A relaxing lunch with his mother with a view of their splendid garden was just what Patrick needed to take his mind off the police, Gavin—and The Harlequin.
Adam Potter—was a different matter, as his mother Drusilla Valdez, discovered.
“He held him out a window, how did he get back in?” Drusilla said as a female servant listened as she removed the finished plates. Patrick didn’t want to share that he jumped on the killer’s back and upset her so he revised his story.
“I’m not sure… I was in the other room but Adam did stopped that mad man.” His mother picked up her bone china coffee cup and sipping the sweeten brew.
“This Mr. Potter has left an impression on you—so soon—after Gavin.”
Patrick felt the pinch of guilt from, not telling his parents about how Gavin was blackmailing him.
“It’s not that I’d wish anything bad to happen to Gavin. It’s just we weren’t doing so well as a couple for some time.”
“That’s not the impression you gave to me and your father? In fact, Gavin had mention marriage.”
“Marriage?” Patrick said shocked.
“Well of course, he was discussing it with your father.”
“I didn’t know that.”
“We were preparing a dowry for you.”
“Mother that’s so old fashion.”
“It’s our tradition Patrick. Something we hoped you'll continue.”
“Well, it’s not going to happen now.” Hastily he grabbed his cup tipping the hot drink onto the antique table cloth. “Oh god,” he yelled standing and using his napkin to dab the mess up. His mother’s female Butler Shilo came over, and she and the maid quickly cleared the mess. “I’m sorry--I’m clumsy,” he apologized to the servants and his mother.
“Its fine Mr. Valdez we'll wash it out,” said Shilo. “Cindy can pour you another cup.”
“Right away sir.” Cindy hurried to get the silver pitcher.
“But I made a trouble mess,” said Patrick. Drusilla noticed her son’s anxiety talking about Gavin.
“Patrick why don’t we take our coffee in the library?” suggested his mother. Patrick stopped interfering with the staff containing the spill and walked over to his mother.
“I’ll have the tray prepared madam,” said Shilo.
“Thank you, Shilo.”
They walked through the mansion like a tour of a museum. Except to them, it was home filled with art, mementos, and life. Patrick's parents raised him in the Grand Manor. Allowing their son freedom to explore every room and the splendor of his surroundings with his nanny not far behind. He had wonderful times with his parents and the staff that became his extended family. To think that, Gavin was trying to worm his way into his home. Patrick shivered at the thought of walking down an aisle and marry him. They passed the game room as his mother saw her son lost in thought.
“Tell me what’s bothering you Patrick?” asked Drusilla, who at thirty-nine been mistaken for Patrick’s sister on a few occasions. She dressed casual for their lunch with her almond hair down over her shoulders.
Drusilla’s health hasn’t been the same since giving birth to her son. Medicine and constant visits from the family doctor had to be kept secret. She made his father promise never to divulge her condition to Patrick in fear he may never venture out of her sight in worry of her illness. She managed to stay in shape and live an active life not like the one she had after meeting Raoul but an active one.
“No, it’s just been a long night and I guess I haven’t been able to get it off my mind.”
“It or him?” Patrick didn’t want to lie to her, and she had helped convince his father to allow him to travel overseas. They entered the library and choose to seat on the couch closed to the bay window with the view of their fountain.
“Mother, I need you to promise me not to talk to Father about Adam?”
“Father’s not too keen on him.”
“Patrick you do understand you shouldn’t be getting involved with Adam, so soon after Gavin’s death.”
“I’ll be careful mother but please don’t mention it to Father. He’s thinking of sending me to Spain, and I don’t want to go right now.”
“We only want to protect you.”
“I know and being here with you is what’s best for me right now.”
“Well, I would miss you if you’ve gone. Alright, for now I won’t say a word but you have to keep your distance from Adan Potter.”
“I’ll try.” The coffee was a rich, mild flavor, and the cake was from a bakery Patrick loved. The delicious sweet treat relaxed Patrick. That is until the doorbell rang.