A/N: This first chapter will be in the POV of the butler.
Nightlight. I stood and waited for the midwives to exit the master's bedroom. I could hear the the soft mewls of the baby, the new master.
"Dareios, enter." A weak voice called me from within. After a moment of pause, I proceeded to where the mistress called. Wrapped in her arms was the young master, who was then passed on to a wet nurse. When I was alone with the mistress, she stared me down with all the strength a woman who had went through labor could muster. Even that was enough to cause me to turn.
"What occurred as the boy was born?" She spoke fearlessly. I turned my body straight to her, but my eyes were downcast.
"Nothing, m'lady. The master only stepped outside to handle a business issue that arose, but nothing else." I reassured the fragile lady in bed. There was a moment of silence, and I could feel the lady's temper rise, along with the tension in the room. "You speak lies."
I bowed my head. "Forgive me, m'lady."
"Do not make me repeat myself Dareios, son of Xelnu and Pryss." She motioned me to approach her bedside. Tentatively, I drew to her side.
The mistress was a fair lady. Pale ivory skin with defined facial structures. Her cheeks sat high on her face and her forehead wide above her brow. Her hair was a deep brown that would have cascaded around her face, as if caressing it, if not for her post-deliverance state. She was also a women of tall stature. She rivaled closely with the master. Long gowns fit her lithe body flatteringly and her powerful nature set her whole aura.
"A factory has been victim to an arson. It was two towns removed from this place. If it had not been a city highly influenced by the master, it would be but a trivial matter. Since arsonists have been frequent in this season, it may all be a coincidence as well. M'lady, your servant did not want to frighten you so soon after labor. You have always been a one to fall into superstition. I did not want to worry you with such events that would bring up bad omens." I bowed to my lady.
"You speak truth, Dareios. Superstition has been attached to my life from the moment I joined my family's business. My father and mother were both very heeding of an oracle's words. However, there is also truth in what they did. In this business, luck is deeply intertwined. I will continue to monitor this situation; I have an ill notion about that child. Do not dare keep anything from me; remember, I am your master before my husband. Have preparations ready for mine and the child's departure. Hide them in a place of discrepancy but easy access. If I must leave, I must quickly." The woman did not falter in a single word. She had the confidence of an emperor. I bowed once more.
"Very well, m'lady."
(100 days later)
"Dareios, I want to leave now." She caught me in a corner while I was checking the guest list for an upcoming party; the baby master's first birthday. I closed the large black leather book.
"I understand your anxiety, but it is unwise to leave now. The head master, your father, has yet to have his funeral. You must attend. Else, people will find it strange. I implore you, overlook this incident. With all due respect for your late father, he was not the youngest of men." I lead my mistress to red Victorian chaise lounge. She sat down, her green gown splaying across the furniture.
"However, Papa never had any cardiac illnesses. He died of a stroke, dear butler." She paused. "Though I can agree to remaining until the funeral and mourning period is over with. The loss of Papa must have combined with my anxiety over my boy for I was being slightly rash. However, I will leave." She looked me straight in the eyes. A small fire of conviction burned into my mind. There was no stopping this woman. I knew at the very least I could delay her movements.
I looked at the leather book in my hands.
"How about this, m'lady? Are we to cancel the baby master's birthday gathering? What will you tell the multiples guests who are expected to come? Is there a way to avoid that disaster as well?" I handed her the list of the invited guests. Along with it were the records of the RSVP's. She trembled as her eyes flitted through the influential names.
"No." She gulped. "I'll stay until the guests see the child. I will leave that very night. Do not delay me any longer, Dareios. Dear God. I have been restrained enough. Fetch me some Earl Grey, Dareios. Now." Her face fell into her gloved hands. I bowed and stepped out of the room. Before the door shut, I heard the rattling breath of my mistress.
Hundreds of bodies hustled around on the dance floor. I was rushing through the house, making sure all things flowed smoothly. I barked at the flirting maids to get cleaning. I stuck my head in the kitchen to see the busy work of the chef and his staff. I smiled to myself. It was solely in here that I was sure of productivity. The waiters walking around were perfection: tall stature, polite words, small talk, and no spilled delicacies.
I was on edge. The mistress was getting to my head. She was worrying and voicing her concerns every time she got a hold of me. As I watched the party unfold, I was anxious about anything and everything that could go wrong. Slowly, I started to understand my mistress's worry. I looked out of a window to where the sentries were posted. I saw a faint glow of fire, but nothing was burning.
I watched some more; armed men were making their way into the master's property. With them was a face I was very familiar with. Oh dear. The police are here.
I ran for the master, who was luckily next to the mistress.
"Sir. Please pardon my intrusion. I believe the police are here with your second brother in toll. It leads me to believe he has betrayed the family. We must flee." I could see the look of anger on the man's face. The people around him bustled in horror. How could something happen? And where were their standings in this? The word spread like fire and guests asked whether they would be arrested. The mistress was slowly making her way out of the room. She took the baby with her. She gave me a long look. I smiled apologetically and she fled.
The master reassured the attendees and asked them to remain in the house. He asked me to follow him. I did.
We exited the house and met the men halfway. There was a great deal of yelling and threatening. However, the master calmed all down and with his slick tongue, convinced the men there was nothing suspicious going on. It was a simple birthday party with simple civilians. The second brother predictably refuted everything. My master was quick; he wove lies about how his family had a history of illnesses. He called to me. I stepped forwards, mind spinning. He asked the police if they wanted records, and if so, his butler could fetch them. The police backed down. It seemed as though they were acting without an order from their supervisor. They all left grumbling.
The second brother was left behind and the younger disposed of him.
(11 years later)
The boy had grown up to be a wonderful boy. He was fast and smart. He was very clever with his mouth but kind with his actions. However, we moved around a lot. His mother still held onto the superstition of his bad luck. Soon it was her time to become a victim. She died very soon after her son's 12th birthday. I was sent by the eldest son of the master's family. He was worried about his sister-in-law and his nephew. At first, I was only to observe them and report back to the elder. However, I saw the mother getting sick. I intervened, and she greeted me with a shocked smile. She knew she was dying.
I was introduced to the boy, shortly thereafter.
"Felix! This is my old friend. We practically grew up together. He also knew your father. Don't bother him too much about it though." The boy was still getting used to his growing body and was awkward. He nodded curtly and ran away. I smiled. He had grown up so well. But his name...
"He is Felix now. Don't mention anything about the times you knew him. He's a stranger now." She growled in my eye when we were alone.
The funeral was just the boy and I. I was not to let him know anything about his past life and lineage. He was Felix now; I was to forget his previous name.
A/N: Yes. His name is Day. It's a real name. Trust. Sorry for the REALLY late upload. Everything was from scratch. So hard. It might be weird at the birthday scene. I didn't really know how to handle it. Slowly things are revealed. I hope people are catching on to the family's occupation. The princess won't be introduced for another chapter or so. 'Night.