Scarlett sat on a sofa cushion in the corner of entrance hall, surrounded by cardboard and plastic boxes. Peering into another box and seeing more of Greyson’s model plane collection, she sighed deeply. Pushing the box away, she glanced backwards, before sprawling out on the floor. Straight away she felt the coldness of the marble floor sinking through her blouse into her shoulders and back.
She looked up at the ceiling and notices a smaller painting she’d missed. It was a white winged horse flying in a blue cloudy sky. She wondered how the artist had even gone about painting it up there. Resting her hands on her waist and shutting her eyes, despite the uncomfortableness of the floor, she listened to her own breathing for a few moments then focused on other sounds.
She could hear Greyson still struggling to put their wooden king size bed together in the background. There was the hum of the fridge and freezer too, due to the doors being open. Also, the slow drip of the tap into the metal sink that had been annoying her all day, but they hadn’t been unable to fix. Finally, there was the almost inaudible sound of wood cracking as it cooled and heated.
Scarlett felt herself drifting and decided if Greyson didn’t get the bed up soon, they’d just make the mattress up and sleep on the floor. Opening her eyes, she was just about to get up when a stair creaked loudly as if someone was walking down it. Pausing, she looked directly at the underbelly of the spiral staircase just to her left. The stair cried out again, but softer this time as if someone was aware of the noise they were making.
Easing herself up and dusting off her trousers, Scarlett stepped around the boxes and went to the base of the grand staircase. Looking up, she could see the other set of stairs fully illuminate in the lights hanging from the towering ceiling. However, she couldn’t see the landing of the first floor nor the top of those stairs.
‘Hello?’ she called.
Sliding a hand on to the banister she listened, but heard nothing. Heading up the stairs, she stayed to the edge to avoid any possible squeaking from the wood. The banister felt smooth under her palm and fingers. Reaching the small landing, she turned to the left and went upwards. Peering over the edge, she saw the entrance hall happily blazing with light, whilst above her seemed to be cast into a gloom.
At the top, she recalled where the light switches were and turned them on. The staircases re-joined together to her left forming a half balcony which overlooked the small landing and base of the grand staircase. From there they split off again and spiralled to the second floor. Scarlett looked down both long corridors, but didn’t see or hear anything.
‘Hello?’ she called again.
Her voice echoed faintly then faded.
She jumped, spun around and almost lost her footing on the top step. Grabbing the banister, she steadied herself and looked down.
‘Scarlett? Where are you? The bed’s up,’ Greyson shouted.
He came into view at the bottom of the stairs and looked up at her, ‘what are you doing?’
Starting her descent, Scarlett replied, ‘I thought I heard something.’
‘A stair creaked twice as if someone was walking on it. It least that’s what it sounded like.’
‘It was probably just the wood moving,’ Greyson suggested.
Scarlett reached the landing and with her a shake of her head looked back, ‘I forgot to turn the lights out.’
‘We can do it from down here. Don’t worry about it.’
Rubbing her face and sweeping her hair back, Scarlett went down the rest of the stairs and joined him. Greyson took her hands and kissed the top of her head.
‘You’re tried. It’s been a long day. Let’s go make the bed and get some sleep.’
‘Okay,’ Scarlett muttered.
Stealing a last glance at the stairs, she let Greyson led her to their new bedroom. He turned out the lights on the way, throwing everything but the hallway leading to their new rooms into darkness.
Going through the first door behind the reception desk led them into a medium size apartment. The hallway opened to the right into a spacious living room with an archway in the left wall leading to a dining room. They passed the door in the hallway that also led into the dining room and second that led into a small rectangle kitchen. The hallway ended with two doors facing them.
Greyson took Scarlett through the first door then let go of her hand. The room was big having been converted from a study or a lounge area. Massive windows in the left wall designed to show off the side gardens of the house, were covered by thick drapes. The bed was taking pride of place against the back wall and Greyson had put the bedside cupboards into place and the huge bedding box at the foot of the bed. To the left, on the other end wall, their twin wardrobes looked to be at home. The floor though was littered with bin bags, suitcases and more boxes.
‘I’ve no idea where the bedding is,’ Scarlett said.
‘It doesn’t matter what we put on it. We just need a sheet, some pillows and the duvet. We can sort everything else tomorrow,’ Greyson pointed out.
He went over to the nearest black bin bag and undid the knot. Scarlett moved to another and began opening it too. For a few minutes they searched until they had found everything they needed. Quickly, making their bed up then undressing, Scarlett got between the sheets and pressed her head to the pillows. She shut her eyes and listened to Greyson turning out the main light and joining her.
‘Hey, how about we christen the new bedroom?’
Scarlett groaned and tried to swat at him, ‘I’m too tried.’
‘Just a quicker?’ Greyson pressed.
‘No,’ she mumbled and rolled over.
‘In the morning, then?’
Settling, Scarlett yawed and felt herself drifting off as Greyson snuggled in behind her. She felt his arm and hand resting against her skin. Placing her hand on top, so he wasn’t tempted to move his hand any higher or lower along her body, Scarlett surrender to sleep.
To Be Continued…