1 Introduction

"Caroline!"

The voice of her pursuer calls out to her as she darts down the dimly lit corridor, hoping to elude them. But the footsteps only get closer and closer. She runs down the end of the corridor to a crossroad.

"Right or left?"

The footsteps get closer.

"Was the exit right or left?!"

She thinks to herself, as the voice calls out to her once again.

"Caroline! Come out, come out, wherever you are!"

"Right!"

She turns down the corridor and runs as fast as she's able. As she gets further down the hallway, a bright light shines through, causing her to almost leap with joy; she had chosen the right way! Or at least that's what she had thought. As she gets closer, she realizes that this is, in fact, a dead end. The light was coming from a window, taking up the majority of the wall. She turns to go back, but she's met with a familiar pair of vibrant purple eyes, staring back at her from the end of the hallway. She freezes in fear as the figure grins and calmly walks towards her.

"Found you."

She looks between the figure and the window, only a few feet behind her at the end of the hallway. She weighs her options and decides to take her chances with the window. She takes a deep breath and runs toward it. She closes her eyes and braces for an impact that never comes.

April 21, 1835

Caroline’s eyes shoot open, she immediately scans her surroundings; after realizing that she is still in her carriage, her breathing steadies.

“We've arrived.”

A deep voice pulls her out of her thoughts. She looks up to see her butler and escort, Edgar Smith, holding his gloved hand out to her.

"Are you ready?"

"Y-Yes."

She stammers on her words before taking his hand. He carefully helps her out of the carriage and onto the pathway leading up to the manor. A group of around twenty or thirty servants are lined up to greet her. A man, around the same age as Edgar, walks up to them. He politely bows to her, before speaking.

"Welcome to the Van Allen Residence, Lady Boushley. I’ll be taking care of you for the remainder of your stay here. You may call me Edmond."

An eerie feeling creeps up in the back of her mind, but she brushes it off and curtsies.

“Thank you-”

“Please follow me, the Count wishes to meet with you before dinner.”

He begins walking up the stairs, not bothering to wait for Caroline's response. A man a year or two younger than her opens the door for them. The butler leads her up a dimly lit corridor to the Count’s office. He stops a few feet from the door and turns to her.

“I’ll show Mr. Smith out, while you're meeting with the Count. When you're done, Ms.Windsor will come and show you to your sleeping quarters.”

He doesn't give Caroline the chance to respond. He begins walking back in the direction they came from, and motions for Edgar to follow.

“Goodbye, Lady Boushley, it's been an honor to serve you.”

He takes the back of her hand in his and kisses it.

“Please, take good care of my father,” she pleads.

“I will do my best.”

He bows, before taking his leave.

Caroline turns around and takes a deep breath, as the door opens to reveal an oddly familiar pair of vibrant purple eyes.

Next chapter