Author

Shadows Of Guta 160-179

Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 179) The Same

Stephens relationship with his ex-girlfriend Kate is torrid at best and he is the only giver in the union. He does not miss Kate’s demanding selfish ways, especially now. His friendship with Zsofia is much different and he hopes their relationship will only grow closer in the future. Just thinking about Zsofia has him smiling and he does not realize she is doing the same.

To clear his mind and to focus on getting Zsofia downstairs, he looks behind them to his left where he believes there should be an entrance to the spiral staircase at the northwest corner of the manor. He is almost positive that when he stopped on the third floor to find her, the steps went up one more level. This would mean they do come to the fourth floor and would be the fastest route downstairs.

“There should be a staircase on that corner,” he points to the opposite side of the building.

“Well, If not we can go down through the conservatory entrance.” She points to an iron door that, just like the one he entered through on the second floor, is attached to a walkway inside the gardens glass exterior. “You know, there is only one way to find out,” and with that said she turns and opens a set of glass doors and proceeds to walk along, inside the glass corridor that they originally enter through. “I’ll shut this door at the front,” she says loudly as an echo calls back.

Ex179

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.
To read StorySmitten ebooks in their entirety CLICK HERE to visit Amazon.com


Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 178) Thank You

“It must be nearing noon,” Zsofia says softly as she turns and looks into Stephen’s eyes, “I should probable get to the teahouse.” As she looks up at Stephen, she nearly leans in for a kiss.

Neither she nor Stephen move or look away for several seconds as they stand face to face atop the elegant building. The silence they are in is not exactly uncomfortable and they both find themselves surprisingly content and at ease. Slowly Stephen slides his fingers through Zsofia’s hair as he tucks the stray tresses away from her sparkling eyes.

“Thank you,” she says as she touches his hand.

“For what?” he questions.

“For letting me experience this with you.” She smiles as she pulls her hair to one side and holds it with her hand.

Stephen nods and grins as he looks back down at the large garden area below and thinks of this new and exciting friendship. He has not been close to anyone in years except for his on again off again relationship with Kate. She lives in the town where he grew up, but at this time, it has been months since he has spoken to her.

Ex178

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.
To read StorySmitten ebooks in their entirety CLICK HERE to visit Amazon.com


Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 177) Adoration

“So all this time, all the days of working here, alone in the house, you never once strayed from the few rooms on the first floor?” Stephen asks with disbelief and a sly grin as he jokingly implies she has been lying to him.

“As hard as it may be to believe, yes I followed the rules, but don’t think I wasn’t tempted several times.” She laughs in a teasing way. “Remember, I explored the conservatory to its fullest though, and climbed all the way to the fourth level of the suspension walkways, so I have viewed a lot yet stayed within the boundaries as well.”

The wind has picked up slightly and as Zsofia stands in the sunshine, wisps of hair float along her neck and across her face. Before she can swipe it away, Stephen reaches up and slides his hand along her cheek pulling the strands back.  Neither speak a word as they stand there together, extremely close, each with adoration for the other, yet neither daring enough to admit how much they enjoy the company. Zsofia looks up at the sun and raises her hand to shield her eyes.

Ex177

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.
To read StorySmitten ebooks in their entirety CLICK HERE to visit Amazon.com


Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 176) Manicured

Much to Stephen’s surprise, he looks out over a massive area of manicured shrubs, gravel walkways, and stone benches scattered throughout several acres of land. Various nooks with concrete benches create many sitting areas and private lawns. Stone statues and large urns create many interesting focal points that look intricate and detailed even from this distance.

“Wow, who keeps it trimmed up?” he questions as he stands there astonished at the massive amount of work it must require to keep the grounds in such a groomed shape.

“Your great-uncle hired experts for the upkeep; I believe they are here four times a year.” She tips her head to the side. “I’m sure my grandfather knows who they are. On another day, if I am allowed,” she grins up at Stephen, “I’ll show you the trails in the woods.”

“What kind of trails?” he asks.

