Chapter 1: Morning coffee
Theodorus van Gogh snarled at the morning sun peeking through the gap in his curtains, cursing the summer's early brightness under his breath for waking him up so early on his day off. The Dutchman begrudgingly rose from his comfortable bed, stretching out as he stood up before traipsing over to his wardrobe to retrieve some clean clothes to wear - For some reason, this morning his shirts smelt differently than they usually did. There was a sweet, floral fragrance clinging to the white cotton, perhaps something to do with the new housemaid that le Comte had mentioned? He shook off the thought in favour of focusing on finding a cup of coffee after he'd finished buttoning up his shirt and trousers.
Once he reached the kitchen, Theo's aquamarine eyes set on a lady much smaller than him in height who seemed to be concentrating on cracking eggs into a large ceramic bowl, the new maid to be precise.
"Goedemorgen," The brash art dealer spoke flatly, smirking when the the little lady jumped in surprise, dropping an egg in her shock. She brushed he apron down with delicate hands attempting to seem at least a little more presentable in her new uniform.
"O-oh um, good morning Master um," the maid fumbled over her words as she curtsied to the handsome man who still stood in the doorway, his icy gaze fixed on her flustered face, "M-my apologies, Sir. I don't believe that I know your name quite yet."
"Theodorus van Gogh," he grunted in response as he strode into the kitchen, crossing his arms over his broad chest, his smirk only growing as he watched the young lady's bright eyes widen at his name before she curtsied to him again.
"Master Theodorus, of course - Good morning! How may I help you?" She spoke rather hurriedly, nervous, as if she were speaking to a celebrity idol - Had she maybe heard of his name before? The sweet little maid held her hands behind her back and rocked back and fourth on her heels lightly, gazing at the handsome Dutchman absentmindedly, seeming to not notice the smashed egg on the tiled floor.
"Your name and a cup of coffee. Quickly."
"Oh- I apologise for not introducing myself! I'm MC. And coffee, coffee -" She searched the countertop for the fresh pot of coffee that she'd brewed, muttering until she found it, quickly pouring a mug of the hot walnut coloured liquid for her new acquaintance, "Would you like sugar and milk, Master Theodorus?"
"Five sugars and a dash of milk," Theo replied bluntly, chuckling lowly when MC's eyes seemed to almost pop out of her head at the request, "I have a sweet tooth, get used to it." He continued to watch her as she spooned the sugar into his coffee and added just a splash of milk before she handed the steaming drink to him, curtsying once again. "You don't have to curtsy to me all of the time, MC. Focus that energy on things like cleaning up the uncooked omelette on the floor." At his words, MC gasped sharply, looking down at the sticky egg on the kitchen floor and then rushing to the sink to wet a rag to clean up the mess. Without a second thought, she dropped to her hands and knees to clean up the mess as quickly as she possibly could in order to get back to preparing breakfast.
"My, my what do we have here? A pretty little bird on her knees? By Jove it must be Christmas!" MC heard another man's voice enter the room - A British accent with a cheeky tone of voice, and the smirk on his lips could be heard without even having to look at him. The maid stood up quickly, a bright red blush dusting her cheeks as she met eyes with the new addition to the conversation: He was handsome, too. Slate coloured hair which was tousled just enough, royal blue eyes which seemed to hold the seven seas and swim with playfulness and a charming smile that could put even Disney princes to shame. "Arthur. Pleased to meet you, luv." He reached out one of his large hands and took both of MC's in his grasp, kissing them softly.
"M-MC. It's a pleasure to meet you, Master Arthur. May I get you anything?"
"Just a black coffee please, MC. And no need for the formalities, please, just Arthur is fine." He spoke whilst still smiling at her, entranced by her every move as she gracefully poured his coffee and handed it to him, their hands brushing against each other in the exchange, making MC blush once again.
MC continued in her efforts to make breakfast for the household whilst her two new acquaintances left the kitchen to sit and the dining table together, presumably to discuss work or something of the like. She cracked a few more eggs into the bowl she'd been working on previously, adding flour, sugar, milk and butter, whisking the ingredients until they formed a thick, brown batter - enough pancake batter to feed a small army, she thought, though, this was meant to feed all of the residents and both members of the house staff. The maid hastily began to cook up the pancakes on the stovetop, making sure that they were all perfectly cooked and as fluffy as could be. By this time, her colleague Sebastian had returned from collecting fresh honey and syrup from the store room in the cellar and had resumed helping her to make breakfast for the large household. The pair engaged in some small talk whilst they worked, finally managing to complete their task within twenty minutes before serving up the food to the residents in the dining room - Seems as though most of them sleep in late, thought MC as she could only count six men sat at the dining table despite there being thirteen places set.
