Monday, October 10, 2011
Monday's Escape Into Romance Is..."Surrendering"
Grams sat down at the breakfast table while Richards prepared her a plate. He did not prepare the plate for her because it was part of his job or that she most likely would have asked him too any way. Richards did it because he loved her.
“There you go Darleen.” Richards then gave her a kiss on the forehead.
Grams smiled up at Richards and said, “You spoil me, you know that?”
“Oh yes my darling, I know. You make it impossible not too.” He leaned down and whispered in her ear, “You are worth spoiling and I will do it for as long as I live.”
Richards made Darleen’s checks give off some deep color. She started to giggle at his flirtatious attempts to make her blush. She turned and gave him a soft kiss of thanks for the food and for making her feel like a young woman in love still after seven years.
“I shall be escorting Sarah to Lady Wilcox’s later this morning. She confided in me last night that those were her wishes, although I do not want her to leave.” Grams then took a bite of her ham.
“I am not comfortable with you traveling back alone Darleen. I will go with you and wait in the couch.” Richard’s tone was stern.
“You know perfectly well I will want you to come in for a visit at Wilcox’s with you by my side.”
She looked up at Richards and he looked away. Grams slammed her fork on her plate. “I am tired of you insisting we hide our feelings for each other from the world Richards. Lady Wilcox knows of us and so do most of the town’s folk as well as the surrounding towns. The only one who does not know is Devon. I do not like keeping secrets from him Richards, you know that and I want us to tell him together.”
Richards turned from her and began setting out a few more plates. “I told you I am not ready to tell him.”
“It has been seven years I have been sneaking around my own house with you. How much more time do you need Richards?”
“I cannot give you an answer. We have been through this before Darleen.” Richards glanced at her. He knew his answer was going to fuel her already burning fire on the subject.
“Are you embarrassed of me Richards? Is that why you insist I should not tell anyone of us?” Grams lip began to quiver from the thought of him answering yes. “It is my weight isn’t it?”
Richards looked at her quickly. “You know nothing could be further from the true Darleen. That was hurtful and offensive that you would think such a thing of me.”
“I am hurt and offended you insist on hiding your feelings for me Richards. That is not love. That is shame.” Grams rose from the table and ran out of the room.
“Darleen,” Richards shouted to her.
Sarah entered the dining room looking exhausted from lack of sleep. “What has happened? Is she alright?”
“No she is not and it is my fault.” Richards face was clearly showing his emotions.
“Perhaps I should go to her. Can you tell me what has made her this upset?” Sarah walked to Richards and placed her hand on his arm.
Richards pinched his lips tightly together and frowned. “I assume she has told you of us.” Sarah smiled at him and answered yes. Richards then looked down at her hand on his arm. “I have never wanted Darleen to tell anyone about us, especially Devon.
Sarah tilted her to the right slightly and asked, “Why not Richards? I think Devon would be rather pleased about it.”
“Devon is very important to me Sarah and I do not want to risk him ever looking at me other than what he does now.”
“Which is what?” Sarah asked.
“A father of sorts. We have always been close since he was a baby and I cannot take losing that with him. I fear he would think it to be inappropriate. I am the butler Sarah.”
“I think you are judging Devon before he has a chance to form his own opinion on the matter. Do not under estimate how strongly Devon cares for you Richards.” Sarah then asked him, “Are you then willing to risk losing Grams and worse off, breaking her heart?” Sarah gave his arm a slight squeeze.
“No, I love her more than anything. I just do not understand why she feels the need to tell the world. I am her butler for bloody sake. It just does not look right.”
Well I think she does not care what the rest of the world thinks. I believe she cares what you think Richards.” Sarah’s tone was soft.
Richards gazed to Sarah with an understanding finally of what Darleen was upset about. “I had not thought of it in that manor before now.” Richards smiled and said, “Will you excuse me, I have to go apologize for being a bloody ass to the woman I love.”
