The air was muggy and hot. It had just rained and the aftermath was humidity. Hurrying on his way, Arthur walked through the damp streets, unaware of the homeless citizens laying around, soaking wet. He shouldn’t have to bother with the poor; they couldn’t do him any good anyways.
Up ahead, he noticed a man who was familiar to him. They weren’t close, nor did they get along, but he didn’t mind talking with him. “Francis, hello. What brings you here to England?”
The blond Frenchman turned around, his eyes saddened and dreary. “Arthur, it’s good to see you.” Moving his head back down, Arthur followed his gaze. A young girl lay on the ground, appearing to be dead. She was filthy and frail, yet had a certain appeal about her.
“Yuck, how can you stand looking at that?” Arthur grumbled, the smell getting to him. She was obviously homeless, and didn’t get a chance to bathe.
Francis glared at him, making him flinch. Did he not think so too? “Arthur, we can’t just leave her here. She’ll die.” He knelt down and placed two fingers on her neck. “She’s still breathing, we can save her.”
Groaning, Arthur nodded and helped the man pick up the woman, wrapping an arm around her waist and her arms over their shoulders. They dragged her back to Arthur’s house, walking up the steps and going through the door. They took her up the stairs, towards his bedroom.
“Yao!” Arthur called, waiting for the man to come. A tall and thin Chinese man with long hair tied back walked in, his brown eyes growing wide at them. “Go draw a bath, and wash this girl, will you please?”
Yao froze, looking up in confusion. Stuttering, he pointed to the girl. “But, she’s a girl. Are you sure that’s proper?”
Growling, he glared at the man. “You will do as I say. There are no other women in this house, and I am certainly not doing it.”
Nodding quickly and rushing to the bathroom, Yao started the water and took the girl from the men’s arms. The two left the room, doing back down and sitting in the living space. Wiping his hands off, Arthur leaned back and kicked off his shoes. Shrugging off his coat, he loosened his tie, glaring at the Frenchman.
“I’m sorry Arthur. You know I don’t like doing this to you, but the mademoiselle I couldn’t leave. Please Arthur, give her a home. You need a Governess for Alfred, don’t you? You could pay her for the work, at least for a while to get her back on her feet.” Francis’s eyes pleaded to him and he sighed.
“Fine, but I’m only doing it for Alfred.” Francis smiled and thanked him, shaking his hand quickly. Yao walked into the room, his face red and avoiding eye contact. He was older than Arthur, yet he still got embarrassed from seeing a naked woman.
Yao cleared his throat, holding his hands in front of him. “She’s washed, but I can’t get her to wake up. She is currently resting in a guest room. Is there anything else you’d like me to do?”
Standing, Arthur pointed to the blond. “Send him home. You can’t stay here, I’m sorry Francis.” He nodded and left, allowing Arthur to head up the steps to his room. He undressed and changed for bed.
Grumbling under his breath, he hated that he couldn’t find a single thing to eat. At least something that wouldn’t wake anyone up. Turning around, he almost screamed or had a heart attack. Whatever one, it would show his reaction.
“I’m so sorry, please don’t hurt me. Where am I?” A girl stood before him, wearing a pair of his pants that were a tad big for her, and a loose shirt. He had to say, she was kind of cute once the dirt was gone. She had (h/c) hair and sparkling (e/c) eyes. In her hand was a candle, her visible shaking flickering the flame it held.
Scratching the back of his head, Arthur put his hand out, to which she flinched. “I’m not going to hurt you. Be thankful I haven’t kicked you back out onto the streets.” She nodded, trying not to look him in the eye. “Come, get some rest and we can talk in the morning.”
She looked down, and turned away, leaving him. He was going to escort her back, but she seemed to have wanted to be alone. Arthur went to bed as well, upset that he didn’t get anything to eat before.
In the morning, Arthur found the girl sitting with Yao in the living space. She was still dressed the same, even though everyone usually got dressed when they woke. Sighing, he sat down and looked over at her. Alfred ran into the room, grabbing his books and hurrying to out the door.
“What is your name?” Arthur spoke, his eyes trying to meet hers.
She turned away, only briefly meeting his gaze. “_____. I would like to ask why I am here, Mr. Kirkland.” He turned to Yao, who looked away instantly. “No, I knew who you were before he told me. So why am I here?”
