![Icy Heart for Love in the Knight series2.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmVtnznfq6Z6hLH6pxL5Tbsa5AVBM22LM7FQrV8NJtP2E6/Icy%20Heart%20for%20Love%20in%20the%20Knight%20series2.jpg) CHAPTER 5 The walk back home was nice. Rain became a slow sprinkle and the sunrays shown through large clouds in the grey sky. It was a silent stroll for the first couple of minutes. The whirrs of cars passing, birds chirping, and puddles splashing from our feet helped our verbal silence feel more at ease. We walked past a path that leads to the most beautiful meadow; often if it was sunny outside I would bring a book and lay there all day, letting the rays sink Vitamin D into my pores. It has been a while since the rain has stopped, though. I glanced at Victor for the first time since we left. He had a thoughtful gaze, staring straight ahead of us. His features somehow looked even more magical in the sunlight. The bronze streaks in his hair seemed to turn more golden colored in the reflection of the sun and the perfect outline of his darkened red lips made me feel a burn in my cheeks once again. The cold air bit me from the sudden heat. Just then, Victor turned and looked down at me. My eyes widened and I glanced away, utterly humiliated he caught me staring. I didn’t hear him chuckle, which made me turn back. He was slowing his walk to a stop. His expression was hard but unreadable. “Are you alright?” I ask, stepping towards him. He stared at me for a moment before his hard expression softened. A small, warming smile returned to his face and my nerves relaxed. “I am.” That’s it? “Okay, would you like to keep going? It isn’t far from here…” He remained quiet, but stepped closer. Though we’ve only just met, I feel like we have known each other for so much longer than a week. He reached his gloved hand out to me, taking mine and pulling me closer. My muscles tensed up then, causing him to tug on me a bit, but he didn’t seem mind. Now standing directly in front of him, he stared down into my eyes, as if he was seeing right through me. I shifted a bit uncomfortably not sure what he was expecting. He didn’t let go of my hand but instead lifted his other and gently stroked my forehead to my cheek and back with the knuckle of his index finger, still gloved. I felt dizzy, eyelids feeling heavy las if a sudden rush of drowsiness washed over me, making me feel limp in his presence. I never looked away though. He whispered, “You’re so beautiful…” and pulled away after what felt like eternity with us standing like this. “Let’s continue. We don’t want to keep her waiting.” He spoke in his normal smooth tone again. All I could do is answer in a nod; it took me a few hundred times to blink that out of my head. I hurried in front of him now, opening the door and announcing our arrival loud and clear. “Aunt Janine! I’m here to help set up preparation!” She was around the corner in the kitchen with her apron on cooking the meal for tonight. “Wonderful news! Oh, my, who’s your friend, Violet?” she said, dusting her hands off on her apron reaching out to shake his hand. He politely took it before removing his gloves. “My name is Victor,” he says. ` “Victor…well, it’s wonderful to meet you, Victor! I’m Violet’s aunt, Janine Willams. Pardon the mess, if she hasn’t already told you we are having some guests over tonight and I’m running a little behind getting ready.” I pitched in. ` “That’s actually why he is here, Aunt Janine. He offered to assist us until guests arrive.” “Oh, but you really don’t have to–” “I really do insist.” Victor cut in. His urgency caught me a little off guard. “Well of course you do…you’re more than welcome to help then. I’ll be in the kitchen if you would like to help Violet with the decorations. They are under the stairs in the basement.” She smiled at me and walked back into the kitchen. I guided Victor down the stairs with me into the basement and opened the door under the stairs in our little crawlspace. I pulled the string to turn on the dim light and crouched down. Tons of cobwebs could be see amongst the planks forming the small hallway beneath. I saw a box peeking out from the back corner labeled as “Fall stuff” and pulled it to me, backing out. Dusting my hands off, I blew cobwebs off the box, pulled the string and closed the door. Victor already began unfolding the top of the box. “Are there certain ones you do not use?” “I think we use all of them. We decorate mostly the kitchen, living room, and down here since we’ve turned the basement into a second living room of sorts.” I gesture with my hand around the room. We just replaced the cement floor with new plushy carpet, added a pool table, a reclining loveseat and three-person couch, a TV with a black wooden stand, and our brick fireplace against the back