Gargouille Ch. 04bymerryweather©
Hi readers, here is chapter 4. Thanks to the wonderful and helpful Angelicsounds for the lovely editing, and as usual I appreciate all comments and feedbacks. Thanks and hope you all enjoy this chapter.
Nicole awoke with a strange feeling. She wearily opened her eyes into slits. Where was she? She suddenly realized that she could hear someone softly singing. Startled, Nicole looked toward the sound. Standing near a large armoire was a young woman folding and putting away what looked to be Nicole's clothes.
Nicole de-Leon was a sensible person, so she liked to think. She had never been inclined to get involved in useless relationships and never had a one-night stand. Now she'd done it. She'd gotten herself drunk and, in her drunken state, slept with a man she had just met. But how could one get drunk from drinking a non-alcoholic drink? What the hell is going on? she thought.
Instead of that question, she cautiously asked, "What are you doing?"
The woman jumped and turned around. She was extremely tall and very pretty, with flaxen hair styled into a bun at the nape of her neck.
Alana turned and gazed at the slim, pretty woman with the short pixie haircut and bright, curious brown eyes, who was now sitting up in the bed. Alana had been surprised, but happy, when Laird Kieran had brought the human home. There was no doubt that the Lairds were ecstatic. The human, on the other hand, looked anything but. Alana stopped folding and smiled at the new mistress.
"You are awake, my lady. You've been asleep for quite awhile. We were hoping you would wake up soon."
Nicole watched with narrowed eyes as the woman looked over at her and smiled sweetly. Her brow furrowed. We? she thought as she stared at the woman in confusion. Nicole wasn't sure what was going on exactly, but she had guessed some of it, like the fact that she wasn't at the Alistair's hotel.
"I see," was Nicole's response. She tucked the covers around her body and looked around the room.
"The Lairds will be pleased you're awake," the woman said as she merrily resumed her task.
Nicole blinked, jerking her head back towards the girl as a fleeting memory of the event that had occurred before she had lost consciousness flashed through her mind. She felt a throbbing between her legs and pulled the covers tightly around her.
"Who?" Nicole asked, flushing deeply and praying the girl didn't detect it.
"The Lairds." Alana stopped what she was doing and gave Nicole a curious smile. Alana felt uncomfortable as her new mistress continued to gape at her in confusion. "Laird Kieran and Laird Eyon, my lady."
Nicole's brow remained furrowed. Neither name rang a bell. I slept with a man and didn't even ask him for his name, what a slut I am.
The housekeeper contemplated her young mistress with growing anxiety. "Laird Kieran brought you here yesterday, my lady. Don't you remember?"
"So that's the name of my kidnapper," she replied, more to herself than the girl.
"Kidnapper!" Alana's eyes widened in exasperation, "the Laird would never do such a thing."
Nicole shrugged unabashedly. "So what would you call it then, taking someone without their knowledge or consent?"
Alana's cheeks reddened. "The Lairds are fine and good chieftains," she retorted.
Then Alana spoke at length about her Lairds and how good and kind they were. Nicole was speechless for a moment. She was very surprised that the woman had given her so much information about the men, although majority of it was her singing their praises, nothing of importance to Nicole.
"What is your name?" Nicole questioned, after a considerable pause.
"Alana, my lady." She smiled warmly, showing dimpled cheeks, her green eyes bright and bold. Nicole sensed she was a kind person, just more or less doing her boss's dirty work.
Nicole offered her hand to Alana, which was accepted tentatively. "Nice to meet you, I am Nicole."
"Nice to make your acquaintance, my mistress," said Alana, who had turned a deep shade of red.
Nicole watched Alana as she blushed. A frown crept across her face as the woman quickly turned and started putting things away in a drawer. Alana was bursting with energy; her ability to talk and carry out her task astounded Nicole. She was starting to think that Alana was a robot. Nicole couldn't take her eyes off of her, filled with both fascination and dread. She shook her head. This was wrong. Everything was wrong.
Nicole sensed Alana was sincere, but that did not mean she would accept the woman as a friend. Then again, there was the little matter of escaping her current predicament. Right now, all Nicole wanted was some answers and she aimed to get them.
"My Lady, why don't you go wash and I'll change your bed linens," Alana suggested.
