I am SO sorry!
I know many of my previous readers are long gone, and I havn't updated in well...a year. *coughs ashamedly* Anyways, though I cannot express my sorrow, I hope you enjoy the next installment! :)
I'm tired. Bleh.
Ciel's voice rang out, freezing both me and what would've been my murderer.
Obviously displeased he was unable to finish me off, the butler turned to his master as Ciel spoke once more. "Was I asleep?"
So close to death, to dying at Sebastian's hands. The said butler released his hold on me to turn to the boy, replying smugly, as if he were not about to murder me. "Yes, with your mouth sloppily open." I remained frozen, too shocked to really move at the moment. He was about to kill me. The words kept running through my head. Who exactly was this man? "Then you should have woken me." Ciel snapped, and I could practically hear the frown in his words. "That was in poor taste." I let out a small breath, and heard Ciel intake in surprise. "Oh, you are…" I turned around just as Sebastian stepped to the side so that I was visible to the very young Earl. "She is here the thank you." The deadly butler smiled concivingly, and Ciel nodded. "I see." Wordlessly, I watched the boy walk around his large desk to stand in front of me, bowing his head. Something inside me tightened, and I tried to push it away. Luckily, my face was able to hide the flurry of emotions drowning me inside. "I am truly sorry-" He frowned, and the pain, or…guilt….increased. "The poor security of this manor brought about your misadventure." Recalling the inhumanly injured and flamboyant red-head, and the man with glasses, I suppressed a shudder. What were they? They didn't act very human. Then again…
Neither did Sebastian. Especially now.
"All blame is in me, the head of the Household of the Earl of Phantomhive." Was all of his politeness, his butler edict an act? I suppose it must have. If so, then he must be one hell of an actor. Even if he did try to kill me. Although, it was not even that which sent my emotions and confusion over the edge. I have never failed, never felt….guilty for my actions. Why did I start now, on such an important mission? My stomach felt as if it were coiling and twisting in my gut, a snake writhing inside. Now I understood why I had tried so desperately to rid myself of feelings. Guilt was such an unpleasant experience. Painful, almost.
With a start, I realized the Earl had held out his hand to me, was still speaking. The gnawing guilt grew. These so called feelings of regret and such were going to flood me, how could average people stand it constantly? "If you would be so kind as to pardon me…" His uncovered eye opened with a genuine-looking smile as he exclaimed. "Your ball is yet to begin!"
The grand doors opened to reveal a dark room as the Earl still held my hand in his. It was pitch black in there. Did he bring me here to kill me? My heart raced at the thought. Only the butler knew….but for how long? And…why didn't he kill me? My thoughts of worry - Ones that I shouldn't of been having at all - were interrupted by a familiar girl's voice calling out from the dark. "Happy Birthday!" One by one, candles were lit then the entire room was filled with light, and much to my surprise, people. With a quiet jolt, I realized Sebastian was there, bowing, as ever. One hell of an actor indeed.
"Please welcome tonight's most honored guest!" Ciel exclaimed, lifting my hand in the air. Elizabeth, Paula the maid, along with the Prince Soma, his servant Agni, the merchant Lau and his…well, 'partner' were there too. The boy released my hand and I stepped forward, holding both of my gloved hands in front of me. Incredulously, I realized I was nervous. Nervous, of all things! What has become of me…am I growing that weak? I remembered to force a smile on my lips as some familiar voices spoke out. "Oh, so this is…" "That dress looks good on you, too!" Once I had reached where Elizabeth and the others were, she clasped her hands together and smiled; Something which I assumed she did often. "Onee-sama, everyone is here to celebrate your birthday!" My….what? Then, being the sly butler I'm learning he is, Sebastian leaned forward from behind me to whisper in my ear. "Young Master and Lady Elizabeth were preparing in secret, a surprise party just for you." He leaned back slightly, to my silent relief, but continued talking softly. "Natrually I assume the birthday you told Lady Elizabeth was probably a fake." He wasn't wrong. I faintly remembered discussing the upcoming arrival of my 'birthday' during the first time I had 'met' the young blonde. "Nevertheless, today is a special day not only for Lady Elizabeth but for the Phantomhives." The said blonde beamed at me, causing more pain in my abdomen. I hoped this wasn't what guilt felt like, although my hopes were probably wrong.
