As the Giant gets a good hearty meal at the Kitchen, tension is easing betweeen Zero and Bridgette.
Avoiding any kind of eye contact with the two, he instead turned his eyes to where he had left the large bouquet of flowers. A sigh of relief as he saw them on a stand table in the hallway. Walking over and gently picking them up, he made sure none of them were damaged as he made his way back in the kitchen where Ember was getting the vases ready.
As he made his way back in, he noticed the two others leaving, making Alexander a bit relieved. He disliked crowded areas the most. Noticing Ember by the sink filling the vases. He placed the flowers down op top of a counter and took out his pocket knife, starting to trim them to the appropriate length to fit the vases.
She looked at Alexander as he trimmed them to the right lengths. She separated the flowers arranging them in bouquets for each vase. She arranged them over and over a few times till she thought they looked perfectly gathered. “How does that look? Or do you think they need rearranged?” She asked him wanting his opinion.
To feel Zero tense beneath the placement of her hand, the young baker again could sense the internal conflict that was affecting his moods. Bridgette was not a violent person, nor was she one normally to lash out in anger. When she had slapped Zero a short time ago, it was out of fear partially, but also shock. She just was not used to anyone speaking to her at all, and the first person to pay her any real attention had accused her of a crime she was blind too.
As Zero stood his ground but remained mute to her answers as to why he suddenly was able to see color in his world, the french maid kept her hand pressed to his chest. She could have drawn it back at any time, but for some reason it was like this single gesture may have been a turning point for both of them. She had not ever reached out to anyone, and it was unusual that she was doing this to the same man who had just attacked her both physically and verbally.
As his temper ebbed away like the drawing out of the tide, Bridgette let out a breath slowly. Her eyes were locked onto his, fixed in his gaze and unable to look away. Zero’s eyes were mesmerizing and in fact they were the most beautiful hue of ember she had ever seen.
At last an introduction. The man was more than capable of being a gentleman after all. Had he put up similar walls to keep out other people in the mansion like she had? Shying away from having to integrate and be social. Realizing she still was touching him with her hand, she drew it back slowly and then uttered her name.
“Bridgette.” She had a last name, and a pretty one at that, but she felt her first name was much more…personal. And then in an act of respect, she gripped her skirts and dropped a small curtsy as was customary to someone she regarded as…a noble person. Her head bowed slightly, as she found the colour of pink rising to her cheeks.
“I am….sorry for my reaction..to …le book.” Bridgette was trying to show that she did not wish ill between them. It was hard enough being trapped in a mansion and then having enemies, or people you had to avoid.
“Forgive me for having placed you in such a position Ember. I should have tried to avoid that situation instead of interfering, as from the looks of it, she did not even wish to be helped. I have placed you in a unnecessary and dangerous situation which…had shaken you up.”
He had apologized before to her, however, he did not feel it was enough. Seeing her shaking and crying just moments before, made him feel even more responsible for it than before.
“Forgive me..” He spoke as he slipped his hand on top of her own, meeting his eyes with his own apologetic ones.
She glanced at his hand as he placed it on hers. She looked up and met his eyes. “You have already been forgiven. Dont worry about it everything is alright now.” She smiled at him lightly. “Now come on lets get these flowers in the vases and then find where they are going to go.” She told him hoping to lighten the mood. She didnt want him beating himself up over what had happened.
He repeated softly and then inhaled deeply. They were pretty close to each other and…had her scent always been this intoxicating? His nose crinkled slightly as his brain tried to flush out the foreign thoughts. Strange. He felt strange, but was more welcoming to the changes now and just sat there taking it.
Golden hues watched her do a little curtsy, which threw him off even more. Should he be bowing? Was there a social code he was failing to know? As her head bowed he took a moment to really look over her, instead of creepily staring at her from behind like he had in the kitchen. Her hair was shining and a deep chocolate, a color he’d only really seen on her so far. She was petite and yet strong, muscle wise, human wise, that was. And clearly she was graceful when not being thrown around by a raging psychopath. Her cheeks were different now and he tilted his head in silent confusion.
Why? Was she ill?
“No.” Zero said swiftly, raising a hand and waving a hand, like he was clearing the air around them. “The book…It was clearly my fault. I was…an inconsiderate idiot.” He huffed, feeling his pride being torn about before him. Why was he suddenly saying all this?! He glanced to the stacked pages. A new found determination set it.
“I’ll fix it and bind it, as well as speak to the library.” The butler offered, seemingly satisfied with his words. Then he was back to Bridgette and a thought crossed his mind. There was a word for this that the bigo–er—people around the mansion used. A relationship of sorts.
“Are we…friends?” Hopeful. “I’ve never had one. But I think I will like it.” He was so sure. It couldn’t be terrible…Everybody had them!
Zero’s offer to fix the book by binding it and then speaking to those that ran the library brought about a rare smile from the small french baker. It was generous, and to think she may never cook those delicious recipes again had made her react as she did earlier. Now, there was a new hope. Bridgette was not one to hold onto anger. It passed much like that of a winter storm, only to have the warm rays of sun – be it her smile that shone through at the end.
Bridgette had not moved from her place whilst speaking to Zero, so they were still standing so incredibly close. His animated hand gestures only added weight to his speech that he meant every word, and was sincere. It was all one could hope for really.
