Secrets of Ravenstone: Keeper of La Tecla (The Key) Book One

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Chapter 3

Rolling down his window, he exchanged idle chitchat with the one of the guards who walked over; dressed in steampunk attire. He leaned in, speaking in a friendly American accent,

“Hey, Bobby. It’s been a long time. What brings you back?” then he quickly glanced into the backseat, “Ah, you have travelers. MC mentioned there would be.”

“Yes, indeed I do.” Bobby replied, “They’re here seeking permanent residency.”

“More refugees?” the other asked in a cockney English accent, “Humans, right?” he sniffed the air, “Ah, yup. They’re human.” he sighed.

My mom and I just stared at each other, swallowing in fear.

“Not Dagon, huh?” I whispered through my teeth.

My mom remained silent. What could she say?

“You can say they’re refugees, yes. Now, is MC here or up at the manor?”

“We haven’t seen him around here, so he must be at the manor.”

“Alright, thank you Nick. Now, I need to get these birds up there.”

The guards tapped the Sedans’ roof splattering water as they stepped back toward the gates. They quickly pushed them open, allowing Bobby to drive through. Passing by, the two nodded as they briefly caught our blurry faces peeking through the windows. Swiftly, I managed to see one of them carrying two guns, while the other carried what looked to be a small axe.

Continuing up the finely packed gravel road on a slightly elevated slope from the village, it curved occasionally in the shape of a serpent until straightening out the rest of the way. Tall five foot cobblestone pillars lined the road on both sides, with large sturdy iron braziers placed atop. There was a twelve foot gap between each pillar and along the stretch, were smaller stone pillar-markers. They were rough cut, with runic symbols etched into the stone, highlighted with a faded red pigment. What they represented, we couldn’t read, but we guessed, was ancient Viking. The pillars that held the braziers, were either used for marking miles or just decorative purposes but it was obvious they were used for illumination. Hence, the taller pillars with the iron braziers.

Open landscaping once again made its presence along with tall scattered tree clusters in the distance. From what we could see alone, this island was indescribable in size. My mom looking out her window, spotted a small cluster of rocks, that once passing by, revealed ruins of a once standing wall.

The ride continued and we observed as horses; Stallions, Friesians and Clydesdales roamed free up ahead. The stableman followed and herded them across the land. They were gorgeous with their long manes blowing in the wind. We were in complete awe as our fear slowly subsided.

“We’re approaching the heart of the island ladies, so keep your eyes fixed forward. You won’t want to miss this.” Bobby urged in a calm whisper, “Look there…” he pointed outward, revealing the island’s housing community.

Fifty or so houses; manufactured differently in size, structure and all fenced off, lined both sides of the road. They were beautiful, each sitting on a quarter acre of land with individual walkways connecting to the main road in a tree-like pattern. Residents came from their homes watching as we passed. Outside one house in particular at the end of the road, stood a dark auburn-red haired woman, smiling as she waved.

Bobby drove forward until another menacing blanket of fog suddenly appeared, beginning to engulf the vehicle as if it examined us.

With the windows slightly left open for the fresh air, the fog eerily squirmed its way through the cracks, as it were alive, having a mind of its own. Swirls of the misty substance enveloped both myself and my mom, who felt a magical aspect to it. I on the other hand, felt something far more intense. Every nerve in my body stung like thousands of pins and needles as the fog quickened its pace, scanning my presence. I felt nauseous and knew that somehow, it detected my hidden secret and DNA. I closed my eyes as the pins and needles sensation continued before it abruptly ended when the fog was sucked out of the Jeep and began thinning out, outside.

“What the hell was that!?” I muttered, holding onto the seat in front of me, breathing heavily.

“That sweetheart, was magic of the purest kind. It definitely, whatever it was, scanned us and for what reason? Precautionary, perhaps.” my mom answered.

I didn’t answer but knew my mom was probably right. Not practicing magic myself, I knew enough about it to know and having a mother who was a practitioner of the art, she knew what she spoke of. Taking a sip of water I raised my gaze then dropped my bottle as up ahead, was something that was so menacing, the fear had returned.

“Yza…sweetheart, what’s wrong?” my mom worried.