“Walking trails, you can walk for miles and the paths always lead you back home. It is my understanding they have been there even before your grandparents moved out of the manor into the gatehouse.” She pauses as if reflecting on a past moment. “This is so fun, I have wanted to climb up here my whole life but until now, I’ve never had the chance to do so. I have you to thank for that.” She grins as she watches Stephen turn to face her.

Ex176

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.
To read StorySmitten ebooks in their entirety CLICK HERE to visit Amazon.com


Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 175) Protective

From the rooftop, the large old trees look dwarfed from where they stand and the rooftops of the town can be seen clearly, yet far off in the distance. To his left he notices what appears to be the chimney of another house that is quite some distance away.

“What is that?” he questions as he points to it.

“The house with the fireplace?” she questions. “That is where Tamas, grandfather, and I live. It’s a nice little hike in the woods.” She smiles up at him. “You’ll have to come by for a visit sometime.

“I doubt I would be a welcomed guest.” Stephen replies as he refers to the reaction from her grandfather earlier in the day.

“Oh, don’t let grandfather fool you. He really is not as gruff as he tries to come across. He is just, protective.” She assures him without elaborating on the fact that he called Stephen crazy. “Come this way, follow me.” She takes his hand and pulls him along as they go to the back and east side of the manor. “Bet you’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Ex175

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.
To read StorySmitten ebooks in their entirety CLICK HERE to visit Amazon.com


Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 174) Look

As Stephen watches Zsofia, he feels as if he has known her his entire life. There is something about her, she is so natural and at ease in her actions and his anxiety is practically dormant. As he approaches her, Zsofia leans over the wall just enough to look down and Stephen quickly steps up next to her, putting his arm around her waist.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you, we don’t know how sturdy the walls are.” He pulls her back a few inches and she turns to look at him.

“Look at the view.” She smiles as she watches him for a reaction.

“I am.” He replies without taking his eyes off her.

She laughs and places two fingers on his chin then turns his head to look out across the countryside.

“No silly, look.” She says softly and then laughs again for she definitely liked his attention.

Ex174

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.
To read StorySmitten ebooks in their entirety CLICK HERE to visit Amazon.com


Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 173) Lighter

On each outside corner of the manor, tall turret type towers stand high as if reaching for the clouds. Rock steps lead up to tall thin open windows for an even greater view of the surrounding landscape. Many chimney’s jet up and out in various places along this rooftop area and the center section spanning all sides, wraps around the glass of the huge conservatory as if protecting its delicate contents.

“Wow, this is how I imagined it, come look at the view to the west,” Zsofia says as she hurriedly heads in that direction.

“Wait, not so fast, you need to be careful.” Says Stephen as he follows her out into the sunlight.

The late-morning sun feels warm and inviting to Stephen after hours of being preoccupied within the cold walls of the manor. He feels lighter and happier, which is rather rare for him. Maybe it is due to the sunshine or possibly, because of the company he is keeping at this moment.

Ex173

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.
To read StorySmitten ebooks in their entirety CLICK HERE to visit Amazon.com


Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 172) Continuous

Without saying a word, Stephen and Zsofia climb the staircase and where the steps end, they find a glass door. Stephen reaches around Zsofia’s waist, bumping his chest up against her back, as he turns the handle on the door. With a dry, sliding sound, it swings open and they step out onto the fourth floor, which looks just as Zsofia stated.

The entire area is an open floor plan with interior walls made of stone, inset with large tall windows that look out at the upper top section of the glass conservatory. The exterior wall is masonry as well with a huge fireplace centered in the middle and two sets of double glass doors, of equal positions, on either side. If the doors were open, it would transform the fourth floor into one large covered porch.

This vast open area causes each spoken word and every footstep to echo as the sounds bounce from the floor, walls, and many full-length windows. Quickly walking to the front of the manor, Zsofia opens one set of double doors and steps out from under the cover onto a wide unprotected section of the rooftop. This area runs the entire length and width of the house acting much like a long continuous balcony.

