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   Chapter 12 One Deed Away From A Saint

A Royal Ryde By LadyRosabella Characters: 11352

Updated: 2017-12-20 15:53


Mary Belle carefully shut her bedroom door. She tiptoed down the squeaky stairs. A small sigh of relieve escaped her. The house was silent. No sight of Bliss. After last evening's events, Mary Belle was dreading the next encounter with her niece. She turned toward the kitchen and drew herself up short at the sight of her niece sitting at the kitchen table. Bliss had a cold cup of tea in front of her, Mary Belle determined this when she saw there was no steam rising from the cup. Bliss sat at the table, tea forgotten, staring out the kitchen window.

Mary Belle almost left her niece in the kitchen. She didn't want to know what her reaction to last night would be. Just as she was turning, Bliss spoke.

"Water is in the pot."

Mary Belle was still unsure if it was safe to fully enter the kitchen. She studied Bliss' perfectly calm demeanor for several long seconds before moving into the kitchen towards the pot. Bliss didn't speak as her aunt poured herself a cup of tea and buttered a slice of bread. Finally, Mary Belle took a seat at the table across from her niece. She stirred a spoon of honey into her tea before she finally gathered the courage to speak. "You got home rather late last night."

Oh dear. That was not the right thing to have said under such circumstances. Belle sat tense in her seat as Bliss looked up and met her aunt's eye. Neither one spoke. The clock was the only thing that dared to break the silence. "He broke his window."

Belle let out a soft breathe. "That is a shame! He always had such nice windows, even if they weren't always the cleanest."

"You owe him a window."

"Because he broke it?" Belle argued feebly. She knew her niece was right, even so she tried to keep the conversation on a safe topic. That being anything except what she and her friends did last night.

Bliss didn't bother responding. She just continued to study her aunt.

"He must've done something more besides breaking that window." Belle remarked, gesturing to Bliss' face.

"Meaning?"

Belle laughed. Her niece was very seriously-minded this morning. That was a surprise. Usually Bliss was joyful and bubbly. This morning, however, she seemed rather distracted. Of course, Belle thought, it could be a good kind of distraction. Perhaps it was Jude and his kisses that had her dear niece so distracted and out of sorts. "You've got yourself quite a rash goin' round bout your mouth." Belle chuckled. "I don't imagine there was much wind last night in Jude's house. Nothing to account for that except some good old fashioned sparking."

Bliss stared wide-eyed at her forward aunt. What was she talking about? How had her aunt known that Jude had kissed her?

Belle chuckled at Bliss' bafflement. "My dear, my dear. You forget. I once had a sweetheart of my own."

"But he isn't-"

"Now tell me, " Belle smoothly interuppted. "Did you like it? " Belle clapped her small hands together as she stood and began pacing the kitchen. "I just knew if we could get you two together, he would loose some of his starch. Jude's a very nice fella, mind you, but he does need to live a bit. He needs a happy ending, Bliss. The girl's and I decided to help him out some. And just see how much good it did! This is already off to a wonderful start-"

"Auntie!" Bliss interuppted. She stood and walked over to where her aunt stood. "Don't you realize how dangerous that

heat in his gaze. She didn't speak as she searched his face, searched his eyes. They stood alone on the boardinghouse porch. Neither one aware of the passing time, the passing wagons, or the passing glances they were receiving as they stood so close in public. "Come back to me." Hope finally whispered.

"You have my promise." Dom bent and placed a chaste kiss to her forehead. "I will come back for you."

-------

Drake Ridry sat in his high-backed chair. His pale hands steepled before his chest. What was taking Dominic so long? Why hadn't he sent word of Stefon Ridry's death? Drake's eyes narrowed as he gazed out the body-length window. Something must be wrong. Dominic was very good at tracking. Prehaps he had been injured. Drake almost laughed at the thought. Nothing could hurt that big galoot. Dominic stood over a head taller then most men and he was twice as wide. His body was nothing but repressed corded muscle. No, nothing was wrong with Dom. But then why the delay? Surely he must have killed Stefon J. Ridry by now. Unclasping his hands, Drake gave the bell on his stand a light shake. Just seconds later, the great door opened to reveal his valet.

"Mr. Ridry, sir." He offered a precise bow before his employer.

"Send a telegram. Send it to the last town Dominic reported from. Discover what the delay is." Drake finally turned in his chair and looked at the valet. His white eyes nearly glowing with the evilness that emanated from within. "Do not be tardy, if you wouldn't like me to find a replacement for my late valet." The last words were spoken with a calm venom that most men in authority could never hope to gain. To Drake A. Ridry, it came naturally. And he meant every word. To most valets, serving their masters was a living, a day to day task. To Mr. Ridry's valet, it was a matter of life and death. His death, if his master was not pleased.

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