Chameleon, a Love Story - Page 1
Cie dotted a worn lace handkerchief across her forehead trying to adjust to the moist climate of England. It was a warm and humid day complimented only by the light breeze radiating off the blue lake in the distance.
It had not been so humid back in the States and she was aware it would take time to acclimatize. Luckily, someone had been keen in stationing the table on the shady side of the verandah.
Her sister, Paige, whirred into view, balancing a massive tray in her tiny hands. She had a tendency to grab more than she could carry Cie silently mocked. Her voice was high and shrill, threaded with excitement as she announced, “Four O’clock! Tea time," sounding like a small talking clock.
She managed to settle the tottering tray onto the table with Cie’s help, then whispered to her in a confidential tone, “The tea is from Sri Lanka. Mmmm – only the best for my little sister.”
Cie managed a polite smile, skeptically eyeing the pot that contained the hot tea. There was also a silver bowl filled with super-fine sugar and a matching pitcher of cream – for the hot tea, no doubt.
Small, delicately cut sandwiches assembled with cucumber and fish paste adorned the massive tray, as well as hot scones and jam. The scones were dotted with poppy seeds and a hint of lemon was escaping from somewhere – hopefully from the scones Cie thought in silence.
A genuine smile dusted her lips as Books, the head manservant at Melrose Castle, appeared with a crystal decanter of iced tea. He handed her a tall skinny honey-filled glass as Paige settled into the woven chaise beside her, then he discretely vanished down the cobblestone path.
“Thanks; this is perfect,” Cie smiled, nodding at the drink.
Paige had been thoughtful enough to have Books include a slice of lemon. Cie eyed her sister, contemplating how she could tolerate the cup of hot tea she had chosen for her own refreshment. The Englishman, Hollace, had transformed her, stealing Paige away to England after the abrupt marriage seven years ago.
She recollected that her sister had made a lovely bride, the tiered white gown cleverly concealing her unborn child. Cie’s blue eyes traveled toward the child of her thoughts, Cookie, who was busily bouncing a tawny-colored rubber ball. She looked nothing like her parents, rather a small mirror of her own self - the long blond hair, the sea blue eyes and small pouting lips. Because of their similarities she felt especially close to her niece.
“Darling, I can’t believe we shall have you for an entire summer!” Paige squealed delightfully, reclaiming Cie’s full attention.
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