Author Topic: ZARA  (Read 1721713 times)

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Offline Welsh Wench

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Re: ZARA
« Reply #75 on: January 14, 2018, 08:32:32 AM »


Phillip traded knowing smiles with Zara as he joined her at the dining table. The table was arrayed with a pot of tea, an urn of delightfully pungent coffee, a platter of small scones complete with a small bowl of lemon curd.
"I'm glad you could join me," said Zara. "I hate to eat alone."
"And I would not think of disappointing you," said Phillip.

Dilcey entered the room with a platter containing two plates. Each contained a poached egg, a hash of fried potatoes with herbs, and a portion of ham.
"For you, Miss Zara," said Dilcey as she laid the plate in fron to Zara.
She moved to the other side of the table and slid Phillip's plate into place.
"I'm glad to see you found your boots, Mister Phillip," she said with a small smile. "And your waistcoat."
Phillip's could feel his face growing hot. "Yes, well, it's not often that I can be around horses, you see. And it was such a fine morning—"
Zara pinched the bridge of her nose and shook her head, all the while trying to suppress a giggle.
"The breakfast looks lovely, Dilcey. Thank you."
"Mister Phillip, Miss Zara, enjoy your breakfast. If you need anything, just call." With that, Dilcey left the room.

Phillip and Zara dissolved into muted laughter.
"Thank you, said Phillip. "I was about to embarrass myself."
"About to?" Zara said. "I was doing damage control."
"Damage control? What damage control?"
Will Harkness entered the room, setting  his walking cane down as he took a seat at the head of the table.
"Uncle Will! I...I thought you were at a meeting. Phillip said you would be gone till dinner."
He flipped his napkin over his lap.
"Oh...that. Well, it turns out Magistrate Wentworth took ill. Too much mead, I daresay but the official reason is intestinal upset and he didn't want any of us to come down with it. Hard to do when you are the only one imbibing. Oh...and I happened upon this in the hallway. I do wonder how it got outside your room, Phillip. There were no fresh roses delivered to your room. Or so I presume?"

Will laid the rose petals on the table along with a few stems with the thorns. A small piece of silk fabric caught on one of them.
"Oh...that."
"Yes....that. Have you taken up gardening as a hobby to pass the time away whilst you wait for new sails?"
"Well, not really...."
"Because I am certain there are much more....interesting things to pluck your interest while you are here.."

"I am sure I will find many things to do, Will."
Will took a bite of egg. "Oh, I am sure there are lots of things to uncover and hold your interest. Zara, dear, did you hurt your neck?"
Zara quickly put her hand to her neck.
"Oh...I think I bruised it when I tried to get a hatbox down from the shelf and it fell. The edge hit me on the neck."
"Do be careful. Those...hatboxes...have a way of filling up. Especially with a few things you don't really need at this time of your life. Phillip....did you try to help her get that hatbox down?"
"What?"
"Well, you seem to have a matching bruise on your neck too. Oh I am sure you got it out at the stables. Dilcey said you had been out there. What are your plans today?"

"I thought Zara and I would take a couple of horses out for a ride, if you don't mind, Will."
"Of course I shant mind. The horses are there for your pleasure. Oh, and I thought I should mention that a welcoming soiree is set for tomorrow night for you and Zara to introduce you to the inner circle of Virginia society."
"That isn't really necessary, Uncle Will."
"But of course it is. I want to see how many hearts you can break in one evening, Zara. And Will, there is a particularly fetching young woman. She's Baron Culpeper's daughter Amelia. A very personable young woman. You would have quite a bit in common."
"I look forward to meeting her."

Zara shot Phillip a look that straddled irritation and jealousy. She threw her napkin down emphatically and said in a frosty tone, "I do believe I shall get dressed for riding. Captain Briggs, I shall see you in an hour down at the stables. Do we have an accord?"
"Accord? If you mean an engagement to meet, then yes, we do."

The door slammed behind her.
Will raised his eyebrow. "Good Lord, was it something I said?"
Phillip picked up a scone and buttered it. "No, she's just a bit moody at times."
"Ah...well, so it goes with the fairer sex. One finds it hard to figure them out. Unless one is married to them, so I hear. And speaking of the fairer sex, how is your dear stepmother?"
"Renee? She's doing well. She and Father are as happy as clams."
"It took him quite a while to work up the nerve to make her an honest woman."
"Best decision he ever made."

Dresser drawers were heard to slam upstairs. Will put his napkin to his lips to hide his smile.
"I do believe you are in for a hell of a ride, Phillip. Angry women do make the most interesting companions once they cool off and become compliant. Do enjoy yourself on your ride."
He gathered up the rose petals and laid them next to Phillip's hand.
"Please do watch out for the thorns. They scratch. Good thing they don't bite, too."
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