|The Highest Tower (standard:Ghost stories, 8563 words)|
|Author: kissofthehungry||Added: May 09 2005||Views/Reads: 2255/1456||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|When a wealthy family moves into a home where a young boy committed suicide, they unknowingly set in motion a series of events that will claim the lives of some and devastate others.|
Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story With a gesture of his head, he urged her to walk with him and nodded, “Yeah, I'm hired as what is commonly known as a gardener. Not that there's much to garden right now, but there will be, mark my words” His smile and laugh were infectious and she had to return it. “Oh you too, I've been hired as what is commonly known as a librarian. They don't seem to think too much of our intelligence do they?” it was an honest assumption, since that was how they were apparently hiring everybody. “No, oh well. So you're a librarian, hmm, always had a thing for books. Seems l might have to pay you a visit in that place commonly known as a library. Can you imagine the money it takes to not only have your own employee but to hire enough employees that there's little place to park?” she shook her head, and he continued, “Neither can I, but here we are, about to work in that much money. Are you a live on employee as well?” “Yes, otherwise I'd be spending all my money on gas. This is certainly in the middle of nowhere,” she gestured to the cactuses that stood tall and proud among the land. “Ain't that the truth,” at that moment, they walked in the house and found themselves in a line of people ranging from their ages of late teens to people who were in their late fifties. Her mouth dropped open, the cars had seemed like a lot but seeing the occupants was just amazing. The De Jacques were reveling in money to be hiring this many people just for the care of their house and more than likely, they were all live on employees as well. That much money would be nice. Trent looked down from the third story at the huge line of people on the first floor, his father had not wasted any time making sure that they were well cared for. Then his eyes landed on her and he couldn't take his eyes off her. She wasn't stunning or gorgeous, but there was something so alive about her that she shone like a star. She had wavy dark brown hair caught up in a ponytail at the base of her neck and a smile that kept flashing at the young man with her. Jealousy flared at the young man, even though it shouldn't have. It wasn't like he had anything going on with her, in fact, he had Marie but he couldn't deny that he wouldn't mind getting to know her. “So Trent, my boy, what do you think? This the life or what,” his father clapped his hand down on his shoulder, surveying their new employees with barely suppressed arrogance. The line shifted forward and the girl laughed, a hearty sound that could not be drowned out by the dull chatter of the other employees. A stray strand of hair fell across her face and she unconsciously raised a hand and swiped it away. How he wished he could see her eyes but she was too far away from him for him to even begin to try. “This is the life,” he replied to his father, never once taking his eyes from the young woman. His dad grunted in agreement or appreciation and walked away, leaving Trent to admire the smiling beauty. The young man with her said something and she burst into another fit of laughter. There was something about the way he looked at her that made Trent want to go down and punch him. It was the same way he was looking at her, but she was looking back at the man and not at Trent. To distract himself, he decided to go call Marie. The phone rang and impatiently, he twirled the cord around his finger. Why wasn't she picking up, didn't she know it was him? He disentangled the cord from his finger and began to pace for as long as it would allow him. Finally, her fluttery, high pitched voice answered, “Hello?” “Marie, oh I miss you so much,” he blurted, trying to eradicate the mysterious girl from his mind. Instead he focused on the image of Marie, with her platinum blonde hair that hung straight to her waist and bright blue eyes that were so beautiful. He thought of the way she moaned softly in her throat when he made out with her and the way she carried herself with a definite sway of her thin hips. Then the full smile of the brunette shot into his mind and blocked Marie. She was quiet for a moment, then added, “Oh, I miss you too.” There was something about the way she said it that made the hairs on his neck raise. It was almost cold and indifferent. “Is something wrong?” he asked, closing his eyes and picturing running his hands through the brunette's hair as he leaned in to kiss her. Furious with himself for already thinking of being disloyal, he squeezed his lids shut even tighter and tried to think instead of the many hours he had spent with Marie. “Oh, it's really nothing,” she squeaked out in her high voice, but he knew better. Giving a heavy sigh, he inquired, “Marie, what is it?” “Well, it's this long distance thing, I just don't know if it's gonna work,” she blurted and he