Nicole figured, Why not? What's the worst that could happen? She smiled as Alana assisted her in rising from the bed. Nicole felt awkward. The last time someone had helped her with her toiletries, she was ten, and that was her mother. Alana looked to be not much older than she. She waved off her help and entered the bathroom.
Who dressed me? Nicole wondered, looking down at the nightgown she wore.
When she finished with her toiletries, Nicole slowly exited the bathroom. She felt fine, no one had harmed her, but her lack of memory was beginning to make her nervous. Lost in her own confusion, she stumbled. Pausing to steady herself, she scowled as Alana came rushing towards her.
"What the fuck?" Nicole growled.
The woman stiffened at her curse, but Nicole ignored her reaction. She watched as Alana's features changed from surprised to worried.
"Are you okay? Shall I call the Lairds?" Alana asked with urgency.
"I'm fine. Perhaps I am still a bit nervous. This is all new to me, you know," Nicole lied.
Alana gave Nicole's hand a gentle pat. "The Lairds will never harm you. No need to worry, we're all so excited you're here after so long."
Nicole feigned disbelief. "You don't say?"
"You don't believe me?"
She wasn't overly worried about whether the Lairds would harm her, what Nicole really wanted to know was if the one called Kieran had red eyes. She was positive that's what she saw. Her only concern was that Alana would either think she needed help or confirm that what she saw was real. Either way, she lost. However, Nicole didn't respond or ask the niggling question, instead she just stared at Alana wearily, but with a hint of annoyance.
Alana stepped away from Nicole and smiled. Ah, she's a stubborn one. She is pretty, that's for sure, Alana thought as she quietly assessed Nicole. I will make sure that she is well taken care of, she vowed.
How the mistress came to be there was none of her business, though various rumors had been circulating around the household. Alana wasn't one to get involved in gossip, so she kept to herself. She was told by the Lairds to take care of their mate's needs and that was what she intended to do.
Alana peered at the human and hoped that she was strong enough to deal with the Lairds. She knew for a fact that they were kind and fair, but harsh in their punishments for those who tried to harm their family or disobey their orders.
Nicole turned once again, shooting a questioning look at the young woman who stood quietly staring at her. "Couldn't I just leave and send them a thank you card or something?" she asked softly.
"I don't...know, my lady. You...best wait and speak to the Lairds," she answered in a low, hesitant voice.
"Leave me alone," Nicole hissed at Alana none too gently.
Nicole could see that she startled Alana in her anger and was instantly contrite. "I am sorry," she said, ashamed at her outburst. She didn't want to seem ungracious. The woman had been nothing but kind to her. Still, she was so disappointed by Alana's reply that she almost burst into tears, but she controlled herself.
Calm yourself, Nicole. Don't lose your temper. She closed her eyes and sat back onto the bed. If you play it smart and all goes according to plan, in a few hours you'll be gone, she told herself.
"It's okay, my lady," the perplexed housekeeper stated.
Alana turned towards the door and opened it. "Dinner will be served at six, my lady." She curtsied and left the room, closing the door behind her.
Nicole watched her leave. She quickly ran to the door and turned the knob. It was open. That puzzled her. A sudden cold breeze caused her to shiver and close it. Nicole sighed as she leaned against the door and took in her surroundings. Her room was large with a French country look. The furnishings presented as rustic, yet sophisticated and manly. There was also a massive flat screen television built into the wall. Judging by the luxuriously appointed room, the owner of the house must have been someone quite wealthy.
As she surveyed the room, Nicole's thoughts drifted back to the man Alana called Kieran. He was the one that brought her there, but also, there was another. This new revelation enraged Nicole. Her lips began to tremble in earnest as her fingers curled into a fist. She eased off of the door and walked to the bed, sitting down and staring out the window. The more she looked, the eerier the view appeared.
Nicole was pulled out of her thoughts by a sound and looked up to see Alana's head poking through the half-opened door.
"I have made you a sandwich to tide you over until supper, my lady." Alana came in carrying a huge sandwich and a bottle of water on a tray.
"Thank you, Alana."
"You're most welcome, my lady."
Nicole was hungry and she grabbed the tray off the bedside table as soon as Alana had left. Stay strong, she thought, although she felt like beating herself up for being so stupid. But that would do no good, she needed her strength to survive and has long as she had breath in her body, there was still hope. Her stomach growled in reply as she tore into the meal with gusto. Nicole ate every morsel and gulped down the water in one go.
