Monday, October 24, 2011

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


Chapter 24


    Landon saw Devon pass by the door to the drawing room he was in. He was left sitting alone as the women had gone upstairs to have Brook try on dresses for the ball tomorrow night.

   Landon got up and went to the study after Devon. He knocked on the half open door.

   Devon did not look up. “Come in.”

   “I would like to talk with you for a moment.” Landon said as he entered the room.

   Devon gestured to the drink he was pouring. Landon gave a nod to Devon’s offer. Landon took a seat in the club chair by the sofa. Devon handed him his drink and sat in the other club chair across for him.

   I went to Mcmay’s estate last night.” Landon pulled out some documents from his inside coat pocket. “I dug up the area that Sarah had described to us. Inside a box was this, left to her by her father with a letter to you as well.” Landon handed the documents to Devon.

   Devon took the document and opened it. He studied it carefully and then looked to Landon. “Have you told Sarah of this?”

   “I was going to leave that up to you. I figured you would want to authenticate it first.” Landon answered him.

   “That is exactly what I need to do first. I will leave first thing in the morning to have that done,” Devon said.

   “What of Mcmay? Will you notify the authorities?” Landon asked.

   “I will make sure he never gets out of jail for this. He will pay for what he has done to Sarah and to Benjamin,” Devon said with anger in his voice.

   “If Benjamin had known his brother was going to try to kill him, why had he not said as much?” Landon asked.

   “I do not know. I wish he had said something though, I could have stopped it.”

   “You cannot possible blame yourself for this Devon. How were you to know?” Landon leaned forward and said, “She will be safe now and will never have to worry about where her income is coming from again.”

   “I knew the will Mcmay had was a phony. Benjamin would have never done that to Sarah,” Devon said as he starred at the glass in his hand.

   “Well, we can be grateful Benjamin was clever enough to make sure he put an original where Mcmay was not able to find it,” Landon said.

   “Yes well, this may be the only original. I went in search for Benjamin’s lawyer who was handling the trust and he had an accident causing his death and he was killed.” Devon looked to Landon. “If Mcmay becomes aware we are on to him, I fear he will stop at nothing to hide his secret. If that happens we are all in danger.” Devon said.

   “We shall tell no one of this until we have secured its authenticity and notified the authorities first.” Landon said.

   “We must tell Richards. I cannot leave him in the dark on this. He will help us look after the women.” Devon said and then sipped his brandy.

   “What about Brook? Shall we send her back home?” Landon asked.

   “No, if Mcmay is watching the house and our movements, I then believe she is no longer safe as well. The women will also grow suspicious if we send her home don’t you think.” Devon said.

   Landon stood up, “I will go find Richards.”

   Devon nodded at Landon. After Landon left the room, Devon reread the letter Benjamin had written to him. In the letter, Eli was listed as a contact for Devon to trust. Which upon reading the document, before the letter, Devon had planned to go to see Eli about the will.

   Benjamin also stated in the letter that there was no one else he would trust more than Devon with Sarah’s life and happiness.

   “Happiness. Why would Benjamin write of her happiness in reference to me?” He wondered to himself. He remembered Sarah’s words, “I love you.” Devon was felt his heart begin to race again. She had said it and he had panicked. He could not love her, it just wasn’t right. Not to her and not to Benjamin. He didn’t deserve her. She deserved someone to love her without limitations on that love. Someone who was willing to surrender himself completely to her and not just part of himself. She deserved more than he could give her.

   Richards and Landon entered the room. Landon poured Richards a drink while Devon began to fill him in on the new discoveries Landon have revealed.

   Mean while upstairs in one of the spare rooms, the ladies were going through the seven dresses Brook had to choose from.

   Brook could not believe how beautiful they were. One more stunning than the next.

   “Grams has bought accessories to match every dress. Which one shall you try on first Brook?” Sarah said.

   “I like the blue dress dear.” Grams shouted with a mini muffin in her mouth.

   Brook looked to Grams and said, “I was draw to that one as well. May I try it on?”

   “Whichever you choose it is yours to keep my dear, take two or three if you like. We can always buy more!” Grams began to laugh. “I have nothing better to spend my money on, my dears.”

   Brook looked to Sarah and Sarah smiled at her. Brook could not believe this woman’s kindness. Sarah leaned into Brook and said, “She means it with her heart Brook. Go on, try it on.”

   While Brook went behind the screen and put the soft pale blue dress on, Sarah gathered some accessories to match it. Grams had picked out the jewelry; after all, it was her specialty.

   Sarah went behind the screen to button the dress for Brook. She slipped the shoes on her feet and walked out from behind the screen.

   Grams gasped. “My dear, you are stunning in that dress. The red color of your hair and your blue-gray eyes. Oh, I am positively envious!”

   Brook’s smile was a shy one.

   “The jewelry my dear Sarah.” Grams directed.

   “Oh yes. You must have the jewelry on before you look at yourself in the mirror.” Sarah put the necklace and bracelet on her. “Now close your eyes Brook,” Sarah said softly. She positioned Brook in front of the mirror. “Ok you may open them now.”
   Brook slowly opened her eyes. She did not recognize the person standing in the mirror. Brook brought her hand to her mouth in disbelief.

   Grams grabbed Sarah’s hand and began to giggling with excitement for Brook.

   Sarah laughed. “Yes Brook that is you in the mirror. I think you should not try on another dress. That one could not be any more perfect on you. How lucky are you to have found the right one on the first try. I tried on at least fourteen the other day, did I not Grams?”

   “Maybe more my dear. Do you like the dress Brook my love?” Grams asked her.

   “I do. This is the most beautiful dress I have ever seen.” Brook said.

   “I think it is a perfect fit as well.” Sarah said.

   “I agree Sarah. You two girls are the same size to are benefit. I will have the maid press it and get it ready with ours tomorrow and then I am off to bed.”

   “It is still early is it not?” Sarah asked.

   “It is late enough for me my dear. You made it quite an eventful day for us Sarah.” Grams said with a giggle.

   Sarah could feel her cheeks grow warm.

   “I could not believe you kissed Landon Sarah.” Brook said as she turned to her and giggled herself with her hands to her mouth.

   “I did do that didn’t I? I had forgotten about that.” Sarah buried her face in her hands as she was smiling.

   “It was the highlight of my day, I tell you that my dear. Oh the look on Devon’s face when you kissed Landon was priceless," Grams said.

   “Was he surprised?” Sarah asked both of them.

   Grams answered, “Shocked, surprised, jealous, and angry, my dear you name it and he was just that.”

   “Well he did not say anything of it to me later. I did it to make him jealous. I do not think it worked.”

   “Sarah, the man chased you down a road, through every inch of this property, and into the stable and then threw you over his shoulder, only after being thrown from a horse to catch you. Everyone can clearly see he loves you,” Brook said from behind the screen.

   “She is right Sarah, do not worry my dear he loves you that I am sure of. He just needs some time to come to terms with his feelings. I recall him as a little boy, after his father had passed away; he told me he was never going to love a woman. He claimed he did not want his heart to break as mine did. Devon said if he never allowed himself to fall in love then he would not have to worry about it. Then the foolish boy told me he loved me and walked away. I had never taken what he had said that day to heart but now I believe I should have corrected him on the matter. He was only eleven at the time and I did not take him seriously.”

   Sarah and Brook were not quite sure what to say. They both hugged Grams.

   “I am so very glad to have you both here my dears. I hate being around these men all the time.” They all let out a giggle.

   “We are happy to be here with you Grams.” Sarah said.

   “Brook I am aware of the offer Devon has given to your father and I insist for you to remain in the house with me.” Grams said to her.

   “Devon has offered for us to purchase the cottage on the north side of the estate.” Brook said to Grams.

   “It is too far from anyone and you would be spending a lot of time alone as your father will be traveling often on estate matters with Devon. I have to insist on this my child.” Grams said.

   “You have to be the kindest woman I have ever met. I will stay with you when my father will be traveling, other than that I feel I will become a burden on you.”

   Well I will agree to that only because I know your father will be gone two to three weeks of the month. As for you becoming a burden on me, that is nonsense my dear. I will listen to no more talk of its kind, understood.”

   “Yes madam.” Brook said.

   “Please call me Grams, Brook.”

   “Yes Grams,” Brook said as she smiled at Sarah.

   Grams had retired to bed and the two women made their way downstairs to the drawing room for a drink.

   Sarah started laughing. “I am so very excited about the ball.” Sarah smiled at Brook while they stepped off the last step on the stairs. “Will you dance with Landon if he asks you, which I am sure he most definitely will?”

   “I have not danced in ages Sarah and besides you do not know he will ask me.” Brook said as they entered the drawing room.

