Hi everyone Killjoy and I have another update for you!!! Just a quick thanks to everyone who left us feed back.
Thank you so much for all of your support ... it means a lot to us!!!
A/N: Killjoy is a little scared that all you Dreamers out there are going to hurt him because we did two lamptrimming chapters in a row and no Max/Liz. I have assured him that we Dreamers are a friendly bunch and won't boil his bunny just yet!!!
As Tess pulled up outside the front door of the Harding mansion the butler, Charles, was there to meet her. He opened her door for her which she thanked him for and she handed him the keys so he could put the car into the garage.
She walked inside the house and took in her surroundings. The huge, round entrance hall was covered in black and white marble with columns, either side of the room, holding up the massive structure. There was an ornate chandelier in the middle and a spiral staircase that wound around the room.
Now Tess had always loved this room but somehow today she didn’t find any comfort in being here. There was antique furniture placed all over the house and it was like stepping back in time. It looked more like a house that a King and Queen would own. Although her father did have a lot of modern electrical equipment it was all hidden behind antique monstrosities.
The butler came in behind Tess and shut the front door. He watched her for a short period of time feeling rather sorry for this poor young woman. She was always pleasant to the staff and never treated them as if they were beneath her. He knew that she wasn’t happy.
“Will there be anything else Miss Harding?”
Tess was so deep in thought that hearing Charles’s voice made her jump. She turned around to look at him.
“I’m terribly sorry Miss I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“Oh Charles, you didn’t, I was just deep in thought that’s all. Thank you for putting the car away for me.”
“You’re welcome Miss.”
Tess started to laugh.
“Charles how many times have I told you to call me Tess?”
“Oh I couldn’t Miss. Your father simply would not allow that and it would be very impolite, not to mention unprofessional, of me to do so” said Charles.
With that remark the smile disappeared from Tess’s face.
“Is my father home?”
“No Miss he won’t be back for another week. He’s still away on business.”
Tess sighed and started walking up the spiral staircase, towards her bedroom.
“Thank you Charles. I won’t need anything for the rest of the day. I am going out this evening and I’m not sure what time I will be back.”
“What time do you want the car ready by?” asked Charles.
“I’m not going until this evening so say around seven thirty.”
“It will be ready for you Miss. I’ll get Dan to wash it for you.”
“Thank you” said Tess disappearing up the stairs.
Charles stood staring at the spot where Tess just stood. He shook his head and made his way towards the servant quarters where Dan would be located.
“That pig headed man is going to lose that wonderful child if he’s not careful”
thought Charles shaking his head.
Tess was getting more and more nervous as the hours ticked by. She was sitting in her magnificent room looking at everything she owned. She was trying to figure out why on earth she agreed to go to this poem night tonight.
She started to get butterflies in her stomach when she thought about Kyle but it soon turned to a feeling of sickness when she realised that she was going to be way out of her depth with all the books that were going to be talked about.
Oh she had, had an excellent education and passed all of her exams but the one thing she was sadly lacking in was Literature. She had always found reading a book completely boring, plus having the most monotonous literature teacher in her school didn’t help.
She glanced at her watch for the tenth time and decided it was time to start getting ready. She turned on the water to fill her bath and put a good sized squirt of coconut bath foam in. Once the bath was full she stripped off her clothes and placed them in the dry cleaning basket.
She stepped into the bath and felt the tension of the day slip away. Tess closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, savouring the coconut aroma that filled her nostrils. She let her mind drift back to the events of today. Getting shoved into a closet by Liz and then somehow she ended up inside the bookstore. She remembered the smile on Kyle’s face as soon as he saw her and the fact that he had brought her a chocolate cup cake. What was so special about this guy to make her want to go there tonight?
After Tess had shampooed and conditioned her hair she washed her body and then got out of the bath. She wrapped a fluffy white towel around her hair and put on her bath robe. She went into her walk in closet and set about the task of choosing suitable attire for this evening.
She had numerous designer dresses but she decided to go simple tonight since Kyle had only ever seen her in a dress. She chose a black pair of designer jeans, a pale blue halter neck top and soft black leather, knee length boots to wear for tonight.
She placed the items on her bed and went back into the walk in closet. She pulled out a pale blue bra and panty set along with some black socks. She walked towards the electronic safe, which was behind a door in her closet, and typed in the combination. She had numerous pieces of expensive jewellery that her father had bought her on special occasions.
