The Unprotected

Chapter 20

The dining room was huge. In the middle of the marble floor, stood a large table, at least 6 or 7 metres long. High ornamental ceilings were graced with large, beautiful chandeliers that hung down. The windows in the dining room had already been covered with their cream-coloured drapes, and the grand table had been set.

Tirdor, Brendor and Celeste were already seated by the time Rion and Joban had finished turning in circles to view every possible object in the room.

“It’s amazing, this house!” Joban said in awe as he sat, still craning his neck to look at a life-size portrait on the wall of a small boy.

Celeste inclined her head.

“Yes, it is isn’t it?” Tirdor boomed, looking around as if he was just viewing the room for the first time in years, “Anyway, I’m ready to eat. Who’s hungry?”

Suddenly, a group of servants swept into the room, carrying trays, bowls and pots of food.

Rion nearly fell off his chair at the sight of so much food.

Celeste smiled and gestured at the masses of food. “So, what would you like?”

The twins looked at each other then back at Celeste.
“Some of everything!”

When everyone had finally finished their supper, Tirdor and Celeste led the boys to their rooms.

Rion sighed and flopped on to one of the beds, “Thank you very much.”

“You’re very welcome.” Celeste said softly as she closed the door.

“Just look at this place!” Joban cried, walking around the room. He parted the grey drapes and peeked out. It was pitch black, but he could just make out a small glow of light on the ground.

“Oh, Dwayne!” He pressed his hand on to his forehead, “I have to go outside for a bit. Rion, do you want to come?”

“Huh? Joban, there is a toilet in here you know!” He jumped off the bed and pointed to a narrow door, partly hidden by a potted plant.

“No, I don’t need to – I’m not going outside for that… Just – just come with me.” Joban took a candle from a stand and walked over to the door, placing his hand on the curved, ivory handle.

Rion half belly-flopped back on to the blue quilted bed and waved his hand in dismissal. His words were muffled by the quilt, “I’m not coming. Go without me, I want to go to sleep.”

Joban shrugged and went out into the corridor, closing the door softly behind him. Brendor had already gone to sleep, as there was no light coming from underneath his door. Quietly, he slipped down the stairs and outside into the cool, fresh night air.