House of Secrets: A Novel – Ebook


  • Hardcover
  • 400
  • House of Secrets: A Novel
  • V.C Andrews
  • English
  • 14 May 2019
  • null

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free download ë eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB º V.C Andrews characters House of Secrets: A Novel ↠ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Nd know everything about someone even his or her thoughts His eyes were sterling silver gray and piercingly intense whenever he spoke to anyone especially me He was very handsome in a distinguished sort of way always closely shaven his lips firm and straight He went to an old fashioned barber who cut his pecan brown hair so precisely that there was never a strand too long or too short Everything about his appearance was perfect He wore a shirt and a tie like a uniform My mother said he was one of those rare doctors who actually practice what they preach His day began with an early morning run along the banks of the lake even on very cold days and he watched his diet When he did have a day off he would go rowing on the lake for hours As a conseuence he had a lean body and a ruddy complexion What attracted my attention especially when I was little was how long his fingers were If he shook hands with someone his hand seemed to wrap completely around the others Everything he did he did purposefully slowly as if placing something on a table was as critical a motion as the first incision to begin a heart operation He was as careful about his words as well Whenever I heard him talking to Ryder or Sam I smiled at how precise he was about what he wanted them to do or remember He always repeated the important things and when I asked my mother about that she said Dr Davenport believes few people listen the first time and hes used to dictating medical information how many pills to take how often and what to avoid while taking it Maybe he thinks everyones his patient even his children I said Even me She gave me a strange look and then nodded I caught her smiling to herself and wondered what I had said to bring some humor to mind Maybe it was because she had thought something similar about Dr Davenport but would never say it She would never do or say anything even slightly disrespectful when it came to him I dont think it was because she thought he was so much better than everyone including herself as much as it was because she had been here when he had suffered the loss of his parents and his first wife and then had cared for his children I used to be jealous of how well and lovingly she took care of Sam especially I was three when Sam was born and for those early years at least because my mother had me to care for too when Aunt Cathy wasnt available Bea Davenport permitted me to be beside my mother when she looked after Sam But I was forbidden to touch her Sometimes when Bea wasnt in the house however my mother let me hold Sams bottle while she drank A real live baby as opposed to a doll was fascinating to watch My mother assured me that Sam recognized me and smiled at me I think she was trying to contain my jealousy Anyway that was also how Ryder and I were able to spendtime together when we were little when I accompanied my mother to do something for him or care for Sam especially when Bea Davenport was out of the house She was always attending this or that charity function and getting her picture on the society page of the local newspaper Ryder got used to me being around him and loved to teach me how to work some of his toys We would watch television together often during those years too Until Bea Davenport built the Berlin Wall between us in the house Ryder used to say Were all like brother and sisters He wasnt saying that now and it wasnt only because Bea Davenport insisted there be boundaries between us No there was another reason or at least I hoped so Deep in my heart I felt it when he looked at me thinking I wasnt aware of it but like other boys at school he suddenly realized I was capable of stirring him up and maybe I could even be found in one of his sexual fantasies I knew I had some about him Well maybethan some One day recently when he came to my room after school because I had asked him to help me with my math homework which was really just an excuse to be close to him he appeared sooner than I had expected I had just started to change my clothes and was in my bra and panties when he stepped through my open doorway My mother was in the kitchen helping Mrs Marlene Oh he said his face bursting with what I thought was delightful surprise a rich crimson shade I shrugged and reached for my sweatshirt slowly Its the same as my two piece bathing suit I said Of course it wasnt My panties were almost transparent but I wanted to impress him with how sophisticated I was and how mature my body had become He nodded and went to my desk to look at my math text while I put on my jeans He concentrated on explaining my math problem to me but both of us sensed something had changed between us Suddenly he was affected by how close to him I stood and if we touched our arms or grazed our shoulders It seemed like he couldnt wait to leave that afternoon but I was confident it was because of how he was reacting to me rather than any displeasure with me Ive got a ton of homework myself he blurted when I assured him I understood the math problem I had to shout Thanks after him He was practically running down the hall to get away from himself as much as from me Anyone else might have been offended clamoring with annoyance What do I have bad breath or something But not me I knew Ryder too well Something unexpected had stirred inside him something that had already stirred in me as well It was true I thought that girls grew up faster than boys My girlfriends would often tease me about Ryder They had all sorts of romantic scenarios in mind because we lived in the great house Most of what they imagined were