As she looked at all the jewellery she remembered each time she was given the pieces like it was yesterday. Most of them were guilt presents from her father. Always brought back when he had been away for her Birthday or he had missed something important at her school. She sighed at the memories that were now invading her mind. She couldn’t understand why this was all affecting her now. It had never bothered her before. She selected a simple silver chain necklace and matching bracelet that she had bought for herself.
She closed the safe and headed towards her vanity desk. She applied her makeup so it looked natural and then set about drying her blonde curly locks. Once she had finished she dressed herself and then put on the jewellery. She took a look at herself in the full length mirror and decided she looked natural, not overdressed or underdressed.
She put on her tailored soft black leather jacket, grabbed her purse from the table next to her bedroom door and headed downstairs closing her bedroom door behind her. As she came down Charles was there to meet her with her car keys in his hand. To say he was shocked at the sight before him would have been an understatement.
He was used to Tess wearing some designer dress and her make-up was usually a lot thicker. Tonight she looked more beautiful than he had ever seen her. Her make-up was light giving her a natural beauty look and for once she was wearing a pair of jeans. He smiled at her when she looked up.
“You look wonderful tonight Miss” said Charles smiling.
“Thank you Charles”
“The car is ready for you Miss” said Charles dropping the car keys into Tess’s hand.
“Would you mind thanking Dan for me Charles?”
“Of course Miss I will do it as soon as you have gone.”
“Thanks” said Tess as she walked out the door towards her shiny clean car.
When Tess arrived outside the bookstore she noticed that all the parking spaces were full except for one which had a cone in the middle with her name stuck to it. She got out of her car, moved the cone and pulled into the space.
She pulled out her compact mirror and checked her makeup before she exited the car. As she walked towards the door of the bookstore she started to get nervous butterflies in her stomach. She took a deep breath and walked through the door.
Kyle was getting more nervous as the minutes passed. He’d started to think that she wasn’t going to show up tonight. He heard the bell above the door jingle and he looked up in hope that it was Tess. The sight before him just took his breath away. There she was a vision of loveliness, in her black jeans and light blue halter neck top which clung to her curves in all the right places. Her beautiful blonde shiny hair was loosely curled and hung around her shoulders.
“Wow you look beautiful tonight, not that you don’t usually … it’s just that there’s something different about you tonight” said Kyle walking up to Tess and gently grabbing her hand.
“Come on I’ve saved you a seat” said Kyle leading Tess towards the unoccupied chair.
Tess sat down next to Kyle and she looked around the group and noticed that Max was there as well. She gave him a slight nod and a small wave in greeting. He just nodded and smiled. Everyone took turns in standing up and reading from their favourite poets books. After each reading there was a short discussion on the meaning of each poem. It took a couple of hours before the final man stood up to read his poems. He had the look of a Literature Professor, tweed jacket with leather elbow patches, glasses and a beard.
Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that's lovely is
But a brief, dreamy. Kind delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.
Never Give All The Heart – A poem by William Butler Yeats
She hears me strike the board and say
That she is under ban
Of all good men and women,
Being mentioned with a man
That has the worst of all bad names;
And thereupon replies
That his hair is beautiful,
Cold as the March wind his eyes.
Father & Child – A poem by William Butler Yeats
He closed his poetry book and turned towards Tess.
“And which poem is your favourite?”
“I … erm … Father and Child” stuttered Tess turning bright red as all eyes turned towards her.
“And what do you think it means?” asked the man.
This was what Tess was afraid of. If she attempted to answer she might just embarrass herself. As the Lit Professor looked at her in expectation, a very nervous Tess grabbed Kyle’s hand and gave him a pleading look. Kyle smiles at Tess and then turns his attention on the Lit Professor.
“Bob this is Tess’s first night here. So why don’t we go easy on her and just let her listen and watch?”
Bob just smiled at Tess and nodded at Kyle and then turned his attention to one of the regulars in the group. Tess threw Kyle a look of gratitude for saving her and continued to listen carefully to what everyone was saying. She was concentrating so hard that she didn’t realise she was still holding Kyle’s hand.
Kyle looked at their entwined hands and a big goofy grin came across his face. This was turning out to be the perfect night.
