Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday's Escape Into Romance Is..."Surrendering"


Chapter 23


   Devon saw Sarah sitting on the bench where he had first saw her two weeks ago. His heart was racing and he felt dizzy again. Devon gave his head a quick shake then walked over to the back of the bench. He crouched down behind her, off to her side. He was unsure of how to start the conversation. What am I to say to her? Sorry I can’t love you, but I still want to kiss you.

   Devon finally said, “I remember this bench.”

   Sarah had not noticed him at first. She did not say anything.

   “It does not look like rain this day.” He let out a nervous chuckle. “We did not find you at Lady Wilcox’s house. Everyone is worried about you.”

   “Well you can see I am perfectly fine,” Sarah said.

   “I would like to escort you home.” Devon said and then cleared his throat.

   “What do you want Devon?” Sarah asked harshly.

   Her voice sounded cold and distant. He had never heard her sound that way before. “Well, I…I came to find you.”

   “I do not need to be found. I do not need to be rescued. I need to be left alone. Go away please. I do not care to see you.” She had not looked at him. Sarah just stared straight ahead with a lifeless expression on her face. A lock of her hair had come lose and was wrapping around her cheek and down across her lips.

   Devon watched it blow and caress her skin. He reached up pulling it back and tucked it behind her ear. He watched his own hand as it brushed against her cheek softly. Devon looked down and saw her hands were trembling folded together in her lap.

   “Sarah,” he said in an odd voice he did not recognize. “I want you to know how much you mean to me. I promised your father I would take care of you and I cannot do that if we are involved with each other. It is not right.”

   She jumped up and finally turned to him. “All of this was about you making a promise to my father why did you not tell me?”

   Devon stood up. “I did not see the need to tell you.”

   “You led me to think you wanted me to stay at your home for other reasons and you know that. You made me look like a fool.”

   “No I did not. No one thinks that of you,” Devon said.

   “You could have just told me and I would have understood what your true intentions towards me. Not only did you lie to me, I then find you kissing my best friend.”

   “Sarah I would never do that to you. I brought her to see you and that is the only reason.” Devon’s voice was low.

   “Yes well I saw her alright, in your arms. Thank you, you are quite thoughtful.” Sarah then turned and ran towards her horse.

   Devon went after her. “Sarah stop please listen,” He shouted to her.

   Sarah threw herself up on top of Runner and went to leave and Devon grabbed the harness around Runners face.

   “Let go of him Devon,” Sarah yelled at him.

   “No! Not until you listen to me,” He yelled back at her.

   Sarah jumped down from Runner and got up on Rear, Devon’s horse. She took off. Devon climbed Runner and began to chase her. Devon knew she was fast and he was most likely not going to be able to catch up to her, but he was doing it anyway.

   Grams and Brook sat on the window seat in front of the large picture window. Richards brought them some snacks. He could see Darleen was worried and he bent down and kissed her forehead. He whispered something in her ear that made her smile.

   Brook watched the older couple and was surprised. She then heard Grams tell him she loved him. This whole family was confusing to her. Landon and Grams flirt with one another, Richards kisses Grams and she tells him she loves him, Devon cannot bring himself to tell Sarah he loves her, and Sarah runs off. The whole situation was like something out of a romance novel.

   Grams stood up and said, “Look, is that Sarah?” She was pointing to the road at the end of the drive.

   “I believe that is and there goes Devon chasing after her,” Landon said and then chuckled. “Well I guess he found her.”

   Everyone stood and moved to the picture window watching Sarah as she went off the main road and jumped over the fence on the property. Devon followed her. Sarah rode to the far end of the fenced area and everyone inside the house pressed their faces up to the glass to see where she was going to go next. Sarah turned around and jumped over the other fence framing in the riding area. Devon was still following her. She rode back along the trail and around to the back of the stables. They watched Devon disappear behind the building after her. With everyone’s eyes fixed on the side of the building where Sarah should have reappeared. Shocking to everyone, Sarah came out through the big double doors at the front of the stables. Sarah had ridden right through the middle of the building.

   Grams let out a gasp and Landon chuckled.

   Sarah rode back up the path near the house. Devon was close behind her. Everyone could see they were yelling things to one another but no one could hear what they had said.

