Kingdom's Dream

Kingdom's Dream by Iris Gower

Book: Kingdom's Dream by Iris Gower Read Free Book Online
Authors: Iris Gower
Caswell House staring unseeingly into the fire. She had been so foolish to accept Eynon’s invitation to visit his daughter. True to form, Jayne was keeping her guests waiting and Llinos was imagining her and Dafydd together. Jayne would watch him dress and shave, see how beautiful he was in sleep, all the intimate things she remembered so well. It hurt.
    â€˜When will Joe be home?’ Eynon broke the silence. ‘It seems so long since he went off to America.’
    â€˜I don’t know,’ Llinos said. ‘He hasn’t paid me the courtesy of telling me that yet.’ As soon as the words left her lips she felt guilty. After all, it had been her choice to stay in Swansea.
    â€˜I wish he would come home,’ she said. Without him she felt vulnerable.
    Before Eynon could reply the drawing-room door opened and Llinos sat back in her seat, expecting to see Jayne make her entrance. But it was Dafydd who came into the room, his eyes searching for hers. She bit her lip and looked away, as if to distance herself from him but his presence dominated the room.
    Almost directly behind him was Jayne, her face flushed, her hair less than neat. ‘So sorry to keep you waiting, Papa,’ she said, ‘but my husband has been busy telling me how beautiful I look, haven’t you, darling?’ She reached for Dafydd and as Llinos watched her kiss his cheek she felt her heart shrink.
    Dafydd came towards her and she held out her hand almost without thinking. He took it, and the touch of his fingers, the way his eyes bored into hers, made her feel almost ill with regret for what might have been.
    â€˜It’s so good to see you, Llinos. Tell me how life is treating you?’ He sat close to her, and she was very aware of the warmth of his body. Her heart was pounding so hard that she wondered if he would hear it.
    â€˜My darling’s had a bad day,’ Jayne said.
    â€˜There’s been a bit of trouble down at the Llanelli pottery,’ Dafydd explained, ‘but nothing that can’t be handled by Pedr Morgan.’ He addressed himself to Llinos. ‘Seems some of the men want to leave the pottery and join the railway navvies. The fools can’t see that the work on the line is almost finished.’
    Llinos had still not composed herself so Eynon filled the uncomfortable gap. ‘Talking of the railways, I’ve managed to buy some shares.’ He avoided Dafydd’s eye. ‘I was lucky to get them – some old man fell sick and wanted to get out of the business world. I took just a few. The rest went to an unknown buyer.’
    â€˜I’ve tried my best to get hold of some Great Western shares,’ Dafydd said. ‘They’ll be worth a goldmine in a very short time.’
    Llinos swallowed hard, wondering how soon she could make her excuses and leave. Everyone was keeping up the façade that this was a meeting of friends but she could tell from Eynon’s expression that he was only too aware that Dafydd could not take his eyes off her.
    â€˜Have you managed to buy some of the shares, Llinos?’ Dafydd asked.
    She shook her head, unable to speak. It alarmed her that Dafydd could still move her in this way and she wished she could leave their affair in the past.
    She glanced at Jayne, who was looking smug: she had something up her sleeve, some secret. Could she be expecting Dafydd’s child?
    â€˜I must be going,’ Llinos said quickly. ‘I didn’t realize how quickly time was passing. My son will be wondering where I am.’
    â€˜How is the boy?’ Dafydd asked.
    Llinos was afraid to look at him. ‘He’s very bright, learning his lessons with no trouble. He will have to go away to school soon.’
    â€˜It’s no wonder he’s bright – he has such a brilliant mother.’ Dafydd spoke in a low voice, but both Jayne and Eynon heard him. ‘If you can get your hands on some railway shares, they would stand

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