I pointed my finger between the two front seats. My mom gazed out the windshield and her mouth practically was left agape for a black slate mass appeared stretched across the land. It disappeared into the fog upward, seeming to go on for an eternity.

However, the fog that seemed almost alive moved out of the way to clear an entrance. It felt as if we were in Middle Earth, approaching the BLACK GATE OF MORDOR. You know, from the LORD OF THE RINGS? Suddenly, heavy metal grinding against stone was heard. Bobby drove forward, entering through an outer gate crafted from solid iron in a lattice pattern connected by heavy iron rivets.

OH, JUST GREAT.” I thought as I closed my eyes, “MORE DAMN IRON. KILL ME ALREADY, PLEASE.

My mom glanced over at me, noticing my uneasiness but said nothing as she placed her arm around my shoulders in a motherly hug. In her gentle touch, I could feel her fear as she too, trembled.

Once entering the outer gate facing South, we advanced through a passageway-tunnel smoothly carved out; at least thirty feet in depth and wide enough for the Jeep to pass through. The fog immediately vanished as we exited the second gate made of iron doors, having to be pushed closed by two strong men. Securing it from the inside with a massive metal Barrel bolt sliding into place, the doors locked tightly. No way could anything or anyone attempt to break through. Male voices were heard yelling around and behind the vehicle.

Turning in our seats glancing out the small trunk window, we were left breathless as we caught a clear glimpse of the walls’ inner appearance. Sixty feet high it must have been, creating an awe-struck reaction mixed with utter fear.

“Whoa…” I mumbled.

“Oh, my god…everything’s fortified with iron, which means only one thing.” my mom added, “It’s to keep something evil out or keep it within?”

“Comforting, Mommy…very comforting. What do you think…they’ll think…once they find out what I am?” I worried quietly.

“Let’s just…take one step at a time, sweetheart. Don’t get worked up, okay?”

I scoffed, nodding afterwards.

The rain finally ceased.

Inside the wall, was a massive estate that could not be measured.

Looking through the rear-view mirror, Bobby announced,

“Ladies…we’re here. Welcome…”

“Here?” I questioned.

“Where’s here?” my mom asked.

“Relax, little loves. The manor’s just up ahead.” Bobby smiled, “There, you’ll find out everything you need to know. And then, I can get off this bloody island and go home.”

And indeed it was massive. Passing through another elaborate iron gate (again, more iron) surrounding the manor, there was a grand rectangular pond that greeted you upon entry. It was well kept from what we could see and standing in its center, was a gargoyle statue; water streaming from its base and mouth. Large lily pads and lotus blossoms in full bloom, floated along the ponds clean and clear surface. Veering closely around it to the right, we could see beautiful Koi fish of different sizes and colors, swimming around; occasional frogs jumping from the lily pads, disappearing into the water. On the opposite side of the pond, was an man throwing food for the Koi and raising his gaze, he watched as the Jeep drove by.

The vehicle came to an abrupt halt as Bobby parked in front of the estates’ manor.

I reached over unlocking the door and pushing it open, the mid-afternoon daylight, shone in our eyes; blinding us slightly. Holding our hands up against the light, they adjusted.

“Come now, loves.” Bobby whispered, politely helping us out.

On our feet we stretched our bodies ( and oh what a relief it was) then glanced around, taking notice we stood in a massive cobblestone courtyard elegantly framed with the black wrought iron estate fence we passed through and of course, the pond. Smiling we turned around and looking up, we were in awe once again of the beauty before us. An elegant manor stood in all its magnificence.

The English manor resembled an 18th century Gothic castle; outer structure built of a medium gray stone giving off that bold appearance, inspiring a strong reaction. Large squared towers frame two of the front corners with classical squared battlement rooftop edging, all around the towers and manor. Creeping half way up the two front towers were vines of which landscapers; one on each tower, stood on very tall ladders, trimming them away from the elegant windows. Grand Cathedral windows graced all sides, as if they were large eyes keeping watch; both clear and stained glass, set in gorgeous patterns.

