Chapter 5: Beautiful Stranger(s)

Melody enjoyed the day roaming the grounds of Collinwood. Julia joined her when she went to look at the greenhouse and pool. Julia and Melody were impressed by the work that was done to restore the dilapidated buildings! Julia talked with Melody about when she first arrived at Collinwood and how the greenhouse and pool were in total disrepair to the point no one could go in them. The two ladies enjoyed a walk along the beach of Widow’s Hill before returning home for supper. After supper, the family retired to the drawing room. Quentin came in last and stood next to Melody who was sitting in the chair next to the fireplace.

“Guess who’s got a date with the most handsome man in Collinsport tonight?” Quentin announced loudly turning to Melody. Melody looked at him quite puzzled as he smiled at her.

“Who Quentin,” asked Roger pouring brandy for himself. “The town Jezebel?” Liz gave Roger a disgusted look before returning to her brandy.

“Now, don’t you call my squirt a Jezebel, Roger. She’s far from it,” Quentin replied patting Melody on the back. Melody looked shocked when Quentin announced he’d be taking her out for the evening. “Yes, Melody, you’ve won an all expenses paid trip to the Blue Whale Tavern with me, Mr. Quentin.” Barnabas’s eyes widened and his back straightened out.

“The Blue Whale!” Barnabas cried. “No, not there. That’s not a place for her to be. She’s too young.” Barnabas looked over at Julia for validation, but all he got was an icy look from his bride.

“Dad! I’m not a child anymore! Besides, nothing is going to happen to me. Quentin will be there to protect me,” Melody said as she looked up at her favorite cousin. Quentin smiled at Melody and then looked back at Barnabas.

“That’s right, Barney! I’m her protector. I will not let anything happen to her,” Quentin teased Barnabas knowing he hates being called Barney. “She’s in good hands. I took her to a Michael Jackson concert for crying out loud! You know you can trust me.” Barnabas looked at Julia who was being unusually silent. He thought for sure Julia would have objected to this outing.

“Julia! Aren’t you going to say something?” Barnabas asked his wife. Julia looked up from her drink at Barnabas and then at Melody.

“Go have a good time, honey,” Julia stated smiling at Melody. “Just be careful.” Barnabas was astounded! He couldn’t believe what was coming out of his wife’s mouth!

Have a good time, honey. Just be careful.

“JULIA!” Barnabas cried. Julia was taken back by the tone Barnabas was using with her. “I’m shocked you would permit this. Don’t you see anything wrong with her going to the Blue Whale?” Barnabas started to walk towards Julia. Julia knew this walk before. She knew he was about to get confrontational with her. Julia stood up to meet his advance.

“As a matter of fact, I don’t see anything wrong with her going out to the Blue Whale,” Julia replied. “She’s an adult now and I trust her completely. We’ve raised an intelligent young woman who can make good decisions.” Julia stood her ground with Barnabas. She could feel his anger and objection coming off of his body. “Don’t you trust your own daughter?”

“Yeah, daddy. Don’t you trust me?” Melody asked with a slight whine in her voice. By this time, the whole family was looking at Barnabas with a look of disappointment. Of course he trusted his daughter. It was other people he couldn’t trust. Barnabas walked over to his daughter, helped her out of the chair, and held her.

“Of course I trust you, darling. Don’t ever think that for a minute,” Barnabas quietly said to his daughter. “It’s other people I don’t trust. Especially the young men. They only have one thing on their mind.” Barnabas held his daughter a little closer.

“Don’t worry, Barnabas! I’ll keep a good eye on her. No one’s going to hurt her,” quipped Quentin as he walked toward the foyer. “Besides, if anyone tries to hurt my squirt, they’ll have to deal with me.” Quentin gave Melody a wink. “Well, my dear, shall we go?”

Melody hugged and said goodbye to her mother and father before joining Quentin in the foyer. Holding out his arm for his young cousin, Melody linked arms with Quentin as he ushered her out to his car. He opened the door for her and helped her in the car. Looking out the window as the drove off, Barnabas worried about his young daughter. Sure, he trusted Quentin to watch out for her and protect her, but still something in his soul knew something would happen to her tonight that would change her life forever.