   “I saw the way he was gazing at you Brook. When you had taken the glass from his hand it looked as though he was going to grab you and kiss you right there, on the spot.”

   “Sarah stop.” Brook waved her hand at Sarah. “You know no such thing. I cannot believe the way he speaks to Grams and her back at him,” Brook said.

   “It is funny, is it not?” Sarah said as she chuckled at the thought of it. “I am serious Brook; I do believe Landon fancies you.”

   Brook went behind the bar and asked Sarah what she would like.

   “Wine please.” Sarah answered.

   “I do not see any wine Sarah.” Brook told her.

   “Perhaps there is a bottle in the study. I shall go and fetch it.” Sarah said.

   Sarah made her way to the study and entered the room. Landon and Devon were still talking. Landon was facing the door and saw Sarah come in the room. Sarah stopped right inside the doorway.

   “Hello Sarah.” Landon said with a large smile.

   “Hello Landon. I was wondering if Devon might have a bottle of wine behind the bar.” Sarah had not seen Devon in the large chair facing Landon.

   “Well I am not sure. Devon do you have a bottle of wine for Sarah with the sweet lips?” Landon smiled at Devon teasing him about Sarah kissing him earlier.

   Devon narrowed his eyes at Landon and then stood up. “I think I do. I will check for you.”

   Sarah stood perfectly still and moved her gaze to the wall off to her left.

   “Are you drinking alone?” Landon asked her. He received no response from her. “Sarah, are you drinking alone?” He repeated himself louder this time.

   “I’m sorry?” Sarah said. She was thinking of Devon and was not paying attention.

   “Are you having a drink by yourself?” Landon said it very slow and drawn out this time.

   “No. Why are you talking that way?” Sarah asked him.

   “Because I did not think you understood the question the first two times I had asked you.”

   “I did not hear you, I am sorry Landon.”

   Devon approached Sarah with a bottle of wine. She held out her hands to take it from him, but he did not offer it to her. Sarah was trying to not to have to look at him and now she was forced too.

   “I can take it, thank you.” Sarah said.

   Her gaze meant his and his breath caught in his chest. He drew his gaze down to the bottle in his hands. “This is a new brand of wine I had picked up for you.” He stopped and cleared his throat. “It is difficult to open. I will open it for you. The opener is in the drawing room where I left it last night.”

   “Great I will go with and we will make a party of it. We shall call it a pre ball party.” Landon rose from his chair with enthusiasm.

   Sarah looked at Landon. “Were you eating sweets with Grams Landon? You seem awfully chipper.” Sarah asked.

   Devon smiled at that.

   “She was hand feeding me. I cannot say no to the woman.” Landon batted his lashes at Sarah.

   Sarah started to laugh. “Alright, you may join Brook and me only if you promise to behave Landon.” Sarah said teasing him.

   Landon walked up to Sarah and held out his arm to her. “My Lady.”

   Sarah smiled and took his arm. They started to walk slowly down the hallway with Devon behind them.

   Landon said to Sarah, “Now about that kiss.”

   Sarah laughed and threw her head back. “Landon I do apologize.”

   “Apology not accepted there is no need for one, my sweet lips. I do want to bring up the matter of your approach to your partner though.”

   “Oh was it that bad?” Sarah was laughing hard at him teasing her.

   “Well, let’s say it could use some work.” Landon looked to her as they walked.

   “I am sorry I have not had much practice in this area. Quite possible it is one of those things that you either have it or you do not.” Sarah said.

   Devon rolled his eyes at them.

   “Oh you most definitely have it; you just need some coaching is all.” Landon paused then said, “Perhaps you have not had the right teacher.” He was hoping Devon was stewing with anger in hearing the conversation.

   Sarah stopped walking. Looked to Landon and said, “Do you think? Well, what do you suppose I shall do about it” Sarah’s voice sounded luring and flirtatious.

   Devon did not like that at all. What did they think they were doing, trying to make me jealous? Where had she learned to talk like that anyway? She needs to stop swaying her hips that way. Devon could not stand it any longer.

   “Landon.” Devon stated.

   “Yes Devon.” Landon did not peel his eyes from Sarah.

   “If you value your left arm, I would remove it from where it currently is situated.” Devon’s voice was low.

   “I do value it my friend.” Landon turned the corner with Sarah still on his arm and said, “Brook we have brought the pre ball party to you.”