The entrance itself presented an elegant appeal with four steps leading up to the manor’s beautiful dark brown Oak wooden double doors with ornamental iron hinges and door bracers. Huge door handles were elaborately crafted in a swirled pattern. There’s no way for me to describe the actual size of this manor, for I don’t think we have a known measurement this grand. Extremely impressive! Truly, it was a place of grace and beauty. In addition, surrounding the estate outside the wall and behind; a vast Oak forest titled Ravenswood, of which Bobby had explained without revealing too much. That explained the clusters of scattered trees.

We just stood there, continuing to study the estate; mouths practically agape of amazement.

The manor was two stories high with an attic of some sort; not including the two towers, giving it the extra height. Breathtaking! What a difference compared to the dark, menacing stone wall we encountered upon our arrival. As we turned looking back the way we came, indeed this place was massive.

Bobby stood next to us, taking in the beauty as well. Clasping his hands together behind his back, he stated in admiration,

“I forgot just how beautiful this place was. Magnificent, isn’t it?”

“You know this place?” I asked, looking at him.

“Of course. I’m originally from here. I left years ago and almost returned but realized that I was, uh…more needed out there, doing what I do.” he smiled then turned, casually unpacking our belongings.

My mom released Freya from her carrier allowing her to walk around her feet on her harness. She hissed taking in all the new scents and after getting her tiny paws wet, she swiftly crawled back inside. Zanz too, caught many new scents after I removed his muzzle. Snorting, he whined in between releasing low growls.

Inside looking out the colored glass windows near the front doors, stood a 25 year old young man named Nathan Brye, curiously watching the two recently arrived women. His blue eyes intensely stared as he raised a perfectly plucked eyebrow.

A 20 year old young woman named Sarah (Nathan’s sister) with light blonde shoulder length hair and blue eyes, came from the lounge area with another young man; Jonathan Saxon of 24 years old. His fiery red hair shone like fire in beams of sunlight shining through the windows. Seeing Nathan standing there, Jonathan leered at him with his big baby blue eyes.

Deciding she’d play a prank, she snuck up behind Nathan, quietly tiptoeing toward him. Tapping his shoulders she blurted out in an English accent,

“Boo, you bloke!”

Startled Nathan turned, snapping in an English accent of his own, with anger in his eyes,

“Bloody hell, Sarah! Don’t do that!”

Jonathan remained quiet as he stepped back, for he had nothing to say.

“Sorry, Nathan.” Sarah added, “I just wanted to give you a scare. Don’t be such a twat.” she put her hands on her thin hips, “What’s so bloody interesting out that window anyway?”

“Looks like we have newcomers. Arrived just moments ago.” Nathan frowned as he turned away, “Two women actually.”

“Cool.” Jonathan said in an Australian accent, “Let’s go say hello, Sarah since your brother there is obviously doing something much more important.”

“Bite me, Saxon.” Nathan barked.

“Love to, Brye.” Jonathan hissed.

“Stop it…the both of you!” Sarah interrupted, “Now, Nathan if you don’t want to greet them, that’s fine but I’m going to. And you…” she leered at Jonathan, “why do you always have to instigate with your bloody hisses.”

“Sorry it bothers you.” Jonathan turned, approaching the front doors, “You know what I am, so deal with it, yeah!?”

Sarah felt caught between her brother and Jonathan.

“Go after him. I’ll catch them later.” Nathan urged with a smirk, then walked away.

Sarah sighed, watching as he disappeared then followed after Jonathan.

Bobby laid our luggage at our feet, as my mom and I examined the manors exterior once more. In amazement, my mom asked,

“What is this place?”

“Heaven because it’s definitely not Dracula’s castle.” I added with a smile.

“Or is it? If so, Dracula has great taste, I must say.”

I laughed.

“No, ladies. This isn’t heaven, but I’d like to think it’s close and no, it’s not Dracula’s castle either.” a male voice replied in a familiar Spanish accent I immediately recognized.

Turning around, there stood MC; the man I encountered in White-haven’s bookshop.

“You!?” I exclaimed.

“I’m sorry?” he replied, “Have we met?”

“Uh, yeah! In White-haven…in a bookshop…talking in riddles and whatnot.”

