Read Echoes in the Bayou Online

Authors: Ursula Dukes

Echoes in the Bayou (6 page)

"I'm
sure I’ve got one of those, have a seat and I’ll be right back," he said
and pulled out a chair at the kitchen table. While Magnus went in search of
antiseptic, Ava took a glance around. From all appearances the kitchen seemed
to be updated. Except for the keurig coffee maker and half empty stand, the
large country style kitchen looked as if it hardly got any use. The kitchen
table with its cottage look was antique and seemed to go well with the décor
and overall theme of the kitchen.  Ava immediately got the sense that her
new employer spent a lot of time in the kitchen
.
Perhaps this is where he gets most of his writing done,
she thought to herself as she glanced at the closed
laptop sitting on the table.

"Sorry
I took so long, this bottle is kind of old but it should get the job done and I
found some bandages too," he said holding a bottle of rubbing alcohol and
white bandages.  While the two made small talk, Magnus cleaned the cut on
her leg. In an awkward moment, she was forced to rest her leg in his lap. She
was thankful that she had taken the time to shave her legs this morning and
that she was wearing a skirt. She would not have wanted to pull down her pants
in front of a stranger.

Magnus wanted to make her feel as comfortable as he
could. The moment he touched her he thought he’d combust, he only hoped that
she hadn’t noticed. Ava Montgomery was one beautiful woman and her eyes were
the most intense color of green, there was nothing to compare to the beauty of
her green eyes because her eyes bore the perfection of the color
green.  They offset raven colored hair that fell in spiral curls down
to her waist. Immediately he felt haunted, he got the feeling that they had met
somewhere before, long ago. And that whenever or wherever they had met, she had
bewitched him. Though it may have been very inappropriate to think so, he was
glad that she’d injured herself and needed his help. It had been a long time
since anyone needed his help.

 

Chapter
Five

 

When the
bloodied napkin appeared at the base of the oak tree that shown the initials
C.M. The old tree looked as if it had sprouted wings; its low lying; bent and
heavy branches sprang to life and slowly reached up towards the sky.  It
was as if the old tree had been curled up asleep and something had awoken it,
causing it to stretch its tired limbs, limbs that had been sullen for hundreds
of years.  All the surrounding oaks that were set in the heart of the
bayou had begun to stir as well. The bayou that surrounded the Montieu
plantation was coming alive.

"I'm
so sorry that you hurt yourself Miss Montgomery," Magnus said as he gently
rubbed his hands along her leg. He had just finished placing the last of the
bandages on her and found himself unintentionally running his hand along her
leg trying to smooth out the bandage. "It’s quite alright, and please call
me Ava," she smiled at him. "And thank you for helping me out,"
she said and reluctantly removed her leg from his lap.

That
brought him out of his haze; he had been staring at her so intently that he
felt like he was hypnotized.

"
Here, let me show you around," he said and once
again offered her his arm. While he was showing her around, Ava began to get
the distinct feeling of déjà vu. She couldn’t help but feel as if she’d been
there before. Maybe she had sensed it earlier too but the abrupt manner with
which she came upon the place had caused her to conceal it. And she shared her
feelings with Magnus when he showed her to the room he had prepared for her.
The moment she entered, it was as if a bright flash bulb went off in her face.
The light in the room changed and all of a sudden, it felt as if she was looking
through someone else’s eyes.

In the
back ground she could hear the faint sound of men talking and somewhere far
off, someone was singing. It was also no longer the evening, the warmth of the
sun was almost overwhelming and she felt suffocated. "Ava are you
alright?" Magnus asked. He had gently nudged her trying to bring her out
of her trance. "Where were you just then?" He asked with concern in
his voice. Even though he’d just met her, he felt as if he knew her, knew her
well enough to know that something spooked her.

"Ava,
look at me, what just happened?"

Ava shook
her head and blinked her eyes. The room had returned to its normal state and
the sun was setting.
"Nothing happened,
just tired," she said and tried to laugh it off. But Magnus didn’t believe
her, he could tell by the look in her eyes that something drastic had just
happened to her and he hoped that she wasn’t assaulted by a ghost. He held her
firmly in his arms until she gently tugged free. "This room is
beautiful Magnus, thank you."

The large
bedroom looked quite luxurious with its massive four poster king sized bed
complete with lace coverlet. A large fireplace dominated the opposite side of
the room while two plush Edwardian chairs sat on either side of it.  An
elongated oval shaped mirror hung above the fireplace and the dresser, armoire,
and dressing table, along with the night stands were all handmade antique
furniture.

"This
is really beautiful. I absolutely love anything antique, I plan to open my own
shop one day but I might never leave," she said and ran her fingers along
the delicate lace coverlet.

"
That’s fine with me," Magnus grinned. "As
you can see I’ve redecorated some of the bedrooms too," he said glancing
around. "There are several rooms here that I haven’t even gone into,"
he sighed.  "But I hope that in time you’ll help me with that."

"
Of course, that’s what I'm here for," she smiled
at him.

He
realized that he hadn’t been this happy in a very long time. Not only did he
come up with a brilliant idea for his new book, but standing in the room next
to him was a beautiful woman telling him that she may never want to leave.
Maybe I should rethink selling this old place after
all,
he thought to himself. "Ava
Montgomery, you couldn’t have shown up at better time." He took a risk and
told her so. "Make yourself at home, I’ll go and get your bags."