Sarah laughed and released his arm. Richards left to find Grams. Sarah looked around at all the food and started to remember the food fight that had taken place in there. She began to smile at the thought of Devon covered in food standing in front of her. Sarah then remembered it was at that same time she realized she was falling in love with him. She told herself she was a fool for believing in his eyes. They had told her he felt the same, although now she knows that was what she wanted to see in his eyes.
Sarah turned and left the room. She walked right out the front door and onto the front steps. She gazed at the stable and headed for them at a fast pace.
“Hello Lady Sarah. How are you this morning?” Billy asked her as his face held a smile for her ear to ear.
“I am fine and how are you Billy?” Sarah said as she removed her bonnet and began smoothing back her hair. She continued walking towards Runner’s stall.
“Quite well thank you. Are you planning on taking him out for a ride?”
“Yes I will Billy. Would you mind getting him ready for me while I change into my riding attire?”
“Not at all Lady Sarah, it would be my pleasure.” He was still smiling at her like a fool.
Sarah smiled back at him and said, “You are very kind Billy, thank you.” She continued to smile at him warmly.
As she left the stable, Sarah saw a carriage pull up and Devon was on a horse riding along the side of it. Sarah stopped and watched as Devon opened the door and gave out his hand to a woman inside. She could somewhat see he was smiling at her. The woman then wrapped her arm through Devon’s and he began to escort her into the estate.
“Lady Sarah you forgot your hat.” Billy shouted to her from the stables.
Devon and the woman turned towards Sarah’s direction. Sarah wanted to hide, but she was standing in the middle of the drive at the bottom of the hill.
She watched as Devon saw her and then turned to the woman while pointing at Sarah. Devon then moved towards the front door and rushed inside. The woman starred at Sarah for a moment then chased after Devon.
Sarah did not recognize the woman with her travel scarf and hat on. Who was she and why did Devon bring her here?
Sarah could not believe what she was about to do. Her feet started moving towards the house and she had every intention of finding out whom this woman was and why she was on Devon’s arm.
Devon made his way to his study. He began to feel dizzy again and he was having a hard time catching his breath. The woman chasing him entered the room and saw him. Devon was hunched over and turning pale again.
“Are you alright Devon?”
Devon shook his head no and then managed to say, “Sarah is wearing a white dress like in my dream. I…I cannot breath.” Devon’s breathing was becoming labored and he looked scared.
The woman went to him and placed her hands on his cheeks. “Take deep breaths Devon, nice and slow.
Devon placed his sweaty forehead to hers and closed his eyes.
“Devon? What are you doing?” Sarah said as she was staring at them. Are you kissing her?”
“Sarah?” the woman turned around to look at her.
Devon grabbed the woman’s waist, placed his head on her back, and squeezed her tight. The woman let out a yelp in surprise to him squeezing her.
“Brook?” Sarah felt a sudden fury well up from deep inside her. “What are you doing here?” Her voice was fierce.
“I came here with Devon. I was hoping to see you,” Brook said.
Devon had not really moved and he was not looking at Sarah. His head was still pushing heavy on Brook’s upper back. Devon said softly, “Brook.”
Brook patted his leg and said to him, “Not now, in a minute.”
“How do you know him Brook?” Sarah was trying to keep her composure but she was not doing a very good job of it.
“My father had introduced us and I rode back with him from my house, where we were last night.” Brook watched as Sarah’s face fell. “Well, what I meant to say. You see we.”
Sarah did not bother to listen and walked away.
Brook suddenly heard a thud on the floor behind her. She turned to see Devon on the floor face down. “Again?” she said to him. Brook was staring down at him lying next to the sofa, trying to think what to do. After a few minutes, she decided she was going to need help because he was not waking up.
“Hello,” Landon said to Brook.