“Are we friends?…”I’ve never had one. But I think I will like it.” the Vampire butler said. Truth be told, the french maid had no friends in this house, and as she considered his question, she could not see the harm in it. They had met under the most bizarre of circumstances. She caused him to feel pain and then see color in his black and white world, while his rampaging had brought about the end of her beloved book. Now, they saw each other in a different light, and friendship could now blossom from the heady exchange of emotions.
“Oui…we…can be friends, Zero..” There, she said it. A truce and a new friendship. “You ..are my first..er..friend. My only..” Those words were true. She had not allowed anyone close to her until now. Perhaps this was a good change for both of them.
“Shall…we go to …the library?” Bridgette thought they might have book binding equipment there. One never knew until they looked.
She told him to quickly get things done so they may go on and put these around the place. With a nod of his head, he worked quickly and got the vases done. Picking three up in his arms, he thought as to where to put these at. He looked over at Ember before speaking.
“Any place you desire to put some of these in?”
She fluttered her wings lightly. “We could use some more color all over but I dont want to have to cut that many flowers. If we did there would be no flowers in the garden. Maybe we could see if Ophelia could get some bright false flowers for us to use everywhere else. “It would still add color without harming the actual flowers.” She told him. She picked up some of the vases and smelled the sweet flowers.
“I think we can wait and rest for a bit. While we are at it, we can even prepare something for ourselves to enjoy while being here. I dislike dining in a place where i must socialize with multiple people. It is a headache.’
He placed the pots back down and offered her a smile before going to check the counters for anything they would have available to prepare for themselves.
It felt like the rays from the sunlight that’d he once hated. It made the events and the ill feelings slowly drain away. It made him a bit sick to think about this mushy gushy fluttering when Bridgette accepted the proposal to become friends. He tried not to smile, but never the less his lips twitched upwards ever so slightly.
Good. They were together alone. It was odd to put it that way but with both of them lacking friendships it seemed to be the best description. He’d not have to go through the awkwardness alone, if there was any to be had. He imagined, per this friendship thing actually work out for the two of them, that they’d both look back onto this day and laugh. And that pleased him even more.
“Yes. The library. I’ve never been.”
Zero admitted. The whole time he’d existed in the mansion he hadn’t bothered to care or even inquire as to where the library was. He refused to cater to the patrons so other butlers had to go there. It was a place of knowledge and that was still something he was afraid of. The truth. Why they were here. Who they were. And so on and so forth.
“Lead the way.”
With that he stepped over to the pile of papers and selected them in his hands carefully, wondering what the nit picky librarians would say about this mess and he sighed a bit, hoping things didn’t get as tense as they had been. After Bridgette began to walk he’d follow her, staying slightly behind her and to the right so that he wasn’t just trailing along but could actually uphold a conversation with her.
“What is your favorite color?” He’d question after they departed the kitchens, hoping it’d be enough to keep up until their arrival.
She looked around the kitchen and bit her lip. “I dont know how to cook really. And I dont know what we can fix that the chefs wont use. Dont really want to get in trouble with them.” she said. She looked around chewing her lip trying to think of what wasnt used just for cooking that could be quick to fix.
Alexander replied as he was looking through the pantry until it struck him. There was one very simple dish that he could make with ease. Not something fancy, but he hoped it would satisfy Ember.
“Omelet, that i can make without turning the kitchen upside down. But, if it is not to your liking i can try to think of something else?”
Turning to face her, Alexander leaned against one of the counters and began to pull up his sleeves before going to wash his hands and grabbing some eggs. If she would agree, he would then ask her politely to pick the vegetables she liked to add to the dish. He was not a picky man. All vegetables were t his liking so anything she would choose would not be of a problem to him.
She washed her hands carefully. After she was done she found a cutting board and started cutting the tomatoes up as well as chopping some of the herbs. She was trying to be careful not to cut herself. She had a feeling that she hadnt really cooked before she she was doing her best not to mess anything up. She was still worried that the cooks would come in and get mad.
Bridgette was a little surprised that the Vampire had never been to the library. She assumed that as he was a butler that he would have seen to ever part of the mansion. The French maid blinked, but then answered politely. ”It has a wealth of books on many…er thingz.” Though the maid herself had only stolen herself into the library a few times – the one time where she found the treasured cook book, she had to admit it was a place where you could go and find the most amazing treasures for the mind and heart.
”I can..take you.” Bridgette stepped back, her long skirt sweeping over the carpeted hall way. At first she was nervous to take a step forward, hesitating ever slightly. Then taking in a breath she started off in the direction of the library. Bridgette could feel the Vampire’s presence was close in behind her so she paced herself carefully. When she had time later, the young French baker would thank those two kind people that had stepped in earlier, and explain how quickly the quarrel had turned into something more.
Walking with her hands held together – fingers intertwined, Bridgette answered Zero’s question about what her favourite colour was. She actually slowed her pace and thought about this. The type of colour she liked might show an insight into her personality, and she was happy to respond.
”Gold. The colour of the morning sun as it comes…over the horizon. It…er…reprezentz….a new day…a new beginning.”As she was a baker, she always tried to get up before sunrise…just to see it. It was the one thing she could count on. Standing in the cool of the empty kitchen, the rays of golden light would welcome her every morning….like an old friend.
”We..are almost there.’ Bridgette said, turning the last corner to face the doorway to the Library. <3>