After all of the discussions had finished the group separated and started to help themselves to the buffet that Kyle had laid on for tonight. Kyle told Tess to grab their usual table while he went to get them some food. As she sat down Max brought a chair over to the table and sat by her.
“So, how long have you known Kyle then?”
“Oh, we only met a couple of days ago” said Tess shyly.
“How did you two meet then?”
“Well it was here actually. I kinda bumped in to him and spilt some coffee down myself and we just sat down and chatted for a while.”
“Well you couldn’t have chosen a nicer guy to know a little better” said Max smiling and gave a little wink.
“Well he seems …” Tess never got to finish her sentence because Kyle came over with two plates piled high with food.
“Hey you guys aren’t talking about me are you?” said Kyle with a smile on his face.
“Yeah we were actually. I was asking Tess how she met your sorry ass” said Max winking a Tess again.
“Hey that’s …”
“Kyle he’s only joking. He asked me how we met” said Tess worried that Kyle would take it the wrong way and think badly about her.
“I know, I know” laughed Kyle when he saw the slight fear in Tess’s eyes.
“We’ve been best friends since … well since about junior year of high school. You see Tess, Max is a workaholic and about the only chance he gets to interact with beautiful women is when he's either with me or when he's...uh well … that is when he's ...uh… well never actually” laughed Kyle “I mean dude you have gone out on a date some time THIS century right?”
Max rolled his eyes "Even I'm not that bad Kyle! I’ve been on a few dates this year!”
“Max no offense....but my Grandpa is like eighty seven, in a nursing home full of a bunch of blue haired old ladies and he still gets way more action than you do!”
“Ha he's so funny isn't he?” Max turned to Tess.
“A riot” smirked Tess.
“Hey now that’s not true!” said Max faking indignation “I'll have you know that I’ve met a very beautiful woman.”
“Oh yeah and who is that?” asked Kyle curiously.
“Her name is Liz, Liz Parker!” said Max with a smug smile on his face.
Tess’s ears picked up right about the same time Kyle’s mouth fell open.
“Come on you have to tell me more!” said Kyle with interest.
“Well I’m currently working for her father and well for some reason she has set her sights on me … you know she’s been doing stuff” said Max blushing.
“She's been doing stuff? What kind of stuff?" asked Kyle with a devilish grin spread across his face " And more importantly is she doing that stuff too you?! Come on man you can't leave me hanging like this....you got to tell me!"
“Well the other week I was at dinner at her house and she started playing footsie with me under the table. About a week later she comes in wearing this bikini which left nothing to the imagination and asked me to rub oil all over her.”
“To which you agreed I hope?” said Kyle.
“NO! I told her to do it herself.”
“YOU DID WHAT!” Kyle could not believe his ears.
“You turned down an opportunity like THAT! Listen I don’t see what the big deal is. You’re single … she’s single…she’s hot…and you’re…well I guess if the light hit you just right some women out there might find you hot…”
Max just scoffed and rolled his eyes at his friends humour.
“....so as far as I can see we just have a whole bunch of hotness going around here. So if I was you I'd just go for it!” said
“It's not that simple Kyle" Max sighed "Yeah I want her.....”
“Ohhhhh wait till Liz hears this”
“But what if her dad found out and wasn't happy about it and took his money out of our firm? What if down the road she gets bored and tosses me to the side? What if....”
“What if a giant comet hit the Earth and killed all of us in the next five seconds...” Kyle rolled his eyes “Max two of the worst words in the English Vocabulary is ‘what if’. This world is filled with a lot of what if’s. What if’s hold us back and keeps us from discovering and enjoying new things that come into our lives. The thing to do here is for you to just say to hell with it and then go for it...life is to short to sit around worrying about what if's. Trust me I know.”
"Of all the stupid....dumb....male things! Oh I have to tell Liz all of this!"
“Listen I’ve got to go. I’ve got another meeting with Mr Parker tomorrow” Max got of his chair and put on his coat.
"Look Max if you want my advice, the next time you see that Liz Parker just grab her and go for it man!” said Kyle.
“No, no, I’m not going to go there … or at least I don’t think I am” muttered Max as he walked out of the store.
“Jeeze Max has it bad. I’ve never seen him like that over a woman before” said Kyle.
“RRREALLY” smiled Tess.
