The Pawn, Risen appeared to be somewhat of a hit. Readers were interested by the certain angle on Elizabeth's more-so adult character, so I gave it another try. This setting follows sometime after the party they went to in the other story. I hope whoever enjoyed The Pawn, Risen will like this piece as well. And I'm planning on writing one more after this one soon, so it'll be a small trilogy.
"You may enter," Elizabeth responded to the knock that echoed out from the opposite side of her door.
The Earl's butler stepped in after receiving permission, his arms full with renewed bedding. "Lady Elizabeth," he addressed her with proper hospitality. "I apologize for not seeing to your needs when your carriage arrived this morning, for I was with the Master during a business meeting. But I still do hope you are well on this wonderful, and unclouded afternoon."
"Yes, thank you, Sebastian." Elizabeth said from her spot, before the vanity station near the French fashioned widows.
Ruby tinted eyes observed the Manor's regular guest, fixing her long pale yellow curls into an all-up-style independently with no assistance from one of her maids, whatsoever. Perchance, had she arrived unaccompanied today?
"I am not disturbing you, correct?" he inquired abruptly, recollecting the knowledge that females become rather self-conscious, or offended if they were watched while they pampered and groomed themselves, before they go out and about.
Elizabeth returned him a 'don't-be-ridiculous' sort of facial expression, "Please, not at all. Do whatever you came here to do. I will not stand in your way."
The butler gave her a little relieved smile before continuing his duty of smoothing over the recently washed quilts, and puffing out the fresh pillows upon her guest bed, performing it all in his ordinary impeccable conduct.
The young Middleford maiden had been visiting the Phantomhive estate more and more often these days than she had as a child, since she was to wed Master Ciel within one week's following. There were a small number of remaining lessons and preparations yet to complete as a pair, before the actual ceremony could carry out itself.
"Oh my, Sebastian, what happened to your sleeve? The left seam is unraveling a bit there." The maiden pointed out curiously.
Sebastian immediately loathed himself for not changing his coat before coming to Lady Elizabeth's quarters. How could a demon be so forgetful over such a petty thing? Honestly, an incompetent demon could not claim himself as a worthy butler of Phantomhive. Moreover, he had not intended on telling the girl about the very early morning's sudden, but quickly-handled gunshot clash and attempt kidnapping of the Earl Phantomhive once more. Sebastian ignored the detail when he had allowed that random bullet to graze his arm in order to lift Ciel out of harm's way, the rival's bull's-eye. The rounds came too recklessly, and too rapidly for the poor Earl to react as appropriately, and level-headed as he would have wanted during the situation.
"Again, I find myself apologizing for not looking the part as a well-kept, responsible servant for a Nobel member of England. I should be scolded." Those were the only words that he granted her.
And during the subsequent moments, Sebastian found a little factor faintly fascinating. He was quite sure, if he, himself were human just then, he would have felt more intimidated and unconfident under the weight of Elizabeth's distrustful, cynical glare that she dared to aim his way. Her deep emerald eyes blazed with a certain knowing-otherwise flame.
He was quick to redirect the conversation, regardless. "Anyways…the Master also expresses his desire for you to dine with him as soon as his client leaves this evening. He demands that you wait and stay in the Manor until then."
"How sweet of him," she sighed, and stood up, crossing the room, and thinking too it'd be best to overpass the truth for now, "however, I must express my opposing desire to meet with my brother, in the meantime."
Sebastian could not help but to blink in wonder, "You mean…you refuse him, Milady?"
"Refusal sounds too harsh of a term to use in this sense, Sebastian." She paused in mid-stroll, and she smiled calmly while turning to face him. "Think of it as a humble decline on my part. You see, I would be more than happy to join Ciel for dinner later on, but I cannot discount my training for hours and wait around to see him. Mother would not be so pleased to hear that I was forced to miss my appointment with Edward to practice our fencing, and hand-to-hand self-defense."
"But, I do not think it would be wise to—"
"These times are not so generous to females, Sebastian. Surely, you have noticed this; I have never really pegged you for the dull-minded type. Personally the way I see it, in order to sustain their full and total happiness, the womankind must be generous to their selves…or at least once in a while."
Sebastian lived throughout a small number of centuries, and he knew perfectly well of how women were viewed then and overtime. They were more or less, property to their suitors, simply second-rank objects, trophies to gather and flaunt off as well.
"That is…a fairly developed and inspiring accusation, I must admit, Lady Elizabeth."
She nodded appreciatively, "Ciel has his seasonal hunting now, and he has his company and his other responsibilities and requirements for an English Nobleman to call his own. And you know, after we are married, it is regular protocol for all of a lady's possessions to be reverted over to her husband's name? Also, once I become his wife, I cannot leave this Manor, my new home, without a suitable chaperone, as you recall? In return…I just hope Ciel will be a trustful enough husband to not take something important away from me, which had become a very part of me."
Very interesting choice of words, indeed, thought the butler.
"No…," he decided on to reply smoothly, "I cannot imagine the Master doing such a thing to you. He hardly can defy you of anything to begin with. He wants only the best to keep you contented."
"Therefore, can I place my confidence in you to pass on the massage to Ciel, Sebastian?"
Although in this particular age, the demon was but a lowly butler to the mortal eye, and it was not his place to argue with those of the superior class, female or not, unless it was a dire circumstance. This was Lady Elizabeth. And he was aware that she had no grudge against the Master, or any purposeful intentions to damage his image. Sebastian lifted his elegant gloved hand to his chest, his head bowing a tad, "I will inform the Master that you will accompany him this evening, just like he had mentioned."
"Thank you again, Sebastian," Elizabeth said, now ready to make her definite leave. "I look forward to seeing you both again tonight."
Besides, Sebastian supposed afterwards, Elizabeth had an intriguing frame of mind in her growing years it seemed. Perhaps having her live here with the Master may not be as dreadful in the least, in contrast to what the three other certain servants continually whisper amongst themselves. In fact, adding one more mortal like her to his time surfaced on earth, would lead him farther away from boredom of earthly livelihood. And so, he bid her a pleasant farewell, "Likewise, Milady."
Though without further warning, merely before Elizabeth had rounded the corner out of his sight, she added, "After all, Sebastian, you may be more interested to know that conflict and compromising…are just part of human life."
And she left Sebastian there in her room, who stood motionlessly, gaping at the now vacant doorway. Undoubtedly, Elizabeth had revealed herself to be quite an interesting soul. Apparently there was more to her existence than she chose to demonstrate on a regular basis, that much was evident since the night upon the ship. She knew a collection of many other peculiar somethings than she commonly shared. For a lady at sheer sixteen years of age, she was not one to take too lightly, or one to miscalculate, nor to misjudge.
And he, a demon of the dark—the Phantomhive butler while on earth, was at that instant—the knight, intrigued.