Brook turned and just gazed at him. He was so handsome and he was talking to her. He looked like a Greek god with golden skin. What had he just said to her? She could not think with the way he was staring at her. He said hello. Good God say it back. She said to herself.
“Hello?” Landon repeated this time teasingly.
“Oh, I do apologize. Hello.” Brook’s gaze did not move from Landon’s face.
“My name is Landon and you are?” he said to her as he walked toward her.
“Landon,” Brook whispered softly.
“Well that is odd, you having the same name as I do and a male name at that.” He smiled at her.
Brook smiled back and said, “Yes. No, I mean no!” She quickly gained half her wits about her back. She gave her head a quick shake and said, “I am Brook, that is my name, Brook, I am Brook.”
“Are you a friend of Sarah’s” Landon smiled at her more devilishly to see if he could fumble her further.
“Yes I am. We are childhood friends. We also work at the library together. I met Devon and he escorted me here.”
“I see, so you live close to town?”
“No I live three towns to the north. My father had introduced me to Devon and-”
Brook stopped and then gasped. With wide eyes she said, “Devon! Oh my I had forgotten about him.”
“What about Devon?” Landon was concerned.
Brook stepped to the side and revealed Devon lying face down on the floor behind her. “He has fainted, again.”
“Fainted!” Landon knelt down to him. He could see he was sweating and pale. “What happened?” Landon looked to Brook.
“I do believe your friend is in love with Sarah. Every time he dreams of her or as of now, sees her, he faints.
“What?” Landon looked back at Devon.
“Why is Sarah riding like a fox being chased and who are you?” Grams said not very nicely. “Oh dear God! What happened to my boy?”
Brook jumped out of Gram’s way as she was barreling towards Devon on the floor at her feet.
“He is alright. He has just fainted is all. Not to worry my scrumptious cupcake.” Landon reassured her.
Brook pinched her eyebrows together. She was not sure if she just heard him call her a scrumptious cupcake.
Grams slapped Devon’s face lightly to awake him.
“I had used a cold cloth last night when he had fainted.” Brook said.
“Last night? He fainted last night also. Grams asked her.
“Yes, he had had a dream of Sarah and turned pale and began to sweat and then fainted.”
“Let me guess, he saw Sarah just now before he fainted?”
Brook shook her yes confirming what Grams had asked. Grams looked to Landon who was already looking at her and they both started trying to refrain from laughter, given that is, of the serious nature of Devon’s situation.
“Talk about falling head over heels in love.” Grams said.
“Well in Devon’s case, heels to face and then to floor,” Landon said.”
Brook watch the two of them crack jokes while leaning over Devon. She wondered if she was safe with the two of them. Brook slowly started to back up, to find hopefully someone sane. She was stopped by a tall firm body behind her.
Brook slowly, without turning around looked up and over her shoulder to see Richards standing behind her.
“I need help,” Brook said in a small voice.
“With Devon or from the two bumbling hyenas over him?” Richards asked in his usual monotone voice.
“Both I think.” She smiled at him wiry.
“The two over there are for the most part harmless, that is if you do not become a target and as for Devon, I have no idea why he is lying like that.” Richards looked down towards her.
She had not moved and her neck was kinked from looking so far up at him. “He fainted, again.” Brook told him.
“Fainted?” Richards’s voice was full of surprise.
Just then, Brook and Richards attentions were draw to the three on the floor by the sofa. Grams had let out a loud cackle that was bellowing throughout the room. She was laughing so hard, she lost her balance and her bottom bounced on the floor next to Devon’s head.
“Yes well, I shall go and retrieve a cool cloth and will return shortly.” Richards said with a slight smirk on his face from watching Grams.
Grams then decided since she was already down she was going to lay on her side next to Devon. Grams was lying with her arm bent to support her head.
“My loving queen of giggles I dare say, are you attempting to tease me in that position?” Landon said in his most devilish voice.
“Oh am I that obvious. Coy I am not but commanding I am my wild young stallion.”Grams said teasing him back.
