Rowland, The Senators Son

Dedications

In my life I have had the privilege of

being surrounded by women of such

strength. Their love sustains, their words wise,

with humour and wit they uplift,

I count on their honesty.

A mother, sister, aunties, cousins and nieces

I would not be here without you.

In memory of Leah

and

To a dear friend, thank you this would not

have happened without you.

by Marieke J Treloar


Chapter 1 - One Man’s Memory, another



Man’s Promise

Rowland Jeffers stood tall beside his brothers and their family, as he

stared into the hole that would be his father’s final resting place. The

wind whipped at his black hair, forcing him to push it out of his crystalblue eyes.

Of all the senator’s six sons, he was the one that most resembled the

father they were now laying to rest. At six foot six, he also had his

father’s imposing height and was the tallest of his siblings.

His mind was not on the words the overly pompous priest was

spouting. His father would have been telling the hideous little man to

just get on with it. Unlike most senators, his father was not one for

ceremony. Rowland’s mind was occupied with replaying the last

conversation he had had with the late Ryan-John Jeffers.

“Son, I need you to do something for me.” The cancer may have

ravaged his body, but his eyes were still bright as he looked on his

eldest son.

Rowland clasped his father’s hand and asked, “what can I do for you,

old man?”

His father gave his son a wry half smile at the term of endearment.

“Not so much of the ‘old’, if you don’t mind.” He paused as a cough

wracked his frail form, reduced by his illness. A mere shadow of the

man he once was. The muscles of his broad, strong shoulders had

become nothing more than skin and bone. Rowland helped his father

to sit up and gave him a sip of water from the glass by the

bedside. With a nod of thanks, he continued to speak.

“Rowland, there is someone special I want you to take care of when I

am gone. She will not want you to and may even fight against it, but…”

another harsh cough caught him off guard, halting his words.

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Once calmed, he continued “…when your mother died, I thought I

would never again find anyone that would intrigue me as much as her...

but I did.”

Rowland could not hide his astonishment at this revelation, as his

father asked, “that surprises you?”

“Well, yes…” Rowland faltered, “I know you have always been very

good at keeping your private life private, but I have never seen any hint

of another woman in your life.”

“Well, in a way you are right… as she isn't a part of it anymore,” his

father’s eyes saddened. “When I could no longer hide how sick I was…

I let her go.”

“Why?” It stunned Rowland, thinking his father could have had the

comfort of a soft hand while he had battled the cancer, but chose not

to. “Would she have not stayed?”

“On the contrary, she would have been at my side and even now, I

know that if I called her, she would be right here. But it would not

have been good for her… and her well-being was my only concern.”

His father’s eyes closed briefly as the exhaustion of the battle started

to overtake him.

“What is it you want me to do, old man?” Rowland knew that would

draw a response.

His father snorted softly before continuing. “I want you to look after

her. Make sure she is safe and happy. She deserves that.” His words

were becoming softer now. “I have left a trust for her and I want you

to see that she gets it.”

“I can do that, Dad.” Rowland lifted his father’s hand to his cheek and

then pressed his lips to the back of it, showing his love and respect.

“Rowland…” He now needed to strain to hear his father’s words.

“Yes, Father?” Rowland answered gently. He could feel his father

slipping away.

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“You know I love you, your brothers and your mother, well, she was

the love of my life, but this woman is different and I know when you

meet her, you will see an inner strength you will not believe.”

Another harsh cough emanated from the frail body. “Tell my mistress

I loved and adored her.” The elderly statesman’s hand went limp and,

closing his eyes, he slowly sank into the slumber of death.

Rowland’s eyes filled as he placed his father’s arms across his chest and

brought the bed sheet up to cover his shoulders. His final act was to

brush back the stray strand of hair from his father’s forehead. “Sleep

peacefully, old man,” he said, as he turned on his heel and quietly left

the room.

Rowland’s attention returned to the funeral service, as he stood

watching his father’s gilded casket lowered into the deep, dark

earth. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” the priest spoke, exaggerating his

words.

The days since his father’s passing had been full and exhausting. He

and his brothers had been pallbearers and at age 49, Rowland was not

only the eldest, but the biggest of his brothers. Not that any of them

were small men. Even the youngest brother, 39-year-old Kalvan, was

only an inch shorter than Rowland.