felt as if someone had slapped him in the face. Had she really just said that? “What do you mean? I haven't been gone that long and you're already having doubts? What's going on? There's more to this than you're telling me,” he felt as if someone had hit him in the gut and now Marie had his full attention. “Well, it didn't start out as much but it just happened. I don't know how but it did, you've got to understand. I didn't do it on purpose,” she was wining, and he noticed how annoying her voice was when she was wining. In fact, her voice was annoying no matter what, how could he have found it sexy. “Marie! Get on with it, what did you not do on purpose?” he rubbed his head with one hand, he hated mind games. Couldn't she just get to the point? Tell him what she had done or hadn't done, why she was telling him the long distance thing wouldn't work? “I met this boy, he was so nice, it just turned into something more. I was going to tell you but I,” she was near tears but this news was more shocking than he had expected. What did she mean, there was another boy? “I've been gone for five days, how could you have already met someone else?” he was breathing hard, gripping the phone tighter than he should have been, his head was killing him. “That's just it, I didn't meet him in the last few days. I didn't meet him recently at all,” a cold feeling had settled in the pit of his stomach. He thought back upon his relationship and realized that she had been colder the last few months, she'd been so indifferent when he hugged or kissed her. In fact, she hadn't initiated touch at all anymore, it had been him, and only him. How could he have been so dense? “How long?” he asked, gritting his teeth to keep from screaming at her. “I don't know, at least for a couple of months. I was going to tell you when I felt the time was right,” her voice was now tiny and small as if she finally felt some regret over her actions. Though from her attitude, he somehow doubted it. “You didn't have the courage to tell me? You let me think everything was okay while you played around with some other boy? How could you? Marie, you were right, this long distance thing won't work. Apparently, we've only had close distance between us. Go blow your other boyfriend and don't bother calling me again,” he spat and hung up the phone, feeling a delicious satisfaction over telling her off. Then sadness swept through him, he had really cared for her, even if she hadn't him. As they approached the little desk set up for receiving the new employees, Jada turned to the young man and said, “Well, before we're sent off to our separate “jobs”, I think we'd better get each other's names as we'll be seeing each other around. I'm Jada, Jada White.” “I'm Mark Stevens, and you will be seeing me around. I wasn't kidding when I said that I'd be visiting the library, I'm very into books,” the way he said it let her know that it wasn't the books he was into. Butterflies burst into her stomach and goose bumps rippled across her flesh. She couldn't look him in the eye as her cheeks flamed with her delight. “I'll be looking forward to those visits,” then she turned to the assistant at the desk, it finally being her turn. “Your name?” the woman was smartly dressed in a provocative suit that was also professional, asked in a voice that said she'd been doing this all day and was going to do it for the rest of the day, so no playing around. “Oh, Jada White, I was hired as the librarian,” she smiled and the woman eyed her over her pink rimmed glasses. “One of the librarians,” the tone she used said Jada was a fool for thinking she was the librarian, “Here's your package of the rules of the house, outline of your job, the benefits, and a key to your room. Please make sure that you have read it all and are familiar with the information, Mr. De Jacque may at any time inquire into it and if you are found unknowledgable, may choose to terminate your employment. He also reserves the right to terminate your employment at any given time for any reason with two weeks forewarning. By signing your employment contract, you are giving up the right to sue Mr. De Jacque due to any reason of termination. If you have any questions, Mrs. Rowley, the head librarian is there for assistance. May you enjoy your term of employment here at the De Jacque Manor.” Jada stepped aside and looked at the thick packet in her hands. Wow, they were serious about work here, but then again, live in employees probably difficult to legally take care of. Mark was at her side before she realized he had finished and he laughed, “They want the grounds green like they once were. I've got my work cut out for me. Though no feat is impossible for Super Mark to care of.” She eyed him with a smile that said she was plainly amused and then dangled her key in front of him. “I guess I've got to go to my housing building and check in,” she grinned then added, “I feel like I'm starting college rather than a job. Now, I'm off to my dorm room to check in with the dorm master and no boys in the room after ten at night.” “Guess I'll have to sneak in then,” he grinned and she opened her mouth in mock shock. “I