   “What?” Brook said. “I have never heard of such a thing before.”

   “It was Landon’s idea.” Sarah said.

   Devon went to the bar and began to open the wine. He watched the three of them laugh and joke with one another. Devon had decided if Landon and Sarah wanted to tease him, then he will do the same.

   He walked over and sat across and off to the side from Brook. He slowly reached over Brook to hand Sarah her wine. He turned and was but a few inches away from Brook’s lips. “Do accept my apologies Brook.” He then gave her a devilish smile.

   Brook shook her head and said, “That is alright Devon.”

   “Will you be coming with us to the ball tomorrow night?” Devon asked her.

   “Yes and I have never been to a ball before. I am very excited to go.” Brook said and turned to smile at Sarah.

   “You will have to promise to reserve a dance with Landon and me.”

   “I am not sure I will be dancing.” Brook said with a wiry smile.

   “She is out of practice is all?” Sarah said. Sarah looked to Landon and said, “Would you be willing to help her brush up on her skills, as you had done with me?”

   “It would be my pleasure.” Landon said.

   He stood up and offered his hand out to Brook. She took it and Landon led her to the middle of the room.

   “What dances do you know?” he asked her softly.

   “I am not most of them I believe, it has been a long time.” Brook said as she looked into his eyes.

   Landon felt the earth move slightly. “Did you feel that just now?”

   “Feel what?” Brook asked him.

   “Nothing I thought, well it was nothing.” He smiled at her and said, “Shall we begin?”

   Brook gazed into his eyes and followed his lead perfectly. She did not miss a step. As he watched her move with him and against his body, Landon was growing warm under the collar. Her red hair framed her soft pale gray-blue eyes. Her eyelashes were so long and dark. Landon realized she was arousing him. The way she was moving, the way she was smiling at him, even the way her hand felt in his was exciting him immensely. It was making it difficult to move comfortably.

   “What is wrong Landon?” Brook asked him.

   “Nothing at all, why do you ask?”

   “You have started to move differently.”

   “Have I, I did not think I was,” Landon said.

   “Would you like to stop and sit down?” Brook asked him. “If you are tired I will understand.”

   “Tired, how old do you believe me to be?” Landon was surprised.

   “Honestly, thirty six or seven. Alright forty at the most.” Brook began to laugh.

   Landon stopped and said, “What? I am only twenty nine.”

   “Well I was close.” Brook started to laugh again. “You move like you are forty anyway.” She added.

   “I am not tired or old.” Landon said and then took her hand again, as he placed his about her waist.

   “Well then what are you Landon?” Brook was still slightly giggling.

   Landon gave her a wicked smile and pulled her against his hard long arousal. “I am that.”

   “Oh my, is that supposed to impress me or scare me?” Brook asked and then smiled at him innocently.

   “I see it will obviously do neither to you Brook. So I take it I may assume you have been with a man before?” Landon asked, hoping her answer was yes.

   “A Lady never discusses such things with a gentleman. I have men accidentally rub against me often. They rub against my breasts and my bottom as well. Apparently most men like to rub themselves on any woman who they stand next to.” Brook tilted her head and smiled. “And apparently, you are one of those men, Landon.”

   Landon did not know what to say. He felt no better than the men she described to him. It did not shock him though she is very beautiful.

   Landon suddenly dipped her. “I will not allow it to happen again. Later this evening I shall have a good taking to my lower half about behaving in your presence beautiful Brook.”

   As he still held her in the dip, she laughed. He pulled her back up and close to him and said, “For now I can do nothing to control it other than throw myself in a frigid lake.”

   “Does not Devon have one on the property you could jump into?” Brook said as she teased him.

   “I can find one, will you join me?” Landon dipped her again with force.

   Brook let out a slight yelp. The way he was holding her, caused her to straddle his thigh. “I-I do not like cold water,” She whispered. Her big eyes grew bigger as he pressed his thigh more firmly between her legs. She took in a deep breath as she licked her lips.

   Landon pulled her close to him and whispered in her ear, “I promise to warm you back up after our swim Brook.” His voice was low.

   Brook squeezed at his shoulders. He lifted her back up and walked away to his chair. Brook took a moment to gain her balance. Is he serious or is he merely playing with me as he does with Grams? Alright take a deep breath and compose your self Brook O'Brien. Don't give him another glance. Just focus on Sarah and walk towards the sofa. Brook started to move and felt her knees wobble slightly. She paused briefly then joined Sarah on the sofa.

