Outside the rain fell in sheets and Scarlett Montenegro’s driver continued to mess with the engine beneath the hood of the car. Shaking her head, she pinched the bridge of her nose and opened the door, hearing the driver’s protest. Ignoring his protests she did her best to cover her carefully pinned hair with her clutch, knowing it did little to ward off Mother Nature’s watery touch. Halfway up the drive to an estate in the distance, she removed her heels and ran to the gates, something she managed to squeeze through. Making her way to the front doors she stood shaking, red curls pasted in disarray against delicate cheekbones, tricolor gaze hopeful as she knocked once, then twice, hoping someone would answer.
As the door opened, she shivered, arms hugging her waist, midnight blue dress pasted to her slender frame, lower lip beginning to tremble from the cold, “Hi…I’m sorry to bother you so late in the evening but…” she paused in her unedited-rush, eyes widening in recognition, golden flecks in her gaze slightly brightening in the mix of greens and blues. “Oh…hi…I didn’t realize this was your place…I’ve had car trouble…was looking for help,” she said softly as she pushed a red ringlet from the middle of her forehead, girlish smile touching her rose painted lips.
The night has never been my friend. Not sure what it is about the darkness, but with the setting of the sun comes the feeling that I’ve wasted my day yet again. No matter how productive I am during the daylight hours, once darkness sets in I feel empty and alone, as though nothing has any meaning to it. Even my new Greenwich Village estate holds no joy for me, as it did when I closed the deal only days ago.
Sorry for the delay Diary. A young lady rang the bell looking for help. How she made it past the guards I’ll never know, but there she was just the same. She was stunning, even soaking wet and shivering in the cold. But when she cast her eyes on me and graced me with her smile, I realized that it was none other than the lovely Scarlett! At my door! Diary, my heart stopped…of course I asked her in, though I’ll never know how I got the words out. This woman, this beautiful creature has my tongue twisted with merely a glance in my direction. She is still here, enjoying a glass of wine…
As went their first meeting, he was both gracious and kind, something she never took for granted given the kind of life they lead. Seated in his study, clad in one of his dress shirts as they did their best to let her own clothing dry by the fire, she sipped a glass of wine he’d been so kind to offer. “I hope I’m not interrupting…I promise I’m not stalking you…” she teased lightly, index finger of on her right hand running lightly around the rim of of her glass. “…and even if I were…I’m mostly harmless.” She winked, biting her lower lip as she dropped her gaze to the blanket over her lap.
“I fear my evening was filled with a very boring dinner, filled with very boring people. Although…” she raised her tricolor gaze to find your own, “…I did overhear some loud brash Barzini complaining that the Don in your family has joined The Cadre. They’ve been quite strange lately, the Barzini. A lot of changes and activity among them though in a somewhat….disorganized fashion.” Swirling the red in her glass she eyes you with a smile, “…have you been having issues with them?”
Not trusting himself to meet her glance, Prophet stared out the window of his study. “Let’s just say they’ve finally come to understand that The Cadre is a serious crew.” He wanted so badly to turn around…to steal a glance at her nearly bare legs, save for the blanket covering her upper thighs. But should he give in, he feared where it might lead. Surely she would see the desire in his eyes…What then? He’d been so lonely for so long, would he even know how to please a woman such as this? His heart begged him to take the chance, but his pride was a far more compelling voice.
“You’re welcome to stay in one of the guest rooms tonight,” he told her as he mentally shook himself. “Should you need anything at all, my servants are at your disposal.” Before he could stop himself, he added: “My room is the last on the right, should the lightning frighten you.”
He continued to prove a mystery, this man she only knew as Prophet. She watched him exit the study and finished her glass of wine. Rising, she sat the blanket in the chair and procured a pen and pad of paper from his desk in order to jot down the addresses she’d collected at dinner, thinking perhaps he might find them of great import down the road.
3am or Dead Time, she woke realizing she’d fallen asleep at the desk in the guest room she’d taken residence in. Furrowing her brow, she noted the electricity in the house had gone down, the room lit in eerie glows with peels of thunder. However, it was a sound down the hall that she figured at woke her form her sleep. Something not born from clouded skies and electrically charged air. In the dark she searched for something weighted and found a silver candlestick. Testing it’s weight she crept outside her door and made her way stealthily down the hall.
Frowning, she noted the door to Prophet’s bedroom was ajar. She crept inside, unsure what she’d find, but she’d survived enough attempts on her own life and seen attempts made on others that she felt dread. She stayed close to the wall and waited for a flash of lighting to give her an idea of what was in the room. Something, anything. When it hit she thought she saw an outline and lunged, just as the light went on and she realized she’d almost whacked her host, candlestick something she immediately dropped on the floor, hands reaching to catch her balance on his chest, red curls veiling her blushing features from view, “I’m so sorry…I thought there was someone in your house…and they’d…” she bit her lower lip, peering up at him through her hair apologetically. “Come to….harm you.”