   Grams nudged Brook and told her to crack the window open so she could hear what they were saying to one another. “This is far too good not to listen to my dear.”

   Landon felt then need to start narrating their every move. “Sarah is riding looking like she knows what she is doing and possibly where she is going. Although unlikely. Devon is following close behind her screaming things repeatedly at her. Good God Sarah has suddenly changed direction and is now running straight for Devon. The woman is truly mad. Devon has now turned around and I have to say he looks scared.”

Landon gazed to Brook. “You would say that is fear on his face right?”

   Brook gave him an odd glare as if he were an idiot.

   “Sarah is now chasing him past the window and there they go, unbelievable. She is holding her shoe in her hand! They have disappeared.”

   A moment later, they rode back in front of the window. “Devon is now chasing her again. She must have thrown the shoe at him because I do not see it in her hand any longer. She has stopped and is racing towards him again. Devon is holding his line this time.”

Landon then looked at Grams, whose eyes were peeled on Devon and Sarah racing towards one another at a great speed. He said, “You may want to call for a doctor now rather than waiting.”

   He then turned back to the event outside the window. “She is sporting a wild look in her eyes. All we can see of Devon is the back of his head. I believe Sarah intends to do him harm from the way she is racing towards him. Sarah is drawing closer and she is very angry. I wonder what Devon has said to her because she looks just out of her mind with fury.”

   “Oh!” Brook exclaimed.

   “Well it appears Devon’s horse has stopped and threw him over it's head. Oh! Oh, it’s OK he is back up and getting back on the horse. Sarah is headed in our direction and I’m wondering if she plans to come through the windows.”

   Everyone stepped back as Sarah haulted in front of the large picture window and turned to face Devon. She reared the horse up.

   “That is…sexy,” Landon said aloud.

   All of them turned their heads towards him and glared at him, as he was standing off to everyone’s left.

   “I did not mean for everyone to hear that.” Landon then cleared his throat.

   “Do not follow me any longer you liar,” Sarah shouted.

   Rear was becoming spooked. “It appears Sarah’s horse is becoming scared as he is thrashing up and jumping around. I do not see this ending well,” Landon said.

   Brook shouted through the window, “Sarah be careful!”

   Sarah was trying to calm him but he was too worked up. Sarah suddenly went flying off the side of him and landed in the bushes in front of the window. Everyone pressed their foreheads to the glass trying to get a glimpse of Sarah in the bushes below them, under the window.

   Landon opened the window all the way and peered down into the bushes at her. “He is coming Sarah,” he warned her.

   Sarah stuck her arm up and Landon took a hold of it pulling her to her feet. Sarah took a hold of Landon’s face and kissed him hard.

Devon yelled, “Sarah don't you do it.”

   She looked back at Devon and shouted, “How do you feel about that?” Sarah turned and said to Landon as he was still leaning out the window, “Sorry and thanks.”She then jumped out of the bushes and ran for the stables.

   Devon could not believe she had done that. He was furious with her. Devon ran past the window at top speed on his horse and straight into the stables.

   Everyone in the house scrambled through the doorway and out the front door, gathering on the front steps.

   “Shall we go after them?” Brook asked.

   “I do not think that would be a wise idea. They have horse shoes and tools in there,” Landon said.

   Richards said, “He has her.”

   Devon came walking out of the stables with Sarah over his shoulder. She was screaming at him. Everyone watched as he walked closer to them with her kicking and hitting him as if she were a wild woman.

   All of them parted like the red sea to let him through. After Devon walked through the front door, everyone tried to move inside to the house at the same time and got wedged in the doorway. After squeezing through all of them began following him down the hallway.

   Devon stopped and turned around. He then walked over to everyone and took Brook’s hand in his. He turned without a word and began to walk down the hallway. Brook stopped and did not want to move.

Devon turned to her and said, “I do have another shoulder you know.”

   Brook’s eyes grew wide. She knew he meant it. She allowed him to walk her towards his study.

   Sarah continued to yell at him. She was crazy and out of her mind. “Oh I suppose you wish to have both of us at once.”

