”When all is calm. ”

Walking through the winding hallways, the cold was gentle, and the windows showed how beautiful the winter weather was in early November. The gentle serenity, and the silence, no other sound other than the calming sound of her own footsteps as she walked through the hallways, the place she calls home.

Emma hurries her pace into a brisk walk. She knew that her other half was waiting for her in the dining room with the other guests, whereas she was allowed to turn up fashionably late. As was the new norm.

Emma walked down the grand stairway that led into the ballroom and dining room. At the bottom of the staircase, she saw her lover conversing with another lass. There was no flair of jealousy as she watched them talk, smoothing her face out and smiling, she walked down the steps, she was still quite ways from the bottom when Alexander, her lover, noticed her. He turned and looked up at her, his eyes brightened up with joy and excitement although it was concealed with an amicable smile. One that Emma herself knew quite well was that of pure bliss.

He turned, facing his love full before bowing and kissing her hand, the other girl completely forgotten. She almost felt bad for the girl.

Her smile faltered, before morphing into one of genuine happiness, ”How have you been my dear? ”

Alexander smiled, eyes glowing with happiness, ”I have been well, but more so now, as you have graced me with your presence. ”

Emma opened her fan with a deft flick of her wrist and covered her face, fanning herself whilst also hiding her face.

Alexander frowned lightly, pulling his lady closer, gently grabbing her wrist, ”Please, my love, do not hide that mesmerising face of yours. It is a sin for you to cover up such beauty. ”

The two were lost in each other for a moment and the girl that Alexander was originally talking to left feeling like she was intruding on the lovers.

Until one of Alexanders friends came up and tapped him on the shoulder, ”My dear friend, Alexander, ” his eyes raked up and down Emmas figure unabashed, ”You have yet to introduce me to your lady. ”

Alexanders gaze shifted, although it went unnoticed by either party, Emma felt Alexanders grip around her tighten, she looked at him with a questioning gaze. He smiled at her, deep down she knew that Alexander was uncomfortable.

Turning her attention back to his friend who was looking at her with a predatory gaze.

Straightening her back, she looked into his gaze, surprising the other.

”It is a pleasure to meet you, Mr… ”

”Roland, Mr Stanley Roland, ” he grabs her hand, tugging her slightly towards him, but she was not able to move due to Alexanders iron grip on her waist.

Emma did not know why she felt as if she knew the man from somewhere.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Alexander huffed tiredly as the last of the guests finally leave them for the night.

He was glad that both he and his lady were finally alone now. Turning around, with his back to the entrance hall he briskly made his way past the hardworking servants and into his private chambers where he knew his lady was waiting for him.

Once he reached the door, he felt his stomach tense. Smiling wryly; even after all this time he was still nervous to be near the lady he loves. Breathing in deeply, his hand rested on the doorknob, but before he could push in it was opened by Emma who had an impatient look on her face.

He watched as she looked down the hallways before pulling him close into a searing kiss.

Heat pooled in both their stomachs as their bodies meshed together. Any coherent thoughts have fled the couple as they kissed.

Alexander pulled her close, he loves the noises she makes, the small whimpers and moans that come from her. The way her body feels pressed close against his. Making the desire churning in him, struggling to break free, driving away all logical thoughts. And his composure breaks.

All this from just kissing her.

She breaks away for air, Emma looks at him with a beautifully innocent smile, almost as if they were not just lip locked.

Emma brings them both into the room where she unbuttons the back of her dress, she let it fall from her shoulders. Her back was clear with the occasional spot scar that made it all the more endearing to Alexander.

Taking off his jacket and undoing the first few buttons of his shirt.

Gently pushing her onto the bed.

They made love; the passion-filled room made both chase their high together.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Emma woke up earlier than her husband, as was the norm in their dynamic. Slipping out of the bed, watching her husband roll onto the pillow she put in her place.

After putting her clothes on she left the room and went to ask the kitchen for breakfast to be prepared, after that she went back to her office to carry on writing her next book. Emma was glad that some people actually enjoyed her books, although glad that no one really recognised her.

Emma never told Alexander that she was an author.

Looking over the to the bookshelf that was stocked with various genres of books; she went over and pulled a book of finance, it was to support the scene that she was writing on currently, and it was best to always get the technical language right when writing.

Emmas desk was clear, everything was casually organised, her pens and inkpot were on her left; shes left-handed and although most people tried to change her so she became ambidextrous. There were a few books on the side with various bookmarks within them and little paper tabs that stuck out. Apart from those things, there were just little trinkets plotted around, she had a ceramic piggy and toadstool on her desk which her mother-in-law had gotten for her when Alexander had just started courting her.

She started to immerse herself into her writing and was quite startled when a maid came to announce that breakfast was ready and that Alexander had requested her to come down.

”What time is it Bella? ”

”It is currently 7.30 milady. ”

Emma gaped, ”Oh gosh, thank you. Tell him that I will be down momentarily. ”

Bella bowed and left the room.

