MANOR - LIBRARY
letter?" Sara Manchester asked curiously as Mrs. Preston stepped further
into the room.
"Yes, dear, a
letter. It explains everything." Mrs. Preston carefully looked
at the room filled with reminders of her late husband. Of course, it
hadn't been a loving marriage, but Thornton had meant something to
her. "It explains why my husband left you and your husband his
"Then surely this letter
proves that I was not having some sort of affair with your husband!"
Sara kept her eyes focused on the widow. This letter just had to prove to
Dane that, despite her lies concerning her work, she had not betrayed the vows
of their marriage.
actually, it doesn't mention anything about your affair with
Thornton." She turned to look at Sara and began to carefully examine
every detail of her face. The young girl looked so much like Mrs. Preston
had looked when she was about the same age. "However, I'm sure that
it explains his interest in you."
"Would you quit dancing
around the subject and just tell me!"
"For one, Thornton deeply
disapproved of your deceptions where your husband was concerned," Mrs.
Preston began as she slowly paced around the room. "He didn't think
it was right for you to deceive your husband and disobey his requests for you
not to work."
"That was none of your
husband's business!" Sara snapped, the tension beginning to get to
her. "I only did what I did for my husband, not to hurt
him! There was no other way to save his chances to get his degree!"
"Well, whatever your
reasoning, my husband did not approve." Mrs. Preston's eyes
quickly landed on a framed photograph of her husband that sat on his desk.
She smiled briefly when she remembered when it had been taken...their
honeymoon. It all seemed so long ago.
"That's why he
included Dane in his will?" Sara furrowed her brow, not fully
understanding her late employer's motives.
"Yes. He did it as
punishment for you. If you were to inherit the estate alone, you would
have the means to be completely independent of your husband. Since Mr.
Manchester...Dane...shares in your inheritance, he can resume his rightful roll
as your husband. He can exert the will that a husband should
"But...that's nearly archaic!"
Sara's hand flew up to her mouth with the realization that her joint inheritance
with Dane was meant to put her back under her husband's control...to force her
to resume the roll of the dutiful wife.
"And that, my dear, is my
husband in a nutshell. I can't say that I necessarily agree with his
views, but that is just how it is. I assume that since he gave me quite a
long leash and free reign to do as I pleased, he didn't want you to end up as I
understand?" Sara carefully approached Mrs. Preston, still trying to
absorb what she was being told. "Why was I even included in the will
in the first place? That's what truly doesn't make any sense!"
"Oh, I agree with you
there," Mrs. Preston continued. "Or, at least I did until
I discovered what my husband had discovered. When I learned that he'd left
you almost everything, I was convinced that it was because you'd had an affair
with him and conned him out of his fortune..."
"That's not how it
"Well, I'm still not
convinced of that entirely." Mrs. Preston cautiously approached Sara
and reached out to touch a lock of her hair causing Sara to flinch in
awkwardness and pull away. "However, I now know that there was more
to it than that...much more."
"W-what do you
husband found out certain things about you." Mrs. Preston took a
long, deep breath. Could she really tell Sara something that would change
her entire life? "Things that I'm sure you have no idea about."
"I...I don't understand
what you're trying to say. What things?"
Mrs. Preston eyed her
carefully as her hands began to shake with nervousness. It had been so
long. Did she really have the right to upset this young woman's life