decadent_david: (Glancing Back)
[personal profile] decadent_david
Although David had left Paris in a hurry, intent on getting Hugo and Rhea onto a train bound for Ireland, his hotel rooms had been left in good order. The only thing that he’d left amiss was a heap of newspapers stacked on the floor near the divan. David had quickly left instructions at the front desk that his rooms should be left as they were until he returned. And the staff had dutifully followed his wishes, leaving his rooms locked and undisturbed.



His leaving had not gone unnoticed, however. From the lobby, a casual gathering place for the residents of the Hotel Degres de Notre Dame, Simon Barker had watched David’s hurried arrival and subsequent departure. Simon’s seat near a window afforded him a good vantage point to see David toss his bags into a waiting carriage, and as he stepped in, the man hired by David’s father to track his activities caught a glimpse of the others already seated inside. A young woman’s face was unfamiliar to him, he was reasonably sure David had not kept her company since his arrival in Paris. But the young man seated next to David, now that was a face he recognized. He recalled the day he had witnessed an affectionate exchange between the two men in the park. And now David was apparently leaving town with that same man, and a woman. What madness had he gotten himself involved in?

David’s actions could mean so many things. None of them good, Simon thought. The elder Mr. Wenham must be told. If David had gotten a girl into trouble, this could affect the entire Wenham family, should she choose to claim the family name on behalf of a bastard child. But what of the young man in David’s company? The entire situation was proving to be very confusing.

Perhaps David’s suite would lend answers to these mysteries. Waiting until the desk clerk was otherwise occupied, Simon took the lift to David’s floor, and with a practiced hand, gained entrance to his suite. His eyes swept the rooms, noting that David had spared no expense in his lifestyle. The bar was well stocked with rare wines and whiskey, and surprisingly, Absinthe. He strode into the bedroom, and gaped at the lewd painting of a woman he found hanging within. A writing desk caught his eye. Pulling drawers out, he drew stacks of correspondence from within, quickly shuffling through the envelopes, finding mostly letters from David’s father and one of his sisters. He read through a few of the more recent ones, but found no clues to David’s whereabouts. A small journal rested in the bottom drawer, but had been used for shopping lists and laundry notes, nothing of importance.

Simon grew angrier by the minute. He was loath to tell Mr. Wenham that he had lost track of the man’s son. Frustrated, he tossed the letters on the floor, taking a small amount of satisfaction in seeing the mocking perfection of the rooms marred. His eye twitched, and something in his mind turned dark and cloudy. David had no right to put on this show of a perfect life, Simon thought, not when the truth was so very different. The rest of the contents of the desk drawers followed the letters in a shower of paper. No right whatsoever, he thought, as he sliced through the fabric of the sitting room divan, smirking as the feathers covering the horsehair interior fluttered through the room. Luxury and comfort should be earned, not taken for granted, he muttered as he smashed the bottles on the bar, one by one, overturning the bar over when he could find no more glass to break. One should earn their way in life before they are allowed to sleep on silken sheets. He smiled in satisfaction as fine fabric tore between his fists. Is it fair to one who has traveled a great distance to fulfill the requests of a respectable New York businessman to be tricked, to make to look like the fool? Curtains fell from bent rods as he seized them in shaking hands. How dare he elude me, make me look like an idiot in the eyes of my employer? It’s not fair in the least, he thought as bookshelves crashed to the floor and dresser drawers splintered as they hit the walls. That brat of a boy has caused me nothing but headaches since this assignment began.

Pausing to catch his breath, Simon realized the extent of the damage he’d done in his anger. He had to get out of here quickly, find a bar, down many drinks, and then would return to his rooms to write one final letter to Mr. Wenham. He had, simply put, had quite enough of the Wenham family.

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August 2003

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