her breakfast and the governess didn't waste time on enumerating all that she needed to discuss with her.

"Like the Master mentioned, he forbids you to roam around unaccompanied." Lady Granger stood up straight in front of Amanda, no note in hand, only a mental list of the rules of the castle having known it by heart.

Amanda quietly drank her cranberry juice.

"You are not allowed to enter the Family wing and that is the North wing of this castle Madame. You shan't wander around the castle at night. You shan't wander in the gardens at night too. Basically, stay in your chamber at night unless summoned by the Master."

Amanda's brow drew up. What does she mean by that? Another daunting dinner with him perhaps?

"When you need something, call for your maid-in-waiting, " the governess continued and then gestured for the one mentioned standing close behind them.

"This is Arissa, your new companion, as Dayana is...indisposed of as of the moment."

"Hmm? Why? What happened to her?" Finally, Amanda broke her silence. She had just met the sweet girl yesterday night yet she already felt a strong sisterly connection with her.

Lady Granger shook her head and pulled a firm expression. "That's also one of the rules Madame. You aren't allowed to question the comes and goings of the people here. As much as possible, keep your observations to yourself."

Amanda wasn't let down with the warning. "I just want to know if she is fine."

"She is fine, " was the latter's only answer.

"Oh, then that is a relief to hear." Amanda felt rudely cut-off, but didn't linger on it. She diverted her sights on the fresh bowl of blueberries, picking one and then slipping it inside her mouth.

The governess smiled, contented that Amanda didn't push through with the Dayana topic.

"Anyway, I will leave Arissa to take care of you. Do you have anything else you need from me Madame?"

Amanda looked up and smiled at her. "Nothing at all Lady Granger, but I want to ask if I can tour the interior of this castle and its gardens? It would be a great way of killing the time since, you know, I'm practically imprisoned here."

Lady Granger bent her head. "No problem at all Madame. Arissa here will accompany you."

"Right, " Amanda nodded on the maid's way.

*

*

*

The governess left thereafter. Amanda finished her breakfast and after checking her cellphone for messages or miscalls, she left with the maid by her side. Matteo texted her informing about his intent on talking with Chief Moretti. Amanda only replied a good morning and a thumbs up icon on him. Noman also texted, but only greeted her a good morning and a heart emoticon. She sent him back the same.

"I work here as a part-time maid, day-shift. I needed the money for my college fees soon, " Arissa answered when Amanda asked about her employment status inside the castle. They strolled out of the second floor hallway and

her mind. "Yes, she did, but she didn't mention about not touring the throne hall."

Cord sighed and closed his eyes briefly.

"Yes, of course. I should probably add that in the list."

Amanda released an amused short laugh. "So I'm right. You really are an uptight person."

Cord cocked a brow, his blindfolded eyes trained on her and her alone. "What else do you think I am?"

"You're a recluse."

"Hmmhh..." He gestured his hand for her to go on and Amanda did, having the courage to be frank.

"You like keeping info to yourself. You are a secretive guy."

"That's a given. It runs in the family, Sweetness. What else?"

This time, he stood up and even without the support of his cane, he was able to manage nearing her with fluid, sure strides.

Amanda, for some reason, didn't move. She felt her feet nailed on the floor.

"You-you have a ridiculous taste for pets. Hey! By the way, where is that panther?"

A curve of what looked like a smile appeared in Cord's mouth.

"Hunting. Hungry like his Master, " Cord replied. "What else Amanda? What else do you think of me?"

He continued closing in on her.

"And a ridiculous taste for clothes, " she went on, voice in the borderline of trembling.

"I'd be willing to strip naked if that's what you want, " he suggested nonchalantly. "Maybe when you see what I look like under this coat, you'll find it more...pleasing to the eye."

Amanda immediately shook her head and blinked many times. "You know that's not what I meant."

"I know, " Cord whispered.

When he was just inches away from her, she didn't move. He didn't know where she stood. He could always pass her by and walk straight towards the massive pillar behind her.

But.

But to her surprise, his right hand shot straight to her back and stayed there firmly as he pushed her against his chest.

Her breath hitched.

"Take your hand off me, Mister Vitalis, and step away, " she ordered without missing a beat despite the hammering of her heart. Her hands remained in the sides, rigid, afraid to push him back. Afraid to touch him.

The muscles of Cord's jaw tensed. Shit. The contact of their skin brought bolts of delightful electricity throughout his entire body. It fucked up his senses.

Could she feel this too? A thought crossed his mind.

Their eyes locked in an unblinking duel — or at least only on Amanda's side for she was without blindfold. She could feel his orbs trained straight on her though and this created so much unwelcomed emotions no man of proper eyes had ever done before.

He inhaled and exhaled, the warmth of his breath tickling Amanda's face. She shuddered because of it.

He inhaled again, this time moving his nose a little towards her exposed neck. Shit. To him, the torment was unbelievably real.

He opened his mouth but it was not to welcome his stretching fangs. It was to respond with clarity, "I will, but promise me next time, please let your hair down. Cover that bewitching neck of yours."

As quick as his hand came to slip around her back, it was the same when he released her. He turned around and urged himself back to the safety of his seat.

Amanda felt relief immediately wash through her, but she asked, "Why? What's wrong with my neck?" genuinely innocent, and this made Cord pause abruptly from his walk.

"It'll be the cause of someone's downfall Amanda, of insanity, of all things fucked up, " he answered over his shoulder.

"Oh, you love to speak in riddles huh?" she stated, taken aback by his choice of words. What did he mean by those, she didn't know and she had no plan on finding out.

She watched him climbed up his regal seat as if it was normal for him. As if he wasn't even blind at all.

"Go, Amanda..." he paused, - before I lose myself - "Before I tie you up against one of this hall's pillars as punishment, " he continued after choosing his words correctly.

She felt the burn in her cheeks then.

How could he say that?!

This time, as promised, he wasn't acting rude, but he was threatening her like any Master would do to his subjects.

This got her all riled up.

With a huff, she stomped her foot and turned around. "No. Don't worry, I'll see myself out, " she said without looking at his way.

*

*

*

Cord listened to her quick footsteps as she retreated. By the time the door of the servants' kitchen slammed shut, he released a breath. A long, deep one.

As what his hands had been aching to do, he finally touched the woman for the first time.

For the very first time. And fuck, it felt so good.

His fangs extended, cutting his bottom lip twice. Blood trickled and he licked it clean without delay.

He palmed his face, his blindfold, his mouth and cursed under his breath, "Shit. Why did I touch her?"

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