really wishes for themselves understandable wishes Ryder was evenhandsome than his father and he had the same firm athletic build I was sure he had inherited his fathers intelligence being a straight A student I dont know when exactly I had begun to notice the smallest things about him delicious things I liked the way he would sweep his dark brown bangs away from his eyes when he grew serious about something Ever since he was fourteen Ryder had wanted his hair longer than his father wanted him to have it I think that wasa result of his stepmother Beas negative comments about how he dressed and looked I knew he often did things just to displease her which usually resulted in Dr Davenport having a heart to heart talk with him in his office Ryder told me that it was almost like being called to the principals office in school I was fascinated with his descriptions of these sessions He looks like hes about to take my pulse first and he asks me uestions like a doctor trying to diagnose whats wrong with you Why did you do this How do you feel when you do things like this By the time hes finished I do feel sick Ryder said I always expect him to say take two aspirins and behave or something I felt sneaky knowing all this After all it wasnt my business It was as if I had listened at the door I never told my mother what he had told me however I didnt want her to think ill of him not that she could and to me it always seemed Ryder hadaffection for my mother than he certainly did for his fathers second wife After all my mother had practically brought him up herself I knew Bea resented that and it was probably why she was so adamant about keeping us in our servants mode We werent permitted to forget that we were the hired help not for an instant even on our birthdays Ryder would get us presents and usually say This is from my father and me making a point of not including Bea Ryder had his mothers eyes which were a soft blue or what my girlfriends called dream eyes His smile always started with those eyes and then rippled out over his high cheekbones and his nose with its high prominent bridge down to his firm straight kissable lips He had a slightly cleft chin and was self conscious about it probablyso when he entered his teenage years Nervously he would put his right forefinger over it whenever he was in deep thought No one else but me seemed to notice that His mother had also had that cleft chin I could see it in the beautiful headshots of her in frames on Dr Davenports office walls the few times I had been in there But her cleft was even slighter than his Once years later when I wascomfortable talking to him I put my finger on his cleft chin and told him what I had noticed him doing He shrugged and revealed he had studied up on it In Persian literature you know the chin dimple is considered a facet of beauty He leaned toward me and in a whisper that titillated me as much as a kiss might added Its a well into which the poor lover has fallen and become trapped I was self conscious about the way I blushed so I snapped back at him with Yes but yours isnt deep enough to trap a fly Ryder could be arrogant sometimes and too full of himself He was honest enough to admit that to me and tell me Youre the only one who reminds me I put my pants on one leg at a time I wasnt sure I was happy about that It wasnt how I wanted him to think of me It sounded too much like being a good friend even a sister and I was dreaming ofBut those feelings were yet to come They were still embryonic inside an egg far from being hatched And boy were those thoughts forbidden in the world of Wyndemere House Nothing could damage the Davenport image of being special Inside its walls we were truly a world unto ourselves Sometimes I believed the Davenports thought their personal history was as important as the countrys especially as it involved Dr Davenports father and mother Awards plaues given to them from high government officials huge portraits of ancestors who looked like noblemen or princesses even ueens and kings hung over fireplaces and in the entryway When I was five my mother told me most posh families felt that way about themselves The blue bloods she said think they were chosen to have special privileges Why do you call them blue bloods I asked I had seen Ryder cut himself and knew his blood was as red as mine Aristocrats in the Middle Ages thought their blood was blue and the term stuck she said This isnt the Middle Ages I said Even back then at the age of eight I didnt want to criticize Ryder and Sam and I especially didnt want to think badly of Dr Davenport My mother shrugged You could never convince Simon and Elizabeth Davenport of that I really didnt know Dr Davenports parents His mother gave birth to him when she was nearly forty and his father was fifty By the time my mother came to work for Dr Davenport and his first wife Samantha his father was seventy eight and a severe diabetic There was a full time nurse caring for him back then According to my mother Dr Davenports mother was one of those women determined to defeat age She practically put her plastic surgeons children through college singlehandedly and would spend hours in the morning working on her makeup befor. Atlas des fromages de France (HISTOIRE - ATLAS) (French Edition) intense whenever he spoke to anyone especially me He was very handsome Voile légère: Techniques et sensations in a distinguished sort of way always closely shaven his lips firm and straight He went to an old fashioned barber who cut his pecan brown hair so precisely that there was never a strand too long or too short Everything about his appearance was perfect He wore a shirt and a tie like a uniform My mother said he was one of those rare doctors who actually practice what they preach His day began with an early morning run along the banks of the lake even on very cold days and he watched his diet When he did have a day off he would go rowing