SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY
now this is the life," Dane Manchester smiled as he propped his feet up on
the ottoman and turned the page in the late edition of The Daily Post.
"I told you that it would be good for us to move in here."
"I guess," Sara
Manchester muttered as she flipped through her History text book in an attempt
to study for a test. What with her having been working for Thornton
Preston, she'd been left with relatively little time for studying and her grades
had started to drop accordingly. Now, she'd have to spend all of her free
time trying to make up missed assignments in hopes of making passing grades for
"Helga!" Dane called
out as he glanced down at his empty glass that sat on the table next to
him. "Helga, I need a fresh drink!"
Mr. Manchester," housekeeper Helga Grimm muttered through clinched teeth as
she trudged into the room and snatched up the glass. "Is there
anything else I can get you, sir?"
"No, just another scotch
and soda." He let out a slight chuckle and allowed his eyed to drift
over the top of the paper as he watched Helga do as he'd requested.
"This is the life. It's what I missed so much about living at
home." He turned to shot his wife and angry look. "You
never took care of me like Helga does!"
your wife, Dane, not your maid." Sara's eyes burned with anger and
she began to find it increasingly difficult to concentrate on her studies.
Ever since the truth about her secret employment for Mr. Preston had come out,
Dane had been growing more and more difficult to deal with.
he muttered as he snapped the newspaper back up in front of his face.
"Is there anything else,
Mr. Manchester?" Helga asked as she sat the full cocktail down next to him.
"No. You may be
excused." He smirked with glee as he watched her exit the room and
then returned his focus to the matters at hand. "So, Sara, tell me
about Thornton Preston."
stammered as she looked at him closely. What the devil was he up to?
"There's not much to tell, really. Mr. Preston was an author who
wrote several books. Tainted Woman was his last published novel and it was
made into a movie. Callison Publications signed him and planned to release
his latest work, The Manhattan Conflict, but..."
"No, I'm not talking
about that!" Dane snapped angrily. "I mean, tell me about your
relationship with Mr. Preston."
"I worked for him!
I was basically his secretary!" She furrowed her brow slightly.
What was he trying to get at?
"Oh, come now,
Sara," he laughed as he turned the page to the sports section.
Although he was displaying slight disinterest, he was listening very carefully
to every word she was saying. "You don't expect me to believe that he
left almost his entire estate to someone who was only his secretary!"
Sara's jaw dropped with
shock. "Dane, what in heaven's name are you trying to imply?"
"Do I have to spell it
out for you?" He made a quick glance over the top of the paper to
catch her reaction. "I at least gave you credit for being smarter
"Dane, I don't think I
like what you're trying to get at!" She quickly closed her book,
jumped up from the sofa, and started to storm out of the room.
"Did Mr. Preston's wife
know what she was talking about?" Dane asked pointedly. "Where
you having an affair with him in an attempt to get to his money?"
Sara stopped dead in her
tracks as she reached the large sliding doors of the library and spun around to
face him. "How dare you! I would never think of doing something
"You were awfully
concerned about our financial situation," he commented as he kept his eyes
on her. "Who's to say you didn't think that the ends justified the
means. You two were quite chummy, weren't you?"
"That was all in a
fatherly way! He was like a mentor and a friend to me, not a
lover!" Sara began to feel her face burn with anger and
embarrassment. How could Dane even think that she'd have an affair with
Thornton Preston just to get her hands on his money? She loved Dane!
She would never do something so tawdry. Besides, how would that explain
Dane's inclusion in the will?
Dane sneered as he tossed his newspaper aside, gulped down the rest of his
drink, and rose to head toward the door. "I'm going out."
"Just out," he
smirked. "Don't wait up."
As Sara heard the sound of the
front door closing, she returned to her seat on the sofa and tried to
concentrate on her studying that needed to be done. However, she couldn't
rid her mind of thoughts of Dane's horrible accusations. He just couldn't
believe that she'd had an affair with Mr. Preston!
"Um, Sara," Helga
muttered awkwardly as she stood in the doorway. "You have a...."
I need to speak to you!" Mrs. Preston announced as she pushed past an
irritated Helga and into the room. Sara had been so lost in thoughts of
her husband's accusations that she'd never even heard the doorbell.
"What is it?" Sara
sighed. The last person she felt up to dealing with was Mr. Preston's haughty
"I just had this
delivered to me," Mrs. Preston said as she held out an envelope for Sara to
see. "It's a letter, written by Thornton. Apparently, I was
supposed to receive it in the event of his death."
"W-what does it have to
do with me?" Sara questioned as she eyed the letter curiously.
"Does it explain why he left me and Dane his estate? Does it prove
that I was not having an affair with him?"
"Oh, my dear Sara,"
Mrs. Preston muttered with nervous apprehension. "This letter