Landon began to laugh hard. “You may command me in whatever way you desire, my indulging sweet treat.
Brook’s mouth fell open as she watched Grams laugh harder and slap poor unconscious Devon on the back. She turned to Richards but he had already left the room. Brook stood still and did not move.
Mean while Sarah was riding away on Runner. She was heading towards Lady Wilcox, riding in here white dress. She was not crying nor did she feel like it. Sarah was mad and she was done with being hurt by Devon Price. How could Devon, knowing I was somewhere in the house? How could Brook do this my best friend?
Richards returned with the cool cloth and a bucket. As Devon began to stir a little, Brook went over to his side but was unable to get near him with the two still laughing bodies over him.
Richards said, “Would you two please excuse us, we need to get between you two so we may get to the body lying on the floor.”
Landon helped Grams to her feet and they both took a seat on the sofa. Grams then thought of calling for some tea. She then decided she might try to make some.
Brook began to remove her coat and hat. With all the fuss earlier, she had forgotten too. She knelt down next to Devon while Richards was rolling him over to his back.
Brook said, “Perhaps he would be more comfortable on the sofa.”
“Oh you mean instead of the floor where two others thought he might be better situated?” Richards looked over to Landon with a displeasing glare. “Shall the Lady lift his body or will you offer us any assistance today?” Richards said to Landon.
“No of course.” Landon rose from the sofa. “I do apologize for being rude to both of you. You have to admit though, it is quite funny that Devon has fainted. I cannot recall ever hearing of a man fainting before.” He looks to Brook and said, “Have you ever heard of such a thing?”
Brook shook her head no. “He fainted twice.” Brook’s lips began to curl at the corners slightly.
“Yes well, I am glad you are amused Landon, now lift his feet up,” Richards said.
“You have to agree it is unusual Richards. A man fainting over the sight of the woman he loves.” Landon said.
Richards gently laid Devon’s head on top of a pillow then stood up straight to face Landon. “The boy has lost everyone in his life he has ever been close to and holds dear to his heart, other than Darleen. He has fallen in love and he is scared. The day you fall in love Landon, I would like to be there the moment you realize you are and see how well you handle it. Devon cannot love another person, only to lose them again. He has watched Darleen go through hell and you know that. Then he lost Benjamin. How do you think you would feel if you were him?” Richards looked to Brook and said, “My apologies.” Richards then left the room.
Brook stood still next to Landon. After a moment of awkward silence, she bent down over Devon and started to loosen his collar. She dipped the cloth in the ceramic bowl of water then began to wipe his face and neck with the cloth.
Landon walked to the bar to poured a drink. “Would you care for a drink Lady Brook?”
“Scotch if you have some.” She answered him without breaking her concentration of her task with Devon.
Landon chuckled to himself, Irish women. He watched Brook as she began trying to remove his coat.
He walked over to her and helped without saying anything. They removed his coat and Brook unbuttoned his shirt. Landon watched as she was being very careful, but at the same time, she looked as though she had done it a hundred times before.
The cloth had been rung out tight and Brook wiped his forehead as well as his neck again. She then began to lightly blow on the wet areas where she had wiped him. Landon saw Devon’s eyes start to flutter.
Brook said, “Devon wake up.” She wiped his forehead and chest again. “Hey come on open your eyes. Can you hear my voice?”
Landon at that moment wished he were Devon. She was whispering so softly to him as she leaned close to his face. Her voice sounded like the voice of an angle, soothing and gentle.
Devon opened his eyes. He saw Brook and then Landon behind her. Brook told him to lye still for a few more minutes. She turned and told Landon she was going to get some tea for Devon and then she left the room.
“Are you alright?” Landon asked Devon as he pulled up a club chair next to the sofa.
Devon did not answer with words he just shook his head yes and placed his arm over his forehead, hiding his eyes from the world.
