Author's note: This is from Seraphina's point of view
- - -
As the time of the oath with kids was approaching, I was getting nervous because I realized that I had no idea from where to start with hiring the staff for our home.
Duke is great with hiring people, but he had no experience dealing with creatures and I didn't want regular humans to linger in our house because it didn't feel right to put them at risk.
What if someone attacks us? How will they work if we have creatures visiting? Should I just tell everyone to pretend to be human and hope that our staff doesn't see something unusual and gets a heart attack?
It's not like I can post an ad: 'Staff needed. Required qualifications: at least 18 years of age, able to pass a criminal background check, good in following instructions… not freak out if you see someone drinking blood... ignore indoor storms, purple flames, dragons, ghouls, werewolves, vampires, and be ready to be ambushed by invisible enemies.
Maybe I should hire ninjas who are extremely open-minded to supernatural stuff and are willing to clean and cook for a living.
It would be best if I could hire creatures, but where can I find reliable ones on short notice?
If I spread the word among creatures that I need helpers, I could already imagine members of the Council sending their people in order to spy on me (and my father).
It was hopeless.
Luckily, Maria stepped in.
"Miss, may I suggest that you temporarily use people from your current properties? I'm confident that Master wouldn't mind as long as things in those other locations are not disrupted, and unless guests are present, the workload is minimal."
I was all ears. "Please, continue, Maria."
"I personally know the staff that works at the properties in London, Munich, Paris, Warsaw, and here." Here, was the Genoa. "If we get two people from each place, with me and Zeiroi, that will be twelve, and that should be enough to get the things set up. Once things are settled in the mansion and we complete deep clean, we can cut the number of people in half and have them rotate. As you hire permanent staff, we can reduce the number of people who come temporarily."
I thought about how that will work. Since all of them are working on Mezzanotte properties, they are aware of creatures and know about discretion.
"That's brilliant, Maria.", I said. "Can I rely on you to handle this?"
Maria blinked. "You want me to manage the staff?"
"Will you, please?" Technically, that was a promotion for her, and I was not sure why she was reluctant to accept.
"I can, temporarily.", Maria responded.
"Managing the staff and ensuring that everything runs smoothly can't be done halfheartedly and usually one person is dedicated to it full time. If I take over the role of overseeing things at your new home, I won't be able to accompany you when you travel. I would like to stay in my role as your personal maid, Miss."
I was touched. "Thank you, Maria. It will be so. As we find candidates for the staff, Drago and I will interview them, and I will also rely on your opinion. You will get to observe them and let me know if you believe that someone will be good to manage staff. Is that alright?"
Maria smiled. "Absolutely, Miss."
That made it easier to breathe.
Maria and the cook went with Mitch to check out the villa and estimate the work and number of people needed. I authorized them to stock up the fridge and the pantry and also to buy equipment for the kitchen, bedlinens, towels, toiletries, and whatever else is necessary for the staff and the guests.
The only thing I told Maria was that I want it to match in style and quality to what we have in Genoa and Maria assured me that she will take care of it.
In the last three years, I've got to know Maria well, and I was confident that she will perform flawlessly.
Zeiroi also tagged along with the gardener to see the garden and the land around the villa, and to discuss the landscape with the designer. Duke and I already approved the design, but I wanted Zeiroi and the gardener to get a sneak peek in advance, and to ask professionals any questions they might have because I wouldn't know how to answer any of those.
They all agreed to contribute and I'm relieved to have them by my side.
That's all thanks to my father who hired capable people.
After they returned, Zeiroi was excited to move to his new home. Unfortunately, he will need to wait for everything to be settled, unless he wants to sleep on the bare mattress and to find his own food in the forest.
Of course, there is also the security issue. I don't believe that Zeiroi will be OK by himself. I still don't trust Pio and his group of werewolves who are living in the area, and considering Zeiroi's naive and straightforward personality, I fear that werewolves would end him after five minutes of talking to him, so I told Zeiroi that he can move there with the rest of the staff.
To be honest, I can't wait for Duke and me to settle in our new home. That will be one task less on my to-do list.
There are so many things on my plate that I barely have any time to investigate eternal sleep, and the guilt is eating me up.
Yes, I have Zoe and Luca helping me, but there are still many things that only I can do. I can delegate them more tasks after the oath.
I finished reading father's notes, but that's what they are, just notes with his observations and theories that came from rumors about other vampires who fell into eternal sleep.
It's obvious that my father was lacking lab specimens.
I should secure a few of those so that I can inject them with various concoctions and record the effects, but for that, I will need a comatose vampire and they are not exactly easy to find.
Based on Aldus's notes, most of the vampires in the eternal sleep were disposed of by ignorant humans who cut off their heads and pierced their hearts with wooden stakes, in order to prevent vampires from reviving. Oh, and after that, they would burn their bodies.
Anyone will be dead after you cut his head off, destroy his heart, or burn him into a crisp. Did they need to do all three? Why are humans so dramatic?
But I was more irked that they destroyed my potential specimens.
From my father's notes, I found out that those few vampires in eternal sleep that are still with intact bodies belong to high-ranking families and they are held in top-secret mausoleums that are nearly impossible to break in.
Do I want to risk my life in order to secure a lab specimen? No. If I get caught (and killed), there will be no one to revive my father. I need to be smart about this.
Maybe after Maria helps me with securing the staff, she can help me acquire a comatose vampire?
It's not like I don't have anyone I can turn to for help, but that will also risk exposing my father's condition, and I can't go there. I won't.
Trouble will come even if they just suspect that something is off.
Secrecy means safety.
I can imagine vultures attacking everything my father built over centuries if they find out that he can't fight back. And they will also come after me, and after him as well. I will not allow it.
If you are not reading this at 'W e b n o v e l . c o m', then the content you're reading is stolen! Please support the author by reading this novel from the original source.
With this, it's quite clear what Serina and Duke are planning for their new home and the town. You know that they will make it happen. ;)
Thank you for your support!