It’s once again time for a Hump Day Hook and some more from Seawrack! If you’re here for the first time, or would like a refresher, click here.
Self-consciously, Jesse lowered his arm and stepped across the threshold. The hall was well-appointed with pale walls and heavy, masculine wood; a hint of tobacco, dark and herbaceous, hung about. His hat and coat were relinquished, hung aside to dry.
“Mister Sherwood is expecting you. Follow me.”
The retainer escorted Jesse through the house, past spoils of travel and trophies of the chase. He conceived the owner as rich, but fearfully extravagant—saw him in a glow of high fashion, of good looks, of expensive habits and charming ways. He was led to a morning room, where warm yellow lamp light fended off the steely gray day. The remains of breakfast—a rack of pale toast and sausages congealing in grease—sat on the table, pushed to the side in favor of a newspaper.
“Thank you, Withers. That will be all for now.” The paper never moved.
Jesse stood, damp and awkward, unsure whether to speak or sit. He chose to stand, silently.
“Masterson, eh?” The paper rustled as a page was turned. “That seems a good name for a tutor.” More rustling, another page. “Are you a good tutor, Masterson?”
Jesse was distracted from the question by Sherwood’s voice. A thick, rich baritone, the sound was warm, bold and pleasant, reminding Jesse of honey and smoke. He imagined the man to be handsome and tall and dark; that type that was gallant and splendid.
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‘Til next time!