The Dangerfield estate was truly magnificent. The rolling green of the expansive lawns and hedges that were specially pruned back to form labyrinth like designs, only made for the wonder that was the Tycoon’s gardens. He must have had a fleet of gardeners and landscapers on hand, and all this for the enjoyment of one man?
Stepping out onto the back landing there was a large table set underneath a gazebo, with waiting staff in white suits on hand to tend to the Marulo’s and Rupert’s every need and whim. A silver tea service gleamed in the rays of sunshine, and a towering cake stand held all manner of sweet sugar treats and cakes to tempt their taste buds. Virgo pulled out a chair for his Elvira and assisted her in sitting comfortably, before finding a seat for his own.
Rupert could only smile as he watched the pair. So gracious in their movements, their love for each other had lasted throughout many years both in peace time and during the war. Elvira’s comment about the couple’s sex life did have him chuckle to himself, as he lit a cigarette and exhaled.
“And it helps that the sex is spectacular. Centuries together and he still makes my toes curl.”
“Toe curling sex, eh Virgo. If only I had a woman say such a thing about me between the sheets.” Rupert joked.
Out from the large dining room, you could hear the sound of a woman’s voice, and Rupert turned to see his younger sister, Madeline had decided to make an appearance. Having been widowed by the loss of her Husband in the war, she had been living at the Estate, while she grieved for her loss. Madeline smiled warmly, wearing a large white hat and gorgeous cotton dress, appearing at her brother’s side.
“You didn’t tell me we were having guests, Ruppy.” Madeline said affectionately, as she offered her hand to Elvira.“Madeline Groves. I’m Rupert’s younger sister. A pleasure.” She was one for behaving when company came to call, and always tried to give a good first impression. Rupert stood with his hands behind him, watching his sister interact with the Marulos. “The Count is a good friend and business associate, Maddy. This is his wife, the enchanting Elvira. All the way from London.” He added, almost proud of that fact.
Delighted to hear they were royal, Madeline asked. “Will you be attending the masked ball this weekend? Ruppy, have you asked them yet, dear?” Madeline asked expectantly, her eyelashes fluttering. She had organised the ball as a fundraiser for war widows, and their families, and Rupert had reluctantly agreed. Rupert had to shake his head. “They just got here, Maddy, so the answer is no. Course, I insist they come, and keep me from ending up with some dowdy spinster with two left feet and a desire to get married.” An odd request, but Rupert was tired of being the town’s most eligible bachelor.
Madeline clapped and moved her chair to be alongside Elvira’s. “Do say you will come. You are to be my new best friend.”