don't think so, I'm a good girl and abide by the rules. Shame on you,” though secretly, in her mind, she was inviting him over just for an evening chat. If that's what one called it. Then they parted ways and she walked back out to where there were two three story buildings that looked like dorm houses. Her humor over the “no boys” faded when she saw that the two houses were for males and females, and the rule probably did apply. When she strode in, there was another desk where a squat woman with slightly purple tinted gray hair and neon pink lipstick sat. When she looked at Jada, she noticed that only one eye actually looked in her direction, her right eye seemed to be starting at something off to the right. “Welcome to the De Jacques home for female employees, you will be allowed one hour from check in point to settle in then you are expected to begin the job for which you have been hired for,” her voice sounded as if it were being pinched through a helium balloon and Jada nodded her head understandingly then a thought occurred to her. “Do you know where the library is?” she wanted to know, suddenly aware that she had no idea where it was in the house and might get lost trying to find it. The squat woman gestured to the packet in her hands, “There is a map in there of the entire house and surrounding grounds. Should you lose that, there is a map in the hall of the first floor of this house. And should that not be good enough, the hands inside the house will be able to direct you. Now, to sign in, I just need your name and time on the sheet here and you're welcome to be on your way,” the woman pushed a clipboard towards her and she signed kind of hesitantly. The entire process was being handled with a professionalism that made her head hurt but she understood why they were doing it that way. As far as she could tell, there were hundreds of employees living here at the De Jacques and what other way could they do the processing except as extremely professional and cold? Her room was 217, on the second flood and when she opened it, she was pleasantly surprised. It was basically a one roomed apartment, complete with bed, kitchen area, bathroom, closet and a little living area. The living area had a couch, an entertainment center, and a desk with a computer on it. She was impressed, they made sure that their employees lived with modern comforts. After settling in, she made her way to the library in the grand house and couldn't help but open her mouth in complete awe. The library was massive, rising the three stories of the house. There were thousands of empty shelves but an equal number of boxes of books waiting to be loaded on to their shelves. There were about seven women and men that she could see doing so and she knew that for the first week, her job would involve nothing but unloading. A tall and slightly heavier set woman with a warm face and a beaming smile walked up to her and asked, “Who are you?” “I'm Jada White,” she replied, feeling that by the end of the day, her name would be an automated response to all questions. “Okay Miss White, are you a regular or a temporary?” she wanted to know and she looked at her like she was a nut. A regular or a temporary? What in the world did that mean? Unsure of what to say, she announced, “Honestly, I'm not sure. I was hired as a live in librarian, and please, call me Jada. Miss White sounds so strange.” “The other regular than, good. Well Jada, I'm Mrs. Rowley, though when we're not in any of the De Jacques' presences, you may call me Mrs. R. I'll send you to work near Joey, the other regular. You two should become fast friends since we all have to work together, but you should, Joey's very sweet,” for a moment, she searched the library than pointed to the second floor to a young woman on a ladder, putting a couple books on the shelf, “Do you see that blonde up there?” Jada looked and only saw the blonde woman, “I only see a woman, is that who you're talking about?” “Yes, that's Joey, sweet creature. You two should get along fine. Anyway, that's where you should be heading next. If we keep at this, with any luck, we'll be done by the end of the week. Then it's up to the three of us to keep this library ship shape.” The three story library was suddenly much more intimidating, a lot more than she had signed up for. Though with two other librarians, she should be able to handle it. “Wow, it's um, big,” she grinned and Mrs. R. laughed. Jada had an instant liking to the robust woman and was thankful for that since the previous two women had grated on her nerves. “Big? Oh my child, that's an understatement, it's massive, enormous, bigger than any house I've ever lived in, and above all, as a librarian, it's scary. Don't worry though, our job is basically to retrieve any books requested, log what ones have been taken and by whom, and return them to their proper placing. We don't even have to clean the place.” Well, they didn't expect a lot out of them, did they? When she had worked at her local library, they had demanded much more of her. She could handle this job, no problem, especially for the pay and benefits. When she walked over to Joey, she was