wall. The room is relatively empty since we don’t generally have guests over so everything is still in close-to-perfect condition. He reached inside the box and picked up a pumpkin centerpiece. Victor examined the pumpkin, even sniffed it, and grabbed a candle out of the box as well. I winced expecting dust particles to go flying when he inhaled, but he never coughed. Finally, he set them back in the box. “Hmm…” he mutters. I looked at him expectantly. “How would your aunt feel about an upgrade? Are there family heirs in this box that must be reused?” “Um, not that I know of. And I don’t know what you mean by an ‘upgrade’. We don’t exactly have the funds right now to go out and buy a bunch of new decorations, especially just hours before the party.” I shook my head slightly unable to comprehend what he was thinking. “I will pay for it,” he adds. “No you will not. What’s wrong with these we have right now?” “Nothing is wrong with them. They are just a bit…outdated. Covered in dust and spiderwebs,” he shakes his head is disapproval. “…and they have a musty smell,” he added, poking my shoulder. I dropped my hand holding the decoration that I grabbed letting my arm bounce off my leg. He smiled. “Well that is what happens to things that are only used once a year.” “Come with me, if you’d like. I think if your aunt has nothing of immense personal value in this box to be used tonight, then we can go ‘all out’.” “Are you like a fashion and interior designer or something?” “Why do you ask that?” He looked legitimately puzzled. “Your attire…your ideas for decorating…all the guys I’ve hung out with – though there weren’t many – had either poor hygiene or lack of fashion. Their girlfriends or mom had to help them out. But since the first time I’ve seen you, you’ve looked like you have a personal fashion designer pick out your clothes on a daily.” I run my fingers through my brown mop of hair, realizing I don’t want to fight with it and wrap it into a careless bun. He shrugs. “I guess I just have someone of a fashion sense from my sisters.” “You have sisters?” “Yes, five. And three brothers.” “You have a big family…do you all look alike?” “What do you mean by that, Violet?” “Erm… like, your similar angelic features that don’t seem real. Surely all who is related would get those immaculate genes.” “Violet, you’re blushing.” “Okay you know what, never mind, let’s just go I am sure she would really like to have new things if you really don’t mind buying,” I rush past him, face boiling. I didn’t turn but I could feel his gaze after me and then I heard his chuckle I love so much. Aunt Janine was cleaning the kitchen table when she saw us coming up the stairs. I told her we were going out and would be back soon and not to worry. We walked down the sidewalk to the road where we crossed it to go into the nicest shop that I’ve been in one time only to daydream. “We are going to the fanciest decoration shop in town?” “Indeed. This small town is rather cute, but it’s just that. Small. Doesn’t have much more to offer than friends, which is all anyone could really ask for or ever need. But in situations like these…” he trailed off as we walked inside. This place has everything anyone could ever think of – displays of wooden pallets and utensils are spread around the entrance, cute shaped wall mirrors hanging in an attractive fashion, and then isles of Autumn decorative leaves, centerpieces, pinecones, candles, garden flags, tablecloths and napkins, silverware rings, and dishes. I immediately went over to the candles and pinecones. I started smelling each individual one to pick which one most reminded me of the season. I couldn’t decide between apple cinnamon and pumpkin spice that I grabbed both. Victor took the apple one and smelled it. I heard him sigh. “Very good choice, Violet.” I grinned back at him. The rest of the time was spent similarly – I would pick something out, he would smell it or hold it after me and give his approval or not. I seem to have similar taste to him, though, because he never said he disapproved, or perhaps he was just being nice. We made it to the mirrors – round, square, rectangle, some even triangular and hexagon shaped. Our cart was mostly full, but he insisted we check them out. I found that I liked the hexagon mirrors more than the others due the fact they are unusual and a neat touch. He agreed and placed a few of them on the top. I walked up to a round bubbled one and stuck my tongue out, being utterly childish, as it reminded me of the hall of mirrors that warped your body and face in the carnival. I turned quickly then, startled when he came up behind me, laughing. I’ve heard him let out a quiet chuckle, but he was actually laughing. He wore his true enjoyment all over his face. I rolled my eyes and couldn’t help