Chapter 72 - The Offer

1 0 0


∞ 72 ∞

THE OFFER


More than a week had passed since Valentina arrived home from the mysterious accident. She had assumed she would hear from her pale haired saviour by the following day and kept looking at the note to assure herself that it hadn't just been some sort of wishful dream. It was beginning to feel like it had been just a dream as the days passed. Each day she awaited the contact in nervous, ecstatic anticipation (so nervous she felt nauseated for several days running) but she gave up when after the sixth day there was still nothing.

Things had returned to their usual drudgery: Valentina was back to work at the two cleaning jobs and the demands of the little farm were continuing to brim over the top of what she could manage; somehow Bruno, who was always kept separate from the female goats (because he was meant to be castrated several months back, but hadn't been because of the cost) had gotten in with female goats. Apart from the aggravating mess in the animals' feed store room, Valentina was worried there would now be even more of them to feed in the autumn. There was nothing she could do, so she decided not to worry about it for the time being. There was quite enough to worry about right there! Things were missing from the «connard's» room, so it wasn't a far stretch to guess who had left the gates open for Bruno to get through. That the little demon had obviously been there, was far more worrying than the other overwhelming issues at the decrepit farmhouse. This was with the exception, of course, of how she was going to pay for everything, as little more than food for them all could be afforded on the meagre, part-time earnings and although winter was several months away, it would come soon enough... Valentina decided that she would contact her old agent and ask him to at least send prints of her old portfolio; she hoped he might be in a nicer mood than the last time they spoke and possibly be willing to send some work her way. (She resolved to call as soon as she could swallow the rest of her pride and get up the nerve to do it, anyway. He had been very cold on the last conversation though, so she was doubtful.)

Valentina came home from a particularly unrewarding day at the old Mairie's office and was elated to find a note in her postbox from Lucian Isholmborg! The note said he hoped she was improving. He said he would stop by at the weekend unless she protested and there was a number of his "mobile" which he further confirmed as the contact number of his "téléphone portable / cellular telephone / teléfono móvil". (Apparently he wasn't certain of which term he ought to use, which Valentina found endearing. Although she was so smitten, it was likely she would find anything he did 'endearing'.) She was so extremely excited about seeing him, she felt quite sick again.

She felt ashamed of Lucian coming there though, because of the dilapidated state of the house and property in general –even if he had obviously already seen the place in an even worse state– and set about trying to make it look its best. It was a heavy task in a few days, with little strength or resources (and no House-Elves to help as they had done before her return). After work, she ran about moving, cleaning and tidying and pulling things out of the mouldy moving boxes in an effort to find something decent to wear... By the time 'Lucian' came, the place really wasn't noticeably any different (at least not that he noticed) and Valentina very much looked and felt even more exhausted than she had before.

Because of the strong potions, Valentina had no memory at all of the Elves or walking around Lucius's quarters and touching and looking at everything when she rose to go to the toilet for example. She had the flashes of memories of waking up with Lucius there and that he had cared for her, but no memory of the details: asking him for kisses, telling him how beautiful he was, stroking his hands, or telling him her entire life story. Nevertheless, she was a confused when Lucius arrived and deflected her affectionate embraces. Under the circumstances, she expected her cuddles accepted and at least another one of his kisses on the forehead that she did remember. (She did recall that he hadn't exactly been overflowing with a show of emotion when they met at the market... And she had in the past experienced the reserved –or sometimes even staggered– responses from the English to her gushingly affectionate gestures. The experiences had left her feeling impolite and self-conscious when they occurred, but now reminded her that some people just had very different opinions about certain things, which they often meant no offence by. So Valentina abstained from any physical contact and instead gave a sort of exuberant, little-girlish wriggle and thanked the beautiful Swedish-Englishman profusely for helping her.

ANGELCAKERead this story for FREE!