Catwalk

Free Online Short Love Story

Written by American Author Sky Taylor

Scanning over her delivery book, Leslie slowly neared the gates of Grace Hall. This was it all right - and it was big.

As the manor slowly materialized Leslie's blue eyes widened with pleasure. Her boss, Alice had described the massiveness of the structure but words had not prepared her for the vast splendor resting in the distance, its beauty enhanced by the vivid colors of summer.

Flowers, vines, shrubs, magnificent grandfather oaks, and several topiary pieces were rooted in the beautiful gardens surrounding the manor.  

Unfortunate that she was only delivering flowers. Well, maybe she'd get an opportunity to see a bit of the interior, as she did on many deliveries - depending on whether she'd make it through the gate.

She stopped the delivery van at the tiny booth and a uniformed gentleman was preoccupied with a phone call, so Leslie patiently waited for his return.

When he hung up and met her, she handed him her ID and he eased out, "Sorry for the delay, Ms. Carpenter. Mr. Jordon ordered the roses for his mother's birthday - matter of fact, that was him on the phone."

"Oh. Well, she'll absolutely love them....Henry," she told him, reading the name stitched on the lapel of his uniform. "Three dozen yellow rose buds. My favorite color," she spontaneously added.

Henry smiled, then pointed a white-gloved hand towards the manor. "The butler is away for the afternoon, so go in the entrance door, then down the hall to the library. That's where Ms. Jordon will be - the birthday girl," Henry winked.  

Leslie smiled, then he continued, "In the meantime, I'll give her a buzz to let her know that you're coming. And I'll see you - on the way out."

She nodded, then drove carefully through the opened iron gates that were etched with climbing roses.  

Odd that anyone would order roses when their gardens were overflowing with them. Oh the deep pocketbooks of the wealthy, she silently smiled to herself.

Well, at least Henry had been nice - and it was a privilege driving inside the gates of the manor because the area was so beautiful.

The June heat was stifling and during her brief moments with the guard, the van had already warmed back up.  

Her hair was damp, clinging to her neck and she lifted up a section and gave it a light shake, catching sight of herself in the rearview mirror.

Her hair was long, falling past her waistline and she'd considered cutting it for summer, but it was her trademark - her special thing. And Leslie felt that everyone needed something unique about them. And she liked her hair - even though it tended to go wild on her at times.

Awkwardly, she balanced the large flower arrangement, opening the front door and then entering, the cool belly of the manor washing over her.

That felt good...  

The manor smelled expensive - like books, new carpeting and leather all mixed together. Peering around the arrangement of flopping buds, she was aghast at the splendor about her as her feet sank deeply into the burgundy carpeting lining the long hallway.  

Perhaps she should have removed her shoes, she considered just a tab too late.

Painted portraits loomed from the never-ending walls that sandwiched her and she assumed them to be ancestors of the manor's inhabitants for they all favored one another in a vague sort of way.

Eerie, she decided along the catwalk leading to the library. She preferred people pictures to be stored in albums for enjoyment, not hanging on walls - looming about. She hastened her steps.

What she assumed to be the library came into view and with the back of her hand, she delivered a stiff knock to the large wooden door.

Mahogany? Perhaps cherry wood she decided as she waited for a response from Ms. Jordon. She never had been good with wood.

She knocked again but still no answer.  

Perhaps she was at the wrong spot? The manor was monstrous, she silently considered.

"Ms. Jordon?" she eased out.

The flower arrangement was getting heavy; she was a small person and that didn't help.

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