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The Blood-Red Ruby: After the Storm 14

Ms. Williamson is a published author and educator with a Bachelor of Business, Master of Public Administration, and Master of Science!

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Another Well-kept Secret ...

The following day Alex had to go to London on business and apologized to both Vandermier and Andréa.

“I apologize, old chap, for inviting you for an extended stay; then have to hurry off to London like that. I am sure that Andréa will be able to amuse you until you must leave.” Alex said.

“But think nothing of it. Business does take precedence does it not? I feel that I must leave shortly also. However, I will be here until night fall. Now, now not another word Alex, everything is fine.” Vandermier stated and walked with Alex and Andréa to the door. There Andréa gave Alex a brief kiss and said that she would see him on his return.

Vandermier and Andréa made no further mention of Jon-Pierre and the lodge incident. Instead, Andréa invited him into the garden where they were served tea and biscuits.

“An interesting custom you English have with your tea and biscuits at certain times of the day.” Andréa observed.

“Not unlike your father having his bourbon in the afternoon.” Vandermier noted. “Besides, you are going to have to get used to a new style of living.”

“Yes, yes I know Stephen. It seems so long ago when I lived with Alex. Of course we were much younger and mostly lived in London. His step-mother and father lived here. Did you know his father Stephen?” Andréa inquired.

“Yes, I did. Of course I was a much younger gentleman at the time, but that dreadful disease took him down like a lighted match. Now his older brother and I were the same age, however in time it took him too!” Vandermier said solemnly.

“Alex has had a rather tragic life has he not?” Andréa asked.

“Yes, and it has not been his fault. I am not saying that people bring about their own tragedy, but then …” Vandermier’s voice trailed off.

Andréa contemplated his remarks. The time came much too soon for Vandermier to return to his practice.

“Oh Stephen how will I do without you?” Andréa pouted.

“You will do just fine. Maybe you should talk to Alex about getting in touch with Renée. I am sure she will like to hear from her father. Now that she is in college in San Francisco I don’t see why he can’t contact her!” Vandermier said.

“You are quite right, Stephen. I will talk to Alex about it when he returns. And, I thank you ever so much for being such a family friend!” Andréa said.

Becoming Mrs. Alexander Latimoore—Again ...

Andréa begun to slowly come to terms with the concept of having Alex as a part of her life again. Andréa realized that it was for the best. However, she continued to write to Jon-Pierre and posted it in the village. Andréa also maintained a separate box there under a different name where she could receive communications from him. She likewise signed her correspondence with one word: Amie (love)! Andréa still loved both Alex and Jon-Pierre!

Finally after much courtship, Alex convinced Andréa that they should get remarried and a clergy friend of Alex was brought in. Imagine his surprise when he saw who he was performing the ceremony for.

“But … but you’re dead!” the vicar exclaimed in horror.

“No, but she will be if you ever reveal remarrying us.” Sir Alex said on a stern note. The ceremony was to be performed two weeks later.

Andréa strictly by chance met the owner of a styling salon that was new to the area and didn’t have an inkling of who she was. The woman’s name was Hortense. Andréa had been ordering a special blend of English teas at one of the quaint little tea shops. She had been tired of being cooped up in the manor and ignoring the cautious remarks of Alex ventured out on her own with her personal assistant Rose as chaperon.

“I just love that marvelous accent you have, is it French?” Hortense asked.

“Why yes it is.” Somehow Andréa felt safe with Hortense. No, she could not tell her of her past, but she knew that she would make a very good companion and friend.

Hortense was just the right influence Andrea needed in becoming the "New Andie!"

Hortense was just the right influence Andrea needed in becoming the "New Andie!"

Hortense was an attractive woman about Renee’s age. Her dark brown hair hung to her shoulders and she worn very stylist spectacles that sat comfortably across the bridge of her sharp nose. She looked like a bookkeeper!

“Oh, ma’am you have such beautiful hair; I could do just wonders with it at my shop.” Hortense had told her one day in a unique coffee shop while handing her a business card.

“Then you are just the woman I need to see. But you will need to bring the tricks of your trade to my manor.” Andréa said.

“Oh my, a personal appointment at a manor; I am impressed.” Hortense said.

“Then let me give you the directions to the manor and these are the items I will need you to bring. And please, be very discreet.” Andréa whispered as an afterthought.

To Be Continued ...

The Blood-Red Ruby: After the Storm 15

  • The Blood-Red Ruby: After the Storm 15
    In her heart, Andrea knew that it would be one last good-bye. There would be no way that she would risk returning to France and the duties of Jon-Pierre kept him stationary at the chateau!

© 2018 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS

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