After he
excused himself, Ava plopped down on the bed; she knew she’d have a few moments
to think about what she’d just experienced. Why was it that she felt so
comfortable in this room? Like she’d been in it before? And what the hell was
that strange vision about? Maybe she visited the place as a child and that was
a flashback, like when her parents took her to Virginia and they visited a
museum that recreated American life back in the 1800’s. Yes, that must have
been what she was seeing, it was just a flashback.

 
But when Magnus returned and she began questioning him
about the history of the place, he told her that as far as he knew, the
plantation had never been set up to recreate anything and after Katrina it had
been and put up for sale, that’s when he bought it. Before that, it stood
vacant for several years. "No one wanted to buy the place because of its
location," he told her.  "Although some people like its remote
location, most do not, they need it to be a little closer to civilization so to
speak."

"Well
what made you buy it Magnus?" She asked with curiosity.

"
Me? Well I had just gotten engaged and my fiancé and I
had just returned to New Orleans several months after Katrina hit when I
started looking for a new place and I don’t know… there was something about
this place that seemed to call out to me. It was screaming my name so I called
up my realtor, put in an offer and was the new owner of Montieu plantation the
very next day."

"Oh
so you and your fiancé live here?" Ava asked disappointed.
Of course
Gavin would send me here where the prospect of falling in love again would be
completely out of my reach, the selfish bastard
.
"Oh no not anymore, she broke things off with me
but I decided to move here anyway so here I am alone," he said, trying to
hide his sadness.

"
I'm sorry; it’s none of my business. I was just trying
to get a feel for the place and its owner," her smile full of hope. There
was something about her eyes that made him want to tell her everything about
him. How he was incapable of love and that his ex-fiancé had spent years using
him, but that he didn’t care because he didn’t want to spend the rest of his
life alone.

"Ava,
I hope you’re not tired," he said hoping that she was a night owl like
him. And after she told him that she wasn’t, he invited her downstairs for a
bite to eat. When she eagerly accepted, he found himself grinning from ear to
ear. "That’s wonderful," he said with cheerfulness.

Ava
released yet another smile.
"Just let me
get freshened up and changed, I’ll join you in a moment."

 
  She made sure to draw the curtains before she
got undressed, there were some strange things going on, and she didn’t need the
feeling of someone watching her added to it.

A
s she stood underneath the soothing water, she thought
about her employer Magnus. He was very attractive, and his jet black hair was
almost shoulder length, a little wild but still very sexy. Longer hair was
something that she usually disliked on a man, but on him the longer hair suited
him quite well.

She
imagined him running hi
s fingers through it when
he got frustrated or worried. How it must fall sexily around his glasses when
he’s looking down. It didn’t hurt that besides having a tall and well-built
body, he had the most erotic looking eyes. They were a shade darker than pure
gold, and they were incredibly mysterious.
Yes, Magnus DuPonte is one sexy writer
, she told herself as she got dressed.

A
nd he seemed to be very attentive; did she sense an
almost immediate attraction?
Well
immediately after he scared the shit out of me
with a baseball bat
, she laughed at herself. She had put him in his place
though and she hoped that he saw that she was no weakling.
I think I’ll
be able to handle Magnus and this job pretty damn well
,
she told herself and stepped out of the shower.

Not
wanting to appear sloppy, she fished through her luggage until she found
something suitable.
  She put on a pair of
linen capris and a white tank top. After finger combing her long curly locks,
she dabbed on some lip gloss and made her way down the stairs and towards the
kitchen.

"Ah
just in time, you look very nice," he said. Magnus had prepared some left
over fried chicken, biscuits and potato salad.

"
Wow, now don’t tell me you cooked all of this?"
She asked in disbelief.

Magnus
let out a snicker.
"Nope, my parents came
for a visit and my mother who loves to cook, prepared this wonderful meal. So I
hope you like it," he said with nervousness. He didn’t know why but he
wanted to do everything in his power to impress her, to make her feel welcomed.
And he hoped that it was working.

While the
two ate and talked, the area around the old house continued to come alive. The
step that had caved when she stepped on it had slowly started to repair
itself.  The crumbling columns that stood in front of the grand house
suddenly turned rock-solid again. And slowly but surely the peeling paint began
to dissolve into a smooth, milky white luster. And while all of this was going
on; something in the bayou stirred.

Magnus
and Ava talked well into the night and while he tried his best to listen to Ava
talk about all the grand ideas she had for the place, he found it hard to
concentrate. He hoped that his expression was one of sincere interest but he
couldn’t stop his mind from wandering. As she talked he kept his eyes fixated
on her. He liked watching her lips move, she had the most wonderful pout and he
didn’t stop himself from imagining what it would feel like to kiss her softly
on the lips.

He envisioned
her incredibly soft tan skin against his while they slowly made love to one
another… "Magnus are you listening?" She asked with a grin on her
face.

She was
pretty sure that he didn’t realize it but he had the most devilish look on his
face just then, seeing it made her blush
.

"Huh?
Oh yeah, yeah of course I was listening," he lied
.

Ava
folded her hands under her c
hin and stared into
his eyes. "Oh really? What did I just say?" She let out a giggle.

Magnus was
taken by surprise; he wasn’t expecting her to ask him to repeat what she’d just
said.
"Well you were talking about your
plans for renovations of course," he said with a grin.

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