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Perfectly Reckless Part Two
Chapter Two: April 14, 1860

“The entire bookshelf fell on top of you?” Amelia said. Genevieve nodded slowly, her cheeks burning and Amelia bit her bottom lip to silence her laughter ready to burst, “Oh, Genevieve that’s awful. At least that man helped you. What did you say his name was again?”

“Warren Renninger,” Genevieve replied, “And how is Edvard? How are the wedding preparations coming along? Are you still stalling?”

“Of course I am,” Amelia retorted, scrunching her nose up at the mention of that man’s name, “Once we’re married, he’ll expect certain things from me such as children and love and affection. And those are things he will never receive from me.”

“Edvard may not be so bad,” Genevieve said, “Is he?”

“I haven’t known him to be cruel,” Amelia sighed, “He’s simply a nuisance.”

“More of a nuisance than Ezra Knighton?” Genevieve giggled as Amelia shot her a glare and then started chuckling herself.

“My father has a tendency to bring annoying men into my life,” Amelia said. The two of them laughed together when the doors opened and Ezra stepped into the room. Amelia muttered under her breath and resisted rolling her eyes, “Ezra, we were just talking about you.”

“I can only imagine what lovely things you were saying about me,” Ezra replied with a frown, “Can we please just get started so we can end it? An old friend of mine has just moved back home and we’re getting together.”

“Your friend is no concern of mine,” Amelia snapped, “Don’t be so impolite, Ezra.”

Ezra glanced at Genevieve and his shoulders slumped, “Another woman to torture me? Is one not enough?”

Genevieve raised her eyebrows, glancing at Amelia as she laughed a bit, “He…has quite the charm doesn’t he?”

“I wouldn’t say charm is the right word,” Amelia sighed, “Alright Ezra, let’s begin.”

“I’ll wait in another room until you’re done,” Genevieve said as she stood up. She smiled at Ezra and curtsied, “It was a pleasure to meet you, Ezra.”

“And you as well madam,” Ezra said. Genevieve gave Amelia a pat on the shoulder and left her and Ezra alone. He smiled, glancing at the door over his shoulder, “Your friend was quite nice. Why can’t you be that friendly?”

“I would be kind to you if you deserved it,” Amelia replied, “Now let’s hurry and start so we can end this.”

- - -

After helping Genevieve with that fallen bookshelf, she kind of stuck in Warren’s mind. He hadn’t gone to her shop in a few days but he made the trip there today and he couldn’t get the smile off his face. Warren rode into town and practically jumped off his horse. He tried opening the door of her shop but the door was locked. He leaned to the side and looked through the window, knocking on the glass, “Genevieve? It’s Warren! I had something I wanted to show you.”

“You’re looking for Genevieve Darrington?” Sylvia Ebsworth, a little old woman who ran the bakery in town with her husband, stood in front of the door of their little shop with a smile, “Unfortunately, she isn’t here. She left this morning. She went to visit her sister.”

“She did?” Warren’s shoulders slumped and he hung his head, “Oh, alright. Do you know when she will return?”

“I don’t,” Sylvia replied. She smiled and grabbed Warren’s hand, “But I know where she is if you’d like to know.”

“Oh no Mrs. Ebsworth that won’t be necessary,” Warren said, patting Sylvia’s wrinkled hand in his, “But thank you. I will just wait until tomorrow. She should visit with her sister.”

“She’s with Amelia Sheffield,” Sylvia said, “I can take you there if you don’t know where that is.”

Warren knew of the Sheffield family but didn’t know much about them. He smiled and shook his head, “Mrs. Ebsworth that’s very kind but you don’t have to take me there.”

“Come, it’s not far from town,” Sylvia ignored Warren’s polite refusal and led him through town towards the Sheffield home. Warren stumbled awkwardly, wanting to resist but not having the heart to tell this sweet old woman to stop. They walked for awhile until they were outside of town and they were walking up the dirt road towards Amelia’s home. Sylvia led him to the front door and grinned, “There you are, Mr. Renninger.”