Where Rowland echoed all the power and muscular build of his late

father, Kalvan took after their mother’s side, long and lean. Rowland

felt deeply for all his brothers, but especially for Kalvan, who had only

been eight when they had lost their mother, Zara, because of a drunk

driver running a traffic light.

The Jeffers boys were well used to being in the public eye and had

always known that their conduct could adversely affect one

another. Like most boys, they had gotten up to mischief, but nothing

that could not be chalked up to adolescent antics. As a result of losing

their mother at such a young age, they had drawn closer together,

mainly because of their father.

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He knew they would all miss their father’s love and unwavering

support. Rowland remembered the day he told his father he wanted to

be a lawyer. All his father had said was, “if that is what you want, son,

then you have my support, one hundred percent.”

After his death, his father’s secretary, Miss Meuwa, had given him a

sealed envelope. Within the envelope was a small piece of paper that

simply contained the name Miss Alexia Kingstone.

Rowland had looked at the faces within the crowd at the funeral. A

veritable who’s who of political and social circles, all trying to offer

their respects and condolences surrounded them.

At the funeral, the casket remained open before the commencement

of the service. Rowland had noted each and every person who had

walked up to view his father.

If it had not been for his father’s specific request to the contrary, he

would have made sure the bloody casket was closed.

Among the many mourners, there had been one woman who had

stayed a little longer than the others.

Long auburn-red hair confined in an elegant braid flowed over her

back. She was not overtly tall, about five foot six and her very curvy

figure was tightly restrained in an elegantly tailored outfit.

Her large, full breasts were confined within a lace bra, the pattern of

which pressed through the soft, white, silk blouse that was tucked into

a knee-length black pencil skirt. Silky, black-lined stockings and a pair

of two-inch black patent leather pump heels emphasised her lovely

legs.

Her overcoat was also styled to enhance her shape and although dark

sunglasses covered her face, Rowland was acutely drawn to her lips…

lips that were coated in a deep red gloss that gleamed in stark contrast

to her monotone outfit.

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The ensemble reminded Rowland of the images from some 1950’s

fashion magazines his late grandma had stashed in her sewing room.

Ultra-feminine yet powerful, a classic Vogue look that would have

easily graced the curves of Greer Garson or Maureen O’Hara.

Rowland had noticed how her gloved hand shook as she reached into

the casket to gently touch the cheek of his father. Was this the

Mistress?

She had straightened abruptly, as if knowing she was under his

inquisitive gaze, turned and walked to the back of the chapel in silence.

At the interment, his mind snapped back to the present and as the

casket had now been lowered and then covered with soil, the many

mourners had begun to dissipate after again conveying their

condolences.

It was then that he was struck anew by the woman with the glossy red

lips. Rather than coming up to him and his brothers, she walked

straight to the graveside and knelt. Bowing her head, she placed a small

posy of sweet-smelling jasmine on top of the freshly turned earth.

Rowland was not the only one who had noticed the woman. Kalvan

had as well.

“Do you know who she is?” Kalvan asked.

“No,” Rowland answered. Between the two of them, they pretty much

knew most of his father’s friends. “I’m going to find out, though.”

Rowland started to walk after the woman. “I’ll see you back at the

house.”

Playing a hunch, Rowland called softly, “Miss Kingstone?”

The woman hesitated for a moment before turning to face

Rowland. Removing her dark sunglasses, he found himself caught in

the brilliant gaze of hazel-green eyes.

“Yes?” her voice was soft and lush and Rowland found himself

wanting to hear her speak more.

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“Miss Kingstone,” Rowland was unsure of exactly what to say but

thought it best to be straightforward and honest, “my father asked that

I tell you something.”

The woman’s eyes narrowed. “And what would the Senator wish me

to know?” There was an exotic lilt to her accent that he could not

quite place.

“That his last words were that he loved and adored his mistress,”

Rowland’s voice was husky.

Her eyes were now glistening and Rowland noticed the escape of a

single teardrop before she replaced her sunglasses. “Thank you for

sharing the Senator’s last words… never speak them again.”

She turned and began to walk away.

“Miss Kingstone,” Rowland grabbed for her arm to stop her from

moving away. “Please wait.”

The woman halted and with one gloved hand drew her sunglasses

down her nose, looking first to where his hand was on her arm and

then into his eyes. Rowland saw a flash of irritation that had him

pulling his hand away abruptly.