“I was told you landed on the floor face first. It looks as though your bottom lip is swollen.” Landon waited but Devon did not reply. Landon shook his shoulder a little to make sure he had not fainted again.
“I am fine,” Devon said his voice sounding flat. Devon drew his knee up and let it fall resting on the back of the sofa. He could not bring himself to look at Landon. He felt foolish, fainting like a woman. Devon knew he was never going to hear the end of this one.
Landon stood up and said, “I will go find Richards.”
Devon lay there alone. He wondered what was wrong with him. She was just a woman, the same as any other woman, except for her long blonde hair, big alluring green eyes and those soft sensual lips. Devon felt his chest begin to tighten. He placed his hand over his heart.
“It would stop hurting if you just allow yourself to feel what you feel for her. How long do you plan to go on like this?” Grams began to nudge at him in the shoulder. “I can’t very well have you fainting in the middle of the street or worse off, while you are riding your horse. Your heart wants what it wants and it will never let you forget her Devon.”
“Please stop talking,” Devon said. His arm was still over his forehead.
“Oh my boy, you know me better than that. I will do no such thing. I want you to be happy Devon.” Grams patted his leg.
“I would be if you were quiet for two seconds.”
“Alright then. One, two. Well now, you had your peace and quiet. What do you plan to do about Sarah? She has left on her horse riding as if the wolves were chasing her.”
“Why did she leave?” Devon asked.
“She had walked in on you and that girl. She thought you were kissing her. Sarah ran past me in the hall without a word and went straight out the front door to the stables. I have to say, I do not think I have ever seen someone ride so fast.”
“Her name is Brook and I was not kissing her. I felt dizzy and I believe I was leaning on her back.”
“Why is Brook here Devon?” Grams asked him with a hint of an accusing area in her voice.
“What is wrong with the people in this house? She is a friend of Sarah’s, and I had met her father and that is how I know her. I brought her here to see Sarah. Brook had not heard from her for two weeks and was worried sick about her.” Devon sounded irritated.
“So you did not kiss her?” Grams asked.
Devon lifted his arm off his forehead and sat up. “What kind of a man do you see me as?”
“Your behavior lately has me confused and I am sorry for offending you.” Her tone had softened.
“I feel as though I do not even know who I am anymore Grams. I don’t recognize my own behavior.” Devon sounded tried and fed up.
Devon stood up and went to the bar. “Can I get you a drink?”
“A small one perhaps.” Grams said. She watched her grandson quietly. “I need to tell you something Devon.”
Devon did not look away from his task. “Alright then I’m listening.” He was looking for another bottle of brandy. “I have to go to the drawing room for a moment. I need a bottle of brandy.”
Devon left and made his way down the hallway to the other room was. He heard voices as he approached the door. He nearly ran into Landon as he came out the doorway.
“Pardon me.” Landon said as he left through the front door.
Devon went into the drawing room and saw Richards and Brook. “What has happened?”
“Nothing. Do you need help with anything?” Brook answered him.
Devon looked to Richards. “Where was Landon going in such a hurry? He did not say more than two words to me.”
“Please excuse me.” Brook said as she left the room.
Devon’s eyes remained on Richards while Brook passed by him in the doorway. He could tell something was going on and he wanted to know what it was. “Richards,” he said again.
“Sarah was supposed to be leaving this morning for Lady Wilcox, so when she left I sent her things over for her.” Richards paused. “Devon she never made it over to Lady Wilcox. Landon has just left to find her.”
Devon turned and ran out the front door to the stables. He grabbed a saddle and fit a horse with it then took off down the drive.
An hour later Landon came back to the estate. He found everyone in the drawing room. As he entered the room, everyone looked to him.
Book stood up and was clearly growing worried.
“I did not find her,” Landon said.
“Devon left shortly after you,” Richards said to him. “He may have found her by now.”
Landon walked to the bar and poured a drink. “I think he may know where to look for her better than I.”