Chapter 51 - Wake Up, Keith
The atmosphere at the dining table was not good at all. It didn’t take long for Keith to get changed and come downstairs, but his expression wasn’t any softer. Charles maintained his usual expressionless face as he stood stiffly and tended to me and Keith.
“Oh, thank you,” I murmured some words of gratitude to Charles as he poured some maple syrup over my plate in my stead before I could reach over. As I dipped the pancake into the syrup and brought it to my mouth, I glanced over at Keith. He hadn’t thrown a single glance toward me since he came down.
‘Though I suppose there’s no particular reason for him to look at me.’ Feeling a little bitter, I stabbed the bacon and brought it to my mouth. Just then, Keith suddenly opened his mouth.
“When’s Grayson supposed to come again?”
I jolted. I looked up out of reflex, but Charles replied instead. “He will be visiting at five. The others will also be here around that time.”
I belatedly realized what was going on. There was going to be a gathering or a party at the mansion. In this case, Charles was in charge of everything in regards to the party, which meant that I didn’t need to care about it for once. In the first place, if it weren’t for these sudden circumstances, I would have slept in at my small, shabby, rented house and would by now be rummaging through my refrigerator in search of something to eat.
‘You really can’t tell what could happen to someone, huh.’
I pretended to direct my interest toward my egg and gazed downward. Whatever schedule Keith had during the weekend and however he went about it was unrelated to me, unless I had specifically been instructed.
However, it did bother me a little that Grayson would be visiting the mansion. Did he know that I was staying here?
I soon wiped the image of the Millers’ signature, elaborate mask of his off my mind. Grayson wasn’t important here. Since Charles had mentioned “the others,” there must be some kind of gathering today.
I suddenly remembered the cruise party. Shivers ran down my spine. Even when leaving parties in my hands, Keith had never told me about the details of their purpose. All he ever mentioned was a brief and approximate “social” or “business.” Whenever that happened, I would ask him about the guest list or other things in particular that I should prepare or keep in mind, and I would use this information to read the room and organize the party accordingly. Since I wasn’t even involved in this party, I knew even less about its purpose. Moreover, this party wasn’t even part of the conditions that I had asked for; therefore, he wasn’t obligated to tell me.
That was also how I got caught off guard and had that happen to me that night.
A forgotten memory resurfaced. Grayson was the only one who had warned me as if he knew that something like that would happen. Grayson was also the one who belatedly jumped in that night and peeled that man off me.
Then why did he not tell me anything despite knowing what might happen?
Keith had just acted like his usual self. However, I couldn’t understand Grayson’s attitude. He seemed concerned but also ignorant. My head began to spin, and I scrunched up my brows in reflex. Just then, I suddenly heard a chair dragging on the floor. I blankly looked up and saw Keith turned around, leaving the room. I was left alone in the dining hall. I hastily devoured what little leftover food I had on my plate when Charles, having cleaned up Keith’s dishes and come back, opened his mouth.
“Would you like some more coffee?” he asked.
I shook my head. Charles silently filled up my empty juice glass with orange juice. After skillfully wiping away the droplets of juice that were rolling down the side of the glass bottle with a cleaning cloth, he seemed to have remembered something and opened his mouth once more.
“Mr. Pittman’s gathering today is just a normal one, but you might be uncomfortable with some of the guests, Yeonwoo. We are planning to host them in the reception room, so if you’re having a hard time with pheromones…” He soon trailed off.
He seemed to be pondering rather seriously, but I could only imagine that he wouldn’t have much of a solution. Leaving the mansion was an adventure, and I didn’t have the confidence to embark on one. However, the thought of hiding in my room and ending up with a panic attack from the pheromones of someone other than Keith had me in a bind.
“…I’ll take a stroll around the garden or something,” I said after squeezing out my brain for this hard-earned idea.
A momentary expression of sympathy flashed on Charles’ face. However, it appeared and disappeared in a matter of microseconds, and I was left in confusion.
‘What did I just see?’ I blinked my eyes in disbelief for a few seconds.
Charles opened his mouth with his usual expressionless face. “Don’t forget your cell phone. Once the guests leave, I will contact you after thoroughly airing out the mansion. You have my number, right? In the case where I am unable to answer, please contact Emily instead. I’ll write down her number for you.”
Right away, he took out a fountain pen and a piece of paper from his inner pocket and adeptly scribbled down some numbers. He slid the paper across the table and placed it in front of me. I thanked him and picked up the note. Charles closed the lid on his fountain pen and slid it into the front pocket of his uniform.
He added, “I will prepare a simple snack and drink for you. Is there anything you would like?”
I thought about it for a moment, but I couldn’t think of anything in particular—perhaps because I was full at the moment. As I became lost in thought, he told me to let him know if I thought of something later and left the hall. I resumed my meal in solitude. A relaxing and cozy time slowly passed by.
“Would you perhaps like to rest in an empty room? Though it’s a room for employees…”
When Emily suggested this, I could barely contain my joy.
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