|Автор произведения||Anne Mather|
|Серия||Mills & Boon Modern|
A glance at her watch confirmed her worst fears. It was almost nine o'clock. She scrambled off the bed, smoothed her creased dress, and noticed irrelevantly that her cases had arrived from the Celeste and had been carefully unpacked for her and the clothes put away. They must have been dealt with during her walk that afternoon, but she had not noticed them earlier.
She was about to open the door and make her way downstairs in an attempt to discover what was going on, when Constancia herself opened the door and smiled her pleasant smile.
“Ah, the señorita is awake! You are hungry, yes? I will bring you a tray. What would you like? There is chicken, or salmon, or shellfish. You tell me what you would like and I will fetch it –”
Sarah lifted her shoulders helplessly. “But, Constancia, I've been asleep for over four hours. I was supposed to supervise the children's tea at five o'clock. Whatever will Señora Serena think of me?”
Constancia moved her hands in a soothing gesture. “Max supervised the children's tea, as he had done for many months now. And the señor said you were not to be disturbed.”
“The señor? Oh!” Sarah pressed the palms of her hands to her hot cheeks. “Did the señor expect to see me?”
Constancia nodded, and then as Sarah began looking agitated, she said in reply: “At six o'clock, before dinner, he asked me to come and fetch you. When I found you were asleep I told the señor, and he gave his instructions. It is natural that you were tired. You have had a long journey and the weather here can be tiring if you are not used to it.”
“Did the señor say that?”
“Si. Do not worry, señorita. The señor is not a slave-driver.”
Sarah smiled and allowed her arms to fall to her sides. “Do you think he'll want to see me now?”
“No, of course not, señorita. Besides, he is not at home. He left after dinner to visit with the Diaz family. He took the Señorita Dolores home.”
“I see.” Sarah felt that strange feeling stirring in her stomach again. She did not know what it was, but it was not pleasant; it was disturbing.
“He told me to tell you that he would see you in his study tomorrow morning at nine o'clock sharp.” Constancia smiled wider. “You will not sleep in tomorrow, señorita. I will see that you have plenty of time to prepare yourself.”
Sarah had to smile in return “And will you show me where his study is, Constancia? I have no idea where to go. And what time do the children have breakfast?”
Constancia shrugged. “Sometimes seven, sometimes eight – why? Surely you do not intend to breakfast with them? Everyone breakfasts in their rooms, except the señor, of course.”
“That's exactly what I do intend,” said Sarah firmly. “After all, I'm not a guest, Constancia. I'm here to work.” She bent her head. “But will you please call me about six-thirty, please, as I doubt whether I shall wake of my own accord.”
“Certainly,” Constancia nodded. “That is the time I begin my work. I will call you then.” She turned to go. “And now you will leave it to me and I will provide you with a delicious supper, si?”
“Very well.” Sarah allowed herself to relax, and with a flourish of her full skirt, Constancia left to get the meal.
Sarah wandered over to her balcony and leaned against the rail listening to the steady lap of the waves. It was a wonderful night. The sky overhead was an arch of dark blue velvet inset with diamonds, while a sickle of a moon floated behind wispy clouds. Never in England had she felt this aching longing to be out in the night, doing something exciting. Faintly, she could hear the sounds of music and voices, far away, and she thought it must be a party going on at one of the other villas. The music was the throbbing beat of the calypso, and Sarah felt she wanted to move in time to its compelling rhythm.
She thought about Dolores Diaz, and wondered whether it was from her home the sounds were coming. Was she there, dancing with Jason de Cordova? Was that why she was so friendly with Serena, to gain access to this house to see the señora? It did not seem unreasonable. The señor and his wife did not seem on the best of terms with one another. Could it be that he was seeking consolation with another woman? The thought was repulsive. She had liked Jason de Cordova, and she did not like to think of him with Dolores Diaz.
Constancia returned to interrupt her reverie and she was glad. Whatver was going on in the personal lives of the occupants of this house was none of her business, and the sooner she realised it the better.
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