Episode 1 - Small Beginnings
Serena's Bedchamber, Damon Manor:
Ten minutes later a brief knock sounded on Serena's door. She glanced in the tall mirror by her bed to be sure her appearance was neat before calling out to her visitor.
"Who is there," she called out. She knew better than to permit entrance without knowing whom the visitor was.
"It's Jacob," a pleasant voice answered. "A maid servant told me you required my assistance."
Serena's breath caught in her throat. Suddenly a bit nervous about having a man enter her room, she hesitated to admit him inside. She opened her mouth twice to speak before deciding it would be best to speak with him in the hall. It was not wise to tempt the wicked tongues of gossip when her relationship with her fiancé was so new.
Serena opened the door slowly, avoiding his eyes as she stepped out into the hall. She did not want to appear too forward should anyone see them speaking, so she remained guarded as she spoke with him.
"I need to ask a favor from you, although I know you must be very busy and your time is limited."
Jacob smiled, but tilted his head curiously as he listened. He saw her change of manner from earlier. He naturally wondered about it. She was not at all the confident woman he'd met earlier today.
"I have some free time now that everyone is settled in. I trust you are comfortable here?" His voice was soft. He hoped it would calm her nervousness.
"Yes, I'm fine. It isn't that. I just wondered if you could take a little time to inform the household about Kyra. I'm worried she might have trouble adjusting here, because she can't speak. Her inability to communicate might pose problems if she needs something or if she becomes lost in this place and can't find her way." All the while she spoke, her eyes remained fixed on the floor. She was certain no one would be able to question this meeting.
"I would be happy to help your friend, ah…" He bent a little in effort to catch her eyes. He was disappointed that she did not look up. Raising a brow as he continued to smile, he asked, "How should I address you? What do you prefer?"
Frowning, Serena forgot herself for a moment and looked up. It was not a question she had ever been asked. "What do you mean?"
"Do you prefer Lady Tyler or Serena? Or might you have another name that suits you?" His face was perfectly serious, although a smile continued to light in his eyes.
Embarrassed, she looked away once more, blushing at the absurd nature of his questions. "It is not mine to decide. You may call me whatever you wish."
"Well, you see it's just that most people call me Jacob, except for the servants. They mostly call me Lord Damon. Caleb though, he calls me Jake, which is a shorter form of Jacob, unless he's irritated with me. Then he calls me by my full name when he's mad. Jacob Callahan Damon!" He was imitating Caleb's most stern voice now.
Serena found herself beginning to laugh at his antics. She couldn't picture anyone getting angry with him.
"At any rate, which do you prefer," he asked once more. "That is, what shall I call you?"
For just a moment, she looked up to see his questioning eyes and answered, "You may call me Serena. Most everyone back home calls me that."
A smaller smile lit his face then and he nodded slightly. It pleased him that she had looked up again. "Would you like me to escort Kyra around the manor? I could introduce her to some of the people here. You could join us if you want," he offered.
Flattered by that, she blushed once more. She felt a rush of emotion, wondering if he wanted to spend more time with her. Remembering herself though, she quickly looked away. "Kyra has already gone off to explore your home. Would it trouble you to find her and introduce her as you said?"
He saw her embarrassment. He knew she felt he was overstepping the bounds of propriety, so he backed off a little. "It would be no trouble at all."
"Well," she nodded demurely, "I thank you then. There are things I must get back to, but I do appreciate your time."
Jacob felt her anxiousness to leave him. Again he found himself disappointed. He nodded anyway and made a slight bow to her as he watched her enter the bedchamber.
As he walked down the hallway, he found himself curious to know more about her. He had seldom ventured to Tyler Hall with Caleb so he knew very little about her family. As soon as he finished this task, he would find Caleb and learn what he could about her. It was a rather tempting thought to see Caleb first, but he knew Serena was worried about Kyra. Strangely, he didn't want to let her down. So, he would find her first and satisfy his curiosity later.