Saturday, June 27, 2015

He Entered a Place that Not Many Knew Of

Victor woke up to the sound of whispers. He couldn’t understand a word they were saying because it was Latin; old Latin, to be specific. He could make up some words like ‘man’ or ‘accident’ but he wasn’t good at Latin or Italian.

Once he started to move and groan, the voices stopped. He opened his eyes only to close them back a few moments later. He heard someone say something and the curtains closed. He tried again and successfully opened his eyes. His vision was still a little blurry but he could make out who was around him. On his left were two men, dressed very fancy, with matching black hair and black eyes. On his right was a petite woman who seemed in between ages.

“You shouldn’t move too much or your head will hurt.” Her French accent was really heavy. He could barely understand what she said. He shifted and leaned his head against the wall. He was in a bed and the others were staring at him like he was a ghost.

“Where am I?” His voice was hoarse. The petite woman handed him a glass of water and he gulped it down in one go. “How did I get here?”

“He asks a lot of questions, doesn’t he?” One of the men said to the other. He got a light punch in the shoulder as response.

“You’ve been in an accident. You’re lucky they found you or else you would be dead.” Victor frowned. Not because he barely made out what she said but because he couldn’t remember a thing.

“An accident?” She nodded. “Who found me?” She turned towards the two boys.

“We only carried you here. The one who found you was Mistress.” The second boy nodded.

“She took care of your head wound.” Their accents sounded very different from what he imagined. One thing he knew for sure: none were Italian.  “You were lucky. She doesn’t do good deeds for anybody.” Their blue eyes were scary. The intensity they were holding in their gazes was overwhelming. He couldn’t help but feel intimidated. Of course, that didn’t mean he admitted it.

“Well, thank you then.” The men raised an eyebrow and chuckled bemusedly. He turned to look questioningly at the French woman. “For how long have I been here?”

“A year.” The woman responded softly.

His eyes widened and he got out of bed fast. He looked down only to see he was wearing unfamiliar clothes. They were comfortable and seemed very expensive. Now, that he was taking a closer look at his surroundings, everything was expensive. His eyes stopped on a painting. He walked in front of it and gasped.

“That’s a Michelangelo.” He whispered in bewilderment. He turned towards the strangers quickly and looked at the bed. It was located close to the windows and had a wood table right across. The room didn’t have a TV but it had a gramophone. He walked towards the bed and touched the sheets. They were natural fabric, very soft too. He knew how expensive and old fashioned it was. “Where am I?”

“The Moonflower Hotel.” They said in sync. That was both strange and entrancing.

Themselves, as human beings, looked and acted very strange. He didn’t know them but he was getting the feeling that he didn’t want to know more about them. The woman left quickly after she smiled softly at him. The men didn’t.

“What’s wrong?” The taller one walked closer and stared at him with a blank face.

“My name is Abel and that’s my brother, Kain. We are in charge of rooms and accommodation here, at the hotel. If you ever need something, we will come to you.” He cracked a charming smile and walked out, his brother following close.

Once he was left all alone in the room, he sighed. He looked for his back or something that he supposedly had with him before the accident. He couldn’t find anything; not even his clothes. He spent another two hours standing and inspecting his room. It was magnificent down to the smallest detail. He couldn’t believe he had never seen that hotel before.

But of course, as any other human, he got bored. He had nothing to entertain himself with therefore, he ventured outside. The halls were so long and complicated; just like a labyrinth. There weren’t many rooms but of course, he could imagine why that was.

“One room must cost a fortune and the material invested in it must be even more” He mumbled and as he touched the wall.

He didn’t know for how long he wandered around but he entered yet another corridor. It was simple and had more rooms. At the end of it, he found an empty space where only a white piano was standing proudly in the middle.

“I see you went for a look.” He flinched when he suddenly heard the French accent. He smiled at the woman and nodded. “My name is Pauline. I’ve been part of the staff here for a very long time.” He nodded. “Very long time, Mr. Abbot.” She repeated. He furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. She brushed the last comment as if it didn’t mean anything and smiled at him before she left.

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Victor trailed his fingers along the white keys. He smiled softly when he pressed on a few and the sound resonated in the whole hotel.

"Do you know how to play?" He raised his head and looked into a pair of beautiful green eyes. He couldn't express how beautiful the woman was. Her face was empty of any make up yet it looked flawless. "Oh, pardon me. Did I interrupt you?" She seemed genuinely embarrassed. She turned around and got ready to leave when he stopped her.