Minutes later, she frantically searched the room for a phone. Nicole found none, so she began going through her own stuff. "No mobile. Damn! They must have taken it. What am I to do?" she cried, feeling defeated.
Nicole felt fatigued, drained from both worry and anger. She moved wearily towards the bed and flopped in, pulling the cover over her body and falling into a deep sleep. Nicole slept long and so deeply that not even Alana opening and closing the bedroom door stirred her.
At his desk in the mansion, Eyon reached for a large brown envelope, sent to him by Ulrich Marrow, and tore it open. It's a fake alright, he thought, studying a picture of the famous Crystal Skull. Sometimes it paid to be an archeologist. The Skull looked very realistic, it was an amazing reproduction and he was sure that it would pass the test at an initial inspection.
Eyon chuckled to himself. He knew the Skull was a fake because he had an original in his possession, given to him by the Aztec people while he was living in Mexico in the 16th century. Ulrich was a slimy bastard, but he was cunning.
Eyon looked up from his work after hearing a soft knock on the door. "Come in."
It was Alana. "Good day, my lord," she said with a curtsy, as was the custom in respect of his position as Laird.
Eyon gave her a small nod of acknowledgement. He folded his large arms across his chest, relaxed and studied their housekeeper as she stood across from him. "Have a seat, Alana," he said, gesturing to the chair in front of his desk.
When Alana finally sat down, Eyon looked at her inquiringly, awaiting a debriefing.
"Thank you, milord," she replied after seating herself.
Alana folded her hands in her lap, gazing at the Laird's impatient face and shifting uncomfortably. Alana gulped and cleared her throat. Once she began talking, Eyon was mostly silent, giving short nods and telling her to continue.
When Alana told him that Nicole had asked if she could leave and send them a thank you card, "I see," was his only reply, the impassive look on his face was unreadable.
For the remainder of the meeting, Eyon seemed distant and more than once, Alana had to repeat herself. After several minutes, the debriefing was brought to an end when Eyon suddenly said, "That will be all. Thank you, Alana."
There was a long pause, as Alana remained seated, twisting her hands in earnest. "I have a request, Milord," she blurted out.
"Really now?" Eyon responded, his face showing his surprise before he quickly put his usual impassive mask back in place. He studied her for long moments, sitting back in his over-sized chair. How long has she been in their household? He scarcely remembered.
Alana trembled under Eyon's penetrating stare. She lifted her lowered gaze to look up at him and noticed a slight smile, very slight. Alana felt her courage returning.
"Could I be the new mistress' personal maid, my lord? Please?" she asked softly.
She waited for what felt like an eternity before he gave his consent with a nod, and offered her a rare smile.
Alana couldn't suppress her grin of satisfaction. Not wanting to take up any more of the Laird's time, she rose, and with a respectful bow, she took her leave. "Thank you, my Laird."
Eyon didn't bother to respond to the young woman, he instead fell into reverie. Images of Nicole plagued his mind. The stories of their mate filled his heart and had him smiling, until a thought intruded. So, she wanted to leave? He frowned. Of course she would, he told himself, but they weren't about to let her go.
That evening when Kieran had brought her home, while she slept, Eyon had made some inquiries as to whom she was. He had made some surprising discoveries that had pleased them both.
Kieran had already claimed her and, soon enough, he would take her to his bed and make his possession of her complete as well. The thought sent a wave of heat through his body. With a sigh, he leaned back and closed his eyes.
Later that evening, both men sat at the table in the large dining room, the subject of conversation was the beautiful human currently asleep upstairs. The men talked of nothing but how lovely she was and how gentle and angelic she looked while asleep.
"You think she'll come to us with open arms?" asked Eyon.
Both men smiled at the impossibility of such an idea. They were both rapt with the prospect of getting to know her, but were aware this wouldn't be an east feat, especially if what they had heard about her was true.
They both looked up when the door leading to the kitchen creaked opened and Moira, the cook, entered. "Begging your pardon, my Lairds. Just wanting to let ye both know that supper will be served shortly."
"Thank you, Moira. And has our mate been informed?" Kieran questioned.
"Yes, Laird Kieran," the cook answered respectfully, as she took away the empty tankard of coffee and bore it off.