Quentin escorted Melody into the Blue Whale. Melody was a little shocked that everyone knew who Quentin was. He was like a celebrity! Quentin motioned the bartender, George, for two whiskeys to be delivered to their table. Quentin pulled out a chair for Melody and motioned for her to sit before sitting down next to her. George came by with their drinks.

“Hi Quentin! How’s it going?” George asked Quentin.

“I’m good! How you doin’, George?” Quentin asked.

“I’m doing good. Say, you know I don’t judge you at all, but isn’t your date just a tad young and too good looking for you?” George teased Quentin. Melody thought that Quentin might fly off the handle for that comment, but he just laughed and slapped George on the arm.

“Haha! No, George. This is my cousin from Boston, Melody. Melody, this is George. He can be your best friend if you’re nice and don’t trash the place,” Quentin teased Melody as he introduced her to George.

“How do you do George?” Melody asked while extending her hand. George took Melody’s hand and gave it a good shake.

“Well, I’m good Miss Melody. You’re a celebrity around here. Your father does nothing but talking about you and your mother! So, anything you want is on the house,” George stated giving Melody a wink. George and Quentin had some small talk before George went back to the bar. Melody took her drink and smelled it. She immediately crinkled her nose and put down the drink.

“Uncle Quentin! This is alcohol! You know I can’t drink! My father will kill me if he smells alcohol!” Melody exclaimed. Quentin smiled at his cousin while sipping his drink.

“Melody, you can’t drink or you shouldn’t drink?” Quentin asked her with one eyebrow raised. Melody looked down at her drink before picking it up and taking a sip. A disgusted look came across her face as the first taste of whiskey hit her tongue. Quentin just laughed. “You’ll get used to it, squirt. Just give it time.”

“I don’t know if I want to give it time.” Melody looked down at her drink contemplating on whether or not to take another sip. Suddenly the door opened, and Quentin looked up towards the door.

“Hey, there’s the Loomis boy! I don’t think you’ve met him yet,” Quentin quipped nodding towards the door. Melody turned in her seat to see a six foot man with muscles rippling through his tight black t-shirt, loose fitting jeans, sneakers, a slight tan, blonde hair, and the greenest eyes she’s ever seen. If this was love at first sight, Melody was for sure she was experiencing it right now. Melody realized that this Loomis boy was standing in front of her while Quentin was trying to introduce them.

“Melody! Have you gone deaf? This is Daniel Loomis.” Melody shook her head and stretched out her hand.

“Oh, I’m so sorry. It’s nice to meet you, Daniel. I’m…” Melody barely got her words out before Daniel jumped in and taking her hand.

“Melody Collins. Yes, I know who you are, and I must say you’re much more beautiful in person than in pictures,” Daniel stated taking Melody’s hand to his lips to kiss her hand. Melody’s heart melted with the touch of his soft lips on her skin. A sinful smile came across Daniel’s lips as his lips left her hand. Quentin stood back and watched the chemistry between the two.

“So, kids, I’m going over to the bar area. Daniel, why don’t you take my seat so you two can get acquainted?” Quentin asked while offering his seat to Daniel. Daniel graciously accepted. Quentin winked at Melody as he made his way to the bar.

“Well, Daniel, it seems you know so much about me, but I don’t know much about you,” Melody said while taking another sip of her drink. Daniel must of noticed Melody’s reaction to the whisky as he smiled at her as she put her drink down.

“Well, I do know you’re the daughter of Mr. & Dr. Barnabas Collins, your father adores you, Quentin adores you, you’re not quite used to whisky yet, and you’re the most beautiful creature I’ve ever laid eyes on,” Daniel responded after taking a sip of his beer. Melody smiled as she ducked her head down. She raised her eyes to meet Daniel’s who was watching her intently. “So, what do you want to know about me?” Daniel asked as he and Melody took sips of their drinks.

“Well,” Melody started. “What do you do?” Melody has never seen herself this shy before. She had always been outgoing and outspoken. She couldn’t figure out why she became so meek all of a sudden. It was like Daniel got a hold of her vocal chords and made it hard for her to speak.

“Right now, I’m studying to be a mechanic,” Daniel responded. “It’s what I always wanted to do since I was a kid. My dad and I would work on cars in his spare time, and I just fell in love with fixing cars! I’d love to own my own shop one day, but I need the smarts to know how to run a business. That’s why I’m in school. I also help out dad on the Collins estate. I’m pretty handy actually…although I don’t like to toot my own horn.” Daniel winked at Melody, and she was hanging on every word he said. She couldn’t help but stare into his dark green eyes. She felt like she could live there forever if she could. “So, Melody, what about you?” Melody took another sip of her drink.