Putting her stuff away and sorted out her office before she went down to meet Alexander. Time had really left her.

She raced out of her room, quicker than what her mother would have preferred, she slowed down, opting to walk briskly instead. It did not take long for Emma to get to the dining room.

As she walked in with one of her maids behind her, she saw Alexander sipping on a cup of tea whilst writing something.

He looked up and then walked over to Emma, regarded her with loving eyes before gently guiding her to her seat before seating at the head of the table.

Breakfast was a quiet affair, but a harmonious one.

”What will you be up to today Alexander? ”

Alexander stopped and looked at his notebook, ”Oh, I need to go to the bank to go check on our investments, and then I need to go down to the theatre for rehearsal I believe. How about you? ”

Emma thought about her writing, she could bring it along and accompany Alexander for his rehearsal, she voiced it, ”This may be an impertinent request but- ”

”None of your requests has ever been impertinent, ” Alexander cut in with a tender smile.

”Oh well, ” Emma felt her face burn as she watched him smile, ”I was wondering if I could accompany you for the day? I will make myself scarce when you
e rehearsing. ”

”Of course you can, ” Alexander beamed, ”I would quite like for you to join me. ”

”I shall go and put something more appropriate on. ”

Alexander nodded, ”I shall wait for you in the lobby. ”

Emma smiled and rushed off again, she went for something a bit more neutral, something that would accentuate her clear skin, then deciding to wear a simple necklace with matching earrings.

She had a particular fondness for this dress, perhaps it was because her mother had bought this on her 20th birthday and she has still refused to wear it often due to her worries of ruining it.

Shaking off her last worries Emma raced down the stairs with Bella behind her carrying her bag.

When Emma reached the bottom of the stairs, she saw that Alexander was conversing with the housekeeper. A dark look on his face.

Slowly walking up to them, she saw the housekeeper was trembling ever so slightly.

”You have stolen from us, Mr Eland. Have we not treated you with respect and given your family more than enough? We noticed that you had taken from us and when confronted we only wanted to know why. After knowing the hardships you were going through, my lady, through the kindness of her heart, she let you, and she convinced me that you bear no ill intent, ” Alexander spoke through gritted teeth, ”So for you to gamble and squander the money that she has personally given and rewarded you! You may pack your things and go- ”

”What is going on? What is this I hear of stealing Mr Eland? ”

Mr Eland, the housekeeper, looked down feeling truly ashamed as he saw the disappointed look in his Mistresses eyes.

”I am truly sorry, young miss. I understand that a verbal apology is simply not enough and I should quell my greed. And Lord Rowe has scolded me; please, let me continue my duty serving this house. ”

Alexander breathed through his nose, a sharp sigh, before looking down at Emma when she grabbed his arm and looked at him with pleading eyes. Sighing, he looked away before looking at Mr Eland again.

”You are permitted to stay. But no more of this behaviour, or you will leave. ”

Mr Eland bowed and scrambled to say his thanks before bidding the two farewell.

They walked out into the streets, Emma felt Alexanders arm tightening around her waist.

They walked for about half an hour into town and headed straight to Lloyds bank, they stood at the entrance, waiting to be attended to. A few minutes passed until their investment representative, Mr John Abelard, came out to meet them.

Emma zoned out whilst Alexander and John spoke. The two had been good friends ever since college, and they attended the same university together before they went down their own paths. Emma herself was good friends with Johns wife, they were both writers, whilst Emmas books were more on romance Janes works were more on etiquette and fashion.

The two wrote often to one another, long letters of each other ranting and talking about various topics, both of which were keeping their husbands in the dark due to this reason; consequently, this means the husbands of the two getting slightly suspicious of whatever was going on with the two.

Emma smiled not noticing Alexander coming over and holding out his hand.

”Love, are you alright? ”

Emma looked up startled, ”Why yes, yes I am fine. Did everything go well with John? ”

Alexander noticed that her grip on her bag was tightening, but he did not mention it. Smiling, he held out his elbow, ”Shall we head off now? ”

Emma linked her arm through her lovers and the two walked at a leisurely pace through the town, into the towns centre where the theatre was.

Alexander was quite a popular actor, but still, he chose to stay in the little town of Rosewood. He was an actor although that was more of a side hustle he was a government representative that had originally come from Poland, then decided to settle down with his love for theatre. Many of the plays that included him were always big-hitters with the audience. When Emma had met him, she was introduced through a good friend of hers, Katie Jansen, her long time friend had brought her to join a club that Alexander had set up in Brisgon, which was a forty-minute carriage ride away from Rosewood; when Emma had originally gone to the club she was in a state of deep loneliness and had only spoken to Alexander a handful of times before she went to entertain herself with her friends. After that the two started talking more as they seemed to be seeing each other more often, always seeming to run into each other, it had turned out that they had common friends that knew each other.