on the lake for hours As a conseuence he had a lean body and a ruddy complexion What attracted my attention especially when I was little was how long his fingers were If he shook hands with someone his hand seemed to wrap completely around the others Everything he did he did purposefully slowly as Cent ans de voiles: Beken of Cowes if placing something on a table was as critical a motion as the first MAYOTTE incision to begin a heart operation He was as careful about his words as well Whenever I heard him talking to Ryder or Sam I smiled at how precise he was about what he wanted them to do or remember He always repeated the 1748OT GAVARNIE LUZ-SAINT-SAUVEUR PN DES PYRENEES important things and when I asked my mother about that she said Dr Davenport believes few people listen the first time and hes used to dictating medical Rêve de déserts (ALBUMS H. COLLECTION) (French Edition) information how many pills to take how often and what to avoid while taking Whisky A Tasting Course: A New Way to Think – and Drink – Whisky it Maybe he thinks everyones his patient even his children I said Even me She gave me a strange look and then nodded I caught her smiling to herself and wondered what I had said to bring some humor to mind Maybe Le bal des sorcières it was because she had thought something similar about Dr Davenport but would never say Atlas de l'écologie it She would never do or say anything even slightly disrespectful when Atlas historique de l'Égypte ancienne it came to him I dont think 1116ET ST MALO - DINARD - DINAN it was because she thought he was so much better than everyone La roi des piranhas : Et autres contes de la fôret vierge including herself as much as Atlas de nautisme it was because she had been here when he had suffered the loss of his parents and his first wife and then had cared for his children I used to be jealous of how well and lovingly she took care of Sam especially I was three when Sam was born and for those early years at least because my mother had me to care for too when Aunt Cathy wasnt available Bea Davenport permitted me to be beside my mother when she looked after Sam But I was forbidden to touch her Sometimes when Bea wasnt Anatomie humaine. 2ème édition in the house however my mother let me hold Sams bottle while she drank A real live baby as opposed to a doll was fascinating to watch My mother assured me that Sam recognized me and smiled at me I think she was trying to contain my jealousy Anyway that was also how Ryder and I were able to spendtime together when we were little when I accompanied my mother to do something for him or care for Sam especially when Bea Davenport was out of the house She was always attending this or that charity function and getting her picture on the society page of the local newspaper Ryder got used to me being around him and loved to teach me how to work some of his toys We would watch television together often during those years too Until Bea Davenport built the Berlin Wall between us 1016ET ST CAST LE GUILDO FREHEL in the house Ryder used to say Were all like brother and sisters He wasnt saying that now and 0916ET ERQUY - VAL-ANDRE - LAMBALLE it wasnt only because Bea Davenport Ploermel / Paimpont insisted there be boundaries between us No there was another reason or at least I hoped so Deep ST JACQUES LE PUY - MOISSAC in my heart I felt Atlas historique mondial : Plus de 300 cartes commentées, une chronologie universelle it when he looked at me thinking I wasnt aware of Is That Fish in Your Ear? it but like other boys at school he suddenly realized I was capable of stirring him up and maybe I could even be found 1317SB FOUGERES ST BRICE EN COGLES in one of his sexual fantasies I knew I had some about him Well maybethan some One day recently when he came to my room after school because I had asked him to help me with my math homework which was really just an excuse to be close to him he appeared sooner than I had expected I had just started to change my clothes and was 3337OT DEVOLUY OBIOU - PIC DE BURE in my bra and panties when he stepped through my open doorway My mother was ATLAS HISTORIQUE DE LA RUSSIE. Puissance et instabilité d'un empire européen, asiatique et arctique in the kitchen helping Mrs Marlene Oh he said his face bursting with what I thought was delightful surprise a rich crimson shade I shrugged and reached for my sweatshirt slowly Its the same as my two piece bathing suit I said Of course Asies nouvelles : Atlas de géopolitique it wasnt My panties were almost transparent but I wanted to FORET D'ORIENT - LAC DU DER impress him with how sophisticated I was and how mature my body had become He nodded and went to my desk to look at my math text while I put on my jeans He concentrated on explaining my math problem to me but both of us sensed something had changed between us Suddenly he was affected by how close to him I stood and Les tavernes d'Alcina: Voyage au Portugal (ALBUM VOILE RELIE) (French Edition) if we touched our arms or grazed our shoulders It seemed like he couldnt wait to leave that afternoon but I was confident TOP75036 BAIE DE SOMME/COTE D'ALBATRE/FECAMP/ETRETAT it was because of how he was reacting to me rather than any displeasure with me Ive got a ton of homework myself he blurted when I assured him I understood the math problem I had to shout Thanks after him He was practically running down the hall to get away from himself as much as from me Anyone else might have been offended clamoring with annoyance What do I have bad breath or something But not me I knew Ryder too well Something unexpected had stirred Paimpol.Tréguier.