Chapter 11 (d)

Between bites of his meal Vaughn began relaying his suspicions to Glorianna. It did indeed seem to her that Vaughn was in fact being framed. However, what did she know of him now? Was he really the same person he had been eighteen years ago? How well had she known him then for that matter? She would have never guessed in her wildest dreams that the young man who had told her so ardently that he loved her, would leave her without a word or a backward look. She had believed him then to her embarrassment and pain. Could she believe him now?

For now Glorrianna resolved to keep her own suspicions to herself.  It might prove her incredibly stupid in the future but she could just not imagine Vaughn visiting physical pain upon her. She could not imagine him doing those awful things to those poor women. And she could not ignore the instinctual safety she had always felt and indeed still felt now with him nearby.

With a decisive nod of her head Glorianna agreed to help him. Until at least she found some definitive proof that she was indeed a fool. At that time she would promptly turn him over to Clive…Inspector Levinsin she corrected.

“Well we cannot keep you locked in this room,” Glorinna said on a sigh.

“No that would be quite intolerable,” Vaughn said with a smile and an irritatingly handsome dimple showing in his left cheek.

“Obviously Sissy knows of your existence here and through her Sylvie as well.”

“Can they be trusted Glorianna?”

Vaughn had taken her hand as she sat beside him on the bed. Was it a calculated move or was it as subconscious as her need to lean ever so slightly into him was? “I would trust them with my life.” Glorianna said firmly. “We don’t have a large staff here but each and every one is like family to me.”

“If you trust them then I have no choice but to do so as well I think,” Vaughn said making tiny circles with his thumb on the back of their clasped hands.

Ignoring the tingling sensation his fingers were sending up her arm she went on, “It’s not the staff I worry about while keeping you hidden here, it’s any outside callers.”

“Ah yes your gentlemen callers you mean,” Vaughn dropped her hand and she felt the loss.

“Among others yes,” she said with a bit of heat, was that jealousy she heard in his voice? Unbelievable! “I don’t live as a recluse here Lord DeWinn-“

“Glory,” he cut in can you not call me Vaughn? It is my name as you know and I think we are years away from being so formal.”

Glorianna cut a look at him and continued as if he hadn’t spoken, “As I was saying Lord DeWinn,” and she emphasized his formal address this time, “I don’t live as a recluse here and neither does Sylvie. We do have guests from time to time and we occasionally entertain. While I can make sure that don’t put out invitations for the time being I cannot assure you that we will have no one call upon us. To reject seeing them would also cast suspicion and we don’t want to do that.”

“I suppose you are right,” Vaughn said with resignation running  his long fingers through his hair pushing it off his wide forehead.

With his agreement made Glorriana got him set up in a proper guest room with it’s own bathing chamber. It was large enough for a seating area in front of the fireplace and would make a fine place for him to retreat to when guests called. She refused to think too much on how close his quarters now were to hers.

Knox was sent to Vaughns residence with a note for Harold advising of an extended impromptu house party Vaughn had suddenly joined. It did not detail exactly where he would be but Knox would be able to retrieve some of his personal items and Harold would not worry unduly when Vaughn did not show up at home.

Once all the arrangements were made Vaughn settled into life in the unusual household that Glorianna and Sylvie had built.  Little did they all know that Knox had been followed directly back to that household.

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