again pleased, she was going to get along fine with her. Joey had a spunky personality and was kind of ornery, and she was only nineteen, a year older than Jada. To make things even better, her room was next to Jada's so they could go over and talk, hang out, and do other things that friends would do. After a week of doing nothing but alphabetically organizing and logging books, they did indeed complete the library. The temporary help got paid and left, probably to never again be seen, but that didn't matter to Jada. Mrs. R. and Joey were the only two she'd gotten chummy with. The week had passed and she had seen no sign of Mark, which was kind of a disappointment. Every time she caught someone coming through the doors, she hoped it would be him but it never was. Joey was fairly observant and one day asked her after another disappointing door opening and closing, “Who are you watching for?” “Pardon me?” she pretended that she had no idea what she was talking about. There was no way she was admitting to watching desperately for a gardener who probably had forgotten her name. Though she knew he was probably busy trying to turn the desert grounds into greens, she was also aware that she had not spent enough time with Mark to make him remember her when there were much prettier young ladies sauntering around. “Oh don't even play at ignorant. I know you know exactly what I am talking about. Who are you watching for? If I know, I can keep my eyes open for you too,” she smiled sweetly and enticingly, making Jada sigh heavily. She knew that Joey would keep at it until she knew who she was watching for and maybe she had a point. Perhaps, while Jada was in the back, she might have missed Mark but if Joey were watching for him, that wouldn't be a problem. Fine, the worse she could do was tease her. “Fine, you've twisted my arm. I'm watching for a gardener named Mark Stevens, very cute. He said he'd come visit me but I haven't seen him, and I don't know, maybe I'm just being silly but I thought he was actually interested,” she didn't mean to sound so whiny but she was a bit disappointed. “Oh a gardener,” Joey laughed and added, “I'll keep my eyes open. Lots of handsome young studs around here so don't get too bummed out about just one. There's plenty of them to get to know, if you know what I mean.” Jada shook her head in amusement, she knew exactly what she meant. Mr. De Jacque had been very thorough in his search for employees, they were all single, even Mrs. R. who was a widow. He wanted the living conditions of sex separation to not cause any arguments, so he had made sure that no one had families who would object. In doing so, he had accidentally created an atmosphere of massive sexual tension as everyone knew everyone was single and didn't mind looking. Joey went on putting up books and Jada made her way to the third floor. She began placing the horror books in their places when a definite chill swept over her. There was the distinct feeling that somebody or something was watching her. Carefully, she looked all around her but could spot nobody. Leaning over the balcony, she called down to Mrs. R., “Has anybody else came in recently?” Mrs. R. shook her head and Jada cocked her eyebrow in confusion. There was no doubt she felt somebody else up here with her but if no one else had came in and she could hear Joey on the second floor, then who was it? “Hello?” she called out but the only reply she got was from Joey downstairs. “Talking to yourself, aye? Don't you know that's taken as the first sign of insanity?” she teased and Jada laughed back down, but it sounded hollow and forced to her. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw movement, but when she looked directly, there was nothing there. A nervous giggle escaped her, she was in the horror section, she was scaring herself. There was nobody there, just her imagination. Taking a deep breath and forcing a smile that hurt her cheeks, she continued putting up the books trying to ignore the way the hairs on her neck stood up. Trent finished asking around the kitchen staff to see if the brunette worked there. He had decided that if Marie was over him several months ago, then he was moving on as well. Now he hoped that he would find the girl that had intrigued him so much though he was afraid that he wouldn't because she might have been only one of the temporary hands. There was no way he was asking his father because she was a servant and he would want to know why Trent was looking for her. He could say that he was looking for someone for his bedroom cause his parents were of the opinion that hired help was good for sleeping with but that was it relationship-wise. However, there was something wrong with that idea and he couldn't bring himself to do it. Heaving a heavy sigh of irritation, he headed towards the library. It was one of his last tries, he was running out of ideas. He hadn't yet been in the library and when he stepped in, he had to admit, he was impressed. It was even more grand and immense than the last one, and the librarian sitting at the desk made him think of someone he would like. The little nameplate said Mrs. Rowley, and