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|Castle In The Clouds, Chapters 25 & 26 (standard:drama, 2219 words) [13/21] show all parts|
|Author: Brian Cross||Added: Apr 09 2010||Views/Reads: 1114/723||Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|The new butler returns and Veronica perceives she is a prisoner within the castle. Veronica is offered help by Dorothea, but can she trust her?|
Chapter Twenty Five 'Goodbye, Thomas, safe journey -' Veronica placed a kiss on Llewellyn's cheek, avoiding his lips while Llewellyn, visibly trembling, clutched her hands. 'Take care my precious and keep safe – Dawson will provide for your welfare.' 'Thomas, I have told you – nobody provides for my welfare -' but Veronica's words were lost on the high wind as Llewellyn and Dawson descended the slope towards the pony and trap waiting at the bottom. She watched Dawson assist Llewellyn into the trap and as he waved enthusiastically, she caught the butler's cold, hard stare. Dawson will provide for your welfare, the implications of that remark were unmistakable, even her composure had been breached recently and now, as the wind lashed hair across her face with such force it stung and as it blew so hard she struggled to keep her balance, she contemplated her days, her nights in the castle under the auspices of this belligerent man. It was for Gibbings that she stayed to try to see her objective through, though now she felt her determination waver. She stood at the castle entrance, waited until the trap joined the main track and then stepped inside. The hall, vast in its comparison with the smaller rooms that characterised the building, now exuded an air of intimidation. It had swept in with Dawson's arrival and solidified the previous evening when Llewellyn's unstable nature had finally become apparent to her, sending alarm bells tolling loudly within. Truthfully Veronica had never known fear; not even the shipwreck had caused the trepidation that had manifested itself in her being, spreading like a germ, embedding itself in the fabric of the castle so that it enveloped her whole existence. She'd been completely immersed in her own confidence, unprepared for the effects of developments such as these. But the compulsion to take flight to the mainland was something she would fight stubbornly against. She was proceeding through the castle, taking the stone steps to the first floor landing,entirely preoccupied with her own malaise, when Dorothea emerged from her room, the hem of her corseted pink dress swirling like a snake around her ankles as she stopped abruptly, appearing to block her path. Veronica's first inclination was to square her shoulders, drive her strong body straight through Dorothea, sweeping her aside, such was her irritation. But Dorothea's appearance became unusually placid, her dark eyes lacked their usual malevolence, and even her voice lacked acidity when she spoke. She seemed to sense Veronica's intentions, raising her hand, 'No Veronica stop, I need to speak with you; inside my room if you please. Do not charge me aside, I implore you.' Veronica swung to her right, curtailing her momentum, drawing alongside Dorothea, opposite her door. 'What have you got to say that is worth listening to – do not try my patience, I am warning you -' Dorothea stretched an arm. 'Please Veronica, step through – I promise I will not hit you from behind.' Veronica sighed, brushed past Dorothea – 'You would be foolish even to try.' 'As I have found out at my own expense – please, take a chair.' Veronica took a seat in a finely crafted, high - backed Queen Anne chair, her eyes fixed on Dorothea as she sat at her desk, turning her chair to face her. 'You may think I'm many things, Veronica – a many horned beast perhaps – you might think I'm mad – yes I can tell by your eyes that you do – but I can tell you this, my brother far exceeds me in that respect – and though he has endeavoured to conceal his ugly side from you, I surmise by your fatigued appearance that you have finally deduced as much.' The lids dropped over Dorothea's hawkish eyes momentarily. 'You finally Click here to read the rest of this story (211 more lines)
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