A Lesson in the Storm: Season of Desire: Part 1 (Seasons Quartet)

A Lesson in the Storm: Season of Desire: Part 1 (Seasons Quartet) by Sadie Matthews

Book: A Lesson in the Storm: Season of Desire: Part 1 (Seasons Quartet) by Sadie Matthews Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sadie Matthews
Chapter One
    I storm out of the study, slamming the door behind me. My father’s voice follows me – ‘Freya, stop it, come back!’ – before the heavy oak door cuts off the sound.
      ‘Goddammit!’ I exclaim, frustration and anger bubbling around inside me. I would say something a lot worse if it wasn’t for the maid who is dusting the enormous gold lamps that sit on the console tables in the hall. She looks up at me, apprehensive, as though she’s worried I’m going to throw something in my fury. I look her straight in the eye and say loudly, ‘I’m not a baby!’
      ‘No, miss,’ she agrees swiftly, and goes back to polishing the lamp.
      ‘I refuse to be treated like one!’
      ‘Yes, miss.’
      I feel momentarily ashamed for involving her in my family troubles – she’s not paid enough to put up with that – and try to calm down a little. I sigh and head down the dimly lit corridor to my suite of rooms. I don’t like this place. My father had it built a couple of years ago – he has a ceaseless passion for creating and acquiring homes – and I’ve never warmed to it. We used to have a cosy chalet on the outskirts of St Moritz, an old-fashioned, charming place that I adored. But my father decided that it wasn’t new or different enough, and soon there were six different architects working on plans for something really special. It took years to complete but at last my father has what he’s always wanted: a super high-tech and ultra-modern mountain eyrie, like something out of a Bond movie – except, of course, it’s exactly the sort of place where the villain would live, though I’ve never pointed this out to him.
      In fact, in some ways I’m as frightened of my father as I used to be of those sneering bald evil-doers who always decided to kill Bond in a slow, inventive way, giving him plenty of time to escape. My father is, after all, known all over the world, having built his fortune in airport construction, and then branched out into shipping to create a vast empire that means our family name – Hammond – has become synonymous with buckets of cash. And you don’t become a success like that without being ruthless. Then there’s my father’s controlling streak. He has no intention of letting me or my sisters grow up and he keeps a beady eye on me wherever I am in the world. I might seem to have an enviable life, but the truth is that I’m never really free, even when I’m away from him.
      I open the door of my rooms, stalk inside and slam it shut behind me. My bags are sitting in the middle of the room, packed as per my instructions. I know that inside each layer of clothes  has been separated by sheets of fine, acid-free tissue paper. My shoes have been stuffed with more tissue and placed reverently in their soft cotton bags. Jewellery – I only travel with a few simple pieces unless there’s a really big party in the offing – is locked into my Asprey’s case, and the key is kept cunningly hanging from my charm bracelet.
      I gaze at my bags and say loudly, ‘Damn it all to hell!’
      ‘What’s the problem?’ says a cool voice behind me.
      I turn to see my sister Summer standing in the doorway. She’s technically the youngest of us because even though she and Flora are twins, she arrived second, and I think she’s the prettiest too, with her fair hair, willowy figure and the winsome gap between her front teeth. But, in my opinion, she’s also the most spoiled, a daddy’s girl if ever there was one.
      ‘Nothing,’ I say, turning back. ‘I’m on my way to the airport.’
      ‘Oh right.’ Summer saunters into the room. She is the epitome of mountain chic in a cream cashmere polo neck and dark ski leggings worn with leopard print ballet flats, her glossy blonde hair spilling over her shoulders. ‘Going somewhere nice?’
      I grit my teeth. I’m not in the mood for Summer right now. And why the hell is she in my rooms? Isn’t there enough space in

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