   Grams gasped and Landon started laughing hard. Devon dragged the two women into the room and slammed the door behind him shut.

   Landon, Grams, and Richards moved towards the door. Before they had reached it, the door opened and Brook was placed outside it by Devon’s hands. They froze in place watching and then he slammed the door shut again.

   Brook stood still and looked at everyone as they moved to her as a small group in unison.

   “What was said?” Grams asked.

   Brook shook her head. “He had asked me to tell Sarah that he had not kissed me then he shoved me out the door after I told her.”

   They could hear them yelling at one another behind the door. The doorknob began to jiggle, everyone quickly stepped back, and then it stopped. All of them drew closer again placing their ears to the door.

   “Is there a window in Devon’s study?” Landon asked.

   “No there is not, why?” Richards answered.

   “I need a visual,” Landon said.

   Once again, they all turned towards him, looking at him like he was a moron of some kind.

   “What, I am a visual person,” Landon told them. While shrugging his shoulders up.

   Inside the study, Sarah was standing in front of the door with her hands on her hips. “Let me out of this room Devon.”

   Devon was leaning into her with his hand against the door above her head. “No not until you start to listen to me. You need to calm down.”

   On the other side of the door, Richards and Landon both looked to one another and made a similar sound of “Mmm.” All the while shaking their heads at Devon's mistake of being foolish enough to tell an irate woman to calm down.

   Grams and Brook looked to the two men with a womanly glare, as if to say what does that mean.

   “I need to do no such thing. You need to go to hell!” Then Sarah slapped him hard across the face. She immediately drew both her hands up to her mouth. She had not expected to do that.

   Devon turned to face her. “Do you feel better now?”

   Sarah shook her head no and the tears began to fall, one after another. She turned her back to him and faced the door. “I am sorry. I did not know I was going to do that.”

   Devon put his hand on her back and he felt her shutter from his touch. With his other hand, he punched the door and said, “Bloody hell Sarah. It was not supposed to be this way between us.”

   Everyone on the other side of the door shouted from the pain to their ears as his hand slammed into the door with force.

   “I want to leave now Devon. Please let me out of this room,” Sarah said softly to him.

   “I can’t let you leave Sarah. Not until you let me explain myself to you.”

   “Nothing you say will change the way I feel about you.”

   “Sarah please just hear me out.” Devon’s tone was softer. “I do not want you to be angry with me anymore Sarah.

   She turned around to face him and said, “You hurt me Dev. I love you.”

   Devon did not look away from her, but he did take a couple of steps back.

   “Say something Dev.” Sarah gazed at him with pleading in her eyes.

   “I did not mean for this to happen. I am sorry Sarah.”

   “That’s it. That is all you have to say to me. I do not believe you do not love me Devon. Say it. Tell me you don’t. I want to hear it from your own lips.”

   Devon turned from her and felt his body begin to shake. He shook his head no. Devon turned around and opened the door. Grams, Landon, Richards and Brook jumped back.

   “Move!” he shouted.

   “Dev please don’t go,” Sarah pleaded to him.

   He turned to her and said, “You deserve better than I can give you Sarah.” Devon then walked away and left to his room.

   “Sarah come on dear” Grams took her arm and walked her to the drawing room.

   Landon poured everyone a drink. Richards started a fire. Brook Grams and Sarah sat on the sofa. Sarah sat in between the two women. Each one of the held one of her hands.

   “I am sorry for thinking you were kissing Devon, Brook.”

   “If I had walked in and saw the same thing, I might have drawn the same conclusion myself. I cannot get over the fact he fainted twice.”

   “Fainted, Devon?” Sarah was shocked.

   “He fell to the floor right after you left the room and then last night.”

   Sarah turned to Grams and said, “Have you called for a doctor yet? What is wrong with him?” Sarah felt panic whelming up inside her.

   Grams patted her hand. “Oh my dear he is just fine. He just needs to sort a few things out and he will feel much better.”

   Landon handed Grams and Sarah their drinks. He walked back to the bar and then returned giving Brook her drink. As she grazed her fingers over his he felt a surge run through his body that stunned him. Landon was staring at her.