“My apologies, but there are things he wanted me to discuss with you.”

Rowland found he could not break eye contact with her powerful gaze,

as he swallowed hard and continued. “Please come back to the house.

It will not take long and it was his dying request.”

She gave a nod. Rowland was not sure what made the enigmatic Miss

Kingstone agree to his request, but he was grateful that she had.

“My car is this way,” he indicated the side road that contained a dozen

black limousines.

“I have my own car.” She pointed in the opposite direction. Rowland

walked her to a dark-green Bentley Mulsanne and after waving off the

hefty, dark-skinned driver, he opened the passenger rear door and

helped her in.

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“In an hour, then,” Rowland said, “we can talk privately in my father’s

study.” She nodded again. Rowland watched as the Bentley drove

down the road and out of sight.

***

“No!” Alexia Kingstone stated in a firm, crisp voice. “I cannot accept

anything from your father’s estate.” Seeing as Rowland had only ever

known women seduced by money, so this was a first for him.

“But Alexia, it is what he wanted,” Rowland retorted, as he leaned

forward in the huge, high-backed leather chair in his father’s

study, placing his crystal glass on the coffee table, after draining the

fine Scotch Alexia had just poured him.

He had been shocked that, when shown into his father’s study, she had

first announced he was to call her ‘Alexia’ and secondly that she had

walked confidently to the hidden panel that contained his father’s stash

of single malt Scotches, opened it with ease and poured two goodsized glasses of the warm golden liquid.

Handing him one, she sat down, kicking off her heels and drawing her

legs up underneath her into the comfortable chair. Rowland could not

help but think how ‘right’ she looked sitting there, sipping on the liquid

as they talked.

He had told her of his father’s illness and how he had not wanted her

to go through that with him.

Her cool, calm exterior had slipped slightly as she expressed her hurt

and dismay that he had pulled away from her.

She said firmly, “he was my prime and to me nothing would change

that… not even him being bloody sick.”

Her sharp tone and language had taken him aback, but he recovered

quickly and rebuked softly, "well to him it must have. He wanted you

to remember him how he was and always would be. Not passive and

beaten.”

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Alexia rose and walked to the edge of the Senator's desk, offering the

aged oak a loving caress before picking up a Sterling silver photo

frame. She looked at the image with a longing that surprised Rowland.

“He was so proud of you. This was one of his favourite pictures of the

two of you and this room was his sanctuary.”

He argued with her about the trust his father had left for her and his

father had been right that she was strong minded and from the looks

of it, also stubborn.

“But he wanted you to have it!”

Alexia simply looked at Rowland thoughtfully, then spoke. “I don’t

want his money. I wanted him… just him.”

“It sounds like you wanted his submission.” Rowland was not even

sure why he had used that term, maybe it was something about the way

his father had spoken or the commanding presence Alexia radiated.

“You know not of what you speak,” she spat, her words cold. At that,

she drained the rest of the glass in one motion, slipped back into her

heels, replaced her sunglasses, donned her gloves and coat, then turned

to leave the room.

“Please, Alexia, I promised him.” Rowland pleaded.

She paused as she reached the door of the study and called gently over

her shoulder, “you should never promise.”

With that, she closed the door behind her, leaving Rowland with a new

emptiness he could not explain.

***

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Chapter 2 - Her way

Despite the grief and loss of his father, several weeks later Rowland

found he was still adrift in thoughts of the alluring Miss Kingstone. It

had been years since he had found himself curious about any

woman. His first wife had been a beauty queen with a manipulative

streak the breadth of the Mississippi River.

Their marriage was nothing like the true love story he had seen

between his mother and father, so it was a great relief to all except Miss

America when it ended. Her habitual sulking and tantrums were more

in keeping with that of a child than a fully-grown woman. She was

rich, spoilt and entitled, relying on her looks to turn every situation to

her own advantage.

Rowland was grateful for the support of his family and especially for

Quade’s insistence on a pre-nuptial agreement. His brother had seen

something he had not and it was a very messy five years that caused

him to be gun-shy of any woman. Most were too obvious. None

intrigued or tantalised him.

One had even explained in great detail what a catch he was. He had

power, position, wealth and it had not harmed his case that he was

handsome too. Their conversation had left him feeling like some

stallion in a stud auction. So, in the absense of love, he concentrated

on his career and was highly suspicious of any woman that had shown

interest.