when he walked in, she offered a large smile that said he was more than welcome. “I'm looking for a girl about eighteen or so with wavy brown hair, I don't know her name but I've really got to speak with her,” he wished that he could give a more accurate description but so far, that was all he had to go on. “I don't know if she's the one you're looking for but there's Jada, she's on the third floor in the horror section, putting some books up. Hope that helps you out,” she smiled and pointed towards the beautiful marble stairs in the center of the library. He nodded his appreciation and continued on his mission, his heart pounded furiously in his chest. Unfortunately, he was aware of the chance that more than likely it was not the girl he was looking for, but he still couldn't help the exhilaration that it was. Once on the second floor, he noticed a sexy blonde eyeing him from around a book shelf. Her gaze was inviting and for a moment, the thought flickered across his mind, then the glowing smile of the brunette beat it determinedly out of his thoughts. He was on a mission and would not be detoured by a promise of sex. On the third floor, he could hear her putting up books and his breath caught in his throat. What if it was her, what would he say? He hadn't thought things along this far but he had came too far to back down. Then he came upon her and he nearly dropped dead of shock, it was her, it was actually her. She was so busy with her task that she wasn't aware of him and when he spoke, she jumped and dropped the books she was holding, “Hello, looks like you're a busy bee.” Immediately, he kicked himself, what a stupid line. How was he supposed to come up with something romantic from that? “Ah, it's work, what you gonna do?” she smiled as she began picking up the fallen literature and he felt his heart melt, he would do anything for that smile. “Well, you could always take a break, unless you're too busy to do so,” he offered, priding himself on that turn around. Now, how would she respond? Would she tell him that she was too busy or would she throw her books down, and fall with a heavy sigh into his arms? “I'd like to but the De Jacque's rule book was pretty firm about not taking breaks except for when I was supposed to,” she shrugged her shoulders helplessly and he wasn't sure if she was kindly letting him down or if she was genuine. So, he decided to try again. “Well,” he grinned, “As a De Jacque, I'm sure we can bend the rules just this once.” Her mouth opened and some of the humor left her eyes. Obviously, flirting was okay as long as it was with the staff but to do so with the money was trouble. He knew it but he didn't care, he'd fallen for her smile harder than anything else in his life. Thus, he wasn't about to give up just because she was hired help. “Um, well then, I guess I can take a break. I'm not in trouble for anything am I?” her voice had a slight quaver in it and he realized he had misinterpreted her fearful gaze. She thought she was in trouble. Damn it, he hated being wealthy sometimes. If he were just like anybody else, he could woe her with none of these concerns. Giving a scoff of surprise, he responded, “No, I can't for the life of me imagine anything you would be in trouble for. I just like your smile and thought I'd get to know the woman behind it.” Her expression softened and he knew he had saved face. “Well then, I have no problem taking a break. It's about time I took one anyway. Putting up books is tedious work, I tell you,” she chuckled and began to walk down the stairs with him. The blonde looked around but saw him with Jada and disappointedly continued with her work. At that moment, Mark walked into the library, finally having a moment from his job to pay her a visit. Ever since they had flirted in the line, he couldn't get her out of his mind. There was something very attractive about her personality and she was cute in a very innocent way. Then he saw her and any thoughts of asking her out were dashed. She was walking down the stairs with the De Jacque son, and he knew better than to mess with him. Quickly he ducked behind a bookshelf, afraid of her spotting him. When he heard her laugh at something Trent said, he felt as if his heart were going to break. He might have taken a bigger liking in her than he wanted to admit. They walked by, not even noticing him, and he stepped out after he heard the door shut. Then a warm voice asked, “May I help you?” Startled, he looked over to see Mrs. Rowley smiling up at him and he quickly shook his head. Trying not to trip over his feet in his haste to get out of the library, he made his way for the door. Then another voice called out, “I'd be willing to help you find whatever it is that you need.” The voice was suggestive and he spun around to see a pretty blonde grinning at him from the second floor. Shrugging his shoulders and dismissing Jada as out of bounds, he smiled back and began the stroll up the stairs. Why the hell not? It wasn't like she was going to care. “My father really chose the most remote location that he could, didn't he?” Trent laughed and Jada nodded in agreement. There was no doubt about