Ex172

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.
To read StorySmitten ebooks in their entirety CLICK HERE to visit Amazon.com


Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 171) Coping Skill

Surprised at Zsofia’s quickness in changing the subject, Stephen now realizes how compassionate and understanding her demeanor is. He feels this is probably partly due to her interactions with her younger brother Tamas, and the challenges he faces every day. It is obvious she takes each moment at face value and does not let things fester or become a bigger problem. She deals with it and lets it go. He admires that coping skill very much for he has never been able to do so himself. He now realizes he is just standing there, quietly looking at her.

“Do you suppose there is a staircase at the end of the hall?” She questions as she lets go of his hand and begins to walk along the corridor once again.

“There was one on the first and second floor, so I would have to assume, yes.” Stephen says as he walks along side her until they come to the end of the hall. “After you.” He says as he stops to hold onto the railing allow her to lead the way.

Ex171

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.
To read StorySmitten ebooks in their entirety CLICK HERE to visit Amazon.com


Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 170) Just Like You

Stephen stands there looking at Zsofia as her eyes fill with tears. He does not want her to feel bad and in no way does he want to make her cry but he is unsure of how to respond. As Zsofia starts to turn away and wipe the tears from her eyes, he reaches out and touches her arm.

“It’s okay, Zsofia. I don’t want you to feel bad, hell I don’t even remember anything about the woman, let alone have any feelings for her loss.” Stephen states honestly but he realizes how cold that must sound. “No, I don’t mean it like that.” He says quickly as Zsofia turns back around to face him.

He expects her to have a look of shock on her face at how heartless he must appear to her right now. To his surprise though, she is almost smiling, as she looks him in the eyes.

“Look at us, standing here apologizing about things we’ve said.” She glances down the hall somewhat relieved by Stephen’s statement as she tries to lighten the conversation. “I am sorry I brought it up but I want you to know I don’t think anything bad about your statement. I’m just like you; I never met my grandmother and completely understand where you are coming from.” She reaches out and holds his hand. “Let’s go to the fourth floor, I hear it’s all open, like a huge porch and the view is supposed to be breathtaking.”

Ex170

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.
To read StorySmitten ebooks in their entirety CLICK HERE to visit Amazon.com


Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 169) No Idea

Zsofia’s question about Stephens grandmother’s demise shoots through him like a frozen blade as he suddenly stops walking and repeats the question in his mind two or three times. Did she ask if his grandmother took her own life? He has never heard this before. Did she really kill herself and if so, why? Who does that? He knew she was a complete mystery to him, but never did he expect to find out that her death was self-inflicted.

From the look on Stephen’s face, it is now obvious to Zsofia that he knew nothing of this tragic part of the story. She puts her fingers to her mouth nervously and begins to apologize.

“Oh, I am so sorry, Stephen.” She says softly. “You had no idea, did you?” Her eyes are wide as she fumbles her way through her words wishing now that she had kept her mouth shut.

Ex169

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.
To read StorySmitten ebooks in their entirety CLICK HERE to visit Amazon.com


Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 168) Is It True

“My grandfather was always helping your grandparents with things too, I remember them getting together often to play music and entertain. Your grandmother played piano beautifully.” Zsofia says as she holds her hands out as if striking keys with her fingers. “Everything changed and abruptly came to an end when your grandfather passed.” She says softly. “I suppose that was an expected reaction for such a circumstance through, right?”

“Yes, I guess.” Stephen replies as he thinks of his own life changing that very same night as well.

“Is it true what they say about your grandmother?” she asks but does not detail exactly what she is referring too.

“I don’t know what you are asking, is what true?” He asks as they continue to move forward.

He watches Zsofia closely as she opens a door and peeks into a room midway down the south hall before turning toward him. With her hand still on the doorknob, she tips her head slightly to respond to his question.

“Did your grandmother really commit suicide the month following your grandfather’s death?”

Ex168

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.
To read StorySmitten ebooks in their entirety CLICK HERE to visit Amazon.com


Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 167) A Little Off

Stephen is very troubled that he is seeing things that are not there, which in itself could cause Zsofia to be in danger because he is bringing her into a world that he himself does not understand. Everyone he has ever met believes him to be insane and a little off but now, with his current actions, he feels his fresh start may not come to fruition. Instead, he believes it will be short-lived or now completely over due to his own inconsistent and misunderstood actions.

