Tessa Jones had stepped gingerly from the taxi, feeling as her body had tensed once more being so close to the house that she had spent her early childhood years. Pausing for a second, she had taken in the well manicured lawns, the grand entrance filling her with foreboding before stealing herself to move forward. Lifting the large ornate knocker she had allowed it to fall, the dull sound bringing back so many memories. As the imposing door had opened smoothly she had smiled at the butler so familiar to her from her youth, his surprise at her presence so clear.
“Miss Tessa……….I’m not sure that your grandfather was expecting you”
He began, his voice unsure as he had stood blocking the entrance, the sound of music filling the air. With a reassuring smile she had carried on moving forcing the older man to step backwards.
“Sure he does Mr Smithers” she had grinned, seeing how the butler had smiled with relief, accepting her answer with a small nod before closing the door behind her.
Passing by a large mirror she had checked her appearance, scrunching up her nose playfully at her reflection. At 23, Tessa was stunning. Of slightly taller than average height about 5’9, with a wonderful figure, and the grace of the dancer she was. Her long legs were hidden beneath the cocktail dress she wore, but her curves were clear to see in the way the dress hugged her perfect body. Tessa had been loath to wear the revealing dress, but it had been the only one her friend Clara had found that was long enough for her, and as she had to see her grandfather, who was avoiding her, she had reluctantly put it on.
Placing her fingers on the handle of
the large impressive door, she had taken a deep breath preparing to enter the dragon’s lair. Pushing it full open she had moved into the large room, the music suddenly so loud along with the sound of people’s voices and laughter. Her beautiful brown eyes, so large in her creamy oval face, had regarded the scene so seriously and focussed, as she had raised her chin proudly, her long black shining hair held up within a soft bun with tendrils which tapered down her long graceful neck.
Alexis Demitri, stood beside the beautiful blonde, who was simpering and flirting outrageously with him, her beauty marred by the huffy pouting glances she would send her grandfather’s way, as he encouraged her obvious behaviour. Frowning down at the soda water he held in his hand he had once more kicked himself at letting himself be tricked into the social event, knowing instantly what was going on, wishing himself anywhere but there. Before him John Jones had looked on at the couple, a small frown crossing his harsh features, not happy with the way things were going. Marcie did not usually let him down when it came to men and looking around he had smiled spotting a young girl in the crowd.
“Angela” he had cried out, his voice booming even in the large room full of sounds. The young child, no more than six, had made her way over, her displeasure at being pulled over clear on her face. He had tried not to roll his eyes at the scene being played out solely for his benefit, as his lips twitched watching it all unfold before him.
“Angela, aren’t you going to say hello to your favourite cousin?” John had cried out, the young girl moving over to the blonde beside him.
“Hi Marcie” the girl
Angela had said, her voice lacklustre at best.
Marcie had leant down pulling the girl in closer to her, hugging her, her enthusiasm for the youngster so lacking in belief.
“Oh I do so love children don’t you Mr Demitri?” she had cooed while looking so ill at ease with the child in her arms, only the small girl Angela looking more uncomfortable being there.
Smiling noncommittally, he had only nodded, wondered how quickly he could escape the awful party, and these awful people, seeing as John Jones made to move in closer, no doubt to add more to the virtues of his granddaughter. However the young girl Angela had suddenly given out a yelp of joy, pushing herself free from the blonde Marcie, John Jones eyes fixing on someone, his body tensing, his features hardening.
“Tessa”, she had cried, running forward and throwing herself into the arms of another woman who had been walking towards the group. Alexis had turned to look at the newcomer, his mouth opening in surprise at what he saw.
Tessa had laughed as Angela, her young cousin had launched herself into her arms, lifting her in the air and spinning her once. Laughing she had placed her back down on her feet, having nearly knocked over several of the crowd in the large room, apologising and smiling as the other guests had smiled warmly back at her, their pleasure at seeing her so obvious.
“Hey button” she had cried, her wonderful mouth breaking into a large smile which had lit up her whole face as she grinned warmly at the small child, who was hugging her tightly.