it, and he couldn't have chosen a remote place in lush greens or mountain area. No, he had chosen in the middle of a god forsaken desert, but who was she to complain? After all he did pay her quite a bit of money and provided her with a home too. No, she wasn't one to complain about the place at all. A mousy woman, with strands of brown hair sticking out in every direction from her bun, came running up to them and breathlessly asked, “Have you seen Gloria Handsel, she's one of the cook's assistants? She's gone missing and Cook Sharm is going crazy.” Jada shook her head no, she hadn't even really dealt with any of the cooks or their assistants, so she would not have a clue. “Perhaps she quit? Or perhaps my father had her fired? Otherwise than that, I don't know. I know she's not with my father since he's on his business trip. If she doesn't show up by the time he comes back in a couple of weeks, then we'll ask him. I'm sure that he'll know,” Trent replied and the little mouse woman nodded, her buck teeth barely hidden behind quivering lips. Jada half expected her to wiggle her nose in agreement but she didn't as she turned and headed back in the direction of the kitchen. “Why would she be with your father if he were here?” she wanted to know, curious as to what that statement implied. “My parents are of the firm belief that as long as we pay their salary, it is okay to sleep with them, and it's not even considered cheating. I don't know how that works, but apparently it does in their little world. Surprised me when I walked in on my mother and our original pool man the first time. It took a lot of explaining and reassuring for them to get that message to make sense to me. At least enough sense that I won't call them on it,” he sighed and added, “It doesn't matter if I call them on it. They don't care.” Jada realized then the real reason why Mr. De Jacque had made sure they were all single. It wasn't because he wanted them to be free for the living situation, he wanted to make sure they would be willing to put out, or at least have the possibility for it. Her respect for him went even farther down than it already was. “And you really don't agree with them? You believe in loyalty and fidelity, sleeping around with anybody else is cheating no matter what?” she pushed, unsure of why she had to know but she did. “Afraid to get involved without first making sure I'll be loyal to you?” he grinned and she glared defiantly at him. “No, for your information,” she spat, bristling because she felt it was true, “I was just curious.” “Oh,” he looked crestfallen then brightly announced, “I was hoping you were interested in getting involved, even though I am a De Jacque. I really am a good guy, I'd have you ask my last girlfriend but I was kind of rude to her when I found out she was dating somebody else and had been for the last few months of our relationship. But I swear, you can trust me and I'll treat you like a queen.” His eagerness made her laugh though she was curious about something else, “When did you find this out about your girlfriend?” Again, he looked downcast and she knew that she had hit a nerve, “Actually, a week ago. I called her to let her know we had moved in and she told me about it then. I couldn't believe it, I mean, here I was thinking that I had a great relationship and that I really cared for her, only to find out that she'd been cheating on me. Really gave me a different perspective on life.” “Ah, so basically, if we were to get “involved”, I'd be your rebound girl,” she deducted and he looked shocked. “No, no, no. Honestly, I was interested in you before I broke up with Marie. That's why I originally called her, to try and distract myself from you cause I refuse to be like my parents in relationships. I promise you that you're not a rebound, and I've been searching for you since the day that I saw you. From the first day you were here, waiting in the line with some guy for the check in. Please, believe me,” he implored and she could see it in his hazel eyes, that he was telling the truth. “First off, that guy was Mark and secondly, I don't know that I should get involved with you. I mean, you are the son of my boss. Seems to me that there's some rule about dating the boss's son. Couldn't that give him grounds for firing me?” it was an honest question. This job was way too cushy and beneficial to loose over a cute Romeo. Quickly, he declared, “Oh we could never tell my father. No way. That would be very bad.” “Uh huh, so you plan on dating me and not telling your father? Now, why should that attract me in any way? You want to date me behind closed doors, pretend I don't exist to keep up a good face for your old man. You didn't really expect that to win me over, did you?” she was more offended than she expected to be, but it was really rude of him. “No, it's not like that. If my father knew that I was interested in one of our hired hands for something more than sex, he would forbid any contact. I don't want you for just sex, I'd like to actually get to know you. To, as I put it, be involved. Do you understand?” he begged with his entire being for her to understand and she did, in