• Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 37 - a story inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 37

    Chapter Twelve continued Elaina’s hands automatically flew to her hair, which hung down around her shoulders in soft tangles, clearly not recently brushed. Her stomach turned over, the nibble of the cookie suddenly not sitting well. She really should have paid closer attention to the time. She couldn’t bring herself to look directly at Rose’s face, afraid of what she would see. “Well, uh, Robert thought a quiet afternoon in, um, the library would be good for me. You know, especially since he was busy this afternoon. He thought it might, er, help calm my nerves.” “And has it?” Elaina giggled a little. “Well, I did lose myself in a…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 36 - a story inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 36

    Chapter Twelve continued Elaina had done as Robert had suggested: she’d lost herself in a book. She’d become so lost that, by the time her head had emerged, she’d had exactly five minutes to get to Rose’s study for tea. She’d gasped and flung herself from the plush armchair, hoping fervently her hair wasn’t too untidy and her green gown not too wrinkled. Rose was, of course, perfectly coiffed and attired. Elaina couldn’t help but feel like a scullery maid next to her. But Rose only glanced over her with her usual cool expression before silently indicating she should take the seat opposite her at the dainty round table. While…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 35 - a story inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 35

    Chapter Twelve continued “Your mother is inviting me to tea this afternoon,” Elaina said as her eyes re-read the words for the third time. “My mother is what?” “Tea,” Elaina said, looking up at him. “Rose wants me to have tea with her. Just her and me. Should I be worried?” Robert scratched at his ear, an uncomfortable look on his face. “I don’t know, Elaina. I really don’t.” Elaina carefully laid the invitation alongside her plate. She pressed her fingers down firmly over it to stop them from shaking even a little. Rose hadn’t been particularly unpleasant, but neither had she been anything more than a frigid ice sculpture,…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 34 - a story inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 34

    Chapter Twelve Isabelle didn’t know who I was. It was refreshing. She’d been dragged to Mother’s latest garden party by her roommate. She’d just moved to the area and hadn’t heard about the recluse in Roderick Hall. She was able to get to know me with fresh eyes and heart, but she had moved here after having her heart crushed. Her heart was not ready to let go of the man who had shattered her. She was a wonderful friend, but couldn’t see us being anything more. I planted the __ in her honor. And I mean that. It was an honor to have been her friend. Lunch was nearly…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 33 - the next part in my work in progress inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 33

    Chapter Eleven continued Elaina took a hasty sip of her ice cold water. Then her eyes wandered back to where Robert was still poking at his food. “It’s not poisoned, you know,” she said, perhaps a little too rudely. He started slightly before looking up with a sheepish look. “Sorry, Elaina. I’m just lost in thought.” He took a sip from his own glass. “I apologize for not being a good dinner companion.” Elaina closed her eyes briefly. “Just tell me why we can’t paint your study a lovely shade of blue or green.” Robert sighed. “I just can’t. It doesn’t feel right.” “I swear, Robert,” she said, her voice…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 32 - the next part of my Beauty and the Beast inspired story

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 32

    Chapter Eleven continued As much as jumping up and running out of this circus was starting to become more and more appealing, Robert was proving to be a conundrum that fascinated her brain. How he could go from being upset with her for acquiescing to his mother to wanting to repaint some room she’d never seen before eluded her. “Yes,” he said, somewhat more enthusiastically as he finally finished heaping root vegetables on his plate, which she thought was odd since he was definitely more of a carnivore than plant eater. “Typical man” was the only thing that ran through her head. “Is there something wrong with it?” she ventured…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 31 - the next part of my work in progress inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 31

    Chapter Eleven continued “You shouldn’t do everything Rose says,” Nigel said softly. “Robert is right in that. She’ll run you down like a lawn mower.” Elaina gave him a thin smile. “Don’t worry about me, Nigel. I’m starting to learn about his mother. Please trust I know what I’m doing.” He assessed her for a moment before giving a short, curt nod. “You have more of a backbone than most other companions.” “I’m trying,” Elaina said softly. “Thank you, Nigel. Please let Rose know I’ll be delighted to have freshly baked brioche ready for her at nine tomorrow morning.” Nigel gave her a deeper, more formal bow before leaving her…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 30 - the next segment of my work in progress inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 30

    Chapter Eleven continued The dining room was brightly lit and full of the delicious scents of dinner when they walked in. Elaina felt her shoulders relax a smidgen as she took a deep breath of freshly roasted chicken. But Robert’s still stiff posture quickly brought her back to reality. The table had been set for three, but one plate had already been filled, the chair before it slightly askew. A chicken leg had been picked clean and a few half-eaten root vegetables littered the plate. A wine glass held the remnants of a red wine and red lipstick. A glass dish clearly bore the marks of a trifle eaten and…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 26 - the next part in my work of fiction based on Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 26

    Well, Elaina is about to find out something about Robert. Probably not too surprising. But maybe he’ll surprise her with a very different kind of skill? Chapter Ten Annie was not lovely. She was actually very plain. That’s exactly why I picked her. I was tired of pretty faces and thought a plain one would be good change. Maybe it wasn’t a pretty face I would fall for. Sadly, she was just as plain in her thinking and interests. I don’t think I’ve ever been so bored before. And into the ground went the ___ in her honor. Robert shrugged apologetically as Elaina stared disbelievingly at the potatoes he had…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 24 - a story inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 24

    (Chapter 9 continued) “Nigel is indisposed and will be unable to assist you this afternoon,” were the first words out of Rose’s mouth as Elaina and Robert walked into the dining room. Rose stood beside the table, already filled with plates and platters telling the tale of a cold lunch that would be presided over by an even colder woman. Her hair was, as always, pulled back into a shiny yet severe chignon and she wore a crisp violet dress that looked like it belonged in an office. One hand was delicately resting on the back of one chair, a large diamond ring sparkling from one finger. “What do you…