She walked towards the other end of the table where the plates and dishes were laid out waiting for her. She took to the right of the golden chair in the middle, which obviously Alexander's, because this was where her plate was laid out. As soon as she sat down, Charles, the butler, appeared beside her.
She finally realized that everyone in this house, except Alexander Qin, was actually nice to her and she felt like they treated her like she was a princess, which made Abi feel a little uncomfortable.
She looked at the extravagant plates of food on the table which looked so delicious as if they had been made by highly talented Michelin chefs, and wondered who else was coming. She looked around the table and saw that the table was only set for one. What? All of this just for one person?
"The master's still asleep and we can't make you wait for him, so please enjoy your meal, Miss," Charles, the butler, suddenly said and after he finished speaking, all the maids as well as Charles, all stepped to the side, quietly waiting for her.
Abi wasn't so ignorant that she didn't realise how things worked around here. She had at least watched and read about this kind of lifestyle but now that she was sitting there, actually experiencing it, she felt a little awkward and utterly sad. All of these luxuries didn't feel like a luxury at all when you were eating by yourself with no one to share it with. This really was a very different life compared to hers where, even though their food wasn't fancy or plentiful, they were content and happy because they had each other.
Was Alexander Qin always eating alone like this? Could this be the reason why he asked his girlfriends to live with him? Was he lonely?
Abigail tried her best to eat as much as she could to show some respect to the cook. It was delicious, yes, but she found it hard to enjoy it, perhaps because she was used to her family happily eating together happily. She definitely wasn't used to eating by herself and she definitely wasn't used to having people watch her eat. She finished her meal quickly and thanked Charles and the maids for the meal before she headed out of the dining room.
As she walked into the corridor, Abi decided to roam around the house to familiarize herself with it. It really was a beautiful house. Wherever she went, whatever room she ended up in, she would stare in awe at the design and at the furniture and the paintings and decor on the walls.
Abi then found herself in the empty ballroom and what caught her eye was the grand piano in its lonely corner of the room, with only the sunshine keeping it company. Although it was clean and shiny, Abi somehow could tell that it hadn't been used for a very long time. She walked towards it, drawn to its lonely soul and wondered why such a beautiful thing had been left by itself for so long and her thoughts were drawn back to the man who lived here.
It was already about four in the afternoon and Alexander Qin's shadow was nowhere to be seen. Was he still asleep? Abi was a bit puzzled. She really couldn't imagine that godly creature being such a sleeping log. 'Or,' she thought, 'he might really be exhausted or sleep deprived.'
Her fingers were lightly caressing the piano's keys when she felt a gaze on her. She turned around and there he was. Alexander was standing by the pillar, leaning there, looking like a model. He had changed his clothes and his hair was a little damp.
"Little lamb is interested in pianos?" he asked and Abi gaped at him for a moment as he approached her.
"Yes, I like pianos."
"Do you want to play?" he asked, curious.
"I'd love to, but…"
"Shouldn't we talk about the contract first?" Abi was not beating around the bush.
"Oh, gutsy little lamb," he laughed as he bent and touched her cheek. "I think I should train you about patience."
Abi subconsciously gulped because of the way he looked at her. He just seemed like he was thinking about something she couldn't even imagine.
"No, it's not because I'm impatient. I just think that that should be the first thing we should talk about. I want to know what I am allowed or not allowed to do as your girlfriend," she explained, looking as serious as ever.
Alexander found her way of thinking quite amusing. It seemed like this girl was all about doing things ever so properly.
"There's no need for you to sign a contract, Abigail."
"Because… I think you're too naïve to plot against me. Those contracts were just for formalities, in case things turned… sour." He said with a serious tone and playful smirk as he tilted his face and his dark grey eyes downward to look at her.
"All you have to do is follow three rules, Abigail…" He started and Abigail held her breathe in anticipation. She was a little nervous. "First, you will be home before or during twilight. Any later than that and you'll be punished. Understand?"
Abi blinked. She didn't expect that this was actually his first rule.
"I understood… I just thought that my curfew is pretty early." She trailed off but Alexander just looked at her with eyes silently saying the words 'my house, my rules'.
"Second, while you're in this house, you will listen to no one but me. Only do what I ask you to do. Understand?" Abi nodded again. "And last, but not the least –"
"I won't ask or demand for your love. Got it." Abi took the words out of his mouth and Alexander eyes glittered with something she couldn't fathom, as a smile curved on his face.
"If you abide by those three rules, then, we'll be fine, Abigail…" he trailed off as he cupped her face again. A glorious, chilling hue popped against his long dark, lashes as he stared at her. "If not…"
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Abigail was brought to another enormous hall which was the dining hall. This room was also enormous but she was starting to get used to that. What she wasn't expecting was a long dining table that could sit about 20 people on each side. The table was made of wood, sealed and varnished, and had shiny bronze candelabras with thin long candles, placed at meter long intervals. On the roof, there was another chandelier hanging from the rooftop. There was a golden chair at the head of the table and then rows of them on either side of the table.