Now, however, he found himself tapping into his extensive resources

to discover out more about Alexia, which was no mean feat, according

to his department’s private investigator. The man had provided little

more than the basic information that Miss Kingstone was an eccentric

Australian artist, who had opened her studio, Dark Angel Creations, in

New York City some years ago. The warehouse building was also her

home. She had a dramatic influence on the arts scene and was now

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well known for her philanthropic endeavours and creating high-end

men’s jewellery.

The investigator had told him it looked as though his father had met

her at a charity event for Young Veterans suffering the effects of PostTraumatic Stress Disorder. She had donated several pieces of jewellery

that were auctioned and raised over a quarter of a million dollars. From

the records, this seemed to be a cause to which she devoted a lot of

time and money.

He had also been advised that she was to be a special guest at an

upcoming charity event in a week’s time.

He called through to his secretary, “Minnie, get me the Secretary for

the Philanthropic Board.”

“Yes, Boss Man.” Rowland chuckled at Minnie’s response. He knew

she would be rolling her eyes at him and smiling. Minnie Williams was

young, smart and dedicated. The fact that she was also pretty was not

a bad thing. An attribute he knew she had used on more than one judge

or court official to get her job done. Thank god for Minnie’s minis, he

thought.

With deft efficiency Minnie connected the call, “Secretary - line 1.”

The conversation was brief and within a few minutes he had not only

organised a ticket, but arranged to be seated right beside Miss

Kingstone at the gala event.

***

In the meantime, his father’s will had been read and due to his

grandfathers’ and father’s prudent investments, there was a substantial

portfolio. This left a significant inheritance for Rowland and his

brothers. As the eldest son, Rowland would inherit the family home as

trustee, while the other assets were to be divided evenly between the

Jeffers boys.

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There were a few bequests to various organisations and then there was

the trust for Miss Kingstone, a very sizable one which Rowland wanted

to see through. His brothers had been curious over Miss Kingstone,

but none really worried at this stage. They were more interested in

knowing who she was. He had promised that once he knew more, they

would also.

***

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Chapter 3 - Rainbow Room

Stepping out of the elevator on the 65th floor in the Rockefeller

Center, he entered the Rainbow Room. The opulent glamour of the

space had always charmed Rowland. The 1930’s icon was the perfect

destination to draw the dollars from some pretty deep pockets.

Floor to ceiling windows that showcased the New York skyline were

the perfect backdrop to the large round tables, each covered with

pristine white cloths and massive fresh seasonal floral arrangements.

The finest crystal goblets were set and ready for some sophisticated

wines, all matching perfectly with the fine bone china plates and

gleaming cutlery.

By Rowland’s quick count there would be about two hundred and fifty

punters ready to splash their cash.

This charity event was more than the usual high-end palaver offered

up to make the rich of Wall Street reconcile their ill deeds. None really

understood what they were supporting. It was merely so that they

could reaffirm their position by flaunting some extra cash in front of

those who would take note.

Rowland had always despised these events. When his mother was alive,

she had been a genuine charity queen, but unlike those he now found

himself surrounded by, she had supported causes that really meant

something to her.

When he was younger, he had watched and helped her physically ‘get

in and get dirty’ as she liked to call it, building homes, cooking, doing

dishes and even picking up trash.

Zara Jeffers truly had a kind heart and sweet spirit. She always made

sure her boys respected everyone, especially those that would often go

under the radar of the privileged few.

Lost in memories, he suddenly found himself confronted by Miss

Kingstone. Again, her curves were restrained, but this time in a fulllength evening gown of dazzling emerald green.

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The v-neckline of the sleeveless garment plunged only a little further

than what would be seen acceptable by the charity fashion police. The

beading of the tight bodice was simple and very elegant.

The “v” of the neckline was replicated at the bottom of the bodice and

from underneath cascaded a waterfall of soft fabric that hung down in

long individual curtains that touched the floor, allowing for glimpses

of each luscious leg as she walked.

His attention was drawn to her three-inch strappy black heels that were

decorated with sequins and crystals. But it was her feet that had him

momentarily catching his breath. Slight feet and delicate toes that were

perfectly manicured and finished with beautiful red polish in the same

colour she used on her lips. He had never given much thought to the

beauty of a woman's foot, but he now found himself with a desire to

touch the skin he knew would be soft.