The maid held a plate stacked high with pancakes as she carefully walked down the length of the table to where the brunette with the thick Dutch accent sat right next to the Brit she'd met that morning. "Master Theodorus, your pancakes. Would you like some syrup with them?" MC's eyes brimmed with hopeful anticipation, waiting for Theo to put his newspaper down and meet her gaze, which he eventually did. He took the plate into his huge hands, their size almost the same as the medium-sized plate itself. Theo hummed lowly, nodding at MC's offer of syrup,
"Just bring me a bottle of the stuff." She quickly scurried into the kitchen to retrieve the liquid-sugar, placing it beside his cutlery before she presented Arthur with his own breakfast which she held in her free hand. The author grinned at her, examining the plate of mouth-watering food before he looked at her again,
"Looks delicious. Thank you, luv."
"Ah, you don't need to thank me, Arthur. It's my job to look after you all."
He chuckled softly in response, flashing her another one of his charming grins, "So she's gorgeous and humble? Luv, you should come to visit me in my room sometime. I'd like to get to know you more."
"Shut up, klootzak," Theo interjected, his mouth half-full with pancakes and his eyes once again focused on his paper, "You've known her for barely half an hour and you're already trying to make a move on her? You're despicable." The pair continued to bicker back and fourth about Arthur's decorum or lack thereof, however, MC hadn't noticed as she'd been tending to the needs of the other residents - Bread and fresh fruit for Jean, sandwiches for Isaac, pan au chocolat for Mozart and a big stack of pancakes for Vincent who sat opposite his brother.
"Pancakes for Master ... Vincent, is it?"
"Ah yes, thank you MC! And you needn't call me 'Master', I prefer just Vincent if that's okay?" The blond smiled at MC with such sweetness, his expression could outshine the sun.
"Of course, Vincent. Would you like syrup too?" MC replied to which the artist politely shook his head, declining her offer,
"Oh, no thank you, MC. I don't share my little brother's fondness for sugar. And please, will you sit and join me for breakfast? You've worked so hard this morning, you deserve a break before you continue with your day." The maid agreed to his offer, sitting down and chatting with the older of the van Gogh brothers whilst they both enjoyed their breakfast peacefully.
After breakfast, MC was left alone in the dining room to clean up, a small smile on her face as she gathered the crockery from the table, "I think I'm going to like it here."
Chapter 2: Her sweetness
A few weeks had passed since MC's arrival to le Comte's mansion in the past and the bright housemaid had grown close with all of the vampiric residents and the butler. Isaac took her on a tour of the city, Vincent kept her company whilst she worked out in the garden and even Arthur was taking a shine to MC, taking her on little detective missions around Paris and treating her to fresh pastries he'd picked up just for her on days when he'd been out alone. The radiant lady had formed fulfilling, joyous relationships with all of the residents.
Well, all of the residents except for Theo, who seemed to enjoy avoiding her and simply complaining or insulting her when the pair did interact - And this afternoon was no different.
"Hey hondje," the art dealer addressed MC with his usual scowl as the housemaid let him and Arthur into the house after their outing for the day, "Hang this up, will you?" Theo thrust his winter coat into her hands, not making eye contact with her before stopping just past her, waiting for Arthur to catch up with him so the pair could enjoy a drink together in the parlour.
The cheeky Brit noticed MC's dejected expression at Theo's less-than-friendly greeting and took it upon himself to bring back her beautiful smile. Arthur took Theodorus' heavy coat from the sweet lady's arms, slinging it over his shoulder with ease whilst he grinned charmingly at her, his left hand moving to cup her cheek gently. He softly kissed her other cheek before reaching into his coat pocket and producing a neatly wrapped box, handing it to her. "For you, luv. Thank you for working so hard today - You didn't miss me too much did you?"
