Home. There was nothing like home. The smell of familiar lavender fresheners mixed with the scent of rotting old books gave me relief. I knew it was home. Even with my eyes closed, I could picture every nook and cranny of the common room.
“Honey, if you’re going to sleep, please sleep in your room, not here.” My mother scolded. Her words pulled me out of my stupor.
“I’m not sleeping, mom. I’m just resting my eyes for a moment.” I argued, laying completely still on the couch.
“And keep your shoes out of the couch, where are your manners? I didn’t raise you to be like this, Kaleb.”
“Sorry, mother. It’s off the couch now.” I retorted at the same time I kicked off my sneakers.
“Kaleb, you’re nearly twenty and you’re still acting like this. No wonder your father wouldn’t allow you to go for that mission without my help.” She huffed in dejection.
“Thank you for your complete trust on me, mother. I appreciate it. But I apologize that I wasn’t very good at the job.” I muttered bleakly.
“Don’t be so hard on yourself, Kaleb. You’ve seen she was okay. And from what Sir Yorke had told me, they’ve just got on their connecting flight to England. You’ll see her in less than a day.” She informed.
“It’s not about that mother… though I do want to see her. But I’m not sure if I want to see her now.” I finally admitted out loud.
“Why? Did something happen?”
“I did something.”
“Would you care to elaborate, please?”
“Just something, mother.” I huffed in defeat as the memory came flooding back to me.
“I see.” She chuckled. “Well, I’ll leave you to your thoughts then.”
“Thank you,” I said and kept my eyes closed the whole time while listening to her footsteps disappearing towards the door.
However, before it was tightly shut, I faintly heard another voice in the hall.
“Lady Hunter, it’s lovely to meet you. I was looking for you.” It was a man. Someone I wasn’t familiar.
As I was about to sit up and look, my mother gave away his name. “Damian, lovely to see you. I didn’t know you have business here.”
When I was about to put a face to his name, I only caught a glimpse before the door finally closed.
It was him.
Damian Allen. Lucian’s dog.
What was he doing here in England?
Then I realized. Roe was coming back soon. She shouldn’t be here with one of Eliza’s wanted list are present. What am I going to do?
“I have to tell mom…” I breathe before getting up on the couch.
As I make my exit through the door, it opened again as my mother entered. I staggered back in surprise.
She composed herself, startled by our near contact. “Where are you going now?”
“Who was that with you?” I asked, evading her question with an innocent question.
“Who?” she asked with feigned confusion.
“You know who, mom.” I groaned.
“Oh! You mean Damian?” she asked, addressing him with familiarity.
“Do you know that man? Personally?”
She scoffed and closed the door behind her. She then walked around me back towards the coffee table across the door, where she last sat. On the table was scattered paper works she was reading. “I don’t know that man, personally. He works for Whitmore. He’s his right-hand man. He mostly does his bidding.” She informed what I already knew.
“Why is he here?” I pressed some more, which sounded more and more suspicious.
“Why the sudden interest on this man?”
“Why were you talking to him a minute ago?”
She arched her eyebrow at me in the challenge. “He was asking for directions. And we talked about some work matters pertaining with your father.” She paused and waited for me to reply. When I hadn’t, she returned to her questions. “Why the sudden interest on the man, Kaleb?”
“It’s nothing, Mother. Just curious. I heard things about him…” I evasively replied again.
“What things would that be?”
“Well, I heard he’s part of something that’ll be frown upon by the Order.”
“He might have a hand with the death of the Knightley’s death nine years ago.”
She gasped at his words. “That’s some serious accusation, Kaleb. Don’t let anyone hear you say that in public.”
“Trust me, mom, I won’t be announcing that to the public anytime soon.” I dryly stated.
She was quiet for a second, regarding my expression. “Where have you come up with this idea? Have you actually uncovered something from the one month you’re in Montana?”
I sadly smiled and walked back to my place by the couch. I readied myself to tell her the whole story.
“Before I start mom, I need you to promise me not to tell father about it. If he knows I lied on my report…”
“Kaleb! That’s unprofessional of you!” She interjected.
I glared at her, which she returned with the same expression.
“Just let me tell the story, mom. Once I’m done, I think you’ll know its best he doesn’t know about this yet.”
“You should trust your father more, Kaleb.” She argued.
“Please. Just do this for me. Just this once. Please,” I begged.
Finally, she nodded. “Okay, I’ll listen.”
“Thank you,” I smiled briefly before turning dead serious. “Mom, someone is trying to get to Roe. We don’t know why, but we know it’s something big. Because these people aren’t just Roués, there are Vauriens within the royal families.”
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