Chapter 1: Solange
My first time on my own… I’m only 24, yet this is the first time I have ever been on my own… pathetic right? While most of my friends were married by the time we were 22, I was out trying to get a degree in Literature. I always wanted to write a novel one day, and well that Novel has never really made it off of the shelves… or my laptop. I already had my Bachelors… but I never really did anything else with it. So… sick of staying in the same town, I searched for a job elsewhere. I wanted to move far away, somewhere that wasn’t full of friends or family asking me when I was going to get married, or find a boyfriend. I was sick of seeing happy families everywhere around me, and my mother reminding me that could be me. I decided that I wanted to do more with my life. So why did I take a maid job? I don’t know, I guess because I like cleaning… it helps me clear my head. Plus, I get free housing, free food, and pretty much have the coast to myself. It’s one of those towns you read about that always snow, and rarely has hot summers. It was somewhere in Alaska. It was a bitter and cold town, that seemed forgotten by the rest of the world. It was located somewhere near Homer, that’s all I remember everyone I spoke to said about it. The name of it is Ampharel. But this town, seems hidden away, seems cut off from the rest of society. It’s a quaint little town, has Mom and Pop stores all over, and docks full of fishermen. But the place I was going to was just outside of the town. It was a mansion, the man I spoke to on the phone had a very regal voice, he sounded very handsome. I know that’s weird to say, but you know those people with ridiculously handsome voices? Yeah, that’s what he sounded like.
I arrived at the home after a long car ride from the airport. I came all the way from Illinois, so I was exhausted. This was my first time seeing the ocean, and I wasn’t even excited, that’s how tired I was. The cab pulled up to the house, and took out my bags. I only had two suitcases, because I figured I could always just buy some new clothes at my new place. I paid the Cab driver and sent him on his way, which I probably shouldn’t have done, considering that the owner might not have even been home at the time. But, I guess I wanted to be brave through the whole thing, so I did what any brave person would do… and approached the strange house. I guess I should have been more paranoid, strange mansion in the middle of the woods? 20 minutes away from civilization… with only my cellphone and luggage on me? Total horror movie scenario right there. But if I was honest, I felt no fear at that time. Only excitement for my new life, my new job. I went up to the double doors from the cobblestone walk way. The house was huge, and looked like one of those old medieval castles with stone covering it top to bottom. It was about 5 stories, with what looked like a watch tower to the side of the house. I rang the doorbell in anticipation. I hoped that the guy I spoke to was not some creepy guy who murders unsuspecting travelers, but then again, it seemed like an awful lot of trouble to hire someone just to murder them.
Then an amusing idea came across my mind… “Hah… maybe he’s a vampire. Just called me out here to kill me, and take my blood.” I muttered to myself, with my back turned to the door.
“Oh, that would be a twist, now wouldn’t it?” a voice said behind me.
I jumped and turned to the voice shocked, my mouth dropped when I saw the man. He looked absolutely beautiful. Like something you’d see in a painting about the Gods. He had sleeked back black hair, beautiful blue eyes, that resembled sapphire. He was pale, but considering the location, it didn’t seem too out of place. He had a warm smile on his face, and bowed to me, in a very regal and elegant manner. “Very good to make your acquaintance… Miss…?”
I shook out the image of his face for a brief moment to introduce myself. “S-Solange! Solange Anael! I’m your new maid!” I said reaching out my hand to shake his.
“Oh, what a lovely name.” he said grabbing my hand and kissing it.
“A-and what is your name sir? I seem to have forgotten it!” I said blushing slightly.
“Bertrand, my dear. I am so glad to have finally met you! I think you will enjoy it here. Shall I give you the tour?” he asked.
I nodded eagerly. “Oh yes! Please!” I said smiling at him broadly.
“Very well. Please follow me.” Then he turned and noticed my bags. “Ah- Bardou, could you please help this young woman with her bags?” he turned inside and called out.
A few seconds later a tan man came outside, he had shaggy brown hair, and bright honey colored eyes. He was buff, and hairy, he was scruffy, but looked clean. He had a long scar that went from his head to his cheek. Yet… he had innocent eyes to him. He was also very good looking. He looked to be about my age, unlike Bertrand, who looked 30. He looked at me and smiled, “Hey! Nice to meet you! I’m Bardou!” he shook my hand violently.
I held my arm in pain and smiled at him. “Ahaha… nice to meet you Bardou.” I said nervously.
