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Dallas sighed deeply in the back of the small cab speeding through the English countryside. She folded the corner of her magazine in nervous hands. She’d never been outside of Canada before, no childhood trips to Disney Land or The Rockies. Her family just didn’t have the money.

Her mother, Evie, tended to shirk household chores preferring to spend her days lazing around reading magazines and thinking of things she could complain about. The evenings and nights she spent working as a waitress downtown.

Her father, Ryan, had been the “mother” for most of Dallas’ life. He worked hard to keep their house and provide for their family – along with his excessive drinking habit.

Don’t get her wrong now, Dallas wasn’t angry at her situation, it wasn’t like she could change it. She liked it just fine that her mother worked in the evenings – they never got along anyway. If Daddy never hurt anyone but himself she could tolerate his dirty habit too.

During the summer she’d usually pull more hours as a cashier at her grocery store and as a waitress at a place downtown. Dallas had dreams of becoming an art teacher, getting out of her tiny neighbourhood and going to a nice university and earning herself a degree or two.

Sadly her parents didn’t have an extra penny to send her to even a community college. So Dallas was on her own. She’d saved up a fair amount – but not nearly enough for a tuition plus room and board.

Then at a family reunion her crazy aunt from England had mention a job working as a maid for some rich people she knew. Dallas jumped at the chance hoping to make some more money.

At first she’d been excited but now a butterfly of doubt flapped around in her stomach. She twisted the emerald promise ring that her boyfriend, Jack, had given her before she left.

It was beautiful with its sparking green gem and delicate silver band. It was simple but attractive. Of course her mother hadn’t approved.

“You aren’t even out of high school and you’re thinking about marriage! How could you do this? After everything we’ve given you? Going to just throw your future away now? Run off and marry some poor handsome boy?” her mother ranted. Her father’s reaction had been somewhat different. He’d smiled a little smile then given her a big hug telling her he hoped she would be happy.

The ring provided a small comfort in this strange new land. Jack told her to call him when she got to the manor and to call whenever she needed to talk.

White lightning forked in the sky not far off in the distance. Low rumbling thunder quickly followed. A heavy curtain of rain came across the farmers’ fields and hit the taxi. A stray leaf blew up against the window. It fluttered for a moment before being pushed down by the droplets of water. Trickles of water streamed down the window and Dallas traced their paths with a finger.

The cabbie glanced at through her through the mirror. He kept trying to catch her eye but never knew if she was looking at him or not. That was the great thing about wearing silver aviators. You could see out but they couldn’t see in.

Dallas turned her head back to the window, looking at the rolling fields. Crops were pushing their way through the black soil. The car ran into a puddle and muddy water splashed up onto her window.

“Sorry,” the cabbie mumbled, trying to sink into his seat. “Jus’ can’ see all those potholes in these bloody country roads.”

Dallas smiled a tight-lipped smile then turned back to the window.

“So what brings you to Britain then?” he asked, desperate to make conversation.

“Working here for the summer,” she replied curtly.

“Ohhhhhh, very interesting. Say where’d you say you’s was from again?” he asked.

“Canada.”

“Ohhh Canada. Cold there eh?” he asked turning around in his seat.

Dallas gave him a tight smile then nodded. Quickly she took out her MP3 player to avoid anymore awkward conversations. She scrolled to Motley Crue and tapped the button twice with her thumb to play their tracks. “Kickstart My Heart” blared in her ears and she folded her arms over her chest and sunk into her seat.




“We’re here!” the cabbie turned and shouted at her. Dallas nodded her head in recognition and prepared to get out. The cabbie slowly drove up a long driveway with ancient oak trees lining it. Over their green leafy tops she caught glimpses of weathered grey stone and tall towers.

Ahead of them the trees cleared and the road twisted to the left. Dallas craned her neck and gasped when she was the manor. It was massive! Enormous!

The manor, or castle as it should have been called, was entirely made of grey stone. Its shape was that of an E on its side. Fours towers reached high into the stormy sky in the four corners. What seemed like hundreds of windows glowed and winked with the light from within.

Now to her left was some kind of small building that was made of white marble. It looked like some kind of Greek temple. A roof covered the small stone pavilion and a bench circled the interior.