After that, there was a period of time where they just didn contact each other, it was a good year before the two met again. This time it was because one of Emmas friends, Daician Adams, had brought her out because at the time the relationship she and her mother had, had turned painful and sour. Daician got her out of the house and took her to a party, that Alexander had hosted at his house.

Emma had only greeted Alexander and Valerie that was it for the first few hours of the party, she stayed close to Daician, unknowingly making Alexander jealous.

Alexander watched his wife smile with a faraway look in her eyes; he despised that look. The absent look, he wouldn have any idea what she would be thinking, it made him feel awfully lonely.

His grip unknowingly tightened on her arm, Emma looked up at her lovers face, his gaze was dark.

”Are you alright, love? ”

Alexander smiled, ”Of course I am, I am by your side. ”

The two entered the building, and they were greeted by Damond Einaudi, he was the theatre director, he was the one that held the responsibility for the practical and creative interpretation of a dramatic script or musical score.

Emma smiled kindly at Damond who bowed his head in greeting and exchanged a firm handshake with Alexander.

”Hope your day has been lovely so far you two, ” Damond motioned to the grande stage behind him, ”Alexander, go get ready, Fleur is ready to do your makeup, your outfit is on your dressing table, ” he turned to Emma with a warm smile on his gaunt face, ”Emma, you may come and sit at one of the seats at the front. ”

Emma nodded, ”Thank you. ”

She walked down the stairs to the very front and settled in one of the stalls. Her heart was bursting with excitement, she remembers back to when her mother would take her up to London to the Royal Albert Hall to musical concerts and watch the plays; she remembers fondly watching the ballet musical version of The Nutcracker, and another time going to the Royal Opera House to watch Tchaikovskys Swan Lake.

Reaching into her bag she pulled out her notebook and her travel pen. Looking around for inspiration, Emma started writing, and once she started she couldn stop; she was completely immersed in her writing, describing another world that she was creating with words to notice that the actors have started their rehearsal.

Emma looked up, she stared in awe, the actors were fighting; they were fighting and the intensity was amazing, she felt as if she was in the very story itself. Everything was seamless, the change in the backdrop and scenery, there were even a few moments where the actors themselves were laughing and enjoying themselves.

She looked at Alexander, he was out of breath, but a beautiful smile plastered on his face and eyes were so bright with life. Emma stared at her husband, looking down at her notebook she smiled to herself.

She carried on writing for the next two hours. After the Damond called for a break everyone left the things on stage as it was and went to go enjoy the refreshments.

”What is a young lass like you doing here? ” He asked in the gruff voice of his character.

Emma looked into his eyes, ”Just admiring the view. ”

Alexanders face stayed in character for another brief moment before he put down his sword, leaning on it whilst smiling.

”Are you hungry? ” Damonds voice rang out, ”We have some sandwiches and some pastries from the bakery. ”

He walked over to them, holding a plate in both hands, one had a vegetarian mince pie, and the other with two sandwiches.

”Mrs Rowe do you want some sandwiches? ”

Emma looked at the sandwiches, ”No thank you, I am quite full. ”

Alexander took the plate of sandwiches and put them in front of Emmas face, urging her to eat. When he saw that she was about to refuse his gaze darkened and he leaned closer to her.

”Come on, have some. ”

Feeling slightly ill looking at the food on the plate. She watched as Alexander went over to go interact with his friends, getting up slowly, Emma took the food with her and neared the exit where she saw Faith and Luciel coming.

Waving at them she noticed a child huddled into his mothers side, slowly she approaches them.

”Excuse me, I know this isn much, ” she offers them the plate, ”But please enjoy. ”

Getting up she walked over to Luciel and Katie.

”What are you two doing out here? ”

”We were just passing by! May we go in? The heat is stifling, ” Luciel complained.

Emma smiled motioning for them to go in when she felt a little tug on her skirt, she looked down to the young boy giving her plate back.

Crouching down, ”Thank you little one. How old are you this year? ”

”I am eight years old. ”

She looked at his little face and felt her heartthrob, ”When is your birthday? ”

”Whats a birthday? ”

Emma blinked, then smiled, ”A birthday is when we celebrate someone like you that has been welcomed into the world. Would you like one? ”

The boy nodded eagerly, ”Yes! I want a birthday. ”

”Nathaniel! ”

”Its alright, ” Emma held up a placating hand.

”How about we make today your birthday? ”

Looking at the glee on the young boys face, she motioned for the two to come into the theatre, when he held her hand Emma beamed and picked him up, she held the mothers hand, and walked them through the theatre, explaining the seats and areas to him.

Alexander looked over from his conversation trying to find his wife, he watched as another lady left the plate on one of the stands before joining his wife.

”Hey Katie, do you know what Emma is doing? ”

”Im not sure. But I think she is giving the child a birthday as I am pretty sure he doesn have one. ”

”Oh? ”

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