Over those two days, Lady Crest had been laid up in bed recovering from her severe blood drain. She had been so weak that her whole body pretty much filled with pins and needles. She was managing to hobble around the mansion this time. Gerald had ordered the vampire Lord off the premises while she recovered. He had taken four pints of her blood, half of her energy, with him to the Wynter clan to distribute freely like a fine wine. The thought made her sick.
Victoria had been so grateful to Ray for thwarting Spencer’s evil doings. She was beginning to think he wasn’t so bad after all. For a Saint. It didn’t mean she forgave him for bruising her cheek when he butted her with the handle of his pistol. She ventured down the stairs in search of food. She was hungrier than ever trying to make up for the loss of nutrients. She was thirstier due to the dehydration. She was still pale and weak. She shakily took each step slowly and grasped onto the hand rails. She noticed there was a lack of Saints this evening. She looked around as she reached the foot of the stairwell.
“Where’s everyone?” Even Spencer and his cronies had departed. “There has been no Hygrace activity for over a week so the high alert has been reduced to medium for now.” Ray explained as he was sat at the chess table. “Care for a game?” He offered to her as she shook her head. “Maybe later...” Her priority was ravishing a whole roast chicken at this rate. She wandered into the kitchen and asked for some supper. The maidens agreed even though they were due to finish up now and go home, a couple stayed behind to fulfil their Lady’s wishes. The Crest’s had always treated staff well, paid them well above what they were owed and treated them as part of the family. Thankful, Victoria took a seat at the table and waited whilst sipping on water. She avoided any alcohol for the time being and focused on getting healthier and fast so that next time, she will be prepared for the blood drain and to lure Spencer into a false sense of security and finaly finish him off. She’d need to start gathering provisions and an escape plan to run as soon as it was done. She’d take Phillipe far, far, away before the Wynters would ever know that Spencer was dead. Not after making sure Ray and Gerald stayed and protected her mother from their wrath. With any luck, she’ll be long gone with a cold trail.
She pondered where she could go. Then it dawned on her, nowhere on the British Isles were safe. She’d board a ferry at Dover and make her way into mainland Europe for a start. Perhaps she could travel the world. She did want to see more of it. She contemplated this dream. She just didn’t like the idea of going through it all alone. Vail did warn her that there was nowhere she could go he would not hunt her down if she went back on her deal with him. But she couldn’t see him willingly leaving his family behind all for her. Not a chance in hell.
She practically devoured her food and made her way back to the living room. She sat down on the sofa in the living room to join Gerald and Diana’s conversation. They were laughing about some of Alex’s antics, the stories he could tell. Victoria was eager to listen to more all evening long. For hours they reminisced of her father. She began to feel like a part of her was starting to heal.
“Actually, Gerald, there was something I wanted to ask you. I seem to be missing my father’s last journal. It may have been on him the night he was killed. Would you happen to know of its whereabouts? Was it ever recovered by The Order?”
Gerald shook his head. “I don’t believe so. I assume his murderer made off with it.”
“You think Spencer has it?” She leaned in and narrowed her eyes. He shrugged. “Perhaps. If he is indeed the killer.”
“He has to be, it’s all too convenient...” Victoria sighed and folded her arms. “I’ll help you locate it, don’t worry. We will find his killer and make him pay.” Gerald gave her a reassuring nod. She smiled. Good. She believed him. Lady Crest slowly and shakily rose from the chair. “I think I shall retire.” She was sleeping more than fifteen hours each day due to the lack of energy. She couldn’t even leave the house let alone meet Vail anywhere outside.
As she walked to the stairs, something from the corner of her eye caught her attention. She turned her head fully to look over at the coat hanger by the door. Gerald’s coat hung from it and sticking out one of the pockets was a red leather-bound journal with flecks of gold. It looked very similar to Alex’s journals. She couldn’t help but wonder…it was wrong to go looking on a person’s possessions…yet…she had to know. She gently crept over to it and reached into the pocket. She quickly snatched it out and hid it underneath her skirt before taking a while to ascend the stairs. Diana offered her some help half way up which Victoria declined, she was determined to regain her strength on her own.
Closing her bedroom door behind her and locking it. She set the journal on her dresser and sat down to read it underneath a flickering candle. She opened the first page and to her horror, she discovered her father’s writing. As she read on it became clear it was her father’s last journal. She could feel her anger boiling beneath the surface. Gerald had lied to her. Why? It soon became clear when Alex began to write about his suspicions of Gerald’s involvement with the Wynters and Lord Spencer. It stopped half way through with the last entry about going to confront Gerald about it, he just had to find out and would have to turn him into the authorities. She guessed that discussion didn’t end in his favour. Tears dropped from her eyes as she realised Gerald probably killed him, he had his journal, and for good reason. To keep his secret. This deal he made with the Wynter clan that she was now caught up in.
She didn’t know what to do. Her whole world was falling apart. She couldn’t trust anyone. Nobody was who they seemed. Not even Vail had offered her sanctuary because she was a human. She couldn’t rely on anyone to get her out of this mess. Except herself. She gazed up into the mirror. She had found her father’s murderer. And she was going to make him pay dearly. Not only that, he had used her to gain favour of Spencer so The Order would be spared the Wynter Wrath. She waited until everyone had gone to sleep. There was only one Saint remaining on nightwatch and he was falling asleep.
She took this chance to creep down the stairs and to the back door. She needed her weapons from the summer house. She slipped out quietly and didn’t alert anyone. She contemplated taking the horse to the summer house, but she wouldn’t be able to pull herself up onto him. So, she walked slowly into the forest grounds. It was so cold, colder than normal for her. She wasn’t able to keep warm even by the fireplace. With such lack of blood, she couldn’t retain any heat. She shivered as she tried to walk as fast as she could, but her legs were so weak. She pushed herself too hard and she eventually collapsed just short of the lodge. Landing in a soft pile of red and brown leaves of approaching winter. Some had stuck into her hair as she lifted her head weakly. She reached out with one hand to grasp at the floor and drag herself up. Her grip was barely strong enough to grab anything and her arm muscles were even thinner than they were before. With very little strength she struggled and growled in frustration. She started to weep as she felt entirely helpless and hopeless. “God! Why do you forsake me!?” She shouted out in fury and agony. “Was I not a good person?! Do I not try to do the right thing…why do you hate me so….? Please…just…end it all now. I can’t…take anymore…” She gasped for breath as she let her head rest in the leaves as she wept. If she ever made it to her weaponry she might as well do it herself. But no, Gerald needed to die first. Then Spencer. Then she could kill herself if she still wanted.