Conquering His Cold Heart -
Hamilton went inside the first tailor shop that he came across down the street.
He entered the shop while Ruby stood outside.
After a while, Hamilton walked outside while carrying a bag.
Ruby thought that he would toss that bag to her and the two of them would go back to where the carriage was.
However, Hamilton kept on walking down the street and Ruby quietly followed after him while maintaining some distance.
Before entering the next shop, Hamilton turned around and asked Ruby, “Let me see your feet.”
Ruby looked at the store first. It sold shoes. So she lifted her torn gown just enough for Hamilton to see the size of her feet.
Hamilton went inside the shop alone and then came out while holding another bag.
Again, he walked down the street instead of heading towards the carriage.
Ruby thought that he was now going to buy medicines for her wounded feet. So she tried to stop him, “Milord, my feet aren’t wounded that badly. I don’t need any ointment.”
Hamilton, however, continued walking while pretending not to hear what Ruby had just said to him. He was looking for a decent guest house where Ruby could change into the clothes which he had just bought for her.
On his way, he bumped into his admirer again.
“Mr. Hamilton.” Jay gave a bow to him and asked, “Are you staying here for the night?”
Hamilton smiled at Jay and replied, “I am looking for a place where...” He turned his head to take a quick glance at Ruby. He then looked back at Jay and continued, “...she can change her clothes. She was blocking the road and asking for a ride. I took pity on her and decided to help her. But first, I wanted to make sure that she was properly dressed.”
Jay was again impressed by the kindhearted nature of his idol. He instantly grabbed the bags from Hamilton’s hand and politely asked, “Then why don’t you two come to my house? It’s right around the corner.”
Hamilton couldn’t be any more grateful. “That would be really helpful, to be honest. Lead the way, Jay.”
Jay happily gestured forward and started to walk.
Hamilton looked behind him and gestured for Ruby to follow them.
And Ruby also obliged.
Jay led Hamilton to a humble house by the corner. A beautiful woman was waiting for him at the gate of the house.
And Jay immediately introduced that lady to Hamilton. “Mr. Hamilton, she is my beautiful wife, Sarah.” And he also introduced Hamilton to his wife. “And Sarah, this is Mr. Hamilton. He is a renowned Historian.”
“Welcome to our humble abode, Mr. Hamilton,” Sarah politely curtsied to the gentleman and then turned her gaze towards a lady who was quietly standing two feet away from the gate.”
“Oh,” Jay handed over the bags to his wife and asked, “Will you help her to get changed? Mr. Hamilton here took pity on her. And he wanted her to change into these before he offered her a ride.”
Sarah was a little hesitant, given Ruby’s repulsive appearance. However, she obliged to her husband’s request nonetheless because she didn’t want to make a fuss in front of that handsome guest.
“Please, follow me,” she glanced at Ruby and asked her. And she left her husband to tend to his guest.
Sarah led Ruby to the bathroom first. All the while, she was thinking about how she would have to mop the floors all over again.
‘He only knows how to increase the workload for me,’ she cursed her husband in her mind. ‘I am asking him to hire a maid from the next month. I cannot do all the household work anymore. For the love of god, I am not his maid!’
Sarah opened the door of the bathroom and then placed the bags on the bathroom floor. She then turned to look at Ruby. She was instantly disgusted by Ruby now that she looked at her more closely.
She wrinkled her nose and then said in one breath. “There’s water in the tub. Why don’t you clean yourself up first? If you need any help tying up the bodice then give me a sound. I will be waiting right here.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Ruby was more than grateful towards the lady for allowing her to use her bathroom. She lowered her head and crouched a little as she sprinted past Sarah and entered the bathroom.
Before Ruby locked the door to the bathroom, Sarah shouted, “And be fast. I have a lot of house chores to do. I cannot keep on waiting forever.”
Ruby politely bowed and said in a soft voice, “I won’t take much time. Thank you for allowing me to take a bath.”
After Ruby locked the door, Sarah folded her arms and began to tap her foot on the floor restlessly.
She recalled how well-dressed Hamilton was. His appearance screamed of high status. And she couldn’t help but think, ‘Why would a gentleman like him want to help a homeless woman who clearly ran away from her master’s house after causing some trouble? I don’t understand men at all.’
