“Hello?” She called.
Her voice seemed to be muffled. The sound being halted by the dense vegetation that crowded the room.
The greenhouse was absolutely giant.
She slowly walked forward. Her shoes scraping against the thick tiled floor.
Eden noticed a book resting on a table next to a row of small flowers.
The book was worn. The spine nearly falling apart and the leather cover looked as if it had seen better days.
She picked it up and gently spread the pages.
A gasp escaped her lips.
The pages were made of thick yellowed parchment. The characters on the pages had been hand written and were in a language she didn’t believe could even exist. The curves and edges of the letters were positively perfect.
She moved her hand across the words. Slipping a finger behind the page to turn it.
Eden yelped in surprise and nearly dropped the book.
Malcolm’s tone was light and teasing. Yet her heart still pounded and her face flushed in embarrassment.
“I’m sorry I just saw it on the table and it looked...interesting.”
She cringed at her feeble excuse.
Malcolm wore light trousers and a white button down shirt with he sleeves rolled up. She noted he was not wearing any shoes.
Round spectacles rested casually across the bridge of his nose.
“It’s quite alright, Miss Eden Glace.” His voice was soft. Far too soft and quiet for the hazy room.
“Beatrice said you wanted to see me?”
Malcolm nodded and walked past her. Eden followed him.
“You hit your head rather hard and I wanted to assure myself you are well enough to work.”
Eden rolled her eyes as she followed him down a line of tall green bushes.
“I’m fine. Alpha Íllios.”
“Malcolm. And you are not the one with a medical degree.”
“Would I be correct in assuming that you did not heed my advice and failed see a doctor?
Eden scowled to herself and folded her arms across her chest.
Malcolm humphed softly in satisfaction.
Malcolm rounded a corner to a sitting area. With chairs and a cluttered desk. He gestured for her to sit on a large couch with canvas cushions and lined with pale faded wood.
Eden carefully sat down and folded her hands in her lap. She watched as he fiddled around the space. His fingers stilled as he picked up a flashlight.
He sat down next to her and placed his fingers under her chin, lifting her head to meet his gaze.
Eden held her breath and averted her gaze.
“Look here,” Malcolm murmured as he switched the light on and shone it in her eyes.
Her heart hammered.
Malcolm’s jaw clenched in focus and his brow furrowed. He flicked the light off and moved his fingertips to her temple where she had hit her head.
Eden bit her lip.
“I’m fine I promise.”
Her voice sounded like a plea.
Malcolm and the warmth that clouded her withdrew.
Eden’s eyelids fluttered as she looked up at him.
His lips were parted and his eyes seemed to have lost their mischievous glint they usually carried.
“I only wanted to make sure you are alright. I was not trying to cause you discomfort,” he stated in a flat tone.
Eden’s eyes widened.
Her defiant demeanor simmering away as she realized she had offended him.
How stupid could she be? He was simply giving her check up. He was a certified doctor and her boss. He wasn’t trying to seduce her.
“I’m sorry- I didn’t mean to-”
“To make assumptions?”
“No it’s not that. Well I guess I-”
Eden stopped talking. She had begun rambling.
“I’m just not used to people being worried about me,” she whispered.
Malcolm tilted his head to the side.
“I’m not used to being cared for.”
Eden looked downward. Her fingertips trembling.
Malcolm crouched down to meet her gaze and took her hands in his.
“If that is the case I would be more than pleased to acclimate you to this change.”
Eden’s gaze snapped to his. He was looking at her like he wanted to bathe her in his light and surround her with a garden.
He moved. He leaned toward her.
He furrowed her brow and pulled away from Eden.
“Malcolm!” The voice called again.
A grin stretched across his face.
Out of no where a woman sprung around the corner and jumped into his arms.
“Lilian,” he laughed, wrapping his arms around her.
“How was your trip to Brazil?” Malcolm asked.
“Wonderful! I missed you when you visited us in Iceland so I figured I would just meet you here,” she giggled.
She looked as if she were in her mid twenties. The woman was absolutely stunning.
She had a mass of black curls that circled her head. She had deep warm skin and a bright sparkling smile to compliment it.
Her eyes were what shocked Eden. They were silver. Bold metallic silver.
“Who is this?” Lilian asked, smiling at Eden.
“Lily this is Eden, Eden meet Lily.”
“Malcolm is she your-?”
“I work for him as a maid,” she interrupted.
Lilian bit her lip and winked at Malcolm, nudging him with her elbow.
“I’m going to go settle into a room. I’ll leave you two to finish whatever business you started.”
Malcolm smiled adoringly at Lily and bid her farewell as she left.
“Who was that?” Eden asked.
“A dear friend of mine. I visited her family last week but she was not in town when I did so.”
A moment of silence passed briefly.
“Today I would like you to focus on outdoor work. Helping the landscaping team. Does that sound alright to you?”
Eden grimaced. He wasn’t supposed to ask her if she was willing to do a job he assigned her.
He was her boss for god sake.
“Yes that’s more than alright.”
Malcolm smiled at her.
“Excellent, I will see you soon, Miss Glace.”