Tuesday Tales – Railing

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Hello everyone and welcome to Tuesday Tales!  This week’s word prompt is “railing”.  We are back with Gideon in my untitled Steampunk romance.  Last week Gideon was walking to the home of Katarina Hellwig, the wife of his commanding officer in the Queen’s Army, to see what she wants of him.  What does she want?

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red stairsThe walk from Gideon’s townhouse to the mansion that housed the Hellwigs took nearly an hour.  The butler silently escorted him inside.  Gideon took in his surroundings.  The chandelier, the railings, the gas burning sconces were a bright, polished brass.  The floor was an alabaster marble.  All of the furnishings were a blood red.  The scene was truly garish.

Without a word, the butler motioned Gideon up the grand marble staircase, the brass railings a stark contrast to the stone.  He thanked the servant with a nod.  With a frown that creased his brow he ascended the stairs.  The peak of the staircase led to an expansive, extraordinary library.  The walls on every side were lined with dark stained cases full of books.  Thick, plush chairs of the same blood red velvet were scattered throughout the reading area.  A large floor to ceiling window overlooking London was spiderwebbed with steel creating a circular pattern.  The same gas fueled sconces that Gideon saw on the main floor lit the library in a golden glow.Beautiful-Library-12

Standing in front of the window staring out on the autumn afternoon was an ebony haired beauty.  Her long, flowing curls brushed her back with each subtle move she made.  Her gown was the same shade as the furniture in her library.  She turned slightly, her emerald green eyes flaring wickedly at him.

“Captain Alexander.  It is good to see you,” Katariana Hellwig greeted, her voice smooth but cold.

“Please, m’lady.  I am no longer a Captain,” Gideon protested.  “Gideon will do.”

Her laughter was chilling.  She sashayed from the window to him, her layers of petticoats shuffling beneath her.  She slowly dragged her fingertips against his shirt, gently scraping his hard chest through the fabric.  “Very well.  Gideon.”

“You summoned me,” Gideon reminded, his voice laced with impatience.

“Yes.  I have heard of your intelligence and your skill with tinkering.  I want you to make me a contraption.”

“A contraption to do what?”

“Kill my husband.”

Gideon flinched at her words.  “I cannot.  I respect your husband.  He was my mentor, my friend.  I will not assist you with this.”

Her coy smile made him shiver.  “He killed your wife and son, you know.  My beloved husband is the one who has been sending those thugs into the streets to steal from the hard working families of London.  He has been the one giving orders to plunder them for all their work.  He was the one who instructed them to go to any lengths to get what he wants, even kill.”  Katarina grasped his stubbled jaw in her hand to focus his attention solely on her.  “He gave the specific order to murder your wife and child.”

Gideon fought back a growl.  His heart burned in sudden hatred.  His mentor – the man who murdered his Sophia?  His Toby?  He thought for a moment.  It made sense.  A house like this was impossible for a General of the Queen’s Army.  This belonged to those of great wealth.  Where else could he possibly have found the funds for this lifestyle?  And the General was furious when he announced his retirement from the dirigible fleet.  How better to keep him in the force than to end the reason for him to go home?

He swallowed back his rage as he pulled free of her grip.  “I will think about it and send a messenger to you with an answer.”

Katarina smiled softly.  “I think not.  I will send my assistant with you.  Emma!”

Gideon noticed a shadow drift out of the corner of his eye.  His breath caught in his throat.  A young woman rose slowly from a gaudy gold embroidered lounge.  Her soft, golden hair was bound to the top of her head in a bun.  Her skin was like porcelain.  Her crystal blue eyes twinkled like diamonds.  Her small frame was delicate with gentle curves at her hips and breasts.  The pale blue gown she wore added to the ethereal vision.  He swallowed hard.  No woman stirred any emotion in his heart except Sophia.  None.

This vision before him set fire a desire deep in his soul he couldn’t quench.  He shook himself back to his senses and returned his gaze to Katarina.  “If I choose to undertake this project with you, I will send word.  Do not send anyone to me.  Understand?”  Without another word Gideon spun on his toe and stormed down the staircase.

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About triciaandersen

I am the author and illustrator of the children's book "The Peculiar Princess". I am also the author of two adult fantasy romance novels, "The Sorceress of Savon" and "The Woodcutter King of Muladin". Along with being an author I am married to a wonderful guy and have three beautiful children. I coach youth track and field, sew and chase my children around to their various activities.

Posted on October 21, 2013, in author, books, fiction, novel, romance, story, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. wow. I think this is fantastic. I love the intrigue. and I want to live in that library.

  2. Holy cow! I`m on pins and needles. Well done!

  3. Wow, such emotion. I could almost taste his guilt over the sudden rise of feelings for Emma. Well done!

  4. very good, now, is Katarina telling the truth just to set him up to kill her husband? I bet this isn’t the last we see of Emma, he deserves happiness again.

  5. Wow, the tension and emotion is this is awesome. But will he simply take her word without checking? I think not.

  6. In short-the plot thickens.
    Wonderful description of the mansion

  7. So much information in a small post, and great description of the characters. Loved it! But will he just take her word for it that his mentor really killed Sophia and Toby? I wonder whether you’ll serve us with a little twist in the story soon.
    Well done!

  8. Excellent!! The scene, the dialogue, the plot – all wonderful, especially the tension and intrigue. Great job.

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