"Sebastian, we brought it over!" The American accent was clear, and I turned along with the black-clad butler to find the three servants from earlier pushing a huge cake inside. Although I wasn't too proud, my mouth dropped open ever so slightly. I had never seen anything like it before! "Here it is!" The young blonde gardner cried out happily, and Elizabeth joined in. "What a splendid cake!" Sebastian smiled graciously and added. "We made our every effort for your sake." I almost truly smiled at the efforts Elizabeth and the Phantomhive servants', but refrained. Although I was flattered beyond belief-Even if the information I had told Elizabeth was a lie, I didn't expect any of this to happen. I was also wary of the almost inhuman man beside me. Together, my reign of my emotions was lost. Ever since my near murder, I had lost my control. It was the butler's fault. Once again Elizabeth's voice cut through my thoughts, forcing me back to the situation at hand. Was I losing my touch? It certainly felt like it. But that was exactly the problem. Feeling. "Then, Sebastian, sing us a birthday song!" Smiling falsely, as I could see now, he bowed his head humbly. "I? That would be presumptuous of me." I kept from narrowing my eyes at him, then turned my gaze to the young girl. Instead of backing down, she chirped, eyes bright. "A song always follows a birthday cake, doesn't it? Do it for Onee-sama!" No one noticed me wince. This guilt feeling, chewing at my insides was enough to make me wish I could hold back all emotion. It was an unpleasant feeling, almost painful, and nagging. The ruby-eyed butler lip's lifted in a smile, and he simply replied. "If you so ask, Lady Elizabeth, I cannot possibly refuse. Very well." My own lips twisting into a frustrated frown as a thought wormed itself in my head. 'All this time, you had fallen for this butler pretense. Not a doubt in your mind you'd be caught. Are you really as sly as you thought?' I grimaced, then froze as a clear, familiar voice cut through my sourness like a knife. My gaze jerked to Sebastian as he sang, and without my permission, my heart raced slightly faster, despite the fact that I was not in any immediate danger. He sings beautifully, I had to admit. "Happy birthday to…" He paused, met my gaze with another one of those smiles, and then continued singing. I couldn't seemed to look away. I was, somehow, transfixed. A new emotion bubbled in my stomach. "Happy birthday to you." The last note rang out clear, and applause broke out among the strangers-I mean, guests. He just kept on surprising me, didn't he?
Music rang through the large room, and I stood stiffly watching, holding my hands in my lap. Dancing was the last thing on my mind. For a moment my eyes followed the Earl and Elizabeth dancing, watching the blonde smile as he twirled her delicately. "Milady.." A voice which I did not want to hear sounded from my left. Despite my efforts, I could not outright ignore him, for obvious reasons. I still had a persona to keep up, even if the butler had seen through me. It didn't appear like the others were aware of my true identity. How would they react if they knew? Shaking that last thought, I glanced over at Sebastian. In his gloved hands he held a slice of the enormous - and…rather delicious looking- cake. My stomach warbled in complaint, and I hoped he could not hear it. "The wrist of yours I grasped a while ago should still hurt." Indeed it did. My lips pursed at him, purposely showing my discontent. A childish act, I am aware. Yet I could not stop myself. "Let me humbly lend you a hand."
With a small, growing ball of what I can only call dread and embarrassment, I watched him cut a bite size portion of the slice with the fork. "We made this birthday cake just for you. Now…" He opened his mouth as example and held the piece of cake on the fork out for me to bite. Glad I could not reveal my embarrassment to him, I opened my mouth and let him feed me the cake. Looking down, I decided. The cake was more than delicious, admittedly so. Not that I would tell him that. Sebastian looked out at the rich couples in the ballroom with an unreadable expression. "Now, the ball is opening. It seems that only the two of us are left." To my horror, everyone had somehow found a dancing partner, and were swirling peacefully around to the tune of the musicians. Suddenly I felt like all the air had been sucked out of the room. Oh, no.