The man momentarily glanced down at his feet then quickly answered, trying to cover the fact that he was never there,

“Oh, yes…the bookshop. I remember, now. Yes, it’s me. I apologize. I’ve been to many places in White-haven. It’s just been a long day for me. Now, welcome to Ravenstone Manor.

“Mm, right.” I muttered, “Long day, my ass.”

“How do you think we feel. You’re weren’t in a car or on water all morning.” my mom mumbled sarcastically then continued, “Who are you and what is this place? I thought we were being taken to a house or apartment community. Besides, I’m not sure we can afford this extravagance and if you don’t mind, I need to use a restroom!”

“This is Ravenstone on the Isle of Castillion.” the man revealed proudly; hands casually clasped together down in front of him, “I am MC and don’t worry about finances. You’ll be well cared for.”

“Because that says so much!” I remarked.

“Yzavela!” my mom scolded firmly as she leered at me.

“What!?” I objected, “MC doesn’t say a whole lot, does it!? And what does WELL CARED FOR mean exactly, hmm!?” I waited for her answer but she remained silent as she too wondered the same thing, “That’s what I thought.” I folded my arms.

What I didn’t realize and what ONLY my mom noticed, was a spark of flame in my dark brown eyes, brought to light by the stress and anxiety. Standing close to me, she reached over gently tugging at my sleeve, alerting me that I was about to reveal my…fiery nature. It starts with my eyes then comes the steam and what follows after that, is a disaster waiting to happen.

I glanced down at my feet; eyes closed, breathing deeply trying to control it. Zanz sat beside me, looking up at me attentively. He nudged my hands with his nose, offering his comfort and support.

MC stared and before he could respond, the front doors swung open, creaking loudly.

Coming from the doorway, were Sarah and Jonathan walking toward us with large smiles, as they stood alongside MC. Both continued the steampunk attire with the red haired male, adding a country plaid shirt under his vest.

“Ladies…this is Sarah Brye and Jonathan Saxon; two of Ravenstone’s long time residents.” MC said, gesturing toward them.

Sarah stood at 5’3 and was pretty; round face and big blue eyes. Her wide smile revealed a somewhat bubbly personality as she released a slight giggle. Her attire however, was more on the tomboy side.

Jonathan was very handsome and adorable, standing at a tall 5’11, but looked taller. His fiery red hair with highlights of gold framed his face beautifully; styled over his shirt collar with bangs parted down the middle, layered over the tips of his ears. Staring into his blue eyes, there was something very charismatic; even alluring and charming. The kind of charisma and charm a vampire would have, according to myth. Although, I haven’t met one but adorably cute just the same.

“Hi. You’re the arrivals, huh!?” Sarah greeted.

“Welcome to Ravenstone.” Jonathan added, as he continued to smile.

“Thank you.” my mom replied, “It’s a pleasure meeting an Aussie.”

Jonathan smiled, nodding in response.

“Thank you for the welcome as well, but if someone says Ravenstone one more time, I swear I’m going to steam…I mean, scream.” I said sarcastically.

“Whoa…you’re feisty.” Jonathan commented, sensing something off about me as he casually stared into my eyes, “Not too many women like you around.”

“You have no idea, but sorry.” I apologized, as I sighed.

MC smiled as he turned, gesturing toward the manor behind him,

“Please come inside and out of England’s weather. There’s food, water and plenty of warmth. But first, let’s get you situated in your rooms. They’re ready for you and each…” he stared directly at my mom, “have private bathrooms.” he grinned.

My mom blushed, knowing his meaning.

Sarah and Jonathan offered to help with our luggage but reaching their hands, Zanz lashed out; warning them not to venture any closer. They jumped back in surprise and caution. MC raised his eyebrows, seeing Zanzs’ deadly and protective nature and seeing a lot of familiars during his time, he was the most impressive.

“Easy, boy…” Jonathan backed away; hands held up while Sarah froze in fear.

“Zanzabarr, stop it!” I ordered grabbing onto his harness pulling him backward, “No!” then I glanced up toward MC, Sarah and Jonathan, “Sorry about him. He’s just very protective. I’ve never seen him like this and it’s definitely something about this place that sets him off. Anyway, I’m Yza and this is my mom DD and her cat Freya there.” I looked down at Freya’s carrier.

