34 Elegance and grandeur

Alexander moved closer to her, so close that their noses were almost touching. Abi tried her best not to close her eyes or look away. She didn't want him to think she was scared and she was sure he was only doing it to try and get a reaction from her. She wouldn't give him the satisfaction of looking away.

"So what if it's the first day of the month, huh, Abigail?" he asked, looking down deeply into her eyes.

"I-It's easier to count the days. To complete the month," she blurted out, a little dazed and Alex laughed. His pleasant laughter echoed inside the luxurious place.

But then, he sighed.

"Little lamb… I really have no words left for you." He was both amused and frustrated at the same time. Only she could give him such a childish answer like that and get away with it.

She looked around the large room and noticed that it was very quiet. "Are your family not home?" she asked innocently and Alexander lifted her chin with his finger.

"I live alone, Abigail," he said, suddenly becoming serious. "But it looks like this house now welcomes its new guest."

Abigail's eyes turned wide. W-what? He lived alone in this massive house?!

"A-alone?!" She looked at him with shock and disbelief.

"Oh, well, the butler is here and maids as well. They do count as people living here, too, I guess…" he smiled wryly and Abi didn't know how to react.

Alexander's eyes then fell on her luggage and he took another deep breath.

"You didn't run away from your house, did you?"

She shook her head. "I talked to my dad properly last night."

"But I bet that you didn't tell him the whole truth, did you?"

Abi pressed her lips tightly, causing Alex's lips to curve up again.

"Let me see… You told him that you're going to stay with that friend of yours, right?" he said and Abigail flushed. This man, she realized, was not only dangerous because of his physical capabilities, he was dangerous because he seemed to also see through her like a glass window.

"Well, well, well. This good little lamb actually told an untruth to her family. What a gutsy little lamb," he murmured.

"Didn't you sleep well last night?" she asked innocently as she looked at his face, and successfully diverted his attention from her actions to his.

Alexander bent forward that their foreheads almost touched.

"I just got home, Abigail. Actually, right now, I very much want to punish you for disturbing my sleep." He smirked playfully. "But I'll let you off the hook for now," he added as he straightened up and called out a name.

"Charles," he said and the butler immediately appeared as if he was in the corridor this whole time, just waiting for his name to be called.

"Yes, master."

"I'll leave her to you," Alex ordered before he looked at Abi again and whispered in her ear.

"I'll go to sleep first, Abigail. You rest, too. We'll talk later."

She shivered as she felt his warm breath touch her ear and she swallowed subconsciously. Before she could say 'Rest well or Goodnight', he was gone.

As she watched his back as he walked up the stairs, the butler coughed and drew her attention. He then introduced himself to her.

"My name is Charles Ning, but you can call me Charles. Nice to meet you Miss Chen."

"Nice to meet you, too, Mr-, I mean, Charles."

"Come with me please. I will show you to your room," he said respectfully. "Don't worry about your luggage, I'll send a maid to bring it up."

The butler led her towards the grand staircase which led to the second floor.

As expected, it was even more breathtaking than the ground floor. What she saw was another large, and fancy open space. Velvet curtains were tied back to let the sunshine through the windows and she saw antique looking, brass candelabras which hung on the walls in between the windows. They each held three candles and she wondered if those candles had ever been lit. As soon as she saw this area, she immediately thought that if it were back in time, this room would be where grand balls were held like the ones she once saw on television when she watched a documentary about how royalty lived a century ago.

She could also see two doors on the far wall and wondered where they led to. She imagined that these would perhaps be the rooms where the men went to play cards or drink or talk business while their wives gossiped in the main ballroom - at least that was what she deduced from watching that documentary.

Abigail was speechless. There were no words in the English language that could describe this place. It was definitely a 'one had to see to appreciate it' type scenario. Again, Abi was curious beyond belief. Why was Alexander living in a place like this? And why was he living by himself?! She was getting more and more curious by the minute.

They continued up the stairs and up the third floor. Again, she was met with a large open area in the middle, but this was smaller than the second floor. It seemed to be the lounge area as there were couches and coffee tables neatly arranged by the big window overlooking the garden area. This seemed to be where the living quarters were located because she saw doors on either side, which she presumed, led to the bedrooms.

Charles stopped in front of tall, heavy looking double doors and pushed it open. The room she walked into was so beautiful and welcoming and Abigail had never seen this kind of grandeur and elegance before.

But then again, as she looked around at the cavernous room that was in front of her, she didn't know why but even with all this beauty and display of elegance and grandeur, she felt a little sad.

She could tell since the moment she stepped inside this house that this was a whole different life and what she wondered about the most was if Alexander Qin had been happy living in this huge and majestic place.

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