“We could not possibly, ma’am.” Her cousin began to protest.
“Ferule.” She spoke. “Cousin, if you have need of anything, inform Ferule. He will see to your needs.” Ferule appeared from behind her and greeted her cousin smartly. Evidently trying to show her cousin’s fiancé how to properly greet a lady. Ferule turned to her.
“Your guests are settling in and await you upstairs, Mistress.” Ferule announced very cordially. “Will there be anything else?”
“Thank you. No, Ferule.” She replied softly.
“You’re right; this is going to be very amusing.” She spoke to Ferule with her mind.
“I really need to learn how you do that!” Ferule laughed his reply in her head.
“Sir, Ma’am, this way please.” Ferule announced. Her cousin and fiancé departed with Ferule. The concierge was intercepted by Ferule as she crossed the atrium towards the front doors. She felt a wave of anger whip her like wind.
“FERULE!” she shouted with her mind.
“Thank you, Mistress.” Was Ferule’s reply. “The last time I lost my temper I set fire to the armoury.”
“For your information, the armoury burnt to the ground more than a hundred years ago.” She replied back.
“Oops!” she heard Ferule reply. “I shall not disappoint you again, Mistress. I do not relish the idea of having you shout at me. I fear your anger may be worse than mine.”
“Let us not ever have a need to be angry with each other.” She replied with her mind once more. There was a note of kindness and love that she was sure Ferule could feel. She stepped outside the front doors and found the Ferrari parked before her.
“Return to the hall and inform the heads of the houses that we have new members to be given stations.” She instructed her driver. “Return with my husband.”
“Yes, Ma’am.” Her driver responded.
“I dare not leave Ferule here unsupervised until he’s grown accustomed to being a butler.” She giggled.
“I know, I’ve never heard you so angry.” Her driver giggled back. She mentally took a step back.
“You heard me?” she whispered.
“If you were that angry, and you didn’t mean to shout at anyone except Ferule, then your temper is something I never want to see again.” Her driver replied.
“I think Ferule is meant to be my teacher. I think there is much we’ll learn together.” She softly replied. Another blast of wind whipped her.
“F E R U L E !” she commanded calmly. “To me, NOW!”
“Y-Y-Yes M-Mist-tress.” She heard Ferule’s voice reply.
“OOH! I don’t want to be anywhere near here at the moment.” Her driver giggled as she saw her driver slide into the Ferrari’s driver seat and spark the car’s engine to life. She turned on her heel as the Ferrari sped away, and she re-entered the hotel. Ferule stood at attention in the atrium.
“Walk with me please, Ferule.” She commanded almost in a whisper. She spoke nor projected her thoughts to him as they walked towards the elevator. The silence between them was deafening. She remained silent until the door’s lock clicked behind them after she entered her suite.
“What happened this time?” she spoke in a soft voice.
“You really don’t want to know.” Ferule spoke while looking at the floor.
“OK, But I am worried about you.” She spoke softly. “I have an idea that may
help. I’ve asked for my husband to be with me this evening. You can learn a lot
from him. One of the reasons I fell in love with him is his kind nature and he
has an understanding of how other men think. You will have no doubt as to how he
feels about me. Trust him as I trust him and you’ll learn how to control that
temper of yours. If I’m lucky, you can teach me, because I have a lot to learn
and no one knows the ancient ways better than you. These powers frighten me to
death and luckily, I haven’t set fire to this place.”
“You are indeed as wise a she was.” Ferule spoke. He lifted his head and gazed at her with piercing green eyes. “You’ve shown the same love she held for me as the day she died. I can still hear her voice speaking to me as she drew her last breath.”
“Think of her when ever you hear me.” She spoke softly. “Do you remember this?” she held up her hand. Her ring glowing gently on her finger.
“I do. The fire glowing from inside it, was my present to her. That way, all she had to do was look at it and know I was close by.” Ferule informed her. “The night I set fire to the armoury was the night I heard her voice. It had been so long since I’d heard it. She had told me then that you would be coming and for me to be patient just a little more.
“Ferule, tell me the secrets of what used to be the armoury. If the grand duchess was able to speak to you from beyond, then there is something else hidden here.” She spoke softly.
“Where should I start, Mistress?” Ferule replied.
“Tell me about her. What was she like?” she asked sweetly.
