"So, my darling, do you have any idea who it might me?" Lord Damien asked her. Elle was sitting in his study, her hands fiddling with the ends of her curls as she looked up at his face. His eyebrows were drawn close in a negligible frown which was there nevertheless. He was sitting on the desk instead of his chair, his legs crossed at his knees and his arms likewise resting on his chest. He looked worn out, his hair all messed up and a beard just growing out.
He looked as attractive as he always did, making her heart race as stubborn memories him cradling her in his thick arms flooded her mind. She could not recall each and every incident with clarity, but her body sure did remember the feel of his flesh against her skin, his warmth still lingering on her hide.
"I do not know, Milord." Her voice was small as she spoke, her eyes unable to hold his gaze as they kept shying away.
"Has any attack like this happened before?"
Elle did not know how to answer that. Of course Elle had enemies out there. She had killed before and surely her targets, deliberate or deserving as they might've been, they must have had relatives or friends who would seek revenge.
Apart from that, how was she to explain him that even when she was a child, vampires had been trying to kill her. And what about her aunt? Elle never saw her aunt after that incident, but did that mean that her aunt was gone for good in the dead sense?
And not to forget those angry ladies who held grudges against her for no legitimate reason at all. She hoped that none of those were actually intent on having her dead. Regardless, all of that had indeed resulted in people hurting her.
"Yes," she replied with her eyes staring at the carpet below to avoid his eyes. "I do not know who might've ordered the last ambush though. I won't lie, I was a practically a stray and street life always brings hostility. I do not have any count of those who've raised a dagger at me."
"I see. Elle, can you recall if there were any who would go to this length to have you gone?"
Elle tried to recall and her mind raced through all the times that she had to fight with others. From back when she had to steal so she could tame her noisy stomach to when someone tried to rape her for the first time and she had bloodied her hands. The one thing that stuck in her mind was when her aunt Freya had rushed her out. About how men had come looking for her specifically, how her aunt had defended her.
"Milord, I know not of anyone as such. But can I ask you a favor?"
"Go ahead." he stood up at that, pushing at the desk with his palms and taking slow steps to stand before her.
It was a relief to see her again, from the moment she had stepped into his office he had been washed over by a sense of comfort that only a few things brought in his life. That and his hands itched to touch her. Her smell was no longer fresh in his nose, and all he could think about was settling his face in the crook of her neck. God it felt like an eternity since he had held her.
She looked up at him from beneath her lashes, her eyes those sparkling jewels that had him hostage. Her damp hair was a little tamed than how he loved to see her, and so were her clothes, now he preferred her naked.
He craved the way her body had molded against his in that bathtub, the way her soft skin dipped and slimmed, it was as if she was meant for him to seek his solace in.
As he stood in front of her, he seemed to notice everything about her. From her awkward fiddling to her shy blush and how her eyes danced over him. There was a certain pride in knowing that a woman had such an innocent interest in him, uninfluenced by his position or his wealth, just for him.
"What do you want, my Elle?" his keen eyes did not miss how she blushed a little darker, the cherry hue spreading all over her face was definitely something to marvel upon. As if she adored the way he called her his own, but of course, he had indeed claimed her. And looking at her now sitting in front of him, he had no doubts about why she should belong to him.
He would trap that marvelous beauty in paints and vibrant colors, a painting for his bedroom, perhaps a naked portrait.
"Milord, I think my aunt continues to live," he frowned at her words, " If we seek her and in fact managed to find her, I think we might know who is after me."
"Why do you say so? Is there some reason why you think she might be knowing about the attack?"
As far as Aiden had informed him, her aunt went by the name Freya, and an introvert that she was she seldom socialized or openly partook in the activities and fests of the town. The only time she really did interact with others was when she came out for grocery shopping and other such things. She had a very low profile, nothing about her that would seem fishy or which would attract unrequired attention.
And she also just up and abandoned her four year old niece.
"Lord Damien, some men came to kidnap her when I was six. I saw her fleeing away from a man, and since then I have received no word from her. Mayhap if I found her again, I might know of my parents."
Damien knew where she was coming from. Sometimes children were indebt to others for mistakes which their parents made. Hard luck and tough life for those born to irresponsible sires. Was she a child of one such? Or it might be that she was just curious of her background.
"I will look after it, but how do you know she was abducted?" One more question to look at, "And you said you were six at that time?"
She nodded her head like she always did, in a child's manner which made her hair bounce all over. A small smile tugged at his lips, he wondered if he was smitten by her or simply amused at her immature gestures. No adult of age would ever react in the manner that she did, his Elle had no elegance whatsoever but her guileless heart should have been counted in one of the world's wonders.
Damien was really a hell's child and as such he could sense the evil in a person when they were in his presence. Elle was unlike anyone he had ever come across.
"We moved here when I was two. And about my aunt," she looked dejected, sad. " I saw them come at her." her voice was again small, that of a child.
She looked up at him, her doe like eyes inviting him, urging him to envelope her in his arms, safe from anything that might be out there to hurt her.
"She was taken away in front of me."
Damien wondered what foul secrets her aunt held. What she might have unconsciously imposed on Elle.
"Elle, would you allow me to see through your memories?"
Lord Damien asked her, seeing how she had reacted to his invasion before, he was wary of doing so without her permission beforehand. Her breath hitched, her eyes going wide for a second as she gazed up at him.
He was preparing himself for a no when she gave him a slight, hesitant nod.
She trusted him.
He bent forward and looked into her vibrant green eyes, something about them had changed, something stirring deep in his gut, raging a war beneath his skin to claim her. Instead he leaned down and pressed a small, sweet kiss on her lips.
Her gasp made him smile, but he decided to leave it at that, taking the moment to stare deep in her eyes, reaching into the vault of her memories and searching for the one that he was concerned about. And he found it.
As he looked at her face, he vaguely recognized her as someone whom he had seen before.
Aunt Marie seem to have a lot of skeletons in her cupboard to have been keeping her name a secret from Elle as well.
What did upset him a bit was Elle having to go through it at such a tender age. Elle truly was turning out to be an enigma, something he desperately needed to unravel.
For the moment being though, he just took her palm in his hand and tugged her to him, finally holding her to his chest.