Chapter 2: Seeds of Future
Sunlight filtering in through the window lit up the room well. It was a beautiful room. Apart from the huge bed I was lying on, there was an intricately carved wooden cupboard, a tasteful dresser and two chairs coupled with a table adjacent to the bed, filling the room.
Pushing the sheets aside, I got out of the bed and made my way to bathroom and proceeded to clean up and dress, before exiting the room; which for last night had been mine, to walk around the house and find my way to wherever Caroline might be. In the day light, I could clearly make out the fact that it was not a house but a mansion to be precise, and every corner of it screamed utmost wealth. From the walls to the furniture, everything was exotic and intricately designed. After taking several turns, walking through a fair share of hallways and passing by dozens of closed doors I finally saw a half open door. I knocked on it gently; you never know what monsters lay behind the doors.
“Come in,” said a deep, masculine voice.
Slowly opening the door, I stepped inside the room. The room belonged to Caroline’s brother, I realized as my eyes found his frame perched on a gigantic bed. He was handsome to say the least. Now that the blood and dirt was off his face, unlike last night, I could see without any obstruction his blonde hair and beautiful blue eyes; deep as oceans.
He looked at me with a smile, and spoke in the same deep voice that had allowed me entry into the room just a few moments prior.
“Yes, how can I help you?”
“Arr umm… I was looking for Caroline,” I stuttered nervously. “I do not know the ways around your house; I think I am somewhat lost.”
“Ah! You must be the angel who saved my life last night. Thank you very much for helping me Ms..uh..”
A blush crept on my cheeks at his words.
“Black. Ms Black.”
“Right, Ms Black, I owe you my life. How can I possibly repay you?”
“Perhaps, you could guide me how to get out to my carriage, and that would be payment enough,” I suggested.
He laughed, but it didn’t really reach his eyes. He replied with absolute courtesy.
“Ms. Black, please honor me with the pleasure of having breakfast in your pleasant company, meanwhile arrangements for your departure will be made, as I see you are keen on leaving.”
“Mr. Ozera. Call me Andre, if you please”
“It will be my pleasure to eat with you Mr. Ozera.”
He smiled again, and again it did not reach his eyes. His eyes, though captivatingly beautiful had something unusual in them. What, that I cannot exactly figure out, maybe it was their uncanny depth or maybe it was something else similar to the lines that I might be over thinking.
He engaged me in a discussion regarding what happened last night, while a maid brought in breakfast for us. Mr. Ozera was a government official, working for the king’s taxation department, and it was some political rivalry that left him in the condition I had the misfortune to witness last night.
Breakfast in his company was nothing but pleasant. Mr. Ozera or Andre as he kept insisting, most certainly did know how to charm a girl with his words. I just could not keep the silly blush off my face, which was rather embarrassing, as he listened with utmost attention every trivial thing I said and complimented me every now and then on one thing or another; my smile, my eyes and a lot else. I did not even realize how fast the time went by in Andre’s charming company as I devoured the breakfast. What could I say, I was trying to keep up the lady like mannerism very much but the starved state of my being did not help in the least bit. Considering the absence of the disgusted looks from Andre, it was safe to assume that I was succeeding in keeping up my lady like manners, at least to some extent.
Just as we were finishing up our late breakfast, Caroline came in pouting like a child who had been stopped before being able to cause any mischief. Adorably batting her eye lashes at me, face twisted into excessively sad expressions, she pointed at me an accusing finger.
“You don’t like me.”
I was most certainly surprised, but before I could say anything, she continued,
“You are leaving so soon, why can’t you stay a few days with me.”
It brought a smile upon my face which in turn brought Mr. Ozera’s eyes on me, which I could feel the intensity of very much. I tried to not squirm under his stare, and had to admit that it was no easy thing to do.
“Caroline honey, I do like you a lot, but my friend must be getting very worried about me, seeing that I was supposed to reach her house some time during the last night which I did not, so I need to get going, as soon as possible.”
At long last, Mr. Ozera took his eyes off me to look at his sister, and convinced her that my going from their home was important.
With the stress and fear of imminent death surrounding me becoming history, I could now make out clearly how young Caroline truly was; she could have been no older than ten and one years in age. Understanding but still sad, Caroline led me outside the house where Francis stood beside the carriage, waiting for me. Bidding Caroline good bye with a warm hug, I settled in to the carriage. Half a day of uneventful travelling and the carriage was standing outside the home of my very dear friend.