It was only the clearing of a throat that had him lifting his gaze back

to her face. Her look was bemused and expectant.

Realising his bad manners, he rose quickly. Drawing her chair back he

assisted Miss Kingstone to sit, “apologies, I seem to have forgotten all

the manners my mother drilled into me.”

As she sat and he pushed her chair forward he caught the intoxicating

fragrance of roses.

Returning to his seat, he took it upon himself to introduce Miss

Kingstone to the other guests at their table.

The usual ‘thousand dollars a plate’ dinner was littered with copious

amounts of benign small talk from all the guests at the table. The most

amusing being an insincere comment of, “I love your shoes!" from an

out-classed young man trying to get it on with the debutante daughter

of a socialite.

Alexia whispered to Rowland, "maybe he would have had better luck

if he asked her the name of her favourite pony." Her comment saw

them both attempting to hide their amusement.

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“Miss Kingstone, we have not seen you at an event in quite a while,”

the words of the current charity queen Mrs Cynthia Hudstone-Warren

surprised Rowland. “My Harry so loves the last piece you donated. He

wears it everywhere.”

“That is so nice to know,” Alexia’s words were genuine.

“Have you created anything special for this evening?”

"Why, yes, several pieces. They will be the last group auctioned this

evening. I am sure your Harry would like the 18 karat yellow gold

men’s chain with a unique pattern on the gold…" she paused to take a

sip of the delicious Shiraz, while Rowland watched as her lips

connected with the edge of her glass. For some reason, the vision of

her lips on the glass had him adjusting his position.

She then continued, "I am also offering a personal design token that

can be redeemed towards the creation of a unique piece. The token is

from my personal collection.”

The illustrious Mrs Hudstone-Warren was beaming. "Will you create a

piece for me or is it strictly towards something more masculine?"

With a cheeky little smile, Alexia responded, "now, my dear Mrs

Hudstone-Warren, that would depend on how much the token is

auctioned for. After all we are raising funds for a good cause."

Rowland did not miss the significance of the token to Alexia.

If he had not been so enamoured with the beautiful creature beside

him, he would have missed the slight stiffening of her body. His eyes

rose to see a familiar face approaching the table.

"Good evening, Rowland," the man stuck his hand in Rowland's face,

forcing him to stand and adjust his position before taking it.

Rowland was only momentarily confused as to why Blain Jackson, an

Assistant Prosecutor from the New York State Attorney’s Office

would be here, but then again, his daddy, Velure Jackson, was some

rich Fortune 500 dude.

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"Good evening, Blain," Rowland returned the greeting and then

proceeded to introduce all the guests at the table, last of all

Alexia. Blain seemed to offer an even amount of attention to all so as

not to offend, but then he fixed his dark eyes on Alexia, as if she were

some delicious meal he could not wait to consume.

"Why, greetings, Miss Kingstone, I was hoping to meet you this

evening."

Rowland had known Blain from his Yale University days and while

they were both members of the Ivy League, Rowland had never met a

more self-entitled twat than Blain Jackson. His daddy had bought him

everything, right up to and including the overstuffed chair in the New

York State Attorney’s Office. Short-changed in the personality

department, this eel of a man had a charm that would leave you cold.

A salacious churl so focused on advancement, his unwanted presence

being his greatest obstacle also found him frightened of wasting what

charm he had on the wrong people.

To Rowland, Alexia looked as though she was having similar thoughts.

Before any more could be said, Blain's slimy fingers went around

Alexia's elbow, oozing, “now, Miss Kingstone, you must permit me

this dance - I am such a great fan of your work."

To Alexia's great credit she allowed herself to be guided to the dance

floor with only the slightest of hesitations.

Rowland watched as Blain moved in close to her with the intentions

of a snake, the little shit pulling Alexia's luscious curves tight against

his form. It was obvious he was not gentle, from the slight tightness

appearing on Alexia's beautiful face.

Rowland continued to watch Alexia, who was starting to look more

and more like a rag doll being dragged around by a careless child.

'Fuck this!' he thought, then rose, making his way with clear purpose

towards the couple who were now in the middle of the dance floor.

Jabbing Blain firmly in the shoulder, he moved to cut in.

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“Thank you, Blain,” and with that, he easily stepped around the

arrogant prat and took Alexia firmly in his arms.

They did not speak for a very long time as it seemed Alexia was trying

to regain her composure.