He noticed my sudden jolt from him and laughed nervously, “Oh gosh, I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to shake you like that! I’m so used to having men in the house. I didn’t even notice my own strength!” he said apologetically.
His puppy eyes made it hard for me to even feel mad at him. “N-no! Please, you’re fine, you didn’t know!” I said back to him.
Bardou suddenly grinned at me and nodded, “Aww, thanks Miss. I’ll get your bags alright?” he said running to my bags, picking them up no problem and rushing back to us.
Bertrand looked back ahead, “Alright then, I think we’ll continue on our tour!” he said smiling.
He showed me the living room first, it was huge, with a large television in place on top of the fire place. There was an exercise machine in the corner, and paintings adorned the walls. The modern technology didn’t seem to take away from the beautiful classic look to the castle. He then showed the Kitchen, also big, but convenient. He showed me the whole house, and by the end of the tour, I was to the point of wanting sleep.
Bertrand stopped up stairs in front of a large door. He turned to me and smiled, “You must be tired my lady… if you wish, you may rest in your room.” He pointed to the door and smiled at me. “Is there any questions before you do lie for a spell?” he asked.
As Bardou put all of my bags in my room, I looked at Bertrand and looked at the living room down below. There was a lot of things in this house to just be the two of them. “Is there… anyone else living here besides you two?” I asked. I personally had to know for the sake of cleaning. So I had an idea of just how many people I was cleaning after.
Bertrand smiled innocently at me, “Only six of us, including myself madam.” He said nodding to me.
“Six?! Isn’t that a bit excessive?” I asked shocked.
“Well, they are my brothers…” he said quietly.
“O-oh! I didn’t mean to offend you. I understand wanting to keep family close.” I said softly.
“Oh, no, I understand your concern madam… after all, we are a rather large family. But don’t worry, we mostly keep to ourselves. Bardou and myself are the only ones you will see on the daily basis.” He said with a smile.
“What about the others?” I asked curiously.
“Oh, well my other brothers usually stay in their rooms. For good reason, they work from home. After all, we live in a modern era where you can do that now.” He said with a chuckle.
“W-well yes… but wouldn’t you get sick of not seeing people for a long time?” I asked.
“No, not at all. Have you forgotten where we live madam?” he put his hands on his hips and smiled back at me. “Don’t worry about them, Miss Solange. They won’t be in your way. You won’t even see them. We’ll take care of them.”
Bardou came out of my room and nodded in agreement with his brother. “Yeah, it’s an easy job, just take care of me and Bertrand!”
“Bertrand and I…” Bertrand corrected his brother.
“Y-yeah… what he said.” Bardou laughed slightly. “Sorry, my grammar isn’t too hot. Not that I’m stupid or anything. I just… well I’m not as proper as my brother as you can see.” He said patting Bertrand on the back. “So I don’t speak as elegantly as him. I’m very informal as you can tell.” He smiled at me.
“R-right… well when do I start?” I asked.
“My dear… you want to start now? Of all times?” Bertrand ask.
“W-well I can’t just arrive and not do anything!” I said. “That’s what I came here for!” I said.
“No way! Take it easy! You just got here! “ Bardou said shaking his head. “Look, you just relax, I’ll take care of dinner.”
“You cook for yourselves?” I asked shocked.
“Well it is just us!” Bardou said smiling at me amused.
“Yeah… but I would have thought you have chefs for that!” I said innocently.
“Not every rich person is lazy.” Bardou said laughing.
“Yet you are lazy enough to hire a maid.” I said, but then I gasped at the fact I was so blunt.
Bardou and Bertrand stared at me, and then laughed simultaneously.
“I love it! You’re so blunt!” Bardou said laughing at me.
“My lady, I wish more women had your gumption!” he said hiding his laugh behind a handkerchief.
I laughed nervously along with them. “Ahah… right…” I said slowly.
After their laughing fit, they both looked at me with their kind eyes again. “Now please madam… rest for a spell.” He said directing his hands toward the bedroom.
“Oh! Thank you sir!” I said smiling at both of them. “Well… good night!”
“Good night! Let us know if you need anything! Oh, and if you want supper, just holler!” Bardou called.
“Will do!” I said closing the door.
As I did, I finally had a moment to breathe. “Christ, what a day…” I said slowly to myself.
I found myself flopping down on the bed and slowly succumbing to sleep. “What a weird family…” I whispered to myself.
I had fallen asleep… and had been asleep for hours. But… for some reason, I felt like someone was watching me the whole time I had slept.