Nicole woke with a start, not knowing where she was for a moment. Then the memories came flooding back when she opened her eyes. She groaned and buried her face in the soft bedding. But she couldn't ignore the feeling of a full bladder and reluctantly got out of bed.
She hurriedly got dressed, ignoring the sick feeling in her stomach. It's now or never, she told herself as she walked towards the door and opened it. She closed it softly behind her and tiptoed along the hallway. Nicole hesitated as she surveyed her surroundings; her goal was to find a way out. Little did she know that the only way she could get off the mountain was if she could fly or stand to swim in the icy cold, treacherous waters that surrounded them.
Nicole glanced nervously up and down the hall, but seeing no one, she turned to descend the large staircase. Before she reached it, she stopped to admire a large, beautifully designed window. She moved closer, curious, and when she looked out she had a splendid view of a lake. She was attempting to open the window, when suddenly a voice said, "The Lairds are awaiting your presence, my lady."
Nicole jumped, startled. She spun around feeling guilty, yet she had done nothing wrong. Alana was standing behind her. Nicole blinked at her in surprise, wondering where she had come from.
Alana looked at her mistress's startled face and smiled. She couldn't tell her that she had been watching and waiting for her to leave her room. "Please follow me, my lady."
Nicole followed Alana down the stairs. When they reached the bottom, she turned down a number of smaller hallways with walls that were lined with various pictures. One hallway ended at a lavishly furnished large hall. Nicole looked on in awe.
"The Lairds are in the drawing room, my lady," the housekeeper said, stopping at a closed door.
"Thank you, Alana."
"You're most welcome, my lady. If you please, the Lairds await you."
Nicole watched as Alana opened the door, bowed out of courtesy and withdrew. The whole scene was bizarre. Nicole couldn't understand why Alana kept on calling her 'my lady,' despite the fact that she had told her several times to call her Nicole.
Sighing, Nicole walked through the opened door and into the room. She drew back in surprise as she laid eyes upon two men sitting at a round table. It was elegantly set, a supper for three, as evident by the number of chairs. She knew that she had more important things to worry about than the setting of a table, but she couldn't help herself. Nicole regarded the men with a strange mixture of both fear and pleasure.
She also couldn't help but notice how handsome, no, beautiful, the two men were. Even sitting, she could tell they were extremely tall. The dark one wore his hair semi-short, just barely touching the nape of his neck, and had piercing green eyes. The blond, Kieran was the name Alana had mentioned, wore his hair a little longer. Nicole was standing at the door, gawking at them stupidly, when a voice caused her to blink in confusion.
"Are you going to stand there staring or come and join us?" asked the dark one, a slight grin on his face.
"What?" she asked in a confused whisper. Nicole stepped forward tentatively. The dark one rose and pulled a chair out for her. Nicole regarded him suspiciously and ignored the offered seat. "Who are you?" she demanded.
"I trust you slept well. I am Eyon and I believe you are already familiar with Kieran," he answered casually.
Her eyes flashed at him as she snorted and sucked her teeth. Fleeting memories flooded her mind from the night before. She blushed in embarrassment because she had actually enjoyed it. Unable to look at Kieran, she turned to the now seated Eyon and growled, "Why am I here?"
Eyon's gaze lingered on Nicole. He observed her quivering lips and full, womanly breasts. "Because you belong to us." He smiled smugly.
Nicole didn't miss his bold sexual stare, she trembled under it and turned away so he couldn't see her flushed features. She did not want him to notice how she responded to him, she tried to seem as cold as marble. It wasn't working.
Eyon noted the sheen of Nicole's lovely unblemished skin and the way her pert breasts heaved as she struggled to contain her anger and desire. She looked so regal, so brave. "How lovely you are," he murmured dreamily.
Nicole's anger instantly overrode her feelings of attraction. "You are both freaking crazy! I am no man's whore," she spat, defiantly meeting his eyes.
Eyon shrugged. "Think what you like, it doesn't change a thing, Nicole," he replied unabashed, with a look that brooked no argument.
"How do you know my name?" Nicole questioned throatily.
"We know everything about you, a thaisce," Eyon replied pleasantly. A thaisce, 'our treasure,' and she was, despite the daggers she was shooting at him with her eyes.