After around ten long minutes, Sarah finally heard Ruby unlock the door.
“Ma’am, will you help me, please?”
Sarah heard Ruby’s soft voice.
“Sure.” She sighed and rolled her eyes. And she walked towards the bathroom door while mumbling to herself, “I don’t have any other choice now, d-”
Sarah suddenly stopped mumbling when she got a peek at Ruby from the crack of the door. She couldn’t believe that the woman who looked like a beggar just a while ago could look like a high-class lady just after a bath.
Ruby was wearing the sheer linen undergarments that were stuck here and there on her rinsed body. Her hair looked dark red now that it was wet. And she was holding the other pieces of the maroon gown in her hands, not knowing how to wear those pieces and where. She never had the luxury of wearing such an extravagant gown.
“Umm... ma’am, I don’t know how to put them on,” she said to Sarah while lowering her head.
Sarah came out of her trance when she heard Ruby’s voice again. She cleared her throat and held out her hand. “Give them to me. I’ll show you how.”
Sarah wasn’t feeling disgusted to stand beside Ruby now that she had washed up. So she helped Ruby figure things out and put the gown on. She helped tie up the bodice. And she even showed Ruby how to put the buckles of the shoes on.
After they were done, Ruby gave a low bow to Sarah and thanked her from the bottom of her heart, “Thank you for letting me step into your house and in your bath when I looked like that. I went through a lot these past few days. I really appreciate your kindness. It’s really hard to find kind people like you these days.”
Sarah gave an awkward smile and nodded.
Right then, they heard Jay’s voice from downstairs. “Sarah! How long is it going to take? Mr. Hamilton is asking the both of you to hurry up.”
Ruby hurriedly pointed at the bag where she had stuffed her old cloth. And she asked, “Where do I throw that?”
Sarah waved her hand and replied, “Don’t worry about it. I will throw them away later. I think you should head downstairs.”
Ruby gave a wide smile and bowed again. “Thank you, ma’am.”
And she tried to run. But she stopped upon realizing that she was wearing heels now. She lifted her gown just enough for her to walk without tripping. And she climbed down the stairs, closely followed by Sarah.
Hamilton and Jay were sitting on the sofa and talking with each other when they saw the ladies. They both were too stunned to see the transformation of Ruby.
Hamilton had to give a double look to see if she was the same woman he had brought along with him. His eyes quickly traveled to her feet because he couldn’t smell the blood anymore. But he didn’t think much about it. He simply assumed that the smell of soap was masking that maddening smell of her blood.
He got up from the sofa and quickly went to offer Ruby a hand.
Ruby hesitantly placed her palm on his hand and climbed down the remaining stairs.
“Shall we leave then?” Hamilton asked while trying not to fantasize about sinking his fangs onto her slender neck because it looked a hundred times more enticing now.
Ruby gave a polite nod.
Hamilton turned to look at the couple who were standing together by now. And he said with a polite smile, “Thank you, both of you. I will keep on visiting whenever I come to Lavinya.”
“Of course, Mr. Hamilton.” Jay replied very eagerly, “I would love to have you in my house. We shall talk about the hidden gems of Lavinya in detail the next time we meet.”
After greeting their goodbyes, Hamilton led Ruby towards the street. He was finally allowing her to walk side by side with him.
And after walking for about a minute, he finally asked the questions lingering in his mind, “What happened to you, Ms. Ruby? Did you fall victim to someone’s abuse or treachery? Where’s your home? I hope you are heading for your home right now.”
Ruby didn’t want to reveal to the gentleman that she had run away from the clutch of a King. So she told the half-truth, “Some people tortured me and robbed everything I had. I cannot go home like this. So, I am trying to find the man who might help me.”
Hamilton nodded his head in pity. And he asked again, “Is he your suitor? Or maybe your lover?”
Ruby was flustered to hear that question. “Er... he-”
Suddenly, a strong gust of wind hit their faces.
Ruby abruptly closed her eyes when a sheet of paper that was blown by the wind got slapped on her face.
She took the paper in her hand and looked to see what it was. But before she could properly look at it, Hamilton snatched it from her hand.
His eyes and jaw were wide open when he stared at that sheet of paper.
“Holy mother of god!” he exclaimed.
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