The Captain of the Manor
Searching throughout the manor and asking various employees where Edmund was hiding and getting nowhere, Aiden stomped back into his room. He yanked off his sweater and tossed it across the room in a fit. Dropping in a chair with a plop, he huffed out a breath and leaned his head back, contemplating staring at the ceiling.
His laptop beeped several times, alerting him to either messages or emails.
Grumbling, knowing none of it would be good news, he shoved up and walked to the table. Bracing one hand on the wooden surface, he used his free hand to move across the pad, click, and enter the programs. He plopped hard in a chair when he saw an email about one of the several job apps he sent in over the last few days. Clicking it open, he fixed his glasses, and shoved a hand through his hair, grasping the back of his neck.
It was good.
It was damn good.
They wanted him to call to interview him.
Bad news. The opening was in Boston, not back home in Orlando, Florida, or even here by the manor.
"Boston? Snow?" Aiden shook his head. "Job, it's a job. You need a job to pay the damn bills. Suck it up." He scrambled to find his phone and dialed the number. When it connected, he swallowed, fixed his glasses, and said, "Hello, this is Doctor Aiden Joseph, I'm calling about an interest in my application."
Speaking with the right person for the last hour, Aiden felt things went well when he looked up as Edmund appeared in his room and changing to his corporeal form.
"Thank you, Mr Stevens, for your interest and time. I look forward to hearing from you within the next few days concerning my application. If you prefer a face-to-face interview, I would be happy to travel to Boston to meet with you," Aiden said and saw Edmund stop and lift an eyebrow. "Yes, sir. Goodbye." He clicked off his phone. "Well, where have you been?"
"Are you leaving the manor?"
"I can't stay here taking up a room forever. I need to either return home to Florida or find somewhere I can earn a living," Aiden said as he set the phone on the desk.
"Somewhere like Boston."
"It's the first company who expressed an interest in one of my job applications. At this point, I don't care where it's located. I'll relocate if I must."
"You could relocate here to the manor."
Aiden fixed his glasses. "And do what, Edmund? Live on your good graces."
"You are a researcher, correct?"
"In basic terms, yes."
"You could finish research about my family and past and create a book."
"There have been six other books written and never published about you, the curse, and the manor."
"None of those writers wrote the truth. They were filled with falsehoods and misstatements. I wouldn't let such trash be produced."
"Is this the same reason why you don't let ghost hunters within your home though it would draw more of a crowd and earning?"
"I don't believe in such science. I prefer to protect my family, the name, and the manor's reputation than let some of those people traipse throughout my home, creating disaster and falsehoods so they can get ratings."
"Yet you would allow me to dig through all of your stories, documents, and other items to write such work you never wanted done before."
"I trust you."
"You barely know me."
"The curse allows you to see me, hear me, touch me, and it accepted you at the gateway to the epicenter of my prison." Edmund stepped forward. "How could I not trust you when it has never done such a thing to another person in my lifetime?"
Aiden fixed his glasses again and leaned back in the chair, crossing one ankle across his knee. "You certainly didn't believe in all this when it was happening."
"I was in a bit of shock."
"You told me to get the hell out."
"I don't believe I put it quite like that."
"It came close." Aiden shoved a hand through his hair. "Look, Edmund, I don't know what is happening around here. If you need me to help break this curse, I'll stay and help. After I'll leave and return to my life and you can live out yours. I'm not the type to shove myself down anyone's pants."
Edmund took another step forward and settled in a chair. "I don't understand what you're saying. Other than the part of you helping me."
Aiden waved a hand. "Doesn't matter. I don't understand myself half the time." He massaged his forehead.
"Are you not feeling well?"
"I have a headache."
"Have you taken medication for it?"
Aiden shook his head.
"Do you wish me to leave?"
Aiden shook his head again.
"What do wish for me to do?"
He looked at the other man, saw the slight flickering around the edges as if Edmund lost his concentration with his concern and worry, and lowered his gaze.
"Okay. The priestess came to me when I left the manor."
"You said you couldn't leave."
"Only to appear within the lighthouse. These are the only two places I'm confined too."
"Oh. Did you see the priestess or her shadow?"
"She appeared in full view and spoke to me. I called her out about what happened and what she wanted from me. I didn't expect an answer from the woman."
"The choice is mine to accept or leave. Either my curse will be finished or I will slip away from this world."
"What about me?"
"The curse will do no harm to you. If you leave, your life is your own."
"Seems odd I won't be connected to things."
"I made her promise and swear you would be left alone whatever I decide."
"What did you decide?"
Edmund kept silent as he stared at Aiden. Neither one moving for long moments. The silence grew between them.
TO BE CONTINUED