Secret Paradise (Cont'd), Damon Manor:
"Tell me you didn't say that," Caleb groaned he ran a guilty hand through his hair.
"I am afraid it was quite the truth," Jacob confirmed.
"Then she really had no idea why I was so angry with her." His voice was filled with regret. "God, she must think I'm insane!"
"Caleb, you were as much in the dark as she was," Jacob argued in his defense. He was angry that Kyra had been hurt, but he knew it wasn't entirely Caleb's fault. If he had caught up with her in time none of this might have happened. After all, when Serena had asked him to follow Kyra just in case something happened, he should have known where the sprite would be headed. Her bedchamber faced the beauty of this garden. What young visitor to Damon Manor didn't want to see the gardens that Caleb kept off limits? He should have known to come here first.
Still, Caleb entirely blamed himself for what happened. "That doesn't condone my actions, Jacob. Father taught us to always hear both sides of a story before making judgments of others. Now I know why he stressed that lesson so often. I just'" He sighed in frustration. "There is no excuse."
"Caleb, I know how much you loved your wife, Elizabeth. I won't condone your actions, but neither will I condemn you for what you just did. It must have been hell for you to see another woman in here'smelling the flowers you had planted for Elizabeth alone." His voice grew softer as he walked over to the steps of the terrace and sat down.
Caleb joined him stiffly and said quietly, "I can't discuss her right now." Biting the corner of his lip out of habit, he decided to change the subject. "You said that girl belongs with the Tyler party. How is she related to them? I haven't accosted Serena's handmaid have I?"
"No," Jacob replied, trying in vain to keep from laughing.
"Then who is she?" He hated having to draw information from Jacob.
"You, my dear brother, have just mauled the girl Sherman sent here for your protection. Her name is Kyra." For a moment he watched Caleb's reaction, forcing himself to remain silent. He was helplessly trying to control a snicker that burst from between his lips when Caleb groaned.
"Perfect! What else can possibly go wrong?"
Jacob started laughing harder when Caleb jumped to his feet and began chanting a litany of curses against himself.
"I didn't even want the job of being her keeper! But, I just had to promise Sherman that he could trust me to keep her safely tucked away. Now, not only have I practically caused her brain damaged in my anger, I have sent her fleeing with the fear of God in her and she will probably wish to run as fast as she can for the first coach out of here'Jacob will you stop laughing at my misery!"
"I'm s-sorry, Caleb. I really do realize th-that this is a s-s-serious'" Jacob burst out in another fit of ranking laughter.
"Oh, you are impossible," Caleb grunted and shouldered his way past his brother. "And lock that damn door when you come inside!" He doubted his brother even heard him as fitful laughter followed him into the house.
Somehow he would have to find the girl and try to explain the reason for his inexcusable actions against her. He resented the thought of it though. He was not accustomed to explaining his behavior to anyone. Especially not to a brainless young snip who hadn't the sense to understand that the word 'PRIVATE' meant, keep out! Still, if he wanted to get things off on the right foot with her, he would just have to relent and offer her an explanation.
Caleb stormed out of the library room. As he slammed the door shut, he snarled at the sign, which until now had guarded his sanctuary. He slammed his fist into the door and the sign was crushed under the force of it.
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