In Episode 1: Mark Masters slips away for a moment for some privacy in the De La Croix’s home library. He is met there at the point of a gun by a beautiful young debutant, Sunni De La Croix. She quickly convinces him to return to the debutant cotillion.
Episode 2: Scene 1 – Mark talks with the hostess, Monica De La Croix
Mark Masters reluctantly returns to what he would describe as the superfluous chatter, alcohol-induced laughter, and other cacophony that pretends to be a celebration.
He is here as all guests after donating a respectable amount of money to the De La Croix family foundation. His family and the De La Croix family helped settle this area of Kentucky over 150 years ago. Out of respect for those ancestors he attends the cotillion, although he would prefer to just donate and be anywhere else.
Monica De La Croix notices Mark. She and he attended high school together. Monica about three years older also dated Mark’s older brother for a few months their junior year.
Monica catches Mark’s attention with a smile and curl and uncurl of her index finger.
“You don’t look like you’re having a good time, Mark. You probably need a drink,” Monica looks around for a hostess.
“I don’t drink much, thank you.”
“Religious or health reasons?”
“Neither. I just don’t care for the taste.”
“Who does? It makes these get-togethers somewhat tolerable, though,” Monica stops J.D. Mendoza carrying 2 tall glasses of Champagne before he can pass by.
“Do you have plans for that bubbly?”
“I am hoping to have a moment with Skippy.”
Monica and Mark share glances and smile. Skippy or Skipper is Sunni’s younger sister, Celia De La Croix and Monica is their stepmom, their deceased father’s third wife and heir of this huge home and a large portion of his monetary assets.
“Well, have a moment with me, J.D.,”Monica snatches one of the glasses from J.D.
“That is meant for Skippy,” J.D. grabs for the glass but Monica moves it out of his reach.
“She’s too young to drink.”
“She’s 21 today. That’s part of this celebration,” J.D. watches in disgust as Monica takes a sip from the glass.
This kind of sophomoric antic is why Mark detests these elitist parties. He politely excuses himself.
Scene 2 – Mark and Celia De La Croix on the patio
Mark snakes through the numerous clusters of humanity occasionally nodding to acquaintances speaking to him as he passes. He has no destination in his mind until he spies an inviting oasis in the patio lightly painted by splashes of moonlight and solar lights.
He inhales the fragrance of honeysuckles and exhales a sigh of relief. He leans against a block wall by laying both hands shoulder-width apart and stares up at a clear starry sky and breathes again the sweetness of the honeysuckle.
“Mark, are you feeling alright?” Celia causes Mark to shudder and turn suddenly.
“Just trying to escape the noise,” Mark’s body and countenance relax recognizing the encroacher of his brief peace.
“I love parties, but I take it you don’t,” Celia pulls her slender physique close to Mark, so close in fact, Mark becomes uncomfortable.
“I like my parties small where everyone has lots of their own personal space,” Mark punctuates his point by sliding a half step sideways away from Celia.
Celia maneuvers around to face Mark. She places one foot between his two feet and her left leg astraddle of his right. She pretends to straighten his tie.
Preceded by a stern glare, Mark firmly grasps Celia’s wrists which has little affect on this birthday girl.
“Happy birthday, young lady,” Mark declares as he gently pushes her hands back against her own body until she is forced to step back or fall.
“Not so young and definitely no lady,” Celia raises an eyebrow and flashes a wry smile.
An unusual commotion back inside demands both Mark’s and Celia’s attention. Mark fails to realize he still clasps Celia’s wrists until she jerks them loose and dashes inside. Mark soon follows when he comprehends what Celia must have already.
Scene 3 – Tragedy at the cotillion
The group of party goers sporadically make room as they recognize Celia. Mark melds into the crowd as another concerned bystander.
Celia drops to her knees next to Dr. Gellerman trying to revive the motionless body of Monica De La Croix.
“Will she be alright?”
Dr Gellerman shakes his head.
“Can’t you do something. Why don’t you do something?” Celia pleads and pushes the middle-aged doctor.
“Has someone called 9-1-1?” Dr. Gellerman rises to his feet with Celia clinging to his jacket frantically urging him to do something.
Mark remembers about Sunni in the library. He pulls and pushes his way away from this growing mass of guests clambering to get a glimpse of Monica.
Finally, Mark is somewhat free of the crowd. He starts toward the hallway to the wing of the mansion where the library rests. Before he can pick up his pace and dash into the hallway, a man clutches his arm to inquire about the attraction.
Mark pulls himself free and mutters, “Monica De La Croix,” and then points to the crowd.
Clutching after Mark, the man shouts, “What about Monica? Is it serious?”
Mark sees Sunni making her way cautiously towards the large room. Illumined by the brightness of the lights of the grand ballroom, he can see her face is lined with concern and confusion. He wishes he had stayed to learn more so he could be of more help when he reaches Sunni.
Scene 4 – Mark checks on Sunni
“She’s dead isn’t she?” Sunni grabs a handful of Mark’s jacket sleeve when he reaches her.
“I don’t know for sure, but… .”
“I knew it would come to this.”
Sunni’s head suddenly whips around back towards the library. She tugs on Mark’s sleeve as she whirls around and dashes back down the hallway. Mark follows.
I write about what I'm thinking or what I've imagined in an effort to regain that childhood imagination and marry with my many years of real experiences. I'm getting better at it the more I write.I am a published author of two romantic intrigue novels.My books can be found at Amazon.com or if you want a personalized copy, by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.