Abigail was immediately greeted with bright white candelabras illuminating the hallway. Newcomers would ultimately get lost in this colossal maze of corridors and rooms. There were four floors in total and the areas were organized with care. Unfortunately, arguably even that would not be enough to navigate through as a new person in the Manor. Abigail, on the other hand, was born and raised here. She knew every hallway and every room like the back of her hand.

Uniquely, Penrose Manor was one of the last landmark manors from the 1800s. It still holds many elaborate Victorian-style architects that could easily wow any guest.

The Manor still had its original brick foundation, fancy corridors with high windows and ceilings, its original wide staircase that split at the top, and the hundred year statues covered in moss around the property. However old the place was, only a fool would say the place was too ancient to inhabit. Over the years, the Manor was remodeled to keep up with technology. It got a new roof, new floorings, new furniture, new pipings, built-in technology enhancements throughout, and the most grandeur chandelier above the stairs that seemed straight out of the Versaille Palace. Other than the rich architecture reminding itself of a different era, only Penrose Manor had sufficient respect and reputation to house the wealthy Barrington family.

With the vase of freshly cut flowers, Abigail quickly stopped to ask a cleaning maid to confirm if her brother had passed by earlier. The maid nodded her head and so she made her way to her fathers office. Fortunately, the servants quarters were towards the back of the Manor and she didn have to walk far.

When she approached the door, she gave a soft knock but abruptly let herself in. Her Father was the Head of Butlers for the Barrington Family. His office was as just as anyone would imagine. A decent size room with a large desk centered in the back. Shelves situated on either side. A filing cabinet to the right looking sturdy and tall. A futon sat on the left, and small decors scattered around the room. There was always paperwork and folders stacked on top of the desk.

Abigail halted when she saw who was standing in the room with her neatly dressed father and now flustered brother. She gently closed the door behind her.

”Mr. Barrington. ”

”Ah! Little Missy has come at the right time. ” Mr. Barrington took his hands out of his pockets. He was wearing a casual knitted sweater over some black dress pants. He had gelled his blonde hair and combed it neatly back. Mr. Barrington was lean built with a short beard and warm gray eyes. There was a softness in his voice when he spoke, and he always drew you in with an intense eye contact that made you feel important.

”Abigail, please help me persuade your brother that we shall have the wedding right here at Penrose, and I will take care of all the expenses. ”

Abigail was immediately taken aback at the statement. Though she didn say a word, her shocked face reciprocated disappointment from Mr. Barrington.

”I see you two as my own children. I watched you grow up. ” Mr. Barrington shook a finger at John. ”When you were four, I fell off my bike and you laughed at me. Later that day, I gave you your first bike. When you were 12, your Father and I enrolled you into the most prestigious academy in the country and we watched you graduate. ”

When none of the butler family made a noise, Mr. Barrington sighed deeply. Abigail looked at her Father. They were fully into the conversation before she arrived.

”Mr. Barrington, I think my brother wouldve been honored to have you host the wedding, ” she was careful to make it sound like a suggestion and not a decision.

Its not that they didn want the Barringtons to do it. Mr. Barrington was already treating John and Abigail more than just maids and butlers. Hed adored them as if they were his own children. They went to the top private schools in the nation. They were groomed by professionals and experts to learn etiquettes and social practices. They could dance the waltz and mannered themselves at five or even seven course fine dining. They wore expensive clothes and attended events in place of the Barringtons. Because of all this, they were well known among wealthy families as the Privileged Roses. If they had allowed Mr. Barrington to host Johns wedding, the reputation of being spoiled by the Barrintons would be even more damaged beyond repair. They had no concern for theirs but it was Mr. Barringtons.

Ultimately, in the end, its Johns decision to make.

”Mr. Barrington, ” John interlocked his fingers. He looked at the Master, then to his Father and back again. ”I would be honored to have you host my wedding. ”

This coming from John was nonetheless a firm decision.

Mr. Barrington smiled. He walked up to John and gave him a pat on the shoulder.

”Thomas, please put some money aside for the wedding of John and Claire, if you will. ”

”As you wish, ” Abigails Father replied with a nod.

Mr. Barrington left the room in large strides and with a big smile. As soon as he disappeared, Abigail closed the door again. John slumped down on the futon.

”He wanted to, my son. Im sure you make him very proud. ”

Thomas Campbell was in his middle fifties. He always has a cleanly shaved face but hollow eyes, sharp cheekbones and turning silver hair on his orange ones.

”I understand we have the financial means to make this happen. I just never want to be a burden. ” He bit his bottom lip.

Abigail finally showed him the vase of flowers in her hands.

”Look. Maybe this will help make you feel better. ” Abigail pointed to each flower. ”For years, Mrs. Barrington made sure to have a variety of flowers growing in this climate, and it wasn until I started to study them that I realized why. She wanted to make sure she was able to show all kinds of expressions through her flowers. Red chrysanthemum for I love you. Heliotrope for eternal love. Honeysuckle for bonds of love. And iris for trust, wisdom and hope. Maybe in the the same way Mrs. Barrington expresses her emotions, perhaps this is the way Mr. Barrington wanted to show his benevolence. That he cares for us. ”

John chuckled. He gently took the plain vase.

”I haven finished the concept yet. ”

”Its ok. I loved it already. ” He gave her a sudden unexpected hug. ”Im going to put this on my nightstand and show it to Claire when I see her tomorrow. Im sure shell love it. Father, if its ok with you, Id like to pull Abigail from her duties and be the event coordinator for my wedding. ”

Their Father raised a skeptical brow. ”Youve already set the date? ”

John wet his lips just like he did when he knew he might be in trouble.

”When? ”

”August 3rd. ”

”You only gave yourself five months. Will that be enough? ”

Despite their Father knowing how organized his children are, he knew that the dates are too close to each other.

”Im sure youll manage, but you still have your duties here at Penrose Manor. ” He directed the second half towards his daughter.

John looked at the bunch of flowers on his hands. ”I understand, Father. But it was Claire and I, our decision to make this union small with immediate family. Thats what Im trying to make Mr. Barrington understand. Im sure well manage. ”

Their Father gave the word to Abigail.

She gave her brother a thumbs up and a silly wink from under the eyes of their Father. They were dismissed and immediately started planning the approaching event.

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