"Ready babe?" The young male grinned at his friend as he turned the steering wheel and took the first turn to the right and off of the main road, entering a gravel path between tall and rich trees.
They were now driving to King's Estate just like that old lady had instructed over the phone yesterday, the girl still sulking in her seat as she had openly expressed her disapprovement of the whole ordeal.
"No. Why did you make me do this? What if there really lives a weirdo? What if it is all just a phony so whoever the hell lives there could trap innocent girls and rape them or something?"
The young man quickly broke into a fit of laughter at the sound of her words.
"Dan, I'm serious! What if he kills me and makes a freaking soup out of my body parts? Didn't you hear that weird breathing over the phone?" She whined, making him laugh even harder.
"Girl! Are you even hearing yourself right now? He? What he? I didn't hear anyone else beside that nice lady!" He tried to reason with her as he still let out stiffled laughs and chuckles here and there, his laughter however quickly dying out as soon as he took a better look past the car's windshield.
There, before their eyes and past the weathered iron gates stood tall and brave a large mansion, its stone walls almost entirely covered in thick and rich ivy vines.
Driving past the slowly opening gates, their curious gazes wandered all over the widely-spreading domain, trailing over the unkept and thorny rose gardens, and the old and dirtied cobblestone alley.
So dirty and old appeared the massive windows, panels and intricately carved ledges as well, the whole appearance of the estate giving off such a haunting, skin-crawling vibe.
"Damn, this place really needs a big-ass makeover," Dan stated as his creative mind kept picturing how it would look like after a nice cleaning and landscaping, only after a few moments realizing that his friend hadn't responded at all.
Turning his attention to look at Diana, he lastly noticed how her big green eyes were widened with fear, still staring at the sight before her.
"Are you being serious right now? Oh my god stop being such a baby!" He complained as they eventually parked somewhere close by the house.
"Doesn't this place scare you?" She meekly questioned, still looking at the grand and imposing building.
"No. I am a man, honey. A homosexual man but a man, nonetheless," He quickly replied with a wink as she turned to peer at him.
"I mean look at this place! This is the perfect place for a freaking horror movie!"
The male sighed as he worryingly stared at his friend,
"Look, I know it looks kinda creepy but this is your only chance, remember? Where else are you going to get such good money from? And that for just a few hours of cleaning!" He reasoned with her, the girl taking a moment to think about it once again as she reminded herself of all those bills awaiting her at home and her gravely sick momma as well.
Crap. Here goes nothing...
She let out a defeated sigh, mentally preparing herself as she eventually started to put her jacket back on and make herself more presentable as she flipped down the car's sunshield, taking a look at herself in the small mirror.
"Everything will be okay! I promise," The young male assured.
"Now stop sabotaging yourself," He mildly scolded her as he started to apply a little bit of liquid gloss onto her naturally pouty lips, the girl only nodding in response.
"You still have that pepper spray in your purse, right?" He cautiously asked, earning yet another nod from her.
"Good. Then you're all set," The girl lightly smiled in reply, turning to grab the white sheet of paper laying on the dashboard that served as her resumé.
"Look, if there really is any weirdo "he" in there, just scream as loud as you can and I'll be right there with you, okay?" He reassured her as she was about to finally exit the car, giving him yet another nod.
"Good. Now go. I'll be here waiting,"
Drawing in an encouraging breath, she then stepped out of the car and calmly walked all the way to the large dark wooden door, taking a moment to compose herself before she firmly grabbed the massive brass handle and knocked.
She waited for a few long moments, ready to knock again when the door suddenly flung open, almost scaring her to death as she took a quick step back.
"Oh, hello," She timidly smiled at the seemingly nice and chubby old lady before her as she placed a soothing hand over her crazily beating heart.
"Miss Diana?" The lady dressed as a maid then asked with a small smile of her own, earning a quick nod from the girl.
"If you would please follow me," She kindly instructed, swiftly stepping aside to allow the young and nice-looking woman before her to step inside.
Mumbling a small "thank you", she politely accepted the invitation and set foot inside the grand foyer, her lips quickly parting in surprise at the sight greeting her eyes.
Never had she ever seen such elengance within one room...
The burgundy red craftily designed walls, the intricately sculptured marble staircase, the massive golden chandelier above her head and all the hardwooden vintage furniture neatly placed around the room screamed opulence, and fine taste as well...
"So, you said you are interested in the job," The old lady said, abruptly pulling her out of her trance-like state as she took the sheet of paper from her hands.
"Yes," She quickly replied, rapidly moving to follow the woman as she noticed the maid had already started walking away.
She obediently trailed after the old woman round the massive staircase and into what looked like an office, the girl once again marvelling at the sight as it held only the finest furnishing as well, with a desk fit to accomodate a true king and an appropriately stocked bookcase, all designed in the same nuance of dark cherry and baroque carvings.
"I see that you have worked before as a cleaning maid," The woman commented after a quick glance into her resumé, neatly placing the file over the desk before she turned back to look at the young girl.
"Yes, that is correct," She nodded, quickly following after the old lady as she had already walked past her and back into the foyer, the girl almost running after her around the huge house as she walked so fast with those stumpy little legs of hers.
Entering into a very spacious living room, the old maid eventually slowed down her pace, stopping close to a massive, shiny and completely black piano.
"No one would take this job because they are too afraid, no matter how much money it pays," The maid stated matter-of-factly as she gazed at the beautiful work of art that served as a piano, the girl almost immediately starting to feel a little bit wary herself at the mere hearing of her peculiar words.
What is that even supposed to mean?
"Why would they be afraid?" She immediately questioned, unconsciously also taking a defensive step back.
"Because they are silly little girls," The maid simply said with a small shake of her head and a seemingly saddened sigh. But for some reason, at that specific moment Diana suddenly started to get that unsettling feeling of being watched, those tiny little hairs rising on the back of her neck as cold shivers crawled up her spine like little spiders. However, she did not dare to turn around and look.
"Master only comes out every single night to play to his poor heart's content, so it should be of no bother to you, you would only have to thoroughly clean his piano, he likes his piano free of any fingerprints or dust" The lady explained.
That's it? I would only have to clean up a freaking piano? I swear, rich people are so weird...
She thought, strangely enough noticing how the old lady's gaze fleetingly shifted from her face to somewhere behind her before her attention fastly returned to her. However, this time she did turn around to check, only to find no one there staring at her or anything like that.
Huh...I must be getting too paranoid...
"But, before you accept to work with us, I must warn you that there is a condition, however," The maid quickly drew Diana’s attention back to her.
"You will have to move in and live here, within the mansion," She solemnly informed, the girl’s jaw quickly dropping at the hearing of such thing.
"The house rules. Whoever works here lives within the property," She simply stated, crossing her puffy arms over her generous chest as she expectantly gazed at the girl.
No matter how much she hated to admit, Dan was right. They money this job was paying would be more than enough to sustain both her mother and herself and the whole house as well, even without what she was currently earning from Mr. Andrew.
She had no better choice. If she had to just clean up some old man’s friggin’ piano for such ridiculous amount of money, why not do it? Besides, living in such a lavish house for a while didn’t seem like such a harsh price to pay after all. However...
"Will I be able to go visit my mother? She is sick and I need to make sure that there will be someone to take care of her in my absence," She rushed to ask as the mere thought of her mother left all alone and unattended made her heart fill with worry.
"Of course," The maid only nodded once with a kind smile, the girl finding herself lightly sighing in relief.
"Now if I may, we would be pleased if you could move in within the next following days, because we will need you as soon as possible,"