Île de Bréhat inside him something that had already stirred 03 BEARN1/50.000 in me as well It was true I thought that girls grew up faster than boys My girlfriends would often tease me about Ryder They had all sorts of romantic scenarios Pays basque ouest : 1/50000 in mind because we lived GOLFE DU MORBIHAN-ILE DE GROIX-BELLE ILE- in the great house Most of what they CEVENNES GORGES DU TARN imagined were really wishes for themselves understandable wishes Ryder was evenhandsome than his father and he had the same firm athletic build I was sure he had 0419ET AUDIERNE inherited his fathers Cezallier / Monts du Cantal intelligence being a straight A student I dont know when exactly I had begun to notice the smallest things about him delicious things I liked the way he would sweep his dark brown bangs away from his eyes when he grew serious about something Ever since he was fourteen Ryder had wanted his hair longer than his father wanted him to have Constellations et planètes it I think that wasa result of his stepmother Beas negative comments about how he dressed and looked I knew he often did things just to displease her which usually resulted Côte de Granit Rose : Trégor Morlaisien in Dr Davenport having a heart to heart talk with him Monthureux-sur-Saone / Voisey in his office Ryder told me that Atlas du cerveau it was almost like being called to the principals office 3637OT MONT VISO in school I was fascinated with his descriptions of these sessions He looks like hes about to take my pulse first and he asks me uestions like a doctor trying to diagnose whats wrong with you Why did you do this How do you feel when you do things like this By the time hes finished I do feel sick Ryder said I always expect him to say take two aspirins and behave or something I felt sneaky knowing all this After all Les Guerres napoléoniennes : 1796-1815 it wasnt my business It was as 83309 PARC NATUREL REGIONAL DE LA BRENNE1/60.000 if I had listened at the door I never told my mother what he had told me however I didnt want her to think Atlas de la Grèce antique ill of him not that she could and to me 3538ET AIGUILLE DE CHAMBEYRON it always seemed Ryder hadaffection for my mother than he certainly did for his fathers second wife After all my mother had practically brought him up herself I knew Bea resented that and 0916OT SAINT BRIEUC it was probably why she was so adamant about keeping us La Mer est ronde in our servants mode We werent permitted to forget that we were the hired help not for an 04 BIGORRE 1/50.000 instant even on our birthdays Ryder would get us presents and usually say This Edition 2000 - Atlas historique is from my father and me making a point of not La croisière côtière et hauturière including Bea Ryder had his mothers eyes which were a soft blue or what my girlfriends called dream eyes His smile always started with those eyes and then rippled out over his high cheekbones and his nose with Atlas de la Rome antique. 800 av. J.-C. / 540 ap. J.-C. its high prominent bridge down to his firm straight kissable lips He had a slightly cleft chin and was self conscious about 3536OT BRIANCON/SERRE-CHEVALIER it probablyso when he entered his teenage years Nervously he would put his right forefinger over Anatomie pour le mouvement : Introduction à l'analyse des techniques corporelles it whenever he was 1344OT BAYONNE - ANGLET - BIARRITZ in deep thought No one else but me seemed to notice that His mother had also had that cleft chin I could see Atlas du corps it Atlas historique de l apparition de l homme sur la terre à l ère atomique in the beautiful headshots of her ST JACQUES RONCEVAUX - COMPOSTELLE in frames on Dr Davenports office walls the few times I had been Sentier vers Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle via Le Puy : Le Puy - Aubrac - Conques - Figeac in there But her cleft was even slighter than his Once years later when I wascomfortable talking to him I put my finger on his cleft chin and told him what I had noticed him doing He shrugged and revealed he had studied up on La Guerre de Cent Ans (Biographies Historiques) it In Persian literature you know the chin dimple 72515 PLAN DE CLERMONT-FERRAND1/12.500 is considered a facet of beauty He leaned toward me and 3436ET MEIJE/PELVOUX in a whisper that titillated me as much as a kiss might added Its a well Millevaches en Limousin Parc Naturel Regional France into which the poor lover has fallen and become trapped I was self conscious about the way I blushed so I snapped back at him with Yes but yours Pau isnt deep enough to trap a fly Ryder could be arrogant sometimes and too full of himself He was honest enough to admit that to me and tell me Youre the only one who reminds me I put my pants on one leg at a time I wasnt sure I was happy about that It wasnt how I wanted him to think of me It sounded too much like being a good friend even a sister and I was dreaming ofBut those feelings were yet to come They were still embryonic Physiologie articulaire Tome 2 Membre inferieur inside an egg far from being hatched And boy were those thoughts forbidden Grand Atlas historique in the world of Wyndemere House Nothing could damage the Davenport Petit Atlas historique de l'Antiquité grecque image of being special Inside 4254ET PORTO-VECCHIO its walls we were truly a world unto ourselves Sometimes I believed the Davenports thought their personal history was as 0820SB BAUD/LANGUIDIC important as the countrys especially as 3437OT CHAMPSAUR it Côte de Granit rose : Trégor morlaisien involved Dr Davenports father and mother Awards plaues given to them from high government officials huge portraits of ancestors who looked like noblemen or princesses even ueens and kings hung over fireplaces and Sentier vers Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle via Le Puy : Genève in the entryway When I was five my mother told me most posh families felt that way about themselves The blue bloods she said think they were chosen to have special privileges Why do you call them blue bloods I asked I had seen Ryder cut himself and knew his blood was as red as mine Aristocrats 4347OT CAP CORSE in the Middle Ages thought their blood was blue and the term stuck she said This Bordeaux/arcachon isnt the Middle Ages I said Even back then at the age of eight I didnt want to criticize Ryder and Sam and I especially didnt want to think badly of Dr Davenport My mother shrugged You could never convince Simon and Elizabeth Davenport of that I really didnt know Dr Davenports parents His mother gave birth to him when she was nearly forty and his father was fifty By the time my mother came to work for Dr Davenport and his first wife Samantha his father was seventy eight and a severe diabetic There was a full time nurse caring for him back then According to my mother Dr Davenports mother was one of those women determined to defeat age She practically put her plastic surgeons children through college singlehandedly and would spend hours Ubaye / Val D'allos / Lac de Serre-Poncon in the morning working on her makeup befor.

