A Life of Discovery: Part 2
Marianne noticed the young man’s gaze. His eyes held her attention for longer than she had intended to. There was something about the shape that was so familiar about them. Returning to her pre-show performance the starlet continued to strut through the crowd. She knew her sole purpose was to inspire the onlookers to come back and pay for the show, not encourage young gentlemen to pursue her.
Wherever she went in the arena people called out her name and applauded her, but not the young man. He lurked nearby, his lips turned downward in a scowl. His disapproving face reminded her of her father. Marianne thought how dare this young man look at me this way.
Marianne plastered a smile on her face and dazzled her fans, but secretly she wanted to be back in her room. When her last waltz around the showroom came to an end she headed right for the long red curtains at the back of the tent.
A brutish hand reached out and grabbed her arm, twirling her around. It was the young man she had seen earlier. “May I have a word?”
Marianne dislodged her arm and took a step back. The curtain dangled against the back of her legs. “I’m sorry sir, I must rest before the show.”
His eyes changed from disapproving to pleading. “It will only take a minute of your time.”
Marianne narrowed her eyes and looked around for help. Randall was nowhere to be seen. “We can talk here Monsieur.”
The gentlemen removed his hat and tapped it against his leg. An action she had seen her father do many times. “My name is…er…Rudloph.”
“Nice to meet you Rudolph. Please be quick, I really must rest.”
Rudolph eye’s darted back and forth. “How do you know…my mother?”
Marianne relaxed a little. She could play this man’s game for a bit. “Your mother? I doubt I know her, what is her name?”
His eyes bore into hers. “Amelia Bouvey.”
Marianne went to speak, but could not. Her fan fell silently to the floor. Chills ran up and down her spine. Piece by piece she began connecting the puzzle pieces together. His scowl, his eyes, the way he tapped his hat.
Marianne’s eyes lit up. “Rupert?”
The young man’s eyebrows creased, his voice was firm. “How do you know my name?”
Marianne held her hands out, he did not take them. “It’s me Marianne, your sister.”
Rupert took a step back. “I don’t have a sister. Is this how you made a fool of my mother by prentending to be her daughter?”
Marianne was flabbergasted. “No. Rupert, it’s me, your sister.”
Rupert placed his hat on his head. “So you say. I’ll find out just who you are and then the authorities can deal with you.” Without saying a word more he turned and walked through the crowd.
Marianne’s legs were grounded to the floor. Her beating heart was trapped in a million thoughts. Why didn’t Rupert remembered her? What was wrong with mother? What had happened while she’d been away?
Catch up on the rest of the mini saga (In order)