Three days later, two carriages were waiting outside of our house. Colin, Mama, and I would be in one and Papa, Solomon, and Benjamin would be in the other. Before we left, Solomon asked to talk to me. I frowned but stepped to the side with him.
He glanced over his shoulder. "Ben's given you permission to call him Ben if that makes it easier."
"What do you mean?" I asked, narrowing my eyes dangerously.
"Relax. All your father asked is that we refrain from using his full name."
"Why didn't he tell me himself?"
Solomon arched a brow. "We're not stupid, Lady Kendra."
I wrinkled my nose. "Oh, whatever." I sighed. "Make sure he knows it's nothing personal. It's just-"
He held his hand up. "No need to explain."
"Time to go!" my papa called and we got into the carriages.
"Why are we riding in different carriages?" Colin asked.
"Your father has some things to discuss with the two of them," Mama said, pulling out her latest sewing project.
"You still won't tell us where he's going?" Colin asked me and I shook my head, settling in, too.
"No. When Mr. Bailey and I looked into each other's minds, we signed a contract."
"I still cannot believe you did that, Kendra," Mama sighed. "That was so dangerous."
I just shrugged. "Anyway, regardless if the pact was made, it would be violating his trust."
Colin looked disappointed but nodded anyway.
"I heard you've been visiting the harbor more often recently," I said with a small smirk. "Could it be that Elizabeth Jameson has been receiving your company?"
He blushed. "How did you know?"
Mama and I giggled. I couldn't read Colin's mind, not that I'd want to. Colin was an oddity, just like me. Vampires couldn't bear children yet Mama had given birth to him. He was a human and no one, not even the oldest of the Romani, could understand how it happened. Not only was his mind unable to be read, he was capable of hiding his scent somehow. I frowned slightly. Is that what Solomon has done? Has he figured out how to mask his scent?
"I'm psychic," I joked.
He rubbed the back of his neck. "We met when I went down to get your necklace," he muttered. "She's the daughter of the bookkeeper."
"Is she nice?"
He nodded. "I've asked her to join me on a walk when we get back from London. How long is the trip there?"
"Three days," Mama answered. "We will spend the day traveling to where Carol has opened her inn and rest the night there. Then we will take a steam boat across the ocean. After that is when we will part ways with our traveling companions. We will walk to Richard. And do not worry," she added to me. "We are not going to walk through London and we are not going to visit the village."
"Okay," I said nervously.
To my surprise, Colin reached over and held my hand. I smiled at him.
"It'll be fine, Kenny," he said. "If it makes you feel any better, I caught Mr. Bailey staring at you as we were loading up."
I blushed and shoved him as the carriage moved forward. "Oh, stop it."
He and Mama both laughed and I blushed. It was true that Solomon was very handsome but I hadn't given him much consideration. The fact he had lied to me when we met was upsetting. After the other night, though, he and I had a connection of some kind. Though we were not able to see into each other's minds without physical contact, I felt like he was beside me and wondered if he was experiencing the same thing.
"It is simple, really," Duke Moreau said. "You will travel with us until we get to the continent. After that, we will part ways."
"Where are you going?" Ben asked and I smirked.
He had been pestering me for the answer but I kept telling him no. Kendra and I had made a deal and I wasn't going to break it.
"If Kendra did not say, I probably should not, either," he said. He laughed a little. "Trust me, you do not want to get on her bad side."
"She's violent?" I asked.
"Let me put it this way: The bandit that she threw the torch at?" he said and I nodded. "He got lucky that she was hiding her true nature or that is not the only thing she would have thrown at him."
I laughed. The air around Duke Moreau was easier now that we weren't trying to hide our identities from each other. To my surprise, and I felt a little guilty for thinking it about him, he wasn't as cruel as I expected. He was actually kind.
I looked out the carriage window as it trundled along, thinking about Kendra. I frowned. I felt like she was sitting next to me instead of Ben. I kept expecting to look over to see her. I had never looked into another vampire's mind before so I wasn't sure if what I was feeling was normal.
I glanced at the duke who was reading. Should I ask him? When Kendra told him that we had shared our thoughts, I had talked in my sleep again. Apparently, they had another row about it. I got the impression they argued a lot. I definitely didn't want to be on the receiving end of his temper so I decided against it.
"I heard a gunshot coming from your home the other night," I said. "Was everything all right?"
He laughed. "Well, it was not funny at the time. It would seem that Mathias Lance has taken to lingering in our gardens under my daughter'rs window."
Ben's jaw dropped. "He's been stalking her?"
"Apparently," the duke said. "I showed him that doing so is a foolish idea, though."
I smirked. "You shot at him, didn't you?"
The duke smirked, too. "I may have pulled the trigger with the rifle pointing in his general direction."
I laughed and shook my head. "That fool keeps coming by the store. He's still wanting to pursue Kendra."
The duke leaned back and opened his book again. "Well, if he comes by the house again, I will not 'accidentally' miss."
We laughed again and Ben passed me a book, too. The duke had explained the traveling schedule with me and I had come prepared. I was still feeling restless, though. It was strange to be sitting in the same carriage as him. I wanted to ask him about Duke Abbott but didn't want to risk this free ride to London.
I didn't know how to find Richard the Fairy. I was shocked to see him when I linked with Kendra's mind. I couldn't be sure if we saw it because of her or me, though. All I knew was that Camille Moreau vaguely resembled the late Duke Abbott.
"You're working yourself up," Ben said, not looking up from his book.
I shook my head. "I can't help it."
"This is what happens when you get obsessed," he said and I glared at him. "Oh don't bother."
"I'm not obsessed," I argued, choosing my words carefully. Though he was still reading, I knew the duke was listening carefully. "I'm just... intensely curious."
Ben scoffed. "Sure, Solomon. Whatever you say."
I snarled. "Don't make me punish you."
The duke looked up. "You are his master?" he asked.
"You didn't know?"
He shook his head. "All I knew was that you are both vampires. That is interesting."
"You're Lady Kendra's master, right?" Ben asked.
"No. That would be Camille."
"Why did she turn her?" I asked in spite of myself.
I was trying to keep my questions about Kendra to a minimum. It wasn't until the bandits that I realized how beautiful Kendra was. It was hard to keep myself from looking at her. I knew Colin had caught me at least once. If they knew I was starting to fancy their daughter, I'd hate to think what Duke Moreau would do. So far, it was only Ben who picked up on it and I had forbidden him from mentioning it at all.
Duke Moreau shut his eyes painfully and I felt the grief coming off of him. I frowned and shut my book. When he answered, his voice was thick.
"Kendra was attacked," he said quietly, "by my master. I will not go into details; that is for her to do. It was either turn her or Kendra would die. I was not there so Camille did it for me. Instead, I made sure Sir Benjamin could not hurt another person," he added with a snarl.
I looked at Ben.
"That's why she can't stand to hear your name," I said and Duke Moreau groaned.
"Please do not tell her I spoke of it," he said. "Camille just found out and I will be lucky to avoid her wrath."
"We won't," I said and fell into thoughtful silence.