By Lady Olivia Chapman, 2016-12-04
I settled back into the heavy leather chair, sighing softly at the warmth the sun had bestowed upon it, and looked across the desk at the young man seated before me.
"Angel," I began "I have read your letter of introduction and I understand that you are highly qualified for the position..."
The young man nodded, confidently, sitting upright. He was handsome and well built. His frame was slightly larger that what might have been a perfect form, but that was just being picky. He had all of the attributes and experience that made him quite suitable.
And yet, and as always, the past stood beside me, whispering wise counsel into my ear. "Do not forget.... Katie...." I accepted the ethereal advisement of the years gone by and shifted his letter atop my journal, and willed my countenance expressionless, though a shadow of that great betrayal swept across my features in the warm afternoon light.
"One thing I expect, beyond the impeccable attention to your duties, is that you are steadfast in your loyalty to me. I will not hesitate to end your employment should you fail to do so. While I do appreciate that you have come at my father's recommendation, you are under my employ, not his. Is that understood...?"
I hoped that he did. I had plenty of servants, but none beyond my maid who might accompany me in travels; and who might be my constant companion, and hear my private and intimate conversation... and if he were to breathe one word of it to Papa...
I watched as the young man nodded, his brow threatening to knit in concern and then soften "I do understand, m'Lady," he responded "your confidence is well kept with me."
Assured, at least for the moment, I nodded sharply and reached for the small bell on the desk, lifting it to summon the house maid.
Standing and brushing my skirts of imaginary dust, I gestured to Anne as she entered "Please show Angel to his quarters, and see to it that the tailor is fetched. The livery will likely need to be let out a bit."
I turned and walked to the windows as Anne curtsied and departed with my new footman, surveying the park.
It was good to be home again.