Drake peaks over and studies the sleeping girl in the chair with his gentle black eyes. Rayne is tilted so that she lays on her shoulder. Her long eyelashes tickle the top of her youthful cheeks on which loose blonde curls have fallen. Her small scooped nose is spotted with light tan freckles. Her full lips are parted slightly, and her quiet breathing causes the cold air around her to fog. Drake stands and steps to her. He leans down and scoops her up effortlessly with his arms under her knees and back. Rayne stirs slightly and snuggles up to Drake's chest in her sleep, causing him to smile. He gently carries her down the stairs off the rooftop, through the hall, and to the room in which she last slept.
Drake places Rayne on the large, fluffy bed. He carefully peels her boots off and pulls the dense bedspread up to cover her. Rayne turns to her side and cozies in, still asleep. Drake grins again at the beautiful girl. He wants so badly to lean down and kiss her forehead. Instead he shoves his hands into his pockets and exits the room, closing the door quietly just as Walter is passing by him in the hallway.
"Oh, Walt." Drake calls, halting the old man in his tracks.
"Yes, Master Drake?" he asks turning to face him.
"Do you know a young maid named Zadie?" he asks. Walter's face squinches as his mind searches through the hundreds of people employed at the mansion.
"Ah, yes I do." He concludes finally. "Shall I fetch her for you sir?" Drake shakes his head.
"No, thank you. But assign her to Rayne, be sure she knows she's expected to do whatever Rayne wishes. She works for her now."
"Very well sir." Walter bows. The two men begin to stroll down the hall and to the floor below with Drake leading the way. "Also, sir, the fence is expected to be finished tomorrow afternoon." Walter informs as they reach the bottom of the stairs.
"Already?" Drake asks, stopping and turning to him, his bushy eyebrows lifted with surprise. Walter nods to him and Drake grins. "You're too good. Give yourself a raise, whatever you see fit." He pats Walter on the shoulder and turns on his heel, walking away from him and toward his office.
"Thank you, sir!" Walter calls out, his face shining. He shuffles away with a grateful smile. Drake reaches the small room and sits down at the large cherry wood desk, sinking into the brown leather cushion of his chair. He pulls out some paper and, dipping the tip of his fountain pen into the ink, begins to meticulously write out the alphabet in upper and lower case letters.
Rayne awakens some hours later curled up in a bed. She quickly gathers her thoughts. Remembering she was last on the roof, Rayne sits up to see she has returned to her warm, temporary room.
'How did I get here?' she asks herself. 'And what time is it?' she peers around the room to find a small white clock on her bedside table. It reads two thirty-eight. Rayne climbs out of bed, unable to fall back asleep. She shreds herself of the dress and jacket she's still wearing and pulls off her stockings and under garments. Rayne wraps herself in the silk robe from the previous night. She loves the way the smooth fabric feels against her skin. It's chilly, and she warms herself by the roaring fireplace, extending her petite hands forward. After getting comfortable, Rayne cracks her door open slightly, peaking out into the empty hall. It's quiet and dark at this hour and Rayne can't help but to snoop around a bit. She tip-toes barefooted out of the room. She nosily creaks open various doors, peaking inside to find mostly empty bedrooms and a few service closets. Rayne goes downstairs to continue her expedition. She wanders around the cold dark mansion aimlessly, infatuated with the amenities that riches allows. As she walks through the halls she spots a door that is slightly ajar, light spilling out of it. Rayne quietly sneaks up to it, peaking through the crack. She strains her eyes trying to see what's inside but from her position all she can make out is a tall bookshelf and a pot of petunias on a tall iron stand in the corner. Attempting to spy further, she stands on her toes but loses her balance and stumbles forward, knocking the door open. She catches herself before falling completely and looks up to see Drake sitting at the desk, his face a mixture of confusion and amusement.
"Rayne?" he says.
"Oh, umm, I'm sorry…" Rayne stammers, adjusting herself and pulling her robe tighter around her lean naked body. Drake smiles at her sweetly.
"Don't be." He says, standing from his desk. "Are you alright?" He steps toward her.
"Yeah I'm okay." She nods, "I didn't mean to intrude." She turns to leave him to his work.
"No, never." Drake answers, stopping her. "I was just finishing up a letter to The Capital about the wolf attack. But I made something for you." Rayne's shapely eyebrows rise in surprise.
"For me?" she repeats. Drake nods, smiling, and walks back behind the large desk. He pulls out the office chair and motions for Rayne to take a seat. She obliges. Drake lays out a large piece of paper flat in front of her. He gently takes Rayne's warm hand in his, making her stomach flutter. He places an ink-dipped pen in her palm, wrapping her fingers around it into the correct writing position, and puts the tip to the paper. It touches down at the top of first letter and Drake drags the pen and Rayne's hand downward, tracing it.
"A" he coos as the pen crosses over the paper. He goes to the next letter and does the same thing. "B" Rayne looks up at him, his face not far from hers. He meets her gaze with gentle black eyes. "This is the whole alphabet." He informs, "Lower case letters are at the bottom here. If you still want to learn how to read and write…I can teach you." Rayne can't help but crack a smile at his kind words.
'Why is he going out of his way to help me so much?' she wonders to herself. Curiosity getting the best of her, she turns to him. "Drake…I really appreciate everything you've done…but why are you doing all this for me?" Drake smiles down at her, his eyes twinkling.
"Well, because I like you Rayne." He answers smoothly.
This's an experimental test for reading assistance in case.
We highly recommend you to enjoy the beauty of the original words.