Monday, January 28, 2013

The Shadow 14

Marissa woke up early the next morning anxious and worried. She hadn’t slept well and the seriousness of their situation hung heavily on her mind. Sarah woke up shortly afterward and Marissa ordered breakfast to be sent to their room. After eating Sarah got out of bed.
“How are you feeling?” Marissa asked.
“Much better,” Sarah answered. “I’ve been thinking Marissa. I think we should go to the country estate first. If you go to Scotland Yard they will ask if you have been there and if you haven’t they will pass it off as a woman’s silly worries. I know how they work. Even if you are rich and powerful they still won’t give much credence to a woman.”
Marissa nodded. “You’re right. It is one of the things that I abhor about our political system.”
“If we go there, we will have to be very careful. Jarvis is no fool and if he has men there they won’t hesitate to harm either of us.”
“I’ll order a carriage to take us to the station. It’s early, but I’m sure my people have discovered my note by now. Jarvis will probably find out soon and he will have someone watching the trains,” Marissa said.
They dressed quickly and Marissa packed the few items she had brought. Usually when she went to the estate house she took a trunk full of clothes and stayed for several weeks. She hadn’t been out there since last summer and it would be interesting going there without the usual entourage she had grown accustomed to having.
The carriage arrived and Marissa helped Sarah in first then climbed in quickly after her. The ride to the station was uneventful and Marissa had just enough time to purchase their tickets before boarding the train. It was a short ride to the country, one Marissa usually enjoyed, but her concern for Sean grew with each mile that sped by.
She thought about Sarah’s statement from the day before. Can’t you see how much he loves you? Sean was in love with her. The situation was laughable and yet they had spent enough time together and knew enough about each other to care deeply for the other’s feelings. Marissa wasn’t sure she felt the same way and yet the idea intrigued her.  Did she care for Sean in that way? In the last five years she had definitely learned to value his opinion about everything whether part of the estate or not. She thought about her desire to impress him with her ball gown. She enjoyed dazzling the many men at the parties and balls, but she would rather have his compliments than anyone else.
She shook her head, not quite ready to accept the idea and yet the nagging fear that something horrible had happened to him wouldn’t leave her alone. She let out a sigh and Sarah placed her gloved hand on top Marissa’s.
“He’ll be all right, Marissa,” she said comfortingly.
“I never imagined that Sean cared for me,” Marissa said, in a doubtful voice. “We have been friends for so long that that I didn’t realize his feelings had changed. He must think me terribly self-centered and egotistical. I’ve become the very thing I never wanted to be.”
“That’s not true,” Sarah disagreed. “You are a wonderful woman. You treat everyone, no matter their status, with respect and equality. You treat your servants as people and not slaves. You value the opinion of a humble lawyer and because of how you treated him he as grown to love and respect you.”
“He called me arrogant, Sarah. That hurt me deeply. We used to always made fun of the arrogant aristocracy and yet he lumped me with them,” Marissa cried.
“He was just worried about you Marissa. You showed him what had happened to you and it pushed his limits. When the people you love take no caution for their own safety or continue down a dangerous path it makes us angry and hurts us,” Sarah replied wisely.
“I have to find him and apologize.”
“We will.”
The train slowed as they approached the station. Marissa perked up, glancing out the window, and started collecting their bags.
“I’ll get us a carriage,” Sarah said. “You bring the bags.”
As soon as the train pulled to a stop Sarah left their compartment and stepped onto the platform to locate a hackney coach. Marissa took the bag and made her way to the platform. No sooner had her feet touched the platform than a figure stepped in front of her and a handkerchief was shoved against her nose and mouth. Rough arms held her in a firm embrace until she lost consciousness.

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