Anew: The Epilogue

Anew: The Epilogue by Josie Litton Read Free Book Online

Book: Anew: The Epilogue by Josie Litton Read Free Book Online
Authors: Josie Litton
question,” I say softly. “This
dressing room is filled with built-in racks, drawers, and shelves but nothing
that could be called a cabinet. The clothes are certainly a delight but
‘secret’ didn’t seem to fit anything. Then I looked at the plaque more
closely.”
    As I speak, I point to the small depression in the shape of
the pad of a thumb that is just barely visible next to the lettering.
     “It accepts my imprint. I’m wondering if it also accepts
yours.”
    He holds my gaze long enough to make clear that he has
questions--what I kept from him, why I did so, and why I’m revealing it now. He
won’t have to wonder about the first much longer. As for the rest…I just have
to hope that he will understand.
    At the touch of Ian’s thumb against the soft, gleaming
metal, a scanner whirs, followed almost instantly by a click. A hidden door in
the wall we are facing swings open a few inches, revealing a crack of light.
With that, I realize that we were always both intended to access what lies on
the other side.
    Ian pushes the door open wider and takes my hand. Together,
we step into a room only slightly smaller than the golden bedroom behind us. Windowless,
it is softly lit by recessed lighting in the ceiling and walls that I know from
past experience comes on when the plaque is touched.
    As before, my first impression is that the room is a study
in beauty and opulence. Its size is magnified by the gilded mirrors hanging in
ornately carved gold frames that cover almost all the walls from top to bottom.
A soaring ceiling rises to the dome at its center. The floor is covered by a
finely woven carpet in shades of hunter green, ivory, and ox blood red.
    The same colors are picked up by the ceiling mural that
depicts the god Zeus in pursuit of various nubile females. Successful pursuit,
it appears, as the god is shown plunging his impressive endowment into a
succession of startled beauties.
    Carnality hangs thick in the air lightly scented by leather
and sandalwood.
    Softly, I say, “My first thought was that this was intended
as some sort of private retreat, a place for study or contemplation. But
then--”
    I break off. Just as I did when I saw all this for the first
time, Ian has noticed the odd furnishings. I hold my breath, wondering how he
will react. There is so much in his past, the memories he has had to confront,
the demons he has fought. But we have come so far together, both accepting of
one another, honest about our needs and desires.
    Even so, I scarcely breathe as I wait for him to come to his
own conclusions about the purpose of this hidden room.
    Near where we stand is a rectangular bench upholstered in ox
blood leather and set on black wrought iron legs. Iron rings are positioned at
intervals along the bench. Several other pieces in the room are done in the
same colors and style. One looks like a saddle horse, the other is a chair of
sorts divided so that the legs of an occupant would be spread wide. Restraints
in the form of stirrups dangle from it.
    Several other items are more recognizable. One is a
gracefully elegant chaise lounge, carved and gilded in the style of the room, a
voluptuous piece of furniture filled with curves and pillowed surfaces. The
other is a large chair, really a throne, set at the far end of the room and
positioned to observe all parts of it. Directly opposite this is a polished
wooden X more than six feet high. Secured to the far wall, it is padded with
leather and studded with more of the iron rings.
    So far, Ian’s only response is an arched eyebrow. But when
his attention is drawn to a large armoire carved with images of satyrs and
nymphs, he frowns. Opening the double doors and the drawers fitted behind them,
he discovers the array of implements that frankly shocked me when I came across
them before. Some I definitely want nothing to do with but certain others…
    My husband lingers a few moments, studying the contents, then
shuts the armoire’s doors. His silence is

Similar Books

A Place Apart

Paula Fox

Spirit of the Wolf

Loree Lough

A Matter of Honor

Nina Coombs Pykare

Let’s Talk Terror

Carolyn Keene

B008J4PNHE EBOK

Owen King