As Elle made her way outside towards the backyard, she wondered if there was something wrong with her or if she was doing something wrong. Did she come out as desperate or an easy call to men? Because certainly not everyone would approach her with the same sexual intent if she wasn't looking as if she was asking for it, right?
Being asked to be a mistress?
Never had she ever been insulted that way.
And the way his eyes had raked her body, she shivered even as she walked away from the hall and to where she hoped would a be a path to the garden. The man had eyed her as if she was meat hung on a hook, to be chosen and devoured as per one's preference. She had regretted not going for anything but a chemise within, mostly because the cold did not help how her body reacted, her nipples taut against the gown that exposed her cleavage.
The sense of being degraded to just a means for sexual pleasure in the eyes of others did a thing or two to her ego, in a bad way. Now she wondered whether she had in fact invited attention in that manner. Should she have worn that corset which she left behind? But wouldn't that have made her look more inviting?
She hated feeling this way. Hated them for making her feel this way.
And she had taken the right path, she thought as she stepped through the doors that led to the backyard. When the dinner had been announced, she had fled the opposite way from where the dinning room was prepared for the population gathered in the mansion. She had no desire to again see that merchant.
The backyard was as mesmerizing as the rest of the mansion, and she almost forgot the ill treatment as her keen eyes started noticing the garden.
There were stone pathways that led into the garden where perfectly trimmed bushes were serving the goal of separating the different parts of the large garden. One path led to a white marble fountain situated right in the center of the garden, another one pated from the main pathway to lead her to what was definitely a pond. As her desperate feet carried her to the small water body, she turned her head to see a not so small gazebo surrounded by floral bushes, vines grew on the pillars, the ones with white and blue flowers.
By the pond she spotted a tea table with two wooden chairs and took rest on one of them. The sight of the pond with it's greenish water and smooth surfaced stones was enough of a distraction to look past a hunger gnawing at her stomach. Wine was not enough to quench solid hunger, definitely not of a vampire who had not fed for more than a week. She sighed as she noticed the golden fish swimming in the calm water, flirting with the weed growing inside.
And then again her mind started playing those dirty tricks with her. She was back to the moment when the merchant had that smug and proud smile on his face while demanding she be his mistress. Saying that he was kind enough to offer her the station of being his personal mistress, as if he was offering her the world instead of asking her to be his personal fuck toy. As if her life had nothing in it but to be used that way. He hadn't expected her to say know, in fact, he had been ready to see her tearing up at the opportunity.
The wealthy could never see beyond their egos and power.
The wealthy would nae share a penny for the wisdom and thoughts of the poor.
And Orion had left her alone in between such wealthy people. She was disappointed at the least, fuming angry at the worst. How dare he! She could not expect the Lord himself to give her company, he was the monarch after all. But Orion was more than an aristocratic acquaintance, he was a friend. And he knew very well how uncomfortable she was around the likes of them.
In fact, one of the reasons she had chosen to apply for the job was because she wanted to put that discomfort and fear beyond he-
The first of the sounds came from her right, indicating a presence in the shadows. She did not turn in the direction of the sound, not to make him aware that she knew of his arrival. Considering that he had chosen to stay and camouflage in the dark corners, whoever it was, was not a guest with good intentions.
A man from inside? Probably hoping to get her alone and unprotected?
She discarded that idea when she felt another presence behind her, a few feet away, by the footfalls she knew he was crouched to hide himself in the small bushes.
Another one she sensed hiding himself behind an apple tree.
She clenched her jaw and gripped her skirt as adrenaline and fear sharpened her senses, to the point where she could hear their forcefully controlled breaths, hear the almost nonexistent noises they made with they movements and smell their masculinity and colognes.
These were professionals on a task.
When she sensed another across the pond and in the hiding, she knew she would have to resort to her old ways if she wanted to escape alive. Everyone else was inside and she could scream but her conscience told her that if she moved in anyway, the closest one to her would unhesitantly slit her throat.
Her skin started to buzz with warning, her blood heating with anticipation of what was to come. She would have o fight and her mind was already look around to see if she could use anything as her weapon. The adrenalin rush was so high with caution that her ears had started to hum, but she had been in this position for so many times before that she was trained and prepared to deal with the approaching danger.
Her body put her mind in the recess and took control on times as such, working as if on autopilot to protect her. Even when she is always aware of the decisions she took and moves she made, always knowing what to do and how to attack, there was never a guarantee that she could win. If all of them were men? They were naturally stronger and would easily dominate her.
She sensed them moving, heard the rustles they evoked as they stalked..
Did they have weapons?
Closer.., they were coming closer.
How would they attack? Did they have a plan in place?
More closer, close enough that the beat of their erratic hearts was strong as drum beats to her sensitive ears.
She readied herself, her claws elongating and her fangs descending. She might not be left hungry after all.