Barnabas paced anxiously in the drawing room waiting for Melody and Quentin to return from the Blue Whale. A million thoughts clouded his mind. Was she OK? What if Quentin went off without her? What if she got drunk and fell off the pier? Barnabas was completely lost in his all consuming thoughts that he didn’t hear Julia walk down the stairs and enter the drawing room.
“Are you going to stay up all night waiting for her?” Julia huffed as she walked towards Barnabas with a concerning look on her face. Barnabas turned to face his wife who was wearing a pink, flowing nightgown that complemented her skin tone. Barnabas took Julia in his arms.
“I’m just wanting to make sure she gets home OK. That’s what a father does,” Barnabas stated after his kissed his wife. Julia put her head on his chest and let him caress her hair. Julia knew that holding him always calmed Barnabas down no matter how worried he became. This time was no different. Julia could feel his body begin to relax and his breathing begin to slow. “I know I worry too much, but she’s still my little baby no matter how old she is.” Julia held Barnabas a little closer.
“I know, darling. She’s my baby too, but we have to let go sometime.” Julia and Barnabas were lost in each other’s embrace when they heard the front door swing open. Barnabas let go of Julia and walked to the foyer. He was relieved to see Melody and Quentin entering. He was even more happy to see Melody unharmed. Julia came up behind Barnabas and clasped his hand.
“Melody! Sweet dear. You’re home,” Barnabas announced. “Tell me, did you have a good time tonight?” Barnabas let go of Julia’s hand and motioned Melody to come to him for a hug. Melody lingered over to her father for a hug. Barnabas could immediately tell something was wrong. “Melody, what’s wrong? You seem upset.”
“Let’s just say her first trip to the Blue Whale wasn’t a pleasant one,” Quentin responded while putting up his sports coat. Barnabas looked down at Melody who could tell she had been crying.
“I’m OK, dad. Really, I am,” Melody squeaked while holding her father. “It’s just….” Melody resumed crying into her father’s chest. Julia placed a hand on her daughter’s back and comforted her. Barnabas and Julia gave Quentin an icy look.
“I demand to know what happened to her? You were supposed to look out for her!” Barnabas raised his voice at Quentin. Quentin puffed out his chest and came closer to Barnabas.
“In fact, cousin, I didn’t do anything. It was Daniel Loomis and Andrew Beaumont who caused all the trouble by starting a fight in the bar. They both were asked to leave the bar, and I got Melody out of there before she could get hurt,” Quentin responded while looking Barnabas dead in the eyes. Barnabas softened his tone with Quentin.
“I’m sorry, Quentin. I should not have accused you. Please accept my apologies,” Barnabas replied. Quentin patted his cousin on the back.
“It’s OK, Barnabas. I understand. I got defensive myself tonight.” Barnabas nodded his head and escorted Melody into the drawing room with Julia beside him and Quentin tailing behind. Barnabas sat Melody down on the couch beside him and cuddled her.
“What happened, love?”
“Well, I was talking with Daniel and this Andrew guy came up and starting hitting on me. I guess Daniel doesn’t like this guy, and before I knew it, they were fighting on the floor,” Melody stated while Barnabas wiped her tears away. “It was awful. I thought they were going to kill each other!” Barnabas pushed the hair out of his daughter’s face and kissed her forehead.
“Well, It’s over now and you’re home safe,” Julia responded as she sat next to Melody on the couch. “I’m sure it scared you and it really wasn’t the good time you had in mind. I’m glad Quentin was there to stop the fight and get you home.” Julia nodded towards Quentin and he raised his glass of brandy towards her.
“No problem, Julia. I’d do anything for my squirt.” Quentin downed his brandy in one drink. “Although, Daniel and Melody did look like they were getting along quite well.” Quentin raised his eyebrows towards Melody while smirking at her. Melody’s eyes lit up when she heard Daniel’s name. Her body shivered when she remembered his green eyes looking into hers. “I think she was quite smitten with him.” Barnabas looked at Melody sternly.
“Melody, is this true?” Barnabas had a “lecture” tone to his voice. Julia looked at her husband with disbelief.
“Barnabas!” Julia whispered. She couldn’t believe that after everything Melody went through tonight he would have the audacity to ask her such a question. “This is not the time.”
“It’s OK, mom. Really.” Melody turned to her mother giving her a reassuring glare. “Yes it is. I think he’s….fascinating. I’d like to know more about him.” Julia smirked at Melody. She knew exactly what her daughter meant and what she was feeling. She had the same feeling when she first met Barnabas back in 1967. She was intrigued medically and personally by this “distant cousin” from England who she knew was somehow connected to Maggie’s condition. After she found out his secret, he became more alluring and mysterious. Before she knew it, she was falling in love with him. The more she was around him, the more she fell for him. She knew she couldn’t tell anyone, but she was the kind that wore her heart on her sleeve. After 4 years of being “friends,” the family and the whole town knew how they felt about each other, even if they denied it.
“I think it’s wonderful, and it’s a good thing to learn about a person before deciding to be their friend,” Julia responded, but she knew that Melody didn’t want to be just friends with Daniel. She wanted more.
“I guess so, but be careful,” Barnabas warned. “I don’t want you hurt. If you do have…feelings for him, I don’t want him to take advantage of you.”
“DAD! We’re not getting married or anything. I just met him. Can’t he just be my friend?” Melody looked at her dad with her wide, green eyes. Barnabas hugged his daughter.
“Yes, dear. You can be friends. I think you are more than capable of picking out good friends,” Barnabas responded.
“Well, I’m tired. I think I’ll go to bed now,” Melody stated as she was getting up off the couch. She hugged and kissed her parents and Quentin goodnight before going upstairs to her room. Barnabas, Julia, and Quentin talked for a bit in the drawing room before going to bed themselves.
“You don’t think she’ll fall in love this guy, do you Julia?” Barnabas asked as they entered their bedroom. Julia turned to her husband and kissed him. The memories of when she first met Barnabas had her reeling with passion.
“I don’t know, sweetie. But I do know that I love you and I love showing you how much I love you.” Julia pulled her husband into the bedroom and quickly shut the door behind them.
Continue reading “Chapter 6: Summer Love”