Rebecca felt as though she was going to faint. She had to control herself! She had received a very strange look from Lorraine when she burst into tears.
How could she tell them that she knew the messenger? As far as anyone here knew, she was a complete stranger to this area. She had gotten the shock of her life when she saw his face for the first time.
He was her ex husband, Richard Hargreaves! Her sorrow suddenly turned to anger. What was he doing here? How long had he been here? So many questions, and no answers.
When she could finally use her voice without sobbing, she approached Robert Witherspoon and whispered to him quietly.
"Could I have a word with you privately Mr. Witherspoon?"
Robert nodded unobtrusively. He couldn't for the life of him figure out why the lass had taken on so, about a complete stranger. Perhaps whatever she had to say in private would shed some light on the small mystery.
"Well then Missy, if ye be stayin' here, ye might as well make yourself useful. Come down to the kitchen with me and help me throw together some dinner."
Rebecca flashed a grateful smile at him and followed him out of the room.
John watched her leave and shook his head, mystified.
"She didn't seem to be the hysterical type. I wonder why the poor messenger's fate affected her so?"
Lorrie shrugged, also at a loss.
"It was almost like she was suffering from grief. Did she know the man, I wonder? For that matter, did you know him John? He was wearing your father's livery."
"I've never seen him before, but that means little these days. My father has been carrying on a very clandestine correspondence with your father of late. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if he were to hire someone unknown to the rest of the household to do his private bidding. The old curmudgeon!"
Lorrie giggled with mild shock.
"John! That is no way to talk about the man that sired you!"
"I don't care! He has never been an affectionate father, but lately he has been downright surly and demeaning. As shocking as it may be for you to hear this, I do not particularly care for the man."
Lorrie placed a sympathetic hand on his shoulder, innocently unaware of what the unexpected touch was doing to her lifelong friend.
He flushed a brilliant red, then turned to her slowly,and tilted her chin up gently. He lowered his lips to hers, and kissed her softly. Then as he was overcome by emotion and desire, he encircled her with his arms and embraced her with passion!