“I liked your great-uncle.” Zsofia states without any lead up to the statement. “He was very nice, a little quiet, like you,” she grins, “my grandfather felt protective of him.” She says as she looks down the hall at the sunlight flooding in.

“I didn’t know the man.” Stephen says without much empathy as they walk down the hall, he opens a door to look in at the room.

“Well, that is expected, you were only around him once when you were very young, right?” She continues walking along the west hall towards the south end as Stephen catches up to follow alongside as they slowly leave the north hall behind.

“Yeah I guess, but I don’t remember meeting him then either.” He replies.

Ex167

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.
To read StorySmitten ebooks in their entirety CLICK HERE to visit Amazon.com


Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 166) Genuine

“You can’t go in there!” Stephen says forcefully and without elaborating. This reaction is a little shocking to Zsofia.

“Okay, I won’t.” Zsofia says in response as she allows him to pull her from the room and out into the hall but she is confused as to why he is so adamant.

Stephen quickly closes the door behind them and stands still for several seconds with his eyes closed. He sees the disturbing images in his head that have been with him for years. The horrible pain on his grandfather’s face and the sneering grin of the evil that destroyed him plays out repeatedly. They have become him, are part of his being, and he fears he will never be free of them, not even after death.

“Are you alright?” Zsofia asks softly but with much concern.

She steps up closer to him and cups her right hand along his jaw line in a soft and caring way. Opening his eyes, Stephen can see the worry on her face as she gazes at him waiting for him to answer. It is obvious to him that her concern is genuine.

“Yeah,” he says as he gently pulls her hand from his face.

“I’m sorry, I just. . .” she pauses as she looks down in embarrassment.

“I’m okay, just haven’t eaten much today and felt dizzy, that’s all.” He says quickly to ease her discomfort and to explain away his need to leave the room so swiftly.

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.
To read StorySmitten ebooks in their entirety CLICK HERE to visit Amazon.com


Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 165) Abruptly

Zsofia seems to be completely unaware that she may be in danger as she releases Stephen’s hand and looks down at the floor between them. Stephen watches her carefully and waits for her to react to the bony prints but she does not say a word. In fact, she does not act as if she can see them at all. Suspiciously, she looks up at him with a questioning glance as if waiting for him to explain the concern he knows must be outwardly showing.

“I think it’s best if we leave.” He says as he waits for her to walk toward the door to the hallway.

“Why? Have you got somewhere to go?” She says with a wide grin as she teases him knowing very well that he is not on any set schedule. “I thought you wanted to investigate and find all the little nooks and crannies of this elaborate place.” She whispers in a playful way, as she stands very near.

Zsofia turns toward the next room, the dark room, the room that at this moment frightens Stephen more than anything he has yet experienced here. He knows something is there, inhabiting its four walls watching and waiting for them to enter. Zsofia begins to walk toward the open door when Stephen grabs her by the arm, abruptly pulling her back to him.

Ex165

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.
To read StorySmitten ebooks in their entirety CLICK HERE to visit Amazon.com


Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 164) Must Not

“I was leaning against the door listening for you and lost my footing when you opened it!” Zsofia says softly then smiles as they continue to stand in their embrace.

Stephen almost forgets about the odd footsteps he had begun to follow as he and Zsofia look into each other’s eyes. He likes being this close to her in this comfortable embrace, for it is not awkward in any manner. Then as quickly as she fell into his arms, they separate but she takes his hand and starts to pull him into the room.

“No, we can’t go in there.” Stephen says as he looks down at the tracks in the dust.

Just as he suspected, the skeletal prints pass through the doorway to the room Zsofia was hiding in and then on to the next adjacent room. It is the open doorway, to the third room, that has the appearance of being very dark and foreboding. Stephen knows without a doubt, they must not enter it.

“Oh come on, this is so exciting, I’ve never been in a house like this before.” Zsofia says as she tugs at Stephen pulling him to the center of the room and closer to the open doorway.

