Hidden Secrets
By Sherlyn Peterson
Date: October 14, 2020
Ch. 22


“Jeez, I thought you said we were staying in a cottage?” I ask as I gaze out of the window at the enormous mansion in front of us.

“That’s what the ad on the website said!” Sabastian says with just as much shock as me.

“Are you sure this is the right place?” I ask looking at the map that is lying across the dashboard. My mind doesn’t want to accept the fact that someone would rent out such a massive place to complete strangers for any period of time.

“I followed the directions he gave me…I guess there is only one way to find out.” He reaches into his pocket and produces the keys, jingling them in my face.

“I bet you we got lost.” I say, stepping out of the car to look around.

We are in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees. Even in the dim dusk light I can make out the vast expanse of forest around us. It’s eerily quiet; the only sounds to be heard are the rustling of leaves in the soft breeze and the hollow hooting of an owl.

I jump as hands slip around my waist.

“What do I win if the door opens with the key?” Sabastian whispers against the skin of my neck, sending shivers down my spine.

How did he sneak up on me? Maybe I was too caught up in the scenery to notice his footsteps. His lips banish all thoughts as they nibble at my earlobe.

“How about…if you win, you can have me anywhere and anytime you want the whole time we’re here?” I offer.

He growls at the salacious thoughts I’m sure are running through his mind and I giggle at the images popping up in mine. I really hope there is an indoor pool or maybe even a hot tub…with jets.

“And if I win…” I pause trying to think of the perfect prize for me. Genius strikes, “you have to do that thing with your tongue that I like so much…every day!” I bite my lip and wait for his response, I really hope I win!

“You drive a hard bargain Ms. Miles.” He says pursing his lips in thought. “Deal!” he finally says, releasing me to shiver in his absence while he walks up the steps to the door.

He slips the key into the lock, pausing for dramatic effect which makes me roll my eyes; he winks at me as he slowly turns the key. A soft click resounds from the door telling me that I’ve just lost the bet.

A triumphant smile breaks across his gorgeous face and he extends a hand for me to take as he pushes the door open.

“Shall we take a tour before or after I take you anywhere I want?” he asks in a low sexy growl making me blush.

I stare at him speechless, my body heats under his seductive gaze and for a split second I have the inkling to jump him right here in the threshold.

“Tour?” I ask rather than answer, breaking his spell.

He leads me through the foyer into the large open floorplan. The living room is a mix of modern and rustic, the dining room has a table large enough to seat a football team, and the kitchen is fit for a chef.

I twirl in a circle, admiring the way the natural oak, vaulted ceilings, and antlers mingle perfectly with the clean lines, elegant furnishings, and stainless steel accents.

I blow out a low whistle. I can’t even imagine how much money was spent designing this place. I’m almost afraid to touch anything for fear of breaking it. Who needs this much space?

Sabastian doesn’t seem anywhere near as impressed as I am, but then again, with as much money as he has I’m sure his house is just as lavish as this one…if not bigger.

Come to think of it, I’ve never seen his house before; not that I’ve ever asked to see it. Granted we have only known each other for a week; in my defense, he’s never offered either.

An unsettling feeling comes over me, but I can’t quite put my finger on the issue, so, I push it out of my mind and continue exploring.

We walk around the first floor passing bath rooms, studies, a library, and even a large ball room before heading to the basement.

When we reach the last step, the sight before us has my mind reeling! The main room of the lower level is outfitted with everything you would find in an arcade and then some.

There are two tournament length bowling lanes that run along the far wall with racks of different sized balls and shoes positioned next to the score tracker. To the left is a giant sign reading ‘THEATER’ over arched double doors with a snack area fit with a popcorn maker, fountain drink dispenser, and a large display of every candy on the market.

“WOW! I wish my apartment building had something like this in it, I would never leave.” I say, running my fingers along the mural of mermaids frolicking with schools of fish and turtles.

“It looks like we will have plenty to keep us busy while we’re here!” Sabastian says visually relaxing as he picks up a bowling ball and mocks rolling it down the lane before gently setting it in its original resting place.

After exploring the lower level and trying out a few of the games, we head upstairs to the second floor.

We count a total of 6 bed rooms and 5 bathrooms on the second level. It all seems like a dream when we find the master suite with an attached bathroom and balcony. When I see the Jacuzzi steaming in the cool night air, I almost giggle at my secret fantasy. Maybe I will get to live this one out.

From the balcony I can see for miles down the side of the mountain as well as a large greenhouse with an attached indoor pool right in the back yard. It’s like this place was ripped straight from my dreams and magically materialized in front of me. I’ve only ever seen places like this in high end magazines and movies.

My mind drifts as I take in the beauty surrounding me. I imagine what it would be like to live here for the rest of my life, surrounded by such beauty and serenity instead of the fast paced city that never sleeps. I let my mind wonder into dangerous territory, imagining having my wedding in the garden…raising me and Sabastian’s children here, if we had any. Who would the look like? In my fantasies they would be the spitting image of Sabastian; he’s perfect in every way.

That unsettling feeling rouses once again, reminding me that we have a lot more to learn about each other. I don’t even know if he wants kids or not, or if he wants to get married someday.

“It’s beautiful isn’t it?” Sabastian’s smooth sexy voice breaks through my reverie.

He wraps his arms around my waist and rests his chin on my head. I lean into his warm embrace and we watch the sun disappear behind the horizon.

I sigh and close my eyes, listening to his breathing. I can’t believe I get to have him all to myself for the next two weeks. “Yes, it’s amazing.” I say, swiveling around to face him “Thank you! I hadn’t realized how much I truly needed a break from my life until this moment.”

He hugs me close and kisses my forehead. I bury my face in his chest, inhaling his masculine cologne. In this moment I’m completely content here in his arms. It’s as if all of my problems and worries were left behind in New York and now I know what it’s like to be truly happy.

“I have a surprise for you!” Sabastian says excitedly, grabbing my hand and covering my eyes with the other, then leading me through the large room when he is sure I can’t see anything.

“It’s been a really long trip and I thought we could both unwind tonight.” He says uncovering my eyes, revealing a breathtaking view.

The bathroom is lit by thousands of candles; the large Jacuzzi tub is full of steaming hot water with flower petals floating on the surface shaped like a heart, and the whole room smells like vanilla and lavender.

I thought this day couldn’t get any better…I was wrong!

“I’ll go grab the bags from the car, I expect you to be wearing nothing but bubbles when I get back!” he winks at me and pulls me into a deep passionate kiss that has my legs threatening to give out.

He chuckles when I reluctantly release him and leaves me to undress.

I dip my toes into the water, testing the temperature, and immerse myself into the heavenly liquid. My muscles immediately begin to relax as the heat sets in and the vanilla and lavender scents dance through the air around me, clearing my mind and enticing my senses.

Jets of water massage my skin making me sigh in content. This is the life! I’m going to have to save some money and invest in my own Jacuzzi tub when I get back home.

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