“I’m off to college in the fall to study pre-veterinary medicine. I guess like you working on cars, I love working with animals,” Melody responded. She could feel his eyes wandering up and down her body, and she shivered a little at the thought of their bodies together. “I too would like to have my own practice, but I’m sure I’ll have to work under someone first.” She became overwhelmed by his cologne to the point she thought she may fall over. Daniel put his arm around her to hold her up.

“Hey, you OK?” Daniel asked. “I know it can’t be the whisky taking affect already.” Daniel joked with her as he brought his face down to meet hers. For a moment, she thought he was going to kiss her and then his attention went to the front door when they heard the door opening loudly. Melody noticed Daniel’s body and face tensing up when he saw who was walking through that door. “Ugh. Not this mother fucker again.” Melody was taken back by the use of foul language.

“Pardon me?” Melody asked. Daniel turned towards Melody with a red face. His use of words must have embarrassed him.

“Oh, I’m sorry Melody. I didn’t mean to say that in front of you,” Daniel stated. “It’s just that this wanker here thinks he owns the place. He’s always got women around him and thinks he’s God’s gift to earth. I can’t stand the little shit.” Melody turned to see a young man in his early twenties with bright blonde hair that was slicked back, porcelain skin, deep blue eyes, athletic frame, and dressed like the just stepped out of a Ralph Lauren ad.

“Who is that?” Melody asked. She could tell Daniel didn’t want to tell her.

“That’s Andrew Beaumont. Heir to the Beaumont textile business and fortune. He’s probably more your type, right? Handsome, rich, stuck up.” Melody was offended by what Daniel said. She really didn’t think she had a type, but she knew she didn’t like guys who thought they were God’s gift to women.

“Absolutely not!” Melody cried. “I don’t appreciate you assuming I have a type.” Daniel had a shock of look on his face. “I’m sorry, Daniel. I’m very stubborn and don’t like to be told what to do or be.” Daniel put his right hand on Melody’s cheek and raised her head to met his.

“It’s OK. I’m sorry for assuming anything about you.” Daniel leaned into Melody to kiss her when he was interrupted by a strong, New England male voice.

“Danny boy! How’s things going? Oh that’s right, just OK because you have to take orders from people and I don’t,” the voice said. Melody turned to see Andrew standing over them and looking down at Daniel like he was common trash. “Say, my boy, where in the world did you get this lovely woman? I thought you only hung around “loose” woman. This one looks like she belongs at a country club, not a honky tonk.” Andrew put his hand in between Daniel and Melody and grabbed for her hand. “I’m Andrew Beaumont. Heir to the Beaumont fortune. Who might you be?” Melody was already put off by Andrew by the way he talked to Daniel.

“None of your business. Now get lost,” Melody responded turning her back to Andrew. Andrew huffed at the snub. No woman had ever snubbed him like that, but in a way, he kind of liked it. Melody looked over at Daniel to see his teeth and fists were clenched as if he were ready for the fight of his life.

“Well now. Aren’t you a feisty one?” Andrew replied. “Wait a moment. I know you. You’re Melody Collins. Daughter of Barnabas Collins.”

“Yes, that’s me. What do you care?” Andrew leaned in between Daniel and Melody again.

“I care because someone with your breeding should be with me and not a looser like Loomis,” Andrew whispered while laughing. In a fit of rage, Daniel got up from the table and grabbed Andrew by the collar swinging him down to the ground. Daniel gave Andrew two good punches in the face before Andrew returned the blows. Andrew then got up and pinned Daniel against he wall. By this time, the whole bar knew what was going on. George and Quentin ran over to the fighting boys to break up the fight.

“That’s enough!” yelled George. “If you two can’t get along, then you are both not welcomed here anymore! You both get out of here. I don’t need this kind of shit tonight.” George and Quentin threw the boys towards the door and they walked out. Quentin rushed over to Melody.

“Squirt! You alright?” Quentin asked. He could tell Melody was in shock with her eyes so wide and her body shaking. “Here let’s go home.” Quentin helped Melody up from her chair and out of the bar. After what happened, home seemed like a pretty good idea.


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