free download ë eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB º V.C Andrews

House of Secrets: A Novel

free download ë eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB º V.C Andrews characters House of Secrets: A Novel ↠ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB One of the most popular authors of all time VC Andrews has been a bestselling phenomenon since the publication of Flowers in the Attic first in the renowned Dollanganger family series which includes Petals on the Wind If There Be Thorns Seeds of Yesterdayand Garden of ShadowsThe family saga continues with Christophers Diary Secrets of Foxworth Christophers Diary Echoes of Dollanganger and Secret BrotherVC Andrews has writtenthan seventy novels which have sold over million copies worldwide and have been translated into twenty five foreign languagesHouse of Secrets FOR MOST OF my youth Saturdays and Sundays were not the jewels of the week that they were for my classmates and friends Unlike other girls my age I couldnt invite anyone to sleep over or have a birthday party with my classmates as guests Bea Davenport had laid that rule on my mother She didnt want strange children coming to the house and gawking at Wyndemere or disturbing the grounds I couldnt have breakfast lunch or especially dinner with Ryder or for that matter Samantha when she was no longer an infant Bea Davenport wouldnt permit me to be in either of their rooms by the time Ryder was eight and Samantha was five and she continually discouraged both of them from coming to mine even when they were older For Samantha that was like reaching into the candy jar when no one was looking The moment her mother left the house she would drop what she was doing and sneak through the hallways to stand in my bedroom doorway hoping I would invite her in to play or just to talk When Ryder was older he wasin his stepmothers face about it marching right past her to come to see me and often again out of spite inviting one of my friends to go rowing with us on the lake Bea was furious about that and got Dr Davenport to discourage it by telling Ryder there were insurance concerns He was to use the rowboat only when either he or Bea was present which was rare I did recall the two times Dr Davenport took my mother and me Ryder and Samantha out in his motorboat but we were all very young and he wasnt as busy as he was now In fact his motorboat was so neglected it was in need of repair It bobbed at the dock like some forgotten relative trying to get his attention Bea Davenport did other things to keep us in our place To this day my mother and I were forbidden to enter the house from the front Even when there was two feet of snow we would have to go around to the rear entrance to get to our rooms It was the same entrance where most deliveries were made with my mother there to accept them If Bea could she would have stamped our foreheads with the word servants With a voice that was strident and nasal Bea would snap the rules at us freuently especially adding newly conceived prohibitions like staying out of the gazebo and off the tennis court If I did go through the house for any reason I wasnt to touch anything I recalled how she had one of the maids clean and polish the banister after I had gone upstairs with my mother especially when my mother was caring for Sam My mother always had my hands washed before we approached the Davenport children but that didnt matter It was as if I had some disease inherent in my skin I remember feeling very dirty whenever I was in Beas presence She looked at me closely searching for some blotch some smudge anything to confirm her suspicions that I was not only imperfect but infectious My mother was never to touch her jewelry and of course to be sure no maid ever did Because my mother was the house manager a title Bea would never pronounce any mistake was her fault down to having what Bea considered the wrong brand of margarine It did no good either to protest that Mrs Marlene had been serving it for years There was a new sun shining on this house now Furniture and paintings were shifted about and window shades were opened and closed differently to move shadows from their traditional nests Bea was always redecorating something Only Dr Davenports office was off limits to her If there was even the smallest impression that my mother and I were a littlethan household servants that impression was crushed the way you might stamp down on an insect I think that was the reason she made the front entrance so sacrosanct We couldnt come through if we took off our shoes We couldnt come through even if we could remove our inferior souls Most of the time the pathway to the rear was cleared of snow Mr Stark who managed the grounds the long driveway and all the outside fixtures was very fond of my mother and me and was at the house especially early on weekdays in the winter to be sure we had an easy time going in and out He was twenty years older than my mother but I was sure being a widower he dreamed of her beingto him than simply a fellow employee Hed leap at an invitation to have dinner with us and never forgot my mothers