MC blushed deeply as she accepted the gift, gasping softly as she opened the box to reveal a mouth wateringly delightful selection of macarons of strawberry, lemon, rose, coffee and vanilla. They looked almost too perfect to eat - As fresh and as appetising as could be. "Oh, Arthur thank you! I would love if we could share these together after dinner."
Before Arthur could reply to the maid's suggestion, Theo scoffed somewhere behind the pair in the foyer before he turned on his heel to leave, "Tsk. Inviting this wretched man to share desserts with you, you really are a naïve and senseless, knabbeltje." The Dutchman grumbled under his breath as he sauntered out of sight and into the corridor in search of whiskey, "Really I cannot stand it when Arthur is so close to you, MC." Nobody but himself heard his words as Theo's heels clicked against the fine wooden floors of the mansion. Though, anyone who encountered the brash vampire on his quest for some alcohol would've surely noticed the searing blush that heated his pale cheeks.
After dinner, the mansion's resident art dealer found himself confused as he sat in the library and read through his book of poetry. For some reason, Theo couldn't seem to shake the sight of MC's pretty smile as his sapphire eyes scanned through the words of romantic elegance that were printed upon the small pages. He sighed deeply as he heard her beautiful giggle from where she sat on the balcony being charmed by his best friend as the pair shared those delicious looking macarons which Arthur had gifted to her. Tucking his poetry back into his trouser pocket, Theodorus stood from his comfortable seat by the fire and found his legs moving without his control, his body being carried out to the balcony to join MC and Arthur, disturbing the intimate atmosphere which hung around them.
"Oh, good evening Master Theodorus," MC smiled brightly up at him as she pulled out the other chair which sat at the garden table which Comte had placed on the balcony, "Would you like to join us? There's enough macarons to share!" Her sweet voice fell upon Theo's ears like honey settles on the tongue, sugar seeming to fill his veins and warmth engulfing his chest as MC's radiant smile outshone the stars that hung in the navy night sky.
The Dutchman man tutted but agreed, sitting down between Arthur and MC as his gaze refused to meet either of theirs, "You sure I'm not interrupting anything?" He smirked at Arthur but, the glare of his intense eyes betrayed the cocky curve of his lips, "Seems like you've found your doelwit for the night, Arthur."
The Brit responded with a chuckle as one of his large hands playfully hit his best friend's arm, shaking his head, "Oh Theo you think me such a dishonest chap! I am simply treating our little dove to a pleasant evening. She works so hard for us, she deserves to be treated like a princess, don't you think?" Arthur shot another handsome smile across the table to the darling woman, winking before he spoke again, this time his words towards her, "I promise that I am a far more eloquent gentlemen than our dear Theo says I am. In fact -"
"Don't listen to him hondje." Theo interrupted his friend, his stare now upon MC's confused face, "He's a disgusting flirt with no redeeming qualities. I recommend that you steer clear of him." When the woman attempted to laugh off the Dutchman's statement, he did not join in. In fact, Theo's flat expression seemed to form into a frown as his eyes shifted between both Arthur and MC. He stood up to leave once again, taking a rose flavoured macaron into his sizeable hand and shoving it into his pocket for later, "You're to assist me at work tomorrow, MC. I expect you ready at 9am - You have no choice in the matter."
And with her reply, the art dealer left the balcony and rushed back to his bedroom where he swiftly locked the door, running his fingers through his caramel brown hair in an attempt to relieve some stress as a sigh fell from his lips. Theo's hand dove into his pocket and removed the small coral coloured dessert from his trousers, eyeing it before deciding to eat it immediately. The sweet, rosy flavour filled his senses as delight waved over his muscular body, seeming to ease at least some of the tension of the tight muscles beneath his skin. He almost moaned as he experienced the taste, the luscious and perfectly baked confection engulfing him completely, azure blue eyes fluttering shut as he savoured the taste.
"I wonder," Theo pondered quietly, "I wonder if she would taste sweeter?" The Dutchman shuddered at the thought of MC's scarlet blood flowing across his tongue and down his throat, goose bumps littering his warm skin at the dream of feeding off of her. In desperation from the intense thirst that he felt, Theo bit into his own wrist, groaning at the pleasure that seeped through his veins at the aphrodisiac-like affect that his fangs granted him. As his blood dripped onto the floor in tiny droplets from his arm, Theodorus sighed once again, head spinning with bloodlust, desire and jealousy, "Why does she make me feel like this?"