Harrison & Sylvia, Part Five

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Part Five
The creak of his study’s door shattered Harrison’s attention. So with a sigh, he turned to look at the opening door letting his full frustration fill his eyes. But when he saw the home’s steward appear in the widening doorway, the frustration dimmed. Harrison smiled up at the steward as the man spoke with a very formal tone of voice, “Sir, you have a caller.”

“Who is it, Gabriel?”

“A Master Lucas Roth, sir.”

Harrison couldn’t help but smile at the news. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the time to talk with his friend, so he turned his attention back to his book and asked. “Does he need to see me, Gabriel? You know I told you I didn’t want any visitors.”

“I told him that sir, but he seemed rather insistent on meeting with you.”

As the exasperation leached into Harrison’s face, he lowered his book to the table and placed the ribbon to save his progress. Shifting his gaze up to the steward Harrison replied. “Very well Gabriel, you may as well bring him here immediately so I can get this over with.”

Looking up through the window Harrison caught sight of the sun’s decent and shook his head. As the steward walked towards the door to retrieve Lucas, Harrison added. “I suppose we will need some refreshments if you could arrange that for us.”

Gabriel turned to face his lord’s eldest son, and with another bow he replied. “Once I have brought Master Lucas up I will have the cook send something for the two of you.”

“Thank you, Gabriel,” Harrison replied as he watched the steward leave the room. He looked over the stacks of books scattered throughout his study and sighed. He went to work straightening up the room. Then Harrison moved the books from his desk to one of the side tables to make room for the refreshments. As soon as he finished straightening up the room, Gabriel entered. And with a formal voice introduced Lucas, “Master Harrison, master Lucas Roth.”

“Thank you, Gabriel,” Harrison said as his eyes went to his friend walking past the steward.

“Harrison, how are you doing?” Lucas asked as he spread his arms out to embrace his old friend.

“I’m doing well,” Harrison said as he accepted his friend’s embrace. He released his friend and pointed at the stack of books on one of the side tables answering Lucas’ question. “I was busy reading, Lucas.”

Lucas shook his head as he retorted, “You’re always reading Harrison. You should be doing anything other than reading books from your father’s library.”

Harrison laughed; he knew this argument all too well. But right then Harrison didn’t feel like following the ritualistic steps. So Harrison jumped to the end of the conversation. “Well, I’m sure you have something to offer that will take me away from these vile books. But it can wait a moment Lucas.” Harrison turned his attention to the silent steward waiting for his dismissal, as he asked his friend a question. “Lucas, what would you like to drink?”

“Is there any red wine?” Lucas asked with a hint tentative trepidation.

As Harrison shifted his gaze to the steward, he asked, “Gabriel, what do we have?”

“I believe we have some red.”

“Not father’s private stock?”

“Master Harrison, I would never offer you any of your father’s private stock.”

“Of course.” Harrison said with a knowing nod before he pressed on. “Well please have the cooks bring some of the red up along with the food.”

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