MC remained silent, watching how the scene played out.

“That’s okay and it’s nice meeting you but man…that’s one gorgeous Wolf.” Jonathan admired, “Well, at least the four legged variety. Never seen his breed before. And cool name, too. Zanzabarr. Can’t say I’ve heard that either. And how the hell do you handle him? He must be…110 pounds?”

“He’s actually 120 to be exact. Years of practice.” I smiled, “Plus, he’s not a puller. Except when he’s excited which is now.” as I tugged him backwards.

Another person abruptly emerged through the manors’ front doors, drawing everyone’s attention. A 30 year old man with dark brown hair and mysterious eyes with handsome features; standing a little over six feet tall, walked toward the group gathered, in straight strides. He scanned our appearances then glanced toward MC, speaking in Italian; words we couldn’t understand,

“Vedo che abbiamo nuovi residenti, MC.”

“Ah, perfect timing Anthony. I was just about to bring them inside from the rain.” MC greeted, “And yes, they’re Ravenstone’s new residents.”

Anthony smiled, returning his gaze upon my mom and I, continuing his Italian tongue and attempting to throw his Italian charm out our way,

“Benvenuti a Ravenstone, signore. Auguriamo che la vostra nuova casa. Può essere un bel putifferio al momento.”

My mom returned the greeting, remembering a few words herself from her time in Italy during her younger years.

“Speak English, you mutt.” Jonathan barked, as he leered at Anthony.

Anthony returned the leering gaze and we could immediately sense the tension between them.

“He’s right, Anthony. Please, speak English. And you two…behave.” MC ordered, demanding respect.

Anthony nodded as he apologized in perfect and unbroken English sentences but kept his Italian accent,

“I’m sorry, ladies. Welcome to Ravenstone. As you now know, I’m Anthony…” he gave a polite bow, “Anthony Giovanni.”

Anthony; typical tall, dark and handsome…actually gorgeous man, carried himself with strong posture and elegant demeanor. He presented a very flirtatious way about him; charming but over done.

“Alright, I think time’s being wasted so now that everyone’s made their introductions, Anthony would you mind helping these ladies to rooms H4 and H19. They’re ready and available for them.” MC asked, handing him a set of keys removed from his pocket, “Fetch one of the shuttle cars from the garage and let’s get these ladies home before it rains again. Besides, her dear mother needs to use the restroom.” he added with humor.


“Of course. It’ll be my utmost pleasure.” Anthony answered.

Jonathan rolled his eyes.

Anthony flashed a smile once more before sprinting across the courtyard and out the gate surrounding the manor. My mom watched as he ran, before disappearing from view, with womanly thoughts running through her mind.

“Hey, Mommy…you have a little…drool hanging from your mouth there.” I teased.

“Shut up.” she answered, “I might be older, but I most certainly am not dead yet! And I don’t drool…much.”


Jonathan, Bobby and Sarah helped us carry our luggage inside the front doors while we waited for Anthony. We engaged in idle chitchat for about ten minutes when pulling up outside, was a steampunk VW shuttle van, continuing with the sleek black body paint and gold detailing with red leather interior. Anthony jokingly honked the horn. Climbing out, he entered the front door with another large smile, exhibiting his gorgeous teeth. Once placing our luggage in the trunk, we boarded the van. Zanz felt uneasy in both presences’ of Jonathan and Anthony and no matter how much I tried calming him down, nothing worked. He’s never acted like this before around people, so it must be something in the air? So, I once again, strapped on his muzzle, softly ordering for him to climb inside. Reluctantly, he did so after nudging his butt forward.

Turning to Bobby, my mom and I thanked him for his hospitality. We shared brief smiles and handshakes, while he wished us the best of luck.

Before closing my door Jonathan declined the ride, revealing he’d meet us there.

“Okay.” I smiled, closing the door.

Watching the van drive around the pond and out through the gate, Jonathan smirked as he turned excusing himself from MC and Bobby’s conversation. Entering through the manors front doors, he was out of sight.

