Silence In The Cellar
Silence In The Cellar
The morning sun briefly peeks its way through hefty storm clouds, that sunshine opening Bella's eyes as she lies tangled in Daniel's warmth and Daniel's limbs. Sidling next to him like a young pup, her ears are pricked to the sound of the morning outside the boathouse: birds raising hell in the hedgerows and on the lake, the soft lapping of a fisherman's scow coming in from a pre-dawn turn on the water, and then the disturbing noise made by sandals hitting the wood slats of the boardwalk by the dock, moving closer. Hearing the quiet knock on the door, she's sure it's Zoë. Why would she disturb her now?
Bella moves from bed, drawing a robe from the chair to cover her breasts just in case it's someone other than Zoë on the other side.
"Ah, you are here," the slim redhead speaks in a whisper as the door creaks two inches wide.
"You knew that," Bella replies.
"Yes. I came because Claude is here."
"What?" Bella's face goes blank, her eyes glassing over like she's about to cry, then she straightens up. Something remembered grabs her in her groin. "So, he's here, it's been a while, hasn't it?" Zoë sees her anxiousness, but says nothing. "What does he want?"
"To see you. He wanted me to let him into your apartment. I didn't know what to say."
"So, what did you say?"
"That you went for an early morning walk. I'd try to find you."
"And where is he now?"
Zoë's pale blue eyes normally contain such mirth. Now, with her clearly shaken, they look forlorn. "In your rooms. He seems anxious."
"More than usual?"
"Maybe not. But you know I don't like the man."
"You're just too sensitive. Besides, you have nothing to fear from him." Zoë's eyes open wide like she doesn't believe that. But she won't argue with Daniel sleeping so close by. He might be playing possum and hear everything. "Should I tell him I found you?"
"I imagine he knows by now if he saw you come down here." They both stare up to the inn for a time."
"Did I make a mistake?"
"No, dear. I'll be up shortly. And you don't have to make excuses for me with Claude." Seeing the strain on Zoë's face turn into a smile, she wishes she could make a recovery as quickly. This is not the news she wanted to hear on a morning as brilliant as this one, when she expected to spend the day with Daniel. The warmth of the bed and his firm thighs call to her, but now something else is calling her as well-a summons she can't help but heed. She slips on the sundress she discarded the night before. In the brightness of morning it seems nearly transparent and hardly enough cover at all. Though with her long hair loose around her shoulders, the dark and shiny expanse of it reaches her ass and there is some illusion of being more modestly clothed with it protecting her. She makes her way barefoot up the path to the inn.
Bella discovers Claude Fauré, her brother-in-law, in her private library, at her desk, sifting through papers he has no business seeing.
"You should have called," her words reflect the strain she feels, but she maintains her poise, seeing the handsome mirror of her dead husband appear again before her longing eyes. He is younger, without Henri's grey hair, or the bright blue of his eyes. Claude's brown eyes are far more stern and steady. Yet, the build is the same full-muscled manliness that attracted her to the older Fauré. Where Henri was short and muscled, Claude is a hefty man nearly six feet three. Their style of physique lures her when she wishes to be cradled in its strength and feel the potent power that resides in hips and thighs that hold the essence of the male gender. They were raised to be men of action and fiercely competitive in their pursuits. Both glib and handsome, with open faces and cleanly cut features that grab the eye-Henri's full of charm and wit, Claude's wit and ruthlessness. At least that is her experienc