“Now don’t think you are here on my word. My acquaintance Mr. Bonnefoy dragged me into helping you.”
She gave a short laugh, but there wasn’t a smile on her lips. “It must be on your word. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t. Don’t lie to act like you couldn’t care.”
Arthur sneered and narrowed his eyes. “You should be thanking me instead of insulting me. I can send you out of my home right now.” Was he going to? She couldn’t just make a fool of him in his own house, let alone in front of Yao. Who knows what she’d say in front of Alfred.
Standing, (Name) held her head up and glared at him. “Fine, I don’t need to be around someone like you anyways. I was doing well on my own, thank you very much. Good day to you, Sir, and to you as well, Yao.”
“Wait a bloody minute!” Arthur stood as well, but felt stupid for it afterwards. “If it displeases you so much to be around me, then I will force you to work here as a Governess. Alfred, my younger brother needs someone to take care of him. I will pay you as you deserve. How old are you, _____?”
“Twenty, Sir. I’ve been abandoned by my family at a young age. And, how old is your brother?”
Arthur stared at her, confused. She accepted so easily? Was that her plan; to trick him into letting her stay? Well, it wasn’t like he could just throw her out now after they each had agreed to it. Scratching his chin, he sighed and turned his head away. “He’s twelve. I hope that won’t be a problem for you.” Looking back, she had a smile on her face, yet she wasn’t looking anywhere in particular.
(Name)’s eyes met his and she grinned. “Not a problem at all. Thank you, Sir.” He nodded and mumbled as she walked away with Yao beside her. Already, those two were able to be close, and under a very short amount of time. He’d had to watch them, something in his stomach churned when he thought about it.
Months have gone by, and Alfred and (Name) were best friends. She taught him his studies, and different languages. She cooked dinner and was able to keep her cool when higher class visitors came.
Arthur only had a couple alone moments with her, where they either had pleasant conversations or hateful arguments. Other times, Yao would be with her and they would laugh together. She spoke his language, always speaking so he never knew what they were saying.
Now, Arthur was working on some papers late in the night. He rubbed his temple, trying to stay awake. Everyone was asleep, which he took the opportunity to relax in his own way. His shirt was unbuttoned and his hair messy. A bottle of scotch sat beside his arm as he wrote. Setting the glass down, he breathed out and sat his pencil down. A creak made him turn, his eyes resting upon a sleepy girl.
“_____.” He stood, walking over to her. “What’s the matter? Is everything alright?”
She nodded but then started shaking her head. She walked forward and wrapped her arms around him, placing her face to his chest. He wrapped his arms around her, causing her to look up at him. Leaning down, he crushed his mouth against hers, pulling her up to deepen the kiss.
Arthur blinked in surprise and found (Name) was standing there, her eyebrow raised in question. Body burning, he cleared his throat and started buttoning his shirt. “Sorry, excuse me. You need something?”
“I just wanted to tell you I received a letter today. I have to leave tomorrow very early. When I’ll be back, I don’t know. I was hoping it would be alright with you if I can leave for a couple days. Ms. Laura from Belgium will be here soon. She seems to have been spending a lot of time with you.”
He swallowed the dryness in his throat and turned around. “Yes, she sent me a letter. Although I was hoping you’d be here to divert me from her. Then again, you are always with Yao. Every day you are spending your time on him.”
“Who I am accompanied with if none of your business Mr. Kirkland. I will spend my time with whoever I please. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go wake Yao up for some late night tea.”
Arthur glared, hearing the sarcasm thick in her words. He reached out and grabbed her arm. “No, I forbid it. Because I-” He never finished as he was captured by her eyes.
Ripping her arm away from him, she picked up her dress and raised her head. “I will do as I want until you are able to confront your own demons. Jealousy is a devil you don’t want to make a deal with.” She bowed and turned, leaving him.
Growling lowly he hurried after her, trying to be as silent as possible. He’s known her for months now, this was just a game, but he couldn’t help to fall into her trap. “_____, wait. I’m interested in you. You’re brave and smart. Powerful and caring. I like everything about you. Please stay with me?”
(Name) smiled and leaned forward, pressing her lips to his cheek. “Yes of course, Sir. I’ll be here till I am not needed anymore. What is my next order?”
Arthur leaned down and breathed on her neck. “Be mine.”