He arose slowly and with no sense of purpose, as he knew there was nothing for him to do on this great estate. It was miles from town and he didn’t know anyone in the area. His great aunt, Sophie, -- who only half heartedly agreed to take the boy into her home after the orphanage’s insistent persistence -- didn’t particularly like children.
After he was showered, his hair still wet, he slipped a t-shirt over his head, pulled up his blue jeans, laced his sneakers and descended the grand staircase to the main foyer. It was enormous: more square footage than the entire foundation of his parent’s cottage on the outskirts of Manchester had been.
It was 10:30 in the morning. “Bon jour master Michael, “a sweet voice sang. With a start he turned and looked up slightly to see Stephanie smiling down at him. She was tall – to a fourteen year old boy Goddess-like – and he thought she looked like an angel: at twenty her alabaster skin was flawless; her features defined but soft, her lips plush and ripe. Surely he feared, she will hear my heart pounding. It beat in his chest so strong that he was momentarily deafened by it, watching her mouth move, unable to discern what she was saying.
Finally he gathered himself as her words pushed past the beating in his ears. “I asked if you had slept well. Would you like some breakfast?” Even with his knees on the verge of collapse, he managed a fabricated “Yeah sure, I guess, whatever,” attempting to present a detached coolness that every fourteen year old boy feels he must own.
“Magnifique young Michael, “she continued. “A growing boy needs to sleep well and eat well. Miss Sophie is in the dining room waiting for you. “How does she do that? How can she excite me so and at the same time make me feel like such a little boy?
As she escorted him to the dining room he marveled at her beauty. She moved with the elegance of a ballerina and the confidence of a model. Her legs seemed endless, her neck swan-like. Her slow sway mesmerized him. He all but trembled in her presence, a strange concoction of fear and excitement ran through him.
As she opened the massive doors to the dining room, he peered through to see that Sophie was indeed awaiting his arrival. Such special treatment was alien to him. And he couldn’t help but wonder if the pomp and circumstance was for his benefit, or whether they actually lived like this every day!
Sophie looked years younger than she was. I guess money can do that, he thought. Everything about Sophie was just so, and Michael thought that just for Sophie to dress and look the way she does must be a full time job. She wasn’t beautiful, but she was elegant. And in a room of strangers she would certainly stand out as the social crème de le crème. Even at fourteen, coming from a middle class neighborhood, he noticed that.
Her features were strong and chiseled, with a dark complexion, more Italian than French. Her hair was raven black, long and luscious, pulled tight into a high ponytail that fell to the middle of her back.
She was intimidating as she sat there so elegantly, her back perfectly straight, one leg symmetrically placed behind the other, her ankles arched into silk pump shoes. Everything about her, like her home, seemed perfect: like an artist’s masterpiece that came to life before him. Her clothes were immaculate. The lines of her muted pink skirt and matching suit jacket were feminine, yet crisp, providing an air of distinction and power. Even her stockings in a subtle pale pink matched perfectly. Everything about her was complete to the smallest detail. Yet the delicate silk blouse, with its deep neckline adorned by miles of ruffles, was sexy, provocative even, in contrast with the air of “distinction,” which Michael somehow knew wasn’t by accident or without pre-thought. She was unlike any woman young Michael had ever met before: sexy, provocative, elegant, and commanding – and, she was his new legal guardian.
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