“Thank you Mrs. Ebsworth,” Warren said. He would stand there at the front door and wait until Sylvia was gone and then head home. But she wouldn’t give him that chance. She knocked on the door and then turned and left. Warren tensed up as the doors opened. He cleared his throat and put his hands in his pockets, “Good afternoon, sir. I’m looking for Genevieve Darrington. Is-is she here?”

The butler nodded and stepped to the side, letting Warren walk in. Amelia was walking Ezra out when Warren came in and she raised an eyebrow, coming to a stop, “Oh, Mr. Renninger. What brings you here?”

“Oh, I-I just um, wanted to show Genevieve something and I uh-” Warren’s voice trailed off when Genevieve followed Amelia and Ezra out. She stopped, bumping into Amelia. He chuckled and ran his hand over his mouth awkwardly, his face turning red, “Ms. Darrington, I-I stopped by your shop but you weren’t there and that-that sweet old lady, Mrs. Ebsworth took me here. I didn’t ask her to she offered and-”

“My goodness calm yourself,” Genevieve said as she giggled and held up her hands, “I was just about to leave. What is it you needed at my shop?”

“No, no I just wanted to show you something,” Warren said, “I found this book I think would be a nice addition to your collection.”

“That sounds lovely,” Genevieve said, “Well, Amelia I must be going now. I’ll see you soon.”

“Wait,” Amelia grabbed Genevieve’s shoulder before she could walk away and she grinned, a mischievous gleam in her brown eyes, “Why don’t you stay? It’s nearing lunchtime. We can all have a nice afternoon together.”

“I could invite my friend,” Ezra suggested with a smile, “We’ll make it a nice get together.”

“That sounds fun,” Genevieve said, “Would you like to stay?”

“Of course,” Warren replied, giving Amelia a nod, “It’s very kind of you to offer.”

- - -

Mina was just starting to get used to waking up alone, eating alone, and just sitting alone. She had grown accustomed to the silence. She was sitting outside on her terrace, stirring her tea slowly. Emma came outside and stood next to her, “Madame, you have a visitor.”

“I do?” Mina frowned as she handed Emma her tea and went back into the house. Emma led her to the entrance hall where Vincent, the peculiar man with his suit of armor in pouring rain was standing, dressed much nicer and Mina couldn’t help but let her eyes wander. She cleared her throat and brought her eyes up to meet Vincent’s, “Mr. Sullivan, what brings you here?”

“A friend of mine invited me to lunch,” he said, “Ezra Knighton, do you know him?”

“I’ve seen him once or twice,” Mina replied with a shrug.

“Well, I thought maybe you would like to accompany me,” he said, bowing and reaching his hand out for her to take. He looked up at her and smiled, “Will you do me that honor?”

Mina couldn’t resist a smile and she took Vincent’s hand, “I might as well. It could do me some good to get out of the house.”

“Wonderful,” Vincent left Mina to finish her last minute preparations and she met him outside. He was waiting by his carriage for her and he gave her a smile that made her heart jump a little as he grabbed her hand and helped her inside. He climbed in after her and they were off.

“It didn’t occur to me that you would know people from around here,” Mina said, “How long have you known Ezra?”

“Oh, Ezra and I have been friends since we were just boys,” Vincent chuckled, looking back on his childhood memories. Vincent always remembered Ezra being a difficult child. Playing games with him was always aggravating because Ezra always wanted every detail to go his way. It was probably a blessing that he didn’t have siblings because Vincent could only imagine how hard it would be growing up with Ezra. He could only hope that his behavior improved with age. Vincent turned to Mina, who was watching the passing scenery through the window of the carriage, “I’m quite shocked you don’t know Ezra. Everyone knows everyone around here, don’t they? Or have I been away too long?”