Tall elm trees were scattered in little groups all over the front lawn. In a little trail behind the manor were several other buildings, which she couldn’t identify.

The car drove up to a black iron gate with a little booth on the side. A heavy-set man with long hair leaned out the window.

“Name,” he stated more than asked.

The cabbie shrugged and turned to her.

“Dallas Knox,” she stated folding her arms.

The guard nodded and the gates slowly opened. The car drove up onto a courtyard of interlocking stones. In the centre was a large fountain with a statue of a man and a snake in the middle. Around the fountain were small trees and shrubs.

Sighing and opening her door to the rain she stepped out. The manor looked more foreboding than ever now. Opening a big Hawaiian patterned umbrella she proceeded to make her way to the trunk. The cabbie was already unloading her bags. Dallas took the biggest one and began rolling it away toward the front door.

The heavy bag bumped up the steps and finally was safe from the rain under a small stone porch. Dallas raised her right hand and grasped the brass serpent knocker then knocked loudly on the door.

The heavy iron door seemed to swing open by itself. Dallas’ eyes widened at the richly decorated hall. Stepping inside she poked her head around. To the left was a grand stone staircase with dark green carpet covering each step. The banister was a highly polished black and looked as though no one had ever touched it.

Underfoot was mirror-like green marble with an expensive Persian rug covering it. A doorway across from the front door lead away from the dark hall. Dallas took a step toward it and placed a hand on the doorway peering down the dark corridor.

The walls were painted a dark green and small torches in the wall provided the only light. There was nothing or no one she could see at either end of the hall.

A beautiful bathroom lay across the doorway. Stepping inside she found it to be entirely white and made of light marble. A large window was opposite her so she crossed over and looked out.

It appeared to be another courtyard with a fountain just like the one in front. She couldn’t see the figure in the middle through the rain, but it seemed to look like a winged beast. Dallas shivered visibly before turning and walking back into the front hall.

“Hello? Is anyone here? Hello?” she called loudly.

“Here’s the last of the luggage, Miss,” the cabbie said bringing in her bags.

Dallas jumped in the air and turned around with an embarrassed look on her face.

“Sorry I didn’t mean to scare you,” he apologized sweeping off his hat. “Well now isn’t this a right place,” he said after.

Dallas smiled politely and opened her purse to find her wallet.

“Well here’s your money and thank you for the ride.”

“Always a pleasure, Miss,” he smiled before tipping his hat again then walking back out into the rain.

Dallas closed the door behind him and put her back to it. “Hello!” she called out again. Still no one answered. A doorway to her right opened to a small reception room. The lamp on the desk was off and no one was there.

Past the main staircase was another doorway, through it was a small sitting room; probably used for waiting guests. Black leather couches lined two walls and there was a window facing the front courtyard. Sighing Dallas walked over to the window and looked out over the rainy landscape.

“I think that cabbie fancied you,” a voice rang out from behind her.

Dallas jumped and let out a little squeak before turning around. She put a hand to her cheek to try to hide her blush at being scared like that twice today.

“Really? You think so?” she asked putting her hands behind her to lean on the windowsill.

The boy nodded then folded his arms. He was tall, probably 6’1” much taller than her less than 5’1” figure. His hair was the whitest blonde she’d ever seen and his skin was so pale and without a single freckle or mark. His body was hidden under strange black robes she’d never seen before, but she could tell he was pretty thin and without a lot of muscle.
Some might call him attractive but Dallas went for guys with a more muscular build. In her books this was the opposite of any guy she would like.

He seemed to be sizing her up too; his eyes gliding over her curvy figure just like all the other guys did.

“My face is up here,” Dallas said, attitude in her voice. The boy’s eyes captured her eyes in a stare and she stared right back.

“What’d you say your name is?” he asked smirking at her.

“I didn’t,” she retorted walking right up to him and putting her hands on her hips.

“Oh this should be a fun summer,” he smirked again.

“Damn straight,” Dallas replied, trying to stare him down.





Sooooo tell me what you think! Was the meeting betwen characters okay? Does Dallas sound like a cool character? Is she real sounding? Scroll down a little ..... see that pretty review button? Press it baby!

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