She was in the kitchen, preparing Lady Muriel her daily tea and a plate of victuals to go with the tea. Since the Ladies of the elites were as though trained to only nibble on the food which was served during the meals, they filled their stomachs unashamedly behind the closed doors of their personal chambers where no one would know that they too ate like pigs and needed food to survive.
She prepared two sandwiches for the lady and poured the tea in the expensive china cups that made her heart shudder with the thoughts of her breaking one of those. Lord knew that the cutlery costed more than her soul.
That was when she felt their presence behind her, her skin prickled with anxiety and anticipation the way it always did to warn her of the approaching trouble. All of a sudden she just wanted to get out of the enclosed space and breathe some air in her lungs to calm her raging heart.
She feared of what she was capable of more than what they would do to her. She knew if ever it was a choice given between her life and theirs, she would not hesitate to make good use of her fighting skills that were honed to perfection by the cruel streets.
She was prepared to kill if the need arrived as she convinced herself to turn around and bow to whoever had arrived before attempting to leave. But her sixth sense warned her that things were not going down easily, her instincts were sharpened by poverty and being a vagrant, they would never fail her.
But how could she have ever prepared herself for the the hard strike on her head? Unbearable pain consumed her completely as spasms went throughout her body before black dots started appearing in front of her vision. Her ears started ringing and as her seventeen year old self fell to ground with whimpers escaping her now gagged mouth.
Elle was woken up from the state of darkness by a splash of ice cold water on her. She gasped for air as someone grabbed her hair in a vice like grip which send waves of pain through her already blazing and aching head. Just as she opened her mouth to scream someone else started pouring water on her and it went in through her mouth and nose, making her breathless and her insides burn with the water going in her wind pipe. Her lungs were ablaze with lack of air and her soon the ringing in her ears was back.
Soon the water stopped and she opened her mouth like a fish out of water to take in all the air that she could. As she took deep breaths, a vicious womanly laugh echoed in the closed room.
Elle closed her eyes and as she tried to mover her hands she found them tied to the chair that she was placed on. Her legs cramped and spasmed and as waves of pain invaded all her senses. She opened her eyes with a lot of struggle and looked around her to find a lady that she had seen in the last social gathering at Milford's mansion, the one whose fiancé had followed Elle around and flirted with her.
"Whore wanted to steal my fiancé! That's what you get for going after what's mine!" She squealed and approached Elle with languid steps and as she did, Elle's eyes brimmed with fear. She wanted to protest but her throat was dry, her limbs numbed by pain.
The woman whose name Elle was yet to know put a foot on Elle's thigh and grabbed her neck with strength that cut off all air supply in Elle's already hypoxic body. Her face was red and her body was burning from inside.
"You want to seduce men? Let me help you out, I believe that these two should be sufficient to quench your desire." She slapped her face leaving a harsh handprint on her burning skin, " Although a harlot like you would never be satisfied by just two, I'm sure they will make up for it by working all night."
She gripped Elle's face in her hand, digging the fingers in her cheeks and drawing blood where her nails dug in. Elle looked up into the eyes of the woman, they were burning with jealousy and envy such that there was no space for mercy to find it's roots.
Elle was shaking with dread at what the woman's vile mind would lead her to do in her jealousy induced hatred.
The woman's eyes wandered all over Elle's pretty face, dancing on her delicately crafted features as a sneer appeared on the woman's face.
"A slave like you doesn't deserve such beauty. You will only use it seduce good men in your traps." She uttered loathingly before she signaled one of the men who approached her from behind.
She felt a hard tug on her hair before as the man pulled her curls in a rough grip. Hot tears left streaks on her cheeks as she screamed through a tight and burning throat.
And then a weight was cut off from her body as the man roughly chopped her hair off. Her lovely hair that she treasured the most about herself and cared for dearly were chopped off till there were just uneven patches on her scalp. She cried and protested, shaking her head vigorously to stop them, but all that it got her were a slaps and punches on her face.
The woman backed away when her hair was lying in tufts on the ground. She watched from afar as Elle cried and struggled where she was tied on the chair.
"He broke off the engagement." The woman spoke with venom dripping off her tongue. "He fucking broke up the engagement!!!!" She screamed at Elle.
"All he had to say was that he was enchanted by you. By a mere slave who is beneath the sole of my shoe!" she spat at Elle and threw the vase near to her at Elle which landed on her forehead. "Do you know how embarrassing it was for me!"
The woman took deep breaths to calm herself and paced around in the room.
"Finish her when you are done, make sure it's not easy for her." She uttered before she left.
The men started untying her and then one held her hands at the back of her waist while the other started opening the buttons of her dress. She screamed and kicked as much as her tired body allowed, earning her a hard slap of the man. The man latched onto the exposed skin of her breasts like a leech, his hands grabbing her soft flesh.
Just when things were getting out of her hands, the door was blown apart from the hinges by a strong kick and Orion's growl boomed in the room.
She was save.
She didn't know who the woman was.
But as Damien clenched his jaw and felt rage burning in his veins, he recognized the woman instantly.
Lady Juliet Williams.
Who would be attending the birthday celebration.
Damien looked down at Elle who was covered in cold sweat and shivering profoundly with wide eyes. He frowned at her, no man ever reacted this way to his intrusion, no one ever even felt him in their mind. And here she was, affected so much that she was paralyzed by fear.
"Elle," his tone was gentle when he called her " here, have some water." she looked at the glass that he offered warily, blinking a few times to shake her out of her daze. Then her eyes came up with a cute frown on her face that had lost it's appeal to him by how frightened she was.
She shook her head and stood p, nearly falling from the chair that she shoved back in a hurry but she was quick to grab the desk before she fell. She was even quicker to grab the file and hold it to her chest s if it were a shield. In her other hand she gripped her quill as if it were a weapon, squaring her shoulders in an attempt to save herself from whatever tricks he might pull.
Damien watched as the shaken woman bowed before him.
"I should ta- take my l-leave now." she uttered and turned around to rush out of the place like someone had set her hair afire.
Damien brought the raised glass of water to his lips and gulped it down, pondering on why Elle could feel his presence in her mind. The woman sure had face a lot of hardships in her life, but that was true about everyone, be it her or him. Everyone had their mountains to cross and coals to walk on.