Chapter 10 - Angeline
The slight heels of her ankle high boots clicked against the natural stone. Though tennis shoes might have been a more practical choice, it was her one small vanity point. In her closet, she only owned one pair of tennis shoes, and she only wore them when she was playing tennis, or taking her daily walk around her community trails. Now, she silently cursed her decision not to wear her scruffy cross trainers.
The manor appeared grandeur from the outside, but walking into the manor made her realize how far outside of her own pay grade the home was. From natural stone floors, to beautifully hand-carved oak bannisters, to the antique pieces that were in harmony with one another in the house, the home touted wealth, luxury, but more surprisingly practicality. There was not a piece of furniture or feature of the home that was not useful in its existence.
Lawson still had a grip on her arm that she allowed without thought as she took in the part of the home that was visible to her, and its contents. Now, she shook his hold off her arm, and stopped well before a doorway that he was poised to enter.
‘You know, I could stand to use the little girls’ room.’
He turned his head towards her, and his eyes scanned her entire form, taking in every curve and contour. His mouth curved into a suggestive smile. ‘Little girl you are not.’ A flush crept over her as he exaggerated every word, and she clenched her fists to fight back her reaction. For a man, he did not miss much, and the smile smoothed itself across his face to deepen his enjoyment at her discomfort. If there was anything at hand to hurl at him, she would have done so just to erase that smug satisfaction from his features.
She waited for him to continue, to break the pause that he had let span between them, but he basked in the moment as he leaned against the doorframe with his arms crossed. No longer able to tolerate his silent enjoyment, she said, ‘Well?’
For a brief moment, he stood where he was before he shifted his weight away from the door jamb. ‘There is one to the right of the staircase. It is little more than a powder room, but should accommodate you nicely.’ Standing straight, he faced the door and placed a hand on the knob. The lingering hesitation played on for more than a pause before he added, ‘Though this is my home, there are those whose invitation into my home still remains. If they catch breath that you are here, so will they be. Do not stray far.’
She opened her mouth to say something, but what could she really say? She was in the home of a man she barely knew, who took it upon himself to come to her aid twice within mere hours of one another.
As she moved into the bathroom, closing and bolting the door, more of the same thoughts came to mind. How is it he was so conveniently in the square after she had been robbed of her bag, and the thumb drive with all that incriminating evidence? Since he was a vampire, or lamia as he liked to call himself, would he be listed on those records she decoded? If so, wouldn’t he want that drive as much as the rest of them? Would he want her dead?
If he had wanted her dead, why would he save her from Matt? Why not let him kill her and be done with it? Could he use her now as bait to lure Matt back into the open so that he might have a chance at retrieving the drive?
There were so many questions, and she watched her face in the mirror as she asked herself each one of them. Shaking her head, she ran the water for a bit till it turned lukewarm, and then splashed her face.
Again, she stared at herself in the mirror. What could she do? A part of her was mentally berating her for being so foolish as to follow him blindly to his home. She could leave. She did not remember Lawson taking the keys from the car. She could just get into the car and leave. Would broad daylight bother him? He never did really answer her, but she sensed his answer in his nonresponse. Could she find enough time to get away? And what of those that were free to come and go from this manor as they pleased?
Drawing in a huge breath, she held it before letting it out through pursed lips. If she was going to do it, she would have to do so quick. Who knew how much time she would have before Lawson comes to find her.
As she was about to leave, she could hear voices, and they sounded as if they were getting louder.
‘Lawson has definitely brought a tasty morsel under his roof.’
‘She is off limits!’
‘Bugger, you say! Since when does he not share?’
The voices of the two men were now just beyond the oak door where she stood pressed against in silence, trying to control her breathing and steady her pulse. Anger and something akin to fear were waging war to see who would be the victor.
‘If you cannot sense his claim on her, then you are a fool.’
‘Maybe just a nibble? A little snack? She smells heavenly.’ Something hit the door beneath her fingertips, and she found herself taking a few steps back.
‘If you touch her, you are a dead man. You forget who Master Lake is? He could take your head before you knew he was there.’
A loud snuffling noise sounded through the door, like the man was breathing in her scent from behind the door. ‘Ahh, divine.’
‘And his. Let’s go before he finds you here lusting after her.’
‘What do you think Monique will say when she finds out, if she hasn’t already?’
‘None of our business.’
‘I wouldn’t even want to be a fly on the wall for that one.’
There were a few more exchanges between the men as they walked away, and Angeline no longer paid any heed to their words. She bristled at being called his, but he had also spared her an unpleasant run in with those two that had been wandering through the manor. She stood contemplating her next move. It was so simple before those two had made an appearance into the picture. Now what? And who exactly was Master Lawson Lake? Her saviour, or her captor? And what about Monique?