a way. However, it still bothered her, “I don't know. I've never been in a relationship where I had to hide it from the parents, which brings up another question. How old are you that you're still worried about his reaction?” “I'm seventeen, but I'm mature for my age,” he threw out, hoping that she wouldn't dismiss him on account of his age. “Right, that's what they all say,” she laughed and then shrugged, “I don't think this would work. You're underage, the son of my boss, and on the rebound. How do I know that if something did happen between the two of us that if we broke up, you wouldn't go to your dad and get me fired?” “I'm not like that, I promise you. Please, just give me a chance,” he had never tried this hard to woe over a girl. It was frustrating. Generally, if he had been interested and asked, the girl would practically swoon, like Marie. Then again, looking back at Marie, he was glad that Jada was being more difficult. Maybe that would mean a more fulfilling relationship and not one that ended quite like it had with his previous lover. “I don't know, still seems awfully risky,” but she wasn't resisting so hard anymore. She had to admit that he did have her intrigued, and he may have been underage but he was only a year or less younger than her. That she could deal with. Yet she still had her doubts and what about Mark? He had really interested her but still, he hadn't been to visit her yet. Maybe he had forgotten all about her and still thinking about him was foolish on her part. Why then, shouldn't she go for it? “Please,” he began but she interrupted him with a smile. “Well, let's just say, I might be willing to give it a try,” she announced and his face lit up. Despite her hesitance, she had to admit he was fairly cute and had a sweet personality, even if he was a bit spoiled. Maybe this was the Mr. Right that she had been looking for? “Great,” he blurted then tried to recover, “I mean, that's cool. I'm sure you won't regret this. Uh, want to go for a tour?” he offered, not knowing what to do now because it wasn't like there was anywhere to take her on a date. “Sure, why not?” she grinned and he offered his arm, which she took. What was she doing? This was silly and foolish on her part but there was something so adorable about him, she couldn't resist. It was almost a guarantee that she was going to get in trouble for this one. Oh well, hopefully it would play out to her still holding her job. Mark left Joey recovering in the romance section on the second floor, not sure what to think of himself. He almost felt dirty for what he had done, as if he had cheated on Jada, but that was silly. Jada and him were not an item, most definitely not. In fact, it looked as if her and the little rich boy were. Joey was very nice and a lot of fun, but she wasn't what he was looking for. How he wished that he could do something about her and Trent, but unless they were just talking, he was pretty helpless on the situation. Maybe he would settle for Joey for the time being, she was cute and corky, and a lot of fun in the deepest corners of the library. Yet it still felt wrong. As he strode out of the library, a young man wearing clothes very similar to his walked up to him, “Hi, my name's Ryan. My mum's one of the little cleaning ladies around here and she wanted to know if the library is in dire need of a cleaning? Do you know?” Mark shook his head and started to go around the boy but he blocked him as if he were eager to talk more. “I wouldn't have a clue, I work out in the gardens,” he replied, feeling self conscious about the way his shirt was tucked in half hazardly. Right now, all he wanted to do was escape to the comforts of his grounds where he knew what he was doing and was comfortable doing it. “Oh, well, do you mind if I walk back with you? I don't really feel like going back to my mum yet. It's kind of boring around here if you don't have any friends,” Ryan grinned sheepishly and ran a hand through his spiked blonde hair. Mark eyed him, being disturbingly reminded of Joey by the boy's blonde hair, but he did feel kind of bad for him. He was right, there was nothing for a kid to do around here, so he exclaimed, “Yeah, sure you can come with me. But I warn you, it's not much fun out in the gardens if you don't like getting dirty.” With that, he gestured to the dirt all over his white t-shirt and blue jeans. The boy grinned and shrugged his shoulders. “I don't mind. Dirt just ain't that big of a deal. By the way, you never told me your name. I did tell you that I was Ryan, right?” he questioned as they continued on their way to the outdoors. “Yeah, you did. I'm Mark,” he announced, already having decided that if he was going to tag along, he was going to work. He had holes that needed dug, trees that needed planting, and oh so much more that he could use an extra set of hands with. The other gardeners were busy with their plots so who was he to deny himself a little extra help? He had the feeling that Ryan would be more than willing to comply, desperate to hang out with someone other than his cleaning mum. The tour was simply blowing her out of the water, she'd had no idea that