birthday or mine Despite his balding head of gray hair and the deep wrinkles worn into his face he was stout and fit My mother called him a walking tree trunk even to his face George you have bark for skin she would say half kiddingly especially when he wore a coat too thin for the colder weather But there wasnt anything she could say that wouldnt bring a smile to his face In fact there were times when I wondered if George Stark might be my father He had been working at Wyndemere long before my mother arrived here and once when my mother was in the mood to tell me about her early days and my birth she admitted she had needed help caring for me as well as caring for Ryder when I was born about two years after him Mr Starks daughter Cathy helped me out for your first year She stayed in what is your room Dr Davenport approved but of course that was before his second marriage By the time his new wife moved in I was able to handle both you and Ryder so Cathy went home I wondered why you always had me call her Aunt Cathy I said Just a kindness She has a younger brother Stuart but they dont see each other much Sometimes you have to adopt a family my mother said Its too bad some nice young man in Hillsborough hasnt discovered how wonderful a wife Cathy Stark would make The hospital here is lucky to have her nursing in the ER Whatever she does she does with great dedication and responsibility Aunt Cathy was always so glad to see me and never forgot to bring me a present on my birthday and Christmas just as her father never forgot Suspicion ran deep but I didnt see much resemblance between myself and Cathy or with Mr Stark Maybe that was because I romanticized too much about my real father dreaming of a handsome and exciting young man who had swooped in one day and swept my mother off her feet It was why I searched so hard for some clues a letter something It was easy to imagine what it would say Sometimes I invented the idea that he was already married at the time or that he was from a family so rich and powerful that the idea of his marrying my mother was practically science fiction In fact I used to compose the love letters I imagined he would sneak into the house Dear Emma I was thinking so hard about you today and remembering how comforting and wonderful your smile for me could be that I forgot an important appointment My wife was upset and demanded to know what I was thinking I am so tempted to tell her I am thinking about the most beautiful woman in the world I am thinking about her kiss and how she embraced me I am thinking of the minutes and hours that were precious jewels in my bank of memories and I am thinking about the child we created out of our love I made up different names to use as his signature most taken from great romances I had read for extra credit in literature class like Antony from Antony and Cleopatra or Tristan from Tristan and Isolde I even signed one Romeo As soon as I finished my letter and had read it at least ten times I would tear it into shreds afraid my mother would find it and be upset It was always like ripping up a beautiful dream Yet it was something I thought I might never stop doing even when I was older and entering high school Hillsborough was the township we lived in and Ryder Sam and I attended Hillsborough Central School which had the elementary school adjacent to the junior senior high school I went to school on a school bus but Ryder and Sam were driven to school by Dr and Bea Davenports limo driver Parker Thomson a forty five year old African American man with premature chalk white hair that made it look like a piece of a cloud had settled on his head He had been one of Dr Davenports patients and was devoted to him He was always very nice to me waving and smiling whenever he saw me but less so when Bea was present Ryder wanted me to ride with him and Sam but Bea Davenport forbade it and to my surprise and disappointment Dr Davenport rarely challenged anything she had decided regarding the house or the help I thought he might make an exception when it came to me but he didnt and was uick to dismiss Ryders appeal to override his stepmothers rules When I complained to my mother she said perhaps he didnt want the distractions that came from domestic arguments A cardiac specialist and surgeon like Dr Davenport certainly doesnt want to leave the house for the hospital with any unnecessary worry on his shoulders He could miss something important and someone might die I couldnt deny he was a very busy and dedicated doctor who according to my mother took his responsibilities as seriously as a bishop who had to report to the Almighty Few men have life and death in their hands as many times a week as Dr Davenport has she said But that still seemed like a weak excuse for his disinterest in what went on at Wyndemere From what I knew of him and from the way I heard people in the community talk about him it did seem as if he walked on water If there was anyone I really tiptoed around it was Dr Davenport but he really never chastised me for anythingthan not listening to my mother or obeying her strictly From time to time whenever he did see me he asked how I was doing in school but his uestions were uick and to the point Invariably he would simply say Keep up the good work uickly stroke my head like he might pet a kitten and that would be that I didnt think he really cared all that much whether I did well in school or not He was simply being polite For some people good etiuette was sewn into their skin It was as automatic as breathing Still it meant something to me to catch his attention even if only for a few seconds a week usually outside the house and away from Bea Davenports disapproving eyes Dr Davenport stood just a little over five foot ten but he always seemed taller to me I was always afraid to look him in the eyes When I was little and my mother told me he operated on peoples hearts I thought he could see a.

