This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2018 by Inara Reynolds - All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
Book cover by Inara Reynolds
Iniquitous Part Four
With the girls safely tucked into their beds, Leonora went downstairs to talk to Sir Harry. He was a handsome man, having a mere conversation with him wouldn't be disrespectful; after all, he had taken them into his home. It would be the polite thing to do. The grandfather clock at the bottom of the stairs chimed 10 pm as she arrived at the landing. She smoothed her graying red hair and knocked on Harry's study door.
"Enter," Harry's voice called out.
Leonora opened the door and stepped inside. "I hope I am not disturbing you from some important work."
Sir Harry looked up and smiled. "Not at all dear lady, please, sit."
He pointed her to the red leather chair across from his desk. He closed his journal. "I hope you find the accommodations to your liking, Leonora."
"Indeed, they are very delightful. The children nestled down and fell asleep rather quickly. You have a lovely home, and again, thank you for giving us shelter from this horrible storm." Leonora looked out the window. She could see the rain falling down in a torrent. "I don't know how much farther we could have driven in my carriage."
"With this rain and the river up ahead, you may have been swept away. I am glad you had the well with all to stop and ask for shelter. Brandy?" Harry said as he poured himself another.
"Please, just a spot, thank you," Leonora smiled.
Sir Harry handed Leonora a snifter of brandy and sat down in the matching chair next to hers. He gazed off into the fireplace that was cascading its light across the floor in front of them. The crackle of the flame against the logs in the fireplace soothed her as Leonora sipped her brandy. A painting above the mantle caught Lenora's eye. She studied the face of the woman in the portrait; she looked very much like Abigail, with her beautiful petite turned-up nose, and blond hair.
"The woman in the portrait looks so much like your daughter; I am assuming that is your wife?"
"My late wife, yes, Abigail and Gerald are all I have left," Harry sat his brandy down on the table between the two years. He smiled as he studied the portrait, lost in thought for a moment. "She put up with a lot with me tinkering and mucking about with my inventions. Her father told her I was crazy; I only wish she lived long enough to see my accomplishments and dreams come to fruition."
"I am sorry for your loss, Sir Harry. At least you have the children," Leonora reached over, resting her hand on top of his.
"I almost lost Gerald when my wife died. I managed to save his heart and brain and put them into metal. I only wish I was more capable back then," Harry said, downing his brandy.
Leonora recoiled away from Harry with a gasp, dumbstruck by his appalling words. He had tried to play God and bring his child back to life, iniquitous man, Leonora thought to herself. She stood up from her chair, "Thank you for the brandy, Sir Harry. Goodnight."
"Goodnight, dear Leonora, sleep well. I have more paperwork to finish before I turn in for the night. See you in the morning."
Leonora turned to look back at Sir Harry as she stood in the doorway to the study. While she felt disgusted by his actions, he intrigued her. He had returned to his desk, writing in his journal, oblivious to her presence. Leonora hurried up the stairs to check on the children. They were asleep soundly in their beds.
Thank you for reading! What are your thoughts on this part? Creative and helpful criticism is welcome! See a typo on this first draft? Let me know!