Ex164

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.
To read StorySmitten ebooks in their entirety CLICK HERE to visit Amazon.com


Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 163) With Delight

Here at the door, Stephen notices boot prints, which enter from the hall and disappear behind the same adjoining doorway as the small skeletal prints. Strong pangs of fear begin nipping at him but his need to make sure Zsofia is okay pushes him toward the door. Gently he turns the knob so he will not make a sound and then flings the door open as fast as he can.

“Ahh!” Zsofia yells in a startled manner as she falls into Stephen’s arms nearly knocking him over.

Laughing she wraps her arms around his neck as he holds her tightly to keep her from tumbling to the floor. The sweet scent of lemons and berries fill his senses as he holds her close. Until this moment, he had not really studied her features other than with little glances here and there. Her eyes are brilliant blue and sparkle with delight as she steadies her footing and her laugh slows to a simple grin.

Ex163

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.
To read StorySmitten ebooks in their entirety CLICK HERE to visit Amazon.com


Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 162) Footprints

“Zsofia, where are you?” Stephen asks loudly as he pulls the door shut and continues down the west hall.

A thumping sound is coming from behind him, in the north hall so he quickly turns around and runs to the first door. Softly he turns the handle and pushes the door open hoping Zsofia will be on the other side but she is not. He turns the light on and realizes this floor of the manor is set up much like the second where one room opens to other areas. He walks across the wooden floor to the window where he looks out at a small yard and thick woods.

Upon turning around, he glances down and notices there are actually two sets of footprints in the room. One being his own and the other set are of bare feet, which he finds very odd.

“Now why would she take her shoes off?” He laughs.

As Stephen looks a little closer, he notices the footprints are very skeletal in shape, not full and smooth like a woman’s foot. He feels himself grow colder than he was just a moment ago as he looks down at the progression of the path. The tracks come in from the hall, go to the window, around the table and then to the closed door that leads to the next room.

Ex162

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.
To read StorySmitten ebooks in their entirety CLICK HERE to visit Amazon.com


Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 161) Panic Begins

Running up the last few steps of the spiral staircase, there is a ringing sound from the soles of Zsofia’s boots hitting the metal platform and Stephen immediately starts up the steps after her. The blood is pumping through his veins at a rapid nervous pace, as he fears the worst may happen for he has no idea what may be waiting for them one level above as he races after her.

“You need to stop; I haven’t been up here yet!” Stephen says loudly but he does not receive a reply. “Zsofia! Stop! Please!” He yells as he nears the top three steps of the staircase before stopping on the third floor.

The corridors are bright and sunny from the midmorning light as it shines into the conservatory and through the third floor corridor windows. In looking down the west and north halls, he does not see Zsofia anywhere and panic begins to set in.

He walks to the first door on his right and gently pushes it open to find a quaint sitting room with a loveseat and several chairs but not much else other than a large wardrobe for hanging clothes in. The room is light in color and with the drapes pulled open slightly; it is obvious the area has not been disturbed, for his footprints are the only ones showing on the dusty floor.

Ex161

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.
To read StorySmitten ebooks in their entirety CLICK HERE to visit Amazon.com


Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 160) Catch Me

Quietly standing up, Zsofia turns and looks out through the large round window at the sunlight sparkling in on the contained garden when a sly smile crosses her lips. Tucking her hair behind her right ear, she steps up, very close behind Stephen.

“I wonder if you’ll look for me if I go missing.” She whispers as she tiptoes behind him and proceeds down the hall toward the north wing staircase that leads to the third floor.

“What did you say about the fourth floor?” Stephen questions as he takes his focus off the entry door and turns to look at Zsofia, he now realizes she is no longer sitting on the step. “Hey! Where did you go?” He questions as he looks down the hallway in both directions. “Zsofia!” He yells as a nervous feeling comes over him and he begins to worry she may be in danger.

Backing away from the banister railing, he turns to go back to the south hall near the room he just came from when he hears a faint reply to his question. It is coming from the other end of the hall.

“Zsofia! Where are you?” He yells as he runs past the staircase to the north side.

“I’m on the third floor, catch me if you can!” She says playfully.

Ex160

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved.
To read StorySmitten ebooks in their entirety CLICK HERE to visit Amazon.com