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   Chapter 11 Death by Luxury

My Scythe-Wielding Husband By JMFelic Characters: 24213

Updated: 2019-08-19 12:41


Once they landed and transferred to an eight-door black limousine, Solene had not had the chance to speak with the Lord anymore. The moment he entered the vehicle, the constant ringing of his mobile phone regarding business matters didn't give Solene an opening to broach the earlier subject. Sure this disappointed her, but expecting she'll be spending time with him more and more, she decided to bury her inquiry temporarily. Instead, she rerouted her attention to the view past her side of the window, allowing herself to acquaint with the new country she was in. But even with the fresh touristy look of the streets, shops and the scenic spots they passed by, she couldn't peel her focus away from the man beside her. His voice reverberated all over the small space, confining her ears to his manly sound. Adding to her dilemma was his scent: a mixture of cologne and something delightfully masculine, teasing her nose to take a deep breath. She certainly hadn't noticed such aroma in the many times they had met, and she thought maybe it was potent now because of the confined space.

In the twenty minutes drive, she tried hard to keep her attention away from her husband-to-be. When in those moments that she really did have an enjoyable time watching the forests and beaches along the way, she couldn't help but make a delighted sound within her throat. This time, it was Henri who stopped mid-talking and listened to the wondrous sound. A ghost of a smile would appear then, satisfaction crossing his face at Solene's happiness.

By the time they arrived in the Rantzen Estate, it was already past seven in the evening. Female servants scurried to fetch Solene's luggage while she and the Lord disembarked the car.

A long line of servants in two rows stood waiting at the entrance of the massive mansion. Solene saw a tall, less muscular middle-aged man in a butler outfit bow down before them when they both climb up the steps. The other servants wearing white and maroon uniforms followed his lead. One short, chubby Mexican woman however, stepped out of the line and beamed a smile.

"Oh my goodness! Is that her?!" she cried out giddily, her expression throwing a question towards the Lord.

"Try to tone it down, Mrs. Su. She's not used to your ways, " Henri answered whilst he continued entering the colossal foyer of the building. He left Solene in a hurry without even as a parting glance or a heads up.

"Well I for one know she'll be happy with a motherly hug, " the woman named Mrs. Su muttered to herself. "Come here, mi hija, " she continued as her arms spread wide.

Solene, although feeling awkward, threw in a smile and let herself get smothered by the warm greeting of the woman. Her eyes cast a cool look at Henri's back though, finding the quickness of his leaving her a rude action. He was followed by the butler earlier like a puppy on a leash.

"I'm Mrs. Maribeth Su, Head Governess of the Rantzen Household. You may call me Mrs. Su or Beth for short, " the woman stated once she withdrew.

Solene smiled at her and nodded. "A pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Su."

"Come, I know you are famished. I whipped up some delights for you to devour."

Mrs. Su guided her inside the foyer by the shoulder. Once they were inside, Solene didn't have the time to gape at the grandness of the place as the Head Governess directed her attention to another line of servants standing near the base of the grand stairs bowing towards her.

"This is Cassandra, my assistant head, Chef Monroe the Head Chef of the family, and this is Patricia, your personal attendant, " Mrs. Su informed, stretching her arm to each person mentioned.

Solene lowered her head briefly and smiled at each of them. "A pleasure to meet you all."

She noticed one servant though who seemed to look at her with suspicion and dislike. It was the assistant head. Cassadra as she was named.

Solene ignored this though, thinking such a greeting was expected for her who still was a stranger to the house.

"Come now, mi hija, let me take you to the dining room."

Patricia, the personal attendant of Solene followed them as they walked past the grand staircase and into a double door room in the far left of the foyer. This room was lit with enough lights Solene could easily notice the overly prepared feast on the table.

"Isn't Henri going to eat?" was the first question that popped out of her head. She couldn't eat such food alone. The selections were just too much.

"No mi hija, he usually prefers to dine in his office, " answered Mrs. Su with honesty. She pulled a chair with textured black finish situated at the center of the rectangular table and gestured at Solene. "Don't take it personally. He is a busy man after all. Now, come and take a seat."

Solene waved her hand in the air and scoffed. "No, it's not a problem at all, Mrs. Su."

She claimed the chair and sat on it with her overall bearing prim and poised.

"You'll be introduced to the rest of the Rantzen Family later tonight, " Mrs. Su stated next to her with kind eyes. "There is a gathering in your honor so you better eat now and rest, and later, Patricia will prep you up for the party."

From a few feet away, Patricia nodded in the most refined manner she could make. Her black hair was done in a bun and she wore black pencil skirt and a gray embroidered blouse. She was petite, with a button nose and shy pale lips.

Solene however quickly shook her head. "A party is really unnecessary, Madame."

Mrs. Su tsk'd and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder.

"The Master doesn't think so. He has planned everything himself down to the bedroom slipper to make your stay here as smooth as possible."

With this, Solene was caught off-guard.

"Oh, he did, did he? That's thoughtful of him, " she stated, but at the back of her mind, she questioned why he would go through such great lengths when he could have just hired someone to do it all.