"No! No." He coughed his shame away and walked to her. "Are you part of the staff here?" She shook her head.

"No. I am only a guest." He could feel the corner if his lips rising no matter how hard he wanted not to.

"I'm Victor Abbot. Nice to meet you, Miss-" Her eyes widened and she took a step back when he grabbed her hand and kissed it.

"Amelia. Amelia Costelli."

"You're Italian." She nodded.

"You sound surprised" He chuckled and grabbed a hand through his hair.

"I met some people from the staff. They're not from around here." Amelia's eyes got a mischievous glint and a wide smile spread on her face.

"Oh, Mr. Abbot. You have no idea." Victor stared at her with amusement. She seemed like fun. He was glad he met her, actually. "Would you like to accompany me to dinner?"

"Sure."

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"Have you stayed here for long?" He asked as he followed her down the stairs.

"Not exactly. I come and go as I see fit." He nodded and kept that in mind.

"Do you live in Rome?" She glanced at him over her shoulder with a little smirk.

"Why? You want to visit me?" He laughed and ignored her question. "Actually, I live in Sicilia. I come here to rest and forget of everything at home. This place has a certain comfort to it." She looked happy while saying that. Victor liked her smile. It was soft and brightened her whole face. "Are you a guest?"

"I guess. I don't remember well what happened or how I got here. I just woke up here."

"What room are you in?" He narrowed his eyes at her playfully and got closer to her.

"Why? Do you want to pay me a visit at night?" She blushed and hid it with her hair.

"N-no." He laughed loudly and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. That definitely surprised her but she didn't protest.

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When they got downstairs, Victor realized just how big the hotel was. It had only three floors but they were very big. Down the stairs, the walls were a lighter shade than the one in the corridors. They were simple and didn't have anything on them. Except the last one. There was a huge mirror on it. Victor stopped and looked into it. He was dressed in a satin robe and he had a bandage wrapped around his head. He had scars on the legs and face. He touched the biggest one on his cheek and flinched. It was still fresh, somehow. His head hurt suddenly and he could feel scared. It was almost like he saw death with his eyes. He probably did.

"Mr. Abbot?" Behind him was Kain. He was dressed in his normal clothes and was staring at him with that blank face of his.

"Where did she go?" He asked after he realized Amelia was gone. Kain raised an eyebrow. "I was with a lady" He clarified.

"Dinner will be served soon." He said and left. Simple like that. Victor sighed and descended the stairs.

His eyes widened when he faced the most amazing sight of his life. The furniture was antique yet it looked like it was done yesterday; the carpet had a mosaic model and the column that was separating the front hall from the restaurant was a masterpiece. The light was dim but it was enough to create atmosphere. Everything was very unique.

As he walked in the hall, he met the receptionist. A young man who didn't seem to be very talkative. However, his eyes were emanating more pureness than the brothers. Something about him was scary but he couldn't point out what.

Once he got into the restaurant, he noticed how many people were there. He was astonished.

"You can't enter like that" He jumped in surprise when he heard the receptionist address him.

"I don't know where my clothes are." The boy blinked twice before he pointed at a back door.

"There is a uniform. You can dress inside." Victor nodded and entered the room.

After he dressed, he smiled thankfully at the receptionist whom was in his own world.

The noise inside the restaurant was refreshing. The hotel had great echo but it was also a little creepy. That was the problem with old hotels. They were giving that paranoid mood that someone could be watching you through the walls.

He got through the crowd and sat somewhere at the bar. He saw a woman smiling at him and couldn't help but chuckle. He still got the game, even after a year of convalescence.

He waved at her and she blushed. It was nice to have the power of seduction without doing much. He was a blessed man.

Victor's smirk fell when he felt a hand touching his shoulder quite firmly. He turned his head in order to meet the stranger.

"You're not from around here, are you?" He had a deep husky voice that complimented well his handsome face. He looked like one of those perfect human beings who would make you feel common and laugh into your face. At least, that was the first impression Victor got.

"No. No, I'm not." The Adonis in front of him cracked a small smile and sat down. He asked for two drinks and placed one in front of Victor.

"Welcome to the Moonflower Hotel, guest." Victor nodded a little uncertain.

"My name is Victor Abbot." He stuck his hand out. The man glanced between his hand and his face. He starred to laugh before he wrapped his arm around Victor's neck.

"Don't need for formalities. I'm sure we are the same age." Victor was surprised by his new acquaintance. "Evan McAllister. I come here from time to time." That sounded strangely familiar. 

"How did you find this hotel? Not many do." He added before he took a sip from his scotch.

