The Door in the Tower
Still unsure of how people would react to my exploring I decided to head upstairs. I was already on the third floor. How high could this place go?
The fourth floor looked similar to the third with rows of doors with discrete numbers. This time I turned right at the fork and walked down a similar hallway. I had just thought of heading down to the second floor when I came to a dead end with a door.
Curious, I tried the doorknob. This time it opened easily. Stepping in, I closed the door behind me and waited for my eyes to adjust to the limited light. Stairs wound up and down, but I could not see where it went. Periodic sconces with lightbulbs dotted the wall. The stairs felt like stone and sturdy.
Taking a breath I stuck to my plan of going up and started up the stairs. I kept one hand on the wall to help keep balance as I quickly realized these stairs were not quite even. It felt like I had walked up many steps, but I could not be sure as I moved slowly, not wanting to fall. Finally, I came to a small landing with another door.
“Hmm,” I whispered, “I wonder if this leads to the roof.” Walking forward I turned the knob. Locked. Crouching down, I attempted to peek through the old-fashioned keyhole.
“I hope you are not planning to break into my room, Miss Delfian.” I jumped as that smooth voice washed over me, startling me, losing my balance on the way down. I expected to land on my bottom on the stone floor, but two strong arms caught my arms and steadied me.
Looking up, I could see his blue eyes crinkled a little, laughing at me. I couldn’t resist a quick smile at him as I took a step back feeling the door behind me.
“Thank you,” I said, then looked down as his words penetrated my brain. I shook my head, “I wasn’t breaking in. I was just exploring. I did not know this was your room. I’m sorry, Mr. Laroy.”
After that, I turned sideways to move around him and go back downstairs but stopped as he leaned on the wall in front of me.
Feeling compelled to answer, I said, “Well, yes. I know once the students arrive I’ll be busy and I wanted to see more of this magnificent building.”
“And exploring includes entering locked rooms?”
I huffed and resisted stamping my foot in annoyance. “No, I wasn’t trying to break in, I just wanted to see if it led to the roof.”
“And why would you want to see the roof?” he asked, almost concerned.
I thought for a moment, feeling my eyebrows draw close together as I wondered why me seeing the roof would concern him. “I’ll bet the view is spectacular from up there.” Then couldn’t resist asking, “Why?”
“You know, Miss Delfian, I think I might like you. I would hate for you to get hurt, so why don’t I show you around.” He straightened and turned to head down the stairs.
I started to follow, turning to look at the locked door, wondering what lay behind it.
“Miss Delfian,” I turned to look at Mr. Laroy standing a few steps below me, his eyes still laughing. “You may enter my room someday, but today is not that day.” With that, he walked down the steps. Confused I turned to look at the door then at him disappearing around the corner.
Hurrying after him I called, “Wait! What does that mean?”