The Alchemist's Key

The Alchemist's Key by Traci Harding

Book: The Alchemist's Key by Traci Harding Read Free Book Online
Authors: Traci Harding
the Contessa is one hundred per cent convinced.’
    ‘Oh, believe me, I’ve been fighting to update the curriculum for ages, and this is far and away the closest the Contessa has ever come to even considering such a proposal. I fear we must move swiftly, however, before her excitement fades.’
    ‘It won’t,’ Wade assured Hannah. ‘What I showed the Contessa yesterday on that littlelaptop was nothing compared to what my system upstairs is capable of. If the Contessa cools down, I’ll just blow her mind with something even more impressive.’
    ‘Could I see?’ Hannah was curious to observe what had turned the Contessa’s head.
    ‘Sure.’ He moved to lead the way, but then, remembering Andy’s notion that the equipment could be the trigger for the time phenomena, Wade refrained. ‘Oh damn, that’s right. I’m in the middle of cleaning out my system.’
    ‘Does that take long?’ Hannah queried.
    ‘Hours!’ Wade exaggerated.
    ‘Well, if you have no objection, I don’t mind waiting?’ As there was a frown threatening to form on the Baron’s brow, Hannah added, ‘… or I could come back another day, if you’d prefer?’
    Hannah’s big blue eyes seemed in vast contrast to her dark hair and pale milky skin. Her luscious red lips had a cute kind of pout happening as she awaited his response.
    Wade was torn. The time phenomena hadn’t occurred for days now. What if Andy’s theory about the equipment proved to be wrong? He could be blowing the perfect opportunity to get to know this girl better. ‘Whatever you’d prefer,’ hesaid, whilst a little voice in his head cursed his change in resolve. ‘You could even stay for dinner, if you’d like?’
    ‘I wouldn’t want to impose,’ insisted Hannah, looking to the drawing room door as it opened and Louisa entered.
    ‘Oh, I am sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt.’ Louisa looked at Hannah, and obviously had no intention of withdrawing. ‘How are things at Glenoak, Miss Martin?’
    ‘Very well, thank you, Lady Sinclair.’
    ‘You two know each other?’ Wade queried, noting that both women seemed to become slightly agitated by the other’s presence.
    ‘We have met on more than one occasion,’ Louisa informed Wade. ‘So, what brings you to Ashby?’ The Lady retrieved a cigarette from her silver case on the table, and lit up.
    As Hannah seemed to be at a loss as to how to respond, Wade intervened. ‘We are going to be working on a project together.’
    ‘How nice.’ Louisa strained to produce a smile.
    ‘I was just trying to talk Hannah into staying for dinner this evening.’ Wade again looked at the dancer for her response.
    This announcement was most disturbing to Louisa in view of the episode she anticipatedwould occur. ‘Do you think that is wise, Baron?’
    Hannah, knowing Louisa to be the money-grabbing bitch she was, resented the question. She was sure that Louisa was only out to monopolise the new Baron’s attention and cheque book, just as she had done with his grandfather. ‘Actually, Baron, I will come back for dinner … if it’s no trouble, and you can show me your images then.’
    Terrific , thought Louisa, as Wade smiled at Hannah and assured her it was no trouble at all.

The Gang’s All Here
    C onsidering there were several people expected for dinner this evening, Wade thought that perhaps they should eat in the dining room.
    He sought Talbot’s opinion in regard to Andy joining Hugh, Hannah, Louisa and himself for the occasion. He didn’t wish to put any of the servants in an awkward position by inviting their co-worker.
    ‘I feel sure Andrew would much prefer to dine with you young people,’ Talbot granted. ‘I don’t believe any of us old fogies are going to object to the lad enjoying himself on a night off.’
    When Wade advised the cook of his plans, Winston was both delighted and concerned by the prospect of entertaining. ‘This occasion demands something more lavish than usual … I shall headinto the

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