"Well, you are his bride after all, " exclaimed the Head Governess with a proud grin.

*

*

*

"Milady Solene, this is your room, " Patricia informed as they both stood in front of a large door some time after Solene finished dining. They were in the third floor of the mansion, west wing, where all important family members were to reside.

Solene nodded her understanding as she admired the intricately carved ferns and flowers of the door. The maid servant twisted the doorknob and in they went when the heavy wood was pushed back.

The first thing Solene noticed as they entered the room was the space. The receiving room was definitely larger than her bedroom back at Germaine. The space could easily become a dance floor with a hundred people inside. Next that caught her attention was the modern fireplace already lit with fresh logs and the geometric light fixtures in the center of the ceiling. They spoke of sophistication, of good taste. It spoke of her.

The floor to ceiling windows were covered with black and white damask curtains, much to her eyes' pleasure and this color scheme was continued inside the bedroom when Solene checked the area. The beddings were white and red and the pillows of the same color. Their Lord really had done a good job in choosing her favori

pected you'd likely leave early, " he leaned against the marble balustrade and crossed his arms over his chest.

"You're pretty observant, Henri." Solene raised a brow. She caught a whiff of his scent again. It was teasing her sense of smell. Painstakingly, she controlled herself from biting her lip. This man was going to be her husband soon... Probably letting herself get acquainted with his smell would help her dilemma.

Henri nodded again and grinned. "Yes, I am. Very."

"I hope you're honest too. Can I ask you a question?" Solene shot back.

"I'll try my best to answer. Ask away."

"This arrangement of ours, why?" There, she finally found the right time to ask him again. "Since my father died, my mother spoke nothing other than I was already promised to the Rantzen Family. To their Lord. Well... to you. She kept reminding me of it. But, why?"

Henri stared at her for a moment, his lips pressed into a thin line. A tick on his brows appeared then, but it was so brief Solene could hardly read it as an expression of displeasure. Then, he straightened his spine and faced her squarely.

"This is a surprise. I actually expected you'd know already why you were betrothed to me, " he stated, eyes hooded with an unreadable emotion.

She huffed and this time, she was the one who had her arms crossed.

"It appears my family had been keeping secrets from me. The question is why? Will you answer me then and enlighten me?"

She stared at him without blinking; showing just how serious she was, but Henri just shook his head, his eyes not a single hint of mirth.

"And take your family's right to break the news to you?" he questioned. "I think that's unwise. If they hadn't told you the truth then I see no reason to tell you too. Let them break it to you first and I'll fill in what's left."

He stepped forward and touched her face past the disappointment that marred it.

"I like this side of you though, " the Lord stated. "You're still innocent. Fiery, but innocent. I'd love to keep it as is until your family's revelation."

"Should I take your words as a compliment?" Solene moved her head back and away from his touch. It wasn't really a sign that she detested his touch, but a natural reflex. No man had actually touched her that intimately.

Henri considered her words for a second. He glanced up at the full moon of the sky and then cracked up a knowing grin.

"You would realize it is a compliment when you finally open your eyes to your surroundings. Everything is not always as they seem, my bride."

Solene grinned back and scoffed.

"I'm not as innocent as you thought me to be. I studied Psychology with special consideration to Thanalogy for a reason, Henri."

"And what may that reason be, Solene?" he asked, sounding genuinely curious.

She was an honest woman, but on this occasion, she couldn't tell him that seeing an otherworldly entity back as a child was the reason why she studied that special discipline.

"I won't give you the satisfaction to know, " she dodged, giving him a smooth alibi instead. "You failed to enlighten me after all." She walked towards her bedroom door, looking as if leaving but then she stopped right on the threshold, turned around and looked at him again.

"Let's call it a night. I'm sure you're tired too from the flight. Good night, Henri."

It was obvious. She didn't want their conversation continued, but instead of taking offense, Henri just walked towards the door, an upward tug on the corner of his lip evident.

When he stopped right on the threshold too, Solene's heartbeat spiked up. She wasn't quite sure what had made it, but she actually anticipated he'd give her a kiss goodnight.

He stood now inches away from her, too close for her comfort. As a reflex, she stepped back but then she steeled herself and considered, why does she need to be coy with him when he would become her husband soon? Everything was inevitable. Even a goddamned goodnight kiss.

Henri extended his arm and touched her cheek. He thumbed her cheekbones slowly, tenderly whilst they made eye contact. Solene didn't want to blink, seeing the simple act of blinking would show she was intimidated. Plus, his gaze held her still. It was as if he had power over her that she couldn't quite understand.

"Unfortunately, I have an unending work waiting for me, so I can't say I'll be resting anytime soon, but I'll leave you to your rest, Solene." He pulled back whilst his stare turned deeper. "Have a good sleep, Little One, " he added, gave her a parting smile and then left.

Solene remained silent as she watched him go. Weird of him to call her that, but the subconscious part of her told her she had heard that pet name in the past.

Oh yes, she did.

And it was particularly on that faithful night when her father died.

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