Marrying Mr. Beaulieu had never been part of Lily's plan. Marrying anyone had never been in her plans, but the day that wretched man appeared to her family looking for a wife, Lily knew he was trouble. While ideally, he sought her elder sister's hand in marriage, Lily had stepped up and offered her affection to him.
After almost a year of the usual daytime outings, evening dates, and other trivial steps to marriage Lily had found her self at an alter with Mr. Beaulieu. Admittedly she had developed some kind of fondness for him and the marriage would help her family, so Lily married without much of a struggle.
Of course, Lily had always had a nagging suspicion as to why she felt the need to take her sister out of his sights.
It was like her mother always said, "it's only after marriage than a man show's his true color."
"Don't ignore me, Lilian. I'm leaving for work, you should always send your husband off with a smile." His fingers tightened at the root of her hair, "has that sorry father of yours not taught you manners?" Lily bit her tongue as he tilted her head to look up at him. Despite the anger bubbling inside, Lily took an undetectable breath and forced her lips to curve into a smile.
"Of course, my mistake." She stumbled back slightly as he released her hair.
"You have rules now Lilian. You won't be running amuck to do as you please here. You're going to fulfill your duties as my wife with nothing less than a smile."
Not much more was said after that. Lily remained quiet as she watched the man collect his bag and coat, a main shutting the door behind him as he left for the awaiting carriage. Avoiding eye contact with the maids around her, Lily looked around her home with critical eyes. While this hadn't been her first time at the manor it had been months since she had stepped foot inside. After their wedding, Lily had remained in her home town caring for her ill grandmother, but now that she had passed away Lily had little choice but to return to the manner.
The house was giant, three floors with an attic and basement. Acres of well cared for land and garden accompanied it, along with a thick forest that surrounded the perimeter, the only clearing being the gates that lead to the main road. It was quiet and beautiful most days, nature was always ready to be admired. The gardens always full of fluttering butterflies and bees, walkways and serene ponds, decorative hedges, and other embellishments Lily had little care for. Inside the house was lavishly decorated, art and flowers everywhere. Expensive furniture, decorative wallpapers, and expensive dark wood, arched windows, polished everything; it was all so different than her life with her family back home. Surely anyone in her position would kill to live here, to be surrounded with all this lavish beauty.
Too bad Lily didn't care about any of it. Once she was sure her husband was gone for good the young woman circled the front room, looking at every piece of decor closely. Finally, she laid her gaze on a fairly large vase, it was white with a deep blue design swirling around it. Lily picked it up and looked to one of the maids closest to her, they had been following her this whole time.
"How expensive is this?" She asked, holding it up.
The maid fumbled to come up with an answer and all she could get out was that it was a precious family heirloom.
Lily looked down at it with cold eyes and shrugged to herself before lifting the vase up and throwing it down. It shattered, scattering against the wood floor. "Don't bother clearing it, I want Mr. Beaulieu to see it when he returns." The young maid gawked at her, unsure of what to do as Lily stepped over the glass and went towards the grand staircase. "Show me to my room now."
Once introduced to the master bedroom Lily sighed and locked the door. She looked around the room she'd be sharing with Mr. Beaulieu for the rest of her life with a frown. It was giant and open. A large bed was centered with white covers draping it. A sitting area was set up near a fireplace and mantle, a dest was pressed between two arched windows with fluttering drapes, a door leading to the large master bathroom, a walk-in closet, and vanity. Her luggage was already sitting on the floor near the bed where one of the maids had already unpacked and laid her clothing out. Lily put them away and laid down into the plushness of the bed until dinner.
She ate alone that night, Mr. Beaulieu returned shortly after while Lily bathed. Even with his presence in the room with her Lily felt it was just as empty as it had been earlier. He said nothing about the vase as she brushed her hair and prepared for bed. In fact, he hardly spoke a word to her the whole night. He reminded her that guests would come to see her tomorrow, but that was all. Finally, when she laid down Mr. Beaulieu did as well. Lily had been prepared to ward off any of his advances, but he ignored her. Relief had wracked Lily's body when he fell asleep confined to his own side of the bed. While she was safe for now, she knew she'd have to give in and have children eventually.
Lily slept very little, for hours she fell in and out of light and restless sleep. Maybe it was her new surroundings or because she was sharing a bed. The sound of wildlife chirped outside the window, it was different than the noises of the city. She supposed she was feeling homesick as well. Sure, their living situation hadn't been the best, but they had been happy together. Lily sighed and sat up, looking over to Mr. Beaulieu.
This is it. She thought, the life I'll live until I die. An obedient wife day after day. Lonely until my final days.
