[After tragedy struck, Dan Bradfield has offered Sarah Fendhardt a room for the night]
Dan pushed the door open and led me through.
We were in a kitchen. I broke out of my numb state long enough to notice that it was big, but then I stopped noticing. I followed Dan up another level to a hallway with a number of doors. Dan went to the second door and opened it, then he gestured for me to go in ahead of him.
I paid a little more attention this time. The room was a fair size and had a four-poster bed in the middle. A couple of large, colorful paintings were on the walls, although in the dim light that came from the bedside lamp Dan had turned on, it was difficult to examine them. The light of the moon shone through the single window on the far wall.
I went over to the window to let some fresh air in. To my surprise, I could see no way to open it. “I can’t open the window?”
“No.” He opened another door in the room and flicked on a light switch. Through the door I could see a quaint bathroom, just for me. He put my bag down on the bed.
Then he walked over to the window, where I stood. “We have ducted air conditioning throughout the entire house. When we put it in they suggested double glazing the windows and sealing them to keep it cost effective.”
“Oh.” I suppose that was logical. I’d heard of people doing that.
Why then, did it feel as if he was lying to me?
I tried to shake the feeling of suspicion as he continued talking.
“An added advantage of this kind of system is that it’s burglar proof.” He rapped his knuckles on the window. “So you don’t need to be afraid. Nothing will hurt you here.”
How had he known that was what I was most worried about? I suppose, considering what had just happened, it wasn’t a huge surprise.
Unconsciously, I moved closer to his side. Standing in his shadow seemed the only safe place. I looked up at him again, but he dropped his eyes and headed for the door. “I should let you get some sleep. Try, anyway.”
Without realizing what I was doing, I followed him to the door. I didn’t want him to leave.
Perhaps he understood the pathetic look on my face, because he stopped at the doorway. “That’s my room there.” He pointed at the next room, further up the hallway from the stairs. “If you need anything, anything at all, and I don’t care what time it is, you knock on my door. Okay?”
I could feel the tears pooling in my eyes again as he stepped away from me. I had to fight the urge to beg him to stay. I knew I couldn’t keep him. It was well past two. He had to be exhausted
and he had already done so much.
I had to be brave. “Goodnight,” I said, and shut the door.
You can read more about Dan and Sarah in The Heir – Book One of the Verindon Trilogy.
Lynne Stringer has been passionate about writing all her life, beginning with short stories in her primary school days. She began writing professionally as a journalist and was the editor of a small newspaper (later magazine) for seven years, before turning her hand to screenplay writing and novels.
Lynne is the author of the Verindon trilogy, a young adult science fiction romance series released in 2013. Her latest novel, released in October 2016, is Once Confronted, a contemporary drama. Visit lynnestringer.com for more information. Or visit her Amazon Author page for more books or find her on Facebook.