Chapter 25 – The Wait
About an hour passed while we were confined to the living and dining rooms of our elegant prison. With Alexander had gone, we had taken to restlessly wandering these two rooms to keep ourselves occupied. The kitchen remained off limits. Whenever one of us approached its door, we were politely rebuffed by one of the women and told to wait patiently for our rooms to be ready. So we waited impatiently. I had already resolved to find an excuse to be alone in a room with one of the wives, likely whichever one led me to my assigned room.
Seconds. Minutes. Hours ticked by as we waited for the dishes to be finished and put away and for our hostesses to return for us. When the three women finally opened those kitchen doors, I caught a glimpse of an old style kitchen, all I polished white ceramic and brushed steel. Then the door swung shut and the portal closed once more. The three women marched towards the foyer and calling for our attention. When we were all standing and listening, Janice spoke.
“Rooms have been selected for each of you and they are ready for you. We will take each of you to them in turn. I has been requested for you to remain within your rooms for the duration of the evening. Unless Alexander returns and calls for you.” Her face was stern, but not unkind. “If you require anything, assistance or sustenance, there will be a bell provided and we will come to aid you as quickly as possible between our other household duties.” She paused, looking at each of us critically, before taking a deep breath and nodding to herself.
“If the young gentleman would be so kind as to follow Ms. Elizabeth.” She glanced between his passive expression and the grin of delight on the young woman’s face. “She will attend to anything you may need, all you need is ask.” She gave Elizabeth a disapproving glance, but said nothing more.
“If Ms. Susan would be so kind as to follow Ms. Anne?” She glanced at me, waiting for a soft nod from me before giving a concerned glance at the younger woman. “If there are any issues with your room, just tell Ms. Anne and she will inform me. Together we will do what we can to correct the problem.”
Finally, she looked at Bobbi, glancing down at the grown out and undyed pink hair with a disgusted expression and let out a distinct harrumphing sound before speaking again. “And, Ms. Bobbi, you will need to follow me. I will make sure your room and any other concerns are addressed.” The older woman’s voice had grown temporarily cold, mimicking the tone her husband had used shortly before he left. She waited for no response from our British companion before continuing.
“All of you must listen. There are few rules in this house, and by following them the lives of all will be made better.” She turned and looked at each of us in turn, locking eyes and staring for a brief moment before continuing. “First, do not question the edicts of Alexander. Everything he does, he does with the intention of improving life for all who live in Paradise. If you question his orders, you question the very bedrock of this community and it will send him and many of the others in Paradise into a rage. To avoid his wrath, please do not defy him.”
“Second, some of the rooms in this house are off limits at all hours and no matter the reason. The door at the top of these stairs leads to the guest bathroom. This door and the doors to your rooms are the only rooms to which you are allowed access. If you are found in any room but these, you will be in violation of the house rules. It is likely you will be forcibly evicted from Paradise and the process of eviction is not a pleasant one…”
“Finally.” She shot a glare at Elizabeth and Rick before she elaborated. “The most important rule of this house, and the town in general, is that of property. If something belongs to Alexander, be it object, animal or person, you are expressly forbidden to touch, take, or manipulate it without permission.” I could see her bristle at the implication that people could be considered property, but she gave no other obvious indication about her own thoughts on the matter. Instead, she curtly finished her description and bid us each to follow our individual guides.