Lily got out of bed, the block read near three in the morning now. Grabbing a robe and slippers from the wardrobe, Lily went out to the hall. Maybe a walk would soothe her nerves. The halls were dark and empty at these hours. Many of the house staff had gone home and the live-in maids had retired fro bed hours ago. Lily felt small in the corridors of the house, large paintings and shadows fell down on her. She barely made a noise as she walked, a few creaks here and there as she descended the staircase to the ground floor. She wondered through the large dining room and towards the doors that opened to the back patio and garden.
Outside was cool as she took a deep breath of the fresh country air. Several stone paths lead around the property, so Lily decided walking one or two of them would help rest her mind and tire her out. Stretching onto her tiptoes, Lily unhooked one of the lanterns that dangled from the overhang. While the moon was full and bright, the yard wasn't lit up very well. Lily knew there were still a few men that watched over the property at night and a kennel housing Mr. Beaulieu's hunting dogs were around here somewhere. He'd mentioned to her in the past about people who tried to break into the manner and how the dogs had been sent on them. Lily didn't quite enjoy that thought.
Absentmindedly as she strolled towards the back gardens Lily massaged her head. Her scalp still hurt, it was a faint dull sting from Mr. Beaulieu's actions earlier. Lily wasn't very concerned though, she was far tougher than she looked and could handle petty hair pulling. If being this man's wife would keep her family on sound terms and comfortable, then Lily would bear it without a complaint. Even if she wanted to leave the marriage now, life would be even harder if she did. It was best she sucked it up and conformed to the duties of a young woman her age.
Walking around Lily noticed the door to one of the sheds had been left open. Quirking and eyebrow she walked up to it to investigate, it looked like one of the groundkeepers had left it that way. She pulled the key out of the lock and pocketed it before stepping inside to look around. Bordley, she observed the tools and discarded flower pots. However, her eyes caught on something. Along the back wall, the floor looked displaced and a rug had been tossed aside that Lily assumed would normally hide it. Wearily Lily approached and grabbed the handle. She pulled as hard as she could, heaving the heavy wood up to reveal a passageway. She titled her head as she stared down into the darkness, Mr. Beaulieu had never mentioned any passageways. Slowly Lily shifted her body to slip down into it, shinning the lantern around she found a wood latter that lead back up. The floor was old mossy stone, the walls as well. There were lanterns along the wall, but they were unlit. There was only one way for her to go, so she headed down the long corridor slowly and watching her step. When she reached the end of it and looked into the large room it led to she nearly dropped the lantern.
There were collections of old crates and boxes stored away, bot on the wall opposite of them were two cells. They looked empty with rusted bars and hay scattered on the ground. It was cold and damp, it smelt moldy down here. Lily pinched her nose and looked around. She approached the cell closest to her, slipping her hand between the bars in an attempt to shed more light inside.
"Madame, what are you doing down here?" Lily's head jerked to look at the man, a groundkeeper she assumed, in the entree way.
"What are you? What is this place?" Lily demanded, she would not live under the guise of secrets. "Well? Tell me!"
"Madame, please step away from the- Madame!"
Lily dropped the lantern with a scream as someone grabbed her arm, long nails and calloused fingers squeezing her thin wrist with an unearthly force. "Let go!" She scratched in terror, trying to wiggle free. The ground keeps ran off, yelling for the night guards for help. The owner of the hand slowly inched closer into view, a thin, disheveled young man avoided her panicked gaze. "Let go of me this instant you-" Lily's words came to a squealing halt as the boy pulled her closer, her body pressing hard into the bars as a new pain began to spread through her forearm.
The boy- it was biting her!
"S-stop! It's so painful" she cried, her words spilled out of her mouth freely now. "I've never felt this much pain before- let go!" the fangs un her skin merely sunk deeper as she panicked, her breathing picking up as she bit back tears. She was feeling dizzy, maybe due to the bleeding or because she was wracked with so much anxiety and fear. "I can't die- not like this. I don't want to die having spent life so miserably! Get off!"
Lily fell to the ground before the caged man, now clutching her released arm as blood trickled down. Her forehead pressed against the rough metal of the bars as tears began to fall. The boy, or thing, whatever he was, had let her go and was now watching with big eyes, blood still smeared and dripped down his chin. Suddenly Lily felt a hand brush away her tears, looking up she locked eyes with it.
She'd never seen such pretty eyes before.
"I'm...sorry" he spoke, barely above a whisper.
"Away from Lady. Beaulieu you beast!" Lily flinched as the end of a rake was slammed into the boy, shoving him away from her as several footsteps took over the room. She felt the hands of a maid holding her, while the groundkeeper and one of the guards terrorized the imprisoned boy. Lily was walked out, taken inside as a doctor arrived in the front. Mr. Beaulieu had woken too, and Lily felt even more terror at the anger worn on his face.
"How dare you" he snarled, hand already risen to strike her.
"Please Mr. Beaulieu, she's already been injured!" The main cried. The doctor came in and Mr. Beaulieu calmed himself. Suddenly his face turned to worry as the question left Lily's trembling lips, "What was that boy?"