The Manor; chapter 5

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Clayton McMillen

Jailbait ended up falling asleep in his arms as they rode back to the Manor. Her dark, silky hair felt nice against his bare skin, he noted, and it smelled nice. As they came upon the house one of the Dr. Stewarts came out, a frown riding between her brows.

"Is the girl quite all right?" she asked. Clayton dismounted then got Amber off the horse. Her arms tightened around his neck, but she never woke up.

"Of course she's not," he answered. "She's here, isn't she?" He strode past the doctor and into the house, still holding Amber gingerly in his arms. Her skin had a red hue to it, suggesting a sun burn in her near future. His injuries were feeling worse after a couple hours on the horse looking for her and having to carry jailbait around. When Clayton finally reached her open door and was able to put her down he nearly groaned in relief.

As he looked down at her, laying on the bed, he was struck by how different Jailbait, Amber, was from Emma. Emma with her shorter, more voluptuous body, her tiny delicate hands, peaches and cream complexion, and pretty golden curls. Quite the opposite, Amber was tall, skinny, having a darker, more exotic beauty with her strong features and black hair. And her hands were entirely different, long and slender. An artist's hands.

Her pink lips parted and a small sigh escaped as she turned over to her side on her sleep. Clayton Covered her with a blanket then left the room, quietly closing the door behind him.

"Hello." Clayton jumped slightly at the unexpected voice. He turned to see one of those twins standing behind him, her hands shoved in the pockets of her loose jeans making her tee-shirt ride up and show a small expanse of rather concave stomach. She would have been pretty if she were ten pounds heavier.

"Hi. Which one are you?" he asked her. She smiled a little.

"Ebony." He nodded a little.

"Right." An awkward, silent moment ensued. Finally Ebony ended the awkward tension by asking,

"What was that whole fiasco about?" gesturing with her chin towards Amber's door. Clayton shrugged.

"I don't know why she left, but I had to go get her because I got blamed for it." Ebony raised fair eyebrows, moving her hands from her jeans to being crossed over her chest.

"That doesn't seem fair."

"We had an argument." Ebony laughed.

"Well, if you're done arguing I was hoping to go for a walk and the doctors said I'm not allowed to go alone. So would you want to..." she trailed off but made a small gesture towards the stairs. Clayton smiled and hooked his arm through hers.

"I'd be delighted," he answered. Ebony grinned up at him and they made their way down the stairs and to the backyard.

Amber Manet

She woke up in the bed that wasn't hers in the room that she felt so wrong sleeping in. Amber supposed she must have fallen asleep on the ride back to the Manor because she didn't recall being laid in her bed, or covers being pulled up over her body. That was actually what had woken her. The room was hot and stuffy in the sweltering afternoon temperatures. She kicked the covers off her body and turned her pillow over to the cold side, punching it with frustration.

She couldn't believe she had told him all that. Clayton probably thought she was a babbling idiot now. Not that she cared what he thought, it would just be annoying having to live with someone who thought she was completely idiotic. Of course he'd been nice at the moment. No one was enough of an ass to be rude when someone was sharing such a thing about themselves. Or, at least, almost no one was enough of an ass. Amber could certainly think of a few people.

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