The Blood-Red Ruby: After the Storm 13
We All Have Skeletons ...
After giving Alex the excuse of being tired, Andréa excused herself and went into the study to rest on the chase lounge while the housekeeping staff prepared her rooms. The castle was a beautiful rendition of an old English lord’s abode. With the exception of everything being scaled down to a workable level there were rooms for relaxing, sleeping, cooking and even a couple of offices where Alex did his writing and conducted his estate affairs.
After Andréa had rescued Raven’s Roost from the solicitors and placed it back into the capable hands of the Latimoore brothers, Alex Latimoore had been able to restore the castle to its original state and add some conveniences as well. Alex’s plays were very successful however, the majority of them dealt with historical romances along the English countryside. He had hoped one day that Andréa would consent to be in one of his more contemporary plays. Alas, at the present that was an impossibility!
After Hagan, the head housekeeper, made Andréa aware that her rooms were ready, she walked slowly up the winding stairs to her suite. There was a brief knock on the door.
“Enter!” Andréa said to find Vandermier walking through the doors.
“Are you all right, Andréa?” Vandermier asked.
“Yes, I am okay. Thank you ever so much for covering for me Stephen. I don’t know how I would have otherwise handled that situation.” Andréa smiled.
“I told your father that I would take care of you. You really do love Jon-Pierre don’t you?” Vandermier asked.
“Oui!” Andréa replied.
“And, you love Alex too, don’t you?” Vandermier continued.
“Qui.” Andréa replied a second time sadder.
“Oh my, you do have a dilemma, don’t you, girl?” Vandermier concluded.
“Oui monsieur I do.” Andréa was nearly at the point of tears now.
“What are you going to do? I am afraid my years of practice have not made me an expert on matters of the heart.” Vandermier tried to introduce levity into an otherwise impossible situation.
“I will probably marry one and leave the other one heart broken.” Andréa stated.
“And, which one will you marry?” Vandermier asked already knowing the answer. When Andréa looked up at him with tears in her eyes, Vandermier held up his hand.
“You don’t have to say a word. Let me tell you something that no one but your father knows. A long time ago, I was in the armed forces stationed in France when I fell in love with a beautiful French woman. I don’t know how it happened, but I did. We went on seeing each other and by the time my tour of duty was up, Suzette was pregnant. I wanted like crazy to stay there but I had a wife and a two-year-old son waiting for me back in the states. So, I went home. I made frequent trips to France and the Marquis looked out for Suzette.”
“Do you mean that …” Andréa eyes opened wide in surprise.
“Yes, Suzette, the personal assistant for the Marquis is also my old French lover. Her daughter Monique is our child.” Vandermier said proudly.
“And does your son Lee know about this?” Andréa inquired.
“He knows. After his mother died, I told him all about what happened.” Vandermier said.
“How did he take it?” Andréa asked.
“At first he was quite livid. Screamed about how I had been disloyal to his mother and all.” Vandermier stated shaking his head.
“So, what happened after that?” Andréa asked.
“Well … after about a week of the cold shoulder Lee came to his senses. He understood that sometimes love doesn’t rely on common sense. That was why I spoke to you that way on the plane. I know how it can be to love a person and never be able to see them.” Vandermier concluded sadly.
“Oh monsieur …” Andréa said putting her hand on Vandermier’s hand. There was a knock on the door and Alex entered surprising both Andréa and Vandermier.
“And, what are you up to with my wife you sly old fox. The play acting ended the minute you set foot on English soil.” Alex admonished.
“I just, just came up to see how Andréa was doing.” Vandermier stammered grasping at control of the situation.
“Yes Alex, Stephen came to ensure that I was doing better after my episode.” Andréa added uncomfortably.
“Well the two of you look as if you’ve just been caught with your hands in the cookie jar!” Alex laughed knowing that there was absolutely nothing going on between Andréa and Vandermier.
“Alex old boy show me to my room. I want to get a good night’s sleep before I head back for the states in the morning.” Vandermier smoothly changed the subject to get Alex out of the room.
“Oh must you go so soon, Stephen?” Andréa asked.
“Yes, old chap why not stay awhile before starting back. That son of yours is very capable of handling things until your return.” Alex said noting Andréa desire for Vandermier to remain.
“Well … uh maybe I can stay one extra day, but I really need to be getting back to the states.” Vandermier fumbled not wanting to stay around and partake in Andréa’s misery.
“If that’s the best you can offer old chap, I guess Andréa and I will have to take it.” Alex still tried to sound lighthearted however he couldn’t shake the feeling that something was going on.
To Be Continued ...
The Blood-Red Ruby: After the Storm 14
- The Blood-Red Ruby: After the Storm 14
It's always nice to have someone who understands you, trust you, and will give you sound advice regardless of how close you are. Andrea has such a friend in Mr. Vandermier!
© 2018 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS