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 own 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.