“So are you going to tell me a little bit more about your beautiful self?” asked Kyle.
“Tell me a little about your family. Like what does your dad do for a living?”
“Well have you ever heard of Harding Enterprise?"
“Yeah....aren't they like one of the top Media companies?”
“No...THE biggest producer of...T.V. shows and Advertisements” replied Tess.
“Ohhh so your dad works there?”
“No … my dad OWNS it.”
"Ohhhhhh no wonder you can afford $800 dollar dresses" teased Kyle his eyes open wide in shock.
“Well all the money in the world doesn’t guarantee you happiness” said Tess without thinking.
Kyle caught the remark but saw Tess’s eyes go wide as if she had revealed information that was TOP SECRET. So he didn’t push her to explain what she meant, he simply changed the subject.
“Well everyone is leaving now so I’m going to have to clean up this mess” said Kyle waving his arm around the café.
“Oh I’ll help you” said Tess standing and picking up their plates; a little shocked that she had offered her services.
“Oh you don’t have to do that Tess. I’m used to clearing up on my own” said Kyle.
“No I would really like to help Kyle”
“Okay” Kyle said smiling.
“So you liked that poem, Father and Child by Yeats?” asked Kyle.
“I really liked that one” said Tess as she threw away the empty cups.
“Yeah” Tess nodded “I really like how he expressed the father’s disappointment with his daughter’s choice of man.”
“Well in that case hold on a second” Kyle held up his finger and Tess watched as he made his way down one of the bookstore aisle before going out of sight. He soon came back carrying a book.
“Here you go” Kyle smiled handing Tess the book.
“What is this?” Tess asked Kyle as she looked down at the book in her hands.
“Ohh it’s just a work of poems by William Butler Yeats. Take it home with you, give it a good read.”
“Ok let me get my money out of....”
“No” Kyle shook his head “It's yours...on the house...a gift. Like I said take it home with you, read it and come back later and tell me about anything you liked about it.”
Once again Tess looked down at the book in her hand. She had been given numerous gifts before...by numerous men....but that had been diamond studded jewellery, furs and anything else you can think of that cost a lot of money. But this was the first time she was ever given a book...the first time anyone had ever thought she was smart enough to be given a book as a gift. Fighting back the tears that gathered in her eyes Tess looked up at Kyle and smiled.
“Come on it’s getting late. Why don’t you let me finish up here and you go home and read that book” said Kyle smiling.
“If you’re sure I don’t mind staying to help you” said Tess.
“Well I was thinking that if you read that book then maybe you would come back next week?” smiled Kyle, hoping that she would return.
“Kyle I don’t need an excuse to come here. I actually enjoy your company and I really enjoyed myself tonight.”
“REALLY?” said Kyle.
“Yes really. Now I might be back sooner than you think” said Tess firmly planting a kiss on Kyle’s cheek.
“I hope so! See you soon?” said Kyle with another goofy grin on his face.
“Yeah I think you will. Bye Kyle” said Tess as she exited the bookstore.
Kyle locked the door behind Tess and watched her until he knew she was safely in her car. As Tess pulled away he turned around and jumped pumping both hands into the air.
As quickly as he jumped Kyle hit the ground hard.
Kyle rubbed the side of his bad knee while looking around to make sure there was no one in the store watching him acting all goofy and un-cool. Realizing the coast was clear and he was all alone he got back to his tidying up......whistling a happy tune the whole time.
Tess was smiling as she hopped into bed. Today had been a long day for her. She picked up the book Kyle had given her from her bedside table and started to read.
About three poems in the phone beside Tess started to ring.
“Tess I’m so glad that I finally managed to get you. I’ve been calling for like over an hour!” said Liz frantically.
“What? What’s wrong Liz” asked Tess slightly worried.
“Eh? Oh nothing is wrong. That new club, The Cross, is opening tonight and we are top of the list for the VIP treatment so what do you say?” said Liz knowing that Tess never turns down an opportunity to go to a new club.
“Uh you know what Liz? I’ve just gotten in to bed so I think I’ll pass on hitting the clubs…I’ve got something here I need to do that’s a little more important … bye” said Tess still engrossed in her book. Not realising that she’d just hung up on her friend.
Liz just stared at the receiver in stunned disbelief.
“Did Tess just turn me down on going club hopping?!”