"I didn't. I was brought here under some certain circumstances." Evan raised an eyebrow and leaned towards Victor.

"So then, the hotel found you, huh?" Victor nodded and grabbed his own glass of alcohol.

"But most guests aren't from around here. Not even the staff." Evan glanced at the crowd over his shoulder.

"Yeah. We're in Italy but most of them are foreigners. Well, that's good for us. They speak English." Victor chuckled and nodded.

"You're Irish, aren't you?" Evan nodded.

"I am, indeed. And from what I can hear, you have a certain Manchester accent." Victor looked at him bemusedly.

"Yes. That's correct." Evan laughed loudly and patted the younger man.

"Take care around here, Victor. You never know in what room you may wake up in the morning." The younger man raised an eyebrow in amusement. Evan winked and waved at a woman from the far corner. "Oh, I think I know what room I will end up sleeping in." Victor chuckled before the older man left.

"Mr. Abbot," Victor's attention moved on the small woman whom disappeared earlier on. "I lost you on the way." She stated innocently.

"Mrs. Costelli. I'm sorry. I was amazed by the mirror at the top of the first pair of stairs. It was really unique made." She chuckled and took the available seat next to him. "It's very crowded."

"Yes. At this hour especially. After dinner, some guests leave so we always gather here to say goodbye." Victor took a long look around and sighed.

"So everyone knows each other?" Amelia nodded.

"Of course. Most of them are important people all around the world. This is a place of opportunities." Victor glanced at her and smiled. She did too when she noticed. "What?"

"You're beautiful, Amelia." Her eyes widened and her cheeks got on fire. He chuckled and took a sip of his drink. She hit his arm playfully and covered her cheeks.

"That's not funny." He only continued to laugh.

The room got quiet when Kain entered and rang the bell.

"Madames et monsieurs, dinner is ready! Please take your seats." After the announcement, Kain left and the guests walked to their seats. Victor was a little confused where to go.

"Youcancomeandsitwithme, if you want to." She asked so fast that Victor wasn't sure if he understood correctly. "Come sit with me." She said at a normal pace. He nodded and followed her to a small round table near the window.

That was probably the first time he got the chance to see what was outside. His eyes widened when he saw snow.

"It's winter!" He mumbled in shock. Amelia heard without really eavesdropping.

"It's almost Christmas." Victor's eyes widened and without realizing it, he stood up. That grabbed attention. He was the only man who raised so hastily. Once he saw the strong stares, he bowed his head as apology and sat down. "Are you alright?" Amelia asked worried.

"Yes. Just, it's December. The last time I remember, it was the mid of July." Amelia understood and didn't pry. She didn't want to make him feel uncomfortable.

Dinner was a true feast at the Moonflower Hotel. All kinds of meat and vegetables; expensive dishes and even more expensive wine. That was definitely the second most delicious food he ate in his life. The first was his mother's cooking. Nothing could beat that.

It took exactly two hours before the restaurant became empty. It felt like everyone was eating in sync because they finished at the same time. They laughed and drunk wine, they talked and even asked for this and that but at 9 o'clock sharp, everyone raised and walked out of the restaurant. Only he remained, with Amelia. In the crowd of people, he noticed Evan. He did too because he winked at him and wrapped his arm around a girl. Victor chuckled and shook his head disapprovingly.

"I have to go back now. But I will see you tomorrow." She said softly. Victor caressed her hair kindly and nodded. She bit her bottom lip and thought how to say goodnight. In the end, she kissed his cheek and left quickly. Victor was taken aback that was such a childish and pure action. He couldn't help but laugh softly and touched the spot she kissed.

He was feeling wonderful. That kind of joy was special and it made him realize he's been around older women for too long. He needed something refreshing; something young.

When he got in the hall, he walked straight to the receptionist. The young man was talking to someone but he saw Victor. He only shook his head once before he ignored him completely.

"Does that mean I can keep them?" He wondered out loud. He couldn't quite understand the receptionist.

He shrugged and walked up to his room. As he was ascending the stairs to the fifth floor, he heard the soft sound of a piano. He remembered the one on the third floor and walked towards it. He didn't venture too close, though. He closed his eyes and leaned against the wall. The playing was magnificent. It was so clear and with the right amount of emotion.

When the song ended, he opened his eyes. He noticed the painting across and walked in front of it. The details were impressive and the facial expression, which was anger, was portrayed very well. He tilted his head to the side and smiled. He was in a place of art and he had all the time in the world to discover it fully.

All the time in the world. 

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