free download House of Secrets: A Novel

free download ë eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB º V.C Andrews characters House of Secrets: A Novel ↠ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB E she would leave the house usually to meet women overly made up like herself for lunch at some expensive restaurant Her skin had been pulled and stretched so much it was practically transparent You could see the veins in her face which were always blue convincing her she was truly a blue blood Mrs Marlene told me Elizabeth Davenport interviewed undertakers to find one who would be skilled enough to make her look alive in her casket She said The woman actually went to funerals if there was an open casket to inspect the work they had done I wanted to tell her what my grandmother had told me Never resist growing old Many are denied that privilege These little stories about Dr Davenports parents trickled down to me as I grew older I knew they had slept in separate bedrooms almost the day after returning from their honeymoon I was told that they always dressed formally for dinner something Dr Davenport still did and they were always wealthy Simon Davenport had assumed control of his fathers export import business and had doubled its value He had wanted Dr Davenport to assume it too but Harrison Davenport was a brilliant student determined to become a cardiac surgeon In the end the business was sold for what my mother called an outlandish amount of money enough to choke a horse Simon Davenport died before I was born and Elizabeth had a stroke and lived in her room with around the clock care until I was six I saw only glimpses of her when I was still permitted to go upstairs to either Ryders or Sams room when my mother cared for them My memory of her was of a tiny woman practically swallowed up in a bed with huge pillows and a headboard with embossed angels I thought they were there to carry her to heaven but when I told my mother that she shook her head and said Too heavy a load Too heavy a load She looked like she was put together with chicken feathers I never realized she had died until weeks later To me the house wasnt any uieter or darker and I saw no one not even Dr Davenport crying Later my mother told me she and Mrs Marlene had gone to the funeral Did she look alive I asked She smiled I thought she was going to sit up and complain about the uncomfortable coffin halfway through the service I knew my mother was just being funny but for a long time afterward I had dreams about this wisp of a woman with her styled and lacuered rust brown dyed hair wandering through Wyndemere House at night looking for some jewelry she was always accusing maids of stealing When I told my mother about my dreams and visions she did not laugh Most ghosts she said are visible only to children But you have nothing to be afraid of Fern Elizabeth Davenport thought children were a nuisance and wished people were born grown up I dont think she was much of a mother for Dr Davenport From the way he talks sometimes it was like she had completely forgotten she had given birth Maybe she didnt she added in an almost inaudible mumble There was another dark secret I thought It was no use to keep asking about it either My mother refused to follow and encourage gossip about the Davenports especially when other members of the staff asked her uestions Never you mind shed tell them Manage yourself Youve got enough there to occupy your mind for a lifetime Even as they grew older neither Ryder nor Sam seemed to care all that much about their grandparents and their family history Sometimes I thought because of my mother I knewthan they did about their grandparents Because I had so little when it came to family I enjoyed the fact that they didnt talk about their own very much Their world like mine was uite enough even though we practically lived on separate planets With Bea Davenports heavy unwritten but clearly stated rules governing my behavior it really was like visiting another house whenever I did cross over either to help my mother with her chores or during a rare time when she and I were invited to participate in something It was why I wasnt very helpful when the girls in my class asked me uestions about Wyndemere I really dont live there I said I live in the afterthought a part of the building created when the original owners realized they needed a place for their live in help Two maids slept where I sleep and another maid and the cook back then slept where my mother sleeps It didnt sound good and certainly not like anything any of my friends would envy but I saw no reason to lie about it Someday Id be leaving Wyndemere and so would my mother Wed belike normal people then I thought although deep in my heart I had a fear I feared my mother would fade and die if she ever left Wyndemere I had no idea why It was another secret and one maybe not too far from the secret that suirmed restlessly just beyond my reach but was growing closer and closer with every passing year and this year seemed to be going faster than the previous Maybe that was because I was doingwith my friends One thing I was going to do that I had never done was attend the prom It would be my first formal date At Hillsborough the senior class ran the school prom Others attended of course Ryder was a senior this year and president of his class Although he was always popular and invited to many parties and had many friends he hadnt dated one girl as steadily as he did this year Alison Reuben Alison Reuben