   Sarah quickly drank her second glass of wine. She got up and went to the bar. As she began to pour the third glass, Devon came up next to her. Sarah ignored him and did not say anything to him.

   “Have you eaten anything today?” He asked her.

   “No, why does that matter to you?” Sarah said.

   “I do not think you should have anymore. It will go straight to your head Sarah.” Devon told her. His gaze did not move from her.

   “Well it is not your head to worry about is it? I will be fine. You no longer need to concern yourself with me Dev."

   Devon could tell the drink already had her. “Sarah will you take a walk with me?”

   She looked at him with surprise. “Why?”

   “I need to tell you something in private.” Devon said softly.

   “Sarah downed her third glass and poured her forth glass. “Where would you like to walk to?”

   “Just around the grounds for a bit.” He wanted to get her some fresh air. “Landon, I am taking Sarah on a walk. We shall be back in a short while.”

   Devon took Sarah’s hand and Sarah took the bottle off the bar with her. She had already finished the forth glass. As they walked out the front door, Sarah tripped over Devon. He caught her and steadied her.

   “Oh I am sorry. I do not know what I tripped on.” Sarah said and then laughed.


   Devon smiled. "I believe it was your own feet." Sarah giggled loudly.

   They walked down to the path into the forest. Both of them remained quiet for some time.

   Sarah finally said, “I can see the field.” She turned and smiled at him. “Do you ride on the paths often?”

   “Not as much as I would like to. With all the traveling I do it does not allow me to do as much of the things I like to.” Devon took her arm and looped it through his.

   “I did want to talk with you about something Sarah.”

   They had made it to the field and Sarah said, “I can see you clearly now Dev.” Sarah then sat down in the field. The tall grass was soft and she laid down in it. “Look at all the stars Dev.”

   Devon lay down next to her leaning up on one arm. “They are lovely aren’t they?” Devon looked down and gazed at Sarah as she was looking at the stars.

   “Sarah.” He whispered

   She turned to him and he slowly leaned in and kissed her. Sarah wrapped her arms around his shoulders. He moved his hand to her waist and Sarah squeezed him tighter. Devon moved his leg between her legs. He rolled her sideways into him as he put more pressure with his leg between hers. She let out a small moan. That moan brought forth out of her, caused sudden feelings within him that consumed him. Was it fear, desire, passion, nervousness, or love?

   He wanted to touch her. He wanted to fill her with himself. Devon wanted to show her in every way what he was feeling for her.

   What was she doing to him? Was she feeling the same way? He paused with the overwhelming fear of surrendering to this, to her, to his need for her. His heart was racing with pain, as it pounded inside his chest. His hands began trembling with a nervous desire to give into his heart, to her and the love he felt for her. He knew he would not be able to turn away from her if he told her what was in his heart.

   Devon pulled away from Sarah breaking the kiss. Sarah gazed up at him. He could see the confusion in her eyes. Devon did not know what to say to her. He put his forehead to hers as he closed his eyes. The ground he sat on was tilting. Devon began to sway slightly.

   Sarah grabbed his broad shoulders. “Devon, are you alright?” Her voice was filled with concern. She laid him back to the ground, carefully holding his head.

   Devon felt sick. The starry sky above was spinning. He closed his eyes again, which made it worse.

   “I will go for help.” Sarah said as she started to stand up.

   Devon grabbed her hand and said, “No, please stay here with me. I will be alright in a moment.” He pulled her hand to his chest.

   Sarah could feel his heart was racing. His hand was clammy as it trembled over her hand. She thought back to what Grams and Brook had told her about his feelings for her causing him to feel this way.

   Removing her shall, she placed it under his head. Even in the moon light, she could see he was pale. She laid her head down onto his chest. His breathing was deep as if he had been running. Sarah placed her hand on the other side of his chest and began to rub him. She immediately heard his heart race faster.

   The sensation her hand caused within him, depend his breathing more. Devon placed his hand over hers again and held it still. Why didn’t he just tell her? She loves him and he knows it, so what on earth is the problem? What if he lost her? How could he cope with her dying? What if he loved her and gave into everything he was feeling for her and she decided she didn’t care for him? What if she gets tired of waiting for him?

   Devon realized that she would not wait forever for him to make up his mind. He wraped her in his arms and they laid together in silence.

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