I'm in Heaven.
That was Petrova's first thought when she entered the large room full of natural light and several shelves housing books of all size. Where do I begin? She wondered, unable to rest her eyes on one spot for any given length of time. She wandered to a random shelf and scanned the contents with a careful eye. She caught sight of a book that sparked her interest: Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Intrigued, Petrova pulled it gently from the shelf, found a cozy seat by the window and began to read...
Harry visibly relaxed when the Bane Manor came into view as the carriage came around the bend. Today was the day that the new maid was to arrive. He was anxious to meet her, after all, her resume was outstanding. He wondered what she would look like, what she was like as a person. He tried to recall her name. Victoria? No, that wasn't it. Penelope? No, that didn't seem right either. Sophie? For whatever reason, the new maid's name escaped his mind.
The carriage came to a halt, and Harry's mind came back to reality. The coachman opened the door, and Harry, with his cane, stepped down, wincing as a dull pain flared up in his leg.
"Are you alright, Sir?" The coachman asked, seeing the pain briefly contort Harry's handsome face.
"Yes." Harry said, straightening up. "Thank you."
The coachman gave Harry a brief look as if he didn't believe him. After a moment, the look vanished, and the man returned to his duties. Harry brushed off the man's look, and began the climb to the front of the manor. He decided that he would meet the new maid later, for his leg was hurting and he was tired from his journey. What he wanted more than anything was to rest or read a good book. As he entered the house, Harry decided to visit the library to see if anything in particular could catch his interest...
Petrova was consumed by the words of the book she held in her lap. So consumed that she barely heard the door open in the distance. She thought that perhaps she had imagined it, but she knew she was wrong when the door shut with a low click. She closed the book in a haste, the sound echoing throughout the grand room. She hurriedly walked over to the shelf where she got the book and slowly slid it back into it's original spot.
At the sound of footsteps, Petrova's heart quickened. Perhaps it was the Master. If it had been Jane, surely she would have called out to her. Jane did say that the Master was out and didn't know when he would return. She listened carefully to the awkward footfalls, and distinguished them as those of a man. She had just reached the door when a voice called out, weary, but authoritative.
She stood, frozen. It was the Master, she was sure of it. Slowly, she turned, but refused to face him, embarrassed for some odd reason.
"What is your name?" He asked, stepping closer. She noticed that he walked with a fashionable dark cane and her heart softened. Had he been in an accident? She thought abruptly.
"Petrova." She answered, glancing up at him. He was quite a handsome figure, with short dark curly hair and beautiful eyes. "Petrova Collins, Sir."
"What were you doing in my library, Miss Collins?" The Master asked.
"I was...um...reading?" She didn't know why her answer sounded like a question. Clearly, this beautiful man had an affect on her.
"Reading?" The Master was looking her dead in the eyes.
She nodded, feeling the bonnet slide down from her head to her neck. "Yes. Isn't that what people do in libraries?" She answered. Then, realizing her forwardness, she blushed. "Please forgive me. I spoke out of turn."
What looked to be the beginning of a smile appeared on the Master's lips. "It's quite alright. I actually spend time here myself, I do quite enjoy reading."
Petrova sighed with relief. "Yes, I too find it enjoyable."
The Master suddenly seemed to realize something. "Please, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Harold Bane."
Petrova curtsied. Bane. Yes, the man before her was indeed her Master. "Harold." She repeated the name, committing it to memory. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Sir."
Harry chuckled. "Please, call me Harry."
Petrova smiled, and curtsied again. "Harry. It's a pleasure to meet you."
Harry smiled back. "The pleasure is all mine, Miss Collins."