Monday, May 13, 2013

The Temptation of a Kiss ~ Chapter 9

Chapter 9

   It was now late into the afternoon when the carriage turned the corner to Quentin’s estate. Brook gazed out the window at the long line of tall old trees hugging either side of the drive. The Alexander estate was not yet in sight and she wondered how beautiful it might be. With the way Grams had described it she expected the estate to be breathtaking.

   I’m thinking it has at least three floors. The ball room is sure to be majestic with gold gilding and deep wonderful royal colors adorning every wall. Oh I’m dying to see what my chambers will be like. Possible I’ll be lucky enough to have a room with my own balcony overlooking the gardens.

   As the carriage climbed the hill the peeks of the chimneys popped into view. “Oh my,” Brook whispered. The estate was beyond grand. It was more majestic than she could have ever envisioned. Standing four stories high with two separate towers on either end, to Brook it seemed to be more like a castle. Detailed stone work covered every inch of the exterior that she could see.

  A numerous amount of house staff and footmen waited at the entrance standing so stiff and proper. Brook’s carriage was second in line to be unpacked. She watched as the carriage ahead of her was attended to. My goodness they swarm like busy bees. Before she could generate another though, people and luggage were unpacked.

   Her carriage door opened. An ungloved hand awaited her. Brook gazed up to see Landon staring in at her. “Thank you,” she said.

   Once she was on the ground he leaned into her and said, “Yes well you’ve already sustained enough injuries today.”

   Brook’s eyes rolled. “For heaven sake Landon you act as if I am some rare delicate flower.”

   Her eyes caught his. “Who says you aren’t.” His stare was odd and Brook was captured in the moment. As much as she wanted to she could not pry her eyes from the way he seemed to be penetrating into her.

   “Some of us are on the verge of melting back here,” Grams shouted. She fanned herself vigorously with no satisfaction in sight. “Do take your moment elsewhere so the rest of us might exit the hot box.”

  Brook could not stop her lips from curling up at Landon’s long drawn out head turn in her direction.

   He took hold of Gram’s hand. “You are simply radiant, my moist muffin.”

   “My boy,” she found her footing on the ground. “There is nothing neither radiant nor desirable about a soggy muffin.”

   Landon began to pull Gram’s fingers from her glove until it was off then kiss her gently. “Oh mmm, I beg to differ. Aged to perfection.” He said while licking his lips.

  Grams burst in laughter. “You’ll nibble anything, my boy.” She caught his wink before she walked forward.

  Brook followed close behind her still smiling. Sarah was standing at the front door. “Oh is this not exciting?” She reached out for Brook’s hand. “I have never been in a home this grand before.”

  “And I thought Devon’s was large,” Brook added.

  Sarah’s head whipped towards her, “Since when did you start using his Christian name?”

  “Ah ladies I believe we should begin to find our chambers and start unpacking,” Richards interrupted.

  Grams gazed back at him with a suspicious eye. Richards ignored it and herded the woman into the estate.

  “Greeting! Welcome home.”

   Brook’s mouth fell open. Sarah shirked and turned into Grams. Richards muttered, “Oh dear lord.” And Grams said, “Hello Paul. I can see you are,” she gave him a look over, “doing well.”

   Paul stood with his hands on his naked hips with a larger than life grin about his sweet old face.

   Quentin dashed through them. “Uncle Paul where are your pants?”

   Paul looked at everyone like they were nuts. “On my body.”

   Quentin motioned for the butler to aid him. After Uncle Paul was removed Quentin turned to group in the doorway. “My apologies. He has seemed to have been slipping the last few years. My mother and father were supposed to take him on their trip but apparently changed their minds.”

   “Oh my dear it is not so bad. I think all of us can understand. I’ve known your uncle for years and happen to be very fond of him.”

   Quentin clenched his hands together. “I can promise all of you he is harmless. He just grows confused and forgets things often, is all.”

   Landon and Devon entered the door. By the look on everyone’s faces it was clear something had happened.

  “What did we miss?” Landon asked.

  “Two old plums and a pickle my dear boy,” Grams said as she walked to the candy dish full of sweets.

  “A what and a what?” Devon replied.

  “Uncle Paul,” Brook whispered.

  “I’ve never been so embarrassed before,” Sarah mumbled.

  Landon was beyond confused. Uncle Paul, two old plums, and a pickle?”

  “I’ll explain later for now let’s get these ladies upstairs and they can freshen up,” Richards stated.

  Brook stood admiring all the details she could take in. She followed everyone to the extra wide spiral stairs leading straight up all four floors. It was all so breathtakingly grand to take in.

  Quinten escorted his guests upstairs. Upon reaching the second floor he turned to everyone. “The ladies will stay on this floor. I have arranged for all your rooms to be in the same wing.”

  “I am speechless at the beauty of your home, Quentin.” Brook said. “I could see myself becoming lost easily. There are so many floors, wing, and rooms.”

  He smiled at her. “For me this is just home. I grew up here most of my years.”

  Sarah rubbed her hand along the rail of the staircase. “I am in love with all the woodwork.”

  “Well than I do believe you will be pleased with your room, Sarah,” Quentin said as he walked them down the hall to the left of the stairs.

  Brook was shown her room last. It was situated at the end of the hall with her door facing down the center of the hall. Quentin opened her door and before she could thank him he was called away.

  Cream and lush reds covered every space of the room. Gazing around Brook noticed the French doors. Oh I don’t believe this. Opening up the doors she gazed out over a colorful garden path leading to a pond. It looks like a painting. Walking out onto the beige stone she noted the white wicker outdoor furniture. Perfect place to read or have afternoon tea.

  A light knock sounded out from the room. Brook opened the door to a footman holding her bags. “My I?” he asked.

  Brook opened the door wider. “Thank you very much.” He left with a nod and a smile. The type of smile that said any time any place madam.

  She giggled to herself as she shut the door. A sigh slipped out as she gazed about the room. Her hand reached out and traced over the carved woodwork of the king sized canopy bed. Cream bedspread with red scrolls cradled the mattress. Fluffy pillows at the head board and a simple solid red pillow rest in the middle of them.

  I could not imagine a more perfect room. She climbed the steps up to the bed and allowed herself to fall back. Her body sunk into the bed. I may actually get a full night’s sleep here.

  “I was slightly worried about you climbing up into that bed yourself, Red.” Brook shot straight up. Landon was sitting in a chair directly across from her sipping a cup of tea.
Back to Chapter 1  or onto Chapter 10

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