Dear awesome readers, fellow A-Z participants and regular followers:
I have not abandoned you. My inbox is overflowing with comments and I am hanging my head in shame at having not read them and responded. I'm down to my last two weeks of this school term and the work load has increased to epic proportions (no joke...I'm writing the equivalent of 5 papers a week!). I will read and respond to your comments AND return the visits!
Cross my heart and hope to be chased by zombie hoards.
Paper Swamped in Georgia
PS: A wee chapter to keep your interest peaked :D
"I believe this involves you, my dear," Greyson folded his ever present paper and slid it across the table at Imogene.
She'd been under virtual house arrest for a week now and no matter how hard she tried, no one would allow her outside, even though all that surrounded the enormous house was grass, trees, and several hundred rose bushes.
Ima was still trying to adapt to the oddities of the people around which she found herself surrounded. Greyson would join them for meals and then disappear, not to be seen again until tea. Val was always bustling about, moving at an astonishingly fast rate, something to eat forever in one of her elegant hands. She wore spectacles not unlike Greyson's and kept her hair pulled back and stacked on top of her head. Ima thought again and not for the last time that Val would be beautiful if she allowed herself to be. And then there was Declan-the guy with the alarmingly beautiful smile that made her feel like her nose was too big, her feet were turned sideways and her hands had absolutely no place to rest. Right now, he was looking at her from two chairs down the massive oak table, his grey eyes glancing from paper to her face.
Feeling a blush creeping to her cheeks, she quickly pulled the paper to her and began skimming. Suddenly, her eyes stopped and she backtracked.
"What?" She murmured and read again, slowly, her mouth moving with every other word.
"What is it?" Val asked, buttering her third scone and pouring more tea. "Greyson, you didn't give her bad news did you?"
Greyson said nothing; he peered over his glasses at Ima.
Imogene frowned. "So they think I'm dead? Everyone at home thinks I'm dead? You could have let me call someone and tell them I was going into hiding or whatever it is you want to call this." She gestured around her as if that explained everything.
"Who would you have called?"
Ima's mouth moved but no sound came out. Who would she have called? Her mother was now on the road with some traveling show and she would have only said, "That's nice dear" if she'd received the call at all. She had no other relatives, at least none that she knew of. Tears suddenly sprang to her eyes and she shoved herself away from the table.
"Ima!" Declan called after her.
"You are an ass, you know that?" Val said glaring at Greyson over her glasses.
"So you inform me daily."
Declan left the table and went after Ima.
"Leave me alone!" She shouted as soon as she'd realized he was following her. "Just leave me alone." Ima went straight to the front door and found them locked. Worse than that, there were no door nobs. She went for the windows on either side of the doors but there were no latches. In frustration she banged her fists on the doors and screamed. Declan put a hand on her shoulder and she turned on him.
"Leave me alone!" She screamed and began pounding at him, sobbing, not caring if she looked like a raging hyena.
Declan was completely unbothered by her outburst. "I can take you to him."
"Shut up!" She crumpled at his feet and continued sobbing. "Just shut up and leave me alone. All of you! Kidnap me and lock me up! How do I know YOU didn't send those ninja guys?"
"You don't." Declan knelt in front of her. "Greyson is, as my mother so delicately put it, and ass. He has no regard for anyone but himself. And trust me, Mother has given him several earfulls about it."
Ima sniffed and shoved the tears off her nose.
"Mother has a way with him I don't understand. No one does, actually but..." He stopped rambling.
"Who can you take me to?"
He pulled a handkerchief from his jacket pocket. "Here." He helped her stand up and dabbed the handkerchief on her face. "That's what should have been done in the first place. Greyson knows he's sick with worry about you."
"Greyson said he didn't know where my father was."
"Greyson is a liar and a selfish-" Declan took a deep breath. "Of course he knows where your father is. He put him there."
"Put him where?"