   Brook smiled up at him. “Thank you.” She said softly, and then turned back to Sarah. She had felt a rush of butterflies in her stomach as her hand had touched Landon’s hand.

   Landon did not smile nor did he say anything to Brook, he just starred at her. What had happened just now? That did not feel right, the way her fingers felt on mine. It had to have been a static shock of some kind.

   “Were you able to find anything more out about the ball, Landon?” Grams asked him. “Landon,” she shouted.

   Landon had still been starring at Brook unknowingly. “I am sorry. What did you say?” Landon looked to Grams.

   “The ball, my handsome love, did you find out who was to be attending that may be new this year?” Grams asked him.

   “No, I have not found the time to do that. The only ones I can think of might be the Reed twins, of Sir Cole and Betty Reed.”

   “Oh those two girls are awful gossip spreaders, as is their mother Betty. Quite popular with the ton but, not very nice people.”

   “The twins are handsome, which is odd because their parents are not,” Landon said.

   “Mr. Reed comes into the library sometimes.” Brook said and then turned to Sarah. “Do you remember him? He looks somewhat like a troll, short and round with a large nose and beady little black eyes.”

   Sarah started to smile and said, “I do. He always stands with his hand tucked into the back of his pants.” Brook and Sarah began to giggle.

   “Oh dear lord, that is sickening.” Grams shouted with shock and disgust.

   “Mrs. Reed is not much better,” Landon said. “She is nearly as tall as I am and her voice is deep and sounds like a mans.”

   Brook said, “I have never seen Mrs. Reed. I have only had the unfortunate pleasure of Mr. Reed’s acquaintance.”

   “Yes and I am recalling correctly Brook, he quite fancies you.” Sarah turned her gaze back and forth between Grams and Landon and said, “Mr. Reed will search the library high and low to ask Brook questions about old books, atlases, old items we hold in archives. Brook is somewhat of an expert in those areas.” Sarah turned to Brook and smiled at her with pride.

   “Oh no I would not say that Sarah. I am merely interested in those subjects.” Brook was growing embarrass by Sarah’s praising of her.

   “Perhaps you are familiar with Landon’s books Brook?” Grams said.

   “What books would that be?” Brook asked her curiously.

   Landon interjected, “The books are not books Grams, they are atlases and I do have a few at the library.”

   “Landon Fields?” Brook looked to him as she said it.

   He smiled at her. “The very one.” He then gave her a little bow from his chair across from her.

   “Your atlases are the most beautiful atlases I have ever laid my eyes on. Every one of them is so colorful and detailed, like an exquisite painting.” Brook was beside herself with excitement.

   Landon smiled wide. “Thank you Brook. You are very kind to say that.”

   “Do you have others or are those the only three you have made?” Brook asked.

   “I do have more. Perhaps I can bring them by the library for you to add to the collection.”

   “Oh, that would be wonderful. I shall love to see all of them. I cannot believe you are the Landon Fields.”

   Sarah and Grams looked at one another as Sarah smiled at her. Grams gave her a quick wink back and they began to giggle.

   “Brook you will be attending the ball tomorrow night will you not?” Grams asked her.

   Brook turned to Grams and Sarah and said, “No.”

   “Well you must my dear. We will have so much fun dancing and talking. They always have the most delicious spread of food you have ever seen and tasted,” Grams said.

   “Yes Brook you can be our guest.” Sarah said and took Brook’s hand in hers.

   “I do not attend balls,” Brook said.

   Sarah had remembered Brook was a blacksmiths daughter and had never attended a ball before. Given her ranking and class, she would not have ever been invited to one before because of that fact. “I have not been to a ball before and would like you to come with me Brook,” Sarah said to her.

   “People will know I do not belong at the ball Sarah.” Brook felt embarrass. “I do not own a dress for that kind of occasion.”

   “Grams has just purchased many dresses for me in all sorts of colors. You can wear one of those.” Sarah said with excitement.

   “You two look to be about the same size and I will have my tailor come out in the morning to do some adjustments. You have to say yes my dear. We will not let you say no.” Grams said.

   “Alright then.” Brook said and was unsure of her decision on the matter. Although it was apparent, she was not given a choice.

   Landon smiled to himself.

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Cary ~ Mizz Romantica