“When I woke up this morning, I had no idea where I was or even who I was, for that matter.”
“You didn’t happen to wake up in a place called Bedlam, did you?”
“No.” He raked his hands through his wavy brown hair, disrupting the shape, making him seem more undisciplined than before. There seemed to be no evidence of dried blood, so the theory that he might have accidentally slammed his head against a wall, or had his memory dislodged in some other violent way, was officially disproved… Unless it was the sort of injury that bled from within.
His pause gave her adequate time to form her next question, which would likely prove to be less than ladylike and most indelicate, but she had to try. “And…you didn’t take a fall from a high place, or perhaps trip over your own feet?”
“No! Just listen. A note was brought to me, by a butler, addressed to a Mr. Baylian Epaulis. The butler seemed to think I was Baylian Epaulis, so I went with the scenario. The note stated that I was to come here, to this address, and ask for Ruby. I was then to covertly take this Ruby away from said address. The note didn’t say why… Didn’t give me any information other than that.”
“Who was it signed by?”
“It wasn’t signed.”
No one she’d ever known in her life was privy to her current whereabouts, or to the fact that she went by the name ‘Ruby’, for that matter. So who was this private benefactor? “Why would you do this for me, a perfect stranger?”
He blew out a breath. “I don’t know. Perhaps if I accomplish this task my memory will be restored to me.”
She let his explanation sink in for a moment. “That’s a flimsy reason, to say the least.”
“Agreed. But it’s all I’ve got. Look around you. I am willing to help remove you from this situation. Would you rather stay?”
Rachel laughed. “Would you?”
“All right, look. We need to find a way out of here. We’ve wasted enough time as it is.”
They both started when someone knocked on the door.
“Who is it?” Mr. Epaulis mouthed.
“The woman who manages this luxurious establishment,” she whispered back.
They looked around for a place to hide him. The only place was under the bed, and he’d never fit under there.
The woman pounded on the door again. “Ruby! Answer, damn ya.”
Ruby maneuvered Mr. Epaulis next to the bed. “Drop your trousers,” she murmured.
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