Last week I gave you a clip from Sacha's story, this week it is his twin, Simeon's turn.
It was the not knowing the festered. Not knowing where he was. Not know who’d snatched him from his car and not know if anyone had missed him
He didn’t even know how long he’d been here.
He’d woken to brilliant sunshine, the smell of fresh coffee, and the promise, from a stranger, that breakfast would be served in half an hour in the small dining room. The clothes laid out on the chair under the window fitted perfectly but weren’t his, and the view from the window was as alien to him as the room he now stood in two hours later.
A study-cum-library, he surmised and crossed the room to study the book-covered shelves. Could he glean any information about his abductors from them. He didn’t even know if he’d been abducted. Not in the strictest sense, at least. No one had stopped his stroll round the flower laden garden earlier, nor had they stopped him from opening every door on the ground floor and searching each room for clues about the owner of the property. Whoever it was didn’t lack money if the number of first editions was anything to go by.
His father, the king, had an astounding collecting of originals in his book collection, but he doubted the royal collection matched this one.
“Good morning, sir.”
Simeon shot round and glared at the man standing in the doorway. His brother’s father-in-law was the last person he expected to encounter.
“What the h…” he tunnelled his fingers through his hair and tried again. “Where did you come from?” Stupid question. “What are you doing here, and more to the point what am I doing here?”
Automatically, he scratched the ears of the golden retriever that entered the room with Paxman and now laid its head in his lap as though they’d been companions forever.
If his father’s head of security was part of this weird set-up abduction didn’t play a part in it.
Paxman closed the door behind him with deliberate precision, strode over to the window and drew the curtains before switching on the overhead light and desktop lamp.
“I apologise for all the cloak-and-dagger’ stuff.” He patted his pockets in a vain attempt to find a pack of cigarettes, huffed and dropped into the chair behind the desk.
“What is this place?” A book still in his hand Simeon automatically took the chair in front of the desk.
“It is one of your father’s homes.”
“My father’s?” How come none of the family have ever visited this place?” A thought struck him and Simeon and he slammed the book down without a care. “Do you realise I don’t even know what country I’m in.”
“You are still in Scotland. I can tell you that much.” Paxman’s cool voice simply fuelled Simeon’s rising temper. “I can also tell you, his majesty bought this place a couple of months ago so he and your mother had somewhere secure to stay when they visited your brother and my daughter.”
Scotland. Liam and Melanie. So he wasn’t too far away from their horse farm and riding school for physically challenged children. But why? And why couldn’t he remember how he got here and who’d brought him.
“Before waking this morning what is your last memory?”
Startled by Paxman’s question it took Simeon a moment to gather his thoughts. What was his last memory? He’d been so busy trying to work out the now, he’d failed to considered the how.
Unaware of the two deep grooves that furrowed his brow, Simeon tried to manoeuvre through the haze that replaced his memory of how he’d come here. With a shake of his head he leaned back in his chair wishing he’d got a good scotch in his hand.
“I was on my way to the farm.” The words came slowly, “driving the Porsche.” An image of his brand new car floated in and out of his mind. “Wind in my hair.” The man sitting opposite was forgotten, as were his surroundings as Simeon allowed his focus to turn inwards.
“A bridge!” He shot upright. “A road diversion at the bridge.” His attention snapped back to Paxman. “You were at the bridge, at that road block. You explained that there’d been a land slide and I’d have to take a diversion, but because of flooding we’d have to spend the night at a hotel until the water receded.”
A guarded nod was the only response he received.
“Coffee. You handed me a cup of coffee from a flask.” Fury shot him to his feet. “You drugged my coffee!”
As fast as the adrenalin swept through him it faded away. “Why Man?” He stumbled to the curtained window and looked back over his shoulder. “Why?”
“At the moment I am not at liberty to answer that question.” Paxman rose and joined him. “You will remain here for as long as it takes to secure a situation that has arisen.”
“Don’t be daft man; I have a business to run. I can’t just go awol. If the City got wind of my disappearance the market would have a field day.” He paused, grabbed his companion’s arm and restrained himself from shaking it. “What situation?”
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