The Hidden Door – A Serial Story


Distracted By Books

Caden Laroy had already disappeared around the corner as I hurried down the steps. Just as I saw him waiting for me on the landing with the door I came through, I stumbled over an uneven step, right into his arms.

Quickly pulling away, I could feel the heat in my cheeks as I muttered, “I’m not usually this clumsy. The steps are uneven.”

Giving a small, mock bow, he replied, “My dear Miss Delfian, consider me your knight. Besides I consider it lucky to have such a pretty woman constantly falling for me.”

Feeling my cheeks redden more, I looked down and replied “Well in that case maybe you should call me Cassie.”

“Cassie,” he tried out the name almost caressingly. Not usually a talker I just nodded, glancing at him. He smiled gently and replied, “Then I would be honored if you would call me Caden.”

“Caden,” I tried out his name.

His smile grew a little mischievous and I had a moment of concern before he said, “Yes.”

When he didn’t continue I smiled back at him and finally, he turned, offering me an arm. “Now, milady Cassie,” he said, “while don’t we continue your tour. Please take my arm. As your knight, I would hate for you to get injured around me.”

Blushing, I took his arm and we started down the steps.

As we walked down the steps, Caden started telling me some legends about the castle. He told me that I could find out the actual history from the books in my library, but the legends were more fun.

According to the legend, the original owner came to this island and found an abandoned castle. He then proceeded to buy the island. The owner then built his mansion using the remains of the castle as the structure.

Then Caden shot me a grin, “It is said that on the night of a full moon the ghosts of the castle wander through the mansion.”

“What ghosts?” I asked.

Caden shrugged, “No idea. I’ve tried to find out more details but so far nothing.”

“Where did the castle come from?” I questioned.

“Curious Cassie,” he laughed, “It’s just a legend. Most likely the original owner wanted to own a castle and so created one complete with stones and towers. Then people created the legend around it.”

“Still,” he mused, “people say the original owner left behind a diary telling the whole story, but no one has found it.”

Before he could say more we had reached the bottom of the staircase. This time two doors led out. Opening the one in front of us he said, “This one leads to the main part of the house.” Before we could step through, he closed the door and started opening the door on our right. “But I thought you might want to see this room first.”

Stepping into the room he held open the door and motioned me through. I took one step in and froze. He had taken me to the library. It had to be the library. Books on shelves covered the walls, with more shelved books set in groups. Comfortable chairs set in groups and tables with chairs scattered around the room to encourage reading and studying.

The library looked to be three stories high with staircases on each side of the room leading up. There were even shelf ladders to reach the high shelves. The dark wood of the shelves and dark leather of the chairs looked inviting and helped keep the library looking accessible. I felt like I had entered the library from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast only with dark wood.

Stunned, I just stood in the doorway trying to take it all in, unable to move more than my neck to look around. Faintly, I could Caden chuckling. I felt him take my hand and tug me farther into the library. His touch woke me up enough to look at him, my smile splitting across my face.

“Look at this place!” I quietly exclaimed. “It’s beautiful.” I rushed over to the first shelf and started running my hand over the books there saying reverently, “So beautiful.”

As I heard Caden laugh, I turned back to him sheepishly, “Sorry, this library is so beautiful. It’s distracting.”

Caden just laughed, “Yes how could any man compete with a roomful of books.”

I laughed as I slowly turned in a circle taking in the library, “You’re right. My parents think, I never married because I could never find a man that could distract me from the lure of books.”

He returned my laughter as he walked to me. Stopping my turn facing him, he held out a hand. Instinctively, I gave him my hand. Bowing over it, he brushed the back of my hand with a light kiss, “In that case, my lady Cassie, I will leave you to your library.” As he stepped back he continued “Hopefully one day you may meet that distracting man for you too are a treasure.”

I blushed, stammering out a thank you as he walked out the door, throwing me one last wink from his blue eye before closing the door. I sighed wondering if I had just found that man. Then shook my head. No, he worked here. Job place romances rarely turned out well and I’d hate to be stuck on this island after getting heartbroken.

With one last sigh, I turned back to the library, my smile growing. Now, where should I start?

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