SONS Chapter 7 cont...
When we returned from our time in the forest Miles went off to the work shed and I went into the kitchen. Mrs. Sellers was working alongside Lettie, helping her prepare lunch.
“Did you enjoy your walk, sir?” Mrs. Sellers asked.
“It was lovely. We found a small hut on the other side of the brook.”
“That would be the gamekeeper’s hut,” Lettie said. “He used to raise chickens out there. Had a time of it keeping the foxes out of the hen house.”
“What was his name?” I asked.
“Mellon. John Mellon.” Mrs. Sellers looked away from us and wiped her hands on a towel. “Please excuse me; I need to put some supplies away. When you have a moment, Mr. Reid, I’d like to discuss something with you.”
“Enjoy your lunch,” she said and quickly left the room.
“She don’t like talking about him. Caused a bit of a ruckus around here, he did.” Lettie was stirring something in a large pot. “Now go wash up before lunch and leave me to my cooking.”
After lunch I went looking for Mrs. Sellers and found her in the garden writing a letter at the garden table. She stood up as I approached.
“Please don’t get up,” I said.
“I was just writing a letter to Mrs. Reid’s solicitor, telling him you had arrived.” She sat and I joined her in another chair.
“I shall be going to London on Monday next to sign the appropriate papers. What day is this? I’ve lost track of time, I’m afraid.”
“It’s Friday, sir.”
“There’s no need for formalities, Mrs. Sellers. Please. I think we’re all aware of my status. Please feel free to call me Stephen.”
“I shall try, Mr. Reid.”
I smiled and since she did not offer her first name, I decided to drop it for now. “You mentioned my mother selling off items to pay for her illness. Is there no money left in the estate?”
“Her Ladyship was very adamant about making sure that your inheritance not be used to pay for the medical bills. She sold things off to not have to touch it. I believe it is intact.”
“Did she speak of me?”
“I never knew anything until the end just before she died. She made the arrangements with her solicitor long before I knew about you. Just before she died she told me of her time in Germany before the first war and that her son had been found in Dresden.”
“The letter reached my grandparents before the bombings and they sent it off. It got lost for several years.” I paused, watching her closely. “How have you managed all these years?” I asked.
“Mr. Cromwell, the solicitor, sends me money from the estate for minimal upkeep and supplies and a bit of a legacy for myself and Lettie. Mrs. Reid was very generous in her will. Lettie and I have been well cared for. If you’d like to see the records, I’ve kept..”
“That won’t be necessary, Mrs. Sellers. She must of have been a kind woman.”
“She had a lot of sadness, but yes, she was kind and thoughtful to the very end. She had a lot of pain,” she stopped and paused for a moment. “The doctor helped her to cope with it.” She looked away.
I followed her eyes across the garden. Miles was coming through an arbor with a pair of pruning shears and a blanket.
“They’re rusty, but they should do the trick.” He called out. He reached the roses and began hacking away.
“He’s seems like a likable young man, Mr Sheffington,” Mrs. Sellers gathered her papers as she spoke.
“You mentioned you had something you wanted to speak to me about, Mrs. Sellers.”
“Ah, yes. It has to do with the finances and if you’re satisfied with me continuing to take care of the housekeeping needs. There is no need for Lettie and myself to remain here at Fair Oaks if you would like to make other arrangements, Mr. Reid.”
“Oh God, Mrs. Sellers, please. I would be lost without you. Please know that you and Lettie have a home for as long as you need it.”
“That’s very kind of you, Mr. Reid.”
“No, please continue the fine work you’re doing here.”
“Thank you, Mr. Reid. I will inform Lettie of your kindness. Have a pleasant afternoon.”
“Thank you.” She stood with her papers in her hands and reached out to shake my hand.
“Very kind of you, indeed,” she said and walked back into the house.
I watched Miles as he pruned and threw the trimmings into a pile in the pathway. The afternoon sun had risen and the air had become warm and still. Miles looked from his work and saw me watching him, wiping the sweat from his brow. He set the shears down and began to unbutton his shirt. Pulling the shirttails out of his waistband, he removed the shirt and threw it on the nearest hedge. He looked up and smiled with a look of recognition that he knew I was enjoying his little performance. I felt my cock stirring in my pants as he picked up the shears, pruning away at the roses.
The muscles in his arms and back rippled as he worked and soon a bright sheen of sweat reflected the sunlight off his upper body. I was completely hard by this time and put my hands over my lap to conceal my erection. Miles worked steadily for about fifteen more minutes and then picked up his shirt, wiping the sweat from his face and neck. I imagined plunging my face into his shirt, damp from his sweat and smelling of his body’s odors. I breathed the afternoon air through my nostrils hoping to catch his scent on the slight breeze that had come up, exhaling with a sigh. He looked up and smiled. Holding his shirt in his hand and letting it drop by his side, he walked over to where I sat.
“Do ya like what ye see? It’s all yours, ya know. Body and soul.” I looked up into his beautiful blue eyes and took a deep breath. Our eyes held their gaze and then he dropped his look to my lap. “Are ya hiding yer boner, Stevie?” he laughed and threw his head back. “God, but yer a horny devil.”
I laughed embarrassingly. I could feel the blush rise into my cheeks.
“Yer blushing, Stevie.”
He turned and walked back to the roses, putting his shirt back on. He reached down, gathering the clippings into the blanket he had laid out on the ground. Picking the bundle up, he threw it over his shoulder. He carried it to the side of the house nearest the kitchen, turned the corner and was out of my sight.
I immediately began to miss him.
Does one choose to fall in love? Or does love choose us? How had this happened so quickly? My mind was reeling with unanswerable questions. I had never felt such love and affection for another human. I was smitten beyond anything I could have ever imagined. It pierced my heart and filled me with a longing and a joy simultaneously. How could we maintain what we had? How could it last? Would we be discovered and would that discovery end it all?
I sighed deeply and walked back into the house sadly and in spite of how I felt with my head held high.