Chapter 1 // Chapter 2 // Chapter 3 // Chapter 4 // Chapter 5
Chapter 6 // Chapter 7 // Chapter 8

Chapter 8: End


Sebille was coming to from a deep darkness; she could hear Null breathing and feel his fingers playing lazily with her hair. She smiled and opened her eyes carefully, letting them adjust to the brightness of the room. “Is it sunny outside?” She asked sleepily. Null didn’t move, “Mm.” “It’s too bright…” “Mm...” Sebille squinted and looked at him; he was on his back with the blanket covering most of his ribcage area, he looked at the ceiling and moved his fingers in her curly locks. Sebille looked at him silently for a while, and then she remembered something. She pushed herself up and Null glanced at her as the blanket slid off her side -revealing most of her upper body, but moved his eyes away almost instantly. Sebille laughed, “You know, after all that we’ve been through, you are allowed to look at me directly.” Null didn’t answer, nor look at her again. Sebille smiled and leaned her upper body over him, moving the blanket off him as well. She set herself down, skin against his, and looked at him, “I never thanked you for taking me to the ball last night...” Null’s depthless eyes moved to meet hers. “You didn’t want to go but ended up taking me anyway.” He still didn’t speak. Sebille bent down to whisper into his mouth; “So thank you.” and to kiss his lips softly.

She was still lying on Null’s chest, drawing shapes on his skin with her finger, “By the way…” “Yes?” “Who was the man that came to take me to dance last night?” Null was silent for a while, “Nobody.” Sebille raised her eyebrow, looking slightly unimpressed; “Oh really? So, you just looked at him like you wanted to snap is neck right then and there, for fun, did you?” Null grunted and sat up so suddenly that the small woman fell off his chest and onto his lap. “Okay… fine, he’s nobody.” She pouted. Null got off the bed, wrapped the end of the blanket around his waist and headed for the bathroom –until Sebille grabbed the other end and refused to let go; “Don’t you dare take the blanket with you, I don’t have any clothes on!” Sebille stood up hastily and wrapped the end she was holding around herself and followed him into the bathroom.

Later, after cleaning up, getting dressed and eating breakfast, Sebille was walking down the more secluded hallway with doors on the other side and windows on the other. She was feeling a little melancholy; they’d have to leave this evening. Sebille had work the next day and although she didn’t feel at all like going, she knew she’d have to. She couldn’t keep living in a dream forever. She stopped by a large painting of a flower garden and looked outside into the less flowery and more snowy real life version. Sebille sighed; this was such a wonderful place, it was a shame to leave it behind. There was still something she had to do before they’d leave, though; find out what’s in the third floor room. Sebastian had recommended a flashlight if she was to go there again, and she was now holding one.
Sebille took one last look outside and then begun her journey to the third floor. What’s the worst thing that could be in the room? She couldn’t think of anything bad, so there really was no reason she should be afraid. She walked through the picture filled hallways and then up the stairs leading to the third floor. She reached the well-lit end of the hall and looked towards the other end; it looked just as eerie as before, and it felt like invisible eyes were quietly following her every move from the darkness. She started walking towards the dark end, taking small steps, and as it gradually got darker Sebille started tiptoeing without even realizing it. She was now close enough to see the outline of the open door so she pulled out the flashlight and pointed it at it. In the light the door didn’t look much different from any other wooden door in the house, but the room behind it still seemed dark as night. The young model walked carefully to it and pulled it open slowly, the door let out a loud creak as if it was against being opened.

The room was dark and smelled dusty; Sebille stepped in and pointed the light from one side to another, still feeling a little paranoid. The room was mostly empty, but there were several wooden boxes and some furniture covered with sheets in the corners. She took a sideways step and reached her hand to touch the wall on her left side, hoping to find a light switch –which she did, but nothing happened when she pressed it. Damn, the lamp didn’t work. So, this was why Sebastian had recommended the flashlight. Sebille sighed; “This is going to suck.” she breathed out. She took another step into the room and a cloud of dust flew up into the air, she coughed. Sebille walked quietly towards the wooden boxes and yelped when her foot hit something. She immediately pointed the light towards it; it was rectangular and had moved a little, leaving a dust free corner on the floor. Squatting down –in a very un-ladylike manner, she lifted it up from one corner and looked at it. A painting of a man and a woman; Sebille recognized the woman from the locked room, the man, however, was unknown to her. Then again, the shape of his face and silver eyes were unmistakeable; it had to be Null’s father.

Sebille stood up, directed the light towards the boxes again and made her way to them, this time being careful where she put her feet. She put her hand on the lid and opened one of the boxes slightly, she same stuffy scent that lingered in the room came from the box too, and Sebille pointed the light into it, only to be scared out of her wits. She cried out and let the lid drop back onto the box with a loud slam. Her heart was racing like crazy, “Now that’s just… vile. Why would anybody keep something like that in a box?” She spoke out loud. “Ugh!” She turned on her heels and strode out of the room. At the door she took once glance back and when she turned back to face the doorway, she was startled once again; Null had emerged when Sebille had least expected him. She cried out again and hit him; “Stop doing that!” He was looking at her with amusement in his eyes. “Why on Earth do you have a stuffed deer head in a box!?” She practically yelled. “It’s not mine.” he said calmly. “I’m not asking whose it is, I want to know why you have it?” she was still rather devastated; it hadn’t been what she’d expected at all. Null didn’t answer and actually turned his back to her before walking out toward the light.

Sebille ran after him and this time, she didn’t look back. “Why are there no windows in that room?” She inquired once they were already walking down the stairs. “There are… they’re boarded up.” There was finality in his voice and Sebille thought it better not to ask why. After that surprise box she no longer longed to see what was inside the others; the dead deer had stolen all her curiosity.

***

Her bag was all packed and she was ready to go. Sebastian had given her the dress she fixed up and wore to the ball –with Null’s permission, of course, and she had put it into a garment bag. She looked around the bedroom and sighed, “I really like this place.”I’ve noticed.” Null almost smiled and Sebille returned his almost-smile with a proper one. She walked to the sitting man and touched his cheek softly, “Could you not be so broody on the trip back? It gets awfully lonely…” He looked back at her calmly and silently promised not to be. Sebille was caught in a sudden wave of gentleness and slid her arms around his neck pulling his head into a warm embrace. Null didn’t move for a moment, but ended up raising his hands to her back.

The moment was broken when Sebastian entered the room. “The car is ready, master.” He was smiling when Sebille finally had the heart to let Null go and turn to the butler. Null took Sebille’s bag and the dress and left the room, while the butler looked at Sebille, “You will take care of the young master, won’t you?” “I will.” He smiled again, “You are a remarkable woman.” Sebille walked to him; “No. I’m an ordinary woman.” and left the room.

The goodbyes hadn’t been too long, Sebille was sure Sebastian was used to them as Null travelled so much and was gone even more. They were now sitting in the same car in which they’d arrived. This time, however, Sebille had sat down next to Null and was holding his hand. They’d be back home soon and that meant returning to her ordinary life with a job and ordinary worries.