Stefano left the bedroom so that the maids could attend to her while he had to discuss a few things with Clavier, away from prying eyes and listening ears. The two men entered the study room which contained books and scrolls older than Stefano himself. Everything in this room was the work of his family. Each had their own meaning and value. Stefano had safeguarded this study room for as long he could remember. Not a single person in this castle could enter the study room without his permission. As long as he was breathing, this room would remain guarded by his power. These books and scrolls held so many important and priceless knowledge. If they fell into the wrong hands, there would a big mess to clean. And he hated cleaning a mess.
“I’m not saying I’m against or going along with your plan,” Clavier began, taking out a cigar and lit it up. “But you’ve seen in her eyes. She’s conflicted with her identity.”
“She would be Adeline Domenico,” Stefano replied sternly. “She just needed some time to get used to it. To get used to everything and everyone around her.”
Some people just didn’t understand. Adeline was everything to Stefano. She was his star, his universe and his life. Since she died, he was restless and disturbed because it was his fault. If only he changed her mind from going to the student conference that night, she wouldn’t be dead. She would still be here, by his side and in his arms. Clavier and he wouldn’t have this conversation. None of these would have happened if Stefano managed to change her mind. Adeline was as stubborn as himself.
The humans were right. People did terrible things in the name of love.
This wasn’t a terrible thing. Resurrecting someone from the dead wasn’t a terrible thing. Stefano would do it again without a second thought. That was how much risk he was willing to take just to have her again. Maybe this woman couldn’t be truly his Adeline but in time, she would be.
“Her hair is different. And she’s taller. If she sees the portraits of the real Adeline, she would begin to question herself.”
“Portraits could tamper with magic, Clavier. Leave that to me.”
“And your servants? What if one of them slipped out? The moment I stepped into this house to check on you, I’ve heard they said things.”
“If they value their lives, there would be no problem of keeping their mouth shut.”
That was the Stefano everyone knew. If things couldn’t be resolved with words, violence would do the trick. In his world, nice words never get the job done. Stefano had to use violence to make sure the job was done. Many people objected to his ways but as long as it got the job done, he had no complaints.
Clavier breathed out. How he wished the real Adeline would be here to extinguish the fire was burning inside Stefano’s soul. But there was no telling about the future. Clavier knew weak mind easily tampered with magic as strong as Stefano’s but there was something about the new Adeline’s mind.
Her mind was different from what he ever saw. He had been with different kind of people for hundreds of years. A countless number of women he had bedded and none of their mind was the same as the new Adeline’s mind.
“You know she’s not a human,” Clavier had to tread carefully not to provoke Stefano unnecessarily. “There is something different about her.”
“I’m aware of everything. Thank you for reminding me.”
Stefano always had his suspicions on everything. He knew that the new Adeline was different than the real one. But that didn’t mean he would give up on her. If he had to lock the beast deep inside her for eternity, then he would do that.
The knocks on the door earned his attention before he permitted whoever outside to enter.
“My Lord, the Mistress is ready,” Josef announced.
“I would be in the kitchen if you need me.” Clavier excused himself. “And Stefano, don’t rush things for the sake of her sanity.”
The High Lord nodded. Clavier was right. Stefano couldn’t rush things. He didn’t want to make her fear him. Otherwise, it wouldn’t work. Fear only worked for a short time. He wanted a long-term result. He had to plant the identity into her mind by making her thinking she was the real Adeline. Once she accepted that identity, his following steps would be much easier.
Controlling her mind wouldn’t be an option either. That would just make her a puppet instead of a real person. To proceed with his plan, Stefano had to be very careful. Every risk must be calculated and taken into consideration.
“Do you know what I love about you?” Adeline asked him with her twinkling eyes.
Her arms were wrapped around his neck.
“Tell me, my love,” He wrapped his arms around her waist, kissing her exposed shoulder.
Adeline let out a soft moan. That was one of her many weaknesses. He loved doing it to her because she enjoyed it as much as he did.
“You never afraid to show me your true self. The humans were afraid of your kind. They called you monsters.” She breathed in and traced her fingers on his face. “People afraid those who are different from them. You are different from them, Stefano. I love that. You’re so enigmatic. It’s intriguing.”
He tilted her head before kissing her warm lips, “That’s why I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not when I’m around you.”
Many humans knew the existence of his kind and many of his people had perished because the humans were afraid of what his kind could do. But with Adeline, who was born to be a human, never showed a bit of fear around him. He never hid his identity from her. From the first time they met, Stefano never pretended to be someone else and she knew about him. She knew about what he could do. She should have feared him but she didn’t. It made her intrigued to learn more about himself.