The flight from California to England was long. I left Caramel-by-the-Sea, California at 7:47 pm on Sunday. Today was Monday at 3:47 am.
I went to pick up my suitcase from the baggage claim area. Ma said nothing and neither did I. She had a lot of explaining to do but I was already too tired to discuss it.
It was a long drive to the house and I flung my bags on the floor and let myself fall to the couch when I arrived.
I didn't even pay attention to the interior because all that was in mind was sleep.
I awoke in the morning with a blanket over my body; well most of it was on the floor. I didn't sleep well last night. I had twisted and turned all of the six hours I was asleep.
I was in a living room and I shot up wondering where the hell I was. I started to panic forgetting that I wasn't back at home because of Richard.
"Breakfast is ready." I sighed in relief. It was Ma who was calling me; I remembered the events of earlier. I got up and was immediately greeted by the pain that ricocheted up my spine.
That's what I get for sleeping on the couch.
Typical lazy me.
I walked around getting a bit lost in the maze of this house.
I apologize... I meant a mansion.
It was a big, huge colossal mansion.
I couldn't even find the kitchen. I finally gave up on trying finding my way.
"Ma, I'm lost!" Hopefully, it was loud enough for her to hear.
Someone appeared behind me. He was tall and slim and very old. He walked away without another word. I didn't know what to do.
I had conflicting feelings.
Should I not follow this strange and creepy man who could kill me or should I follow him because no one would allow such a man to be in here unless he was a part of this noble establishment?
Well, here goes nothing. I hope Ma can afford to buy a new black dress for my funeral...
I followed him, hoping I wouldn't regret it when he was sawing my leg off.
The place was bigger than anything I've ever been to. It was about the size of fifteen soccer fields. Okay... Maybe not fifteen but it had to be a lot of soccer fields.
"Good morning Lexi," she sang happily.
"Morning" I grouchily replied; not that it was intentional.
She handed me a cup of tea, mint to be exact. It was just what I needed. I took a sip and it warmed my whole body.
I sighed and inhaled the minty scent which earned me a laugh from Ma. I glared at her a bit before I continued to sip my tea. The man I had followed was nowhere to be found now.
There was an anxious silence as I sipped my tea.
"How did you find out?"
"I found the note, and then climbed onto the tree outside my window and into his study. I found and opened the safe. Behold. The file was there." I said proudly.
She looked horrified. "I'm sorry, I didn't tell you. I felt that Richard should have done it."
There was no need to be angry at her because weirdly, I understood.
I nodded. "Just tell me the truth."
She was leaning on the island. "Kaye was in love with the man of her dreams. He was her fiance. Kaye soon gave birth to you.
I thought she was happy or so I thought until she came home without you."
She paused and inspected my face. I took a deep breath. She was silently asking if she should continue. I spared a weak smile and she proceeded. She sat beside me.
"She told me she had to give you up for adoption because she was trying to protect you. She changed your name and other stuff about you. You were adopted by Richard as a favor for Kaye.
He was in New York waiting for her. She and Richard fell in love. They took care of you together."
I took another sip of my tea, allowing it to warm my fingers as I listened. "Years later, they married and you grew up calling him your dad. She was planning to tell you about your birthday.
Well, your fake birthday, next year. But, but..." she trailed off and I finished her sentence.
"But she died."
I hugged her and buried my face into her blouse. I wanted to ask her what my mom wanted to protect me from but from the way she told the story. I knew my mom hadn't told her everything.
"Thank you, all I wanted was the truth."
She returned my hug, "There is more than you need to know. Get cleaned up and ready by twelve."
And just as she said that the scary man was there again. My blood ran cold and goosebumps eroded my skin.
I held my hand out to him and he took it. He had a strong handshake, and just like that, I knew he was a man who cut straight to business.
"Chyenne Chambers." He looked over at Ma as he said it, "Nice to meet you, Miss. I'm Prescott Stones."
"Prescott. Please show Chyenne to a master bedroom in the west wing."
He nodded, "Right away Mam. He walked away and this time I followed without hesitation. Mr. Stones was way too quiet.
So I thought I should make conversation, but it was much harder than it looked.
"Nice weather we are having today. Don't you think so Mr. Stones?"
I know it's a failed attempt. I am a bad conversation starter. But c'mon give me some props for trying.
"Please, call me Prescott Miss" he replied elegantly.
"So... How long have you been working for Ma?"
"For a very long time Miss."
"Please call me Chyenne" I boldly retorted, finally feeling as if I was getting somewhere with Mr. St- Prescott, but he didn't reply.
Well, that wasn't so bad.
We downed many hallways passed many rooms and we took the elevator instead of the stairs; until finally, we came to a hallway with many black doors.
My room was the last one down the hall on the left.
"Have a nice day Madam." he bowed before leaving.
At least he stopped calling me Miss, so that's an improvement right?
Ugh, back to square one.
I opened the door and went inside. My bags were already here but they were empty. The room was huge. It was so big I could've gotten lost in there. The bed was in the middle of the room.
It had a canopy over it with large, white, draping, silk curtains.
It was beautiful.
I had a bay window and a large balcony. When I looked outside, I saw the forest. It seemed like I was in the middle of nowhere but even if it was so, I was glad I was far away from him.
My clothes were already hanged, folded and put away in the walking closet and some drawers. My room was of a beautiful ocean blue wallpaper. The lavatory was huge.
I had a desktop with a computer and a large flat-screen television hanging from the wall.
It was everything anyone could ask for. I took a shower right away and did my hair. I lay down on the couch and watched TV for a while until I was hungry.
I left my room only to end up in the hallway with no chance of getting to the kitchen without being lost.
It was now that I wished that this mansion also came with a map.