He comes back and takes her again.
"Thank you," she replied quietly.
"I think the carriage is ready," he said. "I'll show you out."
She followed him to the front door and was about to thank him again for inviting her when he placed a finger under her chin and tipped her head slightly so that she was looking up at him. He looked into her eyes and then pressed his lips to hers. He pulled back with a tentative smile but she was so surprised she could only stare at him.
"I'm sorry, was that thoroughly inappropriate?" he asked, worried that he had gone too far.
Shaking her head, she stammered, "No, no, that wasn't inappropriate. It was, um, it was...very nice."
He opened the door for her and watched as she descended the steps and climbed into the carriage. He smiled to himself as he closed the door.
Virginia sat in the carriage and touched her finger to her lips. His kiss had elicited no reaction from her other than surprise. No butterflies and certainly no parting heavens. Even when Drake's kisses had been quick and unexpected they had stirred a whirlwind of emotions and sent shivers up and down her spine. She closed her eyes and leaned her head back against the cushioned head rest. Was she ever going to get over him? Was any other man ever going to measure up?
A few days later, Virginia was up in the old servant's room that she was using to store the fabrics she had found in the attic. She was deciding which fabrics to use for the gown she would make for the ball. She realized that if there were going to be a number of social events then she would need several gowns. She was thinking that she may need to take the fabrics to the dressmaker and have some gowns made, as she would just not have time on her own, when she heard Billy running up the stairs, calling her name.
"I'm in here Billy. What is it?" she asked with alarm.
He burst into the room holding a large roll of paper. He unrolled it across her large sewing table. "I was looking at the house plans that we found," he said excitedly. He pointed to a spot on the drawing. "Look at this."
She couldn't tell what he was pointing at. With all the lines and symbols she could barely tell that it was her house. "What is it?"
"Look, here's the outline of the house, see? Here are the old servant's rooms and here's the attic," he explained. "Do you see it?"
"Yes, yes I do. But what is this over here? It looks like another room off the attic," she asked, finally making sense of the drawing.
Looking up at her he cried, "It is. It's another room. A hidden room!" With a whoop he exclaimed, "It could be the pirate's treasure!"
They walked into the attic and looked down to the end where, according to the plans, the room would be.
"But where is the doorway? It's just a blank wall over there. I can't see how a door could even be hidden."
"Let's go look," he said, and began making his way through the scattered trunks and crates.
They spent the next hour scanning the wall, looking for the edges of the hidden door, pressing every part of the wall trying to find the catch that would open it. Frustrated, Virginia said, "Does it not show where the door is on the plans?"
"No, it just shows the room," he replied.
"Maybe there is no entrance. Perhaps it's just an empty space," she said sitting down on one of the trunks.
Stepping back from the wall, Billy reluctantly said, "I'm not sure. I can't see anything that could be a door, but why would there be just an empty space?" he wondered aloud.
"Are you going to keep looking?" she asked.
"Yes, for a little while," he said, stepping back up to the wall.
"I'm going back to my sewing room. Call me if you find anything," she said turning away.
Several hours later she had chosen the fabrics for her gown and had begun cutting them out when Billy walked in. He flopped into a chair in the corner and announced, "I give up. I can't find an entrance. I'm sure there is one, but beats me where it is," he said dejectedly.
A few days later, she invited Doris for tea and brought up her idea of hosting a Christmas ball.
"Why that would be wonde