“From the first time I met her, I knew she was a very special lady.” Ferule began. “I was not yet fully grown when I had the misfortune of being injured. She found me almost near death. It was several weeks before I had the strength to move. At first her father and uncles had wanted to leave me to die, but she had insisted that I be brought near the hall and only she herself was to nurse me. Though I sensed everyone else was greatly relieved that they were not allowed near me unless she was there, she had her own bedchamber moved to where she had a clear view of the stables.”
”Ferule, that room is now mine. It overlooks what is now the garage.” She interrupted.
“Though the centuries have disappeared it is evident that she still watches over the family, most notably, you.” Ferule spoke gently.
“Why would you say that?” she asked.
“When she died, I wept tears upon the floor of my prison and enchanted her chamber so that only the birth of her true heir would re-open the doors.” Ferule recanted.
“I remember my great grandfather telling me stories of the night I was born.” She stated. “About how the doors of the great hall flew open and lit all the torches.”
“I have watched you from my prison every day of your life.” Ferule quietly yet proudly spoke. “I was even able for very brief periods to leave my prison chamber and see you with my own eyes.”
“That was you!” she exclaimed. “I remember as a little girl these green lights shimmering in the halls of the hotel. One minute they were there, then nothing, and always-near dusk in the atrium. I waited so many evenings for the lights to return. I always felt very safe whenever I saw them.”
“Alas, my curse kept me from you. I found that if I gave into the evil of the
curse, I could move about.” Ferule recanted. “But the instant I saw you looking
at me, I had not the strength to be angry, and was once again banished to my
“I sense that you’ve experienced this twice today, but did not return to the chamber.” She spoke softly.
“Aye, Hearing your voice remind me of where I am, and that anger has the power to destroy those we love the most.” Ferule spoke calmly.
“You’ve just reminded me of an important lesson.” She stated, giving Ferule a well-deserved hug. “Anger has the power to not only destroy those we love, but also harm ourselves. Anger that we allow to consume us, will forever guide our way.”
“Precisely.” Ferule affirmed. “But I fear we must continue later, as that
nasty little man can’t seem to keep his nose where it is supposed to be.”
“Ferule, Behave and let me deal with him.” She commanded. She loudly snapped her fingers and rose from her chair.
“Y-Yes, Duchess. How may I be of service?” the concierge’s voice quietly asked. The concierge appeared to have been standing briefly near the servant’s door.
“I am going to be very unhappy if you or your staff continue to listen in on private conversations.” She spoke in a very calm, yet commanding tone. “The next time you enter within my presence you shall properly acknowledge yourself. If I have need of your expertise I shall ask you to contribute your service.”
“Yes, Duchess. I shall remember.” The concierge replied with out hesitation.
“Failure,” she continued, “Will result in my giving Ferule the responsibility
of reminding you for me. Am I perfectly clear?”
Y-Y-Yes, D-D-Duch-ess.” The concierge stammered. She noticed Ferule regard the concierge with a mischievous grin.
“Your husband will be arriving shortly, and I must see that dinner arrangements are ready for your guests, Mistress.” Ferule announced.
“We’ll talk again later, Ferule.” She spoke to him with her mind. She noticed Ferule smile and give her a wink.
“You must teach me how you do that.” Was Ferule’s reply.
“Ever tired to learn it before?” she thought back to him.
“Many times, but without success.” Ferule replied.
“Concierge! I must confer with you before dinner.” Ferule spoke and the two men quickly departed through the servant’s door. Her driver appeared a short time later.
“Your husband will meet you at dinner, Ma’am.” Her driver announced. “Though I fear your guests are finding it very amusing that they’ve discovered they can dress for dinner with bare legs.”
“They like skirts, do they?” she giggled.
“They do.” Her driver tried to state without laughing, but could not hold
back much longer. The two of them burst into laughter.
“Quickly help the others dress for dinner and I’ll meet you downstairs.” She continued to giggle. “We’ll introduce them to lingerie tomorrow afternoon.”
“That will be an adventure, I’m sure.” Her driver snorted as she opened the wardrobe door. She looked back and felt she was alone. She quickly began dressing for dinner, unaware of the presence behind the hidden panel. She had not noticed her ring finger tingle, trying to warn her of who was watching.
Two friends discover hidden motives...
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