The rain poured all morning, but there we sat, staring at the droplets collecting on the glass of our bay window it has been a fortnight since the death of his Lordship Alexander Helmsley. After a short silence Julian spoke, “What now?”
Turning to him, “we wait,” said Edward still starring out the window.
The clouds grew darker, a servant entered, “My young Lords, young Lady, lunch awaits, Should I alert your guest?”
“No Martin, that will be all,” said Edward coldly. Turning to us, Edward whispered, “moment of truth. You go on ahead; I’ll be right down.”
Julian made a run for the door in a way only little brothers can, I look at Edward briefly before I made my way down the main staircase. As my hand touched the mahogany rail, for the first time this place felt like home. I tried to burn the feeling into my memory. Each step felt like a stride of justice or perhaps restitution for the tribulations of my young life. As my cheap shoes slid about on the landing stair, I tried to push the creeping thoughts of the orphanage to the depths of my consciousness.
Sebastian, the Valet, was waiting with a smile at the bottom of the stairs, “this way Miss.” He was young and handsome as far as I could tell. Dark brown hair, chilling blue eyes, tall slender build, with a keen and impeccable manner, of all the servants he seemed the most interested in attending to me—each servant has their favorite member of the house. Sebastian’s hand gently touched the back of my dress—to adjust my crooked sash so I would look presentable before I entered the room.
Julian was already sitting at the table in his normal place, scarfing down the fruit on the table. Sebastian pull out my chair as I sat he scooted it in and poured water into my drinking glass. He then brought a tray of savory scones and offered me one. As I took the warm scone from the silver tray; Edward and the shrill Mr. Lawrence, of Pearson & Lawrence, a known law firm out of North London, entered the room mid conversation. The servants tried to look disinterested in our conversation but, even in the short year we had become acquainted, Julian and I knew better. We shared a look and went back to our lunches.
Mr. Lawrence, whom I can only presume felt inclined to foster a conversation out of motivation to hear his own voice began, “I know you are all worried about the affairs of the estate,” he took his fork and poked his food before continuing, “the paperwork seems to be in order. I should…”
“We can discuss this later,” interrupted Edward. “How is your family? I received word through the servants that your mother is unwell?”
“Yes, yes she is but the doctor said she should show signs of improvement within the week,” replied Mr. Lawrence.