Bobby and MC remained outside the manor near the Jeep.

“Were you followed?” MC asked curiously as he glanced around.

“No, Sir. I made sure we weren’t and we have help from our friend in Penrith. If anyone dares come through searching for them, he’ll handle them accordingly and you know how he handles things.” Bobby declared.

“Of course he will. But thank you. Now, you’re more than welcome to stay the rest of the day if you’d like.” MC offered.

“As much as I’d love that, I do have a family to return to and there’s plenty of time left in the day. So, I must get going if I’m to make it back. Besides, I’ve spent enough time around those birds to last me a lifetime. I do wish you the best of luck with them Sir, I really do. They’re very chatty birds and when I mean chatty, once they start running at the mouth, bloody hell you can’t shut them up.” Bobby complained, “Especially the young one. She’s very opinionated.”

“Alright, well do be careful nonetheless.” MC nodded as he and Bobby shook hands, “And if you feel you need you stay the night, let the Inn know.”

Bobby climbed back into the Jeep, driving out the walls’ gate.

MC stood outside the manor, glancing up at the sky, before returning inside.

Coming to a slow halt, we approached one of the four-leveled housing quarters built on the property, outback behind the manor. Another building of the same medium gray stone architecture stood adjacent; approximately an eight-to-ten minute walking distance. Again, connecting like branches of a tree, were compacted gravel walkways leading to the different housing structures on the estates’ property. Green landscaping graced the entire estate.

“Come now, ladies. Let’s get you to your rooms.” Anthony stated in a friendly tone, leading us inside through a wide gated entrance which guarded a grand arched door, where Jonathan strangely stood.

“How did he get here so fast?” my mom asked.

“No idea.” I answered, “But I’m sure it’s weird…like everything else.”

Anthony heard our soft comments, as he once again, leered at Jonathan who stepped aside.

“Show off.” Anthony whispered.

“Bite me.” Jonathan hissed.

Entering the doors of the first level of the quarters, was a spacious comfortable lounge with several couches and chairs placed around, including a grand entertainment center, that greeted you. A massive circular stone fire-pit sat in the center of the lounge, creating a warm soothing environment, providing adequate heat and protection from embers for it was covered with an iron mesh dome. Toward the back of the first floor, was a medium sized kitchen where residents scampered about. Some paused, watching as we strolled through the lounge. To the right was a laundry center where residents returned with baskets full of dry clothing.

Anthony and Jonathan continued leading us across the lounge to the left where a single staircase led up to the next three levels. However, four rooms were located near the stairs for the seniors and disabled. Very considerate. Anthony escorted my mom to her room; number H4 while Jonathan and Sarah led me upstairs to mine, H19 on the fourth level. All the balcony doors belonging to the rooms, faced the landscaping of various views on all sides, depending on the rooms’ location.

Sarah walked alongside, beginning friendly conversation as she attempted to avoid Zanz who walked ahead,

“So, where are you from? Are you Wiccans or, uh…something else?”

I looked at her confused, and replied bluntly,

“Originally, we’re from the States but moved out to the Great City and lived there for five years. My mom’s the witch. We’re both humans. Well, I’m actually…never mind. And what the hell does something else mean, Sarah? What else is here?”

“Never mind. Just a joke. I’m a wee-bit mental. And you’re what?”

“Like I said, never mind. Just…forget I said anything, okay?” then I focused ahead, watching as Zanz growled at Jonathan every time he glanced back, “I’d stop that, if I were you. You’re antagonizing him.”

“Antagonizing him? I’m not doing anything.”

“You’re looking at him, Jonathan. That’s doing something.” I joked.

“Right, good one.” Jonathan chuckled as he glanced back once more then began explaining there were twelve rooms on each floor, totaling thirty-six rooms in all. Except for this dwelling, having four extra downstairs, “The other two buildings are the same, minus the extra rooms.”

The first level windows stretched straight across the front of each building, providing light. Whoever designed this estate, knew exactly how they wanted it in architectural design. Wide hallways led to the rooms, creating a dorm-like atmosphere with a window at the end near the next staircase, leading upstairs in a zigzag pattern on opposite ends which provided a sense of security. Each of the rooms had Oak wood doors with arched frames and numbers made of black iron nailed into the wood. The doors had iron hinges, ring-like door knockers and brass handles. An old fashioned peephole window was situated just below the room number; opening from inside.