“Would you like to tell me what that was about?” Rowland finally

asked.

“I am not sure what you mean,” Alexia’s response was bland, as

though they were having a conversation about dry toast.

“Why that little shit was dragging you around like he owned you?”

Rowland kept his words soft but there was a slight edge of anger to

them.

“Mr Jackson believes he owns everything. Would you not agree?” she

answered.

“You aren’t going to tell me, are you?” Rowland was unsure why that

made him mad.

“No,” her response was simple, direct and very honest.

“Alexia, I am...” She placed a finger to his lips, effectively removing

his opportunity to continue.

“Please let me enjoy this dance, you have the grace of your father

and...” her words trailed away, it felt as though she was trying to regain

her balance. “My apologies, I hope you are honoured rather than upset

at my comparison between you and your late father.”

“With you, Miss Kingstone, only honoured.” Rowland felt he needed

to alleviate her concerns.

Being a good foot shorter than Rowland, Alexia had tipped her head

up so she could see the genuine smile on his lips.

She tucked into his body neatly, her breasts pressed into his chest and

he found he was wanting to draw her in even closer, but of course,

propriety would not allow for that.

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At the conclusion of the dance they returned to the table, to find most

of their dining companions had moved into the Gallery area to survey

the items that would shortly be auctioned.

The room had been arranged so that the proximity of the wealthy and

powerful were in prime position for the auction, followed by those of

lesser importance. Rowland found it was uncanny to watch the crowd

and it amused Alexia. The room shaped by the perception and

standing of some and the acceptance of others. To be moved in closer

would be perceived as a promotion or a challenge.

The absence of most of their dining guests gave Alexia the opportunity

to congratulate the honourable Tennyson Wallis over his new judicial

appointment to the Supreme Court. The beautiful African American

man smiled and thanked her for her well wishes.

“Miss Kingstone, I have always loved your work. Perhaps you can

make me something more in keeping with my style.” He gave a broad

smile and winked at her.

“Oh, your honour, now that would be a challenge!” She giggled. Both

of them shared the understanding that he needed no outrageous

symbols of wealth to prove his calibre, unlike many of her other clients.

Rowland was acutely aware of the glances they were receiving from the

now sullen Blain, who had arranged himself at the bar.

The music drifted away, to be replaced by the commencement of the

Charity Auction. Participants were given little numbered paddles. It

was often seen by many to be a very sporting competition, mainly due

to the massive egos in the room. The organisers were hoping to raise

a ridiculous amount of money for their cause.

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There had been several large donations of goods and services and up

until the offering of Alexia’s first piece, many had already spent a small

fortune. Mr Bevilaqua, the owner of a successful chain of pizza houses

in Brooklyn and Queens, had overpaid for a weekend getaway in Napa

Valley close to his own vineyard, in an attempt to elevate his own

status and position in the room.

At the announcement of her first piece, the bidding seemed to kick

into a higher gear as a surge of excitement passed through the

room. Alexia had downplayed the beauty of the first piece. Yes it was

18 carat yellow gold, but each link had been hand etched with

immaculate scrollwork and what she had failed to add was that the

latch was that of an eagle, with claws protruding, wings drawn back in

a dramatic show, ready to catch its prey. Each eagle feather was

delicately defined. A true original. Rowland had never seen its like and

marvelled at the skill it would have taken to create such a piece. It was

bold without being crude.

The bidding was frantic, but Mrs Hudstone-Warren was more than

determined and she was not about to allow any other to have this

prized work of art.

Rowland looked to Alexia - though pleased with the final bid, she did

seem to have blushed in embarrassment.

Each of the following pieces was just as amazing. A ring with the face

of a saint carved as though it were emerging from the metal itself. A

pair of cufflinks and matching tie pin with a simple, modern design

that had been studded with rubies and emeralds. They were all hotly

contested. This might have been a charity event, but her work was still

highly sought-after. Rowland smiled. Alexia had put a large amount of

effort into the work presented for auction and she made all aware of

the uniqueness of each piece.

“Rare things for rare souls,” she whispered to him, as if reading his

thoughts.

Rowland found himself wanting to own something she had created.

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“Now to the last lot for this evening.” The auctioneer’s words became

almost reverent. “This is a Token, to be redeemed against the design

and creation of a unique piece. It includes a one-on-one design

consultation at Miss Kingstone’s private studio and creation of the

piece, to the value of $50,000.”

