Secrets of Hallstead House

Secrets of Hallstead House by Amy M Reade Read Free Book Online

Book: Secrets of Hallstead House by Amy M Reade Read Free Book Online
Authors: Amy M Reade
Tags: Fiction, General, Gothic
also went downstairs, hoping to get some of Miss Hallstead’s exercise therapy started this afternoon. I knocked on her sitting room door and, just like the night before, heard her answer faintly, “Yes?”
    “It’s Macy, Miss Hallstead. Are you ready to start your exercises now?”
    “Almost, dear. Come on in,” Miss Hallstead called. I walked through the sitting room and bedroom to the office, where I knocked softly again before opening the door.
    “Have a seat anywhere, Macy. I’m almost done here. And for heaven’s sake, please call me Alex.” She finished looking over a sheaf of papers and made several notations on the pages. Then she stood up slowly, tidied her desk, and smiled at me. “I’m ready,” she said.
    We decided to work on her exercises in her sitting room. Alex had changed out of her pantsuit and into more comfortable clothes, suitable for exercising. For the next hour, we discussed and worked on several of the exercises that she had begun during her recent stay at a rehabilitation center following her hip surgery. As I had suspected, Alex proved to be an eager and determined patient. At the end of an hour, I advised her to rest for a bit, but she wanted to continue. I was about to insist that she rest when we were interrupted by a knock on the sitting room door. Vali poked her head into the room and informed Alex that Pete had just left for Cape Cartier to pick up Mr. Marks and Mr. Harper.
    “Thank you, Vali,” Alex answered. Vali left, closing the door behind her, and Alex turned to me with a broad grin. “Stephan and Will will be here soon—I’m anxious for you to meet them.”
    “Who are Stephan and Will?” I asked.
    “Stephan Marks and Will Harper. Stephan is a dear old friend of mine and Forrest’s, and Will is my nephew. They both work for HSH Oil. Stephan is what you would call my right-hand man, and Will works in finance. They’re visiting now because we need to meet to discuss some negotiations that HSH has initiated. They’ll probably be coming and going between Summerplace and New York several times over the next few weeks.
    “Macy, I need to change out of these clothes and into my suit again. I know I’m vain, but they don’t need to see me in these awful things. Could you just help me out of these sneakers? I had a terrible time getting them on.” She laughed.
    I helped her with her sneakers, but she refused any additional help, so I returned to my room after promising that I would be back down in thirty minutes to meet Stephan and Will.
    A short while later I was reading the Paul Malo book when I heard muted voices in the hallway outside my room. Stephan and Will must be here , I thought. My thirty minutes were almost up, so I checked my reflection in the bathroom mirror and went downstairs to Alex’s rooms.
    She had indeed changed into her suit and looked every bit the consummate professional. She was at her desk again, this time talking on the phone. She motioned for me to be seated, and I sat down across the room at a small conference table so that she could have some privacy for her call.
    I was still sitting there a few minutes later when there was a knock on the office door that led to the porch outside. Alex hung up the phone hastily and walked over slowly, without her cane, to open the door to the two men who stood outside.
    “Stephan! Will! I’m so happy to see you both!” she greeted them. They stepped into the room and I got my first look at two men who would come to play an important role in my life very soon.

    S tephan embraced Alex, then held her away from him, looking at her with affection. “Alex, you never cease to amaze me,” he said, smiling. “Hip surgery, then rehab, and look at you! Working like a Trojan as always, and in a suit, no less! I’m very impressed!”
    She turned to me and winked. “Stephan, I’d like you to meet my new nurse, Macy Stoddard. She’s wonderful,” Alex said.
    I blushed and held out my hand to

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