\"If it isn't too intrusive, how did they pass away?\" asked Mrs. Artemis as Penny placed her teacup down on the saucer. It was the third cup and she was already feeling the need to go visit the powder room again.
Unlike her, Damien had refused on the face of telling them how he had already drunk plenty amount of blood in the Delcrov's mansion and how he was full right now due to which his teacup was placed as empty as it was brought out at the table.
\"Not at all,\" Penny gave Mrs. Artemis the sweetest smile to let the woman know she meant no harm at all before it fell down. She looked as if she was back to remembering the memories of her parents when in truth Penny was trying to find the rights words and the disease she could associate with her parent's death, \"It was the consumption that took their lives,\" her expression had mellowed down as she replied to Mrs. Artemis' question.
The woman shook her head, a sigh passing from her mouth, \"I am sorry to hear that. Only if there was a way to cure it…\"
\"How about yourself, Lady Artemis?\" Penny asked, not wanting to lose the window where she could ask the same question to the lady.
\"Well, as you see it's just me and my husband now,\" Penny and Damien were already aware that their two children, the boys, had drowned. The question of how had been concluded as an unfortunate event. Knowing there would be no point in asking something they were aware of, Penny asked,
\"Your nephew and niece that you mentioned last time, do you know where they live? Maybe Damien and I can go visit them to let you know how they are doing.\"
Mrs. Artemis' eyes flickered, an unexplainable expression passing through her eyes that Penny couldn't deduce. Mr. Artemis instead took to answer it,
\"They actually changed their address after getting married, it has been more than fifteen years now since we have heard from them. After they got married, it was kinda hard to connect back. I guess children grow up too fast,\" the man laughed and everyone laughed along, their empty laughs filling up the hallowed room.
\"Did you do something that they don't want to talk to you anymore?\" Damien's words were sharp enough that Penny internally closed her eyes. The pureblooded vampire had no idea on how to be subtle about things and went directly for the kill.
Mr. Artemis gave a thoughtful look, \"I don't think so, we looked after them really well. Didn't we dear?\" he asked his wife.
\"That's true,\" the woman smiled. Penny found it hard to decide if the elder couple were either good at lying or if she was only looking into the matter unnecessarily too close where the couple meant no harm, \"They are lovely children we got to bring up. Always so well behaved and nice.\"
\"How long are you going to be here, Mr. Quinn? Will you be staying after the tea party that is held during the weekend?\"
\"Yes, that's the plan. You have a lovely house. A shame that they haven't set a Winter's ball in here,\" Damien said looking around at the architecture, \"I know an excellent architect who lives in Bonelake. Have you heard the man named Jerome Wells?\"
\"I might have heard about him,\" Mrs. Artemis responded. Picking her own cup of tea which she hadn't actually drunk yet. Penny noticed how the woman stirred the tea with a spoon after adding sugar but never took a sip from it. She picked it up to only place it back on the table again.
\"He has very good designs. If you ever plan to build a house or want to modify something in here, you should definitely contact him,\" Damien gave out a free promotion to the vampire's work.
\"We'll be sure to keep that in mind. Thank you, Mr. Quinn,\" Mrs. Artemis replied.
\"Why don't we take a walk in the house, dear and leave the men here,\" Mrs. Artemis proposed. It made Penny wonder if the woman was going to take her around the house so that she could let her guard down or to erase any thought of suspicion, considering the maid had told her that one side of the mansion was not allowed to have guests.
Penny stood up along with Mrs. Artemis, giving Damien a look who gave her a nod to go with the lady of the house.
Leaving the men behind, both Penny and Mrs. Artemis started to walk in the house, taking up the stairs that was away from the hall and people. The house was kept pretty, decorating it with fresh flowers that seemed like it had only been put in the vases this morning.
As they continued to walk, Penny could feel the awkward silence growing between them. Previously she had somehow tried to hold up conversations but right now for some odd reason, her mind couldn't pop up with the right question.
\"How have you been spending time here in Valeria? Did you go shopping or have you been stuck in the Delcrov's mansion?\" asked Mrs. Artemis.
Creating potions, adding odd things in the cauldron while adding things to test and turning them black. Learning if I could get something out of the black and white magic, thought Penny in her mind.
She gave the woman a smile again, \"I have been in the mansion, it gets boring,\" the woman gave her a knowing look.
\"You should come here then,\" proposed Mrs. Artemis, \"I am sure we ladies will have much more to do. I am very good at cooking. Right now it is just me and Mr. Artemis, without the children it gets lonely. When Caitlin was here it was much easier, she was like a daughter. I still remember brushing her red hair.\"
Penny nodded her head before something finally hit her. She now understood why the face appeared to be familiar...
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