Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Kira Chase
Word Count :7848
Publication Date :2013-05-20
Series : #
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 0000652
Gabriella sat sipping a glass of wine, hoping she was inconspicuous as she watched a slim, but curvy young blonde’s body writhing to the music blaring from the jukebox. The blonde caught her eye and Gabriella quickly looked away, pretending she was looking at something above the blonde’s head before scanning the rest of the room.
Gabriella pushed back a long strand of dark, almost purple-colored hair, which fell in front of her shoulder. She examined the rest of the young bodies. Any of them would do, she thought, but her brother Eric would probably prefer the blonde. The blonde’s beauty was unspoiled and refreshing. No, Gabriella wouldn’t bring her to him. She spent weeks watching the blonde and longed desperately to get to know her better. The blonde stirred a much different emotion in her, an emotion she hadn’t felt since Roberto. She would choose another for Eric.
Eric was becoming insatiable with his power. He’d taken over for Roberto when one night Roberto didn’t return to the house they owned on the outskirts of town. It was located on a road rarely traveled with no other houses visible for miles. In fact, Gabriella doubted any one really knew the road or house existed except for the taxman.
Now just Eric and Gabriella occupied the old farmhouse. They’d waited night after night for Roberto to return. He took care of them for years and they came to depend on him to take care of their needs and provide modern conveniences as the years went by. He talked many times throughout those years about leaving the country, but had he done that without so much as even a goodbye? Yes, that’s exactly what he did. He left without them.
Roberto came to them one night when Gabriella was only a child and Eric a handsome strapping teenager. They were living with their mother, struggling to keep the small farm going after their father’s death the year before. The year had been 1865. Gabriella would never forget that date because that’s when their lives changed forever. She sighed forlornly as memories of that night over one hundred and forty years ago came flooding back.
The night was dark and stormy and Gabriella’s mother took Roberto’s cloak and hung it on the hook while he warmed himself by the fire. No one seemed to think to question him about how he stumbled upon their house or why he was out on such a bone-chilling night. She saw the light come into her mother’s eyes at the sight of this handsome broad-shouldered stranger and realized for the first time how lonely her mother was.
Gabriella herself didn’t know that loneliness as her days were spent playing in the fields or helping Eric with chores while her mother kept food on the table and the house spotless.
Roberto was even more handsome than her father and he talked for hours about all the places he went and of his fantastic adventures. She never was sure what Roberto’s profession was and, looking at her mother’s face, knew that she didn’t care.
When Eric and she were ushered upstairs to bed, she sensed Roberto was staying. She lay awake, listening to the soft voices of her mother and Roberto and, when her mother’s voice turned to ear shattering shrieks, she bolted out of bed, ran to her brother’s room and begged him to go downstairs.
Red-faced, Eric explained to her that their mother wasn’t in danger and insisted she go back to bed. She did, but slept fitfully and, at dawn, crept silently down the stairs. The house was still…too still. Her mother wasn’t at the stove preparing breakfast. Gabriella silently walked to her mother’s bedroom door and pushed it open a crack. The heavy drapes were pulled, blocking out the rising sun. She saw two shadowy forms lying on the bed. Why was Roberto sleeping where her father once had? She stole to her mother’s side of the bed.
“Mama,” she whispered. It was difficult to see in the dim light. She touched her mother’s hand. It was as cold as ice. She screamed and couldn’t stop.
The next thing she remembered was Eric’s strong arm encircling her, protecting her, pulling her away from the bed. “Don’t look, Gabby,” he warned in a broken voice as he moved the lit candle he held in his other hand slowly around the room. She heard his sharp intake of air and a small animal-like sound escape from his throat.
She broke free from the arm that held her captive and ran back to the bed. From the light of the candle Eric held, she saw Roberto slowly sit up.