Sesame Opens

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Fiona paid the cabbie and climbed out of the car. The man stepped out as well and pulled her suitcase from the boot.

"Are you sure this is the place?" she asked him in disbelief, looking over the cottage in front of her.

"Yes, miss, that would be the Swallow Barn," he answered.

"Blimey," Fiona muttered and picked up the handle of her suitcase. "Thank you, sir."

The cabbie gave her a confused look over, shrugged, and went back to his car.

Fiona fished her mobile out of her pocket and checked the address in the email. It seemed she had come to the right place. But she couldn't believe her eyes! Fiona chewed her bottom lip anxiously. Surely, he wouldn't mind if she rang him up! He said 'call any time!' She quickly checked her clock. It was only six o'clock. Fiona exhaled sharply, gathering her courage, and dialled his number.

"Good evening, Mrs. King." Blimey, the man's got the most velvet, sexy baritone! "Have you arrived?"

"Yes, I have, but you see," she mumbled, "it's just– I thought it would be a tiny cottage in the middle of nowhere, and I'd have to carry water from a well, and instead– It's a castle, Mr. Holyoake!"

He burst into rumbly laughter on the other end of the line, and Fiona's cheeks flamed up.

"It's not a castle, Mrs. King. It's a modest cottage that belongs to my wife, and it's yours for the next four weeks, so you can work in peace," he answered. "And there's plumbing in place. And an excellent bathtub, if memory serves me right." Something changed in his tone, which made Fiona's cheeks burn only hotter. "I haven't been there in a couple of years. I'm sorry, Mrs. King, I need to leave you now. I think my wife's back from her walk with the babies."

Oh blast it!

"Oh, I'm sorry!" Fiona exclaimed. "I shouldn't have called. I was just worried– Nevermind! Please, give my regards to your wife. And the babies." There was some loud noise in the background, some squealing and laughter. How many babies are there? "Have a good night!" she squeaked and hung up.

She pressed her phone to her forehead and exhaled through her rounded lips. Ooph, so awkward.

She started pulling her suitcase through the thick snow on the walkway while turning her head to drink in the view. What a beauty! It'd been renovated - but tastefully, with some sort of a tender respect towards its original look. She hurried to the entrance door. She'd just drop off her suitcase and have a good look at the garden. It was covered in snow, like a postcard, and she thought she'd seen a small wooden gazebo or a greenhouse!

She had the key in her pocket, together with a piece of paper with the alarm code, and she quickly unlocked the door. She saw the keyboard and was just going to type in the digits, when she saw that it was off.

Fiona jerked her hand away and made a few stumbling steps back. What?! Is the house beingburgled?! On the other hand, a burglar would've broken the door or at least the glass in it, wouldn't they? They wouldn't disarm the alarm! She looked around. The hallway and the part of the lounge that she could see didn't look burgled, or disturbed in any way.

She started frantically patting the pocket of her coat, grasping for her mobile - when the door to her right opened, and a man stepped out.


Only a towel wrapped around his hips.

His mane of dark curls wet.

Rubbing his face with his large hand.

Away With the Fairies (The Swallow Barn Cottage Series, Book 2)Where stories live. Discover now