No. I would not. I will not. Moaning inwardly, I observed as Sebastian pulled out a pair of glasses from one of his hidden pockets I supposed, and cleaned them before slipping them on. Why would he need glasses to dance? Another revaluation hit me. Why would he dance with me? The answer came as quickly as the unbidden question. For appearances. Why else would he do anything? That sure didn't explain the man with the scythe and the red-haired maniac. A sudden shudder racked my body, and I tried to hide it. Judging from the glimpse in his ruby eyes, he didn't miss it. Of course not.
Sebastian peered at me through the useless pair of glasses resting on his slender nose, smiling condescendingly. "If I may, let me instruct you on dance steps, a tonight is most likely your first time at a ball as well." My lips pressed together, but I refused to answer him. The bastard knew he was right, anyways. His hand waited outstretched. Finally, I slowly lifted my uninjured hand and placed it in his, but not before hesitating. He had attempted to kill me. But…he couldn't exactly try such a move now, could he? His image was too important.
His grip was surprisingly gentle yet firm. His other hand moved to my waist, and we began to move in a circle languidly. My breath was uncontrollably fast, and as we moved, the room did too. A new form of panic enveloped me suddenly, and I stared hard at the button's on Sebastian coat, hoping to calm myself. Gradually, with longer breaths, I was able to slow my heart beat. "That's it. Calm down and compose yourself as if you are about to kill a man." My eyes traveled up to his face, yet again taken aback by the mysterious man. Part of me didn't even want to question as to how he knew. I wasn't afraid, though. Not that much. My change in expression must've clued him in, for he studied me thoughtfully, then said. "Perhaps you are wondering why I am not killing you." I met his fixed stare, refusing to break eye contact, even though I wanted to quite badly. "My duty as a butler is to facilitate the ball." Sebastian continued, lifting the corner of his lips in such a subtly way I might not of noticed it. Breaking my gaze and concentration, he looked away. "I would rather not, after all that preparation, stain the even with human blood-" A chill filled my veins as he spoke so causally. Human blood. "and my Master has ordered me to offer you hospitality." Sebastian blood colored eyes flashed to mine, blank and cold. Another shiver worked it's way up my spine in spite of myself.
"If you return to assassinate Young Master, then I will kill you with no mercy." he added smiling. "However, if you return a guest, then I will off you the best hospitality." Sebastian suddenly leaned his face closer to mine, his pale features moving much closer than already comfortable. "Do you understand? If you do, please make a barking sound like a dog." What? I had no choice here, and we both knew it. After a reluctant pause, I forced out a small 'bark', much to my humiliation. My blood boiled now in frustration and anger, but my blade was useless here. He was inhuman, whatever that meant. I tried not to ponder on that too much.
The raven haired butler pulled away from my face, to my relief, and nodded. "Very well done. Please remember this promise is a secret between us." He flashed me a full smile, squinting his eyes closed in what I supposed was to be merry. I found it rather odd. My pride was irrevocably damaged, as well as a few other things, so I decided to ask the butler a question. Why not? I hid a resigned sigh. Even if it was a question I already knew the answer to. For some reason, he seemed to blink in a expression of astonishment when I asked him. His pale face and dark hair looked suitably fashionable with the simple spectacles, despite how queer this was. "Am I of the same trade, you ask?" Sebastian shook his head, as if I was simply a child asking a foolish question. Perhaps I was, to him. "No, I am nothing of a hit man."
"I am merely one hell of a butler."
I love that line. ;) 3
I WILL UPDATE MORE QUICKLY.
Especially since the story's almost over.~ I'm thinking of a sequel, from my imagination of course. What do you think?
If you're reading this, I'M SORRY!