“I met Ezra a few times but I haven’t really been social for the past year,” Mina chuckled, lightly scratching her arm with her thumbnail to keep her hands from shaking. Mina was still surprised by how hard it was living without Leland. It wasn’t until she opened her eyes every morning to the empty spot next to her in bed that her heart started to ache and it made leaving the house almost impossible. A part of her wanted to ask Vincent to turn around and let her go back home. But she knew she had to go out and make friends again.

“Really? Were you in hiding?”

“You could say that.”

“Why?”

Mina’s heart sunk to her stomach and she kept herself turned away from Vincent. She knew he would ask her but she hoped he wouldn’t. Sighing, she looked down at her hands folded on her lap, “Oh, nothing really. It was just family matters keeping me from leaving. It was all settled months ago. Or possibly weeks ago I’m not sure. Time has just flown by.”

The tension hung above their heads like a storm cloud and so Vincent dropped the subject, allowing silence for the rest of the trip to Ezra’s home. Once they were there, Vincent’s friendly smile returned as he got out of the carriage and helped Mina out. She hooked her arm through his and he led her inside. The staff knew Vincent the moment he walked in, telling him how he had been missed and it was wonderful to see him again. After that, the two of them were led into the parlor. Mina recognized Ezra but the others were new faces.

“Vincent, it’s good to see you again,” Ezra said, “I apologize for the extra guests. But it seems you brought one of your own.”

“This is Mina Boyd,” Vincent said, “She said you two have met before.”

“I believe we have,” Ezra said, “After that she completely disappeared and hid in her home for the next year. I have heard many stories about this young lady and that house.”

Mina cringed and started to try squirming out of Vincent’s grip. There were two women standing behind Ezra and one of them frowned, picking a notebook up off the table and smacking him with it, “Ezra! Don’t be so rude!”

“It’s fine, really,” Mina said, though she couldn’t resist giggling at this woman having the courage to smack someone like Ezra Knighton. She took an immediate liking to her, “And yes, I was in hiding for awhile. But I’m here now.”

“My apologies,” Ezra said, “Sometimes I speak before I think.”

“Luckily, he has a tutor to set him straight when he needs it,” the woman said with a smirk as she set her notebook back down onto the table. She grabbed Mina’s hand and shook it, “My name is Amelia Sheffield. That right there is Genevieve Darrington and Warren Renninger.”

Mina smiled nervously as she waved at the two of them. It was nice being around people again but it had been such a long time, she forgot how to be social. When Mina didn’t say anything else, Genevieve spoke up, “Our lunch is waiting for us outside. It’s such a nice day, the perfect day to eat outside.”

Genevieve and Warren walked ahead of the others and she nudged him, though both of them kept their eyes straight ahead, “What was this book you wanted to show me? You’ve been holding onto it since you walked in. May I see it now?”

“Oh! Yes, yes you can,” Warren chuckled as he handed the book to her, “I hope you don’t already have this in your collection. You have so many books in your shop I’m not really sure.”

Genevieve held the book gently in her hands as if it was made of glass and it would shatter under her touch. The book was white though it had been handled so much that it was a little dingy. But Genevieve kind of liked that. Genevieve ran her fingers over the letters as she read the title in her head. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.

“I’m not sure I own this one,” she said, “Where did you find it?”

“It was in my own personal collection. I thought you would enjoy it,” Warren said, “And others might enjoy it as well.”

“This is yours? Oh Warren this is sweet of you but I can’t take what is yours,” Genevieve said. She held the book out to him but he pushed it away, letting his hands linger on top of hers for a moment before pulling away.

“Think of it as a gift,” he said, “Tell me what you think of it once you’ve finished reading it. Madame Bovary has always been a favorite of mine.”

“Well then it must be good,” Genevieve said, glancing at Warren out of the corner of her eye with a smile that made Warren’s heart skip a beat. They all sat down together but Genevieve and Warren were in their own little world. Genevieve had already started reading the book and after awhile, Warren was leaning against her reading it with her while Ezra and Vincent caught up and Mina and Amelia got to know each other.

Rockstar_Angel17
Community Member
Rockstar_Angel17
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