but join in. We walked through check-out and hurried back to my aunt’s. She was still in the kitchen when we walked in. I said a little too loud, “We’re back! Keep cooking! It won’t take long,” and hurried back downstairs with Victor right behind me. I cleaned and dusted while he went behind me and set up the different decorations on the fireplace mantel, TV stand, and then some decorative leafy drapes around the pool table. Next, he hung up two mirrors on the wall in a perfect direction – diagonal – and spaced with an exact measure. It was a huge complimentary item on that plain wall. I cleaned the living room as well, and while he was decorating that I set up the tablecloth and silverware rings that my aunt didn’t notice. Without Victor’s knowledge I took some of my favorite decorations from out of the box, dusted them off nicely and put them in the more bare spots of the room. I think he did notice, but didn’t say anything to me. He worked with it. I went outside to spray paint the new utensils on the pallets we got – something I have wanted to do for a long time – and when I returned with them to place out front, the house looked like it was glowing. White lights were strung nicely around the living room, adding the perfect glow with the candles to set the mood. A big pumpkin succulent was placed outside next to the front door where my sign would be placed – which somehow he knew would look spectacular together – and two smaller ones were placed on either side of the long wick candle in a deep auburn ceramic holder as a complimenting centerpiece. Decorative leaves were placed on the top of the piano and smaller side tables in the living room and ceramic pumpkins were scattered around in spots I never would’ve thought would look decent. He clapped his hands together as he dusted them off, walking up to me. “Well, I believe we are finished! I will go home now, this was a good time. I do hope to spend more with you again soon,” he says quietly. I smile. “Yes, that would be nice. Thank you so much, this place is like a palace! Absolutely stunning,” I say, looking around. My aunt Janine walks around the corner just then, looking down at her phone. She looks up to wish him a nice evening when her mouth became a gaping hole, slowly looking around the room in awe. “Wh-what?” is all she could get out. She slowly made her way down the streaming lights on the railing to the basement. We waited for her upstairs, letting her soak it in. “I hope you don’t mind…Victor offered to upgrade out items. But I did place some of your other ones in the corner over there, see? If you don’t like it, we can surely take it down–” “N-no!” she said, a bit too loudly. She covered her mouth, tears in her eyes. “This is wonderful, just look at that table!” She turned to Victor who was standing silently, observing her with a friendly smile. “How can I ever thank you?” “You already have by letting me spend it with your niece when you needed her today.” “Please, stay for dinner tonight. It’s the least I can do.” “But I thought you had a count?” I interrupt. “Shh-shh, one more person is fine. Violet, you hardly eat anyway,” she pointed out. It’s true. I am often told I eat like I have the stomach of a bird. “I couldn’t intrude like that, or eat her food, it’s honestly fine.” Victor politely declines. My aunt started to frown. “UH, um, Victor, it’s completely fine. I don’t eat that much anyway. And you deserve it, after all you’ve done to help out, you should get to enjoy your work a little longer.” I gave him an expression he was clearly able to read. I didn’t want her to be upset, and he could see that him declining was bringing her down. “If that is the case, and you are certain, then I would love to stay for dinner. Thank you.” “Wonderful! They will be here any minute. Violet, go get ready. I will keep Victor company while I finish cooking here.” I hurried upstairs after exchanging a nod with him, seeing as he would be comfortable with that exchange. I looked in my closet now trying to find my best fall outfit now that he would be staying, whereas I was just going to wear my baggy orange-auburn colored sweater and black leggings. I grabbed my grey sleeve jacket over my army-green shirt and black ripped skinny jeans with my cute ankle boots. I sat down at my dresser and stared back at myself in the mirror. I haven’t worn make-up in a long while but tonight was going to be different. I need to show him my best. I take out my curling iron from the drawer and plug it in while searching my make-up bag. I hear my aunt Janine downstairs open the door and say, “Oh Drake! I am so happy you were able to join us tonight. Please, come in and make yourself comfortable. Other should be arriving shortly, and Violet is upstairs getting ready.” She invited Drake Martin?