Set between the rooms, were lantern wall lamps, complimenting the architecture.

I continued following Sarah and Jonathan up the stairs to the fourth level. Sarah grew ecstatic because my room H19 was right next door to hers; H20.

“Oh, that’s fantastic!” she giggled insipidly.

“Yeah.” I slurred sarcastically as I looked away, “A real party.”

Jonathan contained his chuckle as he caught the sarcasm.

Downstairs, Anthony left my mom’s luggage inside the door, handing her a key. If we needed anything, he stated not to hesitate and let him know, as he flashed a flirtatious wink. She thanked him for his help and kindness, then watched as he strolled toward the stairs in his sexy black leather pants. As he did, she fanned herself with, “WOW…THAT’S A MAN! PHEW! I MIGHT BE OLD, BUT I AIN’T DEAD.” running through her mind then she finally felt the pressure of having to use the restroom and made a mad dash for it inside her room.

Anthony made his way upstairs; women coming from their rooms swooning as he passed, making sure I had found my room. Smoothly, he offered to show me around the grounds after I settled in, but I declined the offer. Despite his charm and delicious cologne, that’s the oldest pick-up line in the book.

“Well, thank you Anthony.” I appreciated.

“No, worries.” Anthony smiled, “I’m always around, if you change your mind.” he winked.

“I’m sure you are. Now good day…” I hinted for him to go away.

Jonathan and Sarah waited for Anthony to walk away before they dispersed the hall. As he walked alongside Sarah and Jonathan, I too, couldn’t help but admire Anthony. He is what he is…a gorgeous man. However as I watched the three of them stroll down the hall to the descending stairs, there was another tense moment between Jonathan and Anthony. I could hear their faint voices arguing with Sarah breaking up their spat. I shook it off as I turned, opening the door Zanz began scratching at.

“Alright…alright…” I whispered, unlocking and pushing open the door.

Completely agape, I was astonished. The room was beautifully designed in a Hotel-suite layout with a homey vibe and extremely spacious. Eight people at least, could fit in here and still have adequate room.

My bed was to the right; covered in Gothic black and red bedding with two small tables on either side of the bed. One of them was nearest the door with a Gothic lamp set upon it. A medium stone fireplace was adjacent across from the bed. Along the wall to the left was a large Oak wardrobe and dresser for my clothing. Two large black leather Gothic wing-back chairs and small table sat before a set of double glass patio doors straight ahead. Vertical shutters were semi-closed with light peaking through the slots. Red sheer curtains hung from the doors’ drapery rods. The rooms’ walls and floors were dark Oak wood with Persian rugs placed before the fireplace and entry way.

Walking around and examining the bathroom, the walls and floors were made of stone-like-tiling with Porcelain appliances. Zanz entered behind me, sniffing around the large Roman tub and knowing he might have to relieve himself, I quickly laid out piddle pads near the tub and sure enough, he claimed his potty place.

Taking in the beauty of the room I approached the patio doors, opening the shutters which shone in the afternoon sun through the colored glass. Opening inwards, they led outside onto a small balcony overlooking the green landscaping with elaborate and elegant iron railing. Across the way; rear of the manor, was another living quarters structure. Taking in deep breaths, I felt safe.

Turning around looking inside, I smiled as I ran, jumping onto my bed, sinking into its feather mattress and feather pillows that contoured my body with softness and luxury. I laid there not moving a single muscle for the bedding was so soft. I couldn’t feel the weight of my own body.

“Wow…” I moaned into one of the pillows.

Zanz joined me as he too, jumped up alongside me, enjoying the comfort as well. Laying next to me, I removed his muzzle, scratching his nose knowing how uncomfortable it was. We laid there for what felt like forever, before falling asleep, taking a quick nap. After I woke, I began unpacking my clothes, placing them in their place of either the wardrobe or dresser. After feeding Zanz, I ventured downstairs to check in on my mom.

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