An excited ripple ran through the crowd as the auctioneer requested,

“who will start the bidding?”

Paddle ‘102’ lifted high in the air and a deep, dark voice bellowed

“$25,000!” Mr Frawool, old money, Rowland thought.

The bids quickly rose and were currently sitting at $150,000. Seven

bidders had been vying for the right but it was now down to four. Mrs

Hudstone-Warren was right in there, but Rowland could see she was

getting to her limit. Mr Frawool was still pushing albeit a little more

hesitantly and then there was good old Blain, who kept bumping it

up. Rowland had bid a couple of times when it seemed to be slowing

down, but was trying to hide his enthusiasm at potentially having a

piece made by the delicate hand of this exquisite creature.

The bids obviously mirrored both their desire for her and elevated

community standing. Every time Blain had bid, Alexia had stiffened

slightly, but remained smiling. When Blain raised his bid to $165,000,

seemingly to finish the other bidders off, Rowland’s annoyance grew

at the arrogant little shit and decided to wrap things up.

Rising from his chair, making sure his baritone would resound

throughout the room, he declared. “$250,000 in honour of my late

father, Ryan-John Jeffers.”

The drop of the hammer, like a striking whip, initiated three

things. The room fell silent and Blain looked pissed, right royally

pissed, but best of all, the Token was presented to Rowland.

“Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes our evening, thank you for

making it such a great success and supporting such a worthy cause!”

The auctioneer left the stage and the band played softly, reflecting the

conclusion of the evening.

by Marieke J Treloar

27

Alexia rose. “Rowland, thank you for a wonderful evening.” She

turned to leave and paused for a moment.

Rowland was acutely aware of Blain's presence at the bar. He looked

like a starved vulture determining if there was an opportunity to feast.

“I will see you to your car, Alexia.” Rowland offered his hand and

escorted her from the room.

Acknowledging smiles were exchanged on the short elevator ride to

the front foyer, then they walked to the front of the Rockefeller

Center. As they approached her dark-green Bentley, Rowland again

noted the massive driver.

“Thank you, Rowland,” she held out her hand, stepping into her

slightly he took it, noticing the strength and warmth of her fingers.

He held it for a little longer and immediately missed her touch as she

withdrew. If he was being honest with himself, what he really wanted

to do was draw her in closer and kiss those lips.

“You are welcome, Alexia, I will be in touch soon,” was all he could

manage to say.

***

Rowland, The Senator’s Son

28

Chapter 4 - The Goddess and her Mountain

I am “Toku Ngiha” - my name means Igneous Rock in my native

tongue; rock that emerges from the volcano. I am six foot, three inches

and 300 pounds of Maori Warrior. In the service of my goddess as

personal guard and driver for the past ten years, I am known by the

house as Toku (Rock).

***

I take my goddess's hand to assist her to the back seat of the Bentley,

feeling the slight tremble. The hounds had been right - that bastard

Assistant Prosecutor from the State Attorney’s Office had made his

move and threatened her.

I keep my thoughts to myself, but fuck, I just want pound the tutae

(shit) out of him. Ekon, her younger Hound, had informed me via his

earpiece that Blain Jackson had been man-handling her as they

danced. If the honourable Mr Rowland Jeffers had not interfered,

there might have been a Maori blood bath, right there on the dance

floor.

No one handles my goddess like that - NO ONE!

I shut the car door, take a deep breath and walk around to the driver’s

side of the car and look to where Rowland Jeffers still stood

strong. Looking like the Tane Mahuta, a giant kauri tree native to the

Waipoua Forest of my island home. I nod my respect and thanks for

the care of my goddess and get into the car.

“Home please, Toku,” her sweet voice is light.

“As my goddess wishes,” I answer.

She only waits long enough for us to drive out of sight before speaking

again. “Why were my hounds watching?” she asks.

My goddess’s words catch me off guard.

by Marieke J Treloar

29

Tutae! They should have known they couldn’t fool her.

“Well.” I look to the rear-vision mirror, only to be pierced by green

eyes that dance with irritation.

“They only found out that Blain Jackson was going late today and...”

my words cut off.

“Without my permission.” Her words raise the hairs on the back of

my neck.





Thank you for taking the time to read this sample of Rowland,

The Senators Son. I hope you have enjoyed the journey so far

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