Episode 1 - A Lesson For The Lion
Secret Paradise (Cont'd), Damon Manor:
"Tell me you didn't say that," Caleb groaned as he ran a guilty hand through his hair.
"I am afraid it's the truth," Jacob replied with regret as he shoved himself to his feet.
"Then she really had no idea why I was so angry with her." His voice was filled with contempt for himself. "God, she must think I'm insane!"
"To be fair, you were as much in the dark as she was," he argued with a small measure of sympathy in his voice. He was angry that Kyra had been hurt, but it wasn't entirely Caleb's fault. He should have caught up with her sooner. When Serena told him she'd gone wandering off, he should have known where the sprite might be headed. Her bedchamber faced the beauty of this garden. What young woman didn't want to visit the garden that Caleb kept off-limits? He should have known to come here first.
Caleb shook his head, blaming himself entirely for the mess that he'd made. "My reaction was unforgivable. Father taught us to always listen to both sides of a story before casting judgment. Now I know why he stressed that lesson to us. I just…" He sighed in frustration. "There is no excuse."
"You loved your wife. I won't condemn you for it. I'm sure it was painful to see someone standing in here, smelling the flowers you planted for Elizabeth alone to enjoy." His voice grew soft as he walked over to the steps of the terrace and sat down.
Caleb joined him stiffly and shook his head in denial. "I can't discuss Elizabeth with you." 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 snickered slightly, trying in vain to keep from laughing.
"Then, who is she?" He hated having to draw information out of Jacob this way.
"You, my dear brother, have just mauled the girl Sherman sent here for your protection. Her name is Kyra." He risked a side glance in Caleb's direction, forcing himself to remain silent as that bit of news began to sink in. He was helplessly trying to control a fresh bout of laughter from bursting forth when Caleb suddenly groaned and shoved his face in his hands.
"Perfect! What else can possibly go wrong?"
That was the end of it. Unable to contain himself, Jacob lost it entirely when Caleb jumped to his feet and began eliciting a series 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 safe. Instead, I practically caused her brain damage in anger and she'll likely be running 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. "Lock that damned door when you come inside!" He doubted his brother even heard him as another ring of laughter followed him into the house.
He would have to find the girl and try to explain the reason for his inexcusable behavior. He resented the thought of it though. He was not accustomed to explaining himself to anyone, especially some brainless young snip who hadn't the sense to understand the meaning of the word private. It meant, keep out!
There really was no other choice. He would have to relent and offer her an explanation—and an apology.
Caleb stormed out of the library and slammed the door shut behind himself. He snarled at the sign which had guarded his sanctuary until now. His fist landed upon it, crushing it under the force of the blow.
"A lot of good this sign does me anyway!"