the house was so big. It seemed unreal, and as if to verify that, they strolled into what was clearly a ballroom in need of a bit of cleaning and repair. “Oh my god,” she breathed as she gazed around, “This isn't a house, it's a flipping castle. I can't believe you really have your own ballroom, a three story library, an indoor pool and jacuzzi, it's incredible. A bit overwhelming, but still incredible” Her mind was spinning over all of the fascinating rooms she had viewed. Many of them had been busy with workmen who were repainting and repairing the rooms. This room was strangely quiet, the two of them being the only ones in the hauntingly silent room. “Trust me, I know. Want to dance?” he inquired, his hazel eyes lighting up at the prospect as he gazed upon her. For one of the many times it had already occurred, she blushed, for his gaze was intense and made her feel beautiful, sexy and wanted. “Dance? There's no music and I can't dance. You don't want to dance with me cause you're going to have bruised toes by the time we're done,” she protested, giggling at the silliness of the idea and at the truth she spoke. “I don't care, I want to dance, bruised toes and no music. Come on. It's not often you get a ballroom all to yourself and in a day or two, the workmen are going to attack here too,” he grabbed her by her hands and pulled her to him, making her breath catch in her throat. It was hard not to get carried away when he held her so close that she could feel his heart beat against her chest. As if knowing being held close was a weakness for her, he wrapped his arms around her and put his cheek against the side of her head. Gently, he began to sway, humming a soft song that she couldn't place but was comforted by nonetheless. “Trent, I don't think we should be dancing. I just, I,” she mumbled but he tilted her head to look at him and her words tangled in her throat. Holding her gaze, he bent his head down and caught her lips with his. She closed her eyes, enjoying the taste and warmth of his mouth, unconsciously running her hand through his dark brown hair. When she pulled away, she felt as if her head were spinning and her stomach was dancing still. “That wasn't so bad, was it?” he asked, cupping her cheek in his hand. Once more, she was trapped in his eyes and she couldn't speak. So, she slowly shook her head, savoring the feel of his hand against her flesh. What was it about this boy that had her so entranced? He bent to kiss her again but she dodged it, afraid to let somebody affect her so. This wasn't supposed to happen, she was supposed to be levelheaded and down to earth. His face looked so wounded at her evasion that she almost kissed him just to make up for it. Instead, she exclaimed a bit too loud and excited, “Let's see what else there is to see. This house is huge, I'm sure we've only explored a small section.” It sounded like a cheap excuse, even to her, and she wondered how he would take it. He just shrugged his shoulders and led her out a door into the slowly beginning to green gardens outside. Pointing to the highest tower, he announced, “Do you know that they have not found the entrance to the tower yet? They've found the other tower doors and according to it's location, it should be somewhere near the library. Yet, it still remains a discovery to be made.” “Really?” she squinted her eyes against the sunlight glaring from behind the tower. For a moment, she thought she saw the fearful face of a young woman standing in the window, then she blinked and the image was gone. “Yeah, want to know something else?” she nodded and he continued, “Twenty years ago, another rich family owned this house. They moved after their eldest son, who was seventeen like me, threw himself out of that very tower. He killed himself because his father forbade him from dating a servant's daughter. Don't worry, I won't let my father drive me to suicide.” “What a horrible way to go. What did his family do?” she wanted to know, trying to dismiss the image of the young woman from her mind. It had to be her imagination, because if it were a spirit, it apparently would have been that of a teenage boy not girl. “Well, they moved away. It was too much grief and I would assume too many memories. Plus, the father had to have felt guilty. I mean, he did drive his oldest boy to kill himself. Anyway, ever since, the entrance to that tower has been hidden. I'm sure they'll find it cleaning or something. They have too, stuff like that just can't stay hidden,” he explained, also staring at the tower then he turned to the grounds, “Let's see how everything's growing. Something should be, even if it were only planted already grown. And some of those stupid cactuses should be gone too, if not most of them.” Grinning in agreement, she turned around and began walking with him but her mind was elsewhere. The feeling that someone had been in the library with her was now reinstated by the fact the entrance to a tower where a boy had killed himself was somewhere near there. What if it were his spirit that she had felt watching her? Chills again swept her body. Tweet
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