was definitely the prettiest girl in Ryders class She had light strawberry blond hair that floated around her cameo face dominated by her kelly green eyes and there was no other girl with fullerperfect lips The patches of freckles at the crests of her cheeks and the richness of her complexion made any makeup extraneous She didnt even have to put on lipstick because her lips were so bright a sort of reddish orange I wanted so much to hate her because she was one of those girls who knew they were beautiful and let everyone else know it too Ryder was blind to any faults in her character and I was certainly not going to be the one to point any out Whenever I was near them she was pleasant enough to me but always acted toward me the way someone much older andsophisticated would Although she never came right out and said it I sensed she saw me as only the little girl whose mother worked for Ryders parents So I was very surprised when one night after dinner when I was doing some homework and lying on my bed in my pajamas I heard a soft knock on my not uite closed door and looked up to see Ryder peering in Hey he said Can I talk to you I slammed my history book closed so fast and hard that I almost caught a finger in it Come in I said sitting up He stepped in Close the door He thought a moment as if he had to step over hot coals and then did so Whats happening I brought my knees up and embraced my legs He came closer and after a slight hesitation sat on my bed My pajama top was openthan it should be but I didnt rush to button it I saw how his eyes were drawn to the growing fullness of my breasts What do you think of Paul Gabriel he asked Paul Gabriel Hes a senior Right I shrugged I dont think of him at all I replied tucking the sides of my mouth in That triggered a dimple in my right cheek the same dimple my mother had I supposed one of the things that made it easier to ignore wondering who my father might be was the strong resemblance I bore to my mother We had the same violet eyes and raven hair with curls that were always a little frizzy and untamed Our foreheads were a little too wide but we made up for it with perfect diminutive features high cheekbones and full lips Yeah well hes noticed you Ryder said Really I searched my memory for any snapshot visions of Paul Gabriel He was tall over six feet with an awkward gait I vaguely knew he was one of the best pitchers on the schools baseball team but I couldnt recall ever speaking to him Hes a nice enough guy actually shy I nodded So So he came to me to ask if I thought you would go to the prom with him Paul Gabriel I dont think hes said two words to me I told you he was shy I think youd have a good time I bet not too many girls in your class are being asked he added I dont know If you agree hell drive Hes got his own car I started to shake my head And wed double date he said Theres an after party at Shane Ciscos house Really Is Alison all right with that She will be I havent told her yet Paul called me again about it tonight So what do you say Cmon Itll be fun Pauls okay I wouldnt set you up with anyone who wasnt he added Ill ask my mother I said But I know I dont have the right sort of dress Ive got an idea he said leaning forward his hand on my knee I know where my mothers dresses are stored in the attic Well find one that works and you can get it fitted Okay I guess I said shocked and delighted at how determined he was to get me to go determined enough to want me to wear one of his mothers dresses Great He stood up and started out Hey I called when he opened the door You didnt arrange all this just to get a ride to the prom did you Because I know you wouldnt want Parker driving you like some snobby rich kid and your father hasnt bought you your car yet He smiled What a terrible thing to think he said widening his smile and he left Did I know him or did I know him Whatever what did I care about his reason Wed be double dating It would be my first formal date too I lay back and looked up at the ceiling It all sounded wonderful but how was Alison going to react to this I could count on the fingers of one hand how many conversations shed had with me so far this year and those were usually Oh hello I wasnt exactly the choice she would make for a girl to share her big night She had many close friends in her own class And then I wondered what would it be like going to the prom with a boy I hadnt even spoken that much to all year And anyway could I give Paul Gabriel the attention my date should have if I was with Ryder Every time he kissed Alison I would imagine he was kissing me Could I hide that from Paul Gabriel What if he realized it and blurted out something like Hey shes jealous Alison might tell him to take care of his own business meaning me What would I do then I had yet to kiss a boy the way I dreamed of kissing Ryder And the promwhat if it led to something further Would my resistance fit Alisons view of me perfectly Shes just a little girl Why did Ryder arrange this I might spoil their night with my innocence My worries fit After all this was virgin me afraid of justifying the dirty thoughts boys whispered behind my back because I was a mistake Was I a mistake And was it true that girls who were mistakes had a tendency to bepromiscuous after all I was always worried about my sexual thoughts and the fantasies I couldnt seem to stop lately What did this really mean Maybe I didnt have long to find out And maybe that frightened methan anything.

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